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

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I certainly sympathize. It seems this battle would have been much more realistic/better if the map continued a km or so west of the hill, giving you space to withdraw and/or deploy your forces.

On the other hand, the hill being as close to the edge as it is meant that Scott had a fair chance of occupying it first if Bil had spent more time engaging the pocketed UKR force. It was Scott's bad luck that Bil decided to come hell for leather to take it for himself.

 

Michael

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I think Bill's aggressive attacks are driven by his temporal superiority of forces.  Before the reinforcement, he is superior, however unless he destroys a substantial number now he will be ultimately be at a disadvantage numerically and in danger of being flanked (or attacked from multiple directions).

Chris

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TG 21’s commander peered through his sight extension, and congratulated his gunner. 

“Yes, you have found another one.  Line him up carefully, then let him have a good dose!”

“Yes commander!  Firing now!”

A stream of 30mm took this unsuspecting BMP-3 in the rear doors just like his comrade.  A huge weight of metal slammed into the rear of the vehicle, knocking the doors completely off through sheer impact, detonating first on, then in the vehicle and quickly touching off the ammunition stored within.  Another thunderous explosion and a former sophisticated, technologically advanced armored vehicle along with three men, were reduced to smoldering wreckage.  The flames hissed loudly, as wet-looking diesel and plastic smoke rose skyward, the occasional small arms round cooking off, with a metallic ‘pop!’  The violence and finality of modern warfare is difficult to envision until it is experienced. 

http://youtu.be/JIUx0A3Wfpg

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PdPK Borys Levchenko though had little to celebrate.  He saw the BMP-3 to his front detonate, but any joy was shortlived.  Behind him, one of the 3rd Company BMP-2s had spotted a BMP-3.  The vehicle, and in fact its entire company, had unmasked from the trees near Provinska Dvor and moved forward on the low hill which dominated the highway, taking 3rd Company under fire from a third direction.  The BMP was vicious looking, its long powerful 100mm cannon with its fast-firing high velocity 30mm counterpart strapped alongside, questing from side to side in search of prey. The Ukrainian track fired, sending another AT-5 Konkurs missile speeding towards its Russian target.  As the missile approached, the sensors on the low slung Russian vehicle detected it, tracking it in three dimensions, evaluating its velocity and size, and feeding this data to a sophisticated fire control system. The Arena Active Protective System evaluated the threat selected one of the countermeasure cassettes spread around the turret, and launched it.  As the radar tracked the incoming target, it also tracked the countermeasure cartridge, and when both had reached the proper points in space, the Arena sent the detonation command to the flying cassette.  The cassette had popped up and out from the vehicle and was oriented directly over the incoming missiles flight path.  When it detonated, it sprayed fragments almost straight downward, like a somewhat undersized claymore mine.  The cloud of fragments struck the Konkurs, and smashed through both the warhead and the motor, detonating both in a flash of flame and dust.  Though the warhead functioned and a piercing plasma jet of super heated high pressure metallic gas lanced from it, it was still too far from the fighting vehicle to do any harm. 

 

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As the BMP commander was screaming at his gunner to reload the missile, the young man yelled back that he could fire his 30mm cannon.  Both men in their fear fought for control of the turret, as precious seconds ticked away.  No burst of high velocity cannon fire followed the missile to spike the Russian BMP, and it rolled forward, continuing its advance.  As the two crewmembers argued, a scant 100m to their rear one of their surviving comrade vehicles experienced the other aspect of the BMP-3’s sinister nature.  This Russian BMP popped up rolling around the southern crest of hill 347.  It paused momentarily, the doors on the back popping open and disgorging heavily armed infantrymen, who immediately sprinted for cover, as the BMP blasted the Ukrainian track with its 100mm cannon at point blank range.  The vehicle immediately belched smoke, the gunner and driver leaping off and sprinting away from the incinerating body of their commander.  Scant moments later, their wingman vehicle was bracketed by automatic grenade launcher fire.  The small rounds were of limited anti-armor utility, and the one hit in the burst did no harm.  Three seconds later instead of more AGS fire, a 125mm sabot round slammed into the vehicle, passing cleanly through it and gouging a lengthy furrow in the hillside behind.  This stricken vehicle also burned, and no one emerged from the conflagration that followed.   Borys was horror stricken as the field around him sprouted smoke columns, each one marking the grave of another Ukrainian vehicle. 

