How do you attack in this game?

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GavinP
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Re: How do you attack in this game?

Post by GavinP » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:04 pm

I deployed into the orchard. His troops in the entrenchment and the building shot me. (We had made the ruling that you could see 12" into or in orchards. They don't generally have a fringe of underbush at the edges in my experience like a wood does.)

Granted I can see mistakes with our interpretation of the rule, I can see people not allowing fire over the hedge into the orchard from the 2nd storey of the building (I don't have a floor in the building yet hence why they all look like they're on the ground floor. They aren't.) And I can see I could have deployed tactically instead of cover fire or on overwatch.

I'd still love to know where you think I went wrong in the patrol phase.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: How do you attack in this game?

Post by Truscott Trotter » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:12 pm

You didn't go wrong in this patrol pbase you went wrong in allowing the troops in second story to fire into orchard 12"

.p 31 6" into and p32 18" in.

I assumed before I saw your photos you had LOS from one JOOto the enmies not so and you cannot fire over orchard even from second story.

Rich H
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Re: How do you attack in this game?

Post by Rich H » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:15 pm

I might have missed it but what mission were you playing?

There is nothing wrong with waiting a bit for a favourable command dice roll (Just don't take the piss or your opponent will leave...)
You would never start an attack on the back foot!

Your units in LOS of all that hard cover will always lose in a stand up fight - as soon as this starts to develop get them out early and fast, break contact. If you delay your shock gets too high you won't be able to move effecively and they will cost you the game.

Beware of becoming trapped by hedges and walls.

When facing a strongpoint get that PzIV in at long range and knock them about. HE clears out defenders from hard cover and those units can do nothing but hide until the 6pdr turns up.

Although I'd also not be taking a tank, an IG-18 would do and free up points for more stuff. A mortar barrage would have helped you a lot if available.

Personally I find 2 man scout teams are a liability - they jsut get massacred.

Force the enemy to deploy something then use other assets to outflank or provide superior firepower.

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Seret
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Re: How do you attack in this game?

Post by Seret » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:41 pm

Ok, if I understand your pics the Germans are attacking from the top of the picture, vs the Brits defending the edge nearest to camera?

If I was facing that situation I'd focus my attack down my left flank as the Germans. They've got the SFMG on that flank, and the British JOP there is quite exposed. Ideally you'd have some HE to work over the section in that house as you advance (infantry gun might have been a better pick than the MG, but you have got your tank).

It looks like you've still got one squad in reserve? Use that, the tank, an SL and the SFMG to push up on your left through the wheat fields. Try and pull one or both of the currently deployed squads back to patch up and consolidate then support the advance on your left. As your guys on your left advance the dug in British section will be cut out of the fight by the high walls to their right. So you might force them to move and abandon their entrenchments.

Looks like the Brits still have one section up their sleeve too? It looks like the only places they could really deploy would be into the white house with the grey roof or along the hedge on the British right? Neither are great positions for them.

It looks to me like what you've tried to do there is advance on a broad front, right across the board. It also sounds like you're firing on both British sections, ideally you want to concentrate your fire on one of them. You want both squads, and the MG and the tank all shooting at the same enemy. If it was me that would be the one in the house, and then I'd be advancing through the wheat and trying to force the British to play their last section along the hedge.

GavinP
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Re: How do you attack in this game?

Post by GavinP » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:23 pm

Thanks Seret. Interesting that you'd attack through the wheat field - I was concerned about going that way and getting carved up. However it would likely have been no worse than going through the hedges and orchards given the cover is the same (although in reality I'd rather have the chance of a tree stopping a round than a field of crops...:) ).

What are the general approaches to wheat? Do they block LOS after a distance or just provide cover regardless of distance? The PSC I have seemed to suggest the latter so that's what we played.

TT, yes, as I said we decided that the visibility in the orchards per RAW didn't appear to reflect our own experiences of them.

Munin
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Re: How do you attack in this game?

Post by Munin » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:49 pm

GavinP wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:43 pm
I deploy two pzgren squads into an orchard and place them on covering fire on likely positions enemy may spring up on the edge of the orchard.
This is your problem right here. You deployed (committed) 2/3 of your attacking force before you had any idea what your opponent had or how he was oriented.

Further, you placed them on covering fire without knowing for sure where they were likely to come in - did you have the section of hedge where his entrenchments were placed covered by your fire? As a way to try to force your opponent to deploy somewhere he doesn't want to in order to avoid your covering fire it's an interesting tactic, but in terms of being able to actually inflict Shock or damage on your opponent, going on overwatch is a better bet. You could have been rolling as many as 36 dice (less from casualties or Shock incurred in his opening volley). Statistically, that nets 12 hits. In hard cover, that's 2 kills and 2 Shock - from your overwatch fire, which you get to spring regardless of how the phase order works out. Contrast this with covering fire, which only lasts a single phase. Double-phases can be rough, but overwatch helps mitigate their impact significantly.

That said, it's worth pointing out that visibility into/out of an orchard is only 6" - it's a little hard to tell from the photo, but if you're playing at 28mm scale with dudes on roughly 1" bases, those units you deployed are nowhere near being in LOS of the enemy.

On the topic of scouts, you always have the ability to deploy a 2-man scout team comprised of whatever men you have in the parent squad. In your case, that sounds like the 1 spare rifleman from each LMG team. And forming a scout team from the squad after it has deployed is just an expenditure of CI. Yes, it's a risk in terms of both man-power and a potential BTH roll, but if you can force your opponent to deploy poorly, it may be (and usually is) worth it.

And speaking of your opponent deploying poorly, the picture you linked actually shows a perfect example of it: your opponent put his entrenchments way off on one flank and next to a high stone wall - a position that drastically limits their LOS. Once those entrenchments are on the table in a place that offers limited sight lines, you know that the weight of your attack should shift to the other flank. But you couldn't do that, because you'd already committed 2/3 of your force to a static firefight.

But it's important to remember that it doesn't have to be a static firefight. There's nothing that says you can't pull troops off the firing line, regroup, re-orient, and shift your line of attack. Your opponent can't move his entrenchments, so punish him for placing them poorly. He'll either have to pull his own troops out of their entrenched position to meet your new attack (essentially "wasting" his supports), or leave the unit where it is doing nothing, effectively reducing the size of his force. Either way is good for you.

Finally, the Pz IV H tank is OK (if pricey), but if your opponent has any capability to occupy buildings you'll want to bring effective HE. In this case an infantry gun offers both HE dice and better survivability than a single tank, but the tank will do in a pinch. It may even be better when fighting against the British in particular because of the 2" mortar dropping smoke everywhere, as you can move 1D6 and still fire your main gun's HE - unlike the IG, which must choose between moving and firing. But where you have it deployed, I don't even think it can see the building (remember, only 6" visibility due to the orchard), so the other side of the road is a better bet. Once your opponent deploys a unit in that building (and fires out if you're using the advanced building rules), hammer it until it either collapses or the unit vacates. There's a reason so many buildings in NW European towns, villages, and farmsteads got wrecked in the war. It's also worth remembering that the LOS when firing out from buildings is only a 90-degree arc, so while they offer decent cover they can be extremely limiting - especially if the attacker is taking an oblique approach.

This situation was far from hopeless, and on a board with this much LOS-obstructing terrain, the attacker should be at much less risk than on a more open table.

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Seret
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Re: How do you attack in this game?

Post by Seret » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:50 pm

GavinP wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:23 pm
What are the general approaches to wheat? Do they block LOS after a distance or just provide cover regardless of distance? The PSC I have seemed to suggest the latter so that's what we played.
Light cover, they don't block line of sight, but if you get caught moving (eg: enemy plays an interrupt) then you count as in the open.

The wheat field becomes an attractive option once a big chunk of your enemy are deployed somewhere they can't hit you as you cross it! As an attacker it's always fun to get the defender to deploy on one flank and then concentrate your actual attack on the other. Half tracks or other vehicles are quite good for that.

Levi the Ox
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Re: How do you attack in this game?

Post by Levi the Ox » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:36 am

GavinP wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:23 pm
What are the general approaches to wheat? Do they block LOS after a distance or just provide cover regardless of distance? The PSC I have seemed to suggest the latter so that's what we played.

TT, yes, as I said we decided that the visibility in the orchards per RAW didn't appear to reflect our own experiences of them.
I generally play wheat as waist-high, providing cover to units in it unless they are interrupted by overwatch or a CoC die and not blocking LoS by itself, but potentially blocking LoS when combined with elevation changes that otherwise wouldn't (this can be done with flexible fields like doormats and teddy bear fur). There's a very interesting analysis on seasonal crop heights for wargaming here https://balagan.info/when-are-soviet-fi ... -crossfire if you wanted to dig in deeper. I think I prefer your take on orchards, will have to try it out next time.

As to tactics, Covering Fire is effective against known or likely enemy positions (like the white house), but it isn't very efficient against defenders who haven't deployed yet, both because it only lasts for one phase (unlike Overwatch) and because your troops roll so many dice normally. When you do use it, lay it down with one team while the other moves or fires normally.

On a more general note, develop the attack at a pace that suits your force and objective. On the table in your photos the tank can't support your right flank advance well because of the orchard, but if you hold your infantry back until it is in position it can dominate the lane and fields on your left, making it difficult for the defender to shift forces from one flank to the other (as well as shelling the buildings, of course!). Then, if your advance is matched by a strong enemy deployment out of LoS of your support weapons, you can pull back and break contact, repositioning to attack at a better angle while the defenders have fewer options to do so.

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oozeboss
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Re: How do you attack in this game?

Post by oozeboss » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:19 am

My level of tactical acumen is considerably less than many of those who have already engaged you here, but my one minor contribution to the conversation is to highlight the use of patience and feints. As has been already noted, your opponent deployed a lot of static elements on his left flank, which should have set off all sorts of bells & whistles for you to then switch the focus of your assault to the opposite flank.

We are enjoying a massive boom of interest in Chain of Command at my local weekly gaming club, and the lessons that are being applied superlatively are to be patient, and to suck your opponent into deploying where it will be of the least advantage to them, before focusing your fire on the weakest part of their force and exploiting the living heck out of it.

It does take time and patience (and repetition) to master the tactical nuances of this game, but it is a journey on which all of us are now engaged here. Embrace it, enjoy it, and good luck with your own quest.
"We are all worms.
But I do believe that I am a glow-worm."

Winston Churchill

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