=============================================================================== = = = MEDAL OF HONOR ALLIED ASSAULT: SPEARHEAD = = ---------------------------------- = = Rifle Guide = = ~ = = Written by Scottie_theNerd (email@example.com) = = Copyright (c) 2004 Scott Lee = = = =============================================================================== **************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER **************** This guide is written by Scott Lee, who also goes under the names of David Nguyen and Scottie_theNerd. Should this FAQ be hosted on any site other than GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com), permission is required from me before hosting. Distributing this guide without prior permission is a direct violation of copyright laws. 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Anything resembling spam will be promptly removed. ================ Version History ================ v1.0 (Jan 27 2004) - Guide completed --------- CONTENTS --------- 1.0 - Introduction 1.1 - Philosophy of the Rifle 1.2 - Why use a Rifle? 2.0 - The Rifles 2.1 - M1 Garand 2.2 - Kar98k 2.3 - Mosin-Nagant 2.4 - Lee-Enfield 3.0 - Strategies and Tactics 3.1 - General strategies and tactics 3.11 - Targeting 101 3.12 - Mobile Warfare 3.13 - Sniper Warfare 3.14 - Close Combat 3.2 - Specific strategies and tactics 3.21 - Vs. Rifles 3.22 - Vs. Submachine guns 3.23 - Vs. Machine guns 3.24 - Vs. Sniper rifles 3.25 - Vs. Rockets 3.26 - Vs. Shotguns 3.27 - Vs. Rifle grenades 3.3 - Flexibility: The Need for Variation 4.0 - Issues 4.1 - The Rifle: The Weapon of Honor 4.2 - The M1 Garand 4.3 - Live by the Rifle, Die by the Rifle 4.4 - The Rifle Grenade 5.0 - Conclusion *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* 1.0 - INTRODUCTION *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Released in 2002, Spearhead is the first expansion to the classic Medal of Honor Allied Assault. Based on and around events in the Second World War, the Medal of Honor series started a trend in games, being the first historic WWII shooter. Allied Assault placed you in the boots of Lt. Mike Powell and took you all across Europe. In Spearhead, you play the role of Sgt. Jack Barnes. Like Lt. Powell, Sgt. Barnes must complete a tour in Europe, fighting in Normandy, Bastogne and Berlin alongside British, American and Russian troops. Spearhead great expands your arsenal of weapons with the addition of British and Russian weapons on top of the existing American and German weapons. Among these, several rifles were included, and Spearhead greatly emphasises the tactical value of these classic weapons. The purpose of this guide is to provide an in-depth look into the strategies and tactics involving effective use of rifles. This includes general strategies, specific countermeasures against other weapons as well as historical information on the weapons themselves. This guide does NOT provide detailed strategies concerning other weapons, such as submachineguns or assault rifles, although it may cover some aspects of sniper warfare. With that said, enjoy the rest of the guide, and hopefully it will prove to be of some value to you in any form. ============================== 1.1 - Philosophy of the Rifle ============================== The rifle is not a new weapon: the concept of a rifled weapon firing a projectile to long distances was an early step in the evolution of firearms. Such techniques allowed the weapon to be able to fire further and more accurately. Rifling became common in artillery, but the most prolific developments came in the field of hand-held weaponry. These weapons were further improved by combining the propellant and bullet into one cartridge, introducing a magazine which stored extra rounds, and ultimately providing the ability fire rounds automatically. At the time of the First and Second World Wars, however, the standard issue rifle was bolt-action, with the exception of the American army. It was during this period that another weapon made a revolutionary appearance: the machine gun. Lessons were learned from the Russo-Japanese War, in which the Russians and the Japanese used contrasting tactics. From this, different countries had different mentalities. The British believed that high casualties were the cause of poor marksmanship, and increased the intensity of their musketry training. The Germans thought it was pointless making marksmen out of conscripts, so they elected to specialise in automatic weapons. Regardless of perspective, by the time the Second World War arrived, every country had a huge stockpile of rifles while their automatic weapons were still being refined. Suffice to say, the countries involved in war were obliged to continue to use their old, but reliable rifles. It was also during this time that the length of the rifle was standardized. Earlier, there were two types of rifle issued: a 'long' rifle for accurate shooting for infantry, and a shorter 'carbine' for calvary and auxillary arms. It was later realised that this distinction caused difficulties in supply, and the shortcomings of both weapons were apparent. Instead, a medium-length rifle was introduced to supply all units, and became the trend in all armies. Indeed, rifles were so reliable that some of them remain in use in today's armies, especially as modified sniper rifles. Many modern weapons have features that were originally in these classic weapons. However, the rifle was far from the perfect weapon, and gradually became phased out as more modern weapons were developed. Among these, the assault rifle would have to stand out the most. Designed to replace the rifle, the submachine gun and the light machine gun, assault rifles are clearly the next step in the evolution of firearms. ======================= 1.2 - Why use a Rifle? ======================= Unlike Allied Assault, in which rifles were simply novelty weapons, Spearhead greatly increases the potential of using a rifle. This is most apparent by the massive decrease in ammunition: you are given approximately 50 rounds in comparison to the 200 rounds in Allied Assault. The sheer power of the rifles have been increased, doing away the main disadvantage of a low rate of fire. Furthermore, all rifles are similar in their characteristics, allowing you to to use any rifle effectively regardless of which team you are on. Apart from the sniper rifle, the rifle has the best efficiency for scoring kills. While a submachine gunner usually takes out one or two enemies with 30 rounds, the rifleman can often take out 3 targets with a 5 round clip. Indeed, many experienced riflemen can score hits with every round, and overall a rifleman survives longer provided they can pick their targets very carefully. On top of that, the rifle is the lightest weapon apart from the pistol and the grenade, allowing riflemen to be extremely mobile and harder to hit. Of course, rifles are far from being the ideal all-around weapon. Although very versatile, the rifle requires a lot of skill and experience to use effectively. For the most part, rifles are single-shot, meaning you have to load the next bullet manually. It also means you have to be precise. Rifles are precision weapons, designed to make the bullet hit where the firer wants it to hit. Missing the target means you have to wait 2-3 seconds before firing the next round. Against an automatic weapon, you will only have the opportunity to fire 2-3 rounds before getting cut down. Despite this pressure, a rifleman must also be very calm and patient, waiting for the right target and the right shot. Due to their slow rate of fire, rifles are unsuitable in close range, although not useless. To summarise the qualities of the rifle: PROS: -One-hit kill capability -Light weight, therefore fast move speed -Extremely accurate -Ideal for medium/long range engagements CONS: -Slow rate of fire (except for the M1 Garand) -Low magazine capacity -Unsuited for close combat Despite popular belief, the rifle is not an inferior weapon. Many players use it for the challenge, and many veteran riflemen prefer it over all other weapons. