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New file at the Repository: CIMIC House (2013-12-24)

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This is a Blue versus Red AI mission requiring CMSF patched to ver 1.32 and both the British and NATO modules. Users with low specification computers may experience slow frame rates during this mission.This mission is based on Operation HAMMERSMITH and all attempts by 1 PWRR BG to resupply CIMIC House in Al Amarah, Iraq in 2004. Blue forces comprise a Warrior equipped BG while Red forces are insurgents. There are 3 Red AI plans giving added replay value. Be warned that this is a very tough mission and the VPs are such that it is extremely difficult to achieve more than a Blue tactical victory.

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Really enjoying CIMIC house so far as one seems to have more than enough force and good CAS. (CIMIC is primarily a mech armored game with 5 Challengers, a bunch of IFV's and dismounts.)

1h 52m to go: The relief force drives SLOW through the touch obj at the top map edge while the CIMIC House defenders have the "contractors" defending the base with 2 HQ IFV's while the rest of the company carefully probes towards their bridge objective.

I think the real challenge is how to accomplish the mission with 0 (or close to) casualties. It's a good game to practice coordination and using "Combined Arms" effectively.

Am really trying to act like it's my butt gonna get shot and being very careful. Lost one IFV so far from RPG, and a couple others slightly damaged.

I would have 0 inf casualties so far, but for a movement orders screw up. Instead of safely transporting inf to a building, the vehicle stayed in line of fire while the inf exited and ran, and a sniper got one. Grrr. I thought I deserved a redo on that one, but I didn't have a saved game close enuff in time.

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Good to see you are getting on with CIMIC House Erwin. Give yourself a redo… I often do:D

I have played CIMIC House (Elite RT) and restarted 3 different times since Combatintman uploaded this fine scenario…."the longest continuous action fought by the British Army since the Korean War 50 years ago". Interesting that more folks have not tried his wonderful map that offers various ways to win through fire and maneuver. My best result was British Tactical Victory @ 45 minutes left, 2 vehicles dead, 3 immobilized, I think 9 KIA , 6 WIA. The Mahdi Army casualties were over 200 KIA.

I used BlackMoria’s advice re: ammunition. Thanks (BM) and Combatintman’s “you really have to choose your battles.” Spot on.

I recommend the scenario for anyone interested in modern MOUT that is not a building to building slog. Nice balance of forces, plenty of room to move and plenty of fireworks from the Mahdi Army fighters. Well done Combatintman.

Sorry for the delayed posting as real life busy so getting an hour uninterrupted is tough. Also got a bit side tracked with the new GPU in the Mac Pro. Makes everything so pretty i started firing up more CMBN/CW/MG & CMFI/GL :D

BlackMoria’s one day coup of British Tactical Victory with 1 WIA is a pretty amazing piece of work!

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I am playing WEGO (Elite) and that is usually tougher. (Don't enjoy RT, and I can't understand how anyone can play a large scenario in RT unless they are a wrist twitch expert or they pause every second to issue new orders.) The great thing about CIMIC is that you get to ride over the open desert in an armored attack force (the supply column) while at the same time, a second powerful force (the garrison) is performing an "urban-style" (small houses) house-house assault.

*********SPOILERS***********

The main ammo limit issues (so far) is the relief force main tank ammo. I have started to give the Challengers quite short range arcs while the Warrior IFV's back em up with their more plentiful 30mm.

While the garrison forces get into action quite quickly, the relief column progress has quite steady and relatively easy (I won't say boring). I formed all the vehicles up in formation (with appropriate covered arcs), and gave em all SLOW movement orders (with appropriate pauses), and just let the juggernaut rumble along with adjustments for crossing the first bridge etc.

This formation moved while rapidly taking out anything that fired at it. Up to 1h 45m left on the clock, all that was encountered was RPG's and maybe snipers.

However, at 1h 44m as the formation approached the main town, a Warrior just exploded in the last second on the turn. I was able to have the surviving passengers ACQUIRE everything at the start of the next turn just b4 they bailed out (heh).

