World in Conflict: Soviet Assault

World in Conflict: Soviet Assault

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Comprehensive World in Conflict Multiplayer Guide
By Dr. Claw and 2 collaborators
Attention: WIC is back and available for multiplayer play once again. See guide contents for more information.

This guide is written for new and experienced players alike with the goal of improving to an intermediate or advanced level.
 
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WIC IS BACK
Attention: Massive has permanently disabled their servers. However there is a community-based replacement to be found at: http://www.massgate.org.
Special thanks to Blahdy, Jmann, Housebee, and the Massgate staff for helping us all continue to live the dream!

NOTE: due to some recent changes with directX and graphics drivers, you may find WiC crashes constantly. If so, go to your My Documents Folder/World in Conflict and edit Game Options.txt. Find the line myDX10Flag and change this setting to 0. WIC will now run properly.

This guide is written for new and experienced players alike with the goal of improving to an intermediate or advanced level. Moreover, I will encourage people not to use annoying low-level strategies that (while moderately effective in pubs) are completely useless playing with or against high level players. For this reason, I will only include strategies that work at all levels of the game and ignore strategies that are only effective against less skilled opponents. I may mention them in passing, most commonly in reference to how that strategy can be easily countered.

If you are somewhat new to multiplayer WIC, please start with understanding the abbreviations used, essential game mechanics, and communication sections. I also recommend incorporating all of the advanced non-default settings as they will help players of all levels improve much faster. I would suggest reading through each section of the guide, and choosing a few specific aspects to try out or work on. Play a few games with specific focus on these aspects, and return to the guide with the new understanding you have from these games. Re-read the section, and you may better understand what I was referring to, or move on to something new.
Essential Game Mechanics
Many people appeal to a rock-paper-scissors type of mechanic to describe WIC. However, this is overly simplistic and ignores the single most important aspect of any match: vision. WIC is unique among RTS games in that the "fog of war" is invisible (it is actually visible in the "megamap", the fullscreen version of the map similar to the screen where you choose the location of your drop zone). This is further complicated by stealth functionality confered to infantry in trees/buildings and units inside or behind smoke screens. It is very difficult for newer players to determine where the fog of war is and to understand that many unseen units may see and/or be attacking your units.

Most units in the game can shoot much further than they can see, and no unit can attack without vision on the target (except a few that can force fire). For our purposes, there are two units that provide vision: infantry and the scout chopper, and every other unit is essentially blind. This means that without these units present, your team is crippled regardless of how many other units are on the battlefield. If your team is being obliterated, a lack of vision is most frequently the reason why. Because of this importance of vision, infantry is the single most important role in the game.

Vision is determined by two factors: the distance a unit can see and 3D terrain features (eg. hills, buildings) that can obstruct vision. Smoke screen abilities also block vision. Trees block vision unless an infantry unit is inside them. When a single unit is selected, the Alt key roughly shows the directions that a unit can see. Note that the circle extends as far as it can shoot not as far as it can see (infantry can see much further than the circle, tanks much closer). This is particularly useful for properly positioning units relative to terrain features. Sometimes you would like to hide behind them (eg. anti-air units) and at other times you would like to perch on a spot where you can see in all directions (eg. heavy tanks).

Command points (CPs) determine who is winning and losing the battle. Command points are worth the number of circles they have, so a four-circle point is worth more than a three-circle is worth more than a two-circle. The ticks under the domination bar indicate by how many circles each faction is winning or losing by. The strategies for individual maps generally come down to determining which CPs your team is most likely to be able to capture and hold and which enemy CPs your team is most likely to capture or contest such that your team controls more than the enemy.

When a CP is captured (“capped”), all players with one or more units in either circle receive a fixed number of TA points that depends only on the number of circles in that point (5 for two, 7 for three, 10 for four), and a fixed amount of experience (XP) is given to each player, shared among all units the player controls within the circles (again increasing for larger CPs). Players receive TA only for capturing a CP and receive nothing for taking away control from the enemy without the capture (referred to as “decapping”).

A team benefits most from capturing a CP when all players put a single unit in the same circle (called “stacking the point”) while the other circle remains empty (white). Finally, when all players are on the point, one player moves into the other circle. The team thus nets 5 X (the number of players in either circle) TA for just a two-circle point. If all eight players are involved in the capture, this nets the team a whopping 40 TA. If someone takes the second point before all players are on (referred to as “solo capping”), the team loses as much as 35 of this 40 possible TA. These effects are even larger for 3- and 4-circle CPs. Cease fire X’s and advance here ->'s are commonly used to coordinate this type of capture (see Communication). This is especially important in the early game, where capturing points is usually uncontested, and having sufficient TA for airborne infantry drops can win or lose a game (see Tactical Aid).

Taking away control of enemy CPs without capping them ("decapping") serves almost no positive purpose for a team. While it has a small effect on the domination bar, the "dom bar" can swing wildly in the course of a match and is not terribly important in the early stages of the game. (Losing by 3 ticks or more may be cause for modest concern.) Instead, decapping provides the enemy team the option to re-capture (“recap”) the point to get the TA and XP for the CP again and gives your team nothing. When given the option, a smart team will intentionally allow the enemy to decap so they can recap a point over and over, “milking” this mechanic for TA. For this reason, as a general rule, never decap unless you reasonably expect to cap the point or at least deny the enemy the capture for an extended period of time. In the last 1-2 min of the game, this changes: decap everything as the domination bar is now the most important factor.

Units gain ranks by dealing damage, capturing CPs, healing friendly units, and fortifying. Ranked units are far more effective than unranked ones (fire more accurately, faster, and their offensive ability recharges faster) and often determine the outcomes of games. One major fallacy promoted by the single player campaign is that one mindlessly suicides units at a CP until one ultimately overcomes the enemy and caps it. This is wrong. Units should never die needlessly. Every time a unit dies - ask yourself “Did its death serve a purpose?” If the answer to this question was no, all you just did is feed TA to the enemy team. Sometimes suiciding for a capture is fine, other times it is not. Ranked units should be given special attention to ensure survival.

Units with low health (less than two thirds is a general rule) should always be retreated and repaired since these repairs actually generate more TA for your own team than the enemy received for doing the damage (and they get no TA for damaging units with TA strikes). Repairs are the reason support players have the highest scores and generate the most TA.

There are four roles, and all of them have unique obligations to the team. All three ground roles’ primary responsibility is to capture CPs! Additionally, infantry is primarily responsible for providing vision, combating the enemy’s infantry (denying them vision), and otherwise harassing the enemy in important areas. Armor is the secondary provider of vision (through airborne infantry TA and situationally an out-of-role (OOR) scout chopper), uses heavy tanks to deal damage and deny enemy AA access to certain areas, and generally uses faster light tanks for captures. Support is responsible for anti-air support (generally quantity 5 heavy AA) and secondarily repairs through a single repair tank for forward ground units while airdropped transport TA (“jeeps”) safely repair air units in one's backfield. Air is responsible for killing all enemy ground forces (often including AA) to assist the team in capturing the CPs, ammo and time permitting, in order of priority.

Fortifying is somewhat important, but the single player campaign greatly overemphasizes its importance. Typically you want one light unit fortifying and nothing more (best is the infantry truck at RP cost 300 or a light tank). Support players are rarely encouraged to fortify, as they generate TA much faster by repairing. CPs are often targeted with TA strikes, and you do not want to have important heavy units hit by these. This does provide the infantry player with a steady trickle of TA he can direct into airborne infantry.
How to Improve Your Game
Play a lot. Play the right way. Meaning, do not use low level strategies just because they work or you can get away with them. Play a lot of infantry, it will help your micromanagement and your understanding of the game. Use the advanced settings above, they help a lot (you need to have camerafreedom turned on and a max height beyond the allowable value in the GUI set up through wicautoexec.txt).

Play all four roles. You must play all four roles because you need to coordinate with other players, and you cannot understand what he wants to do if you do not understand how his role is played. For example, if you are armor, you will not know where to put your tanks unless you know where the support wants to put his AA. If you are air, you will not understand that the infantry is the most important role to help, especially against enemy airborne infantry drops, if you do not play infantry.

