Battlefield 2 Commander Guide (walkthrough)

Commander Guide for Battlefield 2
Version 1.80 – May 3, 2006
By: Kenthar
Copyright 2006

E-mail questions and comments to: kenthar (at) gmail (dot) com


Table of Contents

1) Changes History

2) Introduction
3) The Basics
4) Scoring
5) Commander Personalities
  5a) Combat Commander
  5b) Defender Commander
  5c) Strategist Commander
  5d) Rambo Commander
6) The Commander Toys
  6a) Zooming
  6b) Ordering (and other squad interactions)
  6c) Spotting
  6d) Satellite Scan
  6e) Artillery Barrage
  6f) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
  6g) Supply Crate
7) Vehicles
  7a) Cars
  7b) Tanks and APCs
  7c) Helicopters
  7d) Jets
8) Flags
9) Maps
10) Typical Game
11) Badges
12) Other Tips
13) Conclusion
14) Credits
15) Legalities
16) Allowed Websites


1) Changes History

December 18, 2005: Version 1.00

December 23, 2005: Version 1.10
     - Some revisions to Introduction, Scoring, Commander Personalities,
        Commander Toys, Vehicles, and Other Tips.
     - Created Allowed Websites section.

February 2, 2006: Version 1.40
     - Spelling and grammar corrections.
     - Minor addition to Scoring.
     - Minor revisions to UAV, Supply Crate, Satellite Scan, and Ordering.
     - Revisions and additions to Badges.
     - Created Typical Game section.
     - Change to Allowed Websites section.

May 3, 2006: Version 1.80
     - Major revamps.
     - Significant revisions to many sections.
     - Updates to reflect version 1.22.
     - Created Flags section.
     - Created Maps section.


2) Introduction

The Commander in Battlefield 2 can be the most valuable player on his team, if
played correctly. He provides assistance and coordination to ALL of his
soldiers on the battlefield. Don't be daunted so quickly - it's easier than it

I have written this guide to assist regular soldiers, aspiring Commanders, and
seasoned Commanders looking to improve their commanding. Even if you don't get
to be the Commander (or have no interest in applying in the first place), it
pays to THINK like the Commander, and it'll save your life more times than
you can count. Artillery Magnets should pay close attention.

There are a few other guides on commanding out there that you can find with
some searching around. I encourage you to look at them too; knowledge is power,
after all. This guide, however, will cover aspects of commanding that those
other guides don't even mention.

This guide is optimized for version 1.22 and 32-player maps with 32 players.
With more players, everything tends to get too hectic for real strategy beyond
supporting with the Commander assets. With fewer, the constrained map sizes
make for some silly tactics, but most of the guide should still apply.


3) The Basics

If you are completely, 100% new to commanding or new to Battlefield 2, I want
you to stop reading this guide. Wait, not yet, I want you to do something
else too. Start up Battlefield 2, and make a single player game with bots.

At the kit selection menu (assault, medic, etc) you will see a tab in the
upper-left of your screen that says "squad". Click that, then click the
"apply" button next to where it now says Commander. Press the "page up" key
on your keyboard when the game prompts you to.

Now open what used to be your "squads" tab. To quickly do this, press your
"caps lock" key. You may need to assign the instant jump to "squads" to
another key in the controls menu if it doesn't work. This screen is a laptop
that you keep in your backpack, and you can take it out anywhere.

You'll be shown an overhead map of the battlefield now. You may zoom in on
this map with your mousewheel or normal zoom key (as a normal soldier, the
same key zooms the minimap). I want you to press ALL the buttons and see what
they do. Try the Commander Toys. Give some commands. Place an artillery
barrage and zoom in to see the results.


4) Scoring

Commanders do not earn any points from kills, kit actions, flag captures,
or anything of the sort. Rather, the Commander's TEAM earns points for the
Commander. Every point earned by anyone on the Commander's team gives the
Commander a small fraction of a point, with the denominator of that fraction
the total number of players on the team.

(Points received by soldier)
(--------------------------) = Commander points received
(  Total players on team   )

Example for the lost: There are 16 players on the team. Somebody explodes an
enemy APC and gets 5 kills (10 points). Commander earns 5/8 of a point (10/16).
Only whole and complete points show up on the scoreboard.

Very suddenly, 8 people on the team decide to leave. The Commander still has
5/8 of a point. Somebody captures a neutral flag with the assistance of a
friend (3 points between them). 3/8 + 5/8 = 1, so the Commander now has one
whole point.

4 more people on the team decide to leave. Somebody makes two kills
(4 points). The Commander earns another point from that (4/4), now totaling
two Commander Points. Since it's a battlefield out there, you'll be raking in
a lot of fractions of points, and the amount of people on your team can
fluctuate wildly at any time.

