Jump to content
Mousie

How do you regain fire superiority after it's lost, and how do you manage it at each step?

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Kaunitz said:

Maybe I'm just not trusting enough. Do you think that a unit that is area-firing can spot enemies (not within immediate proximity of the area-target) equally fast as a unit that is not area-firing? 

Oh that is an interesting question. I have never had a problem with their behaviour so never thought to test it. So, I have no idea if they spot as quickly. As an example often I'll see soldiers on the left stop shooting at the target and start shooting at some newly spotted enemy units on their left. Meanwhile the others keep shooting at their area target. When the command phase comes often you can tell that one team can see the enemy and the other cannot.

OK it's not totally true that I have always been happy; sometimes I freak out when units do this - typically when tanks who I want to be watching for amour spot infantry and start chucking HE at them right before an enemy tank shows up. AHHHHHHHHH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, IanL said:

...sometimes I freak out when units do this - typically when tanks who I want to be watching for amour spot infantry and start chucking HE at them right before an enemy tank shows up.

You need to give them an armor only target arc.

:)

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

You need to give them an armor only target arc.

Oh I know. Doesn't mean I remember though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has some great, fundamental questions that don't have easy answers.

The ones I will chime in on are reconnaissance and scouting. The approach march and how you start an engagement.
 

Quote

What about where to place your scouts? 


First rule is to put circular or short covered arcs on your scouting units, this is to stop them shooting and revealing their position.
Second is to move them forward, in cover, slowly - normal Move, Slow or Hunt are good for this.

On the approach, what I'll usually do is to march the platoon in column (using the appropriate movement techniques - Bil's Battle Drill Blog outlines these well), then try to reform at a safe location, near to the expected contact, but out of sight.

The HQ unit (who has radio and binos) will typically be tasked with doing the actual scouting. This unit sneaks forward into LOS to the expected enemy position, and waits. And waits. 

The main reason to use the HQ for this is that the spotting information will be handed down faster from HQ to their squads than it will from scout team to squad to HQ to other squads. Being on the radio will help as well. The HQ unit also has the option of starting to call down indirect fires, if appropriate.

The HQ unit will either leave the line and head back to the platoon, or the platoon will move up to the HQ. Either way the spotting info will be transferred before the squads hit the line of contact, to give them the best possible chance of seeing the enemy before they're seen in turn.

Whether to attack with Fire + Manoeuvre (i.e., a base of fire, and a flanking group offset by 45 or 90 degrees), or Fire and Movement (attacking frontally, with bounding rushes) is a situational call. In either case, the base of fire is established in as much concealment as possible.

If you're reasonably confident that there is enemy present, but you can't spot them, you can advance the platoon onto the line, holding fire, then open up with one of the units briefly, hoping to spark an exchange - if the enemy reveal themselves by firing, you're likely to have more firepower than they do, and will start at an advantage.


Now - this is assuming you have a good idea where the enemy is already, If you do not, that's when you have to think about scouting in terms of "go down that road until you blow up". Ideally, you should be able to consider several likely approach marches, and send your scouts into the less likely ones, therefore working out their position by process of elimination. In practice though, making contact is still a dangerous job.
 

Quote

Can you put them in buildings safely?


Buildings offer some good cover and concealment. They're not bad spots for scouts, but they can be pretty exposed fighting positions. It might be better to scout from buildings, but fight from surrounding cover, depending.
 

Quote

Can you use forward observers as scouts?


Forward observers are valuable units, that are hard to replace. They make good scouts, in that they have radios and binoculars, but bad ones in that they are definitely not expendable.

There's an unsolved question here about the appropriate use of FO's - the default option would be to station them at a safe distance, with a  commanding view of the battlefield. This is great for calling fires down on a large area, but doesn't leave them as flexible as the alternative - which is embedding them with a unit. The latter brings with them a lot more risk, but allows them to bring fires down onto immediate targets much more effectively.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My advice on buildings: Stay away unless they are unsuspicious/anonymous (like in a larger village or city). Nothing is easier than putting a few HE shells into those 2 houses over there, just in case. Remember that most CM battles are deliberate, planned attacks, not meeting/recon engagements. Preemtpive covering fire is also one of the main reasons why H2H matches are an entirely different experience than single player matches.

