The Fortress

Team Strategies go here, if you want to share that is...
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TiTnAsS
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Post by TiTnAsS »

Okay, well even though i don't think it should be unconquerable ever, good job on it and it's real fun. On a side note, you disapeared for a while Phil, where were you? just takin a break from tron?

(I'm going to post my suggestion in the other topic on this in the development section, seeing as how this is the stratagy convo on it.)
Damn, it sure has been a while!

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Post by philippeqc »

TiTnAsS wrote:Okay, well even though i don't think it should be unconquerable ever,
Just so we are clear about this, there are 3 settings that control the fortress. Points goes from 0 to 1. At 1, the fortress is "won"
attacker rate:rate at which each attacker win points for each second in the zone. Default is .5
defender rate: rate at which each defender removes points for each second in the zone. Not e that there is a flloor at 0 points. Default rate is .25
decay rate: rate at which the zone looses points. Default rate is .1
That gives you the "it takes 2 sec to conquer the zone" and the "W00t man, I was there for more than 2 seconds" when a defender is present ( +.5 -.25 -.1 = .15 is the rate at which you win point in this case, so its 8 seconds in the zone that are needed).

Playing with these settings can lead to many interesting scenarios, like the one I mentionned. But it boils down to being settings, just like "brake accelerate you".
good job on it and it's real fun.
Thanks z-man for the insight to put the fortress aspect! Really made a day and night difference!
On a side note, you disapeared for a while Phil, where were you? just takin a break from tron?
It was sadly only too much work. Thanks for your concerns.

-ph
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TiTnAsS
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Post by TiTnAsS »

Oh theres an actual formula, i thought you guys just pulled that out of your ass, sry my bad lol...

Are you back for a while or what?
Damn, it sure has been a while!

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Post by philippeqc »

Yes, a formula. Must have been mentionned in a dev topic. We really need a wiki to publish that kind of details.

And I'm planning to stay for a while. I'm a consultant. The big project I was involved in is coming to completion. My contract and the project where supposed to be completed at the end of september. That defenitively not being the case, they prolonged me for one week, then another, then 2. So right now, the contract should stop at the end of October. If nothing changes that is. ;)

I'm planning myself a good little week of procrastination and AA for that magical vacation week. After that, we will see for other contracts and involvements.

-ph
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Post by radian »

THIS SERVER is so addictive and a nice change to the usuall last man thing,,,,,,the missle is a good tactic ,,but ,,the two man def n three or four attackers is i think the more reliable stratergy cause its easy to block a missle strike by setting up a wavy wall in the right place,,,,eh,,,,. The four zone thing was fun as well,, and it would be nice if there was a seperate server for this version ,,,has much potential for a weekly team event ,,that would be phat,,,,,oh an respect to z man...........u ,,rock[/b]
i just love it

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Post by philippeqc »

Is it just for me that the server is down? I'm unable to reach it since saturday at maybe 18h GTM - 1 .

I even considered hosting a fortress server in the meantime, but lacked the time to come up with appropriate settings and fix all server related problems (installing as a service, opening the routers port, etc...). Z-man, if you are interested, post the config you use. I might set up a secondary fortress server if yours still have troubles.

-ph
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Post by Z-Man »

As announced in the CVS test server thread, the "server" (actually my desktop machine) was shut down when our computer guy reinstalled the OS on Friday. I did not have the opportunity to restart it. Now it's up again.

The config is attached. Instead of the "let beta1 and beta2 download a copy of the original map" strategy, the real server just leaves MAP_FILE unchanged and has a copy of the zones map where the original map should be. That's a bit harder to maintain, though.
Attachments
fortress_autoexec.cfg.not.zip
Fortress configuration
(2.39 KiB) Downloaded 326 times

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Post by philippeqc »

Thanks,

I'll ready a clone, should fortress be taken down again. And maybe use it to experiment on alternative fortress maps (not backward compatible).


-ph
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Post by gnorty »

I was playing this a couple of nights ago for WAAY too long, and after a while I found myself permanently in the middle. after getting creamed over and over I worked out a very useful strategy (although it does depend upon your teammates giving you room to manouvre).

Basically you hold out for the longest time possible abd hit left/right just before you cream into the oncoming frontman. Without fail, either your teamy behind, or the opposite frontman will close the box trapping you. After trying many times to escape I figured that if I wait long enough, I will have a gap as the back of the wall disappears. As luck would have it, this hole appears right in the middle of the arena, and most times with a nice little tunnel to speed down into the middle of the winzone.

I went from creaming 9 times out of 10 to 9 out of 10 times making a creditable assault on the zone. The only downside being you are out of the game for the first half minute or so, and cannot therefore participate, boring and somewhat helpless, but a much better strategy than crashing every time, especially since the rubber was set relatively low which makes mazing too impossible for me!

