The nuke ended a round the wrong way, again

TL;DR skip to the Xenos were not meant to win that round. section at the end

Round just finished, call this a salt post or whatever, I don’t care, it’s happened twice to me already and I don’t want to go through another 2+ hour round and lose to the nuke just because marines are scared to push.

Map: LV-624
Round ID: 17399

What happened:

Essentially somewhere around the 2 hour mark, marines had outnumbered the xenos with a 5-6 to 1 ratio, 15-18 xenos versus 90 groundside marines (120 total marines).

Marines were holding/pushing around tfort and western caves entrance, when suddenly they started decrypting the nuke.
They all fell back to their side of the beach.

How were xenos meant to fight the nuke?

Problem is, how are 15-18 xenos meant to defeat the nuke when there are 90 groundside marines?
There’s only two options:

  1. Destroy a communications relay within 600 seconds and prevent marines from repairing it.
  2. Hijack the dropship.

In the round itself, the queen tried option 2 with a sneaky tunnel inside the FOB made previously by a burrower, she got instantly killed due to just how many marines there were in the FOB, even if the entire hive attacked the FOB marines could just surrounded us from all sides and still have numbers to spare.

Right, surely we could’ve attacked the communications towers? Nope, even though there’s two of them, marines can just leave 10 holding FOB and then put 40 marines on each communications tower, which for 15-18 xenos is not feasible when the towers are caded up and marines can come reinforce if they start losing the fight, turning it into a 15-18 versus 80.

Let’s say we needed to bring their numbers down to 50 to be able to get rid of one of the communications towers.
That means we need to kill 40 marines in 600 seconds, killing a marine every 15 seconds.
I don’t know what the numbers are for marines killed per minute but I’m pretty sure this would be a record.

Xenos were not meant to win that round.

But they weren’t meant to be destroyed by the nuke.
Marine numbers were more than enough to push through the caves and kill the hive, I would have preferred this outcome and several of the other xenos would have as well.
I think the marines would also prefer to push through the caves, clearing us one by one and getting a marine major instead of just blowing up the planet and securing a marine minor.

How to fix this?

Honestly I’ve only had this happen both times on LV-624, a map where the intel is basically limited to being on only the marine side of the map (most other maps don’t have a “marine” side) and as such getting intel is ridiculously easy. Moving some of the intel to the caves?
Would be really dumb but I really don’t want this to happen again.

It’s 4 AM, goodnight.


Sounds like the nuke forced xenos to become the offensive party, also sounds like the nuke prevented further round delay while the marines clawed through chokes bleeding numbers until some admin intervention down the road to force something to happen.

Yeah, Nuke’s making LV extremely unenjoyable. I don’t think it ever was that bad before. Back in 2019 marines would get that undeserved ahelped nuke at 2 - 2.5 hours from time to time, but at least they’d never camp for it with a 6 to 1 ratio. The new 'rine generation is just lame.


I would like to point out the fact that, again, intel gathering requires teamwork to do. I noticed popular names in IO roles so I had no doubts those individuals would do great work. Not only did they perform outstanding feats, we also had an abundance of Xeno bodies which boosted the amount of tech points we gained.

I’m assuming this post comes from the recent LV-624 round that happened. We were at a stalemate for an hour and 30 minutes in one area of the map, no change in strategies by both sides. With the nuke being in play due to the new 2 hour restriction, it’s up to the Xenomorphs to stop it and what did they do? Tunnel into FOB with the queen leading the charge and screwing up their side.

Three areas to pick and the xenos attacked the most heavily defended area. 20 Xenos (from what I remember from ARES last scan) to single digits from that choice made.

If memory serves me correctly, morrow is working on doing something similar for a “xeno nuke” to assist Xenomorph players.

Overall, bad plays lead to the xenos losing to the nuke.


Oo you read my mind

Just gonna repost this here I guess, wrote it following the same round lol:

Ah yes, another 2 hour LV round where marines afk’d on beach.

I thought nuke was added to “end stalemates.” But now 90 marines refuse to push 12 xenos and just cadehug till it’s handed to them on a silver platter.

