Friday, July 27, 2007

Counter-Strike Strategy Guide

There are emerging opportunities for Counter-Strike players, and gamers in general,
to play online PC gaming tournaments for real-money. There is going to
be a great deal of interest in these tournaments because:
1. They are legal (Counter-Strike is a skill-game and is not gambling).
2. There is a vacuum created by the absence of online poker in the U.S.A. that
skill-games like Counter-Strike can fill.
3. Until now, online Counter-Strike tournaments have never been done in a good fashion.

Since we are already Counter-Strike players, we clearly have a decided advantage over other gamers
that may be drawn to these new Counter-Strike tournaments. However, I am still surprised at how
many times I have been in a public Counter-Strike server and see kids using really n00b tactics.
Of course I am then reminded why I don't play on public CS servers. But, for all you kids out there
that are n00bs, and think that rushing choke-points by yourself is a good idea, I am going to start
putting together a strategy section for you to read. So here is Part I of my Counter-Strike Strategy Guide.
This Part I of the guide will cover very basic military theory (I ripped this from Wikipedia). In the
coming weeks I will get into more specific strategies for Counter-Strike, i.e. strategies specific for 5-man teams
and strategies specifically for de_dust 2. If all you n00bs out there read these strategies then maybe
when you are about to run through that choke-point with the bomb only to get AWPed in the face will consider
not getting AWPed in the face.

Counter-Strike Strategy Guide.

I. Universal Military Tactics

1. Universal Military Tactics
2. Encirclement
3. Overwhelming Force
4. Hit and Run Tactics
5. Suppressive Fire
6. Suicide Attack
7. Principles of Battle
7.1 Line Tactics
7.2 Range
7.3 Mobility
7.4 Protection
7.5 Individual Fighting Skills
7.6 Accuracy
7.7 Speed
7.8 Protection of Self
8. Tactical Aphorisms

1. Universal Military Tactics
Military tactics are the tricks used on the battlefield, while conducting a war, to gain success. There are two main ways to defeat an army: by destroying it through fighting, or by cutting off its supplies so that it runs out of weapons, medication, food and drink, and then "starves" to death.
Military tactics (Greek: Taktikē, the art of organizing an army) are the collective name for methods for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Changes in philosophy and technology over time have been reflected in changes to military tactics.
Up until the nineteenth century, many military tactics were confined to battlefield concerns, such as how to best maneuver units during combat in open terrain. In current military thought, tactics are the lowest level of planning, involving small units ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred men. Units are organized into formations, comprising a higher level of planning known as the operational use of forces. The third tier of military planning is strategic, which is concerned with the overall means and plan for achieving a long-term outcome. Operational art is thus an intermediate level in which the aim is to convert the strategy (highest level) into tactics (lowest level of planning).
Specialized tactics exist for many situations, ranging from securing a room or individual building, to large-scale operations such as establishing air superiority over a region. Today, military tactics are employed at all levels of command, from individual and group up to entire armed forces. Indeed, the units used in warfare have always been a reflection of current military tactics, and their size and composition have varied accordingly. In British terminology, military tactics involving naval forces are often called naval tactics (cf. usage of military).
The United States Army Field Manual 3-0 offers the following definition of "tactics:" "Tactics – (Department Of Defense) 1. The employment of units in combat. 2. The ordered arrangement and maneuver of units in relation to each other and/or to the enemy in order to use their full potentialities. (Army) The employment of units in combat. It includes the ordered arrangement and maneuver of units in relation to each other, the terrain, and the enemy in order to translate potential combat power into victorious battles and engagements. (FM 3-0)."
Within the scope of war, the US military generally defines three levels of war; 1. the strategic which includes both the National level and the Combatant Command (theater) level; 2. the operational level, which extends from the level of a joint task force including the combined forces of naval and air power with amphibious and ground operation to the maneuver brigade echelon; and 3. the tactical echelon that extends from the maneuver brigade to the lowest fighting elements including individual soldiers.
Common military tactics include frontal assaults, attempts to flank the enemy, keeping troops in reserve and the use of ambushes. Often deception in the form of military camouflage or misdirection using decoys, are used to confuse the enemy. Another major military tactic is trench warfare. This was mainly employed in World War I in the Battle of Gallipoli and the western front. Trench warfare often turned to a stalemate, because in order to attack an enemy entrenchment soldiers had to run through an exposed "no man's land" under heavy fire from an entrenched enemy.

2. Encirclement
In both cases, encirclement is a good idea. When fighting, an encircled army is being hit from many angles at once, making it difficult to fight back effectively. Also, encirclement cuts off supplies. Therefore, encirclement is one of the most central tactics used in warfare. But encirclement is not always the most beneficial course of action. Flanking is a form of partial encirclement.

