I must be doing *something* wrong...

In-depth tactical discussion on how to lose the least

Moderator: Defcon moderators

Angus Khan
level0
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:03 am

I must be doing *something* wrong...

Postby Angus Khan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:19 am

So I really like this game... well, I really want to like it. I'm used to being just absolutely awful at RTS games, but Defcon seemed manageable compared to the complexity of so many others in the genre. (Plus, I LOVE the over all theme of nuclear war) So, I figured that with some practice I could teach myself to be good... and so after doing the tutorial I've been playing against varying numbers of AI opponents figuring they would give me a chance to learn the basics before jumping online. Despite playing 20+ games, however, I am still having trouble getting out of the negatives when it comes to points. I figure there must be some major tactic or concept I'm missing... I looked around the forums but all I could find were fairly deep strategy discussions and specific maneuvers.

Things I have tried (based off what I could find here on the forums):
*Grouping all my stuff
*Launching subs from outside radar range
*Fleets comprised of varied ship types
*Launching ICBM's both preemptively and after another player

Am I just doomed to suck forever or am I likely just falling into a common noob trap?
User avatar
- Tobias -
level3
level3
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:22 am

Postby - Tobias - » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:51 pm

Hmm. Even though you are indeed new, I'd think that after twenty or so games, you'd have a better grasp of Defcon and be able to envision yourself succeeding in its environment. Maybe it's just not for you.

Perhaps it might be worthwhile to take a step back, broaden your perspective, and begin at the beginning. The game is about points. In Default scoring (the most popular method) you get two points per population unit killed, while only losing one point for each population unit lost. Think about that. Now, think about that again.

The most basic concepts (which honestly you probably should have obtained on your own from twenty-odd games) are: scoring; the value of each individual nuke (to both you and your opponent); and that every movable unit must be under some sort of radar to be directly targeted. These are concepts that are ever-present throughout all games.
Angus Khan
level0
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:03 am

Postby Angus Khan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:46 am

I do understand the basic ideas of how the game works... I can just never actually employ a strategy successfully. For instance, my fleets get demolished unless the enemy is outnumbered at least 3-to-1, my subs are always killed off by invisible sub-hunting carriers, and I'm lucky if a third of my nukes (ICBMs, MRBMs, and bombers) actually hit their target. Since I posted the original thread, I have had two games where my nukes actually hit, and both times I was in EU while my two AI opponents were in NA, and SA... and with radar sharing on. Like I said before, there must be something I'm missing, because I have played enough games to mean I shouldn't need everything stacked in my favor to win.
User avatar
Lord_Haw_Haw
level3
level3
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:51 pm

Postby Lord_Haw_Haw » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:51 am

Angus Khan wrote:I do understand the basic ideas of how the game works... I can just never actually employ a strategy successfully. For instance, my fleets get demolished unless the enemy is outnumbered at least 3-to-1, my subs are always killed off by invisible sub-hunting carriers, and I'm lucky if a third of my nukes (ICBMs, MRBMs, and bombers) actually hit their target. Since I posted the original thread, I have had two games where my nukes actually hit, and both times I was in EU while my two AI opponents were in NA, and SA... and with radar sharing on. Like I said before, there must be something I'm missing, because I have played enough games to mean I shouldn't need everything stacked in my favor to win.



I am a medium level player,if you would like,I would be willing to play a few games with you,1v1 or me and you play against the cpu and I can give you imput and make in game battlefield suggestions. or I might suggest you play diplomacy.


LHH
User avatar
kudayta
Introversion Staff
Introversion Staff
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:25 pm

Re: I must be doing *something* wrong...

Postby kudayta » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:36 am

Angus Khan wrote:So I really like this game... well, I really want to like it. I'm used to being just absolutely awful at RTS games, but Defcon seemed manageable compared to the complexity of so many others in the genre. (Plus, I LOVE the over all theme of nuclear war) So, I figured that with some practice I could teach myself to be good... and so after doing the tutorial I've been playing against varying numbers of AI opponents figuring they would give me a chance to learn the basics before jumping online. Despite playing 20+ games, however, I am still having trouble getting out of the negatives when it comes to points. I figure there must be some major tactic or concept I'm missing... I looked around the forums but all I could find were fairly deep strategy discussions and specific maneuvers.

