Team Fortress 2 – Spy Strategy Guide By nodforlife & sR + Orca Email: (nodforlife) - (sR + Orca) - Steam IDs: nodforlife, Delkin525 Intro: Upon seeing so many poor Spy players online I figured it was time to create a how-to guide on what I consider the most difficult class to play successfully in Team Fortress 2. The Spy is the weakest of the classes physically, yet he makes up for it with a slew of cunning tricks that can be essential for the victory of your team. A well timed sapper can provide just enough of a lull in the opponent’s defenses to allow your team to bust through and capture a point. Flanking the entire team’s rush and stabbing their medics can end their offensive before it’s even had time to reach your front lines. Pesky heavies and camping Snipers frequently fall victim to a capable Spy’s blade. And, really, there’s nothing more satisfying in TF2 than backstabbing a medic/heavy combo and taking down their 600 combined health with two deft mouse clicks. The Spy is my favorite class for these reasons, and despite his obvious deficiencies he can easily dominate the scoreboards and lead his team to victory. This guide will attempt show you how. (I should mention this guide is intended for players on public servers. While I feel some of these tips are universal, in a clan match the players are much better and will sniff out a lot of the tricks here. Also, the Spy benefits from larger player numbers, and the smaller matches for clans don’t lend themselves to the trickery). This guide is broken up into three chunks: 1) A general outline of the Spy’s weapons and statistics. 2) Some general dos and don’ts for the Spy applicable to every map, including Engineer sapping/killing guide and which classes make the best targets for backstabbing 3) Map-specific strategies (shipped maps only, no customs) ********************************************** Section 1) General Outline The Spy has the least amount of health that any class gets in TF2, tied with the Scout and Engineer with 125 health to start. He has five weapons/abilities: the revolver, the sapper, the knife, the disguise kit, and the cloaking devise. A good Spy will utilize all of these over the course of a map, so familiarity with all is essential. The Revolver: The Spy’s primary weapon. It holds six bullets before reload, but the reload time is fairly quick, which comes in handy during the frequent battles you will be having with the shotgun-toting Engineers, who have a very slow reload time in comparison. The Revolver does around 40 damage per shot, so it’s not completely useless, but is really only useful in taking out the weaker classes: Engineers, Scouts, and other Spies. When engaged in a firefight with the pistol, it’s best to retreat as you fire, since the Spy’s bullets do the same damage from any range, while the shotgun toting classes have their damage limited by distance, and you will be out of range of the Pyro’s flamethrower. The Sapper: For destroying buildings. If you have this selected and approach an enemy building, a white outline of the sapper will appear on top of the nearest one. Clicking applies the sapper, but does not blow your disguise. It does, however, tip off everyone nearby since they will see a supposed friendly unit and a sapped building. Planting and running is the best strategy, unless there’s a nosey Engineer around. I’ll talk bout how to deal with them in the next section. Sappers will disable the operation of whatever they are applied to for the duration of the sap, eventually causing the building to blow up. The sappers slowly suck the life from their buildings and they kill teleports and dispensers fairly quickly. Fully powered up sentries take a while and the sappers will usually be destroyed by an Engineer, since most Engineers consider a Level 3 sentry too valuable a prize to leave undefended. In this case, just reapply the sapper until the sentry dies. The sapper takes health faster than the engineer can repair it, and even if he’s pounding on it with his wrench the whole time you’re sapping it, you’ll kill it eventually. The Butterfly Knife: This is where most of your points will come from. The knife kills most classes in about four stabs from the front, but from the back or side it’s a one hit kill, and you’re rewarded with two points for a backstab instead of the one for a front stab. Since most of your kills come from backstabs, this can lead to some pretty lofty scores, and a good Spy can dominate the scoreboards by double-digit points if he can knife properly. Obviously, the slower classes like Heavies and Soldiers are easier to stab since they don’t dart around and prevent you from a clear path to their backs, like Medics and Scouts tend to do. The Cloak: This is key. Knowing when to cloak is the difference between a skilled Spy and an amateur. Right-clicking the mouse will begin the cloak. It takes a moment before you’re completely transparent and enemies can still bump into you. If they do, you will shimmer for a moment and your location will be revealed. This also happens if you take damage, so staying out of the path of the Heavy’s minigun or the Pyro’s flames is recommended. The cloak lasts about 10 seconds before the meter is empty and it recharges to full as long as you’re not using it. When invisible, sentries will not shoot at you and changing disguises does not reveal you, so transforming while cloaked is advised. The Disguise Kit: Does what the name implies. You can transform into either an enemy or friendly class and you will appear to the enemy as such. It takes a moment for a disguise to take effect and a small cloud will appear around you for the duration of the change. Once disguised, only using the revolver or knife will take off the disguise, exposing you to sentries or other defenders, so only go for the kill if you a) are spotted and have to fight or b) have an easy backstab. Also, you will appear to the enemy as whichever class you’ve selected carrying it’s primary weapon, ie if you’re a Pyro you’ll have the flamethrower, a Heavy you’ll have the minigun, etc. Really, there are only three classes worth being disguised as: Pyro, Demoman, and Sniper. Soldiers and Heavies are too slow to get stabs, Scouts are too fast and a disguised Scout will be slower than a real one, Engineers almost always have their wrench out for sapper destruction/sentry upgrades and seeing one with a shotgun out is a giveaway, Medics will be expected to heal and usually don’t have the syringe gun selected, and Spies never run around undisguised, which you will look like to them if you disguise as a Spy (ie you won’t have a mask on). Further detail on the why/why not of who to disguise as is below: ========================[Disguises]============================== ------------------------ ------------------------------ =========[Four classes you should never disguise as]============= Heavy- You're a huge target. Most people realize whether or not their team has a Heavy, they are a class that demands attention, whether they mean to or not. Part of the reason that a Heavy is a dead give away is the fact that they are so huge. People pay attention to you more. Not to mention that a Heavy is always situated on the front line, and is always firing away. Seeing as how you can’t shoot, you’d be a dead giveaway. Also, it’s worth noting that disguising as a Heavy will not help to kill Medics, being that you are slow moving now. Note: Most Medics know exactly how a Heavy (or anyone they are healing) should act, and deviationg from that known way of acting only causes suspicion. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Scout- As a Scout your speed doesn't increase, and if it does it is hardly worth mentioning. It's obvious to the enemy that you're not a Scout. Scouts are frantic bastards and double jump like there’s no tomorrow. Surely a Spy can't perform as such. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Soldier- This is surprisingly the slowest moving character in the game, though; his gun makes him more maneuverable than the Heavy. While the Heavy shoots he hardly moves, and it is hard for him to turn quickly, making him a target for Snipers, and spies alike. Your lessened speed and the fact that you aren't constantly jumping and rocketing is a clear sign to all that you are a Spy. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Medics- Obviously Medics are the WORST possible disguise. They are constantly being demanded upon by there team, and disguising yourself as a Medic will only have the enemy following you expecting to be healed. They will slaughter you in seconds, because Medics are ALWAYS HEALING. Again, obviously a Spy can't heal. The point of a Spy is to bring the least amount of attention to oneself. ----------------------------------------------------------------- =========[Your best disguise options are as follows]============== Pyro- The Pyro is probably the single best disguise ever. Why? Simple… The Pyro is a trademark anti-Spy character. Because they hunt spies, Pyros are known to randomly wander about, having no real order to gameplay. Oftentimes you won't be noticed, being that it’s not so suspicious of a Spy to be anywhere and everywhere. Not to mention the fact that the flame is short ranged, so the enemy won't assume that because you’re not firing your weapon, you’re a Spy. On the other hand, if you imitate a Heavy or Soldier, it is likely that the enemy can tell that you’re a Spy based on the fact that you aren’t shooting. Also, you aren't slowed down at all in this disguise. Note: Posing as a friendly Pyro (a Pyro of your team color) is also an incredibly effective way of scaring off, and dealing with enemy spies. This is so for a few reasons. One, as you'll see later in this guide Pyro's are the worst target for a Spy, and should be avoided at all costs. With that said, the enemy Spy will more than likely try to avoid you, this is good because if you are looking for an enemy Spy, and you notice that one of your own is avoiding you, cough, Spy. NOw you can have a revolver duel, alert others, or attempt stabbing him to death. Good luck! ----------------------------------------------------------------- Engineer- The engineer is one of the best disguises to take out sentries, being that it is typical of an engineer to stick near his sentry and dispenser. Sap first then stab (sapping is explained in greater depth in the target section). Sadly, the engineer is a highly suspected disguise; this is thanks to the fact that too many spies are uncreative and think there's no other way to deal with sentries than to take on this disguise. Pyros will constantly check engineer's above all else. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Demoman- The Demoman is among the best in-between disguises. It's not highly expected, and it won't slow the movement of the spy. Still, if the Demoman is seen wandering in a fashion unlike a Demoman it's obvious to the enemy that you're a Spy so, be careful. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Sniper- The Sniper disguise is good when you are in the appropriate place. If you are in a particular part of a map in which Snipers dwell then props to you, stab them Snipers! Otherwise this class is suspicious. Note: When posing as a Sniper, to avoid suspicion be aware of your surroundings, have a target in mind, and act interested in your team. Act as though they (your team) are a dynamic worry to you, strafe back-and-forth looking in the direction of your team, especially when enemies are present. As soon as a target is within range, or when the moments right, break from the act and assassinate. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Spy- Yes, another useful disguise is to become an enemy Spy. This is because the enemy expects to see you wondering around with the enemy, in this case, your team. Also, spies are not so combative; they aren't always shooting like the Heavy... so it's less suspicious to see a Spy wandering around not flailing his gun. Though, for some reason being a spy can sometimes attract attention because you still give off that Spy like odor to the enemy. They will strike you down in fear that you are indeed an enemy. Still, the disguise is better then most; you’ve just got to be smart. ***************************************************** Section 2) General Dos and Don’ts While each map has specific strategies that work best, there are some basic techniques that are applicable to all stages, both offense and defense. First, I must say these suggestions are based on the idea that you would rather have your team win the map than dominate the scoreboards. Those two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but sometimes the Spy must sacrifice his score for the sake of victory (2fort especially). 1) DON’T attempt to get into firefights unless absolutely necessary. You have too little health for that kind of exercise and most every other gun in the game is more powerful than yours. The only classes you have a chance of killing consistently are Engineers and they are usually guarded by their allies or sentries, since most Engineers camp nearby their teams spawn points. 2) DON’T run toward the enemy unless you’re cloaked. Even if you are disguised as them, the fact that a supposed teammate is running at them is a dead giveaway that you are a Spy and they will kill you. Cloak, get BEHIND their lines, then stab away. 3) As an addendum to Number 2, the disguise is pretty much worthless for fooling the other team. All but beginners have learned to be suspicious of everyone, and will shoot every teammate enough times to kill a disguised Spy. Be especially weary of Pryos, since being set on fire does not disappear when cloaked. In fact, steering clear of Pyros altogether is a good idea, unless they are set up for the perfect stab. 4) DO use the disguise for sentries. They will not shoot at you if you look like the other team, allowing you to sap at will. That’s really the best use for the disguise, for any sneaking around the opponents, the cloak is recommended. 5) The best way to get backstabs is to cloak right before you get to the point in the map where the teams are clashing, then run back to a safe point behind their lines where you can de-cloak and ‘join’ their team for the fight. Often times this takes agility to avoid the firefight on the front lines, but if you can juke your way around the flying grenades, rockets, and Heavy bullets, there can often be bountiful rewards awaiting your knife-wielding hands. Be careful there are no Engineers around, since they like to hang out near the rear. Usually, if you see the Medics run by that means the whole line has passed, since Medics typically run behind everyone with their beam on a Heavy or Soldier. 