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Bil Hardenberger

CMSF 2 – US-SYRIA BETA AAR

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, sburke said:

Or pick another side that also has them say... oh... maybe the Brits?  :D 

 I was wondering about that! 

I now understand even better why Bil seems to be staying in cover and only advancing briefly to take a shot - a great tactic to defeat Javelin I guess (in addition to being effective in any case).

 

 

Edited by AlexUK
Can’t spell!

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Bil, excellent AAR as always

You are the best source that BF has as to how to promote and showcase these games.

I always enjoy that fact that you put out there a clear description as to what you are tactically thinking and trying to accomplish.

And your tactical skills seem to reward you better in the modern battlefield over the WWII one.  

You generally get no second chances or much luck on the modern battlefield. Death is easy and quick and each decision is rewarded with that or success in a very few moments.

thanks for your efforts as always

I will go back to the shadows now

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, sburke said:

Or pick another side that also has them say... oh... maybe the Brits?  :D 

I was wondering when someone would pick up on that.  Baneman should also have Javelins according to the Order of Battle template. 

I am trying to limit my vehicle exposure not only because of the Jav threat but because in this environment a missile or an APFSDS round can come from anywhere.  So I’m trying to peek and shoot, then withdraw and come out somewhere different  

Bil

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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30 minutes ago, slysniper said:

Bil, excellent AAR as always

You are the best source that BF has as to how to promote and showcase these games.

I always enjoy that fact that you put out there a clear description as to what you are tactically thinking and trying to accomplish.

And your tactical skills seem to reward you better in the modern battlefield over the WWII one.  

You generally get no second chances or much luck on the modern battlefield. Death is easy and quick and each decision is rewarded with that or success in a very few moments.

thanks for your efforts as always

I will go back to the shadows now

Thanks Sly.  Always appreciate when you drop by. 

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On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 6:26 AM, Bil Hardenberger said:

MINUTE 8

A relatively quiet turn… I think Baneman has hunkered down, at least temporarily.  Next turn it should liven up again as my T-90s, all three of them will move into hulldown positions, my LAV-ATs will be in their hulldown positions and a couple of the LAVs will also move into hulldown positions.

MINUTE 9

In trying to get the LAV-AT #6 into a good firing position where it could see into the enemy rear area I pushed it too far... it ended up not being hulldown when it was spotted by the Leopard 2 and was hit, at first losing its weapons, then suffering a wheel hit  becoming immobilized.

T-90 #2 moved into its hulldown position, spotted the Scimitar it was sent to kill... however, though it fired twice, one was a miss and the second round hit the corner of a building… damn.

As I suspected, the use of the 'Seek Hull Down' command has changed the entire feel of Shock Force.

 

On ‎6‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 7:53 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

More in that post to discuss than an errant LAV..   ;)  

For example:  

- any insights from the Enemy Order of Battle?

- where do you think the Warrior platoon spotted this turn is heading?

- how ugly are the British vehicles with the antitank grenade cages?

- The enemy is weak, pathetic, and doesn't have nearly as much 'Murica as required to achieve victory.
- Headed directly into an incoming warhead, most likely.
- They are truly disgusting by comparison to the sleek, elegant, streamlined American warfighting equipment, you must destroy them all to save our precious ocular organs from such damage. One vehicle even had a BENT cage section! Where is the Sergeant-Major to correct that gross incompetence!?

 

On ‎7‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 5:40 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

I got that range from Wikipedia but I'm sure that isn't right.. the PF3 Team is about 400 meters from BP1... I'll find out soon I think how effective they are.

In my experience, the Panzerfaust teams will quite happily open fire at around 4-500 meters range, but the threat envelope is more like 350 meters or less.
It's a huge warhead though, be careful.

 

14 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

MINUTE 15

Okay this was a VERY busy turn… and sorry once again for the amount of media.  I hope it isn’t too hard on your internet connection.

I ordered my Abrams to immediately start to reverse while it was reloading.  I did not want it to get into a gun duel if it wasn’t ready… when the gunner yelled “SABOT UP!” and while still moving in reverse the tank fired and killed the Leopard... killed him dead and was never spotted in return.  I had also ordered one of the LAVs nearby to pop smoke in front of the M1 to cover it… turns out that wasn’t needed.

001.gif

The days of dial-up internet are over Bil, bring on all the screenies and gifs you want. We can handle it.

You can never have too much smoke screens, this can be expressed mathematically: (Smoke) + (More) = (Better)

 

11 hours ago, Bud Backer said:

It must be me, but the sheer helplessness I feel for any opponent who has to deal with Javelins is a unpleasant sensation. A Challenger lost to a pair of guys with a tube.. ugh.

