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Minisentries are my soldiers' nemesis. Damn tiny, dealing damage slowly but surely, inexpensive to replace, those darn things are more annoying then they're supposed to be. At point blank, the shotgun seems ineffective. At long range, they're a pain in the arse to snipe with the rocket launcher.

How can I counter them?

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They have a shorter range than your rocket launcher surely? –  jaminja May 11 '11 at 20:36
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@jaminja Sure, dumbly placed minisentries are ineffective. –  badp May 11 '11 at 20:49

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

As a Soldier, you shouldn't have much trouble with mini-sentries. Direct Hit shots can 1-shot an un-Wrangled mini-sentry, and all the other rocket launchers can 2-shot un-Wrangled mini-sentries.

No, the real problem is usually the Engineer who is taking pot-shots at you with his (if he's smart) Pistol while you deal with his mini-sentry.

In other words, kill the Engineer first if he's around.

The classes mini-sentries are particularly effective against are:

  • Scouts
  • Pyros
  • Demo-Jumpers (Demoman with Sticky Jumper + Ullapool Caber)
  • Identity Thieves (Spies with Your Eternal Reward) who have yet to get a kill
  • Snipers dumb enough not to avoid them

Mini-sentries are nearly useless against:

  • Demomen
  • Heavy
  • Snipers who are smart enough to avoid them
  • Spies who have their disguise kit.

They're moderately useful against everyone else.

Side Note:

Mini-sentries are good to put near you if you know the other team has YER spies. However, keep in mind that YER Spies will stop be shot by the gun if they backstab someone. This is different from Spies with the disguise kit who will continue being shot if they disguise after the sentry starts firing.

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If I see a mini-sentry I always manage to run in with my Homewrecker and bust it. Then again, only when I'm aware of it... –  BoltClock May 12 '11 at 6:02
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Disagree with this... best to kill the sentry first in most cases. –  TM. May 23 '11 at 6:49
    
@TM: Excellent... whoops, he built another minisentry after you destroyed the first (100 metal = you can build two without grabbing more metal). –  user2974 May 23 '11 at 15:08
    
@TM: Oh, and the Engineer may have gotten crits on his Frontier Justice (which was literally made to go with mini-sentries) when you destroyed his mini. –  user2974 May 23 '11 at 15:55
    
If the engineer redeploys the sentry while you are fighting it's incredibly easy to 1-shot it with a rocket since it starts with very low HP. I agree if the guy has revenge crits you want to kill him first. In my experience though, most engineers don't use the frontier justice, but rather the regular shotgun. This question asks "how do I deal with sentries as soldier". If he is dying to the sentry (as the question says), you need to go for that sentry first rather than chasing a fleeing engineer while you get killed. –  TM. May 23 '11 at 18:01

Mini-sentries may be annoying, but they also lack the ability to be repaired, and lack the buffed health of level 2 or 3 sentries, making them quite fragile, even with the Wrangler damage shield. If you are using the direct hit, 2 shots is usually enough to take them out. (Why are you having so much trouble sniping them with a rocket launcher? They're stationary targets! What more do you want? :) )

If you have cover nearby, you should be able to dash in and out of cover, taking potshots for as long as you need to ensure its miniature destruction, taking advantage of the sentry's slow turn and target acquisition rate.

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I love the direct hit for anti-sentry duty –  DHayes May 11 '11 at 20:45
    
Thing is, I don't always have the time to aim them for more than a couple seconds when placed behind a corner with the entire team shooting at my general direction. :) (Example on KOTH_Badlands) –  badp May 11 '11 at 21:12
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@Badp - at that point, you're just complaining that war's not fair. Either find an alternate way to the point that doesn't involve going through the entire enemy team, or distract the rest of the team for long enough that a spy or sniper can neutralize the sentry in your stead. –  Raven Dreamer May 11 '11 at 21:39
    
Uh, that was placed on one of our exits on spawn; in the screenshot I'm the enemy engineer placing it (loadout server is down so I placed a normal sentry instead). Also, the entire surrounding is a no sentry area -- but let's not focus too much on that example. I just need general help, especially at closer range. –  badp May 11 '11 at 21:54
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@Badp = If it's just outside the spawn area, that's even more reason to handle it with your respawn wave instead of mano a turret-o. Don't feel like you need to handle everything yourself - you've got teammates! Use them! :) –  Raven Dreamer May 11 '11 at 23:01

One of the most effective ways to deal with a mini-sentry is the Red-Tape Recorder.

When you place a sapper on a regular sentry, most engineers will try killing you first, then proceed to repair buildings. Mini-sentries, on the other hand, are considered disposable and usually are much more easier to destroy if damaged or out of ammo, and rebuild.

The Red Tape Recorder addresses both these issues. WHen a sapper is attached to a sentry, the engineer cannot use his Destroy PDA to destroy it, and he must wait for the sapper to either A) be knocked off or B) kill his sentry. The beauty of the red-tape is that it has a ridiculously long "destroy" time. I put destroy in quotes because the RTR instead reverses construction of buildings.

The time it takes to kill a minisentry with a sapper is 3 seconds. With an RTR though, it takes 10 seconds. This means this is 10 seconds an engineer is without a sentry, and might be forced to retreat.

Other than that, for other classes, using melee weapons like the Homewrecker for Pyro tends to work extremely well. For soldier, using the direct hit is an almost guaranteed insta destroyal of a minisentry. Scouts can easily take them out from long range using a pistol.

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