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Al Sundan is a Battlefield V map introduced in the fourth chapter of Tides of War, Defying the Odds. It was released on June 27th, 2019 for Team Deathmatch and Squad Conquest gamemode first due to stability issues on Conquest. The map released for Conquest and Breakthrough on September 26th, 2019.
The map is a conversion of the Butcher and Bolt chapter of the Under No Flag War Story to function as a multiplayer level. Taking place on an unidentified point on the North African coast, it features German and American forces fighting for dominance over a large vehicle-focused map.
Al Sundan, translated from Arabic as "the Anvil", is a region of great topographical diversity, and a map that matches it scale of distance with scale of verticality - 300m tall mountains with near vertical cliff faces; smaller and more numerous hills with both flat and pointed summits; deep, trench-like river gorges complete with rushing waterfalls; steep and narrow ridges that act as colossal walls, blocking off sections of the map; and substantially flatter areas, both wet and dry. The map is also lush and covered with vegetation, which considering the large area of the map helps it feel much less barren and featureless compared to its desert map counterparts.
Although surrounded by mountains, the majority of the main play area is actually comprised of the Wetlands, a partially flooded low-lying estuary containing flowing tracts of saltwater and small islands, with a less ambiguous shoreline along its far edge. This terrain makes up much of the map south, and cuts between the river gorge and the southern mountain range before linking up with the sea. Much of the infrastructure is located to the north of this, such as a major airbase on the map's west side, a moderately sized Village in the center, and a long bridge across the wetlands to the east. This area also includes the majority of the map's roads which are themselves limited by terrain, riding perilously along cliff edges and bending sharply around mountains.
Under a burning midday sun, the air over the battlefield has been heated such that an aggressive layer of shimmer covers the map, obscuring distant objects and interfering with aerial spotting, as does the significant glare produced by the reflection of sunlight in water. In areas lacking in conventional cover, infantry can find concealment in palm tree thickets or in the shade of the many mountains and hills dotting the map.
|Control Point||Conquest||Breakthrough||Squad Conquest||Frontlines|
There are six flags in Conquest, with the majority lying along the northern section of the map, spread out along a single connecting roadway. The remaining two are found on the opposite side of the Wetlands, tending towards the southeast corner of the map. The three central objectives of C, D and E are located closer together than most others, but have direct and open sightlines between each other. The remaining objectives lie at the edges of the play area, and are isolated from adjacent objectives by large terrain obstacles.
500 respawn tickets are initially available to each team. While objective areas are usually small and centered on singular structures or land features, the sheer scale of the map increases the likelihood of engagements occurring at long distance. Players on foot can spend a significant amount of time travelling between objectives, although this is alleviated by the abundance of transport vehicles. Finally, the map has a high concentration of heavy vehicle spawns - a maximum of seven aircraft, six tanks and six Squad Reinforcement vehicles - which can be used to great effect. A large portion of the southern map section is inhospitable for infantry, but is ideal terrain for tanks - of further benefit, almost all objectives have a Vehicle Supply Station located nearby, allowing repairs and resupply to be carried out quickly, regardless of position on the field. Meanwhile the many surrounding mountains, ridges and valleys gives pilots much freedom in executing over-the-horizon attacks or when evading trailing enemy aircraft.
The US deployment is on the southeast side of the map, located on a short strip of shore between the ocean estuary to the south, and a deep ravine channelling a rapidly flowing river, to the direct north. The location is overshadowed to the west by a tall, steeply edged mountain housing a radio antenna at its peak, which at its base parts the nearby roadway around itself. The southern branch directs players along the coast road past Shoreline Battery flag, skirting the southern perimeter of the Wetlands to connect up with Airfield. Heading around the northern side of the mountain leads downhill towards the river basin and Bridgehead flag, which itself links the two southern flags up with the map's main body. US players should be cautious of Germans occupying these two high proximal objectives, as well as the heights at Bridgehead - Mountain between them - control of these areas gives the enemy team free reign over the two, highly limited base exits as well as a largely unobstructed view into the US deployment area, although much of the mountain's eastern face is off-limits to them.
