BZ2 Strategy guide (as per recent request)

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BZ2 Strategy guide (as per recent request)

Post by DarkFox »

Reposting this since it's been personally requested more than once:
(Please note - info is old, most is probably still relevant, but some specifics will not be)
(second note - there's a scion guide, a beginner's guide, and an expert guide in the same folder that I don't think I ever published. )

I just finished writing a guide for new and intermediate players to improve their battlezone skills. Please give it a read and post comments/criticisms here. Cheers.

Battlezone 2 1.3 online strategy guide

Introduction [INON ]
Players [PLRS ]
Opening dogfights [OPTS ]
turrets [TUTS ]
scavengers vs empty scouts [SCTS ]
Going 'Off to snipe' [GOPE ]
Base constuction [BAON ]
Scrap management [SCNT ]
A note on 'rushing' [ANNG ]
Midgame Weapon loadouts [WETS ]
Full-tech combat [FUAT ]
Ending the game [ENME ]
Race-specific strategy [RAGY ]

Introduction: [INON ]
I've recently started getting back into battlezone 2, focusing this time on the 1.3 patch. That's not because I'm a 1.3 player. I enjoy 1.3, I also like 1.2, and I like ZST, and FE, and even G66 (though I got bored of fighting the computer the moment I found out how to fight humans). In all, I'm a battlezone 2 player, in all it's forms. I've found, after my time away from the zone, that the 1.3 physics aren't something that bother me, and the games tend to pan out in a steadier manner.

That being said, games have been rather 1-sided and hard to balance so far. This isn't because there isn't enough potential playing skill in the zone (that can be circumvented by balancing teams). The problem is more down to people not knowing the basics of the game.

The losing team in 1.3 games, in my experience so far, has never lost because of the difference in combat skill in the two teams. Nor have they been aced by a clever or unexpected play. Every game has ended because the losing team gave it away.
So what do I mean by 'gave it away'? I mean the losing team makes massive mistakes, and broadcasts their mistakes in a manner that makes it obvious to the opponent.

Now I've seen it thrown around here that 1.2 players are noobs to 1.3. The wake-up call: They're not. 1.2 vets playing 1.3 are wolves in the sheep pen. Reading this document, of course, won't make a player better at keeping his ship. Nor will it make you any better at getting a kill. What it will do, however, is allow you, as a thug or as a commander, to fight a good team without giving the match away by doing something inordinately stupid.

This guide is written in the order of a typical game. This is so that you can analyse where things usually seem to fall apart, and zero in more quickly on where you're going wrong.

Players [PLRS ]
Another wake-up call here. You're not the best player in the world. You're not best at any individual facet, in fact. Until you shed yourself of this dellusion you are gauranteed to lose games forever. Any player that loses a match, but reasons that he lost it because the enemy 'played dirty', or muses 'At least I'm better at strategy', or 'it was just because of my thugs' etc will be losing matches forever until he sheds these mental constructs that prevent him from improving.
The enemy didn't play dirty, they just played battlezone2, while you were trying to play some other game you made up. You're not better at strategy, you didn't lose because of your thugs. Suck it up and realise that you lost because the enemy were better than you. Only then can you start shedding your rules, your bad habits, or your misconceptions that have been holding you back for so long.

On this note, I'd like to add that I'm not by any possible stretch the best player in the world, I'm not best at any individual facet, I'm not better at strategy, nor scrap management, nor dogfighting; not commanding, not scion play, not using missile scouts, not selecting counter strategies, not sending APCs at western extractors between 8am and 9am GMT... Nothing. I'm not best at anything. Every time I lost a game, whether I'm the commander or a thug, it's my fault. Even when I only joined halfway through, even when the enemy team was 4 vets against me and 3 random joiners, even when it's blatantly not my fault... It's still my fault. If I were better we would have won. Hell, if I was good enough I could hop out of my vehicle and snipe every enemy ship that came within 250m of me without them having a chance to fire a bullet.
Indeed, I suck, and I'll continue to suck for as long as I play, because as long as I understand that I am outplayed, I can keep getting better.

