Road Blocks stretched across a gap
|Prereq.||Scorched Earth Tactics: Roadblocks|
Assault Grenadier Heavy Infantry,
Tank Buster Heavy Infantry
Road Blocks are a type of superior obstacle that may be constructed by the Panzer Elite Scorched Earth Tactics company in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Unlike Tank Traps, Road Blocks are completely uncrushable by any kind of vehicle, thus completely blocking off vehicle movement through an area or access route. They can only be removed by firing at them repeatedly, and this may take a while thanks to their high health. Road Blocks also provide Heavy Cover, useful for both infantry and vehicles.
The Scorched Earth Tactics Command Tree specializes in denying access to map assets - and denying movement is the best way to do so. By erecting a set of Road Blocks across a gap or opening, the Panzer Elite can ensure that no enemy vehicle will be able to infiltrate your territory through a particular passageway, hopefully funneling vehicles instead to pre-set killing zones.
Road Blocks are constructed by Panzer Grenadiers and their derivative squads (Tank Buster Heavy Infantry and Assault Grenadier Heavy Infantry). To be able to do so, you must first purchase the Roadblocks Command Upgrade from the Scorched Earth Tactics tree. Road Blocks construction is free, though each piece takes between 8 and 12 seconds to complete.
Road Blocks look very similar to basic Tank Traps: large double-crosses made of steel beams. The difference is that Road Blocks are set into concrete and covered with some barbed wire to prevent tampering. This extra hardening is what makes Road Blocks such useful obstacles.
No vehicle may drive through Road Blocks. Even the heaviest tanks, or tanks specifically equipped with obstacle-clearing upgrades (such as the M4 Crocodile Sherman with a Bulldozer upgrade) cannot crush Road Blocks. The only way to remove them is to attack them (whether with direct fire or artillery), and even then it could take some time to destroy a single piece, thanks to its high Maximum Health ( 750).
Infantry units can move past Road Blocks unimpeded. For this reason, they are often backed up by a set of Barbed Wire stretched behind them. Together, the two lines of obstacles can prove impassable to almost any unit (remember that most engineering units can cut Barbed Wire).
In addition to its capability as an obstacle, a piece of Road Block also provides Heavy Cover. This is especially useful for infantry (both friendly and enemy) who can hide behind it to receive excellent protection from damage and Suppression fire. Roadblocks have significantly greater durability than Sandbags, which means that they can withstand great punishment before breaking. Vehicles can neither effectively shoot the cover to remove it from the enemy's advantage in the heat of battle, nor can they trample it, allowing for safe retreats if necessary and a good advantage for Anti Tank squads
As Panzer Elite troops are relatively disabled in means of creating a quick defensive solution; the roadblocks can come in handy in defence against otherwise troublesome vehicles, superior enemy infantry sections/riflemen squads or simply to win time.
Vehicles too can use Road Blocks for protection, gaining several bonuses if situated properly behind the object. Note that the game gives no feedback regarding vehicle cover, so it may be difficult to ascertain whether the vehicle is situated correctly to receive the bonus. Smaller vehicles will find this easier to achieve, since they can get physically closer to the obstacle.
You used to be able to scuttle a piece of Road Block whenever you wanted to open up a passageway for your own units. After patch 2.04 this is no longer possible; now the only way to remove a Road Block is by destroying it.
Like tanktraps, barbed wire complement can either be placed on your side of the roadblock; allowing fights across the wall to give the enemies heavy cover, however denying vehicles from removing it. Or the enemies side, giving you the coverage.
The Panzer Elite have few options for defending their own sectors, and Road Blocks are a good opportunity to do so. Stretching these over vulnerable gaps can serve several purposes.
Roadblocks confuse the game's AI. The AI enemies will not try to destroy them, and along with barbed wire, they can be locked in.
For one, this will prevent enemy vehicles from flanking your territory. You can block small passageways to force enemy vehicles to drive through major roads, which can easily be mined. It's also easier to spot enemies coming down major roads, and react quickly with your mobile defenses. Alternately, you can try blocking the major roads, forcing enemy vehicles to drive down narrow passageways and lose formation cohesiveness - allowing you to more easily surround and destroy the enemy as they come through.
As with all other obstacles, Road Blocks can be used as funnels, to direct enemies into minefields or pre-set kill zones (such as into the firing ranges of sited Marder III Tank Hunters).
Remember that Road Blocks are not invincible - the enemy can destroy them if he spends enough time firing at them. This does however delay the enemy, and buys you time to organize a defense and/or attack him preemptively. If the enemy only damages the Road Blocks and goes away, you can send in Panzer Grenadiers to repair the damaged pieces.
Infantry can walk through Road Blocks, but to the Scorched Earth Tactics company this is less worrisome thanks to Kettenkrads and Panzer Grenadiers booby trapping your own Strategic Points. Any infantry that come through and try to grab your land will trigger these traps and kill themselves. Any survivors can then be mopped up easily by an anti-infantry defensive unit.
If you do not wish infantry to pass through a route either, run a line of Barbed Wire a short distance behind the Road Blocks. Most infantry troops can't get through Barbed Wire, and vehicles cannot reach the wire to crush it because they can't get past the Road Blocks.
Always remember that Road Blocks are a double-edged swords. They block passage to both friendly and enemy units.