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  • Sunderer Specialist

    I have been training, almost exclusively, as a Sunderer specialist (trapped on another PS2 server until launch). I find specialization works well for me. While waiting for the latest 3 Gig update to download herewith are some random thoughts on the use of the Sunderer.

    The new patch limits deployed Sunderers to one every 200m, which should help stop the crowding at the front line. Most drivers want to get as close as possible, usually too close.

    It is very informative to sit at the rear of a front line and observe. One by one the friendly tanks and Sunderers will get taken out by enemy fire, simply because they are too close to the kill zone. If a vehicle gets destroyed near you, that is a pretty good indication that it is time to retreat and find another approach.

    My strategy is to hold the rear or middle (or a flanking middle) position with my Sunderer deployed UNTIL there are very few friendly vehicles left in forward positions. Then I mobilize and RETREAT to a secure position until a new front line has been secured. Very few utilize the tactic of strategic withdrawal.

    The worst position to be in is the last standing Sunderer. This is an indication that the enemy has overwhelmed the front line and will very shortly destroy your vehicle. The temptation is to stay put as dozens of friendlies spawn in on your Sunderer. Almost every instance of this scenario has ended in disaster. Pull up stakes (mobilize), retreat -- usually into an advancing line of friendly tanks, turn around and relocate near the newly formed front line. This PS2 battles have very predictable rhythms and stages -- knowing them will ensure survival and reduce down time from getting refitted with another Sunderer.

    DO NOT count on friendlies to defend or repair your Sunderer. Some will, but most will play with an almost blind form of selfishness. Of course, the ideal Sunderer team has 2 or 3 people ENTIRELY dedicated to the security of the vehicle. Sunderer teams (working with me) will need to be fairly patient and selfless vis a vis game rewards, as my strategy of engagement is focused on supporting the team, not gaining points or constantly running off to shoot and die (rinse and repeat).

    Keep in mind the the governing principle behind all my actions in PS2 is DO NOT DIE. Not a necessary principle, but one I choose to follow as it makes the game much more interesting for me.

    When a deploy location is reasonably secure I will leave the Sunderer and provide ENG repair and ammo services, and often work an extreme flank, where enemy snipers are usually found. Most of the kids opt for a direct line of assault, leaving flanks weakly defended.

    My overall strategy is a LOW ENERGY form of engagement. Cover, defensive posture, use friendlies as cannon-fodder (always ensure there are friendlies between you and the enemy position. Friendlies will damage the enemy, any that get through will be wounded and easy kills.

    A low energy style of engagement is easier on my old hands, and turns the game into a immersive cinematic experience. When I am without a vehicle I'll turn the HUD off completely and let my eyes and ears guide me -- very intense way to play.

    I make no claims that this is the best or only way to play or utilize the Sunderer. It is simply my way.

    Time to play.

    EDIT:

    Owww, nice new DEPLOY animation!
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  • #2
    Re: Sunderer Specialist

    Good read. Folks' emphasis should always be on surviving the fight and doing everything they can to make sure their team members survive. There's no shame in retreating when your soldier is wounded or your vehicle needs repairs. Live to fight. And heck yeah, watch the flanks!




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    • #3
      Re: Sunderer Specialist

      Spent three hours at Zurvan Station last night.

      In search of a front line I rolled out of the Warpgate, headed to Zurvan, was attacked at the outskirts of Zurvan and retreated to the safety of the vehicle bay at Z Station. Assisted in eliminating tangos in the station, healed the shield generators (amazing how little attention these can receive), and fought off enemies at the west gate for the next two hours along with other friendlies. Good practice in close quarters combat. Used stealth, concealment, and let the enemy come to me. Ended with a slighter favourable K/D ratio.

      One of the best tactics follows Zen principles of warfare. Watchfulness, patience, and above all else, stillness. Remaining still for prolong periods reveals enemy positions, lines of infiltration, supporting friendlies, and so on.

      Also key is the long view. Every front line has the distance shooters positioned at the rear and on the flanks. If they cannot be taken out they can be suppressed.

      The canon-fodder friendlies will do the job of pushing the front line forward and revealing enemy positions. This leaves more tactical work for others to do, such as support vehicles, repair, keep flanks clear or at least suppressed, and so on.

      Engineer support of non-communcative vehicles is a high risk job. The smart drivers will retreat to cover for repairs. The blind foolish will keep pushing forward under fire and very quickly get destroyed. I have noted that attempts to help the foolish are a waste of time and inevitably get you killed along with them.

      Also noticed how easy it is to kill someone running across an open area. Stand still, use optics, fire slightly ahead of their path. Must be done from a secure position as this renders you visible to other enemies, of course.

      More from the mater of the obvious later!

      E-Male
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      • #4
        Re: Sunderer Specialist

        Hmm thought I responded.

