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» Is the Boomer Balanced?

As I was surfing the official Yuri's Revenge Boards, trying to decide on a topic for my article, I noticed the usual amount of newbie comments such as, 'The Harrier should be taken out of the game', or 'The Deso-Bomb', but one thing really jumped out at me. Post after post about the boomer appeared before my eyes, 'WW tone down the Boomer', 'The Boomer rush is cheap' and 'People quit complaining about the boomer.' The closer I looked, the more I could tell that the boomer is a very hot topic with all classes of players, from top 10 to top 10,000. Today I will discuss both sides of the heated debate, 'Is the Boomer Unbalanced?' and review some of the proposed solutions.

One view of the boomer is that it is fine as is; that there are many perfectly valid counters to it and there is no problem with them. Many top players have taken the view that boomers are simple to counter, and that all you need is a few IFVs, Flak Cannons, or Gattling Bunkers. Others recommend a Destroyer/Aegis or Submarine/Sea Scorp combo. Even the renowned Delphi(Chris Rubyor, Westwood Online Community Manager) commented on the official stance of Westwood patch directors that 'a combination of Guardian GI IFVs, Patriot Missile systems, and Destroyers currently work fine to stop boomers; Westwood sees no reason to patch the boomer at this time.'

Quotes from some players on the Official boards include:

  • devil_inferno-IFVs flaks do the job? Y complain?
  • arora00-Counter Boomer Rushes: Two Subs, Two Destroyers.
  • Hey Mr-2 subs out do a Boomer head on... Im about 95% sure of that
Another view of the boomer is that it is totally overpowered and there is no good cost-effective counter to it. Allied missiles are too slow to hit the missiles, and flak is not powerful enough to destroy the missiles before they reach their targets. Destroyers and subs are also ineffective as the boomer can just slip away, then fire, and continue the process. Robot tanks are also useless as one shot from a boomer to the robot control center will send them to the bottom of the sea. Many, many players think that the boomer should be toned down or even removed:
  • greggs2-"That hit and hide tactic is a killer It gets me (an many others im sure) every time"
  • Hey Mr-"so there are no effective land units to make an assault on boomers either"
  • [name censored]-"Does anyone know how to counter that freakin' Yuri Boomer rush, It's total bull crap!"
  • Overman15-"it's impossible to effectively counter. Effectively meaning having to spend 5500 dollars to stop it..."
  • Oldbold(top 25 rank)-"I agree, it's very hard to stop the boomer. What i do on good boomer rush maps-vs non yuri is build 1, just 1 boomer then sell my naval yard. Thats 2500 and the enemy has to spend like 5000+ to defend. The only thing i have seen tried is build as many tanks as you can (no miner from ore). Yuri can do the same, even while boomer rushing. A boomer will then target the war factory immediately as Yuri builds more and more reinforcements."
  • wyuenho-"that's where u are wrong. yuri doesn't have to tech up to do a land rush. mass lashers and a couple gatts + 2 magnetron and he/she's good to go. remember, those are very cheap but very good units, + yuri's got non-stop cash flow, it's absolutely a nightmare when combined with a the boomers."
In response to to both of these views a test was performed to see if the boomer could be easily and practically stopped if it is known that it's coming. We played ten games on the official Westwood map 'Let There Be Fight', one of us playing as America and one of us Yuri, knowing beforehand that the Yuri player was going to boomer rush. Nine out of ten games, the boomer-rusher won the game, with destroyers simply being magnetroned to the shore.

The general consensus seems to be that boomers are overpowered, with only a few Yuri diehards claiming that getting a combination of 2 subs and an upgraded dreadnought for half the cost and available earlier is fair. One suggestion to balance out the boomer that has been made is to disable the missiles until a battle lab is built. Other ideas are to limit the boomers' missiles to one, or even create a totally different unit available immediately after sub pen. The majority of people surveyed believe that the boomer needs some sort of tweaking.

However, Westwood has a long history of bad customer support. The best solution for this problem is, undoubtedly, for another Yuri unit to be added, the equivalent to the destroyer or submarine, and make the boomer a battle-lab-required unit. Westwood has already not only issued statements saying that they will not create another unit, but they refuse to even admit the imbalance. The official stance of Westwood, our only source for improvements to balance outside of mods, seems to be 'Working on Renegade---Do not Disturb.' In the coming months, we will see if Westwood cares about their customers after the purchase, or decide to ignore their buyers' reasonable requests. This is not the type of game to 'sell & forget'.

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