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Mosul (Iraq) The small red-headed child of an epic MOUT map!


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Now I'm getting somewhere.....I've chopped the map into three bits and I'm looking at four maybe five scenarios (roughly covering the period November 2nd to November 17th 2016) on those mini-maps, one a very cloak and dagger type affair with limited possibilities for map damage.  :ph34r:

If it all works and there's enough interest (and some AARs with pictures) I can mess the map up to a best average and do the fighting in December/January on that, possibly as an all-in-one, full-on, Stalingrad style slug-fest, but probably not.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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For the wry amusement of the (slightly less tiny) group following these proceedings, I will immodestly quote myself from our PM sidebar, ahem.... 

So, Grasshopper, you wanna fight Stalingrad style? There's gonna be some blood spilled. Ask my countrymen how the first couple of days at Ortona went for them. Or the Sturmpioniere at Stalingrad. Things go BOOM at awkward moments.

This.... 

story_img_581c3ce1b3515.jpg

becomes this.... 

Untitled2.jpg

forcing you to play the rest of the campaign with a battalion already shorn of much of its command structure.  

Part of what Sir @sburke calls, in his highfallutin' new style, the "command dilemma."

Situation Normal, All Effed Up

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4 hours ago, sburke said:

LOL I just noticed your member title City Works Manager.....   Probably been there forever, nothing gets by me....:rolleyes:

gawd I can still remember first discovering SL and that particular map board.

Nah, just changed it last month. And yes, I've played GUARDS and TRACTOR WORKS so many times it's like riding a bike, or memorizing the Kings Indian. Or the Cheese Shop sketch.  

Anyway, sorry S2 for making this thread so 'chatty'. Back to the grim business of Mosul.

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“Look at their trucks,” said Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed, a community elder, as he sat by the main road leading into the city. “They were all given to them by the Americans, and not one of them hasn’t been hit by a rocket. All of their windows have been hit by snipers. They look like they have been fighting for five years. It is closer to two months.”

And this is why.... 

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/11/islamic-state-defends-mosul-with-dozens-of-suicide-bombers.php

According to Amaq, the Islamic State carried out 58 “martyrdom operations” during the first week of the battle for Mosul alone. Eighteen “martyrs” purportedly blew themselves up during the second week of the fight (ending on Oct. 31) and an additional 29 martyrdom operations were orchestrated during the third week of the battle (which covers the first week of November). In total, Amaq claims that 108 of its “martyrs” have defended Mosul in the first three weeks of fighting.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1006576/department-of-defense-press-briefing-by-coldorrian-via-teleconference-from-bagh/

Iraqi forces have gotten about a third of the way into eastern Mosul.... There's no question that U.S. advisers are in harm's way.  We do advise the CTS.  They are in the thick of a very tough battle.  So there is a significant amount of danger here, especially on the eastern axis as they moved into the city.  They moved through some very tough resistance as they've approached the city... 

https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1016840/department-of-defense-press-briefing-by-british-maj-gen-jones-via-teleconferenc/

The CTS has continued clearing in the east of the city, despite tough resistance from Daesh elements.... the coalition has disabled four of the five bridges connecting east and west Mosul, and increased terrain-denial missions.... seems to be reducing the number of VBIEDs the enemy has been able to use.... In the case of Mosul, the decision was taken to advise the population to stay in their homes so long as it was safe to do so....

Counter-Terrorism Service who have broken into the eastern side of the city. They've done so, as you indicate, at great -- great cost.... We continue to do that by adjusting our tactics, by giving them better and better fire support. But also, we can help them by replacing some of their battle-damaged vehicles.... part of that is about cratering the routes so that those suicide vehicle born I.D.s physically can't get down the routes and strike the Counter-Terrorism Service in their flanks.

Driven by cheerful good looking young kids. Heartbreaking, but also a sign that Daesh are tapping out their manpower.... 

