MAG Developer Tips: Acquisition

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Another day, another battle! Today’s MAG gameplay tactics (check out Suppression and Sabotage tips too) come from designer Joe Maris – a man who was absolutely essential in the design of our character advancement system and an expert in tactics for the Acquisition mode. Plus, it’s a well known fact across the Pacific Northwest that Joe is the owner of one of the greatest beards of all time. No really, it’s true.

Anyhow, check out this instructional video to familiarize yourself with the 128-player Acquisition mode, and look for Joe’s tips immediately below it.

For new players, the 128-player maps may feel the most like a historical battlefield, where lines of bunkers establish defensive fronts from one side of the map to the other. In order to succeed, a player will need to both familiarize themselves with these defensive lines and also study the routes of the target objective: the prototype vehicles.

Basic Tips

  • Unofficially, the Acquisition Maps have two main phases: the bunker phase and the extraction phase. In the bunker phase, the attackers will attempt to break through the frontlines of bunkers and destroy the anti-air batteries, allowing them to spawn closer to their final objective. In the extraction phase, the attackers will attempt to steal the prototype vehicle and drive it to safety. Generally speaking, it is best for the attackers to complete the bunker phase before attempting the extraction phase.
  • For an attacking squad, there are three basic strategies for taking out an enemy bunker: smoke grenades, smoke grenades, and smoke grenades. The smoke grenades are a cheap way to neutralize the turret and confuse the defenders. For extra credit, the attacking squad can hit the turret with weapon fire while it is encased in smoke. Defenders will often give away the turret’s location by firing wildly in the smoke.
  • During the extraction phase, attackers should select an evacuation route and then assign squads to remove any obstacles along that route. Once the obstacles are removed, keep the squads near the obstacles to prevent the enemy from repairing them and to provide cover fire once the enemy vehicle is stolen and evacuated by the lead squad.
  • Defending squads should spend the first phase of the game concentrating on three main goals: 1) Keeping the bunker turret repaired, 2) keeping charges off the bunker, and 3) keeping charges off the anti-air battery.
  • Not only should defenders work to keep gates and tank traps repaired, but they should use their regular vehicles to block important evacuation routes.
  • Defenders, you don’t need a rocket launcher to damage or destroy a prototype vehicle. If you see a vehicle race by, fire at it. If you see it take damage, keep firing. Every little bit helps.

Advanced Tips

  • If the attackers are having a hard time getting through the front line, platoon leaders should coordinate their platoon on a single point in the line. Once one bunker is down, the next bunker’s flank will be exposed, making it more vulnerable. Work on down the line until all bunkers are down.
  • Attackers, try to keep a Precision Strike in reserve as soon as your team attempts to extract the vehicle. The defenders may unexpectedly repair a road obstacle, and a Precision Strike is a quick and appropriate counter.
  • If possible, the attacking faction’s platoon leader should help steal the vehicle, because his passive repair ability automatically repairs the prototype vehicle without anyone needing to get out and use the repair gun.
  • Bunkers are most effective when supported by other bunkers. A defending squad should prioritize protecting its own bunker, but when a neighbor goes down, it should send a few soldiers to help get it back up.
  • During the Extraction Phase, the defenders should jealously guard the mortar battery as if it were the prototype vehicle itself. If the enemy manages to steal one of your vehicles, the mortar battery is a quick way to both destroy and demoralize the enemy attackers. However, if your area is secure, don’t let the battery go to waste. Use it to help the other platoon, if necessary.
  • Once the bunkers have fallen, if a defending squad has a soldier or two who insists on being a lone wolf, the squad leader should encourage the loner to sneak behind enemy lines and start repairing bunkers. As long as the defending team doesn’t waste too many resources, this is a nice way to knock the attackers back on their heels.

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