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Old 09-01-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
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Exclamation Competitive Gameplay: Tips from ACE

The purpose of this thread is to gather a collection of tips on how to play the game more competitively for 'War' matches (this is the main game mode). This applies for both Single Player and Multiplayer. I'll keep our suggestions here on the initial post, but people are welcome to add their own strategies once they play the game (or after playing on XBox360).

Tip #1: Know the levels

While this might apply for someone who has more time in the game, knowing level layouts can easily be tested in Time Trail mode. Almost ALL levels have some form of shortcuts (some very evident, others much more specific). Without getting into any spoilers: There are at least three "Mario 64 Rainbow Road jump-half-the-level" shortcuts in the game.

Tip #2: Defend shortcuts at all costs

Most shortcuts are usually very difficult to pull off in War mode because it is too difficult to get them correctly if they are defended.

Tip #3: Defend choke points

Is there a narrow curve in this level? Is there a specific region with no alternate path? Put some heavy units in these places.

Tip #4: Use defensive units combined

This is where you see the most difference between the skilled players and the new ones. Better players combine defensive units to create more elaborate traps. Example: A line of catapults can be very easily jumped or run through. Make a line of towers and use catapults behind. The towers will slow down the boulder and the catapults will strike much more effectively.

Tip #5: Use the boulder powerups wisely

Boulder powerups can be pretty expensive. Use the Iron bands if you know your enemy is using heavy artillery. Use the fireball if you hit the gate very weak in a pass and need the extra damage to avoid having to ram the game an extra time.

And most importantly...

Be careful looking at the picture-in-picture... taking your eyes off the battlefield for a second can have game-changing consequences. It always happens to me!

Last edited by cbordeu: 09-01-2011 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:35 PM   #2
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Can you damage the enemy boulder by hitting it directly with your own boulder?
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TheGoden View Post
Can you damage the enemy boulder by hitting it directly with your own boulder?
In War game mode both boulders move through separate tracks, so there isn't any contact.

In "Skee Boulder" both use the same track, but the purpose there is not to damage the player.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cbordeu View Post
In War game mode both boulders move through separate tracks, so there isn't any contact.

In "Skee Boulder" both use the same track, but the purpose there is not to damage the player.

I knew that! I was just testing you.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:26 PM   #5
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I think I beat you about 15 minutes ago cbordeu Then I crashed

Anyway, that was a close one, gg!
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:49 PM   #6
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Or you could always do what I do:
Cows. Cows everywhere.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:50 PM   #7
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Cows are fine and dandy, but, they're a little easy to jump over.

It's good to make a matrix of cows, and then fill in the gaps with bigger units. Remember, you only need the middle space free in order to place the units.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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What I found almost gamebreakingly effective, at least in Story mode against the AI: Mammoths. 4-8 of them in an area where the enemy has to come through (provided you have sufficient building space there), and the AI always died at least once there, and got delayed at least a second time. I literally used nothing else for the most part.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:22 PM   #9
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The best advice I can give: Play the time trials, it makes you understand the maps as a boulder way better.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:42 PM   #10
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Another thing I found effective: Use different levels of units combined. Different levels of towers can both block high-jumping enemies, and stall them even longer afterwards for little extra cost, giving catapults and airships much more time to attack.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:06 PM   #11
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For the CPU:

You can't lose you in 1 turn. So before my first run I will spend all my gold on mines/improved mines. Then build defenses for the next runs.
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Old 09-14-2011, 04:51 PM   #12
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So after playing a few hours of multiplayer I see people making some very basic mistakes, which is normal since this is a new game. Let me offer some advices on the War mode.


Know your map: This is the Number 1 advice. You need to be familiar with every map. A good way to do that is to just play the story mode and try to get the golden keys.

There is a few things you need to know about each map.

