Soldier strategy

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Death From Above!

As the general purpose assault class of TF2, the Soldier is easy to pick up and play but tricky to master. The Soldier is capable of both long range and close quarters attacks, is quite accurate with help of "Splash" damage, and can often access places on various maps others cannot by rocket jumping. The Soldier is a solid "blast 'em everywhere" class, and anyone can use him to assault or defend key strategic points with ruthless efficiency.

Contents

General

  • The solder has enough mobility and health that he can do large amounts of damage and retreat before the enemy can catch him. Soldiers are very weak once they run out of ammo for the rocket launcher, so instead of reloading in battle, retreat and reload while running to nearest health kit.
  • Try rocket jumping to the tops of structures that no other class would be able to reach. You'd be surprised how often even a guy with a big Rocket launcher can surprise the enemy when they are not where people are expected to be in a map. Note that you can also take fall damage upon landing. That can be avoided though, while falling, and you're close to the ground (This tech is quite suicidal whitout gunboats) shoot a rocket to slow you down, and take the lesser rocketjump damage instead of the falldamage. This depends on timing and a non-basic, faster progectile Launcher.
  • There are two different types of soldiers: the pocket soldier, and the roaming soldier.
    *The pocket soldier goes down the main path with the medic and confronts the enemy directly.
    *The roaming soldier takes odd routes by using the rocket jump&equalizer combo. His job is to flank the enemy to let his team gain the upper hand AND make sure that his own team does not get flanked.
  • The rocket launcher is the first weapon that you should reload when not in combat.
  • Rockets travel slowly, so always aim at the feet of the enemy or at a wall that is behind them. Although a rocket has a much greater point of impact damage than the splash does, shooting enemies directly is too risky and you will probably waste your precious ammo. Shooting enemies directly can work well on targets that are not moving much, or enemies who are in close quarters, as a direct rocket will deal a very large amount of damage. A well placed shot at an enemy's feet will launch (juggle) them , slightly disorienting them and giving you a more predictable place for a lethal follow up shot.
  • When shooting over long distances, try to lead your shots and fire a second rocket where your target is likely to retreat to. Doing this will greatly increase your chance of actually hitting enemies over long range. If the enemies are too far away you can just tease them a little bit with your shotgun too, rather than wasting your rockets. This won't do much damage, but the shotgun can be loaded far faster and the bullets travel to your target right away.
  • The Rocket launcher reloads slower than many other weapons and it is unlikely that if you empty your entire clip that all four rockets will hit your target. For this reason, you should take your time in predicting your enemy's movements and fire one rocket at a time.
  • If you do empty your entire Rocket launcher clip in a fight and there is an enemy nearby, consider switching quickly to your Shotgun (if you know that it is loaded) rather than waiting for your rockets to reload. This will allow you to continue your attack uninterrupted, and may keep you alive long enough for you to retreat. If you become stuck in a one-on-one match with an enemy Soldier, switching to the Shotgun at the right time could be the difference between you killing your enemy and him killing you.
  • Help your Medics out in areas where there is no fighting by damaging yourself with your rockets. Damaging yourself allows Medics to fill up their ÜberCharge faster. Be careful to watch your health, and as a general rule, don't allow your health to drop below half way, just in case you are rushed or ambushed by enemies. It should be noted that ÜberCharge builds up faster during setup time on the PC version, so this strategy is only useful after the round has begun.
  • When you fight at point blank/close range/ turn the corner and surprise an enemy, jump and shoot your rocket launcher at the opponents feet to lessen self-inflicted damage.

Roll-outs

Rolling out basically means propelling one-self towards the choke point quicker, usually by rocket-jumping there. Getting to the choke point before the other team does would encompass many advantages including but not limited to : preventing the opposing team from reaching the choke point, domination of the choke point, providing support for the lighter classes (Scout), letting them cap as one takes on the other team. When rolling out, especially for comp, depending on the items you have so shotgun or gunboats you can take different rollouts, when playing public matches it is not recommended to take a ridiculous amount f damage by your rollout.

Weapon Specifics And Advanced Tips

Rocket launcher

  • Since the rocket is a medium-fast traveling projectile, aim ahead of the enemy's feet or at an adjacent wall. Activating auto-reload in the advanced game options menu may help you out, as the small clip size and slow reload of the Rocket launcher may jeopardize your safety in some situations.
  • While reloading the Rocket Launcher, you are able to fire a newly loaded rocket before the reload animation actually finishes. Keep this in mind when spamming high-traffic chokepoints.
  • When fighting classes with little maximum health such as Scouts, Engineers and Spies, rather than using two rockets, fire one rocket then finish them off with your Shotgun. This will assist you by keeping one extra rocket loaded, allowing you to continue your assault or defense with ease.
  • Try to juggle or bounce an enemy by shooting a rocket at their feet. By throwing them up, you will be able to predict where they will land and you can follow up with ease. Throwing enemies up into the air also serves to disorient them, so that they may have trouble shooting back at you. However, This can backside as well as it gives the enemy an aerial-view advantage.
  • When trying to clear a control point or the payload, rocket jump above your target area and fire downwards onto it. A key element of this is to jump and reload on your way up, so that as you approach the peak of your jump you will have all four rockets loaded and ready to go. The high angle of attack will ensure you splash damage the entire area of the cart or control point, which can be very useful.
  • The Rocket launcher is often a better choice for Soldiers acting as Medic buddies than the Direct hit. The wider splash radius of the Rocket launcher's rockets makes both protecting the Medic and attacking groups easier. It is also more effective than the Direct hit if you are the recipient of a Kritzkrieg charge.
  • If you are firing a rocket at an enemy who is very close to you, jump and fire your rocket at their feet. Doing so will minimize the amount of damage you deal to yourself by glitching hitboxes and at the same time putting some distance between you and your opponent.
  • The Rocket launcher has one of the most devastating Crits in the game. If you have any kind of Crit boost, immediately take the rocket launcher over any other weapon, as one crocket can take out multiple enemies with ease.
  • If you encounter a pyro and you don't have a shotgun equipped try and shoot for there feet or behind them were they can airblast it back.