A few things will make this equation seem to be inaccurate. Teamkills made by
your teammates will never decrease your points. Players who have yet to
connect to the game and with 0 points, kills, and deaths don't seem to count
toward the "total players on team".

This is slightly contrary to the popular opinion that the Commander's score
is the average of his team's. Even if the entire team leaves and is replaced,
the Commander will keep what he rightfully earned.

There are some different theories for the Commander's score, like points given
for effective use of UAV and artillery. Most of these are blatantly false. If
anyone can, in a controlled environment with video or screenshot proof, prove
MY theory wrong or offer more info, then I'll happily change it.

Points are not given retroactively if you start commanding late in a round,
but you will keep whatever combat and teamwork points you earned while a
soldier, if any.

Should you be the Commander and your team wins, the points you earned AS A
COMMANDER will be doubled. If you resign, quit, or if there is a successful
mutiny mid-round, you will keep your accumulated Commander Points, but they
will not be doubled if the round ends with you as a non-Commander.

If you personally, with a vehicle or gun, injure or kill a teammate, then you
will lose teamwork score as normal. Artillery is exempt from this, and will
not influence your score one way or the other.


5) Commander Personalities

Here's something they don't answer in Commander school: Where should the
Commander be on the battlefield? I say that there are four answers, and none
of them are necessarily wrong answers, provided that they are correctly played.
You might end up switching between the four if the battlefield's situation

-- 5a) Combat Commander

This type of Commander fights on the frontlines, providing healing, repairs,
or cover fire for his subordinates. By personally seeing the hotspot, he can
decide the best use of UAV and artillery, and can use supplies to quickly
repair friendly Armor that has been damaged. 

If you are a Combat Commander, STAY SAFE. Use a tank/APC in conjuction with a
supply crate and hang back from the action. Alternatively, be a Sniper and
fire from a concealed location. Or be a Medic and keep the real soldiers

I would suggest that only the players that have a certain knack for staying
alive even in the face of steep odds be a Combat Commander. Even then, only
take to the frontlines if you can multitask well, and you're certain that
your efforts will mean the difference between victory and defeat (namely, by
having a good kill/death ratio or by saving many critically wounded teammates).

If there are very few players on the server (Below 16), the Commander should
almost always take an active role in combat unless there's a compelling reason
not to. Every soldier is vital when numbers are low. If there are 64 players,
don't be a Martyr Commander.

Many players utilize the Combat Commander's abilities incorrectly. Keep your
UAV going at ALL TIMES by using the T key on your keyboard menu to replace it
when it stops. The UAV will be placed wherever your crosshair is pointing at.

-- 5b) Defender Commander

Let's face it: defending an isolated flag is boring work. The very moment you
get bored enough to take a jeep to join your comrades at the nearest hotspot
is the moment that a lone infantry or car will decide to come swipe the flag
you left behind.

As a Commander, you can occupy yourself by assisting your frontline comrades
with UAV and artillery, all while regularly using scans to keep a watch for
any cars coming to take what looks like an undefended flag. They didn't count
on the enemy Commander hiding behind the corner.

Be a Spec Op, Anti-tank, or Engineer in case you have to face a tank or APC
alone. Because you can use UAV or a scan on the area (and the enemy soldier
probably won't have that luxury), you'll have a good edge on any attackers.

-- 5c) Strategist Commander

Easily the most popular type of Commander alongside (inexplicably) the Combat
Commander; all you have to do is sit in one place - preferably a dark corner
or inside of a structure - for the entire round, using your Commander toys
regularly. Since you won't have a specific flag to worry about defending,
you'll never be "interrupted".

Try to keep a watch out for any red dots closing in on you. Hide from armor,
jets, and choppers if you think you can, but defend yourself and any nearby
Assets when possible. Getting knifed or defibrillated while you have your
laptop out is an EMBARASSMENT, so don't let that happen.

Different kits have specific advantages here. Spec Ops, Snipers, and
Anti-tanks can defend themselves well. Medics can see the injuries of
friendlies and enemies painted by UAV, which might help with strategizing.
Engineers can see if friendly vehicles are damaged and drop supplies
accordingly. That leaves Support and Assault as being relatively poor choices,
as they have no special powers here and are ineffective against armor.

-- 5d) Rambo Commander

By using UAV wherever you go, you turn yourself into a sort of "super soldier"
that knows precisely where all of his enemies are. Any tank you pilot is
virtually invincible, thanks to supply crates that fall from the sky upon
request. Rambo Commanders are the masters at capturing undefended flags.
Their motto is, "If you want something done right, then do it yourself."

