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Essential Tips for Scout in 6v6 Comp TF2
By MR SLIN
This guide address the four Scout Essentials that all players need to know. Whether you play competitive TF2 or in public servers for fun, this guide has advice that will help you to improve your skills.

The guide was written and designed for the scout who has had a taste of competitive 6v6 play but wants to take his game to the next level. By now you have played many games of TF2 in the competitive 6v6 format and are familiar with the basics of gameplay. You have decent skills in both DM and game sense. You have played in leagues and have maybe been on one team or many, but you can't seem to get yourself out of that low or low/mid skill level.

This guide is for you.

To find out more about the author, please visit his stream at www.twitch.tv/misterslin.
To contact the author, please send a Twitch.TV message to misterslin or find him on twitter @misterslin.
Please do not add the author on Steam, as his friends list is full.
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Preface
Hey everyone.

This is my guide. I apologize for its extremely long length. You can read the TLDR version, skim parts of it, or read the entire thing word for word. It's up to you. As long as you get something out of it, I did my job and I am happy.

This guide was originally written for the low or low/mid scout looking to get better. However, I think that any TF2 player can use it to improve their skills and become a better gamer. Refer to it as you see fit and also feel free to critique as it is a work in progress. Please ask for my permission before copying.

Thank you, and Enjoy!

MR SLIN

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Preface
The original reason I started writing this guide was to just address the four short "scout essentials" of competitive 6v6 TF2. I hoped that it would answer the basic questions that I got from most of my mentees, but the guide ended up creating more questions than it answered and eventually grew into the monster that it is now.

I don't expect everyone to read this guide all the way through in one go, but it has pieces of information that I have picked up from my time playing TF2 that I think you will find to be extremely useful. This is just one person's perspective on the class and the game; it is by no means the only way to play 6v6 TF2.

That being said, I hope you find it to be helpful and I encourage you to talk to me if you have any further questions.

See you in game!
The TL;DR Version!
THE TL;DR VERSION!

4 Key Points:
1. DM Ability
2. Positioning
3. Buffing Frequently
4. Game Sense

==

1. DM Ability
-have the right setup (computer/gear/settings)
-be able to aim well
-be able to move well
^of the two above points, most scouts focus on one of them and let the other come naturally
-know how to 1v1 each enemy type (pocket/roam/demo/scout)
-my personal preference for practice is scrims/ringing>pug>dm>mge


2. Positioning
-do not overextend
-don't commit to a fight unless you know you are going to win
-watch invite demos to find good places to be (especially when holding)


3. Buffing Frequently
-try to stay buffed as often as possible
-125 is only 66% of your max health!
-if you are <80, go back for the health pack before calling medic (unless you know you'll get crit heals)
-avoid taking unnecessary damage


4. Game Sense
-watch more demos!
-know when to push, hold, or retreat
-stay alive if your scout partner is dead
-try to engage the enemy when they are not focused on you
Introduction
Objective

This guide is designed for the scout who has had a taste of competitive play but wants to take his game to the next level. By now you have played many games of TF2 in the competitive 6v6 format and are familiar with the basics of gameplay. You have decent skills in both DM and game sense. You have played in leagues and have maybe been on one team or many, but you can't seem to get yourself out of that low or low/mid skill level.

This guide is for you.

I am presenting the four main pieces that I think are essential for a scout to understand before he/she reaches the next level.

Note that this guide does not even touch upon how to work with a scout partner but rather focuses on tips for an individual.

I am not claiming to be an expert scout but hopefully those of you who read this guide can learn how to improve your game.


How to Use This Guide

There are a lot of guides and informational pieces out there that give scout tips. However, when trying to get better at anything in life, make sure you take it one step at a time. When you read something, try to just take one thing away and work on that. Then go back and pick up something else. Don't try to learn 5 things at once or you'll quickly find yourself lost. As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day.

(In terms of TF2, pick 2 or 3 things from this guide and focus on working on just those things during a night of scrimming. If you did those 2 or 3 things without fail, then the scrims were successful, even if your team lost.)
DM Ability (Aim/Movement)
The Four Scout Essentials

1. DM Ability (Aim/Movement)
2. Positioning
3. Buffing Frequently
4. Game Sense

I. DM Ability

Deathmatch ability or (DM) is your ability to kill the enemy and is separated into two parts: Aim and movement. Left hand and right hand. Many people say that they have good movement but no aim. Many say that they have good aim but only when they reduce their movement. You need to be good at both and you don't want to have to sacrifice one for the other. DM is something you have to learn on your own. Some people are naturally gifted while others need to work on it a lot in order to get better. I can't tell you how to make your aim like Yz50's, and mine is definitely not even close but simply put getting good DM requires practice and hours played.

