AV weekend started a couple of hours ago. While I am here I figure I should start updating. And so this will be the start of my 6 part series on the most basic Tactic and Strats for the current BGs... and maybe a 7th for WG sometime.
For those of you young to WoW, AV was the third BG put into WoW and the largest at the time (80 people, 40 per team). In its current state the objective of the game is to do one of 2 things.
1) Kill the enemy leader (Vanndar Stormpike is the alliance leader and Drek'thar is the horde one).
2) Run the opposing team out of reinforcements.
Horde start the game in a cave at the south end of the map and Alliance at the north. The faction leaders are in large bases on their team's side of the map and both teams start with 500 resources. The leaders are protected by 4 other npcs who boost the leaders health and damage. These npcs are linked to 1 of four towers that each side has. Destroying an enemy tower gets rid of an npc AND lowers their total remaining reinforcement count. There are also 2 sub-leaders (1 for each faction) located on either side of the middle of the map in a large bunker. Killing the sub-leaders will reduce the opponents resources by 100. Finally there are capturable graveyards that allow you to spawn closer to the enemy base after death.
I will go over 3 basic strategies, however without a full 40 premade real-time tactics become far more important than an overall strategy as some people will never listen to strats and always go off and do their own thing in random BGs.
1. Zerg) A zerg is simply having a very strong offense that ignores the enemy players and pushes straight to the enemy leader. If done right it can mean a very quick victory or a rather quick defeat if done wrong. In order to work it will require 2-3 good tanks because of the 4 extra npcs you will have to deal with in the boss room and some nice heals and dps. Essentially you need a large portion of your team to follow along to get it to work. You will not stop for the sub-leader or any towers and you will ignore players except those directly guarding their leader. If you fail to kill the leader then you will be faced with the problem that the enemy is most likely deep in your territory and you have nothing of theirs so it will be an uphill battle to regain the lead and I have never seen a successful attempt at a second zerg.
2. Turtle) This involves a very strong D. The basic idea here is to have people defending each tower and graveyard and a small group that moves around to assist any tower that is being overwhelmed. In addition you will want a small offensive group of 10-15 people who will take the enemy towers 1 at a time. It is important that that group stays together to avoid getting forced out of a tower. It is also import that a small group stops the initial attack on the sub-leader that usually happens as the first enemy attack. In almost all cases if the initial attack on the sub-leader is stopped, the enemy will not try again and that will be 100 extra reinforcements for you. An important part of the turtle that usually does not otherwise effect the game are the mines. There is one on either side of the map and they give back reinforcements .... SLOWLY. A turtle is a slow game though and controlling the mines in the long run of such a game can make or break your team. The game will be slow but unlike a zerg, a mistake or two will not break you.
3. Middle ground) In between a zerg and a turtle. This is what most games end up being naturally as most people won't stick to any one plan. That being said this type of strategy is best pulled off by a complete 40 man premade. Optimally you want about 25-30 offense and 1--15 defense. The Offense should move forward, kill the sub-leader and take towers and graveyards as they progress together. Leave 2-3 people in each tower you attack until it is destroyed and have 2-3 more people able to reach a tower at a moments notice in case they are overwhelmed. Once the towers are down your offense will meet up in the enemy base and kill the faction leader. The defense should NOT initially defend the towers. You will be outnumbered and in most cases only serve to lower your reinforcement numbers. All Defense should initially start in the sub-leader room. Defend your sub-leader and then move to the recap the towers. In most cases the enemy will leave fewer people in the towers than they attacked with so they will be easier to save AFTER they have been attacked. The defenses prime goal is to not let the enemy destroy any towers, this will make it very difficult for a non-zerg to take down your faction leader.
DEFEND WHAT YOU CAP. Seriously... one of the main reasons for loss in any BG involving capture points (AV, AB, EotS, Isle) is that someone will cap a graveyard, tower, etc ...and then leave it undefended. This is just asking for someone to come and recap it. Doing this to an AV graveyard will mean your team will spawn far away from where they need to be. For a tower it will mean longer until you can destroy it... The only time it is acceptable to leave a capture point undefended is if it is YOUR tower or graveyard. In most cases the enemy will attack it with far more people than they leave on D so it is much easier to let them have it and then retake it once most people are gone.
So if you cap it, don't leave. If you help cap it and everyone else leaves, don't leave. Never leave a tower or graveyard you attack undefended. If the enemy comes and trys to retake it is your job to insure that they don't. To that end, even if you are overwhelmed if there is ANY way you can keep them off the flag till it caps it is your duty to stay alive and keep them from retaking for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. Go Bear, AoE, pop all cooldowns, do whatever you have to do because that tower or graveyard is probably worth more than your characters life. To be fight hard and hold out long enough to destroy a tower is one of the most rewarding things because even if they kill you they lost, you succeeded in protecting what you needed to.
Graveyards. One important thing with graveyards is that you not only control where you spawn but where your enemy does after death. While it is true you want the enemy as far from your leader as possible always let them have one graveyard in your territory. Why? If you take every graveyard they have in your territory away this will force them into a turtle situation which in most cases will slow the game down and hurt your offense (unless your team is trying to turtle). To this end, let the enemy have snowfall graveyard. It is in the middle and as far from your leader as you can push them without putting the enemy between your offense and their leader.
Bottlenecks. There are plenty of bottle necks in AV. If you are defending a bottle neck it is important that you keep the enemy there and AoE. The thing about a bottleneck in WoW is that AoE is very effective because people will be bunched up. In a fight over a bottle neck the defense should stay OUT of the bottleneck itself so they don't get AoEd back.
If you are trying to fight past a bottleneck it is important that you play smart because it is a given that most of your fellow players will throw themselves into the AoE. Find a way to get behind the enemy, attack an objective or players in the rear, if all else fails, mount and ride right through the bottleneck and past the enemy as far as you can. Any of these and more tactics will break the enemy coherency. Some of them will want to go after you and some will want to continue to AoE. This will make it much easier for your team to push through. Once the defenses coherency is broken it is all a matter of who is better player for player.
I think some of these things are getting to general for all BGs so i will stop here with AV and make a general BG Tactics post later.
Happy AV weekend!