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Schultzie's Building Thread

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I tend find ways to work within an environment, while working to get the changes we feel will improve the experience. This thread is for all the constructive things we can do to make our building experience better from both sides. The issues can be, and are being, discussed in other threads. Share what you think and what you know about how to survive, and maybe even flourish, both while in buildings and when fighting against them.

I have tested all sorts of different buildings, and tactical scenarios within, during playtesting my maps/battles. While not scientific, they have showed me enough 'real world' results that I am fairly comfortable giving my opinion. I may state things in more certain terms at times, but it is all just one person's opinion.

It comes down to just finding what the engine tolerates and operating within those limits. COVER, CONCEALMENT and STRENGTH are the main issues with structures. Cover and Concealment are fine, but if you are hiding in a building that is about to come down in a stiff breeze ... well you think about it.


Variables to consider when evaluating the COVER quotient of a structure...

1. Number of active(non-dead) units PER ACTION SPOT. Each floor has an action spot. The fewer troops per spot, the better off you will be in the long run through most situations. If artillery starts falling, then evacuation of upper floors takes precedence.

2. Size of Building. From the less-than-hedge cover of the half-tile Barn, through the independent buildings and going up to the single tile 8 story modular; always remember that one size does NOT fit all.

3. Type of Building. Barns are the most porous of structures. Even the large ones. Single-tile Independents can make you cry if you mistake them for actual buildings. Multi-tile/story Independents are about equal to single-tile Modulars in terms of in-the-face protection. Multi-tile/story Modulars and the Cathedral structures are the best we have. The larger the structure, the better the protection. This includes single tile multi-story structures. The increased load-bearing members seem to be abstracted in. ;) A 4 story single tile Modular seems to be better cover on all floors than the same 1 story structure.

4. Rowhouses/Larger Constructs. Invincible cover from the adjoining sides, until those buildings are rubbled or intervening walls are blown. Locking buildings together into even larger structures also increases any participating building's strength by negating large portions of side artillery damage and transferring it to the adjacent roof. Designers make HUGE differences here when they choose to either leave or delete adjacent walls. If they leave windows and/or doors it will affect things as well.

5. Fortified Structures. Fairly recent re-discovery of a CMSF trick. "Wrapping" structures with low stone/brick walls or low bocage grants a significant COVER and CONCEALMENT bonus to any hiding/cowering troops on the ground floor. Low Bocage around a large Barn makes one almost tenable. High Walls will completely block the ground floor of any building. Artillery and direct fire HE must wear down the wall before attacking the structure. Demo charges will blow both at once. Look for more of these to hopefully start showing up in newer battles/campaigns, and take advantage when you do. Most likely a VL.


And that is just covering some of the basics of the COVER options. Personally, I would rather put a team in a medium shell crater than a half-tile Barn. At least the crater can't fall on you. Getting to know the difference between the smaller Modulars and their wimpier Independent cousins can reap the greatest rewards out of all the building data. If you see a building with a low wall "foundation" wrapped around part/all of it... it is there for a reason. To keep your boys alive.

Let's add in CONCEALMENT, and then STRENGTH in upcoming posts.

Remember, we want to work with what we have in this thread. Please feel free to contribute anything you have learned on building survival or attack.

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Here's something I discovered recently after making and playing a HTH battle on a map I made:


I had placed lots of shell craters around an auto garage building, and had a bazooka team in an adjacent action square with "hide" orders. The team sought the best available cover, which happened to be a crater that overlapped one corner of the garage. This created a quasi-basement/dugout effect, and a cozy little ambush site.

I haven't tested this, but it seems to me that creative placement of craters around buildings and rubbled buildings could give us a bit more of the basements and covered firing positions we're looking to get in urban environments.

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CONCEALMENT - While not all that variable once past the Barn stage, the way we conceal ourselves in buildings could use discussion.

This seems to be buggering more CM1 players than any other structure issue. We used to able to place troops anywhere inside a building, and face 'em anywhere else, and they would stay put in a corner and just spin around. I miss it too brothers, but it's gone and probably not coming back.

So, we move on and deal.

To conceal troops in buildings effectively, a few variables have to be taken into account. The first one will require the most words, as you will see.

1. Facing. IMHO, this is the bane of CM1ophiles while in buildings. I just call it the "Norman Bates Effect". If you stick a team in a single action spot with two windows and face them towards the enemy... what do you think someone outside sees? I am willing to wager that the majority of complaints are folks who got spotted facing the enemy. Play H2H against yourself for all the proof you want. :D

We cannot access the center of an action spot within a single-tile/two-tile structure(for now, hopefully). We MUST work around that, or face the enemy's fire. The answer has already been posted elsewhere by a wise soul.

Don't show the enemy anything. Face AWAY from the enemy and hide. This means you get to be on the other side of the building as well, for extra fragment protection. Defenders who start a battle hiding and never move get a concealment bonus. That bonus won't mean squat if your team's weapons are sticking out of the wall towards the enemy. ;) Keep one or two small teams facing the proper direction with alternating Hide and unHide, while the rest stay safe. You should know when it is time to bring everyone up.

2. LOS to enemy. Duh. If they can see you, well, they can see you. Don't stick any heads in any windows you don't want shot at. Slow and Hide at all times if you even think the enemy is about.

