Guide for Team Fortress 2 – TF2 Intermediate Guide ++
Introduction: Reprise gameplay experience
The beginner’s guide gives a good technical foundation for successful TF2 gameplay, explaining lots in detail and expanding the immediate horizons of all who study it. The intermediate guide will expand on most sections and add gritty detail into most player cla*ses, and provide some depth on various maps. All together, the two guides will provide most of what should be known by experienced players. The road to advanced from here is steep, but largely driven by gameplay experience so guide-wise this is it for generalized help.
Multiplayer Nuts & Bolts — latency/lag
Previously mentioned, lag and packetloss are drivers of gameplay. In situations with minimal or none of these factors, the game unfolds almost instanteously. The sum totals of latencies, and their differences will slightly effect leading one’s aim vs. moving targets. The slightest latencies require the least amount of correction to your aiming. In situations with high latencies, certain dynamics will interrupt overall gameplay. These situations can be transitory, and have to be weathered/played through, until normal connectivity resumes.
Short bursts of higher latency affect targetting–you, and your foes. During short burst of high latency your hud shows the action late (by the # of ms your latency differential is (higher ping – normal ping = differential)). If your target is ping-spiking you may have to aim BEHIND him; if the enemy shooting at you is ping spiked he sees hud with action late so you will see the bugger shooting at you before and as he aims and pops. The ping-spikes are about 500ms long and often solitary but can and will repeat numerous times.
The juxtaposition of the higher ping value vs. the “normal” value is important; small spikes might lure one into thinking greater dynamics are in play; the small spikes have barely perceptable effects on outcomes; most noticeable is accurate aiming vs. moving targets–the target’s movement can be non-uniform in it’s pace as latency may be fluctuating enough…
Larger differentials mean different forces are at hand and resulting surviveability will plummet if you don’t know what to do. You may:
1. Attempt to reverse your previous several seconds of movement; rewind if possible, add jumps.
2. Maybe considered suicide, remaining still is possible; if you’ve just won a huge firefight and mowed the field down and are the last standing; depending on your situation movement may NOT be adviseable for a period of time (map hazards, enemy nests, etc.)
3. Jumping with semi-randomized non-forward movements; hop hop hop, remain close to where you began, possibly retreating behind cover. The idea here is if the lag effects you maybe it effects others (often does) so you turning into a bouncing wavering target will amplify your evasive profile in your favor. Hits will occur but you will see these ones in your mind long before they happen and dutifully try to hop out anyways.
4. Close your eyes and play it with the force in your mind’s eye. If you know the location you’re in and who’s where, this sh*t is actually possible. Your screen will be lying to you, and you don’t have time to figure out about what and by how much…. sometimes immediate memory will serve best… The lag you experience can make you harder to counter, to the same degree you find it more difficult to project offensive capability at others.
5. Attempt graduated stage(s) retreat; attempt to achieve immediate cover or congregation with enuf visible friendlies to remain safe; attempt to make it back the way you came or by any achievable escape route. Even jumping to death to rob a foe the point is on the cards if you’re f*cked in a lag storm, it happens by accident more than can possibly be intended, anyways.
Know and remember one cardinal thing about lag and lag-spikes: The server ticks at the same pace as always and EVERY user input (i.e. – your own…) is dutifully executed throughout any lag periods experienced by any node or the server itself. You see lag in your hud when your receiving end has latency, but your SENDING may not even be affected; typically upstream runs fine, it’s the downstream where things are funny. When there is upstream lag you may notice hitreg sh*ts on you repeatedly; even if you find the sweet spots on the hitboxes in lag, packetloss can easily finish you off as handily as many foes. Upstream lag means you have to send commands well before they’re needed, be pre-emptive as possible or retreat.
Your commands get sent and are executed throughout whatever lag you or others experience.
Multiplayer Nuts & Bolts — packetloss
In packetloss situations the effect you notice most is your sh*t doesn’t seem to get through, all commands, but the action still unfolds without lag present. If anything, when packetloss is rampant and nigh it tends to display in the hud with a slight warping of the action speed.
Packetloss screws hitreg, but also to be noted is jumping, in two ways. Obviously, if you’re running and timing a jump and the packets are doomed, your jump fails and the move along with it, if not you yourself. One blip here is trick jumping, where doing it can be effected with splotches of dropped packets but the target experiences your dropped packets a different way; they’ll have blank patches where they observe you during your lost commands; in particular, jumps.
Explained: You are running for a trick jump as evasive or attack and a target sees your movement before you jump. If you have dropped packets when you jump you’ll keep hitting space, instinctively if need be, and when you do jump the latency of the jump will be different to your movement in the target’s hud, he won’t see the jump until after you’ve done it, not as you do it.
Enough packetloss and latencies will become multiplied; packetloss are seldom single packets. There can be single or small groups of packets rejected for checksum differences but they’re quickly resent and typically get through in short order; small lag-spikes may be a noticeable result, though often they’re pinpricks compared to lag storms. Heavy packetloss things get choppy up to and including freeze-frame hud display and even eventual connection loss. The bad ones last average 5-10 seconds, though longer has been widely observed.
If the connection’s sh*t there’s always another game.
It can be highly beneficial to play community servers on different continents from where one resides to experience high-lag gameplay dynamics. Depending on your connection strength you may discover you are really f*cking hard to hit all of a sudden, or, the more the differential you experience the all the more predictable the game becomes; you can think ahead in lag, or at least you ought to… Learning to play in lag multiplies your surviveability in normal latency situations. You’ll play more on your toes than ever.
In higher latencies, area effect weapons are at their strongest; hitscan isn’t as hot but shotguns and automatic fire rates can offset this some. The champ is flamethrower, you can play with much pre-emptive bar-b-que’ing and come out on top plenty and then some. Timing the enemy, play the area effect card to its fullest. Second best is engi because the sentry knows no lag, it shoots those scum before you see them, right on time. If you like scout, it’s going to be hard to hit them, but they have almost no chance of purposely hitting you… You’ll be deadly intel-carrier, cart-mover, and point-capper. Own the field with your speed in lag, any cla*s, apply speed to it’s fullest in your loadout, scout just the most; but jumps, the more you can the merrier.
Soldier avoid direct hit but righteous bison can be interesting in laggy stuff; otherwise panic-attack or conquoror; escape-plan for obvious reasons. Demo could stick with ‘nades and ploy the scottish resistance to make increased-area sized traps (to account for lag…) or the traps could be placed further along expected target paths to account for seeing them late (just watch the point where you’d put the trap in normal latency and when you see target there ping him, and even if trap is layed a tad further along chances are he’s actually right in it not where your hud shows you. By slightly i mean 2-3% difference; not 5, not 10. Melee ulapool caber for the win. Demoknights can piss off in lag; in lag your concern should be VS. them, not as them.
Heavy require gloves of running urgently to have a chance; with a shotgun and maybe a huo-long heater or natascha. With a medic you’ll have great fun with targets at a distance but become increasingly screwed at closer and closer range. Medics stick to highest point scorers who don’t run you into kill-boxes and such. When you have a team rolling together, heal them all from the rear. Snipers play as forward on offense as possible to minimize your target distances; bows are good here if you haven’t learned. Spies might not specialize in trick-stabs during high-lag play.
