Part 3
Basic training

** Disclaimer : These thoughts are MY opinion. Disagree with them if you like, after all, you've been wrong before **

Part 3 of my short running series... The soldier. Here is my advice.
Play the origional QuakeWorld. I *guess* Q3 will do. The skills you are looking for are prediction and dodging - actually timing on the rockets will be different anyway.
Oh yeah, when playing Q3, use the rockets, since the object is to get good at TFC. QW you don't have a choice :)
Get *very* good. Then switch back to TFC.
You'll find your skills at leading your target are essential. Then remmeebr that you only get four shots.
Make them count. It takes 1 direct hit and one splash to kill an unwounded fast class.
It takes 3 direct rockets to kill a soldier or demon.
It takes about seventy to kill a HWG. (Well, 4-6)

1. Aim for the feet.
Almost always, this is the right thing to do. If they dodge the wrong way, you get a direct hit.
Regardless, you get some damage, and knock them off course.
That means that you can take a second shot....

2. If you aint aiming for the feet, aim to kill them ;)
Do this against statioanry targets (HWG / SG)
And against people who don't know you're there, and aren't dodging.

3. Rocketjump
Just as an aside.
In the middle of a firefight.
It does some damage to your opponent, and they don't realise where you've gone - again, gets you the second shot. To rocket jump, simply aim down, and push fire and jump at once.
(I advise both on the mouse)
Don't aim straight down, that way you get spome forward component, and can go higher.
With practice, you can jump any which way. Other classes can jump, but only soldiers can do it without planning ahead.

OK, this is SO important, I'll come back to it later.

4. Die.
Repeatedly, and often.
Your life is expendable, the team isn't.
If you are only halfway into an attack, and take half damage, then abort.
Hang around, and smack a couple of rockets into the enemies offence.
You should tie them down in a firefight, which you will lose, but which
wil help your team more than you sneaking into some defence, and dying
from a single shot. If you need to resupply quickly, kill yourself. Rockets into the floor do a good job.

5. Miss
It sounds strange, but it is often better to miss than to hit. It suckers the enemy into thinking you are weaker than you are. Another reason, is that a badly wounded enemy is often more useful to your team than a dead one.
A dead one will respawn, a live one might quit the field to resupply...
That takes longer. Often you can (with good dodging) tie down a field of 3 or so enemies for a minute or so.
Thats easily long enough for your teams spy or scout to slip in.

Remember - you aren't really going for their flag, you are punching your team in.
On defence, missing isn't such a good plan.
It's use is to hem the enemy in - force them to stay back, force them to dodge away from where they wnt to go, and preferably into the line of fire of a sentry gun or a teammate.

6. Nail grenades
They give away your location
They let people know that you have been in the area
You can kill yourself with them. OTOH, they are second only to a MIRV for keeping an area clear...
And second only to caltrops for slowing down pursuers AND they are great for taking out sentry guns too... (if you've got time)
I'm a bit divided on these. If you can time normal grenades, a good use is to nail them into hiding round a corner, then grenading them as they come out.

7. Slow reload cycle.
This is NOT a good thing for you. It takes a fair while to reload a rocket, and reloading 4 takes ages.
In your favour, you can fire mid reload - though this means the reload doesn't happen...

Against certain classes, you MUST always have at least one shot prepared.
Scouts especially don't give you time to reload before their sonic boom leaves you confused and way behind.
Pyros also do nasty things if you are out of rockets in slot, medics and engineers can be a problem too.
If you are on defence, you REALLY want to save that rocket, a scout might show up at any moment.

So, having established that it aint an asset, what do we DO about it?
Shotgun. The double barrelled shotgun is an AWESOME weapon.
Bind a key to quickly switch between it and the rocket launcher.
Not much use at long range, but it's hitscan - and kills light classes incredibly well, and armoured classes eventually.
DO remember that while you're using the shotgun, your rockets aint reloading - so if you are under continual pressure, this might not be the best.

Second solution to the reload problem - reload while there's no enemies about.
This sounds obvious, but in practice means that you need to kill them all with at most 4 shots. this is sometimes kind of hard.
Escaping the area works too, but not really for defence (though a forward defender MAY find it better to save a rocket in clip and let a wounded enemy escape to the next line of defence - so as to ensure two wounded enemies hit the rear line, rather than one undamaged one)

Using full alpha strikes can really help wth this tactic, prime the grenade before the fight starts, unleash it with your first barrage of rockets, take the enemy down ASAP - so you have longer to reload in peace.

Third solution - grenades to cover the reload cycle. Prime them on about the second rocket, delay slightly on the 4th, and throw the grenade so that it explodes mid reload. This is most useful to get a barrage of about 6 shots off (enough to kill a HWG, or a pair of soldiers, with the grenade...)

Grenades are a MASSIVELY important asset to the soldier - all the stuff about using grenades (later tip, I guess) is important - with soe further addtions, such as hose, and this one:
Your weapons are NOT hitscan. The enemy CAN see them coming. This means that you can use the THREAT of an explosion somewhere to force a certain dodge.
Force them to choose between being hit by your grenade or your rocket.

