If your opponent is making nothing but LRMs, you can spam out swarms of scouts to fight them if you are Advent or TEC. LRM spam has actually become less viable as of the last patch. You really have to consider the possibility that your LRM spam could get smacked down now (especially if you are Vasari), at least early game (though Raging Amish would probably argue that it could happen later, too.)
Note that ultimately the bulk of your fleet should end up being LRMs or your heavy fighting cruiser though; those are your two damage-doing units so it makes sense that you would want to have a lot of them. It's also good to have other ship types to support them, but that's probably what you'll have the most of.
Yes, we do know about the scout spam. I don't see how spamming scouts instead of LRMs is an improvement. Especially consdering people are complaining about scout spam on the boards, and how it might even be worse than LRM spam. I'd rather play a pro who crushes us in 20 minutes with a varied fleet, than play a two hour game of spam vs spam. At least you learned something from the former scenario.
Heh. Maybe try a 5v5? I'd say keep playing. Some games can get very interesting. If you guys won two of the first three games you ever played online then I'm guessing you weren't playing against the greatest of adversaries. Do you remember what your opponents' player records were?
We're mainly interested in 'arranged team', ie just us with no random extras on our side. We've played more games since then, and from what I see we get far more skilled players in 2v2 matches than our larger game attempts. We've played enough RTS' to know what happenes when you add too many players; feeding and specialization. People can get away with spam in large games because an ally can cover for you. Don't want to make civilian tech labs? No problem, another player can focus totally on economy and feed you!
What exactly are you hoping for when you say "tactics" and "strategy"? Whatever it is, I think you'll find more of that against skilled opponents.
People with a some sign of brain activity. We played some good players one game who made a fleet of Sovas, LRMs, and repair ships early on. We didn't know how to deal with it, and got crushed; we didn't mind. Another game a guy made two of the Visari bombing cap ship and just harrassed the shit out of us all game with his ally built up. That's what we want to see, not guys who mass 40 illums, lose, then attack again...with more illums. Learn from mistakes, and adapting to your opponent...you know, stategy and tactics.
Why is that an illegitamate strategy? Isn't there also strategy in the area of deciding what planets to colonize, what structures to build or not build, what units to build or not build, and where and when to attack? There's more to this game than the composition of your fleet. What if reason and experience dictate that the best strategy against a certain opponent in a certain condition is to spam out LRMs?
Because single unit spam should never work. It implies there's an imbalance in the game if one unit in large numbers beats just about everything. If you have 20 of unit X, there should be unit Y I can make to crush you. In theory, scouts and fighters are supposed to be this unit Y. In practice, Visari scouts still lose to Illum spam and carriers are only viable late game when you and afford the numbers needed to kill the illums fast enough. If you opponent is massing LFs, then sure. LRM spam is correct tactical choice. If LRM spam is ALWAYS the correct choice, why play the game at all? The game becomes stale and boring, and there are plenty of other RTS' out there I could be playing instead.
Did this spammer only make LRMs 100% or did he have other units to accompany them?
In the events leading to my original rant, we ran into a 2v2 and 3v3 with 100% LRM spam. Even after it clearly wasn't working anymore, and we were slowly taking back territory they just came back with more. And because 60+ Illums take 1000 years to kill even WITH the correct counters, the games dragged on for hours. They only gave up because my friend finally got a Visari battleship to survive to level 6, and it's ultimate power apparently gives a giant middle finger to mass Illums.
I suspect that you either played against unchallenging opponents or that you haven't been forced to appreciate other aspects of strategy. (Should I try to grab this planet between my enemy and myself to deny him of it or should I take closer planets? Should I fight the opponent on my left or should my ally and I team up and try to double team and knock out the opponent on my right while leaving myself exposed to the guy on the left?) What sorts of things did you and your friend have to think about while you were playing?
As you say, we're RTS veterans and have played enough Sins to grasp team tactics. We've played some better players since then who clearly understand as well. The problem is the mindless LRM spammers throw all this out the window. There simply isn't much you can do when your opponents rush with 40 LRMs, and just keep throwing them at you. All you can do is spam back, and hope you win. Most games we played ended long before the last planet fell. If you decisively beat someone's fleet and push forward, the game is pretty much over even if you had 5 planets left. Early colonization and tech choices seem to be the only real time where you need to think carefully.
Is it better than playing AI? I guess that depends on what you're looking for. If you want to roll over your opponent and not have to work too hard and be able to play Sim City and build whatever capital ships you want then perhaps AI is better. If you want a greater challenge then playing it online is better.
Again, without a ladder or ranking system we're in for fun first. We ventured online for more challenge, and don't mind losing, but there needs to be some balance. Losing to a mixed fleet or interesting tactics is fine. We say gg and talk about what we could have done differently. Fighting illums all game not so much. There's nothing to discuss, nothing to learn from. It's just a snoozefest.
Are you on Entrenchment or Regular Sins? Most of the action and most of the good experienced players are playing Entrenchment. Also, you are more likely to find newer players on the weekend. If you want a challenge then I suggest you avoid games that do not have the following settings because they are liable to be games hosted by newer players: Locked Teams, Pirates Off, Fast Everything.
Entrenchment of course. And we know enough about online that these are the 'community accepted' settings. I usually just host myself with these settings. Though I'm curious why people hate the pirates. Yes, they're useless past the mid-game. But they can have a major impact on the early game by forcing an opponent to go deal with the goon squad.
If you want, maybe you and your friend could schedule a 2v2 against some experienced players sometime in order to guarantee you a greater challenge and a better taste for what it might be like to play against competent human opposition. (Just start a thread challenging the [DT] Dream Team, [_]-Brothers in Arms, or _|~ Defiant Unity clans to a 2v2 and I'm sure something could be worked out.) What you really need is to get Entrenchment and join the 5v5 games. In those games two captains draft-pick the other 8 players in the hopes of getting balanced teams and better games and they normally have experienced and often excellent players in them.
Anyway, welcome to Sins online multiplayer! I hope that you and your friend really enjoy it and become regular players.
We ran into some 200-10 players in a 2v2 the other day and got curbstomped by superior tactics, so there is SOME hope for the game in our minds. 5v5s don't really interest us, but we will consider trying it if that's what the bulk of the community plays. Thank you for your responses!