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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.

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5 minutes ago, Mousie said:

Do you guys split your units often?

All the time. Aside from creating special use teams like scouts or AT guys, just using the Split Squad command allows me to spread my troops out, making them less lucrative targets for artillery or mortars. That also allows me to use a favorite tactic if I am having to cross open ground. That is to used bounding overwatch. One team will start off using Quick and dash about 24 meters before stopping to pause for 10 seconds. The second team, after waiting 10 seconds, starts off to do the same thing. The third team, after waiting 20 seconds, starts their first leg. Keep repeating this until the turn has expired or all troops have reached their final destination. The advantages of moving this way are twofold. The spotting cycle in CM is usually around 7 seconds. So if your guys are lying down in tall grass for 10, the enemy units that might have noticed them running will forget about them and switch their attention elsewhere, which can make their fire less effective. The second advantage is that while one of your teams is up and running, the other two are able to spot and return fire on any enemy units that may have opened up on the runners. Even if they don't create any casualties, that tends to suppress the enemy and make his fire less effective.

Michael

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2 hours ago, Mousie said:

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

Just goes to show you how gamey all those "realistic" RTS titles really are, don't it? Real world tactics invoke real world outcomes in CM, more so than any other game at this level that I can think of. No health bars, no armor hit points, no base rushing, just good old fashion tactics. A lot of your problems will be unlearning exploits and "tactics" that you picked up while playing pretenders. The CM1 guys had a similar problem when they transitioned from the old titles to the new engine because of the change in fidelity and abstractions. But whatever you do, don't get frustrated, once you get it you'll be rewarded with years of fun.

 

Mord.

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Michael is right on the money as far as I’m concerned, Mousie. The only time I don’t split squads is when moving up the the line of departure and out of LOS/LOF  of the enemy. Also, as for when to retreat or bug out, when playing against a human opponent at least, my rule of thumb is that when I think it’s time to skedaddle, it’s already too late. I’ve learned to start retrograde movement several turns before I was thinking to do so as the enemy presses in and it “seems” they are about to get an edge. In other words, it’s just sense I get probably just from playing the game for so long. And from getting into situations where I’m getting my butt kicked, lol!   I played in a lot of campaigns run by the guys at “The Few Good Men”, and almost always as the Germans, so I was retreating a lot!

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22 minutes ago, Mord said:

no base rushing,

What do you mean, "No Base Rushing"...I still do that all the time, especially in Meeting Engagements :-)

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16 minutes ago, JoMc67 said:

What do you mean, "No Base Rushing"

Ask the Japanese and early war Russians.

 

17 minutes ago, JoMc67 said:

I still do that all the time, especially in Meeting Engagements 🙂

LOL. Yeah me too, and it works 30% of the time 100% of the time. As long as you are faster than your opponent!

 

Mord.

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The other thing that splitting squads is useful for, is gaining finer control of your squad weapons.

If the squad was engaging with another squad, and you're happy with your position, but the LMG is in the wrong place, you can hit the "Split Squad" button, and the LMG will now be in a three man team (without moving), and you can shift it to where you need it.

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Unsplit squads will automatically do 'bounding overwatch' if you use an 'assault' command. But it only works well if the movement waypoints are relatively close together and the place the team stops at has an unobstructed view to fire defensively from. People (meaning me) always make the mistake of doing one long run for 'assault' and the waypoints not within sight of eachother.

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35 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

Unsplit squads will automatically do 'bounding overwatch' if you use an 'assault' command. But it only works well if the movement waypoints are relatively close together and the place the team stops at has an unobstructed view to fire defensively from. People (meaning me) always make the mistake of doing one long run for 'assault' and the waypoints not within sight of eachother.

Yeah I have a bad habit of doing that, I really need to use that command at shorter ranges.

Good post.

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Posted (edited)

I also use it whenever possible. As mentioned before, it gives several advantages:

  • Squads are less bunched up (not as vulnerable against artillery)
  • Splitting up a squad gives you two units, which are two seperate positions for eyeballs. Better/more flexible observation!
  • Splitting up a squad in two units lets you target two targets instead of one. Very handy for suppressive fire (still I'd like to point out that MGs should be allowed to cover several targets within a single turn! Imho this is a huge issue and it's the number 2 on my CM-wishlist)
  • Better  control over movement (a split-up squad only occupies one square instead of two)
  • I suppose that small units are spotted less easily (Spotting is based on individual soldiers, not units. The fewer soldiers there are moving through a square, the fewer of them can be potentially spotted!)
  • Higher manoeuverability (I need to check that out again, but some infantry actions/waypoints are only triggered once every member of a squad has reached his final position in the square. With larger squad, this simply takes more time. Especially once you get a few injured squad members - they move slowlier).  

