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Basic Tactical Primer: Essential Skills, Practices and Preparation for surviving MP

  1. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #1
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Basic Tactical Primer: Essential Skills, Practices and Preparation for surviving MP

    Note: I am by no means an awesome player and this guide is as much a set of reminders for me as it is help for others, some of the things on this list I know I definitely need to work on. We can all benefit from brushing up on our basics from time-to-time. If you feel any of this advice is bad then please comment. I consider this a work in progress and will be making alterations based on feed-back or more thoughts. Cheers.

    Downloadable PDF version of the whole article

    Patch version: 2.4.0 - 28.10.2010

    Contents: (The spoilers tags below need to be opened up before the content links will work)
    1. Overall Strategy & Economy
    2. Hero Usage & Wargear Selection
    3. Skirmish Tactics & Unit Management
    4. Miscellaneous


    If you're totally new to Dawn of War 2 then this huge article may seem a little daunting and that you'll never learn it all. Don't be put off by this. Have a read through and pick a couple things to work on for a few games, then when you've got those down have another look and pick a few more things to work on. Gradually build up your repertoire of skills and have patience, many of these things are good habits rather than specific strategies and it takes time for them to sink into your play style. Even if you successfully utilise just a few of these tips you will likely notice a strong difference at lower TrueSkill levels.

    Overall Strategy & Economy


    Hero Usage & Wargear Selection


    Skirmish Tactics & Unit Management


    Miscellaneous

    Last edited by Octopus Rex; 30th Dec 10 at 4:27 PM. Reason: Added section on nodes and grouping up. Updated PDF.
    "Life is not full of successes, it is full of failures from which we learn" - Tony Benn
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  2. #2
    Banned ViS's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Member ZimZum's Avatar
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    Being an FPS guy RTS puts me out of my comfort zone, but I just had my first MP game (3v3, Argus Desert Gate, Marines FC) and I can say that some of this advice was pretty useful to somebody who was more into the fireworks than the thinking in some RTS. Also it was very fun.

    Couple comments on parts of your post that I noticed applied in my game.

    Idling: That Poker rule seems pretty spot on. The Eldar guy on our team sat on his side of the map uncontested with a small army of falcons by the end of the game, entrenched with guardian shields and the whole shebang. Basically, he was useless. On the other hand, however, the biggest cockup I made that I can spot was being too ambitious and pushing with my FC and two tacs after winning a skirmish, only to get thrashed by all three opponents who clubbed together to stop me. I ended up laying on the retreat button and left my side of the map open for a good twenty seconds, so it pays to take a moment and make sure you've got your shit together.

    Know the Maps: This was more of a teamwork issue with us pubby nubs, but I noticed that everyone was ignoring the entire map bar their little street in Argus Desert Gate, even when they were uncontested and could have leapfrogged around helping and capping. Avoiding this my-land your-land mentality seems like a good idea if somebody's in trouble.

    I came out on top though and I'll be reading a lot more DoW2 Strategy now.
    boasts a healthy stool

  4. #4
    great post, but this might fit better in the basic training section since (hopefully) thats where fresh faces will gravitate to if they are having early trouble. either way, +1 vote to make this sticky.

  5. #5
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    This would make a great sticky.

  6. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #6
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Added a couple more sections, re-organised, made some edits.

    Re: Basic Training - I think that section is more for asking how the game works, basic mechanics and such like.

    ZimZum - yeah, added a thing about helping team-mates out in 3v3. Also with regard to your pushing forward and getting mangled: yeah that happens and like I said you have to be on your guard, but if it's 3v1 then there's not really much you can do. Chances are they could well have stormed your position together even if you did catch your breath.

  7. #7
    BadKen
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    This is great stuff. The only advice/reminder I can think to add might be use your special abilities. A lot of the time I get so caught up in combat and maneuvering that I forget to put up a shield where it might be useful, or waaagh with multiple units, or use some of the other finesse abilities that are situational. This goes along with knowing your units' strengths and weaknesses. Knowing special abilities without exploiting them at every opportunity is as bad as not knowing them in the first place.

  8. #8
    frank austin
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    Thanks for this. I look forward to putting some into practice later tonight.

  9. #9
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    Great work Octo. Thanks for posting.
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  10. #10
    Banned Sebi's Avatar
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    This would make a great sticky.
    Yes it would.

  11. #11
    +1 vote for sticky goodness
    I have a tendancy to wear my mind on my sleeve....I have a history of losing my shirt.

  12. #12
    AndracenS
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    <-- Another vote for a sticky.

