Return to Castle Wolfenstein: MP_Beach
The following document outlines some of the better strategies for playing both the Axis and the Allies on the RtCW multiplayer map, MP_Beach. The observations and advice come from several months of dedicated playing of this map, in a fashion that suggests the author has entirely too much free time. This document does not give general Wolfenstein advice, but rather sticks to specific tactics to employ on MP_Beach.
The goal of this map, for the Allied team, is to steal a set of war documents from the basement of a Axis foritifed position and transport them to the radio located on the top level of the castle. The Axis must prevent them from doing this.
The Allies are at a disadvantage on this map. To start, they have the burden of the offense -- on your typical Wolfenstein server, it is much harder to organize and execute a good offense, as opposed to a good defense. People usually default to good defensive positions, but rarely fall naturally into a good offensive pattern. In addition to this, the Allies must transport the war documents to the radio room, which is directly adjacent to the main Axis spawn point. Often, the Allied team must kill the same Axis player twice to win, while the Axis needs only kill the document-holding player (docrunner) once.
To compensate for this, the spawn times are often manipulated to give the Allied team a slight edge. The preset spawn times are 40 seconds for Axis, 30 seconds for Allies. This gives the Allies a reasonable certainty that they need only face each Axis soldier once. Often, server admins will set these values lower to increase the pace of the game, but this plays directy into the hands of the Axis, as they can reinforce their defensive positions much, much quicker than the Allies can reinforce their assault.
A common mistake Allied players make, in planting dynamite at either the bunker door or the sea wall, is to always toss the dynamite in the dead center of the target. This is often fatal, because Axis soldiers defending the wall know exactly where the engineer is kneeling, and as such can usually grenade them before they finish arming their dynamite. Instead, Allied engineers should aim to drop their dynamite at the extreme right or extreme left of the target (practice is required to find the exact range and still be effective) and then position themselves as far away from the center of the target as they arm the dynamite. This protects the engineer from grenades blindly tossed by the opposing side and almost always insures a clean plant.
An alternate strategy to immediately destroying the walls is to form a human pryamid and leap over them. This is most effectively done in the center of the wall, though it is easiest done at the Sea Wall Breech. Jumping at the Breech is a bad idea, as the Axis team naturally focuses their attention on that area in an attempt to kill Allied Engineers before they can plant dynamite. A wall jumper cannot take the Axis team alone -- this is a stealth maneuver. The center of the wall is the place least watched of the castle courtyard, and is thusly the best place to sneak over.
However, the wall at this point is lined with barbed wire, which will inflict a minimum of 50 points of damage to anyone jumping over. Because of this, only medics should attempt to jump over. After crossing the wire, the Allied medic should sprint (using the run key) immediately into the trench, as to hopefully avoid notice. He should then move through the lower bunker and down the radio stairs, and hopefully steal the documents and take them to the radio (via the radio stairs again) before the Axis has any idea of what is going on. Its important to note that an Axis soldier defending the courtyard does NOT have enough time to reach the radio room before the Allied player gets there from the radio room. As such, the only defense the Ally should encounter is from freshly-respawned Axis, and as such is largely a matter of luck.
The mid-wall jump is accomplished by a helpful Ally kneeling at the little rise right where the wall bends, while the jumping medic leaps onto his head, and then onto the wall and over the barbed wire. A well executed wall-jump victory comes in about 1:15, making it almost impossible for the Axis to beat in a stopwatch match.
Once the walls are down, the Axis typically occupies the War Room in force, to protect the documents. This is a very strong position for the Axis -- near their own spawn point and a good 40 seconds from the Allied spawn. The Allies only have suprise and initiative on their side, and both should be exploited to their fullest.
To start, there are four main positions that the Axis usually take up to defend the War Room. One Axis player is usually on each of the cabinets, one is usually kneeling just behind the lower staircase, boresighted on the documents, and one is usually at the bottom of the staircase, staring down the main entrenceway. There are, naturally, other positions, but these are the most frequently encountered.
