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hcrof

Community Strategy Guide

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I have been working on a framework for a community strategy guide and would like to find out if anyone would be prepared to help. If nothing else, I could publish what I have done and people could add some tips of their own so eventually I could compile the guide as a .pdf for everyone to use.

The best way I think would be to publish a short section here and get peoples comments and additions before moving on to the next section. See below for the first section!

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The ATGM

The ATGM is one of the most important weapons in modern warfare. They are portable and easy to hide yet they are long ranged and pack a massive punch against armour.

Modern tankers fear the hidden ATGM as much as the WW2 tankers feared the Anti tank gun – it is said that the only true protection against the missiles is to operate in an area without ATGM's.

Using ATGM's

Most ATGM's have to be deployed before use which can take a couple of minutes – ideally you would not have to move an ATGM during a battle – this is not always the case however! Remember, facing is important so make sure the missile is pointing towards the enemy. It takes a long time to traverse the missile so you may miss an opportunity if they are pointing in the wrong direction. Javelins do not have to be set up however.

Once the missile is ready just wait for a tank to come into your sites and open up at maximum range. Target arcs are not a good idea if you think enemy infantry will walk into one because the team will then waste a missile on the ground pounders.

Accuracy and Guidance

All ATGM's are by definition guided but not all guidance systems work 100% of the time. Range is not a factor in accuracy, crew experience, wind and suppression have far more of an effect. Guidance systems can be one of three types:

1st generation: MCLOS (Manual Command, Line Of Sight) – Once launched, the operator flies the missile with a joystick towards a target. This is a bit like flying a rocket powered remote controlled plane and is extremely difficult - especially if the target is moving as the operator has to track both the target and the missile. A good operator would count himself lucky with a 30% hit rate under battlefield conditions.

Example – AT-3B Sagger

2nd generation: SACLOS (Semi Automatic Command, Line Of Sight) – Once launched, all the operator has to do is keep his sights on the target. The control box will then automatically correct the missiles course. This is far more accurate but not perfect - older weapons might malfunction or the target might move into cover. Generally a 50-80% hit rate.

Example – AT-3C Sagger, TOW-2

3rd generation: 'Fire and Forget' – Once the target has been 'locked on', the missile remembers what it is and will guide itself to the target without any operator help. They will also frequently follow a top attack path, plunging down onto the weaker top armour of a tank. Apart from an increase in accuracy (around 90%), the operator can also leave the firing position after launch which will protect him from return fire.

Example - Javelin

Staying Alive

When the fired, the missile will take a few seconds to reach its target. During this time, it is quite possible your team will be spotted if they are placed in anything but heavy concealment.

If the enemy spots your ATGM team, they will throw everything they have at it to try and take it out. Don't give them an opportunity to do this by staying hidden. Remember though that if there is one bush on an empty map, a human opponent might just fire at it anyway 'just in case'. Try to avoid obvious positions!

Fire from as long range as possible – the ATGM does not lose accuracy or hitting power at long ranges so try to keep them away from enemy forces. This will make them harder to spot and harder for a human opponent to guess where it is. Remember – long range for an ATGM is more than 2km so don't be shy about putting them as far back as possible.

Don't forget to move – Human opponents get very good at guessing where fire came from and will quickly start putting high explosives around your team, especially if the map is small. It is very rare that you have no choice but to fire as many missiles as quickly as possible so consider using one ATGM to cover the other while it moves after a shot.

The Javelin

The javelin is used by US forces and is so special it is worth mentioning separately. A javelin does not need to be set up like other ATGM's, is incredibly accurate and will destroy almost anything in one shot, after launch the operator can then escape immediately because of the fire and forget nature of the rocket. As well as that, its sighting system is one of the best in the world and is often used for surveillance even if no missile launch is planned. It's only weaknesses are its price (very high) and its relatively short range of 2500m, however, neither of these are relevant in the CMSF context so the weapon is something like a magic bullet. A gamey player will use them on everything – they are very good at killing infantry in houses in one shot as well as any armoured vehicles. Because the US army squads are equipped with so many of them it is possible to win a game by just using loads of the missiles.

