A greenhorn’s guide to losing less: Honestly, I wish someone better than me would write a good guide. But I couldn’t find anything out there, so I decided to jot down some observations that might help people on the first map, as I couldn’t beat it for a long time, despite being able to beat other control point-style maps.
How to Survive Syria
What I Was Doing Wrong and How to Do It Better
Basically, I wasn’t treating the game with enough strategy when it comes to the rest of my forces, both my squad and the rest of the company. To start off with, let me say you should take this all with a grain of salt, because I’m no expert on this game. It seems like each member of your squad is worth ten times that of the regular soldiers. Even more… if you use them effectively. Heck, sometimes they seem better than me in certain situations.
It also seems that the best use for the other squads is to keep control over an area. I wouldn’t use them to attack, as losing a soldier loses you a ticket, and they die just as quickly and often as the enemy soldiers (sometimes seems like they die even more often than the enemy). You can send them into a control point you are going to take personally or with your squad, but I would think of them as “bringing up the rear”. Basically just proving some fire support and keeping any enemies from getting past your advancing front line.
I also was not considering leaving any of my own squad members behind at control points (mainly the village control point) to assist in locking down a chokepoint. All of your squadmates seem to be good at this, but I prefer to use Tyler (AR+MG) and Zach (LMG) for this purpose. Order them to a cover point watching over an area and roll out to your main objective. They are extremely effective at locking down a lane of approach. With the two of them on defense, you pretty much can ignore the entry points they are covering.
On my failed attempts, I always kept my whole squad (or the two that were not on defense) in just “follow” mode. They will get kills just following you, but they will always be lagging far behind you and not be putting down as much fire as they could. Instead, I would have the Louis (sniper) and Natalya (SMG/medic) use the “bounding overwatch” strategy. Order one into cover at a forward point, while you and the other squadmate cover their advance. Then order the other guy up to a point further up while covering. Your squadmates have aimbot-level ability to acquire targets and start firing on them, so they’re just awesome at watching your back… as long as they’re not constantly moving to keep up with you. On the last part of my first successful run, there was a handful of enemy soldiers I just couldn’t get a bead on and kept chunking down my health every time I tried. So to finish them off I just ordered the whole squad to seek and destroy. Sometimes they’re just better than you (or better than me, anyway).
One thing I haven’t really mastered yet is actually using the squad commands. So far I’ve gotten by by just using the cover order (on Oculus, hold down X, point at a cover spot, hold down Trigger, use joystick to pick squad member). Sometimes I’ll use the area command on my position to ask for healing. But I never seem to use the area commands like suppressing fire, area snipe, or grenades. Suppressing fire doesn’t really seem to do anything, but I haven’t tried it enough yet to say for sure.
Syria Step-By-Step (More-Or-Less)
So, like I keep saying, I’m a noob at this game, but this is what works for me on this map:
- After picking your loadout and before you advance on the enemy, whip out your PDA and use the map to order Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie squads to a building on the north, west, and south perimeters of the village. Try to pick a building you know is defensible that is just on the edge of the village.
- Order your squad to follow you, and sweep the village until you have full control of it (green). Don’t leave while it is contested (yellow). It is vitally important to keep control of the village the whole game, else your troops will have no place to spawn from.
- Set Tyler and Zach to cover the north and west approaches of the village, where they can each set up a nice kill box. We’re about to head south, so no need to post up anyone there. According to the map objectives, the FOB to the south gives the enemy extra reinforcements. I’m not sure how that manifests in-game, but that knowledge makes it my first target every time.
- Now you have a choice here. If you are competent at the squad commands and a good fighter yourself, you can leave all three allied squads in the village on defense. If you are fairly quick, this is a good idea, because you won’t be losing many tickets from casualties. But if you are pretty slow, you’ll lose a ton of tickets just getting to the south objective (FOB). Option two: Send Charlie squad (or any squad, just picking one arbitrarily here) to a defensible building just outside of the FOB. They will provide extra fire support on your way down, making the approach easier and faster. However, you need to stay ahead of them so they don’t take the brunt of the enemy fire.
- Use bounding cover with Louis and Natalya, generally keeping Natalya up front, and Louis in good sniping positions until you have the FOB under control. Usually when you take it, it immediately becomes contested because of one or two lingering enemies. Make sure you finish off the enemy forces before you leave, or they will take it back and enemies will start spawning from the south again. If you keep full control of the village, you can largely leave the other control points undefended once you have them green.