There are a few things you can do to reduce the time needed to make your AIM better:

1. Stay consistent with your sensitivity. Don't keep switching it around or you won't build that muscle memory (which takes time to build). Many scouts find that they play better with a lower sensitivity, but there are plenty of players who can effectively use a high sensitivity. If you don't know what sensitivity to use, I have found that a good place to start is to have your sensitivity as low as possible while still being able to quickly flick 180 degrees (to see behind you) in one movement. Then adjust it little by little until it is comfortable (not too fast or out of control, yet not so slow that you feel inhibited by it). Also, make sure you have mouse acceleration OFF. I know some people like mouse acceleration because they used it in other FPS games, but for 99% of players it is simply too unreliable to have it on. Once you have found the sensitivity you like, STICK WITH IT. For the love of God, don't change your sensitivity every time you play. For a frame of reference I've found that most scouts use 10-14 inches per 360. I personally use 13.4 inches/360.

2. Turn your viewmodels, bullet tracers, ragdolls, and gibs off. Don't question it; just do it. The viewmodel covers up a lot of your screen and the muzzleflash from your scattergun is distracting. It is also helpful to turn off ragdolls as the flying bodies can become a distraction and a nuisance.

Here are the commands you need to put into your autoexec.cfg:

// Disable ragdolls
cl_ragdoll_fade_time "0"
cl_ragdoll_forcefade "1"
cl_ragdoll_physics_enable "0"
g_ragdoll_fadespeed "0"
g_ragdoll_lvfadespeed "0"
ragdoll_sleepaftertime "0"

// Disable gibs -- DELETE THIS SECTION IF YOU WANT GIBS ENABLED
cl_phys_props_enable "0"
cl_phys_props_max "0"
props_break_max_pieces "0"
r_propsmaxdist "1"
violence_ablood "0"
violence_agibs "0"
violence_hblood "0"
violence_hgibs "0"

Here are the commands you need to put into your scout.cfg:

//Viewmodels off -- NOTE: If you use a crosshair switcher, this needs to be added for each weapon that you want this for (scattergun and pistol)
r_drawviewmodel 0

//Bullet Tracers Off -- NOTE: If you use a crosshair switcher, this needs to be added for each weapon that you want this for (scattergun and pistol)
viewmodel_fov 0

3. Use a good crosshair. I currently use a green plus sign (+) with cl_crosshair_scale 26 . I also suggest using Aron's Crosshair Switcher to make a different crosshair for each weapon because when you have view models off there really is no other way to tell what weapon you are using other than the ammo count. I use the default crosshair for my bat, and I use a yellow plus sign (+) with cl_crosshair_scale 17 for my pistol.

4. Make sure you have damage numbers on (THAT YOU CAN READ) and a hit sound. Self explanatory. Many custom HUDs come with edited damage numbers that really help out. I personally use Oxide HUD, and then customized it to my liking. Look at the following example video to see my HUD/hit sounds in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kGhoYMa0oU

*NOTE: This is an old video. Pretend like the viewmodel and bullet tracers are off.*

5. Use the movement script.
There's really no reason not to use it. It doesn't hurt you, and it's legal.
Put this into your autoexec.cfg just like you did for Step #2.

// Null-cancelling movement script
// (prevents you from pressing two opposing directions, which causes you to stop moving)

bind w +mfwd
bind s +mback
bind a +mleft
bind d +mright

alias +mfwd "-back;+forward;alias checkfwd +forward"
alias +mback "-forward;+back;alias checkback +back"
alias +mleft "-moveright;+moveleft;alias checkleft +moveleft"
alias +mright "-moveleft;+moveright;alias checkright +moveright"
alias -mfwd "-forward;checkback;alias checkfwd none"
alias -mback "-back;checkfwd;alias checkback none"
alias -mleft "-moveleft;checkright;alias checkleft none"
alias -mright "-moveright;checkleft;alias checkright none"
alias checkfwd none
alias checkback none
alias checkleft none
alias checkright none
alias none ""


All credit goes to pvh, and you can read more about the script here:
http://www.ozfortress.com/showthread.php?t=39627

6. Know how to approach each class in a 1v1 setting. If you're having problems facing other scouts work on your DM in a DM server. Please see Q&A Question 4 for a more in depth explanation.



