Z DOS Multiplayer Guide & Tips - Updated 26/04/07

Place gaming and strategy issues for the original "Z" and the Expansion Kit "Z95" here.

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Tanel K
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Z DOS Multiplayer Guide & Tips - Updated 26/04/07

Post by Tanel K » 2007-04-24, 18:29

First of all, before taking part in any ensure this:


*You have Z DOS installed (duh)

*You have the latest version of DosBox (currently 0.70). Using different versions for multiplay is suspected to cause sync errors (fatal to the match)

*Your Dosbox.conf is properly configured - it must include "ipx=true" (without quotes)

*You have Hamachi installed. Join the Hamachi server you are going to use. The one currently most used by the Zzoners is the room "z game 2" with the password "tom"

*DosBox can run Z properly - in the singleplayer mode it shouldn't have hitched, should be fast etc. Adjust the Frameskip and CPU Cycles if necessary.

dosbox.sourceforge.net
http://www.hamachi.cc
[url]irc://slashnet/Z-Expansion[/url] - Z IRC chat channel. You may need mIRC or other softwware to join this.

To start playing, first everybody should start up Hamachi and DosBox. either of the players (or if there are more, any of them :P) must type "ipxnet startserver" in the DosBox initiation window before starting up Z DOS. The others must know who the "host" is. As a rule of politeness, the host should say "server started" to the other players, so that they can use the command "ipxnet connect ###.###.###.###" where ###.###.###.### is the host's IP in Hamachi.

In the next step, everybody should have connected to the host and started up Z. Go to the multiplayer menu. Ensure that you are using the NETWORK connection method and are in the same batte group (everybod should use 00 to make it most comfortable). Players can then press "connect" to attempt connecting. Once everybody's done, one of the players (who will command the red robots) can select the map and start the battle. Make sure eerybody's ready at the start moment and has agreed on the map you are going to play.

Off it goes!

Nest up is the strategy section. This will include strategy guides for all the levels (2-player; maybe 3-player later) and some general tips.


DESERT
'''''''''''''''

Desert is the smallest map and usually offers quick games. Starting decisions are especially important on this map, as losing a single tank can lose you the round.

When starting off, I reccommend you to send your Light to the middle isnald ASAP with 1 group of Psychos to attempt and take the gun. The other Psychos should go to the middle cliff area of yours to take your Gun and Light and to the one on the opposite edge of the map in your part where there is the RF3 and a Medium tank. Your fort should produce Lights to support your forces as quickly as possible.

Try to keep the central island under your control. You may need to destroy bridges to deny enemy access - especially important when you are outnumbered. Sometimes you can keep the enemies trapped on the island the same way.

You may try to produce Snipers in either your Fort (risky) or your RF3, as a group of Snipers can easily sneak in and destroy the enemy fort if it has no tanks or robots in defence.

Overall, this is a short map and offers little defensive strategy. Just see where the enemy takes his tanks and try to offer something to counter them. There are no Repair Facilities on this map, so be extra careful with damaged tanks - they can still come in very handy, whether it's destroying a bridge or escorting Snipers.

Important notes:

The Tough robots grab a gun on your fort territory. Take the Tough out and send him where he is useful (the VF2 territory on your side for instance) You can use guns to split up robot groups anyway.

The middle territory can produce a Howitzer Gun. IIRC, it can destroy a Blue fort territory gun if placed correctly, but can't take out a Red one. Howitzers offer great firepower from afar, but can easily be destroyed by enemy Light tanks, so using them is more for fun or just really risky tactics.

Lights are usually the thing to produce; trying to produce Mediums right away usually has you lose territories to the enemy who has quickly assembled several Lights.

This concludes the Desert map.

VOLCANIC
''''''''''''''''''''

This is my least favourite 2p map - due to the little amount of roads and little room for a variety of tactics and strategies. Though I dislike this ma and only rarely play it, here are a few notes i've made:

The central _road_ is important. You can bombard the enemy's RF4 and Repair Facility rendering them rather useless to him.

The corner of the central territory and the VF4 can be piled up with Guns from the RF4 and Howitzers from VF4 if necessary. Usually, it's more useful to produce Lights though.

A single Heavy is what is usually needed for almost certain victory, but keeping the VF4 under your control may prove a challenge.

You can put either your initial Toughs or Snipers in the APC. A pro can destroy Mediums and robots with ease with the Sniper APC (outranging) and it is sometimes usable against Lights as well.

Access should be maintained to either of the Repair Facilities - and make good use of them. Due to the closeness to the main battlefield the repairs are easy to go through.


