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Kaunitz

[WIP map/scenario] Taming the watchdog

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Hello!

I'm working on my first scenario for a Combat Mission game and I'd love to get some feedback on it even in this early stage. I'm not a military expert by any means, which is why, for starters, it would be great to hear opinions on the overall plausibility of the scenario (and how it could be changed to make it more plausible). Here is my first draft for the briefing for the attacking Russians:

 

 

SITUATION

Lieutenant Butakov! Our battalion will take part in a large, division-sized attack on the Ukrainians scheduled in 24 hours. Six hours ago our recon troops - tasked with reconnoitering the routes for the attack - met a very unpleasant surprise on road 787. A long sector of it turned out to be mined, which will handicap our battalion’s movements and strangle the flow of supplies needed to exploit our future breakthrough.

Any attempts to clear the minefield had to be put on hold because the enemy was controling it from a nearby position, mere 250 meters away, in the middle of a large field.  This amateurishly camouflaged outpost was immediately neutralized by our artillery, but our recon-drone revealed that there is a trench connecting the outpost to a wood, at 850 meters distance from the road. We expect the enemy to hold out there in a stronger position. From this wood, the Ukrainians can still pose a threat to our engineers’ efforts, directing artillery on them or putting heavier weapons into action.  

TASK

Lieutenant Butakov! Our artillery will be isolating the enemy position for two hours from XX:XX on. Any Ukrainian reinforcements will be cut off during that time.  Your task is to clear the wood of enemy presence.

FRIENDLY FORCES

You are in command of your mechanized infantry platton, consisting of 3 BMP-3s and 3 infantry squads. As usual, you’re supported by a T-72 main battle tank. Unfortunately, your attack leads over 1.3 kilometers of open, agricultural ground and it is highly likely that the Ukrainians have some ATGM(s) pointing at you. Battalion-HQ has aknowledged this threat and has agreed to provide you with alternative suppressive weapons, so that you can support your attack at closer ranges without risking your APCs or tank: Your platoon will be joined by 2 automatic grenade launchers (AGS-17) from the weapons platoon. Last but not least, 2 medium mortars will be awaiting your orders.

ENEMY FORCES

Due to the impenetrable canopy of leafs, our drone was not able to provide any reliable information on the enemy’s presence in the wood. There are no vehicle-tracks to be found anywhere in the surroundings - either because there are no APCs present (we have no information about tanks operating in this area) or because the enemy was considerate enough to cover their tracks. It’s plausible to assume that the enemy has been stationary in this position for quite some time, so we expect him to be well dug-in.  Conventional observation of the enemy post suggests that the force stationed here is not very strong, a squad perhaps, so your platoon should be powerfull enough to take it on.

 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Your T-72 is very vulnerable to ATGMs (no explosive reaction armour, no active protection system).

The best spotting asset in your force is your T-72 (thermal imaging). Your BMPs only come with image intensification. (At least that was my impression from my test-runs. From the same position, the tank very often spotted enemy positions while the BMPs did not.)

By using “shoot and scoot”, your vehicles might be able to deliver their suppressive fire without exposing themselves to ATGMs too much. Order a vehicle to drive forward into a hull-down position. Select the waypoint and assign a target order and a pause order (10-15 seconds), then give a movement-order to the rear (reverse).

Your mortars come with smoke-grenades that can be used to lay down a smoke-screen. This smoke will not block weapon systems that use thermal imaging (ATGMs might have thermal optics). By contrast, the smoke launched by your BMPs or your T-72 does also block thermal imaging.

Your BMP-3s power against concealed, soft enemy positions is truly intimitating: their main gun fires low velocity (high trajectory, well capable to fire over smaller bumps in the ground) air-bursting HE munition.

MAP (still WIP)

 111.thumb.jpg.dff4a636091b1f91753db803d3a000c3.jpg

(whole map: 604m x 1440m)

 

Do you think that this is a plausible situation and briefing? Any suggestions for improvements?

Would a mined road really be considered such an obstacle (for supply more than for the troops, one might think), especially if there are open fields around it? 

How would you gain the information on the enemy's strength? You could be observing supply-runs? You could perhaps make out individual soldiers going to and fro identified positions? But this would be hard to notice if you're outside the wood and when the enemies might be moving in his trenches? 

I suppose that an attack such as this would be carried out preferably by night? But the daytime-scenario could still be justified by the battalion's attack plan/schedule.

Can you think of any way to deal with the ATGM-threat in this scenario?

I guess I'm a bit at a loss how to explain the lack of artillery shelling on the wood? I'm reluctant to give the Russian player stronger artillery for balance/gameplay reasons. As there is quite a lack for protection for infantry in CM:BS (no overhead protection, trenches [units or hand-made via terrain-elevations] are unreliable at best), the effect of artillery on a dug-in position such as this can be overly crippling. So I decided to give the Russians only access to two on-map medium mortars. 1) they cannot fire airburst, and 2) they don't trigger the off-map-arty-panic-issue.

For the same reason (lack of protection versus HE), I feel that the BMP-3s might be shifting the balance of the scenario in the Russians' favour a bit too much, I might still work on the Ukrainians positions in the wood to make them better protected from HE, but those high-trajectory airburst-HE rounds are hard to beat and fiddling with individual positions is so nerve-wrecking. So the better option might be to down-grade the russian BMPs (30mm autocannon would be okay, I guess, while MG only is not powerfull enough).

The shape of the map looks a bit odd, but I think it works quite well. You still have a front of 600 meters, so it looks worse than it is. It also helped me to set up the defenders to cover their whole front. Anything larger would have required me to make the defenders use an all-around-defence.

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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16 minutes ago, Kaunitz said:

Hello!

I'm working on my first scenario for a Combat Mission game and I'd love to get some feedback on it even in this early stage. I'm not a military expert by any means, which is why, for starters, it would be great to hear opinions on the overall plausibility of the scenario (and how it could be changed to make it more plausible). Here is my first draft for the briefing for the attacking Russians:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

SITUATION

Lieutenant Butakov! Our battalion will take part in a large, division-sized attack on the Ukrainians scheduled in 24 hours. Six hours ago our recon troops - tasked with reconnoitering the routes for the attack - met a very unpleasant surprise on road 787. A long sector of it turned out to be mined, which will handicap our battalion’s movements and strangle the flow of supplies needed to exploit our future breakthrough.

Any attempts to clear the minefield had to be put on hold because the enemy controled it from a nearby position, mere 250 meters away, in the middle of a large field.  This amateurishly camouflaged outpost was immediately neutralized by our artillery, but our recon-drone revealed that there is a trench connecting the outpost to a wood, at 850 meters distance from the road. We expect the enemy to hold out there in a stronger position. From this wood, the Ukrainians can still pose a threat to our engineers’ efforts, directing artillery on them or putting heavier weapons into action.  