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* 2.0 - THE RIFLES *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Spearhead features 4 different rifles: the M1 Garand, the Lee-Enfield, the Mosin-Nagant and the Kar98k. Of these, only the M1 Garand stands out in characteristics. The other three rifles are more or less the same, only differing in magazine capacity. Their real-life statistics are substantially different, but for Spearhead's purposes they have the same properties. This section will provide a detailed description of each weapon and any notes worth pointing out. ================ 2.1 - M1 Garand ================ Country: United States of America Calibre: .30-06 Magazine capacity: 8 rounds Firing mechanism: Semi-automatic, gas-operated ---------------------- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND ---------------------- Developed by John C. Garand, a weapon designer who was later based at the Springfield Armory, the Garand rifle was accepted by the US Army in 1932. Prior to this, the standard infantry weapon was the M1903 Springfield, a bolt-action rifle used in the First World War. Although reliable, experience from the Great War left a lot to be desired. Although Garand's design was breaking new ground, the Army's decision to standardize the rifle meant that America was the only country to enter the war with an automatic weapon as the standard infantry weapon. Despite an early shortage in supply, during which the Springfield was still used, the M1 Garand proved to be an effective weapon, providing accurate fire with a better rate of fire, giving the American soldier the advantage in firepower. The M1 Garand was operated by a gas piston underneath the barrel, which rotated the bolt after each shot, which in turn ejected the spent case and loaded the next round. After the final shot, the clip was ejected. This proved to be the only flaw in the design: the Garand could only be loaded with a full clip, and could not be topped-up. Despite this, the M1 Garand proved to be one of the best combat rifles ever made, and was used in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. ---------------- SPEARHEAD NOTES ---------------- The M1 Garand has been improved in Spearhead, although the amount of ammunition issued has been substantially reduced. Although the 48 rounds you start off seem plenty, the M1 Garand eats up bullets fast. Very fast. Remember, the Garand is a semi-automatic weapon, and focuses on quantity over quality. Due to the relatively fast rate of fire, the Garand is often called a "semi-SMG" by players. The semi-automatic action makes it easier to use in close combat, and does far more damage than an SMG. However, the Garand lacks the one-hit kill capability of the bolt-action rifles, making it a liability. It is important to make use of the 'double-tap' technique, firing two quick shots in the torso to guarantee a kill. Despite it's fast firing rate, you should really take time to aim your shots rather than spray and pray. Although weaker than other rifles, the Garand is an extremely effective weapon when used by an experienced rifleman. However, the M1 Garand isn't very popular with most riflemen due to the ethics behind it. More on that below. =========================== 2.2 - Mauser Karabiner 98k =========================== Country: Germany Calibre: 7.92mm x 57 Magazine capacity: 5 rounds Firing mechanism: Bolt-action ---------------------- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND ---------------------- The Mauser company has a strong and successful history, known especially for several weapons: the C/96 Military Model pistol, which fired a 7.93mm round, numerous rifles including the Kar98k, and undoubtedly the best machine gun of the war: the MG42. Mauser's success began with the German adoption of a Mauser rifle in 1871, which eventually culminated in the Gewehr 98. The Gewehr 98 proved to be the most powerful yet safest bolt-action rifle of its time, and was used for civilian purposes such as sport. One of its features was the inclusion of a fully internal magazine, which held 5 rounds and was contained perfectly in the wooden furniture, making it comfortable to sling. This later proved to be quite restrictive due to the low amount of ammunition, but was welcome nonetheless. The Gewehr 98 was also manufactured from the finest materials with precision gunmaking techniques, setting it apart from other weapons of its kind. It was during this time that military enthusiasts did away with the separate long rifles and carbines and used a medium-length rifle for all units. This led to the shorter Karabiner 98 model, and it was gradually refined to the standard-issue Kar98k model. Due to its exceptional accuracy, many Kar98k's were issued with scopes as a standard sniper's weapon. The Kar98k's power and accuracy came from the locking mechanism. It consisted of three locking lugs: two at the front of the bolt and one at the rear, giving maximum power. The catch was that the bolt-action was somewhat awkward, requiring a 90 degree rotation utilising the firer's right arm. Due to this action, the Kar98k could not match the fast rate of fire of the Lee-Enfield, which only required the use of the firer's wrist. Despite this, the Kar98k proved to be extremely reliable and remained the standard infantry weapon of the German army, especially with the shortage of Stg44's. ---------------- SPEARHEAD NOTES ---------------- The Kar98k returns in Spearhead as the German rifle. Like the M1 Garand, the Kar98k has been powered up appropriately, but does not exceed it's already high kill capability. You are issued with 60 rounds when you spawn, giving the Kar98k more ammunition than most other rifles. However, it only has a 5-round magazine, so reloading must be done often, leading to awkward if not lethal situations. To avoid this, it is important to make full use of the one-hit kill capability, going for headshots whenever possible. The Kar98k is also available as the "Rifle Grenade", the German counterpart to the Shotgun. It is used like a Kar98k, but can fire 3 rifle grenades. To attach a rifle grenade, use secondary fire (default Right Mouse button), then fire normally. The grenade has excellent power comparable to a rocket launcher. However, the grenade is based on ballistics, and it takes practise to learn which angles to fire the grenade at for the desired distance. Also, due to its high-explosive nature, the rifle grenade is also looked down upon by most players. The rifle grenade also lacks an important ability: a melee attack. =================== 2.3 - Mosin-Nagant =================== Country: Russia Calibre: 7.62mm x 54 Magazine capacity: 5 rounds Firing mechanism: Bolt-action ---------------------- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND ---------------------- In the closing decades of the 19th century, the Russian army was in need of new firearms to supply its troops. Two designers, S. I. Mosin and Emil Nagant, put forward a rifle, which was accepted and issued to troops from 1891 to 1945, and was still in use by Eastern Bloc countries. One of the problems in arming the Russian army was the cost of purchasing licenses to manufacture already patented parts and firing mechanisms. The solution was to design something new. The result was an unnecessarily complicated three-part bolt. What was more unusual was the locking latch in the magazine compartment, securing the second and lower rounds, relieving pressure off the top round. This was actually beneficial: without it, the rimmed 7.62mm Russian round would certainly have jammed. Although relatively crude, the design was solid and extremely reliable. Over the years, the Mosin-Nagant was refined, including modifying it to become a 'short' rifle rather than a long infantry rifle, as well as re-configuring the sights to accomodate a change in the Russian measurement system. Interestingly, the original Mosin-Nagants were configured with the bayonet in mind, with the sights graduated to compensate for the imbalance caused by the attached bayonet. Since no scabbard was issued, it was quite logical. Indeed, in 1944 a new Mosin-Nagant with folding bayonet was introduced, although it was quite late in the war, since the submachine gun was the standard weapon and the SVT 40 was being developed. However, the Mosin-Nagant remained in standard use, and was a popular weapon amongst snipers. ---------------- SPEARHEAD NOTES ---------------- One of the new weapons in Spearhead, the Mosin-Nagant is the Russian equivalent of the Germans' Kar98k. In fact, Spearhead's Mosin-Nagant is practically identical to the Kar98k in every aspect. With that said, the same tactics for the Kar98k can be used with the Mosin-Nagant. Unlike the Germans, the Russians do not have a grenade launcher equivalent, only retaining the Allies' shotgun. The Mosin-Nagant has the same one-hit kill capability when aimed at the head or upper torso, and suffers from the same 5-round magazine restriction. It is also issued with 60 rounds though, so there's plenty of bullets to go around. Other than a different look, name and skin, it's the Allied version of the Kar98k. ================== 2.4 - Lee-Enfield ================== Country: Great Britain Calibre: .303in Magazine capacity: 10 rounds Firing mechanism: Bolt-action ---------------------- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND ---------------------- The Lee-Enfield was the standard infantry weapon of the British Army from 1895 to 1957. Named after its designers and manufacturer, James Paris Lee and the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield, it was based on the previous Lee-Metford rifle, but configured to fire smokeless powder. The most common model was the SMLE (Short Magazine, Lee-Enfield), which was later simplified to become the Number 4 rifle. The most notable feature of the Lee-Enfield was the rear locking lugs, drastically different from other rifles which had locking lugs at the front of the bolt. This allowed the firer to load the next round with only his wrist, which in turn allowed the fastest rate of fire for a bolt-action rifle, up to 30 aimed shots a minute. Indeed, accuracy and firing speed was emphasised by the "Mad Minute", during which the firer had to put 15 rounds into a target at 300 yards, and most could notch up to 25 hits. A reliable weapon, the only complaints about the Lee-Enfield were it's slightly heavy weight and supposed inaccuracy due to its locking system, but regardless the Lee-Enfield has proven itself time and time again. One of the variations of the Lee-Enfield was the Jungle Carbine, which was shorter, had a flash-hider and a rubber recoil pad in the butt. Despite these features, it had excessive recoil and blast, making it unpopular with troops. On the other hand, the most accurate Lee-Enfield rifles were selected and modified by hand to be used as sniper rifles. Indeed, the Lee-Enfield sniper rifle is respected as one of the best sniper rifles ever. ---------------- SPEARHEAD NOTES ---------------- The new British rifle in Spearhead, the Lee-Enfield is a versatile bolt-action rifle. The Lee-Enfield has the same hitting power of the Kar98k and the Mosin-Nagant, retaining the one-hit kill capability when aimed at the head or upper torso. On top of this, the Lee-Enfield has a 10-round magazine, which allows the player to fire more rounds before needing to reload. This is essential in rifle duels and firefights in general. However, the Lee-Enfield is only issued with 50 rounds, but the power of the Lee-Enfield and the large magazine size makes up for it. The catch is a reasonably longer reload time, so make good use of those 10 rounds. This Lee-Enfield is not a Garand, you cannot spray and pray with it. The Lee-Enfield may also be slightly heavier and fire more quickly than other rifles, but that difference is negligible at best. Think of it as a Mosin-Nagant with 5 extra rounds. