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On 9/29/2018 at 5:59 AM, Mousie said:

Do you guys split your units often? Perhaps to have many people occupying buildings at the same time for area control?
Only time I've actually used it wasn't a real combat situation, but during the training exercise. It does make people useful for scouts at least.
Speaking of which, can buildings be used as scouting locations once you shorten the targeting cone?

I'm trying to learn about every tactic I can use to my advantage, this game is really tough, even on the training difficulty.

The only time I do not split my squads is when they are moving in a secure area and are not likely to run into any enemy units.  In order to use real world tactics (which I highly recommend) you MUST split your squads.

Read my Battle Drill blog for explanations, specifically:  Movement Techniques, the React to Contact, Squad Attack and the Fire and Movement Battle Drills, plus the Platoon Leader section, specifically Scouting techniques

I hope this is helpful and not redundant... I haven't read this entire thread.

 

In my CMRT BETA AAR I laid out a Squad Attack Drill using a Soviet infantry squad.. the key to using a squad split is to ensure that the teams can be mutually supporting.  The excerpt from the AAR follows; this example shows mutually supporting fire, and leap frog movement as the Team's roles change through the attack: 

Squad Attack Drill

3rd Squad/1st Plt./4th Company that was formerly scouting for 5th company was given the task of taking out the HMG team that has been sitting on the approaches to Blau for several turns now...

The LMG Team and the Rifle Team made up my base of fire while the SMG Team was my maneuver element...

Elvis tried to extricate the HMG team but they ran right in front of the SMG team which cut down at least three of them (bottom image). Next I close and finish any survivors.

12827872134_a14e19867e_b.jpg

Squad Attack Drill - the finish

The survivors of the enemy HMG team that I was attacking last turn surrendered as the squad's rifle team closed on the position... the SMG Team was back in support for this move and the LMG Team moved forward as well.

12835307823_1e553d81bb_b.jpg

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

 

Squad Attack Drill

3rd Squad/1st Plt./4th Company that was formerly scouting for 5th company was given the task of taking out the HMG team that has been sitting on the approaches to Blau for several turns now...

The LMG Team and the Rifle Team made up my base of fire while the SMG Team was my maneuver element...

Elvis tried to extricate the HMG team but they ran right in front of the SMG team which cut down at least three of them (bottom image). Next I close and finish any survivors.

The survivors of the enemy HMG team that I was attacking last turn surrendered as the squad's rifle team closed on the position... the SMG Team was back in support for this move and the LMG Team moved forward as well.

 

Good example, but the enemy hMG was badly positioned and isolated. In a proper defence, the approach to the hMG would be covered by other positions - e.g. behind the house to the left or in a house further to the rear/left (cannot be reached by your cover team), in the little wood to the right. It's the tunnel vision that can give you a bloody nose in CM if you try to advance by fire and manoeuvre. 

Also, I wonder whether the fire team actually fired? Trading fire with a hMG with some rifles usually doesn't end very well for the rifles. ^^ (Unless the very short range here helped the rifles. The MG is deployed within 110m of a wood that provides excellent cover for attackers to approach)

Personally, I find it too risky to just suppress the one position I'm aware of and manoeuvre against it, keeping my fingers crossed that there are no other enemy positions. It's much safer to suppress all potential positions within the line-of-sight-sector and only then start to move. :) Ammo traded for fewer casualties! Of course you need much more firepower to pull this off. 

Sometimes, I get the impression that the whole "fire & manoeuvre" for infantry was just propaganda to give the infantryman the idea they can win. Yah! You can do it! If the enemy is isolated and offers his flanks, and if there is no enemy armor around, and if artillery doesn't hit you! No really, you can do it! I guess CM has spoilt me *thousand yard stare*

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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If you don't have a covered approach for fire and manouevre, you use fire and movement instead. That's a bounding, frontal attack, that will cost you more men, rather than one with an element attacking from a 45+ degree offset.

You still need to close to finish the enemy efficiently, and close as safely as possible.

It's entirely true that a decent opponent will cover their flanks, and make this as difficult as possible, but (aside from really unfortunate terrain), it shouldn't be possible for them to be everywhere, and that's where decent recce comes in.

