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US Campaign, first mission observations (spoilers)


MarcM
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As I have mentioned in other posts, I am somewhat green at CM:BS and have had a rude introduction into modern warcraft.

 

Having made it through to capture Ukranian Base atop the hill with minimal casualties (2 rifleman wounded, I believe), I began to hunt for the armour that I knew was to enter the valley. I had the 3rd and HQ Abrams of my tank platoon to cover the base of the valley and the remaining flank right, along the woodland. by this stage, my scouts had spotted various elements of mechanised units and had thumped them either with artillery support, or guiding my mechanised units to engage at range with TOW or 25mm. UAV's put elements of the Russian armoured advance down the valley, and near to where my M1's where headed. On the left flank, near the base, I had moved my dismounts up to the main structure, whilst the Bradley's where line advancing on the left to engage whatever remained over the rise.

 

Big mistake.

 

Out of 5 Bradley's in the advance, 3 were knocked out by either the oncoming BMP's or from across the valley by the T-90's I hadn't managed to spot yet.

 

Panicking, I swept my M1's on the right to meet the armour, but for poorly placed cover arcs, they could not see anything. 2 minutes later, I lose one of these Abrams  to very close quarter contact. The other still not getting any positive contact until the next turn, knocking out 2 Russian tanks. 

 

In the mean time, my Scout HQ is pinned just shy of the main Obj with the Bradley a smoking wreck (again to the armour on the hill). the other two Abrams' were crawling down the valley knocking off BMP's and tanks as they found them, only to have one ambushed and destroyed.

 

I haven't yet finished this scenario and by this stage I am not expecting anything other than a draw or a marginal victory when I do, I think one lesson I have taken from this is that double and triple check cover arcs and exposure when manoeuvring.  

 

I'm writing this at work so I apologies for the lack of more detailed information like Obj names, but I'm just keen to share in my first major engagement. 

CM:BS is a real joy, even when having my arse handed to me!

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Hi Marc,

Like you I'm fairly new to the Combat Mission games, having just joined the franchise with Red Thunder and Black Sea! 

I found with what I've played of the BS games particularly, patience is the key. Most objectives can be taken fairly quickly... with sufficient intelligence on the defending assets. Thus most of my games are 20-30 min of recon and careful movement (in an average 1 hr game) followed by 15 minutes of brutal and targeted fighting (usually with key positions being swatted by off-board assets or armour) and then the last 15 mins being advance and mop up. 

On that first mission particularly off-map assets are a major boon. The attack choppers can fly around behind enemy lines engaging armour all day, while UAVs keep tabs on valleys and allow for precision artillery strikes. Infantry's there to find the enemy, direct other assets to neutralise, and then take the objectives. Rarely do my ptruppen engage by themselves (except javelin teams. They hold picnics on the high ground.) 

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Breaking it down into manageable chunks of time is some really good advice. I seem to have trouble reconciling 1 hour of time, thinking it'll be over before I get anything done. This will go a long way to developing some patience and forward planning. 

Thanks for that Artemis,.

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This battle is a puzzle I have yet to decipher. I've started it four times, but have yet to finish it. That sounds worse than it is; if I had completed those games they would have probably ended as marginal victories or draws at worst. But I just didn't feel like I was playing it the way I wanted to.

 

***WARNING, SPOILERS FOLLOWING***

 

 

 

 

 

 

The problem for me is twofold. One is that the opfor has about a two to one advantage in force numbers. The US force may have an edge in technological and troop quality but the numbers do count here. The US player needs to destroy a whole lot of Russian units without losing any of his own, and he needs to do it from the start when he is even more badly outnumbered than the 2:1 ratio I mentioned.

 

But the trouble doesn't end there. The game begins with Russian units already in place while the US units are just arriving. Many of those Russian units are located where they have good observation and firing bases. For the arriving US units to get to good observation points, they have to move under observation, which means they may get whacked or at least harassed. And good observation is required in order to begin attriting the Russian forces down to the level where the main US force has a chance to meet them in combat with a fighting chance.

 

Finally, there are a large number of objectives and only an hour to clear them all. This to me feels like too big a task for the forces allotted. If I were designing this battle, I think I would give the US player about twice the numbers, i.e., two full companies, and extend the game by about 15-20 more minutes.

