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Zardoz01

Moving in the face of potential and identified contacts.

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I'd like to be able to create a little table that told me what I could expect from the various move commands when the move-ee encounters opposition. The general advice I've picked up from this forum, for example, is that scout movement orders should usually end with a short hunt 'n' hide command so that if they get fired on they will stop and go to ground. I've understood that to imply that units will generally try to fulfil 'quick' and 'move' commands. This matches my experience so far - units moving with quick or move always *seem* to want to go to their destination when fired on although they can pause and return fire too unless the short target arc trick is used to prevent them from engaging.

Units that are pinned don't keep moving and units whose morale completely cracks when fired on retreat - I've seen that too.

Also is the thing that matters whether the unit has identified who is shooting at them as opposed to just receiving fire from an unknown location? It is possible AFAIK for my unit to a) receive fire from a completely unspotted enemy b) receive fire from a question mark c) receive fire from a spotted unit. Sounds like this makes a real difference?

Just how smart is the tac AI when fired on? 

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Pretty smart.

The basic rule is that speed trades for security - the slower you are, the more likely you are to fire.

Slow - This is going to be a crawl. Being prone, there will be less that the pixeltruppen can see, and it's tiring, but they'll be harder to spot in return.

Hunt - This is tiring, but the pixeltruppen will stop if they receive contact. Ideal for moving in close terrain, worse if moving in the open.

Move - This is the only Move order that will recover fatigue - all others will worsen it. On being shot they will Quick move to the next action spot. If they spot the enemy, they're likely to fire back - Move orders have a decent chance of spotting the enemy, but not as good as being stationary.

Quick - This is a good default move for when contact is made. They'll usually try to complete the move before firing, but they will fire on a target sometimes.

Fast - This is the move to use if you need to prioritise movement. Dashing across a street, running away from indirect fire, etc. They will prioritise movement above shooting.

Assault - This automates bounding overwatch, in a way that's a little hard to anticipate or control. The squad splits as per the "Split Squads" command, one element Fast-moves and the other remains stationary, leap-frogging to the target. It's generally better to do this yourself, but I do make use of it.

 

In terms of automated "react to contact" - if they cannot spot the enemy, and have no contact markers, they won't know where the enemy fire is coming from. From their perspective, if they can't see the enemy, and just know they're being fired at, then what they do will depend on their move orders. Under Hunt orders, this will result in them stopping in place. Move orders will convert to Quick, and Quick and Fast orders will remain the same. If the incoming fire builds up too much, then they may remain pinned in place, or later retreat to nearby cover.

Where they retreat will depend on contact markers as well - the Tac AI is good at finding a spot out of LOS, but not in understanding context. This can lead to a squad suicidally running in the "wrong" direction, since it didn't know that the enemy were there, or that the route they chose to take in panic would take them through the line of fire of something worse.


So  a number of things will happen all at once, when in contact, and it can be difficult to parse precise behaviour. This is why it's important to split squads and provide adequate support - if you're fired on unexpectedly, the targeted element probably won't be able to defend itself effectively, so it'll be up to the other elements or squads to bring the situation under control, giving the first element the time and space to recover.

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Posted (edited)

Great subject @Zardoz01, and a very good breakdown Mr. Fluff.

From my point of view, for infantry units :

  • Hunt is my preferred movement when enemy contact is probable.  When I need them to go to ground immediately on contact and return fire (if possible) = SOP for Movement to Contact
  • Quick - I will alternate this movement in with Hunt when I am scouting (especially with multiple teams), but only use it for very short dashes (one or two action spots) - doing this randomly can add some uncertainty to any opponent that might be watching your movement and it also can speed up the pace of your recon
  • Fast - I use this, as called out by @domfluff for crossing danger areas (streets, open areas, etc.).  SOP = when getting to/across a location/area is more important than immediate return of fire
  • Move - usually I only use this when in a safe area, or when advancing heavy support weapons like HMGs and Mortars that tire quickly - I always try to keep these support weapons behind my main line of infantry until needed  
  • Slow - I rarely use this movement type, mainly because units tire so quickly with it, but it is great for cresting a hill (though I will often use Hunt for that too as the unit is more ready to return fire than on slow)
  • Assault - I almost never use this movement order.  I will do any bounding movement manually, as I don't trust this movement order to do it effectively

For armor the same notes as above apply, except I will use Hunt more rarely, mainly because if I am moving armor it is mainly because my main intent is to get it somewhere fast.  Hunt is used when moving into a hull-defilade or a firing position, or when it is prudent, (i.e. the situation is very unclear and dangerous).  So for armor I will almost exclusively use Hunt, Quick, and Fast.  

