Vortex CPX after action reviews

JohnfMonahan

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Vortex CPX RED CO AAR

CPX AAR from John Monahan, Red CO

First of all this was the best CPX ever. I have never participated in a CPX where the players wanted to quit before the game crashed. Jeff will explain what he did but the short answer is that using a normal PC behind a firewall is a recipe for failure. The Microsoft software is just too fragile. I am a geek and willing to discuss this with anyone but the proof is in the pudding!

The Red team chose me as the CO by default a looong time ago. We had about 300 emails in our planning. Two dry runs. Over 50+ hours by Rattles, my staff officer, in preparation. Multiple iterations of task organization, OPPLANs, overlays etc. Rattlers’ work really made it happen for us. My using my Vonage phone to call him free for long discussions helped too (he lives on Majorca)..

Out Brigade had two BTR Battalions, one BMP Battalion, one T-72 Battalion, one 122 self propelled Artillery Battalion reinforced with one each 122 and a 220 mm RL batteries, a
logistics Battalion, reconnaissance Company and the other assorted stuff. I organized into three combined arms battalions and a tank battalion. This gave us BMPs in the forward elements
to kill the 20mm armed Ratal APCs and tanks. The BTRs were infantry carrying targets with only a 14.5 MG. We attacked on a broad front. This was due to the traffic issues we
discovered in a dry run. We did not want to put more that one Battalion over each bridge. We brushed aside the platoon of infantry on the border and ambushed a platoon moving south
from the main SADF infantry company position with an airmobile dismounted BTR company with added engineers and ATGM. We failed to bypass this company and suffered about one
battalion of losses in city fighting with them. This was our greatest failure. The SADF artillery was very effective with ICMs on units stuck in minefields. Our central thrust was not able
to keep reconnaissance elements forward and repeatedly ran into problems head on. The southern axis, my main effort, was almost unopposed (due to the ambush of the SADF platoon
trying to block them) and covered half the map very quickly. It then fought to the loss of all vehicles while gutting the SADF reserve Battalion. Good work HENK!


The northern thrust was lightly opposed but very delayed by the bridge issue Jeff mentioned. Swimming APCs works great!!! Out tank battalion commander had to leave (shot by the DGI
while deserting under fire) and I added his units to our central axis. By this time the southern axis was shot out so the northern and central combined to finish off the SADF reserve and
were marching to Pretoria when we stopped for a cohiba and called it a game. We had about a battalion left, mainly tanks.


Rattler will address the artillery and logistics issues, as he handled them with such aplomb. The only thing I can add is using the helicopters to move a logpack forward for a FAARP is the
way to go.


SADF killed every helicopter we had. Mostly do to the helicopters being too close to airstrikes targeted on ground units. Keep you helicopters moving as airstrikes are the best SAMs. We
had a very successful turn one airmobile assault but after that the air defense was just too tough. SAMs in TacOps are just way too good. 500% better than the historical record.


The SADF reserve was scattered in squad sized infantry positions all over the map. Very gamey. Not done, especially in Indian Country! The vehicles fought in platoons mainly and were
defeated in detail. But Ratels gave a good account for themselves as the BTRs were way outgunned. The SADF infantry had panzerfausten as the infantry AT weapon and they were
extremely effective out to 500 meters. A change to something different would have had a major effect. The battle overall unfolded as we had anticipated from our dry runs. They killed the
BTRs and we killed them.


Our artillery counterbattery was very effective killing 10 of 12 SADF pieces. Their trucks were too small to move their artillery. They had two batteries to support four maneuver
companies. We had five to support 13. The battery of 122 RLs was worthless. The 220s were very effective.


The biggest problem we had was trying to cross multiple rivers. The lack of bridges (some were blown by BLUE), the excellent mining of the approaches and the mechanics of TacOps
combined to really slow us down. Opposed river crossings is not were TacOps shines.


We used IRC nicknames that reflected roles and it really helped.


Had a great time with a great team and that to Jeff for making it happen.


A shameless plug for my upcoming Red Onslaught CPX, a doctrinal Red assault on the US next month. Please sign up.
 

Jeff Gilbert

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Vortex Umpire AAR

I am posting here as to not create a new topic.
Bottom line ... a great time was had by all ...
---------------------------------

SCENARIO. I read the book "Vortex" by Larry Bond years ago and was always curious about using TacOps to create a scenario loosly based on this. Basically, I wanted to use the older RED and BLUE equipment, shorter range engagements and I was also very intregued to incorporate some of the newer engineering equipment, bridging and mine/countermine.

The scenario itself has the 1st Cuban Tactical Brigade (a reinforced MRR) equipted with BTR-60, BMP-1 & T-72 invading from Mozambuqie into South Africa from what is beleived to be the sparcely defended NorthEast frontier. Pitted against this is initially a single company of border guards (truck mounted). As the planning continued, the SADF moved a Mechanized Battalion (the 20th Cape Rifles) into this sector for refit. All SADF companies and platoons were tied to specific locations (within 750 meters) to begin the scenario, this was to simulate the "suprise" of the initial Cuban invasion and to force the SADF to start very spread out over a battlefield that was 30 kilometers deep and only 6 kilometers wide. In short, the Cubans needed to attack and secure a far Western riverline for follow-on forces while the SADF needed to identify the threat ... and stop it.

We used the below preference settings to remove any advantage that thermal sights might offer. To keep the fight at short range, visibility gradually increased over the game to a maximum of 2900 meters.

Scenario Length. 180 Minutes.
Preferences:
1. User Choice.
2. User Choice.
3. Checked Arty smoke defeats thermal sights.
4. Checked Vehicle smoke grenades defeats thermal sights.
5. Un-checked All OPFOR tanks have thermal sights.
6. Un-checked All OPFOR ATGMs have thermal sights.
7. Un-checked Improved OPFOR ATGM warheads.
8. Checked Firing Units Are Always Spotted.
9. Checked No Enemy OOB Reports.
10. 1200 Max Normal Visibility In Meters
11. 1200 Max Thermal Visibility In Meters
NOTE. Visibility will increase as the day sun rises.

