To begin, remember that Sir does not have to be a combative experience. Because the player is fairly fragile in the face of even a small group of Hunters, one should examine the stakes involved, be they a few extra Shotgun rounds or one of the necessary Device fragments. If the stakes are low, of questionable benefit to the player, or likely to result in an unfavorable outcome for the player, then there is no reason for a combat action to take place. Knowing when NOT to engage an enemy, and use an alternative tactic, such as a distraction, or simply to make a tactical retreat (or Advance towards Future Victory) is just as important as knowing when your best chance is to fight.
Your Pride and Your Perceived Combative Prowess Will Not Stop You From Bleeding to Death, Full of Pellets of Toxic Lead.
Respect of these principles and letting go of your pride can also save you one or multiple costly and time-consuming deaths.
There are three main types of strategies for engaging enemies in Sir, You Are Being Hunted: Overt, Covert and 'Mixed'. Before considering engaging an enemy or a group of enemies, it is recommended that one carefully considers the consequences, and their own situation. If you execute a successful attack, take a moment to remember; you are not bulletproof. If there are many robots around, if they surround you and if they are at close range, you have three options: retreat (both slowly and carefully), hide, or distract.
Note: The player is encouraged to have Bandages and Food close at hand for any engagement. Take extreme caution, no matter the situation, for the best chances of surviving any engagement.
Visit any of the Weapon pages for detailed tactics specific to each weapon.
The power of the Wood Hatchet to connect with enemies has been updated in a recent patch, making melee combat a viable option for 1 on 1, or even occasionally 2 on 1 engagements. However, the Hatchet will still take 2 blows to destroy a Hunter, so it is of the utmost importance that, if possible, you strike the Hunter before he is alerted to your presence. 1 Hatchet strike will cause a damaged robot to flee from his attacker, which makes him vulnerable to a finishing blow as he retreats. When engaging a hunter, try not to alert any opponents in the surrounding environment by letting your target flee too far. If engaging 2 enemies, try not to move in a way which places you between your two opponents, and if possible, with the exception of using cover to avoid fire, try to keep both of your opponents within your field of view.
Do not attempt to engage more than 2 robots with the Hatchet unless one or more of them is trapped, or you are able to use localized distractions to lure away individual enemies and destroy them individually.
UPDATE: If melee combat is a necessity, as it may so become in the absence of any other available weapons, take heed of the fact that strafing across a hunter's field of view in a roughly circular motion, relative to the hunter, may well cause both most of his shots to miss, or vastly reduce the number of pellets which contact the player. In this way, a player can cause a hunter to expend both of his barrels, subsequently making use of his reloading time to close the distance between them, and deliver two blows in relatively prompt succession.
As the name implies, this is a more direct tactic in facing off against Robots, particularly Hunters, and is designed to handle more than a party of two, but less than or equal to six. The four projectile weapons within the game are the Shotgun, the Revolver, the Rifle and the Blunderbuss, and all of them are useful within their own idiom. The Hatchet is usually unnecessary for ranged combat, and will likely prove ineffective; however, it is often prudent to carry one as an insurance policy against engagements which consume more ammunition than they are expected to.
When using the Shotgun, it is recommended that the player sneaks into the area of enemies while under cover of tall grass and not alerting them to his/her presence. The shotgun is best applied as a surprise weapon. With a shotgun, your firepower and combative necessities are effectively the same as those of your enemies, ergo to place them inside the effective range of your weapon, you must place yourself inside theirs. Therefore, to gain the upper hand, make use of range, cover, timing, and visibility. In an offensive engagement with the shotgun, it is in your best interests to fire the first shot. Therefore, you can make use of the benefit of range in your attack, and then rob it from your enemy by retreating. The shotgun is a useful weapon against unaware enemies, enemies who are alerted but have not seen you yet, and to a lesser extent, enemies advancing towards you. Shotgun can be used to excellent effect on enemies travelling around corners. This tactic is best used in villages, where robots have predictable paths of movement. In a situation involving several robots, the shotgun can be applied not only with deadly force in mind, but also to damage a robot enough to cause it to flee temporarily from the engagement, lessening the amount of enemy firepower that needs to be considered. The shotgun is best fired either from behind cover, or with a retreat to cover made after firing, as if your first attack does not kill your target robot, said target's own attack has the potential to be as devastating as yours. A single close-range blast from the Shotgun will usually kill a Hunter. However, the range at which the weapon is fired has a drastic effect on damage.