6) DO stab their Medics first. They are crucial to any offensive push, especially if they can get their Ubercharge. Killing them makes a brief retreat/heal or Uber-rush for the other team impossible, effectively ending their rush and allowing your team to pick off the attackers. I list the order of priority to stab at 1) Medics 2) Heavies (since it’s really easy) 3) Soldiers 4) Demomen 5) Everyone else. Obviously, killing Engineers is important, too, but they are rarely on the front lines and can be dealt with separately. 7) Accept the fact that as a Spy, YOU WILL DIE A LOT. Spies are weak, sapping sentries is often a suicide mission, and sometimes their front line is so full of people and firepower that sneaking by is impossible. Just suck it up, respawn, and go back at them. There’s a reason you get twice as many points for a backstab, since you probably die twice as much as other classes just getting into the position to get one. But oh, how sweet they are. My apologies, indeed. 8) The Spy is an offensive character. That means, don’t hang around your base expecting to fool their rushers and getting stabs. You have to be daring. You have to be willing to get killed trying to capture a point or getting the intel. 9) Plan proactively. If you can see you’re team has a capture well in hand, try to sneak onto the next point for an easy capture before the enemy can get its defenses up. This works great on the final points on Granary and Well since they capture really fast and you can almost always get the point before they can stop you. Then you can rush into their spawn before your team can get there and steal all the juicy free kills. 10) Don’t get greedy with sapping. When you put a sapper on something, be sure you can get away cleanly unless you’re just trying to get a sentry and dying is expected. If there are four enemies with their backs to you and an enemy teleport nearby, LEAVE IT ALONE. If the Engineer is nearby, he’ll announce that he’s being sapped and his team will raise hell looking for you. Besides, killing the enemy troops is worth more points, and is usually better for your team, especially if there’s Medics in the bunch. 11) DON’T use teleports. Your feet will glow for a few seconds with your team color, even if you’re cloaked, and it takes about as long for the glow to go away as it would just to walk to the spot where you exited. Unfortunately, Spies have to walk everywhere if they want to be undetected. 12) The true skill that comes into play while playing Spy is speed. The only time you should sit still, if ever, is to recharge your cloaking, and that's only if you are in a very secure spot. Otherwise, constantly change your disguise after being spotted, and while cloaked might I add. Spies are hunters... sometimes they let their prey come to them. 13) As a Spy, you have to avoid your own team when passing a choke point, no not entirely because you are afraid to be seen with your team in an enemy disguise, you can easily cloak and sneak away. The problem is that when you move with your team, even whilst invisible, you'll likely be shot in the crossfire and often times killed. For example, if your team goes to pint A, go to point B. Or, if they go to point A go to point B and make your way to point A. Take the long way, and kill everyone along the way. 14) Don't worry about what classes the enemy team has (unless it’s a very small game) when it comes to deciding upon a disguise. The enemy is usually too busy running about and won’t notice what their entire team is comprised of. 15) Also, be on the lookout for enemy spies, they are up to the same things that you are, so expect what they're up to before they even know what they are doing. There is nothing like out- spying a Spy. Keep track of enemy Spy movement especially after having breached the enemy’s side of the map. Oftentimes you’ll see an enemy Spy take on a disguise in plain site. Also, if you want to hunt enemy spies who are plaguing you team, one good strategy is to disguise yourself as a Pyro of your own team. Spies usually fear Pyros, and don’t attempt stabbing them. This will usually give you an edge over enemy spies. Make sure to watch for typical de-cloaking areas that you would use as a Spy to catch their spies in the act. 16) If you're chasing down an enemy, and can't catch up, gun them down. The revolver isn't the most powerful weapon, but if used correctly (and by all means this is correctly), there are many scenarios inwhich it can be used successfully. Though, must I remind you that as a Spy your primary focus should be that of your knife? 17) Sometimes you’ll be caught in a scenario where you’ll have no choice but to pass straight by an enemy who will soon hopefully walk right by you. A few things will help in them not becoming suspicious of you. Firstly, don’t look straight at them, look straight ahead. Don’t act like you’re afraid of them, try to act natural, so in this case no backing off then proceeding forward again. What you should do when you are passing by an unsuspecting enemy is at the very instant where you pass one another, turn to them very quickly and stab. This is such a satisfying way of dealing with the enemy. 18) When cloaking/de-cloaking always do so out of enemy site, and give the cloaking/de-cloaking process time to complete before you run out of cover. Many Spies don’t realize that when they uncloak, they appear differently to the enemy, it takes about two seconds to fully de-cloak for them to look like their disguise. Otherwise they will be half translucent for a few moments, and then their cover is blown. The same issue is involved with cloaking. If you cloak and immediately try to run by enemies they will see you for a second, shoot in the area that you were headed, causing you to become slightly visible, and continue to shoot you. Heavies will do this all the time, if they are shooting and clip a Spy, they will follow the invisible Spy based on the translucent figure they see when they hit you, usually a Heavy will finish you like this; which is very annoying. 19) Sometimes people like to rely on hard facts to consider how they might go about playing. For example, many people would say never get in a fire fight with a Spy because his revolver is aomng the weakest weapons in the game, and the Spy also has little health in comparison to other classes. Though, those people fail to take into consideration the obvious. Often times when you use the revolver, the enemy will not expect it, and you’d use it when backstabbing isn’t possible. If the enemy isn’t aware of you to begin with, then you’ll easily land multiple hits, usually enough to kill, before the enemy even has time to react. So, stats aside, it’s still a handy weapon. Note: When dealing with the Heavy, Soldier, and any other class with a considerable amount of health use the revolver as a last- ditch effort, seeing as how they won't go down easily. 20) Furthering #19, in some cases you’ll be forced to use your revolver because you’ve run out of cloak and the enemy has already fired a few shots at you. Just take your time, and strafe to avoid their fire. One strategy I’ve found to increase accuracy when the enemy is wildly moving about is actually to let strafing act as a sort of aiming, once you’ve got your crosshair on the same level as the enemy, for example, on the same level as the body, strafe in whichever direction the enemy is moving, to line up your shot on them. For example, an Engineer is running back and forth firing off shotty rounds at you, sometimes simply aiming can work great, but it’s also easy to miss, and you only have six shots. Move your crosshair so that when you strafe to the left or right it will fall upon the enemy, once you lineup with the enemy; fire. Sounds odd, but it works incredibly well. Why would you do this? Well, seeing as how you’re adding strafing to a way of lining up your shot, you’re already increasing the difficulty for your enemy to hit you based on the fact that you are dodging. Try it out, practice. 