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Do 'ditchlock' trenches provide more/better cover?


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Working on a Campaign around Summer '43 in the Ukraine around the Mius river bend/Stepanowka/Gerassimowa/Marinowka (L-37-6-B for those map-inclined).

Lots of fighting, and I've been thinking about trench systems, re: vanilla 'trenches' vs 'ditchlocked trenches'.

Anyone have some experience or done some tests of the two? Perhaps ditchlocking a trench and putting trenches on top of that? 

Haven't experimented yet, but figured I'd ask in advance...

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18 minutes ago, herr_oberst said:

Working on a Campaign around Summer '43 in the Ukraine around the Mius river bend/Stepanowka/Gerassimowa/Marinowka (L-37-6-B for those map-inclined).

Lots of fighting, and I've been thinking about trench systems, re: vanilla 'trenches' vs 'ditchlocked trenches'.

Anyone have some experience or done some tests of the two? Perhaps ditchlocking a trench and putting trenches on top of that? 

Haven't experimented yet, but figured I'd ask in advance...

I have for a similar type scenario.

Pros with ditch lock - you can create custom trench systems and firing points

Cons - troops don't use them the same way i.e. they tend to want to sit on the top edge and engage... No FOW os you can see the trench system.

Purchased trenches

Pros - FOW and better cover

Cons - Less flexibility in placing and harder to create firing positions

Combing the two does not work.

Vanilla trenches linked to foxholes might be an option if FOW and cover is what you are after?

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One thing I have noticed is the effect uneven ground has on cover and concealment.

For example, if you place a weapon, whether in a trench or not, in a position with slightly higher ground to its flanks and rear then it is much harder to take out with artillery, and to spot.

So, instead of ditchlocking, you could set up keyhole position using uneven terrain - which will aid both cover and concealment and not be an obvious target to attackers.

Edited by Freyberg
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Interesting (on both replies - thank you). 

Sounds like the ditchlock doesn't get what I'm after. From my reading, the concealment was a big issue for the Axis attackers, and the positions were pretty resilient to arty. Vanilla trenches and foxholes sounds like the better option.

The keyholing with terrain sounds like a good option as well, and not too hard to do.

So many options, so little time to implement and test.

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6 minutes ago, herr_oberst said:

Interesting (on both replies - thank you). 

Sounds like the ditchlock doesn't get what I'm after. From my reading, the concealment was a big issue for the Axis attackers, and the positions were pretty resilient to arty. Vanilla trenches and foxholes sounds like the better option.

The keyholing with terrain sounds like a good option as well, and not too hard to do.

So many options, so little time to implement and test.

I did a Mius scenario for CMX1 years back and recall from accounts the issue the panzers had with Soviet foxholes and snipers. I might have got that too right in the scenario as in my playtests no German tank had a TC left alive!

Tall crops will also help mitigate long range LOS/LOF on trenches. Keeping em hidden to the last gasp would be key I suspect.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I do ditch locking trench segments most the time with good results. This by preparing with CNTR-Click (blue) -1m lower than surrounding action spots (black). Best method is a zig-zag pattern every 8m (=1 AS). "/\/\". Herein snap and connect the single trench segments quite perfectly. I combine it with my "no sandbags" mod to achieve an even better looking result.

RHZ_YEG_4_Trenches.thumb.jpg.dd5a0e1441e8c675fa52b6c15a994106.jpg

Beside better looks, the protection effect is considerably higher vs. some direct and small arms fire due to the surrounding terrain mesh. Versus most HE and indirect fire artillery there´s almost no beneficial effects. The large 2m wide CM trenches just offer too much of a footprint, vs airbursts quite in particular. Tactical use is equally important. Both human and AIP players can make the best of it when remaining in "hide" and start engaging the enemy with surprise fires, then revert back to "hide" mode. In hide mode any infantry in there is practically immune to enemy small arms fire at least.

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On 4/27/2021 at 10:52 PM, herr_oberst said:

Interesting (on both replies - thank you). 

Sounds like the ditchlock doesn't get what I'm after. From my reading, the concealment was a big issue for the Axis attackers, and the positions were pretty resilient to arty. Vanilla trenches and foxholes sounds like the better option.

The keyholing with terrain sounds like a good option as well, and not too hard to do.

So many options, so little time to implement and test.

One just can add wooden pillboxes for additional vs artillery protection and use the ditch lock method for their placement as well. Concealment remains a running CM issue in any case though. Like @George MC said, keyhole positions and reverse slopes can deal with some these issues.

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3 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

I do ditch locking trench segments most the time with good results. This by preparing with CNTR-Click (blue) -1m lower than surrounding action spots (black).

That's how I always make mine. Your no sandbag mod really does make it all look better, though!

 

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1 hour ago, mjkerner said:

That's how I always make mine. Your no sandbag mod really does make it all look better, though!

 

think it´s the best we can do now with given means and CM ground mesh resolution. GT Mius is not that much different. Their trenches aren´t really that different from original CMSF i.e They look much better, but concerning cover effects anything but superior. Think a ground mesh resolution of half a meter and less would be needed to at least make it all look better. Then need an AI that can deal with all that, concerning path finding, as well as recognizing and using it as cover.

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