        I personally love the Sundy and as a Ground Pounder will be specializing in it myself along with the Engineer kit. One night Al was running a Public TG squad and Myself, Raider, and Coiled were acting as an 'attached' Sunderer Element which stayed behind the main line keeping tabs on the Sunderer and moving it when needed.

        We would keep the Sunderer in the back by necessity and it worked really well.

        I just think this is awesome that other TG people are willing to specialize like so.

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        • #5
          Re: Sunderer Specialist



          Played another style of engagement tonight.

          The Sunderer is a flexible weapon and its uses and strengths varying according to many factors.

          Had two anonymous gunners who were good. This changed my use of the Sunderer from the defensive posture mentioned in the first post to a more aggressive stance.

          I had to deploy less frequently so as to be able to move faster, but was therefore more agile and effective with the combined use of two heavy machine guns. Even without the benefit of comms, two good gunners made a fearsome weapon.

          I usually retreated upon taking damage, repaired, and returned. This proved particularly effective when other friendly armour was supporting the immediate area.

          I also used the Sunderer as a mobile gun platform while I was the sole occupant. The enemy was engaged while the Sunderer was with a large column of friendly armour. The main target was enemy air. The Sunderer help strengthen the immediate air defences and remained secure in the midst of a large friendly armour contingent.
          Last edited by E-Male; 11-04-2012, 11:04 PM.
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          • #6
            Re: Sunderer Specialist

            I have found mostly the same things when using the sunderer. Admittedly I tend to stay till the end on assaults. This is someone I will think about.

            • I've noticed several situations where a small unit maneuvering a sunderer can have decisive effects:

              If you have a good force, something like a platoon or more, and you attack a base, the enemy will get boxed in after a while normally (unless enemy has much more people). Then this critical phase starts where the enemy will first die a lot, and then lose control of spawning abilities. This being locked in can even easily happen to the larger force of the two. If then in the defending force, someone would bring a sunderer or a small group of tanks from a different area, they can often break the back of the assault by killing sunderers or merely from the pressure from outside put on the enemy. Suddenly the attack can lose all consistency, and break easy, like an egg you push on the side instead of the top ends.

              On the attacking side, it is the same. If a large force attacks from a single sunderer, or has only a single one left due to fighting, there is a good chance that the enemy will push you back and take it out, or flank your main attacking force and take it out. Again someone bringing spawns and/or armor to a different side of the attacked base, can be crucial in preventing the enemy from easily capturing your spawn. If you attack with one sundy, often your larger attacking force will be massacred by a slightly smaller force even. But if you have spawnpoints on several places around the point to attack, you can kill an enemy force larger than you.


            • Putting your Sundy where there is access to high ground over the point to attack/defend can be invaluable.

            • The mortar for the Sundy was recently buffed imo. Splash seems a lot larger since this weekend. When I fire I get way more hits, not more damage afaik.

            • Originally posted by E-Male View Post
              One of the best tactics follows Zen principles of warfare.
              E-Male
              Oh rly :p ? Typo? Zen principles for fighting? I am not really sure of it, and it is debatable I figure, but I have never heard of Zen principles for any kind of fighting. As far as I know there is no Buddhist philosophy of fighting. There is of course the Bushido warrior philosophy in Japan, where we are situated if we speak of Zen. On the other hand I am wondering though if the Shaolin call themselves Buddhist.

              *googling ... plz stand by...googling...*

              Ah yes they clearly call themselves Buddhist. Hmm interesting aberration from the doctrine! Do you have any documentation for me? I have never come across any texts of zen fighting philosophy as such. I have studied this quite a bit though, and have visited three buddhist countries. All I ever hear is stuff about compassion, peace.

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            • #7
              Re: Sunderer Specialist

              Apply the principles of stillness and mindfulness to an otherwise chaotic situation.

              This is the Zen of Warfare.

              Buddhism 2.0

              Previously undocumented as I just made it up.

              Which is basically how all religious systems evolve.

              We make them up.
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              • #8
                Re: Sunderer Specialist

                More on the principles and tactics of the Sunderer Specialist . . .

                Found myself using another new (to me) tactic with the Sunderer last night.

                The NC had established a solid front line of tanks. My Sunderer is equipped to resupply ammo. I would drive up to each tank/sunderer in the front line, wait briefly while my Sunderer resupplied the friendly vehicle, and move on to the next one. Very effective way to support the front line when not in AMS-deployed mode.

                This could evolve into a three Sunderer squad senerio. S1 is behind the front line with AMS deployed. S2 has the AMMO perk and S3 has the REPAIR perk. S1 and S2 move together, swiftly, from vehicle to vehicle at the front line simultaneously repairing and rearming the armour at the front line.

                Other tactical issues:

                First objective is ALWAYS to locate the front line. A lone Sunderer is an easy target and must be safely embedded in a group of supporting armour. I have found the most dangerous time for my Sunderer is the initial journey/hunt for the front line.

