View Full Version : PUG Night: Captaining Thoughts

04-29-2010, 02:42 AM
I've noticed a lot of people are pretty reluctant to captain, so I thought I'd compile some thoughts on what a captain's role is and some things he should consider. If any one else has any input as well, by all means post.
So lets Get started from the very beginning: [strike:czm3gipq]Heads or Tails?[/strike:czm3gipq]

1. First Pick or Second Pick?
It seems like people either put too much thought into this, or not enough. To review, first pick gets the first pick (dur) but only gets one pick to start. Second pick however gets two picks and then will continue to pick two each turn until only one person is remaining. Generally this choice is a lot simpler than people make it out to be. When deciding, look at your choices. Is there one player among them that you would consider a "must have"? Say, the ONLY person who can play demoman or a player who's so much better at a certain class he is indispensable? If yes, then take the first pick. Otherwise, in a worst case scenario your trading picks for the top two, and you get a bonus. It's pretty simple actually. As an aside, if you see someone that you're not sure what class they play. Ask. People do it all the time and if its someones first night, its highly likely their answer will be the class they are both best with, and most comfortable playing. The more information you have, the better.
2. Choosing Your Team
Now theres no cut and dry way to do this, but there are definitely a few factors you should consider.
-Try to make sure everyone on your team is comfortable in their role. There's nothing worse than having a demo/scoot who just knows they suck.
-If possible, take all the good players for a certain class. Not enough can be said for a team that has all the good available scout players, or soldiers, or demo(s) etc. Essentially, force their team to break the previous point.
-Choose people who work well together. Your choices shouldn't all be skill based. There are certain times I have chosen a player who I knew wasn't the best skill-wise, but in terms of communication and team morale building, they were a valuable asset. As evidence of this, there is a definite reason first picks take zaz or runic if the two are available. Together in terms of both skill and more importantly working well together, they can almost seal the deal for a team just by being present together.
-Finally, because of the competetive environment, and the people who choose to attend, certain classes are just more valuable than others. Your opinions probably differ, but I feel it's something like this from most to least important:

There are a glut of people who can play soldier and medic at least competently, while there seems to be few people who can handle being a demoman or scout. This is just my feeling though, take it with a grain of salt.
3. Assigning Classes
Given your picks, you should already have an idea of what classes people will be playing. As the captain though, you should remember to consider what people WANT to play first. Now people are generally pretty cooperative and will understand that if they're the only good person at a class, they're gonna have to just do it. Besides this though, try to make sure everyone is happy with their class before you start. Ichthys as an example, you all know as a very good demo. Ichthys however, I'm sure has gotten tired of playing demo every single game. CP as well I'm pretty sure plays soldier almost all the time. So in the end, consider your teams feelings before just shoving a class down their throat. Remember, a happy team is a more likely to win team. Or something like that.
4. In the game
You would think this would be where the majority of your duties fall, but you'd be wrong. In general, you should be letting your team think for themselves in terms of where to go, and how they should be playing. No one knows what works best for a player better than the person themselves. So kind of sit back in terms of specific strategy. What you should be focusing on now is general startegy (Push now, Fall back, etc) and promoting team synergy. Something that happens to too many teams is after losing a couple rounds in a row, they just start to give up and lose hope. Don't let this happen! I've been on many teams where we went from getting completely stomped to winning after rallying back. Try to change startegies, see if someone needs to switch a class up, ask for input. Just don't let your team get into this depressed state of hopelessness. Also try to make sure everyone is as happy as possible and talking. Always talking. (Read:Calling positions/Lit Players) You see, not only do happy people usually play better, but instead of talking about how bad they're doing, they'll be telling your medic a scout is about flank him. Hopefully that is. :roll:

So thats about all I've got for now. I hope you people have endured my wall of text. More importantly though, I hope you guys are more encouraged to captain now. The best captains not only are prepared, but they've captained before. Theres nothing that helps more than experience. And if you don't want to captain against someone who's really good, try saying it. I'm sure no one would have a problem with two people new to captaining facing off. See you next Wednesday! :dance:

Edit: Oh, and read This (http://www.couchathletics.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=176&t=4676)

Torte de Lini
04-29-2010, 07:47 AM

I think the first 3 [or two if you're second to pick] are the most crucial picks in the whole game especially on maps that favor a class over two others.

I don't mind being captain, I just hate picking; too much pressure, too many decisions, too many scenarios you play in your mind deciding which tactic you want to favor more.

04-29-2010, 01:11 PM

I think the first 3 [or two if you're second to pick] are the most crucial picks in the whole game especially on maps that favor a class over two others.

I don't mind being captain, I just hate picking; too much pressure, too many decisions, too many scenarios you play in your mind deciding which tactic you want to favor more.

Partially true, if you can build a strong enough team within the first three picks or so you're much more likely to win. This is pretty obvious though when you consider thats already half or more than half your team (counting yourself).

You really shouldn't feel too pressured when captaining. More often rolls are not caused by one mistake, but a series of them. Make your choices as the other captain is making his. Doing this you normaqlly only have to make minor adjustements unless the unlikely circumstance he takes both your choices arises.

And hey, if it IS a roll at least the next game should come pretty fast. :P

04-29-2010, 03:42 PM
For me, I don't mind the picking of people. I never take too long picking them providing I know who is actually playing. However, I hate the actual leading.

I remember for captains night, Farf and I had made a deal once because he hates picking and I hate leading. We were going to do an I "captain" and pick the team, and then he can lead. hahahaha. we never did it, but the thought itself was pretty awesome.

But yeah, I don't mind picking teams. That's never a problem for me. I don't mind organizing. I just start having a mini panic attack and freeze up the moment both teams ready up and it's time for me to start judging the general strategy. And if my team starts failing, I get frustrated at myself and I have no clue what to do. I try class switch up but then I just get worse. So for that, I hate captaining. Because if I fail, I am mad at myself. Never at my team, but at myself. So I avoid captaining at all costs.

04-29-2010, 04:02 PM
I really believe a captain's primary responsibility for these games is team picking and class assigning. As long as a captain does this reasonably well, they can just sit back and relax for the remainder. As a captian I'm interested in winning yes, but more importantly I'd rather have a good (fun) game. Coincidentally people have fun when they work together and struggle in a legitimately challenging game.

I can't change the way you feel, but it really shouldn't be such a stressful affair for anybody. It should be fun.

06-19-2010, 11:56 PM
Picking teams is nice and all, but I believe the most important part of a captain is strategy.
Between two teams of equal forces, the one with the best strategy will often have the upper hand.

As a captain, it is your duty to inform the team about your general strategy. Where you want to defend, when to push, when to fall back, wich chokepoint to abuse. Making order out of the chaos.

Edit: Wrong thread ><

06-20-2010, 01:20 AM
Don't leave yourself without a medic, you will have a very rough (see unfun) game, or simply lose.

06-20-2010, 03:22 AM
I'm not sure if this applies for anyone else but...

There are different ways to play each class and when setting up your team and strategy it's kind of important to understand how the players you have assigned to the class play along with knowing what the players on the other team are good with.

For myself I'm usually only comfortable playing soldier or demo out of the competitive classes, but I REALLY do not like pocketing. I enjoy playing in a supportive manner using things like Buff Banner, quick area denial, and flanking and general distraction.

It's usually best going in knowing a couple of each player's best classes in case a change is needed to be made. Seems like a lot of captains just stick to standard competitive team setups even if the players they have don't fit the classes well or if the other team is playing in a way that would require another class. If the person at the bottom of your team has 1 point, changing class couldn't hurt could it?