This guide is aimed at all skill levels. I don't claim to be an amazing player or anything but I'm certain that I've been around long enough to pick up on a few things and impart some wisdom.
The basics: No defense is perfect, just as no setup is perfect. The biggest part of the competitive game that most teams are lacking is the ability to read the round, take in all the information, and adapt or adjust accordingly. Playing as defense in Cross Fire leaves you with two bombsite and a whole lot of map to cover. If you're just playing in the bombsites then you're leaving the other team free to do as they please. If you're playing outside the bombsites then you're setting yourselves up to get picked apart by an experienced and cautious attacking team.
Some food for thought: (Digest as you read)
- The attacking team ALWAYS has the advantage. They choose when and where they strike. Unless you've got the godly knowledge to gamble stack the proper site every round you'll be at the man disadvantage when the offense makes a move. Typically 2 defenders play a site, leaving 2 in the other site and 1 playing mid or rotating between the two. Thats an average "default" (2-1-2)
- As a defender, staying alive is more important then getting a kill. If you get a kill and then die, you put your team in a 4v4. That means that each player on your team has to cover a bigger area. If you die at B that leaves only one person on your team at B. Now if the attackers decide to go to B its 4v1. Your job on defense is to protect your area and communicate with your teammates, not get kills. If the time runs out, you win.
This doesn't mean hide in your bombsite 24/7, but don't be greedy. If you peek and get a kill, great. Now fall back into your site and let them come to you.
Intermediate level: (Playing the game)
Communication is key on defense. Every footstep, every weapon switch, every grenade, EVERY SOUND is a clue. It is your job to pick up on, process, and present this information in a way that helps your team. If two frag grenades come into your area then you know there are two enemies close by. If you hear that skill lite or the crack of that AWM then you know what the deal is. (Protip, if you hear an awm don't peek. Your team will thank you.)
By picking up on all these clues you'll soon realize that you don't always have to SEE them to know where they are at. By communicating effectively you will get an idea of where the other team is at. Then you can set up those flanks or pushes to catch the other team off guard and get a kill.
However, sound doesn't carry across the map and if you have a good spawn then it may be beneficial to take a peek outside of the site in order to make a quicker call. A good example of this is peeking box room on Black Widow. If you arrive too late you'll either end up getting prenaded or run face first into a rushing attacker. Even if you have a good spawn you'll still have to worry about an awm out there waiting for you. There are a couple ways to peek that door though, each with their pros and cons:
Pro: Hard to hit due to the way hitboxes work
Con: Have to jump back
-Shoulder peek (Aka run out and then back)
Pro: Simple, fast
Con: Often preaimed, plus the way the interp works you'll most likely get shot "behind the wall"
Pro: Rarely preaimed
Con: If you have trouble making the jump (From window to the box with a knife or pistol out) might require a boost. Not a bad thing if you want to play two in box room that round.
Either way, you peek. When you peek you're looking for two things:
2. Number of players.
If you see the bomb carrier then its a pretty good guess that they're headed to B. I wouldnt have people rotating just yet. In fact I wouldn't suggest rotating until 3+ players are spotted. 2 players could easily be used as a decoy. I guess my guide would be something like this:
Spot bomb: Other site fall back from aggressive positions and prepare to rotate.
Spot 2 players: Other site prepare to rotate or flank
Spot 3: Rotate one player
Spot 4: Rotate one player, other player be passive
Spot 5: Rotate all
But don't all just go into the site, the round timers in CF are way too long (In this author's opinion) and its easy for a team to fake box room (Nade + flash and smoke the hell out of it) and then drop down B path (Or mid connector for you cool cats) and jump mid ramp to cat walk. Sending the two A site players mid should keep things contained.
Another common scenario is for you to peek and only see a sniper guarding the exit. Depending on his location you can make a safe bet on two things.
A. If he is on the ramp (AKA the most common spot to preaim) then its a good guess they're going A and hes watching the flank.
B. If he is closer then I'd be willing to bet they're slow playing but planning on hitting B.
This is all hypothetical and I could go on for hours, the point is that while communication is important, its more important to use your own judgment and common sense when making calls. Its also important to work out a plan with your team so you're not all rotating at random and getting suckered.
