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  • The love of Hive rushing

    My thoughts on this subject. I think lately we have gotten to be much to in love with shotgun rushing hives. I don't know if anybody else notices this, but we've been failing at them 9 times out of 10. And yet, I've played strings of games where the only strategy the commander tried was phase gate shotgun hive rushes.

    I'm not arguing that this is not a valid strategy, but it might be one that we love overmuch.

    The problems I have with this strategy:
    1: Your marines are all armed with shotguns. I don't know about most people, but I'm worse with a shotgun than I am with an LMG. Partly because I have way more practice with an LMG than with a shotgun, but it's also easier to componsate for lag and such in your aim with an lmg (last resort, spray and pray, still probably going to make contact) than with a shotgun, which is an all or nothing weapon, for the most part.

    2: The shotguns are considered a one-time cost. The whole point is to go in and take the hive, and damn-all the equipment loss. If you suceed, all well and good, though you're still left with point 1, but if you fail, you're looking at a significant resource hit. And it is easier to fail than suceed, which leads me to my next point.

    3: It relies entirely on surprise. If the aliens know you're coming, and can mass in a large group, it won't work. If the aliens know you're coming and can set up a competant ambush with a small group, it won't work. If there is enough stuff in you're way to the hive, not even necissarily lame, but if aliens have chambers and such to weave through to get to the marines, It probably won't work. Not to mention all fighting is done in territory favorable to aliens (with healing and chambers et all.)

    And yet despite all this, it is by far the most common hive attacking strategy I've seen used lately. I've heard many people insist that it is just a matter of marines adapting to the game play. I think, perhaps, we should instead try adapting our strategy to the game play.

    Simply put, Shotguns are not effective weapons in unskilled hands. A good player with a shotgun is a menace, but a bad or even an average player with a shotgun is a walking corpse. And there are far fewer people that are good with a shotgun than vise versa (And I immediately mark myself among the latter) But, an HMG in an average players hands is a factor, and an HMG in a skilled players hands is just as much a menace.

    Shotguns also force marines to give up their one true advantage, range in combat. In every strategy that involves using shotguns, vs fades, hives, or what have you, the basic idea is get right up in it's grill and tear loose. When you use shotguns you are denying yourself an advantage in exchange for a perceived advantage.

    I'm not saying shotgun rushes should be abandoned, but maybe instead of having a fit every time people do some little thing that might jepordize a shotgun rush (which happens alot, and easily) We should consider trying alternative strategies. We need to start thinking situationally.

    Now, to relevant observations. In the last three games i've played on tac that we've won as marines, each time there was one obvious difference from other games. We did not shotgun rush entrenched hives. I'll give an example from a recent game on Hera with a full server of average player diversity for tac. Zib was comming this one, and I ended the game the #1 marine on the team insofar as grunt score, with a Kill-Death ratio of something akin to 20:28. (I'm not being boastful, just giving people who are aware of my skill level a relative perspective on our team's ability level) Vs a team that started with Kamakazi as it's early fade, whom left halfway and was replaced shortly after by Zek as it's fade. Again, both teams had an average skill diversity for a Tac game (so it wasn't stacked either way). Aliens started with DCD hive. Marines eventually won by being able to hold the processing area with a PG in uper processing and a Tfac on the on the ramp, using HMG's. Most importantly, we were able to hold off against a lerk gassing from the vent, as well as fade and skulk rushes from around the corner using HMG's and spreading out. We were assisted by the fact that we were able to prevent aliens from having two hives for most of the game, and were able to take out an unprotected and most importantly *ungaurded* archiving hive with the only phase rush we performed, which gave marines optimum advantage when it was used. Aliens were able to clear processing as we cleared arch, and drop dcd again (having droppd vent in the interim) and we were able to siege out dcd again using the same strategy with the same equipment, and eventually HA rush to a siege on vent ftw.

    Several things contributed to the marine victory. We used strategies that maximized benefit based on the situations, we had a little luck, and the alien team wasn't 100% coordinated behind a single purpose, though neither were we.

    Suggestions for general improvement:
    1. Try not to fall back on the preset chosen strategies. Too often the only strategies I ever see considered are all out shotgun rushes or sieges from small hallways adjacent to the hive. Mix it up abit, perhaps instead of using all out shotgun rushes, split your group with HMG's and shotguns, with the HMG's doing alien-only cover-fire and spawn camping while the shotguns concentrate on the hive. Use misdirection. Beaconing also lets aliens know you're up to something. Think to when you play aliens. If you see a beacon, the first words out of your mouth are beacon, and the second is HIVE.

    2. Don't abandon siege as an option, especially against entrenched hives. Start your siege base in a defendable position. Tfacs have long drop ranged, you don't need your tfac and phase to be on top of the sieges.