There are some items in this game that are indeed 'not fair' and balance issues, but if you're not already among the top 10 players in the world, then that's not why you just lost... Stop worrying about game balance, strategic flow, hovering, weapon loadouts, team problems, lag problems, life problems, and bowel problems. You can counter 99% of these 'overpowered' and 'unfair' things that irk you with one simple strategy - get better at the game.

Not as easy as it sounds, you're thinking... Truth is, it is as easy as it sounds. It's easier, in fact. It's one of the easiest things in the world, getting good at a niche game with a small community like BZ2... To get better at battlezone 2 all you have to do is join a game, lose it despite trying your best, then join another game. Rinse, repeat.

Oh, finally, and this is the one piece of this guide intended for both beginners and advanced players... Don't fear the word 'vet'. Am I a vet? Well, ok, no... Or yes! Does anyone care? This community gets far too hung up on the word 'vet', and funnily enough pondering the definition of the word vet doesn't make games more fun, nor does it make you a better player. Stop caring about the word vet. It's a freaking word people. You shouldn't care about the skills of anyone else, and you certainly shouldn't care about their chosen vocabulary! All you should care about is whether you're getting better or not.

Opening dogfights [OPTS ]
Ok, so you stopped insisting that you were good but everyone else was lame, and now you've learned to fight. What now?

First of all, when a game starts, players will meet each other on the battlefield. This first fight is brutal, and one of the most important engagements in the game. In a vet game, It basically goes something like this:
Teams sit 130m away from one another, telling their allies to 'attack my target' (this 'painting' is important, because it's free radar intelligence. They don't actually want you to run and attack when they tell you that, they're just giving you a nice red target on your radar to keep track of an enemy). Eventually, one player decides to move forward into weapons range. (This player is a nutcase, and if he doesn't turn right around as soon as bullets start hitting him, he's going to die). All players jump in, and chaos ensues.
Note that the player that first moves into weapon range often does so in a manner that makes him difficult to hit. He's usually trying to distract you, get you to look up in the air or something, while his teammates jump in and kill you.

Don't be distracted, and don't be scared. There are 3 important aspects of the opening fight for you to concern yourself with, and your fear or attention span aren't among them. The first is making sure that you get involved. The worst thing you can possibly do is abandon your teammates while they all get outnumbered and killed. Not only did you just lose it for your team, now your next fight will be 4 enemy ships against you on your own. Good luck with that.
Don't be a victim of your craven cowardice: Get in there and fight!
The second is keeping hold of your ship. This is incredibly difficult, but it basically amounts to never overextending yourself. If your target turns to run away, only chase him if you can actually finish him off, and nobody is shooting at you. Otherwise, strongly consider running away yourself (a single player firing at you will do about 40% damage before you manage to disengage)... If you don't run, then help your friends keep their ships, rather than giving chase to a weakened enemy.
The third important aspect is making sure the fight doesn't take place near the enemy base. As a commander, having 100 scrap dumped in your base is a quickpass to chainguns, and can win you the game despite losing the first engagement.

While we're talking about this very first fight, I'm already going to go in and state the importance of weapon-switching. Weapon-switching is using the 'nextweapon' *and* the 'previousweapon' commands to fire more than one weapon at the same time. It's imperative that you use both both these, because if you just stick to 'nextweapon' there's a limit to how fast you're allowed to cycle, and that means you're not using your ship's full damage-dealing potential. Get used to using miniguns and FAF missiles at the same time, because without both of your weapons, you're fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

Starting incorrectly often leads to a complete loss of the battlefield, which will haunt you for at least 5 minutes. Games have been lost in less. Losing this fight is giving the enemy a massive scrap advantage. All it takes to screw the first fight up is a single player not sticking to his teammates.

Turrets [TUTS ]
Just a quick note about turrets (BTW, they're 'turrets', not 'turrents'.)... In 1.3 we start a match with 2 turrets. Usually, people try to secure a forward position with their turrets.
In fact, interesting statistic for you here - in every single 1.3 game I've played this week, there has been some degree of turret pushing to secure the field.
Another interesting statistic - In every single game I've played, I've flown at least 1 ship into the enemy base and destroyed their single turret/constructor/power/factory/kiln/armoury/antenna/upgraded pool/recycler because they didn't defend it.

