The Advanced Marine Guide
This guide is meant for middle or “high” level competitive players. I assume, that player who read this is familiar with competitive gaming. I would need another boring rainy day to write article about marine tactics, but because of lack time, I have left tactical part out of this article.
I use fragmovies and Blind’s video shoutcasts to demonstrate my arguments. I use myself as example, because obviously I know exactly what I was doing. I'm using three different framovies:
Be Humble Enough.
Yes, you heard right. I don’t mean you have act and speak like Jesus, but I mean you have think that there is always something to learn and that there possibility that someone is better than you. You don’t have to admit it to anyone but yourself. Only way to improve is to be open-minded.
Think outside of the box
When you are marine, think which thing is the most annoying thing for aliens and vice-versa. This is reason why every player should know at least basic of fading, lerking, commanding and gorging. This way you know how play against them best way. When I’m marine I love those skulks who rush alone, but I hate those skulks which come silently from behind. You don’t have to be genius do choose which way you should skulk next time.
Know your Enemy
Try to think what your enemy is trying to do and what he expect you to do. If you are able to do this, you can surprise your enemy. This surprising can happen, for example, as act of unorthodox movement. Sometimes is good to move like total noob, if you enemy is expecting you to move like total pro.
TTS: 1:44-2:04 When I faced that last skulks I was already in melee range and my guns were empty. Normally one would jump backward but I had to do something unorthodox in this desperate situation and I jump toward the skulk and actually dodged first bites.
Radial: 5:00-5:15 Same situation. Have to do something special to buy some time to reload and I end up jumping over a skulk.
Play for a Win
You have only one goal and that is winning the round. Every action you do should reflect this basic principle. Sometime it’s good to go spawcamp and leave rts unbuild, but often it’s not. Or which is more important, that you don’t die with sg or that you take alien’s rts down fast as possible? You should think twice does your action make your team win a round or does it just benefit your ego.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65VumiybKKA 2:04-2:10 Sometimes it’s good to sacrifice yourself for the greater good.
Know You Enemies Location
By look to the map, scoreboard and with general gamesense you can know where aliens are. For example, if you are in topo and 3 skulks just died in west, you are free to move in to cargo without a fight. With good awareness you can also know when to shoot rts and when not. Good gamesense separates good players from great ones.
Know Aliens Plan
You should know what tactics aliens are using. Comm isn’t the only one who can counter aliens’ tactics, every marine are responsible. For example, it is good to know when fades are gestating, because you can easily take alien rts down knowing there is not enough resistance.
Aliens’ hive area is sacred; their first priority is to guard it. You should use this as your favor. Spawcamping can lead to fast win, and even if marines are just fragging there, spawcamp force aliens to defend their hive. This frees other marines to cap rts or destroying aliens’ rts freely. So you could say spawcamp creates map control.
Spawcamp in other hand don’t affect much in resgame. Sure, marines get res from kills, but apart from that is really expensive to send marines to spawcamp. Normally marines is either capping rts or destroying rts, both obviously had great effect on resgame. So one could say, that spawcamping marine hurts your resgame. This why spawcamper should also try to destroy chambers and a rt from hive area.
Movement & Positioning
In ns movement and positioning are essential. It’s really hard so separate these concepts from each other, because you make your position by movement and in NS you should always be in motion. By movement I don’t mean just bunnyhop, glide jump or doublehop. I don’t say that these “tricks” are useless, but the most important aspect of movement is something totally different.
You should always be in motion. You should only stand still in special situations, either you waiting comm to drop building or you are blocking route to your rts. Of course you should be cautious for possibly ambush, but you can still move fast and be at cautions same time. Aliens have to regroup to kill marines at start, if you move fast enough aliens never get real chance to regroup. Every second is essential.
After a combat situation there shouldn’t be any aliens in near distance. If aliens know how to play, they should attack together. So welding and reloading should always happen in motion. This something I have to scream my teammates over and over again.
This responsibility goes to commander normally, but good marines should be able to it automatically. There are three different types of route blocking.
First and most obvious one is blocking possible baserush. You do this by positioning yourself between base and shortest route to alien’s main hive. You can go as far as spawcamp to hive if situation allows it.
Second one is really important and often forgotten one. The more professional way to defend rts is to block aliens’ route to your rts. For example, in veil if aliens have pipe hive and you have to defend your sub side rts, all you have to is to block two key places: East Junction and Cargo. Normally pressure group already blocks other one. I like also remind that you don’t have to block every route to your rts, only the most obvious one.
