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How to use shieldbots in 1v1? My shieldballs feel useless

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I just lost a 1v1 where I was winning on eco and map control the whole time: http://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/1714314

I really struggled with shieldbots (me) vs cloakbots (Benny4537)

I did fine in the early raider phase of the game. Problem is when the riots and assaults start coming out. Benny built a riot/skirmisher ball with a few snipers mixed in that just mopped up my whole army.

My initial build was just Bandits, then Bandits + Rouges, (these first two I felt I was doing fine),

then I started building Felons, with one Thug per felon as a shield battery, and no Aspis yet. This is where I just fell apart.

I know Felon is a Really good skirmisher but it just couldn't seem to use it right. A felon on its own doesn't have enough shield juice to kill a Knight, so whenever those showed up my lone Felons need to retreat. They're sitting ducks for pairs of snipers on their own.

So, how do you actually make a good transition as shieldbots in 1v1 from the early raider game to getting proper shieldballs up and running? For example, what's the minimum viable battle group for 1 felon? Is lone felon ever OK, or should it have 1 thug, 3 thugs, 5 thugs, maybe some Convicts following it, must it always be under an Aspis shield in 1v1?

Would love if anyone could point me to replays of really good 1v1 players using shield bots.
(Also, if anyone watches my replay, maybe I made more fundamental mistakes than how I used Felon? Would love to hear)
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10 months ago
I'm not a shield user but I watched a lot of 1v1 involving shield.
But looking at the replay, there was no mystery since your shieldball was always lesser than Benny's army in term of value, whenever you faced him. So first thing, I'd say, you must try to outnumber your enemy in the first place. But also , yea, you definitely can add more thugs per felon. Not only are they battery for the felon, but they also shield your units, it's pretty tough to beat shield when there is a lot of thugs, even if they barely hit stuff, they just can't be stopped (except by imp/snitch which you must take care about)...
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10 months ago
You can look for HistidineStar 1v1, he v good and use shieldball a lot
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10 months ago
Cloaks are a tough enemy for Shields especially on larger maps.

They have a big mobility edge with their unit speed in general.

That said you probably shouldn't be losing to Knights. In massed combat you definitely want aspis in a shieldball. I go 1 Felon to about 4 Thugs to make sure the shield recharge is high. Rogues are also an important part of my shield ball mix. As the ball grows you need a few Outlaw to help vs light units and cloaked bombs. Then you start to build Racketeer which is a nice cumulative effect unit. It very much blunts the offensive edge of the enemy, but unfortunately are less useful vs cloakies because they tend to spam many light critters instead of fewer heavy ones.

The trick to winning with shields is to make the enemy chase the ball. What happens is that the rogues become much more accurate since they are chasing targets that are moving towards them instead of evading. Felon has a longer engagement time etc.

If the enemy is swarming but not scouting properly, then I'd suggest making a couple of snitches every now and again. Place them to either side of your advance route and then after you have attacked, retreat past them and hope for the enemy to follow. With a bit of luck you can run them into a blob and wipe it out.

An important unit is dirtbag. These are your scouts and sacrificial units. You want to run them ahead of your blob so that they reveal any cloaked bombs youe enemy has set for you. They will also soak up fire and allow your shields to stay juiced until you are closer and can engage. Remember to retreat when your shields get red or close to it. Shieldbots suck with low shields.
+1 / -0

10 months ago
They have a big mobility edge with their unit speed in general.

You mean glaive, ronin and scythe I suppose? Knights, Reavers and Slings are really slow.
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10 months ago
Yes those are the main units that pose a mobility problem for Shields. But even 'slow' Slings are fast enough to move back faster than a shieldball and keep it under fire the whole time. A sling swarm protected by Reavers is problematic for a shieldball because it can keep it under fire the whole time while staying out of range of the ball's weapons and immune to Bandits because of Reavers. Then you have to resort to cloak snitch shenanigans or send dirts forward as a screen to force the slings to seperate from the Reavers and hopefully give the shieldball enough of a gap to destroy the Reaver screen.

My usual tactic with shields is to try augment my forces with a forward porc line that can help engage units once the ball has passed through to give me some recharge time. Mass slings can make this tricky though. In that case I usually terra walls and put the porc in defilade.

A good Cloaky player is a tough prospect for shields imho.
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10 months ago
Cloaky vs Shieldbots is a very goodmatchup for shields imo. Bandits can beat glaives quite easily and you might have some trouble with early reavers but once you have enough metal to build felon its not really a problem.

I do not think rogue is a good unit in cloakbot matchups. Rogues are great when it comes to taking out turrets but not so great at actual skirmishing. For that you would need felon. Aspis is not really a 1v1 unit either. The only good use I have seen of it is to defend against likho. Otherwise if you want to deal with artillery probably better to try lobster+shieldball.

1 thug per felon isn't a good combination at all. A good combination I would recommend is 1 felon 5 thug. This combination is really great at taking out anything that aren't heavy assault units or heavy porc. An important thing to keep in mind is to retreat when the shields are drained and once they are recharged you can get back into action with more shields.

If you are playing against cloaky or shield I would recommend you build an outlaw and keep it at the front of the shield ball so that you don't get blasted by cloaked bombs.

Always keep scouting for air switch because a thunderbird or likho can be really unpleasant to deal with. You can morph the radar tower into a flying scout.

Snipers are annoying to deal with and I don't think even aspis is a good solution. Maybe try dirtbags with lobstered shieldball.

+3 / -0
10 months ago
Tons of good advice in this thread!

The idea of using buried Snitches to cover a retreat is genius. I've got to try that.
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