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Bil Hardenberger

CM Black Sea – BETA Battle Report - Russian Side

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I can only speak from my limited experience in playing combat flight sims, but when you are operating in a modern high threat environment, in general you will approach the target low & fast, using natural ground features like hills and such to conceal your approach. Radar and and active sensors are turned off, otherwise the enemy may detect you emissions. Once near the target area, you go to engagement altitude (a few hundered meters, dependent on the ordonance you plan to use), turn on the necessary sensors and jamming devices, make one pass to identify the target and another one to engage the target. Then you dive down again and try to leave the area as fast as possible. The whole engagement may only last for 2-3 minutes, maximum, and even that is already dangerously long.

 

That is what i am talking about:

 

Go to 2:10 for great nap-of-the-earth-flying footage

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This might have been doable back in the Cold War days, but not today. AA like the Tunguska and other modern systems will knock aircraft down in seconds, even if they use the terrain to appear with no warning. There is a reason why the focus has moved towards precision long range missiles when it comes to air to ground weapons. Launching a cruise missile from outside the range of enemy AA is the only way to ensure survivability.

 

If you want a recent real life example, look at how the Russians have pretty much closed down the airspace over Eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainians bombed the hell out of the insurgents in the beginning, then the Russians stepped in to save them and sent over both troops and lots of AA that just shot the aircraft down. I don't have a count on the numbers, but the Ukrainan losses of helicopters and aircraft were quite high until they stopped sending them to the battle zone.

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Thanks for that interesting insight guys.

I wonder what Russian forces air combat doctrine is at the moment - against ground targets.

Lets see how our comrade's planes perform in a few turns!

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This might have been doable back in the Cold War days, but not today. AA like the Tunguska and other modern systems will knock aircraft down in seconds, even if they use the terrain to appear with no warning. There is a reason why the focus has moved towards precision long range missiles when it comes to air to ground weapons. Launching a cruise missile from outside the range of enemy AA is the only way to ensure survivability.

 

If you want a recent real life example, look at how the Russians have pretty much closed down the airspace over Eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainians bombed the hell out of the insurgents in the beginning, then the Russians stepped in to save them and sent over both troops and lots of AA that just shot the aircraft down. I don't have a count on the numbers, but the Ukrainan losses of helicopters and aircraft were quite high until they stopped sending them to the battle zone.

 

Yeah, using cruise missiles or drones is always safer than sending in manned aircraft. However this isnt always possible since you sometimes either have no access to such equipment, the target needs to be hit with something heavier than a hellfire fired from a drone, or the target needs to be identified before beeing hit. The Urkainians mostly lost old soviet aircraft and helicopters that lacked proper eletronic warfare equipment. Out of 20 confirmed aircraft shot down, only 2 were relatively modern Mig-29s, the rest were obsolete 40 year old soviet planes and helicopters. Things would probably have looked different had the Ukrainians used F-15Es or even F-35s. But lets leave it there and not derail the thread any further.

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Yes, the Ukrainan aircraft were old, but remember that the Russians have only been sending over older equipment too, not the latest systems. But you are right, lets not go any further off topic. It's going to be very interresting to see what happens when the air support arrives! I wonder how much of a difference it will make to the currently difficult situation for Bil.

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Bil,

 

Quit being so negative. Your air support will arrive soon and bury those advancing M1's under an avalanche of missiles, rockets, bombs, and gunfire. Ammunition unfired is ammunition wasted! Use every single weapon at your disposal! Throw rocks if you have to!

 

Fight to the death! Moscow is behind you!

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Update:  I will have the next turn report up tonight, but Scott is heading out of town fro some R&R so we will be down for another 4 or 5 days after that.  

In the next turn report I will give thorough explanation of my thinking and strategy in this battle.. as I am going against some of the rules I tend to religiously follow. 

 

 

Battle is an orgy of disorder.

George S. Patton

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"Battle is an orgy of disorder" quote

Sometimes, (well, rarely but it happens), a sufficient amount of seeming disorder can grant an opportunity. IF you can get your opponent to pause just long enough thinking "What the heck is he up to?"

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What is the shortcut for "throw rocks" again?

 

Fast move directly into the action spot occupied by enemy troops! Those imperialist Yankee pigs cannot defeat the ruthless toughness of your Slavic legions!

