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CM Black Sea - Beta Battle Report - US/UKR Side


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I think that on the defense in a dense urban environment weapons like the RPG-29 are much more deadly than ATGMs (except the Javelin, maybe) or tanks. They are available in large quantities - in CMSF every squad of every nation is equipped with sometimes even multipe AT weapons. They can be fired from any house or room, without needing time to deploy. They can easily be hidden, unlike tanks which are almost impossible to hide (except in forrests, maybe, but you shouldnt move your tanks into a forrest in the first place). In short, they are perfect for ambushes. Additionally some laser guided weapons like the Panzerfaust-3 are even deadly accurate up to 400-500 meteres.

 

Oops. I thought I included RPGs in my list. -Meant to.

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On the north side of the hill, the remnants of 3rd Platoon were still being ground down by the advancing Russian BMP-3s and infantry.  The Platoon leader came staggering back through the forest and co

P.S.  Please do keep voting up the posts. If I cannot defeat Bil on the battlefield, perhaps I can amass more 'forum reputation points' than him!  Ha!

SSG Venar wasn’t exactly sure what was going on, but he knew it wasn’t good.  The Ukrainian infantry up the slope from him seemed to be having a bad time of it, and the shrapnel from the airburst they

LT Tim Sheridan couldn’t believe it.  He was the XO of C Company, “Steel,” of 3-69 AR, and he was leading his Company on the attack through broken woods and gullies.  “What lunatic thought of this approach,” he wondered again, “I just want out of here, so we can get after the Russians.”  He knew it his team was near the edge of the woods, and that Russian forces were reportedly just beyond.  Leading the Company was exciting.  CPT Darland’s tank, “Stone Cold,” had fallen out a half hour prior with a V-Pack clog light, but the crew had fixed it in less than ten minutes, so the commander had not jumped tanks.  However, he had gotten separated from the company, and instructed Tim to lead them into the attack.  Tim couldn’t believe his luck – he was both excited and trepidatious.  He had not been in combat since Afghanistan in 2013, and he knew that barely counted alongside what 3ID was into now, but he was confident that he and the company would do well.  The forest, however, had other ideas.  It had taken them nearly 20 minutes to break through a couple measly klicks of forest!  They kept running into impassable gullies and having to work around them.  Frequently they had to dismount and recon on foot to find a way for the tanks, and all so they could avoid coming into  contact right up the road.  Now though, it was  a little more broken and they could see daylight.  Tim gave his orders to the PLs and watched as they all moved up, but now that contact was imminent they lost some of their discipline and the bounds he had ordered looked more like a herd of cats moving forwards, some rushing some crawling. 

 

Suddenly, all hell broke loose.  Tim found himself down inside the turret of his tank – he had been up in the hatch and looking towards the break in the forest ahead, when… 

The Laser Warning screaming at him, and the driving hitting the brakes had thrown him down inside.  Then even more sudden, sound, shock, a tremendous hammering, smoke, and it all seemed to happen at once.

“Steel, this is Steel 5, contact infantry and BMPs right!”  Even as he spoke he heard another burst of 30mm fire trip-hammering against the heavy tank turret.  Suddenly his APS fired and he realized that it was the second shot.

"Driver get us out of here, gunner traverse right!" 

“Sir, the gun won’t elevate!” his gunner sang out.

“The hell you say!  Fix it, we sort of need it!”  he replied, scanning with his low profile CROWs system.  The CROWs was perhaps the least popular thing with tankers that the Army ever put on a tank.  It was incredibly bulky on top of the turret, restricting the commander’s view and ability to maneuver the tank, and sticking out like a sore thumb.  The controls and screens were poorly integrated, and it made the TC’s job harder instead of easier.  But after ‘ruining’ a couple hundred Abrams, the Army stopped and figured out a new scheme for a ‘low profile’ CROWs that was properly integrated and worked with the systems on the tank.  It still wasn’t perfect, but it was infinitely improved over the original.  LT Sheridan was still trying to figure out which direction his CROWs was pointed, but he noted that it was now pointed at a pair of Russian infantrymen with a wicked looking RPG, so he squeezed the trigger. 

"Sir, the recuperator has a fricking hole in it.  Something came through the turret armor.  I think the gun is toast!  If we fire it, it will probably come out of battery." 

"Hang on, now where did they go...  Okay traverse around and see if you can still shoot the coax.  We just became the world's heaviest machinegun carrier." 

