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Tip of the Week #61 - The Phase field

By xlava - 26th May 2009 - 07:02 AM

To start off, this is the most important and versatile support power available to the Scrin faction. It has the unique ability to render your vehicles virtually invulnerable for a medium length of time. Now it is important to note that while your units are phased, they can still be killed! Although it would seem very unlikely, it has happened before if your phased unit has too little health. However, this is very unlikely, and has hardly ever happened, so treat the power as if it makes your units invulnerable. Here is a gamecast of a phased Eradicator Hexapod that was killed.

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A phased Hexapod in action

The Phase Field can be used on all ground units (not air) and does not affect speed. Note that phased units can still crush respective units, which makes some phased Gunwalkers very dangerous to a group of tier one infantry.

The Phase Field is available to all Scrin factions and is used from the Technology Assembler for 1500 credits. It has a duration of approximately 50 seconds. And a recharge time approximately 200 seconds. Infantry are not effected by the phase field.

Gunwalkers and Shardwalkers

As just stated above, the Gunwalker or Shardwalker is the best possible unit to counter a man spam while phased. Basically, all you need to do is phase them and then use their superior speed to crush them all, taking minimal damage.

Epic units can be phased, and this makes the Eradicator Hexapod even more dangerous, because now, in addition to the potent teleportation ability of the Mastermind or Prodigy, it has the ability to become virtually invulnerable. This means that you can send your Hexapod to destroy as much as possible, and then, when it is almost dead (about 1/14 of its health left) you can phase it, and walk it out unharmed. In this way, you can use your Hexapod as a one man army.

Specific Strategies

Harvester Crushing
This is an extremely effective tactic that can be utilized against a player while you are attacking them from a different direction. Basically, you phase field a tier 3 unit such as a Tripod, and send it to the back of the enemy base while attacking the base from a different direction as a distraction. However, if your enemy has minimal defenses against your harvester crusher, don't waste the power and save the 2000 credits.

This is the most obvious strategy that can utilize the phase field is the extraction of heavily damaged units. For example, if you have a group of Tripods, say three or four, that are all near death, it is much more cost effective to phase them and get them back to your base for repairs than to let them die. Here are the numbers:

For 4 Tripods = 12000
For 1 Phase Field Usage = 1500

Basically, this saves you 10500 of cash that you could use on other units. Something not to waste the phase field on during extraction could be one or two seekers, because...

For 1 Seekers = 800
For 1 Phase Field Usage = 1500

So here you lose 700 cash, but, in some situations might be worth it.

Phasing Non-Cost Effective Units

There might actually be a situation where it is useful to phase a group of Seekers instead of a group of Tripods. For example, if the Tripods and Seekers are very deep in enemy territory, and it is impossible to get the Tripods out in the 50 second duration of the Phase Field, but not impossible to get the Seekers out, the obvious choice here is to phase the Seekers.

If you want to assault a heavily unit defended base, one of the best ways to do it as Scrin is to send a diversion. Now the only way this can work is if you have two relatively equal forces available. Now take one of the forces, and send it away from where you want to attack. Wait until the enemy moves his forces to your diversion force, and then Phase Field them when they start taking damage, while simultaneously moving your main force into the area where the enemy had his main force, and attack at will. This is especially useful against a GDI player, because most of their high tier units are slow, they will have a harder time responding to your main force.

Invulnerable Harvesters
A very fun and useful strategy that is usable in almost all situations is to phase out a group of your Harvesters, and then send them to your enemy's Tiberium field and harvest as much as you can, as Harvesters can harvest and unload Tiberium while phased. Additionally, if you are under heavy attack, it can be useful to phase your Harvesters to protect them from enemy harassment.

Units to Phase, and Units not to Phase
This section will describe which units are cost effective to phase, and which are not.

Units to Phase
  • 3+ Seekers
  • Any number of Gunwalkers or Shardwalkers for infantry crushing purposes
  • 2+ Devourer Tanks
  • 1+ Tripods
  • Eradicator Hexapod
Units not to Phase
  • Any units less than the proposed numbers above
Use Your Discretion
In any situation, it is critical to use your own judgement in order to decide which units to phase and which not to. Because if you're in a desperate situation where you need to phase something like two Seekers, then do it, even though it may not be cost effective. However, it is almost always cost effective, but basically the final point here is to use your judgement in all situations.