If nuke was truly meant to end stalemates it needs to change; either:
-Remove it (maybe at least from LV because the map is too small and asymmetrical, very marine-sided in terms of nuke)
-Increase time limit like OP suggested, maybe like 4 hours or an actual stalemate round number (although I think that’s how it was before? Not sure, but I also worry marines will just cadehug for twice as long if that happens)
-Only make nuke purchasable under certain pop conditions; for instance, when xeno:marine ratio is too even for marines to push, but too few xenos to siege. Nuking the colony should be an absolute last resort, not even worth considering if there’s even a slight chance marines can win without it.
-Put some necessary intel for it deep caves, or around highly contested xeno territory so marines actually still have to push and secure an area for IO, and aren’t just ignoring half the map and sitting behind cades while they wait for it.
Idk just spitballing

Some, or all of the solutions above could be applied to potentially help balance it and make rounds more engaging.

the problem is
-xenos aren’t meant to be the offensive party, unless we’re playing WO
-They didn’t really try to push at all, they never got past the chokes, and it wasn’t because 12 xenos were so strong from all the recent xeno nerfsbuffs that they were able to hold off 90 marines.
You know what 90 marines could do if they actually pushed? The first 40 could get gunned down by the 50 behind them and they would still wipe xenos :tro:


This sounds like the nuke is working as intended. If the Aliens were going to lose, then the deployment of the nuke merely sped up the end of the round by forcing the Aliens to fight the Marines instead of waiting in the caves and extending the round.


It did not work as intended:
-It’s meant to end long rounds drawn out by stalemates. That was far from a stalemate.
-So much so that the round would have been over way faster if the 90 groundside marines actually decided to push instead of waiting on nuke for 2 hours

Besides, the goal shouldn’t be to have fast rounds, it should be to have good ones. Even if xenos were almost guaranteed to lose, that round had extreme potential to be a very fun, good round with lots of skirmishing and battles/fights. Instead it was whittled down to an underwhelming 2 hour slog. It was just boring.


Limit the nuke to certain ratio sounds like a good idea actually.

Also from roleplay perspective nuke always has been the last measure, the thing you really shouldn’t want to use, unless really have no other choice. USCM was hired to reclaim the colony, not to destroy it. But I don’t know how to empathize this mechanically.


Just force them to set the nuke in caves - forces them to actually push and works ICly because you can claim its not strong enough to wreck the colony if detonated there.


I thought ratio might be a decent way to do that mechanically, if it gets to a point where marines realize “we’re fucked, op is FUBAR, we don’t have the manpower to do anything anymore and the colony is lost, we have to bomb it” then they get access. But only if they actually don’t have the numbers to do anything else, not sitting with 100 men in FOB for 2 hours

This is a great idea as well, could definitely work too!


Forcing the nuke to be set in the maps “caves” would make the nuke impossible to use. Each maps version of the caves is wildly different, and whichever poor soul arms the nuke is likely not going to make it back to the LZ to evacuate. Not to mention the nuke will be immediately disarmed by any remaining Xenos.

Furthermore the point of the nuke is to give Marines a way to force the Xenos to attack the Marines instead of remaining skittish and camping a hell chock point in caves (insofar as I’ve been led to believe by Morrow). If the nuke could only be deployed if the Marines are outnumbered or lack the man power to fight the xenos, which in of itself is a highly subjective question, then the Nuke will never be used simply because the xenos would easily roll over the remaining Marines and disable at least one comms tower, because the Marines will lack the man power to defend both comms and the nuke.

I think the crux of the issue is that the OP was disappointed the Marines did not throw themselves at some hell chock and run the risk of giving the xenos a win by virtue of them slamming against said chock for 2 to 3 hours before the xenos finally screeched enough captures to overwhelm the Marines. As far as I am concerned the nuke did its job by forcing the xenos to stop hiding and attack instead of hiding.

In this case I feel the Marines earned a win by virtue of their domination of the colony to the point they extracted the high intel cost to buy a nuke and defend both comms towers.

If the positions were reversed I’d welcome a mechanic that forced Marines to attack (or retreat) to prevent a loss instead of camping a FOB for 2 hours, and Morrow has said he plans to add said mechanic at some point.


The correct take. Excellent.

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this isnt a thing that ever happens. If xenos are strong enough to attack, they attack. if they’re not, they dont. Xenos being defensive is an imaginary issue from people that expect them to suicide into cadehuggers who instead of attacking with the advantage they hold, decide to play WO.

