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Combatintman

New Op HERRICK 5 Afghan Mission

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One of the maps that 'I have up my sleeve' has developed a little faster than I thought. This mission will probably complete my Op GLACIER series and will be a hybrid of subsequent GLACIER operations which took place in early 2007 during 3 Commando Brigade's Op HERRICK 5 tour.

The reason this will be a hybrid is largely due to the fact that on Google Earth the area around Garmsir District Centre has got imagery which doesn't overlap too well and unfortunately the subsequent objectives for the GLACIER series sit on the other side of the join!

More to follow in due course.

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Ok here is a taster to leave you with:

1stPreview.jpg

The image was captured in daylight although the mission will be a night mission. This is obviously so you can have a good look at the map.

Blue setup is along the left hand side of the image as you look at it. Red will be pretty much everywhere else.

The map shows the area immediately to the south of Garmsir District Centre, Garmsir District, Helmand Province.

Unfortunately I am unlikely to have internet access for the next month so you won't see any updates or the mission itself until I can get back online. What I can say is that I am progressing well with the mission and have playtested it twice. It still needs some tweaking to keep red from triggering too early a surrender but I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do there.

Anyway - I'll post updates when they are done and when I am back online.

Regards

Combatintman

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Situation: Enemy Forces

Despite recent disrupt operations to the south of GMR DC, the Taliban continue to pose a significant threat to the DC. Since occupying the DC towards the end of Op HERRICK 4, the Taliban continues to man compounds and trench systems in the immediate vicinity of the DC. Frequent direct and indirect fire attacks are launched from these positions. The most recent of these occurred on 15 Feb 07 when the Taliban launched a coordinated attack on JTAC Hill resulting in 4 UK casualties. The enemy in this area is assessed at approximately company strength and equipped with small arms, RPGs, recoilless rifles and indirect fire weapons and frequently reinforce from the South. They are also assessed as determined and will fiercely contest any friendly force moves south of JTAC Hill.

^

Situation: Friendly Forces

Despite the success of earlier Op GLACIER missions, Helmand Task Force (HTF) has not yet created the conditions to enable long-term reconstruction of GMR DC. Accordingly, IX Group comprising Zulu Company 45 Commando RM complete, a troop of 59 Independent Commando Squadron RE, two troops of C Squadron the Light Dragoons (LD) has been concentrated in the GMR DC area. Offensive support on call for this operation comprises a battery of 105mm Light Guns from 29 (Commando) Regiment RA, Zulu Coy’s mortar detachment, US F15s (C/S Bone) and two Apache pairs (C/Ss Ugly 51 and Ugly 52). Ugly 52 will conduct a RIP with Ugly 51 in 90 minutes.

^

Situation: Terrain and Weather

The principal terrain feature is the Helmand Rud (river) which runs N-S and is on the W flank of the AO. It is currently impassable for manoeuvre assets due to the ongoing winter run off. Key terrain is JTAC hill which is topped by a fortified building. JTAC hill offers excellent observation and fields of fire over the whole AO. The remainder of the ground is a mix of flat arable land bounded by irrigation ditches/trench systems and walled compounds (Qalas). Observation and fields of fire are generally good throughout. The compounds offer excellent cover and concealment. It is 2300hrs on 17 Feb 07 and the prevailing weather is forecast as overcast. Recent rains mean that the ground is damp. Overall the weather provides no impediment to friendly force operations and the low light conditions favour friendly forces due to our superior night fighting equipment.

^

Mission: Overall Description

Mission: ATTACK: IX Gp is to clear the enemy south of GMR DC IOT set the conditions for reconstruction of GMR DC.

