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The_MonkeyKing

Looking for urban combat gameplay/AAR

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Hi,

I am looking for gameplay (AAR, singleplayer, multiplayer ext. all is of interest to me) from a skilled player in a large urban setting. I mostly play BS and SF titles but all CM2 games are ok.

I would like to learn more about urban fighting in relatively large urban environments. I tend to take high casualties when I am put to these situations or/and advance way to slowly. I have read and watched most if not all tutorials and guides (Battle Drill blog, CM:TTP, Armchair General ...) and now I am really just looking to see some good implementations of those tactics in urban setting. 

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22 minutes ago, RepsolCBR said:

Hello...

From one of the CMFB Campaigns...One of the larger city battles i know of....

It's a rather long AAR though...:)

The longer the better. Thank you!

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4 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

Hello...

From one of the CMFB Campaigns...One of the larger city battles i know of....

It's a rather long AAR though...:)

 

Well worth watching. You also might like to check out "Jamies Games" version of this same mission for comparison.

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There never will be low casualties in large urban battles. At first I thought I was doing something wrong too, but as I was looking up and asking for solutions just like you - I just had to accept that it will always be dirty, no matter the tactics.

The safest way to get through some house is to level it. Sometimes you'll end up either killing all guys inside or routing them through the sheer amount of firepower concentrated before the house goes down - and then you can go about capturing it.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, kraze said:

There never will be low casualties in large urban battles. At first I thought I was doing something wrong too, but as I was looking up and asking for solutions just like you - I just had to accept that it will always be dirty, no matter the tactics.

The safest way to get through some house is to level it. Sometimes you'll end up either killing all guys inside or routing them through the sheer amount of firepower concentrated before the house goes down - and then you can go about capturing it.

Yeah, I want to learn to minimize the casualties to the extend it is possible. I just don't want to lose 50% of my infantry when I know the scenario is doable with 20% casualties.


I attached a picture from CMBS battle pack 1: Russian campaign mission #2. Here you can see my current default strategy with towns... This time it was two tank platoons, two artillery batteries and one IFV platoon in supporting fires when two (preferably mounted) platoons mop up. Problem with this approach is sometimes the town is too big and you don't have enough boom boom to make it go away. That is when I struggle.

***SPOILER****20180103012429_1.jpg

Edited by The_MonkeyKing

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Posted (edited)

As far as the Aachen campaign goes- it’s helpful to divide the maps into “sectors”. This could be a single city block, for instance. Have a plan for the order in which you will tackle each consecutive sector, ending with the intended objective. Like any battle, if you have a fresh reserve, that can handle any mop-up or unforeseen circumstances. If not, focus your available forces in roles like "support", "assault", etc. Know the capabilities (fatigue state, etc.) prior to the battle. This will help with figuring out how to use them best, and which forces can do the heavy lifting of clearing any surviving defenders from VLs.

Have an AFV and some heavy weapons and a few squads to lay down suppressing fire, then have a few squads as assault forces. I generally split these, and basically do the same thing as the “assault” order, but I’m choosing which men enter the building, and with which buildings. 

I generally play RT, so I am not splitting forces extensively.

I am also surprised when I watch the great AARs on Aachen about how much covered terrain is underused. When I made the campaign, I figured people would be using a particular stream, or a particular route of attack- but they rarely do! As the maps are based off of period maps, these "covered routes" are maybe not as obvious as maps made "from scratch"- but they are out there, as they were when the battle was fought.

Edited by benpark

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I'd also suggest figuring out if any of your units have demo charges. "Mouse holing" between buildings without connecting doors is a good way to move into advantageous cover without having to expose your forces.

"Stay out of the road if you want to get old" is a good phrase to remember. Count on any road as being a fire lane for your enemy.

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56 minutes ago, benpark said:

I'd also suggest figuring out if any of your units have demo charges. "Mouse holing" between buildings without connecting doors is a good way to move into advantageous cover without having to expose your forces.

"Stay out of the road if you want to get old" is a good phrase to remember. Count on any road as being a fire lane for your enemy.

Agreed.  Demo charges are your very best friend in city fights.  In CMFI, Italian Gustatori and American Rangers are very good Urban Combat units.  Otherwise, beef up your assault infantry with all the combat engineers / pioneers you can muster.

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One challenge is that units tend to have the same weapons and ammo load-out whether they are in open terrain or in urban.  One would think that they would load up with smoke and breach charges in urban.   Smoke is essential for safe road crossing etc.

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On 1/2/2018 at 11:41 PM, benpark said:

As far as the Aachen campaign goes- it’s helpful to divide the maps into “sectors”. This could be a single city block, for instance. Have a plan for the order in which you will tackle each consecutive sector, ending with the intended objective. Like any battle, if you have a fresh reserve, that can handle any mop-up or unforeseen circumstances. If not, focus your available forces in roles like "support", "assault", etc. Know the capabilities (fatigue state, etc.) prior to the battle. This will help with figuring out how to use them best, and which forces can do the heavy lifting of clearing any surviving defenders from VLs.

Have an AFV and some heavy weapons and a few squads to lay down suppressing fire, then have a few squads as assault forces. I generally split these, and basically do the same thing as the “assault” order, but I’m choosing which men enter the building, and with which buildings. 

I generally play RT, so I am not splitting forces extensively.

I am also surprised when I watch the great AARs on Aachen about how much covered terrain is underused. When I made the campaign, I figured people would be using a particular stream, or a particular route of attack- but they rarely do! As the maps are based off of period maps, these "covered routes" are maybe not as obvious as maps made "from scratch"- but they are out there, as they were when the battle was fought.

Very sound advice.

I loved this map, especially the apartment blocks set around their inner courtyards (a very realistic touch). This was easily my favourite mission from the whole campaign.

