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Team Fortress

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Team Fortress
Purpose of Team Fortress
It should be obvious, but it seems as if many players miss it.
Look at the first word in "Team Fortress". Ahh, get it? Yup,
this is no ordinary deathmatch game, where it's everyone for
his or herself. There are some people who play TF as such,
though. If you want a disoriented frag fest, with classes,
check out Future vs Fantasy (FvF). I am by no means saying
such a game is bad (hell, chaos is good once in a while), but
for the most part, that's not what Team Fortress is all about.
In TF, teams are pitted against each other. They have to work
together in order to: 1) secure their base, and 2) score against
the enemy. Sometimes scoring is done via flag capturing (a la CTF).
Or sometimes it requires damaging parts of the enemy base (like in
Havoc). In any case, coordination is something teams should be
doing, if they want to win.
Although we all love killing, being #1 on the frag list doesn't
necessarily mean you're good at TF. If you're fragging everybody,
but letting the enemy team score against you, and not scoring
against them ... you're not a good TF player. A great killer
perhaps, but it would undoubtedly be better for your team if you
adapted to the TF style.
So what does this all mean? Simple. You will take a rocket blast
if it means protecting the flag carrier. You will patiently defend
your own flag. You will tell others where the enemy is. You will
go out of your way to detpack-open grates and holes. You will go
after spies that threaten to backstab your teammates. You live,
frag, and die for your team. And you will have a helluva fun time
doing so.
Defending your base is one of the most important jobs you can do
for your team. After all, you want to make the enemy team work if
they want to score, right? Fortunately, this is one of the easier
things to do in TF. Respawn points are generally near the flag,
as are ammo/armor supplies. Enemies that come your way are likely
to be damaged already. And most maps have choke points so that you
know where they're coming from as well.
There are two types of defense: base defense and score defense.
The former is the first line of defense. It's their job to injure,
if not kill, the enemy before they reach the score area. This is
the role Snipers usually play: kill the enemy the moment they start
heading towards your base. Engineers are also necessary. Their
sentries should try to catch anyone who happens to slip past the
Sniper. Players of other classes should situation themselves in
whatever choke points happen to be in the map. What you don't want
to do is let a person roam around your base unscathed. Doing so is
dangerous for your fellow Snipers/Engineers and more importantly,
your second (and often last) line of defense. Finally, if anyone
does happen to get past you, and starts heading towards the flag/
score area, it's important that you alarm your teammates.
Basic Class Tips
The best thing you can do for your team is choose a class that
you're good at, and that they're lacking. Nowadays, classes like
Snipers and Engineers are a must. (So are Soldiers and Medics but
a team almost always has enough of them) Please don't choose a
class if you're not good with them, though. All you do is waste
ammo and time. (Use small, really unimportant games to practice
new classes, or perhaps games in which your team is simply dominating)
Obviously, it's important that you know the strengths and weaknesses
of each class. Take note of the benefits and problems, and use them
to predict the actions of your enemy. "Knowledge is power", so read
Be aware of the speed differences. Namely, don't go chasing after
Scouts if you're a Heavy Weapons Guy. If you think you have a
chance of catching up (Soldier vs Demoman, go ahead and try, but
don't waste too much of your time if the pursuit turns hopeless.
The Grenades
Use them! Regular hand-grenades are supposedly twice as powerful
as normal grenade-launcher ones. Great for parties with the enemy!
Bounce them around corners, lob them onto balconies. Use them on
sentries, Hwguys, other unsuspecting villains, and watch the
Also get to know the special grenades as well. Some are rather
piddly, but others can result in near instant death.
Nail Grenades
Used by Soldiers. Somewhat powerful, and they can really clear
out a room! Best used if thrown into a small room with lots of
enemies. (Ever try the ammo rooms in 2fort4? Gibs of fun!) Note
however, that nail grenades are notorious for causing lag and
crashing servers. It's not fun for the server to record where
every nail in the grenade is. (I personally made a big boo boo
when I threw, uhh, 6 or so nail grenades into the top level in
MIRV Grenades
Can we say cheap? Gobs of fun and gibs o' plenty. These little
nasties will spew forth multiple grenades, in attempt to blast
open anyone within its range. They're probably the Engineer's
worst nightmare, since many o' MIRV has "dismantled" a sentry.
EMP Grenades
Used by Engineers. Not much to them. Use 'em like normal grenades.
However, they pack a much LARGER punch. (Most blasts seem to result
in instant death) They're supposed to blow up the ammo of anyone in
range. Maybe if you didn't carry any ammo, you'd survive? :)
Concussion Grenades
These really annoy me. Basically, they cause your view to shift
around automatically. Moving around is still possible, but firing
is unwise (and dangerous if you're a Soldier). I've heard of Medics
"grenade jumping" using these things. Must be hard, but definately
a good ability to have.
Flash Grenades
Yet another "annoying" grenade. Used by Scouts to blind their
foes (momentarily) and slip through unsuspected. As with
concussions, it's usually not a good idea to fire ... who knows
who or what you'll hit? (Can we say: "Wall blast?")
Hallucinogen Grenades
Used by Spies. Not terribly effective, though. It's sort of like
the nail grenade, in that rooms will be cleared (for quite a long
time I might add). But they're not likely to kill anyone, unless
you happen to tranquilize enemy players into them. In any case,
they sort of give away the Spy.
Napalm Grenades
Used by Pyros. These used to be not that powerful, but in the
latest version these can be deadly. Now they continuously burst
into flame. They can be used to block off passages and just as
good as a mirv grenade for taking out sentries. It's great for
damaging incoming enemies.
Finally, the last "special" grenade isn't even a grenade at all..
it's the flare. Used by Snipers. Flares seem to work best when
used to light up those shadowy areas Snipers like to lurk in.
The Sniper can now chuck the flare pretty far. But wouldn't it
have been nice what if Snipers were able to SHOOT flares, via
the Sniper Rifle?
Knowing the Levels
One of the most important tips I can give: know the levels. Also,
learn how to score in them. It never ceases to amaze me how many
people take the key to the wrong place in the Rock or how many
players don't know where the control room is in Havoc. Do your
teammates a favor and read the DOCs. Or at the very least, don't
pick up keys/flags if you don't know where they go. There's
nothing more irritating than watching a teammate in the Rock
bring the key to YOUR base.
It's also important to know where the choke points and Sniper/
Sentry hideouts are. If you know where to expect the enemy,
you'll probably find a way to surprise THEM instead of vice
versa. Also, I've found it much easier to bounce grenades into
areas with Sentries, rather than attack one head on.
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