Intermediate level: (Playing the site)
Each bombsite in this game is diverse in the number of ways it can be played. I only play B site on defense so I'll stick to it. B site on Black Widow has a bunch of different spots to hide. Off the top of my head there are:
Random spots in box room (On the boxes)
Right inside the doorway in box room (Could get prenaded if too close)
The stairs/platform thing right outside the box room door
Crouched under the windows
Behind gaybox (To the left of windows when you're coming out)
Double jumped ontop of gay box
Deep in the site (Behind the boxes or on the boxes by window w/e)
By no means is that the end all be all list of places to play, but its a general idea. Something you'll have to leave behind in the pubs is the thought process of "I'ma just sit here every round."
NOTHING is more fustrating than being unpredictable. If you sit in a spot one round and get a 3k you can bet your ass that next time they come your way they'll be checking there. At the upper levels of play you can't just rely on your reaction time and aim to get you the kills. You have to play smart and change things up because if you play the same way round after round you're just going to get prenaded/flashed back every time. Sitting in B window with a sniper is cool but how effective are you when they throw smokes over box room into B site and then b hop into the site? Not to mention that they can just hug the doorway and creep into box room without you knowing.
Playing a different setup in site every round is vital. You don't have to plan it out before the match either, its important to be flexible. I might snipe B window one round and then play boosted up in box room with a rifle the next. They'll think they've got you all figured out and go in only to be caught off guard and totally confused. Coordinate with the other player in your site to set up crossfires and do tricky things like boost each other or flash for each other.
When they do attack your bombsite remember that staying alive is more important than getting a kill. If you can flash/nade as you fall back then great. Your job is to delay them as much as possible so that your team can rotate over and help you. Remember that when the other team commits to an attack that it will likely be the 5 of them against the 2 of you. If you can get a kill and then fall back and set yourself up in another spot then you're doing the right thing. You can rinse and repeat that until they don't have anyone left.
Note on flashbangs: The flashes in this game are pretty weak, so don't count on them to stop a rush or much of anything at all. If you can get one off as you're falling back thats great, but the amount of time it takes to get a grenade out, throw it, and get your gun back out takes longer than its worth and will more often than not just get you fragged. If you want to do something cheeky then have one of your players sit under the window with a flash primed while the other person plays on the stairs peeking the doorway. As soon as he spots someone then throw the flash up into the window, hopefully blinding anyone rushing in. Other than that I really can't think of anything to do with them.
Pro level: (Playing the spawns, playing the other team)
Assuming we're not scrimming on the clan server, your spawns are random every round. I'm sure there is a method to how the game determines who spawns where but I don't have the time to go through and figure that one out for certain. What can be measured for certain is that there is a "Best spawn" that will allow you to get to an area before your opponent (unless of course they got the good spawn in which case I imagine they'll beat you there)
Learning to play to your spawns is an imporant part of the competitive game. Once you (or I, when I get the time) learn what the best spawn is for an area then you will know when it is beneficial to push that area in hopes of getting a quick kill. If you have the spawn on Black Widow that puts you closest to long A, it wouldn't hurt to push it that round and hope to catch an attacker moving off guard through snake or even to set yourself up in a sneaky spot at barricades and execute a crossfire with a teammate. (A sileneced weapon would be ideal)
Either way, having a good spawn allows you more options. If you find that your team is getting constantly beat to choke points then you might want to start playing your spawns instead.
Benefits of playing spawns: Each player plays a spot differently, so the other team will never know what to expect. Spawns change each round so different players will be there. You'll often beat the other team to choke points and be able to prenade or get an easy kill. If you push up and get a kill and then fall back the other team will be cautious and waste time carefully clearing the area. Sadly due to the long ass round times it hardly makes a difference, but hell, sometimes every second counts.
Downsides to playing spawns: Everyone has to know how to play every spot well. There will be confusion at times as to who goes where.
And of course there are rounds when we get crap spawns and have to execute our default setup anyway, but on the rounds where you have a player or two spawning wayyyyyyyy towards A or B site, it might be worth it for them to do something unexpected. Don't get greedy and don't chase frags. Get a kill and fall back and you should have no trouble taking the round.
I'll add more to this later, I'm getting sleepy right now. Feel free to comment and offer suggestions. This will be reposted later on my main forum account but for now...