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Bil Hardenberger

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

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31 minutes ago, DougPhresh said:

Not trying to knock you, but I'm trying to puzzle my way through the situation as well. I'm obviously far more familiar with the Canadian side of this equation!

Without posting pages from the manual, since you are not conducting a battalion or regimental eschelon attack, would it make more sense to go "by the book" for carrying out the initial phase of a meeting engagement? Move to contact, and then "pile on" with the elements of your force, which is approximately a Forward Security Element and parts of an Advance Guard? 

If I'm reading the pam right, you would need about 3 vehicles to establish contact, and then can start an attack with 10 vehicles, 4 tanks, 6 mortars, 6 guns, all of which I think you have.

Well.. I am in the advance to contact stage right now.. however I prefer to make contact with infantry first, and make sure I don't lose any vehicles unnecessarily.  That is exactly what would happen if I moved three vehicles into hull down positions or along routes until they made contact... I would lose them, and might or might not even know where the fire came from. 

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For what it's worth I think the change of mindset between Syria and for example Canadian forces should be more on the unconventional strategy level. When fighting a competent BLUE enemy one RED player can't win from only employing proper tactics. The only exception are perhaps the Syrian SF and T-90's with BMP-3's.

Syrians don't outnumber Western forces 3 (let alone 9) to 1, and definitely not in CMSF scenario's. If compared to JasonC's interesting posts on Echelon attacks, the Syrians would probably need more than 3 to 1 odds per flank due to their meager equipment and training. 
On the other hand, guerrilla/kamikaze type tactics can provide interesting results. Sacrificing a platoon of regular infantry with some BMP-2s and T--62s in order to destroy an enemy tank platoon can be well worth the trade. So how to lure the enemy in a trap? The more BLUE manages to lose it's force multipliers, the more even the fight gets. A single T-62 coupled with some stragglers can be very deadly if BLUE has expended all of it's tanks and ATGMs.

Edited by Lethaface

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Thanks for the repost of JasonC's post.  Very useful reminder of Red tactics.

This "echelon" part I didn't understand.  What is the point of this echelon attack?  Would it not be more effective to (as he earlier stated) do a "multiple wave attack"  on exactly the same part of the enemy defenses so as to completely wipe out that force to the front.  While the first and 2nd waves then reorient to attack both enemy flanks and go on the defense, the third wave would pass thru unhindered.

"The second echelon does *not* hit the same frontage as the fixing attack, because the attacking formation  is not column, but echeloned right or left. The whole attacking formation remains in motion, and therefore some time after the fixing attack has begun, the second echelon reaches the active battle front, off on one flank of the existing battle. Perhaps overlaping(sic), perhaps not. It continues straight on, and therefore it either collides with some supporting defensive unit off on that flank, or if there isn't one, a portion or all of the second echelon will "hit air" to one side of the defenders or the other."

 

This was also interesting:

A typical tank or motorized rifle company attack frontage is from 500 to 800 meters. Platoons normally attack on a frontage of 100 to 200 meters, with 50 to 100 meters between vehicles. The frontage of a 4-tank platoon attached to a motorized rifle company could extend to 400 meters.

There would probably be little maneuver evident in platoon and company tactics. These subunits normally attack on line, in unison. However, maneuver probably will be evident in the way a battalion commander moves his companies.

An issue when playing CM2 is that am not convinced that the above works properly in the game.  My experience that it is much more effective to keep armor in at least two-vehicle teams within a dozen or so meters of each other so that if one tank sees a target or gets shot, the 2nd can join in rapidly.  When 100 meters apart, it's often that LOS being limited on CM2 maps, that the tanks often cannot effectively support each other. 

Also, how often do you get to deploy a company on an 800 meter frontage?  With that sort of separation one can get picked off one by one in the game without the survivors having LOS or being able to immediately destroy the shooter.  Not sure if it's a map issue or what...

 

Edited by Erwin

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1 hour ago, Lethaface said:

Syrians don't outnumber Western forces 3 (let alone 9) to 1, and definitely not in CMSF scenario's. If compared to JasonC's interesting posts on Echelon attacks, the Syrians would probably need more than 3 to 1 odds per flank due to their meager equipment and training.

Agreed. The terrain is too open for this with the forces available. 