Even in a village, I try to stay away from the "exterior" buildings. Instead, I go for those inside the town, which cannot be hit by heavy calibres from the outside so easily (at least not in a concentrated manner, as the fire angles into the town will be very limited and narrow). Never let the attacker use his main advantage, which is concentration. Split up the battlefield into tiny sectors that are sealed off in terms of line of sight from the "outside". If you do this, the enemy's assets will need to stay very very close together (forming a better target for artillery, and generally being slowed down) if they don't want to engage in a piecemeal manner. 

I find individual/suspicious buildings usefull to set up ambush positions behind them (not inside of them). This stops working if the enemy brings heavy mobile precision artillery, aka assault guns (not the later Stugs, but real assault guns!). 2-3 shots, building gone. :) For obvious reasons, however, most players prefer tanks or sp.ATguns/tank destroyers. (Maybe the proper assault guns are a bit overprized, particularly if you consider how little ammo they usually have...)

Edited by Kaunitz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/8/2018 at 7:52 AM, domfluff said:

There's an unsolved question here about the appropriate use of FO's - the default option would be to station them at a safe distance, with a  commanding view of the battlefield. This is great for calling fires down on a large area, but doesn't leave them as flexible as the alternative - which is embedding them with a unit. The latter brings with them a lot more risk, but allows them to bring fires down onto immediate targets much more effectively.

Yes, one needs to work up one's own SOP for many tactics - kinda like RL commanders have to do when learning about RL war as opposed to training.  FO's are so valuable that they need to be protected.  Use for long range observation only.   I can't recall ever placing/using em up close to a known enemy position that could hurt them.  Consider how far away one needs to be from an arty strike to be considered safe.  In the game I bet that every player brings down arty waaaay too close to friendly units.  

Also, totally agree with Kaunitz' evaluation.  One of the most deadly ambush positions is behind a house.  Scenario designers have learned to place enemy there so that a player shoots at the front of a house and blows the hell out of it - then assault inside thinking there can't be any survivors.  Once inside the building they are cut down by enemy who are waiting on the other side of the exterior wall completely unaffected by the fire directed at the front of the building.  Have found that this ambush tactic is very hard to counter.  Anyone been able to figure out a counter??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modern US have platoon-embedded FO's (in a lot of formations), mostly for calling down mortars - that makes actually-forward FOs a lot more plausible, I think.

It's still not entirely clear - even in a tiny scenario, like CMBS August Morning, but also in MOUT or similar close terrain - taking the FO with you means that you can bring down mortar fire (and Precision mortar fire) far more easily, since you're more likely to have an uninterrupted LOS to whatever is threatening you.

In that same scenario you can also station the same FO in a more commanding position, which is definitely safer, but I don't think it's clear whether it's strictly better.

If the role of the FO is going to be to bring down the heavy stuff then I think it's a lot clearer, but those are often best used with pre-planning anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Erwin said:

Have found that this ambush tactic is very hard to counter.  Anyone been able to figure out a counter??

Completely demolish the building so that the enemy has nothing to hide behind.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Erwin said:

Scenario designers have learned to place enemy there so that a player shoots at the front of a house and blows the hell out of it - then assault inside thinking there can't be any survivors.  Once inside the building they are cut down by enemy who are waiting on the other side of the exterior wall completely unaffected by the fire directed at the front of the building.  Have found that this ambush tactic is very hard to counter.  Anyone been able to figure out a counter??

Wide infiltration with small scout teams. The house ambushers are very vulnerable to flanking, as they are not in cover. Unless you run into the exact house they are sitting behind, they are easily dealt with, and if you do run into that house, you only lose 2 guys. Then your support weapons take care of the rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Completely demolish the building so that the enemy has nothing to hide behind.

