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JasonC

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  1. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from OstapBender in Russian doctrine in CMRT   
    Don't spend lots of time scouting. Don't bother to fix and flank, except with tank forces, who can do it at speed. But also don't just run infantry at the enemy or ignore casualties. That isn't Russian doctrine or how it actually worked, it is just a cartoon slander of their methods spread by the Germans, whomthought it made them defending against it sound all clever and also heroic for braving it etc. (A rather incoherent set of spin objectives, incidentally, but that is an aside).

    The first idea is that any definite plan pushed will be faster than slow recon pull. The next is that the process of destroying the enemy really isn't that complicated - it is a matter of laying your ship alongside the enemy, as Nelson put it before Trafalgar. Meaning close aggressively with the enemy, brave what he can dish out to dish out as much as you can yourself, and trust in your strength to destroy him before he destroys you.

    But that isn't a headlong charge. Above all, it isn't about movement in the first place, it is about firepower and punishment dealt.

    The first infantry wave is fixing, but doesn't have to do it everywhere, or care too much about finding the enemy. Walking over your chosen route of advance will either penetrate the enemy and break up his defense, or he'll find you, and reveal himself stopping that. Let him. Then blow the living crap out of everything that reveals itself, with all your firepower arms. Tanks, mortars, artillery support - call down the wrath of God to avenge the first wave. All the first wave itself needs to do in the meantime is hit the dirt, take what cover they can, and rally as best they can. They did their part drawing the enemy's fire. Don't press. It isn't a race. Save as many of them as possible, by blasting the guys shooting at them and skulking them out of sight.

    Then send the second wave. Not a new idea. Not a fancy razzle dazzle end around head fake double reverse. Send them at the spots your artillery and other fire support just blasted into the lower atmosphere, while the dust is still moving upward. They may occupy the places so blasted. Or they may draw fire from a new set of shooters, and repeat the experience of the first wave. You don't really care which. There is no rushing. You have all week. Everyone will get a turn before you are done, every bit of fire support you have will chew on something, and the enemy will need to shoot you all down and still have something left. If they don't, it may be in the bottom half of the clock that they start crumbling. Waves that have been out of the leading role are rallying the while, shooting back. You don't care how long it takes, but not because any of it is tentative or any part of the clock is quiet. Reuse the rallied early waves as fourth and fifth attacks. The whole point is to outlast them, to have the last rallied wave standing. Inexorable is the watchword.

    Each wave doesn't bunch up. It isn't trying to run the enemy off his feet in one go. You only expose what it takes to make a serious threat to enemy position if he doesn't open up with a major line of battle. The ideal size of one wave is a numerical match for the defenders on the same frontage. You don't want to give them denser targets that make all their weapons more effective. Instead you want them to face trying to hold off the third wave with empty magazines and surrounded by blasted friends, worked over repeatedly by all your fire support.

    They won't stand. Lean hard enough into them, back off for nothing, make no mistakes, and use every weapon in your force for its proper target - and they will go down. Trust your combined strength, believe it, press home and make it so.

    No captain can go far wrong who lays his ship alongside one of the enemy.
  2. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from JulianJ in Was lend-lease essential in securing a Soviet victory?   
    Michael E - "what other choices did the Germans have besides packing up and going home?"
     
    The economists have determined that everything the Germans extracted in the Ukraine by force during the occupation only came to about the same amount they imported from the region in the previous period of cooperation between the USSR and Germany, which they had paid for with high valued goods of their own.  All the draconian requisitioning at gunpoint only got what they could have gotten voluntarily with a few expensive cameras and some higher end electrical equipment, that fetched fancy prices in terms of cheap, commodity grain.  That's how stupid force is compared to voluntary cooperation via trade.
     
    Just saying.  Evil and ruthless doesn't mean efficient.  It mostly means stone cold dumb.  
  3. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from Bulletpoint in Something Very Wrong with LOS Through Trees   
    Consider Wicky's picture.  Yes light penetrates some distance into the trees, with wide gaps between the physical obstacles of the trunks, and no higher foliage to speak of.
    But look across the field at the distant treeline on the next hill over.  Scan along it.  How deep can you really see into that treeline?
    It isn't a matter of physically blocking every photon.  It is a matter of the human eye being hopelessly unable to pick up any shape in that solid, high, blocking line, down in the shadow under the canopy.  The eye focuses involuntarily on the lines of high contrast.  We have actual edge detection cells on our retina.  What you actually see is a high contrast line across the top of the canopy, between canopy and sky.  Plus another high contrast line along the base of the trees, where trees meet ground.  Plus, less distinctly, a shadow line on the snow some distance in front of that ground line, wavering with the tree heights and undulations of the ground.
    Between the skyline and the ground line you see a block of trees.  Some individual lines of contrast are detectable in the tree shapes and foliage, but each is so like all the others in the mass that you get a texture signal, not really edge signals.  You can detect smudges of interrupted white below the foliage line, from snow on the ground back inside the tree line.  Together those can give you another faint line of the lower edge of the foliage, blurred across the multiple trees that define it and the angle of the ground relative to teh angle of the sightline.
    But any distinct object on those interrupted snow patches below the foliage line?  Nearly hopeless.  If the trees weren't present, you would edge-detect such a shape as a hole in the field of uniform white of the snow on the ground.  But within the trees, it is all interrupted by trees anyway, and in shadow.  There is no high contrast to pick out the shape of an object against that field.
    This is fundamentally a camouflage effect, not a physical LOS blockage effect.  But it is very real.  And it causes a sighting asymmetry - it is far far easier to see something out in that snow covered field than it is to see something inside the tree line from the field.  Photons are intercepted or not, either way, so you might expect the LOS effect to be reciprocal and equal.  But it isn't, not with the camouflage effect included.
    If a tank were sticking out of that far tree line it would certainly be visible.  But 10 or 20 yards back inside of it, not moving, and it would have great camouflage effect compared to the same out in the middle of the snow white field.  The tank inside the treeline would see the one out in the field ages before the reverse happened.
    Imagine trying to spot a tank painted bright hunters orange.  That would depend only on physical LOS blockages.  But actual tanks are not painted orange, they are painted in camouflage colors and patterns to make spotting them harder.  Put one back 20 yards in a treeline across a field like that distant ridge, and they'd be effectively invisible until they moved or fired.
    What the game seems to be underrating is this camouflage type effect.  Otherwise put, the spotting routines pick up marginally "visible" targets far too rapidly and reliably, in the absence of the movement or fire that actually attracts the eye and enables us to pick out a particular shape at range in such uniform visual environments.  The routine probabilities seem fine for large objects standing out against a skyline or a uniform field background of high contrast to the vehicle itself.  But that situation is an outlier of best spotting chances on real battlefields, not the rule.
  4. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from 76mm in Something Very Wrong with LOS Through Trees   
    IanL - I'd say roughly 90% of threads around here consist of new or old players making legitimate comments about aspects of the game that could be improved, then for their pains getting abused and insulted at length by experienced players who do nothing to improve it, nor for that matter to improve the neighborhood.  That BTS occasionally listens anyway is entirely to their credit.  If the peanut gallery decided, we'd all still have the CMBO cartoonishly invulnerable infantry we started with 15 years ago.
  5. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from 76mm in Something Very Wrong with LOS Through Trees   
    Board wargames can design for effect and get this sort of thing right pretty effortlessly.  The spotting rules in Jim Day's Panzer from GMT, for example, work extremely well, well enough that I've been "porting" them to older game systems that didn't include the right effects or give them the right strengths.  And yes board wargames are easier to "patch" - Panzer needs some "area fire" options are previous contacts, for example, that have been lost in the meantime because one side or other went prone, and similar.
    As usual, the engineering approach that promises greater realism from bottom up modeling instead, doesn't actually deliver on that promise until it is nearly perfect in its handling of every relevant factor.  Get the photon interception stuff perfect (we aren't there with CM, as several posters above have pointed out, the issue being "transparent" concealment) and you still have to get the camouflage and object detection stuff perfect too, or you get worse not better realism than was available with a simpler "design for effect" approach.
    I understand why CM is committed to the bottom up method, and that's fine.  It just carries with it a commitment to fix every issue anyone notices, and not to "plead" the endlessness of those fixes as a reason not to do any of them.  If you don't want endless fixes to get every piece right, you should stick with design for effect.  If you want engineering realism bottom up, then every time someone finds another issue, it has to be improved.  Don't expect to get off that treadmill soon.
  6. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from Zveroboy1 in Soviet Doctrine in WW2 - 1944   
    The basic German defense doctrine was the one they developed during WW I to avoid being defeated by local concentration and artillery suppression, and it remains the basic system the Germans used in the east.  That tactical system has been called the denuded front, in comparison with practice near the start of WW I of lining continuous front line trenches with solid lines of riflemen.  Instead it was based around a few fortified machinegun positions, concealed, and cross fired to cover each other rather than their own front, in an interlocking fashion.  The idea being to make it hard to take out just a piece of the scheme.  Most forces were kept out of the front line to let enemy artillery "hit air".  Wide areas were covered by barrage fire and obstacles (in WW I generally just wire, in WW II plenty of mines as well).  Barrages and obstacles have the feature that they multiple in their effectiveness the more then enemy sends; his local odds does not help him, it hinders him or raises his losses instead.  The MG and outpost network is meant to defeat penetration by smaller enemy numbers, while barrages crucify their masses if they overload those.
     
    Then the main body of the defending infantry defends from considerably farther back, and executes local counterattacks into portions of the defensive system reached by the attackers.  The idea is to spend as much prep barrage time as possible deep in underground shelters, and only come up and forward to mix it up with enemy infantry after they are mixed in with your own positions and hard for the enemy to distinguish and coordinate fires on them etc.  This also was meant to exploit the confusion that even successful attackers were generally in, after crossing the outpost and barrage zone described above.
     
