Training Mission 4: COMMAND & CONTROL
This is the fourth and last article in a series describing tactical principles and game mechanics in the four Training Missions available in the game Theatre of War from 1C Company and Battlefront.com.
This time, the experiences and lessons of the first three training sessions all come together, and the player will have to learn to apply them to a fast changing and fluid battlefield, where he might be required to switch from offense to defense and back within a matter of minutes.
The mission consists of five objectives to be completed in order with the infantry squad (later reinforced by a tank and air support) under his command.
1- advance towards the crossroads ahead
2- assault and eliminate the German defenders
3- repel the German counterattack
4- destroy and capture the enemy Anti-tank guns
5- destroy the German armored reserve
We're beginning the mission with a rifle squad in travelling position near a small hamlet located at a beautiful lake.
The first objective is simple, and refreshes the lesson about how to use formations - the goal is to advance in double-column formation down the road towards the village. We select the squad by double-clicking on the commander icon, and click on the "Dash" button (showing a kneeling soldier). This instructs the squad into a more cautious stance. We'll be advancing towards an unknown village after all.
Expanding the game interface, we issue a rotate order to face the squad into the correct direction (down the road).
But the first main task is to open the Briefings/Orders window. This is done by clicking on the little envelope icon on top of the minimap or on the bigger envelope visible when a new (or completed) task appears on the main map.
The Briefings window displays all current tasks, and by clicking on each, you also get a corrseponding tactical map, which shows the tactical situation, objectives as well as the proposed course of action. The map above leaves no dout - advance and take the village. Expect resistance.
First, we order the squad to assume a travelling double-column formation. This will allow the squad to advance quickly down the road. In combination with the cautious movement stance the result is a typical patrol towards an unknown objective.
Did I mention that the lake is beautiful?