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New file at the Repository: CIMIC House (2013-12-24)

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Erwin - I'd hit 'cease fire' now mate - you've done better than I did in the multiple play tests I did. At that point in time I thought I was making good progress if I was anywhere between Green 5 and Green 4. Reference the AI being poor in attacking - I will confess that despite having come up with vaguely justifiable tactical plans the execution as you say is a bit rubbish. The only surprises I am capable of generating are in terms of timing, location and strength - how other mission designers get it to work so well is beyond me.

SPOILERS *********************************************************

There are still dice to roll for the enemy but they are not for a while yet - if you keep playing you are probably going to waste your valuable gaming time sitting on the objectives which is no fun. As I have not 'baked' the file you should be able to go into the mission editor and have a look at how it might all pan out - but there is definitely no gaming value based on your description of where you are in the scenario in seeing it through until the timer runs down.

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Oh... well I am still enjoying it. I figure that I would try and occupy the entire of the final objective bridge zones b4 CF.

Am playing WEGO which is usually a slower game than RT. So, am surprised that I am making better progress than you did. Or, did you do it with fewer friendly casualties?

All I did was make sure that as much as possible, many units were supporting each other as they advanced. The relief force is like a moving bunker with many units having eyes on the same sectors. I really didn't have to dismount more than one platoon as scouts - and that was not until the last few hundred meters when the road gets very close to buildings. The rest of the time, I tried to keep the vehicles as far from buildings as possible. When fired upon, the massed fire of tanks and APC's took out the firer quickly. Only lost one Warrior in the force to an RPG a couple of turns ago, altho' some Challengers have been damaged. (The other Warrior ran over an IED.) Only lost a couple crew and a couple inf from this force.

The CIMIC troops had the heavy lifting as the "urban" terrain meant very close quarters fighting with two Warriors being KIA and maybe 9-10 casualties so far. However, tw platoons were more than adequate to advance, while the third stayed guarding the flank. They easily massacred any Mahdi attacks thru that part of town.

Putting a platoon of contractors into the Pink Govt buildings was key as they easily massacred all the Mahdi attacks towards the buildings with maybe only one friendly casualty.

In terms of making it a more challenging game, maybe put so many IED's offroad that the rellief force has to stay in column on the road.

Also, maybe don't allow such easy occupation of the Pink buildings, or have the Mahdi attack someplace else not so easily defended. A Mahdi attack straight across the town splitting my two attacking platoons from the reserve platoon and units guarding CIMIC and the Pink buildings would have been interesting. I would have had to deploy the third platoon away fom their well-defended positions.

Another question is whether there is a way to tempt the contractors to leave their comfortable and secure defensive positions and move into an attack.

I have MUCH more trouble with the WW2 CM games. Designers have figured out how to put enemy ambushes in buildings that are impossible to see from any distance. You basically have to be adjacent, and by then you're in trouble.

In this CMSF map, it was easy to occupy several buildings with LOS to a target building and blast anything that moved with vastly superior firepower, rinse and repeat...

So, it could be that buildng placement is an issue. Playing this sort of scenario was MUCH harder on the Ramadi map JOKER 3(?). But, that was much more heavlly urban.

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At 30 mins to go have occupied all objectives fully so ceasefired. 412 points vs 320. enemy casualties 343 vs 3KIA, 10WIA and 4 Warriors KO'd.

Failed objective to destroy Mahdi rmy, but since this wasnt a search and destroy mission, not sure how I could have killed more. About 140+ enemy still alive somewhere.

Great training game. Could have been a tougher challenge with better ambushes (requires more cunning building placement), and no repetitive attacks directly into my waiting defenders.

Thank you for all the work you put into designing this!!

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Good job Erwin. Detailed AAR that should help others give it a go.

Combatintman, Your CIMIC House is a solid CMSF scenario IMO. I enjoyed it in playing AI -RT. Your feedback is also limited to folks playing AI. Human to Human could generate a much different outcome.

With all the announcements today in Red Thunder I suspect CMSF-2 and or Black Sea are going to be much more scenario designer friendly for Human vs AI games.

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Erwin - thank for your comments mate - to address some of the points you raise:

More IEDs to encourage taking the road route - I tend to agree with you there.

