I am going to depart a bit from the photo rich articles of previous issues and talk about something many commanders ignore, or fail to consider. This has led to more defeats throughout history than any other, at least that I can recall.
What is it?
You have to know your team’s limitations!
As a field commander you always want to have the best trained, best equipped, and most knowledgeable team on the battlefield. You want this because it helps you to win the close ones. If you forget to consider this one little thing it will defeat you before you can even get started. It will take you by surprise and leave you wondering what just happened.
Does that mean you only want to run with only level 80 or VR12 players? No, certainly not! You should be able to run with players of any skill level. But they should know their characters and how to play them, and know how to react to different situations.
What do I mean? Let’s examine some possible situations.
Guild Wars 2
You are commanding in Guild Wars 2. You have a team of 10-15 with you. You have been experiencing great success taking camps and towers, and begin to feel a bit cocky. You all know the feeling. Hey we can take the whole battlefield. You become so focused on this that you fail to notice the outmanned flag just turned on your skill bar.
You approach the Hills keep from the south and see that the walls and gate are still “paper” or wood. Ah, we can do this! You set up siege and take the gate down quickly. As you are heading up the ramp to the inner gate you see a few of your opponents run into the inner keep. Ah no problem we have this. You set up flame rams on the inner door and begin to take the door down.
Things are going great, it’s almost down and then it happens... the dreaded wipe. The zerg just ran over you and you never had a chance.
Could you have avoided this, absolutely! But how you ask, how can I avoid being run over by a zerg? There are several ways.
- Station a scout at the north gate towards the enemies spawn point.
- Drop an arrow cart first to focus fire on the gate area. Go to the outer wall and set up catapults there to take down the wall.
- Keep an eye on the outmanned buff on your skill bar!
- Realize it only takes 1-3 minutes for the zerg to reach you and focus on taking smaller objectives until the outmanned buff goes away.
- Switch Borderlands!
- Focus on smaller objective that are more quickly taken
Elder Scrolls Online
You are commanding a squad of approximately 24. Many of your team are still new to AvA, you have a small number of veteran players with you. One VR12 and a sprinkling of other VR’s.
Your objective is to take Sejanus outpost. You decide to take down the front gate. So, you instruct your team to take down the guards in the front and have a team member place a ram. Everything is going great the door comes down in a few minutes and you decide to rush the front flag. Not a bad tactic since you have a good sized squad. Things are going well you are all around the flag when it happens... Wiped! As you are laying there you see the Emperor from AD standing there all by himself smiling.
How could this happen? Been there, done that! It does happen and for a couple of reasons.
- The current Emperor has the best gear though hours of dedicated play time. The gear is designed to provide maximum damage and recovery! They play a Dark Knight or Sorcerer and are also a Vampire in many cases!
- Your team was all bunched up on the flag allowing him to use one of the most destructive attacks in the game – He dropped a Battle Standard and Dragons Claw. The combination holds you in place while the banner does over 1K damage. With lower leveled players this means, in most cases, 1 shot kill.
So how do you avoid this when taking resources and outposts with your team?
- Realize that the emperor is out there. They dedicate a tremendous amount of time to the game and have almost unlimited resources available to them because of this. I saw an example recently where one former emperor had over 4 million AvA points available to her!
- Plan accordingly. Most outposts and keeps will not indicate they are being attacked until the health drops significantly anywhere from about 25% - 50%. Use this to your advantage. When the health goes below 25% - 50% send out stealthed scouts with Mage Light on. This will give you advance warning of the approaching player/s.
- Have defensive oil pots placed to assist you with taking down the guards, and defending against attacking players. Drop them as soon as you hit the flag, our opponents do, we should get in the habit of this also.
- Keep spread out and use your ranged attacks. I can’t emphasis this enough…. If you are spread out you negate their ability to continually cast with such devastating effect. A high level player like the emperor has the ability to gain 8 ultimate points for each and every player they kill! If they kill a group of 10 that’s 80 ultimate in one shot!
- Drop a negate field down as soon as you hit the banner and keep one up and running until the banner flips.
- If you had been leading a team of mostly VR12’s would this have happened? If you were all bunched up on the flag, possibly, but certainly not through 1 shot kills. Even a squad of VR12’s needs to keep spread out! As of this writing the current trend is for Dragon Knights and Sorcerers to run light armor, and destruct/resto staffs. Their gear is designed to provide maximum magicka and stamina return, and in most cases have all of their attribute points into health. By continually casting healing, and blocking they are very difficult to take down. It can be done, but you have to be smart!
- Have dodge roll set up on you keyboard and use it if you are the recipient of a dragon claw!
- If you get the black bubble of death, hold your right mouse button down and spam the left button to help kill the bubble.
Will these suggestions make every assault or defense you command successful? Of course not, but it will keep you from killing your team though inattention, or neglect. If they beat you and you have done all you could do to prevent it….Keep your head held high! You were simply outplayed on that occasion. You will get them next time.
Oh and for your information…. A group of former emperor’s and current emperor can wipe just like everyone else. We have done it! If they get sloppy and inattentive, they die! Additionally as more and more players reach the higher veteran ranks their domination is become less apparent!
So by planning ahead and using all of your resources you can win the close battles. You will even be able to win many of the not so close battles though knowledge and planning.
Until next time.
See you on the battlefield
Caytlynne of Skye
About the Author
Caytlynne of Skye