Usually RPG's only cause minor damage (altho' admittedly one destroyed another IFV from the garrison with no inf casualties thank goodness).

I don't recall anything about minefields and I didn't think there are IED's at this location. I did have an Apache attacking a large zone, but the zone edge was at least a hundred meters away. This was a big bang. So, there may be a nasty ATGM someplace. Lost one crew and 3 troops. Only lost 2 guys so far from the garrison, and one of those was an "interface casualty".

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I do play WEGO (Elite) on occasion but RT is easier on my available time in the toy box. I do not pause a lot and definitely do not “micro manage”. My wrist does twitch from an old “war injury” but nit because I am an Elite CM player ;)

You are correct that Combatintman’s fine CIMIC House scenario gives the player plenty to mange with variety of actions but not too much to become overwhelming. It is amazing how in some situations multiple RPGs are like fireworks popping off.

I can only imagine how …. “Soldiers from Y Company of the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment and 60 from the Royal Welsh Fusiliers felt being isolated some 20 miles from the main Battle Group in Abu Naji, and dependent on convoys for resupply…. Fighting reached a peak between the 5 and 25 August when the intensity was such that armoured convoys were unable to reach the base to resupply the British, although none of the waves of infantry attacks by the Mahdi Army got within 30 metres of the British lines.” Hats off to these soldiers admirable defense.

Good observation re: Challengers Erwin.

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Well done Erwin! That is impressive for WEGO, a game mode that I am terrible at.

RT are large maps is not that hard once you develop a knack for it. I typically watch my forces moving around with the map zoomed out so I can see all my forces and I watch for red markers to appear or for the sound of gun fire then I pause, zoom in and develop a read of the situation that is unfolding, issues orders, zoom out and unpause and watch the action unload until something else gets my attention, where upon it is pause, zoom in, assess and evaluate, issue orders, zoom out and unpause. Repeat ad nauseum until victory.

I do admit that I do lose out on the beauty of watching the action unfold right in the thick of things at ground level with the ability to watch the same action from different perspectives as much as one likes. But as I said, I am not that good at WEGO and RT works very well for me.

Splendid job at CIMIC House. But I hear the Operation Market Garden enemy forces are spoiling for a rematch... :P

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Erwin - there are no ATGMs in the scenario, however there are IEDs as stated in the briefing. Given your description of events my assessment is that you got whacked by an RPG of which there are plenty!!!! Glad you are enjoying the scenario.

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Hi there and thanks again for this scenario.

The incident happened way out in the open area away from any buildings where no enemy seems present. I suppose it could have been a very lucky longe range shot since the RPG has a 1K meter range. But, the explosion made a huge crater underneath the Warrior (same diameter as the IFV)- larger than a mine I think... like a massive IED.

I was surprised that 2 crew and 5 inf got out ok.

That force moved much slower after that for 5-6 minutes, but, KIA a few more single enemy RPG teams, and with the RHS buildings about to be cleared, am moving faster again down the central open area to the right of the main road keepng as far from any buildings as is possible.

One tank wasted 3 rounds firing at a MG, with each round going into the ground about halfway. With all this WYSIWYG talk that was irritating. Not realistic to have a tank waste almost 25% of its HE ammo like that.

BTW: Why do the tanks have such low HE when it was obvious they would not be facing enemy armor? Can one not adjust ammo loadout in editor?(!!)

At 1h 30m to deadline, most of the fun is with the garrison as they fight towards the bridge objective. They have taken the first large green area (that was completely undefended and easy to enter). Have overwhelmed defenders nearby and am crossing the road to the 2nd area.

While the Brits do the fighting, the contractors are guarding both CIMIC plus the govt buildings with the HQ IFV's in support. So, far have only needed to commit 2 platoons of Brits with the 3rd in reserve guarding the right flank.

1 IFV KIA by RPG and only about 4-5 inf casualties total from the garrison force so far. 1 (spotter in sniper team) from an arty barrage, and one from unintended movement.