Knowing the right time to rush for a flag can save your team from being
annihilated. Do NOT be afraid to go take a flag alone if your team has their
hands full.

Artillery has some interesting use in this case. Fire it as normal when you're
certain that you're safe, but if you are unexpectedly outnumbered (Remember
that you see the defenders with the UAV), drop the Artillery at your feet and
get out of range or inside a building within 15 seconds. At best, you'll clear
the area or get them to run. At worst, you'll take your attackers down with 

Also don't forget to utilize your "T" menu to quickly drop UAV, artillery, and
supplies. They will be centered on where your crosshair is pointing.


6) The Commander Toys

The scoring system, how you appear as a star on the map, and your cool voice
are pretty nice, but the Commander position has so much more potential than
people realize. I will demonstrate: guess how many Commander Toys you have.
Four, maybe? No; you have seven - count them - seven powers beyond an ordinary

I call them Toys, by the way, and it seems I've started a trend across message
boards everywhere. However, the real name is "Assets" if you want to be all
"proper" and stuff.

-- 6a) Zooming

In your map view, you can zoom in and out by using your normal zoom key or the
mouse wheel. On the third zoom level, the rough picture of the map's landscape
will turn into a rendered view from above, and you will be able to see all
enemies in the area you look at, provided that they aren't under a tree or
inside a building.

-- 6b) Ordering (and other squad interactions)

By clicking a squad over on the left, followed by a right click on the map and
choosing an order, you can tell your squads to go to a certain location, along
with the nature of their assignment. Right clicking the squad itself allows
you to tell that squad certain things. But let's face it: nobody joins squads,
nobody follows orders, and nobody ever uses VoIP. You have to work around these
problems. Just keep in mind that the enemy Commander is often under the EXACT
same constraints.

Commend a squad when they stick together and do something heroic, like capture
a flag by utterly mowing down the fierce resistance. These squads are the ones
that you want to watch closely - if they hear you commend them right after
they take a flag, they'll realize that you're a good, observant Commander, and
they'll be MUCH more likely to follow your orders.

Sometimes you'll get crazy-good loner tank-whore Rambo squad leaders with
absurd scores (and not necessarily by spawn camping). Commend them too when
they do something impressive, and order them. They'll listen.

Rebuking dead-weight squads is fun, but it doesn't really solve anything. You
could try rebuking a squad that just refused an order, and hope you say "Next
time, try following my orders!" and then repeating the order. What are the
odds that they'll REALLY follow it, though?

The Follow Orders option that says, "You have your orders, soldier!" is useful
for a squad leader that just requested new orders when the old orders still
apply just fine.

The other options are rather pointless, but use them as needed. Saying,
"Squad, divide up and form TWO squads!" sounds really funny because the
Commander emphasizes the word, "two." Good luck getting anyone to divide.

If you are fortunate enough to have good squads, order them about with the
Move, Attack, and Defend commands. Move and Attack are pretty interchangable,
but use Defend when you actually ARE talking about defense.

If a squad consists of a jet/helicopter pilot(s), the context changes a
little. Tell them to "attack" a place that could use a good bombing run. Be
mindful that a jet can't make a sharp turn and accurately bomb at the same
time, and that helicopters have travel time to worry about.

Finally, squad leaders can also ask you for an Artillery Strike, UAV, or
Supplies. This is designated by a yellow circle that appears on the map, with
the corresponding icon in the center of that circle. Right click on the circle
while your laptop is out to either answer the call or explicitly deny it. 

If the asset in question is destroyed or recharging, the icon will disappear
automatically, and the squad leader will be told something along the lines of,
"Negative, UAV already airborne."

-- 6c) Spotting

Spotting is a power that is often sorely overlooked. As a soldier, have you
ever pointed at an enemy vehicle, held down "Q", and clicked? It will make you
automatically call out, "Enemy tank is inbound, over!" or something similar,
and that tank will appear on your ENTIRE TEAM'S minimap for a little bit,

Commanders can do the exact same thing, only better.

If you are in your overhead view, and you right click, one of your options
will be "Spotted". Select this, and you'll spot an enemy unit that is near
where you clicked. The range on this is surprisingly large, so try spotting
directly on an enemy flag that your troops are about to move in on.

If you hear yourself say, "Enemy forces spotted!" and a blinking question mark
appears where you clicked, then that means there is NO enemy in the generous
range of your Spotted power. Let me repeat that, because it's important: if
enemy "forces" are spotted, then that means the general area of the blinking
question mark is CLEAR, SAFE, and FREE OF OPPOSITION... usually.

Occasionally, you can click directly on an enemy, and you'll spot "enemy
forces" anyway. This occurs when you spot a gunner or passenger in a vehicle,
and you will notice that it frequently happens when trying to spot choppers
or cars with someone on the turret but with no driver. There's little help for
it, so just consider it a stupid bug.

