Advanced Tactics

[3.5] Making the most out of cheap gear

Author - Ol’ Pappy

When Ol’ Pappy was a kid, his dad, Older Pappy, used to make him do all kinds of chores on their farm. From feeding and watering the cows to shovelling manure, and baling the hay in the summertime, Ol’ Pappy sadly didn’t have much free time to spend playing Centipede on his Atari 2600.

When winter fell, Older Pappy would fire up his 1950s-era Massey-Harris tractor, and then father and son would head to the forest to spend the day cutting firewood to fuel the family’s old wood stove.

On one particular day, Ol’ Pappy was stacking logs when he heard a terrible cracking sound from above. He only had time to raise his hands, to shield his head, when he was driven with a massive thump to the ground.

It turned out, Older Pappy had dropped a tree squarely on his son.

Pinned to the ground, unable to move, bruised, but luckily otherwise unharmed, Ol’ Pappy looked up plaintively to his dear old Dad and asked, “Why Dad? Why did you drop the tree on me?”

Older Pappy stopped and started to roll a Players Plain cigarette. Scratching his chin, he thought deeply, and then gave Ol’ Pappy words of wisdom that still ring true today: “It’s a life lesson, son — always keep yer head up. ’Cause ya never know when someone’s gonna try to knock it off.”

Years later, Ol’ Pappy is a parent himself.

And there’s nothing that brings more joy to his life than teaching his son, L’il Pappy, life lessons by beating the living snot out of him in War Robots.

I can’t even pretend that it’s a fair fight. I have a job and a credit card. He’s stuck in class learning pre-cal and scrounging for allowance by taking out the recycling and shovelling snow from our walkway.

While Ol’ Pappy’s hangar is maxed, L’il Pappy’s gear is all over the place. The highest level gear he has is level 10, the lowest, level 5. He has no Dash bots, no Shocktrains, no OP anything.

And yet, many times, L’il Pappy finishes in the top two or three in damage on his team. And I gotta admit, if the kid had my gear, he’d likely whip his old man’s butt every time.

The point of all this rambling is this: sometimes, you have to make do with what you have. Not everyone can afford to insta-max their hangars. And through trial and error, it’s possible to cobble together an effect hangar without having to sell your soul to buy the latest OP gear.

So if you’re like L’il Pappy, here are some suggestions for a realistic five-bot hangar that will allow you to hang with the big boys who have all the latest OP toys.

1. Griffin with Molots and Molot-Ts

Is there any bot in the game that has been more consistently reliable than the Griffin? Tough, armed to the teeth with offensive capabilities, and equipped with a jump ability, the Griffin is one of a few non-premium robots that is effective all the way up to the highest levels in the game. Armed with Molots and Molot-Ts, the Griffin can wear down ancile shields, and take out long-range snipers. Its bullets also do extra damage to hard shields, making it especially deadly to Lancelots, Galahads and Gareths.

2. Griffin with Orkans and Pinatas

Ah, the good old-fashioned “Death Button.” This build earned its nickname years ago, thanks to its ability to drop reds virtually instantly. And while some people still swear by the Tulumbas and CRV Pins version, the plague of ancile-equipped bots makes the Orks and Pinatas version much more effective. The key, of course, is to play ambush predator. The minute you stumble out into the open, you are asking to be killed by Shocktrains, Trebuchets, and all manner of weapons. So bide your time, wait for your moment, and then strike swiftly — and decisively.

3. Carnage with double Zeus

I know, I know, you’re thinking, “But Pappy, Carnage costs Workshop Points, and Zeus costs Gold.” Well, you know what Pappy is thinking? “What, are you sponsored by Kleenex? Stop your damn crying! Did you honestly think everything in life is free?!?” Carnage is one of the most useful non-OP bots in the game. Its Ancile shield keeps you relatively safe from concussive missiles, and the Zeus allows you to play the “hide-and-hurt” style that’s crucial to surviving in this Dash-eat-Dash world. Plus, the 600-metre range of Zeus is a great counter to the 500-metre range of Shocktrains.

4. Natasha with Tridents and CRV Pins

If War Robots was an Archie Comic, then Fury or Butch — sexy, exotic, and expensive — would be Veronica, while poor old Natasha would be Betty — sturdy, reliable, and always there to pick up the pieces after you’ve been dumped by your latest flame. Natasha is a cheap date — she can be bought for silver. And with Tridents and CRV Pins, she can smash anciles and hard shields alike. The area effect of the shells is also great for targeting Reds that are cockily hiding around corners with their OP gear.

5. Natasha with Zeus and Gekkos

Natasha — a lady so nice, I had to mention her twice. Since Pixonic gives you gold reward missions every day, it shouldn’t take long to buy the weapons for this build, which is especially great for targeting Dash bots. Just keep your distance, keep the target locked, and then watch with glee as Shocktrain Haechis melt before your eyes.

So don’t despair, pilots. While having MKII maxed Dashes and OP new weapons is nice, it’s also a luxury that many pilots simply can’t afford, or easily obtain. But with the hangar above, you too can hand out some “life lessons” on the battlefield, just like the Pappy family.

Now, I have to run — school bell’s ringing, and class is in session. Time to dole out some “homework” to some unsuspecting Dash pilots!

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