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kinophile

Your one golden Tactical Rule

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11 hours ago, Jammersix said:

Ten magazines has been the starting point since 1975. What's changed is that in 1975, the army had 20 round magazines and the Marines had 30 round magazines. Now everyone has 30 round magazines. In 1975, no one put more than 18 rounds in a magazine, and no one wanted the 30 round magazines. That may have changed, the reasons were urban legends.

The other thing I remember is the infamous ruck of loaded magazines. You didn't want to be that guy.

If you load your digital soldiers up with everything that's in a Stryker, I think you should go out, find a thousand rounds of 5.56, and carry it around the block. Just once. Then come back and look at the 3,500 or 4,000 extra rounds that are in the Stryker, let alone the missiles and grenades.

It's the oldest equation in warfare.

If we're going to fight, I want the 203 and every grenade on the vehicle. If we're not going to fight, I want an M4 with one magazine with one round in it.

That makes sense...  Realistic or not, my rule of thumb is to have every (modern) rifleman have 300+ rounds (since they have autofire capability) and have an additional 750-1000 rounds carried by the squad for (each of) its MG(s) for 350m+ range fire.  If WW2 era, I want my SMG guys with at least 300 rounds plus extra - the assumption is that the squad will happily carry an extra SMG magazine each.  In my WW2 games, non-auto riflemen rarely use more than 100 rounds each.

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MGs within one or two squares of a vehicle will automatically take ammo from that vehicle.

So no, I don't load extra ammo, I look for excuses not to load anything more than they're already carrying. As soon as you load missiles, you lose the ability to move fast. Load enough, and you lose the ability to move quick. I keep the mobility as high as possible for as long as possible.

I've only had a unit run low on 5.56 once. If a unit runs low on ammo, MG, 5.56 or AT, it usually gets destroyed long before it runs out of ammo.

Edited by Jammersix

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Into what?

I always split into teams, but I never split the teams.

If you're talking about carrying ammo, study the math. If you study the math carefully, you will arrive at the inescapable conclusion that splitting squads does not produce more manpower or more carrying capacity. Carrying more ammo produces slow, tired squads. Splitting into teams and carrying more ammo produces slow, tired teams.

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@Jammersix I haven't done a comprehensive look at infantry fatigue v. Ammo load out, is there an actual in-game penalty? 

Most times my infantry move two maybe three positions on a game, so man load out of ammo has never been an issue. I've certainly never seen the FAST button disappear after loading up. 

On the other hand,  I haven't tracked if fatigue kicks in earlier. 

If true this could lead to a rule of  "don't overload your men"  or some such. 

Edited by kinophile

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The fast button doesn't disappear before loading up. It disappears as a result of loading up.

Take a Stryker squad. Pick up everything in the Stryker. Jump out, hit fast. Then hit quick. Let us know what happened.

The worst offenders are exactly what you'd think they'd be: three Javelin missiles and the AT4s. Then comes all that 7.62 ammo.

7.62 ammo is also the least useful-per-kilo. It's the last ammo to get used, so the squad carries it the longest, and the squad uses it at a maximum rate of one round per shot, and that's if the squad has a Marksman that uses it. Otherwise, the squad is acting as bearers for MG teams, and will never get rid of it unless they're standing next to an MG team when it runs low. And MG teams rarely run low. Because, well, you'd have to fire your machine gun to run low of ammo. Furthermore, if the MG team is next to both a vehicle and the bearer squad, it looks to me like it will take ammo from the vehicle before it will take ammo from the squad. Some sort of weird "respect" for the player's choices. So I never remove 7.62 from vehicles, and train my MG teams to set up near vehicles, any vehicle, and run towards a vehicle if they run low on ammo. If an MG team actually fires at the enemy, I award them all ARCOMs for doing so, and if they actually fire at the enemy enough to run out of their basic load, I upgrade it to a Bronze Star. A posthumous Bronze Star.

There is one more side to this argument, something I noticed a while back, and have been turning over in my mind, without either a reasonable way to test or a method to measure the results: does ammo impact a decision to fire?

