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 Sfifer's Vietnam Survival Guide: Map Strategies Pt 3.

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Sfifer
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Join date : 2009-09-25

PostSubject: Sfifer's Vietnam Survival Guide: Map Strategies Pt 3.   Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:47 am

The Ia Drang Valley (Assault)

1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry/66th NVA Regiment





As an assault map, the Ia Drang valley will generally devolve into a straight-out attrition battle after the U.S. manages to capture one of the NVA flags. If this takes too long, however, the U.S. forces will be waging an uphill battle for the rest of the round; thus, the goal of the NVA should be to zealously guard their spawn points at the beginning of the round, until the US forces take enough bleeding damage to effectively cripple their chances for a victory. This is, of course, easier said than done; the US team needs to capture or contest only a single flag to stop their bleeding. On the other hand, the US will need to control five out of the six flags to inflict bleeding on the NVA. This balance of power usually means that matches in the Ia Drang Valley become firefights, with neither side bleeding, and each being forced to inflict heavy casualties on their opponents in order to win the round.

US Strategy:

The US begins with two secure spawn points, one in the base to the northeast of the combat zone, and one in the exposed landing zone surrounded by NVA spawns. The landing zone spawn contains no vehicles from which to safely assault one of the surrounding positions; any troops inserting themselves here will have to hoof it over relatively exposed territory to one of the nearby spawn points. Heading south across the valley towards the southernmost flag is generally a good direction for your initial thrust, but you'll probably want to stay out of the valley and the nearby road. Instead, run into the southern jungle and attempt to approach the sixth flag from the southeast, instead of charging straight at it from the landing zone. There are enough small hills in the jungle here to obscure your approach from any defenders, which should let you get a bead on any enemy forces before you charge in for the cap. The sixth flag is critical for the US to capture and hold due to the Sheridan that spawns there periodically.

If, on the other hand, you choose to spawn in the base, you will be forced to immediately head for one of the helicopters, or be left behind until another aircraft spawns, which can take quite a while. Luckily, there is space for at least a dozen soldiers on the various helicopters, so you should be able to secure a ride without a hassle, provided you're not on an extremely large server. If you do get left behind, suck it up and suicide after your teammates secure one of the southern flags. You're not helping anyone if you're just standing around waiting for a helicopter to spawn, which can take quite a while if your team's pilots are at all talented.

If you manage to grab the pilot seat in one of the helicopters, you should attempt to winch the mobile spawn point or the nearby tank if you feel confident in your abilities to do so. The mobile spawn is the more important of the two, obviously; if you manage to grab it, head towards the combat zone post-haste and drop it off near one of the three northwestern flags. The hills in C6 or D5 are ideal, provided you manage to drop it without anyone spotting you, and can place the spawn out of line-of-sight of an enemy-controlled flag.

NVA Strategy:

As mentioned, the US forces will begin a round on this map with a slow, but steady, loss of tickets. The job of the NVA is to prevent the US from gaining a flag long enough to make this attrition damage build up into a severe handicap for your opponents. Of course, this is true only depending on the number of tickets each side starts with; if it's much more than 200, the fate of each side will more likely depend on their overall ability to kill off individual enemy soldiers, rather than their ability to control flags. Unfortunately, the M60/LAW contingent of the US forces will generally make a firefight difficult to win for the NVA forces, so you should do your damnedest to keep control of as many flags as possible.

With the US's multiple helicopters, it's generally difficult to anticipate which flag they'll move on first, so it's important to grab one of the anti-aircraft vehicles in the northern spawn points and use it to harass any aircraft that get too close to a spawn point. In general, the soldiers who spawn in at the landing zone flag will move towards one of the flags to the north or south, so it's important to take up a defensive position near those flags and mow down any soldiers as they approach. As time moves on, the likelihood of a mobile spawn getting dropped near the other two flags increases, so if you're not a testosterone junkie, you can get your fair share of kills by camping out with an RPD near any of your flags.

The NVA's mobile spawn initially appears in sector D5, down the hill from the flag in that sector. A popular tactic seems to be to have an engineer grab it, then take an APC or AA vehicle and drive up to the US base. The engineer can then occasionally infiltrate the base unnoticed, then plant the spawn point inside one of the tents in the base, thus letting the NVA forces overrun the troops there, generally before the US forces are aware of what's going on. If you can take over the base and destroy the US aircraft, they won't respawn, thus rendering air superiority a moot point, but keep in mind that no aircraft will spawn at all, meaning that the NVA won't be able to grab helicopters of their own to use. Thus, placing your spawn here will usually result in having a bunch of soldiers hanging around in the base, with no method of returning to the southern battlefield save by suiciding. Even so, once captured, it's quite difficult for the US forces to retake the base, thus evening the balance of power in the southern portion of the map somewhat. Another decent location for the mobile spawn is in the hills to the northwest of the landing zone flag. The NVA mobile spawn has the benefit of being very tough to spot in the underbrush, so feel free to place it in a fairly traveled spot, such as between flags three and five.

