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Do you split squads in clumps of woods for better use of terrain?


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I have a kind of clumpy woods as opposed to thick homogeneous woods.  I hold no contacts, but I am expecting an attack as I have been here before.

So, I split my 3 squads into teams.  It just looked like I could probably get a little better spread out (less vulnerable to a grenade) and find better cover for smaller elements (or they find better cover for themselves).

I always feel a little uneasy just splitting except for scouts due to CMx1 and that teams were made brittle to neutralize the advantage of having separate shooting elements.

Comments?

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You're pretty much always better off splitting squads. The reason not to are mostly that of cognitive load - splitting a three squad platoon down will give you at least 7-10 elements to control, if not more. That will obviously scale up.

In woods? Sure. The difference there is that sight lines can be very restrictive, and you want your elements to be in LOS to each other. That can mean, sometimes, that not splitting is correct, just because they need to be that close in the dense foliage.

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2 minutes ago, domfluff said:

You're pretty much always better off splitting squads. The reason not to are mostly that of cognitive load

Not a good idea to split WW2 Russian infantry squads, as their morale will suffer.

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3 hours ago, markshot said:

I always feel a little uneasy

Depends on the situation, you receive fire, and your fire power is LMG. Split his team away and see or he has a LOS for area fire, Riflemen weapons free with bolt rifles, submachine gunners to close. Houses, scouts on the top-floor fireteam on the bottom. US squads can split up over three different buildings. 

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Highly dependent on unit composition and circumstances but it usually shouldn't be necessary unless you're scouting or defending. I do not generally split up infantry but then I typically work with rifle-heavy Armies like the Italians or British or Red Army who don't gain much from being split up anyway. As for the forced penalty Russian infantry squads take on being split-it makes zero sense but it's not the only oddity in RT. 

In forests it's not a bad idea but one should ask why you sent men in there instead of high explosive. 

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Playing US WW2 You can make an Assault Party combined with a party for overwatch armed with a BAR, .30 Browning machinegun, accredited Marksman and a guy with the rifle grenades. The Assault party has 15 hand grenades. The combinations are endless. 

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Splitting can be beneficial. As noted by others, it depends on the unit, the mission, the terrain, and the adversary.  Does that help?  ;)

 

I'll split when moving to contact. I get more locations from which to spot the enemy (sneaky LOS and units hiding behind stuff), and the dispersal protects my men from incoming HE and MG. Sure, they lose some combat effectiveness. But, if I split the first two squads, leave the third "whole" and behind them, I'm able to find the enemy, pin him, and then maneuver as needed.

 

Don't fear the split. But be judicious in its use.

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46 minutes ago, chuckdyke said:

Playing US WW2 You can make an Assault Party combined with a party for overwatch armed with a BAR, .30 Browning machinegun, accredited Marksman and a guy with the rifle grenades. The Assault party has 15 hand grenades. The combinations are endless. 

The Americans and Germans in particular are the most split-friendly sides in the game with lots of heavy firepower distributed at low levels. I find it very handy for instance to use the organic MMG squads as base of fire for assault-teams like this. What the Americans are doing basically in this configuration would be classic Storm/Shock Trooper doc but the Americans have their own sort of unique "fix and flank" concept involving minimal exposure to the assault element as much as possible. It doesn't seem that the Americans are interested in closing as much as exposing enemy flanks and such. Melees are bloody affairs after all. 

For the Germans the ubiquity of the MG34/42 gives them a pretty equivalent advantage, and one that capitalizes again on that whole exposure element of it. Except that the Germans are prepared for your men to try and run away-which machine guns with such high rates of fire will rapidly punish...

The philosophies split as to how they both get where they did. For the Americans, the presence of heaps of machine guns, mortars, launchers, even novelties like the Bazooka, etc is a result of the whole "Arsenal of Democracy" enabling the ToEs to push weapons that'd normally be held at higher levels right down to squads or even teams. There's so much largesse after all who cares if they're lost? There's no shortage of anything so its liberally distributed. For the Germans this all changes a bit as while Germany was materially limited the way the German Army was organized heavy weapons could be passed to very low levels-levels that in many Armies would've been wasteful or inefficient distributions but German Officers and NCOs were often crack troops and knew how to apply what they had. So the whole organization was very bottom-up and this wasn't always ideal either. Because German Officers thought in terms of firefights and tactical action they tended to have a very myopic picture and lacked operational context a lot of the time. This is why for instance you had so many Glorious Panzer Death Rides causing a ton of local damage but rapidly petering off as the tanks ran out of gas and ammunition. Course the strategic picture was mostly unpalatable after 1942 anyway so who wanted to think about that? 

The other issue was as the war went on guys like that died off and increasing dependence on ad-hoc and emergency formations like the Volksgrenadiers, Luftwaffe Field Divisions, etc were a symptom of the increasing "brain drain" in the Wehrmacht that accompanied things like fighting all 3 of the world's largest superpowers at the same time. All those guys are dead by 1945, even the sailors and airplane mechanics are all dead, we're down to old men and kids of the Volkssturm... 

 

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I usually go kind of 'Napoleonic' - I'll have a few teams (like 'skirmishers') split off their platoon (usually not the same platoon) out front, and the remainder in platoons behind.

No methodology behind this, just laziness...

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10 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

All those guys are dead by 1945,

You forget about the 300000 well equipped rested troops in Norway because of Hitlers perceived threat of the iron ore in Sweden. Norway was not the only country. After El Alamein and Stalingrad, it was game over. The oil in the middle east and the oil in the Caucasus was forever lost. 

 

10 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

The Americans and Germans

The Americans and Germans had radios and the US had the best in the business. The Soviets in this game Regimental level and armored units. Their solution tank-riders which need to get up close once they lose their C2 and are only aware of the intent of their HQ. For the Germans it is a David vs Goliath struggle. Optics and the quick firing 75mm L 70 of the panthers and Stug IV combined with the 88 mm of the Tigers and the Nashorn. Last but not least the PAK75 all these systems were designed to keep their distance. The Russians lots of artillery for obscuration and suppression fast T34s with their submachinegun equipped infantry. Once it has come to city fighting it is game over for the Germans as they can't afford the attrition. The MP44 in 7.92mm Kurz was too little too late. 

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10 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

"Reverse slope - No Aim Point"

At the bottom of the reverse slope the ridge is your aimpoint. Choose your terrain with care, ridges have saddles positions for observers and MG's. A shame but in RL MG's have sights to plot a beaten zone from just behind a ridge in the game I assign some mortars to their HQ for that reason. HQ's don't need a radio to plot indirect fire from mortars how they do it don't ask me it is part of the game. 

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12 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

If they're behind a hill and out of your sight Bulletpoint they might as well be on Venus. They're out of play. 

Like this? I show you the magic of the reversed slope combined with the C2 Network.

C2ND.png

This is their intel a German position in the bocage. Note the 60 mm mortar shares the radio of the Sherman. You get this by unbuttoning the Sherman Tank. 

C2N.png

The HQ Sherman won't sit idle he will participate in the attack and will arrange a barrage when he is attacking.

C2NC.png

The first squad of US mobile infantry is not the platoon HQ but he has a radio. He uses the M4 Sherman as the channel between himself and his 60 mm mortar. Because of the US control and command I rate their units the highest in WW2

C2NB.png

Splitting units is useful and the reversed slope is a good tactical position. Happy gaming. 

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