 

I think this is potentially a really great scenario. I really love the map. But I feel that the situation for the US is really too desperate. But I will keep trying. I have a few more ideas about the opening moves that may reduce the Russian advantage some. You may not have heard the end of this.

 

Michael

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The problem for me is twofold. One is that the opfor has about a two to one advantage in force numbers. The US force may have an edge in technological and troop quality but the numbers do count here. The US player needs to destroy a whole lot of Russian units without losing any of his own, and he needs to do it from the start when he is even more badly outnumbered than the 2:1 ratio I mentioned.

 

But the trouble doesn't end there. The game begins with Russian units already in place while the US units are just arriving. Many of those Russian units are located where they have good observation and firing bases. For the arriving US units to get to good observation points, they have to move under observation, which means they may get whacked or at least harassed. And good observation is required in order to begin attriting the Russian forces down to the level where the main US force has a chance to meet them in combat with a fighting chance.

 

Have you tried using the UAV?

Edited by Apocal
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SPOILERS:

 

 

I think the UAVs are the key. If you use them to spot so your artillery can take out his armor with precision strikes, it becomes more manageable. The Russians are also moving aggressively, which makes it easier to set up ambushes. You end up destroying so much of the Russian armor that it will lead to a surrender, meaning you don't have to possess all of the objectives.

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Have you tried using the UAV?

 

Yes. They seem to work only sporadically. I kept one over an area where I knew from other means at least one Russian tank was parked for several turns in hopes to get a spotting that would allow me to snipe it by precision artillery. Even though the tank was parked in the open, the drone never saw it.

 

Even in the cases where it has proven useful, it only works if the vehicle remains in the same location from the time the strike is called until the round arrives. In several cases, I've had to call off a strike or if it was too late for that, watch the round fall uselessly where the vehicle is no longer situated.

 

Michael

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SPOILERS:

 

 

I think the UAVs are the key. If you use them to spot so your artillery can take out his armor with precision strikes, it becomes more manageable. The Russians are also moving aggressively, which makes it easier to set up ambushes. You end up destroying so much of the Russian armor that it will lead to a surrender, meaning you don't have to possess all of the objectives.

 

That's what I keep trying to do. Hopefully in my current playing I'll have more success with that. The problem has been and continues to be that in moving to positions from which I can ambush, I get ambushed. There are just too many well armed Russians in too many good locations to shoot from. I am trying to use my artillery to reduce some of those positions before I have to move, but there really isn't enough artillery or enough time to do much along those lines, and my maneuvering forces are too small to absorb many casualties at all and still remain effective.

 

I keep trying to think of tactics that will allow me to get use from my available forces without using them up, but so far without success. From here it looks like a suicide mission.

 

Michael

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I have been playin CM for some time and this is the first mission I played in CMBS, I think it is a superb mission but not easy at all, it can overwelm new players.

 

I think this mission relies on a 3:1 Russian superiority in tanks, a 1.5:1 superiority in IFVs and about the same infantry for the two sides (I was scared as hell thinkng that after so many tanks, so many APCs I was yet to find a LOT of russian soldiers, this wasn't the case and almost all russian soldiers were alredy dead).

 

The US have three things to make up for this superior numbers:

 

1 - Support, the US has UAVs and choppers, the russians have none.

 

2 - US soldiers are way superior, they have bigger platoons, have better APC support and have the finger-of-dead javelins. My soldiers were the main armor killers in this scenario, there aren't so many russian soldiers, so your Bradleys can crush them while your foot soldiers crush russian tanks.

 

3 - Will-Of-Odin Abrams, you have 4 and you can have reaaaally nice spots for them to dominate the battlefield.

 

 

Still this is a difficult mission because the russians:

 

1 - Have the improved T-72, I lost an Abrams in each 1:1 duel I made with them (both destroyed the T-72 but got their main gun broken in the process >: (  ) bad luck, ok, but it can happen, these are no longer Syrian tanks.

 

2 - Have nice triggers for the AI, the russians will try to envelop you and they will try to CQB with you and whatever you make you will have to deal with nasty situations like 4 T-72 on the other hill, russian armor dashing trough point were you thought everything was ok, etc.

