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SimpleSimon

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SimpleSimon last won the day on February 5

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  1. This is a very good point. I think the Syrian Force count in the Hospital is large enough to warrant it as a legitimate target, but the presence of civilians and especially patients inside it would definitely make a direct attack on it pretty distasteful in any context. Ain't war hell? Yeah I figured that, I was going to highlight the F-18 as "loaned" from the Navy because Army Aviation assets are up with the SBCTs further inland. EDIT: So the Briefing states the Syrians occupied the building aware that its status as a Hospital would discourage the use of aerial bombing. No mention is made of whether its occupied by civilians or not but if the Syrian Commander is ruthless enough he might well chose to keep hostages in the facility to make that point. However, his force is very large and there are visible defensive fortifications around the structure. Perhaps i'll score destruction of the main building very harshly and encourage external objectives more since i'm enlarging the map. I've added a 3 story building down the road from the entrance (a "sniper house" the Defenders have been using to harass traffic) and low ground opposite the main entrance the Americans might want to move men inside of to discourage the escape of a such a large force or catch deserters. Realistically if such a situation presented itself I doubt either the original designer's scenario or my scenario would happen at all. Too much shooting around a large number of vulnerables with enormous potential for a humanitarian disaster. Just keep the place bottled up convoys will be routed down other routes etc.
  2. Yeah I just loaded it up again to make my dream scenario with the location come true in the editor and I do remember now that it is explicitly a hospital. I'm still going to allow one of the F-18s in support though for use at player discretion with perhaps a demerit or points off for using it on the hospital. It won't be a failing grade by itself because I think the Syrian Garrison is plenty large enough to warrant the Hospital as a fair target, but i've also built the map up to include a potential outpost positions the Syrians may or may not be occupying dependent upon whatever plan the AI rolls. The new scenario is going to involve elements of a US Army Infantry Battalion + Engineers and Snipers. The Americans are partially dug-in and Battalion Heavy Mortars are available off-map for use. The Syrian Garrison I won't be changing too much in composition, but its AI plans will be more different and varied. I'm thinking most of their planning would simply involve hiding in the depths of the structure with their available heavy weapons (consisting of RPGs, DshK, and recoilless rifles) mostly oriented towards an off-map highway. The Syrians don't know when or even if the player will attack, although a minority plan will involve a potential break-out. The American AI for its part will be given mostly stand-off plans that the player can chose to thwart or just ignore at their own will. The American planning is mostly an "own objective" sort of thing while the Syrian Commanders are primarily concerned with the survival of their own force, and have secondary priorities in the form of inflicting casualties on the Americans and maintaining their hold on the Hospital to impede movement up nearby roads. As always, one plan will be a concerted attack involving all available assets and utter disregard for RoE. Chose wisely.
  3. I think what stands out to me is how inadequate a Stryker Brigade is for the circumstances. The given battle is very set-pieceish though with lots of forces crammed into a relatively small space. It's not that the circumstances are invalid, but that the force composition and stated objectives lend themselves to a scripted blood bath that annoys me as always. If was the local XO i'd tell the Combat Team troops to just push on down their route of advance and then have infantry and engineers find ways to prep the site for later capture. Capture 1 is ground with good oversight on low ground West of the facility etc and will make it impossible for the Defender to just slip out. Objective 2 is a destroy/clear. A warehouse external to the site that snipers have been using sometimes to attack transports moving up the highway outside the map. You can vaporize it with the F-18s if you want, or save them for enemies revealing their location in the factory. If you're crazy you can engage the factory directly and try to clear it now but if you chose to give battle to the enemy's main body you will be scored harshly on own losses. The peripheral objectives are attractive in that they're less likely to cause a battle. You could have the F-18s just pummel the factory too but the enemy force is likely holed up in the very deepest parts of it. Or...maybe I randomized the spawn area so they're all on over watch at the highest floors waiting for you to go for one of the lesser objectives thinking its safer. If that is the case, then those Mk84s the F-18s are carrying will definitely ruin the defender's day. Decisions decisions...
