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Okay, so the russian stuff really sucks in game?

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Originally posted by RSColonel_131st:

I'll get you a screenshot of our current PBEM map. It certainly isn't as open as you show it here.

Yes,please do.I can't wait to see how/why you situation is so exceptional.

Listen to what JasonC has very kindly taken the time to tell you.As the Russians,you lead with your infantry.Keep your tanks back just behind them(IOW,supporting the infantry advance),so that the closest enemy units can be no closer than 50m.You do know how to area target with a tank,don't you?

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Jeeze, of course SPW's are easily victimized in CM games. Most of the value of SPW's is in the operational flexibility they provide, which we don't see at the tactical scale. They can cruise over rough terrain, barbed wire, AP mines, through light artillery and small arms fire, and really keep up with the armor. Trucks and foot troops, not to mention motorcycle and bicycle troops, will be relatively stationary once the going gets rough.

In CMC we should really see the value of SPW-equipped troops over motorized and tank riders.

Hey JasonC, I always thought the SMG company of the Tank Brigade mechanized battalion would form the tank riders (as necessary) while the riflemen would ride trucks, dismounting when necessary. The Tank Brigade OOB's i've seen don't have extra tank riders listed, though I imagine these were easy to come by since there were always RD's around.

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I am not a CMBB player, but I happened to read also this forum, today. I play CMAK and now I am playing my second PBEM game with one player from this forum (earlier I have played 3 other PBEM CMAK games with my friend). My first game, with the player from here, finished after about 12 rounds when I resigned, after losing my first tank because I realized that I had selected my army wrong (allowa human...). My opponent was generous to allowa me a remach. Now we have played 36/40 round on a similar map on different year. I have as allied distroyd 2 Panzer IV and one Panzer III and a lot infantry with some small casualties in my infantry.

I am a newbie but I completly understand the writings of "no_one".

So instead of claiming that this game sucks, I have changed my OWN strategy and the results are immediately good:)!!!! You have to find out the correct strategy, in each situation, with each nationality. Even me, as a stupid newbie, understand this!!

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Originally posted by Randal:

So instead of claiming that this game sucks, I have changed my OWN strategy and the results are immediately good:)!!!! You have to find out the correct strategy, in each situation, with each nationality. Even me, as a stupid newbie, understand this!!

Congrats on missing my point made in the first post by a mile. I should also mention that I didn't say "this game sucks".
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I'm sure the great american novel will show you are Georgie Patton, but in the meantime one lousy screenshot is really all we need. We can decide for ourselves what is "useful". In case you hadn't noticed, you are hardly the world's leading authority on what is and what is not useful in CM.

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Okay, let me be more blunt:

You patronising git can shove it. You ain't getting no images before I damn well please to post them in the shape of an AAR.

At the end of the day, it's none of your business anyway how I play MY_INSTALL_OF_CMBB.

As if anyone with two braincells to rub togehter gives a damn what you think is good tactics or not.

Got that? Fine, now sod off.

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"I'm a bit peed off right now."

Who brought it up again?

As for what maps are typical, you said

"I played mostly small QBs"

QBs have typical map types, and on them none of the things you said about SPW forces working well or Russian forces working poorly are true.

I doubt very much they are true in your PBEM either, you just don't know how to fight like a Russian. It is not clear you know how to fight like a German against more than the AI, but that is secondary.

So I tell you how to fight like a Russian, how to use the force mix the Russians had and its strengths, with realistic and effective task forces and tactics. You pretend none of it applies to your oh so special situation, when you are really just resisting instruction in something you know little about.

And spreading your BS about Russian forces and their supposed incapacities to others, not all of whom know better. So I laboriously correct you, and you peed off resist learning anything, and pretend you are here to teach us instead. You won't show us one screenshot of the map that has you just POed, but we are supposed to wait in breathless anticipation for your glorious AAR, in order to learn how to razzle and dazzle in useless light armor as Russians.

You are a piece of work. But I'll go right on giving instruction about using Russian forces, because none of it is about you and none of it ever was.

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Am I the only one who marvels at a man confessing he first played the Russians the day before yesterday, pretending he has nothing to learn about how to use their strengths and avoid their weaknesses? Pretending it so violently he gets angry at the idea he might have anything to learn about it from others? The very first post says he had never played them before. How on earth does he expect to teach those of us who have played them for years, the slightest thing about them, when by his own statements he knows nothing of the subject?

