Design by James Cheung
Although its only been a year and a half or so since Battlefield 1942 first hit the shelves, its formula - with the double whammy of easily-controllable vehicles and some potent team-based gameplay modes - became an instant classic, and now its fairly difficult to imagine online gaming without it. But although BF1942 has seen a couple of expansion packs, a follow-up (Battlefield: Vietnam), and an imposing number of modifications, were just now seeing the first wave of imitators. Soldner has already hit stores, Star Wars: Battlefront is coming this fall, and the first true sequel, Battlefield 2, should be arriving early next year. Amidst all of this, Novalogic, the developer of the hit game Black Hawk Down, is throwing its hat into the ring with the modern-combat simulation Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising.
The laundry list of features in Joint Ops will be familiar to anyone whos played a Battlefield game: you can play as one of five distinct classes, have a couple dozen different vehicles at your beck and call, and engage in some fierce battles over control points scattered across the map. The game does attempt to stand out from the crowd in a few areas, though, most noticeably in the size of games. Thanks to the fact that Novalogic has its own servers and hosts many of the Internet games that are ongoing at any given time, they were able to build the game from the ground up to include many more players than most online FPS ever see - up to 150 on the same server. To accommodate these large games, theyve crafted some incredibly huge maps, with some spanning as much as nine kilometers from one end to another.
But, even if youve never played a game like this before, GameSpot is here to help. Our guide to Joint Operations will give you a run-down on the games myriad weapons, vehicles, and maps, with tips on how to play each class and how to survive in the wild jungles of Indonesia.
Table of ContentsForces and Outfits
United States Navy SEALS
United States Green Berets
US Army Rangers
USMC and Force Recon
Automatic Rifles and SMGs
Black Rock Beach
Kubong Island Bridge
Two Dragons Gorge
Padang River Basin
Kutu Arms Market
Sungai Sabe Lumber Mill
Snake River Ruins
Dormant Volcano Isle
Palu Cut Rice Paddies
Surga Mtn. Overwatch
Kubil Oil Tank Farm
Moreau Water Castle
Forces and Outfits
There are almost a dozen different factions you can choose from when designing a character in Joint Ops. While these choices are mostly cosmetic (no faction gains any gameplay advantage over any other), each faction does have its own selection of character models and outfits to choose from, some of which are much preferable to others.
Joint Ops Forces
Motto: Daring - Righteous - Successful
This Special Forces branch of the Indonesian army is also known as the "red berets," due to the fact that they were originally formed by a Dutchman who based this unit on the Dutch Armys own "Roode Baret". As befits an elite Special Forces unit, the selection process is rigorous and designed to weed out any individuals who are not physically capable of performing up to Kopassus standards. The culmination of the nine months of the selection process is a march of almost 250 miles across mountainous terrain.
In addition to the rigorous physical training, members of Kopassus are also subject to ideological filtering, due to the fact that theyre often tasked with facing and suppressing rebellious or subversive factions across Indonesias many islands. They have reputation for success, but also for occasional brutality when dealing with the terrorist and guerilla forces that threaten national security. Their role in the East Timor conflict was especially controversial, as the Indonesian military was accused of aiding anti-independence militias in that area, and of standing by while said militias assaulted pro-independence groups, organizations, and even churches.
United States Navy SEALS
Motto: The Only Easy Day was Yesterday!
In the early 1960s, there was a recognized need for small units of highly-trained soldiers that could perform specialized tasks in a variety of settings. The decision was made to shuffle soldiers from the Navys Underwater Demolitions Team, and the SEALs (which stands for SEa, Air, and Land) were formed on January 1st, 1962, and saw their first major action during the Vietnam War.
Much is made of the rigorous training that SEALs are required to endure; the first eight weeks of basic conditioning training includes what is known as "Hell Week," a five-and-a-half day course of continuous physical exertion, including timed runs and swimming courses, during which each soldier is only permitted four hours of sleep. Not four hours of sleep per day; four hours of sleep for the entire week. Even if a soldier is capable of surviving this rigorous test of stamina, there are still five weeks of basic conditioning, seven weeks of dive training, ten weeks of land warfare training, three weeks of parachute training, two weeks of Special Operations Technician training, and then thirty weeks of medical training. After all of this, theyre required to wait through a six-month probation before officially becoming a SEAL.
The SEALs are tasked with an array of missions, including direct action, reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, and counter-terrorism.
United States Green Berets
Motto: De Oppresso Liber ("To Liberate The Oppressed")
The legendary Green Berets are part of the US Armys Special Forces, and are subject to grueling mental and physical training to prepare them for roles as soldier-ambassadors to the armed forces of other nations. Their training is intended to prepare them for the role of detached operations, in which groups of 12 men form Special Forces Operational Detachment-As (or A-Teams) and are expected to function autonomously. In addition to a 150-mile march with over fifty pounds of gear, theres also a notorious land navigation test dubbed "Star," in which soldiers are tasked with navigating through 18 kilometers of rough terrain, at night, by themselves.
After completion of the selection process, soldiers can choose from a variety of advanced training, with multi-month courses in weapons, engineering, communications, or medical skills. Each course is designed to prepare a soldier for extended service in foreign territory. Even after they earn the right to wear the green beret via a field training exercise designed to test their cumulative knowledge of the battlefield, more training ensues, including at least four months of language training.
The secretive Delta Force is the US Armys counterterrorist group, and consists of soldiers drawn from already rigorously-screened units, such as the Rangers and the Green Berets. Theyre trained in a wide array of counterterrorism skills, from hostage rescue to behind-the-lines intelligence gathering. Delta Force units were also used during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, having infiltrated Baghdad ahead of the main invasion to access informants and designate critical bombing targets with lasers. They also operated behind the lines in the first Gulf War, when they moved in mobile columns, along with SAS soldiers, and attempted to find and destroy SCUD launchers.
US Army Rangers
Motto: Lead the Way!
The Rangers are the US Armys quick deployment force, and are capable of being deployed anywhere in the world within eighteen hours after the need arises. Although they have been in existence since the 18th century, their role has shifted over the centuries, and the Army Rangers of today specialize in rapid assaults on vital targets, such as airport seizures.
USMC and Force ReconMotto: Semper Fidelis ("Always Faithful")
The United States Marine Corps has traditionally been the branch of the military that allows the US to exert military power without extending the full force of its armed forces. While deploying a carrier group to a region can is generally referred to as "rattling the saber," in that it can forestall the use of force merely by demonstrating Americas willingness to use it, sometimes obtaining results requires a true military deployment. When this is the case, the Marines are essential in their role as a quick reaction force, with the ability to rapidly deploy around the world.
Although the Marines are themselves often thought of as being an "elite" component of the US armed forces, due to the fact that, as an expeditionary force, theyre often the first military force to engage the enemy, they do have their own subset of special forces known as Force Recon. Force Recon Marines are trained to act independently of larger Marine units, and are tasked with providing the commanders of those units with reconnaissance of the areas in which theyll be working. This entails behind-the-lines work and autonomous action.
Motto: Who Dares Wins
The Special Air Service has a long and distinguished history, which begins with its incorporation as a commando unit during World War II. Nowadays, the SAS focuses on counter-terrorism, and features one of the most hard-core selection programs of any military unit in the world. The three phases incorporate physical and stamina training, followed by training in a jungle environment, followed by preparation in escape, evasion, and anti-interrogation techniques. Only six or seven percent of SAS trainees persevere and become a member of this elite group.
The German KSK special forces unit was designed primarily to protect German citizens and nationals outside of German borders; their traditional counter-terrorism unit, GSG-9, is legally bound to German land. As such, the KSK specializes in hostage rescue, evacuation of noncombatants from hostile territory, and ensuring the safety of German citizens abroad.
The French GIGN is notable for being a unit of the French police, rather than being a part of that countrys military. As such, they engage in many more operations than do traditional military counter-terrorism units, and have gained plenty of operational knowledge. Although the force is small, theyre recognized as one of the most competent counter-terrorist units in the world, and train with members of the armed forces of many friendly nations.
Motto: Any Mission, Any Time, Any Place
The Spetsnaz gets its name from the Russian words for "special purpose," and has indeed been the Russian special operations unit since well before the end of the Cold War. During the early years of their existence, the Spetsnaz was responsible for behind-the-lines covert operations, such as assassination of political targets and sabotage of critical enemy facilities, with a special emphasis on locating and disabling NATO nuclear launch sites, should World War III have ever broken out. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, the Spetsnaz has been forced to adapt to the changing world order, and now takes part in both conventional warfare and small-scale operations, such as the disastrous hostage rescue during the Chechen siege of a Moscow theatre in 2002. Theyve also seen extensive combat in Chechnya itself.
