A basic overview on defense, positioning of the defender and communications.
It is simple that in all maps there are a couple of zones, one can call them the enemy base, your own base, and the neutral area that separates these. The bases are considered areas where the tanks can spawn, while the neutral are considered the areas where most of the cross-fire occurs. A good defensive team is able to push the neutral area right next to the enemy base. But before that, a basic overview.
While playing defensive or offensive, there should always be a player with freeze that is at your base, all maps, no matter how big or small they are, have at least spot where the freeze can stay and not be under direct fire from the enemy base. He should be your team’s last line of defense however a good defensive team does not have to depend on the last line of defense, the freeze to be able to defend effectively. However such things are only good in theory, when it comes to real games the enemy team is able to think out of the limits of theories and thus he can slip through the defenses.
So assuming that your team is playing with the freeze acting as the last defender, we will continue from here.
The last defender
People often say that the last defender on any team should be the best camper, This is wrong, campers are aware of all possible attacking positions, camping positions and everything but campers are not able to simply hold their fire until the very end. The camper’s duty is to hold the line of defence and keep it that way until the end of the game. The defender on the other hand has to be fully aware and has to know what is happening and where it is happening while also being able to kill the guys that slip through under the campers.
The job of the last defender is much more than simply killing anyone that tries to cross your line of sight, instead you have to be completely aware of the positioning of the enemy team and also updating your team on where they are at the moment. As soon as someone takes your flag you have to let your team know where they are going with it, Except simply saying “flag!” saying “Flag, Viking, Left side” is much more detailed.
As for the role of the rest of the team they are to ensure the last defender knows what is happening, they are to let the guy know if anyone is coming from his back. Not doing so is letting the guy take your flag.
For example, The freeze on tribute blue team does not know what is happening behind the buildings, similar is the case on Kungur. Your team should be letting you know what is happening all across the board.
So from here on out, we assume that the defender knows what is happening. Even the best defender loses games, so whenever the defender engages in a duel with anyone he should inform the rest of the team through the microphone at all costs. We all know that the defender is not immortal so whether he is able to kill the enemy or not he should let his team know about it, it is much easier to say “killed” and say “he will kill me” rather than saying “he’s taking the flag and I’m dead”, never stay silent if someone is at your base.
Similarly in maps like the red team of Solikamsk the defender has view over the entire enemy base so he should be able to assist the attackers and update them about the positioning of the enemy team at all times instead of just staying silent. This helps ensure a good offensive yet defensive team. No one dislikes this move because you are pretty much helping them predict the future by telling them if they are going to meet any resistance in that next turn. Any information is helpful, no matter how small it is.
So we have decided upon the position of the defender, but how does he play? As a freeze player he should never engage directly, instead he should take minimal damage at all times. As he is the last defender he should be able to defend accordingly, in my opinion defensive play is defined as taking minimal damage while still being able to deal damage. It’s common sense that if the defender is damaged then he will die much faster. In such a case it is suggested to simply go forward in the enemy base to die and possibly deal some damage, the return back to your spot. All this time letting your team know that you will be absent from the flag. If your team has the flag and it is possible to help him capture it, in all senses go ahead. But if at the same time the enemy team is coming for your flag then be careful about it and plan accordingly.
So, the last defender has to do the following things:
- Keep an eye on the surroundings to not get caught off-guard.
- Notify your team as soon as possible even. As soon as he enters the boundary of your base, let your teammates know.
- If possible, always ask for someone to replace you when you are damaged, but also make sure that it actually is possible before you go on a suicide mission.
- Monitor the areas of the map that you are able to and let your team know what is going on in those areas.
- Let your team know the positioning of the enemy team in simple yet acceptable wordings like “two left, one mid, i’ll take the left” etc.
- Take the responsibility to have at least one player playing passively offensive near you.
- Never leave the base unless there is a replacement.
- When chatting with your team, use the "T" key on your keyboard, so the message is specifically sent to you teammates only.
