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Trica

Shield of Kiev - final mission tactics

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I just finished the Ukrainian campaign and the last mission was brutal. I played Russian and US campaigns earlier and last mission was always challenging, but this is by far the hardest one. After 3 hours of grinding, my forces reached the base, but managed to clear only small part of it. I failed the mission with catastrophic losses on both sides and Russians still had more than 200 men left (and some BMPs).

How did you approach this mission and with what result?

Enemy air support and artillery caused most of my losses. How do you counter it (besides hiding armor in treeline)? My MANPADS managed to shoot down only 2 enemy aircraft. Also, enemy seems to have infinite artillery ammo and shreds my infantry to pieces whenever they get into observers sight.

As for my own support, I called all my helicopters on pre planed airstrike (briefing mentioned that attacking at once would increase their survivability). I also called in short pre planned artillery barrages on suspected enemy positions to supress enemy AA.  Only one of my Hinds got shot down on initial attack, and two of them managed to survive long enough to fire all of their ammo. I think they would all be shot down if I called them later one by one (only had one air controller team) considering the amount of enemy AA missiles. I used high ground in the woods on the left of deployment zone for my artillery OP (and moved air controllers there later to call in SU-25 strikes). Where did you put your observers?

Also, UKR armor seems to be **** at spotting, especially BTR-4E, but some oplot tanks also got destroyed by Russian BMPs.

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1 hour ago, Trica said:

I think they would all be shot down if I called them later one by one (only had one air controller team

I have not played this so I cannot offer an answer to your question. What I can say is if your one air controller wants to call multiple air assets at once they can. <shift>click on the second and subsequent air craft that you want to add to the mission. 

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1 hour ago, IanL said:

I have not played this so I cannot offer an answer to your question. What I can say is if your one air controller wants to call multiple air assets at once they can. <shift>click on the second and subsequent air craft that you want to add to the mission. 

Didn't know that. Thanks for the tip! Can that mission cover larger area than the one with single aircraft?

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Posted (edited)

With a pre-planned mission you can assign targets as you please, but once the game is under way each controller can only direct one air-asset unless they are assigned a joint mission (using the shift key as described above).

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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There were a lot of discussion on how **** the UKR/Rus armor are at spotting. In this game any AFV without CITV(Commanders Independent Thermal Viewers) or Cmdr video suck at spotting.  

Rus/Ukr 's IFV/APC crew team do not have the commander, that makes the problem worse. In my experience BTR-4E has the same spotting ability as a BMP-3 or BMP-2  

A tip is to split a scout team from your inf sqd ,  put the scout team into the IFV. If the vehicle is empty they will take up the commander seat.  Make sure the UI on the left corner shows the first solider is the "leader" . 

 

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I snatched a narrow victory for that mission. The campaign was brutal. I believe there is some unit carry-over, so mileage may vary.

*spoilers*

I split my main forces into two halves -- one for the right flank, one for the right. I sent the platoon of sappers down the central road, to clear a path. The first thing I did was drop off MANPAD dudes in some rear bushes.

The left flank was the most problematic. They had an open field between the base and the over-watching treeline. I had little problem clearing out the treeline, and put heavy weapons along it. The treeline was zero-ed by enemy artillery, and once the first airburst popped overhead -- I quickly got the infantry and heavy weapons back in their APCs. I took light losses, but lost valuable overwatch. 

After I called in CAS over the town, I carefully advanced through the field. My Oplots found BMP3s and T-72s covering it with overlapping fire. I did manage to take out a few of them, but they rendered an OPLOT useless, and blew up a great deal of BTRs. The infantry was demoralized and refused to advance, and my armoured spearhead was blunted. This flank offered spotting, and heavy fire at movement -- but that was it.

The pioneers on the central road fared much worse. After clearing one layer of mines, they found another -- only to be caught under an airburst shower. I lost one section, and cohesion. After the second layer was cleared, the third one was overwatched by enemy AFVs. Luckily, the remaining Oplots on the right flank managed to return fire on the attackers. Central road was a no go, I brought them to the right flank.

