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CM Black Sea - Beta Battle Report - US/UKR Side


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GPS has the advantage of not having to acquire the laser spot, and not providing target warning, counterattack or countermeasures to come into play.


But doesn't it require at least a brief pulse from an LRF to establish the target's position? Help me out here, I am struggling to make up for two decades of reduced attention to modern war making.





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Michael Emrys,


Absent terminal guidance, and there is such a thing as a JDAM with laser terminal guidance, allowing it to hit a moving target, a GPS guided munition goes to a specified coordinate set. The munition cares not how that information is supplied to it, only that it receives that information timely. Here's what happens when, for whatever reason, the munition gets the wrong data.


Excalibur is much better for killing static targets, such as deployed artillery, bunkers, CPs and such than it is for killing mobile targets. Let's say a drone gets into the target area and isn't blown out of the sky. The drone shows where the target is relative to it, can measure the range precisely with its LRF, and the position of the drone itself is accurately known via GPS. Or the drone can simply send back what it sees, and recourse may then be had to computerized maps, allowing target location w/o emitting. From one of these methods (maybe others, such as HUMINT), if everything's working properly, the information on the target's location is passed back up the chain and this, in turn, is sent to the artillery battery, where the shell has the coordinates programmed in.


If firing against a static target,  proper coordinates = death from above, but engaging a target moving about the battlefield is much trickier. This is an integrated system with built-in GPS and laser rangefinder/designator specifically for FOs and JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controller)s. Since the HAMMER knows where it is, it then becomes trivial to determine where anything within visual range is. The reality, though, is this: If the target moves much, the Excalibur is screwed. Several times. The baseline shell is a penetrating unitary munition, so pretty much needs a direct hit. Depending on degree of projectile burial before detonation, there will be some frag hazard radius which wouldn't be good for personnel or vulnerable equipment. In vs armor firing tests of regular 155 mm HE that I've seen, a large frag penetrated the turret side of an M60 tank, hardly a trivial outcome. There are GPS guided Excalibur projectiles w/terminal laser guidance and a smart round in development, but neither is in any kind of production, so may reasonably not be expected for 2017. Nor is any operational, planned or developmental version of Excalibur reprogrammable in flight. Thus, you need a dedicated SPH. preferably close to the target, with everyone primed and ready to go and preferably some means of fixing the target in position (downed bridge, roadblock, fallen tree, mines, etc.). Excalibur is a much better weapon against a defender than it is vs a fast moving attacker. Excalibur can easily get into zones otherwise masked from standard artillery fire (not so much from the 75 degree elevation capable M109 series,~  halfway through mortar elevation coverage) because it can alter its trajectory to get there, rather than being merely a ballistic body once fired.




John Kettler 

Edited by John Kettler
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The narrative style does seem to be a drag on getting AAR posted?

Hoping we can get some more soon?


I've only done 1 AAR, but I can assure you that getting your pics and/or videos sorted out per turn takes the bulk of your time. Typing up the missive, whether your thoughts or your fictional pixeltroops' is mere minutes - and since Pnzrldr does this military lark for a living, it probably comes fairly easy to him.

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Posts up to arrival of MB up by midnight.  Turn of doom by tomorrow at midnight.


FWIW "mere minutes" per Banemen = about an hour and a half per post.  Quit whining, unless you want to come out here and rub my feet while I write.  

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That's one way to shut up a critic. Recommend you hike 10 klicks before affording him the privilege. I totally understand DARs are quite time consuming, and mine for the longest time in CMx1 hadn't even pics, never mind videos. But done well, I believe they transform a straightforward clipped discussion of events into something evocative, immersive, even darkly beautiful at times. How about posting an example of one message of the time you'd actually send to higher were you conducting combat exercises or in battle? Suspect that would make the disgruntled ones beg you not to implement that approach. I look forward to seeing things unfold as you bring your main force into the fray.




John Kettler

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SPC O’Brian and PVT Metcalf focused on keeping their heads down and legs pumping.  O’Brian was mentally thanking the hours and hours of PT his team leader had inflicted on them, along with the Crossfit workouts he used to supplement the regular Army morning fitness training.  With the Javelin and reloads, each was burdened with over 100lbs of gear, but they had trained for moving with it and could keep up a moderate trot for nearly half an hour with only momentary breathers.  He and Metcalf were moving towards a position at the top of the river bank which they had recon’ed with SFC Doty and MAJ Harris the day prior.  They had planned to occupy it in the event that no immediate attack came at them down the road and bridge, in order to get their Javelin into the fight.  Unfortunately, the constant artillery barrage on Krichek had kept them pinned down and for whatever reason the decision to commit them had come late.  Their fires – however effective they turned out to be – would do little for the burning Ukrainian 3rd Company.  But they could help catch the Russians between a rock and hard place if they tried to maneuver once Speed and Power showed up on the battlefield.




