Recon tips: or how I learned to love the scout

It should be no secret to anyone. Intel on your enemy, or the denial of more often than not will give you an edge. In this thread I’ll outline my thoughts around each typical unit type and the pro and cons of each.

Probes -
Pros - cheap, fast, massive range.
Cons - 1 time use, weak, set off alarms when built.

Probes are often the first choice for early and fast recon. A well positioned probe can go unnoticed due to its sensor range. They are next to impossible to intercept in flight and should be delt with as a top priority.

Use tips -
-Utilize the z axis and attemp to position your probe so that enemy units are at the edge of its sensor range, thus out of range of your enemy

  • Use probes to Pre scout an expansion or rally area.
  • Deploy probes near the sensor edge of the enemy’s expected expansion ahead of expansion.
  • Use probes as an early warning system by deployment mid way between you and your enemy.
  • Build but don’t deploy a probe at your MS to widen you base sensor range

HW1 scout
Pros - cheap, fast, reusable.
Cons - weak, require addition management to maximize effectiveness

HW1 scouts are the preferred unit of many HW1 and former HW:C players (Cataclysm did not have probes) they are the fastest combat unit and have a superb sensor range only to be out classed by probes.
Use tips-

  • utilize the z access to position
  • use way points to set up patrol paths that dip your scout in and out of range of enemy sensors
  • use the speed burst ability to retreat and return from enemy counter

HW2 scouts -
Pros - fast, strong, upgradable, replenishable
Cons - expensive, slower than HW1 scouts

While HW2 scouts are often not as viable as an early recon unit as the HW1 scout, they do come with their own advantage. HW2 scouts can hold their position and force a greater number of HW1 scouts to be deployed to be delt with. Long engagement times = longer recon time.

Use tips -

  • Recon no different than described above
  • stand and fight HW1 scouts (you cannot outrun them)
  • deploy a rellacenent group when your primary group come under threat.
  • consider using a single interceptor group as an ambush force for small HW1 or HW2 anti scout detachments. Thus forcing escalation in your terms.

I’ll leave others to weigh in or describe proxy sensors, sensor array, and other advanced HW2 units I am not very familiar with.

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Great job ratamaq! You might want to mention your thoughts on ‘Ping’.

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Some to add.

  • HW2 MS/FS advanced sensors have a bigger range than a probe, and thus it’s usually the first thing I build (on 3k start) so that any incoming probes that see my ms/fs can be spotted. Otoh, CC do not have same size and I prefer putting a probe at it and reveal any probe seeing my cc and to get hyper sensor on it instead.

  • Always turn MS/FS/CC on offensive mode (F4) on game start, so any incoming probe/scout that is not carefully handled will be automatically attacked. So, do not fly scout or toss probe at the same level as enemy cap ships.

  • Sensor distortion probe has an area of effect to hide ships smaller than frigates and also has quite a bigger sensor range than a probe, allowing you to place it to light up the field without enemy probes noticing it but it requires a bit of cost and spamming it is not an option. To counter it, make sure to toss a probe above your area and another one below not at the plane level.

  • For huge maps, scout is too slow to notice any enemy HW2 builds and thus prone to become defenseless on fast hyper torp. Tossing a probe can usually fix that.

  • Hig scouts are faster by default than Vaygr’s and has less chance of being chased by ints. You should upgrade fighter speed to at least level 1 to avoid your Vaygr scout being chased to death as it can barely outrun level 1 fighters without it. (Hig scout also cannot escape from level 2 fighters) And Vaygr scout EMP are hugely effective from mid to later game and can become faster than a probe with level 2 speed, so I prefer Vaygr player providing scout recon instead of Hig for later effectiveness.
    Also, letting a Vaygr player own a Hig scout before upgrading speed and then upgrading speed will make that Hig scout to be lightning fast but this cannot be redone once upgrades are finished.

  • In maps like sarum dust cloud, the clouds hide anything smaller than frigates and putting a proxy probe in the dust will give a huge advantage as you can see every ship around it and they don’t if they do not have one near as well until ships are very close to each others making engagements advantageous. Also, when putting probe at start of game in the clouds, make sure to give some slight z-axis reallocation (parts of clouds are spread in z-axis) as putting it on plane level will make enemy scouts/fighters to reveal it by passing near it.

  • I typically research proxy probes before needing it, so that enemy cloaks will not let that ship run away before I can toss one. It is best to keep a few already produced on your cc, so whenever you need it, you can just toss them. That also defends from enemy BC approaching cloaked (Not a popular move though) if you toss one below and in front of your cc.

  • Somehow HW1 proxy probes follow capital ships if you do not move them. (Not extensively tested)

  • You build in blind, you die.

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Proxy will follow the cap ship that produces them. Think of them as unarmed fighters. They are moveable, not one shot like probes. There range is much less than a probe.

Regular probes used to follow until first move, but they don’t in HWR

HW2 scouts -
Pros - EMP

Thanks for the tips! I already did many of these, but some are new to me.

[quote=“Hideki_jp, post:3, topic:174960”]
[/quote]I gather MS is Mother Ship, but what are the other two?

Also, I never realized that Proximity Sensor Probes revealed units in dust clouds!

FS = flag ship aka vaygr ms
CC = carrier

To be more accurate, they used to follow the building ship in HW2C 1.0, but relic fixed it in 1.1 - and HWRM carried the change over.

Same goes for platforms - ie single-burn units in general.

Didn’t know that. Thanks.