Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

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Eclaireur
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Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

Post by Eclaireur » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:51 pm

Folks, I'm trying to tap into the hive mind here about the best approach to representing fortifications of different kinds on table. It seems to me that the word 'bunker' is used rather imprecisely in the rule set and there is no simple codification of how you treat such a thing in combat.
Truscott Trotter pointed out to me via DM that the 2017 Summer Special has some interesting rules in it for assaulting bunkers and a rather good Hurtgen Forest scenario. If we accept that a 'bunker' of this Siegfried line kind, or of the sort built in the D-Day draws, involves 2+ feet of poured, reinforced concrete, then the rules in the summer special seem to form a good approach. There is usually only one way in, they can only be assaulted from that direction, they are likely to have one or two fixed firing arcs, and will be invulnerable to pretty much everything we normally bring to the table except for satchel (demolition) charges, flame throwers, a very luck tank shot through an embrasure or specialist demolition petard such as an AVRE or Brumbar might fire.
But what about the strong points? These might be defined as the fortified corner house (as in Operation Martlet campaign) or the field fortification created with sandbags, stone, logs, filled fuel drums or what have you, with substantial overhead protection. They cannot be categorised in the same way as those concrete bunkers.
- should they be immune to all mortar fire? I think probably yes, assuming they have proper, protected, roofs. Or do you allow shock, but no kills if under fire from off table mortars?
- what about direct fire from tank or infantry guns? Here I think they are vulnerable to a degree. Are there rules in one of the pint sized campaigns covering the reduction of this type of fortification? Do you take the firing weapon's HE factor and maybe allow a point of shock on a 6, but a kill only on a double 6? Or is that too harsh.
- should the troops inside surrender or flee if their morale breaks? I think probably yes, and this might mark another different from the rules for concrete bunkers contained in the 2017 Summer Special where they stay put, pinned.
With the more simple type of trench I think the rules have got things pretty well covered ...
Thoughts?
EC

Munin
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Re: Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

Post by Munin » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:28 pm

I think this is largely covered by the Blitzkrieg 1940 Handbook's entry on Fortifications. Essentially, the continuum now goes like so:

Open: Shock on 3-4, Kill on 5-6
Soft Cover: Shock on 4-5, Kill on 6
Hard Cover: Shock on 5, Kill on 6
Bunker: Shock on 5, Kill on 6, first Kill in any Phase is ignored
Fortification: Shock on 5, Kill on 6, first Kill in any Phase is ignored, all Shock is ignored unless the firing unit also causes a kill in that phase

Weapons that reduce cover by one step (like HE weapons) will treat Bunkers as Hard Cover and Fortifications as Bunkers. Which makes weapons like flamethrowers (which treat targets in any level of cover as being in the open) really good at handling bunkers, which is why these kinds of weapons were developed in the first place.

In terms of what constitutes a "bunker" versus a "fortification," I think that's something that is going to vary according to the scenario. I view a "bunker" as a field-expedient fixed position with walls and overhead cover that are reinforced with logs, rocks, earthworks, or sandbags. I tend to think it's not until you start pouring reinforced concrete that things rise to the level of "fortification," but that's just my opinion.

Eclaireur
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Re: Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

Post by Eclaireur » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:04 pm

Thanks Munin, I haven't got the Blitzkrieg book, but I can see why these distinctions are important for Maginot, Eben Emael type scenarios. Thank you or spelling them out. I guess your 'bunker' is my strong point :D
EC

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redmist1122
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Re: Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

Post by redmist1122 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:09 pm

I like the break-down....but what about the "keep"? In the 1940's Blitzkrieg Handbook, it is referred to as a bunker too.

Thanks.
Greg P.
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Archdukek
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Re: Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

Post by Archdukek » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:05 pm

redmist1122 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:09 pm
I like the break-down....but what about the "keep"? In the 1940's Blitzkrieg Handbook, it is referred to as a bunker too.

Thanks.
That's probably because the Keep is a reinforced position making it better than a normal house but not to the standard of a reinforced concrete structure I'd suggest. That would fit within Munin's helpful list.

John

andysyk
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Re: Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

Post by andysyk » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:11 am

Once you get too reinforced concrete bunkers HE is pretty useless. Some on DDAY received multiple hits from Destroyers without the occupants being rendered inoperable they continued to fight. Even AVRE Petards really had to target embrasures and it was through targeting the embrasures by whatever means that most were knocked out. Even today the method for taking out a field entrenchment with overhead cover is to fire at the embrasure preferably with a LAW or similar until somebody gets close enough to post grenades/satchel charges. Even some buildings and high walls in NWE were pretty HE proof unless it was really large. AP was better more effective. AP fired from tanks was found to be especially useful in FIBUA when fired into buildings/rooms with roof cover. If HE hits something solid most of the blast and effect is wasted it follows the easiest path which is away from the structure.

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john de terre neuve
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Re: Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

Post by john de terre neuve » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:04 pm

That is a great List Munin. Thanks.

Eclaireur
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Re: Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

Post by Eclaireur » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:45 pm

Good points @andysyk - rather suggests that what we're classifying here as 'fortifications' should essentially be immune to any on-table firing except possible a large petard style bomb. I'm wondering whether kills should be allowed at all under such circs except exceptionally - such as a treble 6 ...
EC

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

Post by Truscott Trotter » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:15 am

I do not like the new bunker rules on one point - perhaps the most important point
How to kill a bunker
In RL there seemed to be 3 ways
1.) Blow it up with something really big - eg a bunker buster
2.) Force the crew to surrender by making their position untenable - e.g. piling explosives at the back door and shouting "come out or we detonate!"
3.) Suppress (pin) crew to allow some brave (stupid) sod to get close enough with a flamethrower or explosive device to put it in the slot.

So to have bunkers ignoring all shock and just taking some kills seems a bit illogical.
Surely it should be the other way around - they take shock but ignore all kills not from a Bunker buster, flamer or explosive parcel post?

Munin
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Re: Bunkers, Strong points, Trenches...

Post by Munin » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:47 am

#3 is essentially an application of Covering Fire - suppress the crew to (hopefully) give someone a chance to get close enough.

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