21) Walking backwards towards your enemy can sometimes be one of the most discrete ways of sneaking amongst enemy ranks. Though, abusing your option of doing so could manifest a growing suspicion of you in the eyes of your enemy. Walking backwards is usually done when you are running out of cloak in, or amonghst enemy ranks, and it's always done when your team is present so it appears as if you are concerned with them. For example, one time I was running out of cloak, so I quickly looked for a spot to de-cloak, which in this case was on the other side of some wrather large crate. After uncloaking I quickly left my position joining nearby-by enemy forces (which were within my relative vicinity). I decided to face where the choke point was (thus facing my team) and I evasively backed off. This is effective because moving like the enemy makes you appear more believable in their eyes. Sometimes backing up can be risky, here are a few things to be aware of... A. Try to avoid bumping into an enemy while backing- up. This is an immediate give away to most every enemy. ----------------------------------------------------- B. It's also useful to appear as if you are fearful of your own team. For example, if they are launching rockets at near-by enemies, you should dodge your own teams rockets, and other such gun fire. Again, if the enemy sees you dodging rockets, and other firepower, they'll be more likely to believe that you're one of them. ----------------------------------------------------- C. Don't walk backwards in areas where it wouldn't make sense to do so. For example, once you are far from a choke point you'd tend to assume that there aren't many enemies near-by, so walking backwards and darting around as if to be affraid of your own team that is accross the map looks incredibly suspicious. I've seen some foolish spies do this before. The outcome is death. ----------------------------------------------------- D. Getting cought in crossfire is the leading cause of death. Which for whatever reason is usually a rocket to your back. Attempt avoiding crossfire to the best of your ability. ******************************************************** HOW TO HANDLE ENGINEERS: Engineers (and all that they create): You will encounter a few scenarios when dealing with engineers. 1.) Sometimes you’ll find that an Engineer has left his things unattended, in which case sap everything in site. Though, most Engineers are smart enough to baby-sit sit their sentry gun, dispenser, and usually a tele exit. So, it’s not always this simple. 2.) When they are camping their sentry gun and dispenser take note of a few things. Firstly, where is the dispenser in relation to them? Usually they sit with their sentry gun in front of them and their dispenser behind. Secondly, where are you in relation to your target Engineer? If you come at the Engineer from the front, and he can see you, even in disguise, he will know you’re a Spy. So it’s always good to cloak and get by the target Engineer, then de-cloak in a safe place, and come from a natural place, approaching the Engineer from behind being the best case scenario. If this is the case, you have a few options. A. Sap everything near the Engineer and attempt to stab him.(Sometimes risky because he could repair the sentry just as you stab him and you’ll probably die. Though, sometimes you can get a clean stab at his back.) ----------------------------------------------------- B. Stab the Engineer then immediately sap the sentry (which is the most risky things to do with a tier three sentry as it could kill you right away). Make sure to then sap everything else. ----------------------------------------------------- C. Sap, then strafe like mad re-sapping when the Engineer repairs, keeping the Engineer as busy as possible; when the moments right, if you have the opportunity, stab the Engineer.Hopefully, in the confusion the Engineer will be too busy attempting to repair everything. Overwhelming the Engineer is always of help. (You might use C when an Engineer builds his things in such a way that his back is to the wall and he can’t be backstabbed. Which is often times the case for certain areas of many maps. Usually in said scenario the Engineer will be sitting on top of his dispenser, which is against the corner of a room.) 3.) The Engineer just began building a sentry, stab him in the back first, and then sap the level one sentry immediately. This can work with level three sentries as well but is a bit more risky as they may turn around quickly enough to shoot you. It’s not worth making it known to the Engineer that you are there. So sometimes stabbing first is the way to go, and can save you the pain of being beat to death by an angry wrench-wielding yellow- helmeted Engineer... Ultimately, I ALWAYS recommend you stab them in the back first, so long as you are directly behind the the sentry-- it is key that the sentry is facing away from you, you'll be able to stab then sap before it can fully turn to you. Note: This becomes more difficult to pull off when an Engineer is sanwhiched between a dispensor and his sentry, because now you can't situate yourself directly behind the sentry unless you are sitting atop his dispensor, then stab, then sap. Note: You can take quite a few hits from a tier 1 sentry before you die. So you have time to approach it and sap, even from the front. You can take less hits from a teir 2 sentry, but still if it turns and clips you a few times you'll usually survive to sap. If they teir 3 sentry has a chance to fire at you once, you're dead. 4.) Sometimes you will find a sentry and dispenser off to the side, with no protection, but you know an Engineer is near enough that he can get there in time to halt your sapping. The best thing to do in such a scenario is to shoot whatever it is that you sapped with your revolver, thus blowing your cover. This is the smartest thing a Spy can do given the situation and scenario. While something is sapped it is loosing health rapidly, and sometimes not quickly enough for it to die before the aid of a near-by Engineer, so shooting the target, while sapped will surely get the job done. This strategy is usually done when no one is around to kill you when you come out of disguise. Though, it is also sometimes a last effort to ensure that a sentry dies before you die. 5.) The last word of advice I have for you is how to deal with one of those smartass Engineers who figure out how to get to an area that is typically out of reach, thus making sapping impossible. Seeing as how you can get behind enemy lines fairly easily as a Spy, position yourself in or near the enemies base, the best place being a somewhat secluded area. Then, shoot the dispenser with your revolver, it may not seem so accurate, but you'll soon see the dispenser smoking, and catch ablaze. It only takes a few shots from even quite a distance to take out a dispenser; taking out the sentry is next on the list. Fire away at the sentry, it