Obviously, if you have the advantages, you should use them - with enough time, it might be absolutely appropriate to sit back and just level the place with artillery - but there are (often!) scenarios where you don't have everything you need, so you need to make incremental advantages where you can.

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2 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

I never split a Soviet squad because I treated a Soviet squad as a team. I rarely have to conserve manpower as I do while playing Germans in FB. This being said, their squads are pretty big and like to bunch up. They'd probably benefit from splitting -- more so when defending "SEND ARTILLERY HERE" positions, than storming Fortress Europe.

I also rarely split Soviet squads. I think I notice reduced morale when split, but it's not terrible. When I do split, I try to keep the teams close together, and as I recall the penalty is for being split AND unable to see the squad leader. Their lack of an Assistant leader is a definite handicap when splitting. I find the Assault command to be a little slow for the Soviets, because they have 3 leapfrogging teams. But in v4 you can recombine the squad, giving you just two teams, which move faster.

I do split off scout teams. In open terrain, where the scouts are unlikely to encounter enemies close-up, I find it's better to split off an assault team first, then the scouts, then recombine the assault squad with the leftover third team. This leaves you with a nearly complete squad with LMG, squad leader, all the SMGs, and a few rifles, plus a scout team with rifles (instead of the SMGs you'd get if you split them off directly).

 

Edited by General Liederkranz

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2 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

Good example, but the enemy hMG was badly positioned and isolated. In a proper defence, the approach to the hMG would be covered by other positions - e.g. behind the house to the left or in a house further to the rear/left (cannot be reached by your cover team), in the little wood to the right. It's the tunnel vision that can give you a bloody nose in CM if you try to advance by fire and manoeuvre. 

Also, I wonder whether the fire team actually fired? Trading fire with a hMG with some rifles usually doesn't end very well for the rifles. ^^ (Unless the very short range here helped the rifles. The MG is deployed within 110m of a wood that provides excellent cover for attackers to approach)

Personally, I find it too risky to just suppress the one position I'm aware of and manoeuvre against it, keeping my fingers crossed that there are no other enemy positions. It's much safer to suppress all potential positions within the line-of-sight-sector and only then start to move. :) Ammo traded for fewer casualties! Of course you need much more firepower to pull this off. 

Sometimes, I get the impression that the whole "fire & manoeuvre" for infantry was just propaganda to give the infantryman the idea they can win. Yah! You can do it! If the enemy is isolated and offers his flanks, and if there is no enemy armor around, and if artillery doesn't hit you! No really, you can do it! I guess CM has spoilt me *thousand yard stare*

Some background on this action... this is about turn 40 or so of a very long BETA AAR game and the HMG team featured was on the shoulder of a defensive line that my opponent had oriented on another approach, which was a large scale feint in reality... the squad as shown was hitting the HMG Team from the rear.  It was isolated because he had been forced to redeploy any neighboring units, and this was really the start of the cleanup phase of the battle. 

Saying that, I do not believe that it nullifies the lesson I was trying to teach.

It is rare that a player can have an unbroken, and mutually supportive line of defense, most times there are opportunities, maybe not against a single unit as shown above, but maybe an isolated platoon that can be attacked using a Fire and Maneuver drill scaled up to the Company (this happened in this same battle to a German infantry platoon that found itself isolated, flanked and almost destroyed (I think I counted 22 bodies and POWs left in the wake of his platoon remnant's retreat))... its about being flexible, having a good set of pre-rehearsed battle drills and implementing them whenever possible at whatever scale is necessary.

I stand by my tactics as they are rooted in reality, and I also stand by the fact that to really get the most of your infantry squads, you must split them.

Fun discussion.

Bil

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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2 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

Good example, but the enemy hMG was badly positioned and isolated. In a proper defence, the approach to the hMG would be covered by other positions - e.g. behind the house to the left or in a house further to the rear/left (cannot be reached by your cover team), in the little wood to the right. It's the tunnel vision that can give you a bloody nose in CM if you try to advance by fire and manoeuvre.