UNIT SUBSTITUTIONS. There were quite a few people who aided me greatly in devising the SADF force. As I can not remember all the names, I will mention none here so I wont offend anyone who assisted and I forgot. Here is what we came up with:
SADF SUBSTITUTE
Ratel C2 OP BTR-80
Cmd Section AU/NZ Inf Subunit HQ P10
SAM Team AU/NZ SAM Mistral Team P4
LUV AU/NZ LUV LR 4x4 HMG
OH Helo CA Helo CH146 Griffon
Truck Truck cargo U1700L +LMG
Inf Dismount Tm GM Inf PzGren P6
Inf ATGM CA ATGM Eryx
HQ Elelment (P4) US HQ Element (P4)
Ratel Mort CA Bison Mort
Rooikat 76 CA FSV Cougar 76
Light Wheel Recon Veh AU/NZ LUZ LR 4x4 +LMG
Scout Team GM Inf PzGrenTrp (P4)
Olifant 1A CA Leo C1 Note: should be Centurian w/105mm
Ratel 20mm OP BTR-80A
36 Zulmac OP AAA ZU-23-2
Truck +HMG US Truck Cargo 5t HMG
Rooikat-105 US XLAV-AG 105mm AG
G5 Towed Arty AU/NZ Howtz 155mm FH2000


INITIAL ORDERS.
SADF.
2 Company, 31st Veldt Commando Battalion (-). Defend our border with Mozambique repelling any Mozambique Army incursions. Do not pursue east of our border but trap and destroy any enemy forces within our territory. Keep one platoon of troops at the border checkpoints, rotating weekly.

20th Cape Rifles Battalion. Reconstitute, rest and train your battalion in or near the designated lager locations. All minor border incursions fall to the 31st Veldt Commando with you providing support if requested. Any major border incursions (battalion sized or greater) and you will take command of the sector and use all your resources to stop the enemyís advance. You are the only forces between our border and Pretoria.

CUBAN.
You will take command of Cuba's 1st Tactical Brigade in Mozambique. It is poised to attack westward into the Transvaal at dawn from Beit Bridge, Mozambique into South Africa along Highway N1 heading toward Pretoria to destroy SADF forces and create a bridgehead across your sectorís the far western river. Once in-place across the western river your forces will receive priority of replacements and supplies for the following offensive toward Pretoria.


PRE-GAME/INTREPS. Although I had quite a few Intelligence Reports "canned" for delivery to each force on a time schedule, I mostly awaited message traffic from the force commanders and fed them the intel and updates based on this. Examples being the Cuban force received information on rthe SADF build up with the introduction of a SFAD mechanized battalion being refit intheir sector and the SADF received ominous "unconfirmed" reports of Cuabn forces in Mozambique.

I have a very hard time telling the commander onthe scene "no" so I would entertain almost any request that came forward after I checked to see if it would unballance the game or enhance it. Mostly, I said yes.


NETWORK SET-UP. My biggest fear was here especially as I was expecting anywhere from 10 to 15 connections, I think we ended up with 11 most of the time. The last few CPXs I played in has spotty reliability at best and insurmountable at worst. The most recent was the one that I beleive may have driven John O to drink. He has a tremendous scenario for us to play but we encountered so may connectivity issues that the game became unteniable in fairly short order. I reviewd a bunch of notes I had taken in from others who had run CPXs and made my setup to attempt to lessen some of these. First and foremost, I decided to run my IRC client on one of my Mac OSX boxes and the actual TacOps on a Windows box. Each machine running on a different public IP address.

1. IRC. Only issue here was PualC (?) had trouble with us not seeing his messages for about the first 20 minutes ... when he re-conneced a couple times ... all worked fine the rest of the day. Ran on a Mac OSX using Ircle 3.1.2 hardware firewalled (NAT) with port forwarding to that specific mahcine.

2. TacOps. Burned down and completely reloaded a P4 2.4GHz box with Windows 2000 Pro and 1 GB RAM. Fully patched and the only thing loaded other than TacOps v4 was Norton Anti-Virus. As I am luck enough to own 5 public IP address, I hung this box out on its own for the world to see. The only connection issue I ran into was after using the "PAUSE" game. If I left the game paused for more than 7 to 10 minutes, I would occasionally have one or two players not get the un-pause or their connection would drop. No one ever had difficulty re-connecting. I beleive this problem was due to a "network inactivity" timeout that was not TacOps related ... otherwise, I would have dropped all the players.

GAME-PLAY. Red & Blue plans. I will let the individual force commanders share this part and I will confine my remarks to things I learned about TacOps and the scenario itself. NOTE. There are NO coded bridges on Map783c, prior to game start I had placed 70T bridges on every road that crossed a bridge.

1. River Corssings. Swimming across the ford sites did not prove to be any real obsticle for the Cubans with few exceptions. One being their far North-East crossing where their Mozambiquan allies had placed a 50t bridge across the river. This was only made aware to the Cuban players right before the game start as, I hoped, would give them a quick jump off. This really screwed up the Cuban forces in this area as they had their initial moves pre-planned to swim and then hit the bridge with a 50t limit and clogged up their movement. The only wa to un-f**k this was for me to use the Umpire Magic Move. Being as I created this problem for them it was only fair "game wise" for me to fix it.

2. Engineering. I beleive I gave each side sufficient engineering assets to accomplish their respecitve messions. In the Cuban case, their Commander (and whole team) disagreed and requested additinal assets which was granted and in reflection ... I have to admit they were correct.

3. Bridges. Reoccuring issue with the Cubans crossing these 70T bridges which I beleive was overcrowding. When encountering a 70T bridge with one unit market containing 3 vehicles at 35T each, the unit will apear to pause at the beginning of the bridge and in about 2 turns finish it's moivement across. However, if a second unit of similar size was following closely enough to reachand try crossing the bridge prior to the first unit completing it crossing ... traffic jam! In some cases, unit markers were reporting 300 hours to move 100 meteres. Even cancelling the unit orders and trying to move away would not work. Magic Move assistance was required. I have run a few tests where I can recreate this however, if I stop any other unit marker from trying to cross until the unit at/on the bridge is finnished, I did not have this issue.

4. All Artillery On-Map. I hate off-map artillery ... especially over a map 30 kilometers wide. I wanted the players to have to move their artillery forward as one would have to do. The only issue I have with on-map artillery is that there is currently no way to limit the types of ammunition a player could use without an "Administrative" ruling. To this end, I informed the SADF player that they were running low on ICM and then ran out, administratively preventing them from firing any ICM for the rest of the scenario. Effecient, but clunky.

5. Supply Depots. Another thing I dislike is the Automatic Resupply. So, to this end, I gave each side enough Subbly Depots to sustain their forces. They, of course, would have to move them with their respecitive Supply & Transportation units. We did find that the Cuban attackers did not have much issue here as they used their helos to ferry supplies when needed but mostly the supply markers stayed with the artillery. Side Note - Seems that the attacking forces would mostly die prior to needing too much resupply.

LESSONS LEARNED. To follow in another email.

