Last night, I participated in recording Jarate Sandvich #6 and we discussed the new maps, and one thing that we discussed was using the health pack on arena_nucleus as an ambush point. Unlike most arena maps, arena_nucleus contains a large health pack, located on a small platform in the bottom middle of the map. This can be accessed through 2 ramps that come from the inner ring, or a Scout can double jump down onto this railing. The great thing about the position of the ramps is that neither ramp provides a clear view of the health pack, which lends itself to a great ambush point.
Some classes ambush better than others, and in all situations, you are leaving yourself open to snipers/spies taking you out as you wait for prey, but a large health pack on an arena match is a rare goodie that will lure players. It’s not a good ambush spot from the very start, however, as most people won’t bee-line for the health pack.
Scout – Use Force-A-Nature at this spot. Wait on the health pack, and blast incoming enemies into the pit.
Soldier – If you can lead and time well, you can get onto the inner ring and fire at the health pack or ramps as people make their approach. A well placed rocket can even launch an enemy into the pit.
Pyro – Use compression blast to knock enemies into the pit, or just set them on fire. Make sure to take a hit as you do this, so you can grab the health pack as you backpeddle around the other side, robbing them of the health pack that they clearly were interested in.
Demoman – Use stickies, launched from the inner ring, and wait for prey to circle the corner. If you are particularly accurate, you can land them on the health pack, which will almost completely disguise them. If you aren’t that accurate, make sure to get them near the health pack, so an enemy won’t see them until it’s almost too late.
Heavy – Stand on the health pack and spool up. You are loud and someone may hear you as they come in, but at that range, they are going down fast. Plus, you’ve got a health pack to rely on once you get hit.
Engineer – This one is tricky to do, but so incredibly worth it – set up a sentry on the health pack, incoming targets won’t have a chance to react. If they get gunned down, you can grab their weapons for metal to upgrade.
Medic – Ambushing? On an arena match? Unless you’re the last player on your team, you should be healing, not ambushing. If you are the last player left, this is a hard spot to ambush as a medic, but you can do it. Just wait on the health pack for incoming targets. If you have the blutsauger equipped, you can defend it nicely. But if you’re the last player, they might just avoid you and capture the point.
Sniper – Wait on the inner ring and fire at targets as they move across the ramps. It’s narrow and long, so leading the target is fairly easy.
Spy – Use Cloak and Dagger to wait in a position that lets you see which direction the enemy is going. Circle behind, uncloak and stab. It takes some good timing against a non-Soldier/Heavy, but it’s fully possible.