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Tactical Use of Foxholes, Sandbags and Trenches CMx2


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If a thread is out there on the topic please post the link.

4 related basic questions:

- what are the relative cover merits of each fortification?

- what are the relative concealment merits?

- which benefits the most from "digging in" via elevation edits?

Is there a way to quantify/rank the benefits of each?

Thanks guys.

Kevin

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If a thread is out there on the topic please post the link.

4 related basic questions:

- what are the relative cover merits of each fortification?

- what are the relative concealment merits?

 

I don't know of a thread that answers your questions. I am not sure if I can really either but I'll take a shot.  The plus side for trenches is more guys can fit into them and get a benefit  from  being in them.  If you only have a four man team I do not know how much more of a benefit one has over another.  On the other hand if the enemy gets into a trench then teams next to them in the trench don't have any protection from them any more.

 

Both offer good protection from artillery if you hide your men inside the fortification - unless a direct hit is scored.

 

I do not think that there is much of a concealment benefit (unless you men are hiding).  I think the fact that soldiers in the trench are harder to spot is overshadowed by the fact that the trenches and foxholes themselves can be spotted.  So men in a trench in the open will be harder to spot then just men in the open but the trenches themselves will be seen - which kinda gives the enemy and idea of where your guys are.

 

- which benefits the most from "digging in" via elevation edits?

 

I don't know what you mean here.

 

Is there a way to quantify/rank the benefits of each?

Oh man I don't think anyone has done any testing to say anything about that.  

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Thanks. I had a feeling these would be hard to put a number to. The old board gamer in me say OH, +1 woods plus +2 hull down = +3 die roll modifier. But, that's then and this is now. I have seen where you can lower the elevation on which you place

sandbags and foxholes (sort of like what we can do with trenches using ditch lock). I think this offers some advantage for

guns and infantry like being hull down. BTW the question stems from map making for a defensive position on open desert-like

ground. Not complete field works but say 24 hours of readiness.

Kevin

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A good topic and question.

 

I think the implementation of foxholes and trenches in CMx2 is one of the more weaker features of the game.  So much so that there are times I would rather not have to contend with them as a consequence.

As a matter of fact I probably think that in may cases they are better off used empty  as "decoys" when planning a defensive setup, especially when you are defending from within/behind bocage terrain.  Maybe playing CC (the original) corrupted me because in that game it allowed infantry to occupy foxholes/trneches lined behind bocage and still see/fire through it.  When you actually consider real bocage however, it's hard to see how this could be possible to maybe CMx2 has it right as far as that goes.

 

Still I have found foxholes/trenches in bocage terrain to almost be a nusiance as a defender.  In bocage terrain, I only consider them as shelter behind the natural defensive line of bocage that infantry can try to move in to if they come under arty fire. When the battlefield is providing natural defensive lines like bocage, expecting infantry to defend from within their trench/foxhole (rather than from behind bocage) against an enemy that has moved up to a line of bocage is a sure way to seal their fate.  They can not retreat/leave/withdraw from their position and break the enemy LOS/LOF as they can if they were behind bocage.

 

As already mentioned the defensive benefits of them (especially foxholes) seem to be offset by their ability to be quite easily spotted and their often incompatibility with other good defensive terrain.

 

My view in CMx2 has been that these defensive structures aren't as effective as what that they might otherwise be:

 

sandbags- consider them as "user placed defensive walls" to be placed in locations that need to be defended that are otherwise devoid of cover (eg. open terrain), I would guess 15% better cover than if left in the open.

foxholes- preferable to sandbags as far as cover goes, work best in woods. Perhaps 40-50% cover than if left in open.

trenches- like foxholes but fit more troops in, can form a long line., works best in woods.  Perhaps 50-60% cover than if left in open.

 

My impression, feel free to correct me if you see it any differently.

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that game it allowed infantry to occupy foxholes/trneches lined behind bocage and still see/fire through it.  When you actually consider real bocage however, it's hard to see how this could be possible to maybe CMx2 has it right as far as that goes.

 

In bocage terrain, I only consider them as shelter behind the natural defensive line of bocage that infantry can try to move in to if they come under arty fire.

 

That I agree with 100% fox holes in bocage are not very helpful. I guess I kind of forgot about that.  I too would really like to see foxholes be allowed to be part of the bocage line - that would have real value.

 

sandbags- consider them as "user placed defensive walls" to be placed in locations that need to be defended that are otherwise devoid of cover (eg. open terrain), I would guess 15% better cover than if left in the open.

 

I have no numbers to offer but I have had really good success with using sandbag walls with AA and AT guns.  Having a sandbag wall in front of your gun is no substitute for good placement.  What I mean by that is don't get a sand bag wall and say cool now I can put my gun in the open in over-watch and it will suddenly be an uber gun.  No I mean if you add a sandbag wall to a well placed AT gun it will make it even harder to KO.  So get that gun in that great key hole location with a hill protecting one side and trees the other and put a sandbag wall in front of it and watch the fun.

 

foxholes- preferable to sandbags as far as cover goes, work best in woods. Perhaps 40-50% cover than if left in open.

 

Yes, foxholes are really excellent in the woods.  Place primary and secondary foxholes just out of visibility of each other and your defenders can fight from cover repeatedly.

