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Engineer Guide by XanderDoubleSev
Version: 0.7 | Updated: 04/09/08
ï»¿----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team Fortress 2 - Engineer Guide. By Xander77 (Xander77@gmail.com) http://steamcommunity.com/id/Xander77 Version 0.7 Version History 0.5 (The very first edition. Kinda crap) 0.6 (Did some spellchecking and some minor formatting) 0.7 (Basic spellcheck added) Table of contents (ctrl+f to skip to a certain section): Section 1 - The introduction. Self explanatory. Section 2 - Weapons breakdown. Includes mechanics, uses, and all sorts of info about the buildings, including both technical stuff and useful advice. Section 3 - General Overview. How to play engie. Section 4 - Engie matchups. The engie vs. another class - analysis and advice. Section 5 - Map specific strategies Section 6 - FAQ Section 7 - Thanks for all the fish. Section 1 The engie is an interesting class. Well, that much is obvious, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this guide, right? All classes are in TF2 are interesting in one way or another, none being a straight up generic fps class... Ok, let's try this one again. Except for the spy, the engie is the class that requires the most thought to play properly. For the most part, engie play is less about reflexes than it is about strategic planning, adjusting to the situation and utilizing all your resources.You are your teams main support character (literally, you support the team. Sorry if someone has a different definition of what the term means). Your buildings stop enemy advances, heal, replenish ammo, and bring reinforcements to the battlefield. If the medic has the frequently thankless but vital job of keeping the team alive,you have the safer, more comfortable, and often more rewarding job of taking care of all the teams needs - and if you do it right, you can get quite a few points in the process as well - after the medic, the engie is the easiest class to tally up points with. This is not an â€œeliteâ€ strategy guide. I'm certain there are engies out there who are perfectly capable of destroying medic/heavy combos with the pistol and get 30 kills per sentry placement. If you are one of these engies, and feel the need to ridicule my conservative strategiesâ€¦ well, don't.If you have genuinely decent tips and tricks however, feel free to email me,and I'll update this guide. However, if you follow the guide you can be an engineer that is far better than most wannabees out there, as well as a valuable asset to your team. I'll assume you have some basic knowledge of the game, and I don't need to explain what â€œmetalâ€ â€œdamageâ€ or "weapon slot" are. Section 2 The engie has 5 weapon slots. Let's see what each does. 1. The shotgun. Damage output: * Point Blank: 80-90 * Critical Hit: 180 * Medium Range: 10-30 * Long Range: 3-10 Holds 6 shells, has a 32 shell reserve. Quite frankly, the shotgun is arguably the worst primary weapon in the game. It fires slowly, reloads slowly, the damage drops off dramatically over range and it's not very accurate. ANYONE that isn't already weakened and/or ambushed by you can and will outgun you. A spy's revolver is slightly weaker at point blank range (though still a lot faster,so it evens out) but outclasses the shotgun by far at medium range and farther. Revolvers also crit regularly, while the shotguns crit ratio is just depressing, and since the slugs scatter at range, is unlikely to pack the same punch. In short, Valve has given you a sentry for a reason. Using the shotgun as your main way to kill people is not the smart thing to do. 2. The pistol. Damage: * Point Blank: 20-22 * Critical Hit: 45 * Medium Range: 10-15 * Long Range: 8-9 12 shots in a clip 200 (!) in reserve. As you can see, it will take some luck and patience to kill anyone with the pistol. However, due to the fact that you have so many shots, it's a prime spamming weapon, particularly over long distances. If no snipers are around to spoil your fun, you can chip away at any enemy's health - it will distract them from your other teammates, it will make them easier to kill, and you may get some sweet assist points. If no enemies are around, spam your teammates. The shotgun is just too slow to spycheck EVERYONE, so you should wait until someone approaches your gear/acts suspiciously before unloading with it. A few pistol rounds can make a spy easier to kill, kill him (if you're very lucky) or cause him to panic. You can even uncover the occasional cloaked spy with a pistol shot. 3. The wrench. Primarily used to whack your buildings so that they construct faster,repair damage to buildings and knock off sappers, it also doubles as a melee weapon. Damage: * Point Blank: 45-85 * Critical Hit: 195 It's decent at killing spies who are sapping your stuff when you're out of ammo. Note that the game gives a priority to fixing your buildings over hitting people, so if the spy is reasonably close to a buildings/crouching on one, your swings may not go where you want them to. Also, there's the ever present danger of running into a face stab. 4. The construction pad. As I've pointed out above, your â€œmainâ€ weapons aren't all that good. You don't have a lot of outright damage potential, and with your 125 health, you're very squishy. So why is a good engie more of a threat to the enemy /help to the team than a single heavy,demo or soldier? Because of his buildings. The sentry is your sword, the dispenser is your armor, and the teleport is your horn, which (if you're not stupid enough to ignore your teammates "build a tp plz, engies" request three times) will bring a pissed-off pyro into your enemies midst. Each building is vital, and you would do well to neglect none of them. Dispensers take 20 seconds to build. Sentries and teleports take 10. All construction time is cut in half if you hit the building with a wrench as it is being constructed. If more than one engie is working on the same building,the effects on building speed stack. A dispenser takes 100 metal to place,a teleport 125 metal, and a sentry takes 130. A destroyed building leaves behind 60 metal, except for the dispenser, which leaves 50. Every building can be rotated while in the â€œplanningâ€ stage by right clicking. Useful for wedging buildings into corners and making sure people don't face walls when they step out of teleporters. As buildings are initially placed, they have very little health, and they get sturdier as they near completion. Teammates can pass through buildings, but you and enemies can't. Useful for building stuff to stand on, or to block certain places. Less useful when you barricade yourself behind your stuff and find that you're unable to move out of your spot. Remember that dispensers can and will block a sentries view of an enemy. Under certain circumstances you can stand on a dispenser and jump with the teleporter exit blueprints ready to place a teleporter in a normally inaccessible location. The first thing you should note about placing a sentry is that there's an overlay over the world around when you bring up the sentry set up