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Basic info

Point blank with the Gnasher
The Gnasher Shotgun is the shotgun used in both Gears of War 1 & 2. The gnasher is used by both COG and Locust forces; it is standard equipment for Gears and the Locust grenadier class also utilize this weapon. (along with grenades) in Gears of War 1. The gun is incredibly effective at close quarters, more often than not killing an enemy in a single shot, however at range the gun suffers from inaccuracy and weak firepower. It is worth noting that for balance issues, the Gnasher has a slower rate of fire in Gears of War 2 than in Gears of War 1. When considering the choice between a Lancer or Gnasher, consider the Lancer's effectiveness at mid-range (Standard firing) and how it compensates for it's weak aiming at close quarters with the chainsaw bayonet. The gnasher however has a effective melee knockback effect, leading to what is known as "two-piecing."

"Host shotgun"

Unlike Gears of War 2, the original game allowed users to create their own ranked games, which lead to many issues regarding latency ( lag), for example the host would achieve a headshot with the Longshot sniper rifle more often, would be unable to perform most glitches and most controversially gain the "host shotgun". In cases of a poor internet connection or large gap between host and guest ping, a hosts shotgun would almost always hit more often, and cause more damage than a guests. This is obviously very unbalanced, specifically for a tactical shooter such as Gears. Patches attempted to fix this problem or avert it with little success (e.g. increasing the damage of the Lancer). This lead to guests often calling "HOST!" whenever killed by a shotgun (The host's gamertag is never displayed as such). Epic realizing this fault later went onto address the problem in Gears of War 2.

The "rolling shotgun" effect

In the original Gears of War title a simple and incredibly effective technique was formed which consisted of a player (host or guest) rolling toward a enemy at close range, then instantly pulling the trigger on the shotgun, this would more often than not instantly kill the enemy standing infront of them. It is considerably harder to shoot a rolling target as they are not only much faster moving than a running one but a lower target as well. This tactic was commonly used in the Gears of War 1 multiplayer due to it's simplicity and efficiency. Epic fixed the problem in the sequel Gears of War 2, claiming it to be a "tactical shooter, not a rolling shotgun game" - Cliff Bleszinski.

General tactics

The gnasher shotgun is best used at close range, having flanked your enemy, or seeing that they are reloading or otherwise unable to shoot back. In Gears of War 2 the roll then shotgun tactic is inadvisable due to not only it's ineffectiveness but the slowdown that comes from concentrated Lancer or Hammerburst fire. A technique that has grown popular in both Gears of War 1 & 2 is "two-piecing" where the player melees an opponent, knocking them back briefly unable to fire, then immediately shooting them. While this is a legitimate tactic, it is usually seen as unfair and poor sportsmanship. (In line with spawn camping)

Countermeasures

For all it's close quarter strengths, there are multiple ways in which to triumph over a gnasher user, these include:
  • Use your range! If you can keep the enemy away from you with either the Lancer or Hammerburst, you don't need to worry about the gnasher's superior strength at close quarters.
  • Blow them up! If you can get a hold of some frag grenades, torque bow or the Boomshot you can kill them instantly with a well timed/placed shot or throw.
  • Superior firepower! If you can get your hands on the maps more powerful weapons, use them! A skilled sniper can easily take down a shotgun user, so find that Longshot! In the rare case of actually holding the Hammer of Dawn, make sure you're outside and rain fiery death upon your opponent!
  • And if all else fails... They've gotten right up in your face, you have your faithful Lancer equipped. Use your chainsaw.

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