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Strategy Guide by OFernando
Version: 4.0 | Updated: 07/09/1999
Battlezone Tips & Strategies for Battlezone PC game by Activision by Orlando C. Fernando (firstname.lastname@example.org) Version 4.0 Updated: July 9, 1999 This guide shows some tips, strategies from my war adventures in Battlezone. This FAQ will grow as I gain more experience and receive any corrections. This guide also will try to explain how to do some fundamentals not explained or explained badly (in my opinion) in the manual. :) Cheat tactics, mapmaking techniques, and advanced software/hardware troubleshooting are beyond the scope of this guide. This guide assumes you are already familiar with Battlezone enough to play the training missions and a few of the first planets missions. It also assumes you have played in multiplayer a few times and are familiar with "ping" and "lag". It is based on playing the game with the 1.4 patch in Windows 95 with a Diamond Voodoo1 3dfx I card and the large assets patch in Windows 95 with a 3dfx Voodoo 3 2000 PCI card (although other patches will be referenced in the guide). UPDATE FROM 3.0: Large assets patch described; gamepad & music tips. UPDATE FROM 2.0: Add-on maps and more multiplayer map and strategy tips. UPDATE FROM 1.1: More multiplayer map tips. This FAQ is also available at http://www.orlandofernando.com/bztips.html. Table of Contents 1.Single Player Activity 1.1 How can I skip the cinematic videos during the missions? 1.2 Why don't I get all the vehicles as in the multiplayer with each mission? 1.3 Can I save the game during a mission? 1.4 Will these missions improve me for multiplayer? 1.5 What is Instant Action? 2.Multiplayer Activity in General 2.1 Why don't I get all the single player units in multiplayer? 2.2 What bizarre things happen in Battlezone with bad ping? 2.3 How do I talk to only one person on the text screens? 2.4 How do I talk during a live game? 2.5 How do I talk to only one person during a live game? 2.6 I get a "version mismatch" error when joining a game. Why? 2.7 I get an error of missing some strange file when joining a game. Why? 2.8 I get a "Can't join..." error when joining a game. Why? 2.9 If I leave a live game, can I come back? 2.10 I get "connection to game server lost" during a game periodically. Should I exit? 2.11 How can I get new multiplayer maps? 3.Multiplayer Strategy Activity 3.1 Why is it called "strategy"? 3.2 How do I join forces (ally) with someone? 3.3 How do I break up with them (unally)? 3.4 What defense building units need geysers and what doesn't? 3.5 What buildings/structures need s-powers and what doesn't? 3.6 My gun towers/s-powers are destroyed too easily. How can I optimize them? 3.7: My scavengers and I are constant victims of minelayers/mine fields. How can I cross them safely? 3.8 I heard a sudden rumble/thunder, but my base seems intact and I get no warnings. What happened? 3.9 I heard a sudden rumble/thunder, and suddenly I'm losing units left and right! What happened? 3.10 I host a game. What's the pro/cons of each of the hosting options? 3.11 My scavengers won't pick up anything! Why? 3.12 My scavengers report no more scrap. Is that really it? 3.13 I defeated all lives of an enemy, but his leftover units are still around. Don't they always blow up when he/she is done? 3.14 I joined a game and already no scrap is available! How can I survive? 3.15 I host a game and enter it. No one yet arrives. What preparations could I do while waiting? 3.16 I left an empty vehicle near my barracks. Why won't a pilot come out to use it? 3.17 Any tips for Corner Pocket? 3.18 Any tips for Purgatory? 3.19 Is there any general etiquette when playing strategy? 4.Multiplayer Deathmatch Activity 4.1 Why is it called "deathmatch"? 4.2 How do I join forces (ally) with someone? 4.3 My ship blew up. Where's my respawn vehicle when I land from an ejection? 4.4 Is every powerup in every map? Where are some of these powerups? 4.5 I can only pick pilots for some games. Why? 4.6 Any tips for Mar's Rally? 4.7 Any tips for Coliseum? 4.8 Any tips for Odin's Eye? 4.9 Any tips for Rings of Fire? 4.10 Any tips for PacMan DM (add-on map)? 4.11 Any tips for Titan Turmoil (add-on map)? 4.12 Is there any general etiquette when playing deathmatch? 4.13 What are some popular deathmatch variations? 5.Sniping 5.1 How exactly does this sniping work? 5.2 I can never snipe attempt in some of my games. Why? 5.3 I keep aiming and I can't successfully snipe a vehicle in multiplayer! Why? 5.4 Am I ALWAYS subject to 3 bullets until my next life? 6.Weapons Tips 6.1 I can't use my gun in my turret/howitzer/eagle lander! Why? 6.2 I can't fire my image shadower/hornet. Why? 6.3 How do I use this Phantom VIR? Don't notice anything. 6.4 How do I use this RED Field? Don't notice anything. 6.5 How do I group weapon hardpoints/fire more than 1 weapon? 6.6 I get this bizarre sound when getting a powerup & can't get it. Why? 6.7 Things keep hitting me from above! What weapon is hitting me? 6.8 How do MITS mines work vs. M-Curtain mines? 7.Miscellaneous 7.1 What Battlezone directories should I backup? 7.2 What joystick configuration do you suggest for gamepads? 7.3 How do I get and use extra maps? 7.4 What is this large assets patch I hear about? 7.5 Can I play CD-ROM music while playing Battlezone? Section 1: Single Player Activity 1.1: How can I skip the cinematic videos during the missions? During the animations both at the beginning of a mission (when the narrator speaks) and during any point in the middle of a mission, you can skip it by hitting the ESC key once it starts. 1.2: Why don't I get all the vehicles as in the multiplayer with each mission? It's the game creator's intention. If you pay attention to the cinematic videos between missions along with the mission intro texts, they'll explain why you only have the few mobile units you are provided, especially in the early NSDF missions. Likewise for building certain units (for example, you won't be able to build walkers until the NSDF discovers the enemy walker technology on Venus. Seems logical.) 1.3: Can I save the game during a mission? Yes. The entire mission does not have to be complete in order for you to save it. In fact, you could save the game just after the first few seconds of the mission if you wanted to (including during a battle). Just hit ESC to go to the SAVE GAME screens. This is where you can also load an existing game if you feel you can't go on with the current one. Bear in mind that when you reload a previous game, the exact same situation does not always happen. For example, on one reload, an enemy can suddenly attack from their base, while another time, an enemy may not attack for a few minutes. So be wary at what point in the game you want to save. I do not advise saving in the middle of a battle. 