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"All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way). If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit." -"48 Laws of Power I am writing this guide (it's my first) simply because there are not any guides for Warhawk that give best use scenarios for weapons, vehicles and tactics in Warhawk, as well as helpful info for new/intermediate users. Guide Contents Version History: VH01 Intro to Warhawk INTRO Concepts you should grasp CONCEPTS Damage Chart DAMCHART Points Info PNTS Server nomenclature SRVR Section 1: Infantry Weapons IW01 Section 2: Turrets TU01 Section 3: Vehicles VE01 3.1: Warhawk Weapons WW31 Section 4: Maps MA01 Section 5: Game Modes GM01 Section 6: Tactics (DSA version only) DSA1 Section 7: SunTzu for Warhawk SUNTZU In Closing: BUHBYE Version History VH01 .01 Alpha, Jan 08, Basic weapons descriptions. .10 Alpha, 01/19/08, weapons, turrets and vehicles complete. .11 Alpha, added Dropship. .12a Added "best and weakest against" categories. .20a Added more tips on weapons. .30a Added more in depth analysis of general sections. .31a Added changes with the 1.31 patch. .40a Added intro and APC/Broken Mirror data. .50a Added Maps section. .60a Added Game Mode Info. .70a revised grammar by brocman .75a added suntzu section. .80a added points section. .90a added 1.4 info. 1.00 Added Server Nomenclature section 1.01 Added CONCEPTS section to EACH game mode. INTRO TO WARHAWK INTRO Warhawk is an pretty brave experiment in modern gaming. I happen to think it is the finest game on the PS3, and it is so for a huge variety of reasons. There are so many things done "well" in multiplayer gaming, but it seems that all of them do something wrong for each thing they do right. CoD 4 is a great example of great graphics, sound and control, but the lobby system, inconsistency of the experience and horrid lag advantage ruins the experience. It has a great ranking system that keeps you hooked, but it doesn't keep you hooked past a few weeks. Warhawk combines the flexibility of allowing you to host your own server with an unbelievable list of options and settings. It also provides you with great servers and post-launch support. As of now, there have already been two expansions for the game and a free update provided additional weapon content as well. It is difficult to imagine a game knocking this one down at all for quite some time. People said COD 4 would kill it, then GTA 4 would kill it, then Metal Gear Solid 4, but the Warhawk community stays robust and popular, because the game is done so well. There is a steep learning curve for the game, since every weapon has MULTIPLE uses and the game has a built-in "rock, paper, scissors" balance between weapons and tactics. Every tactic has a counter, every weapon has a foil, and no strategy is unbeatable. Warhawk can be difficult for new players also because of the amount of freedom you have. Every thing you do, every shot you fire, every zone you take has an impact on everyone else in the game. There is a good reason to do almost anything you can think of to do. There may be a good time to simply arm your knife and hide in a bunker on top of some rafters, or at other times that will be the worst strategy imaginable. The key to warhawk is to understand up front that you are going to die. A lot. Watching the battle and getting a feel for what is happening is a skill that is developed over time. In order to avoid becoming frustrated one must learn the higher firepower weapons/vehicles first. A tank or a turret is an ideal place to begin learning. If you choose to learn the Warhawk first, I SERIOUSLY recommend practicing in a LAN game or an unranked game with PRO FLIGHT turned on for AT LEAST an hour before joining a real game. A few Concepts you should grasp: CONCEPTS -Holding in the fire button with any weapon that can lock on (SAM turret, RPG, Swarm missile, etc) will Begin that weapon's lock on process. When the targeting reticle has completely collapsed upon the target then and only then has a lock been attained. Swarm missles (warhawk/nemesis and dropship weapon only) have a completely different lock on process. All other weapons with a lock on capability take a certain amount of time to acquire a lock. Instead, swarm missles multilock quickly and the lock ons stack (eight lock ons max). Releasing the trigger when you have acquired a lock sends the missle on it's way, but it's not always wise to lock and immediately fire. Sometimes you are better off waiting for a few seconds because the missile will take the most direct path to the target and will not swerve for anything between it and the target. -Spawn points do NOT spawn weapons until they are initially taken by one side or the other. When a team has taken that spawn point or "zone", then that zone can be used as a spawn point. Some zones also create secondary spawn points. If you cycle back and forth between two spawn points, you will see in the background a preview of where you will spawn. You can do this to get closer to a vehicle or pickup you want. -Reloading is very helpful. You can reload by re-selecting a weapon (rifle or pistol), or when manning a machine gun turret or a flak cannon you can reload by pressing any button on the D-pad. Reloading occurs automatically when you empty a rifle clip, pistol clip, a 50 cal's belt or flak turret's clip. It's VERY important not to get caught by the enemy when reloading either a 50 cal turret or flak turret. Don't be afraid to reload early as soon as there is a lull in action, and don't be afraid to bail out of a turret when you see a warhawk bearing down on you. -You must be VERY close to a flag pole (15 feet or so) to either REDUCE the zone or TAKE it. In the ZONES mode, you can be ANYWHERE in the circle to grow it. Take advantage. The second you get a zone in your control, move outward from the flagpole. There is no sense in being an easy target for TOW missiles, binocs,RPGs, snipers, tanks, etc. -If you use a warhawk for transportation, blow it up when you land. This will let a fresh one respawn in the area that it was acquired in and help your teammates keep it empty. -There are a lot of weapons and things to learn. Read this guide, and put it into practice. You may find my opinions on a weapon or two are against your experience, but you will find that EVERY weapon can be put to excellent use. I recommend learning weapons/vehicles in the following order and in these groups: -Tank/wrench/RPG -Assault Rifle/pistol/grenade -Mines/jeep/Bio-Field Generator(BFG)/50 cal -SAM/flak Turret -Warhawk (if you want to be a pilot most of the time) -Flamethrower -Sniper Rifle/Binoculars -The Knife -Home Base is no good. Some games and strategies require guarding home. In a public server, there will be no shortage of guys guarding home, even in a Zones match, where that is pretty much the worst possible thing to be doing. Get out of home base ASAP at the beginning of a match and get yourself some elbow room. The more people who guard home, the quicker your team will lose the match, whether it is zones or CTF. -Don't whine. You are going to steal someone's kills. They are going to steal yours. Shut up. If you land a warhawk in front of a friendly tank who is going across a bridge, don't expect that tank driver to bump, move, bump, move... he is going to blow it up and keep rolling. If you spend 3 minutes getting EVERY weapon pickup and then get sniped, don't expect your teammates to leave your backpack there for you. Walking in the middle of the road? Don't whine about getting ran over. You are defending a zone against a tank and two jeeps and are hiding behing a flagpole when a friendly TOW flies in and kills you all. Don't whine about the TK. You had 2 binocs ad 4 landmines and got sniped? You should've used them when you had the chance. You flew a warhawk up on top of a building and were sniping, but an enemy sniper took out your warhawk and the only way you can get down is jump or have someone come get you? Jump. Don't waste anyone's time with your own foolishness. You can sit up on the building bitching for 2 minutes or respawn in 5 seconds. -Don't waste time. Ideally, you should pick up at MOST 2 weapons before going to war. I rarely pick up any. I arm the knife and pick a vehicle and get the hell out of the home zone. Find someone and kill them, then take THEIR bag. Use whatever THEY spent time collecting, but I'm not willing to waste any time picking up weapons. I let the enemy do the grocery shopping, then I kill them outside the supermarket and make myself a nice sammich out of whatever they bought. -Found lemons? Make Lemonade. This doesn't mean spend 20 hours becoming Pistol Master. It DOES mean try all the weapons, then try them some more. If you spawn in with the idea of grabbing a jeep and going for a certain zone, and you pick up a backpack with 14 sniper rounds in it, why not take an extra minute and squeeze a few off? Looking through that sniper rifle, you may see a bunch of landmines on the path you would've driven. You can take them out safely and maybe score a kill or two as well. Obviously, if you happen to be running with the flag and pick up a backpack with a sniper rifle, THAT is not the time for target practice, but you knew that. Right? -Suicide is not always a bad option. If you get stuck at high altitudes, don't waste your teammates time. If you are in a zone that has a tank rolling in, don't be afraid to binoc yourself to kill the tank... you can spawn right back in. -Second Banana ain't so bad. Ed McMahon did it for years. You've got a wrench and see that dude in the tank burning, get in there and fix his tank. -Nut up, bloodsack. You are going to die, a LOT. More than in most games. Warhawk is pretty hardcore on the learning curve. It's like wanting to learn to swim, so you go to the public pool and call some buddies. You get to the pool and one of your buddies kneecaps you, and another puts a cinderblock around your neck and throws you in the deep end. They all pass out paintball guns and start blasting you in the face everytime your head gets above water. Don't get all concerned about KDR and blah blah blah. It's going to be frustrating. I've got over 250 hours in this game and rarely last more than a minute in flight. The payoff in Warhawk is FANTASTIC though. The first time you snipe someone out of a jeep and see it coast to a looong stop, the first time you dumbfire a SAM into a stealthed warhawk, the first time you fire a random tank round at a warhawk a mile away flying erratically and it explodes, the first time you knife a sniper in the back, etc etc etc you will piss your pants laughing. There are things in warhawk that give you a rush unlike any other game anywhere. Trying to escape an enemy base in an expert server with their flag in hand in a jeep hauling ass with air cover is one of the most adrenaline pumping experiences you will have in a videogame. Nothing is cheap. If you are in a warhawk strafing a ground guy and let out an air mine, and you see him firing at you with his pistol and you explode, he didn't cheat. He shot the airmine you dropped. There are so many things that can and do happen in EVERY game of warhawk that everytime you think you've seen it all, someone finds a new place to snipe from, or a way to knock jeeps into water with a warhawk, etc etc. Stick with it. Eventually you'll learn to swim. -And just to re-iterate. Shut up. Turn OPEN MIC off. No one wants to hear about the kill you made. If it was truly impressive someone will comment on how cool that was. Think about your sports heroes: How many of them turn around and ask everyone "Hey, did y'all see that? I sunk that free throw! That was awesome!"? NOOOOOOOB. Turning off open mic makes you think about what you are saying. It's good practice for real life. Just to let you know, most solid players are going to mute you if you leave open mic on. I say several time in this guide, but it can not be overstated: Mic usage should be limited to battlefield updates, and checking status on situations. -My Clan is Darkside Alliance. We are Star Wars fans with lots of players spread out over lots of games/systems. We require tryouts and maturity and sportsmanship, and we don't take whiny or crybaby players. Some of this FAQ is missing, and that's because this doubles as an advanced tactical guide for our clan. If you want to read those sections, you can go to www.darksidealliance.com and request a warhawk tryout. Clan play is very very good in warhawk, so I actually do suggest looking for membership in a clan in this game. Be picky when accepting a clan. Check out the clan's website and community forums... if they don't require a tryout, they probably are not fun to play with. Some excellent clans that are fun to play with that you will see: DSA - Darkside Alliance B.T - Blighted Touch BSK - Bombsquad Kittens GAP - Gamer Advisory Panel MXG - Mexican Gods GI - God's Illest (Say HI to MarkJayw... you will figure out who he is really fast. :) Don't mute him, because he is a good strategist and really understands the game; he's not #4 in the world for nothing.) 1004- Japanese Uberclan WAR!- World Assassinz Regime SA - Secret Assassins - say hi to mortisrex MAAN - Married And Always Nagged - if you are married, they are a chill bunch. I'm sure there are tons more, but that's enough free plugs... :) Quick Reference to Weapon Damage DAMCHART Damage chart: This can be used as an approximate guide for determining the amount of damage a weapon does to a troop or vehicle. None indicates the weapon is completely invalid against the vehicle itself. Note that while a for instance, a knife kills a troop, but cannot hurt a jeep, it will still kill a troop riding in a jeep. If it hits exposed flesh, it's a kill. An "s" by any number means there is also a radius of splash damage... you can for instance survive a binoc strike even if you are on foot but still take SOME damage. A time indicates the amount of time a unit can withstand SUSTAINED fire from that weapon, NOT INCLUDING RELOADS. Weap\targ Troop Jeep Turret Tank Dropship* Warhawk APC Knife 100% none none none none none none Wrench 100% 25% 20% 15% 5% 20% 15% Pistol 10% none none none none none none Asst Rfl 2% 2% none none .5% 1.5% none Snpr Rfl 100% 15% none none 10% 35% none RPG 100%s 60%s 60%s 25%s 10% 50%s 15% Flamethr 2 sec 3 sec 2 sec 9 sec 30 sec 2 sec 4 sec Mines 100%s 100%s 100%s 50%s 20% 100%s 40% Biofield 3 sec none none none none none none Binocs 100%s 100%s 100%s 100%s 100%s 100%s 100%s grenade 100%s 40%s 40%s 25%s 12.5%s 60%s 12%s Tank rd. 100%s 95%s 80%s 35%s 20%s 100%s 30%s 50 cal 2 sec 2 sec 3 sec 4 sec 12 sec 4 sec 6 sec Flak** 15 sec 5 sec 5 sec 3 sec 9 sec 2.5 sec 5 sec SAM Trt 100%s 100%s 100%s 80%s 60%s 160%s 80%s Dropship Cannon***2 sec 2 sec 2 sec 3 sec 6 sec 3 sec N/A Wh MG 3 sec 4 sec 4 sec 5 sec 24 sec 7 sec 10 sec Swarm 20%s 10%s 15%s 12.5% 5% 12.5% 5% Air Mine**** none none none none ??? 100% none Homing missile 100%s 85%s 85%s 40%s 10%s 80%s 40% Lightning Gun 15% 12.5% 12.5% 5% 1% 11% 5% Charged LG 70%+ 100% 95% 60% 25% 80+% 40% TOW 100%s 100%s 100%s 100%s 70%s 100%s 100%s Clusterbomb (Equivalent to 25 swarms missiles, deployed as grenades all at once) * Dropships have weakpoints, the glowing sections, where damage done is higher. ** FLAK damage here measured at approx 50 yds. *** The Dropship Cannon is measured at a range of around 50 yds, with target dead center. Note that APC's and Dropships are not allowed on the same map. **** Air Mines DO NOT damage Ground vehicles, but will destroyed PARKED warhawks on the ground even if no one is in them when they go off if they are in blast range. In my trials, a dropship firing on an air mine at point blank range sustained no damage. Could be a bug. Points PNTS Warhawk BASICALLY has two different scoring mechanics... The TEAM SCORE, and YOUR score. The TEAM SCORE is how the TEAM, as a whole, earns points and determines the winning team by meeting point or time criteria. YOUR score for the round can be earned in three ways... 1) combat points, earned from kills and other means, 2) team points, earned by doing things that help the team, and 3) bonus points, given for accomplishing criteria that result in earning ribbons, which in turn grant bonus points. Negative Points are factored in against the total. Warhawkstats.com has an incredible resource for all this information, all game modes, point details, errata, ribbons, badges, medals, and everything else are well covered on this site, up to and including version 1.4. For Points Info: http://www.warhawkstats.com/points/ The site is really well organized and all the charts and info is there and even contains pictures for every award, as well as ranking info, maps, and customizations. Do check it out! Server Nomenclature SRVR Warhawk lets you set up your own server to your liking and host your own game. If you want to get into really epic battles, I recommend you go to the "filters" menu and select "Official" for the server type. The official servers (AKA sony servers) will appear in the server list in blue text. These are all ranked and extremely stable. Sony servers will generally have different levels, to keep experienced players from beating up on noobs relentlessly, and for the most part change every few months. For example... Warhawk 1.0 and 1.1 had friendly fire on, all the time, at 100%. When 1.2 came out, they dropped friendly fire on all official servers. 