Battle group Pipes

bongotastic

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Here is an AAR. Enjoy!

20CMBG is required to defend a desert town against three OPFOR tank Bn. The terrain is wide open across a valley approximatively 4km wide, the visibility is down to 2km due to the weather. 20CMBG is made of three tanks squadrons, one Mech Coy, one Anti-armor section (TOW on M113) and one SP mortar section.

The overall plan is to create a shell around the OA Huron. 1TS will provide a screen to the North of OA Huron and use the high ground of OA Banook as a pivot for a sweep of the defense’s flank. 2TS will position itself south of OA Banook and proceed to PL Harper to engage OPFOR in the open, far from OA Huron. 3TS will advance over the high ground to the south up to PL Harper to covert the southern flank and act as a reserve for 2TS if needed. The infantry will dismount their mortar section and relocate on the edge of the built-up area on OA Huron to setup a second line of defense. The FOO will occupy OA Banook and report on ENY activities up to PL Martin. My intention was to have 2TS be my main force and attempt to use 1+3TS to funnel OPFOR into a kill zone.

The first 10 minutes
1TS first detect and engage one of the OPFOR Bn, assisted with 155mm ICM, the column shatters into plenty of Plt-sized unit scattering ASAP away from the gunfire. Seeing this turn of event, I order 1TS to keep on advancing while OPFOR is being shelled. The advance of OPFOR in this sector is stopped completely at heavy cost in Canadian’s armor. As I attempt to withdraw my limping tanks toward OA Huron, some scouts and what appears to be a brand new Bn hugging the northern edge of the map finish 1TS off.

2TS are locating a very large formation of armor inside PL Martin and engage. Almost all 155mm available gets assigned to support them. Again, the artillery scatter the OPFOR Bn as long range fire and more ICM shelling cause heavy casualities on Red. 2TS suffers very heavy casuality and must retreat behind a smoke screen only some 500m away from OA Huron. So much for a defense in depth anymore.

3TS is struggling on the high ground and rough terrain. By the time they can perform a flanking maneuver, there is not enough elements left in 2TS to pursue the attack. OPFOR is now scattered and I doubt that the fire support will be as effective as in the past few minutes (as it was fantastically effective in the first place).

Fire Support I spent all my time before the engagement fire ranging shots to register as many coordinates as possible. As I only have two strike from my US friend MLRS systems, I intend to use them only if I have a very good solution. The problem is that the battle lasted for barely 5 minutes, and by the time I had a good solution, OPFOR was then scattered. I ended-up cancelling the MLRS strike.

Mech Coy + antitanks section deployed they mortar sections and proceeded around the town’s limits. The 60mm mortars did not have the range to support the main effort, and due to OPFOR shelling on the edge of town, I decided to cancel the deployment into the town. As the battle has been lighting fast, I fear that a static defense under ENY shelling was a poor gamble to take.

The outstanding issue here is whether the full Arm Coy seen in the north was a fragment of the shattered Bn from the previous engagement or a brand new formation. I do not have many platforms anymore to run around the battlefield, and frankly overestimated the survivability of the C2 vs the T-72. If I am right to think that the force that opposed 2TS were in fact 2 Bn, I think that the OPFOR assault is broken and I can cautiously wait for the next 50 minutes: prepare good registers to focus the fire support and everything should be OK. If the flanking force is a full size Bn, I am in trouble since the only force that can oppose it is at the other extremity of the map.

Up to 30 minutes
The charge from the North materialized, 1TS and 2TS are evaporated and only a few elements of 3TS are left after the counter attack on the 2nd advancing Bn. I shifted the infantry to the north, deployed them in the open and retired the APC behind the Eryx’s teams screen. The riflemen seems to be pretty resilient to ENY fire, but the APC are not much more than fodder. At min 30, considering the number and type of spotted OPFOR, my available units and that my fire support had ran out, I decided to pull out. I scramble anything with a personel carrying ability to pick up everyone under a screen of smoke. It is not a gamey decision, but I don’t think that I can achieve my objective so there is no point in sacrifying whats left of my force.