schematic. The sentry will not be able to see beyond the point where the overlay ends. You should try to place a sentry in such a position that there are no spots from which an enemy can shoot your sentry, without the sentry shooting back at him. The next thing you should note when you place a sentry, is that it's freaking weak. A level 1 sentry has 150 health, and the damage it does is essentially like concentrated pistol fire - not quite enough to kill combat oriented class before the class kills it. The level 1 turning speed is atrocious - a scout can easily circle-strafe it with a bat. It takes 200 metal and 10 seconds to update the sentry to level 2. A level 2 sentry has 180 health and is fairly capable of defending itself and the engie.The turning speed still isn't very good - a pyro can circle-strafe the sentry if he surprises it and a spy can backstab the engie and sap the sentry long before it turns. Another 10 seconds and 200 metal, and you get the level 3 sentry - which should be able to deal with pretty much anything other than an uber / spy. It also turns fast enough to kill a spy that backstabbed you, unless that spy is particularly skilled. When fixing your sentry, or having to pass in front of it for ANY reason, remember that your sentry's shots harm you (and a level 3 sentry's rockets harm your teammates, but there's little you can do about that). The thing to remember about sentries is: placement. Or rather, placementS. The sentry's, and yours. Ideally, your sentry should be placed in a location where anyone who is able to damage it will be damaged in return, there are no blind spots or easy corners to strafe in and out of, and even spies will have trouble getting to the sentry without being detected. Oh - and the location the sentry overlooks needs to be of importance to your team, and subject to attacks by the enemy. I shudder at the mere thought of how many useless engies decide to defend the first cap point in a defense map or their own spawn. Also, the sentry's location should allow you to place a dispenser nearby, out of the line of direct fire, and let you get ammo from the dispenser and whack at the sentry to repair it while being protected from harm by the sentry absorbing all the nasty damage the enemies throw your way (provided that the sentry is likely to be under fairly constant attack. If not, a dispenser may be moved to another location - see 2fort and Dusbowl 3 for examples) The ideal sentry location is a long narrow tunnel, the end of which the sentry can JUST see, with not alternate entrances. The sentry should be placed against a wall: if the enemy will come from the left, the sentry should be place against the left ditto for the right. Makes it less easy to duck in and out while shooting at it. I will discuss sentry placement on certain popular maps latter, and hopefully, you'll be able to extrapolate the principles involved to custom maps. Unless you have a supply of metal nearby and setting up a sentry is a prime priority, a dispenser should be the first thing you build. It will provide you with metal and health. This is important and stuff. Allows you to build and upgrade buildings. The full dispenser holds 400 metal, and regenerates 40 metal per 10 seconds. This means that you can build and upgrade all the buildings you have as fast as you possibly COULD build and upgrade with a full dispenser's reserves. A dispenser has only 100 health, which means that a fully charged sniper shot, a couple of rockets, or a funny look by the enemy will destroy it. Keep your dispenser out of harms way. Note that enemy dispensers replenish your metal - take advantage of this, and don't blow up the enemy's dispenser right away (though some eager teammate will surely do it for you). Dispensers can be used to block low/narrow spaces (like doors) to stop spies/enemies from getting through unless they destroy the dispenser. Also, you can stand on them to build/maintain stuff at different heights / be certain of blocking spies from entering certain locations. Teleports. A lot of bad, bad, horrible engies don't bother to build teleports. They have the sentry for killing people, and the dispenser for health and metal, and can conceive of no use for things that are more complicated in their uses than "hurt bad guy, heal me". Those engies are selfishly stupid,and are actively making their team perform worse than it should. Teleports bring in reinforcements. Reinforcements that allow the team to press on the attack, not lose any ground, and may very well save your ass from a determined coordinated assault. In certain cases, the engies MAIN contribution to the team is a teleporter, followed by a dispenser, followed by the sentry. A functioning teleporter entrance (one that has a matching exit) points an arrow towards the exit. The exit points in the direction a player exiting the teleporter will face. A teleporter takes 10 seconds to recharge between teleports. The generally established teleporter protocol (i.e., who has first right to the teleporter if the team has not communicated other arrangements) is: Engie (with the understanding that the engie will only use the teleporter if it is crucial he gets to his nest as fast as possible) Medic (as players will die if the medic is not on the front lines to heal them) Heavy, Soldier, Demo, Sniper, Pyro, Spy. Scouts should generally NOT use the teleporter. A pyro should occasionally take the long way to the battle, to spycheck along the route. Uses for teleporters when the front lines are really too close to the spawn for the teleporter to do any good? For one thing, you could try to sneak a teleporter behind the enemy lines (if on a map like 2fort or ctf well). Or you could just place a teleporter in a hidden spot while defending the first point on a defense map. Both options provide ample opportunity for sudden strikes from behind against unsuspecting enemies. However, you'll need a coordinated team if you don't want your teleporter found after the very first use, as a person using the teleporter has a sparkly trail indicating this fact behind him for 13 seconds. Ironically, though spies generally shouldn't use teleporters for this reason, hidden teleports make getting behind the enemy lines easy, and a spy who arrived behind the enemy lines and patiently waited for the sparkles to disappear does not indicate a teleporter, provoking no search for one - making spies the perfect class to use such teleporters. The teleporter can be placed in certain isolated places to be sapped by impatient spies, thus revealing the spies exact location to the team. Lastly, it can function as speed bump - making enemies (and friends) jump over it or destroy it before they can advance. Section 3: How to play the engie. In general: Know the level you're playing. Pay attention to your and the enemy team's disposition and methods of attack. This is nearly as important for a good engie as it is for a good spy. Knowing the good sentry placements, the hidden places the put teleporters, the metal stashes and the routes to every point will seriously help improve your game. If your team's attacks