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Tip of the week #71 - Tiberium Troopers: Revisited

By Regenerit - 24th August 2009 - 17:51 PM

Exclusive to Marked of Kane, the Tiberium Trooper is one of the most unique units in the game (alongside the Mechapede in my opinion), being the only building-clearing and speed-reducing unit in MoK's arsenal and the game, respectively. However, with its unique abilities of speed, agility, and long ranged warfare come drastic penalties. Tiberium Troopers (Tib Troopers for short) are horrible for doing damage compared to their equally pricey Black Hand cousins. They do half the damage of Black Hand squads, only have 5/8 the health, but do far better in other respects. This tip highlights their other respects and how you can use their bonuses to help you fight off many threats.

The Tib Trooper has a secondary ability. When it shoots its liquid Tiberium hose, the vehicle targeted will automatically be slowed down for a few seconds regardless of whether or not the Tib Trooper is still shooting at the tank. The spray slows the tank's speed to about half of its maximum speed. This is one of the key aspects of this unit that make it functional vs. all ground targets let alone infantry.

The Tib Trooper's third ability is building-clearing, and it has the easiest time out of all building-clearing units at this task. This is due to the fact that Tib Troopers have the longest range of all these specific units and clears instantly.

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Tib Troopers can be acquired from a Hand of Nod for $900 once the Operations Center is built. However, they do not reach their full potential until a Secret Shrine is built and the Cybernetic Legs upgrade is researched. The upgrade takes $1000 and one minute to upgrade and affects Enlightened, Tib Troopers, and Engineers, giving them all an effective 100% speed bonus. This upgrade is a must for MoK if you plan on making Enlightened or Tib Troopers.

Here is a quick rundown of the Tib Trooper.
  • $900/:09
  • Requires Operations Center to be built
  • Requires Secret Shrine to upgrade Cybernetic Legs.
  • Can be crushed by tanks such as Gun Walkers, Predators, Scorpions, Mammoths, tripods, etc.
In comparison to the Nod Black Hand squad:

Pros:
  • Tib Troopers are twice as fast once upgraded with cybernetic legs.
  • Tib Troopers have twice the range of the BH squad.
  • Tib Troopers can reduce the speed of affected vehicles by 50%.
  • Tib Troopers are immune to Tiberium fields.
Cons:
  • Tib Troopers have 37% less health than BH squads.
  • Tib Troopers do 50% less damage than BH squads.
The benefits the Tib Trooper receives make it a support unit more so than a frontline unit. This is because it has:
  • Low health
  • Long range
  • High speed
  • Low damage
All of these qualities are often found in hit and run units or artillery units. However, the Tib Trooper does not exhibit characteristics that would be found in a Stealth Tank such as low health, high speed, high attack and short range, nor does it follow artillery units who generally follow medium health, high attack, long range, and low speed.
Therefore, the Tib Trooper must be somewhat like a Stealth Tank and yet somewhat like an artillery unit at the same time. How do we achieve this balance? By kiting.

Kiting with the Tib Trooper
Kiting is the method of attacking an opponent from a safe distance and retreating back as they approach. It is used to avoid an opponent's attacks while still being able to attack them, often done by reverse moving or having a higher speed. Furthermore, range is the biggest thing that allows kiting to be done. Its generally best to have 25% or more range than your opponentís unit to at least get some benefit from kiting. So as I was saying, kiting with the Tib Trooper is best achieved vs. slow-moving, short-ranged infantry and after the Cybernetic Legs upgrade is purchased. Tib Troopers have a base speed of 40 which is roughly the speed of Confessor Cabals (Concabs). With the upgrade, it shoots up to 80, allowing Tib Troopers to even outrun Buzzers!!

To kite with the Tib Trooper, order it to attack an oncoming group of basic infantry, generally Riflemen, Militants, Concabs, or Awakened. These are generally easy to take down due to their lack of speed, health, or both. The Tib Troopers will finish off these infantry before they can touch the Troopers but in cases where infantry or even Rocket Squads are spammed, you will have to order your Troopers to retreat for a few seconds and then repeat the attack. Once the units are in range, do it again. Just one squad of Tib Troopers can devastate an army of 5 or 6 Riflemen and 5 Rocket Squads with good micro. It is also easy to kite Grenadiers due to their lack of accuracy and sluggish speed. However, you will notice that they take significantly longer to take down than Riflemen and other basic infantry and furthermore when upgraded with armor. Right next to level of difficulty with upgraded armor Grenadiers are BH squads. However, they can prove to be the most challenging infantry unit of all besides Commandos (which should be avoided at all costs by Tib Troopers and other high cost infantry) due to their powerful flame throwers. However, if you donít make any mistakes in micro, then you should be able to kite BH squads although it will take longer than *any* other infantry unit.

Tib Troopers prove to be very useful vs. Traveller-59 upgraded Shock Troopers and Ravagers. They are fast enough to keep Shock Troopers from kiting and will take extreme advantage of clumped just-teleported Shock Troopers with the splash of the gun, not to mention Shock Troopers take full damage from High Explosive (HE) damage (the Tib Trooper's, grenadiers, and BH squad's damage type) while most other infantry take only 75% of the damage. Ravagers are a bit tougher to take down since they have ridiculous amounts of speed. However, very few players make them due to their lack of health and poor reliability. If, however, you do find yourself being harassed by them, make a few Tib Troopers and spread them out through your base. This will keep those buggers out. Spreading out your Tib Troopers works the same vs. Shock Troopers harassing your base and harvesters.

