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Defenses around farms and buildings - cover and foxholes??

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After playing TOW and comparing it to a number of WWII memoirs, it seems to me that the game is missing a couple important elements regarding defense of anything other than open fields. Taking/defending a town, intersection, village, etc. involved crouching behind stone fences, putting machine gun nests in barns, ducking behind crates, flanking around buildings, hiding snipers in windows, grenading rooms, etc. Defending a position almost ALWAYS involved troops digging foxholes for a couple men each (not these WWI style trenches).

We need to add a few elements and I think they would be pretty easy to make. I propose here a few mods and changes that could make the game more realistic.

1) Add foxholes to simulate dug-in infantry positions. I'm talking about something that helps disguise infantry (requires more scouting skill to see them from a distance) and helps provide cover. You'd put 2-3 guys in a foxhole, with 3-4 foxholes to cover a squad of defenders. These could be part of the main defenses but also near barns, tree-lines, etc. and other important strategic spots. If you kill the defending infantry, then you can use their foxholes as cover and keep fighting forward.

This would also allow for things like "listening posts" and foxholes with machine-gun nests (2-3 men teams only) ahead of the lines to provide advanced warning of any incoming or surprise attacks.

2) There needs to be more static-objects in and around towns, farms, populated areas (such as intersections, etc.) to give flow and direction to defensive positions. This is not just the mission-maker's fault; we need a bigger library of objects to work with. I'm suggesting adding more barns, homes, bales of hay, silos, houses, shelled buildings, doorways, crates, fences, stone walls of varying types and heights, sheds, water pumps, etc. A lot of battles in WW2 involved taking small towns and villages; it would be nice if we had some more objects to work with to make the strategy for taking and defending these positions more realistic.

(2) infantry need some basic cover-taking "survival skills". This can't be too hard to AI, can it? I'm talking a basic series of commands that says

"I'm being shot at. I need to take basic cover (using crates, sheds, grain silos, doorways, walls, etc.) until the player tells me what to do." A lot of RTS games do this; why can't TOW?

3) Buildings, sheds, windows, etc. need to be enterable. Just a couple basic additions would be nice so that infantry can use these positions for defense. (Also requiring enemy to get closer or have higher scout skill to see them.) Here's what I propose: make it so that you can

(a) take cover in barns/buildings

(B) put machine gun nests in barns/buildings

© put snipers in barns/buildings.

If on a 2nd story they can see farther (and above other terrain).

These are my proposals. I think they would make these positions more strategic and true to life in WW2 battlefields. Let me know what you think and what of this might be possible.

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You are right on the whole. Some of your proposed enhancements are being worked on.

However, I would like to stress one point that seems to be overlooked usually.

People who create/publish/market PC games are interested in their product being bought by as many customers as possible. Besides aspects such as theme and overall difficulty of the game, this includes playability on Mr Average's PC. A good reason for not putting too many troops and static objects in the stock scenarios is that this would, most likely, not go smooth on the said Mr Averag's PC, resulting in Mr Average claiming the game is crap and making bad publicity.

Once Mr Average can be satisfied, of course games like TOW will provide a lot of possibilities for hardcore gamers with hardcore rigs to overburden their missions and campaigns. Some of the stuff to be obtained from CMMods tell the tale.

There is an analogy with Il-2 that sets a good example. Fans have been claiming that the maps could be both more accurate and nicer. Oleg and team always turned a deaf ear. Finally the game was hacked / cracked and some fans developed illegitimate mods with very beautiful and accurate maps... The problem being that only those with the very most powerful and up-to-date PCs can play them without experiencing strong lagging.

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You raise a good point. I guess my primary interest is having more interesting stronghold points than trench systems and hills. What gets me is that ToW is VERY good, and it's good to the point that so many of the nuances of WW2 strategy could be included without much further work. It's those nuances that made the battles interesting, made commanding divisions challenging, and turned the war into a match of strategy and good planning rather than mere brute force. Strategically, it's like chess; it'd be cool to see more mods come out that enhance the strategic and tactical elements more.

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