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Noob here: success in QB seems like 90% army comp and 10% in-game skill. Do you feel that's true?

EggheadEgghead Registered Users Posts: 1
I enjoy this game but I've always leaned towards the competitive part of games. It's just way more satisfying beating a human opponent than the AI. I used to play Starcraft 2 a lot, but I want to branch out into other games. SC2 is more designed/balanced for multiplayer and it seems to more heavily reward skill in-game, whereas TW:W seems to reward raw game knowledge more than any decisions made in real time. I feel like the outcome of the battle is mostly decided before it's started, depending on who brings what.

That's kind of a bummer to me, because mastering mechanics appeals to me a lot more than just learning every little thing about every unit in the game. I would love to be proved wrong about this. Can anyone provide an example of an army beating a vastly superior army?


  • Lotus_MoonLotus_Moon Registered Users Posts: 11,360
    edited April 2019
    Not at all, but part of skill is picking good army composition.

    After coming up with the builds i use i have not once felt that i lost due to my opponents build but rather i felt he played better, this is always bit variable with new DLC as some broken stuff is hard to adjust to.

    Common mistake is peoples builds are horriblr for most part than they blame the opponents choices for their own bad choices.

    So yes if your build is horrible it can be hard to win with but once you start making good builds its very clear that often opponent just played better or used his units correctly.

    I think saying i lost due to my build is just a silly excuse people use because they are not willing to admit that they just not good enought.

    I can easly demonstrate why i feel my point is correct simply can play 3 games vs 3 different opponents we both use the same build and opponent uses same one each game vs us, would need to be decent skilled player as opponemt so its a chellange. If its just build that wins we should both end up on same wins as eachother.

    What you say is true to a degree in lower level of play and less so in higher level but there is a deep need to outpick your opponent as is in everygame even starcraft or league, question is if you got outpicked is your skill good enough to overcome the disadvantage.

    I think skill plays massive part but part of skill is picking a good army composition.

    To go more into it, often when i feel bored or too easy in quick battle or tournamemts i tell my opponent my whole army before the game, i have done that numerous times and i dont recall a single loss while doing so, so either my army is well made or im more skilled than my opponent.
  • hanenhanen Registered Users Posts: 659
    Egghead said:

    I enjoy this game but I've always leaned towards the competitive part of games. It's just way more satisfying beating a human opponent than the AI. I used to play Starcraft 2 a lot, but I want to branch out into other games. SC2 is more designed/balanced for multiplayer and it seems to more heavily reward skill in-game, whereas TW:W seems to reward raw game knowledge more than any decisions made in real time. I feel like the outcome of the battle is mostly decided before it's started, depending on who brings what.

    That's kind of a bummer to me, because mastering mechanics appeals to me a lot more than just learning every little thing about every unit in the game. I would love to be proved wrong about this. Can anyone provide an example of an army beating a vastly superior army?

    In Starcraft you work towards the perfect army composition and on the way to it you react to what your opponent builds.

    In TW:W you skip to endgame straight away. This means that its a lot more of a guessing game. As there are many more factions involved than the 3 in Starcraft makes unit knowledge a lot more important. Most factions can deal with most unit types and builds but sometimes you end up with the wrong army. Losing at the army selection screen is not unsual when you are learning the game. I lost my first 20 games when I started playing multiplayer and I think I'm not alone.

    Until you reach the top, game knowledge is more important than micro. At the top micro is at least as important.
  • WojmirVonCarsteinWojmirVonCarstein Registered Users Posts: 1,586
    Egghead, I found that most players on QB are not that good.

    I would say that I am a slightly above average player (like a 6 out of 10) and I win about 3/5 matches on QB.

    You don't really need to know all the units in all rosters (I don't anyway), you just need to figure out what each faction's biggest threats are and have something in your build that can deal with that.

    Here are some examples:

    Dwarfs will always have heavily armored infantry, so you need something to deal with that. They might have artillery. If they do, do you have something that can deal with that? They will also probably have missile units like Thunderers and Quarellers. They might also surprise you with a few flying copters. So you need something in case they bring that


    Skaven, they will probably have lots of shooting, so you need something to quickly get into their back lines. They are very good at killing flying things, so maybe stay on the ground with your lord. Or if you fly, plan on how you will avoid getting sniped etc.

    I think once you figure out opposing factions main threats and bring stuff that can deal with those, the game becomes more about skill during battle.

  • eumaieseumaies Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 8,303
    I think the challenge is that in QB you will get a wide range of army selection skill, and that it's correlated with army management skill.

    In tourney games where players all tend to bring 'good' army choices (albeit sometimes unlucky) i'd say it's more like 50-50 which games are determined more by army pick and which more by play.

