#1: Thou Shalt Get Thy Attachments.
Attachments are pretty critical to being the best you can be, so be sure to hit Req as soon as possible after spawn. Do so after you've got your fatigues, armor, boots and helmet on, or you risk being detained by the Military Police (MP) or not being served by the Requisition Officers (ROs) or Cargo Techs (CTs).
Which attachments to get? This depends entirely on the weapon you pick.
First of all the M39 SMG is out; it is pure and utter garbagio: inaccurate, short-ranged, underpowered and useless, leaving the M41A Rifle and M37 Shotgun as your only real options; don't let anyone tell you otherwise, they're wrong. Essentially, if you want a weapon like this that's decent, get an M41A Rifle with a gyroscopic stabilizer attachment. That having been said, the M39 is great as a disposable off-hand weapon and light source with a rail light while using a gyroed primary weapon.
In general, as an Engineer you should be on the backline, repairing and upkeeping your barricades/sentry, or repositioning/manipulating them as needed, so the M41A standard rifle is a pretty good choice, as it allows you to output decent firepower at a distance from behind your barricades, and as a well rounded weapon, is a pretty great choice for your one and only.
However, there is definitely an argument to be made in favour of the shotgun given its unparalleled spike damage, knockback, stun and killing power despite the very limited range (don't bother with slugs; they are garbagio except in human vs human/zombie engagements) and the fact that there will usually be a screen of marines between you and any targets you'd potshot, plus you'll typically only be engaging enemies up close when they're trying to attack your defenses. As a personal defense weapon should the aliens get past your meatshield of PFCs, barricades and sentry (I dunno, maybe you got flanked?), or to forcibly peel them off your defenses, there is nothing better. Further, if the map in general features lots of close quarters fighting (CQC) and shortened firing/sight lines, the shotgun is probably going to be the superior choice. If you're going to use the shotgun, you _must_ bind an easily and quickly accessed key to unique-action so you can pump and ready it to fire ASAP after each shot. Lately, I've definitely come to prefer the shotgun over the M4A1, especially given the incredible killing power of point blank shots (shooting a Xeno in melee range with Harm intent active).
That said, attachment loadouts I highly recommend:
Burst Fire Assembly: Miniflamer: Gyroscopic Stabilizer:
While you're getting attachments, ask the CT/RO for 2x M40 HEDP grenades if you're not getting the UGL or MF, or 4-5x if you are (you will want to set up grenade traps with the MF, or use them to empower your mine traps). These are great for offensive use per the UGL entry (also if you use them outside of the launcher, you can 'cook' the grenade, throwing it just before detonation to maximize the odds of stunning and damaging Xenus), defensive use (warding off aliens with the threat of boom; I've used them to scare away Ravagers and other nastiness before while badly hurt, allowing me to get to safety) or going out with a bang.
#2: Thou Shalt Prepare Thine Person
Once you've got your shit from Req, the next step is to get ready for war by gearing up.
This is what you'll want to get, most of which can be found in the Engineer vendor branching off your squad's prep room:
Engineer Fatigues You'll need this to equip your armor/bunch of other thingss.
Webbing: Put this on your Engineer Fatigues; give you a precious 3 additional slots. Generally you'll want to stuff this full of painkiller injectors (get extra from the First Aid Pouches), ammo, and/or utility items like a MedHUD, Flask or Station Bounced radio in some combination. When running a shotgun, I personally like to fill this with 1-2 painkillers, and a station bounced radio if I have a Large Pistol Ammo pouch for shotgun shells. Rifle users will probably have to fill most of their webbing slots with rifle rounds. It's generally a good idea to give out your extra third webbing to your squad.
