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Pilot Orientation 2: Knowing the Battlefield

November 2, 2022
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Welcome back to Pilot Orientation. Today we’ll go over team tactics in Spider Tanks, and walk you through each game mode you’ll find in the arena.

Welcome back to Pilot Orientation. Please refrain from engaging Laser Blasters or Speed Boosts for the duration of the class. We politely ask that all attendees disarm any Grenades in your possession until this training session has ended.

Today we’re going to dive deeper into the strategy of Spider Tanks than we did last week in our introductory session of Pilot Orientation. Specifically, we’ll be digging into team composition and strategy, as well as giving a brief overview of each game mode the arena has to offer and what you can do to turn each of them into a victory.

Team Tactics

Spider Tanks is– above all else– a team game. Pilots can argue endlessly about which Weapon or Body is superior, but the best tool in your Garage is solid team coordination and communication. The best Spider Tanks squads can take on any challenge regardless of their firepower, because they have refined their strategy to function as one cohesive unit rather than three individuals.

Sometimes when to attack isn’t as important to know as when to draw back and regroup as a team.

That’s not to say that you won’t find great team experiences in the solo queue. In fact, this may be one of the best ways to sample different strategies and tactics. Other Pilots may approach games differently and give you valuable insights into how to up your game or beat them when they’re on the other side of the arena next time.

Whether you choose to group up with friends or make a team with whoever shows up, your ability to adapt to the unexpected will be paramount in syncing with your team. You can never have a perfectly set strategy before you enter the arena, but rather know how you’ll respond to different threats.

A good team member sees what their team is doing and works with it. See a busted up buddy fleeing from a faster Tank? Head off the enemy and provide some distraction. See your team making no headway due to a repairing enemy? Find a way to separate the opposition so that your squad can break through.

The Perfect Squad

We won’t beat around the blaster on this one– there is no perfect squad. Any group of Tanks can work together to form an effective strategy. The challenge for most teams is how fast can they hit their stride with only 3:30 on the clock. Even if you’re playing with friends and have a strategy already lined up, you’ll be seeing your opponents and the game mode just moments before the rockets start flying.

While supporting each other this team can stand up to some serious punishment.

We’ve seen some wild teams work out unexpectedly well… and some great combos totally self-destruct. It really all just depends on how effectively a team supports each other.

No Tank will be great at everything, and no Tank will dominate all foes. For example, if you have an ally with an artillery Weapon, they will not be able to fire at close range. They can shoot over objects and terrorize enemy Tanks from a distance, but if a Shotgun or Flamethrower rolls up on them they’re usually pretty doomed. They can ensure that you have long-ranged support, but only if they stay in one piece.

This is why the best team will be a group of people who have cut their teeth on tons of different scenarios in the arena. While Spider Tanks is pretty simple to learn, every build out there has a bunch of nuances to master. The more you know about different Tanks, the more ready you’ll be to anticipate the dangers they pose to your team.

Game Modes

At its core, Spider Tanks is pretty simple– Don’t get blown up, blow the other Tanks up. Indeed there is no strategy in the game that doesn’t benefit from a little Tank on Tank destruction, but each game mode has its own unique objective.

Currently, there are six modes available and each has its own wide array of strategies that Pilots have used reliably to achieve victory.

In Exhibition Mode, you can actually choose which mode you’ll play, but every Matchmaking battle will assign a random game mode.

Team Deathmatch

Let’s start with the simple one. Obliterate the other team. Try to get destroyed less than you destroy them.

This isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. Often teams will bunker in around chokepoints and the first one to be caught without the support of their squad starts the brutal dominoes. Three Tanks beats one Tank any day, so working with your teammates to exploit any weakness is key.

This Hurricane gets a little reckless with its shotgun, but three kills is worth a death any day in Team Deathmatch.

Sometimes these matches can turn from a stalemate to a frenzy quickly, particularly when the firepower outweighs the Armor in the match. Working on that K/D ratio is nice, but in the end it only matters that your kill count is higher than theirs on this mode.

Overtime: When the timer runs out, it’s sudden death. Next kill wins!

King of the Hill

In King of the Hill, there will be a central Control Point and a bar representing control by either team under the timer. Standing in the circle will move the bar towards your side. Once it’s fully in your control, your team will begin to score gradually as you hold it.

For an enemy to take over the Control Point and begin scoring points, they must fully move the bar to their side. If any opponent is within the Control Point, however, the team in control will stop scoring.

This means that when taking the Control Point from the enemy team, your goal is to stand in a very small area until it’s yours. When holding the Control Point, you don’t even have to be anywhere near it… so long as your opponents aren’t either.

Since this team already has possession of the control point, they push outwards and spread the enemy apart so they have no chance to take it back.

