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Bil Hardenberger

CMSF 2 – US-SYRIA COMBINED OPS TACTICAL REPORT™ (BETA AAR)

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11 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Let this be a warning to you.., if you are playing a modern game and keep your armored assets in the same position for more than a turn or two this is what will happen.  Death can come from anywhere... it was only a matter of time before I got those two tanks.  They hadn’t moved really since they came in as reinforcements, eight turns ago for the Challenger and 13! Turns for the Leopard.  Even in WW2 if you position your vehicles in non-hulldown positions and leave them there, you will have to pay the price eventually.

While I understand your point, and agree with it, my struggle has been to find where to move to. Just shifting about carries its own risks, so I’m wondering what your thought process is on managing that. Sometimes, where on is is where one wanted to be for tactical reasons, and displacing may not offer as good a position, or in fact, the other reachable locations are worse. 

How do you deal with that? 

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3 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

An Important Matter:

I really don't know where this battle goes from here.  I have not heard from Baneman since July 1st when we exchanged emails.  I have not received a turn in two weeks and the turn I just posted (turn 18) is the last turn I received from him, so I am caught up.

I suspect he has had real-life interfere in a major way.. I haven't seen him post online in a few weeks now, but I may have missed something.  I'll let you know if the turns start flowing again... in the meantime if anybody is in direct contact with Baneman please get in touch with him and make sure he's okay.  It isn't like him to not respond to emails and PMs.

Bil

He was on as of a few hours ago. I lean more toward Ken’s view that in his rage he has embedded some keys in his hands and is unable to type for the moment.

Baneman “Alexa call Bil. . . . . A whole lot of nasty names. “

Alexa “I have an assortment of names you have previously called Bil.......”

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TBH Baneman's losses are pretty disastrous, relative to your own.

He has barely scratched you and you've given him a flurry of heavy blows to the jaw and gut. You have a massive, untouched reserve, equivalent to what he has already lost, so unless he has 50% more units than you....

Even with javelins, he doesn't really have a chance. He could pick off a vehicle or too but then you'd just pull back and plaster the javelin site with fire and arty. Rinse and repeat as each team reveals itself or is discovered by forward infantry. Combine infantry/IFV pinning assaults with armor OW and, well, stick a fork in and turn him over - he's done.

I could be wrong, but If I was him....helllllooo start lines.

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Bud Backer said:

While I understand your point, and agree with it, my struggle has been to find where to move to. Just shifting about carries its own risks, so I’m wondering what your thought process is on managing that. Sometimes, where on is is where one wanted to be for tactical reasons, and displacing may not offer as good a position, or in fact, the other reachable locations are worse. 

How do you deal with that? 

Bud, you have to identify alternate positions that will give you similar coverage.  For my BP1 position, I have three or four positions around and on that hillock that provide good hull-down positions that I alternate my vehicles through.  Now that the Javelin Team is on the hill, my vehicles are kept in keyholed hulldown positions behind the crest.  Each position provides coverage over a  different area.. and for me that's okay.   

Finding and using alternate firing positions should be SOP for any armored force.  They will not all provide equal coverage... but just pulling your vehicle out of the line for a bit will be superior to letting it sit in the same position for a long time.

Bil

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58 minutes ago, Bud Backer said:

While I understand your point, and agree with it, my struggle has been to find where to move to. Just shifting about carries its own risks, so I’m wondering what your thought process is on managing that. Sometimes, where on is is where one wanted to be for tactical reasons, and displacing may not offer as good a position, or in fact, the other reachable locations are worse. 

How do you deal with that? 

Edit: Ninja'd. Better you hear it from the horses' mouth.

