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Map 18: Mountain Pass (Intermediate)

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Dr Bodge #1 Posted 31 May 2016 - 05:57 PM

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Dr Bodge’s Guide to Mountain Pass (Intermediate)



Map Overview

Unusually for such a confined map there is some value to tanks with view range and mobility. After the predictable clashes in South and North have concluded the map tends to fragment allowing more mobile tanks to exploit gaps in the front line, both in attack and defence. Almost by coincidence the main combat usually takes place in the right place as a struggle between the NW team coming down the West Valley and the SE team who occupy the South Rock and the Niche. However it is the ham-fisted way victory here is usually exploited that exposes that it was only coincidence and not wise strategic play. Despite this the team winning in the Niche should be able to go on to win the game merely as a result of crushing the main part of the opposition force. However this map is easy to lose from a dominant position due to the carefully occluded Bases and the distance between them and the main conflict zones.


The Ice Road & Lakeside

This is one of the three main fronts on which fighting occurs and it should be a complete red herring. However extremely poor map awareness often allows a team winning here to sneak, almost unchallenged, into the enemy Base to cap.


The Bridge

The second of the fronts but rarely an important location in any game. The geography offers precisely no way to avoid taking incoming fire while advancing against defenders with some hard cover. Worse still you may come under flanking fire while crossing the Bridge and both SPGs and sniping tanks will relish the lack of freedom this corridor provides. As a consequence the Bridge is rarely crossed until late in the game by which time it is irrelevant to the outcome of the match. You should avoid allowing the enemy across the Bridge since it lets the enemy bypass most of your other defences but don’t overcommit here.


The Plateaus

One of the biggest red herrings on this map is the sniping duel across the Bowl. This is extremely poor play by both teams since it offers neither side a strategic advantage and once the enemy occupy the Bowl they will find themselves trapped in a cross-fire. These areas are important battle grounds once the Niche is lost but trying to defend them sat out in the open is not a smart tactic regardless of how popular it is.


The Bowl

Controlling this area is the key to controlling the whole SW end of the map. Tanks here get side shots into the fighting at the bottom of the Ice-Road, can help defend the Bridge area and can push onto the opposite side of the Bowl extending view range almost into the enemy Base. From here even the SPGs and TDs on the ramps over the Bases can usually be spotted forcing them to retreat and allowing your team to pour across the map unchecked. The key weakness to these positions is that it is overlooked by the Niche area and it is extremely vulnerable until this is safely under your control.


The Niche

From this grassy area you have fantastic lines of fire onto both Plateaus, across the Bowl to the Bridge. You can even engage targets at the bottom of the Ice Road if they are spotted. Consequently controlling this area gives you dominance of this whole flank. If the enemy fail to seriously challenge for this area you will soon be pushing tanks across the Bowl and the game should be quickly over. On the other hand if they overcommit early but fail to push you can exploit your control here to push tanks across the Bowl and exploit the areas left undefended in the middle. The NW team have the obvious early advantage in reaching the Niche first and this probably gives them a slight overall advantage although to fully exploit this would probably require more coordination that you can reasonably expect during solo play.


The Bases

These are relatively well defended, being bounded by either cliffs and overlooked by ramps which will usually contain at least one die-hard base camper. The main feature is that both are relatively easy to cap out on, even when the opposition have overall superiority of numbers due to the time taken to traverse the map and the disappointing slow response of many heavy tanks on the front line to the obvious threat, preferring instead the pointless (and almost inevitably unsuccessful) rush to cap first.


Optimal Strategy

Win the Niche. Exploit the Bowl. Don’t forget to defend the Base.


Biggest Mistakes

  • Failing to prioritise the Niche. Once the enemy are here they have the advantage. If they are then able to get tanks across the Bowl area your central defence is in serious danger. Pushing anywhere else distinctly sub-optimal.
  • Failing to respond to cap pressure. Ignoring the painfully obvious fact the base is shortly going to be capped is the single biggest cause of avoidable defeats on this map. It isn’t hard to see it coming.


"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

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