Rip through your enemies with lasers, electrocute them or fry them with microwaves. Deploy your own robots to fight for you or steal them from your enemy. Protect and upgrade your forces or throw them away in a ruthless wave of destruction.
Rip through your enemies with lasers, electrocute them or fry them with microwaves. Deploy your own robots to fight for you or steal them from your enemy. Protect and upgrade your forces or throw them away in a ruthless wave of destruction.
On it’s official release, Tribes: Ascend introduced a new game mode called “Capture and Hold”, in this game mode players of two teams vie to hold as many capture points for as long as possible. In addition to receiving a point every few seconds each point held gives your team specific benefits. The points have base structures such as sensors, turrets, and inventory stations tied to them, and the team that controls the point controls those assets as well. In typical Tribes fashion there is no magic strategy here that will make you the star of the team, that being said, I have recognized three key roles that need to be filled for the greatest chance of success! The first two are obvious, attack and defense. Unlike in other modes though, the defenders are the ones scoring points here, and the attackers are supporting them. The third role is that of interference. A player assuming the role of interference would have the goal of preventing the enemy team from scoring points, rather than capturing points for any specific period of time. An attacker has the goal of capturing a point, and defending it long enough for a defender (typically sporting heavy armor) to arrive. And the defender of course prevents attackers and interference on the enemy team from completing their objective(s).
The ratio of the roles needed on your team varies with map conditions. If your team has all of the points, you only need defenders, conversely if your team has no points, you don’t need defenders at all. In any case, attackers should far out-number interference.
As an attacker, it’s your job to take points from the enemy, an attacker would typically sport medium armor, such as a soldier, or raider, but of course any class is capable of it. Medium armor classes are generally more well rounded, giving you the health to withstand a good deal of punishment, but also the mobility to avoid it, and reach your targets. It’s a good idea to communicate closely with defensive minded players on your team, giving them a heads up if it looks like you’re going to be successful in taking a point, or you could take the point, then change your role to that of a defender. The little heads up will also let your interference make a decision on whether to come help you, or focus on other points. You also may want to save points that are particularly hard to defend for last (since it will be unlikely for a capture to last long enough to generate significant points) . Other than that there’s no complicated strategy, just kill people and walk over the glowing point.
As a defender, it’s your job to be on the lookout for interference and attackers. a defender would typically be wearing heavier armors (such as brute, or juggernaut) since he won’t be going very far, and they come with extra health and firepower. What I typically do to prevent an interference player from swooping in and tapping the point is I fire a spinfusor shot so that it lands to one side, and knocks him off course. A more typical strategy is to body-block him, which also has the bonus of stopping him so that he can be disposed of. Attackers are easier to handle as their goal dictates that they need to stop there anyway. Since this isn’t a combat tutorial I’m not going to tell you how to go about doing it, but it’s simple, you just kill him. Defenders are the point scorers in Capture and Hold, since you don’t really get many points for capturing a point, if a point is seesawing between both teams it’s not doing either team any good, you need to hold on to it!
This is the less obvious role, but can be very effective when the chips are down, and your attackers need time to get those points back. Interference would typically be wearing light armor, such as a pathfinder, or infiltrator. Your goal isn’t really to capture the point, just to prevent it from giving the enemy points. As a pathfinder, you’ll zip around the map tagging as many of the enemy points as possible one after the other, you want to move so fast that they can’t really prevent you from doing it, even if it’s easy for them to take it back, they won’t get any points from that CP for a few seconds, and if they didn’t even notice you do it it might take them several seconds to even figure out they need to take it back again (it’s hilarious when “their” turret starts shooting them, and THAT’s their cue to take it back). There are tips for gaining speed on my flag chasing tutorial.
Alternatively, you could go with an infiltrator, and focus on one point rather than zipping around to multiple. The downside to this stealth approach is that you’ll be removed from stealth when you walk over the point, so you need to have a plan for getting out of the area fast. Even a fairly slow ski will allow you to get out since they’ll have no warning of your approach, and you can easily hide again after. At this point you can go after a new point if you think they’re too smart, or just keep taking the same one back, preventing it from generating any points at all.