I think the crux of the issue is that the OP was disappointed

issue was xenos were outnumbered extremely hard and couldnt realistically attack anything, yet marines just waited for nuke instead - im pretty sure you did play LV rounds over the past week so not sure why you’re pretending not to see how the games on that map go. Then again OP also describes the issue very clearly in his post - if you don’t think marines that outnumber xenos 6 to 1 can push then I genuinely don’t know what to tell you.

comm towers

just remove that as a requirement

no escape

just force them to defend it for X minutes - then it enters a state in which it cant be defused anymore - and give them Y to extract before it blows. Can be pretty fun to have a mad dash to fob - even if xenos fail at disabling the nuke they can still harass the retreating marines, possibly not letting them escape. Its fine and fun if some die covering the retreat or being too slow because of their wounds, the nuke’s supposed to be a rather desperate last resort.

caves are wildly different

just restrict nuke placement to (deep?)cave roof, let marines decide where they want to plant it, doubt you’d run into significant issues with this approach

plans to add at some point



Sounds like xeno cope, your backliners didn’t do a good job against IO’s and therefore they managed to get a nuke. Which resulted in your queen making rash moves like invading a heavily armed FOB.

What’s with all the fearrp? Some of the greatest moments I’ve had in cm were hopeless last stands and last-ditch efforts against impossible odds. You know you’re gonna die, but you do it anyways, that’s what made SD holds so fun, and that’s what the nuke should be- an extreme last-ditch effort when odds are grim.

I’m not saying make it necessary to put in caves along with all the other suggestions I made. I was making several suggestions to balance/make nuke less aids, I’m saying you could balance it with marine:xeno ratios. If marines outnumber xenos 6 to 1, then yeah they should probably at least have to put the nuke in caves, if they’re allowed to get it at all. If xenos outnumber them then no.

It wouldn’t be impossible to use, it would work as intended even faster; it would end stalemates, it would just be more fun for both sides. It would force all remaining xeno and marine forces to clash in one last battle on contested ground and grind eachother down. I mean unless that’s not what it was intended for;

Marines don’t need a reason to “force xenos to attack”, they already cadehugged most of the time even before the nuke was added. There’s enough fearrp as it is. You guys can literally be revived 20 times, but everyone is too fueled up on protagonist syndrome to risk anything, and would rather sit behind a cade for 2 hours brainlessly clicking xeno sprites without any mental exertion whatsoever.

If this is the actual reason they added nuke then this is a far bigger issue. Again you’re making game-altering decisions based off the actions of literally like one player. I’ve only ever seen ChiQueen force a 60 strong hive to sit at their feet for an hour until the outnumbered marines inevitably push just to get stomped by one flank in 40 seconds. But that’s rare, and it’s not typical for roundflow on most games.
Again, unless we’re playing WO, xenos are meant to be the defensive faction, marines are meant to be offensive. Now literally half the map, the entire xeno-favored side of the map, is completely untouched by marines, they just cadehug waiting for a nuke.
As GoldenDarkness said, if xenos are strong, most of the time they’ll usually push, if not they don’t. Forcing xenos to push when they aren’t strong isn’t balanced at all, it’s just dumb.

Dude you literally just described a game of cm. That’s how the game is meant to be played, you’re supposed to skirmish. The key is whether or not marines can kill the xenos faster than they can burst caps and evo. But that requires people to actually keep pushing forward. So to that I would say

Right back at you

90 marines dominating the map against 12 xenos isn’t an achievement. If some intel was maybe in the caves? Perhaps. Otherwise, this wasn’t an accomplishment. 2 comms towers on LV? As mentioned before you could put 40 men on each comms tower, and have 10 in FOB and xenos still wouldn’t have been able to do jackshit no matter how hard we pushed anywhere. You guys didn’t really do anything, mostly just stood around and melted anyone dumb enough to step outside of caves.
You complain xenos camped the chokes, but honestly marines camped the chokes just as hard for 2 hours. So now if you wanna argue “well why should xenos be expected to camp chokes but marines can’t?” it’s because marines had far greater numbers, overwhelming firepower outside of caves and they can be fucking revived 30 times.
The game doesn’t work if marines don’t unga.

I would welcome that too, but doubtful that would ever happen in the future. The only new thing added to cm in recent memory is FOB tents, beyond that the only balance changes that have been made are nerfs and removals. Shit is only being taken out of the game, nothing is being put in (except for the offchance we steal something from TG every now and then).
The game is asymmetrical, just cause marines get an endgame mechanism doesn’t mean xenos need one too now. I at least tried to make suggestions that make the current endgame mechanism (nuke) more balanced and fun for both sides and also preventing it from ruining the flow of the game.

Nuke is something that has a game-wide impact on everybody, it was enough to route 90 groundside marines and keep them on the beach for two hours instead of pushing, leading to a very stale and unfun round (HRP maybe, since 90% of military service is “hurry up and wait”, but this isn’t a milsim, it’s a game, and it still wasn’t fun). The entire flow of a round shouldn’t bank on whether or not BOO decides to log on.

