Posted Aug 18, '13 at 7:27am
This guide is for the use of intermediate players that have mastered the basic game mechanics including buildings (particularly outpost and forge tree), governments, micromanagement, Rallying and autocycling.
I will use the following terminology in this unit guide:
Startgame: The first part of the game defined by the use of mainly tier one units . Typically this may last for 1-2 minutes.
Note: The times are a guide. Advanced players will often spend far more time in the first 2 phases of the game, and typically these games will end well before the end games. One of the biggest mistakes colony players make is not preparing well enough for the first two phases, and concentrating too much on the end game.
Rushing: I will define as attempting to attack the base (with the intention to end the game) directly using squads of rallied units.
Pinning: I will define as rallying attack squads outside the opponents base (usually out of range of the base cannon) with the intention of attacking anything that attempts to come out, but not with the intention of destroying the base.
Streaming: I will define as autocylcing attacking units towards the base without any attempt to rally or micromanage.
Before I start a quick dictionary on colony 'slang'.
"gg": Short for 'good game' usually a signal to the opponent that victory is imminent
I will write the unit guide underneath. This is primarily for use in 2v2 normal games. 1v1 games usually rely on a smaller subset of units and are heavily biased towards very long start-games.
Marine: Very useful in start game as an anti scout defense. They can also be used against Romans (usually in conjunction with at least 1 tank) as an alternative to tanks because they are so cheaply available. For communist they are a great way of collecting early resource bonuses. They have some utility in mid and endgame when streamed to divert firepower of heavy units and protect rallied units (e.g black queens) from missile attacks.
Chronite tank: Useful in start game as a pinning unit (with medics and marines usually). Splash damage causes them to be devastating to ground units in start game. However they are very slow to advance, weak to air attacks, and they have little utility in mid or endgame. In earthquake they can be used as an alternative to hover tanks.
Sniper: Useful in midgame as a pinning unit. However significant numbers are usually required, and good micromanagement is essential. They are very weak against air (particularly phantoms). They play little part in endgame due to their weak Armour, but they may come into play if a cold war breaks out as a method to force the opponent to attack.
Grolditz: An alternative to snipers as a mid-game pinning unit. What they lack in speed and Armour piercing weapons, they make up in Armour and air attacks. The first grolditz unit will also attack the base without taking fire from the base cannon (and should be used as a guide for other grolditz units). In fairly large numbers they are devastating towards the base and very good against saints, but note they quickly become redundant in endgame.
Hover tank: Comes into play in endgame as a ground assault tank. Their Armour is highly resistant (special) so with medics they can create unstoppable pins. They do eventually become redundant in far endgame though. Note: they are weak against air, so double outpost players need to take this into account.
Black queen Useful in endgame to break mid-game pins and allow a counter attack. However this unit is really the ultimate far end game unit. Any game that goes into tech 3 for a significant amount of time will be decided by this unit. Their ground bomb range and splash becomes devastating in numbers, but note rallied queens alone are weak against missile strikes. Circumnavigate this by streaming a ground unit for example.
A25 Roman android: Can be used to devastating effect in start game rushes, but note this is fairly easy to combat with marines or chronite tanks. They actually have more use (unusually for a tech 1 unit) in mid and endgame. In the former they can cut through squads of snipers and grolditz before they become to dangerous and in the later they are used as extremely effective streamers and are superior to marines in that respect. Also can be used to power up scouts in scout-scout fights by diverting fire. Finally they are the ultimate anti sphinx weapon when rallied.
Scout drone: This is the forge version of the startgame pinning unit, although it is far more effective when used in conjunction with post units. Note it is weak against marines in the start-game. This unit is also good in mid and endgames against double post biased players and will cut down hover-tanks and even black queens in numbers when not anticipated. Strong also against phantoms. Note: they can be used as rushing units but this is not recommended as it takes a significant amount of time do drain the base with them.
Phantom: This is the midgame forge pinning unit. Effectively it is the compliment of the grolditz, and what it makes up in splash fire, it looses in air attacks. Phantoms can be used very effectively to break start-game pins. In large numbers their firepower becomes extremely strong (though they are better pinners than rushers). Note: against one AA sakata it is always wise to attack rather than retreat. A single sakata air unit is not an issue if it is quickly dealt with, but retreating effectively nullifies the utility of your phantoms.
Sakata MKII AA unit. This is the ultimate midgame and endgame anti air unit. The splash damage makes it devastating even in endgames. And it is missile resistant so can be used effectively against black queens. They have no ground fire and are particularly weak against positron weapons (a saint will easily take down a single AA unit, so make multiple). In the far endgame they become more redundant due to the awesome power of the queens carpet bombs.
