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Allies - CMBN Buying The Farm - Crowd-sourced DAR


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I don't know I think the LOS into that are is OK.  I don't really want total visibility because that means he has the same back to me.  The way I attack is basically summed up by moving is only done to find the enemy or get into a position to kill him.  There is no moving for the sake of moving.  So if my guys are in a place with restricted visibility then they are fairly safe and only scouts will move forward to find the enemy.  Once they do I'll figure out how to get enough fire power to take them out or drive them off.  For me I am happy if visibility is at least somewhat restricted because that means I'll get to face his guys a few teams at a time.  Getting out into the open just means instead of trying overwhelm one or two fire teams I'll have to deal with a whole platoon.  This is why I plan to go down the road and through the woods.

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Notes: Navigating the map and looking at possible attack routes

As you can see one of the first things to do is look at the map. Here are a few notes on how I do that plus some views from the defenders side. First pick a way that is comfortable for you to navigate the camera. I use the QWEASD keys (Q – rotate left, W – move forward, E – rotate right, A – slide left, S – move back, D – slide right). You can use multiple keys at the same time to do some cool stuff. D and Q at the same time will slide right and rotate left which lets you go in a circle. Let go of one and press again and you can control the size of that circle. The key based camera controls have been getting smoother and smoother with each release. That improvement in game performance coupled with a computer upgrade a while back and I am super happy with this method of controlling the camera.

Camera height is important too. I directly control the camera height with the mouse scroll key. I don’t think there is a direct equivalent on the key board. The F and R keys also change the camera tilt which I don’t like so only ever use them very occasionally. Mostly I use the number keys for camera level and then adjust with the mouse wheel. You can use 7 to see an overview of the map. This is an OK place to start especially to get oriented compared to the briefing’s tactical map. I would use the scroll wheel to go higher until I can see the whole map. Honestly, this is not a view I use very much. Cameral level 3 is good for looking around. It gets you up above the trees but you are close enough to be able to see the main terrain features. I’ll move around the map at level 3 a lot. But level 3 will not let you tell what the ground is doing. For that you need to get closer. Most of the time camera level 2 is good but so is level 1.

To actually make sense of what your troops will be able to see you need to get the camera to their height. For infantry go as low as you can camera - level 1. That is actually a bit higher than they are but not by much. For tall tanks (Panther, Sherman) go to camera level 2 and the two down clicks on the scroll wheel. For short tanks camera level 2 and three clicks down on the scroll wheel.

To get an idea of what they can see position the camera over the ground they will be on (for buildings and bocage move the camera so you pass just through the walls / hedge) and use the X key to zoom in while using the keyboard arrow keys to control the camera view (similar to Q and E but the up and down tilt the camera too). This will allow you to see what your troops will see. If you do this often enough combined with the targeting tool and you will begin to recognize weather or not your troops will have a view of the enemy at a given location.

Here are some thoughts while looking from the enemy positions.

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Figure 5 From the second story of the farm house

I was thinking that the farm house would be a good location for and observation post but I am not so sure it would be. The view looks pretty obstructed. It does however have a good view of the objective area and will be dangerous during the final assault.

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Figure 6 View of the fields along A1

As I suspected, there is a pretty commanding view from the bocage out over the fields at the end of A1. The defenders do not seem to be able to see the base of the hedge row on the opposite side of the field but there still is a lot of open ground that they can see.

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Figure 7 View down the road

The road will offer very close quarters fighting and lots of ambush potential.

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Figure 8 View of the open area past the forest

The view of the open area is pretty good but this is from the open itself. I am sure there will be plenty of hiding spaces for the enemy but they will also tend to be more exposed too.

This brings up an important point: Trees. Do not play with trees off, ever, period. Trees have three settings in the game [off], [on] and [trunks only]. The key command <alt>T controls the tree setting. Off means they are gone. This gives you a totally distorted view of what the battle field is like. Just don’t use it. OK now that I have said that I have used the trees off setting a handful of times when the map is big and large numbers of units need group orders. In those uncommon cases I have turned the trees off temporarily so I could manage things from a high view point. Trees on is clearly the right setting if you are visually evaluating what your units will see once they get to a location. If you don’t have the trees on you will not see what they see. Turning the trees to the trunks only setting when you are using the targeting tool to investigate LOS will take the trees into account even if you cannot see them. The trunks only setting is what I have the tree view set to most of the time. It allows you to see your units in a forest but still lets you see where the tree lines are across the map. Just make sure you turn trees fully on for investigating what the view is like for your units. Turning the tress on is also important for trouble shooting spotting and firing issues.