    3. Don't get dissapointed or distressed when something fails, or when you perceive someone is doing something to jepordize a strategy. Calmly attempt to rectify the error. Sometimes, no matter what you do, something won't work. You can and will lose because you were outplayed, not because you played badly.

    4. Morale is a bigger key to victory than you realize. The military knows this, that's why propeganda takes such a large role in large operations. Simply put, if marines are distraught, depressed, or filled with thoughts of failure, they'll be just a little slower, their aim just a little poorer. For one marine, that might not mean much, but for a whole team? Conversely, when you're upbeat, and think you have a chance of suceeding, there is every likelyhood you're going to give it your all, as it were. I'm going to pick on wyz as an obvious example, especially as of late (sorry wyz) But anytime somebody does something that he doesn't agree with, he goes into his shriek mode. *which is all right,* yelling gets people's attention. What's not all right is that if he thinks the person isn't listening to his orders the Instant he conveys them, his voice takes on a distressed tone or inflection, which makes the listener believe that whatever he's done has just now doomed the marine team. While it is probably the truth, The heat of battle is not the proper time to convey this to him, because it's probably going to affect his performance for the rest of the match. This is an especially fatal flaw in a commander. As Comm, you need to cooly observe the situation and make rational decisions. Any emotion you show WILL AFFECT YOUR TEAM. Use that to your advantage!

    Excuse me for the rather long post, as I sort of combined alot of things under one more general gripe. I encourage you to reply to specific parts of the post to assist in following the line of thought.
    a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
    Celibacy is not Hereditary.
    Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
    Happiness is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
    Flying is easy, Just throw yourself at the ground and miss!


  • #2
    Re: The love of Hive rushing

    Originally posted by Spyder
    ... Excuse me for the rather long post, as I sort of combined alot of things under one more general gripe. I encourage you to reply to specific parts of the post to assist in following the line of thought.
    WOW. What a great writeup. Brings up some realy good points!
    birdie_in_Texas:ok..i feel stupid here..what is "NS"..? Wyzcrak:Natural Selection. Don't feel at a loss for not knowing the acronym. Feel at a loss for not having experienced the game.

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    • #3
      Re: The love of Hive rushing

      A shotgun rush on a hive (a ninja phase) is almost always the aliens fault because of lack of scouting. Getting a phase up near a hive then shoot the hive takes little skill and while is can be an effective tactic depending on how many aliens are near the hive at the time.

      Note read this thread: http://www.tacticalgamer.com/showthread.php?t=22066

      I think the most effective and surefire way to kill a hive is to A) siege or B) kill most of the aliens then go into the hive and gun it down. The most effect time to do A or B is while the second hive is building if the aliens dropped the hive when they should have it should be around 5 minuets to 6 min into the game. At this time you should have enough res and somewhat good tech lvl to attempt a kill on the second hive. This is when the game is ultimately decided.

      As comm. if you do kill the second hive do not go for the first hive right after that unless the aliens have NOTHING left ie they donít have fades or rt. Recap res and tech to HA (or jp if itís a good jp map). Iíve seen too many games lost because marines attack the last hive with 2 rt while the aliens still have 2 fades, they get pushed backed and the aliens get back the second hive.

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      • #4
        Re: The love of Hive rushing

        If I would have started commanding, in 1.0, with the strength I have from the chair today, in 3.0, I never would have earned the fear I inspire from the chair, less so each time I get in it.

        This build is killing me.

        I've said I can't wait for the next build... the next approach towards a perfect balance. This build has made both aliens and marines stronger... much stronger.. and stronger players means stronger, more satisfying gameplay.

        I was on the ground in a recent game when the commander was doing everything right and the grunts just couldn't get a break. Tempest remained upbeat, which really seemed foreign to me at first. "It's alright guys.. hey.. get me station." "Great job guys.. oh.. oh... one more shot into South Loop... GOOD JOB!" I felt like I was in Mr. Rogers' neighborhood. And yet it occured to me how opposite I am of that.

        That was about a week ago, and I've been trying to lean more in that direction since then, when things aren't going well for me from the chair. I still scream at people, but I try to make it really educational when I do, instead of just screaming into a vacuum. Most importantly, I'm trying moreso to make it clear to my marines when they've done well.

        So... yeah... as has always been the case for the last two and a half years... I've got some self-improvement ahead.

        About shotgun rushes.. I see the pattern also, and I'm eager to depart from it more often. I need to seige more. It just seems that too many hives are really hard to seige. The aliens, if they're smart, have soooooo many distractions to throw at my marines as they scramble to build... distractions that, if ignored while building, will destroy the entire effort within seconds. Maybe I need to focus on getting my marines to fall on cannons like they've learned to fall on an alien node when entering a room.

