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The Merits of bounding overwatch (aka leap frogging)


Andrimner
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The idea that the overwatching team can fire on or at least warn the bounding team is by no means an automatic consequence of leapfrogging. Assuming that the overwatching element always will be able to detect and engage/warn about the enemy threatening the bounding element ignores the fact that bounding means creating massive amounts of "blind spots" that the overwatching element cannot cover. If the overwatching team can't see that area, then the bounding team will face that threat alone. If the threat manages to temporarily or permanently disable one of the tanks, the remaining tank faces the threat completely alone. And in most environments, even moving forward some 10-20 metres will expose you to new areas - especially in heavily wooded areas. Blind spots are unavoidable unless you're in completely open terrain.

I've uploaded a poorly drawn bmp to illustrate improper use of leapfrogging. The red question marks indicate areas OUTSIDE of the overwatching elements coverage that the bounding element will expose itself to. Enemy units in those areas will be able to fire freely on the bounding element, and the overwatching element will be powerless to help or warn. Also note that the location of the blind zones means that is is precisely the sides and rear of the bounding element that are exposed to the area not covered by the overwatchers. And this is on a very basic level - in the complex reality, the amount of areas will be even larger. Imagine zooming out on this map, and the amount of "danger areas"/blind zones becomes larger still. Add to this the fact that when the bounding element reaches the next hill, it will expose itself alone towards the north, while still being exposed to 2 flanks that the overwatching element cannot cover. In theory, the overwatching element covers the flanks - in reality, the 2 tanks in the bounding element need to cover a 180+ degree sector by itself. That's a security issue in my book, and this is why leapfrogging IMO should not be considered as a superior choice wrt security.

And what happens if the overwatching element detects enemy threats on the hill the bounders are headed for? The bounding element might be straight in front of them, and depending on the safety rules you play by, firing APFSDS might not be possible. If you do, it might pose a security risk to the bounding element. For these reasons, security can quite definitely be a downside to leapfrogging.

Leapfrogging.png

(Please don't get too specific about this example, it's drawn in a hurry and is meant to illustrate a general principle)

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Is this a Quiz?

My Intention:

attachment.php?attachmentid=11930&stc=1&d=1371582189

You never have ONE OVERWATCHING ELEMENT and ONE BOUNDING ELEMENT,

Both will change their tasks. If ENY will fight back, they will go Step by Step: 1 in Front 2 follows left or right at the Position 1 is, if secured.

If you need a quick movement: 1 is in Front; 2 goes over the Position of 1 and overwatch.

Leapfrogging.png.9516615a26de107d4ebbf44

Leapfrogging.png.9516615a26de107d4ebbf44

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As I said: Don't get hung up in the specifics in that one particular scenario. It is supposed to illustrate the principle that when the bounding element moves forward, it WILL expose itself to areas that aren't covered by the overwatching element. Do a quick experiment in SB: Use the LOS-tool at one spot and note the coloured areas. Then move it 200 metres in any direction. Notice all those areas that changed colours? Those would be the blind zones that the overwatching element CAN'T cover.

Oh - and in your solution, you still have plenty of blind spots. You're stretching out your unit, and by that you are exposing it to a far greater area. The more you stretch out, the more difficult mutual supprt will become. It also means facing the enemy with fewer guns at a time. The further you bound, the bigger the problem gets. And I'll wager your bounds are bigger than 50 metres. The point remains: Bounding WILL create mutual blind zones, and your solution doesn't remedy that.

Playing further with your example, since we're already there, we might as well keep at it:

Leapfrogging2.png

There's STILL blind spots in the top left flank, and out of a total of 6 tanks, only 2 will actually be able to deal with any enemy threats from the positions of the centre hill! And in this example, the centre section no longer has any support towards the northern hill as it advances, because the left section covers the left flank, and the right section will have the centre section square in its sights if it tries to bear on the hill.

Moving tanks forward means uncovering new pieces of terrain, that's the point of moving. If you choose to do that in sections, it means that when the uncovered piece of terrain proves to have an enemy threat in it, the available firepower is limited to that section. As is the case in your example. 6 tanks, but in which areas are those tanks able to bear at once...? Not that many. That isn't mutual support.

