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Recon by Death - 9/25/2019 8:48:21 PM   
blackcloud6


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Reconnaissance is so important to mobile warfare. The problem in computer games is that recon units usually conduct recon by using the recon by death tactic, they find the enemy units by bumping into them and then get shot and killed by them. My recon units seem to do this a lot.

What are some ways to have recon units accomplish their mission without getting killed? Setting, tactic etc? (and yes, I use the scout command.

Maybe the simulation needs a few more commands for recon units like one where you can set the unit to immediately pop smoke and pull back if it comes under fire.

Thoughts?
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RE: Recon by Death - 9/25/2019 8:56:27 PM   
Lowlaner2012

 

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Ignore this post

< Message edited by Lowlaner2012 -- 9/25/2019 8:58:10 PM >

(in reply to blackcloud6)
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RE: Recon by Death - 9/25/2019 8:58:12 PM   
blackcloud6


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I've seen units using scout reverse but have not yet noticed them popping smoke.

(in reply to Lowlaner2012)
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RE: Recon by Death - 9/25/2019 8:59:55 PM   
Lowlaner2012

 

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Dont forget that not all units have smoke projectors...


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RE: Recon by Death - 9/25/2019 10:52:25 PM   
kevinkins


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blackcloud6 has just brought up a long standing issue that is beyond AB and has been a part of wargaming forever. Yes, detection of enemy units in AB is very difficult. Especially stationary ones. But how else would NATO survive mass armored attacks? During the Cold War, front line recon could tell their commander a force was approaching, but could not give precise direct fire targeting info. Seems that once a unit fires that this game keeps the unit hidden a bit longer than most. I think in Flashpoint I have experienced the same challenge. Very difficult to balance this while keeping the game fun to play and realistic.

_____________________________

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RE: Recon by Death - 9/26/2019 1:46:59 AM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: blackcloud6
Reconnaissance is so important to mobile warfare. The problem in computer games is that recon units usually conduct recon by using the recon by death tactic, they find the enemy units by bumping into them and then get shot and killed by them. My recon units seem to do this a lot.

I sometimes use "recon-in-force" method in assault scenario = poking enemy defense line to check where MBTs and ATGMs are, using 1~2 platoons of tanks and other IFVs or ATGM vehicles (recon-in-force size depending on map and point). Sometimes such "recon in force" easily becomes "recon by death" but I think that is inevitable time to time. Survival of recons in this case usually depends on good artillery and smoke cover after contact, but it is not easy. When playing PACT in 1985+ environment, NATO thermal sight is sometimes annoying. Anyway, google reconnaisance in force, there are a lot of materials.

quote:


What are some ways to have recon units accomplish their mission without getting killed? Setting, tactic etc? (and yes, I use the scout command.
Maybe the simulation needs a few more commands for recon units like one where you can set the unit to immediately pop smoke and pull back if it comes under fire.
Thoughts?

"Good recon" really depend on a lot of things. Terrain, scenario type, time frame (=technology), time of the day, weather, morale and experience of recon units and etc. But mostly, map (terrain) is very important.

In general, when considering meeting engagement, I play really slow. I use a lot of dismounted recon team and some amount of recon tanks / IFVs. Try to spread recon teams as wide as possible via infiltrate, and try to observe as much ground as possible. Of course I set SOP not to engage any contact for recon teams.) I wait until infiltrated units walk to good observation point, reveal where AI troops are, then prepare my forces or bring artillery. I especially put some effort to kill enemy recon vehicles as soon as possible, that is why I bring recon tanks and vehicles. This is very important, because amount survived recon will decide the quality and accuracy of artillery strike from AI. If AI recon catch you, then you will have more chance to get DPICM shower. It seems AI doesn't use or spread dismounted recon bois like I do, so I put more care to kill AI recon vehicles.

