|General-Purpose Land Mines|
A set of land mines set in front of a bridge
|Role||A powerful explosive trap|
|Unit Cost||25 or 50|
|Prereq.||Varies; Usually none.|
|Production XP||+2 xp|
|Primary armament||High Explosive charge|
Mines are a type of Passive Defense used to destroy enemy units passing through a given area. Mines are available to each and every faction in the game, produced by at least one unit type from each faction. Laid in sets of three, they become camouflaged (invisible) to enemy units once constructed. While friendly units can pass over Mines with no problem, enemy units will trigger the Mines, causing a very powerful detonation that can easily kill infantry and do significant damage to vehicles.
Game Info Edit
The idea of explosives rigged to blow when tampered with dates back to the very invention of explosives. Modern technology has coupled the potential power of high-explosives (TNT) with sophisticated fuses, giving birth to the modern landmine. Seen as a basic instrument of warfare, the use of Mines is widespread, and in Company of Heroes they are available to the Americans and the Wehrmacht factions.
Mines can be planted by various units from various factions. A set of three Mines (treated as a single object by the game system) normally costs 25 to plant. The process takes a few seconds, depending on the constructing unit.
Once a set of Mines has been laid, it will camouflage itself almost immediately, becoming invisible to the enemy (but still visible to you). Most enemy units won't spot the mine until it's too late, although some have the ability to detect Mines at a certain distance away, allowing them to avoid or possibly even defuse the Mines.
Friendly units, including those from factions allied with the one that owns the mines, can pass over a set of Mines freely. However, if an enemy unit --any enemy unit-- makes contact with a set of Mines, they will trigger a massive explosion. This explosion has a large radius and delivers large quantities of damage to any unit caught within that radius (friendly and enemy alike).
The explosion will likely kill any infantry units within its blast radius. Vehicles will take a large amount of damage - possibly being destroyed in the process - and stand a very significant chance of suffering engine damage or losing mobility altogether.
When a Mine explodes, it is destroyed in the process. It may also destroy any nearby mines within its blast radius. If a mine is detected before it explodes, it can be attacked from a distance (causing premature detonation) or possibly defused by certain engineering units. If it is left alone, it will eventually become camouflaged again.
Mines are best laid in a gap or passageway that the enemy is bound to travel through. In this manner, they are used to protect the entryways into your territory, by killing any units that attempt to come through the gap. Obstacles such as Barbed Wire or Tank Traps are often used to "funnel" enemy units into a minefield, by leaving a gap in the obstacle line and planting mines at the mouth of the gap. There are also other, more creative uses for Mines, explained below.
Constructing Units Edit
Each faction has at least one unit capable of planting mines, as detailed by the table below:
|Riflemen Squad||Construction of Mines requires the Infantry Company: Defensive Operations Command Upgrade.|
|M8 Greyhound||Each set of Mines is produced separately, for the cost of 50. However, these mines are suitably more powerful.|
|Panzer Elite||Munitions Halftrack||Each set of Mines is produced separately|
Mines are armed with a single weapon: a high explosive charge that detonates automatically when an enemy unit makes contact with them. There is no other way to trigger a mine except firing on it yourself (with the "Attack Ground" command).
M8 Greyhounds lay a slightly different type of mine, armed with a 50% larger package of TNT. This causes extra damage at a greater radius, but otherwise acts the same.
High Explosive Charge Edit
The high explosive inside a mine is set to detonate when an enemy unit comes within sufficient proximity of the mine (about 2 meters, basically making contact with the mine itself).
The explosion delivers a basic 100 points of damage, though this is distributed unevenly throughout the large 8-meter radius of the blast. Units right on top of the mine will suffer a whopping 200 points of damage. At a distance of 3 meters, units suffer 100 points. At 8 meters, units only suffer 75 points - still a serious amount.
High Explosive Charges have an arbitrary damage reduction against infantry, to whom they'll cause only 35% of the given damage values (55% to Snipers). This means a mine will usually only kill the infantryman that triggered it, but will still seriously injure his other squad-mates. Note that the explosion also causes a large amount of Suppression to units within the blast radius.
Vehicles will suffer the full impact of the explosion - especially a vehicle which triggers the mine directly, since it would be right on top of that mine (hence suffering 200 damage points). In addition to the straight damage, Mines are virtually guaranteed to cause engine damage, engine destruction, or immobilize the vehicle entirely by breaking its treads or engine. That is - if the vehicle isn't destroyed outright by the blast.
