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How to use BMPs? They're a funny shape!


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Had trouble with my BMP-1 getting hull down in a recent (huge) game, the slope of the embankment meant that the gun couldn't lower than about 30 degrees (compared to target). I think the embankment was too high too steep.  Their tiny little turrets seem perfect tiny little targets that are hard to hit.

Maybe the BMP should've gone around the hill to maintain mostly level 'attitude' (cant think of the right technical word here).

Where in a landscape can BMP's get decent hull down positions, and if its hull down, is it in the wrong place and away from its task of being a battle taxi?

THH

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Solution 1 works as it is advertised    Here is a edited scenario, I put one Recon Co. (bmp) and one Tank Co. on the map. WEGO mode, Iron difficulty  Pic 1 beginning of the ga

Or you can concentrate them, keep them out of line of sight and use them to strike at the tip of the enemy force or, better yet, flank. If you are playing against Blue Force, you are just asking

The BMP is designed with an offensive slant-predisposition in mind. For defensive work it'd usually be dismounted or dug in. They are not intended to change the whole battlefield by themselves, but to

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A lot of old Soviet armor has the problem of limited gun depression. T72 gun depression is only -6 degrees. CM abstracts that, if you want the gun to fire  outside of its elevation range you'll take a hit on time-before-firing, to factor in (abstracted) awkwardly maneuvering for position to fire. But usually they eventually fire.

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The guys above have covered the hull-down issues.  B)

Defensively BMPs are kind of OK from the front, but from any other aspect, they are tinfoil.....The 73mm gun is OK vs infantry in buildings, but the Tac AI has a tendency to launch an ATGM at hard targets, which can lead to issues when the idiot gunner pops up to load a new one.  Also the BMP-1 has poor tactical awareness unless there is someone in the commander's seat (normally this would be the associated infantry platoon & squad leaders).  Consequently I like to keep these things at a distance, until I have a good idea of where all the HMGs & SPGs are (you just have to take your chances with RPGs, best to assume everyone has one) and if possible my platoon HQ will remain in his vehicle throughout the fight. 

FWIW

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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The other issue with hull down is that the commander sits in the hull to the LH side of the turret which effects their ability to find, observe and track a target when hull down and generally to be honest.  The gunner should always be closed down in the turret because they have to man the gun and look through the gun sight.  Having crawled around a few of them, I can vouch for the fact that the BMP-1 is not a good operator's environment.

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Or you can concentrate them, keep them out of line of sight and use them to strike at the tip of the enemy force or, better yet, flank.

If you are playing against Blue Force, you are just asking for trouble if you place them in hull down and prepared positions.

If you are playing against Red Force, prepared positions are OK, but don't rely on them to spot for them self.

With the way how Syrian C2 functions (different formations won't share data, sub-ordinate units wait to share data, then info-dump with outdated data), it can be really frustrating to use them.

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18 hours ago, Aurelius said:

With the way how Syrian C2 functions (different formations won't share data, sub-ordinate units wait to share data, then info-dump with outdated data), it can be really frustrating to use them.

One of the solution is to assign a meeting point behind the frontline, put different formation's commanders there so that they can quickly share information verbally.

***********************************************************************************************************************************************

Another solution can be a little gamey. Let's say you have 2 BMP-2 co.  A&B.     Split a 2 men scout team from squad 1-1-A. Put them into the 1-1-B 's BMP-2, take the commander seat. And put the 2 men scout team from 1-1-B into 1-1-A's BMP.  

This should solve two problems at the same time. information sharing and at the same time provide better spotting ability.

 

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The BMP is designed with an offensive slant-predisposition in mind. For defensive work it'd usually be dismounted or dug in. They are not intended to change the whole battlefield by themselves, but to fit inside of an overall framework that called for MBTs to lead the way into pummeled moonscape while the BMPs advanced right behind protecting their infantry from artillery fire and NBC weapons. It's a very 1945-ish vehicle, designed in a time when infantry ATGMs were rare and likely opponents would be the M113 and trucks. The BMP is only one generation removed from the so called "battlefield taxi" design of previous generation APCs, and is designed with defeating those vehicles in mind not the Bradley and certainly not enemy tanks. 

Asking "how should I use the BMP" should be rephrased into "how do I use Soviet doc". For Red Army Doctrine the thinking is meant to be "the big picture" and fixating a lot on little details can give one a misleading impression of the whole picture. You won't get a lot of mileage out of any single weapon system in a Soviet designed ToE...that's not how it works. If you're running a scenario for the Syrians without things like artillery and air support you're crippling them right off the bat by restricting their combined arms kit and should expect little. 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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1 hour ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

To be fair the Syrians' current doctrine doesn't resemble 'The Soviet Way' very much at all.

It basically can't, since it lacks the necessary all-arms design that the Soviets assumed an Army operating under the umbrella of a fully-realized Deep Battle would have. There are some hints of it around still, in the "bones" of equipment and organization but in practice yeah they've had to alter their methods because they're fighting a civil war. 

Shock Force 2's original release lacked just about any kind of off-map support options for REDFOR, so they stood around and got pummeled. The later modules and recent re-release have come stocked with pretty much everything you'd need to pull off a Fulda-Gap in the desert though. You have to just be willing to step aside from standing reality and accept circumstances of a premise that involve things like a Syrian Air Force not being doomed right away and BLUFOR making uneven commitments to the theatre in a way more piecemeal and disorganized fashion. We already accepted to suspend our disbelief for the original game premise, and I can get why some might not want to go further. If one can't go a little bit further though than yeah, the Syrians will just sit around and get whipped, but if Soviet Generals saw the illustrated situation they'd go "duh, they have no support". 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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I'm reminded of an old post to CMBN. Someone asked how best to use German halftracks The answer (which displeased some) was to keep them entirely out of sight, maybe keep them around for troops to acquire additional ammo from. The bravado and aggressiveness shown in old WWII training films doesn't really translate well to Normandy bocage country.