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In the last like 4 times I’ve played LV (and some other maps) I’ve seen it devolve into 90+ marines vs 20+ xenos.

Either the xenos give way and start losing xenos left and right, after a long and lengthy stalemate at caves, or marines get the nuke. On one occasion they didn’t even need the nuke.

I think the nuke situation is a symptom of a larger issue.

  1. Nuke = Marine Minor Victory by the way devs take stats.
    What’s the xeno alternative? What’s the xeno counter?

  2. LV has always been a map people revert to as a more “even” fight. Xenos could win. Marines could win.

From my own experience, it feels like xenos lose a bit more often (on the simple maps) during long rounds. Even strong hives with many T3s and countless caps simply fail to get to the point of assaulting the FOB (and being successful) due to repeated Foxtrot activations. And if the marines start to get tired as the op drags on? Nuke. Longer the round = more likely marines will win.

  1. In regard to the Defcon System and Nukes. LV has always been an easier map to get high defcon - good IOs or not. Backliners aren’t going to stop a determined push by marines to collect Defcon points on LV. Most of the defcon material is on the marine side of the fog.

The sad part is this issue can’t really be fixed as if you move or flip it, you just are giving it to the xenos.

LV is a pretty basic kind of immediate face off map 95% of the time in the exact same locations, which is why it’s a better map for gauging overall faction balance.

  1. Long rounds are not an issue. Especially not when there are systems for multiple Foxtrot activations and facehuggers, which bring in ghosts to play.

  2. Stalemate.

  • The marines end up with entire megaFOBs worth of cades (a massive FOB) and 90+ people. They can’t push effectively because the xenos, who are barely hanging on despite having 20 xenos, kill everything that attempts to do so. On top of this, marines get cap’d giving the Xenos larva, go perma, or need time to recover.

  • On the other hand, the xenos are outnumbered 3, 4, or even 5 to 1. 100 to 20 isn’t uncommon from what I’ve seen in these stalemate rounds. If the xenos push, they lose xenos - removing the advantage of the caps they gain on the defense and furthering creating defensive mentality. Due to the size of the marine force and FOBs any assault is doomed to lengthy FOB warfare.

It feels strange that I’ve seen megaFOBs on LV stretching across, LZ2, Robotics, TCOMMS, Corporate Dome, Medical, Hydro, TFORT (roughly) and Containers… and the round is only 2 hours in. Oh, and on top of that, the marines are 2x as strong as they were at the start of the op and the xenos are only like 5-10 less.

These stalemate rounds aren’t like old stalemate rounds where there’s nobody left around, stuff feels…empty, and both sides are just persistently slugging it out with countless ghosts watching. Nowadays it’s that the opposite end. Plenty of people, no quick end in sight barring massive fumbles, and 1 way to end the round quick in the form of a Minor Victory… but only for one side.

Sorry for the length of that.


The round was for 2 hours. You had 2 hours to win the round or mess up the IO’s. It’s not a matter of whether BOO can join and do his devilish deeds. Its the matter that you couldn’t turn the tides around and therefore you lost hiding in caves or where ever.

You also need to remember you need to get captures and flank marines any time you can else you will get stomped on.

Also morrow is planing to make rounds last an hour and 30 minutes or two hours.

Again the problem with reintroducing DEFCON printing 15 man squads on repeat and the nuke is that xenos are not given any tools to counteract it. It’s the opposite, they are nerfed to the point of being barely able to hold the marine push. Late round marines can just kill them using their superior sustain. But it’s not foolproof so instead of going for that 80% success, but fun caves push, marines are now going for that 100% foolproof nuke. That’s what makes the rounds boring.

You want to play around the intel and xenos contesting the colony against them? Well, give them the numbers back and you’ll see what happens. And that would be xenos killing marines outright in the colony and people crying in dchat again about “metarush” or “LZ rushing”.

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If you had read what others have written here, you’d know the answer but let me restate it.

The map is LV-624, a map where the IOs can get all of the intel if they just take a small squad of marines with them and xenos can do absolutely nothing against that.

We could not turn the tide around because we were not given the option to, marines made no mistakes because they simply did not push and stayed in one place for the entire duration of the round.

Not even BOO would’ve been able to do anything in the backlines.

Marines held at our side of the beach until they got the nuke, they did not step past the cave entrance a single time.

Anytime the Queen screeched more marines than were hit by the screech would come defend the ones screeched, preventing us from getting a single capture.

If CM had a replay system or a more detailed metrics system I could show you just how bad things were, but sadly there isn’t one. The only captures we had that round were from baldies and protagonist marines charging into the caves on their own.