Jump to content
Sequoia

CM Sniper tactics

Recommended Posts

No I never went to sniper school, so I don't really know, and maybe it's me, but snipers don't seem to operate in the game the way I understand snipers work in wartime.  I don't generally have them shoot at specific targets, but they're often spotted and become casualties soon after firing for a bit unless I hide them or stop them from firing by giving them tiny target arcs. What tactics do you for your snipers or point me to another thread where this has been discussed before please? I understand their use may differ from game to game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try to allow them to fire at close to their maximum range, and ensure they are in cover when firing (building, or woods) and better, under cover in a key hole position.  That should help, but yeah, they are a challenge to use effectively.  I also struggle with them.  Good luck.

Bil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Snipers in CM are, first and foremost, recon units. They are small teams, often with organic transport, equipped with powerful optics. They are ideal for sitting in an isolated, covered position, spotting the enemy and calling down indirect fires. Usually I'll have my snipers on shorted covered arcs to hold fire, and might not fire a shot for the entire battle.

If you want to use them to actually pick off key targets, they can, but you have to be careful. They probably need to have boosted leadership and experience, and you must have a plan for extraction.

Getting a single kill, then relocating is the idea. They can have a disproportionate effect in combat mission - kills affect morale permanently, so a two man team giving accurate ranged fire can pin down a squad or weapons team.

Two or more squads might be too much for the sniper team to deal with, so the recon first, call in indirect fire second, kill things third is basic sop.

 

Edited by domfluff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good advice all...  I enjoy using snipers, esp if one has a Crack or Elite.  They need to be in cover and shoot at longer range than the enemy target's effective small arms range - ideally >500m. 

However, have had a lot of fun with an Elite sniper unit in city where they can be ordered to SLOW move to good observation position, PAUSE for 5-10 secs (they usually get a kill) then SLOW move em to a 2nd position, rinse and repeat...  

Using snipers/marksmen as well as AT teams really calls for a new "Wait in Ambush, Shoot, then Scoot" (to safety) command.

Share this post


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

Snipers in CM are, first and foremost, recon units. They are small teams, often with organic transport, equipped with powerful optics. They are ideal for sitting in an isolated, covered position, spotting the enemy and calling down indirect fires. Usually I'll have my snipers on shorted covered arcs to hold fire, and might not fire a shot for the entire battle.

If you want to use them to actually pick off key targets, they can, but you have to be careful. They probably need to have boosted leadership and experience, and you must have a plan for extraction.

Getting a single kill, then relocating is the idea. They can have a disproportionate effect in combat mission - kills affect morale permanently, so a two man team giving accurate ranged fire can pin down a squad or weapons team.

Two or more squads might be too much for the sniper team to deal with, so the recon first, call in indirect fire second, kill things third is basic sop.

 

This is exactly how I employ them.

To add to this, I use them as a deep base of fire unit as well. In a light infantry formation, I'll place them behind my primary base of fire element (the machine guns and such) to provide overwatch and precision fires against particularly pesky enemy assets. This allows the machine guns to engage broad area targets and provide continuous suppression. The snipers can identify and possibly suppress/eliminate targets that the machine guns would have a hard time with/be wasted against. 

Quick edit to add that I am primarily speaking of US snipers in modern times. Other nations such as Russia use snipers in a slightly different role. My understanding is that they are more platoon scouts with designated marksman rifles than they are the cliche Vasily Zaytsev type.

Edited by IICptMillerII

Share this post


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

My understanding is that they are more platoon scouts with designated marksman rifles than they are the cliche Vasily Zaytsev type.

For which era?

 

Mord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It costs only one or two points to increase snipers' levels to 'elite' and 'fanatic', then I place them in a building at the edge of their range and usually they're able to fire way from that one position for quite a long time until they're spotted, and sometimes they're not spotted at all if the enemy has other things to look out for. They're very effective at pinning down groups of infantry and getting tanks to button up. Quite often I end a game with a sniper team that has 12 kills. (Though that is playing against the AI).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You really need to read some books on the subject. 

But American snipers have many task that they can perform, I find that in CMBS I am able to pretty much do anything I was asked to do in RL.

 From scout to spotter, to recon, to delaying tactics. to combat fire support , to designated target missions.

In the WWII titles, they are not as flexible or as powerful. but they still can be a important factor in your force.

