Cogmind: Weapon Playstyles Guide

This “guide” discusses high-level strategies based on your weapon type. Why fire on sight when you can play it smart? It’s more of a stream of thought because the game is so deep and I’m bad at it. Please leave a comment on what strategies you think are good.

Before reading this guide it may be useful to read the Hit Chance section in the manual. While in-game press Esc->3->m, then scroll to the Hit Chance section using arrow keys. Actually just read the entire manual, it’s fun and creative.

 

MiniRetreats

Cogmind usually needs to retreat to cover to regenerate Heat or Energy. So it can make sense to plan those spots beforehand, and even start combat at long range so you have sufficient time to regenerate. Usually wall corners are better for this than doors, as they leave you with more options.

BVR (Beyond Visual Range)

It’s possible to attack an enemy without ever giving them a chance to retaliate, by always staying out of their view or attack range.

It can also be done by shooting grenades/bombs at a wall near them (or shooting through a wall with powerful ballistics) when Cogmind cannot see them. With this tactic it makes sense to MiniRetreat to other doors/corridors where you can repeat the tactic. Just make sure you’re outside the radius.

Specialist Loadut: Fast movement, Sensors, Electromagnetic Launchers, 2-3 engines, batteries.
Terrible in close quarters (self-corruption!), great against swarms

Generalist Loadout: Fast movement, Visual Range, 20+ range Ballistic/Thermal Guns
Slightly weak against swarms.

Evolution Suggestions: No more than 3 weapon slots.
Reason: Short volley time will allow MiniRetreating to BVR between volleys. Also you just don’t need that many weapons against an enemy who can’t hurt you.

Doorcamping

Run to a nearby door and stand 2 spaces opposite from it. This gives you the accuracy bonuses for close range, stopping for more than 2 turns, and the first volley, giving high potential for an instant kill.

Specialist Loadout: Mix of Low-Accuracy Ballistic and Thermal Guns, Wheels.

Generalist Loadout: Any bot when outnumbered.

Evolution Suggestions: ~5 weapons.
Reason: The larger the volley the more likely you are to instakill. However, you don’t want to waste time firing at an enemy that’s already dead while another walks in the room and shoots you. Acquiring a new target during a volley only works if that target’s in the room, so if you have an excessively large volley, wait until you have two targets.

Fire at Will

Of course you can just fight out in the open. This is obviously necessary if you’re slower than the enemy. But it’s also worth considering every time you start the battle in close range. Is it really worth retreating to high ground when the enemy will get 3 shots on you beforehand?

Do the math. How many time units will it take to retreat? How many volleys will it take to destroy the enemy (An average of Dmg * Core Exposure % / Core Integrity)? If it’s too hard to retreat to a long-term 1v1 position, maybe just retreat to a temporary 1v2 position, or fire before many enemies are in range.

Frying/Melting

To a beginner it seems clear that you should use your matter, energy, and heat in combat equally. But there’s one important reason not to: when enemies receive ~400 heat or 100 corruption, they pretty much instantly die, regardless of bot size. This means that builds which focus entirely on Electromagnetic Damage or Heat Transfer can kill any target quickly, and by converting other resources to Energy or Cooling respectively can shore up the weaknesses of using a single meter, provided they have the strength and storage to find these specialized parts.

Heat Transfer is a little less specialized. It will be much more effective against other thermal enemies, and at 100 heat the enemy has -33% accuracy and you have +33% accuracy against them, while 25% corruption basically means just a 10% chance they skip their turn and -2.5% accuracy, so a little Heat Transfer is much more useful than a little Electromagnetic damage. The same heat effects apply to self, so lots of heat will negate that benefit anyway. It’s also much harder to get very high Cooling than it is to get very high Energy, so Thermal builds often favor mixing with other weapons and the MiniRetreat tactic above.

Some notes:

  • You get almost no salvage from a totally corrupted/melted bot. Index those Terminals/Fabricators.
  • Evasion/flight synergizes with enemy heat by additively stacking hit chance reduction (down to 10%), though it’s hard to do that without heating yourself.
  • Melee synergizes with heat by totally ignoring it. That’s pretty big.
  • Crushing melee weapons deal similar levels of corruption damage, obviously synergizing with Corruption strategies.
  • Some enemies have resistances.
  • Damage does not affect heat transfer.
  • These builds may struggle against swarms, since they take the same amount of time to kill. Have a backup.
  • EM weapons can also focus on “disruption”, which has a 50% chance to stun a bot when affecting the core, allowing for a hacker to “assimilate”. Seems riskier, but rewardier.
  • EM damage also has a “spectrum”, meaning they cause explosions on Engines and Machines. This is not a huge deal but something to consider for terrain.
  • Corruption and Heat on Cogmind are VERY bad.

Hybrid Movement

Propulsion parts don’t have mass. As such it occasionally makes sense to carry a single low-penalty propulsion item like Treads along with sufficient wheels/legs to not be encumbered. This has the additional benefit that each Tread gives +2% chance to hit (only while activated) and serves as decent armor. I’m unsure about other hybrid movement strategies.

Terrain Scanners

They’re garbage, right? No. Every bot has an optimal range, and if you know the map, you can position such that you will very often fight at that range, even before you’ve spotted an enemy. It will even let you identify terminals if you know what they look like. The strategy behind pre-combat positioning is very difficult though; sensors are surely better, unless you can’t find one or already have one.

Ramming

It’s fun.

Damage is (15+mass)/5*(speedMult)*momentum. SpeedMult being 100/speed, momentum being the number from 0-3 on the UI next to speed.

So at 100 mass, 120 speed, 3 momentum, you deal almost 50 guaranteed damage, similar to melee weapons. And the manual mentions something about enemies speeding towards you also contributing to the damage. Momentum resets, so the damage is not repeatable and you need some time to get up to speed.

You take half the damage unless you’re using treads or 5 legs, although hovering can mean you hit super hard for the maximum 100 damage. You also have a chance to instakill small bots with treads, but it’s small.

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Post Author: Robins Chew