Badlands Tactics

Approaching Badlands Mid Point

When attacking middle badlands there are quite a lot of options, and the way to play it can be quite dynamic so it will be hard to describe exactly what to do, but I will talk about it and do my best.

What I will do is break it down into four main entry points, and describe how to play each of them with the benefits and disadvantages.



One of my favourite ways to approach middle is from the shithouse. When I go this way I don’t drop out of the hole, instead I go past the spire and up behind the train (green arrow on the screenshot). The first important thing about going to the shithouse is being careful for an enemy scout coming straight to you. If you play it right, in my experience this is easy enough to deal with as long as there is only one scout who comes, if two scouts come aggressive to your shithouse you are going to have a hard time until the soldiers arrive.

If a scout has come to the shithouse that is going to be your focus for a short while. It is usually pretty quick and easy to determine if scouts are coming or not, as they usually come pretty fast or you will spot they have gone straight on the point instead. As you are in the defensible position you should be able to damage him pretty good, I usually don’t worry about killing the scout who comes, just force him to back off then move on (and get healing if needed). Because coming to your shithouse is quite far out he isn’t going to be able to get healing very easily, so the enemy team is going to be a player down for a while, and usually badlands middle is decided pretty quickly.

The next priority is going to be to walk along the left side of the train and look towards the enemy canyon. It is a common aggressive tactic for the soldiers to come with the medic this way, and you spotting this early and calling it for your team is really important. If you see this is what the enemy team is doing you are going to want to stay cool and relaxed, try and dodge and spam that comes and do your best to prevent the soldiers jumping up on your train. If you can knock a soldier back down, do-able with the Scattergun and easier with the Force-a-Nature, the chances of you winning the point are going to be much higher as it buys you time for your soldiers to get out.

If no scouts are coming, and no heavy classes are coming aggressive from canyon, you are going to want to move on up the left side of the train towards the point. If there are players on the point then you can try and damage them as much as possible. If the point is quite free the best thing is to move up and try and prevent players from coming onto the point, the badlands middle is really heavily based around who can take positioning fastest. Killing the enemy players isn’t that important, you should be damaging the enemy heavily and making sure they can’t move up towards the point while your team does. You can dance around on the point and avoid damage while dishing it out in good quantities

To Canyon (Underneath point)


My favourite way of approaching mid badlands is having one scout by the shithouse as described above, and the other heading to underneath the point. These are the two ways for a scout to quickly get to your medic and screw you up in no time.

The theory of how you play the underneath is essentially the same as by the shithouse. The idea is to lock down the enemy scout or anyone who is trying to come aggressive from underneath, and then move on. If one scout comes underneath for you, just relax, play defensive and let him come too close so one of your soldiers rockets him in the face (make sure to call it). Else, just stay defensive and outplay him, keep him at bay with good shots! As long as he is the aggressive one let him walk into your shots, and send him packing back to resupply.

If two scouts come at you aggressively underneath, you are going to play as defensive as you possibly can and maybe even fall back a bit towards the house until you can get some help. Make sure to call straight away if two scouts come underneath. If you use my tactic and send your scout partner to the shithouse he can either drop behind the scouts to help you, or go really aggressive on point.

You don’t want to sit underneath the point for ever, of course. If the whole enemy team goes aggressive on point and you're just sitting underneath being useless, that's no good. Exactly when to leave the underneath of the point and go help elsewhere, there is no rule, just experience. If you go too early you risk a scout who was biding his time coming as soon as you leave. If you wait underneath for too long doing nothing, your team are going to struggle.

If you go underneath and it’s pretty quiet, or you’ve just sent an enemy scout running back with his tail between his legs - it’s time to move on. What options do you have now? You could rush up the enemy side from underneath: this is a risky option, but if they don’t spot you coming you can potentially do a LOT of damage. Alternatively you can rush the enemy shithouse, which is again risky but can be potentially very damaging.

Another option is to go on point, you can get up quite nicely by jumping on the rock [screenshot below] and then onto point. Going on point means dealing out as much damage as you can, while dancing around as much as possible. Use the rock and the trains and all these height levels to your advantage, dance about between them being a distraction and avoiding damage.

Straight to Point


Heading on point, you will most likely want both you and your scout partner to go together.

If you’re going to be slow there isn’t any point in trying to get straight on point, as the demo will have Stickies prepared and the enemy scouts will have the positional advantage with you moving into them.

