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Bil Hardenberger

CMSF 2 BETA AAR #2 – Syrian Probe (Quick Battle)

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I think calling a cease-fire and withdrawing is exactly the right move here. Enemy positions and strength were established enough to inform a larger, better equipped force to come in and conduct a proper attack. The losses suffered were unfortunate, but pretty unavoidable. On the whole it appears you were able to keep the majority of your force alive.

Speaking of a better equipped force conducting an attack, is there any interest for a follow-up AAR? Could be interesting to see a properly equipped OpFor attack. Maybe even juice the OpFor a bit by giving them good training and morale in the editor to make things more interesting. At the very least it would let all of us see more toys in SF2, and it would likely be very explosive!

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15 hours ago, Erwin said:

Frustration is understandable and we've all been there.  But, when one is up against the superior player, or the odds, it's better to continue.  Not nice to bail just cos one thinks one is losing.  Very often by fighting on one can pull the chestnuts out of the fire and get a win - esp if your oppo has a dose of hubris and gets overconfident.  Also, you may underestimate your opp's pain.  Have personally experienced those sorts of reversals and now have the philosophy in games as in life that one "never, ever gives up".

You only fail if you give up. 

Still, Bils odds were very long, playing as Syrians.... 

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2 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

I think calling a cease-fire and withdrawing is exactly the right move here. Enemy positions and strength were established enough to inform a larger, better equipped force to come in and conduct a proper attack. The losses suffered were unfortunate, but pretty unavoidable. On the whole it appears you were able to keep the majority of your force alive.

Speaking of a better equipped force conducting an attack, is there any interest for a follow-up AAR? Could be interesting to see a properly equipped OpFor attack. Maybe even juice the OpFor a bit by giving them good training and morale in the editor to make things more interesting. At the very least it would let all of us see more toys in SF2, and it would likely be very explosive!

A follow-on would be fascinating - similar map,, stronger forces and Bil would have the natural foreknowledge of recon. Keep IanL's forces, as they are now and augment with reinforcing units steadily fed in, with increasing FS support on both sides. 

Pass the popcorn pls... 

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6 minutes ago, kinophile said:

A follow-on would be fascinating - similar map,, stronger forces and Bil would have the natural foreknowledge of recon. Keep IanL's forces, as they are now and augment with reinforcing units steadily fed in, with increasing FS support on both sides. 

Pass the popcorn pls... 

Oh hell yes! 

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22 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Based on this AAR I'm now kind of concerned that the Blue/Red 'spotting gap' is getting wider.  :unsure:

Well, the spotting ability of AFVs in general in the game has always been uncanny, that's been the subject of long debate, WWII to modern.

But in terms of relative capability, consider this recent post over on CMBS "Russians Underpowered" thread.

On 8/8/2018 at 5:33 AM, HUSKER2142 said:

@AtheistDane

I myself spent a great time on BMP-2 as a gunner, and then platoon and company commander. The combat vehicle needs to replace ammunition and sights that meet modern requirements and it will get a second wind. Battle module "Berezhok" as an example of possible modernization.

Voice of experience here. And that's just obsolescence issues.

Now imagine a set of those sights that's never had a proper teardown and rebuild (stores were sold off for cash by the spivs in Division supply), in the custody of an underfed 20 year old Sunni conscript with an 8th grade education (whose pay is also getting skimmed by the Battalion CO).

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On 7/19/2018 at 9:53 AM, Bil Hardenberger said:

Even though the other BETA AAR is still going on, I expect it will end very soon.  I had already promised to take IanL on in a second game to fill the time, so here 'tis.  I hope it fills the time left until release.

BACKGROUND

A NATO attack is in progress and they are making massive gains.  In an attempt to slow them down high command has decided that a spoiling attack is required.  We are the tip of that spear.  Our task is to Probe into the assigned sector on the flank of the NATO attack and determine the strength of the Canadian flank security force in front of us and if possible, destroy it or force it to withdraw.  Our force will not be reinforced unless successful, so if we fail, another unit will become the spearhead for the main attack.

Hopefully that will suffice to set the stage for what we are doing in this action.  Ian and I are playing a Quick Battle (QB) Medium Probe, with me as the Syrians on the attack, force selection for both sides was Mixed (Infantry, Mech Infantry, and Armor are all okay to purchase) with no restrictions set for either side. 