    But again it's confounded because if you know how to use an army well you will also know when an army is a good build... so it's hard to get good at the first and not incidentally get good at the second.
  • WojmirVonCarsteinWojmirVonCarstein Registered Users Posts: 1,586
    I think a good player can win often even if they have an inferior build. I really love to watch Turin's games on his Youtube channel. From what I noticed, he seems to often play against very good players.

    Before watching the battle, I look at the builds and try to guess which one "should" win. And I found that sometimes I think that one build is super bad against the other, and then I am proven wrong. Of course, this might say more about how bad I am at evaluating relative army builds, but still, it seems skill has a lot to do with who wins and who loses.

    As long as your build is fairly solid and you have a plan going in, you should do fine.
  • ValkaarValkaar Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 3,593
    edited April 2019
    So in principle your OP is correct in that, especially in comparison to other competitive RTS games, Total War multiplayer is subject to a greater degree of imbalance in certain matchups and being hamstrung if you guessed wrong in the build you pick.

    Even in tournaments, one of the main reason WHY so many tournament rules exist is because certain compositions do confer unfairly large advantages if you aren’t prepared to face them. If those builds didn’t confer those advantages, they wouldn’t be banned. (Well that might be overly assuming every tournament rule is objectively rationale...which some aren’t)

    So yes, a certain degree of the match being decided in the army selection screen is a real thing.

    But I think you’re over estimating exactly how much. Except in the WILDEST extremes, absolutely a well timed spell selection or good use of morale penalty stacking or properly using chaff units to screen/protect your expensive units is a matter of in-battle skill. Like keeping your monstrous infantry embedded in regular infantry, effectively terror bombing, or keeping your ranged units safe from vanguard deployed units is in execution rather than composition.

    If you think of an example in another game, like Starcraft 2 for instance, if your opponent just decides to do a 6 pool rush. If you properly scout it’s basically a non issue. If you don’t realize the rush is coming until it’s at your door, it’s much harder to deal with. But not impossible. There are still worker micro tricks you can execute to stall or outright kill the rush.

    ^^In Total War, there is no equivalent of ‘scouting’ the 6 pool. The 6 pool is decided in the army selection screen and you can’t find out about it until the match starts/it’s already at your door. That makes things harder. But just like in SC2, in no way does it make it game over.

    If you really want to test this, offer to flip builds. If you lose to something, offer a rematch but you and your opponent swap races/builds. If you’re new, going up against a veteran.....the veteran WILL probably win both games.

    TL;DR: army selection does make up a meaningful portion of how difficult your match is. But it’s hardly 90/10. More likely it’s 60/40 or 70/30. And 60/40 in favor of in-battle skill.
    Post edited by Valkaar on
  • ParmigianoParmigiano Registered Users Posts: 750
    Key phrase "success in QB," yes somebody using specific extreme armies against certain factions that people on QB didn't know about would help them as much as low skill vs high skill.

    If they always counterpick a particular army to a certain faction, they can build an army that 90% of players would lose to.

    Overall it's a 50/50, somebody who thinks it's 90% army doesn't have as much skill as they thought.

    The more players know how the other one plays already the more it would become about skill, in QB that is reduced.
  • MrRipper707MrRipper707 Registered Users Posts: 155
    I would say that OP is actually right when just starting. New players in MP QB tend to bring not so good army compositions that can easily be beaten (lol one time i beat an army using just archaon and the burning head cause of poor formation and unit selection)

    However as soon as you end up playing someone who knows the game and you know what you are doing as well the gane comes down to getting good unit engagements or using terrain.

    If it was truelly a 90/10 ratio then the better army would win disproportionately.

    I have a few armies i usually pick vs high elves for example, i also see alot of similar army comps comming from high elf players who know what is needed to beat chaos. Ive lost plenty and won plenty. Despite the units on the field being the same.
  • SharpnessismSharpnessism Registered Users Posts: 19
    If you don't have a decent build order and base setup in SC2 that alone can outright lose you the game. Or if you don't understand what the enemy BO means (e.g. cheese or timing push) and the counter, that too can outright lose you the game. Similarly, in WH2 you have to know your own faction and enemy factions in order to build a decent army.

    Once you have a rough idea of what each race brings to the table against yours, and what your own units do, you're more likely to bring a better army comp and the luck portion of the game is reduced.

    Overall there IS more luck in WH2 because you can't scout enemy compositions as they build up, unlike in SC2, but skill is still the predominant factor in determining outcomes.
  • Hamster404Hamster404 Registered Users Posts: 31
    part of the art of winning a lot of quick battles comes down to building as robust armies as possible. So while you will be at a disadvantage vs some army compositions, if you build properly your disadvantage will be very small. From there you can outplay your opponent and win.

