Company of Heroes Online: maps revealed
Hill 331, 3v3
I don't know what's going on at the other 330 hills, but I'm going to assume they're doing okay. Hill 331, however, is not
We've had the two different kinds of warfare with Angoville, and the segmented, strategic battle at Achelous river, but those maps can keep their fancy cross fire zones and urban warfare, this map has has something that those maps can never have: a bloody great big hill.
There's something reassuringly uncomplicated about this map. There's a huge mound in the middle with a victory point on top, well protected by rings of sturdy cover. To the east and west there are another couple of victory points, secreted away in narrow, forested areas.
As you might expect, whoever gets to the top of the hill first is going to have an easier time of things. There's tons of cover and just enough room to sneak a Halftrack in next to the point, which can be used to mow down enemy infantry charges and reinforce entrenched heavy machine gunners. Engineers with flamers manning the outer rings will do terrible things to enemy squads trying to charge up the hill. For attackers, long range mortar bombardments and bombing runs are the best way to shake loose enemy forces.
The eastern and western victory points have very similar layouts, the tree lines presenting narrow corridors of entry to the clearing the holds the Victory point. There are a few scraps of cover in the form of toppled tree trunks and the like, but the area is by no means secure. A good way to defend the points is to flank enemies as they enter the forest.
Final point of interest, there's a large road that runs around the base of the hill that's mostly can't be seen from the top of the hill, so AT guns you station there won't be able to take care of enemy armour charging to attack the eastern and western points. Mine the roads to give your foe a nasty surprise.
Route N13, 4v4
Route number 13, unlucky for everybody. This huge 8 player meat grinder of a map is so violent and intense that finishing it makes me want to go and lie down somewhere quiet for a while.
What's so terrifying about this map, you ask? Well, let's see. There's the long highway of doom that draws a straight line from the four Allied generals to the four Axis generals, and right in the middle there's the tiny square of doom, containing a cruelly placed victory point. Matches on Route N13 often see both sides throwing everything at the central point for half an hour in a horrifying, hour long war of attrition. There are a few buildings just south of the victory point that make a great forward base. Given the number of casualties likely to occur in the central area, it's useful to have a medical station hidden nearby. Given enough time, medics will drag wounded troops off the field and throw them back into battle as fully formed squads.
Then, heading south west, there's the gloomy swamp (of doom). The key philosophy for defenders here is “if they want this victory point so bad, they can damn well swim for it!” Having heavy machine gunners cover the approaching land bridges or, even better, wiring them off with barbed wire, will force attackers into the swamp water where they'll move at reduced speed and are so exposed they'll count as being in negative cover. It's not all happiness and sunshine for swamp defenders, though. There's no cover at all out there, so structures and DIY defences are the key to survival. Axis bunkers are the perfect way to guard the southern victory point.
Finally to the north east, at the top of a steep incline, we have the pleasant suburban mansion … of doom. As with the wide control points on Hill 331, there are a lot of narrow, exposed approaches to the mansion that can be mined and covered with machine gunners and AT guns, the grounds of the mansion itself have plenty of cover and a sniper in the mansion itself will cover the point nicely.