 

But on a serious note;

It seems to me that Scott's mission is to attack and relieve the defenders in the town. If you successfully crush all resistance in the town, then technically Scott will have failed his mission, even if he wins the battle. Sometimes you just have to be more ruthless.

I may be grasping at straws, but it might be possible for you to pull off some kind of victory, even a pyrrhic one.

 

I'm really enjoying this DAR, keep up the good work.

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Hello, long time lurker here.

 

I have been following the action report for a while now and I must say, I am rooting for the Russians as well, though I don't know why. Underdog syndrome maybe + the T-90 has that visual design you would mostly see in sci-fi RTS games. It is the Lamborghini of tanks in my eyes (time for an eye check maybe?).

 

GO RUSSIAN ARMY!

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I don't know how the Russian Army does things these days, but the scale of Issue during the Cold War used to be one SA-7/SA-14/16 gripstock and several missiles (3?) per MR platoon. Given your force size, I find it odd you have no MANPADS at all.

 

Every frontline motorifle company would be issued about 3 MANPADS (about 1 soldier in each platoon would be trained to use them, though not officially assigned an "operator" position) with several missiles (each BMP can carry up to 2) depending on the severity of the threat. That is in addition to the 27 MANPADS in one of the AA missile batteries of the brigade's AA missile-artillery squadron. The main difference between them is that the AA battery MANPADS squads are tied into brigade's AD network, being aware about the air threat situation and ready to engage enemy aircraft in advance, whereas the MR companies' MANPADS are for the last-ditch self-defence when the enemy aircraft are in direct LOS.

 

Given that there is a battalion tactical group - sized force present in this AAR, it is very strange indeed that it has no MANPADS at all. Also, the 2 2K22 'Tunguskas' should probably be backed up by 2 9K35 'Strela-10' systems (which could utilize their amphibious capability and stealthy IR target acquisition to deploy even further towards the frontline than the 'Tunguskas').

Edited by Krasnoarmeyets

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Baneman, on 21 Jan 2015 - 2:51 PM, said:

Damn, Slim, I'm kinda glad we're NOT playing that test scenario in CMBN now... :lol:

 

Me too. That battle is turning into so much bloody hamburger meat. I've only gotten about 12 turns done so far.

But anyway, that's a discussion for another time.

 

C'mon Bil! Kick some butt Russian style!

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Every frontline motorifle company would be issued about 3 MANPADS (about 1 soldier in each platoon would be trained to use them, though not officially assigned an "operator" position) with several missiles (each BMP can carry up to 2) depending on the severity of the threat. That is in addition to the 27 MANPADS in one of the AA missile batteries of the brigade's AA missile-artillery squadron. The main difference between them is that the AA battery MANPADS squads are tied into brigade's AD network, being aware about the air threat situation and ready to engage enemy aircraft in advance, whereas the MR companies' MANPADS are for the last-ditch self-defence when the enemy aircraft are in direct LOS.

 

Given that there is a battalion tactical group - sized force present in this AAR, it is very strange indeed that it has no MANPADS at all. Also, the 2 2K22 'Tunguskas' should probably be backed up by 2 9K35 'Strela-10' systems (which could utilize their amphibious capability and stealthy IR target acquisition to deploy even further towards the frontline than the 'Tunguskas').

Yeah you're right mostly, But the manpads are now Igla-s and the new Verba manpad which came out recently is also being issued. The game models the baseline T-90A without a RWS they got a few mess ups here and there... But its normal still a good game, Also its up to the scenario designers what weapons they get.

Edited by VladimirTarasov

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It could be as simple as the models not being done when the scenario was put together.  They are trying to drive this thing and assemble it at the same time, at least in the AAR.  I am hopeful the late release means the rest of us will be spared that experience.  The Russians have two Tugunskas, thats enough to make any airstrike chancy or worse.  Of course if they have an unfortunate encounter with an Abrams CAS will make the rest of the scenario rather short.

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His nature was essentially aggressive. He was never more to be feared than when he was retreating, and where others thought only of strong defensive positions he looked persistently for the opportunity to attack.

George Francis Robert Henderson in Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War (1904)

 

…never fight against heavy odds, if by any possible maneuvering you can hurl your own force on only a part, and that the weakest part of your enemy and crush it.

Stonewall Jackson

 

My intent: Defend only where I have to... attack everywhere else.