will take a clip or two, so between 6 and 12 bullets to kill a tier 3 sentry. Note: Always use #5 when dealing with an Engineer who is too difficult to take out, for whatever reason (it could be that he has Pyros protecting him). Make sure to position yourself outside the sentry's range. Specific Map Examples of #5: Gravel Pit When on the offensive, you might notice that at point C, some rather intelligent Engineer has built his stuff on the roof of the tower at C. Not that platform near the control point, but the slanted roof on the backend. That Engineer's sentry can do quite a bit of damage to your team because he is relatively safe and can easily repair without worry of spies and whatnot. Or is he? Position yourself in the far corner of the enemy base, where the Snipers hang out, more specifically, in the corner near the enemy's right spawn point door against the wall. From their, you'll avoid a fair amount of enemies as they may spawn and run right past you, also you'll have a perfect line-up to that little roof and the Engineer. Take out the dispensor first, shooting it wildly. Then destroy as much as you can, the next target should be the sentry. Also nearly everytime this map is played an Engineer sets up on the left side of C, on that ramp just beyond the spawn entrance. If that Engineer has been giving you trouble, I'd advise following the above steps in taking out his sentry aswell. Well In Well, I find it to be necessary on occasion to shoot an Engineer's set-up from the third floor area above the 2nd control point (this is the highest area in which there is a large rectangular gap in the floor). Assuming you're at the enemies base, and there is no threat up there with you. You may find that the best way to take out the Engineer's stuff is crouching, and making sure you are positioned in such a way that enemy sentry gun(s) can't hit you, then take out the dispenser, and sentry gun(s) with your trusty revolver. Sometimes this is more useful than sapping, because often times you die when sapping because another enemy intervenes you, like a Pyro or Soldier. If you're quick enough you can kill off one structure at a time without the Engineer knowing where you are, and how his stuff is dieing. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Tele-Entrances: It is worth noting that the easiest target is a tele entrance, based on the fact that nothing is around to protect it but that of enemies who re-spawn near them. ****************************************************** ===========[Targets (Who and who not to stab)]=================== ------------------------ ----------------------------- =======================[Best Targets]============================ Despite the fact that every enemy is a target, there are certain classes that should be targeted more so than others, here is that list, allow me to explain… ----------------------------------------------------------------- Heavy: Due to the heavies slow movement, large figure, and the fact that he is a huge threat to your team, Heavies are probably the most satisfying targets to take out with one swift stab to the back. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Medics: Hunting Medics is often times critical in keeping the enemy from advancing. Anytime you kill a Medic you are decreasing the enemy's opportunity of ubercharging and pushing. With that said, you can save your team quite a bit of trouble taking them out. Here’s the problem with hunting Medics… A good Medic knows enough to keep his ass in constant motion while healing, so, they move randomly, and often times spin around. If you can’t backstab the Medic easily or, you miss, forget it and hurry to whomever they are healing, which is usually either a Heavy or a Soldier, and backstab them instead. As I've stated, you'll oftentimes find a good Medic to be very difficult to take out, they are o'so aware of spies. Half the time you attempt to kill one, or, even much of the time that you manage to kill the person they were healing, they will hunt you down and destroy you with their bonesaw. Talk about terrifying and if that's not bad, you can expect to die to many times to a bombardment of syringes. So despite the fact that Medics are crucial targets oftentimes, they are still very difficult ones. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Snipers: What better target than a Sniper? Snipers are usually a great distance from your team situated in some perch, or, at the very least, are looking through their scope somewhere far-off completely unaware of their surroundings. Often times if you find one Sniper, you find two or three more (which is often times the case if 2fort), Happy stabbings! ----------------------------------------------------------------- Engineers (and all that they create): See above, HOW TO DEAL WITH ENGINEERS ----------------------------------------------------------------- Demoman: The Demoman can sometimes be a great target because they often times play defensively, setting up sticky bombs and waiting for the helpless to pass by them. This waiting comes in a few ways for a Demoman. Either he will be crouched somewhere eyeing his stickies, or he'll be frantically moving around an area within visual range of his stickies (The ladder half being the more difficult to take out. Because of this, they can be great targets. Though, the only time they will be a pain is in when as stated they can be frantic... ----------------------------------------------------------------- =======================[Worst Targets]=========================== Pyro: Enemy Pyros are a Spy’s greatest fear, and will cause the most aggravation. This is because Pyros tend to spray randomly, and oftentimes in that random spraying of their fire, they will singe you and catch you ablaze. Once you are on fire, it is a way of tagging you to the enemy. Now the entire enemy team knows you’re a Spy. usually, If you walk into a Pyro, even for a second, they burn you to death, so avoid them above all else. Also, probably the most aggravating of all is the fact that they help baby-sit sentry guns and dispensers with the Engineers; making it very difficult for a Spy to do any real damage, though, on occasion, a Spy can still be successful in sapping and destroying things even in the presence of a Pyro. Messing with an enemy Spy will almost always result in being burned to death. If you are on fire, can't escape for health(which stops you from burning), and can't jump into water, then don't go down without a fight. Sap stuff, stab people, go out and take the entire world with you. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Scout: Sure Scouts are typically thought of as weak, and puny, this maybe so through the eyes of a hulking Heavy, or a psychotic rocket-wielding Soldier. From a Spy's point-of-view, Scouts can be devastating. Most Spies probably have nightmares of their rapidly swinging bat. The reason Scouts are so deadly to Spies is as follows. First of all they are so fast. When you turn corners while cloaked a Scout might come out of nowhere and run into you, in this case you are almost always dead. You've been discovered... They will run around shooting their scatter gun and pummeling the air with their bat. If you run out of cloak, forget it, back stabbing, or at the very least, stabbing them to death is very difficult, and unless you are dead-on with the revolver, expect to see that bat finding it's way to your face! ****************************************************** Section 3) Map Specific Strategies. Preface: Most of these strategies utilize the concept of 'looping'. The idea of looping, in short, is finding a path in a map that will easily take you behind the enemy, and in a congested area. Kill as many of said enemies as possible, then cloak and make your way to the path that brought you behind the enemy in the first place. Repeat the slaughter. Hence the "looping." Even if you aren't always able to survive long enough without dying, this technique usually guarantees cramping up your enemy quite a bit. Hydro This is probably the worst map to be the Spy on, since the distance between your base and theirs is usually large and takes up your entire cloak meter, often causing you to reveal yourself in the middle of their base and subsequently be shot. There are two ways to play Hydro as a Spy: rush-stopper or base-sapper. Most variations of Hydro have two paths to the enemy side, so bottlenecking occurs frequently. If you decide to be a rush-stopper, find a decent nook in the pathway between bases to cloak, wait for their rush to go by, then try to kill their Medics, Heavies, etc. For the Spy on Hydro, the best defense can really be a good offense, because you will stop their rushes cold before they can cause any damage to your side. Your ally Snipers may hate you for stealing their kills before they are in range, but hey, they should be less cowardly anyway. The other option is to try to destroy the opponent’s defenses. This takes more finesse, since killing a sentry on Hydro is less important than other maps. Because of the distance between control points, the Engineers often have time to repair their destroyed buildings before your team can bust through their lines and take advantage of the lull in defense. It’d only recommend trying to sap their defenses if you can time your saps with your team’s rushes, sapping them right before your team makes a big offensive push. Often, the opponents will become so preoccupied with trying to kill the Spy they will be caught off-guard by the rush and your allies can get the point. Gravel Pit Offense: First, your team should all rush the same site. Splitting up the rush is almost always doom, since sentries make defense easier to do with less men than offense. Assuming that, the best strategy is to kill the sentries first, then try to get their Medics and Heavies. Killing Pyro’s is difficult as a Spy, but do it if you can, since a Pyro’s flames can take out several of your allies at once, especially if they’re all standing on the control point. For Site A, I usually cloak as soon as I get within sight range of the area (ie right before you drop down onto the dirt) then make a mad dash for the point, where the sentries are usually located. Hopefully the Engineer is alone and killable, but even if he’s not, you can cause a distraction and allow your team to make it up the hill and take out their defenses. Also, since a sapped sentry doesn’t shoot at anyone, the jumping and re-sapping strategy is very effective, since the path up to A is fairly short and you can often survive long enough to allow your team to scramble up the hill without taking any turret fire. Most teams devote most of their resources to defending Site B, so A usually has only one sentry, if that. Capture, then move on to Site B. For B, I usually take the left entrance, since it gets you into the site faster. As before, cloak before you enter so as to avoid Snipers and entrance-camping Pyros and Demomen. Rush into the site and try to sap like crazy, or rush around to the other side and take out the troops guarding the other exit. You’ll die a lot doing this, but the combination of sapped sentries and an ubered-Soldier or Heavy should give your team enough of an edge and allow you to take the point. As for Point C, you could try sneaking up to the top before your team has fully captured A and B, but experienced players will set up preliminary defenses to prevent this. I usually take the path through A, then go out the right side which points straight toward the tower. Cloak before you exit, hop on the little shack, then run up to the top of C. There will usually be someone up there, so try to stab them. Hopefully they will be distracted by Soldiers firing from the place you just exited, and you can get some stabbing done. If there’s a sentry, sap it. Aside from this, Engineers are fond of placing sentries on the slanted ramps right outside their spawn, crouching down and hitting them with their wrenches, and being low enough that they are out of range for your team’s snipers and rockets. This is where you come in. Use the stab n’ sap like previously discussed, and run away quickly before their team spots you, but you’ll probably get burned by a Pyro. Defense: When defending A, I like to crouch down on top of the little shack on the lower right, near their exit. Most opponents won’t see you peaking down at them, giving you time to cloak, run behind their lines as they run up the hill, then get your stab on. As always, Medics first. Never forget there’s health directly under the capture point. You will need this frequently, mostly from Pyros. When defending B, I usually camp by the fence by their right exit. From here you can peak through the little crack in the fence to see the exit nearest you, but still see across the area to the other exit by the big boulder. Wait until there’s a rush, cloak, then stab. Be careful of Pyros, since the nearest health is too far away to grab, and it’s the small health at that. For C, you can try to cloak and sneak back toward A or B and flank them, which works sometimes. Most of the time, I creep around the right and left exits, leaving the center one for the solders on the top of C to deal with. Since the right and left entrances have two ways in and out, I cloak, go in one, then walk to the other. Hopefully, you’ll flank someone and can get some stabs. If there’s no one around, just wait a second until your cloak replenishes, then repeat. There’s only three ways in, so you’ll see someone eventually. Also, Engineers are fond of setting up buildings here, but they should be easy to sap since their team is in full offense mode and won’t spend time protecting their ally’s investments. Dustbowl. This is by far the best map for stabbing. You can often dominate the scoreboards here, basically by running the same route over and over. People never learn. It’s amazing. Offense: For the first point on the first section, wait a few moments after the match starts to let all the spamming Soldiers and Demomen have to reload, then cloak and run out the exit to the railroad tracks. You have just enough cloak to get to the far shafts, where there is usually a sniper sitting. Stab him, the run back into their base and re-disguise yourself. Then, rush into the point and sap like mad. You’ll die a lot, but if you can get the sentry down long enough for your team to get in their and kill it, you’ll be solid. For the next point, take the shaft to the right, walk up the steps, cloak, then jump down off the bridge behind their lines. There’s usually a sentry on the right behind the corner. The sap n’ stab usually works here, since there’s not much roaming room for the Engineers. Also, Snipers usually camp the upper bridge, and are usually alone and out of eyeshot of the rest of their team. You know what to do there. If you can