So when we look at a Gears of War map there are a few things we need to look at:
-Line of sight
These things vary from map to map but are all key factors in the design and flow of the map. So now that we know how to break it down let's talk about it.
All of the power weapons are in the center of the map. There are three power weapons in the center.
The fact that there are three power weapons seems to be intentional. It forces the team of five to divide itself into smaller teams and to direct itself to whichever weapon feels like a priority target. Two players can go for the sniper, another two toward the Boomshot and the last player can head to the mortar.
Communication is key. If all players head to the Boomshot/HoD spawn then the other team can obtain the sniper/torque and mortar unchallenged. If one player goes alone to any of these weapons they can easily be defeated. Each of these power weapons are in areas where there is minimal cover. The cover here is from teammates. If one player goes for the sniper/torque the second player can cover them from a more covered area. If the player going to retrieve the weapon is downed they have a better chance of being revived if a teammate is nearby.
The Boomshot/HoD is in a section of the map that isn't fully protected. The player attempting to pick up the weapon is exposed to incoming enemy fire.
The gates at this weapon pick up provide us with "soft cover" whereas the area surrounding show us "Visible Cover". The difference between the two is fairly simple. "Visible Cover" is anything that can and will provide excellent cover. "Visible Cover" should always be obvious and never hidden.
To put it simply, a smokescreen will cover your position but you can still be shot while inside of it. Therefore it is "Soft Cover". A brick wall that is taller and wider than the character is "Visible Cover". Just don't get "Soft Cover" confused with "Destructible Cover".
The towers where the frag/ink grenades are have a nice view of the battlefield. When the player is in the tower they have a view on the sniper/torque spawn and can see if anyone is heading toward the Boomshot/HoD.
Having these lines of sight where the player can see enemy movement is key for communication. This is a mulitplayer game and a team that keeps in constant communication with one another will have an advantage over a team that is silent and works independently. The grenade towers allows for excellent communication and the sniper/torque spawn allows the player to see anyone attempting to go for the mortar. As you can tell the mortar is in an exposed position with very little cover.
This area here is great. It has a great mix of cover placements allowing for dynamic battles between the players. The differences in cover height allows for the line of sight to be broken up slightly. Players can still spot each other and communicate enemy positions to one another while moving in and around cover.
Coordination and team work are a big part of this map design. The weapon placements bring the players to the center but it also makes the team work together to capture these power weapons. If a solo member of either team goes to capture the power weapon he/she can easily be taken down by an enemy. Teamwork is key in capturing these weapons so the map is designed to enforce this game play mechanics. If this map didn't enforce the mechanics then it would be an unsuccessful Gears of War map.