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Bil Hardenberger

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Bil Hardenberger last won the day on August 2

Bil Hardenberger had the most liked content!

About Bil Hardenberger

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    Beta Tester since 1999

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    Virginia Beach, Virginia


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    Richmond, VA
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    Computer Animator

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  1. Bil Hardenberger

    Newbie AAR: ncc1701e vs JoMc67

    I will say that I do like the house rules being used in this AAR and might need to try a game using them (maybe with some modifications). Perhaps @IanL is up for a challenge. PM me if so.
  2. Bil Hardenberger

    Newbie AAR: ncc1701e vs JoMc67

    Combatman.. I am only providing such detailed feedback because he said this game has already been completed.. hope my comments weren't out of line. Oh, and I suspect you are not simply the "average player" you claim to be. Bil
  3. Bil Hardenberger

    Newbie AAR: ncc1701e vs JoMc67

    I would argue that the the terrain and the objectives should be used as a combat multiplier. You know that the enemy is going for the objectives, thus they give you a pretty good idea where you can find him (and in the turn write ups that is where he had the majority of his forces). It is most important to defeat the enemy, do that and the objectives will come... I try not to obsess about objectives and orient on the enemy instead, using the terrain and the objectives as guides to kill enemy units... that is the path to victory. This may not be a bad thing if your units can support each other. for example if your units on the flanks can support the unit you have in the objective with fire then you are okay.. but if they can't, if the terrain blocks lines of sight to the terrain the enemy has to move through.. if your flank units are too far away to be effective... if they get engaged and are unable to provide support fire, if your plan is to use each small force independently, then you could be in trouble. I always try to maintain a reserve.. however in these small fights you often can't afford that... maybe keeping a few BAR teams and your mortars back as a reserve would have helped, but I doubt it. A reserve should be a capable force, capable meaning that it can be used to counterattack an enemy force as required. You could have kept one full squad in reserve.. and maybe should have, but in this case I don't think its a big deal. The big deal for me, is that you have separated your platoon over a wide area and I suspect they cannot support each other... I probably would have sent scouts on those flank hills (two man teams) to provide early warning of an enemy flank approach, and then used the rest of the platoon in a command push towards the objective. To secure it, take up defensive positions and defend against the enemy attack that will most likely come. Make him attack you and you will be in the favorable position. If you have to attack Objective 2, which is what it looks like is developing, then he will have the internal lines and can reinforce any threatened position. I would have probably only placed scouts and maybe support units (BAR teams and mortars) on the flanks.. but they have to be able to be close enough to provide effective fire support on the approaches between the two objectives, and most importantly be able to support your main force. If you are going aggressive and only have a small force in Objective 1 and are planning on assaulting objective 2 from multiple positions, then good for you, and it will be fun when you get close. In the image above you have some really long Fast movement paths, and I don't see pauses at the end of each? That probably contributed to them getting tired so quickly. It also appears to me that your opponent has taken his first objective and is starting to place his units in defensive positions around it... this will be interesting to see how it plays out. I do love how deep you have moved on the flanks without being seen, at least as far as we can tell... this fight is on a razors edge and could go either way. This is a really fine AAR, I do really love these small fights. They are as fun to watch and dissect as they are to play. Bil
  4. Bil Hardenberger

