Avalanche is a multiplayer map in Gears of War 2. Set in a mountainside resort, it returns in Gears of War 4 as part of a free map DLC that Season Pass owners could play exclusively from June 6th, 2017. It became available to all players on June 13th, 2017, but is only available for private play if the Season Pass has been purchased or the map is separately downloaded.
It has an avalanche come through the map randomly and periodically in the majority of Versus modes, killing everyone in the path of the snow. If you are uncertain of the time the avalanche takes place, listen for the sound of a siren. After the snow settles, the geography of the map is completely changed, allowing access to the cycled Torque Bow/Boomshot on top of the small pavilion in the center, and allowing quick access to the heavy weapon spawn point. The Boomshot has been replaced with the Dropshot in Gears of War 4.
There is an elevated section of the map on one side, housing the cycled Mulcher/Mortar or Tri-Shot/Buzzkill in Gears of War 2 and Gears of War 4 respectively. The side directly opposite has two small cabins both housing either a Boltok Pistol or a Gorgon Burst Pistol. There are Bolo Grenades in the center of the map, however they cannot be acquired after the happening of the avalanche. It will be easy to keep track of your location due to the fact that the map is asymmetrical, even though the middle and two main bases are symmetrical. If you want the upper hand, head for the Mulcher when the cycle is currently set on it.
Beware of the AvalancheEdit
The avalanche occurs 30 or 90 seconds into the round, burying the central courtyard in several feet of snow. You should get into suitable cover when it comes. A wise decision during versus matches is to always stick near a good source of cover to evade the icy wrath of the avalanche. It springs near the large wooden surface at the elevated end of the map, and engulfs almost every inch with a wall of snow. You must listen out for the noticeable rumbling and siren when the avalanche nears the map area; when it does, find cover immediately. However, the courtyard isn't the only place to truly avoid, the upper plaza where the heavy weapon is located is actually the birthplace of the avalanche's entry point into the map. If you're up there, you only have seconds to take refuge in the plaza's corners. Do not go near the avalanche while it falls because simply touching it will cause you to be killed. Being a threat for players isn't the only thing this immense block of snow is capable of. It topples over the stone arch, buries the courtyard and swats away vehicles with ease. The toppled arch and statues provide additional cover for any that venture out once the avalanche passes, and the thick blanket of snow allows access to the power weapon positioned atop the gazebo in the courtyard.
Be clear of spawn point instructionsEdit
Regardless of which spawn point your team ends up in, you must immediately keep in mind that your first ever move is to either proceed toward the Mulcher to the south or the Boomshield to the north. A lot of confusion can occur when you spawned, but a few subtle reminders can tell you where to go. One really big and useful one is the pre-avalanche landmark, the large stone arch in the courtyard's southern side. This structure is closer to the Mulcher, so move away from it if it's the Boomshield you're after. If you want the Boomshot or Torque Bow, they are only easily accessible after the avalanche.
- The Boomshield is essential- The Boomshield is a valuable tool on this map. Taking one of the Boltok Pistols on either side of the Boomshield spawn point is also useful when utilizing the defensive ability of this shield. Strive to seize control of the northern part of the map, where the shield and pistols are located at the start of each round. Try to protect the Boomshield user by weakening enemies coming toward him so he can take the finishing shot or melee without receiving much damage.
- Passing the avalanche with enemy blood- The avalanche is a treacherous factor that must be accounted for. The devastating reminder of nature's fury slides down from the southern end of the map, near where the Mulcher/Mortar spawns. The avalanche occurs at a random time between 30-90 seconds into the round. Do whatever you can to down enemies in the avalanche's path before it strikes. Listen for the air raid siren to blare, alerting you to the oncoming presence of the avalanche. When it triggers, synchronize backing out of the kill zone and attempting to down the opposition still inside as fast as you can. Most best case scenarios are that one or more enemies rush out to revive their downed allies, then they all get wiped out by the avalanche. Use this tactic to take out two birds with one stone. If not gotten before, the Mortar can be reached more easily now. You can climb the snow slopes and capture it. There might not be as many enemies still standing at this point, but expect activity to increase at the center of the map, due to the added cover and snow. The Mortar or Mulcher can target this area and make easy work of the opposing team, if they don't take it first.
- A fragging point in return for destruction- Frag Grenades can be very useful in helping to dislodge enemies positioned near the Mulcher's spawn point. Toss a few from the street below the Mulcher, particularly when the avalanche is incoming. The Mulcher is a very tempting object to rush in for, but the almost imminent presence of enemies means that you should take care when assaulting its location. Use your grenades to disrupt and disband the other team, then split into two and attack the spot from both sides to avoid losing too many players, and to keep the initial element of surprise.
