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Erwin

Into The Green (for real this time)

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Enjoying the start of this - 34 minutes in.  Occupied the first line of structures and established OP's on roofs with FO's and snipers.  One team from the Support Group is having a narrow escape (I hope).  It was advancing up center of map and ran into Uncon in trench at hand grenade range.  A grenade lightly wounded two of my guys, but they shot one Uncon and pulled back immediately as the turn ended.  Am hoping that dust etc will enable them to FAST run away to safety in next turn while I use an FO to bring mortar fire on the Uncons.  Already used arty effectively on two other Uncon groups in trenches including an HQ as well as on a couple of buildings to help clear em.

One thing I am doing which is not advised in the briefing is use a couple of the Engineer teams that are supposed to be left in the base... for their charges.  Once they've used most of their charges  I run em back to help guard the the base.  Otherwise I feel that the engineer squad I am supposed to have in the Assault Group only has six charges total which doesn't seem like nearly enuff.

Oh, and enemy arty attack on the base has KO'd three regular jeeps (mostly empty) and also one of the two MG-armed jeeps and killed the three occupants(!) (not Javelin teams thank goodness as I ran em to cover earlier).  Nothing I could do about that, so it's frustrating when you consider how important it is to keep casualties to a min...   

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42 minutes in and having a great time.  No further Brit WIA or KIA.  Really enjoy using my crack troops in small teams to spot enemy then retreat so the FO's can bring down arty fire to do the killing, rinse and repeat. 

Another team had a nasty surprise as they scouted up one of the tree-lined gullies only to find enemy a few feet away in an irrigation ditch.  Again the team escaped with only one slight wound.  Not quite sure what to do with the Green local troops.  Maybe they are ok for ranged support fire at up to around 200 meters?  Longer than that and I suspect they are just too inaccurate and would waste their ammo.

Crewed the surviving jeep with its 7.62mm MG's with Crack and Elite crew and using it for longer range support fire.  Using the tactic of bringing out the engineer teams who are supposed to be guarding the base, only one at a time, to use their charges to save the charges of the engineers allocated to Assault Group for the furthest objective buildings.

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Well, I rationalize it by saying the CO knows they have inadequate charges (6) in the one squad in the Assault Group for the entire operation, and the 12(!) charges with engineers in the base don't do the defenders any good.  Just a logistical SNAFU.  :ph34r:

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About 1h 20m into the mission.  Just reached Objective 1.  Well-designed scenario as one can see goo tactics getting rewarded,  One seems to have more than enuff force to accomplish goals.  The real objective is to take 0 or minimal casualties, and also conserve ammo - can only use up to 25% ammo without penalty.  Really enjoyable challenge as it forces one to really think about whether to fire at an enemy and what with.

 

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16 hours ago, Erwin said:

The real objective is to take 0 or minimal casualties.....<<SNIP>>.....Really enjoyable challenge as it forces one to really think about whether to fire at an enemy and what with.

That my friend, is how the British fight.....The whole 'tanks charging headlong down a highway' thing, is something we tend to leave to our boisterous little brother in the colonies (or the Russians).  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Yes, it was great when CMSF released the Brit module.  There seems to be a much larger difference in how the Brits fight vs the US in CMSF vs the WW2 games.  Very entertaining new challenges. 

When the Brit Army cuts result in an army with a dozen tanks and a couple score troops, then it will get even more entertaining...  :wacko:

Re "Into The Green" it seems like around the half way point the Brits have cut through the enemy ambushes, repelled some half hearted uncon attacks with relative ease, and things get a bit "quiet" as one approaches the first objective...  maybe "too quiet"... 

In CM2 the biggest challenge is not getting complacent and over-confident/impatient.  That's usually when I suddenly lose something valuable. 

Edited by Erwin

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

In CM2 the biggest challenge is not getting complacent and over-confident/impatient.  That's usually when I suddenly lose something valuable.

