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How to do good recon?

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I'm about to start on a mission where I have to probe enemy positions and then use infantry to attack them once they are located.

I did some scouting before, but would like to hear if you have any good tips and tricks to be more succesful?

Also, I have some recon jeeps. I never understood the point of those, they are very visible, noisy and easy targets - not very good for doing recon. Or am I wrong?

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I'm about to start on a mission where I have to probe enemy positions and then use infantry to attack them once they are located.

I did some scouting before, but would like to hear if you have any good tips and tricks to be more succesful?

Also, I have some recon jeeps. I never understood the point of those, they are very visible, noisy and easy targets - not very good for doing recon. Or am I wrong?

LOL well they will draw fire.. if you expect them to survive, then no.

The biggest single key to recon IMHO is patience. Units that stay put increase their awareness level. Give your men time to look around once they get into an observation post. A short covered arc will help keep them from revealing themselves if they should spot something. Their job is not to snipe but to observe.

On a larger map the jeeps may be more useful, all dependent on terrain etc. They are still transport, but they can get your recon team somewhere quickly. Check the CMFI AAR GaJ and Bil just completed and Bil's use of his kubelwagens as examples.

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Well, I'd move some infantry close to a position ( out of LoS ) from where they can SLOW to get LoS on terrain areas. Leave them there ( pref. with covered arcs so they don't shoot at everything they see ) for a good couple of turns.

Ideally your "scouts" should be binocular equipped.

Re. the Jeeps - I don't really know, but they are pretty resilient to small arms, so if you move them FAST into and then out of potential enemy LoS ( ie. quickly enough that tanks and ATG's are unlikely to get a shot off ), you may discover enemy from their fire ( and your stealthy spotters seeing where the shooting is coming from ).

Of course, there may be better ways. I wait with interest to see what other players' methods are.

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Troops inside jeeps seem to be better protected than Tank commanders. If you move the jeep fast and use some concealment for the movement they are a very very fast way to get the scouts to where you need them.

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Troops inside jeeps seem to be better protected than Tank commanders.

This is indeed a problem with the game. My tank commanders get shot to pieces the moment they open the hatch (or forget to close it until they do get shot, though the manual states the contrary), while I've seen jeep drivers zig-zag around an open field under continuous fire for quite a long time before starting to lose passengers.

It seems silly that you wouldn't have better cover inside a tank. It's like the game thinks the tank commander crawls completely out to stand on the turret, while the graphics show him sitting well inside.

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A squad never goes anywhere a scout hasn't gone. A platoon never goes anywhere a squad hasn't gone. A vehicle never goes anywhere infantry hasn't gone. Et al...

This is generally good advice, but sometimes I have found enemies waiting for the squad in a supposedly "clear" area. Problem being that the small scout team slipped through undetected, but didn't detect anything themselves either. Not candidates for promotion.

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Will a Forward Observer spot well while sitting in a jeep?

I have one on a hilltop right now, and when he's in the jeep, he's higher off the ground, but then again maybe his field of view is restricted?

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This is indeed a problem with the game. My tank commanders get shot to pieces the moment they open the hatch (or forget to close it until they do get shot, though the manual states the contrary), while I've seen jeep drivers zig-zag around an open field under continuous fire for quite a long time before starting to lose passengers.

It seems silly that you wouldn't have better cover inside a tank. It's like the game thinks the tank commander crawls completely out to stand on the turret, while the graphics show him sitting well inside.

My guess ( and I stress it's only a guess ) about the reason for this problem is that the game is coded to shoot for "centre mass". This means that the bulk of small arms fire is directed at the body of the jeep and not at the (horribly exposed) passengers. Same applies to trucks generally - you catch a truck in the open with your HMG and after 2 turns you've caused 1 or 2 casualties when you'd think you'd kill just about everyone aboard.

Recently I've noticed that this applies to ATG's as well. I snuck a team within 2 Action Spots (at about 45 degrees ) of an enemy ATG and they spent 2 turns firing dementedly with SMG's ... at the trails of the gun. After 2 turns they'd killed only 1 crewman (probably a ricochet ;) )

This is generally good advice, but sometimes I have found enemies waiting for the squad in a supposedly "clear" area. Problem being that the small scout team slipped through undetected, but didn't detect anything themselves either. Not candidates for promotion.

Go slower, take longer. Unless you're pressed for time by the scenario settings, patience will save pixel-lives.

Most of the time. Sometimes they are just muppets.

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Will a Forward Observer spot well while sitting in a jeep?

I have one on a hilltop right now, and when he's in the jeep, he's higher off the ground, but then again maybe his field of view is restricted?

Pretty sure he'll spot just fine. Until someone notices him and can send some unpleasantness his way, which could be inconvenient if the Jeep backs him off behind the brow of the hill while spotting. The problem with broad fields of view is that there's lots of things can see him, too :) And the jeep will make him more noticeable.

Re: jeep crew survivability, wasn't there a fix for that a patch or two ago? Maybe it was in Gustav Line?

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Will setting a target arc restrict spotting in any way?

(I guess setting a 360-degree target arc will cause the squad to look in all directions, so if you want to look in one specific direction, it will decrease spotting efficiency, but will setting a limited arc cause the squad to focus more of their attention to what goes on inside the arc, and less to the rest? And let's say I set an arc of 45 degrees, but only to a distance of 50 metres - what about enemies in the same direction, but further away?)

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Will setting a target arc restrict spotting in any way?