One good lag strategy is work with your team as a second line finishing off what the front line isn’t killing outright. Salvos rolling through right after a team’s direct wave of attack will often find enemies who successfully evaded the incoming attack(s) but are ideally placed for your “late” ordinance to connect with. Yes, in lag you can get them to run into where you shoot exactly this way. The ones who use cover will survive.
Another absolutely pure gem of having a relatively high latency on a server: If the average ping is in the 30’s and you’re at 100-or-so, that’s a 70ms differential. In a close-quarters fight 70ms makes a noticeable difference. If there are lots of players in these close quarters, and they’re all at 30ms and you are the only one at 100ms, you are now a ghost in the machine. Everyone is going to be shot-timing and aiming at 30ms targets, your 70ms differential is more than 200% this value, played right you can flank and get behind everyone you desire. Enjoy this realization, make ’em pay!
Lots of sh*t to lag, fielding it. Making it work against the enemy is where you can come out ahead. With success at surviveability in lag you can notch some choice marks in your weapons belt. Now, there are often lag situations where you are utterly and irrevokably screwed. Strong enemy scouts shred high-ping targets, don’t be that target. If you are and there’s enough spies trick-stabbing your every escape route, learn to recognize the fights you cannot win. Don’t embrace them, but use them as testing crucibles where you are on the hotplate and every successful evasive maneuver, every hit landed and every point scored are lessons absorbed most-readily.
Most lag fights are winnable, you can beat the lag, and the enemy. Just play smart, know the map f’ing well, survive and teamplay before all else. Lag? You can beat it. Some days you eat the bear, other days the bear eats you. Yet others, YOU get to be the bear eating sh*t.
Now, some more on: Teamplay
This is where games are won or lost and it takes diligence to succeed. Remember, the enemy’s possibly attempting everything to counter you, so you have to be on your game and exceed the enemy in as many dynamics as possible. Usually a few suffice but in the most well-matched games, the long ones, diligence is the word which describes what’s needed. Happens to cover all else. You need to be patient, thorough, enduring, smart, helpful, well-timed, to name a few; these are components of teamplay to consider. Each cla*s displays these facets differently; those who put in less effort subtract from their team’s overall performance in the given round of play.
Depending on the map type being played, the team’s objectives are varied. When you first join a server you can see your team’s cla*s mix, you want to round it out; consult the scoreboard and note if your team is long or short in offense, or various support; make your cla*s pick give weight to these factors. If your role on the team involves projecting offense the solo route isn’t your best bet unless you rock and are convinced it’s best for the moment; this is rarely the actual case. You want to know who’s immediately with you and if there are any other fireteams to either side or behind; you want to know where all offense elements are positioned so you can do your best in your position. You can hone your target selection by having an idea of which ones can be dealt with by your team, allowing you to focus on the lowest hanging fruit, basically.
On offense, you have to remain surviving to maintain your team’s momentum; when fellow teammates get killed you have reduced support at hand to lessen the heat, so, you have to pick up the pace and have more to handle in their absence. Handle it and keep the burners on until your revived friendlies can re-arrive. You want to gain territory/ground in stages towards your team’s objective. Win the ground, hold it so team can catch up, go ahead and win further ground, make it so your team gets increments advancing and you will steamroll the enemy. Remember, it’s not just you doing it, it’s the whole team, so the pressure’s not all on you. You don’t have to be a superstar or a maverick. What you do have to do to play offense successfully for your team is survive and keep on surviving, while of course helping the opponents not survive….
Be reliable in your diligence, particularly when it comes to surviveability. Now, map types and being an offense member of your team:
Attack/Defend; when attacking you have to crush the first wall and the campers hiding at the back so the rest of your team can get out in the open and finish off the campers and the second line. When defending, you have to knock out their lead-scorers at the very start. You also should know when it’s prudent to rampage all the way to a spawnrape, and, when to regroup and re-flatten returning attackers. When a stage is underway, pin attackers into or behind an area/zone.
In CTF maps, you’ll have to get to the fronts quick and be strong as ♥♥♥♥ on man-to-man fighting because that’s who you’ll have to contend with as you steamroll through zones. Pay special attention to what your fellow friendlies are up to so you can use them as distractions to accomplish your tactical needs.
In Control Point maps you’re the vanguard, only pause advancing to reload, allow teammates to cover 2/3 the distance to you, and when you get to final cap point (where you wait for team so you can overwhelm defenses….) To all the premature ejaculators who rush to the end and cap before their team is across the halfway mark: regroup and take it as a team, pit your skill vs. an enemy actually defending. Either the other team’s sh*t and a pause will change nothing or given a FAIR chance, they can stand up to you and give YOU a better gameplay experience.
In King of the Hill maps you can pick target zones from a bullseye over the cap point and immediate surrounds, or arc-segments around the red side, and blue side of cap point, and further zone rings on red spawn and blue spawn sides; you can break these arc segments into top and bottom sections of each; rule the zones, make the zones you control connect and grow like territory that’s yours, because it IS in TF2… KotH maps feature more offense than the others; everyone’s on O here.
Payload maps: Keep as far in front of your team as surviveability allows; alternatively glue to payload and project force from it’s confines/warmth. On payload maps, it’s possible to get a good jump and kill down the whole map each returning enemy and get a huge buffer between you and the payload; the cart can run nearly unopposed through all points when the front line fireteam(s) are sh*t hot and on fire. Alternatively, attacking in payloads, sometimes it’s very beneficial to flank and cover teammates so they can spread the O around more.
On offense for your team you’re trying to deal with threats so your team doesn’t have to face them. You’re going to meet the enemy’s offense contingent first, and have to kill them, and second you’ll meet their support and have to do a bit more moving around to kill these and as you surge towards their spawn you’ll need to pay special attention to all HW you may come across, competent explosives users, flame-bearers, and anyone who is a heal target. When you confront sentries, always put first in your mind not the sentry, but the enemy players, where they are and how many/which will be first to try to kill you. They are your worry, timing cover and your shots vs. a stationary target are not.
Last to include here: it is not essential to have team voice chat enabled; neither listen nor say; much a distraction for many; a very-wide dynamic here may be less compatible with successful gameplay than focusing on the game only. teamspeak and the like work best among close-knit groups. on the whole, the minimum needed also accomplishes all: just watch the ingame chat feed and add as you like with ‘Y’ and ‘U’. Less is more, always.
Your team may need help with defense:
On Attack/Defend, while attacking, your team will need hold the line if momentum ceases. Defense here is preventing the stage defenders from fracturing your line(s) and overrunning your lines and beating your team back to the spawn. Defending vs. that is knowing who’s where on the enemy, should be simple all your team is behind you somewhere. When the enemy is ma*sed and strong either try to divide them down the middle or flank/work on one side. Spreading evenly is not recommended; kill them off and as their force weakens your team should re-establish forward momentum. In the more hairy iterations of this sort of scenario, it takes ubercharged attackers, plural, to un♥♥♥♥ their team. In attack/defend as defenders you’re all defending, no extra special knowledge here.