Enhanced High Explosive Charge Edit
The larger charge installed in mines laid by an M8 Greyhound behaves mostly like a regular High Explosive Charge (as detailed above), with two key differences:
The basic damage potential of the mine is 150 points, and the blast radius is 10 meters. Twice that damage amount (300 points) is dealt to any unit right on top of the mine, 150 points are dealt to units 3 meters away, and 112 points of damage are dealt to units 10 meters away from the blast.
In addition, this enhanced charge causes extra damage to some types of infantry, up to 50% of the full damage potential, hence being more deadly to large enemy infantry units.
Detection and Defusion Edit
Although Mines render themselves camouflaged (invisible) when they are deployed, there are several units that are capable of detecting Mines at a distance - before triggering them.
These units are the American Engineer Squad, Wehrmacht Pioneer Squad and British Sappers - though all of these require a certain Minesweeper upgrade in order to do so. This upgrade enhances the range at which these units can detect mines to at least 15 meters.
When a set of Mines is detected, it becomes visible to the enemy. The detecting unit will then automatically approach and defuse any mine it has detected within its immediate area. The process takes only a few moments, and each squad-member will usually defuse a different set of mines, if more than one mine is discovered - thereby potentially removing an entire minefield with surprising haste. This activity does not require any sort of commands from the player - the engineers will automatically undertake this if there are any detected mines within their reach (about 15 meters away).
If the detecting unit moves away from the detected mines, the Mines will return to camouflaged state a few seconds later.
Even though the unit won't set off the mines themselves, mines will detonate if hit by an explosive weapon such as grenade, mortar, anti-tank shot, tank shell, etc., potentially blowing any man attempting to defuse the mine sky high.
Note that several other units in the game also have an enhanced mine detection radius. This includes the Infantry Section Recon Element et al. However, these units will not automatically defuse mines (they cannot defuse mines at all).
The problem with Mines is that they require direct contact with an enemy unit in order to explode. This means that a mine that was incorrectly placed may never come in contact with an enemy unit, and thus is completely wasted.
Mine deployment is therefore a skill that must be learned: how to spot the correct location to place a mine so that enemy units are bound to make contact with it. Or where to put a large group of mines to ensure that the enemy makes contact with at least some of them.
There are two general approaches to the use of mines: Blocking narrow gaps with few mines, or blocking major gaps with minefields. Each of these approaches fits a different scenario, a different overall strategy, and works together with different Defensive Structures and their arrangement.
Plugging Small Gaps Edit
It is very difficult to physically deny access to an entire sector, or protect it effectively with only Active Defenses. Most sectors have small accessways in the form of narrow alleyways or gaps between a few trees - through which the enemy can slip a unit or two to infiltrate your territory.
Some players prefer blocking these small gaps with obstacles like Barbed Wire and Tank Traps, so that enemies must instead go through the larger gaps which are then defended by weapon emplacements or other units. However, since the enemy is still looking to find small gaps in your defense, it may be better not to plug these small gaps with obstacles, but instead put mines there.
To conserve resources, plug some small gaps with obstacles, and mine the rest. The enemy, looking for easy access into your territory, will likely spot the unblocked gaps and figure that he has found a way to sneak units past your weapon emplacements. When his unit(s) try to get through these gaps, they'll be hit by the mines and killed or severely damaged, allowing your mobile response teams to take out what's left of his units (if any).
This is a quick way to dissuade enemies from attempting to infiltrate your territory through such gaps altogether. Replace any destroyed mines quickly, and eventually your enemy will realize that the gaps are not as vulnerable as he thought, forcing him to re-think his strategy and costing him one or more units in the meanwhile. This sort of psychological warfare can work to your advantage, especially if you're busy preparing more serious defenses for the major accessways into your territory.
Large enemy assaults will usually come through large gaps, including main roads, bridges and other major accessways. Creating a minefield at the opening of such a gap can take a serious toll on enemy groups attempting to assault your territory directly.
If possible, the minefield should be covered by weapon emplacements. That way, when enemies do try to come across, the mines will knock out the engine or tracks off enemy vehicles, rendering them more vulnerable for the weapon emplacements and buying time for you to dispatch mobile defense units to repel the invaders.
