How to counter the Crawler?

Balance discussions for The Nomads.

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How to counter the Crawler?

Postby codepants » 11 Aug 2020, 18:48

I'm not trying to argue the crawler is imba, nor complain/whine, just curious what the consensus is on the counter.

It outranges every other unit (I thinkā€”at least it outranges t2 arty) so the choices are... turtle or rush?

Turtle: As I see it, and in my (very limited) playtesting, it needs at least 24 tmd covered by shields to counter the missiles, because of the volume (12 shots @12000 damage per volley -- compare to the Torrent's 5 @ 4000 damage per volley), firing speed (14.5 compared to the torrent's 5), needing multiple shots for one missile (I think -- I don't see this in the unit DB), firing randomness, and AOE. The missiles come in so fast (again, 14.5 compared to the torrents 5) and each need two shots, so TMD don't have time to reload -- you effectively need two TMD per missile. For 12 missiles, that's 24 TMD. Only about 6,000 mass, but... 24 tmd? really? Throw a t3 shield in and that's about 8.5k mass. It costs 2.5x as much as the torrent, but seems to be worth at least 3x more based on a dps and firing speed that are 3x greater.

And that's just to defend one location. On a map like Canis, where there is eco outside the main base, that infrastructure would be required in at least three places on the map (main base location and two side bases, possibly front base as well). The TMD alone would amount to nearly 18000 mass, or 24000 with the front base. If your mirror makes a Crawler, are you supposed to build 100 TMD in four bases all over the map?

Rush: Build a GC and walk it in? A GC takes 5/4 the mass and time to build, so if the crawler is shooting at the GC even before it's finished, at 600 dps, it only takes less than 3 minutes for a crawler to kill a GC (99,999 health divided by 600 dps = 166.6 seconds). A crawler and a GC have the same movement speed (2.5), so even if the GC gets a head start, once the crawler starts firing, it can kite until the edge of the map.

Sources: https://faforever.github.io/spooky-db/#/XNL0403,XSB4201,XSB4301,XAS0306,UAL0401

My last thought is air, which I am open to being the "preferred" counter, but I have mixed feelings as air is most easily mixed up in team games... like, if I was playing against a Nomads player and we were both rushing t3 land, then suddently he starts a crawler, am I supposed to rush t3 air? That's 5k mass to get the t3 fac, plus 2k per strat. 10 strats would put the total cost at 25k mass -- more than the crawler -- and if it's under shields, two passes would be required. That also assumes I can make only strats and don't need to compensate for an air loss elsewhere on the team by making my own ASF, and doesn't account for the cost of power generators needing to rush those strats.

Source: https://faforever.github.io/spooky-db/#/XNL0403,UAA0304,UAB0102,UAB0202,UAB0302

What am I missing? How do you counter a unit that outranges everything but t3 arty and nukes, most as fast as all other exps (including the monkey), and costs less than a GC, fatboy, and ythotha?
codepants
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