In real life however, cost is more of an issue. The missile launch has to be approved by higher command and so it will not be used on trivial targets. In addition – in any fast moving campaign it would be very difficult to supply more of them to the front so any invasion force into Syria would likely be desperately short of Javelins.

Countering ATGM's

Being on the receiving end of ATGM's is not fun but it is possible to exploit their weaknesses in order to succeed. First of all, you might want to lead the attack with infantry, use them to explore all the places where an ATGM could be located. If your infantry spot an ATGM, immediately call down mortar fire on the location – it will destroy the position effectively but will not expose you to any danger. If a suspected position is too far away to search with infantry, put some machine gun fire down on it to suppress the team if it is there. Keeping tanks hull down is important as it will help them take any hits.

If you are playing against a human, countering ATGM's becomes even more difficult. A human will often wait until you are most vulnerable before opening fire (like after you have left hull down). They will also attempt to move ATGM's into advantageous positions so it is risky to keep your tanks in one location for too long.

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This is really a great idea, hcrof. At the moment i dont have much to say, but i got a nice pic of firing a Javelin ingame, capture24022009230524.th.jpg

Also, note that despite what you said here :"the operator can also leave the firing position after launch which will protect him from return fire." this does not work in game as long as the Javelinteam has ammunition left, as the operator will reload his weapon instantly in place.

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Drescher - Thanks for the pic! You will of course be credited etc. About the reload thing, I thought that had been fixed in v1.2 but I just tested it and you are correct.

Sergei - I can't help with hosting etc but I have a load of stuff already written so it might help get a wiki or something off the ground

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Good stuff!

Perhaps it would be more useful if all missiles available in the game that fit into the categories (first, second, third generation) were listed...? Then it would be not only a strategy guide but also an equipment guide.

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Would it be worth having a list of equipment as a section of its own with estimated penetration/protection values for tanks, guns and ATGM's? That way all the grogs who loved the CMx1 system can estimate their chances of hitting and killing enemy vehicles etc.

The information is out there, Damian90 has got a western tanks thread and there is another good thread (which I can't find) dealing with which tanks go where and their strengths/weaknesses. If the respective authers would help put something together we could have a very groggy appendix for equipment!

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REPOST (original post gone because of server maintenance):

I had made this tank list. The info is mostly from the CMSF-manuals. Problem is, that all the high-tech stuff is not really explained in detail (like HK and semi-HK abilities in different light)

a) in real

B) in cmsf

take the challenger2: according to Demian90 it has no thermal imaging. That means it can not well see in bad weather and at night. I made a quick test in cmsf and there challenger 2 can see all over 2000m in night but will he detect targets?

I have not made systematic test about all such stuff.

...or the T-55 (1970): There seems only a static version in the game, but if you read the description in the manual carefully, there seems that also mobile version should be in game.

Here is the latest version I had made, you can take all what you want:

CMSF Tanks Capability Quick List v2.4

(by Smaragdadler, credits to Damian90 for help)

All type designations are CMSF-specific and may or may not differ from real-world one.

The tanks are ordered as classes and tech-level .

Tech-level follows decades and goes up with time.

Comparison of tanks (worse/better) from different classes should only made in same tech-level.

The rating of a tank as 'good/bad' makes only sense against members of his own class.

Classes from low to high are:

Special: tactical usage diverts from original intended use

Reserve: second hand Red stuff, only strong against UnCon-OPFOR without tanks

Regular: standard Red stuff: mostly good against Reserve stuff - bad agains all others

Guard: best Red stuff, only strong against OPFOR without western tanks

U.S.Army: blue anti-tank force (Javelins)

USMC: blue attack force (MGLs, over-size squads)

U.K.: blue urban/special force (on-board mortars, IED-Jammers)

There are also different tech-types:

lateWW2like: original design was made late in WW2, limited to precise but weak 100mm-TankGun/rifled

ColdWar: Cold War design, above 100mm smoothbore TankGuns possible (good for ATGM)

postColdWar: advancement comes through micro technological production capabilities (digital instead analog FCS etc.)

