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How do I fight a defensive battle effectively?

 
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How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/24/2013 10:44:24 AM   
Foxendown

 

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Hello all, I've not been playing the game long and am very impressed so far, amazing AI and documentation. I've now on my second pass through the manual and the videos but think I have missed something because I just can't work out how to fight a defensive battle well. I have grasped the principles of attacking and probes and I am finding these easier.

The problem I'm having is probably best explained by an example. I started by trying to issue orders at Regimental level (US Army) to defend a frontage of about 5-6 kilometres. I wanted my units to stay put in their entrenchments and have the best possible all round firepower. If I set a defend task and manipulate the depth and length associated with that order I can't cover all that area.

No problem, I think, micromanage, give defend orders to the subordinate units. But do I need to give orders to every separate platoon and company? If I give defend orders "in situ" at battalion level can I assume they cascade down, so that all the units below stay put?

Also I've noticed if I give a defend order to an HQ unit to defend a certain frontage, it starts to plan a move to that position and I don't want it to do that, I want it to stay there, but if I put a defend order on top of it designated what will the subordinate units do?

With "in situ" I see from the manual that it does not give very good firepower, but if I use another formation like "all round defence" this seems to cause some units to move out of their entrenchments, not a situation I want.

I suppose I'm looking for a tidy and logical method of defending: there may not be one! But it would be really helpful to know how other more experienced players handle this.

Many thanks.
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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/24/2013 12:30:55 PM   
Brindlebane


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Just to add to this could someone explain how to use 'delay' effectively.By this i mean footprints,timings,settings etc.Any help would be greatly appreciated

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/24/2013 12:51:51 PM   
henri51


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Check out my AAR "Hell on wheels: German reinforcements" on the AAR pages (I also have one for this scenario where I played the allies, so get the German one), where I show how to fight a delaying battle against a superior force. Others have also posted AARs on this scenario, and by reading them you can learn a lot about how to fight defensively.

Henri

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/24/2013 4:11:41 PM   
dazkaz15


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quote:

ORIGINAL: henri51

Check out my AAR "Hell on wheels: German reinforcements" on the AAR pages (I also have one for this scenario where I played the allies, so get the German one), where I show how to fight a delaying battle against a superior force. Others have also posted AARs on this scenario, and by reading them you can learn a lot about how to fight defensively.

Henri

Are you also Yakstock Henri?
I'm all confused now
Anyway that is an excellent AAR, and one of the ones that inspired me to do my own.
A superb lesson on how to do a defensive battle for sure

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/24/2013 5:20:17 PM   
henri51


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dazkaz15


quote:

ORIGINAL: henri51

Check out my AAR "Hell on wheels: German reinforcements" on the AAR pages (I also have one for this scenario where I played the allies, so get the German one), where I show how to fight a delaying battle against a superior force. Others have also posted AARs on this scenario, and by reading them you can learn a lot about how to fight defensively.

Henri

Are you also Yakstock Henri?
I'm all confused now
Anyway that is an excellent AAR, and one of the ones that inspired me to do my own.
A superb lesson on how to do a defensive battle for sure

Nope, I am afraid not Daz, i only have one ID here...

Henri

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/24/2013 10:20:39 PM   
Foxendown

 

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Thanks for all that information, it will be extremely helpful as I learn the game.

To clarify my original point, I am trying to find out not so much what to do as commander to win defensive battles, more how I use the interface as the player to achieve the outcome I want, a static defence. So if I click to place a defend order icon on an HQ unit, so it defends from its current position, does that behaviour cascade down the chain of command like an attack order? I have enclosed a screen shot showing a Regimental HQ (marked A), a Battalion HQ (marked B) and its 3 subordinate companies. So to get all 3 levels to stay put and fight from their current position, is it best to give the defend order to the Regimental level only, or should I do the same with the Battalion HQ or even all the companies? If it's the last option I will be doing a lot of clicking! With an HQ unit selected, I don't want to place the order icon near the frontline (which is the area I actually want to defend the most) because that effectively instructs the HQ to move there.

The second limb of the my question related to the "in situ" formation, which seems to give relatively weak firepower. If I use something else e.g. "all round defence" will that mean my units may start to move around reorganising and maybe losing the advantage of their entrenched positions? Second scenario I played was Hoefen Hoedown where that seemed to happen in some cases, though I may have misinterpreted what I was seeing.