are scattered, everyone going by a different route and not caring about the others, the safe place to build your nest is a bit farther behind the action than if your team was highly coordinated and the chances of massive enemy presence behind the main line were slim. If the enemy has a lot of demos, sentry gun placements should be scattered. If the enemy prefers to use ubers to deal with sentries, sentry farms are the way to go. If the "ideal" sentry spot is in fact ideal, guard it at all costs. If the enemy coordinates, improvises and pushes, moving the sentry around to confuse them may be a good idea. Overall, I'd advise to "stick to a well built nest" on defense and ctf maps and to be ready to run back and forth, building and rebuilding on point contest maps. CP maps force you to improvise on the fly, but defense maps give you time to think. Generally speaking, when under heavy/constant attack (say, guarding a key defensive position on dustbowl) you should be behind your sentry, watching for spies, ready to wrench it at a moments notice (however, do pay attention. Spies LOVE it when you're constantly crouched behind the sentry, wrenching it without bothering to look around. Gives them a chance to jump on your head, sap and backstab). If the attacks on your location are more sporadic, you should be patrolling the general area around your sentry, ready to fend off trouble, or fall back. Cooperate with your fellow engies. Fix stuff for the other engie when he's dead, un-sap affected buildings, have one guy hunt a sap-spamming spy while the other un-saps the buildings... and most importantly, work together to erect vital buildings quicker. Two engies cooperating on a single sentry can erect a level 3 in the time each one would only manage to halfway upgrade his level 1. Vital when a defense level starts. Also; swap nests. Have each engie tend the others nest, as the buildings are no longer an obstacle. Nothing miffs a spy more than to see an engie barricaded behind his sentry pass THROUGH that sentry to wrench him in the face. Oh and NEVER, EVER, EVER be the dick that uses another engies dispenser to build his stuff without ever bothering to erect a dispenser on his own. That's just stupid. Also, don't be the dick that runs and grabs desperately needed metal from under another engies nose while ignoring metal you have right near you. Mind yor metal/resource management. Let's say you have 200 metal on you, and both a 200 metal ammo spawn and a 40 metal ammo spawn nearby. To start a nest, you should build a dispenser, take the 40 ammo, build a sentry take the 200 ammo, build a teleporter exit (or upgrade the sentry, if you're anticipating an attack). Most economic and fast way of doing things. Learn to make these sorts of calculations rapidly, and learn the locations of ammo spawns/etc. Getting your sentry to level 2 10 seconds earlier can sometimes prevent you from losing a match.One thing to remember about engie cooperation - you don't need a twin. Two soldiers standing at the same place, spamming rockets, are twice as effective. Ditto heavies, ditto demos, ditto whatnot (except for spies, who need a lot of practice to work in tandem). But building your sentries as a Siamese twin to another engies is bloody stupid. The only possible benefit you get from it is ruining certain ubers days with the combined knockback effect. On the other hand, you'll make some demomen VERY happy. So, simple rule of thumb, all sentries must be at least 3 meters apart. Combat strategies: Generally speaking, there are two BAD ways to play the engie. One is to build your stuff in a location nowhere near the front of the battle lines, wedge yourself between the dispenser and the sentry, and hump your sentry while ignoring everything around you. For extra points, don't build teleporters. The other is neglecting ALL your buildings and simply running forth and engaging the enemy with your trusty shotgun. This is just as stupid as being a "combat medic" and far less entertaining. In fact, by doing this, you're actively hurting your team, taking up a place that could have been filled by someone useful. If your nest is as close to the front lines as it can be and you have another engie tending it / no one has bothered it for a while, you MAY go out looking for trouble. Just, don't be too enthusiastic about it - nothing is more annoying than seeing a single spy demolish all you've created as you wait for a respawn after a single crit grenade. BTW, if you don't have an established nest yet you can drop the sentry behind the corner in the middle of a fight, and either lure the enemy into an ambush, or force them to choose between shooting you and shooting the sentry. Overall, due to your squishiness and crappy weaponry, you should use scout tactics - distract people from more threatening classes, harass them, flank (even you can be deadly when attacking from behind while a combat class occupies their attention) deal some damage and run away when they turn to you. Remember - you're SQUISHY. Flank with your sentry - lure enemies into it, and make them choose between dealing with the sentry and killing you. Learn to identify those situations where flanking is the wrong strategy, and the best thing to do is alert people to the threat incoming, then dodge behind your sentry and wrench away at it. Oh, yeah - major point that applies to all classes - you REALLY need a microphone to enhance combat communication. Telling your team what enemies are coming in from where is a lifesaver for you and for the team. You get a +20 k/d % just by buying a mic (totally made up stat, natch, but the point is true) Section 4 - Engie matchups. I don't really like the various "how to deal with class x when playing class y" guides - too many variables for dogmatic approaches to work, and you rarely fight a 1-1 duel anyway. Nevertheless, such class breakdowns emphasize certain strengths, weaknesses' and general strategies. Here are some suggestions on how to deal with each class. A is if you encounter the class in the middle of nowhere. B is if the class is trying to assault you while you're near your sentry. Scout: A. You have a major problem. The scout has the same weapons as you (well, the scattergun is probably more decent), the same health, and a LOT more speed. Running away will NEVER work, as the kill hungry bastard is sure to follow (and luring them into sentries is fun as well as useful). Panic is your worst enemy - there's nothing a scout loves more than a panicking engie unloading 6 shotgun shells into the thin air as the scout dodges frantically, then closes in to boink the engie to death and taunt his corpse. Try to choose your battlefield - narrow tunnels will even the odds, as the scouts dodging will do him little good. Then, it's a matter of a sure and steady finger on the trigger. B. No problem whatsoever. The sentry is nature's way of telling a scout to go back to spawn and choose a better class. Soldier: A. Stay AWAY. Use cover and harass him with the pistol. Over long distances, you have the advantage, as the rockets are relatively easy to avoid. He should