Effective Teamwork for Horde
Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:55:56 PM EST
The Gearheads are on the warpath once again to bring down yet another map on the Insane difficulty in Horde. This got me thinking as we’ve been playing with several different teammates throughout this weekend.
3Suns posted a response to the diary of the Gearheads defeating Horde on Insane that really resonated with me several weeks after our feat. Playing with several other teammates really made Suns’ comments more valid than ever.
"I would propose that to complete Horde on Insane every one on the team of five, must have at least two of the following three attributes:
A. Mad Weapons Skillz
B. Effective Communication Skills
C. Self-... (discipline and sacrifice - a willingness to take one for the team)
With a balanced combination of those traits in the five, it is very doable, though it really takes patience and co-ordination. Personally, because I come up very short on A, I thought I wouldn't be able to be part of the team that beat it. I was surprised and thrilled.
Also, just a little hint. You need shields, but then you also need to focus your early efforts on keeping the humanoid (those who can knock down the shields) population as low as possible. Once you get rid of the Grenadiers, Kantus, Bolters, Drones, and Cyclops, you can take your time about killing the Bloodmounts, Boomers, and Maulers."
The object of Horde is to kill the enemy, not ourselves. Survive. Everyone needs to practice patience and discipline. Simply put, ‘know your role’. The priority is to keep our teammates alive to add more covering fire against the enemy. Too often, we must tell ourselves to disengage from the enemy if any of our teammates need reviving. Don’t assume that another teammate will perform the medic duty. That’s where communication is necessary.
Here’s the suggested protocol:
• Call out enemy locations (i.e. ‘Danger close’ if enemies are on your doorstep, enemy is lobbing a grenade/Boomshot/Torque arrow, Sire is coming in for Lancer-wielders, etc.)
• Inform your teammates what part of the map you are covering.
• Call out what power weapon that you are going for because often times, we can prevent logjams for that item.
• Declare who is reviving whom. Call for help several times when you are downed & your location. Also, include any hostiles near you when you are down (i.e. when you are about to be curbstomped/set aflame/mulced/blown up; call off the revive).
• Inform how many enemies and their types that remain. (Dead teammates should essentially be the ‘overwatch’- eyes for the team giving enemy breakdowns, locations, and priority; minimize or avoid the ‘fog of war’).
• Once a specific location draws the Aggro (enemy fire concentration), inform your other teammates to hit the enemy on their flanks.
• Inform your teammates when to blindfire and what locations are ‘too hot’ (dangerous).
• Tell your teammate when to tag team with you to bring down an enemy. The more guns that we have on an enemy, the faster we can bring it down.
• Determine a fall back point when all else goes FUBAR.
It’s no secret that the majority of Gearheads possess mad skillz, however, there comes a time when we need to use self-discipline instead of everyone trying to up their killcount. Discipline should go hand-in-hand with effective communication because we should alternate fire, especially when we are ‘castling’ a location and ammo is scarce (i.e. the spawn room in Blood Drive). Often times, we may place ourselves as well as our team in jeopardy when we take an overly aggressive approach in attacking the enemy. In addition, just because your primary weapons run dry, we must remember that our sidearm is still useful in the battlefield. Running out to get more ammo is often foolhardy and unnecessary. Would you seriously do that in real like with bullets zinging past you? That Lancer may be empty of bullets, but the chainsaw still works on humanoid-sized enemies.
Self-sacrifice happens based on time specific occurrences. Remember, serving yourself up as a meatshield by diving to block the Boomshot rocket from hitting your teammate serves absolutely no one (all Torque charges & Boomshot rockets are Actives- damage multiplier range from 2.0-2.5 times normal depending on the Wave). Trying to block an arrow or rocket would instantly kill both of you in one shot. There are times when "taking one for the team" is paramount to victory. Case in point, there were three enemies left on the Avalanche map. Two were Grenadier Elites and the other was a Kantus. In order to prevent the Kantus from constantly reviving his teammates, I managed to sneak in back of the Kantus. He sonic stunned me three times before I sank the chainsaw into him. My teammates dispatched the Grenadiers without having to worry about dealing with their reviving-ringleader. Another instance of self-sacrifice is when a teammate that is closest in proximity to a Boomshield (dropped by Mauler or kicked over) grabs and plants it in the doorway, in order to prevent any enemies from entering. Often times, the shield planter will probably be killed after they manage to plant it. However, preventing the endless enemies from entering the room is of the highest priority when castling and it is worth taking the risk. The third example of self-sacrifice was exhibited by 3Suns on the Blood Drive map. Foregoing weapon power ups and ammo, he demonstrates teamwork by staying in the spawn location. This prevents the enemy from spawning in that specific room as long as there is a player in it at the start of the Wave. 'Know your role' is consistently exemplified by Suns.
Reviving someone isn't as simple as it sounds. There is a strategic art to it. Never revive a teammate without first assessing the situation. Reviving a teammate in the field of fire is foolhardy for both the one needing revive and the medic. Direct the victim to crawl to you and out of harm's way before you give them assistance. Remember, you're teammate is down, but not out. Haste makes waste.
Teamwork is what separates effective teams that are able to bring this bitch down from those that are merely going for highlight reel moments. This write-up is not intended to criticize nor single anyone out. It’s merely a list of suggestions that we can possibly find interesting and/or informative in creating an effective team to beat the Horde. Some gamers have the impression that including strategies and tactics somehow takes away from the "fun factor" of the game. That couldn't be further from the truth. Do you play a game of football without any plays? Even if it's a pick up game, isn't it better when there's some form of game plan rather than winging it? Remember, Gearheads go big and then they go home. Balls deep, my brothers-in-arms. Balls deep.