    In short: assuming good army building, maneuvering and decision-making on the battlefield is very important.
  • DracoknightDracoknight Registered Users Posts: 281
    The main objective of your army is that you make it truly "yours", a army that you have used and adjusted over several games have a better chance of striking against their disadvantage because you know your army better than your opponent.

    You may have like 10k points as your "cookie cutter" and favorite units, and then sub in the last 2.4k with what you need against a faction or what map you play on. From that as your established starting point you can tailor various armies for that faction or similar factions where you know how things work.

    So in a sense its like 20% List building, 20% Micro, 60% Experience.
  • MrRipper707MrRipper707 Registered Users Posts: 155
    The most important thing is to be able to identify which armies units are the biggest threat to your deck while also being able to counter said units economically. For example when facing high elves as chaos

    I bring a hellcannon ROR to remove martial prowess so chaos warriors grear weapons can beat the white lions and phoenix guads that would otherwise beat them.

    I know a eagle claws bolt thrower will beat a hellcannon so I bring a lord who can kill archers with burning head and eagle claws with fireball because i know high elf archers kill wardogs unlike other archers.

    Then you need two units of throwing axe mauraders to keep dragons from one shotting your hellcannon and a cheap death wizard with soul leach and a channeling stick for magic to kill dragon princes.

    Then dragon ogres(High ap anti large) and poison hounds to soak charges and slow high value targets.

    none of this works on a heavily forested or a map with lots of terrain.

    The dragon can still 1 shot my hellcannon if o dont prezzure it enough.

    The fireborn will destroy my dragon ogres if i dont soften them with spirit leach first and soak their charge and poison them with dogs.

    Archers will kill my skirmishers if i dont support them fast enough with the hellcannons.

    My infantry will still lose to white lions and phoenix guard if i dont strip their martial prowess first.

    So picking your army is a very big deal. but knowing how to use each piece is very important as well. I have a hard time zeperating and quantifying them.

    How much skill does it take to use your counters effectively? if you take this army and just charge forward you will lose so it is definitely less than 90/10 in this situation.

    If i pick an army of pure chaos warriors and forsaken or something though then it might be 90/10 because these units are one dimensional and easily countered
  • RTKAbuRTKAbu Senior Member Holland!Registered Users Posts: 1,459
    edited May 2019
    The army pick phase is and always was one of the most important parts in TW MP, and you are right to observe that. For most tourney games i played in the past for older TW games and also for WH in the beginning (and obviously the games i watched from recent tourneys) the picking phase was where the winner won the fight most of the time. Micro, in general, has always been neglected in TW MP except for STW2 where where the speed of the battle was so fast that micro could overdo a weak build.

    The way how TW MP works, is in favour of builds win a game instead of micro. Right now the factions rosters are so diverse that a counter pick is almost a guarenteed win, combine that with the fact Warhammer is a pretty slow TW gameplaywise (in my opinion mainly due to the annoying HP system which as added in recent TW instead of the older Critical Chance) and you cannot come to another conclusion that you are indeed right. I remember when i played Barbarian Invasion tourney games where the actual melee took less than a minute, or when i played STW2 and 1 good backcharge could suddenly kill an entire elite unit in 2 seconds and cause a massroute which you could not recover from. Recent TW battles are just slower, and the battles themselves are slightly more forgivable and therefor they forgive lesser micro players.

    That said, its not all bad. In the recent TW's people who play the game a lot and have game knowlegde can actually win because the micro isnt that mportant, same for newbies who play single player for hours and hours who can do pretty well if they got the right builds. Also, even while the battle is slower in recent TW games, in the past you didnt had so much abilities to worry about, and heroes and more unit types like flying units, so the only thing you had to worry about was positioning while now you have to do other things so well, you still need micro but the micro is still less used for classical TW manouvres like flanking and positioning and being able to do that in a few seconds on 2 fronts within 5 seconds for 4 units but its more about timing for abilities. In general though, if the micro skillcap is lower, more people can actually play on a higher level. If TW MP ever wants real big massive tourneys where skillscap is considered and where a played can actually turn around a battle by a single move (aka thins we sometimes see in SC2 tourneys and LoL where 1 good teamfight changes everything, yes, TW needs to change, but right now TW MP is more about having fun and wants to be relatively accesible. So all in all, both have its merits. Also not forget, MP in TW is a niche, hardly played by people. If there are 300 regulars its much.
  • eumaieseumaies Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 8,303
    honestly others have said it but it basically goes:

    a) design a versatile build or steal one from someone. If you don't have a high quality build you'll sure lose often based on the builds alone
    b) once you have a versatile build, the majority of games are determined by play.

    Getting to point a is not easy though. versatile doesn't mean balanced. it just means you really know the matchup and how to optimize against what you might face. once you do, though, you'll rarely be completely counterpicked and it will come down to play.

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