So I’ve been messing around with my loadouts a bit in Team Fortress 2 recently and, while nothing’s going to beat my staple Scattergun Mad Milk Festive Fish default go-to loadout, I have been having a lot of fun with this combination…
As in the title, I’ve nicknamed this the ‘free-range Scout’ (or three-range? :P ) loadout since it frees up Scout to fight at most ranges, and it’s actually surprisingly effective. I think that a lot of this is due to the fact that it offers something for different ranges – the Wrap Assassin offers long-range bleeding with a guaranteed crit at extreme range, the Pistol is a good mid-range harrasment / finisher weapon, and of course the Force-A-Nature is a fantastic weapon for when you’re really up close.
Looking at the weapons individually, the Force-A-Nature is a great up-close weapon even by Scout’s standards. While each pellet does less damage than the regular Scattergun pellets, there’s that many more of them that it does more damage overall. The knockback can also be helpful, allowing you to take on Pyros without worrying about them lighting you up, and giving you those precious extra seconds to escape a spun-up Heavy as you send him flying backwards. The Pistol is a solid secondary, offering moderate damage with a moderate to mid range. It’s not going to win fights by itself, but is great for backing up your primary and compensating for Scout’s otherwise very close-range style of fighting. Finally, the Wrap Assassin is one of two weapons Scout has that causes bleed, which is great for slowly wounding enemies, hitting far-off targets or just forcing people to back off and retreat. A particularly nice little feature is that, unlike the Sandman’s stun time, the Wrap Assassin just causes bleed no matter how far away the target is – so you can just alt-fire the bauble at close rangeand still have that bleed effect. Having said that, since the bauble causes a guaranteed critical hit at extreme distances it’s better to try for long-range shots, and it’s not a bad way to practice your Sandman aim either.
The weapons compliment each other pretty well – the Pistol is great for finishing off enemies hit but not killed by the Force-A-Nature, and compensates the smaller clip size. Since the Force-A-Nature is so effective at point-blank range, I haven’t found that the near non-existant melee damage of the Wrap Assassin matters too much since you can just blow people away with buckshot rather than having to worry about smashing your bat into their face (hey, this is Scout we’re talking about here). The Pistol and the Wrap Assassin work together well too since they both offer viable yet different ways to finish off opponents, giving you twice the chance to get that Solider as he rocket jumps away!
As I mentioned right at the beginning, it’s not going to replace my main loadout. However, I’ve really found this to be a fun and effective loadout, where the weapons avtually work well in tandem with one another. I like to do a little gameplay video whenever I write about TF2, so here we go – still recorded with Valve’s built-in Replay system. I am working on using Source, but if anyone knows of a good cheap / free screen recorder program or software, please do let me know as I would like to do these properly with a commentary and everything :)
Thanks for reading, and take care,