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Combatintman

Operation BARRAS A Company 1 PARA September 2000

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15 hours ago, Combatintman said:

<Snip>  Presumably your casualties are from 3 Platoon. What is your plan with them now (assuming that you have dealt with the reinforcements)?

Yes the casualties were from 3 Platoon.  At one point it seemed like a few of the pickups might run through the ambush and escape into Obj. T resulting in some sharp fire fights and casualties.  3 Platoon is policing up stragglers and taking care of casualties.  Once that is accomplished the snipers will remain in the area to monitor the road and 3 Platoon will secure Obj. T.  

Did just have one surprise.  While 3 Platoon was busy with CasVac a pickup came driving out of the bush from the east.  It must have fled east during the initial ambush. Surprised me but the Paras stopped buddy aid, destroyed the pickup, killed the OpFor riding in the truck and calmly went back to buddy aid.  By the time the minute was over and I could intervene it was all over.  Just another day at the office for the Paras  :D.       

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3 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Just another day at the office for the Paras  :D

Same in real-time, quite often by the time I noticed the lads had got into a scuffle, they had finished it, just leaving me with a pile of bodies to look at, occasionally including one of ours.....That one RPG was the real calamity though.  :(

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/////////////////////////////SPOILER ALERT////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

 

 

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////SPOILER ALERT/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

 

SitMap 0737

Approximately 75 OpFor KIA

Two friendly casualties and 4 friendly walking wounded (yellow base)

The following objectives are secured: Z, V, X, Y, W and T.

Barras%20SitMap%200737_zpsompbxigd.jpg

1 Platoon and 2 Platoon were delayed by OpFor with keyholed defensive positions.  2nd Platoon then flanked the OpFor through the jungle and broke the stalemate in the MOUT fight resulting in the securing of Objectives W, X & Y.   

3 Platoon secured Objective T after the ambush on Forodugu Road.  

1 and 2 Platoon will advance east to secure Objective U.  3rd Platoon will advance west to assist in securing Objective U.  One Sniper team will set up an OP/LP in the area of Forodugu Road & Obj. T.  The other sniper team will recon Objective LS1. 

 

 

 

 

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/////////////////////////////SPOILER ALERT////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

 

 

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////SPOILER ALERT/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

 

SitMap 0759

All objectives secured, British Army Total Victory.   

A very interesting battle location and well done scenario.  Who would have imagined that buying CMSF (which is set in Syria) would allow you the opportunity to fight so many scenarios in Iraq & Afghanistan and now one in Sierra Leone.    

Barras%20SitMap%200759_zps3sva7gxn.jpg

Barras%20AAR1_zps8gula56i.jpg

Barras%20AAR2_zpsajt0xn62.jpg

Barras%20AAR3_zpscx0taaq0.jpg

 

 

 

 

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@MOS:96B2Pgood result there - I was wondering whether you would get over the line for a Total Victory as your casualties started to rack up. I set up the margin for error there pretty tightly because the tactical problem is a fairly simple one and the difference in quality between the two sides is vast.

If you ever feel inclined to try this one again, I would try a simple W-E clearance with the whole company just to see how the deployment of the reinforcement group pans out.

Again thanks for playing this and the great pictures in your AAR and of course I am glad you enjoyed it as I do wonder sometimes whether my stuff challenges experienced players like yourself.

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Bravo & well played.....Those victory conditions must be very close indeed, the difference in our points score was actually quite small, but my extra casualties made all the difference, exactly as they should.  B)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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1 hour ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Bravo & well played.....Those victory conditions must be very close indeed, the difference in our points score was actually quite small, but my extra casualties made all the difference, exactly as they should.  B)

I think you were pretty unlucky mate but yeah it is that tight.

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On 4/2/2017 at 5:12 AM, LongLeftFlank said:

 

TKCM_Screensht.jpg

I think I may give this one a spin while I still have the Africa mods loaded.  It's amazing all the mileage one can get out of Shock Force.   

 

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I'd love to follow an AAR.  B)

Love CM:SF & CM:A to bits, CM:BS not so much.....The odd thing is that in modelling at least I'm a massive WWII fan, but I barely touch the WWII CM titles these days.

Once I've finished with the current Mosul scenario I'm going to do some more CM:A stuff before returning to the full Mosul campaign, IMHO CM:A's the best of all the titles for uncon actions and some of the units are just so funky (don't stand in front of the Drozd)! 

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Have about 55 mins left and am enjoying this immensely - even tho' am not a fan of infantry-only scenarios.  Will probably take too many friendly casualties for a Total Victory.  One can take the objectives relatively easily with no (or minimal) casualties in WEGO. But, imo one needs to clear every single building to stay in the spirit of things.  And it's those close combat situations where friendlies get hit.  Am using 2 platoons to go west to east with a third scouting ahead and flanking.  Probably should be using the FO and 81mm more.  But I get impatient waiting for offboard - always fatal for someone.

