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Basic tactics when advancing up a road


Erwin
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I'm sorry, but you can't just talk about "a" road in isolation.

Tactics depend on:

The ground (i.e. not just the road but what is around it - so "a" road going though a city is different to "a" road going through the open desert).

Time - how fast do you have to move and the trade off between speed and security

Enemy - are you in contact, is the threat level high, what is the threat (MG's, IED, ...)

Friendlies - are your infantry all alone, do they have AFVs with them, ...?

And a bunch of other factors that might apply in one situation but not in another.

I'm afraid there are no simple two line solutions that are universally applicable and always right. :)

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One other point...your "reserve" in your case, is the actual "action force" so it should be as large as possible,while your screen(the guys advancing on the sides of the road in your example) should be as small as it can be,saving most for your "action force"...but still in that parameter, being large enough to deal with the reason they are screening...if you are screening for enemy RPG teams or something, then your screen may not need to be very large (unless there are many spots where they can be, or you expect alot of them, or....) while if you are expecting large enemy formations(larger than your screen) then sometimes your screen's duty becomes to be just an early warning, and may even want them to be smaller,not to fight, but just to warn the main body.

SO as the major said, it really depends on many things that you need to do, it cannot be a "best way" for all.

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You could have two up snd one back. You could have one up and two back. Depends on the situation. It would be a good idea to have some units on overwatch in a suitable position, partivularly heavy weapons (including ATGMs, Machineguns etc)

This is true whether we are talking about a platoon, a company or a battalion except we are talking about larger units in the latter cases. At battlion level for instance you might send one or two companies in front while keeping the rest in reserve ready to manuever.

Luke

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First, I am assuming vehicles that for some reason need to use a road that one assumes will eventually come under fire.

I find I tend in 90% of scenarios which require me to move up a road whether in urban or rural that I will send units out on both sides of the road to locate enemy ambushes (with whatever overwatch I can safely organize). If it were CM1, they would detect daisy chain mines, as well as trigger anti-personnel mines.

My question was whether it's better to use a larger force on each side of the road (ie one squad on each side with one squad in reserve), or divide one squad and send the minimum up on each side of the road. Each team however, could be backed up by a full squad maybe 50m behind.

Abneo said "the actual "action force" so it should be as large as possible." So, in the majority of cases that would suggest the 2nd option with as little committed forward as possible.

And since there are only so many RL tactics one can use successfully in CM, I am talking about the best game tactic.

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First, I am assuming vehicles that for some reason need to use a road that one assumes will eventually come under fire.

I find I tend in 90% of scenarios which require me to move up a road whether in urban or rural that I will send units out on both sides of the road to locate enemy ambushes (with whatever overwatch I can safely organize). If it were CM1, they would detect daisy chain mines, as well as trigger anti-personnel mines.

My question was whether it's better to use a larger force on each side of the road (ie one squad on each side with one squad in reserve), or divide one squad and send the minimum up on each side of the road. Each team however, could be backed up by a full squad maybe 50m behind.

Abneo said "the actual "action force" so it should be as large as possible." So, in the majority of cases that would suggest the 2nd option with as little committed forward as possible.

And since there are only so many RL tactics one can use successfully in CM, I am talking about the best game tactic.

I'd say that it depends what you think is out there and/or what you actually know. If it were me and if there was enough time to do it I would be inclined to be cautious and send a squad or even just a fire team to recon the route for a couple of hundred meters with units in overwatch to cover them. With lucj they should locate ambushes and IEDsI would probably give them an order like hunt or slow although the latter option is more tiring.

If time is at a premium then sending a larger force is worht considering but the risk with this is that the whole lot could fall into a serius close range ambush while out on the open street which is why I tend to favour a one squad forward, 2 squads back at a distance of between 50 and 100 meters.

Luke

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And since there are only so many RL tactics one can use successfully in CM, I am talking about the best game tactic.

Yes I understood that.

However the principles remain the same.

In terms of game specifics What nationality are you?

The rough problem you asked about will be impacted by simple stuff like if you are playing USMC then a single squad split may still achieve what you want.

German Panzergrenadiers probably not.