But you can't really just be clicking everywhere randomly. That's why you have

-- 6d) Satellite Scan

Upon activating the Scan, a yellow bar will slowly move across your map,
lighting any enemies up as big red dots for you, and you alone. Right click
and "spot" the dots that are in engagement range of your troops. They won't
blink for you unless the dot has already disappeared, but they will blink for
everyone else.

Aside from the Scan+Spot combo, the Scan takes only about 30 seconds to
recharge, so use it often. Watch the movements of enemies, watch for lone cars
speeding toward YOU or an undefended flag, and watch for enemy flags left
undefended so that you can seize the opportunity.

-- 6e) Artillery Barrage

Call Artillery, and a rain of exploding death will be brought down on the
general area of where you targeted after a 15 second wait time. Infantry and
cars will be vaporized, grounded choppers and planes probably won't survive,
but AA vehicles, APCs, and tanks require a DIRECT HIT to be destroyed, which
is highly unlikely to happen due to the wide range of possible hit locations
in the artillery circle.

Precede all artillery strikes with a Scan first to locate stationary infantry,
large congested groups, enemy infantry/car(s) that are moving toward an
undefended flag, and the enemy Commander. These are all enticing targets, and
of course should be shot at with artillery. Remember to aim 15 seconds ahead
of any enemies actively on the move, and try to guess when they're heading
toward a flag so that they don't neutralize or capture it before the artillery

Defending your flags through smart use of artillery is #1 priority, hands down.
#2 is taking out groups of sharpshooters that are lying prone in a location
that's difficult to shoot. #3 is simply getting kills and decreasing enemy
tickets, while trying not to explode your own troops. Go ahead and fire at the
enemy Commander if you don't see any other good targets. The Commander is the
guy that's lying prone somewhere near the uncappable flag.

As a soldier, the Artillery howitzers can be heard from anywhere across the
map if your sound quality is set to "high". If you have some decent stereo
sound, you can even tell what army is firing it without looking for a red
circle on the map. 

Try to anticipate what the enemy Commander is aiming at when you hear his
artillery fire. Are you stationary? Are you heading toward an undefended flag?
Are you in a large group? There are few things greater than successfully
predicting and dodging artillery intended for you.

To many of your subordinates, the big pulsating circle on the minimap, and
the way you automatically say, "Artillery, your area!" translates in their
brains to, "There is candy in the red circle, go get it!" and it will attract
every single friendly car in the map to speed toward the ground zero in an
attempt to catch the first shell. With the 1.03 patch and later, artillery
teamkills do not count against you (except for the ticket loss), but use the
strikes responsibly anyway.

Because artillery kills (as with all kills while you are the Commander) do
not award you any points, refrain from using Artillery when you have a huge
ticket advantage, EXCEPT to protect a flag.

As a general rule, don't comply with any squad leaders requesting an artillery
barrage without looking first and making your own decision. They can't see
what you can, and they may aim their request poorly.

-- 6f) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

An extraordinarily powerful tool in your arsenal; the UAV in any other first
person shooter is commonly known as a "radar". People regularly use
GAME-HACKING PROGRAMS to get the effects that UAV gives. Battlefield 2 gives
it to us WITHIN THE RULES. And yet, I see so many soldiers completely ignore
its benefits and get killed by enemies they should have been able to ambush.

As Commander, you only need to put the UAV where it will uncover the greatest
amount of enemy troops and will benefit any of your soldiers that are in
active combat. The UAV lasts for 55 seconds, and takes 60 seconds to recharge,
so try to always have it on somewhere where combat is occurring. Don't bother
placing it on a big clump of enemies if none of your own soldiers are around
to take advantage of it (though if friendly jets or choppers are present, they
may be able to use the information)

As a soldier, if the UAV is activated near you, look for the red dots that are
uncovered. Line up your view so that you are looking straight at the red dot.
If the enemy is behind a wall or obstruction, then you're ready to surprise
them, snipe them when they step out, ambush them, throw a grenade, and so on.
You have the knowledge, and if they have no UAV, they only have reflexes and

You can also prioritize targets. Knowing exactly where to aim is nice, but if
there is someone skulking around behind you, you need to take care of that
first. If you're in a tank or APC, no Spec Op or Engineer can get close enough
to kill you because you CANNOT BE SNUCK UP ON!

The UAV is solid and appears in the air when it is placed. As such, it can be
shot down, or even collide with helicopters and jets. It's very high in the air
and difficult to hit with small arms, so don't bother to destroy it under
normal circumstances. If you do get a chance to take some shots at it, a .50
caliber machinegun or a jet's vulcan cannon are your best bets. Otherwise,
seeing the UAV right above you means that the entire enemy team knows exactly
where you are. Exercise caution and don't assume you'll ambush an enemy.

