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Bil Hardenberger

CMSF 2 - Co-op AAR (Bil v IanL) Using Realism Rules

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I generally agree with @IanL on the use of target arcs, though I would add that I tend to use them much more on heavy weapons teams (such as an anti-tank gun or an ATGM). I think that the target armor arc is especially useful for certain heavy weapons teams. I could easily see a set of rules governing the use of target arcs being very important for units like that. For example, in order to target arc your various ATGMs (or more importantly, change their already set target arcs) they would have to be in C2 range of their commander. That would require you to keep heavy weapons elements closer together, instead of spreading them out all across a map. It would also make the commander a much more important and mobile asset. Plus, because the commander would be moving around between his teams, he could act much more as a runner, transferring spotting information around. 

That said, my thinking doesn't extend much beyond heavy weapon units so its rather niche. Still an interesting concept that might be worth trying out at some point. 

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I'm not sure if anyone has touched on this regarding TA usage but, along the points already raised, the following two come to mind:

  1. When contact is imminent and you want try getting the team an AS or two closer using Hunt to secure better cover. I shorten the TA to encourage this short movement. Otherwise,  Quick/Fast is used when the need is more immediate (mandatory) and the position rather than the fire is wanted;
  2. Placing a TA upon reaching firing position not only to establish fire zones but to also and force a slight orientation within the AS to encourage better usage of cover. (I think a few have mentioned this.)

Also,  I'm getting the impression that no one actually adjusts TAs while on the move. I also use them as a trigger to reconsider intentions. A half-circle being acceptable early on when contacts haven't started to appear. Not so good when trying to commit force to gain fire superiority. Things tend to go well at that point when they are instead defined wedges or completely free.

Of course, I'm skipping over the required usage of 20-30m circles when assaulting buildings to secure/police the area when we think it's been taken...

Yes, TAs are limiters. Considering the lethality of modern weapons; I can't see how one can provide vehicular or heavy weapon teams support when friendly infantry is this soft.

Hoping I didn't drift off topic much. I realize you are hashing out rules.

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37 minutes ago, Howler said:

Placing a TA upon reaching firing position not only to establish fire zones but to also and force a slight orientation within the AS to encourage better usage of cover. (I think a few have mentioned this.)

The face command can do this without the draw back of preventing the unit from firing on surprise contacts.

37 minutes ago, Howler said:

Hoping I didn't drift off topic much. I realize you are hashing out rules.

I don't think so - all this is interesting and could be subject to rules.

 

2 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

For example, in order to target arc your various ATGMs (or more importantly, change their already set target arcs) they would have to be in C2 range of their commander. That would require you to keep heavy weapons elements closer together, instead of spreading them out all across a map.

But then you would be better off just not setting cover arcs. If one is required to based on the rules then that setup a totally unrealistic scenario where an AT unit might see armour and be unable to shoot it - according to the rules - yuck.

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Also, the decision whether to spread AT weapons or keep them together is something which is real, tactically interesting and modelled in CM quite well already - having multiple ATGMs across the map makes C2 difficult, which means that they won't easily pick up each others spotting information, and run the risk of being engaged separately. As a trade for that, they gain power through manoeuvre  - splitting them up makes it difficult to suppress them all at once, so you gain resilience for a loss in effective comms.

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1 hour ago, IanL said:
2 hours ago, Howler said:

Placing a TA upon reaching firing position not only to establish fire zones but to also and force a slight orientation within the AS to encourage better usage of cover. (I think a few have mentioned this.)

The face command can do this without the draw back of preventing the unit from firing on surprise contacts.

And it also wouldn't prevent them firing HE at (and/or suppressing) friendlies which tends to be my problem rather than incoming fire from an unknown position outside a TA.

I also consider being spotted prematurely to the very worst thing that can happen. I don't need the team LMG to fire off at 500m when everyone can do so at 300m. The former reveals your position and rarely scores a knock-out while the latter will do both.