Sorry, newb question I know.

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/24/2013 10:41:00 PM   
Brindlebane


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Foxendown

Thanks for all that information, it will be extremely helpful as I learn the game.

To clarify my original point, I am trying to find out not so much what to do as commander to win defensive battles, more how I use the interface as the player to achieve the outcome I want, a static defence. So if I click to place a defend order icon on an HQ unit, so it defends from its current position, does that behaviour cascade down the chain of command like an attack order? I have enclosed a screen shot showing a Regimental HQ (marked A), a Battalion HQ (marked B) and its 3 subordinate companies. So to get all 3 levels to stay put and fight from their current position, is it best to give the defend order to the Regimental level only, or should I do the same with the Battalion HQ or even all the companies? If it's the last option I will be doing a lot of clicking! With an HQ unit selected, I don't want to place the order icon near the frontline (which is the area I actually want to defend the most) because that effectively instructs the HQ to move there.

The second limb of the my question related to the "in situ" formation, which seems to give relatively weak firepower. If I use something else e.g. "all round defence" will that mean my units may start to move around reorganising and maybe losing the advantage of their entrenched positions? Second scenario I played was Hoefen Hoedown where that seemed to happen in some cases, though I may have misinterpreted what I was seeing.

Sorry, newb question I know.


Still learning the ropes myself but i find defending easier than assaulting.
Deal with everything at Bn level for defence and give your Bn HQs the defence
order.What i find is though sometimes the footprints are too big at times,such as defending small villages or small patches of woods,and can lead to units being out in the open.Micro each company of your Bn and place them in cover with their own defend order then give the Bn HQ a defend order with in-situ then re-attach the companies and they'll stay where they are.If forced to retreat though they won't try to retake their old positions.Sometimes a good thing if they're getting hammered.

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/26/2013 9:09:55 AM   
Foxendown

 

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That's helpful, thanks. I seem to be doing OK with my defending by simply issuing orders at Regimental (US Army) level at the moment. I have taken control of Corps, Division and Regimental HQ bur of course intervening anywhere else I need to. So far so good!

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/26/2013 10:44:18 AM   
dazkaz15


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US Defence, Elsenborn Ridge









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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/26/2013 1:49:15 PM   
dazkaz15


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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/26/2013 4:01:26 PM   
dazkaz15


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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/26/2013 11:16:46 PM   
dazkaz15


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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/27/2013 9:55:07 AM   
dazkaz15


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This is a big one. Use your Ctrl key and mouse wheel to zoom in and out.




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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/27/2013 1:46:04 PM   
con

 

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Hello Dak

How do you do the calculation of time taken for orders to arrive? I know there are many variables (distance etc)

Thanks
Con

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/27/2013 8:09:31 PM   
dazkaz15


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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 6/29/2013 4:37:58 PM   
dazkaz15


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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/1/2013 8:38:55 PM   
dazkaz15


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The end




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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/1/2013 10:41:37 PM   
Emx77


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Daz, thank you for your effort. Your short AAR is great reference in understanding how things work in Command Ops engine. I hardly can wait to see rest of your bigger Elsenborn Ridge AAR in another thrad.

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/2/2013 8:23:57 PM   
Foxendown

 

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As the original poster, I would like to add my thanks also, this has been very helpful. It has answered my original questions and a lot more besides.

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/3/2013 8:57:38 PM   
dazkaz15


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Thanks guys, glad you liked it

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/5/2013 11:41:37 PM   
rstyle

 

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Always enjoy reading your posts, Daz. One question please:

My units hold the line reasonably well during the day, good position well dug in, but when it's gone dark, they all go to bed and apparently enemy take the advantage and break my line. How do you defend at night? No rest? Put in reserve?

Thanks.

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/6/2013 1:38:23 AM   
dazkaz15


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rstyle

Always enjoy reading your posts, Daz. One question please:

My units hold the line reasonably well during the day, good position well dug in, but when it's gone dark, they all go to bed and apparently enemy take the advantage and break my line. How do you defend at night? No rest? Put in reserve?

Thanks.

Thanks mate

What do you mean by break the line?
Do you mean infiltrate the line unnoticed, then start to harass your rear areas, or do you mean they over run your front line positions, and break through?

