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  • Reconnaissance

    I wrote this a long time ago and have not finished it. There is plenty more to add to the functions of recce units but since I don't have the time to write on it these days I have decided to post what I have so far and let people fill in the gaps...


    So it seems like most people think that reconnaissance is all about running around being stealthy and sitting and reporting somewhere with a sniper rifle. That is not all that reconnaissance is, reconnaissance is also about protecting flanks, harassing the enemy, raids and any other indirect combat action. What I also feel is lacking is an understanding of how to best utilise reconnaissance units. This is both from the people using them, fellow squad leaders and commanders. Most people think of them in terms of a less effective combat formation or snipers. This is not really true and what I want to illustrate here is how to operate recce units and also how commanders and other squad leaders can best use these units.

    First of all if you see someone on your team doing anything that even remotely sounds like recce donít make another squad. No team is going to need two recce squads. If you see a recce squad that is locked donít beg. They probably already have the people they need.

    There are essentially three different types of reconnaissance (well there are more but it would get too long to illustrate my point); stealthy, mounted and armoured. The differences are huge as stealthy reconnaissance is conducted on foot where you either set up an OP or patrol an area observing on enemy movement, mounted involves light vehicles used for patrol duties and moving to contact. Armoured reconnaissance is an area denial and flank protection tool and therefore have a more combat centric role. I think that all of these have a role in PR but it is only the first that is really used since people will usually call the others a waste of assets. So the first thing that any recce unit need is a radio so they can mark everything they see. Also mark stuff on the map and use team text chat. There is no need for you to be blocking up SL radio because most of what you have to say is not immediate instead you have the time to mark it and write what is going on

    Stealthy Reconnaissance


    Stealthy reconnaissance is the type of reconnaissance that is used the most but in my opinion it shouldnít be like this. The introduction of the new UAV system have made it almost obsolete since a stealthy recce unit will not be very mobile (usually on foot). They do not want to engage in combat more then they have to because they are not very strong units since they will rarely be more then 3 people. This does not mean that it have no role in PR but it is limited.

    Stealthy recce can be done in two different ways. One is the sniper team which is a kind of a recce unit but not entirely and the other is a small team that move on foot, no sniper rifle.

    The sniper team is pretty easy. You have two guys where one of them have a sniper rifle and the other is some other kit. This could be a medic, specialist or officer depending on map. Now your job is of course two fold reporting as much as possible and killing high priority targets. For mobility you rely on your team, either someone drives you, you take a helicopter or you walk. Do not take a vehicle just for your team unless you are planning on relocating often. and in that case it should be a light vehicle (Land Rover, G-wagon, techie, etc.) that you hide far away from where you want to set up and then walk in there. Having a vehicle is also useful when hunting mortars though mounted recce is better suited for this job. You should never drive directly to your AO and never too close to where you want to be. You can work good in assaults by eliminating targets in order for friendly units to move up this could for example be an AA-emplacement and shooting off the operator right before friendly CAS comes in on a run. Shooting infantry just running around is not a good idea 90% of the time it will just give away your position and not do anything but loose the enemy a few tickets. So a general rule of thumb is only shoot when it helps the team.

    The primary job of the small team is stationary observation and dismounted patrolling. They are useful on city maps like Beirut, Muttrah and urban insurgency maps. Here they will try and move around unseen, where they will preform different missions. These include observation of insurgent movement to locate a cache, killing FoBs and hideouts, limited combat action, sneaking up on caches from alternate directions, killing vehicles behind the line and making life harder for the enemy on the front line.


    Mounted Reconnaissance


    Mounted reconnaissance probably have the most applications. But it is probably also the hardest to use effectively. This units have many applications both in AAS and in insurgency and most so in CnC though I haven't really played CnC in the new version. This unit will usually comprise four players

    mounted reconnaissance is best used for observing and quick raids the proper doctrine for this is to use preferably two light vehicles like HMMWV's, Land Rovers or BRDM2's (originally designed for the job). The reason you need two vehicles is simple you are not using it as transport but instead this is the platform you will be fighting from and therefore you need two to be able to conduct fire and manoeuvre. So you will need a squad of at least four people, driver and gunner in each vehicle. Other then this you might not want to drive it as a squad leader because it allows you to move independently of the vehicles to observe and other things. One vehicle is sometimes more then enough but this depends on the situation and what you want to do.