Now to work out the strategy for making newbs on the edge break early rather than chasing glory at full speed and creaming half the team in the process!

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Post by Lucifer »

I have worked at a strategy for getting people to move out. :) I like being in the center, too, so I guess that helps.

Anyway, the team that wins, as it stands right now, is going to be the team that gets organized the quickest. This isn't even like the old team play where you got to grind for awhile, then break, and then it was a regular free-for-all match with shared points. Real team effort is required at all times here. (Luckily I've been on a lot of teams over the years that had to work in fast-paced environments, from flipping hamburgers to fixing brakes, so I've got a clear idea in my head a number of tactics that work, provided everyone's working together. Probably won't surprise many of you, but I usually float to the top on teams that I work on. Never much cared for management, so usually turned down formal promotions, but you get the idea)

So, when you launch, you have to do two things. First, everyone has to grind to the center. There's no choice about that. We've all already seen the holes that are left if you don't, and we've also seen how easy they are to exploit. Second, everyone has to clear out as quickly as possible. Otherwise your defense can't setup before the first attackers arrive, and then it's anybody's game.

After this, you need to break in a coordinated fashion. It's not enough that your grinders split at certain known points. You need to be coordinated. I've seen a few too many people lately say "Holy crap" or "How the hell are we supposed to defend against that?" when the break is coordinated. It's not hard, really. I wrote some about it on the wiki.

How do you be coordinated? Communication! I think the center is the team captain or whatever title you want to give him. In basketball, he's point. In military terms, I guess he'd be a squad leader or something similar (but *not* point, point in military terms is a different role than point in basketball). In football he's the quarterback. In any case, the center needs to be in tactical command of the team. On larger teams, there also needs to be a leader in defense who's in tactical command of the defense, and technically subordinate to the center, although in a non-formal environment like this you might consider that last part overkill.

Other things: Letting your defense know that opposing team members are coming. Also, your defense (which on a 7-person team needs to be at least 3 of the team, usually 4) needs to be alerting each other to what's going on.

There are a lot of different ways to organize a team, I think, but the one fundamental truth that must be acknowledged is that you must have communication.

This is a lot more advanced than the old team play we've done over the years, and you can't really approach it the same. Yes, all of the tactics you used back then still apply. There are a number of interesting skills people have picked up that seemed worthless at the time that are actually important in a fortress game. Nemo, silly, and hang have always made silly mazes for as long as I can remember. (Your_mom too, but his aren't as silly as these others) I used to think "What's the point? Looks like fun, I guess that's good enough". Now each one of them is an awesome goalie because of these skills. All the skills needed in Roulette are used in taking the other team's fortress!
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Phytotron
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Post by Phytotron »

Yes, since you mentioned it, I reckon I'll elaborate (and as I reread this, let me add the modifier, exhaustively). When playing fortress mode, I prefer defense. In part, just because I can hang back and maze, which is fun for me. But the cool thing about mazing that seems to escape a lot of people (working to the mazer's advantage, incidentally) is that it's not just random mucking about, even in standard free-for-all play. I won't digress into that here, but many of the points made are transferable.

The other night I was on Lucifer's team—that is, the same night he recently raved about in another thread. I'd like to think that our defensive efforts were equally responsible as Lucifer's offensive play-calling for the success of our team. As the saying goes, good defense creates offense. (And some of those offensive players weren't very good.) The other saying is "a good offense wins games, but a good defense wins championships."

I found that a good strategy was to have at least two defenders. To carry on with the football analogy, it's the entire defense, comprised of the "front seven" and the "secondary," the latter also known as defensive backs. It's a Steel Curtain if executed properly.

One might say I took the position of the front seven—the defensive linemen and linebackers. Also known as the mazing interior defender.

My role was to first double-back at the outset and seal off the open spaces at the rear of my teammates' tails. This guards against any potential "torpedo"-type move on the part of the opposing team. Even if someone got through a hole or seam, they would immediately hit a brick wall. I witnessed one dude do this about a dozen times in a row. One less opponent to worry about.

Next, I would begin mazing around one side of my teammates' tails, while staying within, or at least on the very periphery of the zone. Eventually their tails would recede and I would need to block off this top part of the zone. I would then cross over to the other side and begin mazing within it. This is important. I would try to never leave the interior of the zone, keeping it filled as best I could, and this is where I would remain most of the round. This serves numerous purposes.

Foremost, it greatly reduces the amount of open, free space in which an attacker, should one penetrate, can sit and try to take the zone. One would quickly run out of room and have to exit before the zone depleted. He then must deal with either me or my other defender.

Secondly, that maze causes core dumps. Oftentimes I would actually allow an attacker to enter the zone, and hence my maze, then close it behind him. (In regular games this is where I've noticed your_mom likes to say "good luck," heh). Before the zone depletes he has been core dumped. One less opponent to worry about.

