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Forgrim's Heavy Bolter Introductory Guide

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Forj, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    Alpha Patch #11 - created 7 Feb 2016
    Alpha Patch #12 - updated 14 Feb 2016 - D-bash no longer stuns long enough to shoot.

    This is a very basic introduction to the mechanics of a Heavy Bolter Devastator. I won’t be going into great detail, and I won’t be covering tactics. This is intended for those who have just picked up the Heavy Bolter, and ask “Now what?”

    The Heavy Bolter has some weaknesses. It’s slow moving, weak in melee, and is prone to getting outshot at range if you’re not careful. However, with a bit of luck, a bit of practice, and a bit of tactical thinking, it can be a force to reckon with, and very enjoyable.

    This guide is also available on Steam:

    Loadout Options 1:33

    Primary Weapon: Heavy Bolter. Obviously.

    Grenades: In a choice between Frag and Krak grenades, I prefer Frag. Krak grenades aren’t so useful against infantry given the way that you engage. Krak grenades are good if you keep finding Rhinos that someone has left lying around. 2 Kraks and a good dose of Heavy Bolter can be qutie effective. But still, I find more use for the frag.

    Equipment: For your second equipment slot, I suggest going for the Ammo Pack. I find that you’re usually either dead, or not, so the health packs don’t see much use. I don’t think the Devastator is going to get the best use out of a Repair kit either. I have, however, found myself wishing for an ammo pack even before they were available to Devastators. When I’m out in the field for a long time, doing a lot of suppression, they’re very useful. Plus they save you the embarrassing run back to the nearest crate.

    Movement 3:15

    The Devastator is slower than the other classes, both walking and sprinting. This means that you’re an easier target to track, and will take more hits. Bear this in mind when moving out of cover. Your turning circle is also pretty wide, so doing a U-turn to go up stairs can take longer than you think.

    Now, you can’t dodge roll like the other classes either, and certainly no jetpack evade. What you’ve got is this little hop. It won’t take you far either, and won’t get you completely clear of grenades. Also, be aware that it drains half your stamina, so you only get two of them. Use them wisely.

    You can’t climb up things like other classes, but you can crouch. If you move when crouched, you stand up and move normally, returning to crouch when you stop. You can also slide into a crouch by pressing C while sprinting.

    Firing Options 4:07

    The Heavy Bolter is belt fed and fully automatic. 500 rounds of the Emperor's Mercy, and no need to reload this sucker until you’re out. You’ll probably want to restock before you run out though, the Low Ammo warning is kinda irritating. You can restock your ammo supply from a supply crate, the back of a Rhino, or you can carry an ammo pack yourself.

    The Heavy Bolter only has one fire mode: full auto death spray. However, it has several different ways you can affect how it fires. Hip fire is the least accurate. It has a large spread, that increases as you fire, or when you move. You can’t sprint while firing, but you can move at a walk. You can also crouch, which increases accuracy a little. Where the Heavy Bolter comes into it’s own is when it’s Braced. You Brace by using your middle mouse button by default. When doing so out in the open this just aims down the sights (ADS), which improves your accuracy considerably, but decreases your movement and turning speed. Spread still increases as you fire, but to a lesser degree than hip-firing. Find a proper piece of cover though, and the Heavy Bolter really shines. Your shots land pretty much where you point the reticle, and spread from firing is reduced to zero. The only thing taking your shots off target is barrel climb and target movement.

    Suppression 7:22

    Suppression is your bread and butter, the reason for bringing a Heavy Bolter to the battle. It actually has a very simple effect: anyone your shots hit or nearly hit has their screen blur and shake, and their accuracy reduced. This is what makes the Heavy Bolter a support class rather than a direct damage class. You can certainly get kills, and a lot of them, but the Heavy Bolter is best used to support your squad by reducing the effectiveness of return fire.

    Simply shooting near someone is enough to suppress them. You can tell if someone is suppressed if you can see a red double triangle above their head. This can also be used to spot enemies, if the single small red triangle isn’t showing. Be careful though: you will also suppress any friendlies that you shoot near. Control your fire.

    Melee Options 8:26

    These are rather more limited than your firing options, unsurprisingly. A lot of the time, your experience of melee will be brief and unexpected. However, if you keep your wits about you, you can delay long enough for someone to help you, or even manage on your own - with a bit of luck. For the purposes of this basic introduction, I’m going to focus on the two melee attacks you’ll get the most use from, rather than considering all your options.

    First up, your basic melee attack: Right Mouse button will simply bash them with the Heavy Bolter. This won’t do much damage, but it will “clang” and prevent some damage - delaying your death. You can keep this up until your stamina runs out, so at worst, keep trying this.

    A better option, if you have the time, is the Defensive Bash. If you hit Left Mouse and Right Mouse at the same time, you wind up for a kick. During this animation, you block certain attacks. The kick itself knocks the enemy back a little, and staggers/stuns them for a short while. If you’re lucky, this will be long enough to bring your weapon up and fill their face with bolts. Don’t rely on this, however, as the stagger time is often not long enough. And once they start hitting you again, they’ll be knocking your weapon aim off. As of Patch #12, the Defensive bash will not give you long enough to start firing. Stick to melee attacks and hope your friends are paying attention. Use the D-bash and Fast Attacks to play defensively until you've gotten the hang of melee proper.

    Further Reading

    Morganthar has some tips for you (Founders only, sorry) :

    Fragmagnet gives a more detailed explanation of Suppression:

    Laanshor has much more detail on melee:

    My own Alpha Feedback thread: (Founders only again, sorry):
    ShoulderMount, Aritol, ByeBye and 3 others like this.
  2. Iron Dragon ByeBye Well-Known Member

    Not bad. A really good intro to the weapon. You did forget the Heavy Attack in the melee options part though. Nothing works better in a 1v1 melee than a D-bash then Heavy attack to remove all the enemy stamina.
  3. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    I'm afraid I'm guilty of never having used the Heavy Attack, so didn't want to talk about something I wasn't confident in. I thought that the two options was sufficient for a basic introduction.
    ByeBye likes this.
  4. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    @KatieFleming I hate to ask myself, but is this worthy of being stickied? I don't want new heavy bolter users missing out on the basics.
  5. Judasilfarion Silfarion Drill Abbott

    Put it on the steam guides too if you haven't already done so
  6. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    Says so right in the post;)
  7. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    Updated melee section to account for reduced stun on the D-Bash.
  8. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    I'm not updating the main post, but it's worth noting that as of Patch #12, there has been an unintended increase in the recoil of the Heavy Bolter when braced. This has made bracing significantly less viable for landing kills. The Devs are looking into this, so it should be fixed soon. Until then, I advise sticking to crouching and aiming instead.
  9. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

  10. Ser DJ Hodor TheBurgerMeister Well-Known Member

    TLDR: Don't use Heavy Bolter at all until they fix/change it.

    Your team will hate you for suppressing them when you shoot enemies and you will hate yourself for getting no exp or kills all match. Plus the fact that you can't push very well or help on the point because dumb suppression mechanic on your team.

    Also its horribly inaccurate so you end up shooting your team sometimes due to the horrible recoil even when its mounted.

    Currently the best way is 2-3 shot burst while crouched, but again dumb weapon with dumb mechanic. Just use the Plasma Cannon and enjoy. Your team will love you for your high score and ability to help push points and kill vehicles.

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