I’ve been playing Frozen Synapse – a superb simultaneous-turn based small-squad combat strategy indie game – for a few weeks now. In my previous post I discussed a few “defensive” tips, concentrating on how not to get shot, and now I’d like to share a few more tips with you all.
As per last time, these are merely quite simple ways in which you should be manipulating the game mechanics to help you win more games.
Stuff you should know
Obviously, you should bare in mind all the points I’ve already made in my previous post, which is briefly:
Changing stance incurs a temporary penalty
Units will only target one enemy at a time
Weapon fire is always visible
Kills are always visible
Shooting people takes a fixed amount of time
But there’s a couple of extras to add here:
You can fine-tune your position with line of sight info
Holding down v when you have a unit or waypoint selected allows you to investigate the line of sight from that position. It doesn’t take cover in to account, but this tool is invaluable for fine-tuning positions.
Rockets and Grenades have a fixed reload time
A Rocket or Grenade unit can only fire once per turn, but more specifically they have a fixed reload time that carries over between turns.
What to do with the knowledge
Don’t give them time to dodge explosives
Unless you’re firing intentionally to herd the enemy away from an area, it is rarely useful to fire a rocket or grenade that does not explode in the same turn as it is fired.
Play with your timing carefully, and consider either firing earlier in the turn (if the unit is moving) or not firing at all until the next turn. I know it can feel like a turn is wasted if a rocket or grenade unit doesn’t fire – but almost any shot made where the enemy then gets the opportunity to dodge, or the chance to use the ensuing explosion to their own advantage, is a wasted shot and it will even delay your shot in the next turn as well (making that also potentially wasted).
Also, don’t let them react to gun fire
By the same token, if the enemy has the chance to create a new plan once you’ve started shooting at them, any competent opponent will get their unit to cover, unless you catch them out in the open, and try to flank your position (or hit you with explosives).
As such it’s usually only worth planning attacking manoeuvres if they’ll play out at the start of a turn.
Obviously, this is less of a problem with snipers (that only fire once) and shotguns (which tend to kill very quickly).
If you are firing and they can react, don’t just stand there
If your unit has started firing before a turn ends, it is very rarely a good idea to not give them orders and hope that they “finish the unit off” – your unit will most likely either waste a turn (because they’ll evade) or end up dead (when they out manoeuvre you).
Instead, you should give a cancel aim and move command, this way if you can kill the enemy you will, but if they make it cover your unit will break away and do what you want. Anticipate how your enemy will attempt to attack that position and have the unit respond accordingly – and don’t assume the target unit will be killed, because it could well be them flanking you.
Consider ignoring units that aren’t an immediate threat, to avoid distractions
I discussed using one unit to distract your opponent (and then hiding it), so another can jump out and open fire. There’s not a lot you can do to defend against this, except maybe don’t hold one position for too long so that the opponent doesn’t have the chance to implement this.
However, if they have a shotgun unit well out of range, consider ignoring it – chances are it will run out and in to cover again before you can hit it, or it might be used as a distraction, and ignoring it will let your unit target units who pose more of an immediate risk.
This is, however, a dangerous choice to make, because a unit won’t respond to fire from someone it is ignoring. Use this one with caution.
Not quite as much to say this time, but hopefully these and the tips from my previous post will help you be just that little bit more competitive.