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I have been getting back into CMBN after a bit more than a year away - and in the process, discovering that either I've gotten very rusty, or the game balance has changed a bit. In truth it's probably a bit of both - I'd heard that MG effectiveness has increased a fair bit in the last few patches for example, and that certainly feels that way. Anything out of cover and without armor seems as good as dead now while advancing. That doesn't bode well for the Americans!

I noticed that my main problem lately is movement under fire/through areas where I am likely to take fire. From what I recall, I always used to go at "quick" to quickly clear dangerous stretches, but this simply doesn't work anymore - my troops get slaughtered. "Fast" never works except when running away (but not while trying to move forward or clear a dangerous area). "Hunt" prevents me from getting too many of my troops killed when I get contact, but isn't suitable to crossing dangerous areas. "Move" just switches to "quick" when under fire and seems to expose my troops even more. I've noticed somewhat better results with "Assault", but given how slow it is and how arbitrary the switches between move and cover are, it often results in half my squad ducking down exactly where they shouldn't. I also noticed that in some situations, "slow" makes for good stealth, but at the cost of virtually no speed and a lot of fatigue. And overall, I've noticed that speed seems to have an even more pronounced effect on spotting of troops - "quick" seems to alert the enemy very, very quickly. This hurts especially in areas where I don't know whether I might make contact with a hidden enemy or not.

So, anything you have in your SOP as far as moving through dangerous areas? Do you have any good combinations of movement/firing/spotting orders that prevent your troops from getting wiped out? Are there formations, spacing of units, or waypoint orders you prefer? Do you have suggestions on spotting in these situations, or any tips to get the most of the TacAI during those long turns? Any advice much appreciated!

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Ok, it sounds like you are having trouble with MG-42 / 34 teams.. Just think what is an MG teams worst nightmare?

Always, always, always advance troops under any kind of cover you can find. Never cross them through open fields, that is the MGs most lethal killing area.

Create a wall  of smoke for them, Then do a close combat assault in the sides.

Move up an armored vehicle to cover the troops advancing to buildings (out of panzerfaust range of course). They open up with machine gun  on your troops and a friendly crew sees this happen , a 75mm will toast them..

Target the building via 'target light' with the bow and coxial gunner, is one way to suppress it. This will save HE rounds.

Suppress the area or building you want to advance to with mortar, small arms, or MG fire from a distance this is going to make them keep their heads down. Knock their guns out or make them flee the area even..

 

These are just some there are others..

 

Edited by user1000
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3 hours ago, CCIP said:


So, anything you have in your SOP as far as moving through dangerous areas

Short answer: You simply don't :)

If the area is dangerous, you either fight from cover or you find a covered route around the enemy to flank him. Preferably both at the same time.

If you can't, you try to suppress the enemy positions while leapfrogging teams forward. But that's highly dangerous, as it's very likely you'll start to get hit from the sides by previously unseen positions as you advance. 

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9 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Short answer: You simply don't :)

If the area is dangerous, you either fight from cover or you find a covered route around the enemy to flank him. Preferably both at the same time.

If you can't, you try to suppress the enemy positions while leapfrogging teams forward. But that's highly dangerous, as it's very likely you'll start to get hit from the sides by previously unseen positions as you advance. 

Where did you get this knowledge from? ?

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Thank you for the advice! :) 

Yes, I was just doing some reading on infantry fighting in Normandy, and then it dawned on me that things I was finding frustrating in game were exactly what was frustrating actual Allied commanders in the field. For example, the fact that I had to either deal with troops running out in the open and getting cut down by machineguns, OR getting pinned down in the worst possible spot until mortars started falling - apparently that was exactly what kept happening with American troops, especially inexperienced ones, with German tactics deliberately playing on that tendency. 

I guess the other side is that I noticed that some of the older scenarios were probably built and tested before MG effectiveness was beefed up, so I do bump into some real deathtraps every once in a while. 

But I guess I need to learn a bit more patience, and find where I can get more smoke to cover my advances!

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If you have to move across an open danger area, a good idea would be to move them under a base of fire. Have some machinegun or rifle squads cover their advance. Send a small team forward to see what is going on. If they take fire you will be able to support them a little better.

I personally would not actively suppress an area with fire because you don't want to consume ammunition you may need later. Only fire on suspected and known positions that you're taking fire from. Conducting recon by fire for short periods of time might work. I haven't seen AI fall into the trap too much.

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AI fall into the "recon by fire" trap more often than human players do because they don't use Target Arcs to restrict firing ranges, generally. They'll fire on anything they Spot, and if (some of) your teams are firing they're easier to spot, so will draw fire, revealing the location of enemy teams. Human-controlled troops can hold their fire until they absolutely must fire, because their position would be revealed anyway were they to remain concealed. Much more opportunity for deception and catching targets in the open. 

