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Common Village Defenses

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Village PreparednessEdit

Villages may be categorized as to their level of preparedness.

A bit of work. The villagers may not have been there long or are sublimely unconcerned about their fate. Only easy or absolutely necessary works have been undertaken. There may not be any guards posted and the defense force will be unorganized. A pushover.
Some work. They’ve tried to make a bit of an effort, but may have been handicapped by insufficient time or manpower. A guard will be posted and they will have talked over the defense plan. Rudimentary defenses have been erected with a view to more permanent works later. A clear line of retreat will have been established and the villagers are aware of the danger.
Defended. Given a summer and a winter to get things done, the villagers have tried to develop a defensive arrangement. The occasional patrol is mounted and hunters are logged in and out. The defenses are permanent and are considered a priority, bit may not be well thought out or have the help of military or civil engineers. There is a defense plan and the defense force knows where to go and what to do. Guards are vigilant but civilian. Contact has been made with neighbors about mutual defense and some vague plans made.
Well Defended. A real problem for attackers. The lines of approach will be interdicted and possible aggressors will be intercepted before they can harm the village. Ex-Military personnel are the bulk of the defense (returned villagers, adopted stragglers and deserters)The village subscribes to a forward defense policy and there may be signs of annihilated marauder attacks (roadside graveyards, ex-marauders used as forced labor, damaged marauder vehicles undergoing repair etc). The works are well thought out and comprehensive and often consist of several layers. Works will be overlooked by defensive positions. It is this sort of village that is often comes to the aid of satellite settlements.
Redoubt. An attackers graveyard. Led by a forward thinking strategist, this village has enthusiastically defended itself. They have gone short on food in favor of security and dominate the surrounding area. Armor assets are likely and the ground around the ville is one big deathtrap. The villagers fight with a zeal similar to Stalingrad or Berlin residents, underground links and shelters are strategically placed for protection. Multilayered defense absorbs and obliterates attackers. Go to town on the defense, they did. Maybe even a squad of suicide sappers with pole charges or similar constructs. The children fight on an equal footing, the only way to take the village is level it but you’re not likely to get that close.

Common Types of DefensesEdit

Sharpened logs pointed out (anti-horse tactic)
Punji Stakes
Mines (or phony minefields) - including claymore mines.
Anti-tank ditches (with the dirt mounded on the Defenders side)
Tripwires (marbles in cans, trip flares, bells, etc)
Wire Obstacles such as:
concertina wire
tangle foot (barbed wire at about mid-calf level)
Signs in one or more appropriate languages, (falsely) warning of Cholera, Leprosy, or your other favorite malady.
The good old skull or rotting corpse on a pole says alot.
Poorly-concealed pungi stake pits, dummy claymore mines, etc. that either send a message (OK, what traps DONT we see...), or are used to channel the PCs into an area that IS, in fact, mined or trapped.
Fake MG bunkers that are constructed to look real. These can use either things cobbled together from pipes or wood, or perhaps weapons that are beyond repair, or unique items like the DEWAT MG-08 that currently hangs in a local sporting goods store.
Railroad ties, ’I’ beams or other girders set at angles, ’Dragon’s teeth’ or ditches to deter armored vehicle approach.
Guard towers, fortified Hi-Rise or Industrial structures (mine towers, etc) for perimeter defense and surveillance.
Abatis (tree’s cut at the forks and the branches sharpened, then placed in the ground so that they interlock)
Flooded areas such as dams, ponds and nearby watercourses as obstacles. While these may provide fish stocks in a similar way that medieval moats did, they may freeze over in winter.
Bunkered buildings, industrial structures (pump houses, substations etc) at prominent or strategic areas. These should be well camouflaged.
Dividing the village into multiple lines of defense, once an invader penetrates into one area he is brought under fire from the next section that dominates the outlying sections and so on.
Preplanted command detonated mining charges packed with shrapnel. Also, foo-gas and similar pyrotechnics.
Walling between houses, using the back walls of each house to form a continuous perimeter. Many Italian villages are built like this already. A far more believable structure than a more military looking perimeter berm.
Expanding upon subterranean features, nearly every large town has a stormwater culvert that may be used to move about when under attack. The exit where this leads to a creek etc may be used to sally out for flank attacks and partisan raids on supply areas, command posts etc.
Watch posts an nearby avenues of approach, these people have had four years of this and will be ready for sneaky Petes crawling though the scrub. Broad areas may be cleared to foil covert approach, perimeter guards will have dogs (they can detect you by your gun oil, don’t believe that stuff about GI soap) and their hearing is so acute that a dog will always zero on a sound to within 5 degrees.
If possible, villagers will keep groups at a distance and deal with them there. Few villages will be truly isolated and a message (signal, runner, radio etc or combination) will be sent to allies for help and warning.
The ground and terrain features will be altered to deter assault groups having lie up points or cover during an assault. I.e.: A nearby prominent hill may be mined or have a bunker placed on it, vegetation will be cleared away from the walls, gullies and ruined houses will be patrolled.

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