    That is an effective enough system, but it isn't foolproof.  The thinner front and separated strongpoint positions it uses are vulnerable to stealthy penetration, night infiltration e.g., rather than frontal attack on a large scale.  The local counterattack part of the doctrine can be taken to extremes and get rather expensive for the defenders, resulting in mere brawling inside the defender's works, and just exchange off with the more numerous attackers.  What it really relies on is the enemy being defeated by the artillery fire scheme and ranged MG fire over most of the frontage, so that the counterattack and brawl stuff only happens in a few exceptional spots, where the defenders have a safer route to the front, better information about where the enemy is, what routes are left clear of obstacles, and the like.
     
    The main line of resistance, once hit, generally tried to solve the fire discipline dilemma by firing quite late, when the attackers were close enough to really destroy them, not just drive them to ground.  Harassing mortar fire and a few "wait a minute" MGs were all that fired at longer ranges, to delay the enemy and prevent them being able to maneuver easily, mass in front of the defenders safely, and the like.
     
    At a higher level, the division's artillery regiment commander, divisional commander, or regional "Arkos" tried to manage the larger battle by choosing where to intervene in the outcoming attack with the weight of divisional fires.  They didn't distributed those evenly, or according to need.  Instead they would have a plan of their own, to stop the Russians cold in sector B, and just make do in sectors A and C.  They divide the attack that way.  Then shift fires to one of the break ins, and counterattack the other one with the divisional reserve.  The basic idea is just to break up the larger scale coordination of the offensive by imposing failure where the defenders choose, by massing of fires.  They can't do this everywhere, but it can be combined with choices of what to give up, who pulls back, what the next good position is, and the like, as a coordinated scheme.  The function is "permission" - you only get forward where I let you get forward, not where you want it.  If the enemy tries to get forward in the place the defenders "veto" in this way, they just mass their infantry under the heaviest artillery and multiple their own losses.
     
    I should add, though, that those doctrinal perfect approaches sometimes could not be used in the conditions prevalent in parts of Russia.  In the north, large blocks of forest and marsh are so favorable for infiltration tactics that separate strongpoints with only obstacles in between just invite penetration every night and loss of the position.  The Germans often had to abandon their doctrine in those areas, in favor of a continuous linear trench line.  And then, they often didn't have sufficient forces to give that line any real depth, but instead had to defend on line, manning that whole front as best they could.  In the more fluid fighting in the south, on the other hand, the Germans could and did use strongpoint schemes.  The Russians got significantly better at night infiltration as a means to get into or through those, as the war went on.
     
    Against Russian armor the German infantry formations also had a harder time of it.  In exceptional cases they could prepare gun lines with enough heavy ATGs well enough protected and sited to give an armor attack a bloody nose, but normally they were not rich or prepared enough for that.  Keep in mind that the Russians were quite good at tank infantry cooperation in their mech arm - by midwar that is, early they hadn't been - but lagged in the development of tank artillery cooperation.  Which is what tanks need to deal with gun based defenses efficiently.  The German infantry formations themselves tried to just strip tanks of their infantry escorts and let the tanks continue.  The Russians would sometimes make that mistake, and send the tanks deeper on their own.  That put them in the middle of a deep German defense that would know more about where they were and what they were doing than vice versa.  But that is really an "own goal" thing - if the Russian tanks just stayed with their riders and shot the crap out of the German infantry defenses, the Russian doctrine worked fine.
     
    On a deeper level, the Germans relied on their own armor to stop Russian armor.  Brawling frontally with reserves, often enough, sometimes aided by superior AFVs.  Sometimes by counterattacks that sought to cut off the leading Russian spearheads, and prevent their resupply (with fuel above all).  That worked less and less well as the war went on, however, because the Russians got better at keeping multiple threats growing on the map, gauging defender strength correctly and waiting for all arms to consolidate gains, and the like.  There was also just less of the fire brigade German armor later in the war, and it had less of an edge in tactical know-how.
     
    There are also some weaknesses of the Russian doctrine that the Germans tried to exploit.  It can be quite predictable.  You can let them succeed at things to draw them in, in a pretty predictable way.  The Russian mech way of attacking was at its best against infantry defenses, or vs armor against heavily outnumbered defenders.  If they pushed too hard at a strong block of armor, they could get a brigade killed in a matter of hours.  If you have such an asset, you can try to string the two together - let them hit a weak spot precisely where you want them to come on hard into your planned kill sack.  They aren't doing a lot of battlefield recon to spot such things, they are mostly relying on speed to create surprise.  If you let them think they just made a brilliant and formula perfect break in, they are apt to drive hard trying to push it home, and not to suspect that its is a trap.  But a lot of things get easier if you have a Tiger or Panther battalion lying around, don't they?
  7. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from Zveroboy1 in Soviet Doctrine in WW2 - 1944   
    There was nothing wrong with Russian interwar doctrine - which incidentally was not copied from the west. In so e ways it was the best in the workd, particularly the understanding of the need to sequence multiple large scale operations, the logistics limits on them, what the role of new mechanized forces was going to be, and the like.n it wasn't as good as the German doctrine in tactical details, combined arms principles, and some of the German maneuver tradition going back to Moltke the elder, but nobody else had that stuff down, either. Tbey had their internal political fights over it - the party basically feared that proper modern doctrine made generals tech heroes in a manner they feared was essentially tied to fascist politics, which was both paranoid and stupid, and they destroyed the brains that had come up with it in the purges, set back training and adoption etc. but the military acadamies had taught it to a fair portion of the senior officers, especially the younger ones who would rise to top commands during the war itself.

    The more basic problem on the doctrine side was that it was still just academic theory. It had not had time to reshape the army along the lines of its thinking, and where it had, it had done so in impractical ways, for lack of serious experiment and training in full scake exercises and the like. The army could not implement the mobile part of the doctrine. The officer corps in particular, its lower ranks especially, was not remotely up to the standard of the Germans or even of the professionals of the western armies. In training, education, time in grade, staff work, etc. Bravery they could do, obediance they had done, about all there was to work with. Yes that reflected the purges, but also the scale of the force and its rapid expansion to that scale, its reliance on reserve mobilization (necessary given that scale in any event), lack of wartime experience, etc. at most, a small cadre had some battle experience from Spain or the brief fight with Japan - and the party tended to distrust those with the former experience. The Finnish winter war had been a disaster and showed how unready the force was, and didn't correct that, though a few of the officers involved got started off its lessons.

    The two biggest weaknesses were combat service and support (CSS, more on it below), by far the biggest, and poor combined arms handling at the tactical level, particularly all cooperation with armor. They compounded each other, with weaknesses in the former forcing departures from book doctrine on the latter, that then failed. Behind the CSS failures lay inadequate staff ability, the officer management bandwidth to conduct the mech arms orchestra flawlessly. This was made worse by overly large mech formations with an org chart that wasn't streamlined enough and put extra levels of command between the key deciders and the execution, by lots of obsolete equipment (think early 1930s era T-26s, flocks of them) in a poor state of readiness, by inadequate facilities to keep anynof it working, and by lack of realistic large scale training (as opposed to unit level training or carefully staged set pieces).

    On the org aspect, a prewar mech corps had two tank divisions, each with its own brigades, and those tank heavy. It had 2000 trucks at TOE, and 600 to 1000 tanks, depending on the makes. There were dozens of these. A huge portion of the tanks were old T-26s and the types were mixed, as were the truck types. To get a formation like that to move over a limited dirt road net from point A to point B with gas for everyone where and when they needed it, without traffic jams and without roads blocked by broken down tanks, with repair and spare parts to get the fall outs moving again, and then exoecting them to arrive with all arms together and coordinated, in communication with each other across weapon types, form them up into fighting combined arms teams, and go in to a schedule to hit the enemy in a well coordinated way - all proved beyond the capacity of one schooled muckety muck and his staff of four high school graduates with a pack of index cards, a phone and a couple of pencils. I exaggerate slightly for the sake of clarity.

    What actually happened is they didn't manage it, one column got stopped by a T-26 regiment running out of gas, holding up 200 trucks behind, carrying the infantry expected to be part of the show; the other tank division got a brigade of newer BTs to the jump off point and looked around for all the folks supposed to attack with them, waited three hours, finally heard they wouldn't be ready until tomorrow morning, thought "that's crazy, this battle will be over by then", and drove down the road unsupported and attacked off the line of march as best they could. After scaring the German front line infantry, lost in the defended zone, they blundered onto a gun line and lost a bunch of tanks. They try again with minimal changes an hour or two latter and the Germans are readier for them than ever, and fails. The next day, an infantry battalion detrucks and tries, but expects the BTs to lead and do things for them; the try and fail, the infantry presses, and gets killed too. Nobody has heard from the artillery, which is 20 miles away in a traffic jam.

    The CSS failures are huge by western or even later war Russian standards. A third of the tanks fall out on a road march. There are not planned arrangements to pick them up and fix them. The front moves and a road is cut. A full brigade worth of tankers get out and walk, in retreat, leaving their broken down hulks just sitting there. Another brigade follows the wrong dirt track, runs out of gas, and the trucks with the gas went someplace else, and by the time it is even sorted out whar did happen - let alone what has to happen next - there are Germans across the intersection between them.

    Up at the operational level, a full mech corps hits the German lines, two days of confusion are reported, the corps is now a brigade, and the Germans resume their march. The Russian officers report losing their tanks to swamps (the swamp monster, I call it, because it appears over and over in these excuses). It fiesn't help that the Luftwaffe is strafing the columns making traffic jams worse, and German signals intel locates every radio with a range of more than a few miles and has told the Luftwaffe and army artillery where the Russian HQs are within hours, whenever they switch the set on. So soon the officers are trying to coordinate this sprawling mess with dispatch riders, who do or don't arrive with orders hours old that were issued without a clear picture of everything in the first place, and were nonsense on stilts two hours later. Then every muckety muck tries to clear it all up with their own orders, and the regiment commander has one order from brigade and another from division and a third (12 hours okd) from the original corps plan, but his (tiny) staff is telling him he can't physically do that anyway, because support X hasn't cone up and route Y is clogged and there is only enough gas to reach Z.

