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ncc1701e

Newbie AAR: ncc1701e vs JoMc67

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Oh boy, what did I have accepted? This is my first PBEM on any game and this is of course my first PBEM on CMBN. @JoMc67 has convinced me to leave CMSF to go back in time. And, I must say this is very entertaining for me. 😃

The year is 1944. The scenario is named Meet Med Hills QB-245. This is a meeting engagement with two objectives that are closed to each other. Both sides is having a Reinforced Infantry Platoon to start with. Reinforcements (Heavy Weapons) is coming on turn 5 and one Halftrack is planned for each side on turn 10.

We agree on these 'house rules' that will make the game a little more realistic in our opinion:

  1. No Pre-Planned Arty (or Area-Fire from Ground Units) on Turn 1 of a Meeting Engagement, or from Defender. Player will need to Call-In Arty normally (Attacker in Attack/Defense Games are exempt and can use Pre-Planned Arty). FO & HQ Units will need to Spot or have knowledge of Enemy Units or Icons on Battlefield to Call-In Arty (click on your Unit to see if it spots Enemy Units or Icons). Once that knowledge has been obtained then it can call in Arty Anywhere at Anytime on the Battlefield w/o restrictions.
  2. Players will let the Computer AI choose what Targets to shoot at (player can't choose Targets, but can still use 'Area-Fire'). Player can still use Smoke at anytime and any Location on the Map.
  3. All Units can only check LOS (and thus use 'Area-Fire') at its exact Location at beginning of turn.
  4. Players Can't click on Enemy Icons or Units during a Game (there will be some accidents from time to time).
  5. You can Area-Fire anywhere on the Map...However, the Area-Fire has to be at the closest point possible to the Enemy Unit/Icon (this includes Direct HE fire from Onboard Arty...Smoke can still be anywhere on map)... Basically, this means a Player can Area-Fire 100 meters away (if that happens to be the closest point), or 10 meters (if that happens to be the closest point).
  6. Vehicle Smoke Dischargers (not Smoke Shells) is controlled by the Computer AI, and not by the Player.

We are currently at turn number 12. More to come very soon...

Edited by ncc1701e

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Based on this excellent blog: http://battledrill.blogspot.com/2015/11/mett-t-analysis.html from @Bil Hardenberger, I will try to conduct my first METT-T analysis.

MISSION

This mission is simple, my main goal is to hold the two objectives in my zone. This is a meeting engagement so I will have to reach Obj1 at the beginning of the scenario and destroy the enemy to reach Obj2 that will be surely occupied at the end of turn 1.

ENEMY

Intel is indicating that German is starting with a Reinforced Infantry Platoon followed by some Heavy Weapons coming at turn 5 and one Halftrack at turn 10.

TERRAIN

The two objectives are located at a bottom of a V formed by two hills on the left and the right side. There are quite good lines of sight across the map. Controlling the flanks should give me some overwatched positions on the two objectives.

g32j5.jpg

TROOPS

I have a Reinforced Infantry Platoon but many composed of "green" soldiers. I am expecting the same reinforcement that the Germans.

TIME

I have only 20 minutes to reach both objectives plus 5 minutes extra possible.

Edited by ncc1701e

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ENEMY AVENUES OF APPROACH

After looking at the map,  I thought my opponent had three main options for his attack. I think that he will use the top of the hills to mask his approach and try to flank my positions. He can use either my left flank or my right flank (the orange icons). The main advantage of the right flank is that there is a wood that can provide cover and concealment for his squads.

q4eZk.jpg

Edited by ncc1701e

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ENEMY AVENUES OF APPROACH

yLoAb.jpg

AOA1 (Green axis)

The green axis has the advantage to be masked by a ridge and can perfectly be used to advance on my left flank. On the other hand, terrain is pretty opened thus the advance will have to be careful and slow.

AOA2 (Blue axis)

This is the most unlikely axis in my opinion since I have direct LOS from the Obj1 houses to this avenue of approach. I am pretty sure @JoMc67 will try to flank my troops using AOA1 or AOA3 axis.

AOA3 (Orange axis)

The orange axis is the most important threat in my opinion. It is covered by both a ridge and a wood. This is surely the axis that will be taken by the enemy troops to attack on my right flank. I will have to reinforce my right flank at all costs.

Edited by ncc1701e

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MY PLAN AND MY INITIAL MOVES

My avenues of approach are the exact opposite of the Germans. Since I think the enemy will try to flank me, I will advance on both sides of the map with splitted squads (one on each side). The center will remain quite weak but I am convinced that the enemy will not try to assault directly Obj1.

ldXWw.jpg

As a young green lieutenant, my goal is to preserve as much as possible my men. As such, I will try to carefully plan my moves. Since this is my first PBEM, I can say that I am strangely much more careful than against the computer. Self preservation?

bG1RD.jpg

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MY INITIAL MOVES

On the right, my squad is ready to rush into the woods. The ridge will normally protect them from the eyes of the enemy.

ndP7K.jpg

In the center, only one small team will go after Obj1.

eV70L.jpg

On the left, same thing, there is a ridge that will cover the movement of my second splitted squad.