either retreat, or try to close in. Give him a few pistol clips while retreating, and ambush him by the nearest health drop with the shotgun. Never get too close, and jump around to make rocket aiming harder. B. Good soldiers will try to use the rocket's area damage to kill you, or the sentry without exposing themselves. Try to avoid placing a sentry in a position that will allow them to do so. An uber is really wasted on a soldier - he still has the 4 missiles, after which he's essentially useless. Pyro: A. Ack. Solitary engies are a pyro's favorite prey, right after spies and snipers. If caught unawares at close quarters... take out your wrench, sidestep the flame and hope for a crit. You're unlikely to survive either way. If you see him coming, you might use the pistol - the pyro doesn't have any decent long range weapons. Once he's in range, switch to the shotgun. He'll either try to flame, which will allow you to take him apart as he closes (as long as you don't panic) or switch to the shotgun, which will put you on equal terms. B. Unlike other weapons, the flame goes through the sentry to hit you, so if a pyro actually gets close enough to flame the sentry, you'll die in a hurry. Therefore, moving the hell out of the way when an ubered pyro is coming at you is a good idea. Unubered, a pyro may still successfully circle-strafe a level 1-2 sentry if it doesn't see him coming, and his flames can deal damage around corners/through gates, so pay attention to that when placing a sentry. On certain occasions, body blocking a circling pyro is an option. On others, you'll just get burned down. Demo: A. Ack. Just run away. Those bastards can fling grenades to places where you imagine yourself safe and set up traps behind themselves with stickies. Unless flanking, you really can't deal with a competent demo. B. Double ack. Competent demomen can take out most sentry placements unless interrupted. General grenade spam will often wreak havoc with attempts to build stuff near the front lines, crit grenades not even aimed at you will kill you outright, and 4 stickies will take out a sentry nest without ever exposing the demo to harm. Despite what you may have heard, trying to shotgun/pistol the stickies away is a waste of time, as he can spam faster than you can shoot away. Call for help and either engage the demo to distract him, try to close in while he's distracted (if the demo is on his own) or fall back and rebuild latter, depending on the circumstances. Heavy: A. Actually easier than they seem. A moment's burst from Sasha at close range will tear you apart, but you can use scout tactics to harass one or kill when flanking quite easily. If a heavy knows you're there, and focuses on you, things get more difficult, but no hopeless. Use your mobility to pop in and out of cover, alternating the places you come from, chipping away at his health, Circle behind him whenever possible. If he switches to the shotgun, he's able to give chase, but you get a chance to make mistakes without getting torn apart B. Even though an unbuffed heavy can duel a level 2 sentry and win, they're not actually very good when dealing with fully upgraded sentries protected by you. Heavies have no options besides a slugging contest, which the sentry is likely to win. Even when ubered, a heavy needs to close his distance to the sentry in order to damage it faster than you can heal it, which few actually manage for whatever reason. Overall, it takes a very smart heavy to successfully deal with a sentry, much less a nest. Medic: A. Are faster than you, have a weapon that's great for spamming, regenerate slowly, and are usually accompanied by a guardian. However, when caught all alone, a medic can (and should - taking the trouble to kill medics is a greater contribution to the team than killing anyone else) be killed relatively easily. A single syringe doesn't do much damage, so if you both strafe like crazy and you're careful about your shots landing, you'll outgun him, as the syringe gun is really not accurate when strafing. Be ready with the pistol for the moment when he tries to run. B. While theoretically syringes can be used like demo grenades, arching over obstacles to hit sentries with impunity, I rarely see this done. The main danger medics pose to sentries is the uber, and we've discussed this in the class entries for the most likely uber targets. Sniper: A. DON'T count on a sniper being utter crap and allowing you to pistol him from the distance / strafe to close in over open space while he's scoped. Alert your teammates to his location, and let someone else deal with him. However, when caught at short range/flanked, the non-elite sniper (elite's can scope and headshot your at point blank) will lose, badly - the smg is utter crap compared to most secondaries, much less the shotgun. Just don't give him a chance to retreat and scope. B. You shouldn't place your sentries in a position where a sniper can take potshots at them, but if you must, at least make sure the sentry faces the likely line of fire and covers your entire body from the direction the sniper will be shooting. Even the "holes" in the sentry will count for stopping bullets, but as it turns, it may leave you exposed for a second - BOOM, headshot. Then the sniper can simply snipe the sentry apart. Spy: Ah, the spy. Every engies traditional nemesis. Sneaky bastards will sap all that you create if you look away for a moment, backstab you if you ever stop in the middle of nowhere and ever so rarely coordinate attacks so that a single attack class can march right in and demolish your stuff as a spy saps it over and over. How do we deal with them? :Soldier voice: In order to fight the spy, we must UNDERSTAND the spy! Watch the "how to play the spy" video on youtube. Spend some time as a spy. Learn how they act and think. Also, learn the basics - teammates you can't go through, teammates that can't go through your buildings, people with exactly 50% health, people running into your base backwards (advice that people give noob spies specifically to make them easier to spot), people (or empty spaces) with smoke hanging around them, people of your color running with the enemy, spies on "your side" who don't have a mask and flash the wrong color when they uncloak... spies, all of them. Shoot to kill. Your best bet for dealing with a spy, is finding him as he goes in or out of cloak state. He can't attack for two seconds, leaving you free to unload. Get in close, unload your shotgun, and don't miss. If you give him a chance, the revolver will tear your apart. So - identify spy, unload at close range, make sure all your shots land, try not to get ambushed. Simple. Of course, a spy is more likely to trouble you when he's trying to break your toys. There are basically three ways spies have of dealing with your stuff: sap while you're gone, backstab and sap, spam-sap. Not much you can do about sapping while you're away, except to have allies that are good about spy checking, and never running too far from the nest for no reason. No real ways to prevent backstab + sap while you're upgrading equipment, except to circle around it instead of crouching in one spot, but once all your things are upgraded, you should stay within sight range from your nest, checking up on things. This way, any attack against you will be purely suicidal. If a spy sap-spams, you should unload into him, only saving your stuff once he's dead, because he can sap away your buildings faster than your can wrench the sappers off. This is why barricading yourself behind your buildings is a bad idea. If he undisguises to attack you, you should un-sap the sentry and let him eat rocket. If a spy manages to sap-spam as a friend of his is coming around the corner and you don't have any friends nearby... you're screwed. That simple, really. Section 5 - Map specific strategies. 