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Everything posted by The_Capt

  1. Hmm, well I do recognize that the openings of the Soviets is probably one of the biggest issues we have with the campaign, this statement is not entirely true in RL and definitely not true in context of the campaign. So off the bat we were aiming for realistic portrayal of how things would look and feel should the Soviets and US had dropped gloves in 1982. So to do that we took doctrine and then some contextual professional military judgement, mixed them together to try and give the closest we think we could get to this "what if" war. So doctrine: https://irp.fas.org/doddir/army/fm100-2-1.pdf (among others) Here doctrine for a Soviet MRR on the advance/attack (which is very much what is happening here). There doctrine states that an MRR will have "5-10km" between the CRP and FSE. So a 10km gap would probably give a 20min window (assuming a 30km/hr push) for the CRP to bang around and try a more nuanced approach [aside, the CRP normally does not have any arty/FOs but I was in a generous mood]. OR half that if the distance is 5km = 10 mins. But contextual factors of LOS and speed play a key factor here. Speed is easy. We have the Soviet opening of a surprise attack against 11 ACR (probably the best US unit on this front), who have owned this ground for a generation by this point, so speed is essential. The speed-pressure, normally high in the Soviet military, would be more intense given the requirement to attempt to dislocate 11 ACR. In short no way that the MRB Bn CO is going to go slow and cautious here. Distance. Ok, so Soviets didn't like radios for a lot of reasons so they relied a lot on LOS (flags etc). So now we need to look at the terrain with a bit wider lens: So that is Manbach on the left, that lump of trees is where your CRP starts. That line is 5km back along the likely route of advance for the FSE. As you can see it is already stretching LOS, 10km is out of the question, they would totally be out of contact with the CRP. So we have situation where we are at the opening of a risky "all or nothing" attack as the Soviets come crashing over the border. A lot of pressure to move fast and furious before the 11th ACR (or god help them the the 3rd Armd) could get into their very well prepared positions. Add to this terrain that really did not support stretching out too far and we have the conditions for a "door-crasher" situation. So in that context the Soviet player does not "by rights" have the luxury of time with respect to a more deliberate recon effort, in reality the MRB "is" the Recon effort. So is it fair?...probably not. Is it realistic...absolutely. Is it fun? Well a matter of taste really and I am going to have to leave that to you all to decide.
  2. Definitely. Dollbach is a bit deeper into the corridor but TRPs would have been a life saver. Chalk that one up to me simply forgetting at setup…and I paid for it. My biggest fear for this game was getting US DPICM dropped on a concentration of my troops. Tanks may have weathered it but infantry get shredded (in or out of vehs). I don’t think Bil had TRPs either so at least we were even there.
  3. Not at all. I mean to tell people that for this scenario Bil had EW and I did not..I actually think it got left on at setup…so my arty was really screwed. In game the Soviets can (and do) put out EW as well as the US as a pre-battle condition.
  4. John, well first off glad you enjoyed the AAR. As to the TOWs, in game the thermal sight can see thru smoke. In RL the jury was split. Most refs state that the sight had “limited capability” assuming the smoke/haze was not too thick or treated: https://books.google.ca/books?id=uPm_ohVUidIC&pg=RA2-PA27&lpg=RA2-PA27&dq=AN/TAS+4+thermal+sight+and+smoke&source=bl&ots=sw47xwM97F&sig=ACfU3U3kWIRxdZnJPJkyBBOnKCD7H8Tv0Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjFiaeW-onzAhUSd98KHUCKBm8Q6AF6BAgMEAM#v=onepage&q=AN%2FTAS 4 thermal sight and smoke&f=false So for a Soviet commander this is a bit of a crapshoot with some vey high stakes if you make the wrong call.
  5. Ok, I will go out on a limb here and say “2022” is what we are planning on but that comes with the usual caveats (i.e “when it is done”) and I would not want to hazard anymore detail than that until we get an official announcement.
  6. No one has been exactly right yet, but there are a couple that are close.
  7. Sorry about the taxes, here in Canada we know a thing or two about getting fleeced at the checkout. Regardless, thank you for your purchase and support, I hope you really enjoy the game. As I type we are working on the next module, more to follow on that.