Things are very similar in defense scenario. Infiltrate and spread out dismounted recons to cover possible approaching route, and they become an early warning element. At the same time, hide my recon vehicles and try to ambush AI recon vehicles.

In assault scenario, it is same that I use a lot of dismounted recons, infil them and spread them out to find MBTs and ATGMs. But deployment of recon vehicles depends on the map. In assault scenario, sometimes use a lot of recon vehicles to try recon-in-force, or I use no or a few recon vehicles and try to search enemy by recon bois. In this case I play more slowly, sometimes game become boring. But I guess it is necessary, better slow than sorry.
At the same time, I wish devs include time limit as a game ending condition, which is manageable by players. Tight time limit will force players to push without good info and observation, by not allowing enough time to recon. In this case, good force-in-recon skill will be essential.

AI helicopters are pain in the ass, because AI usually deploy gunships very early. My recons (especially when they are in move) are easy targets for AI gunships. Problem is, there is no AA units in recon tab. In meeting engagement and assault, I try not to move my recon vehicles in open to prevent AI gunship ATGMs to easily took out my recon tanks.

In bad weather day or night, I increase recon number. Recon infantry wouldn't see anything but they can still hear something. (Now this is where sound decoy units would shine) Thermal sight units or GSR units (not in game yet) would see something in darkness or rain. Pre 1980 scenario have no thermal sight units. In this case recon become more important so I increase the number of recon units.

Things are similar throughout the map, but of course details are different. In Fulda map, there are tons of forest, hills, and mountains. In this case coverage of recon bois is very important to prevent sneaky flanking. In GNP map, wide plains make it hard to infiltrate. In this case, I try to decide amount of recon infantry and recon vehicles depending on amount of covers. In desert map, recon infantry is still useful but doesn't need too much.

In Chechen mod, I use more number of dismounted infantry (not CCIP's scenarios, but when I create scenario) But in urban situation you wouldn't escape from recon casualties because it is too easy to be ambushed. In Caliber 10 scenarios or Northern group scenario by CCIP, my recons couldn't penetrate that much, which results the attack-in-blind without clear information of whereabouts of enemy. More serious penalties for Russians in Chechen mod is their poor morale and experience, which makes it really hard to perform meaningful recon mission or even assault. And poor morale and experience reduce the chance to reveal hidden enemy. Plus, CCIP's scenario depicted empty IFVs and lack of infantry, which is a good representation of lack of preparation and readiness of Russian army during first Chechen war. It is natural Caliber 10 & Northern group series are really hard. Ambush after ambush, a lot of muzzle flash circles...

But in default mod urban map, things are little bit better because I can set up morale and experience of forces. Still, urban map is quite difficult, especially urban assault scenarios. I really wish flamethrowers and thermobaric and chemical weapons...

quote:


Maybe the simulation needs a few more commands for recon units like one where you can set the unit to immediately pop smoke and pull back if it comes under fire.

I suggested something similar long ago (maybe in beta forum? I can't recall), like allowing recons to infiltrate more deeper including deploy zone, but set minimum distance from enemy forces and have not direct LoS) But devs think current infiltration kinda fill the gap for now. Back in the day when I was in army, I was in LRRP team, and we used to infiltrate much deeper than game depicts. Of course this depends on size and terrain of exercise. Plus, battalion / regiment / division / corp recons all do different things.

Like all other wargames, AB has its own limits, so there should be some compromise and abstraction / simplification. But, in the future, I wish AB include some more options such as heliborne troops, other light infantry & SF teams (SAS and royal marines, rangers, green berets, GRU spetsnaz and etc. Of course, they participate field operations, not only "spec ops" missions. This depends on exercise size and objectives, but they do participate in field exercise.) Depending on terrain, this will allow players and AI to attempt guerrilla tactics or hit & run style HQ raid/hunt. Someday, I wish AB increase possible map max size (15km -> 20km or slightly more), increase max unit number limit, and introduce time limit and other game ending conditions. (Check my other posts) That way, game would really depict the clash of "combined" forces.