I'm not against free fire. I simply prefer defined overlapping zones of fire. It's the those darn vehicles with their total disregard of dismounts that I blame!

I hear you. I play it looser in the WWII titles. In the modern titles - too many things kill you.

 

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Posted (edited)

Minute 9

We are starting to slow down now as the action heats up... maybe @IanL would like to give his thoughts on the opening move to contact.

Axis Alpha

The images below show that I have moved both the ZSU from my reserve force and one BTR to Blue Ridge (KT-1), both are hull down.  Another two BTRs are in the woods to the right of the ridge (also hull down).  Additionally, an AT-13 is in these woods setting up to overwatch any movement across the map in the Axis Bravo sector.  The top image, through the magic of Photoshop, illustrates my use of cover arcs to ensure my units stay focused and have good overlapping coverage of Red Gully.  The ZSU is mainly there to provide overwatch for any infantry movement over the Bridge.

009-Red+Gully+OW.png

009-ZSU+Bridge+OW.png

009-Red+Gully+BTR+OW.png

 

It didn't take long for the BTR on KT-1 to spot an enemy vehicle in the Red Gully... so these are BRDM recon vehicles, at least this one is.  I am guessing that the formation of four light armored vehicles moving through Red Gully toward the Gully Intersection is in fact a Recon platoon of four BRDMs. the good news is that my infantry will be better armed and more capable than the recon troops, but the bad news.. the BRDM has the same weapon system my BTRs do and they are as capable of killing me as I am them.

009-Red+Gully+-+BRDM.png

The BTR opened and fired on the BRDM without hesitation... though I don't know the extent of any damage, the BRDM did in fact take at least one casualty and was hit and penetrated many times:

009-BTR+v+BRDM.png

 

Axis Bravo

On Axis Bravo, I was a little incautious as I pushed my two Recon Squads forward in order to keep eyes as far forward as possible... I do pay for my cheek as I lose one complete team to what I suspect was BMP fire and the second takes one casualty.  However, their sacrifice pays off as I do identify at least one of the light armored vehicles moving into the open area to the right-front of the Farm House, an F-ing BMP 2.  I suspect both vehicles in this area are BMPs, with perhaps a third that I have yet to get a contact on (a BMP platoon has three vehicles).  We shall see...

...stay tuned, Axis Bravo may be coming to a tipping point!

009-Axis+Bravo.png

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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Posted (edited)

Minute 10

Axis Bravo

I had moved one of my infantry teams (RPG) to the roof of the Farm House to get a better view on @IanL's approach... quickly they uncovered two BMP-2s ...

010-RPG+v+BMP+01.png

They quickly took aim at one of the BMPs and.. well, here is the result...

010-RPG+v+BMP2.gif

 

The picture is getting clearer on this approach... my team on the roof can now spot three BMP-2s sitting on the far Red Ridge, the two mentioned above to their right (one less now) and now.. a BRDM AT traveling with the two BMPs.  Nasty.  I am seriously outgunned on this approach.  Note that the BMP that was hit in the GIF above no longer has an icon.. proof that it has been knocked out.

010-Axis+Bravo.png

 

The infantry team did not, however, have long to live... the BRDM-AT lauched an ATGM at the Farm House...

010-AT5+Fires.png

 

The missile flew true.. and I swear they rarely work that well when I'm commanding them  ;) 

010-AT5+in+Flight.png

010-AT5+Impact.png

 

Following is an overview of the situation to this point... I have a pretty good grasp on Ian's force... the sacrifice of the infantry team was well worth it in my opinion.  Knowledge is king in battle.. not artillery.  There was no action this turn on Axis Alpha... but it will liven up very soon.

010-Overview.png

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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21 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

The missile flew true.. and I swear they rarely work that well when I'm commanding them  ;) 

Heh. They're surprisingly scary things - able to empty their racks in the space of a minute or so, and small enough to be stealthy when needed.