M3 Pattern Personal Armour Provides modest protection from bullet and melee attacks at the cost of movement slowdown, and allows you to stash your gun. It also has a shoulder-mounted flashlight which illuminates a small radius and a HUD to see their Marine roles. To increase your move speed in safer areas, move the armor to your hand; when you do, note that this turns off its light. Further any weapon/object stashed in your suit slot, like your gun, will fall to the ground, Magnetic Harness or not. Contents should include:
M10 Pattern Marine Helmet No slowdown, 2 slots for putting a protein/EAT bars into and a flask. A modicum of protection against attacks to the head make this your best choice; if you want to go full snake/rambo with a headband, that's on you. Contents should include: Magazine Pouch Can hold up to two magazines/handfuls of shotgun shells. Fill this with ammo for your weapon. You can quickdraw ammo from it by right clicking on the pouch and changing its draw mode to the first loaded item. If you're taking a UGL, run the explosive pouch instead. If you're using shotgun shells, request a large pistol pouch from Req for your ammo retention needs (and if you can't get one, use a Pistol Pouch from the prep vendor).
Explosive Pouch Can hold up to three explosives, most notably your M40HEDP and incendiary nades. Take this if you're using the UGL.
Construction Pouch Used to hold metal, glass, barbed and plasteel stacks for construction (and other things; see the exact things it can hold here). Contents should include: Technician Welder Backpack: Medium capacity backpack with a reservoir of 260 welding fuel. You'll want to fill this with things you're likely to use in the battlefield: gauze, ointment, an M94 Marking Flare pack, Fire Extinguisher and Fuel Tank (if you're using the Miniflamer attachment). Fill remaining space with ammo for your primary weapon or cable coil. Contents should include: Technician Backpack: High capacity backpack. This is a supply bag that you'll want to fill with engineering stuff and other useful supplies: empty sandbags, a folded entrenching tool, a mine box, a super capacity and high capacity power cell, a M94 Flare Pack. Fill remaining space with ammo for your primary weapon and a flare pack. Contents should include: M276 Pattern Toolbelt Rig Has all necessary tools for construction/deconstruction. Comes equipped with a Wirecutter for cutting wires and cables, both on the ground and inside machinery/airlocks, Multitool for hacking machinery/airlocks, and disarming mines, Cable coil for repairing Burn damage to prosthetic limbs, laying and connecting wire, and adding wire to machines like sentries, a Blowtorch for welding/unwelding airlocks, construction/deconstruction and repairing Brute damage to prosthetics, Wrench for manipulating pipes/pivoting sentries/construction & deconstruction, Crowbar for prying open crates, APCs and other objects/construction & deconstruction, and a screwdriver for securing/unsecuring sentries and construction & deconstruction.
Combat Boots: Stick an M5 Survival Knife in this. The knife is good for clearing weeds, destroying resin structures, breaking windows/obstacles, and in a fix, stabbing aliens, especially if you don't have a bayoneted weapon.
Squad Insulated Gloves: Found in the Engineer locker; prevents you from getting electrocuted while you hack with the Multitool or cut or mend wires with the Wirecutters. Armoured unlike the ones in the Engineer vendor (only take those if all of these have been taken).
Sentry Gun Kit: Get this from your Engineer vendor by using the token it distributes. The sentry gun is your baby, your pride and joy, and worth more than at least 5 3 PMCs; never leave home without the kit, and make absolutely sure you don't lose it; you'll assemble its contents once you hit planetside. As of this writing, the smartgun emplacement is a total piece of shit and badly needs buffs; never get it.
The M56D and Sentry Gun are both shit as of this time of writing (March 9th 2018); the difference is though both need to be incessantly babysat, the M56D can actually do work on defense.
Ammo for your weapon: Fill all remaining equipment slots and store space with this.
Extra Credit: Hack the autolathe south of Dropship 1 (the Alamo) in order to get the superior Industrial Blowtorch. Watch out for MPs though!
Note that you should only take all of the building materials if you're the only engineer; otherwise leave a sandbag and metal stack for the other guy.
Further, customize your loadout to taste after getting a feel for a role; this is a guideline, and base, not an absolute. The Commandment is to Prepare Thine Person, not 'use this specific loadout'.
Here's a photo bomb of my typical loadout (if I take the M37, I'll usually try to get a large pistol pouch in lieu of a general pouch):
#3: Thou Shalt Prepare Thine Macros
You can get along without macros/hotkeys, but it will be much, much harder to do so. These improve significantly your response time and efficiency and thus are indispensable to maximizing your performance.