  13. Dawn of War II Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #13
    so amaze Hirmetrium's Avatar
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    You dont sticky things like this on this forum... they normally get sent to the super-forum of super-posts, which is locked.

    Octo doesn't need me to tell him how awesome he is for doing such a brillaint guide though. I think even I learnt some things from this.
    You should check out Priority Vox Channel Secundus, a blog!

  14. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #14
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Thanks for the positive feeback guys, couple more sections added, they'll likely be the last.

    Yeah, I'm finding that it's a useful reference point for myself to keep checking back on and reminding myself to remember to do.

    As for sticky. Yeah, there's no tactica section just yet so...? :/

  15. #15
    Great stuff!!

    Related to BOs, I'd like to add the importance of being flexible. I say it cos it's one of my main weaknesses. When I say "OK, I'm going for T2 rush and a razorback", for example, I'm many times too stubborn to change even if the enemy fields a unit that it's going to counter my build. So I think it's very important to stay flexible and react to what the enemy builds.

    So IMO it's a bit like chess: a bad plan is better than no plan at all. But a good plan is that which changes accordingly to the opponent, cos no plan survives contact with the enemy.

  16. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #16
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Added a couple new sections, kiting and communication, with a couple solutions to microphone issues.

  17. #17
    ydejin
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    Good stuff Rex. You might want to add to the replay section that it's a particular good idea to watch replays on matches you lost to see what you did wrong and what your opponent did right.

    Also this section:
    Quote Originally Posted by Octopus Rex
    There's been several times when I've been umming and ahhing about what troops to get, where to attack next and just generally thinking about how well I'm doing and how smoothly it's all going only to notice:
    "Octo, up top now."
    "Octo, top, plz"
    "OCTO"
    "TOOOOPP NOOOOWWWW - 2v1"
    "HEEEEEEEEEELPP!!!!!!!"
    "PLLLLLLLLZZZZZZZZZ"
    "..."
    "oh ffs, I'm dead now anyway"
    and I've no idea how long ago it was at all because that dude is not up top any more, it could've been ages ago!!!
    This is so spot on, it's like you've been recording my games :-). They really desperately need an audio signal when one of your teammates types to you -- a simple radio squelch sound would probably be sufficient.
    Last edited by ydejin; 30th Mar 09 at 3:38 AM.

  18. #18
    Chappy FooF's Avatar
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    Watching replays can sometimes be disingenuous, however. If FoW is off, 95% of the time it's so obvious what you should have done but there's no way you could have known it.

    You touch on constantly advancing and I think that is what separates the "men from the boys." I've had to constantly force myself into being on the offensive because my natural inclination is to to see what hits me and counter-attack. Defensive-minded play will not get you far in this game.

    If I could add one thing to this nice guide it would be a section on HWTs. I think the tendency is to park them somewhere just in case the enemy decides to move there and then they see no action for 90% of the match. HWTs are no different than the more-mobile units: they have to keep moving. A static weapon is very easy to counter if the enemy knows precisely where its at. Imagine thinking the HB team is behind this bush and using ASM to jump it when, because the enemy is smart, they moved it to the bush to the north and covered the old spot. Not only did the ASM waste their Jump, they're in the close-range (read: high damage) section of the HB and get chewed up. Likewise, suppression teams are among the cheapest way to harass Power Farms. I've sacrificed many a HB squad to take out an entire Gen Farm (425 Req to replace vs. my 345, or less, plus the loss of tons of power).

    Anyway, good stuff.
    Semi-Retired


  19. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #19
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    95% of the time it's so obvious what you should have done but there's no way you could have known it.
    I agree but that's kind of the point: seeing that and thinking "if only I'd known..." should encourage you to endeavour to scout ahead and find out what the enemy was up to so you can exploit such opportunities in future.

    As for HWTs, yeah, I'm thinking of adding something along those lines as I agree with your advice, but I don't want to get too specific in scope so I'm just pondering what detail to go into. Stuff like not keeping them in one place is already covered to some extent, just not explicitly: if you're taking the advice and trying to either only attack or retreat then you shouldn't really be camping with HWTs should you.

  20. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #20
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Sorry for the double-post/necro. Added some more sections to this, including the HWT section requested by FooF. Any more sections people think I should add?

  21. #21
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    No, really....
    1. I think grenade like abilities should have their own section. Aiming them, dodging them, and knowing when to use them is it's own minigame.

    2. A section detailing cover. So many people still don't use cover.

    (Also, shouldn't something like this be stickied? Or shouldn't there be a guide sub-forum?)

  22. #22
    Don't think necroing something which should blatantly be sticky is really a crime Octo

  23. #23
    +1 to the noobs to read.
    PLEASE READ !