1.4: Will these missions improve me for multiplayer? Definitely. Several people advise beginners to play the first few missions (not just the training exercises) before playing multiplayer. You will slowly get the gist of using the different mobile units and attacking the enemy as well as getting used to your joystick/keyboard/mouse controls. You run no threat of enemies sniping you when you destroy their vehicle. Also, some enemies (including scavengers) don't exactly have the common sense to retreat when you clearly outnumber and outgun them. You have less activity to deal with at once. I highly advise to listen to all the dialogues and read all the texts as they will go a long way in explaining the purpose of many of the units. Many people also report (because of some recon bugs in the game) to turn strategy help off. 1.5: What is Instant Action? Instant Action is another type of single player strategy which consist of only one mission and likely several objectives. It is basically like playing one normal single player mission. The retail game itself, to my knowledge, does not provide any instant action scenarios. However, you can download these add-on mission maps made by others. BzArmory 2 web site has a handful among many other web sites. See section 7 for instructions on downloading add-on maps. Section 2: Multiplayer Activity in General 2.1: Why don't I get all the single player units in multiplayer? Several of the units would be redundant for the multiplayer arena. The wind and lightning powers are simply offshoots of the s-power. Field HQs are variants of the supply units. Relics, of course, have little use other than for design & aesthetics in multiplayer since there are no recon missions. With the number of different units you need to manage and operate, keeping the units limited and simple is a micromanager's dream. :) 2.2: What bizarre things happen in Battlezone with bad ping? An enemy with bad ping won't affect the activity of your vehicle and units, but that of the enemy. Ships of players with bad ping will tend to stay in place and go in circles then suddenly disappear. You may suddenly see a walker in one spot then suddenly "zip" over to another spot 50m away. If you fire at them with direct guns, damage may take time to register on their vehicles (assuming you actually hit them and not their "lag" appearance). Lock- on guns (rockets and missiles) may be hard to lock onto someone and/or suddenly lose their target upon travel. I have had reports of high ping players also having trouble firing at the other enemies. Stationary units, on the contrary, will stay in place. I believe that when you attack them, their damage still occurs quickly (can someone confirm this?). From my experience, I can chat to a high ping player during a live game. Chatting, however, may be affected when in the chat rooms. (Check to see if they have a ping either very high or of zero, which could also be attributed to the server performance.) People usually ask high ping players in a game to exit and return, which sometimes corrects it. 2.3: How do I talk to only one person on the text screens? Select the person to talk to in the lower left box of people on-line. Type your text in your chat box, then click on the W box underneath the people on-line box. 2.4: How do I talk during a live game? Hit the accent/tilde key (the key left of the 1 key on English keyboards) to open a one-line chat box. Type away and hit ENTER to send. 2.5: How do I talk to only one person during a live game? Hit the accent/tilde key (the key left of the 1 key on English keyboards) to open a one-line chat box. Push the up or down arrow key to scroll through the direct player or team to chat to. Type away and hit ENTER to send. It will remember the last person you talked to the next time you try to chat. To go back to chatting with everyone, use the up/down arrow key to select TO ALL the next time you chat. 2.6: I get a "version mismatch" error when joining a game. Why? You don't have the same version of Battlezone as the person hosting that game. As of this writing (Oct 14 98), version 1.4 is the most up-to-date patch available for the game (1.5 for some with certain configurations). I highly advise downloading the latest patch from the web, as most hosters tend to always use the latest patch available. (If you are upgrading from 1.31, be sure to uninstall the anti-cheat patch if you have one before installing 1.4.) If, however, you already have the latest patch and get this error, the hoster's game version is out-of-date. Better to move on to another hosted game with your patch. 2.7: I get an error of missing some strange file when joining a game. Why? Did you also notice that there was no normal S, D, or P labels before the game name? The hosted game requires an add-on map which could be obtained from the web (if you wish to play it). 2.8: I get a "Can't join..." error when joining a game. Why? Some causes are unknown. But one probable cause is that someone suddenly joined the game just seconds before you which closed the game up (the maximum number of game players are reached). After accepting the error, watch if the max is reached when the screen refreshes. You may even find yourself exiting a game and reentering it only to encounter this error too! (very frustrating) 2.9: If I leave a live game, can I come back? For the most part, yes (assuming everyone hadn't left the game by the time you returned). You may occasionally get the dreaded "Can't join..." error for which there's nothing that can be done. :( 2.10: I get a "connection to game server lost" during a game periodically. Should I exit? No. You're merely losing the connection to the machine responsible for chatting in the chat rooms. It doesn't have an effect on your game. Once you start a game, it doesn't require constant interaction between the players and the server. I do hear that it does break your connection if you get this message in the chat rooms (unconfirmed). 2.11: How can I get new multiplayer maps? Many web sites have multiplayer maps. The Bz:Armory2 site is among my favorites. The files required for a particular map are conveniently zipped up into one file. Instructions are normally given in the zipped file's readme file. You basically unzip the files into your /BATTLEZONE/ADDON directory. You will also need to add a line at the bottom of your netmis file (located in the /BATTLEZONE root directory) so your game recognizes the map. The line should also be contained in the readme file. (If you have the utility program MapAdder, you can use this program instead to automatically manipulate the netmis file.) Once this is done, the map will then be available in your multiplayer game preparation screen (the one in which you choose your tank). Section 3: Multiplayer Strategy Activity 3.1: Why is it called "strategy"? This game mode closely resembles some of the single player missions involving the recycler. The goal of the game is to defeat all the enemy players' lives. You will have full access to your recycler to build offenses, defenses, utilities, etc. to build a force to attack or defend from the enemy. The player list during the game (accessed by pressing the M key) displays the people participating, their team numbers (valuable for allying with them), their deaths, kills, and remaining lives. Deaths are the number of times that player's units, including themselves, are destroyed (not sure for APC pilots killed though). Kills are the number of times that player has destroyed a unit or other player. You lose a life if you yourself are killed on foot. So a typical strategy game doesn't run as quickly as you may think. It can range from 30 min. to even 4 hours depending on the map size, player skills, # of latecomers joining, and scrap availability. Of course, unlike the single player missions, YOU call the shots as to how you want to confront the enemy. Do you put out a full force of tanks on them? Do you partner up with someone and build a dual fortress of a base? Do you spy on the enemy on foot to see what they got? Do you go in major scavenge and explore mode for a while? An assortment of preparations and outcomes can happen. 