There might be some disadvantages in terms of morale though (unfortunately, splitting up squads is not covered in Josey Wales' excellent analysis of soft factors in CM games). Note that splitting up squads changes/creates a new the leadership modifier for 1 team of the squad. For Russian squads in Red Thunder, a negative effect on morale is officially confirmed.

Edited by Kaunitz

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6 hours ago, Kaunitz said:
  • Higher maneuverability (I need to check that out again, but some infantry actions/waypoints are only triggered once every member of a squad has reached his final position in the square. With larger squad, this simply takes more time. Especially once you get a few injured squad members - they move slower.  

Excellent post.  +1

Reference infantry actions at waypoints.  The above is true in my experience also.  Because of this I will often give a small  Target Arc at the second to the last waypoint to keep the first troop that arrives at the last waypoint from shooting until the entire team arrives at the last waypoint.  Then the last waypoint has a large Target Arc or Face command which cancels the small Target Arc that was given at the second to the last waypoint.  This way the fire team will hold fire at the last waypoint until the entire team is in place and ready.  In this situation I typically have the team Slow into the final waypoint so hopefully they are not noticed and don't draw fire until they are ready and are shooting.   

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The value of splitting units depends heavily on the side you're playing and what you're doing, and in my opinion it is often done in the game for the wrong reasons. 

Personally when I can help it, I don't split my units. Some of the advantages like more eyes for spotting are offset by the decreased firepower, making individual teams less able to defend themselves and certainly unable to engage many kinds of targets. For some sides, especially the Allies and Soviets, compromising your advantage in firepower should be done as minimally as possible. You need as many men as you can muster for any firefight so you can completely overmatch a reasonable target. I'm not talking a 2:1 or even 4:1 to advantage in firepower. I'm saying if you're doing it right you never fail to ensure the firepower of an entire Platoon comes crashing down on a pair of lowly Volksgrenadiers in a knoll or in an unfortunate French Farmhouse. 

Just about the only units I ever split off from Allied infantry are scout teams, sometimes assault teams too, but even then they're just playing armed recon. The point is you should always be able to put your fist through whatever is dumb enough to lash out at your force. In this way, you make it totally impossible for them to do their job which is kill your men, and put them in a position where even their own self defense is in question. Splitting your own units too frequently does not generally assist this in my experience, as it creates many small groups of mutually unsupported and unsupportive teams who spend most of their time being the target instead of making targets. You're doing your enemy's job for him when you excessively split your force and ensure that no element of his defense will be excessively task saturated or overloaded. Way of the closed fist, not the open palm, grasshopper. 

Now that's just my own experience, it fits the circumstances of the average Allied/Soviet task force in my opinion and it's not universal. If you prefer to split units a lot and the micro management of small teams is how you like to play than my friend never fail to load up scenarios as the Wehrmacht as you will be rewarded for that kind of play style with them much more frequently than you will as the Americans or British or Russians. 

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Whilst I can see the point in not splitting US WW2 squads for firepower reasons (given the lack of a real LMG), I'm not sure that carries over to the British - doctrinally and in the game, the Bren operated as a three man team, and is as much of a centrepiece/focal point as the MG42 is for German squads - splitting into a manoeuvre element and a base of fire is sensible and useful.

Soviet and Italian squads, sure. Those are clunky by design.

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1 hour ago, SimpleSimon said:

The value of splitting units depends heavily on the side you're playing and what you're doing, and in my opinion it is often done in the game for the wrong reasons. 

Personally when I can help it, I don't split my units. Some of the advantages like more eyes for spotting are offset by the decreased firepower, making individual teams less able to defend themselves and certainly unable to engage many kinds of targets.

The concept of concentrating firepower is correct.   But, if one does move in large formations it is much more likely that one enemy with a MG can cause a lot of casualties as one has provided a "target rich environment".   In the game, the men group up way too tightly.  Most experienced players always split their units but move them in a way that they are able to be mutually supporting.  Yes, that does require micromanagement.  

 

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2 hours ago, domfluff said:

Whilst I can see the point in not splitting US WW2 squads for firepower reasons (given the lack of a real LMG), I'm not sure that carries over to the British - doctrinally and in the game, the Bren operated as a three man team, and is as much of a centrepiece/focal point as the MG42 is for German squads - splitting into a manoeuvre element and a base of fire is sensible and useful.

Soviet and Italian squads, sure. Those are clunky by design.

What do you mean by "clunky"? Soviet Rifle squads in game have one machine gun per section, identical to the British. Gaurds Infantry have several SMGs and even SVTs. Seems very desirable to me. 

