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Headquarters: World War II - Dev log #4 - “Terrain rules the battle”

Published on March 15, 2023


It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the fourth Dev log entry. Today, I will tell you more about various terrain types and how they affect the battle in Headquarters: World War II. I will also explain how the elevated terrain works and how your troops can benefit from it.


Difficult terrain is an Infantry domain

Only Infantry units can move into Forests and Rough terrain, and enter buildings. This makes Infantry units much more versatile and survivable. They can move where tanks and other vehicles cannot. 

Infantry units can get excellent Cover in the woods or in the building, and they will be a really tough nut to crack. So, Infantry gameplay is all about the right usage of terrain. Now, let us go over the key terrain types in more detail. 


Forest is the best place for your Infantry to defend from

Forest tiles offer great cover, and extra camouflage (meaning your troops are harder to spot), and it blocks the line of fire, making units behind the forest safe from direct long-range attacks. To sum up - it is an excellent place for defense or ambush of the enemy armor. 

The enemy vehicles have to move by road through the woods, and cannot go off the road, while your AT Infantry could move through the forest freely, making it easy for them to maneuver around enemy vehicles to get the best attack angles and breach their armor. 

The enemy column is in shambles, and the Infantry is victorious this time. And rightly so - tanks are much more powerful units overall, but they are at their best in the open terrain where they can put to use their advantage in range and firepower and tear through the Infantry lines. 


Rough terrain is the next best thing

Infantry can take cover in Rough terrain, even though the bonuses are smaller than in the woods, and the Rough tiles do not block the Line of fire. Still, it is very advantageous for the Infantry to take good positions in Rough terrain if there are no better options. 


High vegetation is the perfect hiding spot

Try to look for the enemy Infantry in the middle of the sunflower fields - that is far from an easy task. All kinds of High vegetation terrain offer good bonuses to camouflage and cover, but only to units with low Profile (mostly Infantry and a few smaller vehicles). 

Large units like tanks do not gain extra camouflage or cover in the fields, so while they can enter High vegetation tiles (unlike Forest and Rough) they will not be getting any bonuses. 

The smaller units will get the bonuses, so fighting in the fields would be a tricky task for the armoured units, but much more manageable than in the woods. 


Now to the craziest thing in any war - the city battles

The city is somewhat similar to Forest terrain, as there are lots of buildings for the Infantry to hide in that provide great cover and block a Line of fire. However, buildings, unlike forests, can be destroyed, reducing the bonuses they provide. Though, even a fully destroyed building still offers some cover. 

When storming cities and villages you have a few choices, one of which would be a scorched earth tactic - demolishing buildings one by one to leave the enemy forces without superior cover, at a cost of losing lots of time. Another - smarter approach would be to give your vehicles an Infantry escort that would move through the buildings to locate the enemy Infantry positions and guide your vehicles through the town relatively safely. 

The key to successful city battles is the proper coordination between Infantry and motorized units. The flamethrower squads are especially useful when storming fortified enemy positions. And scouts or snipers could give advanced warning of the enemy ambushes and hiding places. 

Will you just raze the city to the ground with tanks and artillery, or would you try to capture it almost unscathed by using superior tactics and troops' coordination? The choice is yours. 


A king of the hill

Hills in the game are presented as an Elevated terrain mechanic which works as follows: all tiles on the map have not only X and Y coordinates, but also Z - the height, or Elevation level. So, you can have part of the map where the Elevation is 0, some parts where the Elevation is at level 1, 2, and so on. Currently, the highest Elevation level is 5. 

Each level of elevation gives a unit extra spotting and camouflage, meaning you see further from the Hill, but the enemies have a harder time seeing you from below. What is even more important though, is the difference in the elevation of the units in combat affects the accuracy - the unit with a higher elevation level receives an accuracy bonus for each level of advantage in Elevation. 

What is more, if your unit is higher - your attacks start to partially hit the enemy's top armor - where the armor planting is the weakest. We calculate the angle of attack and take into account a portion of the top armor exposed. You can always see all the detailed calculations and angles in the extended Combat prediction window.

Last but not least, Elevation could block a Line of fire in some cases depending on how the units are positioned, so you cannot fire “through” a hill. 

It all may sound like a lot to take in, but basically, what you have to know from the start is that being on higher terrain is beneficial both for scouting and for attacking the enemy forces. Armored units are more vulnerable to attacks from the hill, while all units have better accuracy when firing from above. 


Coming up next

In the next Dev log, I will focus more on the units' composition, various units, and their types. A lot of nice unit pictures are incoming, as well as, an overview of what we will have in terms of units overall. 

See you next time!


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