Around him, the tanks and Bradleys of his new command dealt with the unexpected contact as each saw fit.  Most reacted by turning and backing trying to place the heavier armor towards the BMPs and assuming they would find the infantry and suppress them momentarily.  The fire support officer, LT Matt Tanner in the Bradley Fire Support Track (BFST) was not so lucky.  Struck twice by crippling rounds, it ground to a halt with its turret askew and a gaping hole in the front slope. 

 

http://youtu.be/MlRB9V22ias

 

Sorry for having to run this with Alt-T on, but you would never have been able to see it otherwise.  C Company stumbles upon a Mech infantry platoon in the woods.  

 

“Power Six, this is Blackknight Six.” 

“This is Power Six, send it.”  LTC Falkner never took his eyes from his screen as he scanned, answering the radio call.

“This is Blackknight Six, engaged and destroyed two AT vehicles and three BMP-3s, north of hill 347.  Continuing to engage dismounted infantry and other targets as they appear, Break.” 

“We are bounding towards Phase Line Green and should turn the corner on Hill 347 in 2-3 minutes.”

“We have established contact with Outlaw 16 element, and his Brad is gone, as are several scout teams.  Blackknight Seven will get a full nine-line when we’re done, over.” 

“This is Power Six, roger, complete seizure of Hill 347, turn the corner and establish overwatch of Krichek and the Power Plant, over.”

“Blackknight Six, wilco, over.”

“This is Power Six, be swift but deliberate and don’t let anyone get too eager.  Get’r done.  Six out.”

 

16074114737_945248f29a_h.jpg

 

As the flat crack-boom of tank cannons reverberated across the fields, PkPK Borys Levchenko looked up with his mouth open.  Moments later, they saw smoke rising and it was clearly coming from places they had seen Russian vehicles moments before.  SGT Lerner approached the shaking man slowly. 

“Sir, I’m so sorry they are late.  I know it is no help now for your men, but the Russians are going to wish they hadn’t come all the way out here to get at you, I promise.” 

Breathing hard, and shaking, but with a growl not a sob, Levchenko replied.

“I too am sorry, that you Americans must come so far to fight and die for our country.  Thank you.  Thank you for your help.  Believe me, my men and my country appreciate it.”  Both knew the day’s fight was far from finished.

“Sir, let’s go see if we can help somehow, okay?”

 

SPC O’Brian cursed, “C’mon you bastard, stick your head up again.”  He fired another controlled pair with his M4, then dropped prone, calling out, “Reloading!”

PFC Metcalf fired another shot a moment later.  Neither knew the nature of the troops they saw moving in the treeline, but they knew they weren’t Ukrainian. 

“We should have brought Tom’s team out here with us for security.  Did you hit any?” 

“Nah, I think they ducked down too quick.  We need to bug out.  Lets get back over to our last firing spot.  We’ll have more standoff if they try to come out of the woods, and maybe we can find a home for this heavy-ass missile!”

 

16234055906_a43af5c7a4_h.jpg

 

15640195803_9e1dc67eff_h.jpg

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pnzrldr,

 

I predict that vid will cause chortling, capering and maybe even a cartwheel! You couldn't show what CMBS is any matter than what happened in that shattering, thunderous depiction. "Spectacular" doesn't come close to describing how marvelous that whole sequence of events back and forth was to watch. The APS is worth its weight in gold, for I saw it stave off multiple attacks. I've read about combat power for years, but that was a tremendous demonstration of what the concept is all about.

 

Your narrative is not only engrossing, but the scene of the American SFAT (see, I was paying attention) soldier apologizing to the Ukrainian CO for the disastrously late arrival of the relieving force and  the Ukrainian's unexpectedly lamenting Americans had to come all the way out there to die, moved me almost to tears, and I get choked up just thinking about it. Powerful stuff. Read cinematic.

 

Since I saw what happened from Bil's end, I've been dying to see things from your end, whereas for some of your men it was just plain dying amid a very high intensity lethal series of engagements. Recuperator penetration, eh? Bad juju. My understanding is, barring a massive breach of the recuperator cylinder, is that the hydraulic fluid will progressively squirt out on each successive firing, eventually disabling the gun. I doubt the damage sustained would put the breech into back of the turret on the next shot, but then I don't do this stuff for a living!  Would it be possible, please, for you to show us the damage displays for the tanks hit in that fearsome gunfight?   I'd like to see what kind of pain your tanks took as 30 mm sleeted their exteriors and, apparently, part of one turret's interior.

