In Quake 4, Tactical Strogg (or sometimes called Tactical Transfer) are Stroggified human marines, specially selected to become tactical units because of the exceptional combat prowess, tactical ability and overall intelligence they have displayed in battle.
Designed to act in co-ordination and co-operation with one another in a human-style squad (which is perhaps indicative of the Strogg changing tack and adapting their units and tactics to better fight off the human threat), they fight with advanced tactics such as flanking, utilizing cover and, unlike many other Strogg units, communicating with one another.
The Strogg communication system, which Matthew Kane can listen in on following his partial stroggification, often announces that "Tactical Teams" have been dispatched whenever Kane and other marines near a location important to the Strogg war effort. It can therefore be inferred that Tactical Strogg are considered "elite" warriors by the Strogg, designed with the express purpose of dealing with high risk targets, and they are the only enemy type known to use flyers as transport. They are tougher and more advanced than more primitive stroggified human guards, and they may even be capable of a degree of independent thought and action which, if proven, would further mark them apart from other Strogg units. This is the type of Strogg that Kane is partially converted into about 1/3 of the way through the game, or the 13th level: The Strogg Medical Facility.
Unlike all other Strogg units, Tactical Stroggs lack built-in weapons systems, instead being equipped with conventional firearms. They carry machine guns (common), shotguns (common), hyperblasters (one or two per team) and railguns (usually one per team). Near the end of the game, most of them will use the Hyperblaster, making them exceedingly dangerous to unwary marines.
Tactical Stroggs can be seen in the most of the Strogg medical facilities, during their creation process, but are not fought until Kane reaches the dispersal facilities. They are the most commonly encountered enemies in the second half of the game, replacing the guards as basic enemies.
Because of their prowess and intelligence in combat, Tactical Stroggs are considered one of the deadliest enemies in the game, especially on harder difficulties.
As shown in the Stroggification of Matthew Kane, Tactical Strogg are captured and co-opted human marines of exceptional ability, who have received extensive Strogg cybernetic implants, including heavy modification of the arms and legs, an armored chestplate, and a neurocyte brain control implant (the latter common to all Strogg units). Despite their cybernetic enhancements, Tactical Strogg retain much of their original humanoid body and lack the non-humanoid limbs or built-in weaponry seen in most other Strogg forms. Instead, they fight with the same handheld weaponry used by human marines and the player. As such, they are the only Strogg type to drop ammunition for the player's weapons when killed.
Tactical Stroggs are also unique in that they fight using the same tactics and moves as the Human Marines, including taking cover behind objects, leaning around or over cover to fire, moving together in coordinated squads, and even flanking and circling around enemies if they have sufficient room to do so. Additionally, Tactical Strogg constantly emit tactical chatter as they communicate with one another, which is a telltale sign of their presence, alerting players to their presence in an area.
Besides being far more skilled opponents than basic guards, Tactical Stroggs are also more durable, and can take almost twice as much damage as a guard. It takes about 9-12 machinegun or hyperblaster rounds, or 1-2 shotgun blasts to kill one.
Tactical Strogg units armed with hyperblasters or railguns are very dangerous opponents. The Hyperblaster in particular does incredibly high damage (significantly more than similar attacks used by all other Strogg types), and also has a very high rate of fire, able to cut a fully armored player down in a second or so even on the lower difficulty settings. Thankfully, the Hyperblaster used by Tactical Stroggs are not upgraded like yours, so the projectile will not bounce, which can be dangerous in small areas.
- Despite the threatening announcements the PA makes whenever a tactical team is dispatched to kill you, they are quite easy to kill off individually. They are smart enough to make use of cover and sometimes ambush you, but they will rush you if given the opportunity. Their primary threat lies in their ability to work together as a cohesive unit, as well as their use of heavier weapons such as the Hyperblaster and Railgun. It takes about 9-12 machinegun or hyperblaster rounds or 5-8 nailgun shots to kill one. The Shotgun is also very effective, although unless you fire at point-blank range, it will take two shotgun blasts to kill a tactical transfer instead of just the one. Two to three shots splash damage blasts or a single direct hit from an explosive will make them fly into the air, and a stream of lightning gun fire can gib one in a second or two. The Tacticals get stunned quite easily, so fast firing weapons are effective, they can prevent them from firing back at all.
- Remember that when fighting tacticals, try to target the ones with a hyperblaster or railgun first. They (especially the Hyperblaster ones) can do a lot of damage, so they need to be taken out as soon as possible. Also if there is any cover they can use they will use it. This can give you time to sneak up on the side and blow them away with almost and weapon. Preferably a shotgun works best if you are close enough to kill them. The Railgun Tacticals are rare, but they are dangerous at medium/long ranges.
- When using cover, tacticals tend to peek out and shoot at you in a fairly predictable manner. You can line up your railgun to where you know the Tactical is going to poke his body out, then nail him when he does before he can get off a shot, scope in with a machine gun or nailgun will also help.
- When not seeing tacticals and you hear them, don't rush, peek out and search carefully, Tacticals like to play hide and seek, try to not getting caught by surprise, if you give them any opportunity, they will take it and try to kill you before you can react, this could happen in higher difficulties.
- With a group of tacticals, try to launch a grenade or two in areas they're hiding. Tacticals will not run from grenades even when they are close to them, which makes it very effective against hiding ones. When running around, they tend to get in a cluster, so explosives and the upgraded lightning gun work very well when they're together.
- With other enemies, tactical are usually cannon fodders. Try to take them out first, because they tend to take potshots at you if you try to kill the bigger threat in the group. Be wary though if you're playing on the hardest difficulty: Tactical Strogg will one-shot kill you with its railgun or shotgun. Even on lower difficulty the Railgun can devastate you, so kill it before he has the chance to fire.
- If using weak weapons like the Machinegun or Hyperblaster, try to hit the head to stun them, giving you precious time to take them down faster.
- Tactical are the only enemies that use radio to contact each other, and sometimes you can hear them before you see them, helping you to be aware of their presence. They are the only enemies that drop ammunition upon death.
- "Do you hear that?"
- "This system make me suck."
- "Get on moving."
- "Get to cover!"
- "Let him go now."
- The Tactical Strogg have no direct predecessor unit in Quake II or its mission packs, as certain other Strogg designs do. However, given that they are found throughout Quake 4 wielding advanced weaponry such as hyperblasters and railguns, it seems possible that the game's developers, in searching for inspiration for tougher Strogg units to introduce later in the game, hit upon the experimental and highly dangerous hyper Blaster, laser and ripper guards from Quake II Mission Pack: The Reckoning, taking the concept of guards utilizing heavy weapons and eventually coming up with the Tactical Strogg's design, speciality without the mask.
- If the Marines had been delayed by just a few minutes in launching their assault on the Strogg Medical Facility and processing facilities, or if they had aborted the op entirely, Kane would have become a Tactical Strogg. In game, stroggified Kane looks a little different to the other Tactical Stroggs.
- In multiplayer, there is a model named Tactical Elite, which wears black armor, and looks identical to Kane. It is possible that stronger Tactical Strogg were to be encountered.
- Their radio transmission is usually faint and hard to tell what they are saying, but it serves as warning to the player to their presence.
- In throughout of the game, nearly 400 Tactical Strogg are killed in action.
- Tactical Strogg use the exact same AI and tactics as your friendly marines.