The last 30minutes.
A rear action is taking place, my few tanks left and the TOW-M113 section are giving hell to OPFOR. However, without shelling to support, their advance resume and there is nothing that I can do about it. Shortly before minute 40, I get a fresh supply of artillery fire! With a new complement of ICM and two volley of MLRS strikes, I decide that I possibly can hold for 20 minutes. I order every one to assume picket position around OA Huron to direct the artillery. The TOW-M113 section and the last few tanks are doing the killing while the shelling keeps OPFOR pinned. Two mostly blind MLRS strike later, the only OPFOR that gets spotted are riflemen. With 10 minutes to go and enough HE shells to last until 17:59, the outcome end up being a TacOps victory. However, I don’t see it as such, with 89% attrition. It turned out as a successful delay action, not as a decisive victory as I owe the victory almost exclusively to the lucky 2nd batch of fire support ammunition.


Lessons from Pipes v.1
1 . A tank squadron and a OPFPR tank Bn mutually anihilate each other in clear terrain. Therefore, I should have concentrated my main effort with two tank Sqdrons and not worry about having a strong screen throughout their lines of advances. OPFOR could only get even by coordinating pincer movements or by concentrating likewise, which the AI didn’t do.
2. My situational awareness was bad. Every vehicles would get blown to pieces as soon as spotted in open terrain and bad whether (which forced shorter detection ranges). Having known about the lack of mobility at the end the the scenario, I wouldn’t have retreated.
3. It is hard to maximize the effect of a MLRS strikes in a very fluid situation, but shelling of even HE ammunition seemed to be enough to pin OPFOR in place long enough for them to get nailed.
4. If OPFOR would not have bothered with a long, long flanking maneuver but a coordinated effort, with focussed fire support: Blue would have had a real hard time to pull this one as a “mission accomplished”.

I may try to replay this scenario while playing both sides, just to see whether I am right on point 4.


Final Report from TacOPS


Time Left: 0 minutes
Mission results:
Blue - Mission accomplished
Red - Mission failure
Point results:
Blue Attrition Points - 16136
Red Attrition Points - 6112

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Blue Status:

UNIT START NOW ELIM EXITED

Tank Leopard C2(+) Cmd.......... 6 2 4 0
Tank Leopard C2(+).............. 48 0 48 0
APC M113........................ 16 3 13 0
Inf HQ Command [-].............. 4 1 3 0
Inf HQ Ops Tm................... 3 1 2 0
ATGM Eryx....................... 1 0 1 0
Mortar 60mm..................... 4 4 0 0
Inf Section + Eryx.............. 9 5 4 0
ATGMV M113 TUA.................. 8 0 8 0
APC Coyote Command.............. 1 0 1 0
Inf Team w LMG.................. 1 0 1 0
FSCV FOO/MFC M113............... 1 0 1 0
FSCE FOO Team................... 1 0 1 0
Mortar Carrier 81mm Bison....... 4 0 4 0

Force Lethality Value, Start: 6794
Force Lethality Value, Now: 682
Casualty percentage: 89
Force Lethality Ratio, Start: 1:2.6
Force Lethality Ratio, Now: 1:2.1

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Red Status:

UNIT START NOW ELIM EXITED

APC BRDM2....................... 21 3 18 0
Inf Team........................ 25 11 14 0
Tank T72M [IQ91]................ 168 0 168 0
APC BMP1 IFV.................... 48 5 43 0
Inf Squad....................... 36 16 20 0
Inf MG 7.62mm PKM Team.......... 24 8 16 0
ATGMV BRDM2 Spandrel............ 3 0 3 0

Force Lethality Value, Start: 17574
Force Lethality Value, Now: 1438
Casualty percentage: 91
Force Lethality Ratio, Start: 2.6:1
Force Lethality Ratio, Now: 2.1:1


The attachement is the snapshot after 30min, when I chickened out for a brief moment.
 
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dhuffjr

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Good review. I've found that with the OPFOR I can often have more success using the numbers to push through hard and fast vs flanking. Of course there are always exceptions. I like a little flanking unit to see what opens up on a flank for a possible shift of focus.
 

