(Before you start reading, I must say that Bryan has made a great job doing this :) To unite such a hard material in such an interesting for reading and useful article is an art. Check out yourself!!) - T.
Tanx is based on deception.
When able to attack, we must seem unable; When moving around the map, we must seem inactive; When we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; When we are far away, we must make the enemy believe we are near.
Hold out baits to entice him. Feign disorder, and defeat him.
By deceiving the enemy we hide our true strength, our true position, and our true strategy, thus making him attack when we have superior strength and flee when we have inferior strength.
Deception is commonly used in Tanx. We could, for example deceive our opponent by faking that we have no ammo, making him grow arrogant and attack when he is unprepared.
We should watch for bait that our opponent may leave to entice us, and trap us.
Watch for him to start planting mines, he could be faking that he has no ammo.
Watch for him to move aggressively, he could be only doing this because he has no ammo and is hoping you will retreat.
Watch for him to suddenly leave an area where he has the advantage, there could be another area where his advantage would be greater.
Watch for him to suddenly run out of grenades, he could be saving just one. (Or more - in case of UAG_Tornado - T.)
Watch, also, for him to irritate you with his words or aggression or hiding, he could be trying to irritate you to make you less cautious, or bore you so that you are less aware.
If the enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is superior in strength, evade him. If your enemy has a bad temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, so that he may grow arrogant. If he is inactive, give him no rest. If his allies are united (3v3, 2v2) then seperate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
Always remember that if your opponent has the advantage at the moment, you can always retreat and find another time or place to approach him, but if you go into battle when you are not prepared, or he has the advantage, you don't have another chance, he could easily take advantage of his superior position and crush you.
So then a great warrior must also know when to flee.
You should take many things into consideration before engaging in battle: How much ammo do I have in comparison to my opponent? Is there alot of ammo near the opponent? Who has the better position? Who is a stronger player, him or I? How many opponents am I facing in relation to my allies? Who usually wins the battle in this position, me or my opponent? Is he eager to fight? Is he low in morale? (in team fights - is it the moment to disturb opponent from attacking my ally? - T.)
Carefully consider the situation before engaging in battle.
This is the question you must ask yourself: With all things considered at this point in time, who has the overall advantage?
The player who wins makes many calculations before taking to the battlefield. The player who loses makes but few.
Now although I have mentioned that it can sometimes be beneficial to hide from the opponent to irritate him, remember that though we have all heard of stupid haste into the battle, cleverness has never been associated with long delays.
There are not many instances of a player having benefited from a prolonged game. This means that you should never hide, or delay the game simply to hide or delay the game. You should hide or delay so that you can wait for the best opportunity to strike the opponent. (I also use hiding to throw off opponent's luck for a moment - by that I mean if he is lucky in predicting my moves I should give him a rest of that hard work - T.)
DEFEATING AN ENEMY ALREADY DEFEATED:
A great player first puts himself beyond the possibility of defeat and then awaits an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is given by the enemy himself.
So then the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but he cannot be sure of defeating the enemy.
Hence the saying: One may KNOW how to conquer the enemy without being able to do it.
Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.
Standing on the defensive indicates a low amount of strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.
The player who is skilled in defense, in effect, hides in the most hidden valleys of the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven. Thus on one hand we have ability to protect ourselves; on the other, a victory that is complete.
To see victory only when it is within reach to begin with is not the height of excellence. Neither is it if you defeat the opponent and the whole game says, "Well done!" No, what we can call a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels at winning with ease. So then his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage. He wins his battles by making no mistakes (still, everyone makes mistakes. But the secret lays in making our mistakes invisible for our opponent - if we use our tactical advantage while realising our strategy plan we make him believe that the plan is more or less perfect. He will look for his new plan which nullifies the advantage of our current, but will not look for the weak place in our plan, thus leaving less time for his tactical thinking. That's why taking the lead in a duel is psychologically effective. However, don't catch a sight of easy victory, keep attention on opponent's actions and the progress of the game, if something goes wrong - analyse it and take some action towards changing the situation - T.) Avoidence of mistakes establishes the certainty of victory, because it means conquering an enemy already defeated.
