Guide to playing in Factory effectively
Overview: Factory is a relatively small map, featuring a close quarters arena made up of ramps and pathways, with an overhead platform accessible by several walkways. True to its name, the map resembles some form of derelict factory. This map is rarely seen at high ranks, but is more frequently seen at lower ranks.
Battle Modes: DM, TDM, CTF, CP
Size: 8v8, 16 Players
Close Quarters Combat
The size of Factory means that you will be spending the majority of your time in close or mid-ranged combat. There are two main areas in which you can engage your enemies.
The first area is the ground underneath the platform, which in TDM, sits directly between the two teams’ spawn areas. This is almost always the point at which your team and the enemy team will clash when you go into battle. Look out for supply drops by your spawn-point to provide an advantage as you attempt to steamroll opponents ahead. Close ranged turrets and medium or heavy hulls will be useful in outlasting enemies. Thunder's splash damage and Firebird/Freeze's tank piercing sprays will come in handy when taking on several enemies at once.
The second area is the platform and adjoining ramps above the center of the map. This area provides a vantage point from which you can fire down upon the enemy spawn area. However, be aware that you will not be given much of an opportunity to do so, as attackers will constantly be approaching from the ramps in an attempt to reach your side unperturbed. A longer range turret may be favourable here, with a lighter hull to allow fast traversal of the ramps. Supplies such as Double Damage can also be used to help suppress the other team’s spawn area in TDM, though it takes considerable time to reach the top again if you decide to jump for the supply spawn next to and below you.
Since players have less motivation to begin an invasion instead of wait around for opponents to gather in the middle, unusual combinations like Titan/Railgun could be fairly useful in sniping tanks in the distance. With the cover of a few useful close ranged allies, they can be an effective second line of defense to the team, granting ranged assistance to the forefighters clashing in the middle.
Due to the size of Factory, there aren't always many opportunities to start camping effectively. There is the possibility of remaining in your spawn area and sniping with a longer ranged turret (as mentioned above), although you will not be particularly safe from incoming attackers. There are a few buildings around the edges of the map which can provide cover, although these locations do not provide an effective view of the enemy position, making them a somewhat counter-intuitive campground, only to be used as emergency cover or retreat routes. However, Magnum is quite effective for camping in this map.
In CTF, both the red and blue team bases are similar in layout. There are two main paths of attack to the flag, and due to the size of the map, it is recommended that defenders should stay close to the flag at all times. The ramp up to the platform and a few walls provide cover for defenders, allowing them to ambush incoming attackers. There are also a few supply drop zones close to each flag, including Double Damage and Double Armor. If you're in charge of defending, make sure that you're grabbing these supplies before your enemies do.
A few heavy hulls are recommended for defense, along with short to mid-range turrets, such as Firebird, Hammer or Twins. Vulcan gets a special mention for being able to constantly unload fire on attackers not only up close and personal as a defender (if you have a Speed Boost active to maximize turret rotation speed), but being able to back up your mid-field allies as well, picking off opposing defenders and making offense less difficult for your team. An Isida or two can also be useful for restoring defenders’ HP and backing up attackers. Again, this is especially useful in the case of Vulcan, if they can't turn their turret fast enough to counter incoming fighters.
Additionally, mines can be useful in slowing down attackers. Place them on the ramps down from the platform, as well as on other choke points that enemies frequently access. The small valley to the right of both high platform entrances is an excellent location to place one or two.
In Factory, there are two main routes to reach the opposing sides flag, with only slight deviations otherwise.
The first and most obvious route is straight across the ground towards the flag. This is the fastest route due to there being almost no obstacles, but it leaves you in plain sight the entire time. You're going to have a rather difficult time trying to make it to the flag if everyone sees you coming. Unless you have a hull built to last, a great mid-ranged module and a health kit, logic dictates to try and avoid charging like a Neanderthal straight down the entire enemy team's sights.
The second option available is to go up the ramp at your base, across the platform, and then down the ramp at the other side, sending you straight into the enemy base. This provides less visibility on the approach, meaning you will likely get closer to the flag before being fired upon. Take note, though, that you will be exposed to attack when you attempt to escape with the flag, not mention the possibility of having to deal with sentries on the top during the entire endeavor.
There is also the option of skirting around the edge of the map, behind the buildings. This provides good cover, although it is the longest route and you may find yourself with little or no backup if you have difficulties, not to mention the lost time where the opponents could wind up swiping your flag. If you're confident in your driving skills and have a Repair kit handy, this would be the path of choice.
Regardless of your attack strategy, a light hull is essential for a fast getaway, along with access to supplies such as Double Armor to prolong survival. Remember that taking different routes to their flag each time is an acceptable method of throwing opposition off guard.
Factory CP is one of the few rare multi-point CPs with an even number of points -- only four in total. Interestingly, all points are almost equidistant between each team’s base, meaning it is difficult to guess which point will go to which team to start off with. A good strategy would be to secure point A up on the platform, which will allow you to jump straight down to points C or D afterwards.
Short range turrets are almost essential, along with medium or heavy hulls to aid survivability. Supplies are also highly useful in these circumstances, and a couple of motivated Isidas can often be the difference between winning and losing. Be wary of lurking Railguns and Thunders, though, as they'll most certainly try to clean house near points C and D so that their buddies can go secure it.