Guide to playing in Massacre effectively
Overview: Massacre, a medium sized map, is essentially a battlefield covered in hills and craters. The map is well known for its unique, open design with very few props or areas of cover, leaving the hills as the only "safe" places to take shelter. Massacre battles can be found fairly often at both high and low ranks, often in the form of TDM, CTF, or even parkour modes.
Battle Modes: DM, TDM, CTF, CP
Size: 10v10, 20 Players
The open design of Massacre means that there is very little in the way of defensive strategy, apart from deciding on which turret/hull combination to use. The lack of cover means that long range turrets such as Railgun and Shaft can dominate the field with a bit of input, but they're still fairly susceptible to becoming quickly overwhelmed thanks to their extensive reload times. In addition, the map itself has very few flat locations, making level firing difficult and possibly ruining shots that could have been easy hits under normal circumstances. In this sense, Shaft is superior to Magnum, Railgun, Thunder and Smoky in that manually aiming with the scope eliminates the need to focus on the terrain before you.
Despite being a wide open, completely defenseless landscape, close-ranged combat is easily up to par with tackling ranged fighters. Firebird, Freeze and even Isida don't mind the unstable terrain, and are even comfortable with the unique angles the map provides for spraying otherwise unreachable enemies. Bear in mind that this is a double edged sword at times, as the map can also send your aim astray due to a misplaced tread, possibly giving a challenger an extra second or two to take you down.
Whatever you playstyle, light or medium hulls are recommended to allow quick maneuvering around the battlefield. You will find heavy hulls struggling to traverse the many hills and craters on the map, as well as effectively finding cover from incoming fire. Supply boxes are falling everywhere; passing them by may very well be the death of you.
Massacre is a map in which the opposing team’s base areas are symmetrical, or the same in layout. But often, players think that this is not true and creates the argument that one team may have the advantage over the other when it comes to flag defense. In this case, many players believe that the blue team’s base is better, due to a large hill across the front of their spawn area, providing a natural line of defense. This not only provides cover from enemy fire, but also can be a useful vantage point with views across the map towards the red team’s base. Furthermore, the hill is host to several supply drop zones, including the invaluable Repair Kit. But, this is also the case for Red team, making it even for both the teams.
Medium or heavy hulls with short or mid-range turrets are useful for defense, although a few long range turrets can also be useful for sniping enemies as they approach. In Massacre especially, defenders may prefer medium hulls over heavy hulls for the added maneuverability and reduced size which will allow them to take cover behind hills and craters more easily.
As mentioned previously in the DM/TDM section, the open design of Massacre means that there are not many specific routes or strategies which can be followed to gain an advantage while attacking in CTF. The relatively narrow design of the map means there is really only one way you can travel - towards the enemy. You can make attempts to flank around the edge of the map, although this is all elevated, exposed ground and you will usually be spotted fairly quickly by the opposing team. However, there are differences between charging directly to their flag and along the sides of the map to their flag. You're less likely to attract attention from the sidelines than the middle, though bear in mind you're going to have to charge headlong through the center of the map to grab the flag in the first place.
Short to mid-range turrets such as Hammer, Ricochet and Twins will be useful in breaking defenders, along with light hulls for speed or medium hulls for added durability. To successfully secure the flag from the enemy base, you will likely need to make use of supplies such as Double Damage and Double Armor, along with Repair Kits during your escape. It is important that you attack as a team with multiple players for backup. An Isida or two will prove useful in backing up attackers, and with use of supplies, can become a devastating force against newly spawned enemies, adding to its own longevity as well as its teammates.
Massacre CP battles consist of five control points. The layout of these points means that to start with, points A and B will usually go to the blue team, and points D and E to the red team. This leaves point C to be contested. As is often the case with CP, short to mid-range turrets with generous supply usage is likely to be the most effective way to capture heavily sought-after control points. Another option would be to try and flank around the combat in the centre of the map, and go for points B or D, although this will be difficult to do without the other team being adequately distracted. Sometimes C is enough of an opportunity to keep the other team busy as you quietly accumulate those extra vital points.