Monday, December 1, 2014

Russian Ground Forces Squad Tactics - Fix OR Flank? - ArmA 2

I'm putting the SMARTbook I purchased through its paces. First stop is squad tactics. If I am getting the story right, according to the book the Russians are very unlikely to split a squad into fire teams. Fix and flank tactics, which to some extent can be accomplished by Western forces' squad, apparently need at least two squads in the Russian Ground Forces: one suppressing the enemy, the other one flanking and close-assaulting the enemy.

If your squad is to provide the "fixing", some interesting situations will arise. Take a look at this micro-story from ArmA 2 gameplay. Note that I've modded the base game with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation mod.

Combat forecast for the next hour: high probability of a meeting engagement with insurgents. For once, I've left my squad command to the AI and I am just one of the two machine gunners of the squad.
A few seconds after contact, the engagement begins. Targets are called out and the AI never fails to run through my line of fire. Somebody needs drill practice! At this distance, I am able to put down some insurgents. None of the other guys sporting AKMs are able to fire.

I neutralized some five insurgents at this range. Not bad. The riflemen are still working their way into a sensible range (200 meters or so for them).

The Russian AI squad leader, who didn't read the book, actually did split the squad so to provide bounds. Maybe he also sent a couple of hombres to flank.

But that's not the point. What I am wondering is if a squad is to support by fire, the dissimilar ranges and rate of fire of the weapons in the squad will squander fire power or fire range because of lack of flexibility.



Gibsonm said...

Well Infantry squads only derived any real firepower from their automatic weapons.

The riflemen are there pretty much to support the MG gunners.

Having said that, the riflemen can help with the suppressive effect (or use their GLAs to provide some umph).

There's a reason why most semi automatic weapons are described as having a section range of Xm since that's when you have to fire on a target as a section to provide the suppressive effect. Individual shooters normally have an effective range far less than the "section" range.

Stagler said...

JC, you should of used the A3 version of RHS. The test would of been more affirming if it had been against the included US forces and with more up to date equipment for the squad - including optics that would of pushed the engagement ranges of the riflemen out further. It would of stressed the doctrine in its intended application against a peer opponent

badanov said...

Arma 2 applies the old wargaming standard to its game: my infantry is as good as your infantry. the difference is the kit and the player.

Russian/Chernarusian infantry seem to fight better as a unit once "blooded".

Corvinus5 said...

Wrong assumptions based on flawed sources are nothing new.

The Russian army doesn't have standing fireteams indeed, however, as stated in the "Field manual on preparing and conducting a combined arms engagement. Part 3. Platoon, squad, tank. 2005 edition.", if the situation calls for it, before the engagement squad commander should split his dismounted squad into two so-called "Combat Groups" - "Fire Support Group" and "Maneuver Group", which designations speak for themselves. Unlike Western fireteams with rigid structure, these groups would be ad-hoc formations - squad commander would assign soldiers to them based on the specific battlefield situation. However, in most cases, as the manual states, their composition would be as follows: Fire Support Group - squad commander, AT specialist, AT support, machine gunner; Maneuver Group - senior rifleman (armed with UGL-equipped assault rifle, usually in the rank of gefreiter, acts as a squad commander's deputy) and one or two riflemen (can be equipped with UGLs and/or disposable rocket launchers). Once again, it's not a rule, it's a recommendation. Direct quote - "depending on the task and the situation, the structure of combat groups can be different."

Some illustrations (in Russian, sadly, and of unsatisfactory quality, but they are pretty self-explanatory). Deployment of a motorised rifle squad from vehicle's cover:

The fire support group is depicted on top of the picture (right of the IFV), the maneuver group at the bottom (left of the IFV).

Two pictures on getting over a partly cleared minefield:

Maneuver group is on the left, fire support group is on the right in both pictures.

Deployment of a motorised rifle platoon:

Three squads form three fire support groups (on the left in each case), three maneuver groups (on the right), "Control and Fire Support Group" consisting of platoon commander, sniper, combat medic, a crew for tripod-mounted GPMG or AGL and a "Combat Vehicles Group".

Hope that cleared things.