3.2: How do I join forces (ally) with someone? Make sure you are in the live game (not the game chat screens). Hit the M key to show the player list. Note the team number of the person you want to ally with. Hit Y then the team number. If you had reassigned the Y key to do something else, you could use CTRL [ instead. On the player list, the ally player statistics should turn blue, along with his units on radar and (in most cases) his flag above his units. Then, the other players will get a message that you allied with a certain team number. Your friendlies will not attack your ally's buildings and units (including gun towers and turrets) although you are capable of it yourself (should you be so mean and dishonorable). You can enjoy the benefits of their supply, hangar, and armory powerups but not their comm towers or scavengers. You cannot order their units nor order your units to their nav beacons. Be aware that it takes two to tangle. The other person must ally with you too and you need to look for their chat message "ALLY WITH [your team number]". If you do not see that, they have not allied with you. This would make them capable of attacking you and your base with your units not able to do anything about it (unless you unally, refer to next section). You can ally with more than one person (everyone in the game, if you prefer). However, once again, make sure they had all allied with you too. If you hit the ally key by mistake and didn't intend to ally with anyone, enter 0 as a team number to complete the command and cancel the alliance. 3.3: How do I break up with them (unally)? Once you are allied with someone, you remain so unless you manually unally with them, one of you leaves the game, or the game is over. To unally, make sure you are in the live game (not the game chat screens). Hit the M key to show the player list. Note the team number of the person you want to unally with. Hit U then the team number. If you had reassigned the U key to do something else, you could use CTRL ] instead. On the player list, the other player statistics should turn back to red, along with his units on radar and his flag above his units. Then, the other players will get a message that you unallied with a certain team number. 3.4: What defense building units need geysers and what doesn't? Recyclers, factories, and armory units require geysers. Constructors do not. 3.5: What buildings/structures need s-powers and what doesn't? Gun towers and comm towers require s-powers. Supply units, Hangars, barracks, and silos do not. 3.6: My gun towers/s-powers are destroyed too easily. How can I optimize them? Be aware of 2 major characteristics of gun towers: (1) they can safely be destroyed long range by bombers and (2) CCA gun towers are pre-loaded with mere chainguns. With these flaws in mind, be sure to have an armory boost the powers of your CCA gun towers. Consider flash cannons and/or blast cannons. Position s-powers between gun towers and your base or a wall. Try to not position gun towers in open fields where bombers can clearly take them out hundreds of meters away undetected. Place them so that in order for bombers to start firing at them, they'd have to come within gun firing range, such as around a bend in a path. Set more than one s-power per gun tower and try to have each s- power serve more than one gun tower. If you are chasing an enemy toward your base, try to chase them into one of your proud gun towers. :) 3.7: My scavengers and I are constant victims of minelayers/mine fields. How can I cross them safely? Look for the red dots on your mini map display (with CAPS LOCK). If you see them, order your scavengers either back to base or to follow you before they hit the mines. Another possible giveaway of mine attacks are getting emergency beeps with your radar units blinking red, but only in 5-30 second spurts. Stepping on enemy mines counts as an enemy attack according to your radar system. Mines can be destroyed by gunfire. I prefer to toss mortars since you can lob them over other mines and take out a set of close mines in one shot. Make sure you keep back as your removing each one. 3.8: I heard a sudden rumble/thunder, but my base seems intact and I get no warnings. What happened? Another player has used the dreaded day wrecker on someone. The rumble occurred just as it dropped on its target. You may have seen it followed with a few or several status messages that various units of the victim player are destroyed. Be lucky it was not you! 3.9: I heard a sudden rumble/thunder, and suddenly I'm losing units left and right! What happened? You were the victim of the dreaded day wrecker, a truly devastating weapon. Before the boom, you might have seen some sort of red object coming down (likely on your recycler). That's the one! It spreads out significant damage over a certain meters radius of its target, including so many meters in the air. It is like a light nuclear bomb. If the enemy hasn't attacked until this point, be prepared for a possible battle. Unless your units were in bad shape to begin with, one day wrecker usually can't finish off many of your units (but certainly put good damage on them). A wise enemy will follow up with an attack of units. Sometimes, after an enemy attack, they may also decide to drop this hellish present, so beware! 3.10: I host a game. What's the pros/cons of each of the hosting options? SYNC JOIN - This prevents anyone from entering the live game until the last person in the prepare screen launches a la MechWarrior 2 style. Red squares beside players on the Player Status box indicate that they have not launched. When they do so, the square becomes green. Use this option if you are certain people will join your game soon and you want to start everyone on fair ground scrapwise. The downside is, of course, having to wait by your computer for someone to come before starting to launch. Having it off allows people to come and go as they please, a la Quake 2 style. It definitely guarantees latecomers that may have less scrap to hunt for and choices of base placement. If you want an early game advantage, turn this off. Usually latecomers will decide for themselves based on the game time that has passed and the amount of scrap they see available whether or not they will stay. Most people usually don't mind entering a non-synced game. COMM TOWERS - Turning this off prevents building of communications towers by the constructor, making it difficult to spy on enemy units or plant a day wrecker from a very long distance. It will force players to move closer to enemy quarters to plan their attacks. BARRACKS - Turning this off prevents building of barracks by the constructor. Players will have to closely regulate the number of attack units to produce since they are limited to the pilots from the recycler (and factory if made). Once those pilots are killed, there's no way to have more. PLAYER LIMIT - Fewer people means more time to concentrate on the building of units and planning attacks. More people can create more fun or nightmarish chaos as there will be more fighting for scrap and likelihood of surprise