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GaryOwen
08-04-2007, 06:47 AM
I had a recent discussion regarding the principle of "Economy of Force". This seems to be one of those types of phrases that is easily understood to mean similar, yet importantly different things. For example, I recall having read that during the build-up to OIF, that while General Shinseki preferred the principle of mass, Secretary Rumsfeld preferred the priniciple of economy of force. As I understand the phrase, Rumsfeld wasn't practicing economy of force by insisting on using a less heavy force than Shinseki wanted, he was economizing the force by trying to use only the bare minimum necessary to do the job. This may have seemed politically required at the time, but is arguably a primary reason that Iraq will be a major issue in the next election cycle.

In any case, I understand the phrase to mean that one should make sure that all of one's forces are, at any given time, put to their most effective use with none remaining merely idle. Certainly if a portion of the force is designated as a reserve, it might not be actively fighting or going anwhere, but its mere existence as a reserve is important and anyway a force in reserve should be actively preparing -- reconstituting and training -- for active engagement. Whether I'm right about the "True" meaning of the phrase doesn't really matter. Rumsfeld will go down in the history books and most people will think that GaryOwen is a misspelling of the name of an Irish drinking song.

But it did occur to me that "Economy of Force" might have a unique application to playing Steel Beasts. In Steel Beasts, there are actually two separate forces to consider: the imaginary dudes on the map screen, and the actual people playing. When playing SB, it's not only important to make sure that the little dudes on the map screen are all doing something constructive at any given time during a scenario, it's also important that the player's/players' attention be efficiently focused.

In a single player game, the choice of whether to focus on the map screen to make sure that all the little dudes are moving out smartly or whether to jump into a particular gunner's seat for a particularly important engagement can sometimes be critical. In my lately infrequent multi-play, I've noticed the still long standing problem of the individual players in a game commanding a variety of the little dudes in a less than optimal manner as to their initial player assignment (one player may own units of different types starting in completely different areas of the map), and as to their employment during the game (tunnel-vision focus on one particular unit while not paying attention to the others).

Just curious if anyone out there might have any thoughts about "Economy of Attention" as a priniciple, not necessarily of war, but of playing Steel Beasts?

ShermansWar
08-04-2007, 12:36 PM
I do.

I think you hit the nail right on the head, as far as the key to multiplayer victory, and carried slightly farther leads into the application of the same principle in Archangels Gameplay, where he was always trying to stay inside the other guys decision cycle.
( for those who dont Know him AA is Major Scott Cunningham, who, in addition to providing us with the slides on the SB CD, ran OPFOR at NTC) .

When I talk about breaking the other guys will to fight in SB, I am talking about specifically the ability to outwork your opponent. You use the phrase Economy of Attention. Different phrases to basically convey the same idea, As I understand it.You also identify the problems we confront directly in trying to do this, getting tunnel vision, neglecting part of your force because you are too focused on the vehicle you are in. Trying to get the opponent to make this mistake is what I call "Trapping him in the Gun". I guess all it really is ,is trying to get your opponent to use his force uneconomically. I think the use of this kind of tactic is why sniper tank is no longer in vogue in multiplay anymore.The enemy get the kills with his snipertank, but eventually he loses momentum hitting a defense in depth, his other forces are neglected, eventually the sniper gets hunted down, and instead of massing his whole force and moving it 800 mtrs forward in a cohesive manner that ensures that he can hold the terrain against a counteratteck, he has advance one tank 4 Ks and after it dies, not only is he back where he started, he finds the rest of his force has been pushed back 800 mtrs by an enemy that didnt suffer from tunnel vision, one who divided his attention economically.

The way I economize my attention, I typically spend 50% of my time in F5, 25% in F7 or F8, and 25% of my time in gun, either when I am at the moment of engagement, or I have been forced to respond to an attack on one of my vehicles. I think that to be the most efficient division of my time.I find I am better able to dictate the terms of the engagement from F5 than F6.

One serious flaw if opponents ever exploit it, in my gameplay is that i rarely have any sizeable reserve.I try and economize my force, trying to use more of my units at once than my enemy, so as to give him more to cope with than he does me, trying to maintain the initiative, trying to break the will of the other guy behind the other monitor by outworking him, essentially by economizing my time.

Where this really hurts is when in your gameplay, your tempo is off, and although you have a sequence planned out in your mind, of what you want to engage where, and in what order, the enemies action break that tempo when all off a sudden, just as your massing group is hitting the enemy, (with units preferably coming from different directions, requiring even more micromanagement) you find you are jumping into vehicles you either dont want to be in to save them, and losing cohesive control of your attack, or you neglect the vehicles and you lose them. This timing,although it seems unrelated to economy of force, is really directly related,IMO, as the success of most attacks rest on whether or not you acheived maximum economization of force at the Moment of Decisive Action( is that a real phrase?). Doing that it the tricky part, and what makes a good SB multiplayer or not.

Gunnery skills, formations, comms,discipline, understanding of what procedures you're operating under as a group and how well you apply them all play a part in
winning, whether in SB or real real life, But how one economizes ones force,and by extension how efficiently he manages it is also a skill, and one I dont think you can really find how to do it in a training manual, although there are guidelines.Each engagement is different and force must be used differently for each engagementI think in the end you'd find that the same skills that make one a good CEO are also the same skills that make one a Good General,the ability to manage more assets than the next guy.

The first thing i do, when Looking at a scenario is identify the victory conditions, then i look at the map, then i look at my assest that i have available to acheive the objective. after that it's an excercise in economy of force and dealing out and coping with Friction.

If 2 opponents, with roughly equal forces over roughly equal terrain engage each other for control of an objective ,By managing a larger portion your force at once, engaging more, economizing your force, by getting max use out of as much of you have at once, your trying yo use your management skills as a force multiplier ,creating friction for your enemy,thereby achieving an advantage over him.

At that point, having gained an advantage, you seek to exploit it, keeping the enemy responding , not giving him time to create, to economize his force usage. You keep him responding,trying to force him to choose between bad choices you created for him, putting him on the horns of the dilemna( should I tend to my PC platoon under attack 800 mtrs back, or should I stay with my main force that isnt engaged at this moment, although it might be at any time?) hoping he eventually becomes overhwelmed by events. This is what I always thought AA meant when he said " Get inside the other guys decision cycle).The guy who economizes his force definitely has an advantage .

If I look at most of my losses, I see that they are games where I didnt economize my force, either because I had too many units to handle, or because the other guy managed to dictate the tempo to me, kept me responding, preventing me from using my force efficiently, and economically.

