One fundament part of playing TFC as a TEAM is Role coordination. That is, making the different player classes and tactical maneuvers all work together in an effective manner, so as to cover weakness, and accentuate strengths within the clan as a whole, and with each individual member. With that in mind, the Clan is considering introducing Role Guidelines that each member will need to know, practice, and play.
Some of you may feel that these new details are a little too much, and too serious for playing and having fun in TFC. As an answer to that, I'd like to remind people that just wanting to be in ANY Clan indicates that you want to take the game a little more seriously, and be a little more professional and organized about it than the usual `drop in' players. So, give it a shot, because in the end, it can only help you and the Team play better and win more, and nothing is more fun than a skilled match in which our Team thrashes another Clan, right? Heh!
Okay, the Role Types and Classes are -
----- Heavy Defense
Defensive Roles --|
----- Support Defense
----- Heavy Offense
Offensive Roles ---|
----- Support Offense
Flag Roles ----------|-------------------- Runner
This is how the guidelines work. Heavy ( in both Offense and Defense ) means that you are playing either a Soldier or HWMan. Support ( in both Offense and Defense ) means that you are playing any class with the exception of either of the Heavy classes, and the Scout. The Flag Roles all have very special Rules Of Engagement, so I'll leave the explanation of those till I've detailed the ROE for Defensive and Offensive Roles.
Defense players and Offense players should all try to form Sub Teams with other members that are also playing the same Role Type ( Defense, Offense ), and each Sub Team should have at least one member from each Role Class ( Heavy, Support ).
As an example, on starting a map, I decide I'm going to Defend, and that I'm going to choose the Engineer class to play as, which makes me Support Defense for the Team I'm on. Once actually in the game, I notice that there are two other players on my Team also playing Defense. One is a Sniper, and the other is also an Engineer like me. Both of them are therefore also playing Defense Support Roles as well, and that means our Defensive Sub Team has a weakness. We have no serious mobile firepower, or brute strength. Because I know my Clan Role Guidelines, I know I can strengthen the Defensive Sub Team by changing to a Heavy Defense Role, and become either a HWMan, or a Soldier. After changing classes to a Soldier, I can then go and help the Engineer form a good choke point to stop Enemy Offensive Teams. My heavy firepower rocket launcher can easily take out Enemy Medics, and Spies who might otherwise sneak up and destroy the Engineers sentry gun with a few grenades before he can kill them. In turn, his sentry gun and EMP grenades will quickly help me take out Enemy Soldiers and HWMen who might otherwise kill me with their own massive destructive capacities.
Or, I might have changed to a HWMan, and gone and helped the Sniper in much the same manner as I detailed with the Engineer. The point being that by using the Clans Role Guidelines I can easily determine problems in my teams structure, and change in order the strengthen weakness, and make strengths even more potent.
Continuing with the Defensive and Offensive Roles Rules Of Engagement. Anyone playing either Defensive Role must adhere to these following Guidelines -
Defensive Roles' ROE
Defending the Teams' Flag is the Primary Goal of all the Defenders, at least one member of the Defense Team should be Guarding the Flag area, or Guarding the area which leads into the Flag area. Defending the Team Base is a Secondary Goal.
Demomen playing a Support Defense Role have a special Primary Goal when playing the map rock2. They need to do a regular check on the tunnel access into their base to make sure that the enemy has not breach it, and if so, they must use their det pack to reclose it. If they don't have a det pack left, they should contact any other Demoman on their team and ask them to close the hole.
As already mentioned, the Defense Sub Team should have at least one member playing each Role ( Heavy, Support ) in order to maximize the overall strengths of the Sub Team.
Those playing either Defending Roles Types must NOT leave their Teams' Base. If the Teams' Flag passes outside the boundaries of the Team Base it then becomes the responsibility of the Teams' Offensive Role Types to continue to defend the Team Flag in the Middle Ground following their Role Guidelines for such a situation. Once the Team Flag leaves the Base the Defending Sub Team should immediately alert the Offensive Sub Team so they can take over, and then return to their normal positions. The Middle Ground is defined as any area that isn't inside either Teams' Base or Stronghold. This rule is in place to avoid a situation where the Teams Defenders might all leave their Base posts in order to Defend the Teams' Flag, only to have an Enemy Runner successfully enter the unguarded Base, and pick up the Flag as it returns. Letting the Runner escaping unhindered, while the Team Defenders are still trying to return to their posts, and thus giving the Enemy Team another Flag capture.
