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darkfireslide

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Axis infantry divisions are, on the whole, underperforming. Pro players avoid them like the plague in 1v1s and even 2v2s, something I know from asking multiple high level players in the Tournament Discord and something I have done a lot of testing for myself. I have a few solid suppositions as to what makes these decks so weak, and I will try to discuss these generally before getting specific. By Axis infantry divisions, I mean 352, 716, Paris, 16, and 91. These suggestions are made with 1v1 and 2v2 balance in mind.

General issues with Axis infantry decks:
1. Startlingly low infantry availability for decks that are supposed to be able to throw out cheap meat to take hits for stronger support weapons.
2. Support weapons and antitank guns do not replace the usefulness of tanks, especially with them getting stressed so easily due to a common lack of vet. Support weapon availability feels low compared to what tank divisions often get for their tanks.
3. StuGs and their variants are often overpriced compared to what Allied divisions get in kind, namely Shermans, and in some cases the availability is very poor as well. And StuGs are what Axis infantry divs get generally, leaving them with an under available and overpriced tank unit, especially by comparison to Allied Infantry divs.
4. Artillery, which is supposed to be a strong suit for Axis infantry divs, rarely have veterancy.

Now for division specific things.

352. Infantry--
Argued by many to be the weakest 1v1 deck alongside Lehr. Instead of a deck that can do a little of everything, this deck doesn't seem to be very good at much of anything. While the recon cars got buffed last patch, they still just aren't worth bringing due to their price and availability. Infantry availability in this division is a joke, and Grenadiers are overpriced at 25 points, especially compared to US Rifles at 20. StuGs are too expensive and necessitate the use of 40 point r35 tanks and 55 point Pzjager not just in A, but basically the whole match. The Bef. Panzer III H with no vet has to be one of the worst units in the game on price and availability, not even including how poor of a combat unit it is in the first place. This unit is not a Stuart and should not even be priced in the same range as one; I don't care if it's a command unit. It needs veterancy to even be considered a relevant part of not just 352's arsenal, but any deck that has this unit. 352's support tab is weak even after the buff; IG33s are just too expensive to justify them, and maybe need 1200m range to justify bringing them in B. The Antitank guns need more availability on both the vetted and unvetted guns because AT guns get slaughtered even more than actual tanks do, and often AT guns have worse availability. The Marders aren't very good in B with so little vet and the Jagdpanther is well the Jagdpanther, good but expensive and late. Artillery in 352 is good but a lack of vet anywhere perplexes me. Buffing the Sk18's price or vet would make them worth it imo, as would buffing the vet of the Fk18. 352's AA tab is surprisingly good, and their air force is actually weirdly okay despite having only 4 slots.

716 Infantry--
Buffing Grenadier availability was a good start for this deck even though Grens are just plain overpriced, and the Italians are solid as well. Again, buffing AT gun availability would make this deck much more reasonable in 1v1. Arty, air, and AA all solid here.

16. Luftwaffe--
Slightly improve phase A infantry availability. Currently no reason to bring MGs over more infantry. The StuG III f/8 is overpriced at 150 and underavailable for x1 per card in B in a deck that has fewer alternatives than something like 352. AT gun availability here is absolutely atrocious and barely worth bringing over the 88's, which don't work as well as you would want as a replacement. I understand that we want drawbacks to the deck but x1 Pak40 in B has to be one of the worst cards in the entire game right now. Anti Air is fine obviously thanks to 88's. Arty in this deck is surprisingly good and the air tab is good at doing what it's supposed to do.

Festung Groß Paris--
SPW 204 is too expensive, although x3 in A is not bad. Landesschützen are worse than Ersatz due to lower availability and the arguably unjustified higher price at 15 instead of 10. KM Infanterie are completely worthless in price and availability. ROA and LwJager are fine in price but need more availability. The tank tab is actually pretty alright here. The support tab is fine too for the moment. The crap AT gun availability is somewhat offset by the presence of vetted AT vehicles and tank destroyers. AA is good and arty is where it should be in a deck with other options. D. 520 availability is kind of a joke.

91. Luftlande--
A genuinely good infantry tab, though B infantry could use more availability. 25 point no vet Grens with no faust are a joke. StuGs again are overpriced and under available compared to Allied decks with Shermans, especially with so few tank slots. Support tab is solid. The AT gun distribution makes me scratch my head, but this deck has other ways of dealing with armor. AA is fine. Arty could maybe use an availability buff, but it's probably fine as well. The air tab is glorious, as one would expect.

