Jump to content

What do you consider "acceptable" casualties?


Recommended Posts

I rushed a portion of the fourth mission of the main campaign and lost so many vehicles to ambushing recoilless rifles. This is after I lost two Bradley's (one lost crew and pass and the other had crew and pass walk away).

I'm going to redo the mission because I really didn't do it justice to rush and watch the Raptors game (my CO would be disappointed), and I love my pixeltruppen too much to allow too many casualties. 

What does everyone figure is an acceptable casualty rate? Realistically 30% is an acceptable statistic but it feels hard watching my troops walk into a bad spot and get cut down by a lone gunman with a 7.62. 

What kind of tactics do you deploy to counter this? Infantry wait to shoot up my GIBs as they debus the LAV, meaning my armour usually doesn't spot them until they start to open up. Spec fire works, but in built up areas theres suually more windows than barrels

Edited by sigop22
Link to post
Share on other sites

When playing US/NATO vs Syrians in CMSF it's normal that more than a handful of friendly casualties should get one so many demerits (or the Syrians got many points) that it was hard to win.   The challenge of CMSF is in using the overwhelming firepower effectively so that one has hardly any casualties.  But, anything over 10% casualties would seem to be a very bloody battle.

CMBS was a shock as it was a peer-peer fight and heavy casualties are very common.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the mission statement or tasks require a threshold then anything above that is a fail as it is inherent to the mission or is a specified task.  Otherwise my benchmark is to maintain above 75% CE which by many professional standards is one at which your unit does not need to be pulled from the line to rest/refit.

Trying to achieve zero casualties or ridiculously low levels of casualties is unrealistic and unprofessional.  I recall reading something in one of the Australian Army's professional journals which made the observation that practically every junior officer prior to a deployment in response to a question along the lines of 'what do you hope to achieve during your operational tour to Afghanistan' said 'to bring everyone back.'  While laudable the correct answer, as pointed out in the journal, should have been 'to achieve my mission.'

 

Edited by Combatintman
Link to post
Share on other sites

I struggle to maintain no casualties but it happens, of course it sucks to say it but I would rather have my tanks and IFV's knocked out instead of losing any infantry but I generally use infantry screening for contacts so my armor is safe. But with numbers I would no go above 10% of my force for scenarios and less than that for campaigns.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually consider the poor bloody infantry to be more expendable than the vehicles. Losing a few guys with rifles isn't going to cost me much, but losing a tank or IFV is going to cost me a huge amount of firepower that might be sorely missed in later missions of a campaign. 20-30% casualties aren't that big of a deal as long as those aren't my vehicle crews.

Especially in the modern titles, my infantry are just a bunch of glorified scouts and bodyguards for the high-tech vehicles. I try to keep the infantry dismounted as much as possible and I keep the vehicles hidden somewhere behind hard cover like a hill or building. If the vehicles MUST go forward, they should stick to trees as much as possible, since trees have an uncanny ability to block incoming AT fire. 

The infantry's job is to disperse and fan out across the map as much as they can. They should always be sniffing and probing around everywhere like rats, constantly trying to find safe ways forward. The infantry should go all over the map if possible, because you never know from where they might spot something.

Once they get shot at or spot something, I might have a vehicle stick its nose out very briefly to blast an enemy position and then retreat. The infantry's job is to soak up casualties and enemy fire while the vehicles do the killing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I notice this is being considered from the Blue perspective. Playing Syrians or 'Fighters' you might see  40%+ casualties as acceptable if you're able to deliver a sufficiently stunning blow to the invader. I recall an old anecdote (that I'm about to butcher). Two military professionals meet at a conference after the Vietnam war and get into a debate. At one point the American exclaimed "We never lost a battle!' to which his Vietnamese counterpart replied 'But that's beside the point.' (or word to that effect).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'd like to clarify the "zero casualties" remark a little:

Take a basic react to contact/squad attack. The lead element comes under fire and goes to ground, then the rest of the squad builds up a base of fire, suppresses the target, clears them out and gets on with their life.

Assuming proper movement discipline, you can't do much about the initial contact - losing a chap here might be impossible to avoid. You also can't suppress people with 100% certainty, since there are too many random or unknown factors, so it's always possible to lose people randomly whilst engaging in the firefight, or whilst assaulting.

However, you can prepare for the situation, and take every step to minimise losses. I can make sure that the trailing element has LOS to the lead, so that when they go down, the trailing element can react straight away, maximising their chances. I can make sure that I'm not running everyone at the same time, so that they are best placed to react. I can use the tools I have to put down the most suppression I can, and can make an informed guess as to when is good time to assault.

So, it's not that taking casualties is per se a problem, but it's certainly possible to do everything right. I don't think it's all that useful to think about things in terms of "I only need to expend 3 men to take this position", instead "I did everything right and only lost 3 men".

That means that acceptable (indeed, expected) casualties are hard things to give a rule of thumb for. Clearly some situations are more bloody than others.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always try to go for zero 'unnecessary' casualties. 

Apart from that I don't really think of a % of acceptable losses. Like others said, there is just to much variation to have a fixed % of acceptable casualties. In a campaign there is often something in the briefing which tells about acceptable casualties for being able to continue the campaign.

Usually I realized during and after the battle if I'm doing good or if I'm not doing good. I might feel that I did much worse in campaign battle where I incurred 5% casualties, compared to one where I took 20%. Shooting up some militia hiding in the desert isn't comparable to assaulting a city district crawling with elite enemy troops, mines, IEDs, etc.

With regards to TF Thunder campaign I think that most of the earlier missions are achievable with minimal casualties, however further in the campaign the quality of enemy forces improve and it will logically mean more casualties on average.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, domfluff said:

That means that acceptable (indeed, expected) casualties are hard things to give a rule of thumb for. Clearly some situations are more bloody than others.

Agreed.  The early CMSF1 scenarios in particular expected the Blue/NATO player to win with minimal casualties as one had overwhelming firepower.  However, later, designers started to create harder scenarios and campaigns which could become bloodbaths if one made only one or two errors.  If you want to try something like that Paper Tiger's campaigns or scenarios are recommended.

Have been playing Paper Tiger's "The El Derjine Campaign" and the 2nd mission in particular is quite nasty as the situation is "not quite what the briefing tells you".  If you consider yourself a good CMSF player, this mission is a good reality check.  Paper Tiger's outstanding (and long 14 mission?) "The Road to Dinas" is also highly recommended.  However, paper Tiger is a bit of a sadist as he seems to always include very hard missions that one may have to replay to win - so that one can proceed to the next mission.  (I recall occasionally replaying a mission 10+ times.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you "cheat" by replaying the scenario you can keep losses low.

When replaying you know where the enemy is and can suppress accordingly.

 

If you only play the scenarios once it is a lot harder! You do not have the ammunition to suppress the entire map.

Losses add up and the successive scenarios get harder.

 

And still you can win some campaigns first try!

That´s what I call acceptable losses 😁

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Bufo said:

You can replay any turn. This way you can complete campaigns without a single loss of anything.

 

Its only a matter of savescumming.

Save scum here, I can attest to this working well. I do this for 2nd play through campaigns and scenarios. Even if I get low casualties I always try to improve and cheese it a bit in an attempt to receive the fewest casualties possible, and it can be quite enjoyable coordinating.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mjkerner said:

For me, unacceptable is dependent upon how many pixelletters I feel like writing to all the pixelwives, pixelparents, or pixelsweethearts of the fallen.

Good thing about virtual pixelletters is the copy/paste function. 500 done in the blink of an eye.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...