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evilman222

Moving in columns.

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On occasions where you're stuck moving vehicles in a column via road (mostly in WWII titles, but I guess this is somewhat applicable to modern ones as well) how do you organize your forces? I've found that alternating Tank, APC/Halftrack, Tank, APC/Halftrack and so on works fairly well, with infantry without their own transport riding desant towards the middle or rear of the column when necessary for speed, or marching alongside towards the front if expecting contact. This has been effective, but doesn't sound very historical.

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Scouts/Advance Guard/main body/rearguard (and each part replicates this formation i.e. the main body would have a scout/advance guard and rear guard within it's formation).

Scouts way up front and don't forget the flanks (to contact the enemy) followed by advance guard (but leading with it's own scouts) vehicles minimum 15s apart.

Order in column depends on terrain e.g. close terrain I'd have infantry up front, open terrain more likely tanks with a few infantry riding the tanks to act as de-facto spotters.

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 I have a vague (and probably faulty)  recollection of WWII US instructions to dismount infantry from trucks perhaps 1600 meters from the forward line of contact, and dismount infantry from half tracks at half that.  Whatever the real numbers were, it boils down to dismounting your troops while still outside effective hmg weapons range. This of course assumes you know where the forward line of contact is. Which means scouting come first, then after you've located the enemy you'll probably discover you're already too close (on a CM-size map) to be moving in column, anyway. ^_^

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12 hours ago, MikeyD said:

 I have a vague (and probably faulty)  recollection of WWII US instructions to dismount infantry from trucks perhaps 1600 meters from the forward line of contact, and dismount infantry from half tracks at half that.  Whatever the real numbers were, it boils down to dismounting your troops while still outside effective hmg weapons range. This of course assumes you know where the forward line of contact is. Which means scouting come first, then after you've located the enemy you'll probably discover you're already too close (on a CM-size map) to be moving in column, anyway. ^_^

In most scenarios, using a column in CM is less than ideal. That said, there are times (like if you have an armor-heavy formation in wet, muddy conditions with only one or two usable roads) where it doesn't seem like you have many other options.

In a column I sometimes use pioneers as scouts if I don't have any dedicated recon units. Particularly in CMFB campaigns I encounter obstacles well before I take any kind of fire.

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If I have a platoon of tanks and a platoon of pc's, two tanks lead the column, while two tanks trail the column.

If I have scouts, the scouts lead with one tank attached, while the main column stays a ways behind.

If my force is mostly tanks with just a platoon of infantry for support, I lead with tanks in all situations in at least platoon strength.

If it's more like a company of infantry with an attached tank platoon, I usually lead with the tank platoon followed by either mounted or dismounted infantry platoon except in areas where enemy AT assets are likely to be present, in which case I'll lead with a dismounted infantry platoon, and have the tanks stay one or two steps behind as support.

You almost NEVER want to lead your column with mounted infantry unless speed is the sole factor behind your movement. Infantry mounted in pc's or riding tanks are far too vulnerable to literally anything the enemy might have. In fact, I would never have infantry ride tanks unless it was a completely safe environment, and I would dismount at even the first whiff of anything larger than a pistol pointed my way. 

I really need to get around to making that "Quick Guide to Mechanized and Armored Infantry" video.

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This is interesting although most of the time due to smaller maps not so useful until one gets huge maps that require movement for at least half a mile b4 needing to deploy.  While it makes sense to lead with the toughest unit - ie a tank, in CM, it seems that whatever is first on point will get killed in its recon role as scenarios are nearly always designed for a guaranteed deadly ambush.  Ditto if in a H2H battle.  The oppo knows that you will be coming down a certain direction and If there is scenario balance, he will almost certainly have something nasty covering that approach.

Now I try to lead with a less valuable vehicle (eg halftrack) with a small team on point as they can spot better than a tank.  And it's less traumatic if they get blown up.

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On 9/14/2019 at 3:38 AM, Erwin said:

Now I try to lead with a less valuable vehicle (eg halftrack) with a small team on point as they can spot better than a tank.  And it's less traumatic if when they get blown up.

There, fixed a typo in your last sentence...   :)

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                       I find that often in restricted terrain that columns are often needed by default. The battle seems to become one of 'waiting in line' while the point forces battle it out until the column can move again.

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