Part 7
Burn baby burn! Tip number 7 in an open ended series about setting fire to things!
You guessed it, its the pyromaniac class tip sheet!

I'd apologise for the style, but this is adapted from a tip I wrote more recently (only 3 months ago) and I kinda like the style... Anyway, saem kind of info, different presentation. Enjoy.

OK class, you've got your asbestos suits? Goody...
And you've got your little cats?
Good... Now, pretend the cats are on the other team... And that's how you get a cat to go woof! Meow baby! Very meow!
Although not as in-depth as some of my other classes - here goes.

Pyros are faster than they have any right to be.
I mean - wow.
They are somewhere between engineer and demon speed - and its very useful.

Lets look at the weaponry.
Easily accessible with the 'special' button - this puppy holds up to 200 cells, and, basically, never runs out. Toast someone, grab their ammo - repeat.
And secondly - incendiary cannon.
This baby is a dream!
Holding 20 rockets (Ok, so more of a nightmare) but with no reload cycle!
You can fire all 20 at one person if you like, but that would be dumb. This turns out to be a dog of a rocket launcher replacement.
I fired 8 rockets at a lvl3 sentry (out of range) before the engineer got me. It didn't even flinch.
This gun does practically *no* damage.
What it does do, is light things up like a Christmas tree! If your team cannot see an enemy, or can't aim for toffee - lighting them up really helps.
And if you can't shoot straight, it matters not! Because this pup doesn't need accuracy (though the more accurate you are the more flames you make) An added bonus - although pyros cause lag, if *you* are the pyro, then the
flames are client side - meaning its somebody else's problem... you lag not.
Next point about the cannon - it belches flame, and does no damage to you.
You are *almost* invulnerable to flame.
This means that you it's hard to accidentally blow yourself up by firing a rocket into someone at zero range.
It also means that you can't rocket jump - some power comes at too high a price...

(Ok, you CAN rocket jump, but not very far - you can clear the dividing wall on well, but not much more. Of course, you get full gren1's, so you can grenade jump...)

Right - how to use the guns. Snap one (or two at most) rockets into your target.
Close range rapidly.
Switch to toasty gun (flamethrower)
Dodge their volley, and circle strafe them for a while.
If they die, cool!
If not, leave them dazed and confused, and slam rockets into your next target.
(NOT if you are last line defence - obviously, then finish them) Ways the pyro can be used. The pyro is fast, well armoured, confuses enemies, and can kill...
GREAT little flag runner.
I *don't* advise them for the initial run, but to grab the flag just after someone dropped it, and get it out of the enemy gates... GREAT.
You can probably do the initial run too - its just gonna be WAY too hard to get out again. How? Oh yes.
Just daze your enemies. Do not engage to kill - theta's what your team-mates are for.
Once they are burning nicely, dodge away from them, in a random direction.
Keep dodging and then run off - preferably toward the objective (flag, gun whatever) but don't make a habit of it - or they'll pre-empt you.
Since they expect you to run in straight line toward target, and you don't - they will often lose you, and run in wrong direction for a few seconds. Use this time to find a new target.
Meander your merry way PAST all the enemies - some of whom chase you, most of whom don't know where the heck you went.
Second use A/D.
This class is so perfect for the role, its untrue.
{A/D is active defence, I'll say more on the topic later}
Set a little fire, spread a little love, watch while over half of the enemy team is so pissed off with you that they chase you to exclusion of the guy going for the flag.

NAPALM! I almost forgot.
Brilliant to stop pursuit, or at least give them hotfoot.
LOVELY for announcing to the entire world that you intend to come round a corner (distraction) since you are (almost) immune to flame.
And defensively - it makes a great hardpoint.

Third use - Defence.
Front line defence is A/D and obvious.
Mid / last line defence is more odd.
Mid line, you act pretty much the same way, but make more use of your napalm to slow them until help can come.
Light classes, you toast, HWG you napalm (they cant get out of it without stopping firing, in which case you run up and toast them)
Soldiers - you hope you have enough armour (you usually do)
Demons? Stay at range / use rockets till they come close - then TOAST!

For dogs sake, does this class have NO disadvantage? Last line defence. Don't start out here. Its dumb.
But you *are* fast enough to chase even a medic the final leg - rockets to splash them if they try to stay away - flame thrower for when they grab the flag and have to turn round and come past you. It can be surprisingly effective.