In CTF, there are zones, man to man isn’t going to cut it one bit for defenders. Know where the strongest ends of zones are, typically the sides adjacent or nearest your spawn, but can be behind obstacles. cover, map features, etc. The zone sweet spots tell you where you should be; the other end is where your targets will appear. Learn to exploit zones and the junctions between them. They’ll allow you to survive and your opponents to get popped. Treat the whole map as a collection of zones; in the larger ones you can be picky about who to kill first; otherwise kill ’em all in order of feasibility or their immediate danger to you. Get in a zone, work from the strong side and try to exploit the weaker end; when moving into a different zone get the hell out of the weak end and achieve the safer portion; there you will be free-est to press your case.
In Control Points, defending for your team is policing around the points you own, maintaining a rear-line behind your attackers that’s the safety line, they get behind it can restock/whatnot. Defending for your team here is knowing who’s in front on offense and when you become the one in front, on offense. Defense here is the skill of surviving and repulsing enemy advances, preferably with lots of their blood resulting.
KotH isn’t so much about defending, but you may want to keep checking flanking routes for persistent enemies, and keeping an extra eye on teammates’ backs when needed.
In payload defending is about controlling any flanking routes so the enemy can’t nail your team with a pincer movement. Special note in payload, pyros can stick to cart and airblast an exlosive-free corridor in front of the cart; snipers behind the cart can take big advantage from this.
Some overall notes to summarize and add:
Teamplay is nuance, the interplay of factors; how you project offensive capability; how you wax defensive, both these have overall effects on the team. Teamplay is extra about coordinated effort; follow the script valve created with the player cla*ses and you’re on your way to ruling.
Save all non-essential chat/communication between rounds, in-round it should be direct, and matter; commentary should be well-chosen if presented. Better to listen, better to observe.
Work from or to a plan whenever able; this plan-thing needs to be repeatedly broken into component pieces to be dealt with effectively. Plans are often necessarily complicated with respect to many TF2 maps. Lots of allowances need be inbuilt.
Some games will have great teamplay interaction, others not so much. It can be solid experience to stick with the script when things don’t shape up favourably, overall. Don’t necessarily bail from the server in the face of strong or persistent foes. Put in your best effort, adapt as able, and finish what you start. Your team will benefit.
If things go very badly a*sess your player cla*s and if you may be able to contribute in another way; quite a bit when one player switches cla*ses another might take over as the cla*s switched from and even pull it off to help all the more. Run according to the plan but adapt when needed.
Your team’s dynamic can adapt and be modified over the course of a game or even round; starts off composed one-way at the start, finishes in other configurations. Players could drop and the config alters that way, or during a round players can re-a*sign cla*ses and the team at end of round is transformed…. Now did your team win? Over time your mental soup of TF2 will absorb all these ingredients and you will gain an ever-tightening grasp of just what this game actually is. F*cking Fun!
This one has myriad ways of describing and essentially the more ways you look at it the greater your cerebral throughput will be.
In one sense, it could be looked at from a sport perspective; a player in a fast-paced game in an intense situation in that game will have an extremely strong awareness of their immediate surroundings and the capabilities and intentions of all components in their surrounds, if not the entire gameplay area; they will be able to cognicize this on multiple levels simultaneously in realtime; the mind is a terrifyingly powerful thing indeed. That player has an immediate objective and their situational awareness will either enable or limit their ability to achieve outcomes which surmount the challenge, so to speak. Enable or limit.
In tight quarters hand to hand combat, with or without melee weapons, in the real world, not TF2, situational awareness is the real deal and the only thing, really. In situations with multiple targets/foes the enabling/limiting thing will be if target order is correct that enables; if mental understanding of real possibilties is not thorough or complete there can be limits instead of survival. Situational awareness is as much about being thorough in one’s understanding of what’s on the cards as possibe, as much this as picking the right target order. Fine tooth comb, in a REAL knife fight you not only have to undertand what order to kill in but precisely how to deal with each, effective shot-management when it comes to firearms.
Historic aerial dogfighting accounts lend description to undertanding things in 3-d, which is fundamental for situational awareness in TF2. Death from above is a big theme in-game and plenty of ♥♥♥♥ will come at you from below, as well. You want to be able to play the game with a real good mental connection to your senses in this game. It’s primarily visual and knowing what to expect and what can be expected, but listening tells much as well. Bonus teamplay/situational awareness crossover: Listening to explosions you cannot see tells you where teammates are at the time, this can help you get from A to B and know what to expect at B and along the way.
Situational awareness will have slightly different properties depending on the map-type being played. Act accordingly. From the bottom up, on payload maps there will be focus on different map zones during different stages of rounds. KotH all about tactical positioning and opponent respawn timing… C.P. maps a bit of knowing everyone’s and the team organism’s momentum(s) during a round between points is crucial; you need to know who’s where, who’s heading where, and what may or may not come together when they “arrive”. CTF is knowing your intel’s location and status, and how to corridor to and from the enemy’s, more or less. Attack/Defend a bit complex to wax here.
Know thyself, know thy enemy. The book The Art of War talks less about armed regiments than it does about the conceptual factors governing conflict. It says much about deception and misleading one’s foe and it also talks about achieving objectives indirectly. Successful parties have to play the intelligence card, essentially. Situational Awareness, before, during, after.
Make it through rounds, plural, without dying. Do them consecutively. Do this across servers. As you approach this level of surviveability it may be helpful to limit the maps selected in matchmaking. Some will be harder than others, so to begin unselect 3 map types you find the least satisfying and concentrate on one primary (your favorite) and a secondary (where else you feel good at). Unselect any maps within these types you either don’t know comfortably well or just have sh*tty results with, limit the field, make it on your terms.
Include all pa*s-time and unconventional map-types, these are all essentials for building teamplay, situational awareness, and surviveability skills in. If you keep getting pidgeon-holed into maps or servers you don’t like, unselect that map, and if necessary appoint an alternate. By limiting where you play you can master familiar ground.
Learn to play the maps vs. any opponents. You’ll find how to roll vs. the weak, you’ll find how to survive and mix it up with the best if you keep at it and act with intelligence before all else. You will find server campers who tend to ma*s on particular servers and/or maps; these crowds can often be exceedingly difficult to endure or overcome; change your map-mix to fit the conditions present, if needed. as you flourish you’ll have ample opportunities to reconnect with many you encountered along the way…
When encountering unsurviveable “areas” during a round, you need the team to deal with it. It may not be surgical strike effective, either, so you need to be ready to try and mesh closely with team efforts to overcome the most difficult challenges. The great ones prove exceptionally satisfying to overcome.
Fit your loadouts with survival aids as necessary. Each player will have the custom fit they need; some may require more defensive buffs than others, some less. Use your strengths to maximum advantages; and limit deficiencies as able. Prey on weakness and avoid playing to opponents’ strengths.