Normally people say that the defender should leave the base, however my personal opinion is that no matter what happens there should be at least one person that simply stays at base all the time unless he is low on health, got full pickups or is dead.
What is the difference between the defenders and the "last defender", we will call him "turtle" to make things easy for me.
The turtle is mostly responsible for his own area, right next to the flag, that is all he has to deal with. Secondly, he has to inform the rest of the team on almost everything that he does. Specially when he is attacking, the defenders should know that the turtle is not at base!
As for the defenders, whenever the turtle, coordinator or whoever is speaking commands you to turn around, go back, get near the flag, or anything, react immediately without any delay, unless there is something more urgent. If you are asked to turn around and you don't so without a couple of seconds then it is considered a serious mistake on behalf of you and your team.
That being your orders, the tasks you perform are more important, others might consider it simple, but you are required to aid in attack. And defend when called upon.
The player that is defending is supposed to be good at duels. He should be able to win 1 vs. 1 against any player with the same equipment. He should be able to make players miss, As opposed to the turtle the defender should be able to know what is happening and where it is happening in the attacks. You're going to be the support fire for your team, staying near the places where drugs drop, and as soon as they do pick them up and go for the enemy base, win some coordination, of course.
After picking up these drugs you have to take the decisions, whether you are going to stay in base and assist the attackers, or are you going to attack yourself, No matter what you decide you are to let your team know because the fact that you are not going to be at your spot is extremely important to the turtle and the other defenders.
Like wise the passive role of defenders is not to attack the enemy's incoming tanks but to attack those tanks of the enemy team that are coming in way of the attackers. And so being passively aggressive. If doing so he loses a duel with the enemy's defender he is to inform his team accordingly. Because of this passive aggression your team does not need a mid-field player to hold the area of control, but it all depends on the map, like in Tribute there can be two defenders on either side, but the defenders on Red don't necessarily need to be near the flag. However, this is not suggested because of this most top Russian clans started playing aggressive and simply pushed the defenders in their own base. Thus forcing them to be confined in their base and making them easy targets.
Any defender should move to assist in flag capture as their active role, even if the defender is at the right side and the flag is being brought from the left he should move in to help capture it, at that crucial moment every single shot counts, countless times enemies have returned flags and tied immediately afterwards, some call it luck, some call it lack of help from the defenders. A single accurate shot can force the enemy off-road.
Keeping all these things in mind, Defending does not require in-depth knowledge and analysis of the play field, instead it is a role that can be played with a little bit of combat experience.
So the job if the defenders is:
- Examine the enemy base and inform the turtle and attackers about everything that happens in it.
- Follow the instructions given by the turtle and make sure that he takes minimal damage in crossfire.
- Immediately alert the team in case of absence of the turtle and take his position and job.
- Do not allow the enemy to pick up supplies in their area and let your team know that supplies fell.
- After maintaining the area of control move in to help your team attack.
As for number 4, clarification is required, in order for the drops to do the most they need to be picked up at the enemy base, this is because if you pick up drops at your own base, they will run out by the time you reach the enemy base. This is simple math that it takes around 30 seconds to one minute to reach the enemy base and by the that time the drops will run out. Therefore defenders should make sure that the drops near the enemy base must be picked up by their own attackers whenever possible.
Even the best of the best lose some times, this is common knowledge. A couple of shots from any drugging thunder will easily take out the turtle. Which in turn spawns on the other side of the map, the defenders can’t do anything. All this takes around 10-30 seconds during which anyone with Nitro can easily come and take the flag. What to do in these situations?
Firstly, As soon as the turtle dies, you are to take his position, forget everything, forget that your team was supposed to attack at that time, forget that you have to save that last drop, turn around and take the turtle’s position until he comes back.
Unfortunately, Most attackers at this time will ignore the absence of the turtle, They respawn and leave immediately after. This is also the mistake of the turtle for not realizing that he is not immortal. He should be yelling at the top of his voice about his death until every last tank on his team is defending. Talk about it beforehand, and make sure the team knows that the moment the turtle dies they have to defend,
In other words, the player is obliged to check the base before leaving. He needs to check if the defenders are present in the base or not, ask if the turtle is OK or not, and he has to stay there until the turtle comes back or if the threat is neutralized. Then and only then should he go back on the attack.
