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Advanced Ideas


yurch
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I'm seeing many teams out there flounder needlessly, particularly attacking teams. I have put this together in a small (large?) attempt to educate the masses. You may know some or all of these concepts, but I encourage all to read in case either you or I have missed something. For the newcomers, I have added some ‘terms’ you’ll see in here an in game at the bottom, rather than filling the post with parenthetical asides, although this is in retrospect pretty tacky.

Long ranty posts are my specialty.

The first topic, and possibly the most important one, is the jammer. While their ability to hide your red triangles and minimap icons from the enemy is very useful for overall combat, jammers have a far more important function. They blind all automated weaponry, dropping the amount of possible threats to a dropship to around 8, instead of 30+. In a game, jammed drops allow close reinforcements to drop where needed, giving a team quick reaction time and the ability to overwhelm and confuse the enemy. The only thing that can stop a jammed drop is direct player or bot intervention by directly shooting down the dropship. Players tend to completely miss jammed dropships unless it drops in front of them; bots are easily distracted by other things. It is very rare that you will see attackers win on the ice map without the use of jammers.

Players should be hunting for and destroying jammers at every opportunity, as constant vigilance of the skies is too strenuous a requirement, especially in combat. Bots do not attack jammers. Jammers are easily hidden, and the only hint that one is nearby is the removal of triangles on enemy units. The fire mission will typically clear out 90% of the jammers in its radius, but Hermes can often survive.

Attackers should be interested in four things. Removing jammers near the objective, installing (or capturing) automated defenses and jammers, preventing ground reinforcements, and removing local defenders.

Removing jammers can be done through fire missions and search and destroy tactics throughout all phases of the attack.

The easiest automated defenses come portably in the form of the Hermes. Through the course of the game, players with the Hermes vehicle should be seeking out new hiding places within tailgun range of the enemy controlled areas. This can be in craters, behind walls or buildings, or simply in tree cover. Most objective areas are wide enough that you will want multiple vehicles for maximum coverage. The Hermes can be deployed deep into the most extreme of enemy automated territory with the use of another player in the Viper dropship.

The Hermes is the stepping stone for heavier defenses, if necessary. A player (or even more than one) in the command track can use the Hermes jamming field as a way to get additional deployables in. A single Hermes inside what is normally automated AA coverage can soon become a field of jammers and AA turrets. Jam fields should be spread wide, in an attempt to encircle the enemy position and to allow many points to drop at. With the inclusion of a Galaxy resupply somewhere in the field, dropping in enemy territory becomes even safer, and (in the case of ATGM towers) even extracts are possible. Smoke can be dropped in the region to protect somewhat against beam users. AA turrets should be placed so they can only be seen from above; often by this phase there are plenty of craters to put them in. If not, players should create some.

Players should make use of these jam fields whenever possible, as seemingly safe areas can often be infested with jammed AA. One dropship might get caught by an alert player or bot, but several are unlikely to. If in direct enemy coverage, the dropship often won’t make it back out, but at least you aren’t on it anymore – take one for the team.

If the jamming field extends into the enemy base; it is possible to drop a cutter directly in for total capture of the base AA defenses, and even cold execution of its occupants. EMPs will not bother the cutter or friendlies nearby it; the EMP combined with jammers can stop dead anything nearby that could conceivably shoot down a dropship.

All of this cannot happen outside of the chaos of an actual attack. Even with a Hermes nearby, dropping ships repeatedly in the same area will only get ships shot by idle players and bots. Do your part and keep the enemy busy whenever possible.

The attacking team should start out equipped primarily with light vehicles. Coverage is what is needed early on, and that is done by having more vehicles in more places, faster. This is coverage for clearing turrets and jammers, coverage that allows side and rear shots, and coverage that provides improved reconnaissance for the region.

