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Map 4: Cliff (Intermediate)

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Dr Bodge #1 Posted 31 March 2016 - 09:39 AM

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Dr Bodge's Guide to Cliff (Intermediate)



Map Overview

A deceptively complex map with considerable scope for strategic blunders. The overwhelming significance of the central raised plateau and lack of good defensive positions in the Bases means this game is won or lost in the centre. To fail to prioritise winning the Ridge and Donut is to throw the game away regardless of how well your team do elsewhere. Not a good map for capping so don’t bother unless you have no choice.



This is probably the most important part of the map. Winning this early gives you considerable strategic advantages but it can become very insecure very quickly if you lose the Donut or Coast Road. If you get here quickly you can intercept enemy tanks coming up the opposing ramp, getting free damage and sometimes preventing the slower tanks from even reaching the fight. It makes it much more likely that you will control the Lighthouse Hill which, if occupied by a competent player, gives you a big advantage in the East. Once you have driven the opposition back down the Ramp you are in a position to flank behind both the Donut and the Coast Road. Possibly the reason this area is avoided by some is the exposure to artillery.



What makes this an interesting map is that the two most important features are right next to each other and can be reached by both teams. The Donut is arguably as important as the Ridge. However, it is harder to reach, to win and to hold meaning it is less often central to the outcome. If taken, though, it can be an extremely strong position since it has flanking fire on the Ridge area and can swing the result of that engagement. Even if you only control your own side of the Donut you may also get flanking shots onto the Ridge. To get here you either have to rush the Valley early, risking running into enemy Light/Medium tanks doing the same thing, or by going up the Ramp and turning West across open ground with the risk of being shot from the Ridge.


Coast Road

This isn’t a red-herring but neither is it as crucial as it might sometimes appear. If you lose it your forces fighting for the Ridge risk being outflanked which means it is important. Winning here though leaves you with the unenviable task of pushing forward into a cross-fire in open ground. The optimal strategy after winning here is to drop most of you force back to reinforce the Ridge.


Lighthouse Hill

This hill can be useful in a number of ways. There is a small steep road running over it that provides some spotting and harrying opportunities. If nothing else you should prevent the opposition exploiting this area. There is also the possibility of getting tanks onto the top of the hill from where they can spot and harass. You can sometimes play a decisive role in the Coast Road fight by getting shots down onto the top of the heavy tanks here. The hill isn’t as important as you might think but it is somewhere to go if you are a Scout tank in a high tier battle.



These aren’t strong positions, but they are all you get in terms of second lines of defence. Having forces here can be useful to provide support fire to the Ridge, but it really only becomes valuable once the enemy overrun your forces at either the Ridge or the Coast Road. If you lose the Donut and are coming under flanking fire you may have little choice but to drop back to these positions.


The Valley

Now we come to the Valley. While a happy hunting ground for TDs in the lower tiers this area of the map is hugely overrated. Committing more than a token force here is a huge waste of resources since holding the valley gives almost no strategic advantage. It does not extend view range, nor provide flanking fire. It does not even offer a good route to the enemy cap since it leads you into a cross-fire in open ground. The only conceivable benefit is in securing access to the Donut, but this in no way compensates for the consequences of being weaker elsewhere.


Optimal Strategy

Win the Ridge. Don’t lose the Coast Road or the Donut. Push enemy off the high ground then shoot them like fish in a barrel.


Biggest Mistakes

  • Failing to prioritise the Ridge.
  • Being too defensive. This map definitely does not reward camping.
  • Trying to push through the Valley.
  • Pushing around the East flank after winning the Coast Road.


Edited by Dr Bodge, 31 March 2016 - 09:40 AM.

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