Contrary to shock troops, like the Airborne or SS, nobody really expected infantry to achieve much by themselves. That's why regular infantry were so lightly armed, and why the bolt action rifle did not finally go extinct until after 1945. The infantry's main job was the most basic of them all, to compose and populate a battle line. Hence the infantry in most armies are armed with one machine gun per section and sometimes an SMG for the leader. (If they were even anything near their own ToE, which they frequently weren't.) In many cases a pistol may have been all the squad leader had. These guys weren't expected to work miracles, they were expected to sit in a hole and stomach the Chef's mutton stew. If seizure of an objective was desired then it generally behooved their superiors to have already smashed said' objective with artillery fire. The infantry must merely advance into the pummeled moonscape and take prisoners or crush holdouts. This is kind of why everyone was slow to adopt battle rifles or assault rifles between the wars, and the machine guns that emerged in the 1920/30s were largely designed with cheaper production in mind rather than outperforming older guns. 

Other than the radio very little actually changed about the way infantry did battle in 1918 as to how they did it in 1945. The idea of infantry advancing into smashed moonscapes to defeat an enemy already defeated by bombardment was not glamorous but in the wars of the 20th century that was exactly what they did. So they were armed with that in mind. Yes yes they might run into something they actually have to shoot sometimes but if it was something heavier than two riflemen in a ditch then someone above their pay grade screwed up. 

1 hour ago, Erwin said:

The concept of concentrating firepower is correct.   But, if one does move in large formations it is much more likely that one enemy with a MG can cause a lot of casualties as one has provided a "target rich environment".   In the game, the men group up way too tightly.  Most experienced players always split their units but move them in a way that they are able to be mutually supporting.  Yes, that does require micromanagement.  

That's just comes from not screening your main body properly. I agree the AI is boneheaded about unit pathing though, but that's not really a major problem as long as you're tasking your force sensibly. Mistakes will happen sure but the biggest mistake of them all is to let an enemy have you convinced you have no strength, and cannot challenge him. 

 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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7 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

<snipped>

Contrary to shock troops, like the Airborne or SS, nobody really expected infantry to achieve much by themselves. That's why regular infantry were so lightly armed, and why the bolt action rifle did not finally go extinct until after 1945. The infantry's main job was the most basic of them all, to compose and populate a battle line.

<snipped>

Would you mind citing some sources?  Thank you.

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12 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

What do you mean by "clunky"? Soviet Rifle squads in game have one machine gun per section, identical to the British. Gaurds Infantry have several SMGs and even SVTs. Seems very desirable to me.

Soviet squads get morale penalties for splitting, and Italian squads are currently unable to do so at all (but it's been hinted that a similar effect will occur for them, at some point). They're not designed to be used in agile fireteams, thus clunky.

The SMG squads and tank riders are still fairly awkward - they're very strong in their role, but they have essentially one job to do - there's nothing in there which could be described as "elegant".

Edited by domfluff

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17 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Way of the closed fist, not the open palm, grasshopper. 

 

13 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Contrary to shock troops, like the Airborne or SS, nobody really expected infantry to achieve much by themselves.

I agree with your second post, but disagree with your first post. My infantry is always split up because their main role is to assault at very short range whatever is left of the enemy after the heavy calibresand automatic long range fire from vehicles or hMGs have hit/suppressed him. Before it is in assault range, infantry's main task is to advance within assault range with as few casualties as possible - this usually means not getting involved in any fire fights, i.e. not being the closed fist (in any way it turns out that the fist is very squishy and vulnerable against virtually anything). 1-2 grenades will do for a house and I don't need the entire squad for 1-2 grenades. Way of the sneaky little finger! :)

Edited by Kaunitz

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Quote

Contrary to shock troops, like the Airborne or SS, nobody really expected infantry to achieve much by themselves.

Is a fairly ambiguous statement - certainly infantry are present in a combined arms sense in the larger scheme of things, but at the kind of scale that CM games often are, there are plenty of tasks which infantry are expected to be able to achieve using their organic arms - if not, there wouldn't be much point in giving them the variety of weapons that they have.

Certainly the British army spent a lot of effort on small unit doctrine, and the presence of LMGs and 2 inch mortars at the platoon level imply that the infantry platoon has tasks that it can complete without additional aid.

 

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I think it was Rommel who tested and came up with the ratio of supporting fire to assaulters of something like 10:1.   That's a primary reason I split squads in a platoon -  to have almost all teams laying down supporting fire while one team closes to short range and assaults.

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13 hours ago, Badger73 said:

Would you mind citing some sources?  Thank you.

S.L.A. Marshall

8 hours ago, domfluff said:

Soviet squads get morale penalties for splitting, and Italian squads are currently unable to do so at all (but it's been hinted that a similar effect will occur for them, at some point). They're not designed to be used in agile fireteams, thus clunky.

The SMG squads and tank riders are still fairly awkward - they're very strong in their role, but they have essentially one job to do - there's nothing in there which could be described as "elegant".

