German Bunkers

Idea is to have most/all German structures upgradable into bunkers.

Bunker Barracks, Bunker Gun Yard, Bunker Vehicle Yard, Bunker Tank Yard, Bunker Supply Depot.

Ontop of this, Machinegun Pillboxes and Anti-Tank Bunkers, armed obviously with machinegun and Pak 40, respectively.

Also I would like to see upgradable pieces on these structures, the addition of observation posts, pillboxes and firing points like the Bunker HQ was supposed to have, so Germany can upgrade their defensive capability highly. Though TBH I have a hard time justifying this without giving the other factions atleast some ability to do the same, ie installing a machinegun position on the Barracks or Yards.

I’m actually all for giving more defensive capabiilty to bases w/o having indepndant buildable defenses, which essentially means tacking on limited defenses to structures. And really only machineguns, anything more powerful would probably be overdoing it. So nothing more than giving Barracks ability to station a couple of machinegun nests for full 360 degree field of fire, same with Yards. Could make them either upgrades of some sort or if we want to be more dramatic make them standard. I’ve even though of having some lua ability to select a machinegun and tell it to “join” a structure at which point the machinegun will deploy as part of the building. Of course you could simply have machineguns deploy next to these structures but the idea is to tie them in more literally with their parent structure and lessen microing a little to make defense a little more automated.

Either way I’d love to see the German HQ Bunker gain its automatic mortar back <_< not by default…

A bunker suitable for a PaK40 is long since modeled and resides in my svn folder. In the bunkers subfolder, to be exact. It’s done based on drawings from Soviet ‘Album of German field fortification’ compiled in 1944-1945 (which has lots more defensive structures btw, but no large bunkers like the German HQ we have - those weren’t encountered on the Eastern front).

That anti-tank bunker pic you showed me looks like hotness.

At one point I was researching German bunker designs quite fervently, a couple years ago, but I haven’t looked for anything anytime recently, though I do remember Germany never really had universally standardized bunker types (well, actually, they did, but they had so many designs with overlapping functions it’s hard to say “okay, Bunker Barracks looked like this”).

Would still like some feedback on the idea of giving defensive machineguns and such to all structures, not just German.

Smaller bunkers seem to be at least somewhat standartized, there were some main types to which most of the bunkers corresponded. Here is the mentioned album (look mainly into section ‘II. Закрытые огневые сооружения (листы â„–â„– 51-82)’), and that’s how one of MG bunkers looks like in it (that’s actually more of a metal MG turret placed on a bunker):

And here’s another:

Those drawings are good because they specify the sizes of bunker parts, making it really easy to model them.

For you, maybe!

In the Bunker list in the planning section I noticed I actually listed designation numbers of specific bunker types (R656, R134 etc). Cool.

As for Machinegun bunker, currently I have modelled some type of pillbox, however I’m thinking it may be better to have a more directional bunker with more of an arc (so they can be encircled and destroyed rather than forming a 360 degree circle of machinegun death).

One of the problems with it all is that the Germans really never had a single bunker of any type sitting out in the middle of nowhere. Most bunkers were part of bunker complexes, connected usually by tunnels but sometimes by trenches. Most often you’d see observation pillboxes and towers, machinegun bunkers, gun bunkers, with connected supply bunkers and personnel quarters and command bunkers…

Hmmm. This opens up another possibility; making the HQ Bunker the hub of Bunker building, with all bunkers buildable only within a certain radius of the HQ bunker. This would of course negate having Barracks and Supply Depots upgrade into bunkers (since we can’t limit them to being built within a certain radius); they would have to be buildable structures altogether. This way the German player could fortify his start position with an array of hardened defensive structures, machinegun and observation pillboxes, anti-tank bunkers, anti-aircraft bunkers, and even large-caliber artillery bunkers (a la coastal defenses). He would be slightly limited in that these bunkers could only be built within a certain radius of his HQ Bunker (so he wouldn’t be able to fortify his entire territory, just his inner base) but it would serve as a very tough little nut to crack. The enemy might overrun all his territory, destroy all his structures and take all his flags but he’ll still have a little heavily armoured core which is very resilient against air and artillery bombardment (nearly, but not quite, immune) and requires hardcore assaulting to destroy (with flamethrowers and grenades, close up).

Sounds very hawt.

Well, both the bunkers on my drawings are directional. First (the ‘turreted’ one) actually has a non-rotating turret, limiting its arc of fire to about 40-60 degrees max. Second, with multiple firing ports, is limited to maybe 200 degrees arc.
Here’s a bunker for a 105mm gun with a moveable ‘wall’ that protects the firing port.

Here’s a small fortified base (2 types):

Most of the structures have large underground parts and so are not very suited for Spring, I specifically put some of the more usable ones here. The album also has a ‘Tobruk-bunker’ which may also be usable.

Yeah, that’s all pretty damned cool.

So here’s what I’m thinking about the “mini buildtree” for the German HQ Bunker. It will be able to build any of the folllowing structures within a certain radius around itself:

Observation Pillbox
*Machinegun Pillbox w/ 1 MG34 in ~90 degree arc
**Anti-Tank Pillbox/Bunker w/ 1 PaK 40
***Anti-Aircraft Gun Emplacement w/ 20mm FlaK 38
Personnel Bunker
Supply Storage Bunker

*MG Pillbox can upgrade into version containing 3-4 machineguns with overlapping fields of fire totalling ~180 degree arc
**75mm PaK 40 can upgrade to 88mm FlaK 36 anti-aircraft gun (with AP ammunition only)
***20mm FlaK 38 can upgrade to either 20mm Flakvierling or 37mm Flak 43 or even 88mm FlaK 36 (with AA, HE and AP ammo?)

