[furryclan] tactics

How to survive a "30 sus" - [furrycat]

SWAT 3, the best simulation of real police tactics on the market. A game where teamwork and adherence to a predefined plan will save your life. A game where the emphasis is on holding your fire, where bringing the suspects home in cuffs is better than bringing them back in a bag.

Hell, yeah but this is a game and games are supposed to be fun! We wanna kick some ass!

A "serious" co-op game with four skilled teammates is a great online experience, the more so if you regularly play with those same people, but there's another way to play. The 30-suspect "killing spree" is a great way to let off steam and, while it breaks all the Rules of Engagement going, is just as good a test of tactics as a standard mission.

What is a 30 sus?

A "30 sus" or "killing spree" (or "shoot 'em up" or whatever) is a mission where anything goes. The game's host turns off the standard objectives for the map and sets up a game with between one and thirty suspects who must be tracked down and eliminated. No arrests, no compliance, just kill kill kill! You can choose as many suspects (up to the limit of thirty) as you like but since most people whack it straight up to thirty these killing spree games have become known as 30 sus games.

You cannot be serious!

A lot of so-called serious players don't want anything to do with 30 susses. SWAT is unique in its requirement that you squeeze the trigger only as a last resort. Blasting through the map killing everything in sight is against the ethos of the game, these people argue, and best left to Special Forces titles such as Rainbow Six or Delta Force.

Yes, a killing spree is the antithesis of all that SWAT stands for but that doesn't mean that it should be shunned altogether. The Element Leader may not give too many orders in 30-suspect games but that doesn't mean teamwork goes out the window. Far from it. In fact, if you go rambo in a 30 sus you will end up dead far quicker than you would in a standard objectives game. The bad guys come at you thick and fast. Your team must apply the right tactics at the right time if you are to stand a chance of survival.

The drill

In a 30 sus game you are under pressure from the word go. Things happen fast. They happen furious. They happen loud. When the bullets are flying everywhere, when the suspects have you caught in a crossfire, when there's so much happening on-screen and so many conflicting noises coming from your speakers that it's hard to know just what is going down, that's when you must keep a cool head. You must remember the basics. You must watch your teammates' backs and trust them to watch yours. Here are a few notes to help you get through these challenging games.

You are outnumbered!
Remember this simple fact. It sounds obvious. It is obvious. That's why it's worth repeating. You are outnumbered six to one at least. Did you get that? You are outnumbered!

If a full five-man SWAT element goes into a game against thirty bad guys that means that there are six of them for every one of you. Six against one? Doesn't sound too many does it? But ask yourself: have you ever seen a single suspect wipe out a whole element? Would you be 100% confident that you could clear out a mission with six suspects (such as the import store) alone? Have you ever lost a team member while doing that mission?

If the answer to any of the above questions is "no" you're either the best player out there or a rookie. Experienced gamers should realise that six against one is no walk in the park. You should always expect there to be more suspects around the next corner. You should be prepared to make entry into even a small room and be confronted with multiple tangos. You should expect to be pinned down by fire from several enemies at once and you should expect more to come running when they hear the action.

Take it slow and secure the map section by section
It's tempting to treat a 30 sus like a deathmatch and charge around like a madman. Doing so is an effective tactic in games like Half-Life where you character can sustain wildly unrealistic amounts of damage, or in DMs against humans whose aim may not be true. It will not work in a 30 sus. First of all because the AIs very rarely miss but most importantly because you can only take two or three shots before it's game over.

You must take your time and advance slowly, not moving on until the way forward is clear. A common mistake people make is to throw a flashbang too short and then move into the next area even though they have been blinded. People think "I've thrown the bang so I've got to go" but that's suicide. It takes a clear head to realise that if you can't see, if you know there are tangos around the corner or if you are under fire, that the best solution is to stay put.

When playing a 30 sus I like to think of clips of fighting in wartorn cities you may have seen on TV (or firsthand, in some people's case). I'm sure you know what I mean: guys with AK47s crouched behind a pile of rubble or by the edge of a house pop out, fire a few shots and then duck back to safety. That's how firefights in 30 susses happen. You expose yourself for as short a time as possible, let off a few rounds and then get the hell back before someone lets a few off at you. Don't expect to bag all the tangos in one go. It's better to take out one and get back into cover than to drop three and get shot by a fourth.

One of the best maps for a killing spree is DBN TV World. It isn't uncommon for a team to spend five minutes or more at the start position, not even moving inside the studio, while the initial wave of suspects is despatched.

Watch your ammo and cover your teammates
It's possible to complete standard missions without needing to reload. It's possible to do them without firing a single shot. In a 30 sus you will run out of ammunition and have to change mags. Use the radio commands (or yell out if you're using a voice chat program) to let your teammates know you're reloading, and if one of them is dry, cover him. A successful tactic is for one man to spray a whole bunch of rounds through an opening and step back to let a teammate take his place when he hears the dead man's click but don't both of you be caught short at once.

Cover all angles
With so many tangos on the map you're going to be assaulted from all sides. It is the responsibility of the whole team to make sure someone is covering each possible avenue of attack. This includes the rear!

When entering rooms, remember that there may be multiple suspects lurking inside. Use the proper techniques to cover all corners.

Check your fields of fire
Perhaps more so than in a standard game, it's vital that everyone have a clear field of fire. Try to make sure you don't step into another officer's line of fire and always be prepared for a teammate to stray in front of you. It should go without saying but do not try to fire over another man's shoulder. With thirty bad guys after you, you've got problems enough without shooting at each other. If there's someone in front of you, hold your fire.

Get the best use out of your tactical aids
CS gas is usually associated with a stealthy approach. Stack up. Try the door. Mirror for suspects. Deploy CS. Enter and clear. That doesn't mean it has no place in a killing spree. Far from it. CS gas thrown into an unsecured area ahead of your team can hold up suspects who would otherwise come rushing to give their buddies backup. If covering an area is going to be tricky, chuck some CS in to buy yourself some time. Of course, CS is great for turning a dangerous opponent into a sitting duck as well. Take advantage of this feature.

It goes without saying that flashbangs are very useful in 30-suspect games. Practise the two man clearance and learn to use them to your advantage.

Finally, a word on the optiwand. You're unlikely to get an opportunity to mirror in a killing spree but if your team is there to back you up then take the chance when it arrives. Just be prepared to call compromised and get out of the way if you see something bad in the next area.

Choose your entry point sensibly
Although it isn't really a game tactic, this is something that you need to consider. On certain missions it is just plain stupid to pick one or more of the entry points you can choose from. For example, at TV World there are guaranteed to be five or six (or more) tangos waiting for you at the default start point (side 1/level 1) but none at all at the alternative entry side 3/level 1.

[furryclan] are committed to shaking up "standard" SWAT 3 tactics. Real SWAT elements don't stroll nonchalantly up to every doorway and mirror it. Not once the cat's out of the bag. When the action kicks off these guys move fast. So do we.

Introductory notes

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Tactical discussions