“These damn olded BMP2s are simply overmatched!”  he thought. 

“Come on.  We should pull back to a safe location to call all of this in.  Where did the American Sergeant go?” Borys asked his RTO. They began to crawl back towards the gully behind them as the battle shifted decisively in the Russians favor.

 

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On the north side of Hill 347 the battle was equally grim for the men of Ukraine.  The leftmost vehicle of the vee died almost instantly in a hail of 30mm APFSDS darts.  In the center of the 3d PLT vee, the PL’s BMP pulled forward, trying to support the infantry who were still streaming back through the forest.  The LT was on the ground with the, and the gunner winced as another infantryman right in front of his track staggered and fell as the trees all around were ripped by cannon fire and exploding shrapnel.  He had seen his platoon mate to his left die, and wanted to gain some revenge.  He pulled his vehicle forward, straining to see through the smoke and dust, but it was useless.  As he pulled to a stop and began to scan, he saw nothing through the swirling air.  Suddenly a tremendous clang announced that the BMP-3 to his front had no such issue.  Its thermal sights could not completely pierce the hot haze, but they saw much further into it than the naked eye, and the Russian commander had no hesitation at all in blasting yet another Ukrainian vehicle.  The 100mm round detonated on impact, spending its jet on the vehicles engine pack and sparing both crewmen serious injury.  The gunner called to his friend to bail out, and they both jumped clear of the track.  As they turned to run, a second BMP3 spotted the movement, and the gunner made a fractional adjustment on his controls, and loosed a single burst of 30mm fire.  Neither of the two Ukrainian soldiers ever knew what hit them. As they died, their Lieutenant watched in horror from behind a tree scant 20 meters away. 

 

Carnage on the northern slopes of Hill 347

 

http://youtu.be/q_6d5IyDh24

 

PFC Purtle watched as the movement on the hillside, and then the firing intensified.  The young scout could not see clearly, as he was partly screened by trees, but he knew that the situation was deteriorating. 

“Hellcat Tree Tree, this is Golf, are you coming back?  I think we might need to be backing up like.”   He called to SFC Bagby over the radio.  He waited an interminable 15 seconds for a response. 

“Golf, this is tree tree…”  a gasping voice came over the headset,

“Go on and get back.  No way I make it back now without being spotted.  I’m moving slow, maybe they won’t see me.  Pull back and I’ll link up with you later.” 

Purtle and the driver looked at one another in shock. 

“Roger that.  We are pulling back to last covered and will wait for you there Sarn’t.  Keep your head down.” 

“You heard him, lets go.”  Purtles command to his friend was punctuated by a loud bang from the hillside.  As the HMMWV backed up Purtle could only loose a short futile burst at the hillside in the hopes that it might cover the older man’s slog back through the field.  

 

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The sole surviving BMP2 on the northern hillside got a paltry payback.  Stationary and scanning on what had been the south side of his LT’s vee, the grizzled gunner took under fire the only target that came his way – an old Russian MTLB personnel carrier.  He didn’t know if it was a special carrier of some kind, or just the Russian 1SG’s support vehicle, but the older man was under no illusions about his likelihood of getting off of this cursed hillside, and was determined to ensure that at least some of the Russian invaders never left it either.  He fired two long bursts, and the vehicle burst into flames. 

 

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On the south side of the hill, KPT Antonyuk was still ignorant of the Platoon’s plight, but watching his 1st and 2d Platoons burn around him, he had little hope that the 3d Platoon had done much better.  

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“Sweet Jesus, we have got to get there.”  LTC Falkner said to no one in particular as he stared at the Netwarrior feed.  SGT Lerner had uploaded a disposition report that showed two Russian MRCs smashing to dust the Ukrainian mech company that TF 3-69 was supposed to support. 

“Outlaw 16, this is Power 6”

He paused, hoping to hear something from the radio.

“Outlaw 16, this is Power 6, over!” 

“Power 6, this is Power 3.  Sir, we’ll keep trying to raise him.  All the messages I’ve sent in BFT show undelivered.  The jamming up there must be worse than here.”  MAJ Abrams replied.  

