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Jeff Gilbert

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About Jeff Gilbert

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/20/1958

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  • Location
    Palm Harbor, FL, USA
  • Occupation
    USA Retired
  1. Alright! Now we just need another couple ANZAC players and we've got a battle! Looking forward to this ...
  2. Let's see, 9AM Sunday in ANZAC land is late-afternoon Saturday here in the USA East Coast ... count me in, I'll play RED to give our ANZAC cousins something to shoot at!
  3. One more thing ... To more fully answer John's post. Part of my design criteria for this scenario was to use more and more of the the lower-tech items and still accurately model the Cuban and SADF organizations. We have been so used to gaming with the latest and greatest equipment that I wanted to give the players something quite different than they were used to. Baiscally, force them to fight with only the equipment that "client" states would possess or what they could produce on their own.
  4. A couple of quick answers. 1.Yes, I do intend to run a "variation" of this CPX. I learned quite a bit in setting this up and running it. a. I will change the map used to decrease the number of river crossings. Still be 6 x 30 km in size. b. I will reduce even more the SAM/MANPADS available to each force. c. I will re-work the initial orders to (hopefully) reduce the ammount of pre-game work required by the force commanders and their S2. 2. I think that issues with the river crossings and bridge overloading have been known for some time now and, while we may currently be waiting for some "fix" that may or may not happen, we can still use bridging but this will be more of a training and command issue. Very strict movement control will solve most of the issues encountered. Of course, I will not make the same map and mine errors that only compounded the problems the guys encountered. 3. No offense taken ... In fact, hopefully, JohnK will jump into one of the upcoming CPX events. I think you would find it very fun & frustrating.
  5. I'll be there.Observer at first ... unless there is a "spare" tank company floating about ...
  6. Not sure. We'll have to wait for the Major to answer this one. Anyway, buy the game ... you won't be disappointed.
  7. Rattler, All my best to you and yours. Speedy recovery and good health to your Missus.
  8. Hey, If any of you ANZAC guys would like to host a CPX, I'll bet you'd get a half dozen of us folk from the other half of the world to play. I can about guarentee I'd be up for it.
  9. Yes, exactly. These were Cubans not Soviets. This was South Africa not Afganistan. I could be taking this wrong but you seem to find it somewhat incredulous that I would not alter the force ratio to suport everyone's "Pet Rock." Also, Cuban deep recon was provided by Mozambiqan irregulars ... not Soviet Spetsnaz. Red could rquest all they wanted ... not happening. I did my best to provide a "balanced" scenario where both sides could have a shot at victory. Give in to all of one sides requests and desires and it would throw the play balance off so bad that NO one would be interested in any scenario you came up with in the future. As it turned out ... I do believe that all the players involved had a reqarding and fun experience.
  10. I'll be a bit late, but I'll be there! Sounds like fun ...
  11. Now that was fun! Played for over 8 hours without issue ... All 8 force colors in use. 180+ game turns ... More to follow.
  12. Sorry, 17:00 GMT is the correct time
  13. Saturday CPX Announcement, 27 January 2007 @ 19:00 GMT (12:00 EST US) Hi All, I will have an "open" TacOps CPX for anyone and everyone who wants to show up. I plan to keep it open for at least 5 or 6 hours. Show up when you can, take command of a company and have a good time. I will be using a standard TacOps v4 map so you will all have it. I will use CustomScenarioUSArmy ... I will have at least 4 forces prepared, a mixed company + of US, UK, GE, RU that you can choose from. You will be given your own force color and and objective area to control. You will have no friends! IRC = comms.tacopshq.com :7024 #TacOps channel IP = NOTE: if you loose all (or most) of your forces, you can get more but you will be required to send an IRC message stating, "Dear Sir, please send more troops. I seem to have used all mine up."
  14. Damn, sounds like my "stealth" fortification "feature" has been found out! :mad:
  15. What follows is my Umpire AAR. I figured I would post here instead of a new Topic. ---------------------------------- 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.
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