September 29, 2013

Armor Tactical Problem 001 - Tank Section Attack

Armor Tactical Problem 001 - Tank Section Attack
  • Tactical Problem
    • Purpose: This problem illustrates the actions of a tank section advancing as part of a tank platoon. Decisions and orders of the section leader are emphasized.
    • Time: 30 minutes
    • References:  FM17-30_Tank_Plt.pdf
  • Necessary Basic Knowledge for this Tactical Problem:
    • Movement techniques
      • Traveling
      • Traveling Overwatch
      • Bounding Overwatch (alternating and successive)
    • Battle Drills
      • React to Contact
      • Fire and Movement
      • Recon by Fire
      • Hull Down

  • Situation: Prior to moving out from WOODS A, movement is observed in the woods at E. The platoon leader reconnoiters by fire, and return fire is received from an enemy AT gun. 
  • The platoon leader orders the 1st section to establish a base of fire and the 2nd section to move through the woods on the right and flank the AT gun position.
  • First platoon, Company A.  Main maneuver element is section 2 (tanks 3 and 4), section 1 (tanks 1 and 2) will support section 2 by fire.
  • The enemy position is not strongly organized, but areas defended by AT guns may be encountered.  Expect the enemy to be defending in depth with more than one AT gun, perhaps an HMG team and enemy armor activity should be expected.
  • Section 2 has been ordered to follow the track identified on the map to flank the AT gun at position E.  Section 1 will provide fire support and will only advance to position E after the AT gun there has been eliminated.  Section 2 will then continue advancing as outlined on the map eliminating any enemy position encountered.
  • Ensure each enemy position encountered is cleared prior to moving on  
  • Use the fire and movement drill when advancing against an enemy position  
  • Use the appropriate movement techniques when moving the two tank sections
  • Use recon by fire on positions where an enemy could be positioned
  • Use hulldown whenever coming into the potential firing arc of a position that might contain an enemy unit
  • Use smoke to blind possible enemy positions downrange.  Some might be AT guns or tanks and you will not know for sure until they open fire
  • The marked possible enemy contact areas may or may not actually contain an enemy unit, or if it does it might not lay exactly within the area marked on the map
  • This scenario is meant to provide experience commanding tank sections. Do not maneuver the tank platoon as a whole, but maneuver as sections.  The platoon leader tank should not move unless it is needed to fill the spot left open by a lost tank
  • Keep the Tactical Considerations in mind throughout the scenario
  • When maneuvering as sections, use the proper movement techniques and combat drills with the two tank section
  • Take care of your tanks!  Losing a tank will cost you dearly in the post game AAR scoring.  In fact none of the on map objectives have point values, all scoring will come from the loss ratio between your force and the enemy force


  1. Bil--
    Thanks for this scenario. Was very instructive to my tank play. I had huge issues with one of the guns the first few times I tried the scenario, until I just hosed down the grass with machine gun fire as I advanced towards Pt. E. I assume this pinned the gunners there. Is this just standard practice when you don't have infantry recon out in front to find those guns? Anyone else?

    1. Hi Adam, sorry for the late reply.. yes using area fire to suppress the enemy on the position you are attacking is one of the keys to Fire & Maneuver. Even if you had infantry available to scout this position, you would still be placing fire to suppress the enemy while your maneuver element moved onto the unit's flank.

      Check out the Fire & Maneuver and the Squad Attack Drill descriptions for more information.

    2. Thanks, Bil. I appreciate it. Looking forward to more scenarios as you generously make them available.

  2. Bil,

    Thanks for making these available. I've been away from CMx2 for a time but am trying to get back into it as anticipation for Ostfront builds. I know there were many complaints about the miraculous spotting abilities and situational awareness of AFVs early in the CMBN lifecycle but, I must say, I felt deaf, dumb, and blind with only tanks in this one! (Warrior level)

    Ended up with 5 friendly wounded across 4 tanks and was never confident I had a good sense of the enemy forces. What are the ideal occasions to dismount tank crews for more favorable spotting?

    1. "What are the ideal occasions to dismount tank crews for more favorable spotting?"

      That's a good question. If there are enemy infantry around (or even if you just suspect it) it is something I would not consider doing... however if you think that the enemy has no dismounts in the area then you can park a tank on the reverse slope, dismount and move the crew up to the crest, make sure you slow move as you come over the top. Let them sit there for a minute or two, see what you can then slow move them back until they are safely behind the crest.

      It is not a tactic I do very often... if I could dismount one man and peek over a crest or around a corner that would be one thing, but you are putting an entire tank crew at risk.

  3. Thanks for your efforts Bil.

    1. Thanks Jim, I enjoyed the video. I guess you fared well against the ATGs then?