Modern: computer software/hardware capabilities of FCS decide overall fighting-capabability

Postmodern : on-line net-work capabilities and specialization through task-specific upgrade packages/ close defense very important

All Tanks get a general usage description:

bunker -> special usage not original intended for

MBT -> classic "Main Battle Tank", intended for flexible front-line usage against equivalent opponents

ATGM-MBT -> "Anti-Tank-Guided-Missile Main Battle Tank", intended for longe range front-line usage against strong opponents

night hunter -> long range passive NV capability for front-line defense against strong opponents

killer -> frontal one-shot-kill capability expected against all opponents

(semi)-hunter-killer -> commander can independently check for targets and override gunner, but can not shot for his own

hunter-killer -> commander can independently check for targets and override gunner and can shot for his own

=============================

+1950's Tech+

T-54B (immobile):standard Special (static lateWW2like) -> N-protected 100mm/gyrostab 360°AT-bunker

T-55-1970 (immobile): good Special (static lateWW2like) -> NBC-protected (upgraded)100mm/gyrostab 360°AT-bunker

_____________________________________________________________________________

+1960's Tech+

nothing -> all upgraded to at least 70's tec level

_____________________________________________________________________________

+1970's Tech+

T-55-1970 : worst Reserve (very strong lateWW2like) -> (upgraded)100mm/gyrostab MBT -> ***seems intended, but missing in game***

T-62-1972 : rare bad Reserve (very weak ColdWar) -> 115mm/gyrostab MBT

T-55-1974 : standard Reserve (über lateWW2like) -> (upgraded)100mm/LRF MBT

T-62-1975 : rare up-standard Reserve (weak ColdWar) -> 115mm/LRF MBT

T-72M(Early) : good Reserve (sub-average ColdWar) -> 125mm/LRF MBT

T-72M : worst Regular (average ColdWar) -> 125mm/LRF MBT

T-72M1 : very good extremely rare Reserve (up-average ColdWar) -> 125mm/LRF MBT)

_____________________________________________________________________________

+1980's Tech+

T-62M : best Reserve (strong ColdWar) -> 115mm/LRF ATGM-MBT with AT-12

T-55MV : standard Regular (ultra lateWW2like) -> (upgraded)100mm/LRF ATGM-MBT with AT-10

T-62MV : best Regular (very strong ColdWar) -> 115mm/LRF ATGM-MBT with AT-12

T-72M1V : über Reserve (exellent ColdWar) -> 125mm/LRF MBT

_____________________________________________________________________________

+1990's Tech+

T-72M1V (2001) : standard Guard (very weak PostColdWar) -> (upgraded)125mm/LRF GPS ATGM-MBT night hunter with AT-11(tandem)

M1A1(HC) Abrams : worst U.S.Army (strong PostColdWar) -> day/night (semi)-HK

=====================================================================

+21centTech+

M1A1(HC) Abrams(USMC) : standard USMC (very strong Modern) -> day/night (semi)-HK with EO-Jammer

T-72M1V TURMS-T: very good Guard (very weak Modern) -> GPS ATGM-MBT day/night (semi)-HK with AT-11(tandem)

T-90SA : über Guard (weak Modern) -> ATGM-MBT day (semi)-HK/night-hunter with AT-11(tandem) + pseudo EO-Jammer

M1A2 Abrams : standard U.S.Army (exellent Modern) -> day/night HK

M1A1(HC) SA Abrams : good U.S.Army (weak Postmodern) SatLink day/night (semi)-HK

M1A1(HC) FEP Abrams : good USMC (sub-average Postmodern) GPS day/night (semi)-HK with EO-Jammer