It's basically a case of trying to have your cake and eating it too, with me, trying to have all the benefits of Mass,and trying to use them all at once,Hoping that my enemy will be forced to respond in like manner, ( or be overwhelmed), and that I can outmanage him, by the way in which I economize my force.Sometimes it works, sometimes it's ugly.The point is I try and play a game where that is the issue, I try and define the conflict in terms I am comfortable with, terms I feel are advantageous to me.That attitude extends all the way down to dictating what will be the key terrain features, and where the decisive action will be.Letting the other guy behind his PC screen know he's been outmanaged by the way events unfold during a game is the way you break the other guys will. He can see it. Noone has to tell him.

HotTom
08-05-2007, 03:27 AM
Economy of Force is one of Clausewitz's Nine Principles. The whole point of Economy of Force is to achieve another of von C's Principles: Mass.

And that requires another Principle: Unity of Command.

And that requires structure, which pickup MP games simply don't have.

That's particularly true of head-to-head MP because the demand is for "balanced" sides.

The real military doesn't play with balanced sides. The real military only attacks when it has an advantage (except, maybe, in places like Vietnam and Iraq).

And the military has a chain of command, which doesn't exist in pickup MP.

The military is designed to avoid task overloading: There is a reasonable span of control.

And there is a hierarchy of command.

If it's a battalion-level scenario, the battalion commander goes through his decision-making process (including Economy of Force: Where is the main effort and who will conduct it? And that is based on good intel which rarely is provided in the scenario briefing) and issues a clear Operations Order. Each subordinate leader does the same.

The Battalion CO has three (or four) company commanders who each have three platoon leaders who each have three TCs (or squad leaders in the infantry and they each have two fire team leaders). After they've worked together for awhile and get used to each other, it all comes together. It's called a team.

Problem with MP is: You have some players willing to play the role they're given and others who won't and just "lone wolf" it. You don't have a team.

It doesn't matter what the commander's "vision" is, because there is no fixed organization to achieve it.

And once they roll, as crappy as commo usually is, it's like trying to herd cats.

Face it, most people who play SB don't even know basic battle drill.

It's worse in SB because a lot of those "little dudes" as Gary calls them are AIs and they do some really stupid things when you aren't looking.

This isn't endemic to SB. It's that way in every sim.

It comes back to the central theme of just about every thread in every forum: Is it a sim or is it a game? And if it's a bit of both, how much realism do we simulate (with our highly realistic tanks and PCs) and how much do we just go out and blow stuff up?

Nothing wrong with "blowing stuff up," by the way. I'll jump in SB or F4AF and go out and shoot things up just to watch it explode. But I do it in single play, not MP.

If you want to really simulate, then Economy of Force is a valid topic. If you just want to blow stuff up, Economy of Force isn't even on the radar.


HT

GaryOwen
08-05-2007, 04:39 AM
Economy of Force is, I believe, a rather important concept, and I think that most everyone playing wargames understands the concept at some level, whether they have a name for it or not.

What motivated me to bring this up was the thought that the concept could be applied not only to the relation between the little dudes or counters on the map, but also to the relation between the players and those little dudes and to the relations amongst the players themselves.

What got me thinking about this is that I was in an MP game where two rather experienced players ended in the same platoon while there were several less experienced players who individually commanded several platoons. I thought at the time that that was a pretty inefficient allocation of resources. Not necessarily of the little dudes, but of the players themselves. There is always the right-click 'give to player X' function, but when that is used too freely it tends to end up confusing which player has which units and makes co-ordination unnecessarily difficult. One player might have one platoon from each of three companies each performing three distinct tasks on different regions of the map. Trying to warn 3/C about getting ready to make contact is a fool's errand when nobody can remember or tell who owns that unit (esp. when the owner of that unit hasn't been paying attention to it at all because he is busy sneaking a couple of tanks up the edge of the map to turn the enemy's flank).

Ultimately, I guess, one solution to this might be to find a way to make the force structure in a given scenario more transparent. The scenario force structure isn't always the easiest thing to figure out just by looking at the list of available units in the Assembly Area screen before an MP game starts. Perhaps if scenario designers would put suggestions on vehicle assignments in the scenario summary it would make things more easy. The available pool of player attention could be more efficiently distributed, thus making commo more effective and relieving some of the tendency of unsupervised little dudes to do stupid things.

Of course a strict and regular command hierarchy amongst the players would be a way to achieve this. But that would also be a quick way to sap any fun out of the game.

12Alfa
08-05-2007, 04:39 AM
It comes back to the central theme of just about every thread in every forum: Is it a sim or is it a game? And if it's a bit of both, how much realism do we simulate (with our highly realistic tanks and PCs) and how much do we just go out and blow stuff up?

If you want to really simulate, then Economy of Force is a valid topic. If you just want to blow stuff up, Economy of Force isn't even on the radar.


HT

I think this is the key to MP. I have noticed that the above ( just go out and blow stuff up) is the norm, however this can work to the CO's plan. What he has to do is fit those people into the pointed end and leave the planers to do the background, map, arty etc work. A good commander knows his people and where best to use and abuse them.
This is sometimes difficult in MP due to not really knowing your players. The old guard we know, however the new guys are unknown in there playing style. Players like Sherm:decu:, Arch:sonic:Gary :biggrin:are predictable, and this can help the CO. Its the new guys and their unpredictability that can cause problems with th CO;S Plan.
I am not saying all the new guys are not following the plan either. This may not be clear as i would have wanted it.
Some play and plan for a sim, then find that some of his team mates are playing a game style and vise versa.
Knowing the players is a good start to a great mission.

below is a "lone wolf"

Pop Smoke
08-05-2007, 08:01 AM
Interesting read, I am going to paraphrase Hot Tom's words as a sig though, "commanding an SBMP scenario is like trying to herd cats" Funniest analogy I heard for ages :D

ShermansWar
08-05-2007, 12:49 PM
Economy of Force is one of Clausewitz's Nine Principles. The whole point of Economy of Force is to achieve another of von C's Principles: Mass.

And that requires another Principle: Unity of Command.

And that requires structure, which pickup MP games simply don't have.

That's particularly true of head-to-head MP because the demand is for "balanced" sides.

The real military doesn't play with balanced sides. The real military only attacks when it has an advantage (except, maybe, in places like Vietnam and Iraq).

And the military has a chain of command, which doesn't exist in pickup MP.

The military is designed to avoid task overloading: There is a reasonable span of control.

And there is a hierarchy of command.