    Now decide. You have five minutes.

    It all goes pear shaped pretty quickly.

    Some of this clears up as the decreipt T-26s drop out of the force. Some as the screwiest commanders ger killed. Sone as people learn their jobs better. But above all, the army reduces its ambitions and goes to tank brigades and gets thise working, the recreates division sized tank corps with a much flatter structure only after those are working. The types get more uniform, with the reliable and cross country capable T-34 becoming the workhorse. They only go back to trying to run tank armies after all those are working properly, and they use thise only with a lot more planning, and only a handful of them (with lots of independent division scale tank corps working for combined arms armies instead). The staffs get bigger and much more professional, and it all gets real and realistic. Just, a ,ot of poor slobs get killed in the meantime.

    FWIW.
  8. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from Zveroboy1 in Hammer's Flank Crossing the River   
    Sgt Joch - you don't even understand what I am saying, so it is completely unsurprising that you don't get it.  You claim the scale is "correct for that part of the front", but don't notice how impossible that claim is.
    What part of the front?  Why that part, in left to right distance?  Why that depth front to back?  Why this amount of time?
    You say the 3 hour prep fire is clearly out of scope, without noticing that this destroys your claims of accuracy at the outset.  Saying "I realize this is pants" in the designer's notes doesn't change the fact that it is pants.  You are left presenting the player with the task of crossing a defended river with direct fire support from a flock of SU-76s at point blank range and some 82mm mortars.  The actual attack never had that.  It had major fire support for hours on chosen points to affect a crossing, and those arms to follow up and deal with holdouts.  No, you don't depict that accurately by pretending that the fight starts after it happened.  The whole point of that step was to nuke specific points needed to cross obstacles, not just to evenly reduce defenders.
    How was the time pacing of the actual attack?  Let there be X forces per yard of front line - how deep were they layered, front to back?  Hint, ignoring the actual prep fire step makes local force concentrations that appear liveable completely false.  Under hour long 152mm fire you can't bunch up, you must spread front to back and go deep in holes to survive it.  The attackers don't mush their entire strength behind the frontage into the first 60 yards either, then bums rush forward.  Why?  Area effect weapons.  Instead a thinner wave set by the frontage must be sent, but there can be nine of them in a row, one behind the next, spread back half a mile.
    Pathfinders start forward during the actual barrage.  It doesn't lift uniformly in all sectors, instead lifting fifteen minutes early just here, so the Germans stay in their holes while the pathfinders get forward just here.  That forms the base of the planned set piece after the rest of the barrage lifts.
    Where?  At loops and bends in rivers and streams, where the defenders can't easily line the bank without making a great arty target and having MGs sited across their position from 180 degrees.  Nuke one of those loops with 152s in the last ten minutes of the barrage, then pathfinders across mark routes, then the main body at jump off time, but one wave at a time.
    You aren't showing any of this, because you don't know enough tactics.  You have taken everything out of the attackers real toolkit, in timing, fire coordination, choicd of sector of the frontage to use what.  Instead you have applied a mindless even mathematical division of the total attacking force, to an equally mindless even mathematical division of the length of the front, shown only a third of the relevant depth front to back of that much front for formations of this size, scooped out all the bigger artillery weapons, shaved off most of the relevant overwatch fire in the time domain as well - and think it must be accurate, because you looked up 3 numbers and did a couple of arithmetical divisions.
    And I'm here to tell you and anyone else that the result is unhistorical stupidity, not accurate anything.  You have not only sat in the Russian attacking commander's chair, you have imagined and "managed" and divided and abstracted him into the biggest brain dead fool since Pickett's charge.  You turn the result over to the player with the effect of "here, I've decided that you are a witless idiot, please play that part in my movie script now."
    Pound sand.  Nobody deserves this treatment as a player.  
  9. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from Bulletpoint in Attrition vs. Maneuver   
    Maxims of attrition -


    Firepower kills.

    Dead men hold no ground.

    If you aren't willing to stand on the defensive when occasion calls for it, don't fight at all. Occasion will call for it.

    If standing on the defensive inflicts a better loss ratio on the enemy than attacking, defend. If the reverse, attack. No doctrine, only opportunities.

    "The initiative" has killed at least as many cats as curiosity.

    Destroy the enemy main body and the rest will sort itself out.

    To use your weapons, you must stay alive.

    Use weapons when and where they do the most good, not where some ulterior plan says some extraneous end must be accomplished.

    Shoot artillery at the densest enemy.

    The decision is achieved by fire.

    Firepower dominance, not movement, takes ground.

    Firepower threat, not presence, holds ground.

    Few enemies can long withstand the efficient application of all your available firepower.

    Maneuver is a means of getting shots, or denying them to the enemy. Shots win wars, movements do not.

    It is not a race. Battlefields are dangerous places. Slow down.

    Infantry should never go anywhere it isn't prepared to stay indefinitely. But it must also be willing to leave.

    Infantry prepared to stay somewhere indefinitely has great tactical and operational power. Infantry unwilling to leave a location has none.

    Make them dig you out of every hole. Dig more holes in the meantime. But only to inconvenience them, and only as long as it does.

    An attritionist is always willing to give up ground, any ground. Making everything the enemy does expensive is the point.

    A defender willing to retreat fights where he chooses, an attacker striving for breakthrough by following weak paths fights where the defender chooses.

    Be there *last*, not first. Nobody calls brawls "first man standing".
  10. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from Bulletpoint in Attrition vs. Maneuver   
    Germany in WW II was fighting over the subject, rather than in possession of a clear and coherent doctrine that they consistently adhered to. It helps to understand the German military tradition from Napoleon to WW II. Since you bring up Frederick, in fact I can start even earlier with his era. Napoleon himself was indebted to Frederick and studied his campaigns with care. Nevertheless it is clear Napoleon significantly improved on Frederick's methods, which were utterly inadequate by Napoleon's day.

    Frederick had employed oblique order, as you mention. But as part of basically linear tactics. Nearly the entire front covered, he was deliberately thinner on one wing and in (2-3 times) greater depth on the other. Such side weightings go back to ancient times and aren't revolutionary in themselves. Frederick noticed how they interacted with gunpowder warfare in an age of linear tactics.

    There were two dominate tactical considerations in that era. All armies could line their fronts with muskets. We would say, force to space was always high. Artillery was not strong enough yet to force men to spread out. And this has curious effects on firepower efficiency.

    You might think - and they in fact thought at the time - that the way to maximize combat power was to put men shoulder to shoulder so as many as possible could fire, and then fire massive volleys. But men shoulder to shoulder maximize enemy hits as well as friendly shots, because hits taken was pretty much a straight linear function of men exposed to the fire (shots were unaimed, in effect - "area fire"). More men on the same frontage increase both enemy losses per unit time, and friendly losses per unit time and per bullet fired. For rapid decision that may be necessary. But it is not optimal for fire combat, as only really became clear during the wars of the French revolution.

    Since you could get the same losses per unit time with fewer men on the frontage, and keep it up longer if you did it with fewer bullets shooting bigger targets instead of lots of bullets shooting sparse ones, open order beats closed for fire combat. Open order allows full use of cover, stretching this edge, but the basic effect does not depend on cover. It depends on per shot accuracy rather than per time loss rates. A skirmish line can keep up the fire longer, and it and the line it skirmishes against bleed about the same.

    This was discovered essentially by accident by the French revolutionary armies, which lacked the discipline of their predecessors. The men were either voluntarily willing to advance into the "hot zone" and trade shots, or they were not. Most were not, at any given point in time, and hung back from the fray in loose mobs. A more spirit crust traded skirmish fire with enemy masses. Professionals were shocked to discover the loose mob with crust lasted longer and inflicted higher losses overall, than the neatly drilled firepower maximizing lines.

    French tactics in the Napoleonic period drew on those lessons and combined them with reimposed discipline, and all supporting arms. Fire combat was conducted by open order infantry in thin screens for prolonged periods of time, plus artillery fire. Infantry masses and cavalry simple waited. Fire disrupted enemy formations wherever they tried to remained massed in close order. After they had been prepped or when their voluntarily thinned their fronts, the shock forces charged over them.

    Infantry did so simply by playing "chicken" with guns, firing considered flinching because it left men with uncharged tubes facing men with charged ones. The latter could jog to just outside bayonet point and fire, unable to miss. The tactical point was, accuracy per shot rose by a factor of 5 or so in just the distance a man might jog, in the time it took to reload. Cavalry dispensed with this and just ran right in, only mass formations in good order being able to stop them.

    Why all that background? Because it sets up shock vs. maneuver thinking, as it was before the modern German military tradition. What happened historically is, the Prussian army that went to face Napoleon in 1806 still used the old linear tactics of Frederick. And the French cleaned their clocks, in one of the most decisive defeats in history. When the Prussians got a chance to rebuild a nationalist army in 1813, they were determined to avoid another Jena, and learned scrupulously from the French.

    The architects of that new army - Gneisenau above all - believed completely in Napoleon's doctrine of decisive battle. Tactically, they mixed fire and shock in the French way. Gneisenau also created the German general staff, which sought to duplicate the effects of Napoleon's personal genius in a distributed "brain" of expert professionals.

    Thus Germany leaves the Napoleonic era with a living and successful tradition, wedded to tactical combined arms, decisive battle, and staff professionalism. Maneuver is secondary. It may help to bring about a decisive battle when the enemy seeks to avoid pitched battle. It may improve the conditions for tactics.

