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peter thomas

Best order for building entry

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Can anyone tell me what order you should use when teams go into buildings and it's likely there are enemy present within?  If Assault is available, then that, I assume. But if it's not?  Hunt? I just read someone suggesting Hunt should not be used to enter contested buildings. Is that true? And if not Hunt then what?  

 

Many thanks. 

Edited by peter thomas

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Often a simple Hunt will give the enemy the opportunity to gun down your troops as they enter the doorway.  The rest will hug the ground outside and be easy prey.

I haven't downloaded the new demo, but in my view the best CMx2 way to enter a building known or suspected of containing enemies is to Fast/Quick move to the outside wall.  At that waypoint, give a 10 or 20 second pause along with a Area Target order aimed inside the building.  Then set a Quick waypoint into the building itself, applying a new Facing order (which will serve as a cease fire, although units will of course fire on their own if they spot more enemies).

This will have the effect of rushing the building exterior and then pouring fire (and, crucially, hand grenades) inside through windows and doors before entering.  It's even better if you can time it so that another squad or team provides suppressing fire up to about 5 or 10 seconds before your entry team arrives at the outside wall.

Obviously this method is expensive in terms of ammo and grenades, but it's the safest way to get inside.  You have decide whether the expense is worth it.

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A couple of thoughts.

First, practice it. Save a game, try it. Do it again. Your men will die. But, as long as you're learning, they'll die grateful that their sacrifice was not in vain.

Second, HUNT is a poor order for building entry. HUNT translates into "move slowly and carefully until enemy contact and then stop". The LAST thing you want to do in a building entry is stop. Even if the bad guys have the "fatal funnel" totally bore-sighted and booby-trapped, YOU KEEP MOVING. Giving your men a HUNT command means they will stop right when the enemy opens fire. They'll die. Your men, that is.

ASSAULT is similarly handicapped in that it means, "one team moves, then it holds position as the other team(s) leapfrog up and join and then they all accordion forward again." So, your squad moves by team. Not good.

You want to dynamically enter and dominate the space. Enough about my dating habits, let's turn towards the game. ;)

Setup some overwatch. Give them Target for 15 or 30 seconds. They'll use high explosives (LAWs, etc.) so be careful about fratricide. If that's an issue, give a Target Light, a Pause (for 15, 20, 30 seconds) then a move with a Face at the end of it. Stagger it so SOMEONE is always guns up at the enemy location.

So, 2-4 overwatch/suppression elements, timed to lift their fire as the maneuver element becomes adjacent to the building.

The maneuver element should actually have two parts: close support and entry. Move the close support team adjacent to the building, on a wall with windows. (Not the big picture windows! That's a sure way to die.) Give them a 15 second target command into the building. 

The final element is the entry team. They'll move adjacent, pause while the close supporters are doing their thing, and then they should QUICK into the building. Do not give them a FACE command. (A 360^ covered arc would be the only command I'd give, and only to keep them from engaging units outside the building envelope, and only if I knew/suspected that would occur.)

The timing would be:

Teams 1-4 (or about two squads) firing for 15-30 seconds. As their fire ends, two teams, independently, move adjacent to the building. One team area fires into the building for 15 seconds. The other team waits 15 seconds while FACE into the building. That same team then enters with QUICK.

As you can see, it can take about a platoon and you're only entering with a team.

A lot of suppression, a lot of eyeballs on overwatch, and a few trigger-pullers to kick down the door.

Oh, and have someone set up to shoot down any squirters.

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It better to resist the temptation of entering and clearing buildings.  Better bring the building down with tank and AFV firepower. 

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The above plus make sure to swisscheese the building before entry, the higher caliber the better. It's always better to enter a building with all the occupants dead.

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This is where those .50 cals and grenade launchers on your APCs are so helpful.

Pouring 30 seconds of such fire into a building can heavily suppress everyone looking your way, even better if you can target different floors.

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I have an excellent link for you:

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/call/call_01-9_karagosian.htm

It's really common (in CM and in reality) to fixate on room clearing/entry, when actually that's the least important part of the job. If you can suppress the occupants, cover their exits, and create opportunities to manouevre, then the clearing will take care of itself.

Other than that, C3K's advice is pretty solid - you really want to Fast or Quick into a building, mostly since you want to be out of the street as soon as possible. Ideally you Blast (or make a hole with an MGS Stryker, Abrams main gun or rockets), but with the assumption that Preserve objectives are a thing or ammo is limited, you bundle in after suppressing the occupants.

Edited by domfluff

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Lethaface has the first best tip down for securing large structures, which is to raze as much of the building as you can before entry. Go in with engineers when youve got them because they will shock and kill enemies by demo charging through walls. Breach and clear. 