attacks from neighbors. Allies will probably form with 4 players or more (some add-on maps allow more than 4 players in the game). In fact, I encourage allying by that point since they'll be less scrap distribution per player and too many people will be onslaught from wave attacks upon wave attacks from various players. PLAYER LIVES - Having few lives per person does not make the game very short as you may think. Remember that many of your units can be killed constantly, but ultimately it is the kill of you the pilot that costs you a life. In fact, 5-life games can go on for quite a few hours! Having only one or two lives significantly will affect what units to produce and when to attack. Protecting the recycler, in fact, becomes much less significant if there is only one life to protect. More offensive and quick attacks are likely in such a "sudden death" situation. SNIPING - There's quite a few hosts that turn this off, which disables use of your sniper rifle as a pilot on foot. In this scenario, once your ship gets destroyed, returning to a friendly or unmanned ship and/or your recycler becomes a high priority. Pilot run-over deaths by enemy vehicles are significantly higher than when sniper-enabled. Keeping this off is also recommended for a game of beginner players, as it gets quite discouraging to suddenly be sniped while sitting in your ship trying to slowly operate the command unit interface. Purists such as myself prefer to keep this on as it gives a fighting advantage for pilots on foot vs. the powerful vehicles. 3.11: My scavengers won't pick up anything! Why? Did they report "no more scrap"? If so, they will remain idle (refer to question 3.12) . Otherwise, they could have been sniped. See if you or another fellow pilot can enter the vehicle. What if they reported "there is no scrap storage"? Your recycler could be undeployed and your silos could be full. A final most likely reason is that the scrap storage is full (which will not be reported). Look at your scrap number status. Once you produce more units or silos (or order the scavengers elsewhere) they will move again. 3.12: My scavengers report no more scrap. Is that really it? Not necessarily, especially early in a live game. There may only no scrap visible to your radar. Once you venture out beyond your range to find more scrap, or units within your radar range get destroyed, the scavengers will go back to work. 3.13: I defeated all lives of an enemy, but his leftover units are still around. Don't they always blow up when he/she is done? When all the player's lives are lost, the player goes to the Game Stats screen, where he can continue to chat with the other players. However, all his remaining units will not wipe out until he/she leaves this screen to return to the general chat lounge. As long as the player is on the Game Stats screen (regardless of how many lives lost), his/her remaining units are still quite active, snipable, and destroyable. If you are allied with this person, ask if he will stay in the Game Stats screen long enough for you to use his supplies, hangar or maybe snipe out a few vehicles to help you out. They may not because while they are on the Game Stats screen, they cannot do much else but chat, so rarely expect a yes. If you are not allied with this person, try to snipe out some vehicles and quickly enter in and out of them quickly before the player hits the lounge. The vehicle will then be under your possession. And because you claimed them quick enough, they won't go poof when his other units explode! 3.14: I joined a game and already no scrap is available! How can I survive? Always note the game time, maximum scrap available, and people list on the game preparation screen (where you pick your tank) before launching. Game times more than 30 minutes and/or with light/moderate scrap and/or with several people in it are very likely to have little or no scrap. Some add-on maps, however, like Big Ass Moon, have a multitude of scrap, allowing plenty of scrap if less than 4 people have joined the game for around 30 minutes. So you decide, despite the odds, you want to join anyway. I personally like this sort of challenge occasionally because it causes you to severely regulate your scrap usage and evaluate what units are most important for you in the game. Among the odds working against you are (1) competing with well-established armies, (2) leaving your recycler to a light or no defense, (3) a sudden attack without warning, even right after you launch, (4) high likelihood of very little scrap, probably from unit destructions, (5) impracticality or impossibility of setting a comm tower. Before I continue, I HIGHLY advise not bothering to linger in such a game if either there are known cheaters, the map is very small with no volunteering allies, or sniping is diabled. You'll only waste precious Battlezone playing time suffering massive frustrations! My plan launching into the game is to at least build an armory, then perhaps one offensive vehicle, then to equip your tank and the other with an ideal weapon. I would explore the immediate area first to see if there's any scrap left before making a scavenger. Otherwise, it's a waste of a unit. You may have to be prepared to leave your recycler exposed. You may even want to already pack it up so that in the event of an enemy attack, it's ready to move. Look at the player list to see someone that looks the least threatening (high deaths, little kills, 1-2 lives left) and attack them. If successful, you'll have new scrap to build some more (at which point you can make a scavenger). Beware however, that better players may have their eyes on the same target as you, so watch the periodic killings status messages to see who's killing who. And it doesn't hurt to consider allying with someone. (Losing players are especially longing for allies.) Each time you lose a life, you should have enough remaining scrap to make 1 fighter per life when you respawn. Of course, the odds are worse now as your less likely to have enough scrap to make your favorite weapons anymore. Finally, be prepared to spend significant time in the game on foot, sniping vehicles attempting to re-attack, or simply to escape. Escaping with a scavenger wouldn't be such a bad idea too! 3.15: I host a game and enter it live. No one yet arrives. What preparations could I do while waiting? Aaah. Unlike entering a game late, you now have the best odds in your favor. You have the freedom to do whatever you want uninhibited by attacks or enemy snipings. For someone more the defensive type, I prefer to build chief units in this order while alone: (1) 3/4 scavengers, (2) armory, (3) constructor, (4) s-powers, (5) gun towers, (6) supply, (7) silo, (8) barracks, (9) any offense/turrets with powerups. This assumes, of course, that you have enough scrap available to make them all. Powerup the gun towers if necessary. For someone more the aggressive type, I prefer to build chief units in this order while alone: (1) 3/4 scavengers, (2) factory, (3) some rocket tanks/bombers/tanks with powerups, (4) some turrets with powerups, (5) armory, (6) barracks, (7) constructor, (8) hangar, (9) supply, (10) walkers, APC, or s-powers, (11) gun towers, (12) a nav beacon in each corners of the map, (13) enough scrap build for a day wrecker. My intention here is to set up the immediate 6 or 7-manned destructive army first, then have a 2nd wave of more powerful forces (the remaining offensive units) to back them up. The day wrecker could come just before or after your attack, and the set nav beacons can help plot that. As a host though, be careful not to be a scrap hog. Leave enough for others to want to join. You can instruct scavs to come back to base if they are going into a quadrant where other players would launch (typically the other 3 empty corners of your map). 