XgoY9.jpg

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MINUTE 1

And this is it: baptism by fire 😕I hope my men won't suffer of my mistakes... On the right, the squad is nearly approaching the woods without opposition.

A0YRa.jpg

In the center, my team is quickly going to the house to have a LOS on German's AOA2.

LkGD8.jpg

On the left, no opposition so far.

5VGm7.jpg

One could think that these men are exposed but in the two following screenshots you can see that the ridge is protecting them

1wvmZ.jpg

r1R7w.jpg

Overall situation at the end of the first turn. No enemy detected so far, not a single shot. On the right, I will detach one team to take a good overwatch position and monitor the second objective and the plan of the enemy to take the first one.

mQEq0.jpg

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1 hour ago, ncc1701e said:

As a young green lieutenant, my goal is to preserve as much as possible my men. As such, I will try to carefully plan my moves. Since this is my first PBEM, I can say that I am strangely much more careful than against the computer. Self preservation?

Marvelous start.  I'll be watching how you do.. you will find that doing a complete METT-T analysis as you have shown will help you with situational awareness and give you an advantage over an opponent who does not.  Doing it against the AI is almost not fair, ;) against a human opponent it is a must.

As for being more careful against a human... well, I think that is wise and only natural... a human opponent is a far different experience and challenge than fighting against the AI.  They will always do something that will surprise you and that will force you to shift your plan.

You are a brave man showcasing your first PBEM game publicly.  Bravo.

Bil

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Such a tiny battle! One platoon per side? That's interesting. And not picking targets, that's another interesting point. I find that my troops underperform if left to their own devices.

I can see from the last screenshot that your troops are green. I would not separate green troops from their platoon commander.

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1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

You are a brave man showcasing your first PBEM game publicly.  Bravo.

Thank you, I hope showcasing my way of playing will bring me plenty of tactical advices from senior experts of this game like you.

 

57 minutes ago, Ivan Zaitzev said:

I can see from the last screenshot that your troops are green. I would not separate green troops from their platoon commander.

Yes, you are right, most of my troops, if not all, are green. But, if I am not separating them from their platoon commander, how could I occupy the map?

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MINUTE 2

On the left and on the right wings, my troops are progressing well.

g32Am.jpg

In the center, the team is occupying one of the house on top of Obj1. And, contact, at least two teams are spotted.

VaoEd.jpg

As planned, the Germans are running to occupy some houses of Obj2.

kegnJ.jpg

 

Edited by ncc1701e

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MINUTE 3

On the right wing, the squad is starting its progression into the woods, hoping to be unseen from the Germans.

dkLE3.jpg

On the left wing, teams are continuing their approach, one team is stopping to watch while another is doing some quick moves forward.

NanEG.jpg

In the center, I am concerned that I am a little too weak. As such, I have send the rest of the squad to support the single team in the house. One team will be on the left side while the other on the right side of the objective. But, the right team gets shot at from the position I have seen them coming the previous turn...

PnPEO.jpg

I decide to use for the first time the new "Target Briefly" (I come from CMSF1 🙂). I am asking my team in the house to area fire during 30 seconds, with Target Briefly, and to
run out of the house to avoid return fires. Will see if that works.

2wKRR.jpg

Here is the overall situation at the end of the turn. Still no casualties so far...

4kG7O.jpg

 

 

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32 minutes ago, ncc1701e said:

 

Yes, you are right, most of my troops, if not all, are green. But, if I am not separating them from their platoon commander, how could I occupy the map?

I'm no expert, and I don't want to be negative or rude or discourage you in any way but I would argue that you don't need to occupy the map, just the objectives. I might be totally wrong here but your approach looks more suited for a company sized force than a green platoon. It seems you are just giving your opponent a chance of taking you piecemeal if he concentrates all his troops on the objective. But once again I'm no expert and everyone should play they way they want. It's not an advice, it's just how I would tackle the situation.

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16 minutes ago, ncc1701e said:

I decide to use for the first time the new "Target Briefly" (I come from CMSF1 🙂). I am asking my team in the house to area fire during 30 seconds, with Target Briefly, and to

run out of the house to avoid return fires. Will see if that works.

2wKRR.jpg

Cool. Did you also give them a 30s pause? The target briefly will not hold them in place.

Doing a proper METT analysis and not just thinking it in your head is very helpful. I have in the past spent time thinking about it but not doing it fully. Doing a full one and writing it down was way better. Good call. And way to set a good example.