The UAV scan has a radius of almost 100 meters. You can cover multiple flags
with one scan if the map is small, such as Strike at Karkand, Sharqi Peninsula,
many of the Special Forces maps, and most 16-player versions of maps.

If your UAV trailer is destroyed, repair it before repairing anything else.
Likewise, if you are a Spec Op, destroy the enemy UAV first and make sure it
stays that way. It will irritate the enemy Commander to no end, but he may also
come after you for revenge, so be ready.

-- 6g) Supply Crate

A crate full of miscellaneous supplies will appear out of nowhere and float
to the ground on a parachute. Any soldier or vehicle that moves next to the
crate will be automatically healed, resupplied, and repaired, albeit slower
than if the appropriate kit were performing the action.

You may also use the supply crate to repair your Satellite Scanner, Artillery
Cannons, and UAV Trailer by dropping the crate next to the asset in question.
Be careful that you are not simply resupplying the hostile Spec Op that's
going around and causing destruction in the first place.

It is common for Squad Leaders to request supplies. Normally, you should
oblige their request unless something more pressing needs supplies, but take
a couple seconds to see what they need it for. Damaged tanks take priority
over a lone sniper, no matter how low on ammo the sniper is.

It is difficult, but Commanders can get (uncredited) supply crate kills. A
crate will drift slightly upward from where you "drop" it, so you could very
well crush an unaware enemy - or give him some ammo. It's a skill worth
practicing, and you could, for example, crush a sniper or Commander without
wasting valuable artillery. Plus, it's just funny.

When dropping the crate for teammates, zoom in fully and, again, place the
crate slightly below where you actually want it. This is to prevent the crate
being stuck on a rooftop when you wanted it on the ground.

You may drop new supplies every 60 seconds.


7) Vehicles

Normally I might not think that this is a big deal, but some servers have
certain restrictions on Commanders in vehicles. Your ever-observant teammates
are also happy to start a mutiny vote the very second you hop in a vehicle,
even if you are winning by 100 tickets and you're keeping your UAV and supply
drops continual.

-- 7a) Cars

Well, why are you going out to the field? You want to capture an undefended
enemy flag, right? Cars are the most plentiful vehicle around, and they'll get
you where you want to go quick. Speed is the greatest priority.

A car should be your first choice, unless you think you need some protection.
On certain maps, you will be vulnerable to helicopters and jets if you take a
slower-moving armor.

-- 7b) Tanks and APCs

A necessity for Combat- and Rambo-inclined Commanders. You basically turn into
an unstoppable force that can see everything, and can scan the map or fire
some artillery when there is a break in the action.

On some maps, a Commander under the assistance of his own UAV and supply crates
can be a completely unstoppable force. If necessary, take the tank to win the
map, but otherwise, you're only denying yourself points.

-- 7c) Helicopters

If you're piloting a chopper, forget about getting out your laptop - you'll
crash in no time. Gunning or being a passenger is a bit different. You can do
normal Commander things when everything is quiet, and shoot at targets when

A Commander gunning an assault chopper is deadly in combination with his UAV
(especially with MEC's chopper) because nothing can hope to hide. Problem is,
of course, that you don't get points for kills, so you're really just losing
points for yourself unless you're cutting the difference between a win and

-- 7d) Jets

Getting in a jet will likely get you a mutiny vote pretty quick (good thing
the votes never succeed, huh?). It's also against the rules of some servers,
and if there's an admin on, you are likely to be kicked from the server or
the Commander position. This is all for good reason; UAV isn't too hard to
aim when you're flying around, but what are you going to do with your
Artillery? What about supplies? What about spotting? Scanning?

What are you going to do with those kills you get, anyway? They give no points.
Resign and do your jet thing if you want, but don't do it as Commander.

Feel free, however, to use the jet as a taxi to get to that undefended enemy
flag, as per usual tactics, but only after making sure that NOBODY wants to
use the jet. Respect the wishes of your subordinates, because they're the ones
that say, "Commander is in a jet," all while running into the middle of your
red artillery circle.

If you're that serious about being a Jet Commander, try to paint infantry with
the UAV (T key), and then take them out with your vulcan cannon or bombs.
However, this is difficult at best.


8) Flags

To win a battle, you must outdo your enemies in two areas: tickets and flags.