Not Bil but - you don't necessarily have to move to an entirely new position to avoid this. Baneman's armor presumably had at least tentative contacts in the area; and he had at least one of them positioned on pieces of high ground that would have allowed him to simply roll back a few meters to break line of sight. A combination of rolling forward with target arcs and a pause command, rolling backwards, rinse and repeat may have been enough in this case to keep the majority of threats frustrated. In the modern titles too when info is disseminated so much faster horizontally and vertically, "?" markers from OPs and other units would come pouring in to the tanks relatively quickly, often a matter of seconds, not minutes, making this much more viable. A MBT doesn't need to stare at a piece of terrain for minutes on end to spot targets.

If contact isn't imminent even moving a few meters left or right of the position you've currently taken every few turns could help, sometimes even within the same battle position. Again: Baneman had a few armored vehicles positioned on terrain that could have easily masked his shift. Namely reverse slopes, as shown or in foilage which is better than nothing. Finally, try to remember you have instant blooming IR-blocking smoke on most APCs and IFVs in game - when in doubt, have the TC pop some and displace. 

Edited by Rinaldi

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51 minutes ago, sburke said:

It takes about 15 seconds to target and launch a Javelin. If you keep popping up in the same spot. ......

Yes, this is the part that I worry about too - one can’t recycle positions endlessly, it becomes almost as bad as just sitting there. 

I have to process what Bil and Rinaldi said. I have no doubts as to them being correct. It’s more that I need to see how to do what they say must be done. 

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2 hours ago, Bud Backer said:

Yes, this is the part that I worry about too - one can’t recycle positions endlessly, it becomes almost as bad as just sitting there.  

I would differ slightly from what has been said in that I don't think it's changing positions per se, but rather limiting unbroken exposure time. As @sburke mentioned, launch time for a Javelin is 15-20 seconds from spot time (varies by unit experience rating). Assuming the Javelin team will probably not spot your unit instantly upon reveal at typical modern combat ranges this give you about 20 seconds of safe continuous exposure time. This is just enough time for a tank or APC to pop out of cover, stop and fire one round or burst at an area target then move back into cover (10 second Pause command at waypoint). The turret must be pre-rotated towards target prior to movement. Rinse, repeat. It does not matter if the enemy knows where your vehicle is if it's never exposed long enough for a target lock. Longer exposures to engage enemy vehicles with direct fire are permissible, but only from keyholed positions.

Modern warfare against Javelin-equipped forces requires a level of micromanagement and exhaustive LOS checking someone coming from the WW2 games is unlikely to expect.

 

Edited by Vanir Ausf B

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3 minutes ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

I would differ slightly from what has been said in that I don't think changing positions matters so much as limiting unbroken exposure time.

Yes, this is a much better way to put it.

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All good sound advice in limiting exposure in the modern combat environment. The mind set needs to be more Mohammad Ali style stick and move, rather than Mike Tyson ground and pound especially when Javelins are on the field. I find though, that if I havn't played modern warfare in awhile I really do need time to re-acclimate to get back into the groove of how things are in regard to ranges and how deadly it is. Those Javelins are tough to tango with no matter who is yielding them. WW2 is so much more forgiving.

Bil, when not testing a WW2 game would you say you play more modern combat as your preference?

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13 minutes ago, Vinnart said:

Bil, when not testing a WW2 game would you say you play more modern combat as your preference?

Vin, no I mainly play WW2.   I never enjoyed CMBS, but CMSF2 is right up my alley.  i Suspect I’ll probably play CMSF2 and WW2 about 50-50 now that we are getting an updated CMSF. 

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51 minutes ago, kinophile said:

Im curious, why SF over BS? Identical engines, modern ToE.. Javelins in both :)

A lot of newer tech is missing from CMSF so you don't have instant reacting tanks to being lased popping smoke and backing up all the time among other things.  I am in the same camp of preferring CMSF over CMBS, but I do still enjoy other aspects of CMBS.  CMSF can be a somewhat more level playing field, enemy ATGMs for example are harder to spot. I've seen a Syrian ATGM fire off 3 rounds at a Challenger 2 and never be spotted. 