3. Overwhelming Force
Second to encirclement comes the tactic of overwhelming force concentrated on a weaker part of the opponent's army, attacking by surprise so the enemy is not even ready to face the threat. Human wave attack was one such tactic. With this tactic, encirclement is not necessary, since the attackers can destroy the opponent with one powerful blow, and then regroup and go on to overwhelm other parts of the enemy's army (also known as "defeat in detail"). Surprise and concealing the attacking army's location, movements, and intentions are critical for success with this kind of tactic, since it depends on the defending army to have spread out thinly, not knowing where to expect the attack, while the attackers concentrate their forces in one location and destroy all in their way.
In order to make the opponent spread his or her forces out thinly, the attackers using this tactic need to keep the defender ignorant of their exact whereabouts, intentions, and where they will attack next. This can be very difficult to do since the opponent will often be able to see where the attacking army is amassing its forces, and he or she will respond by amassing his or her forces opposite to that build-up, thereby countering the attackers' build-up. Thus, this tactic is normally only employed when the attacking army is much stronger than the one defending, so even if the defender amasses his or her forces opposite the offensive army, he or she still cannot face up to the attacker.

4. Hit and Run Tactics
If one side (usually the defender in familiar territory) is much weaker than their opponent, they may break their army up into small groups, so that there is no way the army can be destroyed in one blow. They can then send the groups at the attacker from different angles, where and when they are not expected, to cause damage and then quickly flee before the attacker has a chance to respond effectively or catch them. These tactics are also called 'Guerrilla Tactics'.
To respond to these kinds of tactics, the larger army has to perform reconnaissance of some kind; throughout history this has usually been by sending out parties of soldiers to find out where the enemy's groups are hiding, and then destroy them one by one. This can become almost impossible if the guerrillas are hiding in jungles, forests, mountains, cities and so on, and they have no permanent homes to defend. Throughout history, many large and powerful armies have been weakened by small, wandering, guerrilla armies; one well known example is the British royalists, who were weakened by American revolutionaries using guerrilla tactics.
These hit and run tactics can also be useful for large armies; while the vast majority of the army is in a defensive position on the front lines, small groups of raiders with demolitions and other "exotic" weaponry can destroy well fortified positions which could have weakened the main regiment had it attacked in force.

5. Suppressive Fire
Applying heavy firepower to pin down an enemy is useful to discourage the enemy from firing at the attacker. When the enemy is pinned in his shelter from suppressive fire, another soldier can engage the enemy taking cover by flanking around, past the line of fire, to near the sheltered enemy's front. This tactic became especially effective after the invention of rapid-fire weaponry.

6. Suicide Attack
These are simply attacks in which the combatant is expected to be sacrificed; one famous example of suicide attackers is the Japanese kamikaze in World War II. Suicide attacks can be especially effective for several reasons: Since the combatant is intended to be sacrificed, no provisions in equipment, training, and infrastructure need to be made for the combatant's long-term survival and return. Suicide tactics can also be used to greatly increase the effective technological sophistication of a weapon. It could be said that a kamikaze bomber was effectively an optically guided, autonomous cruise missile, a technology that would not appear for many years after WWII.

7. Principles of Battle
7.1 Line Tactics
A common tactic used primarily when armies face off, is the usage of line tactics. Line tactics generally involves the use of long lines of army forces facing the enemy with the goal of stopping the enemy from surrounding the troops. The difference in spacing of forces determines how the enemy will respond to the usage of this tactic. There is always a weakness in the use of line tactics though. Spreading the troops too thin will make it easy for the enemy to use the Overwhelming Force tactic. However, heavily concentrated troops let the enemy surround and eventually destroy the surrounded troops. There is no exact best way to use the tactic, which has led to several books detailing how best to use it.

7.2 Range
Armies, when they draw up their lines, draw them up slightly out of range of the enemy's weapons. This has always been the case throughout history. This is so that the soldiers remain safe until the army is ready to engage the enemy. As soon as any group of soldiers advances closer to the enemy line, it is said to have come 'within range', and it can be destroyed by the enemy. However, if the enemy does not notice its advance, either because it remains hidden and advances secretly, or advances so quickly the enemy cannot react fast enough, this group of soldiers might be able to inflict significant damage on the enemy. If this group of attacking soldiers destroys the enemy soldiers opposite it, then other soldiers can follow behind the group and rush through the gap in the enemy's line, and then turn around to hit the enemy from the rear, creating an encirclement.
Range is an issue which permeates the military arts - even in individual skills, such as boxing, tae kwon do or fencing, range is a crucial issue. It is important to note that no two people, no two platoons, no two armies will have exactly equivalent range and capabilities (assessing these fundamental differences is crucial to strategy, but also important to tactics). A simple way to think of range and its importance is to imagine two boxers confronting each other. Imagine one has arms 6 inches longer than the other. The boxer with longer arms will be able to stand out of the others range, but still hit the opponent. Common military stories of mismatched ranges include the Battle of Agincourt (also Crecy and Poitiers), where English bowmen used longbows to strike knights.