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Well, Bil doesn't need to achieve the 9:1 or 3:1 everywhere and all the time across the map.

I think that Bil's recon in force - at the farm - is the right thing to do, as that is the most effective way to have Ian to react, and get an opening to change the situation so that the preconditions for decisive offensive action hold. They don't atm.

Where I think there may be an issue is in the lack of artillery support... Which would go a long way to interdict or blind Ian's forces and equalise things long enough for offensive action not being suicidal. 

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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Very interesting. 

Definitely, as RUS/UKR player I prioritize RUS/US MBTs, regardless of log local terrain/mission priorities. They are simply battle winning, and spending men/machines capturing a town is utterly pointless if there is superior quality hostile MBTs nearby. 

I'm. Better off to strike them from the get go, or suck them. In and ambush. 

Whatever the tactic, my priority is always:

Kill The Abrams/T90s.

All of them. 

Then achieve your objectives. 

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44 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Agreed.  But first you have to find them, eh?  ;) 

Sometimes that will be nearly impossible, let alone killing them (all). I know this is a (quick?) battle to show off CMSF2 and I'm happy with it! Not sure what the victory conditions are, but I think the best scenario's in CMSF adjust the victory conditions relative to RED / BLUE.

CMBS != CMSF.

As Syrians I would be more concerned not to allow enemy Abrams or the like to do what they do good. Which is dominating most terrain with their superior sensors, firepower and armor. Better duck down and cower! :)
I think the ATGMs are the most valuable asset against any vehicles with heavy weaponry. Lure the enemy into ATGM traps with a feigned armored trust with the T-72s! 🙂 Get into contact with enemy infantry using small elements of your own infantry, with a BMP-2 or 2 waiting to chime in on a timed move, area target and retreat order. Make every contact as expensive for him as possible. Bleed him to death slowly. 
Bletchey geek has a good point: Bil doesn't have to overwhelm BLUE everywhere, the attack on the farms seems to be going well until now. Interested to see this battle develop further.

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MINUTE 8

A Company

The following images highlight the actions and events at the farm Objective this turn...

... the forward BMP and the T-62M both fired at the large building, hopefully suppressing any enemy teams that might still be inside.  This firing was for 15 seconds only.

08-001.png

Then 3rd Squad rushed to the large building...

08-002.png

..1st Platoon HQ spotted this enemy HQ Team rushing over the edge of the ravine towards the river.  HQ for what I wonder?

08-003.png

Here is an overview of the situation on the right side of the map, definitely rosier than the left.  Note the AT-14 Team in the field... hopefully as they creep forward they will have pretty good observation of this side of the map.

08-004.png

 

2nd PLATOON

Alright, that does it, I cannot play with the standard floating icons as I can't tell what the hell I'm looking at.  I will do screenshots with them for this AAR, but I will be replacing them with my NATO icons ASAP when giving orders.  The two sound contacts I had on my left were not light armor at all.. they were freaking tanks... Leopard 1 C2s to be exact... 

2nd Platoon's forward 3rd squad spotted this beauty towards the end of the turn.  Even at 100m distance I doubt the RPG-7 is the correct weapon to engage this tank with.  

08-005.png

3rd PLATOON

The BMP-3 that was fired on last turn, sadly, was not able to escape.  Damn.. however its death will not be without value. I now know exactly where at least two of Ian's tanks are, and hopefully can pen them in.

It sucks being on the receiving end of these.. but I expected losses... this is the second sound contact morphing into another Leopard 1 C2.  I am just thankful that one of the AT14 teams was not on this BMP.

08-008.gif

I must say, I am also pretty happy that Ian has two tanks that far forward.. that was unexpected but I wouldn't have done that unless I had gone tank heavy with my force and even then its risky... does he also have infantry in this area?  I have yet to see any... what this means is there are two fewer tanks to oppose me on the right, and it also means he isn't husbanding them for a reserve like I am.  Now.. can I take advantage of that information?  We will see.

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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29 minutes ago, Artkin said:

I cant tell you these answers Bil. But boy was I dying to tell you those contacts were about thirty tonnes heavier than expected :)

What can I say?  I never play with these icons and I’ll never do it again. ;) 

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Great action shots, Bil, really showcasing the new game here.

10 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

 

08-001.png

Then 3rd Squad rushed to the large building...

