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US/USSR Cold War tactics to use in the game


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I found plenty of resources on how us army operated during the 2nd world war and I still immensly enjoy even the most mundane things like company movement in the WW2 titles.

However, yesterday I started the NTC campaign, loaded the first mission, found myself infront of intimidatingly big wasteland (twice or three times bigger than anything I've seen in Normandy or Italy) with half a dozen vehicles under my comand. At that point, I realized I had no idea how these vehicles are used or what I am supposed to do with them.

My question is, are there some resources on the doctrine of the US troops that I can learn from to play the game?

 

also, if someone has any idea of the following technical  problem. As I said previously, the map is huge compared to previous titles. While this is nice change, unfortunately it brings a nasty visual problem. The detail level further down the map is completely lost and frankly, that looks horrible despite having the highest graphics level enabled. Is there any way to force the game to raise the distance for level of detail ???

thanks!

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Well, the US stuff is tough and a different question, but the Soviet Training scenarios I threw together that are included in the game are meant to give players a good idea on how to employ the Soviets. Plus, there is a suggested reading list in the designer notes, and everything listed is all open source. 

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didn't know there were designer notes , will check that, thanks. also, had no idea there were training scenarios (thanks!) I just assumed Training Center campaign would be the most logical point of introduction and started there.

I understand Soviets had quite straight forward approach so maybe it wouldn't be stupid to actually start with them.

thanks again.

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10 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

Well, the US stuff is tough and a different question, but the Soviet Training scenarios I threw together that are included in the game are meant to give players a good idea on how to employ the Soviets. Plus, there is a suggested reading list in the designer notes, and everything listed is all open source. 

I had only a superficial look at these scenarios for now, but they look impressive, indeed! And I think they could constitute a fun and instructive learning tool.

May I ask you what sources, if any, did you use to made them?

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1 minute ago, Amedeo said:

I had only a superficial look at these scenarios for now, but they look impressive, indeed! And I think they could constitute a fun and instructive learning tool.

May I ask you what sources, if any, did you use to made them?

These are what I list in the designer notes in the scenarios. Good starting point, at least for the Soviets:

FM 100-2-1 The Soviet Army - Operations and Tactics (1990 version)

TRADOC Pamphlet 350-16 Heavy Opposing Force (OPFOR) Tactical Handbook

FM 100-2-3 The Soviet Army - Troops, Organization, and Equipment (1991 version)

AFM Volume 2 Part 3 - Soviet Tactics

I'm also planning on doing a more detailed write up for the training scenarios and including them as a PDF, but I did not have enough time to complete it before the game was released. I figured it was better to get the game out the door than hold it up for a pamphlet no one is going to read! 😁

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, mbarbaric said:

I found plenty of resources on how us army operated during the 2nd world war and I still immensly enjoy even the most mundane things like company movement in the WW2 titles.

However, yesterday I started the NTC campaign, loaded the first mission, found myself infront of intimidatingly big wasteland (twice or three times bigger than anything I've seen in Normandy or Italy) with half a dozen vehicles under my comand. At that point, I realized I had no idea how these vehicles are used or what I am supposed to do with them.

My question is, are there some resources on the doctrine of the US troops that I can learn from to play the game?

 

also, if someone has any idea of the following technical  problem. As I said previously, the map is huge compared to previous titles. While this is nice change, unfortunately it brings a nasty visual problem. The detail level further down the map is completely lost and frankly, that looks horrible despite having the highest graphics level enabled. Is there any way to force the game to raise the distance for level of detail ???

thanks!

Ah...a journey of learning about to begin.  So for the Cpt Miller has given you the Soviets.  For the US I would suggest:

https://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/amd-us-archive/FM71-100C1(79).pdf (Div level....very big picture, more for context than use in CM)

https://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/amd-us-archive/FM71-2(77).pdf  (Bn TF, start here, this one will walk you right through)

https://books.google.ca/books?id=My8-u2rYNVoC&pg=PP1&lpg=PP1&dq=tank+and+mechanized+company+team+fm+1977&source=bl&ots=qqIQKfV9MT&sig=ACfU3U00aPRhU6AIK2f45OySHMo3SQX7Xw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjkj9nanKnwAhV2Ap0JHeqIBQ0Q6AEwEXoECAgQAw#v=onepage&q=tank and mechanized company team fm 1977&f=false (Coy Tm Bible from 1977)

https://books.google.ca/books?id=V7rLfdbG5QcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false (Mech Inf Platoon, 1977)

Attached.  FM 17-95 (Cav Troop, 1977)  [Edit.  MikeyD already posted The Tank Platoon)

 

The_Capt's advice:  Keep your gun pointed at the enemy, keep one foot on the ground, timing, timing and....timing, weapon ranges=the point of your existence, make them dead - they fight poorly when dead.  Oh and do not overextend....I always break that one.

