The specialist is one of the single most powerful and round influencing roles in a standard round of Colonial Marines. A Specialist has access to a array of powerful weapons and equipment, all of which give him a massive edge over his fellow Marines. A good specialist with the right kit can be enough to turn the tide of a battle, but the specialist is still only Human.
This guide will examine the Specialist in detail, the first section will in depth discuss the specialists equipment and options therein, before examining additional standard weapons, equipment and possible strategies for the specalist.
Difficulty - Easy
NOTE: The Smartgun is technically a separate job from the Specialist, however I am keeping the Smartgun section in this guide due to how I view the Smartgun as being a good starting role for an aspiring Specialist player[/size]
The Item: The Smartgun is a powerful man portable Heavy Machine Gun. The Smartgun is notable for it dealing significant damage on targets, its ability to spray a lot of suppressive fire on enemy positions and its unique ability for its bullets to travel through friendly Marines without hitting them.
The weapon is a squad support weapon, acting as a weapon that can suppress enemies but also deal a large amount of DPS over time on a single target.
Kit comes with
- The Smartgun Proper
- Armor Harness
- Scout Visor
The Strengths: The Smartgun deals heavy damage to a target and has a very large ammunition supply, being able to hold 50 rounds in the Smartgun itself with 250 rounds in its powerpack. Smartgun bullets are capable of harmlessly moving through friendly Marines, as such the Smartgun can fire wantonly without fear of hitting friendlies and can attack enemy targets at will. The weapon's burst fire is also one of the quickest burst fire's in the game, making it a very viable tactic to fire on burst constantly with very little penalty in refire time. Finally the Smartgun is the easiest Spec weapon to resupply with ammo, empty packs can be sent to the Almayer to be reloaded and new packs are plentiful with a half competent Cargo.
The Weaknesses: The Smartgun has a lengthy reload time and you must stay still to reload the weapon. The weapon, while powerful, lacks good crowd control ability and does not deal instant damage to a target, meaning the weapon won't stop a charging enemy or a hoard of enemies.
The Ranking: The Smartgun is considered a easy weapon due to its ease of use, being easy to understand and use, good damage, large ammo supply and ease of cargo resupplying the gun. The Smartgun is versatile, can be used in any circumstances and can genuinely suppress Aliens and deal massive damage if given the opportunity.
Compatible Attachments:Barrel Charger, Quickfire Adapter
Good Sidearms:SMG, Revolver
M42A Sniper | Sniper Recon/Scout Kit
Difficulty - Medium
The Marksman Kit is divided into two unique roles, the Recon kit and the Marksman kit. In game both roles are almost identical except for a minor item difference between the two, with the Scout kit coming with a CAS Binocs, whereas the Recon kit only comes with a standard, non-CAS, Binocs.
The Item: The Sniper Kit is a squad support oriented Sniper. Equipped with the deadly M42A Scoped Rifle, a powerful Mod 88 sidearm, fast moving Recon armor and the powerful Scout Sight Visor (Night Vison). The Sniper kit is based around sticking with the squad and calling out targets at range, while then proceeding to engage and suppress those targets. The M4RA Rifle comes with a wide range of ammo types for any situation, standard Caseless ammo, deadly Incendiary ammo and situational Flak ammo.
The Sniper excels in psychological warfare, while he won't usually kill a target at long range, but he'll do so much damage that his target will need to retreat, and won't likely pop their head out in fear of a second sniper round to the chest.
Kit comes with
- M4RA Scoped Rifle + Pre-loaded Caseless Ammo
- 1x Caseless ammo magazine
- 1x Incindiary ammo magazine
- 2x Flak ammo magazine
- Mod 88 Pistol
- 2x Mod 88 magazines
- Scout Sight Eyepiece
- M3 Recon Armor Variant
- Recon Durag
- Recon Camo Backpack (resprite)
- CAS Laser Binoculars (Or non-CAS Binocs for Recon Sniper)
- Full body camo paint
The Snipers Scout Sight is a pair of extremely powerful Night Vision Goggles. The illumination extends until about seven tiles from the player, however the extreme power of having perfect night time visibility cannot be overestimated.
The Recon armor is a special issue armor that is far more flexible than standard armor. In game this translates into you being able to run significantly faster than other Marines. This grants you fantastic maneuverability on the battlefield.
