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Sabres at Dawn AAR - BrotherSurplice vs Rinaldi (H2H)


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Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone. This is an AAR of a PBEM played with the British Forces module of Combat Mission: Shock Force. The scenario is "Sabres at Dawn" - I am attacking with a British

First off, a good game to @BrotherSurplice - its always a pleasure doing a match with him. Suffice to say I think he has avenged our last PBEM quite well. I've taken the time to read through the AAR a

My apologies for the wait for this third entry. Making an AAR is a lot more time consuming than I had first imagined! On the plus side, I've progressed quite far since my last post, with far too much

17 hours ago, BrotherSurplice said:

My apologies for the wait for this third entry. Making an AAR is a lot more time consuming than I had first imagined!

Having done an AAR or two in my time I understand the workload involved, especially when writing with this amount of detail.  Do you have a military background?

Very well done AAR so far, even if the odds are really stacked in your favor.  ;)   Seriously, a Company Team, plus your available artillery and air power against a platoon plus... that is an overwhelming force.  Please don't take that as a hit on you, we fight with the tools we are given.  I do admire how you are approaching this assault and it is a delight to read, so thanks for putting it together.

Bil

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1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Having done an AAR or two in my time I understand the workload involved, especially when writing with this amount of detail.  Do you have a military background?

Very well done AAR so far, even if the odds are really stacked in your favor.  ;)   Seriously, a Company Team, plus your available artillery and air power against a platoon plus... that is an overwhelming force.  Please don't take that as a hit on you, we fight with the tools we are given.  I do admire how you are approaching this assault and it is a delight to read, so thanks for putting it together.

Bil

Well, well, this is an honour :D Thanks very much for the praise Bil! Your Battle Drill Blog has been a great help to me in playing CM, and this match has been no exception. Though I question your assessment of my odds. While my total strength is indeed a Company(-), the actual manoeuvre units amount to sixteen infantrymen, four APCs and four light tanks. Hardly what I'd call overwhelming! Still, it depends how much I'm hurting the enemy at the moment I suppose. I do not have a military background, though I am currently reading for a War Studies degree at university and have several internet friends who are military or ex-military.

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13 minutes ago, BrotherSurplice said:

Well, well, this is an honour :D Thanks very much for the praise Bil! Your Battle Drill Blog has been a great help to me in playing CM, and this match has been no exception. Though I question your assessment of my odds. While my total strength is indeed a Company(-), the actual manoeuvre units amount to sixteen infantrymen, four APCs and four light tanks. Hardly what I'd call overwhelming! Still, it depends how much I'm hurting the enemy at the moment I suppose. I do not have a military background, though I am currently reading for a War Studies degree at university and have several internet friends who are military or ex-military.

I am happy to hear someone has taken my blog posts to heart and actually took something away from them.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm just pissing in the wind.  ;) 

I think your math skills might need some remediation... four light tanks and four APCs you say?  I count a total of 14 vehicles (Command group = 3; Light tank group = 4, Scouts = 5, and the ATGM team on 2).  ;)  Really the infantry in a battle like this over this open terrain probably won't come into much use until you finally assault the objective, but I expect you to reduce most of the resistance before that happens anyway.

Your line of study sounds interesting...  many jobs available for War Studies graduates these days outside of the military?

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5 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

I am happy to hear someone has taken my blog posts to heart and actually took something away from them.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm just pissing in the wind.  ;) 

Hi Bil, I'm also a big fan of your Battle Drill Blog and your AAR's prompted me to start making my own in a video format. I have learned a lot from your efforts so can vouch that you definitely have not been pissing in the wind!

Many thanks.

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10 minutes ago, Josey Wales said:

Hi Bil, I'm also a big fan of your Battle Drill Blog and your AAR's prompted me to start making my own in a video format. I have learned a lot from your efforts so can vouch that you definitely have not been pissing in the wind!

Many thanks.

Always good to know.. thanks.  I am toying with starting another AAR in the next week or so... getting the bug again I guess.

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2 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

Ahha !

might this be a little teaser for some long awaited information on the upcomming releases...I hope so :P

Umm.. no relation to anything being developed.  Sorry.  

2 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

:D Good news.  Looking forward to this. :)

 

1 hour ago, BletchleyGeek said:

Colour me surprised ☺ 

Looking forward to it!

I did say I was "toying" with the idea right?  Haven't made up my mind yet.  