The Shortcuts:Every map has one or two shortchuts. Some are so good that may let you skip half of the map. If you dont know how to use or defend them you are giving your opponent a huge advantage.
The Fast Zones:You need to have an idea of how fast the boulder should be going at certain parts of the map as this greatly affect which defenses you can use there. Some parts of the map may allow a very fast boulder going downhill to jump over a large segment of badly placed defenses.
The Chokes:Knowing where are the best chokepoints of every map allow you to place your defenses where you can get the most of them and know where to expect your enemy to place his.

Know your units:

Each unit has its use and upgrades are not always better, so you need to know how to use each of them.

UNITS:Cow: Cheap, but useless as anything else than a bump. Place in front of towers to reduce the speed in which they are hit. Elephant: Great unit, he can hit the enemy boulder and survive a couple of shots. Place in pairs. They work best in chokepoints, in front of tower and places where your enemy is slowed since they can be jumped and are slow themselfs. Tower elephant: The same as the elephant except they carry a tower which makes it harder for boulders to jump over them. Use only if you have a small choke where a normal elephant could be jumped.

CATAPULTS: Catapult: The best piece of defense IMO. They are somewhat cheap, have a good damage and knockback and have the best accuracy of the 3. Don't understimate this one. Use Q and E to rotate them and place behind towers and fans in open areas where the boulder is travelling towards them. They work best in pairs or more. Trebuchet: Similar to the catapult but shoots a small cluster of rocks in an area. It has a terrible aim though so it should only be used if you know the boulder will be dead slow or not moving at all. Ballista: Good damage but seems to only hit boulders that are travelling in a straight line towards it and not very fast.

TOWERS: Level 1: The cheapest tower. Use it as a speed bump. Place on front of jumps to slow the enemy boulder so it misses it. Can be jumped over with some ease. Level 2: Taller medium tower. Good piece of defense. Use it to block paths and protect catapults. Level 3: Best tower but very expensive. Use it only on chokes that only take a few towers to block.

EXPLOSIVES: Level 1: Great blocker. Unlike towers explosives damage a boulder. The downside is their short size which makes them easy to jump over. To counter that, place them on high ground or spread them out in several lines. They can also work in front of towers and behind catapults, so the enemy thinks twice before hitting them. Level 2: More damage but at higher cost. Only use on small chokes where you know he wont be able to jump or dodge.Level 3: Even more damage but it is extremelly expensive and has a 3x3 selection size. The only reason to use it is as a last piece of defense on a point you are 100% sure that it will affect the enemy, otherwise it is not worth it.

FANS: Fan: Another great piece of defense. It blows the enemy away at a short range, but only costs 100. Very fast boulders will not be affected however so place it on the edge of stairs (places where the enemy would like to jump to highground), the end of an extreme turn where the boulder has to change direction and therefore lose speed, behind towers or anywhere the enemy is going at a slow speed. They make a great combo with catapults as they will slow the boulder enough for the catapult to hit and push him even further back. Work best as a wall and in more than 1 line. Cow-Powered: Double the strenght but has a 3x3 area so you cant wall it. Use as a last piece behind towers or at small chokes. Power-Fan:Same as cow-powered but blows in 2 directions.

MINERS: Level 1: This unit will provide a steady income of gold until they are destroyed or until they mine all the gold in the area. This is a vital piece of your defense as the gold they provide allows you to avoid relying on destroying stuff on your runs, which slows and damage you. Place somewhere you know your enemy wont go at the start of a match. In another way you can use it a decoy, luring your enemy somewhere in order to destroy it. Level 2: It extracts the same ammount of gold as level 1 but faster. Use it When you need gold fast or place it at the end of the map if you don't have a safe spot for one. Level 3: A huge area will be mined. Protect it well and place in a hard to reach place where you dont need defenses, since it has a huge seletion area.

