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Mousie

A discussion about tactics of each military

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I just went all in on Shock Force 2, getting the big bundle (But missed the manual hilariously), and now I'm trying to figure out who can do what within the game,
along with doing the tutorial campaign. Being used to Battle for Normandy, I was so surprised when the movement/combat/tactics buttons, just don't include things like
taking scouts or anti tank men from the unit group, splitting them up for more selective missions.

From playing things like Steel Beasts, DCS, Arma, and studying, I am most comfortable with vehicles. I know how they work, what they do, how to make them kick ass, especially because of Steel Beasts. However, I don't know a lot about infantry. Ignoring the armor differences, I don't know the doctrine of the british military, vs marines, vs nato. Things like unit composition are most important to me when it comes to this, and, if you truly can't break units apart, how can you use them effectively in standard situations? Equipment lists for standard units? What their effective range is, etc.

I'd love any advice you guys could give

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Actually you can break infantry squads up. From page 28 of the Manual.

Squads can be split into their component teams using the Split commands in the Admin
commands panel (F8). Select a squad, go to the Admin orders panel, and select the Split
Teams command. Your squad will split into distinct team units, each with their own floating
icon and ability to be given commands separately. There are a variety of other Split Team
commands which can be very useful in the right situations. The Antitank Team option, for
example, will split off one soldier carrying the squad's antitank weapon, such as a Javelin o

The Manual has all of the information you want....................have fun!!

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@Mousie, get the CMSF (1) Manuals, there are tactical considerations included.

While there is no TOE in the manuals, effective ranges are mentioned.

 

Edit: tailored for CMBS but still worthwhile in CMSF2

 

Edited by CMFDR

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Easiest way to figure things out is to go into the editor and play around.

 

Squads split using the "split squads" command, and give you a quick insight into how they're supposed to be used. Other commands exist to split off AT teams, scout teams and the like.


For example (top of my head, may not be entirely accurate):


Basic US Rifle Platoon consists of -

HQ Unit

2 x MMG

3 x Rifle squads (9 men each)

The HQ unit includes a forward observer for the company light mortars and drones.

The rifle squads break symmetrically, with 2x MGs,  2x grenade launchers , and sometimes one marksman, depending on the unit.

Each fireteam is therefore capable of doing everything by itself (suppression, indirect fire, etc.), so the two work in concert to achieve an objective. US squad leaders have the ability to call down the company mortars, but they won't be good at it. In CMSF, they all have radios and PDAs to stay in contact, so this networking is important. Everyone has night vision equipment.

 

Stryker (MOUT) platoons have squads that split into three teams, one with assault charges to breach walls. in urban environments.

Marine platoons have a similar overall layout, but have larger squads, so split into three symmetric fireteams. They do not have full-auto weaponry, but do have decent optics, making for longer ranged, more accurate fire. Marines do not have as many Javelins as the army.

UK Platoons are similar to the US, but the HQ unit includes a light mortar. They have better optics than the mainline US troops (but full auto, unlike the Marines), but have fewer Javelins.


In general terms, everyone is usually mounted on something, but what they're mounted on will differ. Strykers are taxis, with excellent comms. Bradleys and Warriors are fighting vehicles. Bradleys have some anti-armour (TOWs, which I wouldn't rely on), whereas the British Warrior IFV's 30mm cannon is superb at chewing up BMPs, but balks at anything heavier than that. Marines have their AAV's, which are amphibious, massive and sluggish. Powerful, and carry a ton of guys, but very vulnerable.


The Syrian infantry in CMSF2 have been built quite differently to CMSF1. In both, the Syrians work like a Soviet/Russian motor rifle unit, with their transport (BMP or BTR) being an integral part of the squad. The CMSF 2 build is more asymmetrical (and more "soviet"), in that the squad is built around an MG, and the squad has an asymmetric manoeuvre element and a support element, rather than the symmetric splits of the US squads.

