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How to - Recon with AFV's?


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First couple of turns in the first battle of the campaign Letzte Hoffnung from BfN, and I'm damned if I can figure out a way to sensibly recon with vehicles; ie. so as not to have them all (or mostly) just blown away in the first couple of minutes by bidden ATG's! The Hunt command seems to move vehicles too quickly, so advance in Slow, line abreast order? Thoughts anyone?

Edited by RMM
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send an infantry Recon team ahead of the vehicle, use the recon vehicle as a base of firepower to extract the recon infantry if they encounter small arms fire. CM isnt a traditional RTS so recon vehicles have about the same spotting chance as a tank, they just get around the map faster and are cheaper.

and because they are cheaper they make excellent ATG bait, better to lose a 120 pt car than a 250 pt tank

Edited by Cobetco
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Keep your wagon behind cover when your guys are on foot, close enough for a quick retreat, and only proceed where they've spotted nothing.  At least it'll avoid the more obvious threats.  You can use there-and-back moves that should execute within the minute, such as hopping over a hedge or around a corner to take a look.

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You have infantry veterans and above for spotting on overwatch they spot quicker as the game reflects their experience units with binoculars with short cover arcs. Now your AFV's use their armament for a recon by fire. Fast move and plot fire from waypoints shoot and scoot and end up with your AFV finding cover. Don't take my word for it but test and test some more. QB H&H against yourself on difficulty scenario author test. Happy gaming. 

Edited by chuckdyke
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If wide open map then distance is your friend - fast forward to hull down - pause 15s to observe - then reverse. Or dismount crew and move to good place to observe. The have one of their pals fast fwd into view of enemy, pause - very briefly to draw fire (hopefully first shot will miss if at range...), then reverse. This works better if enemy far enough away e.g. 1000m plus. Not so good if very close or oppo is using TRPs in which case first shot could be on target.

If close terrain then dismounts better.

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1. I rarely use vehicles for direct recon. I use them instead to transport infantry to do the scouting.

2. Use scouts..........if you don't have scouts break down your squad and use 1 section for scouting.

3. Move your vehicle so it remains out of sight.

4. When you deploy your infantry give them a target arc so they won't fire and give their position away. I usually use a very small round one.

5. Then I use a move or quick command to move them a little closer to where I want them.

6. I use the slow command to sneak them into the final over watch position.

Edited by z1812
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5 minutes ago, z1812 said:

. I rarely use vehicles for direct recon. I use them instead to transport infantry to do the scouting.

Suggested games for you in Battle for Normandy. 'CW Evil be to him and Huzzar'. Happy gaming 😇

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1 hour ago, George MC said:

If wide open map then distance is your friend - fast forward to hull down - pause 15s to observe - then reverse. Or dismount crew and move to good place to observe. The have one of their pals fast fwd into view of enemy, pause - very briefly to draw fire (hopefully first shot will miss if at range...), then reverse. This works better if enemy far enough away e.g. 1000m plus. Not so good if very close or oppo is using TRPs in which case first shot could be on target.

If close terrain then dismounts better.

All the above, incl George's comments are good advice.  Note that the German 8 Rad recon vehicles had a 2nd rear-facing driver and could go as fast in reverse as ahead.  Not so in the game.  :(    I think that the CM2 engine simply allows a smaller % of the forward speed for reverse.  Hope this is eventually rectified as it would make the German 8 Rads a bit more survivable.

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4 hours ago, z1812 said:

3. Move your vehicle so it remains out of sight.

That is easy to say. But with the LoS these games have an enemy soldier without binocula can sometimes (or too often) easily see through a forest and find the troops or vehicle one want to hide behind a forest or woods.

The expression "I can't see the forest because of all the trees standing in the way" can't always be used in a CM-battle.