What has two legs and goes woof? An enemy team member when a pyro's around.
What has four legs and goes woof? TWO enemy team members when there's a pyro around.
What has six legs and goes woof? A mutant dog.
When there's a pyro around!

You have no flamethrower whilst under water.
Try not to go underwater - the cannon aint gonna kill much. Pyros - you have absolutely no way to hurt, except single barrelled shotgun, and normal grenades.
Best advice is to tell your team-mates, and ignore the pyro (if he tries to flame you, laugh)
Napalming sentries...
Hmm - it does work, but not too well IMHO.
Better to use normal grenades.
Using the flamethrower is a bad idea. (The exploding SG will kill you even if you do manage it)

Frankly, you will usually draw against an equally skilled engineer. You will kill him, and his EMP or sentry will kill you.
Its not a sure thing, but I give pretty good odds.
They can cure your flames, and recover from them fast themselves.
FLAME THEM FIRST (unless, say, someone else has the flag)
Also - they can't usually get close enough to poison if you are wielding a flamethrower (or if they do, they start barking, and bark is FLAMMABLE!)

Seeing how peoples accuracy changed once I flamed them - it isn't as good as concing them - but it *does* make a difference - and to most ppl it makes a lot of difference
Oh yes - don't forget that the radius of your cannons flame explosion isn't stopped by walls, so you can light up engineers, snipers etc. while you run under their gantry. Because of this (and a cock up on the map) being a pyro on invect3 is dishonourable.

Sheesh - this is a rubbish tip, so ok.
Some more sane things to say.
First - stick with other teammates. Either lots of different teammates for short periods of time, or buddy up with someone.
A single pyro is NOT a killer - a pyro plus someone else is overkill for 2 enemies, and can do a good job on 3 or 4.

Your main weaknesses are HWG (at range, close up you can often circle flame them to death) and really good sniper and scouts (scouts simply because they get past you, and although a little hurt, a little hurt doens't make them much easier for your teammates to kill. It does make them SOME easier, make sure you DO wound them, but the binary 'dead scout'/'live scout' makes your role a little less useful. Snipers, of course, pop you off while you fight, and your flame rockets, though great for covering fire are too slow and dodgeable at range.

Top tip, fire the flamethrower up and in front of you, and all over the place as you run - the sniper will have a hard time working out where you are in the midst of the screen of flames.

Napalm is blatant area denial - two will kill most slow classes trying to traverse it - and it makes a VERY identifiable sound whenever anyone runs through.
Beware accidentally blocking off areas to your team though. Really, running through friendly fire is a pain.

Tell your team the route the enemy took to get past you. Yu don't have much power to force the enemy to choose a path in, but you can wound and inform - this is most useful if your team is using a light mobile style of defence (they are, you're a defending pyro)
If your team prefers a static defence with lots of SGs then a pyro isn't so useful here - though they can make enemies think twice about standing still trying to bring down a SG.

Fast offence is a very good role. As I mentioned before, A/D - draw the enemies into fighting you / blind them, so that your light crew can get through - alternatively you ARE fast enough to be the one who slips past - and against sole defenders or not terirbly skillfull defenders, you can create your own hole.

Preventing the enemy from rebuilding their defence is good too.
You can hammer enough rockets into an area to stop an engineer standing there, forcing their other defenders to come and shut you down, which lets someone in again... (I'm thinking well fr here)
You're fast enough to hide almost anywher ein the nme base, and bring force to bear anywhere else on demand.
And an engineer can't build a SG where you're laying a napalm field...

This class is very much underrated, there is a LOT it is good for - but most of it is based on speed.
If you don't need the speed, and want a bit more armament, be a demon (though you don't get the flame rockets or long range) or a soldier (shoe in replacement, more armour, but MUCH slower)

What you really want to be comparing this class to is the medic / engineer. And you'll find you have a lot of similarities - the weaponry is DIFFERENT, and it's clearly a supportive role (but then, the engy and nurse is supposed to be too...) but treat the class more like that and less like a soldier, and you'll have more success.

Humm - I'll skip the vs class fights, I've covered most of them up there already.
Plus, if you are deathmatching, then you aren't doing what a pyro is supposed to do.

Oh, final point - the flamethrower doesn't have the kind of range it looks like it does, nor the cone it ought to - you have to be pretty accurate.
So you work well in confined spaces / long tight coridoors (think the rock2 yard main entrance sloping bit) but, conversely, you're easy to kill in those too...

Run in, pump in some flame, back out before their grenade gets you - repeat as they get frustrated.