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Maffa

Y U NO SMOKING?

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<meme creator y u no smoke lololol.jpg placeholder here>

 

Hello all, i have a question on a potential tactical protocol.

 

I am not even sure this is the right section to post it, so if i did something wrong please feel free to correct me. 

 

Now i have done a few sessions with you guys, and i noticed something i would like to share, just to know if it is just a random thing that has (not) happeend, or if there's a reason for that.

 

The thing is, i noticed that there is no such a thing as a smoke screen usage as a team/squad tactic, only as a individual spot decision as in "i'm in a pinch / i'm wounded / i'm here" and/or to mark specific places. 

 

I guess that if a group of soldiers (team/squad/platoon) need to cross a no man's land it would make sense having 4+ soldiers creating a smoke screen to allow safer movement for everybody, expecially grenadiers/TL with their 203 underbarrel that can cover holes in those screens. There have been several cases where this solution could have made sense (i think of the King last weekend, or Goram a few weeks ago), screening inserting/assaulting troops, expecially when we had fire and superiority of numbers and closing in, would have negated the effect of concentrating the enemy fire in a small kill area.

 

Did it just (not) happen (yet)? Or is there a reason for that (like strategic considerations, or excessive framerate dropping)? or could it be something worth remembering/trainig for as a team/squad and leadership?

 

User received a warning point for this post.

Edited by kalohepirate
2.3 - Please use proper grammar and punctuation whenever possible. Do not use "texting" and or "733t" style posting. 3.5 - Catchphrases, Memes, Image Macros and Internet Speak/Slang.

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Smoke doesn't stop bullets and gives away your position, or alerts the enemy that you are about to move.

It can be used effectively, although having 4 people throw smoke at the same time is excessive. Smoke is best deployed on the enemy position via 203, if possible, or if not thrown so that the wind will carry it so that it screens only where you are moving and doesn't blind your own guys.

 

But let's not devolve into the PR/Squad levels of smoke being used at all times to give your enemy a nice aiming marker and prevent you from firing.

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That i understand, if the enemy is unaware.

 

But in the two examples i made the enemy effectively pinned us down (in the second case, the Goram) a single ATGM successfully blocked 6 squads, a tank and 2 IFV (cant remember what), and at the end of the assault we lost half the men and both the IFVs, it took 16 minutes to get close range, as the ATM had a 50m cone killzone where he made the most of the killings. Either a 203 could have pinpointed a smoke in front of the ATGM, or have some of the 40+ infantrymen lay some smokes to negate their static fire and maneuvre around the hill. Same thing about the King, where the enemy knew all too well where we were since we had only one breach and all that they had to do was stay cover and peashot us while we frantically tried to reach their compound. 

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Yes, that second example could've used smoke - although it needs to be used intelligently. Don't throw smoke onto your own position. Ever. If you only have 1 breach point then smoking it won't help too much, as they still can concentrate their fire into the smoke. The only time smoke to your front is applicable is if you're withdrawing, & then try to get it as far away from where you actually are as possible.

 

Smoke doesn't just give away your position if the enemy are "unaware". The enemy can be shooting at you & not know exactly where you are - this is in fact very common. You throw a smoke grenade and then every single enemy knows where you are and can start shooting at you. Rather than "Where's the enemy?" "He's by that tree." "Which tree?" "The one with the leaves." etc. you'll just have, "Enemy on white smoke!" and then you'll get slaughtered.

 

Smoke doesn't magically stop bullets. Put down suppressing fire on the enemy while trying to put smoke on their position is the best way, although if you're crossing open ground then throwing a smoke grenade into the open so that the wind carries it to screen that opening also works, but you need suppressing fire too.

 

Smoke is unlikely to stop an ATGM from taking out your vehicles. Even if it doesn't have thermals, unless you're using WP from mortars or artillery, you'll probably still be able to see the vehicle (especially a tank). Best way to defeat an ATGM is to take out the ATGM, either by smashing its position to pieces with lots of fire, using IDF or using a marksman (assuming the invincible crew bug has been fixed).

 

 

Tl;dr:
Suppressing fire > Smoke
Never smoke your own position. Smoking is bad for your health. May cause lead to lungs.

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i understand what you say, but there are a few things that i cant get conveinced of. 

 

 

 

Smoke doesn't just give away your position if the enemy are "unaware". The enemy can be shooting at you & not know exactly where you are - this is in fact very common. You throw a smoke grenade and then every single enemy knows where you are and can start shooting at you. Rather than "Where's the enemy?" "He's by that tree." "Which tree?" "The one with the leaves." etc. you'll just have, "Enemy on white smoke!" and then you'll get slaughtered.