Bil

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Assault - I almost never use this movement order.  I will do any bounding movement manually, as I don't trust this movement order to do it effectively

I agree with one exception.....The Assault order seems to work very well indeed in, well, an assault, from cover into a nearby objective. 

It seems to me that the units are a bit freer with their hand grenades when this order is given.....Of course this may just be my personal perception.

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Although I do use Assault (and Hull Down, which wasn't mentioned in the vehicle stuff above), the main issue is the lack of control - you can't determine precisely where your teams are going to stop, or how fast they're going to advance.

Sometimes, that's fine. Over short distances, from cover, etc. it can be as good or sometimes even better than doing it manually - the advantage over the manual method can be speed, since the one-minute turns can limit your impulses.

The main advantage though is decreasing the cognitive load. That's no bad thing for Combat Mission - it's already a game that asks a lot from you as a player, so having tools to help can be helpful sometimes.

It remains the case though that Assault is usually inferior than planning the moves by hand.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, domfluff said:

Although I do use Assault (and Hull Down, which wasn't mentioned in the vehicle stuff above), the main issue is the lack of control - you can't determine precisely where your teams are going to stop, or how fast they're going to advance.

Not so IMHO.....If one uses the Assault order in the correct manner; assaulting directly from cover into an nearby objective (ie: within one bound for the assaulting squad).  In those circumstances it is entirely predictable & highly effective, again IMHO.

Hull-Down remains a mystery to me.....I know how it works, but I just don't use it (yet).

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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The issue with that, is that if you're assaulting into the objective with a short bound, you'll have a half the squad providing cover, whilst the other moves up into grenade range.

That part is fine, but then the support-by fire squad is going to follow them, regardless if that is a good idea or not. If the assaulting element gets wiped out, then the supporting element is going to charge directly into the same fire, and you'll likely lose the squad.

That's partly what I mean by unpredictable - you're setting up the pieces and rolling the dice. You might get away with it, or indeed in some situations (with sufficient security) it might actually be the best option, since you'll be able to get the whole squad across in under a minute, without relying on estimating travel times and putting in the correct pauses, but it's risky.

As I said, I do use the order. It's rarely in scenarios where the move is the actual focal point, but as a way to automate bounding overwatch easily, it's not awful.

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41 minutes ago, domfluff said:

As I said, I do use the order. It's rarely in scenarios where the move is the actual focal point, but as a way to automate bounding overwatch easily, it's not awful.

I have, on rare occasion, used the assault command to break contact.  It works fairly well for this purpose but the problem for me is that the teams must start combined as squads and with rare exception my squads are split.  But if teams are combined by chance (or maybe when playing Italians) it can be used like an Australian peel drill to break contact. .   

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Sometimes it's also useful to use it when dismounting ifvs. The squad will debus, one team will hang around the vehicle, and the other will run off to cover, which is far faster than you can do manually (unless you pause accurately enough to manage this at end of turn, but that's piling on even more micro, and some more failure states as well).

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, domfluff said:

Sometimes it's also useful to use it when dismounting ifvs. The squad will debus, one team will hang around the vehicle, and the other will run off to cover, which is far faster than you can do manually 

+1  Thanks, interesting............... I never tried that, but I will now.  

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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1 hour ago, domfluff said:

Sometimes it's also useful to use it when dismounting ifvs. The squad will debus, one team will hang around the vehicle, and the other will run off to cover, which is far faster than you can do manually (unless you pause accurately enough to manage this at end of turn, but that's piling on even more micro, and some more failure states as well).

Yeah that's a great use of the command... I'm going to add it to my play-book.

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3 hours ago, domfluff said:

That part is fine, but then the support-by fire squad is going to follow them, regardless if that is a good idea or not. If the assaulting element gets wiped out, then the supporting element is going to charge directly into the same fire, and you'll likely lose the squad.

The same thing can happen to you if you manually split the squads and are setting up bounding overwatch. Which is why I agree that it can be useful for short moves from cover.

I also sometimes use it for building entry - usually when I do not believe there is any opposition. If the lead team finds there are occupants they have a built in fire support team that is right there.

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Lots of good info and idea on the movement orders which just leaves this question:

7 hours ago, Zardoz01 said:

It is possible AFAIK for my unit to a) receive fire from a completely unspotted enemy b) receive fire from a question mark c) receive fire from a spotted unit. Sounds like this makes a real difference?