At the core, movement capabilities and characteristics are what keep you up and running/killing in TF2. If you are a slower cla*s you have to be very deliberate with how you enter zones within maps; you need to be thinking far ahead distance-wise and slightly ahead time-wise. Movement is so much when it comes to surviveability. A close second in importance here is out-dancing whoever tries to kill you. You want to be ahead of their shot-timing. When they manage their shots effectively they can “time” you, despite pwn movement on your behalf. The most skilled attackers know how to work an area and if you’re in it good f’ing luck, you need to be on your sh*t movement-wise (moving away from where they’ve mastered….) and if you can out-do their timing then it’s your turn to do the shooting, isn’t it?
Player cla*s sections below will advise further on surviveability specific to the cla*s.
General and basics and nuance aside….
Some overall looking gameplay in a round as it unfolds, depending on the map-type being played:
You’re spawning and need to get from A to B and accomplish one or more things between them and at B. All the factors present in a round when you spawn mean something; if it’s not the beginning of a round there’s action and it could be close to spawn, it could be far. The further it is you need to be more conservative with surviveability unless there’s some reliable quick paths to the front line. If the action is closer to spawn, or outside, you can usually throw caution to the wind to a degree, because you’re close to infinte resupply and whoever else there is, isn’t.
When fully beseiged you need to communicate, there needs to be a quick plan (particular player cla*ses). One medic per HW, medic builds uber with standard medigun so full invuln can be granted for the uber. Two pairs can deal with most; one with a decent team can beat most spawnrape gangs. Have an invis spy open the door with dead ringer so he can survive, of course, and flank any survivors. Once the doors are opened the spun-up HW’s begin raking the field.
Any pyros are setting off airblasts to reflect anything incoming, any explosives-armed pals are spamming the enemy position(s) and any doorways adjacent them. Snipers in the back, and most spawnrape gangs will be fractured if not shredded by this sort of counter. Team timing that intro is the key, just spam ‘nades and airblasts with the spy opening while building the uber(s).
If you’re real antsy and there are multiple respawns, you can keep re-a*signing to a different player cla*s and eventually you can respawn in the other spawn. Some maps both will be raped simultaneously, but others also have chicken-chutes you can at the least slip invis spies out of…. One weakness during spawnrape is behind your lines defenses may be very weak or nonexistent. A spy capping a point or pickup up intel will often distract those impregnating spawns just enough…
So, when you spawn there’s what to expect sooner, and what to expect eventually. Your team’s progress as a whole and individually matters; you need to balance your practice of making it hard for the enemy and easier for your team. Timing and initiative are so fundamental. Own resupplies and health kits, deny the enemy here; this gives you average 50% advantage in most situations.
Don’t stick around any area for long at all, keep adapting so you remain unpredictable. When you successfully annihilate things, shift your position so you may continue with the element of surprise at least partly on your side. F*ck with their minds. Good-natured ingame chat can be quite useful here. Compliments for observed skill help you. Fear is the better part of respect but not the entirety of it. You want your opponent’s respect as well as fear. When you are respected by the enemy your team functions better, get it?
If you suspect the sus, keep it in team chat until more than one person shares your views. Just sayin’.
On the topic of bots, which any guide ought to address, they are eminently killable. One: do not kick humans, innocent, accused, or guilty, do not kick. Humans can be humiliated, kicking does not accomplish this. Kick bots: hit ‘esc’, then select the check for call a vote at bottom of screen, select bot, no reason selected put vote, hit ‘f1’, if need tell others to hit f1. When you can’t call a vote use team chat to get teammates to for you.
In other bot situations kicking may not be possible, or desireable. Kicking the sh*t out of an enemy team aided by bots is all the more satisfying, smashing them back to the stone-age all the better. To do this use cover and/or flank; essentially not a 1-man operation. Done properly a medic and a soldier can do the trick; any strong cla*s will do. A third and more as support (pyro, additional medic, strong cla*s(es)) form a nascent wolfpack and you want to use initiative to the fullest.
There are very few bot situations experienced humans are unable to effectively deal with “in-game”…. Kill them all, taunts get style points, too.
TF2 is a game about knowing what to do and doing just that before the opponent is able to fulfill their side of this coin. You want to establish an iron grip. As explained above, this will occur with coordinated effort among your teammates more easily than other ways.
Sometimes it’s helpful to linger a bit and study the action, get as in-tune with things as possible. Situational awareness can be helped with taking a breather, if you will.
In a round, don’t bail! If you’re getting stomped, play it out so the opponents get their nickel’s worth and you benefit from intensive training and the awarded x.p. at the end of the game. Your team will respect you more, your opponents sure will too. Quitting is for those who decide to lose, yes, it is for losers. That said, valve team balancing and autobalance are often 50% broken. Get used to it.
The exception here is one team is all 1st tier light blue rank and you, and the opponents have 1000+ x.p. levels breathing down your neck. Bailing here can get you to a meaningful game quicker. Maybe valve improves the mix as a result.
When the opposite occurs and you’re on the strong side, often no mercy is best, get it over with as quick as possible. Definitely not cool or respectable to play with your food here. If anything the strong team can provide some coaching and help weaker opponents get their head around things enuf to stop dying too rapidly.
Yes, you will have plenty of gameplay where teamplay, surviveability, lag and timing mean nothing. Just f’ing enjoy it first and foremost–your fun-factor is where the buck stops–did you have a good time?
Player Cla*ses (part I)
Have 50 coffees or a box of ritalin & you’re set. Consider making some plans before unleashing all the pent-up kilojoules; where do you want to arrive, pick three or four destinations and visit them all. Consider making souveneir-gathering mandatory at each destination. Either you’re going to play well by being direct but patient where called for, or, by flanking and strafing and taunting, etc. Scouts do best rushing in close to get maximum damage per hit; effective shot management combined with some decent travel-planning will knock down enough enemies your team will propel forwards.
You can be a great temporary delaying force holding up enemy advances, and when your team returns you’re free to flank away or chase down the sh*t you saw trying the same. On offense your drinks are pretty sick aides when deployed properly. Hint: have a better plan of what you’re doing when they wear off than you do of what you’re doing while they’re in effect. Plan both. Crit-a-cola equally effective on offense -or- defense; great way to bring the fight to them. A healing pistol with a great clip-size for some, a jumping one with heavier damage for others; secondary slot makes a big impression on your play style with scout. No matter the style it’s all about mobility and a lot of situational awareness. Know the immediate surrounds of the zone you’re in, know where the entire enemy team is and is heading. Adjust your location and travel itineraries accordingly.
Brute bastard with some trick guns and fun stuff to use. Mandatory use jumps to mobilize. Get to the fight before your opponents have arrived. You’re moving quicker, you get first shot(s), you get -control-. Movement can allow you to move the intel over long distances very quickly; you can outrun entire teams. Have in-built escape mechanisms for every foray you conduct. Soldiers can go entire rounds on one life when they play the surviveability card effectively. Heavies the same, btw. Soldiers use the launcher for the enemy team you face. If it’s plenty of engi’s you don’t want the mangler, etc. Where possible maximize your weapons’ advantages; firing along corridors or along other lengthy narrow avenues is adviseable; spam in the open not so effective.