The other tip is to consider bypassing as much as you can because unless totally clearing the structure is necessary you can consider just ignoring any remaining defenders holed up inside. The enemy is of no relevance to you if all he's ready to defend is the 3rd floor men's room. He could be on Mercury for all I care. 

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4 hours ago, c3k said:

A couple of thoughts.

First, practice it. Save a game, try it. Do it again. Your men will die. But, as long as you're learning, they'll die grateful that their sacrifice was not in vain.

Second, HUNT is a poor order for building entry. HUNT translates into "move slowly and carefully until enemy contact and then stop". The LAST thing you want to do in a building entry is stop. Even if the bad guys have the "fatal funnel" totally bore-sighted and booby-trapped, YOU KEEP MOVING. Giving your men a HUNT command means they will stop right when the enemy opens fire. They'll die. Your men, that is.

ASSAULT is similarly handicapped in that it means, "one team moves, then it holds position as the other team(s) leapfrog up and join and then they all accordion forward again." So, your squad moves by team. Not good.

You want to dynamically enter and dominate the space. Enough about my dating habits, let's turn towards the game. ;)

Setup some overwatch. Give them Target for 15 or 30 seconds. They'll use high explosives (LAWs, etc.) so be careful about fratricide. If that's an issue, give a Target Light, a Pause (for 15, 20, 30 seconds) then a move with a Face at the end of it. Stagger it so SOMEONE is always guns up at the enemy location.

So, 2-4 overwatch/suppression elements, timed to lift their fire as the maneuver element becomes adjacent to the building.

The maneuver element should actually have two parts: close support and entry. Move the close support team adjacent to the building, on a wall with windows. (Not the big picture windows! That's a sure way to die.) Give them a 15 second target command into the building. 

The final element is the entry team. They'll move adjacent, pause while the close supporters are doing their thing, and then they should QUICK into the building. Do not give them a FACE command. (A 360^ covered arc would be the only command I'd give, and only to keep them from engaging units outside the building envelope, and only if I knew/suspected that would occur.)

The timing would be:

Teams 1-4 (or about two squads) firing for 15-30 seconds. As their fire ends, two teams, independently, move adjacent to the building. One team area fires into the building for 15 seconds. The other team waits 15 seconds while FACE into the building. That same team then enters with QUICK.

As you can see, it can take about a platoon and you're only entering with a team.

A lot of suppression, a lot of eyeballs on overwatch, and a few trigger-pullers to kick down the door.

Oh, and have someone set up to shoot down any squirters.

Im going to try this, i have always struggled with MOUT operations in SF, its quite chellenging.  Thanks for the lengthy post with the details, i clearly havent gone into this level of complexity with my orders and need to give it a shot.

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The bigger issue I'm having in the 'Breaking the Bank' battle is getting destroyed by forces on the other side of the street once I cross into the 1st building.  I wish there was a way to keep them back from the windows once they enter the building.  There's so many buildings in this one, and you don't have any AFV support unless you go around the outside edges, which I always assume is a death trap. 

Another thing I've run into a few times now is infantry entering the side and front of a building instead of the rear door, which is a much safer option obviously.  I've had a few squads chopped up by fire because of this (happens even when I split the squads).  I do give shorter orders outside the rear entrance, but they still spread out and go in three different ways.  I'm assuming this is a 'feature' of 4.0?  I do like that they spread out better now, but it causes some dumb behaviour if that's what's going on.  I have also had a few squads run away at the first hint of fire coming their way even though they aren't panicked or routed.  

Anyone have tips for these issues?

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MOUT is really hard, and the Breaking the Bank scenario is a great example of why. It's puzzle-like for many of the same reasons that Bocage is for CMBN - a single street can be an entire battle-worth of thinking though. I'm really impressed with this scenario, but it's very punishing.

Definitely split squads, and go carefully - you need maximum awareness and control over your guys.

AFVs give you big, vulnerable targets, which are also sources of tremendous firepower - you want to get in controlled, anticipated firefights, and ones which you can choose when to win - and 30mm autocannnon and/or Challenger main guns are a great way to do that. In an ideal world you won't get into scenarios where your chaps run away, since they won't ever be that badly outmatched. Obviously that's neither easy nor all that likely, but it *is* possible.

A lot of urban combat is about keyholing - sometimes it's a good idea to get down to eye level, and see precisely how many extra windows are visible from the next action spot along. Creeping forward 8m at a time is sometimes exactly the right thing to do, as well as liberal use of recon by fire.

I don't think I'vee seen a scenario where I put a team an order outside of a door, then another inside, and they've used a different route, but the answer is still really the same as the above link - your priority is creating the safe avenue of approach, not the the actual entry. If you create a safe path, then it won't matter which doors they choose, since they'll all be safe.