Play the whole map, try to be involved in every capture, and micromanage each unit individually. The stat you should seek to have after every match should be “most command points” (followed by “enemy damage”). While pub players will typically decide “I am playing armor on left side”, this will not help you improve your full map awareness and micromanagement. Instead, play the whole map. It will make you better at using a smaller number of units to accomplish your objectives. (To win with less units, you will need to rank your units, outplay the enemy, and/or use TA effectively.) It will be impossible to do this without controlling all of your units individually. For support and armor, you will have at most six units to deal with. If I can micro 30 or more, you can handle micro’ing six.

Ask for advice. The WIC community is notorious for being unwelcoming of new players. This is not exactly true, but it is the impression we give. If a veteran player tells you to do something (for example let's say delete the heavy arty or don't solo cap), just apologize for being new and ask if he/she can explain why. To play devil’s advocate, the reason these players are so rude is that they have asked hundreds, probably thousands of players like yourself to do the right thing, nicely, patiently explaining why, and are told “stfu noob”. They have been taught not to bother and just vote kick instead. As a veteran, I can say there is nothing more refreshing than someone asking to be taught and actually trying to learn.

Watch replays. There is actually nothing stopping you from watching how a top-level player plays and emulating it. After important/serious matches (perhaps one you personally lost badly, eg. as infantry against the other infantry), it can be very helpful to save and analyze your own replay. Additionally, one of the few really great resources still available is wictracker.com. This website has a lot of replays of high level matches, the best of which are the 4v4 and 5v5 matches. While I want to avoid dropping names, to give you an idea of some of the top level teams that included some of the top level players back in the glory days of WIC, any replay including sh*t happens.esports (sh.es), Don’t care (d/c), Spreadhead(§), or Shiny (Shny) is a safe bet.
Lastly, Silver aka. Feel Good Inc (widely regarded as one of the best infantry micro players ever) still has a few replays on twitch where you can actually watch his micro in action. If you want to watch a good game, the 5v5 is pretty impressive.
http://www.twitch.tv/psikoticsilver/c/1552221
Communication
The in-game symbol communication (default Q) is an extremely powerful and effective way of communicating, and we refer to these as "marks". However, many of the marks are used in unconventional ways that have evolved different contextual meanings (ie. the mark means one of many things depending on where/how it is used). These are the only marks most players use:

Attention (!) - can mean almost anything (and is thus the most confusing to new players). When used on trees it usually indicates the presence of infantry. It may indicate a pending enemy airborne infantry drop. When used on a CP it probably means “capture this”. When used on a unit, that unit is probably in danger of dying, failing to cap a CP, or otherwise problematic (ie. not being helpful for the team).

Cease Fire (X) - this means stop doing this or don’t do this. When used on a CP it means “do not enter this circle”. When used on a unit, it is either “don’t do what you are doing” or “you should not have done what you just did”, or “this unit should never have been spawned delete it”. When used on a general area at the beginning of a game, it means “ignore this CP, it is inconsequential to winning and losing this map”, opposite of “defend here”. If used on a unit that is blindly attacking/suiciding or has low HP, this means “retreat” and possibly "repair".

Advance here (->) - When used in a general area, this means “we want to capture this CP”. When used on a CP this means “everyone stack on this point” (the other point usually gets an X to indicate that no one should go there).

I am going here (downward arrow) - when used on a CP, means that this player intends to be the one to execute the final capture, everyone stacks the other point.

Defend here (castle) - usually a strategic marker indicating “our team needs to hold/capture the following CPs to win the game”. This comes down to math: your team needs to control more than half the CPs to win the game. If you defend half of them and contest any other, you win.

Air - often placed over trees to indicate the presence of infantry and request the air to kill it. Placed on "naked" tanks (unprotected by AA).

Armor - when marked on AA, simply ignore this. This is done by bad air players who are incapable of killing AA for themselves. If you are armor, do not suicide your tanks trying to kill the AA. Shoot it only if you are able to do so (but do shoot it if you are able and are not doing so).

AA - similarly, when marked by suicidal armor, ignore this. He is trying to justify his own suicide by blaming you for it.

TA request - self-explanatory. The player wants that TA dropped there.

write to position - people will flame you, make jokes, etc. the message appears in the chat area.

If you are ever confused by the marks your teammates are spamming all over the map or the random acronyms and jargon they throw around, just ask (they know what they mean). The WIC community is very strange - the veterans hate new players who are stubborn and insist they know how to play. They are surprisingly welcoming of new players who are honest about their shortcomings and listen to advice.
Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Jargon
CP - command point

cap - a CP capture

decap - taking away control of a CP from the enemy without capturing (this is bad)

recap - allowing the enemy to decap and then capping again (gives full TA to your team, nothing to the enemy)

RP - reinforcement points - these are the points used to spawn all units other than the three dropped by TA

TA - tactical aid points - gained by capturing CPs, fortifying, dealing damage, and repairing

OOR - out of role - calling in a reinforcement unit that is not within one’s primarily role. This is possible at increased cost. Only recommended for infantry and armor.

FPM - few player mode - a 1v1 mode for expert players. great for working on micromanagement.

reg - regular infantry

AT - anti-tank infantry

rep - repairs (in the form of a repair tank or jeep TA)

E rep - emergency repair offensive ability of the repair tank

HAA - heavy anti air

MAA - medium anti air

HT - heavy tank

LT - light tank

drop or para - airborne infantry TA

jeep - airdropped transport TA (NOT spawned through RP)

blob - a closely spaced group of multiple units easily killed by a single TA strike that is unhelpful for the team

backfield - the area of the map around the spawn. typically repair units are hidden here, and the enemy team will attempt to hide paradrops for vision.

<any number> - the player is requesting that many TA. You can give it to them by holding Tab and clicking the numbers (1 or 5) next to their name. Typically TA flows from support and air into infantry over the course of a game

yellow - referring to players added to the friends list (turns them yellow)

See also the Tactical Aid section, each TA generally has an acronym or abbreviation.
Advanced Controls, Settings, and Commands
Displaying Unit Vision - default Alt is fine. Very important for showing what a unit can and cannot shoot. Particularly important for snipers and heavy tanks (units with long range). Note this can only be used with a single unit selected. Works on units in buildings.

Force move - This can be very useful for pathing (it paths differently than simply right clicking), particularly for air. It is also useful for running over infantry. It's in the GUI, and I changed it from the default, so you might want to as well.

Moving Backwards - This is in the GUI and just needs to be rebound. Units have different armor in the front, back, sides, and top. When a unit is retreating, it will suffer serious damage if its back side faces the enemy. Instead, order it to move backwards while retreating so its front always faces the enemy. Furthermore (and more importantly) moving backwards confers a significant miss chance on enemy attacks, particularly noticeable for air. When air attacks a ground unit, it should be moving backwards. This is equivalent to force move, except backwards.

Select last Reinforcement - This is in the GUI and just needs to be rebound. Go to drop zone is pretty useless. Instead, I bind space to select the units so I can get them moving quickly.

Health Bars Always On - This is in the GUI and just needs to be changed (turn it on!). You need to see all the units’ health bars all the time. It may help to reduce the sizes of the icons somewhat.

Unit Group Toggle Offensive/Defensive Ability - This is in the GUI and just needs to be rebound. I forget the exact name, default is shift-E and shift-R. This allows you to cycle which offensive ability is active when you have a control group selected (eg. air and scout chopper/heavy chopper ability).

Unit Offensive Special Ability - default E is fine but new players do not know how to use it. To use this, hold E and left click the unit you wish to target.

Hold Fire - default G is fine. This gives you greater control over what your units fire at. Especially important for air. Also, units gain a stealth bonus on hold fire, especially important for para drops and other infantry.

Creating and Using Unit Groups - Number keys 0-9 to select unit groups and Ctrl-Number to create a group. Note, if the wrong unit special ability is “on top” re-create the group by selecting only the unit that you desire “on top” then adding the other units to the selection using shift-click (eg. heavy chopper then scout chopper).

Spread move for infantry - infantry is composed of squads of 4-5 soldiers. If you right click and drag on the map, you can spread out the soldiers in the squad (the more spread the better). If you hit the edges of the map, the spread gets messed up, so drag in the direction you have the most space to work with in. This makes the soldiers much harder to kill, especially for air.

Waypointing - you can queue multiple movement orders to make a unit follow a more complex path. This might be to keep it in cover or just to avoid pathing problems. Hold Shift as you issue move orders, and you will see waypoints appear. For infantry, you can issue spread waypoints by shift-clicking-and-dragging each point.