MINE VISIBILITY. I had set to 0. Big error as the Cubans literally had to roll on top of the mine to see it. Even worst, once in the minefield they still could not see it in some instances. The almost invisible minefield at 422-400 bunched the Cuban center into an Airstrike & artillery kill zone that all but decimated this force between 07:21 and 07:30. Future CPX (or games in general) I will have the mine visibility to either 100 or 200 meters, terrain dependant.

FORD SITES. My fords on Map783c are all coded to R3. My initial reasoning was to simulate the slippery and muddy terrain near African rivers. What I did not take into account was the probability of the SADF mining the fords! So, R3, mined and mive visibility at 0 meters made these location an absolute quagmire for any force to cross. The worst example of this would be the Cuban force trying to exit the ford at 431-376 at the 07:15 time hack and was not corrected untitl xx:xx by magic move. I will be re-coding the fords on this map to no more than R2 in its next version.

BRIDGE CROSSING. In replaying the game, I changed the "Unit Symbol Size" (F2) to the smallest so I could watch where and how the bunching occured. It can be seen very clearly this way. Early in the sceanrio, in the center, the Cubans had a very strict 1 platoon on the bridge at a time. Result, no traffic jams. In the north (where I had placed some last minute bridges) Cuban forces were ordered to swim and then bunched up on the bridges thay did not know were there. At 07:11 you can clearly see eleven (11) platoons of vehicles all on the same 50t bridge. When this was brought to my attention, I used the "Magic Move" as remedy during the the game break at 07:20. The two major lessons learned here are (1) don't f**k up a players plan with last minute "helpful" addtitions and (2) a solid crossing plan willnot overload a bridge.

NOTE: I think it is fair to say that had the Umpire goofs exampled in Ford Site & Bridging not taken place, the norther Cuban advance would not have lagged 5 to 7 minutes behind the rest of the Cuban advance, giving the SADF more than they could handle across the board. Likewise, the cluster at the ford in the south put this force 10 minutes behind. Had this not happened it is doubtful that the SADF would have been in the position they were in to blunt the southern attack.

ANTI-AIR. I continually under-estimate the lethality of anti-air weapons in TacOps, the consiquence of this is that I end up giveing too much. If anti-air SAM & AAA worked as well as the manufactures (and TacOps) says, there would not be a single aircraft flying over any battlefield 20 minutes into any conflict. The solution is fairly obvious here, I need to re-evaluate the amount of AAA & SAM I allocate for each scenario far below the doctrinal levels.

INFANTRY ANTI-TANK. Big goof on my part here. In my zeel to replicate the SADF I used german infantry ... well, I forgot to change their PanzerFaust to something much less lethal like an older M72A2 LAW. As it stood, these dismounted troops we regularly hitting and destroying armored vehicles at 400-500 meters.

NETWORK. It would appear that I have stumbled upon a fairly optimal solution when hosting. Additionally, I do beleive that all players had hi-speed internet access so we encountered almost no issues. I had also set the time-out for exchanging with players from 15 seconds to 45 seconds just in case of any delays. (Rattler's sound advice here). I will continue to do this in futrue hostings even though I could watch all orders flash out to all players in (usually) less than 10-12 seconds. Like I said, we had a good gaming experience.

FINAL THOUGHTS. By design, the SADF was handed a bag of s**t for a situation and the Cubans were pressed for time. The SADF players, in choosing to fight between the 2nd and 3rd river made for heavier combat earlier than I had expected and Paul & Fredrik did a great job in blunting the initial Cuban thrusts however, it did wreck their force. The Cubans on the other hand, handicapped by "umpire" errors at certain river crossings penetrated 20 kilometers and by 139 turns into the scenario had eliminated all significant SADF units that could oppose their reaching the 4th river in the 180 turns for the scenario.
 

fbscheuer

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Vortex CPX AAR Blue

Now when I finished writing this AAR I realize it is too long for anyone to read, so I will say the important stuff first:

JEFF: Fantastic CPX!!! Apart from making a very good scenario that was balanced and had lots of flavor, you handled OPORDs, OOBs and communication before the game date perfectly. It is reassuring for a player to feel that the umpire has everything under control. Future CPX designers, take note.
At first I thought you were just lucky that there were absolutely no network problems during the game, but when reading your AAR I realize that you actually knew what you were doing ;-) Also, courageous and right of you to put the orders phase to 1 minute.

RED SIDE: Very well played! Your planning paid off. It was a difficult mission for you, opposed river crossings and handling a lot of units in one-minute orders phases. Your artillery was completely devastating and superbly handled (was it Rattler? Thought so!). You knocked out our artillery in the first minutes. Professional! How did you know where it was located? The southern battalion especially was skilfully handled, implementing Red doctrine in an impressive way.

PAUL: My brother-in-arms, well played, especially for showing up without any planning. You were still able to take over my units and playing hide-and-seek with the tank battalion.

RE: RED CO AAR: I think that calling our placement of single infantry squads “gamey” is unfair. In Paul’s case, he had to cover a 5 km front with a single company, so his line was thin. In my case, my platoon-sized positions were pounded by artillery and helos so that when your forces arrived, only single squads remained.

Now for my much too lengthy AAR:

PLANNING:
We were originally four South African players, RalfP, JohnO, PaulC and myself. I made several futile attempts to get us started and choose an overall CO and so on. JohnO was submerged in his Sparta MBX and dropped off, RalfP thought that my mails were about that Sparta MBX and consequently stated that he wanted to have nothing to do with the Blue side (because he was playing Red in Sparta) and when he realized that my mails were about this CPX he had already made other plans for Dec 16th, and PaulC is a cool guy who does not believe in planning before a CPX but is content with improvising. Thus, I was left to do the planning myself.

The 20th Cape Rifles (an understrength mech battalion) was spread out along the western part of the map, from just east of the third river (from the Cuban perspective) and westwards. The Veldt Commando (a citizen force of Boer farmers, represented by a company of infantry in trucks and jeeps) was set up in Thorndale, just west of the second river, a town that controls three bridges across that river. One platoon was also in trenches on the west bank if the first river (the Limpopo?). All set up locations were decided beforehand by the umpire.

No special mission or geographic objectives were given in our OPORD. Tactically, the best thing would perhaps have been to gather our forces behind the third river and place minefields and entrenchments there for an organized defence. However, having read Vortex in anticipation of this CPX, I was convinced that Karl Vorster, South Africa’s ultra hard line dictator, would have our heads on stakes if we gave up a single inch too much of the Vaterland’s soil.
I therefore planned for the Veldt commando to defend the bridges to the last man. The easternmost mech company and the recon platoon would fight a delaying action from the west bank of the river, giving Paul time to move the other mech company, the tank company and the AT platoon into a line of trenches that I put some 5 km west of the second river for an organized defence. I put the minefields at the fords on the second river to slow the enemy, except for a few that were put right on the major roads leading to the Thorndale bridges.