Third one requires good game sense to do. That is blocking lifeforms route to their healing points (Healing points are mc, hive, or gorge). This is one most efficient way to kill lifeforms, but it needs perfect timing and awareness. For example, in Veil you are building rts in double, hive is pipe and suddenly your teammates scream for baserush, you have to react fast and block their route in East Junction. Try to surprise lifeform, come behind the corner in right time and you can try to block the lifeform at same time. Lifeform should have low amount of health but you shouldn’t take any risks. Though, after all you left that RT unbuilt in double. You can win the game with your act, but you can also make great harm to your team.
IFN 2:53-2:56, 2:57-3:00 Fragmovies aren’t exactly best way to show this, but I think you get the picture.
Aiming is all about movement and positioning
Aiming is all about making good shooting angles and you make shooting angles by your movement and positioning. You have to sync you movement with your aim. Everybody does this, but only few are aware about this and better the aimer, more he uses his movement for his favor. By use of strafe, jump, crouch you can easily see who is a good aimer and who is not.
IFN 1:13-1:21 In this frag I kill first skulk using jump to create great shooting angle and same time avoiding bites, and for last skulk I create perfect shooting angle by simple jump to left.
Buying time by movement and positioning
We can generalize that marines vs. aliens is range weapons vs. melee weapons. Marines shoot from distance and aliens try to get close. In combat situation marines should try to keep aliens at range distance as long as possible. This is done by movement and positioning. Especially when marine have to reload, and then marine’s movement is really tested.
TTS 3:49-4:00 Clearly, I buy myself time to reload by reacting fast and moving opposite direction away from skulks.
TTS 4:08-4:22 Maybe this even better. By my movement I don’t just buy time to reload, but I also move to area which gives me better possibility to kill that lerk.
Control you’re surrounding
Use map to your favor. There are ladders, rails, alien buildings, marine buildings, vents which you should use to give something extra for your movement. Simple different height levels already gives you much better possibility to buy you more shooting time. In veil as fade I hate kill marines in powercore, because marines can use rails to dodge swipes.
TTS 1:17- 1:25 Believe or not, but I willfully moved toward that ladder, because I knew I had better chance to survive there.
TTS 3:33-3:47 This is why I hate those rails.
Try to surprise aliens if possible. You don’t have to read Sun Tzu’s Art of War to understand that don’t ever give information for free to your enemy. I don’t know about other fades, but almost every time I die as fade, I had misinformation about location of marines. When aliens don’t know where you are, you get a chance to shoot aliens in their weak moments. Alien which is moving from to hive to position x, isn’t as focused as alien in combat situation, use this for your favor.
In saving rts being silent is essential. Good skulk will move to bite another rt if he notices you. Also, in good alien team lifeforms scout marine rts now and then. Being silent gives you chance to avoid those annoying fades which plays for team.
Though, I like to say those who take this too literally. Sometimes sneaking around goes too far, you should be able to move fast and react fast as a marine and sneaking around shouldn’t hurt this principle.
Parasites are really annoying you can’t ninja after parasite, right? Yes and no. You can make your teammates get easy frags by using your parasite smartly. If you know there are skulks coming behind you, leave your mate little behind and move yourself little forward. Skulks think marines are already out of shooting distance but your mate knows better.
TTS 1:25-1:29 Classic way to get easy frag by surprise.
IFN 2:14-2:18, 2:30-2:33 Surprising lifeforms is essential.
It’s maybe true that aliens needs more teamwork to win a round than marines, but you shouldn’t underestimate power of teamwork.
Moving as Unit
Marine who is moving first should move near to the wall, next marine should move near the opposite wall, and last marine should move middle. This way, marines can cover each other the most efficient way. If it happens that first marine goes middle, he should jump toward the wall as soon as skulks start to rush toward him. Never jump toward your teammate! The last marine should be wary of skulks from behind all the time. First marine should check all the corners and take out all parasiting skulks, and if possible block parasites to hit other marines.
IFN 5:20-5:26, 6:30-6:40 Fragmovies aren’t really best way to show this, but I’m that meatshield in both frags. As you can see I do my best not to block my mate’s shooting angle.
Time to Solo
Sometimes is useful to break the unit. Aliens have to work together to get frags, so it’s good to break aliens regrouping. For example, hive is pipe and you are destroying c12 with your two mates, you know there is few aliens in powercore waiting for more aliens to come c12 vent, one or two marines should make push to powercore and take those aliens down before they can regroup. Sometimes is also good left unparasited marine between pressuring group and main hive, this marine can take easy frags by surprised skulks.
