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Your defence tips
Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:15 pm
After plenty of practice, I can usually manage a decent assault result, but but defence remains terrible.
Whatever I try seems to crumble to nothing but corpses within about 20 minutes, so any hints would be handy.
What sort of unit mix should I try?
Where should they be positioned (especially, how can you check arc of fire before starting the mission)
If you set up to defend an area you think they will come through, how can you manage if they don't?
Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:39 am
You just have to accept that, on some maps, defence is simply not going to work.
The "problem" is that there is no entrenching so the only advantage defending troops get is the fact that, initially, they'll be stationary while the attackers are moving. Once combat is initiated, the superior numbers of enemy troops that will normally appear at the attacker's point of main effort will usually be decisive, simply through weight of numbers.
If the map enables you to set up with your various elements able to mutually support each other (ie to shoot enemy to their flanking mates' fronts), then attacks can be stopped. On maps with few fields of fire, however (like heavily forested ones), where each of your squads can only see the area immediately around it, you're usually stuffed, especially on difficulty setting higher than "Normal".
Villages make great strongpoints. One or two squads can hold out in a village for quite a while. They do provide all-round protection and should be incorporated into the defence whenever it's remotely possible to do so.
(However, don't cram a whole squad into a barn and expect to recreate the siege of the Alamo. Troops are suppressed by rounds landing near them. Lots of guys in a barn will be suppressed by lots of guys firing at the barn and sooner or later they will be killed as they cower there without firing back!)
Resist the temptation to spread out. "Mutual support" is the principle of war most applicable to Firefight defence. Your troops must be able to engage enemy attacking their mates to right and left. Otherwise, it is just a numbers game where two or three attackers shooting at each defender means that sooner or later, something's going to give!
Recon elements are useful for deploying forward to get some idea of where the attack is coming but don't expect to get them back. Putting delaying elements (like a single squad) forward tends to be useless in most circumstances, once again because it'll end up engaged by two or three times as many enemy who will lap round it's flanks and shoot it to pieces with superior firepower.
Plan one defensive position which means it'll almost certainly have to be around or near the objective, taking particular notice of mutual support as I've previously stated. Once the shooting starts, you'll be able to move uncommitted troops in to the action but you'll almost never be able to extract engaged troops without winning the firefight in their area.
After a while, you'll get a feel just by looking at the map for which defensive games you'll stand a chance of winning and which ones you don't. One useful way of practising is to generate a series of defensive games using the same random seed and other settings every time. Start with Very Easy and work your way up to Very Hard. Note how things you might get away with at the easier settings (like ignoring mutual support) don't work as the challenge gets harder.
Not much "hard data" there but I hope it helps.
Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:54 am
Sorry. Checking arcs during setup. Press the "F" key and move the cursor. Make sure you always quit each unit using "Esc" once you've found out what you want to know, however. If you left-click while a unit's line-of-sight marker(s) are displayed, it'll start firing on that spot as soon as the game starts.
If you're against AFVs, make sure you always have something on the objective (a flamethrower is good if it's too early for panzerschrecks/bazookas) to guard against the inevitable tank rush. ATGs are much cheaper than tanks but effectively immobile.
One heavy tank (eg KV-1 in 1941) can do good work on defence but don't leave it for too long where the enemy arty can find it.
HMGs tend to waste their ammo against early, long-range targets and then not fire during the mid- and late-game unless the enemy is very close (slightly screwed-up ammo conservation sub-routine).
Mortars will engage targets of opportunity without having to be told to do so but they run out of ammo fairly quickly. I'd probably choose a mortar before an HMG, however.
I also tend to favour more regular squads over fewer elite squads. Firepower seems to be more important than morale.
Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:00 pm
Great, just the sort of tips I was hoping for!
Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:32 pm
Thinking about it, does anyone have any map seeds that would lead to a good map to practise defense on? I'd prefer to practise winnable situations!
Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:16 pm
just have a scrounge about, it'll help you see whats easy to win and the like.
if its big open ground i tend to go for mostly rifle squads and HMGs with field guns up on hills at the back if they can get a good view of a large area, as theyre damned good snipers
if its hilly and/or forested, i use squads with more SMGs and then mortars.
for mostly tank defences i have a 'killing zone' where as many FGs as i can buy overlap arcs and cover each other, something like 2 75mm and 3 50/37s for closer range areas. then i use the rest of my cash on recce units, and spread them out in a line spaced about this far apart at the point where i want my FGs to open up. this way i can see all the tank movements and the recce units are bloody good at slowing down a squad or two of infantry, especially as you often get one gun lobbing rounds into the infantry.
for all games to lure tanks into a killing zone i have my HQ unit fire a few rounds at the start of the game, which can bring mortars and MGs onto their heads so its a good idea to get them moving straight away to cover, giving them a cease fire after 3 rds. as the capt. doesnt fire at range he starts running immediately and is safe. this technique brings the tanks from wherever they were to about 100-150 metres infront of where the HQ was, firing at its location. this allows you to plan killing zones accordingly.
these tactics are exploiting quirks of the game, i would NEVER do any of them in real life as youd tend to die
Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:54 pm
It used to be possible to keep a flanking force to one side and then once the enemy engaged the objective, lap around behind them and destroy them.
It depended on the map, but I had quite the success rate going for a while.
However, I think Sean actually took one of my suggestions to heart and had the AI spread out a bit more, or have two forces or some such, and now it doesn't work... its been a while
I think Andy has hit it on the head. In most defence missions you're simply going to have to do as much damage as you can then get the hell out of there.
Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:37 pm
last man last bullet!!
you'll be surprised how late in the game the AI gets bored and retreats.
i need a fizzy drink, ill be back later to rant further on the topic
Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:38 pm
Last bullet? In 4.0 they can use their bayonets...
Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:08 pm
Andy wrote:you'll be surprised how late in the game the AI gets bored and retreats.
I've won that way too
Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:44 am
think my best is five guys vs. somewhere in the region of 50. mostly because one of my guys (the only anywhere near the objective) had a flamethrower. after 15 guys got torched the rest seemed to lose heart, despite the bloke bein out of ammo
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Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:45 pm
In defensive fighting, I'll usually buy one or two tanks, even if the battle if mostly or solely infantry. I'll move my HQ unit to the highest hill, put down a couple of MG units and squads to supress enemy infantry, and use my tanks to drive through the enemy, guns blazing. Along with some artillery, I'll usually get the enemy to surrender after a while.
Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:28 pm
when i get bored, get as much infantry as possible, if theres a bit hill one 25lber, spread them all out along the line, complete across the board, press start and move all unit forward, placing their marker at the top of the map. suprises the shit outta the enemy, usually kills their flanks enough for them to give up, despite you often having no centre bar HQ and a FG left
Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:59 am
I Was Japan on a pacific map a little while ago and The enemy had 5 tanks i had 2 tanks and four artillery when the enemy arrived right away they blew up 3 artillery and one tank and one gun were out of the wy in bad positions but the other tank was at the objective and when the enemies rushed i picked em all of one at a time Lucky Tank. Also Japan has entrenched troops or at least it says a certain squad is. Artyillery seem usless but tanks at objective are usefull.