A Guide to Map Control
Map control is defined by the extent to which your players are occupying the different areas of the battlefield, be it with actual presence (spawns), lines of sight (positions of power), or information feeds (proximity alerts). It applies to not just Hell Let Loose (HLL), but almost any game like chess, football (soccer), etc. In chess you give your pieces more options to move your pieces and limit your opponent’s moves. In football by being in certain parts of the field you can limit the amount of passing options for the other team while also creating some for your team. Map control isn’t always obvious but it should be intuitive when you think about it, especially in shooters. Even something as simple as I am in x area of the map so I can shoot at y area. Let’s look more in depth at how it works in HLL.
Map Control in HLL
In HLL you have map control by having friendly players and spawns in an area and it is clear of most enemies. A majority of HLL strategy is fighting over the map in order to gain map control which provides advantages in taking or defending the active sector. These advantages are anywhere from opening another flank on an enemy position to just being able to get more spawns down to help sustain cap weight in the sector.
Black circle = cap circle
Black box = the sector
Green circles = important positions to hold for Chapel sector
This is how veteran HLL players look at the Chapel sector. Above is the basic layout of what is important for controlling it. Notice that I said sector. In HLL, capping is based on the 2x2 set of boxes called the sector. The cap circle is nothing more than a circle that grants a x3 modifier. We should treat it as just another important position to hold in the sector rather than the end all be all. If you want to learn more about how the capping mechanics work, here is a great video explaining.
How does map control apply in this situation? The green circles are areas that allow your team the ability to stop the flow of enemy troops into the cap circle, gives more angles on the enemy, and allows ease of reinforcements into the sector to support the attack. If your team controls 2 of the 3, you have a distinct advantage in the Chapel sector since it gives the benefits we just talked about.
The timer for the sector is 2 minutes, which means you need to hold those important locations for at least that long. The enemy team is going to try and push them from multiple angles themselves creating this back and forth fight. In the fight around Chapel, if the axis gets a hold of the green circles, they need to start doing a final push to clear the cap circle before the allies try to retake the green circles for themselves. Axis have decisions in do they send a squad or two to continue pushing north/south on the flanks to stop allies from flanking the green circles? Or does the Axis go all in just holding the green circles while sending other squads to just do a final assault on the cap circle?
Looking at HLL from a perspective of controlling the map opens up a lot of interesting decisions that reflect how WW2 was fought. You need to control territory to open or protect flanks while trying to cut off enemy reinforcements (spawns in HLL) while also making sure you can reinforce your own attacks! So how is map control gained in HLL?
How to gain map control
Green arrows - movement from a squad
Red icons - Fights with enemies
This example here is a very isolated look but demonstrates how a team gains map control. In our hypothetical situation, we have Charlie squad coming from friendly territory (blue). They start to push into enemy territory (outlined in red). As soon as they enter there is an enemy squad that they run into at icon 1. Charlie squad uses great teamwork and is able to eliminate all of the enemies. They continue moving in until they again run into enemies at icon 2. The enemy squad wasn’t paying attention and Charlie was able to quickly eliminate the defenders. Oh no, another enemy squad is right there! Charlie squad leader has 3 guys hold while he and the rest of the squad push for a flank. They get an angle and are able to assist their squadmates and again eliminate all of the enemies! The two teams of 3 push until they get to icon 4 where they see an enemy squad coming from the south. The mg player gets all excited and sets up his gun while his squadmates start firing at the enemies. Once the mg is set up the enemies are quickly dispatched. Charlie squad looks around and sees no enemies. The squad leader radios into command and tells him that the area is secure.
In our scenario above we can see how a squad works together and is able to gain map control. Once the SQL places an OP they can be reasonably sure that there are no enemies since it has RADAR alerting you if enemies are close. Not to mention they are able to reinforce the area since they have a spawn point. If the enemy wanted to retake this area they would have to send people there to fight Charlie squad for it. So although the map doesn’t change colors, we can assume that it would look something like this if it did.
Green rectangle - Charlie squad
Green circle - Charlie OP
Different Types of Map Control
In HLL there are 2 different types of map control, strong and weak. Above is an example of weak map control. Which means “yes you control the area, but since you only have one spawn you can get wiped fairly easily.” Also there isn’t any way for other squads to reinforce your position without running a bunch. All it takes is to kill Charlie’s SQL and their OP and any attack will be neutered.
Strong map control is again players in the area but also a couple of spawns. This way if one spawn gets wiped you can still reinforce the area. Usually, this is accomplished with multiple garrisons and/or OPs. Having garrisons on the flanks also allows your team to recover if they lose map control in an area nearby. Imagine the allies had a garrison about 100 meters east of Charlie’s OP. They would be able to counter attack quickly. If they didn’t, the entire north flank would be lost.
HLL is all about fighting over map control. Map control provides many strategic benefits that reflect real life WW2 fighting. Including, cutting off enemy movements and reinforcements, allowing your own reinforcements, and creating flanks on enemies. When looking at the game from this perspective it helps explain why things happen the way they do. So next time you see all your team run straight at the cap circle, think about how map control can help make their life easier and open up a flank. Maybe even build a garrison or two for strong map control.
Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope this guide helps! Special thanks to Heidegger (WTH), Ninjapulver (EXD), and Duba (WTH) for their help with the guide.