Edited by BornGinger
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Thanks for all the tips everyone. I should have clarified that in the beginning of Letzte Hoffnung, there is no infantry, just 5 recon AC's, 3 of which are the 8-Rads mentioned by @Erwin. For sure, given the choice between the vehicles and infantry and AFV's, I will go with the infantry every time, but like I say, not a choice in this one. That's a good tip about including a reverse command in the string; although it still wouldn't have saved at least two of them. I was hoping someone herein might have played that campaign and could give some specific insight on the situation too. It seems like the best option is a slow move with CE to maximize spotting. That said, at least on Warrior setting, all of the ATG's remained hidden after wasting three of the vehicles! 

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4 hours ago, z1812 said:

4. When you deploy your infantry give them a target arc so they won't fire and give their position away. I usually use a very small round one.

5. Then I use a move or quick command to move them a little closer to where I want them.

6. I use the slow command to sneak them into the final over watch position.

These are good ideas. Specially when in the bocage of BfN, I use that process all the time (either Slow/Crawl or Hunt) to have infantry and vehicles move he last few yards up to the hedegrow.

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4 hours ago, George MC said:

Or dismount crew and move to good place to observe.

If close terrain then dismounts better.

Novel but I like it! Kinda bizarre compared to RL, but even the best game is going to have its quirks. Got me thinking now for sure :)

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29 minutes ago, RMM said:

Thanks for all the tips everyone. I should have clarified that in the beginning of Letzte Hoffnung, there is no infantry, just 5 recon AC's, 3 of which are the 8-Rads mentioned by @Erwin. For sure, given the choice between the vehicles and infantry and AFV's, I will go with the infantry every time, but like I say, not a choice in this one. That's a good tip about including a reverse command in the string; although it still wouldn't have saved at least two of them. I was hoping someone herein might have played that campaign and could give some specific insight on the situation too. It seems like the best option is a slow move with CE to maximize spotting. That said, at least on Warrior setting, all of the ATG's remained hidden after wasting three of the vehicles! 

I generally only play campaigns and got to Letzte Hoffnung Mission 8 b4 getting distracted by other issues.  So, I know what you are talking about.  But Mission 1 was played so long ago I can't recall the specific mission challenges.  Basically, as others have said:

1)  If distances are not great, Recon vehicles can dismount and use the crew on foot.

2) If one has a long road to explore I usually have a recon vehicle move FAST to the next bend or potential ambush spot and then (immediately) have the unit reverse back to a safer position that is 25m-75m further advanced from the original start position.  Repeat until the unit runs into something.  Yes, the unit can get KIA or suffer crew casualties, but most of the time, the rapid movement will trigger an unsuccessful ambush - that is the info you want.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Erwin said:

I generally only play campaigns and got to Letzte Hoffnung Mission 8 b4 getting distracted by other issues.  So, I know what you are talking about.  But Mission 1 was played so long ago I can't recall the specific mission challenges.  Basically, as others have said:

1)  If distances are not great, Recon vehicles can dismount and use the crew on foot.

2) If one has a long road to explore I usually have a recon vehicle move FAST to the next bend or potential ambush spot and then (immediately) have the unit reverse back to a safer position that is 25m-75m further advanced from the original start position.  Repeat until the unit runs into something.  Yes, the unit can get KIA or suffer crew casualties, but most of the time, the rapid movement will trigger an unsuccessful ambush - that is the info you want.

 

Excellent, thanks :)

I've basically decided to start again, so will have to take the time to explore and develop these ideas and tips

Edited by RMM
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1 hour ago, RMM said:

Kinda bizarre compared to RL

Is it? 

Strategic recon was done with vehicles because of the distances.  The best were specialized armored cars that had good comms and were quiet.  They would move down roads and look for signs of activity and not just barrel into a town.

Now for scouting, that is usually done on foot and is typically local for gathering intel for imminent contact.  A jeep might drop a team off, but far enough away from possible contact so as not to get nailed or be heard.

The exceptions were when a unit was in a hurry and being pushed or they had intel that the way ahead was clear (from strategic recon).

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22 minutes ago, Thewood1 said:

Is it? 

