Friday, May 21, 2010

Superior Mindset or How to Defeat the Flank

Kudos to Super Effective. Rather than allowing herself to be spawn camped by a "superior" force, she decided to take matters into her own hands and turn around a Nordenwatch that was going badly. She did not give up.

Today I felt like I mattered. Faced with yet another Nordenwatch spawn point farm I went around and joined 2 other players in capping Lighthouse and Fortress. When we get to Barracks I start reading complaints about how people "haven't had a single heal since the beggining of teh SC QQ". Since we were done capping anyways, I bravely rode my steed headfirst into the red multitude and kicked them with my new morale 4 goodness and started healing away. Sure enough, we drove them back and ended up winning it. It's not like I was the only healer because I wasn't, and I wasn't near the top of the healing chart. But my efforts made a difference. We capped the flags for time enough to swing the points in our favor and eventually kept enough people up for us to drive them back.
It sounds like you picked up reinforcements when you ran into them with the morale 4. I'm not sure if they came in from another direction but for the purposes of this exercise, I will assume they came in from behind the enemy from the Fortress and the enemy noticed the flank in time to react to it. (A flank really only works if you can get it off without being noticed, against a poorly organized group, or with some clever strategy.)

What the enemy force should do in this case is push all their forces into the weak side of the flank (side that's easier to kill, not necessarily the side with fewer players), even if that means temporarily giving up the objective to prevent the wipe. Once the weak side is taken out, they would turn around and push the strong side. In order to stop the flank from working, they must eliminate the weak side before the flanks collapse on them.

I do flanks all the time. My guild calls one the Hammer and Anvil strategy. We used it mainly in the city prior to version 1.3.5. Since that content is no longer in game, it won't hurt to share that strategy now. :) We would park 1 group at 2 different objectives consisting of 2 tanks, 2 dps, 2 healers OR 3 tanks, 1 dps, 2 healers. These are the Anvil groups. The other two groups would be parked in between the two objectives and consist of usually 1 tank, 3 dps, 2 healers. These are the Hammer groups. Once an enemy force commits to hitting an objective assigned to an Anvil group (the perceived "weak" group, but actually harder to kill, so it's the strong group), we'd take our Hammer groups and smash them from behind where all their healers just happen to be sitting most of the time.

Basically, it's convincing the enemy to beat on our tank groups while our DPS groups burn them down. The only way to beat that strategy to engage the Hammer before it reaches the Anvil. It also gets into the enemies' heads making them think that they can't even beat our "weak" group. (In actuality, what they perceive as the "weak" group is actually the strong group.) Once you break them psychologically like that, it's easy to turn the fight around and win, as Sara noticed in her Nordenwatch.

Nice work Sara.


  1. Nice one T. I'd like to hear more about your tactics you know! It sounds like you are at a very high level of gameplay and I would be dead keen on hearing your thoughts on different group setups - in particular the SM.

    The tactics you speak of here, the Flank, sounds like the Refused Flank tactic from military strategy, whereby you refuse to fight on one flank and focus your strengths on the other. Divide and Conquer. The refused flank in WAR could be made up of folks with the CC to keep the enemy at distance.

  2. Yeah Aeo. Divide and Conquer is right. When you are being flanked, fighting both sides at once, unless you outnumber them 3 or 4 to 1, is suicide. Even at 4 times superior numbers, it's ugly at best. You could stagger the strong side, kill the weak side, then finish the strong side. That only buys you 9 seconds, so you best be quick or be gone if you use that tactic.

    Once I finish the Team Play - Communication series, I'll do some posts on group composition.

  3. Cheers Ted, that would be cool.