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Of all the many strategies in WR, spawn raiding is probably one of the riskiest tactics in the game. In this blog, I wil review spawn raiding's advantages. disadvantages, how-to-use it as well as some map/game mode-specific situations, what bots/weapons to use and more. In short, a lot of stuff.
Firstly, spawn raiding has both high risks and high rewards. By camping next to the enemy's spawn, players have the potential to destroy enemy robots as they spawn. Those last three words are particularly important, as enemy pilots are usually taken by suprise by this tactic, and can be overwhelmed before they are able to fire back. With skill and a bit of luck, spawn raiders can wipe out entire enemy teams within minutes. That is pretty much spawn-raiding's sole, yet crucial, advantage. It may seem short, but it can be crucial in deciding which team wins the match.
How to Spawn Raid
In order to use this tactic successfully, spawn raiders must follow these tips, (some of which I learnt the hard way):
- ALWAYS go in groups of at least 2-3 robots..preferably 3 or 4 (more if you have a large advantage). A lone raider will be systematically annihilated in seconds without backup, faster if enemy bots have Orkans , Pinatas or the Exodus . Spawn raiding is all about suprise and firepower. In this case, the more guns, the better.
- Spawn raiding is best done by brawlers. I don't care how many trebuchets your raiding team has, even a squad of 6 Treb Furies and Butches will be wiped out by 2-3 brawlers....many of which have physical shields or stealth. Don't even think about spawn raiding with zenit/noricum bots. Just don't.
- Try and stay in groups of at least 2 bots...otherwise enemy bots can pick you off one by one. Although spawn raiding may seem like a great use for Hellburners (by the way, watch out for those), pilots with normal bots that don't rely on kamikaze tactics should stay together for superior firepower. Enough weapon fire can overwhelm the enemy team very quickly.
- If you are part of a large raiding party (4+ bots), WATCH OUT FOR SHOCKTRAINS ! Due to their very high damage and bouncing effect, a bunch of shocktrain bots can take out entire squads in the right place at the right time. Bunched up enemy bots might as well be free damage and silver for shocktrain bots. Target them first if you can.
- As if shocktrains weren't enough, spash damage weapons such as orkans can damage multiple bots...take care to avoid them and try to take out whoever is firing them at you.
- Make sure that you have at least 4 beacons on the enemy before spawn raiding with your entire team. Always make sure that you have at least 1 teammate guarding you beacons if you have beacon supremacy. Keep an eye on enemy bots...theycould slip away and cap your beacons.
- Finally, don't be overly aggressive. Your tactic could backfire...with your team meching out. This video demonstrates this as well as the carnage caused by spawn raiding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67-jBtvqAxE
- Keep an eye on the time and beacon bars. You should have at least 4 beacons anyway, so beacon bars should be of less concern. But if your team is starting to mech out, but still has 3-4 players left and an advantage on beacons, regroup and fall-back if there is still a few minutes to go. Protecting your beacons and therefore, your advantage might end up securing victory for your team. After all, nobody wants their team to mech out with beacon supremacy with only a few minutes left of the game.
How to Counter Spawn Raiders
This is how to prevent and counter enemy spawn raiders from using this tactic successfully:
- Try to split the enemy raiders up into pockets of 1-2 robots. This will reduce their overall effectiveness and allow you to pick them off one by one.
- Maintain beacon and map superiority. Doing this means that as long as you can force the enemy team into a stalemate, your beacon bar can act as a 'safety net' and allow your team to secure victory. On Beacon Rush, it also allows you to spawn in different places and denies the other team of a spawn area close to your base.
- Stick together. Do not allow your team to be picked off individually, as staying together increases your overall firepower.
- Be prepared. This isn't just a good motto. Spawn raiders often rely heavily on suprise, attacking you as you spawn in with the hope of eliminating your robot before you can fire back. Ready yourself to open fire as soon as you select your new robot.
- Try to conserve your robot, don't waste it in a suicidal charge. Try to take out as many enemy robots and deal as much damage possible as you can for each robot.
- Due to spawn raiding often clustering teams together, splash damage weapons such as the Orkan and 'chain effect' guns like the Shocktrain can be extremely effective.
- Hold the line. The actual spawn areas are usually a little behind your Home Beacon, so protect it from enemy robots to allow teammates who have just respawned a little time and space to prepare themselves to join the battle.
- Don't let your home beacon fall. Not only might this be embarassing and give the enemy team the advantage on beacons, on Beacon Rush it gives the enemy team a spawn point directly next to yours. You cannot afford to let this happen.
- Keep an eye on the time and beacon bars. If you're still being spawn raided and are losing on the beacon bar as well, try and have a few teammates or yourself slip away and capture enemy beacons to turn the tide of the battle.
Now for the disadvantages. The carnage that spawn raiding can create is unique, but can go both ways. Enemy players that escape can cap your own team's beacons, gaining an advantage. Players must also move towards the enemy spawn, which takes time, while enemy pilots can simply spawn there and go straight into the battle. Finally, spawn raiding doesn't work as well on certain maps or game-modes, due to the size, terrain etc (more on that later).