Direct hit

  • Rockets fired by the Direct hit travel much faster than those fired by the Rocket launcher. At close ranges, it is advisable to aim directly at the enemy instead of at his/her feet in order to inflict as much damage as possible, as the rocket closes the distance very quickly. In addition, the blast radius of the rockets is so small that players can actually jump over the explosion completely unharmed, effectively wasting your rockets.
  • Rocket Jumps with the Direct hit have different timing than with the normal Rocket launcher, due to the nearly doubled projectile speed. You will have to jump much sooner than normal. As far as anyone can tell, the speed, distance, and self-damage of both rocket launchers is virtually the same in terms of rocket jumping.
  • The Direct hit is often more effective at defending high ground than attacking from it. Hitting targets is more difficult when attacking from above than with the normal Rocket launcher. Direct hit Soldiers should concentrate on watching for rocket jumpers and Force-A-Nature Scouts while leaving Rocket launcher Soldiers to do most of the attacking if possible.
  • One trick you could try from high ground is jumping down while shooting an opponent below you. Your enemy will fly upwards, and if you time your jump right, they will end up right at your feet allowing you to finish them off with a Mini-crit.
  • Because of its higher base damage, the Direct hit can destroy any Engineer building with two rockets, rather than the three required of the default Rocket launcher. For this reason, if you need to destroy a Sentry that is sitting out in the open, then the Direct hit may be a good choice, taking down an unattended Sentry in a matter of seconds.
  • Direct hit rockets are great for picking off sentry guns who have a distracted Engineer. With only two hits and very fast projectile times, you can quickly kill off a sentry before the Engineer has time to react.
  • Despite the much smaller blast radius, the Direct hit is perfectly capable of juggling and bouncing enemies if used correctly with a favorable ping. In fact, the knockback of the Direct hit is actually significantly more powerful than that of the Rocket launcher. If hit right, Enemies can be sent so high that they hit the skybox, or can sent flying across the map if the rocket is placed correctly. Against Chargin' Targe Demomen, this can be a very effective way to negate their mobility and position them to be finished off with the Shotgun.
  • The blast radius for self-damage with the Direct hit is actually almost the same as the self-damage radius of the Rocket launcher. Take this into account when up against enemies at a short range so that you do not blow yourself up.
  • Try not to use the direct hit if you feel you do not have good aim or have a bad Internet connection. Due to this weapons small splash damage. It requires aiming to some degree.
  • Due to the limited splash range of this weapon, it is best recommended that you equip the shotgun along side the direct hit for more ways of taking the enemy out.

Black Box

  • The Black Box allows the soldier to heal by 15 with each hit. The healing effect is granted if the rocket cause any damage to an enemy.
  • Hitting multiple enemies with one rocket will grant +15 per person hit. eg: Two people hit with one rocket will heal 30.
  • The Pyro can reflect Black Box rockets and will receive +15 health on each reflect rocket hit.
  • When using the Black Box it is slightly harder to destroy sentries, due to the 25% smaller clip.
  • Black box can be very advantageous in Arena matches due to limited sources of healing and still packing almost the same amount of ammo as the original Rocket Launcher. (-1 rocket)
  • The lesser amount of rockets in the black box doesn't always mean that sentries are harder. The set effect of the black box will actually make it easier to take out the sentry. As you can use a hit and run tatic.

Shotgun

  • Despite common First person Shooter logic, don't be afraid to use the shotgun at medium range. Usually the shotgun is the main close range weapon (and in this game it still is more potent at this range) of the game, and it in fact is for the Engineer (and more or less the Scattergun for the scout). But assuming around 5 pellets connect per shot, you should be able to take down any class bar a Heavy (or maybe a Soldier) at medium range in a single clip. As a result, use it if people are moving erratically at medium range and are not getting hit by your rockets (such as circle strafing Pyros and Scouts).
  • If you believe it will take too long to reload your Rocket launcher before the enemy kills you, switch to the Shotgun. The Shotgun is also more viable for targets that are far away or trying to retreat.
  • The Shotgun is useful against a Pyro who has a more favorable connection to the server you're playing, having it way easier to use the airblast ability (who would reflect your rockets back at you). With careful aim while keeping your distance, you should be able to kill or greatly weaken the Pyro with six shots before he gets within flamethrower distance. If he survives a full clip, you can take him out with a rocket just out of Flamethrower range (reflecting rockets is difficult at close range) or switch to your melee weapon if you have no rockets loaded.
  • The Shotgun is also useful against Demomen using the Chargin' Targe. The targe's resistances do not stop bullets.
  • You can use the Shotgun to destroy an enemy Demoman's stickies.
  • Use the Shotgun to finish off enemies you have hit with one or more direct rockets. This is important for conserving the four rockets that you have loaded. One direct rocket and one Shotgun shot is enough to kill light classes in almost all circumstances. Two rockets and one shell will usually kill Soldiers, assuming your rockets do not hit him directly. The number of rockets and shells required is different when using the Direct hit, but the same principles still apply. You should try not to overkill your enemies as this wastes ammo that you may need later.
  • If you are using the Direct hit, it is highly advisable to use the Shotgun rather than the Buff banner or the Gunboats. The reason for this is, when you are using the direct hit it may be harder to actually hit the target if you are new, so the shotgun will still get some good meat shots off when you really need them.

