Good maps bad initials

Kind of curious If anyone else but me thinks about this. Does anyone feel like certain maps have terrible initial push? The worst 3 for me would probably be

  1. Training Grounds Embar/Longshot - Its a good map but very awkward cover
  2. Nexus Boom - Good map but boom area is terrible here.
  3. Asylum Longshot/Embar - Another good map but huge lack of cover in this fight

My persona favorites far as good initials

  1. Clocktower balcony
  2. Dam Longshot
  3. Foundation Pistons
  4. Regency Garden

I have so many its hard to pick but there are definitely some bad ones lol More good than bad I’d say.

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None particularly bother me to be honest, adapt and thrive.

I do miss Mansion though, that gradual fight to those two lovely couches in the centre of the top floor.

Oh, and Overpass fighting for the top to essentially spawn trap with my beloved Hammy. Unpopular opinion? Of course. But I regret nothing. I’d do it again.

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I’d call Overpass interesting before anything else…Can’t really tell If this is nostalgia speaking or If I genuinely had some liking towards the map. It was definitely interesting to say the least lol

Far as truly unbalanced though with that kind of map setup? Bullet Marsh. Disgusting map. You don’t have to be a Gears of War vet to know that map was dogfood at first glance.

Damn it! You were close to me liking the post. But I loved Bullet Marsh. It was dark, miserable, had Kryll and had thunder and lightning.

Does this mean I like dog food?

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Ironic enough I JUST watched a video of shaggy eating dog food lol
but yeah I have nothing but bad memories from Bullet Marsh, sorry. “Just don’t get spawn trapped”

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Alright you’ll get a like for that :joy:.

When BM and TB come up on 3 I usually leave and return later, no love for either. With 4 and 5 I refuse to play on Lift and that means leaving at the lobby stage if it gets chosen (no pen this way, match no started) I loathe it above all others and always have a mare on it.

I actually prefer these initial fights over maps like Fuel Depot and Speyer where there is no fight and both sides get a power weapon.

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Thats because Speyer was the worst thing to happen to my Gears of War career. This map is one of the more unfortunate ones that came from Gears of War 4, and even had to be removed from the eSports map picks because it had no place in high end skilled gameplay.

Fuel Depot is a different story. I personally didn’t mind it but I can see why people would have issues with it. I wouldn’t be upset If the map made a return but there are definitely other maps that should be prioritized imo.

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I agree that a quality battle over power weapons makes the game better.

I think Tomb will become a quintessential map.

Tomb is my favorite new Gears 5 card.
Power weapons or rather the stationary rail gun in 2 or 3 maps why not

Basically all of my competitive success comes from GoW games where execution was the mode, and that was because of initials. Openings, counters, adjustments and essentially everything in between, it’s the area I’m most confident speaking on.

Gears 5 maps have essentially across the board poor initials — my criteria for calling something a poor initial is

  • How many players do we send to the fight?

  • How claustrophobic is the area we’re fighting in?

  • How many smokes/stuns do we need, if any?

  • Are we fighting for a weapon, or are we fighting for map control?

  • How different can we be, and still have it work in one-off situations?

  • What weapons are on the map?

Most good(my definition) initials come from GoW2 and GoW3 maps, although GoW1 has War Machine, Old Bones & Clocktower.

The best map for initials I’ve ever played was 4v4 GoW2 Jacinto with MLG Swaps (gb swaps were also good) You had Torque up top, Boom down low, inks in the towers. (In gb settings you had frags instead of inks).

It ticked every box for me;

  • The primary opening ran by almost every team was 2-2, and the players in that 2-2 were themselves spread out almost like a 1-1-1-1 at times.

  • The map control area (Crack House) was the most important area of the map as opposed to most maps where the power weapon is the most important spot, however giving it up wasn’t an instant loss.

  • You weren’t ever forced into fighting a claustrophobic smoke/stun fight if you didn’t want to

  • You had numerous one-off options at your disposal; 4 up top Z-Push with a 3/1 split, 4 up top Crack-Push with a 2/2 split, 3-1 bow grab, 3-1 Crack push, 3-1 delay Crack-Ink/frag(there are about 3 ways to do this strat depending on how the other team plays) 3-1 Crack fake into 2-2, 1-3 Boom-Push, and inverted 2-2 where your Ink/Frag player plays crack late (this and the 3-1 crack delay wound up being the two staple strats towards the end of the game)

Everyone was spread out, you had opportunities for 1v1s, crossing was imperative but you didn’t just win with lancers, smokes/stuns couldn’t be blindly wasted, there was no 6 player smoke brawl, and power weapons were in hard to reach areas.

