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unit tactics

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2 months ago
Hello all,
I am fairly new to the whole RTS thing. I have been playing Zero K against AI and trying to improve my skills. I seem to observe that my units generally do not fare well in direct engagement with enemy units (this is on difficulty level "hard"). If I look at the statistics at the end of the game, the numbers for kills and destruction seem to confirm that, even when I win, I am often losing units more quickly than my opponent. I understand that there is a spectrum of technical nuances that might influence these outcomes. I guess I am looking for some basic tactical guidelines. I tend to just create a random mix of units and then throw the whole mass at the enemy. Presumably there is some way to refine my approach. I still don't really understand, for example, what is the best way to use a riot? Is there an optimal mix of units? Does it depend on the factories in play? What formation is optimal for attack or defense? Maybe these questions are too general. Any thoughts/suggestions are appreciated.
cheers,
Stanley
p.s. I was going to submit one of my battles to the insightful analysis by Goddes, but I haven't figured out how to link to my games which don't show up under the replays search.
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2 months ago
Play a game on the server (by eg opening a passworded room and adding an AI), and it will be saved on server and available for linking.
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2 months ago
raider a small units to raid undefended stuff or alterity, riot good at dealing with raiders(normally have some aoe), and alterity good for dealing long range damage (good vs structures). also try using the attack move A and not the normal line move this will keep stuff at the edge of rage for the units and they will back away so they don't die as fast.
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2 months ago
The wiki has some articles about unit interactions and general gameplay, including
An article about the unit classes and the general counter structures they form,
how to actually get and use the metal to make the units
and this one explains how the unit utility varies over the course of a match
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2 months ago
You can also watch other replays on Youtube - Shadowfury333 used to cast A LOT of games: https://www.youtube.com/user/Shadowfury333
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2 months ago
Hello USrankStanley133,

If you'd like, I can privately tutor you and give you some insights on how to win, and win big. Let me know if you're interested.
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2 months ago
Just a few very basic points the way I understand them that may help if you're very new:

There's no default best mix of units. It's all situational.

quote:
I tend to just create a random mix of units and then throw the whole mass at the enemy. Presumably there is some way to refine my approach.

It sounds like you create a "ball" of units and then march that ball toward your enemy no matter what. One problem with doing this is that while your units wait for more to be added, they are not fighting. A unit that's not killing something is not making cost, so you're basically losing money while they stand around chatting with one another and waiting for you to send them to their doom (and that's important because more resources means more funds for more units or better units). Another problem is that making random units means you're not trying to counter what your opponent is throwing at you. And that means you're making it very likely for your ball to die fast and hard. Balling kind of works with Shieldbots and maybe Dominatrixes, but it's a gamble even then (because cloaked bombs [and Jack drops in multiplayer] are a thing).

Try making units that work as counters to what the opponent is throwing at you, and try to keep your units alive. Pull back and repair if you see them dying.

quote:
I still don't really understand, for example, what is the best way to use a riot?

Riots usually hard-counter raiders. But enough raiders can overwhelm and destroy a single riot. A riot can hold off many raiders if they are coming in one by one, so if all you have is raiders against a riot, either don't send them in or make many. The "optimal" formation is one where they don't have to try to shoot through each other (because then they won't shoot at all) and are close enough to the target to shoot it. A circle around a single enemy is a great way to kill it quickly, but beware of death explosion, which can take out your entire little army.

If your opponent sends too many riots, try sending armor. Opponent sending too much armor? Send skirmishers. Skirmishers also kill riots. Most units other than riots are too slow to efficiently kill large numbers of raiders, so use raiders to kill skirmishers. That works unless you send in raiders one by one or there's AOE involved.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on any of these points.

HTH
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2 months ago
If the enemy has been cornered into a fort or overall has very good defense trying using long range, like badgers and impaler. If the enemy terraformed use spiders. Also, don't use balls unless they are shieldbots and dominatrixs. Balling your army means that AOE units can counter it. The reason shieldbots and dominatrixs are good for this is because they can normally stop most AOE. Always try to find the weak point of the enemy, send some units through it, whatever you fancy. Then try to take out the econ and factories of the enemy. Remember, killing enemy units is good, killing their factory is better. If you have been cornered and the enemy invested in long range, your most likely dead. Your best bet is a nuke rush or super weapon at that point. The advice random gave you is good advice.
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A few more things:

1) Good, Godde's videos are very helpful, I do recommend them.
2) I am not very good at this, but in order to do better, it helps to be in control of as much as you possibly can. In order to be in control of the entire battle, you have to be paying attention and controlling the whole battle. This is extremely hard to do, because how do you a) pay attention to everything, and at the same time, b) control everything! It seems impossible, and well, it is pretty much impossible, but you can come close. There are many things you can do to improve your control of the battle, and I have noticed some of these by watching pro players. First of all, if you are ever wondering "Is there a faster way to do this?", then 99% guaranteed there is a faster way, and if there isn't then you can suggest it and it might become a thing.
-Of course, it helps to be faster at everything
-Somewhere in advanced settings you can enable what I think is called something gestures (correct me if I'm wrong), but basically it allows you to hold down right click, and all of the buildings and things you can build are all literally at your fingertips. It takes a long time to get used to using this effectively, as you have to memorize where everything is to do it fast, but once you get it, it is much faster.
-If you want to move your screen from one army to another one all the way across the map, the fastest way is to click on the minimap where your other army is and your screen basically teleports there.
-A really good way to be in control of many armies at once is knowing when to use the built-in unit AI and when to not. This game has some crazy good unit AI, and while sometimes it is not fit for the job, sometimes it will do the job just fine and you don't need to pay as much attention. This is very hard to do, but as some other people have already said, a good way to start this is to use attack move instead of normal move. I have made this mistake many times. Also, sometimes simpler is better. Sometimes it is better to just right click (attack) the enemy unit you want to destroy, rather than absorb all of your attention trying to micromanage your units. You have to know where to spend your attention. That is true with anything actually, like where to spend your units, where to spend your time, etc.
-Try to come up with your own strategies, or develop some backup strategies that are already known. As someone else said, reclaim is great (as long as you use it lol), so maybe try luring the enemy a little farther into your base (pretend like you're retreating or something), and once they get past a chokepoint, get some fast guys around the back of them and surround them and there you go! It's a win-win, you win the battle AND you get the reclaim.
-Be prepared to look for anything you can use to your advantage, and use it! Look for the unexpected, the unknown, the effective, and the superb!

quote:
Does it depend on the factories in play?

Absolutely.
For instance, what I usually do for spiders (my favorite factory) is not the best, but I usually use a combination of Venoms, Redbacks, and Recluses as the main force, and once I engage I usually send some fleas around the back (or to chase them) to corner them, score some extra hits, and maybe even finish them off. I used to think fleas were absolutely terrible, but if you can get the enemies focused on your guys with more health, and then score some hits in with the fleas, it turns out they do quite a bit of damage for their cost and speed.
I would do something completely different if I were doing a factory like, lets say amphbots.

If I am wrong on any of these points, please correct me.
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2 months ago
The fastest way to move your screen is to play zoomed out. I don't use the mini map much, as there is no need when you are zoomed out. Yes I zoom in for some things; however I tend to play more zoomed out. It allows me to see the bigger picture. Unit icons are really helpful when playing zoomed out. This is the main reason I wrote my own unit icon widget. I plan on sharing it by adding options to the existing unit icons at some point.

Sometimes I right click on units to attack, though I prefer the area attack. I normally play hover. Hover's raid unit and basically most hovers units, have high initial attack. This area attack works great with hover's raiders. 3 shots kills a glaive, 4 shots kill most other raid units. If I have a large enough dagger ball, they can kill half of the enemy army with taking very little damage. Just watch out for bombs.

There is a lot in this game. 11 different factories that behave like 11 different factions. Yes you can build another factory and have access to both units, Its not required. Everything you need is in each factory. Before you build another factory, you should have a reason for it. I often build a planes factory just to build 1 Likho. A single Likho is hard to counter with less less then it's cost + it's factory cost. If they make more AA than that, you have made cost. 2 Likho's are actually easier to counter than 1, as you have an extra 2k to spend in killing them. At this point, I would recommend trying all the factories to get a feel on how they all work. Once you have that, chose to focus on 1 factory and only that factory. I chose hover, mainly due to the dagger death ball. Learn the ins and out of that factory. How people counter its units, and learn how to adjust and counter what they have. Once you feel strong with that factory, try to get a second factory, as not all maps have the same terrain.

When playing solo against the AI, go ahead and pause the game regularly. You can issue orders when the game is paused. This is a great way to learn the units more and to learn the tactics to use. This is how I learned to beat the brutal AI. Now I just rush them. a couple of raid units on once side of their base, preventing them from expanding that way. more raid units on the other side of their base prevention them from expanding there as well. If they advance with their army on on of my 2 armies, retreat with that one, while advancing with the other. 2 smaller armies may by 1/4 as powerful; however, both can't be addresses easily. while he is trying deal with both armies, you can easily expand and take the rest of the map. Kodachis are good with this.

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2 months ago
quote:
The fastest way to move your screen is to play zoomed out. I don't use the mini map much, as there is no need when you are zoomed out. Yes I zoom in for some things; however I tend to play more zoomed out. It allows me to see the bigger picture.

Yes, this is true. I play somewhat zoomed out as well, however, every once and a while I misclick or mess up because everything is so small, although maybe that isn't a problem for you.
Also, if you take a look at these videos by NLranknr1_rANDY_FAN, you can kind of see that the way he uses the minimap and other things makes his screen teleport around the map like crazy, allowing him to seemingly control everything at once:

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