A Thor can destroy jammers and turrets just as fast as an Apollo can. Light vehicles can engage at reasonable ranges – there’s no need for them to enter the base just yet. 20mm vehicles, while not very survivable, are fast and incredibly violent when attacking without warning. 76mm Paladins can rapidly circle and dissect turrets, towers, and damage units that have incorrect facings. If no point defense is active, the mortar Paladin can fire on and destroy (directly, not ctrl-m, this is a precision vehicle – but with a 3 second reload!) on stationary and entrenched Thors, turrets, and landmines. ATGM vehicles fired in top attack mode (green lock) can also be used to disable entrenched Thors from the front. Beam units should be firing on near everything, especially turrets and dropships. A pair or more of beams can be used as makeshift AA in the case of opposing jammers still being active. Ground turrets can be deployed in wide circles (3000-5000 meters away, to prevent easy destruction) as a way to force defenders away from their posts. These turrets can even penetrate the Thor from the front, and cause suppressive view-shaking to nearby units.

I can’t express how frustrating it is to see players bringing Hurricanes and 76mm Paladins into enclosed fighting, again and again. Some vehicles are very vulnerable up close – if you don’t have the ability to kill Thor from the front, or even quickly with a side surprise, you shouldn’t be mingling with them indoors. Your very presence is a threat to the enemy; don’t be in a hurry to end it.

If the attackers deny enough reinforcements from the air, and soften up defenders enough from outside, it’s only necessary to bring in heavy vehicles for cleanup and to hold the newly captured territory. The opposing team will most likely be driving reinforcements in from the ground, and from here on out it becomes a defensive game.

It is then when the defensive units such as Thor and the Hurricane should finally be deployed. If the opponent is out of Thor units, Hurricanes will have an easier time, but it is only necessary to damage and slow enemy units down, never to close with them. The clock is ticking in your favor. A few fast units should be deployed to prevent jammer buildup.

While defending, all of the above is to be kept in mind. Frustrate and draw light units in with entrenchments, point defenses and jamming fields. You get several minutes of time beforehand – some rather creative cutter emplacements can be dug, and will last longer than a bunch of poorly placed turrets. Have at least one person regularly patrol for jammers. Secondary entrenchments and jamming fields should be set up for use when access to the main objective is denied. EMP and fire missions cover an entire objective, and having your entire team inside their radius the entire game is a recipe for disaster.

Terms:

Automated AA: Anything that shoots at air units on its own, without player or bot input. This includes AA turrets, point defenses, ATGM towers or the Hermes tailgun. All are immune to EMP, all of them will not fire at a jammed target.

Antiprojectile towers: Ion towers, three are found on the green map. These have a point defense.

Point defense: Located on ion towers and on the Galaxy resupply. Attempt to shoot down any object (projectiles AND dropships) above a certain altitude. The towers are more effective at shooting multiple projectiles down, the galaxy has better coverage. The Hermes tailgun can be considered a weak point defense.

Jammed object: Anything that falls within the radius of a friendly jamming radius, shown with a yellow circle with a lightning bolt in the center. Hermes has a jamming radius; it just doesn't show up on the map... yet.

Hermes: Paladin EWV. (Electronic Warfare Vehicle) Has an active jammer if its computer subsystem is green.

Jammed drop: The act of inserting into a jammed region. The ship will be inside the jamming radius until it's on the way out. This is why there is not a jammed extract.

Light vehicle: Anything faster than a cutter or thor.

Ground turret: The weird thing on the stand that shoots purple blobs. This shoots at ground targets, with the same targeting rules that automated AA has, which means at anything unjammed. The purple blobs have near infinite armor penetration, and have a maximum range of 5000m. Getting hit with these from any angle is often quite undesirable.

Beam buddies: Two or more players working in tandem with ion cannons.

Command track: Mercury CMD vehicle. This is required to be deployed in order to use commander assets.

Commander assets: Fire missions (ctrl-f, mass artillery) Smoke missions (ctrl-s, mass smoke) EMP (ctrl-e, radius disable) Resupply (ctrl-r, drop Galaxy) and Deployables (ctrl-d, select from menu)

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Very good write-up, yurch!

I just want to add that I'm an avid follower ofThe path of the Jammer.

Dropping jammers at the edge of AA covered areas will render automated AA ineffective in this area. This enables you to create a path of jammers towards your target. With a bit of skill (and luck), you can drop jammers and AA turrets near the enemy base, forcing them to drop in other areas. Sadly, the dropships do their manouvering on the way up, flying outside the jammed areas and ending up as burning wrecks.

