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How should I go about clearing forests?


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Recon, recon, recon. Also recon by fire. If it's suspicious, shoot it up.

Don't send a half squad anywhere a scout hasn't been. Don't send a squad anywhere a half squad hasn't been. Don't send a platoon anywhere a squad hasn't been.

Don't send vehicles where infantry hasn't been, and so on.

Patience is extremely important.

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Q: How should I go about clearing forests?

A1: Carefully, using split teams leapfrogging with Slow and Hunt and overwatch and small moving units and area target orders.

A2 (semi-joking): with unsplit Russian SMG squads on Assault.

A2 is what I've been doing. The assault squads succeed, but die rapidly.

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one thing which was not important in CMBB became most important in CMRT

...suppression....

It is enough for me to suspect an enemy in an area .... to let me order suppression in this area....

no matter if i want to conquer this area while producing this suppresion-fire or if i just defend an area and do not want to move further

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Also don't forget even with the good advice you are getting here it will be brutal and costly and you will think you are loosing the fight. Forest fighting is just nasty. I often see both sides taking casualties and turning tail and running away from each other.

With that in mind here are two more suggestions

A3 don't bother with the forest just go around

A4 don't bother with the forest just shell the crap out of it with artillery

I know it seems smart assed but consider if you really need to clear the forest or not. Would it be OK to just ignore it and go around? Would it be OK to leave some men in along the edge to protect your flank and move on? The defender who is sitting and waiting has the advantage in a forest so if you leave a protection force in the edge they will perform quite well against any enemy that tries to come out of the woods.

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One valid tactic is to NOT clear the forest, if you can avoid it. Bottle 'em up, turn that patch of woods into a virtual prison camp. If you have artillery available turn it into a barren shell-pocked landscape. Neuter the occupying unit's ability to affect the larger battle. I understand Russians had follow-on forces specially trained in dealing with bypassed, isolated enemy units.

Oops! I see ian.leslie beat me to it. :)

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I just avoid forests as much as possible now.

BUT, having said that, I think one viable option would be to use split squads moving in leapfrogging movements of about 10 meters per "move" and when said move ends and the next team starts moving, you have a fire order on the first (now stationary) team in the general direction of the suspected enemy.

It's time consuming, but if you have to clear a forest, that's how I'd do it.

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I find using short 10-20m quick commands with long 20-30 second pauses seem to work nicely. I find that in these areas the main thing is spotting the enemy,with a long pause I find my troops spotting enemies farther than grenade range with really saves on casualties.

Are you this one?

Nice advice. I didn't think that spotting would be more efficient if you gave the troops more time to do so.

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I didn't think that spotting would be more efficient if you gave the troops more time to do so.

Yeah. If you look at the troop status report in the bottom left corner, when they're listed as "Moving", their situational awareness is tied to their movement mode. Even at the most cautious (Hunt and Slow, AIUI) that awareness is less than if they're "Spotting". The more eyeball-seconds you spend looking, the better you'll see.

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I love fighting in forest. Really up close an personal. Must be the genes or something :)

Anyway: observe from distance if possible then scout ( preferably with dedicated scouting units to preserve the assault formation) with small 2-3 man teams with hunt or if in contact use short sprints with quick, best to Have one scout team lay down smg fire while the other one advances. This is only to identify the enemy. At this point you can expect enemy Arty fire so keep your actual assault platoon/company well behind. If the enemy contact is a screening squad the recon platoon should be able to deal with it and press forward to find the main body of the enemy.

Once found you can either bring up a tank ( don't be afraid of using tank in forest if you can spare a few (in QB's buy a few green -2 Tanks with lots of he for this!)) or use Arty (try spare your recon hq for this) and bring up your main assault force. Combination of close support tanks and infantry should be able Roll up any opposition. The knack is to Have the tanks an infantry fire on anything that might be an enemy position. Try to keep the los from the tank along narrow lines between trees and don't move up unless you Have placed some he shells there first and always stay as far away as possible. Idea is that the assault is decisive enough to annihilate enemy units piecemeal while crawling forward never giving the enemy a possibility use at-weapons or regroup. If you see enemy rout, press forward regardless of some odd casualties and chase the enemy down if possible, don't be suicidal tho.

Benefits for attacking through forest: you can conceal the aproach and timing of your actual assault unit. Good for avoiding/wasting enemy arty. Soviet infantry is particulary well suited for this but germans benefit from ability to do prolonged suppression. My experience so far encourages to use soviet infantry, even the recon echelon, aggressively: I Have seen smg trooper practically run over a german mg nests if they are cought off guard.

Cons: obviously the tricky los. Takes a lot of time especialy the recon. Consumes the recon unit / units, don't count on them to do anything else than fix the enemy. Infantry gets exhausted quickly so Have reserves to cycle the point platoons if possible. Not all forest are traversable by tanks.

So all in all, don't be afraid of using tanks close up in forest for infantry support, just be sure to be the one to shoot first! = recon recon recon.