TASK

Lieutenant Butakov! Our artillery will be isolating the enemy position for two hours from XX:XX on. Any Ukrainian reinforcements will be cut off during that time.  Your task is to clear the wood of enemy presence.

FRIENDLY FORCES

You are in command of your mechanized infantry platton, consisting of 3 BMP-3s and 3 infantry squads. As usual, you’re supported by a T-72 main battle tank. Unfortunately, your attack leads over 1.3 kilometers of open, agricultural ground and it is highly likely that the Ukrainians have some ATGM(s) pointing at you. Battalion-HQ has aknowledged this threat and has agreed to provide you with alternative suppressive weapons, so that you can support your attack at closer ranges without risking your APCs or tank: Your platoon will be joined by 2 automatic grenade launchers (AGS-17) from the weapons’ platoon. Last but not least, 2 medium mortars will be awaiting your orders.

ENEMY FORCES

Due to the impenetrable canopy of leafs, our drone was not able to provide any reliable information on the enemy’s presence in the wood. There are no vehicle-tracks to be found anywhere in the surroundings - either because there are no APCs present (we have no information about tanks operating in this area) or because the enemy was considerate enough to cover their tracks. It’s plausible to assume that the enemy has been stationary in this position for quite some time, so we expect him to be well dug-in.  Conventional observation of the enemy post suggests that the force stationed here is not very strong, a squad perhaps, so your platoon should be powerfull enough to take it on.

 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Your T-72 is very vulnerable to ATGMs (no explosive reaction armour, no active protection system).

The best spotting asset in your force is your T-72 (thermal imaging). Your BMPs only come with image intensification.

By using “shoot and scoot”, your vehicles might be able to deliver their suppressive fire without exposing themselves to ATGMs too much. Order a vehicle to drive forward into a hull-down position. Select the waypoint and assign a target order and a pause order (10-15 seconds), then give a movement-order to the rear (reverse).

Your mortars come with smoke-grenades that can be used to lay down a smoke-screen. This smoke will not block weapon systems that use thermal imaging (ATGMs might have thermal optics). By contrast, the smoke launched by your BMPs or your T-72 does also block thermal imaging.

Your BMP-3s power against concealed, soft enemy positions is truly intimitating: their main gun fires low velocity (high trajectory, well capable to fire over smaller bumps in the ground) air-bursting HE munition.

MAP (still WIP)

 111.thumb.jpg.dff4a636091b1f91753db803d3a000c3.jpg

(whole map: 604m x 1440m)

 

Do you think that this is a plausible situation and briefing? Any suggestions for improvements?

Would a mined road really be considered such an obstacle (for supply more than for the troops, one might think), especially if there are open fields around it? 

No point in only having mines on a road if it's easy to bypass the mines.  Presumably these are AT mines??  You could consider covering the minefield with some heavy weapon - a tank?.  But it would only get a shot at the first enemy vehicle to hit a mine.  (And your unit would die soon after unless it was able to move away after the first shot.)  YOu probably either need a wide minefield that would slow down an enemy column as it is forced to deploy, or put mines in a restricted movement part of the road - a bridge, a ford etc.

How would you gain the information on the enemy's strength? You could be observing supply-runs? You could perhaps make out individual soldiers going to and fro identified positions? But this would be hard to notice if you're outside the wood and when the enemies might be moving in his trenches? 

I think there is a setting in the editor that allows for more or less enemy info being available. Others here are far more experienced in design matters.

I suppose that an attack such as this would be carried out preferably by night? But the daytime-scenario could still be justified by the battalion's attack plan/schedule.

Maybe most modern battles will be at night.  However, some battles surely may take place in daytime.  Also it's way easier and more fun to play in daytime.  When faced with a nigh scenario I have to increase my gain/brightness/gamma so much that it looks like daylight anyway.  So, not sure what the point of a dark night is if you can't see anything on your monitor!

I guess I'm a bit at a loss how to explain the lack of artillery shelling on the wood? I'm reluctant to give the Russian player stronger artillery for balance/gameplay reasons. As there is quite a lack for protection for infantry in CM:BS (no overhead protection, trenches [units or hand-made via terrain-elevations] are unreliable at best), the effect of artillery on a dug-in position such as this can be overly crippling. So I decided to give the Russians only access to two on-map medium mortars. 1) they cannot fire airburst, and 2) they don't trigger the off-map-arty-panic-issue.

This is a conundrum since the main offensive force the Russians use is tons of arty.  Maybe if it's a recon, a probe or a very rapid advance one can suppose that the Russians don't have time to register their arty hence the lack thereof.  This is something you'll need to address in the briefing to explain the odd situation.

For the same reason (lack of protection versus HE), I feel that the BMP-3s might be shifting the balance of the scenario in the Russians' favour a bit too much, I might still work on the Ukrainians positions in the wood to make them better protected from HE, but those high-trajectory airburst-HE rounds are hard to beat and fiddling with individual positions is so nerve-wrecking. So the better option might be to down-grade the russian BMPs (30mm autocannon would be okay, I guess, while MG only is not powerfull enough).

So, you need to hamstring the Russians to get a balanced fight??  That's an awful compromise imo.  Far better to make the victory conditions require limited Russian casualties and that they still have a significant % of their ammo remaining at the end of the scenario.  That way the main challenge for the Russians is how to achieve their aims with minimal casualties and economical use of ammo.  In RL, logistics is everything.  Maintaining supply levels is the key to advancing.  So, don't make (yet another) scenario where "there is no tomorrow" and casualties and ammo expenditure don't matter.  95%+ scenarios are like that and it gets boring.  So, do something more interesting.  Good luck!!  :)

Note that there are quite a lot of patches of "mud" in the fields right now. This helps me to fine-tune the chance of Russian vehicles to get bogged temporarily. 

 

 

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Thanks for the feedback, Erwin!

Mine-field

Well the idea is that the Ukrainians try to slow down a Russian advance with this minefield. You're right and I forgot to mention that these are AT-mines. The position in the woods is supposed to cover the minefield, just as you're suggesting. Not with a tank (I guess it would have been quite hard to get that tank into the wood, prepare a position for it, and clear its line of fire...) but with ATGMs - and in a good position to challenge any infantry assault. The ATGMs can be well concealed in the wood and I've provided alternative firing positions ;). 

Recon

I was not refering to the editor, but rather I wanted to ask how it works irl? How would you gain info on the strength of an enemy position in a wood? Does modern military use any defoliants (agent orange...)? 

Arty

Hm. So you say that in the given situation - an AT-minefield covered by ATGMs and a dug-in position in a wood - a big arty barrage on the whole wood (you have no clear info on the exact location) would be the way to go?

