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

I know this is a pretty loaded question so let me break it apart. I'm watching Armchair General's tutorial on Battle for Normandy, and he said that the most important thing is fire superiority. This question is going under the assumption that this is 100% fact, so it can be used as a universal unit of trade.

So, first, because it's 4am and I'm bored, let's define just what fire superiority is so we are all on the same page. Essentially, it is the measurement of Delta between you and your opponent's firepower; the bigger difference between them, the more superiority is had.

On to the first part of the tactical conundrum: how do you spend firepower efficiently so you gain superiority?

So, to elaborate on what I mean a little, let's start with "spending firepower. The reason I call it spending firepower is because everything you do in combat has the opportunity of making you weaker. Moving your units around the map, shooting at a target, firing artillery, all has a chance to limit or reduce your firepower, or reduce your resources. So, the question becomes how can you do this to your opponent, before they do it to you? How can you control the loss of your military to your advantage?

The next part of my question applies to when you are already licking your wounds. How do you regain fire superiority once it is already lost? Now, I don't mean necromancy, bringing forces back from the dead, but instead how do you deal more damage with less firepower in order to turn the tides of battle?

Edited by Mousie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'd say that you are wrestling with the right questions. But understand that they have generated endless discussions on these boards over a decade of playing the games. Don't expect anyone to give you nice, pat answers tied up with a red ribbon. :)

One thing you need to start off with is knowing how to conduct good reconnaissance. You need to know where the bad guys are and where they aren't. It's no use dumping artillery all over the map if the bad guys are lurking somewhere else. Secondly, you need to identify which ones are the greatest immediate threats to your troops. Then you need to figure out how to approach them with enough well-armed troops to out-gun them without receiving so much firepower in return that they are killed, wounded, or broken. This includes not receiving fire from unengaged positions. This can be hard because armies generally try to position their troops so that they are mutually reinforcing.

All these things require skills that you may not have yet, and the only way to get them is to work at it. Do that and some day a piece of the puzzle will fall into place and you will start to get the gestalt. One way that will make it easier is to start off with smaller scenarios and that will lower your workload and make it easier to see relationships.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Michael Emrys said:

Well, I'd say that you are wrestling with the right questions. But understand that they have generated endless discussions on these boards over a decade of playing the games. Don't expect anyone to give you nice, pat answers tied up with a red ribbon. :)

One thing you need to start off with is knowing how to conduct good reconnaissance. You need to know where the bad guys are and where they aren't. It's no use dumping artillery all over the map if the bad guys are lurking somewhere else. Secondly, you need to identify which ones are the greatest immediate threats to your troops. Then you need to figure out how to approach them with enough well-armed troops to out-gun them without receiving so much firepower in return that they are killed, wounded, or broken. This includes not receiving fire from unengaged positions. This can be hard because armies generally try to position their troops so that they are mutually reinforcing.

All these things require skills that you may not have yet, and the only way to get them is to work at it. Do that and some day a piece of the puzzle will fall into place and you will start to get the gestalt. One way that will make it easier is to start off with smaller scenarios and that will lower your workload and make it easier to see relationships.

Michael

 

Looks like it's back to the training mission for me! There's a lot I must work on, and to counter my knowledge of the scenario, I will limit myself to drop artillery on units I've spotted only. Do you think that there's a viable way to gauge threats by sight? Knowing where to strike before you do is a huge help. What about where to place your scouts? Can you put them in buildings safely? Can you use forward observes as scouts?

Perhaps the biggest question is: How do you effectively, and safely, disengage from combat? I only played two different scenarios so I don't know, but is there a way to heal squads and regain numbers?

Edited by Mousie
Adding quote

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do have to say: I absolutely love this approach to a tactical issue! Although it's the exact same question most people are battling with or have battled with (and to an extent deal with every game) it's from a new kind of perspective from at least where I first tackled it from.

