Graviteam Tactics: Mius-Front

Graviteam Tactics: Mius-Front

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Tactics - Command of infantry
By Fritz and 1 collaborators
Basic principles of infantry command in combat - learn how to play right!
   
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Infantry
Infantry is a branch of the army that takes part in the combined arms combat with the aim of defeating the enemy as well as taking and holding the territorial objectives. Infantry is capable of engaging in a persistent and prolonged combat at any time of the day, in any weather and on any terrain.

That's a dictionary definiton of infantry, and the game developers rarely bother with portraying it even close to that. That is understandable, since infantry can seem kind of paradoxical. While a lone infantryman is very vulnerable to direct and indirect fire, at the same time he is hard to spot and his small size can make him quite resilient in the proper terrain. An infantryman's rifle plays a bit part in combat, yet in a group, supported by their crew served and their superior's heavy weapons, infantrymen become a force to be reckoned with. All of this makes it difficult for developers to implement infantry in an authentic manner, without it becoming too over- or underpowered. Yet the Graviteam was able to find the golden mean, which makes their infantry implementation seem right in terms of realism and authenticity.
The Basics
Before moving on to the tactics we have to go over a few important basic principles:
  • Infantry isn't bulletproof and to survive well placed high-density fire it needs to occupy the manmade or natural cover.
  • Infantry's strength lies in numbers. A lone squad is almost useless as a fighting unit, yet it can be usefull for reconnaissance.
  • Do not separate your infantry from their commanders (i.e. platoon leaders and such) or it will lead to loss of control and morale.
  • It should be kept in mind, that a platoon is the smallest unit that is able to effectively execute the tactical combat tasks.
  • Experience and morale can say more about an infantry unit's strength, than the number of men or their armament. In a squad with low morale even the slightest losses may lead to suppression and panic with a complete loss of control and combat effectiveness.
  • Low morale infantry is less effective in combat, especially in the attack. High morale can lead to amazing feats of resilience – infantrymen with a strong will to fight will rather die than give up or panic.
  • It is important to understand that breaking morale of the enemy and forcing him to retreat can be much more effective than going for his complete destruction.
The Tactics
  • Keep your platoons, or whatever ad-hoc groups you get, together. Don't split them into a bunch of subgroups, don't pull out single squads or fireteams. Manage the platoons as a single unit and make sure there is always a commander present.
  • Always try to maintain communications (visual, voice, wire, radio) within your units, squad to squad – platoon – company – battalion.
  • The actions of your infantry should always be supported by the heavy (crew served) weapons, i.e. MG's, ATG's, MT's.
  • Infantry in cover or occupying prepared fighting positions (field fortifications, solid structures) gain greatly in survivability, that is to say it's significantly more protected from the effects of enemy fire. Thus to make a successful attack in such circumstances you should have a significant numerical superiority and support the attacking infantry with heavy weapons, armor and artillery.
  • While the friendly AI is quite capable, and in general there is no need for a lot of micromanagement, you should avoid sending your infantry in a rush towards the dug-in enemy, even when supported by armor. If the enemy is not suppressed and is not suffering from the effects of poor morale it will be able to produce heavy defensive fire which will lead to a significant amount of casualties on the attacking side. Therefore, if you are not sure that the enemy is sufficiently suppressed, the attack should proceed slowly and systematically. Move your units in bounds, support the movement by intense fire of your supporting weapons and armor.
  • Closing in and poking the other guy with a bayonet is not the only way to dispose of an enemy. If you can accomplish your task with a distant attack by fire – do it.
  • An “Attack area” command can be used to achieve reliable suppression of the enemy. A unit receiving this task will suppress the chosen area. The best way to attack hostile positions is through fire and maneuver: while your heavy weapons suppress the enemy, you close in with your infantry or armor.
  • Control your attack, so that you can push, pause or cancel it at any moment to limit the casualties or exploit the successes.
