23 December 2009

The Dad's Guide to Modern Warfare 2: Defense

This is part of a series of strategy guides for players of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. If you haven't already done so, check out the first post in the series here. As always, keep in mind the audience for these guides is not hardcore gamers but rather the casual "dad" gamers trying to stay competitive.

In my last post, I made reference to some general guidelines when selecting locations using the camp and go strategy. One of those guidelines was defensible approaches, so I want to go into a little bit more detail on that factor.

No matter where on the map you select a location (with a few exceptions), there will be multiple approaches to that area. And then once you've approached the location, even most buildings on the various maps typically have more than one entrance, whether it be through doors, windows, or staircases. Let's say for example that your current location is the large bunker on the Afghan map. There are two doors to defend, but beyond these there are more accurately three general approaches as you must consider approaches from the middle of the map (even though they'll eventually go through the front door).

In the face of multiple enemies, it would difficult for one person to defend all of these approaches at once, but the task can be made easier by taking advantage of multiple methods to assist in your defense. While not all of them apply to this particular map, we can apply some of them to see how they work in our favor:
  • Boundary defense. As I also noted in my previous post, these locations will tend to be located around the edges of the map rather than the middle. In Afghan the large bunker is indeed on the edge of the map, which prevents the enemy from outflanking you by taking advantage of the boundary as a defensive measure.
  • Claymores. I love them. It's a shame you don't get two of them as you did in the first MW, but that doesn't make them any less valuable. Even if they don't kill your opponent, claymores act as a tripwire by alerting you to approaching enemies. I try to use them in tight stairwells or around dark corners, and generally in what I would consider the most common approaches and heavily trafficked areas. It is not a stretch to say that I get at least one (and sometimes more) claymore kills in most of my games; even if I get killed my claymore will often take out the enemy. Claymore emplacement is a bit of a mix of art and science; locating high traffic areas where they are most likely to be effective, but placing them so they're not seen until it's too late.
  • Teammates. By observing the location of your teammates on the map, you can also use them as a defensive measure and tripwire, even if they not directly helping you, or even communicating with you.
  • Overhead map. The audio cues (.i.e., "tango down") combined with the fading red dot of a killed enemy on the overhead map can build your local situational awareness by alerting you to enemy action in close proximity to your location.
  • Direct defense. In addition to your offensive aims, you should also be able to cover at least one of the approaches directly with your personal weapons. This means that you can't get caught staring down your sights for long periods of time without moving and looking around.
  • Movement. It is important to keep a cycle of movement even within your location. I will typically slide across a window opening looking for movement or locating enemies, then move for cover. Occasionally I will check my other approaches (i.e., entrances, openings, windows, staircases) and then return to the priority. It's worth noting that one of my most common accolades is Sixth Sense: No deaths from behind. I think this is a testament to the fact that movement even while camping is important.
  • Crouching. Another of my more common accolades is Sneaker: Most time spent crouched. It makes sense that reducing your target profile reduces your exposure to enemy fire. There is very little reason not to stay crouched if you're in one location for any period of time.
What techniques do you use to defend your position?
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