Now, we've hijacked this man's thread enough for now.  Back to you BrotherSurplice!  Apologies for the diversion.

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On 07/03/2018 at 9:01 PM, IanL said:

Oh yeah, stay humble. No matter how good you are the other side is trying hard to out do you...

Oh don't worry, I'm well aware of the fragility of my force. One good hit from the enemy could ruin my chances of winning any kind of victory.

On 08/03/2018 at 7:31 AM, The_MonkeyKing said:

Now that's a cliffhanger If I have ever seen  one...

I do like to keep people waiting :D

On 08/03/2018 at 3:31 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

I am happy to hear someone has taken my blog posts to heart and actually took something away from them.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm just pissing in the wind.  ;) 

I think your math skills might need some remediation... four light tanks and four APCs you say?  I count a total of 14 vehicles (Command group = 3; Light tank group = 4, Scouts = 5, and the ATGM team on 2).  ;)  Really the infantry in a battle like this over this open terrain probably won't come into much use until you finally assault the objective, but I expect you to reduce most of the resistance before that happens anyway.

Your line of study sounds interesting...  many jobs available for War Studies graduates these days outside of the military?

Well, what I meant was that only the scout platoon and the light tanks would be taking part in the assault. The rest of the APCs can only lend their machine gun fire - which against trenches and buildings, leaves a great deal to be desired!

It is indeed interesting; in my second year, for example, I got to go on a field trip to Normandy for a week. That remains my favourite holiday ever. I've met some fascinating people as well. The career prospects, however, are somewhat limited. I could become an academic myself and go into teaching, I could work for a thinktank or journal, I could work for the government, I could go into the military, and er . . . that's about it - for places where my degree would be directly useful at least. Also, I will almost certainly have to do several post-graduate degrees for any sort of career in academia or the government.

21 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Umm.. no relation to anything being developed.  Sorry.  

 

I did say I was "toying" with the idea right?  Haven't made up my mind yet.  

Now, we've hijacked this man's thread enough for now.  Back to you BrotherSurplice!  Apologies for the diversion.

No apology necessary Bil! Someone has to keep the people entertained while I warm up the next update!

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13 minutes ago, BrotherSurplice said:

It is indeed interesting; in my second year, for example, I got to go on a field trip to Normandy for a week. That remains my favourite holiday ever. I've met some fascinating people as well. The career prospects, however, are somewhat limited. I could become an academic myself and go into teaching, I could work for a thinktank or journal, I could work for the government, I could go into the military, and er . . . that's about it - for places where my degree would be directly useful at least. Also, I will almost certainly have to do several post-graduate degrees for any sort of career in academia or the government.

That sounded a bit gloomy, mate.

Think of your Bachelor's as an enabler, rather than the thing you'll be doing for the next 50 years of your life. One thing is the specific knowledge you get on a particular field, and another thing are the skills you get to develop creative, analytic thinking, how to perform a formal inquiry into a particular topic, and so on. If you get the latter, you shouldn't have any trouble crossing over to other fields with more appeal to the labour market.

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5 minutes ago, BletchleyGeek said:

That sounded a bit gloomy, mate.

Think of your Bachelor's as an enabler, rather than the thing you'll be doing for the next 50 years of your life. One thing is the specific knowledge you get on a particular field, and another thing are the skills you get to develop creative, analytic thinking, how to perform a formal inquiry into a particular topic, and so on. If you get the latter, you shouldn't have any trouble crossing over to other fields with more appeal to the labour market.

Oh don't worry, I wasn't trying to sound gloomy, I was just trying to be realistic about how my degree is directly useful. I'm well aware of the general utility of a university degree. Even if it were useless, I'd still have no regrets, as I've had a great time studying for it.

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12 hours ago, BrotherSurplice said:

Oh don't worry, I wasn't trying to sound gloomy, I was just trying to be realistic about how my degree is directly useful. I'm well aware of the general utility of a university degree. Even if it were useless, I'd still have no regrets, as I've had a great time studying for it.

Of course if you lose this battle you will have to resit this year's semester ;)

And ... as I've said before ... this is a toughie - inspired by your AAR I played it again two weeks ago against the AI and came second but still enjoyed playing it.

Feel free to PM me about assistance with your degree by the way - I am not a graduate but have spent a fair whack of time waving guns at people in both cold and hot places since 1984 with the British and Australian armies.

