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Which stance to reduce effectiveness of infantry fire


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I have been wondering about this with BS and now CW.  Haven't done any tests but it seems if a unit gets hit with infantry fire under 100 yards in the open while using fast or quick, the unit takes a lot of casualties quickly.  Is it my imagination?  So to reduce casualties before that first fire, is the move command better than quick or fast when a unit is first hit by an unspotted enemy infantry unit?

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You basically never want to be moving whilst under fire - if you are, you're in for a bad time.

Under 100m is point-blank - if you're caught whilst moving at that kind of distance, you're dead.


The faster you move, the less time you'll be exposed, but the less your guys will react with fire of their own.

Fast then is "get there no matter what" - if you *must* charge across a short open space (e.g., a road). then this is probably the thing to do. Any move like that is likely to suffer casualties.

A Move order will get upgrades to a Quick order when under fire, so all that would do is make it more likely for them to see the enemy first, and increase their exposure time - Move is probably not a great idea here.

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Units ordered to move "QUICK" may stop and open fire if the "feel" like it.  A few times I have seen an AT team ordered to move QUICK... suddenly while moving it spots a tank, stops, fires, kills it, then carries on QUICK to the next waypoint.  A thing of beauty when it happens.

FAST moving units will not stop for anything (unless hit and/or suppressed).  

 

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My experience with Move is that it's purely for moving your footsloggers long distances, unmanaged without tiring them out. IIRC, it will never tire the truppen, so if they have to cross any rugged terrain, out of combat, it may have its use, but overall, Quick is more efficient: they get there way sooner than they would with Move, and are back to Rested before any troops that Moved the same route would have arrived, and they can fight while catching their breath. Their situational awareness is reduced under Move, and if they come under fire, as @domfluffsays they switch to Quick anyway. If you're ambushed, the slower you're moving when the first volley is fired, the more likely you are to be hit. My advice would be to not use Move when you are not in full defilade.

For me, the drill in WW2 for moving across open ground is to make short rushes, with pauses at each waypoint. Elements should move in a staggered fashion so no more than a third of 'em are on their hind legs at any one time, with the others prone and spotting for returning suppression. In the CW environment with more lethal weapons being pointed their way, those rushes probably shouldn't be more than an AS at a time, but I've no experience in the modern titles to speak of, so that's just a guess and where I'd start if I absolutely had to cross beaten ground.

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1 minute ago, womble said:

Quick is more efficient: they get there way sooner than they would with Move, and are back to Rested before any troops that Moved the same route would have arrived

Yes, in CM2 this seems to be the most efficient method of covering ground.  

 

2 minutes ago, womble said:

the drill in WW2 for moving across open ground is to make short rushes, with pauses at each waypoint

Yes again, good tactics in CM2.  

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If you don't want your men to think, just get from A to B ASAP (like sprinting across the street) I'd advise FAST. The chance that they'll give up, drop to the ground and crawl back is significantly lowered. But sprinting from cover to cover is not the same as advancing over open ground. Your only hope out in the open is to immediately suppress/eliminate the threat before continuing forward. That means having your men dispersed enough so no one weapon can get all of them but still able to lay down massed fire on targets of opportunity.

Players often use the 'assault' command wrong. Where you'd place one destination waypoint for 'quick' you'd place five waypoints for 'assault'. The intent is to have half the squad bounding forward then dropping down while the other half keeps LOF on the destination to provide covering fire. So you need multiple waypoints for multiple short bounds

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2 hours ago, MikeyD said:

Players often use the 'assault' command wrong. Where you'd place one destination waypoint for 'quick' you'd place five waypoints for 'assault'. The intent is to have half the squad bounding forward then dropping down while the other half keeps LOF on the destination to provide covering fire. So you need multiple waypoints for multiple short bounds


Assault is still, usually, worse than doing the same thing manually, but the best way to ensure a constant volume of fire using the Assault command are multiple waypoints with target orders at each point - that way the teams will open fire at each halt, and won't need to re-acquire targets by themselves.

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4 hours ago, womble said:

Their situational awareness is reduced under Move

I don't think this is true. At least not according to the manual. The manual says that units using Move have good overall situational awareness, and that the faster a unit is moving, the more their awareness is reduced, especially to their sides and rear. This does make sense, because someone who is running or jogging is probably not gonna be focused as much on looking for the enemy as they are on watching where they're going, so that they don't trip on something or whatever.

