- The Tank
- What is a Tank?
- The Basics
- The Control Point
- The Arsenal
- Tank Movement
- Tank vs. Class Guide
This is a comprehensive guide discussing the various aspects of the Tank class in Freefall Tournament, the purpose of this guide is to provide a better understanding of the class as a whole for the community, beginners and vets alike. Hopefully some of you find this helpful and/or informative! Thank you and enjoy!
Info: Melee Weapon, slow swing, stuns on hit.
R-Key: Mauler Slam (94 to 150+ damage, 8.5 second cool down, AoE damage, Knockback)
Damage: 55 to 100
Nullification Buckler (Right Mouse Button with Blitzkrieg Mauler equipped)
Info: Stops all incoming damage in a 45 degree area in front of the Tank. The Buckler may be active for 12 seconds before maxing out its power bar and forcing a roughly 1 second break in the shield, reducing the power bar to 80% and initiating it once more.
Heavy Machine Gun
Info: 40 clip of ammo, slow firing speed, low lock-on range.
Right Click: Auto-Aim
Damage: 13 to 24
Info: The Tank slams his Blitzkrieg Mauler against the ground, damaging and knocking back enemies who are in range.
Cool down: 8.5 Sec.
Damage: 94 to 150+ damage
What is a Tank?
The Tank is a heavy armor class in Freefall Tournament whose primary role is defending the Capture Point (Middle Base) and support due to the fact that they've got more health than any other class (400 HP + 150 SHIELD = 550 TOTAL). While tanks do have a massive health pool, they are hindered by bulky armor, making them the slowest and least mobile of the classes. What they lack in speed however, they make up for in survivability.
Always got to start somewhere. An aspiring Tank should start by familiarizing his or her self with their weapons. As a Tank, you start with two default weapons. The Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) which is great for short to mid ranged fire fights, and the Blitzkrieg Mauler & Nullification Buckler - Which is a hammer and shield combo that provides the tank with lethal melee damage capabilities and the ability to protect oneself from incoming enemy fire, while the shield is activated. Now that you understand your little arsenal, let’s dive into the Tanks role while in a game. As a Tank, you have more health than any one of your teammates (other tanks excluded). This pretty much sets you up for capture duty, where bullets are flying in every direction, grenades are exploding all around you, and Scouts are trying to hack you to little bits and pieces. But not to worry! That’s where this guide comes in; to help you improve your Tank game, and make sure you’re the one that comes out of all that alive, and not the other guy.
*The Control Point*
In or around the Control Point (CP) is where one will find most Tanks. The reason being, Tanks are the primary objective cappers in Freefall Tournament. Upon a match beginning the first objective of any Tank, should be getting inside the CP A.S.A.P. and going for the cap. However, the CP is quite a situational area, one false move on your part and you could lose it, and one slip up from the enemy and the CP is yours.
When first entering the CP, quickly look around you and see what classes you’ll be up against. Trust me; killing a Tech who is healing the defending Tank is a lot more beneficial to you and your team than just going in and killing a stray scout, or the likes. After you’ve got a feel for what classes are in the CP defending, it’s time to get to the action. Now, there are 2 options for weapons when going in, you’ve got your HMG and your Hammer. A good tactic would be to throw a few grenades and possibly shoot a couple rounds into the CP first, and then go in swinging with your Blitzkrieg Mauler to finish off your already weakened opponents.
Defending the CP is important to anyone who wants to achieve victory for themselves and their teammates. This is where the Tank truly shines in combat. The close quarters of the CP make it an excellent spot to use the Blitzkrieg Mauler & Nullification Buckler, which is quite often the Tank’s primary choice while defending the CP because it allows the Tank to stand on the capture point, block enemy fire and at the same time still allows them to fend off enemy Tanks with Maule(R) Slams and F-Bombs.
*Note: ALWAYS STAND ON THE CAPTURE POINT.
*The Arsenal (Weapons)*
_Weapon #1 – Heavy Machine Gun_
The Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) is the primary ranged weapon for the Tank class. This is primarily used for finishing off enemies, or with good aim, picking off targets from afar. The HMG’s biggest downside at range is its slow rate of fire, and its moderate damage, shots can be dodged with ease most of the time. However, when up close to a target and hip-firing, the HMG is a lot more effective due to the fact that not only are your shots hitting more frequently, but are also firing faster thanks to hip-firing.