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* 3.0 - STRATEGIES AND TACTICS *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* A weapon is only as good as the person who uses it. This applies to all weapons, especially in the case of rifles. Although all weapons require a certain amount of skill to use effectively, automatic weapons such as submachine guns are primarily spray-and-pray, requiring little effort to notch up an insane score. Rifles do not have that luxury. For the most part, you only need one bullet to neutralise your target. This section aims to provide an insight into how to make that one bullet count, and what to do when that one bullet fails to achieve its task. ===================================== 3.1 - General strategies and tactics ===================================== There are countless ways to fight a war, and it is impossible to write detailed guides on all of them. However, experience shows that there are several common and effective styles of rifling, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Although it is easy to say that rifling involves nothing more than pointing and clicking, there is a lot more to using a rifle than that. Each style differs in things from the approach taken to a certain location, to picking the right moment to fire and even when to reload. The following are an overview to various strategies used with rifles. ---------------------- 3.11 - Targeting 101 ---------------------- No matter what strategy you use, it is essential that you know how to hit your target. Unlike submachine guns and machine guns, a rifleman cannot rely on full-automatic fire to increase the chances of scoring a hit. Guns don't care what they shoot, but the firer might. It is important to take note of the follow factors: -PRIORITY TARGETS In most cases, this would be the person shooting at you. In scenarios where no one is shooting at you, this would be the person who would be most likely to shoot you. Remember Vassili Zaitsev's 5-shot feat in Enemy at the Gates? He picked his targets very well, and as a rifleman you should do the same. -STATIONARY TARGETS Obviously, the easiest target is the one not moving and the one not shooting at you. If you see a sniper or other player standing still firing at another target, they are easy targets themselves. Simply aim for the head and fire. This also applies when you are engaged in a firefight with another player. If you are being strafed and you spot a player who thinks you won't shoot them, feel free to prove them wrong. If you're going to die anyway, you might as well die in style and take out a random enemy with you. -MAKE YOUR SHOTS COUNT Remember, you only have 5-10 rounds before reloading, so make sure you have a reasonable chance of hitting before pulling the trigger. This will be affected by how flexible your style of playing is. With the exception of the M1 Garand, running out of ammo completely isn't a problem, since you have more than enough, and can easily pick up more ammunition from other riflemen and snipers. -LET YOUR TARGET COME TO YOU Although Spearhead uses instant-hit bullet physics, it is important to allow time for reflex and ping. The ideal situation is when your target moves into your crosshair rather than you moving your crosshair to your target. Let your target fall to his own movements rather than yours. This shouldn't be taken as absolute though. Half the time you will have to move your own crosshair to get a bead on your target, but if the opportunity presents itself, don't interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake. Use this technique especially when you are in a duel. -STAND STILL WHEN FIRING Although standing still makes you a stationary target, it does tend to throw off other players' aim on you for a fraction of a second. Moving makes aiming more difficult and decreases the accuracy of your shots. Stop dodging when you are ready to fire, quickly fire your shot, then resume evasive action. This allows for maximum accuracy while minimizing the chance of getting shot. Also, it is during this pause where you must move your crosshair, whether to correct your aim or to shoot someone who is in the same firing pause.. It is also important to aim for headshots as much as possible until it becomes a reflex. For bolt-action rifles, a shot to the head, neck or upper torso is usually a one-hit kill. The M1 Garand suffers from weaker damage, so always fire 2-3 rounds in the torso for a kill. Arm shots require 2 hits from a bolt-action, and leg shots 3. Do yourself a favour, aim for the head. It's no good shooting someone if they're going to shoot back at you. ---------------------- 3.12 - MOBILE WARFARE ---------------------- By far the most common strategy with any weapon, mobile warfare could be considered the politically correct term for gung-ho tactics. There isn't much that can be described in detail, mobile warfare simply consists of roaming the map taking out any targets along the way. Often you will end up in the enemy spawn point in Team Deathmatch, but don't stay there. Do a victory lap if you must, but staying in the enemy spawn point is dangerous. Even if you have perfect reflexes, enemies have a short period of invincibility upon spawning. Although there isn't much to running around like an idiot, there are certain steps needed by riflemen to ensure maximum effectiveness. To start things off, you must know the capabilities of your own weapon. Mobile warfare can bring you skirmishes in all ranges. Rifles are clearly the best weapon in medium- to long-range firefights with unmatched accuracy and power. The rifles can hold their own in short range, but that's when things get messy. Remember, you cannot spray with a rifle (M1 Garand excepted), and you only have limited ammunition to fire with. However, you can't be too picky over when to fire when you're in action. Efficiency doesn't mean much when the enemy has 30 rounds to kill you with, so be willing to fire more often instead of being certain of a hit. Two of the most common mistakes are firing too often with little effect, or not firing at all. When engaging in mobile warfare, it is important to keep these in mind: -ALWAYS BE ON THE MOVE This really goes without saying, it *is* mobile warfare after all. Whenever you aren't firing or reloading, keep moving. Stationary targets are the easiest targets, and as a rusher you won't be concealed very well from enemy fire. -REFLEXES: THE KEY TO SURVIVING Rifles don't have the luxury of full-automatic fire, and you won't have the opportunity to shoot too often when you run into someone around the corner. Although it takes a long time to refine, it is important to be able to flick your mouse to get a bead on your target within a fraction of a second. The longer you take, the more chance of your target escaping, and the more chance of you getting shot. -USE EVASIVE ACTION Especially in a firefight. Only stand still when you are about to fire, and also when you are reloading outside of the action. When engaged in a skirmish, move around in random directions and don't be predictable in your movements. Learn to mash those movement keys while maintaining a steady aim on your target. -DON'T JUMP! Jumping slows you down, throws off your accuracy and makes your movements very predictable. Don't do it. -DON'T JUMP OUT OF WINDOWS! Although very convenient, many players are able to put an entire magazine into you before you hit the ground, and riflemen scoring headshots at falling targets isn't uncommon. You were probably safer in the room to begin with, unless a grenade was heading your way. -RELOAD WHENEVER YOU CAN Rifles don't hold that much ammunition, and reloading is awkward and often fatal. There are certain areas in maps where people rarely go or fight in. Once you get used to maps, you'll be able to know when it's safe to reload. Although you stay still and reload before heading into another area, sometimes you should risk reloading while moving to avoid getting flanked or surprised. Judge accordingly. Also, if you survive a firefight and there are no other threats in sight, don't be afraid to reload immediately even without cover. You have to output as much firepower as you can. *Mobile Warfare in a nutshell: PROS: -Little strategy required -More targets, higher score potential -Generally good range for rifle CONS: -Open to more enemies, higher death potential -Limited ammunition and staying power -Occasional ambush leaves you vulnerable BEST AGAINST: -Riflemen WORST