Balanced Annihilation:Starting With TA

Gameplay in general

Visit this oldish Spring TA guide to get a general knowledge about the BA’s gameplay.

Note: Needs overhaul.


Strategy

For more strategies visit: Strategy ‘n’ Tactics

Note: sections to be filled in.

Starting out

As a new player without any previous TA-derived game experience you definitely should watch some games first to understand BA basics. Otherwise you would probably ruin the game for other players.

Try to pick a start position near a good amount of metal patches. If you can’t properly locate the metal patches just hit F4 to see the metalmap. F4 again to return back to the classic view. Most maps are designed to have 3 patches near designated starting points.

You should take all metal patches located near your start position (most commonly 3). Build metal extractors (referred as “mexes”) at the patches and some energy (2 or 3 solar plants) before starting anything else. Then it’s time to build a factory – a vehicle one for flat maps or a K-bot one at rugged maps. Afterwards, most players build a light laser tower (LLT) or two to prevent enemy early scouts from running behind your base and destroying the economy.

If you reach this state of your base you should start making some units. Build one construction unit (also called “con”) and start producing your army. You can assist the factory with your Commander or a construction unit. When you have some attack units built follow your teammates to the battle.

Try to follow your teammates: attack, defend, reclaim, build more economy, build some defend at the keypoints, etc. Remember the key is cooperation!

Economy

If you have more economy than the enemy, you can get more or better units. This is how, ultimately, you win. Some essential points which you should definitely use:

  • Take advantage of metal patches and geothermal vents: Metal extractors are much, much cheaper than powering metal makers. This remains true at tier 2, where moho mines become vastly cheaper than fusion plants and moho metal makers. Geothermal spots are similarly the cheapest source of energy in the game – a moho geo, for instance, produces energy at less than half the cost of a fusion plant. This means that, in most cases, it’s worth walking a considerable distance to take advantage of metal/geo spots you control rather than building economy in your base.
  • Reclaim wreckage and map features: Unit wrecks are an excellent source of metal, and map-provided rocks and trees are free resources. In many cases it can be worth sacrificing a builder to claim wreckage in hostile territory – usually they pay for their own cost as well as deny the wreck to the enemy.
  • Use (or share) your resources: Resources kept in storage are essentially being wasted. They are a symptom of not having enough build-power, or construction units. If you’re not building more units, extra resources can instead be invested into even more economy. Many times your allies will have extra buildpower that you don’t – in such cases it is often very efficient to simply give your resources away by lowering the share threshold (click somewhere into your metal or energy bar to change the threshold).
  • Use nano-turrets sparingly: Nano-turrets can provide extra build power, however they themselves cost a considerable amount of metal and energy, especially in the early game. If you are already metal or energy stalling there is no point to building more of them – doing so will only slow down production of the units or economy you’re ultimately trying to make with them.

Managing units (“Micro”)

While BA is a largely strategic game, there is considerable value to managing your units tactics. Some things to consider:

  • Repair damaged units: Repairing is virtually free compared with building a new unit from scratch, so if you can keep a unit alive by moving it off the front line a bit once it becomes damaged you can get far more on the field. The Commander’s health should be kept at high level all the time to survive a sudden attack.
  • Resurrect units (“rezing”): Resurrecting of fallen units can bring you a very good advantage. You can use your resurrecting units mainly when the battlefield is relatively safe for them and you can resurrect the whole place or if you find a wreck of some valuable unit which you need. You can also resurrect a Commander although it costs a huge amount of resources and time.
  • Surround the enemy: Units in BA suffer extra damage if they are being attacked from multiple directions at once. At the extreme, two units standing opposite a tank will do 50% more damage than two units standing next to each other.
  • Use your range (“kiting”): If you outrange the enemy and have some territory to maneuver in, you can gain a significant advantage by moving away while shooting. Approach->attack->move back behind your defense. Typically performed with some missile units.
  • Cross the T: One of the best positions to be in is where your units are all firing and only one of the enemies is. If you enemy has lined up his units, for instance, you can attack one edge of the line at a time rather than hitting them all at once.
  • Attack in waves: One of the worst positions to be in is where the enemy is crossing your T. Implicitly, this can happen when you order units that are far apart into enemy territory and they arrive at different times. Similarly, setting a rally point of a factory into the enemy’s defensive line will often result in your units dying one at a time. Instead, set a rally point a safe distance away, and once you have sufficient units attack in mass.
  • Use the terrain: Try to gain advance from the position of your units/structures. When you are at a hill you can spot and shoot further. Also units walk slower when reaching a high-placed positions. This gives you a longer time period for defense when you’re at top of a hill.

Com Pushing

Com pushing is the strategy of moving your Commander towards the front lines after building your initial base. The advantage is that you can claim territory and metal patches early (by building light laser towers). Small groups of enemies can also be destroyed with the Commander’s D-gun. The Commander also functions as an excellent repairman for damaged units and reclaimer of wrecks.

However there are many dangers for Commander in the first line. The main threat are planes. An enemy can steal your Commander by a transport plane (referred as “Com nap“), assault him with an enemy’s Commander (“Com bomb“) or accurately bomb him because his position is known. You also should keep your eye on mines, if you spot a minelayer fall back immediately!

Teching (“Going T2″)

Note: need some good techer

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