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Blast - the Barney Mode of SWB
Blast - the Barney Mode of SWB

When you read the official description of this game mode, you learn that it is about defeating more enemies than the other team in order to win the battle. Basically what we are talking about is the typical team-vs-team mode supporting up to a max of 20 players.

The problem for most players begins when they start looking for the edges in play - lessons on what to look for that have been ingrained through countless pvp and team-based play in the genre going back nearly a decade.

Those edges tend to focus on how to dominate the other team, and useful tactics for creating opportunities. The thing is, that sort of play in this specific mode is really a better way to lose the game than it is to win.

Seriously - have you noticed when you were doing the BATTLES in TRAINING - Hoth in particular - that trying to create a redoubt to fight from ends up costing you more points than you gain from it?

When we learned basic squad tactics on the sand tables the one point that the instructors made clear over and over again was that creating a redoubt in a fluid battlefield was always a mistake due to the lack of flanking protection.

In fact the only times when creating a redoubt works is when it is done as a temporary solution to a specific problem - like resupplying your forces from a field supply drop - during which you only create a defensive posture long enough to open and distribute the ammunition and ordinance, food and medical supplies. Then the redoubt literally dissolves as you place your troops back into the best posture for the battlefield.

That is the logic that applies here - and knowing that IS the edge you are seeking. Roughly translated for those of you unfamiliar with squad tactics on the battlefield, your best defense in this sort of situation is to remain mobile, allowing you to move your defensive posture to respond to the threats as they are presented.

THAT is the edge you are looking for - the understanding that fluid battle tactics are the only defensive posture you can adopt in this type of battle. Because your primary objective is to kill enemy combatants, not create a base, temporary or otherwise.

The first team to get 100 kills wins - and the first team to get 100 kills in this mode is the team that remains a fluid and dynamic fighting force. Once you start looking for cover, you die. It's that simple.

A typical game of Blast has you taking part in a right barney!

So adopting mobile cover through firepower is the only option. That means utilizing basic defensive and offensive squad tactics which, in this case, is the classical deployment rather than mixed or augmented.

This approach uses squads that are composed of three elements: a command and support element, a base of fire element, and a maneuver element.

The command and support element should be the most knowledgeable member of your group who functions as your squad leader and their partner should be your forward observer.

The fire element consists of a group of two or three members armed with Heavy Blasters, with the maneuver element composed of members armed with lighter assault-type blasters that, while they do less damage overall and have shorter range are able to maintain a higher rate of fire, which balances those two weaknesses out.

The maneuver element stays out front, scouting ahead and providing a security line to protect your fire element. When they make contact with the enemy they fall back in an orderly fashion to become the front defensive line of the fire element, and together the fire and maneuver elements then crush the approaching enemy between a hammer and anvil of fire.

Finally there is the dynamic element of the Partner System - which links two players together. By playing within that relationship as a series of smaller two-man squads, you introduce an additional layer of support and cover to the strategy.

When your partner gets taken out your job is to strategically retreat far enough so that your partner can then form up on you coming back into the battle and not risk being immediately taken out again by the same source of fire.

By applying these basic field tactics you can literally dominate the battle - especially if the other side is not using them or even better, is disorganized.

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