AGAINST: -Rockets -MG42's -Snipers ---------------------- 3.13 - Sniper Warfare ---------------------- Now, before you ignore this section believing that you need a sniper rifle to fight a sniper's war, the same sniper tactics can be applied to rifles. In fact, rifles are probably more suitable to Spearhead's sniper tactics than the sniper rifles themselves. The only disadvantage comes with the inability to zoom. However, few maps feature extreme ranges where you cannot see your target. As a rifleman, if you can see your target, you can hit it. Sniper warfare is substantially different to mobile warfare. Rather than roam the map looking for targets, you are essentially waiting for the target to come to you. Problems arise, of course. Since you don't control your target, you have no way of knowing where your target is and from where it will come. But you have one thing going for you: your target has no way of knowing where you are. A sniper is essentially a stationary threat. Firing from a tactical position, the sniper can take out individual targets with pinpoint accuracy. Surprisingly, many average players don't understand that if they run into the open, they get shot. This is one weakness a sniper can exploit. Of course, each map has its own share of good sniping nests. Good sniping positions should: -Provide a wide field of vision -Provide decent cover from return fire -Not be obvious (i.e. it shouldn't be the first place where someone would look) Of course, finding such a spot is quite difficult, especially since they often conflict with each other. A position that provides a wide kill zone generally means that you are exposed to return fire from a larger area. Firing from such a position means you have to rely on reflexes to take out targets before they take out you. On the other hand, a position with more cover means your field of vision will be more restricted, and generally isn't particularly good. A not so obvious spot might be utterly crap. It is important to pick the right positions. Let's take Destroyed Village, for example: -The church tower provides the best field of vision, and when hugging the corners of the tower, you can minimize your silhouette. However, the tower is by far the most obvious sniper nest, and most players will check it, making your position known. Fast reflexes will extend your life, but eventually someone will outflank you and lob a grenade in. -The ledge next to the church tower, on the other hand, is not so obvious. Few people actually go there, especially on the left side. The ground below has a decent level of traffic, but is harder to hit due to the direction of the moving targets. You have no cover here, but many players assume that you're in the church tower itself, and avoid you if they can't spot you. Eventually someone will catch out and knock you out. -Near the front of the church, there is a pile of rubble behind a chokepoint. A sniper can take position in that rubble, which provides protection from three sides. Of course, you can only shoot out of one, and once someone sees you, you have to be quick. Of course, a sniper will eventually be located and appropriate countermeasures taken. One of the most important rules of sniping is the need to relocate: once you shoot, you give away your position. Staying any longer is a gamble, and the longer you stay in one spot, the more likely it is for someone to take you out. After firing a few shots, change positions. The amount of time you should spend in one location varies with how good your position is and how effective your fire is. If you can take out any threat before they can get a bead on you, you might not need to move at all, but eventually you will feel the need. While changing positions, the sniper must revert to mobile warfare to defend themselves. As a rifleman, the sniper can easily defend himself effectively without the awkward weight of a sniper rifle. While a sniper rifle can be used as a regular rifle to an extent (indeed, an unzoomed sniper rifle can only be used as a regular rifle), it simply does not have the versatility to handle the surprise attack of an automatic weapon. Needless to say, the rifle isn't that effective either. It is important to stay out of high-traffic areas and stick to paths not commonly used by either side. Tread lightly, as they say. Risk doesn't play a huge role in sniping. Also, when moving over floorboards, walk instead of run. This makes your steps silent, not making your apparent position known until you fire. Although a minor factor, it allows you a fair safety margin. It is also important to know the maps. Some maps are better sniper terrain than others. Also be able to pick out high-traffic paths to pin down. Good sniper maps include Destroyed Village, the Crossroads, Stadt, Gewitter and Brest. Also keep in mind that experience teaches a lot of things, including popular sniping positions. If you're up against veteran players, pick your paths very carefully. As a sniper, it is important to keep these things in mind: -ONE SHOT, ONE KILL The number one rule of a sniper. Firing reveals your position, so make sure that your target isn't alive to shoot you back. The faster you take out enemies, the less chance they have of killing you. Do not shoot unless you know you can make the kill. -RELOCATE Eventually, your position will be found and your ass will be kicked. After a certain amount of time, move to another position before they realise it. -REFLEXES: REFINE THEM Although there isn't as much pressure, it important to be able to flick your crosshairs to compensate for evasive movements and make that critical shot. -PRACTISE You do not become a perfect sniper overnight. It takes a lot of time and experience to hone your skills and be able to snipe more effectively. Over time, you learn what your priority targets at, the best places to snipe from, even the playing styles of your enemies. -PRIORITY TARGETS As mentioned in Targetting 101, it is important to take out the bigger threat. For the most part, you'll be shooting anyone shooting at you. In certain circumstances, you might want to pick out a specific player by identifying their player model or style. Other times you might want to shoot anything that comes your way. Just remember that anyone is capable of throwing a grenade through your window, so make sure you can prevent that from happening. -SPOTTING TARGETS The disadvantage of sniping with a regular rifle is that you do not have a scope. Although this does not cripple your sniping ability, you will not be able to easily get a bead on a long-distance target. It is important to be able to identify targets at extreme ranges without a scope and be able to use your crosshair to take out those targets. This takes time to refine. -PATIENCE You won't be scoring as much if you choose to snipe. A sniper supports his team rather than hogging the glory for himself. A sniper is by no means less respectful, but don't expect to be pulling off insanely high scores with a single bullet. Of course, if you snipe effectively you can maintain a respectable ratio. You aren't mean to fling yourself into the action, you are meant to wait for your enemy to do that. A sniper is essentially a camper. There is no such thing as a sniper who rushes. -BEWARE THE SNIPER That's right. Although you are sniping, you are usually at the optimum range of true snipers, with scopes. This is dangerous on your side. You don't have the advantage of being able to pull off an accurate shot since you cannot pinpoint your target effectively. This is where good eyesight comes in. Spot any suspicious action in your kill zone, especially targets standing still. Your advantage is that you can get a bead on your target faster than a zoomed in sniper can, so be quick. If you miss, *MOVE!*. You're on sniper turf, you have to be able to defend yourself against them. *Sniper Warfare in a nutshell: PROS: -Less chance of getting hit when in position -Less pressure -Extremely efficient and effective -Satisfying feel after each kill CONS: -Generally lower score -Requires great deal of concentration -Takes time to refine -Relatively vulnerable BEST AGAINST -Submachine gunners -Machine gunners -Rockets -Shotgunners WORST AGAINST -Riflemen -Snipers -------------------- 3.14 - Close Combat -------------------- Despite being a specialist at ranged combat, there always comes a time when you are challenged outside of your comfort zone. In the case of Spearhead, that's pretty much all the time. It could be something as simple as running into the wrong end of an SMG in a corridor, or something as elaborate as getting jumped by a ninja beating you with a rifle butt. Now, it would easy to say that the solution would be to pop a round into their head, right? Too bad it isn't that easy. Close range is by far the rifleman's worst distance. Although the rifle's stopping power is more than enough, the fact that the rifles are single-shot is enough to put you at a major disadvantage. Not even the M1 Garand's semi-automatic capability can match the firepower of an SMG. Against another rifleman, it becomes a duel for honor, or even a comical slap-fest. Against an SMG, things get a little nasty. Your number one instinct should be evasive action. In an open area, you can throw distance between yourself and your assailant. In a room, you can't. Whenever possible, maintain a medium-distance, where you can maximise your rifle's strengths while reducing the SMG's weaknesses. Note that MG's are also deadly, but aren't as