Basically, stop trying to move those turrets out of your base. It's true, to a point, that offense is the best defense, but somebody turning around, taking their trousers off, and bending over is *not* an effective defensive strategy, despite how offensive you find it.

Remember that a single player, in any combat ship in the whole game (including empty scouts) can kill a turret with barely a scratch on his ship. Turrets are only useful in pairs, or when players are nearby to help them (preferably both). If you're up against a poor team, you'll easily be able to turret-push and secure the middle of the map. Against someone half-decent, this bold play is going to lose you just about everything in your base.

I'll be covering the shocking lack of defense in 1.3 later on, but for now, heed this section - your turrets should stay in or near your base.

Scavengers vs empty scouts [SCTS ]
Ok, so after the opening fight what do you do? Simple, pump some scavs (typically 4-6, depending on the map). Having scavengers is more important than building empty scouts at this stage. Once you've got a good bunch of scavs out trying to grab pools and pick up loose, you can concern yourself with building scouts or buildings. It's hard to say just how many scavs you should build before you start pushing military, but as a commander you'll soon pick it up. As a thug - be more patient. If you lost your ship, instead of asking for a new ship at a stage where your team has literally zero scrap and zero extractors, why don't you think of something else to do? Like snipe those turrets that the opponent stupidly sent into the middle of the map? (read next section first)
Even better, don't lose your ship in the first place. In 1.3, where you have turrets from the very start of the game, there's not much of an excuse.

Going 'Off to snipe' [GOPE ]
Ah, the great 'lone wolf sniper'. Just a heads up - you're not Gordan Freeman, you're not Solid Snake, and you're not Macguyver. There are times when this strategy is a good idea, but now is not that time.

I'll just copy-paste that again...

Now is not that time.

(ooh, bold!) .
Whether now is the early game, the mid game, or the late game, it's not the time to go off and snipe. The only time you should ever, ever, go 'off to snipe' is when your commander tells you to.
Now to ellaborate - sniping can be an effective strategy, but it's important that you do so reactively. If the enemy is moving turrets, then think of it as your turret if you can get it in your scopes while it redeploys. If the enemy is attacking your base and you're a pilot on the service bay, then you've got a good chance of sniping it.
Note that those examples are reactionary. Sniping should always be done in reaction to a moment. The only time you should ever leave your base with the view to snipe is if your commander told you to do so. Furthermore, note that neither of the above 2 examples are 'fair' sniping attempts. They both rely on stacking the usual challenge of BZ2 sniping strongly in your favour... Sniping a turret as it deploys is a gauranteed shot at a stationary target. Sniping while sitting on a service bay gives you an instant ammunition recharge from the bay, which leads to a rapid-firing sniper rifle.
As a commander, you should only ever send a thug off to snipe if you have absolutely no way to match the opponents on the battlefield without relying on a remote and completely luck-based chance of getting a ship. Even then, hitting their pools or rushing the base with empty scouts is usually a better strategy.

Base constuction [BAON ]
Ok, so you followed the above advice, and now you're so damn good you can commit properly to the all-important opening dogfight, keeping your full scout. Now what? Let's talk early-game....

Like any strategy game, there are build orders in battlezone 2. They change depending on players and races. In this section I'll be covering ISDF vs ISDF, because it's by far the most common matchup. Matchups involving scions will be covered at the end of this guide.
Unlike other strategy games, placement is very important in battlezone2. You want your turrets to defend nearly every part of your base. Trying to defend every single last location is a basic error - if the 'safe spot' in your base is small enough, any enemy that finds it is a sitting duck for your thugs, so you only need to make sure that most of the base is covered by turrets.
On top of that, though, try to make sure each turret can see each other. This stops many of the basic ways of beating turrets.

