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George MC

Rolling Thunder (demo scenario)

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This is one of the scenarios contained in the recently released demo.

http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/tsd3/uncategorized/cmbs-rolling-thunder/

About the scenario

This scenario recreates a US company team attack against a Russian Forward Security Element or FSE. A Russian FSE is a usually a reinforced company sent forward of the regimental axis when the threat is weak but more commonly sent ahead of a first echelon battalion or battalion operating away from the main body. Motorized rifle companies are often used in this role, even in tank units.

Both sides have a fairly ‘typical’ OOB (organisation, units and vehicles) plus supporting arms (air assets, anti-aircraft assets and artillery) for the missions they have been tasked with. As such this scenario serves as a useful introduction to commanding a modern combined arms unit at the company level.

This scenario was originally designed to be played first and foremost from the perspective of the US side against the Russian AI. It is playable head to head (H2H) but has not been playtested for balance in this regard. It is playable as Russian vs US AI, although in the attack the AI can't dismount and remount infantry, so that can hamper it a wee bit. Still the US AI plans should give you a tactical workout.

There are three distinct Russian AI plans and two distinct US AI plans – thus allowing some level of re-playability.

How difficult is the scenario?

As stated this scenario is really designed to be played as US attacking Russian AI (or possible H2H). The designers intent is that a ‘good’ player i.e. a player used to the Combat Mission game engine and practiced in using modern core combined arms tactics would find this fun but not over the top challenging. A new player i.e. unpractised in either modern or Combat Mission should be able to play this (TOP TIP – make liberal use of the ‘save game’ option – so you can rewind if things go horribly wrong) – and most likely at least pull a draw. So bottom line is experienced players will most likely find it fun but straightforward, less experienced might find it challenging initially but soon becoming easier. Once the US side make it over the reverse slope position they have a very good chance of winning as the fire-power of a US mech company team is pretty immense!

Edited by George MC

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Ugh, my least favorite phrase to hear.  Sounds like fun!

Reverse slope? It's not so bad in modern warfare. I mean you have UAVs and fast modern armour against what? ATGMs, infantry armed to the teeth with AT weapons, fast modern armour and UAVs, oh and attack helicopters.

 

What could possibly go wrong? ;)

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Really enjoyed Rolling Thunder, but.......

 

SPOILERS:

 

 

I think you might have underestimated the impact of those ATGMs, in foxholes, in almost impossible to spot concealed positions and able to dominate the entire battlefield.  I achieved a victory, but only after cursing you the whole time! Sort of evil genius on your part. Keep them coming!

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Hi Frederico

Thanks for your comments - Type 2 fun eh? ;)

 

Good effort on getting a victory though. :)

 

The Russian ATGM stuff is dug-in and hard to spot (although they can be spotted). I've found pushing forward scouts (or use UAVs but be ware of any AA assets that can/will gun them down) to get eyes' on then use an APS equipped AFV to play whack a mole. The AFV moves forward 'fast' and then reverses. All going well it'll be lased an ATGM will be fired and your scouts spot the firer. Then you have ID'd the position.



Another ploy (bit more high risk!) is move your armour forward on 'fast' (when lased they don't reverse). The M1s are pretty good at IDing and firing immediately back at any firer. You do need to ensure they can make it to cover. Note: This is a high risk strategy!

Edited by George MC

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Inching forward in a brutal slugfest, I'm out of stingers and a Hind is unleashing hell on my tanks. This has been my favourite Black Sea mission so far, there is action all over the map, I even got to record footage of a stinger hitting it's target.  This map and mission are brilliant.

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Thanks for the update Takoda. Glad you are enjoying it. It was designed (hopefully) so that lot's of stuff happens whilst keeping the concept and scale realistic.

 

Good luck with your attack :)

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I had asked George, before playing the demo, if he thought that it could be of some interest to post my AAR. George gave me the go ahead and added I should have a blast playing it. Well, for sure, I have had a blast.!....

The AAR will certainly help you to understand the complexity of modern warfare and might allow you to win that battle. It is really a pretty good scenario, one that will stay among my top ten list. Here is the AAR link:

 

http://community.battlefront.com/topic/119017-rolling-thunder-demo-aar/

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With the 1.03 patch released the scenario, downloadable from the repository, is good to play.

