TASTEE: Lethal Tactics

TASTEE: Lethal Tactics

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Bring a strategic dimension to your game
By Rogdhor
By reading this guide you will improve your chance of win and bring an entertaining strategic dimension to your games (async). You have to master the basics and also advanced tactics to serve execution of your mind game.
Basic principle
First of all, and the basis for the following, getting information on the enemy team is critical to evaluate alternatives with enough good probability to be feasible. Don’t rush to your enemy as if you were blind looking for good luck, tossing the coin or you will be probably punished by experienced players having good visibility and defense setup.
Game preparation
Getting information is more than just knowing the enemy positions.
At early game stage, you have to guess what can be the enemy team composition based on what you currently know of the team, a little consideration of the map (effective ranged or closed combat, wide fields opened or corridors) and your enemy preferred team (and meta) for this map.
Also prior to the match, you should watch your opponent’s past games on this map to learn lessons as preferred opening tactics or general gameplay. Try to consider your enemy attitude if defensive, reasonable, aggressive, making short or long runs, grouping characters or spreading over the map and per character gameplay (static sniper, front or back bomber). If you play several times the same player you will start to learn about his personality.
Team composition determination
The core of a team is often composed of Hindenburg, Seraphim, then you will usually find one or two gunmen (rather Bodark and Denton, occasionally Zeke according to your strategy and preferred gameplay) and one or two shotgunners (rather Hoser and Augustus according to the map and strategy, less Linus). Having two bombers or two snipers (or different than Hindenburg or Seraphim) is not well balanced and not ideal for beginners as it reduces your team capabilities: this composition should be reserved for well-known purpose.

Note that, when not known in a match, the characters appear as generic ones without the special skills so be aware of the difference when you prepare your actions. In particular the focus of Seraphim is shorter; Hindenburg bomb radius is larger (until he reveals himself) etc. That’s why it is important also to reveal the team composition as it would help to better study the possibilities of your enemy.

In game, as a tip, where you see a character coming alone by a side you may consider that it is covered by someone in range to secure his run, even if you don’t see him. So what you can see of the current characters deployment can help you to guess where should be the others as well.
Determining the team composition as early as possible is a great step to reduce the uncertainty, to know your enemies’ special skills and moving capabilities. Getting information, of course, is like a double-edged sword as you expose also yourself to show up to monitor line of sight. Be aware of crouching possibilities and the “hiding” special skill from Hyde.
Information is the key for battle
If you need to know if a guy is waiting for you on a path, use a “visibility” action at the end of your turn, when there is not enough time to be shot anyway, like standing up at window or turning in a corner or simply changing your view angle (on the side or back). Having accurate fresh positions at the end of turn gives you the maximum distance of run for the next round and accurate alternatives to study. In case of just a passing character, if you see a position showing less than 2s (not too big), you can “reposition” the enemy character at the start of the round if you are quite sure about the direction or guessing he is reaching a cover in that time: you need to play the preparation and stop at the character’s displayed time (end of last round) to know what could be the real position.

On the contrary, try to limit the information you can give to your opponent. Do not through bomb just in case to catch someone passing, but you don’t really know about your enemy’s movements. Use a bomb when you consider an enemy movement with enough probability, or to secure your own move by eliminating positions in the area. Sparing a bomb for a turn will also enable you to launch it at the start of the round after a good repositioning. When a bomb is launched, the bomber is armless for 5s. A technical error is not to explode the bomb within the round, as it gives an opportunity to escape, unless you are sure to put it at his feet (like in PvE for spawns) or inside a building with blocked exits.

As a tip, use line of sight to “split” the map to isolate where the enemies can be and be sure to see them when they are crossing, even if you don’t kill them. Positioning is not just a matter of killing possibilities and this is what makes all the map strategy and map awareness for controlling the game.
You should take advantage of a first kill, as it gives you more eyes and possibilities than your opponent.
Review the last turn
You should review the last turn not just for the fun but notably to know if your opponent could have seen your moves. In general before starting a round, try to know what information has your opponent and where he thinks your mercenaries are. It is like Poker; try to know what cards are in hands (and probability to beat it by studying the alternatives).

Actually the more you move from the last known positions (from your opponent’s view), the less predictable you will be. In particular for bombers, as they show up when throwing bombs, try to keep the pressure from this powerful weapon with possibilities that he can fire on multiple areas on the map by moving after the launch. At least you should do it once to let your enemy know you can launch from many places and be a danger everywhere. So for bombers, launching a bomb at the start of a round, will enable you to reposition quite far if needed elsewhere for the next round.