Training to enter the Spetsnaz is as physically grueling as that of any other special forces unit, but with a special emphasis on forming unit cohesion by stripping away the dignity of each individual soldier. Training can last up to five years.
Motto: Who Dares Wins
The Australian SASR is the Australian militarys special operations unit, although it takes on a broad range of missions. Its been deployed to Rwanda and Somalia to deal with humanitarian crises, seen more conventional military roles in Afghanistan and (rumor has it) the first Gulf War, and trained for anti-terrorism roles during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. In addition to the main SASR unit, there are also sub-units called TAG (Tactical Assault Group), which is the full-time counter-terrorism branch of SASR, and OAG (Offshore Installations Assault Group), which specializes in assaulting ships and oil rigs.
The rebel forces consist of Indonesian separatists and ex-military units. The soldiers that have defected to the rebel cause have brought with them some serious military-grade hardware, including helicopters, mortars, machineguns, and enough miscellaneous equipment to almost transform the rebels from guerilla fighters into a conventional army.
There are a huge number of military outfits to choose from in the game, some of which will let you blend into the background, and some of which are, well, less than inconspicuous. You cant modify your uniform in-game; this has to be done from the main menu, so choose wisely. For the most part, gray and green camo outfits are your best bet if you wish to move with some element of stealth; all-black ensembles may be tempting, but your profile will be high-contrast when you move against the green background of the jungle. Even in night missions, nightvision goggles will eliminate most of the advantage of wearing black, as these help players pick up on movement, no matter what their target is wearing.
For the Joint Ops player, a good all-around choice is the United States - Scout/Sniper - Ghillie Camo/Vest. This grey covering will let you hopefully blend into the foliage a bit, and the ghillie hood does a great job of blurring your outline while you move, particularly in missions where nightvision is required. Other good choices are the Ranger - Cap/Camo Face - Camo BDU and the SAS - Headwrap (Tan) - Jungle BDU. If youre looking for darker camo for dusk missions, the KSK - Combat Helmet - Jungle BDU outfit is a good choice.
As a Rebel, there are few choices for full-body camo; most outfits will leave the face and arms fully visible. The women dress pretty modestly, however, so the Female Ex-Military outfit is a decent choice, if you can put up with the terrible voice acting, and the Head Wrap - Female Militia is likewise fun if you fancy yourself a ninja.
Most players on any given team will be riflemen, as this class combines the broadest array of primary weapons with the ability to select anti-vehicle accessory weapons. Riflemen are the only class that can use underslung grenade launchers on their assault rifles, and are also the only class that can load out with rocket launchers. Other than that, they arent much more than a generic warrior class, with no particularly special abilities. Still, theyre a good choice unless you recognize that your team is deficient in another class.
It takes a different breed of cat to successfully play as a sniper in Joint Ops. As in many team-based games, sniping isnt going to win you many friends among your teammates, simply because snipers are usually players who prefer to rack up kills rather than help their team complete objectives or convert bases to their side. Which isnt to say that its impossible to be a team-oriented sniper; its just that Joint Ops, by its very nature, requires players to have a high degree of mobility in order to actively pursue the goals of the team, and snipers arent known for moving around much.
Of course, if youre just looking to have fun, theres no reason not to be a sniper. With the amount of cover that the foliage in Joint Ops provides, and the ability to snipe from hundreds of meters away from your targets, its not uncommon for stealthy snipers to hunker down in an out-of-the-way spot and unload all of their ammunition into their enemies before being discovered.
One of the interesting things that Joint Ops implements is the effect of gravity on bullets in flight; unlike in most games, youll be forced to account for the amount of distance that your bullet will drop during its trip towards your target and adjust your aim accordingly. You can adjust the elevation ratings of the sniper rifles in the game to prevent having to manually aim above your target, but this involves whipping out your binoculars to get a range to the target, switching back to your sniper rifle, zooming out the scope, and then holding down control while adjusting the elevation with the plus and minus keys. This is all well and good when your target is completely immobile, but most online players will be constantly moving. Unless youre maniacally patient, your best bet to get kills as a sniper is to close within 200 meters or so of an enemy spawn point and aim slightly above an enemys head as they pause momentarily.
Otherwise, your primary pickings as a sniper will be enemies who choose to defend a position by manning a mounted emplacement, such as a .50 caliber machinegun or a grenade launcher. Another great source of targets are enemy vehicles; the first player to board a vehicle, especially large ones, will generally pause until other players come aboard. If you notice a group of players heading towards a waiting boat or helicopter, scope in on any mounted weapons on the craft itself; these are almost always the first positions that are taken by players that hop aboard, and in many cases, you should have a completely immobile target until the driver of the vehicle doesnt see any more friendlies approaching. Just make sure you get a good shot off; most mounted weapons have infinite ammo, so anyone you annoy, but dont kill, wont think twice about letting off a fusillade in your direction.
The most important thing to remember if youre playing as a sniper is that the grass that covers most of every map is only visible for about fifty meters or so; you may think youre being super-stealthy by laying prone in the grass, but chances are, anyone whos a decent distance away from you will be able to see you as plain as day. Your best bet for going undetected as a sniper is to find some kind of large object to hide in or behind; shrubs, trees, rocks, and the like are all good places to be. If youre lying flat, and have a decent camo outfit, your profile should seem to be another bump in whatever object youre beside, and, if you get sighted, you can use your object as emergency cover.
Engineers share with riflemen the ability to select any of the assault rifles available to your team, although they cannot use the grenade launcher attachments for those weapons, or rocket launchers. Instead, they gain three weapons unique to their class: the mortar, the satchel charge, and the anti-aircraft Stinger missile.
Mortars have an interesting implementation in this game. The most noticeable thing about them is that they give you a targeting cursor on your minimap, complete with an error circle that will let you know just how far off the mark your shells will fall; the radius of possible landing points increases as you attempt to cover more and more distance with your shells. Unfortunately, the shells themselves have an underwhelming radius of killing power, making the prospect of getting kills via them a spotty one at best. You can coordinate with a teammate who has a laser target designator to increase accuracy a bit, but the fact that the shells take nearly 15 seconds to fall to the ground after being launched means that you wont hit anything except targets that are stock-still. The real unforgivable sin of the mortars, though, is the fact that you cant load out with more than four shells at a time, which means that youll have to stick near an armory to reload after launching every fourth shell.
On most maps, Stinger missiles are a better choice, as they can neutralize enemy helicopter threats with just two or three missiles in most cases. They dont require any special acumen to use; just equip them, use the scope to lock on, and fire away. Most helicopters move slowly enough that you stand an excellent chance of making contact with any given missile, although the best pilots will pick up the radar lock and launch flares while banking rapidly to avoid your fire.
Satchel charges are mostly useful to defend bases. Although the game trains you to use them by having you penetrate an enemy base and blowing up an enemy helicopter, the fact of the matter is that theyre just not very useful as anti-vehicle weapons, unless you manage to spot an enemy vehicle coming down a road and can lay them down quickly. Attempting to use them as mines will often result in you sitting around forever, waiting for the really cool thing thatll impress all your friends to happen, but youve presumably got better things to be doing with your time. There are all kinds of James Bond supermissions you can dream up with satchel charges (sneak into the enemy base, lay down the charges on a gunship, hide out in the woods, wait until the boat fills up with people, then kaboom!), but theyre mostly unworkable. Still, they pack an impressive punch, and if you plant a couple near either entrance to a base, youll be assured of a couple kills when the enemy attempts to take it over. If, you know, youre not tracked down and killed while waiting. Satchel charges are required for as many as half of the co-op missions in the game, though.
The medic, like the engineer, is capable of loading out with any of the standard assault rifles that are available for your team, albeit without the grenade launcher attachments. Medics, however, get no accessory weapons, save the oh-so-useful target designator for mortar attacks. Instead, they get a health pack which can be used to heal up wounded friends, and revive dead allies, so long as they havent respawned. After dying, a soldier can wait for up to two minutes for a medic to arrive, or they can respawn immediately; medics, luckily, have a special icon on the minimap, which lets other players know whether or not help is anywhere nearby.
Unfortunately, medics cant heal themselves, which makes this a poor class choice for players who wish to forge their own path in the game. If youre willing to join up with large groups of teammates as they saunter off to enemy bunkers, however, you can make a large difference in the effectiveness of group fighting by reviving downed allies.
Gunners eschew the puny automatic rifles that most classes use in favor of hulking machineguns that are capable of spitting out lead at rates that make enemies cringe to see it. Gunners are the big damage-dealers among the classes, especially when it comes to anti-personnel work.