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6 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I feel the same way about CM:SF vs CM:BS.....The latter just doesn't light my candle in the same way CM:SF does.  I suspect I'll like it more after it's had three expansions too, even more so if it ever gets Uncons.  ;)

I always thought the dynamic of uncons vs regular forces was very fun. It sucks that CMSF is the only CM that acts as a proper COIN simulator.

I personally would love to see uncons in some of the WWII titles (maybe they could work in Final Blitzkrieg). Hybrid warfare in WWII would be fun!

Edited by sid_burn

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12 hours ago, kinophile said:

Im curious, why SF over BS? Identical engines, modern ToE.. Javelins in both :)

@sburke laid it out pretty well... CMBS has a much different feel than CMSF2, its more SCI-FI... and the opposing forces are no longer "near peer" in my opinion, as they are in CMSF2.

The USMC and NATO equipment in CMSF2 makes it so rich in content... and the period aligns with what we had when I served so I am more comfortable with it.  I just wish we had Russians in CMSF2  ;)  Maybe someday.   

By the way, I am rather "meh" on the COIN aspect.  I am glad it is represented, as it does add a unique aspect and provides situations that no other game I'm aware of does, I'm also not a huge fan of MOUT combat, so my disinterest in COIN stems from that I think.

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46 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

@sburke laid it out pretty well... CMBS has a much different feel than CMSF2, its more SCI-FI... and the opposing forces are no longer "near peer" in my opinion, as they are in CMSF2.

?? Can you clarify your thoughts on the above. As much as I am enjoying playing CMSF I grow tired of the total imbalance in force capabilities. Red, just cannot stand toe to toe with blue in an armoured battle. So, my confusion over the above is that red is not really near peer but decidedly sub par. Blue on Blue feels just weird so I don't want to do that a lot. CMBS offers a solid opposition for blue and a good fair fight.

46 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

The USMC and NATO equipment in CMSF2 makes it so rich in content.

Very true.

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8 minutes ago, IanL said:

?? Can you clarify your thoughts on the above. As much as I am enjoying playing CMSF I grow tired of the total imbalance in force capabilities. Red, just cannot stand toe to toe with blue in an armoured battle. So, my confusion over the above is that red is not really near peer but decidedly sub par. Blue on Blue feels just weird so I don't want to do that a lot. CMBS offers a solid opposition for blue and a good fair fight.

Red is not "peer" for sure in CMSF, however they do have the tools available to give the US a close fight.  Of course it would need to be balanced.. they should have a numerical advantage over any Western force, which is why at the NTC there are often OPFOR Regiment fights versus US Battalions (though that sort of disparity in forces isn't required in CMSF 2 to make the point). 

In the right hands Redfor can be effective.  I do think that in neither game can redfor stand toe to toe with US forces.  That is why they are "near peer"... Brits and Germans would be "peer".. unlike you I have no problems with blue on blue.  In CMSF and CMBS though, red on red always gives satisfaction.

If the current AAR dies Ian (which sadly, is very possible) perhaps you and I need to showcase a little Red v US action in the current BETA.

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3 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Red is not "peer" for sure in CMSF, however they do have the tools available to give the US a close fight.  Of course it would need to be balanced.. they should have a numerical advantage over any Western force, which is why at the NTC there are often OPFOR Regiment fights versus US Battalions (though that sort of disparity in forces isn't required in CMSF 2 to make the point). 

In the right hands Redfor can be effective.  I do think that in neither game can redfor stand toe to toe with US forces.  That is why they are "near peer"... Brits and Germans would be "peer".. unlike you I have no problems with blue on blue.  In CMSF and CMBS though, red on red always gives satisfaction.

Ah thanks - I get what you mean. For sure ATGMs are more effective vs 2008 amour so is see what you mean.

3 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

If the current AAR dies Ian (which sadly, is very possible) perhaps you and I need to showcase a little Red v US action in the current BETA.

