Jump to content

Sharpshooters, Mines & Flamethrowers


Recommended Posts

Hi, everyone

Being very much a novice in CMBB, I still haven't figured out quite a few things, but I'm really baffled by the three I mention in the title of my post, namely sharpshooters, mines and flamethrowers. What I'd like to know, is how to best use flamethrowers and how to get my flamethrower units close enough to do some damage. I suppose, thrying to think in real-life terms as the CMBB team suggests, that flamethrowers would be best in assaulting bilboxes or disloging defenders from trenches. Yet the enemy always picks on them first and until now I haven't managed to see any flamethrower team in action. Sharpshooters are equally a mystery to me. With only ten units of ammo I guess they should target enemy HQ's, but I hesitate to advance them. I read somewhere in the forum that they are quite hard to spot. Is this their true defense?

Finally, mines. Which would be the best unit to spot these, and is there any way to disable mines in CMBB?

Sorry for the long post. I'd really appreciate some advice. Thank you.

:rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can use sharpshooters to target tank commanders and button up a tank. I wouldn't really use them against HQ's, but thats just me . (Actually I consider Sharpshooters a waste of points in qb's, but others like them)

Flamethrower men are great to hide in woods or small shacks near roads and blast a tank as he goes by. They are also very useful in CIty battles and at night. Using them on attack is pretty difficult, which is why I buy a couple of flame tanks if I'm attacking, they do teh job much better.

You can take out mines with Pioneer teams, just target the mines and have them throw their satchels on em. Make sure there are no friendlies too close or they will get hurt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few quick answers,but i bet others will contribute.

Flamethrowers are great on defense,nothing will change advancing or assualting enemy troops minds quicker than some hot flaming liquid.

Sharpshooters are great for killing TC's(tank commanders).A tank without a TC is very much less effective.Plus,the 10 units of ammo is a little misleading,they actually fire for an entire turns,so they could inflict multiple casualties,and IMO are great for suppressing guns and such.

Not sure if any units are better that others at spotting mines,but engineer squads can remove them by area targeting them with their explosives.

Some of this may be incorrect,but atleast it will clear some of this up.Others will be along im sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Cataphract, welcome to the forum.

Sharpshooters aren't snipers. As you can see, they have very little ammo and are not very effective against infantry. However, they are very good at spotting the enemy, so one of their most valuable uses is as a scout.

However, they have a very accurate rifle, and are popularly used to fire at tank commanders who are not 'buttoned' in their tanks. Tanks which are 'buttoned' take longer to spot their enemies, so 'buttoning' a tank by firing at the commander is an effective way to reduce your tank's ability to respond to its surroundings.

As for flamethrowers - head over to The Scenario Depot and download my scenario "Inferno". I can assure you that you will see plenty of flamethrower action.

There are three types of mines.

1) Daisy-chain mines.

These are stretched across (usually) a road and are a very hasty means of defence. They can be spotted before a tank drives over them removed by soldiers quite easily - keep some squads close to the daisy chain mines and in a couple of turns they will remove them.

2) Anti-personnel mines.

These are hidden in the ground, so the only way to spot them is to walk over them. Infantry with demolition charges can use the demo charges to remove the mines, but it takes time.

3) Anti-tank mines.

These, again, are hidden, so driving a tank or vehicle over them is the only way to find out where they are. Infantry with demolition charges can also remove these mines.

Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the advice! :D

I'm really interested in the sharpshooter's role as a scout. In order to take advantage of his superior spotting abilities, should I leave him kneeling, or is it possible to gain some advantage even when in hiding (and thus suffering from a visibility penalty, if I'm not mistaken)? Again, thank you all very much. smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Cataphract:

Thank you all for the advice! :D

I'm really interested in the sharpshooter's role as a scout. In order to take advantage of his superior spotting abilities, should I leave him kneeling, or is it possible to gain some advantage even when in hiding (and thus suffering from a visibility penalty, if I'm not mistaken)? Again, thank you all very much. smile.gif

I wouldnt bother with hiding him.To be honest though,i dont like the idea of using a sharp shooter as a scout,for the same price you can buy 2 reg tank hunter teams and use them instead.They have lots of explosives,and smg's,if you are scouting with a sharp shooter,when he finds the bad guys,thats it,hes dead,and didnt even have a chance to inflict any casualties like a tank hunter team might.just my opinion.

