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Rapid infantry recon ?

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OK, here's my situation - a meeting engagement, all infantry (at least on my end as yet), and the faster I move to the victory location and encounter the enemy the better. I've got a road to use, so I'd like to send one squad/half-squad down the road for speed's sake. The trick is, I'd like them not to get slaughtered once they do spot the enemy. It would be nice if there was a 'move to contact, then immediately move to the closest cover' command. I'm just worried that using the regular 'move to contact' order, they'll freeze in the road in plain sight of the enemy. And I doubt they'll be able to 'hide' very well out in the open like that. Any advice?


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Hi W. Clusters,

I usually give the "move to contact & hide" command and a short cover arc when my scouting party is a whole platoon. The plan is that as soon as an enemy is detected, the spotting units hide (with luck without being seen). Then you can selectively unhide the squads that seem to have the best cover (hiding squads have a reduced spotting ability) and call in the Plt. HQ (the guy has binos...). If a squad is caught in the open "with their pants down" and receive fire, since they are "in command" a short "advance" command to the nearest cover usually does the trick.

OTOH, you can choose cheap units for recce (half squads or tank hunters) that you can make run forward until they get spotted and fired at and then cross your fingers and hope the AI won't make 'em crawl into a not too weird place...

Talking of the problem at hand, is the gain in terms of speed your squad gets running on that road so determinant? AFAIK half squads and TH teams are pretty swift also in open ground, steppe and brush.

Roads give important improvement in speed if you perform a recce with jeeps or armored cars (a guy in a different thread calls it a "recon by explosion" 'cause very likely your scout car will end up in a smoking wreck)...

I believe that everything comes down to what AC says.

I wouldn't use that road, either. I would go for a little bit stealthier approach, at least if you think on the long term: panicked ,or worse, dead units don't spot too well...

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Well, normally I try to stay off roads w/ infantry. But in my (limited) experience w/ MEs, the guy who gets to the victory flag first usually has the upper hand, as the other guy has to then attack w/ equal odds. So I figured any extra seconds might be critical.

Also, the scenario briefing had the arrival time of reinforcements contingent on spotting the enemy (went something like "expect reinforcements w/in 5-10 minutes of enemy contact"). Figured I'd like to get that clock ticking ASAP.

Of course, maybe his reinforcements are linked to the same conditions, in which case its all a wash...

Anyhow, I got impatient and executed/sent the turn before waiting for advice. Sent one squad up the road on 'move to contact', and fortunately, he spotted the enemy near the end of the turn. He's veteran and in command, so with any luck I'll get him into cover w/ a minimum of hassle. But maybe next time I'll have my options thought out a little better, and wont have to rely on luck so much.

Thanks for the help!

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two ways of recon:

secure(?) probing: f.ex. a platoon.

->move from cover(next to you) to cover(n-t-y) with one group(split `em here!) while the other group don`t move!, also to give support if needed but more important: spot. the KI helps itself in finding cover, but you can to ,by placing the waypoints about 10-20m next to a real cover.

if moving over a "clear" plain (whaa..inf. never..bla-bla) situation it helps to give your men a 29m[just in case] firing arc. this way your men won`t *answer*, f.ex.: an entreched hmg, but go for cover right away (note last sentence of this message)

as you sure imagine this takes time and sometimes has little effort(yeha, we found the fortified entrenchment and the vicory flag ..?..)

(un-secure) forced probing: (used mainly in real)

the commander of a unit picks his most unliked sub-commander and gives him the order to move ahead. the selected one, aware of this *mess* won`t sneak but rush. (rush into a secure position, so to *hop* to next, is ok.)

anyway this unit will (try to) reveal enemy fire positions upon itself.

i think today briefings call it: get into contact with the enemy

the main *gain* by doing so is: time

but yes, someone will get hit...

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There is no way to connect reinforcements to contact. The designer expects contact in 5-10 minutes. The reinforcements arrive 5-10 minutes afterwards - i.e in turn 15. He can set a likelihood for the arrival of the reinforcements in each turn. I.e. a 60% likelihood beginning in turn 15 means they'll arrive with 60% in turn 15. If they don't come- it is 60% in turn 16. Still not there... again 60% in turn 17 etc. But that is all the designer can do.

So the clock is ticking from the start and your actions won't influence it.

Like in every battle you have to make decisions to sacrifice a few for the sake of the whole. If your scouts get wiped out but the info avoids an ambush for your main force... their lives were not spent in vain.

What you can do is have some covering fire for your scouts. That will increase their chances if they survive first contact (cf snorri's post) - plus there are eyes to see what kil... shot at your scouts.

If the scenario is balanced, you usually have symmetric setup zones... If the designer is evil, he might have traded space for troops (ie a ME that is really a probe).

Best bet:

If it is a plt action - don't wast your troops.

If it is tank heavy - the halfsquad is usually worth less than one tank - scout aggressive

If it is a btn action - a halfsquad is expendable. Run for 2 turns, then move to contact.



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Very helpfull comments!

Snorri, thanks for the advice on short cover arcs to limit pointless return fire that delays finding cover.

Joachim, thanks for the heads up on that bit of scenario design. I guess trying to get into good position near the victory location swiftly is still important, but if I'd known that the reinforcements' arrival time has nothing to do with 'enemy contact', I think I would have stayed off the road all the same (this is a platoon action so far, so even a few casualties might be costly).

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I also think you'll find that you don't move that fast on the road unless running. Infantry move rates times through light trees, open and road are not that dissimilar. Woods, marsh and such are pretty slow, but if the whether is OK and we're talking about scattered trees v. road, I wouldn't risk it. I'd stay off the road.

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Originally posted by With Clusters:

But in my (limited) experience w/ MEs, the guy who gets to the victory flag first usually has the upper hand, as the other guy has to then attack w/ equal odds.

Hi, would like to say get out of that mindset quick!

I find it is better to get to a position that enables you to kill the enemy quick, then you can kill them, and take the VL's at your leisure afterwards.

that means things like:

Get AFV/guns assets to overlook the opponants roads to the VL's.

Get AFV/guns/support covering his/her access routes to the VL's.

Get places that enable you to place direct fire HE into buildings and trees, either at VL or at staging areas.

Get places where your infantry can defend the enemy on their terms, ie, reverse slopes, deep woods, out of LOS of his/her support, and can assault his/her postions with cover from your own support.

Dont go rushing into the VL areas, against someone who knew you played like that, you would first find yourself first being cut down reaching it, and when you did, would not find it a very nice place to stay very long, and would then become ejected in a not so nice way smile.gif

Master the grasshopper, it will defeat puny crane styles any day smile.gif

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