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Black Ops – Escalation Map Pack Strategy Guide

Discovering useful locations to hide, flank and demolish enemies in an unacquainted map (or set of maps) is never an easy job, particularly if it’s a Call of Duty or Battlefield game. Those merciless, camp-loving, random grenade tossing players are further intrusions in your aim of familiarizing yourself with the location.

With the addition of new maps in Black Ops from the Escalation map pack, there are high chances you would face frustrations when taking a stroll in any of the maps for the first, say, ten times at least. We’re here to make sure that number is reduced, if not eliminated completely. Here are a few tips and suggestions for every map to prevent you from becoming bullet magnets and enable you to start racking up kills ASAP.

We’ll be covering the maps Convoy, Hotel, Stockpile and Zoo individually while for zombies, read Black Ops Zombies – Call of the Dead Strategy Guide.


Convoy is a fast paced, short and immediate in-the-face map, which means lots of grenade dodging and use of short ranged weapons. There is a collapsed highway, surrounded by various locations such as a motel and a gas station.

But perhaps the best and worst aspect of the map is how much cover there is available; so first rule is to always check your corners before making any quick and vulnerable moves. Additionally, you could also blow up those vehicles to cause extra damage, and to fry anyone taking cover behind one.

At the start of a match, make sure you are cautious in rushing the bridge, as it happens to be the favorite spot for hasty grenadiers. On the contrary, you might wish to hold on to your pineapple, and only release it when your opponents are visible.

The walkways on each side of the bridge are spots you should definitely look out for – you’re bound to find a typical sniper or camper eagerly waiting for in-a-hurry-players like you. In fact it would be to your team’s advantage if you could manage to clear and occupy those walkways; you should try using RPGs, M72s or grenade launchers to clean up the place.

Another good defensive area in the map is the balcony in the second floor of the motel area. It can get a little risky while standing there, as you’ll be fairly exposed, so you might want to keep a willing partner close to you to protect the doors and stairs over there.


El Royale is a big hotel, and boy does it offer a lot of variety. It’s got everything you can expect from a 5-star hotel; lavatories, large halls, casino rooms, open areas, swimming pools, you name it.

Just about every type of weapon works here, so you’ll have to preplan what you do, and change what you use depending on the progress of the map. You’ll also have to be wary of enemies, as everything can be expected here – campers, crazy rushers, stealthy snipers and those freebie getters; every kind of enemy can be found here.

The office is a haven for snipers and defenders who are positioned in the correct place; the balconies can be the sniper’s nest while a rifleman defends the narrow corridors that lead to the area. You could also place a tactical insertion around the corner of the perches zones, in case you’d like to respawn behind the enemies which just assaulted and cleared the area.

As for those who have a problem with snipers doing exactly what was suggested above, do remember that grenades combined with witty flanking are the best means to counter snipers sitting in higher locations.

The surrounding area, which includes the pool, should be avoided as much as possible. That is one of those locations where you just don’t know how many different angles and places you got shot from.

Another camper’s nest is the casino. It’s a place filled with camp-setting opportunities, and can become an extremely irritating and difficult location to ramble through. If you can’t clear the place, then avoid it.

You might also want to experiment with the elevators – they can be used to confuse or surprise (or even both) your enemies. Try placing a claymore in them, and then send them up or down empty to get some unorthodox kills. They can also act as excellent diversions, sending them up and down while you use the stairs to reach your destination.


Stockpile consists of circular area with a central building, surrounded by many small houses. The main focus of the map is the central building, but a lot of kill or be killed opportunities are provided near the houses and particularly close to the border of the map.

If you’re super skilled at close quarter combat, you may want to try and visit the central building, a sort of missile room with many entrances. Be sure to take a friend along with you though, as lasting more than five seconds in that area alone is highly unlikely – there are many dudes who think they are also good at close quarter combat.

Be careful while operating the large doors – they take a while and make a good bit of noise, alerting nearby foes of someone entering or exiting. And yes, the doors can crush and kill you too.

Nearby the central area is a small, red painted house with greenish windows. This is a grade place for you and your squad mates to hold up and take out any unfriendly passerby. Just make sure the outer stairs are being protected to prevent unwelcomed guests from coming.


The zoo is, well, a zoo with a claustrophobic touch and no animals. The real problem with this map is not its size or its narrow alleys; it’s how well players can get camouflaged here. You might want to experiment with your brightness levels a bit and strain your survey a little more in order to spot enemies more efficiently.

The main area of the Zoo is the central plaza. Be very careful not to spend too much time in the middle – you can get killed from anywhere and everywhere. Furthermore, the control of this area is the key to success in this map, but you have to be clever about how you do it.

Perching up in the buildings and shooting from windows, while guarding the doors leading into the plaza is the best way to control the central area.

Other intriguing locations include the two monorail stations located high up. These can be great survey points, and placing a skilled sniper here can be useful. However, don’t make strolling on the tracks a habit, as you’ll be over-exposed while doing so, even though it may serve as a quick way to go from one area to another.

Try to explore animal pens in the map, as they can be great ways to get from one place to another, and also be good places to hold out, though not for too long. The entrances to some of the pens are too wide to be safely guarded by a claymore, so it’s best not to stay put for too long.