Dawn of Politics vol II

Gaming, Geekery, Politics & Current Events

A special thank you goes out to DaveSid in our forums, who provided me with the badges and banners for each faction. To recap, setup and strategy for the Obama-Clinton-McCain three way free-for-all Dawn of War slugfest were covered in the first entry in this series.

Alright, so now you have a sense of who the players are. Now it’s time to see the actual game, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of their strategies. But before I drop the science on you, let’s get some things right out in the open.

  • I’m an Obama supporter and I’ve donated to his campaign. If by donate you mean I bought a sweet hoodie from the man.
  • I admire John McCain and would have probably voted for him this cycle if Obama hadn’t run. I realize he’s done some skeezy things politically.
  • I’m don’t particularly like Hillary. In fact, during the primary season, hearing her speak would cause me to turbo vomit.

Okay, now all inaccuracies can be blamed on at least one of my three biases, so I’m covered. I’m going to concentrate mostly on the Democrat side, because that’s where all the action is. You want a quick GOP recap? Here you go.

  • One player had the strongest econ. But everyone ganged up on him and he was obviously incompetent in nearly every other aspect of the game.
  • One player turtled up big time in one large area in the Southeast corner of the map, hoping that a major victory there would propel him to a win. He got steamrolled.
  • One player was a big favorite to win but his heart wasn’t really in it. He ended up watching a Law and Order marathon on TNT while playing and dropped out. Some players didn’t even notice him leaving.
  • One player had a few good victories due to some early game imbalance and then was effectively out of it. But he lingered around until the time came for him to be crushed. He made a few in-game Chuck Norris jokes that were pretty funny.
  • One player set up a decent economy and then alt-tabbed out of the game to write a 50 page blog post about monetary policy and the Gold Standard that won him a few fans but didn’t stop his base from being demolished. Probably a furry.
  • The winner kinda stumbled his way to victory. Not because he was THAT much better, but because his opponents were idiots. But in FFA’s, it’s oftentimes better to be lucky and to be good. I think his guild was run by a drunken idiot so all the good players left or something.

The survivor of the Epic 6-man all Chaos FFA not mentioned in this post.

Back to the regular game. The biggest mistake that Hillary made was the assumption that he could wrap this all up quickly. That’s what years of experience does. Little did he know that Obama came to play, and play pretty damn well. A typical RTS game is won in the first few minutes, where there is typically no serious combat. So, you need to do two things during this opening period. Set up the economy, and SCOUT THE OPPONENT.

A quick note: DoW has two resources available, Energy, which is produced at the base via constructible generators; and Resource Points, which are gained by controlling strategic points on the map, so you’ll want to send your troops out early and often to grab those points. HENCE, control of the map equals more resources. More resources means you’ll win the game.

HIllary sets up his.. or… her… god damn it all gamers are men so I'm using male pronouns.

Hillary, eyeing McCain or whoever the GOP opponent will be, decided to take a defensive stance and concentrate on accumulating resources. Then, by the time the general election comes around, she will have accumulated enough resource/energy to get Dreadnaughts; the vicious robot-zombie things that can easily steamroll the best of any player. They are really really awesome. They also require quite a bit of energy to make, so Hillary focused on making more Energy Generators. This strategy, to concentrate on accumulating resources to tech up earlier, is referred to as a “Boom” strategy. And it’s perfectly valid. As long as your opponent doesn’t attempt to cock up your economy with a strategy of early harassment. GUESS WHAT FUCKING HAPPENED.

Obama's early and aggressive play tells Hillary where exactly to put the notion of inevitability. Hint: It's in the butt area.

Obama’s team not only harassed Hillary’s resource points (that is, capturing points he claimed for himself), but they also took a Relic Point from him. Obama scouted, and so knew what Hillary was up to. And he knew exactly how to beat that particular strategy. And he did it relatively uncontested and unexpectedly. Hillary managed to get his shit together and grab a critical point, but not after wasting resources and troops.

