The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Battlefield 1: New Guns and Rolling with the Armoured Train in the Beta

“Timing is everything. I’ve been trying for days to catch some fish for survival, and I took the chance on throwing a line in just now, while the narwal are forcing the char close to the shore, right past my lures” —Les Stroud, Survivorman

In the final day before the Battlefield 1 beta ended, DICE rolled out a patch that changed how conquest handled; games were now based entirely on ticket count rather than fixed to twenty minutes, and further unlocked all of the weapons for players to try out. As a result, some of the guns I was looking forwards to trying out became available, offering a chance to mix up my loadout away from the defaults that I had been running with in the beta. Thus, on the evening before the beta concluded, I was able to go on a short killstreak with the Model 10A shotgun, and goof off with both the Madsen MG (which reminds me of Perrine’s Bren LMG) and the Selbstlader M1916. These new weapons are a selection of what will be available in the full game, and their designs means that Battlefield 1 exudes the sense that it is Strike Witches in the Frostbite Engine even more strongly than before. However, the presence of new weapons alone did not motivate this post: in the last match I played through, I spawned in as a scout and was looking to play with a new sniper rifle with side-mounted optics by shooting out someone from 200 meters away. My team was losing, and with the announcement that the armoured train had spawned onto the map, I immediately redeployed, entering the train’s driver seat. I swapped out to the anti-air cannons, and finally was able to take the seat of the anti-aircraft gunner in the armoured train.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • I’ve always held a particular fondness for shotguns in first person shooters for their one-shot kill potential; because I’m a run-and-gun type player, I particularly enjoy close-quarters engagements, where a steady trigger finger coupled with a suitable weapon can be devastating. The Model 10A shotgun here is available for the assault class. Produced by Remington, it’s the predecessor to the 870 MCS that I’ve grown to enjoy using in Battlefield 4 and can be hip-fired with reasonable accuracy for close quarters carnage.

  • Here, I’m employing the Selbstlader M1916, better known as the Mauser M1916. These semi-automatic rifles proved to be immensely effective for the medic class, especially when equipped with the sharpshooter optics. I advanced the furthest with my medic class, tossing health kits here and there to help my team out, but owing to the poor implementation of the revive system, I never could see where fallen teammates were and so, never revived anyone during the course of the beta.

  • Any weapon with a top-mounted magazine will remind me of the Bren, Perrine’s preferred weapon in Strike Witches. With Brave Witches (Strike Witches‘ long-awaited third season) on the horizon, I’m looking forwards to seeing how the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing will interact with one another. While we are on the topic of anime, it seems that some ardent folks from Hong Kong have flown to Japan solely to watch Kimi no Na Wa. This is not a practise I approve of, particularly given that it is tantamount to paying the cost of flight and accommodations for a movie ticket.

  • The Gewehr 98 is said to have been the best bolt-action rifle in the Battlefield 1 beta for having the longest bullet travel distance, and here, I use it to pick off a player who named themselves after the Touhou character, nailing a headshot in excess of 100 meters. Continuing from earlier, while I mentioned that I would be blogging about Kimi no Na Wa as soon as it came out, it seems that this movie will follow Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below in release pattern. So, it’ll be another six month wait before the film becomes accessible.

  • Now comes the meat-and-potatoes of this post: I had fully intended to spend the match playing around with the Gewehr 98 and see what all the fuss about the scout class was, but my team was not faring so well. Moments later, the armoured train spawned in: I hastened to redeploy and was quick enough to spawn into the driver’s seat. However, I had wanted to try the anti-air cannons out and swapped into a different seat. After dealing damage to a land ship, the train acquired a driver and began moving towards point D. There, I opened fire on bombers and destroyed one.

  • The other team seemed to ignore the armoured train, allowing me to score some incredible kills against their pilots. Individual rounds from the anti-air cannons travel very slowly and require substantial leading in order to hit their targets, but they are explosive and can be fired relatively quickly, making it straightforwards to learn just how much to lead one’s shots by. It took a minute to master the weapon, and after that, I was blowing aircraft out of the sky with ease.

  • The moody grey skies sometimes seen in the Sinai Desert reminds me a little of the weather seen in Sora no Woto and Break Blade. With the Battlefield 1 beta now over, I will return to my journey through DOOM: in fact, I do plan on continuing through the fourth mission of DOOM later today. This week’s been a little hectic for work, but we were able to finish this week’s tasks before the weekend and had time to step out for some of the best Pollock fish and chips this side of town at the Pelican Pier under sunny skies with coworkers. It’s been a while since I’ve had fish and chips, and Pelican Pier’s turned out to be immensely delicious. Earlier last week, I had lunch at Muku Japanese Ramen for lunch to mark the end of another month with coworkers and ordered the shoyu ramen and eel rice.

  • Besides being highly effective at taking out aircraft, the anti-air cannon is effective against infantry and light vehicles. Here, I deal serious damage against a jeep on the ground and dispatched its operators, as well, to earn a cool 666 points. The anti-air gun will run out of ammunition after firing a sustained salvo, but it reloads quite quickly, and I’ve scored some kills by firing on an approaching aircraft, running out of rounds, waited for the reload and proceeded to destroy it after it had passed overhead.

  • As the armoured train’s structural integrity declined, I managed to score my most impressive anti-air kill yet: a fully-occupied enemy bomber had lined up for an attack run and was preparing to finish the train when I noticed them. I turned the gun on them, opened fire and blew them out of the sky right as they passed overhead; the plane’s wreckage can be seen here, falling right beside the train.

  • My antics scored me a triple kill, although by this point, the evening was late, so I left before the match ended (and before the train could explode in my face). That I was fortunate enough to try the armoured train out before the beta ended was a stroke of luck, motivating my page quote. I realise that I’ve had a large number of gaming posts over the past while, but with Amanchu! and New Game finishing later this month, there will be some anime posts inbound.

Over the next several minutes, I utilised the anti-aircraft cannon to decimate air threats, shooting down upwards of three aircraft and damaging several more. It was a thrilling experience; as the anti-aircraft cannon has a reasonably high rate of fire, it is highly effective against aerial targets. The rounds deal some explosive damage, making it useful against foot-mobiles and even giving it some efficacy against armoured enemies, so I spent upwards of ten minutes laying down heavy fire to destroy air targets. At one point, one of the players on the other team asked in exasperation how the armoured train was fair after I shot down their bomber while it was making an attack run, and I went on a nice killstreak before sustained fire from the other team wore the armoured train down. The behemoth mechanic in Battlefield 1 is a fantastic addition, giving losing teams an opportunity to even things out (or at least, an opportunity to take on one’s nemeses). Other behemoths seen in the game include an L30 Zeppelin and Dreadnought of unspecified make; it will be quite interesting to see how these play a role in the game’s other maps.

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