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Recently I can't make suppression work.. is there a way to analyse savegames?


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I'm at Le Gran Hameau right now, trying to suppress the enemy but it doesn't seem to have any effect.

One position is in a house. I guessed right about the location and started pouring in fire from a mounted HMG. Kept it up several turns, around 4-5 minutes. Then I notice my scouts spotting one enemy soldier in the house, calmly popping off shots with his rifle. Since I now have spotted him, I can click on his unit icon to check suppression level, and it shows no suppression.

Second position is in a hedgerow. I have been firing for many turns with another HMG, then mortared the place showing several good hits, then waiting for some turns to check the situation. No enemy activity reported, yet "just to be sure" I open up again with the suppression again from the HMG. 3-4 minutes of that, and I approach with two scouts. The enemy opens up and kills one of my scouts, the MG-gunner is now visible and I check his suppression level: zero.

I find these things really odd, and I wish I could toggle a cheat to lift the fog of war completely and re-examine those turns to see if it's a bug or if it's something I have not taken into account?

EDIT: playing on "veteran" skill level.

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Might be that Enemy Troops have high Moral & Motivation levels along with being in heavy cover ( stone-brick buildings or Hedge Row )...This will reduce the effects of Suppression.

You could also play a QB or Scenario Hotseat against yourself using what you have described and see what is happening with suppression on a turn by turn basis.

I generally alter Moral & Motivation levels of QB's or Scenario's to give me the desired affects that I'm looking for.

This usually means if troops are actually Vet, then I reduce them down to Green and give them Leadership & Motivation bonuses. If troops are actually Green, then I reduce them to Conscript with some bonuses. I also generally give Attackers a higher motivation increase compared to the Defender.

It's an Art Form that takes time to implement...

Joe

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One position is in a house. I guessed right about the location and started pouring in fire from a mounted HMG. Kept it up several turns, around 4-5 minutes. Then I notice my scouts spotting one enemy soldier in the house, calmly popping off shots with his rifle. Since I now have spotted him, I can click on his unit icon to check suppression level, and it shows no suppression.

Are you playing on "Basic Training"? Pretty sure that's the only "difficulty level" that tells you anything about actual suppression. Now you have the element spotted, you'll be able to tell something about the level of suppression as time passes, as the recipient of the incoming Cowers and recovers. IME, even high motivation troops in good houses can be made to sporadically Cower by sustained HMG fire, though just the one firing will not reliably Pin a Snake Eater. However, if you wait a little while, the rifleman's persistence in exposing him to fire will probably result in his becoming a casualty, to be replaced at the window by a team mate, who will likewise probably die before causing a casualty to your MG, if you're at "proper" MG ranges.

Second position is in a hedgerow. I have been firing for many turns with another HMG, then mortared the place showing several good hits, then waiting for some turns to check the situation. No enemy activity reported, yet "just to be sure" I open up again with the suppression again from the HMG. 3-4 minutes of that, and I approach with two scouts. The enemy opens up and kills one of my scouts, the MG-gunner is now visible and I check his suppression level: zero.

Same question about "Difficulty Level". It takes approximately 30s for a Pinned unit to recover once fire stops being directed at them. A single HMG isn't even enough to maintain reliable suppression. If they haven't cleared out after the pasting you've given, either you're overestimating the effect of the fire you've already hit them with, or they're pretty tough hombres (even with PT's Soft Factor Parsimony). Waiting for "some turns" will have pretty much reset the suppression meter, and if they didn't take many casualties, they won't be Brittle, so will probably take nearly as long to suppress again as they did in the first place.

Remember that Suppression is a continuum, and even at Pinned, there will sometimes be the odd pTruppe who keeps his head up for a few seconds longer. My general rule of thumb is that a HMG/MMG on sustained suppression duty will get a target "nearly" suppressed. Close enough that a couple of LMGs for 15s at the start of a minute will usually make them duck deep enough that I can move in their field of fire for half a minute or so. So I usually have another LMG interject half way through the minute, if I can, or make sure the movers have some time to put some fire of their own downrange.

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Womble, I play on "Veteran" skill level. When you click on a spotted enemy unit, you can see their suppression meter. I don't know if you see the actual suppression or just an estimate, but it does move when the enemy is under fire.

I should think the meter wouldn't be empty after 3-4 minutes of continuous HMG fire on their position. Weren't MGs made stronger in a patch? The enemy HMGs definitely suppress my guys, that's for sure. One burst and they are hugging the ground, two bursts and they are pinned. Let alone a full minute of fire, not to mention several uninterrupted minutes.

