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Tempo: a basic guide #1 Marines

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  • Tempo: a basic guide #1 Marines

    Simple explanation: Tempo is a way of describing who is reacting to who.

    The "playing to win" thread got me thinking about this, seeing as it point's out a major factor in Tempo, so I thought while I was thinking about it I'd put a thread up for it. This thread is marine oriented but if this one goes well Iíll probably put one of for the Kharaa specifically.

    There are a lot of terms out there that describe the same thing: momentum, reaction, aggression, (one of my favorites I've read) "Choice of Reaction or Action" and many others. I like Tempo because it's short, easy to say, and isn't frequently used with a different meaning.

    This is a topic military tacticians can discuss and argue about for hours, so Iím pretty much expect Someone to disagree with meÖ

    Ok, a quick summary of how the word Tempo is used:

    Controlling Tempo: when you have the ability in an area to be able to decide what the state of Tempo is.

    Having Tempo: when you are acting on a course of action that you chose to start, then you Have Tempo.

    Gaining Tempo: when you negating the other sideís course of action, or you are achieving your own actions you are Gaining Tempo.

    No Tempo: when you are not actively taking action, then you have No Tempo.

    Losing Tempo: if you are having to counter-act the other sides attempts to stop your preferred course of action, or if the other team is gaining Tempo then you are Losing Tempo.

    Lost Tempo: when you no longer able to create your own course of actions, then you have Lost Tempo

    Free Tempo: When neither side has a specific goal in place, then a state of Free Tempo exists.

    Simple eh? Not really, because most of these states can coexist. What I mean by this, is in most situations you will have one area that has Tempo, while in another you will gaining or losing Tempo. In NS a common situation is that both teams will Have Tempo: in separate parts of the map.

    Before I start going into the many theories of how Tempo is used, Iíll stop and get onto how this applies to NS.

    First off, forget about ever having Tempo over the whole map in a match with under ~16 players on your team. NS maps are just too big.

    Next, the first thing you need to do is choose where you want to control the Tempo. For marines Marine Start and the area immediately around it is your first choice, and Iíll use that as an example, seeing as it always applies (unless you relocate, at which point just count where you relocate as MS).

    When I say you need to control MS and the area around it I donít mean you have to fortify it. The most common method of doing this (even if people donít think about this) is to push out away from MS. Simply drawing the fight somewhere else means the other teams doesnít act in that area, therefore you have control of the tempo there. It is possible to gain control of the area around MS with fortification, or guards, but that requires an inefficient amount of resources or personnel, which is why most people donít view it as a good idea. However you gain control of the area, once you have control itís time for the next step.

    You now have to decide on what portions of the map you want to control. For NS you really have two groups to choice from: economically important, and strategically important locations. Some commanders will do better with one or the other, and that should be how you decide on where. You can try to gain control of more than one location at a time at this step, just keep in mind that if you spread your forces too thin you will have problems holding control of those areas.

    Now at around this point you will probably encounter the other team. There are a whole lot of things to keep in mind as this happens and this is where most games are decided, so:

    ō Donít forget about what your goals are (or as another put it: "play to win").

    ō Donít forget about what your Whole team is doing.

    ō Donít forget about your economy.

    ō Donít under any circumstances ignore what the other team is doing. This one is especially important for marines, because few teams will change their tactics quickly, so by paying attention early you will know how they are going about their own plans.

    ō Donít be unwilling to change your goal in reaction to the other team. Itís better to change your plans to something easily achievable instead of following through on something you will have to work very hard to achieve. You should generally try to hit the enemy where they are weak before where they are strong.

    ō Donít ignore a potential major threat to achieve a definite minor gain.

    ō Donít lightly devote all of your resources to one action. All or nothing attacks arenít a wise idea. Only use them when they are necessary.

    > Any area that does not have a player in it (or has a player doing nothing in it) either has No Tempo or Free Tempo. Structures are most definitively not players.

    After achieving your goal, simply repeat the process. If all goes well, you will eventually win. But all rarely goes well, and thereís a good chance that you will eventually lose Tempo (and have the other side gain Tempo) at some important location (or locations). So, a few things to remember:

    < In order for the other team to attempt to gain Tempo in a new area, they must lose Tempo somewhere else.

    < If a smaller number of marines causes a larger group of kharaa to lose Tempo, then you are achieving something, even if the marines die in the process.

    < Donít forget the importance of an area, sometimes itís better to lose an area in one location to gain it in another. Other times the opposite is true. Learn when.

    < An area defended by structures only, has No Tempo. Until a player can get there to react to you, you will be able to gain tempo in that area.

    < Never, under any circumstances, stop THINKING about offense. Even when you are forced to defend, you should keep thinking of where your next attack should be. If you donít plan on gaining ground, you will never gain ground.

    This took up more time than I expected, and Iíve sort of run out of time. I think that about sums up a good approach to the Strategy of a game of NS, and gives a good idea of what Tempo is. Iíd like to emphasize that this is about Strategy, and as such is useful for amplifying your actions, but it will not win games for you alone (most of the time). Youíll still need to be an ok to good commander in order to use this effectively.
    "Chance favors the prepared mind" -Sir Isaac Newton



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