Tank, Aircraft, and MAX Hunting as HA (Console Version)

Discussion in 'Heavy Assault' started by brutes359, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. brutes359

    So I'm putting this here in response to a recent post of someone asking about vehicle hunting as HA. I was Midway through replying when I decided it would be easier (and more reasonable) to just paste it here rather than make a reply that took up a whole page. Though most of this information is from the console version of planetside 2 (PS4 specifically) I'm sure most of its concepts are universal. Though if I miss anything, I'm sure you guys will add them. So here you are. Some of the tips I've learned as a veteran HA on vehicle and MAX hunting from console.

    Hmmm, depends on if you have buddies or not. Me an my friends on NC like to run a cloak flash with grenade launcher and HA with Phoenix launcher on the back. Works beautifully in packs. If your dishing out air, three guys with AA launcher will eat up any ESF dumb enough to come in range. C-4 also works well with the four-wheeler combo as it allows rapid deployment and a stealthy escape.

    Meanwhile on TR. Valkyrie with two Striker launchers for broadside bombardment on other aircraft (me and my buddies call it sky-pirating), with an engineer for repairs and to manage the Anti-Vehicle Hellion G20. Works like a charm, and if you have C-4 on your heavy assault and the pilot has the Valkyrie squad support upgrade, your heavy assaults act as de-facto sentient bombs that can be dropped on unsuspecting tanks and sunderers who are distracted by the Valkyrie itself. Drop in, bomb tank, fight to death, and respawn on Valkyrie with full rocket ammo and fresh C-4 and profit. Added bonus of being able to steal abandoned bases through infantry deployment.

    If soloing, try to avoid vehicles such as Mag-riders altogether as heavy assault, your not going to reach them as anything other than a light assault with ambushers. If that is the case, then you've already turned yourself into a low-voltage suicide bomber anyway so I wont dignify that strategy with any further explanation. Though as a heavy assault, you can at least drive off the vehicle with sustained rocket fire. Or failing that, distract it for as long as possible when fighting from cover.

    Prowlers though are fair game as their lockdown makes them perfect targets for rocket fire. Or better yet C4 on the rear. Prowlers often come in two varieties, slow artillery players who will anchor and engage at range, usually with the deployment shield and either AA, G30 Vulcan, or more rarely a halberd. Or the Aggressive prowler that will move up and usually sports a Gatekeeper or Vulcan.

    When engaging the artillery players, wait till they have spotted something as this will be when they begin staring down their sights and are out of 3D view. you can usually tell this because they will spot the target before firing to confirm it identify as a target and what type of target it is. strike at this moment with C-4 or decimator rockets. If using rockets, assume you will have perhaps 5 seconds from the prowler being hit to being packed up and moving. If it has engineer support, do not shoot the support as that will likely reveal your presence. Wait until the engineer is not paying attention and hit the tank first. Whether you kill the tank or not, be prepared to hit the infantry as soon as you disengage the tank as he will likely attempt to kill you during or immediately after the tank dies.

    If engaging an aggressive prowler, wait until it engages another tank and then hit it. or if you have a numbers advantage of other HAs, ambush it with rockets at the point its closest to you and coordinate volley fires into its side or rear armor as it passes. This grants the highest chance of killing it. Prowlers (much like mag-riders) will often be found on mountaintops, hill tops, and other places that offer them a good view of the battlefield. Or moving up with allies to provide protection. They often have infantry support as they draw the enemies attention quickly. They are also prone to massing in groups on open fields in large mechanized herds that can utilize volley fire coordination to decimate vehicles nearby. This offers chances for multi-kills with C-4 but increases the risk of being spotted. Attack at your own risk.

    Vanguards are much the same principle since they have slow firing cannons, making sure that every shot must count. Treat them like prowlers and NEVER engage them from the front unless at extreme range and in cover, in which case, do not expect a kill unless you have several others also shooting at it simultaneously. Though they are more versatile than prowers due to thier Vangaurd frontal shield and heavy armor. Treat them much like Main Battle tanks, often coordinating fire between multiple vangaurds in a group, and bullrushing lone tanks. They most often run AA secondary turrets, or enforcers, halbers, or Mjolnir granade launchers and depending on which one they have will inform you what engagement to expect them to use.

    Vanguards are often more mobile than prowlers do to their lack of lockdown ability. Thus, they are less inclined to sit still for long periods of time. Though they have slow reload timers. Because of this, hit them between shots when possible, and engage from medium to long range. Do to this long reload timer however, vanguards will often stop to aim their cannons before firing. Depending on their location, this is often a good time to strike with rockets or C-4. Their propensity to bulrush is another weakness. If you know a vanguard is in the area, try sticking close to allied vehicles and ambushing it when it rushes. Masses rockets and C-4 ambushes have proved effective in this.