Patrol Move - uses the waypoint mechanic in a closed loop. It is important to note that the current position of the unit is totally irrelevant. Start by issuing a normal move order, then issue any number of waypoints, finally end the loop by clicking the first move order issued (not the original location of the unit). If the unit has already reached the first waypoint, it will not work.
A simple example is your unit is currently at A, right click point B, shift-right-click point C, and shift-right-click point B again. Simple two-point patrol done. Sadly you cannot patrol move with spread waypoints (as far as I am aware).

wicautoexec.txt - Create a text file in your
C:\Users\YourName\Documents\World in Conflict\
folder called wicautoexec.txt. (It does not exist by default.) All commands entered into this file are performed each time a match begins. Add the following commands:
camerafreedom 1
cameramaxheight 1000
ex3drenderclouds 0
setfogdistances 1 1 1 1
These commands allow you to zoom out much further and still see the battlefield. It allows you to much more easily fight in all areas of the map and be aware of the entire battle. The latter two commands remove fog and clouds that would otherwise obscure vision when you move the camera too high.

Binding TA to keys - You can also add TA key bindings in wicautoexec.txt. This is especially useful when a certain TA is needed very quickly. The best example is for the aerial recon TA that air will need at a moment’s notice, but I have about half the TAs hotkey bound. Note select_cat_1 (where 1 can be substituted with any integer) determines which TA menu you are in, and shortcut_1 (where 1 can be substituted with any integer) selects the entry:
alias recon tactical_aid; select_cat_1; shortcut_1
bind t recon

You can also do double or triple TA strikes by adding multiple shortcut_ entries. eg. my infantry drop key defaults to a triple. Note the absence of a trailing semicolon. Note that this will exist concurrently with any key binding you have in the GUI. eg. my U key both does a tank buster and unloads infantry from transport (this can be annoying but it's also nice to have the overloaded functionality).
Tactical Aid
Using tactical aid in WIC is more important and more nuanced than “saving for nuke”. TA should be used throughout the match to set up captures and improve your position relative to the enemy team. While nukes are spectacular, you’re not going to improve your situational awareness of when/how to drop a nuke. You will, however, learn when/how to use other targeted strikes to support CP pushes or deny the enemy critical areas the more you use them.

TA points are gained by capturing CPs, damaging enemy units, repairing friendly units, and fortifying. Damage done by TA does not give you additional TA (this would be circular). TA strikes can be dropped either one, two, or three at a time, and some TA strikes become cheaper the more strikes are dropped (triple nukes are much more cost-effective than singles), but at the cost that you cannot do anything while you are waiting to drop the 2nd and 3rd. Simply click the button (or use your keyboard shortcut) two or three times as needed.

Many TA strikes have directionality. When you place the strike, click and hold to rotate it into the correct direction. Other TA strikes do not have a chosen directionality but do have an inherent directionality for each map. This is most notable for the direct precision artillery ability for paratroopers, where the directionality causes the strike to land slightly off-center. Also, most TA strikes give vision for some or all of their duration and work almost like aerial recon.

Heavy artillery barrage (HAB) - great for weakening enemy infantry and AA before air clears an area or just for supporting a push. Also great for suppressing the enemy spawn in the last few minutes of a game. Gives vision of the target area for an extended duration.

Light artillery barrage (LAB) - good for killing a pesky sniper or infantry squad, but be aware that it is not guaranteed to kill the infantry, which may just resupply, wasting your TA. Best to follow up with air to finish off stragglers. Napalm or gas may be better. Gives vision for a limited time (this vision may be enough for your sniper to kill his cheaper than aerial recon.) Great for desotroying certain large buildings cheaply (ie. the building is as large as the AOE of LAB such as the big buildings at docks on space needle).

Chemical strike (gas) - powerful against infantry but does no damage to vehicles or structures. Great for infantry AOE denial, particularly for clearing large areas of buildings so that your own infantry can subsequently occupy them. Often used in conjunction with airborne inf drops (for best results drop gas just a few seconds before the inf)

Napalm - permanently removes trees and does high damage to infantry and light vehicles. I find this generally preferable to LAB for dealing with infantry (for only 3 more TA they cannot re-infest the trees). Try to use this only on trees that are important/useful for the enemy infantry - if you burn the trees your infantry player is likely to capture and occupy, he will be at a disadvantage (and angry at you). Burn the enemy’s trees but try to keep your trees intact. This is reversed in your backfield, where trees only help the enemy hide paratroopers. This strike can also be used as an AOE denial for light vehicles, spefically where they have to pass over bridges (eg. hometown).

Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) - Contrary to what you might think, these hit a very small stationary target for very high damage (and do not track/have homing). Cheapest for support. Can be the best way to kill a target infantry unit in a problem building if air is unable to do so. Two of these drop a bridge, although it is a net expenditure of 6 TA if your support drops 2 of these and their support repairs the bridge. There are often cheaper ways of clearing a building (such as LAB or TB depending on the buildings). I am really fond of killing heavy artillery (really any unit) with these to troll.

Air-to-Air strike (A2A) - kills up to 4 enemy air units, will not hurt friendly units, and has directionality. Great for protecting infantry (as it takes longer for air to kill than a vehicle). Wiping the enemy air, especially if ranked, can determine the outcome of a game, so these can be a great investment. Spamming these strikes to only kill 0-2 choppers is a great way to waste TA. A2a can be flared if timed properly - the sound of the jet is often better warning than seeing it. Often placed on the air’s expected retreat path or over unprotected tanks. Also great when placed over a unit desperately suiciding for a CP capture.

Heavy Air Support (HAS) - great for covering a big push on a CP. Clears multiple waves of enemy vehicles and fortifications without damaging friendlies. The strike has directionaliy, so make sure the missiles will not hit a building. Ignores infantry, so sometimes it is wise to drop in conjunction with LAB.

Tank Buster (TB) - is used for many things. It is particularly good at rapidly clearing fortifications and units in a CP for capture because it drops in only 12 seconds. It can also be useful for killing an important ranked unit if the unit is clearly stationaity. Be sure to bind this TA to a key.

Fuel Air Bomb and Carpet Bomb - Sometimes it is very useful to clear a large area of buildings (eg. seaside). These strikes can be cost-effective ways of doing this rather than nuking. Combo dropping infantry or light tanks with fuel air bombs, while more costly than CB, is guaranteed to capture without further support unless the enemy drops TA to counter. This is especially useful for assault maps.

Airstrike (we call cluster bomb CB) - useful for clearing fortifications but not guaranteed to completely do so. (sometimes three tank busters are better and cheaper). Often used in conjunction with para drops (so-called “combo drops”). Drop the inf first, then do the clusters when the inf is at 22-23 sec so you do not kill them (CB drops in 20 sec). This strike scales modestly for double and triple. These are also frequently dropped on CPs (the circles are fortuitously the same size) and will kill any units within them. These are the reason not to fortify with multiple or heavy units.

Airborne infantry (para, drop) - cheapest for inf (5), cheaper for armor (8) - these are the most important and useful TA in the game. Drop these everywhere you can hide them and turn hold fire on. They are also great in infantry vs. infantry combat. The targeted artillery ability they have is especially good at killing enemy airborne drops as they land and also for killing enemy infantry in buildings.

Airdropped transport (jeeps) - Cheapest for support (6), cheaper for inf (8). These are customarily dropped in groups of two or three to repair air with. If you group them up, they will automatically repair any unit touching them. One reason to do this is that two jeeps repair faster than one repair tank. Further justification is given in air/support sub-guides. If a unit leaves not fully repaired, the jeeps will “break” or glitch such that they no longer repair automatically. Issuing a stop or move order will fix this. If the enemy sees these jeeps, be sure to move them as TA will probably be coming.

Light Tanks - only useful when dropping in combo with late game nuke to capture CPs (infantry and jeeps die too fast in radiation). Occasionally useful dropped in enemy backfield to kill artillery but rather trolly. Very useful in standard 1v1.