Strategic recon was done with vehicles because of the distances.  The best were specialized armored cars that had good comms and were quiet.  They would move down roads and look for signs of activity and not just barrel into a town.

Now for scouting, that is usually done on foot and is typically local for gathering intel for imminent contact.  A jeep might drop a team off, but far enough away from possible contact so as not to get nailed or be heard.

The exceptions were when a unit was in a hurry and being pushed or they had intel that the way ahead was clear (from strategic recon).

All true. I was referring to an armoured car crew dismounting and reconning on foot. I'm not sure that would be true to RL at all. As you say though, such units would normally be used for longer much range recon though, so the situation the beginning of this campaign puts them in (pretty short range at coupla hundred mtrs) is also not true to form though

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2 hours ago, RMM said:

Novel but I like it! Kinda bizarre compared to RL, but even the best game is going to have its quirks. Got me thinking now for sure :)

Well vehicle commanders would often dismount to check ahead (terrain recce). Just you can't dismount the commander themself in CM, so the whole crew has to come along. That in itself is risky.

I'm not advocating them going all ninja black ops and sneaky pete, but just a wee crawl to cover to check the next terrain bound. Keep me close to their ride so you can still use the radio. Comms and information sharing are key to good recce.

Check out @MOS:96B2P excellent work in this regard. The link to the relevant thread is in his signature.

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36 minutes ago, Freyberg said:

I haven't noticed that to be true in the WWII titles...

I never thought about that.  I always assumed that spotting % was the same for all vehicles, the only difference may be due to the unit's experience and suppression level.

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1 hour ago, Freyberg said:

I haven't noticed that to be true in the WWII titles...

That would be correct, since these recon units were specifically for ... just that. So one would hope that their spotting is better!

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3 hours ago, RMM said:

Novel but I like it! Kinda bizarre compared to RL,

I read a book by a Canadian with German ancestry who became a tank commander in a German panzer divison. He sometimes mentioned how he left the tank to try to find out what they had in front of them. So it's not so bizarre compared to real life during that time. It's probably different today.

Edited by BornGinger
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In CM, scout cars and other light armour are not really for scouting on their own, but for adding fire support to your outer infantry screen as it advances.

Without the light armour, your thin infantry screen would often be unable to push forward against MGs in houses etc. Concentrating your infantry makes it vulnerable to mortars. But scout cars carry just enough firepower and armour to overcome those defences.

If you used your main tanks for this, your opponent could then trade revealing an AT gun for taking out one of your tanks. This would be a good trade, as a Sherman costs more than double the points of a PAK40. However, trading a PAK for a scout car is a bad deal, as the car costs a bit less than the PAK (and the attacker has more points anyway, making it an even worse deal).

This is why having infantry AT rifles can be an advantage. It forces the attacker to commit heavier tanks earlier on, before having much intel.

At least this is how I see it.

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5 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

I read a book by a Canadian with German ancestry who became a tank commander in a German panzer divison. He sometimes mentioned how he left the tank to try to find out what they had in front of them. So it's not so bizarre compared to real life during that time. It's probably different today.

Oh yeh, I've read plenty of such accounts. Again, I was referring to the idea of the entire crew dismounting. Yes, it was common for tank commanders, assuming a significant enough distance from any known threat and a large vista to overlook to get out. Granted

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1 hour ago, Freyberg said:

I haven't noticed that to be true in the WWII titles...

I assumed it was dependent on the vehicles optics and the number of eyeballs in the vehicle.

recon vehicles tend to be open topped which is a plus, maybe? but there are fewer guys inside to spot, and not all recon vehicles are open topped or have good optics.
Tanks can have just as good optics, like later shermans. or abysmal ones like the early t34s, and the TC can pop his head out of a hatch with some binoculars just as a recon vehicle commander can.

so unless BF gives recon crew bonus spotting skills under the hood I assume they are about the same, with one just being a cheaper piece of kit on the pixeltax payer.

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