*Note: Hip-Firing is accomplished by NOT using Auto-Aim (Default – Right Mouse Button)
_Weapon #2 – Blitzkrieg Mauler & Nullification Buckler_
The Hammer Combo is best used as a room clearing mechanism. There are few weapons in this game with the sheer destructive power equivalent to the Blitzkrieg Mauler. Let's examine why: First, the hammer hits like a truck. Expect to see numbers between 3 to 4 times as large the individual shots from your HMG. Additionally, the hammer stuns the target for a moment after the impact. While it is important to note that the stun doesn't last until the next hammer hit (initiating a "stun-lock" effect), it is still a very useful tool in locking down important enemies, such as healing techs or gunners ripping apart the Control Point. (Also, don't forget that the hammer is a melee weapon, so against enemies who have managed to get some distance on you, always switch to the HMG).
The Mauler Slam is the Blitzkrieg Mauler’s special ability. Pressing R while the mauler is currently equipped causes the tank to slam the hammer into the ground, knocking all GROUNDED enemies within the range back a good distance and causing approximately double the damage of a normal hammer swing. The range is a good distance, as well - It isn't uncommon for a tank to clear the control node of all enemies with a Mauler Slam. Use this wisely, however, because after using the tank has to wait 8.5 seconds before they can use the Mauler Slam again.
The Nullification Buckler is often the only difference between life and death for a tank. Right-Clicking while equipped with the Blitzkrieg Mauler creates a small force-field in front of the tank. This shield prevents all forms of ranged attacks from harming the tank (with the exception of Suppressors; those things are always the exception). So let's talk about some application: First, this is amazing against other tanks that have already used their Neutron Shell. Try to keep them off the node, so that you may capture the Control Point while they are in their wrecking ball status (experiment with different methods; note that F-bombs and the Mauler Slam both push back tanks in the Neutron Shell, whereas Hammer swings do not have any effect). Second, gunners are unable to penetrate the Null. Buckler with their rail guns. Seeing as how Gunners are probably the single greatest threat to a tank in the Control Point, this is a very useful tool.
There are some drawbacks to using the Null. Buckler however. First, attacking ends the effect. Second, melee attacks can sometimes pierce the barrier, causing the effect to end. Third, using the buckler causes a power bar to charge. Once the bar reaches 100%, the effect ends and cannot be restarted until the power bar goes back down to 80%. Those few seconds often result in the death of the tank. Be careful with the Hammer & Shield Combo, and they will serve you well. But remember that a good tank will utilize every weapon at his disposal. Don't forget you have a Heavy Machine Gun!
Without the Tank’s (E)-rush, the class would have far too little mobility to be viable at all. However, the (E)-rush gives the tank an easy to control method of getting out of combat, pursuing an enemy, and gracefully reaching its destination all with a low cool down period. Pressing E causes the tank to perform a decent sized rush forward, causing any enemy the Tank comes in contact with to be knocked backwards. Experiment with the many ways you have of speeding towards your own force-field while being chased by a scout, or reaching the Control Point with greater ease.
*Note: One word of advice regarding using the E-Rush offensively; Rushing a grounded enemy causes them to take a certain amount of damage and knock them backwards, BUT rushing an enemy in flight causes them to be knocked out of the air. This causes them to fall straight down (they are unable to control their character during this time) for about 2 seconds. During this time, your enemy is a sitting duck; open up on them with your HMG and watch the damage add up.
The Tank's jet propulsion functions more like a booster, rather than a jet pack. By holding down the Space Bar, the Tank charges up energy in its boots. Releasing the Space Bar causes the tank to jump a distance proportionate to the energy stored. This will take a while to master, but once you do you'll find that the tank can be decently mobile.
*Note: If the Tank is airborne and is able to charge its jet propulsion system back to 100% (usually only possible if the Tank has used E-rush to get himself airborne), the Tank is able to initiate a form of flight. This flight is incredibly slow, and generally is only good at hovering long enough for the E-rush to recharge.
*_Tank Vs. Class Guide_*
In all seriousness, ask yourself one question when encountering a Scout. Am I out in the open? If the answer is yes, then you will need to get to cover. A good Scout can gun you down like fish-in-a-barrel if you are out in the open, and you will quickly find that hitting a moving scout is a difficult feat. Tanks with tons upon tons of practice have at least a chance if they hip-fire their HMG and try to lead the scout into the bullets, but even that is a very unreliable method.
However, the tables are turned in smaller, closed environments such as either of the team tunnels, the Gunner tunnels, or the Control Point. There, the scout is put on the defensive. A well placed f-bomb will destroy the Scout’s entire shield, a good portion of its health, and stun it for a few seconds - And after a few HMG shots, the scout is as good as dead. (Side Note: The scout, like most classes, is probably not going to want to stay in a head-to-head fight with you for very long, because they are deathly afraid of your Neutron Shell [and for good reason]).
