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The Art of War: Basics of a Team


captcpc

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The Art of War: Guide to Superior Positioning and Teamwork

 

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Table of Contents

 

A) Introduction

 

B) The Map

  • 1) General Map Analysis
  • 2) Safety
  • 3) Introduction to Juking

C) Thinking as a Team

  • 1) The River
  • 2) Ramps and Chokepoints, the Traps of the Map
  • 3) Scouting
  • 4) Know the Heroes
  • 5) Scouting
  • 6) Leadership: Reading Enemy Movements and Making Your Own

Introduction

 

The main reason I've decided to make this guide is that positioning with organized teams is one of my weak points and I figured making a guide would help me look into it. The second reason is that I've recently gained an interest in Sun Tzu's quotes from "The Art of War" and thought if they applied to war, why not a strategy game like SotIS?

 

This guide will cover some basic rules of positioning as well as some elements in the game to think about when playing as a team.

 

 

The Map

 

General Map Analysis

 

 

"Watch the light; stay on the heights. When fighting on a hill, do not climb."

 

 

Below is a simple analysis of the map's varying heights and explanations of how they can be used to your advantage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The different colors on the map represent the different levels of elevation on the map.

 

Green areas are the highest level of elevation and will provide vision over Yellow and Red areas, and is the desired location when positioning for attacks and ambushes.

 

Yellow areas are the middle ground and can see the Red areas, but will not have vision of Green areas.

 

Red areas are the lowest levels of terrain and should be avoided if possible, especially if many heroes are not on the minimap. If you have to travel through Red zones, it must be done quickly with high attention to your surroundings.

 

When it comes to teamfights, it is preferable to start in Green areas, pushing the enemy team to the Red areas through the Yellow. Fighting from the Red to the Green will greatly reduce your chances of winning the fight.

 

The reason why the high ground is important is that it provides vision of the surrounding area while denying the vision of anyone in lower levels of elevation. Attacking uphill obscures vision which reduces your ability to effective cast spells as well as giving the enemy a better chance of escape. The team on the higher ground can also engage the team on the lower ground whenever they choose.

 

However, there are a few abilities that can make up for this disadvantage. Micro and Cyprus are two heroes that can easily blink between different elevations. There are some heros that can even bring the enemy down, such as Micro again with his Psionic Slam, Boros with his Bola, and Tassadar with his AEther Swap. Currently there is one item that allows for quick movement between elevations, this being the Warp Shard.

 

Safety

 

"Take care of physical health and stay where there are plenty of resources."

 

 

One of the biggest mistakes that new players make is engaging the enemy with low health and lingering in dangerous locations for too long. Before going into battle, the members of your team should have near full health (unless you're baiting). If your allies are low on health, they must retreat and recover before even thinking about fighting a fully functional team, even if it means losing a tower. Out of battle, you should be near towers when farming and do certain jobs such as warding with allies nearby. Hard carries especially should stay in areas under strong control of their team to get as much farm as possible.

 

Introduction to Juking

 

"If you run into an army in the middle of a salt marsh, stay by the waterplants, with your back to the trees."

 

 

Juking is a tactic in Action RTS games that involves abusing the fog of war and/or hidden paths to trick opponents. The simplest use of juking is to escape ganks by tricking your chasers into thinking you went in a certain direction. The most basic juking tactic is a sudden change of direction to make your opponents lose some distance, though this is less effective as skill levels get higher. I've listed two common SotIS juking tactics in this section.

 

Ramp Juking: This involves using height difference to get into the fog of war and abruptly changing direction. The most effective directions tend to be towards the enemy base, into tall grass, or even straight at the chaser (though this last method is usually ineffective against multiple chasers, especially if you lack a blink skill). Here is a visual representation below:

 

 

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Grass Juking: This involves running into tall grass or trees to hide in the fog of war and using unexpected paths to escape. Below is a map showing the areas with tall grass as well as some visual representations:

 

 

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As you can see, the grass near the Firebat neutral camps opens many paths for escape. You can even charge straight through your chaser or sit in the grass and hope he/she passes by.

 

All four of the tall grass locations by the Protoss bottom and Zerg top towers can be used to quickly change directions, use a transporter if entering out of sight, or if none of the above are possible, sit there and hope your chaser is too frantic to search.

 

 

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Though it can be effective when used occasionally, eventually your opponents will catch on. These particular methods of juking should be used sparingly and only when the situation calls for it.