In general, I find it quite hard to think of interesting scenarios if there is a lot of artillery involved. Especially in small scenarios such as this, 1-2 casualties can make a huge difference (for the defender in particular). If that MG-team is knocked out, you have a gap in your defence. Maybe I should increase the defenders' (and, as a consequence, the attackers') strength to get more overlapping fire-arcs to make the defensive line less prone to artillery. And on the whole, the situation might call for more than a squad anyway (600 meters frontage!). 

But still I think that the lack of proper protection for infantry makes artillery (on prepared positions) stronger than it should be.

BMPs

I don't need to hamstring the Russians, I can simply choose a different option for their APCs. ;) 

Losses, supply, overall scenario-design

I totally share your dislike of "all or nothing" squandering scenarios. Thresholds for losses and ammo will be set quite tight and matter a lot points-wise.

At the same time, I don't like scenarios that put you into unrealistic settings - e.g. in which you engage a never-ending stream of enemies just to make it challenging. I rather see my scenario as a H2H scenario (primarily because the AI does not understand that their tank/ATGM needs to change position after it has fired). But if I come up with a solo-version, I'd prefer to make victory conditions harder (ammo, losses), rather than increasing the number of enemy troops.

A few general design principles behind this particular scenario:

  • I want to keep it very small. As I'm a big fan of micro-managing, I need to keep the number of troops low. :)
  • I really want distance to matter in this scenario. The fields are - realistically - almost a kilometer wide, so you will need to develop and test your feeling for judging distance. Also, the weaknesses and advantages of weapon-systems really come into play. I also like that you can get infantry action without sudden deaths. At 400 meters, an infantry fire-fight can drag on for quite some time, and even Russians in the open field can survive quite long, suppression goes up and down, casualties trickle slowly, picking targets and managing fire matters much more than in shorter range "bang - bang - dead" engagements. 
  • The forces are very asymmetrical. The Russians have a lot of power, the Ukrainians have the wood - primarily concealment, but also prepared positions (at 400 meters range, my entrenching-efforts pay off quite well). 
Edited by Kaunitz

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Wouldn't a sapper platoon be a more appropriate force for the mission? 

Regarding the size of game it might be better to have a larger map and a company size engagement. The mission as I understand it is essentially a breaching operation requiring the marking of lanes through the minefield followed by the passage of forces through the cleared lanes followed by the defeat of he defending force to allow for the advance of the follow on forces. Ideally this would be best done at night.

Depending on how long you want your scenario to be there may be scope to run the early stages at night  with the later fighting potentially taking place at dawn

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Hi, Lucaswillen05!

The idea is that the platoon-attack clears the wood (from which the enemy controls the minefield) so that the enginners can clear the minefield AFTER the scenario is won. Clearing the minefield is not part of the scenario, it just sets the overall situation. Your platoon is tasked with clearing the wood so that the engineers will be able to work safely. 

If you play carefully, 2 hours are already a short time for the platoon-sized attack, especially since it is better to dismount and approach the 1.3 kilometers on foot, with the APCs and the tank providing support from the rear (ATGM-danger, minefield, tanks and APCs can fire just as well over 1.3 kilometers as over 400 meters). I can't see how one could not run into micromanagement-overload and a lack of time with a company-sized attack. Anything larger than 2 platoons is too large for my taste and I tend to get sloppy with my orders. So I want to keep it as small as possible and plausible.

Also, if intel suggests that there is a squad in the wood, would a whole company mobilize to drive it away?

 

----------------------

What I'd like to do is to give the defenders a more plausible setup. Imagine you're in command of a mechanized squad and your task is to keep control over a minefield for as long as possible. You have plenty of time. So, in my current setup, the defenders have set up their main position in the woods. It's a quite natural choice as it should conceal the position excellently from air observation. The problem is that the wood is quite far away from the minefield (850 meters). This is out of reach of small arms and MGs. What other weapons do you have at your disposal? Your APC's autocannon - you could dig a position for the APC to overwatch the minefield, but I guess it would require quite a lot of effort to dig positions (and covered connections in between them) for an APC in a wood. Other than the APC, the squad would have to rely on crew-served weapons to control the minefield from 850 meters distance. SPGs, AGS, ATGMs come to my mind., And of course snipers are also a very good means.

The more difficult issue is how the main defensive position in the woods should be laid out. In the scenario, I made the position face the enemy force, covering the whole front of 600 meters. This feels gamey, as one would suggest that a position such as this would rather be set up to provide 360 degree protection and would be much smaller and more compact than a thin 600 meters-line. So perhaps it would be better to scrap the defensive line design for a smaller 360 degree outpost design. 

(I guess the idea to establish a forward outpost within small-arms-range of the minefield is a bit strange, especially given that it is located in a plain, open field, visible to air observation. This idea/outpost can be easily taken out of the scenario.)

Edited by Kaunitz

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48 minutes ago, Kaunitz said:

Hi, Lucaswillen05!

The idea is that the platoon-attack clears the wood (from which the enemy controls the minefield) so that the enginners can clear the minefield AFTER the scenario is won. Clearing the minefield is not part of the scenario, it just sets the overall situation. Your platoon is tasked with clearing the wood so that the engineers will be able to work safely. 

If you play carefully, 2 hours are already a short time for the platoon-sized attack, especially since it is better to dismount and approach the 1.3 kilometers on foot, with the APCs and the tank providing support from the rear (ATGM-danger, minefield, tanks and APCs can fire just as well over 1.3 kilometers as over 400 meters). I can't see how one could not run into micromanagement-overload and a lack of time with a company-sized attack. Anything larger than 2 platoons is too large for my taste and I tend to get sloppy with my orders. So I want to keep it as small as possible and plausible.

Also, if intel suggests that there is a squad in the wood, would a whole company mobilize to drive it away?

 

----------------------

What I'd like to do is to give the defenders a more plausible setup. Imagine you're in command of a mechanized squad and your task is to keep control over a minefield for as long as possible. You have plenty of time. So, in my current setup, the defenders have set up their main position in the woods. It's a quite natural choice as it should conceal the position excellently from air observation. The problem is that the wood is quite far away from the minefield (850 meters). This is out of reach of small arms and MGs. What other weapons do you have at your disposal? Your APC's autocannon - you could dig a position for the APC to overwatch the minefield, but I guess it would require quite a lot of effort to dig positions (and covered connections in between them) for an APC in a wood. Other than the APC, the squad would have to rely on crew-served weapons to control the minefield from 850 meters distance. SPGs, AGS, ATGMs come to my mind., And of course snipers are also a very good means.