    The basic driver is what I would call "tactical opportunity pull" from combined arms relationships. You look at what they enemy has and the professional formulas spit back the tool to use, as the "school solution", that he is most vulnerable to. Its action in turn creates opportunities to use other arms to their best effect.

    You see a mass of infantry in close order on a ridge, say. Your first thoughts are not "shall I go right at them or around"? They are simply "enemy in close order equals use fire equals deploy skirmish lines in front and place batteries in positions overlooking said ridge". Like that, automatic, no thought necessary.

    No scheme of maneuver beyond that neccessary either - yet. When fire changes the enemy force, creates disorder, or makes him move or alter his dispositions and formation etc, then sure you reach to the next weapon. And you think ahead about those additional moves, the instant you deploy the skirmishers and batteries. So the close order supports of the skirmishers go here, in case an opportunity to charge is created by the batteries, there. That you can scheme about all you like. But the actual charge is going to be made when the tactical opportunity appears.

    Implicit in the scheme is the notion that the enemy cannot cover himself with one disposition against all weapons types and contingencies.

    OK, mid 19th century, something else comes along. Modern firepower begins to appear, in the form of rifles for everyone, then breech loaders and repeaters, breech loading artillery with effective explosive shell, etc. It is found that physically charging into infantry ready to receive that charge, is suicidal. This does not mean frontal attack is suicidal. It means frontal attack must be delivered as fire and not as old style shock.

    It also means thinning to fire efficiently is not so easily countered as in the past. To wear that out by fire alone takes time. This frees up numbers previously held massed for shock, and as a result the size of deployments expands dramatically. Long thin deployments create vulnerabilities at the ends. Now the stock counter to a thin firing line is no longer a charge, but is instead a turning movement.

    This is a reintroduction of maneuver, to outsiders, or an increase in its importance. But within the scheme itself, it is simply an updating of an entry in a move-and-counter diagram. The counter to "thin extended firing line" is not "pick a flank and overload it" rather than "charge with shock forces".

    In the wars of German unification, 1864 to 1870, Prussia showed this stuff off. The architect this time was Moltke the elder. Decisive battle remained the idea, but he added to features - the above tactical adaptation to modern firepower, and mobilization speed to produce an operational advantage early in the war. This was created by tapping the *managerial* abilities of the general staff system (and by wedding those to railway timetables, above all).

    It has been said the Prussians of this era understood how to take the offensive operationally while standing on the defensive tactically. That is true to some extent, but what it calls "defensive tactically" is really reliance on fire, rather than defense per se. They don't charge, they envelope then sit down and plink. And it crushes their enemies. Nothing indecisive about it. Western traditions (especially French and British and especially cavalry thinking) sees the disappearance of Napoleonic shock as defense taking over. It is really fire taking over.

    They go into WW I with that kit bag. It works better than anything the Allies have, but doesn't simply work. The armies are so large on limited space in the west, that there aren't any edges to envelope. Salients stand in for them. In the east they can still be found sometimes.

    What does not afflict the Germans in WW I - with the partial exception of Ludendorf, late - as it crucifies the French and the Brits of that war, however, is the cult of the offensive and the dream of breakthrough, "rupture", "the big push", "restoring movement". At the strategic level, the Germans pick a target from there overall central position, rail in what it takes to hurt it, chose the right mix of tactics for the force in front of them, and hurt it.

    The right mix of tactics starts with 210mm howitzers by the hundreds and adds nuance with a eyedropper. Somebody has to threaten attack to make the enemy man his front trenches in strength. Then heavy artillery annihilates them. This is the old mix of shock and fire, only now shock in "an infantry attack at all, as opposed to sitting in your own trench", and fire is not a skirmish line, but hundreds of batteries and millions of shells applied over months. As the enemy adapts to this with deeper dugouts and thinner outpost fronts, the infantry gets more aggressive. Trench raid tactics are scaled up to the size of armies.

    The overall goal is still anniliation of the enemy army. But the enemy armies are so numerous, and overall enemy firepower is so high, even an application of this well developed and professional doctrine, does not suffice to win the war.

    In the latter stages, the Germans are frankly gambling. The single biggest longshot bet is unrestricted submarine warfare trying to knock the Brits out, even at the likely cost of bringing the Americans in. The Brits institute convoys, tame the sinkings, the Americans do come in. That would have lost the war right there.

    Russia dropping out gives them another long shot. Maybe US in and Russia out is a net gain, if they can beat the other allies before the US shows up. That is Ludendorf's 1918 reasoning and the reason he is driven to seek not sound tactical application of doctrine, but rupture and decision. He predictably fails to get it, and Germany losses.

    All of which gave attrition doctrine a bad name, in Germany too. While the staff is still professionally trained a la Moltke the elder, and therefore believes in annihilation battle and tactical opportunity pull as combined arms, the new armor force guys aim higher. And there is a diffidence about the older tradition because it proved insufficient in the immediate past, to defeat half the world from a base of just Germany (though it had outperformed the allies).

    This fight then interacts with the politicization fight going on within the German army, about its independence from or subservience to, Hitler and the regime. Those who slow up the new maneuverists are successfully painted as old stick in the muds who aren't with the new political program, and are opposed to aiming high because (it is insinuated) they secretly oppose the regime.

    France is the first test case. The old guard sets limited objective attacks. Manstein presents his own plan instead, direct to Hitler, and gets it picked. It is a brilliant school solution in main outlines. The idea is to defeat the enemy army. In a classic maneuverist touch, he makes surprise a linch-pin of the plain, in pure head-fake fashion. He rightly guesses the French will expect a repeat of the nearly successful 1914 plan and will march NW into Belgium to stop it. And he plans to break off that wing and kill it.

    It is Guderian who picks the actual target for exploitation, during a war game exercise. Having succeeded in getting his group across the Meuse in the exercise, he has to pick the next target - Paris or the channel ports. He picks the channel ports, targeting the enemy army rather than his capital.

    This is strict old guard annihilation battle reasoning (and in my unhumble opinion, entirely correct). A "shot to the brain" maneuverist would have gone for Paris. Maneuverists who cite Kiev never cite this one, because it was obviously correct and because it worked.

    There was also direct precedent. Germany won the 1870 war by encircling the French main body at Sedan. That resulted in a major battle the German fought with great positional advantages, and won handily. A later seige of Paris proved time consuming and did not help much.

    So, at this stage, in their actions on the ground the Germans were still maintaining an operational focus on annihilation battle, and treated maneuver as a means of achieving it, under favorable circumstances.

    But up at the stategic level, German was not mobilizing for total war. Hitler personally believed one of the lessons of WW I was that Germany should not compete in "material struggle", all out, but should instead rely on quality and tactics to achieve cheap and rapid victories. The up and coming maneuver minded commanders promised these to him, and he backed them against the older army establishment because he needed those cheap victories.

    Now turn to Russia. The idea is indeed annihilation battle, but it is also to defeat Russia in one swift campaign of a single season. I call that an instance of "victory disease" - they confidently expect bigger and better things than they or anyone else has ever done before, because hey, the last three much smaller and easier things worked out.

    Needless to say, the decision to attack Russia in the first place showed a singular contempt for the military importance of odds. The British empire, Germany, and Russia were approximate equals in industrial and economic terms. The Germans drastically underestimated Russian military power. They thought they, the Germans, were brilliant, while the Russians were inept recently purged barbarians who had had trouble defeating Finland. They thought it was going to be a cakewalk.

    And the early successes fit that impression to a Tee. Which was singularly flattering to their daring, intellect, military prowess and reputation. You can't understand the first thing about the Russian campaign unless you "get" how long the Germans believed what they wanted and needed to believe, that the Russians were stupid and weak and the Germans were winning easily.

    Now to the famous case of Kiev. Yes it was a decision consistent with annilihation battle and the school solution. Hitler insisted on it, over the objections of some of his more maneuver minded commanders (and lots of others only in retrospect, in the later blame-game). It was also a complete success that destroyed armies totally a million men. It was also correct, the right move, in my unhumble opinion. The Russians are vastly weaker after it succeeds, that before it is attempted.

    Read Glantz. There is no "relief" that the Germans have turned aside from the Moscow axis, where they had just been stopped and all the reserves were. There is, instead, incredulity, command shock, strident fights with the responsible lower commanders, clear sighted demands from the latter shot down at central HQ, commanders relieved, advice not taken, and disaster. It is the greatest crisis of the campaign for the Russians. Greater than the near paralysis of the first week, because there is less to recover with. Greater than the battle of Moscow, where the Russians have much better cards.

    But the "shot to the brain" types say, shoulda gone to Moscow. I say, what's in Moscow? Napoleon took Moscow, didn't make a darn bit of difference. Falkenhayn in 1916 said "an advance on Moscow takes us nowhere". The government was ready to move and essentials already had. If, moreover, the Russians have a million more men at the battle of Moscow, how are the Germans supposed to win it this time? Are the fronts on either side of the city any shorter? Is the winter any warmer there? Are there any more Germans to man them? They would not have kept it beyond January. They could if they liked have left an army there, like they did in Stalingrad a year later, maybe February - with a dead army thrown in.

    The reason the Russians turn the tide in December is the Germans run out of logistic rope, their loss rate dips, and large Russian replacement streams therefore get a chance to build field strength instead of just replacing losses, for the first time since the invasion. If you give them a million extra men that just happens about a month sooner.

    No, the reason the offensive fails is not Kiev. Nobody asks the right question. Why are the Germans weaker in front of Moscow at the start of December, than the Russians are? How on earth do you inflict 10 to 1 losses on the enemy, destroy a force larger than his whole army on the day of the invasion, and yet *decline* in relative strength? Sure, the Russians mobilized a lot - as much as they had before hand. But that alone will not cause the outcome.