Either way, this game mode is about one thing– control. Whoever can control the positioning of their opponents better will reign supreme. Whether you’re trying to take back the Control Point or hold off the opposition, working as a team to separate enemies from each other and from the Control Point itself is key.

Overtime: If the team that’s behind has the Control Point when time runs out, the game goes on until they either lose control or pull ahead to win!

Chicken Chaser

In this mode you’ll race around the battlefield grabbing golden chickens that periodically appear in random places. You’ll take them to one of two barrels on the map, and whoever has the most at the end wins.

It takes a few seconds for a chicken to drop into a barrel, and a Tank has to stay right next to it the entire time. There’s no limit to the amount of chickens you can carry at one time, but each will have to be dropped individually when you get to a barrel.

The big twist that complicates this beyond your ordinary, every day chicken hunt is that Tanks will drop any chickens that they’re carrying when they explode. This means that not death not only denies you chickens but could hand them right to your opponents.

This game mode takes focus. Teams will have to concentrate on engaging opponents while also pumping those chicken numbers up. Many teams will elect to send one or two Tanks to dedicatedly harass the other team while someone lays low and scoops up the poultry. If two Tanks are engaging one, they’re wasting time that could be spent finding chickens.

Beware gigantic loads of chickens held by one person. They’ll turn into a deadly game of catch very quickly as they pile up.

Overtime: If it’s tied at the buzzer, next chicken wins!

Kill Confirmed

Kill Confirmed is very similar to Team Deathmatch with one important distinction. Every Tank will drop an egg when destroyed. Collecting that egg is how teams score rather than with raw kills.

An egg can only be picked up by the team opposing the Tank that laid it for a few seconds. Then if no one grabs it, a friendly Tank can come in and scoop it up to deny a point to the other team.

This makes for an interesting dynamic. While you can still get kills from far away, you have to be able to basically dance on the wreckage to collect the egg. If a team stays tight together and adaptable, it can be nearly impossible to get a kill that actually results in a point.

This shiny Nomad is in trouble. Since none of its teammates are around, no one can scoop up the egg from the Bandit it manages to kill before exploding.

Teams will be forced to make hard decisions about when to protect an egg versus protecting their own chassis. Sometimes you have to give up a point in a strategic withdrawal to create an opening that really pays off.

Overtime: If there’s a tie when time runs out, next to grab up an opponent’s egg wins!

Capture the Flag

In Capture the Flag, you’ll fight over a golden chicken. Whichever team can hold it for the longest time total during the match wins.

When you pick up the chicken, your Tank will immediately be slowed down significantly. This can be crippling strategically, as even Tanks that are normally slower than you will close in quickly. If you’re going to hold onto that flag, your team has got to have your back.

Solid gold chickens are heavy! Even on the quick Alpha Executioner, the flag slows it down too much to outrun becoming a holiday roast.

Like King of the Hill, winning this game mode relies on each team’s ability to control the opposing team’s positioning and bolster each other with their own. Unlike King of the Hill, however, in this mode the Tank you’re protecting is mobile– even if slowed.

Usually teams that can stay mobile while they have the flag will do well, so long as they can use repair packs and the obstacles on the map to their favor while staying together as a squad.

Overtime: If the team that’s behind has the chicken when time runs out, it keeps going until they either lose the flag or win!

Poultry Pusher

Poultry Pusher is a game mode where you’re trying to get your payload– a chicken of mass destruction– to the target area before the opposing team. The chicken only moves when you’re in close proximity to it, and can move even faster with two friendly Tanks nearby.

The chicken can start to move backwards if only an opponent is nearby, so you’ll want to make sure to doubly protect your oversized poultry. If you get way behind, it can be seriously challenging to catch up near the end.

The balance of strategy in this mode comes from making sure your payload is protected and continually moving forward while also disrupting the progress of the other team. Many squads will keep one or two Tanks to defend the payload while the others rush off to harass the enemy.

This Tortoise sees an opportunity to hijack the payload! It quickly melts the healer and forces the other Tank outside the circle to stop the chicken in its tracks.

A Tank doesn’t have to necessarily destroy all the enemies if they can disrupt the progress of the chicken. Forcing opponents to run away from their payload is in effect the same as finishing them off here.

Overtime: If neither giant chicken has reached the target when time expires, they keep going. In overtime, chickens can’t be reversed by an opponent. They can, however, still be sped up with multiple Tanks.

Training Complete

We’ve just barely scratched the surface of strategy in Spider Tanks, but hopefully this short breakdown of group tactics and game modes helped you prepare yourself for the arena. As always, the best training is hands on– so go hop in the driver’s seat of a Tank and blow some stuff up!

This concludes this training module in Pilot Orientation. Please exit in an orderly fashion and refrain from activating high yield explosives until outside. We look forward to seeing you in the next session.

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Information contained in this document is subject to change with or without notice.