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Tip of the Week #90 - Slingshot Crushing

By Eph2.8-9 - 22nd February 2010 - 09:05 AM

I also watched the KW ConquerCup 4 games with Bonu$_[RU] versus Technique, including that game 2 on Small Town USA. Would Slingshots work better against that all-in early manspam tactic?

Not likely. That kind of no-economy cheese build or any other all-in early-game manspam tactic comes too fast on most maps to counter with Slingshots, because you have to have a Command Post to build Slingshots. This is a good strategy against GDI or Nod manspam in the midgame or lategame, but you won't be able to get enough forces fast enough to stop the rush with an all-in early manspam. The proper solution to an early game rush like that is to sell your War Factory, cancel all economy units or buildings and spam Watchtowers and Power Plants while microing your Harvester to keep it alive.

Also, that game was on Small Town USA, one of the worst ranked 1v1 maps for Slingshot crushing. The civilian structures make it difficult to flank or crush infantry and Slingshots are helpless against rocket infantry firing from buildings. Slingshot crushing is far more effective on terrain without garrisons, or at least on chokepoints such as the expansion entrances on Decision where infantry clump up and have no cover.

IPB ImageCharge of the Light Brigade, Kane's Wrath-style.


What if my opponent mixes tanks in his army?

Then build fewer Slingshots and more anti-tank weapons. I wouldn't build more than 2 or 3 Slingshots against a mixed army that included tanks (particularly upgraded Purifiers or Tripods) or an epic unit. If you're going to use Slingshots against a mixed force like that, pray that your opponent focuses fire on something else with his tanks while you charge. Of course, if he's read this tip, he may target your Slingshots first, which at least gives you a diversion. And of course, there's always Shockwave Artillery to disable the tanks and weaken the men while your Slingshots kamikaze on the manspam.

What about Shatterers? Snipers? Aren't they good against infantry?

This tip isn't about either unit, but I'll briefly address them. Shatterers are 1500 and do 1000 cannon damage per shot. They have the same health as Slingshots and will probably be the first thing targeted unless you're using them along with a crush attempt, so don't count on getting off more than one shot. Their splash damage doesn't work well against firing arcs. Only use Shatterers to augment your defense if you can hide them behind a War Factory and other anti-infantry weapons because they are vulnerable. They're better versus GDI and Nod infantry than Slingshots primarily in two scenarios: the manspammer is also base-crawling, putting out a constant stream of infantry backed up by base defenses, or there's a sizable amount of vehicles included, because Shatterers work well against both tanks and infantry. It's possible to use them with success against pure manspam, but in most cases, well-micro'd Slingshots are more cost-effective.

Snipers fire too slow, overkill, and their 400 sniper damage is not enough to kill a suppressed and ConCab Aura'd Rocket Militia member in a single shot. They should only be used against rocket-based manspam if your opponent is camping your base with them and refuses to engage in a straight fight. They do, however, work wonders against Scrin infantry such as Cultists, Shock Troops and all Commandos due to the small squad size and relative vulnerability of those units.

Like this tip? Hate it? Indifferent? Whatever your reaction, discuss it!

Also, if you did like this tip and put it to use successfully, upload the replay and in the tag section, put "slingshot crush". Then other players can use your games to see how the tactic works!

Replays

Technique's no-eco all-in manspam is a clear scenario where not to attempt Slingshot crushing because of the time and tech needed to get enough Slingshots.

The original inspiration for this tip; I remain convinced that this game would have ended differently if Bonu$_[RU] had managed to accumulate 3 or 4 Slingshots at the end and used them.


-Schelle's valiant attempt to use Slingshots against Black Hand manspam illustrates both the dos and don'ts of Slingshot crushing.


Discuss this tip in our forums.


Thanks to R Schneider for editing and Perfi and I.AM.OP for the 1337 screenshots!