Valves five on five first-person
shooter is layered with all sorts of tactical utility and strategic
environments. The game naturally lends itself a slower and more thought out
style of play than other FPS games out there.
The fact that the only game mode
played is a two bombsite search and destroy means that there has been ample
time for teams and players to learn the finicky parts of the game's mechanics,
and develop ways of pushing out, and defending sites.
Generally speaking, defenders in
these types of engagements have a natural advantage. They get to sit holding an
angle, waiting for the enemy to engage, whereas the attackers need to push up
to make that engagement first, usually into the crosshairs of one or more enemies.
That's where grenades come in.
Grenades can be used by both
defenders and attackers to great effect, but generally speaking, attackers get
more use out of them than defenders. When you're pushing a site, there are a
million and one spots you can get shot from, so you need a way to cut that
number down. Incendiaries and Molotov's do the job fine, but nothing does it
quite so well as a smoke grenade.
Smoke grenades are a tactical
that detonate a few seconds after impact. When it explodes, it expands into a
large cloud of smoke, which players can't see through. This cloud is quite
large in size, so this grenade certainly shouldn't be overlooked.
There are plenty of applications
for it, but by far, the most useful is a coordinated team effort when pushing
out a site. Take Mirage, for example. When attacking A site, you have to worry
about Palace, Jungle, Steps, Firebox, Ticketbooth, Short, and Ninja. That is
way too many spots for one team to check.
However, Mirage, like every
other competitive map, has a few grenade spots that you can learn and take
advantage of. From behind ramp, before you even have to engage anybody, it's
possible to smoke off Ticketbooth, Steps, Short and Jungle, and any spots
on-site, including Firebox.
Combine all this with good use
of Molotov's, and you've got yourself an easy way to take over a bomb
You don't just have to use
smokes offensively like that, though. A lot of teams opt to use them to fake
out the enemy. What that means, is throwing grenades as if you were preparing
to hit a site, and making noise, in an attempt to get the enemy team to rotate
over to it. Once they do, your bomb carrier pushes onto the now empty bomb site
for a free plant. It's a high risk, high reward strategy.
You can either send your bomb
carrier alone, and have the whole team pull off the fake, or vice versa.
Regardless of how you use them,
smoke grenades shouldn't be overlooked. Even on defense, you can smoke off
entry points so that your enemy has to push into the site blind, or wait for
the smoke to vanish. Strategic uses of smoke grenades win games.