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Noob hints?

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Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 138

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:33 am    Post subject: Noob hints? Reply with quote

Those responses surprised me for their honesty. This community has a deeper soul than I imagined. This bodes well.

I didn't want to just get good. I wanted to be the best. I set high standards for myself. It is my nature to do so no matter how shit I am at something. Eventually though, we must be honest with ourselves and realise that some goals are unachievable. In this case I am constrained by time, the nature of the game and probably my hand eye coordination, although I do not think I am classified as an "unco" (I play a number of sports and music at a decent level). I must add that my inability to be the best at Bolo isn't the reason I quit, it is my own frustration.

Now, I would like to put something back into the community. Let's call it a novice (noob) view of the world. Why is this useful given all of the great posts by vets such as Min, Samhain etc? I hope because it looks at Bolo from a different perspective. One that a novice can relate to, enabling them to more quickly reach a better level, and one that a vet can relate to, in helping the novices improve.

Let me pose this logic: Is Bolo much more complex than it really looks? (The vets should be able to answer this) Is the placement of pills important down to the exact square they are in, or can any arrangement of pills work as long as their pattern follows the correct formula? If it is the case that Bolo is indeed highly complex, then you can not berate a novice for their pill placement. After all, this is a complex problem. The noob will not get the idea until they have experienced enough games to work out the pill placement. On the other hand, if pill placement is simple, and a reasonable formula exists for their placement, then this should be carefully and simply explained to novices when they start. Either way, the teaching of novices can be improved - either explain the problem or accept that this game takes time.

I have heard and experienced some good advice that I will summarise here. Please feel free to rip this to shreds as I don't want to teach novices the wrong thing:

Pill Placement

- (lance): Don't place your pill next to the neutral above in Jonny War (and probably generalised to most maps), because if you can't make the take, then it actually becomes an easier double take for the enemy. I have generalised this so that whenever I am taking neutrals, I try to put the pill at least one square away. I am guessing that on an angle is even better, because doing the double on the pills (squares down, one square left or right) is much harder. However, you must calculate how much this will slow you down in doing the take.

- (ud): flanking is good. UD drew this really crappy diagram (the second diagram in this thread which does an excellent job of explaining the importance of flanking your enemy's pill line. I tried this and it seemed to work a few times, but I still couldn't quite get it right.

- (? Min possibly): Pills sphere of influence is an imaginary circle. Obviously they can guard everything in the circle. The closer to the pill, the better they guard it. You can use this sphere of influence to guard bases. When allied bases are shot, allied pills get really really mad. Madder than if you shot them 5 times. Remember you need bases to get ammo and lives.

- (Kaos): Stagger the pill line. If you set pills in a straight line, they are set up for a double take from the flank. Two across and one back is good. When you set up behind a base, the pill behind the base should be the furthest forward (what I noticed, this may be wrong), because "a pill behind a base is worth almost two pills not behind a base" (Azz).

- (UD I think): If you spike, then stay with the spike to repair it, otherwise this is almost like giving a pill away. I've noticed most vets stay with the spike, while many noobs go back to refuel.

- (Kaos): Go for the neutral pills between you and the enemy first. They are the contested ones. The proviso is that you probably need to take at least one easy neutral first to support these takes, or the enemy will sweep.


I am really crap at sniping, but one thing I learnt was to be patient when there is a dead enemy pill on deck. If you completed a take turn your tank around quickly so that you can get the crosshairs on or near the dead pill. If your enemy has heated another enemy pill nearby, just wait, at least for a while. If the enemy leaves and you think you have enough health, build a wall and sweep the pill or just sweep (without the wall it will be faster) if you can. If they don't leave, wait for the LGM send and if it comes, shoot it, preferably before the fix, ie your crosshairs should be a little behind the dead pill. This was always my most successful method of sniping because I could never seem to consistently snipe any LGM traveling near me to an unknown destination. At least in the scenario above I knew where the LGm was going.


- (Min): Avoid dying. If you die against a good player, by the time you get back some or all of your shit will be gone. E.g. in a situation where there is a dead pill to sweep and you have very little health (and you are by yourself), then you should probably not go for the sweep. This is dependent on the situation, but unless there is a very good reason to at least obtain the pill and die, then don't go for the sweep. Wait for the rebuild. (this needs reviewing from the vets)

- (Min) Dying for a snipe may not be worth it. I personally don't know the formula for when a snipe is worth dying, but if you are not sure, don't go for it.


- (experience) If you are within range of the enemy pills, they will shoot you. In a pillwar situation, they are shooting through your pills. This means that your pills are dying. Therefore, when the enemy pills are really angry, don't run near the pill line for a sweep. However, (Knuck) showed me how you can use this to your advantage by running near your line and then moving away and rebuilding (practice this moving away to ensure your lgm doesn't die) to keep your pills heated. I would definitely avoid running near the pill line when all your pills have damage and they could all die, as a rebuild sent will probably be sniped. Of course, I have seen vets do this to lure noobs in, plant a rebuild and then kill the noob pill line.

- (Knuck) Don't use your pill line to decoy in a pillwar. I'm still not entirely sure about this one, but I think it needs some explanation.


- (experience watching vets) don't rebuild a dead pill if there could be enemy in the vicinity (to snipe) and you have a pill in your tank. Instead plant a few squares back and then heat (shoot) your newly planted pill immediately. Note, the few squares back really depends on the position of the enemy. If they are closing in on the pill and your pill will not be planted before they arrive, plant earlier (further away) and heat and you still may be able to keep the enemy away with angry pill fire. planting too close to the pill with the enemy closing in and they will probably snipe your lgm and get both pills.

- (experience) don't send your lgm when you are under fire from angry pills, it will almost certainly die when your tank is hit.

- (experience) try to vary your rebuild timing, or you will become predictable.

- (Kaos) On a take, learn to send the rebuild so it fixes just as your pill dies (but doesn't get killed obviously). This gets harder the closer your pill is to you. Be very careful because vets will always be waiting to snipe your rebuild on a take. In this case, learn a number of different methods to rebuild on a take. One can be that you run in and make 5 shots, then turn and run before your pill has taken more than a few shots. If the enemy runs in, their pill will get hammered by your pill and they will need to do a quick rebuild. If you can, turn quickly and go for the snipe - be careful of getting your own pill killed. If the enemy doesn't go for the snipe, wait and do the take again. The enemy pill should have 10 shots worth of damage to go, and the take should be easier. Remember to do this in different ways or you will become too predictable.

Please remember, these are novice ideas for novices. I don't presume that these comments will be more helpful than the outstanding seminal vet posts I previously mentioned, except that these ideas are from a novice and therefore may hold some value from a different point of view. I must add that almost all these hints are dependent on the situation. The vets have a much better idea about the situation, therefore, novices should use follow these general ideas when they have no idea what to do, which is a lot of the time.

Take care,
The Turtle in the bin[/u]
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