The September Recap showed off a decent bit of content, but the most interesting thing for many players was probably the reveal of what is dubbed ‘Territory Control.’ In this game mode the cap zones are the entire map, divided into hexagons Civilization style. Some people in the competitive community are convinced this is the way of the future and some believe that 24 man AAS will hold strong.
Some Pros and Cons on 24 man AAS
AAS allows a lower player count of entry than other game modes such as PAAS or the formerly mentioned Territory Control. This gives newer teams an easier path to begin playing competitive games. Combat is also often focused on objectives in AAS creating large combat scenarios for the admin cam to capture, even in 24 man.
The wireframes to cap zones are arbitrary. You are forced to pile people into objectives in order to contest them and then it becomes an HE race within that zone or on the edges to kill and prevent new enemies from entering the wire frame. Practically piling up bodies for the GLs and Mortars.
It makes little tactical and logical sense to have wireframes as objectives, but it has been good to us during the alpha phase of Squad. When both teams are fairly even the game can turn into whack-a-mole from a tactical perspective. You push players to one place and both teams cap their attack objectives, or you destroy one HAB so the enemy team then floods the previous objective, resulting in yet another stalemate. New players also seem to take a while to grasp how to effectively manage forces between attack and defense objectives since it is not a particularly logical or intuitive method. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed many, many, hours of AAS, simply trying to put it into perspective.
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Some Pros and Cons on Territory Control
Some maps like Chora could certainly work with a lower player count but maps like Gorodok and Yehorivka will need far more than 24 players to have an interesting amount of combat. One solution here may to be to make actual layers of hexagonal areas for each map that does not include every bit of terrain. If the hexagons do not cover the whole map and can scale in size, this is certainly a possibility. See the pictures below for some quick mock ups of possibilities in dividing Kohat. This could help limit a huge player jump from 24 while fostering near endless replayability. This game mode also has a high possibility to create a more authentic experience for people seeking something more milsim without the clunkiness and lackluster base game pvp of the Arma series.
Territory Control has the potential to be a game-changer for competitive and casual Squad, but we can be sure that if nothing else there will be many heated discussions in the ISKT Discord #debate_club as details seep out of OWI HQ in Vancouver. With the recent staff increase at OWI and the near completion of a couple of core gameplay mechanics, we might be able to hold out hope that some of these content teasers reach us sooner rather than later. Speaking of hiring, I believe OWI is around 40+ now, so when will we see Team OWI in ISKT-Open?