Be good at using splash damage to screw up your enemy’s aiming and throw them over ledges, etc. Rockets do best short to medium range, but the more teammates you have around the more towards medium to long range will be best for your rockets; they’ll deal with up close and you’ll be adjusting your enemies’ aim and positioning from afar. Pick your secondary to fit the map being played. Soldiers can do most of TF2 multiplayer solo, it’s that capable a cla*s, but working as a member of a fireteam will get far better results. Compliment the play styles of whoever you’re working with; help knock out objectives and go the wingman route covering at the same time. Soldier needs to keep up appearances in the role of lead hand for their team. Get out in front or create some of the prickle for a thronging ma*s. Have deadly direct fire and know the way of the spam.
Pyro misses his TFC self, the incendiary-shell rocket launcher, incendiary ‘nades, standard ‘nades, uncontrolled flamethrower with a very wide area of dispersal. This mental blueprint of what makes a successful human barbeque will enable the TF2 pyro to come into his own. You want to strafe your flames enough to create a wider cone of destruction. Focus prone and still on legit targets; point blank maximizes damage; circle strafe the target whilst holding m1, they melt quickly. What a gamut of items to mess with loadouts an’ such. from back to front, melee-wise arm for the map and be discreetly aware of your items’ specific properties and how to max your advantages and minimize exposures. Melee often as pyro in close, supplements afterburn nicely; crit-a*sisted damage all the better.
Secondary it’s more your style as you learn ’em up; you’ll have a melee to compliment your secondary, so that will narrow some things for you. A few secondaries are quite special-purpose; simply, they’re basically there for the particular needs or uses; re-equip them as needed in-round and re-equip to your stock secondary after the needs have been fulfilled. Gas-pa*ser is one of these; manmelter possibly next to useless; thermal thruster, powerjack, and flamestick of your choice makes the pyro a movement motherf*cker, unleashes unlimited disruptive potential, but choose your battles wisely. To get the most mileage out of this cla*s be proficient and prolific with team-support actions; exploit resupply when airblasts are the order du jour, hell, exploit resupply and spam like you mean it, really get around and don’t waste any time not moving. You are the nemesis of spies and will be faced with the best; know when to not be distracted by them and instead focus on their teammates… *cackle* A really good aide for surviveability is spamming flame-cones/walls between yourself and whoever’s attacking you makes it so they see the flames and not you, harder, much harder to pinpoint you!
Player Cla*ses (part II)
Play the launcher to fit the enemy; some rounds you’re opposing a group of enemies, others you’re up against buildings, others have different spatial properties where your projectiles’ reflectivity from/on surfaces will vary and your type selection matters. Melee weapons the ulapool caber owns in its own right and half-zatoichi lamest of all. bottles do better than swords for sudden needs; when specializing in melee learning the swords has it’s own universe not covered here. AMF would have you learn the cla*sical demo and take the knight-version on your own; once you know both you can mix them with devastating results. Demo’s mobility is key and jumping is sick when done properly. Area-effect weapon damage means you need practice and learn and be good at landing ‘nades directly on targets, dead center as often as possible. Build over time on this and gradually track and kill moving and jumping/airborne targets.
The ‘flicking’ movement to glance and/or shoot is how you ought to expend as many of your shots fired in your mental shot-management queue’s as possible. You want to constantly have multiple target vector objectives; primary and as many secondaries as ammo and enemy permit. Manage your shots and plan as far ahead as possible; plan what needs killin’ and plan what to expect to try killin’ you. Demo can be the heart and blood-pumper for their team; remain surviving and you can help hold lines, control the round, your team wins. you are tasked with offense so drop in with a ‘nade on a stick and say hello up close. Be good at dropping 1 and 2 stickies at building locations to kill them on the fly as you move through areas ripping sh*t up. Learn to pattern your stickytraps to control the blast waves’ radial characteristics (you can focus the blasts to “lense” the force, shunt victims, compensate lag, packetloss, spies….)
Big daddy the useful fella. Grab ur fists of choice and deploy the most you can benefit by; don’t let this slot go to waste one iota. secondary you’re given adequate shotguns or food powerups; the food is best if you like medics, you can throw sh*t at them when they need it and return to your mission with renewed backup. You can throw it at whoever needs it most; go for it bro, be a team bro. Pick the gun for the round and get the most out of each you can, try not to play one much more than another until you’ve mastered them all, the different properties as you’re learning help you learn the others, with regard to movement speed while spun-up, spinup speeds, accuracies, shot spreads, damages, other factors, etc. In other words, to play the dumbsh*t cla*s you gotta be kinda smart about it, right? Also be good and accurate; if you’re in the habit of missing more than 50% your shots this may not be a surviveable cla*s for you. As it is, this workhorse can help any team in ways no other cla*s can.
As a walking damage-sink with ma*sive firepower available this speaks for itself but you need to get good at getting to the fight and projecting greater than 50% accuracy offensive capability, if your player slot is filled by this cla*s you need to deal heavy damage to make it worthwhile for your team. If you can’t stay alive to matter a LOT why not master other cla*ses first? To get better at heavy you can try running as a medic and following whoever you heal and studying their gameplay from your 3rd person perspective. Note the player, their game rank, points score, kills, damage, support, healing. Mentally study their gameplay and performance characteristics while you keep them alive and at their best. You can learn a ton and practice it; just establish a differential here: You’ll more often than not NOT have a medic healing you, so prepare for a bit of deflation but the trial here will only improve your learning and practice outcomes. Remember, heavies can heal with their food, show some love for your medic, the pyro covering your a*ses, etc.
They are -the- utility cla*s bar none and being excellently-honed in your execution of various engi practices is the secret. Practice your building rollouts, get good at placing sentries with precision and speed; utilize your mobility-aides to their fullest, and get damned snappy with those shotguns. The primary weapon is strong enough engi’s can deal with most cla*ses fairly effectively but you absolutely rely on having the initiative. That means keep moving like a roamer, get the first look every time and if your shot management is on you’ll rack up kills with your primary. Learn to provoke counterattacks and lead them to your waiting sentry. Teleporter exit behind or around the sg gives a bit of cover to your team as they proceed to front lines, if you stay in/around this corridor you can watch your sg for sappers and be a ♥♥♥♥ of policeman for the middle ground. Become skilled at wrangling yourself to vertical locations to set up teleporter exit, dispenser, sg in “better” locations.
The way you rollout your builds matters; depending on the map type you’ll be more forward or rearward-focused. A good starter template to follow is at first spawn as you exit throw down teleporter entrance and proceed to objective, place exit and then dispenser in a safe spot not easily overrun from the first enemy push. Then get the sg up and then back to spawn to fix up teleporter to level 3. The focus is on enabling movement 1st and foremost, leave the sg to 2nd or 3rd priority; as mentioned, a dispenser worth more than a sg to your team towards beginning of any round, gives the needed fallback position to survive 1st wave and hold for the 2nd until stronger emplacements can be manifested. On most servers, protecting the buildings occupies a far larger chunk of your time than desired. Effective pyros can mitigate this but in practice it more often than not works out to you won’t get the extra pyro help unless there is an abundance of anti-building activity; normal gameplay you’re on your own, basically. Get good at shotgunning spies in the back as they place sappers… Another trick worth mentioning here: Ever respawn to a level 1 teleporter and you’re not an engi? Change cla*s to engi and equip jag and make the teleporter level 3, change back to your previous cla*s.