The right flank first looked impregnable, with a few BTRs finding mines, the hard way. It had a couple of fierce defenders in staggered treelines, on the path to the rear of the base. Perfect place to saturate with my artillery. My Oplots really shined here, taking out some infantry squads and a few AFVs from long range. The bulk of my infantry caught the defenders confused, and they blew up a BMP with rockets.

After clearing out the central treeline on the left flank, it was smooth sailing to the back door of the complex. Two platoons, with support, managed to clear out more then half of the complex. The stalwart defenders at the front of the base decided to move AFVs to counter by rear action. Left flank Oplots got some easy kills. House clearing combat was slow, and I ran out of time.

Minor victory. A good summary of my experience across the campaign. Tactical victories at a great cost. 

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On 6/9/2019 at 11:25 AM, Trica said:

How did you approach this mission and with what result? 

This was probably the most difficult mission I have played so far, and I've reloaded the scenario a few times before I figured out an acceptable course of action.

My first instincts were to stick to the right side of the map, because I figured battling in close quarters would yield better results. I was wrong. My troops were dreadfully ineffective at spotting the Russian armor hidden in the forests and got torn to pieces. Also, most attempts at spotting with forward observers were met with the precise and timely artillery barrages you described. Additionally, my own artillery barrages were ineffective at softening up the enemy, and since the right hand side featured two lines of defense this turned out to be a no-go.

I tried a different approach. The left hand side was quite open, and using the high ground forest that you deploy in, I could sneak up observers to peak "around the corner" and spot the enemy armor that seemed to be waiting to counter attack. I also decided to keep all of my infantry inside their vehicles. My opening moves were to get said observers into position and use smoke to get a platoon of infantry to the left hand stretch of forest. This platoon slowly made its way through said stretch of forest while my observers got as much information on the position of the enemy armor as possible. As long as my observers moved carefully and slowly, I could ensure they did not get spotted. From here, I started calling in precision artillery strikes on every enemy vehicle I could spot. When I had sufficient intelligence, I had all my Mi-24s attack the concentration of enemy armor on the left.

While this was going on, the majority of my forces moved up the road. I positioned some tanks on the left side of the main road, overlooking the open field, because I was still anticipating a Russian armored counter attack. These tanks started spotting enemy armor in the left hand stretch of forest (also had pre-mission intelligence of at least one armored vehicle in that forest). My infantry and their vehicles were slowly moving up through said forest and clearing out the infantry positions there. The infantry together with the tanks on the main road cleared out this forest. On several occasions the infantry in the forest was being subjected to artillery barrages, at which point I simply mounted them up and patiently waited for it to end, or simply moved out of the danger area.

With the enemy armor on the left being decimated, and my infantry having cleared the left hand stretch of forest, I felt confident to start advancing on the first objective. Simultaneously I started pouring in my main force (lead by the tanks) from the main road into the field, close to the forested defensive line. From this point onward, with the enemy armor on the left mostly taken care of, resistance was surprisingly light, and the left had become a gaping hole in the enemy defensive line where I could funnel my troops in and undermine the rest of his defenses.There was a lot of infantry, but I used an unnecessary amount of firepower on anything that moved.

It should be said that it took me about one hour to one and a half hour to accomplish this. In the mean time my troops were subjected to many artillery barrages, but these weren't very effective due to all my infantry being mounted. My vehicles could reposition quickly and safely on the road, and that's what I did any time my troops got targeted. Furthermore, enemy air support was mostly suppressed by my anti-air, but the way air power works in CMBS, it's a coin toss. 

In the end, I got tired of slogging through the enemy defenses and I ended the scenario prematurely with a cease-fire and ended with a minor victory.

To summarize, the main threat on the left was the armor hidden in the left hand forest, and the armor hidden in the left back corner. After that was dealt with, the door was wide open. I hope this helps.

 

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