Yes, you are correct all three are possible. Typically if your guys are fired upon the enemy will become at least a question mark contact but it absolutely is possible for the enemy to remain totally un-spotted for a time. The further away the shooters are and the fewer of them there are the longer this can last. Snipers situated fair away, for example, can fire and remain a total mystery for the longest.  Normally your men will only return fire once they have a solid contact but I have seen men return fire before that happens. I think that is just a small timing issue. And they will continue to fire briefly after contact has been lost.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, IanL said:

but it absolutely is possible for the enemy to remain totally un-spotted for a time.

Uncons in CM:SF2 can remain unspotted after they've killed you, in the same room.....Ask me how I know!  :ph34r:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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7 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Uncons in CM:SF2 can remain unspotted after they've killed you, in the same room.....Ask me how I know!  :ph34r:

It's a variation on a pirate theme.  Dead men tell no tales= Dead men can't spot.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/2/2019 at 10:22 AM, domfluff said:

As I said, I do use the order. It's rarely in scenarios where the move is the actual focal point, but as a way to automate bounding overwatch easily, it's not awful.

It isn't awful and can delay the micro when moving a company.  I tried this years ago hoping to avoid  this until contact was imminent. My findings at that time, pre-4.0, were:

  1. pauses for spotting caused the whole squad to stop (doh!). I much preferred a rolling or cycling spotting pause that individual teams provided. Granted, this granularity is less an issue as larger formations are used given varying pauses (resulting in squads rather than teams providing overwatch).
  2. the order is more tiring. It seemed to me that a series of short quick/fast waypoints interspersed by pauses (10-15s) allowed the teams to arrive fresher. I was surprised to see (assault) squads more fatigued over the same distances.
  3. the squad reacts more unexpectedly to fire from an unseen quarter. Even when fired from the front, I would prefer them to stop rather then assault until more information was gathered. I found the teams swarming using hunt/quick/fast were more likely to suffer fewer casualties and provide more effective return fire. I realize this can be more a result of WEGO/luck/timing then anything else. The difference being the loss of a team caught between waypoints vice a squad caught assaulting between waypoints...

Under 4.0, I haven't bothered given the issues regarding pathfinding and will wait for the corrective patch before trying it again. But, I absolutely love the hull down. That is a real time saver.

I can see using it more often in realtime play when a player can pause the action to react. As a WEGO player, I find the 1 minute turn can last hours when a unit is vulnerable...

Unfortunately, I don't use it from cover to advance short distances as some have recommended. I kind of micro at that point making it moot...

Edited by Howler

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1 hour ago, Howler said:

I found the teams swarming using hunt/quick/fast were more likely to suffer fewer casualties and provide more effective return fire. I realize this can be more a result of WEGO/luck/timing then anything else.

Fair enough but we have to live with that luck / timing in WEGO and our general goal is to issue orders that maximize our guys chance of winning any fire fight. So, if a set of orders in a certain situation is statistically worse then you are right not use it in that situation.

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"Quick - This is a good default move for when contact is made. They'll usually try to complete the move before firing, but they will fire on a target sometimes."

Unless this has been changed in patches, have found that units moving QUICK will return fire quite often.  (I think it's if they have good sight of an enemy.)  Have several times seen an AT team moving QUICK, see an enemy tank well within range, stop, shoot and kill it, and then continue QUICK to original destination waypoint.  Lovely to watch.   

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Posted (edited)

Wow! Great points and counter-points on this subject from everyone! Absolutely have to give Assault Command from a Vehicle a try! That is the closest thing to the Dismount Drill used by Bradley IFV Teams. Also I figure it reduces, by half, the amount of troops milling around. One half heads up and ready to engage the other half dancing around till the Pied Piper leads them to the designated area. Then the dance team covers the half moving from the vehicle.

Really like the Assault Command idea on Breaking Contact movement. That is a great way to get around separating into teams to cover one another then rejoining them. Which was my "go to" as anything beats the Monty Python "Run Away" technique.

ww2-pictures-ww-photos.jpg.a1bbd571eb20b0c28d2025add1960462.jpg

 

Edited by IronCat60

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Yup. The advantages the assault command has over replicating it manually are speed and ease - with the tools available, you can't easily replicate precisely the bounding movement that Assault gives you.

The downside is that the order commits the whole squad, and doesn't allow for finer control - if the move turns out to be a bad idea, you'll risk losing everyone.

As said, it's typically worse than splitting manually, but I do think there are edge cases where it's appropriate.

One technique that is nice with Assault are setting Target commands at the beginning and at the final waypoint - this will direct the stationary element to area-fire, whilst the moving element shifts, and will swap roles when appropriate - even if this is a longer command, with multiple bounds.

 

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