The more difficult issue is how the main defensive position in the woods should be laid out. In the scenario, I made the position face the enemy force, covering the whole front of 600 meters. This feels gamey, as one would suggest that a position such as this would rather be set up to provide 360 degree protection and would be much smaller and more compact than a thin 600 meters-line. So perhaps it would be better to scrap the defensive line design for a smaller 360 degree outpost design. 

(I guess the idea to establish a forward outpost within small-arms-range of the minefield is a bit strange, especially given that it is located in a plain, open field, visible to air observation. This idea/outpost can be easily taken out of the scenario.)

I tend to prefer company sized games most of the time. For what you have in mind I think two hours might be too long. A tighter time limit (eg an hour) requiring the wood to be cleared so that it is safe for, let us say an armoured company that will be conducting a passage of lines in this sector might be a more reasonable objective. You need to strike a balance between completion of the mission and force preservation.

Remember, you are not required to stick to he initial forces only. Perhaps a small scale counter attack by Ukrannian reaction forces might feature later in the game

 

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If force and ammo preservation are a major issue (which they should be) then a generous amount of time should be provided - it's just more fun to have time to sneak around being very careful.

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23 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

How would you gain the information on the enemy's strength? You could be observing supply-runs? You could perhaps make out individual soldiers going to and fro identified positions? But this would be hard to notice if you're outside the wood and when the enemies might be moving in his trenches?

22 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

Recon

I was not refering to the editor, but rather I wanted to ask how it works irl? How would you gain info on the strength of an enemy position in a wood? Does modern military use any defoliants (agent orange...)? 

Thermal imaging, SIGINT, HUMINT (squaddies just can't stay off Facebook in the Ukraine it seems).  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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@LUCASWILLEN05

Please don't take it personal but I think I have to go stubborn on the scenario size :). I know it's subjective, but I simply prefer tiny and small scenarios. I can easily keep my overview, I know what I want my troops to do next, I can get more involved, every single casualty hurts, and it doesn't feel like "working". When you're in command of so many troops that you have to use multiple avenues of approach, the amount of brainwork explodes. Planning an approach is a lot of work, and I don't see how two or more engagement-theaters are more benefitial than one. Of course it adds a layer of meta-tactics, but this comes at the cost of micromanaging two or more theaters. For me, it's not worth all the effort. For me, Combat Mission games really shine on the micro-level. Also, smaller scenarios are more likely to be played to the end in H2H games. ;)

 

@LUCASWILLEN05 @Erwin

I also prefer a more generous time-limit. From all the (sparse) sources I could lay my hands on, it seems that attacks (even on the platoon-level) are anounced/issued well in advance. Also, if time was short, the officer in command would rather limit his planning-time (in most cases several hours). I don't think he would put time-pressure on preparation and execution. But my impression might be crooked by the sugar-candy-world portrayed in field-manuals. Perhaps attacks are more often mounted with much shorter preparation and execution time in the real world?

@Sgt.Squarehead

Lol, for some reason the whole communication aspect eluded me. Thanks. Makes sense. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

@LUCASWILLEN05

Please don't take it personal but I think I have to go stubborn on the scenario size :). I know it's subjective, but I simply prefer tiny and small scenarios. I can easily keep my overview, I know what I want my troops to do next, I can get more involved, every single casualty hurts, and it doesn't feel like "working". When you're in command of so many troops that you have to use multiple avenues of approach, the amount of brainwork explodes. Planning an approach is a lot of work, and I don't see how two or more engagement-theaters are more benefitial than one. Of course it adds a layer of meta-tactics, but this comes at the cost of micromanaging two or more theaters. For me, it's not worth all the effort. For me, Combat Mission games really shine on the micro-level. Also, smaller scenarios are more likely to be played to the end in H2H games. ;)

 

@LUCASWILLEN05 @Erwin

I also prefer a more generous time-limit. From all the (sparse) sources I could lay my hands on, it seems that attacks (even on the platoon-level) are anounced/issued well in advance. Also, if time was short, the officer in command would rather limit his planning-time (in most cases several hours). I don't think he would put time-pressure on preparation and execution. But my impression might be crooked by the sugar-candy-world portrayed in field-manuals. Perhaps attacks are more often mounted with much shorter preparation and execution time in the real world?

@Sgt.Squarehead

Lol, for some reason the whole communication aspect eluded me. Thanks. Makes sense. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know what you mean. For me a company size combat team is usually enough with a couple of thousand meter maps to allow for maneuver, Given the maximum possible map size more than a couple of combat teams  is over crowding the battlefield in any case, However, trying to micromanage this is not possible, nor should one try to do so. Remember you can always stop the action at any point and give any new orders you wish.

The work involved at the combat team level is different. Here we are required to co-ordinate a small combined arms force using air and artillery support appropriately. The challenge of mounting a hasty or deliberate attack through a defended position with mine fields and perhaps an armoured counter attack, perhaps in or partly under the cover of darkness would be an interesting game

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@Lucaswillen05

Regarding micro-management, I've learned very fast that you loose very fast in Combat Mission games if you don't micro-manage. :D No scout team sent? Well, there goes your whole platoon. There is a tree between your tank's muzzle and the enemy? What a pity, now it can't fire. For me, Combat Mission is for micro-management. If I wanted to play on the company-level+, I'd choose a different game (command ops, e.g.).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since I had troubles to come up with a reasonable (and conventional) scenario for such a small map (and in fact I could not find a single spot in the whole of Eastern Ukraine where the terrain would have been suitable for the minefield-idea), I decided to use a much bigger map. I'm going for 2.5 x 4 km now, based on the actual landscape close to Slowjansk. I've added the maps I'm using (note that in the google-earth map, a winter view is combined with a summer view). I have chosen this spot because it offers a nice variety of tactical features (open fields, woods, a swampy area, an electrical substation/power plant, an important road). I had to make some larger adjustments for the roads though (roads in the CM-engine can only run in very restricted angles...).

As you can see, the wood is still the central feature of the map (i.e. the map offers the highest number of avenues of approach to it compared to other terrain features) but the power station can serve as an alternative objective (although manoever-options from the north, east, and southeast are artificially cut off). Due to the open, relatively flat character of the eastern Ukraine (i.e. very long LOS), it's hard to get more than one objective on a single map, given that I don't want avenues of approaches to an objective be artificially limited by the border of the map. Even this map is already a compromise, as there would more open space to the east and south from which you could draw LOS on the central wood to the north. So, you're already starting the scenario closer to the wood than the landscape would suggest. But then again the central road is masked by  thick shrubbery and trees, so it makes sense that the attacker could have approached so close.

What is a bit problematical is that the map is almost split in two halves by the road. Not only does the road block LOS by itself (due to the the wood-stripes running along it), but also, it runs along a ridge. So, this creates two seperate areas on the map. Even though this increases tactical options, I think it's a pity if only one half of the map is used.