Going straight on point you'll probably meet the enemy scouts, being a bit aggressive on the scouts might send them back. You shouldn't stick around on point too long as the soldiers will emerge soon enough and the demo will probably be on you. I also wouldn't move up past their train, as you are just asking for trouble.

Pushing Second

Pushing second is a game of jumping on and off the spire while the enemy Demoman is suppressed. If the demoman is down this point is usually a cinch, as he is the only class who can really damage you without jumping to the point.

A good tactic is to send one scout up to the spire, have him get capping. The other scout sits back with the medic and watches the left for scouts coming behind [screenshot below]. When you get low on the point you can drop back for healing and your scout partner can go up, alternatively you can just assign one to watch left and one to try and cap. If one of you dies it’s probably best to send one of you onto the spire leaving left open, make sure to call this to your team so they know no one is watching behind any more.

If you are on the spire, it shouldn't be too hard to knock soldiers back down, avoiding their rockets at the same time is trickier and involves some luck too. You should also be able to knock scouts down pretty consistently too if they try and jump to the point from the balcony. It can be hard to get enough of a meatshot to stop them from reaching the point though.

This is an alternative tactic to just having two scouts holding in the house / holding the enemy canyon. I personally find having two scouts sitting there kind of useless, particularly when it only takes one good scout with the resupply to hold two of you back. BUT if you find yourself getting backcapped by two scouts on middle by a particular team, I suggest you send the scout who is holding the left INTO the house where he can watch the enemy canyon / resupply. He can then fall back if two scouts rush, but you will have an early warning of scouts going to middle.

Get out for a backcap when defending last

When defending last on badlands, a good option is to get out behind the team. I wouldn’t recommend trying to get two scouts out, as if something goes wrong losing both your scouts is 'gg.'

What I do is keep running around and peeking on different exits, waiting for a gap in the enemy team where you may be able to sneak out. I find the most common way of being able to sneak out is through “main.” If you hang around main constantly checking if anyone is looking from the top of the stairs, staying buffed from your medic as you’re likely to get hit by some spam, an opportunity is likely to arise. As soon as you see no one is looking you can run straight down main then out the main door (You can hide behind the barrels too)

It is a bit of a gamble whether or not there is going to be anyone checking the lobby or not, if you are quick and sneaky I personally find I have a high success rate of getting out if you time it right. One of the biggest problems is enemy players who have just re-spawned or are just about to spawn. If you know a player has re-spawned recently the chances are you are going to run into him in the lobby or as you come out of the lobby, so just keep an eye on the scoreboard to see who’s alive or not.

The real purpose behind this is to camp, stay totally hidden near/on the spire until the enemy team pushes in. If you can make it out undetected and sit on the far side of the spire, get your team to call when the enemy team is pushing in. Make certain your team call they are really pushing in, not just spamming round corners a bit but actually coming in with uber and looking to commit. It is at this precise moment that you want to start capping the spire.

When the enemy team is pushing in like this, people are shouting in comms, there are rockets and stickies going off and it’s pretty loud. Chances are it will take them a few moments to even realise you’re back capping; it’s also the moment they are furthest away from the spire.

This is not to be done when the enemy team has an uber advantage! The perfect time to do this is when you know both teams are charging ubers and it's pretty even, it's at these moments when there isn't a lot you can do as scout other than cover entrances.

How easily and where you can get out will vary from team to team and game to game, you may find one team always seems to have someone watching main (either from the stairs or from the lobby. If this is the case, maybe that team doesn't watch the bottom left very well, and you could sneak out that way.

What else to do defending last?

Going for the backcap again and again and again is stupid. If the team is any good they will wise up to it, and counter you by keeping players near the spire to catch you.

If it's an uber versus uber situation, you are going to want to try and stay alive if you can. Scouts are really valuable for pushing out to the spire, that is pretty much the only way you are going to take second back. If you die, by the time you respawn the enemy team will be back in.

While you are staying alive like good little scouts should, one of your main focuses of attention should be on the enemy scouts. I'm sure all of you have experienced enemy scouts rushing in from bottom left, or even from main! And then capping the point before anyone can jump on it. Try and prevent this from happening by watching these entrances where scouts can sneak in and ninja the point.

I hope you found this helpful. See you in badlands, peace...