Rainbow Six Siege: How To Attack/Defend

How to rescue a hostage in five easy steps in... Rainbow Six Siege
Assemble Your Squad
The biggest change between the build of Rainbow Six Siege we were invited to play at Ubisoft montreal’s office this march, and the earlier version demoed at last year’s e3, is the replacement of the role-based class system with an altogether more dynamic approach.

Before each round begins, you’re invited to select one of 20 different operators (ten on the attacking side, ten on the defending side). each of these operators has a slightly different loadout that can be tinkered with to a limited extent, but they’re primarily defined by their secondary gadget. this is aspecial ability that is unique to that particular operator, and its capabilities will shape not only your playing style but the way your teammates will lean on you in the thick of the action.

On the rescuers’ side, these abilities are geared towards infiltration and taking the fight to the defending team (who will be perfectly happy to sit back and let the timer run out, as that means they win the round). but with your choice comes responsibility. once you’ve selected an operator, no one else on your team can pick him or her. So if you fancy thatcher and his emP grenades, that’s great but know that the rest of your team will be completely dependant on you to take out any electronic devices you encounter.

The only exception is the Recruit operator a jack-of-all-trades character with no special ability, but with enhanced loadout customisation options. anyone can play as the Recruit, but as you’ll discover, there are certain situations where your team might rue leaving some of the more specialised abilities on the table...

His toxic gas grenades are perfect for flushing enemy patrols out of hidey-holes.

Equipped with EMP grenades that disable any electronic devices nearby.

Mute’s jamming device disrupts enemy communications and recon drones.

No fancy gadgets for Ol’ Sledge he carries a honkin’ big hammer into the fray.

Send In The Drones
Squad all suited and booted? nice one but it’s not time to kick down the doors just yet. You don’t know where exactly in the complex the defenders are hiding the hostage, nor what they’re doing to fortify the area.  before you charge in, it’s time for a cheeky bit of reconnaissance.

The first minute of each round is the ‘Preparation’ stage. while the other team set up their defences, the attackers each take control of a tiny whirring drone small enough to squeeze underneath door frames, but powerful enough to provide a real-time video feed of what they’re seeing.

You’ll hear this a lot throughout this guide, but communication with your teammates via the mic really is of paramount importance. all five drones will begin in the same exterior location (you can choose between four spawn points, although this is much of a muchness, as far as you’re concerned the choice is there more to keep the defending team guessing), so your team needs to co-ordinate their efforts to ensure that they don’t all trundle down the same corridor.

Happily, once a drone locates the hostage, the position is marked for all the other drones to see. that doesn’t mean the drone’s work is done, however. their next task is to position themselves somewhere of strategic importance such as stairways, corridors basically, anywhere with a good line of sight. this is because, later on in the round, deceased players can flick between these drones’ cameras and report their findings to still-active teammates over the mic. for this reason, the defending team will be looking to take the drones out during the Preparation stage.

How to counter the counter-terrorists in five easy steps in...Rainbow Six Siege
Set Up Base
Rainbow Six Siege’s maps are quite unlike those of other contemporary multiplayer shooters. not for Siege the open expanses of a Battlefield or a Halo stage; here, the action takes place almost entirely within narrow, cramped interiors. Space is tight and, since engagements tend to take place at close range, mistakes almost always prove lethal.

Health doesn’t regenerate and you only get one life per round, so any reckless types intent on bombing around the level like it’s Call of Duty-on-ice will quickly get weeded out, leaving the other team to battle four-on-five odds (or worse) before the round can even properly begin.

So it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the lay of the land, and understand exactly what, and more importantly who, is likely to be on the other side of a door before you batter it down. this is where the defending team is handed the initiative.

After selecting their operators, the defending team hold a group vote on which of four possible locations they should place the hostage. in both of the maps that were playable during our hands-on session, these spots were spread out over two floors, and while each spot has its advantages and disadvantages, the fact remains that whichever one you choose, there will be numerous entry points that need to be defended.

But the benefit of choosing the location is that, for a while at least, the defending team are the only ones who know where the hostage is. but listen out for the dull buzz of tiny drone feet, because you might not hold that advantage for long...

Meet the solitary new map that was revealed at our playtest event it is set, as the name and the whopping great picture suggests, on a grounded aeroplane in a uK airport. It reminds us more than a little of the classic rainbow Six: rogue Spear  level 747 it’s an economy-sized map with business class-sized room for strategising, as both teams weave through the cluttered cabin, attempting to outflank one another.

This might seem an unwise insertion point to pick smack-dab in the middle of the cabin, attackers can approach from both sides, and there are also two ladders leading directly to the room from the other floor. But row upon row of cramped seats provides perfect waist-high cover for campers to lurk in and pick off unwary rescuers.

The plane’s hard fuselage is unbreachable, but the majority of the interior walls are yours to mash up as you wish. Although the side of the plane is lined with windows, the tiny portholes don’t provide much of a view of the runway, allowing the attackers to dart between parked police cars and fire engines as they plot their first move.