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39 minutes ago, CCIP said:

Yes, I was just doing some reading on infantry fighting in Normandy, and then it dawned on me that things I was finding frustrating in game were exactly what was frustrating actual Allied commanders in the field.

This!!!  This is why I love this game - or is it why I hate this game.  Either way it keeps me coming back.

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24 minutes ago, CCIP said:

Thank you for the advice! :) 

Yes, I was just doing some reading on infantry fighting in Normandy, and then it dawned on me that things I was finding frustrating in game were exactly what was frustrating actual Allied commanders in the field. For example, the fact that I had to either deal with troops running out in the open and getting cut down by machineguns, OR getting pinned down in the worst possible spot until mortars started falling - apparently that was exactly what kept happening with American troops, especially inexperienced ones, with German tactics deliberately playing on that tendency. 

I guess the other side is that I noticed that some of the older scenarios were probably built and tested before MG effectiveness was beefed up, so I do bump into some real deathtraps every once in a while. 

But I guess I need to learn a bit more patience, and find where I can get more smoke to cover my advances!

I was surprised no one had mentioned smoke missions but you're thinking in the right place. As others have stated going from cover to cover is one way. A lot really depends on what you have to work with. Tanks are great to snuff these guys but then you still need to think cover. A nasty MG position begs for a tank to target and destroy but if you can have your tank shoot from cover DO it. I have rushed a tank to a firing position to address an MG without a proper infantry screen and paid the price with a dead tank from an unspotted AT gun or enemy tank. Artillery begs the question of how much you have. Got some 60mm or 81mm mortars with plenty of ammo waiting for a mission? Might not be a bad idea for a light rof, light duration point target mission to make that MG unhappy while you try to advance on the flanks. 

 

Since you sound like you're rusty I'm interested to hear what you're struggling with on an infantry level. I've finally plunged into scenario making and have rough drafted a mini campaign based on infantry tactics as the basis for the campaign. I'm working on a scenario with a frontal attack using infantry only (no tanks, heavy weapons, artillery) but batting ideas around my head for what other infantry only tactics could use some "love". 

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This an interesting discussion. I feel that the way currently LOS is implemented there are potential MG placements that are almost impossible to suppress unless using on-map mortars or armor.

Imagine a situation where an MG is placed in an action spot (AS) with the gunner being next to, say a hedge (hedge is especially nasty as it makes it almost impossible to suppress the MG from the other side of hedge as they are on the reversed slope compared to the units on the other side of the hedge). He is about 8 meters away from the edge of the AS and about 12m away from the center of the adjacent AS. The infantry that is being suppressed by this MG is pinned down can't really provide cover. The one that is not suppressed does not have a LOS to the MG position and can only target the adjacent AS which is 12M away (from the gunner). Targeting a spot that is 12 meters away from the MG does not really do anything for suppression. Moving into the position that has LOS to the MG's AS will certainly get them pinned. What to do? I really don't like the way LOS is implemented in CMx2. Each soldier in the unit can spot and be spotted but cannot be targeted individually.

 

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...situation where an MG is placed in an action spot (AS) with the gunner being next to, say a hedge (hedge is especially nasty as it makes it almost impossible to suppress the MG from the other side of hedge as they are on the reversed slope compared to the units on the other side of the hedge).

It's pretty rare (absent declivities or wheat) that you can't target the berm of the hedge immediately in front of the MG, and that suppresses just fine. And if the MG is firing, it's almost certainly spotted, so can be targetted direct, and will be targetted directly by any troops without other orders or who can't bear on the target assigned. So the targetting will lapse if the MG crew  ducks out of sight, but that's them suppressed and pinned anyway.

If the defender has managed to arrange it such that no firebase elements can engage the MG that's harrassing your maneuver element, then all power to him. Extract what you can and try again somewhere else, or find some other tool to winkle him out. There is no "one size fits all" solution; the game would suffer from poor trplayability if one SOP solved all infantry assault problems.

Keep trying; you'll learn your initial impressions as conveyed on here aren't the be-all and end-all.

Crossing open areas has to be done with superior firepower. If you can't attain  superiority of fire, maneuver until you can. Get teams up to the crest where they can bring suppression onto the destination hedgerow. The drills are standard.

 

 

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One thing I wish I had the option to do was order my troops to fire while advancing - it seems a bit tricky to do since the infantry won't really do that consistently enough to suppress anything. So it seems like you have to really make sure you have solidly suppressed any possible positions before you move, and keep suppressing them while your assault troops move.