Screen-Shot-2017-03-18-at-11.51.52-AM-10Screen-Shot-2017-03-18-at-11.54.20-AM-10

Screen-Shot-2017-03-18-at-11.47.25-AM-10

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Golden-Division-Skull-Masks-Iraqi-SpeciaSorry, the good guys are who again? 

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/559041/Golden-Division-Special-Forces-ISIS-Iraq-Mosul-Liberation-Skull-Masked-Commandos

Obviously, season this to taste since the Space Lobsters of Doom are doubtless on the very next page of the Star (after the Page Three girls, natch). Some good combat photos though though mostly taken before Nov 4.

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I'm making decent headway with battle #1 now, it's got five AI plans for maximum replay value, but none of them are massively complex just yet.....This one's a company level attack with the aim of securing a compound (possibly the TV station) and sweeping the district through two phase-lines. 

Initial forces are 2nd CTS Platoon A Co. (dismounted) with their Co. HQ (mounted) and some Armed Locals (keep an eye on them).  :ph34r:

1st Platoon (mounted) will reinforce your initial position once the compound is secured (approximately 15 minutes allowed) & 3rd Platoon (mounted) will support the advance to Phase-Line Bravo along the main road (arrival in approximately 45 minutes), it seems their radios are playing up. so you'd better have that road clear by then.  Mil-35 Gunships are on call and a section of USMC 155mm M777 Howitzers (two tubes) provide artillery support .

Just to add to the fun there are some rather worse for wear civilians who need evacuating back to the new HQ compound, right through the middle of the on-going fire-fight!

A full-on bloodbath is a distinct possibility!  :D

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/03/islamic-state-uses-improvised-weapons-of-war-in-mosul-iraq.php

If you inspect the following shot closely, you can see some details of the block clearing tactics being used by the IA (these aren't black humvees so guessing it's not CTS - shot is dated 17/3/2017).

Screen-Shot-2017-03-18-at-11.54.20-AM-10

Smaller columns cover the flanks of the main element, with single guntrucks also detailed off to watch down vulnerable sidestreets. It's clearly all about VBIEDs at this stage. Looks like Daesh hasn't fortified or mined this undamaged district, but you can see the main group has dismounted to enter a building.

Screen-Shot-2017-03-18-at-11.55.36-AM-10Oops, the jundi missed a street, and alert Daesh spotters jumped on it in a second. The VBIED turns left (mistakenly?) and the trailing humvee frantically reverses, while pumping lead into its armoured front. Not enough, but if the kid had turned right and hit the dismounts he could've taken down a platoon of 'Badrist rafidha'.

This is also an example of what I've noticed for some time about modern armies, both Western and Arab (IAF and SAA): not enough infantry/leg firepower, so they're basically tied to their vehicles. That limits both their tactics and their boldness, and also renders them vulnerable to smaller more nimble Uncon forces. Especially in an era of cheap and cheerful tactical commo using cellphones and camera drones.

Same tactical problem was evident in Ramadi, although over time the Marines and Army units beefed up their QRF squads by converting support troops to riflemen, and turned Humvees into higher capacity troop carriers to ensure they could 'flood' buildings if needed, and quickly gain fire superiority at any point.

Frankly, Western forces are going to need to impose comms blackouts on MOUT areas, perhaps to the point of using EMPs to kill all unshielded electronics!

Also, it looks like this photo contains an example of the Coalition cratering a road to block it (unless it was a subsurface IED). Of course that didn't help the poor guys in the foreground, insh'allah.

Screen-Shot-2017-03-18-at-11.59.39-AM-10

This is all terrific (if grim) 'a ha' learning stuff, and why I spend so much time with CM.... 

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1 hour ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

VBIEDs don't seem to like your side-streets very much LLF, I think it's because they are composed of two half-tiles.....Haven't managed to persuade one to use anything other than the main roads.  :unsure:

Yup, I face the same issues in Ramadi; had to replace some compound walls with roads to get the AI not to thunder run DEVIL SIX trying to get to their waypoint.

