Frozen Synapse: Advanced Tips and Tactics
New players to Frozen Synapse may need some help understanding the basics, but even more experienced players can always stuff some new tricks up their sleeve. In this manual we’ll review some more difficult strategies.
Rocket Spamming and Grenade Flushing
Explosive weapons are an extremely important part of Frozen Synapse. Although a bit unwieldy to use, rockets and grenades are tools that everyone who wants to compete in this game must learn.
Rocket spamming, the act of sending out rockets at no particular target, can be an effective tactic. Why? Because rockets create an area of effect that will kill any units held within, and the maps in this game are not large. When you fire a rocket at an area, you are creating a guaranteed zone in which you know your opponent won’t be if he’s smart –and if he isn’t, you’ll kill them. Although spamming rockets may feel cheesy, there’s rarely a disadvantage to doing so.
Also, keep in mind that rockets can hit half-height cover if they’re fired from a crouching position.
Grenades can be used in a similar way. Although they don’t blow down walls, they can be bounced into rooms where you don’t have direct line-of-sight, and the substantial blast radius should kill anyone inside. Firing blindly into a room means you’ve rendered that room off-limits to the enemy and can focus your attention elsewhere.
In multiplayer you’ll often play the “dark" modes where you do not have information about opponents on which you don’t have line-of-sight. This means scouting is important, but scouting can also be deadly.
One tactic is to simply have a unit move past a doorway, aiming outwards. The only unit that can fire on an opponent within the time it takes for the unit to move across the doorway is the shotgunner, so you’re relatively safe.
An even better idea is to position a long-range unit, such as a sniper or machine gunner, in an area of cover where you’ll have a significant field of view. These units will be able to survey a significant portion of the map and also attack any opponents that come into view. If you’re playing a dark mode match, survey the map for locations of cover that will give your unit excellent line-of-sight on the first turn.
Be sure to use the "v" key on your keyboard to view the current line-of-sight of your units, as well. This will help you discover any blind spots that may not have been immediately apparent.
Flanking opponents is a fundamental part of strategy in virtually all games, and Frozen Synapse is no different. Many units have to “lock on" to an enemy before firing, and the time this takes makes it difficult for the unit to fire on more than a single threat in the span of a turn. In addition to this, the explosive units don’t fire quickly.
Attacking an enemy simultaneously is often to your advantage. Let’s say, for example, that you have a machine gunner cornered in a room. You can time your attack so that one unit – further away, let’s say – appears first in the opponent’s field of vision. The enemy will move to engage, but when he does, your other unit – given a command to delay movement – swings around the corner and attacks. The opponent is already focusing on your first unit, so will be defenseless against the second.
Having this advantage this always favorable but be careful around shotgunners. They have the shortest lock-on time and can easily engage two targets in a turn.
This is another way to take advantage of the lock-on that units require before engaging an enemy. Since units require this time before firing, it’s possible to move across an opponent’s field of fire without risk if your unit leaves the field of fire before the opponent can engage.
Dancing is the creative use of cover and exploitation of the lock-on time to the range between your unit and an opponent. It’s most often used with shotgunners. By making short, quick sprints, it’s possible to approach a unit with much longer range and kill it without risking the shotgunner.
This isn’t a tactic that will work in every situation, but it’s applicable in many of them, as most Frozen Synapse maps have at least some cover available. Speaking of which, remember that cover can be used to protect a unit entirely if the unit ducks. This can be an important part of dancing towards a machine gunner or sniper.
These are not the only advanced tactics in Frozen Synapse, but they’re a decent selection, and will give you an advantage over most players. If you’re feeling like this is a bit over your head, try reading our more basic strategy guide instead.
All images are from Mode7 press materials