GAMING:
The easternmost platoon was wiped out in a matter of minutes, but had time to report a sea of BTRs and BMPs crossing the first river. An unwelcome surprise was Hind gunships and helo landings wreaking havoc among my forces moving eastward. I sent three commandos NE, E and SE as recon units. The southern was dispatched by enemy helos, but the last, wounded Boer managed to crawl onto a bridge and blow it (and himself) with a demo charge. The one in the center met some rapidly advancing BTRs and was eliminated, though one jeep managed to hide in a field. The northern found an uneasily silent sector (we later learned that the enemy’s northern force had river crossing problem).
The Cubans in the center found one of the minefields, and for some reason thought it was a good idea to drive an entire company in there. They were massacred by artillery and air strikes. My jeep in the field went undiscovered until three BM21’s stumbled onto it and were eliminated. In the meantime the Cubans were conducting a horribly effective artillery suppression, knocking out 10 of our 12 155mm guns.

After seemingly rethinking the situation, the Cubans decided to move around the minefield instead of through it and approached Thorndale from the north. The northernmost platoon in Thorndale held their fire until the last moment and eliminated the leading BTR platoon. They were then subjected to such an intense hail of indirect and direct fires that those who did not fall at once had to pull back from the outskirts. My eastern platoon was also spotted and targeted by artillery, and had to withdraw. I moved my ATGMs back to the western outskirts. My commandos were then wiped out to the last man in a violent city fight, but not without making the enemy pay a high price. My ATGMs ambushed a company of BMPs that tried to sneak through to the north, brewing up quite a few.

In the southern part of the map my recon platoon of FSV Cougars and jeeps with LMGs got beaten by a motorized battalion, elegantly deploying into line formation and overrunning me. They then ran into Paul’s southern units, and these two forces spent the rest of the CPX annihilating each other.

After clearing Thorndale, the Cubans sent forward the tank battalion in the center. My mech company responsible for that section was already severely decimated, having been spotted and pounded by artillery and then interdicted by ATGMs when trying to displace. I managed to get a few tanks with my Panzerfausts and Eryxes, and my Ratels used their 30mm guns to peel off the escorting BTRs.

At this point I became aware that the anti-tank platoon was indeed under my control and had been sitting idly for the entire game. I hurried it eastwards and northwards, placing it to the east and north of Paul,s infantry line, hoping to get some flank shots on the T72s as they engaged Paul’s infantry.

I now had to leave the computer for an hour due to non-negotiable domestic duties (I had told my wife that the game would take about 3 hours of real time- from our last CPXs I expected three hours of frustrating network problems and then a premature end after 14 turns). Paul took over my units and when I got back the issue was pretty much settled, so I became an observer, cheering Paul on.
 

dhuffjr

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I'm creating a thread to merge after the after action reviews into to keep them together.
 

dhuffjr

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VORTEX AAR Cuban Blue CAB comander AAR

Well run and smooth. I have to say it was great fun.

I also have got to admit I got bombarded and started to sink with real life issues and the amount of message traffic. I was getting and reading things just not replying to much.

On the plan. I think it worked out very good and was well thought out and tested. You can ask for more than that.

Mines.
Minefields suck. I think that is the intended affect. :>)

The problem was we couldn't see them until we were on top. After discovering the first one west of FRITZ that caused my initial bunch up I turned on show minefield lanes map menu option. This helped me identify bunching problems as mine problems quicker later. I should have led with recon but with the limited amount I had and the fact I left them watching my crossing for too long led to them getting behind quickley. As mentioned before a battalion can be a bit much to handle in a complex operation like the river crossing with engineer problems to deal with too. Trying to manage the crossing while keeping things rolling forward quickly (SPEED) is how I initially got my forward units in the bunch. I think the minefield may have happened to be at the same spot (it was alfully close anyway) that I had the last movement point at so I initially assumed the stop was lack of orders for the first unit. By the time I realized the error it was too late.

That got sorted out and I found that HOTEL had mines at the river crossing approaches as well. The mines were however placed so that the SADF could manuever around them and I could as well. The problem again was that you discovered them by being on them which also caused the units to really slow down. As mentioned orders were to bypass infantry and the towns. The problem was with HOTEL was the effectiveness of the infantry against our vehicles and the fact that the SADF had ATGM crews on the western side. When I tried to bypass I got hit from the side/rear and lost vehicles. In retrospect I could have called for some serious smoke to get me around the town but it would have left it for the follow on forces (artillery and tanks) to deal with and a query to the CO about what to do about it led to a clear the town order as I recall.

I think that a lot or at least some of the bridge problems we experienced was intended game behavior. Same with the units "sticking" on the minefields. Units will bunch up on bridges as the types of bridges represented by the bridge markers are not highway bridges but single lane emplaced ones.

On the preset fire orders.
This messed me over in addition to some other players. It was set according to the COs intent/orders but reality can be a problem. Units set to fire on vehicles getting killed by infantry and not responding or worse set to fire on 'wheeled vehicle' and getting waxed by tanks etc. I would recommend extreme care when using this feature.
 

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Cuba S2 and Arty CO AAR VORTEX CPX (long)

This is the RED S2 and RED Arty Commander AAR for the VORTEX CPX, run by Jeff Gilbert DEC 16th, 2006.

It will be fairly detailed and long as we have had newbies on the
team as well as on the list recently and as this CPX was a great
example for how to work the details might help.


Scenario: Cuban BDE Intrusion into South Africa on Map 783 (30x6km; dl at http://www.tacopshq.com/Maproom/index.html#anchor4836993 ), if you only want to take a look at http://www.eventfoto.com/privat/mil/aars/pages/cuba_map_overlay.html

Replay files:
http://www.eventfoto.com/privat/mil/dls/cpx_replays.html (2nd below my special section)

BLUE (SADF) team:
Frederik Scheuer (DE?)
Paul Czsokay (AT)

RED (Cuba) team:
John F. Monahan (US), CO + Reserve BN
Matt "Rattler" Ohlmer (DE), S2+Arty
Henk Stoffers (NL), YELLOW Axis BN
Dennis Huff (?), BLUE Axis BN
Tim A (?), RED Axis BN
George (?), TANKS BN
Bernard Cousin (FR), Planning Aide and much missed in actual game
Ken (?), dropped due to taking a suicide pill after a DGI visit :->

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONTENTS:

1. Planning
2. How it Went
3, Lessons Learned
4. Stuff for Discussion with respect to the TacOps engine
5. Personal remarks


1. PLANNING

I came in a bit late into the team, but nevertheless we had 5 weeks planning left before STARTEX.