 

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A2 is a horrible. Really.

 

Look at the objective. Look at your start zone. Count the obstacles between you and it via each rout. A3 is easier. A1 is harder. A2 is a killing channel. Were I defending, I'd kiss any attacker who came down the road.

 

If you commit to A3, your flank will be A1. You'll need something along A1 to keep any German defender from maneuvering against your flank as you advance. Vice versa for attacking along A1 and overwatching A3. I'd leave about a squad and half. They can also be considered a reserve.

 

So, A1 with some guards on A3, or A3 with guards on A1...

 

My preference would be a blitz on A1. You'll be on the farmhouse fast. A3? By the time you get abeam the farmhouse, you'll have to pass the near-side road bocage, then the far-side road bocage, in addition to the rest you've already passed. A1 relieves you of that final hurdle.

 

Most attacking forces attenuate as the battle progresses. The last thing you want is to have to scrape up your remnants for another push over the top.

 

Mortars: how much smoke? 

 

Stuarts purpose is to destroy enemy infantry. Canister shot, 3 machineguns, fast as an angry lemur (whatever: use your own favorite "fast as" metaphor. ;)  ), and you've got 4 of them!

 

Spread out the infantry. Every squad throws out a scout team. Remnants break out into the other two teams. Scouts out! 

Stuarts move by bounds. 2 back. 2 up. Only 1 moves at a time.

Engineers: count on needing 2 demo charges per bocage line to open a hole for your stuarts. Don't go through gaps. Your men will die. Horribly. (My men die well. Yours don't. ;) )

 

More details later.

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Gah all this tactical talk is making me want to play through Buying The Farm myself. Maybe I'll start a hotseat game and follow along with you guys.

Btw is Figure 8 from the defender's perspective or yours? If it's his that would be a decent place for some entrenchments.

 

His, and yes I agree.

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Minute 30: Orders
The order of battle for the Allies is one company of US infantry with platoon of Stuart tanks and a platoon of engineers attached. There are two jeeps as well and 1 Platoon has an organic .30cal MG as part of it. A US company has three infantry platoons and a weapons platoon with three 60mm mortars and two .30cal MGs.
So, with the plan established and me ignoring the additional advice :) we are off. Here is how I set up the first movement orders. The plan goes like this:

  • 1 Platoon with two mortars and an MG attached will move along A3 through the woods with two tanks behind them.
  • 2 Platoon with a mortar and two tanks will move up the road along A2
  • 3 Platoon and the engineers will be held in reserve
  • One MG and a squad form 3 Platoon will move to the bocage line at the start of A1 to cover the fields and protect the flank of 2 Platoon

 

1 Platoon starts off in the woods.

 

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Figure 9 1 Platoon in the woods - A3

 

The two lead squads each have a scout team separated and leading the way. On the right there is 1st squad with scouts. They conduct bounding quick move orders followed by a final hunt movement order segment.

 

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Figure 10 1 Platoon Scouts Lead Right

 

The scouts lead the way. There is a good chance I will make contact soon but I really do not know when. The first quick movement orders reflect that I do not think contact will be right away. The final hut order is so that if they do make contact half way through the woods they will stop.

 

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Figure 11 1 Platoon Rest of Squad Follows

3rd squad does the same to the left.

 

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Figure 12 1 Platoon Scouts Lead Left

The other elements of the platoon have an initial pause so they will wait and give the lead squads a head start and then they just move forward so they stay behind the leaders.

 

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Figure 13 Rest of squad follows

The supporting mortars and MG are not going anywhere. I want them to trail behind and bring them up when contact is made. They will move behind the platoon but in this first few turns that is not going to be necessary.

 

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Figure 14 Mortars and MG Supporting 1 Platoon

3 Platoon and the Engineers wait in reserve. There are two jeeps here too so I can rapidly move the engineers up if needed.

 

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Figure 15 3 Platoon and Engineers in Reserve

One MG from 4 Platoon will move to the bocage line and cover the open field along A1 next to the road. A squad from 3 Platoon will lead the way just in case this area is not clear. I do not expect to find enemy soldiers in those trees but I am not going to assume that.

 

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Figure 16 MG with a Squad from 3 Platoon Cover A1

2 Platoon heads down the road along A2.

 

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Figure 17 2 Platoon Starts on A2

 

Just like 1 Platoon in the woods the scouts lead the way with the rest of the squads in over-watch. 1st squad will go down the left side of the road.