 

If we are talking about TvTs, i could have agred with you -with the caveat of not smoking on your feet, thats not how you use smoke 'nades- until the introduction of the pointing feature in ACE.

 

If we take the King as an example, OPFOR were comfortably holed inside two different compounds, and they had all the time to pick their targets and slaughter anyone coming from the breach (which was conveniently signaled -LOL- by a purple smoke). So they were static, we were maneuvring, the had the higher ground and behind concrete, we were naked and trying to move from cover to cover in a featurless terrain but for a few trees that didnt offer much protection because were within range of their potato tosser: no ammount of suppression could have helped us there, but successive smoke grenades, a few layers, maybe scattered along the barbed wire, could have prevented all their guns being directed on one point. 

 

One smoke covers a man, two smokes cover up to a team, four can cover up to a squad, ten smokes can cover a platoon, several layers of smoke wall make the defending team very uncomfortable if the attacker manage to be not so obvious (as in: dont run thru the smoke you just tossed). That's why i wrote this post in the training section, because i suspect there is not much rigorous trainig in usage of smoke as a tactical tool. (BTW, i repeat myself: dont smoke on you rposition is a very solid rule)

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I mostly agree with Herbie, but not everything.

 

Obscuring smoke, in other words smoke delivered onto the enemy to blind him, can render an ATGM system without optical enhancement systems ineffective. I think in Goram it is actually a SPG-9, which obviously can't see through smoke.

 

In your last example, you could have blinded that known enemy position, if that is not possible you could try to screen your movement by putting smoke in between you and the enemy might have worked, but requires a lot more smoke, depending on the terrain, wind, distances etc.

 

Ultimately use of smoke is METT-TC dependent, sometimes smoke might be the only thing allowing you to breaking contact from a superior force (while still using fire and movement) without getting completely destroyed.

Edited by zumorc

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One smoke covers a man, two smokes cover up to a team, four can cover up to a squad, ten smokes can cover a platoon,

 

o.O O.o

 

How small are you smoke grenades?

 

1 smoke can cover a platoon depending on the wind. Also a platoon doing what? Sitting still? You don't use smoke to cover a particular size of unit, you use it to cover a particular area. 10 smoke grenades is a ridiculous amount to use in one go.

 

In your example then smoke on your own position is silly. There, with a static enemy, you want to stick smoke on the enemy position.

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o.O O.o

 

How small are you smoke grenades?

 

1 smoke can cover a platoon depending on the wind. Also a platoon doing what? Sitting still? You don't use smoke to cover a particular size of unit, you use it to cover a particular area. 10 smoke grenades is a ridiculous amount to use in one go.

 

In your example then smoke on your own position is silly. There, with a static enemy, you want to stick smoke on the enemy position.

It will cover a  platoon with a very faint smoke plume. More suited to a suspense movie.

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o.O O.o

 

How small are you smoke grenades?

 

1 smoke can cover a platoon depending on the wind. Also a platoon doing what? Sitting still? You don't use smoke to cover a particular size of unit, you use it to cover a particular area. 10 smoke grenades is a ridiculous amount to use in one go.

 

In your example then smoke on your own position is silly. There, with a static enemy, you want to stick smoke on the enemy position.

 

if everyone had 203s you could do it, but since the furthest you can toss a grenade is a few ten meters the best you can do is place it in between the enemy and you (keeping in mind for the direction of the wind of course).

 

Those figures i tossed are bare minumums, yes, but you also have to consider the fact tha a platoon has more than a hundred smokes between everybody.

Every infantryman has at least 2 or 3 smokes with him, and most of the times he doesnt even use them. Three smokes each tossed at 20 meters means that a squad or two can move pretty far, if the wind were non existant it would mean three smoke curtains at 20 meters each, it also means a stationary enemy will have to spray and pray while you men advance for 60 meters, instead of picking his headshots. If we are talking about human opponents it may not be as much as efficient, but it's still better than literally nothing.

 

i am sure that it's hard meeting ideal situations, but it works with much less, expecially when confronted with choke points or alleys on open ground and with an alert enemy. 

Edited by Maffa

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Bare minimum? 10 smoke grenades is a ridiculously LARGE amount of smoke and a stupid waste. You don't cover a platoon with smoke. You cover a certain area with smoke. Where are you throwing these 10 smoke grenades?

 

Spray and pray is good enough to cause casualties. Use suppressing fire onto the enemy position, avoid casualties.

100r4Yl.png

 

 

You don't need 10 smoke grenades to do either of the "Good" Scenarios.

 

*edit*
Did you used to play PR by any chance?