The Germans deploy from the northeast map edge at the far end of the northern mountain road, which snakes eastwards around the base of a large mountain peak to eventually connect up with Village. Their deployment point is within a small hamlet along the west face of the mountain. The area is one of the highest points on the map, and looks directly down onto Airfield along the gradually sloping plain to the southwest. The elevated area provides some modicum of spawn protection for the team, but like the US it is lacking in base exit points, and the overall out-of-bounds area is even smaller. The result is that the area is vulnerable to long-range attack from an enemy-held Airfield flag or its adjacent ridge, while vehicles moving along the single narrow cliffside road are vulnerable to ambush due to their lack of alternate routes.
The Airfield objective is the westernmost flag found on the map, and the largest built-up area on the map. The base, which is embedded between mountainous ridges on most sides but bordered by perfectly flat expanse of desert to the northwest, consists of two runways, labelled the North and South Strips. While the North Strip cuts diagonally across the featureless desert floor out of bounds, the South Strip runs parallel to a number of support buildings built at each of its sides. Across the way near the northern checkpoint is a Vehicle Supply Station and three barracks buildings, while to the south are a further pair of barracks. Between these is a large hangar housing an inoperable Stuka dive bomber, as well as a large square pit covered with netting used for the storage of supplies - it is these two structures, as well as the nearest barracks block of the northern cluster, that is the focus of the capture radius. In spite of its surroundings which are bulldozed flat, these structures mean the area is well covered even against overhead attacks, which can come not just from aircraft but from the large, wall-like ridge which towers over the airfield along its western length, shielding it from the rest of the map.
Control of the airfield grants one additional plane spawn to that team, with the plane having to takeoff along the South Strip. In most cases this happens to be the German team, as the Airfield is quite close to their deployment point. Seizing this flag as the US can be useful for denying the Germans this additional support, although taking off from the runway while such a short distance from the main enemy base requires some caution. Furthermore the similarly close by Aircraft Supply Hook, found along the North Strip, means the flag may attract potentially unwanted attention from aircraft of either side. To counter this, a Flak 38 anti-aircraft gun is located within the capture zone, which can cover the full length of the airstrip. A second Flak 38 gun is found nearer the end of the runway. Two light troop carriers and a halftrack towing a mobile anti-tank gun are also spawned by the flag.
Wooden watchtowers can be found at intervals along the length of the southern runway, while other points of interest within the larger Airfield map location are the two hangars and airplane graveyard located on its west side of the runway, both of which are outside the play area in Conquest. Another Airhook is located far to the south of the base, near the mountainous coast.
This flag, like all others in Conquest, includes a pre-built Ammo and Health Station within its vicinity.
B: Observation PostEdit
The Observation Post is located on the northwestern sector, directly east of the German deployment. It is located amongst the Hamlet map location, a set of two buildings built onto the craggy, boulder-choked cliffside of the northern mountain, adjacent to roadways. The flag itself is concentrated on the lower-lying, southernmost of the two structures - a four room, two story house with balconies, which is surrounded by a noncontinuous perimeter of wood and sandbag fencing and a small yard area used for storage. The flag is isolated from the rest of the map by its precarious position on the edge of a 30m, flat-faced cliff, at the bottom of which is the start of the Wetlands. The flag can only be practically reached by road, via either the German spawn, the Airfield or the Northern Village Outskirts. The unforgiving terrain, proximity to the main German base, and general dearth of cover within the small capture zone, can make it difficult to attack as the US.
As well as a Vehicle Supply Station located unnervingly close to the cliff edge, the flag contains a Flak 38 gun which is positioned well on the high ground with unobstructed sightlines. A further light transport and halftrack spawn on the point.
This Village is a crossroads town - located centrally, with a total of six roads in and out, with one of those being the Bridgehead main route that directly joins the two halves of the map together. It is also the only major civilian settlement in the region and contains just over a dozen buildings. The Village has a unique appearance because of its unusual location, sandwiched between two mountains, with the east and northern blocks built partially along its slopes. The tiered streets and alleyways of the East Village towers over much of its remainder and outskirts, and is undoubtedly the dominant position within the settlement. As such, it is this area, the highest point within the Upper Village, which is the focal point of the capture zone. The flag includes the single two-story house and walled-off yard area built upon the flat heights adjacent to the northern roadway. Within its surroundings, the area is unrivalled in terms of height, and can be used to decisively control the many roadways that pass through the area, as well as extend team control into the salt marshes to the south.
