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New Earth Ostracon

Offensive Combat Guide

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Hunting Humans: This is a guide to profitably hunting human opponents, primarily looters, bandits and raiders as you scavenge. Melonheads may or may not be worth your effort as they seem to carry low end loot.

Dogmen:  For players with a little experience Dogmen can be profitabley hunted as well although your tactics might change.

  • Dogmen are deadly in melee, even one by itself. Its best to take them out at a distance or at least seriously wound them before entering melee range.
  • If you have the trapping skill, hardened spears are good to use for fighting these beasts early game.
  • Avoid dogman packs. No one can consistently fight half a dozen dogmen. Even 2-3 can kill the best armed player if they get close. If you bide your time its easy to pick off stragglers.
  • Having eagle eye and optics helps a lot here. The further you can see the better.
  • Using the trapping skill its possible to make $500+ per dogman kill if you kill them close to DMC. The coat is worth about $225 and if you cure them and hurry back to market the 7 medium meat they yield can be sold for $350+. 
  • One possible approach is to just focus on selling the coats and eat or leave behind the meat. This way there's no rush. My strategy for this is to use a shopping cart or box cart with 4 backpacks in it. Each backpack holds exactly 2 coats for a total of 8 coats. That makes each run potentially worth $1800 if you survive.

Scavenging: Just learned this today accidentally and I'm sure some of you are in the same boat. You can select multiple options while scavenging. For example choosing crowbar boosts loot and lowers safety and sneak and adding lighter boosts loot further and adds safety but lower sneak. Its possible to max out loot for most non DMC areas using this.

Staging: While not necessary, staging your hunting area can make things a lot safer and more efficient. You'll be selling items at the Junk Market in DMC so this will be the best place to start the staging. The area around DMC has less loot and fewer opponents as you approach the city. So getting away from this area is important if you want to find reasonable amounts of loot. I like to create a hunting trail leading away from the market. To mark my trail I carry pebbles. Every few tiles I place a pebble into the camp area. This puts the black tent icon on that hex. A good trail will travel on the flatland as much as possible to reduce travel time. It's also a good idea to make some of these camps on tiles that have a water source. Every so many camp tiles you'll want to stockpile some wood and water. Build a fire and purify plenty of extra water to leave here for later or to cart to your secure camps. 

Finding these tiles at night can be difficult so you'll want to learn where they are or if possible keep them in a line. Some urban tiles are visible at night making them great camp areas. These tiles have their own lighting as they seem to be occupied by friendly humans. The light can come in handy when you need to craft and will allow you to see should you be attacked here. Try spending a night out there to see exactly what you can see. Offices make great secure camps and you can easily cart water up there using a vehicle and water bottles. Remember that at some point you may be poisoned, thirsty, tired, wounded, etc. and only moving 1 hex per turn possibly with a dogman chasing you. Secure camps should have reasonable concealment such as forests or office buildings primarily to hide stuff that might be stolen. Try not to add tarp shelters as they reduce concealment. These should have some clean water, 3-4 noise traps, and possibly extra stones and arrows. A nanomedkit would be great as well.

Gear: Many effective strategies are possible. It's generally a good idea to carry at least the following:

  • Clean water(bottled), food, and the means to replenish these. For water a Metal pan works great for boiling 3 water at once. Water purification tablets are excellent for emergencies, they dont require a vessel or heat and take up little space. A water tester is good because it uses up 1/100 of a turn per use. It cannot however purify infected water as the previous methods can. Many metal melee weapons can serve as "sticks" for cooking meat. This can save many turns.
  • A lighter and some bark. Surprisingly, these can be used to make a small fire which is perfect for cooking and water purification when and where you need it.
  • Sharp object for cutting meat.
  • Light source. Flashlight or nightvision goggles work best here. They can be switched on and off as needed, even mid-battle. Extra batteries come in handy to hold charge. Electrical charge can be found in abundance around DMC. Conveniently these charges can be swapped easily between different battery types(See batteries). I highly recommend using a laptop battery for this purpose if you travel far afield. It takes 4 spaces, can fit in your pocket for easy access, and can hold a whopping 12 charges(20) which amounts to 240 hours of charge.
  • Weapons: There are many other possible choices here. These are merely some of my favorites.
    • Monkey wrench(seems to incapacitate better) or cleaver(doubles as cutting tool). High damage but only 1 range.
    • Crow bar(doubles as a scavenging tool). Decent damage and a range of 2. 
    • Broad spear. Low durability and won't fit into your backpack or vehicle. However this is my personal favorite weapon to wield. Range of 3 and damage seems to rival that of the monkey wrench.
    • Sling. (See the Sling section for a detailed review). Its ammo is easy to come by and it can get the job done. Reloading is a hassle and the stones weight becomes an issue. Doesn't require prepwork as the bow does(below) and doesn't use rare and costly ammunition as firearms do.
    • Composite Bow. (See the Composite Bow section for a detailed review). Requires you to spend some time crafting arrows periodically. Well worth the effort, this weapon has twice the range of a sling using heavy stones. Damage is at least as good as heavy stones. I like to carry at least 20 arrows into the field and I conserve ammo by using melee for finishing blows whenever practical.
  • Vehicle(optional)
    • You could avoid using a vehicle by carrying an extra backpack in one hand. This potentially requires you to swap out weapons mid fight using your inventory screen. If using this approach its best to focus on grabbing ammo, meds, and firearms to conserve space and reduce market trips.
    • Sleds are common, attaching a sling or medium wire to one is easy. I prefer the box cart for maximum space.
    • Backpacks can be used to maximize vehicle space. A box cart can hold 4 and a sled can hold 2. In decent condition these make good loot. In addition when you add them to your cart you'll then be able to pack more stuff into them than the space they take could hold. Bag of infinite holding maybe? I mostly jam them full of high condition shoes. Many other items have similar value to space ratios and they'll work fine too.
    • The problem with using a vehicle is that you can't run. This allows looters to get away most of the time. To deal with this you'll have to periodically stash your cart in a campsite(decent concealment if possible such as a forest or apartment) or just drop it as the fight begins and pick it up at the end. Looters will grab these no matter where you hide them so try to hang around the area and kill any who approach that hex.

Status Bar Management:

  • Food and Water have been explained elsewhere. Just be sure to keep these in the green as much as possible and to keep some extra on hand. Untested water can be used along with multiple antibiotics, and if you have the luxury of such, Tested to water to combat the cholera you may attain, Cholera itself isn't much of a downfall if you don't let it get to stage 3, Quite a bit of antibiotics will stop cholera dead in its tracks.*Pain and bloodloss are pretty obvious. Bandage bleeding wounds with clean rags and splint broken limbs. Rest and recover. Carry painkiller pills. Sleeping bags boost healing. Its advised to use the "Pharaoh" Mummy Sleeping bag, as its a whole hell of lot smaller than the bigger one.
  • Sleeping: Some survival tips are mentioned below. If you choose insomniac carry sleeping pills to handle this problem. A sleeping bag helps with sleeping but mostly seems to boost healing and provide warmth. But if you can't get your hands on any, you can just spam the "Sleep" button, and get a little bit past the well rested mark, it should last you until the next night. With insomniac, its quite plausible for you to be able to take quick 1 turn naps during the day. Whenever you get a chance to do something, take a little nap, it adds up eventually.
  • Cold/heat. This one can be tricky because the temperature changes. Its possible to get heat stroke status from being too warm. If this happens just take some clothing off temporarily. You may have to experiment with adding and subtracting things to find a good balance. A Dogman Fur Coat or Patchwork Tunic with pants and shirt pretty much elimate any freezing issues. The problem is they block your hoody pockets and can cause overheating. You could possibly get by without either of these opting for:
    • 1 Hoody (With pockets)
    • 3 Shirts
    • 1 Pants
    • 2 Shoes
    • 2 Gloves
  • Cholera/poison: From infected water and possibly raw meat(Cholera). From water and poison berries(Poison). Causes diarrhea and vomiting, messes up your immune system and causes pain. Having a nano medkit stashed nearby is your best bet. Otherwise use a few painkillers, some antibiotics, and keep sterilized water in your system. ( <--- For cholera 3 )

