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  • Lerk Counters?

    So I've been seeing far too many games lately that are decided by a single early lerk that marines are never able to do anything about, and I think the community would profit from a discussion of how to counter a good early lerk.

    I'm not talking about the lerk that gasses from a vent, that can often be countered by simply ignoring it, or by a comm med-spamming the builders in a siege being gassed. What I'm trying to figure out is what you can do against the type of lerk that comes into a room of 5 marines, pancakes around and kills everyone one by one. I'm not looking for "learn to aim nub" responses, so please try to avoid that.

    The only thing I've seen work a few times is a shotty predicting where the lerk is going to leave, and killing him as he tries to exit. For fades or oni, you can usually overcome them by moving in groups and blocking exits, but this doesn't seem as effective against lerks, as a good lerk seems to be able to easily avoid the block, and being in a group doesn't help when none of you can hit the lerk anyway.

    A single marine can always be taken down with sufficient teamwork, because if nothing else he has to reload eventually and it doesn't matter how good his aim is when he can't shoot. Likewise, a good fade or onos can be taken down by a group of marines working together, and the method for doing this is well understood and used on a regular basis. On the other hand, a single good lerk often completely demoralizes me because I know that there is nothing I can do about it (I know many of you will have heard me say something of the sort on the server...).

    As being demoralized and hoping someone on my team is better than me and able to save us isn't very productive or very TGish, I'm hoping to find a couple of ideas for what I (and others with the same dilemma) can do in these types of games to still be useful to my team.

    edit: By "counter" I don't necessarily mean killing the lerk, any response that lets the marine team accomplish something despite the presence of said lerk would qualify as a counter.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 06-30-2006, 06:21 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Lerk Counters?

    if you're only dealing with a lerk, getting everybody to switch to the pistol and unloading on it is usually your best strategy. 0DC Lerks can die in a pistol clip or so, and people tend to aim a little bit more with the pistol. When you got a bunch of people with LMG's, they tend to spray and try to follow the lerk, resulting in lots of bullets going behind it.
    a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
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    • #3
      Re: Lerk Counters?

      I look forward to reading that first post when it has line breaks between points/thoughts.
      Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

      Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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      • #4
        Re: Lerk Counters?

        If its a really amazing early lerk against really amazing marines the marines shouldnt be able to kill the lerk untill the second hive seige. The objective of the marines early game should be to get out and kill an RT or two BEFORE the early lerk shows up, that gives you near a minute to find an RT and kill it. Once the lerk shows up then the marines probably wont be able to kill any more RTs, unless the comm spends alot of res on shotguns to kill the lerk. You will want to keep a few marines on offense to keep the lerk busy while other marines cap and gain a little bit of map control. After the lerk dies in the second hive seige youll be looking at the RT-lerk, which will probably just gas you to death. Killing the early lerk any time before the second hive seige provides the marines with a HUGE advantage.

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        • #5
          Re: Lerk Counters?

          Number 1, shotguns. Preferably not everyone with a shotgun, one or two shotguns and some lmgs are best. A decent shotty blast will not kill a lerk alone, but toss in a couple bullets and you might finish it off.

          Remember even if you don't kill the lerk, you have deflected it until it can regenerate.

          Damage 1 will reduce the number of bullets the lerk can take by one or two. This may not seem like much, but when facing lerks damage 1 is often more useful than armor 1 (they tend to strip off your armor either way). Even better if you use shotguns. Of course to remain effective against skulks, armor is important.

          Also strategically from the commanders perspective, it would be wise to set goals for the team in areas that will be harder for the lerk to harass you at. More confined spaces will keep the lerk at a distance gassing you instead of running in. Vents will give the lerk an opportunity either to gas you or an extra exit to flee from. Wide open spaces make it easier to pancake.

          Like tours said, hitting rts early is also a good counter. The best counter is one that leave the opponent having to make the worse choice rather than making you react to the better.

          Another option is a chamber rush (go to the hive, kill thier chambers) The hive is often poorly defended earlier in the game and more than enough time for two marines working together to kill an MC or two.