Packing along a machinegun doesnt come without its drawbacks, though. In addition to their massive weight, machineguns are horrifically inaccurate when youre not lying prone, and they also have a good amount of recoil when youre standing up or crouching. This all combines to make them basically unusable unless youre lying prone. If you do lie down, however, youll be able to mow down enemies left and right with relative ease, provided you stick to short bursts - holding down the fire button makes for an impressive display of strength, but also greatly increases the spread of your bullets.
Unfortunately, many of the Indonesian islands and landscapes across which youll be fighting are covered with a foot or so of undergrowth, which is generally not a problem, but every time you attempt to lie prone in it, youll find yourself with a face full of grass, which has an understandably deleterious effect on your aiming capabilities. If this happens to you, youll need to find a ridge or hill to get up on to get the grass out of your face. In this sense, picking a spot to fire from is almost as important to gunners as it is to snipers. Ideally, youll be able to find a spot with a view over a wide area that will also be enclosed on any sides that youre not constantly monitoring. The openings in the sides of a base are ideal for this; any other buildings on the map also make good choices for gunning spots, but you dont want to be more than a hundred and fifty meters or so from the area that youre planning to open up on.
The selection of land vehicles in Joint Ops isnt very broad; both sides will normally be limited to a troop-transport truck, an armored 4WD vehicle with a mounted gun, and an armored troop-transport vehicle that provides complete enclosure for any troops inside, along with a mounted gun that can be fired without having the gunner stick his head out of the vehicle. No tanks, regrettably, and no vehicles that will let you fire weapons and drive simultaneously; youll need teammates along if you plan on wreaking havoc with any of these bad boys.
The troop-transport trucks are fairly poor choices for transportation, unless you have a long distance to travel, have no other means of transportation, and are relatively sure that you wont be encountering any enemies along the way - a truck laden with troops makes for a ripe target for a rifleman with a rocket launcher. Trucks do take two rockets to destroy, though, so any passengers should be able to jump out before a single soldier is able to reload his weapon.
The jeeps are a better bet, as you will have some form of mounted gun (usually a .50 cal) to protect yourself with as you travel, and theyre quite a bit faster than the trucks, to boot. Unfortunately, jeeps only require a single rocket to be destroyed, so driving one of these into a war zone is something akin to suicide. Again, youre better off using it for transport over long distances of safe ground, or perhaps for getting on the periphery of a firefight and using its mounted weapon to unload on any enemies.
Lastly, we have the Stryker and the BTR, the two armored troop transports with mounted weapons. These are the most preferable vehicles to bring to a fight, as anyone inside is completely safe from small arms fire. Two rockets are required to destroy these vehicles and, perhaps best of all, they feature mounted guns that are enclosed as well, meaning that your gunner wont have to stick his head out to fire on enemies.
When you have to get somewhere quick, or transport a whole slew of people, or pump a few thousand rounds from a minigun into an enemy position, a helicopter is what youre going to be looking for. Each side has three models: a light bird that seats either two or six people; a larger attack helicopter; and a hulking transport chopper that can load up vehicles into its underbelly.
The birds are your best bet for solo killing, as theyre the only kind of helicopter (and indeed, the only vehicle in the game) that will let you fire a weapon while controlling a vehicle, assuming you get one of the models that feature either machineguns or rocket launchers. The third model has troop benches that will let up to five people tag along on your trip, which can help you move a small strike force into an enemy-held position, but youll need to fly low and land as soon as you get within the control circle, as these babies go down after a single Stinger hit.
The medium-weight helis (Blackhawks for NATO forces, Super Pumas for the rebels) are a better bet for pure infantry transportation. You can fit more people into them, they can survive more Stinger hits, and they have two minigun mounts that will let your passengers wail on infantry below the bird. If youre piloting, though, and you hear your gunners shooting away, youll want to try and keep the heli on an even keel so that they can actually hit their targets; lots of juking will force them to continually readjust their aim. This advice is null and void if youre being shot at yourself, of course.
The largest helicopters (Chinooks and HALOs) are mostly useful for getting a ton of soldiers into a contested zone quickly. They can be used to transport ground vehicles in their bellies, but unless you have voice support, this is somewhat difficult to coordinate on a random internet server, especially the largest ones. Otherwise, their rugged resistance to Stingers makes them great for loading ten or so soldiers up and dropping them off near an enemy base.
One tactic that applies equally to all helicopters has to do with the countermeasures that youre capable of dropping. This is something that may get patched in the future, but as of this writing, helicopters have an infinite amount of chaff to drop, and you can repeatedly drop them just by holding down the key. A continual stream of chaff goes a long way to preventing Stingers from impacting your vehicle, so its always useful to just keep the key pressed down when youre over hostile ground.
On the games massive, 150-player levels, youre often going to be faced with the task of taking an enemy base thats located across a few hundred meters of water from where you spawn. In these cases, helicopters will usually be taking off as soon as they respawn, so youll probably find yourself getting a ride in some form of boat more often than not. As you may have deduced by now, each side will be able to use three different forms of boats, one light, one heavy, and one in-between.
The lightest sea vehicles are the four-man inflatable Zodiac boats. These dont have any armament, save what your passengers are able to bring to bear, and are predictably fragile, but can usually fly under the radar of enemy defenders if you manage to take a roundabout way into a contested zone. In other words, you dont want to be driving one of these right up into a bases bay; you arent protected at all while you drive an inflatable, so you, along with anyone else hanging around, will be cut to pieces by the time you get anywhere near an enemy. If you try to skirt around the edge of an island and make landfall somewhere where enemy presence is unlikely, however, you should be able to make the trip intact. Even during heavy firefights, enemies with the ability to fire over long distances (such as those in emplaced weapons) will be more likely to attempt to shoot at your heavier boats and helicopters than smaller vessels like these.
The armored patrol boats are where the real carnage comes home to roost, however, as they boast the most armament of any vehicle in the game. Each boat will have two .50 cal machine guns and two grenade launchers, with one of each on each side of the boat, letting your passengers take on pretty much anything that comes along without fear. However, although the boat is armored, this is applied only to the boats health; you and your passengers will still be out in the open, ready to die at the first sign of enemy fire. Thus, if youre driving, youll have to make a delicate balance between moving consistently enough to allow your gunners to hit their marks, and weaving enough to avoid any incoming fire, with the emphasis preferably on the latter.
The last kind of boat is the large vehicle transport. While these guys are generally highly armored, they arent useful for much more than transporting troops. Ground vehicles can easily be loaded onto them, but the general inutility of most of the land vehicles in the game makes this kind of pointless, although soldiers in jeeps and armored troop transports can fire those vehicles weapons as you travel along. Otherwise, though, you can hold a basically limitless number of troops on the deck of the ship, with one or two of them available to man the mounted guns for a limited amount of protection as you float along.
There are only three pistols in the game, the Colt 1911, the S&W .357, and the M9 Beretta. Any of these is a decent choice for close-up encounters, with the Colt 1911 being a bit more powerful, but the Smith and Wesson is capable of carrying more total ammo. The M9 is probably the consensus choice, however, as it can hold 45 rounds total. In any case, though, you wont want to be using a pistol unless youre completely out of ammo for your main weapon. Snipers can sometimes make use of pistols if you suspect that an enemy is creeping up on you; its generally better to sacrifice the power of your rifle for the more rapid fire of a pistol in these situations.
Assault Rifles and SMGs
This seven-round shotgun actually fits into your handgun slot, and, if youre willing to carry a bit of extra weight around, is obviously superior to either of the pistols for short-range wetworks. Itll pack on around five extra pounds into your loadout when compared to the pistols that would otherwise occupy your second weapon slot, but if you can accommodate this load without getting bumped up into the next weight bracket, then go for it. The spread of buckshot is much more likely to connect with and kill an enemy at close range than any bullet fired from a pistol. Snipers and Engineers cannot select the Mossberg, unfortunately.
The Silenced MP5 has the distinction of being one of the few true silenced weapons in Joint Ops, and is thus fairly useful when you intend to penetrate behind enemy lines and wreak havoc on foes that are comfortably ensconced in their base. Nearby enemies will hear the distinct clicking of your silencer, however, and unfortunately youll need to be fairly close to your enemies in order to actually hit them: rounds fired from the MP5 follow a trajectory that drops incredibly fast when compared to other automatic weapons. Youll probably need to aim above targets that are just a hundred meters or so away from you, to avoid having your bullets hit the ground at their feet.
The MP5/10 is ostensibly a more powerful version of the silenced MP5, but it still suffers from the horrendous inaccuracy at medium distances that plagues its stealthy cousin. There are much better choices than this, no matter which side you choose to fight on.
