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Combatintman

'Have You Ever Used a Pistol?' - New Scenario Afghanistan 2006

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Hi all,

Apologies for my protracted absence - lack of internet connectivity and a new computer are mostly to blame. I've had to shelve my Op SILVER project but I have been working on something new.

The line in the thread title is the clue here. To add further flesh check out the linky:

http://www.christinalamb.net/pages/articles/pistol.html

This mission is not far off being finished and is a little different from my other missions in that there is not bucket loads of offensive support on call. I have playtested this twice now and it plays out exactly how I want it to play and I think you guys will really enjoy it.

More to follow...

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Thought I'd throw you some bones ...

The map is 2834m x 1520m, this is what it looks like in Google Earth:

GoogleEarthOverhead_zps9628320a.png

This is what it looks like in CMSF:

ZumbelayCMSFOverhead_zpse43af6e7.png

The bottom of the CMSF map is cropped as I couldn't screen grab the whole area shown in Google Earth but rest assured it is there.

The mission is my best guess at recreating the action described in the link in the previous post. I have also researched this in Patrick Bishop's book '3 Para' and Col Stuart Tootal's book 'Danger Close'.

Unfortunately none of the accounts specify the exact area of the action so I had to hunt on Google Earth around Zumbelay to find an area that matched the description. The key features being the canal, a crossing point over the canal and some high ground providing a good overwatch position for the FSG.

Anyway ... enjoy.

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Looking forward to a new CMSF scenario. Hope it's vs AI.

Yes mate it certainly is ... this will go live on Sunday (Australian Eastern Time) - I'm going to knock up an alternate AI plan before release (which is tomorrow's task). The main AI plan and how the mission functions has been tested entirely to my satisfaction - the alternate AI plan will be tested once to check it ain't too crazy - if it isn't then all will be good.

Thanks for your support.

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Good to see you back, also good to see you are making a new scenario. I cant remember the exact names, but i really enjoyed those two scenarios you made in wich british commandos attack taliban positions in a night raid.

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Good to see you back, also good to see you are making a new scenario. I cant remember the exact names, but i really enjoyed those two scenarios you made in wich british commandos attack taliban positions in a night raid.

They would have been the Op GLACIER missions GLACIER 1, GLACIER 2 and GLACIER 4 - to whet your appetite it does get dark in this mission.

Glad you enjoyed the earlier missions - this one I think you'll really like - I have really enjoyed putting this one together and playtesting it.

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Ok - some more appetisers first here are the draft orders:

Situation: Enemy Forces

Right lads, this is a set of Quick Battle Orders (QBOs). We have just had a shura (meeting) with a couple of guys calling themselves local elders. They took off pretty sharpish and the atmospherics are going downhill rapidly. The FSG (Fire Support Group) on the East bank of the Nahr-e-Seraj canal have reported suspicious movement and, as you have just seen, the ‘elders’ couldn’t wait to get away from us and did not offer any chai (tea). Civilians are conspicuous by their absence, which is always a bad sign. Unfortunately I can’t tell you anything more of use about the enemy because this is the first time that 3 PARA BG has been to Zumbelay. Based on the atmospherics I assess that we have been lured into a Taliban trap whose main object is to trap us on this side of the canal and defeat us in detail. Therefore I expect that we will come under attack in our current locations fairly soon and the enemy will attempt to prevent us crossing the canal and regrouping with the FSG. The enemy are likely to deploy small arms, MGs and mortars against us.

^

Situation: Friendly Forces

To remind you, we are C Coy, 3 PARA comprising two groups for this task. We have the FSG on overwatch comprising 6 x WMIKs, a mortar detachment and the other Coy vehicles grouped for security. 9 (Ranger) Platoon is the dismounted group accompanied by C Coy HQ and other attachments. We have two embedded journalists from the Times newspaper grouped with the dismounts. I have contacted 3 PARA BG HQ to inform them of the situation and have requested urgent air support but have been told that there is a major TIC (Troops in Contact) ongoing in Sangin which has priority. We have been promised support but it will not be available until the Sangin TIC is closed. The best estimate I can get out of BG HQ is that we will not get any support for at least the next hour so we are pretty much on our own until then.