Though you can create advanced macros that combine multiple options, you'll generally only need some conveniently placed hotkeys, where, with the exception of your mouse, their positioning relies on your control scheme. Personally I use WASD because it's consistent with other games and I find it comfortable, but you can choose whatever; just make sure the keys are near where your hand is normally placed, and aren't awkward to access.
For starters, you'll definitely want a programmable mouse with side buttons, so you can use the invaluable Mouse 4 and Mouse 5 at least (or more buttons if you have them).
To create a macro/hotkey, simply go to the northern window border while logged into the server and right click; a menu will come up choose Client -> Macros -> Unselect apply only to this game -> Click 'New Macro'
Commands you'll definitely want to hotkey:
activate-held-object : This is primarily for quickly wielding (and unwielding) your gun so you can maximize movement speed and minimize the time before you can open fire, but is also useful for quickly toggling your blowtorch on and off, bringing up the construction menus for metal, and so on.
use-unique-action : Mainly for pumping your shotgun if you take it. Extremely important to have this on an easily and quickly accessed key if you're using a shotgun, cause you're going to be spamming this a lot.
toggle-burst-fire-mode : Self explanatory; for toggling burst fire on and off. Generally you want to use burst fire at close to medium range, semi-auto at medium to long range, so it's useful to be able to switch this mode quickly.
load-from-attachment : Swap between your primary and secondary fire mode gained from typically an underslung attachment such as the UGL or miniflamer. Extremely important to have this on an easily and quickly accessed key if you use such attachments.
.northwest : For dropping shit fast in case you need to.
pick-up M41A-pulse-rifle-MK2 : For picking up your pulse rifle fast. Mandatory if you're not using a Magnetic Harness attachment.
pick-up M37A2-pump-shotgun : For picking up your shotgun fast. Mandatory if you're not using a Magnetic Harness attachment. You can combine both into the following macro that'll retrieve your weapon then instantly equip it; indispensable if you're using a Magnetic Harness: pick-up M41A-pulse-rifle-MK2\npick-up M37A2-pump-shotgun\nActivate-Held-Object
click .eject-magazine : for ejecting your current magazine so you can slot in a fresh one between engagements.
Say "*medic" : For calling over a medic/help in general at instant speed.
Quick Reload: Ejects your mag, unwields your weapon, swaps to your free hand to optimize reload sped: .click Eject-magazine\nActivate-Held-Object\nSwap-Hand (ejects the magazine, unselects your gun, then swaps to your open hand).
Quick Wield: Drops the item in the active hand, swaps to your other hand and wields. Useful when you're pulling/carrying something and need to get your weapon out and ready fast: .northwest\nSwap-Hand\nActivate-Held-Object
#4: Thou Shalt Know Thine Tools
By this I specifically mean the M56D and Sentry.
At the moment, these both have serious problems and are niche/situational tools at best. Overall, I prefer the M56D at this point for the following reasons:
First, the sentry gun, though automated, is now, after successive nerfs, completely ineffective at its supposed role of area denial/suppression: an alien can easily bait its ammo dry if it's set to burst mode, and on single fire, it is incapable of doing anywhere close to significant damage (per projectile damage is pitiful and it has minimal armour penetration). In addition, the gun is highly inaccurate with an effective range of four tiles, and long pauses between bursts allow it to be easily bumrushed, flanked, run past and otherwise circumvented unless supporting defenses are airtight, even to the point of allowing an alien to attack it from a blind spot. In practice, the sentry gun needs to be babysat about as closely as the M56D, with the only advantage being it has IFF (though it is ineffective at most ranges IFF would be most useful), it is not confounded by darkness, and generally has a faster reaction time and better firing accuracy (projectile accuracy sucks though) than most human operators.
Second, the M56D, though clumsy and awkward, has some notable uses:
- Its projectile damage and armour penetration are good, and capable of tearing apart any alien in the game.
- It has a huge ammo reserve, with a drum of 700 rounds and has relatively good accuracy, allowing it to work well for suppressive fire or to clear weed structures like resin walls.
