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Bil Hardenberger

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Everything posted by Bil Hardenberger

  1. Even though the other BETA AAR is still going on, I expect it will end very soon. I had already promised to take IanL on in a second game to fill the time, so here 'tis. I hope it fills the time left until release. BACKGROUND A NATO attack is in progress and they are making massive gains. In an attempt to slow them down high command has decided that a spoiling attack is required. We are the tip of that spear. Our task is to Probe into the assigned sector on the flank of the NATO attack and determine the strength of the Canadian flank security force in front of us and if possible, destroy it or force it to withdraw. Our force will not be reinforced unless successful, so if we fail, another unit will become the spearhead for the main attack. Hopefully that will suffice to set the stage for what we are doing in this action. Ian and I are playing a Quick Battle (QB) Medium Probe, with me as the Syrians on the attack, force selection for both sides was Mixed (Infantry, Mech Infantry, and Armor are all okay to purchase) with no restrictions set for either side. I do not expect an easy time of it, as the Canadians are tough and Ian is no slouch tactically. He even uses some of the same movement techniques I use so I expect this to be a hard struggle ORDER OF BATTLE My purchases: MAIN BODY This element will be my main combat element in this action. They will be tasked with capturing early objectives, ascertaining enemy strength and capabilities, and recovering the enemy Order of Battle. A Company Mechanized Infantry on BMP-2s Company HQ Element Tanks are intended for anti-infantry support ZSU-23-4 is mainly for AA support, but also is intended to be used in an anti-infantry role 1st Platoon Will have one AT-13 team attached 2nd Platoon Will have one AT-13 team attached COMBAT SUPPORT 120mm Mortar Battery with FO Also purchased four TRPs AT 13 Platoon One of the two sections will be assigned to the Main Body, one AT team per platoon Note: truck was purchased specially to carry the remaining section and the HQ element AT 14 Platoon One of the two sections will be assigned to the Reserve, both AT teams in the Mech Infantry platoon Note: truck was purchased specially to carry the remaining section and the HQ element RESERVE - This force will be husbanded until needed, or until I can identify the main enemy positions Airborne Mechanized Infantry Platoon on BMP-3s Will have one complete AT-14 section attached Tank Platoon on T-72M1 TURMS-T Technology Note: These tanks feature the TURMS-T computerised fire control system by Galileo Avionica. It will be interesting to see how that helps in action.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bil Hardenberger

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

    When I get a free moment I'll post something in the Maps & Mods sub-forum with a preview.
  9. Bil Hardenberger

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

    I do have a version for CMBS that I never released (that I never finished it because I rarely played that game)... I am modifying it for CMSF2. I am sure there will be plenty of options for floating icons once the game is released.
  10. Bil Hardenberger

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

    Affirmative. There are FOW icons for light and for heavy armor... they look almost the same and unless side by side its tough to see the difference. Heavy Armor: Light Armor:
  11. Bil Hardenberger

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

    Nope.. the game's sound icons are also supposed to give you an indication as to vehicle type as well, they are just too damned hard to decipher.. doesn't help that they differ by country too I believe. The floating icon mods just make it everything easier to read at a glance what the sound icon is supposed to represent, and the normal equipment icons are easier to differentiate too.
  12. Bil Hardenberger

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

    I don't think they are in yet, still in BETA after all. I saw no damage from the BMP fire on the lower level until the side of the building gave way.
  13. Bil Hardenberger

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

    What can I say? I never play with these icons and I’ll never do it again.
  14. Bil Hardenberger

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

    MINUTE 8 A Company The following images highlight the actions and events at the farm Objective this turn... ... the forward BMP and the T-62M both fired at the large building, hopefully suppressing any enemy teams that might still be inside. This firing was for 15 seconds only. Then 3rd Squad rushed to the large building... ..1st Platoon HQ spotted this enemy HQ Team rushing over the edge of the ravine towards the river. HQ for what I wonder? Here is an overview of the situation on the right side of the map, definitely rosier than the left. Note the AT-14 Team in the field... hopefully as they creep forward they will have pretty good observation of this side of the map. 2nd PLATOON Alright, that does it, I cannot play with the standard floating icons as I can't tell what the hell I'm looking at. I will do screenshots with them for this AAR, but I will be replacing them with my NATO icons ASAP when giving orders. The two sound contacts I had on my left were not light armor at all.. they were freaking tanks... Leopard 1 C2s to be exact... 2nd Platoon's forward 3rd squad spotted this beauty towards the end of the turn. Even at 100m distance I doubt the RPG-7 is the correct weapon to engage this tank with. 3rd PLATOON The BMP-3 that was fired on last turn, sadly, was not able to escape. Damn.. however its death will not be without value. I now know exactly where at least two of Ian's tanks are, and hopefully can pen them in. It sucks being on the receiving end of these.. but I expected losses... this is the second sound contact morphing into another Leopard 1 C2. I am just thankful that one of the AT14 teams was not on this BMP. I must say, I am also pretty happy that Ian has two tanks that far forward.. that was unexpected but I wouldn't have done that unless I had gone tank heavy with my force and even then its risky... does he also have infantry in this area? I have yet to see any... what this means is there are two fewer tanks to oppose me on the right, and it also means he isn't husbanding them for a reserve like I am. Now.. can I take advantage of that information? We will see.
  15. Bil Hardenberger