Is there no cheat code that would let me "peek behind the scenes" to see if things are working as designed?

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...Is there no cheat code that would let me "peek behind the scenes" to see if things are working as designed?

Not really, but if you played the/a scenario in Hotseat mode and ran both sides, you could test this fairly easily, I think.

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Not really, but if you played the/a scenario in Hotseat mode and ran both sides, you could test this fairly easily, I think.

It's the third battle in the Montebourg campaign. Can I somehow pick that scenario out of the campaign to set up a hotseat game? I'm not familiar with the multiplayer aspect..

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One position is in a house. I guessed right about the location and started pouring in fire from a mounted HMG. Kept it up several turns, around 4-5 minutes. Then I notice my scouts spotting one enemy soldier in the house, calmly popping off shots with his rifle. Since I now have spotted him, I can click on his unit icon to check suppression level, and it shows no suppression.

Womble, I play on "Veteran" skill level. When you click on a spotted enemy unit, you can see their suppression meter. I don't know if you see the actual suppression or just an estimate, but it does move when the enemy is under fire.
Are you sure you're playing Veteran level? Directly from the Manual, p. 61, regarding Veteran level play:

- Enemy weapons and suppression are not displayed
So according to the manual, you shouldn't be seeing enemy suppression level in the UI on Veteran level play. It's possible the manual is incorrect here; it wouldn't be the first such error. I play pretty much exclusively Iron setting, and enemy suppression level definitely doesn't show on Iron. You can make an educated guess at it based on enemy behavior, but the meter on the UI shows you nothing.

Regardless, it's not remarkable or unrealistic to me that a rifleman in good cover like a heavy building who is under fire from a single MG might still pop up and shoot back occasionally. I would expect his suppression meter to at least be yellow, probably red, but I can believe he could still have enough moxie to be shooting back, even if he's just an average Joe (or Hans), not a high experience/motivation Rambo type.

Second position is in a hedgerow. I have been firing for many turns with another HMG, then mortared the place showing several good hits, then waiting for some turns to check the situation. No enemy activity reported, yet "just to be sure" I open up again with the suppression again from the HMG. 3-4 minutes of that, and I approach with two scouts. The enemy opens up and kills one of my scouts, the MG-gunner is now visible and I check his suppression level: zero.
Against direct (flat-trajectory) fire, bocage is pretty much the best cover the game has to offer. So while your MG would have some effect, I would not rely on area fire from a single MG to completely suppress an enemy unit in bocage. Further, while your mortar fire may have attritted the enemy unit, it was a mistake to "wait for some turns to check the situation" after the mortar concentration came in. The suppressive effects of light mortar fire especially are fairly brief, and waiting gave the enemy unit a chance to shake off the effects of the mortar fire and recover its nerve.

You should have followed up your mortar concentration with your final assault more quickly. Or, if small arms is all you had to work with, against enemy in bocage you needed a higher volume of suppressive fire than just one MG. Bear in mind that time of fire is not necessarily a substitute for volume of fire -- 1 MG firing for 4 minutes is not qualitatively the same as 2 MGs firing for 2 minutes. The latter will push the enemy suppression meter up more quickly and is more likely to send the enemy into Panic or Rout status; there is a shock effect to high volume fire.

Also, sending just a scout forward in this type of situation was a mistake. Scout teams are for when you don't know where the enemy is and you're trolling for contact. Once you know where the enemy is, you should be closing in with Assault teams. Follow the rule of the 3 "F"s -- Find, Fix, and Finish. In an infantry-only fight, you "Find" with your Scout teams, "Fix" with your MGs and mortars, and "Finish" with your Assault teams. The "Finish" is usually the hardest part of this progression to execute. Assault teams should close with the enemy while suppressive fire is still going in, and the suppressive fire should continue until the last possible moment.

Even if you follow the Rule of the 3 Fs, occasionally even a well-suppressed enemy will still get off a grenade or burst of automatic weapons fire before dying, and if you're unlucky, this can wreck your Assault team. This isn't completely avoidable, but there are things you can to to minimize the chances of this happening.

When approaching a known enemy position, whenever I can I use two Assault teams (in tasking if not in name), and try to have at least one team pause and area fire into the final objective for 10-15 seconds from ~ 2 action spots away before making the final approach.

