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‘TF Concepts and Strategies’ (c) 1998 (Part 2)

This is part 2 of ‘TF Concepts and Strategies’, in which OMC (who at the time was a proponent of FR D) gets schooled in the mechanics of RR D!

Defense Modes

Time distortion
I call this concept ‘time distortion’ because if done right, it will seem to the enemy that the game is over too quickly, coz they didn’t get to do as much as they would have liked. You can make it so they wont.

What you want to do is this:
Kill the enemy as far from their base as possible.This ensures the enemy will have wasted the maximum possible time in a pointless journey.

Hmm. I never considered this a factor, but I actually disagree with it. Killing enemy often and as soon as they get out of the respawn makes a lot more sense to me. Yes, they respawn quickly, but the point is that the earlier you kill and damage them, the more opportunity you have to respawn and kill/injure them later. On 2f5, a top defense is proven to work better than placing all of your defenses in the basement.


For an extreme example:Two killer defenders. Defender 1 is near our flag, Defender 2 is outside their front door. If it takes the enemy 40 seconds to travel to Defender 1, and 10 seconds to get to Defender 2, and say 3 lives are lost on the destruction of the Defenders, Defender 1 cost the enemy 120(3×40)secs of wasted game-time, whereas Defender 2 only uses up 30 (3×10) secs of their Game-time. So as we can see, all other things being equal, it is best to kill the enemy as far from their base (time travel wise) as possible.

Take the classic 2ft4 as an example; a sentry built at the flag itself will use up much more of their time than one built at the ramps, or the upper level.. They have to waste time going down the spiral, or falling down the elevator shaft (ouch), before their demise.

Just a note, but you can get down the enemy elevator shaft in 2f? without making a sound nor losing any health/armour. Easily.

Winning the battles, but losing the war
Incidentally, the ‘time distortion’ principle is another reason for our attack teams (G&G) to NOT attack approaching enemies we encounter. Leave them alone. Let our defenders take care of them.

No, cause damage early and often.You can only win the game by weakening an attack, otherwise your defenses crumble quickly and make it difficult to regroup.

I know this may seem a strange thing to say, but if you stop to think about it, we (our attack team) have already used up time to get closer to the enemy flag, and we need to save our health/ammo for the defenders we are about to encounter. Yes, we will encounter approaching enemies on the way to their flag. Yes, they will shoot at us. Ignore them! Remember, focus! Remember, your mission (Get Flag!).This is not DM. This is TF. Flags, not frags!

While that last statement is true, it is a fact that a team that kills more will also take more captures. Surely, there are exceptions, but as a general rule of thumb you can guage your own performance by counting the number of frags you take during each of your own lives.

Building sentries
One level 3 sentry is more deadly than 2 level 1’s. Two Engineers work together. Build 2, in the same area. Double sentry death trap! Work on 1 at a time, to get level 3 sentry asap; then build the other.

Two sentries placed near each other are almost always easier to kill, and both at once. The problem is area damage caused by most +gren2’s.

Dealing with spies
Shoot everyone look, listen for ‘pain sounds’ and kill the spy. Shoot corpses too, just in case (feigning).

This is crap, and poor play besides. Even more so it can’t and won’t apply on servers with kill team enabled (not many, but there are some).

Detecting spies reliably requires communication and a very simple method. If you come close to another defensive, have your team mates either use their axe or shoot once, but not at each other. A spy becomes undisguised if they attempt to do that, and if a team mate does it, then you know for absolutely certain they are not a spy.

Protect stolen flag
Remember, a flag must be captured! When enemy drops flag, ALL players in vicinity must go and defend it! For all intents and purposes, the location where the flag dropped is the new flag area. Build a sentry there, nail bombs, pyros, whatever it takes. Saturate the area with ammo!! Remember, it only takes 1 capture to win a game, and 1 capture from them to lose you the game!

As stated above, the flag should not be defended, but the path to it from the enemy respawns must be defended. The idea is to stop them even touching the flag, not to kill them once they’ve touched it. That flag must time out and return. [Note: This is the basic principle behind RR D [OMC 2011]]

Chapter 3 General rules of behavior
1. Always give information: Sentry locations, methods of entry, dropped flag (either) locations, all members should have a clear idea of what the enemy is doing.

Yes. Too little seen of this in public games of course.

2. Always read information.
3. Work in pairs (G&G). There’s no point dying to disable a sentry if there’s noone around to take advantage (whilst they’re building another sentry!!!). Don’t die for nothing!

Chapter 4 Communications
Read this next sentence very carefully:

Defying their attack strategy will determine the outcome of the game.

We constantly need to know what their strategy is. I see a lot of ppl giving “Incoming!!” messages. What for? Of course there are incoming! Any decent defender EXPECTS Incoming all the time!
Instead, say exactly what they are doing, eg “They are using the water tunnel”.

Yay, exactly. “Incoming” messages alone can only be useful with other information, such as seeing who made it, knowing where they are stationed and knowing their position. Otherwise it is just spam. Yes, saying where the incoming is, and what class players to expect is a definite bonus.

Bind “say_team ”
Use binds a lot. You need them.

Mine are at the moment set up for play on public servers, with only a few clan ppl; some of these binds will be unnecessary, for a professional team.

“Assault party meet at ”
x = the num of the G&G team (a team of more than 4 may have more than 1 attack team)
location = a safe place to meet and prepare to attack, eg our foyer, enemy entrance, their mine(rock1) etc)

“Stick together”
Doubles our firepower, and other reasons stated above. Beginners also get distracted by approaching enemy, lose the partner during unnecessary fighting at the enemy base (let the enemy die as far away from their base as possible: see section on time distortion above)

“Thanks medic”
Amateurish, but Keeps TF the game of gentlemen.

When people thank me as medic.

Let people know I read/understand what they said.

“They are gaining entry via:”
And then I just type a one word explanation, eg ‘door, tunnel, etc

“Defense personnel urgently needed”
Poor/no defense is what loses games! In Professional TF, this is also a call for the attackers to join defenders (unless they’re carrying flag of course).

“Crisis averted!”
Lets people relax, and return to normal duties, esp. attackers who temporarily switched to defense in emergency.

Chapter 5 CODE

Its frustrating typing stuff whilst chaos is all around so we need a compact form of communication, when actually typing stuff.

Some code suggestions (untested, these are just some ideas)
To distinguish our side from theirs, use t(theirs) and o (ours)
“s on rampst”
There is a sentry in their ramps
“demo in spiralt”
There is a demoman in their sriral
‘a via water tunnelt”
attack via their water tunnel

Spiral = spiral staircases, common to many levels.
S = Sentry
D = defense
A = attack

This is only the beginning. I know with more experience some ideas will be thrown out, and others will be refined. Either way I know TF will evolve into one of the most challenging and exciting games EVER!!!

Andrew Kyriakis
January, 1998

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