Saturday, October 18, 2014

ArmA 3 - The Implicit Value of Movement

J. F. C. Fuller's three essentials in fighting, move, strike and protect, seemingly can't be executed at the same time. An army moving can't strike before being deployed and is more vulnerable to be struck because its defenses are not prepared.

This is single player game play from a custom-made mission in ArmA 3. A squad of regular, light infantry (my command) has to clear OBJ Snake, a rebel-held observation post. Two other squads and a light reconnaissance vehicle are in support.

In Fighting by Minutes, Robert Leonhard argues that the three essentials of fighting are not totally exclusive. An army on the move and in search of the enemy has less defensive liabilities, as the enemy will have the simultaneous problems of predicting an upcoming strike and getting itself into position to attack or defend.

The rebel observation post is somewhere up that escarpment. Our light armor over watches our climb towards the objective.

Enemy forces are two-men patrols scattered among the observation posts. These are supported by mortars and a squad of light infantry.

Take note of the time because this is the exact moment where I let everything go FUBAR. With our vehicle unable to move any further, we continue climbing up. Feeling short on over watchers, I leave my two auto-riflemen at the cover of these dilapidated buildings.

The good marksmanship of my men pays off and allows us to take the observation posts with little effort and from a distance.
And there go my two auto-riflemen. Alerted by the observation posts, the enemy mortar opens up on the houses below. I've lost two key weapons, but this is not the time to stop.

The rebels counter attack from somewhere and get a crash course on the value of the reverse slope, which we hold for a short time as we need to continuously move up. They crest the slope one or two at a time, this gives us a tremendous targeting advantage. It won't last, though, as I know our asses are being targeted by mortars and I need to move my men up.

Moving up cautiously towards the objective.
Throwing grenades up hill is skating on very thin tactical ice. But we are almost at the top of the hill and I can hear the rebels. That is me and my recently tossed grenade.
A rebel auto rifleman changing positions at the crest. Somewhere not very far, I am struggling to deploy my squad to clear the objective.

And then it ended. A combination of battlefield hazards, bad tactical choices and bad luck catches up with me.
I vividly remember my first Steel Beasts ProPE online battle. Somebody had a watch which he started the very instant of contact and would command us out of our recently found battle position after couple of minutes. Enemy artillery rained on those who didn't move. On the move, you tend to be protected to a certain extent. Just make sure that you don't overextend the implicit protection bestowed by your own movement, like I did at the objective.

I should have learned my lesson by now.


1 comment:

Phaeden said...

This is exactly why the military trains with VBS.