7.3 Mobility
One of the best ways to punch through an opponent's line, or circle around, behind, or over it, is by using transportation devices. Before the invention of the automobile, ground transportation was done mainly on foot or with the aid of animals. Now, tanks, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, boats, planes and parachutes are used. These devices enable soldiers to break enemy lines while the remainder of the army attacks from the front. Transports have always been expensive compared with the cost of foot soldiers, so typically, highly mobile forces have accounted for only a fraction of an army's total strength. Their usefulness comes both from their mobility and, in the case of ground transports, their ability to break through the enemy lines, thereby overwhelming, separating and driving back the enemy. The modern tank is used much like the chariot of ancient battlefields; well-drilled cavalry can give any army an advantage. It has sometimes been argued that mobility serves primarily for movement and scouting purposes, but the cavalry of any age is designed firstly and fore mostly to overrun the enemy and break their formation so as to make them far more vulnerable to being overwhelmed. Air mobility is also useful, as a strike from 30,000 feet is difficult to prevent.

7.4 Protection
On the battlefield, protection is very important, for obvious reasons. There are several methods of protection used by armies:
Staying out of range of the enemy's weapons
Hiding from the enemy making it difficult for the enemy to know the location of the attacking forces
Wearing amour which can resist enemy weapons to some degree. The tank is, for example, considered a form of amour.
Building fortifications such as walls, trenches and minefields to stop enemy movement and provide defenses against enemy weapons.
7.5 Individual Fighting Skills
Fighting skills include all of the above, working as part of a team. On the individual level, speed and accuracy are the most important skills of a modern soldier, but in ancient armies, size and strength were indispensable qualities of a successful fighter, as most infantrymen were outfitted with melee weapons rather than firearms.

7.6 Accuracy
Being as accurate as possible so that one army is able to hit the opponent when ideally the opponent is too far away to accurately hit them is a critical skill. Remember that armies tend to stay out of range, so if one side can accurately hit their enemy at a long range, they will have a big advantage. This takes lots of practice, and the development of better weapons technology.

7.7 Speed
It is critical to hit the opponent first. This means an army must attempt to act faster than their opponent. And, as mentioned above, an army must be accurate even though working at such a high speed. Therefore, the development of speed and accuracy better than one's opponents takes endless practice. One's opponents may be practicing just as much as them, so an army can never stop training and improving their skills.
Also, speed may be used to substitute for a lack of resources. If an army does not have enough resources to fight a war for 6 months, it can move with speed and finish the war in 3 months using a lesser amount of supplies.

7.8 Protection of Self
It should also be noted that all the 'protection' skills listed above apply as well to the individual soldier. So training in self-protection on the battlefield is critical, just as training to work as a unit and to be effective with weaponry are.

8. Tactical Aphorisms
These are not complete tactics or strategies in of themselves but aphorisms for a commander to bear in mind when formulating a battle plan.
"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy".Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
"To be strong everywhere, is to be weak everywhere". (see Concentration of effort)
"Starve failure, reinforce success".
"God is on the side of the big battalions".
"Don't interrupt the enemy when he's making a mistake".(attributed to Napoleon)
"With this war is made". Napoleon speaking with regard to artillery, an endorsement of the concentrating of fire power.
"Knowing the terrain you are fighting on, is crucial for fighting for it".
"Victory goes to the side with the biggest reserves".
"Better to refrain from action than to do your enemy a small injury". Machiavelli, the Prussians had the similarly intentioned "Smash don't tickle."
"An army marches on its stomach", the Chinese had the similar "Provisions should be in place before an army moves." both stress the importance of logistics.
"If you know your enemy, and you know yourself, then victory shall be yours." Sun Tzu.(See Military intelligence)
"A cornered enemy fights the hardest.", and "Don't force a dog into a cul de sac."
"Controlling the air, will give a huge advantage, and will raise morale".
"All other things being equal, an attacker needs a three to one superiority in numbers to break a fortified enemy." (traditional)
"If you're losing a battle, the superior strategy is retreat." Sun Tzu,The Art of War.
"Discretion is the better part of valor."
"He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day."
"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill." Sun Tzu

Friday, July 13, 2007

Finding the Right Counterstrike Clan

So you've been playing CS for a long time. 1.6 is old hat. Like it more than CS:S, but Source is pretty good too. Play the mods, pub and scrim. Your XFire logs are causing integer overflows.

You play in a "clan" with a bunch of your college counterstrike buddies. You play in a "clan" with a bunch of your high school counterstrike buddies. Maybe you are in the counterstrike groups on facebook and myspace. You post on GotFrag (but don't like that it was bought out). You have a handful of forums you frequent. But you still don't have a solid clan of semi-pro players.

Where does a hardcore gamer find clan members?

Where did you find your counterstrike clan members?