Battle situations (map-specific)
- Yamantau : Spawn raiding has very little chances of success here. Due to the size of the map and little cover provided, most raiding teams will be picked off by mid-range and sniper fire. The vast distance between the enemy spawn and beacons/your spawn as well as the terrain means that spawn raiders will be fighting an uphill battle.
- Canyon : Almost the same as Yamantau. Most fighting will be around the centre, which provides the most cover, so stick there. Apart from a few rocks, there is minimal cover, and snipers/mid-rangers love this map, just like Yamantau. If you don't think sniper fire is a problem, then by all means go ahead. Just don't expect any support from your teammates.
- Shenzhen : Spawn raiding here usually takes place due to en-masse flanking, so avoid going straight through the central, open area unless you have 4 beacons and teammates are already distracting enemy bots.
- Springfield : This map has much more cover than Yamantau and Springfield, so spawn raiding could work. Raiders should probably go around the sides, although the cargo area offers more protection. Again, the main battle is usually at centre, so spawn raiding is uncommon on this map.
- Dreadnought : Despite its large size, this map offers great potential for spawn raiding. Unlike springfield, going through the centre is recommended due to the cover provided.. If your team controls the flanks and centre, spawn raiding works suprisingly well. Due to its vast size though, try to not be outflanked and lose beacons.
- Valley : This map is neither here nor there, which makes it viable for almost all bots and loadouts. Raiders should probably stick to the centre route (through the abandoned hangar) or to the side route with the 2 beacons. If you don't control centre but the 2 side beacons (as well as your home one), players can leave 2 teammates behind to guard their beacons whilst the main force tries to wreak as much havoc as possible on the enemy team.
- Dead City : This brawler-favouring map has cover everywhere, so there are many possible routes (the side ones have less cover though, but still enough). Make sure you stick together or you might be picked off one by one. Snipers/campers usually hide behind the bridge when not firing, so keep that in mind and they should be easy targets...just don't ignore larger threats (such as a DB Rhino). And if you spot the glowing barrels that mean a fully charged trebuchet, try and hide behind an obstacle when you're already preoccupied with another enemy bot.
- Power Plant : Similar to Valley, except the cover is more evenly spread out. Snipers/mid-rangers usually hide behind the ridge/hill, and this is pretty much where teams spawn. The ridge runs around the entire map, so flanking can be a great tactic here. Again, do in groups to avoid being picked off.
- Carrier : The vertical beacon arrangement and relatively small map size means that your entire team can spawn raid. As long as you keep all enemy bots cooped up in their spawn area, there is no need to leave guards behind, as enemy players should effectively be under a blockade if the tactic is used well enough. Use the cover to hide from enemy fire as you advance.
Battle situations (game-mode specific)
- Domination: Here the journey to the enemy spawn is longest, but since you know enemy bots can only spawn in one place, raiders have maximum certainty on enemy whereabouts and potential to cause carnage.
- Team Deathmatch: With no beacons to worry about, whole teams can spawn raid in this game-mode. Due to the often larger-than-usual number of snipers, use cover wisely and stick together in order to get to the spawn in one piece.
- Beacon Rush: Make sure that you're team controls at least 4 beacons before spawn raiding, otherwise you run the risk of being evaded and losing beacons. If you do control 4 beacons, then the journey to the enemy spawn can be made much smaller by using the extra spawn areas. Also, if you're team has even managed to capture the enemy team's home beacon, Fujins and Raijins that spawn in can be incredibly effective (due to their shields, firepower and ability to withstand enemy fire) and give your team a formidable battlefield presence.
- Free-For-All: With spawn points being numerous, unmarked and without teammates at all, you run the risk of being attacked from behind, so avoid this by looking around every so often. You're only advantage will be the enemy's suprise. Don't try this if you've lost more than a fifth of you're health.
- Skirmish: Depending on what map and game-mode you get, use you're own judgement as to what robot you use, and consider its weapons as well using the information below in this blog.
What Robots to use
Note: Pretty much all robots except light robots are decent enough for spawn raiding, so these are the ones that particularly stand out:
- Rhino: Although prone to being outflanked, this sturdy beast can withstand more fire than most other robots with its physical shield. Due to its Assault Mode and good firepower, it can both quickly reach enemy lines whilst being capable of eliminating any threats on the way.
- Bulgasari: This with Orkans, Scourges or Tarans represents the epitome of overpowered meta bots.
- Griffin: I'm usually not a fan of the Griffin, due to its inadequate health. But since spawn raiding is all about ambush tactics, it's well-suited for this role, with its Jump ability. Using the PDB, Stuka or DB setups should work best. (If you already have a Raven, then use it...otherwise the Griffin is far more cost-effective)
- Carnage: Another great ambush robot to use. Equipped with dual Thunders, this can wreak havoc amongst enemy lines. Using Embers works great as well.
- Falcon: This robot uses a very similar playstyle to the Griffin. Don't activate the Fangs Out ability until you are within weapon/jumping range. Using the 66% damage resistance to survive enemy fire whilst advancing towards the spawn can make the difference between being destroyed or helping your team. Using a Thunder, Ember or Exodus along with Storms, Tarans or Orkans works well.
