Attack order placement and frontage (Full Version)

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conradmaher -> Attack order placement and frontage (7/11/2012 9:19:15 PM)

Hello I have another question I have been struggling with and hope to see if there is some common advice to help me out

these questions deal with placing an attack order (ie for a town etc) that is being held by enemy units.
Do you try and find a FUP as close as possible to the town?
Is it better to have the FUP a long distance off (several Kms) if there is no spot that is covered and then have your attacking force move the long distance
Do you set your frontage to be as wide as the town, or narrower?
Many times I place the attack cursor int he center of the town but then my units do not engage and push out all the enemy units, should I adjust placement of the cursor ie put it past the town I want to take or should I adjust frontage and depth?
Do you send you attacking force in Fast or normal speed?

Thanks for any insights

Conrad




Lieste -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (7/11/2012 10:37:13 PM)

Depends too much on forces, and terrain to generalise... but that is often the best way if you don't want to do much research, so here I go :)

I attack with at least 2 Bn groups, either spread across the face of the town, or where space is more congested, echeloned in depth as well as laterally spaced.

The first units deploy as they make enemy contact (are dropped off with fire orders, and then left 'defending' after the expiry). The bulk of the force continues to assault. I avoid decisive engagement, preferring to spot for IDF or tank support fires, then the second force completes the assault in depth of the position.

The detached elements are recombined with their parent formation and either enter reserve, or are leapfrogged past the first echelon forces.

An important part of assaulting a strongpoint is to isolate it from supply and reinforcements - allowing even small additional forces and supplies to enter will make breaking the position much harder...

To do this requires additional forces - reckon on 3-4 Bn to take a small village reliably, quickly and with minimal losses - though only 1-2 Bn will actually assault into the BUA. If possible only place FUP outside of enemy observation - a long march is ok, but being stationary and attempting to organise under artillery fire is a non-starter... being close enough to also receive direct fires from the objective and flanking positions will just add to problems.

Night and poor weather can aid preparation for an assault by allowing FUP to be much closer and in 'the open' without observation being possible.

After completion of the assault it is usually necessary to rest the most heavily engaged elements before they are ready to fight again (even if only for ammunition considerations (either for the force itself, or the supporting artillery)). If you have preserved a reserve, these can form an additional echelon to screen the front, or to further exploit... this is far better than over-exerting the front line troops and bleeding them white... do however return as much of your 'good condition' forces to the reserve as you can, as soon as possible.

Unit frontages I usually make adequate to either:
Ensure that flanking terrain is swept (or)
Ensure that the attacking forces advance in good going and/or out of sight for their entire assault movement (consider this to be a straight line from the FUP).

I usually explicitly define the FUP, using a Waypoint (or more than one) rather than allowing the AI to decide, as it risks too much to obtain 'a flank attack' for my liking, often passing deep into unobserved territory before halting to form up. I prefer this to be done inside my FLOT, but will aim for the best 'angles' for the situation that I can get, and will also secure terrain with subsidiary forces to give an advanced FLOT to attack from.




Arjuna -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (7/12/2012 12:45:39 AM)

JUst for those that don't know the acronyms David has used:

FLOT = forward line of own troops.
BUA = built up area
IDF = indirect fire
FUP = forming up place




Lieste -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (7/12/2012 12:59:14 AM)

Yes, sorry about that, a bit fond of my TLA and MLA I'm afraid... [:D]




conradmaher -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (7/12/2012 1:13:22 AM)

Thanks for the fantastic reply

A follow on question do you run your battalions as individual units (ie in the example you gave the first two units that receive fire orders etc) are they given each their own set of orders, or do you combine the units together to give them both one set of orders. Lastly if you do the latter would you attach them to an HQ?

Thanks
Conrad




Lieste -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (7/12/2012 1:38:36 AM)

I'd run a Regt as three separate entities (combat Bn (possibly a task-force, but most frequently the organic formation), combat Bn, HQ-Support-Reserve. This latter broken down and recombined as needed to move elements within the rear area. My supply network is often 'commanded' by some rear area HQ with 'defend in place' orders - individual depots moved and then re-attached to the LOC HQ - with smaller scenarios and no strong pressure on the Map Boss I might not combine them into one formation tree, but rather leave each as a fourth semi-permanent entity within the Regt.

