Saturday, June 27, 2015

Steel Beasts ProPE - Moving to a Subsequent Battle Position

After I could get a Kindle copy of it, I am re-reading Team Yankee. After all the years I honestly forgot how good it is.

Team Yankee's first battle and my previous Combat Mission blog post about vehicle emplacements made me realize how un-prepared I am for defensive engagements.
The thing I struggle the most is moving my platoon of tanks to a new battle position. When it hits the fan, it's very difficult to plan, transmit and execute orders.

This is the scenario. My platoon (blue icon) is occupying a battle position (note the vehicle emplacements around it). We expect contact and depending on the size of the opposing force, my intention is to move towards a second battle position north.
This is where the magic of pre-battle planning in Steel Beasts ProPE happens. One can pre-plot routes and positions in the scenario planning phase. The pink line is a retreat route towards the new battle position up north. The trick? Embarking on this route is conditional. In this case depends on the activation of trigger 1, which I can turn on by pressing [Shift]+[1].

At battle position 1, this tank is in a hull down position awaiting for first contact.

The road in front of our position, I can hear something ...


I usually set up a timer to know when to pull out from contact. If the enemy has artillery support, it will open on you after 2 minutes or so post contact. In this screenshot I ordered my platoon to move out from the first battle position right in time: an artillery fire mission has started dropping on our previous position. Safe in two keystrokes!

At the second battle position, I goofed up trying to "drive" my tank (ordering back and forth) and not letting my AI driver carry out his orders. The tank in front of mine had some not so nice things to say when I blundered into this vehicle emplacement.
In the screenshot above, you will also notice that the vehicle emplacements do have a hull-down and a turret-down position. It is very important to remember that moving from one to the other can be accomplished using the "back" and "resume route" commands.



Gibsonm said...


You can also split the Troop if you need to with the first two vehicles pulling bak and providing covering fire for the forward pair (Bounding overwatch in reverse if you like).

Of course its better to do this as a Sqn (US Coy) with Troops moving as groups and providing mutual support, but often you may start out with a Sqn and end up with a composite Troop of survivors.

Gibsonm said...

Sorry should have included this as one post, but just had a thought.

You can also automate this process.

1. Setup the Triggers as you have (so you can move them if you wish).

2. Define an area in front of the position (it may align with the engagement area).

3. Set a condition "If enemy tanks in region blah is greater than pick a number then embark on the retreat route.

4. Set it as an "OR" so that setting the trigger or the automated criteria will commence the retreat.

Then you have the flexibility to pull them back when you decide, or have the Ai do it (often a good thing as when defending you will probably have several issues demanding your attention and you may just forget to activate the trigger).

JC said...

Hi Mark and thanks for reading and your comments.

Yeah, that squad splitting thing works for me sometimes too.

Thanks for your pointers with the triggers.