    Newbie AAR: ncc1701e vs JoMc67

    Marvelous start. I'll be watching how you do.. you will find that doing a complete METT-T analysis as you have shown will help you with situational awareness and give you an advantage over an opponent who does not. Doing it against the AI is almost not fair, against a human opponent it is a must. As for being more careful against a human... well, I think that is wise and only natural... a human opponent is a far different experience and challenge than fighting against the AI. They will always do something that will surprise you and that will force you to shift your plan. You are a brave man showcasing your first PBEM game publicly. Bravo. Bil
  5. Fire & Movement and the Squad Attack Drill do not have to be 50% to the support element and 50% to the maneuver element.. I typically (and in my example above show this) have two teams back (for squads that can break into three teams) and one single team as the maneuver element. But it can be any weight you want, and can even scale (as you described), for example you could have one full platoon providing support by fire while one squad maneuvers... etc. What is the most important is to have enough fire being laid on the target to suppress it so the maneuver element can close and assault.
  6. Some background on this action... this is about turn 40 or so of a very long BETA AAR game and the HMG team featured was on the shoulder of a defensive line that my opponent had oriented on another approach, which was a large scale feint in reality... the squad as shown was hitting the HMG Team from the rear. It was isolated because he had been forced to redeploy any neighboring units, and this was really the start of the cleanup phase of the battle. Saying that, I do not believe that it nullifies the lesson I was trying to teach. It is rare that a player can have an unbroken, and mutually supportive line of defense, most times there are opportunities, maybe not against a single unit as shown above, but maybe an isolated platoon that can be attacked using a Fire and Maneuver drill scaled up to the Company (this happened in this same battle to a German infantry platoon that found itself isolated, flanked and almost destroyed (I think I counted 22 bodies and POWs left in the wake of his platoon remnant's retreat))... its about being flexible, having a good set of pre-rehearsed battle drills and implementing them whenever possible at whatever scale is necessary. I stand by my tactics as they are rooted in reality, and I also stand by the fact that to really get the most of your infantry squads, you must split them. Fun discussion. Bil
  7. The only time I do not split my squads is when they are moving in a secure area and are not likely to run into any enemy units. In order to use real world tactics (which I highly recommend) you MUST split your squads. Read my Battle Drill blog for explanations, specifically: Movement Techniques, the React to Contact, Squad Attack and the Fire and Movement Battle Drills, plus the Platoon Leader section, specifically Scouting techniques. I hope this is helpful and not redundant... I haven't read this entire thread. In my CMRT BETA AAR I laid out a Squad Attack Drill using a Soviet infantry squad.. the key to using a squad split is to ensure that the teams can be mutually supporting. The excerpt from the AAR follows; this example shows mutually supporting fire, and leap frog movement as the Team's roles change through the attack: Squad Attack Drill 3rd Squad/1st Plt./4th Company that was formerly scouting for 5th company was given the task of taking out the HMG team that has been sitting on the approaches to Blau for several turns now... The LMG Team and the Rifle Team made up my base of fire while the SMG Team was my maneuver element... Elvis tried to extricate the HMG team but they ran right in front of the SMG team which cut down at least three of them (bottom image). Next I close and finish any survivors. Squad Attack Drill - the finish The survivors of the enemy HMG team that I was attacking last turn surrendered as the squad's rifle team closed on the position... the SMG Team was back in support for this move and the LMG Team moved forward as well.
  8. Bil Hardenberger

    CM Sniper tactics

    Try to allow them to fire at close to their maximum range, and ensure they are in cover when firing (building, or woods) and better, under cover in a key hole position. That should help, but yeah, they are a challenge to use effectively. I also struggle with them. Good luck. Bil
  9. Bil Hardenberger

    Shock Force 2 Beta Showcase Video

    I think you did a great job on that video. Very entertaining, if a bit one sided.. try that same attack with a different formation, say Strykers and you may find it more of a challenge. Still its a great showcase of the game IMO. Bil
  10. Bil Hardenberger

    CMSF 2 BETA AAR #2 – Syrian Probe (Quick Battle)

    Well, if that's the case I did it to myself... we chose the map together (though I did give @IanL the final choice) and I chose my own units and have already acknowledged that I made a huge error in the purchase phase of the scenario. That is where I lost the battle and that is 100% on me.. but to be honest with the other advantages he enjoyed, I don't think even a perfect force of Syrians could have won this one. I do agree that with Red on the offense in a Probe that they do not get enough points... Ian and I had a similar force size and his units were far more capable than mine... perhaps the point values for the Syrians should be looked at as I feel they might be about double, in some cases, what they should be. It is true that I never had a chance to compete in this one due to the very close setup zones he enjoyed.. something I didn't notice until I was in the setup phase (again that is on me, I failed to do a proper pre-game map analysis), he was able to deploy very close and as he said he was able to get a team with eyes on my setup zone early in the game... I would have had to clear the ridge that covered the entire width of the map in order to keep that from happening, and I did not have the resources for that. Bil
  11. Bil Hardenberger

