“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” –Frederick Douglass
It’s been some time since I’ve sat through a solid match of conquest in Battlefield 1 after my trip to Japan, and time has flown – a month ago, I was walking the streets of Oshino after enjoying yakiniku on the shores of Lake Yamanaka. After returning from my vacation, my performance in Battlefield 1 has degraded, but over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself playing more Battlefield 1 than expected – my plans to complete the “Behind Her Blue Flame” DLC for Valkyria Chronicles and go through Go! Go! Nippon‘s HD revision have not yet materialised. Instead, I’ve managed to unlock the Chauchat Low Weight after learning the ropes behind the Lewis MG Suppressive (involving an inordinate number of deaths), as well as the Sjögren Inertial Shotgun following a gruelling fifty Model 10-A Slug kills. Each slug kill was satisfying, and there were points where I managed to chain back-to-back kills with the weapon, but ultimately, these aren’t weapons I’ll likely pick when I’m serious about helping my team out. Similarly, the time spent in Battlefield 1 means I’ve crossed the rank ten mark for the scout class, as well, allowing me to unlock the Martini-Henry and Kolibri pistol. The scout class has been a blast to play, and it was a pleasant surprise to become familiar with its mechanics. With this milestone reached, I will turn my attention towards get my medic and support classes up to speed, and in the meantime, being a part of the Premium club means that I have several new features to look forwards to: Nivelle Nights is coming out for Premium pass holders later this month, and July will see the release of the night map Prise de Tahure. These updates, while much anticipated, pale in comparison to news surrounding “In The Name of The Tsar”.
Screenshots and commentary
- I’ve unlocked two service stars for the SMLE Mk. III marksman variant now, and this is truly a bolt-action rifle that makes me smile. Superb at closer ranges owing to its sweet spots, being quite forgiving with its large magazine size and lacking scope glint while offering acceptable optics for use at medium ranges, it is a weapon I am comfortable using. It’s the first time in any Battlefield game where a bolt-action rifle is at the top of the list to my most used weapons.
- Here, I equip the M1903 Sniper variant to pick off distant targets during a harrowing match of conquest. I had joined the losing team, but a combination of teamwork and solid use of the behemoth allowed us to catch up. I had performed quite poorly throughout the match, but in the match’s final ten minutes, I scored kill after kill with the M1903 as the other team attempted to push from capture point alpha. Lining up on the hill, they tried to lay down fire but exposed themselves, and any time a well-placed shot sent me to the death screen, a helpful teammate would revive me. We would thus win the match, and I would go from being very KD-negative (6 and 13) to slightly KD-positive (17 and 15).
- All variants of the Lewis Gun are a nightmare to wield in close quarters combat: slow rate of fire and low damage at close quarters are the LMGs strongest disadvantages. However, pulling out to medium range will allow these weapons to become a little more useful – they become more accurate when fired on full automatic, and at last, I finish the assignment for the Chauchat Low Weight. Old habits from earlier Battlefield games die hard, and I will need to play at longer ranges in order to be effective with the support class, as opposed to the close-quarters that the high-RPM LMGs of older titles allowed.
- Reaching rank ten with the scout class was unexpected to me, since I had entered Battlefield 1 apprehensive about sniping, as my earliest two posts on Battlefield 1‘s multiplayer illustrate. However, two months after buying Battlefield 1, I began warming up to sniping mechanics, much faster than I had in previous Battlefield games, largely in part owing to the SMLE Mk. III Marksman. It’s been a remarkably fun journey to reach the point where I unlocked the Martini-Henry Infantry and score my first kill with it. The recent updates means that it’ll be another journey before I can reach the Martini-Henry sniper, but for now, it’s fun to simply have the level ten rifle unlocked.
- Many guides erroneously state that reaching level ten for one’s soldier is enough to unlock the Kolibri, but it takes reaching rank ten for the scout class. Having done so, I finally reach the milestone I’ve been looking forwards to for quite some time: seven months after buying Battlefield 1, I was finally able to purchase the Kolibri, an all-class sidearm. A German pistol with an eight-round capacity, firing 2.7mm rounds, the weapon is intended as a joke and is utterly inadequate in all areas. Against any opponent with a modicum of spatial awareness, the Kolibri will result in the operator’s death as the intended target wonder why rocks are being thrown at them.
