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Andrimner

The Merits of bounding overwatch (aka leap frogging)

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Froggy, the post you have just written explains my position precisely. I can't imagine why you would think I disagree with that - it's what I've been saying all along.

To quote myself from the original thread, before the entire discussion began to polarise:

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.

Where is the disagreement?

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Maybe the disagreement lies in the question why we're still beating a horse that died a few pages ago.

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Well, that's not really disagreement, now is it? I'd place that in the box "confusing/misrepresenting my position". It's fascinating to me, at least, how Froggy can manage to state the exact same opinion I have been promoting, yet pass it off as an opposite view. Hence the question - seems like a reasonable one to me.

As for the vital signs - there are still different views on the matter, although the almost semi-religious nature of the debate seems to exclude any possibility of a shared view on the matter. Clearly, this is (for some very strange reason) a hot-button issue, and there has been some rehashing from my part throughout the discussion. Mainly because I feel my view is misinterpreted (which is the case in your reply as well, I never searched for a "100%-solution") That doesn't in itself means that the matter should be closed, at least in my book. Discussions on pros and cons of TTPs are considered valuable learning experiences where I come from, as opposed to heresy (as long as entries stay on case), even if discussions may get a little heated. This is clearly a question where officers trained in different armies have different views. I'd say exploring the reasoning behind the different views could prove worthwhile.

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So: What you don´t understand, or is it because a German wrote it.

Or were is the different to what Froggy wrote ?

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 ?

So here is my Tip for you (from Plt Leader to Plt Leader) :

1. Join the German army

2. Try to choose Panzer as your Branch

3. Go trugh Sergeants-, Mastersergeants-, Mastergunner- and Platoon Leader Curse

4. Go back to your Plt and try out what you have learned

5. Report here what you have find out.

And yes, there are a lot of Technics, Standards, Routines for a Tank Plt..

But sorry I´m not in the Mod to write them down here.

Here are some to google for you:

- Fire and Movement

- 5 W´s

- Analyze of Task, Map, ENY Chances, Own Chances and find a Intention

- Behavior in Urban, Wooden, Hilly Areas

a.s.o.

And btw were is the Sce. I ask for ?

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Brun:

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.

I Understand the point You are trying to make. Leap frogging is not the only way to advance and won't work well in certain situations. Knowing when to use it is the key.

Further more I don't assume anything, or accept any tactic because it worked one time. I have come to my conclusions from 12 years of testing tactics in the sim against really good opponents. Not "Single tank ramboism", or "One night of good luck". These things are worked out over time after being tested in many different situations, and you take the overall outcomes. Just because something worked a certain way in SB does not mean it would work that way in real life and vise versa.

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Or were is the different to what Froggy wrote ?

My perception of Froggys position is this: Bounding overwatch and continuous movement (or to be more precise: bounding with the entire platoon) both have pros and cons. None of them are universally suited to all situations. Therefore, a platoon leader has to consider each individual situation before choosing bounding overwatch or continuous movement. In situation A, bounding overwatch might provide more security, in situation B, continuous movement might provide more security.

This is also my position.

My perception of your position is this (and yes, I may have misunderstood. If so, please correct me): Bounding overwatch is more secure than continuous movement, and should therefore always be chosen if security is the highest priority.

And as mentioned before, please stay on the issue. Provide me with reasoned responses, and I will respond in kind. Don't just assume that because I disagree with you, I'm ignorant. And don't make the assumption that the german army automatically knows best. Dangerous assumptions to make for organisations that want to be proficient. Professionals know how to explain the reasons for their techniques.

And btw were is the Sce. I ask for ?

I'll upload a simple scenario here, so you can draw up a movement plan if you like and then show it to me. The objective is to reach area 101, and the black lines indicate the corridor you need to stay within. There isn't much opposition, the point here is just to draw the movement plan. We can start with that one, and then we can make some more if need be. We can draw up our own movement plans, and compare them to eachother. This seems to me to be a reasonable approach.

Here it is: http://www.speedyshare.com/Vbymw/download/Test-leapfrogging.sce

I Understand the point You are trying to make. Leap frogging is not the only way to advance and won't work well in certain situations. Knowing when to use it is the key.

Yes. And as a rule of thumb (meaning it doesn't always work), I believe that in situations where vertical LoEs are dominant, the cons of leapfrogging will increase significantly while the pros are reduced.

Further more I don't assume anything, or accept any tactic because it worked one time. I have come to my conclusions from 12 years of testing tactics in the sim against really good opponents. Not "Single tank ramboism", or "One night of good luck". These things are worked out over time after being tested in many different situations, and you take the overall outcomes. Just because something worked a certain way in SB does not mean it would work that way in real life and vise versa.

My apologies, I didn't mean to imply that you made that assumption in general. My point was just that in the circumstances you described, leapfrogging works because the conditions are right for it. Under other conditions, the effect you're describing might not be achieved, as we seem to agree on.

And the single-tank-Ramboism wasn't meant to imply that that's what you base your experience on, it was just meant to point out that during an online session, the variables are too many to make a certain conclusion based on the outcome of one session, or even a limited number of sessions. Therefore, this issue isn't something that can be "settled" by playing one session head-to-head. Poor wording on my part probably caused these points to come across in a different way than intended.

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for Single tank Ramboism:

We were in defensive position, and I was detached to an Mecanized Inf coy.

My platoon was destoyed becauses the TC have not respects the basics of dispersion agains arty fire and haven't keep the positions I had reconned on foot during the night.

Then comme enemy tanks and APC:

By using both fire on the move and static engement, I managed to kill 5 tanks and 2 APC, before 2 tanks passed througth the inf line of our neighbour:

http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xpead8

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The entire subject here depends on one thing which is out of your control: what the enemy does.

If your opponent is smart and is not scripted AI on rails, then lone tank Rambo will probably never work, ever. If you opponent is poorly scripted AI or a bumbling human that doesn't pay attention to his flanks and consistently has his platoons in the wrong formation, then it might always work. Also, Rambo tanks almost never seems to be effective on the offensive either, as moving into the "unknown" generally requires flank security provided from other platoons, and the tactic of bounding may help provide additional cover from unknown and sudden ambushes (plus it is a tactic that is designed to minimize losses, as cold and harsh as that may sound -- lose half the element to an ambush/kill sack as opposed to the whole element).

On the defense, in real life and in SB, it is almost always better to operate as the lowest element possible because you can really create a very flexible defense by sighting in individual elements with specific overlapping fields of fir and designate precise fall back positions. This of course is the opposite of the offense where numbers and flank security is key if you want to actually take and hold any sort of ground.

Not to mention, any idea of using a single tank to do anything more or less goes right out the window once you turn map updates off (the Top Tank Tournament is a perfect example). So in some ways it also depends on how you play SB too (in other words, there are a lot of factors at play). ;)

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Thanks, Froggy, I just played the plan out.

Ok, you went for a classic bounding movement at first, with the sections advancing on separate sides of the forest island. This allowed your gunners to scan and cover a large area, which contributes to security. I can see the upsides of that solution, especially if the suspected threat is enemy infantry in the woods.

However, the separation also means that the possibility of mutual support is limited to the central area of the corridor. During the initial phases, the two different sections repeatedly expose themselves alone towards areas the other section can't cover. This meant that when I played the scenario with AI control, one of the section faced the one threat I had placed alone, with the other section unable to assist. [Play it, and you'll see what I mean]

It would also mean that the northernmost section would be alone if it encountered a threat in the northern flank (the small ridge at 149 251), which it did not in this instance because I didn't place a threat there.

I'll try to create a movement plan of my own, and upload it - hopefully by the end of the weekend. So you'll get the opportunity to rip at my plan as well :P

I'll try to keep an open mind towards constructive criticism, as I hope you will wrt this post. ;)

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Ok, I drew up a quick movement plan. It's based on continuous movement. I consider the main drawback to be the fact that the unit loses sight of the corridor when pulling out of BPs (as opposed to Froggys solution), and it might be a bit more time-consuming. I also haven't been able to come up with a proper solution to the northern flank, so I chose the risky solution of advancing with all 4 tanks at once, since any advance through that corridor would expose the advancing element to new flanks both left and right anyway. Upside: Mutual support, and firepower. When the unit hits trouble, it does so with 4 guns.

(Couldn't quite get the tanks to act like human-controlled tanks act, which is a shame)

http://www.speedyshare.com/bs7pM/download/Test-leapfrogging2.sce

Probably need to hit the "proceed" button iot progress thru the scenario

I'll face any comments and criticism with all the humility I can muster.

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Sorry, but it is so boring.

"What if the second Section cant give Protection, You split the Plt, they expose them selves, a.s.o...."

What do you think happens when a Section of modern Tanks (Leo 2, M1, Chally....) find some ENY Tanks?

They cry for help by the other Section ??

NO !

They will first FIRE, then check Situation and if necessary fall back and tell it to the Plt Leader.

I can´t imagine your way of thinking, so you never ever can be a Tank Platoon Leader.

I will write a Sce (that is WIP) , with automatic movement for BLUE that will be always the same, a Chance to do it by your own and a KI defender with a minimum of 16 random Positions ( my time is not unlimited) to defend on the beautiful BEEDENBOSTEL Map.

Your renitent misunderstanding is still boring, but I think there are enough People interested in how to script this.

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What do you think happens when a Section of modern Tanks (Leo 2, M1, Chally....) find some ENY Tanks?

They cry for help by the other Section ??

NO !

Meaning, I suppose, that you are completely happy exposing individual sections to enemy threats without support from the other section. You want sections to deal with the problems I want platoons to handle. Which....sort of proves my point. The rationale behind bounding overwatch is mutual support, if that can't be achieved, bounding overwatch is pointless. Facing the enemy with 4 instead of 2 guns isn't "crying for help", it's common tactical sense.

If this bores you, feel free to lay off, btw.

I can´t imagine your way of thinking, so you never ever can be a Tank Platoon Leader.

Well, fortunately for me and the army in which I used to serve, you are not in charge of commisions here.

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Meaning, I suppose, that you are completely happy exposing individual sections to enemy threats without support from the other section. Which....sort of proves my point. The rationale behind bounding overwatch is mutual support, if that can't be achieved, bounding overwatch is pointless. If this bores you, feel free to lay off.

OMG, sure I would do.

Your Plan just reflect the one red Tank you put in the Flank.

That´s stupid!

If I analyze the Terrain, there at least a Minimum of 5 Spot to "Have a Eye on"... because ENY can use it for "binding or flanking" my Maneuver.

But I think you have 20.000 new Arguments against it,

Troll.

P.S.: I´m sure you will never understand it.

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I'm sure you could spot weaknesses in my plan, and as I promised, I will face them with all the humility I can muster. Feel free to point them out if you will, just be specific enough so I know what you mean. I'm quite certain there are better ways to navigate that corridor than the basic route I drew up, and I believe I was quite clear when I said that the point of the scenario was to compare movement plans - not to "win" against the red side. A general "that is stupid"-remark is too vague for me to work on, though...a movement plan of your own would help

As I stated before, give me your reasoned opinion, and I will respond to the best of my ability. But don't expect any notion of "authority" by terms of age or service history (or forum history for that matter) - you won't get any from me. You're not the only real-life tanker around, and there's nothing special about you, your nationality or your army that justifies replacing reason with unfounded statements. I'll consider your posts by the measure of reason contained within them, nothing else.

I also don't care what you think of my abilities as a plt ldr, a question you know nothing about - I've heard what my own CO, NCOs and soldiers thought about that. That's my scale. It isn't shifted by ramblings on an internet forum.

As regards the red tank: Please note that it is located exactly in the spot one would expect if one had looked at the map I uploaded on page 2 on this thread.

I'll also take this opportunity to state the following: I've encouraged you to correct me if I misrepresented your position. Since you didn't do that in either of the posts, I'm assuming your position really is that leapfrogging will always be safer than continuous movement.

Edited by Andrimner

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interesting topic and discussion.this is the first time ive seen Eisenschwein get upset i think.

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May be you could have only uploade your plan, and not a new scenario, in order to compare the plan without to load a new scenario.

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Thanks, Froggy, I just played the plan out.

Ok, you went for a classic bounding movement at first, with the sections advancing on separate sides of the forest island. This allowed your gunners to scan and cover a large area, which contributes to security. I can see the upsides of that solution, especially if the suspected threat is enemy infantry in the woods.

However, the separation also means that the possibility of mutual support is limited to the central area of the corridor. During the initial phases, the two different sections repeatedly expose themselves alone towards areas the other section can't cover. This meant that when I played the scenario with AI control, one of the section faced the one threat I had placed alone, with the other section unable to assist. [Play it, and you'll see what I mean]

It would also mean that the northernmost section would be alone if it encountered a threat in the northern flank (the small ridge at 149 251), which it did not in this instance because I didn't place a threat there.

Don't know in which army and on what type of tank you were on, but it seems that we have not the same definition for support.

We have 3 supports mission in French:

Appuyer (= direct support) you must always see the supported unit to provided immediate fire support on flancs, or when abording a crest. Can be done on the move or static.

Couvrir (= cover) You assist a unit in covering a secondary direction where threat may disturb the main action (or movement).

Soutenir ( = indirect support) You assist a unit by immediat fire OR by moving to flanc the threat (case if the ennemy is stronger than the unit can deal alone, or well positionned)

You are using your platoon the same way we were doing it when we had AMX30, with no fire on the move capability, poor manoeuvrability, keeping the whole platoon on a 100m wide formation, and making small bound.

You keep on defensive, you have not an agressive attitude, and in final, you will be under influance of enemy because you deprive yourself of your liberty of movement. Your whole platoon is going to be pinned down , without possibility to sort from the situation alone.

Ok, in my plan the left pair face the T80 alone, but the right pair can move to support (Ai is not able to do it by his own, but human can do it).

Edited by Froggy

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Don't know wich in army and type of tank you were on, but it seems that we have not the same definition for support.

We have 3 supports mission in French:

I am no tanker and never have been but in the early days of UK Armour training we were told that the overwatch units should keep the advancing units in sight as much as possible. But it seems to me that it's more important for the overwatch units to keep eyes on the areas of terrain which are a threat to the advancing units and where the nme might appear to interfere with things. This may mean losing sight of your own advancing units from time to time.

Your comments would be most welcome.

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I am no tanker and never have been but in the early days of UK Armour training we were told that the overwatch units should keep the advancing units in sight as much as possible. But it seems to me that it's more important for the overwatch units to keep eyes on the areas of terrain which are a threat to the advancing units and where the nme might appear to interfere with things. This may mean losing sight of your own advancing units from time to time.

Your comments would be most welcome.

Its a combination of both really, you need to observe your units so that if the defecation hits the oscillation, you know where they are, or where they died. But you also need to be able to premptive actions to protect them. As well as give covering fire if they need to retreat in a hurry.

(But that's why your paid the big bucks! :) )

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It is a combination of all and it is very complex:

- Formations, Methods of movement, build up Fire Units out of the Plt, Sectors for over watch a.s.o.

-What kind of ENY we have to expect

- Analyze of of the Map or area to move through,

answer yourself 4 Questions

- What is my Task (where to go, Borders of Movement, What to do)

- What is the Map/Ground like (Woods, Waterobstacles, Bridges, Hills, open Flanks a.s.o )

- What would I do if I´m the ENY

- What can I do to solve my Task

(or you can use the 5 W´s Method)

--> Make your Plan

- The order and positions of the Sections

- Were is my Place (in Front or as a cover Section)

- What is the "Plan B" if something went wrong

- Do we need crossing of the Scanning Sectors

- Do we need to change the account of Ammo per Tank

- Are there own Troops in Front/Flank

- What to do after reaching your Target/OBJ

a.s.o

It also differ in the Technic of Movement Nation to Nation.

In DEU we don´t have special Cover near or wide Technics, we made it with different movement Technics, the Result is the same.

A german Tanker only knows 3 movement Technics:

- In einem Zuge (All together) If the Plt is covered all Tanks move simultaniusly

- Raupenartig (1 Secton move, 1 Sectin cover them, then the 2 Section follows up to the Line of the 1st Section a.s.o. )

- Überschlagend (Same as bevor, but now the 2nd Section drive over the Line of 1st Section, as far the 1st Section can cover their movement

And it is a big deference if you only have 3 Tanks per Plt, because then 1 Tank is allways on the move....

Try to illustrate it, wait out

SS_18_25_29.jpg.aaf8af44976145f9c2140d0b

SS_18_25_29.jpg.aaf8af44976145f9c2140d0b

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The moral of the story is:

In the very original diagram, the platoon was in a situation where it wasn't sure if enemy were on its flanks. That implies that it does not have flank security, therefore it should not advance in the first place, bounding or otherwise. It is just plain screwed. It needs a supporting element (infantry or another tank platoon or more) to secure its flanks, THEN it could move forward by bounding or traveling overwatch. Bounding is only used when you at the very least have flank security, and you assume that enemy will be present to your front only. Otherwise you are just as helpless bounding as you are moving as a whole, or by individuals.

See the section "Movement techniques" here:

http://www.steelbeasts.com/sbforums/sbvwiki/Tactics

Notice the narrow corridors in the diagram. The tactic never assumes that there are enemy to your flanks, only to the front. A platoon should NEVER operate alone, if it can help it, especially if it is deep behind enemy lines as you will just be nice juicy targets to ATGM teams at the very least. ;)

I think the key to the whole issue is that in a typical scenario in SB, you usually are on the offensive without sufficient forces or time. A typical offensive in real life in an environment other than open desert can be relatively "slow" at the tactical level, taking several hours or more, however we want to punch through and finish a battle over several km in about an hour because its fun! Well, in that situation you almost always end up with unsecured flanks. The ideal situation is where you push forward with tanks and secure the flank with infantry or other elements, or at least with reconnaissance, so that you move across the map like locusts, devouring everything in your path to the degree that you know for a fact that your flanks are secure (because you physically cleared them). So to that extent, bounding with platoons or sections as you push a front line forward is certainly effective.

Just my two cents.

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+1 and Thumbs up.

But there are Tasks to advance with only 1 Plt to contact without Flank Cover.

In German we call it Gefechtaufklärung durch Kampf (Reconnaissance that fight down ENY ??)

That´s exactly what was asked for in the first Post.

There must be a US FM for that too, I think.

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