It's more important that turrets can see one another than cover more of your base. In fact, provided turrets can see one another and both see your service pods as they pop out of your recycler, your base is pretty adequately defended for now. Any enemy ships finding even large 'blindspots' will be at such a massive dissadvantage (due to your ability to pick up service pods) that they will be unable to severely damage your base, and will usually be hindering themselves by donating scrap to you should they attack.

Generally speaking, ISDF should go for a factory followed by either lasers or chainguns. Chainguns are easier to reach in tech and can hit pools, lasers are great for dogfighting.
Notice the fact that a chaingun build has 2 advantages, but the laser build only has one? That usually means the chaingun start is a better option. A good ISDF commander will do something like the following (pepper 2/3 scavs and empty scout in where needed):

5x scav
(usually an upgraded pool)
3x chaingun
service bay
laser+shadower+VIR scout

This is a solid start to a game and gives your team strong pool-supression. It also allows you to chain-rush - more on that later.
The other ISDF alternative is:

5x scav
(usually an upgraded pool)
service bay
laser scout
3x chaingun

This one gets you an awesome scout really early, and can be used well if you have an 'ace' on your team (a player who is blatantly better than everyone else ingame.)
(- quick extra note: No, you are still not that player)

If you've decided (stupidly) to get rid of your starting turrets, then you might want to fit a guntower into that build.

These basic builds will get your team started just fine.

Scrap management [SCNT ]
Scrap management is one of the most important aspects of commanding in battlezone 2. I've put it here in the guide because this is the stage of the game that players will usually lose if their scrap management is poor. Basically, the strength of your scrap management is almost all about where you scrap bar fills up.

TV coined a great phrase about BZ2... "Noobs Taste Like Green Scrap"
Basically, the units or buildings you are spending your scrap on should, wherever possible, be coming from your extractors or loose scrap, and you should never rely on your green scrap bar unless one of your thugs has told you that there's a lot of loose coming. Trying to save up for something by waiting for the green to fill up at .333 scrap per second is a noob mistake, hence the above quote.
Wherever possible, spend out of your red and yellow scrap. This means, if you've got 60 scrap, don't build a scav or a turret, build something that costs 60 scrap so you can get right back to your red/yellow bar. You might not get another chance to save up 60 scrap for ages, so take the opportunity to spend it on something you'll need later.

When you're low on scrap it's the time to make your 20-scrap purchases, such as scavengers, empty scouts, and weapon crates.

TV's excellent article on scrap management can be found here:

A note on 'rushing' [ANNG ]
"There isn't a player in the world that can successfully rush a base that he can't successfully rush."

Now seems like a good time to mention rushing. Rushing is not 'lame'. Your resistance to rushing is another one of those mental crutches you have to shed before you can start getting better. Rushing is a valid and important tactic.
Too many new players have a negative view of rushing without understanding it at all, and understanding it from both perspectives is essential...

How many times have you thought 'a game we waited 25 minutes to start, ruined in 5 minutes from these losers'... Disappointing isn't it? Well guess what - the players who just rushed you feel the same way. They, too, are disappointed about the rush.

The thrust of this issue is that it's not *their* fault they rushed. Rushing is usually a *reactionary* measure. It is the counter to fast-teching. It is done by *defensive* commanders to protect them from your 6-minute blast cannon. I, for one, only order a rush when I receive intelligence about the enemy base that scares me. (incidentally, I have to order a rush in at least 2/3 of my 1.3 games - read the turrets section, above, because when my wingman says 'enemy has no defense', it worries me). If your turrets got killed near the start of the game, and you've built a factory without replacing them, *YOU* are the one who is spoiling your game. *You* ruined the game you'd waited 25 minutes for in the shell, and it's *your* fault that the match is over after 5 minutes.

Whether you realised it or not, you just *forced* the enemy to rush. He was probably building defenses, looking forward to a good long high-tech game, when he realised that you were getting better technology than him due to your skipping the defense. He felt he had to force you to spend the same scrap he was on base defense. That's why he had to rush - if he didn't, you'd be building blast cannons while he was still on chain empties.