threatening as the SMG. Move around in random directions and make sure you can keep a bead on your target. Evasive action extends your life span, but be warned, it does not make you invincible. In real life self-defense courses, one of the things you are taught is that the average fight does not last longer than 60 seconds. In Spearhead, the average engagement is around 20 seconds. If you throw in the rifle's rate of fire, you'll find that you don't have much oppportunity to get a shot in. As far as a rifleman is concerned, it's do or die. The first shot must count, the rest relies on how bad your opponent is. This heavily relies on reflex, more so than any other situation. Your first shot will not always strike home, but you must always be prepared to make the next shot count regardless. The alternative would be to use a melee attack. There isn't anything stupid about bashing opponents, it's an essential skill for a rifleman. In reasonably open areas, melee attacks are effective combined with evasive action, providing a powerful technique and weapon of humiliation. There is a certain art to melee fighting. It takes a lot of nerve to take the battle that close. Being realistic though, going melee is extremely risky and is often suicidal against a submachine gunner. Against a rifle, it turns into a ceremony on par with Jedi Knight's "Ballet", where players dance around each other swinging lightsabers. Spearhead's "Ballet" is quite similar: players dancing around each other swinging rifles. This is a skill where only experience can teach you the most effective movements and build up the ability to determine the right time to attack. What is certain though, is that it takes two melee hits to knock out an opponent with full health. This is a rule of thumb, memorise it. It is also your own weakness. You must use cunning to outsmart your opponent. Don't be predictable. If you see a health pack lying around, pick it up without exposing yourself. Even if you didn't need it that much, it's better wasted on you than them. Once you get bashed once, you're in a critical situation, watch your moves more carefully and be more conservative in your melee attacks. Naturally, close combat is most effective against weapons that have no melee attack or have an extremely slow rate of fire. Snipers cannot return fire and cannot bash, rockets can only blow themselves up (you're going to get blown apart anyway, so you might as well do a suicide rush), and the Kar98k Rifle Grenade must attach a grenade before being able to kamikaze. Of course, there is no law that states that you cannot fire in close combat. Your opponents will do it, SMGs only do it. Sometimes, there is enough breathing space for you to get a shot in. Pick this time carefully and you can end a duel swiftly. Miss, and you're open for attack. Being wary. When engaging in close combat, keep the following in mind: -REFLEX: DO OR DIE Make sure your first shot is the golden bullet, the bullet that kills your target before they can react. You won't have time for follow-up shots. -THE 4-SHOT RULE For the Kar98k and the Mosin-Nagant, you only have 5 shots in your clip. Reloading leaves you open to attack and you will most often die in that situation. Missing the 5th shot is lethal. When down to your last bullet, it is often better to engage the enemy in melee combat rather than miss and reload. The Lee-Enfield has more flexibility, but you are still limited in the time you have before you get killed. The M1 Garand is excepted completely, you reload at an incredibly fast speed. -DON'T PANIC Eventually you'll get used to SMGs popping out of nowhere. A typical SMGer will spray you with bullets, which usually the most effective attack. A calm, well-aimed shot will neutralise the SMGer before you take too much damage. -PISTOLS: THE ALTERNATIVE A variation of the 4-shot rule is the use of the pistol. Rather than engaging your enemy in melee combat, you pull out your pistol after firing the last round in your clip. The advantage is that you have a semi-automatic weapon, although reloading is still lethal. Most effective against SMGers. -AVOID ENGAGING IN MELEE COMBAT AGAINST SMGs! Bashing SMGers is a big no-no. Their strength is the ability to pour a huge amount of firepower on full-automatic, and being at point blank range doesn't help your situation out. Only take that risk when you're drunk, being stupid or want to mock their n00b status. -DO NOT FEAR THE ROCKET They'll blow you up regardless of where you are, you might as well close the distance and hope they'll blow themselves up as well. You might as well bash them to death. *Close Combat in a nutshell: PROS: -Satisfying feeling if still alive -Humiliate enemies by clubbing them CONS: -All odds are against you -There's little you can do back BEST AGAINST: -Riflemen -Snipers -Rockets -Rifle-grenades WORST AGAINST: -Submachine gunners -Machine gunners -Shotgunners ====================================== 3.2 - Specific Strategies and Tactics ====================================== Of course, knowledge of general strategies is helpful in the long run, but there are certain tactics that are used specifically against certain types of weapons. These vary from what to do in a local skirmish to overall strategies to keep in mind in a battle. This section will highlight strategies against specific opponents. ------------------ 3.21 - Vs. Rifles ------------------ By far the most enjoyable battle to not only watch, but to participate in. Indeed, a rifle duel has more ethical values to it than any other weapon matchup. For one, you are using the same weapon. What determines the outcome is bitterly contested: a rifle duel is a test of skill, reflex, tactics and honor. While a non-rifleman can easily say that a rifle duel consists of nothing but two guys dancing around each other firing the occasional shot, it is that one shot that makes the entire encounter worth it. Whilst a regular skirmish usually consists of two SMGs spraying at each other, there is a certain elegance to a rifle duel. Like chivalry in the Middle Ages, there are certain rules to rifling that distinguish it from other weapons. This will be discussed in detail later. An opposing rifleman has the same strengths and weaknesses as you. He has the same hitting power with the same disadvantage in rate of fire (M1 Garand excepted, of course), and both of you are fighting for that golden bullet. The ideal range for a rifle duel is medium range. However, the conduct of the duel is heavily reliant on style. Some like to extend the distance between the combatants, others like it up close and personal and close the distance to engage in melee combat. This is one enjoyable aspect of rifling: the rifleman has complete choice of style. There is a certain code of conduct when engaging in a rifle duel. Pistols, for one, should not be used. A rifleman fights to the end with his rifle, least of all against a fellow rifleman. Although rifling is a complex art, the techniques used are relatively simple. Evasive action should be a must, moving around in random directions. There are only two instances where you can stand still: -When you are just about to shoot -When you enemy is reloading or loading the next bullet It is important to get accustomed to the rates of fire of rifles. Against the M1 Garand, you'll have less breathing space. A rifle duel might be swift and end in one shot. It might drag on, forcing you to reload several times. Each miss is a wasted bullet, giving your opponent one additional bullet to kill you with. Each of their misses is a chance for you to shoot back. Every step, every mistake, it all boils down to one crucial shot. The 4-shot rule is also important here. However, you can extend it further: you can simply go all-out melee. The moment to do so is important. Running in at the wrong time means a bullet between the eyes. Good times to engage in melee combat are when they are reloading or after they have missed a shot. Run circles around them if you must, but do not present an easy target to them while engaged in close combat. They, and you for that matter, can easily break off contact and fire the golden bullet at an unsuspecting enemy. *Summarised: -One-shot kill is crucial -Keep moving -Melee combat is a good alternative -Equal footing: same strengths, same weaknesses -Their mistake, your gain, and vice versa. --------------------------- 3.22 - Vs. Submachine guns --------------------------- The submachine gun is the rifleman's worst enemy. While the rifle relies on a one-shot kill at best, the submachine gun focuses on quantity rather than quality. The submachine gunner generally has the advantage: they have full automatic capability, they fire faster and they can afford to make mistakes. You, as a rifleman, cannot. All of the SMGs are generally similar, so there's no need to make any exceptions to your tactics. They carry between 30 to 47 rounds with varying rates of fire. The main danger comes in their fast rates of fire, allowing spray tactics with reasonable chance of scoring a hit. SMGs don't hit too hard, but they can hit a lot, and that is their forte. Your rifle relies on the advantage of hitting the hardest. And longer ranges, you can pick off a submachine gunner with reasonable immunity due to the inaccuracy of the submachine gun. A calm, aimed shot can put an SMG out of its misery. Aim for the head to guarantee a kill. At close distances, however, you're on SMG turf, and you have very little room for error. Despite this, it is