M1A2 SEP Abrams : exellent U.S.Army (average Postmodern) SatLink day/night HK

Challenger 2 (Telic) : sub-standard U.K. (up-average Postmodern) SatLink long-range-snipe day/night HK

M1A2 SEP TUSK Abrams : best U.S.Army (good Postmodern) Urban SatLink day/night HK

Challenger 2 (Enhanced): standard U.K. (very good Postmodern) Urban SatLink long-range-snipe day/night HK

_____________________________________________________________________________

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REPOST - I have started the tank armour values table but have got very bogged down in T-72 varients. If someone can point me in the direction of accurate armour values I would be very grateful!

Apart from that I still need pics or tactics for ATGM's, keep 'em coming!

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I think I lost something here.

The Challenger 2 does have a thermal imager. It's mounted above the gun (it's called TOGS2). What it doesn't have is a thermal imaging channel for the commander's independent sight. The commander can view the image from the TOGS but it only looks where the gun is pointed. Otherwise his independent sight has an image intensifying channel.

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The Infantry Platoon Assault

The following example would be described as a 'textbook' assault on a fixed position. It gives you the principles of what an infantry platoon is expected to do but situations in the real world are rarely as ideal as the one shown. This is not to say that you should ignore the textbook answers though. Knowing the basics will help you in real battles as you can adapt this assault to lots of different situations. This example was taken from a PBEM game against a human opponent.

The Situation

Pltassaultsitrep.jpg

While crossing an obstacle, the platoon spots a machine gun bunker covering the road, blocking the path of the infantry. The mortar fire controller providing overwatch is informed and because the platoon appears to outnumber the enemy by more than 3-1, the lieutenant decides to conduct a hasty assault.

- Tip – When attacking, a force ratio of 3-1 can be considered enough to achieve victory with little cost. This rises to 6-1 in urban areas. In CM however these forces are difficult to achieve because it would make for an unbalanced battle. Try to concentrate your attacks to achieve local odds of 3-1 or greater at the decisive point.

The Plan

Pltassaultplan.jpg

2 section will provide suppressive fire from the hill while 1 section moves parallel to the road in a flanking manoeuvre, covered by smoke from 81mm mortars. This move will be protected from any other enemy forces because it is using dead ground in a valley. 3 section and the HQ group will form a reserve to deal with any contingencies.

1 section will then assault the position with grenades and automatic fire before the platoon moves to an all round defence at the objective.

- Tip – Dead ground is a dip in the ground which cannot be observed by the enemy. Finding it can be crucial to a battle but remember, a canny opponent will use mines, artillery and ambushes in these areas because moving into it can be predictable.

Pltassaultfire.jpg

Supression

Pltassaultmaneuvre.jpg

The Flanking Manoeuvre

The result

The platoon moves into position while the mortars are requested and guided onto target. 2 section spreads out and opens fire on the target as the smoke rounds begin to fall. As soon as the smoke screen begins to form, 1 section begins to advance in bounds (advance command) and arrives at the garage wall, out of the firing arc of the bunker.

As bayonets are fixed however, a lucky LASM hit from 2 section hits an ammo crate inside the bunker, killing everyone inside and sending a plume of smoke into the air. 1 section then moves through the objective to prevent counter attacks and the platoon forms an all round defence around the bunker. It is too dangerous to check the enemy bodies but the platoon takes a few minutes to check and redistribute ammo and check for friendly casualties before continuing onwards along their original route.

Pltassaultdone.jpg

Due to effective suppression of the position and the fact that it had no support, the assault was achieved with no casualties. Suppression is key to any assault as it stops the enemy shooting at the advancing infantry who will quickly take casualties if they receive effective fire.

Smoke is a good way of removing support from a position so you can concentrate your fire on fewer locations and protect your advancing troops. It allows you to chop the enemy into smaller pieces which can be defeated in turn but remember – you are only given a limited amount!