A Flak 38 is found within the second highest tier of the East Village, located around the Squad Conquest objective of Courtyard. A light carrier and halftrack also spawn on the upper heights.
D: Radar StationEdit
The Radar Station consists, appropriately, of a dish-type detection post constructed upon a flat topped, stack-like landform located on the northern edge of the low-lying Wetlands. A narrow but fairly deep road valley on its northern side separates the flag from Village to the direct northeast. Aside from the radar unit itself, of which identical models can be found on Aerodrome and Mercury, the installation includes a number of sandbags fortifications around the lip of the hill, which generally mark the outer edges of the flag's capture zone. Surrounded by lower elevation terrain, in addition to heavily sloped sides and only one roadway up on the north side, the hill and flag can be troublesome to attack using vehicles, although the fairly exposed hilltop can be attacked from vantage points within the Village, or from the adjacent northern mountain roadway which is of similar height.
In a similar vein, the concentrated nature of the capture zone can make it a prime target for air attack. To counter this, a Flak 38 anti-aircraft gun is found near the western edge of the hill, while a Vehicle Repair Station in the center of the hill summit can be utilized by any vehicles that make it up there. A static AT gun can be built to cover the road up to the flag, as well as the Village crossroads further to the northeast.
An additional tank spawn is allocated to the flag's controlling team, as well as one light transport and a halftrack that also spawn here.
The Bridgehead objective is orientated on the long, multi-arched bridge spanning the eastern width of the Wetlands. Beneath the bridge, the salt marshes drain into a deep plunge pool, forming a rapidly flowing waterfall on its east side. The capture area is focused on the southern end of the Bridge itself, around a bend in the road that links the US spawn with Village. The immediate area astride the gravel roadway, which is slightly raised up from the adjacent Wetlands, contains only a single building and light fortifications amidst a cluster of palm trees. The area is itself overlooked by a high ridge, one of several around the perimeter of the southern mountain range known as Bridgehead - Mountain. Although outside the capture zone, this high ridge can be used to defend many of the northern approaches to Bridgehead across the waterlogged southern basin.
The Bridge structure contains three sections which can be destroyed with explosives, cutting off the most direct paved vehicle route between the northern and southern sections of the map. These sections can be repaired using the Toolbox, although doing so can take a long time if multiple sections are collapsed. Players may also capture the objective from underneath the southernmost Bridge arch, with the overhead structure providing cover against any snipers on the ridge, or any tanks on the roadway below it, which may make use of the Vehicle Supply Station in the immediate vicinity.
One light transport, one halftrack and one Flak 38 can be found nearby.
F: Shoreline BatteryEdit
The Shoreline Battery is on the opposite side of the mountain from Bridgehead, on the map's southern extremities. The area consists of a coastal defense strongpoint constructed on a cliffside plateau, raised up from and overlooking the East Shore, where three concrete pillboxes stand vigilant aside World War I-era siege howitzers. The area was also evidently used as a supply base by the Germans, as rows of camouflaged Opel Blitz trucks, stacks of wooden crates and a functional Vehicle Supply Station fill up much of area to the rear of the bunkers. The Battery is further bordered to the north by the southern slope of the Bridgehead Mountain, which is marked with several mountain trails carved across its face.
The Battery is one of the more isolated flags on the map - tucked away far in the south and hidden from the rest of the game world by a broad, albeit navigable, mountain belt, the only direct route in is via the roadway from US spawn. However, control of the flag may allow better control over said mountain, which can in turn be used to extend dominance over the Bridgehead and southern marshes. The strongpoint can be further strengthened with fortifications around the eastern approaches, where the south-coast road junction at the cliff edge can be blocked with tank traps, further limiting vehicle access.
The flag provides one extra tank spawn when captured. Two light vehicles and an AT gun-towing halftrack are located here, as well as the aforementioned Vehicle Supply Station. On the mountain summit to the west of the radio antenna, there is a Flak 38. Another Vehicle Supply Station is found on an "island" within the Southern Wetlands, about halfway between this flag and Airfield.
In Breakthrough, the US launch a westerly assault from the coastline, aiming to smash through the German strongholds embedded in the northern mountain range with the goal of capturing from them a major regional airbase. They have 300 tickets to successfully break through the four sectors.
