This guide is specifically for the beginner, and intermediate level and perhaps a 'go-over' for the more experienced human and beast commanders.
It will help you more to fully understand this unique game type and some of the basics of it. Most experienced commanders will already know most of the things covered within this guide.
I would like to start out by going over some definitions of the commanding lingo.
Comm - Short for commander
Manip or Manipulation - Basically, pulling off a fake garrison or sublair somewhere whilst trying to place a hidden tech and/or garrison/sub somewhere (generally works best on lower populated servers)
Hoarding - Trying to get as much stone as possible from a 2nd mine (generally because its going to be sac rushed or a late game sub/garr where everyone pmines it)
Suicide - Pulling off a rush which will either win or lose you the game in that instance
So without further ado, let me commence the guide
Human race Analysis
Human commanding has some brilliant advantages, whilst also some minor disadvantages
Excellent defensive ability (tower spam w/ shield)
Best ranged weaponry (Flux/Coil)
Best siege/rush race (who wins a siege rush, the summoner or the ballista?)
Commander does not require much marking unless he is pinned in his base (you can go afk if your base is good enough and you have full tech lol)
Offensive ability is mediocore (Doesnt really compare with sac and demo runners are generally quite uncommon in games now)
The first time commander is confused and a layout is generally assumed for most maps
A shield will go down quickly if it is not built to standard
Human's generally will get pushed back first by sac or a tempest/summ push (unless your stacked)
Human commanding does get boring if a stalemate progresses (more so than beast commanding)
Beast race Analysis
Beast commanding has some brilliant advantages, whilst also some minor disadvantages (basically the same as Human)
Sac is an awesome tech for a starting beast commander, and will take out garrisons or any building for that matter very quickly (especially in pubs)
Best ability to push (you can push humans behind their shield in less than 5 minutes on some maps in most cases)
Best race to start commanding (no specific layout just spread your buildings out so demo running is at least slightly difficult)
Most commanders cannot place decent shields and summoners will rape them, although beast siege is not the best
You MUST scout around your lair constantly with workers/players, if a rush garrison goes up and they have siege the game is almost indefinitely over
Beast commanding requires active scouting and constant buffing thus you cannot go afk on your team as you can with human commanding
Beast's can't hold out to well very late game (30+ minutes into the game) demo running is a constant danger
Human structures Review
Every human commanders bread and water, you will need this structure in most games first right before placing your first guard tower to protect your workers
The Research Centre
An extremely useful structure contains upgrades for all your techs and contains medkits+ammo, certainly should be placed as early as possible
The electric factorium
Used for electric weapons co-insides with magnetic in most cases, its safe to get this as a first tech on large maps flux is definitely the best tier 2 weapon and relocaters save you from being gold starved
The magnetic factorium
Generally used as a first structure when you suspect the enemy is going to go fire as a first tech possibly against strata for the ranged rivalry of it, also very useful because it allows fast shield and enables you to use sensor scouts instead of worker/player scouts
The chemical factorium
Great for offensive purposes and maybe the odd chemical rush its safe to get this tech at very late game though, also if your bad at spotting gates you can get mortar towers to kill them.
The siege workshop
You should get this as soon as you hit tier 2 its required to get tier 3 (along with research centre but you should be getting that at tier 1 anyway) also if your planning on siege rushing this is a must!
Contains chaplains (otherwise known as healers) they can revive, heal and throw potions which can regenerate your HP you should get this really late game to avoid getting gold starved (only get if you have spare stone ITS NOT VITAL)
Could be classed as one of the most useful human defences you'll need a fair few of these to cover your shield also used to protect workers
Shields buildings so they only take about 25% of damage!! most useful human structure by far
Mortar and Shock tower
Both upgraded from guard towers, mortar towers own gates and shock towers stop people from blazing/fireballing your shields
Beast structures Review
The Nexus contains all the beasts primary melee weapons getting venom as fast as possible is generally vital in most situations, however when you are rushing with your primary tech's you can afford to delay melee weaponry
The arcana contains all your useful upgrades for your tech's it also contains mana crystal/frenzy (frenzy being the MOST important, exception being if you go strata first) you should aim to get this straight after your nexus and get frenzy before sac in a fire rush
The Fire shrine
The best rushing tech in the game, you can get lovely sac from it, also sexy splash damage ember and fire wards (wards being best for small maps or ninjas)
The Strata shrine
By far the best beast tech to use on a large scale map the main reason being tempest with its great tier 2 sniping ability
The Entropy shrine
Entropy is not the most commonly used tech in Savage, however it does contain gates (which if placed teleport you from one place to the other) and surge, if used effectively makes a great innovative rush with summoners (I will go over this in a strategy guide to be produced later)
The Charm shrine
Contains summoners and behemoths, summoners being the biggie except in an entropy rush! summoners are capable of taking down structures very quickly and effectively unless they are shielded, charm should be gotten more or less as soon as you hit tier 2!
Contains healers, you can afford to get this extremely late into the game if get it at all, although it does work with some tier 2 pushes to avoid getting gold starved shamans can revive, heal and shield buildings for 70% of their damage!
