Awesome Brews #25 – Teetotaler Special
August 1, 2017
ARMA III flight school recap
August 4, 2017

  

At first glance, Foxhole is a top down shooter similar to Halo Spartan Assault or Helldivers, but a few minutes in game will show you that despite its unassuming appearance this war machine has got quite a few cogs.

 

Let’s start with a look at combat since it’s where most players will head in the beginning. The fighting plays out like you would expect if you are familiar with other top down shooters or even MOBAS with players moving in and out of range, pieing corners around cover, crouch and prone behind cover, etc. (Pro tip you can shoot enemies off screen by firing at where their tracers are coming from). The infantry weapons are the basics you would expect: pistol, revolver, smg, shotgun, carbine, rifle, storm rifle (sturmgewehr anyone?), and heavy MG. Each handle differently so your “class” is only determined by the equipment you choose. Everyone spawns with a pistol and you pick up weapons and ammo either from corpses on the front, or at various HQ buildings that serve as re-spawn points. Getting into the more advanced weapons, there is a whole slew of grenades from poison gas and smoke to frag, sticky and HE, each of which can be used to a lethal effect by a skilled player (I watched a five man squad get annihilated by a single nade earlier today). Lastly there are RPGs and mortars. RPGs work really well against fortifications and vehicles and are fairly straight forward. It’s the mortars and the howitzers (mortars can be carried by a team of players, howitzers are built in place by combat engineers) that really give a touch of teamwork and skill to the game. Aiming the mortar requires you to get your windage and elevation without a reference to where you are shooting, so to hit anything you need a spotter because the range for the mortar is farther then your visual range as the operator.

 

The maps are big and somewhat varied with forest, desert and a snowy northern area, each having a limited amount of walls and buildings to fight around, with open fields and forests narrowing into choke points like bridges. Nothing feels cramped. Spawning at home base and making your way to the front (whether on foot or in the back of a truck) you’ll appreciate just how much ground you have to fight over.  I would imagine it’s something like when troops used to march to the front in long columns. As the battle progresses the map begins to change a couple days in and you’ll hardly recognize where you are. It is another place where this game really starts to show some depth, and it’s all thanks to the combat engineers. These guys take raw materials found around the map, refine them at workshops and start building fortifications, from barbed wire and sandbags to reinforced cement walls with giant vehicle gates interlaced with pillboxes, foxholes, gun emplacements and mines. These are the guys that stop the enemy blitz making it so that the enemy can’t just flank around you. As fortifications get more advanced, various support structures will pop up, such as barracks and outposts which serve as forward spawn points and supply staging areas. Behind the fortifications they place howitzers which when crewed by an experienced team can devastate enemy positions at great range (learn the mortar before hopping in a howitzer, the ammo is extremely valuable and a bad shot can just as easily kill your own team).

 

 

Now getting around the map on foot can, and does, take forever, but thankfully vehicles have started appearing in the game as recently as the last update (which added tanks). Two of the most important places you’ll defend on the map is the Vehicle Factory and the Fuel dump/Refinery, because from these flows the oil that keeps the war machine operating. At the Vehicle Factory you can build:

 

Transport Truck

These are truly the workhorses of the logistics teams (more on them later). They can haul a full load of supplies and five troops + one driver.

Patrol Motorcycle

These little bikes have a crew of two – a driver and passenger who can use secondary weapons. Additionally the bike has a speed boost that when activated makes the bike go faster at increased fuel cost.

Half Track

The half track has a crew of two + a passenger. The 12.7mm MG can lay down heavy fire to pin down enemies, it is only forward facing however and has a limited firing arc.

Field artillery

This field gun has a two man crew, the driver controls direction and spots/ranges targets for the gunner who loads, fires and sets elevation.

Field MG

This is a 14.5mm MG operated by a crew of two, these are absolutely devastating in both attack and defense. they can lay down suppressive fire like nothing else currently in the game and with the armored cover on the front knocking them out can be a real pain.

Light tanks

All the other goodies aside, both sides have a light tank, operationally I suspect they are the same with a different model but I really don’t know. What I do know is the second one team reaches the tech level for tanks frantic calls for AT weapons will go out across the front.

