The Fortress

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gnorty
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defence support

Post by gnorty »

My favourite position is to play in a wide defensive role, I don't mind defending the zone, but I really don't think fast enough and always feel bad when I screw up spontaneously and leave the zone naked!

Anyway, my idea for the best defensive strategy -

1st the goalie - certainly the mazey aware type is best, but a circling type is ok if well backed up

next it needs 2 more folk to defend wide, and this is where I think a big difference is made. these 2 guys (both wide at the start) initiallly grind the centre, then break out EARLY and go right to the edge, u-turn in the direction of the zone, and then grind their wall back to center, If done right, the initial walls will be receding just before you get there. what happens next depends upon the situation. the outer wall area is safe, but maybe a well timed attack has got through the middle. if so, you usually have more speed than them, you just ground a long wall, they have been frantically mazing to wait for a gap) so you can cut them off. If nobody is through, turn back towards the wall and start a patrol.

When attackers come , do not try to intercept them. think more of putting walls between them and the zone. heading straight for the outer wall and grinding it (always towards your own zone to avoid direct battle and stay alive) you can very effectively keep the enemy away. if they are trapped out wide, they are neither attacking or defending so may as well be dead! Of course 2 people are doing this on opposite sides, so while one is busy guarding a wing, the other needs to watch his part of the centre,

While all this happens, the attackers start to get frustrated. maybe 2 attackers are finghting the same defender - no worry, you have a wall between you and them - and they will take each other out. sometimes you can see them make a mistake, and quickly cut them off. sometimes you can deliberately miss a grind, and leave a gap. they WILL go for it, they are getting bored, so you close the gap and they have no room to move. It is also amazing hoiw often wide attackers will try to outgrind you on the walls. it rarely works, and if it does, you can just turn towards the back wall and shut them out that way. they won't beat you twice - they probably wont even try, and just double back to try to find a way through.

All the time you need to watch your goalies back. if somebody gets through, you can go in. don't crowd the keeper, and dont try to directly attack the attacker. just throw a few spurious walls against the outer edge of the defenders zone, and sooner or later the attacker will hit one.

It all sounds very passive, but it is amazing the kills you rack up this way. I am not a good player, As I said above, I do not think fast enough (although from time to time my fingers bypass my brain and do something spectacular all on their own!) but consistantly I am top of the kills using this technique. Many times it is possible to do it without even a goalie, and I think that probably unless you have a very good goalie, it is better to defend this way that with one goalie and one backup if numbers are low (say 3-4 per team), although I haven't tried this.

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Z-Man
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Post by Z-Man »

I can testify that gnorty's tactics work amazingly well. They have been used against me successfully more than once :)

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Post by Tank Program »

I'm glad team strategies are on the rise again.
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gnorty
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Post by gnorty »

heh, hi z-man

I was messing about with this today, and worked out why it works so well. Essentailly it is about geometry, as defender you are always working a smaller square then the attackers on the outside, and can therefore cover the space very effectively.

Done well, the keeper can quite easily go through a full round on a busy server and not be troubled, kinda boring for the keeper, but good for the team.

I love it when people are outside my wall who I know would dump me in a second if they were inside, especially when the inevitable mistake comes and I get the credit :lol: :P

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Lucifer
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Post by Lucifer »

Yeah, gnorty, that's what I call "playing defensive". When you're outnumbered, it's what you have to do. Hang back, slay a few of them, and when the time is right, attack. Some coordination is needed for it.

You have also described what I consider the ideal defensive team's tactics. I mean, ok, so you all know by now that I consider the 3 players in the center the offense (on a large team, on a smaller team your offense should drop in size proportionally). So the outer 4 players, on a 7-player team, play defense, and gnorty has just described *how* they should play defense.

Anyway, yeah, good stuff gnorty. ;) Works fine until Lucifer comes along and knows all your tricks....

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Lucifer
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Post by Lucifer »

Oh yeah, just occurred to me. :) What I've been seeing, most people want to rush the zone, right? They all want the glory or whatever you call it. On a large team most people will still run two defenders, but not usually more (unless you bitch about it). So if you run a 4-man defense, they'll attack with 5-6 people, which a 4-man defense can hold off almost indefinitely, if not defeat completely. Meanwhile, you're sending 3 guys into their backfield against only 2 defenders, usually just one, which they can't hold off. Two defenders can hold off 3 if they know what they're doing, but 4 can hold off the whole team if they know what they're doing. Weird how it works out, I think gnorty has a good explanation why.

Also, as defenders, time is on your side. You don't need to defeat the opponents, you only need to keep them from your zone, preferably without giving up any points in kills. So don't worry about killing them, just keep them back and let your offense do its job.

When more people have figured out that this really works consistently (the 6-man offense does't work consistently. When it works, it works well, but it usually flops when the other team gets any sort of coordination going), then I expect new tactics will be needed.

