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Bil Hardenberger

CM Black Sea – BETA Battle Report - Russian Side

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The Sixteenth Minute

 

US reinforcements.. I guess I am lucky I had enough eyes on the reinforcements to pretty much fully identify almost every formation.

 

US Company Team North (Infantry Heavy)

US%2BCompany%2BTeam%2B-%2BNorth.JPG

 

US Center Element (suspected Battalion Command Element)

US%2BCenter%2BElement.JPG

 

US Company Team South (Tank Heavy) - note direction of movement

US%2BCompany%2BTeam%2B-%2BSouth.JPG

 

If you are keeping track, that is:

  • 14 M1A2 SEP
  • 15 Bradley

This is nuts.

 

My losses in this turn:

  • note 1: this is labeled as 2nd MRC losses, but the two Khrizanthema were my ATGM section and the BMP in the North was from the GL Platoon) 
  • note 2: all of these vehicles were killed without spotting their killer, none could fire in return
  • note 3: the 2nd MRC T90 and the BMP 3 in the center were killed by the suspected US BN command element M1 and Bradley
  • note 4: the North is completely defenseless at this point

2nd%2BMRC%2BLosses.JPG

 

All Scott has to do now is drive forward with all vehicles in line and I won't be able to do a thing about it.  Sure I can pop out and take a few under fire now and then, but this is not looking pretty.  I suspect 2nd MRC will be fully eliminated next turn (maybe in two).  1st MRC might be getting bypassed which would be an advantage to me.. but I suspect that Scott is concentrating on the 2nd MRC and then will turn on 1st MRC.. so their time will come.

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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The krizanthema were almost simply targets on such a small map .. I hoped they would be lucky but I expected it and anyway even at long range they would have killed two or three M1s and bradleys .. Putting an inconsequential small dent in such a massive force.

In real life such a force concentration would have been dealt with MRLS smerch fire, buratino fire, Iskander cluster ammo missiles (worked great in Georgia against armor concentrations) helicopter and air attacks and krisanthema long range ATGM fire (attrition pot shots) then taken on by a russian ground force. In the first days of a conflict dont underestimate the capacity of the russian air defenses and air force + strategic attacks on airfields to seriously degrade US air power especially this close to Russia proper.

But in the setting of this scenario..yeah looks like Syria revisited

Edited by antaress73

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The Teacher is dissatisfied with the quality of the wine you have been sending him.  VERY dissatisfied......

 

 

Hang in there for a few turns just to show off the fancy toys.  This is actually proof of something I have always felt about CM games, it is not good scenario unless higher command bleeped the pooch and underestimated the opposition.  Panzrldr's higher has not done that, unless you were in the Ukrainian Third Company, and there mostly too dead to complain.  Russian higher seems to have bet to much on the ECM keeping the Americans Paralyzed.......

 

I am sure their last communication was "Die well Comrade".

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Well Bil, It looks like you are about to discover what that "rock and a hard place" actually feels like. If you are counting that many Abrams I think it is a bit much for the NATO player balance wise. Against the AI maybe ok, but not a human.

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If you are keeping track, that is:

  • 14 M1A2 SEP
  • 15 Bradley

This is nuts.

 

Very tough nuts to crack Bil! That is a big bag of Modern Mayhem heading your way.

If you pull this rabbit out of a hat ... just put Emperor in front of your name ;)

Good Luck and Good Hunting.

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If you are keeping track, that is:

  • 14 M1A2 SEP
  • 15 Bradley

This is nuts.

 

Very tough nuts to crack Bil! That is a big bag of Modern Mayhem heading your way.

If you pull this rabbit out of a hat ... just put Emperor in front of your name ;)

Good Luck and Good Hunting.

That would be Czar actually.

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Lesson is: Modern combat seems unforgiving. The slightest advantage can turn into a tipping point. Meaning, it doesn't matter is you're 50% inferior or 10%, you are going to get plastered by the superior force in a lopsided way.  The difference between countries like Syria and Russia is what it can do to you BEFORE your main force can engage their main force. Evening the odds somewhat. Syria would face intact US forces with all their force multipliers working 100%, Russia can seriously degrade a force before it enters battle (but that's outside the scope of the game), evening the odds somewhat. That's what scenario designers must take into account with this game. The first week would be hell for any nation fighting Russia. It all depends on how much force the US can retain so it can accomplish its war objectives after it gets things under control, and that's a bif IF. That's why I believe such a conflict is highly unlikely unless there is serious miscalculation on either side. But a game is fun !