- It can be quickly transported by disassembling it into its tripod and gun sections, making it more suitable for frontline usage. A skilled operator with a gas mask at the ready can prove effective at repelling attacks from the M56D's frontal cone, even under the cover of boiler gas.
Operating the M56D: Operators should have a gas mask on hand to enable them to utilize the stationary gun through inevitable gas attacks, as well as a wrench and screwdriver to adjust the M56D's facing and dismantle as needed. Further, being buckled into a chair is helpful as this prevents you from being shoved around or disabled by neurotoxin spits that manage to get past the barricades (not recommended during gas attacks). Lastly, strategically placed glass panes around the M56D are useful for blocking acid spit and preventing the dispersion of boiler gas like so:
#5: Thou Shalt Prepare Thine Defenses
First you'll need to know how to build (and unbuild) yo shit; see here: http://cm-ss13.com/wiki/Guide_to_construction#Defences
Further, you'll want to understand how mines and sentries work, and how to build and properly utilize them: http://cm-ss13.com/wiki/Marine_Equipmen ... _Equipment
Demonstrations of sentry firing lines:
Finally, be aware that barricades block projectiles from the direction they're facing; though the sandbags in the following example may _look_ good, their placement is problematic because the sandbags face towards the metal barricades defining your firing line, which blocks any gunfire coming from them:
When it comes to preparing defenses, the key things to consider before even building are:
#1: Tactical Purpose/Control: What is the tactical purpose of this fortification? Does it allow you to control any valuable territory? An intersection? Supply line between fortifications? Power supply? Telecommunications? The landing zone? The main point of exit/ingress to a hive? Does it provide a rally point/casualty or triage dump for a push (does it serve as a 'push base' or outpost)? Etc.
#2: Sightlines/Firing Lines: What can you see and shoot, factoring in obstacles, from a given position? How much firepower can your manned barricades bring to bare vs a given direction? Are there any obstacles you can remove/dismantle to improve your defenses?
#3: Avenues of Attack/Flanking: From how many directions can a defense be attacked? Do those avenues easily allow xenus to make a sustained attack via weed friendly surfaces and cover? Are there vents? Are there points of weakness that can be exploited? Can the Xenus easily do hit and run?
#4: Resources: How many do you have? Are there resources nearby you can salvage or utilize to finish or improve your defenses (often tables and chairs)? Are there other engineers that can help? How many resources can you afford to commit to the defense? Which areas can you cover? Which areas will be left uncovered if any? Do you have enough metal to create critical barbed wire for your defenses? Do you have sentries and mines on hand to supplement the defense? How many people can and will man these defenses? Note that it's almost always better to go for a perimeter you can actually finish that is less ideal than one you can't; an exception might be on the front line where you're creating general cover facing the most heated directions with plenty of manpower to protect the flanks.
#5: Existing Layout/Terrain: Closely related to other considerations, the existing layout of the area will often make a big difference in determining the strength and viability of a defense. Are there walls and window frames you can incorporate into the defense to save on resources or improve your defense's overall quality? Is there power/lighting?
#6: Points of Access/Maneuverability: How easy is it for marines to maneuver about and in your defenses? Do access points get in the way of or impede firing lines? Is it a cramped, cluttered maze, or does it allow relative freedom of movement while providing protection, denying access to the enemy and featuring strong firing lines?
#7: Contingencies: What happens if a barrier is lost? Is there another nearby, preferably overlapping layer of defense to retreat to, or pull barricades from to slot into the breach? Is it otherwise easy to fix? Can your defense be easily expanded if necessary under the overwatch of the existing layers? Can you easily reorient sentries to face threats from different directions?