Whatever your interference strategy, you’ll want to focus on points that are difficult to defend, out in the open, with no obstructions for you to get caught up on, or to focus a defender’s fire. Points that are indoors are fairly difficult to run interference on. Just do what you can to keep the enemy from scoring points, and if it happens to stick, that’s just a bonus.
Just an example of a point attackers should avoid, and interference should shoot for. This bridge’s owner often seesaws between the two teams, it’s wide open, and areas surrounding are conducive to picking up speed. Enemies also like to stand up top while firing on defenders below, it’s just a mess to have to defend, but a prime example of a point you want to keep from generating too many points for the enemy team (since attackers should be keeping it for last, and tend to run interference on points they’re attacking themselves)
Because of biochemistry polluting in a island, a mass of bugs become evil, start attacking trees.
You are sent on the mission of planting out biochemical trees, defeat the evil bugs.
The generator is often viewed as the most important base asset in Tribes, since it powers all other base assets, turrets, sensors, and inventory stations. In Tribes: Ascend it also powers all player deployables, but since players spawn in the armor of their choice the inventory stations are of much less importance, making the generator a much lower priority target. There are times when it’s simply not strategically sound to waste any time attacking an enemy generator, and others when such an attack could mean the difference between victory and defeat. Similarly, if the enemy just wants your generator down, there may be times when it’s better to just let them do it! It all depends on the team’s composition and strategy. A team full of juggernauts, pathfinders, and soldiers probably wouldn’t even notice if their generator was down, on the other hand, doombringers, technicians, and sentinals may be relying on the generator heavily.
The how is pretty easy, simply walk past all of your enemy’s defenses, dodge the mines, destroy the turrets, and then use your favorite weapon on their generator! Oh wait… Well I prefer to go in as a juggernaut myself, the heavy armor protects you from ambush attacks that are quite common indoors, and the mortar is so frightening, few enemies will even approach one until it explodes, given that the amount of space is typically very limited indoors the explosion will still likely hurt and/or kill them anyway, so it serves a double purpose, it’s both area denial (when fired so that it lands in a doorway will prevent players from entering for a few moments, use this when you’re low on health and need time to regenerate), and the more obvious purpose, damage. The juggernaut’s spinfusor mkd is an ideal weapon when you have a direct line of sight to your enemy as well.
At any rate, if you really don’t like the direct approach, you could also use the infiltrator class to sneak into the enemy generator room instead, but whatever your method, you may want to think twice before you even attempt it, check out your enemy’s flag defenses, are they relying on a lot of turrets and forcefields? If not, taking out their generator may only serve to remove you from the fight on the surface, actually strengthening their defense! You might instead want to get a few of the defenders to chase you away while your flag capper makes his run, maybe even make your approach on their generator REALLY OBVIOUS, so they all go underground with you. Even if that makes your attack on the generator un-successful, it’ll make your teammate’s flag run a lot easier if a large portion of their defense is distracted.
Similarly if you notice an enemy headed for your generator, you might not want to bother chasing him if you really don’t need the generator for anything. The sensor and base turrets are very important, make no mistake, but a typical flag runner won’t be stopped by those turrets, and leaving your flag unguarded would be a monumental mistake. If an attacker encounters no resistance on the generator attack, he’s also quite unlikely to stick around, making a quick repair a few moments later (when he leaves due to boredom) very easy for one of your techs.
Of course if there ARE a lot of deployables on defense, the generator then becomes far more important, as taking it out will poke giant holes in the team’s flag defense! In the end you’ll have to make a judgment call on it, of course having a generator is always better than not having one, but it doesn’t cripple teams as much as it did in earlier Tribes games where you could only spawned with a few basic weapons if your team didn’t have a generator. The choice isn’t as easy as it used to be.