        Great writeup, Ninja.
        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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        • #5
          Re: The love of Hive rushing

          Originally posted by Wyzcrak
          About shotgun rushes.. I see the pattern also, and I'm eager to depart from it more often. I need to seige more. It just seems that too many hives are really hard to seige.
          Yeah, there is truth there. Some hives have good siege spots (fusion from cargo, for example, is a marine friendly siege) but so many have siege locations in small hallways adjacent to hives. (ventilation, sat comm, archiving, which needs to be sieged from practically in the hive...etc. etc. etc.)
          a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
          Celibacy is not Hereditary.
          Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
          Happiness is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
          Flying is easy, Just throw yourself at the ground and miss!

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          • #6
            Re: The love of Hive rushing

            Archiving DOES need to be seiged from the inside of the hive. Sat Com can be seiged from the north hall way pretty easily. Waste is another bad seige, but it does have a good shooting spot to LMG or better yet, GL it down. (that spot under the hive). Fusion = one of the best seige spots on all the maps. Eclipse has a deciant seige spot as well as maitnace and comp core. you just gotta have well trained and smart marines, Go to door A,B,C Guard like a mad dog, and kill aliens like there is no tommorow. Seiging to me has been something i've been wanting to do more often, its just that, typically the marines on this server are sooo unused to seiging, no one goes into the good "outer" defendable spots while 3 or so people build seiges. A great seige spot is directly west of mother interface, that place is one of the best seige spots, have someone stand on the TF in the corner guarding the mother interface hallway AND the port hall way, while 3 marines guard the hive hall way and the rest of your marines build. Its just that, sooo much frendly fire occurs its unbelievable then the fades come in and obliterate my hmgs or i screw up *cough* *cough* mother *cough* and get proto and research Heavy Armor before giving out HMGs or Shotties. But still, we need to work on seiging hives. Reminds me of when lazyeye tried to seige eclipse, we were winning badly, and the aleins got eclipse up somehow. We tried to seige but,,, things didn't go so well. We were slaughtering the aliens until we tried to seige, then we became hugly disorginzed and it was every marine for him self kinda situtation, no one guarding. and it turned ugly quickly

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            • #7
              Re: The love of Hive rushing

              Originally posted by Infro
              A great seige spot is directly west of mother interface,
              God, this reminds me of a humourous game we played last night. We relocated to mother interface against a start hive in the hive location you can siege from there (subspace?) and it took the team *7 minutes* to realize that, hey, we can siege their hive from our spawn!
              Granted, we had spent the interim time on map control, and aliens were only then getting close to having a second hive, but still, 7 minutes =P. Needless to say, we ended up winning, as we sieged out subspace, and then beaconed and semi-rushed mother (ended up with pg/tf at aux, and then taking out mother with 2 GL's and an HMG covering just because half the team was off at port I think)

              I remember covering the sieges with some wicked mine placement in that hallway too. Took out 3 aliens with 3 seperate mines. Great stuff. I chaclk this up to us being way too afraid of siege as a viable tactic. It costs money, but it works out to cost almost the same as a shotgun rush, so why not?
              a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
              Celibacy is not Hereditary.
              Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
              Happiness is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
              Flying is easy, Just throw yourself at the ground and miss!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The love of Hive rushing

                Cost in res, yes. Cost in time, no.

                I think that's the real issue with the lack of sieging. To beacon and drop shotguns takes 5 seconds, and there's very little to defend once back out in the field. A TF requires FAR more vigilance due to the time to make it, upgrade it, and build sieges for it. Add to that the dearth of siege spots in general, and you have a receipe for shotgun rushes.
                [volun2]
                NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
                Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
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                • #9
                  Re: The love of Hive rushing

                  Yes, but if you're smart, you're making the aliens fight on your turf and on your rules. We need to practice how to properly guard a siege spot, as well as the proper use of mines in such situations (dropping 5 mines on top of the PG is not always the best use of them...)
                  And not just sending 5 mines with the first rush, but keeping the entire battlefield mined, *especially* in hallway sieges. Most fades aren't afraid of mines, but if they hit 2-3 mines on the way in, they're hurting. (i've seen a fade die to mines alone blinking towards a PG and hitting 5-6 ungrouped mines on the way.)
                  Last edited by Pokerface; 05-26-2005, 10:55 AM. Reason: Because I'm a noob and hit "Edit" instead of "Quote"
                  a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
                  Celibacy is not Hereditary.
                  Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
                  Happiness is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
                  Flying is easy, Just throw yourself at the ground and miss!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The love of Hive rushing