If it's a battalion-level scenario, the battalion commander goes through his decision-making process (including Economy of Force: Where is the main effort and who will conduct it? And that is based on good intel which rarely is provided in the scenario briefing) and issues a clear Operations Order. Each subordinate leader does the same.

The Battalion CO has three (or four) company commanders who each have three platoon leaders who each have three TCs (or squad leaders in the infantry and they each have two fire team leaders). After they've worked together for awhile and get used to each other, it all comes together. It's called a team.

Problem with MP is: You have some players willing to play the role they're given and others who won't and just "lone wolf" it. You don't have a team.

It doesn't matter what the commander's "vision" is, because there is no fixed organization to achieve it.

And once they roll, as crappy as commo usually is, it's like trying to herd cats.

Face it, most people who play SB don't even know basic battle drill.

It's worse in SB because a lot of those "little dudes" as Gary calls them are AIs and they do some really stupid things when you aren't looking.

This isn't endemic to SB. It's that way in every sim.

It comes back to the central theme of just about every thread in every forum: Is it a sim or is it a game? And if it's a bit of both, how much realism do we simulate (with our highly realistic tanks and PCs) and how much do we just go out and blow stuff up?

Nothing wrong with "blowing stuff up," by the way. I'll jump in SB or F4AF and go out and shoot things up just to watch it explode. But I do it in single play, not MP.

If you want to really simulate, then Economy of Force is a valid topic. If you just want to blow stuff up, Economy of Force isn't even on the radar.


HT

To say that MP games dont have structure I think is inaccurate. They simply dont have the structure you've come to recognize as a veteran Officer.

As to this notion that all MP scenarios are balanced, that's simply a fiction created by those who remember playing in games that were like that. Myself, thats all they are, games i remember playing like that. I dont remember playing a balanced scenario in either MP pickup, or TGIF in at least 4-5 months, easy. Not a one.

Concerning commanders vision, i guess the point ism can you impose it on an MP team? you say you cant doit in MP. I find I can.I think really tom, part of your issue may be the failure of those you play with to conform to what you think the structure and organization should be. or your failure to adapt to what you have.

In my first post i mentioned that the first thing i do is identify the victory conditions, then look at the map, then look at my assest and figure out how im going to allocate them. When i say assets, i mean personell as well as available scen forces. Dif players do have dif strengths and you can indeed find the "Lone wolf" player and give an appropriate mission to him that fits in rather nicely with the mission tactics, 9 timnes out of 10. Occassionally you do have to adapt your mission tactics to your available personell, but that is part of any commanders job anywhwere.

what I(m saying is, all these things go on that you mention, more or less how you taslk about them, but you just dont seem to recognize the form they take in the game , im guessing because it is unfamiliar to you. i dont find that im playing with a bunch of undisciplined players playing a grabastic style when i play. I dont even find the comms are crap even during TGIF.

Command is more than just Knowing rote procedures and SOP, it is the ability to adapt those standard ptractices to the situation you're in. myself this is one of the most fun and challenging aspects of SB MP
. yes, it's a mess oftimes, but i have also seen units, VUs, sim style, with greta comms, little coordination, or initiative and lacking in the ability to apply many of what you would call basic military principles.In short, when it comes to SB MP, I am giving a caution to you about putting form over substance. Substantially, all the things you mention can be acheived.

It just seems if it isnt a textbook setpeice fight, you dont enjoy it. the whole purpose of a cammander is to coordinate, to deal with the unexpected, to deal with friction. what you're really complaining about is the amount of friction in an SB game.

What do you do IRL if the enemy doesnt conform to your expectations? Pack up your marbles and go home? What do you do when confronted by an enemy that uses an unexpected weapon, at an unexpected time in an unexpected place? Comms break down IRL. Units stall, get repulsed, even break. Command often becomes an excercise in futility.I think SB is a great tool to learn how to deal with these and similar issues, even with MP pickup players. Maybe especially with MP pickup players. Fixed organizations arent something your gonna get anywhere except a classroom drill. I wonder how many units in Iraq operate with the exact TO they trained with. Adaption is the key to SB multi play.

ShermansWar
08-05-2007, 01:14 PM
Economy of Force is, I believe, a rather important concept, and I think that most everyone playing wargames understands the concept at some level, whether they have a name for it or not.

What motivated me to bring this up was the thought that the concept could be applied not only to the relation between the little dudes or counters on the map, but also to the relation between the players and those little dudes and to the relations amongst the players themselves.

What got me thinking about this is that I was in an MP game where two rather experienced players ended in the same platoon while there were several less experienced players who individually commanded several platoons. I thought at the time that that was a pretty inefficient allocation of resources. Not necessarily of the little dudes, but of the players themselves. There is always the right-click 'give to player X' function, but when that is used too freely it tends to end up confusing which player has which units and makes co-ordination unnecessarily difficult. One player might have one platoon from each of three companies each performing three distinct tasks on different regions of the map. Trying to warn 3/C about getting ready to make contact is a fool's errand when nobody can remember or tell who owns that unit (esp. when the owner of that unit hasn't been paying attention to it at all because he is busy sneaking a couple of tanks up the edge of the map to turn the enemy's flank).

Ultimately, I guess, one solution to this might be to find a way to make the force structure in a given scenario more transparent. The scenario force structure isn't always the easiest thing to figure out just by looking at the list of available units in the Assembly Area screen before an MP game starts. Perhaps if scenario designers would put suggestions on vehicle assignments in the scenario summary it would make things more easy. The available pool of player attention could be more efficiently distributed, thus making commo more effective and relieving some of the tendency of unsupervised little dudes to do stupid things.

Of course a strict and regular command hierarchy amongst the players would be a way to achieve this. But that would also be a quick way to sap any fun out of the game.

This is the primary reason I dont take more than a platoon at a time anymore.
For whatever reason, SB pro PE requires more attention, and I cant excercise effective control over much more than that.Maybe a section of brads as well. after that, say, 6 vehicles, I'm better off, as is my team, if i hand them to someone else, or refuse to begin with.

i have tried to keep a somewhat standard organizational format to scens I have made in the past, for the very reasons you mention.1st and 2nd PLTs are usually tanks, 3rd is usually PCs, D comp usually recon element, E comp usually, support, etc.We had started assigning players within 2D to the same comp for drills, at least, every week, so we could have some standard organized structure, that helped, so yeah, thats a good idea.I think the only way you get a regular Hierarchy is with a VU , however.

