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Skybird03

A "Tactics primer" for beginners - what to do, in what order

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Do you guys have any tips on what I could read up on regarding modern platoon and single AFV level warfare and tactics in preparation for this sim? Any books (audio books would be great for travel as well) videos, yeah anything really that could get my head where it needs to be as a tanker. I'm used to helicopter and flight combat sims on a high level but when it comes to AFV siming.... I fear my knowledge of modern doctrines goes back to early PC and amiga days :)

No need to read books.

Drive around hills, not over them.

Never leave a battleposition in forward, always in reverse until you found cover, then start moving in the hidden.

When the enemy spotted you, leave your position before the artillery that he radioed down on you could strike you.

Always remmeber this famous quote: "Static defences are monuments for the stupidity of man".

Always try to have a good situational awareness of your environment, and where what is. Always have on mind at what direction your next way point or your next fallback point is. Nothing worse than to drive at the wrong direction when trying to escape out of a dangerzone.

Do a lot of planning before mission starts. Study the terrain, identify save movement routes, covered positions.

Study the AAR after the mission is over.

Understand the difference between a camouflaged and a covered position. Camouflage does not protect you from shells.

Don't try to rambo. It gets you killed in 9 out of 10 times - soon.

Use leapfrogging.

Don't be a hero. Do not forget that artillery assets that you do not use - are of no use. Better to kill an enemy by artillery than by taking a risk and needlessly trading fire with him.

Always be first to strike. Always be the one to open the engagement. Always strike with massed firepower. Don't have your firepower scattered around.

I personally tend to withdraw and prepare a second attack when the engagement lingers on. No need to test my luck in a draw that needs me to take gambles.

Learn to fight from distances where the enemy is in your engagement envelope, but you still not being in his optimal envelope. If enemy falls back, follow to keep him in that envelope, do not get closer needlessly. If enemy moves forward, fall back to keep him in your envelope. Avoid close distance fights, that is like flipping a coin and nullifies all your advantages if you command a Western modern tank. Your utmost goal is to survive and to stay operational.

Never reload without seeking cover first.

That's it for starters, I think.

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All fundamentals of company level tactics can be found in US Army Field Manual 3-21.10, Infantry Company 2006. Assault of a strong point is the basic foundation that all combined arms maneuver is taught upon, including the breaching tenets (Intelligence, Fundamentals, Organization, Mass) and the breaching Fundamentals (Suppress, Obscure, Secure, Reduce Assault).

From that basic understanding I would then go into Tank Platoon Manual ATP 3-20.15, specifically chapters 3 and 4.

For a more historical read, there is "Thunder Run, The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad," by David Zucchino. On a personal note my old company commander Bobby Ball is mentioned in the book. I never let him live down the AAA map comment he made when he led our convoy to take a wrong in turn in East Baghdad in 2006.

And finally, if you want more asymmetric tactics, there are several white papers on the 2006 Israeli conflict on insurgent tactics to fight large armored threats. (Apocalypse 31 and I are conspiring to make a new scenario based upon our experiences at the Maneuver Captains Career Course and these tactics).

See you on the high ground!

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Use leapfrogging

I'll counter this. Don't leapfrog unless you know specifically what you want to achieve by leapfrogging in this particular instance. Allthough statements to the contrary can be found in many places, leapfrogging does NOT in itself make movement more secure. In many, many cases it is directly detrimental to security. It is the most common way to ensure that when you face the enemy, you'll be doing so with only a fraction of your units potential firepower. This is not ideal.

There used to be a general opinion that leapfrogging was a more secure way of movement than continual movement. I suspect this notion is mainly a relic from the times before tanks were equipped with proper stabilization. There are still situations were leapfrogging is a sensible approach, but it is far from a general rule. I'd say that the situation now is that leapfrogging vs continual movement is a question on the same level as most other tactical questions: the commander needs to weigh the pros and cons of the different methods in each individual instance and make his decision based on that, the major factors being the terrain and the enemy. My instincts tell me that this weighing process when performed by a rational/pragmatic commander will result in continual movement being favored over leapfrogging more often than not, at least on the platoon level.

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I'll counter this. Don't leapfrog unless you know specifically what you want to achieve by leapfrogging in this particular instance. Allthough statements to the contrary can be found in many places, leapfrogging does NOT in itself make movement more secure. In many, many cases it is directly detrimental to security. It is the most common way to ensure that when you face the enemy, you'll be doing so with only a fraction of your units potential firepower. This is not ideal.

There used to be a general opinion that leapfrogging was a more secure way of movement than continual movement. I suspect this notion is mainly a relic from the times before tanks were equipped with proper stabilization. There are still situations were leapfrogging is a sensible approach, but it is far from a general rule.

Was mentioned three years ago or so in some long since forgotten thread. Back then some armies were testing rushing a whole platoon in one move to have maximum firepower available at the moving front, versus one element providing cover for the other advancing. Modern fire control computers seem to nullify the need for leapfrogging. However, I play SP only and thus against the AI, and in that context leapfrogging still works better, I think, for my AI buddies really should be nanny-nursed if I want to prevent loosing even one of them.

Possible that in MP against human enemies I would do it differently.

Is all-platoon movement now doctrinal NATO standard in general? In said past thread I think it was Norway getting mentioned for still testing it.

And while I am at it, what is the standard tank platoon size in the BW now? Still 3 or now 4 vehicles?

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If Norway was mentioned, then I suspect I was involved in that thread, under a different callsign. Leapfrogging was considered the "standard" method in the norwegian army in the older days. Back then the idea that leapfrogging was safer was in the Field Manuals, now it is not, the statement vanished betweed editions. Continual movement hasn't replaced it as the "standard" as such, it is rather considered as a choice individual commanders have to make in each individual situation. This was never the subject of any high-level official debate. It was merely more or less unformally discussed in and amongst tank units, and the testing involved comparing how well the different methods fared on exercises. I did the share I could to move my fellow officers' minds away from the notion that leapfrogging was, by default, safer than the alternative. And enough of them seemed to share the same view that I deemed it safe to say that leapfrogging was no longer automatically considered safer - as it had been in the past. Not an official change of TTP, rather a question of de facto evolution.

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All fundamentals of company level tactics can be found in US Army Field Manual 3-21.10, Infantry Company 2006. ....

"All fundamentals of US company level tactics ..."

They aren't necessarily applied globally. :)

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Sorry for a bit of shameless self-promotion, but this set of scenarios might be helpful for a beginner interested in familiarizing with the tactical aspect of the game: Camp Hornfelt

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Well leap frogging does have its advantages in modern warfare, don't be mis-lead.

The weakest part of any AFV is the rear and then the sides. If you read enough on modern conflicts you would have seen that the enemy ATGM teams know the weak spots, and are the best part to hit.

If a tank troop moves in formation without leap frogging their sides will go out of the crews observation at some point, and most certainly their rear.

While leap frogging has some downsides security is not one of them. The fire team that is stopped and watching forward and to their flanks can see the wpn fired and may be able to engage the fire position, at the very least the can warn the fire team moving to their front.

So, as we have seen in Syria and in Chechnya the tank has to be seen while moving by someone in order to provide info on the firing position if out of the crews normal view.

Moving in formation the open desert is fine,in a 360 Deg war, not so much.

Edited by 12Alfa

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