3.16: I left an empty vehicle near my barracks. Why won't a pilot come out to use it? I assume you have pilots remaining in your barracks to deploy. The problem is you are standing too close to your barracks. Back up or move away some distance, then you'll see a new pilot pop out to commandeer the vehicle. 3.17: Any tips for Corner Pocket? I highly recommend placing gun towers or turrets near your base since there is such a narrow chokepoint entrance. This gives you freedom to attack/snipe visitors from the opposite chokepoint (directly across the "street" from your base). 3.18: Any tips for Purgatory? Using the CAPS LOCK map view, regard the entire figure 8 map. You get a little scrap close to your base. However, the vast areas of scrap are toward the middle ends of the map. So it will take quite a while for scavengers to retrieve considerable scrap. Use this to your offensive advantage. 1) Place one or two gun towers at one of the middle ends of the 8 (where the top and bottom side paths join). 2) At the other middle end, or at the center of the 8, place a nav beacon. Have a minelayer lay some mines there. 3) Set a nav beacon halfway back to your base. Use this spot for the minelayer to retreat for a while to conserve some mines until the existing ones disappear. Send it back to lay more afterwards if the territory is still enemy free. Won't the enemy scavengers be up for some surprises when they arrive to the middle area to retrieve scrap! 3.19: Is there any general etiquette when playing strategy? Here are general ones which most players will agree on. 1) If a player calls for taking a few minutes to build their units before attacking them, respect them. It's usually because either everyone want to build early in the game first or this player had just joined in very late without much to start out with. Violating that will guarantee a quick exit by that player. These sort of requests do not tend to happened very habitually anyway. 2) If you kill a player's life yourself, then suddenly see him reappear as a pilot, consider if that is that player's respawn point (the spot that a player will reappear after he/she dies). If you realize that is the case, back off of him or at least attack some of his/her other units so the player can have at least a fighting chance to do some moving or ordering. Mowing over a respawned player 2 or more times may be considered cheap by some people. Use your strict discretion, especially if they chat to you themselves to stop attacking their respawn point. 3) If you want to ally with someone, call it first (either to everyone or just that person) and wait for them to ally first. Take this from past experience. Many people are not familiar with how to ally so you may need to explain it. As a courtesy, you might want to tell them you allied once you do so (they could tell from the status message, but beginners may not understand it). Conversely, if someone asks you to join them and you want to, ally with them immediately. 3a) Do not be a traitor to your ally. This can cause great heat and anger. If you made a general mistake attacking one of your allies (such as their pilots since they can be difficult to identify by flag and without radar), apologize immediately. If you want to unally, tell them first. Very few people may be purposeful traitors to knock out your gun towers without retaliation. I've had an ally walker sit by my supply depot picking away at all my defenses! If you suspect a cold traitor, declare it and immediately unally with them. 4) Actually help your ally when you are allied. Don't be a lone wolf with a little extra protection. You can help in minor ways such as telling your ally your location so they can set their base with you, giving them a spare vehicle if they are stuck on foot, making them some powerups from your armory, or even just telling them that you have a hangar or supply depot available. If your base is pretty well fortified and defended, ask your ally if you can defend their base (alone or with a little offense/defense). The more active ways to help can involve backing up your allied units attacking an enemy, protecting their scavengers, or warning them of an enemy's weakness or incoming attack. If you nearly annihilate a key enemy structure (such as a recycler) before getting killed, alert your ally of that so that they could possibly finish the job. Any of these simple courtesies will significantly enrich both your gameplaying as well as possibly making a new e-mail friend! Section 4: Multiplayer Deathmatch Activity 4.1: Why is it called "deathmatch"? It is a terminology highly adopted from the Quake games meaning "free for all". All players are enemies. There are no allies (in most cases). Anyone can attack anyone else at any time. When your vehicle gets destroyed, you are auto-ejected and a new vehicle will automatically respawn near your landing. If you are killed before entering your respawn vehicle, you will reappear where you first started the live game. Depending on the game options, game ends after so many kills, time runs out, or you simply decide to leave. A non-timed live game can run forever. 4.2: How do I join forces (ally) with someone? Unlike multiplayer strategy, you cannot (although the command will falsely appear to work). You could ask around during the live game if you want to form teams and just make sure you always kill your enemy (use the T key to identify the player target you're chasing). 4.3: My ship blew up. Where's my respawn vehicle when I land from an ejection? If it's not in front of you, look behind you. If you are on a hill, it may be at the top or bottom of the hill. Listen for the engine to guide you. 4.4: Is every powerup in every map? Where are some of these powerups? Generally ammo and repair are on every map. The weapons powerups can be in some out-of-the-way places on some maps, especially the more powerful ones. Look for them on hilltops or on the extreme corners of the map, even in lava! Note that some powerups may take longer to reset than others, but they always appear in the same spots on the map. 4.5: I can only pick pilots for some games. Why? These are sniper only deathmatches. You start out and remain as pilots, constantly trying to snipe out the other enemies. Most maps usually provide a non-ammo vehicle just so you can enter and hop out to reset your sniper ammo. You can also score kills, however, by killing them with your standard plasma rifle (after many hits) or running them over with a vehicle. Usually, these alternative means are not the main focus of the game. 4.6: Any tips for Mars Rally? If you go in as a rocket tank, you can't go wrong with a destructive Image Shadower/Pop Gun combo! Once you make your way around the long "track" to the main large area in the northwest corner of the map, head east. At the west rock wall of the main area, there's some slopes to help you get atop a high cliff path running north to the northwest corner of the map. Aside from some ammo, repair, and a splinter, you'll find a nice Pop Gun at the corner. Hornets, I feel, are useless in deathmatch, so replace its hardpoint with the Pop Gun. Group it with the Image Shadower to be a lethal machine! Make sure you always run for the ammo/repair powerups after each kill (because you only get about 14 shots. If you are at the receiving end of such a vehicle, get a Phantom VIR or RED Field to completely protect yourself. If you go in as a tank with 2 cannon hardpoints, consider picking up the blast cannon twice at the north section of the main area (near some narrow pointed peaks) and have them grouped together. Once again you'll have limited ammo for this setup, but with well-placed blasts, you will reduce the enemy in 10 seconds! Each hit will do roughly 20-30% damage on an average enemy vehicle! Do NOT bother with getting two flash cannons because it wastes ammo too quickly and requires a VERY steady fix on the enemy. 