You say the scen designer can make suggestions in his breifing as to how to assign vehicles. Is there a format for that?How can we implement that?sounds good, i dont know how to apply it beyond assigning players to specific companies, ( we try to balance them, same number of players per comp, and keep them on same part of map), and a general loose structure wherein one player in the company is designated the schwerpunkt guy, he who attacks with his platoon( the maneuver element) and the other guy is th base of fire guy( the fixing force). Thats how I divide things up and how I keep control.Most attacks are single envelopments, with 2 elements.one guy is base of fire, other guy is maneuver.It's made clear to each player what his role is.

With 3 guys per comp, usually the Comp CO takes the grunts, The CO and the XO, next guy has one tank plt as base of fire, last guy has onetk Plt for maneuver. Usually with the format of axeman teams, whereby one company has 2 tank plts, one PC, a co and an XO.

if theres only 2 guys per comp, then , one plt is maneuver, and the CO winds up using the grunts, and the second plt as base of fire. this gets hairy as the CO winds up with 10 vehicles when only 2 gfuys in a company. the attack guy who is in the gun has to be focused on gunning and cant really handle much more than 4 tanks at a time
as he loses them the CO relaeses further tanks to him
what is left for the CO is the reserve, to be released by him into battle at the moment of decisive action.Plus he has to handle the grunts( And this is where I start wishing it was a smaller scen).

If youve got 4 guys or more per comp, great.Thats rare in a pickup game, though.

What would be a useful format for player assignments? Ive given mine. Any other ideas?

Hackworth
08-05-2007, 02:39 PM
Great post guys.... Very insightful conversation.

Sherm, When a team consists of a company, I like to see each player manuever a whole platoon each with the company commander taking the CO & XO vehicles (if there is an XO vehicle). If there is a recc platoon (mounted or dismounted) attached, I prefer to command it as CO or for another individual to use them provided they do not already have a platoon command instead of chopping them out as augmentation to each platoon leader. Use them as intended (recc) as opposed to rounding out the other platoons. In the case where only two people are playing with a company at their disposal, I prefer to see it chopped right down the middle even when there is a recc unit attached. I would chop a recc unit down the middle in order to keep from overwhelming either player's concentration.

Confining a single player to an individual vehicle while everyone else commands a platoon or more seems silly to me unless the guy in said vehicle is green as a cuccumber. (This also prevents the invariably present, "can i have another tank" diversion of attention for the CO.) If there is a reserve, I like to hold it back as CO and command it myself until it needs to be committed (then it might be chopped to another player, or used by myself as CO). Otherwise, you will no longer have a "company" reserve as players tend to reinforce their own area with it instead of keeping with the planned use. However, and as already pointed out, all of this can go out the window if you are playing with seasoned guys whom you know and trust. In those cases, as CO I normally just say, "so what do you guys want [insofar as vehicles]" and chop them away. Those types of cats (not the ones you are chasing around) are likely to stick with the overall concept discussed during the briefing phase, if not the exact plan.

We don't see as many BN ops as we used to in SB orig. Back in the day, a company to each player including the BN CO (A Co CO) tended to be managable when those players were seasoned. With BN ops, I tend to chop crunchies (hehe i liked typing that "chop crunchies"...) to each company if they are present along a format that alows said chopped up crunchies to act as recc within each company's assigned area.

As CO, I also try to assign each player a part of the mission, i.e. acting as a manuever element in the overall plan. This keeps each player focused on his part of the plan instead of disbursing his (or her i guess ;) ) focus across all parts of the map - that's the CO's job to focus on.

Overall, I think you are hitting the nail on the head GO & Sherm - the units should be assigned respective to the abilities (and in some cases, styles) of the individuals.

The Battalion CO has three (or four) company commanders who each have three platoon leaders who each have three TCs (or squad leaders in the infantry and they each have two fire team leaders). After they've worked together for awhile and get used to each other, it all comes together. It's called a team.

Problem with MP is: You have some players willing to play the role they're given and others who won't and just "lone wolf" it. You don't have a team.

This is always a problem Tom, but the better you get to know the personalities involved the easier it is to predict to some degree how each will behave and therefore better assign their duties (or let them roam around killing/being killed without depending on them for the overall concept). You will find there are many players who will "play ball" and keep on track playing out their parts assigned. Newer guys tend to get frustrated "sitting around" or getting KIA'ed and kinda go bonkers doing their own thing (Koga).

HotTom
08-05-2007, 06:11 PM
I guess what I'm doing is making a case for squads or virtual units. And venting my frustration with (and expressing ,my decision to severely limit my participation in) pickup games.

I've played lots of TGIFs and, until the past few months since one VU has run all the on line missions, whenever I could during the week.

Hack, you are absolutely correct. The better you get to know the individuals, the better you can predict how they will (or won't) respond.

But simply being "old guard" doesn't mean you know what you're doing.

The problem (what makes it different from real life) is that those individuals have no training or experience acting as a team. Most have two of the three required individual skills -- they can shoot and and they can move -- but the weak point is in the third skill -- communicating.

Most (not all) SB players have no commo skills. They don't use call signs (most of the time I have no idea who is talking or where they are). They'll give a contact report that follows no known format (like SALUTE) and, if you're moving up another avenue of approach, you don't even know where the tanks they have spotted are.

Or, worse, they're tying up the net with all kinds of chatter that adds nothing to anyone else's situational awareness.

In real life, if you're a CO, you get those people some commo training and I mean right now.

I agree totally with Sherm that every plan becomes obsolete as soon as the first shot is fired. But that's what FRAGO's are for: Reacting -- as a unit -- to a changing situation.

Sherm: "What do you do IRL if the enemy doesn't conform to your expectations? Pack up your marbles and go home? What do you do when confronted by an enemy that uses an unexpected weapon, at an unexpected time in an unexpected place? Comms break down IRL. Units stall, get repulsed, even break. Command often becomes an exercise in futility.I think SB is a great tool to learn how to deal with these and similar issues, even with MP pickup players. Maybe especially with MP pickup players. Fixed organizations arent something your gonna get anywhere except a classroom drill. I wonder how many units in Iraq operate with the exact TO they trained with. Adaption is the key to SB multi play."

That sounds very nice until you think about it for, oh, three seconds. Maybe less. Read this again: "I think SB is a great tool to learn how to deal with these and similar issues, even with MP pickup players. Maybe especially with MP pickup players."

I could write a whole book on leadership but it wouldn't include that statement. My style is to build a competent core of soldiers, NCOs (mostly!) and officers and then you train them, including training them to adapt.

In Real Life, the enemy never conforms to my expectations and I expect that.