GCoyote

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Nice review. I would also have liked to see a screen shot of your starting deployment or the moment of enemy contact.

I have not played the Canadian version of this battle and may have to give this one a try.
 

bongotastic

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Situation on contact

There you go, it happened very quickly on minute 7.

In hindsight, I really should have massed my armor. The 2000m visibility range, although short, did not justify such a broad deployment. By the time I would make contact, I could only return fire with <50% of my direct fire platforms. I somehow should have made use of my thermal sight with smoke screens: but I found hard to divert away from shelling with ICM since OPFOR was very concentrated.

I rarely played Canadian scenario, although I'm from there. To tell you the truth, I've never seen a Leopard in person, and I have no clear memory of seeing a Canadian tank on TV. As a sad testimony of Canada's pride and tradition for the armed force, the only armor that I have seen on the east-coast is when the Wehrmacht ferried a large number of tanks and APC through the port of Halifax on their way back from Alberta.

What I like about the canadian scenarios is the presence of support vehicles in some. I like the distraction of taking care of ambulances, wreckers and command posts, even if it doesn't do anything to the "game". I modified the USMC scenario DeGoey at some point in this direction. It could make a decent AAR some day :( .
 

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bongotastic said:
There you go, it happened very quickly on minute 7.

In hindsight, I really should have massed my armor. The 2000m visibility range, although short, did not justify such a broad deployment. By the time I would make contact, I could only return fire with <50% of my direct fire platforms. I somehow should have made use of my thermal sight with smoke screens: but I found hard to divert away from shelling with ICM since OPFOR was very concentrated. . .
In scenarios where the visibility is limited, I like to try and have a company/team on line to take out the lead OPFOR platoons while they are still in column. If I can't manage that I try to set up ambushes so I can pick off my more numerous opponent with flank shot but not expose my own thin sides. The jagged edge of the NE high ground actually lends itself to the later tactic if the OPFOR doesn't advance on the high ground itself.
 

bongotastic

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In this scenario, OPFOR smuggled almost 1/2 of all its force on this high ground, way out of sight. They flanked my TS sweeping to the north. Because of the poor visibility, this high ground requires to thin even more the scouts if you want to cover everything. Maybe the scenario should be played like a naval battle: send low-cost picket ahead (empty M113) and use the armor to "intercept" the incoming OPFOR. OPFOR can counter this with a good timing on a pincer maneuver, though.

I'd post the replay files, but the zip exceeds the file size limit.

I personally find the use of map edges quite gamey, the AI didn't seem to care though, and hugged it out of sight all the way to the west map edge :devious:
 

dhuffjr

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You need to look at the individual file size and guestimate how many per zipped file and do zip1 zip2 zip3 etc.
 

bongotastic

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yeah, I thought about this. I'm re-playing the scenario so I'll wait. So far, the old WWII wisdom of concentration of armor is giving spectacular results.
 

GCoyote

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bongotastic said:
In this scenario, OPFOR smuggled almost 1/2 of all its force on this high ground, way out of sight. They flanked my TS sweeping to the north. Because of the poor visibility, this high ground requires to thin even more the scouts if you want to cover everything. Maybe the scenario should be played like a naval battle: send low-cost picket ahead (empty M113) and use the armor to "intercept" the incoming OPFOR. OPFOR can counter this with a good timing on a pincer maneuver, though.
Not a bad plan. That or some small infantry units that can hide for the duration.
bongotastic said:
I personally find the use of map edges quite gamey, the AI didn't seem to care though, and hugged it out of sight all the way to the west map edge :devious:
Not an uncommon problem in computer games. I think we have another thread discussing the open flanks problem.
 

fbscheuer

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bongotastic said:
I somehow should have made use of my thermal sight with smoke screens: but I found hard to divert away from shelling with ICM since OPFOR was very concentrated.
You have to realize how powerful your thermal sights are when the enemy is not so equipped. Your well-written and exciting AAR got me interested in this scenario, so I played it yesterday, and I won with 4% casualties while OPFOR had 100%, and I did not lose a single tank or ATGM vehicle. I also did not fire a single MLRS mission, or ICM artillery on OPFOR AFVs. Why? Because I used SOP "pop smoke when fire or fired upon". OPFOR could never see my units. And with 12 million resupply points in this scenario I never ran out of smoke.