Al Sundan is one of the least restrictive Breakthrough maps in terms of map boundary - attackers have a great deal of freedom of movement, allowing them to assault sector objectives from all directions, including from close to the defender's sector spawn. Similarly, defenders can take up positions far away from the objective areas to the sides and rear, or push right up to their enemy's deployment point. Such opportunities can allow players to more easily bypass the many terrain obstacles presented by the highly varied topography while also making it difficult for the defenders to maintain a continuous frontline.
Sector one contains only a single objective, the Bridgehead. The US, attacking from their Conquest deployment around the Bridgehead - Mountain, must proceed downhill into the valley Wetlands to seize control of the Bridge structure itself, which the capture zone covers along its entire length. The flag can be captured from atop the bridge, beneath it, and at its sides, including the narrow strip of rocky cliffside at the top of the waterfall. The shape of the capture zone seems to benefit the defenders, becoming wider towards their end of the bridge and allowing capture progress to be influenced from a greater number of positions.
The most glaring hurdle for the attacker team at this stage is the lack of cover on their approach. The road from the East Shore base to the Bridgehead is exposed to fire from the opposite valley edge, particularly from German emplaced weapons including an Stationary MG 34 and Pak 40 that can be built at their end of the bridge. The US may use their secondary spawn at the top of the Bridgehead - Mountain and advance downhill and across the river basin instead, but this is similarly fraught with risk of being picked off by long-range weapons. Once inside the capture zone however, engagement typically occur at much shorter ranges. Players will generally seek cover between the bridge arches, moving forward from one to the next towards the center of the objective.
The US receive two tanks, a towable AT gun, a halftrack, and two GPWs at this and each later stage of battle, while the Germans are provided one tank, a Kubelwagen and an AT gun-towing halftrack of their own.
Sector two shifts beyond the bridge, with the attack now falling upon the Village at its far end. Objective A is fought for control of the high ground on the eastern side of the settlement, while objective B is concentrated on the Inspection Station, located on considerably lower ground on the western Village outskirts. The former objective, known as simply as Village, covers a much greater area than in Conquest. While the flag itself is found in the expected position on the plateau at the hilltop, the zone of control is shifted north and now extends downhill over much of the eastern town block, including four buildings and their interiors within. The Inspection Station objective is also expanded relative to Squad Conquest, with the capture zone now covering the adjacent roadway and crossroads at the village's lowest point, however the area is still very small compared to other sectors.
The US spawn at this stage is relocated to the north end of the Bridgehead bridge, very close to the Village. From their they can take the northern road to attack the heights directly, or use the low road to filter through the Village area at less defended points. If Village can be captured, the high ground can be used to support further attacks on Inspection Station. They also have the option of taking wide flanks across the Wetlands up to Radar Station - this position can provide a protected jumping-off point for attacking the nearby Inspection Station objective. The Germans have their two spawn points on the Village outskirts to the west and north, the latter of which allows them to more easily counterattack Village.
Both teams are granted a plane each at this stage.
In sector three, the battle is concentrated on a single objective once again - the Observation Post located on the heights near the Northern Mountain summit. Relative to its Conquest location, the capture area is shifted further uphill to the the higher mountain road, although the large radius encompasses most of the Conquest area and is generally expanded in all directions.
The large cliff that borders the Observation Post to the south can make it difficult for attackers to mount an offense from any direction other than frontally. Although the approach into the objective from the two eastbound roads offers a lot of directional cover in the form of boulders and displacements in terrain, the attackers have a long uphill journey across much more exposed valleys and ridges of Village Outskirts - West before reaching the final hill crest. The attackers can however advance along the much more shielded foot of cliffs, scaling them at the far west edge of the capture zone, although this is directly inline with the defender's main spawn.
In terms of objective layout, the area is one of the largest encountered in the operation, giving both teams plenty of options of hiding, although with no accompanying objective it is still susceptible to aerial bombing. A single Flak 38 behind the southern Observation Post building can offer defenders a deterrent against such attacks.
The final sector takes place at the Airfield. Of the two objectives in this critical phase, the Supply Station objective is concentrated on the northern end of the base near the Barracks and supply pit, while the other objective is located almost entirely within the lone Hangar on east side of the runway.
