Swarming is an offensive battle tactic which uses a great number of (preferably) low cost, low armor, high speed and high attack power units to destroy enemy defenses or kill a very powerful unit. It is particularly effective when the enemy unit uses weapons that don't have a large area of effect, like laser weapons. As each weapon can target only a single unit at once and it takes some time to reload and retarget, a swarm of weak units can often destroy even a very powerful piece of weaponry. This can also be very useful against more powerful forms of static defense, as they often cannot effectively attack targets that get too close to them.
Swarming is particularly effective when:
- Enemy is porcing using hit-or-miss (non-area) weapons
- Enemy is using powerful, but slow-reload weapons
- Enemy is relying heavily on a handful of very powerful units or an uberweapon
- The enemy has left a gap in their defensive lines. (High speed/attack power units can cause considerable destruction if let loose inside an enemy base.)
Swarming is likely to fail if:
- Enemy is porcing using area weapons i. e. rockets, mortars etc.
- Enemy's defenses are fast reloading or scattered (large number of weak defenses instead of a few super-strongholds)
- There are no appropriate units available
- The enemy has a swarm of fast units of their own that they can respond with.
Swarming is sometimes termed spamming by annoyed players, partly because displaying a large number of weak units results in a devastating slowdown on lower-grade systems. However, making a good swarm unit available is seen as a countermeasure to porcing, which deteriorates gameplay. Some sort of swarming is therefore possible in almost every balanced mod, though counters (often in the form of mobile units) are also available.