When planning to engage any number of Hunters it is prudent to choose an open area with plenty of cover for you. When choosing a battleground you'll want to be sure that the area has: plenty of cover (e.g. rock, tree, stone fence) and is open enough for you to see in all directions to avoid being surprised from behind, or is situated against the coast, and has multiple escape routes (e.g. tall grass, forest). Once you have chosen a battleground you will want to lure the Hunters to your position by either shooting one of them or by using a distractory item (e.g Empty Bottle). Once they are within a sensible range, use the weapon's iron sights and shoot them. Conserve your ammunition, as this weapon is an excellent choice for a number of scenarios, but most notably for assaults on villages or fragment locations. The revolver is an easy weapon to improvise with, and is suited to a mobile fighting style. Its inaccuracy at longer ranges makes the rifle a better option for distanced engagements, and the revolver's firing speed and bullet/kill ratio makes it difficult to use stealthily. Used selectively and with effort put into proper and careful aiming, the revolver can kill three Hunters with one magazine. The revolver is best fired from behind physical cover, and a standing position is usually suitable, since speedily changing position during an engagement with the revolver may well be necessary, given its range. At the time of the "Dead Haggis" update, the revolver is a fully automatic weapon. As such, by holding down the trigger for a moment, a near-instantaneous double-tap can be performed, which will kill any hunter within the weapon's effective range, so long as both bullets connect. This is best performed on a stationary hunter, who is either unaware of the player and is looking around, has only just seen the player, is standing still to reload, is stationary while aiming, or is running directly toward the player. Leading shots for strafing hunters are best performed individually. Taking on enemy combatants in an area with abundant cover such as a village or granite boulder-field is a useful tactic, as weaving between cover areas will mean the hunters miss almost all of the time, and the number of rounds in the revolver's magazine makes it easy to seize the hunter's reload time as an opportunity to aim and return fire with the added benefit of range and the ability to kill within one second without reloading, compared to the shotgun. The revolver's magazine also makes it easier to compensate for a miss, compared to the time taken to reload after each shot in the case of the rifle. The revolver's reload time of approximately 6 seconds must be accounted for during engagements, best only initiated when you are camouflaged, a good distance from the enemy, or after the enemy have given an indication that they have lost sight of you. Additionally, as with any weapon, positioning yourself behind cover and placing the aiming dot of the weapon on the cover surface, a short distance from the edge, will allow you to fire at enemies using the lean feature, while giving you the maximum benefit of concealment behind cover while reloading. This is in many ways the best possible position from which to fire a revolver.
Hunter: It takes 2 rounds from a revolver to kill an undamaged Hunter. It is easiest to aim for the torso, since head shots convey no damage bonus. One shot can usually kill a damaged Hunter.
Squire: It takes 12 shots from a revolver to kill a Squire. Engaging one with a revolver is not economical, since they'll usually only carry six bullets in their own revolvers, although they can occasionally carry an extra 6 out of the gun.
Dog: Dogs are invariably killed by one bullet from the revolver.
Dynamite is useful for destroying parties or clusters of robots simultaneously. As attractive as the prospect of several airborne chunks of robotic wreckage at a time may seem, keep in mind that dynamite has a very limited blast radius, and can also cause severe injury or death to the player if caught in the blast.
If a village is guarded by a large number of robots, 2,3 or more, certain strategies can be applied to deal with them. If you have a rifle, find an area within shooting range of the village, not close enough to be discovered by robots who are alerted, but have not seen you, and where you are completely camouflaged while crouching. It doesn't matter if this area has no projectile blocking cover, although it can if you wish to implement a variant of this strategy. It may also help to ensure the shooting area has dense plant cover to your rear, as if something goes awry and a robot sees you, it will help you hide once you have beaten your retreat.
Study the robot's patrol routes and adjust your position until you are suitably placed to shoot one robot dead with none of the other robots visible in your field of view. Make sure to check the immediate surrounds for any hunting parties who may be alerted by a gunshot before you fire. Once you are in this position and crouched, shoot the robot, then do not move. If you are positioned correctly, and no other robot sees you fire, the other robots will be alerted, but as they are not aware of your position, they will soon return to their resting state of alertness, after which you can move. If any see you, retreat swiftly until they give up, and then return so that you can continue.
After each kill, simply repeat the procedure. You may need to relocate and re-check your surroundings after any number of firings if you cannot isolate one robot from there, but if you are careful to let no other robot see you or your gunshot, you can take a village, or indeed any guarded area with minimal risk to your person, and usually without losing any health at all.
