The Battle for Gilneas is one of three new PvP battlegrounds introduced in Cataclysm. It is a relatively straightforward 10v10 resource match between the Horde and Alliance, set in the wonderfully gloomy atmosphere of Gilneas. There are three nodes to control – the Lighthouse (LH), Waterworks (WW), and Mine – and each node generates resources for your side. Each node has a flag you need to click and channel for a few seconds to capture. The more nodes you control, the faster your team gains resources. First team to 2000 resources wins.
If this sounds like a 10-man, 3-node Arathi Basin, well, that’s because it is. This is a half-court AB, designed to be fast and engaging.
Let’s take a look at the topology of the battleground.
If you haven’t seen one of my topological maps before, I go into a lot more detail in their original post, but the general idea is to only present the logical flow between objectives. Large circles are capturable nodes, small filled in circles are graveyards, and colored circles are graveyards which do not change control. Squares are important locations, but non-capturable. Terrain is pretty much ignored.
Looking at the map, calling BfG “a half-court AB” isn’t really a joke – it’s the AB map cut in half, with the Blacksmith removed. The three nodes are arranged in a rough triangle, with the Overlook in the center. Capture two of the nodes and hold them to win. Any two will do.
The Overlook is one of the more interesting elements of the Battle for Gilneas. It has no flag, no resources – but you can see every single node from it. This is something that sets BfG apart from AB – the ability to actually see every flag from a single point. In AB, at least two nodes are always hidden from sight from the absolute best vantage points (Farm, Lumber Mill, Stables). Not so from the Overlook. There is a tactical advantage to holding this spot, though it comes at the cost of not fighting near a flag.
The flow of this battleground is, thankfully, very linear. You are fighting within a triangle to capture nodes at each point. In the center is a vantage point that lets you see what is going on, but ultimately you will shift your team around the triangle.
The terrain in this battleground is really well done. While the flow of the battle is deceptively simple, the terrain is varied and forces you to become acquainted with the numerous choke points and obstacles between each node. A river cuts through the southern part of the map, encircling the Waterworks, but is not a huge impediment. The area around the Overlook is full of gullies and ridges, perfect for funneling your opponents into traps and area of effect spells.
Like with any other battleground, I encourage you to just run around on the map and see what it’s like. You can experience it without the thrill of combat using the new War Games feature.
WINNING THE BATTLE FOR GILNEAS
I am absolutely serious about this: you want to win, fight at the flag.
I am amazed at how many people I see who have apparently forgotten how to fight at the flag in my short time in this battleground. The attackers let themselves get pushed away, intercepted before they ever come close to capping the node. The defenders let themselves get lured away down the road to the Overlook, until half the team is fighting over a piece of land that only has intelligence value, while the node gets capped behind them.
That kind of behavior doesn’t fly in Arathi Basin, and it won’t fly in Gilneas, either.
Get to know the terrain. If you’re attacking, use the buildings around the various nodes to mask your approach. Approaching from the Water Works seems to have more cover than the Overlook. Get between the flag and the graveyard and force the defense away from the flag. Make it so the rezzing defenders have to go through you to get back to the node.
Defense, intercept them away from the flag, but then fall back and do not chase. Don’t get caught up in the thrill of it all and let them sneak around to cap the undefended node.
Reinforcements arrive quickly in BfG, so call out incomings early, often, and as accurately as you can.
If this all sounds like the strategy for Arathi Basin, well, that’s because it’s the same strategy. First to 2000 points wins, after all! The smaller team and map size makes for some pretty intense fights around the flags, with everyone having to contribute to succeed. But it’s basically the same game.
I like the Battle for Gilneas. It’s taken many of the good qualities of Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch and combined them into a fun game. It fills out the 10v10 bracket nicely, a nice addition to the smaller format that formerly was limited to Warsong Gulch. The rules are familiar, but the map is all different, which makes for an interesting and fun experience.
Just remember – fight at the flag!