capitalising on peoples urge to Rambo
Unlike some maps, like hera, nany or nothing, I find there isn't a sole place that is extremely strategically valuable on this map. No Mess Hall or Cargo. Also, for some reason, Marines seem to have problems on it since there aren't many locationally fixed strategies. Usually when I COM I tend to try new things and ideas all the time, and here's a pretty good idea on how to win as Marine on this map.
The Main Objective is to put an insane amount of pressure on the Aliens. Not focused, like on their hive, but all over the map. The idea is to take maximum advantage of two marine strengths in the beginning of the game:
- Marines being more powerful then unupgraded skulks
- Marines being able to control (increase) their spawn-rate.
Using these advantages to surpass the quite staggered alien tech advances, meanin that from beginning to end you will be the stronger team, without leaving any weaknesses or investing too much res into vulnerable 'packages', such as JP/HMG, ProtoLabs etc.
Build 2 IP's and an armory, make sure no-one leaves base. Have the majority of the team watch the doors while 2 or 3 build. Once it's done, drop 2-3 packs of mines close to the CC. Don't use them, just wait until everything is built and people have finished humping the armory.
The IP's should be dropped diagonally opposite eachother, close to the base RT, against the walls. The armory 1/3 of the between the IP's and the RT, so that marines automatically move in the right direction from the start AND can cover the doors while humping. This way it is easy to jump out of the CC to kill any solo skulk that are chewing on the IP's without risking yourself, and skulks can't cover both IP's by themself.
If there was an initial skulks rush it should be dead, rushing eclipse MB when half the team is watching the doors is suicide. Designate 1 or 2 "cappers" and have the WHOLE team (except for them) rush out and rambo. Yes, acively ASK your team to go rambo, you want them to spread out through the map and just hunt aliens. If you fins one of them camping a Res Node tell him to move, he should be actively seeking and killing aliens - all the time.
You should after a minute or so know where the hive and most of the aliens are. Just keep the majority of the team in "Rambo mode" and send the capper(s) to the safest looking Res Node, ie: the one that has the least activity. Before he moves out he should place all the mines but one pack around the base. Base defense should be handled by the Marines that spawn, if they're ALL out Ramboing they should be dying quite regularily.
Have the capper take the Res Node, mine it somewhat, then head back to base for more mines. Drop a third IP and have him build it.
PUTTING THE PRESSURE ON
About now, the Alien Gorge will be looking for a Res Node to build, depending on whether your Rambos have killed a gorge or not this timke may vary. Keep scanning for the gorge, listening and checking your marines. As soon as you know where he is, just select ALL Marines and send them that way. Priority #1 is to kill the Gorge and the RT, if the Gorge runs away, focus on the RT, it's the most important. The RT *must* go down, and as fast as possible, so if your grunts fail, just send them back, again and again. They're spawning 3 at a time so gathering up shouldn't be a problem.
PUTTING SOME DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND THEM
As soon as Marines start hitting the Gorge/RT your capper moves out again. The skulks should all be heading home to defend and this is a great opportunity to take over the map. Just have him build as many RT's as possible, as far away from the hive as possible. Once he comes back (after 2-3 RT's), resource should be flowing in and you'll be able to drop:
- Observatory (behind the CC is a good spot)
Drop more mines for base and start researhing. Priority:
- Motion Hacking
- lvl1 Armor
- Lvl 1-3 weapons (when they get D)
Have the capper constantly fill up with mines abd mine your RT's. Drop mines close to the CC, jump out and place them yourself, to defend base. Just make sure you let your team know you're doing it (and don't do this while your marines are in a big fight).
KILLING THE HIVE
Depending on which hive aliens start in you can attack it differently.
MA is the easiest since it allows so many options:
- Jetpacking. Big open room to buzz around in.
- Force. By standing on the ledge overlooking the hive you can easily hit the hive. If you get a couple of HA's (or LA's) with big guns there, just have one or two shoot the hive whil the rest cover. Leave one guy to cover the loong and straight hallway behind you.