KNOW THE ENEMY AND KNOW YOURSELF:
In order to develop a good strategy for defeating the opponent you must have a good understanding of your opponent, and of yourself.
Many players only strive to have a good understanding of their opponents various skills and weaknesses, while this is good, you should also know what your own strengths and weaknesses are so that you know what to expect your opponent to target, and so that you can work on improving or eliminating your weaknesses.
If you know the enemy and know yourself fully, you can be sure to win 100 battles. If you know yourself, but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither yourself nor the enemy, you will lose in every battle.
Never ever rely on the chance that your opponent will not fight, or that he will not hit you in any given position. Rather, rely on your own readiness to fight him. Before you turn to perform a backshot, first make sure that your opponent is not able to hit you. Before you take those nukes, make sure the opponent is not watching or will not come over the hill to shoot them. Before you start throwing grenades, make sure that it will be difficult for him to backshoot you. Before you try to escape over the hill, make sure that it is impossible for the opponent to hit you with a nuke. Before you move anywhere, or shoot anywhere, or take any ammo, make sure that your opponent has the absolute minimum, or 0% chance of hitting you from the back, the sides, or front. (Excluding the situations when you need ammo more than health of your tank - T.)
LAYING THE PLANS:
In Tanx, the victorious strategist seeks battle only after his plans indicate that victory is possible under them, whereas he who is destined for defeat first fights without skillful planning and expects victory to come without planning.
This means that you should come up with a decent strategy before engaging in battle. If you go into battle careless and without a strategy, you could be crushed easily because you basically had no idea what you were doing. Never go into battle without a strategy and expect to easily defeat the enemy. A great Chess grandmaster (2nd World Champion, Emanuil Lasker - T.) once said that even a bad strategy is better than no strategy.
The tiger waits in ambush, watching its prey. The tiger may watch for quite a while before striking. This is because it is picking the perfect time, the perfect moment; only when the prey is least expecting it. Then, with much speed, the tiger strikes swiftly and aggressively; only stopping when the prey has been killed. So too, in Tanx, you should be like the tiger. Wait for the opponent where he least expects you, strike when he least expects you, and strike with much speed and aggression. Should you be forced to retreat if the battle goes in his favor, fade into the shadows silently, and stalk him once more. Aggression will scare him, speed will exaust him, trickery will lower his morale, and then he is already defeated without the last battle having taken place. (This is so called Panther or Cat&Mouse Style - T.)
Many times you will make what you think is a good strategy, only to engage in battle and be defeated by the opponent again. This is not always because you did not make a good strategy, perhaps it would have worked on another opponent. The problem is that when the enemy was not effected by your strategy, you were unable to develop a new strategy "on the spot".
Tactics are like water, water in its natural course runs away from high places and hastens downwards. So in battle, the way to avoid what is strong is to attack what is weak. Water shapes its course according to the ground over which it flows; the good player works out his victory in relation to the opponent he is facing. Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in battle there are no constant conditions.
It is easy for us to become arrogant when victory is close and assume that our opponent will be deceived by the same tactics twice or more, but we must avoid thinking this way. We must realize that nothing comes without hard work, the easy victory may be just that, easier. But it may also cause us to lose the battle, and because of this, turnover our victory to our opponent. Put yourself in your opponents place, he is almost defeated, he is desperate for any opportunity he can get to claim victory. You should give him no opportunities. You should try to push yourself even harder when you are close to victory than when it is far away. Remember, the easy victory only makes victory easier for your opponent.
FORMING A STRATEGY:
Now that you have learned that there are no constant conditions in Tanx, you should know that it would be hard for me to give you a strategy that would work on all opponents. Everybody has a different style, it is impossible to have one strategy defeat every opponent. That is what makes Tanx a great game, everybody has an equal chance to discover the opponents weaknesses and build strategies to defeat them.