Squads using Move are also likely to stop and fire at any exposed enemies they see. IMO though, if your guys are getting shot at by unsuppressed, unspotted enemies at close range, it doesn't make a lot of difference which movement command they're using, since they're gonna have a bad time regardless. So Move isn't really much worse than anything else.

I don't usually use the Move command anywhere close to the enemy, but using the Move command in view of the enemy is not always a bad idea. I use it especially often with scout patrols at long ranges from the enemy.

Units who are lying prone might not always have a good view of the map because of dense underbrush, tall crop fields in the way etc. This can be a problem in CMRT for example, with a lot of big, open, mostly flat maps covered in tall crop fields. Your troops lying prone in the fields can't see anything, but if they are standing up, they can see over them. If you have your scouts run through those fields, they will have only a momentary view of what's around them (with reduced spotting ability), and then when they get to their destination, they will stop, go prone, and then lose sight of everything again. So running around isn't very good for scouting.

If you just have your scouts walk around though, they can see things pretty well. Since they are walking, they go slowly and have more time to spot things. If you have a bunch of small, widely dispersed scout teams walking around in full view of the enemy at very long range, there isn't much they can do about it. Shooting at the scouts isn't gonna do much except give away their position.

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5 hours ago, Bozowans said:

I don't think this is true. At least not according to the manual. The manual says that units using Move have good overall situational awareness, and that the faster a unit is moving, the more their awareness is reduced, especially to their sides and rear. This does make sense, because someone who is running or jogging is probably not gonna be focused as much on looking for the enemy as they are on watching where they're going, so that they don't trip on something or whatever.

That may be true. A few points in reply:

  • A static unit is even better at spotting than a moving one. Most of the time, the job of seeing the enemy is best left to the overwatch teams, rather than the travelling ones.
  • A unit that has dropped into "long grass" will become unsighted by enemies that have drawn a bead on them, and only subject to area fire until they pop up again. That they can't see the enemy that was shooting at them is mostly unimportant, since that's the job of the overwatch teams behind them.
  • Generally, I wouldn't want my exposed troops to stop and shoot back at even distant targets (with very little chance of effect); I'd rather they got on with getting where they're going than shoot at targets in cover who might just suppress them where they are, then pick them off lying in the open (unless it's a wheatfield or similar as previously noted).
  • Quick is still faster than Move in the long run, unless the mechanics have actually changed; they might've, since it's literally years since I ran any tests on it... So for "Tabbing about", I'd rather have my pTruppen double time it to the cover I want them to be observing from. It takes a bit more "micro" to make sure they don't get into Exhausted state, which does seem harder to recover from.

It might just be that I've had a small sample size of using Move and seeing it used, but it led to poor results consistently, so I quickly dropped its use. But as noted, at sub-100m ranges, getting ambushed, it doesn't much matter whether you're at Move or Fast, you'd better have some overwatch with firepower enough to suppress your assailants or you're in terminal trouble. Which is why short rushes and going to ground is the "safest" way to draw fire for overwatch to ID enemy positions while getting closer to your objective. 

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Pick your troops for observing and do terrain sweeps, it is like finding sharks in the ocean. You need to go in the water to find one and the more people there the less chance to be pulled under. It is a matter of mathematics with two of you the odds are from 100% down to 50%. 

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21 minutes ago, chuckdyke said:

Pick your troops for observing and do terrain sweeps, it is like finding sharks in the ocean. You need to go in the water to find one and the more people there the less chance to be pulled under. It is a matter of mathematics with two of you the odds are from 100% down to 50%. 

Actually, it's better than that. If there are two of you and only one shooter, you can alternate popping up to observe for short enough periods that they will be less likely to reacquire you if they keep changing targets, as the TacAI will if they alternate dropping out of sight. Won't always work; sometimes a dogface will just whip off a snapshot if the spotting cycle is "just right", and nail someone, but pause-crawl-pause-fast-repeat with suppressive area fires while paused can generate forward movement in the face of opposition.

That movement combo isn't faster than Move, for sure, but if the enemy are shooting at you, Move won't remain Move for long anyway.

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2 minutes ago, womble said:

That movement combo isn't faster than Move

4 action squares which is 32 meters. I use Camera Position 5 to set it up with 45 seconds pause. 2 scouts take a sprint near the end of a turn. The AI is just a touch to slow to nail them but gives the position away lots of times. 

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3 minutes ago, chuckdyke said:

4 action squares which is 32 meters. I use Camera Position 5 to set it up with 45 seconds pause. 2 scouts take a sprint near the end of a turn. The AI is just a touch to slow to nail them but gives the position away lots of times. 

