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BletchleyGeek

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  1. Like
    BletchleyGeek reacted to HerrTom in Pre-reading recommendations   
    I love this game, by far the most playable game of its type I've seen. Only one I actually finished a game with (major Soviet victory, I trounced my opponent!). There's also The Next War: Modern Conflict in Europe (1978). Never finished a game of that one, though (the continuation of the series by GMT is much better IMO).  If you want to drill down to the corps level there's also Less than 60 Miles by Thin Red Line that came out recently with some really interesting C3 mechanics in it.
    +1 to this. Dry, but immensely informative, and likely a lot more accurate to the time period of this game than the field manuals or other writings from much later.
    There's also Dave Glantz's The Soviet Conduct of Operational Maneuver that covers the history and development of modern Soviet operational thought.  Soviet AirLand Battle Tactics by William Baxter is also a solid work (don't let the name fool you - he wrote it to be more "approachable" by western officers). Not as dry as many others, too.
  2. Like
    BletchleyGeek reacted to The_Capt in CM Cold War - Beta AAR - Soviet Thread - Glorious Soviet Victory at Small German Town 1980   
    March to Glorious Victory Post #3 - Clausewitz was a Chump (min 5-7)
      From the title I think you can gather that I am not an enormous fan of good old Uncle Carl.  It isn't that he is totally wrong, it is the fact that he is only half right.  I get that we are all products of our time and station in life and Carl was a Prussian aristocrat in the early 19th century, so his views of the world and warfare reflect that.  It is what he missed as he tries to package something as deep and fundamental as warfare into a nice tight (and very German) manual. 
       War is an extension of policy, governed by government, fueled by a well-behaved public and executed in glorious isolation by a professional military, really only says one thing...war is a rational exercise.  It may have irrationality in its guts but those error bars (i.e. friction etc) are still governed by logic and over-arching structure.   I am with John Keegan on this one...Carl gets the theory of the mechanics but misses the entire point.
       War is emotional, it is cultural and it is very irrational.  To the point very few animals in nature engage in the type of warfare we are capable of conducting (ants actually...really interesting).  "Uh, so what The _Capt?".  Well you can see it in this battle I am having with Bil.  On one hand I can see that there is a rational/logical construct at play here...on the other I am beginning to loathe this withered old crone...as he stares across the field at me through those milky old eyes.
       The_Capt's personal definition of warfare: "a collision of irreconcilable envisioned realities, as all parties negotiate with an unwritten future".  War's function is three main components: communication, negotiation and sacrifice.  So I ask myself:  what am I communicating through my violence?  What is my opponent willing to give and take?  What am I willing to lose?
      I would ask that you all keep this in mind as we proceed...I know I will.  So here we are at turns 5 through 7.
    Turn 5, was pretty uneventful, except for one Cpl Shnookskov who died in the service of his country as the Sneaky Peeky portion of Bil's plan begins to unfold.

    We are down a recon BMP, but I am advancing recon squads forward as per the "hey look Bil, I really care about having schnitzel tonight!"

    Turn 6 and the crew shows up.  BTW in-game we have various models that reflect both Soviet and US organizational doctrine.  This is a purchasable Forward Security Element:

    So my job here is to get these guy in position to be TEETH without Bil pounding them into scrap metal,   You will note I already have my MANPADs dismounted...for all Soviet player I highly suggest you do this as early as possible.
    Turn 7 and I see Bils plan begin to emerge.
    So 
    So there is an M60 up there plinking away at my Recon screen, or at least one I can see.  On this turn they managed to ping yet another BMP on my left, I am jockeying  the remainder to at least make it look like I am trying.  So my real issue now is all about timing.  

    I have another Coy of tanks on the way but I know Bil has forces on the way too.  So do I go now, or wait?  My arty is still 10 mins out on the upper line and it is 16 min out on the outskirts of Dollbach....hmm.
      