3. Covered Arcs. Same as Face unless your boys are in motion. It will burn you and make you visible. Don't face the enemy while you are in a building until you have to shoot at him if you want to make it a surprise. Slow in one direction with covered arc in opposite gives an infantry unit "Spidey Sense". They will snap around and deal with anything trying to sneak up on them.

4. Number of Troops per action spot. Teams only. Even a six-man HMG team can crowd a building side. Upper stories would be better served with a "less is better" approach. Germans have the better of this situation at the moment with the Scout Team and Tank Hunter Team... each with MP40s. Stealthy, and ungodly ROF at these ranges.

5. Walls. Even if the wall is outside one spot over, your boys that are on the ground floor have good concealment if hiding/cowering. If the building is fortified, you are good to go at Slow on the ground floor. No one can see you, unless they have a major elevation advantage from close by.

6. Elevation. The elevation difference between the two locations involved in the spotting exercise can be a large factor in concealment. If the enemy can see down/across into the center of your floor's action spot, your boys' location is exposed to area fire, and faster spotting of unhidden units regardless of facing. Conversely, if they cannot see the action spot, you can plink and duck until artillery or direct assault settles the matter.


Adding these factors into the Cover choices should help your troops stay hidden, AND safe from random fire, until they are needed to kill the enemy from proper ambush positions. You want that turn file to come back with "Where did all those &$%& troops come from?!?".

As always, feel free to discuss, rebut, suggest anything to do with positive applications of what we have and know to make buildings work.

STRENGTH cometh ....

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STRENGTH - This is a temporal set of conditions that affect both cover and concealment, and is the only structure attribute that can actively CAUSE casualties. Multi-tile Modular or not, if the roof is gone and there are holes in the walls then one shouldn't go in there.

First a rundown of types and general attributes.

1. Single-tile Independent/Barn. 81mm mortar or 75mm direct fire HE is usually enough to shatter these structures in short order. Evacuate ASAP after coming under fire.

2. Multi-tile Independent. It takes more 81mm, but 75mm direct fire will still penetrate/damage the same as above. If you can get on the other side of a long axis, then they are tenable positions for a while.

3. Single-tile Modular. May hold up to 81mm a little longer, but direct fire still takes its toll.

4. Multi-tile Modular. Strong like bull. Putting a few stories on top boosts their life extectancy by a large amount. 105/120mm in fair amounts to guarantee destruction.

5. Cathedral/Church. Not only are these structures extremely hard to completely destroy, there is a special place reserved for those who attempt the act. :eek:

6. Additional Stories. Once you go above 2-3 stories, it becomes very difficult for an attacker to see into the action spot for targeting purposes. The buildings also seem to acquire an ability to stand up to amazing amounts of damage to lower floors. They need to be chopped down one floor at a time from the top long after the lower floors would be unihabitable.


Then we move on to the damage variable; both designed and aquired. What started out as a strongpoint may as well be a Barn after a few turns of artillery fire.

Roofs. Once a building loses its roof, it becomes extremely vulnerable to further indirect fire of all calibers. Smoke probably won't bounce any more either(heehee). As long as a structure DOES have its roof though, especially a multi-story one, troops are safe from most damage.

Windows/Doors. The more there are on a side, the more it hurts when people shoot at you. Simple and logical.

Blown/rubbled Walls. Never a good sign. Single story buildings should most likely be evacuated once a wall comes down. Multi-tile/story modulars can hack a wall or two coming down. Large Churches shrug 'em off.

Multi-story Damage. Some buildings will drop. Some will need to be chopped down. Independents will drop with little to no visual notice. Modulars are tougher and will show their scars much longer before going down. They will give you the most notice that it is time to leave.

Rubble. Defender's paradise once it is there, especially multi-tile or fortified. Home to infantry AT teams and other vermin. Attacker may wish to refrain from making too much of this. Better to have rickety buildings swaying in the breeze.


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Yep LLF's thread should be a sticky. :)

GaJ, If you look in the editor, there are two different major building types. Independent buildings have certain traits, while Modulars have others.

The stores, garages, cafes, etc are Independent. Barns and smaller houses are as well. They fall down and go boom fairly easily, and are more porous once damaged by direct fire.

Modulars are the most granular type. They can be anything from 1 to 8 stories, and 1 to 4 tiles in area. Anything you see over 4 stories is a Modular. They stack into rows in a more visually pleasing manner. They have more texture and opening options.


I STRONGLY suggest that everyone open the editor a few times to at least glance at the buildings. Plop one of each down in the same grid pattern that they are available in. Get to know them and their attributes. Click on them with the commands provided in the manual.

We are all simulated officers here. We are supposed to gather intel that will save our men's lives. Taking a course in Building Recognition will go a long way in that department. ;)

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GaJ, in WW2 they used silhouette cards for aircraft and ship recognition.

I suppose you could print up flashcards with each building type and memorize them. :D

A mod would be dirt simple for anyone who already knows the system.

The Roof could hold the ID. (or are roofs shared??)

Pale shingles spelling out an identifier.

I - Independent

B - Barn

M - Modular

C - Commercial

R - (religous) Church/Cathedral


Second Letter

S - Single tile

M - Multi tile

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