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Lately played flight sim, IL-2 (i think that was the title)-- got to fly a Polikarpov I-153, excellent experience (biplane fi-bomber). Set up a quick battle, where I was minding my own business in my I-153 and get jumped by 2 Me-109s. Got trounced of course any number of times. My mistake: I prayed and sprayed whenever the MEs got within sight. I knew that the way to go is wait till the enemy plane filled the gun sight, then let rip; the only time that happened I actually shot up the Messerschmitt in front of me. But instinct took over each time-- the temptation to blast away whenever the enemy planes seemed within reach was too strong.

Lesson for CM here, too: all too often, the temptation is "I see him" and firing at enemy sightings. No: seeing or perceiving the enemy is normal and welcome in combat situation; you have to hold fire until you know why you're firing, and that you're actually in a situation to do some harm. Until then, just digest the situation and hold back.

Just a thought, anyway.

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Others have mentioned that they never target, they just let the TacAI take care of it.

I usually set my infantry cover arcs to 30-200 m, depending on the unit. Oddly enough (given your aircombat reference), I usually let my HMGs blaze way to their hearts content, mainly because long range fire only gives a sound contact.

[ September 08, 2005, 09:41 AM: Message edited by: Brent Pollock ]

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Originally posted by jtcm:

where did I read the following story: officer walks by mg blazing away, observes that the enemy is out of range, only to receive the answer " I know. Sir, that's where i intend for him to stay"

yeah, i wish CM would allow these kind of things, but the supression model is just too lacking. hopefully CMx2 will fix it.

the subject heading rocks! :D

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first flight sim i'd played since Chuck yeager, so i was overwhelmed by the detail and realism.

i tried a silly trick but couldn't make it work-- loading the i=153 with underwing rockets, meant for ground work, and using them in aerial combat. actually it did work once in a h2h pass against a Me-109. the next second the debris from the me knocked my i-153 out of the ssky (at least I think that's what happened)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, I'm a big IL2 Propellorhead. Those I153 biplanes are darned tricky to knock down if you're in a fast plane.

It's amusing to read the threads in their forums about ground attack - I think it was much more comprehensively covered here.

Their over/under-modelled arguments are also funny - makes me reluctant to post comments here about how tough Shermans seem etc.

But in IL2, saving your ammo for the crucial blow is important. I wish I could learn to do the same in CM :D

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  • 7 months later...

yup, ditto. heavy user of IL-2. original poster is correct. wait until the enemy plane's wingspan eclipses your reticle. then blast him to hell when you cant miss. flying that close is the real trick. love that game, as it demands you be an ace pilot, not just a trigger puller.

"Lesson for CM here, too: all too often, the temptation is "I see him" and firing at enemy sightings. No: seeing or perceiving the enemy is normal and welcome in combat situation; you have to hold fire until you know why you're firing, and that you're actually in a situation to do some harm."

i think that is why CM has cover arcs.

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I don't believe that cover arcs were created with the aim of controlling ammo expenditure, though there are clearly players who want to use them that way. I believe they were created as a modification of the ambush command in CMBO: the idea being that one could tailor the size of the area over which you could trigger an ambush.

The TacAI does not just fire away until the unit runs out of ammo. IMHO, it will run to low primarily at short ranges when the unit is in a life-or-death situation or (not too much different) when an attacking unit is caught out in the open trying to suppress a defending shooter. I very seldom use covered arcs for the defense, except for ambush situations, and I almost never find that running out of ammo is a problem if the defense has been well constructed. I do use covered arcs more on the attack, particularly in crossing a long open area and also when using Move To Contact.

As for setting covered arcs in order to make the fire more "effective," I have never quite understood the rationale for this, especially for the defense. After all, why is shooting at 150m significantly more effective than 151m? The TacAI has some formula that it uses to decide if its fire will be "effective." Though I don't know how this formula works, it appears that this formula takes into account the amount of ammo available to the shooter, as well as distance, terrain, point value of the target, etc. Also the TacAI makes those calculations on the fly, which is something I can't do and the WEGO system won't let me act upon.

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I typically use the covered arc only in defense, primarily in ambush situations as well. I would apply the arc to MG's to ensure a well defined kill sack, if possible. That way the longer range of the mg's wouldn't give away my location.

I do think that area fire could be more effective in suppressing (or at least deterring the movement of) enemy troops. Pretty sure I wouldn't want to walk around in some woods being peppered by an MG42...

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I use covered arcs as SOP in the attack as well as defense. I usually set a forward ~100m arc for all the advancing infantry to prevent them firing wildly at contacts 400m in the front. I believe that it can delay the defender IDing contacts (no info from fire to determine unit type and unseen units don't give themselves away by firing), but the main reason is to prevent useless ammo expendature. Squad fire at 400m is not going to have a meaningful effect on a MG in any kind of cover. I'd rather save the rounds for when I'm closer. Of course, that's what I beleive. I could be total crap.

