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Survival alone.... quick guide


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#1 Hoshi Toranaga

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:24 AM

These following simple steps will help you when you have the feeling to face a premade team and you are alone in a group of so called "PUGs".

(Disclaimer: Sometimes your opponent will not even be a premade, but actually might follow these simple steps that will make them look like a premade. However you may still get owned and die in a fire by veteran groups, but do not worry the same is true for premade groups also...)

Phase 1: (You are in a PUG group and do not use a voice service, aka Total Loner tactic)

Step 1:
If the timer counts in the match and nobody has taken charge and said anything post something to your group like:
"Let's stick together and form up in Grid XY" (Where XY is a grid nearby your starting location, where you still have cover from LRMs)
Sometimes you will still have some very smart players charge the enemy lines and die in a fire right from the bat, do not try to save them, form up with the smarter guys in the grid you defined.

(Sometimes at this stage you will get a text message like "Stay with us, we are a group of X players", so you are actually a PUG in a premade setup. Then leave this guide and just stick with that group, watch the minimap closely...)

Step 2:
If someone charged away or you happen to have scouts who have a clue you will get targets and see which way the enemy is going. Sometimes only for a short time (until the one charging dies in a fire) so pay attention.
If you have LRMs on your team, now is the time to use them. Take shots of opportunity and if more than one target is spotted type something like "focus X" (where X is the target designation shown in the red targetting cross at the top side.)

Step 3:
Try to keep your guys in some kind of formation (aka meat shields front) and try to make out where the enemy will come in. If they charge you mindlessly (aka PUGs that did not read this guide) then simply pick them off one by one, but stay in cover best you can.
If they are a team and press you on one side then make out the nastiest targets (assaults, streak cats, gaussapults,...) and focus fire on them, again by calling a target via teamchatbox. Even assault mechs go down fast if hammered by 4-6 players at once.

(by now you may have noticed that you play defensively. This is due to the simple fact that when playing alone, the time to type commands in the chatbox ingame thingy is limited and pushing/rushing etc. needs much more coordination, so starting out playing defensively is much more easy while texting. You only have to be very patient, as this is not an FPS where you simply CHARGE, this is a game of tactics and team work...)

Step 4:
By now you either have picked most enemies off as they charged you one by one (PUG group) or you and the enemy took casualties (preferably the enemy more) and hopefully you are in advantage 1 or 2 mechs at least. So now comes the time to push it.
Make up a line where you can go along. Take your time texting with your team and make out which mechs to put front (those who still have armour left). Then stick together and go as fast as your slowest mech and push towards the enemy base. If you outton (aka have more tons left alive) push for their cap/base point and try to get your people on there, even if your own base is under attack. With your weight you will still have a chance to run down the timer faster than the enemy. If you encounter the enemy on your way, try to still take as much cover advancing as you can (for example run through small streets in river city etc.) and firing only when you have clear shots at them. If they get in your back and you can outrun them, do so, if not, turn around as a group and again focus fire.

Does this really work?
Now this is a very simple and basic tactic, but you will be better than 90% of PUG groups currently. Many premades will still slam you, simply due to the fact of voice comms and better coordination. But you can even kill some premades with this simple tactics (especially those that are only good at PUGstomping.)
I still recommend you get voice comms and simply use C3 or any of the free services to get a group together (you need not join any merc corps etc. to get into a voice comms group, just browse the forum for free TS servers that run MWO groups or join the MWO C3 Server.)

I will try to post a Phase 2 (now with voice chat) more advanced tactic soon™.

#2 Jukebox1986

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:43 AM

Very well written post, the only thing im missing is an extra-part for our little scouts.

/vote for Sticky

#3 Hoshi Toranaga

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:09 AM

Thanks, yes I was compiling a list for scouts, I will try to update a scouting basic tomorrow.

#4 627

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:15 AM

hmm, nice guide, but what was that phrase in the novels?
No battle plan survives first contact?

I really like that guide and thats my strategy too, but really often you won't get any response from your team mates. Even with a bit of grouping and telling your team to "stick at E5 on caustic" as soon as it starts to rain or there is a little jenny or things get nasty, its chaos.

When you get no response from your mates, immediately look for all mechs on your side. Are there (big) founders? Are there at least 2 or three big mechs together (walking roughly in the same direction)? Stay with them! Say something like "got your 6 <Atlas pilot>" directly naming the mechwarrior.
With this direct approach to a teammate, you take them out of the anonymous lone wolf role into the team. This way, you can form up a little team of 2-4 people and maybe the rest will follow. Works maybe in 50% :)

#5 Staffan

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:38 AM

Pretty good guide .. BUT, when you decide to push for cap, as a team, ALL your mechs must run there as fast as possible! You must ignore both getting shot in the back and tempting easy kills on the way. You cannot allow yourself to turn around to face any attackers. Take your spanking, and you'll win, probably. Not saying I like it, but that's how it's done.

#6 Hoshi Toranaga

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:23 AM

Indeed 627, but when you are a PUG you risk with any drop to form up with 7 total loony toons and hence get stomped.
Nobody can take away that risk, not even a perfect matchmaker, since you will most likely get stomped by another PUG group as easy. And yes this tactic can also lead to total failure, but you are more likely to have a better start before the you know what hits the fan...

Thanks Staffan, that is actually a good hint, keep such positive critique comming. I made that from the top of my head, so prolly several things are still missing that can help people out and that are variants... keep it coming.

#7 slayerkdm

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:25 AM

A nice little guide. I will say, some people are off put by anyone taking charge, or trying to give orders. Not saying its bad, but sometimes people wont respond. What I have found of late is (me playing a medium mech, so this is a good tactical approach) is simply to call out who I will be supporting. I pick an atlas if there is one, if there is multiple, I pick a founders.

