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Combined Tip Thread/Grunt School
01-28-2011, 03:56 PM,
RE: Tip thread
My strategy:
Always shoot at stacks with the enemy leader. He dies quicker in big stacks. Because of this you should also be careful about leader placement.

More dead leaders will make even big squads useless once pinned.
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01-29-2011, 12:46 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-29-2011, 12:54 AM by Rabbit.)
RE: Tip thread
(01-28-2011, 02:11 PM)Ironwulf Wrote: I'm lookin for tips on using mortars in this game...

Here are some tips on mortars and remote support in general:

It usually is best to fire all remote support and indirect weapons (e.g., mortars) at the very beginning of your turn before you move your units closer to the enemy positions. Aside from softening up the enemy so that his fire isn’t quite as effective against your advancing units, it will reduce the chances of stray rounds falling near your troops (since by the end of the turn you will have likely moved several hexes closer to the enemy’s positions). And it also will reduce the chances that you forget to use your remote support during your turn.

Pay attention to the penetration factor of your mortars and remote support. Most mortars have poor penetration, making them best used against units caught in the open, but rather ineffective against units in protected terrain.

Vehicles without armor protection like passenger trucks can make juicy targets for light mortars. Also armored vehicles with riders (as opposed to passengers) make nice targets too, since any fire on those vehicles automatically cause those riders to dismount, become disrupted and possibly take losses.

After you have fired your light mortars a couple of times, their effectiveness will likely drop to where they rarely cause much damage. At that point, their best role often is simply to keep enemy units pinned/disrupted/demoralized as opposed to expecting them to cause any kills. Since you aren't concerned about causing damage (you are just trying to keep enemy units pinned/disrupted/demoralized), it doesn't matter what type of terrain protection the enemy is in, all you are trying to do is apply suppressive fire.

Another role of indirect weapons is to force your enemy into Ground Mode. This can be useful if you have a scenario in which the enemy has to advance as fast as possible and therefore leaves his units in non-Ground Mode at the end of his turn. Shelling his units will force them into Ground Mode, which will in turn force them to use 3 movement points getting out of Ground Mode (which often can be the difference in advancing an extra hex or not).

It doesn’t hurt to take into account the cratered hexes that the heavier support weapons can create. Cratered hexes provide some terrain protection, but they can also slow you down. If you want the added terrain protection for your approach, you might consider targeting slightly shorter of the enemy positions. If you don’t want to be slowed down by them, you might target slightly long. (Or the reverse when on defense.) However in general, you want to target your indirect fire slightly long as it is better to have it miss your intended target than to have it fall short onto your friendly positions.
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01-29-2011, 03:46 AM,
RE: Tip thread
Great bunch of tips fellas! Keep it up...I might have a chance against Lanser34 next RV game...
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02-05-2011, 04:05 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-05-2011, 04:06 PM by Ironwulf.)
RE: Tip thread
Wow nice information!
I was also wondering about:

Ammo vs Infantry in Industrial structures:
Was curious when i'm aiming an 120mm main gun if I should load AP (to penetrate what is basically a reinforced concrete structure) or go with the standard HE?

NV Sights:
I'm still a bit mystified by this item. I can indirectly target an empty hex with it and it makes this radial special effect but i dont know what that is... am i registering a hex for opportunity fire during the opponents turn??
How do i best use this item?
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02-06-2011, 09:49 AM,
RE: Tip thread
The NV reveals any units in the targeted hexes. I'm not sure what or how the percentage or other math behind it works. A good way to figure it out is to play the Tigris scenario without fog of war.

I'm a hussar, I'm a Hun,  I'm a wretched Englishman
Routing Bonaparte at Waterloo
I'm a dragoon on a dun, I'm a Cossack on the run
I'm a horse soldier, timeless, through and through

Corb Lund - Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier

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12-15-2011, 05:53 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-17-2011, 09:21 AM by Rabbit.)
RE: Tip thread
Here are some tips regarding vehicle warfare in SB:

Concealment plays a huge factor for vehicle warfare in SB. If an enemy vehicle was not in the LOS of any of your units at the beginning of your turn, then it will remain concealed throughout your turn unless it defensive fires against you. I recommend re-reading that sentence again, because it is an extremely important concept to be aware of. (Note, this is a necessary trade-off in the game engine to prevent users from using “gaming” tactics. Granted it does introduce some forms of “gaming” tactics in itself, but it prevents ones that are much worse.)

