= MEDAL OF HONOR ALLIED ASSAULT: SPEARHEAD =
= ---------------------------------- =
= Rifle Guide =
= ~ =
= Written by Scottie_theNerd (firstname.lastname@example.org) =
= Copyright (c) 2004 Scott Lee =
This guide is written by Scott Lee, who also goes under the names of David
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v1.0 (Jan 27 2004) - Guide completed
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
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
To summarise the qualities of the rifle:
-One-hit kill capability
-Light weight, therefore fast move speed
-Ideal for medium/long range engagements
-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
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
2.1 - M1 Garand
Country: United States of America
Magazine capacity: 8 rounds
Firing mechanism: Semi-automatic, gas-operated
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
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.
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
Calibre: 7.92mm x 57
Magazine capacity: 5 rounds
Firing mechanism: Bolt-action
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.
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
Calibre: 7.62mm x 54
Magazine capacity: 5 rounds
Firing mechanism: Bolt-action
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.
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
Magazine capacity: 10 rounds
Firing mechanism: Bolt-action
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.
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
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.
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
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
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:
-Little strategy required
-More targets, higher score potential
-Generally good range for rifle
-Open to more enemies, higher death potential
-Limited ammunition and staying power
-Occasional ambush leaves you vulnerable
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
-Less chance of getting hit when in position
-Extremely efficient and effective
-Satisfying feel after each kill
-Generally lower score
-Requires great deal of concentration
-Takes time to refine
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
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.
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:
-Satisfying feeling if still alive
-Humiliate enemies by clubbing them
-All odds are against you
-There's little you can do back
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
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.
-One-shot kill is crucial
-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.
-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.
-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
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.
-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.
-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.
-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
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.
-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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.