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How to scout with several units at once. Newbie. General tips?


Red_Donkey
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1. How do I most effectively use my scout vehicles + infantry to scout, when there are lots of scouts working at the same time? In real life, I suppose they are extra careful not to expose themselves. But when managing lots of scout units in SB is it usually done by just throwing them ahead like cannon fodder? I mean, as soon as an enemy tank sees the heat signature of a vehicle, he shoots, right? How do I manage a lot of scouts at the same time? Any general tips?

2. Is there a hidden game mechanic where AI gunners (own and enemy) don't spot easily a hot scout vehicle compared to a hot tank? I haven't tested myself.

I tried looking for youtube videos on scouting tactics, but I can't find any.

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Well there's a few things here.

 

Firstly, are you using the "Scout" command for the routes (as described here: https://www.steelbeasts.com/sbwiki/index.php?title=Moving_Units_On_Routes and in the Manual)?

Scout

  • Always stop to seek a turret-down position facing the enemy (when contact is made).
  • If under fire, retreat back along route (thus taking on retreat tactics).
  • Will not try to stay on roads.
  • Look for and expose enemy mine fields. They will only have a reasonable chance to succeed without being destroyed or immobilized if travelling at slow speed (the default speed for a Scout route). A unit is not guaranteed to find enemy mine fields when looking for them, but they will usually uncover the mines before sustaining any damage.
  • If given orders to dismount infantry at a waypoint and the subsequent route is set to slow speed, the infantry will move forward of and along with the PCs on the route.

 

Secondly, you can set the fire control to only return fire if fired upon if you want to avoid per-emptive shooting.

 

Lastly, if you have dismounts with you, they can be more effective at scouting, albeit at the cost of taking longer to cover the same ground as vehicles.

 

Edited by Gibsonm
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Thanks.

I have tried using the Scout command, but I did not know the exact ways it works. I did not know there was a difference between how the unit would hide between Engage and Scout. When scouting the unit will go turret down, compared to hull down (engage). Nice to know.

Scouting routes. Does it work well in-game? Do they survive well?
(I haven't experimented that much. And I haven't looked at units in particular how they perform, when they spot enemies, and how long they stay hidden until enemies fire at scouting units.

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15 minutes ago, Red_Donkey said:

Does "Hold fire" act as "Fire when fired upon"? Or are they different commands?

 

(I´m not at my gaming computer right now)

No. That would be "Return Fire."

Hold Fire means they won't shoot. Ever. Until you change the Fire Control settings to something else. 

Edited by Mirzayev
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27 minutes ago, Red_Donkey said:

Scouting routes. Does it work well in-game? Do they survive well?
(I haven't experimented that much. And I haven't looked at units in particular how they perform, when they spot enemies, and how long they stay hidden until enemies fire at scouting units.

 

Well dare I say "it depends".

 

If you choose to "scout" across a wide open cabbage field (or somewhere else with no cover or concealment), probably not. If you scout through a forest then normally "yes".

 

What I tend to find is that people get frustrated and take over.

 

E.g.:

 

1. Dismounted scout team stops. Player gets frustrated and hammers the "w" key. Scout units advances and is destroyed by the enemy unit it had detected (i.e. the reason why it stopped). 

 

2. Vehicle scouting stops. Player gets frustrated and hammers the "w" key. Vehicle advances and is destroyed by the minefield it had detected (i.e. the reason why it stopped).

 

Of course the AI will make mistakes and should you choose to spend 90+ mins micro managing 1 x 3 person scout team, you'll get a better outcome. However, if you are doing an advance to contact across a broad front (as suggested in your first post) then the scouts will do a "good enough" job.

 

Edited by Gibsonm
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Chapter 8 of the user's manual is essential reading.

I say this of no other chapter; Chapter 2 comes close, but only because not reading it usually generates the most support cases ("where is file X?"). Of course I recommend that you check them all, but only #8 is "mandatory". Simply because it defines how the AI will behave in certain standard situations. It's like knowing how chess figures move on the board.

 

Whether the enemy will open fire immediately on "any hot spot it can see" depends on the fire control settings of the enemy (which you usually don't know unless you created the scenario, in which case you'd have full control, obviously). The enemy will not always notice your scouts; at least not if they remain visible for only short periods (fast movement increases your chances of getting detected massively, however). In darkness, if the enemy has no thermals, they may very well be able to infiltrate as long as they don't open fire.

Once that they do open fire, the enemy will notice the muzzle flash and remain aware of the unit until it breaks contact.

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