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1. Your Scatch have no Scale

2. Distance beween a Tnk Plt are not fixet to 50 Meters

3. If you have Hills that block your Sigth you have to clear then

4. If the TC have more "death Room" while overwatching from the Hights, they do something wrong

5. "Bounding" is a Tactic that is not known to DEU Army

6. Over watching the attacking Element and the Planning to do so is the Job of the Plt Leader

7. Tanks are not made to fight in Urban-, Wooden-, or extremely Hilly Areas!

I´ll try to find the DEU FM Pages to explain it better

Wait out

P.S.

Man you are editing to fast....

8. Left Flank can be overwatched from the first Pos

9. We only have 4 Tanks (the one in the middle is the right one, just woj´t do a new Picasso)

10. Jep we have still blind spot, so what ? Do you think you can overwatch a 15 x 15 Km Are with 4 Tanks?

11. The Norther Plt has Cover when the 1st Plt is moving North

12. Please NOTE Tank Warefare is 75% Movement 15 % Knowledge and 10% Shooting

13. Please Note 2 Tanks can move back aswell, so iff one Plt is under Pressure it can fall back and the 2nd Plt can move in Pos

14. Keep cool, I think you never see a real Tank did you ?

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Scaling doesn't enter in to it, the principle applies no matter what. Apply any scale you want to that map, the blind zones will still be there. You're splitting up your unit in order to cover all the dead zones, and in that process eliminating mutual support. When you spread out, you're exposing yourself to a bigger area, that creates more blind spots - to cover them, you spread out more, and so on. It isn't possible to cover all the blind spots, that's my whole point.

I never said 50 metres was standard, my point was that unless you limit your bounds to very small steps, bounding WILL create dead zones. 50 metres was picked as an arbitrary number, I might as well have said 30. This principle can be seen just driving or walking to work - how many metres do you have to walk/drive before you see a new piece of terrain? Probably not that many. Imagine leaving the "covering" element in your original position - that new piece of terrain is now a threat to you the covering element can't see.

And arguing that tanks aren't meant to fight here or there isn't really saying anything. When you're in the spot, you need to make do. And in those situations, I don't think bounding is the way to go. Modern tanks have 2-3 stabilized sights pr tank. The ability to cover themselves on the go is much greater now than it was 30 years ago. By advancing in formation, your unit is exposing itself to a much smaller area, and the potential for mutual support is much, much greater.

Edit: No, the top-left flank is uncovered in ALL of the situations you suggested. And if you meant that as a 4-platoon unit, then you have eliminated every possibility of mutual support. Do an analysis of that map with the sections in different positions: How many areas can be covered by all 4 guns at once?

If you want to continue with this example, set up a movement plan that eliminates all blind zones with specific positions for each section while maintaining mutual support. (And keep in mind: This is something the plt ldr has to do "on the go"). If you can do that, colour me impressed.

And don't throw the "never seen a real tank"-stuff at me, you can do better than that. I've served 10 years on Leos, and have served my time as a platoon leader.

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"The idea that the over watching team can fire on or at least warn the bounding team is by no means an automatic consequence of leapfrogging. "

__Then whats the point?___

You leapfrog to provide support, either visually or firepower.

Moving together is the troop hoping each other or another troop (then we are backto leapfroging) provides their own support on the move.

And to add to this. If there is a "blind spot" then that's another drill, and if the supporting FT can't see the threat from the sides the LF FireTeam has gone to far forward. Leapfrog is a secure movement by definition. Driving forward in a complete formation and hoping for the best is not.

The moving FT is not to move out of protection of the other team, it's up to the FT cmdr, and the supporting team to work together on this.

One does not start a mission without a detail map study, ft discussion, overall plan in all areas where terrain is difficult.

I know this seems to be hard for some to understand, how ever with practice and training it is a more secure way of moving in ground that a enemy is likely.

The plan will include drills for all of the above that have been worked out prior to mission start.

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That's my whole point, the idea is that leapfrogging is secure "by definition" - it isn't. A "definition" doesn't make it secure, it's just been said so many times that it's entered the mind as a "holy truth" that goes unchallenged. Just saying "blind spots are another drill", and arguing that the bounding element moves too far doesn't change that, the lines of exposure from the enemy threat means that the difference between covered and exposed can be as little as 2-3 metres. There is no point in leapfrogging if you can't point to what justifies leapfrogging in each specific instance, you don't leapfrog just for leapfroggings sake. Leapfrogging does not in itself equal support, there isn't necessarily a point to it.

