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And that's even true in many cases. Most scenarios I've fought against the AI have ended up in an AI surrender, which has meant I've often not needed to have any men on the last couple of VLs. There are scenarios, though, where if you spread out three times as wide to kill all the enemy, you'll take 3 times the casualties (because you're diluting your firepower), but you haven't got time to scrape the enemy out with the tip of a properly constituted spear, and have to just drive in deep to grab the high value terrain.

One time during the CMSF USMC campaign, the AI even surrendered before i touched ANY of the objectives :D. The AI was sitting on the forward slope and top of a hill and i just hammered them for the first 40 minutes of the battle with direct AGL/tank/Javelin fire from the distance and air support until it surrendered. Initially i just wanted to prepare the enemys positions for beeing assaulted but i was also happy with the result i got. At least none of my Marines died during that operation.

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I have played this simulation for awhile, and am struck by how using smoke, on the attack, is something that I have never done. 1. Usually I prefer to suppress the enemy units directly--run a scout

Other than Baneman, I consider most of the comments to reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of smoke on the attack. It isn't cover, its role is not to protect otherwise unsafe movements

Why dont you make a long tactic tutorial, JasonC? All posts i ve read from you that were about tactics were excellent and helped me to better understand how tactics work. I even have 5 of your posts a

One time during the CMSF USMC campaign, the AI even surrendered before i touched ANY of the objectives :D. The AI was sitting on the forward slope and top of a hill and i just hammered them for the first 40 minutes of the battle with direct AGL/tank/Javelin fire from the distance and air support until it surrendered. Initially i just wanted to prepare the enemys positions for beeing assaulted but i was also happy with the result i got. At least none of my Marines died during that operation.

You'd probably achieved some level of "Destroy" objective in the process there; the AI does seem to take into account the current state of relative VP score (or sumfink) cos I've had the AI surrender when I've put a VL into "Contested" on a turn I didn't (AFAIK) kill any enemy.

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I think this is a classic example of using smoke to gain fire superiority through maneuver. I just played this mission where smoke use is essential, and this is the plan I used.

**SPOILER for Kiwi Soldiers**

First I used the off map mortar to kill sniper team at D (farm). I then ran scout to A where they drew some fire, but the angle didn’t allow good shooting by the Germans at point C. Reinforcing point A with the mortar, and a squad I had the mortar shoot SMOKE at the railroad station at point C. Adjusting for wind I shot it more in the direction the wind was coming from to get more out of it as it blew toward the compound on the bottom which is the starting position.

Using the smoke as cover I maneuvered 2 squads + piat to point B without taking any fire. From point B I gained fire superiority on point C. After getting a lucky hit with the piat on the railroad station the Germans ran out the back where a squad was waiting that was to eventually run into the station from the rear as the squads at point B were pinning Germans at C. I then put one squad along with HQs along with the piat I ran back into the railroad station to fire at Germans in farm D. The squads at B did the final assault on the farm for the win.

Kiwiplan.jpg

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When learning to play the same GL scenario as Vinnart I stumbled on a "trick" using smoke that may be gamey but gives good results:

Give your suppression forces a move order to covered locations from which they can fire on the enemy to be suppressed. From those locations, give them area fire orders onto the enemy locations. Pause the suppression forces. Call smoke to mask their intended fire locations from their intended target area. Once the smoke is in position, let them go.

If the move is short enough, they will reach their locations and start firing before the enemy can react to their deployment, thus winning an edge.

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When learning to play the same GL scenario as Vinnart I stumbled on a "trick" using smoke that may be gamey but gives good results:

Give your suppression forces a move order to covered locations from which they can fire on the enemy to be suppressed. From those locations, give them area fire orders onto the enemy locations. Pause the suppression forces. Call smoke to mask their intended fire locations from their intended target area. Once the smoke is in position, let them go.

If the move is short enough, they will reach their locations and start firing before the enemy can react to their deployment, thus winning an edge.

Doesn't sound gamey to me, sounds more like figuring out in game how to do something in RL you would be able to do. Sometimes you do have to figure out how to get around some of the limitations in the engine that are not real world limitations. That is a trick I am going to have to remember.

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I usually like to block off part of the enemy defensive line with smoke so that I can pour all my fire onto a small section.

I haven't used it this way yet, but I can imagine it being good for covering a retreat too. Probably only a pre-planned one though, or in a pure infantry battle.

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I usually like to block off part of the enemy defensive line with smoke so that I can pour all my fire onto a small section.

I haven't used it this way yet, but I can imagine it being good for covering a retreat too. Probably only a pre-planned one though, or in a pure infantry battle.