For Admin moves, and for resting units I will reattach all Regt assets to the Rgt HQ (and maybe all Rgts to Div HQ) to minimise command load, but I don't find a particular problem in disposing the Bn in a tactical manner - where this exceeds the level of command authority actually exercised by a higher echelon commander, there is a higher level of implicit command given with phase lines, boundaries and orientations than is easy to accomplish for complex attacks.

There is also far more scope for timings to go off with the separate elements, and this opens opportunities for commitment of reserves, or for attacks to get fundamentally bogged down, which requires player intervention to identify, decide, plan and act.

Within the Bn, where a lead company is being engaged effectively I will permit it to deploy and SupportByFire (SBF) the continuing movement of it's parent formation. This is similar to running the Bn on aggressive settings, but I find that this bogs the whole formation... using medium or low aggro keeps movement going, and the SBF protects the moving elements. It also allows a longer period of artillery suppression of enemy positions in the interval between detecting a definite target and being too close for support. There is less risk of a SBF formation being effectively engaged than one that is moving at closer range, and therefore a lower risk of retreat or routing... if the unit is forced to give ground, being further away will usually permit a cleaner break from contact and fewer casualties to fire and surrender.

Where I am operating two units 'together' then I will use one as the HQ for the pair, or designate a formal HQ unit to control them. Where elements are operating as fire support for, or as the reserve of the Parent unit (often the same unit in the mid portion of the assault), then they will usually be 'singles' until recombined for further operations. These might be to regroup 'on' the objective as the formation reorganises following success, or to join with other reserve elements to advance and block enemy movements or to pursue routed enemy elements.
What I will avoid is reattaching companies or platoons to an HQ which is actively engaging in mobile offensive action. The last thing you want is a long reorganisation or replanning while in contact. I would rather form a parallel ad-hoc grouping from all the detachments to act as my fire-brigade and then try to bring them into contact with a major formation which they can rejoin smoothly (at the beginning of a new orders cycle is a good time).



While some of this might sound chaotic, I am actually more strict with movement routeing, echeloning and unit boundaries than the AI tends to be. I avoid attacking 'across' other unit's areas of responsibility and try to keep units sharing a supply source together geographically, with the supply feeding from the units' rear. I also attempt to maintain a coherent front... and where that isn't feasible to at least screen the road network between major combat formations.

That this won't always work out should of course be assumed, but the effort is there, and frequently makes the difference between a resilient and tough force, and one that is easily brushed aside.




rrbill -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (11/26/2012 12:22:51 PM)

Thanks, Lieste, for the well expressed instruction. Learning that this game will take a bit more to get it right. You've helped.




Major SNAFU -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (12/21/2012 8:30:43 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lieste

I'd run a Regt as three separate entities (combat Bn (possibly a task-force, but most frequently the organic formation), combat Bn, HQ-Support-Reserve. This latter broken down and recombined as needed to move elements within the rear area. My supply network is often 'commanded' by some rear area HQ with 'defend in place' orders - individual depots moved and then re-attached to the LOC HQ - with smaller scenarios and no strong pressure on the Map Boss I might not combine them into one formation tree, but rather leave each as a fourth semi-permanent entity within the Regt.

For Admin moves, and for resting units I will reattach all Regt assets to the Rgt HQ (and maybe all Rgts to Div HQ) to minimise command load, but I don't find a particular problem in disposing the Bn in a tactical manner - where this exceeds the level of command authority actually exercised by a higher echelon commander, there is a higher level of implicit command given with phase lines, boundaries and orientations than is easy to accomplish for complex attacks.

There is also far more scope for timings to go off with the separate elements, and this opens opportunities for commitment of reserves, or for attacks to get fundamentally bogged down, which requires player intervention to identify, decide, plan and act.

