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  1. #1


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    Single Skulk vs. You, the Single Marine

    Single Skulk vs. Single Marine. In a perfect game this probably wouldn't happen since we all go in groups as marines, right? right?

    *hears a pin drop*

    Ok so everyone ends up alone sometime. And a lot of these times we end up getting into a battle with a lone skulk that intercepted us on our way to whereever. This post is about that situation. Keep in mind these are just some observations I'd like to share and are no way endorsed by anyone other than me.

    I don't like losing in this situation. The marine seems to have a huge advantage with a ranged weapon, yet it seems that he loses too often. This can be accounted for by a few weaknesses of the marine:

    1) Reloading. If you don't kill the skulk in the first (usually lmg) clip and pistol clip, you need to somehow reload or whip out the knife and pray.
    2) Slow backwards movement. Unlike the aliens, marines move MUCH slower in reverse which eliminates most fire-and-fall-back methods
    3) Range of motion. The skulk can climb walls and structures, marines cant.

    Reloading is a hard topic to tackle. There isn't much you can do other than improve your aim. I've seen numerous suggestions about burst firing, which might help tracking the target since your screen isn't partially obscured by the muzzle flash, but it vastly increases the time needed to eliminate the enemy skulk. One thing that I've had good luck with is using a specific weapon based on range. Pistol has amazing accuracy, the LMG spreads bullets horribly. If you spot a skulk rushing you in a short hallway, fire off a couple rounds with the pistol, and as the skulk closes switch to LMG and unload. If you didn't spend all your pistol, you can switch back and finish the clip if you get in trouble.

    Slow backwards movement is mostly overcome by strafing correctly. The tactic I've seen used by a large amount of people quite successfully is strafing in a circle. The skulk usually takes a second to realize whats going on as they vainly try to follow the marine in the circle and in that second the skulk dies. If you strafe correctly, the skulk stays perfectly aligned in your crosshairs, since the marine strafe speed is almost identical to the skulks' forward motion speed (un-celeritied of course).

    Another tactic that I've been messing with other than the strafing motions is much more risky, but if you pull it off it can be terribly effective and it looks really cool. 8) First, save your pistol. Use lmg sparingly at range and unload as they come close. If you don't kill them before they close, run straight at them and jump. If you time this perfectly the skulk usually won't react to bite in time (and if you do it really perfectly they actually can't bite you without stopping on a dime), you land on their head, hit your pistol button and jump again, spin in the air and unload on the way down. Most of the time the skulk will either stop or start circling, at the close range he's at you should be able to get at least 5 pistol into it for the kill.

    Tackling range of motion for the skulk really needs one to look at the limitations of the skulk. Railings. I can't count the number of times I tried running over a railing as a skulk and just bounced at the top while I got lit up by a smiling marine on the other side. There are enough places in various maps where a marine can simply keep the rail between them and the skulk by jumping over it and running around it in circles long enough to kill the skulk. The other thing marines don't do enough of is use the map to their advantage. Aliens do it all the time, then they go marine and they seem to forget about doing it. The best example is coolant on ns_lost. The room is a skulk heaven, 3 entrance points, multiple levels, and its fairly dark. The marine needs to take advantage of this place as much as the skulk to live. Marines need to change their level as much as possible, try and stay out of range of the skulk, or simply keep themselves in a position where they can track / fire on the skulk. One way to do this is to stay at the top, and listen for incoming skulks. Fire at the skulks if they come in from the vent or equilibrium hive, and if they come from below, get them in sight by jumping across the hall to the little ledge on the far wall. Never forget that changing your elevation by falling down or jumping to a higher level can be very disorienting for the skulk, and the skulk can even lose your position if you time it right.

    All of these tactics have their problems, I'm simply trying to illustrate the importance of micro-scale tactics. Plus I have this insane obsession with taking apart all my fights and trying to figure out why I lost, which happens way too often Practice. You may die quite often for a while, but if you're in, say, a game that is pretty much over one way or another, pick a tactic and start playing with it for the rest of the match. When you're in a really close game you'll love the fact that you took the time to get some tactic that kept you alive to build that phase gate or take out that...well phase gate I guess . Finally, I want to advocate using demos to tune your skulking and/or marine abilities. Record a demo, then watch it a couple times and try and figure out what you did that worked and what you did that got you killed. If you're short on ideas, get a friend to record demos of their skulking / marining and watch those for new tactics.