When building, try to satisfy the above considerations to the best of your ability. This usually means arranging your barricades in straight lines to maximize firepower and sight distances while minimizing FF risk, using terrain features to supplement defenses, or obviate the need for them (window frames as a buffer layer for your metal barricades as an example, or reinforced walls/objects in place of barricades when completing a perimeter) and making sure marines have enough space to move comfortably; your defensive lines should not resemble mazes; each layer should offer at least 2 tiles of movement (unless you're using a layer strictly as ablative protection immediately in front). You should also aim for at least two layers of defense, resources permitting: an outer layer and inner layer that can overwatch and provide support to the outer layer and is preferrably close enough to at least fire on any enemies adjacent to that outer layer's barricades. Further, as mentioned, it's nearly always better to go for a perimeter you can actually finish that is less ideal than one you can't.
Ideally you'll also want to set up crossfires to shoot at the flanks of any attacking force if at all possible; however, these are almost always a function of conforming to existing terrain per this example: https://i.imgur.com/n2M7aL7.png Here you can see the crossfire set up, with security providing an additional flanking firing line to the west and southern approaches.
Here is an example of a basic defensive, one layer layout for an LZ1 FOB at the LV map:
Things you want in general are long, continuous, straight firing lines that can bring as much massed fire power in one direction as possible. Avoid at all costs ridiculous mazes (though sometimes this is unavoidable if you're constructing hasty, improvised defenses on the frontline with other engineers), stupid jutting peninsulas (no the Xenus aren't going to go between them and get themselves flanked/crossfired), plasteel points of access that are in/close to the middle of a firing line (FF risk; also movement in/out interrupts the firing line) and staggered arrangements (seriously, you idiots staggering sandbags, just fucking stop). Further, if you expand your defenses, try to do so in line of sight and fire of the previous barricade line at least 3 tiles out, preferably 6. to allow adequate freedom of movement along with overlapping coverage; make sure that the previous layer can overwatch the perimeter of the next. Whenever possible, build doors/access points at the end of a barricade line rather than in central areas to prevent movement in/out of the line from being victimized by/interfering with firing lines. Lastly, always set your sentry just behind the barricade line, not on the same tile so that aliens can't attack it with melee until they've first breached your defenses. The layer model is preferable for multiple reasons: each layer can cover the construction of subsequent layers and are a safe place to retreat to if building is interrupted, if a layer is compromised marines can fall back to the next, and each layer blocks boiler clouds.
With additional resources, you can create a secondary, ablative layer surrounding the primary perimeter. Further, you can reinforce existing barricade lines by making another line of barricades facing towards the existing ones. Metal barricades are actually superior to sandbags as the ablative, outer layer as they can be repaired, whereas sandbag barricades cannot be.
Note that barricades, with sufficient metal, can be used offensively, albeit slowly by creating creeping layers of them towards enemy positions, particularly when backed by multiple sentries. It is advisable to create a continuous fortified and secure supply line from the FOB once established, to the marine offensive; see below for an example (if there are gaps, they were made by acid after the structure was established; you should have no such gaps). Note that this takes a _lot_ of metal; you _will_ need additional supplies from requisition (and salvage).
Another effective offensive use is the creation of 'push bases' and outposts that act as a rally point, resupply area and triage/casualty dump and treatment center for the medics. This will vastly improve the ability of the marines to sustain a push against an entrenched xeno presence. Due to the time pressures and hazards involved it is best to rely on terrain to minimize the work you have to do whenever possible. An example of such a push base is as below; it may not be perfect, but it is generally effective for its purpose:
If your resources are limited, and you have one sentry gun, to make a decent push base/outpost, you'll want to set up the sentry in the middle. Once done, build a perimeter, preferably with barbed barricades of some variety, two tiles out on every side of the center tile, incorporating as much of the terrain as possible, and facing any sentry/M56D towards the main avenue of alien attack. These work great as casualty dumps and rally points to support a push. Once the push base has served its purpose, simply dismantle the perimeter if you require the metal, pocket the metal/materials, deactivate and unsecure the sentry, then redeploy where required. Ideally you will have two sentries to provide coverage of all approaches barring a one tile wide row/column blind spot as you arrange them on the same row/column adjacent to each other, facing opposite directions. Alternately, you can ideally build in a natural corner/niche with impenetrable, and preferably unacidable terrain to reduce the number of approaches your sentry has to monitor.
