As promised I had this article already written. I have debated talking about how to move your platoon around the battlefield as I find that it is something that is important but doesn’t have as much meat to be discussed. However, I find that it is often crucial to how I win or lose games and so want to discuss it anyway.
There are a couple key points I want to look at:
- General Formation
- At The Double Men
- The Art of Cautious Movement
When moving your armoured platoons you need to be sure that you remember some of the rules we talked about last month. If one of your tanks gives away your position then the entire platoon has been given away. Even more importantly though is to think about where you want to go next turn. If moving into some slow going so that you are concealed this turn means that you wont be able to reach your desired position next turn it may be better to be un-concealed and allow your vehicles to get to where they need to be the following turn. This keeps your advance moving.
For Infantry things are a little different. The first thing you need to do is have some dedicated “point teams”. By this I mean a couple teams (bases) that form a front line that is 3-5 inches in front of the main body of your platoon. This serves to help with any counterattacks that you face. If the enemy comes in you will get defensive fire from most of your platoon (especially if the point teams keep their heads down and allow those behind to fire instead) and if the enemy gets through your defensive fire then they can only kill your point teams at best which leaves the majority of your platoon to counterattack or break off for a better position. I believe I spoke about this defensively but it is a very successful offensive formation as well.
For all teams. If the enemy has a lot of artillery and template weapons then spread out. However, this doesn’t mean you need to make sure that only one team gets hit as I have sometimes tried to do. This actually puts you at a disadvantage because you are spread to thin. Instead it means you need to utilize squads. Make sure that only 1-2 tanks or 2-5 infantry / gun teams are being hit (depending on platoon size of course) by any one bombardment. (again this doesn’t have to be perfect but more or less true. The point is to minimize casualties not slow the game down)
At The Double Men:
This is something that I find really comes up with players who love math (like me) and those that don’t really think about it. When you utilize moving at the double you will force the opponent to react to you. This will happen in one of two ways. Either you will 1) be on top of their positions a turn or two faster forcing them to scramble for position. or 2) have them move out of position in order to try to get those double shots at a platoon that has moved at the double.
If you have troops that can make those incredible 32″ double moves then use it! This doesn’t mean you charge straight into the enemy it simply means that you need to look for places where double movement will not harm you but work to your advantage!
The overall thing to remember about moving at the double is that the math is often very simple at first glance but not translated as simply to the table top. I can move slowly (normal move) for two turns and get shot with normal rate of fire (ROF) for two turns or move at the double for one turn and be shot with double ROF for one turn. Often people see this as being identical, and sometimes it is, but more often than not it is actually in favour of moving at the double. If you can move at the double in such a way that you force a platoon to move in order to get shots then they are actually only getting full ROF (single x2 for moving at the double). This means that you get to move the equivalent of two turns while only being shot at with a single turn of full ROF.
I actually do not mean the rule for cautious movement here but rather that you can move in formation and at the double without giving up the fact that you want to move cautiously. Lets break this down into the two previously mentioned movement techniques.
The biggest way that cautious movement will need to be perfected is through the use of patience. Allow your point teams to get within 10″ (assault range) of the enemy but do not actually assault. If you decide to assault then this means that you will end up being crushed to an effective counter attack after only your point teams will swing in the assault itself. Instead move the point teams up and the rest of the platoon between 8″ and 12″ which will insure that next turn when you do assault you can do so with the full force of your platoon. It also means that you will be in a defensive position should the enemy jump the gun and assault you. They cannot move closer than 2″ to your point teams and then must contact them before trying to get behind to your full force, which if positioned well will not be hit by any of the assaulting teams. This means you get to counter attack with the full force of your platoon or assault with the full force of your platoon next turn if the enemy is patient as well.
Moving At The Double:
You must face forward and can only move to get around terrain. This doesn’t mean you must move the full distance! Stop short if it means that the enemy now needs to move in order to see you and get that double ROF that they want. It will still save you a turn of movement since you would have likely stopped short the second turn of moving in order to stay concealed anyway. I also will typically stay outside assault range of the enemy except in one particular situation.
If you are an armoured platoon that moves at the double within assault range of only a portion of the enemy infantry platoon this can often be worth it. Being able to assault you without any defensive fire is something many impatient commanders cannot pass up. This means that they will move up and assault with a couple teams. You can then either counter assault if it looks favourable or simply break off and now use your superior MG fire to make the infantry regret their decision now that they are no longer in a dug in defensive position. Remember that moving at the double does not stop those infantry from taking a Tank Terror check to assault your tanks, which might mean you are not even assaulted anyway! You are literally only missing out on defensive fire, which you will now gain by breaking off and shooting at the infantry in the open next turn and you pulled an infantry platoon out of its defensive position. *Do note that if you are in range of only a couple infantry teams that happen to be excellent at killing tanks this may not be worth it, just stay outside assault range when you move at the double.
Like I said, not as much meat as I might like but yet an incredible important topic. It is often the different between winning and timing out as the attacking player.
As always please discuss the article below or in our Tactics Forum here!