Tasks:

1. Secure the NW Qala Complex.

2. Secure the NE Qala Complex.

3. Clear the Northern trenches.

4. Secure the SW Qala Complex.

5. Secure the SE Qala Complex.

4. Secure PL TAUNTON.

^

Execution: Commander’s Intent

My intent is to conduct a deliberate clearance of the AO defeating all enemy elements encountered. I will use ISTAR assets in overwatch on JTAC hill to cue strikes on all elements identified. C Sqn LD on the W flank will be employed in both the ISTAR and fire support role, supporting dismounts in their clearance of the NW and SW Qalas. Dismounted elements of Zulu Coy, supported by 59 Indep Cdo Sqn RE are to advance on a broad frontage, clearing all enemy encountered. End state is PL TAUNTON secured with all enemy N of TAUNTON cleared.

^

Execution: Basic Plan

Your choice CO IX Group, but I suggest that you make maximum use of your ISTAR assets on JTAC hill to cue both direct and indirect fire strikes on identified and suspected Taliban positions. Compounds are likely to be strongly contested and therefore your approach should be deliberate and conducted with offensive support preparation as required. Remain alert for signs of Taliban reinforcements arriving from the S.

Designer’s notes

This mission in reality encountered very little enemy opposition so the enemy is more reflective of those encountered in Op GLACIER 5. Friendly forces reflect those deployed for Op GLACIER 4 and the mission date and objectives are more closely aligned to those of Op GLACIER 4. CMSF unit constraints mean that the B1 bomber (C/S Bone) that was available has been replaced by a pair of F15s. US F18s were also on call during this mission but have been omitted in the interests of force balance. Op GLACIER 4 was also notable in that ANA D-30s were used in fire support, although available in the CMSF force pick, these have been replaced by 105mm Light Gun. In relation to how to play this mission, the biggest factor for the British is how you deal with ammunition consumption for the dismounts. To that end you will need to grab ammunition from wherever you can. The obvious choices are the various TUM, the less obvious ones are the WMIKs. Blue objectives are all ‘Occupy’ however you will get the points in the event of an enemy surrender. My playtesting has always triggered a surrender within the time limit due to casualties so I would suggest that ensuring a blue presence on these ‘Occupy’ objectives is not necessary. Like everything, I’ll leave that decision to you. On a personal note, one of the blokes who worked for me while was over there was one of the 4 wounded described in the Situation Enemy Forces paragraph. I am pleased to say that he is very much alive and doing well. This action is described in the book 3 Commando Brigade by Ewen Southby-Tailyour from which this mission was researched.

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Ok, I neglected to mention that the last post represented the draft orders for this scenario ... but you'd probably worked that out!

I was hoping to have released this over the weekend but unfortunately I got a very unintended result on my last playtest so it is back to the drawing board and more playtesting. The net result is that you won't see this for a couple of weeks while I refine the victory points however I hope the wait will be worth it.

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Ok - life is conspiring against me in releasing this one. Yesterday I playtested once and got about 45 minutes in only to have my computer crash. I reloaded about an hour later and had exactly the same problem!!

So as another teaser - I have now finished off all of the front end stuff and orders for the mission briefings. Here are some images from the mission briefing.

This is the Strategic Map

StratLabelledCropped_zps38643864.jpg

This is the Operational Map

OPMapCropped_zps12527f2f.jpg

This is the Tactical Map

TacMapAnnotatedCropped_zps97db7057.jpg

Apologies for all of these delays - looking like Easter holidays is going to be a more realistic release date.

As a further teaser - I am working on another Helmand project which I should finish over the same timeframe. This is going to be a four or five mission campaign and will definitely involve US, British and Canadian forces. It is based on Operation SILVER which was the Operation to clear the Taliban out of Sangin towards the end of my tour in Mar-Apr 07. For you armour nuts there is the possibility that I will include a troop of Canadian Leopard tanks that were on call for this operation.

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@combatintman,

Take your time, the pleasure to play it well done, will be greater when it comes out. Just a question : If in RL a night attack was carried out, how does it turn out in the game as far as visibility (FOV) is concern ?

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One of the maps that 'I have up my sleeve' has developed a little faster than I thought. This mission will probably complete my Op GLACIER series and will be a hybrid of subsequent GLACIER operations which took place in early 2007 during 3 Commando Brigade's Op HERRICK 5 tour.