M4 / M16
The M4 and the M16 are both decent weapons, although they fulfill different roles, and should be chosen according to your play style. The M4 is the weapon of choice for up-close-and-personal encounters, as it features fully automatic fire. The M16 is far more accurate than the M4, and is able to place single shots on target at ranges of a couple hundred meters, but doesnt possess automatic fire; instead, you get a somewhat worthless burst-fire mode that clips off three rounds at a go. Either weapon is capable of single-shot semi-automatic fire for long-range targets of opportunity.
In short, the M16 is the clear choice for engagements at long range, just due to its accuracy, but the M4 noses ahead in short-range combat due to the simple fact that you can hold down the fire button and rip through your targets.
AK47 / AK74
Although the manual states that the AK74 is more accurate and has less recoil than the AK47, for gameplay purposes, these weapons might as well be identical. Beyond 200 meters or so, these differences may come into play, but at those ranges, youre almost certainly going to be using semi-automatic fire anyway, where recoil doesnt much matter, and both rifles are almost precisely accurate. In close-range fighting of a hundred meters or less, though, its six of one and half a dozen of the other.
M60 / M249 / M240
The Joint Ops gunner has a few options when choosing from the machinegun pool. The forerunner here is the venerable M60, which features a large amount of power, excellent accuracy for a machinegun, and almost no recoil. The tradeoff here is that you only get 300 rounds of ammo; in smaller games (under 40 players or so), you may find yourself chewing through this and being left with only a Mossberg with which to defend yourself.
The M249 and M240 both let you carry up to 600 rounds of ammo total. The M249 is probably the better choice of the two; the round that it fires is smaller than that of the M240 or the M60, but its more accurate than the M240, and lets you fire off 200 rounds of ammo before reloading, whereas the other weapons here only pack 100-round clips.
PKM / RPK-74
So far as accuracy goes, the PKM and the RPK are functionally identical over the ranges at which youre likely to be using them. The main sticking point with the RPK is the fact that it can only load 45 rounds at a time. While it has a shorter reload animation than does the PKM, this is still substandard for a machinegun; if youre on base defense, youre going to want the 100 rounds that a PKM offers you.
The L115A may be a decent weapon, depending on your play style. Its most important feature is the 16x zoom, but this will probably be counterbalanced by the bolt-action slowness and the 40-round maximum ammo capacity.
M82 Barrett / M24 / SR-25
You can effectively eliminate the M24 from the running before selecting a sniper rifle from those available to the Joint Ops corps. It has three strikes against it: its bolt-action, which means that youll require more time for reloading between shots; it can only hold five rounds per magazine, compared to ten for the Barrett and 20 for the SR-25; and it only possesses a 10x zoom, compared to the Barretts 16x scope. None of this should instill you with confidence.
So, then, the Barrett and the SR-25 are the real choices here, and both have a role to fill within the sniper squad. The Barrett is the monster gun of the two, weighing in at over 30 pounds. Its .50 caliber ammunition will drop most enemies in a single shot, and the 16x scope will let you deliver your ammo from a long way out. The 40-round ammo capacity is the smallest amount of the bunch, however. The SR-25, on the other hand, only has a 10x scope, but has a 20-round magazine, and is able to fire much more rapidly than either of the other sniper rifles. Thus, its a better choice for close-range base suppression. You dont want to get much more than 300 or 400 meters away from the zone that youre going to be sniping, however, as the less powerful scope will start to affect your accuracy at that range.
Dragunov / M21
There isnt a huge amount of difference between these two weapons; theyre both semi-automatic sniper rifles with a 10x zoom, capable of rapid refiring after each shot. The M21 pulls slightly ahead with its 20 round clip; as the Dragunov only holds ten rounds, you can expect to have to reload more often, which can directly lead to greater mortality rates when youre up close on an enemy base.
Each side in Joint Ops has access to the same three types of grenades. Frag Grenades are fairly useful for chucking into a base or bunker that you know is occupied by enemies. They can be tricky to aim properly, due to the lengthy charge-up sequence, so youll need to be careful not to accidentally cause them to ricochet back onto your position.
Flashbangs arent usually worth exposing yourself to enemy fire for - since you have to switch over to them, press the button down, and wait until the meter gets up to your desired strength of throw, youre going to be open to counterattack while you do all of this. If youve managed to lose your enemy while ducking into the grass, you can sometimes confuse them with a flashbang, then dart up to kill them off, but there arent many instances in which its better to do this than to just stick with your primary weapon.
Smoke grenades are useless, except perhaps as a distraction. They dont put out a very large volume of smoke, and the smoke that they do produce is thin and easily seen through. If they were the huge, thick smoke grenades of Full Spectrum Warrior, you could expect to see them being plopped down all across the battlefield, but as it is, all you can really do with smoke grenades is throw them into the open and hope someone comes along to check it out.
Theres nothing too complicated about Team Deathmatch; your only objective is to seek out and kill members of the opposing team. Without having to worry about control zones or proceeding to a certain area of the map, TDM can be a great way to just enjoy running around fragging folks. With the expansive maps of Joint Ops, though, finding someone to shoot can be just as difficult as actually surviving a firefight.
There isnt a heck of a lot of strategy to Team Deathmatch, but its worth noting that theres little use for the medic class here. Without the need to control points or revive soldiers far from the initial spawn location, neither team should have much use for medics, although a team made exclusively of medics can sometimes make an annoying raid force if they can make it to the enemy base. In most cases, though, youre going to want to be a rifleman or a sniper, with some maps having call for Engineers (for Stingers) or gunners (on the smaller maps).
Team King of the Hill
In King of the Hill, your objective is to locate and enter a control zone, usually located in a spot between the two teams initial spawn point. Each team has a timer that starts counting up when that team has one or more soldiers within the zone; if either team manages to kill off every soldier from the opposing team thats in the zone, then the opposing team will see their timer reset to zero. The first team that gets their timer up to a preset amount wins the round.
KOTH is survival of the fittest, essentially; the team that concentrates on getting inside the control zone and staying there will generally wind up the victor. Once you get into the zone, you can either become a hunter or a hider; hunters actively move about the zone, attempting to track down enemies and blow them away, while hiders simply hunker down in an out-of-the-way spot and try to prevent their teams timer from getting reset. Both roles are necessary if your team wants to win, with hunters being perhaps a bit more critical, especially if your team has fallen behind in the timer race. But hiding is also a crucial role, and can be fairly rewarding on a personal level, as well, due to the fact that you gain points for the amount of time that you remain in the zone.
If you want to hide, there are a few things you can do to increase your survivability. The first is to move as little as possible, especially on dark or nighttime maps. Movement equals death more often than not, as it makes you very visible to anyone who might be looking in your direction, whereas a soldier that stays still will often blend into the background if theyre wearing an outfit with good camo properties. The second is to pick a logical spot to lay low: lying out in the open will increase your chances of being spotted, but laying next to an object, such as a tree or bush, can help you avoid detection. Water is also a great spot to hide, if you use the F4 key to check your third-person view. If you walk into water thats deep enough to submerge yourself in, then look straight down, you should be able to stay completely underwater without needing to come up for air. If you have the patience to stay like this for minutes at a time, and dont shoot at anything that moves, youre likely to remain unbothered for the duration of the fight. Its unglamorous to be sure, but it can be a necessary job, and you may find yourself as the sole soldier in the zone on occasion. Since this prevents the enemy from resetting your timer, you can sometimes credit yourself with saving the game for your team. In an incredibly passive way, sure, but hey, small victories are sometimes the only ones we get.
So far as classes go, medics should be considered a priority for any team that wishes to win a round of KOTH. The ability to revive soldiers that fall inside the zone itself is a huge advantage for either team, since that will prevent your teammates from having to respawn back at base and trundling across a half a kilometer or mores worth of land to get back to the zone. When you have multiple medics in the zone, you can create a deadly feedback loop, wherein all of the medics revive each other and anyone else who dies, and pretty soon the whole zone is overrun by the walking dead. This can be incredibly frustrating for an opposing team to deal with.
The most important tip for King of the Hill, however, is to simply get to the control zone as quickly as possible at the beginning of the round. Joint Ops is pretty good about getting all the players into the game at the same time, so if you rush to the nearest helicopter or other vehicle as soon as you spawn in and immediately get to the zone, you can hopefully start your teams timer before the other team manages to get into the area themselves. On the maps with particularly large control zones, where its very difficult to eradicate the enemy completely, this can sometimes win you the match in and of itself.
Cooperative play pits humans versus bots across a dozen or so objective-based levels. Although the phrase "humans versus bots" should rightly strike fear into someone whos buying a multiplayer-only game thats not prefaced by the word "Unreal," these missions are a peculiar kind of fun, and a lot more laid-back than the other game modes, since youre not going up against horrifically talented human players. The bots here are decent, although they are pretty bad shots when you engage them from a distance.