 

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@Erwinit is as good a plan as any. With regard to your mortars, just remember that in CMSF the rounds come down range pretty quickly so I would certainly consider using them. The 51mm in the platoon HQs is pretty useful in this scenario too and that has a quick flash to bang time. I think your main constraint in this mission is that the Brits burn through their small arms ammunition quickly and that is challenging in WEGO because you don't have a target briefly command.

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10 hours ago, Erwin said:

<Snip> using 2 platoons to go west to east with a third scouting ahead and flanking.  Probably should be using the FO and 81mm more.  But I get impatient waiting for offboard - always fatal for someone.

I think the flanking part was a big help for my fire teams.  In the flat terrain with jungle getting a good line of sight for the F/O to call in the 81mm was a challenge.  As a result some of the missions were not very accurate and I had a few danger close situations. 

 

6 hours ago, Combatintman said:

I think your main constraint in this mission is that the Brits burn through their small arms ammunition quickly and that is challenging in WEGO because you don't have a target briefly command.

This.  And a few times I would forget I had a team set to Target or Target Light and they burned through some ammo before I noticed.  This is a reoccurring issue in CMSF and CMA.  About halfway through Op Barras I started using a new TACSOP with the Pause command.  This also works inside a small (1 A/S footprint building).  Target or Target Light and Pause for 20 or 30 seconds then a waypoint in the same or adjacent action spot with a Face command.  So they will shoot for the duration of the Pause, shift to the waypoint and stop shooting.  This saved me from running out of ammo.        

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"...new TACSOP with the Pause command.  This also works inside a small (1 A/S footprint building).  Target or Target Light and Pause for 20 or 30 seconds then a waypoint in the same or adjacent action spot with a Face command.  So they will shoot for the duration of the Pause, shift to the waypoint and stop shooting.  This saved me from running out of ammo."

Oooo...  must try this...  :)    I have always thought that when waypoints were on top of each other or even very close, they would be nullified and disappear as if there was no waypoint.

One of my squads burned thru half its ammo firing at an abandoned pickup.  I didn't want to five a restricted arc as there was enemy inf in a nearby area.  Could not kill that damn pickup until the inf got close enuff for grenades.

I enjoy the challenges caused by the Brit lack of ammo as I use fire conservatively in any CM2 title even when I have the US and their huge amount of ammo.  It's hard for me to do a lot of recon by fire or area fire on merely suspected positions.  I like to KNOW there is an enemy there b4 I fire.  Just my eccentricity...

I find the 81mm useful for destroying buildings that I know are enemy occupied.  I haven't seen a static group of enemy in the bush that would make a good target, so can't see how the 81mm would useful for anything other than destroying enemy in buildings - anything to avoid risky MOUT tactics.

The problem with CMSF and CMA is that you don't know how many rounds one has.  So, I have been very conservative - using only HEAVY and QUICK duration for all 3 tubes.  Done that about 4 times and the ammo counter still seems full.  Had I known I had significant mortar ammo, I would have used it more prolifically. 

Haven't found a use for the 51mm mortar.  The squad weapons are pretty deadly at these short ranges and do the job more quickly than trying to use the HQ 51mm.  I keep all the HQ's well back in safety anyway. 

What is a good SOP for the Brit HQ's and their 51mm?

 

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2 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

About halfway through Op Barras I started using a new TACSOP with the Pause command.  This also works inside a small (1 A/S footprint building).  Target or Target Light and Pause for 20 or 30 seconds then a waypoint in the same or adjacent action spot with a Face command.  So they will shoot for the duration of the Pause, shift to the waypoint and stop shooting.  This saved me from running out of ammo.

That's so cunning you could put four legs on it and call it a Weasel!  B)

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@Erwinin this mission the 51mms are pretty useful for suppressing static technicals which are keyholed between buildings (the trick is to keep them out of LOS of the technical and target the adjacent building) and are plenty good enough to suppress people in buildings. While they burn through their ammunition in about a turn and a half, it does mean that you can put enough suppression onto an occupied building to allow an assaulting fire team to get close enough to finish the job off.

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On 5/25/2017 at 11:23 AM, Erwin said:

<Snip> What is a good SOP for the Brit HQ's and their 51mm?  

I use it much like a direct firing US 60mm mortar.  Target Light but with no Deploy time.  I am however more careful since it is also the Platoon HQ which will take any return fire. 

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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Ok thanks...  So with basic ammo load the 51mm using WEGO only lasts 1 to 2 turns.  Is that using TARGET LIGHT or TARGET?  (So, there is no way to order the Platoon HQ unit to only use their rifles while there is 51mm ammo remaining?)