Most times, an RPG will only dent the Warrior, maybe degrading the tracks. Or, I get a KO'd Warrior. Nothing in-between so far. I wonder what weakness this IFV has?

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Most of the damage I received in CIMIC House scenario was from RPGs and I was well away from buildings. It is amazing how sometimes these "insurgents" can make it things go south fast with well placed RPGs. I also wondered about tanks having such low HE.

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Erwin - based on your clarifying information, it would have been an IED that took the Warrior out. Here is the relevant hint in the Designer's Notes part of the briefing:

'To most accurately replicate 1 PWRR’s actions on the day, the player is advised to follow the instructions given in the Mission and Execution paragraphs of the Operation Order, ultimately of course, how you play it is up to you. Should you decide to go cross country to cut out Red 14 you will miss out on 50 VPs and may come to grief at the hands of an IED, again this is done to encourage historical behaviour'.

Regarding British AFV loadouts in CMSF (not the first time I've heard the observation made!!!!!) - they may suck but they are correct.

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"...may come to grief at the hands of an IED, again this is done to encourage historical behaviour'."

Makes sense. But, doesn't the triggerman have to be fairly close? I didn't see anyone nor did there seem anyplace to hide until one got to far-off buildings (about 400m+).

However, with such a large force, even though I moved through Red 4 (send me my 50 points plz), it's spread out on the road and to the right in the open desert, not all in column along the road. (It didn't make sense to stay in column.)

If I was ordered to stay in column on the road, I would have. (Have had extensive training from wife.) If you do a v2, maybe make staying on the road mandatory and put more IED's (or preferably RPG ambushes) in the desert? The briefing could say: "The road has been just swept and cleared, but offroad there are IED's and ambushes."

Re not going over the bridge on the right as the closest route to CIMIC, was there info re enemy ambushes, IED's there? Or, maybe the historical route was chosen to draw out and punish the insurgents? It seems like an awfully powerful assault force for a supply/relief run.

I am loving it. :) It's nice to focus on efficiency and minimizing casualties rather than "fighting for dear life" like many other (esp WW2 CM2) scenarios are like. I fear CMSF has spoiled me for CMBN and CMFI as I really have a problem taking the larger casualties one almost always has to in order to win in those WW2 games.

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Erwin reference your last:

The IEDs are from the Syrian Army force pick rather than the UNCON force pick as I find triggermen difficult to behave in the way I want them to.

Regarding direct orders and player choice about using the roads - I took the route (if you forgive the pun) I did to give the player some choices as a deliberate design choice. Having had mission command beaten into me for years I don't like putting too many prescriptive instructions in the 'Execution Basic Plan' paragraph in any of my missions as I feel that after all this is a wargame that the player is playing for their enjoyment and one of the reasons that people play them is to come up with their own plan in order to see if they can beat the enemy.

Reference the bridge - it is unclear why the bridge close to CIMIC house was never used. At some point in the book 'Dusty Warriors' reference is made to a relief in place of troops at CIMIC House which involved blokes running across that bridge to Warriors parked on the other side of the river/canal. This suggests to me that the bridge infrastructure was not strong enough to take the weight of Warrior but it is not explicitly stated. As I wanted to represent the ground to the best of the editor's ability I therefore put the bridge in and denied it by sowing it with IEDs.

Given the difficult fights 1 PWRR BG had to get into CIMIC House to resupply it and the prevailing Mahdi Army uprisings at the time, I do not for one minute think that these resupply runs were in any way intended to draw the enemy into a fight deliberately. The force structure was determined by the prevailing threat and also explains why FV432s and CVR(T) rarely ventured into Al Amarah at the time.

At the time the enemy was willing enough to show himself without any provocation. Also while I never served in Iraq at this time, throughout my Afghan experience, any resupply operation was simply an exercise in getting CSUPS to the place they were needed. One of the reasons CIMIC House was later evacuated was because of the extreme difficulty experienced in resupplying it - the same was true of the factors in play leading to withdrawal from Musa Qal'eh in Afghanistan in Sep/Oct 2006.