Now that I have wrapped up my thread - I'm just starting to read this. Cool

On 7/19/2018 at 9:53 AM, Bil Hardenberger said:

I do not expect an easy time of it, as the Canadians are tough and Ian is no slouch tactically.  He even uses some of the same movement techniques I use so I expect this to be a hard struggle

Kind words in deed - Guess where I learned a lot of my techniques? That's right from @Bil Hardenberger . Bil has been raising the bar on tactics since the beginning. I read his posts carefully and his blog too. Thanks Bil :)

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On 7/20/2018 at 7:11 AM, Bil Hardenberger said:

I do not think Canadians have Javelins.. but I am not sure. 

I don't think so. I am not away or CF purchasing any in RL but what do I know. In the normal order of battle the AT role is filled by TWOs, Carl G's and LAWs

 

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On 7/21/2018 at 12:08 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

A nightmare scenario for me would be if he bought a Company of Leopards and rushed my troops before they could jump off and while loaded.  he could feasibly end this game in the first couple of turns.  Wouldn't be sporting, but hey.. things happen.

I considered that but apart from being unsporting I have had many bad experiences with C2s facing T72s so I didn't think it would necessarily end in my favour.

 

On 7/21/2018 at 12:08 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

  If he seizes the right end of Snake Ridge in the early turns, again this could be a very short game.

And that's one important aspect of what happened.

 

On 7/21/2018 at 12:08 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

The terrain from Snake Ridge all the way through the rest of Ian's AO is pretty flat.  So a close defense would make sense.  

Close meaning close to you? My thoughts on that were that the open area would make it hard for me to withdraw over after you took Star Hill. I figured I had a chance to get back from Snake Ridge but no way anyone was going to get back from Start Hill. So instead I decided to dominate that ground from key hole positions in the village.

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On 7/27/2018 at 5:30 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

The image below shows final positions... I believe (and I am not sure as I really dislike the standard icons, so difficult to tell unit/vehicle types apart) that this is a light armor vehicle. 

I guess that was a small surprise then.

On 7/27/2018 at 5:30 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

I assume (and I was taught to never assume) that Ian is reconnoitering this area in order to determine how I am deploying. 

If he doesn't have a dismounted team nearby, he might not know my BMPs are on the other side of the ridge.  That enemy vehicle was definitely moving, I do wonder if its alone.  Perhaps I can expect a scout team to poke its head over the ridge in front of my squad.

My dismounted teams on this ridge gave me a huge amount of information on what was going on. I am curious to see if they were spotted at all. They never took any fire so I figured they were not.

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On 7/30/2018 at 5:41 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

I actually expect Ian to send a dismounted team over the top.. to defend against this, the 1st Squad (Platoon Leader) will be moving to get eyes on the top of the ridge.  

05-003d.png

Interesting. Meanwhile I was expecting you to come over the top :) Also interesting that my tank was not positively ID'ed from its MG fire.

So cool reading your AAR...

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On 7/31/2018 at 7:08 AM, Bil Hardenberger said:

I had thought about that, but the fact it landed on turn 5, also the fact that it seemed centered, not on the AT-13 team, but on the top of the hill, or just slightly behind id it makes me think its likely pre-planned.  Still, I could be wrong, not that it really matters.. but if he has a TRP on that hill, then I am going to want to stay away.

Yep TRP. coming in at the 5min mark was just a coincidence. I was thrilled that a mortar call using a TRP comes in in under a minute. I am also happy to see that it had the desired effect.

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On 8/4/2018 at 4:53 PM, JohnO said:

Not trying to steal the thread, but Bil, how are you going to make FOW icons? Looking at the MIL-STD-2525B, I don't see what can be used for FOW unless you use the UNKNOWN Symbol.

That's actually a good question because my FOW icons are not normally tactical but are the in game ones restyled to match the look of the other ones. @Bil Hardenberger has a good point though unless the light and heavy armour icons are on screen at the same time it is nearly impossible to tell what you are looking at. I'm going to have to test that.

 

On 8/4/2018 at 5:51 PM, IICptMillerII said:

I can't tag IanL in this thread because he is the opponent (OPSEC strikes again) but he has a great NATO floating icon set for CMSF1 and CMBS. Because the icon graphics and file structure in CMSF2 should be similar to CMBS, it should be very easy to port the icons into CMSF2 when it releases. 

That said, I recall Bil having his own icon set for CMSF1, and for the same reasons I think they should be easy to import into CMSF2.

Thanks @IICptMillerII I believe you helped me test those. They were based on my CMBS icons I forget how much tweaking was needed - or not.

