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In Killing Floor, hit-and-run tactics refer to the practice of swinging a melee weapon while moving forwards and backwards to avoid damage. This tactic takes advantage of the fact that all melee weapons in the game have a delay both before and after the portion of the swing that actually deals damage. The player begins his or her swing at a distance from the enemy, moves into melee range at the same time as the damaging portion of the swing, then retreats while the swing finishes and the target counterattacks if still alive. One generally aims for the head, as it deals more damage and often decapitates the target.
This technique requires open space between the player and the targets and behind the player (i.e., no teammates, specimens, or walls in the way). It can be used with either quick, low-damage slashes (the Knife or Machete) or slow, high-damage slashes (the Knife's alternate fire or the Fire axe), but it works best with the latter. The more powerful and infrequent attacks allow the player to spend less time in range of the opponent's counterattack, and permit the player to move farther back during the retreat phase.
Effectiveness against specimens
Hit-and-run tactics are most effective against Clots and Gorefasts, as they are fairly slow, easily seen from a distance, and vulnerable to decapitating head strikes. Bloats tend to shower the player in acidic bile during both the approach and retreat, and are tall enough to make head strikes difficult. Crawlers are too low to the ground to conveniently melee, and they leap from a distance. Fleshpounds have a powerful and quick melee attack, often striking before a player can retreat, and attacking a Fleshpound with melee alone will often just enrage it and kill the player. Scrakes can be vulnerable to hit-and-run tactics, but more often than not will land a hit of their own for every attack of the player's. Stalkers are generally immune, as they are nigh-invisible until attacking anyway, and Sirens have a ranged "area of effect" (AoE) attack -- if a player is already close, it is more effective to simply charge in and attack the Siren until it is dead.
For all of the reasons stated above, hit-and-run tactics are favored primarily during the first wave of a game. The vast majority of the enemies encountered during the first wave are Clots and Gorefasts, and the players begin with very little ammunition. Thus, many players take advantage of the comparatively risk-free environment and use hit-and-run tactics (often with the Berserker perk) to rack up melee damage, saving pistol ammunition for the occasional Bloat.
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