M.A.X.: Insights from a lead tester
by Cory Nelson
Clan - Von Griffin
The advantage of infiltrators and knowing what the enemy is up to is obvious.
The objective in this type of strategy is to not do massive damage to your
enemy, but slow him down or stop him completely so that you can kill him at
Setup: At least two extra constructors (at least 40-60 materials), some extra
engineers. A scanner and some type of defensive units (in case you land close
to the enemy).
Strategy: If possible you should try to stay out of his scan range, surprise
is an excellent tool here. With the constructors you want to build a habitat
and a training hall or two. When the infiltrators come out (8 turns with this
clan) send them over to the enemies base by any method necessary. The big
trick is to get them inside the enemies base before he's built a training
hall. Then, find the constructors that are in the process of building and
disable them. Ideally you'll want to let his constructors build for a turn or
two before you disable them so that he wastes his materials. If you're able to
get a solid group of infiltrators in there you'll generally shut down your
opponents construction abilities completely. Be sure to move your infiltrators
after each disable, otherwise your opponent might randomly fire and hit them.
Upgrades: The best upgrades to this type of strategy are ones that increase
scanning. One ideal upgrade is to increase the scan of your infiltrators so
that you see infantry before they discover you.
Pro's: If you can get in to the opponents base quickly you're going to either
slow him down by 30 or so turns or you'll shut him down completely.
Con's: If you're discovered before you have enough infiltrators to shut down
your opponents base then they won't do you much good. Using this strategy you
only get one chance before you need to try something different. Also, people
will catch on to this strategy quickly, don't ever try it twice in a row.
2. The March
By themselves infantry die easy but do decent damage, in a group they can
easily take out an opponent. They also don't lose their shot to movement if
dropped out of an APC.
Setup: Pick up two extra constructors, some engineers, an extra surveyor,
scanner and some scouts.
Strategy: The idea of this one is to swarm the enemy. Again, surprise is a
major advantage here. You want to build a habitat, three training hall's and a
light vehicle plant. Once they're built make nothing but infantry and
personnel carriers (your engineers building anti aircraft isn't a bad idea
since you won't have much in that area. Once you get enough of them (You don't
need that many) for your opponent, load them all in the carriers, and drop
them off as close to the enemies critical resources as possible. Remember that
the armored personnel carriers take some damage so if they go into range you
probably shouldn't have to worry (once they're empty they also make great
cannon fodder once the troops are dropped off). When the infantry are taken
out of the carrier they won't lose their shot to movement so if you get them
in close enough you'll get one shot per unit. The idea is to destroy any power
stations, radar or critical defenses. Once the key things are destroyed you
should be able to go in and finish off whatever other units or buildings are
in the area, without power your opponent shouldn't be able to pose much of a
threat. Note: since you probably won't have much in the way of air units you
may still need to build an air plant to track down any air units if he got
Upgrades: Anything you can do to upgrade the infantry damage and personnel
carrier's armor is good here.
Pro's: Easy cost and quick to setup. Generally difficult to defend against,
even when you kill one infantry there are 20 more coming.
Con's: Because of the quick buildup resources are a must. You'll need to find
raw materials quickly. Also, if the opponent has built air units you'll need
to build an air plant to track down his air units.
3. Missile Launcher-Range
Because of their damage the Missile launchers are incredible weapons and well
worth the cost and time of building. Oftentimes they can become the only way
to destroy an enemy once they're fortified without taking heavy casualties.
Clan: Ayer's Hand
Setup: Extra constructors and engineers. One extra surveyor to find gold.
Strategy: The ideal landing site includes pretty much any area with a lot of
land surrounding because you're going to need the space to build (that and
oftentimes people avoid those areas thinking someone else will be there). The
trick on this one is to lay low until you're ready to deal with the enemy.
Build up defenses and search for gold only in the initial stages if you can.
