Greedy Goblin

Thursday, August 11, 2011

RBG strategies: Warsong Gulch

While we mostly win Gilneas and almost always Arathi, our Warsong Gulch winrate is a disaster.

Practically WSG is a zergfest, where I had trouble even define "strategy". Usually the enemy comes with all zerg and as we used to split to flag carrier and defender teams, they can get the flag. We can either carry the flag back or not, but even if we do, as they managed to kill several of our defenders, they can zerg in for our flag carrier before the regrouped "defenders" can get to the flag carrier.

We could only counter that with the most primitive "strategy": we all zerg in, and clash with them in the middle. Of couse a zerg vs zerg battle where individual PvP skill wins is the nightmare of every strategist, as even lolkids could do that. Also, in a one-zerg battle the voice chat is unquestionably a plus. So below I present a strategy that might turn the tides in Warsong:

We all zerg in for the flag, avoiding contact with them. If they insist on PvP, only the flag carrier and one healer presses on (they must run a bit behind others to be not attacked first), the others engage them. Assuming they have bigger flag carrier team, we are outnumbering and wiping them. If they come with full zerg, only the flag carrier goes forward.

The flag carrier comes down on the ramp. If we were forced to fight them, this team also goes there. The zerg escorts the flag carrier back home, ignoring the enemy flag carrier. Since we are 10 and they lack the flag carrier and some healers, it shouldn't be a problem wiping them. The flag carrier stays with the team, don't run forward.

We stop below our graveyard and wait. They will sooner or later send their DD team to finish our flag carrier. They, again are 6-8 lacking the flag carrier and 1-3 healers. So we shall easily wipe them. If they manage to kill anyone, he will spawn at the GY only yards away from the battle. After wiping them, everyone except the flag carrier and 1-2 healers mount up and rush to the enemy base. Since lot of time passed, the flag carrier has debuff so we can focus him, CC-ing the healers. The flag carrier team goes in the tunnel. The enemy is dead and needs time to respawn. Probably half of them respawned, the other half did not. If they wait and buff, they start when our team is already in their fort. If they come with half team, our flag carrier will live longer then theirs against full team.

I think this strategy can only be countered by full zerg, if everyone, except the flag carrier comes to us, but even then they are outnumbered. Of course it can be mirrored, which case we are all AFK-ing for 25 mins. But I'm sure that an average 1200-1800 rated team will not have the discipline to do that.


Azzur said...

Back in the Vanilla days of single-realm premade BGs, I used to do WSG alot. I'm not sure if this strategy is still widely used anymore:

2-3 flag carrier team
1 rogue/hunter defending flag
6-7 midfielders

After the dust settles, the key would be to maintain midfield control of the battlefield and intercept attackers.

We would send high burst capable classes to try and retrieve the flag.

Anonymous said...

The fail is strong in this battleground ... on both sides.
This is a battleground that requires it's own preparations (running speed potions for instance) and a great deal of teamwork: people that actually defend the flag, people that perform fake attacks to lure defenders and keep those defenders in combat, people that go for the flag and not just killfarm (works wonders if you only have those on both sides)

Squishalot said...

You're banking on the theory that it will take less than 30 seconds from the last death near your graveyard (fighting off their DD attack on your FC) and when your team of 7 gets to attack their FC.

Practically speaking, they will have guaranteed 3 (FC + 2 healers) and the people who died in the first 30 seconds following the first death in their attack. The only possible way of executing your plan would be if you could kill all 7 attackers at precisely the same time, whereupon you have 30 seconds to find and attack their FC.

The timing difference between the earlier kills and the last kill will determine how much time you have and how many reinforcements their flag carrier will have. Chances are, they will have a team at least equal in size to yours by the time you attack (7v7) with 3 more respawning within seconds of you engaging. They will have a healer advantage over your strike force. I believe it's still a stalemate.

