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2 QB Meeting engagement styles...


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I agree with WN--don't like MEs-- usually because I play against flag rushers, and I find it difficult to visualize them in historical terms.

If you were given orders to e.g. seize high ground or occupy a village or move to contact and move up to the crossroads, in real life would you dash headlong to the objective ? Not knowing whether the enemy had already occupied the objective ? Or would you marshall your task force in a column of march, with scouts, flank cover, etc ? -- the latter, i think, is the historical solution; yet if you apply it, all that happens is that your opponent has rushed into advantageous positions, and you end up mounting a probe or hasty attack with odds against you.

How often did it happen in historical circumstances that e.g. a Battn commander was told "Recon tells us that an enemy Battn is half a mile off the objective which we want to seize. Quickly, beat him to it" ?

Maybe this theme has been flogged to death in an old thread in 2001; but I would really enjoy playing a "real life" style ME, i.e. engagement from the line of march, with flags unimportant or even absent.

I think I read (Zaloga ?) a description of how the Soviets doctrinally conceptualized MEs, complicated deployment of various elements (scouts, tanks, BMPs, organic SP arty) from the line of march to hold, envelop, destroy and bypass any obstacle met en route; I think I read AARs for such battles in the post War US Army "Small Unit Actions" series for the E. Front, which is presumably where the Soviet doctrine developed; if I remember rightly, there also is in one of the Harold Coyle novels (the one set in Iran) a hair raising description of two battn strength columns, one Soviet and one US marines, both engaging in 'recon in force' / raiding, at night time-- the two formations brush past each other in a patch of Central iranian desert, and at first only their extreme flank elements actually engage in combat-- before both commanders understand what's going on, swiftly if messily wheel their armoured columns round, slug it out, and try to locate each other's flanks.

Those are the sort of MEs I'd like to play, Not the CM version as now exists.

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Originally posted by jtcm:

I think I read (Zaloga ?) a description of how the Soviets doctrinally conceptualized MEs, complicated deployment of various elements ... from the line of march...

I think that's mostly post WW2. Rather from 60:ies on.

For a "semi-meeting" engagement you can have a scenario with a strategically important (victory) location near the centre of the map.

Player A start with a small force (platoon-ish) defending the VL, while Player B start in full force (2 companies+) near his map edge.

Both players know A will receive reinforcements from his map edge, starting a couple of turns later.

Player B better control the VL before A's reinforcements get there.

Cheers

Olle

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ME's can be fun. Ignoring how realistic they are (I think they are VERY realistic in the desert - excepting attacks on fortified positions there were a lot of mobile battles in the desert, although it is not clear whether taking ground or smashing the enemy is the objective) - I think that the "rush to the flag" group vs. the arty group depends on the type of terrain. If LOS is blocked you want to rush the agenda. In wide open LOS it pays to hang back and shoot it out from cover. I have seen a lot of ME's against humans where there is NO activity for a few turns while both sides wait for the other to venture out and play their hand. Certainly ME's vs the computer aren't that much fun because the computer isn't very smart at these types of (more) subtle situations.

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Since in a meeting engaement you are both supposed to be going somewhere it might be good to have a map with no flags and double exit zones - you have to get past each other and exit on opposite sides.

But back to the style of play; I'm thinking if one got really good at using artillery, that would be the best style, since there is no longer a need to rush. In a race you have to hope for ideal terrain to run through. With artillery you don't need as much luck. The game is more in your hands. You can take the time to set up the base of fire properly, and set up your FOs. I think I'm going to expirement with that style more as I have had my men seriously messed up by artillery the last couple of games. I've had a guy use two 82mm Russian FOs together on my men and a guy using US 150+ mm and they both reduced my men to quivering babies within 2-3 minutes. In that condition they can be easily nudged off the flag. Also, I'm pretty sure that panicking men exert no control over a flag - correct me if wrong.

[ September 13, 2005, 04:58 AM: Message edited by: Der Kuenstler ]

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For the most part, I tend to not even worry about the flags any more, they tend to work themselves out in the end. They give you a general direction to head towards but that's about it. Much more interested in engaging the enemy effectively and driving him off the map. I find most QB's setup by others to be too short and the map is too wide and not deep enough to get a good game. Been toying around lately with pre-random generating the maps for a QB so both sides can have a look befor buying units. As well, allowing both sides to edit the map a bit before play starts to tweak any issues or make the map a bit better to play on, also put 1 flag in each setupzone and one in the centre gives the game much more movement.

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The formula for a real ME as opposed to the silly set piece races that go by that name today, is to start with nobody on the map - or at most, one platoon from one side - and have everything else arrive piecemeal as reinforcements, over periods as long as half an hour. That accurately conveys what it is like to fight off a line of march, something existing MEs conspicuously fail to do.

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