Enemy positioning in the Pink Palace - Deliberate design decision not to put the enemy there as in reality it was a Govt location and in full view of CIMIC House - had insurgents occupied it they would have been turfed out so it would have been historically inaccurate to put enemy in there from the get go. It also gives the player choices - you know from the briefing that it should not be damaged so you have to go through the process of deciding whether to occupy it or not. Of course this means weighing up the factors of denuding CIMIC House of its defences and depleting the resources required to move East from CIMIC House to link up with the resupply force.


This is an enemy 'secure' VP objective worth a fair amount of points so had you not opted to keep the enemy out of there you would probably have suffered a defeat.


Enemy locations and attack plans in the BUA between CIMIC House and the bridge to the East - Some of the things you discuss as options (continued below the spoiler alert)

SPOILER ALERT *******************

Are actually part of the enemy AI plan but they don't kick in until about the last half hour or so. The fact that you got there before means that they didn't kick in. This comes down to the limitations of the AI editor in CMSF - mission designers have to make a best guess in terms of how players will play the mission IOT present problems for them. In my case because all of my playtesting involved working to a longer and slower approach than yours - I sequenced the timings accordingly. Had I been able to trigger events then of course you would have been in a whole World of hurt but unfortunately I had to go with the best guess.

SPOILER ENDS ***********

Attacks on CIMIC House - Given the besieged nature of the place in reality some form of attack on the place had to feature in the scenario. The design decision was to create a balance of focussing enough enemy on the place and giving them a remote chance of getting close versus not making CIMIC House feel like Rorke's Drift (depicted in the immortal film Zulu) and chucking ' 'undreds and thousands of 'em' ' at the objective.

SPOILER ALERT **************

The neglectful player will come a cropper if they do not take CIMIC House seriously it is worth 50 VPs to Blue and the same to Red - so taking your score of 412 v 320 if any red element gets to stay there at mission end you would have ended up with a much closer result - if you combine this with not denying the enemy the Pink Palace you would have ended up with a score of 362 v 370 which would have been a draw or minor defeat.


Overall (and I've said it before) my main issue with mission design is getting the VPs to stack up properly and unfortunately I struggle to get it right which is why a few of my missions have had riders saying something along the lines of 'It is very difficult to achieve more than a tactical victory' or suchlike. Unfortunately - while I love designing missions onve you have hit your tenth playtest

With this mission I wanted the player to have to tick off every terrain objective while taking as few casualties as possible. This meant that I had to give red quite high bonuses to ensure that if blue called it a day just shy of all of the objectives that they would suffer a minor defeat or it would be a draw. Delays in releasing this mission were wholly related to running playtests to get this balance right but I could not find a way to manipulate the VPs to give greater margins of victory which I would have preferred to do.

I also wanted to time to be a factor and to create a sense of tension towards the end which I think I was successful at in my Zumbelay Mission and thought I had achieved here. You have proved me decisively wrong in that regard!!!

Anyways that's all from me for the moment.

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Maybe the Pink buildings should have a high wall around it to prevent Blue from occupying it so easily? Or at least have limited entrances that could be covered by Red snipers etc. I think that once Blue occupies the Pink, it's all over for any Red attack on Pink unless they come from several directions to overwhlem the defenders.

The troops in CIMIC never got to see action at all. And I was easily able to keep an entire Brit platoon in reserve to guard the right flank of the two platoons that attacked through town and the objctives.

Am still curious why your playtest was slower than my play. Did you accomplish the mission(s) with fewer casualties than I did?

If you do a v2, suggest you make it harder for the CIMIC defenders and develop more strenuous/smarter Red attacks than to cut time from the scenario.

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Erwin - thanks again for the comments.

AFAIK the Pink Palace had a low wall - therefore that is how it is modelled on the map as I have said in various threads I tend to stick with the ground as is rather than massage it to generate tactical advantage or disadvantage for the sake of playability.

My playtests were slow because I am a cautious (and not very good) player and I took the long way around which requires at best suppression of enemies overwatching the route thus slowing progress.

In terms of casualties yes I generally suffered fewer than you did. 1-2 Warriors killed, 1 x Challenger with some form of damage (either armament or mobility) and about 3-4 dismounts were my averages.

Regarding red attacks - I have explained the rationale behind the design decisions. If you replay this scenario try following the tarmac and see how it affects things - you may find that some of what you wish for will actually occur.

No v2 is planned at this moment because I have a fair amount on my plate.

Regards Combatintman.

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