The first thing we must ask ourselves is how Core is winning. Analyzing our
Core enemy, we understand that they are no
match for our raiding prowess early in the game. However, given time, their advanced technology can shred our established
bases to pieces.
I'm sure you're well aware of our unit strength and weaknesses compared to
the Core arsenal from my previous briefings,
so I'll concentrate mainly on utilization of our tools. Arm needs to raid, control the battlefield and outproduce Core in
the late game. Sound like a lot of hard work? Fortunately, Arm has the tools to excel in these categories.
Arm Raiding Philosophy
First things first -- let it be known that Arm relies on its initial raiding
prowess to win. If Core enters the Level 2
war on equal footing and is uncontained, Arm is in serious trouble. Many a Core Commander has cried foul at an onslaught
of multiple Flash tanks that surgically cripple his economy piece by piece. Well, these are the same Core Commanders that
gleefully ram two dozen Goliaths down an Arm Commander's throat.
What's more fair? The Arm Commander who cripples you with a dozen Flash tanks,
or the Core Commander who is not raided and
overruns all Arm defenses with a mixture of Slashers and Goliaths with little or no effort?
Arm raiding can be broken down into two parts: attacks on resource facilities
and the interdiction of an expanding Core
Flash tanks can devastate Core's early economy if care is taken to select targets
wisely. It does you little good to kill
a Metal Extractor with a Flash tank if your metal corpse is left behind and the Metal Extractor can be easily replaced.
Think of it this way -- if you kill a Metal Extractor (which costs 30 metal and produces roughly 2 metal per second) and
at the same time leave the 100-metal wreckage of a Flash tank, you've done nothing to the enemy's economy if the wreckage
is reclaimed and the Metal Extractor is replaced within 30 seconds.
Scouting is also a good idea -- if you lose a Jeffy to a Commander's D-gun
at a metal area, you'll be glad you didn't send
in those 3-4 Flash tanks.
Interdiction of Expansion
Nothing can be more frustrating to a Core Commander than a group of Flashes
backed up by Samsons waiting at every metal
patch. Staking out metal patches early on near the enemy's base forces the Core Commander to expand cautiously, escort
his construction units and fight for additional metal. Meanwhile, you can expand your base like wildfire.
Controlling the Battlefield as Arm
The next important aspect of Arm tactics is controlling the battlefield. As
an Arm Commander, you must respect Core's
ability to crush your base in one attack when Level 2 units proliferate. The best way to avoid this is to prevent his
heavy Level 2 assault units from making it to your base in sufficient numbers.
Keep Him Pinned While Reinforcing
A Core Commander that finds himself fighting a few Flashes and Samsons at every
metal patch expands slower, since he can't
just queue up a Construction Kbot and start Metal Extractor production without risking the Kbot's destruction. A
micro-managed expansion is not as fast as a queued-up expansion.
As your production advantage takes off faster, you'll find you can start reinforcing
your units faster than he can kill
them. This is important in the late game -- if your opponent can plow through your skirmishers just waiting outside his
base, will he have enough units to finish off your base?
Raid Raid Raid
Besides keeping his expansion in check, go after metal patches where his Commander
isn't. One of the most crippling things
to Core is the prevention of resources to power a Moho Metal Maker faster than you. Not only does his produce less metal,
but it's not as efficient as your Arm Moho Metal Maker. Getting yours up first is a big advantage.
Know when "not to raid" and stockpile for the big push instead. Let's
be honest -- half of the Core players out there are
Slasher Swarmers now, and these are the people that will hurt you bad more often. Respect of the Slasher's anti-raid
abilities is essential, especially when you consider you're raiding without radar coverage early on.
Of the Arm players that get crushed like bugs while playing against Core, half
of them don't raid, and the other half raid
poorly. Sometimes raiding poorly is worse then not raiding at all. If you're constantly wasting 3-4 units to effectively
annoy the Core construction force for 30 seconds while they rebuild a single Metal Extractor, you are in trouble.
Not only are you taking units away from your potential attack swarm or interdiction force, you're also feeding the
Core economy, so it doesn't matter if you expand faster. Of the Arm losses on rush maps such as Full Moon, this is
one of the leading causes of Commander chassis destruction.
Well, if you've taken some of my advice on slowing down Core's expansion, you've
got a good start. What you really want
to be concentrating on is the jackpot: getting your Moho Metal Maker up first.
The trick is to expand to enough metal patches to fuel production of energy
structures, which in turn can be used to
make even more metal through metal makers. Don't always look to get a fusion to power your Moho Metal makers.
A few Geothermal Plants and a bunch of Solar Collectors can often be ready to power a Moho Metal Maker faster than
waiting for a Fusion.
The key is time -- the faster the Moho Metal Maker is up and running, the more
of an advantage you have over the Core
player who should be struggling to keep up with your normal Metal Extractor economy.
Arm Tricks and Tips
Where to Raid?
One of the most important keys to raiding as Arm is knowing where the Commander
is. If he's in his base, trying to raid
it can often be counterproductive when he has the power to use his D-gun. It's also important to know where the
Commander is when he is outside his base. This is often where his economy will expand fastest in the early stages
of the game. Be sure you kindly follow in his foot prints with a clean-up crew for Metal Extractor reduction.
How can this Commander tracking be done? Lucky for you, every one of your static
defenses has the ability to track
targets. Once you visually see the Core Commander, take one of your turrets and target him. Now, until you order a new
target, the structure will always point in the direction of the Commander. This is also useful information when you have
the Hawk swarm ready.
Veteran Commanders have been using this trick for a long time; hopefully the
"newer" clones will use this as an advantage
to stunt Core's growth.
The Incredible Exploding Tank
Very few people (including veterans) know the power of a self-destructing Flash
tank. A self-destructing Flash tank will
kill a Metal Extractor next to it and still have some damage to spare. Three self-destructing Flash tanks will take out a
factory, as long as they are parked right next to it and they shoot at it during the count down. As an added bonus, a
self-destructed tank leaves no wreckage for Core to reclaim. As an Arm raider, you should endeavor to leave as little
wreckage as possible, so let's start seeing more glorious acts of (productive) self-destruction on the battlefield for
not only yourself, but for High Command.