I haven't seen the morale penalty, but maybe they don't do it with Gaurds Rifles? Anyway penalizing the player for breaking Russian infantry down into teams is foolish, and violates BF's own principal that they don't influence the play style of sides by their nationality. I'll look more closely next time when I play Soviets, but I haven't seen that and if it's there it hasn't been a significant issue to me. The Italians can't split units down into subparts but that's less egregious to me since it's organizational, not implied to be "some kind of Italian thing". 

And man the peculiarities of Italian organization are amazing to me. It's so bad but I get such amusement out of playing as them i'm sad more Italian units and stuff just aren't in the game. It's like when you achieve anything playing as the Italians it's SOOOOO much more satisfying than as anyone else because they're so off foot about fighting modern wars against peer enemies. 

6 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

 

I agree with your second post, but disagree with your first post. My infantry is always split up because their main role is to assault at very short range whatever is left of the enemy after the heavy calibresand automatic long range fire from vehicles or hMGs have hit/suppressed him. Before it is in assault range, infantry's main task is to advance within assault range with as few casualties as possible - this usually means not getting involved in any fire fights, i.e. not being the closed fist (in any way it turns out that the fist is very squishy and vulnerable against virtually anything). 1-2 grenades will do for a house and I don't need the entire squad for 1-2 grenades. Way of the sneaky little finger! :)

I guess that just come down to playstyle then. As usual in doctrinal debates, we're both probably right. Much depends on the circumstances where our abstractions decrease in value as the player's own knowledge of specifics increases. 

5 hours ago, domfluff said:

Is a fairly ambiguous statement

Intentionally so because of the abstract nature of the theorizing. 

Quote

Certainly the British army spent a lot of effort on small unit doctrine, and the presence of LMGs and 2 inch mortars at the platoon level imply that the infantry platoon has tasks that it can complete without additional aid.
 

Certainly they did, and did not seriously believe that the artillery conquered battlefields. It wins them but it does not own them, and it was still expected of the infantry to break down small pockets, holdouts, and screen larger bodies from harassment so they can move faster. That's not winning the war, but it's facilitating it in the way combined arms does. Thus, low expectations. It is merely my own observation that CM players seem to think like British Officers of 1914, and not 1918, and with that in mind i'm trying to point out there is another end to the spectrum of play here. 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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32 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

It's like when you achieve anything playing as the Italians it's SOOOOO much more satisfying than as anyone else because they're so off foot about fighting modern wars against peer enemies. 

Oh, yes - agree 100%. Fighting with them turns into herding cats quite frequently but it sure is extra fun to end up on the winning side while commanding them.

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

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

In CM, Difficulty doesn't really mean how difficult the game is. It's more of a realism setting. There's nothing inherently more difficult about Iron, Warrior or Elite. I never played training difficulty though, so maybe it's easier. Difficulty in the traditional sense depends more on the scenario.

Most commercial games attempt to present a "balanced" game. This makes sense, but it trains you to expect fair treatment. CM, in that regard, is more like a roguelike. The playing field is rarely balanced and a lot of missions you will do will either be "too easy" or "too hard". 

I rarely split squads, and mayhaps I should do it more often. I split squads in 3 situations:

1. To "cap" objectives. Often times, I clear out an objective and immediately move to the next -- but I do not occupy it. As Objectives are important in this game and require some people on the point to register as "capped", I split and divert a team to play mama hen.

2. To ACQUIRE items. You need to grab something from an APC -- why send the entire squad to do so?

3. Anti-tank suicide missions. Your squad spots a tank nearby, and its only a matter of time before it spots you. I'll split the squad, draw straws and send the unlucky bastards to get the jump on the tank. It's a 50/50 deal, depending on the terrain -- best not put the entire squad in one basket.

I try to keep my squads together because I feel they're a more effective fighting force than 2 teams. Better leadership, better communication and better concentration of firepower. This being said, I try to space out the platoon, putting squads in distinct locations. I also use ASSAULT quite often, a very sure way to advance under cover.

9 hours ago, domfluff said:

Soviet squads get morale penalties for splitting, and Italian squads are currently unable to do so at all (but it's been hinted that a similar effect will occur for them, at some point). They're not designed to be used in agile fireteams, thus clunky.

The SMG squads and tank riders are still fairly awkward - they're very strong in their role, but they have essentially one job to do - there's nothing in there which could be described as "elegant".

I haven't played Soviets in 4.0 yet. I will say, I do remember their squads putting out A LOT of firepower. SMGs are a surprisingly powerful defensive weapon, apparently. The more the attacker advances, the worse it gets for them. Loved the Disc Player (DP), having seen it being used very well at medium/long ranges. I find that the Soviet answer to any tactical problem is MORE firepower. I remember assaulting a heavily entrenched town (final training mission). Whenever a German tried to take pot shots at my squads from buildings or trenches, an ISU would lob a 152mm shell and just reduce the entire area to rubble.

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.

Edited by DerKommissar

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