  4. Some people really seem to think clearing a massive factory complex packed with enemies is a single scenario thing ya know? The American Commander should reject the attack entirely if he has any clue what he's up against and should be prepared to take that all the way to a tribunal if need be. If he isn't very competent, you'll get this scenario. You could say "well it could still happen for reasons XYZ" but you'll never a find a good reason to explain why its explicitly a SBCT executing this attack and not follow on forces or Engineers with a couple of F-18s flattening the structure, all of whom might still be inclined to sit tight and wait out a few more days of desertions and mistakes on the part of the Defender before just trying to eat this sandwich in one big bite.
  5. I despise even seeing forest objectives because the context for them is always poor. Who cares about 100m square capture in the middle of a forest? The enemy can have it and when they emerge from the forest in a few weeks from depletion of rations and ammunition or just fear of what the Partisans will do to them then you can capture the wood. Otherwise what sensible Commander would send men into such a place? To capture the enemy's supply of birch trees???
  6. Biggest thing for me was the infantry behavior fix. It wasn't that they were retreating too much that bothered me, it's that they were retreating into the enemy's fire.
  7. Also it's not tactical level but Unity of Command is an outstanding virtual board game too. Other cool thing about DVG is that many of their games are available for virtual purchase for use in Vassal Engine, and they're much cheaper than the physical editions! I might grab Warfighter that way soon. Lock n Load Tactical is also starting to show up on Steam and it's way cheaper than the $80 modules for the regular edition.
  8. It should. Remember you'll have to dig a little for the expansions too but they're all great and absolutely worth it. They make the units more distinct and even include insanity like Spanish Civil War scenarios.
  9. I played A las Barricadas and wasn't too impressed by it at first. I did grab La Battaile de France but by then I modified the rules of the War Storm Series to make more sense and clear up some oddities or translation errors. Memoir 44 can be had with all of its (gigantic) set of expansions for free on Vassal Engine and tbh it's great that way. It's way more granular with its subsequent add ons but easy enough to play still. The DVG Board Games are also all great. Sherman Leader and Fleet Commander Nimitz I had tons of fun with, and they're solitaire based so you don't have to arrange anything like other players or make single player rules for them. The trouble with a lot of these games is the BOX O DICE' stuff with way too much +1/-1 stuff going on in the rules. It's not always bad, but too much of it gets really grating. War games tend to work a lot better on cards I feel, and i've been meaning to try out Warfighter or at least give the rules a read sometime soon.
  10. Seriously. It's important to keep in mind that considerable firepower has been placed down in the hands of the infantry now, and this is much different from the platoons of 1945 maybe having a few light machine guns a rifle grenade launcher and a sharp stick they all share. Every man in today's infantry squad is a potential bullet hose, and he's backed up by liberal allotments of machine guns, grenade launchers, and rocket launchers all of which used to be much more rare or restricted to higher levels. This also means that modern infantry squads have relatively short periods they can remain engaged for, since they burn ammunition so fast. That's why the US Army had to make the Stryker. The Humvee just wasn't tough enough to be right up front with the infantry portering all of their ammunition and supplies, it's too vulnerable and the armored versions suffer from chronic maintenance problems due to an overtaxed drivetrain. This is part of the reason the BMP is still so widespread among Eastern Bloc style armories.
  11. This is a big reason why im not in favor of avoiding or removing big stuff from the game in lieu of engine improvements or mechanical changes etc. The game's biggest scenarios fully develop the game's ability to create random, organic, and exciting encounters that affect each other in the abstract and in the direct. There's lots of player controlled context well outside a single squad and what they're up to now clearing out a house. In a way, you can almost view "big battles" as multiple interconnected "scenarios" just all happening in the same scenario. Except the effect of the map edges is much reduced. There's usually not enough context to explain why maps just cut off where they do for me. But in something like Blunting the Spear I define why A Company shouldn't pass beyond a certain line because its a minefield or an open kill zone T-34s are watching etc. A situation which invariably leads to a set-piece battle, where the defender is well postured and the attacker isn't, requiring the attacker to intricately and cautiously "solve" the map like a puzzle. (A strategy only made practical at all by the totally passive AI.) Save scumming is about the only way to achieve your objectives and have some kind of bloody tattered survivors left over you could charitably call a force. I'm ok with these kinds of battles for scenarios, but they're often in the campaigns too and even the most optimistic plans for solving them involve lots of ammunition expenditure or time consumption or plain bloodiness with consequences that carry over into....another set-piece battle?
