Good armour is key in winning a Battlefield 3 match. That's why we thought it would be a great idea to round up some of SA's best armour players and chat to them about what it takes.
Durban's Tyron “Prokill” Bataille is rated by many in the local community as one of those best. His team, NSD (playing under the monicker 'Sons of rAge') got to the knockouts at the Do Gaming Championships (DGC) 2012, eventually ousted by the runners-up, ASF. It was a good season for NSD last year.
NSD has entered two teams into the Do Gaming League (DGL) 2013, namely Sons of Chaos and Sons of Liberty. Bataille forms part of the latter.
I got hold of him to see what he thinks about being labelled one of SA's best armour players and am greeted by a touch of modesty.
“One of the best when I am on form... maybe,” he says. “The best? No.” That last statement is emphatic. But then he puts himself on his own list of top five armour players in the country.
“In no order – Hackem, Grizzlah, Oakely Razor, Patriarch and Prokill.”
I laugh at that. Interestingly enough, Willie 'Oakely Razor' Botes is one of Bataille's fellow team-mates (drives APC).
“Like I said. When in form. At the moment, I'm about 577843579878th.”
Be that as it may, this avid Battlefield player has a lot to tell us about what makes for a good armour player. He essentially breaks down his 'armour philosophy' into seven points, as such:
”Patience: You need to have the ability to wait for the best time to attack, wait for their armour to peek or make a move.
Trust: You need to have full trust in your fellow squad mates. When you’re at 15 percent HP, disabled and in enemy territory, you need to trust that they will get you in time.
Communication: Between squads and players, you need to know where the enemy armour is at all times to avoid flanking.
Practice: Nothing can make you better in armour then constant practice.
Balance: You need to have a balance between aggression and defence and know when to be aggressive or passive.
Engineer team: Nothing defines the skill of a tanker more than the skill of the support team. Simply put, a decent tanker with a good engineer squad can kill a good player without one.
Position: Turning to take more shots into your reactive, knowing good spots to attack from. Knowing where to hit the enemy tank.”
NSD Sons of Liberty / Sons of rAge - Blue stands for armour players (Prokill at bottom left), Green is infantry
Battlefield 3 is a team sport, and his second last point is important. Each member of the team must help the others not only to win the match but also, during practice, to get better. There are ways in which the team can help their armour players in this regard.
“Communication is one of the most important ways in which a team can assist the armour. Other than that, things like focusing on a single target and helping the tank / APC take it down. Also, the team assists by taking down the enemy's engineers and flanking the tank while it's hitting you.”
These are all things that can be practised as a team works on its strategy. But, as an individual, a good armour player knows that he ought to get his own practice in.
“Join pub servers where you can put yourselves in tricky situations. Take on the best players. But then, remember: learn to work very well with your squad,” Bataille says.
According to Battlelog and BF3 stats, Bataille has put in 711 hours of play. He has played 3,343 rounds – a W/L ratio of 3.020 with a K/D ratio of 3.154. His fellow NSD armour player, Botes, has put some more time in – 1381 hours, 5029 rounds played (W/L of 1.976 and K/D of 2.470). Of course, public servers are not necessarily the best way to measure a player's skill, but the point is that they both put considerable time in.
So how is NSD Sons of Liberty feeling about this upcoming DGL season?
“We are pretty keen to get back into the swing of things. We're all back from a clan holiday and are now starting to 'gear up' for the comp. I personally am quite impressed with the turn out of this DGL; I am glad new teams are still trying out.”
Bataille says that they have made a few changes to their Sons of Liberty team, but when looking at the line-up it appears that it's pretty much the Sons of rAge team (with Danie 'Heckers' Nell at the captaincy this time) with a few extra reserves. Here's the line-up:
“We will be ready for the upcoming games,” says Bataille.
Sign up for the Battlefield 3 DGL 2013 here – registrations close on 20 January.