  3. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to benpark in Frustrated by this recent CMCW announcement . . .   
    That tracks, somewhat-
    Victim is a new term for having extra time to create more stuff- since the mid-2010's, if I track back to when we first started laying down the foundational ideas. It's always been BFC's timeline, but our relatively small but powerful team kept it going and thriving until they said "stop".
    Two games, at once. A good thing.
    There was no overlap that would create stalls between these two modules, though some of us transitioned to the modern game when done (and I have given some advice to the modern team gleaned from F&R experience). There aren't a lot of us, but there are enough for two fully functioning teams to work somewhat independently (as you now see).
    F&R will stand on its own merits. It is a monster of a module.
  4. Like
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Bil Hardenberger in U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980   
    Good stuff guys... in turn 5 as shown in my last post, the M-60A!(RISE+) fired two APFSDS rounds at the BMP... here is the ammo loadout for the M-60A!(RISE+)..
    ..for some reason I was thinking it fired HESH.

  5. Upvote
  6. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Bil Hardenberger in U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980   
    Not a fair comparison IMO.  The Syrians and Egyptians in the Arab Israeli Wars were not the Soviets.  They were minor league at best... and in this game the first team, the Soviets, can be deadly and more than  match for a US force of equivalent size.
  7. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Bil Hardenberger in Frustrated by this recent CMCW announcement . . .   
    CMCW did not steal any resources from F&R.  
     
    They were concurrent developments and in fact CMCW did not impinge on any F&R testers/content developers until very late in development.  @BFCElvissaw to that  
    Bil
  8. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Bil Hardenberger in U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980   
    Fifth Minute – Return of the Blood Board!
    “Onward we stagger, and if the tanks come, may God help the tanks.”
    William Darby
     
    Near NAI2 a Tank Section 1 tank (1/9)) spotted the BMP-1PK that M-150(1/4) had spotted in the previous minute and fired short on. 

    It took two rounds, but eventually the tank put one through the BMP, in the front and out the back.  This was the Company Commander BMP mentioned in my last post.  Hopefully the Company CO was on board when the round hit. 
    Range:  1610m.

    Another BMP-1PK (Company HQ vehicle) moved forward and was spotted on NAI2 by M150(1/5) .  It loosed a TOW, which after about 10 seconds in the air…

    …hit the damned trees.  This BMP is very well situated and close enough to the edge of the trees to still be able to see out, yet far enough back that the trees provide some protection.  Classic positioning.
    Range: 1546m

    One of the Scout Teams has reached it’s observation position (OP) and notices some infantry movement moving from NAI3 and it looks like it may be heading toward the town.  No... this does not appear to be related to the MP that was just destroyed.
    Also spotted as an infantry or scout team moving from NAI2 towards the smoke screen.  Will keep an eye on these contacts, but I find it curious that Warren would order dismounted teams to move towards Dolbach.

    Reinforcements!  Received my first (of two) reinforcements this turn.  Including:
    2nd AC Platoon equipped with M113A1, M-60A1, and M150 Tank Hunters
    Mortar Section equipped with an HQ on an M-577 and x3 M106A1s Armored Cavalry (AC) Troop HQ and Forward Observer team, both mounted on M-113A1s
    What are my plans for them?  It is way too early and I don’t have enough information to task them yet.
    For now they will be the first component of my reserve, counter-attack force.  I plan on keeping 1st AC Platoon engaged and observing the enemy movements and positions.  Once I have enough information I will make a plan for my reserve.
    I think I can put my M-106s to work pretty soon though, depending on what he sends down EAA1.

    For Reference:


  9. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Macisle in FRAPS no longer works in CM games?   
    I had the same experience with FRAPS awhile back (year or two?) and haven't used it since. However, I discovered that the built-in Game Bar feature in Windows does everything FRAPS does and more. You might want to check that out.
    Be sure it's enabled in your system settings. Then, Windows key+G to toggle. There are lots of other hot key combos that you can discover by hovering after toggling on. The two main ones:

    Winkey+Alt+Printscreen for screenshot
    Winkey+Alt+R for video record (toggle)
    Default save location for captures is Videos/Captures.
  10. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to The_Capt in CM Cold War - Beta AAR - Soviet Thread - Glorious Soviet Victory at Small German Town 1980   
    Uh, ok...not sure this is better but hey, each to their own.