 

 

Thinking as a Team

 

The River

 

"When cut off by water, always stay away from the water. Do not meet them in the water; it is advantageous to let half of them cross and then attack them."

 

 

Now obviously the difficulty of crossing a river does not apply to SotIS, however, there are several advantages to fighting on your side of the river:

 

1) You will probably have a height advantage as well as an easy escape route.

 

2) You will probably be near towers.

 

3) Allied reinforcements in the form of allies and creeps will come faster.

 

By making the enemy team to move to you, there's a larger chance that they will fight in an undesired formation, usually some of them fighting and some dragging behind. Standing in the river itself also brings disadvantages as teams on the higher ground can easily see you without your notice and set up an ambush at any moment. Because of this, it is usually best to minimize your time in the river.

 

Ramps and Chokepoints, the Traps of the Map

 

"Whenever the terrain has impassable ravines, natural enclosures, natural prisons, natural traps, natural pitfalls and natural clefts, you should leave quickly and not get near them. For myself, I keep away from these, so that opponents are nearer to them; I keep my face to these so my opponents have their backs to them."

 

 

Ramps and chokepoints are key features of the map and can sometimes even be the deciding factor of teamfights and ganks.

 

Ramps as well as tall grass are great for a quick getaway as the fog of war will slightly cripple your chasers. This is also a reason why fighting downhill can be advantageous as you are more likely to suffer less casualties.

 

Chokepoints can both help and doom teams and individuals. Teams should be wary around chokepoints and should avoid engaging through them, as it will slow down engagements to a painful pace. Lone heroes can also have their options for escape limited by chokepoints when being ganked, making it easier for the gankers to trap them. However, it can be used to a teams advantage by forcing the enemy team to clump up, making them vulnerable to AoE spells such as Toxic Tornado, Epilogue, Epicenter, and Armageddon. Lone heroes can go through chokepoints to force his chasers to follow one by one.

 

Below is a map marking some examples of chokepoints in the game as well as a couple screenshots:

 

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Know the Heroes

 

"So, the important thing in a military operation is victory, not persistence."

 

 

Team compositions are a huge factor in the game as they are what determine the strengths and weaknesses of both teams. One of the most important objectives of teamfights, pushes, and ganks is to do it quickly and minimize the enemy's chance of reacting. Every different hero has their perks in certain cateogories and so it is important to know them to determine your strategy. This section will cover some basic team compositions that emphasize different strategies as well as some theorycrafting on roles.

 

Roles based on team:

 

Fighters and Initiators: Heroes that are great in teamfights and can end them before the enemy team can make a major counterattack. They specalize in ending teamfights and ganks as soon as possible with either buffs that help the team, massive AoE disables, or straight up damage steroids and spells. (Carries, Initators, Team Fight Support)

Some examples are:

 

Toximancer with his Toxic Tornado and Venomous Reflux

Jackson with his Chaos Theory and Magnetic Link

Cyprus with his Fist of Gaia and Terraform

 

Lane Pusher/Counter Pusher: Heroes that can clear waves of creeps with ease can easily defend towers as well as harass the tower. They tend to have AoE nukes that can deal massive damage to creeps and/or long range nukes that can harass the enemy team. (Pusher, Lane Support)

Some examples are:

 

Garamond with his Seeker Drones and Kill Command

Rancor with his Armegeddon nukes

MAAR with his Heat Wave+ and Frost Wave

 

Tower Pusher: Heroes that have tower-killing steroids can strip a team of their map control by getting rid of their ability to transport around the map as well as their sight of the map. They tend to have skills that deal mediocre damage to heroes, but can deal insane amounts to stationary targets such as towers. (Pusher, Carry)

Some examples are:

 

Queen with her Ultralisk and Baneling Strike

Garamond with his towers

Unix with his Infested Airbourne Division

 

Pure Support: Heroes that are completely independent of items, being able to afford supportive items such as Radar Toolkits, Observers, and Boundary Scanners. They also do well early in the lane usually with a heal, disable, or both.

 

Teams should have at least one of each role given above. Heroes that can play a mixed role are even more valuable as they can easily adapt to the situation given at hand.

 

For example:

 

Kerrigan can easily play the Counter Pusher role and play the Fighter role as the team's carry with Bone Boomerang, Swarm Invasion, and Glaive Wurm.