2fort: one of the best/worst camping/turtling maps. Yes, you'll sometimes build a forward base in the enemy sewers, and theoretically you could build a base within the enemies intel room, but you're going to spend most your time defending your own base. Or even, worse, your Intel room (I understand the need to guard the Intel, but I NEVER build there. You either stay near the Intel room and die from boredom or your run around only to have a spy sap your stuff and run off with the Intel). This can be fun if the enemy is aggressive in a scattered way and keeps running into your shotgun/sentry, but it gets really old when both teams go on full defense and you don't see anyone except the occasional spy try and get into your base. Nevertheless, 2fort is a good place to practice defending under controlled conditions, and a team with no defense will lose outright. So let's talk about proper defense. We start with the Intel room. Yeah, if you DO want to be bored to death, at least bring a buddy along and set up a pair of sentries that can only be taken down by an uber. You know the little corridors that lead from the Intel room into the big room where the staircases meet? Set up one sentry at the end of a corridor so that it can kill anyone going down the spiral stairs, and set up another sentry at the end of the longer corridor. Now swap sentries with your engie buddy. Viola - with the two of you popping in and out to harass intruders, nearly nothing can actually get to the Intel. If you only have one sentry, I'd have to go with the one position inside the Intel room that can shoot at people in both exit tunnels. People trying to dodge in and out to damage it can easily be flanked. If you want a bit more excitement, I'd suggest guarding the courtyard. Anything other than a scout/rocket jumping soldier must pass through the yard to get to your sweet intel, and this setup is mainly suited to deal with "run and grab" attempts and pesky spies, as determined attacks by a multitude of enemies will take the sentries down (but you'll have time to let reinforcements save the day, as the spawn is right next door). One sentry blocks the door to the straight staircase, with the dispenser behind the wall. It can be targeted from the main entrance to the yard, but you have the metal to keep it alive for a while. It's there to cover the other sentry, and prevent spies from sneaking into the Intel room. The other sentry blocks the entrance into your spawn "hay room". Turn it towards the yard, and the fact that it only has to do a 45 degree turn to target the battlements will make sure the scouts don't have much of a chance to run past. If necessary, put a dispenser in the middle of the path to the battlements, so that scouts are delayed on their way. Soldiers that jump onto the grating are still a problem. There's another setup with the same goal, with both sentries simply blocking the stairs themselves, but some spies can still jump around them unseen, and scouts can just rush through. A sentry in the corner of the hay room deals with scouts and soldiers, but is useless for anything else... only put one there in case of emergencies, if people keep pushing through the hay room. A sentry shooting down into the base entrance from the grate can get a few kills by sheer surprise value, but doesn't even guard all the ground ways into the base. Neither is recommended under most circumstances. If the enemy constantly sallies forth into your base in large numbers, there's a neat sentry placement that can hold them off with only the tiniest bit of help from your friends. The L shaped tunnel that people from the right spawn can drop into, leading from the base entrance into the yard? Put a sentry right at the end of it. It's highly inconvenient for people from the sewers to duck in - shoot - duck out, the only way to shoot it from outside it's field of vision is to be exposed to your allies on the battlements, and for some reason no one expects a sentry in that particular location (though all the other locations on the bottom floor are far inferior). Do this on a fast respawn 24/32 server, and you're guaranteed 10+ kills with one sentry. A sentry in the water is occasionally fun, but no longer the surprise it once was, and is fairly quickly destroyed. A nest on the bridge is occasionally a decent idea - most of the fighting is being done across the bridge, and if your team momentarily pushes the enemy back, this placement can really rack up kills. Generally though, the pushes are evenly divided between the bridge and the sewers, and your nest is quickly destroyed when the enemy counterpushes or demo spams. I would only recommend building a forward nest in two places - the enemy's sewers, and the enemy's Intel room. The sewers are simple - put up a sentry in the intersection of the two sewer tunnels, against the wall of the long one, facing the entrance into the short one. This is one case where sitting on a dispenser wedged against the sentry is actually useful - less death due to grenade spam. When building inside the Intel room... well, just remember to build teleporters. The previous Intel room setup is less effective inside the enemy base - you need at least two sentries inside the room itself. Teleporters: I would recommend 1 clearly marked teleporter in the hay room with the exit leading to the Intel room. It allows you to fall back and protect the Intel room if an enemy rush overwhelms the yard. A teleporter into the water under the bridge is quickly discovered these days, but a teleporter at the end of the long tunnel in the enemy sewers, behind the corner can be left unspotted for a surprisingly long amount of time. Forward nests in the enemy sewers should have teleporters, naturally. Last but not least, you could build a teleporter entrance at the bottom of the stairs in the yard, with a matching exitat the top. Ruins the day for a spy and a few ubers. Badlands: To be reviewed during a latter update. Dustbowl: 3 stages, none of them symmetrical, so we get separate guides for RED and BLU. Cap 1. Red: The best place to setup in the first cap building is in the corner by the stairs. Drop a teleporter entrance outside the spawn, refill your metal in the spawn, run to the cap point, drop a dispenser NOT in the corner, but on the beginning of the stairs left twist, run outside to grab that little metal package, shove