Gears 4 & 5 maps in their entirety fall anywhere between poor, and absolutely unplayable. Even remade maps which were decent in other games (Clocktower in gow1/3, Checkout in Gow3) that you would imagine retain their identity as decent maps play a lot worse.

Checkout in GoW3 while a limited map was one of the better maps for initials — you couldn’t reliably get away from 3-1, (grenade strats were decent one-offs if the grenade player played a certain way) but for the most part it was 3-1 plat, 3-1 wide or 3-1 cut, and a lot of your success came from having the fastest route out of spawn to get your spot, and throwing good smokes.

This wasn’t Jacinto, but it also wasn’t trash.

In GoW5 due to smoke/stun changes in addition to some other factors, it evolved into almost entirely 4 platside, which inevitably leads to more chaotic stun/smoke fights, less emphasis on individual fights, less strat options and more randomness. The same exact thing can be said of clocktower which went from 3-1, 2-2, 1-3 and 4 low all being viable to varying extents replaced by 4 up top — was was before the worst opening you could run consistently.

Checkout and Clocktower are still two of the best initials in Gears 5 — and theyre 4/10s. Ephyra, Foundation, Dam and Regency are some other 4/10 maps.

Some maps in this game are downright comical. GoW4 Reclaimed Bowl fight is generally considered by competitive players the worst opening in history — you couldn’t do anything but fight it, it was a 6 man brawl with two others crossing, it was always smoked out and unless the other team made a mistake you and the person you had to fight were both stunned next to each other trying to be the first to chunk the other player whenever you got unstunned.

Gears 5 has numerous maps which challenge GoW4 Reclaimed Bowl fight for this title — Training Grounds is bad where ever you go, but the T fight is generally considered to be the worst spot in the game. Asylum snipe is essentially the blueprint for how not to make a staircase fight, a blueprint which was obviously followed by the up top area on Tomb. The only thing stopping Mercy bowl from being as bad Reclaimed bowl is the fact that you don’t 100% have to fight Mercy bowl. Gears 5 actually has in my opinion the worst spot in all of GoW — District bandstand however this crime against humanity only exists due to the weapon swaps in exe.

The worst map for initials in my opinion is actually Village. A lot of maps which have bad initials can be saved by better weapon swaps — for example Dam has a pretty bad initial when Boom/Drop is on plat, but if Boom/Drop were where Embar spawns you could improve the map. Almost every map could be made a 5/10 if we could edit the actual spawning location of the weapons themselves — for example if we moved the Dropshot/Boom spawn on Dawn to the center T-junction (where no weapon spawns currently) and replaced Claw up top with frags, deleted snipe and replaced the dropshot spawn with incens — we’d have a fairly fast-paced 4v4 dawn experience but one which theoretically disincentivizes sending 75% of the team to one area, having a stun battle and running at each other.

Village is one of the few exceptions — I don’t think I could create a map with a worse initial because regardless of what the swaps are, and even if you could edit where the weapons themselves physically spawn — it’s hopeless. The Embar/Bow area is cramped with too much cover, there isn’t room to do very much apart from be the aggressor and hope you out-stun the other team. The middle section again has too much cover to be useful for anything other than 1v1s, and that 1v1 spot would be stun dependent — and if you put a boom/drop there it would be a significantly worse version of Regency, and finally the actual Boomshot area is genuinely one of the worst thought out pieces of design I’ve ever seen — I genuinely believe it’s worse than Training grounds T-fight. It would actually be good for 1v1s, similar to the Hut on Gow2 Pavilion, but anything more than that it becomes an absolute nightmare.

To fix Village you would have to edit the map itself — you would need to replace the tiny bridge area with a larger boardwalk/pier with minimal cover, have boomshot/drop spawn on this new boardwalk and open the uptop area slightly to allow for cross and have shocks spawn just outside of the L-house, while removing the weapon up top and having frags spawn in the center of the Embar/Bow area and removing those two weapons all together. This would spread out the fight, and allow for more coordinated teams as well as open the door for both individual plays and 2v2/1v2/2v1 opportunities.

That said of course, if you’re 3 minutes into a game of Control on Village, it’s not a particularly poor map compared to your other options — but the initial on it, much like the initials on the vast majority of TC created maps are fundamentally terrible.


Reactor is pretty god awful, almost on par with village.

I don’t even consider Pahanu a PvP map as that looks like it was a Horde concept map

I consider it the opposite. Pahanu is simply an ridiculously awful Horde map and the impression I get(much like with Regency) is that it was made with PvP in mind and Horde was an afterthought.

But I guess it could also just be downright awful for both modes.

This was an enjoyable read on this walk home. Much obliged, lad.

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