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BrotherSurplice

Sabres at Dawn AAR - BrotherSurplice vs Rinaldi (H2H)

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Posted (edited)

This is beginning to really irritate me now.

 

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With my Javelins in position on the forward slope of my hill, I am swiftly rewarded with the sight of an ATGM team perched in the bushes atop Point 228. I expect the Javelin teams to use their launchers and wipe the enemy team off of the face of the Earth, but instead, the idiots start plinking away with their rifles! I hurriedly give the team that has spotted the enemy a 'target' order on the offending ATGM.

 

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The AT operator finally puts away his rifle and takes aim with his launcher. I anticipate the thunk-whoosh of the missile launching, but all I hear is the chatter of incoming machine gun fire. Before he can fire, the Javelin operator is critically wounded by the next burst from the enemy MMGs. My first casualty, and all because the stupid bloody Javelin men decided that it would be a splendid idea to use their rifles instead of their honking great missile launcher. This is exceedingly frustrating.

 

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The offending MMG team and his platoon HQ are spotted on the edge of the berm.

 

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Another enemy ATGM team is spotted making a run for the East Yard. All of my vehicles are currently behind the slope of my hill, so once again I am unable to do a thing about this.

 

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The round of frustration isn't over yet, as one of my withdrawing scouts is shot in the back by another burst from the MMGs. My second casualty, and this time I have no one to blame but myself. I should have used the hunt or slow command, but I wanted to get the teams back to their APCs without exposing the APCs too much, and also these scouts are exhausted from creeping forward all the way from my start line.

 

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I creep my three Scimitars forward and subject the location of the ATGM team to a few bursts of 30mm HE. The time for conserving ammo is gone. Unfortunately, before the Scimitars get into position, I spy the ATGM team crawling away to safety.

 

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This time, however, Instead of leaving the Scimitars in one location, after about twenty seconds of fire I pull them back and relocate. Then I roll them forward again and give the location of the machine gun a similar pasting.

 

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The enemy AT platoon HQ is spotted running for the East Yard, and I have a pretty good idea of what building they ran to. A future target for a Javelin missile, perhaps?

 

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The ATGM team on the hill is spotted again, in an alternate position. Thankfully, the Javelin team elects not to open up with their rifles this time! I order the team to target the enemy ATGM. Second time's the charm?

 

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This time though, I'm going to be more careful. I send the Scimitars forward again, to a position where they can see the berm. If that MMG team reveals themselves again, they'll be in for a rude shock . . .

This has been a highly irritating and frustrating few turns. By the quirks of the game and my own mistakes, I've suffered my first casualties of the game. This is not an auspicious start to my first proper engagements with the enemy. Hopefully, however, the next few turns will be better. Finger's crossed . . .

Edited by BrotherSurplice

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1 hour ago, BrotherSurplice said:

With my Javelins in position on the forward slope of my hill, I am swiftly rewarded with the sight of an ATGM team perched in the bushes atop Point 228. I expect the Javelin teams to use their launchers and wipe the enemy team off of the face of the Earth, but instead, the idiots start plinking away with their rifles! I hurriedly give the team that has spotted the enemy a 'target' order on the offending ATGM.

The AT operator finally puts away his rifle and takes aim with his launcher. I anticipate the thunk-whoosh of the missile launching, but all I hear is the chatter of incoming machine gun fire. Before he can fire, the Javelin operator is critically wounded by the next burst from the enemy MMGs. My first casualty, and all because the stupid bloody Javelin men decided that it would be a splendid idea to use their rifles instead of their honking great missile launcher. This is exceedingly frustrating.

Nice AAR!!!  This is frustrating.  I will often give my AT teams a 360o Armor Target Arc so they don't waste missiles/rounds.  If they come across something besides armor that I want them to shoot at I drop the Armor Arc and give them Target.  The Armor Target Arc will keep them from shooting at infantry with rifles and giving away their position until I decide what shot they should take (if the shot is something besides armor).        

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59 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Not in CM:SF you don't.  ;)

 

@BrotherSurplice Oooooops.  My apologies.  I was wondering why CMBS looked so arid in your screenshots. :lol:  Well ................ someday in CMSF2 what I said above should work. :P

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In the last entry, things were not going well for the 9th/12th. I suffered my first casualties and the enemy managed to escape unmolested (again). But over the next few turns, I feel the pendulum swinging in my favour once more . . .

 

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My Javelin men take aim at the enemy ATGM team. The missile pops out of the tube and howls skyward like a bloodhound let off the leash. I believe in you, little missile!

 

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I never asked for this.

 

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The missile plops into the berm at the foot of Point 228. If the enemy doesn't kill the rest of my Javelins, I bloody well will when this is over. Fortunately, my Scimitars have spotted the ATGM team and a hail of 30mm HE bursts all around them. No casualties are caused, but the terrified gunners flee, leaving their weapon behind.

 

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Suddenly, as the turn comes to a close, another enemy ATGM team takes a shot at my Scimitars! This time, however, the offending team is spotted. If you look closely, you can just about see the missile speeding towards my tanks.