    I'd love to hear other tactics people use, not just as skulk or lmg marine either


    --Dep

    P.S.- WHOA that ended up being long.

    EDIT: see the sticky about prediction aiming, good stuff

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  3. #2

    Sasuke's Avatar

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    good post, and i disagree about burst firing being slower ... burst firing actually may kill the skulk faster since when you unload an entire clip, most of the bullets miss anyway...

    of course then there are those who can kill 2 skulks with 1 pistol clip at the beginning of the game ;P wish i could

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  5. #3

    _Ender_'s Avatar

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    actually I see more people jump around like horny monkeys then strafing..

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  7. #4

    Sasuke's Avatar

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    strafing isn't reliable as the skulk's mouth is quite wide... o_O jumping also sorta sucks since it slows you down... but jumping WHILE strafing! horny monkeys galore! pwnz0rz

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  9. #5

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    Re: Single Skulk vs. You, the Single Marine

    Quote Originally Posted by Deprecated
    Single Skulk vs. Single Marine. In a perfect game this probably wouldn't happen since we all go in groups as marines, right? right?

    *hears a pin drop*

    Ok so everyone ends up alone sometime. And a lot of these times we end up getting into a battle with a lone skulk that intercepted us on our way to whereever.
    I'd like for a lone skulk to intercept me, get me all alone. The odds of picking up a skulk seem to increase if one travels in a pack, as the skulks we seek are often grouped as well, and often ignore soloing marines.

    Waitaminute...you're aren't talking in metaphors are you? Nevermind :P

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  11. #6


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    Re: Single Skulk vs. You, the Single Marine

    Quote Originally Posted by verbose
    Waitaminute...you're aren't talking in metaphors are you? Nevermind :P
    Metaphors.....those are the things with wings, right?

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  13. #7


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    My particular tactic is strafe in a circle, works quite well =)

    I've also been known to use 5 pistol shots as the skulk approches, then switch to lmg.

    As for skulks on the resc node, what seems to throw them off is, wasting 25 or so lmg shots, and then swich to pistol, and they think your out of ammo, so they attack, then you switch to lmg and use the remaining to blow them away. I've seen others use the knife quite effecently when a skulk is on the resc node aswell.
    - 52

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  15. #8

    Sasuke's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad
    I've seen others use the knife quite effecently when a skulk is on the resc node aswell.
    letters are like putty... wait, no they're not.

    i'm glad TG members know english :P

    (Edit: if effecently = effective recently, it is creative, but still not english :P also spaces = l33t, and spelling so that people understand you is also good... let's not... you know, pull a you-know-who here.)

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  17. #9

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    i always use my pistol as a back up.... unless the skulk is really far and standing there teasing me....

    I can fire my pistol fast enought to take him down before he moves out of the way....

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  19. #10
    Emanon
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    The most fun I ever have in this game is dodging skulks. Its so much fun, so may different ways.

    Charge them and jump and crouch over the skulk.
    Charge and quick circle strafe.
    ........

    Gets my heart going!

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  21. #11


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    i think i'm going to start walking around with my pistol drawn and then switch to my LMG after i fire a few shots. I like to burst fire my shots but sometimes it is hard to remind myself to do that when i have skulks coming to eat my head.
    And god said "LET THERE BE HALF-LIFE!" and so it was...

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  23. #12

    _Ender_'s Avatar

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    I say that to myself also, "remember burst fire, burst fire is your friend" then when I see a group of skulks running after me I say "burst fire sht" and then hold down the mouse button.

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  25. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by _Ender_
    I say that to myself also, "remember burst fire, burst fire is your friend" then when I see a group of skulks running after me I say "burst fire sht" and then hold down the mouse button.
    lol, yeah, i think when you see a dog like creature run at you from a vent above you, your not thinking about anything else but it, and that makes it hard to teach yourself to burst, it can work.

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  27. #14


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    I remember a wise emanon once told me.

    "It's good to know where the center of your screen is exactly, then you can focus on other things"

    Well, It's not only good for that, but also good for keeping the cross hair on the skulk even though it's partialy obstructed by the fire animation thingy =P.

    If you play other shooting games, like, fast paced ones, you'll pick it up quick.

    The game i play that seems to offer me the most practice with my aim is The Specialists.
    - 52

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  29. #15

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    Well quite frankly Combat works the best for aim practice Your constantly fighting, and unless your aim is good, your actually hurting your team by feeding the opposite side experience.
    I am the one, I am the zero, I am your low resolution hero.

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