Remember that explosions send your enemies flying, in enclosed spaces this tends to leave them stuck in corners - learn to fire at where they are going to land. The best soldiers never let their opponents choose where they are going. The very best can hit them in midair.

Related to that. If you possibly can, throw your opponent into the water. Being in the water slows them down massively - they won't be bothering your defence for ages. Doesn't work so well if they've got concs left.
Note to yourself, you CAN gren jump out of the water. It's usually faster just to kill yourself.

Bounce them into the air and mow them down with a lightning gun. Oh, no lightning gun? Try the shotgun.

Now, did I mention rocketjumping?
Ok, rocketjumping has a few uses.
First of all, it gives you more possible routes. Things like the 2fort battlements, the rock2 gantry and so on are EASY to reach. The well attic, up the 2fort lift, and out of the crossover2 pit are harder - but possible.
Second, it speeds up routes, and helps you get out of areas faster - a prime example of this is rocketjumping from the floor or the 2fort ramproom to the landing, or the lift. It avoid having to use the ramps, and gets you out of there quicker.
Third, confusion, and reach in mid combat. It gets you away from close range weaponry like medkits knives and flamethrowers - it pushes people nearby away, and does them damage. It puts off the opponents aim, and can get you away from an imminent explosion. Additionally, YOU control your direction of lfight, not your enemy.

The disadvantage of rocketjumping is the damage it does you. Now - if you have a rocketjump script (*spit*) only know how to do simple jumps, or followed my advice up top, then you are doing yourself FAR more damage than you need.

The farther you are from the rocket when it hits the ground - the less push you get, but the less damage you take.
You usually don't need all the height and distance you can get off a jump - so you will usually not want to fire straight at your feet.
Also, the timing on it is important - if you fire THEN jump, you take more damage than if you jump then fire.
Conversly, if you crouch down then fire - you can go higher.

If you want distance then be running in the same direction as the push - this means running backwards, or at the least turning quickly and firing the shot behind you.

Skipjumping is really a term for concjumps - but if you use a fast low rocket jump you can do it - hit jump just as you land / hit a wall - you will bounce off, and continue moving with far less reduction in speed than usual.

OK, fighting against the other classes. Rememebr, soldiers have two basic roles, attack support, and defence (usually forward defence) so I will discuss those.

Against a scout. The little bugger is hard to hit, especially close up, but a good shot WILL finish him.
Take your time, break up your firing cycle (this is good advice against anyone) and try and guess when he will make a break forr it, and nail his exit.
Grenades (especially held in the hand) splashing the floor right nearby, and the shotgun are all good too.
On defence you probably want to finish a scout, if you can - on offence just keeping him away is more than enough.

Against a sniper.
a) The sniper is attacking. Ok, he'll either rush you with autogun / snapshots and grenades, in which case treat him like a scout or a medic, or he'll hide round a corner, charge up, and slowly come out.
In thelatter case don't fall into his trap. stay alert for him, but don't forget other enemies might arrive.
Occasionally smash rockets into the place he'll have to come out into.
Keep moving, even if no one is around, if you suspet a dot might turn up.

Don't fall into his trap - if you drop down and confront him you MAY be fast enough to take him out before he gets his shot off - but if he's good, you won't.
Just hold your ground, he'll rush you eventually.

b) The sniper is defending.
Fire a couple of shots to make him dodge be accurate, but don't take the time to aim.
Dodge left and right erratically while facing him - you'll also find it useful to abruptly stop occasionally.
Jumping is a BAD idea - you're easier to hit in the air - though rocketjumping to clear the area may be fast enough.
If you get the chance, drop grenade or nail grenade to keep him supressed for your team.

Against another soldier.
Ah, the 'standard' case.
If you are defending, and he's not near your flag, rememebr, you'd rather make him rn into another defender and get killed later than kill him now.
But he won't usually give you the option.
Always hold a shot in clip (or a grenade) to destroy the fast class he's trying to distract you from.
But basically, this one comes down to reflexes and skill. You're dea even, and have the advantage of terrain. Use it.
If you're attacking then do the opposite - rocketjump in to enter the fight and close range before he can prime.
Think about trying to stay at range, and only close when you need to cause the distraction.
Keep track of the shots in his clip, as well as his grenades.
Unless you outmatch him, the terrain advantage means you should lose - but you ought to be able to kil your objective, or get a scout past before you die.
If he was already wounded, or you win, decide whether to proceed to the next target, or to try and keep this area pinned.

Escaping the area on his explosive is a good tactic for ANY attacker.

Against a demon.
OH yuck. Prepare for a good mirving :)

Right, if you're attacking, you can rocketjump through his pipefield. You also have a gun which is far easier to use than his blue pipes.
However, he has cover, and if he's good a big advantage. But, well... he has to be good :) Those pipes are DAMN hard to hit things with.
Jumping is good against the pipes, and if you can time his grenade primes, mirv jumping a vital skill - remember that it pins him to an area as much as it does you.