  12. Indeed, it's only one perspective. However, the thing I want to point about the above is that they were both examples of an Offensive. Offensives change the nature of day-to-day activity at the front, and are indeed the events that induce Officers to be a bit more pushy because their CO is getting nudged from above and on and on etc to produce results. Offensives and Major Battles got of lot of media attention during the war, and were often hyped up quite a bit by their planners. Sometimes this hype even spilled outside of the military and was taken up and carried by public media and politicians, who would often put even greater pressure on Commanders to exacerbate the circumstances of situations that lead to a Cassino or a Somme. Among the authoritarian states, the operational pressure would be coming from something much worse than the public, it'd be the Party now and they're prepared to shoot men who don't seem very motivated. No Army could sustain a monthly 200,000 man casualty rate for the duration of the war. That'd be at least a Division per day. The Red Army might've come close to something like that in 1941 during Barbarossa but even they had to stabilize casualty figures at something much lower.
  13. It sounds like there were a lot of them. Like too many for the attack to be reasonably conducted without more support, men, or both. Most commanders in 1944 would've elected to just avoid this battle, and just feed back to their superiors that enemy resistance was too heavy to press on then maybe say they took lots of casualties to please the Party Representative or whatever. If their CO isn't a sod he'll understand. We really need to score these battles way more heavily on casualties. Almost all of the scenarios seem to place objectives as a higher priority than casualties but objectives in wars don't exist unto themselves. They exist to create external-context to the game's battles in way that should compel commanders/players against 100% optimal play. The Defender on this map should've had the hill as a hold objective. It is not immediately dangerous for them to lose, and they might chose to simply avoid defending it entirely so as not to split their forces. However, in the days following your skirmish with the enemy the hill could take on new importance in a follow up attack, or serve as spotting point for artillery later on. So it would really be unwise for the Defender to simply give it up to you. Could they? Sure. "Both sides declare victory" Oh wait, 45min into the battle a "Howitzer" reinforcement appears for the attacker hmmm maybe should've contested SBF after all. As designed this battle strikes me more as a skirmish or a probe. It should be scored more with that it mind. "Do not become decisively engaged etc" just capture the ground around the Villa to make a follow up attack more favorable. The enemy will probably withdraw during the night anyway. HMGs are useful at all ranges, although they are indeed more useful for picking off targets a km away. I'm sort of wondering if part of the reason snipers are such a problem today is because all those water cooled .30cal machine guns have disappeared from inventories, and those guns had some conspicuous advantages over their air-cooled competitors like greater effective range, continuous fire output, etc. Certainly they were heavy, complicated weapons that needed a mule team to keep fed with ammunition but vehicle mounts are everywhere and could easily accommodate all the ammunition, spare water, etc. Did I just invent the Infantry Tank? Oh dear.
  14. The other thing I should ask Fibby is if he's playing Syria. I'm not sure if he's using standard icons and such. It's just that with REDFOR in particular you really don't have much to gain splitting your forces into a fire base and maneuver element typical of western infantry tactics. Needless complication of what should be simple straight on pummeling. Mass your whole force on the high ground and hope the guys can bag a few hits on the structure with their RPGs which can devastate buildings with thermobaric rounds. Then just advance straight on. EDIT: Looking at it might also be Fortress Italy but tbh, there's just about no advantage to be gained that I can see from executing a Fix-and-Flank from the given position. The enemy is in a hardened structure with superior overwatch on both flanks. The disadvantage is that the enemy's position is obvious, and you should be able to overpower it eventually in a simple uncomplicated gun battle.
  15. Bingo. Map's too small for the given scenario and forces involved. The player doesn't really have many options and the one he has is very exposed to return fire. The map i'm looking at seems appropriate for a squad+ size engagement at most. Even a pair of Platoons can make a 500m area pretty lethal.
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