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Motorcycle tactics

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Motorcycle tactics - 12/30/2008 7:43:56 PM   

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Hey, here is a question for you tactical smarties out there. One of the things that I consistently have trouble with in this game is the use of motorized units and keeping an advance moving toward (or through) objectives. It makes it a little easier with horse-mounted units and truck-driven units because you can keep the mounts moving independent of the infantry, but when you are dealing with motorcycle troops, the bikes cannot move without their mounts. How do you utilize motorcycle unit most effectively?

I was thinking that you could:
A. Only use them as strictly recce to "find' the enemy and basically have them avoid contact. Ie, when they make contact, dismount one or two to cover the others retreat and then have them fall back and get out of Dodge too?

B. Use them as a "mobile screen" for an advance?

Some scenarios (especially ealrly war German) utilize lots of motorcycles and I never seem to use them well.
Anybody have any suggestions?



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RE: Motorcycle tactics - 12/31/2008 12:46:54 AM   


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Cannot answer, but notice that Russian mororcycle platoons still have great assault values.

(in reply to Landser44)
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RE: Motorcycle tactics - 12/31/2008 5:01:15 AM   


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What I do...and this is most likely not historically accurate, but seems to work within the framework of the game, is to use motorcycle units as recce, or an emergency blocking force. I am speaking within DCG engagements...

when i use them as recce....i tend to write them off...these units are expendable...i move the cycles to near the objective i wish to recon...unload...then take 2 turns or so to move into position...if nothing is there....soon....something will i try to take defensive positions...once committed...i try not to move them from the it seems to be a waste time.

when using them as an emergency blocking force against enemy probes, move them near....unload our of sight, like behind a ridge or other terrain feature. again....these units are expendable...if you are going up against enemy tanks....expect to get shredded....if you get hit with artillery....expect to get shredded....if you are going up against other just might stand a chance. try to avoid assualts...your best bet is to disrupt units and keep them off balance until you can scrape together an armoured force to plug the gap/deal with the threat. keep moving as not to get hit with enemy best you can...once your units get cant advance....but dont stay in the same hex.

the bottom line is simple...if you cycles get hit while mounted...normally they dont expose them to enemy fire while riding.

hope that i said...these tactics seem to work for me but these are by no means a hard and fast approach nor is it comprehensive set of tactics. experiment....and see what happens.

good luck and good hunting!

(in reply to FM WarB)
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RE: Motorcycle tactics - 12/31/2008 5:49:31 AM   
V22 Osprey

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I too, find that the empty motorcycles can cause traffic jams because you can't relocate them to the rear....

I mostly use them for flank guard duty, objective guard duty, recon, and for protect my arty guns and mortars(since they can move with the prime movers)

(in reply to Borst50)
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RE: Motorcycle tactics - 12/31/2008 1:31:34 PM   


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The use you talk about is not historic! The German Panzer Divisions had a full Battalion of them in each Schutzen Brigade. They were used as fast units and had the almost the same fire power as the regular Schutzen Btls. They were used a lot a recon units but were also used just as regular infantry. I have objected to the motorcyles in the game not being able to move, as each unit had its in house drivers just like the truck units. They were often used as a reserve unit because of their fast movement. The Btls were fazed out in mit war because of the heavy losses they received. Companies remained in the Recon Btls almost to end of the war. If you are interesed in the organizations of the early units see the book "KradSchutzen" by Hasso Esb'

(in reply to V22 Osprey)
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RE: Motorcycle tactics - 12/31/2008 8:24:57 PM   
V22 Osprey

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I guess what you could do is to unload when you want to fire, and load when you want to move....this keeps them with there Motorcycles and can use them in a realistic manner.

(in reply to schaef)
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RE: Motorcycle tactics - 1/1/2009 2:38:38 PM   

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I agree with (almost) everything schaef allready mentioned. German motorcycle units were used as fast advance screening units, recce units and emergency force if speed was of essence. All this employements include the chance of heavy losses.
Somehow the game covers that more or less correct.

The reason why motorcycles are unmoveable without their passengers:
Unlike in cavalry units the motorcyclists were supposed to dismount all from their cycles and leave them back under a very small covering force.

Cavalry units had their the so called "horseholders" (Pferdehalter) One horseholder could take care over up to six horses, which is just impossible with the bikes.

I tend to use them in those three ways that are historically correct.

my .02 cents


< Message edited by countblue -- 1/1/2009 2:49:50 PM >

(in reply to V22 Osprey)
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RE: Motorcycle tactics - 1/1/2009 2:54:56 PM   

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move forward mounted
find enemy
take fire from enemy
x number mc eliminated
x number passenger eliminated
   a. not enough AP to move or dismount
   b. dismount
   c. retreat
a. = enemy turn, more losses
b. = enemy turn, enemy fires at mc's, mc losses higher than pass losses, cannot remount next turn, cannot retreat mc's
c. = now what?

(in reply to countblue)
Post #: 8
RE: Motorcycle tactics - 1/1/2009 10:10:42 PM   

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There are two main types of recon operations.
We assume you have forces behind you recce unit.
Forces you either want to bring into battle or that have to reach a certain point on the map as undisrupted as possible otherwise.
So you can recon for contact (recon in force) or for observation.

I would always act in company strength if recon in force is your task and at least half company (2 platoons) if your task is pure observation. Motorcyclists have a very high speed so its easy to have "reserve movement points to dismount" checked. You will still have a good range.

Once your first platoon of you recce unit makes contact it should dismount all other platoons of the company concentrate either on that enemy or disperse just as the tactical situation requires it (position of enemy, strength, overall situation).

If you tend to get surprised then concetrate on the old principle of half the movement range forward - stop secure - next unit half range forward - stop secure - etc. If you coordinate it correct you have always a unit the can cover the other but of course you loose speed.


< Message edited by countblue -- 1/2/2009 5:32:11 PM >

(in reply to junk2drive)
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RE: Motorcycle tactics - 1/1/2009 10:27:28 PM   
Jason Petho

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Mixing up your recce units into a vanguard is an idea.

Platoon of Armoured Cars
Platoon of Panzergrenadiers
2 x Platoons of Motorcycle infantry
Platoon of Engineers
Platoon of AT guns
Battery of some form of artillery.

Of course, this depends on the size of the scenario, the recce mission in general and the units on hand.

Jason Petho


(in reply to countblue)
Post #: 10
RE: Motorcycle tactics - 1/21/2009 12:55:32 AM   


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From: Sparks MD
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ORIGINAL: V22 Osprey

I mostly use them for flank guard duty, objective guard duty, recon, and for protect my arty guns and mortars(since they can move with the prime movers)

I do exactly the same. On the rare occasion I get them into the opponents rear area I just run them around hoping to occupy some of my opponents APs

(in reply to V22 Osprey)
Post #: 11
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