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EDIT: I have completely deleted all the old content from this 1st post. Most of it was horribly out of date and no longer representative of what the mod will be.
Fortress Europe is a mod for Company of Heroes and Opposing Fronts (NOTE: Both products must be purchased) that introduces the following major game play changes.
1. There is no base building. The starting Headquarters does not serve a purpose any longer, and you cannot build Barracks, Tank Depots, Kampfkraft centers, or any other base building.
2. All units arrive from off the map. Nothing is built on the map, it all deploys from the starting entrance road in your territory.
3. You do not buy technology upgrades for your force. There is no "Escalate to Skirmish" upgrade, or need to build a Supply Depot, in order to unlock units. The only thing preventing you from deploying a powerful unit is its initial cost.
In addition to these major points, there's a few more game play changes.
4. You cannot spam a single unit endlessly. There is a hard limit on the number of any particular unit that can be deployed during a game, and this limit varies depending on the company the player chooses (More on that below). This represents the reality that there is no infinite reserve of anything in an army.
5. There is no magical off-screen artillery that can target anything the player can see. Artillery is handled through special Observer units that direct artillery units to barrage the targeted area. If an observer can't see the target, the artillery can't fire on it. The observer's ability to call in a strike takes 10 seconds or more to finish, and forces all artillery of the specified type to fire (Similar to Victor Target).
6. Infantry and some weapon teams automatically conceal themselves when in cover. Infantry in light cover or better automatically disappear from view until you get within a certain distance, allowing them to sneak around the battlefield and ambush enemies. Some elite units retain the ability to remain concealed when in the open.
At the beginning of the game, every player must choose a Company before they can begin deploying units. Your choice of company determines what units are available and in what quantity. These are all based off of actual Tables of Organization and Equipment (TO&E, or KStN for German companies) in use during World War 2.
Your choice of company also determines what "perks" your company has available to it. Perks are advantages specific to your company's training or equipment, and can only be chosen at the very beginning of the game. Once chosen, you cannot undo your choice or pick another. Perks will not be available in the first beta release of the mod.
Here is a current list of all the companies, broken down by nation:
Armored Rifle Company
Parachute Rifle Company
Cavalry Recon Troop
Royal Army Commando Troop
Air Landing Company
Doctrines no longer contain reinforcements or off-map support. Most advantages of the old doctrine system now exist in the Perk system, or are available as normal units. Instead the Doctrines will focus on short-term tactics within the framework of three "Personalities"
Aggressive - Nothing you do is ever half-hearted; experience has led you to prefer decisive attacks and overwhelming defenses. Though your massive assaults and rigid defenses lead to high casualties, the results speak for themselves as they leave the enemy shattered.
Evasive - Your tactical abilities are focused on out-maneuvering the enemy and striking at the time and place of your choosing. You do not waste men in lengthy battles of attrition, preferring to hit at weak points, or avoid the enemy altogether if you are out-numbered.
Cautious - Experience has taught you to not march into a trap, and to always expect the enemy to be stronger than anticipated. Your movements are carefully planned and you are rarely taken by surprise.
Once you have purchased a tactic from your doctrine with command points, you have one usage of that tactic available to you. Once it is used, the tactic can be purchased again from the doctrine menu. Tactics do not need to be purchased in a specific order. Command points are easier to accrue than before, encouraging the player to use their tactics rather than hoarding them for a rainy day. Here is an example of a tactic from the Aggressive doctrine:
Hold at all Costs - Infantry near the officer using this tactic cannot retreat and move slowly, but cannot be suppressed and fire faster. Lasts for thirty seconds.
1. All guns have relatively realistic penetration. The KwK43 88mm on the Jagdpanther and Tiger II is going to cleave through any armour at any distance. On the lower end, the KwK38 20mm on the SdKfz 234/1 and SdKfz 222 has no chance of penetrating any tank armour, except the rear of some medium and light tanks.
2. All tank guns have their damage brought closer together. The damage from an 88mm is still greater than a 75mm, but not as substantially greater as it once was. The damage from a 37mm (like from the Stuart's M5 37mm gun) is not so minor that a penetrating hit on a tank goes unnoticed.
3. All infantry have the same hit points. The only defensive factor amongst troops is that better trained men are harder to hit and harder to suppress.
4. Sight ranges on all units are set to 60m, camouflage detection radius varies. The ability to see terrain and enemies in the open is uniform across the board, but spotting hidden enemies is not. A medium or heavy tank is a very poor choice for spotting concealed units, while infantry are much better, and reconnaissance units are the best.
5. Gun ranges have been scaled within the new sight range. The maximum range of a direct fire gun is 60m, and weapons vary from 60m to 16m in range. Small arms occupy the 36m range and below, and tank guns are 44mm and up in range. Infantry anti-tank rockets have a range of 24m or 28m, making it crucial that infantry ambush tanks at shorter ranges and not approach in the open where the tank can use its superior range.
6. Vehicle-mounted machine-guns are as effective as squad-carried machine-guns. The hull and co-axial machine-guns on tanks and some vehicles function as well as their infantry equivalent, and can suppress just as well.
1. Most units are deployed to the battlefield in squad/section groups. If a particular platoon is divided into two sections, and each section has a Jeep and a Recon squad, then every usage of the deployment ability gives you one Jeep and a Recon squad.
2. Units are sorted into platoons. In order to deploy sections/squads, you need to purchase an upgrade for the platoon that contains them. This upgrade then provides a set number of sections/squads appropriate to the platoon's historical size. For example, purchasing the British Armoured platoon (Sherman V) upgrade allows you to purchase and deploy up to three Sherman V tanks and up to one Firefly VC tank. Once you have expended all the tanks in the platoon, you will need to buy the upgrade again (If your company is allowed access to more than one platoon of that type, not all are).
3. Platoons are organized by category. Sometimes there's a choice as to what equipment or organization a platoon might have. For example, a British Armoured platoon can either be equipped with Sherman V tanks or Cromwell IV tanks. If your company is allowed one or more Armoured platoons, you can choose either, but both count as an Armoured platoon. Choosing one uses up a single choice from that category. The amount of platoons available in a single category is shown in the bottom right corner of the upgrade button, while the bottom left corner shows a symbol for what category it falls under.