Operation Drug War
The Conquer Club description for this map is quite good: An Objective map of 24 starting regions and many regions starting with neutral troops, with a theme of drug gangs versus the police. There are four separate objectives, two focusing on each side of the conflict, but all four share one region. The map contains many non-standard gameplay features including neutral starting regions, bombardment, and autodeploy. The objectives aren't the only route to victory. There are multiple options for bonus zones which don't follow the basic continent style and can be used to eliminate your opponents or help hold an objective.
This is a very flexible map that works with any settings. It is really too small for quadruple games or 7-8 player games.
Bonuses: Bonus Heavy. Complexity: Medium. Features Autodeploy - If you hold the Stick-up Man, you gain +2 troops autodeploy each round. Bombardments - The Stick-up Man can bombard any stash. Collections - Holding any of: 2 phones yield a +2 bonus. 6 patrol cars yield a +3 bonus. Commissioner and Lieutenant yields a +1 bonus per patrol car held. Leader or the 2nd yields a +2 bonus per muscle held. Boss and Muscle in a sector yield a +1 bonus. Junkie and Stash in a sector yield a +1 bonus. Counter, Runner, and Stash in a sector yield a +1 bonus. Double Dipping - Almost every region on the map is part of multiple bonuses. For instance, NW Stash is part of the NW continent bonus (+4), part of the NW Junkie & Stash bonus (+1), and part of the NW Counter, Runner, and Stash bonus (+1). Ranged Attack - Any patrol can assault another patrol. Any phone can assault another phone. The D.A. and the Attorney can assault each other. The Driver and Garage can assault each other. The Lieutenant and the Detective can assault each other. Starting Neutrals Only the Junkies, Runners, Bosses, Counters, and Patrols will begin as player controlled regions. All other regions begin neutral. Victory Condition Holding any of the following at the beginning of your turn will result in victory: Judge, D.A., Main Stash Supplier, Driver, Main Stash Leader, 2nd, Main Stash Detective, Junkie CI, Main Stash How to play Operation Drug War
show: Two Player
Each player begins with 8 regions, and neither will begin by holding a bonus. Therefore your goal is initially going to be to take a bonus while controlling your opponent's troop drop by denying him a bonus. Region count will probably not play a role because if one player holds 12 regions he has most likely won the game. All bonus zones in Operation Drug War contain at least one starting neutral region, with the exception of the 6 patrol car bonus. As a result, if playing with no spoils or nuclear spoils, or if playing with no fog of war, taking a bonus is not recommended until you know your opponent can't break it, whether because of your defensive position or because his troop drop is too small.
A bonus is definitely worth taking if playing with fog of war and if your opponent cannot see which bonus you have captured. The best bonuses are those where you only have to take 1 neutral region and are shielded, either by a neutral region or your own troop stack on a patrol. For example, if you drop the NW junkie, the NW runner and control the NW patrol, your first move should be to take the NW stash. The following round you could take the NW counter for an additional +1. Always try to defend in depth by leaving more than a single troop on successive regions. The map plays well with both fog of war and sunny (no fog of war) settings. Fog of war will make the game much more interesting as it will allow for attempts at different bonuses and perhaps even the objective.
You should assess your initial troop drop to determine what your objective is going to be. If you have a lot of police cars it may be worthwhile to try to take the Commissioner and Lieutenant. If you start with Bosses, taking the Muscle in their respective areas is a good idea. Ideally, do these things in an area where you control the patrol, which is the non-neutral entry point (since phones begin neutral). The phone bonuses can be very strong but to achieve them you will have to take two neutral regions which can be costly. One of the benefits of the bonus structure for this map is that any type of spoils will work well. Terminator play is essentially similar to standard, with the normal exception that sometimes a kill is worthwhile if for no other reason than to win a few score points.
Escalating Unlike classic gameplay maps, I recommend trying to take a small bonus in an escalating game; it will give you a small edge in troop drop and on such a small map it can make a difference if eliminations come early. Patrol cars have reach to any other patrol cars meaning they are the easiest way to get around the map - I recommend placing at least one of your troop stacks on a patrol car to make a sweep more feasible. Flat Rate Due to the small size of the map, flat rate spoils can make the game rather luck-based. On the other hand, there is little chance that the game will become a build battle with enormous troop stacks, both because of the objective and because there are so many potential bonus zones to conquer. The best strategy is to start with taking a Junkie & Stash or a Boss & Muscle in an area you can seal off with the patrol car. Then gradually expand to take the remaining regions in that zone to increase your troop drop. Keep an eye on the Main Stash as it is a key region for any of the objective-based wins. No Spoils and Nuclear Both are excellent settings for this map; because of the potential bonuses you can start by taking a small bonus and work on trying to control one of the corners, then move on to trying for eliminations or the objective. The strategy for taking and holding bonuses is similar to that suggested in flat rate spoils. Assassin Assassin is a good setting for this map with less than 6 players. Almost all kills will have to go through patrol cars, so it follows that if you can establish control of them you can prevent someone from assassinating their target and focus on your target. Just be careful not to expose yourself to an assassination try as a result.
show: Team Games
Doubles are an excellent setting for team games on Operation Drug War. Each player will begin with six regions, which means that region count and immediate elimination are not usually a concern. Instead, try to determine which bonuses are defensible, if any, or whether trying to focus on eliminating one opponent is more feasible. If you can take a bonus and control the patrol car defending it, you will gain a potentially game-winning edge. The usual bonus to try for is the +1 for boss and muscle, or +1 for junkie and stash. In either case you will have to take a neutral region but if you can strengthen the patrol car defending the bonus it should be a good move. Another bonus that is worth taking with fog of war is a pair of phones, as long as your opponents can not see either of the phones. They will be fairly easy to defend and will require that the opponents guess which pair you have control of.
Triples are a less satisfactory setting for team games, because each player will only have four regions to begin with. This means invariably that the game will revolve around attempting to eliminate the weakest player on the opposing team. It also means wasting a single troop on a neutral region is a huge mistake. Quadruples games will have each player begin with three regions. As a result, it is likely that elimination of a player will occur in round 1 and therefore the game will boil down to as few as three successful attacks. Unless you enjoy this type of gameplay, I would recommend avoiding this setting.
show: Manual Deployment
Operation Drug War is a fairly open map, which means that manual deployment will heavily favor the first player to move and that the game's outcome will usually be determined by the first assault between large stacks. In order to counter this, I recommend splitting stacks in several of the different areas.
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