The important thing to do in co-op is to pay attention to the loading screens, as theyll give you a good, basic overview of your tasks during a level. Unfortunately, the waypoint system within the maps themselves are almost completely useless, and will often reset if you die and respawn, even if the earliest objectives have been successfully completed. In most cases, theres just no substitute for experience on a given map, but if youre completely clueless about what you should be doing, pop up your map or commanders screen and head for the largest concentration of friendly forces. The G key will also pop up a list of the objectives; if you cross-reference the point designations with your map, you should be able to tell what remains to be done.
The distances between objectives and the spawn point can make the medical arts valuable for your team. If youre playing as a medic, let one or two of your teammates wander on ahead of you, and wait for the enemies to fire on them before opening fire yourself. This will help you stay protected from enemy attacks, and youll still be able to revive any teammates who happen to get killed. Otherwise, youll want to pay attention to your mission briefings to get a clue as to what class you should take - any mission that indicates that youre going to have to destroy objects will require engineers with satchel charges. In general, though, there should be handy armories that will let you switch classes near such objectives.
Advance and Secure
If youre playing in a 150-player game, youre probably going to be playing the Advance and Secure gametype. Anyone whos played Battlefield 1942 or Battlefield Vietnam should be familiar with the basic concept of two teams vying for control of bases, but Joint Ops adds a few twists to their version of the gametype.
First of all, although there are usually anywhere from half a dozen to 15 or more bases on a map, not all of them will be conquerable all the time. Instead, at any given point in a battle, there will be one, two, or three contested bases that the teams will be fighting for. Bases that are behind the lines of this war zone are unconquerable by the team that doesnt control them, which forces the team thats on the offensive to plunge further and further into enemy territory, stretching their supply lines; after they conquer one base, the next base further back will open up, and so on. When one team conquers all of the bases, they win the round. Each team will also have a permanent spawn point that cant be conquered.
Another change to the formula comes in the way you can spawn at bases. The ability of a team to control a base depends on its ability to constantly refresh that base, both with players spawning there and by bringing in soldiers from other bases on vehicles. This is because of the fact that one team can prevent the other team from spawning at a base, even at a base that the other team controls, merely by outnumbering them within the bases control zone. For instance, if team A has control of a base, and has five soldiers within the control zone for that base, and team B brings six soldiers into the zone, then A will no longer be able to spawn at that base, at least not until they manage to kill enough soldiers on team B to even the numbers out.
Whats more, when you outnumber the defenders of a base, that base will slowly but surely shift to your control. If you only have one more soldier than does your opponent, the control will shift very slowly; if you greatly outnumber them, though, the control will shift more rapidly. If your team manages to outnumber the enemy long enough for their control to be reduced to zero, you can then enter the bunker at the center of the control zone to convert it to your cause. Even after this occurs, however, youll still have to maintain your numerical superiority over the enemy until you manage to fully camp the base; only then will you be allowed to spawn. Obviously, this all takes a bit of time, which means that the team with good organizational skills will usually prove to be the victor. Advance and Secure, more than any other gametype, requires players to work together - lone wolves can get plenty of kills, but if youre not inside a control zone, youre probably not helping your team at all.
As is the case in many of these gametypes, medics are a crucial part of a teams success, especially while your team is on the offensive. Since it takes so long to convert bases to your side, a good medic can help keep your numerical superiority while a battle rages on inside a control zone. Beyond that, every class can be useful in its own way during AS battles - engineers perhaps least so, although Stingers do come in handy against helicopters.
Speaking of helicopters, theyre going to be your best bet for shepherding large numbers of soldiers to a contested zone, especially in the 150-player games. If you happen to get into a helicopters control seat, then let your teammates load up into your vehicle, and double-time it to the nearest enemy or neutral base, sticking as close as possible to sea or ground level to make it more difficult for enemies to spot you. When you reach the control zone, its usually best to land near the perimeter, and ideally you should be setting down somewhere where theres a hill or other obstruction between your helicopter and the bunker at the center of the zone. This will give your ragtag group of fighters a good chance to overpower any outriders on the outer edge of the control zone and corner anyone who happens to spawn inside the bunker.
Beyond the basics, though, there isnt a heck of a lot to say about Advance and Secure. Successfully running the table and getting every base on the map is a heck of a task, and on the 150-player servers that dont have an upper time limit on rounds, its not uncommon for rounds to go on for three or four hours before one team finally manages to mount a furious charge and wrest the upper hand out of the jaws of defeat...or something like that.
Emerald Scorpion is a fairly straightforward smash-em-up mission, with five or six targets scattered around a sizable enemy compound. The entire base is open, with plenty of walkways and open-windowed buildings, so attacks can come from any direction.
You will need satchel charges to destroy the gas barges and the weapons caches, but there are a few armories in the base itself, so obtaining these are no trouble. You get all of your objectives at the beginning of the mission, so theres no need to do them in any order. On most servers, in fact, the players will be spread throughout the base pretty thoroughly, as its difficult to keep a team together when everyone has their own target that theyre gunning for. Still, the timeworn strategy of keeping a tight team together and having medics revive fallen soldiers will get you through this mission a lot quicker.
If youre looking for some solo fun, you can take one of the ATVs south past the first objective until you reach the rear of the village, near the gas barges. Approaching from this direction means that all of the enemies will be facing away from you, which will let you get off some cheap shots before they have the opportunity to return fire.
In this mission, your team is tasked with tracking down the pilot of a crashed Blackhawk, then escorting him to a landing zone where hell be evacuated by helicopter. Youll have to proceed along the river in the inflatable boats, but your path is watched by a couple dozen rebels at various locations, so keep your eyes peeled and let your passengers do the shooting. If you have a medic on board, its sometimes desirable to just blast through the river until you reach objective echo, which is where the Blackhawk came to rest. You can dodge the enemy fire easily enough if you go full tilt.
After you reach the Blackhawk, youll discover that the pilot has, predictably enough, been hauled off to the nearby enemy base. The distance between the enemy base and your initial spawn point is fairly immense, and the fact that you need a boat to get anywhere complicates matters quite a bit; if all of them get taken out, then anyone who spawns to the rear wont have much choice but to sit around until one respawns or the round ends. To this end, its best to encourage everyone on your team to use the armory near the beginning of the map to change into a medic, if only to keep your force together. You wont need any special equipment to complete the mission, so the generic M-16s will work fine, while your medic kit will let you revive fallen soldiers before you make the assault on the compound.
When you bust the pilot out of the base, head to the next objective to reach the helicopter exfiltration point.
The hardest thing about Ghost Harvest is actually finding the locations of the items that youre supposed to destroy. Its a good chance the game will be pointing you in the wrong direction on your minimap most of the time, so the best you can usually do is to pop up your commanders screen and scroll around, looking for settlements and concentrations of buildings, which is where the comm dishes, weapons caches, and so on will be located. Youll need satchel charges to destroy the objectives, and even if you only require one charge for each object, that still means that youll want to be on the lookout for armories to restock your supply.
Theres a goodly amount of running around during this mission, so try to stick close to your teammates, and follow whoever looks like he knows where hes going. Come to think of it, you can apply this advice to all areas of your life, at no extra charge.
Street Justice is a pretty straightforward assault-and-exfiltrate mission, but its a chance for you to jaunt through the urban environments that are pretty scarce in Joint Ops. If possible, change over to a rifleman (especially if solo), or a medic. Youll mostly be facing infantry in this level, although there is a vehicle or two, so having an AT4 is desirable. Although there is a PSP in the middle of the level, youre going to be traveling on foot, so having a medic or two along will help prevent fallen soldiers from having to respawn all the way at the entrance to the city.
Most of the enemies you face here will be snipers, who are fairly easy to spot, as their sartorial taste tends towards the black-from-head-to-toe look, which contrasts with the overcast skies. Theyll be on rooftops, so keep your weapon on semi-automatic mode and fire away when they pop up. There will be soldiers on the ground as well, though, so lean around corners if possible and stay off the main streets; its best to try and weave through the buildings as you move, because the sightlines will be narrow enough for you to have a pretty precise idea of where fire is coming from when the vectors pop up on your minimap.
Shortly after you take point alpha, youll have to deal with a vehicle or two, but after that, its more or less a straight jog up to where the rebel commander (wearing standard-issue evil dictator sunglasses) is holed up. Eliminate him and his men and book it north until you reach the exfil point.
Although the game will send you far to the east when you spawn, your first objective, X-ray, is actually to the north of your infiltration point. The only catch is that the bridge leading that way is busted. You can either take the ATVs at your spawn point and bust through a couple of enemy checkpoints to the east until youre able to circle back around, or you can just swim across the river and head to the PSP on foot. Dont do this unless you have a few comrades at your back, though, as there are plenty of soldiers in the woods, and theyre very tough to see at night.