I will be brainstorming for small missions for this map (1-2 platoons for the attacker maximum). I figure that some kind of patrol-/probe action might be nice. In general, I have troubles when it comes to visualizing how an actual war between two superpowers would unfold (and what kinds of scenarios it would produce). Would we see decisive, quick manouvre of large, concentrated forces, penetrating along highways to the capital cities, resulting in a quick decision? Then I guess smaller scenarios are a bit implausible. Or would it devolve into a drawn-out, slow slugfest dominated by the defence? Then the small and "localized" approach would make much more sense, I guess. Luckily nobody knows for sure, but what are your thoughs about it?

finalA1.jpg

finalB.jpg

 

PS: Picture of this very road in the wood: https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/29531234#

Picture of the road running through the fields: https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/55171476# (note the thick shrubbery and trees represented by the "tiny" stripe of green which is actually 20-30m/2-3 action spots broad)

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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@Kaunitz - this is all good stuff for the following reasons:

You have clicked the 'Scenario Editor' button (it seems to be disabled for most people ;)).

You have a pretty good idea of what you want to achieve.

You have done some testing/thought about how the forces will match up.

To me the concept seems sound and you have gone some way down the route to work out the art of the possible.

Either post on here or PM me the lat longs of the posted image or something that I can plug into Google Earth so I can think about a narrative that will achieve your intent of a platoon plus sized force sorting out a problem in the wood. There is definitely a solution to this that will also solve your problems of how the intelligence picture is developed and why there is no artillery available. These are easy fixes.

I think your main issue will be how you construct this so that the mission is fun and challenging but achievable. This is a particular problem with such a small friendly force but is not insurmountable and the narrative that I have rattling around my head would I think help you get there (subject to seeing the ground).

Although a different game, era and mission size, have a look at my planning tutorial for CMRT which used @SeinfeldRules excellent Assault Position mission as a vehicle. The reason I point you at this one is not just a shameless plug for my tutorial but to point you at a scenario which is not that dissimilar to what you are proposing - eg some sort of clearance of a wood by a not overly large force (albeit Coy sized in this instance - and don't misinterpret this as me advocating a coy sized element). Tutorial here:

To stay with @SeinfeldRules work - his stuff is well thought through and his narratives are particularly immersive.  Check out his CMBS thread here:

I think you could do a lot worse than download one of his scenarios, play it and rummage around it in the editor.

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@Combatintman

Thank you for your interest! I'll be reading through the links and keep you updated tomorrow (busy today). 

The map is not set in stone yet, so if you happen to come across a different sector that seems much more interesting for a small scenario, please let me know. Here is the link for google maps: https://www.google.at/maps/@48.9119437,37.5855809,3996a,35y,315.56h/data=!3m1!1e3 (click on "discover" - or whatever the feature imight be called in english - to see some actual photos!) - and this is the link for OpenTopo Map (contour lines): https://opentopomap.org/#map=13/48.90625/37.62371 . Map-size is not really that much of a problem, if it helps to keep realism high. With the help of contour lines, a base map can be created very fast, and I have my routines for building roads, fields and woods, so I'm actually quite fast by now. Modifying terrain for defensive positions is what takes really, really, really long though.  

I think that the main questions for the plausibility/fluff of the scenario are:

  • Why no/very limited artillery? (for gameplay reasons - lack of protection for dug-in infantry- and scenario balance, as there is always some random factor involved when it comes to artillery, and randomness is a bad thing for a tiny scenario in which every man counts)
  • Why no night attack? (for scenario-balance and aesthetical reasons, plus there are no flares in CM-games)

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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I lie the idea of small scenarios involving anything between a couple of platoons to a reinforced company combat team. Given the size of the maps anything more than a couple of company combat teams to a battalion is the likely maximum for force size. 

The OpenTopo Map link you posted looks very good indeed - thanks for posting the link,. The contour lines make this one particularly useful though probably best used in conjunction with Google Earth if only too help navigate place names.

Map size is I think an important issue depending on force size and type. For instance I am keen on tank battles which milittes towards larger maps but if your scenario is a small infantry based action then, yes, a small map is best - the forces must be able to find each other. Also a map large enough for forces to manouver tactically

Regarding night attacks both the Russians and US have good night vision capabilities hence flares are probably not needed. Given that I don't feel a scenario would be any more unbalanced

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Regarding the TopoMap is there a way of displaying the place names in English rather than he local language names? While it would be possible to use in conjunction with Google Earth and type the place names into the search function it would be much easier to navigate quickly.

I do however like the contour lines and other map details that are harder to discern easily in Google Earth

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@Kaunitz take a look at this for your overall context:

593b1619382d8_TamingtheWatchdogSchematic.jpg.b997db7d0bd5b9338c2418b5be0df363.jpg

This is how I did it ...

Zoomed out to get a feel for the overall area. This allowed me to identify the road over river bridge as a possible immediate objective and the road/rail junction to the NE as a likely subsequent objective. The town to the SW is a good concentration area for an attack.

So the overall premise and what is called the Two-up in military parlance is that your mechanised infantry battalion has been given the mission to secure the road/rail junction with a specified task to secure the river crossing.

I've then just fitted an enemy laydown to fit this narrative (note that they don't have to be motor rifle elements/mechanised reconnaissance - they can be whatever you like). This gives you a defensive line on the river crossings with an element in depth (at the road/rail junction). Like all good commanders, the enemy has deployed a reconnaissance screen forward of the defensive area.

So this gives you the overall mission design construct ...

Key points to note are:

The battalion main effort is the advance NE to secure the bridge and the road/rail junction ... this is where all of the artillery is going to be focussed and therefore solves your 'why no artillery' dilemma.

Your mission is that of a flank guard or guard mission:

Flank Guard = 'A security element operating to the flank of a moving or stationary force to protect it from enemy ground observation, direct fire, and surprise attack'.

Guard = 'A form of security operation whose primary task is to protect the main force by fighting to gain time while also observing and reporting information and to prevent enemy ground observation of and direct fire against the main body by reconnoitering, attacking, defending, and delaying'.

The detail for the 'why' of this mission is that there is an enemy reconnaissance element in the wood that is capable of providing overwatch onto the main attack route. The forward edge of the wood is 7km from the SW/NE road main attack axis which conveniently is the maximum range of the TALL MIKE radar on the BRM-1K for instance. So the blue force guard element (the mechanised infantry platoon or you can make it an element of a Brigade Reconnaissance Company) has to eliminate this enemy reconnaissance element.

With regard to solving the 'why not at night' question ... it really doesn't matter ... the battalion could have been late to the assembly area or there is political direction to secure the road/rail junction in order to give leverage for cease fire negotiations. Whatever you like mate.