Aerial recon - the most underutilized and underrated TA in the game for many players. This gives complete vision of a large area. Great for finding infantry including in one’s own backfield, allowing your sniper to kill enemy snipers, for air when you want to kill enemy AA, or even for armor when you want to shoot units in smoke. Cheaper for certain factions on certain maps (eg. NATO on riviera). Abusing scans to pubstomp with air can be considered poor sportsmanship.
The Armor Role
As mentioned above, your primary responsibility is capturing CPs and secondarily harassing the enemy with heavy tanks and providing vision with paratroopers. Your main force consists of heavy tanks, light tanks, and airborne infantry TA each with different primary uses. The other units in your role may be used situationally, but at first don’t bother using these units (possible exception for OOR scout chopper). The most common misconception of armor players is that keeping their tanks alive is the support’s responsibility, so let us clear this one up now: keeping your tanks alive is your own responsibility! If you advance beyond the cover of your support’s AA and die, it is your own fault. If you are advancing with only one or two AA covering you, it is insufficient, expect to die. If you see your AA being shot or dying, back up, or pop smoke for him to help him out.

The goal of heavy tanks is to perch on a spot with good vision/area coverage and “tank snipe”, gaining rank over time. This serves multiple purposes. As the tank ranks, it will deal more and more damage, increasingly denying the enemy team access to any area in its firing range (particularly light units like AA, but a general tank deals enough damage to kill another heavy tank quite quickly). Heavy tanks should never be used to attack/advance beyond the safe cover of friendly AA. Keeping these ranked tanks alive is a high priority, and the repairs generated over time are a significant source of TA for the support. You should generally not have more than 3 heavy tanks. Some exception for very open maps like farmland.

The remainder of your force should consist of light tanks, which should be used for offensive purposes. They should be used to attack CPs and even to chase down enemy AA units. Make sure you use their missile active frequently, which has an extremely long range. When trying to capture a point, you may find it easier to run over infantry than shooting it (use force move and move backwards). While these light tanks are expendable to some degree, two light tanks are actually worth more TA than one heavy, so suicidally spamming light tanks is still a very bad idea. Like heavy tanks, repair these when possible, but don’t worry about losing quite a few over the course of a game. Light tanks can also be used to fortify, but don’t have more than one of these simply sitting in a circle.

Armor is also responsible for vision, which goes hand in hand with keeping one’s tanks alive. If you have no vision, enemy air will seem to “appear out of nowhere” and wipe out your units. You will naturally blame your support, which is wrong. You were unaware of how out of position you were, and your support could not see the air coming to help you because you have no vision. Like infantry, you have cheap airborne infantry TA and should use them beginning at 18:30 to provide vision. Typically armor players are responsible for drops in friendly and enemy backfield, to kill enemy vision drops and to provide vision on the enemy, respectively. Let the infantry handle the front line airborne units, but if he is unable or unwilling (or non-existent), you may need to help out here also. Finally, when required (on more open maps like farmland where infantry cover is lacking) an OOR scout chopper is absolutely essential since it has the largest vision range in the game. You can use this scout to look for enemy infantry in trees with the IR scan as well. Be aware enemy AA and medium air will relentlessly target this scout because of its importance, so be sure to have a key bound so you can flare quickly when it is attacked. Also, it helps to face the scout away from the enemy. While vision range is unaffected, the flares work better from behind.

When dealing with enemy air, the best practice is to have responded before he attacks. This means monitoring the enemy air and putting your units "on a pulley”. When the enemy air is on the left, pull the tanks on the left back (always using the move backwards command) and push forward on the right. When he shifts to the right, pull these back, and advance on the left. If you do this well, the enemy air will never have a chance to pick off an overextended unit, will get very frustrated, and will probably do something stupid. We use the move backwards command because it confers a significant miss chance on enemy attacks, particularly on air units, and the tank takes much less damage (note this does not work on hellfire missiles).

At some point the air will attack you. When he does, continue moving backwards and smoke. Under almost all circumstances, he will have a scout chopper IR scan or aerial recon to see through the smoke, so continue moving backwards to at least gain the miss chance and try to retreat toward home. Juking behind a building is also really great if you can do so. If you notice he has no detection (perhaps his scout was killed by friendly AA or the scan is on cooldown), you can simply hide in the smoke but don’t expect this to happen that frequently. To hide in smoke, make sure you move slightly out of the center of the smoke, as air can force fire on the center of the smoke and kill your unit. You can even go so far as to drive in circles near the edge of the smoke to avoid being force fired upon.

Your support is your lifeline. Do not force him to move too far forward where he cannot go because he has to choose between letting his units die and letting your units die. (Contrary to your opinion, if he's smart he'll choose the latter.) For this reason, you should not simply monitor whether your units are being shot, you should monitor whether his units are being shot. Smoke for his units if his smoke has already been used or his repair tank is repairing one of your tanks. (You can also fake out no-scout air players by pretending that he smoked his AA when you smoked your tank, and when he attacks suprise! the AA still has his smoke.) If he is being attacked or appears overextended, move backward yourself to allow him to regroup and spawn more AA.

You may find that APCs or med tanks are useful when infantry is in the area. One is plenty, and usually your own infantry should be dealing with this. Amphibious are also useful, but only to capture CPs that are obscured by water in place of a light tank. In extreme situations, a single reg inf is a great OOR armor unit. It can provide vision like a scout chopper and provide some AA cover as well. If infantry is a serious problem, a med arty is another viable option. For example, on farmland, I often end up spawning 3 heavy tanks, one OOR scout chopper, and one OOR med arty.
The Support Role
Support is the easiest role to obtain a high score, but it is one of the hardest to truly excel at. Your natural enemy, the air role, is somewhat overpowered, and as such you are always at a disadvantage. Expect to lose units, but try not to get wiped and try to get something in return. Bend but not break is a good motto here. Providing repairs (in addition to the standard damage and captures) is why support rakes in the TA, but don't greedily save for a nuke. Instead, use it to support captures, and share with your infantry because the vision he provides will often determine whether you kill the air or the air kills you (and in turn decide the match).

Your primary force consists of heavy AA (HAA) quantity 5 and a single repair tank (dropped as 4 HAA first spawn, 1 HAA 1 rep tank second spawn). Contrary to what the single player campaign has taught you, heavy artillery is useless. High level players will not sit idly in artillery fire, and you will basically hit nothing. If they notice you shooting circles/fortifications, they will simply stop fortifying. (To counter heavy artillery as a ground unit, use Patrol Move in Advanced Settings, and of course don't feed him TA by fortifying.) Medium artillery, while effective against infantry, deprives your side of a much-needed AA unit and is better purchased OOR by armor or inf.

Although formally your job is to protect friendly tanks at all costs, remember this relationship works both ways. He should be mindful of where you can and cannot go and only move forward if this is viable for both of you. If he is suiciding his tanks with no vision, and your units are dying to unseen tanks, there is no reason to suicide with him. Try to get him to get vision (scout chopper or inf) and sit back and tank snipe. If he refuses to listen to reason, he will spam AA marks, he will call you a noob, he will defend his feeding, but he will not stop suiciding. Nothing can be done; just switch roles. Support can be one of the most frustrating roles in the game because you are completely reliant on your partner, the armor, to make things happen.

Let's assume we're not in one of those situations, and you are protecting a competent armor with decent vision. First, do not blob your AA. Instead, try to create connected networks (“nets”) of 3 or more AA more-or-less within one AA missile range of each other. This allows them to cover and protect each other when enemy air attacks. Expect lone AA units to die, but also recognize that two AA on top of each other are no better than one. That said, for CPs on the sides of the map, you will often only be able to have one AA present, and this is fine. Expect it to die to enemy air and replace it when it does. Try to do as much damage as you can before losing it. Sometimes, it is wise to use the a2a strike to catch the enemy air killing tanks after he has killed your AA or on his retreat path. This can turn losing one AA into a trade for a full wipe of the enemy air.

Try to keep your AA hidden. This turns the simple act of protecting tanks into an ambush of the enemy air. The opposite of tank sniping, you should use the Alt key to find protected “dead zones” where enemy tanks cannot shoot your AA even though they are in range. This may be in a hole or behind a hill, a building, or trees. Remember AA shoot upward, so they can often shoot over an object that is protecting them from tank fire (although they cannot shoot through it, so being butted right up against a building doesn’t always work). In these cases, pop out from behind the building and smoke. The best support players constantly shift and adjust their AA placements as enemy air moves around the map, but sometimes you just have to let the lone AA and light tank on one side of the map die for the greater good. There should be no heavy tanks protected by a single AA. Try as best you can to protect friendly infantry from air also as the vision it provides is extremely important for you.