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Originally posted by JasonC:

HTs are a waste of points.

I agree with everything Jason wrote, but this could use some qualifications.

Securing real estate that dominates the CM battlefield is one of the biggest priorities (perhaps the biggest) of the game. HT are worth every point if used correctly within their limits, which is to move inf (or other units) through small arms fire very quickly from point A to point B.

In fact, often the first units I try to kill are the opponents maneuver units.

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Sure having more AFVs is often preferable, and the Germans in particular can get more AFVs using the vehicle screen as well as armor - at least on combined arms settings. On armor or unrestricted, there is little reason to prefer the items on the vehicle screen to those on the armor screen.

I prefer the PSWs over the SPWs for that purpose, however. They hardly cost any more, are far more mobile, some can carry a single team though not armor protected it is true. Most important, some of them are available with 30mm front armor, making them vastly more robust under ATR and MG fire. With side angle and range, they will even bounce 45mm fire occasionally. The 81mm mortar halftrack 251/2 is an exception, that is a useful item when rariety allows. The Stummels are decent enough I do take them sometimes.

But none of that is about the actual subject under discussion, which is paying for enough halftracks to lift a whole force of squad infantry and then using them for that. That is nearly always a waste of points. You can get a platoon of StuGs or another company of infantry for that kind of money, and either has far more combat power.

I do sometimes take a few carrier SPWs for a different role, repositioning heavy weapons and guns. But that does not take many. One armored Pz Gdr platoon along with a (dismounted) motorized company, for example. They carry 81mm mortars and such (which won't fit on the back of a tank, as German HMGs do).

Tank riding works to get infantry from A to B fast. One, because you want to move through covered ground as much as possible anyway. Two, if the enemy does shoot at you, the tanks will often kill them in reply. That is well worth it, even if the riders are brushed off. At long range where you only get sound, the fire typically isn't strong enough to force dismounts.

It is true you don't want to advance that way across a wide open area under prolonged fire from numerous enemies. But you don't want to do that with SPWs either, because real AT shooters aren't that scarce. In such situations, you'd lose SPWs and their riders. The best is to advance infantry dismounted under strong overwatch. They won't be spotted as fast and can work close enough for spots using "advance" drills. That isn't fast but nothing is against a full line of battle.

You can also have the tanks carry e.g. HMGs and schrecks and radio FOs, while fast foot teams run, move, run, move along the same covered route. That gets everyone there fast. The tanks still blow up shooters too close, same as with riders. The leg guys get a bit more tired, but that is minor.

Are there circumstances imaginable in which having SPWs to lift a platoon or more would be useful? Sure. But it has to be more than useful occasionally. It has to pay more than a platoon of StuGs or an extra company of infantry or so. And that is a much taller order. Meanwhile, like as not you lose several at some point, and hand the enemy a lot of knock out points for little damage inflicted on him.

There are some tips on modest number of movers for heavy weapons and guns on the Russian side. One problem is the 82mm mortar, which has a danged 7th man compared to the German 81mm. That makes it a full squad for transport purposes (unless pre-battle losses get rid of him for you). The company HQs are also 7 men, but those can ride tanks. The mortar can't, the transport class is too high.

The only decent transport for them is the US halftrack. It can also towed the larger 76mm on map guns (older models, rather than the ZIS-3), and the 37mm AA. It is thin and shys away from even HMG fire, which can hole them out to 400 yards easily. Lots of ammo for the MG but too weak to deliver it effectively, most of the time. Frequently I forgo these and the 82mms just have to walk. But even in dead ground they are slow, so sometimes 1 halftrack is useful. You don't need 1 per mortar, you will be staying in dead ground and shifting only one fire group at a time.

For smaller teams, it is important to know the 50mm mortars do fit on tanks (transport class 2). A pair of those, with their high ammo, can pin things, though they don't hit as hard as a single 82mm. Medium speed though, as well as tank-transportable. ATRs can not only ride tanks but can ride with a full squad - any single 1-2 man team rides "free" in that case.