Also note that the Leopards are invulnerable to all OPFOR direct fire from the frontal arc.

Fredrik
 

bongotastic

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Frederik,

You are right, I re-started the scenario two days ago (I play very slowly). I am halfway through the scenario again, and I get excellent results using smoke and keeping my tanks concentrated. The reason why I get a bit more casualty than you do is because I pop smoke only when fired upon instead of when I'm firing. Your post made me realize that it should be better to do it up front and right away.

Thanks, I knew that 90% casulaty was unreasonable in this scenario...
 

fbscheuer

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If you wait until you are fired upon there is a good chance it will be too late to pop smoke:)

Also, familiarize yourself with the Supply option if you didn´t already, as you only have 3 salvoes of smoke grenades on each vehicle, and they may run out. It also helps to split vehicle markers into individual vehicles, so that not a whole platoon pops smoke if only one vehicle fires.

Good luck!

Fredrik
 

dhuffjr

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Test it to see but you'll use the same amount of smoke. The vehicle smoke system is to cover that vehicle only. The markers have 3 smoke rounds. Whether it is a platoon marker or an individual vehicle.

Two vehicle sections have merits, but not for saving smoke rounds.
 

fbscheuer

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dhuffjr said:
Test it to see but you'll use the same amount of smoke. The vehicle smoke system is to cover that vehicle only. The markers have 3 smoke rounds. Whether it is a platoon marker or an individual vehicle.

Two vehicle sections have merits, but not for saving smoke rounds.
Yes it will. If one out of four vehicles fires, you will consume a total of 4 smoke rounds if they are joined together, but only 1 smoke round if you split them beforehand. Just tested it.
 

dhuffjr

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Yes and no, look again. It is referred to as "smoke capability". I just tested the basic training scenerio with the 4 tank "icon" popping smoke and the next turn is listed as having 2 vs the 3 capability for smoke it started with. Same with the AAVP7s that I split and had each pop smoke, all four icons on turn two have a smoke capability of 2.

Now for game gimicry and a bug report:devious: I used the umpire feature to drop in a civilian truck (redfor) next to the units and deleted the infantry so they would not shoot. One vehicle dispatched the truck letting me resupply it which when I did it bumped the smoke capability up to 3 again. When I then joined the three AAVP7s into one marker the smoke capability was 3 even though two of the units was at 2 before joining with the 3 smoke capability unit.
 

fbscheuer

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Of course, if every vehicle pops smoke, you will consume smoke for each of them. But if less than all vehicles fire, then the ones not firing will not pop smoke if they are split into individual markers.

And smoke blocks sight along the graphics outline, so all vehicles in the same location will be covered even if only one pops smoke.

Smoke is resupplied when you otherwise resupply, but you cannot only resupply the smoke. I consider that a bug.

"This is logistics, how can I be of service?"

"This is 3rd platoon! We need more smoke grenades now! There are russkis everywhere, closing in!"

"Ah, I see. What other ammunition would you like to order?"

"Nothing, we are fully loaded! But I need more smoke now! Fast!"

"I am sorry, but the offer for free extra smoke grenades is only valid if you order at least one TOW missile or 15 rounds of Bushmaster shells. Have a good day, sir."

"What!!? But... Aaargh!"
 

dhuffjr

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fbscheuer said:
Of course, if every vehicle pops smoke, you will consume smoke for each of them. But if less than all vehicles fire, then the ones not firing will not pop smoke if they are split into individual markers.
I see what your saying now. Pop smoke if fire or fired upon. Three markers one fires and thus uses smoke covering all three. Combining the units at that point will make them have a capacity of three, that was last night. I can't replicate that today. When you combine a 2 capability unit with a three capability unit the game is all of the units in the new marker to 2, that is a bug I think.
 

dhuffjr

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Guys lets keep the smoke discusion appart from the AAR. I created a Smoke Issues thread in the main forum and am trying to edit it down to the relavent threads.....as soon as I figure it out:blab: .
 
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