O’Brian suddenly slammed flat, taken off his feet by a nearby shellburst.  The weight of gear that slammed down with him added to the discomfort of suddenly coming under fire.

“What the hell are they shelling?  We are the only thing on this side of the river!”  Metcalf cried. 

“Just random fire.  Give it a sec and we’ll keep going.”

Several more shells burst at random along the river bank, but after a moment the pair were up and moving again.  Suddenly to their front a dark green hulk rattled out of the woodline.  O’Brian quickly announced, “friendlies” after spotting the Blue over Yellow emblem on the vehicle, but it gave both men a fright.  Brytva 21 rumbled past to take up a defensive posture at the Krichek bridge, oriented north. 

“Almost there.  Get ready.”  O’Brian called out. 

“Five, this is Guiness.” He puffed a bit as he keyed his mike.

“Five, over.”

“We’re almost there, and saw the Ack-Ack panzer go by. Any update?”

“Negative.  You are cleared to engage any identified target in sector.  Same priority and ROE apply.”

“Roger, out.”



LT Upham saw the intense fire hitting in front of his track.  He knew that the situation was deteriorating and he should pull back. 

“Sir, I still can’t see **** on the hill.  We staying here?” his gunner asked.

“We can’t leave Svendson and his team – they are getting hammered.  Can’t even see where the fire’s coming from!” 

“Sir, I think they just got hit!” the gunner sang out.

“Crap, pull up a bit more.” 

“23 this is Outlaw 16, SITREP! Can you guys get out of there?”  there was no response, and as he watched, more Russian 100mm rounds airburst over his team.  They must have been spotted by the Russian element to the south somehow, and taken under fire.  Upham grabbed his binos and tried to look to the source of the fire to the south, but his view was blocked by the drifting smoke from their earlier protective salvo.  Suddenly the Bradley gunner gasped:

“Dear Lord!”

Upham felt the turret make a small adjustment to the right and dropped his binos to see what had happened.  His blood ran cold, as his gunner began firing the 25mm without any command at all.  The T-90 had appeared a scant hundred meters distant, and as Upham watched it suddenly blossomed a halo of fire, the HE round loaded in the tube detonating just behind the track, and deafening him.  He dropped inside the turret, instinctively seeking protection but knowing it was largely futile.  His gunner continued to pump autocannon rounds at the tank, hoping beyond hope for some sort of lucky hit, walking his burst left and right across the target’s front. The LT glued his eyes to the sight extension, and saw pieces of metal and sparks flying as the hits slammed into the tank.  He inhaled sharply with a moment of hope, about to speak, and then his world exploded.




LT Upham’s gunner and driver escaped from the destroyed Bradley but were unable to recover their LT’s body until after the battle.  For his part in the fight, and unwillingness to leave his exposed troops, the North Carolina native would posthumously receive the Silver Star. 


Nearby, PFC Keane in SSG Svendson’s track watched the destruction of his team leader and LT with horror. 

“Cmon, man, we’re dead meat in this truck.  Let’s go.”  He grabbed the AT4 as he and the driver jumped from their still running HMMWV and slipped away up the gully. 







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What a pity the BMP-3 airburst capability derives from an LRF rather than Fuze VT. Were that the case, a prox popper, as Dad used to call it (he was a big deal in countermeasures) might not save you, but such a jammer would be a big help to later arriving units. Believe we have something like that in inventory, but I have no idea what the nomenclature might be. Great combat footage, but the outcome sucks yet again. I notice you've turned on icons and hit text. This is doubtless a help to some, but I feel it detracts from perceived realism. Also, am confused by the overall tactical picture. You said a Corsar team was moving toward the river bank to cover the crossing, yet I see two big blue arrows, which would appear to indicate a general Ukrainian move away from the river. Or is my suspicion right? Did you perhaps use blue instead of red? Shall be most interested to see what all those 25 mm rounds did to Bil's tank. Who knows? Maybe you cut it up enough that it's significantly degraded? Here's hoping the tide starts to turn before your troops drown outright!