This, of course, doesn't just apply to chaingun or pummel scouts. When that scion player just mauler rushed you - it's *your* fault. You should have built rocket tanks instead of sitting on their front door feeding them scrap while you tried to throw mortars on their spire.

Rushing, in battlezone 2, is purely a product of a lack of base defense. While the opening statement in this section might seem overly obvious, it's both relevant and important.

If you don't like rushing, the best strategy is to build defense, and rush the enemy base again and again until he slows down and builds defense.

Midgame Weapon loadouts [WETS ]
Ok, it starts getting strategic here. Note that you only got this far because of the above sections. You faught for the battlefield at the start, you built a base in a sensible and correct manner, you didn't do anything blatantly stupid, and you forced the enemy to hold off any brave tech-rushes by harassing his base. You have a factory, armoury, servicebay, and comm bunker... Now you can start thinking about what to build, because it's not just empty scouts anymore.

If you didn't do the above, you'll still usually find yourself in this mid-game stage, but none of it matters because you've already lost. You're either gonna get rushed any minute, or the enemy already has top tech. Bear in mind that this guide is written in order of where you can go wrong. If this is the point of the game where you usually lose because the enemy out-techs you or controls more of the map, it's very likely because you're not doing one or more of the earlier parts properly, or not maintaining your scavengers.

So, mid-game. 1.3 players seem to build SP/laser/MDM tanks. These are great in MPI. In a strat, their use is limited to niche cases. There are times when an SP/laser tank is a good idea, but more often than not, if teams are even, it's best to skip them completely.
If you're delaying your tech significantly by buying these SP tanks, you're pushing any potential advantage you might hope to have held straight into the enemy field. A good team in chain scouts will have good odds of killing an SP tank (granted, they'll take a few losses if the tank has escorts). More importantly, the chainscout has the retreat advantage - if the tank gets the upper hand, a chainscout can escape. If the scouts win the fight, the tank will die.
Now factor in the possibility to plan and ambush the tank, and the fact that the (slow) tank is not as effective for controlling the pools on the battlefield, and it should quickly become apparent that an SP-laser tank is a poor choice in most situations.
If you're at this stage in the game, there are usually better choices for spending your scrap. The most obvious would be full scouts, rocket tanks, or a tech-centre.

We're still left with a few choices for vehicles though - scouts with laser + shadower + vir are great, they are effective in dogfights, and are incredibly hard to escape from. Against scions, missile scouts can be worth building, in some part due to their ability to tear down buildings quickly at 200m. Rocket tanks, under AI control, are better than towers for base-defense in most situations, and finally having a rocket tank with hornets (or salvo if you're against scions), sitting on your service bay, is so good it's almost a must.

Focus on these technologies and use them to control the map or prevent your opponent's base from advancing. As a thug, control the pools, destroy scavengers, and use shadower missiles (or mortars if you have them and an adequate escort) to harass the enemy base from 200m. Don't waste time peppering the enemy base for damage - either destroy a building, destroy a constructor, or destroy scavengers and pools. Your primary focus should be making it hard for the enemy commander to build a tech centre, be it through map and resources control or direct base attack. Also bear in mind that, at this stage in the game, empty scouts are no longer viable class A combat units, which means your commander has to build full scouts or tanks. This in turn means that losing your ships is far more detrimental to your team than it was previously. Just 1-2 full scouts getting destroyed at this point is EASILY enough to tip a balanced game, due to the massive impetus to build a tech centre.
If you manage to get an adequately defended tech centre (ie one that can't be instantly answered by an victorious enemy base rush) before your opponent, then consider yourself in the lead this match. If not, you're behind. Safely reaching full-tech is usually the measure of victory for a battlezone 2 team.

Full-tech combat [FUAT ]
The mid-game can be played with a power, factory, armoury, and service bay. To use top-tech, you'll need an extra power, comm bunker, usually a little defense, and a tech centre, which is rather a big jump.
One way of making it easier to afford this investment, particularly the tech centre, is by recycling a service truck, which instantly gives you a 40 scrap boost.
Once you're at this stage, the blast cannon becomes your best friend...
Your general combat unit, the one that every half-decent thug should be flying, is a sabre with a chaingun and a blast cannon. Don't worry too much about ammo, the blast cannon holds enough ammo to score kills against any target, and a chaingun can be used to take out pools in an ammo-efficient manner.
Don't put a laser in the tank - chainguns do more damage to tanks than lasers do, and tanks are what it's all about now - if you're having trouble killing scouts with a blast cannon, then it's not a laser you need - it's much more practice.

