Tips on Gunboat operation, Naval invasions, Naval Tactics, Common problems at sea, And the different seafaring vehicles you may come across.
Naval Combat – Navy Guide
The naval combat in Foxhole is simple to get into and difficult to master. The quickest way to achieving said mastery is through experience – trial and error so to speak. However there is also a great deal of information pertaining to the usage of the naval vehicles in Foxhole that can be passed down from the experience of others. While I do not yet claim to fully understand all mechanics relating to the naval units of foxhole, I have spent a great amount of time in naval invasions and aboard gunboats. I feel that as to benefit those seeking to start participating in the naval aspects of Foxhole I should at least share with them the base level knowledge required to get started; So that they can better understand the roles of the vehicles and feel confident enough to try them out for themselves.
There are currently 4 vehicles that can be found at sea. The Barge, Gunboat, APC, and Cargo Ship.
The Barge is the slow moving transport of the sea. With the same cargo space as a truck, being 15, the two are comparable. The Barge however can hold 1 additional man in comparison to the truck, bringing the capacity up to 7 men (6 on the deck + driver). The specialty of the barge however is not that of troop transport, instead, its large deck space enables the barge to transport all vehicles with the exception of the Battle Tank across water. The barge has no armament though if occupied by men the soldiers are able to return fire with any non-deployable weapon.
The tank of the sea, the Gunboat is the navy’s workhorse. As the only armed vessel the Gunboats main purpose is to provide support with its light artillery to nearby land units, and to bombard coastal targets. The gunboat is equipped with a a dual 14.5 machine gun and an aforementioned light artillery piece. The machine gun is comparable to a FMG and its exact effective range is unknown. However, it extends sight distance greatly to about 40-45 meters if done correctly and can shoot further than that. The artillery piece has a minimum range of 50 meters and a maximum of 100. The gunboat has 4 inventory slots and holds 4 crew, it is faster than the barge but not by much and is significantly slower than a APC.
The Armored Personnel Carrier is by far the best means of transportation for infantry at sea. The armored personnel carrier is resistant to small arms fire though not invulnerable. It is also a amphibious vehicle making it perfect for beach landing. Along with these it also has the added benefit of being able to hold 8 men (6 in the back + drive + passenger). It is also the fastest vehicle in the water by far easily outpacing the Gunboat, Barge, And Cargoship. The gunboat has no armament though like the barge those in back are free to use any non-deployable weapons.
The Cargo Ship is the biggest boat on the sea with the added ability of being able to deploy into a base like spawn point on beaches. Despite its size it can only hold a single person, that being the driver. It is a large target and has no armorment. The ability to deploy into a spawn is the Cargo Ships main selling point, besides this it is not particularly good in any fields. It does however have a very nice horn.
Naval invasions come in three basic forms and vary greatly from that point on depending on who is leading them.
The First Form
Is a Distractionary invasions are meant to pull resources from one front in the same region and force there relocation to another. The goal then being to lighten the load on the main front giving them an advantage. These invasions can take on all different shapes and sizes ranging from a small short lived group of saboteurs; all the way to a proper army landing at a beach head with the intent of holding it as long as possible, and playing the clock to give there allies more time to push.
The Second Form
This form of naval assault is what I like to call a “Cut-off”. A Cut-off is when you land just behind the most forward enemy FOB, opening up a new front in the same region. By opening a new front just behind the most forward enemy FOB you do a number of things. First of which is its namesake and arguably the most important you cut-off the enemy logi and reinforcements. Secondly you force the people already in the enemy FOB to split there forces. Finally the last thing you do is put the enemy on the clock, if they are well supplied then they have more time but the longer you hold out the tighter their supplys get. This form of naval invasion has both a large upside and downside; on the upside time is on your side, eventually the other side of the front will meet up with you. On the downside this type of invasion is extremely circumstantial, the placement of the front has to be right geographically (near a beach), and the front must have only one line of enemy access for logi.