Now, one more point to think about when going head-to-head with a Scout. Are they using their doped saber? If so, then you will want to use your HMG and jump backwards and away from them (not too far, at this point you are at the advantage, so you will want to stay decently close), shooting them the entire time. Using your hammer against a saber scout isn't recommended. While a mauler slam pretty much guarantees an easy kill with your HMG, you need to consider that they are going to be flying and moving very fast, making it pretty difficult to successfully use a mauler slam against them. You are probably better off using the previously mentioned strategy against scouts. However, if they are using their Sub Machine Gun, your best option is to get as close to them as possible while using your HMG, so that your chances of missing are at a minimum. Don't forget that your e-rush knocks enemies out of the air, so if they are hovering close to you, don't be afraid to use it against them.Now let's be realistic for a second, most of your encounters with a scout are going to be when your health is low and you're out of any cover. Scouts often work as the clean-up duty, clearing out low health enemies before they can go and heal up. When you find that your health is getting low, your best option is to get your hammer equipped and activate the Nullification Buckler. Then you should jet pack back into one of your base's force-fields and heal up. You will probably get howls of rage at your "cowardice" or "n00biness", but frankly you just lived to fight another day, and they're angry that you weren't feeding their kill streak.
Gunners are very nasty to face head-to-head as a tank, but fortunately enough you will rarely ever have to enter into this conflict. Most Tank vs. Gunner encounters occur when you are clearing out their sniper nest. Generally, this means that you have already hit them with 2-3 HMG shots before the engagement has even begun. This means that the gunner is probably going to run, and not stay to fight. So to begin this class guide, let's talk about chasing a gunner. First and foremost, if you can lob an f-bomb towards the side of them that faces the way they're going to try and escape, you are doing very, very well. The knockback and obliteration of their shield should be enough for you to finish them off with ease. However, if they are already in motion, or if you are out of f-bombs, try to maneuver yourself between the Gunner and their exit. If this is done successfully, you will be able to stick with them as they try and retreat, and finally e-rush them just as they're beginning to drop down into their force field, knocking them away from their escape. A crucial part of this is using your E-rush without auto-aim and aiming over their heads, so that you can get in between them and their exit.
In some cases, the Blitzkrieg Mauler & Nullification Buckler can also be used to quickly take out gunners, keep in mind however, that this method is a bit riskier than the aforementioned tactic. To pull this off, you must first get close to the gunner’s position, all the while trying to stay hidden from his line of sight, if he hasn’t spotted you yet and you’re close enough to E-rush him, half the battle is already won. Now, this is where split second timing will be the difference between a gunner kill, and his escape. After your initial rush, you should Maule(R) Slam IMMEDIATELY followed by an F-Bomb. You may take a little bit of damage from the F-Bomb, but nothing you won’t survive. After that, the gunner should be flying in the air with a fraction of his health left, finish him off by firing a few HMG shots, and he should be dead.
Now, let's assume for a second that you are facing a gunner who is aware of your presence and at full health and shield. Even a barely experienced gunner will know not to use their Rail Gun against you at close range, so it's safe to assume that you'll be facing an assault rifle. 1v1, sighted Assault Rifle vs. sighted HMG; you will win 90% of the time. Their E ability is (with a few exceptions) only good at escaping, whereas yours is an amazing tool of destruction. Unfortunately for us, against a good gunner this fight essentially never happens. With a technique called hip firing (not right clicking to auto aim), a gunner can nearly double his rate-of-fire with the assault rifle while using his (Q)-tility. Make no mistake; the gunner will easily out DPS any Tank. Generally, with good use of your e-rush and HMG (no, I would not recommend hip firing your HMG vs. a gunner. In theory you would do much more damage, but it's much harder to hip-fire HMG at close range than it is an assault rifle), you should be able to win this fight. One more trick you have up your sleeve is a technique called "Playing Possum", that is, using your Neutron Shell when you are somewhere between 50 to 150 health (I would advise towards the upper end of that range, so as to avoid an instant death by F-bomb). This technique results in a practically guaranteed death of the gunner, so use it wisely. This is yet another reason as to why you should not waste your Q-shell on random control point encounters.
Also be aware that in this 1v1 scenario, staying close to the gunner will guarantee that his F-bomb will hurt himself, but it may also lead to him suiciding.
*Note: Since a crouching Gunner hip-firing his Assault Rifle does far more DPS (damage per second) than any other class currently in the game, it is always important to remember to E-rush him, to interrupt his shooting, and give yourself a much needed break from the damage. Following up with an F-bomb, and maybe even hip firing your HMG (assuming that he is crouching and not moving) is also a good idea.
