Squad Tactics

UnderwhelmedUnderwhelmed DemoDetective #?!Members, Constellation Join Date: 2006-09-19 Member: 58026Posts: 756 Advanced user
edited May 2007 in Frontiersmen Strategy
A Brief Introduction
Yes, I am aware there are similar threads on this in the forums. I think this offers a bit more practical advice though, instead of complex tactics taken out of military handbooks that don't really apply to NS very well.

Strength in numbers is a common mantra in NS, but numbers are not the only factor in a squad’s effectiveness. Often, large squads of marines are demolished by only a few skulks because they function poorly as a group. Here, I am going to go through some things that can be done to allow a squad of marines to perform to their maximum potential.

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Consider the above figure – the orange triangle is an alien, and the blue circles are marines. The problem should be immediately apparently to any experienced player – the marine in the front is in the line of fire of the two marines behind him. At best, the two marines are useless because they cannot damage the alien in their current position, and at worse, they are a liability with friendly fire on.

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In this figure, we see the marines abreast of each other. Now the marines have overlapping arcs of fire – by simple rearrangement, we have increased the effective firepower of the group against the alien threefold. Damage from a single LMG is unlikely to kill a fade before it can retreat. Three LMGs are a dire threat to a fade if he decides to loiter around.

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And yet, this formation still suffers from potential problems. By just rotating our simple line, this group of marines is still vulnerable from attacks from another direction. Even worse, because they are spaced so closely, the marine on the left cannot jump backwards to put some distance between himself and the alien. Once the alien on the left kills the first marine, he has only a short distance to cover before entering attack range of the next marine.

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Now we see a sort of a triangular formation. Not only do the marines have room to dodge, they can cover each other’s backs. Although optimal positioning will vary depending on the situation, the basic rules to keep in mind is to allow all members room to maneuver and maintain clear lines of fire.

Unfortunately for marines, NS maps rarely consist solely of long, straight hallways. One thing I’ve often observed is marine teams splitting up as they move. One common scenario pictured below:
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Because the marine in the front is too fast for his teammates (Or his teammates are too slow), he has to fight an alien without any fire support because the corner is in their line of sight. This could easily be avoided by just having the marine in the front not move down the hallway too much, as shown.

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As the alien approaches the marine, he will place himself within the firing arc of his teammates. Of course, an even better solution would be to have marines move as a group so that the first marine does not need to wait for his teammates.

Lastly, in an ambush situation, marines should be covering whatever entrance for aliens they are closest to and have a line of sight to. If your squad is under attack and you are in the back of the team, it is your responsibility to cover the group’s rear, not pump a clip of LMG into your teammate’s back while trying to hit a skulk that will most likely be easily handled without your help. If your squad lacks enough marines to cover all possibly directions of an alien attack, then you will need to alternate your attention between different entrances. Resist the urge to reload immediately after an alien dies, unless you are critically low on ammo – the fraction of second it takes to switch weapons/cancel a reload often means the difference between killing a subsequent alien and dying.

Please feel free to repost this on other forums - in fact, in the interest of better gameplay, I encourage you to do it.

Edit: I'll probably do a write-up on basic alien tactics some other time.
QUOTE (SmoodCroozn)
Don't bother posting, because it seems to me, you don't even know how the game works.

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Comments

  • sherpasherpa stopcommandermode Members Join Date: 2006-11-04 Member: 58338Posts: 1,043
    given the pace of NS it's not feasible to do squad tactics. the only thing you can try and sort out is putting those with expensive equipment at the back in the hope that they don't get parasited.

    the mantrain (1st pic) isn't such a bad idea if the 2nd marine welds and the com meds as ambushing skulks will find it harder to frag.

    yea the triangle formation is nice, but give it about 5 seconds of gametime and guranteed the formation will break.
    [Fanarama] you're like kryptonite to electronics, sherpa
  • UnderwhelmedUnderwhelmed DemoDetective #?! Members, Constellation Join Date: 2006-09-19 Member: 58026Posts: 756 Advanced user
    QUOTE(sherpa @ May 26 2007, 02:06 AM) »

    given the pace of NS it's not feasible to do squad tactics. the only thing you can try and sort out is putting those with expensive equipment at the back in the hope that they don't get parasited.

    the mantrain (1st pic) isn't such a bad idea if the 2nd marine welds and the com meds as ambushing skulks will find it harder to frag.

    yea the triangle formation is nice, but give it about 5 seconds of gametime and guranteed the formation will break.

    They're more of guidelines anyways; as long as you give your teammates room to maneuver, a line of fire, you're fine.

    And having seen a top-down view of Exigent's skulk work, I don't think it's too much to expect players to loosely position themselves.
    QUOTE (SmoodCroozn)
    Don't bother posting, because it seems to me, you don't even know how the game works.

    THIS SIGNATURE IS IN VIOLATION OF COMMUNITY RULES
    image
  • SwiftspearSwiftspear Custim tital Members Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22097Posts: 7,019
    Rather then trying to conceptualize actual formations, just make sure when you are covering other marines that you have both the marine you are covering, and the most likely skulk access points in your line of sight. Effectively use your fellow marines as bait and allow them to use you as bait by keeping clear lines of sight with your buddies.

    I'll point out that it's worth the effort to not stand behind or infront of other marines. As a skulk I put alot of effort into lining marines up on my attack runs so they are forced to shoot into eachother backs trying to hit me. You might not think this would be the case, but put 3 marines in a room in a straight line like that, and a good skulk can acctually do more damage against the 3 marines then he would have been able to do against 1 in many cases. If a good player is camping a room alone they can generally kill alot of skulks, but when a bad player stands in front of the good player and misses me on my approach run, I can kill the bad player and force the good player to spend most of his ammo on a friendly hitbox, and then kill him as well, whereas if he was alone it wouldn't have happened that way.

    You're not covering your allies if you are shielding skulks from your allies fire.
    O_O image
  • vmsvms Members Join Date: 2005-06-15 Member: 53927Posts: 152
    QUOTE(sherpa @ May 26 2007, 04:06 AM) »

    given the pace of NS it's not feasible to do squad tactics. the only thing you can try and sort out is putting those with expensive equipment at the back in the hope that they don't get parasited.

    the mantrain (1st pic) isn't such a bad idea if the 2nd marine welds and the com meds as ambushing skulks will find it harder to frag.

    yea the triangle formation is nice, but give it about 5 seconds of gametime and guranteed the formation will break.

    I think it is but its something that has to be practiced untill it comes naturally on the fly and noone can really be arsed to practice something like this due to the inactivity of the scene.

    Even at a high competative level you only see basic positioning and no small scale tactics at all.
    coolclan :: pantsu
    nL-C11H17NO3
  • tjosantjosan Members, Constellation Join Date: 2003-05-16 Member: 16374Posts: 1,335
    Indeed. I remember we went through things like this in lessthanthree while we still cared. Mostly map related, and taking into account what team we were playing we decided loosely on a movement pattern to follow down certain parts of the map during early game. That was really basic though and nothing like what could be achieved if there was actually any decent competition in NS, ever.

    Also, sherpa's attitude towards this topic basically sums up why I quit Souljah.
  • AliteAlite Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2007-03-02 Member: 60188Posts: 76 Fully active user
    I like this guide. It gives good guidelines(wich I will be using) on what to do and what not to do.

    Maybe if other players read this it'll help them,

    hehe biggrin-fix.gif
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