But the Russian MMGs and HMG are all too high transport class to ride tanks. Also there are guns to reposition, the most useful ones being the 57mm ATG, the 76mm ZIS-3, and the lesser Mountain and Infantry guns (both 76mm). All are transport class 6 or less and can be hauled around by jeeps, scout cars, or carriers. I frequently take a couple of those to reposition both guns and the odd MG (though most MGs walk, most of the time).

The best of them is the carrier. While the jeep is cheap and fast, low and maneuverable, it is too fragile under fire. It works in backfields but you often get a move interrupted by an inappropriate tac-AI "cower". The M3 superficially looks good, with strong MGs and tons more ammo for them, and armor. But it is quite thin on the sides and relatively large size, making it easy for guns to hit them. Also it is wheeled with only average off-road ability, so it is faster only on roads.

The carrier, in constrast, carries someone armored (unlike the jeep), is tracked and zippy off road, low and hard to hit, armed, and has just enough armor (12mm, including sides) to make MGs not a factor at typical ranges. (Don't try to ram them down to 100m from an HMG, though). They are my favorite small prime movers and team repositioners, therefore. I often take a pair of them, you don't need a lot. They stay in the backfield mostly, dropping their loads off at the backside of covered locations.

For the rest, ride tanks or hustle on foot. Buy more guys with what you save, compared to trying to mount a whole force. Don't take trucks, their off road speed is so bad they aren't worth it. 0-1 US full squad halftracks to move 82s, and 2 universal carriers to reposition guns and MGs. That's all you should need, for only 100 points.

One addendum about Russian guns, since I spoke of the movers for them. Don't take the 45mm, they are seriously undermodeled. While trading a 25 point gun for a 100-150 point tank may look attractive, the reality is the 45mm will die more often than not, leaving a hole in your AT plan. Even when lined up perfectly. They need side shots, which vanish after a couple shots. Side angle can defeat even those. They can miss. And the behind armor effect is so small, even one penetration frequently results in a dead ATG for you, not a dead tank for them.

Instead, a cheap gun to know and love is the 76mm Mountain gun. It has AT performance up to 50% better than the 45mm, enough to kill plain panzers with side shots reliably, even with some side angle. The behind armor effect from the larger shell is much better. Even the HE has comparable AT performance to 45mm AT at the ranges and angles that matter (30 degrees and 500m). The velocity is lower so they aren't the most accurate guns in the world, but hold your fire until 400-500 yards and they do fine. (Try not to shoot through trees). Also, they have large and very useful HE loads.

The 57mm ATG is the best tank killer you've got. Tigers it can kill at under 400 yards. You can try longer with a flank, but that has the few shots before they turn problem discussed above. Better to hit them when even a front hit can go in. A lot cheaper than a Tiger.

The ZIS-3 is a plain vanilla choice. Needs flank shots but kills when it gets them. Decent ammo load for HE if it lives, though not as high as the mountain gun. Kills 50mm plates like the front turret of Pz IVs and the better Marders, which 45mms won't. The 76mm infantry gun is a pure HE chucker, and for only a few points more (rariety permitting) you can have the Mountain gun with much better AT ability too. Take the Mountain gun instead.

A single 37mm AA can be useful for air defense. Hits light armor easily as well. But it will be spotted when it opens up, at ranges of 800m to 1000m. Not easy to move around (needs a halftrack, slow to push, etc). Hits infantry hard too, unlike the wimpy 25mm. Quite likely to make a plane break off if the enemy brings one.

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Originally posted by JasonC:

But none of that is about the actual subject under discussion, which is paying for enough halftracks to lift a whole force of squad infantry and then using them for that. That is nearly always a waste of points. You can get a platoon of StuGs or another company of infantry for that kind of money, and either has far more combat power.

I agree. In the context you were saying it, I agreed with you, but standing alone I thought you would want to qualify.

And wow - that was quite a qualification.

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what i miss in this discussion is talk about the merits and abilities of usings trucks and halftracks. going for tanks makes sense pointwise, but it is a bit limiting what comes to fun and/or realistic fights.

i suspect it's just because of limitations set by the quick battle parameters. unfortunately i haven't been able to find time to make some scenarios that deal with motorized detachments.

my pointless point is that in real life halftracks and trucks were succesfully maneuvered in the battleground still when they were already in contact with the enemy. often it was the way for success. not being able to play battles that include such elements seems like wasting the potential of Combat Mission. statements about the superiority of tanks over halftracks seem a bit moot to me.

but i am just wasting bandwidth here with my pointless mumbling.