  11. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Ryujin in 1980's Tactics Question?   
    Thickest armor is still the turret front by far. You don't want to be taking hits to the hull (which for many tanks is were most of the ammo is as well). Ideally you don't want to sit hull down and trade shots, but scope for targets turret down if you can, pop up to hull down to engage, then move. This limits the amount of tank and time exposed while only showing the best armor, which is even more important with accurate and powerful ammo flying around. 
    At this time frame there isn't the same line up of super ammo and thermals are just coming in. The original M1 is good, but it really is a "beta" version of the M1, without the many armor upgrades and the same 105 and ammo as your M60s. Things should be more lethal than ww2, but not at shock force/black sea levels of M1s punching through anything they come across. 
    Having used the original M1/M60A3 a bunch in steel beasts, it'll be interesting to see how they perform in CM, but I expect the tank fights could easily go to either side.
    I think the big thing you'll need to get used to is DPICM (and ICM to a degree). Tanks getting wiped out by artillery is going to be a big shift and you can't just park somewhere and cover an angle safely like in WW2. 
  12. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to akd in Pre-reading recommendations   
    FM 7-8 Infantry Platoon and Squad (1980)
    FM 7-7 The Mechanized Infantry Platoon and Squad (1977)
    FM 7-7 The Mechanized Infantry Platoon and Squad (1985)
    FM 7-7J The Mechanized Infantry Platoon and Squad (Bradley) (1986)
    FM 71-1 The Tank and Mechanized Infantry Company Team (1977)
    FM 71-2 The Tank and Mechanized Infantry Battalion Task Force (1977)
    FM 17-95 Cavalry (1981)
    FM 71-100 Armored and Mechanized Division Operations (1979)
    FM 71-101 Infantry, Airborne, and Air Assault Division Operations (1980)
    FM 7-20 The Infantry Battalion (Infanty, Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger (1980)
  13. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to The_Capt in CM Cold War - Beta AAR - Soviet Thread - Glorious Soviet Victory at Small German Town 1980   
    So what I am hearing is that it is not me you love....you just need me for your Grog porn needs....disgusting.....but ok.


    Apologize in advance as I am not the best screen shot guy.  (Top T64B1s...love that tank, Bottom BMP 1PK,,,lookin bad ass.)
     
  14. Like
    BletchleyGeek reacted to General Jack Ripper in U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980   
    Firmly ensconced onto my, "I desperately need to read this at some point in my life," list.
     
    Kelly Johnson had a saying that went something like, "If it doesn't look right, it won't fly right."
    Well, the M60 just looks right.
    Here's hoping they fly right too.
  15. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to IICptMillerII in Any new engine features?   
    DPICM/ cluster munitions for artillery and aircraft, respectively. I'm not sure if it qualifies as an engine improvement, but it is certainly a new feature. Highly requested by the community as well, and will be a big game changer for tactical battles. I have no idea if it is going to make its way to the other modern titles. That decision/discussion is above my paygrade. Although I will say that I think it is reasonable to expect it to eventually make it there. 
    Otherwise, there are no major engine upgrades coming with CMCW.
    FASCAM is another thing that falls outside the scope of CM. A FASCAM fire mission would literally take an hour to call in, it is not something that an artillery battery can just be given a map coordinate and then fire at. There are a ton of different variables that go into it. In CM it is best simulated by having a minefield already present on the battlefield and labeling it FASCAM. In fact, there is a scenario that essentially does just that, but I won't say more so I don't spoil the surprise. 
  16. Like
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Bil Hardenberger in U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980   
    Fourth Minute - First Contact!
    Forgive me for a second AAR post today, but I will be traveling tomorrow and wanted to get this one published tonight.
     
    “One should not be diverted by geographical objectives, but should concentrate on the destruction of the enemy’s military forces.”
    Classic Russian Military Principles
     
    A little excitement during this turn, and first shot fired (all times are in Game Time, counting down from 40:00).  Yellow text for contacts equals a tentative contact, red text is for solid identified contacts. 
    @36:47:  Early in this minute M150 (1/5) got a firm spot on an enemy BMP moving to the edge of the woods, then immediately lost the contact as it continued forward slightly.  Positive ID: BMP-1P.  Note:  this is a resolution of the tentative spot from the third minute.
    @36:35:  M150 (1/4) noticed some movement near NAI3.  Appears to be a light armored vehicle, suspected to be a BMP.
    @36:21:  The 36:35 spot becomes a positively identified BMP-1P as it nosed slightly out of the treeline.   This BMP is oriented directly toward M-150(1/4) but does not have a spot, it could be overwatching the ridge the Tank Hunter is sitting on.