The best way to ask these types of questions (to avoid these rounds of Q&A) is to post as much as you can up front.

Perhaps a screenshot but certainly a listing of what you have and what you want to achieve under what constraints.

The huge advantage you have here of course is you can try it and it it doesn't work try something else next time.

Good luck

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Watch your units' condition as you advance too, particularly if you're using HUNT. The troops tire rapidly in the heat. When advancing to contact where there's decent cover, I've found it best to use bounding fire and movement -- i.e. teams leapfrog each other using QUICK (or FAST to dash across small high hazard areas). The nonmoving guys get to rest and spot while covering their mates. Works nicely in the game as well as in RL and isnt as tiring as the ASSAULT move (save that for entering enemy Locations). A lot more micro required though.

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(In the game) I like using HUNT with lots of waypoints each with 10-30 sec delays (depending on how tired they may get). The units are also better at spotting ambushes when stopped. But, it is slow when covering a lot of ground.

I never use FAST for inf as they get tired too fast. QUICK seems almost as fast and units can jog for long distances it seems. However, my vehicles use FAST quite often.

I must be a cautious player as bounding overwatch when there is enemy about seems like a recipe for disaster (in the game). Generally, I find the best thing (in the game) when having to cross open terrain that you suspect is covered by the enemy is to saturate the edge (of hopefully covered terrain) with units and let them stay there watching while the smallest/least critical unit available HUNTS into harm's way.

Once the enemy reveals itself, one can then saturate it with fire. So, it's rarely necessary to send much force into the open before the enemy is severely depleted. Many CMSF scenarios are basically "Hunt and Kill the ATGM's" and the rest is easy. (Which is a big reason am looking forward to a return to WW2 technology.)

Re my original question, I just wondered if there was an optimal tactic for advancing along a restricted path, a road etc. My sense from the comments is that it's best to send the smallest units and keep most in reserve which is generally what I do.

But, I did wonder (in the game) if sending a squad or even a platoon (if you have a company plus) on each side of the road would be sufficient to fight one's way through - as opposed to simply have more guys massacred when the inevitable ambush occurs.

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I tend to to use the, "one up, two back" technique when I'm advancing. It seems to me like putting two up limits your flexibility dramatically and can cause unnecessary casualties. I use this pretty much regardless of the nationality (well except for the Syrians) and it works for me pretty well. In US army doctrine the "one up, two back" is called travelling overwatch and is used when contact is possible. Playing the game however, I find that bounding overwatch can be a bit slow when you're trying to advance up a road and you haven't made contact which is why i tend to stick with travelling overwatch instead.

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I must be a cautious player as bounding overwatch when there is enemy about seems like a recipe for disaster (in the game).

Same thing applies in RL.

In the game (just as in RL) I'd suggest you just use overwatch in that situation.

The difference (if you are unsure) is that whereas in Bounding Overwatch the two groups leapfrog each other (lots of speed, less security), in just Overwatch the moving unit catches up to the unit providing overwatch and then in turn provides overwatch for the group about to move (so they don't overtake each other they just catch up).

Re my original question, I just wondered if there was an optimal tactic for advancing along a restricted path, a road etc. My sense from the comments is that it's best to send the smallest units and keep most in reserve which is generally what I do.

But, I did wonder (in the game) if sending a squad or even a platoon (if you have a company plus) on each side of the road would be sufficient to fight one's way through - as opposed to simply have more guys massacred when the inevitable ambush occurs.

Yes but it not a case of just sending these guys out and if they make it send the next bunch.

You need to ensure that the guys moving have support in terms of covering fire from the static group.

In game turn that may well comprise the MG team having a Target Arc including the likely enemy location(s) and then you send a fire team down the road.

If they are fired on the MG team should help suppress the firer.

Once the moving fire team reaches its destination, give them the Target Arc and the MG team can then move to catch up.

This "one foot on the ground" approach applies if the units are squads up to battlegroups and beyond.

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We had a pretty good discussion about overwatch and bounding overwatch in a thread I started about getting my Leos smoked consistently. Overwatch is a vital component of any offensive operation in which you don't want everyone to die discovering ambushes.