As part of their Role all Defenders should know all of the possible ways and methods that the Enemy Offensive Team, and Enemy Runners might use to enter the Teams' Base on all of the stock maps. In line with that, they should also practice and play the best blocking and choke tactics, in order to slow, or even stop the Enemy Troops from entering their Base. An advanced skill of this Role would be learning how to work out from sounds effects what situations might be developing, and from which direction they might occur.
As an example, in the stock map 2fort, Soldiers playing Heavy Offense often `rocket jump' into the opposing teams' sniper loft, so they can bypass any `Choke Defense' Tactics set up over the area with the dual ramps up. However, an experienced Defender who is on guard near that area, and has learnt to listen as well as watch, would hear the very distinct sound sequence that the Soldiers' jumping entry produces. The sound of a rocket launching at the front of the Base, followed almost immediately by the rockets' explosion as it hits the ground, and again almost immediately after that, the injured grunt of the Soldier as he takes damage from the explosion. Shortly after that there is the sound of the Soldier landing in the Sniper loft. The Defender, on hearing that series of sounds knows what it means, and can prime a grenade and throw it at the Soldier as he tries to enter the Base proper, via the loft entry. In that way, the advantage that the Soldier had hoped to have by entering the Base secretly is turned around and used against him/her.
Offensive Roles' ROE
Killing ALL Enemy Troops, anywhere that they see them, is the Primary Goal of ANY Offensive Team Member. Forming strong Holding Action areas inside the Enemy Base is a Secondary Goal.
As already mentioned, the Offense Sub Team should have at least one member playing each Role ( Heavy, Support ) in order to maximize the overall strengths of the Sub Team.
Demomen playing Offense ( Support ), also have a class specific Primary Goal on any relevant map in which they can use the special det pack tool of theirs, and until this class specific Primary Goal is completed, all other Goals are considered Secondary. Any map which has a secondary entrance into the Enemy Base which can only be accessed once a Demoman has blown it open with his/her det pack, must be blown as soon as the Demoman can reasonably attempt to get to it, after having started playing the map.
The map rock2 is a particularly important in regard to this special Primary Goal of the Demoman playing a Support Offense Role, and the guidelines apply in this following manner specific to that map. Only the first wall of the Enemy Bases' tunnel entrance should be considered a Primary Goal for the Teams' Support Offense Demomen. The final wall ( the one leading into their yard ) should only be blown if the Team Leader considers that the Enemy has too powerful a defense at both the shower access, and the front door. This is because Enemy Demomen are far less likely to seal their own tunnel back up if they have to go all the way down through the shower access. As are Defense troops far less likely to watch the shower entry if they are not sure the tunnel is open, which they can check easily if the tunnel is blown all the way through to their yard. Demomen must also act on requests from any Team Member playing Defense back at the base in regard to having the Teams' own tunnel reclosed. If they are not close to the Team base they can wait till they respawn, and close the tunnel up on their way back out.
As a part of their Role, all members playing Offense should become intimately familiar with the Choke Point tactics that the Enemy Defense will try to use to blockade their base, and become well versed in countering each method on all of the stock maps. Advanced skills for this role would be learning how to coordinate the Offensive Sub Team in such a manner as to Dominate the enemy base using Holding Action areas, and, creating Kill Zones directly outside of the enemy base, or if possible outside the respawn points in their base.
Flag Roles' ROE
There are three Flag Roles; Flag Runner, Flag Carrier, and Flag Escort. Each Sub Role has it's own special ROE, and player Class restrictions as follows.
Only Scouts and Medics can be Flag Runners, and as an additional remark, this IS the only Tactical Role that a member who wishes to play a Scout can choose. The reason why only these two Classes can play the Flag Runner Role is that both these classes have concussion grenades with which they can ( and must know how to ) concussion jump.
The Primary Goal of this Role is to steal the Enemy Flag, and capture it as quickly as possible. There are no Secondary Goals for this Role.
Flag Runners do NOT engage the Enemy Forces. They must become experienced at entering and exiting the Enemy Base via secondary paths, and preferably unnoticed. Learning how best to use the concussion jumping technique on each stock map is vital to this role, and good runners should have a running path plan that uses two concussion grenades for each half. Two going in, two to get out.