 

On 8/4/2018 at 6:32 PM, Mord said:

I believe he'd have to update them. They've added quite a few to the mix since SF was released.

I have not even tested them out yet. It's on the list....

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On 8/9/2018 at 4:28 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

..what took him out?  An ATGM from, I think the buildings in the second objective. 

Interesting note on this one. It was an AT LAV (TOW) that did this. Over at the village objective I had two Leos and two AT LAVs. The Leos were in key hole positions but had lots of additional choice locations but the LAVs were supposed to be just hiding. Exposing light armoured vehicles when you don't know what is coming and from where is a bad idea. But it turns out those little one story buildings are *not* actually enough to hide behind. So when the missile flew I was just as surprised as you were.

After that I tweaked the position of the other LAV (it was behind a two story building) so it could peak around the corner and get eyes on the area to your right of the farm. He actually got the second TOW kill.

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On 8/9/2018 at 4:28 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

In the next turn, the Leo pulled off its forward position and back towards its brother.  This image shows start position, the movement path and the position it ended up on.

10-001.png

Straight out of @Bil Hardenberger's lessons from the previous AAR. I have been doing a pretty good job at positioning armour for a while now but I spent too much time just parked in the same good place. Not this time. After seeing Bil so expertly handle his armour in the previous AAR I resolved to make a better effort.

 

On 8/11/2018 at 12:57 PM, Vinnart said:

You're right in that you both have similar play styles. Even your presentation style is similar.

Yeah, I copied the master. Imitation is the sincerest form or flattery.

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On 8/11/2018 at 11:13 AM, Bil Hardenberger said:

So congrats to Ian, he played an outstanding and perfect game... I never was able to take advantage of any weakness, but I didn't see any.

Thank you @Bil Hardenberger I am game any time for an official public rematch when the Beta for space lobsters (or whatever is next) comes along. Heck if you are ever in need of an opponent for any game drop me a line - I'll probably be doing the same.

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2 hours ago, Hister said:

Congratulations to both and especially to IanL, a new rising star in the Combat Mission Hall of Fame! :D;) 

Yep great step up.  Why I remember when he was just handing out towels in the beta tester club washroom.  He later graduated to coach check and then there was that fateful day when c3k showed up and Ian was waiting with a whiskey and properly clipped cigar.  New vistas opened up...

Someday maybe I'll be able to make that same leap.  Oh sorry mister Hardenberger, here is your towel.  Yes I am sorry I apologize for allowing it to get cold, let me grab you another.  sigh

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16 hours ago, IanL said:

Thank you @Bil Hardenberger I am game any time for an official public rematch when the Beta for space lobsters (or whatever is next) comes along. Heck if you are ever in need of an opponent for any game drop me a line - I'll probably be doing the same.

Give me a year or so to recover from this one Ian and then we will cross swords again.  ;) 

A word on this battle... I never felt comfortable, and I think I realized quite quickly that I brought the wrong force to this fight... I have already said but I should have been armor heavy, I mean all armor with maybe a platoon of infantry as scouts.  This map is so open and the enemy start up zone was so close to my end of the map (something that I failed to notice when we were trying to decide on which map to play on) that I never really had a chance... and no, I never spotted your infantry that had a clear view on my assembly area... I never even considered clearing the ridge, I didn't have enough combat power to devote to that anyway and it was a substantial amount of ground as well.

When fighting a superior force (superior in this case means my units were outclassed in quality and we were about equal in force size, bad combination), led by a talented commander, in terrain that suits them, there is no shame in admitting that there would be nothing to gain by continuing to push... so cut and run, then come back perhaps a little wiser for the next one.

Great job Ian, there were no flaws in your planning or in your game-play.  Next time, when that time comes, perhaps we will do a Blue v Blue or Red v Red scenario.  Those are always interesting.

Bil

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1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Give me a year or so to recover from this one Ian and then we will cross swords again.  ;) 

LOL OK.

 

1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

When fighting a superior force (superior in this case means my units were outclassed in quality and we were about equal in force size, bad combination), led by a talented commander, in terrain that suits them, there is no shame in admitting that there would be nothing to gain by continuing to push... so cut and run, then come back perhaps a little wiser for the next one.

Which fit into the scenario we created perfectly. If the Syrians were looking for a place to attack the flank they would have pull back and picked another place.

 

1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Next time, when that time comes, perhaps we will do a Blue v Blue or Red v Red scenario.  Those are always interesting.

For sure - anything you like.

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