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Tip of the Week #66 - Tier-1 Defenses

By ^Cerby- - 22nd May 2010 - 11:27 AM

Tier-1 Defenses: As the title suggests, they are an assortment of structures designed to mow down infantry and light vehicles.

The GDI anti-infantry structure is akin to a mini tower with a gun mounted on the top; Nodís is a unique hub which opens up with three turrets to fire on infantry. Most bizarre of them all is the Scrinís anti-infantry defense: It is shaped like a bee hive and, strangely enough, churns out drove after drove of bee-like creatures.

GDI's anti-vehicle gun is sturdy and gaunt, its heavy cannon as good as that of a tank. Once again, Nod possesses a hub with three turrets, albeit shooting out laser beams to cut through tank armor instead of bullets, a slight variation to their anti infantry turrets. The Scrin have a Photon Cannon which emits bursts of energy. All three defenses are useful against light vehicles like APCs, Pitbulls, Raider Buggies, Seekers or Gun Walkers, giving you some breathing space to bring out counter units. Like all defenses, these structures also have the ability to detect stealth.

Date: May 22, 2010
Game: Tiberium Wars 1.09
Author: ^IAMCERBERUS^
Defense structures can be built from the Construction Yard or Drone Platform, but not from Cranes or Foundries. Anti-infantry defenses require a Power Plant or Reactor, anti-vehicle defenses require a Barracks, Hand of Nod or Portal. All defensive structures have the following armor: Cannon: 75%, Rocket: 50%, Grenade: 100%, Gun: 25%, Sniper: 1%.

Anti-infantry Defenses


Watchtower

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Base Defense. Strong vs. Infantry.
Cost: 600
Hitpoints: 2400
Power consumption: 5
Range: 350

The big tower from GDI is a lightly armored gun that is effective, precise and feared by all the factions' infantry units and light vehicles. Fortunately for the poor soldiers who venture into range, the Watchtower can only target one soldier at a time. This makes it an ineffective counter against infantry spam like Missile Squads, and it is more effective to use tanks such as Predators or Scorpions and run over the enemy infantry.

The Watchtower, however, can shoot over all buildings, which is an advantage to you when your opponent spams infantry. Build the Watchtower and place it behind a building such as a Power Plant, thus giving the tower some extra cover. A Silo that costs 500 credits is another useful structure to act as shield and can be built quickly.

Be aware that vehicles such as Attack Bikes, Pitbulls and Seekers may be micro-managed out of the Watchtower's range and still fire at the Watchtower.

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Shredder Turret

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Base Defense. Strong vs. Infantry.
Cost: 600
Hitpoints: 3600 (Hub), 1000 (Spawn)
Power consumption: 6
Range: 350
Damage per spawn: 50 (Gun) per slug, 125dps, 30 splash radius

Nod's anti-infantry defense structure consists of three turrets connected by wires to a central hub. As each turret has six barrels in clusters of three, the Shredder Turret is probably the best anti-infantry defense in the game. Each shot does 50 damage and the refire rate is 2.4 seconds, although it depends on whether you are attacked by a large amount of infantry or by only one group of soldiers. The turret is very effective against clumped units because it does splash damage, but unfortunately it is inefficient against vehicles.

All of Nod's defense turrets automatically regenerate destroyed spawns (this takes 20 seconds). To destroy a defense turret for good, you need to target the central hub. The structure's unique design allows for some creative placement. For example, you can hide the hub by building a structure between it and its turrets, giving the hub some extra protection.

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Buzzer Hive

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Base Defense. Strong vs. Infantry.
Cost: 600
Hitpoints: 1600
Power consumption: 7
Releases Buzzers

Scrin's anti-infantry defense is the Buzzer Hive, a small honeycomb-like building that spawns 3 Buzzers. Although the most vulnerable tier-1 defense out of all the factions, it is the most effective one against suicidal infantry. Since Buzzers deal sniper damage, this defense does virtually no damage against vehicles or buildings. A word of caution: the Buzzers that spawn from the Hive can be killed, which makes the Hive less effective in the presence of heavy anti-infantry fire.

To use the Hive intelligently, when your enemy moves his infantry towards your base, place it as near to the infantry as possible. When facing infantry spam, place the Hive behind another structure to offer it some protection.

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General Strategy for anti-infantry defenses

We will finish this section by talking about general strategy. Anti-infantry defenses are useful in the beginning of the game, yet they might be less effective in late-game. This is either because of their low hitpoints or just because the enemy's army is more powerful than you, forcing you stop building tier-1 defenses and build tier-3 defenses instead. (Tier 3 will be covered in a future tip.)