When air attacks, you should be moving backward and smoke, just like any other ground unit. You should additionally try to target his scout chopper with all AA in the area to remove his detection. Alternatively, if you expect him to be using aerial recon, you can choose to target his most ranked heavy chopper instead. It takes five to ten minutes to rank a general chopper, so losing one is a serious blow. One alternative tactic you can use is to smoke and move forward under the attacking choppers, they will have to turn around to attack, and this extra time is very valuable.

Another advanced tactic you can employ is to stack one med AA and one heavy AA on top of each other. The HAA provides smoke, and the enemy scout chopper has to come close to reveal them. When the enemy scout chopper approaches, the MAA is able to quickly kill it ignoring its flares. This combination can be very deadly but is countered with double scouts or aerial recon.

Drop airdropped transport TA (jeeps) to repair air in groups of 2 and 3 in a safe place in your backfield, and they will quickly pay for themselves. Try to do so as close to 18:30 as you can (the earlier the better). (Try to drop them spread out and then move them after since enemy players can actually see them drop.) Several groups of 2-3 are better than one big group because it allows air to repair multiple choppers at once without risking one big a2a strike wiping him out. These jeeps will repair any unit touching them automatically, meaning all you have to do is provide them, and your teammates can repair themselves, generating you TA. Note, the jeeps can "break" (stop repairing automatically) if the unit they are repairing leaves before fully healing. Any new order (move or stop are good) will reset this, and they will automatically repair again. If the enemy sees these jeeps, they may be attacked, so it is best to move them periodically.

Do not repair air with your repair tank, even with the emergency repair ability (occasionally it's convenient and can expedite a capture or save a unit that is about to die, but in general it's not recommended). The reason for this is several-fold. For one, you are wasting your valuable micromanagement on something he can do for himself with the jeeps. For another, air is the most mobile unit in the game and can easily move himself to the backfield for repairs. Furthermore, the repair tank is needed on the front lines, and its emergency repair ability is crucial for keeping those units alive. Note, the repair tank can emergency repair itself, allowing it to save its own life as well as others’ lives. Lastly, two jeeps actually repair faster than one repair tank, and three are even faster.
The infantry Role
The deepest, hardest, highest impact, and least appreciated role in the game. It is also the role that will improve your play the most, and for this reason I recommend you play it often. When you play infantry, try to play the whole map, do not fall into “I’m playing right side infantry”. Also, don’t put too much effort into controlling large forests - there are no CPs in these areas, control them only in order to dominate the other infantry and control the map. Your goal as infantry is to capture CPs, provide your team vision, and deny the enemy team vision. Naturally, this means trying to have your infantry spread out all over the map, not clustered in a small area (camerafreedom and maxheight set up through wicautoexec.txt are required see advanced settings above). You also want to be as annoying as possible. Like a household pest, you want to infest every nook and cranny of the map and stubbornly refuse to die. The more time you waste for the enemy air and the more TA you force them to drop on you, the more successful you are because they are not focusing on the rest of your team or the CPs.

You want to deny the enemy team vision by killing their infantry. However, as infantry, it is very easy to get into tunnel vision mode and only focus on the infantry battle. You will find games go better if you work with your team rather than just focusing on enemy infantry (this has to work both ways, and it can be frustrating when your support/armor ignore you and deny you caps). When you do this, you will also capture a lot more CPs, in turn generating a lot more TA, and ultimately having a much easier game. You must still focus on beating the enemy infantry, or you will lose the vision war. Don’t be afraid to drop TA on him to get yourself an advantage, and don’t be afraid to ask your teammates for TA or other assistance (ie. "air kill the sniper here pls").

Your primary force is regular infantry and airborne infantry drops, with a single AT squad, 2-3 snipers, and transport trucks. You may choose to substitute light artillery for the snipers. The AT squad should be in a central location to deny enemy vehicles access to the most central/important contested CP on the map. AT squads have one of the highest DPS of any unit in the game, so no unit will be able to be in that area long. A ranked AT squad is a very valuable unit if you can get one. In infantry, OOR units are encouraged when called for (particularly when trees and buildings are absent or destroyed).

The first spawn is highly variable. I have recently fallen in love with 2 reg, 1 AT, 1 sniper, 5 trucks (+100RP), but many viable options exist (3 reg 2 sniper 2 trucks). You need to get early captures (usually with the trucks) to get early TA for your first set of airborne drops at 18:30 (you need 15 TA for 3). For these capturing trucks, don’t even bother loading infantry on. It will save you time and prevent your teammates from denying you captures. Some inf can walk while the trucks cap. Infantry is the most flexible and variable role.

OOR units are frequently used including APC (especially useful late-game when cover is absent), transport chopper (great for getting inf rapidly to hard-to-reach places), amphibious (great for getting across rivers), med AA (provides a fast vehicle for captures and a bit more anti-air than an APC), and med arty. On some maps, getting early caps and infantry to the frontlines using transport choppers are great, but don’t deny your entire team TA solo capping with inf unnecessarily. Similarly, don't spawn near an infantry-friendly side point with lots of trees and solo cap it.

Infantry squads typically consist of five soldiers, represented by the little green/orange/red dots in the squad. Note the soldiers can be individually targeted by attackers and each soldier individually acquires a target, which is why manually attacking another infantry squad causes your soldiers to focus fire and will mean they beat the other squad if not similarly micro’ed. Reg inf squads have one AT, one AA, one MG, one rifle, and one medic. AT have 3 AT, one rifle, and one medic. Airborne have four soldiers and all are rifles. (Note even rifles do moderate damage to scout helicopters, but only MG and AA do damage to heavy choppers.) Medics can heal any soldier but themselves and can heal other medics. Simply right click the soldier if the heal icon comes up. Additionally, any infantry squad can resupply itself (best to bind a key) as long as one soldier is alive. Note, a low health bar of an infantry squad can reflect either dead soldiers (can be resupplied) or wounded soldiers (must be healed). Also note only the soldiers missing when resupply is issued will be replaced, and the squad is immobile during this time (See below on resupplying in buildings). Resupplying a ranked squad with only one soldier can unpredictably lose its rank. I do not fully understand when this occurs, but seems to be associated with losing all but one soldier (Please PM me if you understand this.).

The best way to keep your squads alive is to keep moving and stay spread out. This will mean any TA strikes or artillery dropped on them should miss. When moving, always use spread moves or spread waypointing. Click and drag to spread the squad, then optionally shift-click and drag additional waypoints. The smaller the steps, the slower the squad will move, but the more spread out (and thus survivable) the squad becomes. If you issue a very long distance spread move order, you will notice the squad does not spread out much, defeating the purpose. Because of this, best practice is to spread first, then issue further spread-move orders. Also note that if your mouse hits the edge of the map while spreading, the squad won't spread at all, so reorient your view for maximum spread. You can also fortify CPs with a spread squad, and they fortify at the same rate regardless of whether 1 or 5 soldiers are in the circle. Spread the squad as much as possible just outside the circle such that one soldier is inside, and they should fortify, gaining rank and TA, with much less risk of dying.

Alternatively, you can hide in buildings or trees. Both of these confer a stealth and armor bonus, and this stealth bonus can be increased by holding fire. (Always hold fire when air is above your units in trees or his scout chopper will be able to spot you (without using the IR scan), and always hold fire with your airborne.) If you have idle units in trees, be sure to spread them out. Also, be sure to check their vision (Alt key) to be sure they can see in all directions you think they should provide vision in. Frequently, players will have infantry in the right trees to provide vision, but the squad is positioned in the trees such that they cannot see what you expect because they are on the wrong side of a small hill. Units in trees act like any other unit as far as targeting, spreading, waypointing, patrolling, etc, and don’t require much explanation. Note the armor bonus is quite significant for defensive purposes, and infantry in trees decimates infantry that is not.

