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Fuh...Fire in the Hole...


Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-02-01 08:05:34

"And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy."


I was so busy with the additional work of prepping the new website that I asked Vargas to handle writing chores for today's strip. Well, shit, if he's going to do this well, I may never have to write another The Adventures of Dave the Direman again.

As for Call of Duty 4, actually, I don't care how experienced you are at FPS games. You could be the "Grand Poobah Halo Champion of the Fucking Galaxy", but if you don't have situational awareness and the tactical acumen to cover the proper fire lanes, opponents exhibiting proper teamwork will rip you a new orifice. When Infinity Ward invited actual Marines (many of whom weren't gamers) to check out Call of Duty 4, they simply applied their training and whupped the Infinity Ward playtesters, who had mad twitch skills and prior knowledge of the game mechanics and maps.

Last Sunday, my buddies and I spent several hours examining Call of Duty 4 maps. I've gotten most of my Xbox Live friends to play the "Domination" mode, because it's the one game type where you can establish a Main Line of Resistance, and keep the enemy from spawning behind you. Out of all the game modes, it most closely simulates an actual battle situation. Basically, Vargas, everything I shared with you guys that night had nothing to do with past FPS video game experience, but rather the application of tactics that I'd picked up from years of paintballing in high school and from geeking out on military history texts. In any case, the five of us who collaborated that night went on to utterly annihilate all opposition. (Teams consist of six players, and we rolled the opposition even with our random 6th guy not on the same page.)

I'm considering doing a full write-up for Call of Duty 4 Domination once the Columns section of the website is functional, but I'm actually loathe to share how to lock down each map, in case we'd have our own techniques applied against us. (Even though the Call of Duty 4 community is massive, if you play enough Domination, you eventually start recognizing your better opponents.) On the other hand, if any of you want to run with us, it'd be awesome to consistently have full teams of six all acting in concert. When we've got those five on, we're like the frickin' Borg from Star Trek. I got up to a 2.00+ kill/death ratio just running by myself, but when I have my teammates it's at least 50% higher. Let me know if you would like me to create this guide once the Forums are up and running.

As for me and grenades, oh boy. I'm absolutely horrendous with the finicky little buggers. This dates back to my Counter-Strike days. I don't know how many times I'd huck a grenade, just to have it bounce off an overhang straight back into my lap, or the number of times I'd end up flashing myself or my teammates. For the sake of my clan (JUICE!), I refrained entirely from ever using them. Even now in Call of Duty 4, I use stun grenades because if I use flash grenades, I end up blinding myself. The scenario in the last panel of today's strip came straight from a session of Day of Defeat. The enemies had set up a choke point we had to seize, and the express purpose of grenades is to dislodge an entrenched enemy position. My throw failed to clear the window I was aiming through and dropped right back at my feet. As I ran away from the impending explosion, I muttered an inaudible, "Fuh...fire in the hole," in a futile effort to save my teammates from my handiwork.



Now Playing - Still Call of Duty 4 (360) whenever I can spare the time; looking forward to hitting other titles up as I catch up on completing the new website

Xbox Live/PSN Gamertag - Vawce

David Vargas David Vargas: (dave-deleteme[at]-deleteme-squishycomics [dot] com) 2008-02-01 15:28:12

Based On A True Story


Today's strip is inspired by our real life shenanigans with Call of Duty 4. As Dee points out, he has the benefit of being a total military history geek as well as an old-school FPS gamer from the Counter-Strike era. I, on the other hand, played the occasional FPS game casually, playing a little GoldenEye, Halo and Halo 2 from time to time.

Then I buy my 360. I get my hands on Gears of War and play that consistently with Dee and my other online buddies. I soon realize that I have fairly respectable twitch skills: I managed to outgun 4 enemies who had me surrounded by leaping left and right and firing off my shotgun, all while doing my patented Dave Panic Noises, something that is better heard than described, although I welcome Dee to try.

Unfortunately, my grasp of strategy, tactics, situational awareness, and communication skills were virtually nonexistent, and all of this was compounded by my impulsive tendencies.

Enter Call of Duty 4. I begin the multiplayer game exactly where I left off with Gears. I start off rather poorly, running around with roughly a 0.7 kill/death ratio. Then Dee gives me some pointers and things to look for. It does not really sink in until I see him do it. It is easier for me to learn if I see it done first. My kill/death ratio hits 1.0 and slowly improves. Then, slowly, things begin to sink in. I learn to read the map a little better. I learn to predict some of the things enemies do on each map. I learn to use my weapons properly, etc. My kill/death reaches a happy 1.30.

Then, our buddies Paul (Trebuchet from the Squishy Forums), Arturo and Joel (both from Squishy Comics), Dee and myself sit together one Sunday evening, lay down the maps, fire up the 360 for reference, and talk. Dee leads the meeting since he has the most experience with the game as well as being the strategy geek. He takes each map and marks important points to hold, how to best approach certain areas, and anything else that needs to be noted. Each of us shows how we start each map and fine tune accordingly. We also decide different roles to fill on different maps based on need and ability of each player. Everything just clicked that night. Now I am sitting on a 1.45 kill/death on record with an actual kill/death in current games being more like 2.0 or better.

So what I am trying to say to our readers who play Call of Duty 4 is that if you want to improve your game, this strip gives you an idea of where to begin. And if your twitch skills are already top notch, adding sound strategy will make you devastating.

Also, Dee's grenadier skills hurt me. A lot.

Now Playing - Call of Duty 4 (360): Feel free to say 'hi' to us if you see us.

Xbox Live Gamertag - Late Customer.

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