[WIP] Useful engineering 101

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Challenger
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[WIP] Useful engineering 101

Post by Challenger » 22 Jul 2017, 00:10

This guide is WIP, I'm gonna start it off with a short series of images on FOB deisgn but hope to turn it into a full-fledged guide on everything an engineer should be doing, instead of the (very few) current guides which detail what they can do.

We begin our engineering journey tasked with FOBbing something that looks a little bit like the north half of LV's hydroponics dome.

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- This is your first attempt at securing the dome. For the price of 32 metal, you've managed to deny an area to the enemy.
- There is a problem, though. These barricades are too offensive, placed too far forward. The xenos are using the walls against you when attacking the barricades. It's hard to get a line of fire against them without pressing up against the barricade, which brings the risk of being tackled or the xeno simply assaulting other sections.
- But what if all six sections were directly manned by someone? This is unlikely to happen. You should be realistic about how many people are going to man your barricade. Sometimes you will be the only one in the area, especially if the marines are pushing elsewhere, and your barricades will be easy prey to flanking xenos like runners and hunters.
- So let's move these barricades back with a screwdriver and wrench.

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- Without spending any more metal, you've made your barricades much more defensive.
- Now a single person or turret can defend all six barricades without having to physically be at the barricades. Even a turret can do the job. Sometimes you will find a location that is necessary to secure, but boring to actually protect, such as telecomms in Big Red. Turrets will never get bored.
- Walls aren't permanent. The moment they are more useful to you than to the enemy, expect them to be crushed or melted. Plan for the future and make your cades even more defensive.

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- Moving the barricades back and adding more metal unites them into a defensive line.
- In pulling back like this, we've lost a bit of zone control - we can't quite pressure the aliens trying to get in. Let's add an offensive line as well.

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- This larger offensive line is much more desirable to hold, as the marines have unimpeded vision and motion.
- Two marines stationed at the top-left and top-right corners can see and cover the whole barricade, while the inner passive line only needs one stationed. Remember that our very first attempt at creating barricades, which attempted to be offensive with a meager amount of metal, needed six people to hold it.
- We've been using metal barricades for simplicity's sake so far, but vaulting them is cumbersome and we want to use barbed wire. Let's take out our stack of plasteel.

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- This type of use of plasteel is a very common sight, but not at all an efficient one. Plasteel's key advantages are an large increase in strength, and allowing for mobility.
- An increase in strength here is pointless when xenos can just attack the metal barricades right next to them instead.
- While placing additional plasteel barricades next to each other does a bit to make movement through that area smoother, it is far more advantageous to use the extra plasteel in other sections of the barricade to open up mobility elsewhere.
- Try not to obstruct marine movement through your FOB.

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- Spreading the plasteel out makes it much easier to move between the lines of barricades and areas. Try to place plasteel in the areas that are furthest away from any existing plasteel for the biggest improvement in mobility.
- Sooner or later, barricades fall. Sometimes you'll find it necessary to add an extra layer of thickness to a line.

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- For the downside of a bit more bottlenecking at the plasteel barricades, doubling the amount of barricades doubles the damage that xenos must deal to get through the line.
- When a front layer barricade falls, just move the back layer barricade behind it forward, and then construct a new barricade in its old spot.
- Sometimes factors out of your control force a retreat from the barricades. For example, a randomname baldie yells into his squad comms that the lines are falling because an acid spatter hit him once, and as a result the CO announces a full retreat while the PO yells at everyone to get on or he's totally leaving you behind. In the ensuing stampede, four people are AP burst FFed, three get burned alive when an engineer gets tackled while priming an incendiary, and the rest...


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- ...succumbed to bad engineering.
- I really gotta re-emphasize this. Barricades should not be a maze that the marines have to solve. Don't unnecessarily restrict marine movement like the two lines at the top. Inadequate amounts of space between barricade lines makes movement too cramped, and puts the marines in weak positions against enemy attacks, such as boiler globs or queens' screeches.
- My personal advice is to keep your barricade lines around three or more tiles apart. The front row of tiles is where marines pressed up against the barricade will shoot, the row behind that is where they will step back to take cover, and the rows behind that are where marines will move around in general.
- Speaking of which, you aren't protected from ranged attacks if you stand on the same tile as the barricade.
- The PO's getting real loud about that final evac, so you keep booking it back...

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- Oh boy
- The dead turret at the top-right corner of the left half of the line serves to teach us that you really shouldn't be pressing turrets up against barricades like that for two reasons. It makes them vulnerable to melee damage from aliens running up and slashing it, and it takes away its advantage of IFF passing through marines.
- The turret at the left cocooned by metal also has two problems with it. The first one is that turrets don't have IFF against each other, and this turret would be shooting the one in front of it if an alien positioned itself in the right spot, which would quickly lead to the turret at the front being destroyed. The second problem is that the barricades surrounding the turret don't do anything at all to protect it from melee or ranged attacks.
- The last turret at the right is also cocooned by metal, but a bit counterproductively. If you're reading this guide you probably don't do this stupid stuff, but I still see it far too often: those barricades are doing nothing but blocking the turret's shots.
- The aliens in this image are arranged relative to our green defender to show that our own barricades can be used against us: if the defender attempts to fire at them, the east-facing barricades will block his shots. This is why any "side" sections of barricades need to be examined carefully to see if they will help rather than hinder the marines if xenos breach into the line.
- Finally, remember again that aliens can melt or crush walls. There are no real permanent features on a map. Always have a backup plan, and don't put all your plasteel in one basket.
Last edited by Challenger on 08 Aug 2017, 08:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by Karmac » 22 Jul 2017, 00:37

+1 nearly had a stroke

Very immersive
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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by TheDonkified » 22 Jul 2017, 23:15

I like it. You would think though, that most, if not all, of this stuff is common sense. Yet, a lot of the mistakes that you point out are seen WAY too often.
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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by TheMaskedMan2 » 23 Jul 2017, 02:18

While speaking about Engineering, while this is a good guide so far, I do hope you plan on expanding this to teach engineers that their job isn't ONLY barricades.