  • You should continuously recon the terrain and possible/actual enemy positions. Infantry squads and armored cars are quite useful for this. Try to have your scouts overwatched by a stronger covering force.
  • Use the artillery and air support to ensure the suppression/destruction of the detected enemy positions, especially those of the dug-in infantry, heavy weapons and armor.
  • Avoid the frontal attacks. Once you've detected the enemy try to approach him from an unexpected direction, flank or rear. After fixing the enemy move some of your troops to his flank, but keep an eye for his flank guard and screening forces.
  • While the wooden buildings do provide cover against small arms fire, they can be demolished easily with the use of heavier weapons with the surviving defenders getting buried under the rubble.
  • If you come upon the hostile infantry defending a building do not throw your guys at it in an immediate frontal attack. Instead take positions in the neighboring structures and pull up the heavy stuff, i.e. AFVs/ATGs/SPGs/flamethrowers/artillery, to soften up the enemy. If you then assault do it from multiple directions. Alternatively you can try to pull back and go around the strongpoint.
  • Avoid moving in the open, rather go through forests, low ground and ravines. Cross open terrain in several groups, moving in bounds, with groups overwatching each other. To avoid ending up in an ambush you should send out advance and flank guards, but no farther than 200 m from the main body. Keep in mind, that offroad movement is slow and tiring, so keep to the roads where it's safe. Use the available transport when possible, this will keep your troops fresh and reduce the effect of fatigue on their combat performance.
  • Adjust your formation in accord with the tactical situation. Do not bunch up in the open, else a single incoming shell will produce several casualties. In difficult terrain (forests, swamps etc.) and in villages switch over to a denser formation, with multiple rows of infantry when possible. In this situation there will be a lot of close distance contacts, and bunching up allows you to have an immediate numerical and fire superiority. Pay attention to the formation if you need to cross open ground. If you need to cross quickly, then move in column. If you'll be attacking or recon/moving to contact then the line formation can be more appropriate.
  • On defense do not bunch up too close and don't spread out too thin. А 100 meters interval would be the optimum to maintain comms within platoon, yet far enough apart to not get several squads wiped out by a single arty strike. Try to place your force in line, wedge or echelon formations, adapting to the terrain and available concealment. Don't forget to check for proper sectors/fields of fire. Since the terrain is not flat and homogeneous your defensive position may end up in a small depression in the ground or behind a thick bush, which will lead to poor fields of fire.
  • Don't hesitate to retreat if the situation does not unfold as expected. If your positions are about to get overrun by armor it is better to retreat losing a single squad enabling the rest of the platoon to slip away.
  • Don't get into a battle you can't win. Evade and/or hide if you are at an obvious disadvantage. If, for example, you lack any effective AT and see a bunch of tanks coming at you, try to avoid letting them know you are there. If you are able try to take out the escorting infantry and then disengage. The armor is not good at holding territory and it's likely that you'll get the square at the end of combat, as long as there is enough of your infantry crawling around.
  • Use the smoke apropriately. Deploy a lot when your attack is met with noticeable resistance, try to use less of it when rolling over a weak enemy. And do not forget to smoke while retreating, lung cancer is not your biggest worry at that moment.

Complex behaviour emerges from simple rules. But, most importantly, remember to maintain control over your force and to not rely too much on the friendly AI. It's only the player's timely intervention that will make virtual troops act in an effective manner.
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3 Comments
TEXO May 2 @ 4:07pm 
you missed quite a vital bit of advise - infantry squads can be separated into maneuver group and support group with LMG. It can be done by holding SHIFT or ALT when selecting units. The best way to advance for a platoon is to leave support groups in place to cover the advance of maneuver groups. done on Platoon or Company level can be very powerful.
GustyDusty Jan 11 @ 9:11am 
JAWOHL HERR KOMMANDANT! GUT! ZER GUT!
Super Hans Feb 8, 2018 @ 2:18am 
Sound advise. Thanks.