One thing silver mentioned in The Bible on this is that you can also use a patrol move to make drops harder to hit with direct artillery. The idea is that they see you moving, assume you are headed straight (or at least micro'ing it), they lead their strike, and you change direction dodging it (with no actual micro on your part). The best way to do this is with a small triangle or (silver said "crosshatch" is best which I think I understand to mean) hourglass shape. Remember, the unit needs to change direction within the 7 sec it takes for prec. arty to drop, so the patrol area should be very small.
The Infantry Role (continued)
There are a few strategies for combating enemy snipers. The first and most important thing to do is to zoom in closely and locate the tracer bullets. This will allow you to immediately identify the location of the enemy sniper. Next, decide how you want to kill him. You can drop airborne infantry on or near him. Properly micro’ed they can kill him with rifles but sometimes a sniper can wipe four airborne. You can drop them nearby and use their artillery on him, but the enemy may move/micro his sniper and escape. If he is in trees, you can use a sniper to kill him, gaining vision from airborne, an aerial recon, another TA strike like light artillery, a scout chopper, or infantry in a vehicle (APC or transport chopper). Note, snipers and other units cannot shoot through vehicles, so it is possible to use an open air sniper hiding behind a vehicle (sit in the vehicle, get vision, exit the vehicle). Remember, the squad always exits the vehicle to the left hand side toward the front, so be sure to orient your vehicle correctly so your sniper can exit and remain behind the truck/APC. You can also ask air to kill him, get a med arty, or you can drop TA on him.

For your own snipers - it is best to learn all of the good spots on all the maps. Certain buildings are fantastic, others are bad. Use the Alt key (you can launch a bot match on your local machine and just walk around with snipers finding spots). Because the enemy can use tracers to find and eliminate your snipers, Silver said he preferred a dynamic sniper (meaning moving around). I find this is indeed the best thing to do with a ranked sniper, but don’t move so much as to put him in a bad spot, just enough to avoid TA strikes.

Dealing with enemy airborne is a bit less complicated. Most importantly, make sure you get yours down first - this means dropping 3 promptly at 18:30 game time. Pick front-line spots with the first batch. Never drop more than one on the same exact spot because they can be countered with TA. Drops are actually visible 20 sec before they hit, so it is relatively easy to drop LAB and other TA to kill them. They also make a distinct sound, which is always either airborne inf drops or a carpet bomb. When you hear the sound, scroll up high and find the drops. The best counter is to use your airborne drops active ability to kill the enemy’s drops as they fall. They can be hit ~1 sec before they become useable/visible on the map, so there is literally no way he can save them if properly targeted. This is called “insta-arty” and it takes a lot of practice. Note the strike has an intrinsic directionality on each map, and it hits slightly off center. If your airborne are getting insta-artied, there are only a few things you can do. One is to drop in a group (three somewhat spread out on a single group of trees). Another is to dump TA on the area just before your drops land. A combination is often best. If you do find that the enemy has infantry in your “backfield” spawn area it is best to sweep through with a sniper and reg inf. You can also get an APC.

Dealing with air, surprisingly enough, can be quite easy. Most importantly, keep your squads spread. It is very difficult to kill off a unit of infanry that is spread out and moving with air. Also, you would be surprised how many air players can convince themselves that the enemy will only drop a2a strikes over tanks. Almost every time air attacks my units, I drop an a2a over them as I juke around dodging his fire. It is exceedingly difficult to kill a well micro’ed inf unit in the 12 sec it takes for an a2a to hit. After that, he will be very scared to spend more than a few seconds killing your units for fear that he will be a2a’ed again. Other ways to deal with air are making a small net of multiple regular infantry (similar to AA) or simply not overextending beyond the support of your own HAA units. (This goes back to focusing on CPs and working with your support/armor - if you stay in the general vicinity of your support, you can take part in captures and benefit from his protection.

Urban combat is somewhat more complicated because targeting in buildings is very problematic/buggy. Each soldier actually has a specific location within a building, which dictates what he sees and where he can shoot. Although units will automatically attack, how they choose to move around in the building and what unit they attack is very unpredictable. If you want a unit in a building to be attacking a specific unit, it is always best to manually issue the attack order. An advanced tactic here (especially useful for AT/AA fire) is to pop out of the building quickly, attack the target (all units will fire), pop back into the building, and issue the attack order again. Although it is an exploit of lag, it is entirely necessary to resupply in a building (the new soldiers spawn outside, and you must go out and back in to get them inside also). You need a hotkey bound for resupply. Hop out, hit resupply, and immediately hop back in. If properly executed, they will get back in before the resupply order hits. (If you mess up, they will remain outside and die.)

The larger buildings usually have more HP, and certain buildings are better at firing at important locations (over time you will learn the good ones). These are the ones you should try to occupy. However, the enemy will target you with air, TA, or airborne paratrooper targeted artillery, leading to the most advanced tactic in buildings: “building-hopping”. The goal of building hopping is to quickly pop in and out of many buildings to avoid TA strikes and keep your infantry alive. Remember that targeted artillery takes only 7 sec and LGB takes 12, so you should try to move every unit that frequently. (Sometimes controlling a specific building is important enough to sit tight and force them to kill it even if it means losing the guys inside.) Try to use your airborne artillery actives on enemy buildings, but beware, a smart enemy will see your airborne building hop and immediately move himself to avoid your strike. You can use this to your advantage by fake-hopping. Then, when he moves drop the strike. Also, remember every active you use is one that will not be available when his next set of drops comes down for a more reliable insta-arty.

When you exit a building, try to note the possible exits and click on the side you want to leave on (if air is attacking units at one exit, get back in the building and leave through the other side). You can exit from any exit provided all units are inside the building (if some soldiers are still outside, you will always exit from the exit they are going to). This also allows infantry to move very fast through buildings by entering on one side and exiting on the opposite side (eg. docks on spaceneedle). This also has profound implications for infantry combat in buildings.

For open-air maps, for when the map evolves in the late game (removal of buildings due to nukes), and sometimes just for when your team is losing, spread waypointing lots of open-air regular infantry squads is a great tactic ("reg spam"). It provides vision, is extremely annoying for the enemy’s air, and gives your guys pretty good survivability without a whole lot of nuance/micro. In certain areas, they will get decimated by snipers. Just stop them in a dead zone or go around until you can deal with him. Don’t needlessly feed the ranked sniper. Open air squads are also good just to support overextended AA (for example at side points where typically you can only afford one). Two reg inf and a HAA is quite hazardous for air while a lone HAA is not. Be a buddy and target the air's scout chopper with your reg inf.

The Air Role
Heavy air is the most powerful offensive role in the game.The standard air spawn is 3 heavy choppers and 1 scout chopper (allowing the time to obtain +200RP), with the final spawn 4 heavy choppers + scout. The reason for this is that the scout chopper provides vision through smoke using its IR scan ability. Without the IR scan air is virtually useless.

You move around the map killing everything, including isolated AA units, in order of priority. This priority is (generally): assisting in CP captures (clearing units and fortifications in the circles when your team is actively contesting a point), killing overextended tanks and other units, killing forward infantry and other vision drops, killing fortifications on CPs not actively being attacked, and lastly simply making things happen on your own, usually killing AA and tanks. For air, your ammo, your flare and IR scan cooldowns, your repairs, and your mobility around the map are your limiting factors. You should try to kill something each time your ammo is reloaded as long as you can do so without losing any units.

Try to keep all choppers at or near full health. This is particularly important against medium air, as a heavy chopper can survive 2 med air sidewinders only with full health: any missing HP and it will die. Air is the easiest role with which to rank units, and a general chopper is extremely powerful. Your support should drop jeeps in the backfield, which you simply hover damaged choppers over to repair. Note well - the support does nothing other than provide the jeeps, it is your job to move your own choppers to them (ie. you repair youself, he does not repair you). Only repair one or two choppers at a time, as an a2a while repairing all of your choppers at once can be devastating.

If you cannot kill a single heavy AA unit, you have no business playing air in multiplayer. Practice with bots. All players expect air to be able to kill a single HAA without losing a chopper (or even taking damage). Flares only dodge from the side or behind, and it takes some practice. Also, every additional order given to the choppers reduces the probability to dodge. Lastly, repeatedly toggling hold fire seems to drastically improve dodging when retreating (dodging more than 10 missiles fired by a blob can get you accused of hacking; I assure you it is entirely possible).

