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Guide to Control Points

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Introduction

A mode that is quickly gaining popularity in Tanki, capture points can be found on many servers and are probably second only to CTF in terms of number of games. Let's get right into it!

Scoring

As usual, we will begin by looking at how you can earn points, as this is essential for knowing how to get the most points possible.

As with the other team modes, points for kills are distributed equally by the players that did damage to that tank in the last ten seconds. This means that kill-stealing has little value, and you should aim to shoot as fast as possible.

As well as the normal (healing, killing), you can also get points for capturing the point in this mode, and the number of points available is proportional to the number of players on the enemy team. It also is affected by the amount of time you have actually been there to capture the point - two players will receive different amounts of points if they have been at the point capturing for different amounts of time. Note that points are only given for a complete capture/uncapture of a point. This means that if your team is likely to win already, it might actually be a good idea to let the enemies to completely uncapture or capture the point before you go in and recapture the point. This way, you will get more points! Of course, this is only if your team is going to win - you are likely to lose one or two points this way!

The game can be won by either having the most capture points after the time ends, or by reaching the capture point goal first. The number of points given by one capture point is about one point every ten seconds, or six points per minute. This means that you can quite easily work out the maximum number of points you can earn in the remaining time: (number of capture points)*(time remaining in minutes)*6. This can be used to decide whether the game is worth fighting for or not. For example, if your team is 60 points behind on a Polygon CP where there is only one capture point, and there are just 10 minutes left, you will need to hold the point for the whole 10 minutes to even have a chance of catching them up. So, if the enemy are even half decent, it is unlikely you will win and so it may not be worth going drugs-mode-on and trying to be a hero.

Roles

Now, let's take a look at the main roles you can play in this mode.

Capturing Points

The primary one in many games is the force that captures the point. Without it, you can't hope to win!

Now, the hull you want to use is largely map dependent. You have to make a judgement on whether the extra speed of health is going to be more useful. For example, on smaller maps like Island or Arena, the time difference of reaching the point for a Viking and Mammoth will not be significant, but with Mammoth, you will be able to survive while there for much longer. But on a larger map like stadium, the enormous difference in time that it will take you to reach the points with your Mammoth is a significant disadvantage.

Another aspect that is more important for this mode than others is your Power and Weight, which will affect how easily you can push others off the point, and also how difficult it will be for others to push you off. Often you don't need to kill the enemy tank before capturing the point if you can push them off first!

As for weapons, you are likely to be at short range with the enemies, who will also try to reach the point. This makes weapons like Railgun very poor - you won't be using the weapon to its potential. In smaller games, where there are maybe just four per team, you might favour a weapon that can deal short burst high damage, allowing you to take the enemies out quickly and recharge while they are re-spawning, such as Firebird, or Rico. On larger games, you might prefer a weapon like Twins that can deal more sustained damage, as you will likely be facing multiple enemies coming onto the point in endless waves.

Your paint choice should also match the likely weapons you will be facing. Short range protections like Rock or Zeus can be good in many cases, but this is definitely not always the best option!

Support

The other main role I think there exists is support. That is providing covering fire and helping to attack enemies who are reaching the point and while they are at the point itself.

In smaller maps, and smaller games, there is not much room for many in supporting roles. But in larger maps and games especially, this is a very important role to fill. If left unchecked, a good supporting player can completely turn the tide in the team's favour.

Ideally, you want to be dealing damage from range, so that enemies won't be able to both make for the point and try to attack you simultaneously. Therefore, longer range weapons are a better choice, like Smoky and Thunder. I hesitate to suggest Railgun and Shaft in general, since they lack the sustained damage that Smoky and Thunder can reach, but having said that they can still be good on certain maps, such as Stadium.

Out of Smoky and Thunder, Thunder has the ability to deal splash, which is an incredible advantage compared to Smoky, especially on large team CPs. This enables the user to deal many times more damage potentially, especially since the enemies will be congregated at the capture point. This extra support can turn the battle at the point far in your favour.

As for hulls, the extra health is not always necessary, and in fact it might be more useful to have a bit more manoeuvrability and speed to avoid enemies who try and pursue you. Most hulls are usable in this supporting role.

Paint-wise, identify your biggest threat, and bring a paint that protects you from that. Often, this is the enemy supporting players, so a good long range paint like Clay would be perfect.