ARCTIC
'''''''''''''''

In my opinion, the Arctic map also has little room for strategy, but the middle area is what makes this one so interesting and surely more fun than Volcanic.

You should send out a group of Psychos to grab the island with the RF and the Gatlings in the middle. Send one of the Toughs to back them up OR keep them around until your fort manufactures an APC - both are acceptable choices, but if your enemy sends Toughs to the middle and you don't, then you have little hope of controlling the centre.

If you gain control of the center, eliminate the enemy Gatlings and try to grab the enemy's RF island to hamper his production and pose a threat to his fort in the form of Snipers.

The casual two matchups on this map consist of a pair of Light & Medium vs Light & Tough APC. Dividing these units 3-1 (as opposed to 2-2) will most probably result in you losing the 1 unit side to the enemy (after repairs they can proceed further past the reight/left center territory and take the next lands) whilst the 2 enemies backed up with a Gun will hold you back from doing the same. In the case of 2-2 vs 2-2, winning any of these is important. If you manage to pull of both battles with success, you immidiately have the upper hand. The VF4s can produce Lights and with reinforcements from the Forts and the VF3 in the corners it's near impossible for the enemy to claim any of the middle side territories. The Repair Facilities and rought terrain make skirmishes even easier to fend off. If you happen to lose both battles, try to push on in the middle. The enemy island's RF3 is a good opportunity for a surprise attack, but be prepared for the enemy to come and secure the middle with a tank - against which robots are rather hopeless.

For main production, you can do either Lights on Tough-filled APCs. A Heavy usually takes too long - if you would be able to hold the VF4 territory long enough, then you would be able to produce a Light faster and push on swiftly.

Don't forget to repair your tanks whenever you can. Once you push through the Guns in enemy territories, the fort Howitzer is easy to take out.

JUNGLE
''''''''''''''

-to be continued-

General Tips:

*When giving attack commands to tanks, wait before the turret is rotated towards the enemy - you get to shoot earlier than the enemy if he forgets it. The turret locks to place after giving an attack command.

*Lights are good all-around, but can work wonders in pairs and trios.

*Unharmed vehicles shoot -and- move faster than damaged ones.

*Connected to the above tips, Lights in groups of 2/3 are rather good against a Heavy and can take on several lone Mediums.

*When using a Heavy against Lights or other faster vehicles, shoot and move away. This will keep the enemyfrom getting a shot at you.

*Howitzers are easy to take on with any fast unit - Jeeps, Lights, Snipers, Lasers. Even Mediums and the other bots (Toughs being an exception). When the Howitzer is about to shoot (watch it), move your attacker in another direction than towards the Howitzer (where you'd generally be moving). When it has shot, keep moving; the shots should miss. DODGING IS VERY IMPORTANT IN ANY OTHER MATCHUP AS WELL!

*Don't forget to have your factories produce something you need once you capture them - 95% of the time you don't really need this Jeep or those Grunts.

*Moreso, when an enemy is about to take your territory, switch production to something useless (a Gatling for example)

*Guns near flags are a lot harder to destroy with robots. This doesn't apply to Howitzer Guns, as in that case robots actually usually start running so, that it's harder for the Howitzer to defend.

*Keep bridges damaged if you can, so that when an enemy is about to cross, you can destroy it fast enough costing the enemy an unit // to delay the enemy at the right time. Also:

*Don't forget that bridges and buildings auto-repair (in about 2 minutes or so)

*Don't clump your units. Any explosive/fire attacks will damage all of the units that are piled up together.

*Outnumber the enemy. Whilst destroying two Heavies may seem nigh impossible with two Mediums, there is hope if you take them on one at a time, having 2v1 situations.

*When opposing a strong enemy defense (guns+units), the Mobile Missile Launcher is THE Ace card. Heavies are usually the best for defence.

*Always try to have attacking units on the road if possible. Dirt makes dodging severely harder.

*Regarding VFs, it is most of the time useful to produce Lights WHEN:
-The VF is on a dangerous border area that the enemy is prone to capture
-You are playing on a small map where deployment is fast and important (Desert-Arctic)

*Lights are very effective against most robots (Lasers are a small risk). Hit-and-run in combinations: Gru, Psy, Tou, Pyr, Las
Assault and follow: Sni, Las

*When you have a safe/guarded VF, try making bigger tanks if:
-You are positive that the territory is not in danger (good defence, few enemies nearby)
-You already have enough Lights/Mediums/APCs to react to sudden successes of the enemy - be ready for surprises.

*Use trash units (Gru, Psy, Jeep) to lure enemies to attack them whilst stronger units blast away without getting hurt.