    THANKS>
    lol

  24. Dawn of War Senior Member  #24
    As imagined by Octopus Rex... Troubleshooter's Avatar
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    Excellent stuff. Why do we not have a strategy-archive forum for guides like in DoW forums. This should be archived... I didn't even know it was out there until I saw the bump.
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  25. #25
    everything you need for DOW right there

  26. Forum Subscriber  #26
    Member Ra owa's Avatar
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    Good stuff Octo, theres a lot of work in that post

    Octopus Rex - saviour of the noobs!

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    Be careful you don't overdo it or you'll sound like some kind of heavy breathing sexual predator, which I'm told is very distracting in game!
    ah right, so Troubleshooter isn't just getting too excited when he plays with us/me?)
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  27. Dawn of War Senior Member  #27
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    /me breaths heavy into Ra's ear

  28. #28
    Cade
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    This helped me consider my playstyle alot. I think more than anything I spend too much time with idle units or floating resources, something for me to work on. Thanks.

  29. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #29
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Glad you got something out of it. )

    Best idea is to pick a couple items to work (eg floating and idling in this case) and get used to them over a few games, then come back and pick another couple of things to work on and so on. Trying to digest it all in one go probably won't work.

    Note: have added a couple more sections since my last post,
    (but before your post Cade, no need to re-read just yet). I will be adding more I think, though I am considering doing splitting off into a second guide on how to use the various troops types.

  30. #30
    know the races

    Oct, the first section talks alot about recognizing units, this is abit redundant now with the new unit icons. Should re-word to mention the unit icons and link to the dev thread on what they all mean.

    You mention the player list which is also abit redundant as you see the player races on loading screen so thats worth a mention.

    Teching UP

    I'm not sure this advice is still current, 'even if you don't have a full army it's still worth teching up if you have the resources. The decision of if you tech now or later has become much more delicate & important. It requires a call on their likely tech timing and T2 vehicle potency... I don't know how you should improve this, just it doesn't even fully capture how I decide T2 timing and you guys are a hell of alot better than me! SO c'mon spill


    Edit>
    Oh yah and I'm also handily, craftily bumping the thread _please stickify!_

  31. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #31
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Yeah, good points Ghost, thanks for the input. As I've edited in the guide, I don't think using the decorators are a worthy substitute to recognising the units fully, as this will inform of their possible upgrades/more accurately level of threat etc. The decorators are pretty general/rough at best: it's one thing to know that a unit is good melee AI and AV (or whatever), it's another to know that they are Ork Nobz, w/sergeant, and thus are slow, possibly likely to have 'ard boys cast on them and/or waaagh, may use their ability etc etc.

    Teching to T2: yeah, hard to specify really as 1.5 is still fresh, and these things often change. I did edit it, and basically put the main point at the end saying "be proactive with teching", as this is the main point.

  32. #32
    I would add:

    Frequently scan the minimap: Train yourself to do it unconsciously, like looking both ways before crossing the street or checking your fly after leaving the can. Do it all the time, regardless of what you are doing! It is invaluable for defending against flanking maneuvers, tracking down ninja-cappers, general awareness, etc etc. It is surprising how much information you can glean from a quick half-second glance every now and then.

    Always revive allied commanders: Knocked out allied commanders appear as giant yellow hexagons on the minimap. Look for these because it's easy to miss or forget the commander death audio announcement in the heat of combat. Your commander will receive a huge XP boost from reviving a commander (usually about 3/4 of a level) and of course your team will benefit as a whole. If, say, an eldar opponent sacrifices most of a squad of banshees to kill your warboss but an allied kommando revives your warboss half a minute later, that changes the math of the scenario drastically: instead of you being in the hole requisition-wise (120-160 req for banshee reinforcements vs 250 req for WB), your opponent is (120-160 req for banshees vs nothing, plus your allied kommando gets a nice XP boost).

  33. #33
    The Earth died screaming Noble's Avatar
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    Stickying this.
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  34. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #34
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Added pics and a couple more sections.

  35. #35
    PonasFeliksas
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    I'm not a hardcore gamer, or even a good player, so I prefer to enjoy the campaign on primarch difficulty and skirmish. I am interested in "The last stand" co-op mode, it looks promising for casual gamers like me. When I go to multiplayer in RTS's - other peaple almost always defeat me and I get frustrated, especially when they are mocking me It could be said that my case is similar to many other casual gamers, who are seduced by RELIC. We are this new class of RTS gamers, who are hoping to become more hardcore with time...

