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Heavy machine guns and suppressive fire


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I'm playing a campaign in Iron level. 5.50 AM and fog, enemy force (maybe a reinforced Platoon) attacks through a field with 2 interlocked HMGs and 3 HTs with MG 42s set in defense.

One of the HMGs got 30 kills. The attack failed in that spot.

So, though maybe 1 to 1 the HMGs seems to be less effective than expected, I found them quite deadly when used in a proper way in defense (or giving suppression fires in attack with area fire on suspected enemy's positions).

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i totally agree about tweaking burst levels and suppression.

a third in-game feature related to the subject is buddy aid. in real world there was a lot more buddy aid going and it would take a lot longer to give it and it would lead to some rout-like behaviour (soldiers giving buddy aid moving back).

much of the almost exponential loss of attacker's firepower in relation to taken losses is explained by "buddy aid" behaviour and explains to large extent how a unit can have 70% losses in battle but regain 90% of it immediately after the battle is over.

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URD - definitely true. The RAND studies estimates combat ineffectives grow as fast as actual losses to about 50% total, and then faster. Some of that is outright rout or simple cower, but with 75% of the men hit typically only wounded not killed, men getting out of the danger zone by the honorable escape route offered by trying to save one of the wounded could certainly account for a lot of it.

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My own experience on attack in the same scenario support that also: instead of mindlessly advancing despite losses, I tended to stop for giving buddy aid to all the casualties, having whole platoons stopped by precise fire from a BAR guy in the forests.

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Buddy aid is a part of my rules, efforts are even made to get to guys stuck out in the open in sight of the enemy (usually a major team effort). It's just the right thing to do.

It really feels great to be able to do something for my wounded; it's probably one of the biggest game-changers for me personally, a huge shift in my virtual-tactics has been made and I love it.

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Thanks. I thought that playing RT might be more lend itself more to the sort of in-the-moment immersion that you describe but clearly in your case it does not since you play WEGO as I do. I have to be honest and say that I seldom take the time to treat the wounded but now I'm beginning to think I'm cheating myself of another way to make the game feel even more realistic. I'm not an RT fan at all normally, but the lack of replay killed it conclusively for me in this game.

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I have to be honest and say that I seldom take the time to treat the wounded but now I'm beginning to think I'm cheating myself of another way to make the game feel even more realistic.

I play on warrior difficulty, and it usually holds a team up for at least a couple of turns. I'll also do things like split squads and leave a team behind to clean up while others keep moving. When you start playing for your men as much as (or more than) your objectives, the game takes on a totally different dimension.

I'll admit that my play so far amounts to the campaigns Task Force Raff and roughly half of the Road to Montbourg (? Suddenly dyslexic), and the carry-over of forces between battles gives plenty of motivation.

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OK, that in part explains your thinking, since I'm mostly playing scenarios. I have started the Devils Descent campaign (very good BTW) and am now seeing what you are talking about. Playing CMN I tend to be so mission oriented that I overlook these human concerns...quite the opposite of how I am in real life. :D

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I'm squarely in the "decrease time between bursts and increase morale effects" camp as well. Those seem to be the two most out of the reality loop.

Also, let's not forget these lafayette tripods were mounted with a 4 power scope. Somewhere on the internet i saw a graphic of what a six foot human silhouette looks like in the crosshairs at 300 meters of such a tac scope. At those ranges (and maybe slightly beyond) an experienced gunner would most likely be firing burst....dead guy.....burst...dead guy....at least against targets stupid enough to fully expose themselves to the HMG.

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I'd also like to see a little more ROF from the Garands as well, at least under certain situations....but I guess that's a different thread.

Yes, but if the supposed statistics about how often troops actually fired their weapons is to be believed, maybe not all of our pixeltruppen would be adding to the firefight.

Supposedly, according to one postwar study by General S.L.A. Marshall, only a fraction of GI's fired their weapons in anger once in combat. IIRC Marshall's credibility became suspect when it was discovered that he did not actually interview as many GI's as he'd claimed. Since he was the one who planted the seeds of the passive GI idea, I'm not sure of what the current credible data is on the subject, at least for WW2 GI's.

I suspect our modern troops are much more intensely trained and disciplined with the "muscle memory" necessary to ensure they are pulling the trigger when the opportunity presents itself.

Anyone out there with good data on how many WW2 GI's were actually firing their weapons?

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The only thing I have read about troops not firing (beyond Marshalls questionable conclusion) is that troops tended not to fire unless they saw a target. Too much training on the range and the idea of not wasting ammo except on a clearly seen target, troops were reluctant to blast away at a target which would at least suppress the enemy.

I remember reading one Veterans response to Marshall's conclusion was something like 'How the hell did he think we killed the Germans? Beat them with our rifles?'

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My concern here is that this really needs to be done as well as possible. The entire German squad concept was based around the MG and the proper modeling of the weapon system is paramount in my mind. Probably more important than having outrageously accurate damage locations for armor or the like (although that's a great feature).

I tend to think of this as an infantry simulator first with the armor action thrown in as a cherry on top. I'm sure we've all played those games where infantry modeling was a complete afterthought or games where tanks roamed around an imaginary battlefield with nary a solitary rifleman in sight. And they, well, suck.......

MG modeling accuracy was one of my major concerns with this new title as I've followed along with it's development. I'm just hoping BFC will give it the proper scrutiny when it comes time to make the patching decisions.

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Yes, but if the supposed statistics about how often troops actually fired their weapons is to be believed, maybe not all of our pixeltruppen would be adding to the firefight.

They already don't; at least only a minority of mine do. One of the things I have been doing during replay is watching squad behavior during a firefight, and inevitably I see two or three soldiers doing the firing firing while the rest are spotting or cowering. Although some of that may be due to LOS/LOF considerations, in most of the circumstances where I've been observing it, that seems extremely unlikely.

Michael

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On fire behavior, SLA simply isn't credible. But I don't think training or concern about wasting ammo had anything to do with it.

Some commanders expected the men to fire their rifles in the general direction of the enemy just to suppress them by making noise and creating a general hazard. The men didn't see it that way or act that way.

They fired when the saw a target and didn't fire if they couldn't see a target. This wasn't an excessive concern with saving ammo. It was an entirely rational concern with saving their own backsides.

Firing gives away one's own position and tend to attract reply fire. If you could actually hurt someone and thus help win the engagement, that was a risk worth running - but if not, it was pointless to give away one's location and draw fire, to no practical purpose.

The average rifleman facing the entire German army quite reasonably felt that there was precious little he could do with his personal peashooter. And he was right.

70% of infantry casualties were caused by artillery fire. And the bulk of the remainder were caused by full MGs and SAWs. Most riflemen never hit anybody with their personal weapon, *over the entire war*, let alone in every engagement. (They all would have shot each other to bits inside a month had that not been true).

It took about 3000 rounds fired by small arms to account for a single enemy casualty, as an average. A rifleman went through 70, occasionally 140 rounds in a week in action, max. They didn't fire more than that because they didn't see targets they had any hope of hurting, more than that.

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