Discussion: PR:BF2 - Tactics & SOPs / Battlefield 2 Project Reality Tactics Discussion - Some thoughts on Armor... - Just finished a fun round on Sunset city, where SloppyJoe, Zam15, EagleEyeBL and myself (with
Just finished a fun round on Sunset city, where SloppyJoe, Zam15, EagleEyeBL and myself (with a few others who rotated in and out) ran a nice and efficient armor platoon. Where this differs from the armor platoons I've been in before at TG is how we had the platoon structured, and how we operated it.
A lot of times, I see people get into tanks and use them as 55 ton steel battering rams, throwing them relentlessly against the bulwark of HAT and mines the enemy has prepared, basically wasting the tank and getting it killed quickly.
We took a slightly different approach this round. Essentially, I see tanks as big armored snipers, designed to sit back and support whatever the infantry are doing. Very often, in BF2 and @ TG, armor platoons get set up as squads consisting of just the guys in the armor, or an SL will order one of his guys into a tank, which basically drives around attached to an infantry squad.
On this round, we basically set up an armor squad consisting of the tank with infantry support. It was layed out like so: Tank with 2 Crewmen, Driver (SL) and Gunner. We then had a couple of infantry travel with the tank in HMMVs, flanking us and watching our 6. Having dedicated infantry to move with the tank and support it massively increased our efficiency and survivability. We were able to hang off the main push @ lower city and effectively shut down that entire flank as far as OPFOR reenforcements go. We (being a tank) attracted a lot of attention, with a lot of enemy AT fire being directed our way. With careful movement and great spotting by our attached infantry, as well as great teamwork overall, we were able to successfully repel all attacks on that flag. We took a lot of hits, but because we had engineers right with us, we were not knocked out of action. Because we had some security alongside us, we were not flanked and C4ed as is typical in these situations. Only right at the end of the map, did we die once, because we decided to take a joyride through the city in contrast to the way we had been working the tank the entire round. It just proved the point to me.
Basically, I think if armor squads in PR consist of not only the armor, but dedicatred infantry that work with the armor, We've gone a little further along that road of great teamwotk, as well as turing the tanks into a much more lethal weapon than they can sometimes be. This does require good teamwork, as the infantry need to be sharp and cover their assigned sector and call out everything. Optimal would be two crewmen, an engineer or two and a couple of infantry, per tank. I realize this sounds expensive, but I think it gets results. Much better results than, say, one guy in a tank solo, trying to follow an infantry platoon, or even worse, one guy in a tank solo.
This squad should not just run to a flag and try to cap. Its there to support other squads, attached troops included. Its tempting to let the infantry support run off to get in the cap radius, but that has danger associated. Its better if they essentially set up a perimeter around the tank and let it do its job. Jumping in the HMMVs to move when it does. The CO should use the tank squad for heavy support. If there are two tanks, DON'T put both in one squad. I realize this presents some communications issues, but I think if you dilute the amount of infantry travelling with a tank, you are making them less survivable. Much better to have a full squad of 6 per tank, imo.
In short, unlike vanilla, where you can just sit an engy in another tank and gain survivability, in PR, your tank needs a full unit supporting it. Armor (even multiple pieces of armor) on its own, without dedicated infantry supporting it, is at a massive disadvantage. The guys playing the infantry don't need to worry about lack of action either, believe me that the tank will attract a lot of attention. It was a lot of fun, and it fostered great teamwork, I urge all you armor fans to try it...
Do or do not, there is no try....
-- Yoda, Dagobah
6 players per tank may be a drain on the other infantry squads though, I'd say 4-5 should be alright to pull it off.
I am with you though on your points. I think tanks are much more effective and survivable as defensive or if on the offensive somewhere in the back of the movement. Fast assaults in tanks will lead you quickly into a web of AT + APC/tank zones of fire that you are unaware of. Playing slower and more defensively, you can set up zones of control that other technicals and infantry have to come through and they have a severe disadvantage at that. It would have been my first map playing tank without a loss if it wasn't for your hair brained idea to go barreling through the city!
I would recommend using 3 person squads to drive one tank.
I have tried this out with some TG on ejod. SL in driver, second member in gun, third member drives support vehicle or is engineer.
The thing is I find using multiple tanks in a squad to be a nightmare to coordinate. There's too much chatter on the radio, confusing chatter like "enemy on the left on the tank",which tank? When one tank dies, the squad is split up, with lots of chatter and organising again, kit-problems etc.
In the round on ejod we destroyed multiple tanks, the gunner scored a 7-kill heat round on the roof, and we didn't die, even though the round ended with to new non TG in my squad.
This is very simple to do , you just find good spots to sit in and stay behind the lines.
In light of the tank+infantry proposed here, I say yes, great Idea. I think it is best again in this sort of squad to limit yourself to one tank in the squad, even if you have more then three players.
I think only really practised squads will be able to use multiple armor in one squad effectively.
I'll add an experience in a game yesterday, where we used an apc in an infantry squad.
On sunset city we attacked supported defense on the temple in the hills south of it. Amdak, who had the apc, held back north/north west of the temple in the water. Most of the time, the apc just held back, but things got interesting when we were pushed back to the west out of the hills. It was a deadly drawn out battle between two rallypoints at a distance of about 50 meters between the squads. We were pushed back more, then I remembered the technique I used with dirtboy to coordinate arty requests.
I put an attack marker on the enemy position as they were rushing out to finish us off, and requested suppressive fire right on the marker from the apc.
It worked great, and the enemy push was stopped, some members respawned, and we were ready to try again. The apc support saved us many times, while he was in considerable safety due to distance. We were able to keep the enemy busy, and for half the round the other squad on temple spawned on our apc with their rallypoint destroyed. In the end we lost the apc and then the flag (in part because I hadn't realized in time the other squad on temple was dependent on the apc for spawn, yet could not get kits from him it the water).
Very good round without even one tg in the squad there.
First pic shows where we were, being pushed back to the west.