Another requested post was in relation to damage, so here we are. This is going to cover some of the basic parts of doing “the dam dam” efficiently, getting under the skin of opponents, creating space and making the most out of the damage that you do.
Most importantly though it’s going to make sure you get some awesome looking logs!
So my sort of play style is DM heavy and focusing more on the damage side, I like to go in and call the focus targets for my team mates to sweep in to my sides and clean up the kills, or I get them myself (providing the frag is good enough to be uploaded to YouTube), whatever comes first. I play a high tempo style as well, so I try to always push in, I use damage to weaken up the enemies as one weak player means an easy force or a fight that is already in our favour. This does have risks though as it is more subject to getting caught out overextending (always happens to me, remember to blame your team if they don’t back you up, especially dead team mates) and a good team can always pick up on what you’re doing and catch you out.
I will briefly touch this area but you can learn a lot from watching various demos, streams, frag clips etc. to pick up some really good nuances with how other people play. Anyhow, with the technique it mainly comes down to how you’re going to maximise your damage out put to a play style that suits you, so let’s begin.
I call it this mainly because I think Kaidus was one of the first people who I saw use this technique, it’s very good for area denials before the enemy push but it’s also very good at doing a ridiculous amount of damage very quickly. Here’s a poorly created video on how to do it when not under pressure (I am low on ammo because I failed my rollout to choke several times)
As you can see in this wonderful video there’s three stickies that I fire from highest to lowest, the idea obviously that they all land or hit the enemies at the same time, with some incredibly good timing you can catch them during the push and complete crap on them. As there’s so much damage happening so quickly it will either drop a few players or force their medic into flashing a few more players giving you a slight advantage in the uber fight. I could go on further but I’m not really the person to dwell too much in this technique as I don’t personally use it that often. However I do recommend practising and mastering this.
To do the WAR you basically need to move forward, use 8 stickies on various inanimate objects on the maps. After you have done this you will then need to pick your mouse up by its cord and slam it down on your desk, this should then trigger the mouse 1 button, providing these steps are followed correctly you should have hit someone with splash damage from a pipe.
This is a good technique on quite a few mid fights and parts of a map where the map is a lot more flat but out in the open. The aim is to aim your pipes up in an arch, when the pipes land they explode in the air above the players, this can achieve a few things. Firstly if a soldier is about to rocket jump and is hit by splash it can send him of course completely, he then has very little control on where he is going and you can then watch your entire team go for a sick airshot. Secondly there’s a good chance that you can hit someone whilst they are jumping, be it a medic or anything else, they can then take some fall damage as the splash from the pipe should force them down quickly enough to sometimes crater. Either way this is also a good technique as often you are guaranteed to get a lot of damage done. If you sync this up with your roamer then they can even be distracted enough to not move out-of-the-way of the oncoming death.
So with the objectives you got to look at what you’re trying to achieve when you’re doing damage. Whether it’s trying to bully a team out of a position so you can get in for free, force an early uber, or make the enemy to split and get kills.
The first thing we are going to be looking at is using damage to unsettle teams. Now everyone knows the scenario when a mid fight has just ended on badlands, it’s a fairly equal trade, the enemy are now able to go choke and hold and some of your players are weak from the fight. I’m sure everyone has been in this situation (especially medics) where everyone is pretty weak, but then someone starts making their way to choke and takes a bit of damage, or you’re about to push and your medic wants to buff up players but again, someone on your team is taking damage and slowing it down. Everyone gets pretty pissed at this it slows down the push massively and it unsettles the team, nothing is worse than getting ready to go in but some
drosoph team-mate gets hit by a pipe and is then weak so you have to buff dro him up again. This is what you’re trying to achieve.
As an example lets say you’re on badlands defending this time, so think of the situation above, you have lost the mid fight but are able to hold choke, what I like to do is start moving up and immediately apply pressure, this can slow down their push greatly, buying you time to build uber if you’re behind, heal weak players and hopefully get some re-spawns if anyone dies. Holding forward at choke is risky but it does have its advantages, you can for one seeing exactly where the enemy is pushing from and as I’ve been mentioning try to get an early force if they are starting to move forward. But the main thing you want to achieve is letting the enemy know that for the next 30 minutes you’re not going to stop slapping them in the face with your dick.
The space program
You should get used to using the whole creating space thing as an excuse for dying in stupid places, you’re a beautiful, strong, independent demoman that don’t need no heals. Moving on…
So, damage again can also create you a lot of space, positioning does play a very vital role as well but both of these go hand in hand with each other, you can’t create space just by standing still with your meat out and alternatively if you’re spamming a scout from the other side of the map he ain’t going anywhere. This is obviously dwelling too deep in to the topic but I will go over what doing damage can do for your team.
