Now, I'm in no way experienced in this game by any means. However, I can say that I'm well experienced in video gaming in general. So, you can choose to listen to this ramble, or not, or you could even add to it. Maybe critique it even. Feel free. I'll be doing all of the above.
But, anyways, as I'm playing AA, just about everytime I die, I realize my untimely end could have been avoided had I been playing smart. So, here's some tips and pointers.
Always scan around.
Although, as humurous as it might be to watch a guy turn around just in time for that sneaky little assault player to run by him, neither of the two knowing of their existance, it's always much more fun to watch, and as always be, someone come out victorious of a firefight. It's also frustrating to be the guy who turns around to be shot by the guy who doesn't.
To solve this issue, scan around all the time. Walk backwards, straff, and walk forwards. Try not to get tunnel vision.
Report in now, then, all the time.
Often times it's just a big help all around. It'll make sure you don't get shot dead by the third rifleman from fireteam delta; allow your squad leaders, if they're actually doing what they're supposed to, to coordinate your squads efforts; and, make it a habit to report in as soon as shooting starts. This let's the rest of your squad know where the tango is.
Generally, good communication ensures the success of your squad. Use it, and it will definately be an improvement.
Watch the chat box, and know how to communicate
Can't stress this one enough. Many times, it seems as if the player isn't paying attention to the chat window, and playing it solo. All those out there who wanna play this way, I suggest you get cracking on that SF training.
Keep track of that chat box. If you see your name pop up as attacked a team mate, that's a good time to stop. If you see you just killed your target, that's also a good time to stop. If your squad leader is telling you to stop... well, hopefully you get it.
Know your keys. It helps your team if you know how to call out "enemy spotted" and "area secure", or even to be able to call a medic, or reply to a medic call. Know how to report in, and know how to generally chat with your team.
Alert your team to sudden surprise opfor manuevers, such as flanking attacks and so on. It's quite frustrating to be in the middle of pinning down a sniper group, only to be ripped apart from the direction of your own spawn. Alert your team in any way you can to surprise attacks, just so the surprise wears off.
If your team doesn't seem very talkative, be the first to establish communication. It'll save the day most of the time.
Wounds and Injuries
Now, at any time it's available, I like to play as a medic, just cause its a nice honor jump to heal your buddies.
Now, for all those who don't play as medics, here's some tips to help out those who do. Now, they do call them combat medics, but no one likes to be shot up trying to get to where you are. Do not solely rely on the medic to get to you. If you want to be healed, try and get to them, as well. Get out of the hot zone. If you're working in a team, let your buddies know that you're leaving real quick. It's the worst feeling in the world when some bloke calls you out to get healed, and gets [TOS Violation] because you won't run across the guantlet of most assured, quick, painful death to heal him because he won't cross it either. Also, it helps to report in, letting the medic know how far away you are, assuming they know the map.
Medics, prioritize your calls. If you're at objective A, and someone all the way at C calls for help, perhaps they should find a closer medic. You are just like a rifleman, with a little bit of added responsibility. You're needed for your team. Don't go on suicide runs just be cause ims0L33t is getting ornery about it.
Learn the maps
This is just a basic one, but it helps a lot. If you know that map, you can understand where Central Peak East Hills means, and you know where the hotspots for the assault and the defense are. This will allow you to predict where the opfor would most likely move to first.
Also, if a team seems to be quite keen on taking the CP over and over again, to very much success, and your team can't handle it very well, use some communication, get a group together, and flank the CP through an area that's least expected. This will hopefully throw the team off balance.
If you notice the same group of opfor keep on flanking your squad, continually using the same route, move yourself to a defensive position, learn from their predictability where they hit first, and change your tactics to catch them off guard.
When you're in an area where you know the opfor is likely to be, move slowly, peak around corners, and don't let them surprise you. Now, be careful. Lobbing grenades around every corner may not help. It will most likely tip of the enemy off of where you are, and if they're bright (or if they read this guide) they'll notice your pattern, and rush in on you when you have that nade tucked under your chin and no rifle in hand.
Improvise, improvise, improvise.
mess around with tactics, mix and match. Don't be afraid to try something you think they won't expect. If you have a plan, and you realize it won't work, or it's in the process of not working, fall back and revamp your idea.
Bring all these tips together into one big organized fighting force. Communication is one of the biggest, if not most important weapon to weild. If you can communicate, you can rely on your buddy to improvise right with you.
So, that's about it for now. More will come later, most likely.
Don't inexperienced player Bash
Out of common courtesy to all those experienced players, it's just not polite to call someone a inexperienced player . At one point, we were all newbs, all inexperienced. Calling someone a inexperienced player when you want them to hand over the sniper slot isn't very persuading. When someone does something stupid, don't call them a inexperienced player. It's just discouraging, and retracts from the enjoyment of this fabulously free game.
