I believe things are getting out of hand, for those two insist on ordering chaos (which staff school teaches that skill?). We can't have that. Besides, all this exposition of tactical planning and combat application is giving me some sort of CM inferiority complex. These two fight their battles much differently than I do, for my style, if you can call it that, is more intuitive. Bil's approach seems all but mathematically rigorous, where pnzrldr's seems more fluid and aggressive. Am learning from both, but dealing with all this information is intermittently overloading my brain. And nobody's shooting at me, I get reasonable rest, eat mostly good food, am warm and dry, so I don't want to think how overwhelming the real deal would be with information (often confused or even wrong) flooding in (presuming the info channels work) or maybe trickling in; mayhem and chaos everywhere, hot, parched and hungry (other settings in winter) , while bearing crushing responsibility for those you lead and must care for, deal with higher, keep complex equipment fully operating and in the fight--all with terrible wounds or death potentially coming in an instant. Am quite glad I'm a wargamer and not a warrior.
On the north side of the hill, the remnants of 3rd Platoon were still being ground down by the advancing Russian BMP-3s and infantry. The Platoon leader came staggering back through the forest and collapsed by a tree, falling next to the last two surviving dismounted infantrymen from his small command, both bleeding from multiple shrapnel wounds to their faces and upper torsos.
“Sir, are you okay?” one asked. The Lieutenant’s haggard face told the story as he just stared at the man in obvious shock. In that instant, another burst of lethal 30mm cannon fire struck, directed by the thermal sights on an unseen enemy vehicle, and the officer fell forward on his face and was still. The two infantrymen cried out in panic, then both began crawling away from the source of the fire, one whimpering in fear and the other snarling in impotent rage.
Note: BMP in background is destroyed Ukrainian 3d Platoon vehicle.
In Krichek, KPT Kovtun knew that the Russians were up to something. The artillery continued to hammer down, but there was simply not enough fire or probing coming from the far side of the river, especially given the destruction of one of an enemy BMP over there by his ATGM team several minutes ago. Someone or something should have been hunting, searching, trying to pin down the missile team or flush out its comrades. He called the BMP2 section which had moved up and taken position along the row of houses on the west, facing the river.
“Borsuk 11, have you seen anything? Any activity from the far side?”
“Nothing Viktor, hang on, I’ll move up and take a quick look.”
“Borsuk 11, this is Vovk, Hang on 11, don’t do anything stupid.”
“Trust me Viktor – we are good on this.”
An instant later a Kovtun heard the unmistakable hammering of outgoing 30mm fire, over the shriek of another incoming artillery shell. As his ears were still ringing from the tremendous detonation, he gradually heard the voice calling again on his radio.
“Vovk, this is Borsuk 21… Vovk this is Borsuk 21…” with a heavy heart, already knowing Kovtun took a deep breath and replied.
“Go ahead 21.”
“11 is destroyed. We never saw what did it. His track is burning. No one got out.”
“21 this is Vovk, do me a favor and don’t DIE in the next five minutes. Keep scanning but keep YOUR heads down. We need your track, your cannon, and your missiles! Stay under cover and respect the enemy’s abilities. Vovk out.” He passed the handset back to his RTO, making a deliberate effort not to throw it against the wall, and carefully peeling his white-clenched fingers from the black plastic. An instant later, he took it back and spoke again.
“Brytva 22, this is Vovk. Move to checkpoint 2 and observe.”
“This is Brytva 22, understood. Moving. I have permission to shoot?”
Podpulkovnyk Tymoshenko stepped into the room.
“You are committing the Tunguska?”
“Brytva 22, destroy anything you see. Out” Kovtun gave his Air Defense Commander a hard look.
“Yes Sir. It is needed. We have lost too many combat vehicles, and now 11 has stupidly gotten himself and his crew obliterated. I need a check on the south, and it must be fast, and lethal if anything is there. Brytva 21 on the other side has done quite well, although he said he saw nothing from his new position.”
“Absolutely. Good, I approve. I trust you Viktor. Keep the fight going. Levchenko will get here with the Americans.”
Outside, Major Harris drew the same conclusion from both the sounds of cooking off ammo from the recently destroyed BMP up the street, as well as the radio traffic which he and Beach were monitoring. He too drew out his handset:
“Guiness, this is five, over.” As a small team, the SFAT had adopted informal call signs. SPC O’Brian was well known for his heritage, and his favorite beverage.
“Five this is Guiness.”
“Need you to get over to TRP 2 like we discussed. Seen anything? Figure you can make it?”
“Roger. We can make it. The green boyos over here saw a couple dismounts earlier, but they laid into them with their AGS and we haven’t seen any movement since. I think our move is still masked. Same mission?”
“Roger, just like we rehearsed, over.”
“Guiness moving. We’ll be back in a bit with notches on our CLU. Out.”
One hundred meters away, the SPC O’Brian picked up the Javelin launcher, tapped PVT Metcalf on the shoulder, and headed quickly down towards the river bridge, carefully skirting the anti-tank mines laid on either side of the road.
At the Ukepor Power Plant, LT Lysenko grinned as he spoke into his mike.
“Yes, that is in there. Fire for effect.”
The infantry in the field had dropped from view, discouraged by a few bursts from his squad in the entry building, and the mortar spotting rounds had bracketed the position where he had last seen the Russian truck and troops. He hoped the mortar boys would fire fast so he could shift them closer into the field. He doubted his few men could hold off a platoon of determined Russians.
Starshiy Kostenko knew he was a dead man. The 2nd Platoon private was on the ground, crawling past the body of one of his comrades, trying to follow his section leader back down the hill to the west, away from the murderous fire from inside the trees. It was like a horrible story to tell little children. From dark shadows beyond sight inside the trees, the forest had suddenly belched fire and flame, and all around him men had fallen. His own thighs and cheek burned with shrapnel, and he felt the warm sticky wetness of his own blood on his pant legs as he crawled. Suddenly, right behind him, he heard a crashing roaring clatter of sound. He turned his head and saw the Russian beast, a BMP-3, a mere stones throw behind him. He swung his rocket launcher around, and thought to himself how sad his mother would be…
You guys are right.
And this is why I love this game: if you don't do it the right way you get punished. What's the right way? More or less the REAL way, which is way more complicated than the RTS abstraction.
So if you want to succeed you have to learn much more than the rules of the game, you have to learn the rules of the conflict and the doctrines.