TF2: tl;dr

Be a decent TF2 player

Tactics: Suppress and flank

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I have never played any WWII games, but for whatever reason I once read an interview of a veteran who consulted for one of them, probably Brothers in Arms. He was talking about the steps a fireteam used to defeat the enemy, and it was quite simple.

Pin them down with machine gun fire. Meanwhile, the rest of the team swings around and hits their flank with rifles, bayonet, grenades, flamethrowers, etc.. Suppress and flank, suppress and flank.

Given the weapon and class selection in TF2, this turns into a very loose framework for confrontations at any scale, from a pair of players, to the entire team. This is not, however, workable 1 on 1. That much ought to be apparent.

Truth is, most classes are capable of both roles. Some are better suited to one of them, but you have to be flexible and work with whoever is available at the moment.

Suppression requires a fair bit of patience, and potentially a lot of ammo so stock up. In that time, you also risk severe retaliation, so you need health (i.e. a medic). Flanking, being a finisher of battles, is quick and uses little ammo.

Scout

To suppress: It’s possible, but requires you to get in close. Pistol at range doesn’t do enough damage to draw serious attention; you have to risk getting killed and get within effective scatter gun range. If you are sufficiently evasive versus your opponent, this isn’t much of a risk at all.

To flank: Duh, you’re only the fastest class in the game. Know the map cold, and you can find your way around the enemy. Hide out on lamp posts or under bridges and bide your time.

Soldier

To suppress: Surprisingly, one soldier does not make a very effective suppression force. Rockets can be dodged at range, and the travel time allows people to break out without taking any damage. Also, you only have a maximum of 20 rockets. You have to get in closer than maybe you’re comfortable with, hopefully with the help of another player, in order to make a serious impact.

To flank: You can rocket jump, so do it. Get in close and shoot them in the face.

Demoman

To suppress: Use stickies (or pipes) for area denial. Pills (or rollers, or blues, or rollpipes) are useful as well, but you can put 8 pipes on the ground and leave them there, versus 4 blues that eventually explode. Given the distance (in theory), it’s unlikely that you’ll blue anyone in the face, so it’s best if you had a soldier with you to alternate fire.

To flank: With the ability to arc, you can get at opponents who are watching the obvious avenues of attack just be firing your weapons over high barriers. You can also pipe jump.

Heavy

To suppress: You have a machine gun so while support is nice, you don’t really need anyone else except maybe the medic. Of course, there’s the distance factor to consider, but the truth is if you can put sustained fire on someone across the bridge at cp_badlands, they are not getting around you.

To flank: Given your speed, this is generally inadvisable. To get around the enemy with any consistency requires a sharp sense of timing, a bit of luck, and maybe the ability to hide out. Yes, on the rare occasion it’s possible to hide.

Pyro

To suppress: Possible, but only if tightly co-ordinated. Basically, you rush them with the flamethrower and prevent them from moving freely. In this sense it’s not much different than a flanking maneuver.

To flank: Rush them with the flamethrower. You might say that the Pyro is the inverse of the Heavy. While both can deal huge amounts of continuous damage at close range, their respective speeds define their roles.

Sniper

To suppress: Some people are cowed after seeing a sniper dot, or after seeing another player shot in the head. On the other hand, others aren’t so easily frightened and they’ll spam you, mess up your aim, and finally flank you. You need someone else to watch your back and keep up the pressure.

To flank: Very situational. You need some distance between you and your targets, and not all areas of the map will grant you that.

Spy

To suppress: Yeah…no. Just no.

To flank: Standard spy skills apply. Need to time the uncloak (if you’re cloaked), need to generally stay inconspicuous and not bump into anyone. Easily foiled if no one has their back presented to you.

Engineer

To suppress: Build a sentry. Seriously. Of course no decent team will let you build one during an all-out brawl, but suppose that your team has taken a capture point and you’re in to consolidate the gains. Well congratulations, your level 3 sentry will ensure that no one will make a serious challenge at the usual entrances without an uber. This requires your team to defend you while that sentry gets to level 3.

To flank: Not really. Your primary weapon doesn’t do enough damage, fast enough, unless you’re crit-ing.

Medic

To suppress: Needle gun, but that’s really stretching it.

To flank: If you’re in a pub, you can whip out the ubersaw for the lulz, but in a match you should really think hard about doing so. If you pull it off, that’s automatic AVI material and I tip my hat to you.

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Written by Chatterbox

November 2, 2008 at 1:45 am

Posted in tactics

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