 

Speaking of pain, I didn't know what a nine line was, so I went looking to find out. Now I do. Gulp.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

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"repeat pleeze" - what is a "V-Pack clog light" ? Just curious, you're obviously not making this stuff up just for your narrative, it must be a real thing, but it's a bit arcane ;)

 

Other than that, your latest turn should alleviate some forum concern that the US are overpowered and/or that spotting is practically automatic with modern gear.

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"repeat pleeze" - what is a "V-Pack clog light" ? Just curious, you're obviously not making this stuff up just for your narrative, it must be a real thing, but it's a bit arcane ;)

 

Other than that, your latest turn should alleviate some forum concern that the US are overpowered and/or that spotting is practically automatic with modern gear.

V-pack is the nickname for the M1's engine air filters. There are three of them in a row on the left front part of the engine deck. They are V shaped, hence the nickname. When they get clogged, engine performance degrades very rapidly. So a warning light on them needs to be addressed asap.

On a lighter side, if they fixed it in 10 minutes that would indicate they had replacements to put in. Its been a few years for me, but we had this worthless wand we would hook to the exhaust to clean the V-packs. It could take a long time using those to clean them. When I was in training, I got to push Fort Knox a little bit lower for telling my instructors that the wand was stupid. Ha.

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Your last move with the tanks right through the forrest seems very risky to me, pnzrldr. For all i know sending tanks through a forrest infested with RPG-carrying infantry negates all the advantages a tank has over the infantry - high speed and long range firepower. Did you consider using your Bradleys dismounts to clear the forrest or at least do some recon before moving the tanks in or was that not an option because they were to far away? Or do you just want to push the tanks through the forrest as fast as possible, hoping that this wil be worth the losses the infantry might inflict on your vehicles? Maybe you should pop some smoke to conceal your movement, the Abrams IR sights can see through it but the russian infantry will be blind.

Edited by agusto
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Well, considering how the US/UKR infantry got slaughtered by the BMPs at the start of this AAR, even in the forrest, I would not be so sure that sending in the infantry rather than the tanks would be a good idea. Those airburst rounds from the BMPs are deadly as hell.

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APS, both Russian and American, are based on SOLID current systems, with minimal future extrapolation. Israeli Trophy and Russian Arena are both tested and have operational backgrounds. A few more years of tweaking, and, IMHO, what's in the game is pretty darn close to what will be on AFV's.

 

Hypervelocity sabot rounds are "proof" against APS. The energies needed to propel 10kg at 1800m/s require a tank to absorb the recoil. Thus, tanks fight tanks. A swarm of IFV's/ATGM carriers can destroy a tank. They need to salvo fire, and all focus on the same vehicle. That target, if it survives the first barrage, will pop smoke and try for cover. (That's why they pop smoke when lased. It's hard to keep 'em in sight.)

 

APS is a very good protective layer. Next is ERA. Then the armor itself. It's all about layers. Like ogres. And onions.

 

Ken

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APS is a very good protective layer. Next is ERA. Then the armor itself. It's all about layers. Like ogres. And onions.

 

Ken

A swarm of IFV's/ATGM carriers can destroy a tank. They need to salvo fire, and all focus on the same vehicle. That target, if it survives the first barrage, will pop smoke and try for cover. (That's why they pop smoke when lased. It's hard to keep 'em in sight.)

 

Reminds me of Harpoon 3 and Command Mondern Air/Naval Operations, where you need pen, paper and calculator to figure out how many missiles you need to shoot at a ship to penetrate its defenses of CWIS-guns anti-missile-missiles. To score a hit on an AEGIS destroyer you need something like 40 missiles fired simultaniously, 39 get shot down and one hits the target (hopefully something important, like one of the radars). If you are firing on a formation of multiple AEGIS destroyers, the number of missiles you need increases dependent on the formation of the ships.

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APS, both Russian and American, are based on SOLID current systems, with minimal future extrapolation. Israeli Trophy and Russian Arena are both tested and have operational backgrounds. A few more years of tweaking, and, IMHO, what's in the game is pretty darn close to what will be on AFV's.

 

Hypervelocity sabot rounds are "proof" against APS. The energies needed to propel 10kg at 1800m/s require a tank to absorb the recoil. Thus, tanks fight tanks. A swarm of IFV's/ATGM carriers can destroy a tank. They need to salvo fire, and all focus on the same vehicle. That target, if it survives the first barrage, will pop smoke and try for cover. (That's why they pop smoke when lased. It's hard to keep 'em in sight.)

