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Having Trouble Advancing Infantry

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i cant seem to effectively advance infantry units over open spaces. i use cover as much as possible and i use concentrated fire on known enemy positions. however, it always seems a hidden unit pops up and pins down my advancing unit. i've tried smoke screens, but they aren't always an option. any suggestions on moving under these contitions? i find it especially hard to advance mg units or mortor units because of the lack of 'advance or assault' commands.



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too good ideas. but you could also try moving mmg carrier types and armoured cars up in direct support. maybe in conjuction with mortar cover.

Err other than generaly not moving them over open spaces. try using what litle cover you can. and focus all attacks through that point.

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Make sure all the units that you are going to move are not tired, have them sit for a turn or two to rest. While they are there put some in firing positions to help soften enemy that you are advancing towards, even area fire if you suspect an enemy location and ammo is not a concern. Make sure they can stay in command for as much of the advance as possible. Spread out the units as much as possible to reduce the effects that fire on one unit will have on other nearby units. Don't hurry the advance, you gotta see the enemies start to bop up and down, depending on how much supporting fire you have, this could take a few turns.

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One solution for advancing a single platoon in a QB is to purchase 3 LMGs - be they Brens, LMG42s, BARs, whatever - and a sharpshooter. If you can, place them under the command of a section HQ with bonuses.

Place them at your jump off point with interlocking covered arcs reaching to your destination point. Then carry out your advance with a single squad.

The sharpshooter (with his binoculars) will have more success spotting enemies popping up to fire on your platoon, and the LMGs will then open fire on those enemies and pin them.

You can then move the remainder of the platoon forward.

Advancing through open ground is not a bright idea without lots of support, from MGs and mortars.

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Originally posted by MisterMark:

i cant seem to effectively advance infantry units over open spaces. i use cover as much as possible and i use concentrated fire on known enemy positions. however, it always seems a hidden unit pops up and pins down my advancing unit.

IMO, the most important thing to try to figure out is not how to advance over open ground through fire, but how to find the route over open ground where you are not getting fired upon. Personally, I find it difficult for two reasons:

1) You have to find the route. It is not always through the best cover. And it will change based on enemy location.

2) (Which is usually the most difficult) I have to convince myself to use the safe route. You would think this is a no-brainer, but ofter the safe route requires pulling men back, and adjusting them quite a bit.

Attached are some screen shots to help explain:

In this first screen shot, this is the point where I realized I had to look for a different route in order to seize that building with the flag. The route I took was over twice as long all of it over open ground. However, I could run through a small valley and behind a building. The shortest route (in yellow) would have left my men under way to much fire.


There is something about CM that is painful to me to even consider moving my men backwards. However, in cases like this I just had to do it with my blue platoon.

In this second shot, you can see only one of those brit squads can fire on my men. You cant tell from the pic, but two squads already were in the building, and this squad and the HQ will make it to hide just behind the building.


Also, this was mentioned in another thread, but for open ground, 'run' is usually better than advance.

i find it especially hard to advance mg units or mortor units because of the lack of 'advance or assault' commands.
if your mgs and mortars are more than just rarely coming under fire, I would say you are not moving them correctly.

[ July 04, 2005, 07:45 AM: Message edited by: David Chapuis ]

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Advancing across open ground with infantry?

The best advice is - don't. Especially if the enemy are in rubble, craters or otherwise dug in in foxholes. They will take a lot of effort to shift. In the context of the standard CMAK/CMBB battle, your attack will stall as you don't have 2nd / 3rd wave infantry normally to keep the momentum going once your force wave has been stopped.

Depends on the opposition of course, but as every standard infantry squad starts off with a Light machine gun - you are going to get chewed up.

Unless the opposition are only equipped with rifles - even then they will slow down an 'advancing' unit (forcing it to go to ground).

If you are lucky - the opposition will run out of ammo. But even then, a good player will channel-in fresh troops to keep the defensive fire coming.

Even if you have supporting tanks / SP's, you will have a LOT of difficulty shifting dug in infantry with gun calibers of 76mm or less.

Infantry attacks tend to stall a lot more in CMBB than CMAK by the way.

Very difficult to pull off against a decent player.

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Mister Mark,

My suggestion, do a search on the forum for a contributor called "JasonC" and the words "Infantry" and "attack". Maybe you need the word "Primer", as well.

Jason lays it out in step by easy-to-follow step, and it will turn your men into killers. I'm not kiddng, it teaches you to kick the snot out of veterans with greens.

Open terrain can be your friend, sometimes. In very rough terms Jason argues the key is concentrating fires to break enemy squads one by one, while letting your boys rest. It's a bit more complicated but still very doable, look it up, read it, and your combat efficiency will probably double, I'm not kidding.

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The Jason thread is an excellent dissertation on advancing infantry. Here's the Readers Digest version as I remember it from Jason's thread. I've not re-read it.

1. Keep the camera angle low to find and depressions, stay in them.

2. Cover fire. MGs in back. And a firebase of 50% of your men.

3. Smoke if you got'em

d. Advance in short leaps 30-40 m. My own rule of thumb: 2 turns advance 1 turn hide or shoot. This keeps the men at rested or ready.

5. 1/3 moves while 2/3 shoot.

6. Hide any "yellow" units until recovered. Yellow=cautious pinned etc. If they go "red" (panic, routed, broke) its too late.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I still think against a dug in experienced player he will chew you up if you are advancing in open terrain. If there are depressions to hide in, great. But then he trains his 81mm mortars / FAO artillery on you and disrupts your attack. Your infantry doesn't rest, and the follow on waves have either to be halted or they continue to bunch up in the same hollow, increasing the stress on your troops. This method will work only if the terrain and your opponent allow it. By this I mean the map does not allow a proper defence or their is not the right defence balance of infantry/HMG's / 81 mm mortars.