    Note the type of ATGM (AT-4 I believe) and the mast antenna.  The ATGM makes it a BMP-1P, the mast antenna makes this a BMP-1PK, a Company Commander's personal ride.  One Company HQ identified... make a note.
    As the BMP halted at the edge of the treeline it gave M-150 (1/4) enough time to aim and loose a TOW, which alas, fell well short of the mark probably due to my smoke screen.  The contact was then immediately lost, probably due to the smoke, missile destruction debris etc.

    With any luck, the enemy commander will have missed the missile launch and will think the missile’s impact with the ground is a spotting round.

    @36:04:  M150 (1/4) noticed some movement within NAI2.  Appears to be a light armored vehicle, suspected to be a third BMP.  One full Company or parts of two?  Time will tell.  
    Only one adjustment was made to my positions this turn.  After a quick check, M-150 (1/4) is only Partially Hull Down to the BMP it fired at this turn so will be reversing into a full Hull Down position to this enemy vehicle, and will also be narrowing its cover arc to focus on the location of this enemy BMP.
    A note about Hull Down… just because you are Hull Down to one piece of ground, does not mean you are Hull Down to another.  You should check and recheck this as a scenario unfolds, especially when you have firm contact sightings.

    Bil
    COMING UP NEXT:  The Return of the Famous Blood Board!!
  17. Like
    BletchleyGeek got a reaction from Bil Hardenberger in U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980   
    Lovely pictures @Bil Hardenberger they do really illustrate what's going on in the game.
  18. Like
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Bil Hardenberger in A Word on Follow-on Modules   
    I know everybody is excited and would like to know what is next after the Base Game... believe me we are all excited too!
    As far as follow-on modules go.. yes several are planned, but what they are specifically we will keep to ourselves until after the game is released.  For now the focus must stay on the base-game for us, but feel free to conjecture and dream, I enjoy those threads, but we won't be confirming or denying anything until after this one is on the street.
    Just so you guys know that we aren't ignoring you in those discussions, we are trying to stay focused and not get sidetracked so we can deliver this thing in time.
    Cheers, Bil
  19. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to SimpleSimon in U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980   
    Not much differently from 1945 either Bletchley. Apply firepower, then a little more, and once the heavy guns are dry, send some bullets. Then send men, but not prior to flattening the grid square. If you're using an Armored Division troop, apply all of the above, but send a tank between the bullets and then the man step. Tactically the US Army looked pretty good, and was second only to the Red Army in being subject to the least of post-war cuts and expenditure reductions-which were still quite substantial nonetheless. US Army Divisions had all of their artillery batteries augmented from 4 guns to 6 after the war, however some of the expansions in US heavy firepower were offset by Soviet improvements in their own artillery parks. So unlike the Wehrmacht US Infantry would be facing much more serious threats from counter-battery and preparatory fire this time around. The BM-21 is not a terribly sophisticated piece of equipment but God, they sure got a hell ofa lot of em! 
    Much like the Wehrmacht, it seems that much American thinking was now oriented toward strong-point style defense which would hopefully nullify much of the consequence of the heavier fire by simply not presenting any target. Then of course the Armored Divisions would have many built in advantages against that but much like the conundrum facing the Panzer Divisions in 1944- how many of those do you have? You've got 7th Army. Group Soviet Forces Germany alone is seven Armies. 
    What's the promise of defeating the Red Assault with strings of infantry in blocking positions and counter-attacks by Armored Divisions to plug gaps? If 1945 is any hint, it's not good-but there's room for frustrating time-tables and slowing down the enemy's advance. This was a big element of the REFORGER exercises after all ie: hold on until the cavalry arrives. In this frame there's quite a room for Combat Commands/Brigade Combat Teams to work around inside of. If Bill's force looks like the buffet table at the Shoney's that's because his force is a post ROAD (Reorganization of Army Divisions) command. IE: It's all Brigade Combat Teams, not Regiments. So the structure is closer to 2007, but the execution will still look more like 1945. 
  20. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to The_Capt in CM Cold War - Beta AAR - Soviet Thread - Glorious Soviet Victory at Small German Town 1980   
    March to Glorious Victory Post Number One.
      So Bil and I have a loose-agreement (I would say gentlemen's but that is probably a stretch) to not peek at each others threads.  The dirty truth here is that this isn't really an AAR per se, it is more of an IAR (In Action Report).  Full disclosure, we are only about 6 mins into the thing, so I can't really put a spin on my plan or anything because I have no idea how this will end.  So far so good  but we are in early days.  We should start posting turn summaries tomorrow but for now may I present an end-product of about roughly 32 years of military training in both line and staff positions...The_Capt's glorious Mission Analysis!  
    So here we are on this grubby little peice of West German real-estate (seriously, Pete Wenman is a freakin wizard with these maps btw) facing off against what I am sure are overfed, overpaid and over-entitled Yankee capitalists all huddled in their vehicles waiting for something to happen.  So like they taught me back in the day..let's start with terrain:

    So my guys are coming from the bottom, Bil and his jerks are up near the top.  I have a bunch of woods except for this defile behind a hwy bridge that I have to deploy my main force out of.  We have a big valley between us and the town of Dollbach in the center which is the golden goose we are both lining up to grab, whilst killing the other guy.  Not much to see on my map edge except a bunch of woods with some dirt roads cut through them.  
    Bil has the high ground ridge up there and there are three major wooded areas that him and his ilk are no doubt hiding out in.  It is more one on the left but pretty much that approach along with the Valley is dominated by Bil's thugs.  In short, this is not an optimal starting position.
    Bil's Plan.  So I have learned some time ago that you are not fighting vehicles and equipment, you are fighting a person (Capt's rule #1).  So spend time understanding and getting inside the head of that person.  With Bil it is easy because we have been sparring in CM for just about 2 decades now.  So here is what I am thinking, that Bil is thinking:

    So Bil is probably going to be cautious and build a nice path to victory here.  First he is going to put out Eyes in those woodlines, then he will reinforce with teeth because why stick his neck out if he does not have to?  Then once I have watered the West German countryside with my blood (and other fluids) he will make his reach for Dollbach (Hands...dirty, old, wrinkly hands with yellow fingernails).  I will be at a significant disadvantage at this point because I will be dead, and you do not fight so well when dead (Capt's rule #2).  So my role here is to play peeky snipey from a really crappy position with Soviet gear that does not see as well as his sexy US optics...hmm...Capt no-likey, no likey...one bit.  So now the Plan:

    My end goal is to make Bil more dead than me, not to get heavily invested in the West German real estate market.  So we are going to try something simple and blunt.  First, I will get Eyes on my woodline, gotta see what I can see (Capt's Rule #3).  Then I am going to put out hands...fingers really, to make it look like the land grab is my only game.  Then once my art start dropping (could be wait here cause he has EW turned on), I am going to bull rush that corridor and swing up into those hills to kill Bil (Teeth).  This is going to be tricky and I am going to take losses but I can afford them.  I get a MIC FSE in 5 and another Tank Coy-ish in 10, so I will have mass because I am betting the best he has is an Armd Cav platoon, maybe two.  So basically we will play Bil's snipey peeky game for a bit, push recon out into that town to make me look desperate and then freakin charge on the left.  Questions?
     
  21. Like
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Bil Hardenberger in U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980   
    Tentative Plan
    Battle Planning:  My philosophy is to never develop a final plan until I have an estimate of the enemy situation. 
     
    “The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That's the time to listen to every fear you can imagine!  When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!”
    George S. Patton
     
    In the above quote, Patton is describing the OODA Loop, though of course John Boyd’s description and breakdown of his now famous loop was still decades away.
    OODA Loop (Observe-Orient, Decide-Act) - In the OODA loop the Observe-Orient components never stop, from the battle kickoff to the end. They are always running, and all enemy interactions and sightings feed Observe-Orient which add to the picture a commander has of his battle space making their decisions easier, faster, and more intuitive. 
    If you can beat your opponent to “understanding the situation” then your OODA Loop will cycle at a much higher pace than theirs and your decisions will be more effective and they will be at least one step behind, which is a bad place to be in a fast paced combat zone.