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On 10/03/2018 at 10:50 AM, Combatintman said:

Of course if you lose this battle you will have to resit this year's semester ;)

And ... as I've said before ... this is a toughie - inspired by your AAR I played it again two weeks ago against the AI and came second but still enjoyed playing it.

Feel free to PM me about assistance with your degree by the way - I am not a graduate but have spent a fair whack of time waving guns at people in both cold and hot places since 1984 with the British and Australian armies.

Shouldn't joke about that, I'm already resitting my third year :P

Yes, I can see how this battle could be a challenge. I'm still concerned about how I'm going to make my final assault on the objective. Thank you for the offer of help, I'll keep it in mind.

16 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

@BrotherSurplice  Are you at King's College by any chance?

No, I attend the University of Wolverhampton.

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20 hours ago, BrotherSurplice said:

Shouldn't joke about that, I'm already resitting my third year :P

Yes, I can see how this battle could be a challenge. I'm still concerned about how I'm going to make my final assault on the objective. Thank you for the offer of help, I'll keep it in mind.

No, I attend the University of Wolverhampton.

Well in which case you'll be able to buy me a pint in the nearish future as I will be living not that far away from you.

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Gosh
Fungling
Darn it

V51VCG9.png

I knew that I'd kept that Scimitar exposed for too long. I knew that I hadn't checked the lines of sight of my other units on the hill. I was just thinking 'my Scimitars are pretty vulnerable there, I'd better pull them back soon'. Then whoosh! Crack! Bang! The Troop Leader's Scimitar is a smoking wreck and no one even saw where the missile came from. How very irritating. The only saving grace is that the whole crew escaped with only minor wounds. I think that the missile was launched from a trench on the eastern slope of Point 228, so I spray the offending trench with machinegun fire from my Scimitar and APCs.

 

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Shortly after the Scimitar is knocked out, one of my APCs observes a couple of men from a Syrian infantry platoon HQ moving through the East Yard. As expected, this means that Rinaldi has likely emplaced his infantry platoon inside the East Yard.

 

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Happier news from my left, however, as the enemy ATGM team under attack from my scouts suffers a casualty.

 

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Meanwhile, the two scout teams on my hill are nearly able to get eyes on the objective.

 

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More intel comes in, as the first enemy ATGM team is seen withdrawing and an ATGM platoon HQ is spotted. So, Rinaldi does indeed have the whole ATGM platoon in support. There are three other teams out there, somewhere.

 

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The first enemy ATGM team unmasks once more and an MMG platoon HQ is spotted. So, along with his infantry platoon, Rinaldi has both an ATGM platoon and an MMG platoon.

 

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Amazingly, a BMP-1 zooms by as well, making a beeline for the far side of Point 228. Sadly, my Scimitars are pulled back and my Javelins are not yet in position, so I am unable to punish this risky move.

 

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The MMG team spotted earlier suffers a casualty as it comes under fire from my forces on the hill and is forced to hide once more.

 

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The loss of my Scimitar and all the enemy forces revealing themselves rattles me, and I make what may prove to be a very hasty decision. I elect to go with Axis 1; I will assault the East Yard by making a frontal attack with my scout platoon over Tweedledee, with my remaining forces in a support by fire on the hill overlooking the objective. I made this decision because I was becoming concerned with the remaining time available to me and because the BMPs now in position on the reverse slope of Point 228 would make an advance along the main road or an assault on Point 228 too risky. I begin pulling the scouts on the left back to their APCs.

 

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Meanwhile, the scouts on the hill are able to identify the burning vehicle behind the toolhouses; it is indeed a BMP-1, knocked out by the rocket strike from my Apache.

 

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The first MMG team is spotted making run for it, heading for the more solid cover offered by the berm. Whether this a panicked flight or a deliberate move is unclear.

 

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Another BMP-1 is spotted moving for the cover of Point 228, this time from behind the East Yard. Frustratingly, my units are still not in a position to take advantage of his vulnerability.

 

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The redeployment of forces from my left to my right is in progress. My scout platoon is far too small to make an attack with anything less than full strength and I want my other two Scimitars on the hill. From now on the Scimitars will all act as one unit. If any other ATGMs take a pop at one, I want the other Scimitars to see it.

 

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The redeployment is nearly complete. The Javelins have finally dismounted and are heading for the overwatch positions currently occupied by my scouts. The rest of my force is on the reverse slope of my hill, hidden from the enemy (hopefully). They are very tightly packed though. If Rinaldi has mortars, now would be an excellent time for him to use them . . .

