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The map takes inspiration from British attacks on German installations, airfields and supply lines in Libya during the westward retreat of the Afrika Korps, commanded by Erwin "The Desert Fox" Rommel, during 1942 and 1943.
Aerodrome is set within a mountainous patch of desert somewhere in the vicinity of Tobruk. In comparison to the sun-bleached sand of Hamada the terrain here is earthy, brown and sparse in vegetation, although both maps feature similarly uneven terrain. The entire map takes place in a valley, with steep ridges along its edges and low ground around the dry riverbed that cuts across the centre of the map horizontally. Settled between rocky outcroppings, bluffs and depressions on the periphery are a number of isolated military outposts that form the outer defenses of the main feature on the map - the airfield.
Devastated by a pre-round bombardment by British bombers, the German airstrip is a ruin. Its runway is a patchwork of smouldering craters, shredded airframes and burning oil slicks, while outbuildings such as the metal Hangars and Barracks are in tatters. However the centerpiece of the map survives - a large, concrete hangar that has been scarred by bomb impacts but remains standing, defiant amidst the plumes of black smoke and a commanding presence in the otherwise inconsequential desert expanse.
There are six objectives in Conquest, the majority of which are located on the south side of the dry river. In terms of deployment and objective layout, as well as vehicle complement, Aerodrome is noticeably asymmetric despite being of the standard Conquest gametype. For example, in contrast to the objectives on the British side of the map, the Aerodrome, Barracks and Hangars objectives are located very close together potentially giving the Germans a capping advantage early into the match when also considering their unique deployment arrangement.
Each side is allocated 700 tickets to start with - due to the abundance of spawns and even objective count, games on Aerodrome can last an appreciable length if teams are evenly matched. Despite taking place on an airfield, there are no air vehicles available to either team with all aircraft on the map being static world objects. The map also supports one tank and two gun carriers per team, spawnable through Squad Reinforcements.
The British spawn area is on the far west side of the map behind a series of large rocky bluffs that limit direct line of sight in from the main play area. As players must bypass the bluffs to leave the spawn, the deployment essentially has two exits. The southern route takes players through or around a narrow canyon known as the West Passage, where a short stretch of road connects to Depot. The northern exit takes players downhill towards Checkpoint. Although the British have two possible spawn locations both are located near to each other and correspond to these two main exits.
Infantry players can also climb the cliffs around the base of the bluffs to access the Overlook, a flat rock shelf that rises over the adjacent flags and dry creeks. There are Vehicle Resupply stations by the two base exits.
The Germans' two deployment locations are separated by some distance. The so named East Entry is their primary deployment used for spawning the team's tanks, and is located in the northeast corner of the map. A single road winds between cliffs to link the position to the nearby Radar objective.
The secondary location of Desert Outpost is found atop a low rise overlooking the two Hangars, in the map's southeastern corner. The majority of the team's light vehicles spawn here, providing rapid access to the adjacent Barracks objective. However, the openness of the terrain means the spawn area is in direct line of the sight to the high ground to the direct west. There are Vehicle Resupply Stations in each deployment site.
The Depot is located on the southwest edge of the play area. It consists of a small two-siding railyard surrounded by a high wooden fence along the perimeter. The railyard is in essence a large open pit with a dividing central platform between two stationary flatbed railcars bordered by higher ground around the periphery, which includes a tiered platform along the south side which is stacked with cargo crates, and a watchtower on the west side. The railtrack continues eastwards past the central hangar, while the flag itself lies parallel to the Depot Road leading from the West Passage. The mostly open, low ground terrain around the eastern approach from the Aerodrome objective and neighbouring South Ridge can be reinforced with Fortifications including dirt barricades and barbed wire, while the aforementioned road can be blocked with tank traps and crossed by a trench. Both the wooden watchtower and external fence can be ploughed through by vehicles, opening up sightlines considerably.
A prebuilt Health and Ammo station can be found on the south side of the rail pit, along the foundations of the raised storage platform.