For the mortar slot, MDM isn't always the best choice. Normal mortars can use weapon-cycling with chainguns to acheive incredible pool-supression, and with some skill can be added to the blast+chain onslaught in a dogfight. That said, MDMs are usually the best choice.

For which special to choose we need to concern ourselves with what the enemy is doing. The two standard specials are M-curtain, and phantom VIr. Phantom VIR won't let you keep any secrets from good opponents, but it *will* protect you from homing missles, and that's what's so good about it. M-curtain can go a good way to protect your base from mortar attacks, makes enemy guntowers unable to hit you, and is usually a good tool for the team commander.

When your whole team is prowling the field with blast cannon sabres, the enemy will be crushed unless he has the same tech as you. He'll be stripped of all pools, and without pools he can't afford a tech centre, so he's unable to leave his base without dying. This is probably the most common victory scenario in high-skill games.

Now if your commander didn't give you a blast tank, don't be disheartened, and don't keep asking for one. The reason your commander didn't give you a blast sabre isn't because he forgot - it's because you're not good enough. The elite battlefield superiority units are expensive, and if you've been losing scouts all game, your commander wont want to waste 65 scrap on a junk unit. If you really want a ride in one of these, then asking for one isn't going to get you anywhere, and the best way of getting a blast tank is by demonstrating to your commander that you can keep hold of a ship for more than 5 minutes. *

Use these tanks generously. If you feel you can take out the enemy tech centre + factory in one raid, then go for it. If not, then don't spend *too* long peppering his guntowers with mortars. Making sure he has no scrap coming in, by hitting pools, is much more important, and sitting outside an enemy base might get you under fire from service-bay sniping, which would be just the boost the enemy team need to get back in the game.

At this stage, the assault tank, the walker, and the rocket tank are also important units. Under AI control they make great base defenders. Don't give a human player such a vehicle though - not unless you've got a *lot* of scrap to spare and feel like progressing to the next section...

(*: Bonus pro-tip, leaving and re-joining the game to obtain a full scout makes your commander absolutely certain that you're awful at the game, and you'll be lucky if he even spares you 20 red scrap for a chaingun. It will also make the other players annoyed, because free ships is cheating, basically.)

Ending the game [ENME ]
Ending the game is about more than just spamming tanks and flinging MDM shells into your opponent's base. There are plenty of ways of ending a game in battlezone 2, but the most common and effective are the serviced assault, and the rush...

1: The rush
The rush can be used to end a game if the enemy team isn't dug in too hard, or has been weakened through a prolonged base-peppering session. More regularly, though, the rush is used as a 'cornered rat' attack. If a team feels they are in trouble, (perhaps the enemy has a team of blast tanks and a bomber) they can rush the enemy base with pummel guns and/org mag cannons to end things. Scions do this better with maulers. Just remember that if your rush fails, you've given the opponent a hundred or so scrap, and put him even further ahead.

2: The serviced assault
The serviced assault is probably the single most effective method of ending a game of BZ2. It *can* be beaten, but doing so is incredibly hard. The basics of a serviced assault is that the attacking team gather up enough service trucks to make an assault unit (assault tank, walker etc) almost impossible to kill. Don't be too concerned with bringing turrets - your thugs will do a better job, just pump your scrap into trucks. The attackers then get together as a team, escort this assault vehicle just outside range of the enemy towers, then park up outside the enemy base, demolishing it, without having to break off for ammo or health.
Serviced assaults, however, only work if the players involved follow a few 'golden rules'. These are absolutely essential to making a serviced assault work, and it's shocking how many players don't get it yet...