get the sentry on the right down, that’s usually enough to get your team to bust through to the point. If they don’t, just keep re-sapping the same sentry that the Engineer will probably keep putting in the same place. You’re team should eventually get through. On the first point of the next section, cloak as you walk down the little ditch before being exposed to their defenses. They will often have a sentry on top of the shack to the right. Rush up and sap it. If there’s smart they’ve got a Pyro up there to watch for Spies, so you’ll probably die a lot, but really all you need to do is get the gun down long enough to give your Demomen and Soldiers time to kill it. Aside from this, there are usually Snipers in the back, or in the window of the building. They are easy prey. I will often cloak, run behind the building, allow my bar to recharge a bit, then run back toward where they come out from, stabbing them as they get to the fight. You can also jump up the tires to the point and attempt to sap the sentry that’s usually in the doorway to the room by the point, but that’s usually best killed by coming in from the ground entrance. Often that room is deserted except for the Engineer, so you can usually kill the sentry no problem. Capture the point, then move on. Now, the next point is one of the hardest for a Spy, since there’s often multiple sentries along the right wall by their spawn. You’ve got two choices: try to sap the sentries, which almost never works because there’s tons of defenders and Engineers to repair the sentries after they’ve been wounded. I’d recommend sapping the guns only if your team is coordinating an attack and they will rush out right after you’ve sapped their guns and distracted their defense. The other choice is to rush out the main gait to this section while cloaked, run under the building, go left and up the steps to the railing. Often there are Demomen and Soldiers up here spamming all the exits. Stab them, since you are most often out of sentry range at this point. Sometimes Engineers will place a sentry on top of the exit you came out of, but there are basically defenseless up there and can be easily destroyed with a little persistence. Capturing this point definitely takes a lot of teamwork, but a Spy can be instrumental in getting the final push off the ground. For the first point on the last section, I like to exit from the right most doorway by the hallway, since you’re out of the line of most of the fire. Just be careful to avoid spamming Demomen and Soldiers. There’s often a sentry on the left behind the wooden steps. Cloak, get behind the Engineer and give him the stab n’ sap. There’s usually a sentry in the elevated doorway across from you on the left, but it’s out of the range of your sappers and should be avoided. Your teammates will have to take care of that one. For the last point, depending on how far up your line has pushed their defense, adjust your cloak accordingly. If their team is still clogging the hallway, it’s very difficult to sneak by, but if you do, run immediately to the little door directly to the right of the bridge. Grab the health if you’re weak, then hop down the upper door and flank their team, stabbing all who you can. This will hopefully allow your team to move up and establish an outpost with teleports by the bridge. Once they do that, keep cloaking as you run across the gap to the door you went in before, but this time wait a second in the upper room, out of the line of fire. Allow your meter to recharge, then cloak again and exit at the upper door that leads toward their spawn. Run back to the very rear of the level, behind the control point. Analyze where their sentries are and try to sap them. Getting this point is very difficult, and like the final point of part two of this map, it takes teamwork, but as before a Spy can be instrumental in getting a successful rush off the ground. Also, there’s usually Snipers in the back that you can stab if you want, but you’ll usually get killed by a sentry or a Pyro. Defense: For the first point of the first section, it’s very hard to get stabs since there’s no real good way to get behind the other team. The best way is to cloak, then run along the ridge on the left, watching the canyon below. If enemies rush out, jump behind them and stab. Once they get the first point, however, the fun begins. Rush out either the right or left exit back toward the first point, and retreat quickly if you see someone coming since there’s not enough room for you to go around him and you will be revealed. Sneak inside the shack where the first point is and walk up the steps. Watch where their team is going and get behind them. If they go in either one of the bottom entrances, follow and stab. Often they’ll try going to the right and up the steps to the bridge on your side, but you can usually stab them before they get there, and it’s such a small room before the bridge that their Medics are usually stationary and easy targets. Often their team will attempt to set up an outpost in the top shaft to the right of the control point, since your team has no way to get in there except for running all the way around to the first point and up the steps. Hard for a Soldier or Heavy, easy for a Spy. Get in there and sap if you can, teleporter first if they’ve got one. Since you can only win by defending for a time limit, slowing their advance onto your soil is the best strategy besides outright killing. Often two or three enemies will become clogged in the doorway that leads down to your point. If you see this, smile largely, my friend, because you just got a couple backstabs. Be careful of sentries in this room, as well as suspicious Pyros. Often, trying to kill enemies in here is more trouble than it’s worth. At this point, I’d recommend sneaking back toward their spawn and sapping the teleporter entrance that’s usually right outside their exit on the right. The engineer is probably halfway across the map at this point, so you should get it easily, but you might get killed by the exiting troops. On the first point of the next section, cloak, run down into their spawn, wait for the rush to walk by, then stab. If you survive, run back toward the control point and recharge your cloak in the shack, grab the health, then cloak again. Rush toward the shack with the ladder beside it, run up the ladder, jump down and run back into their spawn. Stab again. Repeat this over and over. My record is 12 backstabs without dying. How can you do? On the next point, rush toward the middle-right exit of the four, cloak right before you round the corner and can be seen, then rush through the little alley in between the building and the fence. Grab the big health if needed, then camp in the corner between the first control point and the fence. Wait for their team to rush by, then walk out and join them. A lot of times they’ll set up a little outpost here with a sentry. I don’t usually try to kill this, since it’s usually more trouble than it’s worth. Just follow their team wherever they’re going and stab them if you don’t get killed by suspicious enemies. The other tactic on this section is to run up the ladder to the ramp above the two exits across the section from your spawn and wait for guys to come out. Often they will set up an outpost in the far left shaft, down toward the one-way gate. Don’t bother trying to kill this. The corridor is so small you’ll probably get killed by