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Oneyearwarpilot

The Setup Phase

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Try hand picking your and your enemy's forces  (AI) at around  Company level. Many find this to be the sweet spot. The AI seems to pick some odd force structures. But some folks like the change of pace. So, for example, a tank heavy force would have a company of armor and a platoon of infantry. Add a FO and off map artillery. Make sure you have a few MGs and on map DF mortars to practice with. Handling larger forces will be easier will a bit of experience. Have fun.

Kevin 

Edited by kevinkin

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My strategy is two fold.  First I organize things so that the company co has his platoons in front of him and each platoon Lt has his squads in front of him.  Once you have each company sorted out you can start thinking about what jobs they will each have and start placing the platoons.  The other thing I do is work for a while and then save the turn (I stick a "_save" on the end of the file name.  Then I do something else and come back to it.  For a big setup that might be a few saves.  Then once I push the BRB I just back space over the extra text and ship it.

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<Snip> The other thing I do is work for a while and then save the turn (I stick a "_save" on the end of the file name.  Then I do something else and come back to it.  For a big setup that might be a few saves.  Then once I push the BRB I just back space over the extra text and ship it.

This +1.  Especially when you are on defense and have to set up all the interlocking fires, TRPs, alternate positions etc ...............  Save and take a break.  Come back later with a fresh set of eyes.  Your troops will thank you.    

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My strategy is two fold.  First I organize things so that the company co has his platoons in front of him and each platoon Lt has his squads in front of him.  Once you have each company sorted out you can start thinking about what jobs they will each have and start placing the platoons.  The other thing I do is work for a while and then save the turn (I stick a "_save" on the end of the file name.  Then I do something else and come back to it.  For a big setup that might be a few saves.  Then once I push the BRB I just back space over the extra text and ship it.

I'll find the highest HQ, then pick one subordinate unit. Say, A Company. I'll take all of A Company and put 'em on the left. Then B in the middle, and C in reserve. Or something. But that way, I can SEE what organizations I have. Once I've got a grip on my order of battle, I'll break down the battle taskings and mentally assign them to the units. Like, A Company will take the railway station. B Company guards A Coy's flank. C Company will hang back and plug holes as needed.

That "tells" me what I need to do with A company. 1st and 2nd platoon up front, 3rd in trail. Weapons platoon in overwatch. Once 1 and 2 reach the highway, then weapons moves forward and sets up for overwatch on the highway. Etc., etc.

 

Breaking it up into steps, both your units and the overall battle tasks, will lead you to which unit should be assigned to which task.

Start smaller. ;)

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I do much the same as others. Physically position my troops on the battlefield (ignoring terrain) according to formations. So put all units of a platoon together (using the platoon HQ to find them all, since there may be attached units). Group platoons of the same company together into a column (1st platoon, at the back, 3rd at the front), put columns of companies next to each other according to which battalions they are in. Specialist teams that are part of the company / battalion get positioned near the relevant HQs.

 

I usually then think in terms of jobs for the main infantry formations. Company A advances here, company B advances there, company C in reserve, or whatever the plan might be. Then assign the other units to work with one or another task force. So I might parcel my engineer platoons out between the companies equally, or might assign them all to the guys who are moving into urban areas rather than to the company trying to advance through the fields. Likewise a tank platoon might be held back to commit where they are needed, or might be pre-assigned to a company because I think their advance will need a lot of HE overwatch support.

 

Basically, the idea is think heirarchically. Organise your guys according the the organisation they already have. Think in terms of tasks, starting with the largest formation you have (and I usually think in terms of the infantry formations because they tend to be the ones that can't switch jobs due to limited mobility etc.). Then work your way down to lower levels until you have reached the level you want to (some people faced with a battalion to handle might keep things manageable by treating each platoon as an indivisible unit most of the time, while others might want to get into squad-splitting detail for virtually every unit they have).

 

Above all, take your time. In a large battle, don't think of organising your forces as  the quick preliminary you have to go through before the game starts. It can be a significant chunk of time of working out plans and possibilities. Treat it as a part of the game, that might take a while (and as others have said, don't be afraid to save and come back to it for another session later). Hurrying through the setup to get to 'the good bit' can et you in to a lot more trouble when the fighting starts.

 

 

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It can definitely be intimidating at the setup, when everything's just mixed up like a bowl of spaghetti with the tanks as the meatballs. Once you finally sort everything out and get rolling, it tends to resolve, but until then it would be really nice if the game just automatically bunched formations according to their force structure.

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It can definitely be intimidating at the setup, when everything's just mixed up like a bowl of spaghetti with the tanks as the meatballs.

That mental picture will be with me for every coming setup where stuff are bunched together. Great likeness :)

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For this game is intimidating my last quick battle I had 400 something soviet troops to set up and I didn't even know where to start. 

Set them up according to organic groupings.
Set all squads and attached sections of a platoon together .
Group all platoons of a company together.
All companys of a battalion together.
Take your time, and think about what formations you have... and where you are sending them.

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Or do the authentic thing, since they are Russians.. select all your troops and give them one big assault command in the general direction of the enemy :)

Hey! I resemble that remark! :P

 

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I do all of what is said above about organizing the mess you are given in the setup screen.  However, one thing above all that will make your life easier is to simply play smaller battles.  Frankly I prefer platoon plus a few support units sized battles.

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I always organize all the units in a standard "parade/ roll call" company/battalion group formation first. After all is organized I start placing units in their jump off or defensive positions.

I recommend to all scenario makers to either place the units in optimal positions, OR in an organized formation as stated. It makes it so much easier if they start out in some type of organization tree to easily review, and place troops. Doing this would save the time for the player to have to to put them in formation, and would get the game started faster:)

Edited by Vinnart

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I always organize all the units in a standard "parade/ roll call" company/battalion group formation first. After all is organized I start placing units in their jump off or defensive positions.

I recommend to all scenario makers to either place the units in optimal positions, OR in an organized formation as stated. It makes it so much easier if they start out in some type of organization tree to easily review, and place troops. Doing this would save the time for the player to have to to put them in formation, and would get the game started faster:)

This is exactly my preference, as well. Either set up in a rational manner or in parade formation.

If the units are set up, then make sure there's a reason for their exact placement. E.g., you're in column at the moment an ambush is sprung and you need to fight clear. Otherwise, just order them with HQ's up front and center, and the sub-units ordered behind them...just like a TO&E chart brought to life.

 

Ken

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+1 to parade formation.  It's extremely rare in my games to leave units in their "at start" positions.  95%-99% I prefer to set em up myself. And it's a time-consuming PITA to have to rearrange all the units.  It's only when there is a really good reason - like if units need to be locked in place for the scenario to work should the designer do a set-up.

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