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Formation orders?


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As you might guess from my name I am a tank commander in US ARMY. I have been playing both of the Combat Mission games a lot. One of the improvements I could suggest would be an addition of "Formation" order bar for Platoon Leaders, Company and Battalion Commanders. For exapmle, By selecting a PL, then choose a move command, then choose a formation, like a wedge, vee, echelon left and right, line, skirmish, etc. Being in the Army I know how formations are important in a fight for control.Any thoughts? :cool: :cool:

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M1A1,

Haven't you gone 120mm and digital yet (M1A2)?

I too ride a steel stead to work and would appreciate group orders (except for me they are Troops, Squadrons and Regiments).

It would also better reflect the German's better C3I (radios, etc) if they could adopt formations and change them rapidly whereas the Russians could select formations but probably change only after some delay (reflecting the use of flags instead of radios).

I'd also like group waypoints, so that you could effectively say "follow the road and stay 100m apart" in a single set of commands, rather than setting movement points for every vehicle in the formation.

Tp fire orders (frontal, cross, depth etc) would also be good.

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Originally posted by M1A1TankCommander:

[snips] One of the improvements I could suggest would be an addition of "Formation" order bar for Platoon Leaders, Company and Battalion Commanders.

One of the welcome things about this is that people trying to organise a Panzergrenadier assault with a late dismount could be sure of half-tracks in line arriving at the objective more or less together, instead of in a straggling mess. Unless they are all wiped out by ATRs, obviously. ;)

One of the difficulties I foresee is how to allow for vehicles that are temporarily incapable of keeping formation due to being bogged or shocked. It would probably be necessary to allow vehicles to "float" up to (say) 25m from their correct position in order permit them to conform to terrain cover, but what should happen when a vehicle is force out of station? I would suggest that the formation should not by default wait for the straggler, but that the straggler should move fast to resume formation until within the "float" distance, then conform to the formation order.

I would assume that formation would be taken from the command tank of a platoon, but there is the question of which tank should be considered the commander for formating purposes when the commander is knocked-out or immobilised.

All the best,

John.

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There are very few units in the Army that have M1A2, most are M1A1. National Guard units have old M1 with 105mm. The Army in whole are changing from Abrams all together to lighter fighting vehicles like Stryker. I disagree, but what can you do...

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Group orders would certainly make the player seem more like a commander rather than an uber-squad leader. I would love to be able to give my units orders to perform certain tasks and then just see how they perform.

Along these lines I would like to see an option to reassign command in the event the commander is KO'ed. This could come with command penalties but is not outside the scope of the game. Given more than a minute or two someone nearly always takes command or is given it.

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Originally posted by M1A1TankCommander:

That's the way it usually works in a real tank platoon formation. When the there is a formation change, and one of the tanks is behind, they increase their speed till they catch up, unless they are dead ofcourse.

Yes something along the lines of Tac OPs' SOP's would be great in terms of Panzer Grenadiers doing "stop drops" or telling Pl to drop "well short", "short" or "on" the Obj.

Similar SOP's would simulate "Call Sign seniority" in case of casualties. Here in Australia the usual sequence is Tp Ldr, Tp Sgt and Tp Cpl (Vehicles #1, #2 and #3 perhaps).

It is very rare to advance across a "billiard table" with ridges every 1,500m or so to act as natural bounds. So formations (and their members) need to be flexible to ensure that the component call signs can adjust their speed to maintain the formation, and if terrain (or fire) causes a formation to break up, then the formation reforms as soon as possible, that is the end result of training.

Similarly, initial covered arcs within Tp (Pl's) could be assigned to provide observation and defence appropriate to the formation (all round for two up, forward and left for echelon left, forward and right for echelone right, etc.). The player could then accept these defaults or tune them (as a real commander does) to suit the situation.

You might even be able to set up "leap frog" movement (or bounding overwatch in US parlance) for a Tp but this maybe difficult for the software and would remove the player one step from the intimate control they now have.

I guess its a question or whether you want to be an individual crew commander (maximum flexibility and most work - fine tuning each vehicle's movement) or as a Tp or sub unit commander (less flexibility - reliance on SOP's and formations, but less mouse clicking).

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I love this suggestion, because in the real world, company and battallion commanders don't give command in details, it's hard and somehow impossible to decide every single groups' activities. I don't like the way in CMBB to run the elements, it's could be better if there is an AI assistants player to make battallion commander's order into detail movements for every company.

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I think than Combat mission has the ideal combination between human orders and individual units AI response. More human orders would be tedious, and only command platoon orders or something similar, could become in a pure " let see the film" game.

By example, I think than it happens in a game like GI combat.

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