important to stay cool and maintain focus. All you need is one well-aimed shot and you're safe, for the time being. Don't let them run circles around you, and try to counter their movements with your own erratic movements, making yourself as hard to hit as possible. A key tactic is to increase the distance between yourself and the SMG. The further away you are, the less chance the SMG has of hitting you, and the more time you have to make your shot. It is also a good idea to make use of natural obstacles: furniture, walls, railings, cars, tanks, etc. Bullets can't go solid objects lying around, so use this to your advantage. Buy time by running around a car, leaping over a stone wall or running into a room. This restricts the SMGs' target and forces them to change their approach. Work this to your advantage by aiming where they are most likely to go. Lure them through doorways and around corners and be quick on your following shot. Although you have the local element of surprise, they will most likely fire pre-emptively. In general, you must reduce their advantages and increase yours. It is also important to always be on your guard, both in and out of battle. An SMG ambush can make short work of a hapless soldier, and it is unwise to underestimate the speed of the SMG. Unlike a rifle duel, an SMG does not pause during each shot, and it's reload speed is almost as fast as a rifle. Your window of opportunity is very small during their reload, so make the most of it and do not relax. Just remember that if you miss, they have another 30 rounds to kill you with. Also keep track of your movement style. Often it is better to keep running in one direction than to throw off your target by changing directions, since you will usually run into their line of fire and get yourself killed. *Summarised: -Always be on guard -Stay away as far as possible -Put inanimate objects in between you and the SMG -Don't waste time aiming too much ------------------------ 3.23 - Vs. Machine guns ------------------------ Although not as popular as the submachine gun, the machine gun is quite a threatening weapon. Unlike the SMG, the MG only comes in two flavours: the Allied BAR and the Axis Stg44. Both of these weapons are remarkably different. The BAR is more of a support weapon. It fires slower, but is more accurate and hits hard. On the other hand, the Stg44 is an assault weapon, similar to a beefed-up SMG. It has a relatively fast rate of fire. Both weapons are heavier, and do more damage than SMGs. However, despite their potential they are not as dangerous as SMGs, and that is a fact the rifle can exploit. The most dangerous of the two is the Stg44. A well-aimed burst can put you out of commission. Naturally, a golden bullet before they react can prevent that. In the likely event that you do not land that golden shot, you have more flexibility against the Stg44 than against other weapons. The Stg44 fires slower than most SMGs and is heavier, so it is easier to dodge bullets and run circles around the Stg44. Simply get out of the direction they are facing and force them to get another bead on you, buying time while giving you ample opportunity to shoot. The BAR is ridiculously easy to counter, and it's threat is laughable at best. It can kill, and effectively, but against a swift rifleman the BAR has little chance. It has a much slower rate of fire than the Stg44, and the M1 Garand is almost faster. Combined with its heavy weight, the BAR is very vulnerable. Not only do the standard evasive tactics work, but going into melee combat against the BAR is a very effective technique and quite safe as long as you don't make yourself too easy to hit. The strategy against both weapons is fairly straightforward. Stay on your feet, run circles around your opponent and fire when you get a clear shot. Take advantage of the lower amount of firepower. Keep in mind, an MG can still kick your ass, so don't think you're invincible. However, they fire slow and weak enough to make your superior hitting power felt. Naturally, the further away you are, the less chance they have of hitting you and the more you can exploit your accuracy advantage. *Summarised: -Keep moving -Run circles around the MG if in close range -Stay at distance at further range -Melee combat is quite effective, especially against the BAR ------------------------- 3.24 - Vs. Sniper rifles ------------------------- The tactics used against a sniper are remarkably different from other weapons. While you have little time to react against an SMG, MG or rifle, you have too much time to make a decisive shot against a sniper. The sniper rifle, like the regular rifle, focuses on the quality of shots rather than the quantity. The sniper himself is quite inflexible, being unable to move quickly or rely on automatic fire. In fact, the sniper is more reliant on a golden bullet than you are. Unlike going against an SMG, your goal is to close the distance between the sniper and yourself. Do not move in one direction too long, always change after a few steps. Vary your pace to throw off the sniper. If you are able to think like a sniper, you are able to calculate the time between each shot and how fast they can react to your own movements. Remember that you move and shoot faster. Continue running towards the sniper, pausing briefly to fire a shot. The closer you are to the sniper, the most he has to move his crosshairs to get a bead on you. If you manage to get within close combat range against the sniper, you have the upper hand. The sniper has one horrible close range weakness: the inability to perform a melee attack. Dance around the sniper, clubbing him to death. It takes a relatively lucky shot to neutralise your threat. However, an unscoped sniper is practically a rifle, so you have to keep on your guard against sudden shots. Most likely, your target will switch to their pistol to deal with this threat, but keep up your brutal assault and you'll easily come out on top. This is assuming, of course, that there are no other threats. This is unlikely to be the case. This is where the alternative comes in. Your rifle is just as accurate as the sniper rifle, but without the limitations. As long as you can see the sniper, you can shoot him. If you can get into a reasonably good position without the sniper seeing you, he's yours. Otherwise, find a good place to take cover between shots, pop out and fire a round, then either go back to the same spot or find another. The advantage is that you do not expose yourself to other threats, only drawing them to you (which is also bad, but not as bad as running into a dozen SMGs). The disadvantage is that your are in the snipers' optimum range. Frequenting the same spot too often means that the sniper will have his sights on the place where you will pop out. While you are in the open, move erratically to throw off the sniper's aim. Like going against a rifle, shoot when you are either sure of a hit or after they fire a shot, giving you a second to stand still and fire. Shot-for-shot, the rifle has the upper hand, but be wary. A skilled sniper is a very dangerous threat at all ranges, so do not underestimate your enemy. You beat him at his own game, or you bring the game to him. *Summarised: -If at close range, get closer and club him -If at long range, find cover or move erratically -Fire only when certain, or when the sniper has missed a shot -Do not be predictable ------------------- 3.25 - Vs. Rockets ------------------- Everybody hates rockets. I'm not going to go into detail why, but simply put, they are ridiculously powerful and have a large splash radius. In other words, rockets don't need anything resembling an accurate shot to kill several people at a time. Luckily, most people who use rockets are n00bs, so you have the advantage in skill. Obviously, an open area where the rocketeer can see you is very bad. Avoid if possible, and if you know a rocketeer is there. Usually you won't have that choice, so don't think about it. Think of it as going against a sniper: stay concealed if possible. Unlike taking out a sniper, the rocket is probably going to kill you with their first shot. The key is to make your golden shot before they can react. After intensive research over years of gaming, it can be concluded that n00bs not only suck, but have incredibly slow reflexes. Since most rocket users are n00bs, you have around 2-3 seconds after being spotted. Rockets also have a massive reload delay, so you have relatively long period of immunity. Also, rocketeers are vulnerable to melee attacks, so if you're close, knock them out. Sure, they'll blow you to smithereens, but at least they'll kill themselves trying. Death before dishonor. Of course, n00bs are quite easy to beat. However, you have to accept that the rocket is a cheap weapon and that you WILL die from rockets regardless of what you do. Effectively tactics can reduce the chances, but sooner or later a rocket will stick its ugly head out when you don't want it to. The other possible scenario is when you have a veteran player n00bing around with a rocket. In that case, you're screwed unless they miss. You won't have that reaction time advantage, and you'll have to put up with fierce pistol defense. However, veterans rarely engage in such activities, so feel free to underestimate your enemies. *Summarised: -Rockets suck. -Take them out in close range or long range -Use slow reaction time to your advantage -Getting killed is inevitable, death very likely -------------------- 3.26 - Vs. Shotguns -------------------- While the rocket is a pain overall, the shotgun is the bane of close combat enthusiasts. The shotgun is not only unrealistic (very rarely used in WWII), but also ridiculously powerful. A single buckshot to the torso is enough to kill, and two shots is certain death. Like the rocket, if you meet a shotgunner in close range, you have an extremely high chance of dying. There is very little you can do to stop a shotgunner. A very fast and accurate shot can take out a shotgunner before they react, but even years of building up your skills and reflexes isn't enough to stop a charging shotgunner. Unlike rockets, shotgunners have relatively fast reflexes due to their close combat nature. So, if you're caught in a corridor on the receiving end of a shotgun, don't count on surviving. If you encounter the shotgunner in an open area, you have better chances. If the shotgunner catches you completely by surprise at point blank, you're toast. If they are approaching you at medium range, start running backwards while taking potshots. They can still do decent damage, but the strength of the shotgun lies in close range. The further away you are, the less damage it can do. At long range, they aren't a threat, so pick them off a leisure. *Summarised: -Certainty of death in close range -Certainty of living at long range -Keep as far away as possible -------------------------- 3.27 - Vs. Rifle grenades -------------------------- Despite their tactical value, the Rifle grenade is an unpopular weapon amongst both n00bs and veterans. Basically a Kar98k with a grenade attachment, it can be used as a pseudo-rocket launcher. Of course, when not firing grenades it is used exactly like a regular Kar98k, which n00bs can't do. If they wanted a weapon of mass destruction, they'd use the rocket instead. Still, some players insist for various reasons, so it's good to know how to counter a rifle-grenade. For the most part, you're better off playing it safe and engaging them at long range, where their rifle grenades can't reach but your bullets can. At other ranges, your safety is compromised and being realistic, you'll eat a rifle grenade like you'll eat a rocket. If you run into someone who already has a grenade attached, you're almost dead. Luckily, most rifle grenadiers can't calculate the correct trajectory and will often miss. Attaching another grenade takes time, and their rifling is probably not up to par with a conventional rifleman. If they are skilled, you'll have similar problems to facing another rifleman. Refer above for anti-rifle tactics, minus the honor. Of course, the rifle grenade has one major weakness: it is incapable of a melee attack. So, if you're not already eating grenades, charge in and beat the crap out of them. You're still exposed to the same risk of getting a bullet in the head, but being caught at close range without a reliable weapon to counter tends to set off panic. Some will attach another grenade, either by accident or intentionally, but you should be able to finish them off by then. *Summarised: -Be cautious at first -Fight as if you were facing another rifleman -Close combat puts you at a major advantage -Be ready to exploit a missed grenade -High chance of dying if caught by surprise ========================================== 3.3 - Flexibility: The Need for Variation ========================================== By no means are the strategies and tactics explained above absolute and perfect. No strategy is perfect, each has their own strengths and flaws. In Spearhead, as with many other things in games as well as in life, one approach will not win everything. The above strategies were not ripped out of a manual, strategy guide or sent in a beam of light from Bill Gates. They were built up over years of playing, highlighting the best and worst of common experience. Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment. Experience brought these strategies this far, experience will undoubtedly take them further. They can still be refined and improved. Hence the need for flexibility. You will find that no matter how effective a strategy is in one area, there will be many times when it won't be effective. You have to change your way of playing to accomodate unpredicted occurances. These can be sudden, giving you no choice. You might be sniping from a good position, but suddenly get jumped by an SMG who flanked you. You might hide from a passing mob and get into position to pick them off from behind. You might run into a rocket or shotgun around the corner. Then there's the other extreme, where you have full control over your style of play. You could be blowing away all opposition with a single strategy and decide to change to avoid being predictable, or you could be struggling with a certain tactic and decide to stop using it. Or you could mix n' match, combining certain elements of some strategies with others. You could roam discreetly like a sniper, but fight like a loose cannon. The state of world affairs changes dramatically over time as new concepts come into light and wisdom grows. Like trends, some things appear better than others for periods of time, and then you naturally change. Sometimes you think something is better and emphasise its use, then a month later you realise that its utter crap. Such changes in mentality continue to change over time, and from this we can draw modified or brand new tactics. As stated earlier in this guide, there are limitless possibilities for strategies. If there was one perfect strategy, everybody would be using it. Obviously, this isn't the case. Instead, you have a myriad of playing styles which can be similar or different. Either way, there are many ways to play the game. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* 4.0 - ISSUES *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Over the years, certain issues have come up in the Spearhead community. Some were local, others were universal. Such issues have lead to debates and strife both in and out of games. This section includes some notes and observations of various developments in the history of Spearhead in relation to the use of rifles. Note that this section does not directly help in improving rifling techniques. However, it does provide an insight into the minds of many riflemen, which in turn might grant more wisdom and therefore knowledge, and knowing is half the battle. ===================================== 4.1 - The Rifle: The Weapon of Honor ===================================== Rifling is more than an overlooked way of playing Spearhead, it is an art in itself. There is a certain essence in the use of a rifle that makes it stand out from all other weapons. It is not restricted to Spearhead only, the mentality has been around for a long time. The belief that using inferior weapons was a challenge has been around for quite a while, even if only on a personal level. For example, there has been a classic debate in Counterstrike over the two sniper rifles, the Steyr Scout and the AWP. The AWP is by far the superior of the two rifles, being accurate with single shots and capable of a one-hit kill to the torso or head. On the other hand, the Steyr Scout was a cheaper weapon to purchase, was much lighter and had a faster rate of fire. As far as a sniper was concerned, the AWP was the way to go. Yet, some players insisted on the Scout, capitalising on its strengths to make up for its weaknesses. They did not believe that the Scout was an inferior weapon. Had they been mainstream snipers, they would have used the AWP as well. There was something more to it. Not only challenge, but the element of style. Spearhead has taken a rather surprising step in the evolution of the gaming community. While Allied Assault was practically an SMG/MG war, Spearhead's weapons were more balanced, giving rifles the power they deserved. By no means are the rifles inferior. However, the effective use of rifles requires a far more specialised set of skills. It is indeed a challenge to use a rifle, and it is quite satisfying to knock down an enemy with a single, solid shot. Then there was style, the unique and distinct sound of the rifle could be noticed across the map, leaving a feeling of safety yet driving home one of the most powerful weapons in the game. But there was something else, something unique in the Spearhead community. By some amazing twist of fate, there was an element of honor. Strange indeed, for most players look for the easiest way to win, electing to use SMGs, which require relatively less skill for more results. It was indeed the historical intention behind the submachine gun. Yet, in reality as in Spearhead, there were purists who believed that the rifle was the way to go. The idea of having a weapon that required the utmost precision and skill combined with the mobility of an automatic weapon was quite appealing, and the potential results were more than ideal. We can compare this to the evolution of weapons in the Middle Ages. At their peak, the knight was the pinnacle of Chivalry in and out of battle, fearing only those of their own kind. Then came the crossbow. A weapon firing a bolt at high speed, it could be used by a man with little training. It was the first "cheap" weapon, one might say, being able to fell an armored knight in one shot. The idea of stopping a knight, most likely a veteran of many years, with such ease was appalling, and the development of gunpowder didn't help. Indeed, the introduction of tanks compromised the role of