Playstuff HL team writeup - Week 4

This match looks to be our hardest of the season, both in our opponents (who similarly are 3 for 3 so far) and in the two cp maps, which offer far greater strategic flexibility than pl or koth. It will be harder to write a specific play for the whole map, particularly for cp_gullywash, as a lot will depend on their own strategies.

If anyone is unfamiliar with the (relatively new) gullywash, they should take some time to run around it, get a feel for the layout of the map, the routes to middle, and in particular the flanking routes around the last point which will be important.

Gravelpit

Gravelpit was a resounding success against Lambrini Boys, but we should not allow that to make us complacent. The strategy was executed well from what I saw on the cast, but against harder opposition it will be even more important to work well together.

On offence, particularly into B, we will need to be well coordinated. I’m sure those of you who played against Lambrini saw that throwing yourselves in a few at a time will never secure a cap. And B takes such a long time to cap, even with a lot of people on the point, that their C defence will be ready for us. Once we have cleared them out, a few classes should stay outside stopping them getting back in the choke points while the rest cap.

One thing I noticed on our C attack against Lambrini was that few classes jumped the point. Soldier and demo should be out the doors and up onto the point as fast as humanly possible, to start the cap off and to defend it with the height advantage. Scout should be not far behind them going up the tower. The other classes should concentrate on damaging and deterring any players heading up to defend the point, as well as making their own way up more slowly for a second push onto the point if it is needed.

On defence, the B defense was very solid, and the scout/spy did a great job holding them off at A for almost 4 minutes, which they should certainly attempt again. A few picks can help tremendously, particularly if the medic is forced to drop or pop. That was also, though, a tactical blunder on Lambrini’s part - if their B rush failed they should have immediately changed to an A attack with their heavy classes. I can pretty much guarantee internetshouldbeillegal will not make the same mistake, so we cannot rely on simply having to cap A like we did there.

Also I’m sure you saw how useful and important it was to dominate B roof - our soldier did a great job of always being up there, holding it and spamming rockets down on the attackers. I’d like to see the demo also getting up there every so often, particularly if they attempt to jump the roof with their own solly/demo our demo should immediately be jumping up to back up our soldier.

They never had an opportunity to attack C, so I can’t really provide any feedback on that. Stick to our previous C defence plan, and any changes needed will be called on the night.

Other than this feedback, see the Week 3 plan for a more detailed plan of the defences on gravelpit.

        Gullywash

5cp maps are difficult for highlander teams - with so many players on each side and an overall slower movement speed than in 6v6, it’s often hard to know when it is sensible to push, and when it is sensible to hold. The general rule of thumb will be:

If we have more players alive, or have an uber advantage, push. Otherwise, hold.

However no hard-and-fast rule can work all the time on 5cp, and there are obvious exceptions - we might have more players alive, but if all their living players are heavy classes and all our living classes are utilities, a push might still be very difficult and holding might be more sensible.

Conversely it might look on the scoreboard like they have a numbers advantage and so a push is inadvisable, but if their living classes have just spawned they will be far from the action and so we could still push then.

Some general point-by-point plays:

First middle fight (point is neutral): Demo and scout should all be heading for the middle as fast as you can - medic buff the demoto full health for as long as possible out of spawn, he will need it for his jumps. The rest of the classes should go through via point 2 and push out from there, with the soldier accompanying them with the Disciplinary Action, making all the classes get to mid faster. Ideally we will be putting down such a ferocious amount of spam fire towards the chokes that they cannot get out onto the point and are forced to retreat back to 2.

Likewise, if the midfight goes badly for us and a retreat is called, do it. It is better to fall back, stay alive and concede middle than it is to throw yourselves in pointlessly and risk conceding the entire round. As an example of how quickly a failed attack on gullywash can cost you the entire round, watch this clip.

Attacking second: Sniper should go to the big door and snipe across towards the point, seeing if there are any picks to be had there. Scout can also flank this way. The majority of the classes will push as one through either right door or big door. The yard at second is large, so it is inadvisable to uber a heavy in as he simply won’t be able to cover the ground quickly enough to make effective use of it. Going with the demo is probably better, with the heavy and other classes coming in behind and mopping up distracted enemies. Remember, we do not necessarily have to kill all of them (although it would make our push on last easier) - we simply have to force them to retreat away from the point.

Note that if you are on the upper wooden ledge area above the point, you can still be in the cap zone and cap the point from height, as long as you are inside the hazard lines denoting the cap boundary.

Defending second: positioning is key here, particularly from the medic. You should always be ready to flee if you don’t have uber. Hanging around near the lower door is generally a bad idea, as a sniper could easily pop round from the big door at middle and land a headshot. A better route of retreat is the jump from the wooden platform above 2nd onto the wooden balcony near windows, and back out that way. The jump can be accomplished by every class, and is a better route of retreat as the windows are safer and a good place to counterpush onto 2nd from.

Attacking last: This point is, frankly, very awkward to push into with 9 players defending it. It’s quite cramped, with short sightlines drastically limiting the effectiveness of the sniper, and the height advantage is all theirs. You may notice it has several similarities to badlands last, with one crucial difference: the underground route onto the point, which I plan to make use of.

We will need to be very well coordinated for this, but my attack plan for last goes as follows:

Scout and pyro will flank underneath and approach the point from behind. Depending on how well they are spychecking up above, our spy can join them too. If you simply can’t get in to do anything about their defences above the point, flank with the scout and pyro.

Unless they have someone down there checking, they will likely not notice you until the cap begins, because it’s quite hard to see into the darkness under there. Watch out for stickies on the point - if spy is accompanying he could DR onto the point to begin the cap while safely clearing the stickytrap. Pyro and scout should then push on and cap, pyro airblasting enemies away so they can’t block the cap. At the same time, every other class should be pushing (ubering too if we have it) into the point from a different direction, taking on the defence and forcing them to fight two battles at once. If they concentrate on clearing the point, the main pack mops up. If they ignore it, the cap gets closer and closer to succeeding.

Defending last: Crucially, it will be important to stop them doing what I just described. We will need someone down below watching for an impending flank - scout preferably. If they do attempt to flank, we need to get in there and deal with it before the threat becomes reality. Soldier and pyro will be the best classes to send if they only have a few people down there. If they attempt their whole push through underground, the heavy/medic can drop onto the point and fight with the height advantage.

It is very important that, if we have the opportunity, we counterpush and retake second. If we sit in last and let them attack, attack, attack, eventually they will succeed. If they are two or three players down, we should be attempting to force them back to retake second.

Retaking second: If we are retaking our second from last, the best place to push from is windows, as the height advantage and cover mean you can almost leap directly onto the point having taken little damage to get there, and then defend the ongoing cap from height. Beware of backcap attempts - some classes should stay behind at last to keep an eye on this until 2nd is secured. Also note that they may have had some players in lobby who might push back to defend second, so be aware of that as well as players pushing from middle.

As with most TF2 gamemodes, 5cp is largely about momentum. If we can keep our momentum going, pausing only to regroup and get respawns, and give them very little time to think or set up, I am supremely confident we can win this.