Ticket dynamics are something that many players seem to forget as they play.
Whenever you kill an enemy, the opposing army's tickets are reduced by 1,
showing that a new soldier has entered the battle as a reinforcement. The more
you kill and the less you die designates your own effectiveness on the battle.
For a Commander, that often means finding a very good hiding place safe from
artillery or stray shots, and taking out enemies with the artillery to reduce

On several maps, controlling the majority of flags induces a "ticket bleed" on
the enemy team, and their tickets will decrease by one every few seconds, even
if no soldiers on the field actually die. This is why it is vital to use your
artillery in the defense of flags, so that you do not lose tickets in this way.

Aside from preventing a ticket bleed and providing a spawn point for
reinforcements, the flags you hold also count for POSITIONING. This means that
specific flags are inherently more valuable than others, and should take
priority when deciding what to capture.

The value of flags is decided in several ways:

Vehicles. Nearly all flags will spawn a car for your team, and many others
will spawn jets, helicopters, tanks, and APCs. The Airfield Base on Wake Island
spawns two jets, an attack chopper, a transport chopper, a tank, and a few cars.
Now, tell me how valuable that is.

Location. Being able to attack an enemy from many sides is always a bonus, and
that's where we derive the great advantage a team gets from taking a flag
behind enemy lines. Strike at Karkand has a perfect example of a flag with
excellent location in the 32-player version: the Gatehouse. If the USMC
controls the Gatehouse, they get an extra tank and a flag that can only be
attacked from one side.

Defensibility. This is related to location, but on more of a local scale - how
easy is it to defend the flag? Are there lots of things to hide behind? Is
there a TOW or a Stinger in good position? Sometimes this is hard to decide,
but one flag stands out as having absolutely terrible defensibility and
location: Karkand's Market flag. It can be attacked from four directions, it's
open to marksman fire from rooftops, the spawn points aren't safe, it has a TOW,
but it's pretty much a deathtrap, and the list goes on.

Air defense. Somewhat less important than the other factors, but still good
to consider. If you can wait inside a building or otherwise have a lot of solid
cover around you and still be in range to capture the flag, that's all the more
reason to attack it - you'll be safe from jets, helicopters, and artillery.

Try to think about these things whether you're a Commander or a Soldier. A
tank attacking Mashtuur's Power Plant will find their chances much greater
than if they attack the Hill (which has tons of cover and rooftops). Also
consider that the Power Plant either gets you, or denies the enemy, a T-90.


9) Maps

These are some basic strategies and things to watch for in the 32-player
versions of Battlefield 2's standard maps. As Commander (or as a soldier), you
need to be thinking about the big picture so that you know what to do if a
squad will listen to your orders, or if you need to decide where to defend or
put artillery.

Gulf of Oman: A pretty basic map; all flags spawn an armor or two, and
success will be mostly decided by flag control, smart use of armor, and air
power. USMC has an early advantage with superior tickets and flags, but MEC has
the Su-34 bomber and an extra tank, unless the USMC should be able to steal

Kubra Dam: MEC's Intake flag houses a lot of valuable hardware - vehicles
and Commander assets. If the USMC should be able to hold it and destroy the
assets, then it should be an easy victory. Otherwise, the map is huge, and
the flags will change hands a lot.

Mashtuur City: Aside from the all-important ticket bleed, control of the
Backyard and Power Plant will decide the game. If one team should manage to
actually steal the other team's tank, then the armorless team is in for pain.

Operation Clean Sweep: If the MEC loses the Airfield - or worse, has their
Su-34 stolen by the USMC, then they're going to lose some massive tickets.
Communication Central is also important to defend, because of the assets and
the attack chopper.

Sharqi Peninsula: This map is really fun to think about flag location on (or at
least, it's fun for me). The TV Station has some big USMC hardware, but the
Commander can defend it single-handedly (hint: plant C4 or claymores around the
flag and snipe intruders with your G36C). The buildings around the Construction
Site are really nice for sniping because of the good view of most of the map.

Strike at Karkand: The Gatehouse houses the only tank for the MEC team, and if
the USMC takes it, THEY get an extra M1A2, bringing the armor tally to 1 APC
and 2 Tanks against nothing. The market has to be the most difficult place to
defend in the entire game - usually, you'll see attackers not take it, not
because of a successful defense, but because they're having so much fun getting
easy kills. All the other flags are pretty unremarkable, except that the
Suburb's TOW is in a pretty nice location if you want some easy armor kills.

Zatar Wetlands: The Central Island spawns the map's only attack chopper, and
it's also a pretty easy place to defend, given the map's armor-heavy nature
and how the flag is on top of a big hill. The rest of the flags are fairly
equal, though it's notable that the Factory can't be captured from a ground
vehicle - an infantry or chopper has to grab it, so it's a good opportunity
for a sniper on defense.