    Germany has as much industrial potential as Russian and the manpower base was only 2 to 1 on the day of the invasion, and was much less after taking the Ukraine and White Russia, and killing or capturing millions of military age males. They also had Finland and Rumania as minor allies, and later tapped Italy and Hungary for more, as well as minor formations recruited from various other parts of Europe. So, did German mobilize even half as much as the Russians did, from the day of the invasion to the gates of Moscow?

    No. They didn't even mobilize enough to replace their own losses, which were a tenth as large as the Russians. The ratio of the reinforcement streams is not equality, it is not two times, it is 20 times. Capacity ratio 2 times or less, outcome ratio 20 times. What other variable stands between?

    You have to know you'll need it, and actually ask for it. The Germans did not mobilize their economy or their manpower. You can see this easily by looking at what the rear gave the armies in 1944, and comparing it to what they gave them in 1941. They had 6 months notice they would invade, they weren't being bombed, etc. And by late summer and early fall 1941, they were instead switching factories away from armaments, because they thought they had already won.

    This was strategic level, and it was not attrition strategy. It was overconfidence. Bred of faith in past successes, and memories of the sacrifices of WW I. The hoped that their new methods of warfare had made all of that unnecessary - the complete mobilization, the millions cycled through the fronts, the massive expenditure of treasure and blood through munitions to murder enemy armies. At the operational level, they were seeking annihilation much more by maneuver than by battle. At a tactical level, they had come to believe in armor as the restorer of shock in the old sense, and the decisive arm, always to be employed offensively.

    The pure blood maneuverists, criticizing the performance and outcome, say they didn't shoot for the brain they hacked at the muscle, and that is why they lost. The brain was in fact mobile, and behind acres of muscle. In France, the odds created by killing half the enemy army proved immediately decisive. In Russia even higher losses did not. The time scale was longer and forces per unit time mattered, as they hadn't in the west. The Russians drove theirs up immediately, and the Germans did not.

    Thus the paradox, the Russians beat the Germans in a war of attrition that Germans knew how to run and could have run, *by beating them to the draw* - even though the Russians were the ones surprised, completely, and hopelessly on the defensive for the first six months.

    The Russians lost 40% of their industrial production from a base of the same size, and outproduced the Germans in tanks by 2 to 1. How? They produced at the same peak rate, longer. (They got there in 1942, the Germans didn't until 1944).

    You can't win a war of attrition by not trying. And you won't try if you don't know you are in a war of attrition. And you won't admit that you are in a war of attrition, if doctrinally it is anathema to face the reality of attrition.

    The Germans of early WW II were perfectly willing to believe in attrition *for the other guy*, and targeted his fielded forces on that basis. But they weren't willing to admit it applied to them, too, that they weren't above it and untouchable by its logic. Fundamentally, because it is indeed extremely painful and Germany had been through that pain in WW I, without success - a prospect difficult to contemplate facing again.

    Which is nevertheless exactly what happened to them.
  11. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from Rokossovski in Something Very Wrong with LOS Through Trees   
    Consider Wicky's picture.  Yes light penetrates some distance into the trees, with wide gaps between the physical obstacles of the trunks, and no higher foliage to speak of.
    But look across the field at the distant treeline on the next hill over.  Scan along it.  How deep can you really see into that treeline?
    It isn't a matter of physically blocking every photon.  It is a matter of the human eye being hopelessly unable to pick up any shape in that solid, high, blocking line, down in the shadow under the canopy.  The eye focuses involuntarily on the lines of high contrast.  We have actual edge detection cells on our retina.  What you actually see is a high contrast line across the top of the canopy, between canopy and sky.  Plus another high contrast line along the base of the trees, where trees meet ground.  Plus, less distinctly, a shadow line on the snow some distance in front of that ground line, wavering with the tree heights and undulations of the ground.
    Between the skyline and the ground line you see a block of trees.  Some individual lines of contrast are detectable in the tree shapes and foliage, but each is so like all the others in the mass that you get a texture signal, not really edge signals.  You can detect smudges of interrupted white below the foliage line, from snow on the ground back inside the tree line.  Together those can give you another faint line of the lower edge of the foliage, blurred across the multiple trees that define it and the angle of the ground relative to teh angle of the sightline.
    But any distinct object on those interrupted snow patches below the foliage line?  Nearly hopeless.  If the trees weren't present, you would edge-detect such a shape as a hole in the field of uniform white of the snow on the ground.  But within the trees, it is all interrupted by trees anyway, and in shadow.  There is no high contrast to pick out the shape of an object against that field.
    This is fundamentally a camouflage effect, not a physical LOS blockage effect.  But it is very real.  And it causes a sighting asymmetry - it is far far easier to see something out in that snow covered field than it is to see something inside the tree line from the field.  Photons are intercepted or not, either way, so you might expect the LOS effect to be reciprocal and equal.  But it isn't, not with the camouflage effect included.
    If a tank were sticking out of that far tree line it would certainly be visible.  But 10 or 20 yards back inside of it, not moving, and it would have great camouflage effect compared to the same out in the middle of the snow white field.  The tank inside the treeline would see the one out in the field ages before the reverse happened.
    Imagine trying to spot a tank painted bright hunters orange.  That would depend only on physical LOS blockages.  But actual tanks are not painted orange, they are painted in camouflage colors and patterns to make spotting them harder.  Put one back 20 yards in a treeline across a field like that distant ridge, and they'd be effectively invisible until they moved or fired.
    What the game seems to be underrating is this camouflage type effect.  Otherwise put, the spotting routines pick up marginally "visible" targets far too rapidly and reliably, in the absence of the movement or fire that actually attracts the eye and enables us to pick out a particular shape at range in such uniform visual environments.  The routine probabilities seem fine for large objects standing out against a skyline or a uniform field background of high contrast to the vehicle itself.  But that situation is an outlier of best spotting chances on real battlefields, not the rule.
  12. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from Rokossovski in Something Very Wrong with LOS Through Trees   
    Board wargames can design for effect and get this sort of thing right pretty effortlessly.  The spotting rules in Jim Day's Panzer from GMT, for example, work extremely well, well enough that I've been "porting" them to older game systems that didn't include the right effects or give them the right strengths.  And yes board wargames are easier to "patch" - Panzer needs some "area fire" options are previous contacts, for example, that have been lost in the meantime because one side or other went prone, and similar.
    As usual, the engineering approach that promises greater realism from bottom up modeling instead, doesn't actually deliver on that promise until it is nearly perfect in its handling of every relevant factor.  Get the photon interception stuff perfect (we aren't there with CM, as several posters above have pointed out, the issue being "transparent" concealment) and you still have to get the camouflage and object detection stuff perfect too, or you get worse not better realism than was available with a simpler "design for effect" approach.
    I understand why CM is committed to the bottom up method, and that's fine.  It just carries with it a commitment to fix every issue anyone notices, and not to "plead" the endlessness of those fixes as a reason not to do any of them.  If you don't want endless fixes to get every piece right, you should stick with design for effect.  If you want engineering realism bottom up, then every time someone finds another issue, it has to be improved.  Don't expect to get off that treadmill soon.
  13. Like
    JasonC got a reaction from Bulletpoint in Nebelwerfer effectiveness in Normandy - help please.   
    Somebody please tell me they at least read that lol. Sometimes I wonder why I bother...
  14. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from Kineas in Hard coded SMG range limit.   
    PS on the issue with the actual hard cut off, I don't have a problem with saving the players from their soldiers wasting ammo they really want to hold for effective fire ranges, at ranges where a significant portion of that load could be fired off without achieving any hits.  While it might be "realistic" to "let" players fire at ineffective ranges without any appreciable results, I certainly agree with the coders that it would be seen as a bug and not a feature, for their SMGers to all blaze away at ineffective range and run dry before they ever had a chance to fire effectively.  My own issues are quite in a different direction - I just think the effectiveness of the SMGs is marginally too high *at* and right up to that 200 yard cut off.  And rifles are too weak at the same ranges (from low rate of fire, mostly - if they were firing 10 to 12 shots per minute the hits per round level they are at, would be fine).
  15. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from DMS in Russian doctrine in CMRT   
    Don't spend lots of time scouting. Don't bother to fix and flank, except with tank forces, who can do it at speed. But also don't just run infantry at the enemy or ignore casualties. That isn't Russian doctrine or how it actually worked, it is just a cartoon slander of their methods spread by the Germans, whomthought it made them defending against it sound all clever and also heroic for braving it etc. (A rather incoherent set of spin objectives, incidentally, but that is an aside).

    The first idea is that any definite plan pushed will be faster than slow recon pull. The next is that the process of destroying the enemy really isn't that complicated - it is a matter of laying your ship alongside the enemy, as Nelson put it before Trafalgar. Meaning close aggressively with the enemy, brave what he can dish out to dish out as much as you can yourself, and trust in your strength to destroy him before he destroys you.

    But that isn't a headlong charge. Above all, it isn't about movement in the first place, it is about firepower and punishment dealt.

    The first infantry wave is fixing, but doesn't have to do it everywhere, or care too much about finding the enemy. Walking over your chosen route of advance will either penetrate the enemy and break up his defense, or he'll find you, and reveal himself stopping that. Let him. Then blow the living crap out of everything that reveals itself, with all your firepower arms. Tanks, mortars, artillery support - call down the wrath of God to avenge the first wave. All the first wave itself needs to do in the meantime is hit the dirt, take what cover they can, and rally as best they can. They did their part drawing the enemy's fire. Don't press. It isn't a race. Save as many of them as possible, by blasting the guys shooting at them and skulking them out of sight.

