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Tip of the Week #54 - The Slingshot

By xlava - 6th April 2009 - 09:52 AM

The Slingshot is GDI's dedicated anti air ground vehicle, and it packs a punch against any air unit. The first critical aspect to mention is that the Slingshot does continued damage as opposed to one shot damage. In other words, the damage inflicted on the enemy aircraft is continued at the same pace from the moment the Slingshot fires to the moment it stops, as opposed to the Mantis, which has a delay before the damage is done.

A GDI Command Post must be built before the Slingshot can be built, making it a tier two unit. Although the Command Post does not offer any upgrades to the Slingshot, it does have an upgrade, Tungsten AA Shells, which can be researched at the Tech Center. The upgrade takes one minute and costs 2000 credits. It greatly increases the damage done by the Slingshot.

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This is the Slingshot's upgrade researched from the Tech Center

Another aspect of the Slingshot to mention is its speed. It is able to speed across the battlefield extremely fast, probably because of the fact that it is a hovercraft. Also, for some reason, it is able to crush enemy infantry (not heavy infantry).

Strategies

Anti Air
This is the obvious strategy that most players will employ with the Slingshot. Ten or so of them can completely decimate any anti air force. Because they are cheap (only 1000 credits), they can be pumped out at a very fast rate. Say, for arguments sake, that your opponent spams Stormriders, as has about twenty of them, ten or so slingshots, especially upgraded will completely do the job. If they are upgraded, they have even more potential, as they do much more damage.

The fact that they are extremely fast makes them able to chase aircraft across the field of play easier than almost any other unit.

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A force like this will obliterate any incoming air units, pretty much guarantied


Because they are completely dedicated to anti air and have no other ground attack, you must support your Slingshots with other units, or your opponent can just roll in the Tripods and wipe out your units. Slingshots also have a large attack radius, allowing you to keep them at the back of your army and still kill off any air unit attacking you.

Slingshots also make great base defenses, as they are mobile, and compared to the AA Batteries, they are much more effective, considering they are free to move and repair. These are also great to place near tiberium fields. Because they are mobile, they can follow the Harvesters from tiberium field to tiberium field as they are exhausted. This way, you won't have to keep buying more and more non-mobile AA Batteries.

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The Slingshot makes a great base defense


Infantry Counter
Now, although they have no ground attack, Slingshots are probably one of the best counters to the Black hand, or any faction's man spam. Say that your opponent is going for the classic Black Hand infantry attack, with upgraded Cabals and Rocket Militia. Simply take your Slingshots, set them to formation move, and send them running over the enemy infantry. For some reason they are able to crush them even though they are a hovercraft, but nonetheless, they are still an effective counter.

When using this strategy, it is also prudent to, instead of rushing in head on, to try and run over the enemy infantry from the side, as Slingshots have very low health, and rushing in from the front would likely be more suicidal than if flanking them while using another diversion.

It is important to note that Slingshots can crush Black Hand units, but cannot crush Zone Troopers or other heavy infantry, so if your opponent is a Zone Trooper spammer, then you are much better off with Hammerheads.

With Your Army
It is a necessity to always have anti aircraft with any army (unless playing against the Black Hand) just in case your enemy has a couple of Orcas or Stormriders hiding in his base. Therefore, in a steamroller's army, the Slingshot should take the roll of primary anti air unit. Make sure that they are spread out in the middle and rear of your army, that way, your opponent will not be able to attack your main front units with aircraft while your Slingshots sit back and do nothing. It is also a good idea to mix in a few Pitbulls so that those Vertigo Bombers that have virtually no health that get away from your Slingshots don't get away from your Pitbulls.

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Make sure that your GDI army looks something like this when using Slingshots


Air vs. Slingshots
In a straight up battle between an even number of Slingshots and enemy aircraft, there is an effective strategy available to use which will hopefully involve the destruction of all enemy aircraft. In this strategy, you will want to select all of your slingshots, move them up to the aircraft, and destroy hopefully one of them. When they turn to fire, reverse move away. By doing this you will be able to whittle away at their numbers until there are eventually no more aircraft.

It is important to note that this strategy is most effective when used against units that do not have a 100% probability of a successful hit. For example, the Zocom Orca, or the Vertigo Bomber. This way, when they actually do fire, you will already be out of the path of the incoming missile.

Conclusion
Although the Slingshot is an extremely potent anti aircraft vehicle, it is extremely important that it is escorted at all costs, as against anyone with some anti ground tanks, your exposed Slingshots will be eradicated very quickly. Therefore, it is always important to have some Mammoth Tanks, or a MARV there for support. Overall, whether as an anti air base defense or a mobile Harvester protector, the Slingshot is unmatched.