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The above is taken from an ongoing PBEM game. I was given the opportunity to conduct a textbook platoon assault on my opponent so I decided to record it as a mini AAR. It only took half an hour but hopefully it illustrate the 'right'* way to attack with infantry.

If anyone spots a moment they think might be able to use to teach someone tactics please submit it to the guide!

*Could any British Infantrymen confirm that I am correct here? I think that is how it works!

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*Could any British Infantrymen confirm that I am correct here? I think that is how it works!

Its basically right, yeah, the platoon would split down into the assault section, the support section (who will suppress the enemy) and a reserve. Platoon HQ will be located somewhere between the Support and Reserve. The usual advance to contact formation will either be a "one up, two down" triangle or a "two up, one down" triangle, depending on the threat.

Once contact is made the lead team will become the section that suppresses the enemy while a hasty plan is made. The reserve teams will then either be allocated as extra firepower to suppress the enemy or as assault teams to move in for the kill, so to speak.

It's all very flexible, really, so just use the terrain and your fire support to your advantage and your attack should go fine.

Another guide about how to deal with multiple in-depth positions might be needed though ;) They're the real kick in the pants - when you discover another enemy platoon is dug in behind the one you just barely managed to clear out...

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I really like the in depth graphical guide showing various ways to deal with a given situation. Mix that sort of narrative with more theoretical arguments about various tactical aspects of the game, and I certainly think this is a winner. Getting to see how others solve battlefield "problems", so to speak, is a great way to learn because a lot of information can be gleaned from the reasoning behind the decisions that were taken during the course of the action. It is compelling reading as well, which also helps the learning process. So more AAR-style guides for various situations is what I recommend. :)

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Its basically right, yeah, the platoon would split down into the assault section, the support section (who will suppress the enemy) and a reserve. Platoon HQ will be located somewhere between the Support and Reserve. The usual advance to contact formation will either be a "one up, two down" triangle or a "two up, one down" triangle, depending on the threat.

Once contact is made the lead team will become the section that suppresses the enemy while a hasty plan is made. The reserve teams will then either be allocated as extra firepower to suppress the enemy or as assault teams to move in for the kill, so to speak.

It's all very flexible, really, so just use the terrain and your fire support to your advantage and your attack should go fine.

Another guide about how to deal with multiple in-depth positions might be needed though ;) They're the real kick in the pants - when you discover another enemy platoon is dug in behind the one you just barely managed to clear out...

Thanks for the confirmation - my sole military experience was cadets back at school and we did it without a platoon HQ, just a retired WO1 moving between sections on his own :)

I wasn't moving in a triangle because I was just crossing that river but I suppose I could just pretend I was 2 up, 1 back for clarity and simplicity. I don't think a guide to crossing an obstacle is really needed is it?

In terms of multiple in depth positions, could you give a clue as to the military solution? I don't know the textbook answer so I would just play it by ear. The other question is how a western mechanised platoon would attack an objective. I can do a guide for the Syrians assuming they do it Soviet style (nice and simple) but I have no idea as to the details of a British or American attack!

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For in depth positions I believe the basic idea is to "leapfrog" from one to the next, so the assault section, as soon as they've cleared the enemy, immediately becomes a support team that puts down fire on the next objective. Meanwhile the other sections will move up and through the first enemy position and carry out their attack on the 2nd. Once that's cleared, the assault team goes firm and provides fire while the other two move forward once again. And so on until they run out of ammo or collapse from exhaustion ;)

Fire support in this case not only has to screen the advance to the enemy position, but might screen the area behind that position as well to prevent anybody giving overwatch to it. That assumes, of course, that the platoon knows the enemy are dug-in in depth. Most often what happened to us in OTC and yes, Cadets :D was that we were only told of one enemy position and it wasn't until we did our re-org that the next one would open fire. Mass confusion ensued...

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Another guide about how to deal with multiple in-depth positions might be needed though ;) They're the real kick in the pants - when you discover another enemy platoon is dug in behind the one you just barely managed to clear out...