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Ok, WSB surrendered with abut 48 mins left on the clock.  Was surprised.  There wasn't a single Red unit on the map.  Not sure if reinforcements were coming, or if they were designed to arrive after scenario end.

Ended up with plenty of ammo and a full bar of 81mm offboard.  So, I coulda used a lot more 81mm and maybe taken fewer casualties.  But still got a Brit Total Victory: 

93 OK; 1 KIA; 6 WIA vs WSB: 51 OK; 64 KIA; 52 WIA; 36 MIA; + 15 vehicles KO

The last ten minutes were a big anticlimax as I probed cautiously towards the final LZ objective. I didn't see any more enemy.  I must have killed off the last vehicle or somesuch to trigger the surrender.

Was surprised that the Victory Locations were not broken up into numerous smaller ones.  That would motivate the Brit player to investigate all the buildings.  I did that anyway.  But I think one could accomplish all objectives by sneakily touching them and running away. 

Was thinking that it would have been good to have another location on the map towards the east that the Brits had to investigate and kill more Reds.  I understand maybe that didn't happen in RL, but it woulda made the scenario more interesting for its full length rather than ending with almost an hour left.

Overall very satisfying and often thrilling scenario and a sense of accomplishment (other than the last ten minutes).  Loved ambushing the WSB trucks.  But, was helped by the AI's poor attacking methodology. 

Also liked the Africa mods.  The Brits seemed a bit too white.  So, I mixed and matched some other Brit skins to get some guys (the experienced NCO's I suppose) with more sunburned look and a few faded camo helmets.  The overall visual effect plus jungle look was v good.

For those who want jungle warfare (in SE Asia for example), this mod should also give them a chance to try it out.

Question re total Brit troop numbers:  I count 3 platoons: 8 x 3 + 4(HQ) = 28 x3 = 84 + 3 (Co HQ) + 3 (2IC) plus 2F(O) + 4 (Snipers) = 96.  But the final result shows 1there should be 100 Brits.  What happened to 4 guys??

 

 

 

 

Edited by Erwin

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@Erwin - sorry it has taken so long to come back to your observations which I am grateful for.

SPOILER ALERT

Here are my responses to your questions/observations:

'The last ten minutes were a big anticlimax as I probed cautiously towards the final LZ objective. I didn't see any more enemy.  I must have killed off the last vehicle or somesuch to trigger the surrender'.

Yes, you are correct, part of the design ethos in relation to the final objective was to create the incentive (as in RL) to get the player to go there but also to create uncertainty. I appreciate that this isn't popular with players who want to fight full on contacts throughout their missions but as you know I err towards reality rather than fun as a mission designer.

'Was surprised that the Victory Locations were not broken up into numerous smaller ones.  That would motivate the Brit player to investigate all the buildings.  I did that anyway.  But I think one could accomplish all objectives by sneakily touching them and running away'. 

In terms of the objectives I will disagree and agree. Your suggestion about numerous smaller objectives was something that I had to resolve in the design process. In reality all of the objectives were tightly clustered in the main part of Magbeni. I made a design decision for playability reasons to stretch two of those to the building groups further East.  That supports your observation about incentives.

In terms of nothing happening between those objectives and the final LS objective, again that was a deliberate design decision to capture the essence of friction in war, which a certain Mr Clausewitz had a few things to say about. This also touches on a discussion in another thread which I know you have participated in. From memory the OP was bumping his gums about reconnaissance and advocating that there should be more opportunities for reconnaissance missions to either find or not find stuff and that would be the best thing since sliced bread. Well, apart from the possibility of squirters from the Easternmost objectives or the reinforcement group (which wouldn't number many and in your case numbered none) that is exactly what I delivered. Have a think about that and be careful for what you wish for - remember that I come from the perspective of actually treading the ground and using my every sense to find an enemy only to be relieved that I hadn't found him. So that journey to the final LS replicates that ... perhaps again, to use my oft used phrase ... be careful for what you wish for.

With objectives, incentives and action - to emphasise, there is a balance to be struck and it depends on design philosophies.  If I make something an objective and communicate that to the player, I know the player has an incentive to go there. If I want to create friction and uncertainty I either hide information in the briefing or use other mechanisms. Think back to your journey to the LS:

Did you advance cautiously?  Put yourself in Tommy Atkins' shoes - that is exactly what the Paras would have done on the day because they had no idea what was out there.

Did you make a scheme of manoeuver that had maybe one platoon up and two platoons back (or the other way around) to ensure that you could deal with any problems that might be on the LS? My suspicion is that you did and the fact that there was nothing there was a disappointment? Well I'm sorry that you found that disappointing but you should congratulate yourself in behaving like a RL commander.