Squad for Squad, Imperial Guard simply can’t stand up against Space Marines. However, if defensive points are set up and controlled points are fortified, the IG will have the edge in both Mobility AND Durability (sine the fortifications have heavy armor and the IG have the ability to transport themselves from building to building. Even across the map). And this is exactly what Obama did; heading out early, grabbing points, and fortifying them… even in Wyoming which didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense at the time.

Hillary Clinton sez, "I will eff you up, nig…. man"

Hillary was convinced that the first major conflict would win it for her. So she bided her time and upgraded her troops with anti-infantry Heavy Bolters, and her melee squads with Flamers (which reduce morale). She even brought out some Assault Marines, which have jetpacks and so can zoom across the battlefield to engage ranged troops in melee (and against the squishy Imperial Guard, that’s really good). So it all came to a head. Hillary vs. Obama, in the great Tuesday battle. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT.

Assault Marines are like Women voters. Their purpose is to get into the thick of it and demoralize the opponent. And nothing is more demoralizing to a man than a bunch of organized, empowered women. Also, they fly around on jetjacks with chainsaw swords AND DON'T LET NO MAN TELL THEM WHAT TO DO. But they really oughta just fly into the KITCHEN right guys?! HA! Alright now I'm demoralized.

Hillary’s Space Marines were outfitted with Heavy Bolters. Obama’s Imperial Guardsmen were outfitted with Grenade Launchers. At this point, Hillary has a slight lead in troop power and resources. Both sides, to use a technical RTS term, kicked the shit out of each other. The horrific damage of the Heavy Bolters, which need a few seconds to set up, was disrupted by the Grenade Launchers, which knock people around ( thereby requiring the Bolters to be re-set up again and again and again). Obama relied on a handful of defensive fortifications to mitigate melee, but he eventually retreated. Hillary was the one who didn’t retreat, hence she thought she won. But in reality she lost. Badly. Because this is where the battle turned from a good fight, to an Annoying Rout that Wouldn’t Fucking End.

Obama fortifying a point.

While this big fight was going on, Obama was still capturing points, and upgrading them. He had to retreat, certainly. But he ended up with enough resources to replenish his loses with no problems. And he was starting to make a push towards vehicles. IG may be squishy, but their vehicles certainly were not. And Hillary had no anti-vehicle weapons. In fact, she was nowhere near where she needed to be to even consider upgrading. Because she threw EVERYTHING into that one battle, she wasted resources putting all her troops on overwatch (that is, squads reinforce themselves automatically as they lose troops). Obama was more responsible in that regard. Clinton won, but she had near ZERO Resource Points. While Obama technically lost the big fight, he left with advantages in Resources, troop numbers, and soon… technology. Stuck with a massive lack of resources, Clinton was forced to destroy her own buildings to get enough Resource Points to upgrade her main base and troops. That should have been a massive hint to quit.

0b4m4: LOL mebbe u shud quit.

Cl1t0n: STFU noob.

Despite the big red flags that Hillary was in big shit, he still had enough troops to make something happen, kinda. So they did, and this time the upcoming battles featured a VICOUS head-to-head fight. Commander vs. Commander. Obama made a few atrocious mistakes here that cost him the victory in the head to head matchup. A handful of his squads, led by a lone Techpriest, were off dicking around doing God knows what. Obama had to waste a few minutes figuring that out, and then manage his base, while the head-to-head was going on. That cost him big time. Hillary won the matchups, in dramatic fashion.

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

HIllary engages Obama with an extended debate regarding Health Care. No one really cares…

But then nails his ass to the wall in Philadelphia when she uses her powerful media connections to stack the first 45 minutes of the Debate with questions about Reverend Wright, the Weather Underground, and flag pins. Excuse me, I need to freshen up my tinfoil hat.