This does two things. It passively suggests to others to stick with someone, or even better you and the atlas, and it lets the atlas know. At worst, you are helping a big damage soaking mech take down his targets faster.

Now sometimes, Im not too bright and run off like some chicken with his head cut off, but when I follow my own advice, win or lose, it usually works out pretty well. My last three games, last night and two this morning, using only that communication and sticking with the atlas I had 4 wins, 1 loss (its not all becuase of that, sometimes that is just luck) and had 2, 2, 3, 2 and 2 kills in those games. Once again, kills are often luck on who gets the last shot. In most of these, I cored the mech the atlas was shooting at from behind.

#8 Matthew Ace

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:35 AM

A tip to mitigate players getting turned off by orders or taking charge, suggest the move instead. Prompt them.

#9 Hoshi Toranaga

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:57 AM

Never looked at it this way, that this could be off putting. But you are right, you might come over as a "smarta**" if you try to take charge.
Maybe there is a better way to kickoff the communication? Please lets expand on this so we can help new players communicate better and make for better fights.

#10 Dandyman

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:10 AM

View Post627, on 30 October 2012 - 02:15 AM, said:

When you get no response from your mates, immediately look for all mechs on your side. Are there (big) founders? Are there at least 2 or three big mechs together (walking roughly in the same direction)? Stay with them! Say something like "got your 6 <Atlas pilot>" directly naming the mechwarrior.
With this direct approach to a teammate, you take them out of the anonymous lone wolf role into the team. This way, you can form up a little team of 2-4 people and maybe the rest will follow. Works maybe in 50% :o


This can't be stressed enough. To put it another way. Don't fall in to the trap, "My teammates aren't listening to me ... I guess I'll do my own thing." When you do that you're more likely to get isolated and ganged by 2 or 3 enemy mechs. Check your ego and find someone to "lead" you. A bad plan with 2 mechs is usually better than 1 good plan and 1 bad plan three grid points apart. I'll typically try something simple like, "group up, use cover and go left" right at the start. I'd say that simple command works 2 out of 3 times. When it doesn't, I make sure to find someone to protect and let them know I've got their back. More often than not, they'll respond by peeling a jenner off my backside 2 minutes in to the match.

#11 slayerkdm

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:11 AM

Well, I think you presented it pretty well. As you probably know, its all about the "tone" of how its presented. Plus, one must consider that sometimes new players dont read the chat, as they are busy just trying to figure out how to drive the darn thing. Second, everyone is excited when they play a new game, and holding back and playing conservatively is difficult when you want to shoot your big guns! Lastly, sometimes everyone just goes there own way, and there is not much to do but smile and hope for the best.

I know when I recieve "orders" from someone in a game Im playing after work to relax, it is at times off putting. If they come across that way, I will suggest, that a politer tone may get them a better response. Sometimes that helps, sometimes they get more beligerent. Usually I chock it up to youth, as it takes a while to learn how to actually lead, and not just try to be the boss.

Edited by slayerkdm, 30 October 2012 - 08:13 AM.


#12 Hoshi Toranaga

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:16 AM

Indeed, but isn't that what the training grounds are for?
I have not checked them out yet though, must give them a spin tonight.

#13 Krivvan

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:53 AM

View PostTerry Ward, on 30 October 2012 - 07:57 AM, said:

Never looked at it this way, that this could be off putting. But you are right, you might come over as a "smarta**" if you try to take charge.
Maybe there is a better way to kickoff the communication? Please lets expand on this so we can help new players communicate better and make for better fights.


My solution to this is to explain why a certain position is good and generally ask if people agree with it. It actually usually works out even when some random PUG will inevitably respond with "No. I do what I want".

Also, you need to add that slower mechs should not follow the light mech that runs off in a different direction since light mechs can and frankly should do that.

Some of my old recorded games somewhat follow what the OP said so here are a couple examples:






As you can see, even though the team isn't quite fully coordinated, playing defensively and with some following suggestions the chance for victory dramatically improves.

I would almost never suggest that a premade team play defensively, but with PUGs it's the simplest way to keep everyone together.

Edited by Krivvan, 31 October 2012 - 03:55 AM.


#14 Hoshi Toranaga

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:58 AM

Thanks for that videos, I did never watch those, but they are actually pretty informative.

#15 Artificer

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:37 AM

Nice guide Terry, some things there I can add to my existing approach. Especially when I get back to using slower 'mechs.

Great videos Krivvan! I need to get my typing speed up and take charge more when pugging.

#16 Mustang_11b35d

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 02:28 PM

Good points, all.

In my piranha, I often follow the assaults and heavies and say, "I've got rear security." That doesn't seem to communicate what I want it to. What I'm saying is that I'm screening behind them (as a group) to guard against incoming harassers during the early part of the game when I have don't have the range to engage the enemy. I'll try being more specific ("Atlas X, I've got your 6.")

In my Locust or my Arctic Cheetah (both outfitted as scout mechs) I usually announce that I'm scouting, mark targets as soon as possible, and let the team know what I see immediately.

Occasionally I'll say "We're getting awfully spread out. Maybe we should get together" or something like that. Sometimes it works.

One time I was in a Timberwolf and Alpha Lance ran off by themselves. I tried to call them back. My mistake - they had a great lance commander and were hunting in a wolf pack. They were awesome, and we won handily. Lesson learned - it's not always as simple as it seems.

Edited by Mustang_11b35d, 05 August 2019 - 02:31 PM.






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