Maneuvering (UFO2000)

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Every single decision you make concerning the position of your soldiers is called maneuvering. Maneuvering is NOT merely moving soldiers, is to consider their tactical position on the map and relate it to their attacking or defending objectives. Most of the times maneuvering is a calculated risk: leave the support team on that position hoping that the enemy won't be able to counter attack them; pressing an attack, hoping that the other player hadn't been able to reinforce a position. Maneuvering also relates to being able to figure out the other guy's battle plan and prevent him from moving successfully, thus requiring intelligence (see section 13 for that subject).

Movement range

This is the most important factor, to know how much each of your soldiers can move in a single turn, and also the enemy's. It determines how far you can see and spot enemy units to be engaged, and how much the enemy can walk to see you. Also, a flying unit can reach places unaccessible to other units.

Distance from cover

If your unit cannot reach cover from sight after performing all of its supposed actions, then it can be caught in the open. To minimize unnecessary losses it is better to always try to place your units behind cover (smoke or walls).

Type of terrain

Some map features (the grassed map patches on Farm, for instance) consume more TUs per square to move. Other maps have fences and buildings that will limit the paths that can be taken to reach a position.

Fatigue

Even with the stamina stat set to 80 a scout will have fatigue problems if he moves for the duration of several turns. This can be only minimized by certain techniques, such as deliberately alternating between moving and firing but it is very common for units to become exhausted and limit your maneuvering.

Left CTRL and Reaction Reserve Buttons

When moving use Left CTRL as much as possible. Above all, it will show you how really far you can move instead of guesses that can prove quite deadly. And if you want to keep enough TUs for shots use the buttons too. One way to limit fatigue is to deliberately set units with a reserve shot to prevent them from spending too much stamina. But this will also limit their movement.

Summary of factors affecting maneuver

  • Observation and fields of fire: how far can your units see (and fire) as they are advancing? What are the blind spots?
  • Cover and concealment: where does the terrain provide cover (protection for enemy fire) and concealment (protection from enemy observation)?
  • Obstacles: where are they and how to avoid them?
  • Key terrain: what are the features that provide a clear advantage to the side that controls them?
  • Avenues of approach: this combines the 4 previous factors. Avenues of approach are areas that allow for observation, provide cover, have minimum obstacles, and allow rapid access to a key terrain/objective. Defenders should pay close attention to avenues of approach while attacking forces should make use of them to quickly achieve their objectives.