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The Territory Tier

For Territory Tiers, the Game Type defines, and the Play List Maps all utilize, both an Alpha Objective and a Bravo Objective. As mentioned in the previous lesson, combined with six Teams, Dual Territory Objectives facilitates for the Invaders' divide and conquer strategies to overcome a superior defensive position with a numerical advantage. The success of this strategy is dependent upon outwitting the Defender Middle Team by getting them to move toward the wrong Objective.

The Play List Maps combine a number of design decisions that together yield one very important Game Element - that a Defender is forced to abandon one Objective Site to save the other. The distance between the Objectives, the lack of LOS between the Objectives, the lack of camping spots overseeing both Objectives, the Middle Team moving between the Objectives, etc. - all of these are used to create that one Game Element.

So what distance should you use to separate the Objectives from each other? Well, if the Objectives are two steps apart, the Defenders are defending both simultaneously. And if they are 30 seconds apart, no Defender will leave his post to try to save the other Objective, since it would be impossible. Clearly the distance is somewhere in between.

A quick look at the Play List Maps demonstrate distances between 20 and 32 steps apart (to put things into perspective, one Sprint is 18 steps, and two Evades is 12 steps). But a better approach is to measure the distance in time.

Imagine if the Float Time did not exist. Once Alpha's clock time were reduced to 1 or 2 seconds, the Defenders would pile up on Alpha with the expectation to rush to Bravo if necessary; the Invaders would likewise just throw their bodies into Alpha and hope for the best; and the game play would degenerate into BTB style for the remainder of the Tier.

The Float Time exists to reestablish for the Defender the legitimacy of the proposition of abandoning one Objective to save the other upon successfully repelling an Offensive Push. So it stands to reason that the trek time between Objectives should be within the Float Time. This will to some degree depend upon the terrain, the Defender's Species, other factors from your map, and the Tier in question (i.e., the presence of vehicles in Tier 2 can become a factor).

It is when such a credible proposition exists coupled with no time to think through the consequences that the Defender must make an instant decision that can make or break the Tier for his team. This is EXACTLY the decision you want your map to force upon Defenders.

Along this same line of thought, it is usually healthy to give the Defender a partial view of one Objective Site from the other, to give him a more intense desire to protect the Objective Site at all costs, to give him the sense that "it isn't too far away..." and tempt him into an action that he might not otherwise choose - abandond the Objective Site he is currently at.

In and around the Objective Sites, the Defender may be tempted to chase the Invader when the Invader is falling back to spawn his Battle Buddy. When this occurs, you may wish to penalize the Defender by making him walk a lengthy path back to his Objective. In other words, extend the choice of abandoning his Objective, not to save the other Objective, but to chase the Invader as the Invader flees. This adds fun for the expert shooter who feels the risk is worth abandoning his post for the extra kill, while it allows the less profecient shooter the choice of remaining back at the Objective to begin setting up for another Offensive Push. Making your map fun for a wider range of player skill adds to the overall fun factor.

Finally, the Defenders enjoy superior defensive positions. But these power positions do not include the Objectives, lest the Defenders then camp the Objectives themselves. And, as with any power position, they must not be too powerful that they cannot be disarmed. There should be at least one reasonable path that the Invaders can take to bring down a Defender from such a power position.


Force the Defender to abandon one Objective to save the other (or to give chase to the Invader falling back); and make this proposition both legitimate and tempting.

Measure the distance between Objectives in time, rather than Sprints, Evades, or steps; and keep it below the Float Time.

Do not position Objectives in power positions, but make sure that there are power positions to give the Defense an edge.