Well, that was an unpleasant few turns. One of my most potent units was taken out at almost no cost to the enemy. Many enemy units revealed themselves, with me unable to actually do anything about it. There are at least two BMP-1s, probably more, now safe and sound on the reverse slope of Point 228, in an excellent position to launch a counterattack. Also, my concerns about the time remaining are actually pretty unfounded. I still have thirty minutes left, over half the time allotted to me. I have committed myself to a course of action unnecessarily early. It's time to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and re-analyse the situation.

My mission has not changed; I still need to occupy the East Yard and inflict casualties on the enemy. I've inflicted a few casualties on the enemy, but nothing decisive yet and obviously the East Yard is yet to be occupied. My picture of the enemy is much clearer now; I know that his rifle platoon is highly likely to be positioned in the East Yard, and I know that he has an MMG platoon and an ATGM platoon scattered about Point 228 and behind the berm. Importantly, a look at the editor gives me some good news; the ATGM platoon is actually made up of only one section, with three teams, as opposed to two sections each of two teams as I had first assumed. I know that he has lost a BMP-1 and has at least two others behind Point 228. If he has his full complement of BMPs, that means that he started with seven; three for the rifle platoon and two each for the weapons platoon and anti-tank platoon. It is still possible that my enemy has mortar support, though I feel that if he had them, he would have used them by now. I still do not know if the crossing points are mined. The terrain remains the same, largely. The most important things of note are the discovery of a partially covered route to the objective and my understanding of the slopes of the hill overlooking the AO. Bar the loss of one of my Scimitars, the situation of my own troops has changed very little; no casualties have been taken thus far and ammunition expenditure has been low. I have thirty minutes left to complete my mission, over half of the initially allotted time.

So, apart from my picture of the enemy and the loss of a light tank, little has changed from the beginning of the match. I haven't really hurt the enemy yet, but I still have a decent amount of time left to finish the mission. I am still going to commit to option one for my plan of attack; it allows for the best concentration of force and is the least vulnerable to a counterattack from those BMPs behind Point 228. For the next few turns, however, I am going to continue trying to shape the battlefield. With my Javelins in overwatch, I should be able to splatter any weapon teams that reveal themselves. I'll periodically unmask my Scimitars and APCs, in an attempt to try and provoke some movement or counterfire from my enemy. When I decide that the enemy has been sufficiently weakened, then I'll make my final assault on the objective.

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4 hours ago, BrotherSurplice said:

...my concerns about the time remaining are actually pretty unfounded. I still have thirty minutes left, over half the time allotted to me. I have committed myself to a course of action unnecessarily early. It's time to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and re-analyse the situation.

I bolded the part above... it is a very good idea to slow down and re-analyze, I do this all the time.  Let the situation develop a bit the situation could become a little clearer. 

Excellent use of the available tools in the game to help with the analysis of what you are seeing in-game... nice to see someone taking that lesson and running with it.

Looking forward to the next post.  Keep those vehicles hull down and use terrain masking whenever possible!

Bil

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4 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Cool AAR, enjoyable read.....Has the Apache expended all of its ordnance yet? 

Cheers. No, it still has some munitions left.

 

1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

I bolded the part above... it is a very good idea to slow down and re-analyze, I do this all the time.  Let the situation develop a bit the situation could become a little clearer. 

Excellent use of the available tools in the game to help with the analysis of what you are seeing in-game... nice to see someone taking that lesson and running with it.

Looking forward to the next post.  Keep those vehicles hull down and use terrain masking whenever possible!

Bil

Yes, that little bit of re-evaluating was quite helpful. Cheers Bil, and yes, I really must take better care of my vehicles. I've done this in other battles too, left my vehicles exposed in one spot for too long. Even the mighty Abrams can be greatly inconvenienced by a lucky Sagger hit.

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11 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Worth playing to their strengths if you can point them at the BMPs.....They'll do a much better job on them than infantry in buildings.  Point Target attack runs are swift(ish) and usually brutally efficient with NATO choppers.

 

It would be a good way to smoke out the BMPs, but I need every gun, missile and rocket softening up the objective. The Apache has such little ammo left, I need to be sure that it will be spent well. Also, the buildings aren't exactly tough. In other games, I've seen 60mm mortar rounds tear right through them. I'm confident that they are no defence against the weapons that my Apache carries.

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