But from the flanks is where they hit; all the reportage agrees on that.

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I've kind of got a plan that kind of covers it (scenarios 2 & 3 on Mini-Map 2).....Combatintman may not entirely approve of one of the concepts, so I'll get an 'authenticity-check' before I proceed. Alternatively the scenario in question could even become a prelude, as while this idea should cause some fairly catastrophic map modification (if the player succeeds), the location is entirely predictable and modelling the devastation shouldn't be a problem.  :)

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My ISIS reinforcements are playing me up something rotten.....They refuse to spawn in the painted 'Setup' areas on the map, which is what I thought they were supposed to do. 

Units assigned to painted 'Setup' areas at the start of the mission jump around as they should, repositioning according to the AI plan, but the reinforcements only ever show up where I actually placed them.

Perplexed.  :unsure:

PS - If I've got this wrong I'm right back to square one as the scenario hinged on the reinforcements and I've got five AI plans to un-pick before I can get back on track.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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7 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

My ISIS reinforcements are playing me up something rotten.....They refuse to spawn in the painted 'Setup' areas on the map, which is what I thought they were supposed to do. 

Units assigned to painted 'Setup' areas at the start of the mission jump around as they should, repositioning according to the AI plan, but the reinforcements only ever show up where I actually placed them.

Perplexed.  :unsure:

PS - If I've got this wrong I'm right back to square one as the scenario hinged on the reinforcements and I've got five AI plans to un-pick before I can get back on track.

Ask yourself this:

a. How many people replay a campaign five times after they've completed it once?

b. How many people are actually playing CMSF? (based on downloads of my stuff it is in the ballpark of 50-100).

IMHO I wouldn't do any more than one AI plan for each scenario - most of my missions get released with one plan only and if people say they enjoyed it but it lacks replay value I am perfectly happy with that.

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One thing I've noticed is that AI vehicles hate to be directed to (or placed in?) anything but squares clear of any impassable terrain, including walls. Even if part of the square is clear it still dumps the order rather than selecing a better square. Squares for each unit are selected entirely at random from what you paint. 

Edited by LongLeftFlank
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Cheers for the advice lads, I can see the sense in what you are saying.  I think the problem was down to me misinterpreting the way the AI works, I hadn't tried this idea before, now I have. Nothing ventured.....As they say.  ;)

The five AI plans were intended primarily to act as a kind of random probability generator, it seemed pointless to waste a whole AI slot on one unit and then not take advantage of the option to move him around using multiple AI plans.  This in turn led to the idea of randomly placing the reinforcements, dumping different units onto the map at different points & different times and that's where it all fell down.....It's all part of the learning process for me, I've cleared the AI out and will start on a simpler variant of the same basic plan.

On the up-side much of what I'm learning with my various experiments here is contributing to other projects.....In the shadowed side-streets of an unnamed Afghan city, a 'Heist' is being planned.  :ph34r:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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Things are not going well for the CTS at the moment, two crushing defeats.....The first was down to the commander's ineptitude, forgetting to call in artillery and the Hinds, but the second was caused by those same Hinds choosing to hose down the spotting MRAP rather than the target at the other end of the blue line!  :rolleyes:

FriendlyFire_zpsyt90mheq.jpg

The Hinds are currently Veteran, +1, High.....How good do they need to be to tell a truck from a terrorist?  :rolleyes:

On a brighter note, you can get some interesting teams using this force:

BazookaJoe_zpsvik5jnlz.jpg

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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Testing this is a lot of fun!  :D

LLF, it is possible to persuade VBIEDs to use your side-streets, you just need to drop enough artillery on 'em first.....Wound up laughing myself silly as a VBIED, obviously with serious damage to it's wheels crept around a corner through the rubble strewn and crater pocked streets to die (impressively) in a hail of .50cal fire!

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