I did this in the Italian Campaign in FI. [spoiler WARNING!]

In one of the missions you have to bypass the US positions and proceed with the thrust by exiting the map.

The map was split by a road and intel positioned US forces on one side of the road.

I eventually decided that the best way to preserve forces was to rush them of the map as soon as possible. I had a platoon of German tanks in this mission which I decided to use as a bait. I preplanned artillery strike on the possible US positions and I also planned a smoke screen along the entire road.

It was a success. One battery was shelling US troops with HE while the German platoon was acting as main force and engaging everyone. I even managed to tank rush and drive over an AT position! They abanoded the gun when the tank entered the same action spot.

Meanwhile all my Itallian forces were far on the right flank sneaking past the US positions. The smoke screen prevented US forces from engaging for the most part and I managed to get out with 95% of my force intact.

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Indeed. What I find is that often I'll get into a firefight and be faced with a stark choice - either I can reinforce the firefight to try and win it immediately, or withdraw. The third option of using smoke to compartment an ongoing firefight generally doesn't work, because the several minutes it takes to arrive (plus the time it takes to first get an FO into position) usually means that the firefight has either already been won, or the trigger pullers are already dead, by the time the smoke arrives.

I agree.

I don't have an absolute position on this--and I am a gamer, not military.

I often reflect on the difference.

For example, a Half-track or Armored Car may have been great for recon in WW2 real-life, because a centimeter in metal made you a lot less vulnerable that riding around in a truck/jeep--but in the CM1/CM2 battlespace, generally, keep them back(except for especially designed scenarios).

And when I said I don't like to maneuver, I was exaggerating. I tend to move "slinky-style"--put something out, find out where the enemy is, suppress/kill it, then move the rest of the forces forward. Against the AI that is often effective. In CM2, particularly, with its accurate spotting protocals, moving companies en mass in the offense in the open, like the last C and F scenario, almost makes me ill. Put it this way--moving has potential major adverse consequences (particular if one likes to play "blind" and with a minimum of reloads--as in real life), and one needs to take that into account.

But, please, keep commenting. I am learning.

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And when I said I don't like to maneuver, I was exaggerating. I tend to move "slinky-style"--put something out, find out where the enemy is, suppress/kill it, then move the rest of the forces forward.

Sounds like what the pros call Bounding Overwatch and is pretty much what I do most of the time. Although I did have a satisfying blitzkrieg tank rush in my last game. I was reasonably confident that there was a wide unguarded avenue of approach to the single objective location, so I ran a platoon of tanks in the lead followed by a couple platoons of motorized infantry. I got to the OB before the enemy realize what I had done and set up a large ambush. So two platoons of infantry and three or four tanks all blasting away at a couple platoons of guys on foot trying to cross a large open space. For a couple of turns it was a target rich environment and the noise was incredible. Then I ran out of targets.

But I digress...

Michael

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I use it often when applicable. The most important factor is wind direction in being effective. Here are a few good uses where it has made all the difference. If it is blowing in the direction you want to go down a flank pop smoke, and have the men run beside it as it moves creating a moving wall effect. Another tactic I have used for infantry to cross-large open areas with no cover is the “rolling smoke screen”. Have tank 1 pop smoke, then have tank 2 move to where tank 1 smoke is in front of tank 1, and have tank 2 pop smoke. Then repeat with tank 3 ect… All the while have the infantry moving behind the rolling smoke screen that is produced.

My scenario, "A Morning Run', is predicated on just those types of smoke use. The Allies can get chewed rather badly if they do not use these tactics.

Shermans have sixteen(!) pop smokes as a rule. One can hide the Rose Parade behind that with the right wind conditions.

Another battle I am working on just says "Aw the heck with it! Go big or go home!" and gives the Germans a 159mm rocket battery for the attack. The first time I sent an HE volley from this weapon system I was reminded of a line from a movie... "Better to fall back and nuke the site from orbit... it's the only way to be sure."

Mr. Nebel Werfer does lay down the smoke though....

smoke2_zps002d6c36.jpg

With light wind, that screen is on the map for around 3-4 minutes, or in other words, until the next volley comes.

---------

In battle, infantry units with an active "pop smoke" button should be placed UPWIND, and then moved downwind once their smoke has been used. It can be a real heart-breaker to find that all your smoke is on the downwind side of the battle line.

Even if one does not use smoke on the attack, it should be considered in any back-up plan. If things go t*ts up, you may want a few pop smokes to cover your retrograde movement. It makes a pretty fair "reset button", to return your force to its start line in some semblance of order.

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