 

Remember if you are done with a vehicle don’t lock it, a locked vehicle is a waste of resources or as a lot of people put it in chat “A locked vehicle is an enemy vehicle!”

 

Finally, onto logistics. In most shooters, all the action happens at the front line leaving the rest of the map horribly under utilized. In Foxhole however, every weapon you use aside from the pistol and every bullet fired has to be built. This is where the war is won, these guys move like a legion of Pink Floyd’s marching hammers making things happen.  Without the logistics squads moving around building every piece of equipment that is needed, the whole machine grinds to a halt. Depending on how you look at the role logistics can be extremely boring or extremely gratifying, if you are a big picture kind of soldier this may be one of the best things you can do in the game its also a nice way to play while doing something else alt+tabbing to write a review for example. The start of the logistics chain begins with raw materials.

 

  • Salvage
    • Salvage is the basis for basic material, its found in junk piles around the map and harvested with either a hammer or a sledge hammer (you should always use the sledge hammer to harvest because it is faster).
      • So onto basic material, this is the building block of just about everything from supply trucks to walls and foxholes. If your truck has a free slot it never hurts to run a stack up to the front just dont drop it in the fob with the other supplies though, find an engineer that needs it and give it to them directly that shit is heavy and it will take em forever to run back and forth with it while you have a truck.
  • Sulfur
    • Sulfur is the base for Explosive Material, its found in nodes around the map but has a very long re-spawn time. Harvest it with the hammer or sledge hammer.
      • Once harvested you need to get sulfur to a refinery asap and made into Explosive material.
        • Once you have explosive material rush it to the workshop and weapons factory where itll get used to make more advanced equipment.
  • Components
    • Components are the base for Refined Material, they are found in wrecks of vehicles from previous wars. I do not know if they can be harvested with the hammer but the sledge definitely does the trick.
      • Once you have refined materials you will need to either take them to the combat engineers so they can upgrade structures or take them to the vehicle factories where they will get used in advanced vehicles (half tracks, howitzers, tanks, etc).
  • Tech
    • Tech is a random drop found when harvesting materials, its extremely valuable because without it you cant upgrade factories and produce more advanced weapons. Try to coordinate where tech is used with your team to make sure it has the greatest affect. Using it on a random structure instead of pooling it can keep your team from getting advanced weapons and ultimately cost you the war.
  • Fuel
    • Fuel is collected at various fuel dumps around the map, harvest it with the hammer or sledge. As far as I know you cant refine fuel into anything but that might change later. If you want to help vehicle work shops out when you get fuel harvest an extra stack and run it to the nearest vehicle workshop. vehicles cant move an inch without fuel this includes inside the bay of the vehicle workshop so to clear the bay and start another vehicle they’ll need fuel.

Normally when playing logistics I try and load up my truck as follows for a trip to the front:

  1. A stack of shirts or s supplies as people call them in chat
  2. a stack of Basic Materials for the engineers
  3. a stack of Refined Materials also for the engineers
  4. A case of grenades
  5. A case of rifles
  6. A case of rifle ammo
  7. I fill the remaining space with requested supplies, this is anything the guys at the front are asking for specifically.
  8. Finally and possibly most importantly I load up as many troops as I can and drop them at the fob and remind them to set their re-spawn point there.

This is not an and all beat all setup and I change it up as needed, don’t get locked in to running things out they definitely don’t need esp if you are making multiple runs.

Playing logistics can get a little nerve wracking but is also great fun when you are pushing through hostile territory to get to a cut off fob, its a lot of fun to be off roading with a few troops for protection moving around enemy ambushes and finally arriving at a beleaguered outpost where the troops have been calling for supplies in all caps for the past half hour (its also a great way to rack up commendations).

 

So far I have got about twenty hours in the game and have enjoyed every second of it, no matter the role Ive filled. Even at this pace there is plenty I haven’t done, like using armor but with the fun Ive had I am sure each new role will be just as rewarding as everything else has been.

Right now the game is in steam early access for $19.99. I would recommend getting this game immediately.