With good recon you can find out where you have the most favourable conditions, mask your movement towards that location as best you can so you don't warn the enemy of the impending attack (allowing them to reinforce) and then punch them in the face as hard as you can. Of course the more troops you commit the more likely you are to succeed, but you have to consider how many units you can pull off from other sides of the battlefield without risking a counterattack. It's an artform to use enough men to gain fire superiority and then be able to utilize the gained advantage (i.e. attacking and overrunning the enemy defenses).

One part of gaining fire superiority as quickly as possible is opening up with as many troops as possible at the same time, so your enemies get an overwhelming amount of fire at them. Which is again an artform in itself when it comes to wego and attacking as you try to rush most of your men simultaneously to spots where they have line of sight.

As for gaining fire superiority with an inferior force it's all about small isolated skirmishes. Channel your inner Finnish soldier from the Winter war, hope your enemy gets complacent and makes dumb tactical decisions until you, piece by piece, wear his force down to the point you are back on equal grounds. Only fight on your terms (which is a lot easier said than done 😅).

And on a slightly related note: always buddy aid your machineguns!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Mousie said:

Can you use forward observes as scouts?

You can, but normally I wouldn't. FOs control your artillery, so you don't EVER want to lose them. They need to be far enough forward to where they can do their job, but not where they are apt to get spotted and shot at. You should give them a close Covered Arc to keep them from attracting attention by firing their personal weapons.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you are the attacking side, you don't really place your scout anywhere. I mean it is useful to have people with binocs to spot things for you, but scouts you want them 50 m or so, sometimes more, ahead of your troops as they are moving forward. This way when the enemy opens fire you on you, he will kill 1 or 2 guys tops instead of a whole squad or worse a platoon. It works for minefields too. And forward observers are way too valuable for this role.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, UselessTalent said:

As for gaining fire superiority with an inferior force it's all about small isolated skirmishes.

This is a good point. "Strategy is all about never having to fight fair," and much the same can be said about tactics. Overwhelming the enemy and keeping your guys alive depends on breaking the battle up into a series of small fights where your guys always have local superiority even if overall they may not be as many at the start. Attack a small part of the enemy line; win that and then go on to the next one. Meanwhile protect yourself against possible enemy countermoves.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, UselessTalent said:

With good recon you can find out where you have the most favourable conditions, mask your movement towards that location as best you can so you don't warn the enemy of the impending attack (allowing them to reinforce) and then punch them in the face as hard as you can. Of course the more troops you commit the more likely you are to succeed

The momeent the attack starts, it begins slowing down, even slightly. How can you gauge this momentum? Not only the more troops given, but the longer they stay, the more firepower they can use against the enemy. However, you want to avoid losing control of the situation, losing your momentum of combat through losing ammunition, losing troops, or becoming outnumbered. Without health bars, you can't quantify your progress of how things were going 30 seconds ago, so when do you say "Okay, it's time to pull back, we've stayed here too long!" By the time enemy reinforcements come, artillery shells land, or your lines break, it's too late to make this observation and order a retreat without losing manpower, so how do you gain the self control, experience, and knowledge to say that "this is enough to accomplish my goal" or "this will not work, let's try again"? I think this style of combat is the most Conservative use of your firepower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Mousie said:

so how do you gain the self control, experience, and knowledge to say that "this is enough to accomplish my goal" or "this will not work, let's try again"?

I have absolutely no clue, mate 😄 I spent some time playing war in the military, have an unhealthy fascination of (most) things military and have played different CM titles for about 4-5 years (I think) and I more than often get a gut feeling of "This is going great! Let's overrun them and take this building/hedge/ridge/something" just to find out the enemy was about 6 steps ahead of me and shredded my troops from an angle I had not even expected. Other times I hold my attack thinking that I have no chance, only to find out at the end screen that a handful of broken down men were the last line of defense in front of my platoon. Then every now and then everything goes exactly to plan. One of the beauties of any CM title!

Mostly I'd say it somewhat comes down to how the actual firefight is going. If you see your pretty equal in terms of the firefight and there is a decent amount of return fire coming your way you know you can't attack with this force. So you either need to bring in more men, take a step back and try again or switch your angle of attack completely. But then again if you see only one or two bullets flying your way and most of the enemy is cowering, you can either: keep it up or rush a part of your force up to clear the enemy out.