 

This has been the driving thought for me throughout this fight.  My forces are split for sure... 1st MRC is on its own, as is 2nd MRC... 3rd MRC’s elements at the Power Station are on their own as well… 1st Plt/3rd MRC with its armor support (T90, BMP, and BTR) are on their own too, though their movement and actions are in support of the Assault Company that is attacking Krichek.  The Recon Company is too weak to be of any offensive use, but it has provided stellar performance as a distraction for Scott’s forces in Krichek.

 

What I have though are two strongpoints, deep and arrayed along the two US Company Team’s routes of advance… well one is stronger than the other... but neither can be ignored.

 

I expect to have another strongpoint in the Power Station soon... it seems to be weakly held.  I just need to clear every building from bottom to top to find any remnants. 

 

Those are all formations that Scott will have to reduce before he can attack my forces now starting their attack on Krichek.  I hope to have that town well in hand by the time my strongpoints fall. 

 

All of this is about delaying the US Company Teams advance… I have no hope of causing more than superficial wounds to them, as he can concentrate where I cannot.  So they defend actively, dancing around and hitting where they can before they fall.  1st MRC is actually planning on withdrawing and harrying the US Company Team South as much as possible.

 

The Assault Company, Recon Company, and the 1st Platoon/3rd MRC will be my final force… they have the most tanks and a good amount of BMPs.  Not many AT  weapons, and nothing to help with AA,  But they will be in the town, and hopefully some of 1st MRC will be able to reach their lines before the end.

 

The Twenty-First Minute

 

1st MRC

 

The US Company Team South appears to be withdrawing slightly and is starting to push up the road slightly.  Still moving very slowly…  I will pull my AT teams out of position soon and move back towards the rest of the company.  They have done their bit.

 

There is definitely a tank in the gully that looks like it might be hunting my flank BMP.

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

 

2nd MRC

US Company Team North’s movement is inexorable.  I was able to get my BMP back into its gully this turn.. it spotted and fired at what I think is the Battalion HQ Bradley.. that ATGM hit the trees... but then it spotted the center M1 again, withdrew and fired its 30mm getting many hits... mainly on the external MG.  This tank never fired its main gun... should have had the opportunity.

2nd%2BMRC%2BBMP%2Bv%2BM1.gif

 

Power Station

The main development here is that Scott’s M1s are starting to fire at the walls... they opened a new breach with this fire.  I need to get that BMP out of the line of fire of those things.  The two enemy UI icons in this image are confusing.. but at least I think I know where to look for the enemy. 

Power%2BStation.jpg

 

Krichek

If Scott did not know this force was coming for Krichek, he does now.  The lead elements started firing on the buildings overlooking the Town Hall objective and preparing the area for the follow-on elements which will pass through this platoon and get in closer, preparing for an assault.

 

Assault%2BCompany.JPG

 

On the Eastern edge of the town where my recon BMP crossed the river, the enemy team that was in the little building was taken under BMP fire and eliminated, in addition a recoilless gun team was also eliminated… an AGL team entered the rubble of the little building at turn end.. Scott will regret that move I’m sure.

Krichek.gif

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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...2nd MRC

US Company Team North’s movement is inexorable.  I was able to get my BMP back into its gully this turn.. it spotted and fired at what I think is the Battalion HQ Bradley.. that ATGM hit the trees... but then it spotted the center M1 again, withdrew and fired its 30mm getting many hits... mainly on the external MG.  This tank never fired its main gun... should have had the opportunity.

2nd%2BMRC%2BBMP%2Bv%2BM1.gif

 

...

 

Nice work by the gully BMP. With a burst of 30mm like that, you may well have stripped the Abrams of its weapon systems--or at least degraded them.

 

I wonder how much BMP 30mm fire will become a primary fear of the US player. Although it can't kill an Abrams from the front, the speed of its attack and ability to degrade systems quickly may often make it more of a danger than Russian tanks.

 

What is your feeling on that, Bil?