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I agree with that, Slappy. I assume that was a lesson real life units learnt: save the ammo for closer (300m or less) range fights, even if you can see enemy positions; and it's all too easy to lose a game because by the time you've approached, you've only got a few minutes left. What you want is to be at 150-170m, with plts concentrating rifle and LMG fire-- and even so it doesn't always work. (I'm the only one to believe this, but I propose that winning the firefight depends on disrupting long range overwatch, and disrupting the tempo of enemy firefight (i.e. having enough, varied "jack in the box" units popping back up and firing back to make the systematic, sweep-the-enemy-out of his firing positions, plt concentrations of fire impossible. If anyone can understand the previous sentence pls write to me

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jtcm - there isn't any way to make a patient firepower attack "impossible". If your varied pop up defenders are in locations that only the foremost attackers can see, or otherwise manage to break up the "firepower integration" of the attack, sure that helps.

On the ranges needed, my experience is that infantry fire at 300m is a waste, even with LMG and rifle types and even on the defense. That is a range to let MGs handle. Rifles and LMGs shooting at men in the open are effective at 150m or so.

Against men in cover, you can and should open at that range, but you can't stay at that range. Somebody has to get to effective SMG distances, meaning well inside 100m. Doesn't have to be all or immediately, but in my experience an attack can only kill defenders in good cover without running out of ammo first, if some of his infantry gets that close.

HE can deal with stuff farther away, and MGs can disrupt open areas out to 500m (slowing more than killing at that kind of range, though).

When defenders face a full group of integrated attackers (all having LOS to all, I mean), they have to break a majority of them and put the rest heads down and "sideways sneaking", in the first 2 minutes of fire. You can't do that at long range and you can't do it into good cover even relatively close. Instead you have to hit them in the open and together and at 150m or less.

The attacker's solution to that is to only send a few packets of men at a time, once the range gets close. Keeping the rest in cover. There isn't an answer to that, it just works, if the attacker has the cover and time and force for it.

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The ComCam (company Campaign) 1 scenario at The Proving Grounds actually shows what you're saying, JasonC, if you tweak it and play around with it. Basic situation: Russian well armed plt in light buildings, across river. You attack with a full company with HMG support.

Experiment. If you want, you can move say 2 plts to 150-170m of the enemy line. Then what ? You trade fire, you concentrate plt fire on squads. You can do so for a half hour, the clock runs out-- you find out that even at that range (good for rifle and LMG), even if you replace the scenario's conscripts with regs, even concentrating fire, you've killed only a few enemy, and burned through most of your ammo. So you have to close in, in this scenario by flanking and closing, wih the other plts offering suppressive fire.

Walpurgis' intricate half-squads in the defence was partly about scattering the posibilities for attacker's fire integration

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I played the first of those, didn't have a problem. Left the HMGs, mortars (pooled 50mms), and a single squad on the near side of the river as the base of fire. Sent everybody else up the left side of the map to cross at the ford there. Wide spread and taking time. A mad minute or two broke shooters, then the HMGs stayed on them to prevent rally.

Hardest part with conscripts is simply trying to get them not to fire and thus waste their ammo at range. They don't get arcs. The morale wasn't a problem. With greens, no problem on ammo, either, just shorten the arcs and close. I had to use "and hide" a lot, and staying in the gully to prevent LOS.

As for split squads, it works not be breaking up integration - that would mean all the attackers can't see the defender up and shooting this turn, and the like. Instead it just stresses total ammo - a shot at half the men hits fewer men. The half squad pins faster, but pinning both halves takes more ammo.

The attacker's solution is simply to press in closer. Half squad shots don't pin you as soon, in range terms. Then you still hit the nearest guys hard, and you advance to finish them off. Some of that advancing will take place through fire, due to as yet unbroken half squads deeper in the position. But since they are only halves, and at longer range than the shots you are taking at their nearer brethren, you can bull through it.

If you don't adapt to there being twice as many targets, though, and try to shoot them from longer range, you will run out of ammo, that's true.

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JasonC-- I must admit I can fight a plt across the ford, an start "swinging the door"-- but even so, I find that I've run my HMGs low, and can't break the Russian 12-men squads in their shacks.

Would you like to PBEM this tactical problem ? I would propose that you play the attackers (with regulars rather than conscripts), in 2 games: one where I as the defender keep the AI style setup (Russian plt in village, small holding force on wings), one where I try to cover the ford with more forces. Both on 45 minute timescale. If interested, e-mail me (johnma@ccc.ox.ac.uk)

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