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Tip of the Week #63 - Shatterer Tactics

By xlava - 8th June 2009 - 14:49 PM

The Shatterer is GDI's secondary battle tank, which is actually more like a Sonic Emitter than anything else. To start, there are two versions of it. The vGDI version, the regular Shatterer, and the ZOCOM version, the Zone Shatterer (Steel Talons does not have any type of Shatterer or sonic weaponry). Now generally in game, you will only notice a cosmetic difference between the Zone Shatterer and the vGDI Shatterer, but in reality, there is a minor difference. The Zone Shatterer has the overload beam power which allows it to fire a much more powerful blast, but it disables itself for a short amount of time in the process. Anyway, on to the meat of the guide. Tactics.

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The Shatterer in action

First off, there are some units that the Shatterer is effective against, and some that it is not. Because of its low armor, you do not want to challenge something like an epic unit with one or two Shatterers. So here is a list of what you should do with certain numbers of the unit.

Effective Against:
  • 1 Shatterer - Tier 1 infantry, scouting vehicles.
  • 2 Shatterers - Tier 1 light tanks, Tier 1 - 2 infantry.
  • 3 Shatterers - Tier 1 light tanks, other Shatterers, Tier 1-3 infantry
  • 5 Shatterers - All Tier 1-2 tanks, all infantry
  • 7 Shatterers - Tier 3 vehicles, all infantry
  • 9+ Shatterers - Semi effective against an epic unit
Attacking Epic Units
Make sure to spread out your Shatterers when attacking the MARV and Eradicator Hexapod, as their area of effect attacks can devastate your paper-armored Shatterers if they aren't properly spread out.

Main Tactics

Shatterers should always be kept in the middle of your moving army, as they are very fragile to cannon and rocket fire, and even enough gun fire will put a dent in their hit points, so keep them away from the enemy fire, or draw it away from your Shatterers somehow. Here is a list of the units to use with your Shatterers and how to use them properly.
  • Predator Tanks - This is undoubtedly the most powerful and effective combination in the game for vGDI and ZOCOM. With your Predator being your main battle tank, taking out any vehicles, and your Shatterers handling all infantry and building related problems, this combination has been proven as dangerous as the Seeker - Gunwalker combination for Scrin. Make sure that you draw the fire from the enemy to your Predators, not your Shatterers, as the Predators can absorb much more damage than the Shatterer, allowing the integrity of your force to last longer. As ZOCOM, you can also use your overload beam to take out tough targets such as Avatars or Mammoth tanks. However, if you are going to use this strategy, make sure that you have the time to reverse move your forces (including the temporarily disabled Zone Shatterer) away before the remains crush your units. This force has one main weakness: the lack of anti air. This force has no way to defend itself form air units, which can easily tear it to pieces in a matter of seconds. This way, it is better to have something like a couple of Slingshots with your force.
  • Slingshots - As always, when playing against any faction except the Black Hand, expect air units as a suitable counter to a Predator - Shatterer spam. Therefore, it is a great idea to have a dedicated anti air unit to escort your forces. The Slingshot should take up this position against most air units. If your enemy is using a large air force, and you still want to use this unit combination, then it is always wise to upgrade your Slingshots. In any case, don't let them get in front of your forward units, as Slingshots have even less armor than Shatterers.
  • Mammoth Tanks - This is a slower, albeit more powerful combination than the Predator - Shatterer combination. Nothing really special here. vGDI has the advantage, however, as they have access to Railguns, which greatly increase the firepower of the tank. However, they are much slower, as stated, and this is their downfall, as they are vulnerable to EMP attacks and the like.
  • Juggernauts - Using Juggernauts and Shatterers in the same force with no other units is some sort of conundrum. Do you put the paper mache Shatterer first, or the long range artillery first? Well it honestly depends on the situation. If your enemy is using primarily infantry, put the Shatterers first and have your Juggernauts for your support. However, if your enemy is using light vehicles, put the Juggernauts first to shell them from long range, but protect your Shatterers by acting as meat shields.
  • Hammerheads - These are extraordinarily effective against all ground units, especially with AP ammo. A large number of these could neutralize an epic unit. And ZOCOM gets an added bonus: ceramic armor. These are great to use in conjunction with your Shatterer, as they can protect it from units such as artillery, and mastermind type units. This way, your Shatterers don't need to take constant damage while moving up to enemy artillery. The Hammerhead can also be garrisoned with something like Missile Squads, making it a competent anti air unit, but nothing close to the effectiveness of the Slingshot, so be careful.
  • More Shatterers - Having an army of purely Shatterers can prove extremely rewarding in only one condition: your enemy is not ready for it. This means that you must counter scout your enemy so he/she does not see that you are simply spamming Shatterers. It is as simple as that, because unless they were already going to build air units, they won't be prepared
Shatterer Spam
This tactic, as mentioned above, is generally as dangerous / effective as the Scorpion spam, as once your enemy knows its coming, it is counter-able, but know that it will most likely cost you the game if it fails because the Shatterer is countered so easily.

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Be careful when using Shatterers because of their light armor, and never have a force like this with no variety.

Tactical Analysis

Generally speaking, you should think of the Shatterer as a mobile, weaker Sonic Emitter. It has the unique ability to shoot through all units. This makes it extremely valuable when countering some sort of spammer, especially Scorpion Tanks. Normally, two shots from a Shatterer will kill a Scorpion, and if your micromanagement is on point, you can obliterate an Scorpion only army in seconds with six or so Shatterers.

The Zone Shatterer has a special power called the Overload Beam, which allows it to fire an especially powerful shot, but the Zone Shatterer is temporarily disabled in the process, making it unable to move or fire. This means that the negatives to this power generally outweigh the positives, so be very careful when using it.

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The Zone Shatterer's overload beam

The Overload
It is most effective to use this power when there is no chance that your Zone Shatterer will survive. This way, you get an extra powerful shot out of a heavily damaged unit before it is destroyed, as opposed to a normal shot.

Effective Counters Against
  • Scorpion spam
  • Seeker spam
  • Relatively effective against predator spam
  • Any clumped units
  • All infantry (except for the Black Hand)
Ineffective Counters Against
  • Tier 3 MBT (including Avatars)
  • Artillery (except for Specters)
  • Epic units
  • Pitbulls, Attack Bikes (because of their speed)
  • Air units (because they obviously can't attack them)

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