  8. Would you be able to post a screenshot of this?
  9. I have a few more questions than these two to be honest but the reality is that the concept will be here to stay for some time as a tool in the toolbox, most of the issues surround just how useful that tool is going to be. Questions/Issues from my seat: - Logistics Conundrum. Logistics arguably exist in three main plains, Info, Capability and Will. Most military thinking centers on Capability (Force Sustainment and Generation), materiel, trained people and equipment...stuff. Here Medium lives in a precarious space. First off the Capability logistics advantages, which are solid, only really apply in a near-peer sustained conflict. These speak to an overall attrition approach of simply out-producing an opponent, which was how we won both world wars...fundamental industrial age warfare approach. Ok, but for wars of intervention, small wars and COIN this factor does not apply as well. We have not been able to (or needed to) attrit an opponent thru superior logistics since WW2 (and as a factor during the Cold War). Lower energy wars have not really been decided by Capability logistical factors but instead Info and Will logistics have been primary, as demonstrated on the news this morning. And here Medium has issues. The lower survivability of Medium means that it will strain Will much faster than Heavy or Light, who both have offsets. Casualties impact that Will power and Medium doesn't really do well as a compromise in these spaces...it is why we keep "armoring up". So the conundrum is that Medium can project fast and hit hard but its main logistical advantages (capability) in the longer term vis a vie attrition strategies only really apply in the setting that is a questionable fit for the force itself...sustained high intensity warfare against a near peer. OR Medium can be used for rapid intervention in the worst fit scenarios that have never really been decisive and where logistics of Will become a primary factor for which Medium is full of dangerous compromises and it main advantages get effectively truncated. - The size of the niche. Militaries have a really bad habit of oversubscribing. They have to make really big arguments at the political level to spend a LOT of money on capability, so the pressure to actually use that capability is immense even when it is not necessarily a good idea. So for Medium an unvarnished view the size of its niche will be critical or it risks creeping into dangerous spaces. So this kinda reinforces the point. If a near peer opponent has no interest in allowing a slow build up of heavy, then the answers seem pretty clear..1) don't go, 2) be already 'there' or 3) rely on strategic deterrence. #1 is a workable option, basically what we did in the Crimea and Ukraine but there will come times when it is a deal breaker. #3 is also workable but really...really dangerous [Cold War nuclear exchange models could take climate crisis to school]. SO we are left with #2...already being forward deployed in places that we see as non-negotiable...already happening in the Baltics. So what? Well if the strategy of global intervention from NA is dead then we are going to probably see Heavy in forward locations because "why go Medium?" when we can deter with heavy metal? So this would see Medium regulated to "the interventions that fit the force" as opposed to being able to fit the force the intervention we are stuck with. Workable but not optimal. This all leads to a question "where does Medium fit and when?" which I am not sure we have totally figured out. - When Gravity Shifts. So before anyone think the ol Capt is trying to sink Medium and champion Heavy, quite the opposite. I have concerns about Medium but in the evolutionary pantheon of military capability (and we have three buckets here when in fact it is really more of a modular spectrum with a lot of flex..e.g. Marines), Heavy = dinosaurs, Medium = mammals and Light = insects. Looking forward, in my opinion, the main competitor for Medium is not Heavy, it is Light. So, for example, the two snakes of Lethality and Survivability will continue top wrestle but passive survivability and defence is on the losing end, mainly due to physics; we are running out of runway for what steel/ceramic/Godzilla scales can do for us in comparison to Lethality. Don't believe, look at what the other team has (and is) doing with HE and cellphones, let alone what military complexes are going to do with nano-treated explosives....Heavy is just that but also Concentrated, and as such a very expensive and increasingly vulnerable beast, that is slow to project and costly to feed and water. So I think we will see active survivability systems continue to rise and then Medium and Light, even in near-peer start to look a lot more shiny. Then we run into, at what point is Medium the new Heavy and we can do with Light in its place? I mean science fiction has this already with Starship Troopers and The Expanse and force development is not saying "no" from what I have seen. Medium might be simply overtaken by events depending on how fast thing develop but I am sure we will likely see a more gradual transition over time. So what? Well one area I think we can total agree on is simulation, experimentation and exploration. Believe it or not one of my first "a ha" moments on Medium was playing the Canadians in CMSF, LAVs vs BMPs did not go well...got me wondering. We need simulation to challenge assumptions, introduce new equipment and concepts as oppose to validating what we already have, it will probably be the only way to keep up. Military forces are simply an extension of the strategic environment and the people who pay for them that live in that environment. And that environment is at about Sea State 7 on the turbulence scale, so in the end it may be agility in scalability that wins the day and one can scale upward but scaling downward is a lot more problematic (Light can fight like Heavy but Heavy really can't fight like Light)...either way it is going to be an interesting ride.