With a large minefield, the most major nuisance are enemy mine-sweeping engineers, who can take out an entire minefield in only a few seconds. This is why weapon emplacements are so important - they must fire at the engineers to prevent them from destroying the entire minefield.
Building a large minefield can be very wasteful. Not only does it cost a lot of Munitions, but in most cases some of these mines will be wasted as well - never getting a chance to detonate. More importantly, if the sector's edges have no real gaps - just large open fields - stretching a minefield to cover the entire edge would be even more wasteful.
Instead, use obstacles like the Barbed Wire fence and Tank Traps to turn a wide field into a narrow gap, and place the mines in that gap. Remember that obstacles are free to construct, while mines are expensive.
A funnel doesn't have to be a single line of obstacles with a small hole in it. Instead, you can use obstacles to create a zig-zagging path, to slow down enemy units. Place mines inside the zig-zag pattern at points where the enemy is bound to pass, and cover the exit from the zig-zag with weapon emplacements.
One curious tactic is to wrap a high-value asset, especially Strategic Points, in a line of obstacles, leaving one access gap - and then mining that gap. Boxing in a Strategic Point like this would force enemy units to go through the gap if they want to take the point, and thus forcing them to run into the mines and being killed. It's a cheap and easy way to protect a Strategic Point, and cost the enemy some manpower when his units run into the mine.
Note that the enemy will quickly learn not to take Strategic Points that are protected in this manner, until he can acquire weapons to bombard the point prior to taking it (to ensure that all mines are destroyed, or simply to punch more holes through the obstacles).
Still, early on the enemy won't have anything to do with this - he'll simply not take the Strategic Point at all, effectively securing a territory!
Protecting Obstacles Edit
Mines can also be used to protect a line of obstacles. Instead of the obstacles funneling units into a minefield, the mines are placed in front of the obstacles to prevent enemy units from reaching them. This creates an almost impenetrable barrier.
To create this sort of barrier, place down Tank Traps with a minefield in front of them and Barbed Wire behind them. Enemy medium tanks can't get through this obstacle because they can't break through Tank Traps. Enemy infantry cannot get through because they can't move through Barbed Wire. Heavy tanks, which would be able to drive through both obstacles, would first hit the minefield and suffer damage if they attempted this (though remember that mines don't cause enough damage to kill such a unit, but can still cause engine damage or immobilization).
Of course, even this sort of obstacle can be wiped out with artillery, and mine-defusing units can still take out the first line of defense (the mines), allowing heavy tanks to take care of the rest.
Mines are rather flimsy - they can easily be destroyed if any sort of weapon hits them. Many units can use the "Attack Ground" command to simply fire at an area where they suspect your mines to be hidden, destroying the mines to pave a way through. Artillery, and even mortars, are very useful for this - but of course the enemy needs to know or at least suspect that the mines are there to begin with.
Engineering units with minesweepers are of course the biggest problem, as they can dismantle an entire minefield in seconds. On the up-side, these units are very fragile, so a large minefield protected by an anti-infantry emplacement or unit can easily dispatch these before they get a chance to defuse too many mines. Also, anti-tank weapons and other explosive attacks can destroy mines, causing them to explode in the process and potentially killing any engineer attempting to defuse the mines.
Also, there are several units that can detonate mines without suffering damage from them at all. The M4 Sherman tank can use the Crab Mine Flail to simply drive through a minefield unmolested, as can a Churchill Tank fitted with a Mine Plow.
Therefore, don't expect your mines to last forever or act as impenetrable obstacles. If you wish to plug a gap permanently, your closest option is to use actual obstacles like Barbed Wire with Tank Traps in front of them. Couple this with mines to punish any unit that tries to break through the obstacles anyway.
For most factions, the basic Mines are the only type of mines available. However, the Panzer Elite faction has potential access to two more types of mines, each with its own specialty:
- Butterfly Bombs: Available to the Luftwaffe Tactics company. These mines are dropped from the air in large clusters, forming an instant minefield at any visible point on the battlefield! They are mostly potent against infantry, but can still knock out the engine or treads on a vehicle.
- Teller Mines: Available to the Tank Destroyer Tactics company. These mines are very powerful, and can only be triggered when a vehicle moves over them. This ensures that infantry do not trigger the mine, hence saving its destructive potential against enemy tanks.