- Keep your sentry gun powered/M56D manned, healthy and protected whenever possible. If it's in an unsecure or ineffective area that's not contributing to the marine effort, move it ASAP. Your sentry is the basis of much of your value and utility as an Engineer; never forget this.
- Be aware of what your sentry can and can't cover, and what blocks its sight and firing lines, as well as those of your barricades. The best, and surest way to do this is to scout the LoS/LoF from the sentry's would-be position before you secure it. Remove anything that impedes your sight/firing lines disadvantageously if possible/practical.
- Reposition and rotate barricades as necessary, especially where acid is involved. If a barricade has been subject to acid, pull/make a barricade from the backline and move it into the acided barricade's position. Loosen the acided barricade, secure the new one, then deconstruct the acided barricade to recoup its materials. If a barricade is irrepairable, slot in a new barricade, either by building it if there's no threat, or rotating one in from the backline. Note that you can creep/roll a line of barricades forward while still benefiting from their cover by grabbing them and sliding them ahead of you.
- Speaking of barricades, setting up push bases near the action is extremely important in order to maintain a marine push by acting as a secure rally point, supply/casualty dump and a treatment centre for medics. If you need to, you can deconstruct them and deploy elsewhere.
- You can usually work on multiple objects at once that you're adjacent to. It is a good idea, for example, to simultaneously apply barbed wire to each adjacent barricade, weld each adjacent damaged barricade/sentry gun, or use your tools on each adjacent reactor when repairing them.
- Try not to set up plasteel barricades in the middle of firing lines; a central access point is both disruptive to firing lines, and an FF risk. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but it is to be minimized whenever possible.
#6: Thou Shalt Prepare Thy Infrastructure
The other important thing you do, besides setting up defenses and babysitting your sentry is setting up support infrastructure.
This means ensuring a power supply by repairing generators, setting up their SMES batteries, and building, repairing or replacing APCs. Occasionally you may need to lay wire to repair power nets or ensure power flow to an APC. In a pinch, you can unlock an APC cover with your ID and replace a spent battery with a high cap in order to provide interim power until the generators/SMES are fixed. Note that you can swap a spent battery into an APC in order to recharge it if needed.
It means ensuring light by using your light replacer (you did bring one right?!) to restore the light tubes in the areas you just repowered, or building light tiles (glass + wire + metal).
It means hacking and bolting doors open to allow free flow of movement.
It means retrieving (to your FOB/push base) and hacking useful vendors like the MedVends by cutting their access wire (turning the purple light yellow) to enable everyone to use it (pulse contraband wire to activate the green light), and unlocking any special content they might have; again consult the hacking guide: http://cm-ss13.com/wiki/Squad_Engineer#Hacking . Remember that you can and should hack the vendors in your prep area to give your squad access to AP ammunition and other goodies.
It means thermiting (if you have a friend in chemistry) EDIT: Thermite currently removed from the game, c-4ing or deconstructing problematic obstacles and walls in a pinch, to allow improved movement, a flanking attack/circumvention of enemy defenses, removal of firing line obstacles, etc...
#7: Thou Shalt Mind Thy Flanks
Never forget to be wary of weak points in your defense; your defense is only as strong as its weakest link.
For example, Tcomms on Big Red which allows Xenos to flank typically far heavier defenses concentrated to the southeast of LZ1, or the bathroom bordering LZ1 on Prison Station which allows them to circumvent the layers of barricades in the hall approach. Be sure to check and reinforce these flanks as necessary.
Further, it is important to secure travel/supply lines between fortifications whenever possible; don't be shy about putting in supply requests for metal.
#8: Thou Shalt Communicate
Let your SL know what supplies you need. Tell your squad if you need cover or an escort to build/repair something. Remember that the engineering channel your headset has gives you a direct line to both Requisition for supply requests, _and_ other field engineers for coordinated builds planetside. Don't be afraid to try to take charge of the field engineers and direct them towards construction of a bigger project.
#9: Thou Shalt Do Thy Fucking Job
Always remember, you're not a PFC, a Smartgunner or a Specialist. Engineering is primary, combat is secondary.