  10. Heh, well probably not too far off the mark. There was a cultural shift occurring in the US Army as well as everyone was going all maneuver-madness. Basically Gulf War worked much better then anticipated so the speed and precision crowd had taken the high ground. Add in “cheaper” (theoretically) in the post Cold War love-in and “bam” the stuff careers are made of. Another good read from 2002. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/2002/MR1606.pdf I am not sure how this thinking carries forward to today though. Ukraine had some scary observations and in ‘03 OIF went in pretty heavy. A major ground war between global powers would probably drive everyone back into tracked steel but then again what are the odds of that? I think the concept is ok so long as one does not as Medium to do a Heavy or Light job, that is where the wheels start to come off (hah). The there is air/info superiority, or lack there of, another place Medium has not really been tested. I guess we will see, for the record I am on the Light team but we are in the minority.
  11. This is a weird one for sure, only thing I can think is try a reboot and then try again. After that I suggest you put in a support ticket to BFCElvis and they can really get you sorted.
  12. I gotta say that on the whole "Medium Weight Theory" I am somewhat undecided. Logistically and production-wise medium wheeled forces make a lot of sense. They are far more mobile than heavy, and Light for that matter when one factors in operational ranges. They can hit and they can take hits to a point but here they remain untested really. Stryker/LAV etc have not really had a chance to be tested in a stand-up near-peer fight. There were rumors that the US was leaning to that COA in OIF but in the end went with armor. They definitely have been employed in small wars (e.g. COIN) and had pluses and some minuses [aside: the IED thing is a red herring really, I have seen an MBT taken out by one, MRAPs too...just need more boom boom.]. Then how much is real and how much is culture? Conventional western militaries are addicted to steel and mass, and despite a sense of growing unease at the long term utility vs vulnerability, we cannot seem to get off them. In then end a military out there somewhere is waiting in the wings to break the paradigm with synthetic-mass through Light forces (unmanned, mini-Iron Dome and cloud-based Joint fires) and then we will all flip out. The real question is exactly at what point can such an approach be counted upon?
  13. Been lurking on this one for a bit and first off it is a bit of a testament to the community that we can have this discussion without it becoming all "nasty" or silly. So a couple thoughts: - As to the OP's first set of questions which really surround the ROEs (Rules of Engagement) within the context of the backstory of CMSF, this is not a simple nor straight forward issue. In RL, every nation is responsible for their military ROEs and they vary vastly on any given operation along with the notorious "national caveats". That said the coalition does have a high and low water mark for these. So for instance if a nation, bent on revenge shows up with overly aggressive ROEs they will find themselves withdrawn from the theatre, or totally on their own, very fast. - So what happens if a lot of nations experience catastrophic attacks? Well here it is very tricky and very political. The first question has to be "were these attacks and threat of follow-on attacks existential?" If the answer is "no" then no matter how terrible the community of nations are not likely to risk breaking the Rules Based International Order. So, if for instance Country X declares "total war" on a sponsoring nation of a WMD terror attack then they will likely 1) find themselves going it alone and 2) suffering some significant repurcutions within the international community which can impact things like trade and neither of these conditions are really good signs of success. If the attacks are existential, and in the case of the CMSF backstory they really are not, then, yes it is possible that the gloves will come off and a modern form of "total war" would be collectively waged...we are literally talking WWIII here. Then really bad things start to happen, which we know exactly what they look like because...WW2. Internment camps during the Second World War are a stain on both the US and Canadian history but they are were an existential war takes us. - So what about in-game? Well the WW2 titles are already there, but remember even then we did try to adhere to a Law of Armed Conflict on the western front (eastern not so much). Cold War is definitely on the doorstep and maybe Black Sea at least regionally but at the end of the day..."so what?" Steve is absolutely correct, modelling civilians is not only expensive, it is not a feature anyone in their right minds would see as "fun". The professional military market wants them, they also are going to want stuff like logistics, military engineering and C4ISR because it is the job. War gamers want to play realistic, to a point, and most of it centers on military combined arms units, equipment and tactics. Adding civilians would be a game playing nightmare coming at it from just about any angle. Players would either find it very frustrating or just ignore them and neither one are a feature that really plays out well. My two cents anyway.
