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I've been testing this dreaded situation which is infantry approaching a patch of trees that may hide the enemy. What is the safest command to use?

In this test I used 3 regular German recon '41 squads, in command, approaching a group of pines across open ground. Hidden in the pines were three regular Soviet recon C squads, in command, with 100 meter cover arcs activated, ready to ambush.

I had the German squad cross the cover arcs five times for each command given them. Then I recorded the results after one minute elapsed. After adding everything up, here's the casulties I came up with, plus the squad morale levels, in the order of damage inflicted:

RUN: 54 casualties - 3 routed, 4 panicked,

5 pinned, 2 shaken, 1 cautious

MOVE: 33 casualties - 1 broken, 10 pinned, 1 shaken, 1 cautious, 1 alerted, 1 OK

ADVANCE: 29 casualties - 3 panicked, 12 pinned

ASSAULT: 24 casualties - 2 panicked, 7 pinned, 5 shaken, 1 cautious

MOVE TO CONTACT: 16 casualties - 3 pinned, 2 shaken, 4 cautious, 5 alerted, 1 OK

MOVE TO CONTACT & HIDE: 13 casualties - 5 pinned, 1 shaken, 2 cautious, 5 alerted, 2 OK

SNEAK: 13 casualties - 2 pinned, 2 shaken, 5 cautious, 5 alerted, 1 OK

I found this interesting as a new player and perhaps it will help in some decision making. Any comments?

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The right way is to have one half squad use move to contact - no hide, while the rest of the platoon waits in cover ready to fire.

When the half squad cross the first covered arc, it will be shot and go to ground. Unless the defender has set his arcs perfectly, it is quite likely only a single shooter was triggered, and the others are still just outside their arcs, for the rest of the minute.

The half squad may still be cut up by the end of the minute. But it has the best chance, because the rest of the platoon will hit the lone shooter with replies, stationary and untouched. Those replies may well suppress that shooter and "free" the point half squad. If the arcs were set well and several defenders are firing, the point will probably be broken anyway.

The second minute, the defenders will remove their arcs or lengthen them. You then face his full firepower whatever contact order you used. If you are still in the open and pinned, with your whole platoon, its chances are very poor. What you want is shooters in cover and stationary the turn he comes off his arcs.

In the open, units sneak sideways when shot at. Even when you tell them not to, zero out their orders, and tell them to just fire back (the right response), they still idiotically try to avoid enemy fire by moving rather than by firing back. Never works. To get them to fire back, they have to have some level of confidence in the terrain they are in. And needless to say, not try to move at all.

Movement orders do not take ground, nor do they protect units. Fire takes ground. And fire is what protects units from enemy infantry at close range. Even cover won't do it, when the range is close (you can be wiped out inside of 2 minutes in scattered trees). Fire still will. So don't charge in there, send one guy first to see what is there, and have everybody ready to pull triggers to save them.

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Originally posted by JasonC:

I'm saying rather more than that. Yes move to contact is useful against units on covered arcs. No it isn't a way to charge unscouted terrain with a whole platoon, because you don't charge unscouted terrain with whole platoons. That is what single point half squads do.

Point taken.
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