TASTEE: Lethal Tactics

TASTEE: Lethal Tactics

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Merc Breakdown
By Marmalade
A quick rundown of all the mercs in the game and how they fit into a well made team as well as some advanced tips to use them to outwit your opponent.
Hey guys. I've been enjoying Tastee heavily so far, and have been doing quite well (ranking in first month fluctuating from about 7-15). As I evaluate all the mercs and how they fit into well made teams, I have picked up on a lot of things. The main thing is that each of the three characters in each class can be assigned the same distinct three roles. I have decided to call these roles Intel, Iceman and Utility. By understanding these different distinctions, I find it easier to understand how to build a team for multiplayer with no gaps in it, and how to use my team to beat and outwit my opponent. First, lemme explain these three, uhh, I guess you'd call em subclasses. Although roles would fit, think of these distinctions like "tank" or "dps" in an MMO or something. Also note, this guide is mostly for multiplayer.

Intel: Each class has a character that assists you in finding out where people are and tracking their location. Some of these are obvious, in fact basically all of them are, save for one, but we'll get to that later. Skybox made sure each class has a merc that can give you better intel to act on during on during a match. You should always have at least one "Intel" merc. Period.

Iceman: All mercs can kill other mercs, but a few specialize in it. These are the mercs that, if caught in a face to face confrontation, usually come out on top. An iceman is usually quite popular from what I have seen, due to their superior killing power, but I think too popular, with the other roles being overlooked. All Iceman teams are tempting, but often farted on it higher level play.

Utility: These mercs have an ability that sets them apart not only from other mercs in their class, but all other mercs, letting them do something these other mercs, simply, cannot. Having utility mercs on your team allows you to change up the dynamic of a game if used correctly. I find it best to hide my utility mercs early game, as they may not always be the best mercs on your team, but they are most effective when the opponent cannot plan for them.

The following sections break down the mercs in each class, explains their role, and gives a few tips and tricks beyond what most people are aware of to get the most mileage out of them
The gunman class is the most "standard" class, and usually when choosing what to double up on in a 5v5 or 6v6 is the safest bet. Their three mercs find their way into my teams often.

Zeke: The Intel of the three, Zeke throws sensors that last 5 seconds. The best use of this is obvious, chuck it in a place where you want to know if enemies are, preferably so it can see through lots of walls and the like. He's alright, I just never liked that he has to revel his position to us his ability, as info your opponent doesn't know you have is the best kind. His sensor is also a trap of sorts, as most players will not walk into it, for fear of giving away their positions or the fact that, since they usually see Zeke's last known position covering the sensor's location, they fear it's being watched. For this reason, I typically plant sensors halfway through a turn, so they give good Intel of people passing through the area during the turn, but stay around next turn to deter enemy movement. Additionally, a fun tactic is to drop a sensor and immediately run Zeke away to cover a different area. Hopefully your opponent tries to avoid the area he thinks Zeke is covering (as well as his sensor) and walks into a trap. Lastly, it's fun to note that the sensor can be destroyed by explosions, and some players who are aware of this will reveal their grenadier locations to destroy them during "cat a mouse" periods of the game.

Bodark: The Iceman of the three, Bodark can be used as a utility, but in most games, ends up being used to win medium range confrontations against other mercs. His ability grants a small aiming penalty which makes most opponents shoot about .3 seconds later, but the main deal is that he resets their aiming. What this means is the "hold on sight command is his best friend. He's walking through an area with hold on sight, sees another gunman and bam, disabling shots em. Now he's stopped and the other gunman has to start aiming again, meaning his advantage for standing still is basically gone, and his disabling shot now means Bodark gets the Han Solo on his ass and gets out with a hit or two. Results may vary, but his ability to screw over other gunman and snipers is great. The ingame tips say he can get the upper hand on shotgunners but I have not seen much success in this, at least not specifically by using his ability. He can be used to support his allies by popping out to disrupt shots being made against his other team members, then shoot said enemy while they have to restart their aiming against Bodark's homie. When teaming up Bodark with others or using him defensively, I like to crouch him behind something, at least near the end of turns, so he can pop out and make the difference in a stare-down on the next turn by interrupting someone's shot. All in all, Bodark is my favorite Gunman as his ability helps him in straight one on one engagements but also can be used in a support role.

Danton: The utility, Danton launches flashbang grenades that completely blind enemies. This not only means they are unable to shoot (save by free-firing) but they lose intel. Danton's ability is hard to master as it's all about timing, but the speed in which the grenade is deployed is it's saving grace. It takes almost no time at all for Danton to launch his little pal, so it's easy to use offensively, but I think Danton finds his real use as a defensive merc. There are two reasons for this, the first being that if timed right, you can catch one or even two (it happens) mercs as they rush you at the start of a turn, then gun them down at your leisure. The second is that much like a grenade, the enemy sees you using the flashbang, and if spammed, it can deter enemies form going to a certain area, for fear of being flashed. If using this strategy, just know it cannot last forever, and eventually you're gonna have to move him or risk the enemy handing you a grenade or flanking Danton.
Snipers. Though a great class and a great way to get easy kills on the first turn, are overvalued in most multiplayer play in my opinion. It's deceptively easy to outmaneuver snipers, especially with cover and crouching, but one or two of them used well can change the course of a game.