They're also actually bugged right now - the AT-5 version in CMSF2 has five readied missiles, but can fire six before reloading.

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It looks like you have well established positions that dominate the likely avenues of approach that Ian could use against you. Very excited to see how the battle develops. It looks like push will soon come to shove. I also really like the gifs you've been including in your AARs. I tried it myself but couldn't get it to work. They really help to show off cool action moments, and save a lot of typed explanation as well.

59 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Knowledge is king in battle.. not artillery.

I can't wait to tell an FA buddy of mine this. It's always nice to remind the redlegs that there is more to a battlefield than cannon cocking! 😁

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Posted (edited)

First Few Minutes – Moving Out and the importance of C2

This is a meeting engagement, even with the twist of the other objectives, so the plan is to get to the bridge fast. The bridge objective is B company's job. 1 Platoon will rush wide and fast to cross the road and get into the woods to approach the bridge. 2 Platoon will follow but stay out of site in the gully at KT5 that connects with KT2. That way 2 Platoon can either cross the road and join 1 Platoon or manoeuvre down the gully towards the bridge which ever seems best.

A Company will protect the Red objective and position itself to threaten the Blue objective. All their BMPs and two attached ATGMs will stay on the high ground, KT7, and try to restrict the enemy's movement while the infantry take up a position on KT6 to observe and threaten the farm. Meanwhile 2 Platoon will get into the West end of the KT5 out of site and be ready to respond as needed.

20190528093154-4d3233b1.png

 

A Compnay HQ following along on foot behind 1 Platoon as the cross into KT5.

20190507200446-9dcfdcd5.jpg


 

B Company moving off at speed. 1 Platoon is in the lead with 2 Platoon following.

20190507200508-f7724af8.jpg

 

After about a minute you can see the plan begin to unfold...

20190507200558-cb2889c3.jpg

 

The two ATGM teams setup on the high ground – all the see is a BTR for a brief second slipping along AA3. Closer examination shows that they actually do not have as good a view as I had hoped. To be clear they can see a lot and anyone venturing out into the open ground will likely become a target. The trouble is there is a low area along AA3 that is out of their view so the ATGMs and the BMPs will not be in as dominating a position as I thought. To make matter worse I now see that do to comms the BMPs are out of C2 with their HQs which also means no area fire from KT7 in support of the infantry. That is not good.

20190510043610-345bca13.jpg

 

I really want the BMPs to be able to support the infantry. Given their poor visibility I was counting on them for area fire as directed by the Platoon HQ. Without the rules I would happily just leave them on KT7 and blast away at what ever I want them to. But under the Hard-Cat rules they cannot do that. Therefore I need to think like the Platoon commander and get them into a position that can support the platoon. Therefore 1 Platoon and the A Company BMP will reposition to KT6 so they can actually take direction from the their respective HQs. 2 Platoon's BMPs will just join their platoon in defilade and stick with them as reinforcements.

20190510043642-34837459.jpg


 

The first members of B Company 2 platoon reach their positions with the rest close behind.

20190510043709-7ca709af.jpg


 

B Company 1 Platoon cross the road into cover. This was the most dangerous time for them and the all made it without taking any fire.

20190510043742-4142d769.jpg

 

Some screen shots showing the problem with C2. This is after the BMPs moved from KT7 into position hull down on my side of KT6. They are still out of C2 from their HQs.

20190528093202-33f51fc4.jpg

 

The Platoon HQ is on the other side of the ridge and out of contact.

20190528093209-bc0357a5.jpg

 

By repositioning the HQ back to just the other side of the ridge now the infantry and the BMPs are in C2. The HQ is also in a better position to observer the Farm but they are also more exposed. Those compromises are the point of the Hard-Cat rules thought.

20190528093223-c54cab56.jpg

 

Edited by IanL
fix pic links

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1 minute ago, IanL said:

I see that - fixing - again...

That should do it. I am not sure why some links were auto converted into pictures and some were not. Sigh.