Dalian Plant: This map has an immense Chinese bias, and the USMC will have to
have very superior players to come away with a win. Two flags will spawn
attack choppers, so those are important to grab, and the Maintenance Building's
flag is mostly immune to air power and artillery, so that's a plus. Otherwise,
USMC just needs to make some quick captures and hope that China's jet pilots
are incompetent.

Daqing Oilfields: A really fun place for a Commander. The Oil Cisterns, Gas
Station, and Old City have excellent cover from jets and artillery, and are
perfect for a Commander to defend or swipe (because there are cars everywhere).
Since this is a Conquest: Head On map, holding those flags is half the battle.

Dragon Valley: As appears to be a trend on most Assault maps, the Refinery
holds some massive hardware: armor, mobile AA, and an attack chopper. I suggest
that the Commander take one of the APC's and stay near the flag with a supply
crate to defend against any attackers. The other rear flags provide important
APC's which will go mostly unchallenged.

FuShe Pass: A surprisingly balanced and symmetrical, if armor-heavy map. If
one team can get control of all the APC's on the map, it'll be hard to stop
them, so it is vital that you at least hold the flag nearest to your team's
base and then expand from there or you may be overwhelmed by the sudden surge
of enemy armor.

Songhua Stalemate: Another REALLY APC-intensive map, also well-balanced and
symmetrical. In fact, every single flag spawns one or more armors, so the
key is to capture all the flags you can, USE the armor, and have a lot of
engineers working together. Whichever team loses their initial control of the
armor will find it difficult to make a comeback, even if they manage to retake
flags, and the winning team that foolishly doesn't use their vehicles will
find the battle reversed so fast that their heads will spin.

Wake Island 2007: So, this map is really popular for the reason that China has
a MASSIVE AND UNFAIR ADVANTAGE. While the USMC has a long way to travel by
boat or blackhawk, China gets the absurdly powerful J-10, and an ace pilot or
two can win the battle singlehandedly (or doublehandedly as the case may be)
when there are 32 players or fewer. Control of the Airfield will dictates
advantage, and from there, strategy is trying to pin your enemy down. A quick
way for China to lose, unless the USMC team has very superior players, is if
their only flag is the North Village - USMC can destroy the bridge and whittle
their tickets away with bombing runs and sniper fire.


10) Typical Game

Now I will shortly detail how to put all of this information together during a
standard 32-player game on a public server lasting about 30 minutes. Playing on
a team composed of clanmates or otherwise dedicated team-players with a plan
would be really great, and I'd love to write a walkthrough for that, but public
games are significantly more common.

Before I even put on the fancy Commander hat, I consider the map. Maps with
good hiding spots near a flag, safe from helicopters and jets, are perfect to
take a Defensive position on. Otherwise, try to find some cover near your
Assets (UAV, scanner, and artillery). Daqing Oilfields in particular is a
great map for an alert and versatile Commander, so I will cover what to do on
that map.

It helps to have a fast computer when applying for Commander at the beginning
of the round - not just to beat your teammates to the position, but to start
using and charging your Commander toys right away. UAV is usually ready
immediately, and artillery is sometimes available for immediate use as well.
I will fire artillery at any cars that attempt to rush a neutral flag in this
critical stage of the game, but I save the UAV.

Under ideal conditions, the medic kit is usually best. Your goal is to deal
with infantry, keep yourself and allies healed, and HIDE from enemy vehicles.
You see, that particular flag can't be captured by a vehicle (you must be on
foot to get close enough). An always-healthy medic can deal with any threats.

If I am in danger, keeping constant UAV on the floor is extremely important
here, so that you know exactly what side infantry is coming from, and where to
run to evade being in an enemy vehicle's line of sight. Otherwise, I put UAV 
on another contested flag.

With three artillery cannons on the 32-player version of the map, you actually
do half-decent damage to enemy armor. I fire at other flags whenever I get a
chance, as long as we aren't winning by a landslide.

I will run a satellite scan the very second it recharges. Three flags means a
ticket bleed on this map, so I always keep a constant, vigilant watch on
anything going towards an undefended flag or to me. Also notable is that two
particular flags - the ones to the east and northeast - are often left utterly
undefended much of the time. Even better, there are locations that an infantry
can hide to be safe from artillery and bombing runs. If the middle flag seems
safe and we're in quick need of a flag, then I'll grab a car and go toward an
undefended outpost.

Of course, all of this is while running around in circles avoiding tanks trying
their best to kill me, as well as gunning down or grenading infantry that want
to take the middle flag. With the natural defense of that building, smart use
of UAV, and use of constant satellite scans as an early warning system, I can
hold out against a LOT of opposition because many tank drivers do not want to
hop out of their vehicle to capture the flag, and will simply camp the area.
Spawncamping is a valid tactic, and will get them a few kills, but it will NOT
capture a flag, which is more important in Daqing Oilfields than anything else.