“Roger, allright, lets keep rolling.  We need to get there in time to make a difference.”

 

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1LT Glenn Upham from Rockingham, NC, otherwise known as “Outlaw 16,” trembled with excitement as he gazed down from the side of a bare hill past waving fields of wheat and barley to the distant rooftops of Krichek a mile and a half or so to his east. A veteran of the closing days of US involvement in Afghanistan, he new he was exposed, and should try to slither down the slope to his idling Bradley, but he needed to see and understand what lay to his front, so he accepted the risk a little longer. Upham had labored his whole military career to overcome the accident of his name – how was he at fault for the fact that the mousy clerk typist from “Saving Private Ryan” was also named Upham? Well, CPL Upham had survived to the end of that fight, and Glenn firmly intended to survive this one. BCT HQ had clearly shown the Russian mech battalion moving into sector the day prior. The Brigade S-2 still thought he had firm grids on several vehicles. Further, the reports from the Security Force Assistance Team (SFAT) that had hung on with the Home Guard force in Krichek confirmed the strength of the force to their front. Upham knew it was his PLT’s job to ferret out their specific locations and survive the effort, to pave the way for the other battalion elements that followed him. He could even now see his PLT SGT, SFC Bagby, working his HMMWV scout section forward to get better observation. His main concern was what to do if they found anything. Though he had solid comms to BN, the Battle CPT had told him that they would not have priority of fires for another quarter hour or so. He had called up SGT Lerner with the Ukrainian Battalion to his right and coordinated for mortar support, but had no real confidence in the speed, accuracy or ammunition supply of their allies, especially if both units were in contact simultaneously. Lerner had assured him that their friends had both ammo and competence, but admitted they were not too speedy. Upham spoke in a low voice, checked the text message in his tablet for accuracy, and hit ‘send’ requesting an update on A CO’s ETA, and then gathered up his binos to slip back down to his track.

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In Krichek, Major Nathan Harris cursed as he hit another rock. He and his driver were digging a couple of quick foxholes, as Harris would not let the young PFC do both himself. Despite the fact that they were right next to a stone building, Harris routinely insisted on burrowing into the soil for cover. PFC Beach had silently bitched, whined and cussed him – communicating without vocalizing a word – every time they did, right up until the first time they were shelled by Russian 122mm Howitzers. Since then Beach had taken to simply asking Harris if he wanted the HMMWV’s shovel or pick first every time they stopped. Beach was also eager to scrounge up something to replace the three heavy railroad ties he had used for overhead cover and had been forced to abandon at their last hasty departure from Khirovorad ten days prior. Harris stopped for a moment and swigged some bottled water. PdPK Tymoshenko was a solid Soldier, for an air defender, and Harris was impressed that he had stayed with his remaining troops until further evacuation of the town became impossible. But their disposition in Krichek worried him. They had seen signs of the Russians’ advance, and Harris had followed along on his BFT2 and shared the scene with Tymo, laying out the Russian recon CO’s general frontline trace as they reconnoitered around the town, and now he looked at the solid red blobs that represented much more significant Russian Armor and Mech forces. Though they had some good support weapons and a fair amount of ammo, Harris feared they could not survive a determined assault. Their meager supply of mines was barely enough to provide harassing defense on a few intersections, and aside from some hastily strung wire they had no other fortifications. Harris helped Tymo plan for some deception with the wire, hoping to force the Russians to deploy and treat each obstacle as (doctrinally) overwatched by fire. The two of them had withdrawn their remaining forces to the corner of town nearest the bridge, their only potential means of escape, and had barricaded up the Town Hall as a mini fortress. ATGMs were sighted for short, quick shots and their ADA weapons had abandoned their primary role and were sighted now to provide quick, lethal automatic fires. After much debate, Tymo had pulled all but two of his five squads of infantry into the town and away from the critical power station and grain storage sites. They simply didn’t have enough men or support weapons to squander them all over the place, and Harris knew they would find ample challenge defending the town. He pulled up his BFT2 message screen to see if there was any update on 3-69 Armor – “Speed & Power” movement forward.