Your job is to gain access to areas (hack doors, remove obstacles, etc), set up, maintain and preserve defenses (build/move/operate barricades, sentries, mortars and sometimes M56D emplacements, weld vents and tear up pipes when you know xenos use them), infrastructure (power, including repairing/rebuilding APCs as well as generators, and tcomms) and sentries (push your sentries when you can instead of pulling them; it's faster) and put them where they're needed to support an offense or defense. On occasion, you upgrade and remove ID locks from machinery and man mortars to rain death on unsuspecting beanos (link pending). Stick close to your defenses and always be prepared to repair them or redeploy your sentry/M56D as the flow of the game dictates; deploy your gas mask as needed during this to work through boiler gas if you must. Only if you have nothing better to do, you're in transit between fortifications, you or someone nearby are under direct attack, your fortifications are under attack and there's no one else to retaliate, or a substantial opportunity presents itself, like a stunned xenu, should you be attacking the aliens with your weapon.
Note that your sentry is about as valuable as a small squad in its own right if not more, and you must preserve it at all costs; this is probably the single most important part of your job. If a position looks like it's about to be overrun, turn off, unsecure and withdraw the sentry ASAP, preferably while telling your squad.
#10: Thou Shalt Be Efficient At Thy Job
A collection of tips and tricks to optimize your efficiency as an engineer:
- Retrieve high value vendors like MedVends ASAP for the FOB or a push base/outpost.
- You can prep sandbags for quick deployment at a push base/outpost location. Fill them at a secure location and put a stack of 25 in one or both hands. Works best with a gyroed weapon, so you can defend yourself while carrying the sandbags.
- Keep mines hidden with large items like crates/vendors/grilles/a mess of floor tiles and in the line of sight and fire of sentries/marines so they can kill any stunned and hurt alien that trips them.
- Mines probably offer the most mileage on the frontlines where they can hurt and stun skirmishing aliens, or those trying to push back against a marine offensive. Further, as the aliens are distracted by gunfire, it's less likely they'll notice/avoid them.
- You can make 'super mines' by hiding a grenade or ammo alongside the mine, thereby creating a bigger, more deadly blast. Mortar shells and flamer tanks might also work for this purpose (to confirm). Fuel tanks work, but you probably don't want to sacrifice a fuck ton of fuel for a bigger boom in most cases.
- As stated earlier, you can remotely and safely detonate hidden grenade traps (and ammo/other explosives) with the miniflamer by catching it in the gout of fire; simply hide a grenade under crap as you would a mine, wait for a hapless idiot beano to come within the blast radius and shoot fire at the hidden explosive; bonus points if you can catch it in the flames at the same time you detonate the grenade.
- Custom made primer grenades rigged to a signaler/motion sensor also work for this purpose of detonating other explosives.
- It's often not a bad idea to keep a power cell on hand to provide emergency power to an APC, depending on the situation. Likewise it can be a good idea to keep a station bounced radio at hand in maps where tcomms disruption is likely (typically Ice Colony), or in general now that the general channel is hard to access otherwise.
- Incendiary weaponry (incendiary grenades, miniflamer, incinerator) is excellent for area denial to keep enemies off you and your sentry/barricades in the wake of a boiler gas cloud/Queen scream rush.
- Use a light replacer to replace lights as you investigate a building. Repair APCs the aliens have broken with your wirecutters (if the damage is especially bad, you may have to deconstruct and reconstruct the APC frame).
- Memorize tool orders and wire hacks; try to practice on inconsequential doors in safe areas so you know your wires and can be speedy at hacking when it matters most.
- Coffins (make them with 5x wood planks), bodybags, tables flipped to face south, and lockers are great hiding places for ambushing Xenus with a shotgun assblast, whether you're jumping them by a walled in ladder they think is clear, they're tripping over a mine you placed and hid nearby, or are shocked by an electrified grille.
