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Prepared positions?

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I'm sure defensive positions like that have their uses in the modern battlefield, but their effectiveness would be degraded in a full-on war, especially with UAV reconnaisance, wouldn't it? Top-attack munitions, high altitude (orbital?) recon and precision strikes almost force you to use mobility rather than a few feet of earth to protect yourself. Israelis can probably get away with it vs their traditional enemies, if Egypt or Syria ever came over the border again (unlikely any time soon), and the Coalition can certainly use it in their current entanglements, but those foes don't have the tools the RF armed forces do.

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I'm sure defensive positions like that have their uses in the modern battlefield, but their effectiveness would be degraded in a full-on war, especially with UAV reconnaisance, wouldn't it? Top-attack munitions, high altitude (orbital?) recon and precision strikes almost force you to use mobility rather than a few feet of earth to protect yourself. Israelis can probably get away with it vs their traditional enemies, if Egypt or Syria ever came over the border again (unlikely any time soon), and the Coalition can certainly use it in their current entanglements, but those foes don't have the tools the RF armed forces do.

yea but in the game, you would move them in and out of that spot, so they don't get hit. And just get anti air for the uav's

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I'm not really convinced for 2 reasons:

 

First, if such kind of prepared positions were used rencently they were done in an asymetrical warfare situation, where a tank can become a useful pillbox to defend a crossroad or a FOB etc.

CMBS displays a much different warfare condition, where none of the sides have a complete numeric, technological, training, air or land superiority. From what I infer from the manual, also, the entire campaign covers very large portions of Ukraine, thus suggesting a much more mobile conflict than anything we have seen in europe since WW2.

 

Second, recalling 1991 first gulf war, Iraqi vehicles positioned in static defenses, even with entire battalions, didn't perform much well with respect to Attacks coming from air and ground units, and I am sure the practice didn't appeal too much to US obesrevers. it wasn't a perfectly symmetrical fight such as CMBS' idea, yet it's still the closest thing to a large scale conflict involving troops, vehicles and air assets we had in the past decades.

 

All in all I wouldn't call for the programming of a specific ability within CMBS game (such it was when we got CMBB, when this feature was introduced for the first time, if I recall correctly), if you really need to display something like that, for a custom scenario or a very special situation, you can use the terrain as people shown here, but in my opinion it's not a practice that would require a specific effort in terms of game representation/programming.

 

In a magic world we might ask for Gen. Patton's opinion on the subject, I am sure a line of his would be quite enough to close the discussion to us all. 

Edited by Kieme(ITA)

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I'm not really convinced for 2 reasons:

 

First, if such kind of prepared positions were used rencently they were done in an asymetrical warfare situation, where a tank can become a useful pillbox to defend a crossroad or a FOB etc.

CMBS displays a much different warfare condition, where none of the sides have a complete numeric, technological, training, air or land superiority. From what I infer from the manual, also, the entire campaign covers very large portions of Ukraine, thus suggesting a much more mobile conflict than anything we have seen in europe since WW2.

 

Second, recalling 1991 first gulf war, Iraqi vehicles positioned in static defenses, even with entire battalions, didn't perform much well with respect to Attacks coming from air and ground units, and I am sure the practice didn't appeal too much to US obesrevers. it wasn't a perfectly symmetrical fight such as CMBS' idea, yet it's still the closest thing to a large scale conflict involving troops, vehicles and air assets we had in the past decades.

 

All in all I wouldn't call for the programming of a specific ability within CMBS game (such it was when we got CMBB, when this feature was introduced for the first time, if I recall correctly), if you really need to display something like that, for a custom scenario or a very special situation, you can use the terrain as people shown here, but in my opinion it's not a practice that would require a specific effort in terms of game representation/programming.

 

In a magic world we might ask for Gen. Patton's opinion on the subject, I am sure a line of his would be quite enough to close the discussion to us all.

yea but can't bulldozers clear a hole in a few hours?