There are two things you want to do here, first off, build research centers
and habitats, as many as possible. It'll take you some time but if you
continue you can keep your research costs down to 9-16 turns a level. The main
thing you want to concentrate on is range. Now. if you're fortunate enough to
find gold you'll also want to mine and refine it, using the credits to further
upgrade the range of your missile launchers. By combining both the research
and the refineries on this one item you can get yourself in a position where
you control missile launchers with a range of 26+. The beauty is that by the
time someone notices what you're doing it's too late. Then simply find an area
where your advanced range can hit the enemy, defend the area with air units
and build a missile launcher. Continue this closer and closer until you can
destroy the enemies base.
Pro's: Once setup the enemy is forced to attack you in order to keep his base
in one piece. Extremely difficult to defend against one it begins.
Con's: You'll be open to an air attack. Build a lot of fighters and anti-air
to defend your launchers and base.
4. Scout Horde
Scouts are known for their speed. The ability to dart in for an attack and
then move away quickly combined with the quick build time makes them
formidable if used in numbers. The misconception about them is that in order
to be affective you need so many that you can take out the enemy defenses
because of sheer numbers. Oftentimes there speed alone and targeting the right
items can be the winning combination in games where they generally wouldn't
even be a factor.
Clan: Sacred Eights
Setup: Extra Constructors and some scouts. Also, do minor upgrades to your
scouts in both scan range, attack and armor/hits.
Strategy: Once you land, build light vehicle plants (2 or 3) and try to find
an extra source of raw materials. Begin the plants building scout's, and try
of course find your opponent. Once you have 12 or so scouts go in and attack
his constructors, engineers and connectors. Avoid tanks and major defenses
unless absolutely necessary. The plan is to kill his building capacity. The
scouts themselves might not do much damage against buildings but they can hit
and destroy these targets with ease later and if the right areas are hit even
the loss of a connector can cause a crippling affect.
Pro's: If you know what to target this quick attack can defeat your opponent
with nothing but scouts.
Con's: It'll only work if you attack early.
5. Naval Bombardment
Although the initial base you'll start with on M.A.X. are on the land, the
naval vehicles should not be discounted. Their superior movement and armor can
prove to be a winning force in any battle.
Clan: Crimson Path
Setup: Some extra constructors and engineers. Some slightly upgraded scouts.
Strategy: The strategy is fairly simple here, try to land in an area where you
are extremely close to the shoreline and build shipyards. An area where you're
unlikely to have an enemy attack by land is the most ideal place for this
scenario. Then begin building a well rounded group of naval units to attack
the enemy from the coastline. Remember the possible threats that can affect
your ships, be sure to build escorts (for planes), corvettes (to spot
submarines) and extra sub's (to kill other ships before they become a threat).
Be sure to look closely at each ship that you have available as well, people
oftentimes overlook the abilities of some naval units and this can be used as
an advantage. If the group is well balanced and you keep your ships safe
you'll generally be able to get missile cruisers in close enough to the enemy
to do plenty of damage.
Pros: An attack with these units will normally come from an area that the
enemy is unprepared for and this makes it easy to surprise. Also, your
submarines can be used to spy on the enemy and if your force is strong enough
you can keep the enemy from ever building naval units.
Cons: You become extremely susceptible to ground attack, be sure to build
6. General Guidelines
Never discount smaller targets. Destroying connectors, radar's, or power
sources can oftentimes be more advantageous than enemy structures.
In order to destroy air units with mobile anti air, try moving into range just
before the turn ends. It won't allow your opponents to react in time before
you're able to fire again.
If you can only kill one vehicle at the beginning of a game consider his
constructors. It takes along time to build a heavy vehicle plant to replace
them. Destroying constructors that are building is even better, chances are
that your opponent is building a mining station and that'll force him to build
a bulldozer to clear the site as well.
If you can wait, hold off upgrading stationary defenses until an enemy is
waiting just out of range. If you research the range one and upgrade at the
right time you can pick off that unit who thinks he's safe.
Once your opponent has set up defenses against your infiltrators try placing
them in key locations. They'll see the enemy advancing without him knowing and
he'll rarely be able to gather the infantry necessary to weed them out. The
same will work for sub's.
Infiltrators are also great defensive weapons, have them disable any units
that are on an aggressive attack and you can cut a possible threat down to