CO was already decided, and was given the job of S2 Staff Officer. The material I received was a bit desorganized and ambiguous, so my first job was to parse all what we had got and pester High Command with some clarification requests that were eventually answered.

What we had on our hands was to penetrate with a Cuban BDE ( 2 BTR60 BNs, 1 BMP1 BN, 1 M72 BN) into SouthAfrican territory from EAST to WEST over various rivers (that could be bridged and forded at some places where the rest was not crossable due to impassible terrain) to a depth of around 27 km within 3 hours.

We had some INTEL about enemy force composition courtesy to our Mozambiquian Brothers (basically we were facing a BN+ in the rear of the map, a hastily composed militia type force in the middle and some border posts close to our Assembly Areas), and Bernie Cousin had molded those into some on-map potential OOBs. We knew that visibility at STARTEX was to be 1200 mtrs only, and that only BLUE had limited thermal sights. Furthermore both arty and vehicle smoke would defeat
any thermals.

We had a lot of arty that was supposed to be supplied by log packs, so one of my first jobs after we knew our setout forces was to calc how long we could sustain fires with different mission and tubes combinations. As a result we realized that the 122MRL rockets we were given were quite useless while consuming lots of ammo, and that only by leaving this one out of our plans we could sustain fires (initially we had planned to use mainly smoke) over a large part of the three hour scenario (for anybody interested on how I calculated this,see: http://www.eventfoto.com/privat/mil/aars/pages/121606_arty_analysis.html )

Next job almost equally important was to provide a terrain analysis (never managed to finish that and Bernie contributed all essentials in this respect so this moved to backburner), an enemy OOB threat analysis
( http://www.eventfoto.com/privat/mil/aars/pages/121606_enemy_oob.html ),
and both enemy and friendly team commander profiles (censored) which I threw out as fast as possible despite heavy spousal unit CB fires at the time consumption... :->

Another thingy we were worried about initially was the fact that
umpire wanted to run the CPX with the "Firing Units Always Spotted" preference turned ON and that enemy could simply by disabling scrolling spot our arty and send out airstrikes after them, which in turn meant we would have to be on the move all the time with the majority of our assetts.

About half of our team was quite participative in this planning stage with lots of comments and ideas crossed, but from Ken (later dropped), Tim, Dennis and George we heard nothing (Tim and Dennis got more active later as game day got closer).

SIDENOTE from soapbox and the heart: This is an important issue, I was quite frustrated about not hearing anything from so many team members until game day, you dont know where you stand (and it had a lot of influx on the actual game as I will comment on later), many of the actual maneuver commanders didnt participate at all in dry runs and only a few in planning to a certain stage, this attitude resulting in the majority of our hickups during game.

In general over 10 years CPXing I have realized that for some reason the more time for planning is availiable the less participative ppl become, probably because they think "Bah, there is still sooooo much time left, I will catch up later...."

MY ADVICE TO UMPIRES:

1. Facilitate decision for players whether to participate and on which side by advising on the degree of planning involved, e.g. SKETCHY, DETAILED or EXTENSIVE, so that players can make up their mind whether they will be able to cope.

2. Dont give more than 2 weeks for planning, the effect will be surprising as you are to get better results due to the time pressure.

MY ADVICE TO PLAYERS: SPEAK UP about what you expect and what you can contribute, drop put if you see you cannot handle what is thrown at your team. CPXes are a team effort and by joining you assume some degree of responsibilty in making this an enjoyable event for everybody. In case of asymetrical missions or attackers usually heavy planning is involved, and if you are too lazy too get organized or even read your emails for a week or so it will be hard for you to follow and stay in the picture just by the sheer load of information dropping onto you that the others already have evolutioned into understanding.

Not acknowledging receipt of OPORDS, OOBs or direct requests within reasonable time (36 hours) is treason to your team members because it introduces a lot of friction, even more so if/when you dont have a clue of what the team effort is about on STARTEX.

MY ADVICE TO COs: If a player starts out or becomes irresponsive and is not contributing or reacting to acknowledgement requests, drop him (as Rikki told me once its more diplomatical to move him "to reserve" :-> ). You spoil your own teams planning effort and the actual game fun if you find yourself with players that are not willing or able to implement commanders intent on game day, better to run with a few
dedicated than with a bunch of lazies.

END SIDENOTE, stepping off soapbox.

Our CO had a plan ready: We would concentrate forces on a two axis advance and smash right through the enemy under smoke cover, wherever possible bypassing anything we would find for sake of speed.

This formed into an initial OPPLAN
(see our map overlay at
http://www.eventfoto.com/privat/mil/aars/pages/cuba_map_overlay.html ):

2. MISSION:
We will attack westward into the Transvaal at dawn from Beit Bridge,
Mozambique into South Africa along Highway N1 heading toward Pretoria
to destroy SADF forces and create a bridgehead across the far western
river.

3. Commanders Intent:

Advance on two axis ( YELLOW and BLUE) to the west with one Combined
Arms battalion in each column. Lead Battalions will establish Route
Opening Detachments (ROD), one for each axis of advance. ROD to
consist of Reconnaissance, Engineer and Mounted (BTR) Infantry
assets. Helicopter to drop FOs and ATGM teams squads as they recon.
Helicopter will be used for reconnaissance, not fire support. They
will fire in self defense only. Columns will not delay to wait for
tanks. Advance at the fastest possible rate until we secure a
bridgehead over the river vicinity Wambad.

and we decided to run a first test game where our CO would host and
run BLUE and Bernie, Henk and myself would run the BNs to test our
initial plan.

We discussed whether to centralize arty under one command (myself)
but on COs insistance left the mortars with the BNs in direct fire
support for the first test game.

This first test turned out to be a disaster from our Cuban POV: We
got congested on our advance on only two axis, stuck in minefields or
on bridges, got hammered by arty and took way too long to even cross
the first river. Arty wasnt responsive enough.

As a result, the TF composition was changed, the BNs broken up and
recombined and the plan for an airmobile part of ops developed.

In one more dryrun we proved the idea valid while still needing a few
refinements and our CO came up with the FINAL OPORD.