Thirdly, due to my previous two actions, the interior of the zone is safe, at least temporarily, so I needn't worry about that, allowing me to tackle attackers around the edges. I can also trap one against the outside of my maze, as good as trapping him within. One less opponent to worry about.

And lastly—and this is an important thing for all defenders to remember—my staying within the zone slows any depletion caused by the presence of an attacker. This is where you get that "omg wtf I was in there forever!" Yep, and so was I. I may outlive you, I might dump you, my backup might dump you, or my team may take your zone.

Now, as for my fellow defender, he acts as the secondary—cornerbacks and safeties.

He or she is the first line of defense, shutting down the open, deep pass. As I've covered the interior of the zone, this person would cover the outside of the zone. It's generally not a fancy job, but does require awareness of my position, what areas my tail is currently filling, and from what direction(s) opponents are making their attacks.

If on the outside of the initial formation, this defender should not double-back at the outset as the interior/mazing defender does, or else they'll just end up colliding. Rather, he should go forward a bit, but pull off a lot sooner than the attackers do, then turn back toward the outside of the zone.

If on the inside, the two defenders must simply be aware of each other and coordinate and improvise their moves as necessary.

Once back at the perimeter of the zone, the basic maneuver here is to simply circle the interior defender, preferably close. Why close? As you may have noticed, a wide circle around the zone will have you chasing your receding tail, but with a gap between your cycle and the end of the tail. Circle closer and this gap is smaller. But again, be aware of the interior defender's position, or you may accidentally trap him in a corner.

However, if you must take the circle wider (because of an attack, or because the "front seven" can't maze as tightly or competantly), then it's best to try to go the opposite direction of the interior man. This keeps your open gap opposite the weak side of the maze, which of course also recedes.

Variations on this theme include throwing little hitches into your circle, making quick core-dumps of attackers on the edges, switching direction, and/or making an occasional grind against the back outer rim in order to prevent rear-attacks.

Also, should an attacker get through the secondary, it's sometimes best to continue circling. For one, a second attacker may be on his way, and you must defend against him while the interior defender deals with the first one. Additionally, this is where the awareness again comes in. You and I can find a way to trap the attacker between your circling tail and my maze. But use your judgement. If you see the zone begin to deplete, or that the interior man can't get to the attacker, you may have to abandon your circling and step up.


I suppose the overall theme here is that the defenders are limiting the attackers' options. It's all about good coverage and awareness. It's also a way of unbalancing the game. In football terms, takeaways—forcing turnovers. Every opponent core-dumped by the defense is one less player to worry about, as I've mentioned. Eventually, the opponents may find themselves down to one defender with three or more of us making our attacks. This is where the defender gets to leave the zone and take an interception to the house for a touchdown, heh.


Other notes:
As Lucifer pointed out, defenders need to communicate—with each other and with the rest of the team. Should a defender get cored, he must immediately let the rest of the team know, and someone else must then drop back and take over (second string, heh). It's not a bad idea to have an attacker who reamins in the "no man's land" between the zones who can quickly drop back to defense if necessary.

It should be established who are the defenders, and only these players should turn back at the beginning. The rest of the team needs to be sure to travel on far enough so as to not interfere with the defenders. If you're on Lucifer's team, just follow his direction and let the defenders do their job.

Defensive strategies that do not work well, but are all-too-common:
1) Drawing a straight line back and forth across the arena in front of the zone. I haven't seen it work once yet. An attacker simply goes around the weak side.
2) Having a single defender who lazily circles the zone. Sometimes it works, but all an attacker needs to do is get inside and seal himself in there. You're then helpess. If you're the last player on your team and you must defend, maze. Your chances are a lot greater because of the reasons described above.
3) Chasing attackers when it's too late. Get ahead of them. Anticipate their moves. Don't wait too long.

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Post by Lucifer »

There's no doubt about it, silly, you guys had a killer defense going. :) I'm just going to sound biased because I was on offense is all. It's point of view. But I know the feeling you get when you don't have to worry about going back to protect your fortress. Also, I looked back a lot (you'll be surprised how much I'm looking around at everyone to see what's going on, or not) and I'd see one of the other team's attackers (probably the guy I passed on my way in because I was killing his partner instead) circling or whatever he was doing in our fortress, but as long as I saw "Oscilliscope" when I looked, I wasn't worried. Even if I didn't see your name, if I had time to glance back that meant we were about to take the other fortress anyway.

The way it worked out, silly was in charge of defense, and I was in charge of offense. And we didn't tell each other what to do, but backed each other when we had problems with other players (you know, people not grinding, too many goalies, that sort of thing).