I hope this list is at least comprehensive if nothing else. I have tried to include as much high level player feedback into this list as possible so that it's not just all my opinion. I think buffing the StuG's price and availability as well as AT gun vet and availability would go a long way towards making these decks viable in 1v1 scenarios. After all, LSSAH gets StuG's for 110 points in phase A; I don't think buffing StuG's would break the game for these already weak divisions. As well, the infantry availability in many of these decks needs desperate buffs, as I have highlighted.
Thanks to Corbeau, Yue Jin, Walther, Herr_Robert, Protosszocker, and curbs for the discussion and feedback over the last few weeks to help me compile this list. I want to see these divisions become playable to help shake up the tournament metagame. Thanks to all who read.
 
Last edited:

DuroSVK

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I absolutely agree with AT and Stug issues you mentioned.
Regarding low infantry avail, i think problem is that Allies have avail too high. But I would rather like to see Axis increase than Allies decrease, so +1
 

roirraw

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Stuh 42 is the only unit that seems to carry well with the inf divisions, at least it can fight at 1200m. Good post though, agree on all points and hope some changes can be made.
 

Gilmund

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Indeed. Growing issue since the new crit system as german panzers are not as deadly and powerful as before at max range.
 

Wolke

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I still think that 91. LL needs at least 40 Activation Points.

Edit:

I also disagree about the air tab being glorious.
The FW190-Bombers are pretty useless (never seen anyone take them either - maybe if they were 50$ cheaper). No fighter in A and only BF109 fighters in B and C to chose from, so no way to catch fast planes if the opponent pays attention - or to run away if things go bad. No Vet on AT-planes.


It's kind of surprising how pretty much everything ment for AT besides the 2x1 Stug in C, the Pak38 in B and the Infantry with Schrecks come with no vet and terrible availability. Sure, I love taking a single Stug III G in B at no vet while only having 38AP! Sounds like a good deal. Or the single Bef Panzer III H in A is amazing value, too. Also no vet for some reason.
Even the Pak36 comes with only 3 units per card (of course no Vet). Some Tank divisions get just as many Stuarts per card in A - vetted! Or more unvetted. Makes sense to me, considering how the crit-changes made AT-guns more powerful and the Pak36 doesn't have to get within 800 or even 600m to even have chance at pentrating anything besides universal carriers.
 
Last edited:

HaryPL

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Good post, thorough content.

My 1.99$ @91.LL:

More Support slots.
More Support slots.
More Support slots.
More Support slots.
More Support slots.
More Support slots.
More Support slots!
 

ColdSummer

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Eugen hopes the current balancing will work for both 1v1 and team modes. As the axis divs are not well rounded and deliberately need team cooperation, the balance of 1v1 is hard to be achieved.
Just want add on a few points
1.
A phase flamethrowers squads(>6men) are so broken against axis ID. There is almost no hope for noob players like me to win the town except call in 210mm offmap(91st LL).

2.
352nd ID has a problematic B phase eco. It is very clear that eugen designed it for team games. Also, after 4 vet marders are killed, this div pretty much lost all of its mobility and has to fight trench warfare.

3. 16LW used to be a good div if howitzer tanks cannot counter 88mm directly. Very strong trench warfare div with 88mm and air power. In this patch, this divs lost half of the 88mm in B. So how to counter armor in B? It is an evidence that Eugen cannot balance the team games while still maintaining the balance in 1v1.

4. 716th ID lacks the overall mobility and armour strength. The thickest armor it can bring is the captured b2. It is just not that competitive unless it gets 15th Scots' vet at and do sth with the 88mm. But it will become the axis' mirror of 15th scots and is against the design principles.

5. 91LL is competitive. It lacks A phase air superiority. But if the map supports stuh 42 play, then it is all good.

The above divs(except 91st) are not that strong in 1v1, but definitely competitive in team games(question mark 16LW). 352nd has the largest potential. 716th has a high lower limit in terms of strength but a relatively low upper limit.

After taking a look of 1st pancerna, I feel many axis divs are just weak in 1v1.
 

darkfireslide

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Eugen hopes the current balancing will work for both 1v1 and team modes. As the axis divs are not well rounded and deliberately need team cooperation, the balance of 1v1 is hard to be achieved.
Just want add on a few points
1.
A phase flamethrowers squads(>6men) are so broken against axis ID. There is almost no hope for noob players like me to win the town except call in 210mm offmap(91st LL).

2.
352nd ID has a problematic B phase eco. It is very clear that eugen designed it for team games. Also, after 4 vet marders are killed, this div pretty much lost all of its mobility and has to fight trench warfare.

