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CM Black Sea – BETA Battle Report - Russian Side


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antaress73 I can't wait to read an AAR from you... seems you have all the answers.

 

LOL! Yeah, it can get tough having all the 20/20 hindsight critiques. Perfect is the enemy of good enough.

 

The sign of a good commander is his ability to pick the least worst option in a situation characterized by chaos, confusion, and an uncooperative opponent.

 

Antaress73 does make a valid point...which doesn't matter in this battle. I'm reminded of the '30's Sandhurst officer tests vs. those of the Wehrmacht. The British (and everyone else but the Germans) focused on the "Perfect" book answer and graded their officers accordingly. The Germans took them out in the field, gave them 5 minutes, and then had them walk through what they'd just ordered. I'll leave it to you to determine which type of decision making led to better tactical results.

 

What antaress73 probably meant was, "Bil, you shouldn't fight in an area with rolling hills, built up zones, and dense foliage. Only battle the US/UKR in this fight when you have more advantages."  (Okay, that was tongue in cheek.)

 

FWIW, I think Bil's done a fantastic job in this battle. I don't mean that lightly: his aggressiveness against the US/UKR screening force was as unanticipated as it was effective.

 

It'll be interesting to see how the next part of the battle shapes up.

 

Ken out.

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Bil and pnzrldr are playtesting this scenario, after all. I do think this scenario would be improved with some more depth for the US/UKR side. But I have the benefit of hindsight :)

If am pretty sure that the scenario designer is taking notes of what might need to be changed. And, most importantly, if we were not to be satisfied with the scenario we can change it to our heart's content when BS comes out.

If we really want to lawyer things, agusto, and discuss about gameyness, the thing is that pnzrldr would have "surrendered" the scenario. That would account rather well for the US side to re-evaluate its plan, possibly maneuver around or bring forward more firepower.

That, most certainly isn't going to happen.

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He has a point though, Bil. I am afraid too that you fast advance will put you too close to pnzrldrs reinforcements when they arrive. It would be quite gamey IMO if his reinforcements, all bunched up and in parade formation, teleport right in front of your guns and you open up at them with deadly firepower at the very moment they arrive. I am sure you are aware of this though and you wont exploit it.

 

How close to the edge do you guys think I am?  Most of what I suspect will be where Scott's reinforcements will arrive I have no visibility on at all.  I could have ran all the way to the edge of the map with 1st MRC, and with elements of 2nd MRC but that would have been less than sporting, and even if I had my units would not have lasted long at all.  No, I want to engage Scott's US forces in close terrain to nullify his range advantage, and to hopefully force him to piecemeal his units through this terrain as he hunts me down.  

 

The only unit I have that has some visibility on a portion of the edge is the Khrizantema section of two vehicles.  But I would have been a fool to not overwatch this area... if Scott comes in on the northern edge in strength then I doubt that little bit of force on my part will matter much.

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hey Bill ! No hard feelings ! It's my two cents ! (and it's worth as much)  You are in an actually difficult position and I wouldn't want to be in your shoes ! I'm just trying to have fun here because I can't play the game yet ! Tough scenarios are like puzzles sometimes... you have to play them (against the A.I) a few times to see what works and what doesnt. Kind of like training versus playing against a competent human opponent (real life). Which is unforgiving. ANd I want you to win because I always root for the underdog ! (not that you are not an accomplished player, you are !) 

Edited by antaress73
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hey Bill ! My two cents ! (and it's worth as much)  You are in an actually difficult position and I wouldn't want to be in your shoes ! hehehe I'm just having fun here because I can't play the game yet !

 

It's all good.. I don't mind criticism, as long as its constructive... I might deserve some damning criticism for how I am playing this scenario.. but to this point I don't think so.  

 

I will agree with a few of your points:  

  1. Splitting my armor is a problem and goes against my usual practice... my thinking:  T-90AMs do not fair well versus M1A2 SEPs, so I chose to use most of them against the enemy formation they stand a better chance against, namely the Ukrainians in the pocket.  The others with 1st and 2nd MRCs will be used to snipe at enemy vehicles as or if the opportunity allows, and hopefully will survive long enough to hurt Scott some.
  2. Khrizantema section is too close to be effective.. well maybe.. long LOS is not easy to find on this map... I suspect they could die quickly versus M1s as they are a real bitch to kill.. but if I can get some flank shots then they could be effective... we will see shortly I think.
Edited by Bil Hardenberger
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How close to the edge do you guys think I am?  Most of what I suspect will be where Scott's reinforcements will arrive I have no visibility on at all.  I could have ran all the way to the edge of the map with 1st MRC, and with elements of 2nd MRC but that would have been less than sporting, and even if I had my units would not have lasted long at all.  No, I want to engage Scott's US forces in close terrain to nullify his range advantage, and to hopefully force him to piecemeal his units through this terrain as he hunts me down.  