Slowing Vehicles
It is now time to show you how useful the Tib Trooper's slow down ability is.
Tib Troopers make great combos with man spam. A tank's ability to crush is ultimately determined by how quick it is. Man spam's greatest threat is often Scorpions, Predators, or Gun Walkers trying to rampage through a whole swarm, trying to get instant kills even if it means a large portion of the tank army will be lost. To prevent this rampage frenzy or scare your opponent, create many Rocket Squads and a few Awakened alongside a few Tib Troopers. Your Tib Troopers should make up roughly 20% of the price tag of your man spam, Awakened 10%, and your Rocket Squads 70%. If you want to get Enlightened instead of Awakened, feel free but only if you feel you have great skill and reaction with their EMP. Much like Tib Troopers, Enlightened take a supportive role since they take a lot of micro to reach their full potential.

Once you acquire an army like this, you should already have upgraded or be upgrading Tiberium infusion since it greatly boosts the potential of your Rocket Squads in terms of longevity. As they approach the tank army, quickly send out your Tib Troopers and begin spraying as many vehicles as you can as if you were a gunslinger trying to shoot all of the targets in under 3 seconds. These vehicles will either begin moving in to crush your Tib Troopers or begin retreating. Either way, you will be at an advantage since any vehicle that tries to crush you will be mauled while making a very slow advance or get destroyed trying to escape at the speed of a sea turtle in a dessert. A Predator moving at a speed of 30 will quickly be caught by Tib infused Rocket Squads. Scorpions may get away but you will still be at an advantage since you are the aggressor and not the defender.

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Gun Walkers should be avoided when in large numbers. They are the most efficient crusher of all tanks since they have an unbelievable accuracy and almost no room left open when striding through a wall of infantry. But if you find that it is too late to avoid them, quickly start spamming Reckoners and send them out to the battlefield or wherever the battle is being held. Quickly deploy them and start placing Rocket Squads and Awakened in them taking Rocket Squads as the highest priority. Enlightened and Tib Troopers can be left out because Gun Walkers can't crush Enlightened and Tib Troopers can out run the Gun Walkers. Once the Gun Walkers have retreated, move in and make an attack.

Tib Troopers also remain effective when mixed with Scorpions mid game. Their speed, large cannon resistance, and anti-infantry abilities make them not only great anti-infantry counters but also great meat shields in tank battles. Their swift feet and long range guns can slow down tanks in the back, further allowing your Scorpions or long ranged Avatars to even better concentrate their fire on a few front line tanks and further destroy tanks from a safe distance, respectively.

I know that many of you have problems vs. people fast teching to epics, especially MARVs. GDI players often fast tech to a MARV and quickly head on over to the nearest field to reap the rewards. Use Tib Troopers to slow down their approach or progress. Remember that it only takes a small shot of liquid Tib to slow down any vehicle, even the mighty MARV. Furthermore, you can shoot and retreat to some effect up until your army arrives onto the scene to wipe out the MARV.

If you tend to use Rocket Squads or Avatars vs. Scrin, you will find that having a single Tib Trooper shooting an approaching Hexapod will greatly help your survival. I often lose Avatars or Rocket Squads to Hexapods due their lack of fire on the move and slow speed, resulting in nothing but crushed husks and impaled men. A Tib Trooper can reduce the Hexapod's speed and make it move sluggishly, buying you precious time to finish it or force it to phase at which point it becomes a giant harmless stuffed spider. The Tib Trooper's ooze still slows down phased units allowing your Avatars and infantry to escape freely to safety from the Hexapod's grasp.

Vs the Redeemer, it is very unwise to use the Tib Trooper since Redeemers will more often shoot their beam rather than try and crush your units since they can't fire on the move. However, if the Redeemer is loaded with a flame thrower or 2 and is flaming your base to loserville... then maybe you should use the Tib Trooper but... keep a safe distance!! The flame thrower upgrades on the Redeemer gain an attack boost over the standard BH squad and therefore it is imperative to kite the Redeemer if it switches its attention onto your Tib Troopers.

When facing Steel Talons, you may think it is pointless to make Tib Troopers vs. a vehicle and air faction but believe it or not, Tib Troopers are just as important if not more vs. Steel Talons as other factions. This is especially the case when Steel Talons reach tier 3 and upgrade Adaptive Armor. This makes their Titans and Mammoths giant stomping machines with thousands of hit points. Tib Troopers become very useful in this aspect since it makes Titans move ridiculously slow, buying your Rocket Squads time to destroy the Titan or the massive Mammoth.

As a final tip, you can use Tib Troopers to greatly slow down the biggest threats to bases, those often being Bikes, Pitbulls, and Mechapedes. Bikes often clump up, making a Tib Trooper very useful in slowing down 2 or 3 at a time, allotting you some time to take down these agile units before they cause a problem. As I said in my previous tip, a unit standing still is as good as dead.

How to counter Tib Troopers

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Use your brains. Tib Troopers canít attack air. Therefore, if you're GDI, make Hammerheads. If you're Nod or MoK, make Venoms. If your Scrin, make lots of Gun Walkers (sorry, no effective (or accurate, sadly) anti-infantry air unit for Scrin and its sub factions). If you lack the means to produce air units, then consider making APCs, Gun Walkers, or Buggies. Flame Tanks should be avoided since a well microed army of Tib Troopers can avoid Flame Tanks.

Avoid using any type of infantry vs. Tib Troopers. They will be certain to chase down and kill infantry and escape before taking serious damage from APCs (no AP ammo), Buggies, or Gun Walkers. However, if you are Traveller- 59, you can make Cultists and mind control the Tib Troopers. It is essential that you always upgrade their speed.

If you are using Tib Troopers and feel that your opponent is making Venoms or Hammerheads, quickly get Stealth Tanks. Itís a lost cause unless you focus your efforts on teching if you wish to continue using Tib Troopers. The reason it is a lost cause without tier 3 is because making Buggies or Bikes will fail since they do too little damage or die too easily.