    The light units are very useful on many insurgent maps where people use something similar but they usually get stuck in too many fights. This unit should move to contact and then retreat they should not stay and fight. they can also be used for a quick raid on an insurgent position where they roll in hard inflict casualties and then retreat this will weaken the insurgents to allow friendlies breathing room. But the uses are many, here are some:
    • Route Reconnaissance: This means finding the best routes through an area and making sure they are clear. In game this is most applicable on insurgency where a small unit can move ahead of main unit and clear bridges for IEDs and hilltops for enemies so the convoy does not run into ambushes along their rute. When doing this you want to bring an engi kit to disarm mines he should be the driver of the second vehicle. Along the rute you want to mark everything you see because you might not be able to fight it all off. When going through a city on insurgency having this run in front to find a clear route would also be a good idea so you don't risk two APCs with two full squads. The most important thing to remember is to not get bogged down fighting. If you engage enemies and then move off they will either follow you or go refit and this will allow the convoy to move through.
    • Area Reconnaissance: This means searching an area for anything of interest. In many cases this job is taken over by the UAV but the UAV is limited in its range and can only keep an eye on a limited area. The purpose is not only to find the enemy but also positions for friendly units and good landing zones. This also covers finding mortar, TOW and other positions. The idea is that once you have been through an area the team should know exactly what is there that is static and what was moving through the area.
    • Observation: So sit and observe but instead of being dependent on other people for transport the mounted unit can move up themselves.
    • Raiding: This have many facets, This could be denying enemies supplies by raiding logi trucks and helicopters, drawing the enemies attention or drawing resources to track you down. I have had tanks run after my HMMWV on kashan from time to time this means they are not shooting at friendly infantry.
    • reconnaissance by Fire: This is simply driving around until you get shot at... It is not that simple but the basic idea is that you entice the enemy to engage you and thereby gain information about his strength, organisation, equipment and materiel. This is useful both in insurgency and AAS.
    • More points but...



    Armoured Reconnaissance


    Armoured reconnaissance is best used in conventional warfare where your job will be to protect the flanks and on occasion provide firesupport. A good example of this could be using a BMP3/Bradley on kashan to provide this support. You should not be looking for a fight but instead designate an area for yourself to cover (or ask the commander) and then set up covering that position for your team this will eliminate the enemies chances of flanking which is your purpose. You are not an APC or IFV you are a reconnaissance vehicle but since there is a distinct lack of reconnaissance vehicles in PR* you will have to work with what you have. A good idea would be to name your squad ARMORRECON or something similar to make people aware that you are not an APC.
    You can be anywhere from two to four men in the squad. If only two you will of course be manning the IFV but if you are more then two have the squad leader out of the vehicle so he can mark stuff for the team and coordinate with CAS without sacrificing the combat readiness of the IFV. In the fourth person would just be a fourth person to allow the squad leader to move further away from the IFV without being on his own and allow the squad to pick up specialist kits where they could be needed. Here the BMP have an advantage over the Bardley because a squad leader sitting in the back of a BMP can still look out the front using the bow machineguns, that also have zoom.

    As mentioned earlier you should not be looking for a fight instead you just want to prevent the enemy from moving past your area. Even if you are able to engage two tanks and die don't. Engage one and then pull back before they see you, this will make them stop to look for you and you have therefore preformed your function. You do not want to lose your vehicle because you can not afford this so taking a fight where you can loose is a no go instead report it and get the teams armour/CAS to kill it.

    Armoured recce units can also preform area reconnaissance.


    Reflecting on General stuff


    I think there is a place for recce units in the game but unfortunately most people do not understand what a recce unit can do for you and how to make best use of it. My hope is to convince some people that recce units have a place in the game and also to explain to people that think recce is all about sniping that it is not so and that they should not call themselves a recce unit with that weapon.

