The Battlefield 4 Beta is in full swing, and already we’ve learned a ton about what BF4 is all about. Whether you’re new to the series or a returning veteran, DICE’s latest outing has something new and exciting for everyone. The question for newer players becomes, how do I succeed in this grand battle space? The answer, for Conquest at least, is both complex and daunting. Still, it can be broken down into several distinct sections: pre-collapse, post-collapse, and end game. In this article, we’ll be covering the pre-collapse phase.
Before the tower comes down
When a match on Siege of Shanghai starts, you have three choices. First, you can book it strait for the skyscraper to secure paradrops for your teammates. Second, capture your two home flags in preparation for an attack on said skyscraper. Third, hop in a tank/helicopter and run interference for those players who chose options one and two. While none of these choices is inherently more important than the other, fifty tickets into the match it’ll be clear what your next move should be.
If you went for the skyscraper at C: As vital a staging area as C is, once secured many of your teammates will likely spawn there and proceed to camp the top floor. If this occurs (and it so often does), your job is not to camp with them, but to make your way towards either the enemy’s home flags or to recapture any the enemy rushed to. Alternately, you could choose to take the tower down early in the match, if only to keep those lousy campers off of it. Whatever your decision, know that you can still lose C at any time, and recapturing it isn’t as vital as securing it early on.
If you went for your two home flags: Once you have both of your near flags, take stock of where your team is. Did they take C or does the enemy have it? Are you already in danger of losing on of your near flags despite your team’s efforts? Where are your team’s heavy armor and helicopters headed? Answering these questions will inform your next move.
In the event you lost C from the start, it might be a good idea to try and force the enemy into it by capping their home flags. Eventually, some of them will wise up and make a push from their spawn, but pincering them for a few minutes will grant you a major ticket advantage. It also puts them out of position for a proper counter attack when they have to retake their two near-spawn flags, unless they buck traditional strategy and go for your instead.
Regardless of the enemy team’s choices, if you have the opportunity to push them further and further towards their spawn, do so. You will have to gamble with the campers on C, but a three or four cap lead will end games pretty quick.
If you drove off a tank/APC/armored car: Provided you didn’t head to C or your home flags with your vehicle, there are two main strategies to employ. First, you can help create a blockade, holding down the bridge connecting the two sides of Shanghai. Of course, your foes might have the same idea, and whoever wins the ensuing conflict will likely have control of both the bridge and skyscraper.
Secondly, you can choose to lock down what flags you already have and deny passage to C without having to do any heavy advancing on enemy territory. A wall of tanks on your side of the map make spawn trapping you a tall order, and provides a large distraction for enemy armor as well. Your big guns take the pressure off your smaller, nimbler vehicles, allowing them to move freely.
In a truck, you can also make a dash for the enemy’s home flags not long after they take them. With the proper timing, you’ll be all alone for a few moments and when the opposing team does realize your presence, they’ll be that much weaker near the middle points. One of the best tactics, especially if your team’s down a flag, is to try and take one the enemy doesn’t expect to lose. Whatever troops you pull off the frontal assault will ease the load on your teammates and can easily swing the tide of battle.
If you hopped in a chopper: The best helicopter pilots don’t just attack or transport. Even in a Hind or Apache, sometimes dropping somebody off is more beneficial than murdering everything you see. Plus, more of your squad gets to be the gunner/pilot of a falling, pilotless steel beast.
In a transport heli, your goal should always be getting teammates to unexpected yet beneficial places around the map. Shangai is covered with tall buildings that can act as staging areas, so use them. The skyscraper at C is not the only place to parachute from, and if you can get a nice setup on some otherwise unexpected roof, do so.