There are a lot of valuable skills to be learned from Escape, with the mode being different from Horde. Instead of camping, you are mostly always pushing, with limited resources. Therefore knowing how to dip, duck, and dodge your way to enemies while being able to eliminate them with as little ammo as possible is a key thing to master in Escape. So here are some of my own tips add to the discussion:
#1 : Learn how to melee combo drones and DBs with what TC calls ‘Close Cover Combat’. Basically, this involves trying to stun the above enemy types into allowing you to either execute or meatshield them. Mantle kicks, cover yanks, and of course the 3-hit melee combo (tap B, tap, B, then hold B to stun them) all are part of this. Allows you to save ammo, defend yourself in a pinch, and essentially instant kill drones and DBs.
Note that this does require a bit of studying on how the enemies behave. You will want to carefully work your way in close enough without getting shot, and wait for the enemies to either take cover or reload. For Grenadiers, wait for them to get close enough and then bait them into wasting a shot, which will give you an opening to rush them and then combo them.
Also, note that all Elite types of drones (Claws, Embars, Overkills, and Torque Bows) will NOT flinch from the first 2 melee swipes in the combo and will just try to punch you back before you can hit the last melee to stun them. For these enemies, it is best to wait for them to reload, or mantle kick/cover yank them.
It is typically better to meatshield drones if possible. Unless playing as Veteran, Nomad, or Inflitrator where executions have benefits, it is always safer to meatshield because it is faster, can be quickly dropped by switching weapons, and the body will briefly protect you. An advanced trick is to combo and meatshield a drone, bait the next into shooting off the body out of your your hands, and instantly start comboing them too. Note that DeeBees CANNOT be meatshielded, only executed.
Lastly, Flashbang grenades are your best friend in Close Cover Combat. Any stunned drone or DB can be instantly executed or meatshielded after hitting them with a flash. Not to mention, these awesome grenades open up a free opportunity to do lots of damage to bigger enemies such as Scions, DR -1s, and Pouncers. Elite Grenadiers will give you a free Flashbang grenade when you meatshield them. Allowing you to easily chain flashing and meatshielding when there are multiple.
#2: Active reload for more damage, always, to kill faster and save ammo. All classes, even at level 1 on Master, can 1-shot headshot all drones (except Grenadiers because of the helmets) and DBs with an Active reloaded Longshot. So grab those whenever you can. Also, Active Embars will stun enemies, allowing for free damage or melee combos.
#3: Have one person pick up 1 of each weapon and take all the ammo, then drop one or share ammo. For example, if there is a Longshot and Gnasher, and you you have both Inflitrator and Marksman, it is BETTER for someone to GRAB BOTH at first INSTEAD of each grabbing one weapon and splitting boxes. You will get a lot more ammo for the team this way and not be as starved. All three players can grab a Longshot, but only one should usually grab ammo and then share that ammo. Unless everyone somehow has the same guns, or when the team splits up to save time. Any class with a good Boltok pistol will usually have priority due to the damage that gun can do if it is allowed to pickup ammo or is given some.
Note that a lot of these tips can be done even with level 1 classes, so that it isn’t quite as necessary to grind levels as one might think. Also shows how much the ‘wrong’ classes can help even if they otherwise don’t have much to offer in a specific hive. All going hand in hand with learning the hive maps and different enemy spawn rolls for each chapter. Which means that when you DO level up your classes, you will be an even better player.
I hope that this all helps!