The Third Form
This form naval invasion is the opening up of a new front in a separate region. This is the D-Day type invasion, a landing in a foreign land where you have to establish yourselves from the ground up. This is ill-advised. With the current high population of the game and most people wanting to join a contested region, as soon as you open up a front on a new region the whole server will start to fill with all the enemy that were waiting in queue for other contested regions; As a result of them seeing that it is contested. The same thing happens with land invasions of new regions, the only difference is isolation. The farther away from a friendly region, the longer it will take logistics to reach you. With a land invasion logistics are often right across the border region. in the case of a naval invasion logistics can be as close as the distance between the nearest friendly landing point and your FOB.
Rarely is this the case however, if you are going to go to the trouble of getting together the required fleet to attempt a cross region naval invasion you are not looking to establish a foothold near to a friendly region. If that were the case you would have gone by land. No you are most likely trying to gain the advantage of the lack of fortifications on the ocean to bypass a heavily defended area. Thus you will land far away making effective logistics near impossible. Due to the fact that this type of invasion in no way forces the reallocation of significant resources away from another front (Being that they are, after all not even in the same region as the front). Nor does it stand a high chance of success. This type of invasion is in no way worth the overall cost of time and resources required to supply and is of no benefit to the war effort. That being said they are really fun.
Naval Invasions Cont.
This next portion will be a series of tips on naval invasions.
- Recommended size: at least 5 guys though you should not need more than 8.
Tactic: For best results land away from the main front. Do not destroy any enemy watchtowers until the first of the fighting breaks out, you want to be noticed. After your first engagement feel free to destroy the watchtowers once you are certain that the enemy has taken notice. Instead of seeking out enemy defenses to destroy, build number foxholes sufficient to hold all friendlies simultaneously. Better yet if you have the time upgrade them do so. Do not worry about establishing a respawn point and do not expect resupply. Instead loot what you can from the dead. Remember the goal of this is not so much to deal damage but instead to lighten the load on the main front. It should also be noted that this a mid game tactic as with the research of tanks this tactic becomes obsolete due to the speed at which tanks can disable enemy foxholes.
Gear: at least 2 sets of medical gear consisting of a trauma kit and med kit, at least 1 Anti-tank rifle for defense against half-tracks and armored cars, the rest of the men should be equipped with the rifle and rifle grenade launcher along with accompanying grenades, and ~80 Bmats per soldier for the construction and repair of foxholes. With this gear you should be able to hold back just about whatever comes your way while maintaining a low equipment cost, until you run out of ammo. Prolonging your inevitable death for as long as possible to make for the best distraction
- Recommended size: no less than 12 guys, no more than ½ the men on the front. Note: As soon as a FOB is established you will have a much easier time convincing people to come fight at your front.
Tactic: Land just behind the enemy’s most forward outpost. Immediately construct a FOB or deploy a Cargo Ship. Destroy any nearby enemy defenses and watchtowers. Gain control of the supply road leading to the enemy FOB. Maintain the primary objective of holding your FOB, and the secondary objective of pushing into the enemy’s FOB between yourselves and the front line. By going behind the enemy there is a great chance that you will have to deal with significantly less defenses; As they are not often built behind friendly lines in contested regions, as more materials and defenses are required on the front. If they are, there is a good chance that directional defenses such as pillboxes will be facing away from you. So long as you hold the supply road and your FOB, you will eventually deplete the enemy’s resources, and the main front will be able to push more effectively. Once the friendly’s reunite with you, your job is done and the invasion is a success.
Gear: All basic gear is required, though at the beginning with a smaller amount of men you can make do with shirts rifles and ammo and anti vehicles weapons.
New Front Separate Region
- Recommended size: However many men’s time you want to waste, but the larger the group the more epic the landing will be.
Tactic: For this style of invasion you want to land as near to a enemy town, or more likely, a fort as possible. As to establish a capital in the region to which people on the home island can teleport directly to. Once this is complete, the next area of concern is fortification which must be rapid. Inevitably, as soon as people on the opposing team’s home island see that the region is contested they will swarm to it to destroy your base. While this is taking place you must request resupply from allies. Though due to the speed of barges and different regions, this will take some time. From that point on you will try to hold to the best of your ability but due to the slow rate of supply, you will most likely lose the region.