John Kettler

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Blue arrow on right is pointing at Corsar Team.  Blue arrow on left, at their future location.  US Army is fielding a precision airburst tied by data link to the computer called the AMP round. Google it - there's some good dope out there on it.  Full bore 120mm, precision fragmentation, multi-mode (point detonating, delay, and PAB).  Point det has light armor defeat capability, wall breach to 80cm, delay has anti-bunker or building, and airburst is... well... good for most anything else.  Replaces MPAT, Cannister, and HEAT.  Allows anti-aircraft use, with bigger kill basket than MPAT.  Wall breach is better than the dedicated wall breacher.  Frag is better spread/lethality than cannister, and of course, can go off at precisely the point desired - like over a trench, or just past a building or wall.  It is wicked in a big way, especially as it allows us to carry fewer different types of rounds.  USMC used a foreign acquired version in AFG in the 21 Abrams they sent over there.  We liked the results, have built an even better round, and are going to field it in the near future - in time for CMBS - you will see it in action as soon as my Abrams get busy.  Hit text and icons on for some off for some.  Depends on the shot.  If you don't like them, just don't look at them.  ;-) 

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LT Lysenko watched with guarded caution.  Russian mortar fire continued to fall on the powerplant, making life difficult.  Continuous shelling, even if you are under cover, is unnerving.  Lysenko could see Russian armor traversing the field in front of the plant.  He had laid out careful firing lines for the squad at the gatehouse, but had no confidence they would follow his instructions.  They seemed eager, but also like they had not paid sufficient attention during their annual reserve training.  The LT believed they were fairly likely to point the RPG in the correct direction, and would probably not place the exhaust against their shoulder like a rifle – but he was not certain!  He could not see the team from his vantage point, but he was watching when they did choose to engage.  The T-90 had stopped dead in front of them in the field.  Lysenko estimated the range at about 150m, maybe a hair further.  He had laid out firing marks for them at this range, and the rocket actually did seem to be on target – until the tank’s APS system shot it down of course.  No one had apparently discussed this feature with the team themselves, and Lysenko could see them through a window apparently streaming towards the ground floor in panic.  He sighed, but noted that the 120mm mortars seemed to have the range for the truck and likely ATGM site he had called them on. 




Kapitan Kovtun was working quickly, outlining a new plan to one of his squad leaders, when MAJ Harris slipped in the door of the Town Hall. 

“So, brief your men and the BTR crew and then get up to the North.  They have spotted a Russian truck on top of the hill, and we think perhaps it is responsible for all of this damned artillery!”  The KPT turned and saw the American Major.

“Da, Mayor?”  He lifted an eyebrow, respectful but obviously not in the mood for trivial small talk.

“Nice work getting the word out on our Jav team, Viktor.  I’m sending Sergeant Doty and his truck up to the north.  We think a Russian BMP just crossed the river, and can’t afford to get pinned over there.”

“Da, there is one of devils on our bank.  I have sent our Corsar team to deal with it.  Hopefully they manage.  If not, we have other defenses.  Is there any word on your countrymen?  Any support available?”

“Nothing so far.  Jamming is doing us in.  It should not be much longer, but I fear it may be too late for 3rd Company.” 

“Perhaps, yes.  So…  we fight until they decide to join us, no?”

Harris grinned.

“Yes, indeed we do.”

“Good, let us go see positions, you and I?”

“Lead the way!”



“There, you see?  I told you there was supposed to be a truck over there!”  Serzhant Levitsky told his gunner. 

“We just needed to get a better angle.  Gunner, ground burst, five-zero rounds, truck!”

Seconds later, the Russian Tiger recon truck a burning wreck, Brytva 22 turned and headed north back towards Krichek, its swift patrol of the southern fields complete.










Next to the bridge to Krichek, their comrade, the commander of Brytva 21 suddenly heard a loud, “tchnk!” followed moments later by several more, “tchnk, tchnk, tzzzeeee!”  He looked out of his commander’s cupola periscope in disbelief.  Right up the road perhaps 150m away crouched a Russian rifleman – and he was shooting at the armored vehicle with his assault rifle! 

Surely, thought the commander, your squad leader is smarter than that! 

“Gunner, traverse left….”





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minimum range, low chance of success... better to supress with 25mm fire at this range. which was.. less than a 100 meters ?


That russian rifleman not shooting his RPG-26 is strange.. maybe because he is out of range.. disposable rockets have bad accuracy at more than 50 meters.

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