    Vangaurs will often favor medeium sized cannons and open fields with lots of cover they can use to close the distance with their enemy before engaging or shelter behind as they fight. Like prowlers, they will often support vehicle pushes and will often escort sunderers. DO NOT make the mistake of assuming they will sit still however.

    Mag-riders will often be found on mountain tops, hill tops, and most often than not as far away from the battle as they can be. allowing them to use their maneuverability to dodge most attacks long before they actually reach them. It is do to this they are nearly un-killable by lone or small group of infantry unless a light assault with ambushers and C-4 is present, or at least 4-5 heavy assaults hit its rear armor simultaneously with rockets. Do to this near indestructability however, they will often run AA turrets over AI turrets. When attacked, expect them to immediately boost out of the danger zone with their emergency get out of jail free button (mag burn) and retreat to a position where they can repair and reengage you. Do not expect to catch up with a mag-rider on open terrain. Lastly, if a mag-rider attempts to crush you, try ducking. The tank may just glitch over you and do no damage, though this is no guarantee.

    If approaching a tank on foot. Never expect to kill it with a rocket or rocket launcher unless it is....A abandoned, B Stuck and unable to shoot at you (happens more often than you'd think), or C is completely distracted with something else such as another tank. If it falls into any of these categories it is vulnerable and you can more than likely kill or assist in killing it. Also, when engaging and unaware tank, watch for movements in its secondary turret. This will indicate the gunner may be monitoring for infantry and spot you for the main tank. Also, this is a trick tanks will often use to fool infantry, by switching to the secondary gunner and remaining still to fool infantry into thinking the tank is abandoned before gunning them down when they leave cover. Be wary of these tricks

    Never engage multiple vehicles alone (obviously), and when attempting to destroy a sunderer with infantry near it, hope it doesn't have shields, or if it does that they are down. If the sunderer is shielded, place the C-4 FIRST, and then hit it with the launcher, preferably if you can get it on without being seen and retreating to a safe distance to engage with the launcher (Masamunes and Decimators are both great for this). If you manage to take the shield down, hit the C-4 and finish it off with a rocket launcher. If approach for C-4 isn't possible, attempt to engage the sunderer from as far as possible as this reduces chance of retaliation (though doesn't guarantee it wont happen). If the sunderer has gunners, attempt to angle yourself with cover to block the sight of the gunners while shooting at visible sections (usually the front armor is where this most often occurs). Sunderers will often hide in outcroppings, under trees, and in garages, but will also often times pick canyons and cliffs. When looking for cloaked sunderers, search for the distortion bubble. its a clear indicator it a cloaked sunderer.

    Note to NC Phoenix launchers in particular. If you spot another phoenix missile in the sky. Launch your own and follow it. It is likely targeting a nearby tank or sunderer. Also, keep in mind that infantry can shoot down your missiles with small arms. The bright blue light of a phoenix missile is easy to spot, and their loud shrieking is a dinner bell to any other Phoenix launchers nearby.

    When engaging flashes, use a lock-on launcher. If its a cloaked flash, try to use a C-4 Trap but don't expect to actually kill it. dumb-fire rockets can be affective in this case, depending on your reaction speed and aim however. If forced to engage with AI weapons. Target the driver when he makes mistakes such as hitting walls or running into rocks and other degree. you may also try using the new deployable tank traps to funnel the Flash into specific target zones, though this is considered a somewhat overkill solution. Flash or Concussion grenades might work in disorienting the drive and leading to a crash. Though timing the grenade throw is difficult with how hard flashes are to pin down if cloaked. Flashes like open fields and areas with lots of maneuvering space, but will often make quick attacks into infantry areas if they think they can make a fast escape.

    When engaging harnessers, attempt to use lock-on launchers and hit them while they are engaging other targets such as tanks or aircraft. Also keep in mind that harasser drivers are egotistical more often then not and will do everything they can to get a roadkill. use this to your advantage by setting up C-4 traps and using yourself or an ally as bait to draw them in. They like MAXs in particular. Though if this is the case, tank mines will work nicely as well. Masses small arms fire has also proven effective if the vehicle slows down or crashes. One good strategy is to set up somewhere where the harasser often returns to repair, and hit is just as the driver or passenger gets out to repair it. lock on launchers are less useful for this as the target will be notified of the lock and usually take off. Though if on open maps such as Indar and Esamir, this may not save them. Lastly, (I'm unsure if the devs fixed this or not) harassers will be stopped if they attempt to ram an engineer emplaced AI turret. If you have an engineer buddy, have him set it up and place C-4 under it, wait for the harasser to hit the turret to get to you and hit the denotator when it stops or use tank mines.