a teleporter exit into the upper left corner (from your perspective. Remember to right click twice so that people come out the right way) and grab the 200 metal package, while praying that some asshole amongst your teammates didn't grab it before you. Sit on the teleporter, drop a sentry on the stairs, wrench the dispenser to finish it, wrench the sentry, and grab the 200 metal again. You're set. A long as the enemy doesn't get into the cap point with an uber (which does presume a certain amount of competence on the part of your fellow defenders) or a spy + attack class (easily foiled by a single fellow defender inside the point) we make sure that not sneaky spies/scouts can grab the point while everyone are distracted, provide transportation directly to the front lines, and healing/ammo for all who require it. The other option here is to wedge the dispenser again the corner and sit on it, which protects that dispenser from demo spam, but renders you far too vulnerable to a single crit anything. There are two other, less ideal sentry locations inthe cap room, which you might use - a sentry wedge inside door on the RED side of the cap building, looking outside, which is vulnerable to mass spam from the BLU side, but helps prevent flanking and a sentry on the top level, along the rails that lead into the tunnel. The middle of the rails is far too vulnerable to snipers and demomen. Another interesting place to put a sentry is near the left BLU exit. Putting a sentry inside/behind the shack is a bad idea, as it's totally open to attack from the right exit, but wedging a dispenser + sentry on the brink of the canyon (so that you can take out guys on the right/people in the canyon) can actually be fairly effective, if you have a decent pyro spy checker, no uber comes out from the left/said uber flies away with the help of a friendly demoman. One of the more dangerous, but effective sentry positions on dustbowl. However, there's a reason why being able to keep DB 1 1 in RED hands is considered an impossible achievement. Unless your team is obviously superior, you might consider getting some fallback positions. No, don't start defending the second point right away, that's stupid. Defend the tunnel that leads from above cap point 1, to cap point 2. The little alcove with the one way door at the end? Slam a dispenser and a teleporter there, and a sentry point into the tunnel. Make sure you place it so that you are out of harms way, but the sentry has a clear shot into the tunnel while you can repair it. You rely on demomen and pyro's to help you keep that position, but cutting off most of the enemy's access routes to cap point 2 is worth it. You could use another sentry here (remember the 3 meter rule though) but a more interesting place is the second ledge out of the tunnel. Yup, build a sentry on the edge here, and a dispenser in the corner, and you'll control all the access routes to cap point 2. You're also likely to get a lot of kills. If your team is reasonably aggressive and cooperative, the match is now won. Once the tunnel and the first cap point are lost, your choices are between the lower right corner of the cap building, or behind the water tower, overlooking those approaches to the cap building that don't involve going through the tunnel. Neither option is perfect, both are vulnerable to spam and ubers, but both are necessary. BLU: Personally, I use a class other than engie at the start, but a dispenser in the right exit (the little alcove near the door) can help your teammates over there get some health without retreating all the way to the spawn and a sentry against the gate sometimes works wonders if no demomen are present - forcing the other team to start the uber early just to demolish the sentry (if the other team doesn't have an uber, you probably won't need an engie for this dustbowl stage). Once the initial path to the point is clear, a sentry up against the cap building wall can help prevent counter-pushes. You have the metal in the shack next to the spawn exit. Once we've passed the fist cap point, the really decent nests start cropping up. The rail tracks out of the first point lead you into a tunnel above the second. The standard nest placement sticks the entire nest at the end of the tunnel. Granted, this position has certain advantages - it protects the nest against jump happy scouts, soldiers, demomen, and pyros that your stupid, stupid teammates let in through the one-way gate. However, it allows the other team to run unopposed on the lower level. If the other team lacks the initiative to do some jumping attacks, or if you already have one sentry guarding the tunnel, a good place for another sentry on the rail that leads to the first cap point building. This deals with anyone trying to invade BLU team's personal space, and unveils any spies trying to get into the tunnel. You could also wedge yourself in the doorway on the side, to make sure no spies get through. Why not place a sentry there? Too likely to be taken out by ubers. They have trouble with the rail sentry, for some reason. Stage 2 Red: Most dangerous and effective location for a sentry is on the roof of the shack near the BLU spawn. You have some metal inside the shack so you can build quickly, and no one but spies can actually get to the point without dealing with the sentry first. If the sentry survives the initial uber onslaught, it can make the rest of the game really easy for RED. Just make sure you have a good pyro spy checker. If the shack sentry and demo spam have pushed BLU back, you can put up another sentry to guard the right exit. Another option is putting a sentry in the door on the upper level of the cap building, overlooking the cap point. Make sure that the sentry is actually sticking outside a bit, so that it can shoot at stuff outside the building. Yes, that exposes it to damage it can't react to, and a sentry INSIDE the room is a lot safer, but it's also a lot more useless. Just put a dispenser against the wall, and go to work. I've occasionally got 20+ kills with that sentry placement (though it did get blown up several times). The worst danger to this sentry comes from people coming in from the bottom floor. That's why it's a pretty good idea to have a sentry there. Again, dispenser against the wall, sentry close to the left wall. The other options include a sentry behind the water towerâ€¦ but that's only good for covering the point itself, allowing BLU to grab the rest of the area. You could build a dispenser behind the point (to the right, near the tires) stand on it, and build a sentry on the point itselfâ€¦ which would guard the point, the right access route, and your snipers from being backstabbed by spies, but you'd be open to attacks from afar. A teleporter exit behind the bend to the right on the upper floor of the cap building can sometimes remain undiscovered. Urge your spies to use it. Once the first point is lost, you could try to hold the tunnel on the left (from RED's point of view). Not quite as useful as holding the tunnels at the first stage, but it usefully prevents attacks on the next two sentry