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Trying to use real world tactics


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3 hours ago, slysniper said:

Well the size of the battle does have a great impact on what type of tactics might be used.

But it really comes down to the amount of troops in a given area as to how scouting and probes are to be used.

But no matter what, scouting is a art in every battle, For most CM battles, it might not be sneaking through enemy lines, but I have found a few where I have done just that.

 

For most, its more of being the lead point, finding out the hard way where the enemy is, being shot at and possible killed , to allow the main group to not be ambushed  and to learn safely where enemy forces are located.

Agreed, I guess that's your 1/2 Dutch part speaking 😉.

Heavy fog makes a big difference as well. Need to control the engagement ranges and be prepared for hiding infantry being basically invisible until you step on it.

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Tactics scale. Think of it like math. First you learn to count, then add/subtract, then multiply, then divide, etc. Eventually you go from 2+2=4 to [insert long equation with numbers/letters/symbols h

Sorry to resurrect the thread somewhat, but I just wanted to thank you guys - something that I can be guilty of not coming back to threads to do. Having built on my skills using lots of the advic

Although this uses WW2 Eastern Front as the example - an example of planning using modern planning techniques which may be of use: No Plan Survives First Contact With The Enemy - Planning Tutoria

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I come in late on this one. A fire team has 1 scout, A section or a squad has a fire team for scouting, A platoon has one squad assigned for scouting aka security. A company has a platoon dedicated for scouting or security. The trick is a unit makes contact so that the other units can engage, and the enemy won't know where they came from. In CM build up data of contacts and you see your spotting problems disappear as by magic. Attackers, attack objectives with sound contacts or icons they don't go in blindly. Closely followed by your Mortars and HMG's. Defending is the same your security is now called outposts. It is like shooting the theory is explained in 5 minutes to practice a lifetime. 

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One tactical challenge that has puzzled me since CM was published is the "realistic" use of Recon on the relatively small maps we have to play on.  Vehicular recon is a complete waste of time unless the maps are several Km on each side where transport becomes valuable.  On the majority of CM maps it's best and probably more realistic to dismount the crews and have them recon on foot - so why bother with recon vehicles at all?

The other issue is that the differences between unit types are so subtle (assuming there are any differences) that 2-man scouts split off from a squad seem just as effective as a dedicated recon team from a recon formation. One would think that the effect of extra specialized training should be seen more easily in the game as in RL.  Same for other specialized troops such as snipers and engineers.  But, it's hard to see any differences, and this leads most players to use all units interchangeably as if it doesn't matter what specialized formation they are from.

So, what does one do with a recon formation vs a bunch of two-man scouts?  Does one send the dedicated recon teams ahead of what one initially considers to be the main attack?  Or, is it better to send two-man scout teams ahead of the assault troops and reserve dedicated recon teams for wide flanking maneuvers to see what might be out there on the flanks of the main assault route, and also to get into the rear of the enemy (but do everything to avoid having them engage in combat)?

 

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Recon the game I like is "Insertion and Interdiction" in SF2. You start with a Platoon Leader with a Squad of United States Marines supported by an Arty Observer and 2 teams of snipers (green) 2 AT teams also green. Your objective is a ridge with trenches in which are located batteries of Kornet ATGM's. Later your get LAV APC's and 2 Abrams and a Cobra attack helicopter. I play on Iron but you must patrol aggressively but not recklessly. Once your reinforcements arrive make sure you share the intel with them. I don't commit my Abrams if they have not received the intel, I use the C2 teams for that move him to the HQ Abrams and the intel will be shared. Patrol on overwatch and the reinforcements in the form of two sections of Marines come to the rescue. An old script but it is fun. 

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43 minutes ago, Erwin said:

One tactical challenge that has puzzled me since CM was published is the "realistic" use of Recon on the relatively small maps we have to play on.  Vehicular recon is a complete waste of time unless the maps are several Km on each side where transport becomes valuable.  On the majority of CM maps it's best and probably more realistic to dismount the crews and have them recon on foot - so why bother with recon vehicles at all?

The other issue is that the differences between unit types are so subtle (assuming there are any differences) that 2-man scouts split off from a squad seem just as effective as a dedicated recon team from a recon formation. One would think that the effect of extra specialized training should be seen more easily in the game as in RL.  Same for other specialized troops such as snipers and engineers.  But, it's hard to see any differences, and this leads most players to use all units interchangeably as if it doesn't matter what specialized formation they are from.

So, what does one do with a recon formation vs a bunch of two-man scouts?  Does one send the dedicated recon teams ahead of what one initially considers to be the main attack?  Or, is it better to send two-man scout teams ahead of the assault troops and reserve dedicated recon teams for wide flanking maneuvers to see what might be out there on the flanks of the main assault route, and also to get into the rear of the enemy (but do everything to avoid having them engage in combat)?