Checkpoint is found in the map's northwestern sector, and is located at a triangular intersection between the British-held Hill Pass road, the dividing West River, and the so-called Rocky Road from the Radar objective. The intersection is located in a clearing where two barracks buildings, one on the southeast side and one to the north alongside a watchtower, stand astride the road loop at the center of which is a stony hump dotted with a few trees. More-so than Depot this flag is bordered to the west and north by domineering high ground, most notably the bluff Overlook accessible only to the British team. This can hamper German attempts to seize the flag, especially as the already sparse overhead cover provided by the buildings is destructible. The southeastern approach to the objective is made through the dry riverbed, where sightlines is broken up by a long rockform known as the Island which grants a covered route between Checkpoint and the Aerodrome.
The flag is the location of one of the map's three neutral Vehicle Repair Stations, which is found alongside the riverbed and Rocky Road a short distance east of the flag. Ammunition and Health caches can be interacted with from the outside of the southeastern and northern barracks, respectively. The central hump and adjacent roadways can be reinforced with trenches, tank traps and barbed wire to create more directional cover and partially block egress along the Rocky Road.
The namesake and most recognisable structure of the map, the Aerodrome objective is centrally located between the team's spawns at the western end of the charred runway. The interior of the building is split into a main chamber, accessible by open hangar doors at each end, and two side passages that run the length of the chamber and provide additional entrypoints via interactable personnel doors, four to each hallway.
The structure itself is roughly 70m long and 40m wide, with the main hangar covering the majority of this area. On the base level, the hangar is home to a number of static Ju 88 and Stuka aircraft awaiting service, standing beside racks of spare parts and piled-up crates of supplies. These aircraft, and the abundance of nearby red fuel barrels, provide an explosive hazard for players using them as cover. Although these large aircraft heavily obfuscate sightlines at ground level, the hangar area is deceptively open with an unobstructed lane through the center that is wide enough for even heavy tanks to maneuver through to each side. At the sides of the hangar are raised concrete gantries accessibly by staircases and ladders that act as overwatch positions against the hangar floor but are relatively devoid of cover aside from the triangular concrete support pillars found at regular intervals.
The side corridors are long, enclosed hallways with fairly unobstructed sightlines from end to end, although some scattered boxes and steel shelving units provide rudimentary directional cover. The clear and restricted nature of these areas can make them hazardous when the enemy is specifically defending them, although the large numbers of entryways allow ingress through potentially uncovered areas.
The exterior of the hangar is largely featureless, with little cover along its length aside from a few wooden sheds. The northern face is linked to the West River via River Side, while the south is bordered by the more open railway overlooked by South Ridge. The east and west approaches are similarly exposed, although the heavily cratered and debris-strewn Fire Strip to the east has at least some areas for infantry to make a covered approach.
In Conquest, the capture zone only includes the building interior, with the main chamber and parts of the side corridors falling within the radius. This means that control of the flag is dependent entirely on keeping enemies out, however this varies with other gamemodes. This can be done by blocking the main hangar doors with sandbag walls protected by tank traps. Ammo and Health caches can be constructed inside the hangar floor, around which further covered positions can be built in the otherwise fairly exposed location. Outside the hangar to the sotuheast on the edge of the South Ridge is another neutral Vehicle Supply Station - this is considered a "central" resource, with no corresponding station existing on the opposite north side of the map.
The Barracks is located a short distance across the Fire Strip to the southeast of the Aerodrome, to the back of which is the South Ridge. The Barracks area consists of six barracks buildings lined up along a central clearing and, like Depot, surrounded by a destructible perimeter wall. The two buildings nearest to Aerodrome on the west side are at slightly lower elevation than the rest, one of which is engulfed in flames. The rest are undamaged, arranged in a regular formation around a flat yard area and overlooked by a water tower by the northwest entrance. Only these four barracks fall within the capture zone, potentially leading to building-clearing actions to seize the objective.