Units (any unit) rarely if ever fire their last shot. (Except for missile teams. Javelin and Stinger teams will cheerfully fire everything available. Then they go face down in the mud, put their hands over their ears, and chant "nope, nope, nope, not me, not me, I got no ammo!" until the scenario ends. ) They want to hang on to the last of their ammo in case something worse happens. I've seen what I believe supports that premise, but I haven't figured out a way to determine whether or not there is a continuum between "I'm not firing my last ammo unless I have to" and "we have a ton of ammo! Fire!"

If that's true, it would seem to me that it's an additional benefit of lots of ammo, although it's probably a small one relative to the penalties imposed by weight.

I know that in Shock Force, before it was abandoned, there was very little penalty for extra weight, and I know they intended to do something about it. In Shock Force, if I could get it to load, I had a policy of taking everything that was shiny off of vehicles, because any weight penalty was so low. Now I have the opposite policy, I don't take anything except Javelin launchers and Stingers unless I already need them.

Edited by Jammersix

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Interesting. 

Just to clarify, I did mean as you said,  about the FAST button fading after load out. 

As UKR/RUS in MOUT I'll happily add an extra 750x7.62 (or whatever the RUS equivalent is) to the non-anti tank team.  My rationale is that I move in team bounds, not full squad surges. So while I'm possibly carrying more than I need,  I'm not moving for long, and I pause often (recon and rest). I'll also add 750-1000 to PKMs etc for the same reason -  short moves followed by OW. 

Ive  played several intense MOUTs and I be had two distinct instances of MGs (and squad LMGs) running lpw/empty at  EXACTLY the wrong moment. My MGs are heavy firers - I go for weight of fire,  ASAP.

For me,  I don't like the idea of 1)MG team leaves their position, 2)MG team are moving outside out of cover and/or 3)Moving a valuable vehicle from its position/breaking cover to supply the MG team.

It all feels a bit "why allow the situation to even arise?". Just carry extra ammo you fat turds. Ya wanna live forever or somethin'?! 

I'm happy to overload initially and allow normal combat to reduce the troops burden. I'm nice like that. 

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Okay. I have different objectives, I think.

My objective is to win the scenario, not for everybody to have ammo at the end of the scenario.

So. In most cases, my MGs never fire, let alone run low. I realized this after I started tabbing through my forces after every scenario. First I did it just to see what was inflicting the most casualties on the enemy (Abrams, across the board. The game is built on the premise that he who has the Abrams and the Bradleys wins. First place Abrams, second place Bradleys. Always.) and then I noticed that everyone still had 3 Javelins left, as well as all their AT-4s. That's when I started taking careful note of what ammo everyone had after combat. That led to another problem-- why do all these people still have full ammo loads? The answer was that only a small percentage (far less than ten percent) of my infantry ever engages. I average less than one enemy vehicle per scenario to all infantry AT weapons. Then I started to look at ammo consumption only on those units that had inflicted casualties. Those were the only units that I knew had engaged the enemy, and they're the only units that matter as far as ammo consumption goes.

And that's when my personal epiphany occurred. (I never knew how to spell that word, but there's a sloop in our club named Epiphany.)

If all a unit does is walk, (and such a unit can still make a significant contribution to a victory) then it doesn't need extra ammo. A unit doesn't need more ammo until it's running low. It only runs low when it engages the enemy, and when that happens it may well die, in which case it will do so before it runs out of ammo, and it still won't need to carry extra ammo. There is no need, therefore, to carry ammo for everyone, because they won't all engage the enemy, and of that tiny portion that does engage the enemy, most won't run out of ammo, and by then you're down to a small enough percentage of your force that it just doesn't matter.

 When a unit does runs low, it will take ammo from a vehicle if the vehicle is close enough. It still doesn't need to carry that ammo. And if a given team uses all it's ammo, it's usually easier to get a vehicle next to them than it is either for them to carry extra ammo or for them to get next to a vehicle.

And finally, the grim truth.

If you have a team that runs low on ammo, be it an infantry team or an MG team, the bottom line is that your victory better not depend on the survival of any single team.

So my suggestion is that you start tabbing through your force after every fight. Every Javelin you have left on the back of some private, every thousand rounds of 5.56, every 40 mm grenade is a waste. It's nothing less than a waste of mobility and endurance that you could have used to win the fight. You traded that mobility and endurance for something your people didn't need-- dead weight.

Edited by Jammersix

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Every thing you do must have a purpose to get you to the "win" state of the scenario.  Don't get caught up on killing an enemy just because he's there, kill him because he prevents you from touching the objective, or bypass him if he does not.  

