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Advises on reconnaissance tactics and fog of war

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Advises on reconnaissance tactics and fog of war - 2/10/2013 9:54:14 PM   

Posts: 165
Joined: 7/23/2005
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I'm in need for some advises on recon tactics and clearing that fog of war! In turn based games that's not really a problem as I know exactly the parameters of my units (i.e. LOS, spaces to move, firing range, etc.), turns are statics and at the end of turn, I know instantly the results of moves and combats. So it's easier to anticipate the unknown. But in this game, since orders are delayed and more based on objectives (secure that bridge, attack that town, etc.), I have difficulties to give the right orders to my units. I'm not sure which ones are best suited to move units in unknown territories (move, attack, probe). Usually, each time I moved a force, when it meets a small force, I loose a lot of time dealing with it. I never know if I should send only few units to take care of them or send the full force. For the few games that I played, most of the time it ends up that I lost precious time.

Any advices on:
1) Best formation to use when moving troops in unknown territories?
2) Does AI manage recon units or do I have to give them specific orders?
3) What would be the best size for a recon force (one recon company, a full batallion on mech. infantry, etc.)?
4) Should I let my main force behind until I know exactly what's in front of me?
5) Anything else
Post #: 1
RE: Advises on reconnaissance tactics and fog of war - 2/14/2013 3:24:02 AM   

Posts: 165
Joined: 7/23/2005
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No answers? Lol! I guess I aimed to many targets and completely missed my objective!

I'll try to be more specific. What I want to know are general tips on recon tactics. Because each time I build a plan, well... it doesn't work! (At least, the first time I play a scenario)

Part of the failure is probably because I have a bad plan. I have to admit, my AI sub-commanders are much more competent than I am. I must say that the game is hard, which is a good thing, but the scale and concepts are new to me, so the learning curve is steep.

The other reason is because I don't know where and in what number are the enemy forces. When I plan an assault, my units generally meet a stronger force than seen at first and it turns out that it is repelled or the main objective is delayed.

For example, in the Hofen Ho-Down scenario, my plans just didn't work. I tried to make these tactics and none of them worked:

1) a frontal assault with my three battalions each one on Monshau, Hofen N and Hofen S. 
2) a frontal assault with 753 Hofen N and 751 on the flank and 752 as a reserve. 

Both attacks were repelled by stronger force than were spotted at first and by hidden bombarding units. The second attack was the worst where 751 and 752 (later) were both routed by bombardments. since I don't know where are these units, I cannot counter bombard. 

Skorzeny's bid also gave me trouble, although I finally manage to get a decisive victory on my third attempt, mainly because I knew what and where were the enemy units. 

So, what would be the best way to plan ahead when few information is a available?

(in reply to macob30)
Post #: 2
RE: Advises on reconnaissance tactics and fog of war - 2/14/2013 4:00:18 AM   


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Joined: 11/1/2008
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The first thing is to do 'map recon' ~ identify what is covered terrain and approach routes, where he'll first 'get eyes on' your troops, *if he is place*, where you would set up several schemes of defence ~ with a view to blocking both the obvious direct approaches and any 'covered' route you identify.

Identify where you can establish an OP which gives good coverage of his rear areas ~ this gives information on moving elements ~ often it will observe activity at his Supply Bases, and may spot the shoots of his heavy artillery. You will also get early sight of his concentrating (ideal) or moving reserves, which should be disrupted by artillery to delay their arrival in the 'fight'.

Now look for covered routes for your supply lines ~ these need to be internal both 'before' the attack launches, during if it stalls, and after once concentrating on the objective and holding against his building counter-attacks... these may be contradictory, and might force a lateral movement of the Regt Bases in your rear area to support each force without lateral movement of the truck columns in the FEBA.

Identify covered areas for your artillery, close to the enemy FLOT, but with their minimum ranges clear of their positions ~ particularly in that scenario, where little ammunition is immediately on hand you can displace a proportion of the artillery forward to support in depth on later days, and to provide a local 'emergency' AT and direct fire support during the recovery phase of the initial assault. 105mm HEAT is quite effective at breaking up light armour counter-attacks.

The infantry must assemble and commence their assaults from out of sight ~ trying to throw together an attack in the open, in broad daylight will fail. You can use dead-ground, terrain cover (woods and buildings) and night/bad weather to do this.

With a good 'map-work' and a fairly heavy preparation on the forward edge of the objective, plus heavy fires to suppress anything seen in depth, and you should be able to storm Hofen in the first assault, and hold it from the counter-attacks.

You can infiltrate small bodies of troops between or around his defended areas, and provide targets for artillery on subsequent days ~ with luck you can displace or eliminate some or all of his supply and artillery. This isn't always a *good* idea, but when it works out it almost always pays off ~ even if only in tying down a lot of enemy firepower and combat strength trying to eliminate the threat.

Look at the battlefield from the enemy point of view too ~ look for his lines of supply and reinforcement, and place fires and observation across them... this will force him to either fight with steadily declining supplies, or to move from his trenches to attack to re-open them. Any time you can make him move, rather than sit tight on the objectives you get an opportunity to disrupt one or more units with artillery, or an ambush... turn the tables on him.

Although you are the "attacker" you can actually spend much of the scenario 'dug-in' on the objectives, forcing him to attack in the open to get them back. Where possible an attack should also block entry (and exit) to the objective area ~ this makes it harder for your opponent to feed more troops in, and increases the number of prisoners you'll take from anyone who does retreat or rout from the battle. This shouldn't take too much combat power from your main attack (or it will fail), but it is a good use for those units which perhaps are a bit 'spent', particularly if leavened with Artillery and A/T support when required.

(in reply to macob30)
Post #: 3
RE: Advises on reconnaissance tactics and fog of war - 2/14/2013 5:05:52 AM   

Posts: 165
Joined: 7/23/2005
Status: offline
Thanks... A lot!

That was exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Some elements raised a couple of questions, but I'll read your text carefully and I'll try to put it in practice in my next battle before asking them.

(in reply to Lieste)
Post #: 4
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