Superweapon Beacons in Renegade X are portable satellite uplink devices that will call in the faction's respective Superweapon strike (Ion Cannon for Global Defense Initiative and Nuclear Strike for Brotherhood of Nod) to the designated location when deployed. They are one of the three equipment that can purchased at any Purchase Terminal from the Item menu.
The Global Defense Initiative beacon is a large cylindrical object with four handles to carry it around. It possesses a number pad to activate the beacon.
The Brotherhood of Nod beacon is a slim cylindrical object able to be carried around in one hand. It possesses a number pad to activate the beacon.
Setting up and disarming the beacon
Bought beacons take 4 seconds to deploy, with players needing to stand still while deploying. When deployed, it enters a locking-on phase lasting 50 seconds, and it will broadcast a warning about the beacon to every player.
Allied or spotted beacons can be seen on the minimap or overview map (accessible by pressing M) as either small icons or small stars.
Enemy team has to disarm the beacon with Engineers, Advanced Engineers or Repair Tool to safely avert the danger within the first 40 seconds after deployment; should they succeed, an announcement will be broadcasted once more. The last ten seconds is the point of no return, in which beacons are no longer disarmable.
Caution is advised when disarming an enemy beacon. It is best not to leave your vehicle empty, unless you are absolutely sure there are no enemies (especially Stealth Black Hands) around to steal it and cover the nuke. It is best not to stand still while disarming to make job harder for the enemy snipers covering the nuke. Usually it is good to get rid of all the enemy tanks and infantry that are covering the nuke before starting to disarm it, but sometimes this may not be easily done and it is better to try to disarm the nuke even with enemy units around.
Superweapon strikes will instantly kill any Infantries, destroy any Vehicles and Buildings in their area of effect. Superweapon Beacons are usually employed to instantly destroy a building, bypassing any armor or health value the building retained. While beneficial, this also makes most beacon placements predictable. The beacon also emits loud beep, giving away its' general position. The Nuclear Strike beacon arguably has the loudest beep. You cannot call an Airstrike over any deployed Superweapon Beacon, but you can deploy a beacon while being in the area of an allied airstrike.
The most common way of using a Superweapon Beacon, and the least effective one, is placing a single beacon by an enemy building and only covering it by yourself. The chance of such beacon succeeding is low for obvious reasons, but it can be increased by:
- hiding the beacon (for Nod the roof of the Weapons Factory is a good spot, for GDI the inside of the Airstrip tower)
- deploying the beacon while enemy base is empty (for example when the enemy team is rushing)
Solo nuking is most often done by Stealth Black Hands and by spies. This tactic can be very harmful for your own team (in fact it is often considered Team Hampering) on the All-Out-War game mode, since disarming a beacon gives the enemy team 200 points.
Same as described above, but performed by multiple players at once. It needs much more coordination and is more difficult to be pulled off, but it is also much more effective. Usually performed by Nod's Stealth Black Hands on maps without base defenses like Walls, Islands, XMountain or Complex. It is best to place the beacons on different buildings instead of placing all of them at one building.
Nuke with cover
This tactic consists of combining a Superweapon Beacon with a rush (usually vehicle rush). A beacon is deployed by a Stealth Black Hand or a spy just before the rush or it is deployed by one of the players rushing (usually a passenger of one of the rushing tanks) when the rush reaches enemy base. The beacon should be deployed in an open area near a building to make it easy for tanks to cover it (or just park on it) and difficult for the enemy engineers to disarm it.
Most commonly used by GDI in a Medium Tank rush. Because of its size, the Airstrip is usually an easy target for such tactic. This rush is very effective for GDI on maps like Islands or Canyon. Nod can use its Nuclear Strike Beacon as an addition to a Flame Tank or an Apache rush.
A beacon combined with an infantry rush is much less effective, because infantry - even in a mass - is generally easily slaughtered by enemy vehicles.
A cover by snipers is feasible on some maps, especially on Walls from the central plateau.
Nuke as decoy
In this tactic, the purpose of a beacon will not be to destroy the enemy building that it is placed at, but instead to grab the attention of the enemy team and make them focus on disarming such a nuke, while an allied Hotwire or a Technician sneaks and destroys a different building OR while your team makes a vehicle rush for a different building. Even the most organized defense can fall to this smart tactic. Often performed on the same maps as the multiple nuke tactic and more often on Marathon and not on All-Out-War, so as not to give the enemy team free points for disarming.
This is the only of the mentioned tactics where a nuke is not placed at an enemy building. The purpose of such beacon can be to force the enemy team to fall back and check their whole base to look for it. This is why, contrary to a decoy nuke placed at one of enemy buildings, it does not help allied sneaking Advanced Engineers. Fake nukes are also often deployed randomly without any purpose by players who have too much credits on their hands. This can be annoying and excessive nuke spam is sometimes punished by the game moderators. To counter this tactic, you cannot deploy a Superweapon Beacon in your own base.
Ion Cannon Beacon
GDI's Superweapon beacon, when successfully uploaded, will transmit the coordinates to the Ion Cannon satellite in orbit around the planet, which will charge its ordinance and fire it upon the beacon's location. After the ten second mark, small blue and white beams will start to appear near the beacon, before a larger one descends from the sky, gradually charging up. On the zero, the beam will widen up and generate an huge white explosion with static lightning afterwards.
Nuclear Strike Beacon
Nod's Superweapon beacon, when successfully uploaded, will transmit the coordinates to the nearest Temple of Nod, which will commence the launch of its nuclear warhead towards the beacon's location. After the ten second mark, the warhead can be seen dropping from the sky, closing in as the counter goes on. On the zero, the warhead will explode and release the classical fallout of a big mushroom cloud in the air.
- Sometimes, when players participating in organized matches are in the "waiting room" map, waiting for the actual match to be set up, their commanders, in good humor, will tell everyone to buy a Superweapon beacon and to meet everyone in a defined spot. On their signal, every player will plant the beacon in the designated area and wait for all the Ion Cannons/Nuclear Strikes to strike in order to enjoy the fireworks.
- This can also be used for determining how many players are willing to listen to their commanders in organized matches.