Within the Bn, where a lead company is being engaged effectively I will permit it to deploy and SupportByFire (SBF) the continuing movement of it's parent formation. This is similar to running the Bn on aggressive settings, but I find that this bogs the whole formation... using medium or low aggro keeps movement going, and the SBF protects the moving elements. It also allows a longer period of artillery suppression of enemy positions in the interval between detecting a definite target and being too close for support. There is less risk of a SBF formation being effectively engaged than one that is moving at closer range, and therefore a lower risk of retreat or routing... if the unit is forced to give ground, being further away will usually permit a cleaner break from contact and fewer casualties to fire and surrender.

Where I am operating two units 'together' then I will use one as the HQ for the pair, or designate a formal HQ unit to control them. Where elements are operating as fire support for, or as the reserve of the Parent unit (often the same unit in the mid portion of the assault), then they will usually be 'singles' until recombined for further operations. These might be to regroup 'on' the objective as the formation reorganises following success, or to join with other reserve elements to advance and block enemy movements or to pursue routed enemy elements.
What I will avoid is reattaching companies or platoons to an HQ which is actively engaging in mobile offensive action. The last thing you want is a long reorganisation or replanning while in contact. I would rather form a parallel ad-hoc grouping from all the detachments to act as my fire-brigade and then try to bring them into contact with a major formation which they can rejoin smoothly (at the beginning of a new orders cycle is a good time).



While some of this might sound chaotic, I am actually more strict with movement routeing, echeloning and unit boundaries than the AI tends to be. I avoid attacking 'across' other unit's areas of responsibility and try to keep units sharing a supply source together geographically, with the supply feeding from the units' rear. I also attempt to maintain a coherent front... and where that isn't feasible to at least screen the road network between major combat formations.

That this won't always work out should of course be assumed, but the effort is there, and frequently makes the difference between a resilient and tough force, and one that is easily brushed aside.


Hi Lieste,

Is there a chance that you might upload a screen shot from in-game where you have units positioned according to your second-to-last paragraph. Sometimes, okay often, I have trouble visualizing your descriptions. I often try to draw out what you describe and see if I can follow all of the points, but sometimes a picture would help immensely.

Regards,





phoenix -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (12/22/2012 9:51:40 AM)

Lieste. Whilst you're doing all this redesignation - detaching individual units to get them to support by fire, for example, or take defensive positions, whilst the rest of your task force sweeps on - do you not incurr a replanning delay each time? I mean, does it not happen that each time you tinker with the orders given your Bn has to stop and replan to take account of the absent unit?




Major SNAFU -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (12/23/2012 3:59:03 PM)

I second Phoenix's question.





Arjuna -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (12/24/2012 12:44:24 AM)

How I cater for these is that I have a reserve force and if I need a specific task to be done by an AT unit or a line company I seloect such a unit from the reserve and give it that order. That way your main manopuvre battalions are not affected bu extra orders delay.




phoenix -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (12/24/2012 9:05:54 AM)

Thanks Dave.




Lieste -> RE: Attack order placement and frontage (12/24/2012 12:38:48 PM)

No particular delays - the element in question drops out of the order group leaving a 'hole' in the pattern of units still moving onto the objective... I then control this/these elements manually to maintain position (at the cost of orders delay extension generally) until a suitable moment to reintegrate into the main orders group again.

Once the assault is under way this doesn't seem to cause more disruption than the same element being 'halted' by fires and then retreating or routing... the other elements continue moving &/or firing on their assault tasks as I'd expect.

This is for orders given at Bn level (and sometimes might be an entire Bn group moving to SBF a neighbouring Bn for example (eg tanks shooting infantry onto a woodline)). I'm not strongly aware of any problem to the flow of attack caused by halting one company that would otherwise move into converging fires though... the remainder seem to continue with their planned task 'as-is'. I only use higher command levels for administrative movements and for organising a static defence or "the rear area"... front line formations tend to be 'mostly organic' and Bn level commands.

I tend to use 'painfully realistic delays' so it could be that the order to halt and re-org is taking longer to propagate than the time to complete or otherwise culminate the assault - which might be with all line elements being in SBF, and the attack being cancelled/replanned.




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