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nice post

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pnzrldr,

 

Since the LRAS constitutes your ground level long range eyes, why wasn't it parked in such a way only the optics (and part of the operator) were exposed, rather than being in the thick of things almost from the beginning? Seems like a terrible waste of an important asset, but maybe that's just a sucky roll executed by Mars?! Where are your support fires? As it stands, the issue's becoming more moot by the second. Concerning thermals, the US has long claimed--with full justification-- "We own the night," but it would appear the BMP-3s and T-90AMs own the day. Talk about combat leverage via tech! Am surprised the Bradleys didn't fire TOWs, but chose to do guns only. Shall be interested to see how that turns out vs an IFV sporting more armor than many WW II tanks. I stand it awe of the scope and scale of the destruction of your force in so little time. This reinforces everything I've read about how fast modern main force warfare goes through men and equipment. 

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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pnzrldr,

 

Since the LRAS constitutes your ground level long range eyes, why wasn't it parked in such a way only the optics (and part of the operator) were exposed, rather than being in the thick of things almost from the beginning?

 

This has been discussed in other threads, if I recall correctly there was was a limitation in CMSF with similar vehicles due to how spotting works in CMx2. Apparently you have to expose the entire vehicle in order to use the sensors. Someone raised this in another thread asking if it was fixed but I did not see an official answer so the issue may still be around in CMBS.. I hope that is not the case since it would prohibit the proper use of LRAS. Pnzldr's deployment suggest however otherwise :(...

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Tank Hunter,

 

I really do hope this has been fixed, since so many AFVs and sofskins these days have such situations. Their utility would be greatly compromised if they have to expose themselves in order to fight. If it's necessary to expose the entire AFV to use, say, CROWS, then that hugely sucks. But that pales compared to such AFVs as Kryzantema, which is practically invisible when only sensors up, yet can kill you at great range while doing so. 

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

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John,

 

If I remember the issue was related to the position of the crew in the vehicle, the spotting is caluclated from the "eyes" of the crew so if they are located in the hull then you need to have the hull  exposed in order to "see". Most tanks and IFVs have crew in the turret hence the posibility to go hull down and still see.. A potential workaround would be to have "extra eyes" positioned where the sensor is but that would maybe increase the spottining ability to much, you would basically be attaching another crew member to the vehicle? Another would be to move a set of eyes higher up but that would maybe affect spotting in other cases when hull is exposed..

 

Sure would hope to see an official reply on this one. As you mentioned vehicles like Kryzantema are basically dead fish in the water if they can't  go hull down...

Edited by Tank Hunter

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All - yes, there is currently no 'optics/remotes up' position in CM.  Best you can do is 'hull down' which is extremely hard to get and very perspective relative. 'Partial hull down' mitigates a little bit, but not enough. I've brought the magnitude of this problem up to the powers that be, but until we can get to a true new engine, it is unlikely to change.  I will reference your comments for further support in my reports though.  Thanks again for the encouragement on the writing.  When this thing is all done, I'll package it up and post as a stand-alone.  You can all snag it and say you were reading my stuff before I hit the NY Times best seller list!  ;-) 

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I like the addition of the videos! They realy do improve getting a feel for the action in an AAR. Next best thing to being able to one day observe a CM real time battle from inside the game. Nice screenies too pzrldr, your new rig looks sweet!

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All - yes, there is currently no 'optics/remotes up' position in CM. Best you can do is 'hull down' which is extremely hard to get and very perspective relative. 'Partial hull down' mitigates a little bit, but not enough. I've brought the magnitude of this problem up to the powers that be, but until we can get to a true new engine, it is unlikely to change. I will reference your comments for further support in my reports though. Thanks again for the encouragement on the writing. When this thing is all done, I'll package it up and post as a stand-alone. You can all snag it and say you were reading my stuff before I hit the NY Times best seller list! ;-)

Thanks for the update. So we should consider ATGM vehicles in CM 'broken' for a while as far as their ability to be realistically positioned is concerned, correct? It's definitely not a major problem for the simulation as a whole yet because CM map sizes are still small enough that one would probably prefer dismounted and easier to conceal ATGMs at these ranges anyway, but it definitely needs to be fixed at some point. For vanilla Black Sea, at least, I'll avoid ATGM vehicles in quick battles and avoid placing them in any scenarios I make.

