Encounter mode throws a wrench into many players predetermined spots that they use for standard matches. Most think that they neutral flag is the most important area on the map and needs to be swarmed by the majority of the team(which usually ends up with your team loosing). Most encounter maps are this way where the flag is the #2 priority since it caps much slower than standard matches.
Let the enemy plop a few tanks down and take themselves out of the battle while it leaves their flanks outnumbered allowing your team to twiddle them down. I am not saying abandon the flag completely, as having a small force to reset if need be is needed, but simply having 2-3 tanks stationed near the flag to have a presence there is more than enough.
For most Encounter matches victory boils down to which team inflicts the crucial blow first as the way they are set up large amounts of each team have a high possibility of colliding at the start of the match. Himmelsdorf is the infamous hill, El Halluf the river valley, Murovanka the forest, Steppes the western side of the map, Ensk directly forward in the field, Ruinberg central edge of the city near the field, and Siegfried Line being the only encounter map where it takes a couple minutes for the fighting to heat up.
With these areas set up egging people on for a quick–fast-and intense fight off the get go you will find that public matches see a lot of players head to these spots to start fighting asap(not always the case but much more than 50% of the time). It makes more sense if you see your team is weak at these areas to help. For example, if your team has 6 tanks going to the hill on Himmelsdorf there’s a good possibility the enemy team will roll right over them with 10+ tanks leaving your team outnumbered and no time to cap.
On the other hand if you team sends 10+ tanks to the hill on Himmelsdorf you should bite the bullet and head down into the city so you can reset if need be if the hill gets tuck for whatever reason. Encounter much more than standard battles is “blob warfare” where matches boil down to one side being the majority of the team and the other being the neglected weak side. Some may call it “lemming-ing” but its very effective since the flag does not cap as fast as standard mode and it is much more of a TDM game mode.