The Major's 'style' of instruction works for me very well, so I picked up on what he was trying to pass on and then used it in game, and shucks darn it worked like a charm. As for your original tactical problem, how to use the forces at hand while advancing up a road where enemy contact is likely, overwatch. How does this translate into the units you have on the ground. US Army infantry units break down into one basic element, the fire team. Two riflemen, a grenadier (M203 equipped rifleman in the modern day), and the SAW man. This unit, in some ways, is self sufficient on the battle field. I am not saying that you send one fire team to take Damascus, but they are able to maneuver as a unit being mutually supporting. The drill I will never forget is when you and your battle buddy advance across a field with a 'machine gun simulator' popping away. While your buddy covers you down range, you get on your feet and move. I would count it in my head, "I'm up, he sees me, I'm down", and with that you hit the dirt. Then, while you cover, your buddy does the same. The truth is, you can see this form of 'fire and maneuver' all the way up the chain of command. Fire teams provide overwatch for other fire teams, squads overwatch for other squads, platoons for platoons, etc. This is what you need to be doing to get down your road. If I were in your TacShack, I would advance a fire team (half squad) up the road with the other half providing overwatch. Once they reach a certain point, the overwatch team moves up with the scout team, rinse wash and repeat. I would also attempt if at all possible, to provide both teams with at least an MG team, preferably an IFV with some kind of auto-cannon, to provide overwatch for the whole operation. Modern warfare is quick and brutal at the point of contact, you want to bring as much firepower to bear on a target as quickly as possible to destroy it outright, or suppress them so the infantry can close with and destroy the enemy.

My thoughts only of course, but rooted in tactical common sense I feel, and reiterating some points already made by others since they are important enough to be said twice!

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Depends what is in Damascus. If it is just President Assad and his dog you might just get away with a squad of special forces :D

Seriously, to take a city that size you are looking at a couple of divisions at a minimum which is what Baghdad required and resistance there was fairly light as things turned out. Obviously we cannot look at the whole of our hypothetical Battle of Damascus, just parts of it fought by a few companies or a battalion or two.

Getting back to our low level tactical discussion. Ideally I like a tank or an IFV to provide overwatch in addition to any infantry heavy weapons. Good for taking out fire from apartment blocks, mosques etc (ROE permitting) Although heat does tire troops on Hunt it is an order worth giving if you are not sure what is up there and the distances are fairly shortYou probably only need to give this order to your lead squad as you should have time to stop your two rear squads if you have not already ordered them to stop at a certain location anyway. Sending a fire team on a pre attack recon could also be a good idea.

Also, if it is available, don't forget to use smoke on suspected enemy positions. If you have might vision you will be more able to see through it (excpet incendiary smoke) than those who don't have it. Blinding and supessing the enemy so you can get into a good close assualt should work well.

Another possibility is that, instead of going down the street you instead go through the buildings and/or over the rooftops. If going through wallsyou can always use explosives to mousehole your way through them but this does take longer.

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Why use the road as a boundary at all? Pick out march objectives in route to your final objective and treat each one of them as a Movement to Contact objective. Ignore the road (stay out of it, altogether). If you split your unit, no matter what size, you will have to join it again at some point. Which means you will have to have part of it cross the road, requiring it to cross a major danger area.

Mechanized forces dont even use roads unless required to by the terrain (THICK woods, bridges etc). Pick a covered and concealed route to your march objectives (which should be on key terrain) and ignore the road altogether. Once you have cleared a certain area you can use the road with impunity to push up reinforcements, resupply, etc.

If you are talking about a street rather than a road, well the same rules apply. In cities/towns, streets are always established as kill boxes by the defender and have to be avoided at all costs.

So, take the Majors RL advice, apply MTETT (mission, terrain, enemy, time, troops) and develop a course of action that will avoid using a road or splitting your force. If you ARE absolutely forced to move down a road, pick a side and stick to it. It is easier to establish a base of fire and move up a reserve unit to assault if you have your unit in one piece.

