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Rethinking the assault command


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The current assault command leaves a lot to be desired. It requires a squad with at least two elements and both elements share morale/suppression. It has very little actual utility because of this and it leaves the player without a dedicated movement type for aggressive assaults.

Currently the quick command can be used to fill in the gap, but the fact that it is not an assault command results in numerous problems cropping up while using it.

I would suggest that the current assault command be wiped and replaced with a new type of movement. It would be available to any unit and would operate much like quick does now. However, units would be much more likely to engage targets as they appeared and if too much fire is taken the squad would go to ground rather than switching to FAST.

Essentially it would be an order best used to cover the last 20 meters to an enemy position. The men would move in firing and grenading the enemy.

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The current assault command leaves a lot to be desired. It requires a squad with at least two elements and both elements share morale/suppression. It has very little actual utility because of this and it leaves the player without a dedicated movement type for aggressive assaults.

In circumstances where shared suppression would be a problem, just split the squad. CMx2 is really designed around the idea that squads will be divided into fire teams at ranges where fire and maneuver matter.

Currently the quick command can be used to fill in the gap, but the fact that it is not an assault command results in numerous problems cropping up while using it.

I would suggest that the current assault command be wiped and replaced with a new type of movement. It would be available to any unit and would operate much like quick does now. However, units would be much more likely to engage targets as they appeared and if too much fire is taken the squad would go to ground rather than switching to FAST.

I think going to FAST is a function of survival, not tactical doctrine. It presumes that you have given a destination waypoint that is a good place to stop, so the soldiers run there instead of halting in the open where they are taking fire.

Essentially it would be an order best used to cover the last 20 meters to an enemy position. The men would move in firing and grenading the enemy.

I don't think firing while running is very effective. Running to catch up with the grenades you've just lobbed is even less so. ASSAULT at least builds in overwatch to (hopefully) prevent the assaulting element from taking so much fire as to lose their momentum.

The best way to handle that 20-yard rush is to give one or two 15-second TARGET BRIEFLY commands combined with one or two 15-second PAUSEs, followed by a QUICK or ASSAULT move onto the target itself.

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In circumstances where shared suppression would be a problem, just split the squad. CMx2 is really designed around the idea that squads will be divided into fire teams at ranges where fire and maneuver matter.

Practically anytime you want to use an assault command the shared suppression is a problem. Hence the assault command being useless.

I think going to FAST is a function of survival, not tactical doctrine. It presumes that you have given a destination waypoint that is a good place to stop, so the soldiers run there instead of halting in the open where they are taking fire.

Which is why not having a useable assault command is a problem. The AI expect that the quick command is a movement command. Not a assault command.

I don't think firing while running is very effective. Running to catch up with the grenades you've just lobbed is even less so. ASSAULT at least builds in overwatch to (hopefully) prevent the assaulting element from taking so much fire as to lose their momentum.

Currently when using quick men will stop and throw grenades/fire their weapons. However, they don't do it in a manner conducive to assaulting a held enemy position.

The best way to handle that 20-yard rush is to give one or two 15-second TARGET BRIEFLY commands combined with one or two 15-second PAUSEs, followed by a QUICK or ASSAULT move onto the target itself.

Which would work better if the assault command was actually useful in the vast majority of scenarios. Quick is a hamstrung workaround that can often result in entire sections being slaughtered as they decide to FAST into an enemy held position.

If ASSAULT existed as a command much like QUICK, but with a priority on engaging targets/liberal amounts of fire and not running to your death. It would make assaulting positions much easier. Right now we have workarounds that are of questionable value.

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The best way to handle that 20-yard rush is to give one or two 15-second TARGET BRIEFLY commands combined with one or two 15-second PAUSEs, followed by a QUICK or ASSAULT move onto the target itself.

I agree...if that kind of close attack is called for. Generally though I prefer to do my killing from a distance, i.e. outside grenade range by bringing overwhelming firepower to bear. But if that is not possible, and closing with the enemy is needed, I like your technique. One team provides suppressive fire while another maneuvers close enough to assault. Then both suppress for a time. Finally both stop suppressing while the second team overruns the objective.

Michael

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I agree...if that kind of close attack is called for. Generally though I prefer to do my killing from a distance, i.e. outside grenade range by bringing overwhelming firepower to bear. But if that is not possible, and closing with the enemy is needed, I like your technique. One team provides suppressive fire while another maneuvers close enough to assault. Then both suppress for a time. Finally both stop suppressing while the second team overruns the objective.

