Darkness map, tip - oh, I lost count. Forty or so. Thirty Eight. Right.
Tip 38 - Darkness
Big map, huge open flagroom, red and blue differ in architecture as well as colour. Huge dividing wall, enforced prematch, two places you can cap the flag.
It is almost always worth going for the homebase cap. It's worth extra points to the team - and isn't very much slower (assuming you concjump home)
If you have more offence ready to rush the flag area, or sat waiting, then go for the quicker cap. Stay in communication.
The outdoor area CAN be an effective defensive point. Pyros, HWG, snipers and to a lesser extent soldiers and demons are valid for this. Be aware that the underground route exists. No-one ever uses it, but they can if you start guarding outside (likewise, if the enemy guards outside - you can use it)
Be aware of the slight differences between the two bases - one base has squarer and slightly easier to defend ramps up to the gantry level, the other has a flag platform that is slightly harder to jump to.
The enforced prematch can be blown out by direct fire weaponry - NOT explosive weaponry. HWG are the most obvious choice. I'm not sure that it's worth doing unless you have a huge desire to plant a HWG or two outside your base, I'd just get the internel D set up.
Xen strikes against the blue base
Twas brillig and the slivy map maker did xen and gamble with slightly altered architecture. Mimsy were the medics, who flew across the sky.
Bah, I can't keep that up.
This map is very hard to defend, and conversely very easy to attack. I'll list a couple of different overall strategies, then move on to specifics.
5-3 defence, pull back tight
Vulnerable to spam attacks, but pull deep into the base, give up the outside area to the enemy, and use your offence to tell you what they are doing. Your weakened offence won't cap very often, but your stong defence means that the enemy won't either. This is a particularly good strategy to counter the 4-4 on thsi map.
Sentryguns in the big room, soldiers at the corenrs to defend them, someone (or sometwo) at the cap points, dispensers on the gantries, people on BOTH staircases - limit egress to the flag to one person at a time, when it does get touched, try to keep it in the main room.
3-2-3 or 4-1-3 defence, hard but loose
Again, a more defencive strategy, but this one is more designed to break up heavy offence, rather than to stop mass light rushes. People outside the base to wound the enemy, and to try to prevent them grouping. And yes, to chase them to the staircases. The defence should have at least one fast class (demon or medic) inside to catch the people who use strange entrances - and two people actually at the flag to stop fast classes, and mop up.
Forward lines MUST report, and MUST allow the enemy to get past - wound, don't kill Disengage.
You are weak against people who CJ into the top, then CJ across to the flag, so watch out for it.
When fthe flag goes, it's gone. The forward line should then harden a bit, to delay - rememebr, you just have to outcap the enemy, not stop them ever capping - it's better to be ready to stop the NEXT offensive than to delay this one for an extra few seconds.
4-4 capping spree
Defence should be much like the 5-3 version, one perosn on the flag, one in the big room or roaming, and one on each staircase, able to pull back. Sentryguns are a good thing, but don't rely upon them.
Four offence, you're looking at medic rush - or medic + spy + dual soldier to punch the hole.
You should be able to cap pretty regularly with four offence on this map - so communicate, it's sometimes worth going for the faster cap and lower score.
3-5 offence - cap freely
This is dangerous. You should be able to totally dominate the enemy gantries and flag for minutes at a time, and cap like crazy, but the enemy, if he's not completely demoralised by this, will be able to cap fast. You want a VERY well co-ordinated pair of medics to do the brunt of the work, a pair of heavier classes to hold down the area (and do the initial bust in), and probably a scout or another medic to keep the flag in perpetual motion.
Get the double score caps till you run out of concs, then get the single score ones.
The defence will be doing a blue arsed fly impression. Depending on the enemy attack, you either want to defend solely at the flag, with all three - and pursue the flag a fair distance into the base - or spread out to stop sentry gun killers, and defuse enemy heavy class rushes.
Pipe traps on the flag, and near it. Sentry guns in the corners of the big room, or the side passages. Sentrygun on the flag responds too slowly. Dispenser on the flag, or the coridoors. Soldiers in the corners of the gantry/flag bit. CHECK FOR SPIES. Pipe traps in that final run to the flag.
Be VERY careful about people who can conc all the way across the big room. And, tempting though it might be, don't defend the floor of thast big room too hard, it distracts your defence from the flag, and a medic WILL sneak around.
Defending the staircases works well, but is hard to keep up. Engineers and medics CAN do resupply runs on this map, and be very effective, if you have enough defenders.
If the enemy has forward defence, get good at all going around or over it. Suppressing it is rarely worthwhile. Spies are great, especially if the enemy uses a roaming defence, or lots of sentryguns.
Get good at all the conc/rocket jumps in that big room - there are a lot of different ones.
Remember that a defender at the flag, or behind it, has a very limited field of view, and has to guess which way you will come in. Confuse him, co-ordinate and come in both ways. Conc the enemy off the flag point, destroy disps and SGs from out of range, and remember to stay back from the inevitable grenades.
This map IS defensible, with a lot of coordination. It is well worth getting an extra roaming fdefender who can cover for temporary weaknesses. If the enemy is using rush, rather than pressure, then you can count the enemy, and resupply when they aren't ready to attack.
If the enemy can't concjump, then the stairs and gantries are critical.
If they can, then you need a GOOD deathmatcher to disrupt them in the big room - and preferably someone out front to weakne them, and stop them getting up to the top entrance.
The dividing wall is too far away from respawns to hold effectively, and can be gotten under anyway. Still, the occasional sniper can work.
Offence-wise, just remember you don't HAVE to cap every time. If the enemy is defending in depth, then taking out sentryguns is a worthy goal - it can mean you get two caps on the next run, rather than just one now.
Remember, cap more often than the enemy. Pressure is viable, but don't be afraid to rush if the enemy is storng in defence - if they are strong in defence, then they are weak in offence.