December 31, 2013

Overview-Battle Command

Battle Command

Your job as the player/commander (hereafter referred to as Commander) is to fight and win battles.  

You should be thinking in depth; that is through the entire area of operations (AO) and into the enemy’s area of influence.  You should mass your combat power to overcome, defeat, or deter your enemy.  You should strive for local firepower and force superiority wherever you engage the enemy, creating situations that are as favorable to your force as possible.

You the commander should use your Reconnaissance assets to “see” the enemy and make a plan.  Then use your combat support assets (MG teams, on map direct fire guns, on or off map artillery, engineers, etc.) to support attacks by the maneuver formations and to interdict enemy movement, and operations.  The entire command must operate as a synchronized whole in order to be most effective.

Key aspects of Battle Command:
  • See the Battlefield:  Using Terrain Analysis and Reconnaissance the Commander develops a clear picture of his and the enemy’s situations in order to better form a plan and put that plan into action.  This is a fluid concept and he must constantly be aware of all aspects of the battlefield.
  • Organize the Battlefield:  This helps the Commander see the relationships between his forces, and compare them to other friendly forces and the enemy.  It is made up of the following components:
    • Area of Operation (AO):  This is the area that the Commander and his force has been assigned to operate in.  The boundaries of the AO are dictated by the in-game map.  Often the AO is only a portion of the map, as you have to account for areas the enemy force holds, especially when on defense.  Each subordinate Company or Platoon should also have a specific AO in which to operate within the physical boundaries presented by the in-game map.  
    • Control Measures:  Commanders should organize their assets into AO’s and plan their maneuver through the use of Phase Lines, Forward Boundaries, and other graphical measures.  These are called graphical control measures and are used in order to synchronize movements and choreograph the battle.  Note: Though this is not an in-game feature, proper use of a situation map with enemy position reports plotted and friendly movement graphics can give the player an advantage over his opponent.
    • Area of Influence:  This is the area that can be affected by the command’s weapon systems in order to engage and defeat the enemy.  This is not a set region, and will fluctuate as the ability to engage the enemy changes due to maneuver, supply, losses, gains, morale fluctuations, etc.
    • Area of Interest:  This is the geographical area from where will be gathered the intelligence and information to enable the Commander to operate and plan future operations.  The Commander has to take into account any feature that might have any effect on his battle, whether it be to the front, flank, outside his Area of Influence, or perhaps placed in the enemy’s AO (i.e. a dominating hill in the enemy's rear area).
    • Command and Control (C2):  These concepts usually are spoken of as one entity, when in reality they are separate and each has different applications and influence different aspects of the battlefield.
      • Command is the art of assigning missions and prioritizing resources, focusing the force to accomplish the mission.
      • Control is the management of the battle, monitoring results, directing subordinates, and making changes as needed.  Control allows the Commander the flexibility to coordinate his force towards the fulfillment of the assigned mission.
Knowing the basic concepts of Battle Command will enable you to better command a combat team or Kampfgruppe in Combat Mission.  You as the Commander will be directly commanding the assets, so it is important that you understand the processes in order to task them effectively and efficiently.  Coordination of the different elements under your command is an art form that can only be mastered with practice and knowledge.

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