Now, in my last Demoman vs. Demoknights post, I neglected to mention my personal favorite of the two demoman playstyles. Do I prefer demolitons man, or demoknight, or maybe even hybrid?

None. My favorite demoman loadout revolves around the Sticky Jumper.

Picture by FeelGoodInc.
Picture by FeelGoodInc.

The Sticky Jumper is addicting. Unlike the Rocket Jumper, it requires zero skill to use effectively (as opposed to a little skill) and it lets you keep your powerful Grenade Launcher and melee of your choice. This means you are perfectly capable of filling a viable role on your team; you have the absolute best mobility of any class in the game, bar none. You can start capping the next point within seconds of the previous being capped. You can zip ahead, find the right spot, and rain explosive death down on the upcoming sentry nest. When all else fails you can fly over everyone’s heads, locate the enemy medic, and finish him off with an Ullapool Caber from nowhere.

How can I prove the Sticky Jumper is that good? Well, it’s the focal weapon of the only loadout I’ve found that makes it reliably possible to win cp_orange_x3.

Picture by  TheClaudioAmericano
Picture by TheClaudioAmericano

If you’ve never played cp_orange_x3, you are in a comfortably small minority of TF2 players. It’s by far the most played custom map in all of TF2, so popular it’s part of a triumvirate of reviled stalemate-fests that all ‘respectable’ Tf2-players eschew on principle (along with 2Fort and Dustbowl). Arguments against it include “the creator spent less than 30 minutes making it”, “it’s a sniperfest to end all sniperfests” and “the middle point takes about as long to cap as an entire episode of Antiques Roadshow.” Which are all true.

HOWEVER with this single, simple loadout, I have regularly capped every point and won the game for my team, regardless of player size, my teammate’s competence skill, and the number of snipers against me:

Grenade Launcher, Sticky Jumper, Pain Train.

Your primary can best any player in 1v1 combat once you’ve gotten the hang of it (takes some time), your secondary lets you reach any point on the map within seconds of spawning, and your melee lets you cap points like a scout with negligible effect on your survivability (hardly anything will kill you that wouldn’t have killed you anyway.)

HOW TO WIN ORANGE:

Step 1: If necessary, cap your second and middle points. This should not take too much time. Remember to crouch on second so that the large wall protects you from snipers on the other side of the map. You’ll use this to much more important effect in step 3.

The only time this may seem like a problem is if your team is currently fighting tooth and nail to defend last, and waves of Ubercharged opponents flanked by sentries seem to be marching up to your spawn on a regular basis. To solve this, sticky jump around the corner and onto the middle tower. Eliminate any snipers on the tower (they won’t be expecting attacks from behind, and if they try to retake the tower you’ll eventually convince them it’s far easier to just snipe people from the ground.)

Once you’ve ‘taken’ the tower from the snipers, rain grenades on every sentry post until they are all gone. This may take a few lives, but you can assuredly do it faster than they can rebuild. Once the engineers are dealt with, spam in the general direction of the enemy medics. They tend to clump up, and so grenades are a natural weakness of theirs. With the loss of these support classes, your team should be able to retake second point (you might have to jump over there and destroy the sentry nest first), and eventually mid.

Once your team has regained material control of the map, you can move on to…

Step 2: Reduce all enemy engineers to cowardly hobbits hiding their level 3 sentry nests in their own spawn. This is your first chance going on the attack, and you may have to briefly come back to this step when a new Engineer joins a server. (For this portion, the Persian Persuader is more useful than the Pain Train so you can regain health from building gibs.)

You see, normally cp_orange is a haven for defensive-based Engineers. Hardly anything penetrates the veritable wave of snipers, so you can build your gear at leisure and wait for the rare spy to catch himself out of cloak and laugh as your sentry tears him to ribbons.

But that was before you joined the server. With your Sticky Jumper, bounce around their side of the map and rain grenades on their sentry points outside of the sentry’s range. Experiment and learn where the best spots are to kill sentries; the map is so open there is no surefire place for their sentries to build in peace except within their spawn. And if they build in there, they aren’t helping their team at all.

This is a very suicidal way of playing; on average you will die once for every sentry nest you destroy. Again, you spawn faster than their lvl 3 sentries do, and you’ll see them retreat closer and closer to spawn before they all just don’t leave. Time for:

Step 3: Time to cap and hold point 4. Re-Equip the pain train, unequip any hats (the things you do for this team…) and jump to Capture Point 4. Remember to crouch and strafe; without a hat you barely fit under the wall shielding you from the enemy snipers outside spawn. Also have your grenade launcher out; classes who aren’t snipers will approach from both sides. Significant practice with the grenade launcher has made it easy for me to kill these people; scouts are the only ones who put up much of a fight. If you die, Sticky Jump back over and keep going.

Once capped, you have two options; go for glory and start focusing on last, or defend 4th long enough for your team to advance somewhat. Make this decision based on how competent your team has appeared in the past. No point suiciding repeatedly on last if they just retake 4 while you do it.

Step 4: Winning the round. Your strategy revolves around your team support, with greater chances of success the more support you have.

–Significant team support: You have engineer nests and medics right outside last and many direct combat classes; your team just needs that push. At this point, I either rain grenades from the square platform outside their spawn (equipping the stock Sticky Launcher and using a teleport), or I sticky jump to the far wall, sneak into their spawn, and rain grenades from behind them. Often they can’t tell that some of the spam is coming from the wrong direction, and this stops engineers from building sentries near the resupply cabinet.

–Moderate team support: You have a single medic, or a single Engineer, and a few combat classes. Don’t try sneaking into their spawn, there isn’t enough spam and they’ll realize you’re doing it. Provide suppressing fire from the platform; your goal is to hold out until more teammates show up, or if you feel lucky trying the below.

–No team support: Nobody is pushing last with you, even after ten minutes of defending 4. Most of your team is sniper/spy, no medics. Your only option is the hail mary; sticky jumping onto the point and strafing, spamming pipes at any target outside of spawn. You will die, a lot, but so long as you live long enough to keep pushing the cap timer closer to finish, you can do it. Be wary of enemies capping 4th, and always clean them out if you see Point 4 being captured.

And there you go; the best way I’ve found for winning cp_orange_x3. Obviously it isn’t foolproof, but TF2 doesn’t condone itself to unbeatable strategies. This strategy works fairly reliably for me, and better than most others on this map. Let me know if any steps are confusing, I plan to make a video demonstrating this strategy once I live somewhere with better internet.

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