Reserve Shooter

  • Usually used only in conjunction with successful rocket hits or against bunny hopping scouts, as otherwise the Reserve Shooter's shorter ammo capacity makes it ineffective as a substitute for the shotgun.
  • Get used to quickly swapping from your rocket launcher to the Reserve Shooter when you think a rocket is going to damage an enemy, as they are propelled into the air for a short period of time, making all shots from the Reserve Shooter mini-crits. Quickly swapping from the rocket launcher to the Reserve shooter in the heat of battle can be devastating to the opponent.
  • The second primary function of the Reserve Shooter is for hunting scouts. One of the scouts primary systems of defense is to jump and dodge his way around incoming projectiles. A lot of new players are also simply enthralled by the mobility of the double jump and incessantly spam it, hence the phrase "bunny hopping". Nevertheless, the Reserve Shooter is the ultimate counter to both of these, as it benefits from mini-crits on airborne targets. Against good scouts, who are almost impossible to hit with rockets, it is in fact sometimes more efficient to not use the rocket launcher at all, but chase the scout down with the Reserve Shooter.
  • Always be on the lookout for airborne targets, not just ones you yourself are shooting at. Fellow soldiers and demo-men frequently juggle enemies around, which you can take full advantage of with the Reserve Shooter.
  • Do not be afraid to use the Reserve Shooter on ground targets. It still does as much damage as the shotgun, but it has a woefully small ammo capacity (3). Just remember to always keep it reloaded for that pesky bunny hopping scout.

Battalion's Backup

  • The Battalion's Backup is an defensive based alternative "Weapon", Resembling the Buff Banner but it is charged by taking damage instead of inflicting. The amount of rage being needed to charge fully is an estimated 200 damage.
  • Battalion's Backup also provides the benefit of nullifying all enemy crits on nearby friendly units. Use Battalion's Backup to counter a kritzkrieg medic or to counter a sniper's recently thrown Jarate.
  • The Battalion's damage reduction (35%) stacks with the soldier's polycount item set bonus (20% damage reduction from enemy sentries).
  • The Battalion's Backup granted rage for fall damage, this has since been patched.
  • Once enough rage is accumulated, the player must live through the duration of the buff for his allies to receive the benefit. The Battalion's Backup will aid you in this as the soldier will be harder to kill, while the Buff Banner can be easily ended by killing the soldier.

Buff banner

  • The key to using the buff banner is to make survival a priority over kills, you must live long enough to collect enough rage and you must live throughout the rage buff to get the maximum benefit for you and your allies(because it ends when you die).
  • Just like the Kritzkrieg, the Buff banner is best when used with the Rocket launcher. The wider blast radius will make it easier to build Rage and it also makes the Mini-crit boost more effective.
  • Though it is better to use the Buff banner when there are many teammates around, remember, the rage meter is not carried over between deaths. If the Mini-crit boost would help you escape a situation in which you would otherwise die, use it. Even if you are alone.
  • Note that Rage is collected even when the Buff Banner is not equipped. This means that while using the Shotgun or the Gunboats, one can still acquire rage. Switch over to the Buff Banner in a spawn room to take advantage of the rage you collect. [patched]
  • If you know that a friendly Medic is going to ÜberCharge another teammate, you can contribute to the rampage by using the Buff banner. Just make sure that the Medic is not carrying a Kritzkrieg.
  • Team up with a friendly Medic with an ÜberCharge to maximize the length and utility of the Buff banner, as its Mini-crit effects will wear off if the Soldier dies.
  • Team up with other Soldiers carrying the buff banner to build rage faster by taking advantage of the other Soldiers Mini-crits while the buff banner they carry is in use. In turn assist other Soldier to fill their rage meters by using your Mini-crits effect.
  • The area of effect for the Buff banner is large and passes through walls and floors. Use the Buff banner from a safe position that helps your team push objectives. For example, a Buff banner Soldier can stand above the tunnel of Pl_Badwater and give his team below the buff effect.
  • Unlike Crits, Mini-crits are still subject to range rampup. Though the damage boost will make up for the damage lost over longer ranges, this still has a significant effect on the impact of a Buff banner. Always take into account how far away you and your team are to the objective you have to attack in order to maximize its effectiveness.
  • If you are defending a friendly Engineer who has a Sentry set up, and there is a serious threat incoming (multiple non-Übered enemies), the Buff banner may give the sentry an edge to fight back with. If the Buff banner is used next to the Engineer, his sentry will fire Mini-crits no matter where it is on the map, even if it is nowhere near you or the Engineer. With some coordination, a Buff banner Soldier and an Engineer can work together to put a surprise Sentry next to an area where traffic is expected, then move on to work on other areas. When the Engineer begins to hear the hit dings of his Sentry, he orders the Soldier to break out the Buff banner. The enemies trying to take out the Sentry will be taken completely off guard by the inexplicably Mini-critting Sentry.
  • It is recommended to get to a safe place (Take out your Equalizer to run to a safe area if injured) then blow on your bugle. If you are killed before your finish the blow, your Mini-crits wont be shared.