For this tactic to work, a player that is just starting out should avoid groups of more than two Hunters, but finding one on its own is the best way to practice.
Upon discovery of 2 Hunters or more, one should seek cover behind Buildings or in tall grass to prevent being spotted. Then, proceed to lay one or two Traps.
Ideally, throwing the bait directly in front of oneself should alert them to the disturbance, assuming the player is close enough, and as the player ensures that they are properly out of sight, the Hunter(s) will begin to investigate. If the player laid the Trap(s) correctly, the Hunter(s) should quickly become ensnared. After making sure there are no other enemies around, the player should then immediately run at them with the Hatchet in hand.
While caught in a Trap, enemies are immobilized and cannot fight back. Take this opportunity to use the Hatchet for the most cost-effective and quiet way to kill Robots. Despite how loud the Axe may sound when hitting enemies, it's much quieter than any firearm, and is thus considered covert.
Seasoned Survivalists can try Trapping/Slapping four or more Hunters... if they're brave or crazy enough. The more enemies in the area, the more stressful the whole situation can be when trying to be covert. Be sure to consider Balloons.
A variation of this strategy, if you are patient and want to save your ammunition, is to set up ManTraps for the the robots, either around specific funnels or choke points, or somewhere on a straight line between your position and the robots, then give away your position, which will cause them to run straight towards you until you are within their optimal shooting distance. Be sure either to place the traps on routes enemies are sure to use to investigate a disturbance, and to only retreat in a straight line respective to your pursuers, so as to ensure they activate the traps. Be sure to position the traps far enough away that the robots will not reach optimal shooting distance before they run into the trap, as if they do reach this distance, their course will deviate and they will begin to strafe.
Once they are all caught in the traps, either finish them off with a hatchet, or a weapon with more plentiful ammunition. Be sure to act fast, as the trapped robots will break free in less than a minute. If you need to, shoot a couple using the above strategy to correspond with your available number of traps, although it sometimes pays to set up a trap or several traps on every path a robot could take, to maximize your chance of catching them all.
Another variation is merely to shoot one with a reliable weapon at a long distance, and pick the others off as they run straight towards you, ideally from behind cover, although this strategy and the previous one are largely instinctive solutions to this problem.
Individual Elimination/"Predator" tactics
Executing these strategies with a revolver requires a high degree of accuracy with said weapon, especially since two shots are required to kill an un-damaged Hunter, and unless they are fired in timely and accurate succession, this fact will give other hunters time to move to a position from which they can locate you. Therefore, the use of a rifle is highly advisable.
Squires are best left until last in these situations.
Distractions are usually best avoided in these scenarios, as they are likely to attract multiple robots, who will see you if you fire on one of them.
Attacks of this sort are usually best conducted during night hours, on account of the accompanying visibility bonus.
As of the "Dead Haggis" update, robots guarding towns will occasionally fight with hunting parties when they meet. These events can reduce both side's numbers, weaken the survivors and thus make your task easier. However, you should not reveal yourself during these battles, as both sides will then turn their combined attention to you. It is best to enter the fight only when one side has beaten the other.
Take care attacking un-trapped robots with the hatchet, unless it is only 1 or is a Dog.
Careful consideration should be taken on account of terrain and weather conditions before engaging multiple enemies, including if there are any nearby, but not close enough to kill, as well. Ideally, one should engage a group of targets in a crowded village (multiple Buildings) or very rocky terrain, such as what can be found near the shores. Avoid forests, as they limit one's ability to see enemies to the point that it renders them ineffective and highly vulnerable (Hunters and Robots in general have incredible vision at night and in thick foliage). Tall grass will not help, because taking fire or firing at enemies will enable them to see the player, in tall grass and from a long distance. Using extreme caution, one should aim to evade and pick off enemies from behind Buildings or other , while ensuring they don't accidentally bump into one unprepared. Having Bandages and Food ready is essential, due to the necessities posed by Murphy's law.
Shooting is not recommended while robots surround you on several sides, or while a Balloon or Landowner is nearby.
In any combat situation, it is a necessity to HOLD YOUR NERVE. Becoming agitated or scared will only impair your decision making, and your aim, both crucial to the success of your strategy.
Enemy-Specific Tactics Check back here later for ideas and procedures on the handling of enemies such as the Squire, Rider, Scarecrow and Landowner. More soon!