Sakata spider: This unit is a late endgame/ early endgame specialist. They can be massed very quickly, so provided they are used in the early endgame they can create unstoppable rushes (use with roman streams preferably). They are weak against queens though, but this is not a problem provided they are used early, queens take a long while to make and a single queen can be easily destroyed by pinning AA. If used for pinning they will easily take out hover tanks.
A28 Gladiator android Like the post is orientated towards far endgame, this is another 'near' endgame unit. It should be used to rush rather than pin, therefore. Because of this it is essential, you play as fascist if you are to use this unit. If they can be made even earlier in the end of the midgame (a stretch but possible) their anti missile resistant properties and special Armour makes them deadly.
Meditech Has utility in all phases, but does become somewhat redundant in far endgame. Essentially, this unit buffs up all pins and rushes. Note that it takes a second for healing to initiate, and dead units aren't resurrected. So it should not be used to facilitate 'army building' (unless the 'army' is pinning) because heavy splash shooters will negate these effects. This is particularly true of the black queen, which can also use charge flyover micromanagement to destroy meditech squads.
Saint Has utility in mid game in particular. Against double post players this extra target is often enough to effectively end the game in your favor. Experienced players will use saints in long start games, in this case it represents a turning point. If you cannot kill it, you have already lost and if you can you should do immediately. In early and far endgames AA and black queens respectively may negate their utility.
Sphinx Useful in midgames and endgames as a strong anti air turret (particularly for taking down black queens if you are playing double post), a brick wall - can be used to absorb fire to buff up hover tank squads for example, and rushing. In the final case this should only usually be done in midgames or early endgames. But unless countered properly they do huge damage to the base. Do not rush with this unit: if a large medicated tank squad exists, the opponent is capable of making A25 squads and you have nothing to counter, the opponent is capable of making spec forces.
A27 Pride android : Useful in midgames, especially with medics to destroy most tech 2 technology. Their range makes them good rushers, and they can pin effectively (but should not be done on the eve of endgame). Their firepower comes in numbers, so the optimum number is probably 3 or 4 (anymore and we are wasting time). If this takes too long then spec forces should be considered.
Special forces : Mid-game or even start-game rush units. Somewhat like the saint they can alter the course of the game unless adequate precaution has been taken. Suddenly rushing 4 spec ops forces just before endgame can be devastating and secure a surprise win. Note they are completely redundant in endgame.
Far sniper If a 'cold war (not the game type)' builds up in endgame then this is the unit to have. Like the normal sniper it can force the opponent to attack (and it is easier to defend than attack) but is superior in range (which is huge) and firepower. In fact enough of these can be used as a devastating pin if defended by say a sphinx. But beware they are easily countered by black queen fly overs.
Modified phantom: They should be used like phantoms in mid-games. Their main utility comes when phantoms are not possible to make and a start game pin is starting to form. A mod phantom could be used here to start a counter attack. Note this means you will be 35 influence down later. This will not matter in the endgame but it will make you weak during the remaining mid-game so tech up fast.
Modified sakata spider: The ultimate midgame unit. With a roman stream the sudden release of one of these is very hard to stop. This is similar to how a saint should be used in very long start games or mid games. If air defense is minimal (this unit can heal so fast that small air assaults are negligible) then it should be rushed. This unit is useless for pinning because of its range and should never be used in endgame (it is actually inferior to normal sakatas in the endgame due to their superior range and cost).
Missile This is really only useful in midgame to break non-continuous pins. If the pin is continuous a single missile may not solve the issue, although if you, or your ally is close to teching up then it might well give valuable time. However a finite squad pinning in the midgame can be quickly eliminated by missiles and this is where they should be used. Also, because of their limited window of use they are underestimated so people do sometimes forget to anticipate them. So occasionally they can be used in endgame or far endgame against black queens or even un medicated hovers (but think - is there a better option). Missiles are interesting because they can take you by surprise if you are not careful.
Anyway this is my list of 'ultimate' units for each phase of a typical game.
Startgame: Chronite tank
But note these units if used alone will fail. All units have their purpose and weaknesses. Grolditz for example are often underestimated because they cannot be created in startgame and are useless in endgame, but the key is knowing when to use units and how.
Posted Aug 18, '13 at 7:31am
EDIT: A final note.
Declaring that you want to wait before attacking (say 5 minutes) by for example asking for peace is not wise (unless you are using it as a psychological tactic to mislead the opponent) because it immediately lets your opponent know that you will be extremely vulnerable in start and midgame, it also indicates an 'army building' type. So the opponent can choose to combat by a start or midgame rush or just by teching up quickly and making queens or hovers (which will defeat a hybrid army across all techs).
Posted Aug 27, '13 at 9:37am
nice texts you wrote maybe you want to add them to colony wiki. Still a lot to improve there:
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