FLYING UNITS: Hellicopter: This unit will spot the enemy boulder for your base catapult. It doesnt have the best accuracy though and sometimes it will hit your enemy on the rear giving him a boost in speed. So place on hard to reach places, where the enemy will travel slow or the terrain is difficult. Balloon: Same thing but it summons the level 2 shot. Boat Same thing but its sturdier than the other 2 and summon the cow shot.


Spread your defense: Instead of building one big line of defense where you spend all your money to delay your enemy for 5 or 6 second at top, spread them. Its very hard to actually stop an enemy boulder as they can overcome most defense, so instead you have to delay him the most. That means forcing him out of the best path, closing shortcuts and making jumps harder. Even on chokes try to make more than a single line of defense.

Ballance destroying things with a fast run: You need to hit things on your way down to acquire gold, but it slows and damage you, and you also need to be faster than your enemy. Balance is the keyword here. Even if you dont hit anything on your way down you still get some gold for the gate damage. The best way is to hit only what stands on your chosen path. The miners also help in this matter as it allows you to make speed runs and not care about destroying everything. Need before greed.

Use your boulder upgrades: Sometimes saving a thousand gold for a fiery boulder is worth more than 5 towers. Specially if you are already ahead. It will allow you to blast trough most defenses and greatly reduces your run time. the double jump allow you to reach places that your enemy doesn't expect you to go.

I think that sums it. Practice the maps you like in singleplayer, one at a time, if you want to be better. And as a last advice: don't rage quit. Leaving the game as soon as you make a mistake won't make you any better and its terrible for the player winning. When it's your turn to win you won't enjoy it if the enemy quit 1 min into the game.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:08 AM   #13
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Wow, that's a super elaborate multiplayer guide! Anyone trying to improve their game should read this post!!

Also; after v1.03 update (should come out today) which will make damaged boulders inflict less damage to the gate, strategies like these will become much more relevant.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:52 AM   #14
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Great thread, thanks! +rep to cbordeu and Omiyage
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:54 AM   #15
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I Agree completely with what was stated above. I recently posted what I'm going to say next, I hope it'll help someone.

About the defensive part of the game: Defenses are extremely efficient if used wisely. Once you get the hang of it the AI's a joke and you can step your game up via multiplayer.

I've seen a lot of (bad) players who place a big pile of one unit (usually towers or elephants) in one spot. While elephants do somehow work by themselves, almost all units work even better when you combine them with others.

First you need to find a good spot (curves, places where you think your opponent wouldn't be able to jump, etc). While looking at the map I always imagine myself racing through the track; that way I tend to find a good place pretty easily.

Try placing some towers to protect your offensive ranged units (because when they are left alone, they usually get crushed effortlessly). If your opponent can jump over them, it might be wise to place some big animals a couple of tiles behind your first line of defense.

Mines are crucial in the later maps. Try placing them somewhere where your enemy won't find them (pretty easy to do in Rome and L'Aquila) while the earlier ones have some very obvious spots to place units (Sparta, Thermopyllae and the Medieval ones). While playing as the rock, power-ups are very useful too, but not all of them should be used in all the maps. Therefore, once again, it is very important to know the track.

You should understand how each one of your units work. While ballistas are very powerful, they only shoot one projectile at a time which itself moves quite slowly. Try using them with other units that slow down your enemy first. Fans should only be used in narrow tracks and synergize very well with explosives. Don't place explosives too close to your own units! Etc...

Last but not least, MASTER THE CASTLEPULT! Pulverizing the enemy boulder guarantees you the victory (unless you get crushed too or Satan infiltrates your computer or something like that). I've played against some very good players which spent a whole round just bombarding my rock (alongside his defenses) before letting out their own boulder. I was pleasently surprised when I got squished.

It seems to me as if a lot of players haven't given the game enough time. In fact, I myself was quite worried about gamespots review (they too said that the defenses didn't quite work), but that review just reassured what I used to think about them and, as you might have guessed, in my honest opinion it just turned out to be an unfair piece of criticism.

The game's pretty dull if you don't try to improve.
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