Things that you can do to reduce the time needed to make your MOVEMENT better:

1. Be unpredictable. The worst thing that can happen is that the enemy knows exactly where you are going to be. Change up your strafing patterns and experiment with different things.

2. It is not just about A and D. Use a combination of backing up and moving forward. Get up close and personal when you are making your shots and want to do more damage. Move back when you are missing shots and can afford to do less damage to finish off an enemy.

3. Juke your enemy! Make him think you are going one way, and then switch it on him. When it comes to scout v. scout and you're in that 1v1 matchup, a lot of scouts tend to shoot as quickly as they can. Change direction before that next shot comes out to make him miss.

4. Use terrain to your advantage. It can be used to help your movement and make you more unpredictable. In addition, you can hide behind it while reloading.


To disable mouse acceleration look at these two links (I highly suggest doing both):
Removing Mouse Acceleration In Windows and Game:
http://www.teampandemic.net/features/12 (Do Steps 1, 5, and 6 only)
Removing Mouse Acceleration From Windows Registry:
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1208938


Aron's Crosshair Switcher:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP6BqMirUFM

Dissecting the Crosshair Switcher Script:
http://pastie.org/1581420

Oxide HUD:
http://colinb.hostnamez.net/ben/
Positioning
The Four Scout Essentials

1. DM Ability (Aim/Movement)
2. Positioning
3. Buffing Frequently
4. Game Sense

II. Positioning

Positioning is about:
1. Knowing your role
2. Experience
3. Reacting to the situation

The three of these things are a package deal, and you can't have one without the other. In terms of role, your job as a scout is to cover the flank and make sure enemy scouts (or enemies in general) don't get behind you. This is especially crucial on maps like badlands or granary, the two most popular maps in competitive TF2. You want to make sure that you're not overextending or staying with the combo so much that you're letting the enemy sneak up on your team. Knowing the timing of when you should cover the flank and when you should push or retreat comes with experience, and with that experience you will be able to better react to any given situation.

Work on not overextending. When you play a scrim, make it a personal goal to not overextend. When you die, analyze the 30 seconds leading up to your death. Were you too far out in front of your team? Did you flank the enemy without your team? This is the most common scout mistake, but one of the most complicated to learn. Please see Q&A Question 1 for a more detailed explanation of overextending.

That is positioning in terms of the big picture, but on a smaller level there is your personal positioning when you face enemies. Use the terrain to your advantage. Know when to back out. Know where the health packs are. Know what range you should be engaging your enemy at. Although many people think you always need to be up close and personal, there are times when it is better to not engage the enemy. All of this will come with time and maybe a little help from me (your mentor). By learning where to position yourself you a) increase survivability and b) give yourself a better chance to make a play.

The thing I can't stress enough and the #1 best way of all time to get better with your positioning is to WATCH DEMOS OF SCOUTS THAT ARE BETTER THAN YOU (imagine you are the Day[9] of TF2). Watch what they do and try to mimic it. This is especially true for maps your are unfamiliar with. Simply pull the demos off the ESEA website or www.tf2demos.com and watch them. Bonus points for doing this before your team practices a map as it will give you a head start and a better idea of what to do on the map.
Buffing Frequently
The Four Scout Essentials

1. DM Ability (Aim/Movement)
2. Positioning
3. Buffing Frequently
4. Game Sense

III. Buffing Frequently

Basically you should be getting buffed to 185 every chance you get. I'm not saying you should be right next to your medic the entire round, but take a hint and get that buff. Your medic has no excuse to not quickly turn and take 2 seconds to heal you to 185, especially when you have crit heals.

Requirement:
-This takes a competent medic (i.e. your team's medic not a tf2 lobby medic) who knows his/her heal order.

Once again, when you scrim make a personal goal to work on getting buffed just before pushing into enemy territory. You and your medic need to make a concerted effort to get you buffed often, and FULLY (185). Many times scouts just run in with 125 health thinking he is at max HP but his max is not 125, it's 185! If you run in with 125 you are depriving yourself of 33% of your hp and you're just asking to get killed. However, if you have 185 you're practically invincible and have a health advantage over your enemies.