    Vega Force Small Scenario Released

    Sorry @IanL and @Heirloom_Tomato I have other projects right now keeping me busy so don’t have time for a game, Public or otherwise. Ian, contact me in a month or two, the scabs from our last fight should have fallen off by then.
  12. Bil Hardenberger

    Vega Force Small Scenario Released

    Okay, sounds like I’m going to have to play @IanL again sooner rather bam later to erase the stain of that last battle.
  13. Bil Hardenberger

    CMSF 2 BETA AAR #2 – Syrian Probe (Quick Battle)

    Give me a year or so to recover from this one Ian and then we will cross swords again. A word on this battle... I never felt comfortable, and I think I realized quite quickly that I brought the wrong force to this fight... I have already said but I should have been armor heavy, I mean all armor with maybe a platoon of infantry as scouts. This map is so open and the enemy start up zone was so close to my end of the map (something that I failed to notice when we were trying to decide on which map to play on) that I never really had a chance... and no, I never spotted your infantry that had a clear view on my assembly area... I never even considered clearing the ridge, I didn't have enough combat power to devote to that anyway and it was a substantial amount of ground as well. When fighting a superior force (superior in this case means my units were outclassed in quality and we were about equal in force size, bad combination), led by a talented commander, in terrain that suits them, there is no shame in admitting that there would be nothing to gain by continuing to push... so cut and run, then come back perhaps a little wiser for the next one. Great job Ian, there were no flaws in your planning or in your game-play. Next time, when that time comes, perhaps we will do a Blue v Blue or Red v Red scenario. Those are always interesting. Bil
  14. Bil Hardenberger

    CMSF 2 BETA AAR #2 – Syrian Probe (Quick Battle)

    MINUTE 11 We are going to be cease firing in this one... I would pull out of this sector. I came in with the wrong force for the terrain, and Ian is positioned too well for me to make a dent. Can't seem to find the angles and I am getting hit by units that I can't spot in return. It was the perfect storm. All that would happen if we continue is that I would lose everything, and though that would be fun to see I'm sure for you, would not be enjoyable for me. This turn I lost a BMP-3.. I could have sworn this vehicle was masked as it drove behind the ridge... damn... But the kicker was this one...the T-62 (1975) was hit, by I think the same ATGM team that killed its mate... double damn. So congrats to Ian, he played an outstanding and perfect game... I never was able to take advantage of any weakness, but I didn't see any.
  15. Bil Hardenberger

    CMSF 2 BETA AAR #2 – Syrian Probe (Quick Battle)

    MINUTE 9 2nd Platoon Well, I left the RPG gunner to his own devices with regards to firing at the Leo or not... my final words to him were, "if you decide to shoot, DON"T F***ing miss!!" Guess what he does? He fires... RPG round is within the red circle. ...he misses, and pays the ultimate price. Just can't get an advantage here. MINUTE 10 In the next turn, the Leo pulled off its forward position and back towards its brother. This image shows start position, the movement path and the position it ended up on. A Company The T-62M was ordered to move as quickly as possible across the field go over the lip into the ravine, and see what he could see... Best laid plans and all that... what happened was the T-62 bogged on its way with the following result... ...what took him out? An ATGM from, I think the buildings in the second objective. I have a very steep hill to climb in this one.. and am not sure I have the force to do him much damage. Ian is using the terrain very well and I have only clearly spotted the one HQ Team on the Farm Objective and the two Leos on the far left.