Because of the previous point regarding concealment, it is very important to use less valuable resources (e.g., infantry) for reconnaissance. Posting infantry as scouts at the tops of hills will help tremendously in tracking enemy vehicles, keeping them in your LOS, and thereby preventing costly ambushes.

Take advantage of smoke and terrain to hide your vehicles. Once you have neutralized [or you have located and can avoid] any forces that might have a chance of destroying your vehicles, you can leave your vehicles out in the open where they can dominate the landscape. Otherwise it generally is best to play hide-and-seek with your vehicles, keeping them out of the enemy’s LOS, moving in for quick kills and then moving them out of sight again, or simply waiting in ambush.

Don't underestimate the value of keeping your vehicles concealed. Once your enemy knows the position of all your vehicles, it frees him to move his forces accordingly. Not knowing where all of your vehicles are forces your enemy to move much more cautiously.

When advancing your vehicles near any covered terrain (e.g., trees, villages, etc.), you will want to lead with infantry (or perhaps a low value vehicle) first so as to flush out any enemy units that might have anti-tank weaponry. Tanks are far too valuable to risk losing to a concealed two-man bazooka crew.

In tank vs. tank combat, try to destroy your opponent’s most dangerous vehicles (the ones with the most potent weapons) first as a general rule of thumb. Although balance this with the level of difficulty in destroying those vehicles.

Know your weapon penetration factors and the armor you are up against! Math helps, but you can think simplistically such that the weapon you are firing needs an equal or higher penetration factor than your target’s armor; shooting at the back of a vehicle or from one hex away doubles your chances; etc.

Don’t forget that terrain effects can boost your all-important armor rating. Vehicles get half the benefit of the protection value of the terrain. This might not help against powerful AT weapons (those having very high penetration factors), but it can make a world of difference against ones that are borderline (e.g., if the weapon’s penetration factor is relatively close to your armor rating).

Be mindful of your weapon’s range (your firepower gets halved if you shoot further than half your weapon’s maximum range).

Pay attention to how many shots you will have available as you move from hex to hex. For example, if you are thinking of moving into a hex that is in the LOS of an enemy tank, it might be worth doing it if you will have the chance to take two shots but perhaps not if you can only take one shot; as you then might be a sitting duck during your enemy’s turn if you fail to destroy the enemy tank.

Pay attention to your weapon loads. You will want to use HE (high explosives) against infantry and AT (anti-tank explosives) against vehicles. AT loads are also useful against infantry in bunkers and pillboxes. And at the end of each turn, don’t forget to set your load to whatever you would like fired during the defensive fire phase – because the AI will not switch it for you!

Don’t forget about the Achilles’ heel (or rear) for tanks. A tank’s armor value is increased by 50% (150% of normal) for head-on shots, but it is decreased by 25% (75% of normal) for rear shots.

Tanks are incredibly potent at making assaults and often can mow through enemy squads like butter. Definitely take advantage of this, but just don’t get overconfident with your vehicle assaults either, as you do run the risk of getting immobilized during assaults.

If you are unfamiliar with the capabilities of various vehicles, it may help to consult the Weapon Data chart (from the menu, select “Help” and then “Weapon Data”). It’s not very easy to read, but you can determine the armor ratings and useful information like that if you are inclined to parse through it.

And never, ever forget the high point values of your vehicles! Otherwise you will often find yourself taking most of the objectives in scenarios, but getting defeated because of how many vehicles you lost in the process.

Hope that helps. Feel free to add any tips you might have.

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12-15-2011, 06:25 AM,
RE: Tip thread
Good stuff Rabbit!

What weapon load type is suggested to use if you have a tank and it needs to fire on a enemy AT gun or a artillery piece?

Are AT guns and artillery pieces considered "vehicles" within the game?


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12-15-2011, 07:56 AM,
RE: Tip thread
AT guns and artillery pieces are not considered vehicles in SB. (Just to be clear, something with AT capabilities like a halftrack would indeed be considered a vehicle, though I assume that's not when you meant by an AT gun. If anyone isn't sure about the distinction, basically any AT gun or artillery piece that can be "picked up" and "dropped" by a squad is considered a weapon. If it can't, then it's a vehicle.)