Pain train

  • The Pain Train is an melee weapon available to the Solider and the Demoman classes. It makes your ability to capture control points twice as fast, same as that of the Scout's but it leaves you 10% more vulnerable to bullet firing weapons such as the Shotgun, Minigun, and Sniper rifle. So as such, never equip the Pain Train on a CTF or territorial control map because then the advantage of the Pain Train won't be in effect. Also don't equip it when you're defending in an attack/defend map like Goldrush or Gravelpit.
  • The Pain Train is a highly situational weapon. You may want to switch between the Pain Train and the Equalizer in the middle of a round.
  • With the Pain Train, you do not have a good method of retreat like you would with the Equalizer, so stay on the defensive and do not try to retreat unless you know no enemies are nearby or you are not under Heavy fire.
  • You should not equip the Pain Train if you are having trouble with Heavies and Scouts, as the increased bullet damage makes these already annoying enemies nearly impossible to beat in some situations.
  • For standard melee tactics, see the shovel entry, as they both do the same damage and attack at the same rate.
  • The Pain Train is an effective tool for Back-capping, as it grants you the same capturing abilities as a scout. As such, it is especially useful if you can rocket jump to enemy points prematurely, though the weakness to bullets may be a problem if a scout, heavy or sentry is guarding the point.

Gunboats

  • In most situations, the Gunboats are not good for standard Soldier play. They are not a sufficient sidegrade for normal tactics like the Buff banner or the Shotgun but it can constantly help you to keep an constant height advantage and cut down your travel times a lot.
  • Due to the fact that you take 60% less damage from rocket jumps, it is best to travel long distances so you can get to a destination first.
  • You will loose the reserve firepower that the shotgun gives so make the most of your rockets.
  • The Gunboats makes using rocket jumping to pick up supplies a much more viable option.
  • You might benefit more from choosing the Rocket launcher over the Direct hit when using the Gunboats if your connection to an server is bad.
  • One advantage provided by the Gunboats is the ability to harass from a distance. Rocket jump towards an enemy, fire two rockets, and use your last one to escape via another rocket jump. This may be particularly effective against lone Heavies who are unaware of your presence.
  • The Gunboats can be used when surrounded or in close-combat situations by taking advantage of the reduced damage from rocket jumps. Rocket jump yourself to safety or better location to target your foes while injuring them.

Shovel

The Shovel is a reasonable choice when conserving ammo
  • The shovel is a viable option for close-range enemies that you want to kill without injuring yourself with Rocket launcher, or if you believe it will take too long to reload your shotgun.
  • Because you're slower than every other class except for the Heavy, running after someone is not a good choice with this weapon; it's only good if you're taking someone by surprise or the enemy you're fighting is moving in close up (such as Spies trying to backstab you).
  • The shovel can be used whenever the opportunity arises, unlike the equalizer, which is only usable in near death situations.
  • If you intend to be a Medic Buddy under the effects of a Medigun Ubercharge, it may be worth taking the shovel along. If you happen to run out of Ammo for both your Rocket Launcher and your Shotgun, get out your shovel and do as much damage as possible as not to waste those precious remaining seconds of invulnerability!
  • A rarely considered yet often encountered problem with soldiers is that once the soldier fires his rockets and shotgun ammo, he must retreat. This is most troublesome for Ubered soldiers who find themselves lacking additional firepower to finish off a sentry or enemy mid-uber. The shovel is the best choice for the ubered soldier as the equalizer will instantly end your ubercharge.

Equalizer

  • Unless you plan on using the Pain Train, always have the Equalizer equipped. You will not be using melee when at full health, so the Equalizer is an confirmed straight upgrade over the shovel.
  • If you cannot rocket jump, you can reach the middle of 5-point push maps like Granary by damaging yourself to below 40 health, then running at nearly scout speed to the middle. If you take no further damage after initially damaging yourself, a Medic can heal you at max-rate before you go in to fight at mid.
  • The Equalizer can be used as a tool of escape: The speed increase the Soldier receives is to the point that he can outrun most classes. If you think you are going to die in a fight, you can equip the Equalizer and retreat. In situations when you're on fire and you approach a friendly medic, be sure to unequip the Equalizer so he can heal you.
  • The Equalizer prevents Medics from healing you when you have it in your hand. If you pull it out during an Über, you will break the ÜberCharge, and possibly get yourself killed.
  • It is also important to note that you can carry intelligence under the effects of the equalizer. You may want to consider during CTF games.
  • A rule to consider with the Equalizer is "The less HP you have, The more damage you do". Most other classes know this and will avoid and harass you to death if they witness any extraordinary speed.

Grenade

  • The Soldier's grenade taunt has a much shorter range than it may appear, but it is still the third longest-range taunt in the game. When you perform this taunt, you will die, as well as any enemies that are adjacent to you, whether they be in front, behind or beside you. As it is ineffective for killing enemies and is also very risky to perform at all, it should not be considered a legitimate strategy and should be avoided entirely when playing seriously. But it can be the perfect tool for revenge after a match loss, as it can take out multiple enemies and if performed correctly, can take away the satisfaction an enemy has when killing you, as you'll kill yourself (though it it will show them as having killed you in the kill info).
  • If the soldier is equipped with the rocket jumper, he will not take any damage from the grenade blast and will be blasted skyward instead.

Sentry Destruction

The key to blowing up Sentry guns as a Soldier lies in your Rocket launcher's ability to deal splash damage. By using splash damage, you can effectively damage a Sentry gun without being within its range of fire in some cases, without it even being visible to you. If an Engineer is persistently repairing the Sentry, simply direct your fire to the ground surrounding the Engineer to kill him. Once the Sentry is unattended, it will only take a maximum of three well aimed rockets to destroy it, or in the case of the Direct hit, simply 2 rockets will suffice.