Edited by Herbiie

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The 'right' number surely depends on what you are trying to achieve and the particular circumstances at the time. Whilst it would be odd to try to screen an entire platoon, as this would mask the fire of those not moving, in the Obj King scenario, as combination of 203 smoke on the compounds combined with multiple hand thrown smoke at various points of the wire (to avoid concentration of fire on the real breach attempt), doesn't seem too unreasonable. Obviously you would not want to use so much that you obscured your own organic BoF elements or the attached MSG.

 

The SPG 9 on Goram wouldn't have been too affected - too far away for 203 smoke on the position and on a hill so could see over the top of a screen (and would fire at the generally area anyway). all you would end up doing would to mask your own SBF positions. Smoke in the valley to conceal movement from enfilading fire would have more chance of success (assuming the AI still don't shoot through the stuff). 

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You dont need to cover a platoon with smoke, but 10 smoke could do it. 

 

Spray and pray is a very inefficient way to cause casualties, as opposed to aiming and shooting undisturbed. So, in order to ruin the enemy's blessed status, a few smokes could be of use, expecially since anyone hardly uses more than one once in a blue moon.

 

Now, case at hand.

 

GORAM_zpsukiqqpmr.png

 

As you can see, all the company has being successfully stopped in its tracks by that ATGN, which was on much higher ground: top of a two story building, on a hilltop. Nothing could get past it, nor IFVs nor infantry, once you got past that hill shoulder.

 

 As a bonus, there were his friends all around. No ammount of suppression could have done a single difference. Superiority of numbers totally negated.

 

So, what can we do? If you could spew a few smokes in between the company and the hill you could have approached faster and taking much less fire. Someone could have died, thats for sure, but much less if there werent anything making killing so easy and fun-tastic. I dont remember if TLs and/or grenadiers had any underbarrel smoke grenades, but in either case you could have used whatever you had in order to minimize the casualties, and i find it much more cautious and successful than just running and screaming through the gap. 

 

 

KING_zpsc69adkc8.png

 

This managed to be even worse than Goram.

The enemies had machine guns, IEDs, underbarrels and RPGs, and were behind walls on higher ground.

Here the Company leader decided to attack on the far side of the barbed wire, in order to make at least one of the two enemy fire bases less efficient. This managed to be true, however the closer one took its sweet time potshooting us as we came around, and i am pretty sure that difficult as it could have been the guys at OBJ 1 managed to get someone in any case. 

 

if there had been a blanet over the no man's zone between the breach and OBJ 2 i think much more BLUFOR would have arrived to OBJ's walls safely, and it could have been done even just in case because, as i was saying before, we got smokes in spades, instead of swarming the place like soviet grunts during WWII. Again, no ammount of suppression would have done any difference.

 

In hindsight, there could have been the chance to set up a trap having like other two places being covered in smokes in order not to make the actual breach location so conspicuous.

 

 

 

I am not saying that smokes solve any problem, but not using it at all sounds really weird to me. 

 

(no, never played PR. I guess the only BF i ever played was Vietnam in SP)

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oh, about your cases.

The fourth case, the bad smoke: is it, though? 

 

Say that that enemy you want to defend against is inside a compound, and he is fortified inside and you know that if you move he's annilhate you because you either shoot or move and he's so better than you because of high ground, machine guns, you name it, so  that your shooting is not effective and his is so much more, what's so bad about laying smokes as far as possible and then taking the chance of running thru that smoke to reach the compound's walls? instead of taking 30 seconds of undisturbed fire you may halve that amount and double your chances of survival...

 

It is really situational, i understand that, but i have seen plenty of situations where a curtain of smokes would have improved seemingly hopeless situations. What's the worst it could do?

Edited by Maffa

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oh, about your cases.

The fourth case, the bad smoke: is it, though? 

 

Yes, very, it's utterly retarded.

 

By using smoke in that way you've completely negated any suppressing fire you may have had, you've blinded yourself as well as the enemy and also signalled to him that you're about to make a push. It's ridiculous.

 

For your 2 situations:

1) Ever heard of flanking? Wasn't there so won't comment, but throwing smoke and charging through in that situation would only lead you to dying slightly closer to the enemy.

2) Those two compounds to the West look like pretty good SBF positions. Suppressing fire can do just that - suppress. Get a fuck ton of fire down and expend plenty of ammunition. Throwing smoke grenades onto the breach just signals where you're breaching. Was that breach point predefined?

 

 

@JT

Your examples are pretty good & highlight the need for effective use of smoke grenades - throwing smoke as part of a deception plan is great. This can go even more basic, if you're screening an element moving left to flank, throw smoke to both sides so the enemy don't know which way you're going. That's probably the most basic smoke-deception ever.