4.7: Any tips for Colloseum? If you MUST be an eagle lander for this map, plant yourself either at the very central top, or one of the extreme corners of the map. I've found these places to be the best in terms of most exposure to the area to fire and (in the case of the corners) least turning involved. Those I think are the areas of best success rates (though still bad relative to the other vehicles in the game). If you're always on the Pop Gun receiving end of an nightmarish walker perched at the central top, consider getting a SITE camera. Use the site camera to circle around the "stairs" find the back of the walker and climb up the coliseum to it. Then start attacking away, strafing to always work your way around the back of it. (Perhaps a RED Field may be another Special beneficial here?) 4.8: Any tips for Odin's Eye? In the center crater of this moon map is a mighty killing machine which packs a bolt buddy and SEVERAL comet-like missiles. The problem is getting the vehicle out of the crater, which over a dozen MITS mines protecting it. If caught in any of these MIT mines, you're temporary missile or sniper bait until it explodes. And beware, they reappear after a few seconds! When heading into the crater, jump out of your vehicle (you're not going to need it anymore anyway) and try to steer so you land right into the vehicle. Once in, you'll find one ramp which you can use to get out. You will highly likely be stuck on a MITS mine at the foot of the ramp before exiting. Once at the top rim of the crater, make a left and soon make a right into one of the low gaps between the crater peaks. You will have to jump jet to assist you. Once out, the fun begins. It turns into a contest to see how long you survive in your vehicle while going on the killing spree. I suggest sticking to the west or northwest plains of the map since there's scattered ammo and repair power-ups to assist you. The other region to well note is a collection of weapons, ammo, and repair power-ups in a narrow east-west channel at the far southeast of the map. You may even begin the game there. 4.9: Any tips for Rings of Fire? Believe it or not, many battles will take place in the rings of lava themselves (in which you gradually lose energy). When hunting for others or trying to escape a final blow, drive around the rings in either direction and you will constantly collect repair power-ups. Beware that in the center of the rings is also lava, except for the outer perimeters, just before you see the solid red of the lava. Obtain the bolt buddy (in the southeast area of the lower ring) as quickly as possible to gain substantial advantage. Also, when ejecting as a pilot, ALWAYS land on the outer solid grey cliffs that surround the rings. If you do not land near the top grounds of these cliffs, you're respawn vehicle is likely to roll down the cliff into the lava! 4.10: Any tips for PacMan DM (add-on map)? Noticed that all the weapons powerups are up on the hills? Take note of it! If you manage to grab the almighty Pac Tank APC, get two Flash Cannons. You will fry the enemy, especially with ammo always near by. If you are a vehicle on the receiving end of this threat, pick up a Pop Gun and group it with your favorite cannon or missile weapon to match its firepower. 4.11: Any tips for Titan Turmoil (add-on map)? Credit goes to the creator of this map of mixed treats! There is a major variety of vehicles and powerups on this Venus medium-sized map. Two relics are here for target practice. ;) Below gives you the flavor of the kind of things available: Vehicles- AT-Stabber Walker (northwest), L.Tank w/ Sandbag & TAG (northeast), standard Walker (in the southwest steel pit area atop one of the high platforms), Bomber (another platform). Weapons- Comet (southwest corner; try not to get stuck in the narrow channel), Bolt Buddy (northeast, north of the two relics), Pop Gun (north central), Solar Flares (central), Splinter (west central). 4.12: Is there any general etiquette when playing deathmatch? Not really, due to the nature of the game. You may suspect that camping (a Quake-adopted term for staying by a powerup for a long time to fill up on ammo, repair, or weapons) may be lame. It is not generally the case in Battlezone since (a) most players are constantly on the move and you could be a target fairly quickly and (b) you are an easy sniper target when idle. If you choose to camp, pick a powerup spot away from the main grounds of battle, such as the lower steps of Pyramid or the highest rows in Colloseum. The center of the map, especially the repair at the 4-pillar court in Pyramid is a hotbed of battle. 4.13: What are some popular deathmatch variations? Sometimes hosts like to put some added rules into a deathmatch game, which aren't enforceable by the hosting options themselves. It is left to the honor system of the players to respect that rule(s). Usually the rule is obvious from the title of the hosted game. Below are approximate title names along with their rules. Turrets vs. Walkers- Probably the most popular spin on a deathmatch these days. You must either pick a turret or a walker. A US or Russian type does not matter. Walkers can only attack turrets and vice versa. Walkers have the advantage of high impact weapons, immediate firepower and strong hull, while turrets have the mobility and smaller size for hiding. Playing this on the Leap of Faith map is especially challenging with the presence of the rave gun weapon in the southwest area of the map. Top priority should be to get the rave gun, then to work your way to the center plateau on the map (far easier done with a turret than a walker). From there you can target a wide variety of opponents throughout the hills. Because of the rave gun's amazing splash damage (damaging players near it's hit radius), you can even take out a turret or walker peeking out or hiding behind a thin wall of rock. It is generally the first player who gets a rave gun and occupies the center that will have a HUGE killing advantage, not to mention the plentiful ammo power-ups there. Take out any rave gun opponents first. If a walker, watch out for turret rave gun rays since due to the poor visibility of the planet, you may not see the small turrets. If you cannot make it to the center plateau due to another player already controlling it, perch yourself on a cliffside or somewhere