 

I just don't think in numbers like 40% or +1. I just gave up on that long ago.

 

One thing foxholes and trenches are really, really good for is surviving artillery.  If you get your men to hide while in a trench or foxhole you can survive even a big artillery barrage nearly unscathed.  In CMFI's A Temple to Mars they served me extremely well.  The US has a lot of artillery and they accounted for very few casualties when they landed on the trench works.

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The old board gamer in me say OH, +1 woods plus +2 hull down = +3 die roll modifier. But, that's then and this is now.

Yeah this game is much more subtle than +1 to 4 on a six sided die.

 

I have seen where you can lower the elevation on which you place sandbags and foxholes (sort of like what we can do with trenches using ditch lock). I think this offers some advantage for

guns and infantry like being hull down. BTW the question stems from map making for a defensive position on open desert-like ground. Not complete field works but say 24 hours of readiness.

Ah, create your own reverse slope defence is actually a good strategy. Putting trench works on the down side of a hill so that it has a good field of fire to the crest of the hill works well yes. As does using the ground along with fortifications to create hull down fighting positions.

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Thanks for trying to quantity. Might need BF to discuss the merits of the three fortifications but I think it may always be

a mystery based on all the possible variables - or at least a real bear to calculate.

When I look at fortifications on flat ground they just seem to beg for placement in slightly lower terrain than their

immediate surroundings. I have been using reverse slope defenses for hills with "dug in" foxholes and sandbags.

A few troops are sacrificed on the forward slope to spot the enemy. When the enemy crests the hill they find them self in a

close range firefight that does not go well for the attacker. Without flanking the position with direct fire and FO placement the reverse slope is darn near impossible to crack. I think it's up to the map maker to allow room for a flank attack albeit taking some losses along the away. The hill defense would then involve local counterattacks to relieve the pressure on the

out flanked reverse slope dug-in position.

But again it remains a mystery as to what relative protection fortifications provide and the do and don'ts related to

placement.

Kevin

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I too would really like to see foxholes be allowed to be part of the bocage line - that would have real value.

 

But I was saying that if you look at real bocage, its hard to see how the two could realistically be combined.  If this diagram is typical of bocage, I can't see how you could defend through the bocage from foxholes placed at the base of the bocage (like in CC)

 

combat_lessons_normandy_image1x.gif

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That diagram is missing that the core of the berm is a fieldstone wall, all tied together with the 400 year old roots of the vegetation on top... But given time, grunts with shovels and picaxes (and maybe a grenade or two :) or assistance from the Bttn engineers) could carve a defensive position out of them. The accounts I've seen sortof lend themselves more to being wooden bunkers incorporated into the hedgerow, though, and those suckers behind a bocage line are pretty tough to crack: they get the protection of the bocage, so are very difficult to suppress with small arms, or hit with bazookas and are proof against light artillery indirectly applied.

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That is quite the diagram.  I agree simple fox holes would not fit in that - although more prepared positions like what @womble are talking about could.  I don't think that every bocage line is quite that dramatic.  Perhaps only allowing fox holes to be added to low bocage would work better.  At any rate I think we are going to have to play the game the way it is for the foreseeable future.

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But I was saying that if you look at real bocage, its hard to see how the two could realistically be combined.  If this diagram is typical of bocage, I can't see how you could defend through the bocage from foxholes placed at the base of the bocage (like in CC)

 

combat_lessons_normandy_image1x.gif

 

The answer is of course, as womble alluded to, to dig in not at the base, but in the sides. Which according to the accounts I have read is what the Germans did. I don't expect that there is any way at present to represent that in the game, which is a pity but just one of those things we have to live with. I think bocage defense is already tough enough though. Adding prepared defenses might require some rebalancing of other factors.

 

Michael

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The answer is of course, as womble alluded to, to dig in not at the base, but in the sides. Which according to the accounts I have read is what the Germans did. I don't expect that there is any way at present to represent that in the game, which is a pity but just one of those things we have to live with. I think bocage defense is already tough enough though. Adding prepared defenses might require some rebalancing of other factors.

 

Michael

IMO, wooden bunkers behind the bocage are a good representation of a very tough prepared bocage dug-in position. Too visible, probably, but in terms of protection for the defenders against anything below 105mm, pretty sturdy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 I did and arty test with 81mm vs a platoon and found that men hiding in the foxholes had fewer casualties then in the trenches.It makes sense when you think about it, hiding in a foxhole offers 360 degree protection,men in  trenches are extremely vulnerable to the sides.If a round hits 5m to the right of your foxhole, no effect, 5m to the right in a trench and it lands in the trench, that's a bad thing for those men.

 

Ran the test 5 times with exact conditions and the same results,men hiding in foxholes suffered fewer casualties than men hiding in trenches.

 

Not saying its absolute or conclusive, just my results, do your own tests.

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I agree, sand bag walls provide pretty good cover. Putting foxholes and trenches behind a low stone wall seems to give even better protection from direct fire for troops in them. Emphasis on "seems to", but I've had troops survive automatic weapons fire for a very long time using that kind of configuration.

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I definitely notice that troops in foxholes are much more difficult to take out by mortar fire. They are not invulnerable, but they can soak up a lot of ammo. I think mortars were made less accurate in a patch, and just a few metres off target means a lot against foxholes.

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