Another scary aspect of the jammer is that you can't be sure the enemy is really dead unless it burns (it might still be alive, but a burning vehicle is usually not combat effective). I have been using a burning comamnd vehicle - which was lying upside down - and continued to drop jammers/turrets and ordering fire mission. Enemy Hurricanes were in the area but I guess I looked harmless, or more likely - they thought it was a burning wreck.

Also, you can position yourself near your own ion towers and be protected from a lot (but not all) of incoming fire.

What would be interesting is a vehicle that can deploy a dozen jammers or so, somewhat like a minelaying vehicle.

And resupply is available from all vehicles. Unless someone has been voted CMDR, in that case the commander has full control over the resupply.

[ April 30, 2006, 11:42 PM: Message edited by: Kurtz ]

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I did the path of the jammer when I was playing alone, but now that I'm more of a team player - just drive an EMV Paladin up to the base, and have your teammates drop near you. Portable, unexpected, and not wasting jammers on a single path. smile.gif

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Though jammers ARE extractable, I've never actually seen anybody do it... Seems like the rounds are short enough, and jammers are in grand enough supply, that people don't even consider extracting the "disposables."

Whenever I place jammers, they're in excellent locations - and I wouldn't want to lose them in any case.

Back on point, however, driving an EMV truck into the base is faster, safer, and you can help defend the cutter as it does it's minute long capture routine. When you're done - it's one extraction, instead of seven or eight. Less resources deployed, less chance at the enemy gaining a point advantage on you!

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The single hermes approach might be alright, but in the grand scheme of things, you want everybody to be jammed. The cutter drop won't work if there are several unoccupied objective-defenders out patrolling for jammers. Somebody needs to be fighting them, and having jammers for those guys won't hurt.

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one thing some players forget quite often is that you MUST babysit you bots. otherwise they're pretty dumb.

i mostly play defence (because it usually puts me there smile.gif , so these points apply mostly for defence. first thing you have to do is set bot drop points . don't drop only thors. 1 maybe 2 bots with thors are enough. apollos can do a good job shooting down dropships and harassing incoming enemies. i don't give ion vehicles to bots, because generally bots don't use them effectively (except when i'm attacking and i want an ion thor to camp the objective). 2 ATGM shooters can provide some more harassing fire in the start.

a great asset in protecting your objective is the resupply ship. it's especially good in the ice map because it defends against mortar (which is used to destroy the AA tower). 1 hermes near it provides some more protection with the automated gun especially against missiles and it's 20mm can get an enemy that somehow manages to sneak in.

one of the biggest dangers is when you run out of some type of unit and your bots start dropping some nonsence in far out areas. check the available ammount of units periodically, and set different units to drop accordingly. when a bot drops far away, set a new drop and let him extract, don't wait for him to come back.

when you want a bot to defend some area which is further from the objective, give him a defend order, otherwise he'll come to the objective.

when you set the drop points for bots in the deployment phase, place some turrets. be quick, because very often you're the only one setting drop points, droppping turrets etc. don't waste all your turrets at the start. especially don't put too many of them on one place. save some AA turrets and jammers for later in the game...i usually try to place all ground turrets at the start, because later i don't have the time for them. i think the best use for them is to put them on such places that they can harass the first drops of the enemy. a lot of ground turrets supported by your units can be very annoying to him.

watch your bots on the map. sometimes they wander away from the places you want them to defend, so you gotto give them the move order. sometimes they don't extract damaged vehicles.

i usually find the last 5 minutes of the game to be critical. check your bots and their drops at that time, be ready to defend the objective. if you wasted all your heavier stuff earlier, you can get in serious trouble.

one of the best ways to defend is to move by dropships to ambush attackers (extract and drop someplace else). drop on their flanks or in the back, and kill a few. apollo with 120mm is very good for this (usually the slow thor isn't a good vehicle for this, but sometimes it can be), it has enough firepower to do the job. don't drop too near, otherwise they'll kill you very quickly. a few of such ambushes can remove several important heavy vehicles from your enemy.

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