Player Cla*ses (part III)
We <3 the medic. Medic you need to know how to stay still, how to drift with your heal target (following closely lock-stepped like drifting teams in cars…), and the most effective ways to utilize available cover. In a giant nutshell: When your target crosses medium distances usually best to let them run 4-5 meters ahead before zig-zag jump/running to follow them; let them lead out then snap back to them so you’re very close when they’ve achieved their mark. When they cross longer distances stay close behind, or circle them closely, or run ahead and look back at them mostly so they cover your back and you theirs. Shorter distances you’re main priority is to not sweep behind them through the arc-segment inbound enemy ordinance may pa*s through. Got it? When you heal a target, they’ll be using some to one-half their f.o.v. to give themselves cover; if you stay on this side and a but further covered than them, you’re in the safest spot. Always tee-up here with your back against a surface; spy-protection/best visibility.
Constantly strafe your view towards your heal target and > 90-degrees to the other side, you want to see what’s around close behind target, and coming from distance from behind; sweeping between target and here will also show you the only exposed flank each time you switch your view. Don’t stay looking anywhere for long! Jumping: When your target is engaging enemies they will be aiming in the vertical plane of your heal target; if you need to get to the fire-side of them, often best to make a running leap as you cross the live-fire-trajectory space because enemies targetting your heal target will often shoot below the space you jump over. Learn to jump into a crouched-landing facing 180-degrees opposite the direction you started; also know 135-degrees and 90-degrees either way; you want to have your medi-gun pre-aimed as you land so you can belt out the healing to multiple targets. Don’t run to them any time you don’t have to. Try to never travel alone; and absolutely f*ckoff any teammates blindly run you into sh*t more than once, they’re a waste of your time and lives.
When you want to heal multiple targets give them 3-sec. bursts at a time to distribute the love best; keep your primary overhealed with up to 5-sec. bursts; give fast movers 1-2 sec. bursts; focus where the kills are being generated, this will be your best investment. Some maps you need just the leader as your heal-target, others you need to wet-nurse the whole team. In long-distance alleyway fights ping your crossbow down the line as spam and enjoy the high t.d. with distance to help ya team. Close in the syringes probably best and blutsauger buries the competition here; stock has no best use and overdose more special-purpose than anything. Just remember one thing when you are the or a medic: enemies and teammates alike: they are ALL your b1tches…
High-powered fun with mobility, good in a knife-fight. Eagle-eye. Helps to understand both teams’ positioning. Lots to sniper is straightforward, effective use of cover is required; shot-timing (least delay possible is best) You can fill support roles on offense and defense; great intel-carrier killer. One of the most effective sniper tips i’ve come across is don’t play sniper by trying to keep to out-of-the-way and behind-cover areas, because, what other cla*s likes to frequent these spots? Being scoped, advantage spy. Or anyone. Keep your eyes open, only scope when you need to off sh*t. If you’re gonna stay scoped you better know where everyone is. You’re wise to have a top-notch grasp of the map(s) you play. Shoot and move, if you try to ping multiple kills from the same spot you’re going to be faced with diminishing returns and a lotta blowback. Real world snipers work that way, you need to know the areas of zones to shoot from and the areas of zones to shoot at. Be ready to play knifey up close, always.
The search-and-destroy sniper highly effective, where you’re going to go mobile and infiltrate enemy base/behind enemy lines. With your kill-stick you get 1st look and kill opportunity almost every time, if you pay close attention to your flanks and rear. Be very retreat-ive when playing search and destroy. The original can be useful here, allowing charged fire without scoping, you can trudge along like a spun-up heavy and flick a fully charged shot as needed, or flip on the scope and go for the jugular. Search and destroy possibly best with bow, and jarate or a machine gun depending on your opponents… The jarate crit effect good for killing groups of enemies with the bow…. The best search and destroy snipers are nightmares for the enemy. They wait for their team to do some of the heavy lifting then open up a second front or run a second line from behind. Devastating potential alone and even more implacable with a good fireteam, you get to make triangulated killboxes with your fellow a*sertive teammates, push the advantage to the max. Watch out for sticky traps.
Troubling when played by skilled operators. Advanced in many ways, you want great aim for your small arms, you want seamless movement to get successful backstabs, you want to be a jumping f*cking master for trickstabs, travel, and escapes. You need to know the order of the steps you take in the dance you need for whatever situation comes. Best to operate with a plan instead of randomly. Spies can out-time entire teams and be a thorn in their sides capping points and moreso picking up intel. One spy can thread a needle into an enemy base, snag the intel when everyone’s distant and bring it halfway back at the least, most of the time. Game changer. The best spies can go into an enemy huddle and kill half to most of them in a few seconds. Know who will run for their lives and who will counterattack; only chase if it improves your odds for a followup kill.
You are the engi stopper, screw with those buildings, get the teleporter, use the teleporter, disable the sg when your team wants to confront it; sap other buildings first so the helpers try to repair them, then sap the sg and defend your sapper. Like practicing special ops in any cla*s, become polished and refined at sapping and backstabbing together. Play the smart disguise depending on where in the map you are (support cla*ses in support areas, attackers at the front, etc.) Spy also lets players go invis and spy on enemy team, study them; see who goes where and does what from spawn to death. Get to know their routines; if you change to another cla*s you’ll have a mind’s-eye of the action, now won’t you??? The different guns matter, the knives have their uses and appeal to individual tastes; the watches have their utilities; learn to play them to maximum advantage and don’t fluff around as spy, your team needs dead enemies and screwed up enemy buildings. When you play spy well the enemy team will divert considerable resources to countering you when you aren’t even there; no other cla*s can do this. Multiple skilled spies….
Maps Section One
Know the map and your team’s exact whereabouts always; push as a team unless 1000% sure…
Dustbowl – Very useful to spam ‘nades out the main spawn exit in 1st stage, really helps the team initiate a push. Airblasts, too, these need to be well-spammed, yes? Mirror this to all attack defend, and payload maps. Dustbowl one of the grand-daddy of them all maps, Mucho plenty carnage capabilities with ma*sive battles or at least potential thereof, throughout. Definitely go large here.
Gorge – Flanking routes between cap points most helpful, engi’s can really help, Teleporters make all the difference in this map but the team must not become spread out.
Junction – When first attacking don’t spread evenly between A and B, coordinate together instead. This one should be a favourite for demos.
Mossrock – Use all available vertical advantages; defenders can park a heavy on final cap point if they manage the ramp and side properly.
Steel – At the beginning, everyone needs to go to area A, got it? If ur an engi I can see some activity at E, but then straight to A, all, okay? F-ing got it??
Egypt – Has more to do with air-superiority than most maps. Defenders possess advantage here but each stage presents risks of squandering said advantage (you have both vertical and horizontal choke over the cap points) Good attackers here use the air sh*t to pwn…
Gravelpit – All airborne cla*ses at advantage, lotta flightspace and high runways here. Kill teams in the chokes between points, or at their respective spawns, your pick.