Ares: The Intel, she lets you keep track of the precise movement of enemies well after they have been seen by her. I like her ability, as it means even those that narrowly slip by the choke-points she is covering find themselves punished anyway. The main issue with this is at the distances she is likely to spot people, the enemy will likely not be able to move offensively against you in the next 5 seconds. Though this ability still helps in complex maps like Colonia or Mcallen's Plaza. The main thing I like to do with her is peak and glace during her turn to catch people acting sleepy so I can maintain info on them. For example, while covering a specific area, I'll have her look somewhere else, wait.2 seconds, then look back or have her sprint around a corner then immediately back, to catch a glimpse of the enemy. Her ability is another one I like due too the fact it is not an activated ability, but rather one that takes place automatically while you are using her.

Seraphim: Bea. The Iceman, Seraphim is what I like to call the short-stop. Her ability allows her to intentionally limit the size of her view to get a much faster shot on the enemy. Keeping her far away from the enemy makes this time even shorter allowing insanely rapid long range shots on the enemy. The solution to her ability making her view more limited is a simple one, all you must do is have her move about and change directions she is looking on her turn while keeping the "hold on sight" order on her. The penalty to having to stop moving or coming to a stare-down .2 seconds too late is almost always neutralized by her ability. Normally with a sniper you want to give yourself enough ground covered to make sure you'll get the shot off, but with this chick you can get away with shockingly slim areas of coverage, catching people crossing areas they would otherwise think safe. Resist the temptation to have her "unlook" to widen her view, there's really no point to taking her if you did. Seraphim is simple, all she does is rack up kills.

Hyde: The utility. Even though he's my least favorite sniper, I still think he's under-rated. His ability is to vanish for about 2.5 seconds (I really should clock this). This ability can be used to increase his survivability, but it has two other uses that most opponents don't see coming. The first is using him as an assault sniper. Here's how. Charge him around a corner the second a turn ends, to see if there's someone there. If there is, congrats, make him invisible on the start of the next turn. Most enemies will just keep their man there, covering the same spot the same way, assuming you'll just be like "oh ♥♥♥♥" make him disappear and run away. But it's also quite possible to hyde him, charge him up, put him in the enemy's dead-zone (or even behind him) and free-fire him (shooting him normally usually takes too long due to the short distance). You may scoff, but this has been done by me and to me to solid effect. The second is so simple and seemingly stupid that it's shocking how much it works. While having him cover an area, where one of the enemy's units or other snipers can or may be able to see him, just make him disappear at the end of his turn. The immediate assumption your opponent will have is "dang, he's moved". But no, he hasn't. He's just standing there, waiting to reappear next turn and catch them off guard. It seems stupid, but that's why it works, just beware enemy Intel units. Otherwise, just randomly vanishing him while sprinting around the map can accidentally work out really well and make you seem like a genius. It doesn't slow him down so, if you ain't using it for a specific reason, just use it anyway. Just note that even tough it's duration is not a full 5, the recovery is.
The shotgunner. A class for quick, easy, close range kills. Also, the fastest class and the one with the most obvious range limit, the shotgunner is a great flanker and can be used defensively as a corner camper.

Augustus: My man. This guy is the Intel of the three, and probably one of my favorite mercs. His ability allows him to sniff out other mercs through walls without them knowing you're using it (as long as he isn't spotted). This guy can let you track enemies and grant intel to your team that your foe has no idea you have. For this reason, though he can be used offensively like any other shotgunner, I love using him as a camper. Sitting him off on one of my flanks providing intel and waiting for someone to jump in his business is a good fit for him. Having him move slow in general is a good idea, as you can't act on his intel until next turn, so you don't want him charging into situations until he is ready. A good tip for this guy is that you don't need Scout on the whole time if you are moving, as it slows you down. You only really need it most of the time during the last 2-3 seconds of your turn, as, again, intel gained at the start of your turn can't be acted upon. Not to mention if there was no one in his radius at the end of his last turn, what really are the chances someone will hop in there in the next second or two? If he isn't moving or is sprinting past a point of interest keep it on, but micromanaging your mercs to get that couple of extra steps out of them often makes all the difference (Edit: It seems that unlike what some game information states, his ability does not slow him down). A great addition to any team, and the main answer to the question "how did he know I was there?".

