Having climbed from 600 to 1300 MMR with this nonsense, I have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. This strat is pretty easily countered, but most players either don’t know how or begin too late in the match. I almost always lose the first five rounds, so my opponent thinks he’s winning: Hacker Fang doesn’t work, until it does. Do not be fooled! You have a few options.
Guide to Counter Hacker Fang
What to Do
Hackers look like they can shoot up, but they can’t! A sufficient number of air units will therefore overpower them. But opponents who pivot to air usually make one of two mistakes:
- They buy a bunch of anti-air land units for themselves, which then become mine. The most common result when my opponent starts buying Overlords is that these get shot down by their own Marksmen and Mustangs.
- They buy ONLY air units. This won’t work because upgraded Fangs are amazing anti-air units. I have won games against Air Specialists without buying a single Hacker, with a strategy I like to call Only Fangs.
Hacker Fang players usually position right up on the line – and you should too! Your units can swamp the hackers before they hack anything. Crawlers with the acid upgrade are particularly useful here.
If you can’t position aggressively, do the opposite – hang way back and outrange the Hackers. But don’t rely solely on Stormcallers because I can just buy anti-rocket towers – you’ll need some Marksmen as well. A mix of Stormcallers and Marksmen, both with range upgrades, can blow the Hackers up before they hack anything. Just make sure you go full bore with this strat – don’t leave anything in range of the Hackers, keep it all back.
Buy Anti-Hack Module and Ion Beam
The anti-hack module is an obvious buy, but the really useful thing here is the Ion Beam. The Hackers will usually be standing in a neat line, and get wrecked by it. Most of the time it’s a guaranteed round winner.
Buy Your Own Hackers
Hacker Fang requires a certain momentum to work – if you slow down the rate at which I’m hacking your army by hacking some of it back, you can break my strategy.
Hacker Fang cannot afford to waste too many resources. I need to spend pretty much every credit on Fangs and Hackers to reach the tipping point before I’ve spent all my health. By flanking me with a strong contingent you force me to spend precious space bucks defending against it, making it difficult to get my wall of upgraded Hackers up and running.
This will sometimes work because even with multiple beams a Hacker cannot capture an entire unit of Crawlers of the same level before the Crawlers close the gap. But chud is easily countered, so don’t depend on them – I can just buy a few Arclights and you’re done.
What Not to Do
Don’t Fight The Fangs – Fight The Hackers
It’s amazing how frequently an opponent will play Vulcans or Rhinos right into my line, trying to kill the Fangs. The result is obvious. This can work if your unit has the anti-hack module, but don’t count on it. Hackers deal damage to hack-proof units, and so do my Fangs – not to mention your other units, which are of course mine now.
Don’t Buy Anything You Don’t Want to Give to Me
Often I win because the stuff at the front of my opponent’s army counters the stuff at the back. Bear this in mind. Are you sure you want to level up those Sledgehammers? They will take longer to hack, but they will also be better at blowing up your Stormcallers.
Don’t Get Cocky, Kid
Hacker Fang doesn’t work until suddenly it does. Do not assume that because you are winning, you are winning. Everything is probably going according to my plan, so you need to be strict in your choices. Remember that you are not countering my units, you are countering my strategy.