The Defender role-type is a guide that I've been putting off for quite some time now. Reason being is this: this role-type is almost interchangeable with the soldier type on initial appearance. The primary difference though is that the defender must be more durable than a soldier, carry more weapons than a soldier and do more damage than a soldier. Compare a standard police officer with a fully outfitted swat officer in full gear and you'll start to get the idea. Defenders are built to take a beating and to pass out a serious beating themselves. By choosing to play as a defender, you are the equivalent of 911. I know that the game's manual states that a defender is to "protect the base, protect a COMBAS, protect the TC, and protect the heavy gunner" but as we've already seen, most of what the manual states.....is useless. The game was built to be customized and modified and that's what we did. The problem with the defender though is figuring out where specifically it fits into the game-play. I've personally seen it most effectively used in similar situations that a soldier would be used, but it's best brought in as backup. Now, that does not mean "sit at the base until the team is dead then rush in and save the day". What I mean is: stay back just enough until you notice where your team is taking light to moderate losses, then rush in to assist when your team starts having problems. See the difficulty in the defender definition here? Defenders are support on call, they are your backup, they are the reserves.
It's been my experience that the defender role-type didn't really come into it's own until the first patch that spawned the mariokarts. These base-rushers brought the defender role-type out of extinction due to their power and ability to "hold the line". With massive instantaneous firepower at close range, heavy durability, and high rotation speed, the defender role-type had finally come into it's own. The update had improved the durability of the treads making them finally viable on the battlefield. I haven't spent a lot of time as a defender role-type specifically, but I did spend a little bit at the end of my soldier valor days (about 200 hours worth) that could technically be classifiable as "true" defender points. So all the being said and out of the way, let's get this thing rolling.
Mobility Base [Chassis]
Inverse: Once again, RJ-Naqa and MSK-RJ401 are your de-facto choices. Inverses are still applicable due to popular demand but for sheer practicality these days, not so much. My guess is that it's a group of people that aren't wanting to adapt and are just stuck in a rut. Regardless, they are durable, have a good load-out and do what they are supposed to do...there are just better choices in my opinion.
Treaded: All treads here are valid, Sal Kari treads are good for low electrical usage, Tarakia's treads focus on stability and speed, and Morskoj's specialize in heavy armor and durability. The most popular by far is the M14CL Meade, due to it's extremely high speed, but as always it's up to the players. Treads should be in my opinion your chassis of choice due to their high rotation speed (harder to get behind them) high durability (you're going to be outnumbered fairly often here) high load-out (armor + weapons = heavy stuff) all tailor made for the defender role-type
Quads [Multi]: Don't even try it. They don't have the speed to be applicable and are just a joke. You're better off on treaded or inverse chassis. Yes, they are durable...but nowhere near durable enough to justify their usage.
9 Slot: Morskovian MSK-C10 & MSK-C20 should be your go to guys for the 9 slotters. Durability and small size are good for defenders with chip-sets fully available. Sal Kar and Tarakian canopies need not apply here. Lacking in durability, too much focus on energy generation. A defender needs to be simple, brutal and effective. No room for finesse or niceties here. Keep it simple, keep it durable.
8 Slot: Tarakian and Morskovian are once again canopies of choice. Both of these nations' 8 slotters have high durability with a minimized target area. The Tarakian canopies are especially easy to cover in armor as well with a little imagination. Morskovian 8 slotters present a thin narrow profile so long as you are facing your target head on. Sal Kar canopies are once again, too focused on electrical generation, and have the bubble canopy that makes them all too easy to be taken out and durability wise they are on par with the MSK-C20 anyway.
7 Slot: Morskoj being default nation here, these although durable.....are encumbered by their sheer size. Cannon hound fodder and sniper joytoys make what could have been the ultimate canopy...a never was due to it's being a slight shrinkage of the empire state building. Keep it low profile, like under 20 stories.
Morskoj: Kings of heavy armor plating, this should be the beginning and the end of your discussion. All Morskovian generators have high durability. As we all know your generator goes, you go. Tarakian generators run too hot, Sal Kar generators typically are lacking in durability department. However, you shouldn't need to go above a MSK-G100 generator. Anything else larger than this hampers itself by being that much more of a target. Remember a defender needs to be survivable. You need to be able to take it and keep rolling like nothing hit you.
Large Rockets: These definitely have a place on the defender role-type since this most recent patch. Prior to the most recent patch, these rockets came out in a straight line. They now spread laterally a bit, making them cut a wider swath. Sal Kari heavy rockets have a low reload time, if you're needing a quick fix, they're decent. Tarakian heavy rockets have the longest reload time. Inexcusable if you're defending. Remember the idea here is to hit the opponent three ways: hard, fast and repeatedly. Morskoj is once again the crown prince of heavy arms due to it's high damage, reasonable reload rate and awesome ammunition supply. Checked by it's large size...your final options are the Sal Kar or Morskovian rockets.