If its strays in your rear area you are talking about then I use A Tp 32 Cav Recon Squadron, to find, and take them out. It consists of M8 Greyhounds primarily and has a good antipersonnel medium range firepower.
Just keep the enemy unit in range of the M8's but out of range of the enemy infantry.
Keep a mortar or smaller artillery unit on it as well until it disbands.
If it routs, and goes to ground in the forest or a village, then you will need to flush it out with an infantry Coy pulled from your reserves. Don't send your Greyhounds into close terrain or they will come of worse. Keep them at long range.
Because they are fast though they are ideal for making sure your lines of communications are clear, and for finding enemy in your rear areas.
If you are being over-run and they are breaking through, then you are probably not defending in depth.
This means that you place other units behind the front line in areas that are vital i.e. the roads through the forest, far enough back that they have time to dig in before the current front line unit gets pushed back.
The unit that gets pushed back then goes to the rear, where he then has time to dig in, and recover morale, before that one gets pushed back etc.
If you run out of road then you need to use a Bn in reserve, or make one up from alternate Coy's on less busy sections of the front to counter attack into the flank of the next attack, or preferably 2 Bn's from opposing flanks.
Wake your artillery up as well as soon as you see an attack coming in, at the vital road sectors of the front, and get them suppressed.

Edit:
Don't counter attack into the flanks late in the game when they are massed on the road, as they will have such a mass of fire there, that you will just get killed.
This only works early in the game when you only have an enemy Bn or Regiment on the road, but later in the game there will be an entire armoured Division there.
If this is the case then you will probably be better off pulling back, and defending the objectives, with delaying tactics.

< Message edited by dazkaz15 -- 7/6/2013 7:45:05 AM >

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/6/2013 1:38:33 PM   
rstyle

 

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Thank you very much Daz, I've got infiltrated then overran and encircled... Nice move, AI! This is really helpful, I'll try it out.

Plus, just wondering shouldn't the resting units wake up automatically if see an attack coming? Or do I need give them a new order to do so? Is there an advantage to attacking resting defenders? If so should my defending units ever go to bed while on the front line?

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/6/2013 11:14:37 PM   
dazkaz15


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I don't know the stats for resting troops compared to awake ones to be honest.
I think it would be a good idea to make sure that any units that are in an important position, and an attack is imminent are awake. Remember to rest them when the crisis is over though or they will become exhausted.

I'm going to carry on the AAR a little bit to show you the counter attack into the flanks of that enemy formation.
More to follow when I get time.




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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/7/2013 3:55:28 AM   
navwarcol

 

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Daz.. LOVE your AAR. A question.. is there any program you use to get those screenshots?

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/7/2013 8:30:58 AM   
dazkaz15


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quote:

ORIGINAL: navwarcol

Daz.. LOVE your AAR. A question.. is there any program you use to get those screenshots?


Thanks mate.
I use Photoshop.
To get a single image with multiple displays of unit info, and unit filters, I take multiple screenshots with the different attributes set, then I use a mask on each layer to reveal the portions that I need.
This keeps the image a bit tidier and saves having to post multiple images of the same thing, but with different filters.

You can see this in the image above where I have the deployment status displayed for the Allies, but the combat power for the Axis.
It also allows me to display multiple orders at the same time, but without the clutter of having every unit on the maps orders displayed, the same applies to command lines.

It still gets messy at times, and I'm still experimenting on ways to clean it up.

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/8/2013 1:16:28 AM   
dazkaz15


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Another image to follow after this one when I get time.






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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/8/2013 7:24:45 PM   
rstyle

 

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We should collect all your posts and make a book!

Plus, why both of them use left echelon formation? And the route setting applies to the route to FUP, right?

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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/8/2013 11:34:32 PM   
dazkaz15


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rstyle

We should collect all your posts and make a book!

Plus, why both of them use left echelon formation? And the route setting applies to the route to FUP, right?


Don't think it will make the best sellers list though, but thanks

They are in left echelon so that they have max fire power, and defence to the left and front of their formation.
If you look at where I placed the attack marker you will see why I used that formation.

The route is for the march to the FUP yes.
During the assault they always take the shortest path.

I will do a slide on the Echelon formations, when I have time.






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RE: How do I fight a defensive battle effectively? - 7/10/2013 6:41:28 PM   
dazkaz15


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