*When your Gun/Gatling is being sniped, you may try to hop out of it. It should lure the Sni/Las to run towards the gun. Then pray that your unit is wise enough to get back in it on your command.

*You can keep any guns unplaced once they are ready. A rapid deployment of 3-4 Guns can be used to take out a Heavy/MML. Deploying a Gun right by Snipers usually beats them as well. Surprise Howitzers can be epecially menacing.

*Ever wonder why -your- Snipers and Lasers die because of Guns? To guarantee their effectiveness, don't order them to attack the Gun (or Gatling), but instead move them closer step by step just so that the Gun gets in the range of the units so that it can't fire back.

*Shooting fort towers with Guns on them using a Light/Medium/Toughs in the right place will destroy them, as shells are not 100% accurate - can be used to take out Guns without receiving damage. Also applies to the MML vs Missile Gun situation.

-will be continued-

P.S. Yes, there is an official guide, but i find that some might want to learn from my personal experience as well =)
Last edited by Tanel K on 2007-04-26, 18:07, edited 2 times in total.
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CHYROS
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Post by CHYROS » 2007-04-24, 19:32

strategies for all the standard multiplayer maps are also on the bitmap brothers' website.
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Post by Tanel K » 2007-04-26, 21:31

P.S. I'm awaiting good suggestions and discussions/comments about what I have written - mostly about what you think is generally wrong or a bad idea :)
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Post by CHYROS » 2007-05-20, 02:59

Tanel K wrote:P.S. I'm awaiting good suggestions and discussions/comments about what I have written - mostly about what you think is generally wrong or a bad idea :)
Having read through the entire thing, I generally agree with almost all of it. The guide is written in great detail; you must've been playing for a long time.

One comment on the sniper vs guns hint; instead of ordering them step-by-step (which requires a lot of micromanagement), just order them to move right next to the gun. When the gun in in range, they will automatically attack without being shot at. About the MML vs Missile gun matchup; the MML outranges the missile gun anyway; it can kill it without being shot at (no need for using splash damage). Also a note; the default repair time for bridges is 90 seconds, for buildings 200 seconds.

One thing you might want to add; if you have a Howitzer but are afraid of those pesky Lights or Snipers killing it, just put a group of Toughs or Lasers if you can afford it, right in front of it. Effectively blocks all Snipers and puts the hurt on small units (you force them to use mediums, which is also much harder now). Howitzers play a very important role on some maps, so this could be useful.

EDIT: another tip; if you really want to put a building out of business, don't completely demolish it, but shoot it until its timer reads +:++. These don't auto-repair (as far as I know), and Cranes can't repair them. And since the enemy can't shoot his own buildings, it should be put out of business indefinately.
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Post by Tanel K » 2007-05-20, 13:55

The buildings trick is great :D

However, don't both MMOs and Missile Guns have range 8? At least accoring to my experience and the Z manual that is so. And i'm talking about Z-Dos, it may be different in Z95.

And howitzer support can indeed be done by Toughs and such, in addition to Guns.

Thanks for the review Chyros :D
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Post by CHYROS » 2007-05-20, 17:15

Tanel K wrote:However, don't both MMOs and Missile Guns have range 8? At least accoring to my experience and the Z manual that is so. And i'm talking about Z-Dos, it may be different in Z95.
It is in Z95, and I believe it is true for Z-Dos also, but I'm not completely sure. Don't trust the manual though, the stats they put in there are very inaccurate (see my topic on unit stats modding here for more on that).

Oh, one more thing I forgot; Toughs really aren't that bad against Howitzers. They can take lots of splash damage and once they set up, Howitzers fall very quickly, try it ;) .
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Re: Z DOS Multiplayer Guide & Tips - Updated 26/04/07

Post by Technosis » 2008-03-13, 13:54

Hey guys

Im kinda getting a problem when i use hamachi to play Zdos ... i had played against Zen but we lagged like no tomorrow and my firewall was turned on then i tryed to vs a mate from my tafe then it didnt work ... i try to ping him with in hamachi and kept on getting timedouts i eben tryed turning off the firewall to see if this helped but of couse no sucess i really donno how Zen did it :O magic haha ;)

any way anyone got any ideas y this ant worken?
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Re: Z DOS Multiplayer Guide & Tips - Updated 26/04/07

Post by Zen » 2008-03-13, 20:40

Hey great to hear from you again!

So you cannot ping him in hamachi although he lives just a few miles away?
Jabber: zen at jabber.ccc.de (no email!)
Tanel K
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Re: Z DOS Multiplayer Guide & Tips - Updated 26/04/07

Post by Tanel K » 2009-01-03, 01:25

BUMP and also a sticky request :) Mayhaps finishing the guide this year!
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