Throughout both the Afghan and Iraq campaigns the availability of helicopters to move troops and supplies (or lack of) became a highly politicised issue in the UK because ground based resupply tasks absorbed large amounts of combat power and were run at considerable risk and in many case loss of life and equipment. The geography of CIMIC House makes helo resupply nigh on impossible so ground resupply was the only show in town.

While some of this is 'World according to Combatintman' I hope it goes someway to answering your questions.

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"Having had mission command beaten into me for years I don't like putting too many prescriptive instructions in the 'Execution Basic Plan' paragraph in any of my missions as I feel that after all this is a wargame that the player is playing for their enjoyment and one of the reasons that people play them is to come up with their own plan in order to see if they can beat the enemy."

Thank you Combatintman. Allow both serious and casual players to explore orders. Enjoyment is not always ultimate maximum victory in a war game.... especially for those with limited "toy time" ..playing for enjoyment. Learning what you should NOT do is an extremely valuable and enjoyable experience.... especially as Battlefront improves their product visuals and combat functions.

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I recommend the scenario for anyone interested in modern MOUT that is not a building to building slog. Nice balance of forces, plenty of room to move and plenty of fireworks from the Mahdi Army fighters.

Sorry for being a bit needy but any chance of adding this to the Repository with a rating ... it may encourage others to give this scenario a spin and possibly reinforce the case to BF for a 3.0 upgrade to CMSF.

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5 stars Combatintman with note. Sorry I did not do this before. I should get in the habit of rating in the Repository. I ususally give a scenario a spin and post a note in the forum to the designer. I almost never look at the ratings myself but I am sure others do and I should rate them. Thanks for the reminder.

Now is there a Repository spot to ask BF for a 3.0 upgrade to CMSF :D

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*******SPOILERS*******

1hr 25 min to go. The relief juggernaut force continues along the road occasionally spotting an RPG which doesn't live long. Have completed scouting the central buildings and trenches. I was fortunate to have spotted enemy units moving there at the start of the mission and brought down arty, as all we find are bodies. However, a few seconds ago an RPG on the LHS of the road hit a Challenger in its left flank and some systems are degraded.

It's been a trade-off. If the Challenger had been given a larger covered arc it may have shot first. However, it is down to 7 HE shells, and I wanted to save em for the more crowded areas ahead. The tanks have a habit of wasting HE on targets that the Warriors can deal with. So, am using the tanks to draw fire mostly since they can survive better.

The CIMIC forces continue to have the most "action" and "fun". Platoon 3 grinds cautiously forward through the objective areas with its Warriors on the road protecting the left flank vs enemy snipers and RPG's in the buildings across the wadi.

However, a couple minutes ago, a large attack by the Mahdi came out of the RHS of the town. Fortunately, I had Platoon 1 in reserve and oriented in that direction, and it's been a turkey shoot so far with the "contractors" in the government buildings joining in.

The enemy did kill another Warrior with RPG, but its 3-man crew survived unscathed and reached an HQ Warrior for more ammo. No other inf casualties. So, our total casualties are still 3 KIA and 4 WIA and 3 Warriors KO'd vs about 150 enemy casualties.

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Erwin ... when you posted earlier I thought:

SPOILERS ..................................................

Just you wait ... and then stroked a white cat sat on my lap etc.

I did actually think you might come a cropper with the CIMIC House defence based on your description of the resources you said you'd allocated to it.

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Based on your briefing I was expecting an attack in CIMIC a lot earlier. Fortunately, I seem to be making satisfactory progress along the buildings through the green zones on the edge of town with one platoon, while a 2nd support and guards the attack's right flank. At 1h 10m to go, leading units are about 250m from the objective bridge.

The third platoon was kept back to guard the right flank of CIMIC along with the contractors in the Pink Buildings and CIMIC itself. Since the AI is a poor attacker, it's more than sufficient. Although, a large gap is now opening between the 2 attacking platoons and this defense force. This is being watched only by a screen of sniper teams.

