Snipers. We’ve all seen them. They spawn, climb onto a high perch, and start picking off enemies (or at least trying to). They die, they go right back up there. They get involved in low-stakes sniper duels. They occasionally score a lucky hit from miles back, and scream into the headset. They suck.
Recon is not necessarily about sniping. Not really. The clue’s in the name. Recon. Not sniper. Recon means spotting, it means movement, it means action, it means helping the team. More than any other class, Recon players are gamechangers, shifting the balance in their team’s favour with simple, sometimes explosive actions.
Armament: Weapons, Gadgets & Specialisations
First, the basics: Weapons. Recon starts with the M24 sniper rifle, and gets the Type 88, then the SV98, but those are all pretty much the same: cool to ping shots at your enemies from halfway across the map, useless at short range.
More promisingly, they’ve got two awesome pieces of equipment; C4 remote-detonation explosives and deployable proximity sensors. Stuff that’s great up close, but completely useless from that sniper’s nest way back in the spawn. Stuff that’s way better for changing the game than any other class.
So let’s use it. Lose the sniper rifle, pick up your new best friend: The Saiga S20K semi-automatic shotgun. This weapon is a beast at close range, and when combined with the Expanded Shotgun Magazine, has enough ammunition to take down three or four without reloading. With the Saiga, you have the firepower necessary to survive close range encounters, which you’ll surely face if you play aggressively.
Let’s have a look at the rest of your kit. For a pistol, you’ll probably want the superior stopping power of the M1911. It’ll be your biggest long-range damage dealer, and you should always have it out unless you’re in close quarters combat. Aim for the head, and make each shot count. It’s also a great backup weapon when your shotgun runs out of ammo.
As for specialisations, you should take either Lightweight Combat Equipment (increased speed) or Explosives Leg Pouch (doubles the amount of C4 carried). In slot two, you’ll be needing the Expanded Shotgun Magazine, as mentioned before. The vehicle spec doesn’t really matter, but the Active Armor Upgrade is always a good bet.
Your Role As Recon
Now that you’re properly equipped, what is it you should actively doing anyway? Well, as Recon, you have three primary tasks:
- Destroy Enemy Objectives
- Destroy Enemy Armor
- Confuse the Enemy
An oft-forgotten secondary task is:
- Provide spotting for your team, through motion mines and manual spots
Destroying Enemy M-Com Stations
Let’s go through these one by one. First, destroying enemy objectives. This is the entire point of playing the game, at least if you’re playing to win, but it seems to be almost an afterthought for most Recon players. Make it your top priority, as it’ll give your attacks direction and meaning.
So how do you attack? You could charge in, guns blazing, and sometimes that does work. Usually though, it’s best to remain stealthy as long as possible. That means exploiting the geometry of the terrain to keep out of your enemy’s line of sight, moving in from directions unexpected, and generally being properly James Bond about it.
Don’t bother engaging enemies that haven’t seen you, and try to take out the ones that have as soon as possible. Your goal is just to get to the M-Com Station and blow it sky high with the minimum amount of noise.
Once you’ve gotten to the objective, you’ve got two options, depending on your specialisations. If you’ve picked the Explosives Leg Pouch, you’ll be able to destroy the entire objective in a single strike.
If you haven’t got it, then you’ll have to arm the bomb then defend it while it’s counting down. Luckily your shotgun will leave you well prepared in this eventuality, as most objectives are inside buildings and you’ll be able to hit your enemy at full force.
If you’re still alive after having taken down the objective, you can attempt to take the next one while the opposing side is flustered, or you could try to destroy the topic of the next section, vehicles.
Destroying and Denying Vehicles
Taking out vehicles is one of the most satisfying and rewarding things that Recon players are capable of. Whereas the Medic and the Assault classes despair when a tank appears, you can do something about it!
There’s definitely a knack to destroying enemy vehicles. A big part of it is map knowledge — if you know that tanks usually shell your team’s position from a given point, then you can apply your knowledge of the surroundings to approach from an unseen angle and take them out.
However, even just running around on your way to your other objectives you’re bound to run into a few vehicles. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to destroy every vehicle right away — don’t force it. Too many times you’ll see Recon players running head-on into a stream of bullets because they’re just a little too eager. Instead, sit back in a relatively secure position, and get ready to strike.
You’ll want to wait until you can be assured of one of two things:
- The vehicle (and all passengers) can’t see you, because you’re out of their field of view
- The vehicle (and all passengers) are busy responding to a perceived greater threat
The first condition can be achieved in a few different ways. The most obvious is attacking from the sides or the rear, where most guns won’t be pointing. You can use your map knowledge (like good places to hide and wait while the vehicle passes, or hill routes to come down behind enemy lines) to great advantage here.
A second way is less obvious — all guns have limited arcs of fire. They cannot aim past a certain plane downward, so if you approach from below, while crouching, you can’t be shot even if you are spotted.
The second condition is largely a case of luck, but you can often coordinate with a teammate to provide a distraction for you. Voice communication makes this very easy.
Once you’re approaching a vehicle, you’ll want to be mindful of a few things. Most importantly, you’ll want to kill anyone in the area who notices you, particularly engineers repairing vehicles. This means keeping the shotgun out as you approach, and only switching to C4 once you’re safe.
It takes two pieces of C4 to destroy a tank at full health. Small vehicles like ATVs are destroyed with one piece of C4. Once you’ve laid the C4, retreat about five meters and detonate it. If you’re being shot at, detonate immediately, as it’s better to destroy the vehicle and commit suicide than be shot and killed.
Sometimes, enemy soldiers will leave their vehicle rather than be blown up by your C4. If this happens, simply jump into the vehicle and drive away. A friendly engineer will be able to repair and reuse the vehicle you’ve acquired, and as long as it stays alive you’ve denied use of that vehicle to the enemy.
Even if you die immediately after getting in the vehicle, you’ve still denied your enemy use of that vehicle until it respawns. If you’re lucky, you can keep it alive and deprive them for even longer. This confuses the enemy, another worthy Recon goal.
Confusing the Enemy
Confusing the enemy is one of the most amusing and useful goals that ‘In Your Face’ Recon play can perform. Equipped as you are with loads of short-range firepower, you can destroy entire squads quickly and stealthily. This is highly confusing and frustrating to the other team.
Using your shotgun while attacking the flanks or rear of a small group of enemies is an obvious but effective tactic. You can augment this tactic with motion sensors, so as to be sure that you’re attacking a flatfooted enemy. C4 can also be used for ambushes and the like, with predictable results.
More than anything else, confusing your enemy is a fun way to let off steam. You’ll probably die a lot, particularly if your team is taking a more relaxed role, and confusing the enemy is a fun way to lighten it up a bit while enraging your opponent.
Be creative, and enjoy yourself. If you’re destroying objectives and vehicles, you definitely deserve a little fun.
With good knowledge of your map and weapons, ‘In Your Face Recon’ is a viable and invigorating way of playing the Recon class. It’s also a great way to get points, as killing a single vehicle or objective can often net you upwards of 300 points. So try it out today, and let us know what you think!
[Bad Company 2 is a modern first person shooter for PC, 360, and PS3. This was originally posted on GameReplays.org, soon after the game’s release. The tip boxes used in the original post did not copy through successfully, so you may want to view the original post.]