 

 

Grrrrrreeaaat mission, I enjoyed it a lot and it stressed me a lot, when russians surrendered I thought I had still half the map to cover and just 24 more minutes, I thought I was going to have still a lot of casualties.

 

Just use those javelins, that support and place those Abrams well, you will suffer but don't despair, you will make it. There are videos in youtube that you can check to get some ideas for this mission.

 

Foot note. I play in Iron and when I called the choppers my Abrams and Bradleys in one hill started to laser warn like hell, I thought 'OMG russian chopper' and then a destroyed russian car was re-nuked.... WHAT?!?!? It was my own chopper, the stupid support mission came to the wrong hill, just in time for the T-72 to start taking the other hill.

 

Stressssssssssssssful

 

 

Good luck with the mission, enjoy.

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Hi!

 

Love the first mission of the american campaign! Some hints:

 

 

**** SPOILER WARNING ****

 

1. Properly placed footmobile scouts will reward you with early warning of enemy mechanized movement. Try to position OPs with diagonal LOS across the map, this yields contacts deeper in enemy rear than just what's immediately ahead. Scouts hidden inside woods with no line of sights may still reveal auditory contacts to good effect. I dismount at least one of the scout humvees to enable me to man an additional OP, information is the most valuable contribution to the fight from these units.

2. Use UAVs to observe dead ground or suspected lines of advance. I use mostly 400 m lines perpendicular to enemy axis of advance. UAV-operators will be more successful employing precision artillery than scouts, as the scouts more often see moving targets. Hand off control of UAVs to the most proficient spotters and JTAC as they come into play, this may decrease artillery response-time. Use precision artillery for attrition of enemy armor. 3 precision rounds from Paladin usually guarantee a tank kill, IFVs usually require only one. Employ helicopters with area targets in suspected enemy tank positions or lines of advance. The helicopters take time to deploy but can stay on station for some time, and may rack up several kills over time. Deploy them just behind where you plan to engage enemy armor with your tank platoon. Be sure to stay well away from the helicopters target area, I believe I've had some friendly fire from them when I strayed too close.

3. Scout Humvee is real fragile. It will not survive even a fleeting contact with MBTs or IFVs. If mounted, stay out of open areas and keep to the valley floor. Hunting at range towards a narrowly exposed area suspect of enemy infantry may induce them to open fire with small arms. RPGs often miss at long range. Retreat and allow bradleys to deal with enemy infantry. 

4. Scout Bradley works well detecting and clearing  enemy recce units in the early game provided it's supported by the tank platoon. This seems to induce the enemy to stay hidden or retreat rather than engage with AT-weapons.

5. I fight Bradley platoons mostly mounted in the early game, dismounting mid-game only to mop up resistance and take possession of terrain.

6. Abrams platoon works well in supporting the advance in the early game, transitioning to stalking enemy armor when this is detected. 

7. Keep your Bradley platoons and tank platoon in close formation , this aids spotting, engagement and rapid achievement of fire superiority. The AI rarely masses  IFVs or MBTs for assaults, and keeping together affords the best chance of winning engagements by spotting and shooting first. I may split the tank platoon into two elements with limited objectives, but try to reunite it as soon as possible.

 

 As mentioned earlier, you don't have to take all objectives if you destroy the majority of enemy tanks, IFVs and vehicles, thus forcing a surrender. 

 

I would love to hear how others perform this mission.

 

Best regards

cCK

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OK, so I managed a tactical victory, though I lost 7 out of my 8 my Bradleys and all but one of my MBT's. Javelin and Apache mopped up the remaining enemy armor. 

A very enjoyable mission, but it's safe to say I could have done it a whole lot better...

 

US%20Campaign%20Mission%201%20result.jpg

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Some hints:

 

This is pretty good advice...which is to say is pretty much what I do as a result of a lot of trial and error. I think I am on my sixth or seventh playing and might take this one all the way through to a finish. The others I had quit after a few turns because it was obvious that I had bungled it. Of course, by now I have a pretty good idea of the opfor layout although that does change a little from playing to playing thanks to the scenario designer. I am about on turn 18 of the current playthrough.

 

One thing I've noticed that I will pass along. I can usually get a kill against an IFV with a mortar round, but tanks take an Excaliber.