It was clearly a microcosm demonstrating the tactics of splitting squads and using them. 

29 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

I stand by my tactics as they are rooted in reality, and I think I have proven that they work in CM over and over again.  I also stand by the fact that to really get the most of your infantry squads, you must split them.

+1. I think Battle Drill and the examples you provide are exceptional. You can lead a horse to water...

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19 hours ago, General Liederkranz said:

I also rarely split Soviet squads. I think I notice reduced morale when split, but it's not terrible. When I do split, I try to keep the teams close together, and as I recall the penalty is for being split AND unable to see the squad leader. Their lack of an Assistant leader is a definite handicap when splitting. I find the Assault command to be a little slow for the Soviets, because they have 3 leapfrogging teams. But in v4 you can recombine the squad, giving you just two teams, which move faster.

Yeah, I try not to use ASSAULT at long distances for that reason. I usually air on the side of caution when approaching, and stick with HUNT. 3 squads of a platoon HUNTing parallel to each-other, but spaced out. That way, if shots are fired, a squad or two will drop to the ground -- and cover the squad that has not been shot at and is still HUNTing. Let the enemy engage guys that aren't advancing, so a squad can sneak in.

Yeah, C2 is a challenge with the Soviets. You may have things worked out in the fire superiority department, but keeping all your many ducks in a row takes special attention.

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I just split things such as anti-tank and scout teams as and when I need to. I also sometimes split my infantry sections in order to separate the "bren group" from the rest, for the sake of brinish infantry section doctrine, that's probably the only time I might split a section before needed and leave then split, because recombining the remaining two teams back into a "rifle group" I consider an little bit of a pain. Otherwise I prefer to try and keep units un-split, mainly just for ease of management purposes really, less icons cluttering the map and four rather than ten units to control and keep in c2 with the platoon commander.

flankingdiagram

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And forgot to say: Yep, I tend to split teams, too. Gives one more flexibility and less vulnerable targets.

The down sides are, if course:

- lesser firepower

- split teams are wiped out quicker

I.e., when I think to need firepower, I keep teams together. Again, it needs game experience to judge what is required.

Refering to my earlier post: I do not always seem to have enough experience. 🤔

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Also, the usual "trick" to fire in a direction with prone infantry doesn't work that well with large squads that occupy 2 squares. In most terrain types, prone infantry can't see that far and therefore has problems to fire. So what I do is to area-target a square at a very close distance, and if the terrain is flat, the prone infantry's fire can be very effective even without clear LOS. With large squads, this does not work as well because only the soldiers located on the "primary square" of the unit will fire according to the line of fire. The other soldiers (positioned on the "secondary sqaure") will fire at the targeted square's center from their current position. So you end up with an X fire pattern, with some of the fires deviating about 45° of the intended line of fire.

 

 

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On 10/10/2018 at 10:03 AM, DerKommissar said:

I try to keep my squads together because I feel they're a more effective fighting force than 2 teams.

That's how I played in CMx1, where split squads suffered a distinct firepower and morale disadvantage, but that no longer seems to be the case in CMx2.

Michael

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On 10/10/2018 at 8:48 PM, Kaunitz said:

Sometimes, I get the impression that the whole "fire & manoeuvre" for infantry was just propaganda to give the infantryman the idea they can win. Yah! You can do it! If the enemy is isolated and offers his flanks, and if there is no enemy armor around, and if artillery doesn't hit you!

I somewhat agree with you here, but at the same time, it's all about figuring out when to use what kind of approach.

If the enemy is well prepared with interlocking fields of fire etc, you won't break the line of resistance using fire and movement. It's more something that comes into play when the line is fragmented and opportunities start to present themselves. Even so, it's kind of a last resort, as it's always preferable to just bring in a tank or artillery to blast that HMG position.

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In general (and it obviously differs with national doctrine and equipment), I think it's often reasonable and useful to see the squad as "A light machine gun, and some warm bodies that keep it going". 

(That's definitely less true for the US in WW2 - the Garand's rate of fire can make up for the poor LMG output, but it's reasonable for the Germans and Commonwealth forces, as well as anything in the modern titles.)