 

In CMBS when it is a buy your own force situation. I find that my snipers are my most important infantry asset. Armor, arty, then infantry.

With snipers doing more damage than any other infantry units I use, MG's, grenade launchers and such.

My sniper teams that get used normally will have kills in the teens and will be my units to create the most casualties on the enemy.

For two or 3 men teams and the cost, that is a good trade.

 

I will not write a book for you on how to use them, but everything mentioned is good.

But I will give one comment on a tactic not mentioned.

You do not need to baby them or keep them back in a battle if you want them to be killers on the battlefield for you. if you want them to kill, they need to be at the range they can do that. to keep them doing that they need to in a area where your normal infantry units has fire suppression on the enemy. While the other units can pin the enemy, Sniper units can eliminate them.

Learning to use them in the game for this might change your view on how snipers work.

Keep in mind, A sniper never puts himself in a fair fight, he always wants the advantage, and if he cannot keep that advantage, he always has a escape route to get  out of a bad situation and to set himself up at a new location where he has the advantage once more.

Gaming and losing snipers is no issue, these are not real men, risk reward actions is worth trying in the game, its not like losing someone in real life.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A sniper rifle should outrange a carbine. Big bullet WWII rifles are another matter, though they're not particularly accurate at range. One thing I see often is units using snipers from well within the range of opposing fire, which is problematic. There's also the issue of placing them into the upper stories of buildings which, though convenient, is practically a blinking neon sign saying 'Sniper HERE!' Your tall building sniper may be looking down on a lot of enemy, but the enemy is looking up with a lot of eyes trying to find the source of the incoming fire.

Share this post


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

For which era?

 

Mord.

Mostly modern, but it is also my current understanding that Soviet snipers in CM are more scouts/designated marksmen than they are proper "General killers." However my knowledge of Soviet snipers in WWII and their tactics is measly at best. 

Share this post


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

A sniper rifle should outrange a carbine. Big bullet WWII rifles are another matter, though they're not particularly accurate at range. One thing I see often is units using snipers from well within the range of opposing fire, which is problematic. There's also the issue of placing them into the upper stories of buildings which, though convenient, is practically a blinking neon sign saying 'Sniper HERE!' Your tall building sniper may be looking down on a lot of enemy, but the enemy is looking up with a lot of eyes trying to find the source of the incoming fire.

But . . . but . . . , that's not according to Quentin Tarantino . . . .

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my current CMSF1 game, Syrian sniper managed to kill TOW humvee operator from 500-600+ meters in ONE SHOT _and_ remained undetected. I assume he was operating from the desert tiles (a mid sized hill), no woods or buildings. That's regarding the accuracy of what I think was an SVD shot at half-seen figure. Another enemy sniper in the same mission (I think...) operates from the buildings and killed quite a few of my Marines who were in the open. Also haven't managed to spot him yet.

I've got my own snipers in that mission, but the enemy is too illusive to be targeted, so not even attempted shots for me so far.

Edited by L0ckAndL0ad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soviet WW2 snipers should be left behind lines during attack. They can achieve good headcount if attack is delayed or fails - 4-6 kills. Not bad for a single man with Mosin rifle. While company is attacking all mgs are focused on attacking men and ignore 2 men in grass. And just 1 kill in critical moment can be more deceisive than artillery barrage... If this kill is hmg gunner, for example. I send them forward with slow command before attack usually. Effective range is 200-300m, not 600.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some informative videos about mid/later 20th century snipers: 

I think that the employment of snipers seems to requires a somewhat static front line. Snipers need time to get into position, observe and hit. They affect the "daily life", so to speak. CM matches, on the other hand, are the opposite of "daily life" in a war. They're about the extraordinary, very short action-moments, deliberate attacks. Therefore, there is little place for snipers in CM games. A sniper is not really usefull to take ground, which is what CM matches are about.

 

Also, the fire signature seems to give the sniper's position away too easily. See how my snipers got obliterated: 

https://youtu.be/ke4SbGZ7LJE?t=94

(infantry got a suspected contact on them, BMPs solved that issue with HE - but okay, the snipers were not dug-in (which would have given their position away even earlier?))

 

Edited by Kaunitz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 the fire signature seems to give the sniper's position away too easily.