 

Garamond can play the Counter Pusher, Tower Pusher, and even the Fighter roles with his strong crowd control from Seeker Drones and Oil Slick, his tower-killing steroid from his towers, and massive AoE damage from Kill Command which can be used to both clear creep waves and burst down squishy supports. He is a great Pure Support with good lane control.

 

Unix can play both the Counter Pusher and Tower Pusher role with his Infested Airbourne Division.

 

Rory is a Pure Support whose laning abilities can wreck team fights as a Fighter.

 

Scouting

 

"When an army is travelling...it is imperative to search them carefully and thoroughly. For these afford stations for bushwhackers and spoilers."

 

 

Before moving into enemy territory, especially their jungle, you must know their location and current plan of action to avoid getting ambushed. Knowledge of this can be gained through sending an ally to either ward or scout. It is also just as essential to counter ward and smoke when taking risky actions such as killing Daggoth.

 

The best way to scout is arguably warding, but certain heroes have abilities that can scout for the team.

 

Skills that give vision at long range can prevent incoming ambushes as well as keep tabs on contested locations such as Aeon and Daggoth.

 

Some examples of Heroes that can scout this way are Dustin Brawler and Rancor.

 

Expendable, mobile summons can be used to have constant vision of certain areas and can serve as mobile psuedo wards for the team.

 

An example of a Hero that can scout this way is Jim Raynor.

 

Heroes that can cloak can run ahead of the team to scout, though this can be risky as the enemy team can have Observers, Chrono Elixers, and Boundary Scanners and can see a blur from cloaked units in SotIS.

 

Some examples of Heroes that can scout this way are Zeratul, Rancor, and Unix.

 

 

Leadership: Reading Enemy Movements and Making Your Own

 

"If soldiers are punished before a personal attachment to the leadership is formed, they will not submit, and if they do not submit they are hard to employ."

 

 

First, I'd like to give some advice for team captains and any experienced player in public matches. If the leader of a team rages at his team before they get to know eachother, they will become less willing to learn and follow your orders. This can easily sabatoge a team's ability to coordinate with eachother. I've seen quite a few games where there was so much reluctance in the team to work together due to frustration that it could have easily been the deciding factor of the game. The point of the game is to have fun and though competition is definitely good to have, too much of it can be detrimental to the team.

 

 

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Special thanks to Shablagoo for letting me use his guide.

 

Quote stockpile

 

"If soldiers are punished before a personal attachment to the leadership is formed, they will not submit, and if they do not submit they are hard to employ."

no rage = Happy Team =D

 

"All warfare is based on deception."

fake pushing, juking

 

"When cut off by water, always stay away from the water. Do not meet them in the water; it is advantageous to let half of them cross and then attack them."

river

 

"Take care of physical health and stay where there are plenty of resources."

basic positioning

 

"Whenever the terrain has impassable ravines, natural enclosures, natural prisons, natural traps, natural pitfalls and natural clefts, you should leave quickly and not get near them. For myself, I keep away from these, so that opponents are nearer to them; I keep my face to these so my opponents have their backs to them."

choke points and dead ends

 

"If you run into an army in the middle of a salt marsh, stay by the waterplants, with your back to the trees."

Juking

 

"Watch the light; stay on the heights. When fighting on a hill, do not climb."

fog of war advantage, juking

 

"On a level plateau, take up positions where it is easy to maneuver...with low ground in front and high ground behind."

ramps

 

"When an army is travelling...it is imperative to search them carefully and thoroughly. For these afford stations for bushwhackers and spoilers."

scout

 

"Those who are not thoroughly aware of the disadvantages in the use of arms cannot be thoroughly aware of the advantages in the use of arms."

Know both teams team comps lane and tower pushers, teamfight heroes

 

"When light vehicles come out first and stay to the sides, they are going to set up a battle line."

initiation incoming

"When the enemy is near but still, he is resting on a natural stronghold. When he is far away but tries to provoke hostilities, he wants you to move forward. If his position is accessible, it is because it is advantageous to him."

"If half their force advances and half retreats, they are trying to lure you."

bait

warning signals

 

"When you do battle, even if you are winning, if you continue for a long time it will dull your forces and blunt your edge; if you besiege a citadel, your strength will be exhausted. If you keep your armies out in the field for a long time, your supplies will be insufficient."

Pushing

 

 

"Those who are not thoroughly aware of the disadvantages in the use of arms cannot be thoroughly aware of the advantages in the use of arms."

 

Leadership

 

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