The rest of the Flag Runners' team is effectively providing indirect distracting cover by engaging and keeping the Enemy Troops occupied in relation to their specific Roles. Flag Runners do not form a close operating Sub Team with any other Team Mates directly. However, two Runners might form a timed cycle in which the moment the Enemy Flag is captured by one Runner, the other Runner is in place to pick up the returning Flag. Then when she/he captures the Flag, the other Runner has arrived to pick up the Flag as it returns again, and so on.
An advanced skill of this Role would be being able to do a running evaluation of the Enemies Defensive Formations and adapt the running path according the changes so as to still avoid open and direct conflict on the next entry attempt. Another advanced skill would be being able to steal the Enemy Flag from a strong Defense actually set up in the Flag Area and escape alive.
The Flag Carrier is not a Role that any Troop may start the game playing. Any member playing Support Offense who manages to reach the Enemy Flag Area in good health can pick up the Enemy Flag and begin playing the Flag Carrier Role.
The Primary Goal of this Role is to move the Enemy Flag as quickly as possible towards the capture point in the Team Base. Flag Carriers do not always capture the Flag themselves.
There are very specific rules about the conditions in which a carrier can continue to hold the enemy flag. A Carrier who is not already halfway back to their own Base MUST pass the Flag to ANY Scout he/she sees, and should pass the flag to a Medic who requests the Flag from them. This is because both these classes can capture the flag using concussion jumps MUCH quicker than any of the other classes. The only exception to this Guideline is if a Medic is playing Support Offense and manages to reach the Enemy Flag, and knows how to concussion jump, they should change to the Flag Runner Role while they have the Flag, rather than becoming a Flag Carrier. If a Support Offense Medic does not know how to use the concussion grenades to jump, or has none left, then they must abide by the Role Guidelines of Flag Carriers and pass the flag off as already outlined. If a Flag Carrier is already more than halfway back to the Team Base they may continue to carry the flag till they die, or capture the flag.
Experienced players in this Role would be expected to have advanced skills such as knowing from the actions of the Flag Escorts what paths or distractions they are trying to create to aid the player in getting out of the enemy base, and how best to use these openings. Understanding from the known positions of the enemy respawn points whether they need to be in front of the Escorts, or behind them so as to avoid taking damage, and maximize their chances of actually getting out of the enemy base.
The Flag Escort Role like the Flag Carrier is not a Role any team member can choose to start the game as. When a Support Offense player picks up the enemy flag and starts playing the Flag Carrier Role, any other members of that team who are playing either Support Offense, or Heavy Offense, and who make visual contact with the Flag Carrier player should immediately change to the Flag Escort Role.
The Primary Goal of the Flag Escort Role is to defend the Flag Carrier, by distracting and killing enemy troops so as to create a clear escape path for the Carrier. Flag Escorts should maintain visual contact range with the Flag Carrier so that they can react to any threat that the Carrier faces while in the possession of the Flag. Flag Escorts should always try and place themselves between the Carrier, and the strongest concentration of enemy troops in the immediate area.
An advanced skill of this Role would be developing detailed mental maps of the enemy bases / strongholds on each stock map, and know how to evaluate, and proactively deal with serious threat possibilities that the Flag Carrier may still have to face on the way back to the home base.
That is a basic outline of the general Role Guidelines and the Rules Of Engagement for each one. Once everyone in the clan has looked this over and we've had a chance to actually test it in practice and in the field I'll do some more detailed ROEs, based on what we learn works out on the battle grounds.
Anyone with any good ideas or problems related to this article is welcome to contact me via my AIM messenger ( my buddy name is zipWAR ), or by email at email@example.com. Also, you might want to query Rachelle or Aarron ( CatchYaFirst, and FragMasterZero ) about this stuff, because as the clan's leaders they will be the ones responsible for implementing any of the information that they choose to use from here.
As I said at the beginning, this may seem a bit too much for some of you, but the reality ( virtually speaking ) of the situation is that these guidelines, or something else of a similar nature is the missing element that the clan needs in order to take us from being a good group of INDIVIDUAL players, to an excellent clan of team members. And TEAM Fortress is what it's all about.