To answer your point about making individual building objectives, I refer to both my previous points but also to the fact that you have only 8 terrain objective slots in the editor. As you know, there are more than 8 buildings on that map and if I made 'occupy' rather than 'touch' objectives, it requires the player to keep troops on those objectives and is also not compatible with the RL mission of clear.

I also take your point about the attacking methodology of the AI. I am the first to admit that I'm no ninja at AI plans but I will caveat that with what is possible in the AI and what you think the player is going to do.  In both yours and @MOS:96B2P's execution of the mission, you adopted COAs that I had not fully tested but that I knew were possibilities.  With the AI, above all else this about solving a speed, time and distance problem. The mechanics of how the AI executes the orders are a different thing entirely and are difficult to control as a designer. All I can do is to say where I want them to be, when I want them to be there, what posture they will adopt and at what range they will engage. The Tac AI handles the rest.

Finally:

Question re total Brit troop numbers:  I count 3 platoons: 8 x 3 + 4(HQ) = 28 x3 = 84 + 3 (Co HQ) + 3 (2IC) plus 2F(O) + 4 (Snipers) = 96.  But the final result shows 1there should be 100 Brits.  What happened to 4 guys??

The missing 4 guys will be the Battalion HQ elements which you have to pick in the editor before paring down to the force that you want on the map. They exist but they have a reinforcement time of 3 hours (eg after the scenario has finished). I discuss this here in my scenario tutorial:

Anyway - I hope this was helpful and thank you for your comments and I am glad you enjoyed the mission.

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Thanks for your informative response Combatintman.  FWIW:

Did you advance cautiously?  YES, I PROBABLY AM TOO CAUTIOUS IN ANY CM GAME.  RIGHT NOW AM STRUGGLING WITH THE NEW CMBS CAMPAIGN WHERE MOVING SLOWLY LEAVES YOU UNDER HEAVY NATO ARTILLERY.  BUT, I FIND IT HARD TO JUST RUSH AHEAD - EVEN WHEN PRESUMABLY IT IS CALLED FOR.

Put yourself in Tommy Atkins' shoes - that is exactly what the Paras would have done on the day because they had no idea what was out there.  YES. I ENJOYED THAT ASPECT VERY MUCH.  ALWAYS LOVE THE SNEAKING AROUND SCOUTING FOR ENEMY.  (HENCE MY LOVE OF CRACK/ELITE RECON AND SNIPER UNITS.)

Did you make a scheme of manoeuver that had maybe one platoon up and two platoons back (or the other way around) to ensure that you could deal with any problems that might be on the LS?

YES, I LEPT ONE PLATOON MOSTLY IN RESERVE - ALSO TO ENSURE THAT AT LEAST ONE PLATOON WOULD HAVE AMMO LEFT AS SOME OF THE OTHER SQUADS WERE GETTING LOW AND I EXPECTED MORE FIREFIGHTS B4 I REACHED THE FINAL LZ OBJECTIVE.   HOWEVER, WHEN THE ENEMY SURRENDERED WITH AN HOUR B4 THE SCENARIO TIME LIMIT, MY INF HAD PLENTY OF AMMO LEFT AS WELL AS A FULL BAR OF 81MM.  THE ONLY USE I FOUND FOR THE 51MM WAS POT SHOTS AT VEHICLES - WHICH I DID FOR FUN - BUT WERE NOT REALLY NEEDED.

Good to know the CMSF limitations re the number of VL's that could be "Touch" objectives.  That explains a lot.  Also, the AI is always a poor attacker, so not your problem.  The main frustration from an entertainment game POV is that the enemy surrendered with about an hour left.  (And also that there was no enemy between the last buildings and the final LZ objective.  And that indeed that LZ was a red herring since the game abruptly and unexpectedly ended causing me uncomfortable "coitus interruptus" feelings.) 

I can't believe I am saying this, but I felt it was too easy to get a Total Victory and enemy surrender.  With my 1 KIA and 6 WIA, I felt that a Major Victory should have been the best result I could get. 

A really good scenario that I enjoyed. But the above points make it an unattractive candidate for good replayability.

I understand your design philosophy.  However, have you considered doing two versions to get more "bang for the buck" out of your work?  The 2nd version would have more enemy between the last buildings and the LZ so that the player would have an extra hour of "entertainment" (hope that isn't a dirty word).

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Felt the need to bump this one with some re-uploaded pictures (MODERATE SPOILER ALERT):

 

 

 

 

Tracking British Paras is easy, just follow the enemy corpses:

o4Wclcq.jpg

The bayonet charge, as fresh (& effective) today as it ever was:

KsErCvn.jpg

Death Race 2000:

PH3l8tz.jpg

Tea & Medals:

P43FKA4.jpg

Brilliant scenario, very replayable, get it here:  http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/tsd3/cm-shock-force-2/cm-shock-force/op-barras-a-coy-1-para-sierra-leone/

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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