There are only two really viable methods to clearing out the war room and stealing the documents. The first involves the Panzerfaust -- aimed either at the table either from the ducts (after popping out) or from the main entryway (from on top of the bed). A common mistake is to aim at the back wall. Do not do this. Most Axis avoid the back wall like the plague because so many people hit it with Panzerfaust shots, and hitting the wall only effects a small portion of the war room. A better shot is to hit the top of the table -- it spreads the explosion in a much wider radius, but is a more difficult shot to aim. An alternative to this is to hit the ceiling at any point. Shots to the ceiling effect both the upper and lower portions of the war room and are generally very effective.
The second method involves grenades. Grenades are beautiful weapons because they provide instant one-hit kills to any target, and every class has at least one. An important tip to remember is that you should never, ever just throw a grenade. You should always hold it for 3 or 4 seconds and THEN throw it, reducing your target's chances of dodging. This is very useful when assaulting the war room, because 90% of the time the Allied player knows exactly where the Axis are going to be. As such, he can pull the pin on his grenade while approaching the war room, and throw it without thought into any of the aformentioned areas, scoring a near-instant kill for a correct guess. Three competent people doing this in sucession can wipe out almost any war room defense.
Once you have taken the documents and are in relative safety, there is only one rule to remember: NEVER STAND STILL. When you have the documents, ammo is no longer a concern -- only health, and ideally the docrunner is a medic. To win, the docrunner needs only to touch the Radio, and it doesn't matter if he dies immediately after. The allies have the win. As such its important to show a good deal of guts with the documents -- you can often charge directly through three or four Axis soldiers and come out with enough life to reach the radio. A dashing Ally is a very fast target, and few people have good enough aim to inflect the requiste headshots needed to stop the determined docrunner. The biggest mistake Allied docrunners make is a overt reliance on an escort to see them to the Radio. If an Ally is standing still, waiting for an escort (or worse: ammo), the Axis are steadily narrowing down the places where he is hiding, and once he is discovered the entire opposing team will fall on him like a thunderstorm, and defeat is inevitable. In short -- the Allied docrunner is living on borrowed time. He has to make it to the Radio before enough Axis respawn to make his life miserable, and that should be his only thought.
And now, an exception to the above rule. On occasion, a lone Ally will find himself bereaved of his friends and in possesion of the documents at the very bottom of Axis territory. He knows that the Axis will soon be swarming over the basement, and has little faith of his ability to make it up either the Radio or the Back Stairways. So, in this position, the Ally should hide. Very few Axis players ever give a thought to the Basement Barracks -- that little,useless room off to the side of the war room. They work on the assumption that the Ally is never standing still, and as such would be foolish to stand in the middle of their clear territory. Exploit this by hiding in the corner (NOT behind the door! That position is easily seen by passing Axis) and waiting quietly for your sprint to recharge. If an Allied docrunner is not seen for a long enough period of time, the radio room defenders will assume that he is taking the longer, generally safer route along the Back Stair and shift their defense there. If the docrunner was, in fact, hiding in the Basement Barracks, he can easily slip behind them and into the radio room via the Radio Stairway, often scoring a quick win on the confused Axis. However this, like many Wolfenstein tricks, can only be played once before the opposing team catches on.
The first goal the Allied team must tackle is to plant dynamite to breech the walls. Unless the Axis posesses an exceptionally skilled Engineer, the Allied dynamite, once planted, is inviolate, and as such must be avoided from being planted in the first place.
A relatively easy(and popular) method to stop dynamite from being planted at the Sea Wall Door is for an Axis player to hide on the other side of the Door, and when he hears an Allied engineer drop dynamite, quickly runs to the bunker window and shoots the engineer. This is effective, but most competent Allies will be on guard against this and either snipe the unfortuante Axis player or grenade him. A much risker, but more effective tactic when used en masse, involves the Axis fighting directly on the beach, having jumped the wall either at the breech or over the top of the foward bunker. This can sucessfully break up Allied wall-jumping attempts, as well as take engineers by suprise. However, frame rates are usually much worse on the expansive beach, and as such fighting there is much more diffcult.