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Defensive positions are still practiced and planned for.  While the preferred employment of mechanized warfare is the attack, when you're building combat power, or need to defeat a larger enemy, the defense is a viable option.  Also it's not really static positions in the sense "THIS IS WHERE MY TANK WILL FIGHT AND WHERE IT WILL DIE" as much as it's where you'll take a few shots from, then displace to another position if available, or go to not your original hole as the enemy now knows where it is.

 

Either way the Army still expected me to be able to plan a company level defensive position circa 2012, with engineering considerations and all.  If my company was expected to hold off a Battalion or something, I'd really hope to have a chance to at least dig fighting positions for my initial position, and if possible additional ones in depth

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I'm not really convinced for 2 reasons:

 

First, if such kind of prepared positions were used rencently they were done in an asymetrical warfare situation, where a tank can become a useful pillbox to defend a crossroad or a FOB etc.

CMBS displays a much different warfare condition, where none of the sides have a complete numeric, technological, training, air or land superiority. From what I infer from the manual, also, the entire campaign covers very large portions of Ukraine, thus suggesting a much more mobile conflict than anything we have seen in europe since WW2.

 

Second, recalling 1991 first gulf war, Iraqi vehicles positioned in static defenses, even with entire battalions, didn't perform much well with respect to Attacks coming from air and ground units, and I am sure the practice didn't appeal too much to US obesrevers. it wasn't a perfectly symmetrical fight such as CMBS' idea, yet it's still the closest thing to a large scale conflict involving troops, vehicles and air assets we had in the past decades.

 

All in all I wouldn't call for the programming of a specific ability within CMBS game (such it was when we got CMBB, when this feature was introduced for the first time, if I recall correctly), if you really need to display something like that, for a custom scenario or a very special situation, you can use the terrain as people shown here, but in my opinion it's not a practice that would require a specific effort in terms of game representation/programming.

 

In a magic world we might ask for Gen. Patton's opinion on the subject, I am sure a line of his would be quite enough to close the discussion to us all. 

 

 

Having just read the chapter on defense in US Army FM 17-15 Tank Platoon, paying close attention to the elements of a deliberate defense, dug in BPs for veicles still seem to be an integral part of that mission.  And the perfect world situation that is presented (the situation you strive for) is similar to the defensive planning in my Army, with 3 BPs dug for each vehicle.  Digging in with mobile forces isn't completely static.  Even as an infantryman in the Caucuses we dug primary and secondary positions when we set in an area we anticipated having to defend.  Deliberate defenses are a lot of work and you never achieve the perfect world set up in my experience.  

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So I guess they're not in.

The most accurate statement on the thread. Lol

While you can create defensive works through various methods in the editor, there are other issues that will likely negate their effectiveness. Any vehicle that gets lased is going to react, there is no separate TAC AI for dug in vehicles. They are going to pop smoke and backup. The effort of creating those positions will likely be wasted.

There are real world issues some of which were highlighted here. Most of those don't really matter as you can always create a story line for why your have them, really who cares. The whole point of an editor is to be able to have fun trying stuff.

Then there are game world issues and that is what really decides if it is worth doing. In this case I think you will find defensive works are a mixed bag. You really have to see what will work as you expect and what won't.

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I have not seen any reference to this feature. Can't be sure, but from what I understood nobody would sacrifice mobility over a hull down position, the modern battlefield does not approve the use of this method, which, if it ever had a sense, it was 70 years ago. 

I don't know where you got this idea from. Defense, hull down, fighting holes, etc. etc. are definitely not a thing of the past. The modern battlefield actually necessitates this need for fighting positions for soft bodied infantry. Just because we have been slomping around the mountains of Afghanistan and sands of Iraq establsihing FOBs, COPs, and large camps doesn't mean converntional means of defense are thing of WWII. Hell, just look at the fighting positions the current situation in Ukraine necessitates for both sides.