 

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Figure 18 Scouts Lead Down Left Side

 

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Minute 30: Orders - continued
 
While 2nd squad will go down the right hand side of the road.

 

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Figure 19 Scouts Lead Down Right Side

 

The tank platoon is split into sections. Two tanks each for A2 and A3. For the first turn they are not moving.

 

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Figure 20 Tanks Split between A2 and A3

 

The company CO has a preplanned artillery barrage behind the bocage at the farm. That barrage is set to go in 10 minutes. There will be 10 minute delay plus the time for the shells to fall so we should have 12 – 15 minutes to get into position to assault the farm.

 

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Figure 21 Company CO Calling Artillery

 

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Notes: Showing movement orders and setting up the movement of a platoon

 

First thing I want to mention is: I play at all times with “show all movement paths” turned on. The hot key <alt>P toggles this setting. Turn it on and leave it there. This allows you to see what the movement orders are for your units whenever you have someone selected. The unit you have selected will have white circles for each way point at the end of each movement path segment while the movement orders for all other units will appear as just lines.

 

The next thing of note is that if you are moving with a chance of making contact with the enemy you need to be scouting and not everyone should be moving at any one moment. So, split a scout team from your lead squads or split the squads up totally and use one team as the scout team. That team should be moving while the bulk of the squad is not. Then once the scout team reaches a spot it should stay put while the rest of the squad moves up. Do not plot too many movement orders if your men run out of orders before the minute is up that is a good thing. Staying still allows them to spot the enemy. To manage the bounding movement of your split teams or even whole squads plot several short (two or three action square long) movement orders at each way point pause for a while. In clear terrain 15s is a good length but in rougher terrain 20s is better. Then stagger the start times for each team. Do not give the scouts an initial pause but give the follow on units a 15 or 20s pause at the start. When you watch the turn you should see the scouts head off and after a while they will stop and observe while the rest of their squad moves up behind them. Once the squad stops the scouts should start moving again. Repeat.

 

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Figure 22 Bounding movement orders

 

The picture above is a composite of two teams’ movement orders. Because of the closeness it is a little hard to read but the scout team’s movement orders are on the left. They have no initial pause and a 15s pause at the first way point and a 20s pause at the second. The rest of the squad’s movement orders are on the right. They have an initial pause of 20s and a 20s pause at the next way point. This should mean that the scouts start out while the rest of the squad watches. About the time that the scouts stop for their first pause the rest of the squad will move forward stopping to wait at which point the scouts start moving again.

 

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Ian,

 

1) Nice comment upstream about dropping the camera low and examining the map. I do it all the time and find all sorts of interesting terrain folds and possible LOS.

 

2) Movement paths and screenies: EXACTLY! Staggered delays, hunt segments, scouts in front. Nice.

 

3) Heavy on your center and right? B-b-b-b-but you didn't listen to ANYTHING we said! ;)

 

4) Good luck!

 

Since you've already created your turn, does that mean it's too late for MG to change his setup?

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I predict a bit of an "Oh darn" when Ian spots one of the things that the scenario gives the defenders... ;)

 

At least he has engineers with plenty of demo charges, though, to allow lateral movement in spite of the initial canalisation by hedge, without having to go all the way back and round the end.

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Ian, this is very cool.  I am glad you and MethodGamer thought to do this.  Now for some questions.

 

I have been giving my units 10 second pauses at waypoints because the spotting cycle is seven seconds.  So I thought 10 seconds was all they needed.  I notice you used 15 seconds one time but mostly 20 seconds (twice what I use).  I am now reconsidering my SOP for the length of pauses.  I would be interested to here your and others thoughts about the time on paused waypoints.

 

Also what are your and other peoples thoughts on the use of covered target arcs for the advancing units?  I typically give my scout teams about 30 meter circular target arcs.  If I don't give them a short target arc they will many times stop and shoot at the first OpFor unit they spot, attract all kinds of return fire and usually no more scout team.      

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Spotting cycle: I give 15-20 second pauses, or more, because that's how long it takes to setup, look around, and put out aimed fire. The 7 second spotting cycle is not, as far as I know, a given. Every unit may have different cycles. Another reason for the pause is to keep them rested.

 

Target arc and scouts: Only if I'm HUNTing and I don't want them to stop due to distant enemies. If they're in good concealment, then yeah, I'll put cover arcs on them so they don't give away their position on long-range potshots.

