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Squad tactics


Guest John Maragoudakis
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Guest John Maragoudakis

Steve, you previously said that squads can be split 50/50. Let's see if I understand this correctly. Say I have a platoon. Say there are three sections(squads) to each platoon. Would I be right to assume that each squad has a light machine gun( usually 2 guys responsible for it)?

If I remember correctly back in 1984 while we did some infantry attacks, we split the lmg(FNC2 in our case) from the section. Either the lmg was the firebase while the section tried a flanking attack or the section waited for the lmg team to place itself(sneak around) on a flank and then the section would leap frog towards the enemy while the lmg to the flank grazed over the enemy position.

Now if we could separate the lmg team from the squad we could do this in the game. At the same time the lmg would benifit from being detached from the squad since an mg team gets grazing benifits(taken advantage of your squad as it charges). Where if the mg team remained part of the squad, there would be no grazing benifits. The detached lmg team really shouldn't get any penalty as long as it stays reasonably close to the squad since training has prepared the team for placing itself away from the squad, either at a flank or as the fire base during a squad flanking manouver.

[This message has been edited by John Maragoudakis (edited 03-13-99).]

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Guest Big Time Software

Most squads of all nations had *some* type of automatic squad weapon, but only the Germans had a true LMG (the MG34 and MG42). US had the BAR and Brits had the Bren. Both were decent weapons, but neither could hold a candle to the MG34/42.

In WWII squads were not split up into little tiny teams. Their firepower and communcations were not good enough to allow this. Each weapon type needed the other. LMGs were used for heavy med distant spraying, Rifles for longer ranged aimed shots, and SMGs for close in support. Your military experiences don't apply because of the change in weapons technology. In a modern army all soldiers have at least an assault rifle, which changes things greatly.

So the short of it is NO, you can not section off the LMG as its own team. Like I said in the other post, you can do a 50/50 split during the Steup Phase, and that is it. You will have ZERO say in how weapons are divided up. And once divided you may only rejoin the original two halves with each other. Oh, and both halves will likely run when fired at (which simulates standard orders for scouts).

Steve

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Guest John Maragoudakis

In the Canadian army(reserve) back in 1984 we had FNC1 (belgian) rifles.(the date on them then was 1956). I don't know if they qualified as assualt rifles. The were semi automatic with a 10(maybe 20) round mag(7.62mm). They jammed in dirt , were heavy and long. That 7.62mm round though had more of a kick than the M16's 5.56 mm. Now the Canadian army has moved on to the M16's.

Well if that's how it went in WW2, so be it.

Thanks for the insight.

[This message has been edited by John Maragoudakis (edited 03-13-99).]

[This message has been edited by John Maragoudakis (edited 03-14-99).]

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Guest Big Time Software

Jeeze, they might as well had you guys training with slings and stones! smile.gif Regardless of the weapons you were actually using, the tactics employed were probably of more recent vintage than WWII. Difference is that if you tried to do the tactics with WWII weapons you would have likely been cut to pieces!

OTHO, WWII squads would break up for VERY specific, short events. Like you said, an LMG might stay in place doing covering fire while the rest of the squad charged 10-20m. But once there the LMG would link back up with the main body. The same can be said for having 2 or 3 rifle men stay behind and have the rest charge with the LMG firing from the hip (yup, it could be done!). The difference is that these situations were meant to be VERY temporary and only done when the situation demanded it. Otherwise they stuck together like glue.

The problem here is that we can't offer this level of control because it will make for a micromangement nightmare. Give a Grognard an inch and they will take, oh, a couple million miles smile.gif The Squad/Team is the lowest level combat unit, and that is the way it must stay. Once the line is crossed we might as well have a 1:1 man representation. And no, we will never do that at this scale. NOBODY would play it, trust us.

We have made one VERY limited exception for scouts/outposts. After several months of play testing these cases are the only ones that we have felt the slightest need to accommodate. The rules we have come up with will prevent abuse, yet will allow historically correct tactics. So far as we are concerned, this is the only exception we are going to make.

Steve

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Since most squads during WWII contained only one lmg and if you are splitting the squad 50/50, then reasonably one of those two half/squads is going to have the lmg (if you are modeling down to individual weapons as you have indicated).