Also, when attacking the enemy's fortress, don't go in against the mazer. If he's making elaborate mazes, you want to seal him in and dart in and out, forcing him to make his maze smaller until he inevitably screws up and crashes. But if he's one of those guys following his tail around the zone, then he's easy. You time it right and you can get in there, peel him off, and take it from him. The trick is to take it properly but becoming the new defender. Focus less on trying to stay in the zone and more on surrounding the zone with your own wall. Then defend it! If you approach it and you're all alone, lay a wall around it the same way you would if you were the goalie on your own fortress. I've seen too many players get in the fortress by themselves, slow down and do radiator coils, and lose the zone when the team comes to fortify it. Don't do that!

And as to gnorty's last paragraph, that's what I've been calling "running a zone defense". With only 3 players and nobody particularly strong on goalie, having all three hover around the fortress playing zones like gnorty's described does work, and it works very well. I talked about it some on the wiki. The problem is that you can't make any mistakes. If the guy on the left screws up and dies (or worse, gets killed), the two remaining players pretty much have to take an inner/outer defense tactic until the crisis is over.

Flanking maneuvers are also very effective, so you have to protect your flanks! I played defense not too long ago where I held the left, and we had a really good goalie. But all the guys on the right wanted to rush the zone. The result? They'd get down and start trying to peel out the defenders, meanwhile the other team ran their offense right down the right side. I'd clear out the left side, but couldn't get to the right fast enough to protect the goalie, so he was on his own. Suffice it to say they kept taking the zone, me and the goalie kept asking for right-side defenders, and our team kept not listening. So we kept losing.

You know, I'm a big believer in "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game", but one thing that really irritates me is when your team plays poorly *and* loses. Playing poorly and winning is pretty annoying, but not quite as bad. I guess there's some consolation in the fact that you won, even if you played poorly. But if I'm going to be on a losing team, I want to know the team played hard and well.
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Lucifer
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Post by Lucifer »

Haha, I've just got so much to say. Finally, I ran a little experiment yesterday in leadership. I wanted to see how well people take orders, in general, so I went in under an alias (after modifying most of my instant chats so people wouldn't recognize me from those). I was M'aidez first, later Shea Ohmsford (allanon was there, it was only fitting). I also switched back and forth between teams, trying to prevent any one team from getting used to me being there (and blamed it on the server, I acted like a noob, even asking what STFU meant, and when the guy told me I said "You don't have to be rude about it")

I found that people will generally respond to the break commands "BREAK OUTER" and "INNER BREAK". I found the defense prepares when you say "INCOMING", even if they think you're silly for saying it. The catch on the break is that often people on the outside don't want to break so they keep going. Then they kill the people on the inner, who bitch about it, and then the situation rights itself. "Need help in the zone" usually brings people back who are close enough to help, but it seems like nobody responds to "DEFENSE IS DEAD". I think that's because it's not a command, it's a statement.

Conclusions? Take charge. Take charge with instant chats, people respond better to that. If you don't use instant chats and you start giving orders, people don't necessarily respond. There was a strong disagreement between me and another guy (who will go nameless) who kept telling us to break early, but refused to call break. My point was "If you don't tell us when to break, how the hell are we supposed to know?" Of course, I based it on having played enough center that I know when *I* want the break to happen, but I can survive that position pretty well. I recognize that not everybody can, and that not everybody knows what I'm thinking when I call break, so even if they could, they don't know what they need to know to do what they need to do. I don't know what his point was, and he never told me. Anyway, that only illustrates the point. I've been seeing a lot more instant chat communication on the grid, and I've been seeing what a difference a few simple calls make along wtih "affirmative" and "negative" (or your preferred synonyms).

I haven't yet seen a team play well and win against an organized, coordinated team without adopting both organization and coordination. I'm not saying it won't happen, but there's a moral in this for us all, I'm sure.
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Post by Jonathan »

Lucifer wrote:What I've been seeing, most people want to rush the zone, right? They all want the glory or whatever you call it.
Reminds me of a video I've seen of a Halo 2 game. It was a team King of the Hill game, but in the end the player who made the video had only 4 seconds of the 5 minutes hill time (BTW, the other team had only 1:44). He did, however, have 41 kills and never died (OK, at the end of the game his teammates came rushing at him, but that doesn't count)! And he kept the power weapons all the time, so the other team couldn't have them, and of course he sniped enemies killing his teammates, and mostly defended himself at close range with the sword. He didn't have the glory of hill time, but he was important. You can find it by googling "41-0 ogre download", and looking for the 41-0 video, but unfortunately it's in Windows Media format.
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Post by KamP »

Lucifer wrote:I haven't yet seen a team play well and win against an organized, coordinated team without adopting both organization and coordination. I'm not saying it won't happen, but there's a moral in this for us all, I'm sure.
So you mean, theoretically, a team full of disorganizes Lucifer's would not be able to beat a team of organized KamPs if the teams are even?
neat-o!
funny, i started this thread talking about the overpowering offensive schemes at the fortress, obviously something's gone wrong somewhere. Defense snapped back pretty quick

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Post by Lucifer »

That's right, KamP. :) ANd a team of organized Player 1s will kick the ass out of any group of disorganized veterans, even if your_mom *is* the defender!