the time you can sap anything. You’ll have more luck stabbing the guys that flow out. If you want, you can try sneaking all the way back to their spawn and sapping the teleporter entrance, slowing their advance. On the first point of the last section, I usually take the far left entrance to their spawn, run down along the hallway, then loop up the steps behind their lines. Stab at will. If the hallway is clogged, just retreat. You’re invisible, so as long as they don’t bump into you or shoot you can get away cleanly. Just repeat this over and over, killing Medics first as always. On the final point of the map, rush down the path, turn right, head straight and go up the steps to the little room on top. Grab the health if you need to and recharge the cloak for a bit. Then, run along the railing while cloaked. Go out and to the left, then jump over their advancing lines and uncloak by the first capture point. Approach their backs and stab. Often, they’ll set up a sentry here to prevent this, but you can get a sapper on it and kill a couple people before it gets repaired or you die, or you can use the stab n’ sap on the engineer, although it’s not really that important. You could just follow the lines around the bend and out of its path, or you could camp in the upper room on the right with the health and wait until their team walks by underneath you. Killing medics on this part is essential, since often the only way to win is with the ubercharge to take out your sentries. Don’t let them get it. Granary The key here is to know where the front lines are. Just cloak as your run through the room where the embattled control point is and dip behind their lines. For the center one, I find cloaking and climbing the ramps give you a good vantage point to see where the most stabable enemies are. Be sure you’re disguised as a Sniper or Engineer here, since a Pyro would have no reason to be up that high. For the other points, just slip around their defenses and take out their Engineers before they can get sentries up, or if your team is on the defensive, their Medics and Heavies. Use the upper ramps that lead down the long corridor and cloak before dropping down the circle exit in the floor. You can usually flank an attacking team that way, exposing their Medics to the stab. For the last point, sneak onto it early if you can, since it captures fast enough you can usually take it before they can get to you. If that’s not the case, cloak right before you enter the last area, rush all the way back to the point, then don’t uncloak until there’s no one standing on it. If there is, stab him. If there’s a sentry around, killing it should be your priority, since you’ll die from its bullets too quickly to get the capture (remember, you can’t capture while disguised or cloaked). Even if you don’t get the capture, hopefully you can move the capture meter far enough along before you die that your team can finish it off. Well Granary and Well are similar maps, and much of the same advice applies. During the setup, I usually position myself right by the gates to the central point, but around the corner and out of sight. If they see you they’ll know exactly which of their classes you are disguised as, if you don’t get sniped or blown up by people trying to get the cheap pre-match kills. As soon as the round starts, cloak and rush into the central point room and out the other door. Don’t stick too close to the wall as you walk through the control point room, since often Pyros runs straight along that wall with their flames on at the outset, just to kill the Spies. With any luck, you can make it around to their side and kill their rush before it starts. There’s usually at least one Medic/Heavy combo, one Sniper, and one Engineer trying to build a dispenser right by the door. You can usually get them all right at the outset, essentially giving your team the first point and a significant advantage for the rest of the map. For the other control points, flank them, take out sentries/Engineers, etc. Basically, just like Granary. 2fort Ah, 2fort. For me, spy is the only class worth playing on this stage, unless the intel is in the open and a Scout can grab it. As a Spy you'll usually get a bad score, but will be instrumental in the key first movement of the intel out of their intel room and (hopefully) away from most of their defenses. As for your plight, the best way to go is out the 'Battlements' exit, cloak as you round the corner so you don't get sniped. Then, check to see if anyone's coming across the bridge*. If not, just walk across un-cloaked (but disguised, I like Pyro since he's the fastest class that doesn't arouse suspicion). Once inside their base, turn right into that room adjacent to the courtyard and cloak. You should have enough cloak to get up the far steps and down the long staircase into their intel room. I usually de-cloak at the top of the staircase to the basement to conserve the meter. Walk toward the intel room, then use the last slice of your cloak meter right as you enter the intel room, allowing you to scope their defenses. If they've got a sentry or two, plan your attack accordingly. If there's an engineer around, I suggest sapping the sentry first, then shooting the engineer with the revolver. If he is hell-bent on repairing the sentry rather than shooting you, just keep sapping it and eventually it will blow up. Once it's dead, you can try and kill him but usually he's close enough to you (since he was repairing the sentry) that his shotgun is a one-hit kill. I just try to run and get the intel and dash for the exit, jumping and juking along the way. With any luck, you can make it out to the right and up the spiral ramp, where the turns will prevent the slightly slower engineer from following you and shooting you in the back. Then, just run like crazy back to your base. Hop in the water if you're getting shot as you exit their fort, usually the bridge will provide a few key seconds of cover so you can get around the corner in your sewer pipe and grab the health down there. From here it should be smooth sailing back to your intel room for the score, and even if you die, their intel is in your base so your team can grab it. You won't get any points for this adventure, since you probably won't get the capture, but if winning the map is more important, this is my best strategy. *If there are enemies on the bridge, stay invisible and hop in the water. De-cloak as soon as you get under the bridge and walk through their sewer, up the sewer exit steps. In my experience, there are rarely people guarding the sewer, but if so just cloak and walk around them. After exiting the sewer, check to see if there's anyone in the front rooms of their base, then turn left into the 'L' shaped hallway leading to the courtyard. Cloak right before you make the right turn in the 'L' since there are often nosey engineers and pyros protecting hte sentry guns that are always in that courtyard. DO NOT TRY TO SAP THEM. You will just blow your disguise and get killed. Once in the courtyard, hope up the steps on the right and head down into their intel room. See above instructions for what to do from here. ********************************************************** I hope this FAQ has been helpful. The spy is awesome, so more people playing him with skill makes me happy. Feel free to email either of us with suggestions or just to tell us how awesome we are. Good luck, everyone!