For your first attempt find an isolated HAA in an open area, hold fire, move in at an angle, flare as you pass over the AA until the crosshair goes yellow, and then attack it with your choppers + one hellfire. Air suffers from very poor accuracy at max range, and you should always hold fire until the crosshair is yellow for missile fire. Two hellfires will kill one AA or other light unit without additional damage, and three will kill a heavy tank (although it is usually best to use one and two, respectively, with some missiles). Eventually, you will learn to plan your approach so you can kill 2-3 AA without losing choppers. You will also learn to recognize when/where the enemy team lacks vision - attack from these areas.

Many players will lead with their scout chopper, using this easily replaced and unranked unit as a “meat shield” (unit that absorbs damage so others do not). Then, if it does die, they simply use their hotkey-bound aerial recon TA for vision. Another option is to simply recon from the start. This ensures you will not be surprised by a hidden AA and gives you the ability to use the IR scan later to clean up the tanks once the AA are dead. Remember, sticking around too long or coming back predictably after a quick reload are easy ways to eat an a2a.

Leading with the scout also allows “chain flaring”, an advanced technique where different choppers flare at different times to extend the duration of flaring possible for the group. While it is difficult to get a missile targeted on one chopper to miss due to flares on another chopper, it is entirely possible. This works best if the flaring chopper passes over the path of the missile. Typically, I flare the lead 2-3 choppers as I attack, then I flare the other 2-3 choppers later or as I depart. This is particularly important against medium air units.

Air is the only role where blobbing is expected. Because of this, you must be learn to be unpredictable to dodge a2a strikes. If you are predictable, you will be wiped by them frequently. It is possible to flare an a2a, but it is extremely difficult. The best chance you have is to play zoomed out, watch for and listen for the jet, and flare ASAP. After flaring, do absolutely nothing until the a2a has passed. Any order (hold fire, move, attack, etc) will prevent the flare from working.

Eventually, you will encounter medium anti air spam. Beware, simply flying in and trying to kill these units, even with four general choppers, will get you wiped. Send the scout away, he won’t be useful here (his firing range is shorter, and he will get close enough to the AA to get shreaded). The trick to dealing with this nonsense is to pop in and out of the range of the MAA, which are actually more inaccurate than choppers at max range (note for unranked choppers the accuracy is pretty similar). Just expend your hellfires with hold fire off to get some extra missile damage in, go repair, rinse and repeat until his blob becomes manageable. If your choppers are unranked, you may want to bait him in to your heavy armor or a HAB to get him down to 1-2 AA. Another thing to remember here is that he has dedicated an entire support spawn to denying about 2% of the map from you, and you are much more mobile than he is, so attack other units.

Similarly, APC spam can be dangerous for air. One interesting thing to note is that the NATO APC, by virtue of lacking an AT missile like its USSR and USA counterparts, has a lot more damage in its primary weapon. The trick to taking on APC spam is to make sure you bait out his smoke or use aerial recon. The scout chopper is not a substitute. Like MAA spam, if your choppers get too close (like your scout to see through smoke), they will be shredded. Once the smoke is removed from the equation, it is the same as above only less dangerous.

Some mention of damage/armor types is appropriate here. The heavy chopper cannot be damaged by rifle fire (rifleman in reg inf, paratrooper, etc) but can be damaged by MG fire (MG gunner in reg inf, MG fort) although this damage is minimal, it is non-zero. The scout, however, can be damaged even by rifle fire and heavily by MG fire. For this reason, beware flying over fortifications and/or trees with possible infantry presence with low health choppers.

Alternative strategies for air include “double scout air” (2 scout, 3 heavy) to counter mixed support HAA + MAA and “split heavy” (2+2 heavy with floating scout, this is extremely difficult and micro-intensive) on maps that consist of two combat zones separated by a large empty area (eg. powerplant, island). Both are viable and situational. Do not play “mixed air” (mixture of heavy and medium choppers), it simply makes you useless at both roles. Also, do not play “no scout” air. No scout players attempt to bait smoke before killing the AA. This suffers from the problem that you are unable to kill things when your team actually needs you to do so. (And good support players will crush you for it.)

Another strategy, while using the standard 4+1 spawn, is called "moonwalking". In this strategy, one exploits the flare mechanics by which flares are most effective from behind to dodge AA missiles. As you approach the AA, move backwards toward it rather than moving forwards and flare. The dodge rate should be near 100%, then kill the AA as normal. The reason higher level players do not use this is that the momentum of air units is very important when clearing well spaced AA, and units are slower moving backward, thus carrying less momentum. Chain flaring is therefore a superior tactic in general.
Playing Classy
By this I don't mean abstaining from smack talking, I mean certain strategies/actions are considered somewhat "cheap" and violate some players' notions of unofficial WIC public server etiquette. In 8v8 pub games, large skill disparities within teams and between teams lead to a lot of complications. These complications generally arise because certain players are unable to fulfill their obligatons to their teammates. This often means that one or two players are trying to fulfill the responsibilties of all four roles (which based on rock-paper-scissors type logic should not be possible, and indeed it is barely possible). Even though none of these tactics is specifically imbalanced in an evenly matched 4v4 or 5v5, under these circumstances some strategies are very imbalanced. This section was roughly modeled on CSiE JMann's forum post. Thanks bro (this will be moved to an acknowledgements section when I have one). Guys, feel free to weigh in on this in particular, as I am trying to write for the community (and generally feel more liberal about what constitutes bad etiquette/poor sportsmanship than is written here).

Spawning Six Medium Helicopters - Because heavy air is capable of clearing ground units and fortifications (even small numbers of AA), air is generally the catalyst for most offensive actions. Heavy air's strength leads to dynamic games with lots of CPs changing hands, lots of captures, lots of TA being generated, and active exicting games of WIC. Bringing in six medium choppers basically puts an end to this, and the game will grind to a halt. Their air is forced to cower behind his AA (which often fails to protect him at all), and he is very likely to spawn a full set of med choppers himself in reliation. Everyone's score will be lower (especially yours, since medium air is notorious for low scores), and everyone will enjoy the game less. You are essentially sacrificing yourself having a good game to ruin the enemy air's game also: sounds like poor sportsmanship to me. If the enemy air is destroying you or your team, there are a lot of above-board ways to deal with him (maybe your problem is vision (get inf), try more AA, try the MAA/HAA combo, try reg spamming as inf, try a2a strikes).

Spamming A2A Strikes - There is a fine line here, but it never fails that when someone ranks up four heavy choppers that the A2A jet seems to be working overtime but rarely hitting anything. If you find yourself dropping many of these and not hitting the full set of choppers, just stop (this is good advice and good etiquette). Eventually you will hit him, probably best not to gloat since the odds of hitting him with a random strike were probably pretty similar to your hit percentage.

Killing Repair Jeeps - As explained in the air sub-guide, it is very important for air to keep his units at or near full health at all times because of the significant increase in effectiveness of ranked air and the relative fragility of air units (they die to three AA missiles). When an air player does not have a support player dropping him jeeps for repairs, he often has to drop these himself at a cost of 10 TA per jeep (and repairing with one jeep is pathetically slow, so we're talking 20-30 TA investment). Furthermore, you gain practically nothing by killing jeeps, so you are killing them out of sheer malice. If you see jeeps that were obviously dropped by the enemy air to repair himself (usually off in a very lonely corner of the map), refrain from killing them.

Spawning Multiple Medium Artillery - Medium artillery is overpowered, and more than one (on a per team level) is totally excessive. Even the best infantry players in the game can be kept at bay with just two medium arty and an ounce of skill. You can't say that about medium air or any other unit. You would be surprised how quickly two med arty can completely remove all enemy infantry as well as all the buildings/trees that he would want to occupy from the map all from the safety of one's own backfield.

Spamming Snipers - I cannot imagine reasonably spawning more than four snipers for any reason on any map ever, yet it's pretty common to see someone spawn about 8 snipers and a scout helicopter. As you might imagine, this is a pretty unsportsmanlike tactic.

Spamming Napalm - This also goes for spamming larger TA strikes like HAB (not really meant for infantry) at infantry. There is a fine line here as well. At least you have to expend TA to do this. The problem arises, as explained above, when that enemy infantry has suicidal teammates who are feeding TA. Because of this, you have a nearly infinite supply of TA, and the more of it you drop on the inf, the easier it becomes to farm the suicidal armor for more. When you have dropped enough napalm to completely deforest maps like powerplant or island, you have crossed a line.