a) Immediate response:
The moment your commander in an assault vehicle tells you 'follow me', break off whatever you're doing, no matter how important it seems, and escort him. He's about to go and win the game, and needs your help. That is more important than placing your scav, destroying that extractor, or finishing off that redlined enemy scout.
If you delay, your team will have to wait for you. Your messing about is costing every single member of your team precious moments while they all wait for you, and this is a shocking waste of manpower for a team to indulge in, so don't cause it. Also, if the enemy has seen a serviced assault being mustered at the entrance to your base, he will start painting targets and putting together a response strategy - your 15 seconds spent messing around might become an enemy hornet rocket tank sitting on their service bay, and you just made the serviced assault massively harder to perform.

b) Don't ever leave the assault vehicle.
This sounds obvious, but it's really not. Take it _literally_. Even if you're out of ammo, even if you're on red health, even if the enemy team are all without ships, but you can blow up that enemy scav 150m to the west. Whatever the situation, stay with the assault vehicle. Just being there is important - the enemy don't know you're out of ammo! If you're on red health, you might be just the bait your team need to get the enemy to do something stupid like charge after you. Plus, if you're sticking close like you should, as soon as you say 'I need service' your commander can direct his horde of service trucks to fully repair and rearm you far more quickly than your retreat to base.

c) Do not fire your weapons at anything but a human.
This one sounds odd eh? Again, important. Units in battlezone 2 get service (be it from pods or servicetrucks) split between their health and ammo. It's split based on the reverse ratio of your current health to ammo. If you're on half ammo and half health, service will be 50% ammo and 50% health. If you're on 50% health and 0% ammo, you're only getting 1/3 of the service to your hull, the other 2/3 are going into ammo. If you have full ammo, you'll get 100% service on your health, and thus will be serviced 2 or 3 times more quickly. When taking part in a serviced assault, the pilot of the assault vehicle will want as much service truck love as he can get, and that means you need to keep your service time to a minimum. Firing your MDM at the enemy guntowers will hardly make a bit of difference when it's already under fire from dual-MDM or dual-Assault-Blast. By firing your MDM at the enemy towers you're making it fall a few seconds quicker - big deal! In contrast, having no ammo left (when an enemy tank runs into the horde of trucks and starts scattering/killing them) will make the entire attack fall apart.

In summary, the best thugs in a serviced assault instantaneously run to their commander's assault vehicle on command, stick to it like a whipped dog, and keep their mouth (and weapons) shut until they're needed for scout/tank killing.

If you're the commander in a serviced assault, then the first step is creating the assault. You want instant-travel weapons like blast or arc cannons. You also want dual MDM if you're in an assault tank. Got that? Ok, now you need enough service trucks to ensure that you have a few left when the enemy's back is broken, which can be anywhere from 2-15, depending on how many players are in the game. After that it's all just about knowing weapon ranges and target priority.
Target priority can be a tricky one - it basically comes down to stripping the opponent of his ability to fight back as quickly as possible. Sometimes, this is done by killing his factory from long range (particularly if you're using a walker with it's dual blasts). Other times, the best approach is to destroy enemy guntowers then drive inside his base, where you can spawn-kill his tanks, steal his pods, and destroy his base from the inside (Assault tanks with dual MDM lend themselves to this approach, since MDM only works on enemy units and guntowers).

Whichever method you deem necessary, endevour to destroy the enemy ability to fight as quickly as possible. First kill any units that can attack you at range, second kill units that can attack you through rushing, then finally stop him from building/using any more units.

If you obey the above points, a serviced assault will usually win your team the game. It's also usually a lot of fun for all players involved, because most players get a sense of 'fairness', and feel less robbed, when their base gets destroyed by a suitably massive assault machine.