Anyway have a think about all of the above and if you want to bat some more ideas around or tinker with this concept let me know.  Once you're settled on the overall construct let me know and I'll change the attached graphic to whatever you want to use as the Operational Map graphic for your mission. Also by going through this process, I hope you can see that the Situation Enemy Forces and Situation Friendly Forces paragraphs are pretty much written.

One final thing ... how do we know they are there?  SIGINT could have identified radio transmissions, a woodsman could have seen enemy soldiers or a vehicle in the woods and reported it to your forces or a previous reconnaissance element could have come under fire from the woods and reported being in contact before being destroyed (you could stage this by having a destroyed friendly reconnaissance vehicle on the approaches to the wood).

Simples ...;)

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First - Combatintman, thank you for the plug, I appreciate the kind words. :D

Second - Kaunitz, if this is your first map, 2.5km x 4km is biting off way more then you can chew! Trust me on this one! You need to scale it back! 1000x1400 would be a much more suitable size for your engagement, and is much more manageable in the editor to boot.

The narrative you've built for your scenario is excellent. Just enough background detail to get the point across. The minefield is a very credible threat, severely impacting the ability for wheeled vehicles to use that avenue- maybe not worthy of a set piece attack, but enough of a concern to send a platoon to deal with it. This kind of stuff happened all the time in World War 2 and would happen in a modern conflict as well. Don't sweat the small stuff, that is easy to hand wave away. Don't have artillery support? Eh, it's busy elsewhere, you ain't important enough (as suggested above). Why not at night? Eh, timeline is too tight, war waits for no man.

Third - If you do end up cutting your map size down, I've attached a map with a red box around what I think is a suitable looking area you can cut out and model in game. Scenarios set in open farm land can be tricky as the extremely long sight lines can make it difficult to come up with credible attack plans. Having the main road, fence lines and what looks like a dry stream adds multiple avenues of approach for the player without "scripting" the scenario. It also makes setup of the defender more interesting as you have to account for all possible player choices! You can never get it 100% right, which is good. It's supposed to be a scenario, not a puzzle, IMO....

Another hint for map design... don't have your height map be based only on contour lines... add fixed height boxes of 1m difference between the lines to create more rolling terrain. The amount of realism (and tactical nuance) you can add by this one action alone is unbelievable! Download some of my maps, and you'll see what I mean. Also, paved roads and fence lines tend to be "built" up, and create natural barriers that troops can hide behind. Ditch lock these terrain features 1m higher then the surrounding ground and watch your map pop with detail... dirt roads and paths do the opposite, ditch lock those 1m down from the surrounding terrain. The number one thing that I believe makes maps look more realistic is this use of varying height. It can take a bland looking map and make it one that is full of realism.

Also, don't be afraid to change reality... Google Earth makes it easy to copy real locations, but sometimes that just ain't fun! I always use a blended approach of reality and my imagination.

Just my 2 cents of course, I am happy to see other scenario designers participating in this great hobby and don't want to discourage you! I hope you have fun!

1Npf7p6.png

Edited by SeinfeldRules

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9 hours ago, Combatintman said:

@Kaunitz take a look at this for your overall context:

593b1619382d8_TamingtheWatchdogSchematic.jpg.b997db7d0bd5b9338c2418b5be0df363.jpg

This is how I did it ...

Zoomed out to get a feel for the overall area. This allowed me to identify the road over river bridge as a possible immediate objective and the road/rail junction to the NE as a likely subsequent objective. The town to the SW is a good concentration area for an attack.

So the overall premise and what is called the Two-up in military parlance is that your mechanised infantry battalion has been given the mission to secure the road/rail junction with a specified task to secure the river crossing.

I've then just fitted an enemy laydown to fit this narrative (note that they don't have to be motor rifle elements/mechanised reconnaissance - they can be whatever you like). This gives you a defensive line on the river crossings with an element in depth (at the road/rail junction). Like all good commanders, the enemy has deployed a reconnaissance screen forward of the defensive area.

So this gives you the overall mission design construct ...

Key points to note are:

The battalion main effort is the advance NE to secure the bridge and the road/rail junction ... this is where all of the artillery is going to be focussed and therefore solves your 'why no artillery' dilemma.

Your mission is that of a flank guard or guard mission:

Flank Guard = 'A security element operating to the flank of a moving or stationary force to protect it from enemy ground observation, direct fire, and surprise attack'.

Guard = 'A form of security operation whose primary task is to protect the main force by fighting to gain time while also observing and reporting information and to prevent enemy ground observation of and direct fire against the main body by reconnoitering, attacking, defending, and delaying'.

The detail for the 'why' of this mission is that there is an enemy reconnaissance element in the wood that is capable of providing overwatch onto the main attack route. The forward edge of the wood is 7km from the SW/NE road main attack axis which conveniently is the maximum range of the TALL MIKE radar on the BRM-1K for instance. So the blue force guard element (the mechanised infantry platoon or you can make it an element of a Brigade Reconnaissance Company) has to eliminate this enemy reconnaissance element.

With regard to solving the 'why not at night' question ... it really doesn't matter ... the battalion could have been late to the assembly area or there is political direction to secure the road/rail junction in order to give leverage for cease fire negotiations. Whatever you like mate.

Anyway have a think about all of the above and if you want to bat some more ideas around or tinker with this concept let me know.  Once you're settled on the overall construct let me know and I'll change the attached graphic to whatever you want to use as the Operational Map graphic for your mission. Also by going through this process, I hope you can see that the Situation Enemy Forces and Situation Friendly Forces paragraphs are pretty much written.

One final thing ... how do we know they are there?  SIGINT could have identified radio transmissions, a woodsman could have seen enemy soldiers or a vehicle in the woods and reported it to your forces or a previous reconnaissance element could have come under fire from the woods and reported being in contact before being destroyed (you could stage this by having a destroyed friendly reconnaissance vehicle on the approaches to the wood).

Simples ...;)

I like the look of your map overlays there. The entire operation as you outline it may very well have the makings of a good mini campaign . This is a localized operation in a defined area which may last a few hours in the real world. up to a couple of days including Ukranian counter attacks later.

The minefield is probably quite a hasty affair

Edited by LUCASWILLEN05

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Okay, first of all: thank you for all your tips and suggestions! You're awesome, guys! It's so very motivating to have people who actually get involved with one's ideas and questions.

@SeinfeldRules

Thank you for your consoling words regarding my initial scenario-idea. I still like the minefield-idea, but, after having read through Combatinman's scneario, I like his idea better.  Simply because I think it fits a bit better to the modern scenario of CM:BS.