Best times to buff:
-When your team is "holding" a position
-Right before your team makes a push

When your team is in a holding position, use your speed to your advantage. Hold the flank and then when your buff is around 125-135 run back to your medic, quickly get buffed and then run back to your post.

Don't think that holding the flank at 125 is going to do the trick. 125 doesn't allow you any room to eat spam, take chip shots from enemy scouts, etc. Get buffed. This holds especially true on maps like cp_granary where your team can be at a standstill for a while after each point is capped.

Buffing increases your survivability and it is critical that you understand that as a scout.

Please see Q&A Question 2 for more details.
Game Sense
The Four Scout Essentials

1. DM Ability (Aim/Movement)
2. Positioning
3. Buffing Frequently
4. Game Sense

IV. Game Sense

This is the area where a lot of low/mid scouts struggle and it is what prevents them from becoming mid level scouts. Game sense (knowing the meta game) is another one of those things that requires you to watch demos and gain experience playing games. You need to get a feel for how the game flows from point to point. When you are playing a push map your team is ALWAYS in one of three stages: push, hold, or retreat. Knowing what stage your team is in is critical to your success. If you're not all on the same page, that creates problems (usually overextending or players getting picked off).

If you play a lot of scrims but still don't really understand the flow of the game, here's what to watch for when analyzing your own games for mistakes:

1. Mid fight. Your job is to get to middle and protect your demoman from the enemy scouts. If you get a pick, great, but don't make that your main focus. A lot of lower level scouts die very early in the mid fight because they over-commit and rush the enemy demo or scout(s). Don't be one of them. Get to mid, establish presence (scare away enemy scouts), get buffed by medic, do damage. Also, if your team is losing mid sometimes it is better to retreat rather than throw yourself at the enemy hoping to get a pick. Remember: SURVIVAL is the key to mid!

2. Uber advantage. Are we ahead? Are we behind? Knowing how far ahead or behind you are defines whether or not a team is going to push. Make sure your medic is calling that out so you have an idea of where your team stands in relation to the enemy. If they have advantage, get ready to back out. If you have advantage, get buffed and then get ready to jump in (but let your combo lead in first, then follow in and clean up). Note that a 10-20% advantage at the low/mid level usually doesn't justify a push but a 30%+ advantage will.

3. Man Advantage. Hit that tab button very frequently. A 2+ man advantage (their team has 2 or more people less than yours) usually results in a push. Key picks like a demoman pick result in a push. When a medic is picked and the rest of the team is alive, don't be so hasty to rush in unless your team has uber.

4. Transitions. These occur after a point is capped and the team moves to the next hold position or point. On a map like cp_granary when your team is holding the yard between points 2 and 3 and both teams have uber, how quickly does your team get out after the enemy pops in? As a scout, you should almost NEVER be anywhere near an ubered enemy. You are too fast to have any excuse otherwise. Remember, the objective is to be present so that they are forced to pop into you, then back out to safety immediately after they pop and then uber back into them after a delay. Is that transition clean or are your team members dying in the process?
Last Words
Last Words

I know I took a lot of time going over these four points but I just want to conclude with the following ideas:

1. Without DM, you are nothing. Practice aiming and movement. Go to a DM server and work on your aim. Go to the MGE server and work on your scout vs. scout. In a perfect world you are 2-shotting everything. Attempt perfection.

2. SURVIVABILITY. Survivability is the name of the game folks and dead scouts are worthless scouts. Know that if you are dead, you're putting your team at a significant disadvantage. Your scout partner now has to cover the flank by himself and can easily get into a 2v1 situation. If your team loses both scouts, the enemy scouts are going to flank your combo and you will likely lose whatever point you are protecting. How do I increase my surivability? By combining all of these four points together effectively. Win your 1v1 DM situations. Position yourself in the right place so that you are covered by your team and are also covering them. Don't overextend. Get buffed frequently so that you have the health to take spam or run away. Know when to back out of an ugly situation and go back for the health pack. By increasing your survivability you will be able to better assist your team.