Be sure to kill the Engineer's dispenser first to stop him from being able to heal and cutting off his supply of metal. Attempt to find a clear line of sight to sentries causing your team trouble and destroy them. Be careful trying to destroy sentries that have an engineer nearby with a wrangler as it can cause you trouble.

Rocket Jumping

Rocket Jumping is one of the soldiers best assets. It allows him to access areas that are inaccessible to most other classes (excluding Demomen) and to help propel the soldier to the front lines faster. Though learning to Rocket Jump may be difficult at first once mastered can prove to be a skill that can greatly improve your effectiveness in battle.

Technique

The basic Rocket Jump consists of the soldier aiming at his feet, jumping, and firing. The resulting explosion from the slash damage will propel the soldier upwards. This technique can be useful to access areas that are higher that the capacity of a normal jump or to bypass certain ramps or stairs (such as in 2Fort). Wall Jumping is a sub skill of Rocket Jumping. Instead of aiming for the ground the soldier aims for a nearby wall. The same technique is employed to Wall Jump and is also a very useful skill to master as a soldier. When used in combination with a Rocket Jump a Wall Jump can propel the soldier to extreme heights. This technique can also be combined to cross large gaps where there are walls present on either side of the gap. Double Rocket Jumping involves syncing 2 rockets to hit the floor at the same time. This is accomplished by falling, shooting a rocket, then firing another as the first reaches the ground. When used correctly this technique can be used to propel the soldier to even greater heights that the basic Rocket Jump. This technique can also be done with up to three rockets which will leave the soldier with very little health and is generally used in Jump Maps.

Locations

There are numerous location throughout many of the maps where Rocket Jumping can be beneficial. These location are too numerous to list but if used correctly can allow a soldier to surprise enemies and quickly kill them. There are also many ambush location that are effective in area denial and defense on many Control Point maps. Rocket Jumping can also be effective in reaching areas on certain maps such as Thunder Mountain that usually require a ramp or stairs to access. The best way to discover the best locations is by experience and training. Another useful source for finding locations can be found throughout many videos on sites such as Youtube.

Map Specific

Well

  • You can rocket jump over trains and box cars, allowing you to flank enemies and take them by surprise.
  • The water exit from your base to the middle point is a great way to get behind your enemy if they have forward Sentries up. Also, using this path during Sudden Death can be very effective, as you will often come up behind your enemies.
  • You can rocket jump from the first floor of your first point up to the surrounding balcony of the second floor. This is a good way to get to the upper levels of your base quickly, if enemies are making a push from the top of your base.
  • You can use your rockets' splash radius to damage enemies who are in the Sniper balconies by shooting directly upwards. This way, you can injure or kill them without entering their field of view at any time.
  • Standing on top of the box cars will give you a significant advantage over your enemies (especially other Soldiers) by making it easier for your rockets to inflict splash damage, and also giving you the element of surprise. When you are on the box cars, be very wary of enemy Snipers.
  • You can rocket jump into the rafters in the first point room. Doing so will help you to hide from your enemies and ambush them from an unexpected angle.

Hydro

  • Ambush techniques work wonders here. There are usually two or three different paths that you can take, most of which end at a choke point. Many of these routes have potential for you Soldiers to rocket jump up from behind, taking the enemy by surprise.
  • Hydro is very prone to 'camp wars' wherein both teams will play very defensively, and guard their own team's control point. Firing rockets at choke points and firing around corners may help your team to eliminate some defensive players such as Engineers and Snipers.
  • By far the best strategy for Hydro is (as mentioned above) to attack your enemies from behind. If you can take out their Sentry guns, then a solid offensive push may grant your team a swift victory. The vents are your friends, as you can often use them to drop down behind enemy lines while avoiding most head-on confrontations. When traveling in the vents, be careful not to kill yourself when firing rockets in such close quarters.
  • The control points in Hydro have a very short capture time, and because of this, killing enemies who are on the point may not be the most effective way to defend it. Try to aim rockets at your enemies feet, so as to launch them off of the control point. Once the risk of capture has been removed, you can then finish them off with your Rocket launcher or Shotgun as is necessary.

Dustbowl

  • Stage 1
    • Defending the first control point of stage one can be easy as a Soldier due to the large ammo and health supplies in the vicinity. Standing on the raised area surrounding the point will allow you to damage multiple attackers at once and also keep you out of reach from Pyros.
    • When attacking the first point of stage one, a good way to take down enemy Sentries is to exit your spawn via the right side of the mines. This way, you can out range the Sentry guns that are often placed near the windows of the control point house.
    • While defending the second control point, you can rocket jump up into the mines that are to the right of the point. This can be a good way to surprise enemies and kill Medics who are trying to build an ÜberCharge. You should, however, be wary of Sentry guns and sticky bombs that may be in place to stop you.
  • Stage 2
    • If you are defending the first point, you can stand on top of the house closest to the BLU spawn and fire rockets down upon enemies. This is an effective way to shut down enemy Soldiers and Pyros, as they will have great difficulty killing you due to your height advantage. There is also a large supply of health and ammo nearby to help you survive longer.
    • You can reach the first control point from the trench outside of your spawn with two well placed rocket jumps. If a Medic overheals you, this means you can potentially reach the point with full health in less than three seconds, allowing you apply a lot of pressure on the enemy very quickly.
  • Stage 3
    • Similar to attacking the first point of Stage 2, you can reach the control point with a single rocket jump. A well timed rocket jump will allow you to pass Sentry guns while still taking minimal damage.
    • When attacking the second control point, you can rocket jump up from the valley near the RED spawn to flank your enemies. Conversely, if you are defending this point, you should be watchful of Soldiers and Demomen who are attempting this themselves, as well as Spies and possibly Medics who are trying to push in an ÜberCharge.

