Close Combat: The Bloody First – Battlefield Terrain > MGW: Video Game Guides, Cheats, Tips and Tricks
Close Combat: The Bloody First – Battlefield Terrain
In many cases, the terrain of a battlefield can be the best resource a commander has. A clump of trees, an abandoned house, a gully, or a drainage ditch can all be powerful tools if used in the right way. By understanding the terrain and checking the LOS of a position a player can assess the relative ground elevation and defensive quality of the terrain.
Holding the high ground is an old military maxim which does have benefits. Units on hills can see over obstacles, giving them good line of sight. Moving uphill slows units down and moving downhill is generally faster. This is useful if you don’t want enemies to reach you, or to make a quick escape. However, perhaps most useful, is that hills block LOS. Units can hide behind hills to avoid detection and to protect their flanks. Defending units on the reverse slope of hills can engage attacking enemy units as they come over the crest while being protected from the enemy’s direct supporting fire.
You can usually identify a hill by either looking at the lighting of the map or by turning on the contour elevations. Contours can be turned by clicking the “hill” symbol in the tool bar at the bottom of the battlefield screen and to the right of the Begin button. A hill will be brighter on a face of it or in shadow depending on the time of day.
Gullies, Foxholes, and Gun Pits
While units cannot cross deep water, shallow water can generally be crossed. Ditches and gullies serve as excellent natural protection, both concealing soldiers and making them harder to hit. They offer very little protection if the enemy can flank the position and fire down it lengthwise, however. Gun pits and foxholes are prepared positions your soldiers may create when and where they can. A defending unit could “dig in” when infantry or guns are placed on suitable ground, creating foxholes or a gun pit.
Patches of forested areas provide something of a mixed blessing. Troops moving through forests have a great deal of cover. Tree trunks block fire, and the foliage of the trees often prevents units from being specifically targeted. This cover works both ways, so units have a hard time firing out of forests. This unusual nature makes forests a natural place for short range weapons, which can use the cover to approach the enemy. The ability for infantry to hide in forests make them a dangerous place for tanks, and tanks should avoid forests unless absolutely necessary and supported by infantry. Vehicles also risk immobilization when moving through forests or trees.
Buildings are often the best type of cover for infantry. Building roofs provide some protection from mortar fire, building walls provide excellent concealment and some level of protection from enemy fire, and tall buildings allow clear fields of fire over low-level obstructions. This makes them extremely valuable for infantry and anti-tank units, and a potential danger to tanks. A tank on its own generally cannot detect infantry in a building until it is within very short range. A wise commander will go to great lengths to avoid putting a tank anywhere near a building that has not been checked out by friendly infantry first. When approaching a building it is often useful to deploy smoke to allow units to advance without fear of detection. It is also good practice to Fire machine guns at buildings as your infantry approach to suppress any units that might be in the building.
While all buildings conceal troops from the enemy, the stronger the building’s construction the more cover it offers from enemy fire. Wooden buildings provide little protection, as even bullets can penetrate the outer wall. Stone and brick buildings provide very good protection, however.
Rubble and Roads
Rubble can be treated like buildings in most cases, but in the absence of a roof, mortar fire becomes a factor. Roads provide a simple trade off. Moving along a road is quicker and less tiring for infantry than slogging through a muddy field, but roads are, by their very nature, flat open places without cover or concealment. Vehicles can travel over roads with greater speed as well. However, crew served machine guns and anti-tank artillery pose a threat to these vehicles.
Scrub and Brush
Not every plant is a tree, and sometimes a bush, or even tall grass, is all that a soldier has to hide behind. While brush offers concealment, it offers very little protection. Brush covered areas can conceal sneaking infantry, and thus can be good positions from which to spring an ambush.
Bridges, which provide a quick and easy way across otherwise difficult (or even impassable) water obstacles, are natural defensive choke points. Cover a bridge with a well-placed machine gun or an antitank weapon and it can be very difficult for the enemy to cross.
Hedgerows and Bocage
When the Allied armies invaded Normandy, they discovered the French hedgerow country, or bocage. The Norman hedgerow was an earthen wall of varying height, built up around each farm field by centuries of agriculture. These earth berms were overgrown with thick brush and trees, creating a natural wall that limited sighting distances, were impossible for vehicles to cross Even though the Allies ultimately devised a way for a tank to “bust” through a hedgerow, there is no such capability in Close Combat: The Bloody First. Tanks and other vehicles must find gaps in hedgerows to get through them.
Troops on foot can cross all types of hedgerows, though they will be slowed considerably doing so. Hedgerows provide excellent cover and concealment for infantry. Guns and wheeled transport vehicles, such as trucks and jeeps, cannot move across hedgerows at all. Guns may be placed immediately behind a hedgerow and thus fire over it, but they will typically have a very limited field of fire.
The invasion of Normandy meant that the Allies had to first capture the beaches and secure a beachhead. Infantry and tanks were pitted against strong beach defences consisting of weapon pits and concrete bunkers with machine guns and anti-tank artillery. Concrete bunkers have fixed openings and, therefore, fixed fields of fire that limit a weapon’s arc. Bunkers are so solidly constructed that the bunker itself cannot be significantly damaged by bombs and naval gunfire. However, units within the bunker may still suffer casualties from such bombardment.