Plus,and unless i am mistaken,dont you have to get atleast a vet sharp shooter to have the vastly superior spotting ability?Anyone?

[ March 28, 2003, 12:48 PM: Message edited by: nevermind ]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hells bells. Was that Soddy actually being kind and helpful?

Hope this helps.

WOW! :eek:

Oh wait...now I see the motivation:

As for flamethrowers - head over to The Scenario Depot and download my scenario "Inferno". I can assure you that you will see plenty of flamethrower action.

Egads man, do you the lad scarred for life?

Cataphract, FTs are great on defense. Place them deep in woods on a likely approach and when the enemy troops come up...WHOOOSH!! Oh, it is loads of fun. Their biggest drawback is lack of range (32m max) as an added bonus they draw fire like nothing else. So you have to put them someplace protected or pin the enemy down before advancing your FTs.

BTW, Soddball's little game is probably the best environment for FTs. It is at night and in the fog, visibility is so low FTs actually have a chance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sharpshooters work great as scouts. The keys to using the sharpshooter successfully as a scout can be found in the CMBB strategy guide.

Move to contact and hide. What this does is it gets the sniper moving and as soon as they make contact with the enemy they drop and hide. This makes them invisible to the enemy unless they get caught in the open. If they get caught in the open then you picked the wrong path for your sharpshooter/scout to follow.

In all other respects, I agree with some of the other posters on this one. Snipe at un-buttoned tankers.

Tank hunting teams also work good as scouts using the same technique. Really, any infantry unit that can move fast will work. If you have the manpower, a split squad will work well also.

Good luck with your sharpshooters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a bit more respect for the sharpshooter. Taking out a tank commander, or anti-tank gun crewmember, or light mg crewmember can be very useful. An tank killer team with their limited firepower staring at a tank 300m across an open field just doesn't get the job done.

One small thing. I've found the sharpshooter seems to be more accurate if you let him pick his own targets instead of forcing him to expend his ammo on those distant 18% visible infantry squads.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello everyone,

I am still trying to get the hang of deploying sharpshooters; I think I'm faring a little better now, though I need to work on my approach routes.

I find it interesting that everyone who's been kind enough to offer me some much needed advice, seems to agree that flamethrowers are best deployed defensively. I'm not an expert in military history, but somehow I thought that flamethrowers were more of an offensive weapon. I guess it has to do with my perception of warfare on the Pacific theatre in WWII. Then again, flamethrowers were used to torch caves and pilboxes once the defending troops were pinned, so I guess this is what I should try to do (suppresive fire, another area I need to work on... :rolleyes: ) It's also interesting, I think, that many scenarios I found through the forum deploy flamethrowers on the attacking side.

To close another rather long post: any recommended scenarios for novices (below 1000 points, small maps)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for quick battles, i usually buy one sharpshooters and put him on the highest ground possible. usually in a 2 story building. the enemy wont spot him unless they get close, so dont bother hiding.

flame throwers are good against armor too. they kill morale for just about any unit in the game. ive made a tiger crew bail out before

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flamethrowers have generated more heat on this forum than just about any other unit.

You are correct, that normally FTs were used as an offensive weapon, but IMHO the conditions for using them effectively don't normally occur in the CM series. Where they are very useful is in attacking troops that are pinned down in heavily fortified areas that are essentially impervious to small arms fire. The problem is that I don't think that sort of terrain really exists in CM.

Historically, troops hiding in bunkers or barricaded somewhere in buildings would be safe against small arms fire unless they stuck their heads up. What this meant was that you could suppress and pin them by rifle and MG fire, but not really break or kill them. When they were suppressed, the flamethrower could advance to close range and deliver the killing attack. But in CM, it is very rare that troops you can suppress are then safe against further morale loss when placed under, say area fire. I'm also not sure how large the "taking cover" defensive bonus is. Pretty much any troops you can suppress with firepower well enough to allow flamethrowers to approach, you can break or rout through firepopwer as well.

What I'm saying is that the historic function of infantry FT teams often doesn't get demonstrated in CM because of some of the abstractions in the model don't really allow the situations where they are most useful offensively to develop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nevermind,

You deal with sharpshooters as though their combat ability is their main asset. This is not so.

Many units in CM appear to have a cost not justified by their actual lethality and combat effectiveness ( when said entities are viewed in the narrow perspective one finds on this forum).

On the other hand it is often possible to use said units to "shape" the battlefield and enhance the effectiveness of your other units.