Sometimes I have to review more than just last turn to remind me where your opponent had your last position. Making go and back at same place may not be surprising for your enemy as if you did not move actually.
Think a round ahead
You should think a round ahead to prepare the next round with good starting positions. It is possible to have “blank” rounds which are just here to prepare the next round. Do not always try to catch a kill at each round if you are not enough sure and don’t have enough good information. In particular, for the first 2 rounds (or more), you should think of really acting only after you are well placed.
And here comes the strategic aspect at the start of the match. You should analyze all paths facilities, whether some are blocked and you will have to show up if you need to break through. You should analyze what benefits you can have by positioning in that particular area and if you can be stronger than your enemy here, usually by positioning quicker than him, or if just because of a good sniper sight.
You should be aware that your enemy is thinking the same and you should consider that some map openings are quite obvious because precisely of the benefit it can give.

You should also finish your turn with possible additional spare actions. Do not just sequence actions for the current round’s objectives (e.g. make a kill) but you should finish the sequence even with actions considering the objectives are not fulfilled. For instance, if a character is not present when you predicted it would be for a kill, then you will have an extra time to move elsewhere, cover or do other things like a visibility action. Those final turn actions will not be effective if the time is spent for killing but you should be able to cancel them if not required anymore at the next round. All actions can be cancelled except special throwing skills. For the spare actions you can use a conditional sequence with a “stop on sight” and another point with a “run” so that actually if the enemy is here you will stop to focus him and not run, but if he is not here you will correctly finish your move to put yourself in safe place. Actually you may still execute a bit of the run after a kill if you still have time.
Play the opponent side
At the beginning of each round, consider placing yourself as the enemy with what he knows about you. This is important in the middle game (round 3 to 7), when you have already tried a few things, moved on and now you should know the team composition.
It becomes a real mind game with bets like in Poker, with more or less probability, also learning your opponent personality a bit, all the more if it is not the first time you play against him. Will he dare to do that?
Bluffing (fakes)?
You should consider that breakable doors are not closed but can be opened (destroyed) for entering but also for a ranged character fire (or bombing inside). Maybe it is only for having a longer sight, splitting the map to gain crossings visibility. Anyway avoid waiting behind doors for close combat. Even with a sniper in ambush, usually it will end by both kills at the best for you, because your opponent would have probably combine 2 characters skills to win a 2v1 (like 2 gunmen or Bodark + sniper/shotgunner to reset a shot and let the other make the kill, or with Danton flash).

Breaking doors actually provide fake capability in so far as it attracts your attention. When you break a door you become visible but you may give this information voluntary for that, while you can maneuver in next round where the player is not watching. Usually, you will take benefit of a broken door in the same round and wish to open the door at the beginning of the round to let you make actions following. So if a door is broken at end of a round you can question if it is not a fake, as the player is letting you prepare your defense.
But knowing what can be considered as obvious tactics and the bluffing capabilities, then you cannot be so sure if it is a fake or not. Knowing the player real level and determining his personality can help. In case of a possible fake, on the next round, I advise you try to find information on where the characters could be in case of fake and prevent any benefit from your opponent in case it is not a fake, by avoiding exposures and keeping a safe outcome if you don’t find the characters at the other places.
On the other hand, when you break a door and don't use it in the round, it remains an opened path putting constant pressure on your ennemy as you can return there in a few rounds more silently. The path is also opened for your ennemy of course, but it may not be part of its own strategy.

So TASTEE really becomes a mind game when you master the technical aspects and advanced tactics.
Tactical execution
When you have determined possible strategic alternatives on each side you have to take a long time to sequence the actions, combine and synchronize your characters using wait timers. As a tip to add extra action time, you may remove the surveillance angle if you don’t need it while walking (it is removed when you run). You need to check your enemy visibility angle to perform crouching while crossing their sight and recover your run after.

The strategy should be refreshed at each round with the additional information you have (or the lack of it), possibly rebalancing your forces to another map area. If an enemy is overextended and not well covered by teammates, it can be a target to surround him. Try to fill the gap for close combat when you see openings for intrusion, when you know the enemies are elsewhere or watching in a different direction or you can cover it well (with ranged or bombing). It is particularly important to know where is the ennemy bomber or the sniper to eliminate this possibility for running in a particular area. And avoid staying too long isolated with blocked escapes if you fail to make a kill or to secure your position.

The tactical scenario execution itself can take a long time for adjusting, checking possible positions and moves from your enemies and running the preparations very often. The mind play while questioning yourself takes also a noticeable time. So with this guide in mind, be ready to spend an hour per round and you will probably keep thinking about it within the rounds, waiting for your opponent’s turn.
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Wizaro Elementaro Dec 11, 2016 @ 8:03am 
Excellent guide, great insight into deep strategic elements and gameplay. Well done!
ubq Dec 10, 2016 @ 11:13pm 
Shhhhhhhhhh!!!!! :p
I believe this well documented guide is actually the key for winning.