Me too.  :unsure:

1 hour ago, Erwin said:

When the Brit Army cuts result in an army with a dozen tanks and a couple score troops, then it will get even more entertaining...  :wacko:

But they will be some proper hard tanks & troops!  ;)

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They will have to be like the X-Men or Avengers...  complete with only one aircraft carrier... but it will fly...  and be able to transform into a couple dozen hover tanks...

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About an hour left in this scenario.  Captured the first objective. 

Am finding that a successful tactic is use the ditches to go around the blind side of buildings so that no enemy can fire at my guys from a building (no doors or windows face most of the ditches.  That way one avoids time and ammo-consuming firefights.  One can make progress and leave possibly enemy-occupied building behind.  VS a human that may be problematic, but the AI doesn't seem to take advantage of that. 

The other tactic that seems to work successfully is splitting off a two man AT team and using that as a scout. 

However, lost a two scout team to a "good" uncon ambush at a corner of a ditch.  Never saw em even afterwards.  Not sure I could have avoided that.  Maybe I should had the guys take longer at waypoints (I usually give 15-20 sec pauses) and they woulda heard the enemy.

Am plotting through the maze of ditches to objectives 2 and 3.  One platoon per objective, with the Support Group of the ANA and their mentor teams...  well... in support.  I am using two engineer teams supposed to be guarding the base just for the extra charges.  But, with the progress I am making so far, it's possible I may not need more. 

This is a very good scenario so far and I recommend it.

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Captured final objective with around 30 mins to go.  CF'd with 3 WIA and 1 KIA with 3 vehicles KO'd.  The three vehicles and one or two of the men were a result of the uncon HE barrages into the base in the first few turns of the scenario..  So, nothing I could have done about that.  I was pleased that I only lost 2 guys to a good uncon ambush in the ditches.

Got a Major Victory.  Seems like I didn't kill enuff uncon to get a Total Victory.  The problem is that the player has no incentive to go hunt more uncon down.  To "encourage" the player to do more, there either should be more VL's to touch, or the VL's need larger "green" areas that need to be captured rather than just touched. 

After CF I saw many IED's but apparently I had no problem spotting and killing the triggermen and I don't think any IED's were triggered.  The game end stats said that there were something like 80 enemy left ok.  But, I only counted about 40 on the map.  So maybe more were going to attack later(?).

While the first half of the scenario is xnt and a lot of fun, nothing seemed to happen in the 2nd half of the mission.  Between 1 hour 10 minutes to go and the end (28 mins to go) when I CF'd I didn't see any enemy and there were no more ambushes - just some desultory and poorly aimed arty spotting shots that never came close to the troops.  Blasting into the VL's resulted in more enemy casualties as each building was garrisoned by uncon - but that was easy compared to "Green 9". 

The other disappointment with the 2nd half of the scenario was the enemy motorized technical attack at the 30 minutes to go mark.  They were mostly wiped out by the fort garrisons before I even realized there was an attack going on at the other end of the map! 

I would recommend this scenario to new players as one has more than enuff force and arty to accomplish the mission even if one takes far more casualties than I did.  Also, this scenario seems very replayable due to the large maze-like complex of ditches and many buildings scattered around.  New players may not achieve a good victory, but they will have fun and get a chance to experiment with tactics and the interplay of air power and arty. 

Will repost this on the Scenario Forums as well since that is where folks seem to hang out.

 

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Thanks for your comments ...

Reference capturing VLs - (eg 'Occupy' VLs) first point to make is that this is a patrol with the aim of disrupting the enemy and therefore capturing ground is inappropriate. Second point is that occupy VLs require a physical presence in order to get the points.  The more areas you have to garrison, the fewer troops you have to clear subsequent objectives.