Edited by Herbiie

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Well alot of your argumentation seems to be based on a misguided version of what Supressive fire is, and what it is supposed to do.

Because of this misunderstanding you will continue to come to these false conclusions. I wont bother writing a whole essay on this in here, come find me if you really care to learn.

But i will take your latest example. The reason you do not want to attack through smoke is that it does 2 things.

1. it does not only mask the enemy fire it also masks your own people, so you can no longer gain the effect of suppression to keep the enemy#s heads down and they can now all get up and take aim.
2. it only mask's you until the point you threw it, after that you will be completely exposed and running across the open right into the enemy that has spent the time getting into a good stance they can now take aim and casually shoot at you.

The whole point of fire and maneuver is to force the enemy to stay in cover while you maneuver, but that only works while you are shooting at him. Smoke can support your maneuver, but your maneuver can't depend on smoke.

Lastly if you are really interested in playing realistic combat scenario's the important thing is to have as many survivors on your team as possible. If you charge under smoke you will not get that, neither vs Players or AI.

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@Herbiie: you keep ignoring the fact that i have already said that this kind of smoke options are useful when SUPRESSION IS NOT EFFECTIVE, which incidentally happens quite a lot. It can be for various reasons, one of which is that This Is Arma® and Ai cant be bothered by suppression, the other is that it is inside a house pretty far and high and 90% of your team has iron sights while that other guy has a magnified sight. Just saying. It may sound pretty specific but in my experience it happens quite a lot. You see Goram? We made suppression with 40 infantrymen and 3 cannons. The result was 20 dead and 2 IFV destroyed. So no, suppression is not always the answer. You cannot even flank because that guy with ATGM had a friend on the other corner with a machine gun, and plenty other on the roofs.  On the other case, King, disturbing the OPFOR human aim would have been better, IMO, than taking free shots. That base of fire could attack on the S side of the compound, which wasnt manned, because they knew we were attacking by the eastern side, and suppression from there wouldnt have reached any other result but making us poorer on ammo.

 

@godhand: i think i have stated that smoke is an option when suppression is not effective. So the options are down to three: stay where you are, run naked and stop their bullets with your chest, or halve the distance you have to cover under fire and double the chances to get there by laying a smoke screen. It's a desperate move, when anything else fails. 

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AI is very much bothered by suppression since the marksman dlc. In both of those instances you show, a smoke screen by hand smoke grenades would have been useless, a smoke screen from M203s emplaced between the breach point and the compounds in the center of the maneuver target line might have been helpful to screen the breach while another element suppresses the compounds, but I doubt you could have made it dense enough.

 

A smoke screen from mortars or artillery would have greatly aided both missions, but obviously wasn't available.

Edited by zumorc

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you still make a wierd leap in logic. When supressive fire cannot be achived, why would you even consider attacking? If you cannot win against the enemy at range you wont beat him at a range where his numbers are an even greater advantage. The obvious application of smoke in a situation like that is useing to conceal you as you run AWAY, Any scenario that involves attacking through smoke would be some very special situation and therefore not something where standard tactics apply.

 

Edit: In both the examples you discuss the pictures illustrate a situation where little to no attempt is made at establishing a base of fire. I was in the obj King mission where the supressing element misunderstood their task and tried to breach under their own supression thus they got killed leaving the rest of the company to pick up the pieces.
Your other example (i cant tell the distance) it seems that you are driving towards a town you want to attack in single file without having deployed into some sort of base of fire before your assault, there is the price for that.

Edited by Godhand 2-5

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Great thread. Thanks for the input Herbie, Zumorc, Godhand.

 

Basically smoke is okay (for signals) near friendly positions when the enemy can't see it. Using smoke in a firefight should be on top of or very close to the enemy to blind and confuse them and allow friendlies to use area suppressive fire right into the smoke. Using smoke near friendly positions when under effective enemy fire is usually a very bad idea.

 

I've used smoke a couple times by throwing it laterally as far away from the flank of our team as possible. The enemy engaged the area of smoke with suppressive fire, revealing their own position and allowing us to locate them or allowing us to sneak away in the confusion.

 

I especially like to use smoke as "Good Smoke" to blind enemy and light up the area with mounted weapons on our friendly AFVs. If the enemy also has Vics then target them at the same time as the smoke is deployed. A smoke in the right spot forces the enemy vehicle to move, or be destroyed, while blinding it and creating an opportunity for friendly movement.

fozgqXe.jpg

 

 

Here is a video of a "Field of smoke" at UO.

LOL Thanks Lunchyyy. excellent example of ridiculous.

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