Advanced Commander Guide: The A10

Community Guide written by ShaneCoJ


Welcome to the advanced commander guide for the A10 in Insurgency: Sandstorm.


My handle is Shane, and I have over a thousand hours in this game, primarily playing commander in PvP. This guide builds upon the Basic Commander Guide, which I recommend reading before trying the more advanced stuff. However, if you think you're ready, this guide will help you understand the best uses of the A10 Strafe. So, keep reading if you want to get calls like this!


Let's start with some of the background knowledge you need to learn:


Concepts to Master:


Timing, timing, and timing


Do you know how many seconds it takes for a call to be confirmed? Do you know how long it then takes the A10 to strike? Are you paying attention and estimating when the enemy may respawn? How long is their respawn timer? All these things are noted in the Basic Commander Guide, and you need to know this by hand to truly utilize the A10 to its full capacity.


Tracking enemy deaths is the key to knowing when they will respawn. This can be hard in games where teammates are not communicating well, but you have to make the best of it. Watch the scoreboard, every kill adds 10 points, so if you see your team gain 40 points and no one is capping, that means that your team got 3 or 4 kills.


Situational awareness:  


If you're watching the wave counter and trying to track enemy deaths, you should also know how many enemies could still be alive. Build on this by also understanding where the enemies may be entrenched or holding back your team. When you understand this, your A10 runs will be much more effective. 


You will need to consider the status of your team before you make a call so that your team can take advantage of it. If you only have a few teammates alive, then wait. Has your team just respawned and is approaching the point? Then communicate to your teammates to wait for the A10 to hit, and then push!


Monitoring the scoreboard to get an idea of how many players you may have killed is crucial. If you believe you have killed a considerable amount of enemies, then urge your team forward!


Map knowledge:


As your playtime increases, you will get a sense of where enemies tend to defend points. You'll learn the paths that reinforcements take or that attackers use to run to the point. A good idea is to watch replays to learn the heavily trafficked routes.


Learning the map's geography is essential; you're looking for buildings with open roofs or many exposure points. This will guarantee maximum effectiveness.


"Aiming" the A10:


Like many other aspects of this great game, NWI has left this as a riddle for players to solve. There's no tutorial or mention of this in-game, but what has been learned through trial-and-error is what follows. It can be tough to comprehend at first, but it will become intuitive once understood.


The destruction of the Cache on Hideout Push Security serves as a great example. Simply put, the A10 will strike from right to left at a 90-degree angle from where you are looking when the call is confirmed. The key here is "confirmed". 


Note: The image has several 90-degree angles. The lines on the image were added by sight; it's not exact.



The basic idea is:

  1. Have your binoculars in hand
  2. Initiate the call
  3. Turn to the angle you want the A10 to cross on a perpendicular run from your right to your left.
  4. Wait for confirmation.


How this relates to the image:

  1.  The call is made from the building to the right (the top of the C point)
  2.  The A on the right represents the line of sight and where the call would go by default if not aimed.
  3. The long red line shows that line of sight, and the shorter red line at the left crosses it to show the path of the A10. It will run perpendicular, coming from the right.
  4. The yellow diamond represents the point where the call is to hit. Regardless of the angle, the A10 comes from, this is the point it is centered on. Your angle will rotate on this fixed point.
  5. B represents the direction pivoted to adjust the angle of the A10 so that it runs directly through the point. (there's a reason it should run from behind the cache, rather than in front, can you guess what it is? HINT: 
  6. C represents another angle, just for comparison.


So, to blow up this cache:

  1. Have your compass on.
  2. Center the compass on the indicator for the cache E.
  3. Pivot to the desired angle (in the case of cache runs, it's almost always 90 degrees).
  4. Hold until the call is confirmed.
  5. You are now free to move.

Important: The reason you have the run come at 90 degrees is that the point of contact (yellow diamond) is on the side of the building. The cache is several meters inside, so as you can see, the A and C angles will not cross over it.



Due to how the A10 gunfire works, it isn't guaranteed that you will destroy this cache, but at the very least, you will damage it.


How to use A10 to help your team win:


Fending off reinforcements:


By combining all the elements we discussed above and using map knowledge to determine the path that most defenders will take to the point, you can rack up a large number of kills!


You will need to time your A10 just right, so use your situational awareness to know when to use this call. Put the A10 on a line from their spawn approach running into the point; this will take out those running in a straight line to the objective.  


Example: Crossing Security Push C. This is a tricky objective to take. The defenders run in a line like ants to the point, almost always going the same way. Time your A10 run while your teammates put pressure on the point and capturing the objective is within your grasp!


After this strike, the point was taken almost immediately.


You can use this same skill set and logic to take out attackers on defense. You get three A10 calls while defending, so you can really mop up if you're prepared.


Attacking a fixed defensive line:


Sometimes you need something to break through a well-defended objective. You need an A10 to shake up the defense and hopefully make an opening for your team to assault.


Before you make the attack, ask yourself: Is your team in a position to capitalize on the opening? Are the defenders in a defensive "line"? What is their relative strength in numbers?


The other thing to consider is: Which objectives offer the most targets in a fixed defensive line? In this case, timing is essential because you want to use it when your team is at full strength. A good A10 call will take out multiple defenders, and you can push onto the point with ease afterward.


Example: Hillside Security Push A. The defenders are often upfront on the attacker's far left, on top of the green building, and then back a little further on the attacker's right. There is also a long, straight ridgeline that is often used by campers.


Watch the red arrows disappear and feel good knowing your team can take the point without any resistance!


Caches you can take out:


A lot of this is covered in the discussion on aiming the A10. If you follow the instructions correctly, it is possible to destroy the cache with the A10 on many maps.


Even on those maps where it's possible, it's not a 100% guarantee. That said, caches can consistently be destroyed on: Hideout, Farmhouse, Crossing, PowerPlant (took a while to find an angle that works!), Bab, and Tideway. It's possible but rarely happens on Refinery, Outskirts, and Summit. 


This, more than anything, will get great reactions from your opponents and make a great impression on your teammates. I recently found an angle that may work for Precinct! If you learn better angles or calling locations, please share them!


Taking the time to read and understand this guide will drastically increase your ability as a commander to use the A10! Thanks for reading, and now go BRRRRRTTTTTT!!!!!





Still have questions? We'd love to help.