Gear: All gear. especially: Shirts, Weapons, and building materials. All of which will be needed in great excess.
Building and Storing Barges
To start off, have a plan of what you want to do with your barge. Is it going to be an infantry invasion? Are you going to ferry a light tank over to another island? Or are you going to build a blockade out of barges? Whatever you do, don’t leave barges randomly so that the gunboat carrying Oarbreaker isles has to deal with your dumbass barge just chilling in the middle of the ocean. Don’t build a barge and just leave at the docks prohibiting anything important from either being built or docking.
- UserLuke, Gunboat Driver Extraordinaire
The benefit of using an APC to carry infantry rather than the barge is it’s speed in the water.
The APC is the fastest water vehicle, therefore you generally try to prefer the APC over the barge to move infantry. With the APC, grab as many troops as you can to move to a point back and forth until everyone’s there.
- UserLuke, Gunboat Driver Extraordinaire
Search and Destroy
Another thing you could use the APC for is to destroy gunboats and barges. Due to it’s superior speed, it’s good for catching up to gunboats. You want to have any amount of people sit in the back, but generally two works well, you want them to carry as many sticky grenades as possible and yeet that onto any enemy gunboat you find.
- UserLuke, Gunboat Driver Extraordinaire
The gunboat Has 4 positions, of which I deem 3 to be essential to the defense and survival of the gunboat. Additional I would recommend that while the gunboat has a capacity of four that it be run with a crew of three, as to increase the longevity of playtime and entertainment while aboard a gunboat and decrease boredom; By allowing for the gunner to man both the offensive artillery piece and the defensive machinegun. 3 is also what I consider to be the minimum number of crew for a gunboat to operate effectively.
I have seen gunboats run with 2 people, and when in a pinch this can be done, However it should be noted that when running a gunboat of 2 the positions of gunner, artilleryman, and commander are combined into one role. Whereas there must always be someone in the driver seat, as without a driver should you come into contact with another gunboat you have already lost. As the time to switch seats, start moving, and maneuver all grant the enemy more time to fire. With gunboats whoever starts firing first, and maintains fire for longer, wins. Running a gunboat with only one person is technically possible but if you encounter another gunboat you will most likely not win. Therefore this should only be done to transport the gunboat in friendly waters. It should be noted that everyone in the gunboat should have a gas mask, even though the chance of you getting gassed in the open waters is slim to none, if it happens, you’re gonna have a bad time. There should always be someone in the gunboat who carries a trauma and medkit.
Drives the boat. One of the three essential roles, and rightly so as without a driver there is no way in which to avoid danger. Whatever form it may come in. Despite being an essential task the drivers role is tedious and boring, mostly consisting of holding “W”. The driver should only need a radio, but a wrench is helpful.
Commands the vessel and maintains a watchful eye on the surrounding and the map, checking for map updates and nearby vehicles. A good commander can make a effective crew out of just about anyone willing to cooperate, a bad commander however will get the ship sunk with even the most experienced crew. Another of the three essential roles the commanders job is entertaining depending on your play style, personally this is my favorite role. The commander should always without a doubt have binoculars, but they should also have a radio/radio backpack.
The Machine Gunner
Mans the machine gun. This can be the most boring or the most entertaining job depending on your commander, and the number of enemy boats on the sea. Regardless however this is the last of the three essential roles and without a machine gunner the boat is defenseless to enemy boats. With lots of enemy boats on the sea, the need to use the machine gun is often. Without lots of enemy boats, hours can pass without the machine gunner needing to fire. The machine gunner doesn’t really need anything special.
The gunboats offensive weapon, without this piece the gunboat is useless to infantry on the land. The artillerymen unlike the machine gunner will have targets to fire at regularly regardless of weather or not there are lots of enemy boats on the sea. I consider this role to be non-essential due to the fact that the boat is capable of functioning without a artilleryman and still being able to defend itself. The downside of being the arty man is that while you are active regularly and contributing to the fighting on land, rarely do you get to see the damaged you have caused. Instead you must rely on the relays of your commander to confirm your hits, for some this is fine but I personals need the gratification of seeing a target be demolished. The artilleryman also doesn’t need anything special.