In Real Life, I have to step in an "Un-Fuck the Situation." Usually I'll send my XO or my first sergeant. I delegate.

But I also know from step one what my unit can and cannot do. Why? Because I trained them. I know all my subordinate leaders. If I can't rely on them, they're history and I get someone who can do the job.

I know my unit knows how to withdraw under fire because we've practiced it hundreds of times. Relieve another unit in place? Hey, we've done that a thousand times, at night, in the rain. Set up a hasty defense? They can do it in their sleep.

I also know that if I give them a mission, they'll accomplish it. Not so in MP pickup. Sherm, I was the CO in one scenario and I gave you specific mission that required you to relocate your platoon and you never moved. You were happy where you were. You didn't openly disagree with me. You just played passive-aggressive and ignored me.

Penalty? Zero.

In Real Life, you would have been a platoon leader in a Mess Kit Repair Company the very next day and someone else would be running that platoon. "Ship your duds to Company B," was one of the first and best leadership lessons I learned.

That's why, to me, MP -- and particularly Pickup MP -- is not a simulation. It's a grab-ass game. And for some people I expect it's their entire social life because from what I see when I check in and look at the list, they live on TeamSpeak.

So, to bring it sorta full circle and not totally hijack the thread :): How do you talk about Economy of Force -- managing your combat power to put the mass on the point of attack -- when there is no structure?

I think you do it in virtual units. At least I hope so, because I've given up on pickup games. I can play much more realistically off line and realism -- simming -- is what I'm after.

(By the way, I had these same opinions in flight sims. I never flew in Dogfight arenas because they were total anarchy. I always belonged to a good squad and we flew only Coop missions. And we were damn good. Because we trained together.).

Not one size fits all.

HT

ShermansWar
08-05-2007, 06:24 PM
Great post guys.... Very insightful conversation.

Sherm, When a team consists of a company, I like to see each player manuever a whole platoon each with the company commander taking the CO & XO vehicles (if there is an XO vehicle). If there is a recc platoon (mounted or dismounted) attached, I prefer to command it as CO or for another individual to use them provided they do not already have a platoon command instead of chopping them out as augmentation to each platoon leader. Use them as intended (recc) as opposed to rounding out the other platoons. In the case where only two people are playing with a company at their disposal, I prefer to see it chopped right down the middle even when there is a recc unit attached. I would chop a recc unit down the middle in order to keep from overwhelming either player's concentration.

Confining a single player to an individual vehicle while everyone else commands a platoon or more seems silly to me unless the guy in said vehicle is green as a cuccumber. (This also prevents the invariably present, "can i have another tank" diversion of attention for the CO.) If there is a reserve, I like to hold it back as CO and command it myself until it needs to be committed (then it might be chopped to another player, or used by myself as CO). Otherwise, you will no longer have a "company" reserve as players tend to reinforce their own area with it instead of keeping with the planned use. However, and as already pointed out, all of this can go out the window if you are playing with seasoned guys whom you know and trust. In those cases, as CO I normally just say, "so what do you guys want [insofar as vehicles]" and chop them away. Those types of cats (not the ones you are chasing around) are likely to stick with the overall concept discussed during the briefing phase, if not the exact plan.

We don't see as many BN ops as we used to in SB orig. Back in the day, a company to each player including the BN CO (A Co CO) tended to be managable when those players were seasoned. With BN ops, I tend to chop crunchies (hehe i liked typing that "chop crunchies"...) to each company if they are present along a format that alows said chopped up crunchies to act as recc within each company's assigned area.

As CO, I also try to assign each player a part of the mission, i.e. acting as a manuever element in the overall plan. This keeps each player focused on his part of the plan instead of disbursing his (or her i guess ;) ) focus across all parts of the map - that's the CO's job to focus on.

Overall, I think you are hitting the nail on the head GO & Sherm - the units should be assigned respective to the abilities (and in some cases, styles) of the individuals.



This is always a problem Tom, but the better you get to know the personalities involved the easier it is to predict to some degree how each will behave and therefore better assign their duties (or let them roam around killing/being killed without depending on them for the overall concept). You will find there are many players who will "play ball" and keep on track playing out their parts assigned. Newer guys tend to get frustrated "sitting around" or getting KIA'ed and kinda go bonkers doing their own thing (Koga).

Spot on. Perfect.

ShermansWar
08-05-2007, 06:30 PM
I guess what I'm doing is making a case for squads or virtual units. And venting my frustration with (and expressing ,my decision to severely limit my participation in) pickup games.

I've played lots of TGIFs and, until the past few months since one VU has run all the on line missions, whenever I could during the week.

Hack, you are absolutely correct. The better you get to know the individuals, the better you can predict how they will (or won't) respond.

But simply being "old guard" doesn't mean you know what you're doing.

The problem (what makes it different from real life) is that those individuals have no training or experience acting as a team. Most have two of the three required individual skills -- they can shoot and and they can move -- but the weak point is in the third skill -- communicating.

Most (not all) SB players have no commo skills. They don't use call signs (most of the time I have no idea who is talking or where they are). They'll give a contact report that follows no known format (like SALUTE) and, if you're moving up another avenue of approach, you don't even know where the tanks they have spotted are.

Or, worse, they're tying up the net with all kinds of chatter that adds nothing to anyone else's situational awareness.

In real life, if you're a CO, you get those people some commo training and I mean right now.

I agree totally with Sherm that every plan becomes obsolete as soon as the first shot is fired. But that's what FRAGO's are for: Reacting -- as a unit -- to a changing situation.

Sherm: "What do you do IRL if the enemy doesn't conform to your expectations? Pack up your marbles and go home? What do you do when confronted by an enemy that uses an unexpected weapon, at an unexpected time in an unexpected place? Comms break down IRL. Units stall, get repulsed, even break. Command often becomes an exercise in futility.I think SB is a great tool to learn how to deal with these and similar issues, even with MP pickup players. Maybe especially with MP pickup players. Fixed organizations arent something your gonna get anywhere except a classroom drill. I wonder how many units in Iraq operate with the exact TO they trained with. Adaption is the key to SB multi play."

That sounds very nice until you think about it for, oh, three seconds. Maybe less. Read this again: "I think SB is a great tool to learn how to deal with these and similar issues, even with MP pickup players. Maybe especially with MP pickup players."

I could write a whole book on leadership but it wouldn't include that statement. My style is to build a competent core of soldiers, NCOs (mostly!) and officers and then you train them, including training them to adapt.

In Real Life, the enemy never conforms to my expectations and I expect that.

