Mantis as Defensive Tool in CTF

Quick curiosity.

In CTF on Ragnarok, I often sprint to the Mantis and hide behind our base. I’ve found this to be tremendously effective as a defensive tool - stay far back enough that oncoming vehicles don’t know you’re there until they’re behind the base, and stay low enough and at the right angle to stay out of line-of-sight of the Spartan Laser. Provides really powerful cover too once you’ve got the flag out of their base and your team is making a run with it.

But a few times I’ve encountered players through game chat that get pretty upset at this - saying you NEVER keep the Mantis back there - and sometimes reverting to plasma grenading the Mantis until it’s inoperable.

What do you think? Great defensive tool? Offense only? Or should be completely left alone?

Thanks!

It would bother me if you were on my team, while it is a powerful defensive tool, you are doing nothing offensively. In my opinion it would be better to try and get to top middle with it so you can play both defense and offense. You also have to consider that there is a spawn zone around the base, so basically by standing there you are forcing your teammates to spawn all the way back at home base. Because of the bad spawns that your teammates will get and the fact that they are basically down a man when they try to go for top middle. The enemy team will get top middle control and scoring a flag will be extremely difficult.

While a solid strategy to open the match with, your teammates are getting mad because you aren’t changing it up to fit the situation. Same applies to the sniper as well.

At the beginning, both teams have a Mantis, Sniper, etc. Until you get control of the Laser or at least know they don’t have it, chilling behind the base is fine. It’s a counter to an early rush by a Ghost, a Hog, and a Mongoose sneaking in. I usually fire a volley or two at the Laser off spawn. The sniper should do the same.

Once your team has the Laser, you can push out to support the laser guy, so he can kill the other Mantis. With the Sniper covering you and the turret side you don’t have to worry as much. You can post up behind the hill, and move up once in a while to fire off a volley, support, etc.

If you happen to steal their Mantis, go all offense! With sniper cover, it’s open season!

Go back to your defensive role, if they get Laser, they relentlessly rush in vehicles w/o regard to their K/D, or you’re on fire. Most of the time you can kill the flag carrier when they take the lift, and defend it easily. If they take a vehicle to run the flag the Laser and Sniper should be all over that. If they have the Laser you’ll be behind the base anyways.

Remember if you get killed, the Mantis respawns in like 90 seconds. Laser and Sniper respawn every 2 min now. So, your help in controlling the hill is equally or even more important than the base.

> Quick curiosity.
>
> In CTF on Ragnarok, I often sprint to the Mantis and hide behind our base. I’ve found this to be tremendously effective as a defensive tool - stay far back enough that oncoming vehicles don’t know you’re there until they’re behind the base, and stay low enough and at the right angle to stay out of line-of-sight of the Spartan Laser. Provides really powerful cover too once you’ve got the flag out of their base and your team is making a run with it.
>
> But a few times I’ve encountered players through game chat that get pretty upset at this - saying you NEVER keep the Mantis back there - and sometimes reverting to plasma grenading the Mantis until it’s inoperable.
>
> What do you think? Great defensive tool? Offense only? Or should be completely left alone?
>
> Thanks!

You, Sir, are doing it the right way!

In the Halo 4 Guide book, in the section on the Mantis, it states (paraphrasing) that the Mantis is best used as a defensive vehicle, protecting the objective (ie flag etc).

If you were on my team and on Ragnarok, and we were having a particularly horrible time trying to maintain middle control, I’d likely spawn with plasmas and blow you up if you haven’t considered moving up to help us hold middle.

I’m the main operator on Ragnarok for objective, most times I last the whole game without dying and my main strategy is staying in back middle, maintaining cover and constant watch for anyone slipping by, I can easily pop back to base before anyone can make it out of base with the flag, and if we keep them held back enough, I go into more of an offensive pattern and bombard them with missiles constantly.

Being in a mantis in an objective gametype, you must walk a fine line between being an asset and a liability. If you don’t support your team enough and just hang back way too much, you are a liability because your team is now 4 v 5 and likely won’t hold middle, which is the most important thing to do in Ragnarok.

If you can find the perfect balance between being offensive and defensive with the machine, you are the MVP of your team, capable of providing most of the defense while maintaining control over the middle.

There has to be balance within your team. Provided there are enough offensive players this is a legit strategy. Failure to push with enough resources will make successful caps difficult and I can understand some frustration if the team lacks assigned (conscious or unconscious) roles.

I consider myself a decent-to-pro Mantis Pilot. On Ragnarok, you should NEVER use the Mantis in offense, unless your team controls the map’s power weapons (Sniper rifle can be taken by the other team, but only if there’s a lot of cover), and you are sure you have full support and are fully confident in your abilities. If you want to suicide rush in a mantis, use the Wheelman Perk. You’ll last 1.5 seconds longer, at best.

If you know how to use a Mantis on Offense, capturing flags becomes infinitely easier for your team.

However if you use it defensively, you can be the reason the game is a stalemate for so long.

I suggest using the Mantis defensively until your team secures the Laser. Then push up to help deal with enemy hogs, mantis’ and ghosts. And WITH YOUR TEAM make a push to the other side of the map for a flag cap (escorting and defending the character at least as far home as the halfway point)

What I appreciate most about the response is that this doesn’t seem to be a clear cut case - so I feel a little less stupid posing the question.

If I took the best aspects of what everyone said, it would seem that this MIGHT be the best strategy for the Mantis on Ragnarok in CTF:

  • Get it at the beginning, and camp out until the opponent’s Warthog arrives in about 12 seconds (as it does 4/5 times) - then crush it.
  • Ensure your team’s got a hand on the Spartan Laser
  • Advance to the base of the hill on your team’s side and provide a defensive / offensive role - pushing forward when your team gets the flag out of the base, and pushing back when the enemy rushes your base in a vehicle.
  • Get out of the Mantis if Sir Boobington starts to grenade you - he will not stop until you are dead.

Critics? Good idea? Bad idea?

PS - that was a really good point about forcing team respawn back at the base, I hadn’t thought about that. Really important if you’ve gotten the flag out of the enemy’s base and need a quick sprint back to the middle.

if we’re making a flag pull and their mantis is dead (obviously with no help from our own) and we’re fighting tooth and nail to get the flag to top mid and the best weapon on our team is humping around behind the base waiting for a double kill on a warthog every 3 minutes. yes I would be unhappy with you. (and just wait if that flag gets reset because we’re effectively 5v4, you would certainly spend a lot more time stationary after that)

Use it situationally, especially if your team has laser and their mantis has been taken out. The mantis basically control where your team can push offensively, if you’re helping out in between the base and mid you can still stop their push effectively.