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Tank-Infantry tactics


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My favorite scenarios are those involving roughly a company of infantry and a platoon of shermans for support. However, if ya'll haven't noticed, Shermans suck. What are some good tactics for scouting AT gun positions when you have only tanks and infantry. Infantry rarely gets a gun to open up, and i don't like using my tanks as expensive gun spotters. Any suggestions? Also, with Shermans, just how cautious is cautious enough?

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A Sherman packs a decent punch against infantry with it's main gun and MG's. If you use it to support your infantry in masked positions - minimising exposure while having a clear field of fire where you want it - then you can shoot your infantry forward. The AT guns will then hopefully be forced to open up. At that point bring on map mortars to bear on them.

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As you pointed out throwdjohn the armor on a Sherman couldn't stop a squirt gun and they tend to catch fire, so you don't want to expose them without need. I like the Stuart for infantry support/armored scout and use it as a mobile field piece to break up strong points. I stay 100 meters or so behind the infantry and support the assault squads as needed. The Sherman(s) are kept back to protect the Stuart. Those little Stuarts are fast, make a smaller target and carry allot more HE then a Sherman. To watch the crew fire its gun is a beautiful thing, the men inside that piece of tinfoil are truly inspired. This usually brings a response from the German armor and with a little luck (using YankeDog's points 1 and 2) the Sherman(s) supporting the Stuart can destroy the threat. Try to give the German armor as many threats against it as possible when your Sherman(s) are moving about exposed or firing. With some luck the German tank may target the infantry and be reloading as your Sherman(s) take a shot.

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Good tips, thanks all. However duck, you pointed out a mindset I'm trying to avoid. Too often in game I am given vehicles like greyhounds, stuarts, etc., and the immediate thought is to use them to draw fire. That is totally unrealistic, to use recon vehicles as expendable AT spotters. Also, as I pointed out, I am looking for tactics using ONLY shermans and some grunts. I guess practice is all i need. The AI is so horrible with infantry, why can it kick my ass all over the map when it comes to armor? (hypothetical) Also, I'm sure this has been whined about from day one of CMBO, but is accuracy undermodelled? You don't often hear of tanks missing 10 shots in a row IRL.

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Originally posted by throwdjohn:

Sirocco, if the recon has already been modelled into the CM engine, then shouldn't I have more info. If I start a map that has already been "reconned" shouldn't I have some sort of info on the enemy?

You already know the enemy is there; contact has been made. Your unit is now moving into contact in a deployed state, that in itself is a benefit of recce having been done.
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Originally posted by FM Paul Heinrik:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Sirocco:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by FM Paul Heinrik:

That's what the recon vehicles and troops are for, to spot enemy positions.

That part of the battle is, at company scale, at least, out of scope for CM. We're past recce and into actual combat. </font>
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i find the recon vehicles do a good job behind a ridge, where the commander can just see over it. seems to do a good job spotting other vehicles, for when you push the tanks over. after the tanks have engaged, move the AC's up to firing positions. the enemy guns will be distracted, and you can can get some good shots in. this is also a good time to push the infantry up too.

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That's my thoughts too. In the next game recon should be a changeable factor. What I mean is, in some scenarios you might have to conduct your own recon, but in some, you might know exactly where the enemy is. The landmarks system isn't used this way often, and I find that when it is, it clutters the screen so much I turn the landmarks off.

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"Wolf In Sheep's Clothing" was an excellent scenario that got this completely right, by throwing the players in -after the start- !!!

That's right - the scenario designer ran the first few turns to get the units into the "post recon" position", the battle was raging, and the players start from there.

I'd love to see more of that, desipte the fact that it's hard to do (have to provide players with passwords etc).

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  • 2 weeks later...
That part of the battle is, at company scale, at least, out of scope for CM. We're past recce and into actual combat.
I think you're confusing two seperate things there, Sirroco: operation level recon and battlefield recon. At the battlefield level you still want a large amount of information coming in. Personally, I use infantry and MG fire to suppress AT guns and then nail them with tanks. Mortars and smoke are also very useful.
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Originally posted by Cannon-fodder:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> That part of the battle is, at company scale, at least, out of scope for CM. We're past recce and into actual combat.

I think you're confusing two seperate things there, Sirroco: operation level recon and battlefield recon.</font>
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Originally posted by Sirocco:

The original point was you don't use dedicated recce vehicles in the standard CM game in the actual front lines, leading the way.

Maybe not all designers do, but I have several scenarios, where the recon lead the way for heavier units that arrive as reinforcements, later in the battle.

The recon is VERY important in these battles. Their correct use can determine the outcome of the battle. You need them to find and fix the enemy units for you.

In more than one of my scenarios recon elements are the main units. That can be very challenging as well.

At the Scenario Depot look for CMAK scenarios HSG B Sharp End, HSG 3AD SS Slugfest, HSG Welcome to Africa, HSG The Counterparts Spar, and HSG The War Breathes Again.

For CMBB look for HSG AG2 Dangerous Information, or HSG AG Battle Near Lenin.

Use the Index and check the letter H. All of HSG's scenarios are there.

The Proving Grounds currently has HSG EW Into Germany, HSG AG Berezina Ballet, and HSG B Welcome to Russia being playtested. These all feature recon elements, in at least a supporting role, if they aren't the actual stars.

All of these scenarios use recon vehicles either in part or in whole. The recon vehicles aren't there for looks but to gather information on enemy forces that is vital for winning the game. So if recon is what you are after try these out. Or if you are looking for a little something different, they are not your normal scenario fare. :D

Good Hunting.

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Patton's orders were to shoot the hell out of any likely place an AT gun might be. He regularly chided his tankers for saying they were afraid to run out of ammo. (I wish I had my books handy... but packed away right now). The Sherman generally carries a sizeable ammo load. Fire it off! Don't wait for the AT guns to open up on you... fire at likely spots for 3-5 turns. The American tactic was to use their massive firepower advantage.

Remember... a Sherman that dies with all of its ammo is just as dead as a Sherman that dies with almost all of its ammo gone, except the fully loaded Sherman usually dies early in the battle.

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Originally posted by stikkypixie:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by throwdjohn:

Yes the American TACTIC might have been to shoot up anything that looked bad. However, that is hard to model in-game due to often comically low ammo. .50 cal anyone?

Isn't the .50 cal for use against aircrafts? </font>
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