Now although I cannot give you an allstar strategy, I can show you some simple plans that can give you examples of how to form strategies and how to think about them. [Also note that many of these strategies are short-term. You can also make an overall strategy before the game even starts! Just make sure that you take into consideration your weaknesses, and your opponents weaknesses before attempting to make a strategy.]
Situation: You and the opponent are on opposite sides of the snow mountain (classic map) and you both have full energy and full ammo. You are close to the grenades, he is closer to the nukes.
Strategy: Most players will engage in a long grenades battle in this situation, however many times both players will throw all of their ammo away and hardly hit the opponent, if at all. Then they end up fighting a close-up battle with nukes and rockets. While some players may not mind the close battles like this, they have wasted all of their grenades and when the opponent respawns after being killed, his strategy will be to primarily use grenades. [Note how this makes a snowball effect, player 1 will kill player 2, player 2 comes back and uses many nades to destroy player 1, player 1 comes back using many nades to destroy player 2. This can sometimes be endless, and makes the whole game feel sort of dull (there is a nice way of taking the advantage when you have enough grenades to kill your oppponent, but he has none. Do the next: 1. Remember, that the one who controls air controls the land! That's why you can push your opponent anywhere you want, (because he will need to keep a distance in order to decrease your chances of hitting him, if he doesn't - just come closer but keep staying hidden - and grenade him from closer distance with higher accuracy), thus winning any point on the map you want for yourself. 2. Push him away from future grenade respawn and get closer to it yourself when they are about to respawn. 3. Do not hurry to kill him! He is nearly useless without grenades if you are well-hiden, kill him only when situation asks for it or when you are sure you're taking more grenades in a short time after it. This will break the snowball effect and the game will be back to normal with the only different - you will get additional +1 kill. - T.) .] A good strategy to use in this situation would be a passive-aggressive one. Instead of concentrating on throwing precision grenades over the hill to hit your opponent, [Which rarely hit and sometimes hit yourself!] you may want to instead concentrate on NOT being hit by the opponent and also not throwing any grenades at all! You may think this sounds pointless, but its a very simple plan with clever intentions. First, your opponent will have a hard time hitting you because you are concentrating on your moves. This makes you escape with minimum damage. Also, he will eventually run out of grenades, at that point he will most likely attempt to move to a new position. This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the grenades that you saved up and bomb him when he is in the open and defenseless (but as I said before - do not hurry to kill him! The more time he will burn without nades the better is the chance of you taking additional ones. So let him burn, but do not kill if possible! - T.)! [Note that some players see this strategy and will refuse to throw grenades, and instead backshoot. Watch for that! ;)] Also, when the opponent runs out of grenades and moves to a new position, many times he will go over the hill directly behind him so that he can try a backshot or get the grenade ammo. Try and make a strategy to defend against that!]
Situation: You have taken some damage, in only a few grenade hits you will be destroyed. Your opponent has full health. You are behind a small hill and he is in the flats.
Strategy: Many times player 1 [Who is behind the hill] will do one of two things. Either he will engage in open battle with nukes and rockets hoping that he can hit with some lucky rockets and kill the opponent. Or he will engage in a grenades battle and hope to avoid enough of the opponents grenades to hit him enough to kill him. However, the grenades option does not work most of the time if two even players are playing because player 1 simply cannot hit the opponent with 5 grenades before he gets hit with 2 or 3. A good strategy that sometimes works for a situation like this is to use grenades, and keep faking like you will come out to use the tactical weapon of a snake strike, to shoot the opponent with a rocket or a nuke and then using a hill for cover. This may make him get scared and switch to his nukes or rockets to avoid being hit, and really you never actually come out from hiding, you simply continue grenading. When he switches to his nukes or rockets, it will take him a second (if his controls aren't WASD 1234 LEFT(Ctrl,Shift,Spacebar) so he can switch to nukes with 1 finger pressing "2" like I do; however, yes, this plan still wins some time - T.) to switch back to his grenades and then charge one to the correct power to throw at you. That will give you just the amount of time you need to hit him with another grenade!