Once again, the US have freedom to manoeuvre onto the objective from many directions. The most direct route from their sector spawn near the Observation Post is across the hilltops around the Airfield - Mountain, attacking the base from the north. However, they may also scale the large ridge that borders the base to the east to gain a vantage point, or use it as cover to advance into the enemy's rear areas near the southern end of the runway, which is nearby to the German's sector spawn.
At this point the initiative is firmly in the hands of the attacker, as the Germans are forced to defend from multiple angles of attack in an area that fundamentally lacks cover. To combat this, fortifications can be built along the runway to create makeshift trench lines, while tank blockers can force enemy armor into the sights of stationary Pak 40 guns buildable by Support players.
Squad Conquest, was one of two modes (along with Team Deathmatch) that was available to play on Al Sundan during its debut on June 27th, 2019. It takes place within the Village on the north side of the map. The settlement, being built into the cliffside of the adjacent mountain, features heavily varied elevation and houses that are packed in tightly with one another, but is surrounded by more open terrain around the central crossroad and outskirts to the north and south, the latter forming the opposing teams' deployment areas.
Each side has 160 tickets at the start of a round, and two deployment points. There are no vehicles.
The US deploy along the southwest edge of the settlement, with their primary spawn being along a roadway that leads directly to Inspection Station. This main route is mostly exposed to the east, although players can skirt around the cliffs on the south edge of the roadway on their approach towards the map center. Alternatively, they may deploy from the Radio Tower location to the south, across the open mudflats known as Beach. Again, players are highly vulnerable crossing the sparsely-covered area, especially as the entire spawn can be watched over from the Upper Village and Courtyard.
Each deployment point contains Ammo and Health Caches.
The Germans deploy from the hillside to the north of the Village, with their primary spawn being at the top end of the ravine that borders Storehouse to the west. Their secondary deployment point is along a roadway in the northeast corner of the Village Outskirts. Both spawns are similarly exposed and lacking in cover as the US deployment area, particularly to any players defending Storehouse or set up on the high ground around Village - East.
A set of Supply Stations are within both deployment areas.
A: Inspection StationEdit
The Inspection Station is located on the west side of the Village, standing away from most other buildings aside the central crossroads. It consists of a single two-story structure, surrounded by a raised foundation that places the building at the same height as the adjacent hill roadway but elevated relative to the crossroads themselves. The capture zone encompasses the entire building, as well as a small area outside on the south and east perimeter. As a result, a fight for control of the flag is likely to be for control of the building itself, with the upper stories of the structure allowing for a greater degree of control over the surrounding area as long as they remain intact.
It is the lowest flag in terms of elevation, and may be subject to long-range attack from a multitude of directions, such as the upper Village around the Courtyard objective, the hills directly adjacent at Village - Northwest or the US spawn at Radio Tower, although line of sight between the similarly elevated Storehouse is blocked by intervening buildings. Meanwhile, the rocky hill crest on the west side of the capture zone obfuscates views into the US team's primary spawn.
A Health and Ammo station are found in different rooms on the building's ground level.
The Courtyard objective is located within the upper portion of the Village in the southeast corner of the play area. The zone consists of a flat, open area surrounding a small single-story house, located on the edge of the eastern cliffs. The area is bordered by further houses to the west, and overlooked by another atop a flat-faced rise to the direct north. The capture zone includes the ground at the foot of this rise, as well as the lone building towards the east of the radius.
Because of its significant elevation, the point can be reached in only limited number of ways, providing a great deal of defensive opportunities. Players approaching from the west can route through the sloped alleyways of the Village, or climb directly up using a single staircase on the south side of the settlement - much of the Fortifications around this objective are orientated towards defending this approach. From there, they can continue climbing up to the raised plateau of Village - East, enabling them to shoot down into the capture zone from above. Alternatively, players may flank along the southern roadway parallel to the Beach, and climb up a rocky trail to enter through the back side of the flag.
The Storehouse flag is found within the Downtown area of the Village, along its northern outskirts. As with the other objectives, the diminutive capture zone covers just a single building, as well as a small expanse around its exterior walls. For this point, it includes a small alleyway between the Storehouse building and the Northwest Hills, the walls of which creates blind spot for those viewing the area from the eastern German spawn. Outside the capture zone to the immediate west is another structure, bordering the ravine that adjoins to the west German deployment.