placements and gives your team a good place to push back from. The other sentry positions to control the space between the tunnels and the building are - that ledge above the tunnel exits, looking into the right tunnel and one essentially anywhere on the building, the main problem being guys coming out of the tunnel, but if you build a dispenser in the little corner (just drop off the stairs that lead on to the building), stand on it and build a sentry there, you don't have to rely on people holding the left tunnel for protection. Remember that there's metal inside the building. Holding this area leaves the point itself safe from anything other than spies, and makes counterpushes easy. The other options include doing the same "stand on dispenser, build on building" bit near the tires facing opposite of the point (which incidentally covers the point itself). Make sure you turn the sentry to face the exit from the building if no one is holding the tunnels, as the most annoying bastards will be popping out of there. Also, you can build in that left stretch where EVERYONE builds them. On top of the metal. Not the best position, but you cover the point, and can build quickly - which is good if the enemy just stormed the first point, killed everyone, and is now rushing for the second. BLU Again, I usually go medic for the startâ€¦ but a dispenser to the left of the left exit from the tunnels, and a sentry above it (yes, above. That point at which you drop into the tunnel), can help your teammates and screw up anyone trying to backstab/flame them. People don't expect a sentry there, and many an ubered duo was killed by one when the uber ran out. If your team clears the space around the point, but not the point itself, you could build a sentry in the shack entrance. Once the point is captured, you could either place separate nest inside the left and right tunnel, or just put all your stuff in the right tunnel (your perspective this time). However, this is mildly counterproductive - instead of being teleported to the tunnel entrances, waiting to get an uber, and then venturing forth, your team should be working to clear the space in front of the building. If/once it does, you should exit the one way gate from the right tunnel, drop down and build a nest there. Once that nest is fully upgraded, another one to the left would be great. Now you should take the point in a minute or so. Stage 3 RED: Basically, everyone always goes for the stairs and the window ledge. Those are safe, but you NEED to keep at least one nest on the right side. Otherwise, anyone getting past the sentries (like, say, a spy) can easily cap the point. However, maintaining a nest to the right of the point is hard, thanks to the never-ending demo spam. You can build on the stairs, or directly below the stairs, as those are the "safest positions". One the plus side, the enemy can't advance before dealing with you. On the minus side, every single spy and uber at their disposal will be going for your throat. If you believe your team has got the skills to sow confusion at the beginning of the battle, you could place a sentry up against the building windows. This is a great spot to get a lot of kills, and allows your team to OWN this matchâ€¦ if the sentry isn't destroyed the moment the match starts, with the ubers. Since your team has already lost two stages to get to this one, building a sentry near the window is a high odds gamble, but ever so satisfactory when it pays off. Once the first cap point is taken, there's a nearly ideal sentry location to protect the second - directly on the bridge, overlooking the cap point, the canyon, and the main exit for BLU. Helps your team keep up the spam, and minimizes spam by the enemy, get a lot of kills (in between being destroyed by ubers). Just make sure your teammates actually pay attention to soldiers/snipers targeting your sentry from the canyon. Place a pair of teleporters at the top and bottom of the canyon stairs to make life harder for ubers and spies. The other popular sentry spots include the tunnel (good for denying enemies use of it) the stairs on the right house (limited use, but relatively safe, and the dispenser gives your teammates a chance to get back to spamming in a hurry) and the left house (which doesn't get a lot of kills, but stops the enemy from using the house). BLU. The standard nest location is against the side of the building, and it's a decent location as far as those go. However, if you place a dispenser near the rightmost gate (behind the wall, not visible from the outside) and it doesn't get destroyed, you can use the first break in enemy spam to construct a sentry next to that gate. This totally stops all enemy pushes, forcing the RED's to sit on the right, next to their sentries. Very useful, is somewhat frustrating to pull off as your sentry keeps getting blown up by spam when your first set it down. You could hop on a dispenser pushed up against the building and build a sentry inside the building itself (through the window) but it very rarely does anything effective. If you team is delayed by spam in the next stretch, you should build a sentry on the little bridge, aiming into the tunnel. In fact, if you have more than one engie, keeping a sentry there for the entire match is not a bad idea, as it prevents flanking pyro's and other attacks. Once your team pushes through into the street before the point, run up the stairs; put a dispenser near the doorway (blocks spies, helps spamming teammates) and a sentry on the ledge at the end of the little walkway. When a pause in the spam makes it plausible, rush over into the house on the right, and build a nest there (bottom right corner of the top floor). If you get a further break in the spam, do the same with the house on the left (stairs, same as the RED defense). Remember to leap-frog bases with your engie buddies. Hydro - To be updated latter. Granary: Symmetrical CP maps usually have a middle point that doesn't have decent sentry spots. I tend to drop the tp exit over by the second point, grab the metal there and try to gain the higher ground - the stairway above the point. If the fighting is chaotic enough, it takes a few moments for anyone to spot the sentry - during which time we slip downstairs, flank, and grab some more metal to replace the sentry in a different spot. If the enemy wins the point and you're forced back, at least there's a teleporter leading directly to the second point.The far right corner of the second point is decent and direct - it's hard to take out a sentry there without an uber/spy. There's a nice long tunnel (up the stairs, leading to a drop down) where a sentry is very hard to take out, but it doesn't protect much. However, a sentry on the floor with the dispenser behind the wall would be covered by the tunnel sentry. Actually, at this point, all the sentry locations are fairly similar, and are taken out the same way. At the last point, I would suggest building on top of the big pipe above the point, covering the point, the middle exit and quite a bit of the battle area. You could build on top of the little