3. 16LW used to be a good div if howitzer tanks cannot counter 88mm directly. Very strong trench warfare div with 88mm and air power. In this patch, this divs lost half of the 88mm in B. So how to counter armor in B? It is an evidence that Eugen cannot balance the team games while still maintaining the balance in 1v1.

4. 716th ID lacks the overall mobility and armour strength. The thickest armor it can bring is the captured b2. It is just not that competitive unless it gets 15th Scots' vet at and do sth with the 88mm. But it will become the axis' mirror of 15th scots and is against the design principles.

5. 91LL is competitive. It lacks A phase air superiority. But if the map supports stuh 42 play, then it is all good.

The above divs(except 91st) are not that strong in 1v1, but definitely competitive in team games(question mark 16LW). 352nd has the largest potential. 716th has a high lower limit in terms of strength but a relatively low upper limit.

After taking a look of 1st pancerna, I feel many axis divs are just weak in 1v1.

Axis Infantry divisions being weak in 1v1 is the whole point of this thread. I've offered multiple solutions for how to increase their viability in 1v1 situations, such as increasing infantry availability per card and making the StuG a reasonable price, in ways that don't have that great of an impact on team games. To be honest I don't even think these buffs will make them all that competitive in 1v1 still while 7th and 4th run rampant, but it would be a good start.
Bear in mind that 91LL, the best Axis ID overall, is still weaker than probably half of the Allied divisions it has to go up against. Compare what 91 can do better than LSSAH or 2. Panzer or even 9. Panzer or 3. FSJ and the problem becomes readily apparent.
I don't subscribe to the 1v1 vs team game idea. It's true that Lehr can only thrive in team games where its ally can soak damage for them, but no one is ever going to cry in a team game if you bring 2. Panzer or LSSAH. Decks that are good in 1v1 still have a good impact in team games.
 

ColdSummer

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I feel there is little hope to make axis infantry divs being "competitive" in 1v1. I agreed with OP's opinions upon this issue.

All I am saying that Eugen may need a different approach to design 1v1 while maintaining the current team game balance. A player must ditch axis IDs in order to be competitive is kinda a weird idea to me. For example, ID can have the discounted stugs, like what you have suggested, but in only 1v1.
 

ColdSummer

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Also, I appreciate the fact that OP has put so much effort into this thread. This is definitely a good move to make this game competitive and enjoyable. We need more people like this in the community.
 

Alex646

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Well, you should be thankful to all whiners on this forums which asked to nerf 16. Luftwaffe. Boring gameplay, my ass. Now, this division is utter garbage (in 1x1 mostly).
 

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Festung Groß Paris is a relatively good division I think. I'm surprised to see them in the OP and not 3rd FJ.

What they need which hasn't been mentioned yet is to have better mortars in phase A. 3rd FJ currently gets only 1000 m range mortars in A which cost 70 points which is the same as the 1200 m range mortars of other divisions. Some combination of a price reduction, availability increase and vet increase is needed.


Bear in mind that 91LL, the best Axis ID overall, is still weaker than probably half of the Allied divisions it has to go up against. Compare what 91 can do better than LSSAH or 2. Panzer or even 9. Panzer or 3. FSJ and the problem becomes readily apparent.


91st LL gets by thanks to their very cost effective infantry in phase A, but they make massive sacrifices in every other area for no gain.

They are supposed to be an air division but get nothing that can serve as a fighter or interceptor in phase A. They get an expensive tank buster plane in phase A but at 0 vet and they have no means of protecting it from any threats. They get fewer and lower vet AT options and they have to wait for later phases to get them. And what little they get cannot be protected from air attack because their phase A anti-air is useless and they get no planes fast enough to intercept. It honestly amazes me just how poorly thought out this division is.



One thing I want for 91st LL in combination with the other suggestions here is for their 122 mm artillery to become proper duel-purpose units by buffing their AP shells to have 1200 m range. It wouldn't be enough but 91st LL really need better ways to deal with vehicles and this would be a unique way of doing it.
 
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Herr_Robert

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Well, you should be thankful to all whiners on this forums which asked to nerf 16. Luftwaffe. Boring gameplay, my ass. Now, this division is utter garbage (in 1x1 mostly).

I'm pretty sure there has been a nerf to FlaK 88s in general in one of the patches, and I think that's what hurts 16LW the most, not the decreased availability of 88s in the deck. I remember FlaK 88s being able to take alot of punishment without going down when I played 16LW alot 5-6 months ago, but nowadays they melt like butter by comparison.
 