    Harassers will often patrol open areas and regions with gully's and uneven terrain where they can hide and repair, but also mountain tops and other distance areas where they can fire with halberds and enforcers (NC Specific). More often then not their targets are tanks, sunderers, MAXs that are in the open (TR MAXs more often then not) and lone infantry. They are cowardly by nature, and will often flee as soon as they realize their target is not alone, or when they actually get hit by any form of AV weaponry. Use this to set ambushes for them when possible.

    When shooting at Liberators, treat them similar to mag-riders, but with much bigger egos and attitudes. Do not expect them to always run immediately, but do not expect to kill them either unless they are also under fire from others, in which case, hit them as quickly as you can. Though ALWAYS expect them to come back if they find out where you are. If engagement with the liberator has not begun however, wait until it is in its firing position and hovering still before engaging, this increases chance of the liberator remaining in place as it attempts to complete its kill before leaving. recommended number of heavies to engage a liberator is at least three. Try to coordinate fire in volleys to deal as much damage as possible before the liberator escapes. (Notice to NC in particular. If you have a GODSAW, your AP ammo can often be used to trick new or stupid pilots into thinking they are under fire from a G-30 Walker. Though its not likely to kill them, you can usually scare them away if you engage them in such a manor from a spot they cant see.)

    When engaging ESF as heavies. If alone, attempt to hit the target while it is strafing as that is when it is at its slowest and least likely to peal off. If with friends, volley fire to ensure it is dead before it can retreat out of range or beyond terrain. If near a MAX or AA tank, or AA emplacement, give it a moment of firing before you do to ensure the kill is yours (this should be the case anyway as your launcher will likely take that much time to lock on regardless). Note to TR players, strikers are capable of locking onto aircraft if the missile gets within 10 feet or less of the aircraft. Do not be afraid to use your Strikers against aircraft as they have a massive damage potential if all 6 hit their target. They pair well with other heavies with dedicated AA launchers nearby to finish off your target.

    When engaging sky-whales (Galaxy transports) try to lure it in by remaining hidden. If it lands, hit it with C-4. If it doesn't, try to get as many rockets off as possible before it actually bugs out. One trick is to wait until it is stationary before hitting it with a dumb-fire rocket and then follow up with a lock on once it starts moving (faction specific AA launches allow this). If the sky-whale is fleeing or under fire., take your bites while you can, because it likely isn't going to stop and will usually die if it doesn't have escorts. Ifs its dropping infantry, try to drive it off with rocket fire to prevent it supporting the troops with reinforcements....if its in orbit, there's nothing you can do as its out of range of literally anything. You will either need to get an ESF or liberator yourself, or hope your allies do.
  2. brutes359

    When engaging a MAX as infantry, the strategy will change based on the faction of the MAX. If its NC, hit it from range with rockets and attempt to hit it from behind. Remember that its range is almost always shorter than yours (gorgons being the exception but easily enough to avoid), and try to take out the support units such as medics and engineers first (in that order) with the MAX isolated, it will either attempt to hold out alone (if the pilot is stupid or expecting reinforcements) or retreat and wait for allies. If it is the latter, hit it as it retreats or set a C-4 trap on its likely escape rout.

    Lastly on topic of NC MAX, if the MAX has a shield, it is both slower and a larger target. It's shield WILL NOT block rockets or tank shells. If forced to engage with LMG (Not Advised from front unless outnumbering) the visor slit on the shield is a vulnerability, but hard to hit with LMG accuracy, best to avoid frontal engagements. DO NOT attempt to bull rush a NC MAX suit, its shotguns WILL crush you long before you manage to C-4 or rocket it. If you MUST engage in this manor, attempt to use your smaller size and speed to your advantage, move around and try to hit it with rocket launchers or C-4. But do not expect to win. NC MAXs are often found supporting infantry pushes and Anti-Vehicle operations. They like to travel in groups and with dedicated support teams.

    When engaging TR MAXs. Consider that they are less mobile (most use lockdown for suppressing capabilities), have slightly better range than NC (But not by much) and will either be running the onslaughts or mutilators (Mercies got nerfed so bad that they are just as inaccurate as every other minigun AND have slower fire rate). If the MAX is locked down but aware of you, hit it from range with rocket launchers while ducking into and out of cover to fire. If it is locked down but not aware of you, attempt to C-4 it if you can get behind it or flank it. Watch for support units as mentioned before, TR maxes are basically mobile heavy weapon teams so don't expect them to travel alone. if engaging in close range combat, consider it much the same as the NC MAX, but with higher sustainability in its fire, and an ability to engage more efficiently while moving and also less likely to instant kill unless you stand still. For this reason, it is not advised to engage it from the front. Stick to utilizing cover. Ambushes with C-4 and distant engagements.