cement things between the building as you can repair them without exposing yourself to harm. Also, the default sentry position - covering the point, and only the point, behind the little shield to the right? It's crap. Don't use it. When on advance, I like to place a sentry on the ENEMY side of the stairs to guard the middle point. A sentry opposite the right door of the second point is useful for clearing opposition on the point itself, but difficult to build and maintain. A sentry lined up along the wall beyond the door helps take out any attempts to push back, and is very hard to destroy. Once you get the second point, you can set up sentries guarding each door, and you could setup a sentry on the ledge above the point, guarding both the point and the exit from the pipe. All are fairly viable, but not perfect. Gravel Pit: Now, this is one map that has no ideal nest placements, so you'll have to rebuild continually, and not worry too much about camping your sentry (beyond flanking/unsapping). For A, I'd definitely have to go with the shacks that face the BLU exits. Only build near the point itself if you have little support from your allies/when retreating from an enemy charge. On B, people tend to put stuff in the corners of the building. Whichâ€¦ is not that bad, but at least make sure you're building at the corner FAR from the BLU exits to make a spamming demoman's job harder, and that your sentry actually pokes out of the corner, so that it can cover most the point, rather than just a straight line in front of it? Better yet, stick a sentry in the front door with the dispenser behind the wall. You're covering the left BLU exit, the entire point, and aren't too exposed (watch out for snipers from the right point, though). You could also build slightly to the side of the BLU exits,against the wall. The dispenser is very valuable to spamming allies here. The left exit is safer, as people coming in from A through the tunnel can really mess you up regardless of where you place a sentry covering the right exit, except the position behind the shack opposite the right exit, possibly. That one is pretty good for surprising rocket jumping soldiers. Building on the roof isn't really that recommended. Too much time invested for too little payback.However, I WOULD recommend placing one dispenser and several teleporters there if you do have the time. Having a demo and a sniper up there with a dispenser to share is far more useful than a sentry. At C, the basic (and effective) sentry positions are on the little slopes leading to the exits to A and B. Make sure you build them at the correct height so that the enemy can only see the gun and rocket barrels (but make sure those ARE exposed). The sentry covering the right exit should actually be up against the LEFT side of the slope to control the bottom entrance. Building on the little protrusion behind the point does essentially the same thing, and those sentries are less vulnerable, but they cover slightly less ground and you have to start building them before the enemy starts attacking C - and I'm not a fan of the pessimistic approach - abandoning a point to the enemy to start building in the one the enemy will attack next. Well (cp): Drop a teleporter entrance, resupply in the spawn, run to the top floor above the second point and shove a dispenser in the doorway. Grab the metal, run outside, drop into the water and drop a teleporter exit. Use the water entrance into the point once the match starts, take the metal and drop a sentry. If the battle is chaotic enough, you could drop a sentry somewhere in the middle of the place (beware the trains). If the battle goes poorly, drop the sentry behind the door, so that it covers your retreat, retreat to the dispenser and build a sentry on the top floor ledge above the second point. This position isn't HIGHLY effective for protecting the point, as people can still sneak into it, but it makes attacking the space around the point very difficult, and taking out the sentry itself is nearly impossible to anyone but spies and demomen (who need a lot of uninterrupted time to do it). When not under attack, watch the stairs for spies coming up. I've managed to get 22 kills here at one pointâ€¦ 8 very stupid spies. The seconds floor ledges are also decent - one sentry per door protects the point better than a single sentry on the top floor, but you do need TWO sentries, and both can be taken out by a variety of means. Once you're down to the last point, you're essentially doomed anyway. A sentry on the point itself at least ensures that a single scout/spy won't manage to cap. If your team advances: As I've pointed out before, CP control maps generally don't have good places for sentries in the central point. Twin sentries near the point on the enemy side is a standard solution, as it a sentry in the doorway to the little side rooms on your side of the CP. I like building a nest in the little side rooms on the enemy side of the CP with the sentry observing the cp without sticking outside the door. Sure, an enemy who has the time can take your apart, but it really messes up rushing scouts and rocket jumping soldiers who assume the point is undefended. On the next point, I would place the sentry either within the point itself, or on the ledges. Build the nest in the side rooms next to the ledges. Oh, always remember to replace the teleporter entrances when you have the time. Well (ctf): There's no point in trying to establish presence in the central point and beyond (though the occasional spawn camping trip can be fairly fun, if your team is capable of it). I've found that a sentry on the top level above point 2 still works wonders (and stops the MANY spies that try to sneak into the intel room through the top levels). The safest (and most boring) sentry is placement is twin sentries on both stairways leading to the Intel. Putting a teleporter on the top floor above the enemy's second point is actually fairly easy, and useful. Custom Map section - to be done during a latter update. Section 6 - The FAQ Q. Why do you keep spelling engy as "engie"? A. Actually, neither is a proper way to shorten "engineer", but I like engie better. Q. How do I get the sentry gunner achievement? A. Just use one of the sentry positions I've outlined in the map specific strategies. The 2fort 32 person fast respawn position ALWAYS manages to get 10+ kills. Q. How do I skywalk/ build below the ground / grief people? A. F10. Q. I have suggestions/corrections/whatnot. A. Email me. This faq will probably not be abandoned for a while. Q. Your strategies are for pubbers! My clan would blah blah blah. A. Yeah, yeah. No crits, soldier only, final destination. Not a big fan of competitive play. And since most people play on public servers, and aren't "pros", this FAQ is directed at them. Section 7 - Thanks to: http://boards.gamefaqs.com/gfaqs/gentopic.php?board=437678 - The guys at the TF2 gamefaqs board can be assholes, or meme spamming dipshits, but they're occasionally very helpful. http://tf2wiki.net/wiki/Main_Page - The source of every technical detail you'll find in this FAQ.