Table of Contents
3. Vehicle Choice
8. Dealing with Contact
9. Defensive Posture
10. Change Log
This guide is aimed towards missions where convoying from one point to another, either to provide aid, extract a HVT or something similar is the aim, and not the convoying first done in the usual missions we play. The convoy process will typically form the core of the mission and be the main objective. Big thanks to @Sarissafor his cliff notes on this approach and Platooning the mission which inspired me to write this.
Convoying has a number of best practices and processes which when followed will make the mission a lot easier for the Platoon as a whole. While these will not always be applicable due to changing situations, they should be followed when and where possible.
As the adage goes - “No plan survives contact with the enemy”. This is especially true on Convoys. Routes will most likely be mined, ambushed or blocked, information can become rapidly outdated as the enemy reacts to your movements.
As a result, have pre-planned set of waypoints along the central route so you can halt and reorganise the Platoon as and when needed. Having waypoints has the added benefit of making the overall route seem smaller with bitsize sections as you will be going point to point. This allows infantry to remain focused and have areas where situations can be dealt with rather than going flat out to the end marker and wiping the platoon due to attrition of either men or materials.
You should be prepared to alter the route on the fly to avoid ambushes that have been scouted, as well as roadblocks and other obstacles. This includes the waypoints. Once the plan is made, be prepared to be flexible with it and adapt it to situation.
3. Vehicle Choice
The ideal vehicle choice for convoy missions is 2 Armed Soft Skinned Vehicles per Squad (Think HMMWV's). This allows for flexibility when dealing with threats, allows for more options when dealing with formations and tactics such as using outriders.
The reason for such a vehicle choice is to allow the Squads to fully leverage the Fireteam system as well as all members of the Squad. If the entire squad is loaded into a single MRAP style vehicle, rather than a Armed Soft skin, multiple members of the squad will be ineffective due to not be able to support via their small arms out of the window. Additionally this causes less critical incidents when a vehicle is struck by AT or heavy calibre weapons, as it allows at least one other team to manoeuvre and assist rather than the entire squad being wiped. Due to the nature of the vehicles as well, they are more manoeuvrable, allowing more flexible routes, faster convoys and rapid response to situations. The trade off is the lack of armour.
Having multiple armed vehicles also allows for greater sector coverage while convoying, as guns facing different areas will be able to spot different targets as they move i.e. a Squad of Hostile Infantry appears over a berm that a lead vehicle did not spot will still be seen.
Comms are the most important thing in convoys. A platoon leader needs clear and concise Comms. Remember that all Vehicles can hear the Platoon Lead and other Squad Leads as they all have a Long Range radio built in. If you need a specific Vehicle to do something, they can be directly commanded by either the Platoon Lead or the Squad Lead.
To help facilitate this, it is useful to designate each vehicle as such (Example assumes 2 Armed Vehicles per squad)
Make sure to inform Squad Leads to relay this to their Squads, and to ensure drivers *are* on 69. That way this quick reference can be used. This allows the platoon with a quick reference to how the formation of the convoy was initially drawn up, to order individual Vehicles from squads to execute an order. This should only be done if it needs to be executed as an immediate request otherwise the normal chain of command should be followed.
The Platoon Lead and Squad Leads need to be clear, concise and confident. If you panic then your formation will break down and the mission will be lost. Even if it is as simple as calmly staying on 69 to tell squads to push out of a kill box, telling them to keep pushing - staying calm and collected can prevent drivers from panicking and stopping. Squad Leads should keep Comms as clear as possible, the lead Vehicle or Outrider Squad may spot something that needs immediate reports to be sent back. General Comm etiquette should be followed as anywhere else.
A hard and fast rule for convoys is quite simply - Do not stop unless absolutely needed or ordered. Stopping when you come into an ambush or contact of any sort is a sure fire way to have the convoy trapped in a kill box and destroyed. Contacts and kill boxes should always be pushed through to the other side, if anyone got trapped or stuck due to driver incapacitation or their Vehicle being disabled then Platoon can form a plan to go back and assist but only after pushing through to the other side.
Stopping and assisting immediately inside any contact typically leads to more Vehicles being disabled and more casualties and the situation rapidly spirals out of control.
Identifying key parts of incoming contact can help dictate the direction of movement for the Platoon. Is a 50cal firing from your direct front? Need to take an alternate route otherwise you are driving straight into an emplacement or worse. But the convoy should always push through these situations and reorganise on the other side.
There are a few exceptions to this due to the mission critical nature of them, but that will be covered in a later section (8. Dealing with contact).