I find these things really odd, and I wish I could toggle a cheat to lift the fog of war completely and re-examine those turns to see if it's a bug or if it's something I have not taken into account?.
No such toggle. You could cease fire at the end of the turn and then check enemy team status in the end-game screen. IIRC, this will show their exact status (suppression, etc.), at the exact moment the game ended.
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Are you sure you're playing Veteran level? Directly from the Manual, p. 61, regarding Veteran level play:

So according to the manual, you shouldn't be seeing enemy suppression level in the UI on Veteran level play. It's possible the manual is incorrect here...

I think it is. I just tested it, and at Veteran you can definitely see a spotted enemy's suppression bar fill and empty.

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it was a mistake to "wait for some turns to check the situation" after the mortar concentration came in.

It was only a brief lull. Before moving closer, I gave them some minutes of renewed HMG fire to build suppression again.

Also, sending just a scout forward in this type of situation was a mistake. Scout teams are for when you don't know where the enemy is and you're trolling for contact. Once you know where the enemy is, you should be closing in with Assault teams.

I was not sure if there would be more units covering the approach. As I thought that the single enemy contact had been thrown back from the hedge, I decided to scout further. Sometimes there are hidden lines of fire.

No such toggle. You could cease fire at the end of the turn and then check enemy team status in the end-game screen. IIRC, this will show their exact status (suppression, etc.), at the exact moment the game ended.

Good idea, might try that out. But most of the interesting stuff happened in the middle of the turn..

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It was only a brief lull. Before moving closer, I gave them some minutes of renewed HMG fire to build suppression again.

As you experienced, unless a team gets pushed all the way to Broken/Routed status, it doesn't take very long for them to recover from even significant suppression and start fighting again. Small HE like 60mm mortar is very unlikely to outright break a unit, so you should strive for continuous suppressive fire from the moment the mortar shells start falling until your Assault team closes to grenade range and finishes off any enemy still capable of resisting.

However, since mortar rounds are usually a scarce resource, it's often a good tactic to use a short 60mm mortar concentration to "knock down" an infantry team, and then follow up with MG fire to "maintain the pin" and conserve mortar rounds. It sounds like this is more or less what you tried to do, but you need to make sure the MG fire follows up the mortar fire very quickly; ideally the MG(s) should already be shooting by the time the last mortar round drops. If there's a gap between the last mortar round and the first burst of MG burst fire of more than ~20 seconds, much of the suppressive benefit of the mortar fire will be lost.

I was not sure if there would be more units covering the approach. As I thought that the single enemy contact had been thrown back from the hedge, I decided to scout further. Sometimes there are hidden lines of fire.
Yep. This is where the bigger tactical picture comes into play. Ideally, you want to probe and get a good idea of the entire defense before you commit to assaulting the enemy line at any one point. Of course, the enemy has a say in this and sometimes things don't go as planned...
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YankeeDog, what you say definitely makes a lot of sense, but maybe I confused you with the detail about the mortars. It was just to provide the context.

My point was that the 4 minutes of continuous HMG fire, -after- the mortars, should have pinned the enemy. It didn't. I only lost a scout, as I was cautious and didn't launch the assault just yet.

The enemy was still under fire, but just stood up amidst the bullets and started shooting.

What I'm talking about seems to me like some kind of glitches or anomalies. Usually suppression works reasonably reliably, and I have at least some idea about how much it takes to suppress a position. But once in a while, two times so far in this map but not every time, it seems like the bullets don't "register" at the receiving end.

It seems different than the situation where some soldiers in a pinned squad will try to fire in self defense when you overrun their position. In that case, the squad clearly shows 'Pinned', but they manage to squeeze off a few rounds anyway. In the case I'm talking about, the squad doesn't even show being pinned, maybe 2-3 dots at the bottom of the suppression triangle.

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My point was that the 4 minutes of continuous HMG fire, -after- the mortars, should have pinned the enemy. It didn't. I only lost a scout, as I was cautious and didn't launch the assault just yet

I would not make this assumption. If you review my earlier points, you will find that I also said fire from *one* HMG is usually *not* sufficient to drive a decent quality unit behind bocage all the way to PINNED and keep them there. One HMG will certainly cause some suppression and reduce the fire output of a unit in bocage, but it won't stop it entirely. Talking about the average situation here -- Regulars vs. Regulars, typical engagement range, no dramatic morale bonuses etc. Obviously, things can vary a lot depending upon factors like range, quality of the firing weapon & crew, quality of the defending unit in the bocage, etc.

As the game models it, bocage is extremely good protection from small arms fire coming from the opposite side of the hedge line. You can debate whether this is realistic or not (personally, I don't have a problem with it), but the fact of the matter is, this is the way the game models it and you need to plan your tactics accordingly.

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