Welding is supposed to be easy, but in reality it’s something totally different. Welding should happen without talking; especially against the fade, the first act after the fade has taken enough damage to retreat, is to weld your mate before reloading. This way you remember who has taken damage and you take welder to your hand only when needed. One marine in group should able to kill a skulk all the time, so only marine weld at time. I have said this before but welding should happen in motion as well. Sometimes people are “over-welding”. In hive rushes if there is good sporing lerk, it might be wiser to just shoot the hive fast and not even try to weld.
When second hive goes up and if aliens use mcs and scs, importance of welding grows. If you get hit you should fall back immediately to be welded. Especially with jetpack, don’t ever try killing aliens without armor. You might want to agree certain “rallying point”, where you go when you need welding, that would be base normally. Easiest way to kill jetpacks with fade is to kill them when they are welding each other, so you should do welding in a safe place.
Too Much Teamwork
One thing I really hate is “over-covering”, you know jumping backward from every corner and shooting rt slow with a shotgun. I repeat, good aliens attack together if not, they are easily taken even if you are shooting the rt same time. First risk of encountering rush is when you enter to rt-room, if skulks don’t rush it’s obvious that they are waiting reinforcements. Sadly, marines are often right in this moment overcautious when they should do damage to rt. If marines have only lmgs, don’t shoot same time and leave around 10-20 bullets to your lmg before you reload. If you have sg with you, lmgs should shoot their first clips to rt and after that start to covering and shotgun obviously should shoot all the time.
Killing the Lifeforms
Killing a fade or even a lerk can decide whole game. It gives massive moral boost for marines and large res loss for aliens. So it isn’t surprise that there are some special technique to make those big kills.
All about fading is hit-and-run and smart use of your health and adrenaline. Fades are at their best taking down lonely or separated marines. But when facing tight group of marines, Fade’s ability to hit-and-run one marine at time vanishes. Even two lmg marines are able to keep a fade at bay if they move like a good unit, but in other hand, one fade can demolish whole marine team if they don’t know how to move as unit.
If fade knows exactly where marines are and weapons they have, simply to put, a good fade won’t die. You have either block the fade’s movement or you have to do surprise damage to fade in order to kill it. Both ways are done by movement or positioning that fade couldn’t expect.
Lerk being fragile creature depends even more to knowledge where marine are than fade. Some lerks plays like flying skulks, others more as supporting unit. It’s harder to kill those support lerks, because they keep their distance to marines. It’s obvious that surprising in only easy way to kill non-aggressive lerks. If you are unparasited you can try to sneak up the lerk, that is if the lerk isn’t sporing from vent.
IFN 4:07- 4:11 In this frag, I let that lerk go to scout c12 and I knew will come back with same route, because our main pressure group was going to cargo from system. Well, I kind of failed to block that lerk but sometimes pure aim is enough.
Trapping the Lifeform
Well, this partly already said in “Route Blocking” section but not completely. After combat situation fade, lerk or onos needs healing. One way to kill lifeforms is to block their route to mc, hive or gorge and this way force them to take risks. This needs good organization play from marines, but when done properly, it’s one the best way to kill lifeforms.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1qEke6yMWI&NR=1 6:10-6:22 I sneak up that first fade from behind, and the fade don’t have any other chance but blink right toward dugi’s shotgun.
With Levitacus we used to have set piece practices and lifeform blocking was first thing in my list to practice. It’s so simple but same time so hard. In nutshell, all you have to do is put your body in front of escaping fade, lerk or onos. This way you stop lifeforms movement and all the bullets regs like they should for sort moment. Classic way to do this is that one or two marines are in middle of room, lifeform (normally fade) comes inside in hope of easy frags, but marines have left one marine hidden next to the corner the lifeform came inside. Lifeforms almost every time escape same way they came to the room, because they “know” its safe route. With this positioning it’s all but safe and that hidden marine get a good chance to stop the lifeform with his/her own body. Even if marine fail to make a good block, marine is still doing much more damage to the lifeform with this positioning than normally. There is also good chance that blocking marine will die, but if lifeform is trying to kill the blocking marine lifeform is good as death as well.
In War Gorges are the First Casualties
Try to kill gorge when you get a chance. Classical situation how you shouldn’t do this is, when marines are using fast lmg pressure and gorge is still building a rt, one marine is trying to kill gorge but gorge can easily dodge one marines bullets if he is next to the rt and other marines are trying to spot non-existence skulks. Instead you should kill gorge fast and clean, one marine shooting from one direction and when gorge move to other side of rt, another marine shooting from that direction. Gorges don’t take many bullets, because you can hit almost every bullet in that large belly.
When aliens are using gorge as support unit, you know, spitting from long distance. Marines should take the gorge out with pistols. You need two marines to take pistol in hand and shoot all at once. You should be able to hit every bullet, because gorge doesn’t expect it and is too slow to react.
Writen by: Tane