 

 

FM_17-95_1981.pdf

Edited by The_Capt
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6 minutes ago, Amedeo said:

There's also this book, by David Glantz, that gives a good and detailed introduction to the tactics of the Soviet forward detachments.

41gKW4oCI+L.jpg

Good one too! Bit on the heavier side though. Then again, manuals are not the easiest to read through either. 

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On 5/1/2021 at 1:51 PM, IICptMillerII said:

These are what I list in the designer notes in the scenarios. Good starting point, at least for the Soviets:

FM 100-2-1 The Soviet Army - Operations and Tactics (1990 version)

TRADOC Pamphlet 350-16 Heavy Opposing Force (OPFOR) Tactical Handbook

FM 100-2-3 The Soviet Army - Troops, Organization, and Equipment (1991 version)

AFM Volume 2 Part 3 - Soviet Tactics

I'm also planning on doing a more detailed write up for the training scenarios and including them as a PDF, but I did not have enough time to complete it before the game was released. I figured it was better to get the game out the door than hold it up for a pamphlet no one is going to read! 😁

Thanks for these.  

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On 5/1/2021 at 4:09 PM, Amedeo said:

There's also this book, by David Glantz, that gives a good and detailed introduction to the tactics of the Soviet forward detachments.

41gKW4oCI+L.jpg

Hard to read, though. Highly repetitive.

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On 5/1/2021 at 3:47 PM, The_Capt said:

Keep your gun pointed at the enemy,

LOL check

On 5/1/2021 at 3:47 PM, The_Capt said:

keep one foot on the ground,

Wait, is that a rule for fighting or for kids having their girl friend / boy friend over to visit :D

On 5/1/2021 at 3:47 PM, The_Capt said:

timing, timing and....timing, weapon ranges=the point of your existence,

check, check

On 5/1/2021 at 3:47 PM, The_Capt said:

make them dead - they fight poorly when dead. 

LOL awesome

On 5/1/2021 at 3:47 PM, The_Capt said:

Oh and do not overextend....I always break that one.

Bloody hell yeah must remember that one.

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18 hours ago, Redwolf said:

Hard to read, though. Highly repetitive.

Yep. Glantz is not exactly the best prose writer. Amongst his books, the ones with the best style are the ones written with Jonathan House. 

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I'm having some trouble seeing how to properly execute Soviet deliberate attacks in the CM engine - doctrinally the tanks are supposed to lead the advance with the infantry behind, but it seems to me like this will generally just get the tanks killed. My normal habit in CM has been for infantry to screen the tanks.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, KungFuTreachery said:

I'm having some trouble seeing how to properly execute Soviet deliberate attacks in the CM engine - doctrinally the tanks are supposed to lead the advance with the infantry behind, but it seems to me like this will generally just get the tanks killed. My normal habit in CM has been for infantry to screen the tanks.

I am also not clear on this. My understanding is that about 300-400m from the objective, the infantry dismounts their trollies and procedes providing close support for tanks on foot. Their vehicles remain behind laying area fire on known, or asusmed, enemy positions. The training missions offer really nice playground to see that in action. It is quite a sight having a tank company supported with mechanized infantry running down the hill with the artillery barrage in the distance and smoke on the flanks.

Edited by mbarbaric
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25 minutes ago, KungFuTreachery said:

I'm having some trouble seeing how to properly execute Soviet deliberate attacks in the CM engine - doctrinally the tanks are supposed to lead the advance with the infantry behind, but it seems to me like this will generally just get the tanks killed. My normal habit in CM has been for infantry to screen the tanks.

The Training missions do illustrate this well, if you follow their instructions correctly.

The fundamental principle is one of combined arms, and layers. The emphasis is on speed, aggression and overwhelming firepower.