Mercenary Park – The sewer under the attacker’s spawn is a hellishly devious location for teleporter exits and a*sociated buildings. Point C really well laid out, playland. Not a map for the timid. Savage spawnrapes, outlandish ones.
Mountain Lab – Long runs from spawn to the action at various stages; surviveability important this map, plenty of “areas” to frolic in for all cla*ses. This map has to be loved by snipers. Spies too.
Time for the superior to shine, exploit respawn timing to the hilt, rape like a serial predator here…
2fort – Just outside main spawn to right at axis junction is the one place a single sentry or player can defend all routes to intel. Also a crossroads for inbound enemy ordinance so those threats need to be dealt with BEFORE they arrive. Outside bas*ment respawn walk across small lobby to alcove (not to stairs up on left, go right to alcove before main hall with health pack and ammo), go in alcove, left side, by the corner, look up, there’s a beam up there on the left you can stand on and mobile cla*ses can have added fun from this location…. Intel room – beam over chair behind desk, beam above light fixture more than halfway towards opposite corner. Out front – horizontal lamp pole to left of red base entries. Central sniper deck cubby house, on top of windowsill inside cubby, @ corner. Death from above, anyone?
Landfall – Self-organises itself into compartmentalized areas with great flow between, you can cover lots of ground whilst using cover, basically. A superb map to improve teamplay skills.
Turbine – Is simply the Hall of the Gods, ‘nuf said.
Doublecross – Your ability to move vertically is a sliding scale of how much you’ll ordinarily be able to help your team. Lots of vertical movement areas in this map provide substantial dynamics to gameplay.
Sawmill – Can be a bit like arena-mode play and also includes one of the highest per-capita incidences of spawnrape of all maps, watch out on this one! Strong scouts and snipers two worth mention, they’re loving this map.
Well – Is a special understudy subject for TF2. Original TFC map config was slightly different in most map areas; basically the map footprint is retained but the inner workings have been altered. Knowing the past version of Well and its gameplay dynamics helps shed light on how to achieve mastery of the present version. In the old version there was much more water and sewers and base entry routes. There were additional vertical features and a different mid-section composition. Essentially, Well is distinct battle zones. In the enemy base you need air superiority so take the third-level deck as your priority; defending you want to shut them down at the middle of the map or the 3rd level zone between your spawns. Middle of map much easier. Want to cap easiest in Well? Take intel, jump or run to 2nd level and go through 3rd level deck, down 2nd level FRONT stairs to remote door to sewers, dive in, come out on a flank, dip around a boxcar and the cap is practically yours at this point.
Maps Section Two
This is about predicting the ebb and flow of teams and offensive a*sets, know it and prosper…
5Gorge – Flanking routes at points 2 and 4, engi’s can make or break 3, Teleporters make all the difference on this map. Keep your team together and do not spread out. Spies wreak utter havoc on this map.
Coldfront – Final cap points do or die here, team has to be staggered properly to absorb most coordinated attacks, failure and fast cap times spell the end for the careless. Stick together more towards middle cap point.
Foundry – Awesome and complex map, teleporters greatly aid team efforts on this map but remember to not disperse much if at all… Definitely spam ‘nades down ramps to victims’ spawn on either side of final cap point. Defenses best mounted at actual cap points, less so in-between them.
Granary – An AMF favourite, lotta ground to cover here, respawning can take long duration for you to return to action, play conservatively where able, stick with teammates always and use wide spaces to creat crossfire zones and kill boxes. Death from above opportunities abound; plenty of room for spies of all types.
Metalworks – Slightly confusing map with meandering flanking routes, this one takes some getting used to; teams need to operate as units to keep alive let alone successful. Very decent spaces for aerial combat; good learning map to introduce multiple pathways to and from objectives.
Process – Great cp5 map with some diverse layouts knitted together well. Adequate resupplies and atypical cap points keep this a fun one, usually. Do your best to control flank routes and overhead at cap point 3. Medics often indispensible in this map.
Standin – Very fun shoot ’em up map with many nooks and crannies to traverse and kill sh*t in; this one has very lovely killbox potentials throughout each cap point area; triangulated death; best to knock on these at exposed apex’s. Use superior numbers to achieve victory here; more of your team than theirs, more t.d., more kills/points, etc.
Vanguard – This one’s expansive and spread out; it will take a lot of time to get to know, let alone master. Without teamwork most are doomed here; it exemplifies what happens: don’t get separated from the group ma*s, you get respawned typically far away in a convoluted mess of hostile territory you’ll need to cross before rejoining the team. Team: you need to function as more than a mere brute here; you need to conscious of the health of each of your component players, be prepared to consolidate gains, regroup if necessary.
Yukon – Can get a tad confusing, teleporters make much difference, so do a*sertive pyros here. This map the best defense is a good offense. The best spies make this map a living hell for their enemies. Final cap point areas huge so you’ll probably need plenty of a*sistance…
Badlands – Merry fun for all the c.p. version, lotta additional turf to explore and pwn. Heaps of open area to transit in various ways, nice convergences of map routes. Takes a bit of team-strategy to win, or at the least, avoid defeat. Base zones are awesome close-combat areas.
Fastlane – Teleporters 4tw! Engi’s can clean up on this map, a superior venue for long drawn-out battles. A bit of nuance and complexity to map, almost like everything is made into flanking routes. Scouts are able to dominate here, just keep your team near your back so you’re not too alone.
Freight – Occasional hijinks and trickery possible with this one; atypical layout geometries make this extra fun; lots of sneaky routes to make it to objective areas. From defensive perspective means great nesting sites throughout.
Gullywash – Better take good care of final cap points ’cause they fall all too quickly. Good air-superiority potentials throughout. Keep momentum and follow through with your swing as much as possible. Work as a team and don’t disperse like insects.
Powerhouse – Good to practice up on offense, good for defense practice making stands; typically want to populate all flanking routes; map can easily spread teams too thin so good team movement practice here. Engi’s can play out their strengths nicely but spies equally strong, too.
Snakewater – Real decent open combat areas around cap points; effective offense a must here, coordinated team effort maintains surviveability; alone on this map not recommended; higher movement speeds recommended where able. Plenty of ambush areas but not simple to drive prey into them.
Sunshine – Festive breezeways and a bit of chic atomosphere; stay alive for the benefit of your team here. A goodly amount of resupply on offer for most needs. Keep an eye on the flanks whilst pushing or holding, teleporters can work for or against here; cap points changing hands switching between forward and rear spawns demand some thinking for all cla*ses.
Well – Strange iteration of the neutered ctf map; the cp5 base layout somewhat reprises the original but forget it, it’s lost. This is a tricky map for the unfamiliar as there’s a big wide long zone between points 2 and 4; u have 2 be on top of situational awareness here.
Maps Section Three
Sg’s really help cement ownership of the cap point; medics/dispensers can cement the rest…
Badlands – takes a team to own that bridge and hold the flanks; know when to regroup and when to press toward enemy spawn, there is no staying put in Badlands.
Harvest – one of the bestest a*ses in Sunnyvale, plenty of long spaces, vertical/aerial potential and opportunities to use speed and mobility; cap the point then move the lines forward!