- The level ten prize for the assault class, the Hellriegel’s first incarnation was the single best weapon in Battlefield 1: its large magazine size and accuracy made it incredibly versatile, and even after patches, the weapon remains as effective to use. Although balanced out by a longer reload time, and lacking the extreme stopping power of the Automatico M1918 at close quarters, the Hellriegel is a viable weapon for the assault class that is well worth the effort to reach rank ten. There is another journey awaiting players: the Hellriegel Defensive adds a bipod and optics for longer range combat.
- Even now, the Hellriegel is a fantastic weapon, although I’ve only run with it on a few matches after succumbing to frustration at how tricky the Model 10-A Slug is to use. For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to get a handle on how the Model 10-A Slug works, and found that aiming down sights is not particularly useful, as the weapon has a high recoil and low projectile speed. It’s definitely a weapon that takes a bit of finesse to utilise: with no pellets and a one-hit-kill range out to a mere ten metres, the weapon is outclassed by other shotguns and SMGs, which is why I have not run with the Model 10-A Slug prior to this assignment.
- Within a few days of unlocking the Kolibri, I managed to get my first kill with it. After seeing an enemy medic idling in the doorway, I emptied my magazine into him and panicked when he turned around as I was reloading. However, he did not run out to finish me off, and I completed my reload. I peeked around the doorway again, and this time, aimed more carefully at his head. The Kolibri, while normally dealing four points of damage dropping down to one point at range, headshots can hit for twenty-five points. Four headshots will take out an opponent, and here, I managed to land those headshots to achieve that first kill and accomplish the feat that Hikari pulled off on the Gregori Hive in Brave Witches‘ finale.
- The closest equivalent to doing what Hikari did in Brave Witches would probably be to destroy a behemoth using the Kolibri. This is not possible in game mechanics, since heavily armoured vehicles will ignore bullet damage, but it is possible to slowly whittle down a behemoth’s health with the Tankgewehr. During this match of conquest, I spent upwards of five minutes shooting at the L30 Zeppelin with the Tankgewehr while a teammate’s ammo crate continued resupplying me and managed to take out two-thirds of its health, even earning a kill by shooting someone out of the gondola, before someone got wise to my act and finished me off. The Tankgewehr is an incredibly powerful weapon: firing 13.2mm rounds at 780 m/s, it can one-shot infantry (which I’ve used to great effect), deals non-trivial damage to vehicles and can disable aircraft.
- Today, I stepped out for a family dinner at a local Chinese restaurant (which, amongst other things, included with deep-fried prawns on a bed of broccoli and fried-chicken with a wasabi-mayonnaise sauce) after unlocking the Sjögren Inertial. Time has allowed me to become somewhat familiar with the Model 10-A Slug (firing from the hip and treating it like the M320 smoke or buckshot from Battlefield 3): having finally gotten 50 kills with the Model 10-A Slug, I moved onto the next objective: get 15 kills with the M97 Trench Gun Hunter variant. Inferior to the Sweeper variant in my hands, I nonetheless finished the objective during a round of conquest, knowing that I’d done it once before. With this, I’ve got my second “They Shall Not Pass” assignment. This brief Battlefield 1 post done, and looking ahead into the future, I will be revisiting The Garden of Words at the four-year mark of the Great Flood of 2013, as well as writing about Frame Arms Girl and Hinako Note on top of Sakura Quest’s halfway point and Saekano♭.
With a set release date for somewhere in September, “In The Name of The Tsar” is a Russian-themed DLC surrounding the Eastern front. The trailer was unveiled during EA Play this weekend, along with new footage of the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront II game, showcasing new maps, eleven new weapons (notably, a double-barrelled shotgun and the Mosin-Nagant M91) and vehicles. The official Battlefield website unveils four new maps, plus two surprises. Lupkow Pass is a snow-covered ravine with vertical combat, Albion takes place on the Baltic peninsula amidst a German invasion, Galicia is a map set in the open countryside of Russia that favours vehicular combat, and Brusilov Keep will be a close-quarters infantry map. From the trailer footage, these new maps look stunning despite their frigid, grey setting. The remote regions of Russia have always held my interest, and it will be quite exciting to fight in these locales to experience what is the Brave Witches in Frostbite Engine experience. With a few months between now and the “In The Name of The Tsar” DLC’s release, I should be able to unlock a few more “They Shall Not Pass” assignments. Similarly, while the wait from now to September does seem a lengthy one, the new French maps are quite exciting. I imagine that for the remaining two DLCs will have a total of six maps each, with four being available for anyone with the DLC, and two additional maps for folks in the Premium club.