"Forts and Mines"

    Bunkers and Pillboxes, are as old as war itself. Most military theoreticians in this century discount fixed fortifications as outmoded relics of the past, "what with all the smart bombs and all". However, most of them have never been pinned down in the middle of a valley by a few guys in a big strong cement box firing rifles and guns at them. The thing we as players need to hope is that WWIIOL will allow us to build or place these baby's. Placing fortifications on defense is not exactly easy, though.

    Unlike most other units in the game, Forts have a fixed facing. Once you place them and face them in a direction, they can't swing around to hit that Sherman tank 50 meters to their rear. Again, you'll want to examine likely avenues of attack and place them to defeat that attack. Sometimes, this means putting them on line oblique to the objective, sometimes this means placing them all around the objective for direct defense. If you get more than one, make it so they have interlocking fields of fire and can cover each other's butt. Also, keep in mind that not only are they vulnerable to assault by enemy infantry, they aren't very good at detecting enemy infantry even if they are advancing in the line of fire. Your infantry may need to help out with this task.

    Dealing with pillboxes and bunkers is difficult, but its supposed to be. If it were too easy, we'd mistake them for outhouses or really cool tents with guns. Number one solution is to plaster the position with all kinds of fire, basically everything that can possibly hit it, from rifle and machine-gun fire, to Artillery. If you hit it enough times, the crew will get nervous and bail out, at which point the incoming fire will make their remains unrecognizable. Even if they don't head for the nearest exit point, remember that just because it's a pillbox doesn't mean the guys inside cannot take casualties. Even bullets and AT-gun shells have been known to zoom into slits. On the other hand, an occasional direct hit from something like a 155mm shell or a tank gun has been known to destroy them in a half-second. A second way of dealing with fortifications is to just avoid them. They can't turn to face you, so when you see one, get out of the line of fire. Another method is to drop smoke right in front of the little observation holes, rendering them totally blind. Just don't forget to do it again when the smoke starts thinning out. The last method is the terror of pillbox and bunker crews, the direct assault. When all else fails, placing a satchel charge or two on, near, around or at the door of a pillbox is likely to make it difficult for the guys inside to listen to Mozart. The simple way is to just blind the strong point with smoke and creep up from behind and assault. Assaults of this type frequently fail, after all you're dealing with a couple of feet of cement or sandbags here.  There is yet another way which takes a little longer, but is guaranteed to cause the guys inside to come out. When you get next to the bunker with Engineers, if the satchel charge doesn't reduce it to rubble, the flame-thrower might, and even if the bunker isn't ruined, the fire raging all over the place is sure to suppress the crew to the point of irrelevance within a few minutes.

     Mines can be powerful element of your arsenal. Thoughtful placement of mines can make the difference between winning and losing more often than not. Roads are an obvious place for them, but the enemies have been known to completely avoid roads during assaults. The key to good placement of mines is examine the map and look for likely lines of approach. Road intersections are always a good idea, regardless of whether they are on a line of approach. Typical employment is to place them at the forward edge of your optimal engagement range, and also about 300-400 yards away from your defending troops. The goals here can be to either channel the attack into a kill zone, force the enemy to stop movement at a distance from your troops where they can be easily destroyed, or simply to protect your own positions. If you have antitank guns and expect an armor attack, place some lines of mines about 1000-1200 yards away from them along the expected path of attack. This will cause enemy tanks to either blow up on the mine, or get stuck at a range where their machine guns can't hit the gunners or a broad side of a barn. If you have both mines and fortifications, another good tactic is to place mines right next to the bunkers or pillboxes which are out of the line of fire of the fort. This will cause any brave engineer or infantry unit that decides to assault the bunker to either move into the line of fire, or trod over dangerously mined ground. A chain of bunkers, pillboxes and interspersed mines can be death to all who enter there. Another nasty tactic is to place mines all around objectives. This may seem kinda counterproductive at first, after all, if an enemy moves onto the objective and doesn't get clobbered by the mine, that means at some point if you want to take it back, you've got to scrounge around for a mine-happy unit to do it. On second glance, however, this can be a powerful tactic. You know the enemy will move there so what better place? If the objective doesn't get taken, you've got nothing to worry about anyway. If the enemy, however, sends a large force to take the objective (and they find a curious lack of resistance on your part there, ahem) they'll probably never go anywhere else ever again! If you wind up having to take it back, just bring along some engineers. However you decide to place your mines, remember the enemy can always avoid them entirely.

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