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8 minutes ago, Ivan Zaitzev said:

I'm no expert, and I don't want to be negative or rude or discourage you in any way but I would argue that you don't need to occupy the map, just the objectives. I might be totally wrong here but your approach looks more suited for a company sized force than a green platoon. It seems you are just giving your opponent a chance of taking you piecemeal if he concentrates all his troops on the objective. But once again I'm no expert and everyone should play they way they want. It's not an advice, it's just how I would tackle the situation.

Do not worry, if I am here this is for learning from my mistakes. Occupy the map was not the good term. What I would like is to counter a possible move on my flanks. I know I am a little spread out and I have not done any reserve. Perhaps, I should have kept one squad in reserve and move only on one flank.

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MINUTE 4

On the right, the progression into the woods is going well. No opposition has been found and this is worrying me. @JoMc67 is surely waiting for me

KO9dK.jpg

Q9K8V.jpg

In the center, as @IanL pointed out, I have forgotten to give my team a 30 seconds pause. I was thinking this was done by the Target Briefly. One newbie mistake, one 🙈🙊🙉 Thus, the team left the house immediately without supporting by fire the other team on the right that is under fire! 😨

ldX2p.jpg

By chance, the other team has reached its destination without any casualty. I think I am lucky.

keg8Z.jpg

For next turn, I will start to carefully progress into the woods. I am sure the Germans are setting up an ambush there.

VaoRA.jpg

Here is the overall situation. Still no casualties so far...

dkLwy.jpg

 

 

Edited by ncc1701e

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MINUTE 5

The lucky team continue to undergo some area fire. Thus, I am using a Slow move to avoid it and take some cover a little on the right of their current position. Looks like the german have not seen this since they continue the area fire on their old position.

On the left side, I am taking a risk now. I am advancing quickly to the next little wood since nobody was spotted here after two minutes waiting. Was it enough?

wLvlY.jpg

And my bad, I have forgotten to move the heavy weapons that has just arrived before sending my turn. One minute lost for them I guess. I hope I won't regret this.

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MINUTE 6

This turn was interesting because it has reveal me lots of enemy positions. The overall situation at the end of the turn is here:

1wvLE.jpg

Behind Obj2, I can spot some troops coming. Is it German's reinforcement?

mQE7G.jpg

Germans have a direct LOS on the Obj1's house my team is in. I think I must exit this house now.

KO9pr.jpg

Interesting also to notice that some Germans are going in the direction of my left wing. Did they spot something finally?

Q9K5b.jpg

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MINUTE 7

Looks like the situation is developping a little bit.

LkGqj.jpg

On my right wing, I can spot some Germans going in my direction. Looks like my men in the woods have been spotted. ☹️

5VG8b.jpg

Same thing on my left wing, more Germans are coming to support the one in the last screenshot of above minute 6's report.

r1RgD.jpg

In the center, my 60mm mortar team is almost deployed. I say almost because the turn did finish just 5 seconds before the deployment is complete. I am losing time here... 😕

1wvgE.jpg

On the left wing, still no opposition. Here are three screenshots with my overall positions.

jG29g.jpg

mQEXG.jpg

KO9qr.jpg

Edited by ncc1701e

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1 hour ago, ncc1701e said:

In the center, as @IanL pointed out, I have forgotten to give my team a 30 seconds pause. I was thinking this was done by the Target Briefly. One newbie mistake

And you will probably remember next time.

1 hour ago, ncc1701e said:

By chance, the other team has reached its destination without any casualty. I think I am lucky.

Hey, luck counts!

 

Looking good BTW - well done screen shots. One tip - if you press <shift><esc> the game pauses but with out the notice at the top of the screen. In any given turn if you do that once then the VCR controls in the UI will continue to work without that notice showing up.

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MINUTE 8

My 60mm mortar is now deployed and luckily enough for me has spotted the German progressing to my right wing. I order them to do an area fire on their last know position. Since the 60mm mortar has no radio, I am obliged to keep my HQ near from them for spotting. But, here, as I said, I was lucky with our house rules.

dkLxO.jpg

On the left, the team that was in reserve is now moving forward.

NanlY.jpg

On the right, in the woods, my men are tired. They won't last long.

PnPlk.jpg

MINUTE 9

I have stopped all progression. My men are resting. I think green troops are not a gift. Are regular troops more enduring? 😕

Edited by ncc1701e

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5 minutes ago, IanL said:

And you will probably remember next time.

Oh yes! 🤣

6 minutes ago, IanL said:

Looking good BTW - well done screen shots. One tip - if you press <shift><esc> the game pauses but with out the notice at the top of the screen. In any given turn if you do that once then the VCR controls in the UI will continue to work without that notice showing up.

Thanks for the tip, will do for the next AAR. This battle is now over but I won't tell the outcome now... 

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57 minutes ago, ncc1701e said:

Are regular troops more enduring? 

No. Green, regular etc is experience level. There are only two fitness levels: Fit and Unfit. 

Resting is a good thing (tm) though. It much better to be able to run when you need to.

The US 60mm mortar is best firing at targets or areas the crew can see themselves.

 

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