In Real Life, I have to step in an "Un-Fuck the Situation." Usually I'll send my XO or my first sergeant. I delegate.

But I also know from step one what my unit can and cannot do. Why? Because I trained them. I know all my subordinate leaders. If I can't rely on them, they're history and I get someone who can do the job.

I know my unit knows how to withdraw under fire because we've practiced it hundreds of times. Relieve another unit in place? Hey, we've done that a thousand times, at night, in the rain. Set up a hasty defense? They can do it in their sleep.

I also know that if I give them a mission, they'll accomplish it. Not so in MP pickup. Sherm, I was the CO in one scenario and I gave you specific mission that required you to relocate your platoon and you never moved. You were happy where you were. You didn't openly disagree with me. You just played passive-aggressive and ignored me.

Penalty? Zero.

In Real Life, you would have been a platoon leader in a Mess Kit Repair Company the very next day and someone else would be running that platoon. "Ship your duds to Company B," was one of the first and best leadership lessons I learned.

That's why, to me, MP -- and particularly Pickup MP -- is not a simulation. It's a grab-ass game. And for some people I expect it's their entire social life because from what I see when I check in and look at the list, they live on TeamSpeak.

So, to bring it sorta full circle and not totally hijack the thread :): How do you talk about Economy of Force -- managing your combat power to put the mass on the point of attack -- when there is no structure?

I think you do it in virtual units. At least I hope so, because I've given up on pickup games. I can play much more realistically off line and realism -- simming -- is what I'm after.

(By the way, I had these same opinions in flight sims. I never flew in Dogfight arenas because they were total anarchy. I always belonged to a good squad and we flew only Coop missions. And we were damn good. Because we trained together.).

Not one size fits all.

HT

If I sat and didn't move, my apologies. I don't recall that, if I didnt acknowledge you, perhaps I didn't hear you.I take pride in the fact i follow any Cos oreders, whether I think them ill advised or not.So if i did that, again, my apologies.

I don't find I have the same comms issues you do.They could be better but they usually seem workable.There's also the fact that most players I play with, I already know, so I kinda know what to expect.

Apparently I am on KP.

tarball
08-05-2007, 06:40 PM
Interesting read, I am going to paraphrase Hot Tom's words as a sig though, "commanding an SBMP scenario is like trying to herd cats" Funniest analogy I heard for ages :D

It's an oldie but a goodie

Hackworth
08-05-2007, 08:37 PM
...Hack, you are absolutely correct. The better you get to know the individuals, the better you can predict how they will (or won't) respond.

But simply being "old guard" doesn't mean you know what you're doing...
HT
hehe, i didn't say they would know what they are doing (that's way too much to ask of some), just that they would be more predicable and thus easier to assign an aspect of the mission to (or not). and some new guys once you get to know them a bit are worth their weight in gold when it comes to dependibility and even sometimes capability.

GaryOwen
08-05-2007, 09:41 PM
I'm not sure if this talk about assigning certain players to certain areas of responsibility based on perceived ability is necessarily the answer, especially in a pick-up game.

Who's to judge the ability?

Between you and I Hackworth, if we were both on the same side in a pick-up game, should I be assigning you a billet, or should it be the other way around?

The answer to that question may depend on which one of us a third party asks in private. ;-)

Of course the simplest way to ensure economy of attention in an MP game would be to have a dictatorial chain of command, but there's the conundrum.

Whether it's thought of as a simulation or a first person shooter with tanks, for those of us not wearing nomex gloves, this is still just a game.

People are not going to play unless it's fun. I count myself among the people like Tom (as I understand his position on this issue); I find it more fun to play the game as a simulator with other players who are fully engaged in working together as a team. But when that cohesion comes with the price of always having the same person insist on being in charge, it saps the fun right out of it for me --- breaks my will to fight, if you will.

I wonder whether there is a golden mean.

Hackworth
08-05-2007, 10:42 PM
LOL GO. I hear ya. But, I don't mind playing any part in the fight, nor do I mind new guys trying their hand at command (and following their plan no matter how rediculous). There is something enjoyable about any aspect I find myself taking part in. It is a game...even though i'm a purist (whatever that is supposed to mean by whomever said it...) :)

I think that whichever position you take, be it A/1/1, CO A, XO A, B1/1 what have you, that is your position in the game, i.e. a platoon leader, company commander, etc. If the CO assigns you an area of responsibility - that's your task. If you are the CO, then it's your responsibility to plan, and adapt that plan to the circumstances by listening to your pl ldrs and TCs and watching the mission unfold. (since we all know the first casualty in the mission will be the CO's plan ;) )

PS. You should be assigning me ;)

ShotMagnet
08-06-2007, 02:06 AM
Gary, if I understand the term 'Economy of Attention' correctly, what you're therefore talking about is otherwise termed command-span.

Sorry if this has already been said, but then again maybe it bears repeating. You command the echelon of force that you can focus your attention on; you then pass subordinate and/or unrelated tasks to deputies.

Task- and/or goal-focus is maintained, you the commander are paying attention to the part of the fight that demands your attention, and your subordinates are doing what subordinates are supposed to be doing. Namely, the fighting.

When playing MP in SB, this means that you the overall commander passed out units to your subordinates, who then managed their bite of the fight and reported their results to the CO.

During First Clash 1st GTD did the Rodinu proud by doing just that. 9erRed ran the whole battle, passing out units to his subordinates 'each according to his gifts' and let them press while he watched how they managed their fraction of the action, reacting accordingly when things went well or ill.

Shot

GaryOwen
08-06-2007, 06:20 AM
Well, 9erRed is a rare breed. And campaigns like FC offer the stability for team cohesion to form. It's not surprising that 9erRed's unit would be an example of a happy medium between disorganization and over-control.

Regarding voice comms issues: SimHq's just posted a short article about rules for using teamspeak.

Teamspeak Rules of the Road (http://www.simhq.com/_land2/land_091a.html)

Dauns
08-06-2007, 09:25 AM
I guess what I'm doing is making a case for squads or virtual units. And venting my frustration with (and expressing ,my decision to severely limit my participation in) pickup games.

I've played lots of TGIFs and, until the past few months since one VU has run all the on line missions, whenever I could during the week.

Hack, you are absolutely correct. The better you get to know the individuals, the better you can predict how they will (or won't) respond.

But simply being "old guard" doesn't mean you know what you're doing.

The problem (what makes it different from real life) is that those individuals have no training or experience acting as a team. Most have two of the three required individual skills -- they can shoot and and they can move -- but the weak point is in the third skill -- communicating.