(I guess setting a 360-degree target arc will cause the squad to look in all directions, so if you want to look in one specific direction, it will decrease spotting efficiency, but will setting a limited arc cause the squad to focus more of their attention to what goes on inside the arc, and less to the rest? And let's say I set an arc of 45 degrees, but only to a distance of 50 metres - what about enemies in the same direction, but further away?)

Originally when CMBN came out, I thought that the arc would increase spotting chances in that direction, but IIRC, BFC came out and said no. It only restricts firing. And the chance of adhering to the order if other enemy (outside the arc ) start firing at them depends on Motivation - the higher the Motivation, the more likely they will obey their Arc Order.

Generally a 50m or so Arc will stop your FO from firing at anything that isn't a direct threat, but shouldn't impede his spotting at all.

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Generally a 50m or so Arc will stop your FO from firing at anything that isn't a direct threat, but shouldn't impede his spotting at all.

Thanks. I just wish there would be a simple "hold fire" toggle, instead of bothering with all the arches.

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There was a reason why squads would rotate who would 'walk point' while on patrol. The most reliable way to locate the enemy is to draw their fire. Whether your pixeltruppen survive initial contact seems to largely be a function of range. Fired on by skittish infantrymen from the next hillside you're most often able to escape unharmed and report back. Get fired on point blank as you round a corner at a city intersection, not so much. But the guy behind you who got spattered with your blood received valuable intel on what's around the corner. :(:o

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A squad never goes anywhere a scout hasn't gone. A platoon never goes anywhere a squad hasn't gone. A vehicle never goes anywhere infantry hasn't gone. Et al...

Thanks!!

more words

Did you make that up? That's like one of those old sayings.. but for battling.

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Actually being to slow and cautious with scouting can be dangerous if your opponent is able to predict where your forces are approaching from and can catch you with artillery.

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Thanks!!

more words

Did you make that up? That's like one of those old sayings.. but for battling.

I guess. It's just the way I think about it.

Freyberg's comment about artillery is true if you crowd behind your scouts.

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I guess I should have made the topic of this thread "How to do good recon - in a reasonably short time". Spent the whole day yesterday on the "Bumper cars" map of the campaign Courage and Fortitude. While I did recon very sensibly, I very nearly ran out of time. And my recon didn't really reveal so many enemy units, as long as they don't fire, they are pretty much invisible. Even when they do fire, they often stay hidden quite long.

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One way that works against an opponent that doesn't employ Covered Arcs enough (which would include the AI that doesn't use them at all) is to "recon by fire". The TacAI can't resist shooting at stuff, so exposing your position in as safe a way as possible, i.e. from behind cover at longish range can be a good way to see where the enemy are.

It works, though less well, against targets that do have covered arcs. By "less well", I mean you have to get lucky enough to be firing within an AS of an enemy infantry element, to start. Any suppression caused might get the element feeling "uncomfortable", which may lead to its pTruppen shifting positions, which gives you a better chance of seeing them than if they'd stayed still.

Sheer number of eyes is important. As are binos. "Scout" teams split off from Squads rarely seem to have binos; they stay with the Squad Leader if he has 'em. As a result, single split-Scouts aren't astonishingly good eyes: you really want the whole platoon's scout teams working the same area to start with.

In bocage, Scout teams aren't so much scouts as canaries. You sneak your rifle line into position with covered arcs and possibly Hide orders, then uncover as you shove an unsuspecting duo of brave pTruppen into the possible kill zone. If they make it into the field without being shot at, they advance towards the next hedge and if they get there without being molested you push the assault teams and HQ across next to secure the whole hedge line under cover of their fire teams in case there were defenders that didn't fire on your scouts.

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Pull your helmet over your eyes and take half a step forward.

Stamp one foot in a 180 degree arc infront of you while keeping a finger in each ear.

If there isnt a load boom continue.

Recon made easy ;-)

if you need a tip on advanced recon just yell.

Cheers

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Pull your helmet over your eyes and take half a step forward.

Stamp one foot in a 180 degree arc infront of you while keeping a finger in each ear.

If there isnt a load boom continue.

Recon made easy ;-)

if you need a tip on advanced recon just yell.

Cheers

Isn't this in fact a lesson in mine clearing? :) Which reminds me - is there any safe way of crossing a minefield - or at least "more safe"? It seems the slow move order makes fewer mines go off, is it just me imagining things?

In a real minefield, it seems to me the best way to cross would be at a full sprint.. less times your foot steps down, less risk of stepping on a mine, right?

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Sheer number of eyes is important. As are binos. "Scout" teams split off from Squads rarely seem to have binos; they stay with the Squad Leader if he has 'em. As a result, single split-Scouts aren't astonishingly good eyes: you really want the whole platoon's scout teams working the same area to start with.

I agree on number of eyes and binoculars. But you send 3-4 individual scout teams forward at the same time? Wouldn't it be better to just send one full squad then?

if they get there without being molested you push the assault teams and HQ across next to secure the whole hedge line under cover of their fire teams in case there were defenders that didn't fire on your scouts.

This doesn't seem to work well in the game as in real life, as suppression takes some time to build up, and from the time the enemy starts shooting at your exposed guys, to the time your fire team returns fire and actually causes suppression, the whole group in the open could well be dead.

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Keep a LOT of eyes in overwatch. The more, the better. The longer they sit there, the better. Toss a few expendables out front. When they get shot you'll have gained twofold: your spotters will likely get a spot on the enemy, and now you've got some ammo waiting for your troops up ahead.

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