Assaulting mines and bunkers under fire

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By: Don Llewellyn

In the two previous tutorials you learned how to use your engineers to clear a path through a minefield, and how to use them to blow up bunkers. In this lesson you will do both, but will be under fire from troops, tanks and bunkers. Don't worry - you've been given plenty of weapons to do the job!

First, start the scenario. This is set up like many campaign games in which the AI is defending -you will approach a ridge and face many entrenched units. Now look right above the east-west road, and you will see the letters "A" and "B".

This is the most likely location for the minefield, and you want to be able to find it and clear it without being under fire, so we will lay down a smokescreen. You've been given a lot of artillery, so use your FO and lay a smokescreen from north to south somewhere in between "A" and "B".

Once that is done, send your 4-man recon teams forward until they find mines, the enemy or both. Here my recon unit found both!

Follow the recon teams with your engineers, and keep the tanks and rifle teams close behind them for covering fire should the smokescreen not prove sufficient.

Here all I wanted my recon teams to do is find the minefield - any other units they expose is a bonus.

While you are doing this, use your artillery to fill in any gaps in the smokescreen, and of course to hammer any enemy units you see. ©

Ok - you've found the minefield with your recon units, and you've moved your engineers up. All of your engineers are set to "clear mines in front of unit", and all you have to do is put them next to or on the mines to clear them. I like to "stack" 2 or 3 squads to clear them faster, but many times you can't do this when you first find them.

Here it won't let me stack them - I'll do that next turn. For now just get each unit on a mine, and they will start clearing them. Next turn, stack your engineer units and they will quickly clear a path - you only need to clear a one-mine wide path for the tanks and infantry.

Uh-oh, bad news here! Unfortunately, this picture shows how you will many times find bunkers:

It's OK - you lost a few guys. Now, have that unit pop smoke between it and the bunker, and use your FO to target your artillery to surround the bunker with smoke (you might also hit it with a few rounds of HE). You can also use your tank to try and take it out if it has line-of-sight. If not use the smoke.

All right! A path is cleared and everyone pours through. Around this time you'll start to get fired on from enemy tanks - use your Jumbo's to destroy them. They are more than a match for these tanks! Continue moving forward, keeping your units close together. Another weapon you have against tanks and bunkers are aircraft - this used to be a PzKpfw III:

YES! Hello Mr. P51! ©

Now, keep moving your units forward, clearing enemy units and tanks. Use smoke to surround the bunkers, then move your engineers next to it and blow it. It may take a couple of turns. Finally, you will have taken care of all resistance and have a clear path to the V-hex.

A word of caution - NEVER, ever move your tanks ahead of your infantry until you're sure it is safe to do so. Failure to heed this will end up like this:

Of course, I did this for illustration purposes only! Heh-heh.

There is one more way to take out a bunker - your tanks. It worked very well here:

Finally, take all the V-hexes and bask in the glory that is victory!

Play this until you can do it with a minimum of casualties, and when the AI defends you will not have a problem with it again!

Good luck!

Don Llewellyn

[email protected]

Tutorial - Engineers in SPWAW By Redleg ([email protected])

This document describes how to make use of engineering units in SPWAW. Engineers have several unique characteristics that make them valuable assets. As the capabilities of engineer units are described, a scenario will be used to demonstrate the topics being discussed.

You may wish to print this document so you can use it to refer to while playing through the scenario.

Welcome to the Engineer Training Center. You are to participate in the training of an Engineer platoon. With your assistance, the platoon will demonstrate the dangerous work of combat engineers.

At places in this text you will find tips about using engineers units. These tips are usually informational in nature and may not be a part of tutorial scenario.

All infantry squads have the ability to clear land mines and barbed wire. Engineers can clear mines and barbed wire faster than regular infantry. Only engineer units are able to clear dragon's teeth and demolish fixed structures such as bridges.

If you haven't already done so, print this document and load SPWAW Training Scenario #9. It is possible to work this tutorial by using the Alt-Tab Keys and switch back and forth between this document and SPWAW. It will be easier to follow the tutorial with a printed document.

1. Laying land mines.

On the tutorial map, you will see five squads of engineer units labeled HQ Plat through 4 Plat. Locate the 1 Plat. This unit will be instructed to place land mines along a road.

