Query re Attack formations (Full Version)

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pcelt -> Query re Attack formations (5/8/2012 12:23:21 PM)

When facing a relatively narrow enemy target what are significant differences in effectiveness of using "arrowhead" or "Vee" or "successive wave" attack formations.
When and in what circumstances would you prefer and select each of these.

Lieste -> RE: Query re Attack formations (5/8/2012 4:31:34 PM)

Mostly in the degree of unit cohesion when moving, and the projected firepower and 'vulnerability' to each flank, the front and rear.

Cohesion is useful so if there is a long approach march I'd pick them in order:

Arrowhead (V shaped, point forwards).
Successive lines.
V (V shaped, point back).

Firepower projected forwards relative to vulnerability (useful if both sides can fire effectively - though also bear in mind the loss of effectiveness of low cohesion).

Successive Lines

Firepower projected forwards (useful if you have higher effectiveness than enemy)
Successive Line or Arrowhead (same)

Low Vulnerability to Front (useful if you need to close before your weapons become effective).
Successive Lines
V or Arrow (same)

Low vulnerability to flanks (useful if receiving fire from more than one direction).
Successive Lines
V or Arrow (same)

Depending on how effective enemy fire is, which depends on density, degree of artillery suppression, cover etc... I'd go for maximising cohesion with low effective fires, or protection (or relative firepower) if fires are more effective.

pcelt -> RE: Query re Attack formations (5/8/2012 5:45:21 PM)

Many thanks Lieste-----I have called a meeting of my military advisory committee to analyse all the guidelines and to feed them into my brain via electrodes.
But seriously--excellent detailed analysis and I hope that if senility has not totally taken control, to have assimilated everything by early July.
Cheers ---"snakes and ladders" not a bad game I recall....................where did I put that?

Lieste -> RE: Query re Attack formations (5/8/2012 8:59:06 PM)

Basically for all movement without serious contact expected - Arrowhead.

If you are vastly superior (eg Panthers vs M5) then it doesn't really matter - but V will give highest kill rate of these options.

Otherwise I'd tend to pick Successive lines for the best balance.

Bear in mind that the formation chosen for each element may differ from the group formation (which you specify) - eg Line is commonly used by the AI for the lead companies, with subsequent units in column or successive lines, with the grouping of units being '2 up' for V, '1 up' for arrow etc.. Sometimes column will be used, despite it being a poor combat choice, because the AI underestimates enemy strength, wants the rapid move and cohesion (particularly in poor terrain) or has just miscalculated when to drop from march to combat formation.

pcelt -> RE: Query re Attack formations (5/9/2012 12:47:54 AM)

Lieste--Thanks again for all the clear guidelines and suggestions. Much appreciated

Central Blue -> RE: Query re Attack formations (5/31/2012 7:27:50 PM)



Basically for all movement without serious contact expected - Arrowhead.

So are the echelon options ever good ones for anything?

Anything wrong with line if no contact expected, and you want the troops to move quickly to a line of departure?

Bil H -> RE: Query re Attack formations (5/31/2012 8:54:00 PM)


ORIGINAL: Central Blue

So are the echelon options ever good ones for anything?

Anything wrong with line if no contact expected, and you want the troops to move quickly to a line of departure?

Echelon left or right if you expect enemy contact from one of those directions (as fire will be concentrated on that flank).. or when operating as part of a larger formation as a flank guard.

Line will move very slowly, column is best if no contact is expected. You can maintain line at any time of course as long as you don't care about speed of movement or your flanks (they will be very vulnerable).

Central Blue -> RE: Query re Attack formations (6/1/2012 3:43:02 PM)

Thanks Bill.

Of course I meant to type column . . .

Lieste -> RE: Query re Attack formations (6/1/2012 4:34:38 PM)

Nothing wrong with column, but it takes longer for the whole group to arrive than with a 'broader' formation... a regt(+) column is ~15km long, and the head of it will arrive at least half an hour before the tail - more if operating off road (hour and a half upwards).

When operating near a road and in 'quickest' route (or unspecified) whatever the formation set, the AI will travel in column along the road in any case. With mixed/off-road movement and on 'fairly level' ground, a broad wedge will travel at roughly the same rate, but will have a much lower depth, greater width coverage and much shorter arrival/concentration time. For short distances, cross country movement in formation is faster and less problematic than going on-off road and going from deployed-column-deployed.

Try various movement techniques out - you have fairly good control over AI behaviour (in that you can force it to do what you want), but it can sometimes take an explicit and particular configuration of the various options to force 'unusual' variants.

Bil H -> RE: Query re Attack formations (6/1/2012 8:22:07 PM)



Nothing wrong with column, but it takes longer for the whole group to arrive than with a 'broader' formation... a regt(+) column is ~15km long, and the head of it will arrive at least half an hour before the tail - more if operating off road (hour and a half upwards).