In 99% of all games, the Allies eventually breech the wall. A very common mistake the Axis makes at this point is to continue defending the courtyard. This is a mistake, as inevitably a skilled Allied player will slip through the Axis net and make it into the basement -- often as far as the war room and the documents while the Axis are still fighting outside. This leads to the majority of quick Allied wins. Instead, as soon as the Allies breech either the Sea Wall or the Door, the Axis should immediately fall back to the basement. It is not the most valient of tactics, but it by far more sound than engaging the Allied team in positions where you cannot defend the REAL goal.
Which brings me to another common Axis mistake -- obsession with the Foward Bunker. Taking the bunker from the Allied team adds perhaps 15 seconds to the Allied reinforce time. This can be signifigent, but much more signifigent is the removal of an Axis fighter from the basement to take the bunker. Anything that weakens the Axis defense in the basement must be avoided at all costs, and the cost of constantly expending a useful body in a useless position is far too high for the limited benifits reaped. Remember -- taking the bunker does not effect the Allied squad alread assaulting the war room, and it is them that you really must be worried about.
Once the walls fall, all the Axis team must do is endure. This means defense of the strongest points in the base, to insure that the weakest assault reaches the war room and the documents. There are several points, in particular, that should be taken into consideration.
Firstly, the staircases. To assault the war room, the Allies MUST use either the Back Staircase or the Radio Stair. These are very strong positions, as an Axis defender looking up can see (and hear -- very important) the Allied team approaching. In particular, if a Panzerfaust or a Flamethrower is stationed at the bottom of either staircase, many, many Allied fighters can be killed before they can reach the bottom. In addition, defense of the Back Staircase cuts of the ducts completely from Allied use, removing one of the main threats to the war room.
Secondly, 90% of all Axis defenses look exactly the same. The Allies have the initiative (they decide when and how to attack), and as such everything must be done to blunt the effect of the initiative. This includes first and foremost dispersing the Axis forces in a manner that the Allies are not prepared to meet. This means that Axis defenders should, above all else, be in positions the Allied attackers do not expect.
A popular method for this is to take up a position at the extreme back of the war room -- in the little office where the ducts let out. This renders the Axis soldier virtually immune to panzer/grenade attacks, but delays his response to an Allied breakthough by enough time for a quick Ally to escape with the documents without firing a shot.
A more thoughtful method is to take up a position directly outside the war room, either in the hallway at the bottom of the radio stairs or in the basement barracks. This abandons the war room for all practical purposes, but puts the initiative in the hands of the Axis, as a player in these areas are in perfect position to launch a counter-attack against an Allied assualt in the war room -- often coming from the a direction the Allied attackers least expect. By use of the 'lean' keys an Axis soldier can watch the Radio Stairway for incoming Allies and still retain the element of suprise.
A final tip to remember is that defense can only go so far. At some point, against a competent and agressive Allied team, the Axis must go on the offense. This means actively abandoning the war room in favor of the staircases or the upper base, suprising the Allied team at every turn and inflicting as many casualties as possible. However, this strategy often leads to destruction because of a failure to communicate amongst the Axis team. When an Ally breaks through, its extremely important that the entire team be notified of that fact, as to avoid a quick win via the Radio Stair. Under no circumstances should the Axis be fighting in the courtyard, for reasons stated above.
Once the war room defense has been wiped out and the documents stolen, good communication is key to beating the Allies back. Anyone who has the information should immediately broadcast (over team chat!) which staircase the Allied docrunner is using, so the Axis can concentrate their forces in that direction. Once the Allies have gotten the documents safely out of the war room, they have completed the hardest part of their assignment and it is now up to the Axis to actively prevent their win. One VITAL method to this is normally a breech of protocol on Wolfenstein servers -- the Axis must block the radio room doorways by standing in them. This puts up a temporary roadblock that a lone, charging docrunner often finds impossible to breech. Many times, the docrunner is not interested in killing the radio room defenders, but in bypassing them to hit the radio. As such, the docrunner simply has to be blocked to insure victory, and occupying the doorways is the best way to do this.