Situation: You and the opponent both have full energy and full ammo. You are behind a large hill and he is in the flats. You have realized that he is equal with you when throwing grenades and equal with you when fighting with nukes and rockets, however you are faster than him.
Strategy: This strategy is very powerful against an opponent who is not quite as fast as you are. You will throw grenades at him for a short while, [usually 2-3 grenades] and then when he is in the middle of charging his grenade (in that case he has to immediately press "2" - T.), you come over the hill and hit him with a snake strike, then hide behind the hill when he switches to nukes and keep repeating. If you do this very quickly you can hit him with this combination: Grenade, Nuke, Grenade, Nuke. It can devastate many opponents. (There is another modification of this idea - if you are low on grenades it fits best. 1 grenade, then you start to show up on the top of the hill, but not completely - opponent needs to see you but have no time to hit you with the nuke - then you hide (meanwhile he wastes 1 nuke and switches back to grenades), then you immediately climb up and use snake strike this time. To sum up - pretend of making a Snake Strike instead of really doing it, then pretend to hiding and keep grenading again, and then make a real snake strike - sometimes this work even in hill VS hill battle - T.)
Situation: You are playing a duel against an opponent who seems to have an endless supply of grenades, and that seems to be the only weapon he uses. You both have full energy and ammo.
Strategy: Many players think that it is best to force the opponent into an open battle. However, all this will do is end up making you in worse position with the opponent behind a hill throwing grenades at you. Also, if you are fortunate enough to engage him in an open battle, sometimes players who use mostly grenades like this are also good at open battles, they just prefer to grenade, so you don't want to find out that your opponent is one of them ;) A good strategy would be to shoot all the grenades ammo you see [that is not near you of course!] and keep off of the opponents radar. As soon as you see him on your radar, go the opposite way and keep repeating until he gets frusterated and uses alot of ammo. [Bonus points if you can hit him with a backshot! But be sure to watch for his backshots as well!] (I think the next map would be useful, too: look to the right one and pay attention to these white circles - they symbolize 3 relative safety zones - think of how to reach each of them from a radar-long distance (so you stay hidden but can attack the grenader with missles). E.g. you can attack the one in power pit from NorthWest Arena hill, grenader near hilly - from NorthWest Arena hill again, same comes to shield pit. Then - make your path towards there safe, invisible for grenader on radar, keep an eye on his moves, too, make a few "fake backshots" (backshooting not the opponent but any different object - just to pay his attention to the missle you've sent somewhere...), don't forget to destroy grenade ammo - T.)
These were exact game situations, but there is a common advice on what to do, too:
1. Run crytical evaluation of your and your opponent's weak and strong points.
2. According to the analysis from point 1, answer some of these questions: Should I avoid grenade fights, which distance should I choose, where can I find my opponent and what would be the best position to counter that, which kind of his weapon is most dangerous for me, should I be patient or aggressive with this opponent, what are his commonly-used tactical weapons and what would he expect from me?
3. According to answers on point 2, find your best position according to his position duing the game and try to achieve it. Try to make situations when you are good at realising your advantage tactically.
4. According to the game process - add corrections (strategical, tactical, psychological - any) to your plan to improve the result.
We have reached the end of what I can teach you about strategy. I will update this section with more information and more examples when I can. Also, I know that it may seem hard to think of so many things so quickly when playing, but in time it becomes second nature. The great warrior does not even think about defeating his opponent, he is a machine, it is what he does, it is second nature ;)
Well I hope that I have helped you with this page in some way! Keep making new strategies to defeat your opponents, and also improving old strategies! But most of all, always remember to have fun! ;)
- LC GraveRobber