Sort of true David... of course you shouldn't be able to travel at road speeds in anything other than column formation... I think that should more than balance out the ultimate unit arrival times as described above.

pcelt -> RE: Query re Attack formations (6/1/2012 8:49:20 PM)

I have a question which relates to this .
If i advance a battalion at night I tend to use a road column for speed but sometimes find a real problem when the lead element meets an unexpected enemy unit and halts.The battalion is so spread out that reorganizing for an attack is really problematic.
Would it be preferable when advancing into an unknown area especially at night to use a broader formation like a line or echelon so that , if meeting unexpected opposition, the move order can be more swiftly modified into an attack or defense mode.
The other alternative I have sometimes used when running into an unexpected enemy position is to give direct orders to each company nearby re attacking --which causes an uncoordinated but quicker response to the threat
I would appreciate any comments and advice from more experienced tacticians--------thanks

Lieste -> RE: Query re Attack formations (6/1/2012 9:51:12 PM)

I tend to drop off the point element in a hasty defence, and to launch an attack/bypass or retreat with the remainder of the formation. Artillery is fired in support of the defending company/platoon, and then it is either collected by it's parent formation, or withdrawn back to the Bn(-) position.

If his artillery positions are known, a CB shoot timed with this will reduce the likelihood of a forced retreat/rout.

For movement in Indian Country, a small subunit operating in advance of the main body is very useful - it will find enemy strongpoints, giving time for the main body to make assault/bypass/avoid choices, and permitting a proper deployment for a more deliberate attack *not* from within the killzone of his ambush.

It will tend to be more responsive to new orders than the lead elements of a larger unit, and can be retasked (eg to flank guard, to bypass and drive deeper etc, without interfering with the main attack/advance/withdrawal.

Choosing an appropriate route will help with decision making and being able to concentrate - often this is problematic when large portions of the FUP are located in open ground on forward slopes under direct observation - many of the HQ, LOC troops and support weapons will be reluctant to enter these areas (and it is generally unhealthy for line elements also).

pcelt -> RE: Query re Attack formations (6/1/2012 10:37:45 PM)

Cheers Lieste---one quick supplementary
Using a point subunit in indian country as you suggest, would you recommend the rest of the force to travel in road column or in a broader formation to react more quickly as a group to whatever order change is chosen after contact.

Lieste -> RE: Query re Attack formations (6/2/2012 12:44:53 AM)

Point units (not always present, - sometimes I use the 'tip of the spear' for the same function in a non-explicit way) Company.
First Echelons Bn or Bn(-) if an explicit point unit is detached - may have reinforcements included, but I tend to keep tanks and anti-tank units concentrated into Bn sized formations as a 'fist' supporting whichever 'wing' needs support or is doing better (depending on general situation and enemy capabilities).

Follow on forces - Regt (-) or Division (-). Support Echelons concentrated under a reserve HQ and moved as required to suustain LOC links, and to avoid cross-front supply orientations - each is oriented as directly from rear to troops, with minimal lateral routeing.

Because you have some distance/time to play with, you can make your movements in column to use speed - with off-road movements planned you might prefer the additional dispersion and shorter formation depth given by wedge/successive lines, but in most cases the main body should be out of direct fire range until after the point and first echelon have developed the initial contact.

Each force is large enough to develop a basic defensive position and hold for 6-12 hrs or so, by which time one or two follow on forces can be converged on the battle, or sent via other routes to his rear areas. Artillery disrupts his reserves before they can be committed, routs any artillery or supply spotted by the lead elements, and protects the weak forward elements from being overrun if enemy presence is strong.

Administrative moves are best done by Division or Regt, but manoeuvres to contact are usually more responsive when performed as Bn or Regt (if sufficient lead time is available). Always explicitly base Regt Supply elements before using Regt forces for an attack - the AI will base them too far in the rear, and with considerable lateral offset - or if basing is off will bring them right into contact. You might also want to explicitly bring forward the AT and mortar assets - the default basing often leaves these out of a developing fight. AT guns should be dug in in the second line, and act as a stop line for tanks pressing the front line forces.

pcelt -> RE: Query re Attack formations (6/2/2012 6:31:41 AM)

Lieste ---As usual-a great deal of interesting and valuable food for thought---merci bien.

NB One final query currently----Movement mode choices include "Avoidance" and there is a clickable sub-option for "Bypass"
What are specific differences here?

Lieste -> RE: Query re Attack formations (6/2/2012 7:03:16 AM)

Avoidance is a larger scale 'low risk routeing' the same as supply columns. Bypass is a tactical movement once contact is made, with the intention of breaking contact and proceeding en-route.

Neither generally work as well as "finding the Bastards and Piling on"... IMO, but it can sometimes be useful to slip a blocking position behind the bit you are going to assault. Retreated units have an unpleasant tendency to block supply routes, call artillery or just get in the way... while those disbanded or surrendered are gone...

pcelt -> RE: Query re Attack formations (6/2/2012 8:36:48 AM)

Like the the advice from the heart and spoken with feeling on this one--------wil certainly try and implement this if feasible.
Will try and give you a bit of peace now...............................

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