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So, take the Majors RL advice, apply MTETT (mission, terrain, enemy, time, troops) and develop a course of action that will avoid using a road or splitting your force. If you ARE absolutely forced to move down a road, pick a side and stick to it. It is easier to establish a base of fire and move up a reserve unit to assault if you have your unit in one piece.

Actually as of 1030 this morning that's no longer correct (refer updated signature block) :).

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As far as splitting squads...

I have started a new thread on this as I find that when you split a squad, one half seems always to be OUT of C2 even if they are right next to (visual close or earshot) the half of the squad IN C2 (command squad). I am not sure if BFC wanted it this way but it makes no sense to me. Go ahead and test for yourself and let me know what you think.

Here: http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=94930

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Boy, am surprised at all the replies here. Yes, I was talking about when you kinda HAVE to move down a road (or close to it) with vehicles cos of urban or other restrictive terrain.

I tend to send out a team on each side of the road with support following. But, I rarely do "overwatch" by having the support team catch up before sending the point teams onward again. I just let them all HUNT forward in formation until something happens.

Is there a good reason to have the point team wait for the support to catch up vs my technique?

Either way one question is how much of a gap is ideal between the point team and the support team? 30m? 50m?

2nd question: Is it better to split one squad into two teams and have each team go on either side of the road (with other squad(s) in support), OR, is it better to split two squads and use the lighter team of each split squad be the point teams, with the rest of the squad acting as support of their respective teammates on their respective side of the road?

(Does it even matter which, maybe not?)

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Boy, am surprised at all the replies here. Yes, I was talking about when you kinda HAVE to move down a road (or close to it) with vehicles cos of urban or other restrictive terrain.

I think that's because your initial question was so open / general / vague.

Hence the suggestion to next time throw in a screenshot or describe the situation a bit more than just "the road", people can then frame their response to suit the situation.

But at least you now have some ideas for more open country too (like don't use them) :)

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Erwin, A serious problem (for me) with "hunt" is that once they encounter an enemy,all orders after that are erased. So you can have a series of 4,5 hunt orders,but if they encounter their opponent in the first one, the ones after are erased and they become involved in a standing firefight on whatever ground they happen to be occupying...generally this is not good..in RT you can go back to them and issue orders to hide, to move elsewhere, to fall back,etc..but I seem to recall you saying that you play in WEGO, and in that, hunt seems a good way to kill a bunch of your guys, especially if it is early on in the "1 minute" when they make contact.

And congratulations Lt Colonel Mark!

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Congrats Lt Colonel!!! ::cheers:: I will be sure to have a couple drinks in your honor sir, you will be receiving the bill in short order ;)

All in all, I enjoy threads like this. I find that, personally, I practice things repetitively so they become more like instinct or muscle memory then anything else. We are dealing with the basics of modern warfare here, never a bad idea to say things over, and over, and over again if they important enough to do so.

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Congrats on the promotion!

abneo: I usually have very restricted arcs on all my point and recon units so that they stop and hide. Generally, I find them more useful as spotters to ID the enemy than to shoot at them. Once ID'd it's much easier to destroy em.

I didn't post a screenshot as I don't have a specific example - just a general question (so any Generals out there, plz respond heh).

I believe that CM is quite amenable to a one size fits all approach - and certainly when it comes to reconning a road. I was curious what other folks do.

To be specific, how much distance do you guys like to keep between point and immediate (squad) support in (1) Forest, (2) Urban, (3) Light-Moderate cover?

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To be specific, how much distance do you guys like to keep between point and immediate (squad) support in (1) Forest, (2) Urban, (3) Light-Moderate cover?

Well the rule of thumb I use is to locate bounds no more than half the range of the covering weapon.

So if you have a MG with say a 600m effective range, the bound is no more than 300m.

Of course often the terrain makes it much less than that in which case its a position where likely en position that can fire on the moving unit are in LOS of the supporting unit.

So in the above example if there's a bound that can be engaged from a position in LOS of the MG and within 600m then that's OK.

If there's a bound that can be engaged from a position out of LOS of the MG that's no good because if they are fired on the MG can't help.

In an urban setting that might mean the next blind corner 20m from the MG.

Again no "one size fits all" magic distance, every case is different.

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