In terms of tips, urban combat is traditionally something which western armies have done pretty badly, and the British TO&E doesn't have some of the tools that the US one does (MGS Strykers and MOUT strkyer infantry can both be amazingly useful - there's a reason why UK infantry started to carry shotguns, but I think that's just after the CMSF period.

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5 hours ago, Holman said:

the best CMx2 way to enter a building known or suspected of containing enemies is to Fast/Quick move to the outside wall.  At that waypoint, give a 10 or 20 second pause along with a Area Target order aimed inside the building.  Then set a Quick waypoint into the building itself, applying a new Facing order (which will serve as a cease fire, although units will of course fire on their own if they spot more enemies).

This should be the best method as far as it goes - however, clever designers have set traps for this tactic.  They will have enemy units behind the far side of the building or room wall.  These enemy units will be unaffected by all the fire you pour into a room.  When your inf enter they will get cut down by the enemy on the far side of the room's wall.  (The enemy will almost always see your men who ran into the room first, and the enemy will usually shoot first.)

The best method I have found (if you are not sure what is behind the far wall), is to QUICK move into the room,, and immediately order a FAST move (ie: no PAUSE) to exit the building the way the unit entered.  Using this tactic mean that (usually) your inf will take a quick look and perhaps notice enemy lurkers.  If there is an enemy in ambush, usually, your unit will make it out with minimal or no casualties.  Then you can think again about what it will take to kill the ambushers.

Another tactic in WEGO is to time the entry of your unit(s) to be in the final 5 or fewer seconds of the turn.  That way they can see and shoot at the start of the next turn...  or FAST move away.

Placing SMOKE may also help.  However, our guys have the magical ability to throw smoke through several walls so the smoke always lands the same distance away from the unit throwing it regardless whether they are in a dense building complex or out in the open with no obstructions.  ie:  You probably won't have the smoke land where you want (in the next room).  Then of course you can move your smoke thrower back sop that the end of his "throw range" is in that room.

Not sure if this is relevant to the "Bank" scenario.  But, you will find this sort of ambush dilemma in the "Wilcox" scenario.

Knowing/learning all this and putting these tactics into practice is how playing CM2 can get very complex as they are not intuitive

 

Edited by Erwin

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Lethaface has the first point about clearing any kind of large structure, start by razing as much of it as possible. Use whatever you've got to leave the defenders without ground to go to. I would posit that unless it's absolutely critical for you to do so, consider bypassing large office complexes, factories, and any large structure. If you can drive an enemy deep into the building then just isolate and bypass them. Nobody cares if all your enemy is ready to defend is the 3rd floor men's room. They can be on Mercury for all I care then.

If you have to clear a structure your force must outnumber the potential defenders within the building. Under matched circumstances you should not be surprised to end up with 1:1 exchange rates. Even Green troops can fumble their way into doing a lot of damage with luck. After that, I generally have as many squads as possible advance in parallel with each other using the Assault Command, with some teams following along in Hunt. If you've got Engineers use and abuse them because they can breach walls and that will stun or kill defenders on the other side. Seriously a pair of engineers can wipe out whole squads if they start things off with a block of C4 to the wall. 

 

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The scenario in question (for those that have played it) does not give you lots of opportunity to hammer buildings with AFV's or use demo charges....you'd run out real quick, and it would do nothing to prevent ambush fire from across the street.  The two outside approaches look like the only way to get through this one, however that will leave lots of enemy behind you that still need to be rooted out.

I also see two different opinions here on splitting squads and conversely NOT splitting squads as that leaves your forces outmatched.  After playing it now (with the Brits at least), I go with the latter...entering in force.  I'll try that enter with quick and then fast to get away from the ambush across the street before getting shot up.  As you stated, that's not realistic or intuitive at all, but I'll try it.  I moved my German infantry up through the woods in the Alamo scenario with hunt commands and that was also a colossal failure as they almost immediately became suppressed and ran off.  I then tried moving them en masse with quick commands and mowed right through them. 

Which begs the question, what is the hunt command useful for?

Edited by aleader

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2 hours ago, domfluff said:

I don't think I'vee seen a scenario where I put a team an order outside of a door, then another inside, and they've used a different route, but the answer is still really the same as the above link - your priority is creating the safe avenue of approach, not the the actual entry. If you create a safe path, then it won't matter which doors they choose, since they'll all be safe.

In terms of tips, urban combat is traditionally something which western armies have done pretty badly, and the British TO&E doesn't have some of the tools that the US one does (MGS Strykers and MOUT strkyer infantry can both be amazingly useful - there's a reason why UK infantry started to carry shotguns, but I think that's just after the CMSF period.

It's not a 'choice' of entry issue, it's a bug or engine limitation...there are no safe paths in this battle.  Common sense would dictate (in real life) going in the rear door, not down the side or in the front of the building exposed to fire from buildings across the street.  There are other recent posters (in other threads) having the same issues with pathfinding.  Urban combat has always been the achilles heel of this series.  And yes, the Brits are definitely underpowered compared to the US forces, thus the need to enter in force (not split squads as they just get chewed up piecemeal).  I've learned that the hard way...

