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3 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Probably shouldn't tag Baneman in this thread... ;)   Nothing sensitive has been posted yet, but it could make him accidentally click on something he'd rather not see.

Apologies Bil, you are quite right.....Just seemed a bit rude not to if you get what I mean, but with hindsight.....

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3 hours ago, Thomm said:

I apologize in advance for the negativity, but I find these "movie mode" screenshots hard to look at.

I do not think that they advertise the game very well.

Best regards,

I appreciate your comment Thomm.  I've heard this many times in the many AARs I have posted and the simple fact is that I prefer the War Movie mode so that is what I use. 

Personally, and I may be in the minority, but I think this mode is far easier on the eyes than the standard mode, which I find too garish and bright.  It is a closer thing in this game due to the already subdued colors and I do think the War Movie mode could use some tweaking, but it is still my preference. 

Hope it won't keep you from checking in on the action.


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10 minutes ago, Panzerpanic said:

Wait! Am i dreaming (maybe im exhausted as f*** right now) but does that force selection mean that we will be able to pick different countries in qb???

You need to read the opening posts in this thread re the force selection for this game. It’s not a QB as such. 

Edited by George MC
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I'm really looking forward to this! I bought Shock Force a few years ago and never got into it, so hopefully this will show me what I'm missing. I appreciate all the effort you go to Bil, it makes for an AAR that is a fantastic read and I also learn a lot.

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35 minutes ago, AlexUK said:

I'm really looking forward to this! I bought Shock Force a few years ago and never got into it, so hopefully this will show me what I'm missing. I appreciate all the effort you go to Bil, it makes for an AAR that is a fantastic read and I also learn a lot.

It's my pleasure Alex, and thank you.

I am going to jump into the action tonight and post one or two turn reports.  I'll post the rest of my METT-T analysis as I can over the next few days I but wanted to get some turn posts up as quickly as possible to keep you guys from getting too bored with all the analysis stuff.  So stay tuned for that.  I have everything pre-written, written as I went so it will seem like it is being posted live. ;)  I only need to capture screen shots with the latest BETA build and the posts are ready to print.


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A small note - Bil's AAR is in a race with the game artwork. New Syrian soldier textures just got turned in yesterday. Brit uniforms are still on the short list. The title may be 98% finished but please be patient with the remaining 2% on the to-do list. If everything was all finished you'd have the title in your hands already!

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The terrain for this operation is very complicated, it is crossed by canals, has a river obstacle and it is dominated by the heights at the northern end of the AO.  The following should give us a better idea as to what to expect and how to approach this fight.

GROUND CONDITIONS:  The ground underfoot is dry.

WEATHER:  The forecast for the next 24 hour period is hot with clear skies.

WIND DIRECTION & STRENGTH:  Winds are NW, strength light.

MAIN HEIGHTS:  KT1 and KT2 represent the main heights in the AO.  There are equally dominating heights on the southern end of the map but I suspect they will not play as large a role in this action as those at the north end primarily because our entry points are in the north and most action will probably revolve around those two pieces of key terrain.

LOWEST ELEVATION:  The areas of lowest elevation are:

  • The plain between KT1 and KT2 (identified as Engagement Area (EA) 1 on the map).
  • The main valley that runs from below the heights in the north (KT1 and KT2) and the river.
  • Canals, stream, and the river surrounding terrain in many cases offers low ground that can be taken advantage of.


  • Key Terrain 1 (KT1):  From this area of high ground a unit can get eyes on a large part of the AO.
  • Key Terrain 2 (KT2):  This area of high ground is probably the most important ground in the AO.  From its heights almost the entire AO can be observed.  It will be tough for an opponent to maneuver once these heights have a suitable amount of combat power on them.
  • Key Terrain 3 (KT3):  The town of DUMAYR, with its three objectives is the main objective for this operation.  As an urban area, taking it could be costly so an early operation to seize this objective while it is lightly occupied could pay dividends.  This is probably the most defensible terrain in the AO.

Click on the image to enlarge:


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26 minutes ago, Combatintman said:

Good stuff as always Bil - interested in your reasons for omitting discussion of the high ground at the southern end of the map and the river crossings during your terrain analysis.

Because at this point I don't think they will play an important role.  There is a lot to talk about and I didn't want to get bogged down in details that are unimportant... when the time comes that that high ground or the river crossing become relevant I'll address them.

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This is a Combined Operation with US and Syrian forces operating together in the AO. 

The US force will have the overall command.  Also supporting the Task Force is a USMC Light Armored Recon Platoon from the Marine Expeditionary unit and a Syrian Armored Recon Platoon.