I post it here in full length as its a great example of what you
expect from a team CO in a CPX:

Cuban 1st Tactical Brigade OPORD 1-06

1. SITUATION:
The war between South Africa and Namibia has ground to a halt only 10
kilometers south of Windhoek as massive Cuban reinforcements take
over the fight for the overmatched Namibian Army. The SADF has
committed the bulk of its army in Namibia fighting the Cubans or
scattered throughout South Africa quelling internal unrest. This has
left South Africa's Northern and North-Eastern frontiers almost bare
allowing our Cuban High Command to secretly move three brigades to
take advantage of this opening.

a. Enemy Forces. Overview. The SADF border defense in this sector
is under the command of the 31st Veldt Commando Battalion
headquartered in Wambad vicinity 225399. Despite its auspicious
name, the 31st Veldt Cdo is a reserve formation of second class
troops and equipment. The battalion's main supply depot is located
in a wooded area North of a small town vic 202419 and is guarded by a
platoon of light infantry and light AAA. There are two other minor
supply depots near Neboomspruit and Thorndale. Our operatives are
still attempting to locate them. Your avenue of attack only contains
the 2nd Company, 31st Veldt Cdo, a motorized-infantry unit (truck &
LUV borne) headquartered in Thorndale vicinity 394400. The company
has three infantry platoons, a weapons platoon of light mortar and
minimal AAA. Only one infantry platoon mans the border checkpoints
at a time and rotates out weekly.

b. Border Forces. Approximately a reinforced platoon dismounted
ground troops of reserve quality only armed with small arms and a few
light to medium machine guns and a scattering of infantry anti-tank
rockets. There are three (3) identified border outposts posts and
are located at 453396, 455391 and 444412. Additional border
strong-points are believed to be under construction but no further
information is available at this time. Each post has one or two
infantry teams with their trucks/LUVs within 500 meters. There are
unconfirmed reports that the SADF has been deploying mixed minefields
near the border.

c. Crossing Points.
(1) Bridges. All bridges in this sector are fairly weak with no
more than 70t max load. It is not believed any bridges within 15 km
of the boarder has been set for demolition.
(2) Fords/Crossings. Although mostly shallow, the identified ford
crossings would require vehicles that are amphibious. These fords
could will provide excellent bridging locations for alternate
crossing locations for your heavier vehicles.
(3) The SADF has limited bridge destruction capability. There are
mines but not within 300 meters of the border.

2. MISSION:
We will attack westward into the Transvaal at dawn from Beit Bridge,
Mozambique into South Africa along Highway N1 heading toward Pretoria
to destroy SADF forces and create a bridgehead across the far western
river.

SETUP:
We will deploy east of the far east river in covered positions.

Task Organization:
Cuban 1st Tactical Brigade:

1 x Bde HQ (PIN 21) Assembly Area grid 4739

First Combined Arms Battalion (Call sign YELLOW) COMMANDER Henk (PIN
22)- Axis YELLOW. 2 BTR Company, 1 BMP Company, two engineer squads
in BTRs, one MTK2 Mine clearing vehicle, 1 reconnaissance Platoon, 1
BMP Battalion support Company(-) 1 AT Platoon, two Truck Cargo _ M
ton, 1 infantry command and observation post. Assembly Area east GRID
4737

Second Combined Arms Battalion (Call sign BLUE) COMMANDER Dennis (PIN
23)- Axis BLUE. 2 BTR Company, 1 BMP Company, two engineer squads in
BTRs, one MTK2 Mine clearing vehicle, 1 reconnaissance Platoon, two
Truck Cargo _ M ton, 1 BTR Battalion support Company(-), 1 AT
Platoon, 1 infantry command and observation post. Assembly Area east
of OBJ C

Third Combined Arms Battalion (Call sign RED) COMMANDER TimA (PIN
24)- Axis RED 1 BTR Company, 1 BMP Company, two engineer squads in
BTRs, one MTK2 Mine clearing vehicle,1 reconnaissance Platoon, two
Truck Cargo _ M ton, 1 BTR Battalion support Company, 1 AT Platoon, 1
infantry command and observation post, Assembly Area east of OBJ A

Tank Battalion (Call sign Tank) , COmmander George (PIN 25) three
tank Companies, one engineer squad in BTRs, two MCV IMR2M Obstacle
clearing vehicle, four empty BTRs, four VLB MTU72 AVLB Bridging
vehicles one infantry command and observation post Assembly Area GRID
4739.

Reserve Battalion (Call sign Reserve) COMMANDER REDCO (PIN 21)- Axis
BLUE 1 BTR Companies, one Engineer PLT, 4 FOs, 1 Anti aircraft
Battery, four VLB MTU72 AVLB Bridging vehicles. 5 helicopters.
Assembly Area GRID 4839

Artillery Battalion (Call sign ARTY) COMMANDER RATTLER (PIN 26)- All
Airstrikes, 1 122 self propelled Battalion, 1 122 MRL Battery, 1 220
MRL Battery 3 Mortar Companies, one truck Battalion with logpacks,
four VLB MTU72 AVLB Bridging vehicles. Assembly Area vicinity GRID
4738


Commanders Intent:

Advance on three axis (YELLOW, RED and BLUE) to the west with one
Combined Arms battalion in each column. Lead Battalions will lead
with Recon and BTR units. Airmobile Assault at 07:00 on IRIS by
Reserve battalion. Hinds will be used primarily for reconnaissance,
not fire support. Columns will not delay to wait for tanks.
Advance at the fastest possible rate until we secure a bridgehead
over the river vicinity Wambad. SPEED IS OF THE ESSENCE. Do not stop
to clear town or other defended points except OBJ C. Use little
smoke, it blocks our vastly superior firepower. I anticipate a
decisive battle with the enemy reserve between phase line RED and
phase line YELLOW. It may be mobile or a river defense. Counter
battery efforts are my single highest priority. I will reinforce
success!!! Not failure.

Execution:

The three Combined Arms Battalions will advance along their
respective axis at maximum speed. Swim across as needed, do not wait
to throw bridges. Axis YELLOW is the main effort and will receive
priority of support. Reserve Battalion will follow on Axis Blue,
Artillery on Axis Yellow. Bypass dismounted infantry after
destroying their vehicles. DO NOT STOP TO ENGAGE DISMOUNTED INFANTRY
except at OBJ C, BYPASS THEM. Avoid engaging infantry at ranges under
700m (Eryx range 600M). Reserve Battalion will conduct a Company
sized airmobile assault Vicinity OBJ IRIS starting 0700. All
Battalions will detach 2 ATGM teams to the reserve BATTALION,
vicinity GRID 4839 (done in OOB). Artillery will fire heavy rockets
on SADF artillery location at 07:00 (done by umpire). Artillery will
fire heavy prep on OBJ C at 07:00.


