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Positioning of reserves for complex attacks

Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor

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Hi all,

I'm back coding the attack overhaul and need your feedback on the best way to position the reserve location of the various sub attack groups of a complex attack.

The approach I have taken is to model the US 4th Armored Division's attack doctrine it used during its breakout operations on the western front in late 1944/ early 1945. The division was often operating out ahead of the army's main force. So, it needed a way of concentrating for an attack while providing maximum protection for its rear elements, who would otherwise be exposed to threats from the flank and rear. So, it developed and used what it referred to as the coiled snake doctrine.

The force would advance in column till it encountered opposition that required it to launch an attack. Then it would work out the best approach and move the entire force along that approach coiling it up as it went through the assembly loc, reserve loc and finally the forming up point from where it assaulted the objective. By moving as one it ensured maximum protection. Sequencing was key. The various support and reserve elements would drop off at various locations along the route.

This is what I have modelled in the new code. It works fine for a basic attack - ie where you have a single HQ as you do with a Battalion (Bn) attack. But I have an issue with complex attacks and the location of the reserves. Each level (Bn, Bde and Div) has its own reserve group. We don't want these all co-located for security and efficacy reasons. So, at each level of attack, I have introduced the concept of a boss reserve and subordinate reserve location. The subReserves are up front and the bossReserve is further back along the approach route. That provided for suitable separation. But what of the cases where we have multiple sub reserves - eg for a Bde we have two or three Bn reserve groups.

My first thought was to arrange these in similar offsets to the assault groups. So, if the assault groups were arranged in echelon or line, then the subReserve groups would be too. This sort of works for echelon, but for line we could end up with the left and right groups stuck out on their own some distance from the main approach route. They would be vulnerable and may end up in terrain with poor manouvreability and hence slow to react and intervene in the attack, should they be required. So, I then thought that maybe these too should be echeloned along the approach route.

In real life this would see a lot of troops clogging up the road - not good. They would in fact deploy a short distance off the side of the road. We could simply arrange these in echelon off to one side of the road. Or should we split them on both sides and have a more concentrated grouping. What do you reckon? Or do you have a different option?
 

john connor

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I'm not sure what the difference is you're indicating, Dave. Sorry. It's either 'off to one side of the road' or 'split on both sides of the road'? I understand that but then you describe 'split on both sides of the road' as a 'more concentrated grouping'. I don't understand how that's more concentrated. Can't see it. But, in any event, I would think less concentrated would be better (for arty etc), no?
 

Grognerd

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For timing sake, I think splitting them on to both sides of the road. I would think the game would move them quicker and keep them tighter.
 

simovitch

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Maybe somewhere just in front of (or behind) the HQ that receives the order, or at the center of gravity of the immediate subordinate locations.
 
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Page 94 of the FM17-10 "Tactics and Techniques" for Armored Force 1942 (attached) discusses the use and deployment requirements for reserves in an armored attack.

Gist of what I took from it is a reserve has to be deployed in a formation flexible enough to respond to any contingency that arises from an attack -- exploiting a break through, speeding the progress of the main force's attack, reinforcing a force that gets bogged down in battle, plugging into defensive positions to protect against counter attack or worst, protecting the main force if it has to retreat.

Given all the contingencies it has to address it appears the reserve should be kept in a formation that allows it to maneuver to the site where it's needed and then to form up in the proper combat formation to address its mission.

I think the optimum would be to deploy reserves in a column formation in proximity to the subordinate HQ which issues the order to deploy -- more likely just in front of the HQ as simovitch recommends.


http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM17-10.PDF
 

Grognerd

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One thing to consider and some may call it a cop out. Since the alternatives are pretty close to each other, maybe the correct course is to choose the easiest to program. Less work - less debugging.
 

song

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One thing to consider and some may call it a cop out. Since the alternatives are pretty close to each other, maybe the correct course is to choose the easiest to program. Less work - less debugging.
I agree with your point of view, and the length of time of this big update all enough to make a new game, and complex attack is not part of this game is currently only needs to be improved, such as one of my friends think that this game there are two defects is a recon on the distance there is no mechanism (strategic/tactical level the enemy position, configuration of surveillance). The AI that causes the attack has to attack from anywhere it choose, which is nehligible in a small scenario of a company attack, but magnified in a division-level engagement.

Second, there is no concept of "front - hold front - the front cannot be held after being break through". After the troops are pushed back, they still have the opportunity to regroup and launch guerrilla warfare. This mechanism leads to the whole rear area being turned into a battlefield. All in all, I know that programming in the development of this great and complex game is a very complicated and hard job, but please, DAVE, don't delay too long on one point, since there is so much room and potential for improvement in this game. Thank you very much!
 

Rob

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In real life this would see a lot of troops clogging up the road - not good. They would in fact deploy a short distance off the side of the road. We could simply arrange these in echelon off to one side of the road. Or should we split them on both sides and have a more concentrated grouping. What do you reckon? Or do you have a different option?

Hi,

I tend to agree with Grognerd about simplest being best but don't lose sight of what may be immediately adjacent to those roads e.g. two feet of mud on one side and clear on the other. Or mud on both sides or...... you get the idea.
Whatever you choose is fine with me so long as moving off the road to let other traffic move past doesn't immobilize/penalize those units.

Rob.
 
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