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Old 10-19-2011, 11:51 AM   #1

jerkzilla's Avatar
Default APCs: Thoughts about their role

I'd first like to point out that, yes, there are plenty of threads pertaining to APCs in this sections of the forums, but all are quite specific, usually talking about a specific vehicle or problem.
Also if this is too long, just scroll to the end.

My intent here is to discuss their effectiveness in their supposed role, transport and fire support, and the conditions that need to be met in order for them to fulfill that role.

Let's start with their supposed primary purpose: transporting infantry. So far, in my experience (feel free to disagree), I've only ever seen them used for transport in 2 situations and neither of these happen very often:

1. Immediately after a JDAM for short distances, and it often feels like it's done more for show than anything else.

2. When there are no FOBs and transport helos are down. If your team is ever in this situation and not at the beginning of the round, well, you're probably not going to get transport either .

The way I see it, APCs have 2 advantages: speed and firepower. You'd think they make perfect assets for wide flanking maneuvers, as yours will be the only infantry squad close by and the APC can make up for that lack of fire support. But when 1 LAT can score 8 kills and 10 tickets (or whatever value they have now) worth of damage, combined with the fact that they make a TON of noise and you need to cover a distance that much bigger, it's not hard to see why infantry prefer moving on foot. I think Wanda Shan was sort of a lesson in that.

Now onto their second role, fire support.

You'd think they're doing this very well as it stands but they really are acting more like mini-tanks fighting a battle parallel to that of the infantry. Sure if they get enough kills they will make a difference, but you rarely see them consistently covering infantry, which is to say, they aren't very reliable.

This is because no APC driver in their right mind will stand around because that's where the infantry needs them to be. Mobility is their greatest defense, standard "procedure" is to always be on the move, stopping for very short periods of time, all in a not very predictable manner. It's good for harassing the enemy, but not to suppress on command. It's no surprise that infantry don't bother coordinating with APCs since these need to do their own thing to survive.

The reason this happens is that taking a LAT shot virtually anywhere will pretty much kill you (getting tracked is, in most cases, a death sentence). Surviving a LAT without losing mobility is something that happens very rarely and thus hardly inspires any confidence.

So my conclusion is that APCs are too vulnerable to a weapon available to practically all infantry squads in order to accomplish teamwork oriented goals. I understand PRs general idea of promoting caution, but as it is now you're either forced to stay well back with minimal impact on the outcome, or do your own thing without much input from the infantry, or just hope the enemy team is blatantly incompetent.

Having 2 shots to the side completely destroy an APC, with one taking out the turret control, and 1 to the rear to make it burn would give them enough leeway to attempt to get their hands dirty without turning everything with legs into their metaphorical b****, and even get rid of their reputation as metal coffins for whoever is in the back.
I'm not sure how realistic this is, but I feel it would make gameplay much more varied for both infantry and APCs.

This signature is here due to lack of imagination.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:07 PM   #2

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Default Re: APCs: Thoughts about their role

Actually I prefer the APCs attack the enemy and get them pinned down, afterword infantry moves up on foot to capture or kill the objective, killing a cashe or securing a flag. APCs resoponsiblity to transport infantry in minimal because, APCs are east to kill can if a squad is in it your team stands to lose about 25 tickets. Also because most of the more common APCs like the Stryker/LAV-3 have no ability for the infantry in the back to look out and get a tactical awareness that you can only get on foot or in a light vehicle.

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Old 10-20-2011, 06:44 AM   #3

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Default Re: APCs: Thoughts about their role

Exactly my point, if APCs could afford to close in on the enemy, you'd see them used more as transport.

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:01 PM   #4

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Default Re: APCs: Thoughts about their role

The main problem for me is that they are slow and dangerous for a squad to take compared to taking a chopper, they also mean that a squad cannot set up a FOB unless there is a following logi truck.
The 128 tends to do better with APC usage as it enables full mechanised infantry squads to operate where you get the support directly to that squad so both can operate more efficently. Without direct coms to the APC covering it can be very difficult for the APC and infantry to co-ordinate effectively.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:03 PM   #5
Default Re: APCs: Thoughts about their role

When your vehicle is made of paper, you don't have much choice in your tactics.

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Old 10-21-2011, 02:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: APCs: Thoughts about their role

I was thinking the same thing the other day while playing some Muttrah.

APCs are great at providing transport and some infantry fire support. However, especially on Muttrah but not exclusively, the APCs can have a very limited lifespan near the front. With 2 HAT kits per 32 players and now the added TOW emplacements, it is just too easy to lose this great asset.

