For Starship Troopers: Extermination players, this is a guide to nuances of the Bastion class and how to get the most out of Siege Mode, the SAW, and the utility and grenade options available to Bastions.
Knowing when to use Siege Mode is crucial. Assess the engagement; you can take 3-4 drones and 1-2 warriors with your Emancipator. Large groups of warriors and any encounter with Gunners are best handled in Siege Mode. You’re practically invulnerable to drones and can tank a lot of Warrior slaps with the shield up, so stand firm and return fire.
The SAW is your primary and the Emancipator is your secondary. When you’re moving from point to point, have the Emancipator on hand and loaded. One hit will stun a warrior or kill a drone. For small packs you want to pick off the drones, stun warriors with one hit as you back away, and reload before taking out the warriors one at a time. It can take 6-8 rounds to finish a warrior off depending on distance, so get in the habit of getting that stun, reloading while you make space, and then finishing them off with a fresh clip from a safer distance.
SAW Tips and Tricks
The SAW bucks like a mule outside of Siege Mode. You can tighten the spread and dampen the recoil by aiming down sights, but this slows your movement speed.
ADS on SAW is handy for situations where you need mobile firepower more than accuracy, like base defense. Just ensure you have enough targets nearby that the larger cone of fire won’t result in wasted rounds.
You can also tighten the spread while in Siege Mode, for a very tight cone of fire that helps you snipe distant gunners accurately. You’ll see this visually as the rounded square around your reticle tightens up.
Utility options are poor at first, but both the Shock Beacon and the Scan Beacon can do a lot of work. You can plant these while you’re in Siege Mode, so you can safely jam them into the middle of a bad situation.
The Shock Beacon stuns everything reliably, even Tiger Elites, which are the most dangerous bug when you’re in Seige – they’ll one-shot you right through the shield. Putting a triangle around your shield can stun foes long enough to finish them off.
Putting a Scan Beacon down at your feet works even better, in a horde – it doubles your damage and makes that SAW finally feel like a machine gun, mowing down hordes of easily-acquired targets.
The remaining options aren’t great.
Proximity Bug Mines do moderate damage to the first thing that steps on them, but you only get three and they go off when a single drone gets close.
Thermo Charges have niche uses in base defense, but you have to stand still on the ground where you want to plant them and then trigger each charge manually. Good damage and probably the best of the leftovers, but if you want to explode things manually get a rocket launcher.
The Nuclear Det Pack sounds awesome until you realize it takes several seconds to plant, thirty seconds to arm, and has a small explosive radius. I assume it does good damage; I don’t know, I’ve never been able to hit anything with it.
The Heal Beacon only affects an area about the size of a bunker, and heals are mostly irrelevant since you’re either dead in 2-3 hits or taking no damage by staying out of melee range. Bastion probably makes the best use of this out of all the classes, and you could argue that it lets you tank more hits in Siege Mode, but a scan beacon could end the fight faster and prevent those hits – and you get three scan beacons instead of a single heal beacon.
Grenades options aren’t great. Hi-Ex is supposed to be a high-damage sticky, but it’s unwieldy and has a tiny AOE. Cluster Grenades seem to do the same thing as the default frag, mediocre area damage. Chem Grenades lay down a yellow gas zone that supposedly damages any arachnids that pass through it, but I’ve only seen it kill the occasional drone. Shock Grenades are an instant stun, but unlike the excellent shock beacons they don’t stick around, and a single stun with a lengthy setup/recovery isn’t great – you stun yourself for about as long as you stun your target just by using the grenade. Pick whatever works best for you.
Ammo perks are just about mandatory. The SAW only gets two 150-round mags. Magazine Bandolier gives you a 3rd. That’s still a total of 450 rounds vs the 600 the AR and carbine start with.
Early on, get Magazine Bandolier; once you hit 20, Extended Magazines is easily superior and gives your Emancipator 12 round mags as a bonus. You can stack these for 625 total rounds if you use both perk slots, but that may be overkill if you have support running ammo dispensers.
The ranged damage reduction from Hardened Ceramic Plates are also excellent – you can live just about forever in a horde of drones and warriors, but outside of Siege Mode gunners will shred you in seconds. This perk gives you a chance to run for cover.
The remaining perks are mediocre – Synthetic Underarmor won’t save you from a tiger and other melee bugs aren’t a threat with good use of Siege Mode. Powered-Up Build-Tool just doesn’t help much, and Improved Grenade Cooldown is powerful on Operative or Hunter, but poor on Bastion due to weak grenade options.
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