 

In fact, the Army right now is making a big push to the old down and dirty method of fighting that is conventional warfare. Gone is the emphasis on technological means for keeping track of the battlefield like the systems allow for in the Middle East with each NATO unit displayed nicely on a computer screen. Now its back to digging fighting positions, taking and holding positions to use in case of a counter attack, and keeping track of your limits and friendly units. I'm not saying we won't use technology nor that the battlefield will be slow. In fact, it will be faster than usual but it will be a battlefield that still harkons back to what made infantry on infantry combat what it is.

 

Also, just look at any field manual (most importantly the The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad (FM 3-21.8) ) and you will see how important it is to modern operations.

Edited by TacKLed

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Even though modern combat does punish staticness to a great extent it doesn't mean that you are always moving.

 

Your armored vehicles will not be moving constantly and it would be better off for them to be dug in than not. The way some of you are talking it sounds like these vehicles should always be moving.

 

An example of a perfectly good use of dug in tank positions:

 

You have a platoon of Mech. inf. in a deeply wooded area. You have some scouts at the edge of the woods providing observation and empty prepared positions along the edge of the woods. When the scouts spot enemy troops advancing your IFVs and infantry squads move from the safety of the deep woods to these prepared positions. They would now have 2-5 minutes of fighting time with an almost certain guarantee of not being engaged by indirect fire. You could even have secondary positions that you move to after a few minutes.

 

I also wouldn't use either Gulf War as a reason to condemn static defenses. Iraq was a perfect storm of conditions for a modern army to trounce a 3rd world one.

 

Mildly highjacking the thread. Will we see improved infantry fighting positions in the base game or any of the modules?

 

Reinforced houses, overhead cover, thermal cover, and more complex defenses in general would be nice to see. While Modern definitely doesn't favor sitting a squad in a trench all day. I don't think static fortifications are useless. Its just that the simple trench from Red Thunder looks more and more like a death trap.

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While you can create defensive works through various methods in the editor, there are other issues that will likely negate their effectiveness. Any vehicle that gets lased is going to react, there is no separate TAC AI for dug in vehicles. They are going to pop smoke and backup. The effort of creating those positions will likely be wasted.

 

 

Some basic Tac AI customization would be an awesome addition. The player could edit basic AI settings in real time/his turn to suit the situation and would provide more realistic game play. 

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Some basic Tac AI customization would be an awesome addition. The player could edit basic AI settings in real time/his turn to suit the situation and would provide more realistic game play. 

 

As with the Stug gunner auto-unbutton for close defense vs infantry issue in the WWII titles, it might be nice to add a toggle to turn off the auto smoke and reverse when lasered for CMBS tanks. Otherwise, even if you do the vehicle entrenchment hack above, you'd have to pre-immobilize the tank to make sure they actually use it (and they might still blind themselves before getting off a shot).

 

Beyond specific on-off toggles for stuff like this, trying to micro-manage the TacAI is a major can of worms, I think.

Edited by Macisle

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yea but can't bulldozers clear a hole in a few hours?

 

 

Sure they can, the problem is having such heavy vehicles operating in an area that is likely to be theatre of a combat in very few hours or less. You need to move them, by trucks, unload them, make them reach the precise point you want to dig , work on an area that is larger than 1 square kilometer, make holes, trenches, positions for vehicles, then move them back to the trucks, load them, and move out. All the while under the thread of air Attacks, artillery strikes. If you are in a position that is not threatened by artillery then enemy units are so far that they can just bypass that position you prepare or ignore it completely.

Modern combat depicted in CMBS is much faster, more unpredictable than it was during WW2, I can't really see an armored battalion setting up fixed positions on the ground outside Kiev, if they still don't know exactly from which direction the Russians will attack the city. Any kind of set up positions of such entity are very easily bypassed or encircled by a mobile force, again, as it happened during 1991 war. There might be cases where a position can't be ignored or bypassed, such as a mountain pass, for example, yet how would such defensive position perform with regards to modern artillery and air assets? Would a horseshoe dirt bunker improve the possibilities of an M1 tank to survive an artillery or air strike?  