Then again: you might still get tripped up and kicked in the ground just because you didn't spot the MG that didn't have line of sight to your base of fire, but did have LOS to your attacking force 🤷‍♂️

I remember being really pissed off at the AI more often than I wasn't when I started playing CM and now I've switched to being disappointed at my decisions 😄

Edited by UselessTalent
Damn you typo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe at this point I should mention that it is a good idea to save after each Command Phase so that if you do something embarrassingly stupid you can go back and redo that turn so that it is not quite so stupid. Learn from your mistakes.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Michael Emrys said:

Maybe at this point I should mention that it is a good idea to save after each Command Phase so that if you do something embarrassingly stupid you can go back and redo that turn so that it is not quite so stupid. Learn from your mistakes.

Michael

While I probably will change my mind as it gets tedious, I want to avoid exploiting games like this as much as possible. A part of war is making mistakes, and then adapting to those situations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mousie said:

Without health bars, you can't quantify your progress of how things were going 30 seconds ago, so when do you say "Okay, it's time to pull back, we've stayed here too long!" By the time enemy reinforcements come, artillery shells land, or your lines break, it's too late to make this observation and order a retreat without losing manpower, so how do you gain the self control, experience, and knowledge to say that "this is enough to accomplish my goal"

Your head count, ammo count, and status (ok, rattled, panicked) etc. are your "health bar". That's how you'd quantify the situation within your squad. If you are attacking a position with 12 men and all of a sudden you have 5 left and the enemy is still pouring on the hurt, well that's a decent indication that things aren't good. The game is very intuitive just by observing how many guys you have, their ammo count, and how they feel about the situation.

As far as knowing when, well that can't really be answered. It's gonna be different for every situation, which there could be thousands. It boils down to just playing and learning through experience.

EDITED: And then there's playing against a human...and it's a whole different ballgame.

Mord.

Edited by Mord

Share this post


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

On to the first part of the tactical conundrum: how do you spend firepower efficiently so you gain superiority?

There is no kill like overkill. Forget efficiency, use your ammunition at prodigious rates until the bad guys stop shooting so much, then you can turn it down a notch. The ONLY ammunition I try to conserve is submachinegun ammunition. Everything else gets spent like a spoiled teenager with a platinum credit card.

 

3 hours ago, Mousie said:

So, to elaborate on what I mean a little, let's start with "spending firepower. The reason I call it spending firepower is because everything you do in combat has the opportunity of making you weaker. Moving your units around the map, shooting at a target, firing artillery, all has a chance to limit or reduce your firepower, or reduce your resources. So, the question becomes how can you do this to your opponent, before they do it to you? How can you control the loss of your military to your advantage?

As far as I'm concerned, ammunition IS currency, but what you purchase with it is the prevention of casualties. You expend your ammunition with the idea that preventing the enemy from shooting back at you effectively, you will receive fewer casualties, and thus suffer lower attrition than the enemy. This keeps your force in shape for longer, and gives you more meat for the grinder during those critical moments.

 

3 hours ago, Mousie said:

The next part of my question applies to when you are already licking your wounds. How do you regain fire superiority once it is already lost? Now, I don't mean necromancy, bringing forces back from the dead, but instead how do you deal more damage with less firepower in order to turn the tides of battle?

Find a flank, or withdraw. If you've gotten your butt kicked, sitting down and continuing to shoot it out with the enemy is the LAST thing you want to do. This is also a prime time to use whatever arty you have available in a Heavy/Maximum strike against the enemy lead positions. That will enable you to break contact.

Oddly enough, I did much the same thing in a recent quick battle. It worked like a charm.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a pretty dense topic, and I'm not Ft Benning but I'll do my best to answer some of these questions. 

Very first thing to remember: tactics are designed to be easily understood by a 19 year old who is hungry, cold, wet, sleep deprived, sore, smelly, and terrified beyond his wits. If he can do it in those conditions, so can you. 

4 hours ago, Mousie said:

he said that the most important thing is fire superiority. This question is going under the assumption that this is 100% fact, so it can be used as a universal unit of trade.

