Rock Paper Scissors: New Counter Wheels
The “traditional” C&C counter wheel looks something like:
Rifle Troops > Rocket Troops > Tanks > Jeeps > Rifle Troops
The problem with this traditional formula is that it is hard to tamper with to create more factional diversity. Side A could have Rifle Troops, Rocket Troops, and “Main Battle Tanks” (tanks with an anti-infantry machine gun); Main Battle Tanks trump Rifle Troops and Jeeps, but loose to Rocket Troops and dedicated Tanks. Side B, conversely, would have “Infantry” (troops with rifles and rockets), Jeeps, and Tanks; Side B’s Infantry trumps Rocket Troops and Tanks, but loses to Jeeps and dedicated Rifle Troops.
However, another possibility would be to give infantry and vehicles independent counter wheels, e.g.:
Rifle Squads > Snipers > Grenadier/Flamethrower Teams > Rifle Troops
Armored Cars > Tank Destroyers > Tanks > Armored Cars
Under that system, no imbalance would be created by giving Rifle Squads anti-tank missiles or strapping a flamethrower to one side’s Tanks because the Rifle Squads are still countered by Grenadiers and the Tanks are still countered by Tank Destroyers.
This diversification process could be further improved by creating multiple “anti-vehicle” infantry roles and “anti-infantry” vehicle roles. For example, troops with RPG/Panzerfaust-style rockets might be relatively effective against Armored Car-type enemies but lack the punch to do serious damage to Tanks, whereas troops with Javelin/Kornet-style anti-tank missiles may be more effective against Tanks but have too slow of a rate of fire to be effective against Armored Cars. Thus, one side might give Panzerfausts to its Rifle Squads and Javelin Missiles to its Grenadiers while another side gives RPGs to its Snipers and Kornet Missiles to its Rifle Squads.
-Allows more factional diversity by allowing units to mix and match roles
-Avoids the “crippling overspecialization” of traditional unit designs while still allowing a healthy counter system
-Potentially Steep Learning Curve (Missile Troops are bad against Humvees? Basic Riflemen trump elite Snipers?)
-Increased balance complexity