(This is a crosspost from a coh2.org thread: https://coh2.org/topic/52619/may-preview-sturmpioneer-veterancy-needs-to-be-looked-at)
Sturmpioneer Veterancy needs to be looked at. And in particular, the Stun grenade they get at Vet3.
The addition of the schreck upgrade on Sturpioneers will have the following effects:
This immediately becomes a major issue when somebody takes a look at the Veterancy achieved by Sturmpioneers. I am breaking that Vet down into pieces.
I know that this is a test patch, and the whole point is to actually try things out. It will be interesting to test how SPios with Schrecks behave. However, I don't feel we mete justice to the time testers take to evaluate the changes, when an issue such as this is immediately obvious:
1. Stun Grenade
When that grenade hits any member of an enemy squad, the entire squad gets stunned for 5 seconds.
First of all, this grenade is bugged as hell:
This easily becomes a terminator grenade, the moment you realise you can use it to chainstun any collection of enemy squads. Already with 3 squads chainstunning you, this amounts to 15 seconds of non-breakable stun. This will cause your infantry to bleed a lot, when you are supposed to be fighting -- what should have been -- a dedicated AT squad (which can also repair stuff; and lay mines too).
In miragefla's competitive edition mod, stun/concussion grenades have been changed to have the following effect:
_Concussion and Stun Grenades
No longer stops units from retreating but will still slow the target momentarily when hit.
-Stun grenades now reduce speed rather than forcing units to the ground where they are unable to act._
That should address the (bug-borne) broken-ness of stun nades. However, it will also make them near-useless vs weapon teams/garrisons.
If schrecks remain on SPs, changing stun nades in that way is probably a good thing:
2. Combat Veterancy
If Stun grenade wasn't as big of an issue, just look at the Veterancy bonuses. Cummulatively, Sturmpioneers achieve:
(PS: if somebody could convert the cooldown/accuracy changes into a single + percent-DPS increase, please do so )
When we compare that veterancy to other, dedicated AI squads, we have:
Suppose you try to kill each of these squads using only small arms fire. If we factor received-accuracy-per-model AND the squad size, we have that:
A Sturmpioneer squad (4-man)
A Sturmpioneer blob will bleed 35% less manpower in a firefight than an equal-cost Volks-blob.
Not only Sturmpioneers start strong (that's supposed to be the early-game advantage of OKW), they will scale better, and also vet faster than dedicated AI squads.
When we factor the Schrecks, the tankiness and the stun-grenades, you are going to be killing that blob, how?
Veterancy aside, the newly-introduced Mech HQ repairs upgrade is going to be a slap to the face to whoever does NOT want to blob schrecks with the current OKW. It is completely unnecessary when you can have 3+ anti-everything SP squads.
4. Comparison to other Schreck-equiped squads
If we try to compare Sturmpioneers to Panzergrenadiers in a vacuum (just by looking at the bare stats), we have:
Sturmpioneers (300MP cost, 30 reinforce):
Panzergrenadiers (340MP, 34 reinforce):
However, there is more to that. If you must absolutely build a schreck blob, OKW will let you build up your critical mass immediately, the moment the game starts. With OST Pgrens, you still have to spend your initial manpower on something else to hold out. That something is probably going to be AI. Thus, by the time Pgrens become available you probably have to invest on something that's dedicated AT.
With OKW, there is no lossage. You can spam sturmpioneers as long as you manage the bleed. By the time the first enemy vehicle hits the field, it's a blessing; you can now begin vetting your blob, and steamrolling over enemy infantry.
Finally, I'll close this post with a quiz. Assume you have 3 Riflemen squads, and you see the enemy approaching with one Obers squad, one Sturms Schreck squad and you also spot one MG34 setting up in the distance to suppress you. Who do you focus fire on, first?
Recommended build order for 2v2 and up:
(initial SP) - SP - kubel - SP - Volks - (doesn't matter which truck; prolly Med for healing) - MG34 - MG34