- Siege. Keyhole offers a great siege spot and is close to MB. Have some Marines run there and put mines down, then build armory (more mines), TF and siege.
- JetPacking. Really the only *easy* way to take this hive down. If the Aliens haven't closed down the vents, that is an easy approach for Jetpackers.
- Force. Your best bet is to just have the HA*s stand by the resource node and pummel the hive. One guy watches the vent behind you in the roof, the rest concentgrate on Hive and Aliens/structures. If you're behind the imaginary line through the RT, aliens will only spawn infront of you. If you drop an armory there and mine it up, it's even easier.
- Siege. Not really recommended. More often then not, the TF will be bugged.
- Jetpacking. The hardest hive to JP effectively due to its low ceilings, far from impossible though, but make sure to send at least 3 JP/HMG:ers, they will most likely not stay alive long enough to reload so you need to take it down in one clip.
- Force. Probably the eaiest way to kill it. Once again, the RT is a great platform. Just make sure your marines don't stray.
- Siege. No real problems as long as you build the TF *outside* the hive die to EC's buggy nature.
RESPONDING TO ALIENS THREATS
Depending on wha Aliens do after you kill the first RT you need to be a bit flexible. Usually they will try one of three things:
- Sneaking off with a gorge to get RT's up
If they're sneaking off, just keep the Marines on Rambo-mode, they will find him/them. When they do, just send everyone there again to kill the structures and gorge.
- Turtling/teching a bit by getting D-chambers up in the hive (usually, sometimes they try to hide them instead).
Have all the Marines attacking Alien strutcures. Without a second or third RT aliens will be hard pressed to replace any destroyed structures. If the Aliens do this, it is however *imperative* that you get armor/weps upgrades ASAP. You do NOT want to get into a fight with vanilla marines against carapaced skulks. Foregoe MT and go for arm/weps if they do this, you know where they are anyway.
- Rush your base.
With some mines around the base this shouldn't be a problem, if you get some advance warning. With Rambos all over the map it *should* be impossible for them to organise a base hit without you knowing about it. Most likely any hit you don't see coming will be from a small group of skulks, don't be afraid to jump out and attack them, or use the distress. You should have 3-4 IP's by now so any attack with less then 4-5 skulks can't cover both IP's and the CC, and if you let 4-5 skulks attack your base without advance warning...
This strategy works so well because it exploits the Marine strengths but also because it is so inl ine with PUBLIC players psychology. You won't have any trouble making people go Rambo, and once they have 3-4 IP's they will NOT be afraid of dying. Just make sure to keep the upgrades coming and they will be happy while you're increasing your advantage.
For maximum efficiency you have to forgoe base defense. This means you have to be ready to jump out of the chair, just in case. Most of the time defense will be handled by spawning Marines encountering the base attackers when moving out but if you've built the structures correctly you shouldn't have to worry about jumping out. You will also be planting mines on your 'off' time, ie: when Marines aren't in need of directions or health an dthere are no structures to build.
With such an aggressive and flexible tactic opportunities will arise. Someone will manage to spawn camp or get into a good position to siege or what-not. Don't be afraid to capitalise on it but do NOT go ovgerboard. Don't waste too much resources tryig to do something, you need to fou on upgrades. If you start to buil a siege outpost and you seem to be losing it, just cut your losses, at least you kept the aliens busy for a while. Recycle and get back to teching and hunting the gorge/structures.
I actually stopped doing this because it felt too easy and too 'deathmatchy', but it is very effective. You don't have any strategic goals to worry about, no hard organisation to do, basically nothing to worry about other then sending your Marines in the direction of Alien gorges/structures when you find them. For it to work it is imperative to keep aggression at max thoug, do NOT try to 'fortify' any places or defend anything other then your base. If a RT gets attacked and no-one is close, just recyle it and rebuild it when someone happens to be nearby or your capper gets there.