As for the defenders there are some suggestions that even the top players forget to follow. If you know that the next shot is going to kill you then you should try hold out longer in any way possible, if the enemy is coming towards you try to delay him, get behind cover and if possible hold off for one or two more shots. It’s always better to be near cover.
Choosing the targets depends on several things, but on top you should always shoot the guy with a full set, followed by Double Armour and Nitro, because they will mostly be grabbing the flags, further followed by Double Damage and Nitro. But this is simply for ideal situations, at all times when aiding the attackers you should be aiming for the enemy turtle.
Similarly if someone has taken your flag you are to disrupt his movements as much as possible, for example forcing him to get stuck by walls behind Tribute blue team or a thunder or ricochet shot from the back when he is jumping down for any place will almost always make him flip on his back.
But never forget to tell your team that you are leaving the base. There is situation when it comes to capturing flags that soon after getting the enemy flag your base is rushed by the enemy team. This is unpredictable but the defender can inform the team about it. The worst thing that can happen during a game is for the defenders to stay silent. Thus the enemy team is successful in returning the flag. This leaves the flagger under a pressure and he feels that no one is helping him.
Defenders are the ones to blame for not being able to hold off the enemy wave long enough for the flag to be captured, and it is suggested that they remain silent to all criticism. As a defender, don’t criticize the flagger, ever. It is their job and not yours. However there are certain exceptions where it is not the defender’s mistake but that is not the case most of the time.
This guide is going to be a thorough rundown of the various defensive strategies and the role of the different kinds of people.
So, what is the ideal situation for defense? Simple, Any situation in which your team has a significant advantage over the other team is an ideal situation for defense. By significant advantage, I mean you are several flags ahead and yet there are some minutes in the timer in which the enemy team will easily be able to take the game for themselves.
In order to defend, your team should have a freeze, no matter what the map, it is impossible to defend in a clan game without Freeze. Because freeze is the last line of defense that any team should have, anything else is not worth it.
But before going to the weapons, we will take our time and talk about certain things that are applicable in all situations.
Camera Controls , A good defender has to be aware of what is happening around him, and for that he must know that camera controls exist. Not only that but also that camera controls cannot be looked over. Use the "Q" and "E" keys on your keyboard, to change the camera views.
Communication, A good defender has to know what is going on all across the map, for example, a freeze next to flag in Kungur or Tribute won’t know what is happening across the map on the other side. This is where communication programs like Skype and Team Speak come in, you must keep your defender aware of everything that is happening at all times. Even if you kill someone that was just about to enter your base, let him know, chances are, that guy will attack from the same spot again and you won’t be there to stop him next time.
Awareness, The defender has to be aware at all times, he must be able to react to surprises, surprise situations. And must always know that these things can happen to the best players to he should keep his guard up.
Offense, A defender must keep the urge to attack at bay at all times, unless he is going after someone who just took the flag.
Remember, “The best defense is a good offense”
Timing, there are times when you must leave the defending job, a good defender should know what he should be doing at what time
Line of Defense (LoD), The final choke point where your team makes their last stand before losing the flag, or the point after which a flag should become impossible to return, i-e, the ramps and bridge at Kungur.
Why aren’t other weapons just as good as freeze when defending? Using anything other than Freeze to defend as your last line of defense is like saying god bye to your “slow” effect while playing Ashe in league of legends.
Thunder or Smoky, while being extremely amazing in defense from a distance, they can’t do anything as your last LoD, Why? Because they doesn’t have the slow effect, The AoE damage can be used to deal with multiple attackers, the critical hits can deal with one guy but they can easily be taken out by Ricochet Twins at close range, and they’re not that good in close quarters because of the higher DPS of other short-range weapons.