 

APS is a very good protective layer. Next is ERA. Then the armor itself. It's all about layers. Like ogres. And onions.

 

Ken

 

I'm curious to hear what the beta tester's experiences have been with effectively salvo firing against APS-equipped vehicles.  I imagine on a real-life battlefield this would be handled by coordinating launches over voice comms (i.e. "Fire on my mark..."), but for all the player's God-like information and control the best we can do is probably just give target orders and hope for the best.  From Scott's latest video it looks like the APS recovers pretty quickly (instantly?) between intercepts, so even a few seconds between firing could result in the destruction of all missiles.  Then there's the potential hiccups with LOS/LOF - one or more launchers losing LOS if the target moves, or maybe even losing LOS due to smoke and debris from the APS intercepting the first missile(s), not to mention the target popping smoke as Ken says.  All in all salvoing sounds much easier said than done.

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1.  Recuperator failure might or might not result in breech out of battery, but most tank crewman would not want to risk firing once they know their recoil system is jacked, especially war-shot ammo. 

2.  Both of the Abrams hit hard by 30mm are now expensive machinegun platforms.  Will look over the rest of the damage to see what else, and will post.

3.  Yes, driving through the woods was risky, and in retrospect, foolhardy.  I failed to anticipate how far forward Bil had pushed his INF.  However, based on where my reinforcements teleported in, I had little choice in the matter.  If I had an inkling, I could have led with dismounts, but it would have much slower and you guys would have roasted me for excess caution in any event. 

4.  Trophy's reset time is marginally slower than ARENA - on the order of 1.x seconds I think, maybe a bit less.  Biggest drawback is, Trophy only has 2 shots per side, but those shots have complete coverage.  If I understand ARENA properly, it has LOTS more segments (21?  23?) but once one of those segments is gone, it has a gap someone could (with luck) hit, say with consecutive rounds on the same azimuth.  I could be in error on this - will have to go back and see if the system does some sort of automatic rotation to cover gaps. 

 

Next post will be a day or two.  I owe next turn back to Bil.  I am exactly one behind on posts right now, and hope to stay nice and tight for the duration.  Next turn will feature gradual recovery from the ambush you witnessed, along with some nifty long range Abrams execution. 

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Another excellent post. Bites to get caught driving armor through the woods and into a gulley of hurt but such is the impact of reinforcements teleport :)

 

Illustrates that Abrams are not invincible... in an ambush in a gulley and woods.

 

Recover from the ambush and show us some nifty long range Abrams execution ... their strength.

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pnzrldr,

 

Ref my No. 453, I see an oops got by me. Where I wrote "You couldn't show what CMBS is any matter than what happened in that shattering, thunderous depiction." there should've been You couldn't show what CMBS is any better than what happened in that shattering, thunderous depiction."

 

White2Golf,

 

Thanks much for explaining that bit of lingo, not least because my guesstimate was somewhat off. I thought it had something to do with the drive train. It does, in that if you don't deal with the problem, fast, your drive train will soon be irrelevant.

 

agusto, 

 

Regret to inform you that if he popped smoke, he couldn't see through it. Why? It screens out both visible and IR bands! If he had a diesel engined tank and generated that kind of smoke via spraying diesel fuel on a specially configured exhaust manifold, then he could see through the resultant smoke, while Bil's infantry would, with a few exceptions, be blind.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

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Almost forgot...

"V-Pack Clogged" light.  I think it actually says "Air Filter" on the panel, but the bottom line is that the Abrams, having a turbine engine, requires substantially more air to run than a conventionally engined tank.  The air filtration system is based around 3 large, V-shaped filters that fit into slots in the left side of the forward portion of the back deck.  Each is built inside an aluminum frame and weighs ~ 45lbs IIRC.  We used to weigh them to see if they were still any good, but I cannot for the life of me remember the clean/dirty weight range.  Maybe a current tanker can update.   If they clog up, you don't go... at least, not very well.  Tank unhappy.  Expedient fix used to be to either just pull them out and bang the dust out (quick and easy) or they put a compressed air takeoff on the engine which came with wand attachment for actually blowing them out.  Takes a bit longer, but not over-lengthy.  Actually, I was just reaching to provide some reasoning behind why the Steel Commander showed up on map out there w/ Blackknight, rather than with the rest of his formation.  This is my hastily invented excuse! 

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