I never try to be a hero by leading a frontline assault on a flag with actual
defenses. That's fine in some cases, but it's a total waste on this quirky map.
I get no points for my kills, defenses, and captures, but after personally
causing a ticket bleed of the enemy because I went and snagged or defended some
flags single-handedly with the assistance of UAV, then the x2 bonus is well
worth the lack of immediate reward.

I want to reinforce the goal: fill the infantry full of holes, and HIDE from
the tanks. Don't let them even see you, and try to avoid the possibility of
stray cannon shots killing you by maneuvering yourself smartly.

If all goes well, your team only needs to hold three flags as long as they can,
and with you flawlessly defending at least one, that's already a step in the
right direction. Note that you will find it much harder to defend that middle
flag without the UAV, as multiple vehicles circling the building can mean you
run from danger, and into the sights of a tank, and you also don't know where
incoming infantry are.

The bottom line is that you want flags, and you want more tickets than the
enemy. Get those two things by any means possible, and you have won.


11) Badges

Everyone is badge- and stat-crazy nowadays. The Commander badges are easy to
get, compared to some others.

Basic Command: 40 Commander points (before it doubles).
Veteran Command: 1,000 Total Comm. points, 25 minutes as Commander in a round.
Expert Command: 10,000 Total Comm. points, 30 minutes as Commander in a round.
Staff Officer Ribbon: 28 minutes and 50 Commander points in a round.

The secret for these awards is getting FEWER PLAYERS on BIGGER MAP SIZES,
like 20 players on a 32-size map. Think about it: there will be more teamwork
points because of more flag captures, and each point everyone gets is worth
more to YOU because of smaller teams! For Veteran and Expert, you'll just have
to keep commanding, and try and win as much as you can. At a reasonable 120
points per hour, that's a little over 83 hours for gold. Keep at it.

Also, try to avoid maps with ticket frequent ticket bleeds when going for
badges. Assault maps where you are on the attacking side are the best as long
as you don't win early by capturing all the flags.

The War College Ribbon requires a win/lose ratio of 3:1, along with 50 hours
of commanding on your record. I don't really ecourage stacking teams on
autobalance-off servers, but for this ribbon, you might have to do what you

The Distinguished Service Ribbon and Medal are purely time-based; 10 hours
and 100 hours respectively. Well within the means of a dedicated Commander.

Artillery kills don't show on your score, and they don't give you points, but
they DO count toward the Combat badge for your current kit if you haven't
gotten it yet.


12) Other Tips

Ground zero is synonymous with candy. Don't worry about it.

There WILL be an attempted mutiny if you are doing terribly or perfectly, but
never if you're doing decently.

Mutinies never succeed.

Your team will ALWAYS ask for supplies, UAV, or an artillery strike when
you're dead or piloting.

Some enemies won't like getting hit by artillery all the time. Do NOT let
their complaints change your artillery habits. All is fair in war.

The invisible, faster-than-light, utterly silent "supply aircraft" that drops
supply crates has REALLY bad fuel economy. Most maps are, what, no more than
a kilometer or two wide? The aircraft makes one trip, and then spends a minute

If you're in danger from a single enemy, don't waste the UAV and don't use a
Scan when every second counts. Pull out your laptop, and use "Spotted" on the
general area you think the enemy is in. At worst, you'll spam the radio a
little bit by saying, "Enemy forces spotted!" Big deal.


13) Conclusion

Practice doesn't make perfect - it makes habits. Perfect practice makes

Still, keep practicing. Every aspect of the game you try - Commanding, tanks
jets, helicopters, all kits - will help with your overall skill. You will be
able to visualize your opponent's point of view as they attack you, and you
can defend and evade accordingly.

Whining and screaming, "Hacker!" is not a valid "defense". Get real.


14) Credits

You, for reading this, and aspiring to gain knowledge.

Me, for writing stuff.

CJayC, for maintaining one of the greatest sites on the Internet.

Joel B. for suggesting a rundown of a typical Commander's (me?) game.

David Sirlin, webmaster of, for reminding us how to play to win,
and for reminding us to shed the invisible rules we create for ourselves.

Dragons (the kind with pretty scales), for being here for everyone.

DragonForce, for being the leetest band ever to entertain my ears.


15) Legalities

This document is copyrighted to me, Kenthar Drahon. You may read, download,
and point it out to acquaintances via word of mouth freely, but do not edit,
plagarize, repost, or reproduce this guide or any part of this guide anywhere
without my EXPLICIT permission.


See you on the battlefield.

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