Ricochet or Twins , While doing amazing damage 1v1, these can’t be effective in base mostly because most of the time there won’t be any enemies there. Twins or Ricochet should only be used to defend if the situation is insanely one-sided and there is not a single moment when you don’t have anyone in your base. Anything other than that and these are much better at offense compared to their defensive ability.
Firebird? Sure it is good at close range but it sucks at stopping attackers while your team respawns. Freeze is way better at doing that.
So from here on out, we will be assuming that the defender is using freeze , other weapons and their defensive capabilities will be discussed later on.
So why freeze ? Freeze is arguably the best the best defensive weapon available in the game. Not only does it do an insane 56 damage per second, but it also slows the enemy tank down significantly. This gives freeze the upper hand in base defense. So lets take a look at what freeze has to offer.
Positioning Positioning is a major factor when defending with freeze, you would like to either be positioned near the flag if there are more than one entry points to your base, or by positioned at the “choke” point, which would otherwise be the only entry point to your base.
You’re reminded that camera controls exist, and so the best defensive position would be one where you can see all the things that are happening in your base, also remember that team communication plays a vital and important role in base defense. One can not defend without help from their team.
Your position should not be in direct fire from the enemy team, hell, try to be positioned in such a place that the the enemy can’t attack you unless he gets super close to you. Super close meaning you can grab him by your slow and close the distance, remember, if you can’t grab him, you’re probably never going to get him unless you get lucky and he stops for a moment, a nitro drops on your head or well, he simply makes a turn, but anyone in their bright mind would not do any of these, and no one lucky enough for the various other incidents to occur. Not taking damage is also a vital role, as described below.
Last man standing The defender in any team should at all times, be the last man standing. That meaning that he should be the last guy to die on his team. The last guy the enemy team has to kill to get the flag, and in no situation should the defender be alive when the flag is taken. If such a thing happens then feel free to blame everything on the defender.
Stealth Although quite rare in Tanki it is applicable to an extent. If the enemy thinks you are at once place, he will avoid that position at all costs, so you should be able to catch him off his guard because of this. You can always circle around buildings to catch the flag takers from their back instead of meeting them head on, this is most effective with freeze because if its slow effect, you can kill the enemy without taking any damage at all.
Circling Imagine yourself circling around enemy tanks endlessly and taking care of them while taking no damage in return. That is the amazing ability of freeze, you can slow down your enemies and watch them freeze to death as they give up on their life, most of the time they’ll even just stop and let you kill them. That is the moment of satisfaction.
Reload If you consider yourself worthy of defending then you should know the time it takes for your weapon to get enough charge to be able to not only damage your enemy but also slow them, this is the difference between good and bad freeze players. The bad ones simply wait until they get half/quarter charge, while the good ones simply attack whenever they have enough charge to deal damage. Because of this ability freeze vs. freeze games are decided.
Psychic abilities No one is asking you to become a full psychic, just asking you to predict the enemy’s movements. If you’re playing this game long enough all questions are going to be simply yes or no answers. Is he going to turn right? Yes or no? Just be looking at his movements you can guess if he is or not. Not to mention his previous movements, if he has been turning right most of the time, chances are he will turn right once more. Same with most of the other things, it takes quite a lot of self awareness in Tanki to change the way you play the game, there are 3 platforms to the blue base at Silence’ top, I’ve seen players always use the first one directly next to the wall even though I always put a mine there. For God’s sake people, don’t attack from the same spot a million times.
Team work Always tell your team what is going on, as the last man standing it is your job to inform your team about the position of everyone. You should know all the paths from your base to theirs and you should be able to inform your team about the direction which the flag taker is heading. Most of the time, it is possible to intercept the flag taker and it shouldn’t be a hard job if you tell your team about their position as soon as possible.
Thunder , as opposed to freeze is a complete opposite when it comes to defense, You have enough damage to kill M3 Vikings in 5 shots, enough to take out an M3 Mammoth in 6, and enough to take out a Hornet in 3, considering it is M3 as well. Thunder can annihilate enemy teams if at a distance but when close up it annihilates itself.