In most games flag chasing is easy, you just run after the guy with the flag, maybe try to flank him if you can, it’s a bit different when the person who just grabbed your flag is traveling 200 kph, and almost out of sight already by the time you’re ready to start chasing. This guide is to help you catch up to him, and hopefully put a spinfusor disc in his backside. Chasing is a full-time job, so you’re going to want to stay near your team’s flag stand, maybe take potshots at anyone close enough, but they’re not really the ones you should worry about, the one to look out for is the one you don’t see yet, picking up speed off in the distance, setting up his run, getting ready to whiz by you so fast you barely even see him, hopefully the flag defenders can stop him, but if they can’t, that’s where you come in.
This guide has four sections, I’ll be covering pathfinders with recharge pack, and with thrust pack, but also soldiers, and juggernauts. Keep in mind, the heavier your armor the harder it will be to pick up speed, but you’ll also have weapons with stopping power. So once you’ve chosen your class, you’ll want to get ready by climbing to the top of a hill near your flag, preferably with a view to a few different routes, because you never know what direction a flag capper might be traveling. The most dangerous ones will take their time to setup their run, and come from behind your base, so that they’re already pointed towards their own. At any rate, the goal here is to have a hill steep enough to gain some speed, preferably with a gradual return to the horizontal at the end, since that will transfer your falling speed into forward momentum. Don’t worry too much about your total momentum (displayed when you hold down the skiing button), really you need to be worried about FORWARD momentum, that’s what’s going to catch this guy, especially if he tries to gain speed by popping into the air and falling onto a slope (fairly typical strategy, but it slows him down while he transfers his momentum to the vertical).
Pathfinders (recharge pack)
The thrust pack is really recommended for chasing, but since you don’t start with that, you may not have it yet, but don’t worry, it’s still quite possible to catch up, as with every strategy here, you’ll start by skiing down the slope you’ve chosen, don’t point straight at the guy with the flag unless he’s making a bee-line for his base, most cappers make a pretty wide swing around the map because the outskirts are typically less populated, and allow for faster movement. You’re going to want to be on an intercept course, that way you don’t necessarily have to be traveling faster than him to catch him. Pathfinder also comes with some very useful grenades that can speed you up considerably in a very short amount of time, just toss one at the ground right behind you while skiing, and hit the jump/jetpack button for a split second so you’re in the air when it goes off, this will typically net you around a 30 kph boost at the cost of some of your health, if you only have one, save it for when you meet the flag capper.
Pathfinders (thrust pack)
This is the one exception to the starting on a hill rule, it might actually be easier to start near, or on the flag, you can get a first shot in on the capper when he grabs it, maybe even slow him down by landing an explosive in front of him, then jet a bit to pick up some speed, and activate your thrust pack to start your intercept course, this can get you in the area of 160 kph right off the bat, no hill required, although a hill is still handy to get just a bit faster. As before, if you don’t think you’ll catch him in time you still have your grenades, but this time you have the option of keeping them all for trying to knock the flag out of his hands. The thrust pack is also handy because it can be used to change your direction very quickly, say if you mis-judge your intercept course and end up crossing his path in a perpendicular fashion (creating a very narrow window of time to get the flag from him), just hit the ground, stop skiing, and as before jet a bit and hit your pack, you should be able to make a full turn around in just a couple seconds like that. Very handy.
Pathfinders (either pack)
So now you’ve caught up to him, now what? Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to hit him with one of your grenades (assuming you’re using the default pathfinder grenades), these grenades will knock the flag out of his hands, and if you do it JUST right, you can actually catch it before it even hits the ground, but let’s say you miss, now he’s about to pick it up again, shoot the flag with your spinfusor, this will both damage him, AND knock the flag away, giving you a few more seconds to try to return it. (something like this applies to all of the classes, any explosive will do this.)