A close runner up is never to interrupt someone making a mistake.  Let someone expose an entire element before you start shooting, rather than getting those easy one or two kills early and letting the rest of his units go to ground.  In the same line of thinking, provide the enemy lots of space to reinforce failure.  Sometimes it's best to let the enemy take a minor objective only as a way to force him to commit resources to protect it, and distract from the main focus of the battle.  

 

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2 hours ago, Jammersix said:

Okay. I have different objectives, I think.

My objective is to win the scenario, not for everybody to have ammo at the end of the scenario.

So. In most cases, my MGs never fire, let alone run low. I realized this after I started tabbing through my forces after every scenario. First I did it just to see what was inflicting the most casualties on the enemy (Abrams, across the board. The game is built on the premise that he who has the Abrams and the Bradleys wins. First place Abrams, second place Bradleys. Always.) and then I noticed that everyone still had 3 Javelins left, as well as all their AT-4s. That's when I started taking careful note of what ammo everyone had after combat. That led to another problem-- why do all these people still have full ammo loads? The answer was that only a small percentage (far less than ten percent) of my infantry ever engages. I average less than one enemy vehicle per scenario to all infantry AT weapons. Then I started to look at ammo consumption only on those units that had inflicted casualties. Those were the only units that I knew had engaged the enemy, and they're the only units that matter as far as ammo consumption goes.

And that's when my personal epiphany occurred. (I never knew how to spell that word, but there's a sloop in our club named Epiphany.)

If all a unit does is walk, (and such a unit can still make a significant contribution to a victory) then it doesn't need extra ammo. A unit doesn't need more ammo until it's running low. It only runs low when it engages the enemy, and when that happens it may well die, in which case it will do so before it runs out of ammo, and it still won't need to carry extra ammo. There is no need, therefore, to carry ammo for everyone, because they won't all engage the enemy, and of that tiny portion that does engage the enemy, most won't run out of ammo, and by then you're down to a small enough percentage of your force that it just doesn't matter.

 When a unit does runs low, it will take ammo from a vehicle if the vehicle is close enough. It still doesn't need to carry that ammo. And if a given team uses all it's ammo, it's usually easier to get a vehicle next to them than it is either for them to carry extra ammo or for them to get next to a vehicle.

And finally, the grim truth.

If you have a team that runs low on ammo, be it an infantry team or an MG team, the bottom line is that your victory better not depend on the survival of any single team.

So my suggestion is that you start tabbing through your force after every fight. Every Javelin you have left on the back of some private, every thousand rounds of 5.56, every 40 mm grenade is a waste. It's nothing less than a waste of mobility and endurance that you could have used to win the fight. You traded that mobility and endurance for something your people didn't need-- dead weight.

Well...eh yeeeessss,  naturally my own aim is also to win the scenario. Re ammo at the end, it's not that having ammo at the end is a desirable end state in itself (it' isn't)  it's that Not having ammo (bullets or At weapons)  when I need it is a very undesirable state. 

Your example is very US centric, and I suspect also country/mixed centric. However,  do you play as RUS/UKR much? In MOUT? For me, that's a whole different bucket of turds, for any of the 3 armies. 

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1 hour ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

Every thing you do must have a purpose to get you to the "win" state of the scenario.  Don't get caught up on killing an enemy just because he's there, kill him because he prevents you from touching the objective, or bypass him if he does not.  

A close runner up is never to interrupt someone making a mistake.  Let someone expose an entire element before you start shooting, rather than getting those easy one or two kills early and letting the rest of his units go to ground.  In the same line of thinking, provide the enemy lots of space to reinforce failure.  Sometimes it's best to let the enemy take a minor objective only as a way to force him to commit resources to protect it, and distract from the main focus of the battle.  

 

So... 'Kill when you should, not because you can'

 

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31 minutes ago, kinophile said:

  it's that Not having ammo (bullets or At weapons)  when I need it is a very undesirable state. 

Why?

Unless ammo is a victory condition, I submit that it's meaningless unless it causes casualties. The casualties themselves, whether enemy or friendly, are meaningless unless they're a victory condition.