Edited by aleader

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It sounds to me like common sense would dictate this structure be bypassed and left for follow on forces to deal with. Aiming to capture an occupied factory size structure, like the size of say Stalingrad Tank Factory or Chernobyl NPP, within the time span of a CM scenario would be considered ambitious by real military men, reckless by some of them even. Clearing developments of such size and density could be a major effort that spans hours, days even. 

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4 hours ago, aleader said:

Which begs the question, what is the hunt command useful for?

Moving to contact through close terrain, especially woods. Also over hill crests.

 

I wouldn't generally hunt into a building if I was intending to fight from there immediately, but if I was sending in a scout team or small unit, especially if they has a short covered arc to hold fire - if you make contact (especially from an unexpected direction) you'll contact with the minimum possible force - perhaps as low as only the first man of a two man team, which leaves the body of your squad/platoon/company intact.

 

That's just not possible with the other move orders, since they'll try to complete the whole movement in other cases, and rather than losing one dude to unexpected enemy, you'll lose more.

 

 

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6 hours ago, aleader said:

I moved my German infantry up through the woods in the Alamo scenario with hunt commands and that was also a colossal failure as they almost immediately became suppressed and ran off.  I then tried moving them en masse with quick commands and mowed right through them. 

Which begs the question, what is the hunt command useful for?

Don't rule out 'luck'. Hunt with a small team plus plenty of overwatch and suppressive fire is my goto choice for clearing woods of enemies (if I really need to do that). Still one should factor in casualties when coming into close contact with enemy troops waiting for you while holding automatic weapons at the ready.

I think in the Alamo scenario you will have sound contacts / suspsected contacts in the woods. You also have mortars, artillery, marders and leo2's. Shoot up that forest before trying to go toe to toe.

As for breaking the bank, I haven't played that one through yet. I looked at it though and made some plans. All buildings, apart from the objectives, are cleared for fire support. You have plenty of fire support available, but only 2 platoons of infantry (with one coming later). Without playing a minute I came to the conclusion that just going in the next row of buildings isn't an option, unless you want to lose a lot of men. I was looking at the extreme flanks and thinking of using smoke and artillery to force an entry into the city. It's probably called 'breaking the bank' for a reason, might be one of the harder scenario's to crack.

Like SimpleSimon and others suggested: do pause and think if you really need to clear those buildings first thing. Also, domfluff offered a valuable link to real army tactics for such situations. 
And finally: you will take casualties. 

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Building Clearing: Addendum.

A few more points to my post, above. 

Smoke. Use smoke. That will isolate the street from enemy overwatch.

Blast. Blast is your friend. (Or Abrams. ;) ) However, something to be aware of is that a Blast/rubbled wall/damaged side will sometimes BLOCK your entry. You cannot see this. You can only see your men running away from the open wall or doorway and going somewhere else. 

So, sometimes blasting can hinder the entry. However, blowing down a wall is always fun. 

 

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20 minutes ago, c3k said:

sometimes blasting can hinder the entry.   

I think it is an elevation difference that hinders an entry after a Blast.  If one side of the wall is at a different elevation than the side the demo team is on the demo team will complete their movement by running around to a different entry point (typically a door).   The elevation difference is usually easy to spot because one side of the building is a little sunk into the ground.  It is my SOP to always check the elevation (sunken wall) before Blasting.    

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15 hours ago, aleader said:

what is the hunt command useful for?

When traveling fairly long distances thru woods or areas where enemy is expected it can be useful to have your split squads use a combination of QUICK and HUNT so that if one team is shot at while moving QUICK, the other team(s) using HUNT will stop and fire back immediately.  (Each team uses multiple waypoints alternating HUNT and QUICK.  EG: QUICK move for 20 meters followed by a HUNT for the minimum distance.)   Obviously one has to coordinate so that all units keep within support range of each other.

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2 minutes ago, Erwin said:

When traveling fairly long distances thru woods or areas where enemy is expected it can be useful to have your split squads use a combination of QUICK and HUNT so that if one team is shot at while moving QUICK, the other team(s) using HUNT will stop and fire back immediately.  (Each team uses multiple waypoints alternating HUNT and QUICK.  EG: QUICK move for 20 meters followed by a HUNT for the minimum distance.)   Obviously one has to coordinate so that all units keep within support range of each other.

I use hunt for when I want my units to advance but stop and engage on contact. Like when I expect to come into contact any moment. The command is imo useful for many situations, infantry and vehicle wise. Sometimes I like to put a short hunt command in between move/quick commands, to make sure my units stop moving if they have a visual contact.

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