1.3 made a very nice change... Noob servers which were rank limited with friendly fire turned off, Normal servers with friendly fire off, and then Expert servers, which had frindly fire turned on. Friendly Fire in warhawk MAKES the game, in my opinion, since you have to be MUCH more careful with all of your weapons to avoid destroying your own point totals. Also, I don't know of a single clan that EVER plays a clan vs clan match with friendly fire turned off. However, with 1.4, The official servers no longer have friendly fire. Servers with [OD] require the Omega Dawn expansion, and all maps will include the Dropship versions of the maps. Servers with [BM] require the Broken Mirror expansion, and all maps will include the APC versions of the maps. Section 1: Infantry Weapons IW01 The Combat Knife General: The combat knife is either a weapon completely disregarded as weak or completely overrated as best weapon ever. It's more akin to a machete than a knife, and if THE ONLY weapon that does not reveal your position on the map whenever it is used. It does not damage vehicles or turrets and cannot be considered perfect since there is a little lag than can crop up affecting its use. You have to be sure you are actually "aiming" and you will be much more effective when using this. Of course the ammo capacity is infinite and it swings pretty fast. Tips: Don't think of the knife as a "last ditch" weapon. It's not at all, it's just highly specialized. There are a lot of scenarios in Warhawk when you need a one hit kill and find yourself ignored by the enemy. There are only a few weapons in Warhawk capable of one hit kills, and this is one of them. If you want to master EVERY weapon, this should be the last one you master. Tactics: If you need a stealth kill in a particular see-saw battle for a particular zone, the knife can be very handy. Take a Warhawk or jeep and go behind enemy lines and get out in an inconspicuous area. Take your time and be careful and you can end up in some very surprising places being completely ignored. This is where you want to use the knife. When a particular battle gets heated, it means large portions of the map are going unnoticed. Going into a base far behind enemy lines will sometimes net you lots of kills. Since you wont appear on the radar while swinging the knife this is a prime opportunity to take out opponents, ESPECIALLY snipers. Sniper rifle/Binoculars campers are VERY vulnerable to the knife because they have tunnel vision. Some people report good use of the knife against jeeps, but frankly trying to dodge and slash at jeeps will result in one cool kill and 3 predictable deaths. Even if you kill the jeep driver you have added nothing to the battle, since the loss of a random jeep is far less worrysome than taking out a sniper who's been racking up kills. A Jeep driver who actually tries to reverse into you while he is carrying passengers is a GREAT target of opportunity, though, since you can kill all three of them before they know what happened. Best Against: Snipers, Binoculars, Campers; especially when you need to not be seen. To defend against: Back up and use handgun, rifle or flamethrower for best results. A knife wielder will often panic while swinging and instead of changing weapon will swing wildly. It should be all the time you need. Weakest against: Enemy vehicles. Flailing randomly too early will create noise, and may alert your target of your intentions, though getting behind a MG turret gunner or a hemmed in jeep will yield AWESOME results. Special Note: In CTF, when carrying the flag, ALWAYS arm your knife. Trust me. The Field Wrench General: The wrench was added to Warhawk with the 1.3 patch as a free weapon. The wrench pickup replaces the knife, and is used identically. It does everything the combat knife does, but adds the ability to heal friendly/unmanned vehicles and damage manned enemy vehicles. The wrench comes with a "charge" of 400 units of damage/repair and can dispense 30 units of healing/hurting per swing. The units system for them is kind of hard to get right, but principally you see these being used on tanks, where a full charge is around 200 units or so. Tips: The wrench adds a lot to warhawk. A tank with a wrench swinger in the turret is VERY difficult to kill one on one, aside from one hit kill weapons. It is important to pay attention to what is going on with your wrench. For example, If you are beating on an enemy vehicle, hearing the "PANGKH!" sound the wrench makes, and then you start hearing the "Chime" sound it makes when you heal, the enemy is out of the tank. You should immediately get INTO the tank, or blow it up with grenades... if the enemy is healing it as well, run around the tank and club or grenade them, then finish healing the tank and take it for yourself. If you are in a tank that is beset by wrench attackers, get out IMMEDIATELY, they will drain it quickly and blow it up. Get out and go for a quick grenade attack... if you can get out and kill them before one of them figures out that you've left, you will have their wrenches from their backpacks and can repair the damage yourself. If they survive, you will be in big trouble, because they will get into the tank and destroy you. The wrench can be used on turrets, but turrets auto-heal... only use them on turrets if you are in a precarious spot. Tactics: If you have a mic and can organize a bumrush on a tank with wrenches it's pretty nice. Just get into the tank the second the tanker bails out, and the other guy can get into the turret and heal you up. Turrets are prime fun to beat on, since if the enemy bails out, there is a pretty good chance you will club them over the head. The most used tactic, however, is to occupy the turret of a tank or APC, as you can heal any damage incurred, then go back to knocking down Warhawks with an RPG, or scattering mines about the board or whatever you do in a tank or APC. Best Against: Everything the knife does well against PLUS vehicles... healing a friendly tank while in the turret is VERY powerful. To Defend Against: If you are in a vehicle, you need to kill anyone coming close to you quickly on foot. Period. Letting a troop with a wrench in striking distance is going to force you into a game of cat and mouse that has to be played very well. Take as much damage as you can, and bail out before the killing blow, the enemy will start healing the vehicle, and if you grenade it, there is a good chance you will blow the vehicle and kill your attacker. Weakest against: Pretty good against everything, but the Flamethrower may be a better bet against vehicles in a lot of situations and DEFINITELY against the APC, which melts like butter. The Handgun General: Not the greatest weapon, the handgun is unduely underrated. The handgun is actually more powerful (per round) at close range than the rifle. Whats important is to aim for the head. It can not be overstated how important that is. You have infinite ammo, reloading every 20 rounds (It also fires as fast as you can press the fire button). If you find yourself in a pistol duel or facing a knife rusher, fire as fast as possible and adjust your aim to the head. You shouldn't try to take zones with it, but in a tough situation or respawning into a mess, it's not hopeless. Tips: If faced with a choice while respawning into a firefight between running away to find a weapon or facing down a foe; face them down. You have a pretty good chance at winning if you stay on the headshots and crank on the fire button. The handgun will see you through a LOT of firefights you just knew you'd lose. NEVER fire on ANY vehicle with a handgun, unless it is friendly, this is universally recognized as the signal for "Hey! Wait on me!!!" Tactics: Find another weapon. If you are in a close quarters battle and have only a sniper rifle, binocs or RPG, go to the pistol. I know a lot of you are screaming "Use the RPG!!! It always kills" The problem is rate of fire. You can kill a full health guy with an RPG before he gets a second shot if you go to the head and crank on the trigger. The rifle will get you out of much more jams, but if the pistol is all you have, don't be afraid to wail on it. The pistol is also good to use against enemy mines, and even air mines, since the ammo is infinite, just make sure you are at a safe distance. Best Against: Close quarters combat. Emergency defensive use only, though good for mine clearing. To defend against: Use a rifle and increase the range between you, or decrease range and use flamethrower. More often than not, someone attacking with a handgun isn't thinking clearly and desperately trying to get closer. If they appear to be set on getting in your face, use the knife. Weakest against: Vehicles. NEVER use against a vehicle unless you are trying to create a diversion or you are trying to die. The Rifle General: The Rifle is the workhorse of Warhawk. You should always have a rifle. Always. Effective at short to medium ranges (under 50 yards) against troops, and to a lesser extent Warhawks and Jeeps, it is important to remember to aim for the head. You will drain a 40 round clip in seconds and it usually requires more than one clip to kill an enemy, unless you go for headshots. There is no end to the uses of the rifle. It will harrass troops and warhawks/jeeps at long ranges as well. You won't get kills that way, but it will cause players to do things they didn't mean to do (snipers accidentally maneuver off cliffs, hovering warhawks turn attention to you, etc). Also good for clearing mines and providing cover for teammates. Tips: Use the Circle button to kneel and thereby gain accuracy. Ammo is cheap and plenty, so don't be afraid to really pepper with it. If used against jeeps, go for skin, not metal. If a warhawk is harrassing a teammate closeby and you dont have an RPG, don't be afraid to let it have it. You can do a really surprising amount of damage to a warhawk if you aren't afraid. Tactics: Moving locations? Arm the Rifle. Getting into a melee? Arm the rifle. You should have the rifle armed anytime you arent SPECIFICALLY using another weapon. If you are sniping and you are moving positions only to run into a pissed off 10 year old you just shot with a handgun, he will kill you if you don't stay ready. You are ALWAYS vulnerable in warhawk, and since the Rifle is solid in MOST situations, it's a good idea to keep it at the ready. The autoaim will help you and is more effective than the handgun's, but you need to consciously maintain your aim towards the head... once you lose a lock, it's LOST, so stay on it and youll be fine. Best Against: Foot soldiers between 10-50 yards away which you will encounter a LOT in a game like Warhawk. It Will do against hovering Warhawks in a pinch. To defend against: If you are within close range to the enemy, then use a flamethrower. If within medium range, then use a rifle. In desperation you can try a grenade or laying a mine. Weakest against: No damage done to APCs, Tanks, or Turrets. Only use in these situations if you are trying to create a diversion or you are trying to die. The Flamethrower General: Strong and short ranged. The flamethrower is special in that if you are in a situation where you are using it, you are probably in a dangerous situation, but so is your target. You get 60 units and can hold 120 units... you consume roughly 3-4 units per second. The flamethrower will kill anything. All vehicles and all troops can be killed by the flamethrower, but you have to get suicidally close to use it (<10 yards). Not even a tank can withstand more than a few seconds of flamethrower exposure, but obviously you can stand less than that against a tank. Best used in close quarters where you are being swarmed or rolling into a trap. Players who use this extensively have a very poor Kill/Death Ratio (KDR) and tend to end up with lots of teamkills, but an artist with a flamethrower is a powerful thing. Flamethrower expertise is a skill you should learn after you master the pistol, rifle, RPG and grenades. The flamethrower will Destroy APCs at a RIDICULOUS rate. Tips: Things seem hopeless? Being overrun? Flanked by a tank? Hell breaking lose all around? Use it. Use it to destroy unmanned vehicles if an enemy is close to them or if theyll fall into enemy hands, use it to set off landmines around you, use it to fry enemies in seconds. A weapon that has a massive capability for chaos tends to level a playing field that seem unwinnable. You may die, but you will take some with you. If you see a flamethrower ignite, run, even if it is friendly. Tactics: Setting off landmines is nice, and so is torching unmanned vehicles. For example, you can set up enemies for a nasty surprise by sneaking behind enemy lines with a flamethrower and torching their vehicles to deathtrap status and blowing them as soon as they enter them. This works GREAT on tank jockeys. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a guy jump into a tank and taking it out a second later with a single grenade, also true of blowing up a warhawk with 5-10 rifle rounds. Best against: Close quarters bedlam, unmanned vehicles, minefields, huddled masses taking zones or recovering flags. To defend against: You have to be QUICK. In most cases a good flamethrower user has you pegged. If you can get out of range you can rifle/handgun them to death, but you are probably going to use a desperation grenade. If you are alone defending a spawn point, you may need to drop a grenade at your feet to keep from losing the zone. Dont even think about your knife, we are talking less than a second or two here. If you see someone coming at you with a flamethrower, use a rifle or handgun for an easy kill, just keep backing up. Weakest against: Avoid using against Warhawks... a grenade will get you there much faster, also be careful in a mixed melee with friendly fire turned on. This will not be good for your negative point score. The Sniper Rifle General: Warhawk is the first game I've ever played to feature a close to perfect portrayal of what using a sniper rifle should be like. It's HUGE, it's has an extremely long range and extremely lethal to troops. You aren't going to be zooming in on people's faces and shooting out eyes, and you aren't going to be using it in a 40 foot square room (ahem. Gears of War, MGS 2). What you are going to be doing is zooming in and hoping for an enemy to be still for a few seconds. At closer ranges (<30 yards), it's only good for taking out squatters at zone flags/complete idiots. When you are over 200 yards it becomes effective and lethal to any camper anywhere. Press R3 to zoom in (2 levels of magnification). While not effective in any way against turrets or tanks, a sniper rifle can kill a warhawk in 3 shots, and can kill ANYONE IN A JEEP on the move. But be aware, In warhawk, unlike most games, it really takes skill and patience to be effective. Tips: One Shot, One kill. Sounds obvious, but DO NOT fire until you have a solid shot. Remember, your bullet leaves a trail for a second or two which will give your position away. Much less of an issue against a dead man or a moving jeep. Move between kills. A sitting sniper is a dead sniper. Go for extremely long ranges (> 1000 yards) to protect yourself from vengeance butter. Tactics: Try to stake out a base or a contended zone. If you are staking out a base, put two rounds into each warhawk around... if anyone heads for one, a third round will blow it right when they get to it. Also works for setting off enemy landmines when their own vehicles are in range. An enemy jeep rolling over a field of their landmines becomes three easy kills if you trigger one with a sniper round, tanks are just as vulnerable. You will get a "mine" kill and they will assume its a glitch or that the enemy has placed land mines in their area, but its just a really nasty tactic. There is some lag, so be SURE to kill what you aim at. On the flip side, hovering warhawks wont really notice you too much. Don't take potshots at turrets or tanks, you are just giving away your position. Take your time and sweep your surroundings for a GOOD target. Also, if you can get a good, long, and level bottleneck, like a bridge, you can pick off jeep drivers if you lead them correctly. This will lead to a second kill if there is another guy in the jeep who doesn't realize what happened quickly enough. Also great against tank turret riders... BUT YOU HAVE TO KILL WITH ONE SHOT to be worth it. Believe it or not tanks have better range than you. Never hurts to focus on a dead soldiers backpack either... can result in easy kills, you never know, they might just want to respawn close to it, in order to get it back. Best Against: Campers, hovering warhawks, anyone manning a machine gun or tank turret, taking out other snipers/binoculars players. To defend against: Keep moving. When you think you are safe you are a huge sniper target. Stay off