Alex646

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I'm pretty sure there has been a nerf to FlaK 88s in general in one of the patches, and I think that's what hurts 16LW the most, not the decreased availability of 88s in the deck. I remember FlaK 88s being able to take alot of punishment without going down when I played 16LW alot 5-6 months ago, but nowadays they melt like butter by comparison.

I don't remember any specific nerfs for 88s as a unit in recent patches. Maybe, some unwritten changes...
 

ColdSummer

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I'm pretty sure there has been a nerf to FlaK 88s in general in one of the patches, and I think that's what hurts 16LW the most, not the decreased availability of 88s in the deck. I remember FlaK 88s being able to take alot of punishment without going down when I played 16LW alot 5-6 months ago, but nowadays they melt like butter by comparison.
There must be a hidden nerf to all towed anti-air weapons. They are now extremely vulnerable to HE shells, when compared side by side with any other soft target.
 

AmberT

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352. Infantry
First. 352 very good vs armored div. and very weak vs inf. Most problems weak osttuppens, low income phase B and Jagdpanther just
trash for 300.
Festung Groß Paris-
I dont think that Festung need any ground buff, but D. 520 need buff price from 120 to 90 and buff a availability!
 

steve1

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Dec 2, 2017
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Axis infantry divisions are, on the whole, underperforming. Pro players avoid them like the plague in 1v1s and even 2v2s, something I know from asking multiple high level players in the Tournament Discord and something I have done a lot of testing for myself. I have a few solid suppositions as to what makes these decks so weak, and I will try to discuss these generally before getting specific. By Axis infantry divisions, I mean 352, 716, Paris, 16, and 91. These suggestions are made with 1v1 and 2v2 balance in mind.

General issues with Axis infantry decks:
1. Startlingly low infantry availability for decks that are supposed to be able to throw out cheap meat to take hits for stronger support weapons.
2. Support weapons and antitank guns do not replace the usefulness of tanks, especially with them getting stressed so easily due to a common lack of vet. Support weapon availability feels low compared to what tank divisions often get for their tanks.
3. StuGs and their variants are often overpriced compared to what Allied divisions get in kind, namely Shermans, and in some cases the availability is very poor as well. And StuGs are what Axis infantry divs get generally, leaving them with an under available and overpriced tank unit, especially by comparison to Allied Infantry divs.
4. Artillery, which is supposed to be a strong suit for Axis infantry divs, rarely have veterancy.

Now for division specific things.

352. Infantry--
Argued by many to be the weakest 1v1 deck alongside Lehr. Instead of a deck that can do a little of everything, this deck doesn't seem to be very good at much of anything. While the recon cars got buffed last patch, they still just aren't worth bringing due to their price and availability. Infantry availability in this division is a joke, and Grenadiers are overpriced at 25 points, especially compared to US Rifles at 20. StuGs are too expensive and necessitate the use of 40 point r35 tanks and 55 point Pzjager not just in A, but basically the whole match. The Bef. Panzer III H with no vet has to be one of the worst units in the game on price and availability, not even including how poor of a combat unit it is in the first place. This unit is not a Stuart and should not even be priced in the same range as one; I don't care if it's a command unit. It needs veterancy to even be considered a relevant part of not just 352's arsenal, but any deck that has this unit. 352's support tab is weak even after the buff; IG33s are just too expensive to justify them, and maybe need 1200m range to justify bringing them in B. The Antitank guns need more availability on both the vetted and unvetted guns because AT guns get slaughtered even more than actual tanks do, and often AT guns have worse availability. The Marders aren't very good in B with so little vet and the Jagdpanther is well the Jagdpanther, good but expensive and late. Artillery in 352 is good but a lack of vet anywhere perplexes me. Buffing the Sk18's price or vet would make them worth it imo, as would buffing the vet of the Fk18. 352's AA tab is surprisingly good, and their air force is actually weirdly okay despite having only 4 slots.

716 Infantry--
Buffing Grenadier availability was a good start for this deck even though Grens are just plain overpriced, and the Italians are solid as well. Again, buffing AT gun availability would make this deck much more reasonable in 1v1. Arty, air, and AA all solid here.

16. Luftwaffe--
Slightly improve phase A infantry availability. Currently no reason to bring MGs over more infantry. The StuG III f/8 is overpriced at 150 and underavailable for x1 per card in B in a deck that has fewer alternatives than something like 352. AT gun availability here is absolutely atrocious and barely worth bringing over the 88's, which don't work as well as you would want as a replacement. I understand that we want drawbacks to the deck but x1 Pak40 in B has to be one of the worst cards in the entire game right now. Anti Air is fine obviously thanks to 88's. Arty in this deck is surprisingly good and the air tab is good at doing what it's supposed to do.

