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Keyholing...what does it mean?

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Hi there

been reading some threads here and there and found a term I don't understand - keyholing...

Can someone explain what does it mean?

Probably it's something I already know how to do, but if I'm reading threads to improve my skills at CM and read that thing all the time without knowing what it means, well, it won't be very good for me ;)

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Keyholing means to place a unit in terrain where it can see and be seen only from a narrow angle.

For example, far down a forest road and shooting at enemy passing outside the forest. Or far down a city street shooting at enemy crossing the street.

The point is to prevent more than one enemy unit being able to spot you and return fire when you reveal yourself by shooting.

If you do it sucessfully you might, say, kill a tank with your AT gun without being spotted at all. So you survive to ambush the next tank to pass by, etc.

It's also an important method for thinly-armored tank-hunters like Marders, who don't want to be fired at as they shift position after shooting.

I'm sure you'll enjoy the results of this method.

I'd be interested to see you post a description of what happens when you give it a try. Good hunting, RAM.

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Hey Ram...

"Keyholing" is the placing of a

unit so that it has a fairly narrow

field of fire....eg an AT gun placed

to fire thru a gap in buildings or

trees...or a tank placed among

buildings...or an HMG firing down a


The idea is both to set up effective

ambushes and to restrict how many

enemy units have LOS to your unit...

AT guns pin & die awful quick when

many units can target them...keyholing

them (and adding MG's to cover approach

routes) can prolong their lives


Multiple keyholed units can be set

up to effectively dominate various

chunks of the battlefield...

You probably have been doing this

all along...it took me personally

a little while to get out of the

habit of trying to place AT guns

to cover as much as possible...

Once I began to keyhole, I never

looked back smile.gif

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Any unit with LOS into a small area, while protected in all other areas, is keyholing. It's a very broad term.

Here's a sneaky example for ya: How to take out an enemy AT gun with a tank, totally protected.

-A 75mm AT gun opens fire from a patch of woods and kills one of your t70s, revealing his position. You have a t34 behind a large patch of scattered trees, protected from the enemy gun. Though just beyond the scattered trees is LOS to the enemy gun.

Break out your LOS tool and get to work. The LOS tool is god in this game.

-How deep into the woods patch is this gun? Measure from the t34 to the gun with the LOS tool, then from the t34 to the front tip of the woods patch the gun is in. Subtract and voila. For the sake of discussion let's say it's in 3m deep.

-Now, LOS in scattered trees (summer, clear conditions) is 54m, so you can move your t34 forward into the scattered trees EXACTLY 55m away from the front edge of the patch and remain totally protected. Though we'll need to nose forward just a bit more than that to get our keyhole/LOS close enough to take the gun out area firing HE.

-LOS in woods (summer, clear conditions) is 26m. The gun is only in 3m deep, so really all we need to do is crack open a tiny keyhole to the front part of the woods and we're set. I'd aim to move your t34 52m from the front of the scattered trees patch. This should allow you to area fire HE just in front of the enemy AT gun in the woods, and the poor bastard won't be able to hit you back.

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Great Stuff, walpurgis nacht...

"Differential LOS" is something

I find myself using more & more...

is this what CM Vets mean when they

talk about 'understanding how CM

works under the hood' ???

A few more examples would be greatly,

appreciated, at least by me... smile.gif



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Well, as I suspected is something I was already doing now and then with AT guns.

Didn't know it made such a great difference with movile assets, tho... will try to take advantage of this tactic in the future ;)

oh, and great post, walpurgis!...however to dominate this tactic properly you must have an encyclopedial knowledge of LOS ranges&restrictions depending on tile type, weather, season, etc... is there any thread of site where those numbers are shown? smile.gif

Thanks to everyone for your anwsers.

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Having an encyclopedia of past observations is a useful time saver, but having experiment to make new ones is how you find out yourself. Just use your LOS tool in the scenario you are in. Since light and fog and month of the year can change all the numbers, there is nothing like knowing the distances in your actual conditions.

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