Welcome to Altis
The experience of fighting in Arma owes a lot to the terrain. The war sim’s style of sandboxy, undirected combat means that skirmishing in Chernarus, helicoptering through barren Takistan, or sneaking through the jungles of Lingor each have a distinct personality that arises from the contour and color of the landscape.
It’s a big deal, then, when Bohemia drops the biggest, densest Arma map that’s ever mapped. The Czech studio just patched Altis into the development build of the Arma 3 beta on Steam. I’ve taken a moment to swoop around in Arma 3’s new Splendid Camera mode and bookmark some spots that I find tactically exciting.
This ruined coastal castle is the prime overwatch position for Kavala, the biggest, densest city on Altis. I love the idea of a city assault spearheaded here via a stealthy scuba landing at night.
Kastro Castle and Kavala
Altis' largest city and its ancient castle peninsula from above.
Altis International Airport Terminal
The terminal building has the biggest indoor footprint of any structure on Altis. It also, as it might’ve been in Arma 2, isn’t a single-floor building—an interior stairway leads to a small second floor and roof access. Any attack or defense of the airfield (Altis’ largest) is going to involve this landmark.
The patches of dense, 20-foot-high grass dotting Altis are one of the most exciting additions. Without thermal optics, you’re undetectable inside it, and I love the prospect of nesting vehicles or heavy weapons in the stuff to ambush convoys.
Anthrakia power plant
I’m absurdly happy about all the multi-floor structures I’m seeing in Arma 3, which I’m expecting to make static base defense (in combination with the game’s new stance adjustments system) much more viable and fun. This power tower at the tip of Pyrgos Gulf is the closest thing to a skyscraper in Altis.
Pyrgos research base
Northeast up the road from Pyrgos (Altis’ second-largest city) I found this cozy outpost. Again, the addition of multi-floor structures like these guard towers means defenders should have more options for where to post up when under fire. The research dome is a cool centerpiece for something like a VIP rescue or item retrieval mission.
Pulling in water from the central east coast of Altis, this wetland is about a square kilometer in area. It’s overgrown with Arma 3’s new tall grass.
Altis’ northwestern quadrant is its most mountainous, and towering above most of it is this exposed keep that overlooks Oreokastro. I love the image of hails of messy machinegun fire exchanging at sundown between these two sites, which are separated by about 550 meters.
A half-kilometer-wide isthmus connects the southern peninsula with the mainland. Getting a vehicle column through this narrow passage against an entrenched enemy seems like it’d be a lot of fun.
This east-west-running factory between Negades and Kore wouldn’t be out of place as a conventional FPS map—it’s dense with rusted debris and nearly all of it is enterable.
A quarter-click off the southeastern edge of the southern peninsula rests Cap Makrinos. It’s a comparative pebble to the rest of Altis, but it’s big enough to host a lighthouse and these ruins.
The bay to the south of Katalaki seems like the perfect approach for an SDV to make a quiet incursion onto the town or the nearby major city Neochori. More than a dozen bays (and other smaller ones) around Altis provide similar approaches designed to accommodate Arma 3’s new swimming mechanics.
The rocky cluster has visibility of the highway circuit that connects the southern coast. It makes an interesting and valuable LZ; I’m looking forward to daring my helicopter pilot to drop us here.
The towns and bases inside Altis’ mainland rest mostly on flat land. Up in the northwestern part of the island, though, we find a few villages like Abdera clinging to cliffs. Abdera’s the perfect size for an asymmetrical raid mission, with the steep ground insulating the southwestern side from direct attack.