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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Planetside 2: Xericor's Tactica, Infantry Assault on a Small Base

Xericor's Tactica: Infantry Assault (Small Base)

The taking of bases is key to Planetside 2 and in this article I will look at a standard Infantry approach to capturing a typical small base. Understanding structures and terrain, fire arcs and positioning are vital to the basic infantryman. Failure to understand the surroundings leaves the foot soldier susceptible to being killed, and if enough troops go down to enemy fire even the most basic of assaults becomes a drawn out engagement.

Step One – The Approach (Minimap)

Instead of steaming full speed ahead into any fight, take a moment to understand your location and plan your attack. It is always best to think-out your moves ahead of time. To help you do this you must learn to extend (and collapse) your minimap.

The default key for this is 'H'.

When moving to and from locations always use the map in its extended format. This allows you to spot any enemy units ahead of time.

When fighting in close proximity, knowing what is 100yards away from you becomes less important, so a collapsed (small size) mini map is better as it becomes less of a distraction.

The other aspect to be aware of is what you are actually attacking, what type of base is it, who holds the territory and who holds the surrounding area.

In this example we are going to use a small base with two main approaches – one, blue, which we hold, and the other, red, which the enemy holds, and we are going to place the base directly in the middle.

Step Two – Placing Key Locations

Every base has a capture point (with larger bases having more than one point), and a 'safe area/spawn room' where the enemy can respawn, rearm, and fire from relative safety. It is key that we identify these areas before we arrive at the base, then understand how they sit in proximity to the layout of the base.

In this example we can see that the capture point is at the base of the tower, in a courtyard which is closed on three sides, and that the enemy spawn room is at the far end of the base up a slight ridge.

What we learn from this is that, unless we take Light Infantry (with jetpack), our approach to the capture point is restricted to the open area on the left, or through the buildings to the right.

Attacking into and through buildings always favours the defender – they can set traps and have a small target area (the doorway) to cover. People coming through a doorway present easy targets to a defender hiding in a room.

We can therefore draw a theoretical line along which we can expect to meet an enemy defence, shown on the map as the long red line.

Tip – Attacking through a Doorway

Always be on guard when moving into a building where you know, or suspect, there are enemy agents. The first thing to check for is explosives placed near the entrance to the room. AI mines and C4 are common weapons employed here.

Next, be careful of the corners close to the rear of the building. Its from here that most players will stop and shoot. The doorway makes you a nice target, and the doorway behind them gives the enemy a sense of security, that they can run away if they feel out of their depth That or they will use the corner to shield themselves from your fire, while you have nowhere to hide.

The map also shows one other key point – a section of 'no man's land'. This area is marked by the letter 'A'. This area is a direct approach from the respawn to the capture point but it is completely free of cover. Any player trying to move up or down this patch of land will be shot dead before they could make it half way. No combat will take place along this path.

Step Three – Controlling the Area

In order to fully lock down the base we must look at what we can and cannot control, identify where the enemy will be, and what positions we need to hold in order to restrict their movement and stop any counter-assault on the capture point.

The place to start is the place we cannot control – the enemy spawn area.

To do this we must look at what the enemy can and cannot see from the safety of their area. In this example I am going to cheat a little and take a couple of shots from the enemy spawn area.

These two photos show the view from the enemies perspective.

From placing ourselves in the enemies shoes, we can see that much of the area is shielded from view by the large central building. This then becomes the place we need to take, hold and control to fully restrict the enemy.

The following picture shows the safe approach to taking this building.

Note the front balcony is marked with an 'X'. While a Light Assault can easily scale this height, the entire balcony is in clear view of the enemy. Anybody trying to take this approach will be in clear view of enemy fire. This path is not recommended. Instead, to take this building, we must take the roof.

Taking the set of barricades at the left of the photo, allows for ideal firing positions to control the roof of the enemy spawn area.

To understand the relevance of this position we must use a small diagram, and look at how distance relates to firing arcs and the field of view.

As we can see the area we can cover extends in relation to the distance to the target. What this means is that when giving fire, our target has to move further to avoid receiving damage, while we need only do a small side step to completely avoid the enemies shots.

This makes the top barricades vital positions to hold, in unison with allied troops covering the ground floor entrance/exits.

Advanced Tip – Light Assault troops should also consider raised structures when selecting advantageous firing positions. Often these areas have nice concealed shooting positions where the enemy will never expect to find you!

Step Four – Lock-down Positions

Often assaulting a base comes down to remembering 2 key principles -

Restricting the enemy movement
Intercepting or blocking reinforcements

In our example we can mark these paths with the letters, A to E.

A – This is the path any reinforcements will come along. Its vital at least one person moves to this position to watch for enemy movement and raise the alarm if enemy troops are spotted. Snipers with long distance scopes and Heavy troops armed with Rocket Launchers are best deployed here.

B, C, D – These are the key positions to lock down the enemy base. Positions B and C can be held by any class of troops. Position C is best taken to Light Assault troops who can jetpack directly to the roof and avoid the dangers of attacking through buildings.

E – Represents one of the Advanced Firing Positions, the type of which the enemy will not immediately place you. In this example we have the rocky side of a mountain, a position good for snipers, or rocket armed troops.

Tip - NV Scope
Most scopes are usually xRange to help with aiming and shooting at distance. For situations like this, where the fighting is all close range, consider ditching you regular scope and using a NV scope instead.

In Summary -

Hopefully this guide has gone some way to helping you better understand positioning when taking and assaulting a base. Never stand around like a lost sheep in one area, always consider the possible route of the enemy and get yourself in the best position you can.

Think ahead and take a look at the area you are attacking prior to arriving there. Identify key areas you need to take, and think where the enemy will be, where they will try and move from and get yourself into the best position to stop them from doing so.

If you control the situation you will control the battle.

Thanks for reading, and good luck in the game!

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