 

Well you posted a screenshot* 1 or 2 turns ago where it looks like the most forward vehicles of 1st and 2nd MRC are maybe 150 - 200 meteres away of the most forward edge of the area you expect pnzrldr units to arrive. It is difficult to judge LOS/LOF from this high above the map, but the only truely save area for his reinforcements to arrive seems to be near the workshop, the area you designated as 2. Anyways, i am sure you wont play unsportsmanlike, i was just speaking my mind. IIRC you yourself asked for our thoughts on how the game went so far :) .

 

*http://community.battlefront.com/topic/116715-cm-black-sea-–-beta-battle-report-russian-side/?p=1565038

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It's that bad Bill ? The T-90AM against the M1A2 SEP ? even with flank shots ? Does the M1s always get the first shot despite everything you can try to do to spring a nice ambush ? You did some tests if I remember correctly... what was the exchange ratio ? 

Edited by antaress73
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I see what you are getting at... the 1st MRC units that are closest to the map edge are snipers.. all others are in hide or reverse slope positions with no LOS to the edge at all.. the snipers are acting as observation and listening posts (OPs and LPs) only and will have no effect on Scott's Americans if they come in in area 1...

 

Area 2 as you mention has nobody overwatching it...

 

Area 3 has 2nd MRC in front of it.. but most of those units (except for the two BMPs and infantry hunting the US Scout platoon) are now in the gullies (or moving there fast) with no LOS beyond their immediate vicinity.  The BMPs and infantry next to his US Scout Platoon are also moving to the gully and do not have visibility to the edge and in fact are moving laterally trying to get away from anything that could be coming in.

 

Area 4 has the Khrizantema section overwatching, but they can't see all of that area (due to ground undulations etc.) and I only hope they can spot and kill something before eating some SABOT or TOWs if the Americans even arrive in that area.

 

​I do appreciate you chiming in... sorry for my previous reaction, it sounded like you were accusing me of being less than honorable in my deployments to this point.   ;) 

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It's that bad Bill ? The T-90AM against the M1A2 SEP ? even with flank shots ? Does the M1s always get the first shot despite everything you can try to do to spring a nice ambush ? You did some tests if I remember correctly... what was the exchange ratio ? 

 

Flank shots are effective against the Abrams.. however in my tests even when getting a beautiful flank position often the M1 will spot, be able to rotate its turret, and fire before T90 ever gets a firm spot.  I did get quite a few kills in my tests, and those were only against stationary M1s with no AI orders, and most of the time they were dearly purchased.  These M1s will be commanded by Scott who knows his business, he would not be a Lt. Colonel if he did not.  

 

The M1A2 SEP spots faster, shoots more accurately, and is far better protected than the T-90AM.  

 

I know my limitations, and yes it is that bad of a matchup.

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With Relikt, the T-90AM has some 860mm equivalent protection on the best protected parts of the turret .. the M1A2 around 960mm on the turret except for the gun mantlet . Protection is not the issue. Spotting and engaging seems to be the main difference. Who spots and shoot first win.  I remember being able to get 1-1 exchange rates in shock force against M1A2 SEP with T-72M1V-TURMS which is about the equivalent of the T-90AM in spotting abilities (panoramic sight for commander, thermals, modern fire control from Thales). Battlefront has much better information on the M1A2 then on the T-90AM and I believe that they are seriously underestimated in their spotting abilities from what you've been telling me. Crew difference should be the main factor (which most of the time would favor the US, but to balance things out a designer could make the russians equal). I dont know. If T-90AMs cannot be used effectively to kill M1s while achieving a beautiful flank shot position I dont know what can ! Scenarios with M1A2s equipped with APS can deal with missiles (except for vehicules mounted ones, which can fire in salvos of two but then the M1A2 will spot the incoming missiles and kill the vehicule before the missile strikes). So to balance scenarios the designers should avoid putting M1A2s with APS to give dismounted missile crews a chance to kill them with flank shots.  

