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 Post subject: Mines, Wire, Dragons Teeth and Bunkers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:47 pm 
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Location: Playing In the Sandbox
Now I am going to look at units that seldom seem to get much use due to most players playing meeting battles. When you play a Advance Delay battle or an Assault Defend battle your going to see the defender using Mines, Wire, Dragons Teeth and Bunkers. These units each have a good use and should be used to create a battlefield designed to kill the enemy not just look good when viewed from above. The placements of these units does not need to be symmetrical to be effective.

Wire is the most common of these items and serves to slow down infantry who enters a hex that has
wire in it. Its purpose is to separate the Infantry from its support and slow down a charging enemy,
Wire can be removed by the enemy infantry and scouts. It will also be removed by your own units if
you place them in the close proximity to your own wire. However wire should be covered by some
sort of fire. Light Machine Guns work well for this duty as they can cause enough damage at close
range to be effective and are not too expensive to risk placement where the enemy will counter fire on them. Place wire in places where open ground allows the enemy to move his units quickly. String it
so that it does not leave easily accessible gaps.

Mines are the next most commonly used item. It is designed to act as both an anti-personal mine and
an Anti-armor mine. They will kill anything and are not side specific. You can get killed by your own
mines. Mines can be nasty but there effectiveness depends on how many of them are placed in a hex.
The game sells them to you at 5 points per placement unit. You get 5 units to place. Placing 1 unit in
a hex places 10 mines in a 50 meter hex. That is not very many and most times will not even cause the enemy any damage. He may see them but can for the most part walk right into them and suffer no damage most of the time. You can place up to 5 units worth of mines in a single hex this translates into 50 mines in the hex or one roughly ever meter. This is enough to cause a unit to take serious damage or destruction of a vehicle. If you have enough mines to lay them this thick it is to your advantage to do it. You can make due with less but that does open up the possibility they will not go off all the time. Mines should be placed to block roads and and easy routes open to the enemy to rush you. They are perfect for making the enemy player nervous causing them to slow down and be more
cautious. Loss of a tank or other high value unit to mines is not caused by the enemy it is caused by
players failing to scout out the ground the high value units are traveling over. If you know the enemy
has access to mines or you spot Engineer / Pioneer units then you need to slow down and put infantry
or scouts in front of your armor to walk them forward over ground that is clear of mines. Mines will
make the tactic of charging half tracks forward at a rush to attack your enemy a suicide charge if they
hit mines. Mines also should be covered by some sort of fire. The enemy will need to lay smoke in
the area and bring up units to clear a path through them before they can move on. Scouts and engineer / pioneer units will often spot mines if moving slowly. Other infantry units and vehicles often will not spot them until it is too late. Mines can be removed by infantry but it is a very slow process and the best way to remove them is to use engineers or pioneer units. If a mine clearing tank is available they also make clearing mines much less time consuming. To clear mines you will need to have a smoke screen to protect the units from incoming fire and keep a constant watch on them and rally them when they become suppressed. The enemy will plot artillery on them and go try hard to get some sort of fire on those units attempting to clear a minefield. When playing in a city battle it is possible to place mines in the buildings to simulate booby traps. You often won't have a chance to spot them until you hit them since remaining in the street is often fatal.

When placing mines attempt to place them in large enough amounts to be effective and to place them
in a manner that forces the enemy to either deal with them or go the long way around them. They can be used to channel an attacker into an ambush if he lacks the time or ability to avoid or remove them. There are so many different ways to use mines but most of them center on laying them in quantity and in ways that force the enemy to deal with them random scatter of mines can cause the enemy to become more cautions and get a few kills but it seldom be worth the cost of using them in this way. I feel the best use of mines is to place them to deny the enemy access to an area and force them to enter an area where I have set up traps for them to find.

Dragons Teeth are the least used and serve only to deny the enemy the ability to enter the hex with a
vehicle. They are used to channel an enemy into a specific area and to deny easy access to the area
beyond. They should be supported by fire like all other obstacles since they will need to be cleared
before vehicles can pass them They are best used as part of a larger obstacle line that included mines
and wire.

The goal of obstacles is to slow down the enemy player. They will have to clear paths through them
to advance. While they are busy doing this you should be pounding the area with Artillery and
preparing to counter attack them if possible when they reach the point of breaking through. Repeated
lines of obstacle can cause an attack to become a slow slogging march that is costing units to artillery
fire and repeated counter attacks. It slowly drains an army of the ability to continue an advance.
Bunkers are often placed in the same area as other obstacles since they complement each other
Bunkers are weapons placed in an armored shell and that makes them able to withstand more fire
and so they work well in forcing the enemy to take them on in order to clear the mines wire and
dragons teeth. The other use of bunkers is to site them in locations that are going to have a limited
los to an area but can expect very little support Often bunkers become the target of a cloud of smoke
so players don't feel they are useful. I think the real problem here is that those players tend to be
playing in games that have a low visibility that makes smoke effective in keeping a bunker from being
a real threat. Bunkers should not be placed to draw fire or in locations that will allow them to be
singled out and made useless. They should be used to create a strong point that will be necessary to
remove to continue any advance the enemy wishes to make. Bunkers and obstacles should be placed
to force the enemy to either reduce them or go around them.

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