Hope this makes any Sense :D

Cheers!

Edit: ps: a pack of t-34-85's crawling through forest while shooting everything is pretty cool and potentially psychologically straining sight to your human opponent.

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Totally agree with the main advice: Recon, spend time spotting, suppressive fire, patience.

However, a major issue I have with almost all scenarios that require forest clearing is that you are not given enuff time to do the above properly and you rarely have enough ammo to suppressive fire at everything - maybe if you only use rifles, but certainly not with SMG's.

Eve tho' I've played this game since the beginning, I still find that getting someone shot is how and when you find the enemy in average length scenarios.

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The experience and motivation of your troops becomes even more important.

All else being equal automatic-rapid fire weapons make all the difference-this is why Soviet SMG squads has changed the equation from Italy and Normandy.

Smoke is your friend and enemy.

I had a h2h game where a lone grunt tossed a hand grenade at at T-34 in a wooded area. Didn't harm the tank, but it beat a hasty retreat. I get the impression tankers don't like forest and wooded areas unless they have plenty of infantry support.

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The experience and motivation of your troops becomes even more important.

All else being equal automatic-rapid fire weapons make all the difference-this is why Soviet SMG squads has changed the equation from Italy and Normandy.

Smoke is your friend and enemy.

I had a h2h game where a lone grunt tossed a hand grenade at at T-34 in a wooded area. Didn't harm the tank, but it beat a hasty retreat. I get the impression tankers don't like forest and wooded areas unless they have plenty of infantry support.

In general the tankers are quite easily suppressed by any he explosions. On the other hand I would probably reverse quite quickly in same situation as well!

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Does anyone else believe the new tweaks to the game engine make this kind of combat ridiculously (ie unrealistically) difficult? I mean everyone's TTP (including my own at this point) seems to be throw a few bodies out front and when they get waxed you will have some idea where the enemy is. Or spray the ground to your front and hope you can suppress any enemy there so you can spot them before you walk on top of them. As a professional infantryman I have to say this is just WRONG.

Restrictive terrain is the infantryman's friend (whether he be attacking or defending). There is comfort and confidence in having a tree or some micro terrain to hide behind, take cover behind etc. And nothing, absolutely nothing, will give your position away faster than firing your weapon, particularly within a few hundred meters. I can understand a squad gaining the upper hand in the first few seconds of a firefight but once they have fired their weapons they will no longer be hidden or "unspotted."

From my observations so far it seems to be related directly to spotting and to some degree reaction time/tasks. Practically every time I make contact in the woods my guys will get chewed up, often without even spotting who is shooting them. Even more frustrating is that since they haven't identified a target they aren't doing anything but dying. Any rifle team/squad with the slightest bit of training would respond with a fusillade of fire and hand grenades in order to try to gain fire superiority over their ambushers, even if it were just area fire (spray and pray).

I thought the previous versions of the engine handled this rather fairly. Why the changes?

Am I alone in this assessment?

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Does anyone else believe the new tweaks to the game engine make this kind of combat ridiculously (ie unrealistically) difficult? I mean everyone's TTP (including my own at this point) seems to be throw a few bodies out front and when they get waxed you will have some idea where the enemy is. Or spray the ground to your front and hope you can suppress any enemy there so you can spot them before you walk on top of them. As a professional infantryman I have to say this is just WRONG.

Restrictive terrain is the infantryman's friend (whether he be attacking or defending). There is comfort and confidence in having a tree or some micro terrain to hide behind, take cover behind etc. And nothing, absolutely nothing, will give your position away faster than firing your weapon, particularly within a few hundred meters. I can understand a squad gaining the upper hand in the first few seconds of a firefight but once they have fired their weapons they will no longer be hidden or "unspotted."

From my observations so far it seems to be related directly to spotting and to some degree reaction time/tasks. Practically every time I make contact in the woods my guys will get chewed up, often without even spotting who is shooting them. Even more frustrating is that since they haven't identified a target they aren't doing anything but dying. Any rifle team/squad with the slightest bit of training would respond with a fusillade of fire and hand grenades in order to try to gain fire superiority over their ambushers, even if it were just area fire (spray and pray).

I thought the previous versions of the engine handled this rather fairly. Why the changes?

Am I alone in this assessment?

IMO from my own rl experience this feels just as messy and hard as it should be. **** can hit the fan very quickly either way when fighting in forest and especially the spotting is very very hard in rl situations if the opponent knows what to do.