If I fire the last round to win, I win. (If ammo is a victory condition, I'll find another scenario. It's a completely unrealistic victory condition. If you ordered me to finish this battle with X% ammo, I'd tell you to kiss my ass after you drag your ass up here and fight the battle without touching the Golden Reserve Box Of Ammo. If it's my ass they're shooting at, be ready to hand me every last round.)

Another view of this is that I'd love for my infantry to all run out of ammo every scenario. That would mean that they all fired all that basic load at the enemy. That's number one. Number two is that it meant that the enemy had to deal with 3 incoming Javelins per squad, and that's a wet dream for the U.S. player.

And number three is that if I can ever get all that lead, fire and missiles to go downrange at once, then my armor can kill everything that's left.

Trading infantry for enemy armor is a trade I'll make all day, every day. So no, I don't need my infantry to have AT weapons at all times, even when they're engaging tanks, because I think I need to kill the enemy tank, but I don't necessarily think that I need my infantry to do it.

As far a MOUT goes, when you're facing enemy armor with nothing but infantry, run into a building and out the back door. It really, really annoys armor officers.

The victory conditions are the victory conditions. To paraphrase Admiral Fisher, everything else is twaddle.

(The actual quote, speaking of the 19th century English navy, is "gunnery, gunnery, gunnery. All else is twaddle.")

No, I almost never play Red. I like to win. I play city maps a lot. I like to use Bradleys to level buildings, and Abrams to shoot anything that runs out of them.

That is the proper use of infantry.

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This discussion re ammo loads is very interesting.  However, as he says, Jammers concepts are rather US-based.  Red forces seem to depend more on shooting with everything at everything. 

Also, the ideas are modern combat based.  It seems that these days, infantry (US at least) are there to spot for air and arty or HE throwers who do the killing.  In a WW2 scenario, higher ammo loads are more important.  Units burn through SMG ammo very fast and I very often run out of SMG ammo.

I also wonder if our concepts are skewed by the fact that in all CM2 titles (other than CMSF and maybe CMA), the maps are designed with relatively short LOS and therefore combat is at rather short ranges.  So, longer range weapons like MG's are not so useful in most CM2 games.

(This is an aspect where I liked CM1.  CM1 scenarios often offer LOS of 500m-800m+ so longer range weapons are more historically useful.)

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Back to topic...

 

My Golden Rule:

"Be careful and systematic or you die."

By now I have never seen a daring assault not ending in a bloodbath, that's why I never do any.

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^ almost always true. However the few daring assaults Ive seen that succeeded did so spectacularly well

Edited by Sublime

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^ I've found daring assaults to be consistently decisive... though not necessarily always decisive in a way I would like.

Hapless' One Golden Tactical Rule: Keep it Simple!

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Slow and deliberate recon and movement to the line of departure. Then speed and violence of action along multiple supporting axes, utilizing support by fire and maneuver elements to achieve and push through the objective. Basically what has been said prior in this post. Works in real life combat, and works remarkably well in CMBS and the WWII titles. I am a grunt in experience and at heart, so most of my battles are infantry vs. infantry fights. 

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Read The "Art of War" by Sun Szu. Then read it again, and FOLLOW the principles. Failure to follow the principles was one of the main reasons why the U.S. Lost in Vietnam Nam, and Lee lost at Gettysburg.

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12 hours ago, Vet 0369 said:

Read The "Art of War" by Sun Szu. Then read it again, and FOLLOW the principles. Failure to follow the principles was one of the main reasons why the U.S. Lost in Vietnam Nam, and Lee lost at Gettysburg.

I...like I'm not trying to pick a fight, but both the Art of War and Clausewitz are really over-recommended, especially for folks thinking at the tactical level.  They're both most relevant at understanding higher strategic concepts, or war as a system of generic blocks interfacing violently, but the relevance of war as a continuation of politics is largely lost when you've got small arms fire coming in, and avoiding the enemy's strongpoints and attacking the will of his army is all well and good, but is harder to practice when your platoon is committed to take Hill 192.  It's also worth noting that it wasn't like Lee or the US defense establishment simply hucked Sun Tzu out the window, both of their respective downfalls require a more nuanced understanding, or at the least, a comprehension of the wider world in which they occupied.

If we're talking about books to read though, Team Yankee, despite being rather dated is one of the greatest, most accessible books on maneuver warfare, written from the echelon that the player occupies in CMBS.  I used to make my LTs read it, and it certainly seemed to have at least some results.

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