Granary

  • You can rocket jump onto the top of box cars surrounding the middle point, so that you can use height to your advantage.
  • Try to lure enemies inside buildings and near doorways, as your rockets are more useful in confined spaces. You are more vulnerable in the open spaces between control points, and as such you should try to limit the time you spend outdoors.
  • Attacking the second control point easy from the far left entrance (the one that leads to the upper area). Not only does it allow you rain rockets down upon the defenders below, it also allows you to destroy Sentry guns with relative ease. Attacking via this path also grants you easy access to the enemy's first point.

Gravelpit

  • Use the roof of Point B to your advantage. It is a great place for Soldiers, as you can watch over the point as well as the paths leading from the enemy spawn. If you are on the roof, be wary of enemy Snipers, Demomen and Soldiers.
  • You can rocket jump onto the roofs of the small huts surrounding Point A to give you a height advantage, and a clear view of all incoming attackers.
  • When defending or attacking Point C, you can reach the peak of the tower with a rocket jump by jumping onto the roof of the small house that is in front of the point. This allows you to either quickly attack, or quickly defend the point, depending on what team you are on.

2fort

  • With some precise aiming, you can actually rocket jump clear across the water by backpedaling off the edge while jumping, and then performing a crouch rocket jump. Using this method, you can quickly perform a second rocket jump to reach the enemy battlements while still having approximately half of your health left.
  • Use the tight corners indoor and in the sewers to fire rockets around corners by quickly darting out just as your rocket is going to fire, and then back behind cover. This will allow you to hit your enemies while avoiding their fire.
  • While you are carrying the intel, remember that rocket jumping can help you to reach your own base faster, and avoid enemy fire. For example, you can rocket jump up through the gate at the entrance of your base, or up onto your own battlements.
  • the soldier can rocket jump onto the enemy battlements, the snipers commonly located here make easy targets. Killing them will also allow your team to push toward the enemy base without fear of sniper fire.
  • The soldier can rocket jump onto the low wall on the battlements, this is a way to score a few easy kills on unsuspecting players as few will see the soldier in time.

Badwater Basin

  • The ridges of the first area are a great place for a soldier, providing large area of cover for both BLU and RED players and the amount of high ground makes rocket jumping especially useful.
  • Defensive soldiers can stand on the rocks at the beginning of the round and fire rockets into the BLU spawn, but be careful of enemy snipers if standing still.
  • The cliff's rock formations also make ideal places to rocket jump into for both teams, as it allows BLU soldiers to push into the middle of the area while still under cover and also RED soldiers to escape should they jump up from the tunnel's entrance.
  • On defense this area will let you roam freely and ambush enemies well, but on Offense it is worth noting the sentries that could be put up behind the upper left cliffs or the rocks on the right, so be careful.
  • By firing rockets down the tunnel also, you can prevent enemies from blocking the way, and splash damage any sentries or spies hiding around the tunnel's corners.
  • The second point is another great area for soldiers, both attacking and defending. BLU soldiers can use the back courtyard to devastating effect, rocket jumping to the roof to take down engineer buildings from behind the air ducts and also using splash damage from the main roof entrance to take out engineers and their sentries if they're quick enough to kill the engineer before he realizes. Once the roof is clear, you can effectively rain rockets down on the enemy team until the point is captured and their spawn shortcut is lost.
  • For the defending team, you can rocket jump across the main sniping area and onto the roof quickly, bypassing the stairs and ambushing any BLU players up there, falling back down if you need to clear the cart. The rear buildings around the courtyard may also have engineers setting up in them, so you can rocket jump onto the balcony and splash the BLU teleports or sentries to death with ease. Watch out for scouts in the courtyard though, and jump up to the roof if you need to take a breather or escape.
  • The third point is difficult for BLU soldiers to attack because there will often be a sentry next to the health and ammo kits in the gully, meaning rocket jumping across to the left building is near impossible without losing some health or being spotted. From afar though, the Direct hit can be used to destroy sentries to reduce the responsibility on your team's ubers, such as on the left balcony or peeking around the corners next to the point.
  • RED soldiers will have a much easier time at the third point, being able to use rockets to deny enemies the chance to go through any of the numerous chokepoints (the corner coming out of the upper house, the right corridor and the bottom of the slope) and having the oppurtunity to jump to the upper walkways should an enemy uber or rush come with the cart. Try not to push too far out if you can help it, as BLU snipers may be able to easily snipe you from the second point's roof area.
  • The last point is a great place for the Direct hit on either team, as it will let BLU soldiers take out the sentries built under the overhangs quickly, and will prevent enemy soldiers and demomen jumping up to stop you if you can airshot effectively.
  • The normal Rocket launcher is also good for both teams, as you can keep chokepoints dangerous for spies and other enemies, and also hit sentries around corners without having to move out of the sentry's range to get a shot in.
  • On attack, if the cart only needs a tiny push to win the game, it may be worth rocket jumping and landing on the cart to reset the rollback countdown and possibly win the game, whether or not you survive.
  • On defense in a brief lull after a push, you can also rocket jump onto the lip of the roof above the third point area to stealthily gib any enemy medics or warn teammates of incoming spies (though this might not be possible of there is a sentry set up to knock you off your perch).

