|Battle on the Dunes Specs|
|Mercantile Guild vs. Fjord Baronies|
|Wind Strength:||no wind|
|Modes:||2v2, 3v3, 4v4|
|Related Map:||Desert Scrap|
Sandstorms in the center of the map move to East direction.
|“||The twin oasis cities of Nalm and Sylka have been at war ever since the wandering nomads of the Dunes captured the Nalm oasis and sent its former inhabitants fleeing to Sylka for refuge. For generations, the stretch of sand between them has been a battlefield, as the Sylkans try to reclaim their heritage and the Nalmese try to defend their home.||”|
Battle on the Dunes (commonly just shortened to "Dunes") is a large, desert map. Blue spawns on the North side, close to a rusted warship, and Red spawns on the South side, close to the entrance of "The Ribs", a set of wreckage forming a large structure on the Eastern side of the map. Both teams would have clear views of each other right from the start if not for the rolling cloud bank and dust storm that occupies the center of the map. The Western side of the map is dominated by the Leviathan, a massive crashed airship.
There are two huge propellers in the sand: one in the North, close to the Leviathan, and one far in the South, close to a red spawn point that can be used as small cover on this wide and open map. It is also possible to use different dunes of varying altitudes on the ground as cover. In the center of the map where sandstorms are rolling through is the top of a dune across half the map from The Leviathan to The Ribs with lower ground to the North and South that can be used as cover, especially against Mercury Field Guns which have very limited down arcs.
The Blue spawn contains a rusted warship in the North East which is tall enough to be ducked behind for cover or hiding, even by the tallest ships. There is also a propeller in the North, close to the Leviathan, that can be either used to attack blue spawn quite close out of cover, or to defend attackers coming from the Leviathan or sandstorm area. The warship can be used defensively to hold off ships coming from The Ribs or the West of Blue spawn, or can be used offensively to attack Blue spawn from the West, using the ribs, sandstorm and then the warship as cover points.
The Red team does not get the advantage of a large piece of scenery close by for cover, trading it instead for fast access to the wreckage on the East side of the map, The Ribs, which provide excellent cover and a fast path to the warship. In the centre, in the South is another propeller that can be used as the last defensive point in the open area, or to flank Red spawn coming over The Ribs and then going low with dune cover behind the big engine.
Western Corridor and Leviathan (ABC3 to ABC7)Edit
Both teams will enjoy excellent cover to mask a flanking approach through this corridor. Clouds cover the entrances, while the Leviathan in the middle of the corridor provides a physical obstruction. The desert floor near the Leviathan is littered with wreckage that can be used for cover in a pinch, but is otherwise clear. Unfortunately there is still a lot of open space to the center area of both spawns where teams usually form up, making this route generally underused.
Map Center and Dust StormEdit
The major feature on Dunes is the roiling dust storm that rolls West to East through the dead center of the map. Aside from blocking each team's vision of each other, it has a similar effect to tar cloud damage to the ship's weapons and engines over time, but with only moderate damage. Additionally, it severely obstructs vision; both when looking into the cloud, or being enveloped by it. A Beacon Flare Gun to light up clouds is recommended if fights are likely to happen in this area.
However, the dust storm actually cycles through periods of regular clouds and no clouds at all. Additionally, the dust cloud can be dodged by outrunning it on its Eastern edge, dodging it on its Western tail, or ducking underneath it by skimming low to the dunes.
The terrain in this part of the map consists of low dunes that are just high enough to hide a airship.
Eastern Corridor (IJ4 to IJ7)Edit
This is a completely clear corridor that can be used to move quickly from one end of the map to the other. Cover is provided by the neighboring ribs, but only from a sideways angle: ships have clear firing lines up and down this corridor. Airships pressed for time but unwilling to charge through the dust storm can use this path. Like the Western Corridor this part of the map is generally not used often.
The Ribs (F2 to H5)Edit
The metal skeleton of some kind of massive airship forms an area with plenty of cover from long-range weapons. Tall wreckage can be found all over the desert floor here, making for difficult navigation if pilots choose to fly close to the ground. All pilots should be aware of the wreckage while brawling to avoid a collision that completely throws the ship off course. However, there is enough space to duck in between individual ribs.
Common Tactics Edit
The map is commonly used for long range engagements. Mercury Field Gun, Artemis Light Rocket Launcher and the more advanced Hades Light Cannon and Lumberjack Heavy Mortar are the most commonly used long range weapons on this map. Close range fights happen as well, usually with less experienced captains but require some tactics if flown against snipers.
Sniping quite often takes place in the center, to the North and South of the dust storm area. The elevated dune in the center provides cover close to the ground, especially against Mercuries which have very limited down arcs. The warship in the North East and Ribs in the east are the commonly used hard cover positions.
Ships with longer range weapons like Junker and Pyramidion are quite commonly seen on this map, especially Mobulas (utilising Mercury or Hades atop, and Artemis on both sides). Galleons usually have a hard time to keep the heavy weapons up against very precise Mercury and Artemis fire, there are not many positions to take cover, and there is often an inability to control engagement at range with all heavy guns only on the side.
Even though the map is quite open, ships with close range weapons still find their place on this map. Cover positions mentioned in the Layout section allow fast ships like Squid and Goldfish to get close without easily taking damage.