    TR MAXs are often found on the edges of battlefields providing suppressive fire, or supporting infantry as they clear rooms. They can also be found defending chokepoints in buildings and defending vehicles. AA and AV versions often set up in rocky outcropping and on mountain tops where they are less likely to be targeted as they fire. They are particularly vulnerable to ambushes but will often be able to hear Jetpacks when they approach, for this reason, it is best to approach them on foot from behind and engage them with C-4 or rockets. If a TR MAX is in such an area as a mountaintop or outcropping, search for nearby sunderers as well as TR MAXs often set up near areas they can restock or seek repairs and defense due to their rapid ammo consumption.

    VS MAXs are more rare compared to the other two. But currently more versatile and thus more dangerous in infantry combat. they prefer to engage from medium range with allied support and are rarely spotted away from their allies as a result. When engaging. Assume the target will slowly approach while firing its weapons (Usually Blueshift VM5s or Cosmos VM3s), but it will be harder to hit do to its smaller body size and generally longer engagement range. Often these MAXs will imitate smaller infantry classes by strafing left and right to make better use of their smaller size to better dodge rockets and AV granades. Best enagements as a HA should be to isolate from support groups and eliminate with mid to long range rocket fire or C-4 Traps.

    Though Anti-Vehicle options do exist for VS MAXs, they are rarely employed. When they are, assume one of two things. Eigther the MAX is engaging sunders from extreme range. Or that the MAX is sore after losing to another MAX and is attempting to seek vengeance as quickly as possible. If it is the latter, attempt to wound the target on the way to its destination from a safe distance. or wait until it engages the other MAX or vehicle and tip the scales by eliminating its support and damaging it (in that order). Zealot overdrive engine is a minimum concern due to its lack or practicality. Though if it is used, do not change tactics unless it is close range, in which case, C-4 or retreat is suggested.

    NS MAXES meanwhile lack many of the weaknesses of regular maxes. Tankier, with a deployable bubble shield and high damage AOE weapons and self destruct, AND the slimmer profiles of VS MAXs. Treat them as much tankier VS MAXs and try not to engage them alone. Note to VS players, The Lancer is an excellent launcher for MAX hunting, it is precise, and powerful, and can engage at all ranges. If attempting to fight a NS MAX, consider utilizing a lancer at long range. Or use it to pick off MAX from far away (Like Locked down TR AV and AA MAXs)

    General rules when engaging all faction MAXs is to flank and isolate them from their support groups wherever possible. If ambushing, an AV sticky grenade and rocket shot will kill it instantly (or if your afraid of missing with the rocket, rinse with LMG instead for best results) and have the added bonus of both going off at roughly the same time. When doing this, do NOT spot the the MAX as you will give away your position to it. Though EOD sweeper HUD limits the value of ambushes, it should never be counted out when engaging a MAX. If it has one (Which you will likely find out the first time it kills you) try to use C-4 as a bomb against it rather than a trap. If it doesn't, try to lay C-4 traps along its escape route, and make sure you do so by placing them on the outside edges of door ways and on low hanging ceilings above doorframes where they are less likely to be spotted (do NOT put them on floors in the open as the red light is a dead giveaway). Also, use your ears. MAXs are loud and clumsy and if one gets within engagement range before you notice it, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    Flash Grenades, Concussion grenades, and even EMP grenades can all be useful in ambushes or attacks on MAX suits as they both disorient and blind them and nearby allies. Don't be afraid to chuck on either when retreating, or attacking a MAX.

    Lastly, if you should encounter one of the rare fabled ARX MAXs while alone, RUN. Dot not assume that they will make the same mistakes that regular MAXs will make, and assume they know literally everything that was written here. DO NOT ENGAGE unless you have allies, as the ARX armor for MAXs are the rarest and hardest armor to obtain presently (at least on console) if you spot it, it means the MAX has had months, if not years to hone its practice. The only exception being if the MAX is a stat padder. To date however, this is rarely the case. NEVER make the mistake of assuming a ARX MAX will die as easily as a regular MAX.

    That's about all I can think of when it comes to vehicle, Aircraft and MAX engagements. Though the post is long, I hope you find it helpful. What tricks have you guys figured out for killing tanks, aircraft, and MAX suits. go ahead and post below.
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