 

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Fortune is with me, as the enemy missile is fired short and crashes into the hill crest in front of my armoured troop. The turn ends a second later, and I rub my hands with glee as I mark the enemy weapons team with target orders from all three tanks.

 

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I breathe a sigh of relief as the cannon shells evenly distribute the enemy gunners about the road and buildings. My Scimitars withdraw behind the slope of my hill, having at last avenged their troop HQ tank.

 

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Time is ticking on, and I need to start prepping for my assault on the objective. Confident that the threat from enemy ATGMs is now minimal, I move the Scimitars forward again, to a position where they can overwatch the East Yard. I also move the APCs up to my withdrawing scouts. The exhausted sleuths eagerly embark their battle taxis, glad at the chance for some rest before the final effort.

 

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I now begin to soften up the objective itself. Remember the building that the enemy platoon HQ team entered earlier? Well, so does my Javelin team . . .

 

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This time, their aim is true and the roof of the small hut is stoved in. If anyone is in there, I would not want to be them right now.

 

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I move my tactical air controller forward and call in my Apache once more. This time, I will focus his attention on the East Yard and Point 225. He has little ordnance left after the first attack run, so this strike will likely not be as devastating as the first. But any fire on the objective at this point is welcome. It will take four minutes for the strike to come in, and I estimate that it will take around two to four minutes to be completed, so I call the strike in with eighteen minutes left on the clock. This should leave me with ten to twelve minutes to make my assault. If the enemy has been suppressed, I am confident that this will be enough time to clear the yard. Now all I can do is wait . . .

 

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As the turns tick by, one of my Scimitars picks up an unidentified contact in a trench on Point 228.

 

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I am leaving nothing to chance, so I subject the contact to a twenty-second burst of HE from my tanks. There was something in that trench and whatever it is will now be severely discomfited.

 

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The gunship arrives over the objective and subjects the western edge of the yard to a rocket strike.

 

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It then follows that up with a burst of cannon fire . . .

 

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. . . and then hits the eastern side of the yard with cannon fire too.

 

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The gunship has hit those buildings with cannon fire twice now, so I reckon that there's something in there. I order my Javelin teams to hit the two buildings with missiles.

 

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The gunship makes its last run a spectacular one, as it hits a spot in the western edge of the yard with a cannon burst. This spot promptly explodes and begins burning. I immediately guess that he has found and knocked out a concealed BMP-1.

 

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The Apache returns to base, ammunition well and truly depleted. The dust begins to settle over the East Yard once more, and quiet descends across the AO. There is a pregnant pause. It is almost time . . .

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And now the end is near,
And so I face the final curtain . . .

 

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The time has come for the final assault. The Scimitars trundle forward and start pelting the buildings of the East Yard with 30mm HE.

 

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Unfortunately, there is some fratricide as a cannon shell bursts on a tree next to my Javelin men, wounding one. Another mistake, I should have pulled the Javelins back by this point.

 

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The APCs of the Command Troop and the leader of the Support Troop zoom up and start hosing down the objective with their machine guns. The scouts charge forward in their Spartans, machine guns blazing as they go.

 

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Sound the charge!

 

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As my APCs close on the objective, an enemy MMG section rises from their trenches on Point 225 and begins shooting up my APCs.

 

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The armour of my APCs is mostly proof against MMG fire, but one enemy team lands a hit that damages the optics and tracks of one of the Spartans. He is spooked and begins to pull back, but fortunately not before dropping off his dismounts. I retask some of my APCs and tanks to suppress the MMG teams.

 

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The Support Troop spot a knocked out BMP-1 in a keyhole position. So that's what the Apache was shooting at! It is fortunate that the BMP is knocked out, as this would be a perfect position to ambush my scouts as they go in.

 

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Two scout teams pour fire into the objective, while the other two teams hurl themselves across the bridge.

 

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The amount of lead flying around is truly awesome, even this little attack making a brilliant spectacle. However, I am taking almost no fire. Where are Rinaldi's men?

 

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The enemy weapons platoon HQ makes an appearance, taking potshots at my scouts as they cross the bridge. Fortunately, he misses all his shots and is taken under fire by the APCs.

 

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The first evidence of the enemy positions is uncovered, as my scouts trample over the remains of a rifle squad.

 

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In the next building, almost an entire rifle squad is found cowering on the floor, terrified and helpless.

 

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The ensuing slaughter is horrifying to behold.

 

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My scouts bound through the East Yard, pouring fire into every unsecured building before advancing. The base of fire continues to suppress the enemy machine guns on Point 225. But apart from the enemy rifle squad, all we find is empty buildings and bodies.

 

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A brave little BMP-1 rolls forward from the reverse slope of Point 228 and puts a few 73mm shells into the ground before my scout teams. Fortunately, his fire is ineffective.

 

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Honour thus satisfied, his fear overwhelms him and the BMP withdraws.