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Sure they can, the problem is having such heavy vehicles operating in an area that is likely to be theatre of a combat in very few hours or less. You need to move them, by trucks, unload them, make them reach the precise point you want to dig , work on an area that is larger than 1 square kilometer, make holes, trenches, positions for vehicles, then move them back to the trucks, load them, and move out. All the while under the thread of air Attacks, artillery strikes. If you are in a position that is not threatened by artillery then enemy units are so far that they can just bypass that position you prepare or ignore it completely.

Modern combat depicted in CMBS is much faster, more unpredictable than it was during WW2, I can't really see an armored battalion setting up fixed positions on the ground outside Kiev, if they still don't know exactly from which direction the Russians will attack the city. Any kind of set up positions of such entity are very easily bypassed or encircled by a mobile force, again, as it happened during 1991 war. There might be cases where a position can't be ignored or bypassed, such as a mountain pass, for example, yet how would such defensive position perform with regards to modern artillery and air assets? Would a horseshoe dirt bunker improve the possibilities of an M1 tank to survive an artillery or air strike?

then just tnt the ground so make the hole

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........

 

Most military forces operate some sort of military dozer/excavator designed to support forward operations. In the US Army use, the M9 ACE fills this role, with broadly speaking similar mobility to the M113 APC (it does leak hydraulics pretty much constantly but that's a "lowest bidder" thing).  For lighter organizations there's a family of wheeled earth movers capable of somewhat reasonable independent road marches (slow, but still capable of it).  What's more reasonable is a "blade team" which is usually two of these thingies comes out, and in conjunction with either an engineer liaison (like the BN engineering officer) or the ground unit commander (like the company commander) establishes defensive locations as required.  This is usually done using a sort of defensive triage, if I only have a blade team for 12 hours, I'm likely going to have enough time to dig in a platoon of tanks fully or something (I'm not sure, I used to have a chart that illustrated how long everything took, but I've since lost track of it).  Also a lot of the smaller defensive works like squad fighting positions are accomplished by the dismounted infantry itself (which is why real shovels are worth their weight in gold instead of E-tools)

 

 

 

If you are in a position that is not threatened by artillery then enemy units are so far that they can just bypass that position you prepare or ignore it completely.

 

Not really?  Usually you employ a forward screening recon element who's job it is to:

 

1. Let you know when the enemy is coming

2. Prevent enemy scouts from locating said defensive works.

 

 A lot of the battlefield will remain within artillery range, however, without observation it will not be sufficient to get accurate artillery fires on it.

 

So to that end, the defenses can be built well within artillery range, just so long as the enemy observation of same is denied.

 

Defenses are rarely as static as you seem to assume they would be. The reality is using forward recon, is that a fairly small force and move between several defensive positions to cover an axis of advance.  Further when talking about the vast tracts of the desert, mobility is much less constricted.  In a European setting, the passable axis of advance (which is much more defined by the mobility of the logistics tail than the AFVs) is much more constricted, which makes defensive positions much harder to bypass.  

 

Also a good hull down position will mask the weaker side and rear hull armor from direct fire, which uh, actually yeah does a lot to protect an M1 from artillery or an air strike (it's also not a "horseshoe dirt bunker" it's usually a hole in the ground with an angled approach to allow the tank to enter/exit easily.  So it's not just "here's some dirt piled up!" it's "the tank will likely not be knocked out by anything short of near-direct hits"

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then just tnt the ground so make the hole

 

To make a hole in the ground with explosive, assuming you have perfect terrain conditions (no ice), no heavy vegetation, you'd need to first make one or more holes using a specific device, such as this http://img.directindustry.it/images_di/photo-g/perforatrice-diamante-carotaggio-57853-4304105.jpg

then, you'd need to put the explosive charges inside, detonate them, and the result would be a messed hole with a lot of dirt around that still needs work before it can be used as a dedicated terrain defence.

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