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"Depicting field defences" Topic

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390 hits since 10 May 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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UshCha10 May 2018 10:59 a.m. PST

Now I am able to produce more plausible 1/144 scale figures the difficult question of field defenses comes back into mind. I have just finished set of pillboxes based on the UK Type 24. I say based on, as the drawings available on the net are just plain wrong with respect to arcs of fire and even some of the basic dimensions, but hey I have done my best.

So we come to the thorny question of Trenches and Communication trenches. How do we depict them?

COMMUNICATION TRENCHES – These were almost always in a Zig Zag pattern. However that does not scale that well with the ground scale. So what is your opinion?

1) Depict them as simple straight flat markers about a figure base width and restrict firing within them to some minimum range due to the implied Zig Zag.
2) Due to the ground to figure scale discrepancy's depict them as 1)with a small zig Zag but less then the actual base width and restrict firing to between the points of deflection, less of a stretch of credibility than 1 and less daft ground scale distortion.
3) Depict them as 2) with the Zig Zags of the Trench actually hide the bases from each other round the deflection points.
4) Any other suggestions?

Personally I am leaning to 2).


The difference is overhead cover. Now I am going to restrict options. What I am NOT going to do for reasons of Record Keeping and speed of play is to remove the actual figures, artistically this is best, but is not acceptable to me. It must be something on table. So to me the options are:-

1) build a trench that is 12+ mm deep so the figures can stand in them albiet above ground. These could have a separate overhead cover piece to indicate a fighting position.
2) Just place a marker next to the troops indicating they are in a trench/Fighting position.
3) Make a slightly raised trench so the troops stand in it. Effectively 2) but the marker is a bit bigger than the troop base.

4) Any better Ideas?

To be honest none of the above is ideal but I think I am leaning to 3. With more plausibly dimensioned figures the base size of the figure goes down so making and storing a 3) type marker seems the optimum solution.

Personal I never liked much 1) as the bases become too big and LOS issues become a problem as does the base size with a suitable slope, but in some ways it has artistic merit.

creativeguy10 May 2018 12:32 p.m. PST


I have always liked this. Not sure if it helps you but I just really like the presentation of field works.

UshCha10 May 2018 12:46 p.m. PST

Definitely the best way to do it artistically, it does look good and sensible. Trouble is you need to store and find another set of troops mounted in the trenches.
I will bear it in mind this is the best set I have seen. It would be easy to print a load but it is the sorting and storage that would potentially slow the game down.

Kropotkin30310 May 2018 2:00 p.m. PST

I game 1/300th cold war gone hot games. I assume that all infantry have gone to ground. If in hard cover/ woods they get a +2 on defence ( D6 opposed rolls ) so maybe if they are in good going but have had a bound static they may get a +1 for defence. Perhaps have a sand bag line to show this symbolically.

BTW If REME/engineers are supporting they could get a bonus sooner, but not greater.

Would love to see some schematics for Cold War defended positions.

Legion 410 May 2018 2:08 p.m. PST

Good way to handle that Kropotkin ! All I do is 6mm too now. Yes, when not moving Infantrymen are prone, crouching, behind some sort of cover/concealment, using every fold, nock & cranny, etc. I.e. Not being a target …

And Ushcha, remember the more "elaborate" the positions, fortification, trenches, etc. The longer it takes to construct. And if those are built that means you are going to try to stay there for a while.

Also it's always nice to have CE support when digging-in, etc. A few of scoops from a buck loader will not take very long at all. To scoop out a position '4-'5 feet deep. then move on to the next one. Then the Infantrymen just have to even and neaten it up.

Verses soldiers with entrenching tools, D-Handled Shovels, etc. Add overhead cover of at least 18 solid inches … you will have a days work or two … Without CEs digging your hole first …

UshCha10 May 2018 3:13 p.m. PST

Kropotkin303, here you go:-

PDF link

Page 57 Really detailed and a good example, right down to individual machine guns.

Legion 4 – lots of US manuals on defense. We have used them to provide us with an engineering manual for Manoeuver Group so given a set of resources and timescales you can see what is possible. Not got round to publishing it yet as its quite a task even with set resources to define what is the best defense.

nickinsomerset10 May 2018 10:51 p.m. PST

"BTW If REME/engineers are supporting they could get a bonus sooner, but not greater"

REME (Ruin everything mechanical and electrical) fix vehicles, steal your beer but would not be involved in digging field works,

Tally Ho!

Legion 411 May 2018 7:48 a.m. PST

Legion 4 lots of US manuals on defense.
Yes I know, I was issued them and read much of what was printed within … evil grin

And basically whenever you stop moving for any long amount of time you prep/go into the "Hasty Defense". Of course, e.g. on the DMZ in the ROK our Guard Posts, etc. had been there for sometime. With continual improvements and upgrades, since '53.

However, we still had Mess & shower Tents there at Warrior Base until my second tour on the DMZ in '85. Where they actually built hard structures/buildings. Which probably wouldn't have lasted very long if war broke out. But we would probably may have held until relieved and counter-attacked. Or more likely, based on the tactical situation, fell back, regrouped with the rest of the 2ID, prepped for the Deliberate Attack/Counter Attack. Along side our ROK Allies …

By the time the rest/if any of the other UN forces got there it would have been over. Hopefully …
Or they would have helped with our push North passed Pyongyang towards the Yalu. Until the politicians stopped us … for better or worst.

Unlike in West Germany where we/NATO were just supposed to reestablishing the IGB. In the ROK we were to capture the Noko capital and kill off as many of their forces as possible. Until "peace broke out" and we were ordered to halt our advances. With the outcome being most if not or all the Koreas would be unified under the South …

Kropotkin30311 May 2018 2:40 p.m. PST

Thanks UshCha,

Soviets are usually regarded as attacking West. I bet they would have been implacable defending East.

UshCha12 May 2018 2:21 a.m. PST

Although Soviet many of the pricpals are universal so one from the West would differ only a little in detail. Artillety locations would be bigger 1n some cases if AGL's were around nut not that much would vary.

Not had tome to sudy it in detail and it wants to be drawn to a bigger scale to really get your head round it.

Legion 412 May 2018 7:31 a.m. PST

I bet they would have been implacable defending East.
E.g. Kursk …

Jeffers14 May 2018 7:07 a.m. PST

I just use semi-circular strips of air-drying Fimo topped with milliput sandbags. They look a bit like false teeth painted brown, but they work!

One strip to front of a group of figures is a slit trench; add a second to the back and that's a bunker with overhead cover. When they are vacated I remove them from the table, assuming they are wrongly sited for the attackers and for later defender reuse.

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