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Author Topic: Battle Groups  (Read 74 times)

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Offline choppinlt

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Battle Groups
« on: November 02, 2017, 06:57:36 PM »
I went back to see if I had a discussion regarding battle groups on this forum, and found that I did not!  :o I have talked a lot about them, and I think most of you intuitively get the basic idea, but now let me provide additional information and insight.

Important Definitions
Command Groups (CG) are synonymous with the Regiment/Brigade level of command. CGs may have additional units attached to it in accordance within national doctrine thus representing Regimental Combat Teams or Combat Commands.
Battle Groups (BG) are typically (but not exclusively) reinforced battalion-sized ad hoc units formed by attaching combat elements and/or artillery support elements from other units that are formed around a lead unit (typically an infantry battalion or tank battalion). They can only be formed within the limits of corresponding national doctrine.
A BG may be formed using elements from any other eligible unit, however adding units outside of the parent CG are subject to additional command delays. In short the more unit types and elements that are involved in creating a BG the longer it will take to form and execute its mission.
Elements-this term is used to denote companies (or equivalent) and batteries capable of some independent action despite having a parent unit. Common examples are rifle companies of an infantry battalion, tank companies of a tank battalion, and batteries of an artillery battalion. The number of elements in a unit depend on the unit's TOE. See  discussion below.
Parent Unit-refers to the element containing the command section of a unit.
Detachment-an element that is located separately, or given movement orders independently from its parent unit.
Artillery Support-this refers to ranged indirect artillery fire support, not direct fire
Sections-typically platoon sized units that are part of a parent unit but NOT organically part of an element (e.g. command section). Sections are not capable of independent movement or map representation. See discussion below
Combat Support-this refers specifically to elements that are going to be directly engaged in ground combat. I.e. this does not refer to indirect artillery support
Lead Unit-any unit (typically a battalion level parent unit) that is in command of a BG.

Element and Section Discussion
Most infantry battalion contain 5 companies: 3 rifle, 1 weapons and 1 HQ. In TO this type of infantry battalion has 3 elements since the rifle companies are the primary maneuver elements. The function of the Weapons and HQ Co's are to support the rifle companies, so all combat support in these companies are broken down in to sections (typically platoon sized). So a US Infantry battalion would have 1 command section (which includes all admin and service support functions like supply and communications), 2 MG sections, 3 mortar sections, a pioneer section, and an AT section. That's a lot of the battalion's combat power, right?! When a battalion is together, the assignment of the sections is unnecessary, because the unit counts as a single homogenous unit. However, if any elements are detached this is the equivalent of that element being assigned an independent responsibility, which means the assignment of the different sections becomes very important. It is at that point players should assign sections to detachments. You can see the elements and sections of a BG displayed in the unit info screen shown here: http://dogsofwarvu.com/forum/index.php/topic,5456.0.html

It should be noted that elements in an artillery unit represent the different firing units (batteries/sections). While they are "elements" most of the time they are not able to be detached (a notable exception is SP arty that was sometimes used in a direct fire role). Most commonly artillery elements will be assigned in an indirect artillery support role.

Finally, Battle Groups...
All of the previous explanation above should help with understanding the finer details of BG's. Below are some additional notes:
  • BG's allow for a combined arms group of units to form and function as a single cohesive unit.
  • BG's have a lead unit (typically a battalion level parent unit) with attached combat elements
  • The number of combat elements in a BG will be limited (probably no more than 6)
  • A BG may consist of combat elements from any other eligible unit, in accordance with doctrinal guidelines.
  • The BG moves at the movement rate of the slowest element.
  • A BG's footprint will change depending on the number of troops and vehicles contained.
  • As a BG is being created, players will see the command delay tally due to the addition/subtraction combat elements and artillery support elements.
  • BG's are primarily for combat purposes, but you can form BG's whenever you want. It is important to consider that maintenance and supply are hindered for elements in a BG. So players should create BG's as a temporary unit, or they can slow watch their combat power fade.
  • Mechanically speaking, any unit that has artillery support assigned to it is considered a BG, even though it may have no additional combat elements included.
  • The Blue, Gray and Bocage scenario has 2 good examples of BG's. The US forces have been using them since the first turn. They have an infantry battalion as the lead unit with a company of tanks and engineers attached, along with artillery support. The Germans formed a small BG from 2 companies (1 Stug co and 1 co of Fallschirm) with some accompanying artillery.
Let me know your thoughts, questions and comments!  :)