Maybe just ignore the control point in the middle of the map where we keep dying

I have a question: Do we need point C? Do we need the point in the middle of the map, which is surrounded by all the other points, and which is full of grenades at all times?

I wonder this mostly because of Battlefield 5's Devestation map, which features a central cathedral that is constantly being contested. The strategy for my team over the weekend was: spawn as close to the cathedral as possible, run towards the cathedral, die, and then do that again. Meanwhile, at least one squad on the other team circumnavigated the map and captured all of the surrounding points but one. By the time we took control of the cathedral, they were attacking us from every side while we spawned into our holy death box to take our deserved beating.

The other team (or, more likely, one squad on the other team) obviously had the right idea: Let everyone else waste time dancing around on the cathedral's rubble (with RTX enabled, because it's a pretty cathedral), and then wander around capping everything else. Your opponent's reward is the worst spawn position on the map, and you get, well, all of the other points. Pretty good deal.

I point this out not just to shame my team (I am as guilty as anyone of running toward the thing everyone's shooting at), but to consider a problem I have with Conquest mode: Coordinated teams win, but there isn't a great way to coordinate the team.

Conquest has always been a bit of a free-for-all, and I loved the looseness of Battlefield 1942, back when every match started with a hostile dash for the planes. Every new life had a new plotline: I'd spawn on a point somewhere, see where my allies were going, and then join them to do whatever they were doing, or just hang out and defend. BF5's focus on squad play, on the other hand, means I feel obligated to spawn on my squad, even if they are, once again, running headfirst into point C, and are going to spend the rest of the match doing that. With small-scale structure but no large-scale structure, you get a lot of people running to whatever point is seeing the most action, and lives become repetitive and fun ideas like fortification building lose out.

In one match, for instance, I decided to see if playing defense was even viable. I plopped down on a point that I figured the other team would come for mid-match, built a bunch of fortifications, laid down mines, and waited to prevent an easy cap while the rest of my team went off to contest point C.

I waited, and I waited, and no one came. Later, after I'd gotten bored and left, I was rewarded with a vehicle kill from one of my mines when someone finally did realize that the point was sitting unguarded. 

I spy with my little eye something that starts with the letter C.

In my experience, there are basically two modes of play in Conquest: Join the shitshow at point C (or hang around the edges sniping) or run around the outskirts of the map backcapping points. It was probably always like this, but squad spawning may make it feel more pronounced in the recent BFs.

I wonder if we'd have more fun, and success, if we assigned each squad to a point and told them to spend the game capping and defending it, rather than moving around the map as a confused pack or all converging in the center. The decay of server culture and the lack of much squad-to-squad communication (or even communication within squads) makes that feel unlikely to happen, though, so we'll continue to go on with most squads trading deaths in each map's centerpiece, while a few better-led squads work on all of the other points.

For a slightly more Red Orchestra-ey experience, I can move over to BF5's Breakthrough and Frontlines Small playlists, but frustratingly, my last Frontlines match was underpopulated, and the teams were unbalanced. I assume that's because most players were in Conquest dying on point C.

Update: Fixed incorrect map names (I connected images to the wrong names when I looked them up, oops).

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.