 

Michael

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I did this in one go, and no restarts, or reverts to saves. That's not to say what you did is wrong, Michael Emrys. I believe you play as you want to, it's your free time. I did it the way I did because I wanted to test my self and see how far I could get. Seems I just got across the line :)

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SPOILERS

 

I found this mission very easy. Actually I caused a surrender without even touching a single objective. Just establishing my tanks on the central hill, two good observation points at the hills left and right of the map, and then using my UAVs to call Helo and precision strikes on enemy vehicles. I only advance a bit my Bradleys and dismounted infantry along the main road, but, as I said, just a bit. The enemy took so many casualties that they surrendered at minute 45.

 

In general, with the US one has a huge technology advantage with the UAVs and the ability to bring precision in two minutes.  No need to seek contact with the enemy. In this mission, playing elite, I had 3 KIA and 1 wounded. That is all

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10 AFVs lost

33 men killed/wounded

"US Army Tactical Victory"

Well, this is no longer SF, so completely taking out a force larger than your own is not that bad, even when taking 20% casualties in the process. 3 Abrams though is another story... :P ( i ragequited the mission once after loosing 2 M1s in a single turn cresting the right hill)

 

I love the map, looks simply awesome. And it gives lots of possible hotspots for both sides. I also played this one a couple of times with varying results and when im back from the Ostfront im looking forward to finally get the campaignthing started for real.

 

As others noted, the ai seems to be especially well designed in this one. I remember a fight going on for the center houses, where i was in excellent positions to ambush a russian infantryattack, when all of a sudden a platoon of tanks came seemingly out of nowhere( i thought the apaches had taken care of them) and totally changed the momentum of the game. The hunter became the hunted...a javelin team and their own at rockets saved the day though,

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As others have said, you do not need to get boots (or wheels) on the objectives if you can methodically eradicate the Red force's combat effectiveness. To do this, you need to move carefully, bounding all units and having effective intersecting lines of fire from the tanks as an additional layer of protection for IFVs on the move with embarked infantry.

Really thorough terrain analysis is warranted here, because it will reveal by far the best defilade spots for both tanks and stand-off ATGM platforms.

Make the office complex objective your main effort, as from here you can gain valuable LOS of the battlefield once it is secured. By far the most effective way to take the office complex without getting into a nasty mugging contest is to intercept Red vehicles that have to cross open ground in order to get within striking distance of the objective. For this, you will probably need both good UAV coverage for spotting and at least a section of tanks placed on high ground on the far right of the map. Recon by fire rather than disembark infantry into enemy fire from outlying buildings. Remember, UAVs won't spot infantry in buildings.

Be careful and methodical when pushing down the middle. Get a good spotting position for a CO and a JTAC and take it slowly, avoiding speculative moves of either vehicles or infantry into ambushes. When you see enemy infantry in trees, pound the crap out of them with airburst rounds, two-gun barrages and grind them down before you expose vehicles to RPG teams and infantry to HMGs. Be careful about enemy tanks turning long approach roads into kill zones as soon as you send a vehicle around an un-scouted corner. The only way to kill cleverly placed tanks in the center of the map is with precision rounds and Javelin fire from a certain position within the office complex, otherwise you'll be in a bloodbath.  And don't forget, you do not need LOS to task air on a target group.

Finally, do not expose troops and vehicles to the right of the main approach road to the village to a possible counter-attack from the treeline to the right. Even if you position your own tanks high on the right, they will not see Red armor approaching downhill from the right towards the village. If you expose your flanks to this, or do not cover such an approach (probably from defilade on the large open, barren field high on the left) your move on the center objective will grind to a bloody halt.

Finally, watch ChrisND's playthrough of this mission, with commentary, on YouTube.

Good luck!

Edited by Bahger
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  I kept the whole platoon of tanks together....ran them carefully down the middle thru the valley. I sent one platoon of infantry with them to clear the buildings,,,the infantry really didn't have much to do though. The Abrams took out almost everything in front of them...UAV's spotted a lot of the Russian vehicles and precision artillery took them out. The other infantry platoon I sent down the left side and they were a little cut up by a T-72 that advanced to the left of the government complex. Well, a lot cut up. Wow, the T-72 did a number on them and I had neglected to have them acquire Javelins. Right there at the end the Russians made an advance at my guys just as I was reorganizing for an infantry assault on the office complex. I figured it needed both platoons to clear it out so was in the process of shifting.Anyway, the Russians advanced right into the sight of my Bradleys and were killed. The Russians surrendered...Total Victory. I lost 2 Bradleys and a Hummer. The Russians lost...I don't remember but it was most of what they had....I say one tank left in the review.