The Storehouse is raised up from its surroundings by a tall foundation, which means like Courtyard there are only a few ways in which it can be reached. There are sloping paths along the east and west sides of the capture zone, the former being significantly steeper and obscured by palm trees. The flag can also be infiltrated from the alleyways of Downtown by constructing rope ladders against the southern face of the foundation.
Team Deathmatch takes place in the same area as Squad Conquest, but with Squad Conquest deployments around the Radio Tower and Village - North cut off from the main play area. Within the Village, there are ample opportunities for both close and long range engagements, with combat occurring not only within the built up areas around the north and east, but also between these areas, as a result of the clear sightlines afforded by the sheer verticality of the settlement.
Frontlines became first playable on Al Sundan on December 5th, 2019. It is one of the more straightforward maps in terms of layout, with only three capture points and one HQ objective per team, with all points spaced out along the east side length of the Airfield. Each flag is parallel, on the same elevation, and with only a short distance (around 75m), from one another, with fairly constrictive capture zones concentrated around structures. Although they are separated in line of sight by buildings, cover is otherwise lacking around the flanks, which consist of the open runway on one side and the base of ridge roadway on the other.
The US Headquarters is by the northern road onto the Airfield, a short distance from the Barracks. The artillery gun objective is found at the T-junction at the base of the cliffs, separated to the south by a dual row of fortifications, a rally point for parked trucks, and a wooden watchtower. US defenders spawn on the hillside to the north.
The Barracks objective is north of the Hangar, with the distance between them mostly taken up by a below-surface supply dump. The objective radius covers two adjacent Barracks buildings, the alleyway between them and a small area about their outer perimeters. Although the buildings offer decent cover initially, high explosives can be used to demolish them, greatly opening up sightlines.
The designated central objective is the cylindrical hangar halfway along the runway, with the capture zone largely conforming to the interior of the structure. The sides of the hangar have missing wall sections and windows to vault through, allowing each team to enter and engage each other head on, while at the opposite ends of the structure are larger openings that can be blocked with sandbags. Inside the building, the wrecks of Stukas occupy the middle of the floorspace whilst the more substantial cover in the form of indestructible supply crates and metal shelving are located to the sides.
C: Supply PitEdit
The Supply Pit is to the south of the Hangar, separated from it by two barracks buildings. It consists of a square-sided pit covered with canvas, previously used for the storage of aircraft munitions, but cleared out in this mode. It is surrounded by an outer perimeter of sandbags. The pit and the adjacent fortifications give good cover for defenders, with the immediately adjacent roadway forming a killing ground for attackers to cross. However once enemies manage to infiltrate the pit, the majority of this cover is negated.
The German Headquarters is to the immediate south of the Supply Pit (even closer relative to the US base and its nearest objective at around 40m distance) located at the fork in the road near the airbase's southern exit. The single artillery gun objective is placed on the road, surrounded by a protective layer of sandbag fortifications and a watchtower. German defenders spawn on the runway a short distance south. The area is protected by a Stationary MG 34.
- The map's internal name is MP_SandAndSea.
- Although scheduled for a June 27th, 2019 release date, the implementation of larger gamemodes such as Conquest, Breakthrough and Frontlines was repeatedly delayed due to an artifacting issue specific to the map, possibly as a result of it not originally being designed for multiplayer. It was finally to released with Update 4.6 on September 26th.
- Originally, Al Sundan featured the United Kingdom as the Allied combatant. This was changed to the USA in the Summer Update on 4th June, 2020.
- In Conquest, the Airfield objective is one of the few in game that can theoretically be captured by aircraft, as its control radius extends up to just below the flight ceiling. However, the objective area is too narrow for aircraft to circle within it, making a full capture unlikely.
- Although the Germans are labelled as the map's defenders, in Conquest they start nearest to objectives at the start of the alphabet (A, B etc.) while the US attackers start at the further end (F, E). This is not the case in Squad Conquest, or indeed on any other map in Battlefield V.
- Despite taking place on the North African coast, the ocean only covers the south side of the map.
- Dust devils can be seen forming on the Airfield.