(Note: I hope you all realize which word inexperienced player is replacing.)
Learn Your Weapons
I see people all the time trying to take opfor out at range on full auto. Most of the time, they fail miserably. Sometimes, they succeeed suspiciously well. However, the best way of doing things at range is going prone, deploying your bipod (if applicable), and using your sights, and switching to semi-auto. This will make you far more accurate in your attacks.
Also, it's quite worthwile to make it through advanced marksmanship training. It opens up a whole new, albiet frustrating, world for gamers. You'll notice that if you play right (n ot independant from your team), your team will rely on you for support, and once you've practiced enough, a pleasant form of comradery will form.
Honor and Experience
The first mistake, in my mind, I see people doing is playing, or assuming others are playing, for honor points and levels. This will just frustrate you, and make people angsty. Just the other day I remember someone screaming at a fellow player to give up a sniper slot because he was more experienced with it, and the fastest way to get honor is to have a succesful team. The one holding the spot remained silent, the smart move, bringing the whiner to the conclusion that he didn't speak english. "If he spoke english, he'd gladly hand over the sniper."
The first rule with any video game is to play for fun. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break and come back later. AA has an honor system built in, creating a competitive edge. In reality, all the honor system is is a side bonus. The longer you play, the more experience you get, the more options you get. Some people consider it as how you play. Sooner or later, everyone can reach level 80. It's just a matter of time. Some people get their hopes down when they see the opposing team has a higher honor average, and assumes they have no chance of survival. Most of the time they don't, however, unless they're sneaky little bastar- I mean, backstabbers, they have all the same advantages and disadvantages as you do.
So, I guess what I'm saying is, play for fun, and the honor will come. Don't let people bash you because you have lower honor. Do what you think is best for the team, as long as you're still having fun.
Language Courtesy and Respect
Now, after you follow my tip on communication and reading the chat box, here's something else to consider. Using actually curses inside AAO is rather pointless, as you've probably noticed, and simply look silly. "****ing TKing *******s" doesn't really have the same effect. Now, don't get me wrong. Putting a little flavor on it is fine. I've always been a firm supporter of such things as fsck and other such alternations. However, just letting off a string of curses just makes you look like a fool. Try and avoid it.
Also, you are playing a game that's quite popular worldwide. For this reason, just a s a precaution to avoid hate mail and coincidental viruses, avoid racial slurs and stereotypes. If someone's english is a little bad, and you really want to know what they're saying, take the time and try and interpret it. Don't moan and tell them to learn to talk, unless of course their native country's national language is english. Then they should definately be coherent, and if not, should be fragged accordingly. But, if not, just let it slide. And if they want to speak in an entirely different language to a buddy, just stare at the text longingly, and ponder what language they're speaking, and what they're saying, and what translator you may be able to use to find out... Other than that, just let it slide.
CQB Tactics and Objective Taking
Now, if you're anything like me, CQB is the bane of your existance. Always seem to turn that corner, right when that opfor decided to, putting you in point blank range. And, fancy that, he's got a bigger gun. You now get to watch your team run around blindly, possibly shouting warnings or even curses at your monitor, as if it would do any good.
Now, the trick is to avoid those blind corner killings. One way to do that, is to work in a small group, such as one or two other players. With these numbers, you can leapfrog down passages and corridors. For instance, once you determine a room is clear, one stops at the far end of the room, watching the next door. The other two advance, one of which stops at the door and peaks both ways. When all seems clear, the third goes through the door, and the man in the far end of the room moves in for the next corner, and the man on the corner moves through the next door and so on and so forth. When with only two, eliminate the room sentry, and just move from door to room to door to room. Move slowly. Sprinting is usually a no-no. Keep you gun up and ready at all times. Peak around corners and check all corners of dark rooms for baddies. It's always frustrating to nearly clear the room, and get wasted by that opfor you passed near the entrance of the room.
Now, taking objectives works in a similar fashion. Most objectives are in enclosed spaces, making it difficult to guard for both sides. But once you're in the process of taking the objective, you tend to be boxed in, with nothing in your FOV (Field of View, for those of you who don't know) but the objective (unless you do that handy turning exploit that I have yet to accomplish... ) The best way to safely take an objective is to have cover while taking it. If someone has a clear line of sight on any attackers while you take that last objective, you will most likely be safe. Now, keep in mind, most objectives make noise, if only slightly. If a smart opfor is nearby, he will be watching one of the entrances to that objective while at the same time listening for that noise. When he hears it, he'll burst in, guns blazing. At times, you may be able to lure enemies out by only partially securing the objective and making a lot of noise. If any are listening, they will burst through right into your waiting sights (and, if you do it right, your buddies sights).