Gorge

Attack

  • Attacking the first area of Gorge is well suited to a Soldier, as the various pieces of high ground such as the right hut or the central containers will let you rain rockets down on the RED team and provide health and ammo for you should you need it (though be careful of enemy Soldiers and Demomen on the containers, especially if they are packing the Direct hit).
  • When choosing which spawn door to come out of, fire your rockets to make it seem like you are going to go through that door anyway. Even if you do not, it will distract the enemy team from where you are truly coming out of the spawn.
  • If you are coming out of the right entrance, you can rocketjump over the hut and wall to drop down behind the RED team and surprise them (or alternatively, jump again to reach the main gorge area).
  • If there are any Sentries set up, they will likely be in the top left windows. In the event of this, use the Direct Hit or normal long range rockets to take it down.
  • The interior of the building connecting the first yard and the main point/gorge area has multiple exits, allowing you to pick whichever angle you like to advance from. That said, it is not recommended to jump directly for the point as there will usually be at least one Sentry to knock you away or kill you.
  • The far left side allows you to access the RED defenses from the left and look directly into their right garage door from a distance. The long range you will be from their sentries will allow you to bombard them with rockets for a simple but effective surprise, and once you are done with that you could sneak up the stairs and behind their lines (to take them from behind or even preemptively approach the final point). Be cautious of this no matter how tempting it sounds, however, because there will be at least one or two people hiding in the left building to block your way so only go into the building this way if you have backup.
  • When moving along the far left of the gorge point area, make sure to move erratically and even rocketjump across if you can see enemy Snipers in the right doors trained on you.
  • If you are low on health and need a quick boost, there is a Medium health kit underneath the bridge. This is only readily accessible when there are no Sentries though, as they will cut you off otherwise.
  • When capturing the point, fire rockets continuously at the right garage door when you can see enemies repeatedly opening and closing it. This will act as a deterrent, letting your team capture the point and move on.
  • The corridors and rooms between the first and last points can be very good for Soldiers with the Buff Banner as the tight spaces make building a rage with the normal rocket launcher incredibly easy via using splash damage off walls and around corners. This will come in handy at the last point, as every little helps in the final big push.
  • The raised walkways in the corridors are good for the normal rockets too as they are so narrow that any enemy you fire at will be inevitably splashed to some degree. You can use these walkways to escape from RED charges into your ranks and find health relatively easily to counteract the self damage (though this is practically nullified when using the Gunboats.
  • The last point is very open, and though it may seem tempting to use the Direct Hit on the Snipers at the back do not, as it will give away your position for when you are trying to destroy more important targets such as Sentries and charged Medics.
  • There are only a few ways to access the last point, namely the main door, the left corridor and the upper walkways. The upper walkways are much more noticeable to the enemy team and they can see you coming through the glass windows, but this way is unique in that it's the only way in which you can successfully damage defenses put under the overhang next to the point. Use this to your advantage by periodically returning there to take out any defenses that are being/have been built, and also to kill any Soldiers or Demomen who came up to deny you the walkway.
  • When capturing the point, you can rocketjump up the middle wall to the left RED spawn door, holding them in as necessary. This works even better if you arrange to have another Soldier or heavy class stand on the opposite door, and can win the game for your team by buying those few crucial seconds.

Defense

  • When defending the first yard, use rocket jumps as a primary means of getting from one place to another. This is because the high ground gives you an enormous advantage (being able to reach and see into the enemy spawns from it at times) and staying moving will make you a much more difficult target for the BLU team (it may be worth equipping the Gunboats for this, though some of the damage will be cancelled out by friendly Medics or health kits).
  • If you are Ubercharged or Kritzkrieged, try to stand at the edge of the middle BLU spawn door and look to the left into the spawn. You will be able to see some of the area within their spawn, and with a few well placed critical rockets doing major splash damage you can waste even more of the enemy's time, perhaps even forcing them to build new Ubers.
  • When the BLU team are pushing in through the left spawn door, try rocketjumping directly over the left wall to surprise them enough so you can take out at least one or two of them. This may be a risky move, but it will benefit your team in the long run.
  • The top right room is a good place to fire rockets from as it has plenty of health and ammo for resupplying and is a relatively safe haven from directly attacking classes like Pyros or Scouts. However, be warned of enemy Soldiers jumping up to take the room for themselves, and Snipers hiding near their left spawn door aiming through the windows. This room can also be used as a means of hiding behind the BLU team when they push into the main gorge point area, but the BLU team might have the same idea for building charges in and holding their ground.
  • At the main gorge area, you can simply rocket jump over the point and onto the future BLU forward spawn to secure some sneaky high ground. It will also be difficult for BLU Soldiers and Demomen to get up there, as it is out in the open and easily aimed at by your teammates.
  • If the BLU team congregates on the point and it looks uncertain as to whether your team will keep it, fire some rockets of either variety at the crowd of people as you are very likely to hit someone. This will not only damage/kill enemies efficiently but also can build a rage meter in no time at all, for a perfect counter charge.
  • When pushing back into the corridors between the last and first points, do not forget to look above you at the numerous walkways to check for any hiding threats to the charge like a charged Medic or a Spy. Conversely, you can jump up to these walkways (including at the last point's top right one) to take the enemy by surprise.
  • If you yourself can successfully advance to the BLU spawn (usually the forward one), be sure to take out their Teleporters. The chances are that the Engineer will not die for quite a while with such a good setup, and he cannot get back up to his spawn to build a new Teleporter entrance.
  • The last point can be attacked from a number of different entrances by the BLU team, but all of them more toward the right side of the point area. For this reason, use the left side to scout out any enemies entering from either of the entrances, and then run through your spawn around the right or under the canopies across the middle so you can attack/rocketjump up without being seen by the BLU team prior to their push.
  • If the BLU team are capturing the point, you can go out of the right spawn door to appear above the point and fire rockets directly down onto the capturing enemies. This can be dangerous and unpredictable though, as at this point there may be somebody outside your right spawn anticipating your attack, or a Sniper aiming at the middle to prevent the point being blocked.
  • If the enemy are rushing in through your side of the point area and you need to escape, simply jump across to the other side of the point or up to the middle and into the right spawn door. This is easy enough, as the ceiling of this area is high enough to let you make full, non-horizontal jumps.