You're relying on out-lasting (out discplining) their team. While it may work in 'lower' brackets, the lower brackets are also more likely to favour the full zerg. Higher level teams will wait for your counterattack after their attack fails and consolidate, rather than rushing out again to reinforce the failed attack.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: They will have no reinforcements, as the graveyard is lowered, so you can't run from the GY to the flag room.

Anonymous said...

We headout and wait at top of ramp if they head tunnel all but FC and healer head back to FR if they go ramp we try and knock half off their mounts, use LoS from height etc to break up their Zerg and destroy them piecemeal while FC and healer picks up flag, this is one BG where fast target focusing is a must (not sure how you'd do this without vent) and strong combos ie War/War/Rogue will usually win over stratergys

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: You're assuming that they will camp in their flag room (bad move on their part, if they know that the attack is failing).

I think this is just going to be one of those times where the better players (i.e. better damage done, better healing done, better 1v1) will simply overcome the others.

pippen1001 said...

in vnnila when i was helping several people out to get their high warlord title. And only ab and wsg existed, and you could only enter the team from the zone in in wsg or ab. It was very often teams managed to bring their flag back to the gy and camp there and no team could kill the other, so usually it was a stalemate who would give first. Back then there were not ime limit no lowered gy no seeing where the fc was no weakening of the carrier. Often teams could use flaws in the map to hide themselves so noone could see them from the outside, or jump onto ledges and stand unavailable for the other team. but mostly it was a hide and seek, who could hide their fc the best, or alternatevily who could defend whilst getting the flag back before mid was lost.

Anonymous said...

Tips :

At the start,the 2 zergs will form,yours and theirs . You won't engage them in a pointless middle pvp at the start . But.
You , as a leader look up quick who is their tank ( flag carrier ) , call it on chat.(probably the warrior or the dk)
While traveling on the field ,from their zerg you pick him and blow it up in 3 global cooldowns focused fire from almost all your guys. After this refuse to continue the fight in the middle and keep going forward. (your FC + healer won't dismount to help at this move anyway).
With their flag carrier death (in their graveyard counting to 30) , when their zerg will reach your base will be obliged to pick the flag with a non tank .

Your zerg and their zerg come back each one with the other flag,and meet in the field . Except yours is at the tank and theirs at someone more squishy who can be focused fire after cc aplied to their healers.

joost said...

Anonymous 2 is quite right in his 2nd part.

WG and in a lesser extent Twin Peaks (map is bigger) comes down on very quick adapting, as a fix strategy won't last, strong individual skill and pure raw damage.

Next to your raw damage dealers you want some control, like real control. Not just CC but CC that counter certain actions your enemy tries to do, makes them frustrated.

I'm a strong believer of getting the flag without letting the enemy get yours. If you do end up in that situation there is many things you can do.

In the end you want the sick focus dps the most of all things next to CC. If you can't kill fast enough you will need CC as the debuf makes healing useless. So you want people that know how to destroy a zerg with CC rather then damage so you control the incoming zerg.

WG (TP) most skilled BG's? Most straightforward their for anyone can use that tactics thus making tactics less important?

My 2 cents for this endless discussion :P.


Alrenous said...

Flank. Use the zerg-v-zerg strategy, but hit them from the rear. Feint forward and double back.

If you're facing a rough situation like this where you have no choice but to do a frontal assault, then tactics merges with strategy - it won't be all about individual skill, but also your superior tactics.

Lanchester's square law: in a battle where everyone can hit everyone else, the deadliness of a force is proportional to its square. If at all possible, catch them by surprise and take someone out before they know what's happened. Even one person takes the fight from 100 v 100 to 81 v 100 - easy win.

Other than that, as a practical matter, zerg-v-zerg comes down mainly to gear. This isn't ideal, but if they greatly outgear you the odds of winning suck anyway. Might as well find out as soon as possible.

On the other hand, if you manage to roll them at mid, you can usually chain cap before they have a chance to regroup.

If they grab your flag after your rolling them, you can simply scrub their carrier off the field on the way back.

If they do manage to regroup, then I endorse your current strategy.

Alrenous said...