After you get the new spawn point, its a relatively easy jaunt through the nearby village and up the mountain to reach the mine. There are armories inside the mine, so dont worry about outfitting as an engineer from the outset; you can pick up satchel mines inside the mountain.
Youll have some hardcore fighting to do in Gothic Shield, as your objective is to assault and rout the rebel inhabitants of a castle near your spawn point. The trouble is that the rebels are all over the place: on the ramparts, inside the castles courtyards, in vehicles roaming the roads around the castle, on boats in the water, and so on. Luckily, your spawn point is fairly close to the castle itself, so youll be able to send wave after wave of soldiers until you complete your initial objective.
This is one of the few objective missions where snipers are really called for, as there are good lines of sight to the castle, and the soldiers running around on the corners are too far to hit for most weapons. A sniper can clear the walls fairly easily, while the riflemen and other classes head towards the main opening in the castles southern wall - watch out for rebels positioned just inside the opening, however. Another team can take one of the 4WD vehicles and use its .50 cal to clear the forests to the north of the castle; there are a few vehicles around, as well, so bringing along someone with an AT4 is a good idea.
Your goal inside the castle is to assault and take the central structure, which has a PSP inside of it. Youll need to move quickly, though, because as soon as you open the doors on the north side of the little shrine, the enemy counterattack will begin. Get the PSP before you try to fight back, though, as itll help reinforce your troop strength as you take on the new influx of enemies.
You can expect to do a bunch of island-hopping here, as your objectives are spread out across no fewer than four different islands. Unfortunately, your helicopters are simply troop-carriers, but they can still be used to get your engineers near the objectives that theyre required to blow up. Otherwise, just stick to the inflatables, and you should do fine.
Youll have five objectives total on the southern chain of islands, and youll need to approach cautiously, as the rebels can be difficult to spot among the trees in the dark of night. Its generally best to make your landing on the opposite side of an island from your objectives, and then proceed overland; this gives you the best shot of spotting an enemy from a distance at which hell be unable to hit you with his weapons.
After cleaning out the first three islands, youll have to make your way up to Delta and assault the enemy base there. This place is rabidly defended from all sides, so it makes a certain amount of sense to go ashore to the east a ways and walk in towards it. You can expect plenty of resistance, and you should position a gunner or rifleman on the north side of the base, as thats where reinforcements pour in from after you start dispatching the base guards.
Again, this is a fairly straightforward destroy-all-of-these-objectives mission, with a twist: its a really, really huge map. Youve got to cover almost two-and-a-half kilometers to get from your base to the enemy village where your objectives are, but theyre fortunately all clustered together, so once you subdue the village, you shouldnt have any problem finishing the mission off with a few satchel charges.
You have plenty of helicopters at your airbase, but its still a pain to cover the distance to the enemy village when you respawn, so your first objective should be to land somewhere near the PSP to the south of Pembom and secure it before you make your assault on the village. Dont bother with the PSP labeled A; go straight to B and grab that one instead and use it as a base from which to attack Pembom itself.
Iris Jade is one of the more elaborately scripted of the co-op missions, so a bit of teamwork (read: waiting around) may be necessary at points. As always, being a medic or a rifleman is a good idea, although having a gunner or sniper along will help out quite a bit at the end of the mission.
First off, you have to secure the village and take out the nearby Stingers and snipers to ensure that your helicopters can land safely. These helicopters are bot-controlled, so make sure that everyone on your team is nearby before jumping on, and try to get everyone on as quickly as possible. Theyll take you to the overlook position, and a PSP, but hold your teammates back before cresting the hill, as the next objective is triggered when any of your members walk towards the airport.
When you get the assassination objective, all of the soldiers in the airport will open fire on you, creating quite a cacophony. Theyre far enough away so that theyll have a difficult time hitting you, though, so start mowing them down. If you have a sniper or a gunner, have them keep an eye out for the VIP; hell be arriving in a helicopter, himself. Finish him off to end the mission.
Since youre going to be taking out BTRs, youll want most of your squad to be outfitted as riflemen; your AT4s are the easiest way to take out these armored vehicles. Youll find one each at objectives Alpha and Bravo, so gear up and take them out before moving on to Charlie.
The BTRs at Charlie are a bit more difficult to get to than those at Alpha and Bravo, mostly because theyre guarded by a whole village full of rebels. If youre looking for a boatload of kills, respawn at your default base, grab one of the M60-equipped inflatables, and take it back to the village before unloading on all of the bots running around. If you position yourself far enough away from the village, you should be able to get a couple dozen kills without getting hit at all, which will hopefully clear out the village enough for your teammates to sneak in and finish off the BTRs.
Youll need to book it as soon as you spawn into this mission, as enemy patrols will start converging on your downed aircraft within a few seconds after the mission starts. Theyll drive up in trucks, but unfortunately, these vehicles are rigged to explode if the rebels die, and the same holds true for the 4WD vehicles on the roads beyond the crash site, so youll be forced to proceed to the enemy village on foot.
The truck that youre supposed to hijack is outlined on the minimap in blue, so fight your way to it and start heading towards the exfiltration point. Youll come across a guard station eventually; its best to dump the truck at this point and proceed on foot until youve managed to clear out the post. From there, its a fairly short jaunt to the end of the mission.
TDM / TK
Almost every map in the game, besides co-op maps, can be played as Team Deathmatch or Team King of the Hill maps - they may vary a bit from gametype to gametype, but the basics are the same. Since team deathmatch is fairly self-explanatory, were going to concentrate on King of the Hill descriptions of these maps.
On a server with more than 30 or 40 players, this map is usually decided when the first team arrives in the control zone. The zone itself is huge, and encompasses part or all of at least three different islands, each of which features tall grass and numerous shrubs to hide in.
If youre the last person in the zone, or are just looking to ensure that your team cant get wiped out, the rivers themselves make for pretty effective natural cover. If you hop into a river near the edge of the zone, hit F4 to check your third-person view, then look straight down into the water, you should be able to stay completely submerged without running out of breath at all. You will be seen if someone comes too close to your location, but if youre on the side of the zone thats closest to your base, you hopefully wont have to worry about it.
The team that gets to the crossroads base in force first will usually win here. At the start of the round, you have zero time to screw around with; you need to get your troops into vehicles and charge across the bridge ASAP. If youre one of the first ones to spawn in, get into a jeep or ATV and go by yourself. Once you reach the base, take cover in one of the pillboxes near the east or western entrances and wait for the cavalry to arrive.
After the situation stabilizes a bit, you should be able to control the entire zone from the central structure. Most of your team should be riflemen with rocket launchers and medics. Your riflemen can use their rocket launchers to destroy any incoming vehicles, preferably from the first floor, as it has very small windows that make it difficult for snipers to peer in. Youll want to keep a presence on the second floor, as well, obviously, as the armory there will let your riflemen keep a continuous stream of rockets flowing.
Your medics should hunker down out of sight inside the structure and revive anyone who gets killed as soon as possible. If youre particularly daring, a single medic and one or two other soldiers can man the guns atop the center building and keep the pressure up on the enemy indefinitely. Firing the emplaced .50 cals will leave you wide open to enemy snipers, but if you have a medic thats able to lie at your feet and revive you over and over again, you wont have to worry too much about dying. Just give it five or ten seconds between revives to encourage your enemies to move, then catch them as they run. Otherwise, use the guns to focus on the bridge leading from the enemy base; you should be able to kill most jeeps before they even know where theyre being shot at from, and two guns in tandem can destroy APCs as well.
If you notice that the other team has managed to get a few soldiers to the control zone before you do, then you can essentially forget about winning the round. This probably sounds like a familiar theme by now, but the zone is too massive to hunt down every single hiding spot. Even with a fleet of gunships grenade spamming every exposed space, youre not likely to ever rout the enemy completely from the area, so dont hesitate to take out a patrol boat by yourself if youre close to them when you initially spawn. Your teammates will get pissy, but youre doing it for their own good. After you get to the zone, go ashore and hide until someone comes along to populate the zone alongside you. If your team isnt completely incompetent, and the people driving your boats dont insist on engaging in pointless sea battles, you should have an easy time riding out the enemy invasions and winning the round. Submerging yourself in the water near the rocks in the river is a particularly good subversive tactic.
Black Rock Beach
The control zone here is fairly small, doesnt have many structures, and is very prone to sniping and gunning by soldiers on the outside, especially on the hills to the west. For this reason, its vital that your team take and hold PSP Alpha; this will give you the upper hand on actually controlling the zone permanently. Both sides will likely see their timer reset multiple times before the round is over, so if you can get the PSP and continually respawn and return to the zone without having to drive a kilometer, youll obviously have the upper hand. Keep an eye out for enemy gunners and snipers in the hills, though; there are always players who enjoy just camping around the zone without ever actually going in, and they can cause havoc here.