Reference incentives to hunt the enemy down - The mission is constructed on the premise of clearing the target compounds not killing all of the enemy.  My testing using different schemes of manoeuvre indicated that you can get a total victory by doing this. As you have not shown your scheme of manoeuvre or the points breakdown in your AAR, it is difficult to know what went wrong in your case.  Also adding VLs as incentives tends to lead to dictating the scheme of manoeuvre to the player and indicates locations where the enemy is likely to be found.  Given that finding the enemy is one of the greatest challenges in COIN, adding such objectives takes away the flavour of the Afghanistan conflict so my approach was dictated by those design philosophies.

Reference the enemy attack on FOB ALMA - Yes I accept that it is easy to defeat and for reasons I am unable to fix - AI controlled UNCON technicals are quite frankly rubbish in CMSF. However, they do have an AI plan linked to a touch objective around the FOB that if touched will cause the player to suffer a defeat if the player has ignored the advice to keep troops in FOB ALMA and CP JUNDI.

Reference IEDs - Again, you are correct in your observation that there are lots of them and again for reasons I am unable to fix - AI triggermen are generally rubbish because their first weapon of choice is the AK-47 rather than activating their IED.  In testing, I have been able to get at least one to trigger per mission where Blue does not employ effective TTPs which is more than enough to cause a problem and will likely cause Blue to suffer sufficient casualties to deny them the friendly casualties VPs.

Reference 80 enemy left but only 40 counted - This is at least the second time you have made this observation on one of my missions. My response is the same as the first time so please note it for future reference.  This scenario has a group of (probably 40) UNCONs that are set to arrive at 3 hours (ie after mission end). The purpose of this group is to stop an AI triggered ceasefire before you get to clear all of the compounds and it is a standard scenario design trick to prevent such premature cease fires.

Reference a relative quiet period - Again I can't comment as I don't know your scheme of manoeuvre but again the nature of the conflict in Afghanistan is such that you will spend hours patrolling interspersed with short sharp intensive battles - it is the nature of the beast I'm afraid.

 

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I understand what you intentions were as well as the concept of reinforcements arriving after the scenario ends to avoid and enemy surrender.  I also appreciate that you didn't want the player to capture ground.  But, given that I didn't get enuff points for killing the uncons (my only "fail" in the end stats) am suggesting that giving a couple more touch VL's where the remaining uncons were in fact hiding would have probably given me a TV.  Currently, there is no reason to mess with any but the three objective buildings.  (I did take a couple buildings early on so I could place my FO's and Javelins with xnt field of vision/LOS.)

Am simply describing the shortfalls, or perhaps how I broke the system. 

My plan was quite simple:  1) Advance along ditches in the most direct way, but avoid getting too close to structures that could hide enemy with LOS to the ditch itself.  2) Avoid messing with any buildings that didn't have enemy inside or on the roofs that messed with me. 

Used a couple of Jav's but didn't really need em.  The 81mm and 105mm were the most useful - esp since a couple of FO's were able to get accurate FFE in 2 minutes(!).  I still ended up with plenty of spare ammo.  Giving air support an area target seemed a waste of time.  I don't think they engaged anyone until I gave point targets.  Then I got a couple of big bangs out of them, but again didn't really need em, and they ended up with ammo to spare.  I did need a few extra charges so was happy I decided to take two engineer teams with charges from the fort.  As it turned out, the uncon attack was so puny, it was easily destroyed as soon as it arrived on the map.  One could have far less garrisoning the forts and still defeat the uncon assault.

Broke a couple squads into AT teams and used those 2-man teams for recon along with the 3-man engineer recon unit.  Worked well.  Only one team was successfully ambushed resulting in two WIA - those were the only casualties suffered by either of the Assault or Support Gruppes.

If you decided to update this, I think that all that needs to be done is add a couple more touch objectives.  And maybe toughen up the technical assault.  More rugged terrain allowing the uncons to advance close to the forts unseen by the Blue forces would also do it.  But, that would require more work I think.

Currently, a brilliant first half is spoiled by a boring second half.

 

 

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