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It seems to me that halftracks, let alone trucks, didn't live long in a battlefield contested by a capable opponent. For this reason, and because they were usually more valuable for hauling things and people back and forth behind the lines, it was undesirable to put them in the harm's way.

In a Barbarossa type exploitation-to-the-extreme situation, though, you could expect all kinds of risks to be taken, because the resistance was so disorganized. And there were no Soviet ATR's yet.

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Originally posted by undead reindeer cavalry:

what i miss in this discussion is talk about the merits and abilities of usings trucks and halftracks. going for tanks makes sense pointwise, but it is a bit limiting what comes to fun and/or realistic fights.

A tactic that I have found quite frustrating to play against in CMAK is the dust screen. I have had an instance where an opponent created a hole in my AT screen, and then stirred up so much dust driving HTs back and forth that I couldnt do anything to stop his inf from just walking across open sand.
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Well, in this case you are violating the forum usage agreement you agreed to when you signed up here.

Certainly in there is no provision/article that allows a poster to insult other posters just because you feel "the same whining crap" has been posted before.

Who exactly made you the forum police?

Whoa! Evil Forum flashback!

I see people have given you more complete answers already, but I feel like giving the simple answer to your basic question: Yes, the Russian stuff sucks. ;)

Of course that's a big oversimplification. I'll say more if someone else doesn't later in the thread. O (Which I havn't read. Ooo... maybe someone beat me to the simple answer. Foul egg!) r if I just feel like blathering on.

Ok read the rest... Evil Forum Flashback #2!


Someone suggested thinking of your units in the game as "real men." I'll add try to think like Stalin: Go ahead and toss some men forward into the German maw. Don't be totally reckless, but some early intel. on exact German positions can easily outweigh the loss of a squad, especially if you're prepared to immediately take advantage of the information.

But in an Urban environment with LOS often less than 50 meters, there are no "unseen stealth shooters".

I would actually argue that TANKS are just as easy to kill in those settings (close infantry attacks eliminate them just as nicely as any HTs).

I agree with JC, too. I've found myself fighting infantry against Russian armor quite a bit, and in my experience a Tank is much more dangerous and difficult to kill than a HT.

I generally don't have Engineer squads, true. But I don't think it makes that much of a difference - I still get a decent kill rate with grenade bundles and the like (vs. a "very high rate" against HTs), but the hard part is getting the inf. in range of the tanks.

I could have easily missed it, but in case no one mentioned it I'll add HE and MG area fire to the list of anti-infantry measures that can be used to protect vehicles in the game. With cover fire (and some good guesses) even hanging back 40 meters can make a huge difference.

[ November 22, 2005, 09:26 PM: Message edited by: Tarquelne ]

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Half-tracks do have their merits, they will tow the heaviest of guns up hills to watch over flags

in a recent QB (lots of points i think 2.5k) as the russians, I bought some Malaxa MG carriers to tow three ZIS-3s up a hill, low and behold my opponent had purchased a platoon of Panthers, and two Ferdinands. Naturally he didn't have much infantry, but I didn't have much either because I had bought three platoons of T-34/85s, an OT-34 and two SU-76s ( and two sweet ass Il-2s )

big forest in the middle next to a town in a depression, perfect ambush country, if i get there first. The flag is in a rather anemic forest and my infantry close and occupy the forest just seconds before his infantry ( as I recall we both had a company of infantry, he had Jägers and I had Gaurds ) which erupted in an enormous back-and-forth gun battle which resulted in my victory ( game turned out to be a draw, I lost -all- of my armor )

My OT-34 ambushes one Panther before being taken out by another, the Panthers begin to rush the town in a desperate last push to kill my armor, which works :mad:

but my dedicated carriers had moved my guns up a rather spiry rough-covered peak that overlooked the town, which is where the Panthers were at.

Two panthers down by 250m side-shots, the other two by the IL-2s

My MG carriers also came to the rescue in the woods when my opponent pushed a platoon of Jägers around my weakly defended flank, they repulsed the attack and I fought the bloody battle to a draw thanks to my beautiful Malaxas

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