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Theorycraft: Thoughts about Co'ing PR and the "Broad Wedge" formation.

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  • Theorycraft: Thoughts about Co'ing PR and the "Broad Wedge" formation.

    I was looking for ideas on how to organise large forces (then squads) and google brought me here:

    The initial reason I went looking for this is my experience in a weird round. It was Ghost train. Our team was china. We had 3 squads defending the south bridge in a line, and two squads operating behind them with a lot of freedom. To my amazement, the enemy wan't able to do anything pretty much th whole round. They managed to tak out one or two squads, but then their RP would be lost to the roaming squads behind the main force, or they would be stopped by the second squad on of the 3 on front they encounter. I was amazed, because I had never seen this. I had seen a variant work well often: 2 squads defending , with three attacking. They are essentially the same, and to my surprise the article showed real life companies use similar formations.

    I learned some interesting things. From the article:
    Broad, Blunt or Reverse Wedge or Rhomboid or V

    Two up, one back". Two sub-units in line next to each other and the remaining one (or two) behind.

    Different nationalities used different names for this formation. The Germans used the term "Blunt Wedge" (U.S. War Department, 1995). The Russians used the term "Broad Wedge" for platoons, companies and battalions, but the term "Reverse Wedge" when the same formation was adopted by anti-tank rifle squads (Sharp, 1998). I'm not sure what the official British term was, but colloquially it is called a "V".

    Broad Wedge seems to have been the preferred Company formation in both attack and defense. It also seemed to be the preferred Platoon formation in prepared defenses.

    Generally the unit HQ didn't have a fixed location in this formation. The British at least had the Company HQ adjacent to the rear platoon (Lucas, 1982). The Russians also used a variation called the " Rhomboid" for a platoon attacking in woods; apparently this differed from a normal Broad Wedge by having the platoon HQ between the lead Squads (Sharp, 1998).

    What is important here, is "Broad wedge seemed to have been the preferred formation in both attack and defense". Now a company is 75-200 soldiers says wikipedia, still the idea is interesting. It offers tips on where to build co structures (HQ adjacent to rear platoon).

    So if you have a total of 5 squads, You shouldn't put them in a Line (thinking of Santa's strat on ghost train here). When the line is broken, all your RP's are exposed, and all your co structures. It seems a very good idea to have most squads up front as a block, yet have a considerable force behind them to defend supply lines/RP's/structures.

    It becomes even more interesting and applicable to PR i you look at the Russian variant/
    "Russian Battalion Broad Wedge

    A Russian battalion in Broad Wedge is described a little differently: "2 companies in line next to each other and one company echeloned behind the left or right flank" (Sharp, 1998, p. 7). The implication is that this is the left or right outer flank of the forward line (as per diagram). If, however, the flank in question is an inner flank, then suddenly it becomes the normal Broad Wedge.

    Now this is much more relevant to PR. This allows the rear squads to dynamically fill gaps in the defense. Something most PR squads do all the time, when the see enemies spotted. This makes the defense not too boring, and makes it endurable for those players that want to get their kills.

    An important detail:
    "If, however, the flank in question is an inner flank, then suddenly it becomes the normal Broad Wedge."
    If I understand this correctly, this means that if the enemy is able to get behind the formation, the lose elements should revert to the static British version of the Broad Wedge (Or V off course), ensuring the front-line squads and HQ are well protected.

    Something to try is the "British Battalion Broad Wedge"

    Might work, depending on the squad layout have been dealt.

    Now I have been somewhat trying out this theorycraft on the server, without letting the squads now the bigger plan, but just trying to nudge squads in directions so that the formation is somewhat formed, and so far I think I've done pretty well with it. Air-power can really screw this up, so the more 3D the battlefield is, the less important it is to position squads vs having the tanks and planes well used.

    I think if the formation is used in attack, you should have (presuming 5 squads) 2 on defense at the current flag, 3 attacking. For defense that becomes 3 on D, 2 behind the lines cleaning up. The formation essentially stays the same, all that happens is the currently defended flag is moved back and forth.

    I mainly wrote this, for people who Co once and a while, but like me, are often thinking "where the hell should I put this squad? What do I do with the squads If they respond!". As Pr is very complicated, this is not an easy question. Perhaps this thread has given you some ideas.

    A second reason is, the tactics forum is WAAAAY to silent for "tacticalgamer" imo, and thus I would very much like to hear anyone's thoughts/eperiences relating to this in-game, or any input on other RL tactics that might give CO's some good guidance in game.

  • #2
    Re: Theorycraft: Thoughts about Co'ing PR and the "Broad Wedge" formation.

    I am fairly bad at COing, but I have tried to use the LZ/waypoint markers to designate an area a certain squad needs to defend. That way the SLs can still use their own markers to designate enemies while also knowing what their objective in the big picture is.

    Keep updating or reminding the waypoints in chat together with the objective:
    Waypoints A: sq1 - B: sq2 -> Hold positions.
    Waypoints D: sq4 -> Stay in reserve.

    Sq1 gets taken out. Update on VOIP:
    sq4 take back waypoint A & hold position. sq1 stay in reserve on waypoint after respawning.

    I think this where the CO can shine. Sure you can use teamspeak to coordinate between squads. But letting the CO handle the big picture using waypoints will make it much easier for SLs to know what their objective is as their own markers are used for squad commands.


    • #3
      Re: Theorycraft: Thoughts about Co'ing PR and the "Broad Wedge" formation.

      A good comment there Al.

      I believe the formation is best suited for the very map you stated: Ghost Train. Because of the way the flags are placed and the terrain in which to manouver. Basically this map has a tendancy to 'set up' this formation either natually, or is one of the best maps to do so.

      However it could be used for some flags on other maps and should not be disregarded anytime.

      Although you speak on a 'Company' or 'Platoon' level, this formation also works well on a squad level (I tend to play infantry). It is hard to get you squad to form up like this at times of manouvering etc but I find this an adequate and strong formation on most maps.

      As a medic I am aware of my 'sweeper' role and tend to place myself at the bottom of the V. Not only am I a moppper upper/staller/guarder of the spawn or open rear, but I am also a flanker, as well as a medic. As such and the 'harmony' of a formation going through terrain (not built up) the V tends to be able to take on most assualts. It can make contact with ambushes, roving squads and allows flanking/straight line/rendevous manouvers.

      I would like to see this, as you say, on a larger level than 'squad' to 'Company' level, and think is has alot of potential. I would also like to see more maps that allow the exploration of such tactics and think Ghost Train has evolved into one of those that has developed naturally for this. Though I enjoy alot of maps like Kashan as an infantry personnel (I don't do tanks or those flying thingies) and would be happy with just a vodnik as me wheels with a big gun', prefering these kinds of infantry maps than the asset whore ones.

      For me the fun is doing tactics in an infantry squad (and of course, company) level going toe to toe with the enemy defending, manouvering, assualting an area or location where there is contact, or yes, doing a little bit of houseclearing :)

      So finally, I think 'fun' is a prime goal and would say your tactics as you say, and infantry maps be it Kashan, Ghost Train allow such things. I think flags have alot of influence over such tactics. Maybe Fools Road should have a flag in the middle of the map to lure players into it, those woods could do with a bit of filling, instead of ones down a road, for example; for me the potential of that map is not realised. Other maps are simply different and have other worries to face, like how to defend Fishing Village or Assault Government Office, though this formation on a Platoon level can be used very successfully on this map, and has been.

      I'd be happy to have a CO try this kind of stuff out, with other squads and also in formation on a squad level.




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