Warzone and ExecutionEdit
The map's power weapons, the Mortar/Mulcher and Boomshot/Torque Bow, are both affected after the avalanche falls. The Mortar is sunken in deep wall of snow, making it a rough gambit to retrieve it before that happens. You can gain control of it on the upper terrace quite easily, depending on the intensity of eager enemy troops. Your little position there is a safe spot to camp, but only after the avalanche has passed. Just set camp in the middle section of that terrace until the sirens sound. Then move off to the left or the right, evading the avalanche's left over blocks of snow.
The Boomshot, with the Torque Bow as its alternative, is on top of the gazebo in the courtyard, and is inaccessible until the avalanche passes and the snow clears. Wait calmly just outside the path of the avalanche and, as soon as the snow stops moving, rush out and grab hold of the weapon. If any opposition also attempts to rush in, use the newfound stone walls as cover. Another option is to move in with the Boomshield, and slowly advance to the weapon under its protective power. When you get there, immediately switch to the weapon you intend to trade for the Boomshot/Torque Bow. This forces you to drop the Boomshield. Then swap weapons as fast as you can, before reclaiming the shield. Another good strategy is to plant the Boomshield towards the enemy while you are picking up the weapon, which allows you to have protection. It is useful to be protected by teammates when doing this risky procedure. You don't want to be taken down in the open whilst switching weapons. The offensive power of your weapons and the defensive power of your Boomshield would ultimately turn the tide of the battle to your team's favor.
The northern end of the map is home to a Boomshield at the back of the pickup truck, and between two Boltok Pistol/Gorgon Pistol spawn points. Pairing the Boomshield with one of the neighboring pistols is a deadly combo in this area. Generally, this area is often safe from the threats of enemy-controlled Mulchers or Mortars, and it's also away from the avalanche's path of destruction. Either achieving this combo grab or aiding a teammate in doing so is perfect for retrieving the Boomshot/Torque Bow at the middle of the map.
The Stranded can spawn in three places, the South of the map, the North of the map, or the lower portion of the map. The avalanche does not occur during this gametype. This makes the grenades in the middle always available, but disallows access to the Boomshot/Torque Bow for the entire match. The absence of the two powerful weapons make the fight for the Mortar/Mulcher more difficult, especially when the capture point for the Stranded is there. Lay down covering fire as your teammates carry the Stranded to the capture location. You don't need to hear for any rumbling or siren wail because the avalanche is absent, but the threat of incoming enemies is still something to worry about.
Using the destructive combo of a Boomshield and Gorgon Pistol can work really well for defending the player carrying the Stranded. Grab both and instantly lead the Stranded carrier to the objective. The defensive ability of the Boomshield protects the user whilst the Gorgon Pistol can be hell for the enemies who don't have as much protection. The Boomshield makes you much slower when holding it up, but then you're travelling at the same speed as the Stranded carrier. Let well-armed teammates scout ahead and advise if the path is clear or not.
Defending the meatshield is a very difficult task, but what matters is that you actually get it. Almost all the players in the field would be attracted to him like a magnet, and that means a lot of frenzy-like action. A smarter choice than rushing him would be to take cover near the position, pick off any enemies trying to down the Stranded, and attempt to bring him to his knees yourself. Frag Grenades can have the potential to commit friendly fire, but when other teammates advise that they are safe, fragging the Stranded is a good way to both down him and remove opposition around him. Utilize protection from the wooden structure near the two spawn points as you drag the downed Stranded across the map. These positions provide a considerable amount of cover, and make it easier for your teammates to defend you. If enemy players are chasing you while you're carrying the Stranded, simply leave behind proximity mines to slow down the enemy pursuit.
What if the opponents get their hands on the Stranded first? Well, you should let about half your team ambush them from behind whilst the other half positions themselves at the capture point. A two-way face-off against your team would make the opposition more desperate to hold the meatshield. Another useful way to deal with incoming carriers is to plant proximity mines on the walls. For instance, placing them near the stairs when the objective is near the Mulcher is a way to stop them from ascending those stairs carelessly. All your offensive fire may distract them from that threat, which is actually very useful since it is the carrier who is more focused on the objective. When the capture point is in one of the two Pistol spawn points, plant a proximity mine corner between both windows. The enemy carrier will be so close that keeping his eyes and mind off anything but the objective will be difficult.
