For newish players
Hey guys, just thought I'd post this here as some of you may find it useful. By no means is it a complete guide, just a few tips which may help you budding public commanders out there.
Any feedback is appreciated.
One of the most important aspects of commanding (especially on pubs), is communication. Without a mic, you're automatically crippling yourself. Having to stop what you're doing to punch out a long list of instructions on the keyboard (even if you're a fast typer) really isn't effective.
If you want to get serious about commanding, or playing NS in general even, get a mic.
First of all, there's no one strategy that's guaranteed to win. There are a lot of factors which come into play when trying to lead marines to victory. Just a few of these are:- What map is it?
| This is important, because in some maps a relocation can be very handy, on others its a death sentence. Also, some maps are much more balanced (ie veil/eclipse) than others (bast/hera).- Can your marines stick together and work as a team without being a bunch of random rambos?
| This is where the mic can really help. If I'm comming on pubs, I'm constantly giving out instructions. If I want a squad to move out to a certain location, I give them a waypoint and let them know vocally. If I notice some of these guys starting to wander off doing their own thing, gently remind them that they're 'going the wrong f****ing way' and to 'stick with your teammates you bunch of rambo ****s'. (It's hard to keep your cool when commanding newbies).- Can your marines aim?
| If not, the first thing you should do is give them L1 armour, so they can get those extra few rounds into that skitz bhopping skulk before they die. If they can aim, L1 weapons would be more advantageous.- Know the map
| This is easier said than done, and only comes with time. It'll take you a month or so of casual NS play to really get to know all of the hive locations, double res nodes, choke points and possible relocation areas.- Practice
| If you're afraid of getting flamed but you really want to comm, practice offline. Try Whichbot. Learn the hotkeys for the important buildings/weapons/items. Once you become fluent in these it's much quicker than using the mouse.- Learn the quirks of commander mode
| There are certain bugs which can really hamper your commanding if you aren't aware of them. I'm not sure what causes this one, but you may find that you can't drop any buildings/items/weapons etc at some stage. If this happens, move your cursor over your minimap. You may find that your field of view sticks to the cursor as you move it around the minimap. If this happens, just click once on the minimap and all will be well.- Ask experienced players
| If you're not sure what you should do (ie, 'Should I drop a TF here to secure double res, or should I electrify both res nodes?'). Ask any clanners/regulars that you've seen around for their advice. Ignore them if their response is 'OMG LMAO NOOB COMM EJECT EJECT ROFL!@1' If you get ejected, remember their name(s), and find another server. Or join the alien team.- Electrifying res
| Electrification is only useful at the start of a match, usually up until the 6 - 8 minute mark (if the aliens know what they're doing, maybe up to the 10-15 minute mark if they arent organised). Electrification is only useful vs skulks. Once the aliens get that second hive up, and/or fades start blinking around, then your electrified res won't hold up for long. It's absolutely deadly to skulks though, so for securing early res against lone skulks it's quite handy. Costly though. Much better than a TF (turret factory) + turrets in my opinion.- Build order
| If you're gonna stick around in MS (Marine spawn) then the standard tactic is to build an IP, then a TF right next to it. Proceed to electrify the TF. This basically makes the ip invulnerable to skulks, as long as you've placed it close enough to the TF. Depending on the size of the server and the skill of your marines, you might want to get another IP as this greatly reduces the amount of time it takes for your marines to respawn.
A lot of comms then tend to clutter up the space around the TF with an armoury, arms lab, observatory etc. Definately viable, but not always the best idea.
Specific build orders should be adaptable to what the enemy is doing. Lets say you find out the aliens have DCs (defense chambers) early on. You'd want to build an arms lab, then L1 weapons (at least) to counter the extra carapace that skulks will recieve.
I won't try and think of every strat and counter-strat out there, but I'll tell you this. If the aliens get sensory (and know where/how to use it) and you don't counter it effectively, you will have a very hard match on your hands.
The key to countering sensory is in your observatory. If you need to secure an outpost such as a hive or a dbl res node with tf/turrets/phase gate etc, it's also a very good idea to build an obs there too. The observatory possesses an inherant de-cloaking ability within a certain range (which is quite large) which instantly counters any sensory chambers that might be in the area. I advise you also get motion tracking ASAP. If your squad of marines is entering an area which you think might be infested with aliens, use your obs to SCAN. I can't push this point enough. I hardly ever see public commanders scan effectively. This is a crucial point to countering sense, especially if you dont have MT (motion tracking) yet.
Use your scans wisely though, as observatory energy takes a long time to recharge. Multiple observatories help ease this pain. It's also a wise idea to bind one or two of your obs' to a squad. To do this, select the obs, hold your crouch key and hit a number, 1 through to 5. This will assign the obs to the corresponding squad. Very easy to access the obs this way, it saves you scrolling all the way acrosss the map back to your base. I usually use squad 5 for my obs.
A few counters for a possible world of hurt:
If you notice an early fade (these guys can really chew you up if they're skilled) at the 4 - 7 minute mark, break out 2 or so shotties to marines that you KNOW can aim. Assign them to a squad. Hunt down that fade and kill it, or hurt it bloody badly so it at least treats you with some respect. Shotties > fades. HMGs are ok too, but not that useful vs blinking fades. You're unlikely to have HMGs at this early stage anyway. Shotties and HMGs are a good counter to onos too, but the fire needs to be concentrated to make them really hurt. An early onos can be a game ender if handled incorrectly, however they're such a big target that concentrated assaults can really bring them down quick. Try to lure them into open areas where your crossfire can really cut into them.
Do your best to deny aliens as much res as possible. An early squad of shotgunners is good for this, but this may be too much for public marines. Constant pressure is the best advice I can give. Try and have at least a few marines attacking all the time, but dont throw them away uselessly. Give them specific objectives. 'Take down this res point guys, then move on and secure this hive for me'. Use waypoints to punctuate your orders.
That's enough for now I think. Lemme know if there are any more specific areas which you'd like info on.