    Then send the second wave. Not a new idea. Not a fancy razzle dazzle end around head fake double reverse. Send them at the spots your artillery and other fire support just blasted into the lower atmosphere, while the dust is still moving upward. They may occupy the places so blasted. Or they may draw fire from a new set of shooters, and repeat the experience of the first wave. You don't really care which. There is no rushing. You have all week. Everyone will get a turn before you are done, every bit of fire support you have will chew on something, and the enemy will need to shoot you all down and still have something left. If they don't, it may be in the bottom half of the clock that they start crumbling. Waves that have been out of the leading role are rallying the while, shooting back. You don't care how long it takes, but not because any of it is tentative or any part of the clock is quiet. Reuse the rallied early waves as fourth and fifth attacks. The whole point is to outlast them, to have the last rallied wave standing. Inexorable is the watchword.

    Each wave doesn't bunch up. It isn't trying to run the enemy off his feet in one go. You only expose what it takes to make a serious threat to enemy position if he doesn't open up with a major line of battle. The ideal size of one wave is a numerical match for the defenders on the same frontage. You don't want to give them denser targets that make all their weapons more effective. Instead you want them to face trying to hold off the third wave with empty magazines and surrounded by blasted friends, worked over repeatedly by all your fire support.

    They won't stand. Lean hard enough into them, back off for nothing, make no mistakes, and use every weapon in your force for its proper target - and they will go down. Trust your combined strength, believe it, press home and make it so.

    No captain can go far wrong who lays his ship alongside one of the enemy.
  16. Downvote
    JasonC got a reaction from IanL in German attack doctrine in CM   
    Honestly people, it is completely unnecessary to give the idiot scenario designer any control over your command or your force. If his assigned tasks are not achievable he is a fool and there is no reason to listen to him about anything. If his assigned tasks are achievable then destroying the enemy will enable you to achieve them. Read the brifeing for enemy force estimates and intel. Then review your force at set up and make your plan, with the sole end in view of murdering the enemy. If said enemy is obliging enough to be nice and predictable and obey his metaphysical orders, feel free to use that to introduce him to his Maker that much sooner. When the enemy is a blood smear under a pile of smoking slag, read the victory conditions. If you like. If you plan on losing, reading them until judgment day won't help...
  17. Upvote
    JasonC reacted to BletchleyGeek in Hard coded SMG range limit.   
    Amedeo, just an observation on the data, informed by my experience dealing with that kind of data while working on another game
    Always take that kind of figures as the "best that weapon can do". Full stop. These figures were collected from field trials, with the weapons being operated by technicians or marksmen on perfect conditions (a firing range with props that allow to measure exactly dispersion). The British Army Ordnance Service conducted a more "realistic" testing using recruits and the differences one can see between the technical specs and the actual outcomes achieved with highly reputed weapons as the Sten or the Enfield, well, let's say that the technical specs of the weapon predict very badly how they will actually perform in the hands of your average recruit, under psychological stress and against targets that try to close the range quickly or are using cover in an intelligent way.
    From a more "operational" point of view: when you feed this data, taking it as the baseline probability of killing or maiming, on any reasonable model of infantry combat by fire, you'll get massive casualty rates. Massive as in totally ahistorical. The data is "wrong" in the sense that either it needs to be toned down to set the "any given Sunday" to a more reasonable level, which is difficult, since the definition of "any given Sunday" is a moving target, or the combat model (and the AI if it is empowered to manage ammunition) has to provide with the elements to "modulate" these figures, starting from the assumption that it is an absolute upper bound on what that weapon can do. That data integration and curation job is very hard. BFC call seems to be to have the AI to disregard the PPSh as something that can be fired above certain ranges... and I think it makes all the sense in the world.

    Yet as ASL Veteran and others point out, there seems to be something a bit off with the lethality of these weapons on the latest versions of the engine. I do tend to agree with those observations. But I don't think the data BFC is using is wrong, their models are buggy or the AI is being unreasonable: I think it is more a question of design of effects and interactions with other aspects of the design of the CMx2 engine. Regarding design, I - personally and subjectively - would like to see the volume of fire these things can put out at ranges beyond 60 meters to result in more suppression over a larger area, rather than generating killing or incapacitating hits. As for interactions with other parts of the CMx2 design, the tighter-than-in-real-life packing of our pixel truppen due to action spots constraining their deployment that increases lethality. If you have five guys standing in a 8 square meters area and something like 100 rounds of ordnance shot fly through the volume encompassing the action spot and the men, chances that all of them are hit will be quite high, as they will be physically occupying a significant proportion of that volume. And that assuming that the rounds trajectories are uniformly and randomly distributed, for even loosely aimed fire, those chances can become almost a certainty.
    Observations about action spots and burst fire extreme lethality have been made in the past, I am not sure what is BFC opinion on that.
  18. Upvote
    JasonC reacted to WinOrLose in Hard coded SMG range limit.   
    I'm no expert but I am finding SMG's in RT so ridiculous that I'm probably going to just stick with BN until they fix it.
    My observation is they are far too accurate and spoils the fun of any infantry combat. With a semi useful knowledge of terrain its fairly easy to get within 200m at which point the firefight is only ever going to go one way.
    PS not a German fanboy
  19. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from Bulletpoint in Hard coded SMG range limit.   
    The 7.62x25 is not a carbine round and the PPsH is not an assault rifle.  It is a pistol round, very light bullet.  2/3rds a 9mm and only 1/3rd a 45 ACP.  It just puts all its pistol amount of powder energy into a light bullet instead of a moderate or large one.  So it gets more velocity, and is flatter shooting than other pistol rounds.  By 100 yards it is down to 1200-1300 FPS - which is what you get with a 22 at the muzzle.  The round weighs twice what a 22 weighs.  It is by no means a high powered round in total energy terms.  
    As for rate of fire, no it is not higher than an MG42.  It has a cyclic rate around 850 to 900 rounds per second, the MG42 clocks 1200 plus.  Of full power rifle ammo, bullets twice the weight and moving 50% faster or more, with over 4 times the muzzle energy each.  Also the PPsH would run dry in seconds fired cyclic - rate of fire is *not* firepower.  Very high rate of fire helps hit moving targets close or briefly exposed ones, that's it.  It does so at a cost in lower average hits per bullet fired.
    Compared to a real assault rifle like the AK-47, the PPsH is firing a bullet 2/3rds as heavy moving 2/3rds as fast at the muzzle, with only 1/3rd the energy each.  It is pistol ammo.
  20. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from Kineas in German attack doctrine in CM   
    Kevinkin - fair question, but not quite right about how it worked in WWI. Yes you knew where the enemy trenches were. But that wasn't the same as knowing where his infantry was. There were way more than enough trenches, three layers deep, with dugouts, communications trenches to let reserves move about without exposing themselves above ground, and similar. But also, the defensive schemes had just had forever to set up, and create the coordination and integration that makes movement vital. The first of the haikus begins with, if we can win the war from shooting from right here, we probably should. If you went over the top vs a manned WWI defense you gave the enemy that. They didn't need to move to adapt to get good coordination of their various weapons, they set them up coordinated, three months ago. (Exaggerated for clarity).

    But this is still a simplification of WWI. Early manned front line trenchlines were countered by heavy artillery, and that counter was entireky successful. The Germans fielded parks of 300 210mm howitzers for Verdun, for example, and artillery firepower that heavy could and did just execute any French infantry formation that tried to man front line trenches against them.

    There is a counter to this method, though, one everyone backed into but that the Germans perfected by 1917. The denuded front or strongpoint based defense was precisely a counter to heavy artillery prep fires. It worked by using depth, driving the defender density low - just a few fortified machinegunners and registered artillery, plus of course wire obstacles, for the forward parts of the defense. Then the bulk of the defenders, who lived 40 feet below ground in artillery proof dugouts when not needed - manned parts of the rearward trenches when a major attack was on. The surrounding areas were covered by fire, and then local counterattacks insude the trench system fought any intruders that made it that far. With grenades, bombing up the communication trenches, and similar tactics, not going over the top, themselves. This defense in depth scheme precisely left the defenders unlocated somewhere in the full depth of the trench system, at the time any artillery prep had to be fired. Infantry artillery communication was bad enough that reactive fire could not be placed on these infantry reserves after they were encountered. The brawl between reserves and best penetrating attackers was a frankly attrition, even exchange thing. But the attackers had to pay a toll to get there through the defender MGs and barrages into no mans land, the defenders had better local intel from their stance and outposts, and their reserves and ammo and such got to reach those fights through their communication trenches, instead of above ground ir across the moonscape between the lines.

    The defenders thus had a better time to front than the attackers, and safer approach and withdrawal than the attackers had. After the shift from the manned front trench to the defense in depth scheme, mind.

    Hutier or infiltration tactics were developed after that dialectic had already taken the steps above. If the enemy manned his front trenches, they were not needed - just wheel up the 210s and murder the poor sods. The idea of the infiltration attack system was first off to forgo a big opening barrage that announced a major attack - prep fire, if used at all, was kept to 30 minutes or less, and usually more like 15 - but its intended target was a defense system sheltering from long term artillery threat by usng dugouts and reserve positions.

    Then the idea is first, pick low visibility conditions like night or fog, and - in WWI you could do this - reduce visibility still further by firing gas, so that everyone had to fight in their masks. Push forward patrols by stealth, economy of force fashion, to find undefended routes. Diversions by firing and a local barrage laid here or there could try to focus the defenders on sectors besides the ones these pathfinder teams were infiltrating. Then the storming parties follow the pathfinders in narrow columns, to trace their steps, maintain control and direction, and present as narriw an "edge" as possible to gaps in the enemy defense. If any of the path finders were checked, the parties behind them followed others instead. Then they take out enemy outposts to widen gaps, and race as deep as they can afterward, before the alarm spreads and the enemy can react. The result was again a brawl with the enemy reserves inside his trench system, but that brawl could be started under more favorable conditions of local surprise, enemy confusion, and limited visibility, and all without paying much or any toll to defending MGs and barrages in no mans land before that brawl.

