Guide to playing in Kolhoz effectively
Greetings, readers! As you're aware, here at Tanki Online, we have a ton of maps available for us to battle in, but it's quite abundant that a lot of them are overlooked. In light of the fact the popularity of the battle maps has shifted to a handful of them, this month, I've decided to make you, the readers aware of maps that are more underrated than the ones you see today - Let's begin!
As exemplified by the title, the map I've decided to examine today is Kolhoz - but that hasn't always been its name. As a matter of fact, its previous name was Ergach; a lot of people are unaware of this, given that it was referred to as Ergach for around only 24 hours - after the aforementioned time period passed, it's been referred to as Kolhoz. On September 1st 2009, the map debuted as Ergach, for it to be changed to Kolhoz just a day later. The creator is named ZeRUS.
The names in Depth
Now let's provide some understanding of these names. What did ZeRUS mean by Ergach? Well, it turns out Ergach is an anagram for the word 'charge':
And charge, in the appropriate context, means to rush forward in attack. Therefore, I see the name's correlation to war - this was also the day the Capture the Flag mode was made available for all maps. What about its second name, Kolhoz? Well, Kolkhoz, which was redirected from Kolhoz, is a collective farm in the USSR. When you look at both names and then the map itself, the extensive use of verdant props and the shed-like buildings certainly give the feel of a farm.
The Birds-Eye View
As you can see, the respawn points are, when in team games, put in pairs, if you will. For those who don't know, the blue arrows illustrate the blue side's respawn points and the orange arrows illustrate the red side's respawn points, whilst the yellow arrows illustrate the death match respawn points; as expected, the DM points are scattered all over the map, but the team respawn points placed in pairs cannot be seen in any other map; this is the only map which puts points in tandems - can this be beneficial? Yes and No; it's almost disadvantageous when a turret that's capable of hitting two tanks at once has you in your sights - it means they've got two for the price of one, if you don't split quickly enough. Having defenders taken out via such a situation in tight positions can be especially detrimental for your flag. Alternatively, such a layout of respawn points can work out on the other side of the spectrum - it can become easier to deal with attackers, especially if you or your teammate is using a long-range turret. Therefore, I guess it's more circumstantial to the range of the turret you and your opponent are using.
Which turret should I go for when playing here?
Every turret can function well here - whether you want to stay back with Railgun, Magnum or Shaft, rush in with Freeze, Firebird or Twins, defend at range with Vulcan and Thunder, or even melee with Striker, Ricochet and Hammer - it's all available to you. The map's layout is unlike what you'll normally see; make sure you have some sort of tactic up your sleeve in regards to how you're going to perform with your turret when entering the battle - otherwise, you're going to get butchered. A lot of the map consists of cramped quarters, with ample cover, which means hide-and-seek tactics with long range turrets work well - in addition to this, it provides a lot of places for Ricochet to bounce its plasma balls off. The cramped quarters enable our short-range turrets to maul all those in its range since there's not much spacious places where a victim can get to once the damaging has begun. The discernible feature of Kolhoz is that whilst it's a map that holds many players, it's not exactly large in width, but long in length - this can make flag capturing quite a trek, depending on the hull you're using.
Getting around the map
1. The thin, narrow pathway
The first way would be to go down low, via the long, narrow pathway to the bottom of the birds eye of the map - this is preferably for those who have bulk, but choose to use short range turrets, such as Freeze, or Twins. Bear in mind that the opposing team's respawn points are in plentiful supply, so it may be wise to have back-up with you, or an Isida to help heal you up whilst you're taking care of any enemies along the way. After doing so, you can ascend from the back of the barn or the big building (depending on which way you're going) to sneak and take it - you'll be more inconspicuous than if you took the high road, so do your best to utilize that to your advantage. However, if you see enemies that you feel are going to hinder your chances since their position is your exact method of escape, feel free to sneak up on them and take them out - the siren will alert them of your presence and you'll be on the hunt; therefore, eliminating any hindrance beforehand is generally better.
2. The high road
The high road isn't something to rule out though, but only if your turret has good range to it. You'll be more exposed when taking this way; without the range to deal with the impending shots coming your way, it's pretty much suicide. Either way, where you're going has a good amount of fences and buildings to shield yourself with - don't be afraid to let those take the damage for you, if you do so happen to get spotted. It may be wise to deal with defenders before you even go for the flag - the short range defenders in particular can prove a real handful in the cramped quarters you're going to be in.
3. The middle battlefield
Next, we have the middle battlefield, which is pretty much where a lot of the battling takes place - regardless of the combination you're using, you'll be blessed if you get out of there with full HP; it's the heart of the map, it's pretty cramped and gold boxes primarily drop around there as well, but that's not important. You by all means, can choose to opt for coming to the opposing base via this way, but it's not one I recommend because you're almost definitely going to have deterrents which will hinder your chances of getting through - whilst this takes this place in all areas of the map, it's a lot less so in the thin, narrow pathway and the high road. You're also in reaching distance of any enemy if you get into the base via the middle - that only spells trouble.
4. The light hull pathway
Finally, we have the light hull pathway, which depending on how you operate your hull, isn't necessarily what the name implies. I'd say light hulls can certainly utilize it best; it involves going around the width of the map to get to the opposing base - enemies on the high road can still get you, but in essence, it's a straight run to the other side, and although unorthodox, it's particularly good for use when escaping. Once again, this is NOT limited to light hulls only; if you can manoeuvre your hull past that bit without falling over, by all means, use it - bear in mind you'll be exposed for longer, though.
One thing I'll add as a general point is that long range turrets are generally better for this map - long range turrets can still do well in the thin narrow pathway, and the middle battlefield since they can take out certain enemies before they even get near them - that's something the short range turrets cannot do. There's more scope for utility with longer range turrets and the advantages can prove even more effective - a dream team would still have a few short range players, however; you know, it's not to say short range turrets are useless - they have their place.
How does one prosper in the other game modes?
In death matches, it's best to stay in places where your turret works best - so short range turrets should stay down low, and longer range points should stay up above. If you're good at kill stealing, use turrets that are capable of hitting more than one tank and take them all out; this applies for when you're near the middle battlefield, since battles at that position are even more intense than they are in CTFs - you're not really going to find too many people around the bases unless they're using it for cover, so around there is where most of the kills are coming in.
In team death matches, it's practically the same sort of thing, bar the fact you're on your own; just that it's one side versus the other. People won't really stay in their bases because there's nothing to guard.
In control points, bear in mind that ALL points are located in the middle battlefield - therefore, that's the part you're going to want to dominate. Bases are useless - you'll need to get in there and take out any enemies that are thinking of coming in. Jumping off the high road to get to Point C is a common tactic, and for the blues, progressing through the thin, narrow pathway is a tactic for getting Point A - be sure to watch out for aerial threats, who will undoubtedly plant mines, and be aware of those who think they can use elusiveness to take you out.
Kolhoz has its own advantages and disadvantages in giving an intense gameplay session. It is definitely a fun map to play, providing you with variety of options to your gaming style. It's certainly not popular, but with luck, you CAN find a Kolhoz DM, CTF or even CP. If you do see a Kolhoz in any mode, you should certainly give it a try.