You're probably too slow to fake out his grenade field, but if he's deathmatching you he has less chance of timing it right to blow up someone else.
If the demon is attacking, play keepaway.
You HAVE to blow him away (either distance or figuratively) before he releases the mirvs that will destroy your sentry guns, or seriously hamper your mobility.
Assuming FF is on (it ought to be) then his mirving an rea blocks it off from the rest of his attack - but there is a small window for a fast class to get through.
If FF is off, then enemy scouts will run through the explosions. you don't want him to be able to do that,smash him into the air just before he releases the mirv.
Make him miss.

Against a medic.
Keepaway is good for the medkit, though beware grenades.
Splashing them around is good for the nailgun, and to stop them concing.
Being conced is bad - but if it's going to happen, being at the centre of the explosion so that you retain as much control over your motion as possible is good.
Their double barrelled shotgun is bad news. A medic can succesfully deathmatch a soldier of roughly equal skill. If it looks like they are trying this, then try to drag it out as uch as possible - continual splashes will kill them eventually - and the longer they dathmatch you, the longer your flag is untouched.
If they try to distract you from another light class, you're in trouble - blast the other class and get poisoned/kiled - or blast the other attacker. It's really up to you.
A short burst of nails isn't a problem, but keep moving, and keep messing up their aim, because a long burst is.
Oh, additional, if they're gonna gren or conc you, be clsoe to them, so that they take themselves out too.

Against a HWG.
Oh ****
you're in trouble. These babies take a LOT of killin.
Try popping out, hurting them, popping back in, letting them use a gren, some ammo, tkae a bit of damage.
Wait a while, and repeat.
The rest of their D may make this hard though.

Charging at them head on all guns firing will NOT work unless they are wounded. What you REALLY want them to do is retreat to resupply.
If you're unhurt, you can survive a barrage from their cannon long enough to slip a scout in.
Fire all your grens and rockets at them :)
Dodge dodge dodge. It might help a bit :)
Nail grens are also useful - if they wind up he cannon to kill you, they get killed by the nail gren - if they don't, then you get 3 or 4 shots at their back without them firing at you.
On offence, you'll be lucky to kill them and not die, you can usually force a draw (both die) though.

Rocketjumping past them works nicely. Running past them doesn't.

If the HWG is attacking, then you've got way more room to back away and rain down fire, with time to reload. You can also use grenades.
But they ARE trying to distract you from another attacker. Prioritise your fire.
If you can knock the attacker back away to the choke, and then go back to killing the HWG, that's best.
You probably WON'T be able to stop the HWG mirving your sentry. It's not worth trying - just concentrate on staying alive and killing them eventually, so that you can cover till it's rebuilt.

Against a pyro.
Trust me. Don't, and you'll see why.
Ignore their flame rockets, dead on hits hurt, splashes don't.
Well, not much.
Try not to run through their napalm too often, though if you really need to, you can a couple of times.
Remember that they have grenades too. Knocking them into the water REALLY annoys these puppies.

Against a spy.
Don't get tranqued. Oh boy, you do not wanna get tranqued.
They have a double barrelled shotgun, and no armour to speak of. Learn not to get tricked, tell your teammates...
You're probably the first line of defence against spies - if you can force them to undisguise, that buys your team a few seconds. If you warn them to be alert, thats more.
If you kill them, thats very good.
Don't let them drop their load of spyspam where they want to.
Don't worry about halluc, but don't stand in it for long.
kill them, knock them away from sentries, and knock them away to avoid a knifing.
And under no circumstances get tranqued.

Against an engineer.
ffs you do NOT need 50 rockets, 100 cells, and who knows what else when attacking.
Drop your ammo. Maybe don't even pick up a pack, just grab armour.
Avoid picking up dropped ammo packs, and you will be practically invulnerable to EMP.
If you GET EMP'd a couple of times, you WILL be invulnerable after that.

However, they DO have normal grenades, a DBS, and a sentry gun and dispenser bomb.
Kill the SG, thats probably what your teammates want most from you.
Staying alive is often optional - if you have to die to ensure the kill, do it.
If the engineer is squatting behind his sentry gun continually whaking it, then simultaneous grenade and rocket will destroy both it and him.
You're about the only class that can ensure such a kill form out of range.
If you are out of its range, you can just pour rockets into it - the splash will kill the engy, then you can kill the gun.

Blow up his dispenser. Your rockets take a while to arrive, and you can be behind cover before it blows up.
It typically takes two rockets to kill a dispenser.
Having their disps blown up pisses engies off almost as much (sometimes more) than blowing up their sentryguns.
It also means the sentry gun won't come back as quickly.

Keep away, timing his grenades etc... blah blah blah. Beware the MEP hug, or him throwing ammo at you then EMPing you.

If the engineer is attacking, then you want to blow him backward, or just plant a good pair of rockets on him.
He's a less important target (for your flag and rest of your defencE) than, say, a medic. But he's better at killing you than any of the other light classes.

Right, I've probably forgotten a whole bunch of stuff to say, so feel free to comment - but this is already too long.