In war, aside from a peace treaty, there is only one way to win - attacking. It is the most important part of any game, regardless of type, and unless you know how to attack efficiently and with deadly precision, your chances of winning are slim. In this guide I aim to take you through the major parts of attacking, the strategies needed, where to attack from, the advantages of stealth against going in all guns blazing, and how to make the most of each mistake created by your enemy. I am no Sun-Tzu, but for Renegade, this guide will mean your frag rate will go through the roof.
Preparation & Basics
There is no point hoping to kill the minions of NOD if you aren't comfortable. Be sure to choose a comfortable chair, one which you can relax in, yet with a back firm enough to keep you upright - there isn't much use in being comfortable if you keep on falling asleep. You eyes should be slightly above the middle of your screen, as this gives you the best viewing angle possible. Make sure the sun isn't glaring off the monitor, obscuring any part of the screen whatsoever, an enemy could be lying in wait there, but the room has to be light enough so you are comfortable.
You aim your weapons with your mouse, as well as look and turn, so it is an important piece of kit. Make sure it is regularly cleaned, because a sticky unresponsive mouse could get you killed. Ensure the mouse mat is clean as well, remove any grit from the surface to eliminate 'catching' and that is in generally good condition. Having a wrist rest is a nice addition, keeping your wrist unscathed from clashes with the desk, and also keeps your hand posture.
The keyboard setup also makes a difference, and many of the professionals or hard core gamers spent a lot of time and research into the best possible setup. Your hands need to be able to reach all the important keys with ease, so don't cramp them up together or space them too far apart. The automatic setups are usually fine for most players, but feel free to alter bits and pieces if something doesn't feel right for you. For example, I altered the sniping controls straight away, preferring to use the mouse wheel than the number pad. It can be little things like this that separate a failed attack from a devastating strike.
Now onto the basics, the fundamental rules that apply to most games including Renegade. Firstly, aiming. It should be simple enough to know that different parts of the human anatomy react differently to bullets, so aiming at the correct parts to inflict the best damage is crucial to winning a battle. Shooting someone in the foot won't do much in Renegade; perhaps a limp in a more advanced game, but in Renegade you might as well have thrown a pebble at them. If you want to end the fight quickly and without needless health losses, then aiming for the head is a must. It is one of the smaller targets, so you need a steady mouse hand to keep the sights locked on, but a few seconds of sustained firing can topple any character, whereas the same time of shooting to the legs or body would leave them with a poor health bar; but a health bar all the same.
Choosing Your Weapon
Having the right weapons at hand for each situation is a large factor in the outcome of a clash. There is no point having a flame thrower to snipe with, and charging headlong into a riot with a sniper rifle won't do much good either. You have to decide prior to attacking which weapon or character you feel is best suited to the type of attack you are doing, otherwise you'll be up the creek without a paddle. Deciding on the character/s going in also needs teamwork, but this is covered elsewhere. It also depends on the style you like to use, and I will go over this in the next section.
Gung ho Attitude
Going in all guns blazing Arnie style is one of the funnest styles of play, but this doesn't mean it can't be successful. With a weapon such as the Chain Gun or Laser Rifle, charging into the middle of a large scale fight with the mouse button pressed down could get you a large amount of kills, points, and cash, but the chances of you getting away unharmed are slim at best. You still have to pick your targets, but precision aiming isn't of the utmost importance, just try to aim above the centre line as best you can.
Stealth & Sneaking
If hectic battles aren't your forte, you can use stealth or quiet, shadowy movements to get to your target. Obviously the Black Hand is best for this job, his stealth outfit hiding him from the prying eyes of other soldiers, and in most cases sticking to the wall and running past is enough to get you inside the base. Once in, be careful, as the effect of stealth weakens the closer you are to someone. However, you don't have to be the Black Hand to utilise the benefits of stealth, any soldier, if delicately directed around the map, can do the same job, it just takes a little more time and patience. Be wary of running over metal grates, as the clinking noises could alert people to your presence. If you enter an enemy filled location, then it's best if you hide behind a drum or crate, and wait until they pass: remember, I said you need patience. It could be called boring, but the thrill of watching a team of Mammoth tanks drive obliviously past you as you wait with baited breath behind a very thin tree is a feeling un-equalled by many tactics. Once you perfect it, after practise, calls of "How the hell did that happen?!" across the channel will set a smile on your face. If you want to remain undetected, then either a) don't fire at all or b) make each shot count and put the enemy down as quickly as possible.
You have to remember that Renegade is a game, nothing more, so don't be afraid to try new things. See what happens when you try to jump over a large hill in a Buggy; if it fails, you respawn. Is it that bad? You have to experiment to learn, so don't be petrified of dying, just see what happens and if you are too ashamed then join a different game. Nothing bad can come of it, all that can happen is you die or learn. Obviously dying isn't the best thing to practise, so the next section shows a good way to avoid the rockets.