I would not recomend suppressing untill you have met real contact: sound, eye ball mkI or getting shot at and the way you are moving wiht your scouts determines a lot wich of these three it will be. Success and disaster here can really be about just a few action squares difference between waypoints. Honestly I think the main issue here is the player itself because this kind a action takes disproportional amounts of micromanagement even when compared to house to house fighting wich people usually forgo completely because the same reasons: it's hard and it takes tons of micro to get it work. But when it does... ohh it's so rewarding :D

But honestly dont take my words too seriously! I'm just a crazy finn who feels at home when in forest :)

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Does anyone else believe the new tweaks to the game engine make this kind of combat ridiculously (ie unrealistically) difficult? I mean everyone's TTP (including my own at this point) seems to be throw a few bodies out front and when they get waxed you will have some idea where the enemy is. Or spray the ground to your front and hope you can suppress any enemy there so you can spot them before you walk on top of them. As a professional infantryman I have to say this is just WRONG.

Restrictive terrain is the infantryman's friend (whether he be attacking or defending). There is comfort and confidence in having a tree or some micro terrain to hide behind, take cover behind etc. And nothing, absolutely nothing, will give your position away faster than firing your weapon, particularly within a few hundred meters. I can understand a squad gaining the upper hand in the first few seconds of a firefight but once they have fired their weapons they will no longer be hidden or "unspotted."

From my observations so far it seems to be related directly to spotting and to some degree reaction time/tasks. Practically every time I make contact in the woods my guys will get chewed up, often without even spotting who is shooting them. Even more frustrating is that since they haven't identified a target they aren't doing anything but dying. Any rifle team/squad with the slightest bit of training would respond with a fusillade of fire and hand grenades in order to try to gain fire superiority over their ambushers, even if it were just area fire (spray and pray).

I thought the previous versions of the engine handled this rather fairly. Why the changes?

Am I alone in this assessment?

I don't know enough to say, but watching one of the many videos on on youtube it was mentioned that the casualties were cranked up for RT to reflect the nature of fighting on the Eastern Front. Don't know if this has any effect.

I based my thoughts above based on my past and current h2h fight in wooded areas:

1. Devils Hills-I was surprised at the effectiveness of my American paratroopers on the attack. This was not only in a very wooded area, but also attacking uphill. I credited this to their experience and motivation levels. Used short bounding overwatch movements. My troops won most of the firefights.

2. Borderland-I found the SS troops handicapped by the lack of automatic weapons. They also face British Paras who are tough troops.

3. Playing Para Bellum now and its American Paras vs German Paras who happen to be one of the few crack para remaining for the Germans. They have ample automatic weapons. Hard to say how that will turn out. The allieds are attacking and have plenty-in fact too much artillery and have been shelling my troops in the woods. Could go either way.

Have some RT woods fighting experience, but not enough to say. Regardless of the theater its always been messy in the woods.

In all honesty I don't do much slow-crawling so that too may have an effect. I usually use the hunt or quick movement in the woods. I suppose if I crawled more then waited and say still for a while it would change things.

Also the hide command. I would think that would be good for setting up an ambush, but I don't think it really works that way-your troops will rarely fire back hen they are hiding.

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I tend to avoid wooded area and repeatedly use direct fire and smoke to cover open spaces as I advance... if there is woods I need to enter to get to a mission objective I will prep the area the best I can with indirect fire.. and then like many have stated above use bounding technique slowly.. this however takes time...and you sometimes feel pressured because of the time allotted... so I try to plan how long it takes to get Indirect fire to places I will possibly need it... (looking at the layout of the map) Recon is your best friend.

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I don't know enough to say, but watching one of the many videos on on youtube it was mentioned that the casualties were cranked up for RT to reflect the nature of fighting on the Eastern Front.

Unless someone at BF said that, I'd take that statement with a heavy dose of salt.

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I thought the previous versions of the engine handled this rather fairly. Why the changes?

What changes are you referring to, specifically?

It is true that the TacAI will not initiate area fire, and units that are taking fire (and usually casualties) at close range will typically go to Pinned status very rapidly. "Cowering" soldiers are almost useless for spotting, or shooting, so it does become a game of who spots first/shoots first wins, which is almost never going to be the moving unit unless the defender is already suppressed, which is why area firing out to the limits of LOS and relying on bullet splash to suppress unspotted enemy is the preferred tactic. I don't have much of an opinion on how realistic this is, but I think it has been this way in CMx2 forever.

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My own observations suggest the ability to spot defending infantry shooting within forests is a little bit on the hard side. Yes I appreciate the initial ambush should be deadly but once the bullets start flying it can still take what feels like forever for your own troops to get a spot on who's doing the shooting.

I have noticed a good 20-30 secs go by before getting a sound contact in some cases. This to me seems odd considering you would think that you poor pixeltruppen being shot at would at least know the direction of incoming fire pretty much straight away. Having another squad close by and unsuppressed doesn't appear to help in some cases. Perhaps if the TacAI was able to fire back at sound contacts within extreme close ranges (<50m) automatically it would help? The: "It's coming from over there!" response.

Never been in combat myself so happy to be corrected but it does seem odd.

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Another problem is that you can't shoot in the direction of a sound contact. Since LOS in woods is very limited you can not shoot (and suppress) very far into woods because there is no aim point.

So even if you can guess where the bullets came from you can not shoot back because there is no target.

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