3. Watch Demos. Watching people who are better than you always helps you improve. Try to find that one tip each time you watch a demo that you didn't see before. Ask yourself "what are they doing that I'm not?" Don't just focus on how good their aim is but rather where they are putting themselves to make a play, and when they decide to back out and disengage. Frag vids are nice but they really are just for showing off nice kills. Demos allow you to see what people are doing when they are not killing (almost as important as killing). Watch from the point of view of a scout to learn positioning or watch from the 3rd person free view from above to learn game sense and flow.

Read the Quake Bible:
http://teamfortress.tv/forum/thread/13415-eg-chances-quake-bible/1
It has some great tips for focusing yourself and getting better not just at TF2 but at FPS games in general.

Where to download more demos?
http://www.tf2demos.com/ or check the ESEA website.
Good stuff.

4. Lobbies aren't very good at teaching you these skills because of the disorganization. It's decent DM practice, but if you really want to get better at the game you need to put some time into it and join a team. It doesn't have to be a very serious one but scrims offer a more organized environment that you just can't get in a lobby. In fact, when you're playing a lobby a lot of this goes out the window and you find yourself running around doing whatever you want. However, if you start playing scrims, those four points - DM, positioning, frequent buffing, and game sense - are essential.


So that's my guide. Hopefully you picked up a few tips that you can use in game. If you feel like you know everything that I mentioned in this guide then hopefully it at least gave you some ideas of places to improve. Please contact me if you want more in depth explanations of anything.

Best of luck to you all, and I hope to see you in game!

-MR SLIN


Other Helpful Links:

Sensitivity Converstion
Helpful if you want to compare your sensitivity to that of another player.
http://www.notalent.org/sensitivity/sensitivity.htm
http://www.phoon.us/mouse/

GTactix
A nifty little program that helps you strategize with your team through pictures and diagrams.
http://www.gtactix.com/
An example diagram that I used for my team using GTactix:
http://puu.sh/6dFOr.jpg
In this color-coded diagram we did a garage rollout and the enemy also went garage.
Frequently Asked Questions (Part 1)
Question 1 -- What are the most common mistakes you see in new scouts??

I glossed over it in my guide, but overextending is the biggest issue that I see in scouts at the low or low/mid level. Overextending occurs when a scout has inappropriately pushed past the area where his team is located and finds himself stranded with no support (resulting in death). Typical scouts at this level are still learning about the meta game and don't know much about what the combo is trying to do or what the other players are doing. As a result, they end up pushing without their team through the flank and die for no reason. I attribute this to one of three different things:

-Not knowing who has uber advantage
-Not knowing push timings
-Lack of patience

Let's go over each of these.

Who has (significant) uber advantage?
Your team is always in 1 of 3 modes: pushing, holding, or backing up.
Uber advantage in favor of your team will allow your team to push.
Uber advantage in favor of the enemy team will force your team to back up.
If a team has uber advantage but is unable to push through to the next area, they will hold until they get uber.

Even uber (both teams having the same amount of ubercharge) is a grey area, and whether or not a team pushes or backs up is based on man advantage (who has more people alive at a given time).

It is critical that you know who has uber advantage so you know if you should be getting ready to push, back up, or hold. Your medic should be keeping track, so if you need to you should ask him (if he doesn't know he's not doing his job correctly). Once you know who has uber advantage you can act accordingly. It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you don't push without your team or you will be overextending and most likely die. If you die, your team cannot push, and you are hurting your team.

Push Timings
It is very important you don't needlessly die when your team is about to make a major push. This happens when you push in too early before the rest of your team is ready and there with you, or when you push too late and the rest of your team is badly hurt. You need to coordinate with the rest of your team to make effective pushes.

Lack of patience
Some players get a little antsy and just can't stand still as a scout. They constantly feel the need to move around and think that they are "doing something". They fail to realize that holding is an essential part of the game. When holding, your job is to simply get buffed and prevent people from getting behind you while your team builds uber. THAT'S IT. No flanking, no excess scouting, NO NONSENSE THAT WILL GET YOU KILLED. Your job is to STAY ALIVE and if you're not patient, you'll run off and die. This will allow the enemy team to push or will effectively kill any push your team was trying to make. To learn effective holding positions, watch demos of other scouts.

Question 2 -- How do I effectively manage my health?

One of the most important scout skills is buffing frequently, but that falls under the larger umbrella of health management. Let's start by considering the medic's perspective.

