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ARATHI BASIN strategies

Point production is important.

When an AB flag is gray, it generates no points. When it turns red or blue, it generates points for the team of that color. When your team taps one of the other team's flags, it first turns gray ... it stays that way for one minute, then it changes to your color. While it is gray, if the other team taps it, it immediately turns back to their color.

You win AB by controlling (i.e., having them be your color and making points for you) more total flags than your opponents do. You do not have to always have 3 flags ... you just need to have more flags more often than your opponents. If they control 1 and you control 2, and 2 are grey, then you are gaining on them.

Keeping your colors up means you get points. This puts a bonus on defending the flags that you own ... and on taking down enemy flags. Because of this, in AB there is never any point to fighting in the road. If you are not attacking or defending a flag, you are wasting your time.

PUG on PUG

wsg pug on pugIn a typical pick up match everyone goes everywhere all at once. The result is usually three fights ... GM, BS, LM ... with one team winning two of three and taking the advantage.

From that point on the trailing team attempts to locate the most weakly defended flags and cap them. With evenly balanced teams, the game often goes back and forth until the time runs out.

As the game goes on, a melee will often develop somewhere ... the intersection on the Horde side of the BS is popular, as is the intersection between the GM and the ST. The melee satisfies some of the players' need for "action", but contributes nothing to the play of the game.

There's not much you can say in this situation, especially since no one is likely to be listening anyway. Your best bet is to keep an eye on the score and timer, and whenever your side falls behind, call that out. People will then tend to attack a flag, which has a chance of putting your side ahead.

Defend Three

The plan is to cap the base flag and two others and support them with five defenders each. The goal is to continually maintain control of 3 flags. This approach works well in theory, but it has a practical problem.

Problem: Since we are not attacking, the enemy has no need to defend its bases. Therefore it can send 9 (or more) at one outside base while holding the rest back for defense. One of ours will fall, and now the enemy has three bases.

So this is not a particularly good strategy against a good team, but it can work against a PUG.

Put one or two experienced players at each outside base. Put another group of your other players in the middle to go defend the outside flag that calls incoming. Let the rest of the players attack the two enemy bases or join the melee.

If the other team is bad enough, they may not be able to organize a two-pronged attack, and you will hold three longer than they will.

Note that if they succeed in taking one of your outside bases, then they now must be weak somewhere else. With good scouting you should be able to immediately counter-attack.

Variations on this approach show up in many games regardless of the starting strategy. When you lose control of three, your natural inclination is to attack the enemy's weakest node. The problem lies in locating this node and getting your forces organized for the assault.

Center Control

An experienced team with good communications has a significant advantage in AB. Scouts can check out enemy nodes and report back. Strike teams can be formed and sent out. The leader should watch the scoreboard and clock and adjust strategy as needed.

pro versus pug

The plan here is to throw overwhelming weight against the BS and gain control of the center.

The center is favored because players who die while fighting at enemy and neutral nodes will rez at the BS. This makes it easier to form strike teams. Also, you can see the most territory from this position. And in AB, knowing where the enemy is going is a big help.

Although the enemy may gain first control of 3 nodes, your side can quickly form a strike team and send it against the enemy's weakest node.

If you try for center control and lose, then you will need to adopt an alternative plan. However, you may be able to take the BS at a later time and establish control. If you can, it is almost always good to do so.

Rolling Zerg

The plan is to send the entire team in a looping run to cap a majority of the flags. This is based on the AB scoring system. If the enemy owns 1 flag (BS) and you own 2 flags (say FA and GM) and 2 flags are gray, then you are gaining points. wsg pug on pugAs long as you cap flags faster than they can take them down, you win.

This is not an easy plan to run. It requires the following:

  1. An assault team that can quickly cap flags,
  2. At least two solid defensive teams that can hold a flag against a small group assault (there is no calling for help in this plan),
  3. A fair number of healers,
  4. Very disciplined players who will go where they are supposed to be.

The first defensive team caps your base flag and defends it. Everyone else goes to LM (or GM, either will work). You cap it and drop off a second defensive team. The assault team quickly moves on to the enemy's base flag, caps it, and drops off a third defensive team (if you have one). The assault team continues on to the next flag.

By now the enemy will likely have taken the first flag you capped. When that defensive team rezzes, they should form up and move quickly to the assault team's most recent cap. If the assault team stays up, and if the defensive teams keep filling in behind them, you can maintain a lead of one or two flags for most of the game.

The biggest problem is that as assault team members die, they need to rez and immediately get back to the team. If this takes too long, or if too many die, your assault team can lose it's "oomph". If this happens, you may need to sacrifice one defensive team to boost the assault team.

A lack of healers is another problem. This plan works best if the assault team doesn't die. And the longer the defending teams hold out, the more points you get. So 3 good healers is probably the minimum.

PUGs often try this strategy, but it fails because assault team members die and do not return, and because defenders die and do not go find another flag to defend. You cannot fight in the road with this plan - everyone has to get to their position and stay there.