Also, never forget to focus fire. If you focus and they don't, gear will barely matter. Designate a main assist, any main assist; it is vastly more important to all hit the same target than to hit the right target.

Trelocke said...

I find it interesting that our guild has the exact opposite successes from your guild. We have a very hard time with AB and Gilneas but consistently win cap-the-flag. Our basic strat:

Spearhead their group. Your FC/healer set should be running as close to the map's edge as they can. All, and I stress "all", of your healers should be with your FC, dispelling the CC and keeping him alive.

Your DD should be intercepting their FC. If their group is good you will only be able to slow their FC which is essentially what they will be doing to yours.

Understand that CC is more important while your FC is going to get the flag and then back to the cap point than killing their DD. Your DD should be slowing their FC group as much as possible while your heal/FC group should be peeling their DD off the FC as best as possible.

Focus, focus, focus. If you aren't good at focusing targets and hard switching focus targets you will have a problem. We require our DD to run an /assist macro. Choose a DD "leader" and have all other DD assist that person. It makes switching so seamless that only extremely good groups don't have a problem with the switch. If you can kill one healer you can usually wipe the rest of them.

FC group needs to stay close to a cap point. We always go up top to play los games. At this point it's basically a damage race. We have really good DD so their FC usually comes down pretty quick. We force their healers to use CDs and then hard switch to another healer. Wipe a healer or two and the FC will die extremely fast. Then just drop down and cap before one of their DD can pick up the flag again.

If you're sending a healer with your DD group you're wasting a healer. If they are keeping a DD (or more) with their FC group to kill your DD they are wasting a DD. Don't counter their waste with your own. Three healers should be able to keep up a FC through several stacks of debuff, more if they have fewer than all of their DD.

We routinely beat better teams (teams with better gear and rating) in the cap-the-flag BGs because our peel, CC and focus is top-notch.

David said...

A popular strategy we have used to crush the 2200+ teams is to send ALL your DD after their FC from the start. You must intercept him before he even reaches the ramp. Pump everything you can into the FC, they might pop cooldowns, if they are amazing they might get away but I doubt the 2800+ flag carriers will be around. Send 1 healer with the DD group. If you properly intercept their FC first they will most likely send damage dealers to save the FC.

While this happens your FC plus 2 heals should be hauling ass after the flag. If the other teams DD attack him, he should do whatever possible to get after that flag. Just kite the damage dealers.

When your DD team takes out the FC, they should IMMEDIATELY head out of combat and go save your own FC. You do NOT care if they send a healer or anyone else after the flag. Save your own flag carrier first. A caster on your team should keep an eye out on the GY for the FC to rez again. If he comes up go get him again. Feel free to break from your FC since you should have alleviated the pressure on him a bit.

Now assuming both teams get the flag, have 3 heals and a damage dealer with a knockback stay on the roof with your FC. Send your 5 dps which MUST include a rogue after their FC. Open up on the DD and wait for the rogue to set up everything including some snares on the FC for a smokebomb. The FC should die in that smokebomb.

maxim said...

I like the "send all healers with FC, send all dpsers to their FC" tactic. You win if they send healers to your FC. You are in advantageous position if they keep a small amount of dps with their FC.

The only problem i see with it is that it can lead to stalemate situations where they keep most of their dps with flag carrier, so that your own dps can't burn through all of them before getting focused down themselves. How do you deal with that?

Jim said...

WSG is all about co-ordination and communication. A well coordinated attack that involves feints and surprise can easily beat a bigger, better geared group. Coordination of cooldowns and CC is important. Also coordination to focus on the same target and change that target on the fly is very important. Without voicechat you will never be able to get the same level of coordination of other teams. Not having a fixed roster also works against you.

Since you don’t have voice communication and fixed rosters most of your games are going to come down to zergfests. If you are doing lots of zergs where your DD are going to be fighting around your FC and healers (other juicy targets) you might want to gamble and have your DD use PVE gear rather than resilience gear. It does make a huge difference in their damage output and if they are not going to be targeted anyway then the resilience is wasted. Like I said it is a gamble, but I have seen it payoff by having a lower ranked team beat a much higher ranked team because the DPS is so much higher.