The Mod 88 is the special issue sidearm for the Recon only. A extremely powerful weapon in its own right. Stick it on burst fire and you have the ultimate close range deterrent against anyone who thinks Snipers are weak at close range.
The CAS Laser Binoculars deserve special mention, these binocs function identically to the CAS Binocs a Squad Leader gets, this can allow you to call in an air strike from a CAS Mission dropship. Effective usage of this will require constant communication with your Squad Leader and the CAS Pilot Officer.
The Weaknesses: The Sniper suffers from major ammo resupply issues, you will burn through ammo extremely quickly. The Sniper rifle, while powerful, lacks raw stopping power against charging enemies and handles itself poorly against large crowds of enemies, in addition it suffers from inverted accuracy, meaning if fired within seven tiles it has a very high chance of missing the target, making the Sniper heavily reliant on RNG to fight in close range.
The Mod 88 is a powerful side arm, but ammo resupply for it is even harder to get since cargo cannot reliably order more ammo for the firearm.
The Ranking The Sniper kit is a medium difficulty role due to how difficult it is to properly employ the usage of the role, and how easy it is to friendly fire with it. However the Sniper is capable of engaging and scanning for targets at range makes a Recon invaluable, being able to suppress Boilers is worth the price of admission in of itself let alone dealing with Crushers and picking off low level xenos. The presence of the Mod 88 only serves to further boost the effectiveness of this role in dealing with enemies in close quarters, making the Recon a deadly opponent in all situations.
Compatible Attachments:Bipod, Gyroscopic Stabilizer.
Good Sidearms:SMG, Revolver.
M5 RPG Rocket Launcher | Demolitionists Kit
If You Want Something Dead, Accept No Substitute
Difficulty - Hard
(Formerly called the SADAR)
The Item: The RPG is the Marine's most powerful, direct damage, weapon they have access to. It is a single shot, reloadable, man portable Rocket Launcher with access to a wide array of unique rockets. The RPG comes with three rocket types, High Explosive, Anti-tank and White Phosphorus. HE rounds deal damage over a large area but don't harm Crushers. AT rounds deal MASSIVE damage to a single target and deal no splash damage, but can harm Crushers. WP rounds are min-AT rounds but far less effective.
This weapon is a powerful assault and defensive weapon, capable of outright killing or critting the majority of enemy targets, stunning them at the very least.
The kit also comes with extra C4 charges and several mines. These can serve a useful purpose of breaking into and fortifying a defensive location.
- RPG Rocket Launcher + Pre-loaded with HE Rocket
- 2x High Explosive Rockets
- 2x Anti-tank Rockets
- 1x White Phosphorus Rocket
- 2x Mines
- 2x C4 Charge
HE Rockets are also versatile, whereas AP and WP rockets will only detonate if they collide with a target, the HE rockets will detonate on a directly clicked tile (assuming they don't hit anything else in between), this makes HE rockets even more effective as you can direct the rocket to detonate in the middle of a crowd of enemies.
Furthermore ammo resupply for the RPG is the easiest to accomplish amongst all the Specialist weapons, you don't have to share ammo with someone else (See Sniper) or have no viable way to get more ammo (See Grenadier).
The Weaknesses: The RPGs Rockets are very cumbersome and limited as they can only fit in a backpack/satchel. A SADAR user is extremely reliant on cargo being on their game as effective usage of a RPG will tear through your ammo. In addition the RPG has a lengthy reload time, and you are slowed down massively when you are holding it in both hands to fire.
Speaking of cargo resupply, cargo crates only supply six rockets (2 of each), in addition the White Phosphorus rockets are utterly useless, they are very finicky to use and the heat they generate is likely to wound any Humans before Xenos. WP rounds are typically used as a rocket of last resort. Also a SADAR user will only be able to effectively carry a SMG in their belt slot unless you're prepared to lug a M41A behind you (though SMGs are not bad weapons if kitted out correctly).
Be aware! The RPG produces backblast when firing, this shoots up a lot of smoke AND can significantly harm anyone standing behind you.
Final, and major point. A good RPG user is feared by most xeno, but also hated. RPG users are often singled out by xenos, no thanks to the very obvious sprite of the RPG even when holstered. In some occasions you'll see half a hive chase down a single RPG user during a push due to how powerful the SADAR is.
The Ranking/Verdict The RPG is a hard weapon to use due to it simply being an extraordinarily powerful weapon, because of this friendly fire becomes a major issue as a misfired rocket can spell major disaster for Marine forces.