 

If you have played it it's worth checking out snake-eye's AAR - compare notes :)

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Finished this one yesterday and I really enjoyed it.

 

The map is really great looking with tons of tactical possibilities for either side.  The terrain for this scenario will both be boon and bane for either side.  The high ground gives great observation and allows long range fires but usually it is quite open and dangerous moving up to or out of the high ground.  The balance of forces is good as is the scenario time.

 

My play through was on Elite Real Time with version 1.01.  I played the American forces.  My scenario outcome most likely would different with version 1.03 as I would have taken casualties from Russian attack helos, since 1.03 has changed the attack vector of air to ground missiles so that APS  is mitigated or bypassed.

 

Initially, I was frustrated.  Damn frustrated!   Right from the on set, whenever I tried to get into positions of observation with a vehicle, the damn vehicle would be lased and back away or pop smoke.  Next, I tried to move my scout dismounts into positions and was shot at by some large caliber gun with air burst rounds, resulting in light wounds on two of my scout teams.   The only casualty I took the entire game was in the first two minutes as I tried to get close to a crest position with a humvee and the 50 cal gunner was incapacitated by a nearby sniper team on my side of the map.

 

So, let's summarize the first two minutes of the game.   I have a enemy sniper team nearly on top of my deployment area which sniped my Humvee gunner, every vehicle I tried to get eyes on the enemy with is lased and retreats and two of my scout teams were shot at and lightly wounded trying to achieve positions of observation.   Remember me saying at the start of this post that I enjoyed this scenario.  I did, despite the temptation to slam my fist through the monitor in the first two minutes.  I was faced with a real challenge and I like being challenged.

 

Creative use of artillery smoke and vehicle smoke allowed me to get troops into positions of observation.  Let the game of cat and mouse begin.  I spotted some T-90s advancing up to my left flank but lost them nearly immediately in dead ground.  I also got a spot on several unknown vehicles in the middle and far ground.  One mission of 155mm guns on the middle target and mortars on the far target.

 

I estimated where the T-90s might be heading and moved a scout team with Javelins to counter their possible move onto my left hand hill and moved several other forces from my right flank to the weaker left flank. That move did mean a short dash across open ground and as predicted, the laser warning detectors went wild on the three vehicles making the dash but all three made the safety of the dead ground on the left.  Smoke columns from my arty missions meant the middle and far ground unknown vehicles were toast.  This proved to be incredible stroke of luck as I found out by the end of the game as those two initial vehicle casualties was the only Russian Tungkuska and one of the deadly anti-tank dual missile vehicles.

 

I risked sending up the two Ravens (I had no idea I had smoked the Tuskguska by the time these missions began active observation).   Three T-90s were confirmed and were dealt with.  One was killed by Excalibur rounds, one was killed by a Javelin and the other was very short range TOW 2 shot.  Initially, that Bradley opened up with the 25mm, nearly making me scream 'NO, YOU IDIOTS!' but after two short 25mm bursts while the T-90 swung its turret, the gunner fired the TOW and scored a kill just as the T-90's gun lined up for the kill shot.

 

I finally got the two Raven missions changed over to the far ridge to try to find the the ATGMs I knew would be up there.   Then the Russian attack helos showed up.   The initial missile was thwarted by the APS of one of my tanks.  I scrambled my vehicles into nearby trees to make the Angels of Death's job tougher.  The attacks went on for several minutes, either attacking a APS equipped vehicle and having the missile intercepted or detonating in the trees.  Finally one of the Stinger teams dropped one helo and the other helo fired a hail of lead at one of my Bradleys, damaging it but not enough to make it combat ineffective.  The sole remaining helo left it seemed, and I was hoping it was out of ammo since it was down to gun strafes.

 

Using APS vehicles to goad the AT-14 into shooting at them, I finally identified the AT-14 positions and eliminated them with artillery and mortars.  I set the Ravens for the objective clusters of houses, found several vehicles and some infantry and destroyed them with direct fire or artillery.

 

It took me at least an hour to get into positions of observation and sanitize the area of possible threats, such was the nature of the terrain and the layout of the enemy.