Splitting into fireteams using the actual "split squads" button therefore automatically splits them by weapon - if a squad splits into three, it'll typically have the LMG in one, an AT asset in the second and an SMG in the third, or something similar - rifles are mostly there to make up the numbers and bulk the fire, and the core weapons are usually what the squad is about.

So... no, I'm not convinced that splitting squads loses much in terms of firepower. I think that's often true for CM in general - the right unit with the right weapon in the right place is often equally or more effective than much larger numbers of enemies. You could model this as a "Force multiplier", but I suspect that's a little disingenuous or at least unhelpful in actual practice.


Fundamentally, this is why units like the Commonwealth Carrier Platoons are intriguing - they're mechanised infantry embedded into infantry battalions, with a tiny number of troops with disproportionate firepower - they have similar numbers of men to a large squad, but have the firepower of a platoon or greater, as well as mobility and some armour protection. They don't have much staying power - random artillery can destroy them very quickly - but used correctly they can handle themselves to far greater effect than a much larger unit.

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The danger of having a split squad is that each individual team will Rattle, Shake and Panic quicker when taking casualties than a combined squad. This is due to the percentages. 1 man KIA in a 4 man team is a 25% casualty rate, whereas 1 man KIA in a 12 man squad is...well you do the maths!

There is a case to be made for keeping a squad intact for certain specific tasks. Although this increases the risk of higher casualties from explosives, it can be useful when you want that extra bit of punch and resilience.

I will use a combined squad against a weakened position that I want gone but have no other means of getting it done other than to send in the grunts, and am confident that the position has been isolated.

Additionally splitting teams in a green or conscript squad is the best way to ensure everyone runs away at the first sign of trouble. Also if you split a squad that is Nervous (when not under suppression), you will have 1 or 2 of the teams become Rattled when split.

To add my 2 cents into the 'Fire and Manoeuvre' debate, I think that the concept would be clearer if the drill were renamed 'Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire & Manoeuvre'. The reason that this drill fails in game is typically because equal weight is given to each component. That is to say that a typical way of interpreting 'Fire and Manoeuvre' is to have 1st squad firing and 2nd squad manoeuvring (or 1 team firing and 1 team manoeuvring)

If the 80/20 rule is used, then Fire and Manoeuvre becomes much more successful.

Therefore;   'Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire & Manoeuvre'

 

 

 

 

Edited by Josey Wales

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3 minutes ago, Josey Wales said:

The danger of having a split squad is that each individual team will Rattle, Shake and Panic quicker when taking casualties than a combined squad. This is due to the percentages. 1 man KIA in a 4 man team is a 25% casualty rate, whereas 1 man KIA in a 12 man squad is...well you do the maths!

8.3%! ;)

Thanks a lot! So morale effects take into account the % of casualties, squad size matters! Very interesting!

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5 minutes ago, Josey Wales said:

To add my 2 cents into the 'Fire and Manoeuvre' debate, I think that the concept would be clearer if the drill were renamed 'Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire & Manoeuvre'. The reason that this drill fails in game is typically because equal weight is given to each component. That is to say that a typical way of interpreting 'Fire and Manoeuvre' is to have 1st squad firing and 2nd squad manoeuvring (or 1 team firing and 1 team manoeuvring)

If the 80/20 rule is used, then Fire and Manoeuvre becomes much more successful.

Therefore;   'Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire & Manoeuvre'

Fire & Movement and the Squad Attack Drill do not have to be 50% to the support element and 50% to the maneuver element.. I typically (and in my example above show this) have two teams back (for squads that can break into three teams) and one single team as the maneuver element.  But it can be any weight you want, and can even scale (as you described), for example you could have one full platoon providing support by fire while one squad maneuvers... etc.  What is the most important is to have enough fire being laid on the target to suppress it so the maneuver element can close and assault.

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Basically Josey yeah what you said before. I think the issue I see is that people compromise their base of fire too heavily to get the enemy "in one go" as the British put it. Excessively heavy assault element covered by an overwatch of insufficient strength to protect its assault element. You're doing it wrong when you're own overwatch is so badly compromised it can't even protect itself! 

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