Leapfrogging makes sense when the bounding element can move in cover and/or the covering element has a superior BP. In the map above, that isn't the case. Therefore, bounding is a poor idea.

I'll give you the same challenge I gave Eisenschwein: Draw up a movement plan from the southern to the northern hill that doesn't expose the bounding element to an area the covering one can't cover, while at the same time maintaining mutual support. It can't be done. Bounding overwatch with 100% coverage AND mutual support in any other terrain than a wide-open plain isn't physically possible.

The alternative isn't moving forward "hoping for the best". It's moving forward in a fluent formation, adapting to the terrain, with every sight scanning the terrain for the enemy. Uncovering a dangerous right flank with 4 tanks moving in formation is a lot safer than doing it with 2 tanks in formation, with 2 tanks too far behind to see.

The US manual supports the idea of moving overwatch. This isn't that far from that, the idea is to use fluent formations to ensure that the plt can cover the relevant areas as it advances. The difference between a fluent formation and moving overwatch is mainly the distance between the sections, and distance doesn't necessarily provide more security. Fluent formations means smaller fields of fire (ie: quicker TA) and mutual support readily available.

Oh, and Eisenschwein: Yes, my manuals taught me that leapfrogging was the safer method too. But they had failed to evolve from the days of unstabilised tanks. I dug up an even older copy of the manuals, from the days pre-dating stabilisation. In those manuals, the drill we call "roadturn" was supposed to be achieved by leapfrogging as well. Individual tanks leapfrogging along the road through the roadbend. Maybe a necessity in those days, but not in ours. The fact that something is stated in a manual isn't enough to convince me, I want to see the reason behind it properly laid out.

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Sorry, didn´t know you are the new Troll in this Forum.

Scaling doesn't enter in to it, the principle applies no matter what. Apply any scale you want to that map, the blind zones will still be there. You're splitting up your unit in order to cover all the dead zones, and in that process eliminating mutual support. When you spread out, you're exposing yourself to a bigger area, that creates more blind spots - to cover them, you spread out more, and so on. It isn't possible to cover all the blind spots, that's my whole point.

If I can´t know how far it is to the Hill´s or the Obj. I can´t know how far I will split my Plt, scaling does matter. How big are your blind Zones??

I don´t want to cover all the death Zones at once, why ?

I never said 50 metres was standard, my point was that unless you limit your bounds to very small steps, bounding WILL create dead zones. 50 metres was picked as an arbitrary number, I might as well have said 30. This principle can be seen just driving or walking to work - how many metres do you have to walk/drive before you see a new piece of terrain? Probably not that many. Imagine leaving the "covering" element in your original position - that new piece of terrain is now a threat to you the covering element can't see.

I don´t know you want to ride Hand in Hand with your Plt Leader. Here come your "Map" in interest (Very nice Work indeed). You can not ask a theoretical Question and want a practical answer. Do a SB Sce. with it and we go on.

And arguing that tanks aren't meant to fight here or there isn't really saying anything. When you're in the spot, you need to make do. And in those situations, I don't think bounding is the way to go. Modern tanks have 2-3 stabilized sights pr tank. The ability to cover themselves on the go is much greater now than it was 30 years ago. By advancing in formation, your unit is exposing itself to a much smaller area, and the potential for mutual support is much, much greater.

Tank´s are NOT make to fight here and there, thats a ARMA Myth. Wenn I´m in Spot I have to decide if I can do it. Every TC is in the Responsibility for 3 Man, every Plt Leader in the Responsibility of 15 Man. That´s REALITY !!

2 - 3 stabilized sights, witch Tank has 3 stabilized Sight to overwatch 360° ??

And yes advancing in formation is better, the Formation i discribed is called KETTE in german or LINE in US. But Line looks not like your Mothers Collar, if you think so.

Edit: No, the top-left flank is uncovered in ALL of the situations you suggested. And if you meant that as a 4-platoon unit, then you have eliminated every possibility of mutual support. Do an analysis of that map with the sections in different positions: How many areas can be covered by all 4 guns at once?

See above !

If you want to continue with this example, set up a movement plan that eliminates all blind zones with specific positions for each section while maintaining mutual support. (And keep in mind: This is something the plt ldr has to do "on the go"). If you can do that, colour me impressed.

YOU want answers and want ME to do a Plan on your childish Kindergarten sketch ?

Are you kidding ?

And don't throw the "never seen a real tank"-stuff at me, you can do better than that. I've served 10 years on Leos, and have served my time as a platoon leader.

If it is so I can´t understand this kind of Question. In every Army of this World I think, the Plt Leader was trained to manage this Situation 3 o´clock at Night 1 minute afer awakening, with no coffee and cigarette before. Because that is one of the Standard Task for a Plt:

Reconnaissance with or without Fire Orders.

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I want you to demonstrate your idea on a map, yeah. If you're not able to do that on my map, feel free to choose your own. Apparantly, it wasn't too childish when you thought you had the solution at hand.

As I've said before, the top left flank is uncovered in all of your solutions, and your sections have given up any notion of mutual support as well. The left and right sections will have to inch their way forward if they want to avoid exposing themselves from the opposite flank of the one they're supposed to cover. The left section can't move to cover the left flank too quickly, because that will expose it to the right flank. The right section can't move too quickly to secure the right one, or it will expose itself to the uncovered left flank. (And who's covering the northern hill while they're at it?) Only by moving simultaneously will the sections be able to cover their respective flanks without exposing themselves to an area uncovered by the other section.

Since scaling seems to matter, I take it you agree that bounding DOES create blind zones - since you comment about the "size" of them.

Besides, calling me the "new troll" because I challenge what's in your field manuals....what's wrong with you? Are you that insecure about this? Is the idea of leapfrogging some sort of holy cow that cannot be discussed? Or do you not want discussions on tactics in the forum clearly labeled....Tactics? I've made my case, if you want to challenge it like an adult argue the case.

Oh, to answer your question about the tank with 3 stabilised sights: A tank with a stabilised GPS, a stabilised commanders periscope, and a stabilised RWS-station operated by the loader has 3 stabilised sights. It doesn't need to cover 360 degrees if it moves in formation. That's the upside of moving in formation. If you split up your vehicles, however, you will quickly find yourself with a growing sector.

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I want you to demonstrate your idea on a map, yeah. If you're not able to do that on my map, feel free to choose your own. Apparantly, it wasn't too childish when you thought you had the solution at hand.reconnaissance

As I've said before, the top left flank is uncovered in all of your solutions, and your sections have given up any notion of mutual support as well.

YOU want answers and want ME to do a Plan on your childish Kindergarten sketch ?

Are you kidding ?

Besides, calling me the "new troll" because I challenge what's in your field manuals....what's wrong with you? Are you that insecure about this? Is the idea of leapfrogging some sort of holy cow that cannot be discussed? Or do you not want discussions on tactics in the forum clearly labeled....Tactics? I've made my case, if you want to challenge it like an adult argue the case.

First asking a Question, and firing back after a given intention is "Diskussion" ? Yep, got it!

Oh, to answer your question about the tank with 3 stabilised sights: A tank with a stabilised GPS, a stabilised commanders periscope, and a stabilised RWS-station operated by the loader has 3 stabilised sights. It doesn't need to cover 360 degrees if it moves in formation. That's the upside of moving in formation. If you split up your vehicles, however, you will quickly find yourself with a growing sector.

OK you call a RWS a Sight , didn´t know that. BTW what happens when the Loader with RWS locate a ATGM at 2 o´clock 1400, the Gun is not loaded (with the right Ammo) and in the same Moment the Gunner calls Tank 2000 10 o´clock ?

That would exactly be the Situation in your Sketch ??

Beside this I Think you don´t understand (or won´t to) what I try to say.

Anyway, write a Sce. and I will have a look, until then "Happy Discussing", without me.

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OK you call a RWS a Sight , didn´t know that. BTW what happens when the Loader with RWS locate a ATGM at 2 o´clock 1400, the Gun is not loaded (with the right Ammo) and in the same Moment the Gunner calls Tank 2000 10 o´clock ? [...] That would exactly be the Situation in your Sketch ??

Yeah, I call the optics on the RWS a sight, it certainly can be used for target aquisition. What happens if the loader discovers a target? Hand-over to gunner if he can't engage it himself (like TC's used to do before hunter-killer-systems). Wrong ammo in the gun? Exactly the same solution as if the loader WASN'T scanning. We aren't laploading, so that isn't really that big of an issue. More than one target? Set priority, call on the other tanks. If the tank crew detects TWO dangerous targets, they'll be quite happy to know that they have 3 other tanks beside them to face the enemy, as opposed to 1 - as would be the case if the other section was far behind them or off scanning a blind zone. The closer you are, the easier it is to get support.

Beside this I Think you don´t understand (or won´t to) what I try to say.

Well, there might be misunderstandings involved, I'll admit that. That's why I tried the sketch. I might try to create a SB sce to illustrate the point. But I certainly don't accept the notion that tactics can't be challenged on a theoretical level. They certainly can, and they should be. And you have to accept the fact that other users might disagree with you. Yes, "statement-counterstatement" is a discussion as long as the participants argue the case.

Until then, I'll restate my point: I suspect that the notion of leap-frogging as a more secure form of movement as "default" exists because it has been imprinted into the minds of tankers, not because it really is. IMO, the idea of a "one-size-fits-all"-tactic should in it self cause alarm bells to go off, a technique that ALWAYS work regardless of the environment is what I would call a very, very rare species.

The idea that leapfrogging=security is a generalisation from a previous generation that should not go unchallenged as techniques evolve. Examine every situation individually iot determine whether leapfrogging is right, don't just go on reflex. That's the point I'm trying to make.

Edited by Andrimner
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This might serve as an example from SB: The different paths from the starting point to 101 all go past plenty of vertical lines of exposure, while there are virtually no horizontal ones. Covering all the blind zones while bounding will be a pretty exhausting task, and it will impact negatively on the units ability to provide mutual support. And this is by no means the worst case scenario - in this case, range is limited, which limits the problem. Combine frequent vertical lines of exposure with long range exposure, and the deal is much, much worse.

SS_23_32_08.jpg

[Edit: See map in post below]

Edited by Andrimner
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Forgive my ignorance, but wouldn't there be other 'areas of operation' on either side of said platoon? It seems a little reckless to me to send one or even two platoons of tanks with no support into an area where a threat could possibly come from any direction. Also, wouldn't there have been some kind of intelligence gathering about where the enemy is (or is likely to be) positioned?

I understand that intelligence isn't always correct...or even available, and situations like the example certainly do arise. It is in these types of situations that the utmost care must be exercised...for all the reasons previously stated. Advances must be made slowly and carefully.

Of course, there is always the chance that you will be surprised by the enemy. Even with all of the technological advances in battlefield surveillance, the fog of war can roll in.

I am reminded of the Bradley commander in Operation Desert Storm whose gunner shouted, "There's an enemy tank in front of us!" The commander replied, "I know, I'm looking at him through the sight." The gunner shouted back, "No, sir...I mean DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF US!" The commander popped up out of the hatch and looked down to see a T-72 (I think) in a battle position only a few meters in front of them. And that was in a relatively flat, featureless desert!

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Of course, but for the sake of this discussion, the sketches illustrate the principle well enough without over-complicating the issue. The question here is about a general technique - should we merely accept leapfrogging as more secure "by definition", or should we consider the circumstances in each case before we determine which method provides the most security? Supporting elements don't change the principle for several reasons, some of which are:

1) Support isn't perfect. The idea that one unit is "covering" an area doesn't mean it's covering 100% of that area - that is close to physically impossible. And unit boundaries are guidelines at best in terms of control - how likely is it that the neighbouring units control will extend EXACTLY to the map-drawn boundary, and no less? There will - as you point out - always be blind spots, and the farther away the supporting unit is from the supported, the larger the blind spots will be and the harder it will be to get mutual support (as a general rule). Minimising the blind spots will usually increase your security level. Minimising the ground your gunners need to cover will usually (but not always) increase your security. Bounding overwatch is contrary to both these factors. The only upside is that you have some tanks in stationary, presumably superior BPs. If the BP isn't superior at all, the advantage just isn't there. At that point, you're just leapfrogging for the sake of leapfrogging.

2) And let's for arguments sake suppose that supporting units WERE able to cover your flanks as you advance. If you're covered by another unit, just move ahead in formation - that way, when you make contact, you'll have all of your guns with you. Have a look at figure 3.1 on this site, and note how a platoon of 4 tanks -. after the first bound - never face the enemy with more than 2 tanks at once: http://www.steelbeasts.com/sbforums/sbvwiki/Tactics (Assuming each successive hill blocks the field of view further north, they almost seem handcrafted not to do so - reality isn't quite so forgiving). Guderian said something about proper punching techniques in his day - how would that apply here?

Note that I do not think that other units can provide this level of support, this point is written under the assumption that they can, to follow the premise in your post

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I'll give you the same challenge I gave Eisenschwein: Draw up a movement plan from the southern to the northern hill that doesn't expose the bounding element to an area the covering one can't cover, while at the same time maintaining mutual support. It can't be done. Bounding overwatch with 100% coverage AND mutual support in any other terrain than a wide-open plain isn't physically possible.

I have found that Leap frogging, and cover by fire is in most instances the way to go. If all your tanks are caught in the open from an enemy ahead in a good hull down position You have no cover. You can argue that you have more firepower at the point but if you cannot See the threat in time you are wasted. Human Gunners love to see whole platoons heading for them when they have no one providing covering fire. Human gunner rolls up takes a shot rolls back to reload. While you look for that threat His wingman rolls up 100 meters from where you are looking and bam! another dead tank. Happens all the time. With Leap frogging you have someone to keep the enemies head down while you move. Also if the enemy can see all your forces at once in His gun sight He can mass all His guns on your vulnerable exposed platoon from different locations making You a very lonely platoon. As far as exposed flanks that your cover cannot see. Hopefully you have some kind of flank security or intel. You call out the most dangerous areas and scan there with your moving element and covering element. If splitting the formation can be avoided have one whole platoon cover while another whole platoon advances. Or a whole company covering while another advances.

I say Human Gunners because I don't think you have seen to many. Online Head to Head is how these theories get tested in ProPe. What works against the AI won't fly against a skilled player.

I'll send you a challenge Adrimner. Come to TGIF and CO a battle. You can draw your movement plan where it counts and have it tested by a captive audience, then analyzed in the AAR. Results change minds not theory.

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Brun:

You are making the assumption that the covering element will be able to deal with the threat engaging the bounding element. My whole point is that that is not necessarily the case. This will often prove impossible, especially in areas with many vertical lines of exposure. Have a look at the SB-map here, there are plenty of areas that a covering element won't be able to cover. As soon as the bounding element crosses a line of exposure that the covering element can't cover, it faces the enemy alone. And if you think a platoon would feel alone, I can assure you that a section will. At least a platoon will have a bigger chance of survival, because it carries more guns with it.

And the idea that a moving unit can't provide covering fire is contradicted by the US manual itself. It accepts moving overwatch as a form of overwatch, ie a moving element provides overwatch.

You are also making the assumption that the covering element always will find cover. That doesn't always fit reality either. How would that play out on the SB map I uploaded? There are no available areas for good, covering hull-down positions. What now? Do you still leapfrog for the sake of leapfrogging, even if the entire rationale (having an element in superior fire positions) isn't at all fulfilled?

And I'm sorry, but "results" in SB is by no means a silver bullet. A combination of skill and luck might even give you a decent result with single-tank-Ramboism once in a while, but I doubt you'd accept that as a good tactic just because it worked one night online. Designing specific scenarios with AI control over both red and blue teams might give us an indication if we do it many times, though, so that might be worth the attempt.

If you can't defend the theory behind the tactics, then chances are it won't work. So far, no one has provided a decent movement plan than can eliminate blind zones and provide mutual support in the situations I've described - despite mutual support being the main rationale for leapfrogging.

If you can't draw up a working leapfrogging movement plan on the above SB-map, then leapfrogging doesn't work out in that example.

And my experience with BT-equipped tanks (equivalent to Miles) point in one direction: Split up your platoons, and you will lose bit by bit. This isn't a theory I've come up with playing SB Pro, this is a practice I and my fellow officers came up with during our service on real tanks. So yes, I've seen plenty of human gunners.

I'm not saying leapfrogging never works. What I'm saying is that it doesn't work "by definition". It isn't some sort of magic trick that automatically gives your unit more security. When used in the RIGHT circumstances, it will enhance your security. If it is used in the wrong situations, it will be detrimental to security.

This is an example of vertical lines of exposure, and is meant as an illustration.There are thousands of lines in this map just like it. The lines cross the path our units need to follow to get to 101. A blue unit on the left side of the lines isn't exposed to the enemy threat, but it also can't see it. A unit on the right side is exposed, but is also in a position to engage. The red line, in the terrain, is no more than a couple of metres wide. Bounding over one of those lines while leaving the other section on the left side WILL mean exposing one section to the enemy threat, while leaving the other helpless to intervene. The only way to ensure that 4 guns can bear at the enemy more or less at the same time, is having the guns cross the line more or less at the same time.

Exposure_line2.jpg

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Any chance this can go to some academic / theoretical post?

We are now light years off topic in terms of a "Tactics primer for beginners".

I suspect any “beginner“ will be brain dead if they have read thus far as the don’t know the concepts being discussed, let alone come to grips with the “pros and cons” being raised.

Edited by Gibsonm
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Andy, it seems like you are seeking perfect security, which doesn't exist. Leapfrogging is also a risk-hedging method because only half of your platoon can fall to an ambush at any given time. Yes, the stationary element may not be able to cover everything, and if that was the whole point of the discussion to prove that leapfrogging is not always the best possible option - congratulations, you won. Of course, you can make the same argument about pretty much anything in tactics. There is no surefire recipe for anything. Tactics is about anything but absolute certainties.

Doctrine is like training wheels on a bicycle. It helps you to gather an understanding of what usually works ("most of the time, most situations") but just like training wheels can limit the stunts that you can pull with a bike (like, really sharp turns at high speed, downhill mountain biking, BMX stunt races), attempting to apply a "doctrinally correct solution" to every scenario will hinder you and make you unflexible and predictable. Sometimes you simply have to take a risk, to think in terms of offsets. Then it is a question of whether your preference is being aggressive or cautious. Both can be advantage or disadvantage, and usually you will never know whether the other attitude would have reaped bigger benefit. You only get negative feedback when you're catapulted to the observer's view, watching your smoldering wreck that a second before was a proud and seemingly invincible tank.

Edited by Ssnake
Putting the C into cover
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Well, yeah, that was my point. I'm not opposed to leapfrogging, and I'm not saying it never works - I'm just saying it doesn't work "by default". And in some circumstances, other options might be better. Not perfect - but better. Environments with many vertical LOE and few horizontal ones being the main example. The point I was trying to make, that probably got swamped along the way, is pretty much what you formulated here. Taught techniques aren't necessarily silver bullets, learn their inherent weaknesses so you know when they won't work as well as the textbooks indicate.

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Well, yeah, that was my point. I'm not opposed to leapfrogging, and I'm not saying it never works - I'm just saying it doesn't work "by default". And in some circumstances, other options might be better. Not perfect - but better. Environments with many vertical LOE and few horizontal ones being the main example. The point I was trying to make, that probably got swamped along the way, is pretty much what you formulated here. Taught techniques aren't necessarily silver bullets, learn their inherent weaknesses so you know when they won't work as well as the textbooks indicate.

Markovski Regiment (aka Soviet VU) complies at all times with operational SOPs for three reasons. Firstly, we are happy to accept that the people who wrote them are infallible. Secondly, it is good to know that your comrades are doing EXACTLY what you are doing. Finally, if we don't we get shot. ;)

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Andrimner, as you were, as me a tank platoon leader, You know there is no 100% secure manoeuver.

It is the job of the platoon leader to choose either he will split his platoon and make bound overwatch, or he will use the whole platoon to achieve his next movement.

All is a matter of terrain analysis, enemy analysis, mission, Friendly, effect to achieve on enemy or ground to gain (or volontary lose).

There is no miraculous solution.

And if you don't want to understand this, I will rejoin Einsenschwein

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