          I have not seen this done very often in a game, but taking out the chambers can really set back the alien team, and also give you that extra edge over the lerk.

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          • #6
            Re: Lerk Counters?

            Originally posted by Irish Pirate
            Number 1, shotguns. Preferably not everyone with a shotgun, one or two shotguns and some lmgs are best. A decent shotty blast will not kill a lerk alone, but toss in a couple bullets and you might finish it off.
            Lerks die easily to a surprise shotgun. To achieve that, give out one shotgun and send that marine out with others. Let the LMG marines take care of skulks while they're out, and try as hard as possible to not let the aliens know you have that shotgun until you're shooting at the lerk with it. The second any alien sees/hears the shotgun(s) out the element of surprise is gone, which is critical to taking out good lerks.

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            • #7
              Re: Lerk Counters?

              There are many ways to counter an early biting lerk and here they are:

              First off when your a marine in the field donít just start unloading your lmg on the lerk the instant you see him, unless you know it has low hp. A lot of people shoot 50 lmg shots at a lerk flying around in a room then the hardly damaged lerk just comes and kills them. The lerk can't hurt with bite when hes flying around like crazy, wait to shoot him till he comes in for the attack, or when ever you think you will hit some shots on him.

              One of the counters to a lerk is to med spam the marine the lerk is biting, many times a lerk will continune biting till he kills the marine and 2-3 medpacks can bring his doom.

              And as we know the shotgun is the main counter to a lerk, but many people don't use it right. First, you don't want the lerk to know a shotgun is out, so run with your pistol out with some other marines to cover you, when you know the lerk is near, hide in a corner then wait for the lerk to pass you, then blast him.

              I'll add some more later.

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              • #8
                Re: Lerk Counters?

                From the comm perspective, the most important thing to do is to keep your marines in groups and give your best players shotguns. Lerks are terrified of shotties and will often be reduced to gassing just for fear of being killed in 2 seconds should they attack. A group of marines that know not to waste their ammo on an evading lerk is very difficult for a bite-lerk to get close to, and a shotgun seals the deal.

                Even so, it's effectively impossible for marines to get rid of a skilled lerk. That's just how it is. Best case scenario, you kill him, and he's probably earned the res to re-gestate and be back in your face in 30 seconds. Sometimes you just have to be content with chasing him off every so often and medding through the spores.

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                • #9
                  Re: Lerk Counters?

                  Unfortunately, moving in large groups is somewhat counter-productive against Lerks. His ability to swoop in and bite is reduced, but the effectiveness of Spores is substantially increased, since he is now hurting 5 different marines at once instead of just 1.

                  If you have 1 marine standing in a gas cloud, its a fairly simple matter to keep enough medpacks on him to keep him alive, as long as no one comes to bite him. If you have 5 marines in gas, you are talking about a huge res investment to keep them in combat-ready health status, plus a great deal of micromanagement as you are now spending all of your comm-time doing nothing but medspamming.

                  I'm going to vote for the surprise shotgun as the best counter.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Lerk Counters?

                    I did my homework, damage 1 shaves off two extra lmg bullets from a lerk, each following damage level removes only 1 lmg bullet.

                    I don't know enough about typical number of shotgun pellets hitting/damage to calculate the damage level benefit to those.

                    Remember, it takes 19 lmg bullets to kill a lerk.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Lerk Counters?

                      2 lmgs can take out even the best of lerks if you use a little teamwork. Jump on the head of the biting lerk. You will probably die, but you have grounded the lerk meaning for a second your teammate has a stationary target to shoot. Thats usually all it takes. This requires alittle timing and alot of luck, but if you are 2 lmgs and you encounter a pancaking, biting lerk this is my advice. What lazyeye said is right, don't shoot at the lerk until you have a shot. The lerk is just waiting for you to run out of ammo. There is not hard and fast way to kill a lerk, all you can do is put yourself in the right position and hope for the best.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Lerk Counters?