However the weapon remains a very powerful weapon, and its ammo and space limitations are easily compensated by the raw, deadly, power and psychological fear of the RPG.
Compatible Attachments:Magnetic Harness
Good Sidearms:SMG, Revolver.
B18 Experimental Armour + Grenade Launcher | Grenadier Kit
Difficulty - Hard
The Item: The B18 armour is the most powerful personal armour the Marines have access to. This armour has a very high soak value, allowing the user to sustain massive amounts of damage with minimal chance of suffering a fracture or succumbing to critical damage. The armour, while powerful, suffers from several critical shortcomings that severely limits its potential.
The Grenade Launcher is best described as a more versatile SADAR. Its smaller size and expanded ammo capacity makes it able to lay a lot of firepower on a enemy target in short order, making it capable of outright killing even Tier 3 xenos in one fell swoop. However it comes with several critical drawbacks, more pertaining to its ammo supply.
Kit comes with
- B18 Armour
- B18 Helmet
- B18 Armoured Gauntlets
- Grenade Launcher
- 2x Grenade Belts
One powerful advantage of the B18 Helmet is that it is the only Marine helmet that blocks up to three facehuggeing attempts, meaning a B18 user is free to move and engage enemy Carriers more liberally.
For the Grenade Launcher, it can quickly unleash a flurry of pin point explosive attacks on an enemy target. While the damage of a Grenade on xenomorphs is not as high as the SADAR, it has the advantage of stunning all xenomorphs caught in the explosive range, with the exception of a Crusher. Being able to stunlock any enemy target, a Queen for example, is something not even the SADAR can accomplish.
The Weaknesses:Sadly the B18 and Grenade Launcher suffers from a myriad of shortcomings and disadvantages.
Firstly, the users feet are not protected from their armour. Meaning a smart enemy can simply aim for the B18 users feet and rip them off, immobilising the user. This is a critical disadvantage in of itself. The tricord injectors are a nice touch but you only get two of them, they don't recharge and you have to manually inject them.
For the grenade launcher, it suffers from HORRIBLE ammo issues. Being far more expensive and unviable to resupply than the SADAR (50 point crate that comes with four viable grenades vs 30 for a crate with six viable rockets), in addition anyone can take your ammo. This forces the user to be far more conservative in firing their Grenade Launcher.
The Ranking/Verdict The B18 armour and Grenade Launcher are powerful items, but its drawbacks are very noticeable. The B18 Armour is more a side-benefit of taking the Grenade Launcher, which is why anyone takes the Grenadier kit. However the major ammo issues with the Grenade Launcher mean a good GL Spec is going to find themselves being very conservative when using the weapon, only using it on high value targets.
Difficulty wise the kit is hard to use simply due to the major ammo constraints and lack of raw power, including the armor vulnerability, making it hard to use and employ effective. Many times you'll feel like a Standard Marine with fancier armor.
Compatible Attachments:Magnetic Strap
Before I detail the alternative weapons I recommend you read the below listed Attachment Guide, this guide goes into depth about robust attachment setup's for many firearms.
M41A Mk2 Pulse Rifle
"I wanna introduce you to a personal friend of mine. This is an M41A Pulse Rifle"
This is a strong Primary Weapon. All loadouts will struggle in using the M41A unless you are prepared to juggle your inventory to a massive degree.
Any attachment variant combination works with this rifle, however only the Grenadier Spec will be able to easily meld this weapon into their inventory due to them not requiring a Backpack.
M37 Pump Shotgun
"For close encounters"
An alternative weapon to the Pulse Rifle. The Shotgun is a powerful weapon, when used correctly. It is the go to weapon for B18 Specialists.
Use buckshot as your main shell! Buckshot deals massive damage at close range, enough to one shot several lower tiers of Xenos into crit. The slug rounds simply don't do enough damage consistently, and if you want ranged precision then use the Pulse Rifle or a SMG.
Good attachments to look into getting are a Red Dot Sight, to offset any accuracy loss and a Gyroscopic to use this weapon with one hand, or a forward grip to increase accuracy further. You can use a Shotgun stock, but be wary that the stock will significantly slow down your rate of fire, this could be fatal.