You all know how this ends. It eventually gets to the point where Hillary still has some troops left, but it’s not great against the now insurmountable advantages Obama has. In fact, his base now consists of a simple Stronghold and a Chapel Barracks (all the energy generators were deleted and he’s been coasting on energy reserves), along with a decent army but one that will be easily crushed. You can either quit yourself, or force Obama to attack your base with everything he’s got and have the game kick you out. Hillary luckily chose to make a few snide comments about game imbalances, and quit. Hillary finally figured out what the hell he was doing far too late. But this game was lost early. He didn't cap enough points in the early going, and he never scouted. Obama's strategy of aggressive expansion went right Hillary's nose. If Hillary had scouted properly, he would have seen it coming. And if Hillary actually did know, and just made no adjustments to the strategy, then she's either arrogant or incompetent

A random shot I thought looked really cool

And that’s Obama’s problem in this match. He had EVERY opportunity to wipe Hillary out of the game, but for some reason, he never could. Time is an intangible resource in RTS games, and Obama wasted a LOT of it. Now, Hillary, despite the horrific blunders in this game, is still a formidable opponent, and made it at least LOOK like victory was possible. But it never was. You CAN win in DoW by controlling more points than everyone, but the last thing you want to do is twiddle your thumbs while the clock runs down. And that’s what it looked like Obama was doing. Every battle after Super Tuesday was an opportunity to unleash the killing blow, and Obama simply couldn’t provide that blow. To make things more interesting, the battles with Hillary exposed glaring weaknesses in both tactics and strategy. Obama’s micro skills are poor, and that’s going to really sting when you’re against a single opponent. Obama had vehicles out, THEY WERE SITTING IN HIS BASE, but he never used them. More importantly though, he hasn’t shown that he is capable of picking up Hillary’s left over Control Points, especially now that McCain is going after them too.

Obama's base, preparing to produce vehicles and hot viral videos with celebrities.

Oh yes, John McCain. Forgot all about him did you? That’s the story of a three-player FFA. Two opponents go at it for the whole game, only to be run over by the unmolested player. But it’s not such a slam dunk just yet. McCain has spent nearly the entire game without a single serious fight. But he hasn’t expanded aggressively, nor built up troops. In fact, I can’t tell you what exactly he did; but when Obama is making a push for vehicles, and STILL has resource and troop advantages after taking out one of the most formidable RTS players, you did something wrong. I mean, McCain is BARELY getting vehicles out now. That’s unacceptable.

John McCain congratulating his team on a successful strategy of doing jack shit the entire game.

It’s anyone’s game at this point, but from a gamer perspective, McCain hasn’t shown he has the skill, even with the large amount of time left alone, to overcome Obama’s ridiculous resource advantage. Obama has a large amount of troops and is mobile enough to hit multiple map locations at will. McCain can’t spread his forces out too much. It’s tier 2, time for Obama to boom. Can McCain handle it?

McCain showing his rage after once again missing the Early Bird special at IHOP.

An Imperial Guard Basilisk ready to bombard the forces of Chaos.

TO BE CONTINUED:

(Thanks to Rasputin at Quarter to Three for the awesome banner ad.)

Last 5 posts by Derrick

7 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Patrick  •  Jun 25, 2008 @11:52 am

    I'm speechless.

  2. Gravitationist  •  Jun 25, 2008 @2:04 pm

    Wow. That is an amazing write up.

  3. Ken  •  Jun 25, 2008 @2:40 pm

    Awesome. Looking forward to future episodes.

  4. Robert  •  Jun 25, 2008 @9:11 pm

    To be fair, Ron Paul's following is really more like the Necron-the libertarians awaken every so many years, are nearly completely single-minded and somewhat zombie like in purpose and manner, and all follow their chosen Necron lord.

    Obama strikes me more as the Tau Empire of politics rather than the Imperial Guard. Agile, high-tech, a newcomer to the scene, and sporting an all inclusive, somewhat nebulous message (change we can believe in? Yes we can? For the Greater Good?) that is an essential incantation for his followers.

  5. Derrick  •  Jun 26, 2008 @5:08 am

    I wanted to use the Tau originally, for all the reasons you mention. However, in the actual game, the badges/banners aren't visible, which I found dissappointing. So I bit the bullet and switched to IG.

  6. Carny Asada  •  Jul 3, 2008 @10:27 am

    Wow. And the thing that scares me is, I got more out of that than any analysis I've read in my local newspaper. Please keep posting.

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