3. Other methods:
There are other methods of turning a late-game battle into a win:
a) Sneak attacks: Typically involving a long-range base-busting weapon like a hornet rocket tank, a sneak attack can be effective in cutting out a team's recycler. If the enemy team do not detect the rocket tank in time, it can take down a recycler from 250m in under 20 seconds. If they *do* detect and intercept it, then the attack only cost 65 scrap, which isn't a great loss.
b) Fluid serviced assault: While this is similar to the type of assault-tank or walker attack mentioned above, I feel its approach is different enough to warrant a serperate section. In the words of Appel:
"The trick to a successful assault is being maneuverable, free and limbo. No mcurtain, that only blocks you from moving (most annoying). Select a good fall-back spot, put your trucks there, covered by 2-3 turretes, 100-150m away from your main assault front.
Piloting walker or assault-tank is no easy task: Staying alive, avoiding those mortars, being alert to rushing sabres, hitting the right targets, and managing service trucks and other AI units.
Assault tanks needs to be on constant move, keeping their forward bulk in direction towards the service trucks, because if they need to heal fast, then the assault tank moves fastest forward.
Walkers need to move in a perpendicular manner. Taking 3-4 shots at base, then turn around for a heal, and hit again. Prioritizing targets as following:
1. Enemy ships.
2. Enemy factory (or service bay in 1.2)
3. Enemy ships on pods (if in assault tank, double-mdm will vaporize them on the rec deck).
~ anything else."

Race-specific strategy [RAGY ]
I have 3 seperate guides for each race in FE, which I will publish after I convert them to 1.3. For the time being, consider this section incomplete and scetchy:

ISDF v Scion:
Don't assume this match is the same as ISDF vs ISDF. It isn't, at all. ISDF will begin with a massive upper hand. Often in 1.2, the entire scion team is wiped out at the very start, but in 1.3 the starting turrets help.
Be aware that the scions will be pushed back very quickly, but they will spend the game trying to look for opportunities to get their footing back, and it gets easier the more tech they get. Whenever scions win in a fair game, the ISDF team thought they had it in the bag just minutes before it ended.

ISDF players that are slaughtering a scion team should consider very carefully whether they have left any holes in their defense. Stock rocket tanks are your best defense here - they are hell for a scion player to deal with, and double-up as mauler defense! All too often ISDF teams hold the entire battlefield, but are completely unprepared to deal with a single mauler attack, and just 2 rocket tanks would have made all the difference. Don't let the scions fool you - if it looks like they're losing, make sure they've lost before you relax your teching or defenses.

In general, fight scions with more emphasis on lasers and rocket tanks than you have against ISDF. Always be wary of mauler rushes (rocket tanks are your best defense here), and try hard to take out their forge - it prevents them from getting blink, throws them far, far back in their tech tree, and it's also a single building with average health that they paid 120 scrap to build!

As a scion fighting ISDF, you can't rely on empty scouts for very much - Build a kiln, forge, and stronghold. A warrior with basic weapons and blink is highly effective on the battlefield. You also need to be sure that this forge is protected from chain rushes. This process, when the ISDF have you down to 1/2 pools and a trickle of scrap, can take a lifetime. Once you have blink, though, your thugs will no longer lose ships, and the scrap starts gushing in. This is your opportunity to push out and win the game before the ISDF player counters your blink (rocket tanks beat blink).
- Take the opportunity to put a guardian on the scion dower, and perhaps even on the rec pad, so that a clever ISDF player that goes solar flare/laser doesn't win the entire match on his own!
- Beat serviced assault using gas mortars on archers.
- Use jammer to prevent bomber attacks.
- Mauler rush. Every single team member should be in a mauler, no exceptions, no escorts, the mauler rush is an all-or-nothing attack. If it doesn't work, the enemy base is mauler-proof, so don't try it again.
- serviced Titan + double mauler as scion game ender.

Scion builds:
Kiln -> Forge -> stronghold -> blink
This should be your go-to build. You only need veer away from it if you are down to 1 pool and can't afford a stronghold, in which case:
Kiln -> Dower -> Antenna -> Scout (quill + stasis)
Best general-purpose scion build. Pump quill scouts for your whole team before teching further
Kiln -> Forge -> Antenna -> Warrior (emp + deflection)
Good for ambushing laser scouts, but should only be used by expert teams. Great as it can be thrown a blink crate soon.
Kiln -> Dower -> Sentry (stasis)
only use this in forgotten enemies.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the guide.
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