ladders/obvious sniper positions as much as possible. Weakest Against: No damage on Turrets and Tanks and APCs. NEVER use against SAM or Tanks, since firing on either of them tells them EXACTLY where you are and either can kill you in one hit. RPG General: The RPG will give you one hit kills. And one hit teamkills. And one hit suicides. Be smart. The RPG is powerful and has long range and with a homing capability, simply hold in the fire button until the lock is complete and fire. RPG's will only lock onto tanks and warhawks and dropship, NOT jeeps or turrets or even APCS. Tips: Too many players make too big of a deal out of RPG's. They are the equalizer for tanks and warhawks. One pickup provides 6 rounds with slow reload. You can use them in troop to troop combat, and if you are on a team I am fighting, I recommend it, if you are a teammate, I don't. While one hit kill seems great, that cuts both ways. If you are going to use an RPG to try to kill troops, keep it under 35 yards or so and aim for where you think their feet will be when the shell gets there. Tactics: If one is available and handy, you should get it. If you are going to be in a tank, get an RPG. Primarily, RPG's are good for taking down warhawks. They are good for taking out damaged turrets and tanks, but in general a smart enemy will bail if you hit his turret with an RPG. At ranges over 100 yds you wont be killing any enemies uness you are hidden and they are camping. It is good against tanks if there is enough range. You want to be careful however, as it will probably take at least 4 rounds to take out a tank; thats plenty of time for it to hit you ONCE. If you are supporting/holding a friendly zone, keep your RPG handy and fire locked on potshots at overflying warhawks... two hits kill, and if they use their chaff they will just be dead when a SAM launcher gets a lock. Best against: Hovering Warhawks fear the RPG. Great against turrets. Good against tanks and jeeps and powerful against troops, but requires time to travel. If you can sneak a round into an enemy base and kill some troops or destroy their planes, tanks, or jeeps as they are leaving the base, that is a nice thing To defend against: Get behind cover or stay about 10-30 yards away and rifle them to death. Unpredictable movement is key as they will be aiming for your feet. Weakest against: Not weak against anything, but the slow moving shells generally means getting a lock on a Tank or Warhawk is a better use of resources than spamming RPG rounds at troops 300 yards away. Land Mines General: Land mines are a one hit kill to any troop or any vehicle (other than tanks). They take about 50% of a tank's health on direct hits. Mines have a team colored light on top that designates the friendly team. Any gunfire or explosion will detonate a mine. The moment an enemy vehicle or troop gets in range of a mine it explodes, killing the target. You get four and they are tossed like a much heavier grenade. Upon landing they are unarmed for about 2 seconds. Tips: Don't place them in range of each other, or your four mines will all blow at once. Mines are best placed where they are unexpected or where an enemy will trigger them and likely be in close proximity to a friendly. Don't hang out near friendly mines. However a lot of players are really into the suicide bomber plan. You may decide to stick a couple of mines on a jeep or a warhawk and steer yourself into an enemy base. Feel free. It's fun, but not tactically sound, considering ONE bullet to your jeep or warhawk results in you instantly dead. Great for placing around blind corners (tops of ladders, inside doorways, up in trees). If you pick up a Bio Field Generator you will be able to alternate between mines and BFG when you press the UP + RIGHT weapon slot, which is where both are located. Tactics: See somewhere you'd land if you were an enemy in a warhawk? Stick a mine there. Same for flag areas, tops of ladders, inside doorways, etc. Anywhere an enemy would likely pass by while driving a jeep or tank is a great place. Warhawks are instantly killed by mines, so dont hesitate to drop them anywhere someone might strafe. You can also place them on turrets and empty vehicles (preferably behind enemy lines) for easy kills later. Be wary of any areas where a mine pickup exists, most people pick up mines and immediately start dropping them. Best Against: Everything. Be careful not to place too many too closely together or you may set off four at once and rack up some teamkills. To defend against: Use a tank blast, grenade, or cluster bomb to clear mines out QUICK. If you have time, use your pistol, rifle, or flamethrower. Weakest against: Some people like to (what I call) homicide bomb. That is, throwing mines onto a friendly jeep that is passing by. Not a good team tactic. The worst is during CTF dropping a mine near a dropped friendly flag when you and 4 buddies are gathered around a flag with friendly fire turned on. THIS will result in a suicide and 4 TK's for you and will cost the enemy *1* grenade. The other team will also grab the flag and continue their run and will most likely score with it and will make everyone hate you. The Bio-Field Generator (BFG) General: The other free weapon that became available with the 1.3 patch, the BFG shows up in the land mine slot. If you pick up land mines AND a BFG pickup, pressing UP + RIGHT will alternate between the two weapons. The BFG is thrown like landmines, except upon powering up it begins to continuously emit a blue or red cloud of particles. If you stand in a friendly BFG spray, you will be healed quickly, about 25% health per second or so. If you are standing in an enemy BFG cloud, you will be poisoned at the same rate. As a weapon, it's not great, as it can be detroyed with a tank shell etc and can be seen from a distance and avoided. Tips: The BFG is a great thing to carry if you are on foot or riding in a tank or jeep etc. If you are forced to bail out by an attacking warhawk, light off a BFG and go to war on foot with the warhawk. A warhawk's MG's will have a VERY hard time killing you in a BFG cloud and if you have an RPG thats a dead warhawk, and even if you just have a rifle you will seriously tear them up. The BFG is also a good deterrent in these situations but if a warhawk has swarms which they likely will, they will get mad at your BFG gas cloud and shoot as many swarms at you as possible. Occasionally, tossing one right at your flag in CTF will net you a lucky kill, and if you have someone pinned down in a bunker, they are pretty good for flushing out, but a grenade or landmine honestly is probably a better choice. Use these mainly to turn yourself into a self healing temporary turret for greatest success. Tactics: Throwing one on a friendly APC will heal EVERYONE that is popped up, and tossing one onto an enemy APC will force everyone in it to either stay popped down or die. Also works for tanks and jeeps this way. Tossing one on a passing enemy jeep will have you laughing. Conversely, if you are a driving a tank, look for these. They draw enemies troops like bees to honey, so if you can line up a good shot you can score nice kills, the same goes with Binoculars pickups. Also good for when in a machine gun or pistol duel but try to throw it out early or before the duel even starts. You won't be loosing health and if your enemy happens to run into the cloud of gas particles then too bad for them. And if it kills them, you get a point. A well placed grenade however, or a quick knife slash will kill you instantly as it is a one hit kill. Keep that in mind and don't stand in the cloud of gas thinking that your invincible or something. It's best to just go into it for some quick health and then leave it. Best Against: Open canopied vehicles and enemies in a duel with you. To defend against: Either blow them up with grenades or flamethrowers, etc, or simply avoid. Weakest against: Never use these to try to kill someone on foot... use them to heal yourself. Binoculars General: One hit killer of anything, including dropships (if they remain stationary) and APCS. Think nuke from Starcraft. Two levels of magnification let you zoom in very long range (easily 2500 yds.). One pickup allows you to call in two long range artillery strikes. You hold the fire button for about 2 seconds, projecting a solid green laser beam (which is viewable to anyone in the game looking in that particular direction) directly to the point of impact. During this time a bar at the top of your screen will fill up and when it fills up and turns red there will be a huge blast (around 30 yard diameter) destroying everything. It cannot be used to hit targets inside of a building, as the explosion will hit the roof. The reload time is around 1 minute and they are really rare with a long time between respawns (Plus there is occasionally a line of new players waiting to get one). Tips: Remember, once you use them you are a target, so hit and move. Go for large concentrations of enemies or a particularly worrysome tank or turret. Tactics: Best used from somewhere with a great great view that you can escape from quickly. Obviously for use on areas that are >50 yds away, and mostly used on targets that are >500 yds away. Could be used to clear an area of mines and troops, say... at a flag during CTF, in order to clear everything then rush in with a jeep and go for a run. Better used for support though. Best against: Tanks, turrets, concentrations of troops, Jeeps, loading dropships, even hovering warhawks. To defend against: If you hear the laser targetting buzz (sounds like an electrical hiss), get under something or drastically change elevation if possible. If you see a green beam anywhere, follow the beam and take them out. If you are sniper, look for binocular pickups and target them. New players are crazy about binoculars and will regularly pick them up, then stand still and look for somewhere to blow up, which is more than enough time for you to snipe them and wait on someone to pick up their backpack. Weakest against: Anyone in a bunker or indoors. Know this early and learn it now. Grenades General: You get two grenades when you spawn and two more everytime you find a pickup. You can carry up to 6. They have a nice range of effect and are excellent for clearing mines and taking out trapped enemies. They are excellent at providing teamkills since this seems to be what novice players tend to use them for. Seriously. Just the slightest bit of caution will save you tons of negative points. Tips: Be careful. Being in a firefight with three team members and two enemies is NOT the time for grenades, neither is close quarters (unless you are suiciding to kill the attacker) or anywhere near your team member who is carrying a captured flag. They are deadly to Warhawks and troops and jeeps, and do some damage to turrets and and tanks. Tactics: Since grenades are always equipped, there are several EXCELLENT times to use them. 1) You are hiding near a zone and an enemy doesnt see you and is an easy, non-moving target. 2) a large group of enemies is swarming and you are going to die any second all alone. 3) a couple guys are coming at you and you are backing up, facing them. 4) You are in a close firefight all by yourself. 5) an enemy just ran into a bunker with no other exit. 6) you are running towards a flag/zone and need to take it quick but think there may be mines around. 7) A warhawk is in your face and you have no rocket launcher. 8) some jerk just landed in your base with a damaged warhawk. 9) Deep behind enemy lines a guy is about to fire a sniper rifle or binocs and you can't get there to knife him fast enough. 10) You are in a hot fight against a tank, turret, or jeep and it's clearly you or them. The bottom line is: BE CAREFUL. To Reiterate: Pick up grenades anytime you can. They are extremely useful in creating all kinds of opportunities for escape, defense, and offense. If no friendlies are around, or friendly fire is turned off, feel free to use as many as you like, but it cant be stressed enough how often people TK and suicide with them. Best against: Damaged vehicles, mines, troops. Practice LONG RANGE grenade throws. A grenade thrown nearly vertically from the ground can reach the tops of a tower. Hint Hint. To defend against: If someone is tossing grenades at you, get into a tank or vehicle if possible. If not, either close the distance and knife to force a suicide or increase the distance and go to the rifle/handgun. Weakest against: Use caution when friendly fire is on. Be aware that you can't SHOOT a gun, AND throw a grenade at the same time. If you are winning a rifle duel, and throw a grenade, you will lose the duel. If you are losing a rifle duel, go to the grenades. Section 2: Turrets There are 3 types of turrets in Warhawk; Mounted machine guns, Flak Cannons, and SAM Launchers. All give you access to new attack techniques, but all make you a sitting duck. It is important to note that all turrets constantly heal slowly, whether they are manned or unmanned. .50 Cal Machine Guns General: Hardly qualifying as a turret, the mounted machine guns provide good firepower and fast reloading, but no protection. There are a few times that its really a good idea to be on these guns. They can fire 90 rounds before reloading and are capable of chewing up a tank in around 6-8 seconds. With the 1.3 patch, these now have the ability to lock on to vehicles just as an assault rifle does, only from greater range. GO FOR HEADSHOTS. Tips: You aren't safe from snipers or tank rounds at all, no mobility and no cover. Use these in desperate circumstances, as they also have limited firing arcs, but they can REALLY turn the tide in a struggle very quickly. Tactics: Prior to the 1.3 patch, the only time I ever used one of these to good effect was tanks rolling up on the set of a base I was defending. I'd hop on one to pump some rounds in it when it's back was turned. You would kill the tank, if they were previously damaged or you have help, otherwise it would be 50/50. You'd bail out when they get the turret anywhere near you. Now... If you are near a 50 cal that sees a lot of traffic going by/attacking, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to sit on one and blast away... at jeeps, warhawks, tanks, and troops... they really put out nice damage across the board. Best against: fast moving targets, invasions, one track mind tanks. To defend against: Perfect targets for grenades, sniper rifles, tanks, clusterbombs, TOW, etc. Weak against: Snipers. Snipers will tear you to bits and you are an open and juicy target for knives. Flak Cannons General: Flak cannons are primarily for taking out warhawks. Flak shells are fired two at a time and arent exactly accurate, as the idea of flak is to create high speed shrapnel. You get 50 rounds, which translates to 25 actual shots. Flak guns have a limited range, and are also somewhat effective for turrets and tanks and jeeps, but not so good against troops. The closer the enemy the better. If you are in a base getting busted up by a tank, jump on a flak gun and lay into it. At under 100 yards Flak is the fastest tank killer on ground. Tips: Try to lead warhawks slighty and be careful when friendlies are about. Flak isn't an instant kill by any means, but a hovering warhawk will be chewed up in no time. If an enemy tank is >200 yds, you can do some fairly painful damage, and may kill it, due to the random pattern of the flak. Tactics: The Flak cannon is a one night stand, not a marriage. Use it to pop a warhawk or two, but the first sign of trouble, either from an RPG or a tank, GET OUT. You can withstand a hit from a tank, but not two. Generally if you get hit from an RPG, the jig is up, you will not kill a foot soldier before the flak turret goes up and takes you with it, so bail and counterattack on foot. Never a bad idea to roll up to a turret with a vehicle so you can alter tactics. Generally you want to be able to flee if swarmed, as the flak gun is really irritating when used deep in enemy territory. Best Against: Warhawks, Turrets, tanks. TOW missiles. To defend against: Binoculars, RPG, Flamethrower, grenades, tank, TOW missile, cluster bomb. Weakest against: Troops. Don't even bother... a whole magazine of shells MAY do 40% damage to a troop 25 yards away. SPECIAL NOTE: The flak turret will set off any TOW missile that gets into range. Surface to Air Missile (SAM) Launcher General: The SAM launcher has the same health as the Flak Cannon. It can lock onto Warhawks and other Turrets. It fires two missiles, each missile individually is capable of doing about 80% damage to a warhawk. Locking onto a warhawk takes longer than an RPG or Swarm Missile, but they are near impossible to shake too. Firing empties the launcher and it takes a few seconds to reload. Though you cant lock onto tanks, a well aimed attack will kill a tank. SAMs are great for harrassment, as they are like SUPER rpgs. A well placed salvo will kill a jeep, tank, turret or warhawk. The range is long, upwards of a quarter of a map with a really healthy lock on range. Tips: Try to find a location that cuts the map in half. Anywhere that an enemy warhawk would have to approach you, fly over you, and get out of range is ideal for the SAM, as releasing a salvo locked onto an approaching warhawk will just about always net a kill. If you see a tank coming dont bail too early, try to get a bead and take it out, remember, you CAN survive one tank shell, so take the shot, let the tank hit you once and bail when they are reloading. If attacked by a ground troop, take a shot or two at them. Tactics: You can do some business in a SAM launcher. Good timing is crucial for hitting jeeps and tanks, even foot soldiers. There is nothing like setting up shop in range of a hot conflict in a SAM and knocking down warhawks to help your team get air superiority, and make no mistake, a SAM launcher supporting friendly warhawks is a tough combo to break. If you have a position that allows you to see unoccupied vehicles on enemy soil, take them out. Watch your aim, you generally need to aim very slighly above what you want to hit, as the dot seems to indicate the disappearing point of the missiles. Best against: Anything in range. To defend against: Use binoculars for a quick fix, if no binoculars be careful on your approach. If you are careful in a tank, you can knock one out in two shots, but I can't ephasize enough that you need to exercise caution in approaching one. Weakest against: Warhawks using Stealth. You see one of these guys, dumbfire a SAM salvo and bail out, as more than likely you are about to catch a TOW missile. With your face. SPECIAL NOTE: If you aim down far enough and shoot you will kill yourself. Section 3: Vehicles Vehicles play a large part in Warhawk. One thing to note is you can change positions in any vehicle by holding square and indicating the desired position on the vehicle map in the lower right hand corner. 