Jump to content

SMG Squads: too deadly?

Recommended Posts

Yesterday, I was playing a packed scenario. I wont tell which as I dont want to spoil it for anyone.

Anyhow, I was not paying much attention to one part of the battlefield where there was a platoon of SMG squads guarding a heavily wooded area. They had a HMG as support. All were in foxholes. The AI made a concenterated infantry assault on them.

I looked at the appraching infantry briefly, left the Volks after seeing the 5:1 odds they were facing and let them be. The VL was lost, and I didnt care.

15 turns later, I looked at that part of the battlefied again. To my astonishment, I still had a intact SMG squad on low ammo, and the woods just ahead of them were littered with dead bodies. Total kill count (and this is with full f.o.w.) was more than a hundred on my SMG squads. VL was still mine.

That SMG platoon had just repelled a reinforced company's worth of enemy infantry. Does this happen often with SMG squads defending on closed spaces?

Shame they are not available earler wink.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They don't always do that well, but they sure pack a punch close in. In a recent scenario I had two companies worth of the things -- unfortunately, I had to cross a large open hill to reach the enemy. And so, my first ever "human wave" attack was born. Casualties were heavy going over that hill, but when the survivors got to the other side, they reaped their revenge. I think SMG sections make nice support units, but I hate it when that's all I have.


"Za Rodentia!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Martin Cracauer

They are in fact as deadly as you say, I had one SMG platoon wipe out one Allied rifle platoon without loosing a single man.

Note the emphasis on "one" and "one".

After a bit of experimentation I found that they loose quickly when its not one platoon against another platoon, but -say- two platoons plus MGs and mortars each. Every kind of well layed out cover fire makes them ineffective. Also worth noting is that the SMG platoons are composed of different squads: the heavy SMG squad has two MG42 which is supposed to give cover while the two SMG-only platoons advance. That of course will only work when enemy fire comes from only one direction, usually from the unit to be attacked. In every other situation, the SMG platoons will take heavy losses.

Further problems for SMG squads:

Their most effective range is not much more than hand grenades fly. Supression from grenades is especially deadly for SMG squads because...

...the 8-man SMG squads will loose against the 12-man Allied squads in hand-to-hand fighting. A competent opponent having accidentially moved its rifle squads into SMG range will immedeately storm the SMG folks.

You also cross flamethrower range easily. SMG squads work best in close areas where the opponents cannot move freely. But the same thing applies for the SMG squad as well, it is very difficult to keep optimal distance, with is 40-80 meters (out of flamethrower range, but much better firepower than rifle squads).

They also quickly run out of ammunition when used for other tasks than ambush.

A force with long-term initiative like the Allies in 1945 needs its men to operate and protect the heavy weapons and there is no way it could afford the risk that SMG squad operation brings with it.

In CMBO playing I found SMG squads to be units-reducing only against an opponent who does not care to consider the different kinds of squads. In most people's brain the SMG firing sound turns into a alarm bell more or less quickly. If not, consider exchanging 00000460?.wav with something you recognize, like your telephone ring sound :)

Or the other way to see it:

Normal squads in late WW2 are more to be used as bodyguards for the "real" weapons, which were supposed to work with the enemy (of course, historically that didn't always work). These bodyguards need some long-range firepower to suppress whatever shoots at your primary unit.

The German SMG squads are in my opinion more of an emergency measure in lack of heavy weapons. I regard them more to be like a chess move to block some playing field instead of a chess move to take an opponents figure. In the presense of SMG squads the Allied player cannot move anywhere where it's narrow when he can't bring his ordonance, thus giving the battlefield a very different shape.

One day, when I really understand tactics, I may use the SMG squads to shape the battlefield in a way that the allied player will have to move his costly weapons into canals that are covered by fire from my few real weapons, which in that case don't need much armor anymore. In the end, the Axis player might be able to use much cheaper units to stop weapon-heavy allied attacks.


[This message has been edited by Martin Cracauer (edited 03-09-2001).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...