^

Situation: Terrain and Weather

The canal is our main problem, there is only one crossing point and therefore a choke point which is likely to be covered by fire and possibly sown with IEDs. This is vital ground. Key terrain for us is the overwatch position currently occupied by the FSG as it offers excellent observation and fields of fire over the Dasht (desert) on the E bank and the ‘Green Zone’ to the W. Otherwise on the E of the AO, the terrain is mostly flat open desert which is covered by the FSG and our superior target acquisition and weapon systems should allow us to dominate this area easily. The terrain to the W of the canal is typical ‘Green Zone’ characterised by a mix of flat cultivated fields, interspersed with irrigation ditches and areas of vegetation. The compounds offer excellent cover and concealment to both friendly and enemy forces and compound roofs will make good fire positions. Irrigation ditches offer good cover and concealment to ourselves and the Taliban alike. All vegetated areas offer concealment. Point to note from the shura was that the main elders are praying in the village mosque. It goes without saying that we should avoid targeting that building unless we receive fire from it. It is 1700 hrs on 27 Jun 06, it is very hot and this is not helped by the lack of wind, skies are clear. The temperatures are not helpful and are more likely to offer an advantage to the Taliban but the clear skies will give us an advantage for target acquisition and air support. Last light should be between 1830 and 1900 hrs which will give us a considerable advantage over the enemy.

^

Mission: Overall Description

Mission: WITHDRAW: C Coy gp is to withdraw to FOB PRICE in order to deny the enemy a propaganda victory and to retain combat power for future operations.

Tasks:

FSG:

1. To secure the overwatch position and provide fire support to dismounted elements withdrawing to that location.

2. Suppress all enemy elements IVO crossing point.

3. Protect the Coy’s B echelon vehicles.

Dismounts:

1. Withdraw to the overwatch position.

2. Protect the attached journalists.

^

Execution: Commander’s Intent

My intent is to conduct an orderly withdrawal to the overwatch position and thence to FOB PRICE for which a separate set of QBOs will be issued. Key to our success will be the support offered by the FSG in its overwatch position. The withdrawal of the dismounts will by necessity be driven by recce pull. It is critical that C Coy does not become decisively engaged by the enemy as this will fix us and enable the enemy to defeat us in detail and as such we will seek to bypass significant enemy groupings during the withdrawal. Where bypassing is not an option which is likely to be at the crossing point, we will concentrate our firepower and defeat the enemy.

^

Execution: Basic Plan

Currently both the FSG and dismounted element are in secure locations, therefore we will assess the situation in place before committing ourselves to the withdrawal. The FSG will detect, track and disrupt any elements identified. With the situation established, the dismounted group will conduct a controlled withdrawal attempting to bypass significant enemy groupings. Key factors will be identifying and avoiding the enemy, ammunition conservation, casualty avoidance and protection of our attached journalists.

Designer’s notes

Although well-documented in Christina Lamb’s Times article, Colonel Stuart Tootal’s book ‘Danger Close’ and Patrick Bishop’s ‘3 PARA’, the actual ground over which this mission was fought is not obvious. As a result, while the map accurately models terrain in this part of Helmand, the location was chosen based on a ‘best guess’ of the ground from the accounts above. The Blue force is close in size and composition to those that fought on that day. The Taliban force is unknown and has therefore been structured to provide an interesting mission. Blue objectives are quite simple – keep your casualties down, don’t target the mosque and get to the crossing point (‘touch’ objective). On the day, the force successfully extracted under continuous contact over a period of 3 hours without suffering any loss and inflicting approximately 20-30 casualties on the enemy. This mission is dedicated to the memory of Captain David Patton and Sergeant Paul Bartlett who were killed in action in the Sangin area on that day.

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I have always wondered what are the real life organizational goals of the myriad "support" groups etc that the Brits/CW seem to have.

Could you summarize the specialized units/formations in the game and explain how they are supposed to be used within the overall command. Thanks...

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I have always wondered what are the real life organizational goals of the myriad "support" groups etc that the Brits/CW seem to have.