4x4 General: Commonly referred to as a jeep, the 4x4 is a light, fast and maneuverable vehicle most used to carry flags, transport rapidly, or go on suicide runs. Jeeps are great for running down troops on your way to wherever you want to go. Pressing the Fire button will cause you to honk your horn, indicating you want teammates to get in. The Jeep has capacity for three, a driver, passenger, and machine gunner. The Machine gun is identical to the mounted turrets around the battlefield, except it swivels the full 360 degrees. It does still need to reload after 90 rounds. Tips: Watch the road for landmines, as one will kill you instantly. Pressing square + Left will put you in the driver's seat, Square + Right puts you in the passenger seat, and Square + Down will put you on the machine gun. R2 controls gas, and L2 controls reverse and brakes. You can hold both while driving to powerslide for sharper turns. It is generally not a good idea to sit still as jeeps arent exactly fortresses. Another issue is that a Jeep is open, so you are always vulnerable to sniper fire. Driver: Controls all driving functions. Passenger: Can do nothing but look around. Gunner: Operates the mounted machine gun. Tactics: If you aren't one to suicide bomb, generally you want to have a plan before you jump in a jeep. If you hear a horn honking, and you have a spirit of adventure, you may as well jump in. Remember, you can pop out even when traveling at top speed, so if your teammate drives past a pickup, turret, vehicle or hotspot, feel free to pop out and get busy. A large part of Warhawk is adapting to battle conditions, and the jeep allows you to do this rapidly and somewhat safely, as the jeep is the ONLY VEHICLE that cannot be locked on to by any weapon. In a pinch, the 50 cal on the back of a jeep will tear a tank to shreds or turn a 1 on 3 situation into a 50/50 proposition. Best against: Pedestrians, think GTA, except it's not as easy to run people over. To defend against: Stay out of the middle of roads and bridges when on foot. In addition to making a juicy target to enemy jeeps, you will accidently get run over by your teammates more than you think. Be careful around jeeps when on foot. Approach with caution. You can actually dodge and slash with a knife to occasionally kill a driver, but mines make much more sense. Generally, unless its a badly damaged jeep, avoid them when on foot, its better to radio a heading ("Jeep approaching zone 3") so defenders in the area can wail on him when he gets out. You can cherry pick a jeep with a sniper rifle or binoculars and simply wait on someone to jump in and blast them. Special Note: If you have only used the jeep prior to the 1.3 patch, you should consider it again. The larger magazine of the 50 cal (90 rounds as opposed to 60), it's reload time halfing, and gaining the ability to lock on from really impressive ranges, it has become a pretty powerful vehicle and can dish out some fast, painful, and accurate damage. The jeep can't take anymore damage then before and will not last under fire, but at speed with a good gunner it will do some serious damage in a very short time. Tanks General: Tanks are the most useful ground vehicles by far in warhawk and are great for a variety of purposes. The Tank's cannon is the only weapon in the game that has infinite range. However the shell will arc at long Ranges. It also happens to kill foot soldiers in one hit and has a very reasonable reload time. It also can withstand punishment while dishing it out heavily. All of this comes with a cost, and that cost is that it is THE vehicle that draws massive attention and heavy response. Tips: The targetting reticule for the tank is such that the center of the dot represents the high point in the travel of the shell, the shell reaches the height of this arc at around 400 yds, then starts to drop. When firing on distant positions or preparing to shell an area, first find the appropriate amount of drop by firing a test shell into a mountain or cliff the same distance as your target, this will let you determine how far above the target you need to aim so the shell drops onto your target. If engaging targets at closer than a few hundred yards, just point and shoot. Always aim for the ground or a wall or something BY a foot soldier, as the splash damage will kill a bigger radius than you may think. When travelling by tank, always be shooting. Obviously dont shoot anywhere near your own troops, but if you see a turret and can shoot and drive, do so. You can even occassionally bag warhawks zooming around just by take potshots once you figure out the drop physics on the shells. If assaulted by a hovering warhawk, KILL IT. One shot kills to troops, and warhawks, 95% damage to jeeps, 75% damage to turrets, 32% to other tanks. GREAT for clearing mines in a hurry. Be extra careful around friendly flag carriers. Remember, the penalty for killing a flag carrier is -25 points. 25 points is a lot to lose. Caution is a must. Pressing Square + up puts you in the driver's seat, Square + down puts you in the turret. From the turret you can pop open the hatch with the triangle button and that will allow the use of all infantry weapons. Its a good idea to bring an RPG if you are riding in a tank, as tanks draw warhawks like flies. A tank with an RPG carrying passenger is a pretty nasty combination. Definitely pound on Dropships with a tank as well. Hitting the yellow weakspots will do MASSIVE damage, but even without hitting it, tank shells take a nasty chunk. Driver/Gunner: All driving and gunnery functions. Passenger: Triangle opens/shuts hatch, access to all weapons you are carrying. Tactics: You have to remember there is a difference between where you are aiming and where you are driving. Until you understand this concept you are worthless in a tank. If you want to learn gunnery, park on a cliff and practice shelling enemy positions from long range. This tactic will net you a few easy kills and improve your KDR and help you get your feet wet, but to be really valuable to a team you need to be good at taking zones with a tank. Tanks excel in this, because on a zone capture, You may have to face the same guy 6 times while he respawns. Taking a zone as a troop requires skill, as several guys will appear since they respawn where you are. It's not too difficult to handle fresh troops, with only a knife, pistol, and 2 grenades, but anyone can get lucky with a grenade. The tank gives you all kinds of time in this scenario and with skillful use of the tank cannon will net you lots of kills. If a troop is behind a wall or zones flag, shooting the wall does nothing to them. You must shoot at the ground BEHIND the object to damage them. Make sure to put shells INSIDE bunkers to kill troops within. When engaged with an enemy warhawk, don't sit still always be changing direction to throw off the warhawk. This has a tendency "hypnotize" them into concentrating on aiming, once they do THAT, they stop moving as much and become a much easier target. When using a tank as cover when sniping, you have an instant shield, and the advantage of people seeing your name/indicator appearing above the tank, often will trick them into firing on the tank instead of you. This will buy you time to sneak away. Anytime you are in a tank, you should be clearing mines and enemy airmines. There is no reason to ever leave an enemy mine alive (unless you are baiting it for a trap) as it you have a pretty good chance of killing an enemy warhawk when it explodes from your tank shell. Of special note: When in a circle duel with a warhawk... remember, if you are turning left with your right stick (turret), you can ALSO press LEFT on your left stick (treads), and turn at a MUCH faster rate to set up a warhawk for a blast to the face. The Dropship* General: Released with the "Omega Dawn" expansion, Dropships are really cool, in theory. The pilot alternates between FLIGHT mode (default) and ASSAULT mode (press triangle). The Dropship flies much faster in flight mode, but the pilot has no weapons. In assault mode, the Dropship moves at a CRAWL, but has multiple cannons that will absolutely fill the sky with fire. It will saturate an area, tear a tank or turret to shreds, and provide warhawks with a serious bruising in a matter of seconds. The dropship also has 6 swarm missile launchers, each one capable of being manned by a troop. In addition to all this, pressing the O button while on top of a vehicle will allow you to carry it. Theoretically then, it's possible for you to have 10 people in a dropship, the pilot, 6 swarm gunners, and 3 guys in a jeep. Dropships and APCS never appear on the same map. Dropships can take a bigger beating than any other vehicle, as the only thing that will kill a dropship in one hit is binoculars. You should be aware that the glowing yellow portions of the dropships are weakpoints, and it will take higher damage there. Tips: NEVER, and I mean NEVER, pick up a tank. Tank drivers for the most part know what they are doing. Tanks also weigh a lot. Picking a tank up is going to make flying REALLY hard for you and it is really going to anger your teammate if they know what they are doing. Everybody is prone to make this mistake a couple of times: You see a tank pounding on enemy troops in an enemy zone, but it's CTF, so you decide the tank would be MUCH better off in the enemy's home base. So you pick the tank up, fly across the map, and drop him into the thick of the enemy base. He is blown to bits in less than 5 seconds and the zone he would've taken got fortified and now the enemy is running with your flag... but you luckily were killed as well because you foolishly took your dropship deep into enemy territory for no good reason. If two guys get in your dropship, that's fine, but take off. Any more than that is worthless because they are using swarm missiles. Keeping it less than 3 mean you are less of a target, and the real killer for the dropship is its cannon, which only the pilot can use anyway. Watch for friendly flag carrying jeeps though... you can really make a difference there. Tactics: I strongly prefer one and only one guy in a dropship. The cannons make it an ideal tank killer. Be aware of the fact that they will overheat with continued use, but tapping them rapidly will never overheat them and provide you with the same rate of fire. You can carry up to 5 Chaffs. Chaff and Health are the only two pickups Dropships can acquire. Keep an eye out for wrenches as well and make an effort to repair your dropship between engagements. With the wrench pickup, it is definitely possible to keep one dropship through an entire game if managed correctly. Never fail to head toward a floating health pickup, and be ready to land when your health drops below 33%. If you are in a CTF match, go support the runner... this is the best use of the dropship hands down. Best against: Tanks, also EXCELLENT for supporting troops taking over a hostile zone, makes short work of turrets, but be careful... that armor is THICK, but not THAT thick. To Defend against: RPGs and Sniper Rifles are CRAZY against dropships. A good tank commander can cut one to shreds, as can a flak gun... generally you can hear them from a mile away. Warhawks are great foils to them, but if a dropship has warhawk backup, you need ground help as well to remove the warhawks so you can engage the dropship. If anyone is dumb enough to try loading one all the way up, get your binocs ready and watch it carefully... it's not uncommon to take one out midair with a binoc strike when they are touching down... Weak against: warhawks can give them a real headache, even two warhawks will utterly wreck a dropship if the warhawk pilots are good. *Special: The Dropship only appears in games with a single asterisk by the map name. Sony servers denote a Dropship's appearance by featuring "[OD]" in the server name. The Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)** General: Released with the "Broken Mirror" expansion, the APC is an EXCELLENT addition to the game. The APC is very special, because it serves as a mobile spawn point. Meaning, you can spawn INTO a friendly APC. Doing so will put you in one of it's 6 hatches and give you a random free weapon. In addition to THIS, the APC can deploy shield pods,by pressing the L1 button (only the driver can deploy the shield) which generates a one way shield bubble that lasts for around a minute. Troops and ground vehicles can go through the shield unharmed, but if a warhawk touches the shield it is dead. The shield allows anyone inside of it to fire out, but will not allow anything to penetrate, including tank shells, TOW missiles, clusterbombs, etc. The shield emitter can be destroyed though, and the shield can be shorted out by a fully charged lightning gun (warhawk/nemesis weapon only). In addition to THESE abilities, doubletapping and then holding R2 starts a charge up of it's boost. Releasing R2 will boost you forward with an energy wall on your front bumper that will one hit kill any OCCUPIED enemy vehicle. Crashing into an empty vehicle does no damage to it. Tips: Keep moving. Don't forget, the true strength of the APC is as a mobile spawn point. The R2 doubletap is great for clearing paths and will net you a few kills, but don't count on it being too effective, since a halfway decent driver will either A) move out of the way, or B) Bail out, leaving you stuck when you hit the tank you wanted to kill but is suddenly neutral, hence indestructible. If you find yourself assaulted by a warhawk at low altitude, casually L1 trigger the shield and watch it explode. Also, if you see an APC around an enemy zone, spawn into it. The free weapon may put you in a very powerful position. You don't have to babysit the shield pods. Drop one where tactically sound and move on. Staying in the bubble can be a good idea, but if any enemy players are savvy, they will simply walk into the bubble with a flamethrower and 3 seconds later you will be dead. Note that you don't have to sit still when charging the R2 Boost. It only takes a split second to doubletap and release... granted, the boost does last longer if you charge it up longer, but generally when you want to use it you are VERY close to your target. It's a losing bet at longer ranges anyway. Tactics: Where to begin. MOBILE SPAWN POINT. SHIELD GENERATOR. First off, NEVER wait on someone to get in with you. Why would you? They can suicide and select your APC for the spawn point if they really want a ride, and this is better anyway since it will give them an extra weapon. If riding in one with a crew and you get into a firefight, a BFG will turn it into a rolling hospital. A few uses: you are rolling by a friendly tank, sniper, SAM site, etc that is assaulting an enemy position; just keep moving and drop a shield pod, this will keep anything from hitting them but will allow them to mercilessly pound on their target. It's kind of like insurance for a bit. Really there are a lot of uses for the APC, but the best way for you to learn them is to experiment. It's a very versatile tool that becomes very powerful when a team is working together. The Boost action on a steep surface will result in high jumps that may be pretty severe shortcuts in certain maps... ahem. BADLANDS. Best Against: Traffic Jams filled with enemy units, cirling fortified enemy zones, supporting friendly positions