He who controls PSP Alpha wins the match here. Its so much closer to the control zone than the bases are that its not even funny. If your snipers spawn in and start picking off the base inhabitants, the rest of your infantry should be able to cross the open space towards the bunker with relative impunity.
Otherwise, you should be careful not to be too predictable in your assaults on the base. With the proliferation of roads around the bunker, you should be able to approach via vehicle from any angle. The hill to the northeast is especially useful for reducing the defenders line of sight on your approach. You should also try to keep pressure on the guns atop the bunker, via snipers or mortars, to prevent the enemy from using them. When youre ready to head into the bunker itself, start by using flashbangs, grenades, or M203 grenades to lighten the resistance, then head in full-bore.
Kubong Island Bridge
Theres nothing particularly unique about Kubong Island Bridge. The zone itself does encompass a few buildings, but its small enough to allow for timer resets should one team manage to rout the other and check the few hiding spots that are around. Transportation time is nearly the same whether youre on a vehicle from a base or walking from one of the PSPs. If youre a sniper, though, its worthwhile to set yourself up somewhere where you can monitor the approach from an enemy PSP, as there will be quite a few soldiers wholl forgo spawning in their base in favor of hoofing it from the frontline spawn points.
Two Dragons Gorge
Each force here will have a base thats absolutely full of vehicles, and that, combined with the relatively short drive to the control zone, will obviously make the base at the center of the zone the crux of some huge firefights, since soldiers on both teams will be able to respawn at the base and make it back to the zone within 20 or 30 seconds of dying.
Adequately controlling the zone, then, generally comes down to three things. First up is coordinating the two armored transports that you have. If you can venture out in two Strykers or BTRs, and stick together, with a gunner in each vehicle, you should be able to guard the base quite well, so long as you concentrate your fire on enemy vehicles. Second, controlling the hills around the zone with snipers is crucial. Youll need to be on the lookout, both for enemy soldiers entering the zone, and for enemy snipers themselves. Third, the Alpha PSP should be controlled by your team. Most players will generally choose to spawn at the base, whether you control it or not, but you cant let your enemy have two approaches to the base.
Get to the control zone post-haste. Although you can take the loading screens advice and load up some of your big boats with APCs, this is primarily an infantry and boat map - the infantry will be responsible for controlling the zone, while the boats will shell it with grenades, especially when the enemy gets a leg up on zone population. The bulk of the zone is fairly open, thanks to a recent forest fire, but there are still plenty of shrubs and grass on the hills that will let you hunker down and hide, while still giving you a good view of the zone itself. Grenade spamming from the patrol boats is rampant, however, which makes survivability unassured anywhere you go.
Theres a particularly good hiding spot just behind the radio tower atop the hill. If you walk until youre just one or two percent inside the zone, you should find a large tree that you can hide behind - itll give you pretty good cover from all directions.
Padang River Basin
The most notable thing about the Padang River Basin is that both teams start the round with an assault chopper in their base - a rarity. Its best if you use it to destroy any enemy jeeps as they approach the control zone, but dont forget to move around a bit; hovering in one place will leave you open to return fire from the mounted weapons on the jeeps, or even to getting sniped out of the drivers seat of your helicopter. We can assure you that theres no purer form of embarrassment in Joint Ops than being the victim of this latter event.
Kutu Arms Market
Maps dont get much more urban than this, as the entire control zone is a series of one-room, one-story buildings, encircled by slightly taller buildings on all sides. Although you have jeeps and APCs at your base, this is definitely an infantry battle, with room for snipers to do their thing from the rooftops. All you can really hope to do is to grab one of the PSPs and get your teammates into the zone as quickly as possible; from there, its mostly a matter of whos quickest on the draw.
Sungai Sabe Lumber Mill
This is another of the get-there-first-and-youll-probably-win variety of KOTH maps, as the relatively large control zone will give you numerous places in which to hide. The lumber mill structure itself offers a number of ambush points, particularly near the armory on the second floor, but the zone encompasses numerous small structures. Actually getting to the control zone from your base is a bit of a task, though, due to the number of turns in the river, so the first team thats able to reset the other teams timer and get a number of soldiers into the zone will likely win.
This is another of those maps with a large control zone and too many places to hide. Get to the zone quickly and hunker down for a firefight. If you cant locate that last enemy soldier, start chucking grenades into buildings that are unoccupied by your team, and walk the perimeter of the circle itself - the tall grass around the village is easy to get lost in. There is a PSP here, but its mostly irrelevant, as there arent any vehicles, and its the same distance from the zone as the two bases are.
Snake River Ruins
SRR is a popular KOTH map, due to the rather intense combat that it fosters. The combination of a mid-sized control zone that encompasses just enough grass and ruins to make a few hiding spots with a pitch-black, 4 AM local time game world forces the player to be acutely aware of his or her surroundings at all times. Even with your nightvision on at full blast, its still immensely difficult to see anything, especially Joint Ops players whove selected the ghillie outfit.
Your basic strategy is to get into the zone, kneel or lie prone in a corner of a wall, and dont move. If someone gets close to you, they may be able to see you, but if you manage to hunker down without attracting too much attention, you should be able to maintain your position almost indefinitely. You can distract foes by laying out smoke grenades, which show up as bright spots in night vision; when they come to investigate, pop a round or two in them.
Overall, though, you want to just lay low and let your enemies come to you. Be careful of approaching via the boats near your base, as they make a lot of sound and you can expect the enemy to camp on the outlying islands for easier shots.
Dormant Volcano Isle
This is an another KOTH map with a control zone too small to allow much more than infantry into it. It holds the same kind of structures as does the Tenaga Delta KOTH map, but this map has two PSPs very close by the control zone, each of which will spawn attack helicopters, which should combine with the openness of zone to foster a whole lot of timer resets.
Your primary objective, if you intend to win the match, is obviously to control one or both of the PSPs and use them to flood the control zone with infantry while attempting to hold your enemy back. The PSP at point Bravo is the more desirable one to control, as its elevation makes it a bit more defensible against ground forces, and the surrounding trees will force snipers to position themselves along a couple of predictable alleyways to get their shots off.
The first team to get five or six decent soldiers into the zone here should win, end of story. There are too many buildings and too many places to hide within the control zone to effectively sweep through the whole place before reinforcements come, and thus its almost impossible to completely clear out every enemy soldier once they reach the zone and hunker down. This is more true in smaller games than it is on larger servers, though; if you have a few dozen soldiers on your team, do your damnedest to get them to the zone in large bunches, such as by loading up the biggest helicopters and landing inside the zone itself. Shock infusions of manpower are your best bet to overwhelm enemy forces.
Both teams begin almost a kilometer and a half from the control zone, so youll want to get up to one of the PSPs closer in and take it over as soon as possible. Ideally, youd have an even split between people going straight to the zone and people heading towards one of the PSPs; if you notice a bunch of people heading in one direction, break off and head to the other objective. The PSPs have the additional advantage of containing spawns for attack choppers, which makes it easy to keep the pressure on the enemy PSP or the control zone itself.
So far as the control zone goes, its dominated by a large gray building. The second story here is where youll have the best luck hiding out, especially if youre a gunner or have an automatic rifle; the M-16 is a poor choice for interior work like this. Just stay away from the windows so you dont get sniped! Speaking of sniping, though, anyone who likes long-range work can get up on the large hill near the control zone and pick off enemy soldiers as they approach from their PSP. Youll be open for retaliation, though, especially if someone grabs an attack helicopter and comes after you, so dont expect a long life if you do this.
Palu Cut Rice Paddies
The PSPs here are strategically unimportant for your team, in most instances; theyre bare patches of ground with a few emplaced weapons around, no vehicles, and arent very much closer to the zone of control than your base is. You can safely ignore them, if youre concentrating on getting to the zone and keeping your timer going, but a team that wants to open up a second front of battle can do so by taking over the PSP closest to the enemy base. The emplaced weapons can be used to fire away at vehicles trundling out of the base, although this is more of an annoyance than a true masterstroke thatll win you the round, as youll usually be quickly overrun by enemies when they figure out what youre up to.
So far as King of the Hill goes, it doesnt get much simpler then Tenaga Delta. There arent any PSPs, each side only gets a couple of ATVs, and the control zone is barely a hundred feet across, centered on a set of bombed-out buildings that provides little cover. You can expect the timer for each side to be constantly reset, as there just isnt anywhere to hide in the control zone. If you manage to hit a lull in the action, though, you can climb the ladder to the second floor of one of the buildings and lie prone inside of it; you can expect your opponents to pepper that area with grenades and rockets if they get down to one enemy left in the zone.