Medic's perspective
The medic class is quite possibly the hardest in the game; he has to keep track of a lot of things from uber advantage to positioning. The medic's objective, on top of all of the other things, is to keep everyone at maximum health (150%). This is of course wishful thinking, so medics must prioritize which people they will heal first. At the lower levels, a general medic heal order is Scouts > Roamer > Demoman > Pocket. The reason the scouts are at the top of the heal order is because they have such low health that they need to be constantly healed up to maximum health so that they don't die (other classes can take more of a beating before needing health). In addition, many times the scouts spend a lot of time away from the medic, so healing them first allows them to resume their post at the flank. A good medic realizes that if he is going to bother taking the time to heal a scout, he will heal him fully to 185 so that the scout can spend more time away from the medic. A medic's job is to follow his pocket around for protection, and let the other players come to him for health.

Health Mechanics
Now that we understand more about the medic, we need to also learn about medigun mechanics. If a person has taken damage within the last 10 seconds, he receives the normal healing rate from the medic of 24 health per second. However, if a player has not taken damage in the last 10 seconds, he receives "Crit Heals" which ramps up linearly over time. If a player has not taken damage in the last 12.5 seconds, he receives health from the medic at 48 health per second. If a player hasn't been hurt for 15 seconds, the player receives the maximum crit heal at a whopping rate of 72 health per second. Thus, the medic's heal order becomes significantly more complicated as he must determine which of his targets will receive crit heals for maximum efficiency.

How does this apply to a Scout's health management?
Crit heals are essential when it comes to buffing scouts. If you have taken damage within the last 10 seconds, it can take up to 7.5 seconds to fully heal a scout to 185. On the other hand, if you receive the maximum healing rate it will take less than 2 seconds. As you know, medics want to spend the majority of their time healing the heavier classes, so getting crit heals is the most important thing you can do in the medic's eyes. You need to realize that if you aren't receiving crit heals, the medic has less incentive to heal you, and in turn you will be "waiting around" for your medic to finally get around to healing you.

My general rules for health management for beginning scouts:
Whenever possible, avoid taking damage. It may sound obvious, but the more damage you are taking, the more pressure you are putting on your team's medic to accomplish his objective (keep everyone at 150%). This should not be a problem with the scout's speed and agility. The most annoying thing a scout can do for a medic is to get buffed to 185 and then immediately run in and get hurt, coming back to the medic for more heals. Let the heavier classes on your team take damage while you use creative angles and flanks to damage your enemy while they are distracted.

Seek out your medic for a buff if you have 125 health or more. Try to minimize the amount of time you are wandering around the map without a buff (see Guide Section III for reasons why). However, this does not mean that you should constantly follow your team's medic around or bother him every 3 seconds for a buff (for reasons I previously mentioned). Get a buff, and then move on.

Seek out your medic for a buff especially when your team is in the "holding" mode. Usually you can work with your scout partner to trade off holding the flank to get a buff. This way a buffed scout is always holding the flank.

Try not to get heals from your medic unless you have at least 110 health OR crit heals. You don't want to be stealing too much of your medic's heals from the pocket and/or demoman. Scouts can use their speed to grab health packs in a way that the other classes cannot. If you have less than 110 health, then ideally you will go for a health pack in a SAFE POSITION so that you can get your health back up to 125 and by that time you will most definitely receive crit heals.
If you have less than 80 health, you should not be pushing forward but should be instead be in "panic mode", searching for a health pack (or the medic if you have crit heals).

Hopefully this clears up a lot of issues that you will run into when considering when is the best time to be getting a buff. Remember that buffing frequently is one of the most important skills an improving scout can learn as it will dramatically increase your performance (and reduce the amount of time you spend dead).
Frequently Asked Questions (Part 2)
Question 3 -- How does the mid battle work and what should I be doing?

I have gotten this question many times so I will get straight to the point. First of all, the mid battle differs significantly from team to team and map to map. Teams run a variety of strategies and they also have different strengths (some teams have an awesome demoman that carries their team, other teams have fantastic soldiers, and some teams have scouts that do all of the work).

However, there are some basics that occur on push maps. I will talk about what generally happens at middle on capture point maps and go through the various phases that occur. This should apply regardless of what map it is, but know that it applies to certain maps (badlands, granary) more than others (gullywash, etc.). Note that these strategies are tailored towards higher level play and assume that the players on both teams know the rollouts to middle.