As with anything else Bud, a weapon is only as effective as it's employment.
I would keep track of the number of missiles fired, estimate the total number available to the other side, then once their allotment is likely expended, you can carry on normal operations.

For example: A Stryker Platoon can field 4 launchers, with three shots per launcher, for a grand total of 12 missiles.
Once you have counted 12 shots fired, you can ignore the threat. Alternatively, count the number of javelin-equipped troops you kill, and if you get all 4, you win! ;)

It's a macabre way of thinking, but it works.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, General Jack Ripper said:

As I suspected, the use of the 'Seek Hull Down' command has changed the entire feel of Shock Force.

Indeed.. but you know, I am old school and I have not used the "seek hulldown" command at all in this game, I am doing it manually.  Maybe I need to explore that order more eh? 

It is impossible to be hulldown to every threat or to every spot of enemy held terrain though... so care is required no matter how you get a vehicle hulldown.  Hulldown and keyholed is the ideal, like my M1 was in the Marder and Leo encounter over the past two turns.  My other M1 that was killed by the Challenger, was hull down to the threats it was engaging, but I think it was exposed to his SBF position.. I got lazy with that one and it cost me.

In contrast, most of Baneman's tanks and IFVs have not been hulldown to my shooters.

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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1 minute ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Indeed.. but you know, I am old school and I have not used the "seek hulldown" command at all in this game, I am doing it manually.  Maybe I need to explore that order more eh?

I would practice with it a bit before using it seriously here.

On the surface, it seems quite simple. The vehicle will travel forward until it is hull-down to the waypoint that was placed. If a 'Target' command is attached to the waypoint, the vehicle will fire upon the selected target after becoming hull-down.

The danger comes if sufficient terrain is not present to make the vehicle properly hull-down, in which case the vehicle will happily trundle along for the entire movement path, with predictably deadly results. I once lost a Sherman to a Panzershreck because it never found a hull-down spot and drive right up to the enemy position.

However, if everything is in order, 'Seek Hull Down' will completely eliminate the hassle of dragging waypoints around, or plotting extremely short movements. You just lay down the order properly, and it just plain works.

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22 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

I have not used the "seek hulldown" command at all in this game, I am doing it manually. 

Ditto.  It will be hard to get used to trusting the AI on this as there are other considerations as Bil noted.

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Posted (edited)

Excellent turn 15 for you there Bil. Poor Baneman though losing so many key units in a single turn. I could have sworn I heard him cursing all the way here in Florida. Perhaps he will stub his toe to forget about the pain of that one.

The Javelin is one of the best units to have by far. That unit alone with enough missiles could wipe out an entire tank force and can be tough to kill if kept moving around. They remind me of snipers only with missiles.

Is there any air power, and if not was it a conscious choice not to include in this AAR?

What is new in the game as far as air assets are concerned?

Edited by Vinnart

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42 minutes ago, Vinnart said:

Excellent turn 15 for you there Bil. Poor Baneman though losing so many key units in a single turn. I could have sworn I heard him cursing all the way here in Florida. Perhaps he will stub his toe to forget about the pain of that one.

The Javelin is one of the best units to have by far. That unit alone with enough missiles could wipe out an entire tank force and can be tough to kill if kept moving around. They remind me of snipers only with missiles.

Is there any air power, and if not was it a conscious choice not to include in this AAR?

What is new in the game as far as air assets are concerned?

Thanks Vin.  No air in this game, decided against it at the beginning to make it more about maneuver and tactical finesse.  Air has a way of skewing the results... much like Javs.  ;)  

A properly commanded platoon with Javelins could indeed stop an enemy formation in its tracks.  It is important to take away the most obvious firing positions with smoke, artillery fire, or better, by quickly closing and disgorging dismounted infantry to clear them (which is why I am so concerned with the missing Warrior platoon that was last seen quickly closing on my ridge). 

Also using some finesse with your armor to minimize their exposure and reduce any spotting chances a unit armed with a Javelin has is ideal.  The Challenger that was taken out this turn had not moved far from where my Abrams put a round into its turret.  And it definitely was not hulldown.  Can't put that loss for Baneman down solely to me using a "super weapon".

Also in this last turn six vehicles were destroyed, and only two of those lost were from Javs.  So they are hardly dominating the battlefield at this point..  of course I only have two teams in action at the moment... I have MANY more in reserve.  So they may dominate the battlefield eventually. 

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Posted (edited)

Now, now, Bil, we see through you. Your reliance on superweapons over thoughtful tactics is an open secret. 🤪

Edited by Bud Backer
Typo

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

A properly commanded platoon with Javelins could indeed stop an enemy formation in its tracks.  It is important to take away the most obvious firing positions with smoke, artillery fire, or better, by quickly closing and disgorging dismounted infantry to clear them (which is why I am so concerned with the missing Warrior platoon that was last seen quickly closing on my ridge).