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One thing you should always keep in mind is that 5.56x45mm doesn't pierce walls very well, while 7.62x39mm does a little bit better. If both sides are in buildings, you'll probably come off second best unless you leverage additional firepower or engage in some heavy suppression. Thus, passing out 500 to 1000 extra rounds during the setup phase can be recommended.

Also, Strykers are not tanks, they are bulletproof, but not proof against anything else.

Once upon a time there was a thread in the old Shock Force Forum called 'Taking Down Buildings Quick and Agile" which told people to roll their vehicle up to the target building to dismount their infantry and assault the building.

Then, there was a smattering of complaints about destroyed Strykers and full squads getting killed before the word got out: it was all nonsense.

Stryker infantry should be considered light infantry who can drive around in tin-plated trucks. That's pretty much it.

Other than that, domfluff and The_MonkeyKing have got you started nicely.

Edited by General Jack Ripper

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3 minutes ago, General Jack Ripper said:

One thing you should always keep in mind is that 5.56x45mm doesn't pierce walls very well, while 7.62x39mm does a little bit better.

question is how well is that beeing simulated (or approximated) in the CMX2 series? Not just considering actual wall penetration capabilities of the various gun/round types, but also pecularities of different building types, window configurations and such. Hard to tell actually, as it´s all anything but WYSIWYG.

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The other thing to keep in mind is that weapons in CM2 rarely are able to penetrate thru 2 walls.  So, an enemy in an interior room (ie: no walls are exterior walls) will be very protected from fire coming from (say) outside.  IIRC it's not until the exterior wall is destroyed that one can fire with effect through the first room onto the enemy located in the interior room.  

One would think that 50 cal and above would be able to fire thru several walls with effect.  But, that is not the case.  Hence a unit in an interior wall is in an xnt ambush position.  One can put much suppression fire thru one wall, then attack thru that wall/door, and get massacred by enemy located behind the 2nd wall.

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12 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

question is how well is that beeing simulated (or approximated) in the CMX2 series? Not just considering actual wall penetration capabilities of the various gun/round types, but also pecularities of different building types, window configurations and such. Hard to tell actually, as it´s all anything but WYSIWYG.

I think the abstracted generic 'building' type tends to change slightly depending on which title you're playing.
Your middle eastern concrete and brick constructed house is a bit more sturdy than your wooden framed normandy house.
But then again, you're shooting 5.56mm in syria, and .30-06 in normandy, sooo...

I think the approximations are okay, maybe a little conservative, but one thing you don't seem to need to worry about is secondary frag and projectiles. I've seen rpg rounds impact a wall directly opposite a few guys, and not even a scratch was inflicted. There is simulation based on round size, weight and velocity, but there is approximation based on building materiel and construction.

So I would say the performance is reliably predictable, but abstracted. You'll see hundreds of rounds go skipping off a wall, but then that one lucky bastard gets through and kills your platoon hq.

 

10 hours ago, Erwin said:

The other thing to keep in mind is that weapons in CM2 rarely are able to penetrate thru 2 walls. One would think that 50 cal and above would be able to fire thru several walls with effect.  But, that is not the case.

Um, it actually is the case. I've placed .30 cal fire onto a target effectively suppressing it by shooting THROUGH one house to hit the one behind it. I've seen .50cal go through several walls in a row before being stopped. One time during the road to montebourg I had to cease fire from an M1917 Water Cooled specifically because he was shooting through three houses in a row and suppressing my own guys sneaking up behind the third house.

It does exist man, just depends on the type of building.

Edited by General Jack Ripper

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49 minutes ago, General Jack Ripper said:

Um, it actually is the case. I've placed .30 cal fire onto a target effectively suppressing it by shooting THROUGH one house to hit the one behind it. I've seen .50cal go through several walls in a row before being stopped. One time during the road to montebourg I had to cease fire from an M1917 Water Cooled specifically because he was shooting through three houses in a row and suppressing my own guys sneaking up behind the third house.

It does exist man, just depends on the type of building.

This definitely appears to be the case with the newer engines, but it wasn't so with CM:SF1 as far as I can tell.....This may be the source of the confusion (not sure about CM:A).