Heat Seekers [Missiles]: Commonly viewed as "cheap" weapons by those lacking intelligence enough to keep their distance, these weapons have a very nice side effect when they make contact with their target other than damage. They also provide a small smoke screen on impact making your target blinded temporarily. Moving on to the actual parts choices though, Sal Kar and Morskoj are once again your nations of choice. Sal Kar being lighter weight and Morskoj being the more powerful, Tarakia is left out of the mix due to it's reload times yet again.
Huge Cannons: Some might view these as a defender viable alternative. I'm going to have to say no due to their low durability. Keep these in the heavy gunner class. A defender needs to be able to take a pounding. The heavy guns are now incapable of doing this.
(rather than going through all the classifications as I have in the other guides, I'll stick with what is needed for a defender.)
Grenades: GrL-Mumtir and their downloadable counterparts are grenades of choice. Keep them packed in a tight cluster and they can infuriate any opponent. You probably won't get a kill off of these, but they are lethal to an opposition's weapons. I've had my weapons stripped many times by a massive influx of these and it is extremely frustrating. Remember: a weaponless warrior is a dead warrior.
Heat Rocket: These came to power in the days of the first patch. The advantage these have is threefold
- On contact, these stop any moving opponent, a momentary stillness if you will -- useful against fast movers.
- Minimal reload time: Remember, hard, fast, and repeatedly is how a defender must hit. You let up on your opponent they live, you fail.
- Severe damage: These do just as much damage as a cannon in a shorter period of time.
The Sal Kari HTR-Jazar and HTR-Khiyar along with the Rafzakael RFZ-WHT-2 should be your go to options. These are more durable and won't "pop" like the Tarakian or Morskovian heat rockets.
Shotguns: Best get the Morskovian variety here. These are still viable on treads or inverse. They are lacking in the range that they used to though. Your choices with Morskoj are either single barrel or double barrel. Single barrel does more damage per shot, double barrel has the lesser reload time. My advice is mix it up between single barrels and double barrels and keep firing.
Rocket '6 Packs': I won't even touch on the '4 Packs'. Sal Kar is once again de-facto choice. RtL-Khass and RtL-Kurunb along with Rafzakael counterparts are your go to guys. Used up close and personal these are lethal. Minor splash damage though so watch your distance.
Cannons: M20CN Anelace, M01CN Falchion and MSK-CN300 all with CE ammunition. I wouldn't put these too much on a defender these days despite what the campaign says. They are more of a soldier weapon now. M20CN Anelace for quick reload, M01CN Falchion for middle ground and MSK-CN300 for outright power.
Howitzers: M02HW Espadon, M21HW Faus, Hwz-Ghayma and MSK-HW300 are the ones to go for. Personal preference here, MSK-HW300 back the biggest oomph, Hwz-Ghayma are your faster re-loaders with M02HW Espadon and M21HW Faus in the middle.
Ammunition Notes: (taken from my HVG Guide) Use what fits your situation best -- I'd advise 60's or Incendiary damage. Ammo Classifications:
High Explosive: best known pre-patch for splash damage, these are the choice for dropping bases.
- HE200-40: As stated with the big cannons, you get what you pay for.
- HE200-60: Increased splash damage, but less damage from direct hit -- best for use against hounds, especially in close groups, where misses or nearby hits can disorient/stop hounds or destroy multiple parts.
- HE200-90: Increased damage from direct hit, but lower splash damage -- best used against large targets where direct hits are likely (bases, secret weapons, etc).
Incendiary: fire splash and high temp. Mostly used to attempt to replace the lost "splash" damage from the most recent patches.
- Incendiary-200: Larger fire spread, less intense but longer lasting, very effective against hounds that do not have a radiator.
- Incendiary-200N: Smaller fire spread, more intense but shorter duration, recommended against hounds that are equipped with radiators.
[author's note: Fire should not be used if the opponent is within 700 meters or less of the heavy gunner's current position. Also, to the best of my knowledge, fire does almost no damage to an enemies' base. Fire is better used against hounds, however, remember that fire does not differentiate between friend and foes. Fire does damage over time which is not something that you will have on your side when going toe to toe. Keep your distance and stay behind the front lines]
Landmines: Yeah...............pointless.............moving on now.
Defenders, this is going to be a necessity. There's plenty of notes flying around on the net regarding what armor does what, so I'm going to just do what I usually do and narrow it down for you.
Deflective: Shoot at it, it deflects stuff. Choices here are the AM-Nuhas, and the thick Morskovian. Durability only lasts so long, so when it goes it goes. Yes it adds weight, but it isn't hitting your vital parts at least.
Reactive: A little harder to describe, it's basically explosive armor. Shell hits the armor, the impact causes the gunpowder inside to detonate. The detonation counteracts the incoming projectile stopping it. Designed to stop armor piercing rounds. First perfected back in WWII it caused friendly casualties due to the explosive nature of the armor. Keep it at the Morskovian or Tarakian variety for best results.
Keep your focus on acceleration and rotation. You need to be able to twist, turn and get rolling quickly more than you need top end. The vast majority of the weapons listed here are recoilless with the exception of shotties, cannons and howitzers, so keep it simple and you'll be recoil free and never lose your mobility.