For example ;) ...

In a recent game some 6 sharpshooters not only created a situation in which multiple enemy TCs were killed before my anti-tank defences even had to engage them ( thus increasing the effectiveness of said defences when the time for contact came) but they helped spot the main thrusts of the enemy attack (thus allowing my forces to prepare and shift as required to meet it) in addition to greatly increasing the effectiveness of whatever artillery I chose to commit to the forward screen fight.

My opponent's loss of over a dozen tanks ( to 1 of mine) and over 200 troops was directly attributable to the excellence of my intel which was greatly attributable to the presence of sharpshooters. My losses were extremely light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personaly think that parts of the army such as sharpshooters,flamethroers and mines are the "icing on the cake".

It is harder to used them in such way in which they will give the maximum of their abilities,but that's the real fun of CM.What's the point in choosing infantry,some tanks and a few AT guns all the time to achieve certain goals in specific fields when you could use a variety of forces?

I like to experiment in various ways of using them.For example a good combination when defending in a mod trees invironment(with hills maybe)is anti-personel mines along with barbed wires in front of your possitions.Right after these,flamethrowers in a hit-possition when enemy infantry crosses the wires,and of course some infantry to support them(a few LMGs would be nice too).To be insured from incoming tanks it would be wise of you to place some antitank rifles and maybe a recoiless riffle or small AT gun as well.

With that formation you would be able to hold a very large number of vicious enemy infantry troops for as long time as your reserves need in order to arrive and plug the hole.(It is supposed you have a wide front to cover).

Of course there are uncountable combinations of that kind.Lets make the game more interesting, because in real war you don't always have the means that are the best for a job...and then you have to use your mind a bit more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personaly think that parts of the army such as sharpshooters,flamethroers and mines are the "icing on the cake".

It is harder to used them in such way in which they will give the maximum of their abilities,but that's the real fun of CM.What's the point in choosing infantry,some tanks and a few AT guns all the time to achieve certain goals in specific fields when you could use a variety of forces?

I like to experiment in various ways of using them.For example a good combination when defending in a mod trees invironment(with hills maybe)is anti-personel mines along with barbed wires in front of your possitions.Right after these,flamethrowers in a hit-possition when enemy infantry crosses the wires,and of course some infantry to support them(a few LMGs would be nice too).To be insured from incoming tanks it would be wise of you to place some antitank rifles and maybe a recoiless riffle or small AT gun as well.

With that formation you would be able to hold a very large number of vicious enemy infantry troops for as long time as your reserves need in order to arrive and plug the hole.(It is supposed you have a wide front to cover).

Of course there are uncountable combinations of that kind.Lets make the game more interesting, because in real war you don't always have the means that are the best for a job...and then you have to use your mind a bit more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fionn,

You are correct.However,in your example,you are refering to using them in a defensive role.What i was talking about was using sharp shooters in an advancing,offensive,scouting role.Completely different aspects of their potential.

[ March 29, 2003, 12:05 AM: Message edited by: nevermind ]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was very hard to use flamethrowers on offense in CMBO, but a little easier in CMBB. In games with dense terrain - lots of woods or cities - they can be useful. Or in night or fog.

Don't put 'em out front until the enemy is well suppressed, and you have a covered route to get close.

Also they're good against tanks, and Soviet infantry doesn't have much that is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frunze wrote:

It was very hard to use flamethrowers on offense in CMBO, but a little easier in CMBB. In games with dense terrain - lots of woods or cities - they can be useful.
I find the FT much easier to use on the offense in BB also. With the move-to-contact order, an FT can root out fortified units in woods or other covered terrain. Use an infantry squad or MG to provide cover fire, and an FT with move-to-contact orders to flank the position. Make sure the FT is in contact with a good morale boosting HQ unit. Gives em a little stiffer wood.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not so sure Nevermind.

Since one is advancing and has overall force superiority it stands to reason that good intel would enable one to use MORE force effectively when attacking than defending.

Also since poor intel on the attack is the rule rather than the exception the ability tog ain good intel while attacking would tend to improve one's performance far more than said good intel would while defending ( since even very poor defenders will get moderately usable intel of their attacker).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Fionn:

I'm not so sure Nevermind.

Since one is advancing and has overall force superiority it stands to reason that good intel would enable one to use MORE force effectively when attacking than defending.