All vehicles should maintain adequate spacing of at least 10-20 meters between them. When travelling all vehicles should attempt to maintain this dispersion to allow for emergency braking or avoidance of hazards (also to prevent Arma from Armaing the convoy).
This also gives adequate space to ensure contact on one vehicle does not immediately affect the next vehicle as they will have time to react. Moreover this reduces the risk of multiple vehicles being taken out by single Explosives, such as roadside bombs, AT etc.
The ideal formation is to dispatch 2 Vehicles (1 squad) to operate approximately 1klick (Kilometre) in front of the convoy as an outrider/recon unit (more on them later) to try and spot potential threats or ambushes. Every other vehicle should be watching alternate angles. Ex: Vehicle 1 has it's gun facing front, Vehicle 2 facing left, Vehicle 3 facing right, 4 left, 5 right, 6 left etc with the last Vehicle facing the rear.
Ensure that this is covered in the initial Platoon wide briefing, both the exact formation being used as well as which Vehicles are to have their gun where. This prevents any gaps from forming from lack of information as well as ensuring who in the Convoy has what role.
As mentioned in the previous section this should be 2 Vehicles consisting of 1 Squad to operate ahead of the convoy as a forward probing element. Their job is to scout for potential roadblocks, IEDs, Static ambushes etc. Anything that could potentially divert or alter the convoy's course as it needs to be noted ahead of time. In an ideal world they should operate at most, 1klick (Kilometre) ahead of the convoy, any greater and the information they provide is too far out by the time the convoy reaches it to be accurate, any closer and they will lose their flexibility and effectiveness.
This being said, an Outrider element is not the be all, end all of your vision and intelligence gathering. Hostiles will wait until they pass, come from areas not visible to them etc. Just because an Outrider does not come into contact 500m down a road does not mean you won’t too. Anticipate the enemy being aware and working around your Outrider element and do not become lax in the information they provide you. They can only do so much with the vision they have.
If for whatever reason an Outrider element falls behind, use the next waypoint to ensure they are at the head of the convoy again and operating as before. Without an outrider, ambushes, roadblocks and other course altering issues only become apparent when it is too late to do anything about them.
8. Dealing with contact
When a convoy takes contact, Vehicles should never willingly stop without Platoon authorisation. When ambushed a convoy must continue moving to break out of the ambush area - the kill box. If any Vehicles are damaged or otherwise left behind; rescue attempts should not be made until the majority of the convoy is safe and outside of the kill box. Once outside the kill box, the convoy should halt (when ordered by Platoon) and form a defensive perimeter while the Platoon leader decides how best to continue. Do this by attempting to contact stranded Vehicles to discern if there are any survivors. If there are, half the platoon strength should head back to the ambush area to free them, the other half should hold defensive posture.
As mentioned earlier there is an exception to the “Do Not Stop” rule and that is If the convoy is trapped in a kill box with the Target Vehicle(s) (either containing HVTs or Mission critical supplies) becoming damaged and disabled, then the convoy should immediately halt and adopt a defensive position until all Vehicles can once again continue moving.
If the Kill box is heavy, then immediate focus should be getting as many Vehicles operational as possible by the time the Target Vehicle(s) are good to begin rolling again. Once it is, the above situation applies where the Kill Box is pushed through, defensive positions made and the situation of those left behind assessed.
9. Defensive Positions
Depending on the severity of contact there are a couple of standard defensive positions that can be used:
Alternatively called Fish bone - when a halt is called the vehicles should pull off of the road at approximately a 45 degree angle, alternating depending on their weapon facing. This is best with sporadic fire that is light and inaccurate. Passengers should dismount and push approximately 20-25 meters away from their vehicles and provide security.
Alternatively known as Circling or Wagon Wheeling - for when a halt is called or required due to multiple Vehicles being damaged/a target VIP Vehicle being immobilised in an ambush site.
The convoy should immediately begin to provide a rough circle or screen around a central point. This can either be the platoon victor or a target/objective victor or a combination of the two. Infantry should dismount and provide security in a 360 degree fashion. If there is a target victor then ideally 2 other victors should pull up alongside to act as body shields - these vehicles should already be chosen for this task. The circle shouldn't be "bumper to bumper" but rather an attempt to provide cover for medical personnel to treat wounds and not be stuck in the open.
Once contacts have diminished or the convoy is in a position to continue movement then the platoon leader should call for all teams to remount and reform convoy formation.
10. Change Log
V1.1 - 27/05/2020 - Minor fixes and adjustments. Added in things from @Silberjojo's feedback
V1.0 - 27/05/2020 - Posted initial guide
Edited by Cyico