- If, at any point, the village becomes contested, you have to make a judgement call as to whether to head back and defend it (this usually doesn’t happen with Tyler and Zach as your guard dogs) or hope it will be fine contested until you are done with the FOB. This is safer to do if you have the FOB contested with Charlie’s help, because (as far as I am aware) control points can’t spawn new soldiers while contested.
- Once the FOB is yours (green), head back with Louis, Natalya, and Charlie (if you brought them). At this point, you can relax a little, because your ticket loss will be roughly equivalent with the enemies’, not accounting for soldier deaths. That said, you probably have about half the tickets the enemy does, so you’re still on the clock.
- Now you can either head west or north. West will unlock artillery strikes, and north will unlock air strikes. Both are awesome, but I can’t say how effective they are, haven’t used them enough. I definitely think air strikes are cooler though. Same as the FOB, you can have Charlie come with, or take it on your own. The same strategies apply here. But this time you can bring Tyler or Zach, whichever was defending the path you are about to go down. I feel like Zach is the best defender, but I prefer having him in my squad on the second push anyway.
- Always remember to lean on your squad and not try to go rambo. I’m not positive of this but it seems like, though the enemy loses places they can spawn at as you take control points, they don’t lose spawn rate which means each new control point will be harder to take. But, with the strategy I use, you can bring one more squadmate for each push, and they’re all force multipliers.
- Once you have the second point (again, make sure it’s green before heading back), you have to once again make the call on whether to have Charlie assist on this push. Your tickets are probably getting very low at this point, so taking them with you is a liability because the enemy will be thicker than the last two control points. Without their help it will be slow going, but that may be offset by the fact that the enemy will be losing tickets much faster than you now. I like to leave Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie at the village and push forward with my full squad, making sure everyone is using cover points so they can unleash hell.
- Since you have access to artillery or airstrikes for this push, and they seem to recharge pretty fast, it’s a good option when you feel pinned down. Not sure how effective it is, but it sure is fun. It’s extra important to be using cover points for your squad as you move up on the last push, cause you need your teammates on their feet and laying down as much fire as they can.
Just wanted to add a small section for one-off tips for the game as well as some info to reference at a glance:
Carries an assault rifle with underslung grenade launcher. Area command is to launch a grenade. I haven’t tried it much yet, but my guess is it would be best used against a group of enemies really entrenched in some cover. He’s my second choice for defending a zone while I’m gone.
Carries an LMG. Area command is to suppress with the LMG. Not actually sure what use this command would be over just having him post up behind some cover and do his thing. He’s also my first choice for defending an area.
Carries a sniper rifle. Area command is to “area snipe” but haven’t tried it yet. I’m assuming it would be a useful command for dealing with enemies really stuck into cover you’re having a hard time with, similar to using Tyler’s GL, but useful at greater ranges, perhaps? I like to post Louis on a rooftop that has a good view if possible.
Carries an SMG and is your squad medic. Her area command is to heal a target in the area. In practice, my health regeneration has usually done the job by the time Natalya gets to me. I think she could also revive a downed squad mate, but haven’t tried it yet. I’m assuming its probably better to do that yourself, since you can drag your squadmate into cover before healing them. She’s actually great as a point-man with Louis bringing up the rear, thanks to that SMG going brr.
In any control point-type map, getting half the objectives under your control ASAP is your first priority. After that, you are on even footing with the enemy as far as ticket loss.
It was important for me to figure out how to use the weapon offset feature, since I use a VR gun stock (highly recommended for this game, cause aim is very shaky without). The in-game instructions say to grip your weapon in both hands, hold down both triggers, and press button 1. I took this to mean (on Oculus) do all the above, and press the A button. That didn’t work, though. So I took to mashing all the face buttons while holding grips and triggers, and that worked. I think what you actually need to do is hold “button 1” on both controllers. So for Oculus, that would A and X.
You can target a spot on the map with trigger and if you press A (Oculus), the map will zoom in on that spot making precision placement easier.
I have a hard time grabbing magazines when carrying my secondary weapon. I always end up grabbing my primary weapon instead. I find if you grab from your left hip, you’re more likely to grab a magazine instead of your primary weapon. Though sometimes that just leads to you grabbing a medical kit. I hope the developer gives an option to grab certain items with trigger, or at least mags.