Most (not all) SB players have no commo skills. They don't use call signs (most of the time I have no idea who is talking or where they are). They'll give a contact report that follows no known format (like SALUTE) and, if you're moving up another avenue of approach, you don't even know where the tanks they have spotted are.

Or, worse, they're tying up the net with all kinds of chatter that adds nothing to anyone else's situational awareness.

In real life, if you're a CO, you get those people some commo training and I mean right now.

I agree totally with Sherm that every plan becomes obsolete as soon as the first shot is fired. But that's what FRAGO's are for: Reacting -- as a unit -- to a changing situation.

Sherm: "What do you do IRL if the enemy doesn't conform to your expectations? Pack up your marbles and go home? What do you do when confronted by an enemy that uses an unexpected weapon, at an unexpected time in an unexpected place? Comms break down IRL. Units stall, get repulsed, even break. Command often becomes an exercise in futility.I think SB is a great tool to learn how to deal with these and similar issues, even with MP pickup players. Maybe especially with MP pickup players. Fixed organizations arent something your gonna get anywhere except a classroom drill. I wonder how many units in Iraq operate with the exact TO they trained with. Adaption is the key to SB multi play."

That sounds very nice until you think about it for, oh, three seconds. Maybe less. Read this again: "I think SB is a great tool to learn how to deal with these and similar issues, even with MP pickup players. Maybe especially with MP pickup players."

I could write a whole book on leadership but it wouldn't include that statement. My style is to build a competent core of soldiers, NCOs (mostly!) and officers and then you train them, including training them to adapt.

In Real Life, the enemy never conforms to my expectations and I expect that.

In Real Life, I have to step in an "Un-Fuck the Situation." Usually I'll send my XO or my first sergeant. I delegate.

But I also know from step one what my unit can and cannot do. Why? Because I trained them. I know all my subordinate leaders. If I can't rely on them, they're history and I get someone who can do the job.

I know my unit knows how to withdraw under fire because we've practiced it hundreds of times. Relieve another unit in place? Hey, we've done that a thousand times, at night, in the rain. Set up a hasty defense? They can do it in their sleep.

I also know that if I give them a mission, they'll accomplish it. Not so in MP pickup. Sherm, I was the CO in one scenario and I gave you specific mission that required you to relocate your platoon and you never moved. You were happy where you were. You didn't openly disagree with me. You just played passive-aggressive and ignored me.

Penalty? Zero.

In Real Life, you would have been a platoon leader in a Mess Kit Repair Company the very next day and someone else would be running that platoon. "Ship your duds to Company B," was one of the first and best leadership lessons I learned.

That's why, to me, MP -- and particularly Pickup MP -- is not a simulation. It's a grab-ass game. And for some people I expect it's their entire social life because from what I see when I check in and look at the list, they live on TeamSpeak.

So, to bring it sorta full circle and not totally hijack the thread :): How do you talk about Economy of Force -- managing your combat power to put the mass on the point of attack -- when there is no structure?

I think you do it in virtual units. At least I hope so, because I've given up on pickup games. I can play much more realistically off line and realism -- simming -- is what I'm after.

(By the way, I had these same opinions in flight sims. I never flew in Dogfight arenas because they were total anarchy. I always belonged to a good squad and we flew only Coop missions. And we were damn good. Because we trained together.).

Not one size fits all.

HT
:)
Very good article and should be very good resource for most of us

HotTom
08-06-2007, 04:02 PM
Just as a postcript (or two) to what I said above. Mostly to underscore that my criticism is aimed at pickup MP games. It certainly is not aimed at Virtual Units, especially those few that try to make it as real as it can be.

I spent most of the day yesterday (Sunday) with ARRC. As I suspected it would, it showed the game play simulation CAN be as accurate as the tank models.

Damn, those guys are good.

They are doing exactly what I've been talking about here. There is a chain of command. The comms procedures are as good as anything you'll hear in the RL military. These guys know tactics. They even know logistics -- they bring the company trains with them on every mission and use them to refuel and rearm and patch up the wounded.

Most of all, the leadership skills are first rate (Hell, if you've got an old British sergeant major running the show, who's gonna argue with him? :))

And if Ghost is your platoon leader, you'll feel very safe because he'll kill everything in front of you before you even see it. Awesome shooting! Thanks, Ghost. :)

And not everyone is ex-military. Stalin, for example, isn't, and you couldn't ask for a better recce troop leader (I will deny ever saying that :)).

Since they were nice enough to ask me back, I will try to get back with them next Sunday (I may have a conflict but, if so, certainly the next Sunday).

This is not a pickup game. It's by invitation. It's a Virtual Unit, a Squad, a Clan or whatever term you like. It's a team.

I just wanted to acknowledge that they are proof that what I am talking about here can be done -- and with excellence -- and to thank ARRC for letting me play with them. It was the best day in SB I've ever spent.

(I would say the second best -- tip of the hat to Sherm (who is off KP :)) -- was the time I spent with his 2nd Dragoons. Pity they were at the point of fading away at that time because they are a good unit. I hope they can resurrect themselves after all their members return from Iraq).

(While I'm handing out bouquets -- doesn't happen often -- I totally agree with Gary and Hack about 9erRed. We can all learn leadership from him).

That said, there is a small group of us Yanks putting together what we hope will the core of a similar VU that we hope, like ARRC, also will both talk the talk and walk the walk. Way too early to advertise yet, but it is in its infancy.

Then we can talk about Economy of Force :)

HT

Hackworth
08-07-2007, 02:43 AM
great 'mints to a great group of people Tom. What you are seeing are people who know eachother, have played together previously and understand one another's abilities, and style (even before they formed a VU). Perhaps your previous experiences were with a lesser breed. ARRC are a great bunch and some i've known for quite a while here, played many missions with 'um. Again, it's much like i said previously: if you know your team, you can better predict their operational behavior. Which is much like you said concerning your company (or whatever size force), that you know them personally and accept them as part of your team (or reject them, read: fire them).

tarball
08-08-2007, 01:48 PM
LOL GO. I hear ya. But, I don't mind playing any part in the fight, nor do I mind new guys trying their hand at command (and following their plan no matter how rediculous). There is something enjoyable about any aspect I find myself taking part in. It is a game...even though i'm a purist (whatever that is supposed to mean by whomever said it...) :)


I feel the same way Hack... you know the real utility in this approach is degree to which you can learn from what YOU do operationally under someone else's plan. You have an idea of what you'd want to tactically, but you have to "operationalize" (stupid academic term that you won't find in a dictionary) someone else's plan.