I think its great though to get hit by a LAT and limp back to a repair station as its great for gameplay.

PR player since 0.5 (Feb 2007)
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:10 AM   #7

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Default Re: APCs: Thoughts about their role

I like APC's to have the role of armored personnel carrier personally.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:56 AM   #8

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Default Re: APCs: Thoughts about their role

"An armoured personnel carrier (APC) is an armoured fighting vehicle designed to transport infantry to the battlefield."

Armoured personnel carrier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"An infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), also known as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle (MICV), is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to carry infantry into battle and provide fire support for them."

Infantry fighting vehicle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I like the second one more.

APCs suck for a reason. They're 2.5 ton trucks with bullet shields on them. An IFV is supposed to work with the inf.

My main issue with people saying an APC (*cough* IFV) isn't effective at the front is because people don't work with them in an appropriate manner.

Example: Muttrah - In a dense urban setting armor is never supposed to act alone or ahead of infantry. They are incredibly vulnerable to shoulder mounted and static Anti-Tank weaponry in this setting. The standard solution to this issue is to use the IFV to lock down the streets and advance with the infantry rooting out enemy AT threats in the surrounding buildings. In Muttrah the APCs or IFVs or whatever do their part of this, and so does the infantry. The problem is that they don't work together very well. Most of the time if you can get an APC to stop shooting stuff and running around like an idiot they just drive you somewhere and the relationship ends there, even when you're on mumble together.

Mumble affords us the opportunity to use the combined arms aspect of the IFV properly. You can have squads talking to the crewmen clearing the roads or agreeing on how they'll move ahead. No HAT kit is gonna waste a round on infantry when armor is in the area and at the very least infantry can spot enemy positions and locate likely AT positions and work with the APC crews to attack them in a way which negates or limits the AT threat.

Its not perfect and I'm not saying that it'll magically improve APC survivability in urban settings, but it can work better. Often infantry in buildings get cut off and assaulted in turn while cut off. APCs can keep them safe from the street while they use the elevation to scout with binos and lay fire from their positions knowing they're relatively safe. APCs can use comms to cautiously advance knowing the infantry have at least tried to clear likely AT positions rather than just sit back or go balls to the wall driving ahead hoping they dont get HAT'd.

Another thing to consider is that if you're in a non urban or mixed terrain situation, like a map with open ground, heavy brush and forest, and urban spawl all mixed together the APC offers a fast and safe way to get to a point where the infantry can proceed to attack a position while the APC sits back and puts fire down from a position or an angle that limits or prevents returning AT fire. This works really well in any map like Dragonfly or Shijia (or whatever its called).

On the other hand, going back to the APC versus IFV definition, some of these vehicles are definitely not IFVs and just APCs. Warrior is the obvious candidate. Its weak, its slow, its loud, and its gun isn't much compared to say a BMP. This vehicle is definitely best used to transport to the outskirts of contact (usually on extra large maps something like Burning Sands) and can then use its gun with thermals to do some long range suppression or area damage. In this situation its better to let the MBTs do what they're good at.

Finally, as for the preference of having a chopper ride cause then you don't need a logi to follow you, well thats just part and parcel of having a coordinated team. If you can get the crewmen to play along with you past dropping you off then you can probably get someone to drive a logi up to you. Not every bit of infantry maneuvering is about establishing FOBs. Sometimes you want some armor to push up with you and use the big guns to help you take a position before you think about burning a free bundle of tickets in a vulnerable mad charging Logi truck on the horizon.

I've seen plenty of examples of APCs acting like proper IFVs in organized play before. It works, it just takes people who understand the tactical and strategic limitations of the armor piece. It also takes a willingness to actually coordinate. Its not the asset thats broken (usually) its the players and how they approach the game.

End thesis.


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Last edited by PFunk; 10-21-2011 at 08:01 AM..
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: APCs: Thoughts about their role

Mech inf squads are sometimes very succesful.

If inf could stay infront of APCs it would be a good move.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:36 PM   #10

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Default Re: APCs: Thoughts about their role

Trouble is that the flanks in PR are never protected.. The APC is always an island even with infantry, meaning they have to worry about 4 sides instead of just the objective.

Hopefully in 128 servers there is enough support to allow for a 'front line' of sorts? That would at least allow fire to be directed on the assault objective.

Either that or 'Mech Inf' squads should have an APC and two full squads of inf, one for security and the other for assault. But I think this is far too complex and will/can never happen.

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