Thunder’s damage allows you to lower enemy health while at the same time disrupting their normal path of attack.
Positioning While using thunder you should be positioned in such a manner that you are able to look at the desired path from which your enemy will enter the base.
Informing the freeze Whenever you see someone entering, whether you can kill them or not, always let the Freeze know that someone is coming. If you kill him, tell the freeze, if he kills you, tell the freeze. This is a must for everyone.
Dealing damage it does not matter what the enemy is, what matters is how many times you can hit him, you should know already how many shots you will need to kill someone, count the shots as you shoot. Always tell your freeze whether he is on low health or not, always let other players in the area know about them. When thinking of chasing an enemy don’t take the shortest path, take the path which will allow you too shoot them the most number of times, always.
Stealth, All good Thunder players know that it is completely impossible to know where a Thunder shot is coming from if you aim correctly, Why? Because there is nothing showing where the shot came from except a thunder’s turret light. Which can easily be hidden behind bushes. The paints Needle and Flora are so easily concealable behind bushes that you can’t know if someone is there unless you can get so close to see their name. By which time, the thunder would have easily killed you. This is mostly seen on maps like Tribute, where if a thunder hides in the bushes next to the short bridge it is impossible to see him until someone tries to cross the bushes, assuming the thunder’s paint is needle/flora/etc., I always use Needle in tribute for this very reason.
Camping spots Make sure your camping spot comes in the direct path of the enemy when he tries to take your flag.
Targeting priority Most thunder players do the mistake of attacking the people that are in front and are coming to the base, Instead you should ignore those players and always aim for the players at the back, Why? You’ll know that when I write the flag capping guide, for now, just ignore the guys at front and let your Shaft, Twins or whatever take them out. As a thunder, use most of your Splash damage and hit the guys at the back! Always!
Range Thunder’s damage is significantly decreased over a long distance, by significantly I mean it pretty much hurts like a Smoky shot, which is honestly not that good. Avoid poking people are long distances unless you have nothing better to do.
Awareness This is one thing that is essential to playing thunder, you have to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you don’t see any targets, do a 360 turn and see if anyone is trying to poke you from behind. Always keep in touch with your allies about the position of the enemy team, never let anyone reach your base with full HP if you can help it, If someone picked up drugs on their way make sure they’re under half HP by the time they reach your freeze, should only take you 4 – 6 shots to do that.
I am pretty much against Twins as a defensive weapon. No matter how huge the margin between your team’s and the enemy’s flags is, no matter how much of a lead you have you should always be attacking with Twins, instead of defending. This does not mean that there are certain close situations like 5 minute remaining and you’re winning by one flag. Feel free to defend with Twins in these situations.
Positioning Twins are not supposed to be positioned a single spot, you should always be roaming around the base like a person desperate to get kills. No one will hate you for that, no matter what the game situations are like you should always be on the move with this amazing weapon.
Tanking the damage Your attacks cannot go through allied tanks, which means that you need to be on the front lines at all times, Don’t be afraid to take several hits for your Freeze, the more HP he has the better the chances of your team winning. I have seen players do this in normal games so doing so in official clan games should not be a problem.
Targeting priority For Thunder I wrote that they should target the guys at the back because of the splash damage you should attack the guys at the front because of your knock-back and ability to slow them down. Every single budge counts when it comes to the Physics of flying balls of plasma.
Map control This is going to be one of the major things I have to focus on, people nowadays completely ignore map control, when I say map control I don’t mean the enemy base. I mean the neutral area between the two bases. That area should remain under your control no matter what happens. The team that is able to go further into neutral territory without getting damaged wins. That’s a fact.
A team that roams the middle of Kungur wins, A team that roams the big bridge of Tribute wins, this is common sense because those are key locations from where the flag has to pass through in order to capture it, whether it be your team’s or the enemy’s. Yes, it Is possible to take other routes but that just takes away half your health even before you reach the enemy base.
Simply speaking, when you are playing as Twins it is your duty as a mid-range fighter to destroy any enemy tank that dares enter your area of control.