Could you summarize the specialized units/formations in the game and explain how they are supposed to be used within the overall command. Thanks...

In this scenario you have the dismounted group which is the element that is potentially in real trouble. Using the Light Infantry Battalion CMSF force pick it comprises:

Coy HQ

MFC

Two sniper pairs

9 Platoon comprising the Platoon HQ and three rifle sections

The two journalists (represented by spies)

The FSG is made up of the support company elements task-organised in the Light Infantry Battalion CMSF force pick minus a couple of vehicles. Specifically you get:

Two WMIKs carrying two Javelin Teams.

Two WMIKs with HMG

Two WMIKs with GMG

The company mortar detachment of 3 barrels is off map but in this engagement it was grouped with the FSG.

Also in the scenario there are a number of Landrovers (mix of TUM ST and TUM FFR) which represent the Coy's logistics or echelon and were the means of transport for the Coy to get to the location from FOB PRICE and back.

As I have alluded to in the orders, the situation is such that the Coy group is in trouble because the dismounts are separated from their support elements. This means that they are not fully mutually supporting and cannot concentrate their combat power.

Your job will be to regroup the Company in one location by withdrawing the dismounts to the location of the overwatch position.

The FSG's tasks are as listed in the orders - it needs to ensure that the unit transport doesn't get whacked while preserving its own combat power to provide long-range fire support. The last task makes best use of the long range and firepower of the weapon systems on the WMIKs.

One of the reasons I really like this mission is because the WMIKs actually stand a chance of providing this support. Many of the missions I have played which have WMIKs in them have resulted in the WMIKs getting whacked in fairly short order (I am a bad player though!!)

Hope this helps.

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I was thinking that Support Formations are maybe supposed to focus on one aspect of a battle, and not (say) get involved in close range combat (or summat like that...)?

In my games too many times all Brit inf units are used as interchangeable inf units, and it's unclear why one unit is a "support unit' when it seems to have basically the same weapons as a regular inf unit. And then IIRC there are "Maneuver Support" units. How are they used differently is what I am curious about.

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Erwin, in essence the 'Support' units in all of the British infantry orbats are those that belong to the manoeuvre support company. The way the orbats were structured in the game was that each rifle company would get a 'slice' of the support company's assets which in reality is how the manoeuvre support company is generally task organised.

In terms of employment the best way to think of it is to think of the old WW2 era sections where the section was typically comprised of a rifle group and an LMG/gun (or BAR if you're American) group. The LMG provided the base of fire to enable to the rifle group to manoeuvre. The 'support' elements task-organised to the rifle companies in the British orbats are therefore the 'gun group' for the company providing that base of fire for the platoons to manoeuvre.

Hope this explains it.

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I have just put together the 2nd AI plan and playtested it. It required one tweak to prevent an early surrender trigger. So I will release this fairly soon but before doing so I want to manage expectations a little.

Predictably I love this mission – of the few (4 I think) I have put together this one has given me the most pleasure.

The main reasons for this is are:

It is very different from many of my missions.

It comes closest to giving a historical result than my other missions.

I love the map and it gives the player lots of freedom.

It allows TUM WMIKs to display their real life qualities.

It poses many challenges.

However there are caveats:

I don’t think that this will suit IGOUGO players because it requires a lot of micromanagement. My recommendation is to play this in realtime mode. To give you a clue I had to hit ‘esc’ repeatedly during this one.

The area over which the battle is fought is my best guess rather than the actual locations that I have used in my previous missions.

You will need to invest a lot of time in this mission (it is 2:30 long).

There are periods when not much happens (depending of course on your plan!) but you can use this to plan your moves.

Anyway I thought I'd get all that off my chest ... barring any dramas uploading this to the Repository it should be with you pretty soon.

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.

(...)

I love the map and it gives the player lots of freedom.

(...)

That is great and what i hoped for when i first read what is gonna be the size of the map (gigantic 2834m x 1520m :eek:). Having a lot of freedom for movement is something i kinda like in scenarios.

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Thanks for the manoeuvre (Brit spelling) support info. What still confuses me is that these support units seem to be equipped with the same rifles as the reg inf. Do they not have any special MG firepower etc?

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