I am back with round 2 of the Air and AA interaction testing that will hopefully result in 343 reconsidering the buff that AA units will be getting in the upcoming patch. This group of tests will involve Banshees v UNSC vehicles and Hornets v Banished Vehicles. I am doing this to try and get everyone on the same page and to hopefully learn somethings myself about army compositions and tactics. Lets get into it.
Locust Reaver Ball v Hornets
I’m going to beat you to the punch here. The locust reaver ball is an absurdly expensive full army to make… but it brings the pain. 2 Reavers were lost along with 5 Locust in exchange for the entire air army. What is different here is that the surviving ball can literally walk up to the opponents front door and kick it off the hinges. 5 locust are enough to drop an ungraded base relatively quickly which is something t1 warthogs cannot due after an engagement. I personally think that most units don’t do enough building damage early on but that is an argument for a different day.
Vehicle Army → 4400 supply, 3800 power, 8200 total
Air Army → 6500 supply
Unless you are one of those players that laughs at the thought of taking advice from someone at my skill level, you probably shouldn’t be tech-ing straight into locust and reavers. Locust are a fantastic unit if your micro can handle it but it is a huge risk putting that much power into them.
I tried to make the vehicle cost a bit more friendly on this one. It is still an expensive army but it wont break you as much as full locust reaver. I also wanted to see if adding nightingales would help the air survive at all. It didn’t. I know it is a bad testing practice to change two variables at the same time but I think the advantage is so far in favor of AA that it doesn’t matter. I also tried to use the smoke from the nightingales to see if there was any affect. As long as the vehicles stay moving, the smoke doesn’t do much.
Vehicle Army–> 4770 supply, 2550 power, 7320 total
Air Army → 4875 supply, 250 power, 6875 total
For the previous 3 videos, note that while the banished armies are more expensive, they have significantly more base breaking potential post battle than with the UNSC vehicle mix
These next three videos show the effect on adding shrouds and Engineers into an Banished Air Army. While the 80 Pop army barely put up a fight, the 100 pop army did actually pretty well against the UNSC vehicles. The shroud anti projectile and the Engineer shield helped the army survive a lot longer than if it was only 100 population of Banshees. Keep in mind however, The Banished air army only works if it is at full strength (or critical mass). If I make 6-8 wolverines first and then pepper in my hogs, I will be able to travel around the map uncontested because of both how effective wolverines are and how weak and slow to train air armies are in the mid game. I would still put my money on the UNSC vehicles winning 10/10 times, even 80 v 100 pop.
Vehicle Army → 5200 supply, 1520 power, 6720 total
Air Army 80 (core +support) → 7000 supply, 330 power, 7330 total
Air Army 100 (core + support) → 9100 supply, 1260 power, 10360 total (with reinforcements I)
Air Army 100(core) → 9900 → supply, 750 power, 10650 total (with reinforcements I)
Those are very expensive army to make and still lose. I will go on the record and say that per unit cost, banshees are not very strong at all. Especially compared to hornets.
What test would it be if Decimus wasn’t around to mess everything up. While 100 Pop of Banshees loses rather decisively to 80 Pop Vehicles, The Decimus Passive Banshees torch the vehicle army without question. I’m not sure if this is enough to qualify as over powered. You can only get the passives as the 4th and 5th point which should be around the 8-9 and 11-12 ish minute marks. If I know I am going against deciums, I will probably have made an effort to either get 1 or 2 global upgrades or increase my pop to mix in more AA. I’m not sure how either of those things would turn out though, further testing is required.
PLEASE DONT READ THIS AS AN AIR ISSUE. THIS IS EXCLUSIVLY A DECIMUS ISSUE.
There were too many variables in this fight for any definite conclusions to be drawn on my part. The only thing that I could say is that 25 wingman hornets could not bring down the base in a reasonable amount of time when it was only guarded by 3 wolves. I have felt this pain when people try to turtle me behind a cloak and shield. After my failed attack, I also would have been wide open for attack on the other side of the map. If the Banished player has any base breaking potential in his army, the game should be over.
Please bring your tactfully worded arguments along with ideas for future tests below in the comments. I look forward to continuing this dialogue and hopefully improving the game in the process.