From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
There's another reason behind the Prep Points feature, I think, even more important. Generic preparation for a landing should be enough, so why the need to get prepped and trained 100 in advance for Tarawa atoll rather than Wake atoll, for example?
I think this is the only way the designers and developers found to get knowledge of JApan's plans to be propagated through Sigint receptions.
I think it is because an amphib landing is not just the process of getting past obstacles and to the beach. Once on the beach the troops need to know where the enemy fortifications and terrain obstacles are, where their objectives are in relation to where they actually landed, what units will be nearby (for cooperation and to prevent friendly fire incidents), where the ammo dumps and food/water supplies will be, etc., etc.
So they have to study a lot of detail and then practice in similar terrain before they can be considered fully prepped. Then the Army/Marine administration will transfer out some key troops and the replacements need to be prepped ...
That's stuff for staff members and from rank of colonel up only. Troop training is not dedicated to one specific location only of course. And it must not be.
No one under Colonel (full) rank is given any information about the final objective not in the slightest. Day before action officers are briefed. and then the troops.
Well, this is not exactly true.
When time permits, troops are "rehearsed" over similar terrain, and at similar times of day as the expected operation. Yes, the troops will not know the NAME of the place, nor where exactly it is, but they will know, for example, that they will have to scale cliffs, or struggle through surf, if those things are already known by the intelligence officers and higher command.
The problem is always the unexpected, e.g., the inability to get to the beach at Tarawa. The depth of the surf was just incorrectly estimated so the Marines had to wade through the surf to get ashore.
But, having spent many years in the Army, I can guarantee you that we rehearsed whenever we could over very similar terrain and similar times of day. (Weather was always a confounding variable, though.) We also trained for contingencies: those things that might go wrong. Small operations were easier to train for in this manner, but a lot could be done with larger ops as well. Read about the training for the Normandy landings.
And another thing to remember, when embarked, there was little reason in those days to worry about who knew what, as there was virtually no way to communicate off ship. So, telling the troops and sailors where they were going and what they were to do was normally preferable. In the Pacific, they might be embarked for a week, maybe more, giving them quite a bit of time to look at maps, terrain boards, and the like.
Prep ALWAYS helps in real life, as does experience. What I hated was getting a written op order two hours before operation start, when the division staff had known about the operation for several days. That was a recipe for disaster. An alert order would have been nice, but hey, it's the military. FUBAR was the motto.
Occasionally, and randomly, problems and solutions collide. The probability of these collisions is inversely related to the number of committees working on the solutions. -- Me.