Original article by @Wercho
As I've improved my play, I've found that fighting from positions in the central area of a map can be a great way to carry a game. Airfield has two of these areas. From there, you can affect different areas, and keep the enemies off balance. However, you are also vulnerable from all sides, and doing damage rather than taking damage can be a challenge.
In general, a position is viable if it:
- provides opportunities to do damage
- allows you to protect yourself well enough
- has an escape route
Let’s look at two different areas on the Airfield map to see how to be effective in a central position, ledge A in E7 from the east spawn, ledge B in E5 from the west spawn. We’ll also see how one change in the last patch made ledge B viable.
A good position has many different firing lanes, and these ledges are no exception.
Ledge A allows you to shoot at:
- Scouts making a run across the open area to the north (C6)
- Peek-a-boomers in E6
- Snipers in D2
- Fools in the F5 valley
- Daredevils on the top of the south hill (G-J,5-6)
- A breakthrough in the south (J7)
Ledge B has similar opportunities:
- The runway
- The valley
- The south hill
- The southern breakthrough
A good position also allows you to avoid taking damage. The bad news is that you can be shot from all the areas listed above while peeking, obviously, but you can protect yourself the rest of the time. The moral of this story is pay attention when you expose yourself to shoot. Expose yourself, hehe… sorry.
From Ledge A, the big rock in E6 blocks fire from enemy tanks on the B line. Those tanks have to advance all the way past B6 to get shots on you, and in the process they expose themselves to your team’s snipers at D9. But on ledge B, before the last patch, you couldn’t protect yourself from tanks to the north. Fast tanks often take up a position behind the rock in B8, and they could shoot straight up onto ledge B. However, in the last patch the rock in E6 was expanded and blocks that line of fire. That change gives ledge B cover from the far north, and makes it a viable position equivalent to ledge A.
On both ledges you can pull back to avoid shots from nearby peek-a-boomers, snipers to the east or west, and any tank to the south. And for goodness’ sake, don’t sit up on top shooting south if you are spotted. You will get tagged by some large TD sitting in the enemy base. It WILL happen.
If tanks focus on you, pull back into cover and wait until they get distracted. Go shoot someone else.
Knowing when to bail
Ultimately, you can and sometimes will be flanked in the positions. Fortunately, both have an easy escape route by simply diving off the ledge back towards your spawn. Unfortunately, if you’ve been flanked to the north, they have shots at the bottom of the ledge and it’s a long way across the sand to better cover. So you have to bail early, but how do you tell? Allied numbers versus enemy numbers to the north.
The north side is the dangerous one; the south can’t hurt you if you stay down. If your allies in the north are outnumbered and the enemy is pushing (either through the rocks or the open area), you are in trouble.
For ledge A, an enemy in that makes it to cover at the rocks in B6 is trouble. If you don’t have allies in E6 or D9, a smart enemy will flank you quickly. Bail before that happens, not after.
For ledge B, an enemy in D6 is big trouble. Bail before your allies in E5-6 are all gone.
- Switch sides when enemy tanks focus on you
- Pay attention to the minimap. React before you get flanked.
- Avoid overcrowding. Only 1 or 2 tanks can be effective up on the ledge. More and you just get in each other’s way.