calvary units, now lightly armored if at all. Purists clung to old traditions, trying to find more uses for them and extending their life span as long as possible. The knights of old lost respect, but among themselves there were no greater comrades. Whilst other classes might be better in skill, the riflemen form a sort of "elite" class, requiring the most skill of all with little additional benefit. However, the true value of a rifleman lies not in his skill, but in his mind. A rifleman is more conservative, is able to anaylse a battle better and is not so willing to throw his life away needlessly. The calm, focused approach to combat leaves them almost invincible to those of lesser mind. Most important is the psychological warfare between a rifleman and another rifleman. Like a knight jousting with another knight, there is no greater honor than to duel with someone who is exposed to the same strengths and weaknesses as yourself. Using the same bolt-action weapon with the same slow rate of fire with the same one-hit kill, there is no substitute for skill, and nothing can compensate for a lack of focus. Although it is true that the time of rifles have passed and that other weapons are more effective than rifles, there is still a huge following of riflemen, being regarded as the best of the best. In fact, many clans devote a part of their clan to the use of rifles only, and rifle-only matches are common. The rifle is held in utmost respect by almost every player, and as long as there is still a strong rifle community, the rifle will still remain a weapon of honor. ==================== 4.2 - The M1 Garand ==================== The community of riflemen was built up and maintained by the concept of honor, though not all recognise it. Although there are no concrete rules of engagement, there seems to be one common rule that most riflemen accept: the M1 Garand is not a weapon of honor. Developed after the Great War, it was built on the basis of a semi-automatic weapon for standard issue to infantry. This was the advantage the average American soldier had over his German counterpart: they could output a higher volume of fire with just as much effectiveness than the Kar98k-equipped German soldat. Since Medal of Honor draws it's historical basis from facts like these, Spearhead accurately balances the M1 Garand by reducing the quality of each shot and increasing the quantity. Although reasonable by regular game standards, the M1 Garand is the scourge of riflemen. Whilst the bolt-actions have the upper hand in terms of a one-hit kill capability, they do not compensate for the Garand's ability to fire as fast as you click. The Garand itself suffers from only a few flaws: the lack of a one-hit kill capability, and the inability to reload in the middle of a clip. The Garand compensates ridiculously well, with the fastest reload speed and the ability to put out three potentially lethal shots in the time it takes for a bolt-action to fire one. In short, the M1 Garand is too strong, too accurate, too fast. This causes immense problems for rifle purists. Had everything been a bolt-action, they would all be fighting on equal terms. Instead, they have to deal with a bastard of a gun, earning the title of "semi-SMG". Although a well-aimed shot can take out a Garand, a Garand in the hands of a decent player is far too good a weapon to be accepted into the highly refined world of rifles. Like the crossbow, it is far too easy to use compared to a weapon that takes much longer to perfect. Of course, that does not mean the M1 Garand is illegal. It is a very effective weapon, and is quite suitable for certain scenarios. It makes the task of storming Omaha Beach substantially easier and more realistic, if that can be said. On the other hand, using the M1 Garand has its downsides. For one, you are nullifying your honorable title of rifleman, and promoting the use of the Garand results in the equivalent of being expelled from a social order. Claiming to be an honorable rifleman while holding a Garand is a major no-no. Messing around with one is okay in moderation, but relying on one tends to reduce your respect levels in both the rifle and non-rifle circles. Although a good weapon, it has never been a true rifleman's weapon. ========================================== 4.3 - Live by the Rifle, Die by the Rifle ========================================== One of the extensions to the concept of a rifleman's honor is that they only use the rifle. It is not an aspect that is looked at often, but when presented with a choice between weapons, there ethics involved. This is not determined by honor alone, but also practical applications and personal satisfaction. Let's use a typical case study: you are running about rifling happily when you engage another rifleman in close range. What do you do? Perhaps a tactically good approach would be to switch to the pistol, a far more appropriate weapon, but again, ethics gets in the way. The rifleman's honor lies in the use of his rifle, and neglecting its use is one of the worst acts of dishonor. The use of the pistol is often seen as the "cheap" way out, ruining a good rifle duel by giving yourself the advantage of an automatic weapon with little damage penalty. It does not guarantee an easy victory, but it does mean forsaking the weapon to which you have been attached to. Then there's the liability in a tactical situation. It's easy to switch to a pistol when you have the chance, but what if you get ambushed by a submachine gunner? You won't have time to switch to your weapon. Continually relying on being able to switch to a more appropriate weapon takes away from your ability to snap into action and make the most of your situation. The rifle is the best weapon you have in any situation, you don't have much choice on what weapon you want to switch to. The rifle is the only weapon you have that can be used to achieve almost anything you could possibly achieve. There is, of course, the exception of the grenade. An effective weapon in appropriate situations, the grenade is the only other weapon that can be used. This comes with limitations, of course, as there is a fine line between a well-thrown grenade and grenade spamming. There is also a line between when a grenade should be used and when they are simply a luxury. For the most part, if you can neutralise a threat with a grenade, you can neutralise it with your rifle. Finally, there is the overall satisfaction of taking out an enemy with a single shot. The solid feeling of the result is something that can only be felt when following the strict, yet unofficial rules of rifling. It is not a feeling that can be felt when spraying countless bullets with a submachine gun or even reverting to your sidearm to save yourself. It is not a concept that can be easily understood by those who are outside of this circle. ======================== 4.4 - The Rifle Grenade ======================== Like the shotgun and the rocket launcher, the rifle grenade has come under attack by not only riflemen, but all players in general. Introduced in Spearhead as the answer to the Allied shotgun, the rifle grenade has proven not only to be an unpopular weapon, but also incredibly cheap. The rifle grenade is practically a Kar98k. To that extent, it could be respected. However, what makes the rifle grenade stand out is that it comes with three grenades that can be attached and fired by the rifle, launching a grenade further than a thrown grenade and explodes on impact. Although heavily affected by ballistics, the rifle grenade is nonetheless a tactically effective weapon. What makes it cheap? The impact fuse. With a wide splash radius and high damage, the "popgun" is a poor man's rocket launcher. There is simply no window of opportunity to counter, or even avoid an incoming rifle grenade. While the rocket has a slow travel time and can be dodged to an extent, the rifle grenade is much faster. In fact, the only way to survive a rifle grenade attack is to hope that it misses. When roaming, the rifle grenade is a dangerous threat anywhere, and when camping, you might as well use a tripwire attached to plastic explosives. Those three grenades are a huge pain in the ass. So why don't n00bs use it often? Simply because they have access to the rocket launcher itself. Although heavier and more inaccurate, the rocket launcher is much easier to use than the rifle grenade, which requires calculation of trajectories as well as the skill of a regular rifleman when not firing grenades. There is very little reason to use the rifle grenade. The rocket launcher is more effective at being n00b, while the rifle is more effective in more situations. It is simply a poor excuse to look respectable. Like the rocket launcher, the rifle grenade is a definite no-no for a serious rifleman, and should only be used when n00bing around, if ever. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* 5.0 - CONCLUSION *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* The rifle isn't everyone's weapon. Unlike an SMG, which can be picked up by most players, the rifle requires an extremely high amount of skill and experience to not only play effectively, but also to maintain the high amount of discipline required. It could be said that the rifleman must be as precise as his weapon, and indeed the personalities of riflemen are reflections of their characteristics in battle. There is more to war than firing a weapon. There is as much to fighting a war outside of battle as there is in battle.