with shields. To Defend against: Flamethrowers destroy them faster than anything else, and is indefensible, since by the time you activate the flamethrower a shield pod wont help them. Weak against: Foot soldiers. Stay clear of situations that rob you of mobility, as this will keep you alive longer than anything else. It's good to stay hidden if you can, just make sure you park in such a way that allows for a quick escape. Special Note: The APC only appears in game with a double asterisk in the name. Sony servers denote the APC's appearance by featuring "[BM]" in the server name. Warhawk (Chernovan = Nemesis) General: Warhawks are VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft, which means they can hover and must hover to take off or to land. While this is a big advantage in real-life as they dont need a runway, it's also a bit of a disadvantage in that they are sitting ducks when taking off or landing. This is magnified in the game, because of the speed at which everything happens, you are at the most vulnerable when hovering. Warhawks can be exceptionally great killing machines. Or deathtraps. A great pilot can rack up kill after kill on both ground and in the air, smashing enemy defenses and creating opportunities for turning the tide of any battle, regardless of how grim things look. Warhawks are very interesting in that more than any other unit, they can be used for a huge variety of tasks. A Warhawk spawns with infinite machine guns (they do overheat if held down), 5 "Swarm" missiles, and 1 chaff packet. A Warhawk can carry the pilot/gunner (square + up) and a passenger (square + down), who becomes the "information officer". Which means that, EVERY enemy and friendly shows up on their radar as long as they are in the seat. Warhawks are vulnerable to ground fire from assault rifles, MG turrets, jeeps, tanks (one hit kill), sniper rifles, flak guns, SAM launchers and RPG's. A truly panicked or outright BAD pilot who likes to skim the ground in front of enemies will also find themselves killed very quickly by flamethrowers and grenades. A careless pilot will be killed often by well placed mines, and the hovering kind also become binocular fodder. Just about every weapon has the ability to end a warhawk's flight plans. A good pilot however, can quickly turn getting hit with a tank cannon into a fluke and getting hit with a grenade into an impossibility. When taking off, L2 controls descent and R2 controls ascent, Triangle switches between hover and flight. When in flight, a Warhawk uses L2 as an air brake and R2 as thrust, both buttons when pressed at the same time will cause the plane to powerslide. Doubletapping and then holding R2 engages the afterburners (limited time use, then must recharge). Warhawk piloting requires a fair amount of skill. In normal and pro-flight mode the R-stick controls loops and rolls. When SIXAXIS flight controls are selected, the SIXAXIS motion controls handle this. Players who select the Pro-flight controls seem to never want to go back, but personally I prefer normal, as it makes missile evasion easier. There are no evasive actions when hovering, which means anyone with a weapon capable of locking on sees you as a sitting duck. Since a lock on with an RPG happens in under 2 seconds and 2 hits destroy a warhawk, facing down even a lone troop with a warhawk can sometimes be a very bad idea... in hover mode. You must also resist the temptation to fly "on the deck" in order to impede the movement of an enemy infantry soldier, this is a bad idea. Warhawks are destroyed by 2 grenades, 1 tank blast, 1 land mine, and a very short combo of MG turret, Flak, assault rifle or flame thrower fire. You will get away with it if you are facing inexperienced players... but any experienced player will wreck you for such bad piloting. However, flying "on the deck" can be an incredibly good idea at times. If you are playing a CTF game and the enemy is escaping with the flag in a jeep they might be by themselves in the jeep. If so, then you should try to place your warhawk on top of it and attempt to roll the jeep. This will cause them to roll upside down and they will either stay in the jeep in order to flip it back over, or they will try to escape on foot. If you have missiles at the ready, then either decision they make will end with them dying 95% of the time. However, if they have back up from a tank or other warhawks, I would not recommend doing this. Pilot/weapons: All flight and weapons functions. Passenger: 360 Degree view, all units appear on their radar. Of Special Note: Probably 80% or MORE of SUPERB pilots are using Pro Flight controls. If you want to be an ace, you may as well learn Pro Flight controls from the beginning. Subsection 3.1: Warhawk Weaponry WW31 Machine Gun General: Infinite ammo, but overheats after a few seconds of continued use. The MGs will auto-aim (lead) any enemy warhawk in the reticule when the cross-hairs are red. The MG will do a significant amount of damage to Tanks, Turrets, Jeeps, and troops, but will not kill any of them quickly enough to guarantee a kill before any of the previously listed can take you out. MG's are best used in conjunction with another weapon. Holding down the fire button is a no-no. Ever. You should always tap the fire button as quickly as you can when using the MG's, as this lets you constantly do THE SAME amount of damage while NEVER overheating. Tips: Enemy air mines are excellent targets for MG fire, In flight mode, just approach while holding L2 (to slow you down) in case the mine survives a bit longer than expected and takes you with it. There are circumstances where you actually will want to hover and attack a target with MG fire (ie: a tank making a flag run). Just be sure as you do so, you are careful to move up and down WHILE also moving left and right. This makes your movement FAR more difficult to predict by tank commanders/snipers/assault rifle users. Tactics: Find a wingman to follow, esp in dogfight games. Being a good wingman is huge for 3 reasons. One is that you will put some amount of fire on an enemy, earning you a point for assisting in the kill (up to 5 points per game). The second is that if the enemy loops or outmaneuvers your leader, you can take him out as well. The third is the simple fact that there is safety in numbers. A swarm of 4 or 5 warhawks will crush two warhawks easily. If you are on a team in a dogfight game smart enough to stay on their side of the map, you will easily crush the competition. They inevitably go in with 2-3 at a time, get smash by your teams air force, and respawn, having to fly all the way back across the map. The effect is that you have a constant deluge of 2 or 3 warhawks attacking 9-16, which results in them being devestated. They may HIT one of you with a homing missile, but when they try to follow it up they are lambasted with constant, relentless swarming and blown from the sky. Using this tactic in a dogfight server it's possible to get upwards of 27 kills and not die once. Best Against: Anyone running in a hurry (such as flag carriers), who dont normally shoot back. Always good to pepper enemy warhawks. High speed strafing is FUN but wont get you much in the way of kills. To Defend against: If on foot, RPG and you will own them. If you can get to a turret you'll turn the tables and if you can get to a jeep you have a great chance at getting away. The idea here is to stay alive AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, as this will allow anyone in the area plenty of time to take down the warhawk. If you can stay alive more than 10 seconds, there is a 90% chance the warhawk will be dead by then, or drawing serious fire, if ANYONE on your team is around. Don't hesitate to open up with an assault rifle, since if you rattle the pilot at all you may very well kill him. Weakest against: Individual troops are NOT excellent targets. A lucky headshot will put them down, but generally doing so will put you in a situation where you need to hover for 5-10 seconds, which is FAR too long in a full battle. Swarm Missles General: Every warhawk comes with 5 of these. Holding the fire button allows multiple lock-ons, up to 8. And it only takes 8 to destroy a warhawk. A swarm missile is maybe 25% the strength of an RPG or just less then that. They are also fairly fast and very maneuverable, and can lock onto enemy turrets as well as warhawks. The bad thing is, they are EXTRAORDINARILY easy to evaded. A single roll or loop or powerslide in normal flight will get rid of these, and chaff will dump them altogether. They seem to do pretty well against tanks and troops though. These should be used as a last resort weapon. You want something with a little more oomph when going up against another warhawk. There is only one situation where swarm missles are a "must-have" weapon: you are stuck in a serious dogfight, and the enemy is all over the place. In this situation it is near impossible to get a lock on an enemy with any other weapon. Use these in order to whittle down their health until the point where they either die or abandon the turning battle in search of health or escape. This situation will come up several times during a round so you must keep your salvo of swarms ready. Tips: There are a few really great tactics involving this weapon. Get a single lock on and let it rip. The other pilot MAY think it's a homing missile since there is only one dot incoming and fire off his chaff. You can also choose to fire off only two of them and the other pilot may think they are SAM missles (if they do, it's guarenteed that they will use a chaff) If they do this, hammer them with MG and swarm fire and stick close to them, as even if they have a spare chaff, it will be 30 seconds or thereabouts before they reload. If using against ground vehicles, dont forget to lead the target slightly. A good rule of thumb is to use these when at close range because they lock on quickly. Homing missles should be used when at longer ranges because you will need more time to get a lock. But both types of missiles should always be release from close range. You don't want them to have time to escape do you? Tactics: Stock up, but use them in short bursts as described above. You aren't going to terrify anyone with 3 swarm missiles, or even five... but if you are carrying 15 and popping one out ever 2 seconds you will pick off a lot of injured warhawk pilots and create quite a bit of defensive flying on the part of your enemies, which may trick them into following you toward a friendly flak or SAM turret. Best Against: Turrets, but keep it high speed and be ready to switch to chaff if they get a bead on you. Against warhawks use sparingly unless they are dumb enough to hover. To defend against: On the ground, use cover and move unpredictably, in the air, use evasive maneuvers or chaff if you must... but generally, these are weaker than being in front of an MG burst. Don't overreact. They are firecrackers. Weakest against: Everything since they are the weakest of the weapons that are available for a pilot. Absolutely worthless at long distances. Homing Missiles General: Takes a while to get a lock, but does around 80% damage to warhawk. These are effective against tanks as well but they are not as fast as swarms so you must lead the tank or vehicle more. They are effective also against troops. New pilots will find that these missiles are much more difficult to escape from then swarms. You might even find yourself using a chaff to get rid of them. But once you get comfortable with the warhawk controls and with the art of breaking a missle lock then these shouldn't trouble you too much, but keep a chaff handy just in case. Tips: You can only carry 3, they take a while to lock on, and they are the quickest weapon to be "gobbled up" when they respawn. Excellent air to air weapon, and is pretty much specialized to air combat. Will lock on to turrets, but by the time you are ready to launch that, you are either being targeted or there is flak surrounding your plane. Tactics: Make sure to release the missile within a short range of your target. This will give them less time to evade. This however is something that should be noted when firing any type of missle. Best against: Warhawks. To defend against: In normal flight: Roll Roll Roll, if you go into a lot of evasion and that missile is STILL trailing you... better pop your chaff. In pro flight: just keep moving both sticks together left, right, up, down. But keep it random for the best result. Weakest against: LONG range. These are great, but if you leave a few hundred yards between you and your intended target, there is a good chance they will be able to chaff or out-manuever them. Chaff General: You get one with each warhawk spawn, and can carry up to 2. Use them wisely. Chaff breaks any lock that any and every missile has on you. Tips: Always be on the look out for the chaff spawns, and don't forget to head for somewhere safe after using it, at least until the next one reloads. Tactics: Well used in conjunction with mines. I like to go into enemy territory to draw attackers, then fire off chaff and immediately pop out mines to destroy any followers. Best Against: No offensive capacity. To defend against: Not much you can do if someone chaffs all your missiles since they are all gone anyways. But try to launch your missiles from up close. Don't even give them a second to fire one off. You can also fire off one or two swarms at a time until they use their chaff and then try to use the big weapons on them. However at this point they know your following and will not just fly straight and level for you to give you a great target. Weakest against: NA Lightning Gun General: Weak, instant pulses of electricity (about the same strength as swarm missiles), or one massive slowly shocking web of high voltage that sticks to a unit/space and continues shocking for 15 seconds or so. You will notice with the lightning gun your target reticule will turn red, when it does, you WILL hit whatever's in there. If you hold the button down, the guage will start to fills clockwise... If you let it fill all the way, you will fire all TEN rounds in one shot. You can not use the lightning gun to fire one or two rounds and then charge it. You can only charge up the weapon when you have 10 shots. Tips: In a turning battle it is slightly effective if the enemy is not outturning you by too much. But it is much more effective if you release a full charge on an enemy warhawk then revert to homing missiles, swarms, or just straight up MG. In a regular game, this is a reliable tactic. In fully charged mode it is a great weapon against tanks and can deal damage to troops as well. In charged mode it will set off any mines in it's damage area. This can be used to quickly clear an LZ for you to set down in or to weaken all units in a radius while you reselect weapons and pound on them further. Great for flag-sitters and causing panic and widespread damage in enemy encampments. Also destroys the APC's Shields. Tactics: When not using in fully charged mode, use this in conjunction with MG's to take out a warhawk in mere seconds. A fully charged blast will stay on a warhawk long enough to destroy them, unless at anytime they go for health, which is what they do every time. Best Against: minefields, armored enemy units, APC induce shield (destroys the shield instantly) To defend against: Get out of the effective radius if it is attached to the ground. If you are in a vehicle hit by the ball, bail out. If you are in a turret, direct your fire against the offending Warhawk for as long as possible before bailing out. Weakest Against: If pulsed, it's a pretty good weapon against warhawks, and may be the most under-appreciated warhawk weapon. The charged version is a hit or miss proposition. Better be sure you are aiming at what you want to be aiming at before you fire. TOW Missile General: The binocular strike of the sky. Second only to the binocular strike in firepower. Delivers a large blast radius and like the binocular strike will not kill through walls. Hint hint. When a pilot pilot fires this missile, the pilot's screen becomes the nose camera for the missile and the pilot is now controlling the missile. A warhawk in flight will automatically engage hover mode when this missile is fired. Smart pilots generally hide very well, or line up the target prior to firing a short range strike. Tips: 1) Know where you are and where you want the missile to be prior to firing if you are going to be firing it at a target more than 10 seconds away. Know your flightplan in advance, and avoid using the thrust on the TOW as this consumes fuel at an astounding rate. However, if you know where you want it to go then don't worry about the fuel because it shouldn't be in the air very long. You don't want your target to have time to run away, do you? 2) If you are so inclined, use the TOW as a really big MG bullet. In other words, pepper a target with MG rounds, then fire your TOW and use it's thruster. The TOW is EXCELLENT as a short range weapon used on ground targets. This also mitigates another little-known interesting factor to consider: TOW missiles