Why care about the quality of infantry? Not all fights are equal.

Previously I described a basic push. We ditched a squad of expensive, elite delta force for some nameless riflemen and saw no ill effect. Why?

Until now we’ve basically seen infantry in their two most extreme positions – fighting unsupported tanks, slaughtering them with powerful RPGs, or spotted and turned into a helpless punching bag for enemy fire support. This is generally how it works for open battles involving non-recon infantry – only their antitank capability matters, and sometimes not even that.

But in my description of the basic push I only described the first part of a push. I showed how to enter a forest, to secure an ingress point. That’s already plenty hard, but taking a forest doesn’t end with entering it – fire support only solves the problem of perimeter defenses.

Once both players have a presence in the same forest,  the second type of wargame battle starts – infantry fighting in enclosed spaces. This has completely different requirements from open battles. The stuff you need to secure entry – heavy tanks and reliable AA – is almost useless for this second phase. An underfunded defender can therefore negate his enemy’s armor advantage by retreating his infantry to the inner part of the forest and focusing on winning the infantry fight:


100 points of red units win against 200 points of blue units due to red focusing on infantry while most of blue’s points had to be spent on armor to gain entry to the forest.

In this case, blue would have done best by keeping his fire support outside the forest, while the infantry occupies the outer edge and keeps the entry point safe. Instead of venturing further inside to try to completely drive red out, blue would call for infantry reinforcements first. After amassing enough infantry blue could try to challenge red for the remainder of the forest. This is where the difference between canadian rifles and delta force becomes important  – in infantry versus infantry “meatgrinders” we need the most cost-efficient fighters we can get. And there’s a lot of choices..

To the next guide post: Basic forest technique


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