Trelocke said...


I can't ever remember running into a team that did something like that. People don't really play for the stalemate. We would probably just bring our offense back to our base and wipe their offense a couple of times while letting the debuff stack up then have our DD hit them hard as a group. When the debuff stacks high enough the DD don't have to survive long, just long enough to kill their FC.

As I said though, can't remember ever coming across such a situation unless the other team has a cap advantage and are trying to turtle late in the match. In that scenario you have to send your healers. That is an exception since you are already at a disadvantage and must take risks and play outside your strategy in order to try to win. But as a general rule our healers never leave the FC.

Anonymous said...

I like Trelocke's tactics a lot.

But I think that the main reason you don't have success in this BG is the fact that you don't have voice communication. WG is very fluid and always changing. Issuing orders in chat is useless because players will so often miss them.

There is an old cliché that noobs fight in the midfield in WG. When in actual fact controlling the midfield is key to winning here. Trelocke's idea of having a leader DD with the /assist macro is very good; with this you could obliterate the enemy and it would work well without voice coms.

I also think that your FC should be a druid. They can run fast in cat form, can tank and then switch to heal. Extremely versatile and hard to counter. Throw in a free action potion and you're laughing.

Trelocke said...


FCs in RBGs should always be a tank pvp spec. We almost always use a blood DK because they are practically unkillable. We also have a pretty good warrior tank. Druids are simply too squishy and have very weak survival CDs (compared to the tank classes). Pallys would also seem like a good choice but we've actually never used one and almost any good RBG team runs either a blood dk or warrior as their FC. Bottom line: don't try to get too fancy with your FC. Plate tanks are ideal as FCs for a good reason.

Anonymous said...

>>We all zerg in for the flag, avoiding contact with them. If they insist on PvP, only the flag carrier and one healer presses on (they must run a bit behind others to be not attacked first), the others engage them. Assuming they have bigger flag carrier team, we are outnumbering and wiping them. If they come with full zerg, only the flag carrier goes forward.<<

This strategy is well-known and has actually been one of the all-time most efficient for WSG.

But despite it's obvious simplicity, it actually requires a surpricingly disciplined group to execute properly, and certainly not something every lolkid can do.

You gave the reason yourself:

"If they insist on PvP(...)"

Remebmer, the average moron in pvp is like a dog after a ball; If there is someone nearby to pwn, they go pwn - more fun that way. Screw fighting inside bases or sticking together with your group, "I pwn the n00bs moar lol" is all that matters in their primitive minds.

Of course breaking off from your group in a zerg WSG against a wiser enemy that DO stick togehter will only get you killed. That means that you are two players short on the return run and defeat in the clash is certain.

Alrenous said...

At any rate, focus fire, and beyond that you have multiple strategies to try. Cycle through them to find the one that fails least.

Anonymous said...

I ran countless WSG as a Druid in vanilla and lead the team almost as many times.

Our standard tactic was that which Azzur described.

Midfield is the core of WSG and its control the most important part of the map. Size of midfield/FC team depends initially on their initial tacs.

2-3 FC team (FC + healer + Mage - mostly to CC rather than to DPS)

6-7 Midfileders (DPS + 2 healers) protecting Mid and making the liason that helps our FC escape and preventing their team from entering our "fortress".

1 Rogue OFC (always a rogue)that (almost) never leaves the FR, if EFC gets away he reports what route was taken and prevents future recaps (reducing the risk of "feint caps"/"lure caps")

The game has changed a bit but still the same principles apply. Defending OFR with a sizeble force is nothing other than a mistake. Secure midfield and you'll secure victory.

Final note: We did it all without any voice chat back in the days. While I believe it is quite helpful it is not as mandatory as for arenas.

What is mandatory is that the leader knows what he/she is doing and the players know how to PvP.

The Pug lacks both.