(ok, maybe that's taking it a little too far, but Player one would probably kick ass)
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Post by Fonkay »

If I can, I do like to rush the zone, and get in there fast.
Mostly because if you do it fast, the opposition doesn't have time to prep. Therefore you usually catch them off guard, which seems to work for me.

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Post by Phytotron »

Gnorty's points were pretty good. I think I somewhat alluded to the fact that defenders needn't actively engage attackers—and in some cases perhaps shouldn't, because that's dangerous, especially in z-man's fortress with its near-zero rubber and sizeable turn delay. What you can do, however, especially if the defenders remain aware of each other (this is true in regular team games as well) is set up situations that will cause opponents to mess up, especially aggressive ones. That's what my "mazing" does. It's sorta like a zone-blitz in (American) football, or a well-executed 2-3 zone in basketball. It can force a lot of turnovers.

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Post by gnorty »

think I was playing while luci was doing his undercover-boss act. Maybe he was being luci then, I dunno. pointit, SOMEONE was doing it, and it was A Good Thing (TM) so I was looking for the call, but not really who was making it. certainly it stopped a lot of the suicidal pileups.

One thing that did occur, is if you had a lot of cumulative lag between the caller and the callee, it could be pretty nasty as they wont get the call until it is too late?

BUT...

how annoying is it when a team is all organised and dominating, then some noob comes along and INSISTS on cutting everyone off at top speed?

AND THEN says "god you guys take it too serious".

"I KNOW I DO, THATS WHY I [email protected] HATE YOU - YOU PRICK!!!!"

~and breathe~

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Post by Z-Man »

A non-suicidal break through a gnorty-type defense: pretend you want to outgrind the defender on the rim: follow him there, he'll have to go all the way. But then you simply grind his wall back to the middle; you'll be there before him (as he has to do two turns more than you to go back and thus lose 10% more speed), and when you get there, his wall will disappear right in time for you to slip through. It takes a bit strength of nerves, but works quite consistently. Unless they have a third midfield defender cruising the center, then you go boom. And watch the defender, if he breaks, you're in trouble too :)

An added bonus is that you go right for the zone and the goalie probably has not considered you a threat until you come around the defender's rear end.

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Post by Lucifer »

Ok, so I've been seeing people wanting to punch holes through walls when there's two defenders, but nobody seems to have figured out what's wrong with that.

I'll tell you. :) When there's an outer defender, you can already get in between his wall and the goalie's, usually. So trying to punch a hole through his wall just means you have one less attacker than before, even if someone goes through it.

Walls you can punch a hole through:

* Not Silly's. His defense holds off that sort of attack.
* Any square defender's wall will work. Usually people who play goalie by making one large square can't maze for shit, so punch a hole and outmaze him.
* Walls like mine. I have been layering them twice lately (trying to integrate silly's tactics even though I can't make his moves), so it won't necessarily work.

Walls you can't punch a hole through:

* Any layered wall. Same problem as above.
* Any maze. The goalie needs to be in some polygonal shape. Anything thats not a polygon won't work.

More tips on taking the zone:

* With good timing, you can pull back outward from a goalie, grind your own wall, and if your timing is right, get in between him and his tail. This usually results in his death.
* DEFEND THE ENEMY'S ZONE! I can't stress this enough. DOn't just sit there trying to turn it over, DEFEND it. Play goalie in his zone, don't let them come back and retake it. So if you're being followed when you enter the zone, turn to redirect him and start drawing your own polygon to block opponents. Start bilding a maze (it will hopefully turn over before you finish your maze) because if a defender shows up, he can stop it from turning over even if you've blocked most of the zone from him, but if you keep mazing, he eventually has to turn out. So he knows he needs to get in and take it from you, but if you maze the prevent him from doing it, he'll either have to pull out (letting you turn it over) or he'll kill himself trying to get you.
* Peel away the defender. Don't try to kill him, and don't try to outmaze him. Just try to force him to turn around. Then defend his zone behind him so he can't turn back in.
* If you're going to punch a hole, make sure you leave a long enough straight wall that people can ride in on it. Don't trust people to hit the hole, hitting a hole that small at the speeds you need to be at to actually make it work is suicidal, give the guy a hand going in.
* Compress the zone! Ok, you can't actually compress the zone itself, but don't try to get in at all. This is how you attack a mazed defense (like mine, joda's, and it works on silly's even if his is technically not a maze). Fill in the gaps that he's left, that'll force him to turn in deeper when he comes back around. If he doesn't turn in deeper, he'll pick up acceleration, which might also kill him. Just keep doing that until he crashes. Then start laying on your own defensive wall so when his collapses, you're in. This takes time, and you need a strong defense to hold off the opponents while you do it.
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