Not applicable to Shock Force, but the combination of discretion before valour, drones and precision artillery strikes has worked for me quite well, as long as my opponent gets a bit lazy and doesn't have his Jav teams changing position frequently.

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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Posted (edited)

True that. In CMBS, as RUS v US I've found myself setting about 10-15% of points aside for Surveillance - Air, UAVs. I find mixed terrain (open + towns/villages) As the most dangerous, vis a vis javs. 

Which is exactly where Baneman finds himself. 

 

 

Edited by kinophile

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MINUTE 16

REINFORCEMENTS

The Rear Guard troops arrived in the AO after this turn, these are the final reinforcements.  Following is an overview of what just arrived:

  • Two platoons of BMP-3s.

002.png

I have found the missing Warrior platoon.  At least two of the IFVs are on my side of the river near Point 35.9… interesting.  They can cause some mischief from there.  I am moving a few assets that way and will wait to see what he plans to do with them.  I suspect he will dismount his infantry and attempt to infiltrate my position.

006.png

Here is an overview of movements this turn... I have pulled the four LAVs from BP1, I think the Jav team, the Abrams and the Bradley there can handle that position.

The LAV's are driving quickly to join the dismounted infantry platoons, the USMC recon and the dismounted BMP-3 platoon.. I underestimated the distances involved and I need to mount the Syrian infantry and move them to the center position with the marines and the T-90s.  The LAVs, Marine recon troops, and Syrian infantry will assemble and start to move toward FARM 11 and 12.

I sent one BMP-3 platoon deep and they will turn the corner and attempt to get eyes on OBJ DIAMOND, where I suspect I will eventually find a Fennek and a Warrior IFV.  I do think this is where the artillery hitting the rear slopes of HILL 42 is being called in from.  

004.png

Oh, and T-90s (and Russian tanks in general) appear to be the pretty good armor to use against infantry, as can be seen by this event (It does appear that Baneman has not read the Masked Movement post on my Blog):

001.gif

So at least the T-90 platoon is a capable Syrian formation...  that is good to see and makes me feel a little better. 

Thought you would appreciate what I have in reserve, these units are waiting for events to develop a bit further before I commit them.

005.png

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T90 as anti-infantry specialist? 😳 Who’d have thought ? I hope it proves a bit better against it’s designed enemies. But the Syrian training (or lack thereof) may be the weak link in the weapons system here.

That’s a potent reserve, especially if you have all their dismounts intact!

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I've found the T-90 to be devastatingly effective against dismounts...who don't have Javelins. ;) That 125mm HE packs a wallop.

It'll be interesting to see what comes of your infantry lift towards the objective. How much time is left?

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, c3k said:

I've found the T-90 to be devastatingly effective against dismounts...who don't have Javelins. ;) That 125mm HE packs a wallop.

It'll be interesting to see what comes of your infantry lift towards the objective. How much time is left?

We are 16 minutes into a two hour scenario... so.. quite a while.  It will never go that long though.

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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1 minute ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

We are 16 minutes in a two hour scenario... so.. quite a while.  It will never go that long though.

THAT is an understatement!!!   The Blood Board should have a time function. E.g., "Tanks lost per minute". :)

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9 hours ago, Bud Backer said:

That’s a potent reserve, especially if you have all their dismounts intact!

There are also two more Bradley platoons on the rear side of my ridgeline.  All dismounts, except those that have been split off for Javelin duty are in their tracks at this point in the battle.  

By the way, in this next turn one of my Bradleys will get involved in the action, I'll get that turn report up tonight, you will want to watch for it...

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On 7/4/2018 at 5:21 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

Thanks Vin.  No air in this game, decided against it at the beginning to make it more about maneuver and tactical finesse.  Air has a way of skewing the results... much like Javs.  ;)  

A properly commanded platoon with Javelins could indeed stop an enemy formation in its tracks.  It is important to take away the most obvious firing positions with smoke, artillery fire, or better, by quickly closing and disgorging dismounted infantry to clear them (which is why I am so concerned with the missing Warrior platoon that was last seen quickly closing on my ridge). 

Also using some finesse with your armor to minimize their exposure and reduce any spotting chances a unit armed with a Javelin has is ideal.  The Challenger that was taken out this turn had not moved far from where my Abrams put a round into its turret.  And it definitely was not hulldown.  Can't put that loss for Baneman down solely to me using a "super weapon".

Also in this last turn six vehicles were destroyed, and only two of those lost were from Javs.  So they are hardly dominating the battlefield at this point..  of course I only have two teams in action at the moment... I have MANY more in reserve.  So they may dominate the battlefield eventually. 

