Legions Players

Team Death Match: The Basics by OmniStrife

Last updated on Sun, 05 Oct 2014 15:41 UTC

A lot of people assume TDM consists of the following: spawn, zerg, die, respawn. But in reality, playing against a competent TDM team requires that you be coordinated, be able to counter-act situations quickly and be aware of what everyone around you is doing. If you can't think well on your feet, you'll lose many standoff situations and critical opportunities, such as gaining control of a tower and its ammo station or recapturing an area.

Throughout this article I'll cover some basic strategies and tactics implemented in competitive TDM that I've encountered while playing Tribes and Legions. Hopefully I'll impart some knowledge to aspiring players and teams, or even broaden the perspective of veterans experimenting with competitive TDM.




Choosing the correct load out for the situation is vital. Mixing different loadouts allows teams adaptability - the ability to adjust to different scenarios. A good 7v7 setup might consist of several Gunners, several Chaingun Specialists (CGS), and a Sniper. It's completely viable to use only Gunners, but the Gunner/CGS mix allows both easy clearance of platforms (Gunners) and effective focused fire (CGS).

Focusing, or targeting a specific player with chainguns and sniper rifles, involves proper coordination and communication; its mastery requires effort, however its effectiveness cannot be disputed. That's also where the sniper is valuable: even if they aren't getting kill shots, pinging players down to damaged-critical provides easily focused targets. Proper focusing will result in enemy lines crumbling as they beat a hasty retreat toward cover and higher ground.

The Sentinel is a powerful class when used efficiently. Not only is it equipped with a lethal arsenal, the Instant Overdrive (OD) allows it to move immediately and quickly to key objectives or into the fray to support teammates.

Regarding the Outrider, I will agree that it accommodates faster movement, however it really is more equipped for CTF scenarios. An OR will be an easy target for a veteran TDM team, especially those proficient with the chaingun and sniper rifle.



Covering Teammates

Always call out your status - if you're damaged or critical, heading back to get ammo, or dead. Playing TDM is about keeping your deaths to a minimum while trying to get as many kills as possible, so remember that each of your deaths is a point for them. If someone is retreating and calls out that they're critical, at least one teammate should attempt to provide aid, ensuring the player is able to take cover, ammo up, and heal. Proper communication of health and ammo status also allows teams effective advances and retreats; rather than scattering due to unexpected losses, informed teams shift their position in anticipation.



Structural Objectives

Legions sniper towerKeeping the high ground is a key strategy. Towers provide not only sources of ammunition, but also easily defended positions. Allowing your enemy control over an ammunition tower enables them to force you back towards either an ammo source or your base. And when the enemy controls where you're going, they're going to take advantage of that and isolate you.

Coordination and tactics are vital components to attacking held towers; a staggered approach often helps, allowing late followers some easy splash shots using the rocket launcher or grenade launcher. As mentioned in the Loadouts section, gunner pounding is a great way to force people off platforms. While the medium suit may be overall the best fit to deal with most situations, the sentinel is also useful as well.

Holding a structure is just as critical as taking one. Being proficient with mid-airs (MAs) and the chaingun will also help you greatly here. There's not much you can do while the enemy is advancing towards you except take potshots and try to chain the closest ones, but you'll want to stay behind cover so you aren't getting the heat yourself. Chances are, there will be a hill nearby they can ramp up to get to you, at this point you need to conserve jet energy and try to avoid their splash as best you can. Don't focus too much on jetting up after them and fighting because you'll want to stay on the top and wait for them to drop back down, then force them off. Although, if you can get a mid-air while they approach from below or while they're close to you, take the shot.

Assuming they have a Sentinel, you'll want to concentrate MAs primarily on that armor before it gets above you. Because it lacks a lot of forward velocity and has excess weight, the Sentinel should lose a lot of momentum and start to drop. To counter-act this, the player using the Sentinel will be forced to Instant OD back up, ticking away some health. Sentinels with no momentum are easy chaingun targets. You should be able to chain it down before it reaches the top. If the Sentinel manages to get to the top, it can easily force your teammates off the edge, or pull them down onto the structure, leaving you vulnerable to heavy splash damage.

Basically, holding structures is like a miniature version of king of the hill. Whoever controls the top is most likely going to be victorious in a stand-off situation. But you can't just take any structure, it needs to have cover for your team and be properly situated (e.g., not sitting next to another building the enemy can get on). Also, if you hold a flattened structure with no real obstructions, you're asking for a sniper to hit you, so keep that in mind when you're formulating strategies.




Your team should always move as a singular entity; get used to watching one another's backs and staying in a relatively loose formation. Too tight of a formation makes it easy to catch splash or cluster damage whereas too loose of a formation makes it easy for enemies to push into and work apart your group. A good guideline is to be conscious of surrounding terrain - it's easier to fight down a hill than it is to fight up one, for example. Also, avoid chasing people (even if they're critical) - reckless behavior will quickly rack up kills for the enemy.



Team Deathmatch vs. Team Arena

While there are significant differences between Team Arena (a round-based, limited lives gametype) and TDM, the required skillset is similar. DMing skills, coordination, communication, and tactics are the order of the day; these elements are no more prominent in one gametype than the other. In terms of differences, round-based Arena gametypes promote a "survivalist" approach, whereas TDM promotes a faster-paced, more DM-oriented game. TDM has the added benefit (or drawback, depending on your team's abilities) of reducing the luck factor inherent to round-based gametypes: the length of TDM matches almost always ensure victory for the more skilled team. Essentially though, a team which fares well in TA should fare well in TDM (and vice versa).


— OmniStrife