Strategy is the signature gamemode of the Battlezone series. It has undergone significant changes throughout its lifespan but, alongside deathmatch, is one of only two gamemodes to feature in every release.

Battlezone[edit | edit source]

Battlezone's strategy mode takes a battle royal format in which players are eliminated once they lose their three lives through the death of their pilot. To allow them to better defend themselves and to help them in destroying the other players, each is given a Recycler with which to build a base and combat force.

Kills and deaths in strategy work the same way as they do in deathmatch; every enemy object destroyed by a player's team scores them a kill, while every object on the player's team which is destroyed will add a death to their tally. These scores are completely arbitrary, as the deciding factor of a strategy game is the player's lives.[1]

Bug icon.pngBug! Files exist for an additional multst35, but as its heightmap is irreprably broken the map cannot be loaded.
Bug icon.pngBug! A bug in 1.5 temporarily caused friendly-fire to reward increment the kill count instead of adding a death.[2]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Maps (Battle Grounds)[edit | edit source]

Maps (The Red Odyssey)[edit | edit source]

Rise of the Black Dogs[edit | edit source]

Whilst strategy matches in other Battlezone games usually revolve around the use of a base, Rise of the Black Dogs' strategy is instead based on its deathmatch - to distinguish it from the traditional strategy, it is often referred to as Squad Deathmatch. Unlike other gamemodes in Battlezone: Rise of the Black Dogs, it supports only two players.[3]After choosing from the eleven multiplayer vehicles (scouts, tanks, rocket tanks, bombers, walkers and the Bobcat), each player then chooses a three vehicles from the same list to form an AI squad who follow them around the map and engage nearby opponents.

The objective in Squad Deathmatch is to eradicate the opposing team; players will be allowed to respawn at a randomised location on the map while their bots are still alive, but once they are all destroyed the player can be killed permanently and the game ended. As with all of Rise of the Black Dogs' multiplayer gamemodes, hopping out is disabled.[4]

Bug icon.pngBug! Squad Deathmatch is intended to grant a point to the player on the death of each of their opponent's bots, but instead these points are always granted to Player 1. Player 2 can only score for Player 1's deaths regardless of the cause, so Player 1 must die at least four times for Player 2 to be able to win. As a result, Player 1 can win even if their team is wiped out provided the bots suffered more deaths than they did. In the event of a draw, Player 1 wins by default (and is listed twice on the scoreboard).

Maps[edit | edit source]

Battlezone II[edit | edit source]

Technically, Battlezone II's strategy is much more complex than that of either other game. Standard strategy is composed of two teams of players, each having one commander and optionally several "thugs" who act as wingmen. Each team is spawned with a Recycler and starting units (two turrets by default) and builds up a base and force to assault the other. Units can be passed from commander to thugs to improve their autonomy and allow finer control of units.

Kill tracking works in a very different way to Battlezone II's Deathmatch-derived gamemodes; only deaths as a pilot and kills on players are tracked, though friendly kills will decrease the kill count. Scoring also works differently; the scrap cost of any unit destroyed or lost is added to or removed from the player's score, spawnkills are met with a five hundred point penalty, and one hundred points are awarded to the winning team.

Dead players respawn at the Recycler at a variable height based on their distance from team-mates - as respawning at height effectively puts a player out of action, this encourages players to work together.

The game is usually won by destroying the enemy Recycler and Factory, though additional win conditions such as player-on-player kill and time limits can be enabled. The win condition being so distinct from those of previous games proved to be a point of discourse between the communities of both games (despite the similarity to Battlezone II's kill limit, particularly in Free-for-All), and entrenchment in Battlezone's strategy is a major reason for its players to be unwilling to try the sequel.

The strategy rules are heavily modifiable, with the pre-game options allowing changes including granting respawning players the sniper rifle, toggling point and kill tracking for the AI (this affects the overall team score only) and an optional period of Recycler invulnerability from the start of the game to combat early assaults, all of which are off by default. There are also options to toggle the starting turrets and change the skill of AI used during the match - the turret AI skill is independent and set one level lower than the rest (at the maximum) by default. It is also possible to employ a variety of Recycler Variants during Strategy matches.[5]

The end-of-match telemetry for Strategy is much more comprehensive than that of other gamemodes, and in addition to accounting for the scores, deaths and kills of each team and player also tallies each team's total numbers of craft built, lost, recycled, destroyed of and by each other team, buildings built, lost and recycled, scrap collected by various methods and scrap spent.[6]

Earlier Implementation[edit | edit source]

An older version of Strategy, still present as a compiled script in Battlezone II's files, was intended to force ISDF vs Scion play.[7]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Maps (1.2)[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Singleplayer Arcade · Instant Action · Singleplayer
Multiplayer Deathmatch (Attack and Defend · Capture the Flag · Chicken · King of the Hill · Loot · Race · Sniper Deathmatch · Squad Deathmatch) · Strategy (Free-for-All · Multi-Player Instant · Strategy Capture the Flag)
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