As for the more technical aspects of the editor: Thanks for the fixed terrain-box in between contour-line-tip. I will download some of your maps to get inspiration.  I've already figured out that one must not draw "fixed height" continously along contour-lines, as this will result in terrassed, not gently sloped terrain. So, all I do now is to put a single fixed-height spot every 80-100 meters along a contour line. Thanks for the reminder about elevating roads (I'm also doing it for the little patches of wood) and depressing paths (and also fields). It's obvious that I can't stick to reality 100%. The lack of street-tiles/angles alone makes this pretty clear. I'm just using real maps as a base, and will then adapt things as I see fit/to make the scenario more interesting and/or balanced. 

Regarding map-size, I will see what map-size the scenario/setting dictates. Once I know which forces are involved and what areas are needed to represent the overall situation, I’ll make the map as small as possible within these limitations. I’m not afraid of challenges. The worst thing that can happen is that it takes me longer to finish. ;) Also, I’m a fan of wide, open terrain/fields which don’t really require that much work, simply because it adds to realism. Most of the quickbattle-maps (not the scenario-maps, mind you) are totally crowded, resulting in engagements that do not encourage players to use troops (especially vehicles) in the way they’re supposed to be used.

 @Combatintman

Thanks for all the effort and though you put into this! I really like your setting because I think it fits the modern CM:BS scenario much better than the minefield.

The only thing I’m wondering is why the recon-element in the wood would even stand and fight. I mean they must be aware that the enemy is approaching their position? And, being a lightly armed recon-element, they would rather retreat? So, one would assume that the recon-element takes up position deep in the woods, with only some minor observation outposts at the wood-edge? It would not deploy in a way (at the wood-edge) to contest the approach to the wood? This question is even more relevant when it comes to the defender’s vehicles: The task of the recon-element is to keep an eye/their radar on the enemy’s actions around the city of Slowjansk. So, the BRM is not really supposed to be used as a combat asset, and neither is the APC – I assume that it’s main use lies in its transport capacity, i.e. evacuating the recon squad quickly when needed? So, placing the vehicles at the wood-edge in positions from which they can overwatch the open ground seems like a bad idea? (Mind you that I have no problems at all if the defenders don’t have any vehicle in the scenario)

So, I’m not sure whether the defence of the wood-edge (which is what I’ve been aiming at, I should have made this more clear) is plausible for this setting?  I think it would rather generate an encounter deep in the woods – for this, we could do with a very small, wood-only map.

After some further consideration, however, I can think of it as a delaying-action. Consider this scenario: for some reason (?), the recon-coy (? would a whole coy be used for this observation task? rather not...?) that is positioned in the wood to observe Slowjank did not see the enemy’s attack on its position coming in time. Now, all its assets (which were spread-out in the wood to be safe from aerial recon?) need to make their way to the road M-03 in order to retreat to the north. A small task-force (=your command) is being dispatched to the forward sector of the wood (perhaps even the wood-edge itself) to delay the enemy and prevent him from penetrating into the wood too quickly, and also to prevent him from by-passing the wood to the west (this is where the wood-edge comes into play!), via Hlyboka Makatykha and Chrestyszcze, from where he could cut-off the retreating Ukrainian recon-coy (assuming, of course, that the recon-coy was operating in such an isolated way, without rear-support). But upon further inspection of the map, it's pretty obvious that you'd need a second team to deny access to Hlyboka Makatyhka. :( So the scenario could EITHER be to ambush the opponent along M-03 to prevent him from penetrating further north and making contact with your retreating recon-coy, OR to stop him at Hlyboka Makatykha (which -except for the name - is missing on the topo-map), so that he cannot cut off your company's path of retreat (the M-03 exits the wood at Chrestyszcze). But then again why would the enemy even try to cut off the recon-coy if his task was just to drive off the recon-coy to prevent him from detecting his main attack to the northeast? It's a vicious circle. ;)

Apart from these doubts, and if we assume that the recon-troop is for some reason contesting the wood-edge, I find the recce-context for the Ukrainian force very interesting. I took a look at the Ukrainian brigade-level recon-coy's platoons, and they seem to be composed of a mixture of recon-squads mounted on APCs in support of the BRM-1K recon vehicles. All recon-squads (6 men per squad) lack the more powerfull RPG 7 (they only come with RPG 22/26) and medium machine guns, they do come with a grenadier and a lmg (RPK-74) though, and they also have a sniper rifle (SVD) with them. So, if we stick to the single squad-idea for the defender, here is a potential setup for the defending force:

  • 1 BRM-1K (recon vehicle) + crew [absent, if we stick to the delaying-scenario]
  • 1 APC (any variant) + crew [present, used to transport the squad to the forward sector or to Hlyboka Makatyhka to conduct its delaying action, probably positioned very close to the road to allow for quick evacuation, might indeed see combat action in this situation]
  • 1 platoon HQ element: 2 men (2 x AK-74, radio, binos)  [can't be deleted]
  • 1 sniper: 1 man (SVD, walkie-talkie, binos) [= sniper team at 50% strength]
  • 1 light machine gun team: 2 men (1 x RPK-74, 1 x AK-74, NO walkie talkie, NO binos) [=RPK-team at 100% strength]
  • 1 scout-team: 3 men (AK-74/GP-25, Ak-74, AK-74+RPG22/26, radio, binos) [=scout-team at 100% strength]

Note that I have not used the natural "scout squad" that is purchased with the formation. Rather, I've broken up the squad (by buying individual teams) to allow for more tactical flexibility. You have three infantry elements: a sniper, a light machine gun, a squad-element (3 men with AT-capability and a grenade-launcher). The down-side is that there is an unwanted radio-operator in the squad-element and that the RPK-team lacks communication-means (no walkie talkie). Additional RPG22/26 can be acquired from the APC. 

It's pretty obvious that this force is very weak and can in no way be set up for a 360° defense. I could add another squad (but then I'd also need to add another APC...?). A more subtle solution would be the addition of a special team - there are still 3 free seats in the vehicles . I'd really like to give the squad a bit more long-range firepower - right now, apart from the vehicles’ weapons (and I’m not sure if it’s reasonable to use them – see below) you only have the RPK (800m) and the sniper (800m). Adding more long range-fire power would be necessary to make the approach-phase interesting. Without any long-range-firepower, you’re forced to sit and wait.

 

PS: What does "G" mean on your operational sketch?

 

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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On 9.6.2017 at 1:19 PM, LUCASWILLEN05 said:

Regarding the TopoMap is there a way of displaying the place names in English rather than he local language names? While it would be possible to use in conjunction with Google Earth and type the place names into the search function it would be much easier to navigate quickly.

I do however like the contour lines and other map details that are harder to discern easily in Google Earth

Sorry I've overlooked your comment. I haven't found a way to change the names from cyrilian to latin characters/english transcriptions either, I'm afraid. 