I think the contractors are where they should be, and should not be involved in offensive ops. I may have to move part of the defense force into the "gap".

From the start I have also been concerned about an attack from the open area on the other side of CIMIC, and have the two HQ Warriors as well as contractors and the two KO'd Warrior crews defending to that side.

On the other side of the wadi, the relief force is about 350m from final objective and waiting for CAS to fly around the area.

No further friendly casualties since the last report. :)

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**** SPOILERS ****

About 1 hour to go. Steady progress on both attacks.

The Relief Force is about 300m from its bridge objective. Going slow as it waits for CAS to shoot up the surrounding area. Getting very close to buildings beside the road now, so being careful. No more casualties from this task force.

The CIMIC assault troops (Platoons 2 and 3) using mortars and direct fire to eliminate a couple of enemy positions. However, one mortar is about out and the other is very low. Another sniper and a squaddy is cut down. Total casualties from this force now at 3 KIA and 6 WIA (plus the two Warriors). Ammo not a problem. About 200m from bridge objective.

At about the 60 minute mark, the CIMIC contractor/garrison force guarding the Pink govt buildings came under attack again. However, again the enemy attacks in the open in straight lines and a couple dozen are easily cut down with the remainder running off.

One of the defending contractor squads is low on ammo. The other squad plus the HQ are fine. I may swap out the contractor platoon in the CIMIC buildings for the one in the Pink building purely for the ammo issue. However, I keep being concerned about an attack directly on the CIMIC building, so will have to done in shifts (if I do it at all). It will depend if there is another attack on the Pink buildings.

Total enemy casualties at the one hour to go mark: 268

Thanks to the Brit crack troops and their accurate rifles and Warriors, any enemy who shows himself at any range, tends to get cut down quickly.

Terrific scenario and feels "right & sensible in terms of the massive force available. I am barely using more than 3 inf platoons of the 6 available. The real challenge is keeping friendly casualties to minimum.

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Erwin - still pretty stunned at the speed of your progress - my testing was conducted at a much more ponderous pace meaning that I would achieve the terrain objectives in the last 10 minutes or so. You seem to be way ahead of me.

The enemy has still a few dice to throw yet though!!!!

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******** SPOILERS *********

Am always a very methodical cautious (paranoid?) player. I hate charging in without knowing what's there. So, am surprised that you consider my progress 2 B fast.

At 40mins to go, both forces have reached the edges of their respective final bridge objectives. Opposition is very light. An occasional RPG or sniper units pops its head up and is immediately shot down or suppressed by massed and/or accurate Brit fire.

No further Mahdi attacks on CIMIC or the Pink Buildings. The streets are littered with their dead. I don't think I have ever seen so many pixel enemy lying about. The AI sucks in attacking.

Three Challengers have received minor damage, and 4 Warriors total KIA. In terms of troops, 3 KIA and 10 WIA vs about 330 enemy casualties so far. The Brits have a Minor Victory at this point. However, I shall play on to the bitter end to see if the enemy surrenders (or what...?).

The Brits have plenty of ammo still, altho' most (in vehicles of course) is not in the ideal locations so I may have to run resupply runs across the map. (I hope not.) I rarely prep fire a building as one tends to do with US forces, as Brits have to be more economical with ammo - esp the Challengers and Warriors with their (amazingly) limited HE rounds.

A couple of my casualties were "interface casualties" due to AI pathing issues. But, not sure if I could have saved any others as they were sniper casualties, or lucky RPG strikes.

This is a very enjoyable and satisfying scenario in which I feel rewarded for good tactics. For CMSF fans this is a good and fun trainer to practice methodical clearing of built up areas with minimal casualties, as well as running a convoy through enemy ambushes in urban areas. Of course with no ATGM's or enemy CAS (they may be a little inaccurate enemy Arty) to worry about, it's more about practicing discipline and technique.

We'll see what "dice" the enemy have left soon.

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