Edited by Macisle

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BletchleyGeek,

 

Whoever designed those catapults should be fired for gross incompetence, starting with the fact the Ancient Greeks had no onagers! The onager aka scorpion was a 4th Century Roman invention, possibly because it was easier and cheaper to build a torsion weapon which had only one skein assembly than one with two separate torsion assemblies, which, like carburetors, had to be carefully synched--because they were both driving a single bowstring or stone slinging doubled bowstring with projectile band or pocket. Here is what the Greeks and Romans used when rock hurling was required. This one talent (60 lb) ballista is a very large specimen. Note the twin skein assemblies which provide the power.The quote here from Ammianus Marcellinus (cited from the classic and brilliant two-volume set,  Marsden, Greek & Roman Artillery) tells you what an onager is. Please disregard the mangonel (a Medieval term) picture and claim an onager is a mangonel. This is an onager, a line drawing of a full scale one (threw 8 lb rock 400 yards) taken from the historical reconstructions done by Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey and presented in his seminal The Crossbow, referred to at prior link. Those game onagers are terrible engineering designs, too.

 

Yes. I am a catapult grog. It has been a passion of mine going back to elementary school. There was stuff in LIFE magazine at my uncle's, and when I got back from visiting him in another state, Boy's Life had instructions on how to build a simple toy catapult. I was hooked and built a series of ever more capable small working models through which I learned the same hard design lessons the ancients did--and got whacked by the arm and ricocheting projectiles a few times! This is a great Victorian catapult drawing, by Sir Edward John Poynter, a drawing which is wrong in a host of military-technical ways, but is still cool.

SLIM,

 

I shall be most interested to see what antiarmor ordnance is fitted to Bil's Su-25 and attack helos. Could be anything from HEAT bomblets in an RBK cluster munition to any number of guided bombs and TASMs, not to mention air-launched ATGMs possibly (haven't checked helo list) clear up through the 9A4172 Vikhr/AT-16 STALLION, which is operational on the Su-25T/FROGFOOT, the KA-50/HOKUM A and the KA-52/HOKUM B. Don't know whether it's modeled in the game, but the Russian trained for and used helicopter delivered bombs, the same types as delivered by fixed wing aircraft.

 

A related issue is whether the modeled APS can deal with top attack weapons or is instead in the same boat as Arena, with only limited elevation coverage. I would hope the former is the case. 

 

Krasnoarmeyets,

 

Thanks for the info on Russian MANPADS system allocations! The 9K35 Strela-10/SA-13 GOPHER is not, contrary to your assertion, radar silent. It has an active millimeter wave radar used for establishing range and radial velocity. The 9K333 missile is scary, with a three channel seeker: IR, optical contrast and HOJ (Home-On-Jam).  

 

sburke,

 

Of course, R&R for pnzrldr! You have no idea how exhausting it is writing a DAR cum novel on the fly!

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler 

Edited by John Kettler

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BletchleyGeek,

 

Whoever designed those catapults should be fired for gross incompetence, starting with the fact the Ancient Greeks had no onagers! The onager aka scorpion was a 4th Century Roman invention, possibly because it was easier and cheaper to build a torsion weapon which had only one skein assembly than one with two separate torsion assemblies, which, like carburetors, had to be carefully synched--because they were both driving a single bowstring or stone slinging doubled bowstring with projectile band or pocket. Here is what the Greeks and Romans used when rock hurling was required. This one talent (60 lb) ballista is a very large specimen. Note the twin skein assemblies which provide the power.The quote here from Ammianus Marcellinus (cited from the classic and brilliant two-volume set,  Marsden, Greek & Roman Artillery) tells you what an onager is. Please disregard the mangonel (a Medieval term) picture and claim an onager is a mangonel. This is an onager, a line drawing of a full scale one (threw 8 lb rock 400 yards) taken from the historical reconstructions done by Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey and presented in his seminal The Crossbow, referred to at prior link. Those game onagers are terrible engineering designs, too.

 

Yes. I am a catapult grog. It has been a passion of mine going back to elementary school. There was stuff in LIFE magazine at my uncle's, and when I got back from visiting him in another state, Boy's Life had instructions on how to build a simple toy catapult. I was hooked and built a series of ever more capable small working models through which I learned the same hard design lessons the ancients did--and got whacked by the arm and ricocheting projectiles a few times! This is a great Victorian catapult drawing, by Sir Edward John Poynter, a drawing which is wrong in a host of military-technical ways, but is still cool.