Wouldn't this allow the player to simulate the squad tactics that John was talking about, since the firepower of each HS would be different?

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Guest Big Time Software

No they would not. The main reason being that you can split a squad up only ONCE, and only in the Setup Phase. Unless you happen to have a split up unit in the right place at the right time, you aren't going to be able to do the kind of attack mentioned above.

A prudent Grognard with therefore split up EVERY unit on the map in an effort to have nitpicky control. This would then bog down the game and really mess with the game system. So we have built in some protection against abuse:

We have purposefully made the split squad much more likely to withdraw when fired upon.

The split is supposed to simulate scouts/outposts, and since these guys were always supposed to stay out of trouble, CM simulates this by making them "fire adverse". So you can split up every squad you have under your command, but you will lose FAST! smile.gif

Steve

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Guest John Maragoudakis

Ok so WW2 squads stuck together like glue. It's too bad we lose the grazing fire that the lmg gives while it is part of a squad.

Is there a way around this. I thought maybe have two fire commands for the squad, one order for the riflemen and one for the lmg. This way the lmg target can receive grazing fire. Just a thought. I wouldn't want that to create unrealistic tactics.

Another idea I had was too allow only the lmg team to separate and have it's moral resistance to enemy fire depend on how many turns it spent detached from it's squad. That could then simulate the ability to have the lmg separate in a pinch but if the player tried that for a long period of time, the lmg would become 'unstable', in other words it's confidence would go down the longer it stayed away from the squad.

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Guest Big Time Software

We are not going to allow the LMG to be split off. Firstly, the same "splitting off" argument can be made for several other tactics, such as sending the SMGs forward while rifle guys cover and the LMG goes off and does its own things. Secondly, this kind of micromanagement would produce chaos at CM's level of simulation. What you are asking for is appropreate for a game of Close Combat's level, not Combat Mission's.

BTW, you have to keep in mind that LMGs have very limited ammo so a turn or two of full bore grazing fire is about all they have in them. The benefits of splitting off the LMG are minimal at best, and only in rare circumstances would it make a difference. So we see no reason to allow this to happen.

Steve

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Hi,

Just to add more fuel to the fire, Bruce Gudmundson in "Stormtroop Tactics 1914-1918" says that the splitting of squads was practiced in the German Army in WWI, and gives a couple of examples from after action reports. He further claims that this practice was common in the German army in WWII with squads splitting to form "pincers".

In "Infantry Tactics" by John A. English several examples of allied squads ( mainly in the pacific ) being split into individual fire teams are cited.

This may not be appropriate to CM's scale, but it doesn't seem to have been all that uncommon a practice.

Thanks.

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Guest Big Time Software

Oh, don't get us wrong... squads were split up ALL the time for little actions (i.e. 2 guys snake off to the left while 1 goes off to the right and the rest stay put for cover fire). This is so obvious that I didn't state it smile.gif

But we can't allow this sort of individual man to man micromangement at Combat Mission's level. Hell, even Close Combat doesn't allow this (you have to move a whole section). It simply is too small scale for Combat Mission, and perhaps even Close Combat.

The other thing we are trying to prevent is unreasonable, and unrealistic, tactics involving split up squads. Sure they would detach a guy and let him sneak around the flank, but how many meters do you suppose he would go on his own? Not many for sure. But in CM we don't have restrictions on movement orders to prevent someone from, say, taking all LMGs out of all squads, lumping them together in one spot, and then having the rifle guys spread out over a 800m front. This example is 100% unrealistic, but *could* happen if we allowed units to be split up willy nilly without really cumbersome interface restrictions.

Our role as game designers is to protect people from themselves. Give people enough rope to tie a knot and they will hang themselves! Then you get a game that is full of cheap moves that have nothing to do with historical accuracy. In other words, you get chaos and "cheat" tips in game magazines smile.gif

Steve

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Guest Lokesa

I must say that I'm curious as to how my play will be affected. Having grown up on games, I am used to the limitations of how units are represented and the inherent cheats. Although, I am sure a few hundred hours will cure me of my habits, I am looking forward to playing the game as a newbie and seeing how my tactics stand vs BTS's concepts.