Edited by antaress73

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Bil,

 

I wasn't sure in what formation or configuration the Americans would arrive in, but this one looks like fully deployed in battle array. Combat power writ large. On the positive side, it gives your remaining airpower lots of targets!

 

antaress73,

 

Methinks you misunderstand the nature of warfare. Numerical force superiority certainly helps, as does high tech (when it's working) but is no guarantor of success. The NTC is one of the major reasons the Army cleaned Saddam's clock, and the lessons learned there by the rotating units at the hands of OPFOR were brutal and taken to heart, as seen in the linked CGSC study of lessons learned at NTC. With perhaps the odd exception here and there, the key to American combat effectiveness lies in rigorous ongoing training using everything from a battle plan scratched in the sand with a stick to full-on engagements with MILES gear and live fire training on a simply enviable scale. But ultimately, it comes down to the men (and in some branches women) who must fight the fight. It is upon their professionalism, motivation and sheer aggressiveness, determination and willingness to do what it takes that determines who wins and who loses. It isn't, as they say, the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.

 

Give me such people in inferior equipment over conscripts and some contract soldiers in better tanks but lacking, say, battle commanders able or allowed to show real initiative, worked up from the bottom professional noncoms (not someone who spent six months in a sergeant academy) and the military and  technical skills to maximize combat effectiveness, not to mention keep their fancy toys running properly, and the nominally outclassed and outgunned will mop the floor with them. History is replete with examples of smaller, sometimes tiny (see particularly BG Claire Chennault's comment on that at first link) military forces clobbering the opposition. Flying Tigers. Alexander the Great at Gaugamela. Napoleon at Jena-Auerstedt. Here's a fascinating list of ten more.

 

Rinaldi,

 

Insane, but in a good way! Big Monty Python fan.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

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You're in an excellent position: any shot you take should be guaranteed to hit your enemy! Lucky you. ;)

 

Find his command tank, swarm it, and lop off the head of the beast.

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John,

 

I agree that the professionalism in the american army is superb and i'm not saying the contrary. It reinforces what I'm saying. What i'm saying here is whichever army you are, fighting an intact and numerically superior US army unit is a losing proposition and in a big way, Whether you are syrian, russian, chinese, german. You need to work it up first and strip it of its fighting power before engaging it with your main units. It has a tech edge and very often a  profiency edge. However little that edge is, it will be multiplied if it outnumbers you and is at 100% combat power.

 

In this scenario, maybe the russians have been given an equal experience rating, but you need at least a 2-1 numerical superiority to have any chance of succeeding considering the equipment involved. The Russian stuff is good, but not good enough to fight on equal terms against a HUMAN US army opponent. As an example, the russian infantry has a low chance of destroying no more than 2-3 abrams out of the 14 involved. The american infantry, on its own, with the javelin could devastate that russian force almost entirely. The T-90, as Bill said, cannot fight the M1s on equal terms and have problems even with perfect ambush. You need to engage them from multiple directions. You cannot do that when you are fighting to avoid numerous Javelin fire and M1A2s that outnumbers you, even more so on a small map.

 

Now, if you put all the US force at conscript level and the Russians at crack or elite, they would have a chance. Shows what you were saying, training is everything. But like I said, in real life, there are many things the Russians could do that could seriously erode that serious US edge before the two armies meet in the field, at least in the first week of any war. They do have some powerful and numerous long range stuff and the ability to use it effectively, especially so close to their backward. Who would have thought they could pull such an operation in Crimea under the nose of the West, quick and effective. They are supposed to be slow and lumbering. Dont underestimate them. They are much less corrupt than they were in the nineties, the huge money spent on modernizing mostly goes where it should and they learned from the Georgian war a lot and applied those lessons. They train way more regularly and in a realistic way. Things have changed. Even Breedlove (SACEUR) admitted so. There is a lot of waste of money in the US department of defense too and the US military budget represents the budget for a global force with the money needed to maintain such a huge infrastructure around the world.