Entry points are restricted to a few ladders at the front and rear so attackers will encounter a choke point before they can even board. Despite only having a small loading platform, attackers have more room to manoeuvre than the goons inside. If just one attacker can hold their attention, his back-up can sneakily try another entrance.
Buddy Up & Infiltrate

After the Preparation stage ends, the attackers are set free to, well, attack. You might think that giving the defending teams an extra minute to set up camp before spawning the opposition into a wide open area is a recipe for sniping disaster, but in practice this isn’t a problem. the defenders aren’t allowed to leave the map interior for the duration of the Preparation period, and even after it expires, if they remain outside for longer than three seconds, their position is ‘marked’ on the opposition’s hUD for as long as it takes for them to dive back inside again. (of course, it’s possible that an organised team might send a decoy to the other side of the map to throw the attackers off the scent; the clock is the defending team’s ally and even 15 seconds of manufactured confusion could make all the difference in the round’s closing moments.)

Of course, none of this is to say you should stand outside and hold a conference in plain sight like a bunch of dopes. Players on the attacking team need to quickly assess which of their teammates have abilities that compliment their own, and buddy up with them.

If you’ve picked Sledge, for instance, you’ll be in hot demand your sledgehammer lets you take down barricades in seconds without having to resort to time-consuming and noisy breach charges. an operator such as thatcher would be a good match for your talents. his emP grenades will disable any explosive traps that the defenders have left in wait for you, allowing Sledge to hack his way into the inner chambers unimpeded.

Those of you who have been following  Siege since its reveal at last year’s e3 event will already be intimately familiar with the House stage last June, ubisoft posted 35 minutes of footage taking place inside this spacious, two-storey suburban dwelling. There have been a few minor design tweaks, and it’s been treated to a big lick of texture-paint, but other than that it’s the same instant classic that wowed us last year. Let’s pay it a revisit!

Last year’s demo was caked in darkness. In the Closed Alpha demo, the warfare takes place in the middle of the day. The significance? The sunshine makes it easier for the defending team to spot attackers that are lingering outside the house. There’s a tree house in the garden that’s perfect for lining up headshots on nosey neighbours.

The defending team can only nip outside of the house for three short seconds before being ‘tagged’ this means their outline can be seen in real-time by the attacking team, for as long as it takes for them to nip inside again. That’s just enough time, however, to take a short cut from one window to the next.

While entry points are strictly limited on the Plane level, here you have a little more creative freedom you can rappel up any of the exterior walls, and either plant a breach charge on the windows, or clamber up to the roof. you can’t blow your way directly through the roof tiles, but you can slip unnoticed into an upstairs window...
Fortify The Area
A greed on an insertion point? great stuff now it’s time to get a-fortifying. for the next 60 seconds, the defending team’s job is to rush around the map, blocking off the entrance points, setting traps and just generally making the place as in hospitable as possible for would-be rescuers.

There are three basic elements of a map that can be reinforced windows, open doorways and wooden structures. You might think boarding up the windows is a sure-fire good idea, but you might as well put up some christmas lights and a flashing light that reads ‘the hostage is over here, Please help Yourself’. You’re better off positioning one of your team in a position on watch duty.

Sealing off doorways is a smarter move, if used sparingly. blocked-off doorways are an inconvenience rather than an impasse for the attacking team, but they’re unable to get through them without making their presence heard. thus, blocking off doorways is an excellent way to keep tabs on an entry point without having to station someone on it full-time to keep an eye out for would-be heroes.

If you really don’t want someone to get through a passageway, however, it’s worth giving a shout out over the mic to see if someone has bagged the ‘castle’ operator he can lay down two reinforced Kevlar barricades that simply can’t be breached by bullet holes, and the attackers will have a hell of a time busting through it, even with c4.

While it seems logical to spend your time beefing up existing entry points, it’s actually more prudent to worry more about those entry points that don’t yet exist. Spend time looking for wooden structures to fortify, because if they’re left in their natural state, you can bet your bottom ammo clip that the opposing team will see the opportunity in your carelessness...

Playing The Waiting Game
The Preparation stage is over and the dogs are loose. for the defending team, who are now forced to take up positions around the hostage and wait, this is easily the tensest stage of the entire game. and it can also be the longest, lasting right up until the final seconds of the round. indeed, the longer you wait for the impending attack, the more paranoid you get. Where are they? What are they planning?

Thankfully, you can be proactive during the big wait. if there’s a Rook on your team, now’s the time for him to make his presence known. his secondary gadget is a box of Kevlar jackets, which can be placed on the floor somewhere where everyone can easily locate it and help themselves (in front of the hostage usually works well). otherwise, team members should take this time to set traps around the insertion point perimeter barbed wire slows would-be rescuers down, while c4 explosives speed up their demise.