It's happened once and it'll happen many more times. You happen to hit F1 and notice no one else is still breathing on your team. "Well, crap," you say. You can feel your fallen comrades' piercing stares on your back, watching and criticizing your every move. How do you know that? You do the same thing when you're dead. In these situations, I now my heart goes a little faster because I know if we lose, it's all my fault. Now, if you're playing with good people, this won't matter.
Anyways, here are some quick tips for going solo. I see many people spring out of the spawn, all alone, on some sort of personal destination. Often times, these solo people end up first against the wall when the revolution comes, or, they generally kick some good ol' [TOS Violation]. Those 70 honor points sure do mean something, don't they? Anyways, this is, as you see, not recommended by this guide. Move with a team, if you can. If your team scatters down the line, you're probably on your own. It's at these times you'll often find your self completely and totally on your own. First wrong thing you can do, is run off to a corner and hope the last few opfor pass by. This is how objectives are lost and wastes time. These players are also those who get yelled at by the dead. Second wrong thing you can do is panick. Panicking, whether you realize it or not, will prove detrimental to your playing ability. Your eyes dart about so often that you don't notice the guy waiting for you in that shadow because you were looking in the other shadow. As with the CQB tactics, take it slow. Keep your weapons up and ready, and observe your surroundings. Stay calm and collected, and stay cautious. If you get surprised by an aproaching opfor, and you just happen to live long enough for your brain to function, backpedal out of there the way you came, or to the nearest exit. This creates stand offs, which are much more exciting to watch, and often times allow more chances to survive. If you don't think you can handle it, run away completely. That opfor is likely expecting you to poke your head out again so he can put a 5.56 mm hole in your cranium, or he will poke his own head out to shoot you. If you move away, it'll throw him off. When running away, however, keep a good eye on your surroundings. Flanking him may work, but he will most likely pursue you after a while. You could try preparing an ambush point a little way down the line, or just continue on with your objectives with that much less health.
Use your ears, too.
Now, something that surprised the hell out of me is how much sound is a factor in this game. Simply by going from the stock speakers in my G5 (I think it's only one... And yeah, yeah, I know. Eww, Mac cooties. I'm liking it as much as you are... 'Cept these graphics kick the pants off my PC...) to a pair of headphones, I could easily identify which direction fire was coming from, distinguish footsteps, what kind of footsteps, and the direction of the footsteps from the normal battle field din, and easily locate enemies just because they shout so much!
So, my simple advice to you is if you don't have very good sound for you comp, invest in a simple pair of headsets. After all, it's not like the game broke your ballance much. It will deffinately make all the difference in the world for you. Even though computers have yet to give us feeling, taste, and smell, you still have sight and sound. Use them.
Smoke: That "Useless" Nade
Now, for an item that most everyone gets one or more of, you don't see smoke used very often. When looked at at face value, it almost seems ironic that a sniper gets three of the smoke canisters, and nothing else. However, if you analyze what smoke does to the OpFor, you'll realize this Insta-Fog is quite useful.
The general idea for a smoke grenade is to screen your movements from the opfor. The opfor knows this. They do it to screen their movements from you. Now, if you know the opfor knows this, that puts you in a prime position for some trickery. Toss some smoke off to the side somewhere, and the opfor will scan it, looking for a target. While they're staring at it, you can probably make it off scot free in another direction. The battle is half mental. Good players tend to turn things around, and surprise you a bit.
Take, for example, a fireteam of OpFor bottled up in a small building, which just happens to be an objective building. Anyone who goes inside gets torn apart (Disclaimer: This has everything to do with the Observation Post in Radio Tower.) Popping smoke outside the building will get its occupants a little antsy, anxious to see if someone's using that smoke to get close and maybe destroy them. Of course, you're in a position overlooking the building, and watch as two or three opfor come outside to toss nades into the smoke, thinking they're safe. A few rounds here and there, and you may have a few more dead opfor. Now, this may work, and it may not. It all depends.
Now, a fantastic little passtime I've picked up is sniper battles, where the snipers of opposite teams face off in the same location each and everytime, knowing they've either bested or been bested by the other sniper, and just itching to get revenge. Most of the time, snipers will turn to generally the same location each time. On lots of these occasions, the other team will summon their sniper in for counter-ops. Whoever gets there second is at a supreme disadvantage, as the first one there is most likely watching you as you set up. Here's where smoke comes in handy. Pop a screen of smoke in front of the position you're crawling to, and move to the side of it until you're just on the edge of the screen, but can't see through it. Take your time to set up, and estimate the opfor's sniper's position. As the smoke begins to clear, the tables are even. The enemy sniper may not even suspect you're there anymore. Either way, you'll have a better chance.