    This worked well tactically. It produced break ins and break throughs. Those just didn't prive strategically decisive, because on a larger operational scale, the defender still had a better time to front than the attacker. Defending divisions *railed* to the break in sector. Attacking artillery had to be manhandled across the blasted moonscape to have combined arms again for the follow up, once the attackers gained 15 miles or so. Shells for that artillery had to be moved by horses, which don't like barrage zones very much. Or wait for the construction of narrow gauge rail extensions to haul meaningful numbers of shells. If the artillery was not brought up, the defenders coukd revert to the manned front line trench - even a hasty one - 15 miles behind the previous front line. The attacker options were then to attack with poor combined arms, inefficiently in exchange loss terms, to try to maintain op tempo - or to wait for the guns to catch up, but give the defender time to rail in more infantry, dig deeper and second line trenches, bring in their own artillery and shells, launch local counterattacks, etc. As a result, the attacjers would have to pause, then do it all again.

    Those deeper relationships are the reason infiltration tactics, while they worked as intended and were tactically very successful, could not be translated into strategic results, under WWI conditions. They just took their place as tactical means in a still fundamentally attrition struggle, with defender dominance, with heavy shells and infantry bodies being exchanged off until one side or the other couldn't take it anymore.

    In WWII, there are better comms to put down reactive fire on located enemies, armor to carry concetrated power through hus defended zone, trucks to move guns and shells, across more intact terrain and shallower defensive works because no one had years to dig deeper in the same spot, etc. And the sane tactics coukd therefore achieve at least operational results. At the highest level, it was *still* a war of attrition. Depth and reserves and mobility used reactively by such reserves could tame break through, and leave an attrition brawl again. But it was all a lot closer, more promising for the attacker, than the conditions seen in WWI after gaining the first 10 or 15 miles.
  21. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from Blazing 88's in German attack doctrine in CM   
    Honestly people, it is completely unnecessary to give the idiot scenario designer any control over your command or your force. If his assigned tasks are not achievable he is a fool and there is no reason to listen to him about anything. If his assigned tasks are achievable then destroying the enemy will enable you to achieve them. Read the brifeing for enemy force estimates and intel. Then review your force at set up and make your plan, with the sole end in view of murdering the enemy. If said enemy is obliging enough to be nice and predictable and obey his metaphysical orders, feel free to use that to introduce him to his Maker that much sooner. When the enemy is a blood smear under a pile of smoking slag, read the victory conditions. If you like. If you plan on losing, reading them until judgment day won't help...
  22. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from Blazing 88's in German attack doctrine in CM   
    Combatintman - yes I mean to say this.  Ignore the victory conditions in all cases.  Just defeat the enemy force in front of you.  That is always the only sound mission.  You can achieve any other objective if you succeed at that, and nothing you "achieve" if you do not, is worth a tuppenny damn.
     
    "There are many fine general officers in Europe, but they all see too many things.  Whereas I see only one thing - the main body of the enemy.  This I crush, confident that secondary matters will take care of themselves" - Napoleon.
     
    Any military doctrine that distracts its implementers from the clear goal of defeating the enemy, is unsound.
  23. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from BigDog944 in German attack doctrine in CM   
    Kevinkin - fair question, but not quite right about how it worked in WWI. Yes you knew where the enemy trenches were. But that wasn't the same as knowing where his infantry was. There were way more than enough trenches, three layers deep, with dugouts, communications trenches to let reserves move about without exposing themselves above ground, and similar. But also, the defensive schemes had just had forever to set up, and create the coordination and integration that makes movement vital. The first of the haikus begins with, if we can win the war from shooting from right here, we probably should. If you went over the top vs a manned WWI defense you gave the enemy that. They didn't need to move to adapt to get good coordination of their various weapons, they set them up coordinated, three months ago. (Exaggerated for clarity).

    But this is still a simplification of WWI. Early manned front line trenchlines were countered by heavy artillery, and that counter was entireky successful. The Germans fielded parks of 300 210mm howitzers for Verdun, for example, and artillery firepower that heavy could and did just execute any French infantry formation that tried to man front line trenches against them.

    There is a counter to this method, though, one everyone backed into but that the Germans perfected by 1917. The denuded front or strongpoint based defense was precisely a counter to heavy artillery prep fires. It worked by using depth, driving the defender density low - just a few fortified machinegunners and registered artillery, plus of course wire obstacles, for the forward parts of the defense. Then the bulk of the defenders, who lived 40 feet below ground in artillery proof dugouts when not needed - manned parts of the rearward trenches when a major attack was on. The surrounding areas were covered by fire, and then local counterattacks insude the trench system fought any intruders that made it that far. With grenades, bombing up the communication trenches, and similar tactics, not going over the top, themselves. This defense in depth scheme precisely left the defenders unlocated somewhere in the full depth of the trench system, at the time any artillery prep had to be fired. Infantry artillery communication was bad enough that reactive fire could not be placed on these infantry reserves after they were encountered. The brawl between reserves and best penetrating attackers was a frankly attrition, even exchange thing. But the attackers had to pay a toll to get there through the defender MGs and barrages into no mans land, the defenders had better local intel from their stance and outposts, and their reserves and ammo and such got to reach those fights through their communication trenches, instead of above ground ir across the moonscape between the lines.

    The defenders thus had a better time to front than the attackers, and safer approach and withdrawal than the attackers had. After the shift from the manned front trench to the defense in depth scheme, mind.

    Hutier or infiltration tactics were developed after that dialectic had already taken the steps above. If the enemy manned his front trenches, they were not needed - just wheel up the 210s and murder the poor sods. The idea of the infiltration attack system was first off to forgo a big opening barrage that announced a major attack - prep fire, if used at all, was kept to 30 minutes or less, and usually more like 15 - but its intended target was a defense system sheltering from long term artillery threat by usng dugouts and reserve positions.

    Then the idea is first, pick low visibility conditions like night or fog, and - in WWI you could do this - reduce visibility still further by firing gas, so that everyone had to fight in their masks. Push forward patrols by stealth, economy of force fashion, to find undefended routes. Diversions by firing and a local barrage laid here or there could try to focus the defenders on sectors besides the ones these pathfinder teams were infiltrating. Then the storming parties follow the pathfinders in narrow columns, to trace their steps, maintain control and direction, and present as narriw an "edge" as possible to gaps in the enemy defense. If any of the path finders were checked, the parties behind them followed others instead. Then they take out enemy outposts to widen gaps, and race as deep as they can afterward, before the alarm spreads and the enemy can react. The result was again a brawl with the enemy reserves inside his trench system, but that brawl could be started under more favorable conditions of local surprise, enemy confusion, and limited visibility, and all without paying much or any toll to defending MGs and barrages in no mans land before that brawl.

    This worked well tactically. It produced break ins and break throughs. Those just didn't prive strategically decisive, because on a larger operational scale, the defender still had a better time to front than the attacker. Defending divisions *railed* to the break in sector. Attacking artillery had to be manhandled across the blasted moonscape to have combined arms again for the follow up, once the attackers gained 15 miles or so. Shells for that artillery had to be moved by horses, which don't like barrage zones very much. Or wait for the construction of narrow gauge rail extensions to haul meaningful numbers of shells. If the artillery was not brought up, the defenders coukd revert to the manned front line trench - even a hasty one - 15 miles behind the previous front line. The attacker options were then to attack with poor combined arms, inefficiently in exchange loss terms, to try to maintain op tempo - or to wait for the guns to catch up, but give the defender time to rail in more infantry, dig deeper and second line trenches, bring in their own artillery and shells, launch local counterattacks, etc. As a result, the attacjers would have to pause, then do it all again.

    Those deeper relationships are the reason infiltration tactics, while they worked as intended and were tactically very successful, could not be translated into strategic results, under WWI conditions. They just took their place as tactical means in a still fundamentally attrition struggle, with defender dominance, with heavy shells and infantry bodies being exchanged off until one side or the other couldn't take it anymore.