So why build anti-infantry defenses? As a lot of good players know, they are built early on to kill scouting enemy infantry inside their base, ensuring that their strategy stays secret (e.g. APC/Engineer rush).

Anti-infantry defenses can be built mid-game to counter infantry spam if you haven't got any units, but you will need multiple MCVs to build a lot of anti-infantry defenses. Nod's Shredder Turret is very good at countering infantry spam because its splash damage can kill multiple units at once. GDI's Watchtower is also good but may be insufficient when countering a very large amount of infantry. The Scrin Buzzer Hive can become ineffective if you build it too far from your enemy, and in addition Buzzers can be killed and enemy troopers can easily destroy the Buzzer Hive.

Just as in the beginning of the game, Anti Infantry defenses can save you in the late-game! If the opponent attacks with Shadow Teams you will usually have to build a new Power Plant (since they are the building which Shadow Teams usually target first). With Anti Infantry defences near your important buildings like Power Plants, Cranes and Technology buildings you will always have enough power!

Anti-vehicle defenses


Guardian Cannon

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Base Defense. Strong vs. Vehicles.
Cost: 1200
Hitpoints: 4000
Power consumption: 8
Range: 350
Damage: 350 (cannon), no splash

This big gun is extremely ineffective against anything but vehicles. Unfortunately, it is quite poor even against vehicles because of its single shot cannon. Each shot does 350 cannon damage and its rate of fire is a slow 2.5 seconds. It is structurally weak, meaning you will need to repair it constantly in order for it to survive.

That said, the Guardian Cannon is a useful structure, and by carefully placing it to the side or rear of your enemy's vehicles, it can be a very good aid to repel attacks.

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Laser Turret

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Base Defense. Strong vs. Vehicles.
Cost: 1200
Hitpoints: 3600 (Hub), 1000 (Spawn)
Power consumption: 10
Range: 350
Damage: 140 (cannon), 70 against infantry, no splash

As with the Shredder Turret, this defensive structure can be hidden behind other structures so that only the three gun turrets remain visible to your opponent. If your opponent wants to stop losing units, they will have to make a choice to either destroy the turrets, which respawn eventually, or go for the jugular and take out the structure that is hiding the hub before destroying the hub itself. Under extreme pressure it might be good idea to "tie" several turrets together to form a lattice of defenses by placing multiple Laser Turrets in front of a wall of cheap structures, such as Power Plants or Silos, with the hub components hidden behind.

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Photon Cannon

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Base Defense. Strong vs. Vehicles.
Cost: 1200
Hitpoints: 4000
Power consumption: 7
Range: 350
Damage: 140 cannon, 70 against infantry, 5 splash radius

To round this tip off, let's discuss the terrifying extra-terrestrial hand that fires bursts of energy. It is probably the most effective anti-vehicle defense mechanism. Not only is it effective against vehicles, it is also quite effective against enemy infantry. The "hand" fires five bursts of energy onto the poor, unsuspecting enemy units. It inflicts a lot of splash damage, but concentrated on a small area. This means that if your enemy's infantry and vehicles are close to one another in a small area, both can be destroyed from one single defense structure.

Just like GDI's Guardian Cannon, this defense cannot shoot over buildings. However, its range is quite large, and so by careful placement it is possible to ensure that this turret targets enemy units from the flank or from behind.

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General strategy for anti-vehicle defenses

You will not be surprised when I say these defenses are not often used by players, but they can be useful at the beginning of the game! If you are fighting for a Tiberium field, you have the possibility of building anti-infantry defenses to counter infantry, but if your enemy begins to spam tanks, you can build anti-vehicle defenses. These defenses can hold off your enemies if he loses too many units. The only problem with building only anti-vehicle defenses is your enemy can train infantry, and these defenses are not generally effective against infantry. Try to mix anti-infantry and -vehicle defenses!

Like all defensive structures, Tier-1 defenses detect stealth units. The stealth detection can be very helpful at all times throughout the game, especially in the late-game. During the late-game you may encounter many sneaky stealthed units, such as a lone Stealth Tank coming in to kill undefended Harvesters, and without proper stealth detection this can prove lethal. Once the short-ranged stealth detectors reveal the units to you, it instantly becomes easier to kill the unit.

Thanks to Disco2disco, R Schneider and IKMS for their contributions!

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