GENERAL MID:

PHASE 1
It differs from map to map, but on most capture point maps the demoman and the scouts are the first to arrive at the scene. At this point in the game it is a 3v3. The job of the demoman is to land a sticky on either the enemy demoman or a scout(s). This allows your team to get a health advantage and possibly an early pick. On most maps the demoman is the key output of damage at middle, and if he goes down early, then your team usually loses middle.

As a scout, your job is to protect your demoman from the enemy scouts. My suggestion is to play defensively, focusing on staying alive and not taking damage (avoid getting hit by a sticky at all costs). Trying to go for a pick this early in the game is very risky, and I don't suggest it unless you are significantly better than the opposing team.

PHASE 2
The next phase of mid occurs when the soldiers/combo arrives at the scene. At this point, the medic has fully buffed the roamer who has many different options depending on the map, as well as the pocket who is protecting the bulk of the team from jumping soldiers and aggressive scouts. The medic then focuses his healing on the demoman who is usually very hurt at this time. He will also heal scouts if necessary.

Your job as a scout can differ depending on what happened during the first phase. If you took a lot of damage, go for the half health pack that should have respawned by this time (the demo took it after rolling out to mid, and it should respawn by the time phase 2 starts). Then get a buff from your medic and try to make a play. This usually involves trying to pick off a damaged or overextended player. If you did your job and didn't take damage, you can either try to pick off a damaged or overextended player OR get a buff from your medic then proceed to doing the same thing. At this point you don't have to protect your demoman anymore as your soldiers have that job covered.

PHASE 3
This last stage of middle depends on how well phase 2 went.

If your team got man advantage at middle, you clean up the rest of mid and/or capture the point. It is essential that you get buffed by your medic at this point. After healing you, the medic will be focused on buffing the heavier classes and keeping them at full health. At this point, one of two things happened. A) If you wiped the other team, immediately go to capture the next point (4th). It is the scouts' job to move up and capture the next point. B) If the other team successfully backed out of middle and is holding the choke point, you and your scout partner split up. One scout goes to cover the flank while the other stays near the combo. Switch as necessary to get buffed before your team pushes in.

If your team did not get man advantage at middle, you lost mid. It really depends how quickly you realize that you lost mid. You either died early because you were too aggressive, got out DM'd, or suck at TF2, OR you're still alive at this point. If you're still alive, hopefully you backed out of middle in time to hold the second point. Get buffed by your medic and then move to cover the flank.
Frequently Asked Questions (Part 3)
Question 4 -- Bearthon's Question
http://commforums.com/bear-scout-t4646.html?t=4646
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearthon
I aim okay, but could be improved, but what I really lack is knowledge and deathmatching skills. I know the basics of what I should be doing at any one time, but I am sometimes doubtful of what to do, when to sub-class, when to stick with team and when to flank. I've read alot of info, seen alot of demos but could really use a mentor for a push in the right direction and to improve my game.


1) What I mean by aiming okay but lack deathmatching skills is, I can aim when the focus isn't on me, but in a 1v1 situation, my movement can be predictable and need tips on this, where to move to, when to retreat, how agressive to be versus which classes.

2) I lack knowledge on where to move and when, when to assist my team as a group push, when to cap point, how to hold the flanks and when to push their flanks, how to tackle a mid fight, whether to attack their scouts or push on demoman/medic and what situations favour each of these best, when to link up with other scout and when to attack alone given a advantageous situation.

3) What to do on a mid fight. I have said I need help on a mid fight, but these is a main key of my game im missing. Also when we win/lose a mid fight, whether to offclass, i.e charging uber to push to their last whether to swop to sniper/or swop to heavy/pyro on defense or stay with scout.