Maybe there should be a suggestion thread to brainstorm the idea to enhance recon feature.

< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 9/26/2019 3:18:20 AM >

(in reply to blackcloud6)
Post #: 6
RE: Recon by Death - 9/26/2019 9:04:55 AM   
Lowlaner2012

 

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Recon Infantry in a tall building with the hold fire order works wonders, if visibility is good...

I think the short life of recon units is part of how deadly and accurate the weapons of the era where, especially if playing against units equiped with thermal imaging...


< Message edited by Lowlaner2012 -- 9/26/2019 9:13:17 AM >

(in reply to exsonic01)
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RE: Recon by Death - 9/26/2019 7:34:40 PM   
Veitikka


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I have to mention that in the next official update the infantry units and especially small teams are considerably easier to spot when they are firing their weapons. What has made them so hard to detect so far is their size that's based on the number of men in the unit. I think when weapons are fired the number of men should become less relevant, so we've improved this by limiting the minimum size modifier to the level of a 10-man squad. The results have been great in our tests.


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(in reply to Lowlaner2012)
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RE: Recon by Death - 9/26/2019 7:35:55 PM   
Veitikka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: blackcloud6

I've seen units using scout reverse but have not yet noticed them popping smoke.


They do it occasionally.


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Know thyself!

(in reply to blackcloud6)
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RE: Recon by Death - 3/24/2020 1:45:14 PM   
mmacguinness

 

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Few years ago in Frankfurt, I met a retired Filipino US Army Cavalry NCO. He had been in a recon unit on the Fulda Gap. I asked him what his life expectancy would have been if SHTF. 15 minutes.

In defense, I put my recon teams in a building or woods with excellent LOS but not too close to the anticipated enemy path of advance, with range limited to 10m or less. These guys usually survive unless the enemy practically steps on them.

On offense, if you can be seen, you die. In meeting engagements, I try to rush recon units to good overwatch positions where they can hunker down (range limited to 50m)and observe as the enemy approaches. Sometimes that works, and they survive without firing a shot (but observe some good artillery). Sometimes the enemy is quicker, they get seen, they die. In that case, hoprfully they cause a few minutes delay. Meanwhile, my main force should be getting hull down in overwatch positions over the objective areas.

I hate advance missions. Thet're just meatgrinders.

(in reply to Veitikka)
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RE: Recon by Death - 3/26/2020 9:49:52 PM   
StevieLee

 

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This may not be so far from the truth if you are trying to do mounted operations. In my armor Bn during this time frame, the joke among tankers was "You guys (scouts) always find the enemy for us, we just watch for you to go boom!". The reality was in M113 tracks this was true-- we actually dismounted and jogged (after removing gear including LBE) in when running deep NAIs. So how to use recon in game... I find if you get dismounted scouts to move quickly to a hide location away from mobility corridors but with good LOS to your area of interest (and with restricted engagement ranges to 50m), they stay alive the whole fight and provide good intel or FO for indirect fires. I have used them for route recon with success, but too slow for realistic area/zone recon. I also modified database to make dismounted scouts move a little faster than other units (realistic in my opinion) to represent fact if they were running missions dismounted they weren't humping gear, they were trying to move quickly but stealthy, avoiding detection and engagement at all costs. For mounted scouts, I keep them back with super long LOS to cover key terrain or AoAs, then support them with forward maneuver units fairly quickly. Picking ATGM scouts works really well like this, they can pick off the most distant targets at standoff, while other forces later move forward of them who can protect them and fight the close fight as enemy advances. Using scouts effectively on long aggressive advances is trickier. I use fast mounted to cover safer part of advance, with option to unload on contact, then dismount and walk them up under cover with maneuver forces close behind in support by fire positions if possible. My scouts survive well, but I don't really put them at great risk generally.

(in reply to mmacguinness)
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