Yeah, 15 seconds "up" at speed is "fairly" safe.

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Thanks all, I am going to have to digest this.  Looks like quick with overwatch is probably the best approach in general.  I am playing the Sichenhausen scenario which includes entering and clearing a town with fairly limited number of troops.  I need to keep losses to a minimum.

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Place your snipers carefully after 10 minutes or so it becomes clear where it is ok to approach. It is called 'Listening Patrols or Standing Patrols). Just tell them to hold their fire. Combat Mission got it spot on with them, they have special training regarding spotting. He directed M4 Sherman to do bunker busting and oh the Nasty Germans have a backup. 

stug3.jpg

 

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11 hours ago, Bozowans said:

The manual says that units using Move have good overall situational awareness, and that the faster a unit is moving, the more their awareness is reduced, especially to their sides and rear.

I don't find there's any meaningful difference in spotting ability between the different move orders. Of course this is anecdotal, but I often notice my 2-man scout teams spotting all kinds of stuff even in the distance and while running through a forest.

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3 hours ago, FogForever said:

Thanks all, I am going to have to digest this.  Looks like quick with overwatch is probably the best approach in general.  I am playing the Sichenhausen scenario which includes entering and clearing a town with fairly limited number of troops.  I need to keep losses to a minimum.

Oh, urban combat (or FISH and CHIPS*) is an entirely different proposition... "Minimum" losses are probably going to be considerable, if the defender is well-positioned. You'll need an awful lot of suppressive fire, breaching kit/demo charges and smoke. And you will still take losses. Just gotta suck 'em up.

* Fighting In Someone's House and Causing Havoc in People's Streets - my favourite acroynm for FIBUA, OBUA, MOUT, UO or whatever you want to call it... :)

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8 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

Combat Mission got it spot on with them, they have special training regarding spotting.

Nope - they are just highly trained with their rifle, and having a set of binoculars doesn't hurt, either. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, LukeFF said:

they are just highly trained with their rifle,

One word only 'Nonsense' They come in pairs and what is the function of the 'Spotter' next to him? 

Edited by chuckdyke
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23 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

One word only 'Nonsense' They come in pairs and what is the function of the 'Spotter' next to him? 

The only person spouting nonsense here is you. Snipers don't have magical spotting abilities that make them see better than any other troops equipped with binoculars. As for the function of the spotter? It's to spot things better for the sniper! Does that really need to be explained?

The typical Soviet sniper scope of the war was a 3.5-power PU scope. It's going to help spot targets, sure, but in no way is it superior to someone looking through binoculars that almost always will (1) have superior magnification and (2) superior field of view. I own and regularly shoot an original M91/30 PU sniper rifle, and there's no way on earth that little scope is going to make someone spot better than someone spotting with binoculars. 

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1 hour ago, LukeFF said:

The only person spouting nonsense here is you.

It is you, they go for specialist training and fieldcraft thoroughly familiar with flora and fauna and spot abnormalities other people miss. Snipers are marksmen but not every marksman is a sniper. You wouldn't even notice when a shadow is pointing towards the sun even though you may have 20-20 vision. You need a sniper to spot through concealment. 

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2 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

It is you, they go for specialist training and fieldcraft thoroughly familiar with flora and fauna and spot abnormalities other people miss. Snipers are marksmen but not every marksman is a sniper. You wouldn't even notice when a shadow is pointing towards the sun even though you may have 20-20 vision. You need a sniper to spot through concealment. 

I think there's a disconnect here.

@chuckydyke is saying what specially-trained snipers get taught. And is right.

Others are expressing what the so-called "sniper team" as presented in CMx2 (at least the ww2 titles) represents and they are right, too. I would expect this to carry through into the modern titles, because I don't imagine the code has a way of improving the *pTruppe*'s accuracy just because of unit type (obviously their weapon will be modelled).

Not all countries had established, formal sniper schools in WW2 where the game code was originated to represent. IIRC, only Russia and Germany. Other nations just picked decent marksmen out of the ranks of their riflemen and maybe gave them a rifle with a scope. A Regular-Normal-Normal sniper team represents the latter. If you want to get closer to the abilities of an elite Scout Sniper in any title, make them Elite-High-High.

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10 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

I rest my case. There is a difference between a Marksman and a Sniper.

What case? Nobody said there wasn't. They said that the unit called "Sniper" in-game, at Reg-Norm-0-Fit would be better called a "marksman" and none of the benefits of increasing the soft factors are unique to Sniper units.

The problem, I think, is of miscommunication.

 

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