This was posted in the members only forum, however I have decided to post it here for public players to see as well. Might help you with your ops when working as an armoured vehicle crewman.
During a mission on 12 Sep, two MBT (tanks) moved to a mission and completed it with no casualties and minimal damage to vehicles. This is RARE. Here are some tips on how this can be achieved.
- Maintain vehicle spacing - not only does this present a smaller target for the enemy, but it divides their attention, and doesn't allow them to concentrate their fire on your position. In the mission, this also enabled the vehicles to engage the enemy from two separate positions. This was done with very good effect on target.
- Cover your arcs - gunners and commanders need to be constantly scanning their surroundings for targets. This was done effectively enabling fire to be brought to bare on enemy elements.
- All round defence at halts - if you do need to stop, make sure there is a cover of 360 degrees of your position. There was a halt where the lead vehicle was engaging a target and the rear vehicle was ordered to turn around to over the rear of the lead vehicle. This was a good move, as the rear vehicle also got into contact behind where we had just traveled from. Had this not been done, we would have had a contact to our rear that we would not have been aware of until it was firing on us.
- Maintaining Speed of movement - If you stop, your vehicle is going to get destroyed. The AI will fire AT weapons at you, or their APC or tanks are going to destroy your vehicle. You MUST maintain your speed. If you do have to stop, don't stop in a exposed position, and never in a contact.
- Use of Terrain and cover - Stay in the low ground where possible, don't silhouette your vehicle on a hill top, use the ditches and depressions in the terrain to move in, avoid roads if possible. When you need to stop and scan an area in the distance for targets, make sure you are "hull down" (the hull of your vehicle is covered/concealed from enemy fire/observation and only the upper part of your turret is exposed to the enemy.) Choose a route that provides this cover and concealment. Don't give your position away until the rounds start flying.
- Firing at distance - The coax gun (MG mounted in the vehicle) can destroy targets at long range, however anything over about 1000 metres you're not going to be hitting accurately, so you're probably just wasting your ammo on them. This is effective if you are suppressing the enemy so our own infantry can move, but trying to take them out at that range is a waste of time and ammo. The main gun is different - it is designed for long range engagements, but should only be used for enemy vehicles or structures.
- Command of the vehicle - the crew commander is in charge of the vehicle and its crew. The commander issues the orders, tells the driver when to go and when to stop, when to turn and indicates the direction and speed. The gunner fires at the command of the crew commander, not before. The commander will dictate when to fire, when to stop firing and which weapon system to use. The gunner does not tell the driver to stop so he can shoot at a target. The only time the gunner fires without orders is when the threat posed is immediate and requires immediate fire for the protection of the vehicle and crew. The element commander (in charge of all vehicles) should give a very brief set of "actions on" orders. These are the "actions" you are to take "on" contact with an enemy element.
- Priority of targets - If you see a target off in the distance, that is not critical to the completion of your mission, especially when they are not firing on you, leave that target and continue on your mission. Your crew commander will make the call on this, and if not mission critical, the order will be to continue on task.
Commander's Orders to Crew Members
Here are some common terms used by armoured vehicle commanders. An explanation of each has been provided. If you intend to crew an armoured vehicle in game, I'd recommend you familiarise yourself with these commands.
Each command is prefixed with who the command is for. If the command is for the driver, the commander will start with "driver". If for the gunner, it will be prefixed with "gunner". Pretty simple. Some of the commands below are pretty self explanatory, some aren't. I have listed all the basic one's you should be familiar with.
- Prepare to start up (get ready to start the engine)
- Start up (start the engine)
- Shutting down in.. (get ready to turn off your engine, and then a countdown from 3 or five is started, when zero is reached, switch off engine)
- Left, right, stop, reverse - do I really need to explain these? You may have a commander say "left stick" "right stick" etc, that just means steer left or right.
- Traverse (left or right) - Traverse means to turn the bore of the weapon you are using as fast as you can
- Traverse steady - turn weapon left or right slowly
- Steady (when giving fire orders) - almost bring your traverse to a complete stop, move bore slowly and in small increments.
- Steady (when giving orders to driver) - stop steering, continue foward
- On - this means you are ON the target (you are pointing the bore directly at the target or almost directly at it) When the commander says "ON" that means you are pointing almost right at it. The gunner should also then say "ON" when he is actually pointing his sights at the target
- Reload - the commander may want you to change ammo type. Reload will be followed by the ammo type to be loaded.
- Go on - this means the commander wants the gunner to continue firing
- Gunner stop, target destroyed - the target is now paste, stop firing. Can also be "cease fire" rather than gunner stop.
- Next Target - this will normally be followed with "left" or "right" Example: Gunner, next target left, 500 m enemy APC
- Target - this is commander telling the gunner that there is a target. This will be followed with a target indication
- Target Rounds - The commander will say this when your rounds are hitting the target. This will normally be followed with more instructions: Example. Gunner, target, 500 metres, 3 o'clock traverse steady right, on, fire.... target rounds, 20 rounds coax, go on.
- Elevate - Your fire is landing short of the target, bring your bore up
- Depress - you are firing too high, bring your bore down
- Coax - the machine gun fitted to the vehicle turret
- Flex - the MG mounted to the top of a vehicle
- Main - the main gun of the vehicle
- Pop smoke - the commander pops smoke to provide concealment
Example of all these commands into a contact scenario:
Commander: Driver, prepare to start up. Start up in three, two, one, (driver starts)
Commander: We are heading out to grid 123456. Convoy will move east along the MSR, until directed otherwise. Actions on, return fire if able, evasive moves and continue in current direction, do NOT stop. Questions? Prepare to move in 30 seconds. Ok lets go.
Commander: Driver, right stick, steady, continue
Commander: Gunner, target, 11 o'clock 300 metres infantry, traverse left.... steady, ON
Commander: 20 rounds, coax, fire
Gunner: Firing now...
Commander: Stop, target destoyed, new target left, 300 metres, IFRIT, ON
Commander: three rounds HE (main gun on APC) fire
Gunner: Firing now...
Commander: Same target, HE rounds go on..
Gunner: Firing now...
Commander: Gunner stop, target destroyed.
The above is just an example, and provided only so you can start to get your head around how an armoured vehicle crew operate. The is NO expectation at this stage for anyone to know all of this. But practice makes perfect.
Keep in mind too, that on squad comms or internal vehicle chat, there is no need for formal RATEL to be used. They crew can use the same commands and instructions in an informal way. we are all here to have fun, and if you are flustered or confused, don't panic, just use plain language. Those in the future that want to complete the Armour Crewman course will NEED to know, and be able to demonstrate the above.