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Tip of the Week #30 - The Engineer

By MEXICANBROTHER - 20th November 2007 - 04:24 AM

The name of this TotW implies that it is only about GDI’s Engineer, but it will talk about Saboteurs and Assimilators too. So, for the sake of simplification, when it says “Engi. or Engies”, it refers to all those three base capturing units. If it uses the words “Engineer”, “Sabatour” or “Assimilator”, it is referring to that specific unit.

So, let’s begin.

Most players think about the “Engies” just as a way to capture their opponent’s buildings, but truly, there are several other things that can be done with them.

Offensive “Engies”

When you read the title, you thought about the infamous Engineer + APC Rush, didn't you? It is a very powerful early game tactic, but most people just stop using “Engies” right here. They can be used anytime in the game, not just in early rushes. For GDI, using “Engies” is a lot easier, because APC's greatly help protecting them from harm.

However, the two other factions can use “Engies” the same way, it is just a little more risky. Instead of Rushing with Engies, you should mix them with your troops. Distract the enemy, attack in two places at once, and them, use the “Engies” to capture some of his buildings.

Most people complain that in CnC3, it is a little hard to kill structures. It is true, but we have here a great way to workaround this issue. Bringing “Engies” with you is always good (not that much if you lack Micro skills), because usually, you will get your opponent of-guard.

Attacking Expansions:
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Use your units to take out weak targets and defenses, while your “Engies” run for the tougher structures, like Refineries and Warfactories. This is very useful, and if it works, you will have a brand new expansion to use, built by your enemy.
As always, this works pretty well for GDI early game, but as Nod, after the Operations Center and an Air-Tower, you get access to the CarryAll. This may be even better than an APC, because it is faster.

Scrin needs to wait until the MasterMind or the Worm-Hole to get access to fast Assimilators deployment, but even before that, bringing some with you and protecting them won’t hurt.

Attacking the Main Base:
Following the same logic, bringing “Engies” with you may mean a great advantage if used right when attacking a main Base. Hit Defenses and Anti-Inf units first, and when you feel comfortable, send the “Engies” that where waiting behind your forces to capture tougher buildings that take too long to destroy. Focus your Fire-Power at weaker targets, and let the “Engies” do the rest.
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Again, APCs mean a great advantage here, but CarryAlls, The MasterMind and the Worm-Hole work pretty well and even better.

Taking “Engies” along with your main Army has another advantage later in the game: Any Walker you destroy may be used against your enemy. Keep that in mind. When 1.09 arrives, less money will mean fewer units, and every thing you get to help you may save your life.

Defensive “Engies”

Another thing that most people forget about “Engies” is that they fully repair any building they enter instantly. When Firehawks are constantly Stratoo-Boosting to Attack your ConYard, why repair it in the conventional way? Just build some “Engies” and use them to repair it. Cheaper and faster. Other buildings may be saved by this tactic, like Tech Centers, Refineries, Warfactories, even Rigs can benefit from this feature.
Just remember to wipeout every Anti-Infantry unit your opponent might have near the building you want to repair.

The above tactic also works beautifully for Walkers. When in your base, build two Barracks behind them, and keep reviving them as they fall. It certainly isn’t easy, but it is useful.

The Assimilator
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For Scrin, there is a special use for Assimilators. Selling buildings to avoid Engi-Rushes and losing DroneShips in moments of distraction are common things. To avoid this, try building some Assimilators and put them as close as possible from your key buildings, and at the moment your opponent captures it, just recapture it. Assimilators have this nasty ability to remain invisible when still, which greatly improves this tactic.
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Most players don’t bring Stealth Detection with their APCs, so, if you are fast enough, you have at least 80% of chance to have you base back. Obviously, he can sell it, but it will depends on who is faster.
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(Clearly, this tactic isn’t a counter to APC+Engi Rushes, it is just a last resort to avoid too many losses).

The Saboteur
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For Nod, there is also a special use for Sabatours, the Booby Trap.
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You can plant a Booby Trap on a Tiberium Spike. If your opponent tries to capture it, the Tiberium Spike will explode, killing the “Engi” and destroying the Tiberium Spike.
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Sometimes, this is good, and other times, it is better to recapture it (most of the time it is better to Booby Trap it).

You can Booby Trap bridges and other neutral structures, but the only tech structure that requires 1 Booby Trap in the Tiberium Spike. Things like bridges and EMP Centers take 3+ Booby Traps to destroy them.