 

Welcome to the amazing world of Creative Assembly's Total War series - where history is there just for flavour, and if it gets in the middle of a good tale, well you can draw your own conclusions :-) 

 

Didn't know that onagers were a Roman invention - I was, apparently, under the incorrect assumption that the Roman contributions to the art of Poliorcetics was one of optimization of designs. Or in this case, "simplification". Thanks for that, John :)

 

-----------

 

Leaving jokes aside, looks like Bil has recovered his elan! I most interested in seeing to what degree the 21st century equivalent of a system of flèches  makes Scott feel like he won at Borodino :)

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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John, The mi-28 has 16 AT-9 ataka in the anti armor configuration .. This missle has a top attack capability (35 degrees angle of attack). The Hokum and the SU-25 have 16 Virhk each but those are normal missiles. They can hurt if air defenses are taken care of.

Edited by antaress73

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The 9K35 Strela-10/SA-13 GOPHER is not, contrary to your assertion, radar silent. It has an active millimeter wave radar used for establishing range and radial velocity. The 9K333 missile is scary, with a three channel seeker: IR, optical contrast and HOJ (Home-On-Jam).

I guess I should have said "stealthier". :) Of course, it is hard to stay completely radio silent on the modern battlefield (even a MANPADS squad might have to flash an IFF signal before launch). But if the vehicle were receiving target parameters from a squadron / brigade AD station (which it can do automatically since the M2 modification; the battery's 9A35 vehicles can also reveal actively emitting aircraft through passive radiolocator), the radiorangefinder would have to work only momentarily before launch (and in a narrow angle), and since the missile is F&F, the vehicle can immediately disengage and withdraw to cover after launch if necessary. Also, if I recall correctly, the rangefinder (and IFF transmitter) can be taken completely out of the launch sequence (which would become similar to the one used on 'Strela-1'), with the target being acquired visually at the cost of some time and accuracy (and the improved optical visor on the M3 modification was to enhance that capability).

Of course, 'Tunguska' has several non-emitting (optical and inertial calculation) combat operation modes too, but it would normally be expected to provide constant area coverage with an active radar location station.

BTW, I think you meant the 9M333 missile (introduced alongside 'Strela-10M3'). 9K333 is the 'Verba' MANPADS (with the 9M336 missile, which is also quite neat :)).

But the manpads are now Igla-s and the new Verba manpad which came out recently is also being issued. The game models the baseline T-90A without a RWS

Yes, I would like to have 'Verba' too - apparently it starts to push into the proper SAM area by some characteristics. :D

Also, are you sure the HMG station is not remotely operated (maybe the TC was simply unbuttoned at the moment)? AFAIR, T-90SA in CMSF had a remote-controlled one.

It could be as simple as the models not being done when the scenario was put together. They are trying to drive this thing and assemble it at the same time, at least in the AAR. I am hopeful the late release means the rest of us will be spared that experience. The Russians have two Tugunskas, thats enough to make any airstrike chancy or worse. Of course if they have an unfortunate encounter with an Abrams CAS will make the rest of the scenario rather short.

Yes, perhaps. My misgivings are academic at this point anyway (though the scenario can be tweaked in the future, perhaps). :)

The one supporting the 2nd MRC looks positively doomed. Still hope it would be able to put at least its autocannons to good use, though. There, I have at last made this post somewhat relevant for the original topic (perhaps we should go with all this to some dedicated AA thread)... :D

Edited by Krasnoarmeyets

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Nice work by the gully BMP. With a burst of 30mm like that, you may well have stripped the Abrams of its weapon systems--or at least degraded them.

 

I wonder how much BMP 30mm fire will become a primary fear of the US player. Although it can't kill an Abrams from the front, the speed of its attack and ability to degrade systems quickly may often make it more of a danger than Russian tanks.

 

What is your feeling on that, Bil?

 

If that external MG isnt destroyed then I think the damage system needs a rethink.

 

Why was he firing at the external MG anyway could he not have lit up another part of the vehicle? AI targetting baffles me sometimes in CM.

 

 

BTW, I think you meant the 9M333 missile (introduced alongside 'Strela-10M3'). 9K333 is the 'Verba' MANPADS (with the 9M336 missile, which is also quite neat :)).

Yes, I would like to have 'Verba' too - apparently it starts to push into the proper SAM area by some characteristics. :D

 

 

Verba is only in service with VDV at this time - so might have been glossed over by the researchers for inclusion.

Edited by Stagler

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