can be shot down. Any time I've seen it done it's been with an assault rifle or mounted MG turret, and even then it's rare, but it definitely is possible. If you are hit with a charged lightning gun, be SURE not to fire the TOW... the electricity will cause it explode instantly, giving you a suicide. Tactics: Launching a TOW long range without having a clear target in mind is either suicidal, pointless, or lucky, depending on what you get lucky enough to see. If you are lucky enough to be playing split-screen with a copilot in your warhawk, you gain the advantage of knowing exactly where to put it to do the most damage. Not likely, and on ranked servers it's simply unallowed. A simple straightforward TOW shot should involve a large enemy force around one objective. This usually means a couple enemy tanks bumrushing a friendly zone, a large enemy force camping at their home zone, or a few enemies going after a dropped flag. Generally, TOWs should be used as tankbusters whether fired from across the map or from 25 yards away. Best against: TANKS, weakened dropships, large groups, occasionally turrets if they are particularly troublesome. To defend against: Get inside, or disperse from a group if you hear one coming. If you are in a tank, bail, as they will probably be coming for you. If you are inside a bunker, pull out your assault rifle and bang away at the incoming TOW, you may get lucky, and this is about the coolest thing you can do in Warhawk. Period. Flak will also chew these up. Weakest against: They arent as effective against Dropships, and going toe to tow (pun intended) with a flak cannon will net you a suicide. Clusterbomb General: Lots of smaller bombs in one big shell. The tightness of the pattern depends on how high the warhawk thats dropping it is. Real clusterbombs don't work this way, but in warhawk, it adds to the general tactical options. More on that later. Tips: These are very very cool, but very very difficult to master. If there is one weapon that REQUIRES a lot of practice to master, more than any other weapon, this is it. There is no lock, no guidance, no aiming, nothing. It requires a good solid feel that only comes with practice. Lots of practice. A warhawk thrusting 25 feet over a field that drops this at full speed will produce a VASTLY different effect than a warhawk hovering 30 feet up will. Sometimes you will need to do the former, other times will require the latter. Practice. That's the only tip there is. Get into a LAN game and capture all the bases, then lay out a few vehicles. If you can splitscreen and move the second player to the point where that screen shows you the target area, you can practice the effects of different passes and speeds and altitudes on different vehicles. Generally, you want to use this in the same way a WWII pilot would use a bomb. You want to fly straight at your target and release it because the bomb will fly with you for a time. Stay off the deck though, it's not uncommon for an inexperienced clusterbomber to commit suicide. Tactics: Can be used to clear mines. Really good against tanks with practice, and against jeeps with a CRAZY amount of practice. Also a good idea to use these to damage enemy vehicles before they can use them if you use this high enough. If friendly fire is off, these are fun when there is a large close quarters battle going on enderneath you. Best against: Minefields, tanks, fortified zones. To defend against: Not much you can do after it's there, trying to stay out of large groups. If you are in a tank, you should bail out, as these tend to kill tanks bigtime, but may just drain troop health. Weakest Against: You get three points for killing a warhawk with a cluster bomb. Good luck. It is however easier to drop one on the top of a Dropship. EasiER not easy. Air Mine General: A large, floating explosive that explodes and destroys any enemy warhawk. A friendly aircraft caught in the blast of an airmine will be destroyed as well. Tips: Air Mines are best deployed tactically by deploying over warhawk spawn points, near valued pickups, and near tunnels/under bridges. In a pinch, an air mine is an EXCELLENT defensive weapon. If you are being followed and attacked by an enemy warhawk, instead of taking evasive action, drop an air mine. A lot of the time this will result in a kill. Never fly near a friendly air mine, as a patient sniper may shoot it as you pass and kill you with it. It may seem to be a good idea to take one out with a warhawk's MGs... but it takes SEVERAL rounds to kill one, and if you are moving forward, this could put you in blast range... best to simply avoid them altogether. Tactics: Always clear enemy air mines if you are on the ground. This can be best done by SAM, tanks, snipers, and RPGs. If they are close, a handgun, rifle, 50 cal, or anything else will work. If you are Eucadian, friendly mines will appear to look like little odd shaped hot-air balloons, and if you are Chernovan, friendly mines look like round spiked balls with turboprop engines inside them. Never kill the friendly ones, but the enemy ones are nothing but trouble and should be taken out to keep the enemy from scoring easy kills. Best Against: Warhawks only... they don't seem to damage ground forces. Damage Dropships heavily, but dropships move slowly enough to be able to easily avoid them. To defend against: Destroy them if you are on the ground, best to avoid them in warhawks. If an enemy deplys them over your base, target them with your pistol, Machine Gun, or sniper rifle. Weakest against: ONLY affects air vehicles, no matter how low you plant them. Stealth General: When activated, removes you from the enemy's map, and prevents anything from being able to lock onto you. You are somewhat invisible, NOT invincible. Since it is a secondary weapon, you can't use anything but the warhawk's MG's to attack with. Tips: Generally, if you are trying to get to a safe place, you need to fire off a chaff instantly before arming this, because any missile that was locked on prior to you engaging the stealth will still track you. This prevents new lockons and keeps weapons that track from being able to track you. STAY AWAY FROM FLAK GUNS. You have no protection from them at all, although for some reason a lot of people seem to think they do. Tactics: This "weapon" isn't the most powerful thing you can pick up, but it is definitely not worthless, and can be very valuable if used correctly... for example, carrying a friendly into an enemy base and offering some fire support is suicide without this. Attacking SAM sites becomes possible with this pickup if you do so smartly (remember, they CAN still dumbfire). Using this well is all about using it creatively. Best against: No offensive capability, but negates ability of missiles to lock on to you. To defend against: If your holding a homing missle lock on a warhawk that just went stealh, you can release the missle and they might take the stealth off in order to pop a chaff. This is the time to use all you have to destroy them. As their stealth will take time to reload. Weakest against: Does NOT erase lockons that occured BEFORE you went stealth. Even if the enemy did not fire a missile, they could be holding a lock for use when they get closer. SECTION 4: MAPS MA01 Warhawk maps are larger than most games maps. This doesn't mean there aren't smaller subdivisions of each map. As a matter of fact, most games are NOT played on the largest iteration of each map. This is not intended to be a map by map exhaustive guide, merely offer a few details on the maps that will offer some guidance about things you may not have noticed. Island Outpost General: A temperate, hilly map with plenty of zones and winding roads. There are a few mountains that are only accessible by warhawk that make great sniping points. Driving ALL of the roads on a LAN game will give you a good idea of the layout of this map. On the "Over the Bridges" layout of this map the two bridges in the center both have binocular pickups. On other map layouts the binoculars are located at the zone that is closest to the home base. The two tunnels (one per bridge) have land mine pickups on the landfall side of them that are VERY frequently use to booby trap those tunnels. The two zones with sniper towers outside the main bases also spawn landmines, and are also frequently mined heavily. The hills that form the tunnels by the bridges are EXCELLENT sniping points, though people tend to use the zones that have the two bunkers. Sniping from the hill beside the main bases requires a warhawk to get to, but can result in excellent kills. Tips: Watch for mines, especially when crossing the bridges. The worn dirty areas are paths that can be effectively travelled, even though some of them may appear to be too steep. They will grant you an element of surprise when assaulting enemy zones. The hills generally mean that SAM and tanks effective range is somewhat decreased, but getting in a warhawk with binoculars will offer you an intense killing experience. If you are planning on doing this prepare properly. Take an RPG, Sniper Rifle also. This will enable you to drop an airstrike, switch to Sniper Rifle and continue to kill while the Binocs recharge. If you are attacked by a warhawk, you can take it out with the RPG. Then you can repeat with the Binocs, and finish out the sniper rifle. The RPG is also GREAT for sniping as well with practice, so make sure you fire everything empty before you leave the position. Move slightly to hide from retaliating snipers. The zone on the non-tunneled side of the bridges are critical. They spawn a WIDE array of weaponry and vehicles and attach by back road to another zone. While they aren't critical strategically, as far as resources they are imperatives. Tanks are of special import because in most configurations, they only spawn here and at the main bases. Skills: This is a good map for sniping and for using mines to sabotage zones. TOW missiles and clusterbombs both are especially viable as well, since most of the zones feature flag areas that are extremely susceptible to those attacks. A good map to learn warhawks, since the mountains give you some protection from rockets, and the flak batteries are easy to take out from long range. Eucadia General: A temperate, rocky map that forms a bit of a bowl shape. The roads are very useful, but the paths are equally helpful. The two zones used as home zones in the largest version of this map are "mini-bowls" and an enemy army trapped in these zones is in MAJOR trouble, as this allows warhawks to pop up, fire, and retreat behind the hills. The next two zones in are massively important, as these are the next two highest points. Enemies have to circle around by road or assault them with warhawk landings, while friendlies can simply grab a tank or jeep and drive over the side. The central zone on the bridge can be targetted from just about anywhere and is about the last place one should plan on hanging around in. The remaining four zones on the map are where the majority of the fighting will take place. They are essentially double zones that are absolutely brimming with resources. Tips: Watch for mines in the "double zones", they are readily available and plentiful here. Binocular strikes are frequent and troublesome at the middle zone. Try not to travel in too large a group if conducting land battles. SAM launchers and tanks are both very effective as well. This map requires strong driving skills in CTF as well. Warhawks are prime targets, but also have a LOT of power here, since they can quickly target and hit any zone, and serve as a prime means of transport, especially if taking zones is a priority. Taking the 4 outermost zones by land is an exercise in frustration. Skills: Clever mine placing here is very important, and if done well will net you a lot of kills. Warhawks are a necessity for transportation given the size of the map. Piloting skills here are a real help. This map allows all skills in the game to be fully utilized, though flak cannons aren't as useful as SAMs because of the long ranges and ability of tanks, SAM's, binocs, etc etc to take them out. Destroyed Capitol General: Here you have series of 6 building in the sky, with 3 north and 3 south. The middle of the map is one huge floating island that has 3 zones on it... a gazebo in the dead center, and 2 skyscraper complexes on either side. This map is warhawk heavy, as EVERY zone except the center spawns multiple warhawks. Most of the fighting here will take place either in the sky or on the main island. The four corner zones will see some action, but nowhere NEAR as much as the north and south center zones, because both of these provides quick access to attack the center island and make excellent sniper platforms. They also have dual flak guns and an RPG pickup, as well as mines for defense. The East and West center zones have two tanks at each one, plus high up on the skyscrapers there is a room which will provide you with Rpg, sniper rifle, flamethrower, binoculars, etc, as well as a VERY advantageous point from which to use them all from. The central Gazebo zone is safe from binoc strikes, and directly underneath it, under the foundations for the island, is the one lone TOW missile pickup. The east and west zones also are indoors, and hence safe for the most part from tanks, binocs, snipers, TOW, etc, which makes them more difficult to take over and very easy to defend. Tips: Getting a tank up through the rubble and in the plaza surrounding the skyscrapers is a treacherous path, but a good tank driver can get one there and rack up some kills. Binoculars also spawn by the two dual tank spawns. This is a pilot's map, first and foremost, and most of the combat done excluding the action on the three center zones will revolve around warhawk or anti-warhawk strategies. The central plaza combat will be very fierce, and feature a lot of anti air as well. There will be long range fire coming from the two skyscrapers, but the gazebo combat will tend to be furious and marked with assault rifles, grenades and flamethrowers. Be careful if trying to take the zones in the north and south. These landing areas are IDEAL places to place mines and I know I personally have dozens of mine kills from incoming pilots trying to land. Always use either a clusterbomb or charged lightning strike to clear those areas before landing, though in a pinch, swarm missiles dumbfired will have the same effect. Skills: A flamethrower is a good idea for the indoor areas, especially the east and west skyscraper zones, which can be mine magnets. Probably the best map to really learn how to snipe, with the possible exception of Archipelago, and it's a map where good tank skills will also shine. RPG usage on any building will net you good kills, and using RPG and sniper rifle in tandem here will prove to be a very rewarding combination. Binoculars are also very accessible here, but a lot of the map is housed indoors and therefore somewhat protected. Archipelago General: This is another map that will constantly have a large amount of warhawk combat going, only they aren't quite as plentiful here. An army that loses enough zones will find itself having a devastating loss of resources. Most of the warhawk weapons are low, close to the water, and most of the ground combat happens at high altitude. There are some similarities between this map and Destroyed Capitol, as both feature a grid of 3 x 3 with the center 3 (east, center, and west) being attached as one island, and the top 3 and bottom 3 both being composed of individual islands. One MAJOR difference is that in Zones, the central zone isn't that important as far as resources goes. On this map it is an ammo dump, spawning 4 warhawks, 2 tanks, 2 SAM, 2 Flak, and multiple jeeps and other goodies. This zone is the biggest non-home zone in Warhawk as far as resources, and almost always is being contested. In a full map game, the North and South zones are home base, but each zone on this map is pretty resource rich or tactically important for various reasons. Tips: In a full map game, do not overlook the east and west zones, as the SAM launcher here will provide a very effective foothold to take the center from. If you do take the center, prepare for a fight. Manning any anti-air turret will get you kills, but will get you killed quickly. If you go this route, and it is a good one, bail out the second you take any fire and go to a new turret, as EVERY other zone can fire on you. The tanks are useful, but the stars of this show will be warhawks. In a CTF version of the map, there are 5 zones on the center island. The center will be furiously contested the entire game, because it is the key to victory. In a CTF match the team that controls the center zone will win only because they have all the vehicles and an excellent base to strike from. The other two contested zones are secondary and meaningless if you don't have the center. Use caution when entering the center zone by land, as both entrances tend to get mined heavily. Skills: Dumbfiring SAM missiles (SAM sniping), sniping, TOW, and using a tank cannon to snipe are all EXTREMELY effective on this