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Tip of the Week #1: Blade Troopers

By vOddy - 17th March 2010 - 15:16 PM

Blade Troopers, unlike most of Novus' units, are quite expensive specialists. Not only do they cost 650 credits (more than six times as much compared to the Ohm Robot), you also need to build a costly 800-credit Blade Assembly on every Robotic Assembly you want to use for Blade Trooper production.

However, if you can get over the price tag on these guys, you have an effective anti-infantry and harassment specialist. Blade Troopers don't actually do bad damage to light and medium vehicles, but since they are melee units, they will lose to them if the vehicles are decently microed.

They're also not too bad against structures and heroes, because of their Clone and Blackout Bomb abilities. The clone ability helps a lot against single targets, as it basically gives you more than twice the original damage. To further let Blade Troopers snipe single targets, upgrading Flow technology two times makes them stealth, and the Blackout Bomb removes the opposing player's ability to give orders to any units caught in the bomb, making it impossible to run away. Sneaking up to an enemy hero, coming out of stealth to throw a Blackout Bomb, then cloning your army to receive a huge damage boost, is sure to leave your opponent cursing.

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Remember, to keep Blade Troopers moving at their full speed when ordered to travel short distances, you must click the destination multiple times.

Against Novus

Blade Troopers can be a game winner in a Novus-vs.-Novus battle. Not only are they very effective against Ohm Robots, they can also sneak in to an enemy base and take out the Flow Generator, or even a newly finished tech center. Since they become stealth early on in the Flow tech tree, the opposing player will probably not have stealth detection in time if you went for the Flow tree, which isn't too bad against Novus later on, either.

Also, if your opponent starts out with Ohm Robots instead of Variants, you'll have some excellent combat units.

However, Blade Troopers are still anti-infantry and anti-structure specialists. While their damage isn't too bad against light vehicles, decently microed Variants will beat them, so don't rely on Blade Troopers only. Use them for hit and run, disruption, and support.

If you have some Blade Troopers over from the early game, they aren't too shabby late-game, either, with their Blackout Bomb ability. Use the bombs on enemy Field Inverters to give your own the edge, or on heroes to assassinate them.

There's also a classic Blade Trooper rush where you get Blade Troopers as fast as possible, then attack your enemy with them. This is an oldschool strategy that has been around for ages, but it's really a cheese strategy, since if your opponent goes for a variant opening, you'll be in a very tough spot.

In conclusion, if you have a strong economy, consider throwing in a few Blade Troopers. You only need a few of them to take down a flow generator in a reasonable amount of time, because of their clone ability. In the early game before your opponent has had a chance to upgrade his flow network, he can't even flow his vehicles there to defend. Attacking at his front while sneaking in a few blade troopers can be devastating.

You can also clone your Blade Troopers and then send in the clones to kill as many enemy units as possible in a suicide mission.

Against Masari and Hiearchy

There are two main stages of the game when blade troopers can be effective vs Masari. One is in the early midgame, after you've forced him into a defensive position and you know he's not going to retaliate. For example, if you opened up with a five Vehicle Assembly build, going mass Variants into mass Anti-Matter Tanks, you forced him to put up some Guardians and be defensive. The reason it works best when he's been forced into a defensive position is that while the Blade Troopers beat Disciples quite badly, they also lose to Figments quite badly, and going Figments is standard vs. Novus.

The other stage is the lategame, preferably the early lategame before he gets Guardians all over the place. Let's say your opponent's superweapon is getting dangerously close to zero. Sneak in your Blade Troopers, preferably while attacking somewhere else to draw his army away. You can also soften it up with the Blade Troopers and finish it off with your own superweapon if he responds too early. However, you cannot expect to be able to just sneak in some Blade Troopers and destroy any structure you want against a good player - you need to force his army away. Attacking at the front with Field Inverters, while flanking on one side with Blade Troopers and the other side with Wave Amplifiers is a good example of such an attempt. If it's going to be a suicide mission, you could always just clone your Blade Troopers at the edge of his base and send the clones in. This is also a safe way to scout.

Also, Blackout Bombs can help against a lategame Masari army, especially if you catch it by surprise. Don't waste all your Blackout Bombs at once to cover all his units - it's better to settle for one chunk of his army, and then use Blackout Bombs in that one spot to shut them down for a longer time.

Blade Troopers actually aren't as bad as they may seem against the Hierarchy. Sure, they're pretty horrible against Walkers, but they're not too bad against Reaper Drones, and their greatest "in your face" move of them all is to get around five of them to his Arrival Site, use clone, and then destroy it. Since Hierarchy will probably be stomping around with his walkers out in the map, defending against this can be very hard, especially early in the game when all he has is infantry. Infantry, as you know, aren't the best units against Blade Troopers. Even if he has a few Spitter Turrets you can take them out with the Blade Troopers, as long there's not a ridiculous amount of them.

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Blade Troopers assaulting an undefended Arrival Site.

They're also a good unit to use against Brutes. Variants work as well, but they die faster to walkers, and can't be used for much else. In most situations they are somewhat inferior compared to Blade Troopers when it comes to destroying Reaper Drones, and they can't take out the Arrival Site like Blade Troopers can, either.

Other than that, there is not much use for Blade Troopers against Hierarchy except for Blackout Bombing their walkers later on if you still have a few Blade Troopers standing around.

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