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 Post subject: The Deployment Phase Revisited
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Playing In the Sandbox
The Deployment Phase Revisited

OK now it is time to deploy, you have the time set aside to do this right and you have your plans and
notes. Begin placing your units and as you place them set them as you want them Turn off weapons
set range to zero or to the desired ranges if the unit is on over watch so that it opens fire at optimal range. Don't just set up a long range and leave it. Once a platoon is set up go back to its HQ and select the change all units option and then set it to defend mode. This will have them dig in and be as well hidden as possible, The only units you do not want to set to dig in or defend mode are units you will be moving on your first turn. Assuming your player one and going first. If you are player two you will have to make a big choice here. Are you willing to risk leaving units in advance mode who are then more easily spotted and damaged or are you willing to give up the turn and dig in just in case your already spotted due to being close to the front lines or otherwise exposed. There is a slight advantage in going first but it can be negated somewhat by digging in rather them moving yourself.

Remember with the use of C&C units in advance mode are more easily spotted and units moving are
almost always going to be spotted quickly.

This means you should consider digging in your forces even if you were planning on attacking the enemy by moving forward. This means it will cost you orders to go from dug in defend mode to advance mode latter when you begin to attack. But if you ordered your units to dig in when you deployed them your own HQ's should still have enough orders to make this change. Give your recon at least 3 or 4 turns to get out in front and get some idea of what is out there. Staying hidden with your other forces will increase your own spotting and will help you maintain some surprise when you do move. IF you have taken to heart the lessons of turning off the guns on units that are not in contact you may find that even an overflight of aircraft will not always show dug in hidden units with weapons off. Be willing to toss away a turn to fight right. You have lots of time. If games are ending on you due to running out of turns look at adding more turns to the battles your playing. You may think that by digging in at the start of the game and letting your scouts and recon do its job that your plan will be a failure. Don't lose the game in the first turn by committing your forces to movement as part of a plan that has not even had the benefit of knowing the results of the recon forces spotting reports. Wait a turn or two don't be in a hurry to die. Once your recon has had a chance to show results now you can begin to alter the movement settings for the forces you have dug in. Don't show the enemy all your cards by being in a hurry to toss them on the table face up on the first turn.

This is where you separate those who want to die young from the veteran players. When you set up
your units you should have already set the objective flags and now that the recon reports are coming in you may need to alter some of them. If you think it necessary do it now since your going to have to wait a turn or so to build up orders again. If your objective flags are good and the plan looks good
your ready to issue a warning order to your troops. In effect your telling them to mount up and start
the engines of the tanks and the infantry will be getting ready to move out. What I mean by warning order is that you will now go around to each HQ for the formations that you want to start moving and using the HQ's change all units in this formation option set them to advance state. DO NOT move them yet. Let them stay dug in until you are sure that all the necessary units have been set to advance mode and that no units that are critical are out of contact. If some of the important units are not in contact you will need another turn to fix them but your units that are ready to move will still have the dug in status since they have not yet moved. Movement is what alters your units stance as far as the game is concerned not toggling the switch. Movement is also the key to the enemy spotting you at longer ranges. By limiting the movement of your force until your fully ready to move out you keep the enemy from spotting you early on in your movement of only a partial force.

This movement warning turn also is a good time to begin to plot out any of the artillery plots that you
want to have that will require a turn or more to begin falling. If you are creative you can set up a
rather complicated fire plan that will be set turns in advance allowing your calling units to rebuild
orders for use when the attack hits that critical point where shifting fire to a new enemy location may
come up. In effect you can with planning pre pay for your artillery calls by plotting them well in
advance of need allowing the calling units to rebuild orders before the artillery is even falling. This
sort of plotting will keep your FO's useful and require less of them to handle your emergency artillery

I am sure I am going to hear comments from someone about this idea of a warning order turn. I
don't care if you use it or not. I want my plans to come off as I made them and I want them to go
in as planned on time and on target. I do adjust my settings a turn or more in advance so that when
I choose to set my plans in motion the forces all move as one and there are no units who did not get
the orders they need to make the movement. I have taken steps to minimize the chaos that the
game will rain down on you at the most critical moments. I did it by simply taking the time to tell my
units a turn or more in advance that the time had come to implement the plan. I am willing to give
up a turn or more at the start of the game to let my reconnaissance teams do the job I sent them
out to do. I want to know where my enemy is before I show him my own units by breaking cover and moving, Even when I am planning to attack. Remember your orders will regenerate your units
will not do that until after the battle is won or lost. Spend orders and time not units to achieve your mission objectives.

Making Your Defense Harder To Crack.

When setting up a defense you want your units to support each other. You have to expect the enemy player to send out his recon forces looking for your lines. You want to stop those forces from getting
behind your lines but you also want to destroy them before they learn a good deal about your lines and location of your forces. You also want to accomplish this with out using your own scout teams to fight off enemy scout teams. I have always suggested you send some support units with your scouts such as light machine guns and light mortars. This gives your own scouts some ability to deal with units that they locate. You don't want to destroy the forces you find with your scout teams you want to keep your scouts alive and the support weapons you send with them are there to assist them in getting out of los of the units that fire on them not to engage a more powerful enemy force seeking to destroy them. Dead scouts report nothing of value to you. Now back to the point of setting up your own front lines.

When you deploy you want to outpost your own lines with some spotters to see the enemy coming at you and you want to use cheap and small units to do this. If you can destroy the enemy recon forces as they probe your lines you can gain an advantage. Most players do not spend enough points on the recon forces they buy. They often buy a few scout platoons and leave it at that. Destroying the enemy scouts should be left to your own defense set up and not your own scouts.

Setting up your front lines should be done with depth. So that when the enemy reaches a point were they will begin to see your own units they will come under fire from not only the closest unit to them but from units that are supporting it. The goal here is to destroy the enemy scouts on first contact with your lines. This prevents then from pulling back and looking to go around your position. In the picture below is simple example of what I mean by setting up defense in depth that supports itself.


The front most unit is an outpost of scouts backed by a light machine gun. The scouts are set so they have weapons off and ranges set to zero. They are the eyes which are there to spot incoming enemy units as they get close. They will not fire even if fired on. The light machine gun will be set to a range of 4 which is just enough range to take on the enemy about the same time they might be spotted.

Behind the LMG and scouts is the main line of a rifle platoon supported by an MG, ATG and Inf Gun
along with a light mortar. These units are all set to fire at various ranges depending on how far they
are behind the LMG. Ranges will be in the 6, 7 or 8 hex range so that they all open fire on any unit
that is taken under fire by the LMG. Since op fire is expected to be the first warning you have of the enemy getting close you want your weapons to all be able to op fire. The goal here is to support that LMG with the units behind it even if it is not your turn. In this way if the LMG fails to kill the scouts
the other units will be able to op fire if the enemy shoots back at the LMG unit. By setting the At and
Inf guns in the line and setting the ranges on them properly no matter what sort of unit enters the hex where the LMG would fire it more of less assures you that you fire the proper weapons to get an op fire kill. Any unit that comes within 4 hexes of the LMG will trigger this defense to fire on it.

While the example above is a not the best example of a defense line it does show that you want to support that front line LMG with op fire from the units behind it. Do not let that LMG take on the enemy by itself. Do not use the eyes of your defense to fight back unless you have no choice. Use the units behind your outposts to support that outpost. Remember that units that did not op fire will not give away there positions so you are not showing your full hand by setting up ranges that seem to suggest you might do so. A defense set up like this is going to be much harder to approach then one where you have set the ranges to zero waiting to turn them on when your turn comes around. You really do want to take advantage of the Op fire the computer will do for you when it is not your turn.
Remember Op fire tends to be accurate and deadly and it is even more so when it occurs at ranges well within a units effective range. In the example above the MG and Rifle squads if they are called on to fire should all score kills.

When you set up a defense similar to the one above you have to check it often to make sure that the ranges were not altered due to incoming fire from the enemy. Remember that when the enemy fires on one of you units that units range is set to the range necessary to shoot back at the enemy unit that fired on it. You MUST go in and reset the ranges on your defense if you want your units to drop from sight if they take no more incoming fire. You need to do this to maintain the proper range settings for the defense as a whole. If you allow the individual units in a defense to have the ranges altered to higher numbers then you intend, you open up gaps and provide the enemy with a means to pick your defense apart. Your line depends on units firing when you want them to fire. If you allow units to go on with ranges altered by the enemy fire you may be allowing the enemy to drain there op fire potential by moving units that are out of effective range of the weapons that are op firing on them. Then the enemy has the chance to move units that are closer and not take op fire. The lesson here is that when you are on the defense you want to check it each and every turn to insure the ranges are properly set for each and every unit that makes up that defense line. The overall strength of your line is not one made up of the units themselves but in how they operate as a whole. You want your defense to act in a way that supports the individual units that make it up. To make that happen you need to stay on top of it and make sure the ranges are set properly each turn. Frankly you should be checking the range settings on every unit every turn even if your attacking not just defending but on defense it is critical to do so if you have any expectations of your defense holding the enemy back.

I prefer myself to cycle through each and every unit each turn not only to check ranges but the level of suppression and state. This lets me check for all these things unit by unit and make any adjustments needed. If your wanting to avoid this a bit you can make a list of the ranges shown in the HQ screen of your total forces using that you can see if the numbers have changed and go from there to reset the units that have changed.


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