map, as is patience with lock-ons. Getting a lock on and simply firing will not be anywhere NEARLY as effective as holding the lock until the warhawk closes distance, as once you get a lock, you can track your target through buildings, islands, etc etc. Speaking of warhawks, those skills and weapons are ALL highly effective here. SAM is more effective here than flak. The Badlands General: A unique map... it has a desert canyon setting, it is narrow and runs north to south and is composed of only 7 zones. This map forms sort of a canoe, logically, as the canyon's sides are higher than the center. There are lots of paths to follow and riverbeds form natural paths. The North and South zones are massive compounds that each house 4 tanks, at least that many warhawks, and lots of weaponry and places to hide/attack from. The outer rim of the land mass, and the water outside of it is where you'll find most of the warhawk pickups. The outside zones are large square ones that are well defended by large square walls. The inside Zones are small triangular zones that all the same provide enough equipment to cause major trouble. The middle zone is another sweet one, though not QUITE as sweet as Archipelagos... it does have 2 tanks, 4 warhawks, several jeeps and 2 flak cannons. It also has a lot of weapon pickups and 2 sets of binoculars, though they are OUTSIDE the walls. It doesn't have SAM sites, but has everything else. Tips: Sniping is lessened here by the canyons. This is a very interesting map, as there are quite a few really nice places to snipe from, but this usually doesn't happen. The zones invite large battles and lots of clusterbomb and TOW strikes. There are routinely large tank battles here. Cautious, random mine placement will net you lots of kills... there are so many different paths to sneak around in, that one mine in the middle of nowhere will be more effective than 4 on an obvious path. Explore this map... without going into TOO much detail... there are some great places you can get a tank to go, and excellent goodies tucked away in crevasses and hollows here and there. Skills: Every zone on this map spawns at least one tank, one warhawk, and one jeep. In total, it spawns a mindblowing 14 tanks. Sure, they are still outnumbered by warhawks, but if you want to be a good tank commander, this is where you come to do battle. It also affords you the map to use you tanks and jeeps very creatively. Pilots need to master the TOW missile. This is the one map where flak guns are FAR more useful than SAM turrets, because a warhawk may only be in view for 2-3 seconds before making its way behind canyons... the SAM will not usually get a chance to lock on, but a flak gun will still get 8-10 shells in the air and potentially take out the warhawk, not to mention the added benefit of knocking down TOW missiles, which you better believe you will being seeing a lot of. The Omega Factory* General: Released with the Operation: Omega Dawn expansion, this is a huge map, that is comprised of a lot of zones that seem to all be enclosed in a building or installation. I will come right out and say that I find this map to be well beneath the quality of every other map in warhawk for a few reasons. The first is because every zone is enclosed. This effectively means large assaults on zones aren't possible. You can approach zones with a vehicle, but by and large they all have to be taken over on foot. The second reason is that unless you are on the bridge in the center, ALL of the action will take place at the zones. There is a LOT of dead space on this map that provides a wealth of sniper opportunities, but since everything is enclosed, there is no reason to use them. As a true paradox, the smaller iterations of this map are the best ones for DeathMatch games. There is a lot of vertical movement in the map as well, which would be FANTASTIC on a smaller map, but you never really have a reason to use any of this space. Tips: Grab a tank and get to work. Warhawks are best used as taxis to take zones. The dropship makes sense for this map, as you need it to facilitate flag captures. Skills: Tank driving and warhawk combat. Being a great jeep driver will pay large dividends in CTF, but largely the distance is so great and the drive between zones is so sparse that you will almost always need backup. Vaporfield Glacier** General: Released with the Operation: Broken Mirror expansion, this is even larger than the Omega Factory. That is not a bad thing. This map is AMAZING. First off, the map here is the first one that is not symmetrical. Secondly, the architecture and the way each zone is built is such that each one poses unique challenges. There is a lot of empty space, but there is a lot of roads, glaciers, paths, and TONS of areas to set up in. The small town and it's zone in the center will be a maddening source of contention, as will the major roads that go from zone to zone. The highways seriously will see so much combat that it's a testament to good design. Tips: The APC is important in this map as a spawn point. This is one of those rare maps that is so well done that EVERYTHING you learn and use will help you. There is access to rooftops, perfect kill points for air mines, chances to lay traps, zones that will require planning to uproot, and any one of these zones can be WELL defended by no more than 3 people. Skills: It's a lollapalooza. Polish all your skills, as they are all balanced on this map. You will have equal opportunity to put every trick in your book to use here. Section 5: Game Modes GM01 Deathmatch (DM) General: Good old fashioned DM. You against everyone. You get points for kills, and only for kills. Tips: All other player's mines will kill you. Interestingly, you can jump in another players tank and use a wrench to destroy it. DM is very frantic, and will result most frequently in chaos. In a smaller map don't be afraid to go to the knife, but generally you will want to stay stocked up on grenades and potentially keep your map open (select). Tactics: If you want a high KDR, head toward the edge of the map or use vehicles, if you want to win at all costs, go toward the heavy fighting. Concepts: -Kill kill kill is wrong. Kill, collect backpack, kill, collect backpack. This will keep you healed up and armed. -Go to the vehicles, if available. You don't have to be a warhawk ace to drop a clusterbomb on 4 guys involved in a firefight with each other. Tanks are a no brainer. These game modes generally take place on small maps and largely involve troops on foot firing constantly. This means they all show up on radar constantly and are begging to be mauled with the tank cannon or TOW missile. -Play offensively. All offense, all the time. Getting wounded ad hanging back does you no good, especially since the rest of the players are out making points. -BFG? Yes. BFG will turn you into a turret... beware the one hit kill weapons, but since the BFG will damage EVERY other player, they become really useful in this mode. Don't stand too still... snipers, you know. -Mines? YES. Mines and air mines both kill every other player. Use them liberally to rack up more kills. You aren't killing effectively until you are killing all the time. When you pick either one up, use ASAP. Don't let someone else pick up 4 mines you could have planted. Get them out of your inventory and into the mix. Team Deathmatch (TDM) General: You are on either the Eucadian (Blue) or Chernovan (Red) team. If friendly fire is off, pelt away, if it is on, be careful or you could run into some trouble. Tips: Interestingly, even though the name of the game is Team DeathMatch, taking a zone will not only net you 2 points for neutralizing an enemy zone, and another 2 for taking it, it will also given your TEAM a total of 4 points. Without the points, zones are still the means by which you attain access to vehicles and weapons, but WITH the points there is no reason not to take them at all. Generally, finding a "buddy" upon spawning and attacking in tandem is a very good idea, as is sniping and camping. All strategies are perfectly legit in this mode. Tactics: For a high KDR, snipe or use long range attacks or defend a zone. For high points, go after zones. If you are going for wins, adapt your strategy to the battle. Concepts: -Zone Captures count toward Victory Conditions. That means if red team takes 4 zones in the beginning of the match, the score will be 0-8. If Blue kills a dude and takes a zone back, the score will be 3-6. The zones confer 2 points to whomever holds them. -Killing nets points. Dying nets points for the other team. While it is often a great idea to attack a swarm of enemy soldiers in Zones or CTF to distract the enemy, it is a bad idea in TDM unless you are getting kills. You generally want to go in strong, and ensure that you are keeping your KDR up. No other mode should worry you about KDR, but this one should, because KDR is strongly intertwined with Team Victory. A guy who has 32 kills and 42 deaths is losing the war, even if the next best killer on the team is 13 and 9. Between those two players, the score is 45-51. -To re-iterate. Play to stay alive, and kill when you can. If your whole team does this, you will SMOKE the enemy team. -Double and Triple teaming the enemy is excellent for this mode. Whether you overwhelm a position or sucker them into coming for you. Capture The Flag (CTF) General: A staple of wargames. Both sides have a flag, and both sides are trying to go get the enemy's flag and bring it back to their own base. You can NOT score in CTF if the other team has your flag away from your base. Not only do you have to go get the enemy's flag and bring it back, but you have to keep your own flag defended. You can therefore keep an enemy from scoring by assaulting their base and running off with their flag. If a flag carrier falls off a cliff into an area that nobody can go to (ie water, off the map places, the flag IMMEDIATELY respawns at the home base. If the flag carrier is killed by any other means, the flag is dropped and must be guarded until it is secured and returns to base. The amount of time the flag stays still is adjustable and seems to change from patch to patch, but it is SIGNIFICANT, upwards of 25 seconds. The more people that help, just like anything else, the faster the flag will be secured. Tips: A Flag capture is 25 points, and you will earn those points. Do not spend too many resources in order to defend your own flag because if the other side wants it bad enough, they will take it. Concepts: -Zones matter. Zones not only give you more positions to spawn from, but also give you access to more weapons and vehicles, and retrieving a flag all the way across The Badlands, for instance, is MUCH more difficult when the enemy is controlling all the zones. Doing the same flag run when YOUR team is in control of all of them is almost a cakewalk. -Warhawks make good roadblocks. Good pilots have a number of tricks they can pull here. A flag runner will USUALLY use a jeep. You can shoot up the jeep, and probably allow them to go a few hundred more yards, or you can ram their jeep and stop them from moving, which presents you a much easier target. -If you can knock the enemy flag carrier off the map, the flag will respawn back at home base... negating the need to secure it. -Securing the flag takes a while... stay alert when doing so. -If a friendly unit has the enemy flag, give them all the support you can. This is good for you as a team member, but also selfishly makes the enemy mindlessly go after that player. Your RPG will knock down pilots who would NEVER otherwise be shot down so easily. -Providing air support for a flag runner will net you a LOT of targets of opportunity. -You can't score if the enemy has your flag. The enemy can't score if you have theirs. If the enemy escaping with your flag, and has a LOT of backup, go take their flag. -Only Flag Captures count toward the team victory, but there are many components and factors in making a capture happen. Don't get hung up on any one aspect of it. Taking zones, lending support, booby trapping the enemy base, clearing mines ahead of the flag runner, booby trapping the friendly flag... all these are useful things to be doing, and all contribute to victory. The key is to NOT do things redundantly... If you see three guys defending your flag runner, don't hop in a warhawk and protect him too, go to the enemy base and wait for the flag to respawn when it gets captured. -If your guy drops the flag, and the enemy is trying to capture, take one for the team. If you touch the flag for 1 second, you make the enemy have to work harder to secure it. Throw yourself at that flag! -Lightning Gun = lifesaver. The charged lightning gun is the BEST way to clear mines, and there will be mines. Why the lightning gun? Because the other methods (cbomb, TOW, etc) provide some level of warning to inside troops that you are coming. The CLG can be fired from way off, hit the landing zone and IMMEDIATELY detonate ALL mines within a LARGER radius. The real deal is this though: it keeps detonating new mines, so that no one gets to immediately put out a fresh minefield. Obviously, you also get the added benefit of doing some damage to enemies in the zone, and they will be moving. Using the other methods will cause enemies to get indoors and hide. CLG will generally cause people to move out of the field and reveal their position... even if they DONT move, you know they are there from the red "hit x" that appears in the center of your reticule. Zones (ZNS) General: This was the ultimate team game, before the 1.4 patch came out. The clock may say 20 minutes at the beginning, but these games are usually over in 7 to 10 minutes. One team wins when they acquire the maximum amount of points which is usually about 5000. Points are awarded for getting kills and taking zones, but the majority of a teams points come from holding zones. Your team will get points based simply on how many zones your team controls and if all the zones are connected then your team will get points faster. Unlike other game modes, bases in this mode have different levels of "strength". Even the home base has different levels of strength and the enemy might take your home zone down to it's lowest possible level. The higher you build up a zone, the more points your team gets. It will also take the other team longer to take the zone down to neutral which will give you more time to spawn there and defend it. Also the level of each zone will keep the enemy from expanding a zone nearby it. Basically enemy zones can not overlap a friendly zone. Therefore it maybe necessary for your team to take the next closest zone in order to max out the zone that you are at. Also vehicles and weapons will NOT spawn if their spawn points are outside of the circle the designates what level the zone is at. Tips: This is NOT the game mode for camping or for hanging about in any way. Your team wins solely based on how many zones you control and nothing else contributes to a win like a taking a base. You can however stay at a hotly contested zone and help to defend it if it is crucial to your team winning but nothing helps out like having more zones. This mode is also where air superiority is key. If your team loses the air, you are in BIG trouble and you can expect a quick and sudden loss. Depending on how much time is left, you may find yourself with nowhere to spawn but in the home zone. When you finally do spawn you will most likely be killed in a matter of seconds with next to no opportunity for getting kills or helping your team in any way. Concepts: -Homebase SUCKS. Worst place you can be. The enemy can never, ever, spawn there... you can never lose it. Yes, it is a multiplier, but one single guy on a respawn 9 times out of 10 is enough to retake it. Never be caught being dumb about home. -Homebase is awful. You will lose the game if you hang out here... you may have a positive KDR... but you suck. -Homebase is a really bad idea. -Attacking the enemy's homebase is an effective diversion. But they will kill you. When they do, you can't spawn back in there. -Take the enemy zone(s) closest to the enemy base. This will cut off the home base multiplier, AND if you get killed, you can respawn before they kick you out of there. This will let you score MUCH more points and *gasp* help your team out. -If you ARE a base camper, camp at a non-home base zone. There are several reasons: 1) You are defending a valuable resource, 2) if you are anywhere in the zone circle, and a friendly knocks down a neighbor zone, YOU will automatically start growing the zone bigger, just by being within that circle, 3) Forward positions put you in a situation to support assault forces... camping at home means you will get kills mainly when an enemy attacks home. -This mode, more than any other, is MADE for the APC. Good APC usage turns an impregnable fortress of a zone into a level playing field. If you enjoy zones games, you REALLY owe it to yourself to pick up the Broken Mirror expansion. You should anyway because of the unbelievably awesome Vaporfield Glacier map. -Look for the weak spot. Go for the unguarded