A mostly open map offering little concealment, but providing plentiful cover due to the large number of sand dunes. Three small villages provide temporary cover at best, but are easily destroyed, so they must be used cautiously. Each flag is well protected with a ridge offering defenders cover, concealment, and excellent firing positions. Plentiful cover allows an excellent arena for run and gun tactics while offering many routes for tanks to engage the enemy and make use of their mobility.
Sand River is a 1000x1000 desert map in its greatest tradition : Large, barren dunes and small destructible cover. It can be compared to El Halluf, with a valley-like central open area and a river crossing in the middle. However, here, whether it's dunes, buildings or cliffs, it's common for things to get in the way of your shells. Therefore, slow tanks will low gun depression/elevation will suffer alot, unless they stand at the end of one of the choke-points of the map. On the other hand, tanks that have good dep/elv and accurate guns will be able to take advantage of open but chaotic terrain.
First of all ; the River. The riverbed, as mentioned, scorches the map NW-SE, with a little arm going NE on the east. Its main role is to separate the map in a Northern Part and a Southern Part. Generally speaking, don't go there. Not that you'll easily drown (Maybe with short tanks and scouts) but it's hard to get out and easy to be killed by someone that comes by.
While we're at the river, it's worth mentioning the Town south of it, around the middle of the map. As with most desert maps, it is easily destructible and therefore offers little protection. It is also the place where the flag is located in Impromptu battle, which makes for messy battles when a team rushes to try decapping the point.
South of the town, the Duneland, which consists of round, large dunes that can let a too big tank an easy prey when he's trying to climb one. It is the starting location of the attacker team in Assault, and therefore where SPGs will stay for those battles. In regular encounters, going there is encourage only if you have the mobility to do it, otherwise there is a real risk you will meet a mostly unfriendly welcoming crew.
At the edge of the river, the only way to cross said river : Two structurally identical areas : Two ways to cross into the north/south, in between a mostly flat land with sparse cover. It is an easy way to make an ambush, as these zones are mostly isolated by the terrain. Expect resistance.
Now for the northern half of the map. It mostly resembles the DuneLand of the south, except with less elevation. There is also a nice and flat road going around it, and some lush vegetation on the river end. It should be noted that except for a few openings, the middle of the road, just north of the town is protected from direct fire incoming from the South.
Another exploitable feature is the rocky protuberance at the northern edge of the map, with its road crossing in the middle. The end of the road is where the flagpole is in Assault, and therefore in this particular mode attackers should mind that a healthy garrison of defendants are probably over the cliffs waiting for something to come.
Other points not yet mentioned : the two towns on the northern edge of the river are once again destructible, and additionally too small to be able to be used as cover for very long.
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