Festung Groß Paris--
SPW 204 is too expensive, although x3 in A is not bad. Landesschützen are worse than Ersatz due to lower availability and the arguably unjustified higher price at 15 instead of 10. KM Infanterie are completely worthless in price and availability. ROA and LwJager are fine in price but need more availability. The tank tab is actually pretty alright here. The support tab is fine too for the moment. The crap AT gun availability is somewhat offset by the presence of vetted AT vehicles and tank destroyers. AA is good and arty is where it should be in a deck with other options. D. 520 availability is kind of a joke.

91. Luftlande--
A genuinely good infantry tab, though B infantry could use more availability. 25 point no vet Grens with no faust are a joke. StuGs again are overpriced and under available compared to Allied decks with Shermans, especially with so few tank slots. Support tab is solid. The AT gun distribution makes me scratch my head, but this deck has other ways of dealing with armor. AA is fine. Arty could maybe use an availability buff, but it's probably fine as well. The air tab is glorious, as one would expect.

I hope this list is at least comprehensive if nothing else. I have tried to include as much high level player feedback into this list as possible so that it's not just all my opinion. I think buffing the StuG's price and availability as well as AT gun vet and availability would go a long way towards making these decks viable in 1v1 scenarios. After all, LSSAH gets StuG's for 110 points in phase A; I don't think buffing StuG's would break the game for these already weak divisions. As well, the infantry availability in many of these decks needs desperate buffs, as I have highlighted.
Thanks to Corbeau, Yue Jin, Walther, Herr_Robert, Protosszocker, and curbs for the discussion and feedback over the last few weeks to help me compile this list. I want to see these divisions become playable to help shake up the tournament metagame. Thanks to all who read.

"Pro players" is an interesting term. These are just ranker obsessives and you usually see them play with the same OP divs, over and over again. Maybe calling them OP is harsh but they certainly are strong in most areas. When you experiment with these weak divs you mention, you get mashed up but it's these divs that can be interesting to try and get a tune out of them. Playing with the usual suspects like 2ID, 4AD etc gets formulaic and repetitive but the rankers love formulaic for their stats.

Eugen needs random div set in quick or ranked play to make playing these divs worth while.
 

AmberT

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"Pro players" is an interesting term. These are just ranker obsessives and you usually see them play with the same OP divs, over and over again. Maybe calling them OP is harsh but they certainly are strong in most areas. When you experiment with these weak divs you mention, you get mashed up but it's these divs that can be interesting to try and get a tune out of them. Playing with the usual suspects like 2ID, 4AD etc gets formulaic and repetitive but the rankers love formulaic for their stats.

Eugen needs random div set in quick or ranked play to make playing these divs worth while.
You just do not know what you're talking about.
 

Mister Maf

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I completely know. What I wrote is what I see.

Maybe you are just ranker.
Okay, but do you have anything substantive to add to the discussion besides complaining about people who are better at the game than you?

A common issue I see among Axis infantry divisions is overspecialized units that aren't strong enough in their specialized role to compete with the masses of Allied generalist units. A lot of these divisions rely on a min/maxing play style, where you screen for your specialist units with cheaper ones. For example, screening for self-propelled guns with captured French tanks or for Panzergrenadiers with 10-15pt disheartened troops. Unfortunately what often ends up happening in practice is that the combined strength of a lot of Allied units that are decent at more than one thing wipe through the fodder units and then kill off the specialist units (or worse, get the jump on the specialist units and then freely slaughter the fodder units — such a mistake is punished much less for the Allies).

This is especially evident in the wealth of 1v1 tournament replays we have for review thanks to shoutcasters, where these divisions don't have an ally to help cover their weaknesses and consequently are seen less frequently except for by players with a particular affinity for them. The poster child of this problem of course is the overpriced Jagdpanther that soaks up too many points to fight an equivalent point value of Allied combined arms, but it exists across all phases in most of these divisions.

I'm curious to see what the forum thinks of the 17. SS-Panzergrenadiers, the Axis infantry division absent from the discussion thus far. I suspect it's not a coincidence as I happen to think they're the strongest one of the lot, having access to versatile infantry with the combination of affordable(!) PzGrens/Stosstrupp, significantly better armor than most in the form of the elite Stug III and abundant Stug IVs, and an all-around strong AT selection.
 
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