I hope your AAR doesn't get stalled out but if necessary I'm up for taking a beating 🙂

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1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Who is who in your eyes I wonder?  ;) 

Based on reading both AAR's in CMFB, and this AAR, I would attribute your more measured and calculated approach more to Rommel. I see more of Patton's "Hell for Leather" aggressive approach in Banenan's style.

I also prefer CMSF to CMBS because of the technological differences between the two time periods. My own service time in the U.S.M.C. Was 1969 to 1980 when we were just changing our air/ground support tactics from WWII tactics because of the development of Manpads. Most importantly, CMSF is still the only CM family with a Marine module😄

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28 minutes ago, Vet 0369 said:

Based on reading both AAR's in CMFB, and this AAR, I would attribute your more measured and calculated approach more to Rommel. I see more of Patton's "Hell for Leather" aggressive approach in Banenan's style.

Interesting... neither would have been an insult.  ;)  I do have a closer affinity to Rommel (the Rommel papers and Infantry Attacks are still two of my favorite books), so it makes sense my style would be compared to his, though I hope I have a touch of Patton's recklessness too.  Both are commanders I admire.

Quote

I also prefer CMSF to CMBS because of the technological differences between the two time periods. My own service time in the U.S.M.C. Was 1969 to 1980 when we were just changing our air/ground support tactics from WWII tactics because of the development of Manpads. Most importantly, CMSF is still the only CM family with a Marine module😄

Playing the Marines is definitely an interesting variation... the lack of Javelins and Bradleys also makes them closer in capability to redfor, so that's a bonus as far as I'm concerned.  I am very happy old vets like you are hanging around in these forums, you are going to love CMSF 2.

Bil

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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42 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Interesting... neither would have been an insult.  ;)  I do have a closer affinity to Rommel (the Rommel papers and Infantry Attacks are still two of my favorite books), so it makes sense my style would be compared to his, though I hope I have a touch of Patton's recklessness too.  Both are commanders I admire.

Playing the Marines is definitely an interesting variation... the lack of Javelins and Bradleys also makes them closer in capability to refor, so that's a bonus as far as I'm concerned.  I am very happy old vets like you are hanging around in these forums, you are going to love CMSF 2.

Bil

Yes, I agree with you. A good commander needs a balance of the two attributes. Both Patton and Chesty Puller were hard charging, aggressive commanders who got the job done no matter the cost. Fortunately, they were balanced by their own superiors who were more measured.

I love CMSF now. Unfortunately, a MacOS update a year ago broke my ability to play my Mac CMSF with all the modules. Even Steve couldn't fix it. Fortunately, I still had my original install disks for the PC version of CMSF and Marines that I installed in Boot Camp. I'm super excited to be able to play on the Mac side again. I would caution new players of the Marines that they should not (must not) play them as they would play the U.S. Army. You should consider Marines as heavy infantry shock troops. Each Marine platoon has the equivalent of an additional Army squad. That means that a Marine company has the equivalent of an additional Army platoon! Also, while the AAV is lightly armored, don't try to use it as an AFV. Your Marines will die. We didn't have the LAV when I was in, so I know nothing about it.

I'd love to see a combined campaign in which we use Marine Amphibious Assault to take a beach or port, followed by turning it over to the Army, which then continues the assault until the campaign needs another amphibious assault. In other words, using Marines and Army in the manner they were meant to be used. Something like the battle for Guadalcanal.

Edited by Vet 0369

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8 minutes ago, Vet 0369 said:

I'd love to see a combined campaign in which we use Marine Amphibious Assault to take a beach or port, followed by turning it over to the Army, which then continues the assault until the campaign needs another amphibious assault. In other words, using Marines and Army in the manner they were meant to be used. Something like the battle for Guadalcanal.

Now that amphibious vehicles can swim in game, this is definitely doable in CMSF 2.  We need LCUs and/or LCACs to deliver tanks and support units to the beach though, eh?  ;) 

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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