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I remember being able to get 1-1 exchange rates in shock force against M1A2 SEP with T-72M1V-TURMS which is about the equivalent of the T-90AM in spotting abilities (panoramic sight for commander, thermals, modern fire control from Thales). 

 

If you can get that kill ratio with a T-90AM versus an M1A2 SEP v2 in CMBS against a human player then you will indeed be a formidable player.

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I doubt it... from what you are telling me. My point is not that I could do better. Of course not ! You are probably a better player than I am. My point is that the T-90AM spotting abilities are underestimated. Take a look at a video of the modern crew compartment of that Tank. CRTs and french electronics everywhere ! Very good and easy ergonomics, point and shoot. At normal range, I seriously doubt an M1A2 SEP2 would be able to detect a flanking T-90AM in good ambush position, turn the turret and fire and kill it even before the T-90AM can get a hard spot on it. A T-72B3 yes, I could believe that. It really sounds like the M1A2 was crewed by robots with instant reaction times and with totally perfect situational awareness and the T-90AM was no better than a vanilla T-72 crewed by retards (which is not).  

Edited by antaress73
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I doubt it... from what you are telling me. My point is not that I could do better. Of course not ! You are probably a better player than I am. My point is that the T-90AM spotting abilities are underestimated. Take a look at a video of the modern crew compartment of that Tank. CRTs and french electronics everywhere ! Very good and easy ergonomics, point and shoot. At normal range, I seriously doubt an M1A2 SEP2 would be able to detect a flanking T-90AM in good ambush position, turn the turret and fire and kill it even before the T-90AM can get a hard spot on it. A T-72B3 yes, I could believe that. It really sounds like the M1A2 was crewed by robots with instant reaction times and with totally perfect situational awareness and the T-90AM was no better than a vanilla T-72 (which is not).

The Abrams has a crew of 4 and the best optics suite. Period. The factor playing into Bil"s hand is Scott is moving. That will hopefully for Bil grant that critical edge. As to the Abrams, I just had one take an engine shot from an RPG and die. They are far from invincible, just tough. Trust Bil, the guy hasn't built his reputation by shooting up jeeps. This battle is far from over.

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The T-90 is as good as it is because the ever so helpful FRENCH sold the Russians complete suites of modern thermals and all associated equipment.  If they are mercenary enough to do that they are certainly willing to sell the CIA not just the specs, but the actual blueprints and test data.  Its just business after all, and Parisian apartments are expensive.  I dare say even the CIA has managed to distribute that info to the relevant bits of the U.S. army.

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I doubt it... from what you are telling me. My point is not that I could do better. Of course not ! You are probably a better player than I am. My point is that the T-90AM spotting abilities are underestimated. Take a look at a video of the modern crew compartment of that Tank. CRTs and french electronics everywhere ! Very good and easy ergonomics, point and shoot. At normal range, I seriously doubt an M1A2 SEP2 would be able to detect a flanking T-90AM in good ambush position, turn the turret and fire and kill it even before the T-90AM can get a hard spot on it. A T-72B3 yes, I could believe that. It really sounds like the M1A2 was crewed by robots with instant reaction times and with totally perfect situational awareness and the T-90AM was no better than a vanilla T-72 (which is not).

Please stop making judgements with no data or reporting to hyperbole. Bil never said the T90 was useless, he simply made it clear he does not want to engage on terms beneficial to Scott. You'll have a much better perspective on the Abram's capability soon enough. Did you happen to catch Chris's Twitter feed? That would give you a little better perspective. Might want to watch that while waiting for the next AAR posts. It has good info as well as great entertainment value while you wait.

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I saw that video and the T-90 fared much better. It seriously contradicted what Bill is saying. Maybe a different build. T-90AM got frontal kills on M1A2 on a regular basis ( lowerhull and gun mantlet, which is realistic) and were able to get the first shot also on a realistic basis. I,M not attacking anyone here LOL... His example about a perfect ambush position being not enough made me a little perplexed that's all. Maybe a fluke or the T-90 crew was asleep ! 

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I have been revisiting shock force recently and I too have been having a surprising level of success with the thermal equipped T-72s against both Abrams and Challengers (I do not own the NATO module). The key is to get them into positions where they have a high chance of both spotting and shooting first, so that typically means putting them stationary in an ambush position looking sideways into the potential path of the Abrams approach. That way they are likely to score a nice side shot as well. If approaching from the front you can forget about any favourable exchange ratio with Abrams. Still, you could potentially still come up on top in the end if you have overwhelming numbers and again being stationary versus moving Abrams. 