In Wingman, there's always an advantage over your opponents depending on where you and your trusted teammate first spawn. The team that spawns on either of the pistol rooms has the largest advantage during the start of the match. One of them could grab the pistol and a Boomshield, then advance on the enemies with the other player. Down them with cover from the Boomshield, before letting a teammate swoop in for the execution.
On the opposite side of the map, near the Mulcher/Mortar spawn point, another useful advantage also awaits the team that spawns there. Grab the Mortar and fire a few shots around the map to eviscerate any opponent that you hit. If the Mulcher is there, mount it on the central railing and pick off any daring enemies that inch too close to your kill zone. However, don't camp too long for two reasons. One is that a stationary player would not exactly get the most kills, be mobile and move around the map to see if any enemies are in your grasp. Secondly, the avalanche crashes down not long after the game starts, and you sure don't want to be caught in that torment of snow.
Most maps offer an ideal position for the Team Leader to assume a defensive stance, but Avalanche is an exception.
The space between the two doorways is the only cover chokepoint to assist the Leader in surviving. Move out together as a team to the northern end of the map, and allow the Leader to obtain the Boomshield before setting up camp in one of the Pistol spawn rooms. Place proximity mines on the room's doorways and between the windows. The Boomshield provides necessary protection for the Leader, whilst the pistol located in the room could help at downing daring enemies. Another protective feature about this position is the overhead roof. Mortar fire cannot rain bombs upon the team and harm the Leader as long as he's indoors and a clear distance away from the doors.
Another useful tactic is to move together to the map's southern portion and obtain the heavy weapon located there; the Mortar or Mulcher. The Leader must set camp in the corner, next to one of the staircases that lead to the wooden platform on top of the stores and use the power weapon to take down any incoming enemies. Everyone, especially the Leader, must be mindful of the avalanche. The Leader's camping spot spares him, but the other teammates scattered around the area are essential to the Leader's survival. The avalanche may even bury a few of the enemies below who seek to take out your leader.
The team must not only count on defensive skill, in order to actually win the match, the enemy leader must die too. Occasionally rush out with a few teammates to secure the map's southern and middle portions in an effort to assassinate the opposing leader. Grab grenades in an attempt to either tag the leader with a Frag Grenade, toss one into the midst of the leader to finish him off, or use an Ink Grenade to force him out of hiding. Check the side houses and the enemy spawn point first; those places are where numerous teams try to hide their leaders.
Annex and King of the HillEdit
For the sake of players not having to leave their hill for safety, the avalanche is absent during Annex and King of the Hill matches. This means the Mortar/Mulcher is the only long-range power weapon on the map. These weapons excel at defending entry points toward the hill, but on Annex, the continuous need to dash from hill to hill as it moves makes their slowness an extremely ineffective feature. Don't bother lumbering toward the hill in one of these, it'll probably move before you even get there. Instead, seize the Boomshield early at the start of the round, and use its defensive power to hold the hills without much trouble.
Your team must work hard in order to secure and hold these crucial capture points. The central courtyard hill where the grenades are located is a very hard place to hold. Expect heavy fire pressing down on you from both the North and South of the courtyard, and if this isn't already bad enough, incoming fire can arrive from the porches on the East and West. Essentially, proximity mines are the key to success on Annex and King of the Hill. The Boomshield location to the north is a good and fortified place to defend with these wall-tagged traps. Camping exactly where you obtain the Boomshield can be a little dangerous when you've planted a few mines on the wall behind you. The blast can cause you large sums of damage, or even death. Make sure to position them far from where you are. This is very effective when you're only watching over the capture hill on King of the Hill though. The cover on the streets and the two neighboring Pistol rooms provide additional cover and make this hill almost impossible to effectively take over. Proximity mines also serve you well when defending the southern end. The Mulcher/Mortar is a destructive weapon that you can use to stop or slow down enemy assaults. And tagging the walls beside the staircases with Frag Grenades makes them impossible to trespass alive. When the time comes, pick up the Boomshield or Mortar/Mulcher when you've reached their hills. The Boomshield is a very effective defense tool during almost all situations, save for the center hill, which is vulnerable from all directions.
When you attempt to breach and capture one of the hills, be sure to carry along Frag and Ink Grenades. Smoke Grenades can also be useful in stunning and disorientating your opponents. Toss them into enemy territory, straight into the key defensive positions. When striking the Boomshield area, grab the Mortar and rain hell upon the opposing forces in the vicinity, but the indoor enemies will be well out of your reach.