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Easy answer first 'G' = Guard. The same tactical mission graphics are used for Cover and Screen missions. When it is a Cover mission the 'G' is substituted for a 'C' and predictably when it is a Screen mission the 'G' is substituted for an 'S'.

I've also just noticed that in your initial post you were looking at this from the Russian side whereas my construct was looking at it from the Ukrainian side. That said, you have compensated for my schoolboy error quite effectively.

As to the rest of your thoughts, a lot of it comes to your vision for the mission and this is where small scenarios get tricky because with such small numbers on both sides, the margins for error are pretty tight. 

At this point you have to start thinking like the person who is going to download and play this and the marketing. As an example, some of my simpler CMSF missions I clearly state in threads on the CMSF board and in the narrative when I upload it to the Scenario Depot that it is a 'beer and pretzels mission'. This tells the player that it is meant to be an hour's worth of fun or so.

The feel I get is that while you're happy with the simple concept of destroying the enemy reconnaissance element, you are looking to deliver something that requires the player to sneak around and use good tactics. This brings us back to the inherent difficulties of small missions. The frontage of the wood is about 1.5km. If as I now correctly understand, you are looking for the player to command a reconnaissance squad, then covering that frontage could prove challenging. While that may be good (eg give the player a challenge), it could result in an underwhelming player experience.

However, I don't want to be full of doom and gloom - there are ways that you can jazz it up a bit or explore slightly different concepts on the fine detail to deliver something that will make a challenging and enjoyable mission. Ultimately, I wouldn't stress too much about the exact composition of the squad (eg  should I have a sniper or MG? - should they be in all-round defence?). The best way to work this out is to use the unit picks as your starting point and then test them against your proposed enemy force. Select the force that is closest to the real life TO&E and should defeat the enemy you propose to match it against 9 times out of 10. Remember that you can add complexity later through the AI plan.

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@Combatintman

I think that most of my problems are related to my lack of understanding how a modern war works on the operational level. I think we can agree that full-contact situations between relatively evenly matched forces in which both sides have a chance to win make for the most fun scenarios in Combat-Mission games. Yet I wonder if and in what situations and on what level such engagements would occur in reality? Especially with all those fast, mechanized units, long range weapons and modern intel technique, and also the availability of hard counters (there are specialized weapon systems against each type of threat), also air power, one would assume that no side had an interest in or could be forced into evenly matched engagements, as these engagements bear the risk of defeat and almost certainly result in high casualties for both sides. Rather, each side (and especially the one who felt to be at a disadvantage) would prefer to seek a better situation more in their favour? This shifts our focus from the tactical to the operational level, which is not the focus of CM games.

And while I think that the "retreat if the enemy resists/stands"-idea is more relevant for small-scale scenarios, I wonder whether it also applies to engagements of larger sizes. If you're not really sure that all the operational parameters and your high-quality intel suggests that your brigade-sized attack will be a success, would you really risk it? Does modern doctrine include these kinds of griding/high casualty, full contact attacks determined to overcome an actual resistance by the enemy, or does it rather favour the path of the least resistance - i.e. winning the operational game rather than the tactical boxing-match? And here is where it gets tricky for CM-games: If modern war shifts more towards the operational level, situations that make for fun CM-scenarios are rather limited.

Things might have been different in WWII, when intel wasn't that good, forces not that mobile and fast to react to enemy manoevres, weapons not that powerfull over long ranges and/or specialized, and frontlines relatively clear, air power on the tactical level more a support than a decisive weapon? Such a setting might have produced more casualty-intensive (for both sides), griding engagements, in which morale and tactical execution played a greater role than in a modern, more technically and operationally driven war? So my gut-feeling tells me that modern war might be more about hard-countering the enemy by quality, not by wearing him down with quantity+manouevre (local superiority of force); and that this might lead to very technical, one-sided engagements that are not really very suitable for CM-scenarios. 

Regardless of the size of the involved forces, I think that delaying/rearguard actions might be one of the very few plausible scenarios for two relatively evenly matched forces to engage more seriously. The attacking force would be larger of course, but a scenario is only a local and temporal selection of the larger action. You commit a small part of your force and risk its destruction in order to save a larger part of your force. So the smaller force has a reason to stand and fight, even against overwhelming odds. And the attacking side also has a reason to press on, as it is assured that the enemy is at a disadvantage and is likely to retreat any moment.

The other "full contact evenly matched"-scenario I can think of is urban warfare. Here you simply don't know how many enemies are hiding in the next block, despite all modern intel options, so you have no real alternative other than to attack and find out. But for me personally, urban warfare missions are not that enjoyable in CM games because the tactical options are rather limited. 

As for the replay-value of CM-scenarios, I have no illusion that they're meant to be played one time (and a second time once you've forgotten all the details from your first playthrough ;)). If you already know the position of the enemy, a scenario is no more fun and unbalanced. 

Edited by Kaunitz

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6 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

Sorry I've overlooked your comment. I haven't found a way to change the names from cyrilian to latin characters/english transcriptions either, I'm afraid. 

Thanks. I couldn't ether, One can work around with Google Earth bit it is a bit of a pain, Main issue is orienting yourself to the right place on both applications and getting the right place names. No problem with the Latin characters but cyrillics might as well b hieroglyphs as fas as I am concerned. there is the search function of course but this is till the oe drwback

However, that particular map will be perfect for producing maps for abletop gaming in the modern era and o some extent for WW2 battlefelds as well o thanks again for posting the link

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@Kaunitz, don't stress the details man. No one is going to armchair quarterback the likelihood of the background for your scenario, because no one actually knows what would happen... The scenario you have is plausible. The enemy is guarding the woods, whether it be for recon purposes or to provide direct fire over a minefield, it doesn't truly matter. The enemy has their own reasons for being places and you can't understand it all the time. But the enemy is there. Your commander wants you to take it out. Maybe they are calling for fire on the decisive effort. Maybe the battalion commander really hates the idea of an enemy in your rear area. Maybe he's is drunk. :D Anything could happen, even in training nothing ever plays out the way our brilliant military masterminds expect it to, believe me on that one!! The enemy is there and they must die, that's all that matters to the players.

 

If you are worried about play balance, I can tell you that 2:1 in favor of the player is a good ratio for an attack. So you can do two friendly platoons with APCs or IFVs, vs one reduced enemy platoon, whio are sans vehicles but with guided ATGMs. That would make a balanced scenario. Take away vehicles or raise the casualty percentages in the editor to get the numbers closer, if needed. Easiest way to justify changes to the TOE is casualties or hasty field substitutions... just because big Army doesn't think your troops need RPG 7s, doesn't mean the ground commanders agree! The exact details (ie recon vs infantry, BMPs vs BTRs) of that force can be shaped by the background of your missions.

Edited by SeinfeldRules

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