To be frank, techs will be your easiest kills. With low armor, terrible mobility, weak defensive abilities, techs are essentially sitting ducks. However, there are some scenarios where a tech will completely counter a tank. We'll get to those in a minute, first let's talk about realistic scenarios where a tank encounters a tech. Inside the control point, you may encounter a tech healing his suppressor, or even another player. Your best decision will, essentially always be to target the tech and kill him. Your auto-aimed HMG will deal a sizeable amount of damage more than his repair beam, and combined with your E-rush, you shouldn't have any trouble dispatching the tech (be aware that the tech has the ability to charge up his repair beam to 100%, and after pressing "R", heal himself and all nearby allies by 100 damage - however, using e-rush to interrupt their repair beam, switching to hammer and using Mauler slam, or using an F-bomb will slow down their charging of the repair beam).
Now, let's talk about a 1v1 scenario. Without a suppressor 3, the tech will always be an easy kill. Just chase him and use your HMG sighted, and he will die. So let's assume in this scenario that the tech has a suppressor 3. Suppressors, sporting a whopping 500 health and 150 shields, are a nasty addition to the tech class that allows them to stand a chance in encounters such as this. This turret has a fast rate of fire, and deals 11 damage per hit to a Tank. Additionally, it applies the "Suppressed" debuff - which stacks up to 10 times. Each stack reduces the recharge rate of your cool downs by 10%. This means that after even a brief encounter with a Suppressor, your Q-shell cool down, your E-rush cool down, and your F-bomb cool down will not be recharging at all. This lasts a few seconds, but is also refreshed every time the suppressor hits you. So how do you get around this, you may ask - well, let's discuss a few ways.
First, while the suppressor 3's range is ridiculously far, it does have a limit. If you hip-shoot your HMG at the suppressor, it will out damage the rate of healing done by the tech. If you must get into a close encounter with the tech and his suppressor, blow all of your cool downs at the beginning. Pop your Q-shell, E-rush the Tech, and blow up an F-bomb in his face. Follow up with either expert Mauler Slams or HMG shots. Either way, make sure you are making a good amount of head-way versus the tech. If you realize that you're going to have to grind down his health with the suppressor blasting you, DON'T. Get out of there and live to fight another day. Very rarely will the tech be able to heal through your damage and stuns, though.
If a tech has set himself up in the Control Point with a suppressor level 3, the best solution is to get your gunner partner to snipe the suppressor before you go in to finish off the tech.
*Note: Of only small importance - is the Tech's E-ability. It allows him to kick, dealing a small amount of damage and stunning the target for a short duration. However, the kick has no cool down. So theoretically a Tech could chain-kick you while his suppressor drains all of your health, but this just isn't practical. First, never has this author heard of any instance where this has happened, and second ANY assistance from your team at all would completely interrupt this combo. Generally, a kicking Tech isn't a healing tech. And a Tech that isn't healing is very soon to be a dead Tech.
Well, I guess all that's left is the Tank. At this point, there really isn't all that much that can be said. The best Tank will be the victorious Tank. However, here are a few pointers. If the other tank activates his Neutron Shell, your best option is to switch to your hammer and activate your Nullification Buckler. Let him have his little tantrum as he tries to get past your defenses, but with careful footing he will be unable to do anything more than knock you back a little. After his shell ends, be prepared to give him everything you've got. Generally HMG is the better weapon, as the same "distancing" technique can be used against a Blitzkrieg Mauler as against the Scout's Doped Saber. Make sure that you only activate your Shell at the last second, so that he probably won't have enough time to switch to his buckler.
One last note: more times than not, the outcome of this fight is decided by the use of the e-rush. Jumping over and around the other tank and generally messing with his auto-aim is a good idea, but be careful that he isn't able to E-rush you while you're in the air and cause you to fall. Oftentimes that extra damage is enough to turn the tide and result in a death.
And that's all, folks! Thank you for taking the time to read through the Tank Guide, created by Dotrawr & Dual Smoke ! Hopefully we’ve offered a little more insight into the Tank class as a whole, for those wishing to improve their game or just better understand the Tank. Keep these techniques in your head and you'll find that your encounters as a Tank will go by much smoother.
A little list for easy reference:
- Use e-rush against flying opponents.
- Use Maule(R) Slam against grounded opponents.
- Use Neutron Shell sparingly (Playing Possum technique)
- Use F-bombs against close range targets to stun them.
- Always stand on the Capture Point!
~ Tanks must be fast. That, I would say, is the most important lesson of the war in regard to tanks. Fire-power, armor protection, and speed are the essentials, and the best type of tank is that which combines these conflicting requirements with the most success. ~
- *Hasso Manteuffel*, commander of the German 7th Panzer Division, WW2.
*Special thanks to Dual_Smoke for providing so much valuable input and taking the time to see this through to completion! Couldn’t have done it without you!*