There is the ever important power, comms, APCs, and lights, that god knows how many engineers seem to just blank out when confronted with "Set up the SMES you idiot."
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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by Karmac » 23 Jul 2017, 07:18

well we've got the wiki for that part, it's just the actual barricade building nobody's got info on.
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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by misto » 23 Jul 2017, 23:57

how about landmines?

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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by Challenger » 24 Jul 2017, 00:09

They're the next planned section of the guide.

In brief:

- Mines don't one hit kill anything (not even young runners), they're pointless without followup (aka someone to dump a UGL if it's T2/3, or dump a burst if T1). Always place them within sight range of a barricade that you KNOW is gonna be manned. For best results, find the routes hunters and runners are taking, quickly plop one down there, and step back to bait one into charging you.
- Don't put them deep inside the FOB or high-human-traveled-areas, they'll just blow up when someone flamethrowers it or some young runners gets past when the FOB's undermanned and then it'll backfire onto the marines.
- Mines are a 3x3 explosion centered on themselves (like old UGLs), and activate when a hostile is moved either on the tile it's on, or the tile it's "facing" (a 2x1 square).
- Don't be afraid to move mines around with a multitool, even as a PFC (everyone knows how to disarm them), sometimes a barricade gets undermanned and the mine's likely to be wasted.
- Mines damage barricades, don't put them too close to any.
- Crushers detonate mines without damage, and ravs do take damage but get up near instantly. Don't place mines in too "frontal" a spot, even a young rav won't stay down long enough to get the UGL dump in.
- And again, just remember that flame grenades/flamethrowers/UGLs DO set them off, don't put them anywhere that's receiving a lot of gunfire.
- Two mines facing each other will both blow up if one is tripped (since the other is in the other's facing-tile), which can crit a T2.
- There's always tons of shit around that you can put on top of a mine to hide it, don't be lazy.
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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by Dolth » 24 Jul 2017, 05:54

Mines AoE is 4x3.
Also you got any confirmations a pfc can disarm a mine? Cause I ain't sure.

Also having a sentry in range of mines is an excellent way of having a side fully handling itself. Besides queen or ravager and crusher. Anything is crit with a mine + 3 autocanon shots. Unless heavily upgraded.
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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by misto » 24 Jul 2017, 06:28

ive been told a mine's aoe is 3x3 centered on the square in front of it. but besides these small uncertain details, good advice

and, it is not just mines that you should consider moving if a barricade becomes "undermanned" - the barricades themselves too can be moved about. there are few things sadder than seeing hard-built barricades left behind to be acided or slashed apart with no resistance, a complete waste of materials. make sure to emphasize that an engineer (as well as anyone who is going to be ordering the engineer to build, like an sl or other leader) should think carefully about whether or not the barricades are actually going to be used if theyre placed in an area. a barricade is a defenseless slab if there's no one to stand behind it and shoot at xenos

oh yes, and your advice regarding the sentry, how the barricades will not protect it from being slashed because the aliens can just run up to the barricades, reach over, and scratch it - this also applies to humans behind barricades too of course, and so i promote 2-layer barricades when you have the materials and time for them - make sure to instruct the privates to stand behind the second one instead of stuck between.

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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by Karmac » 24 Jul 2017, 09:45

This was why we used racks originally, to make it so players literally couldn't bring harm to themselves by standing on barricade tiles. Sadly devs didn't much appreciate that.
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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by tiredbum » 28 Jul 2017, 19:16

question. what is better, sandbags or metal barricades?
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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by Zilenan91 » 28 Jul 2017, 19:25

Metal barricades are better though sandbags are also pretty great since standards can fill and set them up instead of you having to do it.

Also how do you set up the reactor on big red?

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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by misto » 28 Jul 2017, 19:58

sandbag barricade is stronger and "quicker" to build, but demands that someone must fill the bags first, basically negating the quickness overall. also, sandbag barricade can be deconstructed with the shovel to produce stackable sandbags while other barricade must be unscrewed/unwrenched to move about. but, any barbed wire you put on the sandbag barricade will vanish if you decon it

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Re: [WIP] FOB design and useful engineering 101

Post by OatzAndHoes » 27 Nov 2017, 20:55

Karmac wrote:
24 Jul 2017, 09:45
This was why we used racks originally, to make it so players literally couldn't bring harm to themselves by standing on barricade tiles. Sadly devs didn't much appreciate that.
I've resorted to putting a barbed wire metal barricade on each side so they can't climb in. It wastes a bit more metal than I like but If you want a sweet sandbag-metal double layer without dumbass marines trying to increase their line of sight by 1 tile you can't beat it.

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