- Haechi: Almost the same as with the Bulgasari. Keep enemy bots out of the Ancile though, this robot has inadequate health for brawling...so use the Dash ability well to evade enemy fire. Orkans and Tarans work best.
- Hellburner: Spawn raiding often causes enemy robots to become closely packed together. With this in mind, Hellburner pilots can cause even more devastation than normal...with a higher damage/success rate. Using an Ancile and Ecu works well due to the extra protection given (the Hellburner's slots don't give it much firepower).
- Inquisitor, Mercury and Spectre: Due to their respective Descend and Helldive abilities, which give them Stealth, these robots can augment their already high firepower to incredible levels. The Mercury's Helldive ability also deals damage within a certain radius, so try to land on top of enemy groups.
What Robots to NOT use
- Light robots: Despite their slightly superior agility, most light bots lack enough health or firepower to make the journey to the enemy spawn, let alone survive the raid.
- Vityaz: This robot is outclassed by the Golem in all aspects (health, firepower etc).
- Fury: This robot is suitable for mid-long range fire support only, Despite its extremely high firepower, its large frame makes it a target impossible to miss.
- Butch: The Butch is so optimised for sniping and long-range support that it seems even more lacklustre at spawn raiding than the Fury, with less firepower and health.
- GI Patton: Due to its low speed and firepower, the Patton is simply outclassed, like the Vityaz, by the Golem in most aspects. However, it is very versatile.
- Strider: Despite its seemingly infinite Dashes and decent firepower, it simply doesn't have enough health to last long enough. The advantages of having 5 Dashes are somewhat mitigated in the often constricted space that make up spawn points.
- Pursuer: This robot lacks enough firepower to rival many knife-fighters, and in the often constricted spawn points its ability's usefulness is blunted, as it is extremely likely that it will run into an enemy robot after it runs out of stealth. However, if armed with Gusts it can be quite effective and do considerable damage.
What Weapons to use
- Exodus, Orkan and Pinata: The relatively high damage, fire rate and splash of these weapons enables them to take out opponents before they can fire back. In spawn raids where both teams are often bunched up, these weapons can cause some serious devastation...and work equally well for both teams.
- Ember, Taran and Magnum: The high damage, accuracy and short/non-existent reload for these weapons, as well as their extra range makes them excellent choices for spawn raiders. The Ember in particular has a large spread and bypasses all shields, so use this to youre advantage.
- Thunder, Storm and Gust: Despite being slightly outclassed by the weapon's above in terms of damage, this family of shotguns can inflict a lot of pain upon enemy teams, and have a reputation for point-blank annihilation. Due to their bullet spread, it is recommended to use them below 300m range at least, but at longer distances they can take down Anciles very effectively. Being kinetic weapons, they do double damage to physical shields as well, so for what they slightly lack in firepower, they more than make up for in shield-breaking capability.
- Thermite, Vortex and Aphid : These weapons indirect-fire ability enables them to be effective close-range support weapons. However, robots solely mounting these weapons are vulnerable to enemy fire whilst reloading, so it is advised for them to stay a little further away from the fighting, preferably behind cover.
- Punisher T, Punisher: The two, classic autocannons are the workhorses of many robots. They are reliable, cheap and effective, maintaining comparable damage and versatality, the latter of which is a quality that meta robots rarely have (As of mid-2018). Whilst intended as brawling weapons, they can act as effective close-range suppressors even at 400m.
- Scourge: This weapon does incredible damage at close range (250% of what it does at max-range). Its range makes it tactically flexible, and outguns the Taran at point-blank. Its sole weakness is the relatively long period of time it takes to lock onto targets.
- Shocktrain: With its high damage, relatively short reload and 'chain' effect, the Shocktrain is able to deal significant damage to multiple enemy bots at once within a certain radius. With spawn points usually containing many clusters of enemy bots, especially during an enemy raid, this overpowered weapon can do monstrous damage.
What Weapons to NOT use
Sniper weapons: Long-range sniper weapons such as the Kang-dae, Nashorn and Trebuchet are unsuited for spawn raiding, where almost all fighting will be at close if not point blank range. Their high reload times and inaccuracy at short range makes them inadequate for spawn raiding.
Long-range support weapons: The most common variety of this unofficial weapon class is the Zenit and Noricum. Due to them being unable to fire at enemy robots within 300m, they are completely useless for the frenzied close-combat that spawn raiding creates.
Trident: Due to its low damage and high reload, the Trident is definitely not recommended as a close-range weapon. Even as a mid-range weapon, which was its original purpose, it is outclassed by the Zeus and Dragoon.
Mid-range weapons: Mid-range support weapons such as the Pin and Tulumbas lack the firepower to be of use in spawn raiding. It is generally recommended that mid-rangers stay at around 500m away from the fighting and fire at the most threatening enemy robots to support their teammates during spawn raids.
Overall, spawn raiding is a mostly viable strategy suited to fast-moving and well armed knife-fighters (although make sure they are durable enough). If used well, this tactic can overwhelm enemy teams and mech them out. However, it is notoriously risky and causes carnage on both sides, and is to be used carefully and decisively.