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Posted (edited)

Moving into position and the action starts

B Company 2 Platoon await with scouts near the ridge line.

20190528093231-f6ef2fec.jpg

 

Meanwhile 1 Platoon is moving through the woods towards the bridge.

20190528093237-d6ebd0a1.jpg

 

A Company 1 Platoon HQ has some contacts at the farm and their BMPs are in C2. Time for some area fire.

20190528093243-863ebab6.jpg

 

On the spotting of the Platoon HQ and the company HQ BMPs open up on targets around the farm. The right two BMPs are from 1 Platoon and the left most one is A Co's ride. I give them target briefly orders of various lengths so that if something dangerous pops up later in the turn they will be free to engage on their own.

20190528093248-e8e681eb.jpg

 

Meanwhile 2 Platoon moves into their position in defilade at KT6.

20190528093256-2ca35964.jpg

 

 

Over by the bridge lead elements of B Co are approaching the bridge.

20190528093302-fb3ce96d.jpg

 

Sure enough after some area firing a BMP spots some targets on its own...

20190528093311-f715e5b4.jpg

 

And scores a hit. First blood to me. If only that were enough. :)

20190528093316-56d85105.jpg

 

Edited by IanL

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, IanL said:

 

I now see that do to comms the BMPs are out of C2 with their HQs which also means no area fire from KT7 in support of the infantry. 

Without the rules I would happily just leave them on KT7 and blast away at what ever I want them to. But under the Hard-Cat rules they cannot do that. Therefore I need to think like the Platoon commander and get them into a position that can support the platoon.

after the BMPs moved from KT7 into position hull down on my side of KT6. They are still out of C2 from their HQs.

By repositioning the HQ back to just the other side of the ridge now the infantry and the BMPs are in C2. The HQ is also in a better position to observer the Farm but they are also more exposed. Those compromises are the point of the Hard-Cat rules thought.

+1  Interesting stuff.  :)

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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47 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Yeah.. the combined fire of those three BMPs was pretty ugly on my end.  

This highlights one of the things I really love about these games. I had no idea. You can take sensible actions and have little or no information as to thier effects on the enemy.

I have had opponents give up saying I was slaughtering them not realizing just how bad the shape of my forces was. I have figured I was loosing badly only to find I was doing pretty well.

I think it is also a good reminder that information is really important. If you can get a better picture of you enemy's disposition you can use that to make better decisions.

How's that for a digression :)

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18 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

+1  Interesting stuff.  :)

Indeed.. if Ian had kept his HQ unit mounted he would have had radio comms to these BMPs and it wouldn't have been an issue for him.  These rules do force you to think more in terms of "formation" rather than "individual units"... the new rules even more so.

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17 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

if Ian had kept his HQ unit mounted he would have had radio comms to these BMPs

That explains the radio C2 icon that showed up for one of the BMPs. The HQ was close to one and then the HQ was able to use the radio to be in C2 of the other. Possibly a bit unrealistic...

As to the HQ positioning the squads have no radio so if the BMPs are going to stay on the ridge and the infantry forward then the HQ has to be in between. Without the rules I would have kept the HQ mounted for better spotting by the BMP.

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8 hours ago, IanL said:

I really want the BMPs to be able to support the infantry. Given their poor visibility I was counting on them for area fire as directed by the Platoon HQ. Without the rules I would happily just leave them on KT7 and blast away at what ever I want them to. But under the Hard-Cat rules they cannot do that. Therefore I need to think like the Platoon commander and get them into a position that can support the platoon. Therefore 1 Platoon and the A Company BMP will reposition to KT6 so they can actually take direction from the their respective HQs. 2 Platoon's BMPs will just join their platoon in defilade and stick with them as reinforcements.

I think this is an excellent example of these rules in action. I find this situation to be very realistic. Units that are out of C2 will generally have less initiative all around as opposed to units that are in C2, and I think this depicts that. I also like how it forces to you think more realistically as well, instead of being able to spread out assets into hand picked points on the map and then just relying on the player having instant reactions to anything observed on the map through target commands. Very cool.