08-002.png

 

I see at least one heavy HE impact on the upper storey, but no damage is evident up there in the second shot. So do we conclude that building damage decals didn't make it in? Damage is still all-or-nothing? 

Or is this another Titanium Tree(R)

Edited by LongLeftFlank

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4 hours ago, LongLeftFlank said:

Great action shots, Bil, really showcasing the new game here.

I see at least one heavy HE impact on the upper storey, but no damage is evident up there in the second shot. So do we conclude that building damage decals didn't make it in? Damage is still all-or-nothing? 

Or is this another Titanium Tree(R)

I don't think they are in yet, still in BETA after all.  I saw no damage from the BMP fire on the lower level until the side of the building gave way.

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18 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Alright, that does it, I cannot play with the standard floating icons as I can't tell what the hell I'm looking at.  I will do screenshots with them for this AAR, but I will be replacing them with my NATO icons ASAP when giving orders.  The two sound contacts I had on my left were not light armor at all.. they were freaking tanks... Leopard 1 C2s to be exact... 

 

 

That's is what I would have to do too as playing without my mods would throw me out of the "groove." big time. I can't play without my mods being set up first. The game just does not read visually organized without mods that improve this. Bit of a pain in the arse to have to keep switching your mods out every turn Bil , but I understand BF's perspective for these presentation AAR's in wanting the game shown as it comes out of the box as the customer will receive it.

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15 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

What can I say?  I never play with these icons and I’ll never do it again. ;) 

I'm with ya, Bil.  Whenever I watch a youtube video where the stock icons are used, I have little idea what units I'm seeing.  I use a combination of yours and ones I've done myself.

I just found this aar... Thanks for doing this and all you do for the hobby.  I didn't play CMSF1 much.  At the time, I didn't care much for modern equipment (I really didn't know much about it to tell the truth); it was WW II all the time.  I only bought the base game, and that only much later on after most of the bugs had been worked out.  I bought Black Sea on a whim and since then have played mostly cold war and later in all the games I play

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Aren't these custom icons some kind of cheating as they give you an unfair advantage by giving you more information than the game is supposed to give you (e.g. specifying if a sound contact is a tank or light armor)?

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6 minutes ago, QuiGon said:

Aren't these custom icons some kind of cheating as they give you an unfair advantage by giving you more information than the game is supposed to give you (e.g. specifying if a sound contact is a tank or light armor)?

Yes, very true. Also, I think that more than 90% of all bugs and problems that gamers have are because of mods that break the game.

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9 minutes ago, QuiGon said:

Aren't these custom icons some kind of cheating as they give you an unfair advantage by giving you more information than the game is supposed to give you (e.g. specifying if a sound contact is a tank or light armor)?

Nope.. the game's sound icons are also supposed to give you an indication as to vehicle type as well, they are just too damned hard to decipher.. doesn't help that they differ by country too I believe.  The floating icon mods just make it everything easier to read at a glance what the sound icon is supposed to represent, and the normal equipment icons are easier to differentiate too.

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21 minutes ago, QuiGon said:

Aren't these custom icons some kind of cheating as they give you an unfair advantage by giving you more information than the game is supposed to give you (e.g. specifying if a sound contact is a tank or light armor)?

Custom icons don't give any more info than the stock ones - they just replace files that are already in-game.  Like Bil say, they're easier to read quickly.  If I have a choice, I use NATO-type icons in all my wargaming.  If I don't, I make my own or use someone else's.

 

15 minutes ago, JSj said:

Yes, very true. Also, I think that more than 90% of all bugs and problems that gamers have are because of mods that break the game.

I've been playing this series since way back at the very beginning of CM1.  I've always played a highly modded game and never had an issue with mods.  As Vin said above my post, the game just doesn't look right without mods.  I install mods immediately once I install a game.

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2 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Nope.. the game's sound icons are also supposed to give you an indication as to vehicle type as well, they are just too damned hard to decipher.. doesn't help that they differ by country too I believe.  The floating icon mods just make it everything easier to read at a glance what the sound icon is supposed to represent, and the normal equipment icons are easier to differentiate too.

Did I understand that correctly, the stock sound icons do differ between tanks and armored vehicles? If so, then they are indeed damned hard to decipher as I've never noticed such a difference.

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