Scan Wh0ring - Air being slightly overpowered is an important and necessary part of the balance of the game. However, three heavy air players chain spamming aerial recon and annihilating anything that spawns is not. Try to limit the use of recon in "air bang" type scenarios (two or more heavy air working in concert) to when it is actually needed.

Meleeing Heavy Choppers - Heavy air is not meant to attack heavy air, but most people don't seem to recognize that. If you ignore the other air, he will probably ignore you. If you attack his choppers, particularly if you snipe off that low HP general that escaped after killing a few AA, he will probably call you something bad, votekick you, and spam A2A at you the rest of the game.

Like A Moth To A Flame - Heavy Air killing Heavy Arty - Believe it or not, lots of high level players like to troll and make heavy arty. These players are aware that air will do anything possible, suicidally trying to kill said arty, and they will prepare for that by having a support or medium air ready to kill you for trying (see above about not spawning med choppers, and add an exception about trolling with arty). In these cases, do not do absurd things to kill the arty, and do not suicide your air to kill it. You are actually hurting your own team with such things far more than them trolling with arty is. (Their arty might finally teach someone not to sit four heavy tanks in CPs fortifying.)

Vote Kicking - People votekick for lots of things. The first class is hurting one's team (bad arty players, solo cappers, suicidal idiots, spammers of APCs and MAA, etc). There are plenty of other good reasons: not liking someone, doing anything outlined above, not liking someone, making space for friends, having inadequate skill relative to everyone else playing, etc. However, in the twilight years of WIC, we have to accept that with a shrinking community, it is hard to fill servers. As such, don't kick when servers are not full without a very good reason.

Stacking for the Purpose of Stomping - There are lots of stacks out there. The stacks I'm referring to are those where players are intentionally switching to the winning team in order to pad their stats, improve their standing on the leaderboard (which is meaningless), and stomp newbs in 5 min total domination. This is pathetic and it kills servers. In contrast, stacking for trolling/lulzy purposes is fully encouraged provided the game is allowed to go full duration, and no nukes are used properly during the course of the regular game.
Map-Specific Strategies
Work in progress.
I plan to make this as much like Positron's alamanac as possible. Hopefully adding sniper spots on relevant maps.

Seaside: Due to the 3-point central CP, the primary focus of this map is on town. Tthe large number of buildings here (some with very high HP) mean that once town is lost, it is very difficult to retake. Getting airborne and other infantry here quickly is a must. That said, simply holding town is not enough to win, and you will need to hold/contest several side points (beach, research, and/or gas station) to win. Of these CPs, it is probably hardest to take gas station as USSR, but even this is do-able, you are just less likely to hold it without a big advantage.

Providing one reg inf at beach (and possibly a sniper to counter the enemy's inf) can do wonders in terms of vision. If town is hopelessly lost (infested with enemy infantry) pooling TA for nuke is definitely a viable option.

Hometown:

Riviera:

Fixing WiC/Miscallaneous Information/FAQ
This chapter is for things that annoy most people who know they can be done but have no idea how to do them. Please feel free to add/suggest more.

With the advent of Windows 7, WiC by default is broken and crashes constantly. To fix this:
Go to: My Documents/World in Conflict
Edit: Game Options.txt
Find and change: myDX10Flag 0

I recently experienced a "your CD key appears to be invalid" bug. To fix this:
Remove all local content for WiC and Soviet Assault using Steam.
Go to: C:Program Files (x86)/steam/steamapps/common/
Delete: the World in Conflict folder
Re-install Soviet Assault via Steam

How to get the custom maps (eg. do_airport) to download properly:
Go to www.massgate.net, and download the .SDF files.
Put them in your documents folder \WIC\downloaded\maps NOT the steam/install directory for WIC.

How to write in color in one's guestbook:
The general form is <#FFF>Text to color</>. The codes to replace FFF are all alphanumeric RGB values ranging from 0-9, a-f (where 0->0, f->255). You can experiment in your motto and have at it. A few example colors:
red - <#F00>
blue - <#00F>
green - <#0F0> although <#0F5> or so looks better
yellow - <#FF0>
etc

How to fix unit control groups for the ability "on top":
select units with the ability you want on top (eg. heavy choppers)
add all remaining units for the control group to the selection using shift-click (eg. scout chopper)
create unit group

How to create multiple accounts:
On the multiplayer massgate login screen, in the bottom right, there is a button that says "select profile". You can use this button to create up to 5 accounts per massgate login (per CD key). Typically each player has one "main" account and four "smurf" accounts.
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20 Comments
StewPickles May 25 @ 9:52am 
...are these servers still being used?
Gnorri Dec 6, 2017 @ 12:26pm 
There was a Wic giveaway recently and i thought i might finally get to play multiplayer, me and a friend of mine managed to play but every once in a while we get a "disconnected from messagegate" error and the whole server gets kicked out, any way to fix this?
Dr. Claw  [author] Jul 22, 2017 @ 10:00am 
Thanks for the feedback. WiC is dead. Long live WiC.
RealTonyAbbott Jul 18, 2017 @ 5:46pm 
4/4 Some people also hate the use of med arty. I find med arty (especially multiple) extremely annoying to deal with as inf (but that just means it's effective, good for the opponent). I will often use 1 med arty as inf (everyone agrees that this is totally fine). It saves you from having to use TA on light arty strikes and is great for killing drops, killing blobs and clearing forests.

Support bringing more than 2 med arty is a bit of a dick move because it's highly overpowered (much more so than med air or scans). Nevertheless, there's nothing inherently wrong with using multiple med arty (hard counters exist as an intentionally designed feature of the game so use them!). I would not use more than 1 med arty against a friend but I wouldn't hesitate to use 6 med arty against some random (although I probably wouldn't since there are better ways of winning the game).
RealTonyAbbott Jul 18, 2017 @ 5:35pm 
3/4

killing arty: I don't like it when people kill my arty but it's legitimate. If air is neglecting more important targets (helping out a cap, denying tanks from capping) to kill arty, that's just bad play but not necessarily "un-classy". Tip: to kill n enemy arty guarded by AA, just use waypoints (shift-click) to send n newly spawned hvy choppers around the back of the map to kill the arty in a suicide mission. eg 1 hvy air kills 1 arty. much more efficient compared to using your whole hvy set.

vote kicking: Do not kick players for being bad, but kick teamkillers.

stacking: Agreed.
RealTonyAbbott Jul 18, 2017 @ 5:35pm 
2/4


a2a: It's a TA just like any other. I agree that one shouldn't spam a2as if they're not hitting, but simply because that's a waste of TA for you/your team. If someone were constantly missing my air I'd laugh.

napalm: a great way to counter enemy inf. med arty also works here and is recommended recommended. I would get pretty annoyed at someone doing this to my inf, but I recognize it's a legit way to counter me.

scans: I use scans if I lose my scout and don't mind when the opponent does so too. If a team has 2-3 hvy air players and were constantly using scans, that would be borderline unethical, but this can easily countered by medair.
RealTonyAbbott Jul 18, 2017 @ 5:35pm 
1/4

This is the best wic guide I have ever read. This is one of the few ways left in which you can get good today (the other being watching 4v4, 5v5 replays from wictracker (wictracker.com/replays) .

Thanks for asking for input on the "Playing Classy" section. I disagree with most of it. I think that you should be allowed to do anything within the mechanics of the game to win.

medair: The best and only hard counter to hvy air. If I'm playing to win, my priority isn't whether enemy hvy air has fun or not. Med air is meant to kill hvy air in the same way hvy air is meant to kill tanks. The argument presented here is like saying you shouldn't play hvy air because it ruins the game for the enemy armor. Yes I would get slightly annoyed at someone playing meds against me, but not more so than if my AA were getting sniped by tanks or if my tanks were getting killed by air.
The Dream Seeker Nov 18, 2016 @ 2:59pm 
why is it only multiplayer? why can i not access the campaign? its funny that its usually the other way around?
Babar of House Julia © Sep 9, 2016 @ 6:18pm 
I didnt see the link so I figured I'd post it here. WIC has been patched and is now running (most of the time) on community servers. You can learn more at http://www.massgate.org./
※-Ж_EEVƎƎ_Ж-※ Mar 15, 2016 @ 7:14am 
literally ubisoft is aids