Fortify that Position!

This is the second of my tactics articles. Sorry for the delay as I know I  am a week late but I was out of the country and then attending my sisters wedding. These things happen but without further delay here is my thoughts on Fortifying that position that we talked about assaulting last month.

Nesting those Bunkers:

This has to do with getting the most out of your fortified positions.  When the enemy assaults your fortified firing position, bunker or nest, then ALL other bunkers and nests within 16″ can fire in defensive fire. This overrides the usual 8″ rule. So group your nests and bunkers within 16″ of each other to offer overlapping lanes of fire to hurl back your enemy. However, there is an absolute art to this and it is not as simple as just measuring 16″ to everything and checking firing slits.

Your bunkers are nearly invulnerable, the must be either assaulted or hit with a bunker buster from within 16″. Nests on the other hand are less survivable. Not only can they be killed the same way as a bunker but they may also be fired upon by teams within 16″ and the enemy team must simply pass a skill check followed by two successive firepower tests to remove the nest. This means that they are vulnerable to good firepower weaponry but are invulnerable just past 16″ This is key! You can place your one, or more, bunkers on the front line. Then put your nests within 16″ of the front firing slits of the bunkers so they will be allowed to join in defensive fire but invulnerable to the enemy who will need to cross and break your first line before they can even fire at your nests. Especially if you place them just perfectly and force them to be outside 2″ of your trench lines which pushes them just outside 16″ of your nests. The enemy is left with no choice but to assault your fortified position in order to get to the softer and cheaper nests. This is particularly effective when paired with nests that can shoot over 16″ because it ensures that your nests will be raining volley after volley of lead on the would be assaulter as they try to close.

Rules to Remember:

  • Bunkers and nests ignore smoke for purposes of concealment and gone to ground rules. They do however still suffer 16″ maximum shooting distance.
  • Bunkers and nests defensive fire within 16″ of other nests or bunkers that have already been brought into an assault.
  • Bunkers and Nests are ALWAYS trained whenever it comes up.
  • Bunkers and Nests automatically unpin at the beginning of your next turn.
  • Bunkers and Nests are NEVER concealed or gone to ground.

Barbwire, Mines and AT Traps, “Oh my!” 

These linear entrenchments should do one of two things. They need to either protect your firing slits on your bunkers and nests or funnel the enemy into  killing zones.

1) Protect the Firing Positions

  • Typically, if you can, you want your mines in front of the firing slits or nearest your nests in order to force the enemy to either go around or go through the mines and risk being hit.
  • Barbwire works best to slow down the enemy, remember it counts as slow going! I like to often place mine around my position with priority to open areas or roads where the enemy could move at the double or even just move faster with vehicles.
  • Barbwire is also impassible to wheeled vehicles, very funny when you can trap wheeled vehicles entirely. I have surrounded some wheeled scouts before who could not leave their deployment zone since they did not have any infantry to lift the barbwire.

2) Funnel the enemy

  • This forces the opponent to move around your fortifications or go through and risk being killed by mines. It is particularly useful with AT Traps or minefields.
  • Remember to keep some form of covering fire on these fortifications so that the enemy cannot simply move up and remove them unmolested.
  • In addition remember that the enemy doesn’t have to fall into your funnel, if they go around they are still wasting valuable time. The attacker in Flames of War needs to be moving and moving fast or they will either time out or lose on victory conditions. This means that if they decide to go around or lift your fortifications that they may be costing themselves the game in the future when they run out of time or are scrambling to try to push you off the objectives.

Lets dig a Slit Trench:

Placing your trenches requires similar systematic kind of thinking as bunkers and nests. You want to protect your fortified firing positions by creating walls of infantry that are sitting in trench lines that will force your opponent to go through them before attacking your bunkers and nests.  However, the placement of the trench-system is crucial in order to maximize defensive fire and the counter attack while minimizing casualties if they do manage to assault. What I mean by this is that you can have a few spaced out teams as a type of “scouting” team in the platoon. This means that the enemy will assault the scouting teams and only kill a few stands. Your counterattack will then hit them in force and remove far more teams. This works so well because the only reason the enemy is allowed to get within 2″ of an enemy infantry team is to assault. This allows you to place your scouting teams 4.5″-5″ apart and force the opponent to assault only a few teams.

Placement of your troops within the trench system is also crucial. It largely depends on the enemy you are facing but more on that in another post. For now we will just talk in general.

  1. Gun teams to the rear. They can fire over the heads of your own troops who are also pouring on the defensive fire.
  2. Bazookas, Schreks, Fausts and PIATs to the second line. Make sure that your AT weaponry is close enough to the front line to fire if you are assaulted by vehicles.
  3. Rifle teams to the front! The men with the crappiest weaponry should be up front to take the initial assault and let your heavier weaponry fire from behind.

Rules to Remember:

  1. Several of these tactics only work if you remember that you can choose a team in front to keep their head down (don’t fire) and then let the teams behind fire instead. This can be crucial to getting the right type and amount of weaponry to the front defensive line.
  2. NO TEAM can fire over gun teams, unless on higher ground of course.
  3. NO TEAM can fire through or over vehicles, unless on higher ground of course.
  4. Vehicles, like Gun Teams can fire over infantry that is also firing in defensive fire.

Hope you enjoyed the article and it got you thinking about how to place those fortified companies that have been showing up more and more.

As always please discuss the article in our Tactics Forum here!


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