I haven't actually had a lot of trouble with approaching the first lines of defense - usually numbers end up being on my side, and I drive them out of the first line of hedge/trenches without too much trouble. It's after that when things usually start getting ugly for me, when I have to move my troops through that first line. Going slowly or going quickly, whether into the open or into close quarters with the enemy, it's usually at this point that something starts going wrong and my infantry get caught with their pants down somewhere in the open, while things like mortars, MGs, or other support is still lagging behind.
 

1 hour ago, [MyIS] Buffpuff said:

Since you sound like you're rusty I'm interested to hear what you're struggling with on an infantry level. I've finally plunged into scenario making and have rough drafted a mini campaign based on infantry tactics as the basis for the campaign. I'm working on a scenario with a frontal attack using infantry only (no tanks, heavy weapons, artillery) but batting ideas around my head for what other infantry only tactics could use some "love". 


Well, I think I'm rusty especially on the US infantry side - my previous run of playing CMBN was mainly as Germans in H2H combined arms scenarios, whereas lately I've been playing against AI as US, mainly infantry (e.g. I just finished the Road to Montebourg campaign not too long ago). Besides the stuff I mentioned, too, is of course the issue of troop quality. Even when you're not doing anything wrong as far as commands, it can be really hard to push up infantry into good firing/cover positions, because they will get pinned down or break easily, often in very bad positions. There were a whole bunch of scenarios where I would've/should've called a ceasefire, because there was just no way to move my troops far enough to support an advance.

Edited by CCIP
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2 minutes ago, CCIP said:

One thing I wish I had the option to do was order my troops to fire while advancing - it seems a bit tricky to do since the infantry won't really do that consistently enough to suppress anything. So it seems like you have to really make sure you have solidly suppressed any possible positions before you move.

I haven't actually had a lot of trouble with approaching the first lines of defense - usually numbers end up being on my side, and I drive them out of the first line of hedge/trenches without too much trouble. It's after that when things usually start getting ugly for me, when I have to move my troops through that first line. Going slowly or going quickly, whether into the open or into close quarters with the enemy, it's usually at this point that something starts going wrong and my infantry get caught with their pants down somewhere in the open, while things like mortars, MGs, or other support is still lagging behind.
 


Well, I think I'm rusty especially on the US infantry side - my previous run of playing CMBN was mainly as Germans in H2H combined arms scenarios, whereas lately I've been playing against AI as US, mainly infantry (e.g. I just finished the Road to Montebourg campaign not too long ago). Besides the stuff I mentioned, too, is of course the issue of troop quality. Even when you're not doing anything wrong as far as commands, it can be really hard to push up infantry into good firing/cover positions, because they will get pinned down or break easily, often in very bad positions. There were a whole bunch of scenarios where I would've/should've called a ceasefire, because there was just no way to move my troops far enough to support an advance.

While I don't have any military background I'll count 19 years of law enforcement as it relates to firing while moving. Flat out running while trying to shoot is just awful. You'll be lucky to hit the paper target at all on a full sprint. A quick paced walk towards the target is much more feasible. Staying on target is easier but you're not going to have tight grouping at all unless you REALLY practice this. I can see suppression working at that pace since really the object is to keep the target's head down. Add stress and fatigue to this and the shot grouping becomes even more erratic. But back to your point. A solid suppression is often necessary to known enemy positions. Finding the right balance there can be tricky as well as I've had times where I've thought I had some good suppression going (2 or 3 squads target light with a tank using a target briefly for 15-30 seconds) and advanced an assault squad up only to have that squad mowed down by what I had been trying to suppress. So on that note I would say use any and all efforts to suppress a known target before closing in for the kill and if at all possible, move in from the flank with that assault squad. Once you clear out that area give your support assets some time to move up. Those assault squads have binoculars and while you're waiting for support to catch up they can be scouting what's ahead of you (out in the open).

 

Troop quality can be a factor. Green troops can be pretty brittle so I don't expect much from them but they're great for scouting ahead of your main force. For me (and I'm sure other player's will say the same) the biggest difference when it comes to movement/advancing is splitting up your squads. The US forces excel in this area and your typical rifle squad breaks down into 3 separate squads (an assault 4 man squad with the binoculars, a Thompson SMG, 3 M1 Garands and probably the lion's share of grenades, a base of fire unit with 4 M1 Garands and 1 BAR unit, and then if you're lucky another 3 man team with 2 M1 Garands and 1 BAR unit). There are some rifle squads that come with a 5 man Garand team when you split it. I sometimes split that into a 2 man scouting team just to simply see if it draws enemy fire. Barring those I typically use the assault squad to scout (since they have the binoculars and are typically much better at close range fighting since chances are if the enemy is not shooting at you from long distance it will be the hidden squad in a forest, hedge, etc. that ruins your day).