Soldiers and Juggernauts
I decided to lump soldiers and juggernauts together because the strategies are very similar, in both you’ll be using an explosive weapon to boost your speed at the expense of health, and both will need to kill the flag carrier at the end. The Juggernaut has a lot more health to spare, but the soldier has considerably more energy, and an easier time picking up speed. At any rate, you ski down your hill that you picked in the beginning, if you’re a soldier, try to pick a path with some smaller hills you can use to increase your speed (by jetting over them and landing on the down-ward slope), try not to make the rookie mistake of using an upward slope to get over a hill, this should only be done if you don’t have enough energy or time to jet over it from the base, as it will come at the expense of horizontal speed. As a juggernaut, you’ll want a path that’s fairly smooth, since you don’t have a lot of energy to spare, but the same technique applies, you can use your spinfusor to gain speed on the flat areas. The juggernaut’s mortar can also be used to take pot-shots at the capper from long range, for most cappers a direct hit would be instant death, but it’s very difficult to land. Once you’re in close you’ll want to use your spinfusor mkd, since it allows more direct combat.
If you don’t have the pathfinder’s grenades, you’ll have to kill him before he reaches his flag stand, you have a couple options here, if you use an explosive weapon, you risk propelling him even faster away from you, but if you aim your shot slightly in front of him instead of behind, it can actually slow him down considerably, or even to the sides to blow him off course so he misses his flag stand. Alternatively if you’re close enough you can use a bullet-based weapon, this might be able to kill him faster since it doesn’t rely on him being near the ground (unless you have ungodly projectile aim and can mid-air every time), but you forfeit the ability to alter his course/speed.
The engineer is often underestimated in Team Fortress 2. His shotgun can be deadly, and the pistol can finish off an enemy at range, or discourage people from out-ranging your sentry. Now the engineer has a lot of fancy tools like mini sentries, the Frontier Justice shotgun (which deals extra damage for every kill your sentry got when someone destroys it), and The Wrangler (which causes your sentry to fire where you want it to). But all of those tools have big downsides, with mini sentries you can never have a max-level sentry, they setup fast and cheap though, so only use them when you know you’ll be moving around your sentry a lot or it’ll be destroyed a lot. The Frontier Justice shotgun only has half the ammo capacity of the regular shotgun, this is fine when you get the extra damage from crits if you destroy your sentry (or someone else does), but otherwise very limiting. The wrangler turns your sentry into (even more of) a killing machine, but it loses it’s auto-aim functionality.
While all of the Engineer’s unlocks have their place, I’ll only be talking about the regular old Engineer, a shotgun, pistol, and wrench. It’s his most versatile loadout, the others have more specialized roles that I can’t get into today. I recommend the basic loadout for almost any situation anyway, and you’ll see why as I explain how I generally go about playing the Engineer.
Regardless of the map, your first move should generally be to place a teleporter entrance just outside of the spawn, now in most maps you should just drop it and run for the next ammo box on your way to the front line, but if the map you’re on is a bit conservative with ammo boxes, you’ll have to run back into the spawn for the resupply cabinet (assuming one exists, as they do on most maps). Now on your way to wherever the enemies are going to be you’ll want to drop your teleporter exit somewhere discrete, but not too far from the action, preferably somewhere an enemy might be likely to run right by without noticing it. Don’t bother to stop and hit it with your wrench, just locate the nearest source of ammo and get in the fight with your team, put a sentry down in a convenient place, I’m not going to go over sentry placement since it varies with the map, but you want to make sure the sentry’s range (indicated by the colored sphere around you) is such that it will either cover an objective, or surprise enemies, also make sure it won’t be easy for someone to hide around a corner, or stand out of range while they dispatch your sentry, since those are the most common ways of removing them with as little risk as possible.