I'd really like to see this.

The illustrated guide hcrof posted is nice but leaves many questions open for me because it is an ideal situation for the attacker which is a rarity in the game.

What do you do if the supporting section fails to suppress the MG position and becomes suppressed themselves and/or takes (heavy) casualties? I guess the answer would be to move in the reserve section to take over their job (and not move them into the exact same position as the initial supporting section to prevent the reserve to become suppressed right away too)?

How long did your platoon assault take ingame hcrof (from identifying the MG position until it was taken out)? Did you spot the the MG position first?

Do you define "abort conditions" for those kind of actions ingame? E.g. "if I take more than x casualties or supporting enemy positions at location y are detected during the platoon assault I will call off the assault and try to bypass the enemy positions"?

It is compelling reading as well, which also helps the learning process. So more AAR-style guides for various situations is what I recommend. :)

Dito. Seeing how other people play the game - and why they play it like they play it - is a good way to learn the game.

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zwobot - You are correct, if the supporting section takes fire and becomes suppressed an obvious option would be to use the reserve section to put fire on that position too. Another option would be to use the 51mm mortar to gain fire superiority. A few rounds of that will cause enemy casulties and suppress them effectively. You can then keep them suppressed with fire from your supporting section and keep the reserve uncommited. A third option would be to use smoke grenades/mortar to disengage and call down artillery or air to destroy the position.

I can't remember the exact times but I used 2-3 mins to prepare, get into positions and request smoke. I used 4-5 mins to suppress the enemy and assault the position and another 1-2 mins reorganising afterwards. It might seem that I am taking my time but by not rushing it you can deal with suprises much better.

About 'Abort Conditions', I really should have them but I am a bit arrogent when playing as Blue :P. I am prepared to delay an assault but I probably won't pull back once I have comitted. The problem is that in CMSF you are under a very tight time timit compared with the real world and also things like smoke which is needed to break contact is in very short supply. If I had 8 hours to develop the battle, comms with Brigade HQ who could allocate me more assets and a massive bucketload of patience I would play it more realisticly (and probably take fewer casualties as a result)

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The problem is that in CMSF you are under a very tight time timit compared with the real world and also things like smoke which is needed to break contact is in very short supply.

That's what I thought too. Time and map size are the factors limiting the attractiveness of bypassing known enemy strongpoints.

I'm really interested on "walkthroughs" for the already mentioned defences in depth. For example what would you do when suddenly one or even more enemy supporting positions showed up during your platoon attack in different directions and ranges.

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Well I could try to do it but I think it would be best for a member of the community who knows more about these things than I to write something up. It doesn't have to be fancy, just text which would take 15 minutes for someone who knows what they are talking about.

We could then add pictures/diagrams etc later.

My expertise is not western tactics so I couldn't really write down anything with any certainty. Could someone offer their knowledge?

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That's what I thought too. Time and map size are the factors limiting the attractiveness of bypassing known enemy strongpoints.

I'm really interested on "walkthroughs" for the already mentioned defences in depth. For example what would you do when suddenly one or even more enemy supporting positions showed up during your platoon attack in different directions and ranges.

You would hope that basic idea of the enemies strength and positions would be known so an atttack against a large position would involved more units. Assuming it's a platoon attack then it would be part of a company attack i.e. the platoon is the tip of the company spear therefore the rest of the company would be in support? If the intel was wrong then you break off the attack or go to ground and request supporting fire/smoke etc to either suppress the other enemy positions or break contact?

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Another thing went into my mind: in CMx1 it was already preferable to "shoot it out" with the enemy and break them instead of maneuvering one third of your forces into their positions to start a melee which usually resulted in more losses for both sides.

Hcrof's illustrated platoon attack is a bit of a special case again because the objective was a fixed MG emplacement. But if it had been a single infantry squad or MG team it might have been better to area fire into their position until they leave their trench/house/whatever in panic and then score the kills?

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