A Riflemen Squad firing from behind Sand Bags. Notice the Heavy Cover icon.
|Role||Man-made Heavy Cover|
|Prereq.||Varies, usually none.|
Luftwaffe Ground Force
|Health||220 per piece|
Sand Bags are Defensive Structures that provide Heavy Cover for infantry at a defensive position. They can be built by several different Infantry units and by any faction. Sand Bags are free and built quickly. They can also double as obstacles for enemy infantry.
Sand Bags are one of the most common types of Passive Defenses. They are sand-filled bags piled to create an impromptu solid wall. The densely-packed sand is capable of stopping bullets, and provides great cover for anyone hiding behind it.
There are at least 6 types of Infantry units that can build Sand Bags. Each faction has access to at least one such unit, so Sand Bags are universally available.
Sand Bags are built free of charge. They are usually constructed in straight lines between two points (similar to Barbed Wire, Tank Traps and Mines). Each piece in the wall takes about 6 seconds to construct, depending on the type of infantry unit building it.
The primary purpose of Sand Bags is to provide Heavy Cover for infantry units. As such, they are often built in places that offer no other cover - and especially positions overlooking a kill-zone. Infantry using the Sand Bags as cover will gain all the benefits normally associated with Heavy Cover, including increased resistance to Suppression, being harder to hit by enemy weapons, and sometimes a damage resistance bonus as well. The exact bonuses depend on the type of weapon firing upon the infantry in cover.
Sand Bags are quite resilient, and are unlikely to be destroyed by incoming small-arms fire. However, explosives and tank shells can rip them apart.
Sand Bags double as anti-infantry obstacles: infantry must go around them or destroy them (if they can at all). Of course, they are less useful as anti-infantry obstacles than Barbed Wire since they provide cover for the blocked infantry unit (Barbed Wire can be placed in front of a sandbag position to deny its usage to the enemy whilst still allowing your troops to use it as cover). Still, infantry attempting to navigate around Sand Bags are nonetheless vulnerable to artillery fire.
Each faction in the game has access to at least one unit that can construct Sand Bags. All constructing units are Infantry units - they are expected to build Sand Bags to provide defensive positions for themselves or other infantry.
|Riflemen Squad||Sand Bag construction requires the Infantry Company: Defensive Operations Command Upgrade.|
|Panzer Elite||Luftwaffe Ground Force||Fielding this unit requires the Luftwaffe Tactics: Luftwaffe Ground Force Command Upgrade|
Sand Bags are an infantry unit's cheapest and most readily-available protective measure. When an infantry unit wants to hold a position, but there is little Heavy Cover around to hide behind, it can construct a line of Sand Bags. If enemy units arrive to counter-attack, the infantry behind the Sand Bags have a significant advantage - even against enemy Machine Gun fire.
Players sometimes prefer to construct "open box" Sand Bag enclosures, a "U" shape for infantry to hide inside. This allows them to defend themselves from several sides if necessary. For the most part, a simple line of Sand Bags is sufficient.
Sand Bags can be a double-edged sword. Any unit reaching a line of Sand Bags can use it as cover regardless of who built those Sand Bags. Enemy units can therefore use your own Sand Bags against you, so if intending to hold a position, keep the enemy away from this cover. You can help remedy this by placing barbed wire on the side of the sand bags you expect the enemy to come from, denying them the ability to get close enough to get in cover.
Note that vehicles also receive cover benefits from Sand Bags. Light vehicles, especially, can drive up next to a line of Sand Bags. As a result, the vehicle receives bonuses similar to those of infantry units in cover. Note that vehicles do not show the type of cover they're in, so it may be difficult to determine whether the vehicle is close enough, or oriented correctly, to receive this bonus. Heavier vehicles may find it difficult to use Sand Bags as cover because they tend to destroy this obstacle when driving over it. Finesse is required.
Finally, remember that Sand Bags are not a substitute for Structural Cover, which prevents all Suppression effects and is very difficult to destroy. Sand Bags will be destroyed by enemy tank fire, artillery, grenades, etc., so don't rely on them forever. Remember that repair units can repair Sand Bags like any other structure.