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Help with Russian Training Exercise 200 - Three T-34s die quickly


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Hello All:

Hope someone could help with this. It is the one where the Russians have 3 x T-34s along with the infantry. The Jerrys have an ATG which takes out my T-34s in the first minute or two close to the starting line

How can you combat that? In RL you would not know the ATG is out there in that location so you wouldn't know to target it with artillery.

Thanks,

Gerry

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It's usually best to start any vehicle out of any possible enemy LOS. Plan A: Use the inf to scout the ATG locations and kill em with arty. Only then bring out vehicles.

If the armor starts off in enemy LOS, then the only thing I can think of is pop smoke and move em fast to a covered "safe" location and then revert to Plan A. (Or, if this is a small scenario and there is only one gun, you need to rush the tanks fast (preferably to hull-down positions) and kill the ATG(s) with direct fire.)

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I will have to check again tonight to see if there is a hull-down position available in the setup zone. The map is very open. We don't know, of course, the ATG is there or has LOS close to the setup zone. I got the tanks to hunt forward.

The problem for me is all T-34s can get killed in a minute so you don't have the time to tell them to pop smoke.

How much CMx1 are you still playing compared to CMx2?

Thanks for your help.

Gerry

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hard to say As I have not played this battle level

If the tanks are starting on turn one in LOS of AT gun it is a badly designed level and not worth playing IMO/

Of course knowing there is any AT gun out there is a big advantage

But still if AT guns are quite common If I was in A tank platoon

I would always assume their is AT guns out there

If you have Artillery USE IT in turn one especially for Soviet as it can be slow and especially if it large calbire, where you think enemy is and ht them Smoke or HE what ever is best

USE Cover Arcs on your Tanks , narrower the better this will help with spotting the gun

Send one infantry or one tank ahead first to draw fire and/or spot the gun or gun site

USe Area fire against suspected At gun sites ,

creep up to position within LOS of front edge of Known ATG and HIT it with Area fire i.e. Indirect area fire against the gun position You can hit area close to ATG but it cannot see you BLAST Away it will suppress and knockout gun.

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  • 3 months later...

First, I assume this is the 200 course in the Russian "lesson" scenarios that I designed. Sorry for the delay in responding. The Russian force is a combined arms one featuring a full rifle company, a T-34 platoon of 3 tanks, and supporting weapons. The intended lesson from learning this scenario is precisely to master the combined arms toolbox, learning to use the right weapon within your force to deal with each suit of the enemy and the challenge, rather than allowing the enemy his preferred match ups.

The terrain is open steppe, but that does not mean it is devoid of all cover. There are patches of trees on the German side of the map, and their defending ground is also of different levels. There is low ground between you and their positions, several patches of rocky, and on the German side of the field a few small bits of rough. But most of the ground is open steppe, and most of the infantry cover you can reach is only about 45-50% exposure stuff, much worse than the 25% exposure terrain available to the defenders.

This scenario expects that you already mastered the skills of the 100 level courses. In the infantry courses at that level, you learn to advance across such open ground. You learn to use heavy weapon suppression to deal with enemy shooters as they appear, and you learn the challenges of getting close enough for full spots to make such covering fire effective.

In the tank scenarios at the 100 level, you learn to use dismounted scouts to spot for threats to the tanks. You learn to use teamwork and distraction vs single enemy shooters. And you learn that cover for tanks means LOS blockages, "shadows" cast by isolated houses, patches of woods, and folds of ground.

As a 200 level course, this one expects you to put all of those small tactic lessons to use, along with the new lessons in combined arms match ups.

The specific combined arms match ups of greatest relevance here are the following - multiple enemy HMGs at range pin or break infantry in the open. But they die easily to tanks, as soon as those tanks can get close enough to spot the HMGs, which is normally 175 to 200 yards.

But in turn, tanks without terrain cover die easily to hidden ATGs - as you found - making it reckless to simply lead with tanks, as though they are invulnerable and only helping the infantry matters. As the later tank lessons in the 100 series already emphasized, instead dismounts must go first to guide the valuable tanks and find their targets.

Then the third combined arms lesson you are meant to learn in our paper scissors and rock relations, is that indirect fire weapons - mortars and FOs - readily defeat enemy guns, as soon as those are located. This relies on the gun's Achilles Heel, lack of mobility, and on the stealth with which indirect fire assets can engage them. Since only a spotter needs LOS to the discovered gun, the decisive killing asset is invulnerable to the gun's would-be replies, by virtue of that stealth.

Unravel those lessons back to front, and you see there is only one proper combined arms solution that will roll over the German defense with minimal losses. Your indirect support must kill the gun before your tanks advance into the open. Your tanks must advance into the open, and to within 200 yards of the defending HMG nests, before the bulk of your rifle company crosses the field to close with the German infantry defenders. Clear enough.

