This page is for strategy that doesn't depend on secrecy or surprise, i.e. stuff other teams can read without limiting our ability to execute. Generally, Lucifer thinks there aren't any secrets worth keeping anyway, the other teams will see it all soon enough. We might work out specific moves in practice, give them names or whatever so we can make appropriate calls, whatever. Other than that, there's not much we can't put here, and it's important everybody know what's going on. Bottom line: no strategy works if your team doesn't know the strategy. If we're going to err, err on the side of too much information rather than not enough.
More than likely, we're going to do a normal lineup. The tourney will have 5 players per team with alternates. The two players on the wings are defense, three in the middle are offense. One of the wings will take goalie, the other will take (at defense's option) either a guard (sweeper) or outer goalie.
Centers, please don't try more than once or twice to go down the other team's center tunnel. These are good teams, that won't be a reliable tunnel, and we'll do better if you survive longer than 10 seconds each round.
Depending on what side the goalie is on, the grinding player on that side will need to break a little early to make sure the area is covered. That side will be the weak side! It will be weak because the goalie will more than likely have to wrap around to seal the back. Since that will put him on the same side as his guard, there will be no defense. So don't break too early, but break early enough that you can reliably stop any opponents from getting down that side.
Need I say? None of that double-grinding crap will work for us.
Naturally we'll generally want to break as late as we can, but we can't count on quickly outflanking and rushing down their side. These are good teams and we'll likely get ourselves killed if we try to win that race. So we'll generally want to break, run the center to the wall on his side, the player that breaks opposite him should run to the other wall, and the third player should turn back early. This will hopefully funnel one or two opponents into that space in the center. Our offense should try to take out 2 opponents and then advance as a group.
So, no mad single-player dashes against the fortress wall. We need to advance as a group and try to isolate their players, taking them 2 v 1 as much as we can. Now, this is the ideal situation, it's not likely to happen as often as we'd like. But since we should be advancing as a group, that means we can also pull back as a group should the other team get the upper hand. Keep in mind that falling back as a group pulls their attackers toward us and away from their defense and is a good way to keep the odds even during the fight, so it is preferred over attacking. Offense shouldn't fall back all the way to the defense. If we're getting pushed that hard, better to let the guy through and sandwich him between the offense and the defense.
In a one-to-one fight, unless you have a clear advantage to press, we should favor blocking over killing. Generally speaking, the other guy is more likely to kill himself trying to get around your block than you are to kill him in an attack. More likely if you attack him, you'll wind up chasing his tail back to our fortress. Should you have to misfortune to chase his tail back to our fortress, just block his escape route and rejoin the offense, they're waiting for you. Of course, don't leave our defense outnumbered or outgunned, if you need to stay, then stay.
What kind of defense will we run? Well, turns out that most of our players prefer to play as guards rather than inner/outer defense. Personally I enjoy playing as guard but springing off the goalie's wall, those compartments tend to attract roaches. So we're probably going to prefer a guard/goalie setup. Just make sure if you're the guard you don't stray too far from the goalie.
Obviously if we have the luck to play 6 v 6 or higher we'll run a layered defense and put out midfield defenders. In that case our offense will advance at a faster rate and might even get to make a quick rush. The formula is pretty simple. 2 base defenders, 3 attackers. So do Total Players - 5 = Number of Midfield defenders.
This is our general guide. We'll practice various configurations and various tactics, of course, and we'll adapt our tactics to the team we face as needed. Some teams we'll perform better against by trying to put 2 players in their backfield as quickly as possible, and we'll want to do that against those teams. Other teams we'll perform better against by holding back and playing defensively, advancing only when we are ready to overwhelm their defense.
Other teams might read this guide and figure out ways to channel our own movements based on this guide. This is fine, it's just a general guide. They'd do better by hacking the server so they can read our team chats than wasting their time trying to work out tactics to counter what we have here.
During Play -- Who's in charge?
I don't really know the answer. You all know I have a tendency to take charge, but you also know that we have a good team assembled. If there's any question, and I'm there, I'll probably take charge to settle it. So when we have our pregame conference and setup the line, I'll probably ask everyone what they want to do and then dictate a lineup and say "Any objections to this?" It should be fairly simple. During the game, you should make sure you tell the team what's going on, like if you suddenly have to go run out to the yard to get your kid, a simple "afk" will suffice so we know to deal with it. That stuff you already know.
Changing tactics should be more or less automatic for most of us at this point. Watch your enemies alive gauge, that's what tells you when to advance and when not to advance. We make calls to one another already, so watch for them. Don't try too hard to second guess your teammates, sometimes you just have to move on trust. But don't overtrust and leave the guy in an undefensible situation. You all probably know by now that I hate it when dead players sit on the sidelines and give bad tactical advice. I don't think any of us are likely to do that, and dead players can be very helpful to players still living. In the event that you get conflicting advice from players either living or dead, go with your gut instead. :) Choosing to defend is usually a better choice when you're not sure what to do. Wavering in uncertainty is usually a very bad choice. So favor defensive advice over offensive advice.
Who decides when an alternate comes in? Without knowing how it will go, I suspect tht we'll only pull in alternates between matches, and except for the center player, we won't need to change the lineup much, if any, during a match. In that case, I'll probably make the call if nobody else does. I'd rather folks volunteered to be relieved by an alternate, but if nobody volunteers and it needs to be done, I'll say something.
If I miss the game for some reason, then y'all should probably designate someone as being in charge under the same kind of loose structure. You know, not dictatorial, but enough so that decisions can be made quickly. I don't need to remind any of you that on the grid there's no time to discuss this with the committee. :)
Let's try to keep in mind the first rule of fortress: whichever team gets organized the quickest and has the best communication is the winning team. This doesn't apply just ingame either, it applies to all the team's play. So now that we're organized as a team, let's stay organized, stay on top of what we're doing, and so forth. We can probably secure a place in the top 4 slots just by being organized. By skill we can get to the championship and win it. But we can't even get to the championship unless we're organized and communicating, so check the wiki often, check irc often, and so forth. Talk to each other, use the discussion pages here to talk, and show up to practice at least once a week. :) That stuff will do more to help us win than this strategy guide.