  1. Locate and select 1 squad, 1 platoon. Click on this unit using the Right Mouse Button. A menu display will list some abilities and what the squad has been told to do. In this case, the squad has been assigned to " Will Clear Landmines From Front of Unit". Now, Click on that ability until "Will Lay landmines in Front of unit" appears. This issues a new set of instructions to that unit. Now ensure that the unit is facing the dirt road next to it and Right Click. This faces 1 squad toward the hex to be mined.
  2. Locate and select 2 squad. Issue instructions for 2 squad to lay mines in the road in the same manner that was used in A. above.

NOTE: 1 squad is a veteran, experienced unit that is full strength. 2 squad is a replacement squad that is under strength and inexperienced. While you are doing some of the tasks below, watch for any differences in the rate that these two units perform their tasks. Generally speaking the follow rule applies: The better the unit, the faster they can perform their tasks. Keep this rule in mind as you play SPWAW. Another factor affecting performance is whether the unit is under fire. A suppressed or disrupted unit cannot perform as well as it can under better conditions.

2. Clearing land mines.

Locate and select 3 squad. This squad is to be assigned to clear mines directly in front of it. Put this squad to work clearing mines by Right Clicking on the unit and setting its task to "Will Clear Landmines in Front of Unit". By default, 3 squad is already assigned to clear mines. It is a good practice when playing scenarios to check what jobs the designer has assigned to engineer units.

NOTE: 3 squad is a solid unit that is up to full strength. It will begin clearing mines almost immediately. Observe this unit as it works. Notice how long it takes this unit to clear a hex with 10 mines.

TIP: There are several ways to help engineer units do their work more quickly. Some methods are:

  1. Place more than one engineer unit in a hex next to the hex to be cleared.
  2. Advance one or more infantry or engineers into the hex to be cleared.
  3. Use smoke to obscure the enemy view of your units.
  4. Using multiple units is not without an element of danger from artillery.

TIP: Try moving an infantry unit next to a mined hex. On the next turn, move the infantry unit onto the mined hex. A high quality infantry unit will usually be able to enter the hex with no (or very little damage). The regular infantry will assist your engineers in clearing the mines. Engineer units will be able to move onto a mined hex without casualties if they are not moving too fast. Slow-moving armored vehicles will often be able to move onto a mined hex without exploding a mine but there is an element of risk. However, vehicles will not assist in clearing the mines. Remember that higher quality units will not suffer as much from land mine explosions and will clear or lay mines at a faster rate.

TIP: An artillery bombardment of a known or suspected mine field will help reveal and destroy land mines before your units arrive.

TIP: High quality infantry and recon units are very good at seeing land mines if they are not moving too fast and are not suppressed. Slow moving units out in front will often identify a mined area before any damage is done.

3. Clearing barbed wire and obstacles.

Locate 1 platoon HQ squad near the bridge. Note that this squad is clearing barbed wire from its location. Move this squad 1 to the end of the bridge. With HQ squad still selected, use the Direct Fire command to blow up the bridge. We will blow up the nearest bridge hex that is over deep water using the direct fire command.

Now that your unit is positioned properly, click on the direct fire icon marked with a letter "Z" or press the letter "Z". Next, click on the hex to be destroyed. In the event the bridge does not blow up on the first try, make further attempts to destroy a section of the bridge.

TIP: Engineer units that are not moving, or are moving slowly are more likely to be successful. When possible, move your unit on one turn and attack or attempt demolition on the next turn.

4. Assaulting bunkers and pillboxes.

There are several bunkers placed on the scenario map. Some bunkers have been disarmed for training purposes.

Move 2 or 3 squads toward bunker 1. Approach this bunker so one squad is on each flank. This may take several turns.

When the engineers are in a hex next to the bunker, Press the "Z" key or used icon as you did before at the bridge. Now click on the pillbox. If the engineer units were successful, the pillbox will be destroyed. If the attack failed, repeat the attack using direct fire commands. You can also click on the engineer unit and then click on the pillbox to cause an assault.

TIP: Bunkers and pillboxes are very aggressing opponents. In true gaming situations, use smoke from mortars or artillery to isolate the pillbox from its support and hide your advancing assault forces. Bombarding pillboxes with mortars may assist your assault forces. Light or medium mortars are recommended since they are more accurate and will not suppress friendly units.

TIP: Now that you have led 1 Platoon through training, they are ready to help you become a more skillful player of SPWAW. Use some engineer units in every battle. Experiment with ways to make your opponents spend resources undoing the traps set by engineers. Above all, use your engineers to assist your infantry and armored units to defeat your opponent's efforts to impede your advance to victory. Thank you.

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