This is 100% true. Fire superiority is the single most important element of a tactical engagement. 

The reason fire superiority is the most important is because it allows you to maneuver. Maneuver allows you to kill. The side that does not maneuver is the side that dies. 

4 hours ago, Mousie said:

fire superiority is so we are all on the same page. Essentially, it is the measurement of Delta between you and your opponent's firepower; the bigger difference between them, the more superiority is had

Essentially yes. 

4 hours ago, Mousie said:

The reason I call it spending firepower is because everything you do in combat has the opportunity of making you weaker.

Fire superiority negates this. That, and ensuring that a vulnerable/exposed unit is always covered by a protected unit. The classic leap-frog, or as it is properly known the bounding overwatch is a textbook example of this. 

4 hours ago, Mousie said:

How can you control the loss of your military to your advantage?

Combat is not a race to the bottom. You should not be thinking in terms of "breaking down" but in terms of "building up." Always use the "one up" rule, which is this: if you have a team discover an enemy unit and begins engaging, you want to immediately attempt to reinforce that team with a squad. A squad is reinforced by multiple squads. A platoon is reinforced by a company, a company a battalion, and up and up. Casualties are inevitable, but you will suffer the most at the beginning of a firefight, or after you lose fire superiority. The more fire superiority you have, the less casualties you will take. Think of it as a two way inverse ratio. 

4 hours ago, Mousie said:

The next part of my question applies to when you are already licking your wounds. How do you regain fire superiority once it is already lost? Now, I don't mean necromancy, bringing forces back from the dead, but instead how do you deal more damage with less firepower in order to turn the tides of battle?

The short answer is, don't lose fire superiority. Regaining it is extraordinarily difficult and will likely result in many casualties. If you find yourself in a situation you know you cannot win, then fall back. The enemy is trying to kill you, don't oblige him. 

2 hours ago, Mousie said:

Knowing where to strike before you do is a huge help.

It is. A good understanding of terrain and how it affects the battlefield is critical. You mentioned the Armchair General videos. In them, Paulding talks about OCOKA. This is the acronym used for how to go about doing a terrain analysis. I would encourage you to go back to the video where he discusses this in detail and pay close attention. Remember the mantra: terrain dictates. 

2 hours ago, Mousie said:

How do you effectively, and safely, disengage from combat?

This is very difficult. Under ideal circumstances, you disengage from combat when the enemy is either killed or driven off. If you have to break contact while under fire, you want to employ the leap-frog tactic in reverse. Try to keep terrain and other obstacles between you and the enemy you are trying to disengage from. If there is no concealment or terrain to utilize, create it with fire superiority. If the enemy can't lift their head up to shoot at your men while they fall back, then you'll be less likely to take casualties as your men move through exposed positions. 

2 hours ago, Mousie said:

but is there a way to heal squads and regain numbers?

Not during a battle, no. 

2 hours ago, Mousie said:

I think this style of combat is the most Conservative use of your firepower

Do not conserve firepower. "Ammunition is cheap, lives are expensive." "When in doubt, shoot it out." There are specific types of ammunition you should reserve for specific targets in specific situations. For example, you should try to use bazooka's against vehicles before you use them against a building. But on the whole, small arms ammunition should always be expended liberally. The analogy I like to use is water in a desert. You never conserve water in a desert, even if you only have a mouthful or two. It is better to drink what water you have with you, than to die with some left in your canteen. The same applies to ammo. It is better to expend what little ammo you may have and survive the encounter, than to die with rounds left unspent. 

To round this out I'll leave you with this: a while back I made a quick 1 page word document titled "Combat for Dummies." Here is a part of that:

Two Main Principles of Tactical Combat
1.      ALL tactical warfare is about the ability to maneuver your force against the enemy, while preventing him from maneuvering against you
2.     Fire superiority allows your force to maneuver (without taking excessive casualties while doing so) while preventing the enemy force from being able to maneuver against you  

Everything else is varying levels of nuance that informs those two main points. For example, in order to maneuver against the enemy, you have to know where the enemy is. Thus, recon.