I know the basics but have alot to learn and could do with some 1 on 1 help. Lobbies and scrims help me, but I don't know what I'm doing is correct. Hopefully this helps you on specifics.
Hi Bearthon,

1. Ideally you want to get into situations where the focus is not on you and you flank/surprise your enemy to clean them up. However, learning how to handle 1v1 situations simply requires a lot of practice. There is much more detail I can go into about dealing with the 1v1 situation, but here are some basic things you can work on.

vs. Scout -- My best tip for scout vs. scout is make your enemy miss. An easy way for new scouts to do this is to work on juking without jumping -- when you jump, it can be easy to predict your movement. Staying on the ground can give you more control over your movement. If you do choose to jump, utilize airstrafing to your advantage. Also, focus on your positioning -- be mindful of where you are when you engage the enemy scout. This includes manipulating distance. Get close when you're making shots and back away when you're missing shots. When reloading hide behind terrain or jump over your opponent's head if close enough.

vs. Soldier -- This battle is all about distance management. Stay at range and chip shot the soldier, then when you are ready to commit you can close the gap and finish him off. This match up changes depending on whether or not you face the pocket or the roamer. It is a bad idea to face the pocket because a buffed soldier is extremely difficult to kill. In games you should avoid trying to kill the pocket without a distraction. A roamer is a lot easier to kill because of his lack of mobility. Don't face a soldier in closed areas if you can help it; open areas are better suited for this match-up.

vs. Demoman -- Once again, manipulate distance; if he is stickying up close to himself, back off and chip shot just like you would against a soldier. If he is aggressively stickying at you, get close and meatshot him. Make him switch from stickies to pipes -- pipes are significantly harder for him to hit but he will use them if he feels that he cannot detonate his stickies quickly enough.

As for knowing when to get aggressive, that is a very situational thing and you learn it with time and experience.

2. Once again, very situational. My best advice is to practice a lot with your team and know their tendencies. On your traditional capture point map, you usually have 1 scout holding the flank while the other comes in BEHIND your heavier classes to clean up.

If you're playing the flank, play conservatively and be sure to not overextend. Remember that if you die, you're leaving your team's flank open. Your job is to not die and not let anyone behind your team.

If you're the other scout, wait until your team decides to push. Then give them a 2-3 second head start and come in behind them in an attempt to pick off separated or weak players. If it looks like your team has the area under control, move to capture the point. However, don't go capture until your team has the situation under control or else you're being useless.
In my personal experience, I only run around with my scout partner in select situations that don't come up very often. It is more of a spur of the moment thing than a planned strategy.

Please read the FAQ Section on the mid battle to answer the other part of your question (Question 3).

3. You asked about the mid point twice, so I'll answer your question about offclassing. In my opinion, don't offclass. As a learning scout you should just focus on your class. If you're good at sniper, only play it if your team has planned it out and you're playing on a sniper map like freight, viaduct, follower, etc. Also, engineer is viable on badlands last and gravelpit. Work out the strategy ahead of time so that your team knows what you will be doing.

I hope this helps Bear!

MR SLIN
32 Comments
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Jim Jul 3 @ 1:38pm 
a little tip for dealing more damage: don't hold your mouse button.tap it.
only click it when you're sure it will hit :P helped alot for me
MR SLIN  [author] Jun 2 @ 9:39pm 
@Nikyo -- Here's what I'd do:

alias "weaponone" "slot1;r_drawviewmodel 0"
alias "weapontwo" "slot2;r_drawviewmodel 1"
alias "weaponthree" "slot3;r_drawviewmodel 1"

bind 1 weaponone
bind 2 weapontwo
bind 3 weaponthree
MR SLIN  [author] Jun 2 @ 9:39pm 
oops! thanks eleskoh.
Eleskoh >:з Jun 2 @ 3:16pm 
slin, there's a little typo with the bind in the comment just below this, "weaponoone" :P
I was searching for a command that would turn off viewmodels only for scatter (pistol viewmodels still on) but I couldn't find one. Do you happen to know of such a command?
MR SLIN  [author] Feb 18 @ 6:24pm 
@Labraxadores -- Yep! Pretty standard 6v6 setup given the weapon bans.
Labraxadores Feb 16 @ 5:26am 
Just one thing man, what about different weapons? I mean. Scatter and Pistol are probably the best in pretty much every situation, but isn't the Boston Basher used to build uber when neither Demo nor Soldier are around?
MR SLIN  [author] Jan 8 @ 2:19am 
@Dr. Djones Not anymore, but I reuploaded the picture!
Dr. Djones Jan 7 @ 12:37pm 
Slin the GTactix thing looks pretty cool, but your tinypic link has 404'd with your examples. Do you still use the program? Thanks.
MR SLIN  [author] Jan 5 @ 6:40pm 
@tntburito Oh dang! I replaced the link with a new one. That's such a bummer that it got taken off the EG site.