Also since poor intel on the attack is the rule rather than the exception the ability tog ain good intel while attacking would tend to improve one's performance far more than said good intel would while defending ( since even very poor defenders will get moderately usable intel of their attacker).

Fionn,

Im sorry,but i think your looking at this without a very open mind.In a universal battle,with any size map,any conditions,any number of points,i fail to see how a sharp shooter as an offensive advancing scout would always be better than anything else.When looking at points involved,for the same price as three vet sharpshooters,you could buy 6-7 vet tank hunter team(i guess it would depend on date,though).Look at the additional coverage area involved there,and imagine if you were advancing through heavy woods,poor weather conditions,etc.Not to mention the fact that with three sharp shooters advancing across the map,eventually one is going to trip an ambush,thus leaving you with two sharp shooters,and limited intel as to whether or not that was the enemy MLR,or just some part of his forward screen.

I really wish i knew how to do this(but i have never messed around in the scenario editor),i would love to see the result of a test setup with the example i provided above.Varying conditions and etc,involving 3 vet sharp shooters vs. 6-7(how ever many you can get for close to equal points)vet tank hunter teams,acting as advancing scouts.Im willing to bet that after you ran every test,in every situation possible,you would get an average of 50-50.

So,if you choose to always buy vet sharp shooters as scouts,sometimes it would bite you in the arse,sometimes it would be a stroke of genius.And the same is true for vet tank hunter teams.

So,what im saying is,maybe its just personally preference.Maybe what you use as scouts should be situational based on wheter or not you know what terrain,and weather conditions will be present.Again,this is all just my opinion,i have found that i am often wrong.Good discussion though,and i trully would love to know exactly what the spotting values are for a vet sharp shooter vs. a vet tank hunter team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nevermind,

Your reply shows you didn't closely read what I said... I quote it again below and will point out some things.

Since one is advancing and has overall force superiority it stands to reason that good intel would enable one to use MORE force effectively when attacking than defending.

Also since poor intel on the attack is the rule rather than the exception the ability tog ain good intel while attacking would tend to improve one's performance far more than said good intel would while defending ( since even very poor defenders will get moderately usable intel of their attacker).

Nowhere did I use the word sharpshooter there. If I didn't use the word then there was a reason for that.

You spoke of the use of sharpshooters in the attack being a "COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ASPECT OF THEIR POTENTIAL". I disagree. Sharpshooters are one component of the intelligence-gathering capability available to CMBB players and their intelligence-gathering capability is relatively the same when attacking as defending ( hence my disagreement re: it being a completely different aspect of their potential when attacking).

I specifically did not use the word sharpshooters since there are many modalities for gaining intel when attacking. Sharpshooters are but one of those modalities. I spoke of the importance of intel, not any specific means of getting it.

At NO POINT did I state that they were "always better under all circumstances". That was merely your, incorrect, representation of what I stated.

To reduce what I stated into the terms of your reaction I argued that having intelligence regarding the enemy was ALWAYS better than not having intelligence and that having good intel on the attack would tend to differentiate one more from mediocre players than having good intel when defending.

So, in conclusion

i fail to see how a sharp shooter as an offensive advancing scout would always be better than anything else.
I never implied the above. IF you read what I said this is clear. I spoke merely about having intelligence. Sharpshooters are one means of gathering intel. MY disagreement was with your statement that the conduct of sharpshooters on the offence called on a wholely different aspect of their potential. This is simply not so IMO.

P.s. I'd be very careful about saying things like the following " i think your looking at this without a very open mind." when it is demonstrably clear that one actually hasn't read the post in question. (I didn't mention sharpshooters and I didn't say anything about them always being better. I spoke of good intell always being better than poor or no intel.)

[ March 29, 2003, 08:42 AM: Message edited by: Fionn ]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fionn,

Ahhhh,my bad,as i said i am often wrong.As to putting words in your mouth,i dont believe i did that,but that is the problem(atleast with me)with the writen word,it can be misunderstood.

I apologize.

[edit]

Just to clarify,i misunderstood you.

[ March 29, 2003, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: nevermind ]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My own experience with these three unit types, for whatever it is worth.

I find the German foot flamethrower teams useful, whereas I didn't like them at all in CMBO. They are still a bit expensive. But the German ones have medium speed and decent ammo, and easier pinning behavior (compared to CMBO) makes it significantly easier to get them close enough to fire, without the defenders just torching them with point blank small arms.