 

I am curious to see how much tougher are the Abrams in CMBS compared to the ones we had in Shock Force which were no pushovers to be certain but definitely manageable.

 

Anyways, Nice AAR and Generalship so far Bil, keep up the good work. 

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I saw that video and the T-90 fared much better. It seriously contradicted what Bill is saying. Maybe a different build. T-90AM got frontal kills on M1A2 on a regular basis ( lowerhull and gun mantlet, which is realistic) and were able to get the first shot also on a realistic basis. I,M not attacking anyone here LOL... His example about a perfect ambush position being not enough made me a little perplexed that's all. Maybe a fluke or the T-90 crew was asleep ! 

Not necessarily.  First off note what Bil said about his tests, the M1 was stationary.  He did not say if the T90 was moving into a flank position or preset.  In Chris's video, he had T 90s taking the Abrams under fire from two directions.  The point is I think no one is saying the Abrams is some uber killing machine.  It is just a very good killing machine.  If you had a few Firefly's going up against some Panthers, would you want to take them on head on if you could avoid it?  Of course not.  Bil would prefer to not be moving into a flank position, he wants the Abrams to move into a position from which he can get a flank shot.  It works much much better that way. If you spot first, odds are the enemy is dead.  The Abrams has very good situational awareness, Bil wants to change those odds.

 

This is one thing I think that is so cool about CMBS.  That factor of how to get the spotting edge is everything.  Your tactics will have to adjust and there are a lot of tools and techniques to alter the equation.  The next phase of this battle will be fascinating as both have very good equipment.

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Read the last paragraphs from Bill.. In his mind, one company team of US forces should be able to deal with 2 companies of BMP-3 borne infantry and one company of T-90s plus ...

I read Bill's comment to mean he would be comfortable dealing with rolling over 2MC with a company sized force, not the whole Russian force.

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I thought bill said he was taking on the M1A2 with perfect flank shot ambush positions and it didnt even work on a regular basis .. of course I wouldnt attack the M1A2 frontally ! that's a given. I got exchange rate of 1-1 in shock force against M1A2 SEP by being stationary with reverse slope positions where I could shoot at the M1s by surprise and with rear/flank shots... even then  I only got 1-1 exchange ratios. Going head-on against western tanks is a losing proposition even when equipped with similar western tanks (with the exception of the leopard 2A6.. it can take the M1 head-on with favorable exchange ratios). Precision guided artillery, air assets (choppers and fixed wings) is the way to go against M1A2 on defense in hull-down positions and flank ambush positions under covered terrain is the way to go when defending against them, so it seems.

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The M1A2 SEP spots faster, shoots more accurately, and is far better protected than the T-90AM.  

 

Do you think it would be good idea for a T-90 commander to do it like his grand father did and roll into battle unbuttoned? I know from CMSF that some older Syrian models actually perform much better when unbuttoned (T-55, T-62 and so on) but i dont know about the T-90.

 

I thought it had lots of fancy stuff, like IR vision, periscopes, a fully stabilized gun, a laser range finder and the like, basically all the things the M1 has too. So where does the spotting and accuracy advantage of the M1 come from?

Edited by agusto
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Do you think it would be good idea for a T-90 commander to do it like his grand father did and roll into battle unbuttoned? I know from CMSF that some older Syrian models actually perform much better when unbuttoned (T-55, T-62 and so on) but i dont know about the T-90.

 

I thought it had lots of fancy stuff, like IR vision, periscopes, a fully stabilized gun, a laser range finder and the like, basically all the things the M1 has too. So where does the spotting and accuracy advantage of the M1 come from?

 

I guess first of all not all equipment is created equally. What really makes the difference is the battle-awareness granted by the M1's communication link to other units on the map. Again, the T-90s have stuff is as well, but in an average CM scenario the US forces are going to have better communication, info sharing and spotting for all units than the Russian forces. 1 M1 might spot marginally better than a T-90, a whole US mech battalion is going to spot a lot better than its Russian equivalent because of the cumulative spotting effects.

In CMSF, I always leave the newer Russian/Syrian tanks buttoned, just as I would with the western stuff.

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