As the Beta wound down, DICE gifted us with the new Obliteration game mode, possibly their most chaotic yet. There is a very specific set of tactics to use on the Siege of Shanghai map, though like the name “Obliteration” entails, sometimes you just gotta go crazy.
Leave the tower standing
The first, and most important facet of keeping Obliteration playable on Siege of Shanghai is to leave the skyscraper standing. Contrary to the rest of my Conquest Large strategy (which is coming up in the near future), the skyscraper in this new mode is a stabilizing influence rather than campfest. Without a Conquest flag giving reason to stay on the roof, few people tend to congregate there. Granted, one of the bomb’s spawn points is at the top of the tower, but the first person to grab it usually jumps off towards their objectives.
In Obliteration, then, the skyscraper acts as was intended, a staging area for assault on points below, not an objective in itself. It can be a good place to catch a breather or repair a damaged chopper, plan a cool looking base jump, or recon the battlefield below. Tasks accomplished, few players deign to stay at the highest point on the map when much of the work gets done ground level, and there’s only so much one can do from five hundred feet up.
The last and most important reason to leave the skyscraper in one piece is to avoid the clusterfuck the debris field becomes when/if the bomb ends up in it. Anyone with eyes (or even just one) can easily see everything that goes on atop the dust mound, from the water to the ruined cinder blocks. Moreover, the lure of free swimmer kills means getting the bomb off the debris is next to impossible. Few are those players who think to spawn in a jetski and pick up their teammates. Fewer still are those chopper pilots willing to brave the firing line to give the poor bomb a lift out of the dust. Prepare to hear perpetual spam of “Bomb dropped” and “We have the bomb.”
Of course, the above is easily avoidable if no one takes down the skyscraper. By the beta’s end, with everyone having seen the thing collapse a million times, such an eventuality was not uncommon. It’s a good idea, therefore, to avoid Obliteration on Siege for the first few weeks of the final game. Main reason? All the new players who haven’t seen it come down will try their darnedest to take it down, and then the clusterfuck happens all over again. Granted again, there are more ways of bomb exfiltration and anti-air protection in this final release of Battlefield 4, but the advice stands.
Never stop pushing
Much like the Rush game mode on which it’s based, Obliteration is all about momentum and momentum shifts. The games, which have a 20 minute time limit, can either run the clock’s full course or end in a matter of moments. The difference between those two often comes down to which team gets going faster.
The best way to swing momentum in your team’s favor is simple: get the bomb first, and get it into the enemy’s base. As the bomb’s initial spawn is somewhat random – either atop the tower or somewhere directly between both sides – your first goal should be getting to the middle as fast as possible. The choice between ground and air is an important one. Taking a car, APC, or tank won’t be the most direct route, but it is degrees safer than a helicopter. First, you don’t have to parachute out of a land vehicle, nor are you under as severe a threat of missile lock on. Oh there are plenty of rockets people can send your way, but equally as many ways of avoiding them.
By contrast, air support can move the bomb much quicker and more directly to the best bombsite, and it denies soldiers on the ground direct access to the bomb carrier regardless of what they do. Certainly, it’s an easy enough task take out a helicopter with a Stinger or a locked RPG, but even if the bomb carrier dies, the bomb ends up in an awkward location – usually to one side’s benefit.
Regardless of how you arrive at the initial bomb spawn, assuming you take control of it, your objective should be pushing as deep into enemy territory as is possible. You’ll scatter the enemy forces and give yourself a firm foothold near their bomb sites. Don’t let your team get pinched between enemy fronts, and if try to keep a nice line back to the middle, where the bomb will respawn. Overzealous teammates might try to push all the way into the opposing spawn. Let them. They’ll provide a distraction for a few enemy players, taking some heat off the main force.
As the timer ticks down on the first objective, start making your way back to the center. Play the second bomb same as the first, and if possible, take out the objective nearest the enemy spawn. Leaving that one for last creates major issues in the final minutes, as you’ll be facing a constant barrage of enemy players and their armor.
For the final bomb, assuming it’s not the one close to the opposing spawn, you’ve got more work to do. The bomb spawns much nearer your base, and both teams will be gunning for it. If you choose to, allow the enemy a single objective, as that’ll push the bomb closer to the middle. To best keep momentum up, however, before the second objective explodes, try to have some of your team head back to your side of the map. Sending a helicopter would be preferable. On its spawn, pick up the bomb and airlift it across the water, or whichever way you can manage. Swarm the final point with everything you have, sending a small squad of four or five in to arm the bomb, supported on all sides.
When you’re on the defensive
As sometimes happens, you find yourself on a team that’s less than stellar and are on the back foot from the start. While there are occasions when it’s almost impossible to pull a team up with your skills alone, there are a few ways to pull more of their weight for them.
First, put on your favorite kit. I don’t mean the fun one. I mean the one you know will bring you success. It doesn’t matter if you’re using the most overpowered weapon in the game or that you aren’t playing a traditional “team player” role. You know how to get results, and if you have to do the work yourself, do so. Be sneaky, be aggressive, be fast. When you’ve got the bomb, take unusual routes, call for an airlift even if you know you won’t get one. Know that you will fail again and again, but put the enemy on their guard whenever they see you coming. Make them know that, if you lead the charge, they’ll need to change their tactics.
Second, if you can’t get your hands on the bomb, give him every bit of support you possibly can. Get in a tank and be mobile cover. Even if you’re not great with a chopper but no one’s in one, give him an airlift. Honk the horn at him until his ears bleed, and if he doesn’t get the hint, just mow down everything that comes his way. No vehicles available? Run as cover fire. Clear out rooms ahead of him, be a human shield, whatever you can do to get the bomb to the objective. If he drops it nearby, by all means pick it up and haul ass, referring to the above point.
Third, know when you’re beat. Don’t immediately go to this point, of course. Try your brains out to avoid it, as giving up is worse than losing. But if you can tell that your teammates have the collective intelligence of a tree stump, who are they to dictate how and why you play? In these cases, you can let the game end quickly, forgetting the objective and doing your own thing. Oh, there’ll be flame in the chat. Hax will be called, slurs will be thrown, but at that point all you can really do is laugh from your place at the top of the leaderboard. Sometimes the only victories are the small ones, and they’re the best kind.