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I think it displeases people when they have a poor understanding of what made them valuable, which the game does not fail to suggest ie: the fragmentation and high-explosive saturated battlefields of the World Wars which made any vehicle with splinter protection extremely valuable. The Hanomag was barely bulletproof, and compared to something like a Bradley or even the Stryker how does the Bren Carrier look? Without context one would never understand why both vehicles were so prized and even why the Universal Carrier was in fact the most heavily produced AFV ever. 

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I haven't used them in CM:SF2, but I have used them in CM:A. So, keep your salt shaker handy:

a. Always keep them within shouting range of their respective infantry platoon. For this vehicle, the infantry must do the spotting.

b. They work best on flat terrain. In Afghanistan, this was a distinct limitation.

c. Use them in a reactionary role, to establish fire superiority. Keep them behind the infantry line, and quickly move them up to hot spots. Reverse them from anything over .50 cal.

Even against 80s insurgents, the BMP-1 was vulnerable when isolated and stationary. I don't recommend using it as a pillbox in 2008.

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On 12/8/2020 at 5:53 PM, MikeyD said:

A lot of old Soviet armor has the problem of limited gun depression. T72 gun depression is only -6 degrees. CM abstracts that, if you want the gun to fire  outside of its elevation range you'll take a hit on time-before-firing, to factor in (abstracted) awkwardly maneuvering for position to fire. But usually they eventually fire.

 

It very rarely comes up, but here's an example of just that:

image.png.dc16baf2b2dcc0d6916e9f1144891f91.png

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On ‎12‎/‎10‎/‎2020 at 8:04 AM, Aurelius said:

@Chibot Mk IX I am not sure any of those solutions work.

Solution 1 works as it is advertised 

 

Here is a edited scenario, I put one Recon Co. (bmp) and one Tank Co. on the map.

WEGO mode, Iron difficulty 

Pic 1

beginning of the game, no one knows what is on the other side

6PHVjcq.png

 

Pic 2

Recon Inf disembark and moving forward

G9ehB0I.png

 

Pic 3

Beginning of the turn. Recon Inf under heavy fire immediately. They can ID couple M1A2 on the other side of the map. the Recon Plt leader, who is sitting in the BMP 10m behind, begin to yell in the radio about enemy contact

OjWHWqf.png

 

Pic 4

50s into the first turn, Recon Company commander got the report from his plt leader, he begin to distribute the information, first he tell this to his commanding vehicle crews. 

YnZLAnE.png

 

 

Pic 5

at the same time, the Tank Company commander still knew nothing.

Ne5yBZ2.png

 

Pic 6

but in less than 5 seconds, he saw the Recon Co. commander waving hand and yelling at him. then He got the update that there are a lot of enemy on the other side

QfHf556.png

 

Pic 7

when 1st min ends, the 1st plt of the Tank Company still don't have a clue.

lB9tz5u.png

 

Pic 8 

But his commander's warning get through radio net at 2:43 

 

 wIU0eEX.png

 

Pic 9

one of Plt leader's subordinate quickly got the update from him

mHzSBGQ.png

 

Pic 10

the other one is a slow boy, he has hard time to understand what's going on.

reVIRUY.png

 

 

Anyway, by the end of Min 4, every Syria units on the map got the news . "American Tanks are coming!"

Edited by Chibot Mk IX
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Very good, Chibot.  Wonder why both tanks didn't get the info at the same time.  Presumably, the CO radios them at the same time and they seem to have identical experience and other factors.

Oh wait...  he doesn't seem to have a cell phone or whatever that little icon is.

Edited by Erwin
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1 hour ago, waffelmann said:

Stupid question:

Does it make a difference for the syrian tank crews, when they commit fighting now? Spot they faster, because they look in this direction?

In theory, yes. Knowing a contact location will help target acquire. This is mentioned in the manual, I don't have the manual on hand but this is the rule since CMSF 1.  It will not only help Syrian tank crews, but also help Italian, Soviets, German, Ukraine, Americans.

In reality, it doesn't make a difference. 100mm HEAT can barely scratch the M1A2's paint. Just as Sgt. Squarehead says,    surrender is a wise decision. 

Edited by Chibot Mk IX
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Yes, per the chart I posted earlier someplace, it is a big advantage to spotting in front of a vehicle:

BUTTONED SPOTS BETTER:

Here is a possibly incomplete list of vehicles that spot better while buttoned all the time (but only to the front of the vehicle).

M1A2 Abrams

T-90AM

BM Oplot

M2A3 Bradley

M3A3 Bradley

M7A3 B-FIST

Khrizantema

Tunguska

I don't know for certain, but I think it very unlikely that vehicle crews have night vision goggles, so nearly all vehicles should stay buttoned in low light conditions.

UNBUTTONED SPOTS BETTER:

Recon-specific M1127 Stryker with LRAS3

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7 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Very good, Chibot.  Wonder why both tanks didn't get the info at the same time.  Presumably, the CO radios them at the same time and they seem to have identical experience and other factors.

Oh wait...  he doesn't seem to have a cell phone or whatever that little icon is.

You have good eyes

yes, 2-1-B lost his radio connection with his supervisor.    So after the turn ends, I unbutton both tanks, let the verbal communication took place.  But I didn't take a screenshot for that.  

Edited by Chibot Mk IX
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