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The world-shaping titans have left their mark on frozen Northrend, though often their presence is embedded in the ground, as in mysterious Ulduar. Yet, on a narrow island chain, a sliver of titan handiwork is out in the 'open'.
As Horde and Alliance vanguards began to course over the continent of Northrend, their mystics awoke to dizzying visions of an isle, and a gleaming power behind heights of stone. The Strand¡¯s long-abandoned citadel towers and great gates loom mightily...but there¡¯s crumbling rock and rust among those fortifications. They can be brought down.
Disembark on the Strand with your war machines and fellow soldiers, smash the walls of yesteryear and claim a prize of eons¡¯ past. Or seize the titans¡¯ once-magnificent bulwark, man their guns, and blast your enemies back into the sea.
Strand of the Ancients is a siege-style battleground played in two rounds. One faction¡¯s team (chosen randomly at the start of the game) is the attacking team. They are dropped off by ship at the northern point of the island, and assault the fortress, attempting to break down its gates with demolishers and bombs and retrieve the titan relic inside. The defending team opposes them, holing up in the fort and attempting to delay their enemies¡¯ rush to the relic with a combination of might, magic and gun turrets.
After the first round, Horde and Alliance switch their roles ¨C offense becomes defense and vice versa. When both rounds are complete, and each team has either captured the relic or failed to do so, the team with the fastest ¡®capture time¡¯ is the winner.
The Valiance Expedition is the Alliance faction for the battleground, and the Warsong Offensive is the Horde faction. However, no reputation is earned by competing in this battleground.
Some common tactics include rushing walls with charges, leaving so many charges at the wall makes it hard to defuse them before they all go off, Vehicle assault with melee defending the demolishers, or a combination of the two.
Defenders should make use of the turrets and pick off rushers as they run in. Paladins on a mount with crusader aura make this very difficult, but noticing the rush can save the wall. Also, try to take out demolishers unless a rusher gets your attention; most of the time, you will be in a lot more trouble against demolishers than a single mage targeting your turret.
NOTE: Before Patch 3.2, The Alliance used to always go first, so they get to know their time to capture the relic in the first round; and so can do high DPS on the second round until the time that the Alliance have captured the relic has passed, letting the Horde get the relic. You generally get slightly less Honor this way, however it speeds up the second round quite a bit.
As stated above, graveyards are captured via clicking on them and completing a channeled effect similar to the various capturable points in Arathi Basin and Alterac Valley.
On offense, you want to capture the Eastern and Western Graveyards as soon as possible in order to gain the additional demolishers. Some people argue that the Southern Graveyard shouldn't be captured until the relic door has been destroyed because doing so makes your team respawn away from tanks and bombs which slows down your team's ability to get new tanks back into the fight. However, capturing the Southern Graveyard makes your enemies spawn further away from the Yellow Gate which allows your tanks and bomb carriers to approach the gate unharmed.
On Defense, defend your east and west GY's with a furor. The turrets on the Red and Purple walls can shoot players that are trying to capture them making it very easy for 1 person to defend a GY. Let the Offense cap the south GY if the walls are still up, it will slow them down.
Use Turrets to destroy tanks and defend East and West GYs. A tag team of turret operators at a gate can kill a tank before it reaches the wall. The closer the target is to where the rocket lands the more damage it will take. Up to 6000 dmg against a tank and 3000 against a player. Note that the turret projectile has a significant travel time. When taking out a moving target, you must anticipate where it will be in the 1¨C2 seconds it takes for the rocket to explode. When firing on moving demolishers, target the ground about one tank-length in front of it. Demolishers move and turn slowly compared to players, so it is much easier to use the turrets on them. Additionally, enemy players tend to crowd around the demolishers, and will take damage as well.
The turrets cannot hit targets beneath them, so a tank that is left or right justified on the wall can only be hit by 1 of the turrets.
Some people argue that Tanks are the best means of winning this fight. Always capture the Eastern and Western Graveyards to increase tank supply and reduce travel time. Tanks should operate in groups, never go in one at a time. You will get 1) Owned 2) Yelled At 3) Laughed at by opposing team. Tanks spawn two at a time at each workshop, so jump in one and wait for another player to jump in the other before rolling out.
A note on tanks: ALWAYS DRIVE THEM TO THE WALL. NEVER USE A TANK TO ATTACK PLAYERS. It's pointless to attack players with a tank, just keep the tank moving to the wall and always use the Ram (2 button) and alternate in the Cannon (1 button). Ram does more damage.
While tanks are very effective at breaking through the walls, they are slow and vulnerable. Other players need to provide support for the tanks, by killing or CCing enemy players who are attacking them. Snares and roots are effective at keeping melee away. Ranged classes should take passenger seats on the demolishers and take care of anyone that is attacking the demolisher.
Seasoned players have discovered that Bombs are the most effective way to destroy walls for several reasons:
Seaforium bombs can be found near almost any graveyard. They can be picked up while mounted, and carried while mounted, stealthed or invisible. After resurrecting, always grab a bomb, even if you aren't planning on using it immediately. It will come in handy if you make it to a wall.
Defenders should be on the lookout for enemies that try to sneak by towards a wall - they are probably carrying seaforium.