And even if you get within striking distance with your infantry, the good player will have left a strong infantry force concealed in an enfilade position. You advance past them, and they open up into your flank - and your attack is finished. Your troops start breaking and you find out that frontal assaults are to be avoided.

The best method for a frontal assault is to avoid it and use the flanks or natural cover.

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wel yes that is true. but it also depends how well your supported with arty and such. if you can put enough fire down on one side, and as you say use natural cover to block the los of unsurpresses troops, you can in a sense create a flank. Bsck ups of mg,s and mortars and if your lucky howitzer tanks can move around to engage flanking bodies of enemies troops. even keeping small sections back of your own can be used to destory theirs. Of course this all depends on the equipment you have, and the map. But you are right simply flanking is the best option. But of course your opponent will be expecting this and you will have to engange him eventualy. simply manouvering your troops is not enough. especialy in a fixed area like a cm map.

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Blue division - 81mm mortars aren't going to stop a company strength infantry attack. Not against a human (the AI will bunch up under them in single tiles of cover, but that is a stupid AI trick). They only have a few minutes of ammo, pin more than they kill, and the attackers simply wait them out and proceed 5 minutes later. That is fine if you want to delay them while shifting a reserve or something, but it will not break the attack.

As for infantry waiting for the attackers, of course, that is why the attackers do not want to close with straggling driblets all strung out. If a whole company advances within 200m, though, they can win the firefight after first trigger, readily. Even cover vs. none. The forward edge guys are the shield and expect to be pinned, but the rest of the main body then fires back.

You can open early or you can open late. Early and the heavy weapons on overwatch take down the shooters one or two at a time. Late and the bulk of the attacking infantry is firing back at you in the first and second minutes, their weapons then help. You mess up the forward guys but then your own shooters get suppressed.

If you have 2-4 HMGs, a platoon in cover, and a serious FO, then sure you can stop an unsupported company in the open. But that doesn't have anything to do with tactics or the inability to attack through the open. It is just odds - 50-100 points of MGs, 100-150 points of FO, 100-150 points of infantry, means 250-400 points. Attackers have 3:2 point odds, meaning that much has to stop 375-600 points of attackers. Meaning they have not just a company but an FO of their own to put on your platoon when it eventually opens up, and guns and mortars to put on your MGs, etc.

The terrain is not the critical thing in any attack. The firefight is. At long range, it is the range that is cover not the terrain. At short range, it is fire coming from the attackers that suppresses the incoming, not the terrain. Terrain helps of course, but it is not essential to the process.

The main way attacks like this fail is through the attacker panicking at being in the open. They don't fire back, trying to solve their problems by moving instead. Doesn't work. If instead of rushing, everyone is in good order and not bunched when reaching full ID and good infantry firepower ranges, and if they drop where they are and fire as hard as they can on contact, then it works OK even without good cover.

"But you won't all be in good order because the mortars hit you". OK, so wait, ride out the mortars, don't press yet, rally first. "But the MGs are firing at you the whole time". Fine, let them, at range they will pin a few but won't stop a whole company. Use short advances, don't waste ammo, take your time and rally through the pinning fire. "But eventually a platoon will open up at close range and clobber you". When the leading men are at ~150m, pause them and bring everyone up, and send a half squad or two forward to the cover. Everyone else is stationary ready to fire, using every shellhole. Your own FO is shifting his aim point with the shells 2 minutes out.

He can pick when the "mad minute" happens, but he can't stop you from firing with nearly everybody whenever that time is. And defenders can't simply absorb the full firepower of attackers who outnumber them. Attacker firepower pins half the defenders, the rest don't put out enough fire to really break the attackers, then they get pinned too, only a few as yet unused shooters are available each minute after that.

To stop it, what the defender really needs is a way to break up the attackers "firepower integration" - his ability to throw all his firepower at the defenders. Defenders need sheltered locations, places only the leading attackers can see. Or invulnerable weapons that can shrug off attacker firepower (thick front tanks, pillboxes, high caliber arty with TRPs). Or obstacles that separate the attackers front to back and keep most of them from getting at the defenders (a minefield along a crest, wired exits from cover, etc).

Just standing in front of a firepower integrated attack, counting on cover alone and shooting first and often, to break an attack, simply fails against a properly conducted firepower attack. It is a card in the wrong suit, meant to break up a rapid razzle dazzle and keep the enemy at a distance. If the enemy doesn't mind being at a distance and isn't in a hurry and just wants things to shoot to heck, it does not remotely stop him.

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Originally posted by Alsatian:

David Chapuis,

How about these counters to kind of clear up what's what?

sorry, not good with counters.

I had one plat on the left providing cover fire. One on the left in the back that was going to be a reserve (in the blue), and a platoon on the right that was going to try to advance past the flag (the yellow)

I couldn't see what happened to your second MG and it looks like you had a shreck get plugged.

the second mg (on the left) was pinned by 81mm mortar. and the shrek got killed by it.
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Originally posted by roqf77:

hey maybe you should of forgotten about the flag and flanked your platoon round the rear of the enemy infantry.looks like you had an opening.

You are just seeing the center of the entire map. I had two more platoons on the left, and a platoon and a tiger on the right


My right platoon was able to crack his line and push the flank. But it wasnt really feasible to push hard on the left.

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