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Thanks for the update. So we should consider ATGM vehicles in CM 'broken' for a while as far as their ability to be realistically positioned is concerned, correct? It's definitely not a major problem for the simulation as a whole yet because CM map sizes are still small enough that one would probably prefer dismounted and easier to conceal ATGMs at these ranges anyway, but it definitely needs to be fixed at some point. For vanilla Black Sea, at least, I'll avoid ATGM vehicles in quick battles and avoid placing them in any scenarios I make.

 

While it is certainly a relatively large problem I wouldn't go as far as not using ATGM vehicles at all. They still have there utility, find good hull down/concealed positions and they can wreak havoc on armor, especially those with the capability of firing more than one ATGM at once which are present in-game.

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While it is certainly a relatively large problem I wouldn't go as far as not using ATGM vehicles at all. They still have there utility, find good hull down/concealed positions and they can wreak havoc on armor, especially those with the capability of firing more than one ATGM at once which are present in-game.

Exactly.  Folks should withhold judgement until they can actually try the units.  While they certainly aren't going to perform 100% as they would in RL, what in CM does?  That doesn't make it completely unplayable (barring the occasional forum rant).

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pnzrldr,

 

How is Nakidka depicted in the game? I've seen thermal imagery of a tank with it installed, and the effects are simply stunning in terms of not merely reducing thermal signature but also target recognition itself. Also, does the game reflect Nakidka's large impacts on visual and radar detection? I have the feeling this has been raised somewhere in the CMBS or maybe CMSF Forum before.

 

sburke,

 

I'm surprised BFC went to all the time and trouble required to create a whole new sim under CMx3, yet didn't address the elevated vehicle sensor/weapon issues from the get in designing the game. After all, on the US side, it's been an issue since the M901 TOW Hammerhead/TOW ITV was deployed in the 1980s. On the Russian side, we;re talking at least the BRDM-2 9P122 and 9P123 Malyutka. I freely grant this matter is not something necessarily confined to one side, being an equal opportunity afflicter, if you will, where ever weapon systems with such issues are employed. There is a world of difference, though, between exposing a small sensor-fair size sensor or sensor and weapon package and, say, half the platform trying to hide behind protective terrain.  As such, it directly affects PD and everything thereafter as the kill chain comes together. I used to deal with these issues professionally, KTOW (Korean TOW) at Hughes, and the loss rates for helos with nose mounted sights vs those with RMS (Roof Mounted Sights) and  MMS (Mast Mounted Sights) were quite noticeable.

 

While we're at it, there ought to be a more elegant way of finding hull down and turret defilade positions. The procedures for doing this in the field are thoroughly established, simple, straightforward, are in the manuals and have been published in ARMOR magazine, too. For prepared defense situations, there ought to be tank ramps providing turret defilade for observation and hull defilade for firing. The Israelis had these during the Yom Kippur War and used them to great effect against the Syrians in the Valley of Tears. The Egyptians did something similar with a single tank in one sector, and it was driving the Israelis nuts. Unfortunately for the Egyptians, the tank popped up consistently after a fixed interval. This was noted, and the next occurrence got a freshly supplied TOW missile in the face, ending the problem.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler 

Edited by John Kettler

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It will be fun to play with the units to see how noticeable the problem really is, especially the double-firing ATGMs.  Maybe these units will actually be the best way to deal with APS-protected tanks and AFVs.  We'll see.  I have a feeling I'd rather have many dismounted ATGMs though.  That raises another question.  Will the TAC AI have the ability to coordinate multiple nearby launchers, for example multiple AT-14 teams within communications, to launch missiles simultaneously or within quick succession against the same target suspected of having APS?  pnzrldr, do you know?

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Exactly.  Folks should withhold judgement until they can actually try the units.  While they certainly aren't going to perform 100% as they would in RL, what in CM does?  That doesn't make it completely unplayable (barring the occasional forum rant).

Anyways, I was able to get LOS with both LRAS3 and TOW Humvees in hull-down positions with only a sliver of roof exposed, so I don't think there is any problem at all with these specific vehicles.

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Anyways, I was able to get LOS with both LRAS3 and TOW Humvees in hull-down positions with only a sliver of roof exposed, so I don't think there is any problem at all with these specific vehicles.

That's  good to hear akd this is an important feature.

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