    For this battle, I need to get eyes on NAI 1, 2, and 3 as quickly as possible so this initial formation (1st Platoon) will act as my reconnaissance force.  
    Once I have an idea as to how the enemy is deploying I can then Decide how to Act.  Once a decision has been made there must be no hesitation, act aggressively and with confidence in the decision.
      

     
    I can make some assumptions: 
    Assumption 1:  The enemy will attempt to seize the village.  This is a sure bet, as it is the main objective for this scenario, for both sides. Assumption 2:  The enemy will advance down EAA1 towards the village.  Another safe assumption due to the masked movement corridor this avenue presents. Assumption 3:  The enemy will build a SBF position close to either NAI2 or NAI3, or both.  Reasoning is that both of these positions can provide excellent flank support to the main effort, probably moving through EAA1.  

    Reconnaissance Plan:  In order to get eyes on the enemy I need to close the distance as soon as possible. 
    Scouts:  My main recon force will be the three M113s, Scout teams and the Platoon HQ team. Which will rush toward Dolbach, dismount prior to entering, and creep forward as far as possible.  These are not expendable units, I want them alive and capable to help in a later phase.  CMCW Feature:  New to Cold War, US Scout teams all have the ability to call for fire.
     

    Overwatch: The two M-150 TOW vehicles will provide long range overwatch from the ridge.  Their visibility from up there is suspect and I am pessimistic as to the level of fire they will be able to place on the enemy.  

    Overwatch/Support by Fire: Split into two, two-tank teams the M-60A1(Rise+) tanks will be on the extreme right flank providing Support by Fire and Overwatch for the M113s.  Their goal will be to shadow the M113s and to interdict any enemy vehicles they can.  

