How to win Lancelot vs Lancelot engagement?

By | February 20, 2017

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This article is about ‘War Robots‘ an Android/IOS real-time multiplayer game with 6 vs. 6 team battles developed by Pixonic.

Note: I don’t offer a definitive answer but some food for thought.

 

Who wins in an engagement of equal strength?

During the Napoleonic wars, naval strategists had to consider broadside weight when they plan for a naval engagement.

Broadside of a French 74-gun Ship of the Line

Broadside of a French 74-gun Ship of the Line | Wikipedia

At that time, movable turrets were not constructed on fighting ships yet. Fighting ships mounted cannons and carronades on their sides. In order to fire the maximum number of guns available at one time during an engagement with the enemy, ship’s captains faced their sides to the enemy. Firing all guns on one side of a ship was called a broadside.

Apart from experience of a ship’s commander, element of surprise, initiative, rate of fire depending on the readiness of the crew, a tangible quality of a ship is it’s broadside weight. This is the amount of metal a ship can throw at an enemy ship in a single broadside.

Consider the 2003 Hollywood film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World based on the Aubrey-Maturin series of novels by Patrick O’Brian. In that film, the ‘protagonist’ was the HMS Surprise, a 28-gun frigate carrying 12-pounders. A single broadside from the Surprise threw a broadside weight of 14×12 =168 pounds of metal.

In contrast, the enemy ship French privateer Archeron, (fictional; based on the 50-gun USS Constitution) carried a total of 30x 24-pounders, 15 on each side, and 22x 32-pound carronades, 11 on each side. A broadside from Archeron threw 15×24 + 11×32 = 712 pounds of metal. Surprise was absolutely outgunned which is why it had to disguise itself as a whaler in order to gain the element of surprise.

 

How to destroy a Lancelot with a Lancelot

Broadside weight might not seem like an important concept in modern warfare but would be of interest to players in the War Robots game, at least from the theoretical side.

These are favourite questions in the game at the moment – “how to destroy a Lancelot with a Lancelot” or “how to win a Lancelot vs Lancelot engagement“.

If we put two maxed Lancelots in an 1-on-1, face-to-face encounter, each armed with the same setup say an Ancile Shield and 2x Tarans, none would have the upper hand. Both players would zap zap zap each other for X number of times doing seemingly no damage (shield at work). The encounter would likely be resolved only when one’s internet connection falters, n number of bots appears to tip the balance or unfortunately a slip of a finger.

This comes back to our Age of Sail question – “in an encounter between two ships with the same broadside weight, who wins?

In the War Robots game, rate of fire is not a factor. Possession of initiative and maneuver are not factors that players can control very well. Considering that there is a 10-minute limit on each game and maps are pretty confined, moving around to gain an upper hand for a cumbersome robot is not feasible.

Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson probably said it best – “never mind the maneuvers, just go straight at them“.

 

Lancelot design

Like my previous article describing an unconventional ‘Sniper Lite’ Galahad, I think this question has to be tackled in an unconventional manner. Ancile Shield and 2x Tarans seem to be the most popular or conventional choice at the moment. A player who decides to build another one of these will not gain an upper hand. It will end up with the zap zap zap scenario I described previously.

If we put two maxed Lancelots in an 1-on-1, face-to-face encounter, each armed with the same setup say an Ancile Shield and 2x Tarans, none would have the upper hand. Both players would zap zap zap each other for X number of times doing seemingly no damage (shield at work). The encounter would likely be resolved only when one’s internet connection falters, n number of bots appears to tip the balance or unfortunately a slip of a finger.

With two Lancelots engrossed in zapping away at each other, the winner is the third robot at the scene.

A player who is really hungry to win has to think of a way to throw the maximum broadside weight against an opponent in an encounter in order to win in a snap.

Strip away all the human factors, chance of winning is highest when one can throw the heaviest broadside weight be it ship or robot.

 

Lancelot that does the highest damage or one that is most survivable?

I favour a Lancelot armed with single Thunder and 2x Orkans. Such a setup would destroy an opponent in the shortest time should it be combined with the element of surprise.

In a face to face match, it would be very difficult to verify it’s effectiveness unless there is a way to set up a test.

There probably is not single best solution.

Ancile shielded Lancelots might not throw the heaviest broadside but they are protected from most types of fire while they are closing in.

Overall survivability is higher. A Lancelot that is not protected could carry maximum broadside weight but would be whittled down while moving on the battlefield.

A truly unconventional or maybe conventional old solution to killing Lancelots might be the good ol’ Stalker that used to run circles around the once-mighty Rhino.

Comes down to one’s playing style.

 



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  1. Pingback: New hangar, new strategy for War Robots post-Update 2.6

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