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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6 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

I think the abstracted generic 'building' type tends to change slightly depending on which title you're playing.
Your middle eastern concrete and brick constructed house is a bit more sturdy than your wooden framed normandy house.
But then again, you're shooting 5.56mm in syria, and .30-06 in normandy, sooo...

that would  be nice if there´d be some differentiation between titles, or even modules. Just can compare BN and FB unfortunately. Hard to tell how it all works in the actual game. While we have basically 3 types (wooden framed, brick/stone and large church) of buildings, it at last doesn´t tell that much about sturdiness and cover protection alike. I figured amount of windows/configuration, progressing damage and maybe building size of importance, but that can be hardly measured in the game due to lack of visual clues (beside the 3 main visual stages). It could be just these details, while somewhat invisible to the human player, that make the pixeltroopers TacAI decide to retreat from a building if the human player still thinks it´s a very good place to stay for the cover and protection

 

6 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

I think the approximations are okay, maybe a little conservative, but one thing you don't seem to need to worry about is secondary frag and projectiles. I've seen rpg rounds impact a wall directly opposite a few guys, and not even a scratch was inflicted. There is simulation based on round size, weight and velocity, but there is approximation based on building materiel and construction.

ok with approximations basically, yes. Hm... have some different experiences in WW2 titles with regard to RPG (Zooks and Fausts), with them partly dealing big amounts of blast FX, which they should likely not have. My favourite example is zook/schreck rounds, or rifle grenades hitting a mod type buildings window frames and blast FX let stone walls to the rear and outside the building collapse. It´s likely walls that got some previous damage by other means though. Still odd. Generally I found RG and RPG quite an effective building cleaner in MOUT situations.

 

6 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

So I would say the performance is reliably predictable, but abstracted. You'll see hundreds of rounds go skipping off a wall, but then that one lucky bastard gets through and kills your platoon hq.

too true, if I just take my example in CMBN screenshot thread. :P

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21 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

Once upon a time there was a thread in the old Shock Force Forum called 'Taking Down Buildings Quick and Agile" which told people to roll their vehicle up to the target building to dismount their infantry and assault the building.

Then, there was a smattering of complaints about destroyed Strykers and full squads getting killed before the word got out: it was all nonsense.

That thread's still around in the CMSF Tactics forum.

A few points that I've always found interesting about that one:

  • People frequently over-value this kind of thing, if it's accompanied by lots of pretty pictures. Even if the information is garbage.
  • I think it's a very good example of the kind of mental trap that is really easy to fall into, in CM or in reality.

e.g.,:

The focus is entirely on room clearing, and how you storm a building, when that's absolutely not the priority.

The scenario posited assumes total information and control - the technique in that thread will work absolutely fine if you have overwhelming fire superiority,  and total control over the battlespace. If you can suppress the target building, and ensure that all buildings with LOS to that building, or (more importantly) to the approach of that building are clear or similarly suppressed, then storming in a manner similar to that listed is fine.

Of course, if you can achieve that, you probably don't need to storm the building at all.

What I find fascinating is that you can find real-world textbook examples of this kind of wrong thinking. Not this technique specifically, but in terms of how urban warfare is approached and carried out.

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with regard to MOUT I find mouseholing still of great value. If given FP superiority, Knock em all down, just in the case of Aachen 1944 does the purpose similarly well. But it´s then about those situations when a mission designer gives you none of that, but the task remains with "clear" that buildings at all costs. Just like "take that bridge", if it would be sufficient to deny the enemy any observation opportunity on it and thus assume control. 

Edited by RockinHarry

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19 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

This definitely appears to be the case with the newer engines, but it wasn't so with CM:SF1 as far as I can tell.....This may be the source of the confusion (not sure about CM:A).

That's why I was wondering about the differences between game settings, because I do recall specific discussion regarding how Syrian buildings seemed bulletproof, and then people posting photos and videos showing how solid that type of brick and concrete construction really is.
Like little fortresses.