TEAM JAVELIN (Scouts – in Zone)

  • USMC Light Armored Recon Platoon (Expeditionary Unit)
    • Vehicles = x4 LAV-25 and x2 LAV-AT
    • Dismounts = HQ Team and x3 Scout Teams
  • Syrian Recon Platoon
    • Vehicles = x2 BMP-2
    • Dismounts = HQ Team, x2 Recon Teams, and x1 ATGM Team (AT-7)
  • Syrian Medium Howitzer Battery with x4 D-30 122mm Medium Howitzer

TEAM SWORD (Advance Force ~ 5 minutes out)

  • Syrian Airborne Mech Infantry Company (-)
    • HQ Team and FO on BMP-3
    • Mech Infantry Platoon on x3 BMP-3
  • Syrian Guards Tank Platoon x3 T-90SA
  • US Mortar Section (Heavy)
    • HQ Team on M1114 HMMWV
    • x2 M-106A3 Mortar Carrier

TEAM HAMMER (Main Body ~ 10 minutes out)

2nd Battalion (Combined Arms) (-)

  • Battalion HQ on M1114 HMMWV
    • US Mech Infantry Company
      • HQ Team on M2A3 Bradley
      • XO Team on M2A3 Bradley
      • FO on M7A3 BFIST
      • x3 Platoons on x4 M2A3 Bradley (each)
    • US Tank Section x2 M1A1SA Abrams
    • US Mortar Platoon (Heavy) (-)
      • HQ Team on M1114 HMMWV
      • Mortar Section (Heavy)
        • HQ Team on M1114 HMMWV
        • x2 M-106A3 Mortar Carrier

TEAM BATTLE-AXE (Rear Guard ~ 15 minutes out)

  • x2 Syrian Airborne Mech Infantry Platoons x3 BMP-3 (each)
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  • REINFORCEMENT SCHEDULE:  The Task Force is travelling in extended column and is split into these main elements:
    • SCOUTS (TEAM JAVELIN) – in the AO
    • ADVANCE GUARD (TEAM SWORD) – ETA 5 minutes
    • MAIN BODY (TEAM HAMMER) – ETA 10 minutes
    • REAR GUARD (TEAM BATTLE-AXE) – ETA 15 minutes
Edited by Bil Hardenberger
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"Large mechanized forces always defeat small mechanized forces." 

MN Tukhachevsky

My intent with my opening moves is to get into position where I can observe the enemy entry point.  I don’t have enough combat power on the map to go toe to toe with Baneman yet, so for now I will get some Dismounted Recon Teams (DRT, pronounced Dirt) into Observation Positions (OP) and attempt to ascertain my opponent’s level of aggressiveness.  He could have upwards of eight Scimitar light tanks so might come into this one with a feeling of high confidence, or maybe not...  I need to answer the following Priority Intelligence Requirements (PIR):

  • PIR:  Will the enemy recon attempt a recon in force down AA1?
  • PIR:  Will the enemy recon attempt a counter-recon operation?
  • PIR:  Will the enemy recon force take up overwatch positions at KT1?

To counter these enemy vehicles I have created two AT teams each made up of one Syrian BMP-2 and dismounts, and one LAV-AT with TOWs.  The USMC LAV-ATs are there to support the BMPs and dismounts and hunt enemy recon vehicles as the opportunity arises. 





These teams will drive up the reverse side of the Hill 41-42 Ridge… the dismounts then will carefully, using cover, move to the crest and take up observation positions.  The ATGM team will deploy its weapon and try to get one or two enemy vehicles before displacing, if displacement is even possible.  The BMPs and the LAV-ATs will use shoot and scoot tactics to engage the enemy vehicles if possible.

Note that with this movement I am trying to keep to clear ground as much as possible to minimize the chance of bogging, and I am slowing to Move speed when crossing the stream.  Better safe than sorry.  I am also trying to mask my movement from Baneman's eyes as much as I can. 


The remaining LAVs in the Marine recon platoon will stay together and become my rapid reaction force.  They will eventually assemble in a centralized position behind the two AT teams and be ready to react to events.  I will remain flexible with them until my Advance Guard arrives in zone. 


The intent is to identify and attrit the enemy recon as much as possible prior to the Advance Guard arrival.

The irregular forces will also stay in position and wait a bit before acting.  They will be sending small teams out to reconnoiter the objectives.  The three technicals will remain in position until I get an idea on where the enemy irregulars are positioned and what their intent is.  Eventually I would like to send these vehicles to OBJ Ruby to give Baneman something to think about, but that will depend on events.

[Sorry I don't have any screenshots to show for these units yet.. had an issue with transferring all my images to Dropbox.  Next post will feature some of them]


 “If you cannot accurately predict the future then you must flexibly be prepared to deal with various possible futures.”

Edward de Bono


Edited by Bil Hardenberger
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16 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:


Very nice, useful map.  One of the things that make your AARs so excellent IMO. 


52 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:


Very cool.  This is a clever way to get information on the screen. 

It will be interesting to see what these units report from the far end of their movement paths..............    


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