    As a closing comment I would like to expand on this a little with suggesting that a recce squad can be combined with other units. This could be both CAS elements, mortars, logistics and trans helicopters. The reasoning behind this is not that the recce unit should be the primary user of these assets but instead that some of their functions can be made a lot easier by having these assets in the squad but it might not be enough.

    ________________________
    *BRDM2, LAV25 and Scimitar are the only dedicated recce platforms. There are recce variants of the M2, BTR80(BRDM3) and BMP-3.
    If people are becoming so bored when playing that they have to resort to this immature behaviour I will give them something to do, call it a project. The project is "appeal a ban". - Wicks




  • #2
    Re: Reconnaissance

    Thanks Katanama, this is a good write up and we need more posts like it in the tactics section.

    One of the things I've done a few times as a new SL is recon and I enjoy it quite a bit. Very rewarding to gather intel for your team. Your article provides some insight into the other things that a recon squad can do and it sounds like fun. I will have to try it some time soon.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Reconnaissance

      Armoured reconnaissance is best used in conventional warfare where your job will be to protect the flanks and on occasion provide firesupport. A good example of this could be using a BMP3/Bradley on kashan to provide this support. You should not be looking for a fight but instead designate an area for yourself to cover (or ask the commander) and then set up covering that position for your team this will eliminate the enemies chances of flanking which is your purpose. You are not an APC or IFV you are a reconnaissance vehicle but since there is a distinct lack of reconnaissance vehicles in PR* you will have to work with what you have. A good idea would be to name your squad ARMORRECON or something similar to make people aware that you are not an APC.
      This is simply negligible and not helping the team at all. The BMP-3's and Bradley's on Kashan and any other map that features an APC with a 14.5mm+ cannon should be used solely as light tanks, taking out other armor and infantry. Using it to simply overview an area is not using the asset to its full potential and is blatantly ignoring its ample armament to function as a light tank.

      Even if you are able to engage two tanks and die don't.
      Doing this not only reduces 24 tickets for the opposing team, but saves countless others on your team by stopping those tanks before they can engage. Tanks are by far the most lethal asset in the game and must be stopped at all costs. By engaging them and 'falling back' you are not stopping them at all, they simply continue moving after you egress behind cover.

      instead report it and get the teams armour/CAS to kill it.
      Risk an aircraft to destroy them when you're perfectly capable? No offense but I find nothing logically sound about that.

      With respect, I found nothing discernible from this guide. Majority of it is either common sense tactics or those which have clearly been drawn from militaristic strategies which have no place in a video game regardless of how realistic it is. I've run recon squads before, all you need is an officer kit and get dropped somewhere in a high place, such as the Muttrah hills. KISS is something nessecary, not messing around with APC's and taking valuable vehicles (Humvee/Techy/G-Wagon) from the team then leaving said vehicle to walk on foot.

      I hope that some people learned some new things from this guide, and look forward to reading more in the future.
      Its the decisions you make, when you have no time to make them, that define who you are.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Reconnaissance

        Dtacs it seems like you haven't fully read what Katanama has written.

        He advises you should only take a vehicle if you intend to use it frequently. It is common sense that if you intend to actually Recon an area you park your vehicle somewhere safe, a pre designated rendezvous point, this is standard practice. Doing anything else isn't Recon, its getting out of a vehicle, using your binocs and getting in a vehicle lol.

        Standing on top of a hill is hardly the height of modern reconnaissance tactics.

        A lot of light vehicles are actually classed as reconnaissance vehicles, look it up. As regards risking a jet to provide CAS, err what are they up there for. Close Air Support for the man on the ground, elimination of heavy armour should be one of their priorities.

        Thanks Katanama, great job and very interesting to read the perspective and input of someone with real life Recce experience.

        I for one am very grateful to see people attempting to utilise realistic tactics and approaches to in game situations, especially as that is one of the primary goals of this community.


        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Reconnaissance

          Thanks for the write up Kat.