on the lower banks. Do NOT stay at the clifftops where you are easy blast cannon and VERY easy rave gun bait! Cable Modem- The requirement is for all players to have cable modem service for their network gaming, assuring a lower ping game than those that include telephone modem players. Cheaters Welcome- Cheating is allowed in the game. This also implies an assumption for games not titled for cheaters: If a game title or host does not somehow specify cheating allowed, ASSUME cheating is not allowed! It saves major headaches and anger from us non-cheating players, thank you. :) Scouts Only- Having only US and Russian scouts encourages a generally high cannon, low missile game, relying on precision firing and quick strafing rather than lock-ons. Bombers Only- Provides a slower combat version of Scouts Only. With slower movement and turning radius, it makes the game feel like a chess game full of rooks. [A Clan] vs. All- The host and some fellow players are part of a Battlezone clan (team of players agreeing to train and fight together on a routine basis). They are challenging anybody else to attack them and only them to score points. Since clans are usually highly skilled players, the game winds up being quite a combat zone! Walkers Only- US or Russian Walkers only. Probably the closest variation to resembling a Mech Warrior game. With very predictable behavior involved, the key is to land all your damaging shots on the enemy before they destroy you. A game more of quick direct firepower rather than evading and precision. Landers Only- One of the less popular and strangest variations of a deathmatch game. Aside from somewhat predictable behavior from the landers, you have some players flying very high, then jumping out to do some "skydiving" shooting with other pilots. A strange and surreal experience. Section 5: Sniping 5.1: How exactly does this sniping work? Sniping works in all variations of single player and multiplayer games in the same way. While on foot, you can use a sniper rifle to instantly kill another pilot on foot or in certain units. Then, you can steal their unit for your own use. To snipe a unit, switch to your sniper rifle and aim in the general direction of your target. Look in your sniper monitor and pinpoint the glowing yellow dot on the unit or at the heart of the pilot on foot. That's your target. Shoot the target accurately, and it's success. If the unit was moving at the time, it will suddenly stop. If you were playing the single player, the bright dot will turn a quick red before disappearing and you'll hear a light gushy sound of the pilot's organs being terminated. :) If you were playing multiplayer, you'll also get a status message indicating you sniped someone. Players being targeted for a snipe receive no warning in any way. They have to find your little pilot self on their viewing screen to realize what you are up to. And to my knowledge, computer pilots never snipe. It could also be your savior when a vehicle tries to run you over and you have no safety ground. With enough practice and bravery, its much worth the risk to face the vehicle head on with the sniper rifle aimed at hand. That little "dot" becomes MUCH bigger as the target vehicle approaches you. You do run the risk, of course, of being run over before getting the shot; even after the shot if you are too close to it at the time (the vehicle would run you over as it grinds to a stop and you would both lose a life). I have survived 2 out of 4 successful vehicle rundowns this way (the other two resulted in both of us getting killed :) A smarter vehicle driver would have killed the pilot with a weapon such as a mortar or cannon while approaching. 5.2: I can never snipe attempt in some of my games. Why? The host has disabled sniping. 5.3: I keep aiming and I can't successfully snipe a vehicle in multiplayer! Why? Make sure you are aiming at a manned unit that has a snipe "dot". Building units such as factories and armory aren't snipable. Additionally, some vehicles such as walkers cannot be sniped. If it is a vehicle that is snipable, that means it's unmanned. So no need to snipe it! Just take it away! It is harder to snipe vehicles from long distance as the "dot" is much smaller. This is even more difficult if the multiplayer has bad ping. Their units will zigzag on the screen to much to have a steady "dot" target. For them, consider going for a stationary target or seek another enemy. 5.4: Am I ALWAYS subject to 3 bullets until my next life?
Not if you can find any unmanned vehicle to enter then hop out of again. Entering vehicles replenishes your bullets and repair. Section 6: Weapons Tips 6.1: I can't use my gun in my turret/howitzer/eagle lander! Why? You need to deploy it first. That means hitting the K key to plant yourself on the ground and set up your guns. The eagle lander takes a significant while to prepare (about 8-10 seconds) so allow plenty of time. The howitzer preparation time is somewhat shorter, followed by the turret. Once set, you will be able to turn your aim again and start firing. 6.2: I can't fire my image shadower/hornet. Why? These are lock-on rockets which require you to hold the mouse button and aim at your target. Get into range of your target and click and hold the mouse button at the target. Once you keep on your target long enough (the hornet is more sensitive than the shadower) for your reticle to become red, release the mouse button to fire. If you turn around after a lock-on, it's still fixed on, so it's OK to release it. The rockets have been known to fail when going around some solid walls. Also, be careful not to aim your reticle at your armory when getting more ammo. It might accidentally fire on it. 6.3: How do I use this Phantom VIR? Don't notice anything. Phantom VIR makes you invisible to other players and lock-on weapons. Be cautious though that they can see your blue jets when you move around and jump, and they can still target you with the T key to track if you are in front of them. 6.4: How do I use this RED Field? Don't notice anything. RED Field scrambles with the enemy's lock-on so they can't target you. They must resort to cannons, specials, or mortar tossing at you. 6.5: How do I group weapon hardpoints/fire more than 1 weapon? The manual and reference cards explanations may sound confusing, but it is not that hard to get accustomed to. Your weapons display on the lower right of your screen as 5 possible slots to put various weapons. CTRL - F8 through CTRL - F12 turn on or off those 5 slots (or hardpoints) in descending order (CTRL - F8 for the top slot, CTRL - F9 for the second slot, etc.) Simply hit CTRL - F8 to activate the weapon in the 1st hardpoint. (CTRL - F9 to activate the 2nd hardpoint, etc.). You basically pick which hardpoints you want to group together. If you hit the same command again, you'll turn it off. (Use this, for example, to fire only one of a twin weapon like chainguns.) If the 5th slot does not have a weapon available, hitting CTRL - F12 would have no effect. 6.6: I get this bizarre sound when getting a powerup and can't get it. Why? If it is an ammo or repair powerup, you are already full and do not need any more. If it is a weapon, you do not have a hardpoint to carry that weapon. For example, you cannot pick up a RED Field if your vehicle does not have a Specials hardpoint. 