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ishfar94

tow stryker use

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Any tips on how to use the tow strikers properly? i've been playing a lot of the stryker campaign and they really seem more of a liability than an asset. Against single targets they are alright i guess(although i have seen the missiles miss quite a bit, either overshoots or crashes into the ground) but most armour pushes don't really have singular vehicles. also they take ages to acquire a target after spotting them and once you shoot your first missile everyone in the vicinity will spot you and 70% of the time something else nabs me as the vehicle tries to acquire another target. Now i am using them spread out over the battlefield. Should i be massing them for just firing salvos, retreat & reload and then coming back for more. any help would be appreciated

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Hull down.  Shoot and scoot.

Unleash them in conjunction with the Javelins.  Use short 'hold fire' arcs until a significant amount of armor is in view and then let 'em fly.  Target tanks, IFV's/APC's that are still laden with troops and specialty vehicles (command, SAM, arty spotters.)

Don't wait too long though....Ivan can move fast.

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The other challenge one often faces in CM games is that one is not able to use TOW's (or other long range weapons) at optimal ranges (3 Km+) due to map sizes and/or restricted LOS.  

 

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Personally? "Badly" is what I usually go for.

Yeah, hull down, scoot, and hope you don't have too much return fire. One obviously advantaged position would be to make use of the optics, and dump some IR-blocking smoke before cresting a hill with them, but that's a lot of resources expended on something you can usually do better with a Javelin, particularly in CMBS.

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7 minutes ago, domfluff said:

dump some IR-blocking smoke before cresting a hill

That's a good idea.   In the modern titles (CMSF and CMBS) is all smoke IR-blocking?  If not how does one know which vehicle has what type of smoke?  (I can't recall if that is displayed.)

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I think the best way to deploy them is far to the rear, behind hills. Treat them like direct-fire AT guns, don't bunch them up, deploy them with good LOS but try to conceal them. I wouldn't use them in maneuver, I doubt they can fire on the move. Range is your best friend -- try to keep the T's and BMP's, at arm's length.

If the maps were bigger, you'd have more opportunity to flex that advantage. You can also use them as precision bunker-busters, which I found useful in CM:SF2.

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3 hours ago, Erwin said:

That's a good idea.   In the modern titles (CMSF and CMBS) is all smoke IR-blocking?  If not how does one know which vehicle has what type of smoke?  (I can't recall if that is displayed.)

The manual lists it, case by case. All of the western smoke blocks thermals, but most of the Redfor stuff doesn't, with the exception of some of the more elite stuff.

BMP-2M has the IR blocking smoke (white), for example.

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8 hours ago, Megalon Jones said:

Hull down.  Shoot and scoot.

Unleash them in conjunction with the Javelins.  Use short 'hold fire' arcs until a significant amount of armor is in view and then let 'em fly.  Target tanks, IFV's/APC's that are still laden with troops and specialty vehicles (command, SAM, arty spotters.)

Don't wait too long though....Ivan can move fast.

yeah i tried doing that. problem is the stryker does not have good spotting to start off with. i'd say it's on par with the bmp3ms. javelin teams riding in strykers seem like a far more flexible tool to me

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Ah, the challenge of firing a missile with a (theoretical) range of over 3,000m on a CM-scale map. ^_^

I recall a video out of Iraq of a TOW Stryker reloading during a firefight. The big missile firing unit tilted back, the rear hatch opened, and CLANG! CLANG! The hatch was unable open, banging against the bottom of the missile firing unit! Ooops! Sounds like a design flaw! When the US fielded the 'Hammerhead' TOW turret (which is on several vehicles in CMSF2) they tried to sell it to their allies but nobody wanted it. It was too bulky, too easily identified, and its reload rate was far too slow.

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14 hours ago, ishfar94 said:

yeah i tried doing that. problem is the stryker does not have good spotting to start off with. i'd say it's on par with the bmp3ms. javelin teams riding in strykers seem like a far more flexible tool to me

  1. Why should most modern Russian hardware be worse at spotting than a dated American one? It seems you're falling a trap of "if it's not invincible uber-waffen it's useless ****" :)
  2. In my experience TOW Strykers is at least no worse at spotting than the best of Russian BMPs. It's worse than the best Russian tanks but that seems fair.
  3. I prefer to avoid using any vehicles for initial recce. I deploy all kinds of vehicles only after the battlefield is thoroughly investigated by foot units. Since spotting is a random game in CM I find it a risk too much to deploy vehicles and rely on better battlefield awareness inherent to American hardware. If your foot units see all enemy vehicles then you can catch the moment the enemy detects your vehicles and you can safely order your vehicle to break the contact and retreat. But that's usable only in RT games.
  4. In my experience placing TOW Strykers in a position where it can be spotted from many quarters is too risky. The probability that one enemy vehicle or another will spot and open fire after the launch is just too high. Especially Russian tanks. So I deploy them in a keyhole positions with multiple fall-back position to retreat and gradually grind on advancing enemy armor whenever possible.
  5. I never use TOW Strykers (or any other vehicles :)) from a forward arcs - too easy to be spotted by the enemy, I always shoot from sideways.

In my experience if you follow all these rules it's quite possible to win firefights even with Russian armor facing Americans. Just avoid risky setups - you should always have an advantage in number of eyeballs observing the battlefield. And fall back to prepped positions if overwhelmed.

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 If you task your TOW Strykers with blowing up building facades instead of engaging enemy tanks they're pretty easy to use. Before Stryker showed up in Iraq Stryker Brigade was using TOW Stryker for urban close infantry support. They even remanufactured 500 old stockpiled TOW 1 missiles to be straight HE. I read a report saying typical firing distance in that role was near minimum missile arming range, about 90 meters.

By all rights, CMBS TOW Stryker firing TOW 2B shouldn't be doing this as there's no HE or contact fuse in the missile. But CM treats TOW 2B like TOW 2 when its not engaging tanks. It direct-fires on buildings and there's a big BANG on impact.

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ATGMs are filling the anti-personnel gap that recoil-less rifles and field guns left, when they fell out of vogue. Only makes sense to use these big boom missiles to counter infantry in hard cover. They're not recon vehicles, that's for sure. Probably would do well to have a recon team in contact with them, as if they were old school batteries.

I've seen many Bradleys spot an AFV, launch a TOW, and then get hit by a supersonic shell. The result is a burning Bradley, a crater and a safe AFV. This makes it doubly important to obscure your launcher in foliage.

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5 minutes ago, DerKommissar said:

I've seen many Bradleys spot an AFV, launch a TOW, and then get hit by a supersonic shell. The result is a burning Bradley, a crater and a safe AFV. This makes it doubly important to obscure your launcher in foliage.

In my experience the worst case is against modern Russian tanks. If a TOW vehicle launches against a tank from forward arc then it's more probable the TOW vehicle ends up dead than the tank. I sometimes use double launches from different directions so that whatever Bradley the tank decides to aim at will break the contact and the second Bradley will finish the tank nonetheless. Though one wasted missile always breaks my heart :D

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To be fair, I've seen the same deal with Syrian/older BMPs and Bradleys - they fire their ATGMs and whilst the thing is in the air, the Bradley kills them with the 25mm.

In general though, even a bad AT asset is still an AT asset, and you have to go with what you've got. Splitting them up is clearly sensible, since it lessens the ability for a single target to deal with them.

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