 

Vehicle Recon? I found a variation of 'Shoot and Scoot' works. Expose and immediately reverse. A few times ATGM's reveal themselves yes sometimes you lose but most of the time you win. You get valuable intel. Kind regards and best wishes. 

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4 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

Vehicle Recon? I found a variation of 'Shoot and Scoot' works.

Agreed that sort of "shoot'n scoot" works for any kind of vehicle.  You don't need a recon vehicle.  My point is that on any map that is not more than 4 Km squared, there is little function for actual recon vehicles designed to run around flanks and into enemy rears.  Most of the time there is little function for any sort of transport vehicle and hence (for example) we use halftracks for support at dangerously short ranges - and then complain that the crews get shot up.

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To me, there is more operational/strategic recon vs. tactical scouting.  At the level of CM most play, its scouting.  Strategic recon is a full CM scenario by itself.  It can be a full escalation of recon resources starting with long range recon units with heavier units and arty showing up later.  There are scenario goals already built into the editor for IDing units without getting spotted or IDed.  Unfortunately, most scenario designers seem to think map exits and physical objectives are the only goals of a scenario.

Tactical scouting is just solidifying contacts or scouting out local routes for a main force advancing or defending.  One cool scenario concept is using operational or strategic recon to find safe or undefended routes through a map and then bring higher value units through. 

One point I agree with is that CM doesn't really reward units with scouting and recon capabilities that are used in those roles.  From individual teams to specialized armored scout vehicles with sound dampeners, CM doesn't seem to highlight those kind of features.

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Scouting in CM (to me) is about moving to contact and losing as little forces as possible in that contact. @Bil Hardenberger has some superb guides about how to do this, and honestly it took me a lot of play to really grasp the subtleties of it. Covered movement really is important, and it's easy to forget to do it.

Vehicle recon (jeeps, universal carriers etc) is really handy for very rapidly finding out where they are, but just as importantly where they are not. There's a caveat though: If the vehicle is impervious to rifle fire you won't discover infantry until you dismount, which must be done in cover or the forecast is usually lead rain. Dependent on what side you play try and use units with binoculars, for some forces like the British it makes a huge difference for spotting. This means your HQ officers are at the front, as they should be.

I don't tend to use 'recon pull' very much, I normally have an idea where I want to go during planning and use scouts to proof the route.

After many hours playing vs. the computer you start to get a feel for how to approach certain tactical problems, especially given the AI's inability to organise any meaningful maneuvers. Human players are much less predictable. For a start the AI has zero fire discipline and will open up at any target, unable to consider the bigger picture.

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I recall reading a WWII rule of thumb regarding transport (that I'll probably butcher). The troops are to disembark from trucks at 1600 yards (meters?) from forward line of contact, armored half-tracks were half that, disembarking at 800 yards. Or numbers like that. That leaves trucks entirely off a typical size CM map and half-tracks left 2/3rds the way back.

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54 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

The troops are to disembark from trucks at 1600 yards (meters?) from forward line of contact, armored half-tracks were half that, disembarking at 800 yards. Or numbers like that. That leaves trucks entirely off a typical size CM map and half-tracks left 2/3rds the way back.

In the game we tend to use such vehicles much more aggressively than one would in RL - mainly cos we have em on smallish maps and want to have them "do something".

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2 hours ago, MikeyD said:

I recall reading a WWII rule of thumb regarding transport (that I'll probably butcher). The troops are to disembark from trucks at 1600 yards (meters?) from forward line of contact, armored half-tracks were half that, disembarking at 800 yards. Or numbers like that. That leaves trucks entirely off a typical size CM map and half-tracks left 2/3rds the way back.

The large maps in CM are 2 km across, I am 70 now and most days I jog. 5 km in 30 minutes, I see tucks therefore as ammunition dumps. IFV's and APC's you disembark troops or using the British term debussing at the terrain feature between your infantry and the objective. You don't waste the firepower of a .50 cal mg or one of the modern rapid-fire cannons. So, it is worthwhile to secure a block of houses they are cover for your APC'S and get infantry to make contact. In MOUT operations get the grenadier to about 50 mtr and get him fire a rifle grenade inside the building. M79 were the tool to use 50 years ago nowadays you have modified assault rifles doing the same job. APC's can breach brick buildings but not in CM. You drive up a building once your infantry suppresses the enemy. An APC is less valuable than a human life but not in a game. You never go wrong if you adapt real tactics. The losses of taking a building can be unacceptable against a hidden determined enemy. The only way to get rid of them is with grenades. Look at a Commonwealth unit once you peel off an assault party. 3 men with 15 grenades and if you're lucky a gammon bomb. Their .303 is pretty useless inside houses. 