Tactical Principles Broken Down Further:
The Four F’s:
1.      Find (Maneuver to contact)
2.      Fix (Gain fire superiority)
3.      Flank (Maneuver against the enemy)
4.      Finish (Eliminate threat by bypassing or killing enemy)

poster_side2_trainer.jpg

There is a lot of nuance to this that is purposely left out, along with mention of terrain and how it affects all of this, but if you start here and fill in the gaps as you go you're off to a good start. 

By the way, those two main principles of tactical combat are just as valid in Caesars legions in 50BC as they are in AD2018. The tools have changed but the principles remain the same. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ill be that jerk and post without reading all previous responses.

2 things. First initially in a battle you can usually achieve fire superiority in several places at once.  Once the battles gotten messy your best bet to achieve or regain fire superiority is to localize the fights. Use terrain features, movement and smoke amd try to pick apart the enemy by localizing engagements and stacking the odds by pouring your strongest guys on each objective.

Second you usially begin a battle with the ability to have superiority (especially as attacker) im several areas or a broad front. Perhaps consider cutting out one or two lanes of attack, and put the units earmarked for that attack in reserve or in line to continue the attackbin a direction another units already going in.

It also really helps to try NOT to get into pitched grinding battles. This is war not sport. You dont want even fights. If youre shooting the enemy in their backs you did something right.

 

I also will use the organic unit transports at the start of a battle to try to evenly distribute all the ammo to my men. Yes it loads them down but those soft skinned vehicles go up really easy and that extra several k rounds of ammo can be crucial, along with the added bazookas or fausts etc.

Any light mortars are really useful for me in cm. I facepalm when i see people use 60mm US mortars as indirect assets from the get go. Of course if the situation changes thats fine but i always try to place my 60mm and even 81s in positions to direct fire. When using the mortars i always give them target light orders. Theyll fire a round about every time they see the previous hit - those mortars are sooo useful in infantry engagements that if you use regular target with them you.ll absolutely waste some precious rounds.

Id add finally judicious use of artillery and with your armor's main gun rounds in support. I see too many noobs use up their tank HE in 2 turns of shelling. Noway. Ill pump 3 or 4 rounds in a bldg, then let my tank instead sit there spraying the building with mg fire. This also is good to just let rip all the way to your men kicking that door in, the game is forgiving for small arms and your men wont get killed by the mg fire.

Edited by Sublime

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Mousie said:

Perhaps the biggest question is: How do you effectively, and safely, disengage from combat? I only played two different scenarios so I don't know, but is there a way to heal squads and regain numbers?

Man this is a tough one.  My experience is the first moment you consider disengaging is probably the time to do it.  We have this tendency to try and wring every last bit out of an engagement we can and that becomes our downfall.  Suffice it to say that if you don't think you are assured at maintaining fire superiority, then bug out to the next defensible position.  Don't second guess it, don't wait.  This also varies in terms of playing a human versus the AI.  Tactics that work against one don't uniformly apply to the other.  The AI will blindly move into a position where you have already sprung an ambush so versus the AI it may make sense to stay put.  Against a human opponent, if you have done some damage then take it for what it is worth and go.  If done well your opponent won't know and will have to approach and assault a now empty position costing them time and likely ammo.

As others noted you cannot heal or regain numbers.  You can however recover fatigue and shake off the effects of suppression which will make that unit more effective in it's next position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to add one thing, which has only very briefly mentioned before: „Training, Training, Training“ is the key to the game.

All good advise helps only so much, because game situations are never the same. Just like in RL, where people are being trained for years and even then may  fail in a real situation.

So, to make a long statement short: Stop thinking too much, but play (preferably H2H).

You will fail a hundred times. But at least it will not hurt. Or “only” your pride. 😎

Otherwise, @IICptMillerII gives excellent practical “text book” advise.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/29/2018 at 5:35 AM, Mousie said:

How do you effectively, and safely, disengage from combat?