Things I have tried (based off what I could find here on the forums):
*Grouping all my stuff
*Launching subs from outside radar range
*Fleets comprised of varied ship types
*Launching ICBM's both preemptively and after another player

Am I just doomed to suck forever or am I likely just falling into a common noob trap?


Ok, here are the basics:

1) Group your stuff
2) Keep it out of enemy radar range (meaning airbases and silos)
3) Keep your battleships in front of your carriers.
4) At defcon 3, launch all bombers from carriers and keep them behind the battleships.
5) Engage the enemy from outside of his radar range, but within yours. Accomplish this by keeping your carriers close to your battleships. See rule 3 as well.
6) Don't let enemy battleships engage your carriers. Backing off to maintain a radar edge is perfectly acceptable.
7) As soon as you can, launch fighters from carriers. Micromanage every plane in the air. Make sure it has a target or a purpose.
8) Scouting: Load up a few hot bombers (the nuke countdown is complete, and it's ready to launch) and then manually set them to fly over the enemy territory. Move carriers forward and spam fighters towards the silo tracers. As the tracers hit your bomber(s), toss a nuke towards the tracers and then manually redirect the bomber to continue its flight across the enemy territory. Steer the fighters towards the tracers manually. As the nuke is shot down, toss another one. Repeat until all silos/airbases have been found.
9) Bomber waves: When attacking a city/silo/airbase/radar with bombers, launch them in a direction 90 degrees away from the target. Then when the middle bomber is parallel to the target, start with the rear bomber and turn them all one by one to attack.
10) Sub launches: When attacking, keep battleships in front of the subs, a carrier or three behind, and spam fighters to engage inbound bombers/fighters. Start with the rear sub, and target five locations. Remember the order. Move to the next sub and repeat the order. Continue this process until all subs have their targets set.
11) Silo launches: The same as subs in terms of process, but spam bombers in all directions to engage surfacing subs.

Some rules of thumb:
1) When attacking an enemy silo, use at least 6 nukes. 8 is nearly a guarantee. 10 is too many.
2) When attacking an enemy airbase, use at least 3 nukes. 4 is nearly a guarantee. 7 is too many.
3) When attacking an enemy radar, use one nuke. Two is nearly a guarantee. Unless that radar absolutely has to die, 2 is too many.
4) In default scoring, you are awarded more points for kills than are taken away for lack of defense. This isn't the NFL. Defense doesn't win games.
5) No points are ever awarded for killing enemy naval or land units.
6) The angle of your attack is important. Silos have a progressively harder time shooting down nukes as angles approach 180 degrees. (I think. More experienced guys may contradict this point, if so, I defer.)
7) Don't try to sneak subs. Keep them behind your primary vector of attack. Launch them only when it is safe to do so.
8) The AI is terrible. Don't waste anymore time playing it.
9) Unlike chastity, patience is a virtue in this game.

edit: Not my videos. Thanks to gbcan for those.
User avatar
- Tobias -
level3
level3
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:22 am

Postby - Tobias - » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:51 am

OK Angus. In that you even replied to my response is encouraging. Maybe, as you suggest, there is just someting amiss that a more experienced eye might pick up on. DO NOT GIVE UP. Defcon is a great game, and if we can clear this hurdle, maybe you can get to enjoy it a bit more. Take up Lord Haw Haw on his offer, or just ask around if he is not available. Somebody will help.

