Campy Players, Not Maps (Case Study: "Two Tanks")

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Campy Players, Not Maps (Case Study: "Two Tanks")

Post by Agatha »


Every time when I want to play Two Tanks, I end up sitting by myself forever, waiting for anyone to join. The occasional player that does never stays very long, and after several deaths invariably mumbles about Two Tanks being a "campy map", before leaving.

It's never specified quite what a "campy map" constitutes and why it's bad, but I reckon it'd be like: maps where camping is implicitly encouraged by map design, and where campers therefore have overwhelming advantage over more active players, to the point where "active" strategies become infeasible.

The thing is . . . there just aren't any maps like that.

I suppose it's actually theoretically possible: should you have a wide-open field with one-way shoot-through bases at each end with free lasers inside them—then yeah, that'd be campy. All you could do is camp because everything else (i.e. running across the field) would be suicide.

But again, there just aren't any maps like that. No reasonably designed map is like that. No reasonably designed map is "campy".


Specifically, Two Tanks is not campy.

Two Tanks comprises two large tank-themed bases over a cluttered field, with two rails circling the edge and jump points inside each "barrel" of each tank base.

Most people, including people that should know better, play Two Tanks by grabbing free L, hopping up on their base's "tank tread", and sniping at people on the other side doing likewise. After several rounds of mostly random kills or deaths, they log out, citing the map's campiness.

Like bruh you've touched only 1% of the map :V

From your base, you can drop backward, sideways, through the base and forward, or jump through the tele onto terra firma. No campers can shoot you once you're on the ground, but there do exist several places where you can shoot them with pyramid shots. There're no fewer than forty-five (ninety with symmetry) shots from ground toward campers and jumpers :V

You can also jump onto the rail, which does make you vulnerable to L campers but also gives you unique shots back toward them. Grab ST from where the rail leads, and you can drop down. Or, take the rail farther into enemy territory, possibly trading out for GM on the way.

Or, you can jump through your tank base's gun barrel and land on the enemy base itself. Should campers try to stop you from doing that, jump through the tele up front and take them out for free. You can also enter your barrel from above or side using clip techniques.

ST is incredibly powerful on Two Tanks—much more than L, actually; ST strong-counters L camping. SW remains weak (as it should be), but still plenty enough for destroying campers from ground-level. WG and GM can be viable too. Like, even A is buffed.

And none of this gets at flag pressure. The opposing team flag is typically placed down a crack requiring N / T / TH to retrieve. You can grab it and return it to base with literally zero exposure to base laser campers if you choose. Laser camping doesn't work when you capture their flag—and today there's even a nice point bonus too, if you're motivated by imaginary internet points, making camping even less relatively attractive.

Campers on Two Tanks can basically only shoot other campers. However, everyone else can shoot them. Two Tanks is not a campy map. it's actually a camper punishment map.


I suggest that the more accurate division isn't between campy maps and uncampy maps, but between campy players and uncampy players.

Many players, whatever you tell them, will just L camp until they die. And they will die. Per my strategy guide, "If you plan on laser camping until you die, then you do know that you will die, eventually, while laser camping. Your enemy knows you will die, while laser camping. They then have full latitude when deciding the manner, timing, priority, and significance of your death, up to the options they themselves have at their disposal." Campers trade initiative and defense for specialized attack, hoping for enough kills to offset your ease of killing them.

Other players will take more active strategies, and have that wide variety of skills and adaptability among them. Adaptive strategy and variety almost always turns out to be more effective, and I would argue more fun, so I try to do that myself.

I think Two Tanks demonstrates that the very existence of certain flags (namely L) can short-circuit certain active players' intelligence into believing that they should become campy players, even when better options exist!


Two Tanks isn't campy. Most maps, in fact, aren't. There are only campy players.

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Re: Campy Players, Not Maps (Case Study: "Two Tanks")

Post by Zehra »

Two Tanks, as well as most other maps, are nice with multiple players. (3vs3 and the map still barely feels like it has any action in a lot of cases.)

What you wind up with is the game play becomes tedious and boring. Only x common/shortcut routes available and only x paths available to a certain location from x position, only x time in where it is sensible to move a certain way. (This provides a form of predictability which is needed, but also prevents a large form of randomness from occurring.)

No one simply wants to play a turn based version of BZFlag, as it would not be fun... This is what happens to a great deal of maps when they have less than 3vs3 or 2vs2 players. A.k.a. you wind up with players mainly waiting to make a move vs actually making a move. Often in these cases, you have around 3 typical possibilities, a newbie, a regular player or a pro at the game, with someone entirely new to the game and someone who knows all the maps features/aspects to better play the map than most pros can do so.

Already you are at a level of where you are aware of most of the features and can best take advantage of them.(Ref: "Two Tanks" Pyramids-to-Jumpers Shots Chart.)

The average player won't bother to do so, same as most pro players who while they will take a closer look, they will not take a close look in so much depth.

While Two Tanks may not be "campy", it does allow some players to have and use a considerable advantage over the majority of players.

Here in this case, a lot of players wish to rack up points efficiently. (This does not mean having 9-1 kill to death ratio, but rather 3-1 or 11 to 10 ratio by effecting sniping the majority of players with laser.)

The biggest factor though, which is certain, is most maps will almost always have sections where players will tend to frequently use or employ a certain tactic within those areas.(While perhaps not designed specifically for this, they may be frequently used as a camp ground for certain players.)

In short, what is seen is a combination of the above factors working to create such conditions in terms of the feel of a "campy" map.

So in a strict sense, very few maps are actually campy maps, but a decent sum of them do have camping grounds which will be frequently used by certain players or types of players.

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Re: Campy Players, Not Maps (Case Study: "Two Tanks")

Post by tainn »

Camping on Laser Tanks isn't even that bad, you can always drop to the ground and it's level battle from there. It gets pretty bad, however, when players break the unwritten etiquette and use Stealth (ST) or Wings (WG) in 1v1 situations, essentially regardless of the map, resulting in one-sided slaughter.
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