Hi Bil

I was wondering why you did not have more of your Javelin teams online? Are you concerned that an artillery strike may take them out, or are you not wanting to waste Javelins on low-priority targets? In general you seem to currently be using only a relatively small amount of your combat force.

Also, you gave some examples above about how you would deal with Javelins. At this stage, what is your preferred option? I guess even a couple of concealed Javelin positions could wreak havoc on a charge of IFVs.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

"Make contact with the smallest element possible"

FM 7-8

MAP-TOPO+-+KT.pngMAP-TOPO+-+OBJECTIVES.png

I think this is a good place to stop for a bit and discuss my tactics and approach to this fight.  From the beginning I had a two phase plan (not including recon), and it hinged on my Javelin teams.

  • The Reconnaissance Phase was just supposed to tie the enemy down, and entice him into moving as much combat power as possible into Engagement Area 1 (EA1). 
    • During this phase of the action I intended to gather as much information as possible and recover the enemy order of battle, identify his intent, etc.
    • I only really engaged the enemy with my two LAV-ATs (which I subsequently lost), the Syrian ATGM team (a failure so far), and a couple LAVs
    • I was hoping they would attrit the enemy recon elements but at this they failed, only being able to destroy one Fennek
    • The enemy did feel comfortable enough to move a lot of his combat power into EA1, and did not seem to hold back a reserve. 
  • PHASE I - the first phase of the actual battle proper started when I received my Main Body reinforcements.  The intent was to move two platoons of Bradleys into KT2, dismount Javelin teams and kill as many enemy vehicles as possible, mainly with dismounted Javelin teams.
    • Note, once inside EA1, it is going to be very tough for Baneman to extricate his armor and IFVs, especially as more and more Javelin teams come on line
    • I actually have four Javelin teams in overwatch positions at this stage in the battle with a few more still to deploy.
    • Baneman continues to move vehicles into EA1 and especially toward the Ruined Farm
    • Battle Position 1 (BP1)  has been an unexpected boon for me, and really is turning out to be the most important terrain in the AO so far.  A good majority of the enemy vehicles killed came from this position
    • The Bradleys that are on the reverse slope of KT2 (two platoons) are a local reserve, and will join in any attack I make with my main reserve, but on a different axis to spread the enemy and keep him from shifting elements
    • The intent is to engage the enemy with as few units as possible and still cause serious harm, most of my combat power will be husbanded for PHASE II.  I want him rocking back on his heels when I hit him with my main combat power.
  • PHASE II - this is the Main Attack phase of the action. 
    • I have identified a few key avenues of attack but have yet to decide how I am going to attack
    • The elements in EA1 are the main target
    • Isolating and eliminating the enemy units at OBJ DIAMOND, FARM 002, and the FARM 011-012 complex are lower priorities
    • All elements not in the KT2 and BP1 positions will join in this effort, including:
      • USMC Recon dismounts and LAVs
      • x2 BMP-3 Mech Infantry platoons
      • x1 Syrian dismounted infantry platoon 
      • x1 Bradley platoon and Bradley Company HQ element (five vehicles with dismounts, the BFIST will be kept in the rear area)
      • T-90 Platoon
    • Ultimate goal is to eliminate or mitigate the enemy armor threat to such an extent that I can start to clear DUMAYR and all of the red colored objectives (see image above) of all enemy irregular elements

I am currently still in PHASE I, but am starting to plan for PHASE II.  More to come as I complete my analysis and decide on a course of action.

 

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, AlexUK said:

Hi Bil

I was wondering why you did not have more of your Javelin teams online? Are you concerned that an artillery strike may take them out, or are you not wanting to waste Javelins on low-priority targets? In general you seem to currently be using only a relatively small amount of your combat force.

Also, you gave some examples above about how you would deal with Javelins. At this stage, what is your preferred option? I guess even a couple of concealed Javelin positions could wreak havoc on a charge of IFVs.

Hopefully my post above answered some of your questions.

As for combating Javelin teams.. not a lot you can do except deny the enemy the use of key terrain with smoke, artillery, direct fire, or better by capturing it and closing with them.  You have to get within about 150 meters of an enemy Javelin team before you are inside their minimum range... that can be a very hard thing to do.

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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Great, thanks Bil. In my experience use of small forces tend to result in them getting pinned and destroyed by weight of enemy fire - your approach has got me thinking about how I can do this better keyholing/using terrain to isolate units. I only play WW2 really, but I guess the same principles apply more or less.

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Wow. An IDF officer I got to know was very insistent on the principle: "Anti-infantry armour and anti-armour infantry." You have provided his school solution here, Bil!

Also, your riveting AAR has turned me into a refreshing monkey for a bit. 🙈🙉🙊

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