M39 Submachine Gun
Little Gun That Could
The SMG is a acceptable secondary weapon to use with any spec weapon. Often in the hands of a SADAR, Sniper and B18 user, as a primary weapon for the SADAR/Sniper and a fallback weapon for the B18.
Unfortunately the SMG suffers from dealing less damage than most other weapons, it has low accuracy meaning even at seven tiles you're going to miss shots, and that it has low armour piercing meaning higher level aliens will just shrug off your attacks (hence why you brought the SADAR). This weapon will not easily kill an alien in a 1v1 encounter, so avoid running in alone if you're using the SMG.
However! The SMG is a viable weapon if you kit it out well and you put effort into using it, a Red Dot Sight can remove most of the accuracy disadvantages. A Forward Grip can remove the inaccuracy and recoil of burst firing, while a grip forces you to use two hands to fire the SMG, however you do not suffer any slow down or wield delay. A Barrel Charger can help overcome the damage issues with the gun, but it decreases it fire rate and hurts its accuracy.
You get two of these with the Demolitionist kit. Use this to get into secure places and destroy alien tunnels, reserve it for blowing up Tunnels, breaching into hard to reach areas, or as emergency 'gtfo' tool.
You get these with the Grenadier kit. Good area of denial item to use when a alien is holding a corner. As well as pushing back aliens for a few moments. Try and cook the grenade to increase the odds of it hitting a alien. Has a 3x3 explosive radius and will knock anything in that range down. Essentially a throw variant of a underbarrel grenade launcher.
You get these with the Grenadier kit. A very effective area of denial weapon, when detonated it spews out a 3x3 firewall of intense heat. This will deal a lot of damage to Xeno's, but is also great for clearing up a clump of Alien Eggs.
What To Wear?
After deciding on what spec weapon you will wear you need to decide on what else to bring.
Fortunately you spawn in game with a piece of Webbing in your prep room, you will be using this to store your ammo for your secondary weapon.
Now you get to pick your Spec weapon and loadout, the follow loadout list is my personal choice I oft take for each role, but don't take it as the only way to equip. This is more a guide to help you chose if you don't know what to do yet.
- Smartgun - Equip Smartgun Armor. Go to cargo and get: ask for a SMG Holster (Barrel Charger/Burst Fire Adapted is unnessecary and even bad for a Smartgun). Place SMG Holster in your belt slot and place SMG in holster. Fill webbing/inv slots with SMG ammo, explosives and medical supplies. Drag spare powerpack to dropship
- RPG- Place RPG in armour slot. Place rockets in backpack. Go to cargo, acquire a Magnetic Strip, Optionally get a SMG holster and up to two extra attachments. Place SMG Holster in your belt slot and place SMG in holster. Place optional Magnetic Strap on RPG. Fill webbing/spare inv slots with SMG ammo, flares and medical supplies. Order more rocket ammo from cargo.
- Sniper - Equip Recon armor. Place Sniper in armour slot. Equip sniper visor. Place Mod88, 88 ammo, Sniper ammo and Binocs in backpack. Go to cargo and get: Gyroscopic Stabilizer at minimum. If getting a M41A, ask for a second Gyroscopic Attachment and a Red Dot Sight, if getting a SMG ask for a Red Dot Sight and SMG Holster. Optionally ask for a Barrel Charger for the Mod 88. Place SMG Holster in your belt and place SMG in holster. Fill webbing/spare invo slots with SMG ammo, more sniper ammo and medical supplies. Emphasise more Sniper ammo over all else, order more sniper ammo from cargo.
- Grenadier - Equip B18 armour. Place Grenade Launcher in armour slot. Place grenade belt on belt slot. Go to cargo and get preffered attachments for either a SMG (plus SMG Holster) or a M41A. Fill webbing/spare inv slots with Shotgun ammo, SMG ammo, explosives and medical supplies.
Having good gear is great and all, however don't forget that as the specialist its expected you are a good soldier. Running around and getting dunked because you were overconfident will only attract scorn. Consider carrying extra ammo, helmets or medical supplies if you can and considering getting extra grenades from the RO to hand out to your fellow squad mates. Be a good soldier, know your stuff and reassure your squad mates. Your meant to be the best fighter in your team, so make sure you know how to fight.
Unless your wearing the B18 armour, avoid putting yourself into unnecessary danger and DON'T lose or drop your unique weapon. You are among the few Marines who should not be dying as your equipment can make or break the round at any point.
But ultimately try and get a feel for your equipment.