Junction

  • It is worth noting that for both teams, rocketjumping is very limited in its usefulness on this map as a lot of the larger areas have ceilings to cut you off at the apex of your jump. If you can horizontally rocketjump though, it can be used for quick crossing of the larger areas and corridors.
Attack
  • When attacking the area at A, try to go through the right doorway or even through one of the areas behind the point, as the bottom left one will be at the mercy of Pyros waiting to ambush yo and Demomen firing Grenades down there. However, if you are sure it is clear the stairway can be used to attack any Sentries positioned on the point itself.
  • The tight spaces of this map make the normal Rocket Launcher your best bet, as you can take advantage of the large amount of splash. It may also be worth using the Buff Banner, as it is for this same reason that you can build up a rage very quickly (and the absence of rocket jumps makes the Gunboats somewhat impractical).
  • Point B is a lot harder to access as both of the spawn doors are in relatively easy to access places for the RED team, meaning that a sticky trap or Kritzkrieg waiting is likely. The door on the far left that comes from A isn't much better either for solo attempts, as it is underneath a ledge that enemies can easily fire down at you from, but if your team charges from multiple exits OR you know that there are no traps waiting, you can move towards and between the crate stacks to stay in cover.
  • If the RED team are standing on the point in the small room (viewable through the windows), edge around the corner on the right side and fire normal rockets in to deal major damage to anybody standing there. That said, be careful of any Pyros trying to airblast your rockets, as the tight space makes it even riskier thanks to the minicrits they get when reflecting.
  • As your team captures B, look through the door towards C occasionally to stop RED pushes from storming in and retaking the point/stopping the capture. If you want to maintain an element of surprise, stand in the corridor to the left between B and C and ambush enemies as they rush towards the B area, being careful not to move too close to the C point as you will be spotted through the windows.
  • In the corridor between A and B is the entrance to a very small corridor that goes directly to C. This area can be used as another entrance out of the many to C, and also you can reach the A point halfway through it, coming out on the same level as the point itself. Keep this in mind if you need to flank enemy Sentries or even as a place to jump and escape to if RED push back onto A.
  • Point C is very difficult to attack directly as it has a lot of cramped entrances (being easy for the RED team to chase you into or set traps around) and is small enough to allow Sentries to detect anybody coming through any one of these entrances. Therefore, try to push in with your team when there is an Ubercharge ready, or when teammates are pushing through other entrances simultaneously.
  • If you can find an angle to look at a Sentry while being outside its range, use the Direct Hit to destroy it. This is important on point C as Engineers can tank their Sentries very easily due to the confined spaces making Spies difficult to use effectively. Otherwise, try to take them down while the Engineer goes for metal, and convey to your team when it's safe to push in.
  • When capturing the point, stand on the side nearer the enemy spawn, as the tight room the point is in is very susceptible to splash damage and Pyros. By standing on the near side, you will be somewhat out of the range of any projectile spam being fired from their spawn due to the angle, and hopefully be able to capture the point via your survival.
Defense
  • Defending this map will be especially easy if you can have a friendly Medic build up a Kritzkrieg ready in case you need a quick solution to stop a point being captured. The very small space in which the enemy team can stand to capture points makes any critical rockets even more deadly than before, and in the confined space and with the element of surprise it is unlikely a Pyro will be able to successfully reflect your rockets.
  • The spawn doors of the BLU team are visible from the A and B points if you stand directly on them. This is useful as you can spot and call out any BLU charges, and jump down from the high ground to get behind them when they come up the stairs at either point.
  • At point A, try to stay out of sight and wait for the enemies to come to you, as the wide open area at the front is a poor place to take enemies on in comparison to the narrow stairwells. Alternatively, stand on the left ledge across from the point and fire rockets at the BLU team as they congregate on the point itself.
  • Do not try to ambush BLU players as they come out of spawn, as they have control of the doors and can easily retreat should they feel in over their head. Instead, wait until they have advanced to a distance where they cannot retreat easily, then strike.
  • Standing on the A point and shooting down onto incoming BLU players is a bad idea as Pyros can easily reflect your rockets at that distance and you may be sniped from the lower spawn.
  • At B, try keep yourself hidden or in the halls between B and C when you anticipate a BLU push coming in, and push back towards the point or the spawn doors to suppress anybody you meet and stop reinforcements to those that have reached the point. Once again though, do not fire rockets directly at the spawn doors as they can be easily reflected. Watch out on the right corridor also, as if A has been captured it is the most direct route to B.
  • When defending C, only push out when you have adequate support or a charge to survive with. Otherwise, you are very likely to be killed with any stickytraps that the BLU team have laid to secure their front lines. You can also jump into the windows in the centre, to take them from the sides at B.
  • You can also go through the path from C to the A-B corridor, to get behind enemies coming from either side. Be careful though as you will likely pass by their spawn doors, allowing them to warn their teammates and box you in if you're not cautious.
  • If the BLU team are attempting a rush on the point and have a few players on the point itself, fire normal rockets directly through the doorways as the splash will do major damage to a likely already damaged group. With a few rockets you will be able to kill off any players inside, saving the point and preventing the BLU victory.



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