So if we look at second pushing from mid on snakewater it’s a map where you can create a lot of space and get in without needing to use the uber, going to grass provides a lot of room to manoeuvre so it’s a lot more difficult to force, applying pressure on to the hut, fence and on the train can create a lot more space providing you do enough damage. A few teams will favour having the heavies and combo watching saw room as it’s a more confined space and if a team starts moving down there you can get a quick force, this leaves the flank with just a couple of scouts or weaker players. Once you apply enough damage to these players they are somewhat forced to get out, there’s only one medium HP on snakewater second and the others aren’t really close by and are just small HPs. This means your soldiers can get on the hut and start moving over, you gain instant access to the point and have the lower passage to last clear to use as well, in this situation you need to communicate to your team by loudly saying “SPACE = CREATED”. Following this the main thing you have to worry about is mainly the soldiers bombing in on you, but if you’re quick again with pressure from spamming pipes and stickies over the fence you can stifle a counter quickly and forcing them out to lobby. Quite a few teams will see this as an unfavourable engagement, most will go inside to their lobby and heal up before trying to contest you capping second, so with just pressuring and damaging a few players you are able to win a potentially free cap.
Always remember if your team says stupid and uneducated remarks like “WAR, you’re over extending again” or “can you stop going in on your own” simply remind them of that time you did enter your personal best damage record here on whatever map, they might say “we cannot follow you we were all weak, you’re getting all the heals” remind them that there are health packs on the map.
Teamwork makes the dream work
The #1 thing with any form of damage that you’re doing is communicating this to your team, with all the teams I play in I try as hard as I can to communicate to people what damage I’ve done and to who. I also have the role of calling focus targets when going in on pushing, I’d recommend to do that in most teams but it just depends on who the main callers are etc. Anyway, if we are in a fight I will always pick a target that is the easiest for various reasons, in my head I go through the following:
- The position of the player. How close is he to the medic or health packs? Does he have height advantage? Is he close to my team mates as well? Just because he’s close to you and within range doesn’t mean he is for everyone else.
- What weapon is he currently using? Is he low on ammo? Sometimes if you have been keeping a keen eye, if you notice a soldier has used up his ammo I’d take him out of the game asap, if he reloads he can do damage later but if he dies now he will be a quick kill and can’t hurt us as much. Seeing if he’s using his secondary is a good sign.
- Is it a key player on their team? Sometimes you can kill a certain member on their team like their main caller and they crumble once they are down. Some teams rely on their scouts, others on their pocket soldiers. Taking them out of the fight can turn it to your favour. Not only that but focusing a certain player can again gain you significant position advantage on a map once you take the person out (e.g. taking someone out on spire to give your soldiers height advantage on it)
- Who can turn the fight around? If everything seems even it’s good to go for the easiest choice and think of who is going to cause you the most problem if the fight drags out for longer.
- Imminent threats. These are people like the roamer or sniper, one example is on Gullywash pushing second, when you go through choke the roamer will probably bomb you, just calling out a focus to make sure everyone is prepared for him means he can get taken out a lot quicker. Also, doing pick damage on a sniper can throw him off his aim and keeps him under pressure.
- PLEASE KILL THE FUCKING PYRO
Those are a few options that I go through, obviously these are split second decisions and you will make the wrong one, but if everyone follows the same call it’s a lot easier to take out a team and make your push a lot more effective. Always remember though, if it doesn’t work out don’t blame your team. Quite a few times some people (including myself) will have tunnel vision, you call a target and you’re the only one damaging it. Did you stop to think if your players were nearby? Do they have enough health or ammo? Always take a moment to think about the other players you are with and make sure you are playing at the same pace.
I would highly suggest that you try to ignore logs as much as you can, it can really cloud your judgement and give you a false perspective on how the game actually went, just because you did 15k damage and your team lost doesn’t mean you carried them, you’re the fucking demoman you do the most damage because you’re OP. There was a time when the only way I could get an erection was by looking at my logs of 15k+ damage or Gentleman Jon’s stats posts but that is now behind me. I would now suggest that you look at them with a demo review as well, that way you can see what your team mates did and why they may have been struggling to support you.
That closes this blog post, for the next one I may be looking more closely at some certain features of maps. Still don’t hesitate to get in contact with me if you’d like me to cover something.