The Soviet army was an artillery army - the artillery mission is extensive and sophisticated, and does the main job of suppressing or destroying enemy AT assets, most of which are soft-skinned or man-portable. This would be supplemented with the supporting weapons, like the ATGM platoon.

Whilst that artillery is still falling, the tanks advance in line. The advantage of being in line is that you can make up for your relatively poor spotting with numbers - you don't need all of the tanks to see the enemy, just one or two of them is enough to give you a considerable advantage.

Then finally the infantry come, the emphasis at every stage is on overwhelming force, and gaining safety through excessive firepower. 

Each stage needs to work in concert to be effective, but there's really not much you can do to stop it when everything is working correctly. 

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Yup.

To put this rather more succinctly:

Every other CM game has generally taught the lesson that Quality is better than Quantity(*).
In 1979, the US has neither.

(*) Actually, this is more like "quality is easier to use than quantity" - mass can still be a useful and important tool in the other titles, but it's an awful lot easier to lean on the crutch that a Big Cat, MG42, Abrams or whatever gives you. You have a much bigger safety net there, and especially the modern titles can teach you some really bad lessons (see: how many posts on these forums include things like "hull down is pointless in the modern titles", for example)

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41 minutes ago, KungFuTreachery said:

I'm having some trouble seeing how to properly execute Soviet deliberate attacks in the CM engine - doctrinally the tanks are supposed to lead the advance with the infantry behind, but it seems to me like this will generally just get the tanks killed. My normal habit in CM has been for infantry to screen the tanks.

Yeah, but that means dismounted infantry. That is too slow for Cold War Soviets taste.

So given the choice between leading with tanks or APCs they lead with tanks simply because they are thicker armored and sustain more of an attack (especially fire from light forces).

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35 minutes ago, KungFuTreachery said:

I'm having some trouble seeing how to properly execute Soviet deliberate attacks in the CM engine - doctrinally the tanks are supposed to lead the advance with the infantry behind, but it seems to me like this will generally just get the tanks killed. My normal habit in CM has been for infantry to screen the tanks.

Soviets are tricky and it also depends on a lot of factors (year and weather conditions, time of day etc).  So with the Soviets you have to remember that optics and spotting are not their strong suit (and I know some people will argue the opposite but on the whole it is true).  This makes sense as Soviet doctrine was never to elegantly out maneuver an opponent; their aim was to overwhelm through speed and mass.  Basically the choice for the Soviets is "die all at once and maybe win" or "die slowly and definitely lose"

"Uh that is nice Capt but what does it mean on the board?"

Well here are few rules of thumb that you can play with:

- Take your time picking the line.  Soviets were all about speed and violence but they were not stupid.  Look at the ground and pick a line of assault carefully and then once you have decided...commit hard.

- Make a Hole: strip off the US AT assets early and do so through attrition.  So here you actually try push in and engage US tanks and AT first, probably why Soviet doctrine has tanks leading.  BRDM AT systems are brutal little bastards here if you can get them.  In this gun battle you do not need to win the firefight, you just need to strip the US down until holes start to appear in their line.  Here trading 1 for 1, or even 2-3 for 1 is acceptable.  And concentrate, concentrate and concentrate along your line of assault, do not try and take them all on.

- Get in close and start chewing.  The Soviets are brutal in closer terrain and here the BMPs really can make the difference in close up fights.  Trick is that you need to get there.

- Arty is not a paintbrush...it is a bucket.  Drop it early and hard.  Soviets are hard to delicately time rolling drops so just wait long enough to get a sense of where your opponent may be and then drop the sky (lots of "Maximum").  Smoke works very well against ATGMs.

- Weather plays a very important role.  Soviets are in real trouble at night and in fog; however, they actually do much better in damp or wet conditions.  The reason is that guns do not kick up as much dust so their optics work better. 

- Speed, never enough.  There is a fine line between suicidal and effective momentum, judging that takes time and experience.

Finally, if you are of legal age in your country/state, try vodka, it helps. [note: BFC official policy is to always remember to drink responsibly while wargaming but clothing is always optional.]


 

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32 minutes ago, The_Capt said:

There is a fine line between suicidal and effective momentum, judging that takes time and experience.

Finally, if you are of legal age in your country/state, try vodka, it helps. [note: BFC official policy is to always remember to drink responsibly while wargaming but clothing is always optional.]

LOL that paints quite a picture: your assault failed and you are now drunk, depressed, naked and you lost. :D

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