The default keys of A and D are some of the most keys in Renegade. Unless you learn how to strafe, you'll find you won't stop getting killed. It is imperative that, in any battle, you keep strafing, as using the arrow keys is slow and lumbering, and dodging bullets will be nigh on impossible. It is much harder to shoot someone if they are sliding left to right, so by alternating between the two your chances of winning a one on one battle will rise immensely. Other important uses of the strafe keys are when you take to the tunnels, be sure to strafe around the corners so you can instantly see what's coming. If you go straight then turn, you aren't ready to fire, and if anyone happens to shoot and get the first few rounds in before you can retaliate, then they will have the upper hand. By simply strafing around the corner, you negate the effects of this. The final important use of strafing is when snipers are about. Never run in a straight line if you know that a sniper is nearby, or even if you don't know; better to look slightly silly than dead. By strafing and hopping all over the place (totally randomly, even the obscurest of patterns could be picked up by an experienced sniper) the chances of you getting hit are reduced tenfold.
My favourite way of getting kills and getting into enemy bases is by heading to the tunnels, small, narrow winding passages that lead to several different locations across the map, including directly into the enemy bases in several occasions. Early in the game they are a good place to attack and get some quick kills and points, as everyone usually charges straight in there. Remember that space is limited, so avoiding fire is difficult, but it works both ways. Be aggressive, take the fight to your opponent, never sit back and let him get away with a single shot. Due to the cramped areas you can often simply run to a player firing at the head, and as you get closer aiming gets easier. Later on a team of Engineers and the advanced characters are potent base killers; cover each other and the attack usually works to varying degrees. One other quick, aggressive attack using the tunnels is to place proximity C4's around, as the narrow corridors offer little breathing space.
To get in unnoticed, diversions can be very useful. As you begin to run in, send a unit such as an APC to draw all the attention, leaving your path free of enemies. I say the APC because it's fairly cheap and has good armour and speed, so it can last a good time unlike a Hummvee. Eagle eyed players may spot you, but as long as the diversion is making enough noise and commotion the chances of you being spotted are slim. Make the most of the opportunity by having a beacon or being an Engineer/Technician, because they might not fall for the same trick twice. While going in, use the advice I gave for stealth attacks above, but do it quicker; you don't know how long the diversion will last, after all.
Attacking the Harvester
Constantly destroying the opponents Harvie may seem cheap to some, but it's a killer to their economy. Without bursts of money coming in on a regular basis your opponents won't have enough cash to get the best infantry and vehicles, making your attack much easier for you. It only takes a minute with a couple of Med tanks to destroy it, but for the enemy, it's another 5 minutes for some decent cash income.
Early Harvie Rushes work a treat, giving you the ability to get advanced characters several minutes before your opponents, and therefore having the important early game advantage. With a few standard infantry and a Engineer or two, head straight for the Tiberium fields as soon as you can, and place all the C4 you have on the Harvie, whether this means running into the Tiberium or not; a few seconds doesn't do that much damage to you. Once the C4 is on, get out your rifles and use up everything you have shooting it. The Harvie should be destroyed, giving you quick money and point boosts as well as an early money advantage.
Attacking With Vehicles
Most of the guide so far has been giving you advice on managing infantry, but tanks are mainly used to attack buildings due to their high power. However the same basic rules apply; think what tank is best for the job, don't sit back and take punishment, and take the battle to your enemy. The best tanks for attacking are the Medium and Flame, they have the power and speed needed to be successful. Many people opt for the Mammoth, but this is more suited to ĂźdefendingĂ , as its low speed, awful turning circle and clumsy mobility make it highly vulnerable in attack, despite its cannon power. When in tanks, try to keep moving, otherwise pesky Engineers could strap a little present to you if you stay at a standstill. Try to run them over if possible, and attack the most important buildings.
Using the APC
The Armoured Personnel Carrier is the most popular choice for attacking with in the first 10 minutes of the game, not because of any extraordinary firepower on its part, but what can be stowed inside. Pack Engineers in as soon as possible and rush the enemy base, unload the Engi's and wreak as much damage as possible. Try to take out one building rather than damage several, you should arrange this before going in. It is very hard to stop, because the APC is very fast and strongly armoured, so as a first tactic it is highly recommended.
Right, I know how to attack"¦but what do I attack?
Depending on the situation, every building is a potential Number One target; it is unique to the game. If there are base defences, then they or the Power Plant will be sitting on top of the to-do list, so little opposition aside from the enemies themselves can stop the attack. The Power plant is also a good target all through the game, because not only do the base defences rely upon it, but without it everything costs twice as much as usual! This means a Mammoth will set you back $3000, which most people rarely have. If you have had your War Factory destroyed, then you will undoubtedly want to destroy theirs; evening up the playing field, if you will. The Refinery, if taken out along with the power, can cripple the strongest of sides, as they get no regular income but everything is costing 100% more than is standard. Think what is best for the team, and execute each part as best as you can.
I hope by this section of the Ultimate Renegade Strategy guide, reaching over 2000 words, has at least given you some idea of how you can improve, but the best way to get with the best is practice. Set up a game with a friend and experiment, try everything I have said and make your own variations on the simple tactics. Don't play with those who just mess about, go to games where everyone is trying their best, so you can compare yourself against them. Do not be dispirited if you fail, but go back, raise your gun and get stuck in. Renegade is an excellent game if you practise at it, and once you have mastered the strategies known by everyone and made your own, you can simply enjoy the experience. Boot up, load the CD and get fragging; and as you strafe out the way of a sniper shot"¦remember to tell people. Don't hold what you learn inside, share it so we can all enjoy it.