 

On 9/29/2018 at 8:42 AM, IICptMillerII said:

<snipped>

This is very difficult. Under ideal circumstances, you disengage from combat when the enemy is either killed or driven off. If you have to break contact while under fire, you want to employ the leap-frog tactic in reverse. Try to keep terrain and other obstacles between you and the enemy you are trying to disengage from. If there is no concealment or terrain to utilize, create it with fire superiority. If the enemy can't lift their head up to shoot at your men while they fall back, then you'll be less likely to take casualties as your men move through exposed positions. 

<snipped>

 

One addition, if I may.  Use smoke!  Popping smoke or shooting smoke tank / artillery / mortar rounds between your positions and enemy locations can momentarily screen your movements for safer withdrawal.  However, smoke takes a few moments to establish itself and you will need to prevent enemy advances towards the forces screened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Badger73 said:

 

 

One addition, if I may.  Use smoke!  Popping smoke or shooting smoke tank / artillery / mortar rounds between your positions and enemy locations can momentarily screen your movements for safer withdrawal.  However, smoke takes a few moments to establish itself and you will need to prevent enemy advances towards the forces screened.

Saved me some typing +1...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/29/2018 at 6:35 AM, Mousie said:

 How do you effectively, and safely, disengage from combat? 

I have one more thing to add: plan ahead. On defense as you are settling up think about how each team will make it to thier fall back position. On the attack the route you men took to get there can usually be used to get out but pay attention in case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Top notch advice in this thread. My two cents:

I remember reading a translated excerpt from a late Cold War Soviet infantry manual: "Fire [superiority] is maneuver." The meaning of this is that fire superiority is potential for advance. You can see why an army geared towards breaking through the Fulda would prize oversized canons (for their time) on everything from MBTs, IFVs, SPGs, ETCs. If you lose that superiority, you become suppressed and cannot advance. How does one gain or lose fire superiority?

In WW1, folks found out that attacking across wide fronts, like was done in Napoleonic Wars, lead to little gain against a modern defender. In comes the success of the "Schwehrpunkt", which means main point. In order to succeed against a modern defender, your attacks must be concentrated on small, but significant, locations. This way, an attacker, with potentially less fire support assets, can break through a defender that spaces out their, potentially over abundant,  assets. The famous Desert Storm is the manifestation of this concept, where a modern attacker faced a WW1-minded defender.

Tactics are all about location. Terrain makes or breaks battle plans. A canon on a hill is more effective than a hundred canons stuck in a ditch. A tank behind a hill is more effective than a a tank platoon on a forward slope. As such, the attacker must choose their Schwehrpunkts wisely and a defender must anticipate them. You can see why knowledge of the terrain is such a critical part of success from the ancient days to modern Ukraine. In order to get to favorable locations, one needs to maneuver. As such, Maneuver is fire superiority.

Much like matter and energy, the name of the game is finding the most efficient transfer function. Maneuver the right assets into the right locations to gain fire superiority and use fire superiority to move to the next good location. I think the historical zenith of this concept must be Operation Citadel. I suggest you read up on it, it can teach you how to use and not use these concepts to the maximum effect more than I can. The Soviets made diamond shape fortifications, with some of their guns facing backwards. They knew the Germans were going to out-maneuver them and they were ready to slow them down even after they passed their front-line. 

This is why reconnaissance and careful planning is key. The choice of Schwehrpunkts should be made way in advance, and the entire attack based off of that. In order to do that, you must know where the enemy's assets lie and the terrain. Even in today's age of satellites and UAVs, nobody has total omniscience. The defenders do well do conceal their assets, as to not allow the attacker to find the right Schwehrpunkt. Well prepared artillery barrages and air attacks will establish your fire superiority, surprise ambushes by hidden guns will take it away.