Specific instructions:

Bridges will be recovered as the last vehicle crosses. Bridges will
normally need to be deployed in pairs to fill the 200 meter rivers.
Bypass dismounted SADF infantry whenever possible. Try to stay 800
meters away from possible enemy positions (ERYX range 600 Meters).
Maximize combined Arms overwatch. Overwhelm the piecemeal enemy with
fire, each Combined Arms battalion is equivalent to his entire
reserve. Tank Battalion will pick up infantry with tanks as we lose
armored personnel carriers. Reserve company BTRs are allocated to
all Battalions. Deploy into platoons before river crossing. Cross
bridges with only one platoon per turn. Combined Arms battalions
keep type companies together as possible. Push hard, "Even a
victorious army has casualties".

Signal - Channels #tacopsred, All Commanders will set their nickname
to their Call sign. Report passing phase lines and capturing
objectives.

Issues:

How many players will we have?
- If 7 then 1 BRIGADE Commander, 3 Combined Arms Battalion Commander,
1 artillery battalion Commander, 1 S-2, 1 Reserve Battalion
Commander.

- If 6 then no S-2. Artillery officer assumes S-2 duties)

- If 5 then no Reserve Battalion Commander. Brigade Commander assumes
Reserve Battalion Commander duties.

With the plans and the jobs decided (Bernie had let us know that he
was not availiable on game day) CO handed out the OOBs to the players
so that everybody could split them down and deploy in his AA, but
apart from Dennis nobody did so within 48 hours (Tim at least let us
know he had no time but the others didnt even ack receipt). CO had
ordered me to do the work as a backup in the background, so when the
time was up we had them ready.

With permission from CO I requested umpire to accept a pre-setup .tac
file from us on the reason that with such a large force and the
problems at crossing points we would not lose too much time at
STARTEX for everyone to give orders and set target priorities (BTRs
targeting vehicles instead of inf, ATGMs targeting tanks) which would
have been impossible to do with exported OOBs (export would also have
set our log packs to zero again to be filled up manually by ump
before STARTEX).

Permission was granted so I set to work it out and after a few tries
and uncounted hours had a setup ready that would not have us clog up
in the initial river crossings and guarantee a smooth CPX start even
if ppl came in late.

Once having this out the only things to finish were the .names file
for the map (for OPSEC reasons and to faciliate inter-team comms and
calls for fires we had assigned 170 BPs all over the map, basically
one in each square), finish our final overlay and pack a briefing
package for eventual reserves that would have to get to speed
fastest, then we were set to go.


2. HOW IT WENT

At STARTEX most everybody was present except Henk who had announced
he would arrive late, so CO took Axis YELLOW forces.

I had a checklist prepared on final issues and reminders which I
posted to a separate IRC channel for everybody to read and soon we
were underway.

First, from a tech POV this was smooth as can be, great job umpire!
Unlike others I have seen other CPXes run smoothly as well (incl some
of mine), but this one was nearly perfect and we were instantly
submerged in a strainous 1 min turn exchange that I think ran at a
1:3 relation to RL incl all pauses, one of the best ratios I have
ever seen.

Initially things went as planned: We crossed in the center and south
and had the known enemy forces under control there rapidly, but our
first round Rockets on enemy arty failed in turn 1 as it had been set
with accuracy zero. I could compensate a bit with my own 220 rockets
2 minutes later and a rec on airstrike but then botched it in turn 7
when I had forgotten to correct the targets for our 3 follow up
airstrikes that went for the logpacks instead for the battery, still
it was quite successful as we took out 4 of the 6 tubes.

After about turn 10 I realized that we were saving ammo in a much
bigger way than I had anticipated and so could use the Rockets again
after resupplying them, this time targeting the 2nd battery at around
minute 25, another success in combination with some airstrikes.

As I had all hands full as arty commander to coordinate fires and get
my units on the move to follow our advance I cannot comment on the
overall aspects of the game as I only focused on my stuff mainly, but
apart from that we followed the plan successfully basically I still
recall some hickups of interest:

- At STARTEX umpire granted us some bridges in the north which was
counterproductive in a way that neither Commander RED (northern) Axis
nor I as S2 had anticipated: The units had initital orders to swim
the ford in our .tac file (which took them 7 minutes in our tests),
but as they now found the bridges in the way, arriving all more or
less at the same time, they got stuck and it was not until minute 30
that umpire magic-moved them, so we basically lost our thrust
coordination between axis as they were 20 minutes lagging behind our
other forces.

- TANKS commander had not understood that we needed to bridge the
fords below BLUE (center) axis in two lanes and that his bridgelayers
were required for that, didnt happen until ENDEX despite alerting him
various times to the fact.

- BLUE axis commander got stuck in a minefield and allowed the better
part of 2 coys bunching up there and got hammered, also he - contrary
to commanders intent that was to bypass where possible - later
engaged in a town fight in HOTEL and cleared it out losing units big
time.

- CO was overwhelmed with running his air assaults plus the YELLOW
axis forces and so got way stretched out leaving the recon teams
behind that could have spotted way ahead the ambushes that YELLOW
later ran into. Also he didnt have time to clear the minefields at
ford E on his axis (2nd river) which lead to arty getting stuck down
there later when I attempted to close in on the lead units with the
low range mortars.

- Myself had big problems getting my supply train to follow once over
the first river: Because of the fact that my focus lay in the front
where the fires fell 10 km away form my actual units I didnt realize
until too late that I got stuck several times on minefields or
bridges and had to get magic moved as units wouldnt accept orders
anymore.

Partially this is due to an umpires mistake who set the minefields
basically to invisible which had the effect that we couldnt see them
despite being on top of them and had no clue why our units wouldnt
move until maybe two or three turns later when they suddenly appeared
on the screen (this happened various time and probably also was the
reason for BLUEs mishap)

2nd, as arty commander your view is far away from your units and you
only control them every 5 turns or so to see how they follow and to
correct orders, and usually in the heat of battle it might take two
times this to realize they dont move by which time of cause the
situation has developed in something unsolvable by player (units
report 170 hours e.g. to leave a bridge) after getting stuck e.g. on
bridges for reasons I still dont understand: My mortar or support
platoons always had 3 minutes spacing advancing to bridges, still
they would clog up within the 10 or 12 minutes I needed to realize
something was wrong.

Also the bridgelayers didnt work as anticipated, when I had to bridge
ford E (300 mtrs) there was no way to get the third bridge layer off
the bridge and all my units couldnt cross for 30 minutes.

