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  1. Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone. This will be an AAR series, covering my playthrough of the US Army campaign of Shock Force 2: 'TF Thunder'. I briefly dipped my toe into this campaign in Shock Force 1, but only as far as the first mission. This will be my first proper playthrough of a Combat Mission campaign, and I'm sharing it all with you! So, without further ado, let's get into the campaign briefing. The ground invasion of Syria has begun. After a three-day-long aerial bombardment, NATO forces are pouring into the country from all sides; The US Army from the East, the British Army from the North and South, NATO forces from the North and the US Marines from the coast. I am commanding a battalion of Task Force Thunder, a Stryker Brigade reinforced with armoured units. I have under my command two Stryker rifle companies (A and C), an armoured company of M1A2 Abrams tanks (B), an armoured infantry company in Bradley IFVs (D) and an armoured engineer company also in Bradleys (E). This is a fast and powerful combat force, equipped with the best fighting equipment on Earth and manned by some of the best soldiers on Earth. And in the finest American tradition, the battalion is liberally supported by artillery and airpower. Our brigades mission is to slice Syria in half, striking from East to West along a route designated 'Route Lightning', with our limit of advance being the important Syrian city of Hims (also known as Homs). My enemy will initially consist of Syrian reservists and militia holding the border. These units are poorly trained, poorly led and poorly equipped. As we push into the interior of the country resistance will stiffen, varying from the still poorly equipped but slightly better led and trained regular units, to the elite, well-equipped units of the Republican Guards currently around Hims. Also, scattered throughout the country there will be pockets of paramilitary, special forces and other irregulars, many of which are well trained, motivated and equipped. There will be tough fighting ahead. Speed and force protection is the name of the game for this campaign. Our mission is to neatly snip Syria in half as quickly as possible, but our last objective is a tough urban target. Replacement of casualties and destroyed vehicles will not be happening. Taking too many casualties early on will make our mission exponentially more difficult. I will have to carefully balance aggression and caution to complete this campaign successfully. In the next instalment, we'll take on the first mission. Stay tuned!
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