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

    Agreed. But first you have to find them, eh?
  16. Bil Hardenberger

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

    Well.. I am in the advance to contact stage right now.. however I prefer to make contact with infantry first, and make sure I don't lose any vehicles unnecessarily. That is exactly what would happen if I moved three vehicles into hull down positions or along routes until they made contact... I would lose them, and might or might not even know where the fire came from.
  17. Bil Hardenberger

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

    Doug, thanks for the post, I always love talking tactics. I understand how the Russian system works, but I am not commanding a Regimental attack here, this is a Company (+) Probe. Even they use Recon Pull (see the NTC OPFOR, Soviet Forward Detachments, Russian Reconnaissance, etc.)... I believe, regardless of the force commanded, that it is always a good idea to know your enemy's positions, strength, and intent prior to committing to any option for attack. By the way Doug, I have conducted Command Push in a couple of my AARs, (see Wittmann's Demise and the CMRT BETA AAR for a couple examples). In both of those actions though, I had good covered terrain within which to operate, in the terrain this fight is occurring on any avenue is potentially deadly to me from anywhere if I move out into unscouted terrain. Echelon tactics do not apply to this situation, I am facing a formation with a potentially similar sized force and far superior equipment... also I know the T-72 is capable, but is it comparable to a Western tank? I think not, they need to be committed with care and at the right moment to be effective.
  18. Bil Hardenberger

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

    MINUTE 6 & 7 AT13 PLATOON On Star Hill, the artillery stopped toward the end of the 6th minute... but not before losing one complete AT13 Team, and one member of the second. 2nd PLATOON Apologies, I keep calling this 2nd Platoon overwatching squad 3rd Squad, when in actuality it is 2nd Squad.. anyway, obviously they have been spotted by Ian as a spotting round hit nearby in the 7th Minute... they took one casualty from this. So next turn will be running for the BMP to remount and get under cover. A COMPANY In the A Company zone, the advance continues. The enemy contact is very old now, and no other contacts have been identified. My armor, behind their smoke screen have now advanced very close. Now the infantry will advance past them and assault the objective. BMP3 PLATOON (3rd PLATOON) With all the eyes I have over in the 2nd Platoon Sector I am spotting nothing. I do have the BMP-3 Platoon trying to get around the flank of the enemy vehicle contacts, but am rethinking that strategy as obviously they have been spotted... the tree deflected round in the following image proves that. By the way, I have no idea where that round came from, the BMP-3 should be masked from Ian's positions at this point. FRUSTRATION I am rethinking this entire game now.. he can spot me obviously, I cannot spot him. I have eyes in pretty good positions that should be able to see "something" but all I am getting are sound contacts and very few of those. This map is very open, and if I can't start to identify Ian's strength and weaknesses then I can't attack him, I am not the type who identifies an approach and simply rushes down it without some reconnaissance. The trouble is I don't think I have the combat power to be effective on this terrain or to force my way through anywhere... I should probably have purchased a company of tanks with a platoon of infantry support (that was an early option I checked out).. but I wanted to come with something a little more balanced. So I am going to take a day or so and give this one a good rethink... I may need to throw my T-72s in a lot sooner than I had hoped. I do hate that I seem to be getting sucked into a meat grinder on my left too.. I may need to cancel that and go defensive there and find another way.
  19. Bil Hardenberger

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

    I had thought about that, but the fact it landed on turn 5, also the fact that it seemed centered, not on the AT-13 team, but on the top of the hill, or just slightly behind id it makes me think its likely pre-planned. Still, I could be wrong, not that it really matters.. but if he has a TRP on that hill, then I am going to want to stay away. heh.. yeah.. need a little more information to be able to do that. I also have more headed to that sector.. so it could get interesting very soon.
  20. Bil Hardenberger

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

    I think so. It was rattled after the previous turn and I don’t think ever got its act together enough to follow any orders.
  21. Bil Hardenberger