A Health cache can build next to the flag itself in the middle of the open clearing, while the Ammo cache location is a short distance west. A number of defensive blocking positions can be built around the northwest and east entrances, including reinforcing the perimeter wall with sandbags. A Vehicle Resupply Station is found on the eastern edge of the position, on the Fire Strip between Barracks and Hangars. An AT can be constructed on the north edge of the strip, positioned to fire into the flanks of enemies approaching along the Rocky Road, or on the North Ridge - the gun is found to the direct east of the Aerodrome's control tower, which itself provides a powerful elevated position against its surroundings.
The Hangars objective is located a short distance from the Desert Outpost and the Barracks, found on the southeast edge of the map. It is the site of two identical, parallel metal dome hangars, both of which have been heavily damaged but are still standing. The structures are open ended, with torn-out side panels and open skylights granting additional infantry access along its length. The capture zone focuses mostly on the westernmost of these two structures.
The interior of the hangars are mostly open, although the occasional Stuka wreck and covered supply stack around the edges act as rudimentary cover. The two hangars are separated by a dividing alley and connected by a short road running along the base of the South Ridge - both are similarly barren. The Fire Strip forms the northern approach - swamped with burning oil fires and littered with the charred carcasses of aircraft, the smoke and bomb craters can hide infantry moving along what would otherwise be heavily exposed terrain.
Ammo and Health caches are found along the dividing alleyway, and fortifications can be built on the airstrip side to defend the northern approach to each hangar.
The Radar objective is located on a narrow hilltop in the northeast map segment, and is easily identifiable by the large installation base and radar dish. Inside the relatively small capture zone is a short section of net-covered trench to the east, and a spiny extension of the hill going north. The Radar is ringed by a series of roads that path uphill on opposite faces, and lies to the direct north of the West River and the Fire Strip. The position is further overlooked by the North Ridge.
The Radar flag offers a commanding position over the airstrip and low ground approaches along the Rocky Road but is generally devoid of cover. Improvised dirt barricades can be built along the base of the installation, and the cabin used by the radar operators can also provide cover. Although located close to the German spawn and with exposed approaches, the relative isolation from other objectives and lack of major defenses in the vicinity can potentially make it an easy capture for the British.
Aside from the expected complement of supply caches around the flag itself, the area can be further fortified with barbed wire and tank traps along the adjacent roads. A formidable fighting position that includes Vickers HMGs can be built in the dry bed of the East River, located between the Radar flag and the Air Traffic Control tower on the strip itself.
Day three of the Operation requires the British forces to attack and hold distinct lines of advance in order to roll back the German defenders and clear the airfield. There are a total of six objectives, arranged into four sectors. A characteristic of this map is that paired objectives are located far apart from one another, potentially limiting defenders' ability to respond to them once they fall to the attackers.
The British attackers begin the assault from the Desert and bluffs to the west of the map, with the Germans assigned to defend the landmarks nearest to the base - the Depot or objective A, and the Checkpoint of objective B. The Germans are only allowed to spawn at the Depot objective at the start of the battle, which the British can capitalise on by quickly taking Checkpoint while it is undefended. The attackers are expected to face heavier resistance in their approach across open ground towards the enclosed capture zone of Depot. Players may flank through the river to assault the objective from the rear, but this places them between the objective and the German's sector spawn atop the South Ridge.
The attackers have five tanks at this first stage, but have none in all subsequent sectors. Three are deployed from the northern Hill Pass, and two from the southern base exit of West Passage.
Sector two is focused singularly on the central hangar of the Aerodrome. The lone point and the constricted entrypoints of the Aerodrome allow the Germans to concentrate their forces for a robust defense. However, unlike Conquest the capture zone for the flag expands outside the exterior walls of the structure, permitting players to influence capture progress without entering the building. Counter to this, the placement of the flag itself in the middle of the main chamber means those inside are closer to the objective and therefore influence traction with more weight. A small band of accessible territory around the eastern airstrip allows the objective to be attacked from the opposite side of the building.