  14. Ok, so that is a little disconcerting. A T72 can kill a Leo 1 at 3 kms and a Leo can do the same at 800m?! Am I reading that right? Now I am wondering what a T64 takes.
  15. Correct me if I am wrong but at least some of these look like they from Alsfeld.
  16. I love doctrine 'discussions'...seriously, it is half the reason I do this. So I think the answer is not one or the other but how smoothly one could make the transition between; here between combined arms roles (we have a similar problem happening in the modern environment but in different spheres). Combined arms is the overarching "strategy" of landpower in every credible military since, let's just say for arguments sake, Cambrai. For most of WWI and, for the allies particularly, large portions of WW2 the lead combat arm was infantry (please, let's not get into artillery statics). The concept of mechanize infantry and the combined arms team was still in its infancy and while big armor clashes happened the overall pace and pulse of battle was determined by infantry maneuver with tanks and artillery supporting. The Germans did have "blitzkreig" (a word that is not totally made up) but it was 1) nascent and 2) largely pulled off by a fringe group of officers that made miracles happen in May-Jun '40 in spite of what the mainstream was pushing for - "Sure Heinz, go push tanks over those Roman bones and see where it gets you...we will do the Schlieffen plan redux" (check out "The Blitzkrieg Legend" by Karl-Heinz Frieser for more). But CMCW is 35 years later and oh my the world had changed. Almost all infantry were mechanized, the footborne masses were on the fringe. The west and the east had learned some very hard, but good, lessons from the last war and had zero intention of repeating the mistakes. Infantry had to share the throne with armor and artillery/air/EW was becoming something else entirely (we call it Joint Fires now). So now advantage was not to whoever had the best infantry or tanks...it was to whoever could transition between lead combined arms on the fly. We enter into an age of ambidextrous landpower. Both sides of the equation for CMCW have very different approaches to the "problem" but primacy on rapid transition between armor-infantry leading roles is as easy to see as the tactical structures that were built (MRR and TF structures). It is also seen in equipment, we no longer have 4 types of tanks (light, infantry support mediums, heavies and super heavies) that populated the 50s and 60s, enter the MBT a jack of all trades. What is really interesting is that history is a wheel and we are right back on it today. Our "enablers" keep becoming "operators" on the modern battlefield (e.g. cyber, IA/IO) across multiple domains (ok, so before "that kid in the class" starts harping in on "All the Capt is talking about is that multi-domain BS", trust me we are moving well beyond what the US Army put out as "new wine"). And again as roles change "what can be weaponized" and "how fast" is becoming the challenge..it is why traditional military mass is mattering less and less. But watch that wheel...it spins.
  17. Well before you leave make sure to check out the gift shop…buy a T-shirt.
  18. Well cat's out of the bag now...so we are officially doing a CMCW module. I will let you guys speculate on scope and scale and we are still working the features list right now. I would expect an official announcement in due course.
  19. If you try it again in your current campaign your losses will carry forward to the Citadel. If you play the scenario you get 100% of the Bn, so there is a slight difference. 1979 is interesting, we built is as a "sure why not?" just to see. Turned out it was a lot of work to do a parallel campaign and from the feedback 1979 is almost an entirely different experience as the technology is quite different (M48s vs M60s vs T62s).
  20. LOL (do we still use this term?). Well we did say play the Soviet Campaign last but that is a wonderful description.
  21. You are very welcome and thanks for the feedback. So in the US Campaign there were two more mission after Marborn. If you don’t want to try and replay that fight, those missions are “The Citadel” and “Unhook the Leash” as stand alone scenarios. The Citadel was really the climax fight for the Bn just north of Hanau. Really glad you enjoyed the campaign.
  22. How far did you make it? What was your final fight?
  23. Well put it into your sig or something, the Soviet Campaign is the Kobashi Maru of CM, by design.
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