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Well, this is no longer SF, so completely taking out a force larger than your own is not that bad, even when taking 20% casualties in the process. 3 Abrams though is another story... :P ( i ragequited the mission once after loosing 2 M1s in a single turn cresting the right hill)

 

It isn't just casualties (although those would be considered ghastly even back during WW2), it is the loss of combat power. Having a company-team reduced to 1 each Abrams and BFV would be a literal disaster for the parent battalion.

 

I suppose it is taking too much from RL when I'm gaming, but I play with the idea in mind that when the mission ends, I'm going to be defending with that same force in the next few hours before going into action the next day. And the day after that. And the week beyond. OK, so I blunted the Russian advance -- for now -- at the cost of my company team. What happens in two hours when another Russian force with ass and teeth rolls down the same piece of terrain? What if they try to infiltrate dismounts; do I have enough heavy-hitters left to reliably react, by supporting my (necessarily thin) line of dismounts, and check them again?

 

Make sense?

Edited by Apocal
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It isn't just casualties (although those would be considered ghastly even back during WW2), it is the loss of combat power.

 

Make sense?

 

Absolutely. In the last turn I've played so far I lost one of my Abrams through carelessness. Since there are only four to start with, that is a major loss of combat power.

 

I like Euri's approach and might give it a try the next time I go through. I'd like to know how he got OPs on the left and right hills though. I really examined those locations since they are such obviously good places to spot from, but was never able to find a way to position anybody up there without them getting shot. I even tried laying down a smoke curtain first for them to move behind, but it landed in the wrong place while running out of smoke rounds.

 

Michael

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If you get right down onto the terrain on each side, Michael, you will see very attractive defilade positions with good LOS to the diagonally opposite side of the map.  The yellow colour of certain farmland terrain makes it difficult to discern undulations in that terrain without virtually getting down on your hands and knees and "walking" it.  I had four vehicles, two on each side, survive the entire engagement in those positions, and that included artillery barrages.  Tanks on the right, properly placed, will kill enemy vehicles approaching the office complex down-slope. Vehicles (I had one M1A2 and a CO Bradley) placed in defilade in the wheat field on the left can see and bring fire to bear on the objective, the high ground in the extreme top-left corner of the map, and counter-attacking vehicles coming down from the treeline above and to the right of the village.

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I used my starting forces to make contact with the enemy on each flank and in the centre. Once contact was made I took my time obtaining keyholed firing positions for my Bradley to blow the substance out of the troops I had discovered. APS kept it safe from what RPG rounds did get through. At the same time I used UAV-assisted Excalibur rounds to protect my right flank since I had identified the tree line on that side as too powerful a spot to let the Russians park tanks on. Once the Abrams arrived I found remote, commanding positions for each one and it was game over. Eventually got a surrender having suffered a single wounded and buddy-aided casualty (got caught in the open by a Tigr while assaulting the Government Complex) and zero vehicle damage.

I found it generally useful to remember two things about this specific scenario: 1. You are parrying a Russian attack, not attacking yourself. Once you've made contact don't chase the advance, just apply consistent, heavy fire and let the red forces dash themselves against your forces. 2. You will get a full ammo resupply after each mission in this campaign. Use it!

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  • 1 month later...

I dont have time to read through all of the posts but i have a few tips fpr you.

a good evaluation of the map will save you alot of grief later on in the game take note of high ground and occupy it whe. You can deny it when you cant. Always have your armor on high groundwith good fields of fire in a hull down position if possible. If you are taking fire and loosing try scoot and shoot tactics. This can be setup with a fast move to a hull down position with a 15 sec target breifly and a 15 second pause followed by a reverse command.

with the addition of uavs survailence is crucial. Fly your uavs in area you cannot spot pr in this map the dead ground. Like the one right behind the govertment complex. Brads make quick work of inf but only expose them when covered by armor and never have your inf mounted if you know you will take fire.

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