The standard beast defensive structure, shoots magical arrows at incoming targets dealing minor-mediocore damage definitely get one by your workers ASAP to prevent harassment!
Wind Spire/Fire Spire
(No image found can someone give me one if possible? thanks.)
Wind and fire spires are upgraded from standard spires, fire spires do immense damage to oncoming targets and wind spires can reflect chemical weaponry (mortars/launchers) from damaging your buildings, however be cautious if the enemy goes electric first they can use disrupters to disable the towers for a short time.
Countering a sac rush
Countering a sac rush is a really arguable topic some people prefer to counter sac with electric and other magnetic myself I prefer to use magnetic the main reason for this is the shield tower, flux is really strong versus sac but its really team reliant and lets face it people in pubs really don't care about whether you win or not. The other fact is that it allows for sensors which are really good for early entropy rushes (to counter gates) its good versus strata (ranged opponent) and shield tower beats fire so you really cant lose going magnetic in my opinion, although it is wise to go elec on large maps because it's almost impossible for your enemy to sac rush you then.
How to do a sac rush
Sac rushing is fairly simple and in some maps it is almost necessary to execute one, eden2 for example shouldn't go on as a long game. First of all powermine your lair or your secondary mine then you should build a nexus (without researching melee) then build an arcana and research frenzy ASAP, next you should build the fire shrine and get ember, when you have researched ember and frenzy begin your research for sac and tell the team to move to a point just outside the enemy SH, do not fear being attacked ember has sufficient splash damage to care of the sub going up (if it doesn't go up your team is either not very good or your sub was just to close or under a hill) when the sub is up tell them to sacrifice the tech or SH depending on which one is closest!
Overview of Commanding
Ok so, you've read through most of this guide and your getting the general idea of how to command, i would highly recommend starting off your commanding career on a lower populated server first (MPUK/European server) you can get some great info by watching experienced commanders on public servers ones i recommend are; EDB, EnglishSlug, Jolly Shaman, toxic (to some extent), DarknesS, Vinther, Mats, Taggi, Crashbandicoot, mrevil, JB and many others. Now I will go over some different tactics for some basic maps
Eden2 is definitely a popular map and I would say is probably on every server
here is a good structural layout for the map:
Youtube video of layout build order: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hiiJrdgx24
You will have to go power mine 2nd redstone mine at the start and then garrison base when you have the stone, arsenal goes first, straight after that a tower (the person on gold should weaken the first beast scout) then go mag place your back tower and the back tower behind sh, then siege, then elec then tower outside arsenal and after that your free will of choice, its unsummable except from the middle. Would suggest practising it on an empty server first
Population of server to use it on; 35-64
Crossroads is just about as popular as Eden2 and is very nicely laid out for Human commanders so that you dont have to rush for a shield, its safe to go elec first here
So..heres a nice layout for it
It's quite a worthy layout and is not summable from most places although the towers are fairly difficult to place but if placed right its completely unsummable
First of all one goes flag rest powermine your base mine, after you have flag send 4 workers to your 2nd mine, place arsenal, then rc, then elec, then 1 tower (your shield tower) at back to protect the workers after that its your choice, make sure your garrison snow after obtaining the flag.
Population of server to use it on; 14-64
Kayin is not a quite so popular map but it is still played.
Heres a good and almost fully unsummable layout for it
Mag first would be a wise choice, going 2nd to fast tier 2 is advisable as it is extremely viable to the beast to sac rush on this map. The rest is your choice just be careful in your tower placement.
Population of server to use it on; 18-128
More layouts to come later on.
Beast commanding does not really require a layout, just smart placement, as in place your tech fairly split apart from each other and try heal spire it whilst surrounding the heal spire, place about 2 fire spires definitely more if you have stocked up the redstone and keep placing forward subs on hills which ARE UNSIEGEABLE FROM ANY GARRISON/FROM SH
When commanding make sure that you have a plan inmind before the game begins and try to stay focused and even in a losing position the game is not necessarily over (seriously some of the positions i've won from are lol)
There is quite a large difference between commanding on a small server (generally MPUK servers and PUG's) and playing on a largely populated server, for example EvO pub's server. On a smaller server you generally want to make your layouts more tightly placed together whilst using as few a number of towers as possible 3-9 towers) , and on a large public server where you will have plenty of powerminers its safe to make a loose layout and place quite a few towers (7-15). Of course you can place as many towers as stone you have available but on smaller servers its far more worthwhile to outtech your opponent instead of 'tower spamming'. My Eden2 layout is strictly for pub servers whilst my crossroads layout you can use for a mid-large based server, for future layouts i post I will be sure to tell you which number of a populated server you should use it on.
Demos for reference:
FOX vs TH (Human+Beast round)
FOX vs TH Rematch (Human+Beast round)
FOX vs SoN
(Note that the FOX demos are extremely good to watch as they are a difficult team to command )
Also to view demos put the demos in your c:/savage/demo folder then go into Savage and click the on the Demos button on the main screen.)
Comments/Suggestions/Ratings are appreciated. More to come when I am bored again