 

Finally, I did a two prong armored assault, one sweeping left, the other right, to sweep through the two clusters of building and the touch objectives there with the intend for my forces to meet at the objective bridge.  Enemy was encountered and expeditiously dealt with by the combined might of 4 tanks and a company of Bradleys.  I even managed to work some of my forces up to the far ridge and take the back objectives, resulting in a clean sweep of all objectives.  Another Russian attack helo showed up but was killed by one of my Stinger teams.

 

End game was Total US Victory with only 1 WIA (the 50 cal gunner shot in the first two minutes) as my casualties.   Was I lucky?   Hell, yes!   The Russian attack helos could have done a real number on me but their attacks were thwarted by APS or by trees.  If it was version 1.03, I may have lost 5 vehicles, though I doubt it would have changed the game outcome any except for me having a higher casualty count.  My killing of the Tungkuska very early in the game allowed me to fly the Ravens, which were key in locating the AT-14s.

 

A shout out to George MC to another sterling scenario.  Great looking map, great possibilities for fire and maneuver.  This scenario is NOT a cake walk.  Expect frustration trying to get 'eyes out' on the enemy and frustration due to the seemly ever present Russian attack helos overhead during the middle to late game.  If you are terribly unlucky, the attack helos will extract a costly butcher's bill on your forces.  If you act hastily and move without considerable regard to safe routes and how to cross open ground, the enemy anti-armour capabilities will make you pay a heavy price for the ground you take.

 

I give this scenario 5 stars out of 5.  I look forward to trying this one out again with version 1.03.  Is that the distant 'whup-whup' of choppers I hear?

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Hi Blackmoria

Bloody good effort mate I'm well impressed. Skilled and lucky. Was it not Napeleon who said I don't care if a general is good, is he lucky? Still slow and cautious catchy monkey.

I'm writing this on my iPad en-route to the Pyrenees so please excuse the brevity.

First off thanks for the play through and your comments. Really chuffed you enjoyed the map and the scenario.

The sniper team? I got that idea from a mate (ex boot neck) who was a sniper. Whilst on exercise they'd setup an OP. Whilst laying up an 'enemy' armoured unit had driven up. All the commanders were head up so they picked em off one by one. The guys thought at first their laser kit was mal functioning. It drove this armoured unit daft! These hidden guys plinking em. So I used that to have this sniper unit op pretty far forward.

You're approach to this was spot on. Must admit I don't have that patience so I tend to charge in a bit too early in this.

Great effort though. Thanks fir the write up. Look forward to hearing how your play through with 1.03 goes.

Cheery!

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I had played this battle three times through, then on my fourth attempt the AI must've grabbed a different orders set because the enemy then went in a completely different direction and gave me the fright of the day! So take any play-throughs with a grain of salt. As the old advertising slogan says, your experience may differ.  :)

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Sorry if this is considered necroposting, but I think this scenario is so good it requires more attention.

 

WARNING! SPOILERS FOLLOW!

 

The fact that there's a Tunguska in a hard to spot position, and the Russian attack on the weaker US flank (that was a genius move man!), make this a very brutal scenario. It forces you to move slowly and with infantry in cover, instead of charging ahead with armour and bringing out the infantry only for town fights.

Fortunately, precision arty eases things up a bit, especially for dealing with the AT-14 positions. And thank God those BMPs get knocked out with a near miss of a precision 155mm round.

Overall, this scenario is a perfect example of a Russian defence in depth. Thanks for making such an awesome scenario, George!

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Hi @Abdolmartin

Thanks for the comments and feedback. Nae bother about posting on an old thread. It makes it easier for me to keep track of any feedback - so thanks for taking the time to search it out :)

 

Many thanks for the comments and feedback. I'm really pleased you enjoyed this scenario and found it tactically challenging.

 

I'm glad you appreciated the AI Russian attack on the US left flank. I used that one when playing against the AI and was surprised at how well it worked - so I created an AI Plan with that move. There are three Russian AI Plans but only one pulls that move IIRC.

 

Thanks very much again for the playthrough and feedback :)

 

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Very fun scenario. My favorite part was when I had the fierce urban battle in the village surrounding the bridge as I've raced against the clock.

Thanks Kraze for playing this and for the the feedback. Pleased you enjoyed it :)

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Not sure if anyone has mentioned the names of the 2 versions:

Original is called "CMBS Rolling Thunder_v1" - the edited version is "RDM - Rolllng Thunder_v1" and comes with a txt file explaining stuff.

 

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