There should still be some sort of limitation on these structures, so that German players can’t simply make forests of machinegun and anti-tank bunkers. They should be quite inadequate at offering the German base full 360 degree protection (he may be able to literally have 360 degree protecton but it will be relatively light), so perhaps 4 each of MG, AT and AA positions. It would also be best if the Personnel Bunkers counted as Barracks for purposes of unit limit, so that the player can only ever have combinations of Bunkers and Barracks equalling 3 (requirign him perhaps to demolish Barracks in order to build Personnel Bunkers).

Bunkers themselves will be incredibly resilient to everything but flamethrowers, grenades, and high-density bombing. Even heavy artillery would barely be able to scratch them. A tank would have a fairly hard time killing even a weaponless Observation Pillbox (I’ve got pictures in some books here showing observation pillboxes made of ~6 inches of steel riddled with small dents and grooves from being hit with literally dozens of tank shells).

But what the German bunker systems have in incredible resilience, they lack severely in providing any sort of extended territory defense. The relatively small radius around the HQ Bunker will mean these defenses will be highly “last resort”, as their territory is falling and they start losing flags their ability to build will be highly compromised. it will however afford them a small amount of time and “safety” to build up infantry forces to try and retake some lost territories and turn the tide of battle. Otherwise they’re just a roadblock until the opponent can gather up some forces specializing in bunker-busting to come in and wipe them out.

Speaking of which, bunker-busting forces will be the following:

Any flamethrowers (all sides except Germany should atleast get Flamethrower troops; Britain can go further and have Wasp Carriers (Universal Carriers w/ flamethrowers) and Churchill Crocodiles (Chuchies with flamethrowers)) will devestate bunkers quite quickly. Grenades in large amounts will also do quite a lot of damage (if you can get enough guys close enough). Heavy bombardment from large guns and artillery scoring direct hits will be able to destroy the smaller bunkers (Observation, MG, AT and AA) given time (imagine they’re about as strong as a Tiger II) but will be ineffective against the larger bunkers. Bombs will be moderately effective against bunkers assuming they score direct hits (easier on the larger bunkers).

The goal gameplay wise is to afford Germany a little bit of leeway after being overrun. As said, they will suffer severe Command deficits if they lose all their flags but a heavily built-up bunkerized central base may afford them a few extra minutes to build up some infantry forces to try and retake some flags and maybe turn the momentum around. It will also give Germany a fairly effective defense against flanking armour raids and artillery bombardment of critical base infastructure (namely supplies and barracks) though their vehicle, gun and tank yards will still be vulnerable. The cost of “bunkerizing” your base should be quite high so that it’s a real risky investment (so that Germany doesn’t simply become teching to bunkers straight away ftw).

PaK40 -> PaK43. 88mm AT-only gun, the same gun Jagdpanther has. No need to turn PaK into FlaK (and the gun bunker won’t allow upward aiming anyway, plus the rather large AA gun just won’t fit in).
Maybe observation pillbox should even be morphable into MG version (not sure on that, observation bunker has a circular field of view, so turning it into limited-arc weapon structure seems somewhat strange).
Observation bunker:

There are other versions though, some with limited field of view, like that (double port is for stereotube or how-its-called field rangefinder device, single port is for binocular):

For the Observation Pillbox I was thinking more of these types of cylindrical steel observation copulas:

These types of small, round, usually metal “copulas” were common as observation posts in bunker complexes, particularly the “6-Schartenturm” (last 4 images) which was extremely common, and accessible only via underground tunnels. They had other bunker designs like the one you posted but I’d prefer the Schartenturm for observation post – simply a little steel round thing (it’s already modelled and textured anyway).

As for 88mm… L/71 (Jagdpanther/Tiger II) might be too strong, gameplay wise, but it’ll be simple enough to switch weapons during balance testing.

Speaking of which, I’d like it if all bunkers had no real internal modelling done. Basically just single black faces covering openings so you can’t see “inside”. Saves modelling, texturing and animation time. Will probably add camoflage netting or such if it looks too ugly but I’d just prefer nothign actually being inside.

One thing we need to really beware with bunkers is how they can stretch out the game in an un-fun way. If a player is totally confined to their bunkers, they don’t have a chance in hell of actually turning the game around - it’s just a long slow wait for the winning player to get some anti-bunker troops up there to finish the game. We’ve had this issue on and off with the german HQ being too tough to kill - where a german player will lose everything but the bunker, but the game goes on for another 3-5 minutes as the winning player tries to get some bazookas or whatever close enough to do damage.

To my mind, that final period where you have one player unable to do anything to change their fate (inevitable loss) and another player feeling like they’re slamming their head into a concrete wall despite vastly superior forces, is no fun for anyone.

Observation coupola pics look very much like the first observation bunker on my drawings. Though such a design obviously won’t provide good LoS - it’s too low to the ground, a simple infantryman standing on the same spot will see just the same (if not more due to his head being higher than the bunker observation slits). Of course the bunker is much better protected than a scout.
As for prolonged game, custom win/lose conditions come to mind. Instead of ‘total elimination’ we have now, we can have something like ‘control more than 75% of flags for 10 minutes to win’ (can be enforced by mod-side lua and so will be active on any map). This will both end long bunker-cracking games and provide a good incentive for the losing player to actively try to reclaim the ground instead of dragging on behind his impenetrable bunker wall. That’s for 1vs1 though, this condition might prove difficult to achieve in larger games :slight_smile:

The observation pillboxes would also have binoculars and range-finding equipment too, mind you :stuck_out_tongue:.

I like that idea, too, it’d make for an interesting gameplay type, even a default one!

observation cupola’s would be irritating. im thinking.

We had those irritating structures once upon a time, though they weren’t as durable as they should have been.