General Strategies:

In general, the flags here will be captured by infantry, meaning that anti-infantry kits will be at a premium value. The obvious choice for the US is the M60/LAW configuration, while the NVA can use either of the Assault classes, or the RPG7/Type 56 kit in case of an incoming tank.

One basic strategy for defending flags is simply to camp. The map is spacious enough so that none of the flags has an easy line-of-sight to any of the others, meaning that, if you're successful in capturing one, you'll usually have a minute or so before enemy troops will arrive to contest it. You can take advantage of this by lying in the undergrowth near the flag and taking down infantry as they come. The undergrowth makes it difficult for opposing soldiers to spot you when you lie prone, and the terrain around most of the flags is hilly enough to let you get a good vantage point above the flag's base. If you're anywhere from 50 to 100 meters away, you should retain enough accuracy with an RPD or M60 to still kill quickly.


Landing Zone Albany (Mission)

2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry/33rd NVA Regiment





If you have seen We Were Soldiers, you already have some idea of what happened in the Ia Drang Valley at LZ (Landing Zone) X-Ray. Three days later and less than three miles away at LZ Albany, a group of US soldiers had halted their column to interrogate some Vietnamese prisoners when they were ambushed, first with mortar fire, then with a hail of bullets. The battle raged overnight before the North Vietnamese were driven off and the survivors (and 155 dead) could begin evacuation.

Army Strategy

The US Army starts in the south at control point #6. Parked nearby are a MUTT, an M113, and an M110A2 self-propelled howitzer. Each time you take over a control point, additional vehicles (either MUTTs or M113s) will appear nearby.

Your southern base (control point #6) is one of the most defensible in the game. There are no hills directly overlooking the base, access is from the north only, and the map boundary surrounds it on three sides. Some of your best vehicles spawn here as well. You will not have enough manpower to defend every base you take, so your best bet is to make this the one you concentrate your defense on. A strong group of defenders here will allow the majority of your force to move out on sorties, killing the NVA and draining their tickets.

One useful starting ploy is to load as many soldiers into the M113 as you can manage and speed straight through to the northern control points (#1 and #2). A full M113 can capture a flag in just a few seconds, forcing the VC to fight their way into your new bases. If you do not, or if you try to fight the VC on the way, they will capture the northern point, and you will be the one fighting into their territory.

NVA Strategy

The NVA start just north of the Army at control point #5. Look nearby for a BTR-60 and a UAZ. Each time you take over a control point, additional UAZs or BTR-60s and, in many cases, artillery will spawn nearby.

Your initial spawn point is very difficult to defend. It is in the middle of the map, surrounded by hills and cover that the Army can use to sneak up and surround you. Abandon it early. Load as many of your troops as you can manage into the BTR-60 and speed them to control point #4, then #3, and then #2. A full BTR-60 makes for a speedy capture. Don't try to defend all of these points; just keep moving until you reach #2, and set your defense up there. Those troops that didn't fit in the BTR-60 should take the UAZ straight to control point #1, capture it, and set up a defense. Control point #1 is at the northern tip of the map, and #2 is close by with a ton of artillery. Together, these two points represent your best bet for holding a defensive line, as the attackers will all be coming from one direction. Set up your defenses here, and either let your attackers walk into your fire, or send out small groups to hunt them. Capture bases whenever you get a chance, but keep your defensive focus in the north.

General Strategy

Other than the two starting points, all of the control points begin neutral. The layout of this map makes you think it would result in a fairly linear gameplay model. The only real problem is that the valley is exceedingly wide with no choke points. All of the control points are close together, there is tons of vegetation for cover, and almost all of the hills can be climbed. The result is that it becomes virtually impossible to hold a defensive line. With so much room for enemies to break through and such a short run between points, a typical server will not have enough players for a team to hold more than one or two bases at a time.

In the end, Landing Zone Albany almost always degenerates to snipers in the hills and a deathmatch in the valleys. Bases change hands constantly, and wins are through attrition rather than strategy.
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