Is one of those perennial issues with CM - similar to "AT Guns are too hard to spot" "AT Guns are too vulnerable", etc. It's hard to make a solid case for or against.

You're right - it does seem like  snipers gave themselves away too easily (whether "too easily" compared to reality, or just "too easily" to make them useful). That why I tend to use them as long-ranged recon units first, and only open fire if they can isolate an enemy squad - the sniper wasn't doing anything to suppress the BMP, obviously, and BMP vs Sniper has precisely one winner. One issue with using them in Black Sea is how supernatural spotting can be, and how fast response times can be.

I suspect Slysniper's concept of using them to get the hurt in on already suppressed enemies is also sound - matching them with AGLs and the like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disagree with the statement that snipers are not part of or should be part of CM battles, that this is not a normal use for them.

Sniper units are a asset assigned to upper level command. So yes, they are considered valuable for all the different actions that they can be used for.

So yes , they are not constantly placed in normal infantry action situations just for the sake of it.

But as with any unit, there is plenty of times they are, again because of the many different missions they are capable of performing.

Just one example, performing security for a O.P. post. If that post is calling in arty or air, then the sniper team is considered a good assigned asset if it can help keep that O.P. operational in a contested area.

There is no one answer as to how to use assets in battle, again the best thing to do is to learn all the possible ways to employ combat assets so that it is a possible use in your tactics.

I will mention it again, go study some manuals on sniper training and tactics. They are a asset much more flexible than many understand or know how to use them for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In very rare cases, you can even use snipers at the sharp end.

Time-stamped below is an example of such:

Their position on the third roof of a multi-building complex kept them relatively safe from enemy fire, and aside from cowering a few times, they were free to fire upon the enemy for the duration of the battle. Their position and fire stopped an enemy attack long enough for me to divert additional assets to deal with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had a lot of utility with snipers against the AI. However against human players I would be more cautious as any player can use area fire with heavy weapons upon your sniper position, after they have a hint of it's position.

Share this post


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

I have had a lot of utility with snipers against the AI. However against human players I would be more cautious as any player can use area fire with heavy weapons upon your sniper position, after they have a hint of it's position.

You can also use that to your advantage, given the enemy attention paid to your sniper team is not being paid to something else.

^ See my example above, against a human opponent. Trying to kill my sniper team cost him several valuable resources.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, General Jack Ripper said:

You can also use that to your advantage, given the enemy attention paid to your sniper team is not being paid to something else.

^ See my example above, against a human opponent. Trying to kill my sniper team cost him several valuable resources.

True, that's what competent commanders do 😉 (assessing their assets and their capabilities compared to the enemies and then (ab)using those to their advantage.

My point is that long range fire requires long range observation. Snipers 'excel' from positions with good LOS over the battlefield. A good LOS position is also a position with good LOS onto it. If there are a couple of BMP-2's aroung, or a T-72 or two, a couple of 30mm or a 125HE are easily expanded on a sniper team. The same goes for other infantry squads, but they don't generally require nice LOS/LOF positions to excel. 

Share this post


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

Keep in mind, A sniper never puts himself in a fair fight, he always wants the advantage, and if he cannot keep that advantage, he always has a escape route to get  out of a bad situation and to set himself up at a new location where he has the advantage once more.

Awesome post about using snipers. I too love to have snipers around and pretty much do whenever I get to choose a force. I don't really have anything to add except a little bit more to what @IICptMillerII wrote:

 

15 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

I'll place them behind my primary base of fire element (the machine guns and such) to provide overwatch and precision fires against particularly pesky enemy assets.

This really helps with reducing spotting too. If your snipers are positioned to engage the enemy towards the long end of their effective range and there are other assets firing at the enemy the chances that the enemy spot your snipers goes way down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a sniper had it his way he wouldn't be anywhere near our CM scenario because the high density of men and heavy weaponry in the average CM scenario would present an insanely lethal environment for him to operate within. Dial back your expectations, and if you have one always make sure he is in a relatively safe, low-intensity sector of map at a comfortable stand off from enemy units. That may seem disappointing, but you've got to remember you've got one, maybe two, men here who can and will inflict a lot of misery on an enemy as long as they can avoid becoming directly engaged. The value of snipers is that they can do damage totally out of proportion for their own manpower cost but they will only achieve this as long as they are not operating in extreme danger all the time. 

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

×