You will generally want to use HE when firing against AT guns and artillery pieces. That is, unless the target is in a bunker or pillbox, in which case you'll want to use AT load.

According to the manual: "Certain modern weapons have a high degree of specialization as anti-tank weapons, but are not as effective against infantry targets. These weapons are flagged as having an increased lethality against vehicles and targets in Bunkers and Pillboxes. When used against such targets, the lethality of the weapon is doubled. This feature is indicated by an ampersand (&) after the Fire value."
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12-15-2011, 08:01 AM,
RE: Tip thread
Thanks Again Rabbit! Very informative info.

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02-23-2012, 02:02 PM,
RE: Tip thread
Good Evening Gentlemen:

Been a while since I hung out here with any regularity. I am going to try and change that. With that in mind, I thought I would add a couple of comments to Rabbit's excellent tips.

I can't swear to it, but I believe that a vehicle is a vehicle if it is listed in the dat files as a vehicle. There are three separate listings in the dat files, loads, weapons and vehicles. Towed guns are on the weapons tab as are crew served weapons (anything with a crew of more than one) which can be moved by an infantry squad (they have a smaller counter). Vehicles have a movement allowance. As Rabbit pointed out, bunkers and pillboxes are also considered vehicles. I would use a load that is for vehicles only (usually a solid penetrator), as opposed to another load with a high penetration value (usually a HEAT round) against any vehicle as your lethality will increase if your penetration is greater than the armor value.

If you are on the other end of the spectrum and your AT gun's penetration is less than the armor value, you still have a chance of killing the AFV, although not a very good one, as long as your penetration is more than half the armor value. For example, you have a .50 caliber machine gun with a penetration of 12. It is possible to destroy any vehicle with an armor value of 23 or less, but the odds are very much against you until the armor value approaches your penetration value. Machine guns can be very effective against lightly armored vehicles such as halftracks and armored cars. Don't leave them out in the open where they are exposed to fire.

Someone asked about what type of load to fire at an infantry target inside of a protected terrain hex or a fortification. If the unit is inside of a pillbox or bunker, I would fire AP (vehicle only type loads). This would be true even if the fortification was inside of a building as in some of Ozgur's Berlin scenarios. If the target does not qualify as a vehicle, I would fire HEAT if it is available. The penetration value of most HEAT rounds is greater than the protection value of most terrain meaning that your fire is calculated at full lethality. Last choice would be HE as the lethality will be severly diminished by the low penetration values. For example if the defending unit is in a city hex with a protection value of 24 and the penetration value of your HE round is 6 than your lethality is divided by four. If this is your situation, you are trying to disrupt the enemy, thus reducing his firepower, so that you can get close enough to assault.

Infantry AT weapons (bazookas, RPGs, LAWs) are some of the most potent in the game against infantry targets. They have both high lethality and penetration values (for small arm type weapons) meaning that they can nullify almost any terrain protection. You will notice that many of the current scenario designers are reducing the lethality of these weapons by 50% and giving them the increased value against vehicles flag. For example, an RPG in Vietnam has a lethality of 70. The same weapon in Soviet Afghan War has a lethality of 35, but it has the ampersand flag meaning its lethality is 70 against vehicle type targets. Even with these modifications, HEAT weapons are very potent in infantry versus infantry battles. You should also notice that there are two types of these weapons. LAW rockets are single use weapons and are removed once they are fired. Consequently, their effectiveness does not decline as they are fired. RPGs are not single use weapons (at least not normally) and their effectiveness does decline as they are fired. To better simulate the use and limitations of these weapons, the current designers are generally giving them lower reliability ratings (often D) so that their effectiveness can decrease very fast. This means you need to save their use for where you really need them. Hold fire lets you choose that situation rather than have the computer fire your shots during defensive fire.

I have to go eat dinner before it gets cold. I am sure I have raised more questions that I have answered. Feel free to send me an email or a PM if you would like something clarified. I am also willing to play a training game or two where I will make comments about game play as we go along.

Jeff Conner
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