Someone else in this thread talked about a good/decent plan executed violently NOW versus a great plan executed too late... Getting moving, seizing the initiative, getting inside the decision cycle/OODA loop and all of these things are a company/platoon leader's job to be executed WITHIN the confines of a plan. If you are communicating back up to the CO with actual data on how things are going down, a test of that CO's mettle is the degree to which he will adapt and fluidly/boldly make changes to the big picture plan.

Since we don't have a chain-of-command/chain-of-respect present within the simulation, you don't have the willingness to remain within the confines of the Battalion commander's plan/wishes. There is no penalty for disobedience and insubordination as no one is truly subordinate to anyone else. Therefore, we have to voluntarily yield to someone - as Hack as indicated, this is a facet of enjoyment for some of us - it is part of the immersion.

In the end, you can have a great game given the right mix of people who are seeking the same thing out of a session - however, our main event on Friday conglomerates such a wide variety of folks that it is hard to lean too heavily on this event for a "simulation"-oriented game. I'd say the guys in the more active VUs might be coming the closest to getting very serious "simulation"-oriented games going. It certains seems like ARRC is leaning in this direction.

tarball
08-08-2007, 01:55 PM
For the record, if an ARRC-styled team full of Norte Americanos forms up, I hope I'd be considered. HotTom, I agree, the ARRC guys have great game-play and are a lot of fun to spend time with. I KNOW there are plently of like-minded folk out there which have negative offsets from UTC - I can't spare a lot of time, but a good saturday or sunday event would work. Personally, I am installing a fiber connection to the internet today, so I'd be able to host such an event (although I am limited to 8-players like any other schmoe).

GaryOwen
09-23-2007, 10:22 PM
An update to this conversation:

Following is a link to an article giving suggestions on SB multi-play communications. In practice the suggested procedures seem to ameliorate some of the aforementioned issues.

http://www.1stusvcav.com/commo.html

enigma6584
09-24-2007, 04:39 PM
An update to this conversation:

Following is a link to an article giving suggestions on SB multi-play communications. In practice the suggested procedures seem to ameliorate some of the aforementioned issues.

http://www.1stusvcav.com/commo.html

Nice addition.

Black-6
09-26-2007, 05:46 AM
It's past midnight - thought that a thread about "Economy of Force" might send the Sandman my way...nope - this was just too damned funny. If you looked up "Highjacked Thread" on Wikipedia, there would be a link to this! :)

Anyways...

My take on Economy of Force;

Like all the principles of war it makes sense but it may be the most difficult principle to implement. It is usually used with it's buddies Deception and Offensive Action.

Example; you are tasked to hold a portion of the line. Now you get 25% of your forces taken and place OPCON of a unit assigned with an attack msn (the main effort). Your boss is practising Economy of Force and you are practising being screwed again (are you good at that, yet?); doing the same job with less. He is willing to accept some risk that you can still hold while he reinforces (what he hopes) will be success. Why? Because after his mission analysis he knew he needed more assets, proabably asked for more from his boss and was told to get on with what he had.

Your job as the Economy of Force victim, is to make the enemy think nothing has changed in your area. So you build dummy posns (deception), really hide your critical assets because you just can't lose them (deception) and keep the patrolling up at the same pace so the enemy thinks you are still at 'normal' strength (deception & offensive action). It's the same old same old; doing the same, with less. (My army calls that the challenge of leadership, lol)

Economy of Force; the bigger picture. France '44, the Allies have a fuel shortage and there isn't enough for two armies to maintain the pace.

Option one - slow them both down and accept that the Germans may be able to get their scheise together and break contact/dig in real good/counter-attack.

Option two - feed one army the fuel, continue to press the attack and have the other army go into "economy of effort" mode.

The Economy of Effort card is played when there is a shortage or units or log support; otherwise your G4 type will tell you "sir, your plan great but logistically unsupportable". If the commander really believes that the plan is great then he may tame it down a bit, phase it differently or.... find a unit in his organization to rob.

That's my sleepy 2 cents worth. G'night.

ShermansWar
09-29-2007, 02:12 AM
It's past midnight - thought that a thread about "Economy of Force" might send the Sandman my way...nope - this was just too damned funny. If you looked up "Highjacked Thread" on Wikipedia, there would be a link to this! :)

Anyways...

My take on Economy of Force;

Like all the principles of war it makes sense but it may be the most difficult principle to implement. It is usually used with it's buddies Deception and Offensive Action.

Example; you are tasked to hold a portion of the line. Now you get 25% of your forces taken and place OPCON of a unit assigned with an attack msn (the main effort). Your boss is practising Economy of Force and you are practising being screwed again (are you good at that, yet?); doing the same job with less. He is willing to accept some risk that you can still hold while he reinforces (what he hopes) will be success. Why? Because after his mission analysis he knew he needed more assets, proabably asked for more from his boss and was told to get on with what he had.

Your job as the Economy of Force victim, is to make the enemy think nothing has changed in your area. So you build dummy posns (deception), really hide your critical assets because you just can't lose them (deception) and keep the patrolling up at the same pace so the enemy thinks you are still at 'normal' strength (deception & offensive action). It's the same old same old; doing the same, with less. (My army calls that the challenge of leadership, lol)

Economy of Force; the bigger picture. France '44, the Allies have a fuel shortage and there isn't enough for two armies to maintain the pace.

Option one - slow them both down and accept that the Germans may be able to get their scheise together and break contact/dig in real good/counter-attack.

Option two - feed one army the fuel, continue to press the attack and have the other army go into "economy of effort" mode.

The Economy of Effort card is played when there is a shortage or units or log support; otherwise your G4 type will tell you "sir, your plan great but logistically unsupportable". If the commander really believes that the plan is great then he may tame it down a bit, phase it differently or.... find a unit in his organization to rob.

That's my sleepy 2 cents worth. G'night.

Hijacked indeed.I reread the thread to make sure, but, it seems kind of clear to me that the initial post was about SB gameplay, whereas you seem to be talking about real life.

Hooker
10-14-2007, 03:47 PM
Are there any good books on this subject of tactics for new guys to this sim ??

HotTom
10-15-2007, 09:43 PM
Are there any good books on this subject of tactics for new guys to this sim ??

This will keep you off the streets and out of trouble for awhile. :)

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/index.html

The 17- series is a good place to start. Then the 71- series. Go from small units and work your way up.

RTFM!

HT

Hooker
10-16-2007, 04:43 PM
Thank you for the info. and the web address that you provided.