    Thanks for the advices

    Update:
    I just played few online team battles and it's very fun! Amazing... it's so different from skirmish (speed, unpredictable actions, real cooperation...). Fight gets hot
    Last edited by PonasFeliksas; 4th Sep 09 at 2:51 PM.

  36. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #36
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Added guide to the decorators and added tips and pics about cover (in the 'Keeping your squad alive' section).

  37. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #37
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Update: added sections on wargear and heroes. Had difficulty deciding how general/basic to keep it as there's so much to say about them. Will review it and make changes over time likely, probably add some more.

  38. #38
    dougan25
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    Nice post. Thanks for the info.

    I compliment your post not only for the content but for your skilled writing as well.

  39. #39
    Yeah, I endorse and support what every else has said. I've been trying to pick up my game from where it is. This is a nice chekclist of skills to master.
    Steam Name: FaustHammer
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  40. #40
    Didn't know about this thread, until now. Thanks for the reminders and awesome job Octo.

  41. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #41
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Thanks for the positive feedback guys.

    Added a link to a PDF version of the article (at the top of the OP) as it can be a pain to read through a browser.

  42. Dawn of War Senior Member  #42
    As imagined by Octopus Rex... Troubleshooter's Avatar
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    Now, if you would just please SPOILER the main post so that opening this thread doesn't cause my browser to jump around like an excited puppy.

    Also, could someone PLEASE cross link this thread over to the main forums, DoWSanc and GR.Org!!! This is too good to be left unseen by the unwashed masses. I would do it, but I am an elitist snob who never ventures to those untidy places.

    Lastly, how about a section on scouting. No one does it, and its probably the single greatest thing people can do to improve their game. Knowing where the enemy is, what he is doing, and with what troops/upgrades is critical to getting the most out of your army.

  43. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #43
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    A section on scouting would be interesting; however, seeing as I'm one of those people who don't really do it it would be a touch rash for me to comment. Tell you what, I'll try to get good at scouting first, then I'll write it.

    Other sections on my to do list: grenades, buildings and globals.

  44. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #44
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    *Completed large sections on grenades and globals and did one on scouting too.
    *Picked through and update/added-to/edited entire article (not really made any substantial changes though)
    *Updated PDF
    *Added spoiler tags to each section

    The guide now weighs in at over 18,000 words.

  45. Dawn of War Senior Member  #45
    As imagined by Octopus Rex... Troubleshooter's Avatar
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    Ah, thanks for the Spoilers... makes this page load a lot faster - less jumpy One warning to people, you have to open the spoiler before the quick-links will work.

    Also, section on scouting :
    you can safely go ad ninja their points,
    Just happened to catch this.
    Last edited by Troubleshooter; 7th Mar 10 at 10:06 PM.

  46. #46
    Great post but I think you have missed one of the key points of tactics:

    Keeping units together/supporting your units.

    After a big engagement, you'll probably have retreated squads with varying levels of health. While it might be tempting to send out your first fully reinforced squad to try and prevent the capping of that VP, more often than not you will end up retreating that same squad again with more reinforcements to make. Consider the type of unit you have and what you know your opponent has before you run back to the fight. If you have a setup team, send it with something to protect it from melee/vehicles. If you have vehicles, it's a good idea to keep something near it to deal with AV (like jump troops or at the very least least melee). If you just had a unit sent home by 2xGU, don't go FOW hunting without enough units to deal with that group.

    In other words, waiting 10 seconds to send 3xsluggas is far, far better than sending 1 slugga into a fight 10 seconds ahead of the second 2.

  47. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #47
    Why shout... Octopus Rex's Avatar
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    Dang, yeah, that is a rather egregious omission. I'll work it in at some point.

  48. #48
    Member Atritas's Avatar
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    What I really miss from the good old Dawn of War days are race-specific guides. What happened to those? I'm nowhere near skilled enough to write one but I wish someone did... *cough, cough*
    My reaction to the DoW:SS 1.1 patch: http://forums.relicnews.com/showpost...0&postcount=82
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  49. #49
    Chappy FooF's Avatar
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    The problem with race-specific guides is that they need to be updated every major patch and few people remember/are motivated to re-write huge walls of text for what appears to be little or no gain.

    I'm not opposed to the idea (I'd love to an SM guide) but I know I wouldn't stay on top of it, and I'm here every day and enjoy writing huge diatribes.

  50. #50
    Senior Member YurdleTheTurtle's Avatar
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    @FooF:
    few people remember/are motivated to re-write huge walls of text for what appears to be little or no gain

    *Ahem....*

    -------

    This is a really great article! Someone needs to move it to Basic Training though, as I had no idea this even existed until someone pointed it out. It was quite helpful and I may be joining the online fray soon.

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