This is one of the more difficult KOTH maps to stage a comeback victory on if you manage to get wiped out, as the zone of control is very difficult to access without being attacked by the defenders atop the hill. If your enemy manages to get a few soldiers into the zone, it can be very difficult to stage a successful assault on them, given the distance from the bases to the zone and the difficulty of approach. There are really only three ways to get atop the hill. You can either take one of the two narrow walking paths up, if youre on foot, or you can attempt to use one of the ATVs in your base and charge up the side of the hill.
The battle for the zone itself can be heated, as there arent many places to hide, and the daylight makes most outfits easily visible. If you do manage to get pushed off of the hill, you may want to light up the area with mortars before regrouping with a few teammates and making an assault. Whatever you do, you dont want to charge up the hill by yourself, especially not if there are more than one or two enemies in the zone, as theyll be sure to have the entrances watched.
If youre feeling sneaky, you can set yourself up on one of the hills to the southwest or northeast and snipe away at anyone you manage to spot heading up to the ruins. Youre going to be out in the open if you do this, though, so dont expect to have a spectacularly long life expectancy.
Surga Mtn. Overwatch
The openness and accessibility of the mountain here makes for some particularly epic battles, as the entire plain can become choked with vehicles and infantry attempting to make their way to the bunker that forms the center of the control zone.
Each of the teams bases has an impressive number of vehicles to use to gain access to the mountaintop; youll obviously want to hit the helicopters first and try to get them up to the bunker as quickly as possible. If youre piloting the larger helicopter, try to land long enough for any passengers to get out; if you notice that your minigunners bail as well, follow them onto the ground, but if they stay aboard, take the heli up again and use it to frustrate enemy advances to the bunker.
If youre inside the bunker itself, youll probably want to vary your activities between lying prone on the floor and using your weapons to fire on anyone who approaches. Riflemen and medics are particularly appropriate here; riflemen can use their AT4s on any enemy vehicles that come up, while the medics will obviously be useful in bringing enemies back to life. Its fairly easy to get routed, though, if enemy infantry manage to stage a coordinated assault on the position, so dont get too frustrated. Just concentrate on getting back to the bunker and returning the favor; you have plenty of tools at your disposal to do so.
The KOTH zone for this map is inordinately large, and definitely transforms the entire bay into a war zone as time goes on. Theres virtually no way to clean out the enemy from it entirely once they get a few soldiers in, as there are simply too many hiding spots, both inside the structures and in the forest, to check everything thoroughly, although youll definitely want to try. The emphasis, therefore, is on getting to the zone as quickly as possible, and with enough soldiers aboard your helicopter to spread out quickly.
After the first minute or so of gameplay, things will settle down into a near-constant firefight within the bay itself. Controlling the Citadel Island Fortification in the southwestern corner of the zone will help you repel any ships that make a foolhardy attempt to enter the bay through the southern opening, but youll have to be wary of enemy snipers; even if the readout shows zero enemies in the zone, that doesnt necessarily mean that someones not drawing a bead on you from further out. Its especially important to have a couple of engineers with Stingers at the ready to take down any attempts by the enemy to land a helicopter on the island. Helicopters wont always go directly to the bay, though, so youll want to position yourself atop the hill on the island to give yourself a better chance at spotting enemy helicopters as they fly around.
All in all, though, the team that manages to get into the zone first will have a marked advantage, especially if they manage to secure the bay itself and keep a constant supply of soldiers incoming through the southern gap. Try not to get caught up in ship-to-ship fighting if you can avoid it, especially not out in the open. You can park a patrol boat inside the bay, however, and use that to monitor the southern pass.
Kubil Oil Tank Farm
The Oil Tank Farm has a more level control zone than do most KOTH maps, and the inclusion of two PSPs in the zones immediate proximity makes this an infantry-centered battle. Your first priority as a team will be to grab control of one of the PSPs and use it as a base from which to wade across the shallow water into the oil tanks. Youll only have one helicopter in your base, but you can use it to drop a few soldiers inside the zone to get the timer started before zapping over to the nearest PSP and starting the countdown on that.
Within the zone itself, fighting is generally a riflemen and gunner affair, as the darkness serves as effective natural cover. The nearness of the PSPs obviates the need for medics, for the most part. The terrain itself, with the exception of the oil tanks, is fairly open, so each team can expect heavy casualties. Its important to keep one or two soldiers in a hiding spot somewhere in the zone, to avoid having your timer reset, but there are few decent ones to be found. If you can jump out of a helicopter onto the top of one of the oil tanks and lie prone, theres precious little that can kill you besides a sniper on top of one of the hills around the oil tanks.
Moreau Water Castle
The castle here should be the center of some amazing firefights, as it features a host of passages in which to lose yourself. The feature of the map that will most often decide the balance of power, however, is the two PSPs on either side of the castle itself. If each team manages to control one of these, the fighting within the castle itself can get pretty intense, albeit in a deadlocked kind of manner, as there are quite a few places within the castle to hide.
The structure in the center of the castle is a predictable magnet for people looking to crouch down within the zone. The top floor, especially, gives you a few good places to lay prone and watch the approaches, especially if you camp out just above the staircase leading up. The exterior walls of the castle are also rife with small rooms that you can use to camp out or to snipe from the windows onto soldiers in the courtyards below.
You can control the entire castle if you overlook the two entry points, but this is fairly pointless, as the control zone extends beyond the castle walls on either side, letting enemies keep the timer going by lying prone near the wall. Since the interior of the castle has so many hiding spots, the obviousness of this ploy can sometimes go undetected for awhile, especially in games with fewer players, so give it a whirl.
Advance and Secure
Almost every map in the TDM/TK section can be played as an Advance and Secure map, but, again, this gametype is fairly self-explanatory. The maps here can only be played as Advance and Secure maps.
Cold Water Gap
The crux of this map is obviously points Charlie and Delta - you can do your team a service by hopping into one of the small choppers in your base at the outset of a round and beginning to convert the point nearest your base before the enemy gets his vehicles too close. When its ready to convert, you can hop out and do it yourself if your teammates are still lagging behind. After you manage to convert both Charlie and Delta, youll need to immediately move on to the next threatened point, as each team gets enough vehicles here to make holding the far side of the bridge very difficult. Youll need lots of riflemen with rocket launchers if you want to actually keep your foothold on the enemys side of the bridge.
Speaking of the bridge, the large one between Charlie and Delta, despite being green on your minimap, isnt destructible. It is, however, a natural chokepoint, and as such makes a prime spot for satchel charges laid as anti-vehicle devices.
On 150-player servers, you can expect this map to run right up against the timer limit in most games, rather than it being decided by conquest. Unless, of course, one team is tremendously incompetent. Unfortunately, victory requires your team to take and hold all three of the central points simultaneously, and without teamwork above and beyond the kind that youre likely to find on a random Novaworld server, its unlikely that any team will be able to accomplish this feat. All it takes is one patrol boat full of soldiers that manages to make it to your weakest control zone (and the control zones are massive!) to ruin your plans. A successful takeover therefore requires aggressive interdiction of boats as they approach from your opponents rear bases, a task best suited to helicopters or patrol boats. Again, though, try convincing random players of your master strategy, and youre likely to get left behind as they take off for the precise destination at which theyll do the least good.
Straits of Malacca
Breaking through the initial trio of contested zones is slightly less difficult here than it is at Laba-Laba, due to their smaller control zones and greater proximity to one another. The Joint Ops team may have something of a slight upper hand when it comes to the initial zones, as it can use point G to cover much of the northwestern water and air, allowing it to take out boats and helicopters with that bunkers emplaced weapons. The southeastern approaches to the islands are relatively more difficult to see from the bunkers, and are therefore easier to approach.
Your first priority here will be to set up an adequate defense at your forward base. You should have plenty of emplaced machine guns, which you can safely use until enemy snipers and riflemen hit the island, but another good plan is to wheel out your APCs from your hangar and drive them down to the beach facing the enemy island. You should have a tremendously broad range of view from which to fire away at anyone who attempts to approach, and you wont be vulnerable to anything except fire from an enemy ship or helicopter.
If, on the other hand, you plan to lead the assault on the enemys forward base, its critical that you dont fly straight across the channel, because a team thats halfway intelligent will be using every emplaced weapon in their base and will be watching that precise approach. Instead, its usually best to swoop north of Charlie or below Bravo and set down somewhere inland, and attempt to get within the control zone from the rear. A chopper full of soldiers will often be able to wear down the enemy enough to keep them from respawning, after which more troopers on boats can lead with a frontal assault and take the base itself.