Afflicted Arena Map Guide (South Side)
The southern axis is much more crowded than the northern simply due to the terrain. The central cannon is ludicrously important and thanks to the narrow combat zones it has plenty of opportunity to wreak carnage on its enemies, whoever they are. So take the Cannon as fast as possible. Ignore the node you go through to get there and get set up at the cannon before the other guy. Whoever takes the Cannon has the initiative on the southern axis and taking it back from a dug in enemy requires a lot of resources. The southern axis has less stuff in it than the northern, but is arguably more important due to the presence of the south blue drop nearby and the fact that if victorious you are taking an enemy node rather than a neutral node. Get in as quick as you can and take the Cannon. If you can't have it, don't let them have it. This is an ugly arm wrestle with very little in the way of finesse, but the value of the objective is far too high to let go off. Without it you are on the back foot, and you will need a lot of help to get it back.
That said, there are other issues in the south. Taking your safe green drop is probably a task for the southern forces thanks to its latitude, and the southern blue drop is definitely your problem, while the central blue drop might be as well. The only thing of value in the extreme south is the Blue Tiberium Drop. The mutant hovel is also fairly far south so consider taking it with your engineers wandering around the back field picking up your safe drop. Depending on the forces you are up against, the mutants can be very useful, with stuff like visceroids cheap and expendable blast damage while scrapbuses provide a large unit with lots and lots of gun damage if you are fighting against a lot of Light Units. Always keep them in consideration.
Once you've taken the central cannon, push towards their node. The cannon can cover your back and make life very difficult for your enemies, and don't be afraid to fall back to it if you're in trouble. They will have a lot of trouble actually pushing for the cannon itself, so you can plant your crawler at the edge of its radius and push from there. If nothing else you can prevent them attacking your own node, but your real mission here is to take that node from them, and just like before, there isn't any finesse to it. Batter them into submission and then take and hold the node. Remember to keep taking the drops as this is going on. Once you have their node, you can either spawn camp or attack their safe node. There are some base defenses between you and their safe node, so it takes a bit of work to get there, but if you've gotten this far they won't do anything without a player supporting the defenses. More often, you might be forced to spawn camp as they keep trying to retake their node, because in the south once you have lost your node there isn't much else to do but take it back.
If you're the guy who lost the central cannon, keep trying to take it back. When they have advanced, you can try to use units with cliff-jumping or burrowing to move outside of the lanes and capture the cannon while their forces are forward of it. If successful they will be caught between hammer and anvil and you can push back. This won't always work and your enemy won't always be so kind as to overextend their forces, and in this case there isn't much you can do except try to ensure that their advantage isn't turned into victory. Although the cannon is a crushing advantage, it in no way ensures that they will take the southern axis, so do not lose hope. The route from the southern blue drop to your spawn zone does not go through the main combat zones so you can lose the cannon and still keep getting the south blue drops, and you'll need the tech advantage to push them back when under fire. Your southern node is the Alamo and you cannot let it fall, or else you will be spawn camped. If you are, there aren't a lot of options. You can keep trying for your node and cannon, especially if they are going for your safe node, and cut them off behind your lines, or you can move to try to take the northern axis. Only do this if you have harvested enough Tiberium, because the south is richer than the north. But if you have got all the Tiberium you think you need, feel free to join the northern front and hold the top three nodes against their southern two.
Ironbacks jumping on the enemy
Insofar as team mixes go, I'd go for a fairly standard two defense, two offense and one support. One defense/offense team takes the north while the other three go for the south. Defense makes holding ground much easier, and especially in the south fortifying around the cannon can make the position almost impenetrable. Support is very useful in the south due to its immunity to the cannon and being able to move through the crowded canyons without getting caught on enemy and friendly units. Offense provides speed and capping power to the mix, especially with stuff like bulldogs and raiders to take the contested drops, and can get to the objective point and take it faster than anyone else. Once, however, your team has achieved what it needs to with tech, the south no longer has priority, so feel free to shift forces away from that ugly fight. It can be difficult to deploy your crawler in the south, and for defense players this also means that you might have trouble putting up defenses, so be careful.
In this guide we will be providing you with the basic strategies to achieve success on this map. To keep it simple it is written from one team's perspective only (GDI), but as the map is a mirror, the same strategies apply to Nod (although the zones and directions will need to be flipped).
This is not a must follow strategy, this tip is made to give an idea on what elements people have to focus when following a specific tactic on a map, we encourage people to use variations in tactics but do pay attention to all aspects described in the tactics provided in this tip.
Special thanks goes to:
Core text written by Hallucinated
, screenshots taken by Noodlesocks
, Proof-reading done by Destructo
Guide edited and finalized by Incia