    Obscuration:  My two Howitzer batteries will be laying down a quick smoke screen in front of the enemy in order to, hopefully, decrease his ability to engage any of my moving units.  Also this is meant to increase the difficulty of the enemy spotting and any shots the Soviets may attempt.  
    Intent:  The intent and goal for this initial phase is to answer as many of the PIRs as possible prior to the initial reinforcement wave (5 minutes).  They are not to get decisively engaged or do anything stupid that will force them to suffer casualties.  Force preservation is key, especially for the tanks and the M-150s.
    Bil
  22. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to The_Capt in CM Cold War - Beta AAR - Soviet Thread - Glorious Soviet Victory at Small German Town 1980   
    So welcome to our Beta AAR.  Introductions, I am The_Capt...hello.  Some old timers may remember me from back in the day but for the newbies (and hopefully there are a lot of you) I am the Simon to Bil's Garfunkel.  While Bil is detailed, deliberate and cool all resting on a foundation of real talent; I am erratic, insecure and hot-headed resting on very occasional unpredictable sparks.  Between the two of us we try to make wonderful music.
    So first the obvious, what is CM Cold War and where did it come from?  Well the game is our brainchild, not that it took a serious leap of imagination as people had been talking about a Cold War game for years.  Bil and I had been looking for a title to cut our designer-teeth on for years as well, and after a few false starts we approached BFC with the idea about 7-8 years ago, to which Steve sagely looked at two complete amateurs and said "uh, sure...why don't you guys go pull some stuff together and we will do lunch".  So we did up all the boring and work-like stuff most of you never see; project documents, historical research, backstories, TO&Es (pouring over things like Senate Arms Committee records and back issues of the US Army magazines), and campaign designs.  Once we did all this we came back to Steve like proud children that had just performed surgery on the family cat.  Steve's eyes went a little wider and very Bruce Willis-like said, "ok let's give these kids a shot".  I am pretty sure we were to remain a weird side project in the basement - that is where the older Beta Testers go in the end - but last year things accelerated and we found ourselves suddenly thrust into the rock and roll lifestyle of computer wargame designers...without the groupies, cocaine or leather pants.
    So with a very small team, a tight timeline and another look from Steve that was somewhere between "ya, there is no way these guys are going to make it" and "but if they do...?" (seriously, support from the BFC guys has been outstanding) we started the journey.  So when you play the game on release (it is no secret we are on track for Apr, after Easter) you know who to curse when something either does not look quite right or you are getting beat up on a campaign (the Soviet one is particularly brutal).  If you love the game, praise the entire team, if you are angry that the Soviet officer holster does not look right, feel free to vent at either Bil or I, mostly Bil.
    Onto the AAR.  Ok in the proudest tradition of this thing, Bil will wow you all with dazzling intelligence products that would make an ASIC weep.  I, on the other hand, prefer a  more tactile and coffee-stained approach...I also tend to lose these fights.  This map comes from the US campaign, a scenario called Dollbach Heights, but do not worry the scenario is completely different so no spoilers.  This whole thing is occurring in the backdrop of a Cold War-gone-hot strategic situation set in summer of 1982, which may seem quaint today but back in '83 we actually came pretty close.  The Soviets are basically making a break for the Rhine as fast as possible before reserves can be called up and fly-overs conducted.  The US forces are the tripwire forces of V Corp with units like the 11 ACR and 3rd Armd Div (for this AAR we do not assign particular units) as the game centers on the Fulda corridor (between the West German border and Frankfurt).  So the strategic game is simple, Soviets have to move fast as possible to get in close to the major urban areas, knock France out and put the UK into close range.  The bet back in Moscow is that at this point NATO will fracture as half of them sue for peace...we will see how that works out.
    A couple points on force balance and doctrine.  So this is 1980, the beginning of a vapid and synthesizer-infested decade (trust me I was there). The US forces are still recovering from the entire Vietnam experience.  Goldwater-Nicols has not happened so we are still talking about conventional service competition in the US military, which was unhealthy (still is) and a US Army that was slowly coming out of the old ROADs models and heading towards AirLand Battle.  The TO&Es are based on the '77 force structures (you will note US tank platoons have 5 tanks).  The "so what?" is that US forces are pretty much at their most vulnerable point in this era.  They lack mass and are moving to active defense and maneuver warfare but the equipment has not caught up.  It is going to feel weird to some but this is a modern (well semi-modern) title where US forces do not dominate the battlefield.  They have to be played carefully to achieve parity.  For example the T62 can kill an M60A3 in the front from about 1500m, so the US player must be elegant and clever...like the gentle fox.
    The Soviets on the other hand are the bear that eats said gentle fox and then poops him out, barely breaking stride.  The Soviets at this point are pretty much near the top of their game.  Their equipment is solid, if a little blind, and they have mountains of it. Soviet operational doctrine is actually very good, it uses mass much like it did in WW2, and frankly Genghis would be proud at how well the Soviet can throw MRRs at a problem and simply keep going.  The T64 is a beast, probably the best Soviet tank in the game (particularly the B versions), the T80 can throw a punch too.  The Soviet use of ATGM is frankly terrifying.  First, they literally put those things on just about everything, and the AT 5 feels like the modern day Javelin in that, if it can hit, it will kill.  In testing one scenario of the US Campaign, I played sloppy and watched an BMP MRB shred all the US armor in about 5 mins...so there is that.   
    At a tactical level the Soviet are all about lining up the punch.  They were not mindless hordes, they would prepare and shape with recon but when they decided to throw that punch...oh, my.  First they would drop the sky on top of you using massed artillery.  Then they would advance en masse  along multiple axis projecting dilemma everywhere for an opponent.  They would then trade shots until your armor is gone and finally they might dismount and clean up any poor infantry you have left.  I say 'might' because they would often simply bypass those huddle GIs and just keep going.
    So for this AAR, I will try to emulate the soviet approach as much as possible.  Stay tuned and see how it turns out.       
  23. Like
    BletchleyGeek got a reaction from chuckdyke in A War Without Mercy (FB).   
    Jeez mate, that was a bit of obscure trivia. 
    Another great scenario,  too.
  24. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek got a reaction from AlexUK in Welcome to West Germany   
    So the BAOR module is already in the works, I presume? Looking forward to see some chaps in their black berets and their SLRs.
  25. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Pete Wenman in U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980   
    I hope Bil doesn't mind but the evolution of the Dollbach map. Note the map image predates the autobahn and bridge. It also gives an overview of the battlefield for those that like that kind of detail

    P
     
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