The next set are the most isolated objective pair, being located on opposite edges of the map vertically. Objective A is the Barracks located a short distance from the Aerodrome, whereas objective B is far to the north concentrated around the hilltop Radar. The direct route into A is across open terrain and is likely heavily defended, with assaulters facing fire from the South Ridge and along the length of the Fire Strip. The capture zone covers roughly the same area as Conquest, and so the British must push in to the main clearing area to influence the flag. Objective B, while having similarly exposed approaches, has a much larger capture area that allows it to fall to players gathered in the riverbank or at the base of the hill, while defenses are limited atop the hill area itself.
At this point the Germans are granted a tank spawn.
The final sector is another single objective phase, and constitutes the Hangars objective at the far end of the Fire Strip. Unlike in Conquest the flag radius covers both Hangar buildings as well as the immediate surrounding areas. The position of the German deployment atop the ridge overlooking the flag to the south gives them an advantage at this stage, however the comparative closeness of the British deployment at Barracks allows them to rapidly reinforce any assault.
A second tank is allocated to the defenders at this crucial stage.
Should no clear victor emerge on day three, teams will make one final effort to win the fourth day.
Regardless of which team actually wins the Grand Operation overall the outcome is the same. While the British forces made their assault on the Aerodrome, elements of a yet unseen German armored formation counterattacked and retook Halfaya Pass. With the relief force threatened with the same encirclement as those they battled to rescue at Tobruk, the British must abandon the operation and attempt a breakout back to friendly held lines. Although a hollow victory, they take pride in having damaged the reputation of the previously undefeated Afrika Korps as the North African theatre hangs in the balance once more.
The standalone version of Breakthrough on Aerodrome is identical in terms of layout and vehicle complement to its appearance on day three of Operation Battle Axe. The starting tickets for the attackers are +TICKETS+.
The Frontlines battle for Aerodrome takes place across the map's horizontal axis along a line south of the dry river. Despite this a large portion of the map's northern area, which includes the expansive North Ridge and Radar Ridge, fall within the accessible play area. Each side is allocated two tanks and one transport vehicle. Squad Reinforcement vehicles are disabled in this mode.
The two base objectives of the British Headquarters sector are found in and around Checkpoint, north of the river. Objective A is near the watchtower and north Barracks building, and objective B is outside the south barracks. Both objectives are exposed to the British deployment up the Hill Pass to the west.
A: Depot RoadEdit
The Depot Road objective is unique to Frontlines, and consists of a small section of land north of the main road on the edge of the dry riverbank. In essence the position consists of a trail leading downhill to the riverbed that wraps around an outcropping rock structure. The rock island acts as a barrier within the capture zone, shortening sightlines within the shallow semicircular gorge that makes up the landform. As with all other objectives, there is a set of Health and Ammo stations within the capture zone.
The middle objectives of Frontlines on Aerodrome is the Aerodrome. The capture zone is about the same size as encountered in Conquest, with the whole of the main hangar and a portion of the side corridors along the inner walls falling within the designated radius.
The Barracks objective is slightly expanded over Conquest, and now includes the partially destroyed lower ground buildings on the west side of the area, as well as the other four barracks buildings and the open yard between them.
The two base objectives of the German Headquarters sector are positioned in the Hangars east of the Barracks, with one placed inside each parallel structure. Objective B is the nearest to the attackers in the western hangar, while A is in the eastern hangar.
Domination takes place around the airfield in the map's center and southeast sectors. Everything north of the dry river and west of the Depot Road, as well as Radar, are cut off from play. However a large portion of the South Ridge, including elements of the German secondary deployment at Desert Outpost, are accessible.
The Aerodrome flag is centered around the main hangar and runs along its length, but excludes the side corridors.
The Barracks objective is located between the other two flags. It is the standard Conquest layout, with the westernmost barrack buildings excluded from the capture zone.
Consists of the two hangars east of the Barracks. The capture radius is roughly the same size and shape as objective A.
Team Deathmatch uses the same map boundaries as Domination.