Yeah, we kicked ass, didn't we? ;) The other team got organized for awhile and it was some pretty good rounds going on, but I don't recall losing any matches for like 2 hours. Maybe we did and I just forgot. Heh. Had extensive turnover in offense because the server rotates new players in by putting them right next to center, so every time a new player joined we had to start almost from scratch getting the offense into shape.

On a side note, I was playing last night and radian was on the other team. Radian's been on my team plenty, and a few times opposing when nobody was listening to me. This time, though, he was opposing and we had some coordination and he was freaking out about it. I wish some other teams would start doing this stuff.

So I've been writing this all up in the wiki and hoping people will go and elaborate on what I'm writing. There's quite a diversity of opinions on what a team needs to do to win, and I'd like to see some representation.

But I've found several rules to be true all the time. The one about communication I've already mentioned. I'll defer to silly on defense, I'm a sucky defensive player (other than to agree with how silly those long lines are that defenders try to draw. You're better off making a small square that you can use any of the sides to launch in any direction when an attacker appears, and my offense lets a few attackers through. We're not defenders, and we'll kill some opponents on our way in, but let the defense do its job, you know?). On offense, when you get up to take the fortress, two can do it. One can do it if he's good and the goalie is bad. Otherwise, you need two to do. Three cannot take the fortress, they'll just kill each other trying.

When there's 7 people on the team and they're running an inner/outer defense (meaning you didn't get to kill 3 defenders, you only killed two), then you need to first peel the outer guy off the zone. Don't try to penetrate, leave that to one of your other offensive guys. Just peel the guy off and chase him into the corner, then try to force him to the center of the grid where he can't defend his fortress (because it's not there!). That leaves one goalie and hopefully two attackers. If you managed to push the outer defender all this way, hopefully one of your defense guys is free to step up and take him off your hands and you can go back to lend assistance to the fortress-taking.

The only time it makes sense for the third offensive player to go into the fortress when there's already two there is if he needs to jump in to turn over the fortress. Then he usually should go in as a suicide, living just long enough to push the zone over. You'll be surprised how much the second offensive player does just that.

Some goalies need to be peeled out the same way the outer defense needs it. So the first offensive player to arrive needs to be thinking "How do I get this guy out of the zone", not "How do I take the zone?". Don't be a ball-hog, there's plenty of that creamy victory goodness to go around. Troy Aikman never won a championship, the Cowboys won.
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Phytotron
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Post by Phytotron »

I need to ammend my previous post. It has come to my attention that my above use of the word "maze/mazing" is not in keeping with the definition found in the Wiki. What the Wiki describes I've always just called a single-person roulette, which I personally find more accurate a description.

(Incidentally, I don't think that would be as effective for defending the interior of the zone because it wouldn't allow for much improvisation or the ability to jump out at will, though it might be somewhat effective.)

I don't know what else to call what I do, however. It's perceived by some to be nothing more than random turning and mucking about, but it's really not. It is to a great extent improvised, but I'm always quite aware of what I'm doing. Insert musical analogy: It's true improvisation as opposed to cacophony. (I can be cacophonous at times as well, though. :D )

Um. A couple people have called it swirls. Some have called it designs. Controlled chaos. I dunno. Perhaps I should take a screenshot as a visual demo.

But the point is that you create a huge mess of turns and hitches in there, filling up space while creating a lot of surface area, short walls, and little corners and whatnot for people to find themselves ricocheting around in. Few players have sufficient skill and reaction time to deal with this and will crash. Even the best at it will still eventually run out of options. This is especially true in z-man's Fortress which has effectively next-to-zero rubber and sizeable turn delay. It also, if done properly, keeps you in near-constant readiness should you need to engage an attacker.

Yeah, I'll get around to a screenshot sometime, although if anyone reading this has ever played with me, you know what I do.

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Post by Jonathan »

You should take a movie. I once made a movie on a slow computer with software renderer, at 4 fps, which left the game running at about 8 fps. And that's at the lowest resolution, without texturing, no floor, etc. Fun, eh?
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Post by Z-Man »

Of course, nowadays, you can just make a debug recording and make the movie from the playback.

One piece of strategy I'd like to add:
The server as it stands now has a winzone that appears randomly after a while. Use it! When you're two against one, the one enemy is effectively pinned to his zone. One of your guys should circle it to keep him locked, while the other should stay between the arena center and the enemy zone so he can reach the winzone quickly. Yes, it is lame, but it wins the round.
Almost the same tactic can win a one on one situation, provided you are the one who gets a quicker start (which likely means you had a two to one situation before, but the attacker of your team did not listen to me and died attacking). Siege the enemy zone, don't attack. Don't circle it; while you're behind the zone, the defender has a better start position for the winzone race. Just move up and down between the arena center and the enemy zone (close to the zone, of course). Build up speed by grinding your own wall. Go for the winzone as soon as it appears. Only go for conquering the fortress if the defender makes a mistake, such as leaving the zone to attack you.

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