Michael

If you have the HE to waste on every building.  Most scenarios don't give you that much.

4 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Wide infiltration with small scout teams. The house ambushers are very vulnerable to flanking, as they are not in cover. Unless you run into the exact house they are sitting behind, they are easily dealt with, and if you do run into that house, you only lose 2 guys. Then your support weapons take care of the rest.

Assuming the other teams do not run into the exact same ambush challenges in the adjacent buildings.  The amount of men one needs rises exponentially.

This is why MOUT is so challenging.

FWIW This is why have found textbook manuals and tutorials to not be that useful.  They assume that one has overwhelming superiority when doing an attack (or the enemy is an isolated unit) so that one can use the above tactics.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Erwin said:

If you have the HE to waste on every building.  Most scenarios don't give you that much.

Facing many buildings, it's tough for sure. But assault guns (/assault howitzers) are very usefull to demolish a few buildings here and there. 

48 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Assuming the other teams do not run into the exact same ambush challenges in the adjacent buildings.  The amount of men one needs rises exponentially.

This is why MOUT is so challenging.

FWIW This is why have found textbook manuals and tutorials to not be that useful.  They assume that one has overwhelming superiority when doing an attack (or the enemy is an isolated unit) so that one can use the above tactics.    

Urban warfare is no fun. What you could try in order to thwart an ambush is to blast through buildings with engineers (units would sometimes mousehole through a whole block of buidlings!), use smoke to get your assault gun into position and kaboom the enemy ambush position or wait for nightfall (haha!). In a real war, you' could aslo try to evade the ambush spot by moving through the cellars/canals. What makes urban settings so frustrating in CM is that you don't know yet where the enemy will be. It's always the initial approach to contact. 

Edited by Kaunitz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Erwin said:

 

Also, totally agree with Kaunitz' evaluation.  One of the most deadly ambush positions is behind a house.  Scenario designers have learned to place enemy there so that a player shoots at the front of a house and blows the hell out of it - then assault inside thinking there can't be any survivors.  Once inside the building they are cut down by enemy who are waiting on the other side of the exterior wall completely unaffected by the fire directed at the front of the building.  Have found that this ambush tactic is very hard to counter.  Anyone been able to figure out a counter??

Preparatory bombardment, flamethrowers and engineers, or outright avoidance. A coherent defender in ambush positions that our infantry march into is a screw up on our end, the player's. Next time determine if you really need to move through that housing to begin with and if you do, support or prepare that attack with appropriate assets. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Erwin said:
6 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Wide infiltration with small scout teams. The house ambushers are very vulnerable to flanking, as they are not in cover. Unless you run into the exact house they are sitting behind, they are easily dealt with, and if you do run into that house, you only lose 2 guys. Then your support weapons take care of the rest.

Assuming the other teams do not run into the exact same ambush challenges in the adjacent buildings.  The amount of men one needs rises exponentially.

This is why MOUT is so challenging.

It's always challenging to attack urban areas, and defenders behind a house can be a pain. But I meant that if you probe on a wide front, with a lot of small scout teams, you can criss-cross the terrain with potential sight lines. I doubt the defender will have a team in ambush behind every single building.

Since guys outside a house have very little concealment, those ambush teams are quite easily spotted. Then you mortar them or bring up assault guns. Even if you can't directly target the ambushers, you can often fire at a house or wall behind them and flush them out that way.

Alternatively, you can fire smoke and them move into the house with an assault squad and area target the location of the defenders. I think this is only possible if you plot the move and attack order before the smoke builds.

Edited by Bulletpoint

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

Urban warfare is no fun.

Amen! It is a grim, bloody grind best avoided. Attacking into cities is folly if it can be avoided. Best to bypass them and block the exits. Let the rats starve, or if you are in a hurry, use a nuke followed by gas.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×