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    PlanetQuake | Features | Articles | From the Hardcore Side - 7/21/00

From the Hardcore Side
There are people who play Quake, and then there are people who live and breathe it. In "From the Hardcore Side", a new semi-regular feature at PQ, Pappy-R brings all his hardcore gaming experience to you and talks about what's going on in the hardcore scene today.
  — by Pappy-R

Teamplay Strategies, Part III

This time we'll do Part 3 of our Teamplay Guide here with the help of Dave "Charger" Wilson. If you missed last week's edition, please read it first. We're going to get into more specifics to answer some reader questions and concerns from last time, and give you something to practice with your friends and clan mates.

Pappy: Last week we did some basics for teamplay theory. This week we're going to break it down into something the players can grab and use in a match immediately. Ready, bud?

Charger: Sure thing, fire away. =]

Pappy: What strategy would you suggest a team start off with if its players are new to working together?

Charger: Well the one that takes the least amount of practice and is easiest to pull off is the stronghold, because all you really have to do is find the focus of the map and try to control it with your whole team; it's sometimes easier said then done though. ;] It will take some practicing and changing positions before they really get it down.

Pappy: Again, I'll give you a team, and I want you to run it down by person, with positions, jobs and some easy but useful binds. Your team is you, Charger, and my three smurfs. Now make it work. :)

Charger: I'll use Q3DM7 as a reference map to answer this question. First things First: identify the key area on the map. For this particular map many people believe the Red Armor (RA) room to be the focus of the map (when quad is dead or hasn't spawned). Why do many players consider this the strongest area on the map? We'll take a look at its design and the items located within the room. There are only three ways into the room (excluding spawns), and all three can be safely covered. There are two large health globes worth 50 health each, and one health globe worth 25 health. There are two weapons, the Railgun and Plasma gun, which are two of the most powerful on the level. Lastly, it houses the largest single armor source on the map, the RA, not to mention easy and relatively safe access to the Mega health through the teleporter.

Now that we have decided that controlling the RA room is going to be our overall strategy, we must come up with a plan on how we are going to go about controlling the room or area. The easiest way to decide this is to look at the entrances; the more entrances, the harder it is to defend, and the more spread out the entrances, the harder it is to defend, and so on. In this particular room, the entrances are pretty close and pretty well on the same level. This makes them easy to watch. Now what? We'll decide on your positions: what would the most logical position be to control each entrance? Remember you want to do this with a good amount of safety so that you're ALWAYS going to get the first shot if someone tries to come in the room via the entrance your watching. A common setup in the RA room is what I call the diamond formation.
The megahealth area

Diamond formation:
One person positions himself on the left side of the RA near the stairs. This person watches the door on the opposite side and not the door beside him. A second person positions himself on the right side of the RA and watches the door on the left side (you want to have railers for these two positions) the third person is placed on the rail bridge (near the front of the bridge) watching the entrance directly in front of him. (Why on the bridge? because he is lower and harder to hit.) The last guy should be standing directly beside the RA and watching for fresh spawns (this should also be the guy that doesn't have a rail gun yet, but everyone else should). Another couple of formations you can use are the X formation and the Hide formation.

X Formation:
This one is pretty basic: put a man in each corner of the room, and the ones closest to the quad room watch the side doors, and the ones closest to the RA watch the middle door. If you don't all have railguns then I highly suggest that you watch the door closest to you; if you fire a rocket across the room at an enemy he'll have time to turn around and run before the rocket ever gets to him.

Hide formation:
The principal of this formation is to hide your team's numbers. If you can make it look like there are only one or two players defending the room, a single enemy is more likely to enter and take on the one or two, but the enemy will soon find that there are really four enemies in the room. How is this done? Well, it's fairly easy: find a hiding space where you can't be seen by more than one door, and have one fully visible guy running around near the RA with a machine gun (to act as bait - even if you have a railgun, the machine gun player should act as though he's waiting for the RA to spawn and that he only has a machine gun). This will draw in the enemy. Once the enemy has passed the point of no return (the point where it's too far to run away) the bait should change to another gun and the other three players should strike (WATCH YOUR CROSS FIRE! You're going to have to practice this a lot, as friendly fire kills! Remember that).

Those are three basic "In Room Controls". However, it's not necessary to be in the room you wish to control; as long as your enemy cannot get in the room it's safe and controlled. How would you do this? The easiest answer is that you go to the point where an enemy could not get past you into the room without your knowledge. For example: controlling the RA room on dm7, you could have one player with a railgun sitting in the doorway that connects the RL room to the hall going to the RA room. This is the only way to get from the RL room to the RA room directly (and would have been watched from a distance). Do this with each of the three entrances and leave one person in RA at all times watching for fresh spawns. Doing this, you not only control the routes into RA but you're also semi-controlling other parts of the map. However, you must remember not to chase an enemy to the point where you would no longer know if someone used your entrance to get into the RA room. Also, only use these long distance positions to take quick shots at the enemy to weaken them and retreat into the RA room where you will find support.

That gives you a basic idea of how to control a room and a few examples of how it's done. As for Binds, I personally use binds such as: "<-- item available", "<--- I'm at", "<---- Enemy at", "NEED HELP NOW!", "I need a weapon/health", "<--- Meet me at", "Get Quad!", "Quad is Dead" and of course the the you'll probably use the most: "Affirmative", "Negative". Really, every clan or team needs to find what works best for them, and the best way to do that is to play a few games and find out what you wish you could say to your teammates. If you find yourself wanting to say something to your teammates over and over, it's probably a good idea for a bind.
The quad area

Now its IMPORTANT to realize that a quad attack from the enemy could destroy your stronghold strategy. First, ALWAYS HAVE A BACK UP IF YOUR PRIMARY PLAN DOESNT WORK, and secondly, you may need to attack other rooms to get things like quad, then do a sweep of the map and return to the stronghold position just before quad runs out. Most of the time, especially if there are power ups on the level, holding one area is not enough. Play test it, get a feel for what you need to do and what is killing you, and after every game ask yourself this question: how could that strategy be improved, what was hurting the strat that needs to be improved or controlled more? These are what you need to know, and as usual, playing and practicing is the only way to get it down pat and solid.

Pappy: Thanks for your time and input, Charger. You've been a big help in laying it all out.

These are just the basics of teamplay, and as you can guess, in the heat of battle, things change and you'll need back up plans, escape routes, and attack patterns to regain what you may have lost. It's very complex when you put it all under a microscope. What we wanted to teach here was the basics for learning and developing your team skills, rather than to publish multiple strategies for each map. We may have Charger's Quake 2 versions of the strategies for most of the popular maps later if we can find the old copies, but no promises.

Next time we'll cover weapons usage in Quake III Arena and teach you why weapon selection is so important in any style of play in Quake III. See you out there.


Questions? Comments? Random screaming? Send it all to feedback!

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