 

The US could mop the floor with the Iraqis because it was a perfect situation for the US, everything was in favor of the US. WAY superior training, maintenance and equipment. Total air supremacy and a big flat pool table (desert) where all our fancy stuff could be used with utmost effectiveness. It was like pitting an NFL team against a high school team (an I'm sorry for offending all high school teams out there). Even the Russian army of the nineties would not have had much trouble soundly defeating them. Their ammo was crap, their tanks and equipment were old monkey models and were abysmally maintained. They couldnt hit the side of a barn even at close range. They were demoralized and their commanders in most cases amazingly inept. It was so lopsided you have trouble believing the reports. Even when they took the US by surprise tactically (Fright night), they couldnt do much with it but disable one of two M1s.

Edited by antaress73

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The jamming, EW, and stealth systems that would massively influence who got to a specific battlefield with what are almost entirely beyond the scope of this game.  They give a couple of very small nods but the mechanisms are entirely opaque.  The "all out air war for the control of Ukraine's airspace" as Pnzrldr memorably put it would be a whole different game.  Furthermore the information to base such a game on is almost entirely classified. You would have to make a lot of it up from educated guesses at best.  Indeed the interaction of large scale cyber, electronic, air space missiles and stealth is HIGHLY unpredictable.  It is quite likely that there are significant threats of various types on both sides whose existence, much less details are classified.  You can argue for almost any result with some basis in fact.

 

The result that is the best for this game though is to assume that all those forces and systems are more or less canceling each other out.   Maybe at this point in time SAMs and anti-missles just have the upper hand across the board. Because if one side gets anything like air superiority the other side is toast.  Fuel trucks are easy targets, and the first ones.  I actually feel that fixed wing support should be almost non existent because if the other side is still in the war those planes would have higher priority missions or be afraid to cross the front lines.  

 

I will point out that the Russians showed up unmolested and in good order as well.  

 

The scenario was laid out in mid beta, and has come out a little unbalanced. The ones that ship with the game will be better, and the ones written six months from now will be better still.

Edited by dan/california

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It is also possible that a far more conservative approach by the Russian player would have altered things considerably.  He blitzed the Ukrainians on the ridge right out of existence, but it cost him a fair bit,and they were almost irrelevant in terms of combat power anyway it appears.

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And so are a lot of other things as I have found out the hard way.

CMBS will present a challenge in learning how to use all your toolkit properly and in a supporting manner. Combined arms is still there, just a lot more varied. I need to go back and read that manual in more detail.

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You could argue that the Americans should be very short of forces in the next AAR scenario, due to what was committed here.  Just don't win that argument and then get handed command of the Americans. :o

Edited by dan/california

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The krizanthema were almost simply targets on such a small map .. I hoped they would be lucky but I expected it and anyway even at long range they would have killed two or three M1s and bradleys .. Putting an inconsequential small dent in such a massive force.

It's also impossible to employ Khriz correctly with only the launcher and sensor exposed. I think a pair of dismounted Kornet teams would be a better approximation, at this range, of a well concealed Khriz with only sensors and launcher exposed.

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It is also possible that a far more conservative approach by the Russian player would have altered things considerably.  He blitzed the Ukrainians on the ridge right out of existence, but it cost him a fair bit,and they were almost irrelevant in terms of combat power anyway it appears.

That is a fair point Dan. Keep in mind that I did not have a good idea about what was in front of me when I made that move so wanted to ensure I could easily over power him. And I expected tanks in the Ukrainian company... I think the prebattle brief kind of misled me there.

I also expected 1st MRC to be the company with the initial fight as with that equipment disparity it's where I would have put most of the Ukrainian MRC.

Yes it's easy in hindsight to say what should have been done, but in the heat of the moment you have make a decision and deal with the consequences. Like I am doing now.

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That is a fair point Dan. Keep in mind that I did not have a good idea about what was in front of me when I made that move so wanted to ensure I could easily over power him.

 

And if you were clearly winning right now we would be calling you a genius right now.  Heck we know you are but we'd be calling you that now.  I think your initial aggressive move was the right one based on the info you had at the time.  Fortune favours the bold.

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Let me second Ian. Your move was the right one. Assaulting the town would have taken more than 15 mins, you'd probably have a more degraded force due to losses and still would the fricking Host of the Valar be coming right on your backside.

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Your approach was fine given information available.  No matter what, people would inevitably play the "B-b-b-but Smerch!" etc card if Fulda Gap: RL Edition doesnt occur.

 

The scenario gives what unit it does.  For all we know, an Abrams brigade was nearly wiped out by a massive barrage two-battles over.  All we can do is focus on the fight as it pertains to us, and the units which we field.

Edited by Nerdwing

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