But the most valuable way you can pass the time is by shutting up and listening to the member of your team who has bagged the Pulse operator. if you’re playing as Pulse, it’s likely you’ll never fire a shot in anger so valuable is his heart-beat sensor device, which allows you to see the literal heart (it’s a bit gross, actually) of any opposing team member lurking nearby. it’s powerful enough to alert your team as to what direction they’re approaching from, and yet vague enough to keep you guessing. as Pulse tracks disembodied hearts closer to your location you might start receiving weird instructions such as “shoot the ceiling directly above you!” but trust in him and you’ll find yourself taking out enemies that you can’t even see.

Locate The Hostage And Breach
Right. You’re inside the complex and (hopefully by this point) you know exactly where the hostage is at. if you don’t, it’s worth pricking up your ears the hostage will sometimes call out if they sense that the rescuers are nearby. once you’re in an adjacent room, you need to work out how you’re going to make your grand entrance. oh, sure, you could waltz right in through the main doorway but you’re likely to blunder into a welcoming party. how about one of the side entrances? oh come on, now even on the off-chance that no one’s guarding it, it’s likely to be stuffed like a christmas turkey with detonating devices.

So why not try making an entry point of your own? one of Rainbow Six Siege’s selling points is the high level of environmental destructibility basically, anything that’s made of wood can be shot to pieces, either with bullets or a breach charge. this extends to wooden flooring there’s nothing more satisfying than getting the jump on a group of unsuspecting thugs by busting in unannounced from above.

Success in Rainbow Six Siege boils down to creating confusion and then capitalising on it. as we grew in confidence, we uncovered new ways to gain an edge. one such tactic involves snapping up ash the only female operator revealed thus far. She’s armed with a breach-charge launching gadget that allows you to distract the opposing team by making an explosion on one side of the building. as they rush to investigate the noise, you can saunter in through an opposing door and clean up while their backs are turned.

Rescue The Hostage
There are two ways for the attacking team to win the round: either rescue the hostage, or (far more likely) eliminate the other team. the latter is the more intuitive option, but if time begins to run out on you, or if you’ve got a heavy numerical advantage and you suspect the opposing team are engaging in time wasting tactics, then it’s time to make a run at escorting the hostage out of the building.

Extracting the hostage is a time-consuming process, and it’s not a one-soldier job a minimum of two other bodies are usually required to safely shepherd the player carrying the hostage to the extraction point. but you can’t lose the round while the hostage is in your possession if the clock strikes zero, you’ll enter a sudden-death overtime. alas, ‘sudden’ is the watchword if you drop the hostage during this period, it’s an instant loss.

Adding to your woes is the fact that the hostage is extremely brittle they can only take one or two shots, resulting in a loss to whichever team pulls the trigger. this can make getting within grabbing distance of the hostage troublesome we’ve even seen some callous defenders using the hostage as a human shield. Spoiler: it worked, turning a hopeless one-on-four situation into a shock win.
Repel The Attackers
Sooner or later, the attackers will undoubtedly make their presence known. it could be a considered, co-ordinated strike, or a last-second hail mary play from a solo desperado; the only thing you know for sure is that it will come and because so much of the map around you can be obliterated, it can come from almost any angle.

But here’s the good news you can use the destruction to your own ends, too. as the demo session drew to a close, we saw many of our teammates deliberately trash their own insertion points, so as to shape it to their liking. Some chose to take entire walls out, giving themselves a bit more room to move around, while others carved out peep holes to give themselves a few new lines of sight (or at least we hope that’s why they carved them out.)

It all comes back to that earlier conceit of the interiors being the defending team’s home turf. Rainbow Six Siege certainly delivers on its promise that no two games will ever finish with the exact same map layout,  and the previous examples are just two of the ways in which the defenders can take the initiative and re-shape the map to their specifications before the attackers can even reach the front door.

Customisation through devastation allows the defenders to play up the home field advantage they’ll know which passageways are closed, which have been opened up, and which usually-innocuous routes have been transformed into deadly checkpoints. this knowledge can be used to give your team an early numerical advantage and once it gets to, say, five-on-three, it can be very difficult to claw back that deficit.

Wait It Out
Time is on the defending team’s side. they too can win by eliminating all five members of the opposing team, but if time runs out, it’s a win for the bad guys so there isn’t the same sense of urgency that there is on the attackers’ side. So as the field begins to thin and the round nears its conclusion, it’s in the defenders’ interests to employ stalling tactics and lock the opposition into standoffs and stalemates. and they have the tools to help them do it, too. one of the most useful items you can pack into your loadout is a deployable shield a portable, waist-height sliver of cover that you can use to hunker down somewhere,  and just generally make it awkward for the other team to pick you off.

Certain operator types that until now have been about as much use as a cat flap in a submarine come into their own in this phase of the combat, such as Smoke. his secondary gadget is a toxic smoke bomb that can block off entire corridors, forcing the other team to re-route and find another way to the hostage’s location. even if the pungent cloud doesn’t claim a single victim, its silent-but-deadly waft could mean the difference between success and failure in Siege a mode where every move, and every second, counts.

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