 

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My opponent has known for a long time that the game is up and he requests a ceasefire. I accept and am rewarded with a Total Victory. Hurrah for the 9th/12th!

 

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I am chatting with Rinaldi as I take these last few turns, and the reasons for the lack of opposition are revealed to me. Rinaldi's men have been routing from the field ever since the first Apache strike. As can be seen from the victory screen, almost half of his force has abandoned their positions and fled the battle. One of the BMPs that withdrew behind Point 228 was actually abandoned by the crew, as the panic spread through the enemy C2 network.

 

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The only enemy troops still left on the field are one of the MMG teams on Point 225 (the other fled) and the brave takfiri of a BMP behind Point 228. Rinaldi had told me earlier that some of his men had routed from the Apache strikes, but I had no idea that his situation was this bad.

My elation at this victory is tempered by the knowledge that my opponent was essentially helpless to stop the near-total disintegration of his force from a single helicopter strike. Nevertheless, I am pleased that I managed to lose only one vehicle and take only three casualties. Things could have gone so much worse for me.

I plan on doing one more post after this one, where I shall make, in effect, an AAR of this AAR, analysing what went well, what went poorly, what I did correctly, what I did wrong, etc. I'll finish with observations gleaned from the battle. Also, now that it's all over @Rinaldi can come in and give some input from his perspective. Stay tuned!

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Just curious: Is it normal to use Command vehicles as part of the assault force.  My SOP is to keep em safe in the rear and only for emergency defense.  But, have no idea re RL deployment.

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Ah.....The Orange Exclamation Mark Of Doom!

Once that starts in conscript units it spreads like wildfire.....Very realistic IMHO.

3 hours ago, BrotherSurplice said:

My elation at this victory is tempered by the knowledge that my opponent was essentially helpless to stop the near-total disintegration of his force from a single helicopter strike.

Don't worry.....In CM:SF II he can have SAMs (maybe even a Shilka)!  Enjoy the victory (& a fine one it was) while you can and get ready for round two.  :D

Thoroughly enjoyable AAR, nicely done.  B)

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First off, a good game to @BrotherSurplice - its always a pleasure doing a match with him. Suffice to say I think he has avenged our last PBEM quite well. I've taken the time to read through the AAR and everyone's responses:

19 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Ah.....The Orange Exclamation Mark Of Doom!

Once that starts in conscript units it spreads like wildfire.....Very realistic IMHO.

I agree - you fight with what you're given, and in this instance it wasn't much. Nothing to be done about that but try one's best. Command and Control was fairly decent when the platoon leader was alive and I was able to run him about. Once he panicked however (two turns before the final attack), it was all over but for the crying. As for round two...watch this space. It's my turn for a picture + post AAR shortly.

I noticed there's a lot of people in the thread pointing out potential overmatch or difficulty for one side or the other - well, we like tactical problems, not ladder-style tournaments. A lot of people in our little group of PBEMers have no problem playing unbalanced matches. Our reasoning is straight forward (1) some tactical problems don't have breezy solutions in reality, (2) humans are always better opponents than an inflexible AI plan and (3) we're fine with winning or losing well, rather than the bottom line. I wouldn't take away from Surplice's victory.

I'm really impressed with his performance over all. He's relatively new to the series but he's already grasped how to develop a plan of action with consideration for terrain and how to keep courses of action open - in other words, he had if not articulated a decision matrix. My only criticism is that he didn't roam far enough with his rotary-wing support. In the end it didnt matter, as my BMPs were neutralized through other means, but the fact that I was able to dash two BMPs under his very nose to potentially a dangerous position should have caused a redirection of assets. 

As to my dispositions: The hill was tempting but I realized my forces weren't worth a whit and holding it would have been suicidal. Given that the handful of units I placed there had to displace and were on the verge of panic after some desultory fire, I stand by that decision. The berm was the single most useful piece of terrain and I regret not arraying all my ATGMs there as a battery (something I normally do with Eastern ATGMs). As it was, the usual tactic of potshotting with ATGMs in obscure positions only exacerbated their inexperienced crews and allowed for overmatch of return fire with the Scimitars. 

 

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38 minutes ago, Rinaldi said:

I regret not arraying all my ATGMs there as a battery (something I normally do with Eastern ATGMs). As it was, the usual tactic of potshotting with ATGMs in obscure positions only exacerbated their inexperienced crews and allowed for overmatch of return fire with the Scimitars. 

Interesting stuff.  Looking forward to your AAR. 

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Posted (edited)

Very nice AAR @BrotherSurplice and well fought little action.  You are right to be proud of your performance.

@Rinaldi, I agree that it is often quite interesting to play a scenario that is a hard ask.. however in this one I saw the mismatch from the beginning and these types of actions are interesting, but really not much fun for the guy on the losing end.  I am not going to get into what you could have done differently, because the Apache strike was so devastating that it really took away all of your options and left you toothless and without any tactical options... I'm sure you would have given him a tough fight if not for that AH.  

This has been a very interesting and well written AAR and was a pleasure to read.  

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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