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Map of the Week #3 - Markon Bridge

By Birk - 3rd March 2011 - 17:48 PM

Markon’s Bridge

Another small and rarely played map, Markon’s Bridge is similar to Spring Duel in many aspects. Most of the fighting occurs on the bridge for which the map is named after. Therefore, like Spring Duel, there is not much maneuvering that can be done; less so, since the bridge is narrower than the valley on Spring Duel. This map was removed from the ranked 1v1 rotation due to the fact that the Illuminate has a significant advantage on this map. Since the Illuminate army can hover, they are not restrained to fighting only on the bridge.

Build Orders
Opening with a three factory build is, like Spring Duel, the best option. However, note that this build order is slightly different.

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This Build order allows for an early radar that will give you coverage across the bridge to the other side. However, it forgoes an immediate sixth Mass Extractor. Therefore, the next building you will want to build is a Mass Extractor (you may pause a factory for a few seconds to quickly gain the needed resources). Also, building a third Power Generator by the three minute mark is necessary.

If you wish to open with an air factory, use this build order.
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The build order forgos a radar because you will be able to scout with your airplanes. It is necessary to build a second land factory once the resources are available with this build order so that the bridge can be held.

With these build orders, build the first factory at the spawn point, but move your ACU to the start of the bridge and build the rest of the factories there. This decreases the travel time for your reinforcements as well as grants the possibly of better utilizing the factory addons (like anti air and shields) to further assist your army.

Unlike Spring Duel, there are more mass extractors to support your war machine on this map. Expanding to these and building at least a 4th factory is required. There are enough mass extractors to support a 5th as well; however, some players opt to build a few research stations and save up for an experimental.

When playing as the Cybran or UEF against the Illuminate building a navy is not the best idea. There is no room for your ships to maneuver and they will be cut to ribbons my Illuminate tanks. On this map, building a navy is an investment similar to an experimental and should be treated as such; not to be built too soon or too late. A cruiser is a valuable weapon due to its ability to strike at your enemy’s economy with impunity. Cybran destroyers with the L.E.G.S. upgrade make excellent raiding tools as well and are able to transition easily from side of the bridge to the other. If you can get a battleship constructed as either faction, it is pretty much game over for your opponent. However, by investing in navy, you detract from your land force and risk getting overrun on the bridge.

Building air on this map is risky and tricky. Trading air at the expense of land units means that you will have to be defensive at the bridge and really careful with your bombers or gunships. Opening with an air factory is a little more practical when playing against Aeon because you will be able to (and need to) stop Mobile Missile Launchers from sniping your from the water. Also, Factory AA or even an AA turret can go a long way to discouraging air units.

Experimentals are quite possible on this map, but rushing experimentals isn’t. For UEF and Cybran Mirrors, and sometimes even UEF vs Cybran, an experimental is needed to break through your opponent’s line. With pure tank spam, the defender has the advantage every time and will fare better than the attacker. I cannot give you a golden moment as to when you are to build an experimental. It takes experience to know when the best time is. Build it too soon and you risk getting overrun by tanks. Build it too late, and your opponent may already have an experimental of his own.

Research Paths

When facing off against an opponent of equal skill, a UEF player will need an experimental in order to break the stalemate on the bridge and gain an advantage. As mentioned before, players should take caution as to when they begin production of the experimental. But the research path to Fatboys is...
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Players are not limited to directly teching towards Fatboys; some players opt to tech Training 1 after the Demolishers but before the Fatboy.

As on Spring Duel, Cybran players can have a lot of problems on this map due to their lack of tanks. Cybran players should build a mix of Brackmans and Loyalists while researching either the megalith or the nanogun on the ACU.
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There is a third option Cybran players can choose that can catch an unprepared player with their pants down, especially if they do not scout. It is a naval rush. The build order is similar to the one given earlier in this guide, but it has two factories instead of three. The first factory built is the naval factory and the second is a land factory near the bridge. The research path is simply the following...
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This only takes 7 research points (and remember you start with 5) and will allow you to hammer their economy with ease.
Note: This is NOT to be used against Illuminate players, your destroyers will not be able to stand up to their tanks.

The Aeon Illuminate almost always will win on this map unless they are facing a far superior opponent. This stems from the fact that they are not restricted to movement across the bridge and are able to strike their opponent from the safety of the ocean. Illuminate mirrors, however, can get very interesting.
There are multiple research paths available for the Illuminate, but only four will be explained for this guide.
One is the Shotja(DLC unit) rush
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For use on the bridge and backed up by a Point Defense and tanks, Shotjas are able to do tons of damage to your opponent from a large range while you send some mobile missile launchers and tanks across the water to strike at their economy.

Another research path is teching to Teleport
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This research path dramatically increases the survivability of your tanks and, if your opponent somehow gets an experimental up, the teleport ability will make short work of it.

A third research path is teching your ACU to Overcharge.
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Use your ACU to plant Long Range Point Defenses and push with it and your tanks across the bridge. Also, dont forget to send some units around in the water as well. This strategy is effective in quickly overwhelming your opponent for a quick victory by relying on the advanced range of Aeon Point Defense (compared to the Cybran and UEF equivalent). This strategy is much more difficult against another Aeon player and it is better to use one of the first two research paths when playing an aeon mirror.

Finally, for Aeon mirror games only, teching to Urchinow is extremely viable and can catch your opponent off guard. Especially if you send it across the water instead of the bridge.
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Using your ACU offensively, especially in the first few engagements is once again a must on this map. Gaining a numbers advantage is critical on this map. Keep an eye out for tricks. Naval Strikes, transport drops, and air strikes are all possible on this map. However, unless firmly entrenched in the mid game, it means that you have more land units than them and can make a push toward their end of the bridge. Finally, as I mentioned earlier, the Aeon have a distinct advantage on this map with the ability to send Mobile Missile Launchers out onto the water and snipe your buildings, or send a modest land force to open a second front and split your army. Finally, UEF and Cybran players should not forget ground-fire with their mobile artillery because it is exceptionally useful when it comes to holding the bridge.