Side note, I am a sap and am relying on what you guys say about the quality of the game. The above is based on the assumption that BTS will truly be the great game I am looking forward to.

Another side note smile.gif to Steve/BTS/anyone in industry, Am looking to enter Coleman College for programming. I have done some research and have recieved positive feedback so far, am curious as to what insiders think about technical schools and Coleman in particular. Thier Core program covers COBOL, C++, SQL, RPG/400, and Visual Basic I will need another 20 units or so for my BA what languages would you suggest as being useful for study? any feedback apreciated.

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Guest Big Time Software

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I must say that I'm curious as to how my play will be affected.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can tell you that most of my old tactics/cheats have already been tossed out the window smile.gif I still vividly remember taking my King Tiger out for its first drive ever, and then losing it 30 seconds into the second turn thanks to a Sherman 76 some 600m away! A SHERMAN CAN DO THAT?!?! NO WAY!! I then checked with Charles and all the data showed that the kill was legit. Now I am MUCH more careful with my armor smile.gif

For programming languages, C and C++ are the way to go. Most game programmers I know do straight C coding with some C++ tricks applied. Faster, more robust, and more portable than straight C++. All other languages are not recommended for gaming (and general corporate programming either).

Steve

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Guest John Maragoudakis

I can see another reason why splitting squads up would cause problems. The computer AI would have to figure out when and how to split up it's own squads. It's analysis of the tactical situation would have to be deeper. Not only will it note the general placement of the enemy squad but it would also have to anylise the enemy squad's possible deployment. This would certainly hog up cpu cycles when applied to many squads.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> I still vividly remember taking my King Tiger out for its first drive ever, and then losing it 30 seconds into the second turn thanks to a Sherman 76 some 600m away! A SHERMAN CAN DO THAT?!?! NO WAY!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Damn well serves you right, too. wink.gif

I was rather pleased to know things like this happen in CM. I am so sick of the UPS (Unstoppable Panzer Syndrome) that crops up in too many games. Honestly, if the German kit was as unbreakable as many wargamers seem to believe, there would have been a thousand year Reich...

This post doesn't have any suggestions or requests. I'm just happy to hear that the gameplay sounds like it should produce viable historical outcomes. One of those things that I drone on about. smile.gif

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Guest John Maragoudakis

Ahh but if a Sherman can do that to a King tiger at 600m, imagine what the King tiger can do to the Sherman at an even greater distance. I think the King tiger would profit by fighting the battle at a longer range. I guess the opposite side of the coin would be that the Sherman should close the range down when possible, a task I wouldn't want to have to do myself. Good to see that good tactics are rewarded immeadiatly.

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Absolutely right. I never said it was *easy*. wink.gif

Fortunately there weren't many King Tigers to worry about. IIRC there were only about 500-600 made (if I'm wrong some grognard will correct me smile.gif), and they weren't easy to keep in the field - problems with maintainance and fuel meant that many were abandoned.

Also, the average engagement range was much closer than 600m, and imagine said Sherman got at least a flank, if not a rear shot, to take out a KT.

Bottom line - once on the battlefield, the KT was unqustionably a scary piece of harware, and the kill ratio favoured the KTs. But their real impact was far less than I've seen it portrayed in some computer, board & miniature games.

Rocky

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Guest Big Time Software

Well said Brian. I mean, how many games give you a FULL COMPANY of King Tigers?!? Do you know how often THAT ever happened? Uh, maybe a Brigade the size of a company was seen here and there, but a full strength organic company... smile.gif

And once you have these buggers in such a game, well, they could sail through just about anything. I remember taking a platoon of 4 KTs in Kampfgruppe and wiping out probably 20-30 T-34/85s without hardly a scratch. Sure it *could* happen, and probably did here and there, but every game I played? smile.gif

Historical tidbit (all from memory mind you!)...

Somewhere around here I have the daily returns of Heavy Detachment Bäke from the pocket battles in the winter of 43/44. The number of Tigers operational varied from about a dozen to NONE on any given day. Loses were due as much to mines, breakdowns, and getting stuck than actual combat. And this was the VANGUARD of the German counter attack during the battle for Korsun Pocket!

Steve

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