Hoser: The Iceman of the three, Hoser's "ability" is a defensive one, but still one that makes him a more effective killer. He simply has +1 HP, that's all. Now, this is completely unhelpful against grenadiers and barely handy against shotgunners but against gunmen and snipers can really make all the difference. The main ability it grants him is you can play him more wild, sprinting past areas that gunmen and snipers are likely covering and charging at snipers without too much worry. The biggest issue is that, because Tastee has no healing, Hoser's ability is kind of one use. I mean, the second he actually does snag a sniper round to the chest, then guess what, he's at 1 hp. Caught one shot from a gunman? He's just the rest of your mercs now. I actually recommend playing Hoser more or less like a standard shotgunner, maybe take a few more risks here and there. Eventually, if you play him right, he'll get into a position where that 33% hp boost makes all the difference. Just know that Hoser is also a good "♥♥♥♥♥♥ magnet" for grenade fire, as a lot of players see that as his "weakness" and want to take him out quick. Sometimes it's worth it to have Hoser draw some grenadier attention then back off to occupy some enemy mercs, if he's not in position to do much else. The last thing I'll say about this guy is that if you want a shotgunner to camp, the position is usually wasted on Hoser, as he'll have the upper hand anyway if you keep him still and the best way to get a camping unit is grenades which kill him instantly anyway. It's best to keep Mr Voorhees here active so he can make use of his "ability".

Linus: The Utility of the three, Linus can smash through any object that has "destructible" in it's name on the map. His ability is incredibly offensive in nature, and allows him to bust into situations where he isn't expected, flank people and traverse the map quickly. However, the easiest way to lose Linus is have him just smashing everything in the level. Good players will immediately know where Linus is headed and maybe even his approximate location. Once Linus is through that wall, he's just some ordinary dude with a shotgun. Imagine if you knew the Koolaid man was charging right at a wall near you and you had a shotgun, the fool would be dead. Whenever our boy here blasts through some wood, your opponent gets a "last location" blip at his exact location. Using his ability just because he has it and bursting through walls in the last 2 seconds of a turn where an enemy can react to it on his next turn ruins the fun surprise of sending Linus barreling through plywood. I personally like to have him sprint up a flank without smashing anything, clear it when he nears the barrier that will send him into the foe's flank, and then stand there and wait at the barrier for next turn. At the very start of the next turn ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ WHERE DID HE COME FROM HE'S UNSTOPPABLE!! I'm just saying, if Linus isn't a surprise, he's just some dude with a shotgun covered in wood-chips. A fun tactic with him however can be to smash through a wall you don't think the enemy is watching then immediately head someone else, creating a phantom Linus in your opponent's mind he'll start reacting to, while the real Linus is free to go elsewhere.
Grenadiers are the most... different class. They do not stare-down rather they only free fire their weapon, using it to cause explosions. All of these dudes have abilities that directly effect their grenades, but they are not all Icemen.

Hudson: Hudson is the Intel. Yeah, you heard me. He's the Intel of the three and during slower games, he's probably one of the most underrated ones. He lays mines at a very short distance that, if used corrected, must be shot or your foe will be blown up by them. He can be used, quite simply, to ensure your opponent can't go somewhere without reveling the fact that he is doing so. So, our lil guy can basically close off sections of the map for a few turns or just make sure certain flanks are secure (just watch those timers). Just don't leave him alone too often, or he can still get rushed down. Now if you want to kill people with Hudson, it is essential that he shoot his grenade early in the turn, thus ensuring there is the max amount of time the enemy's units are moving before he can stop them. Firing a proximity mine in the second half of a turn only creates something to be avoided. Another tip that goes along with this is to have him travel the map without having shot a mine in the previous turn, that way if he get's blindsided or you spot an unexpected rush, he can launch a mine right away. Lastly, Hudson can be well used in a "stick together and rush" strategy, by covering your team's back and letting them keep momentum as they blitz through the map. So far I have have limited success with him, but I can see hidden potential.

The Baron: This guy is the Iceman of the bombers. His grenade is the most straightforward of the three, it hits a spot and blows up. If caught unawares, The Baron is the most likely to be able to stand up to his opponents and get kills. He takes some finesse to use but his ability to react quickly and deploy death now is quite nice. Using this guy often requires "keeping one in the chamber", especially since pre-bombing is not super effective with him. It's better to have him hang out with others or peak corners near the end of turns and then hit people with quick grenades. The best part about this is his reaction time doesn't show up in their preview, only yours, since the grenade is not an automatic action. So, you have more control over how the turn plays out, especially if there's cover. All in all, The Baron is the bomber you want to have reveling his location the least, as he is most similar to standard merc, what with the shooting and all that.

Hindenburg: Likely the most popular merc, this guy is the utility. Now, I know what most of you are thinking, "nah kid, he's the Iceman". Yes, he gets kills, but don't all mercs? But here's why he's the Utility. It's not that his grenades are the largest, they really have to be as they have an explosion delay. It's the bouncing. The fact that you can dink his grenades around walls, off barrels and through windows into tight rooms means that he can do some really creative bombing. This guy can bring the fear of God in your opponent and spamming his grenades will often cause them to split their forces and back away, letting you push them into corners. Just don't be too aggressive, getting this guy unceremoniously shot is very possible (and often breaks all of your momentum). Though one very underrated use of him is to put him in unexpected areas using crouching to try for double kills, rather than broadcasting his presence every turn. This guy seems to be everyone's favorite Merc, and will likely soon be nerfed. Get him while he's hot.