What is a stalemate situation?
A stalemate occurs when both teams have successfully taken the opposing side's flags to their respective bases - to provide more understanding of this, it's when the red team has successfully taken the blue flag back to their base, and when the blue team has successfully taken the red flag back to their base.
Does this term have other commonly used names?
Whether it should even be called stalemates is debatable alone, but by asking around, I've found that some people refer to it as a "flag exchange" - I've also found out that the entirety of the Russian community also refer to such situations as a flag exchange - however, the consensus of the EN players, at least from what I've seen is "Stalemate" hence the title.
It normally takes place when both of the sides have awful defense but great offense, or in maps where it's rather easy to enter/escape, due to there being a lot of pathways in comparison to the amount of players, for example. In a stalemate situation, people have two tasks to do synchronously, those being:
- Returning your flag
- Retaining their flag
Depending on how you go about doing these tasks, a stalemate situation could last from a minute to the rest of the entire battle. The longer stalemates tend to be No-Supply battles.
Basic tips for ending a stalemate situation
Do not go about returning it on your own; go with an abundance of teammates.
Going on your own is pretty much suicide; the opposition will take you out with no problem. Go with a few teammates to increase your chances of success.
Grasp your role
There may be a specific enemy which your turret is specially great at facing. Have an idea of that; if you don't know what to do, either communicate with your team, if possible, or stay behind with the flag holder to prevent them from dying.
Diversify your invasion entrances
I won't dispute that invading their base via the very same pathway will never work; this is because it can be pretty effective if the pathway's rather large, or you have Isidas handy. However, if you come in from all directions, you can make life difficult for your enemies, given that you'll be attacking from all directions. Bear in mind this won't always be possible. You should also bear in mind that there needs to be a balance between how many people invade which pathway - you don't want to leave one right open.
Do your best to stay active throughout the stalemate situation
Stalemate situations are generally very intense, and going AFK (away from keyboard) will do a disservice to yourself, and your team. If you must go, try to leave the battle; but if you have a higher score; one that's higher to the extent you don't want to abandon it, make your departure quick.
Be inconsistent with your tactics
If possible, don't opt for doing the same thing every single time. Otherwise, the enemies will catch onto what you're trying to do, and you being predictable isn't going to assist. If it didn't work the first ten times in a row, it's probably never going to work.
Do not abandon your flag holder
Your flag holder is pretty much always going to need someone by them - they're not to be left alone; whether accompanied by an Isida, or just another teammate, the flag holder is the person all the enemies are after - therefore, they'll need someone.
If you're the flag holder, hide in an inconspicuous position
Bearing in mind that, as aforementioned, the flag holder is the person all the enemies are after, if possible, it will help to hide in an elusive position given that the enemies may know how to get to you. However, do not hide somewhere that's too far from your flag - otherwise, when you're looking to return, it might prove difficult.
In games with supplies enabled, make sure you always have your supplies ready to be activated. If you are currently on cooldown and are holding the flag, it is better to give it to a teammate, who has full health and all supplies ready to use.
Have Isidas as a regenerator of Health Points
It will enable you to stay in the ring for longer, given that you'll have a source different to the dreaded respawn that replenishes your HP. It also helps in the sense that if you get rid of attackers, the source of HP can keep the flag holder going. Isidas will prove vital in stalemate situations.
Achieve the balance between who goes and who stays
If there's a significant lack of balance, you're going to have a problem on one end of the spectrum, whether it be keeping their flag or getting your flag back. I'm not suggesting that you split it down the middle; that's the sort of thing that's circumstantial to the map you play in. You just need to make sure there's enough people to do both parts effectively.
Last resort tactic: give the flag to the enemy
In situations where your team is losing, the game has a time limit, the teams are in a stalemate and numerous attempts to return the flag already failed, you can try the following risky tactic.
First of all, make sure that the enemy is holding your flag some distance away from their base platform. This happens on some maps more often than on others. For example, on Kungur both teams usually keep the flag in the corners of the map which are opposite to the corners where the the base platforms are located. This means that if a team returns their flag, it will still take quite a few seconds for them to actually capture the enemy flag.
If your team is in that kind of situation (in a stalemate and losing by one or two flags), then your flag holder will need to bring the flag back to the enemy to let them return it, just as your other team mates are planning an attack. That way the flag will be returned, but the enemy will be exposed while carrying your flag to their base to capture it. And at that moment you can attack them with a high chance of returning your flag and even taking and capturing theirs.
Even if this fails, it still means that the stalemate is over and you will have a better chance at capturing two flags to take the lead, than ending a stalemate after multiple failed attempts.