 

One thing I have really learned to respect is infantry recon. Towards the end of a battle I get rabbit blood in me and in my effort to force a surrender or gobble what looks like an easy kill I'll do something stupid and move up a tank without a proper infantry screen. The results are, more often than not, a dead or damaged tank. Tanks are sexy, artillery is deadly, but show me a player who handles his infantry really well and I'll show you someone who is more than likely going to win.

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3 hours ago, CCIP said:



I guess the other side is that I noticed that some of the older scenarios were probably built and tested before MG effectiveness was beefed up, so I do bump into some real deathtraps every once in a while. 
 

That is true, but the campaign (Road to Montebourg) is still winnable. I suggest playing the updated version.

There's one mission I can't win though - Hell in the Hedgerows. Fortunately, you don't have to win it, you can just skip it by cease fire once you get tired of banging your head against the wall.

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6 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

That is true, but the campaign (Road to Montebourg) is still winnable. I suggest playing the updated version.

There's one mission I can't win though - Hell in the Hedgerows. Fortunately, you don't have to win it, you can just skip it by cease fire once you get tired of banging your head against the wall.

I'm in the middle of a stock run of Montebourg. What's changed in the updated version (and a link if it's not a bother)?

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4 minutes ago, [MyIS] Buffpuff said:

I'm in the middle of a stock run of Montebourg. What's changed in the updated version (and a link if it's not a bother)?

The designer updated and tweaked a lot of things. You get air support in some missions, but generally it's much tougher going, since most of your troops are now green, and in some missions, the Germans get a few key assets in nasty places.

There's also one new scenario in it.

http://www.battlefront.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=314&func=fileinfo&id=2082

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Yeah, firing from the hip while charging and yelling war cries is Sgt Rock mythology. It's entirely possible to give troops pause orders for 10-15s at each of several waypoints on an advance, with Target Briefly (Area, usually) orders to keep up a volume of fire while maintaining a general advance. Just giving troops a single movement leg across an open area isn't going to succeed unless there is a static fire base doing the suppressing while your maneuver element is exposed.

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9 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

The designer updated and tweaked a lot of things. You get air support in some missions, but generally it's much tougher going, since most of your troops are now green, and in some missions, the Germans get a few key assets in nasty places.

There's also one new scenario in it.

http://www.battlefront.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=314&func=fileinfo&id=2082

Green troops? Interesting choice given the nature of this thread (LOL!). I'll have to check it out after I finish my "stock" run and compare it to the updated version.

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7 minutes ago, womble said:

Yeah, firing from the hip while charging and yelling war cries is Sgt Rock mythology. It's entirely possible to give troops pause orders for 10-15s at each of several waypoints on an advance, with Target Briefly (Area, usually) orders to keep up a volume of fire while maintaining a general advance. Just giving troops a single movement leg across an open area isn't going to succeed unless there is a static fire base doing the suppressing while your maneuver element is exposed.

A single movement leg is just asking for said squad to get shot at in the first 2 seconds of your turn and for the remaining 58 seconds that squad changes to "Fast" movement. :P

 

I only use single movement legs rarely now and typically to move up the "reserve" forces in terrain that I have high confidence has been sanitized of enemy positions.

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Using short movement legs also does something really interesting that I only understood recently despite having played the game for years now: It helps throw off the enemy aim.

If you are running across a field in one go, the enemy will fire off bullet after bullet, and refine their aim with each shot. Eventually they will hit. If you do short movement legs with a pause (5-10 seconds I think), the enemy will "forget" their aim when your guys drop out of sight, and the moment your guys get up again, the enemy will have to restart his aiming process.

This method is only really useful at longer ranges though, because it relies on throwing aim off just a bit, amplified by distance. Try it for example to advance on the beach in the first mission of Montebourg.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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1 hour ago, [MyIS] Buffpuff said:

One thing I have really learned to respect is infantry recon. Towards the end of a battle I get rabbit blood in me and in my effort to force a surrender or gobble what looks like an easy kill I'll do something stupid and move up a tank without a proper infantry screen. The results are, more often than not, a dead or damaged tank.

Oh that is so true.  My other favourite mistake is spending time doing scouting / moving right but not finding the enemy and then deciding I'll just pick up the pace and skimp on the scouting.  Guess what happens :D

 

1 hour ago, [MyIS] Buffpuff said:

Tanks are sexy, artillery is deadly, but show me a player who handles his infantry really well and I'll show you someone who is more than likely going to win.

+1. I know I have told this story before but I'll be the boring old guy - I remember when I was first playing CMBN H2H I was constantly getting beat up.  Finally I decided to "win" the tank battle and spend 4/5 of my points on Panthers and just a small amount of infantry.  Well it worked.  Or it looked like it was going to work.  I won the tank battle with tanks to spare.  My opponent then proceeded to show my how it is really done and sliced and diced my remaining tanks who by now had nearly no infantry left to support them.  I still lost.

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