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25 minutes ago, Warts 'n' all said:

Very sound advice.

I loved this map, especially the apartment blocks set around their inner courtyards (a very realistic touch). This was easily my favourite mission from the whole campaign

Thanks very much.

I'm really happy that people have played the campaign, and posted such great video AARs (and the people like yourself that have posted astute comments on them). It makes me (hopefully) better at scenario design when I see how they are played in such detail.

Erwin's additional mention of use of smoke also highlights another important tool- particularly when you absolutely have to cross the street, and suspect unpleasant results. Remember to set the facing, then pop the smoke.

Also- The "corner peeking" in 4.0 is a great help with getting smoke on target, as well as urban combat in general.

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15 hours ago, Erwin said:

One challenge is that units tend to have the same weapons and ammo load-out whether they are in open terrain or in urban.  One would think that they would load up with smoke and breach charges in urban.   Smoke is essential for safe road crossing etc.

I don't know how common this was IRL during WW2...But we don't really see that many scenarios that includes additional breach teams...In many scenarios it might be an  intentional decision made by the scenario designer to up the difficulty level a notch by leaving them out...

but if they where commonly used IRL during WW2 i think it could be a good idea to include them  more frequently in the game also...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, RepsolCBR said:

I don't know how common this was IRL during WW2...But we don't really see that many scenarios that includes additional breach teams...In many scenarios it might be an  intentional decision made by the scenario designer to up the difficulty level a notch by leaving them out...

but if they where commonly used IRL during WW2 i think it could be a good idea to include them  more frequently in the game also...

Another option is to attach some scout teams. At least the US scouts have a couple of demo charges.

If I attach regular breach teams, I often turn down the number of regular troops in the squads, as I suppose the breach teams would be formed from those squads.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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Nice idea with the scout team...

11 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

 

If I attaqch regular breach teams, I often turn down the number of regular troops in the squads, as I suppose the breach teams would be formed from those squads.

I usually do the same...:)

It's a bit of a pity that we can't attach individual teams directly to the squads...but attaching them to the platoon HQ is good enough imo...

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Hopefully, BF has included on their wish lists the ability for designers to arm units as needed - both ammo load-outs and weapon types (within RL parameters) - eg smoke.

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37 minutes ago, Erwin said:

 (within RL parameters)

I guess this might part of the reason that BFC might be a bit hesitant to include this...

In worst case scenarios...it could lead to some very wierd looking squads if the designer/ QB players freedom gets to large when it comes to chosing the set-up of a particular force...

I don't Think it would be all that bad though (especially when it comes to scenario design)...I think most designers would try to keep the units fairly 'correct'  even if we are given an increased degree of freedom here...

The vast majority here i'm sure loves the CM-games to a large degree because of the realism and historical accuracy of the game...One that is seconed by NONE ! :)

Why mess this up ?

But having the ability to make some small changes to the load outs and chosen weapons down to squad level...Would be nice ..

 

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Well as others have done it then I may as well jump in with some of my own shameless self promotion. 

I have almost completed part 2 of my Lonsdale's Block AAR against Pericles and as well as watching that here are some things I have picked up playing against a human opponent:

1. Keep tanks mobile - infantry will seek cover if a tank has LOF to them, to overcome this keep your opponent guessing as to where the tanks will reposition. Do not stay too long in one place so that AT assets can be brought to bear on you. 

2. If you are infantry vs tanks, then move behind buildings so as to be out of sight of the armour. Try and predict where your opponent could move to next turn and get those units that would be in LOF into cover ASAP. 

3. Use lots of smoke! Use it to conceal manoeuvre and to blind enemy guns/armour. Frustrated opponents may expose their tanks to attack by trying to get through or around the smoke. Mortars are excellent for this. 

4. Manoeuvring without concealment or cover fire is suicide. 

5. When opportunities present themselves, take them if the pay off is worth it i.e.  casualties vs objectives. 

6. Use large calibre artillery for prolonged periods. Urban environments allow good protection from indirect HE, so go big and go long. 

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1 hour ago, Josey Wales said:

Well as others have done it then I may as well jump in with some of my own shameless self promotion. 

I have almost completed part 2 of my Lonsdale's Block AAR against Pericles and as well as watching that here are some things I have picked up playing against a human opponent:

I have been eagerly waiting for that part 2. Definitely one of your finest AARs.

Have you ever thought about making CMBS pbem content?

Edited by The_MonkeyKing

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4 hours ago, Josey Wales said:

6. Use large calibre artillery for prolonged (my emphasis) periods. Urban environments allow good protection from indirect HE, so go big and go long.

All very good SOP's for CM play.  However, 6. is so important but often hard (for me at least) to fully implement.  Playing Blue one gets used to precision fire for shorter periods.  For those of us who use conservation of ammo principles that is rewarding.  But when playing Red, one needs the "discipline" to commit that heavy arty and use just about all of it in one barrage call to completely flatten an area. 

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On 2/9/2018 at 3:48 PM, Erwin said:

the "discipline" to commit that heavy arty and use just about all of it in one barrage call to completely flatten an area. 

Even if you flatten an area, there will still be survivors. I did some tests firing a full module of the biggest Nebelwerfers at a little village full of troops. The whole thing was turned into a moonscape, and of course lots of casualties were caused, but there were still enemies left to fire back.

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On 2/9/2018 at 3:05 AM, Josey Wales said:

3. Use lots of smoke! Use it to conceal manoeuvre and to blind enemy guns/armour. Frustrated opponents may expose their tanks to attack by trying to get through or around the smoke. Mortars are excellent for this.

Good points. Regarding #3, remember that mortar and artillery smoke will not block thermal sights. The same is true of some older model vehicles.

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