Towards the end of game this really had me go mad and frustrated to
the point that I was about to throw it, as it was simply not possible
anymore to provide arty coverage for the front or to resupply my
tubes (all the magic moving eventually disrupted all my supply train
organization and I could not find the supply depots anymore in the 1
minute turns and 10 km behind the front, and when I finally found
them empty ones had mixed with full ones and there was no way to tell
without clicking at all of them). I sincerely apologize for my acid
remarks during this period to my teammates, I sincerely was at the
point of losing it (which resulted in umpire reporting to the other
side that "RED becomes unglued" as I could see from the transcripts).

Luckily this only took about 7 game minutes only or so and towards
game end we had caught track again of our plan and opted for speed in
smoke tunnels which would have allowed us to finish the job rapidly
with the decimated enemy as ammo was there plenty to smoke him until
ENDEX.

Overall a fascinating and interresting game that had me fully
consumed and was great tun, we figured in hindsight that with all the
hickups we were lucky to have won.


3. LESSONS LEARNED

- good planning and a pre-setup .tac file help a lot for a smooth
CPX. Just imagining the time it would have cost us to give the orders
before STARTEX makes my skin crawl, we would have got stuck all the
way right from start

- during planning phase insist on players acknowledging that they
have read and understood the plan, as basic and gross mistakes are
hard to correct while the battle unfolds. In our case I think that
not every player was at the hight of things at STARTEX.

- a final checklist helps, the idea to post one to a separate IRC
channel I think was a good one

- BDE or REG+ size is too big to run as attacker with only 5 players.
E.g. we never used our many engineer assetts to clear mines, neither
for the leading nor for the following units, and we paid a big prize
for that during the clog-ups and massacres that resulted from them.
Had Bernie been present we should have separated all engineer assets
under his command (he did great in all tests with respect to mine
clearing and bridgelaying and may well be called a specialist in this
respect) like we did with arty to liberate maneuver commanders from
this task and to assure that ways would have been cleared for the
follow up units and bridges laid and recovered. Also CO should be
free to look at the big picture and not run any units whenever
possible, in our case this would have probably prevented the BLUE
axis disaster in the mines and the town.

- Minefields if used should be visible at least 100 mtrs, the way
they were set they were not visible under the markers as units would
only stop right on top of them.

- More than 2 forced river crossings is too much IMHO for a TacOps
scenario of only a few hours. To cross a river under fire takes a
long time and to do so several times on a distance of 27 kms is out
of scale for just one CPX

- use the names files and overlays: I received the majority of calls
for fires by coordinates, which takes a long time to resolve in the
short turn times. Had we addressed them with reference to our BPs
("Smoke north of BP 67") this would have been much easier as I would
not have had to look up the digits in IRC every few seconds
(memorizing 4x 6-digit coordinates at one glance you tend to forget
whether it was 435412 or 453421 that was called for, and the constant
changes between TacOps and IRC take a lot of your precious time,
especially when the coordinates have long scrolled out of sight in
IRC)

- Dont voluntarily play S2 more than once a year: You will suffer
from burn-out syndrome faster than you might believe and the damage
due to friction with spousal or attached units might take some time
to fix... :->


4. STUFF FOR DISCUSSION WITH RESPECT TO THE TACOPS ENGINE

Here some things that I think should be addressed in a discussion on
the list or by the Major:

- It would be great to have a way to discern empty from full log
packs without having to open them, either by symbol or by mouseover
or by right-clicking

- I think it might be about time to advance the import/export feature
to a new level: I know it has never been intended to be used to set
up CPXes, but as far as I see this has become its main use as every
CPX I can recall over the last years relied on it at least partially.

In a first step one column more would carry ammo of logpacks on map
when transferred, currently the logs are reset to zero every time and
the umpire has to set them to the desired levels manually before
STARTEX (in our case I think there were over 70 in total, quite a
tedious work). Alternatively the default for log packs should be 5000
instead of zero as this already would save a lot of work in the
majority of cases. Last a feature to maybe set all seleceted logpacks
to a copied load (like SOPs) would solve this problem.

In a 2nd step it would be really desirable to have exported OOBs
export the target priorities and SOPs set of every unit, again to
shift work from just before startex and connected to host to the
planning stage of a CPX

Optimally an exported OOB would also include any orders given, but I
can imagine that is a lot to ask for...

- From what I have now experienced during the dry run testing and the
game, I think the engineering part of TacOps doesnt follow the basic
conceptual layout (I suspect the reasons are in the specific wishes
the major had to address for his mil contracts, but I still want to
mention it):

A lot of micromanaging is asked for bridging, e.g., and I dont see
the reason why it cannot be addressed like all the other units: In
order to bridge a 300 mtr river I have to not only run the layers to
the ford, but also to withdraw after the 2nd one deployed in order to
allow the third one to deploy....? This is not intuitive and I would
expect that if I sent a platoon of 3 bridgelayers in one marker there
and order deployment it would simply span the river after a given
time. I do not understand why three bridgelayers cannot operate from
one terrain cell without removing one first, as I think in the
conceptual 100x100 mtrs there would be enough space for one to
conceptually get out of the way of the others.

Same with getting stuck on bridges: While I understand the idea
behind it (too many vehicles overload or block themselves) I have the
feeling there should be better solutions to unsolve such a situation:
Either the bridge could simply break (in case of overload) and the
non-amphibs lost, but the rest at least would be able to be addressed
again, which currently is not the case. Or maybe units should be
allowed to be removed from the bridge by orders (maybe just go
backwards?) or sticking times should not be so long (hours to cross a
bridge is not realistical even under the described situation). Best
would be to have units ***automatically*** stop before crossing a
bridge and a button that would specifically order them to "Cross
Bridge", as this would leave the responsibility to order this in a
common sense way instead of leading to the unresolvable clog-ups.

Just some thoughts to start a discussion...


5. PERSONAL REMARKS

Thanks everybody for a great CPX, it has been fun and maybe we should
attempt to replay it with us as SADF, I think Cuba would miserably
fail in the same setup (of cause, replaying as Cubans we would win
again... :->).

Special thanks to Jeff who did a great job as first-time umpire, to
our CO who excelled in planning and motivation, to Bernie who we
really missed during game for engineers ops, to Henk who did a great
jobs w/o recon teams to destroy the major forces of enemy, to Dennis
who took his disasters as a man and made me stay on when they hit
me, to George who reminded me its just a game - two-lane-bridges or
not... :-> . And of cause many thanks to our esteemed opponents for
letting us win...:->

Rattler
 
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