I only get use out of them in tight terrain, though, especially woods. The maximum LOS in woods or pines is often under their maximum range. German infantry can use the short range FP. Demo charges are also significantly more powerful in CMBB, making German pioneers a more useful infantry type for the cost.

The Russian ones, I don't find useful. They are too slow, and the ammo is limited. They are expensive to use as a defensive "minefield", and cheap and powerful SMG squads do the trick better, against infantry at least. With far more robustness against enemy fire, ability to manuever and counterattack, etc.

The Russians, instead, have very useful flame tanks, T-34/76 variants with flamethrower. The later models of those are particularly effective (more ammo and range, and a radio for faster reactions). All the Russian armor is great at killing infantry (e.g. overmodeled canister), so this is not a unique ability. And by the time the later ones are out, there are possible schrecks to worry about. But still useful, much more so than the foot FT teams.

As for sharpshooters, I find them useful for specific targets and to a lesser extent for intel. I use them most often on defense. Quality is more important than quantity; I typically take 1 or 2 at most, of the highest quality rating I'm allowed.

I consider them part of the ranged or heavy weapons net. TCs are their usual primary target. FOs are actually more valuable and vunerable, but typically les exposed. It is worth firing at HQs with them, because of the significant delay effects a panicking or broken HQ can cause. You don't need to KO the men (and won't). Heavy weapons moving in the open are another worthwhile target.

On attack, I sometimes include 1 in a heavy weapons "overwatch" group. Not as scouts, though in that role they do go first when the heavy weapons reposition. The main problem with using them on the attack is that defenders are typically in good cover, making their fire effectiveness low. They can still button AFVs. And once someone else has achieved a full ID by getting close enough, they can help pin HMGs and the like. So can 81-82mm mortars, even more effectively - but those cost more and are much slower getting into position.

Also, I find the relevant aspects of spotting depend mostly on how close the nearest unit gets, not on optics. Lots of scopes and binocs still won't spot trenches or upgrade HMG sound contacts to full IDs at medium ranges. Extra stealth sharpshooters depends on cover. I find it is the open ground areas that blow approaches, whatever unit type is used. If I have a covered approach, I will get eyes up there with or without a sharpshooter. For scouts I use half squads.

As for minefields, I find hidden mines extremely useful. My standard defense schemes make use of reasonably large numbers of AP mines, which I typically use as a "shield" for my infantry main body. Their strength comes from the fact that enemy numbers multiply their impact instead of reducing it. They are "anti-mass" weapons, like arty in that respect, less flexible but longer lasting. A few can be placed to deny small areas of cover that would otherwise be useful to infantry attacking your main position. A longer continuous belt has a much larger effect.

One thing you do have to notice with using strings of AP mines, though, is how far the attackers are going to get before encountering the mines, and what they can hit from there with their squad infantry fire. Distance from the mines, and LOS blocks, and TRP arty are the ways to deal with that.

See, the best way to get across such a string is to stop superior numbers of infantry just short of the mines, outshoot defenders ahead of them, and only after winning that firefight, proceed through or around the AP mines. If the attackers would be in cover just ahead of the mines, you need the nearby defenders to be a reasonable distance away and in good cover, to avoid being outshot like that. Or on the other side of a slope (e.g. mines right behind crest, so only a few attackers can fit). You can also plan an "artillery trap" for infantry accumulating just across the minefield, by putting a TRP there. Doesn't last forever, though.

As for clearing mines, that is what pioneer infantry are for. Well, they also have better close combat abilities, particularly against armor in very tight terrain. But attackers should take at least a small number of pioneers to get through minefields.

The Russian pioneers aren't very well armed in small arms terms. They have only about half the firepower of better Russian infantry types. You can pick how many squads of them you need, 2, 3, or 6 in small and full platoons, or the company. With the company you get a 3rd HQ, and can run them as 3 mini-platoons. With the other types, you can lend one squad to a different company HQ to have pioneers at two spots on the map.

Understand, your clearing abilities depend more on having any pioneers nearby, not on their number. So many small groups, trailing a regular platoon, are the way to use them.

The German pioneers come in such small squads and with FTs, and as a result you get an unwieldy "command span". One platoon HQ can't really command 9 other units effectively - 6 is about the limit and 3-4 is much easier. The solution is to farm some of them out to a company HQ (or 2).

One man's experiences with each...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...