          I would love to start including recon units into platoon tactics in the future, especially with 128 players.

          2 mech infantry squads (12 players)
          1 APC/IFV/Logistics squad (6 players)
          1 Recon squad (2 players)... who advances ahead of the group and scouts out safe staging areas, enemy TOW positions, enemy FOBs, enemy troop movement, etc etc.

          This would make large scale deliberate troop movements much saner, as you'll have relative warning if you are about to fall into an ambush, and attacking an enemy objective would be alot less guesswork and actually some form of strategy can be developed before the assault, based on the intel recieved from recon about enemy positions/numbers/strength, rather than just guessing where the enemy might be and blindly rushing in like every other single time you played the map, hoping for the best :/

          This seems to be an all too common phenomena, then when the attack inevitably goes badly (unless you have miraculous luck), the platoon tactics is blamed, rather than not having proper intel and a sane battle plan.

          The way I see it, good recon can make or break large scale platoon tactics, and would really be nice to see it more utilized often, especially when multiple squads are working together.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Reconnaissance

            Spot on Fuzzy


            Great write up Kat, I hope we can dive into these types of things on the server soon.
            doYouEvenLuftwaffe

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Reconnaissance

              I would love to try these tactics. Good post Kat.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Reconnaissance

                Dtacs I think you are missing my point with the armoured recon.

                What I suggest is that you have an BMP-3 and you sit on the north side of kashan (using kashan since it is something I know in my head) you are sitting somewhere watching the area north of the bunkers so if any tanks roll up you will hear and see them. So two tanks roll up here you engage one with your missile and then pull back. A tank hit by an ATGM will usually either go back for repairs or wait for a truck, if it haven't blown up. The other tank will usually fall back a bit waiting for the other tank to come back online or find out what to do. In this time you tell the team that an enemy tank is there and they can move in to engage him or you can call in CAS to take it out. If you still think this is a waste of an asset I can tell you I have done it multiple times and been very successful with it. I am sorry that there was nothing useful in it for you but I can assure you everything in here is stuff I have done with success on the server some less successful strategies have not been included. I have used the terms from the real world since that just made more sense.

                Sitting in the hills in Muttrah is not recce that is operating as a mix between a sniper and a JTAC/FAC. but if that is what you fancy have fun and it is by no means a bad idea. Many of these ideas are best used in highly organized matches such as the upcoming scrim, which is the reason I have posted it now instead of finishing it off, just to give the commanders a little inspiration for different things.
                If people are becoming so bored when playing that they have to resort to this immature behaviour I will give them something to do, call it a project. The project is "appeal a ban". - Wicks



                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Reconnaissance

                  Great post Kat. This is the kind of stuff I really like to see in PR. Players who play for immersion and fun while using some real life tactics. You're also a smart enough guy to know when to put your own goals secondary and help the team when appropriate.

                  Dtacs,

                  "All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the end-game. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Tickets. Heh. Victory screen. Heh. A TG craves not these things.”
                  Skud


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Reconnaissance

                    Originally posted by fuzzhead View Post
                    Thanks for the write up Kat.

                    I would love to start including recon units into platoon tactics in the future, especially with 128 players.
                    Agreed... 128 players, man oh man. So many more options for the ambushers, and so much more to observe... I can't wait!

                    I love both ambush and recce roles, and what kat posts above I haven't ever really thought specifically about but they do go hand in hand. We start as a recce and end up ambushing logisitics, or start as ambush and end up providing more intel than damage more times than we end up doing what we initially intended.

                    It seems that planning your routes for these missions would become easier if you counted on both from the beginning, something I plan to try and improve on in the near future. Knowing where you want to observe AND where you can ambush will give you a better picture of where you should position.

                    Also, with 128 players a 4 or 5 man recce/ambush squad doesn't hurt your manpower percentages nearly as much, but going from 2 guys to 4 or 5 makes a world of difference in what you can accomplish behind enemy lines.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Reconnaissance

                      Nicely written. I guess I'll have to visit TG more often if this is the sort of tactical discussion you guys partake in :D

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