8 hours ago, IanL said:

By repositioning the HQ back to just the other side of the ridge now the infantry and the BMPs are in C2. The HQ is also in a better position to observer the Farm but they are also more exposed. Those compromises are the point of the Hard-Cat rules thought.

Again another great examples of the rules in action. It adds more importance to HQ units, but also forces you to place them in positions where they may be more vulnerable. 

6 hours ago, IanL said:

This highlights one of the things I really love about these games. I had no idea. You can take sensible actions and have little or no information as to thier effects on the enemy.

I have had opponents give up saying I was slaughtering them not realizing just how bad the shape of my forces was. I have figured I was loosing badly only to find I was doing pretty well.

Agreed. One of the single most important factors in combat is the will to fight, or the will to keep fighting. This is just as true in a one on one fight of individuals, all the way to the strategic level with nation against nation. Many times throughout history, the victor is the one who manages to hang on for a few extra moments. I've always thought that CM does a really good job of capturing that aspect, specifically in PBEMs. 

8 hours ago, IanL said:

The Platoon HQ is on the other side of the ridge and out of contact.

Here is a technical question about CM and its C2 system: does it simulate line of sight radios? As in, are these BMPs out of contact because their HQ element is on the other side of a ridge, thus the radio signal cannot reach them?

 

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57 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

Here is a technical question about CM and its C2 system: does it simulate line of sight radios? As in, are these BMPs out of contact because their HQ element is on the other side of a ridge, thus the radio signal cannot reach them?

I believe the HQ was out of C2 from the BMPs because they dismount without a radio themselves... so @IanL had to move back into C2 range with the BMPs to regain control of them.  That is indeed one of the cool aspects of these rules that you would never notice in a normal CM game because it lacks the restrictions...  Ian is in a dilemma.. what is more important, C2 with the dismounts or with the BMPs?  He can't really maintain C2 with both and that could impact his ability to react or project power at some point.

Bil

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Yep. @Bil Hardenberger has that right. What I noticed was the feature that once an HQ unit is close enough to a radio they can get on the net. What I think I saw was that my HQ was close to one BMP and then the other had C2 via radio.

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Posted (edited)

Approaching the bridge objective

A little further forward elements of B Co spot an enemy BMP. See, he can move assets without my overwatch units spotting them. Rats!

20190528093322-492ad923.jpg

 

A little battle field overview from about the 5 or 6 minute mark.

20190528093328-4df6b76d.jpg

 

The first teams from B Co 1 Pl reach the bridge. I order them to move into the steam bead and along it under the bridge. They don't do that and instead head right up on top before climbing down the hill. WTF – Why The Face as in the face of confusion and anger.

20190528093336-34006678.jpg

 

But they make it unharmed.

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More of 1Pl move up and the next team gets much more detailed orders of how to get under the bridge out of the enemy view. The also ignore me and follow the same path as the first team. This time they take fire and someone is lightly wounded.

20190528093347-e0b9ea20.jpg

 

Meanwhile one overwatch mortar fire spotting rounds started a few minutes ago so the ATGM teams are on the run to avoid it. As the fire really starts they are safe but no longer on overwatch.

20190528093356-4c4b06e6.jpg

 

BMPs choosing their own targets

20190528093402-adaadc6c.jpg

 

The bulk of 1Pl are in position but again the HQ team decides to go over out into the open but this time one member doesn't make it.

20190528093407-b756cb2d.jpg

 

Meanwhile given where the fire at the bridge is coming from I move 2Pl up in the gully with the idea that they can interdict anything else joining the enemy threatening 1Pl and I can protect their flank.

20190528093413-91c42a5f.jpg

 

After about 10 minutes this is where where everybody is.

20190528093428-53289e3b.png

 

Edited by IanL

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