                    I've died to a group of four mines, they were placed in a square before the PG, the PG was about 5 feet north of cargo hive, i blinked in from tempature control, wasn't thinking about anything but getting to the back of the hive where the shotgunners were, the PG was in a direct line from the top of that ramp, past the corner to cargo hive, when i blinked in, i wasn't even thinking about mines or the PG, just getting to the shotgunners, BANG dead. instantly, damn the mines, BTW every mine is like a shotgun blast to a fade, doing 125 damage a peice, (shotties do 170, but you normally don't NAIL a fade with all the pellets.) four mines = 500 damage, fade health, 300+300=600 at one hive. that left me with 100 HP i guess i probably took some flak coming in. hehe mines can be quite useful, especially considering if they kill 5 skulks they've paid for themselves in res, and paid 3 times that in life time at least. (well worth it.)

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                    • #11
                      Re: The love of Hive rushing

                      The secret to always winning is to never pick a fight you're going to lose.

                      I think it is most important to know what hives to siege and where. For example, the elevator into vent on ns_caged is almost always a losing siege (and almost always very prolonged). sewer is also nigh impossible to siege. Gen, on the other hand, is a beautiful hive to siege. The hallway is nice and open, marines have plenty of space to spread out and the aliens have a long way to run to reach them.

                      A siege can also make a good distraction. After a bit of sieging, leave two marines at the siege spot and have the rest rush a hive (shotty or not)- either way, one of the hives is bound to go down, and usually the other hive will follow shortly after.

                      And a little less medspam at the siege can make enough money for some redundancy. An extra pg, or an extra tf, are really not that expensive, and marines usually have some time while the tf is upgrading. For the price of 6 medpacks and a few ammo packs, you effectively have a pg that's twice as difficult to take down. Some marines may have been lost, but now the siege point is that much easier to hold.

                      Anyway I think sieges are fun, and would like to see more of them. They really add some intense moments with some intense teamwork on both sides.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The love of Hive rushing

                        I wonder why it is everyone assumed an attack on a hive must be a rush? Or a siege? I've yet to participate in an assualt on a hive, from a nearby and well defended PG. So long as you keep killing the gorges, you would eventually bring down the hive, and you might not even need to devote your whole team to it. A 3 man team could to it, 1 defending the PG the other two slowly wearing down the hive. Meanwhile that leaves 4 marines free for the rest of the map.
                        "Chance favors the prepared mind" -Sir Isaac Newton

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                        • #13
                          Re: The love of Hive rushing

                          I know it a crappy drawing, but all I had to use was MSPaint.

                          Anyway, this is my idea of how to effectively siege Computer Core on Eclipse.
                          The part of the map that the drawing represents should be familiar. The TF should be wedged in the corner so nothing can get behind it. Put the sieges (triangles) around the TF so that they will be in range of electricity (electrify the TF if res is available). The Xs are where the marines stand. The PG goes just at the top of the ramp.

                          The idea here is that the sieges are protected by marines from a long range... there is no reason to be down by the sieges unless you are building. Only one person should be building/welding at any time. If you catch the aliens by surprise, then all should build and the run back behind the PG once pinging starts. There should be 1 person with a GL in the far corner. The gl only fires when skulks are on the sieges. The other marines can protect against the fade and skulks that might move toward the PG.

                          I saw a similar setup work quite well on ns_rampage. What made it successful is the marines stood way back and let the range do the work.

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                          • #14
                            Re: The love of Hive rushing

                            My last post touched on this sortof, but another problem with the conventional strategy of a shotgun rush is that it (almost always) cuases the whole team to be focused on a single part of the map. I've frequently seem the marines lose a round becuase while they had thier whole team rushing a hive (successfully or not) a few kharaa would gain ground elsewhere on the map. The best example I can think of for this is when after a hive rush the commander notices he's lost several or most of his nodes during that time. Yeah, he may have gotten a hive down, but now he doesn't have the economy to gain another, maybe doesn't even have enough to hold the hive he has. The commander then has to divert troops to regaining res, allowing the kharaa to gain in strength.
                            "Chance favors the prepared mind" -Sir Isaac Newton

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                            • #15
                              Re: The love of Hive rushing

                              Kormendi, I think I know where you're talking about (assuming I rotate that image 180 degrees to see it as it appears on the mini map, and the hallways aren't to scale :P).

                              Aliens could still get the jump on marines- there's a vent right behind that PG which would be a big issue if aliens had eclipse hive as well, and another vent across from it that connects to the computer core. They could complicate things a bit. While marines could watch both of these for aliens, that would be two fewer marines watching the rest of the stuff. Not to mention a gorge could easily bile the pg from either vent.

                              A good strategy, but not perfect if the aliens remember their friends the vents :)

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