I agree with his overall technique. It is what I do. Using the actual assault command will almost certainly result in ruin, and the suppressing fire provided by both sections should allow the attacking section to clear the objective.

However, this type of movement requires that the assaulting section use the QUICK command. Which isn't really suited to what the men are doing. The men are not super likely to engage enemy targets as they appear, and should the attacking section take fire they are very likely to run blindly into the enemy position. Very often running past enemies only to be shot in the back moments later.

If the assaulting team had an order that prioritized killing the enemy and going to ground when under heavy fire it would work much better than using QUICK.

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I think this is an excellent idea. The current assault command does have it's uses when moving over open ground where the squad may be taken under fire. However, when in close terrain and when overrunning an enemy trench it has several flaws. The over watching element will often be out of LOS and the advancing element will often run into or past enemies before stopping to fire, something that i often fatal.

I think a command that made the squad go line abreast and where they would advance together in small 5-6 meters increments before shooting at targets of opportunity or a target given by the player would be very useful.

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IIRC, the Assault command was intended primarily for real time play. It was always assumed that WEGOers could micro the split squads better.

I'm able to effectively micro five or six teams at once, I would be able to do a lot more if pause command + order-stacking worked in real-time multiplayer. It doesn't so you have to deal with stuff as it comes.

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IIRC, the Assault command was intended primarily for real time play. It was always assumed that WEGOers could micro the split squads better.

I've never even thought of this (because I always play WEGO). It certainly makes sense and explains why ASSAULT is there.

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Mostly the problem is that the Assault command is misnamed. It isn't for assaulting onto an objective, it's for moving in bounding overwatch without too much micro.

Though you could say that if your Assaulting squad is suffering from suppression, there aren't enough other elements providing covering fire, and they shouldn't be doing what they're doing in the first place, so them failing to achieve the objective shouldn't be a surprise.

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I think the Assault command would benefit a lot from simply reducing the distance the fire teams move before going down to cover the other team, the rush should be faster, but shorter with emphasis on firepower, of course it would help if squads could deploy in line for such occasions as well.... In real life it is a rather exhausting manouever as you really try to move as fast as possible to limit the time you are up and exposed to enemy fire.

As a real time player i use this command almost exclusively for frontal assaults.

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I think the Assault command would benefit a lot from simply reducing the distance the fire teams move before going down to cover the other team, the rush should be faster, but shorter with emphasis on firepower, of course it would help if squads could deploy in line for such occasions as well.... In real life it is a rather exhausting manouever as you really try to move as fast as possible to limit the time you are up and exposed to enemy fire.

As a real time player i use this command almost exclusively for frontal assaults.

So actually what you want is the addition of some form of Fire and Movement Order?

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So actually what you want is the addition of some form of Fire and Movement Order?

Assault is a fire and movement order. If you set a target, the static element will fire on it (subject to the TacAI deciding a different target has priority. If no target is set, but one is spotted that the element can reasonably engage, it'll fire at that.

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Assault is a fire and movement order. If you set a target, the static element will fire on it (subject to the TacAI deciding a different target has priority. If no target is set, but one is spotted that the element can reasonably engage, it'll fire at that.

Yes, I know that. The question is, does Kuri? :D

Actually, to me the Assault Order is actually one of the most useful options when wanting to clear enemy positions such as built up areas or trench lines. The trick is to plot a series of Assault orders.

For example, if I want a squaud to clear a trench line I would give a series of Assualt commands. What happens is one fire team will give covering fire while the other moves up to clear the section of trench I want cleared. Then the process is repeated with the next Assault Command I issued.

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I don't see why the command couldn't be useful in both situations. My point is the movement should be quicker with "Fast" speed instead of "Quick", with shorter dashes if you plot a single waypoint in a straight line over an open field.

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I thought Assault gave a little more "stick to it" to the squad? Making them more likely to continue to move rather than be pinned down.

I don't know where or why that nugget got lodged in my noggin'.

Back in CMx1 the manual mentioned that the assault command had a small morale bonus compared to other movement commands. Whether that was carried in to CMx2 I have no idea.

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If the assault command is useful to real-time players I think the creation of a new "aggressive movement" command would be beneficial.

We currently have no option for our troops that tells them "there are Russians in that trench 20M to your front. Get in there and kill them.", which is a pretty big oversight.

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We currently have no option for our troops that tells them "there are Russians in that trench 20M to your front. Get in there and kill them.", which is a pretty big oversight.