After your sentry is in place, find another ammo box if it’s safe to do so, or defend the sentry with your shotgun if enemies are around. If it’s safe, but your sentry will be vulnerable if you go for ammo, hit it with your wrench, this will speed up the build time, and allow you to go for ammo without leaving your poor sentry defenseless. Now you have to make a choice, if this sentry is destined to be destroyed (easily) you might want to leave it as a level 1, and just throw down another when that happens, a level 1 sentry in a surprising location can actually be fairly effective, keep in mind the level 1 sentry is smaller, and makes less noise than it’s upgraded counterparts, so it might actually live LONGER, and rack up a few more kills than if you upgrade it. A low-rank sentry in a subtle spot can create quite a bit of confusion. However, if you feel it would be better served as area denial upgrading your sentry to it’s highest level will at first get you a couple easy kills, but eventually the enemy will just choose to avoid it, and your sentry will effectively funnel the enemy into whatever other paths are available to them. If they can’t do this, be warned, they will aggressively attack your sentry until it’s destroyed, with a level 3 sentry, and your shotgun though, you can hold that ground for quite a while. Moving your sentry should be a last resort, especially if it’s upgraded, it is a risky maneuver that could end up with both you and the sentry dead.
Demo men can be a nuisance, when you see that first sticky shot at your sentry, you have two options, if you have the aim and speed, you can actually shoot the stickies as they land, destroying them, and minimizing the damage to your sentry, it takes 3 stickies to destroy a level 3 sentry (and two to kill you), this route isn’t recommended, it’s annoying to the demo man, but unless you have teammates around, he’s just going to keep doing it. The best option, option two, is actually to rush the demo man, and pop him a couple times point blank with your shotgun. Stickies aren’t very effective in close quarters combat, and the demo man is unlikely to switch to his grenades (if he does, keep in mind they give him the upper hand here). A demo man attack is a worst case scenario for an engineer, the demo man will always be able to damage, and destroy your sentry with little to no danger to himself assuming he knows where it is, so it’s up to you to defend your sentry from this vicious intruder.
Spies are often seen as the hard counter to the engineer simply because they have a weapon that disables his buildings, but this isn’t actually true, the spy is very ineffective against engineers. Just don’t hug your sentry looking only one way while you repeatedly hit it with your wrench, and you’ll be fine. Shoot the spy, then remove his sappers. One of the spy’s roles is to get behind enemy lines, and capture points when the enemy has pushed forward, this is actually why he has the sapper, if the engineer leaves his gun unattended, but covering the objective, the spy needs to be able to disable that gun before taking the objective. There are many strategies for identifying the spy, and it’s even easier when you’re defending a specific location, I won’t go into how to identify the spy in this article though, just remember, shoot the spy, THEN hit the sapped buildings with your wrench, otherwise he’ll just stab you when you go to repair your buildings.
Remember that the most effective building you have is the teleporter, not your sentry, always keep a teleporter up and available to bring your teammates to the front lines, often times the teleporter will bring such a steady flow of teammates that they alone will keep enemies from destroying it. The teleporter will also allow your team to more easily overwhelm the enemy, the sentry won’t.
Dispensers are great, but place it where teammate’s are going to need healing, rather than where you need metal, there are plenty of ammo crates in most maps, and they should provide you enough metal to build and upgrade your gear, the dispenser should only be used for metal when they are inadequate, since in most cases it will be faster just to run and grab some metal (using your shotgun for defense). Teammates will greatly appreciate an upgraded dispenser in the right place. (Especially in arena matches)
Many engineers believe they are defenseless, but using your shotgun, you can easily be a threat (without your sentry even) to any class, so don’t just cower in a corner if you get attacked, SHOOT BACK! (seems obvious, but I’ve seen this behavior a lot, especially in new engineers, they just give up if they don’t have a sentry). Defend your sentry like a mother bear defending her cubs though, don’t even let anyone NEAR it, falling back to the sentry for backup only when you think you won’t be able to kill the enemy(s) attacking, this is counter-intuitive, but will greatly increase the lifespan of your sentry (so long as you know when to retreat).
One last tip, use your pistol excessively, Valve gave the engineer 200 backup rounds for a reason (the scout has far less for his identical pistol). The pistol is capable of dealing significant damage at a farther range than shotgun, anytime someone is out of ideal range of your shotgun, use your pistol.