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KW ToTW #58 - Heavy Infantry

By Regenerit - 5th May 2009 - 14:42 PM

Heavy Infantry have been around since the Tiberium Wars days and even Tiberian Sun where Nod cyborgs were common place. In this weekís TotW, we look over Heavy Infantry and how to effectively use them to win a battle or the war.

Zone Troopers/Raiders, Enlightened, and Shock Troopers are vital units to any army facing another consisting of mainly anti-tank tanks such as Predators, Seekers, Devourers, or the big 3, Tripods, Mammoths, or Avatars. Any anti-infantry units should be disposed of quickly to make it easier for Heavy Infantry to do their job.


Zone Troopers


At the cost of $1300 for each 4 member squad of Zones or $325 for each Zone Trooper, the Zone Trooper can pack a punch. 2 Squads of Zones can more than equal a Rail Gun Mammoth tank in damage all for the cost of $100 more. Coupled with $1000/30sec Scanner Packs and $1000/30sec Power Packs, A Zone Trooper can make full use of its longer range and higher durability to outgun its foes and kite (attacking the enemy while using mobility to avoid being attacked, best done with long range units) them. The Zone Trooper does not have any attack delay meaning that as soon as it aims at a target, it can shoot immediately and do damage instantly. This is a big bonus over Missile Squads since they have a high tendency to overkill their target (have 20 rockets shot at a tank, 10 of them destroy it, 10 rockets are wasted) due to the speed of the projectile.

Tactics:
Zone Troopers are great when garrisoned. Often the best garrison to start off with is the APC. The APCís decent move speed and reverse move make it a great vehicle to kite other vehicles with when Zone Troopers are garrisoned. When Scanner Packs are purchased, the Zone Trooperís range increases to 350 allowing it to easily kite Predator tanks and Scorpions when garrisoned inside an APC. When AP Ammo is purchased, the APC also becomes a powerful anti-infantry and air unit making APC-Zone Trooper combos very effective all around. Similarly, the Zone Trooper can be garrisoned inside a Hammerhead allowing for great powerful assaults in a momentís notice. That unprotected Harvester outside of your enemyís base will fall prey to 2 hammerheads with their respective Zone Troopers in a momentís notice. When AP Ammo is purchased, the Hammerhead becomes significantly better at taking down all targets especially infantry and light vehicles.

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Zone Troopers can take a lot of punishment from beam and cannon damage.


As ZOCOM, using Zone Raiders applies the same with APCs. Zone Raiders do slightly less damage than Zone Troopers against vehicles but their area of effect sonic grenades are very effective vs. infantry and buildings. On top of that, they can attack weak air threats with surface-to-air missiles on their shoulders if the need arises. Zone Raider Hammerheads are excellent at taking down Scorpion spam thanks to the Zone raiderís area of effect grenades.
Zone Troopers/Raiders have the ability to Jump Jet from one location to another. This ability is great for making Zones jump across cliffs or rifts on the map to reach an area in a matter of seconds vs going all the way around to get there. This also means that Zone Troopers can escape an enemy quickly because of this ability.
Zone Troopers/Raiders on the field are typically easy to take down with anti-infantry weapons but when the only thing that exists on the field is an anti-tank tank, the Zone Trooper is by far the most damaging infantry unit available against tanks. A few Zone Troopers can effectively destroy a few slow moving tanks by surrounding them through the use of jump jets and making an effective use of side and rear armour penalties on vehicles.

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Take advantage of a tank's back armor by jet packing a few Zones (or Shock Troopers) behind it.


One final note about Zone Raiders and Zone Troopers: both GDI and ZOCOM have Zone Trooper/Raider drop pods that give 3 veteran Zones for $4500. This is quick way to garrison APCs and Hammerheads with a lot of firepower and acquiring veteran units which will all the quicker rank up to be heroic.

Enlightened


Boasting the highest cost per member at $400, ($1200 for the full squad) Enlightened may not be able to pack a punch like Zone Troopers/Raiders but their secondary ability makes up for their poor damage very nicely. Enlightened can EMP enemy vehicles and structures for a fairly decent time (8 seconds), more than Awakened (5 seconds). That coupled with their 300 range and Cybernetic legs upgrade for $1000, makes them excellent vehicle counters as well as, to some extent, hit and run units due to their advanced speed. When upgraded, Enlightened have a speed of 80, fast enough to outrun a Buzzer by a marginal amount yet slow enough to be countered effectively by anti-infantry air units such as the Venom and Hammerhead.


Tactics

Enlightened are great support units to an army because of their EMP which can determine a battle at a momentís notice when used properly. Using EMP takes a good amount of skill, timing, and possibly luck. The chances of the EMP bugging out on the Enlightened are significantly less than the Awakened but nonetheless it still exists. The best way to employ the EMP is by using hotkeys. The default key for the EMP on both Awakened and Enlightened is Ctrl-D. The key could be changed to other keys where simply pressing one key selects the ability. Similarly, if you have a mouse with more than just clickers and a scroll wheel, you can program its buttons to do the same stuff the keyboard does.
The Enlightened can be upgraded with Super Charged Particle Beams (SCPB) which increase their attack by as much as 70% . Without the upgrade however, Enlightened lag behind Rocket Squads in damage by as much as 50% cost to cost which is why they are best as a support role before SCPB are upgraded. Rocket Squads cost to cost still do more damage than Enlightened by as much as 30% after SCPB are upgraded.
When massed, Enlightened can be a very effective counter to tank spam. Their EMP can keep all enemy vehicles EMPed for the full duration of the battle until all vehicles have been destroyed. A few Stealth Tanks near your Enlightened are a very good defence against Venoms and Hammerheads that are trying to take advantage of the Enlightenedís weakness to air.
Just like Zone Troopers, Enlightened benefit a lot from being garrisoned. In defence, a well positioned war factory with a deployed Reckoner in front of it filled with Enlightened can make a great defence against enemy vehicles since the Reckoner has a high amount of health and can be repaired by the war factory. On offense, a Reckoner with 2 Enlightened can make a great bunker during the time the Enlightened are attacking. When an EMP is needed, a squad can quickly be taken out and used to EMP a target.

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EMP works wonders in saving lives from Flame Tanks.


Enlightened are by far the best epic killers next to Tripods. 5 Squads of Enlightened can take down a fully upgraded redeemer, Hexapod, or MARV if unsupported by other units. It takes 30 seconds for the EMP ability to recharge after being used. The EMP blast itself for Enlightened lasts 8 seconds. For Awakened, it lasts 5 seconds. It is possible to destroy an epic with 4 Enlightened by EMPing it constantly but the timeframe must be matched perfectly with the total amount of EMP wasted being no longer than 2 seconds. With 5 Enlightened, it is safer with the timing so it is alright right jump the gun a little too soon and it also gives you leniency if the EMP bug happens to hit you at the worst time.
In combination with Stealth Tanks and Tiberium Troopers, Enlightened can make a formidable and balanced army that can take on most threats without difficulty. The most dangerous anti-infantry unit to Enlightened is the Sniper. A Sniper squad can take out 2 of 3 members of a squad. It is an instant loss of $800 if you are not careful vs GDI or ZOCOM. Against experienced players, a few Snipers can be expected to be made to specifically counter MoK infantry which makes it all the more important to have units like Raider Buggies or Venoms to effectively counter Snipers.