Holdfast: Nations at War is a very different shooter. The Napoleonic setting means that your gun will be slow and inaccurate whoever you play. Many players end up putting success down to RNG but there are a number of small tips that can immensely improve a Holdfast beginner’s K/D with their musket. Though Holdfast includes many different classes, the vast majority of players are using muskets and so the tips here will focus on musket gameplay.
1. Don’t Move and Shoot
Since it works in most other games, it might be tempting to shoot on the move. This is rarely a good idea. You slow down far too much when aiming and for far too long. By the time you’ve got your shot off, you are very likely to get shot yourself. Instead, it’s best to fire (and reload) from cover and move at pace whenever you are exposed. In Holdfast, crouching whilst still also improves your musket’s accuracy and makes you a smaller target so this might be the most important tip.
2. Do Bayonet Charge
When you do need to leave cover, it tends to be a poor idea to continue firing and reloading at all. If you aren’t safe, you want to be ready to melee before your enemy is. The first person to know they are in a bayonet duel typically wins the duel. Preemptively pressing X to change your musket from ranged to melee mode can save vital moments. This is especially effective in close quarters, where you can stab faster than an enemy fires, or when you catch foes unaware.
If you play a class with any kind of melee advantage, forcing a melee fight by waiting around corners or sneaking up can bring huge killstreaks. As a guard or dismounted cavalry, melee should be your go-to in close spaces. A melee attack against a reloading opponent guarantees a kill. If there is any doubt about reloading before an enemy reaches you, it’s better to use your bayonet.
3. Don’t Go Off Alone
Outside of line battles, the actual degree of planning and coordination is likely to be limited. However, this does not mean it is advisable to go it alone. Since attacks are slow, there are very few ways to reliably defeat a group of enemies alone.
The best thing to do if you find yourself alone is to head to the nearest friendly group. Sometimes you might even find it useful to hide in a bush until support arrives. It’s not very dignified, but it’s often worthwhile. Running away is also not out of the question on most modes.
However, as an attacking team in Holdfast’s siege maps, you don’t have limited lives. In this case, it is a solid tip to simply charge repeatedly into the musket meat grinder.
4. Do Stay Near Buffs
Somewhat similar to the last point, the bonuses from musicians, guards and flag bearers are not to be ignored. Though many bonuses do not stack, you always want to have at least one of these units around, supporting your troops. Even a small buff, such as 10% faster reloads, can be worth a huge amount if it reaches large groups of allies.
If you don’t see one, why not play them yourself? Regular class switching based on the situation at hand is to be encouraged in Holdfast, you don’t always need to be the one getting the kills with a musket to tip the balance.
5. Do Understand How Your Bullet Flies
It can be quite hard to tell where to aim sometimes. Unless you play a rifleman, Holdfast does not make it easy to aim, so here are some specific tips for aiming your musket.
At close range, place the bottom of your reticule around the target’s feet. Past 100m try and place it at their waist. At greater distances, you want to move it up towards their head and when very far ranges maybe even a little above. Crouching will also help your aim, as will being still and near to buffs. Additionally, there is no need to predict where your enemy is moving. Simply shoot at where they are as there is no bullet travel time.
Watching where the bullets land and adjusting as you go is also crucial, and the need to try things out and adjust your playstyle is applicable to every aspect of Holdfast.
(Video by Gamology)