The avalanche does not occur during Horde matches to keep things balanced. The team should group on the elevated platform to the south of the map where the Mulcher/Mortar is located. The weapon could very much turn the tide of the battle when it shreds and blasts incoming opponents to bits. Pick up some grenades along the way if you can; they make perfect traps for unsuspecting Locust, who are undoubtedly less able to spot mine traps than enemy players. Retain the elevation, defending the upper area and trapping the Horde in a storm of bullets downstairs. What can be very useful but risky is for one very swift player to secure the Boomshield on the other side of the map once the wave begins, then hurry back and use the shield to make protecting yourself from hails of bullets and Bloodmount slashes much easier. If you can, try and pick up one of the pistols in their spawn rooms beside the Boomshield location.
Protecting the Gear manning the Mortar/Mulcher is one of your highest priorities. But don't compress your potentially valiant squad around this particular point. Spread out and cover all the areas of the upper platform, especially to take care of any chargers who ascend the stairs. Also use the park benches in the plaza below to protect yourself, and run down and grab the ammo crate on the street if all the enemies have been cleared. Make sure to run back, because on Horde, a large team of well-armored enemies could arrive at any moment. There's also another crate in front of the Boomshield to the other side of the map. When the speedy player dashes for the Boomshield, grabbing the shield, a Gorgon Pistol and the ammo crate is the best thing that could ever happen. But by that time, Locust would've already been attacking the rest of your squad in the north area. Maybe bring along another unit to assist you when you fight your way back to the camp position.
The good thing about this little sprint to the southern end is that if you secure it, the Horde will spawn nearer to the Mortar/Mulcher. Use the power weapon to take care of the Locust that cross the yard. Numerous other Locust spawn in the East and West areas beside the cabins. Don't enter any of these cabins, it makes the chance of being outnumbered really high, and presents the Horde the opportunity to spawn in the Mortar/Mulcher area. Attempting to send one player to the East, West, North, South and Centre presses the Locust spawn points into a less varied choice, although doing this makes each player a one-man army and greatly increases the chances of defeat.
Roles for Each Player Player 1– This player is the one who's not so skilled at active combat, and prefers to stay in a fortified place for a while. This player has two jobs. One is to take down Locust before they strive too close to escape the kill zone of the Mortar. The other is to call out enemy positions to the rest of the team. The player should never edge too far to the left or to the right. He should also avoid heading down from the elevated area except when absolutely necessary (e.g. Mauler coming at you, teammates dead, street is only way out).
Player 2– Hold the left stairs, facing toward the street. Tag the top of the stairs with grenades in case any Locust get past you. This player has an arguable harder job than that of Player 3, whose duty is to guard the right, because the spawning Locust generally will shoot through the metal fence behind the cabin. Use the stairs for cover, focusing on the cabin exit and the enemies that spawn behind it. Maintain communication with Player 4 and help to revive one another when it is needed.
Player 3– This particularly brave player should hold the right staircase, wearing down and killing any enemy that dare go near it. Plant proximity mines on top of the stairs as a welcoming gift for any Locust that make it past. This player's job is to also assist Player 5 in taking out the enemies exiting the right cabin. Keep eye contact with the cabin exit and the stairs leading to the courtyard, many enemies tend to emerge there. Make sure you revive Player 5 if he is downed.
Player 4– This is the risk-taking player with those fast feet. His job is to seize the Boomshield at the start of the wave and swiftly retreat to the sandbags near the bottom of the left stairs. This player must be a skilled player at Close-Quarters Combat. Your job is to slay the Locust that emerge from the cabin and the courtyard, as well as those who shoot through the metal fence behind the cabin, making Player 2's job a lot easier. Steal dropped weaponry from Locust corpses and make instant dashes for Frag Grenades; they can be planted at the cabin exit on the corner of the building near the courtyard.
Player 5– The fifth and final player of the group should take up position at the benches near the stairs. Eliminate Locust exiting the right cabin and assist Player 3 in avoiding Locust forces from reaching Player 1. Grab dropped ammo and weapons with Player 4. The player here could do a little free work at this end of the map, but make sure he stays out of the cabin to avoid any chances for the Horde to spawn nearer to the team's fortified defense area. When the Horde's numbers drop down, rush for the dropped weapons and extra grenades before executing the final opponent(s).
Behind the scenesEdit
- When in Ghost Camera, a player can keep the camera under the snow after the avalanche hits.
- Like other maps with inevitable occurrences that can kill players, the map is named after the specific event that kills players (i.e. Hail, Flood).