Kudayta's list of suggestions are excellent. I'd suggest focusing on just one or two items from his list in each of the next few games that you play, and that you try to see why he makes the suggestions he does. For example, maybe in your next game you focus on his suggestions regarding scrambling bombers and how to use fighters. Set "win naval' as your only goal next game and focus on just those two Kudayta suggestions (bombers/fighters). Add the concept of radar range, and you should both win that naval (or the next) and learn a lot.
User avatar
Ace Rimmer
level5
level5
Posts: 10803
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:46 pm
Location: The Multiverse

Postby Ace Rimmer » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:37 pm

- Tobias - wrote:Kudayta's list of suggestions are excellent. I'd suggest focusing on just one or two items from his list in each of the next few games that you play, and that you try to see why he makes the suggestions he does. For example, maybe in your next game you focus on his suggestions regarding scrambling bombers and how to use fighters. Set "win naval' as your only goal next game and focus on just those two Kudayta suggestions (bombers/fighters). Add the concept of radar range, and you should both win that naval (or the next) and learn a lot.

This.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast...
User avatar
Schubdüse
level5
level5
Posts: 1210
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Seoul

Re: I must be doing *something* wrong...

Postby Schubdüse » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:11 pm

Angus Khan wrote:, but Defcon seemed manageable compared to the complexity of so many others in the genre.


That's an illusion, in my opinion. You will need probably years in order to be able to compete with any elite player. Ok, maybe months when you play 24/7 and when you have some talent. (I think, Blackout and Laika are such players.) R3D is also a player who was able to become the best player at the certain time within a year, as far as I remember. The point is, Defcon is far more complex than it seems:

I have launch time codes for certain silo-setups depending on terry for a good sync launch.
Many players have transparent foils to put on the screen in order to blind nuke hostile silos or to avoid putting units on cities.
At least Groeteschele has profiles for different players.
There are some master plans, which guarantee you a win when properly executed (see Star of India in 1vs1, or Russia&Asia vs EU&NA or SA in 2vs2)
And so on...
Vorsprung durch Kraft - Triebwerke saugen - Präzisionsarbeit... Schubdüse.
Angus Khan
level0
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:03 am

Postby Angus Khan » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:37 pm

Sorry everyone for the late reply... I was crazy sick the last few days, and practically spent all my time passed out with a 104 degree fever. Blech. :?

@Lord_Haw_Haw: I would love to do some 1-v-1 or something, thanks for offering! What time works for you? I'm good most days this week.

@kudayta: Wow, that list is perfect... just what I was looking for. Many thanks.

@- Tobias -: I will definitely give your suggestion a shot... hoefully after a few games where I focus on one thing I can eventually bring it together... :P

@Schubdüse: Yeah, I have no illusions of suddenly being on par with elite players. I know that I will likely never be that good, and am OK with that. I mostly just want to be able to play acceptably well! :wink:
Deadcows
level2
level2
Posts: 224
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:40 pm

Postby Deadcows » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:53 pm

I remember R3D giving me league password one and half months after i started playing and im pretty sure i didnt play 24/7. Maybe 2-4 hours a day avarage. Sometimes less, sometimes more.
User avatar
Captain Jean-Luc Picard
level1
level1
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:15 pm
Location: your mama bedroom

Postby Captain Jean-Luc Picard » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:15 pm

Deadcows wrote:I remember R3D giving me league password one and half months after i started playing and im pretty sure i didnt play 24/7. Maybe 2-4 hours a day avarage. Sometimes less, sometimes more.

So ?
Deadcows
level2
level2
Posts: 224
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:40 pm

Postby Deadcows » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:02 pm

Captain Jean-Luc Picard wrote:
Deadcows wrote:I remember R3D giving me league password one and half months after i started playing and im pretty sure i didnt play 24/7. Maybe 2-4 hours a day avarage. Sometimes less, sometimes more.

So ?

So it means u dont need to play 24/7 for months to get league pw.
User avatar
kudayta
Introversion Staff
Introversion Staff
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:25 pm

Postby kudayta » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:29 pm

You're an over-achiever though Deadcows. Well, sort of.
Deadcows
level2
level2
Posts: 224
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:40 pm

Postby Deadcows » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:34 am

I call it talent. 8)
User avatar
Thanatos I Am
level1
level1
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:43 pm
Location: USA

Postby Thanatos I Am » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:47 pm

I have been playing Defcon for about 6 months give or take....
I find myself superior to the "average joe" but lose to the pro... Any tips?
Thanatos I Am

Return to “Strategic Air Command”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest