How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

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Contrarius
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How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

Post by Contrarius » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:32 am

We’ve all been there. The two sides line up and fire at each other across the gaping chasm in the middle of the table. Each unit sits motionless in the best cover it can find and blasts away at long range. No generalship, no subtlety, indeed no tactics — it’s all down to the luck of the dice.

So, besides using a lot more terrain to block the middle of the gaming table, does anyone have tips to prevent this sort of tedious shooting match from happening?

:ugeek:

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MLB
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Re: How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

Post by MLB » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:23 am

Don’t deploy. Make them come to you. Seriously, only deploy if you think you can win the firefight.
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Tomm
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Re: How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

Post by Tomm » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:55 am

Altho', to be fair, this has its risks.
"Ahah. One squad is approaching the church with my JOP in it. I can deploy and mow them down at shortish range."
"Or..... not. Neither squad got through the Russian barrage."
"Okay, so, they're into the church, but not shutting down the JOP. I can deploy two squads into the church and either mow them down at close range in the open, or deploy into close combat. Or..... not."
"Right. About that JOP...."

OldNick
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Re: How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

Post by OldNick » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:04 am

It’s not a question of an lot more terrain’, so much as intelligent placement of terrain. If your problem is a ‘gaping chasm in the middle of the table’ don’t have one.
When you plan your game, think about sliding the table sideways, so that the nice cover in the table edge that you might sit in and blast away from is instead down the centre, needing to be contested and blocking lines of sight.

Then, as suggested, don’t over deploy.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

Post by Truscott Trotter » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:23 am

I don't think it is really about the terrain as much the players attitudes.

If I am clearly winning a long range shooting match I will continue with it.

If I am not winning I will use manoeuvre, covering fire smoke and close combat to try and tip the balance in my favour.

It takes two.players to have a long range shooting match and at least one of them lacks tactical experience 😉

Contrarius
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Re: How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

Post by Contrarius » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:46 am

Well, playing early war Germans or Poles you don’t have much in the way of smoke.

As for clever deployment of terrain: I always try to do that, and yet somehow there are avenues of fire I did not anticipate. A lot of it does, of course, come down to inexperience. I’m still struggling to incorporate covering fire and going ‘tactical’ in my repertoire. Most of my attacks quickly degenerate into exercises in managing shock, with no CIs spare to use on such subtleties.

A large part of the problem resides in the brutal power of the MG34. A couple of them pointed at you seems to deter any closer range activity.

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Seret
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Re: How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

Post by Seret » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:57 am

Contrarius wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:46 am
Most of my attacks quickly degenerate into exercises in managing shock, with no CIs spare to use on such subtleties.
That's something you have to plan for though. You can't expect to be doing too much fancy stuff once the brown smelly stuff has hit the fan. There are never enough CIs in the late game! Well, you can sometimes but only if you haven't deployed your whole platoon. IMO you can really only manage one or two squads really well in combat. There are never enough leaders to manage shock if all three are fighting simultaneously.

The trick with "long range shooting matches" is to make sure your units are mutually supporting each other. You don't want to get into 1-on-1 matchups. You want as many of your squads and all your support weapons firing into one enemy unit. Sometimes the terrain forces you into a shootout, that's fine, just as long as all your games aren't like that or it gets dull. The Probe scenario is good for that, since the victory conditions encourage movement rather than fire. Patrol is the most likely to degenerate into a slugfest IMO.

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Re: How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

Post by MLB » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:55 am

Tomm wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:55 am
Altho', to be fair, this has its risks.
As opposed to what? A shoot out against superior firepower?

All I’m saying is don’t take a knife to a gun fight. Don’t deploy into harm’s way if you can’t exert superior firepower. Stack the odds in your favour as Seret says, or manoeuvre as TT suggests.
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BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:15 pm

And above all.....don't forget to bring your most co-operative dice!
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

Munin
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Re: How to stop battles degenerating into long-range shooting matches?

Post by Munin » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:40 pm

Also, much depends on the scenario. It's hard to win a "Probe" or a "Delaying Action" or a "Hasty Defense" or a "Going with a Bang" by getting into a static firefight. And "Blitzkrieg" straight up puts a time limit on the attacker that makes getting drawn into a gunfight pretty much a guaranteed loss.

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