                Once an objective has been secured, but before the final moments when the points are awarded, there is a critical time when the next probable objective should be identified. The Sunderer should then be MOBALIZED and moved towards the next hostile objective, but moved only so far so that your Sunderer's outer perimeter (the circle that appears around you on the HUD map when your vehicle is deployed) just reaches the objective.

                The goal here is to get your Sunderer deployed in an advanced position so as to be a useful spawn point but still in reasonable proximity to friendly forces. You want to beat other friendly Sunderers to the next objective and establish a good spawn location, but at the same time ensure your vehicle's security. The trick is to deploy a little father off the enemy target than most friendlies usually do, and to do so at the earliest possible time. I plan to make a video demonstrating the tactic.

                The combination of AMS, AMMO, and situation awareness makes the Sunderer a very powerful weapon when used in conjunction with the right mix of friendly assets.
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                • #9
                  Re: Sunderer Specialist

                  Spot on with the concept of 'front line' finding. This is best done by a few small infantry up ahead or following a minimap zerg.

                  I like the M60 a ton for CQ protection. Its a great clearer in those amp stations... in the open is another story.

                  Sundy w/ Ammo + AMS is currently the best version though I'd kill to see a few Trojan Horse Sundies inaction with full infantry loads.

                  Any experimentation with the A30 Walker?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sunderer Specialist

                    Typing this while at uOttawa on my new Samung 7 inch tablet, waiting to deliver the last lecture in the Fall semester . . .

                    New tactics using anti-tank mines require Sunderers to maintain greater safe distances -- approx 50 feet seems minimum from previous safe zones. Need a few sceen captures to illustrate.

                    Am often seeing friendly Sunderers park against a wall or large boulder get taken out by airhopping infantry armed with mine. Also witness tank pulling right up to S., second driver pop out,drop mine and destroy Sunderer.

                    All this means is it remains imperative to keep defensive distance between my Sunderer and the front line. Spent last night watching friendly vehicles get taken out in front of me (50+ feet forward). As the front line disintegrated I would withdraw 200 feet or more to cover/next base, deploy, become primary spawn point, wait for front line to reestablish, then move forward midway between front line and retreat zone, and reengage enemy air and armour via my Sunderer.

                    Getting VERY attached to my vehicle. Still need to write out my SOPs. Playing on INDAR only until I have mastered the environment.

                    Running under a secret identity until ready to join the unit. Rarely encounterTG, but did spend an evening following Undead's Sunderer.

                    Saving certs for final 500 cert AMMO expansion, then will cert-up SPEED -- getting away fast is tactical priority.

                    Having fun using the undercarriage lighting as a signal -- BLINKING MOBILE AMMO DEPOT.

                    Sunderer needs a horn.

                    Back to school. One more lecture then I can return to writing my next book.

                    E-Male
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                    • #11
                      Re: Sunderer Specialist

                      As the killer of many TR Sunderers (and a few VS) I can definately say that the Anti-Vehicle Mine unlock is the bane of the AMS Sunderer.

                      Because of this I think the AMS Sunderer should invest in Mine Guard and follow your rules. Furthermore the Sunderer should be considered the "HQ" from which the LoC flows to and from (depending on internal/external LoC) and as such, in a large chaotic battle, a squad should be away from it constantly patrolling the immediate area for a zerging player with C4 or AVMs.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sunderer Specialist

                        I love my Sundy. I know who you are Emale!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sunderer Specialist

                          Originally posted by UnDeaD View Post
                          I love my Sundy. I know who you are Emale!
                          Shhh!

                          I'm following you!
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                          • #14
                            Re: Sunderer Specialist

                            More thoughts on the Sunderer:

                            Three hits and you are done -- destroyed.

                            It can be that quick.

                            In both the case of enemy air and armour the Sunderer (without armour perk) is VERY fragile.

                            As the AMS cannot be used with Blockade armour, and as I am an AMS-Sunderer specialist, the fragile nature of my Sunderer can only be countered with speed, distance, and density of friendlies in the area.

                            I find that, time and again, if I encounter enemy air or armour and am alone, there is a VERY high probability of catastrophic failure from incoming enemy fire. This makes being isolated as dangerous as being too close to the front line.

                            I am still getting taken out by single air/armour when alone (or almost alone -- note that having a gunner makes little difference, having two gunners and a driver might make more difference, but it would still come down to who shot first).

                            The main thing is to not put yourself in a position were an AMS-Sunderer is taking fire and isolated.

                            Safety in numbers.

                            E
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                            • #15
                              Re: Sunderer Specialist

                              Originally posted by E-Male View Post
                              ...snip

                              As the AMS cannot be used with Blockade armour

                              snip...
                              Incorrect. The S-AMS cert is in the Utility slot, whereas Blockade Armor is in the Defense slot. Perhaps you were thinking of the Shield Diffuser? That one shares the Utility slot with S-AMS.

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