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It was the US Halftrack on the Ardennes maps in CMFB that really taught me about battle taxis. Coming from CMSF2 and CMBS, you get used to protecting them only from anti-armour weapons, but the halftracks are vulnerable to a stiff breeze. They're great for moving squads quickly across safe  terrain corridors, but not much else. Their onboard 30cal guns, well, I use 400-500yds as a buffer zone or the gunners will go down fast. I treat them a bit like armed trucks, which I suppose is what they are.

The biggest exception to this is the Bren carrier, which when properly employed can slaughter infantry in surprising numbers. Stay out of 'schreck range and you've got a bulletproof mobile LMG with surprisingly good protection for the passengers. Very useful for surpressing difficult MG strongpoints that you can't get volume of fire on.

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9 hours ago, Erwin said:

Agreed that sort of "shoot'n scoot" works for any kind of vehicle.  You don't need a recon vehicle.  My point is that on any map that is not more than 4 Km squared, there is little function for actual recon vehicles designed to run around flanks and into enemy rears.  Most of the time there is little function for any sort of transport vehicle and hence (for example) we use halftracks for support at dangerously short ranges - and then complain that the crews get shot up.

I think recon vehicles are pretty slick. I made a couple small campaigns with recon missions at the start. I love the idea of conducting your own recon. CM is nuts.

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29 minutes ago, Artkin said:

I think recon vehicles are pretty slick. I made a couple small campaigns with recon missions at the start. I love the idea of conducting your own recon. CM is nuts.

Agreed.

One of the many cool things about FI are all the Armored Cars. QB's are like a crap tank bonanza and remind me of the good ole' days in CMAK.

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12 hours ago, Sulman said:

It was the US Halftrack on the Ardennes maps in CMFB that really taught me about battle taxis. Coming from CMSF2 and CMBS, you get used to protecting them only from anti-armour weapons, but the halftracks are vulnerable to a stiff breeze. They're great for moving squads quickly across safe  terrain corridors, but not much else. Their onboard 30cal guns, well, I use 400-500yds as a buffer zone or the gunners will go down fast. I treat them a bit like armed trucks, which I suppose is what they are.

The biggest exception to this is the Bren carrier, which when properly employed can slaughter infantry in surprising numbers. Stay out of 'schreck range and you've got a bulletproof mobile LMG with surprisingly good protection for the passengers. Very useful for surpressing difficult MG strongpoints that you can't get volume of fire on.

Good points. Something which is imo easily overlooked is the protection HTs give against mortars/artillery.

For a example the situation where you have to attack an enemy position with good observation / TRPs and mortars/artillery on either area denial missions or targeting your infantry moving to their attack positions.

Without HTs your infantry would be vulnerable to harassing fire along their approach, weakening them before they are able to join in battle or suppressing them enough to keep them out of the fight. HTs can make a big difference in such cases, transporting infantry with speed and reasonably protected against HE fragments and stray bullets.

Of course good blocking terrain or a smoke screen are required to limit the chances of your infantry laden HTs being targeted by direct fire weapons. 

 

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9 hours ago, Vergeltungswaffe said:

Agreed.

One of the many cool things about FI are all the Armored Cars. QB's are like a crap tank bonanza and remind me of the good ole' days in CMAK.

The Brits have an astonishing number of armored cars and recon vehicles that look like they could make for a really fun AC vs AC/light armor scenario.  Unfortunately, I cannot recall a single scenario that features more than a few of the Brit AC's.

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59 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Very impressive.  When I was 30 and very fit doing martial arts and kickboxing training, I still could not run that.  (Hmmm..  Perhaps now in my motorized wheelchair...?)

Really? not fast at all it is 5 k's not 5 miles it would be a 4 hour Marathon if you could keep it up. Have a nice lake here 5k's around flat terrain.

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

The Brits have an astonishing number of armored cars and recon vehicles that look like they could make for a really fun AC vs AC/light armor scenario.  Unfortunately, I cannot recall a single scenario that features more than a few of the Brit AC's.

Yes, there's one in CW with the 2pdr (Daimler I think). That thing is nuts, you can go hunting PZIVs and Stugs with it. Superb mobility too.

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57 minutes ago, chuckdyke said:

Really? not fast at all it is 5 k's not 5 miles it would be a 4 hour Marathon if you could keep it up. Have a nice lake here 5k's around flat terrain.

I certainly hope I can do that when I'm 70. Remember that most people don't run at all. My wife's recently taken up 5ks and it's been great seeing her progress.

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