 

That's my .02.

 

Ian?

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1) Nice comment upstream about dropping the camera low and examining the map. I do it all the time and find all sorts of interesting terrain folds and possible LOS.

This deserves even more emphasis. I cannot count the number of times that the view from level 3 did not reveal important information. Dropping down to level 1 or 2 lets you see that little dip you can use to hide your advance or the fact that a little rise in a field means your men will not have the view you thought.

3) Heavy on your center and right? B-b-b-b-but you didn't listen to ANYTHING we said! ;)

True.:) And if this goes sideways you can say I told you so. I really do not like running across fields. If there is a way with cover, that is where my men will be.

4) Good luck!

Since you've already created your turn, does that mean it's too late for MG to change his setup?

Thanks and yes he decided to just go with what he had.

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I predict a bit of an "Oh darn"

At least he has engineers with plenty of demo charges, though, to allow lateral movement

So I have seen Nat's plans now. Are you referring to the mines on the road. That does look ominous. But I am sticking to the plan, especially since I would not know that if we were playing a regular game.

Exactly right able the demo charges

I should have mentioned that earlier. Essentially I feel I can move between A2 and A3 if I need to. So if one bogs down I can shift towards success.

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I have been giving my units 10 second pauses at waypoints because the spotting cycle is seven seconds. So I thought 10 seconds was all they needed. I notice you used 15 seconds one time but mostly 20 seconds (twice what I use).

I pick my pauses to create staggered movement between the teams. It is not based on spotting. If the enemy fires on one team there are one or more other teams not moving that can respond right away. If I wanted them just to spot from of place before moving on I would have much longer pauses. Perhaps even a minute. Do not think that if your unit has one spotting cycle they will see everything the can at once. It just isn't like that. Staying still for a while increases your chance of seeking something. Just like in real life. How much hidden stuff do you see when you stop for 10s?

Also what are your and other peoples thoughts on the use of covered target arcs for the advancing units?

Actually you bring up a really good point. Those scout team are on point. They are not really scouting. I am conducting a recon in force. So if I had sent a couple of scout teams into the forest they would have short circular covered arcs. They would also have 45s to a minute pauses too.

My goal with this set up is that once the enemy is encountered my men will engage and they have other teams ready to join in.

Thanks for the reminder because it is an important difference.

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Target arc and scouts: Only if I'm HUNTing and I don't want them to stop due to distant enemies. If they're in good concealment, then yeah, I'll put cover arcs on them so they don't give away their position on long-range potshots.

Indeed another good use for a cover arc. I keep forgetting about that one. I am not sure if I would add that here. It might be prudent as the get close to the edge of the forest so they don't stop before cover for an enemy near the farm.

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"Since you've already created your turn, does that mean it's too late for MG to change his setup?"

Thanks and yes he decided to just go with what he had.

 

Almost. I'm not changing my overall defensive plan now that I know Ian's attack plan. However, I will tweak a few things to better implement my original plan (moving a few defenders closer to the front line, not bunching up defenders so much, deploying my limbered gun, etc).

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The spotting cycle default is 7 seconds. It gets accelerated for units that are in proximity. So 10s will pretty certainly get the team one "look around". But one look is no guarantee they'll see what they need to. I tend to use a Pause that's as long as I think the other team will be moving for.

 

I generally give scouts a 50m "self defense" circular TA while they're in motion. As Ken says, once they get into a good OP I'll maybe even shorten that, mostly so the ugly yellow circle doesn't get in the way of me seeing things.

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Oh, Ken meant start the game over to make larger changes (well that's how I took it anyway).  I think that moving assets around especially based on the discussion from your thread is  good thing.

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What UI mod is that you're using? I like

 

Oops almost forgot to answer that one.  It is Juju's UI mod http://cmmods.greenasjade.net/mods/5492/details

 

I also use Aris's vehicle mods too. And I have a German uniform and helmet mod too but I forget whose.  You will see those I am sure as we get further into this.

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Oh, Ken meant start the game over to make larger changes (well that's how I took it anyway).  I think that moving assets around especially based on the discussion from your thread is  good thing.

 

Err, no. Just wondering if any of the defensive pointers given in MG's thread would have a chance of being implemented.

 

Another idea (free!), is to have MethodGamer use HIS setup against you, and, simultaneously, use the group-think defense setup. That way you guys get DOUBLE the gaming fun. ;)

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