Kong King – On top of pagoda at center great place to crouch and lurk, lots of compartmentalized zones and multiple flanking routes this map. Some way up high perches for the intrepid.
Lazarus – Outstanding gameplay experience map, quinticenssial KotH map, try out the buddy system/3 & 4 man fireteams here, Own the ground level full health kits and you’re on your way to the top of the pack here.
Sawmill – Take the point and stick around, your victims will return like clockwork. Pop out the side for some work-at-home distance-spawnraping. Definitely a map for roamers and seek & destroy fireteams. Scouts at their strongest on this map. Watch your back lots here.
Viaduct – Zones between cap point and respawn surrounds are where what’s important happen on this map. Take the point then control the turf beyond, keep spawnrapes short and sweet, focus on lavish forward health kits to bolster marauding attackers.
Brazil – Something for everyone in this map, needs speed/mobility in the open, deliberate and preemptive indoors is a solid formula. Airblasts and splash damage own the cap point bar none.
Highpa*s – Plenty of cover in periphery; teams can be strongest spread out around cap point; spawnrapes very inviting here. Spies in/around middle buildings & rockpile between buildings on either side of spawn. Cover your team always.
Lakeside – Own the healthkits in the under-cover structure to side of cap point; lots of vertical cover areas/zones to exploit; 1 skilled player can delay/hara*s an entire team on this map, mobility always a key; roamers flipping between fireteams often devastate, spawn ripe for exploitation.
Nucleus – Use of rooftops/perimeter routes; don’t linger anywhere very long; beat them back to nice floorspace around spawns. Lots of guerilla tactics locales on this map; as with all maps with falling hazard make the most of this for ez points.
Suijin – Hard on beginners, a couple remote rooftops give awesome cover. On the central pagoda, 1st roof level allows some good access, but the 2nd roof level above that can give limited immunity from enemies; go higher and exploit the element of surprise to its fullest. Spawnrape only for advanced here.
Defenders need engi’s, teleporters, competent support cla*ses; attackers all about cohesion and surviveability…
Badwater – Altitude is your friend here; this one’s geared for great defenses and requires excellent coordinated team pushes on attack. Advance fireteams need to keep very busy; defenders have handicap when they lose forward spawn access; attackers face killboxes at every of the many chokepoints on this map.
Borneo – Geared for defenders, know how to retreat and regroup to remain successful; attackers’ momentum very important, comes easiest this map. Not a map for single engineer defenders; spy-control very important. Attackers benefit when they defend all territory they’ve covered, especially flanks. Gas-pa*ser is your friend defending this map; engi’s be conservative with your building placements and pray your team helps guard them…
Frontier – Sh*t the front of this cart will kill unwary players…. Make sure you get kills impelling victims into it. Fun map to pull death from above for less mobile cla*ses – lots of overhead access points to enjoy air-superiority from… Pretty wicked map with lots of distinct areas and zones; mini-marathon if defenders play well enough. Cla*sified advanced, so good to practice/learn in as well.
Hoodoo – Airborne cla*ses suggested aerial bypa*s chokepoints & establish early spawnrapes, you’ll need to get up them this way to win the stage anyways so knock out any teleporters and get down to business. Good map to be a sniper, also, area-effect weapons most helpful at ends of each stage, knock the defenders about as much as possible; def’s it’s all about each chokepoint you can enforce.
Swiftwater – If defenders can’t bring it early at the start need to control the choke at entry to caves to have a chance; remember to let them come to you. Attackers this is all about momentum but good news is small team units with common objectives can get the job done here. to win the end u gotta project force all around above the finish/cap point.
Upward – Unorganized attackers doomed on this map; defenders can get spread out lots here, need to play close together at all times, ready to make a stand anywhere before objective(s), feel free to retreat and regroup OFTEN. Defenders need to know their offense units’ moods and outlooks and play accordingly; if they’re kicking a*s be up supporting them, if they’re getting hit prepare mid-ground hold/resupply areas. Pyros need to run support 50%/>50% the time, try 100% and see how a homewrecker does.
Barnblitz – Meatgrinder, may your team show their best in full regalia. Defenders be strong at the cap points and you will be rewarded with copious carnage. Attackers own the flanks to have a ghost of a chance if def’s are on their game. Be meticulous with gridding off the flank routes, lotta turf 2 control.
Enclosure – Aerial paradise in a way, this map, good spread of routes and terrain types throughout this one. Spies have unlimited routes and play areas; pretty advanced map; engi’s need be well-experienced in building placement locations. Be savage as f*ck on this map, protect your own.
Goldrush – 1st stage after 1st cap point best split into 3, one goes cart the other goes middle to open far flank, other goes right up to lookout to run that flank; can hide behind cart between points 1 and 2; airblasts your friend when behind cart, pyro! Defenders gotta be a bit thuggish around 2nd cap point, aerial to those flank buildings and keep the attackers deadlocked. 2nd stage is unlimited-cla*s shooting gallery; spam ‘nades and everything else down alleyways from start to finish. Don’t see many spawnrapes this map.
Snowycoast – Spy & demo playland, good soldiers be lovin’ it too. Defenders aerial to upper landing on right after 1st point is taken can run down, over, and pop out behind enemy between them and spawn, awesome carnage this way. Superb map for either side to beat the sh*t outta the other from one end of the map to the other then get pounded back again. Speed really helps on this map, plenty of cover, can’t be too slow to take advantage of it all, now can we?
Thunder Mountain – Strangest wooden roller-coaster style map out there but it’s awesome layout, top-notch battle areas/zones of control. Engineer and soldier playland. Played well, any cla*s will have their best brought out in this map. Be smart about knowing where enemy forces are and their movements, don’t get caught by a wolfpack… Snipers this map will either work for or against you, no middle ground.
Alternate Game Modes/Conclusion
Payload Race – These maps are all stupendous teamplay maps with varying routes to objectives and enough crossfire to keep anyone happy. Imbalanced teams somewhat more common on these.
Miscellaneous – Again all these round out skillsets and allow playing various player cla*ses to explore wider dynamics; lotta love in these maps. Special mention: the one where you bring beer to a spaceship, priceless, do not miss this one!
Mannpower – A bit hybrid here, but use the sh*t outta grappling hooks, order of magnitude greater surviveability, enables insane mobility for all cla*ses; powerups typically on the g*y-side.
Pa*stime – Good ol’ fashioned ‘smear the queer’ here, something for everyone; think of it like soccer with respect to individual positions played; maps are big enough you can ignore the game and go on truly sick hunter/killer missions or polish up on some cla*s or loadout skills. Nothing like a lot of action on the fly to serve as a permanent distration for your foes, huh?
Truly great game, win by deception when you can, the element of surprise is your faithful companion, keeps you alive, keeps the other guy much less so. Know how and where to be under or behind cover at every point in every map you play. Use initiative to the fullest always. Work hard at getting your opponents off-balance and fleeing for their lives. Fracture them, divide and conquor. March on a road of bones! Sic Semper Tyrannis — To the Victors Go the Spoils! Adios MotherF*ckers!
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