In CM, much of the high level recon and planning of Schwehrpunkts is done for you. Yet, you must do the same on the low level. Before you even start positioning your forces, take a good long while to observe the terrain. My advice to any CM player: "Think like the Hun"! If you were OPFOR where would you place your assets? The more you play, the better you will be at thinking for OPFOR. Unfortunately such forethought only comes with a lot of mistakes and a lot of blood. Every new terrain you find yourself in, and a new enemy you face will require you to relearn and adapt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/29/2018 at 12:35 PM, Mousie said:

Looks like it's back to the training mission for me! There's a lot I must work on

Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it with practice. When I started playing, I remember finishing the training campaign with most of my units broken, out of ammo, and mostly dead. And that's not because the campaign itself is in any way difficult :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Very interesting topic! Some of my thoughts for the attack - I agree a lot with General Jack Ripper's remarks :) :

Fire and manoeuvre often gets you killed as it tricks you into a "tunnel vision". The problem is that the covering fire of the cover team works in one direction, but as the assault team advances, it exposes its flanks to other directions, to positions that cannot be suppressed by the cover team. So for me, fire and manoeuvre is only safe if you're sure that your flanks will be secure throughout the attack. On 95% of the quickbattle maps (I don't own CM:BN though), that's not possible. If there is a small hill flanking the path of your assault team, the assault is not safe unless you know that there is no enemy defilade position behind that hill. Smoke can be used to secure flanks. And suppressive artillery barrages can also be used to temporarily reduce the threat of a potential enemy flanking position.

What I usually do on the attack is that I try to play the map more than the enemy. Sure, you can scout as much as you want, but this usually costs lots and lots of time and if the defender knows how to play, he will have troops in defilade ambush positions. So I stick to the principle: Don't wait to see the enemy. Open fire at any position where the enemy might be. Relying on my units' spotting ability is too risky for me. If all potential positions of the enemy are suppressed, then the fact that you're opening fire (give away your position) cannot be exploited by the enemy. Of course this means that my ammo expenditure is incredibly high. I spend huge amounts of ammo to preserve my assets. And it also means that I'm always searching for the approach that is exposed to as few potential enemy positions as possible. This reduces the amount of ammo needed and makes the approach safer in general. You need to have a sufficient amount of weapons/assets to pre-emptively (not reactively!) suppress all positions. 

You also want to open fire with all assets at once. Delays / a staggered employment of fires gives the enemy a time window in which he can fire back, which might result in more losses and utlimately stop your attack. Don't start to move until your fire has built up sufficiently (yes, these 1-2 extra minutes increase ammo consumption even further). It's also a good idea to have some assets as "jokers" or "fire extinguishers" (no area-fire assigned to them) - simply to tackle the problem that units which are area-firing do not assess other threats.

If the best/narrowest approach to an objective is still overwatched by many enemy positions, then you want to play it very slowly. Expose your troops slowly, meter by meter (over a hill/corner). Never expose your troops to more (potential) enemies than it is absolutely necessary. Isolate enemy positions and overwhelm them with concentrated fire of your own. If you really need to attack with few assets, you may want to temporarily take out enemy positions by using smoke. 

Armor is a particular problem ifor this approach, simply because area fire fails to suppress armor. So if armor is involved, you really have to use aimed fire. There is no easy solution to overcome armor in the attack. Make sure to scout with infantry first and report enemy tank contacts to your tanks to increase their spotting chance/speed. Try to get as many heavy calibres on as few enemy heavy calibres as possible and reveal all your assets at once. Any delays will increase your losses. If you have superior numbers, it's probably also a good idea to engage at the longest possible range. The lower the quality of the shots, the more important their quantity gets.

I also try to lock down my approach area. Don't let the enemy reinforce the approach area. If the enemy tries to move, you've already turned the roles around. Moving units are always at a disadvantage against stationary units in keyhole positions. So before you start the attack, try to position assets in a way in which they're out of the enemy's sight but able to cover the routes to your approach area if the enemy should move. Counter your opponent's reinforcement-attempts.

 

Edited by Kaunitz

Share this post


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

simply to tackle the problem that units which are area-firing do not assess other threats.

Units that are assigned area targets do react to other threats. The Tac AI is actually pretty good about ignoring area targeting orders when spotted threats appear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, IanL said:

Units that are assigned area targets do react to other threats. The Tac AI is actually pretty good about ignoring area targeting orders when spotted threats appear.

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? 

Edited by Kaunitz

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

×