The reason this will be a hybrid is largely due to the fact that on Google Earth the area around Garmsir District Centre has got imagery which doesn't overlap too well and unfortunately the subsequent objectives for the GLACIER series sit on the other side of the join!

More to follow in due course.

Excellent - I love the scenarios you are producing.

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@combatintman,

Take your time, the pleasure to play it well done, will be greater when it comes out. Just a question : If in RL a night attack was carried out, how does it turn out in the game as far as visibility (FOV) is concern ?

Sorry to take time in replying - my internet access is pretty limited at the moment. As far as FOV is affected there are no issues for you as the Blue player due to the availability of night fighting equipment.

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Well I have at least managed a full play test this time. Not good ... only one objective taken and 37 casualties!!!!

Still working hard at getting this out of the door for the Easter Holidays but it could be as late as Easter Monday.

I think I can safely say that when you do get a crack at this one it will probably take a couple of plays at the mission to get a victory so hopefully it will have been worth the wait.

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Thanks Combatintman,

I shall try to open my eyes to avoid unnecessary casualties. One thing that might be of some inconvenience is the time factor. If I rush my troops too fast, I might get entangled in a costly fight for not having made a timely recon. In the other hand if I take my time and do a recon of probable threat zones in order to call some air assets on identified targets, it will takes some time. If that option is chosen I shall only be able to move around these areas preferably at a safe distance to avoid Blue on Blue.

Looking at the maps, I intend to clear with the far left platoon the NE Qala, push beyond and then turn right and move toward the trenches to enfilade them. The two others platoons will provide a fire base. Regroup there after it has been clear, resupply and then attack the NW Qala with one platoon and move simultaneously another one toward the SW Qala to prevent taliban’s to reinforce the NW Qala. While this is attempted, the platoon having cleared the NE Qala and the trenches will provided a fire base.

If it works, PL Taunton and the SE Qala will be the next objectives.

Looking that way it sounds good, but as it is quite often known, when the action starts, all that as been carefully and timely drawn go awhile.

At least in CMSF you don’t lose anything besides your Armchair General stars and you can if that suits you, blame the designer for not having served you Victory on a plate!

I won’t do that and accept all the discredit of a huge defeat on me.

I am waiting for the near scenario release. Keep us feed with good CMSF scenarios, they are really a real challenge and pleasure to play.

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Thanks Combatintman,

I am just getting back to my Habibollah Kalay play from too much work. I agree with snake eye your good CMSF scenarios are a real challenge yet a pleasure to play.

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Ok ... nearly there I think.

I've tweaked the terrain elevations very slightly (by 1m) on the west bank of the Helmand Rud to make the CVR(T) more useful. I've also playtested with a new blue plan which has reduced the casualty count to a much more acceptable level.

Despite this I still only got a draw though so I've increased some victory point values to ensure that at least something resembling a blue victory is possible. I will then embark on what I hope will be my final playtest. If that goes well we should be good to go.

Reference tactics on this one - like many of my missions there is a whole bunch of offensive support available for this mission. My advice is to stand off and make good use of it.

As to the future ... I have more Afghan stuff I'm working on (three maps done).

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Ok ..... done!!!

To be honest I'm not totally happy with the result but it is possible to win this scenario.

My main issues were trying to avoid triggering a red surrender which meant beefing up the enemy to a large degree. However by doing so it is almost impossible to tick off all the objectives.

All of that said I have decided to release this for two reasons:

1. I want to move on from this one now.

2. I reckon that you will still enjoy this mission despite the limitations stated above.

Enjoy and happy Easter ... hoping that it will upload to the repository without difficulty.

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Thanks for the hard work Combatintman. I will be looking for it ASAP.

I am doing much better now that I am taking a slower methodical approach in Habibollah Kalay. Having a blast too!

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Yeah, thanks Combatintman. I absolutely loved your Operation Glacier scenarios. I am gonna download Op HRRICK 5 as soon as it is on the Repository.

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