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Letters from the Front


( This is a first look at Nivelle Nights, a map that is set at night during the Second Battle of the Aisne in 1917 during the Nivelle Offensive. This is from the Battlefield 1 CTE, and serves as a first look. The map is coming to all Season Pass holders in June. My first impressions of the map will be coming in June.) 

The Nivelle Offensive in 1917 was a Franco-British offensive in Northern France during the Great War, the French part of the Offensive was to attack the German’s position at the Aisne River within 48 hours. What became a good plan turned to being a stalemate on the French front with the French ultimately being bogged down at the Chemin-des-Dames ridge, with the British achieving the deepest breakthrough since the war began in 1914, along the Scarpe River and captured Vimy Ridge to the north and Messines Ridge, and eventually spending the rest of 1917 at Ypres and Cambrai. The main French offensive was a disaster and by April 25th, 1917, the French suspended the Offensive.

As the result of the failure of the Offensive, Nivelle was sacked and his replacement was the “Lion of Verdun.” aka Phillipe Petain and the French had to recuperate. In May of 1917, the Battle for the Chemins-des-Dames Ridge continued and along the Moronvillers Heights east of Reims. In October, the French conducted small -scale operations at La Malmaison, which eventually forced the Germans to fall back across the Ailette valley.

The Second Battle of the Aisne was the main part of the Nivelle Offensive, it was an attempt to inflict a major defeat for the Germans in France and the strategy was to conduct several operations in sequence from north to south. The French objective was to capture Chemins-des-Dames ridge from the Germans and then attack Laon. When the French met with the British from the Arras front, the Germans would pursue the British into Belgium. The offensive began on April 9th and by the end, it would fail.


Fort De Vaux, TSNP.

Nivelle Nights is the first night map that is coming to Battlefield 1, and it is a stereotypical map in what we know of the Great War. It is a map that is filled with trenches, pillboxes, and heavily defended defensive lines and it’s extremely pretty. The moon shines, spotlights shine in the sky, and tracers go back and forth from enemy players as everybody tries to capture flags. Niville Nights runs Conquest for now, here’s the setup:

The C flag is smack dab in the middle of no-mans land with a few destroyed tanks as cover. A and B are situated at the start of the Trench network, A is in the entrance to the trench network and B is situated in the frontline trenches, D is located in a ruined church in No-mans land and E and F is situated both in the German spawn: E is located to the entrance and F is located at an Artillery outpost. The map is large and extremely pretty: Alot of mud, ruins, and dirts and a bridge with water underneath it but for now, there’s nothing on the map for example, there’s no foliage, no water, no environmental designs except for the trenches and the objectives hence you might be wondering, “Why is it bare?” it’s because the map is in early development and is open to CTE playtesting.

I like Nivelle Nights but it doesn’t really do “Trench Raiding” or “Trench Warfare”  justice, and it annoys me and having played this for 3 hours on 3 different occasions of Conquest, it doesn’t play as you think a trench map would play as. You and I think that two teams have to go hard at each other, like a stalemate and going through each other’s lines until the game tells us there’s a break in the enemy lines and we will venture out and capture the objectives, but it’s not like that: It’s the same as every other map in Battlefield 1, with 64 players just running around this large map and capturing objectives, getting kills once and a while but it’s really early so I’ll hold my judgement and perhaps, the map doesn’t work well with any game mode much less Conquest so I shouldn’t be so judgmental on it, but it just irks me that it plays like every other map in the game when the tone and difference of the map is more serious in nature, similar to Verdun Heights.

So far, I like the map design and like the overall tone and aesthetic but if DICE can accurately make the map more representative of early WWI combat with trench raiding and trench combat and everything will be perfect. Make sure to stay tuned this June.

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