6.7: Things keep hitting me from above! What weapon is hitting me? That would be the work of a pop gun. You probably heard a distant launch of some object, then suddenly a whoosh of air coming toward you. If you looked up, you would notice the pop gun rocket up the air, then suddenly drop from the sky towards you! . 6.8: How do MIT mines work vs. M-Curtain mines? MIT mines attract any vehicle, pilot, bullet, missile, or rocket that comes toward it, temporarily magnetizing its contents. The attraction lasts several seconds. An enemy trapped at one can only fire at itself. Use this to your advantage to fire away at a stuck enemy. If you set one, be sure to leave its close vicinity within a few seconds or you will be drawn into it yourself. M-Curtain mines repel any bullet, missile, or rocket that comes toward it. Firepower essentially "ricochets" off the mines to the left or right. A ship behind or surrounded by a good set of M-Curtain mines fairly safe. The mines last several seconds. Section 7: Miscellaneous 7.1: What Battlezone directories should I backup? Within your Battlezone directory, these are the chief files/directories to backup. (This list is NOT exhaustive, but the materials that I definitely know should be backed up): netmis.txt- file containing all your maps general configurations (including any add-on maps) /GIDDI- subdirectory containing all your joystick configurations. Especially important if you made your own customized configurations. /SAVE- subdirectory containing all your saved single player missions and instant action missions. /ADDON- subdirectory containing all your downloaded instant action, strategy, and deathmatch maps. Includes the actual map designs, characteristics, and special accompanying sound files and bitmaps and special vehicles (such as for PacMan DM). Most other files, in the event of an emergency reinstall of Battlezone, should be rejuvenated through the new install or re-obtained from the web. Please feel free to contribute to this question if I had left any other uniquely critical files/subdirectories out. 7.2: What joystick configuration do you suggest for gamepads? I use a PC Power Pad Pro 6-button gamepad. (Somehow I just cannot get into joysticks for computer games!) For my style I only use 3 of the buttons, then use the mouse for the rest. Gamepad buttons I use are for forward, stop & back, and jump. The forward throttle is conveniently my trigger button under the gamepad. The left and right pad directions are for my turn left and turn right. I use up and down pad directions, believe it or not, for strafe left and strafe right. It allows me to push diagonal directions to circle an enemy while facing them to fire. You get accustomed to it after a couple of training missions, trust me. The mouse movement will aim my target recticle. Left mouse button is to fire weapon. Right mouse button is to select weapon. I have found only two disadvantages of this configuration: you will circle an enemy slower close range when in a vehicle with slow strafe speed (like a bomber or rocket tank); and I have to take my right hand off the mouse when jumping in order to steer better, hindering my ability to fire. Send me an e-mail if you wish to have a copy of my joystick configuration file. 7.3: How do I get and use extra maps? BzArmory2 among tons of other Battlezone web sites have custom made maps for multiplayer strategy, multiplayer deathmatch (vehicles and sniper only), and single player instant action. (To my knowledge, the game itself does not provide any instant action scenarios.) 1) Download from the web site the collection of files for a particular map, usually in one zip file and named after the map. 2) Unzip the files into your Battlezone /ADDON subdirectory. 3a) (Either) add an extra line in your NETMIS.TXT file so the map will be recognizable by the game (many map authors provide you the line to type in in their README file). 3b) (or) use the MAPADDER.EXE program, providing the map name when prompted, so the map will be recognizable by the game. You can also obtain MAPADDER from the BzArmory2 web site. 4) Perform any further installation instructions asked by you from the map author's README file. (There rarely is further instructions to do, but in some add-on map cases like PacManDM, there are sky textures and vehicle "skins" that need to be additionally installed.) Then to run your new map, simply pick the new map when playing multiplayer (if a multiplayer map) or use the Bz Control Panel program (also available from the BzArmory2 site. See a pattern?) to run your instant action maps. Bz Control Panel could also be used to run your multiplayer maps, but you'll be playing alone and you may see odd- looking "spawn" beacons and no power-ups (what fun is that?). However, it may be handy if you just want to test their existence before playing them "live" with others. 7.4: What is this large assets patch I hear about? For players fortunate enough to have a Voodoo or 3dfx video graphics card of (edition) 2 or better, you can download an addtional Battlezone patch called large assets (some refer to it as version 1.5) so that you can get enhanced effects from your card. I believe that players of any second generation or later 3d card (like Riva TNT 2) can also take advantage of this patch, but I have not confirmed that. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you probably do not have that card in your computer. Some quite remarkable effects compared to the 1.4 version are listed below: 1) After the single player/multiplayer ready screen, you launch into the game much quicker (i.e., much less time to wait for the level to load). 2) The vehicles are better textured and several of them show light under their jets when they travel. Try following the scavenger in the first single player mission. 3) When you shoot successfully at vehicles with projectile weapons (cannons, mortars, etc.), small fragments will chip off the vehicle where you aimed. A welcome addition for multiplayer games. 4) When vehicles are severly damaged, trailing engine smoke is thicker. 5) Vehicle destructions are much more explosive! Ships break up into parts more dramatically than the recycler does, leaving trailing black clouds of smoke that linger for quite a while. Fiery explosions even also cause a spectacular ground swell which tosses your ship a bit if near the impact! 6) Your pilot now does a somersault in the air after you are ejected from a destroyed ship. The sky twists in a roller coasterlike effect. 7) Solar flare weapon powerup blinks. I do not believe all other special weapons do this. 8) Certain powerful enemy fire (like rockets) will cause your vehicle to spin around 180 degrees or so if hit medium/close range. 7.5: Can I play CD-ROM music while playing Battlezone? By CD-ROM music, I am referring to other computer CDs, such as game CDs, that have music tracks on them. I have not been successful in playing music CDs while playing Battlezone. It just plays nothing. You can play CD-ROM music as long as you do not host a multiplayer game nor play the singer player game. The game intro and credits are disabled. All other functionality is intact. The CD-ROM will even change tracks during your multiplayer game. ---- Copyright 1999 by Orlando C. Fernando. This page is for personal use only. It may be openly distributed for nonprofit in whole or part, but authorship must be credited.