                        I'll chime in on this since I know a bit about lerks. The only reason I get so many kills as a lerk is people don't pay attention, and they look away for just that moment I need to divebomb them for 2-3 bites. Situational awareness is your best friend against all aliens, especially weak ones like the lerk or skulks. Do not look away from a lerk, back away or backwards strafe jump so you're facing it. It's impossible to shoot a lerk if you aren't even looking in the general direction it's in. Do not shoot at lerks randomly, wait until it comes in for bites, is not moving, or is flying a predictable pattern.

                        If you spray 25 bullets at me, I will be counting the bullets and know roughly how much you have left. When you get to a certain point, I'm going to doubleback and kill you. Do not assume a lerk is running to heal when it flys out of the room. Often I feign injury just to doubleback and kill a marine reloading. Shotguns are extremely effective against lerks if they are watching the lerk. Shotgunning a node/chamber/hive/skulk is the best way to get killed by a lerk with a shotgun, because you aren't paying attention to the lerk.

                        Running away is another good one, when shotguns start running away I will own them because they aren't watching me. Always face the enemy unless you can outrun them, and not even a jetpack outruns a celerity lerk. Do not reload the moment you kill an alien, because as soon as I see the reload animation I'm coming in for some bites. If you reload AND run away at the same time, you're probably about to die. Do not try to hide if the lerk knows you are around, because more than likely the lerk can see you and you can't see it. I kill people all the time that think hiding just around the corner is going to work when I heard them running down a hallway, when instead I get 2 bites on them before they can even fire a shot off.

                        Now things to do. Do move in groups spread slightly out, but do not stand out in any way. If someone stands out, they're going to die first. The guy humping the armory to get health is obviously hurt, so he's the first to go. The guy building the phase gate that can't shoot me when I bite him. The marine that's just a second too far behind the rest of the group. These are all marines that will die first, so keep that in mind when you're doing anything with a lerk around. Be ready to defend yourself no matter what you're doing at the moment. Keeping your pistol out like lazyeye said is good when no aliens know you have shotguns, but don't do it once people know. From experience I can figure out who has the shotgun at a distance, and I tend to keep up with where specific marines are, so I don't "lose shotguns" moving around the map. I use the minimap and the kill/death section of the HUD to keep up with where everyone is, so I know where that shotgun is as I follow it on the minimap.

                        If a lerk sets a pattern, such as entering one way and exiting another, set a trap by putting someone at the exit with a shotgun. If this fails once, trying it again will probably get the blocker killed. If I ever see someone try to block me, they're the first person to die the next time I come in the room. Ask Aga :P Also do tell teammates if a hurt lifeform is heading in there direction (once again through the minimap, you can see friendlies on it for a reason), that will often seal a hurt lerks fate.

                        Pay attention to where the lerk goes when it runs away. If I'm badly hurt or think I might die on the way out and I can hide somewhere for a moment, I do. a great example of this is ns_nothing's marine start. If I get hurt and need to leave, but there are too many people shooting at me to make it out, I dive into the pit or shoot straight up the 2 large shafts at the back of the room. This lets me heal for a moment and takes the heat off of me. Often marines don't even realize I'm still in MS, and when I make a break for it no one shoots at me or they do little damage. Pay attention to where people go, and if they're still in the area try to contain them by blocking exits and sending people to flush them out.

                        All I can think of for the moment.

                        Edit: shotgun pellets start at 17 damage each, and there are 10 pellets per shot for a total of 170 for lvl0. I can pull up the exact damage calculations if someone wants them.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Lerk Counters?

                          Originally posted by TheAdj`
                          Edit: shotgun pellets start at 17 damage each, and there are 10 pellets per shot for a total of 170 for lvl0. I can pull up the exact damage calculations if someone wants them.
                          The problem lies mostly in determining a likely number of pellets that will hit.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Lerk Counters?

                            If you hurt a lerk and it is able to fly away notify your teammates that a lerk might be coming towards them. If they are lucky they might be in perfect position to kill the lerk when it flies right towards them. Same thing works against hurt fades too.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Lerk Counters?

                              I can't agree more with Adj's take on helping to counter lerks. The reason a good combat lerk gets kills probaly 80% of the time amounts to the marine not paying attention or had his back turned.

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