    In WWII, there are better comms to put down reactive fire on located enemies, armor to carry concetrated power through hus defended zone, trucks to move guns and shells, across more intact terrain and shallower defensive works because no one had years to dig deeper in the same spot, etc. And the sane tactics coukd therefore achieve at least operational results. At the highest level, it was *still* a war of attrition. Depth and reserves and mobility used reactively by such reserves could tame break through, and leave an attrition brawl again. But it was all a lot closer, more promising for the attacker, than the conditions seen in WWI after gaining the first 10 or 15 miles.
  24. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from c3k in Hard coded SMG range limit.   
    Amedeo - I wouldn't mind there being significant differences between the SMGs, based on their muzzle velocities for instance.  The PPsH was better at 200 yards than a Thompson, for example, simply because the 7.62x25 round has nearly twice the muzzle velocity of the 45 ACP.  I don't think that the hard cut off is the way to handle that.  Neither should be firing beyond 200 yards, and neither should be competitive with a bolt rifle in aimed fire at 200 yards.  The latter is the *reason* why they shouldn't be firing beyond 200 yards - because it is a waste of their great close range firepower to shoot off all their ammo at their least effective ranges, ranges where a bolt rifle seriously outperforms any of them.  
    Get the effective accuracy fall off *correct*, and that will all handle itself.  Including allowing a hard cut off at 200, where nobody would want them firing, because the hits per burst would have already fallen to levels where the players would rather save their ammo and use them in closer.  To me, the issue only arises in the first place because the fall off is *not steep enough* right now, and therefore the SMGs appear too effective at 150 to 200 yards.  That leads players to *want* them to fire at those ranges and longer, and to feel "gyped" if they can't fire the PPsH at 250, say.  If firing at 250 just missed and blew the ammo, nobody would feel gyped about not being able to do it - the cut off would be acting as the designers intend, and would be a feature, and everyone would be all for it (most already are, no doubt).  I think it is a feature regardless, because bolt rifles and LMGs *should* be dominating firefights at ranges of 200 to 400 yards, and "turning off" SMGs at 200 is a step in that correct direction.
    To me, this reduces the difference between me and Amedeo to, he would like to see the PPsH significantly more effective than a 9mm or a 45 caliber SMGs in the range window 100 to 200 yards. That'd be fine by me, but it is a much less important issue than the fact that all of the SMGs are performing too well in that range envelope.  Absolutely, and compared to the rifles and LMGs.  Arguably the PPsH should do better than a Sten in that range window, maybe especially in the second half of it.  Bully.  But neither should be matching a bolt rifle at 200, let alone exceeding them, and that is what is happening now.
    I see two reasons that is happening.  One, the increase in the difficulty of a shot with an increase in its flight time to that distance is undermodeled.  Range makes a shot harder for all weapons by increasing the impact of aiming misalignment, and of the lighter automatics by increased bullet dispersion from muzzle climb and shake from recoil and all that.  All of which effects all the rounds.  But range also makes shots harder with slower bullets, even with a sight with range graduations, because it increases the flight time, thus the bullet drop, and thus the "golfing" aspect of shooting - the holdover, and the need for an accurate range estimate, and such factors.  All make it so the difficulty of a shot grows as a function of both the range (all weapons) and the flight time (affecting the lower muzzle velocity weapons the most).
    That's all reason one.  The second reason is just that the bolt rifles are firing too slow, too infrequently, and this is exaggerating the benefit of the ROF of the automatics, because their short bursts are being compared to frankly muzzle loader rates of fire for the bolt repeaters.   Bolt rifles in aimed fire shoot 10 to 12 times a minute, not 3 to 5.  What we get as things are now is the SMGs firing 6-9 round bursts with each round 1/3rd the modeled accuracy, for 2-3 times the expected hits per shot, in the 100 to 200 yard range window, and even out near the far end of it.  At 100 with the PPsH I'd buy that relationship, and at maybe 70 for the 9mm SMGs.  But by 180-200 they should have a lower chance of hitting with a whole burst than the bolt rifle does of hitting with a single (supported, aimed) shot, while using 6-9 times the ammo to do it.  And to keep from running dry almost immediately, they aren't going to fire 6-9 round bursts 10-12 times a minute, where a bolt rifle readily can fire single rounds that often.  The bolt rifle will thus be getting more hits per minute at those ranges, while also being able to keep it up for far longer, because it is getting not around 3 but around 10 times the hits per round, at those ranges.
    To me, all of that is way more important than whether the PPsH has 33% more effective range than a 9mm SMG.  You don't need to worry too much about the relative SMG effectiveness - the PPsH armed infantry are going to rock anyway, because they have SMG numbers and they have cyclic rate of fire advantages as well, and both are modeled and modeled correctly.  We do, however, emphatically need to worry about SMGs seriously outperforming full LMGs and bolt rifles in the last 50 or so meters of their effective ranges.  Because that isn't historically accurate and it messes up the actual tactical relationships of combined arms tactics and such.
    I don't think there is any reason for BTS to change the 200 meter range limit.  I do think they could look at adjusting the rate of fire of the bolt rifles upward, and the rate of drop off of weapon accuracy with range more generally, and of the slowest muzzle velocity weapons especially.
     A uniform formula could do the latter objectively, if it has the form, per round accuracy is a function of three variables (actual range, flight time, inherent weapon dispersion).
    All automatics have higher inherent weapon dispersion, and the lighter SMGs the largest, and in unsupported fire especially so.  But basically this can be taken from weapon specs as 1 MOA sniper rifles, 2 MOA single shot rifles, up to 10 MOA SMGs, and a middling figure between the last 2 for full LMGs.
    The lowest muzzle velocities have the longest flight times, and the difficulty of a shot grows slowly for flight times over 0.25 seconds and rapidly for shots longer than 0.5 seconds.
    Range causes a linear increase in the importance of any error in the angle for all weapons.  The initial error in the angle is determined by firing stance (prone and supported best, standing upsupported worst e.g.), some quality and morale state adjustments perhaps.
    How I see it, for what its worth...
  25. Upvote
    JasonC got a reaction from AlexUK in Hard coded SMG range limit.   
    Amedeo - I wouldn't mind there being significant differences between the SMGs, based on their muzzle velocities for instance.  The PPsH was better at 200 yards than a Thompson, for example, simply because the 7.62x25 round has nearly twice the muzzle velocity of the 45 ACP.  I don't think that the hard cut off is the way to handle that.  Neither should be firing beyond 200 yards, and neither should be competitive with a bolt rifle in aimed fire at 200 yards.  The latter is the *reason* why they shouldn't be firing beyond 200 yards - because it is a waste of their great close range firepower to shoot off all their ammo at their least effective ranges, ranges where a bolt rifle seriously outperforms any of them.  
    Get the effective accuracy fall off *correct*, and that will all handle itself.  Including allowing a hard cut off at 200, where nobody would want them firing, because the hits per burst would have already fallen to levels where the players would rather save their ammo and use them in closer.  To me, the issue only arises in the first place because the fall off is *not steep enough* right now, and therefore the SMGs appear too effective at 150 to 200 yards.  That leads players to *want* them to fire at those ranges and longer, and to feel "gyped" if they can't fire the PPsH at 250, say.  If firing at 250 just missed and blew the ammo, nobody would feel gyped about not being able to do it - the cut off would be acting as the designers intend, and would be a feature, and everyone would be all for it (most already are, no doubt).  I think it is a feature regardless, because bolt rifles and LMGs *should* be dominating firefights at ranges of 200 to 400 yards, and "turning off" SMGs at 200 is a step in that correct direction.
    To me, this reduces the difference between me and Amedeo to, he would like to see the PPsH significantly more effective than a 9mm or a 45 caliber SMGs in the range window 100 to 200 yards. That'd be fine by me, but it is a much less important issue than the fact that all of the SMGs are performing too well in that range envelope.  Absolutely, and compared to the rifles and LMGs.  Arguably the PPsH should do better than a Sten in that range window, maybe especially in the second half of it.  Bully.  But neither should be matching a bolt rifle at 200, let alone exceeding them, and that is what is happening now.
    I see two reasons that is happening.  One, the increase in the difficulty of a shot with an increase in its flight time to that distance is undermodeled.  Range makes a shot harder for all weapons by increasing the impact of aiming misalignment, and of the lighter automatics by increased bullet dispersion from muzzle climb and shake from recoil and all that.  All of which effects all the rounds.  But range also makes shots harder with slower bullets, even with a sight with range graduations, because it increases the flight time, thus the bullet drop, and thus the "golfing" aspect of shooting - the holdover, and the need for an accurate range estimate, and such factors.  All make it so the difficulty of a shot grows as a function of both the range (all weapons) and the flight time (affecting the lower muzzle velocity weapons the most).
    That's all reason one.  The second reason is just that the bolt rifles are firing too slow, too infrequently, and this is exaggerating the benefit of the ROF of the automatics, because their short bursts are being compared to frankly muzzle loader rates of fire for the bolt repeaters.   Bolt rifles in aimed fire shoot 10 to 12 times a minute, not 3 to 5.  What we get as things are now is the SMGs firing 6-9 round bursts with each round 1/3rd the modeled accuracy, for 2-3 times the expected hits per shot, in the 100 to 200 yard range window, and even out near the far end of it.  At 100 with the PPsH I'd buy that relationship, and at maybe 70 for the 9mm SMGs.  But by 180-200 they should have a lower chance of hitting with a whole burst than the bolt rifle does of hitting with a single (supported, aimed) shot, while using 6-9 times the ammo to do it.  And to keep from running dry almost immediately, they aren't going to fire 6-9 round bursts 10-12 times a minute, where a bolt rifle readily can fire single rounds that often.  The bolt rifle will thus be getting more hits per minute at those ranges, while also being able to keep it up for far longer, because it is getting not around 3 but around 10 times the hits per round, at those ranges.
    To me, all of that is way more important than whether the PPsH has 33% more effective range than a 9mm SMG.  You don't need to worry too much about the relative SMG effectiveness - the PPsH armed infantry are going to rock anyway, because they have SMG numbers and they have cyclic rate of fire advantages as well, and both are modeled and modeled correctly.  We do, however, emphatically need to worry about SMGs seriously outperforming full LMGs and bolt rifles in the last 50 or so meters of their effective ranges.  Because that isn't historically accurate and it messes up the actual tactical relationships of combined arms tactics and such.
    I don't think there is any reason for BTS to change the 200 meter range limit.  I do think they could look at adjusting the rate of fire of the bolt rifles upward, and the rate of drop off of weapon accuracy with range more generally, and of the slowest muzzle velocity weapons especially.
     A uniform formula could do the latter objectively, if it has the form, per round accuracy is a function of three variables (actual range, flight time, inherent weapon dispersion).
    All automatics have higher inherent weapon dispersion, and the lighter SMGs the largest, and in unsupported fire especially so.  But basically this can be taken from weapon specs as 1 MOA sniper rifles, 2 MOA single shot rifles, up to 10 MOA SMGs, and a middling figure between the last 2 for full LMGs.
    The lowest muzzle velocities have the longest flight times, and the difficulty of a shot grows slowly for flight times over 0.25 seconds and rapidly for shots longer than 0.5 seconds.
    Range causes a linear increase in the importance of any error in the angle for all weapons.  The initial error in the angle is determined by firing stance (prone and supported best, standing upsupported worst e.g.), some quality and morale state adjustments perhaps.
    How I see it, for what its worth...
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