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

    MINUTE 5 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon failed to throw smoke.. and they did not move s ordered. That's okay actually.. I'm going to keep them where they are as it gives me a trip wire in case Ian sends some dismounts over the top. The light armor started to pull back, and my first BMP also pulled back into a hull down position. The light armor continued to reverse, and a new contact appeared moving as indicated. It actually stopped just a little in front of the position shown. Final positions. I actually expect Ian to send a dismounted team over the top.. to defend against this, the 1st Squad (Platoon Leader) will be moving to get eyes on the top of the ridge. I also have 3rd Squad overwatching.. this squad is about 250 meters from the ridge 2nd Squad is on. In the 1st Platoon/A Company zone, the BMP and T-62 fired off their smoke grenades as the infantry continued to move forward. I will be speeding up the two squads in the rear a bit as they are moving way too slow. On Star Hill Ian started firing an artillery mission on my AT-13 teams. This must be pre-planned, as there were no spotting rounds. The right side team takes two casualties... I will be trying to pull both teams out of the impact zone next turn as quickly as possible. I am an idiot for setting up there as it is such an obvious piece of key terrain.
  22. Bil Hardenberger

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

    MINUTE 4 As 2nd Squad moved a little closer to the enemy contact, one individual stayed upright just a few seconds too long and fell to what looked like dismounted infantry fire. What I'm going to do in this sector, as I don't think these two squads and the BMPs can actually take on even a single enemy squad and light armored vehicle is pull 2nd squad back (after throwing smoke) so they are on a line with the 1st Squad (2nd Platoon HQ element). The BMPs will both be pulling back into hull down positions. I am also sending them some help.. but I want to keep that as a surprise for later. The AT-13 team on Star Hill did identify one enemy infantry contact on the Farm Objective. Meanwhile 1st Platoon's infantry is moving carefully through the field next to the objective. The following image shows their movement plan, with listening halts and staggered movement so all units are not moving at the same time. My plan for this first objective is as follows (refer to the image below): The T-62M and the marked BMP will both move forward and pop smoke... I will allow that to build for a bit. The infantry platoon will continue to advance carefully toward the objective The T-62 (1975) and the other BMP will move to jump off positions and wait for the smoke to build. Once it is sufficient both BMPs and both T-62s will move quickly toward the objective The AT-14 teams in the UAZ will move forward, my intent with them is to get them to dismount and take up overwatch positions where they can fire into the depth of the map I have plotted two mortar smoke missions at two of the probable HD positions (TRPs :HD3 and HD4) overwatching this objective. These will arrive in three minutes and are intended to support follow-on movements after I capture this objective. The smoke is intended to (hopefully) blind any enemy units in Support By Fire (SBF) positions deployed in depth. It will hopefully allow me to move my armor through the area exposed to these potential enemy SBF positions and into the objective safely. The infantry is moving and should arrive ahead of the armor to provide AT suppression if required. I know there is at least one enemy unit on this objective and suspect it is probably lightly held.. there could always be one or two more units, so I am not taking anything for granted. By the way, there is no wind in this scenario, so I am hoping the smoke will dissipate very slowly.
  23. Bil Hardenberger

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

    MINUTE 3 2nd Squad on my far left (2nd Platoon) received a sound contact as it moved up towards its position. This gif has been sped up by 50%: The image below shows final positions... I believe (and I am not sure as I really dislike the standard icons, so difficult to tell unit/vehicle types apart) that this is a light armor vehicle. I assume (and I was taught to never assume) that Ian is reconnoitering this area in order to determine how I am deploying. If he doesn't have a dismounted team nearby, he might not know my BMPs are on the other side of the ridge. That enemy vehicle was definitely moving, I do wonder if its alone. Perhaps I can expect a scout team to poke its head over the ridge in front of my squad. In the 1st Platoon zone the T-62M moved past the advancing infantry and took a couple shots, both hit the upper floor of the large building in the Farm Objective... I am slowly getting closer to the ridge and my infantry should be able to sight into the objective next turn. Time is slightly compressed in this gif, the tank reload took several more seconds to complete than is shown.
  24. Bil Hardenberger

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

    MINUTE 2 Still no contact... it might be a little while until that happens so be patient. My philosophy is to generally not plan until I have some data on the enemy.. right now I have nothing. This initial reconnaissance phase can really help when it comes time to throw in the works. On my far left, 2nd Platoon is getting to their initial positions. 1st Squad and the Platoon HQ is moving up quickly... 2nd Squad and 3rd Squad have dismounted and are moving to their ridges as Dismounted Recon Teams (DRT). In the 1st Platoon AO, they continue to move carefully forward, the infantry is staggering their movement and taking listening halts for 15-30 seconds at each waypoint. The A Company infantry support tanks and the Platoon BMPs (except for one) are also staying close behind the infantry squads. Next turn the T-62M will creep forward, peek over the ridge (hopefully masked from the rest of the map) and take a few shots at the top floor of the large building on the objective... then it will back off. With this movement, I am just trying to force some movement from Ian. Note on the far right that I have a dismounted team climbing the ridge at the map edge in order to look down into the objective. Also looking down on the objective is one AT-13 Team.... many eyes from many different angles is key to successfully getting spots on enemy units or vehicles.
  25. Bil Hardenberger

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

    Unfortunately I have the sun against my back in this scenario, which doesn't help the image quality. Still, yes, the infantry look amazing in the game. It is about time you came over to the dark side. 👿
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