- It's often a good idea to bolt open doors that aren't all-access, unless you plan to leave an electrified door as a Xeno trap, or reprogram their electronics. Such trapped doors should either be bolted closed with bolt lights off and the maintenance panel closed (to prevent Xeno meta), or left unbolted so you can open them and kill any Xeno that gets shocked. Remember you can use a bodybag, locker or coffin to hide nearby.
- Secure ladders by surrounding them with barricades overlaid with electrified grilles on one side, and an open line of fire on the opposite; you can shotgun assblast any Xenu stupid enough to come up back into the grille which should stun and damage it again. Sentries and mines are also good choices for camping ladders in this way. Further, if you can overlay the ladder with an electrified grille, I also recommend that if it's rule legal. Remember you can use a bodybag, locker or coffin to hide nearby.
- Salvage and replenish your supplies and building materials from your surroundings: chairs, tables, machinery, metal rods (a stack of 4+, often from broken reinforced windows), even wall segments are all sources of metal, and you'll usually find fuel tanks and cable coil lying around in places you'd expect; don't rely on Requisition or a supply drop that may never come. As a specific and useful example, got a critical APC you need to fix but no control board or battery? Dismantle one from another room that doesn't matter and use its parts.
- If you must abandon a site you've fortified, remember to dismantle and retrieve all the barricades you can, prioritizing plasteel, metal and sandbags in that order.
- Keep in contact with command/your SL to know where you're most needed.
- Put barbed wire on all of your barricades; it makes a huge difference and is definitely worth the 2 metal.
- If you're using a shotgun, keep it fully loaded and pumped whenever possible. Further, keep your ammo accessible in magazine/general/large pistol magazine pouches, pulling ammo from your pack to cycle into the pouch during downtime. Likewise with pain killer injectors/items you have stashed in convenient places; cycle the spent ones into your medikit/bag, and the fresh ones into the conveniently accessed slots when you can.
- Don't try and be a hero, taking risks to save others; unless you're reasonably certain you can save them without getting captured/killed yourself, fire at their abductors, but don't chase or engage; let them go. If the person you're trying to save gets away, great. As long as you have a sentry to tend to, you're almost surely more valuable. If you get captured, not only will your team be down a technical field expert, but the aliens will have yet another larva. Making this mistake is my #1 leading cause of preventable deaths and captures due to xenu. Depending on your situation, this might also get your sentry killed; just don't do it.
- Don't take chances and go off alone; it can be very tempting at times, but odds are you'll regret it, especially in an unsecured area. It's often worked out that the one time I've done so, I got fucked. If you absolutely must, tell your squad where you're going at a minimum, and absolutely never, ever, transport your sentry alone.
- Don't forget about using that light replacer; it can replace/install up to 50 lights before needing replenishment via glass stacks (get them from using your welder on glass shards from broken windows).
- If you want to quickly open doors in an area, you can turn off the Environmental power via an area's APC, allowing you to crowbar open corresponding doors quickly.
- If you have a gyro equipped weapon, try to have it in hand ready to be switched to and fired whenever possible; it always pays to be prepared.
- You can use electrified vendors as impromptu traps/barricades; however be careful not to shock fellow marines. Especially effective when paired with mines hidden underneath the vendors and/or beside them (which might prompt the xeno retard to try to push the electrified vendor/machine to create a 'safe path'). Again, best paired with closet/coffin/bodybag ambush to finish off the stunned xeno.
- Use glass panes salvaged from broken windows to act as a barrier protecting fellow marines from electrified grilles, airlocks and other objects where feasible. They are also useful for stopping the spread of boiler gas.
- Do not forget to weld vents so they cannot be used as ambush points. Once done, proceed to tear up all piping such that a pipe terminates only in a high security area (preferably into a mine and in front of a sentry) that is not vulnerable to flanks/ambushes (remember, xenos can come out of pipes that aren't connected to anything). You can use a welded vent/scrubber salvaged elsewhere to 'cap' a pipe so xenos can't come out of it. This is especially important to do in areas where marines move back and forth, and are especially vulnerable to flanks and ambushes.
- Use bodybags buckled to roller beds to ferry about building materials, M56D parts and other supplies for a push base.