What can I say about Pearl River? Well honestly a lot, but I'll try to keep this concise as possible. Depending on photo limits, I may break this into two posts but here goes.
First of, looking at the map it seems tempting to just run up the middle to the river plain. While that may be a viable tactic at times, honestly you're not doing the map justice. So I've taken the time to break down just some various things from the beta test of the map, and previous battle experiences. These are simply observations, but the points remain that it may help you in future battles on the map.
First up are "choke points." These are areas that depending on how the battle is going, it's possible for one to two TD's to easily defend. With the two top side choke points, it's entirely possible for ONE TD to hold off a flanking maneuver if the player is careful. On the river side, you have the curve of the hill to protect you. On the other side, you have a bridge which naturally bottlenecks the enemy into a small area, making them prime targets. The plain can also be a choke point, if played properly, but requires more Heavy units than TD's to pull off. (Reason explained in following photos.)
The Red circles on this map are prime hunting locations for TD's. Most if not all of them place the TD in a position where it is aiming directly at an enemy choke point, while at the same time offering the best chance of survival for the TD. The Yellow circle will work, but it's not advised, since it leaves the TD with little room to retreat. These points also work well for sniping tanks, such as Panter II and some heavies. They're not protected though, so expect to have to move after a few shots.
If you're playing a Heavy, or Medium, your best chance of survival is here in the city. There's enough buildings to make targeting you by artillery difficult at best, while at the same time protecting you from most of the outlying sniper/TD positions. You'll have to move out of there eventually, if you intend to cap, but at least here you are mostly hidden from enemy fire.
These two locations should be avoided by Artillery at all costs. Though tempting locations to fire from, the fact is they are both VERY vulnerable. The right side for being in the direct line of sight of anything coming out of either the bridge choke point, or the city; while the left side circle due to one of the possible routes you can expect fast scouts to take to flank.
Though not the ONLY route available for fast tanks, the red route is the safest to get you quickly (yes, it's longer, but quick is relative in a tank battle) behind enemy lines to spot artillery and deal with them. Also it leads straight to the most common camping position for the enemy artillery (both sides, both directions) meaning you have a better chance of doing damage. Alternatively, the yellow route will bring you close enough to the battle to spot heavies in the city and plain, while at the same time offering you a bit of security from returning fire. It's the more dangerous of the routes, so what you take is up to you.
Edit: Had to redo this map as it didn't save properly the first time.
These are the best locations for artillery. However there is a caveat here. In the case of the red locations, you chance being killed quickly by a scout running around the map. However, they are the easiest positions to get to quickly and cover the largest portions of the map. However, the yellow points are better defended, and provide better angles of fire covering both choke points and key locations. The problem is getting there. If you have a fast SPG such as the Priest, you can probably make it there before the enemy starts firing on you. In a best case scenario, you should expect the yellow locations to be ideal locations to get to, but don't head out there from the start. Note: On the bottom right red circle, you can actually get a good distance back up the hill there out of the line of travel so you might stay hidden depending on your camo rating. Sadly the northern red circle isn't as well placed, so you should have one or two TD's to defend you from that choke point.
Edited by Magick, Apr 27 2013 - 06:50.