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Tip of the Week #94 - Breaking Nod Turtles with Reaper

By Perfi - 24th March 2010 - 01:49 AM

The Nod turtle, also known as camping. A strategy used by some, hated by many. However, no players really have a reason to hate it besides those dedicated to factions lacking in artillery: ZOCOM and Reaper-17. However, with the case of the latter, there really is no reason to hate it. It isn't easy to crack a Nod turtle, but it isn't impossible either. If you don't know how to do it, trying to fight a camping Nod is extremely frustrating, not to mention nearly impossible.

Date: March 23, 2010
Game: Kane’s Wrath, 1.02
Author: Pervi
There is one thing you must remember: camping is one of the most versatile strategies in the game and as such, there is no way to cover all the possible variations. The enemy can prepare for just about anything. This means that while this Tip of the Week might give you some ideas, you probably will have to improvise. If there's one thing you cannot learn from tips, it is thinking. We'll try to cover that in a guide sometime though, so stay tuned.

Where was I? Oh, yes. So your match-up is Reaper against a camping Nod or Marked of Kane (Black Handcamping is much less likely and just not as effective). No artillery, no Wormhole. If this is your reaction to that situation, think again. The usual mix you will see as Reaper is massed Obelisks supported with Vertigoes and Beam Cannons hiding under a Disruption Tower, with the usual Redeemer support and perhaps some Avatars, manspam or Specters. Seeing as you're a steamroll faction, steamroll your opponent.

Aside from the usual spamming your magic unit, also known as the Reapod and supporting your units with a Hexapod, you also need something to take Obelisk hits, something for stealth detection, something to take care of the infantry and something for the Redeemer. Not that difficult.

For tanking and anti-air, employ Shardwalkers and Seekers. Their health might not be awesome, however when upgraded with shields they take 2 Obelisk or Redeemer hits to die. Which is something you want against those painful, infrequent beams of doom.

Now, you still need the anti-infantry. That's where your Shardwalkers come in. Don't think you're going to shoot the infantry though. This situation will require you to move quickly, so there's no time for that, even though Blue Shard-upgraded Shardwalkers actually do a good job at it. You generally have two options—either the popular Phase Walker crushing, or something requiring slightly more preparation, which I will mention later on. Shardwalkers also help a ton against Beam Cannons, especially if you follow them up with some Tripod crushing. I would normally suggest using Mechapedes for Beam Cannons, however, with Obelisks all over the place, that's a definite no-go.

As for stealth, your only option as Reaper is Seekers. And, as we all know, Seekers die to everything, which is why you will want to keep them alive. How exactly can you do that? Either keep them slightly behind your forces or... phase them. Phased Seekers still detect stealth. And on top of that, they can absorb infinite amounts of Obelisk shots while the Phase effect lasts, forcing your opponent to aim all his Obelisks manually (the same applies for Shardwalkers).

However, both of these strategies use up the Phase Field, and you need all the support powers you can get. A generally good thing is phasing a few of both Shardwalkers and Seekers, since Seekers cannot crush infantry and you might need that. Only do that when you know you need it, though.

Now, Vertigoes. That's actually pretty easy—if you know that the enemy has Vertigos, just upgrade your tier 1 units. Blue Shards will allow your Shardwalkers to take them down easier, while Shard Launchers will give your Seekers some actually decent firepower. It's best to mix both though. Remember that Shardwalkers cannot fire on the move. You can also employ Stormriders (go for the Air Towers), however make sure you can anti-scout your opponent before using them, or they'll get negated by a couple of SAM Turrets.

Avatars? That's an easy one, actually. Just ram them with your Tripods and the Hexapod, with the latter leading the charge. Having some healing Corrupters on it helps a lot. The Avatars will be forced to run away, and that means they aren't shooting. And that basically solves the problem. You might need to phase your Hexapod in order to survive the crushing.

Specters? That's the annoying one. Specters can actually kind of kite Tripods because of their huge range and stealth. That can't happen if they don't have anywhere to retreat though. This means you'll basically have to grind your teeth and ignore the Specters. Obviously, spreading out your forces and using formation move helps. You can also try to force them to stop firing using flanking Mechapedes, Stormriders or a Lightning Spike. If all else fails and you absolutely need to stop those sneaky cannons, Stasis them.

And then there's the Redeemer. Now that one will give you a ton of problems. You will generally want to use your stasis on it. If it's away from the base (for example, heading to your army for a quick Rage), you can send 2-3 Tripods at it. It will be forced to rage them to avoid being EMPed. This is where your main army comes in. Go for a close range EMP, then shoot it to death. If it's in their base though, then you absolutely need to stasis him. After dropping the Stasis Shield surround the bubble with Tripods and prepare to EMP it. Remember to keep shooting other units while the 20 second stasis lasts though, you don't want to waste time.

Should you find the Nod player lacking a Redeemer, know that there are also other targets you could neutralize. As mentioned previously, there are various other objects that Stasis works on. In this case, try to go for the Power Plants—Nod turtles are very power hungry. Another good choice is shutting down their tier 3, to prevent threats like Redeemers, additional Avatars, Obelisks and last-chance Commandos.

One final thing: although turtle breaking with Reaper is possible, it is certainly not easy—especially in the case of fighting the Marked of Kane. Enlightened are impervious to crushing by Shardwalkers, and their EMP is highly annoying since it takes precious seconds of EMP away from you. Also, since Tripods are walkers, you have pretty much only one shot at breaking a turtle. If the Husks are re-taken, you're in for for a world of hurt and might as well quit. This means you should go all-in to maximize your chances.

No, that's not what I meant. I'm not talking about selling your Drone Platform or anything dumb like that. Take your Drone Platform with your units—the best anti-infantry and anti-air you have as Scrin comes from your Drone Platform. Drop a couple turrets, maybe a Portal for some Assimilators or Disintegrators, and you should be able to defeat your opponent a lot easier. If you really have tons of map control, it can be useful to get a second one, so that you can keep a Storm Column or any other turret you might possibly need ready.
IPB ImageCHARGE! This one didn't work though because of the improper mix used by the Reaper player. Against Black Hand turtling you don't need Seekers, while additional Shardwalkers are always welcome.

And that's about it. If you control your units well and have enough of them, then the Nod turtle shall not be a real problem to you. However, if the turtle's still alive and all your Tripods are belong to them, resort to dropping a last chance Mothership to solve the problem through the ancient method of Blowing It All Up.

Discuss this tip in the Kane's Wrath section.