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Ok Here goes. I did one of these for NS 1.04, but It needed a major overhaul so here is another version.
Before I get into details about what to do, I'll just give a few helpful hints to a prospective comm. Firstly, be adaptive. Dont set strategies in concrete. Work with what you have. If you have the best team in the entire universe then you can upgrade a little later (although u would win fast anyway) if you have the nubbest team of random nubs that ever were spawned in the nine pits of hell, then work with them.
Use a Microphone. comms without a mic are seriously disadvantaged as they have to type out what they want rather than speaking (which is much faster).
Dont lose your temper. A comm rarely gets what he wants by yelling at the team. Keep them notified of what you are doing. Letting a team know what is comming up in upgrades, how you are going at locking down key points on the map, how many res points you have and where you need the marines to go are all great ways to get your team to listen to you.
Hotkeys are your friends. In my case I use all 5 hotkeys constantly. Usually I have 2 slots for 2 groups of marines (at different objective points), the obs, arms lab and depending on what I am doing during game, the proto/armory for upgrade times. If I'm sieging alot I'll switch out the 5th slot for a second obs.
Ok onto the guide.
You have 2 different options as a comm as soon as you start. You can either stay at base or relocate to a key point. Depending on the map I will favour relocation or staying at base. Staying at base
Staying at base has it's pro's and cons on every map. Staying at base in NS_Nancy for example is not as advantageous as relocating because your base is so far away from key points. This is also true in NS_Hera as the marines have quite a ways to go to get to a hive. The big advantage in staying at base on any map is that you dont have to spend 30 res at the start on a new comm chair, but considering the advantages of a relocate, 30 res is well spent. Decide for yourself which maps you would favor staying at base on. Remember its up to you.Relocation
One of the biggest strategies in NS is the relocation. In ALOT
of situations it is advantageous to relocate to a better area. A few maps that spring to mind especially are NS_Tanith, NS_Nancy and NS_Bast. In each of those maps there are key points that will allow you to lockdown atleast 1 hive and several res points. There are always several things you must consider when relocating. The first is how defendable it is. The more access points it has, the more directions you need to defend it. Where is the alien hive? This crucial piece of information is extremely important when relocating. Advantages of relocating there. This one is possibly the most important. If an area is close to several key positions, or gives access to them then it is a viable relocation point. The most prominent ones offhand that I can think of are NS_Bast's Main Aft Junction
which gives access to engineering hive, 2 routes to Refinery hive and 2 resource points close at hand (res in hives are extras and not quite as close). It also only has 3 directional access points for aliens to assault it and 2 of those give warning when someone is coming (the rotating door and engine room door). The vent into marine spawn from here should be welded up fast so that isnt a problem. All in all this is an excellent relocation point. Just keep those things in mind when relocating.Locating the Starting Hive
Okies this one is easy. Once you have gotten into the chair, immediately find the starting hive. This information is crucial to successfully locking down hives and key locations and also relocation (if you chose to). For those of you who dont know how to find the hive (as you cant see it) go to the 3 hive locations on your minimap and listen at each res point for a few seconds. It will make a sound if there is a res there, even if you cant see it. a hive with a res point in it within the first 30 seconds or so is the starting hive. Plan your strategies around this.Beginning Base
there are 4 structures that should be build in order (excluding res points) for the starting base. These are Infantry portal (IP), Armory, Arms Lab and Observatory. I'll get to arms lab and observatory in a second, but for now the first 2 structures you need to build are an IP and an Armory. These are essential as they allow you to build other structures, give your marines ammo and allow your marines to spawn! Depending on your strategies and res holdings, you can chose which out of arms lab and obs to build first. Usually I will drop both at once and then set upgrades on at once. The arms lab allows you to upgrade your marines and the observatory allows for motion tracking (Very helpful for you and your minions) but more importantly phase tech.Upgrading (Order and priority)
Ok there are several upgrades available for marines so I will list them all. Each upgrade is listed as the type, name and structure it is upgraded at along with a small description.
The 3 different upgrade types are Marine, structural and Marine comm dropped upgrades. Marine upgrades are upgrades that all marines recieve when they spawn. Strucural upgrades are upgrades to buildings that allow access to other things or increase the structure's usefulness and Marine commander dropped upgrades are things such as catalyst, HMG's Shotguns etc.Armor Level 1,2,3
(Marine upgrade, Researched at Arms Lab. This upgrade increases marine armor reducing the amount of damage that a marine takes per hit.)Weapons Level 1,2,3
(marine Upgrade, Researched at Arms Lab. This upgrade increases the damage that marine weapons deal per hit.)Catalyst
(Stimulant Pack dropped by comm, Researched at Arms Lab. This upgrade increases a marines attack speed and walking speed for 8 seconds.)Advanced Armory
(Structural. Researched at Standard Armory. Allows for additional structures and weapons to be dropped.)Grenades
(Marine Upgrade, Researched at Armory. Gives each marine as they spawn 1 hand grenade which can be thrown.)Motion Tracking
(Marine Upgrade, Researched at Observatory. Allows marines and the commander to see alien movement around the map and in close. Does not work in line of sight.)Phase gate Technology
(Structural Upgrade, Researched at Observatory. Allows the construction of Phase gates for instant teleportation between them.)Jet Packs
(Marine Upgrade dropped by commander. Researched at Proto Lab. Equips a marine with a jet pack allowing him to fly for a short period of time.)Heavy Armor
(Marine Upgrade dropped by commander. Researched at Proto Lab. Equips a marine with a Heavy Armory suit which significantly decreases the damage he takes, makes him immune to lurk spores and gives him substantial amounts of armor. Can not be equipped in conjunction with a jet pack.)Electrify
(Structural Upgrade, Researched at turret factories and Resource points. Hits alien life forms and structures with a bolt of electricity. Requires a turret factory to be researchable on resource points.)Siege
(Structural Upgrade, Researched at Turret Factories. Allows the construction of Siege cannons for destroying alien structures.)
Every comm has an order of upgrades that he uses and generally sticks to. I prefer to keep an open mind about upgrades (although I will stick to a general plan of them) and vary what I get based on how the game is going. The essential upgrades for marines are Armor, Weapons, Motion Tracking and Proto lab Upgrades.
Arguably the best initial upgrade for marines is Armor level 1 as it allows them to take more damage before dying and allows you to secure ares faster. Most commanders will put armor level 1 on to upgrade as soon as they have an arms lab. Depending on your strategy, a choice of motion tracking or phase tech as alternative first upgrade is also viable although depending on the team not as viable an option. Generally I advise upgrading in this general order (you can switch and change as you see fit, but this is the general order)
Marine Armor Level 1
Phase Tech (Generally at the same time as Armor 1)
Marine Weapons 1
Marine Weapons 2
Motion Tracking (At around the same time as I put marine weapons 2 on)
Marine Weapons 3 (Some comms prefer to do armor 2 next but I generally do weapons 3 as the aliens die a great deal faster and hence your marines survive longer anyway).
Proto Lab Upgrade (Of choice depending on situation)
Marine Armor 2
Marine Armor 3
Various (Any upgrades I have missed from these main ones that I have the res for at the time)
This varies depending on situations, but as a general guide it works quite well.
(More to come on next post)
Dont criticise someone till you have walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you do criticise them, you are a mile away and you have their shoes. :P