Gameplay Pt. 2
Key picks are kills on players that are considered "key" to the game, which is pretty much always the demo and medic. However, in some cases a soldier or scout could be so dominant that taking them down would help you more than killing their sub-par demoman. Killing these types is pretty straight forward, so I'll cover the former two:Medic
This mostly comes down to keeping track of ubers. When your team ubers with a close advantage, you'll usually want to jump over the two front lines fighting it out and kill the medic before he gets uber and pops when your uber runs out. Another example would be when you're ready to push last and their medic has 80%. If I know their medic is close to having uber and I see they're at least one player down, I pretty much always go straight in for the medic. If they have all players up, I'll ask my team first. I do this because even if I completely bungle it and don't get anything done, it will be 5v5 and so the other team will not push out of their last. Then I respawn and we can push in with uber advantage (or not if I messed up).Demo
Demomen are pretty much always good picks, but there are times when this is especially so. For instance, your team won mid decisively and is flowing into their yard to cap 2nd, and you know their demo is somewhere setting a forward trap without much protection since half his team is down. Take this opportunity to flank him and take him out. Doing this will let your team walk into their space between last and 2nd (usually a lobby area) without worrying about a trap, and then straight into last with no stickies on point.
Technically, a roaming soldier can get away with only comming jumps and damage done, but I like to comm where I am and if I'm going to try something I'll tell my team what I intend to do. I'll break these four up and cover them in a little more detail.Jumps
Always tell your team when you're jumping at the other team. Even better, tell them in advance. For instance, "I'm jumping their med in 5." This lets your team know you're jumping in 5 seconds, and that you'll be gunning for the enemy medic. Then the rest of your team has that time to get in position to follow up on your jump. Sometimes, you'll end up in a position where you're suddenly staring at the enemy team and don't have time wait around to make sure you're team is ready. In this case, just tell them you're jumping, and try to include where you're jumping to. Example: "I'm jumping Demo on side-spire."Damage
Like with jumps, calling damage lets your team follow up and pick off weak players. Some damage shouldn't be called though, which is usually the damage done when both teams are holding. If you hit a scout for 60 and none of your team mates can get to him before he retreats, you'll just be cluttering up the comms by calling that damage. However, if this scout is the only one holding their flank, you could tell your team that and get your flank to quickly push up and take over their flank. Generally though, you'll want to be calling damage at mid fights and during bombs. Alternatively, instead of calling out specific damage after damaging a player, you can also tell your team to focus that specific player. For example, if you hit the demo for 120 in a last point fight, instead of saying "demo took 120", you could say "focus demo". One advantage of this is that it's more of an order than a random piece of information, so your team could be more inclined to act on it.Location
I'll usually call my location and the location of nearby friendly scouts whenever there's a slight lull in the comms. This lets our combo know how our flank is, and lets them make better decisions on what to do next. The last thing you want is the combo and the flank having no idea where the other is or what they're doing. You can also call the location of players on the other team, but try to keep it to calling locations that aren't obvious. For instance, if your team is building uber on mid, there's no point in saying the other team is in yard, because it's obvious that they'd be there. However, if they're not there, you should call it. Basically, call all abnormal enemy positions, and call any flanking manuevers.Intent
The same idea as calling jumps. If you're going to try something, let your team know. Bonus points for telling your team what to do and when. One good example of this is when you're holding your 2nd point on granary and you and your scouts take down their flank. When this happens, you can let your team know their flank is wiped, and that you'll be coming into left yard from right yard with your scouts, and tell your combo to push forwards. This means you'll be pinning the enemy combo between your combo pushing forwards, and your flank wrapping around behind them. This will usually wipe their entire team, and also happens to be very satisfying to pull off.
The loadout nearly everyone uses all of the time is the standard rocket launcher or the Original, shotgun or gunboats, and the Escape Plan. I'll cover these and some lesser used ones here. If an unlock isn't listed here, it's either banned in the main leagues, or not worth using.Rocket Launcher
The most commonly used primary for several good reasons: it has splash damage, has four rockets loaded, and the rocket travel speeds is optimal for rocket jumping.The Original
Basically the same as the above, except rockets fire from the center. Neither is better than the other, so try both and see which you like. However, keep in mind that with the Original you'll have to aim further right when rocket jumping, and not as far to the left.Direct Hit
This doesn't get much playtime (unless you're Seanbud), but if the other team has two extremely aggressive soldiers, it can be whipped out occasionally.Black Box
Never really gets used in 6v6, mostly due to one less rocket loaded, but I believe it's gaining popularity in Highlander. Generally, it's better to have that extra rocket than it is to gain a little bit of health.Shotgun
One of the two "primary secondaries", the other being the Gunboats. Very effective for finishing off enemies, or just killing them outright. One good habit to pick up is hitting an opponent with one good rocket, then switching to your shotgun to finish the job.Gunboats
A very handy unlock, letting you rocket jump all over the place with minimal self-damage. However, in my experience its most valuable for surprise med picks. If you run into a pocket and he hits you for 160 damage, he's most likely not going to be expecting you to jump over his head at his medic. With the gunboats, this is exactly what you'll be able to do.Shotgun VS Gunboats
Generally, a good rule to follow is Gunboats on offence, Shotgun on defence. However, that is if you like using the Gunboats. Running full-time Shotgun is perfectly viable as well. For me, it depends on the map. On a map that has tons of different ways to jump around, such as Badlands, I'll mostly run Gunboats. On a map like Gullywash, I tend to run full-time Shotgun, because from my experience there isn't a whole lot of jump chains to be done.The Escape Plan
Great for rollouts, or getting to a health pack faster. Contrary to popular belief, it's not very useful for getting away. Unless the other team is awful, you're probably not going to get away with 10 HP.The Pain Train
I've come to really like this unlock, though it's a little like the Gunboats: works best on jump-friendly maps. When you wipe the flank or just find an opening, backcapping will put much more pressure on the other team because of the 2x capture speed, and occassionally you'll be able to sneak a round win in the middle of a last point fight.