But how to first find the gun to silence it? Someone must go first, into danger. You must scout ahead with infantry. They will take fire and they will be pinned by it, because the sequence above that can defeat the whole defensive scheme will not have happened yet. This is a key lesson of the whole scenario. Sometimes you must accept an unfavorable exchange to prepare the decisive, favorable sequence of combined arms match ups. You should not risk the tanks on this. You should not rush, or panic. But you also cannot be deterred by the lumps the enemy HMGs and gun can dish out to your infantry, from starting the exchanges off. You need to manage that risk and that damage, by not pressing too far forward too fast, and by using the available cover, rally time etc, as learned in the open ground advance infantry scenarios in the 100 series.

So basically, riflemen must go first, draw fire, go to ground. They must persist and bait out the gun. If one tank must be lost to draw it out, so be it, but sometimes the infantry attack may suffice. Once the gun is located, tanks skulk away fro it and leave it to supporting heavy weapons. Take as much time as is needed to pin the gun with those weapons. The tanks can add their own fire to finish the gun off if necessary, after it is pinned, though that does involve further risk.

Once all that is complete and the gun dead, you should have tanks left alive. They then advance to spotting range of defending HMGs while your infantry just rallies. Once the tanks are in place to "overwatch" the infantry, it steps out again, and this time whatever shoots at them should be destroyed in reply. Now the tanks "shoot the infantry in". Meaning, still overwatching, and even area firing ahead of the leading squads, the rifle company advances by bounds into and through the German positions. Two thirds of the infantry should be covering by fire on top of the tanks, massively outshooting anything that challenges the leading rifle platoon, as it maneuvers. Trade that leading role to spread out the pain and to raise your covering firepower, by delivering it from closer ranges, as the next platoon steps out.

That is the formula.

Now a little terrain analysis. You want to find spots on the field the gun cannot see. The relevant cover is simply the slope of the ground. There are places the gun cannot see because they are too low lying, and others that put the low central rise between you and the gun. Either can serve as the dead ground your tanks need to live, until you have carried out the early steps in the method given above. You may have to move fast to reach some of them, but T-34s are good at that. If you uncover the gun's location in the process, without losing (all) your tanks, so much the better. It will spare your infantry some of the pain of going first as the scouts.

I hope that helps...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello:

Thanks to all for your responses. And thanks Jason for your detailed response. I have enjoyed the training scenarios.

The reason for my delay here is that I had stopped playing CMx2 and even CMx1. The latter seems simpler to me and the one I hoped I could play. I struggle in both series seeing what a unit can see. So Jason when you talk about the dips in the terrain I find that hard to see. I looked again now and did see a dip near the setup zone. I drove the 3 T-34s in there and only lost one this time.

Without your tip I couldn't really see those, to me, subtle terrain nuances. This is my big problem - seeing a 3-D landscape on a 2-D computer screen, even though I use a grid mod.

Thanks again, and I may give CMBB another try. I don't know if you are thinking of doing similar training exercises for CMRT. I am sure there are many players that could use them but maybe everyone is now able to play CMRT after years of CMx1 and CMx2 exposure?

Thanks again,

Gerry

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Hello:

Thanks to all for your responses. And thanks Jason for your detailed response. I have enjoyed the training scenarios.

The reason for my delay here is that I had stopped playing CMx2 and even CMx1. The latter seems simpler to me and the one I hoped I could play. I struggle in both series seeing what a unit can see. So Jason when you talk about the dips in the terrain I find that hard to see. I looked again now and did see a dip near the setup zone. I drove the 3 T-34s in there and only lost one this time.

Without your tip I couldn't really see those, to me, subtle terrain nuances. This is my big problem - seeing a 3-D landscape on a 2-D computer screen, even though I use a grid mod.

Thanks again, and I may give CMBB another try. I don't know if you are thinking of doing similar training exercises for CMRT. I am sure there are many players that could use them but maybe everyone is now able to play CMRT after years of CMx1 and CMx2 exposure?

Thanks again,

Gerry

Hello Gerry

I see that you are having issues with seeing the terrain properly in CM. Have you tried these mods? https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s5u53fze2h9htdm/udHTmywW-I

Terrain mod, high points are lighter, low spots are darker which makes it easier to see the terrain heights better. Also, I attached Toms Rocks mod (I think it is for CMAK only, not sure) this makes rough areas easier to see as well.

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I only have used the Toms Rocks mod in CMAK, not sure if it is only for CMAK or not?? This mod helps on the desert maps big time. I would probably install Toms Rocks after the terrain mod is installed. Not sure that has to be done in that order, but I would anyway. I think the terrain mod will help you out finding the rolls in the terrain a whole lot easier.

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I struggle in both series seeing what a unit can see.

Me too. That's one weak point of the CM series. In a hex based game this is much simpler of course. For me using the '1' camera view helped the most. You have to go to ground level.

The worst part is when 1mm is visible of the top of a vehicle to the enemy, and the engine grants a full flank shot with big hit probabilities to them.

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  • 4 months later...

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