Do you think that command was commonly issued? Really? And do you really think the Landsers so instructed simply leapt up, ran 20m and jumped into the trench to engage the Ivan?

No. The Landsers crept up, or ran in alternating short dashes until they could be sure of getting grenades in the trench, lobbed some grenades, squirted some MP40, snuck forward some more and tried very hard to keep Ivan's head down so that the return fire wasn't going to simply shred them. Which you can do with the current movement command set. Quick, Fast and even Hunt combined with area targets and overwatch provided by teams set to Pause between movement legs will achieve what you're asking for, if indeed it can be achieved without some distant Maxim chopping your squads into dogmeat.

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Womble, I am not expecting this command to be a cure all for close assaulting a position. It clearly isn't and wasn't ever supposed to be.

Of course you need to get your men close and you need to have the position adequately suppressed. Those are things that we can do currently. It is what you have to do if you don't want your men all killed.

I do not expect this order to magically allow the attacking troops to run 20m killing everyone in front of them and taking no damage.

No. The Landsers crept up, or ran in alternating short dashes until they could be sure of getting grenades in the trench, lobbed some grenades, squirted some MP40, snuck forward some more and tried very hard to keep Ivan's head down so that the return fire wasn't going to simply shred them.

Which is currently possible with split sections and smart planning on the players part. This isn't part of the problem. The player is responsible for getting his men into position and we can currently do that.

Which you can do with the current movement command set. Quick, Fast and even Hunt combined with area targets and overwatch provided by teams set to Pause between movement legs will achieve what you're asking for

It does work but there are some glaring problems with it.

HUNT: Chances are your men will not advance at all. They will pick up a sound contact and immediately stop advancing. You've gained no ground and wasted ammo and time to suppress a target that has no one maneuvering on it.

FAST: Lets run quickly to the position ignoring practically everything! Your men won't stop to engage targets and will quite often run past cowering enemy troops only to be shot in the back a short time later, and if there is an enemy soldier who isn't cowering your men will quite happily run into his fire one after another. This is not a command to be used when moving into a position that may have enemies in it. Such as a house, wooded area, or entrenchment.

QUICK: This is the only command that really gets anywhere close to an assault command. However, your men will often ignore spotted enemies resulting in many of the issues seen with FAST. Furthermore, if the squad takes casualties they will switch to a FAST movement order. They do this because QUICK is a movement order not an assault order. And now you have a section running blindly into an enemy position that is firing on them. Not good.

No matter how well suppressed or supported an attack is a squad or section will have to go into the position to make sure that there are no more enemy occupying it. Now if they are lucky the enemy will have fled or been killed by fire. However, it isn't unusual to find enemy troops still alive in the position. If there existed an order that kept the movement speed of quick, but prioritized engaging the enemy and taking cover when under heavy fire. Closing with these positions would be much safer for the men.

The fact is Combat Mission doesn't have SOPs. This means that movement orders have to have their own built in SOPs. A movement order in CM cannot just tell the men how fast to move. It also has to tell them what to do when they see an enemy, when they are taking fire, when they are taking casualties, etc.. We currently don't have an order that says "move up, but be prepared for close combat with the enemy". We have "Run really fast and ignore everything", "Jog to the position and if you take fire run really quickly", and "Move up until you think you hear an enemy".

We have no order with a built in SOP that tells the men "when you open that door there might be German with an MP40."

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[snip]

Whatever. I don't seem to have any issues getting trench lines cleared unless there's a belt of mines in front of them. If anything, I'd rather a less determined Quick.

You don't have to get into the objective to clear it of enemy, and it's often neither necessary nor productive to do so, since the objective is cover from the next enemy position. The problems you outline sound to me like you're moving too far in one leg and not using enough pauses. And possibly not giving the enemy chance to break and run, either.

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If anything, I'd rather a less determined Quick.

Which would be what this order would be. An order that moved your men but expected combat. Instead of an order that expects sporadic fire as your men move to a previously cleared position.

You don't have to get into the objective to clear it of enemy, and it's often neither necessary nor productive to do so, since the objective is cover from the next enemy position.

It often isn't but then again it is also sometimes required. Nothing that we are saying here is a trueism. CM is a very broad game and while in one scenario you may have the luxury of overwhelming firepower in another it might be up to 10 men in two sections.

The fact is we don't have the ability to set SOPs, and we don't have a premade movement that has a close combat SOP. Having a movement command that expects close combat would be beneficial.

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