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17 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

That's why I was wondering about the differences between game settings, because I do recall specific discussion regarding how Syrian buildings seemed bulletproof, and then people posting photos and videos showing how solid that type of brick and concrete construction really is.
Like little fortresses.

In The Bear Went Over the Mountain there are many examples of Mujahadeen fighters fortifying in compounds in villages. The 40th Army had tonnes of trouble reducing those strongholds, even with BMP, tank, and artillery and aviation support.

The houses are practically pillboxes!

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4 hours ago, HerrTom said:

In The Bear Went Over the Mountain there are many examples of Mujahadeen fighters fortifying in compounds in villages. The 40th Army had tonnes of trouble reducing those strongholds, even with BMP, tank, and artillery and aviation support.

The houses are practically pillboxes!

I read that, well spotted.

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There is an interesting paper I read a long time ago called Increasing Small Arms Lethality in Afghanistan: Taking Back the Infantry Half-Kilometer, by US Army Maj. Thomas Ehrhart.

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a512331.pdf

You might find it interesting since it goes into a lot of detail about modern infantry doctrine and weapons. It argued that U.S. infantry have been very under-powered for the type of fighting they were doing in Afghanistan. Back in the early 20th century, the U.S. went into WW1 with a professional army and a doctrine emphasizing marksmanship and accurate volleys of long-distance rifle fire. They used bigger rifles and bullets that could hit things pretty effectively out to 500m, and be very lethal even at 1000m. Going into WW2, Korea and then Vietnam, the U.S. had gotten used to dealing with large conscript armies on a very different type of battlefield, and doctrine shifted away from marksmanship and moved toward fire and maneuver tactics, with the emphasis on putting out a high volume of suppressive fire at shorter distances. Current U.S. equipment, training, and doctrine are optimized for fighting on level terrain at ranges less than 300m.

According to that paper, "Not only is the current U.S. infantryman less equipped to kill his enemy than his World War I predecessor, he is carrying far more weight than him." The 5.56 ammo used these days is less lethal and less effective at long range. In Afghanistan, the Taliban liked to park themselves up on mountaintops and just plink away at distant U.S. infantry using heavy machine guns (like the DShK with those giant 12.7x108mm bullets) and mortars, and the U.S. infantry down in the valleys would not be able to put down effective return fire. The heavily-laden U.S. infantry could not effectively maneuver in the rugged terrain and high altitudes, and would often have to sit there helplessly until they either pulled out or called in big guns and air support. 

CM seems to simulate this kind of thing pretty well. Weapon ballistics are what these games do best IMO. Sometimes I'm surprised at how under-powered my infantry is and I find myself relying very heavily on my vehicles and big guns in order to do anything. I remember playing many Shock Force scenarios where my U.S. infantry are getting sniped away or getting hit by DShK fire at long range and my infantry are helpless to do anything about it. Or maybe I'll pour thousands of rounds of 5.56 ammo into a building only to realize that it had little effect.

I don't know much at all about British or the other NATO forces though, but they seem to be pretty similar to the U.S. I haven't played with the other Western forces very much. At least with the U.S, their vehicles and artillery and air support is their biggest asset. The infantry is there to be bodyguards and scouts for their vehicles. Once the infantry spots something, the vehicles roll up and destroy it. With the Syrians, it seems their best tactics are to either ambush the enemy at close range, or snipe and harass them at long range and then relocate before they can call in those big guns. Getting into an extended firefight at medium range is what Western forces are best at. They carry loads of ammo and their good morale and high volume of fire means they will always get fire superiority eventually and win. With the Syrians (especially the uncons/insurgents), running out of ammo can be a big concern, so you want to either harass and ambush or hit the enemy as hard as you can as quickly as possible with everything you have, to try and overrun their positions.

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23 hours ago, Bozowans said:

There is an interesting paper I read a long time ago called Increasing Small Arms Lethality in Afghanistan: Taking Back the Infantry Half-Kilometer, by US Army Maj. Thomas Ehrhart.

I've been looking for that forever after reading a magazine article quoting sections of it.

Thanks.

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