Although, often times, using smoke to hide in is a very bad idea. As I mentioned before, the opfor know you're most likely using it for some sort of cover, and if you're a new, or an experienced player taking a chance, you'll hide in the smoke. Smoke is a prime target. If you pop smoke, you'll find grenades and sometimes even bullets racking across them. So, using smoke can sometimes be very dangerous. It gives away your general position, and if not used right, is in fact very useless.
Other notes about smoke are these. Take, for example, an enemy is camping a ladder point blank. Anyone who comes down the ladders is torn apart. The first idea is to drop smoke at the base of the ladder so he can't see you come down. There's your first mistake. If he's close enough, and you come down that ladder, his targeting recticle will turn red, telling him you're there. You'll find yourself dead in an instant.
Hopefully, you'll find new ways to adapt smoke tactics to you're own causes. It often times depends on the occasion, so analyze your surroundings first, and see if smoke is the right thing for the right moment.
Those nifty Mods
So, this may be a teaser to all those sub-15 honor players, it might not. We all know that you can mod out your M4 when you've passed Special Forces training. Hell, you can do it before, too. Just can't use it. But, anyways, in my travels, almost exclusively on every SF map I have seen, players have used the common M203/ACOG/Suppressor combo for whatever they're doing. Now, this is fine and dandy, but some maps it's just silly to have.
For instance, if you're expecting closer combat that you won't be needing that ACOG to tell whether that guy in the distance is an E or F, why have that ACOG? As I've mentioned before, the iron sights are a fabulous thing, and in less range, they're fantastic. Even in long range, they're great. You just gotta learn to use them. For instance, if you're not sure that guy's OpFor from his posture and the long slender shaft sticking out of the front of his gun (OpForian grenade launcher. Don't get any ideas. ;)), then don't shoot at him. Just keep low, watch him, and see what he does. So, if he sees you, and fires at you, now you know he's OpFor, and is good for the shooting. Of course, since you've been watching him, and have been putting this handy guide of mine into practice, like you all know you have (), you'll already have your sights up, so picking him off should be a snap.
Now, onto that silly little supressor. Some people say it'll mask your presence, and the OpFor won't know their arseholes from their elbows when you surprise them with it. Some people could be right, if you're across the map. In maps like CSAR, it's really pointless. You can hear that gun from any point they can shoot at you from, and there are so few, if any good ones, that if you can't hear it, you should know where to look. Now, it's rumored that the supressor lowers the killability of your ammo. This is true, because AA:O's such a kick [TOS Violation] game. The reason for this is simple: your standard 5.56 round will break the sound barrier when fired. It simply goes that fast. Now, you all should know that it's no stealthy thing to break the sound barrier. I live near Otis Airforce base, so I hear it a lot. So, in order for the round to be quiet, when equiped with a supressor, you're equipped with subsonic rounds. Now, don't think that if you just leave it off, but have it with you just in case, your rounds will have full stopping power. You don't see yourself reloading when you throw that suppressor on, do you? So, if you're gonna be in close, don't bother even having it with you.
So, this part of my guide has long been contested, and for good reason. It's false. Having a suppressor in your loadout does not lower your lethality at all, really. Your rounds are just as effective with a suppressor as without. Knowing this, I've started carrying it around for those just-in-case situations. However, for some reason, I've noticed I'm personally far more effective without it. Perhaps it's the psychological aspect that the OpFor experience when a loud weapon is being fired at them, or perhaps it's the infinitesimal rise in FPS. I don't know. Because of this, I recommend only using the suppressor when it's needed. For instance, if I have it equipped, I take it off when I go into large buildings where I expect to see action. This is purely opinion based, however, and you should play however you feel more comfortable. Now, back to the guide.
For instance, I've grown a reputation flanking people and trying to catch them off guard. This usually works, all because of those nifty IF forces. Playing CSAR, I've gone right into enemy lines, and blown several away in the back. Players nearby shrug it off, because, of course, no one's reporting, and it sounds like an AK, which those IF guys on their team have. So, of course, if it's that close, it must be an IF, right? Wrong. This was all true until I used that silly little sound-stick on my M4. It completely changed the sound of my weapon, tipping everyone off that there was an E nearby. I got wasted shortly thereafter.
So, it all comes down to this. If you're gonna be equiping an ACOG, you should probably be equipping a bipod as well. If you're using a 203, you're obviously planning on going into direct combat, so you won't be needing that ACOG. The supressor is really only for the ACOG and bipod combo, if you're planning on moving around into a position that will have the OpFor completely baffled if you open up at them from there. Otherwise, stick with the boomstick. Be loud. Scare those lousy OpFor right outta their pants. And still, analyse the map you're playing. Think of what you'll be doing, and what mods will suit that task. I find my self often popping into the mod settings mid-game if my loadout just isn't working. So, be flexible, or play as IF.
That's what makes Special Forces so special, anyways.