Tactics:

  • Prioritize targets. Try to go for targets who have something worth taking. Firearms in their hands or pulling a cart.
  • Check the ground often. I pick up most of my loot just laying around as the AI fights among itself.
  • Have a loot hauling strategy. Are you going for mostly high end loot like meds, firearms, and bullets or are you willing to sell things like boots and sleeping bags as well?
  • Closing the gap can be difficult. If you chase a looter into an open field, he'll either run away or you'll give yourself finger cramps charging toward him. Your best bet is to chase them into a forest, hill, or urban area. These places start the encounter out with you close to your opponent.
  • Nightvision can be a big help. If your enemy can't see, he will likely have trouble finding you(and stand still searching sometimes), will have trouble hitting you, and best of all trips more often as he runs. You meanwhile will be able to function normally for the most part. This also allows you to begin the fight closer to him generally.
  • Melee only: If you aren't using a bow or sling things are pretty simple. Just charge in and attack/use skills to finish the fight quickly. With all of the melee combat skills chosen, looters will go down easy once you catch them and since they're usually fleeing you will only occasionally get hit. Bandits are a little tougher and raiders are tougher than that. The only real threat is if you are fighting two or more of something. If two raiders for example get close and knock you down, there are pretty good odds that you'll die despite your best efforts. This game is unforgiving in that regard.
  • Ranged: There's a bit more strategy here. I like to get the enemy a little closer to me than max range so I can hurl a few attacks back to back as they flee. Anytime you see the vulnerable status on them let them have it. If they take cover you might be better off charging forward and closing the gap. I usually kill looters and bandits without them getting into melee range. Raiders however may require you to use some melee as well. Try to make the weapon switch before they get to you as it makes you vulnerable.
  • Backup weapons: I keep these on hand for desperate situations that crop up from time to time. Two of any enemy in melee with me, 1 or more dogmen, or whatever. I prefer a 12 gauge shotgun slung over my shoulder with buckshot. Slugs would be my second choice. A .45 handgun works fine on humanoids but not always on dogmen. A .308 rifle seems to work fine too and has the butt to use as backup. I'd skip the .38 altogether.
  • Sleeping/healing: This is your most vulnerable activity. 90% of my deaths have come from dogmen sneaking up and gutting me before I can do much of anything. Here are a few survival tips for sleeping:
    • Sleep with your backup weapon loaded and ready to fire.
    • Use 3-4 noise traps
    • Try to have your other status bars up before sleeping. These affect alertness and fighting ability.
    • Have a lightsource ready if needed or possibly turned on as you sleep. Nightvision has no drawbacks here however a flashlight might attract enemies.
    • Carefully select your terrain. I'm not sure which is best yet. Open terrain means your enemy is further away at the start of the fight. Forests offer additional concealment although the dogmen seem to find me just fine in them.  
  • Weapon swap: There are a lot of items you might want to have access to during a fight. Its possible to swap these out during a fight by using the inventory screen. You may have to drop certain items like spears since they wont fit in your pack. This isn't the best way to fight but sometimes its necessary until you get an optimal setup figured out.
    • Flashlight
    • Sling/bow
    • Melee weapon
    • Firearms(For emergencies)
    • Extra backpack/loot item/ corpse(It's what's for dinner)

Intimidation approach:

  • This is probably the most effective method. Instead of killing looters outright, save time, energy, health, and ammo by forcing them to surrender whenever possible. They'll drop their gear and leave.
  • Wounding them helps. Instead of firing 4-5 arrows to kill a raider try 1-2 and letting him surrender. All he's walking off with is his flesh and that's only a problem if you're starving.
  • A dogman fur coat helps a lot here. It seems to make humanoids less likely to attack and more willing to flee or surrender.
  • Carrying a shotgun or rifle helps. Preferably loaded. Sometimes firing a single shot at a vulnerable enemy who is carrying a firearm can pay off. You may wound a raider at the cost of one round and wind up with a rifle or shotgun worth 5-10 times as much as the bullet.

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