zone, and do so quietly. If you don't shoot, the enemy may not know you are there. Also, a LOT of zones have a hiding spot where you can stay fairly well hidden and be taking the zone. Even if there is another enemy in the circle of the zone, the enemy guy in "banner proximity" will cause the zone strength to drop, even if there are 8 guys in the larger circle (unless one of them is also in "banner proximity") -Lightning Gun (from above). The charged lightning gun is the BEST way to clear mines, and there will be mines. Why the lightning gun? Because the other methods (cbomb, TOW, etc) provide some level of warning to inside troops that you are coming. The CLG can be fired from way off, hit the landing zone and IMMEDIATELY detonate ALL mines within a LARGER radius. The real deal is this though: it keeps detonating new mines, so that no one gets to immediately put out a fresh minefield. Obviously, you also get the added benefit of doing some damage to enemies in the zone, and they will be moving. Using the other methods will cause enemies to get indoors and hide. CLG will generally cause people to move out of the field and reveal their position... even if they DONT move, you know they are there from the red "hit x" that appears in the center of your reticule. -Help when you can. If you see a friendly trying to take a zone and an enemy warhawk attacking him, hit that warhawk, and land to accelerate the process. -Keep your eyes peeled... especially when taking zones. Don't think the dude you just killed isn't going to respawn right on top of you. Hero Mode (HRO) General: Hero Mode and Collection Mode both debuted with the 1.4 patch. Both are EXCELLENT. In Hero Mode, as soon as the game starts, one player from each team is selected to be the Hero. The Hero has EXTREME damage protection, gets at least one of EVERY troop weapon (Except BFG and Wrench), and ALL weapons that player uses become MASSIVELY more powerful, plus weapons that normally can't do damge to vehicles become dangerous to vehicles. For example, a Hero shooting a sniper rifle at a tank will kill it. Their pistol will do damage to tanks as well. Their assault rifle will kill a tank in one clip. A Hero in a tank will kill anything in one hit, other tanks, APCs, turrets, etc. Now for the bad news. You show up on EVERYONE'S radar with a star over you head. In addition to that, there are only two ways for a team to score points in this mode. 1) To kill the enemy Hero (1 pt) or 2) to BE the Hero and get kills (1 pt Each). The Hero status only lasts for about a minute, or until the hero is killed, which generates a new random player hero. Going toe to toe with the enemy Hero reveals that the defensive Buff the hero gets is actually FAR stronger than the OFFENSIVE buff. This means that a Hero will survive a binoc strike, even one that comes from the enemy hero. Or a tank blast. Or a prolonged dropship battering. As far as PERSONAL points, all those still count towards your score... so keep taking zones and killing enemies, but try not to steal kills from your friendly hero... that will hurt your team... and the chances to get that 50 point team win bonus ribbon. Tips: If you AREN'T the Hero: -Don't go after the enemy Hero. Make them come to you. Don't give them easy points. -Fire on the Hero from safe distances only... damaging them is good, hovering around one is suicide. -Watch for the backpacks from fallen heroes. Get them and use the binocs on the current enemy hero. -If the enemy hero is in a tank or warhawk, hide indoors. Don't give them easy points. -NEVER face down a hero on foot. Doing so is utter foolishness. Hit them tanks, with warhawks, with SAM turrets... but facing a hero on foot at close range is the very definition of bringing a knife to a gun fight. -Take potshots. Don't put yourself in a position to get into a drawn out battle with a hero, because frankly it probably won't be a drawn out battle, but if you see a hero firing a tank cannon into the sky, pop them a couple times with an RPG or Tank shot, just get behind cover if you see that turret turn. -Go take enemy zones. If your team can get to the point where the enemy has no other places to spawn, a hero invading their home base will CRUSH them. If you ARE the Hero: -Resist the urge to go toe to toe with the enemy hero. One point for the Enemy Hero to die, PLUS one point for you = 2 points, plus a new hero spawns immediately. When you are the hero, you should be a fox in a henhouse, not a fox looking for the guarddog TO the henhouse. -Don't get stupid. Your firing an RPG at your feet kills you. Hero or not. -Get in a warhawk, look for anything moving and MG it. Swarms are DEADLY as the hero in air to air. -Weak weapons become STRONG when in Hero Mode. Strong weapons become overkill a lot of the time. This is not to say Binocs are never useful as hero, but it IS to say that a warhawk MG will get MUCH more kills. Your puny assault rifle clip becomes twice as powerful as the 90-round 50 Cal jeep MG. RPG's are useful on foot to kill approaching warhawks, tanks, and turrets in ONE SHOT, and the sniper rifle becomes a tank and turret killer. -Get a vehicle. Being the jeep driver as the hero sucks, but the 50 cal on the back of the jeep turns it into a roving death machine. The warhawks agility and the buff to just the machine guns turn it into a brutal fast killing machine, and the charged lightning gun, cluster bombs (from higher than normal altitude), and swarm missiles become tools of absolute terror. The Tank is beastly, but it's low speed works against it as a hero. The Dropship is virtually unkillable in hero mode, but its just so slow. Tactics: Use a warhawk to hunt as the hero. Most effective combination of speed and weaponry. Concepts: -Hero is a misnomer. It's Villain! Go beat up on the citizens! -The buffs includes the weapons. This can not be understated. Use those weapons on the way to a warhawk. Trust me... if you get uner 50% health in the warhawk, land and take a fresh one... those swarm missiles that normally suck are up there with Homing Missiles while buffed, and there are 5 fresh ones in every parked warhawk on the map. Collection: (COL) General: Also new in the 1.4 patch, Collection is an interesting twist on CTF. Collection consists of have 4 "core" generators on the map. The cores themselves are nothing more than "tokens" that circle the player who has them. Any player can 1, 2, 3, or 4 cores, and any player carrying a core shows up on radar. The really cool thing about this game mode is risk vs. reward. A player who makes it back to home base with 1 core will score 1 point for the team. A player returning with 2 scores 3 points. A player brave enough to roll with 3 cores will score 6, and a player crazy/tough/ supported/lucky enough to bring all 4 back will score 10 points. You can't fly when you have a core on you, and you can drop the core(s) you are carrying with the triangle button, this is necessary if you want to score BIG points... if you have one core, and a teammate is returning to base with 3, throw yours down so he can return all 4. It will help with the team victory, which as of 1.4 gives every member of the team ***50*** bonus points. It's worth giving up the one personal team point for the 50 bonus points. Tips: Ok, now for the truth. If you ever, Ever, EVER return 1 core, you fail at life and should think long and hard about whether or not you should even be playing video games. Try as I might, the only reason I can think of to return one core is if you are on a team with COMPLETE idiots (you should still try to get teammates to help), or if you only need one more point to win, or if there is less than a minute remaining in the game. Here's a tip. This is the ultimate team game. Your team MUST co-operate or you will lose. Zones are more important in this mode than any other mode except zones, since having controlof the zones will allow your team to comfortable respawn and take the cores back under cover of teammate's weapons. Still, if the whole team goes after zones, the enemy will run off with cores. This mode requires thinking and skill and cooperation. Use the triangle button frequently. It doesn't matter WHO returns the cores. What matters is HOW MANY get returned at once. Returning at LEAST 3 cores is smart. Returning 2 is OK if your team is in a closely pitch battle, but remember, upon scoring, the cores immediately respawn... so if your team controls NO zones, as soon as your team scores, all the enemy has to do is spawn in and run the cores back as fast as they can. Base camping is BRUTAL in Collection, as attacking home will create "fumbles" and give you the opportunity to return the cores across the map to your own base. Also, if you are able to knock an enemy carrying a core off of the map with a warhawk, just like CTF, the core IMMEDIATELY respawns at it's spawn point. Concepts: -Turf. You need zones here. Zones are Critical in this mode, because as soon as each core that scores is scored, it immediately pops back up at it's generator. The team that controls the zones (and therefore vehicles and weapons) closest to the core generators has a huge advantage in securing the core. -Passing. The triangle button drops your core(s), so that another player can score them. You need to realize that even if you pass the core to another player, as long as an enemy doesn't touch the cores, you still get the points when the core(s) score, just as if you had done it yourself. This means, it's actually BETTER individually to pass cores... because you can return a core to friendlies, pass it, and head right back off into battle, freeing you up to score more points via combat and zone captures. -Kenny Rogers is still relavent (Know when to Hold 'em, Know when to Fold 'em). If you are holding a core core at home, and the enemy has the other 3... you may actually do better by scoring. Consult your team. If you have 1 core and the other 3 are on the battlefield, DO NOT SCORE! Wait! If you have 2 or 3 cores, check with your team on the location/status of the other core or cores. If they can get them, wait, but either way, always check. If you have all four cores, TELL THE TEAM you are about to score. Why? So they can get near the core generators and hopefully bring them back. -Communicate. Period. -Try being a hit man. Cool thing about this mode is, unlike CTF, you can kill an enemy and start running back the core they had. It's quite a rush. -Boobytrapping the enemy base is great great fun, and can create a lot of really epic scoring opportunities. -And the dark side... if you have a teammate that continually returns cores one at a time, get them out of the game. They'll ruin the game for you and your teammates. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has to learn, so try to educate them on how to play this mode effectively. If this doesn't work, you can run them out. I am usually VERY against this type of behavior, but this is such a team game that one player returning single cores can create a loss for you all by themselves. If you try to get the teammate back on the reservation, but can't you are left with a nasty alternative: run them off. The best way to do this is not by teamkilling... this will only get you kicked and potentially banned. No. You grab a warhawk and harrass the player. If they have a jeep, push them off a cliff... if they are in a tank, keep flipping it over... if they are on foot, keep ramming them and knocking them away from gameplay. If friendly fire is ON, they will kill you. Let them, and immediate harrass them more. When they kill you enough they will get kicked. If they don't, keep harrassing them, and tell them why on the mic. Not like a jerk... but forcefully: "You are fighting us. we are trying to win. You are working against us, so I'm keeping you away from cores." One of three things will happen: 1) they will become infuriated and leave, 2) they will get in a warhawk, or 3) they will apologize and reform. Any of the 3 is good since 1) they were hurting the team, 2) you can't carry cores in warhawks, and 3) they will be educated. Please note this is last ditch. You should try to talk to your teammates as much as possible, and do everything you can to not have to go this route... but if it's a close pitched game (within 5 points) their behavior will cause you to lose. If they do it once or twice, its forgivable... the third time it happens after it's been addressed, thats when you can run them out without feeling bad about it. -Be mindful when killing enemy core-carriers... if the guy is in a jeep, and you blow up the guy in the jeep in the middle of nowhere... you now have to walk all the way back to base with the core, since you cant carry one in a warhawk. The better tactic is to either 1) flip the jeep over and force them to flee on foot or 2) wait until they are near a vehicle spawnpoint before taking them out... either way you aren't going to want to be in the middle of nowhere with a core on foot. -If you tend to go after core carriers, make sure you keep a wrench on you. If you take heavily damage an enemy vehicle in the process of killing a core carrier, you are going to need transportation back to base. It's better to have the wrench and not need it than to need it and not have it. Section 6: DSA Tactics DSA01 This section only appears in the DSA version. To ask for a clan tryout, go to www.darksidealliance.com. Section 7: Sun-Tzu for Warhawk SUNTZU This is a fun little section for me. A lot of overeducated elitists these days are running around saying that Sun-Tzu's continually famous book "The Art of War" simply isn't as good as other books, such as Machievelli's The Prince, or other tactical books by other rulers and generals. This surely comes from the same kind of intellectual who would not realize that Shakespeare was simply the vulgar Michael Bay of his day and bestow the beauty of the language. Make no mistake: Sun Tzu is a military legend for a reason. You can read The Art of War in an afternoon, and here are some excerpts that come to bloom in Warhawk. “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Have a strategy that will perform a function for your team, and use tactics that you are good at. “Let your plans be dark and as impenetratable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” When you make a decision, MAKE IT. Don't go back and forth trying to decide what to do. “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” Have a plan. If your plan isn't working, re-evaluate and try something else. “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” If you enemy is an expert sniper, don't get into a sniper battle with him. Use the right tool for the job. If the enemy team is brutally effective in the air and you are a tank guy, don't get into a warhawk to try to tilt the odds. Find some anti aircraft and get to work. “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” Don't let that jeep slide by you in the tank. Killing it will only take 10 seconds. “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.” Sometimes, you may find yourself overpowered by several enemies taking a zone. Arm your knife and hide. They will all leave, then you reclaim the zone and boobytrap it. “Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the Attack.” While defence is strong, you can only win by attacking. “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” Don't be conspicuous. Don't keep your guns blazing, or you will show up on radar the whole game. “The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” Play your game your way, and wait on the enemy to slip up. “If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” Read this guide. Learn the weapons. Learn the vehicles. Know the terrain. The more you know about yourself, the stronger you will be. Knowing the terrain will free you up to judge the enemy much faster. “In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.” I see a lot of idiots rolling into an enemy zone, then blowing up everything. It's just going to respawn. Get on the mic and tell your teammates the zone is open, then THEY can spawn in and use the new gear. "If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected." Take all that to heart. "Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays." Don't rush off into a huge firefight naked, but don't sit around trying to collect every weapon. Get one weapon, or vehicle, or what have you, and take off with a plan. "Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy... use the conquered foe to augment one's own strength." Why drive a tank all the way across a map, when you can fly across the map and steal an enemy tank in 20 seconds? "So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak." Should be most obvious, ESPECIALLY in Hero Mode. In Closing BUHBYE I hope this guide has been helpful. I had quite a good bit of fun writing it, and there have been numerous discussions with a LOT of people on the Warhawk boards on gamefaqs.com. I have given permission to people to reprint this guide on a couple different websites, but they have all contacted me and asked. If you would like to post this guide, first contact me at email@example.com.