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CM Cold War - Beta AAR - Soviet Thread - Glorious Soviet Victory at Small German Town 1980


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Hello I did not comment on the other hand, I was on the lookout every day.
To summarize this AAR, it is the different approach that you have used to describe the action which can be summarized by the comparison between the scheme of @The_Capt and the map of @Bil Hardenberger.
Although opposing in their form it allows to cover all the fields
in short it was great you are gifted, a real duo. You have to redo it and throughout the period from CMItaly to CMCrimea
a big thank you to both

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This was a brilliant read and had me on the edge of my seat (quite uncomfortable being there for a month!) the whole time.  Congrats The_Capt for the victory, and I think you deserve an honourary medal in trash talk too B)

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Thank you all sincerely and you are very welcome.  I am very glad people got enjoyment out of this. 

Once the game is released I will post the scenario so you guys can take a run at your own stories (someone remind me if I forget).

We will do up a final post-game once Bil finishes up his final turns.  I see many congrats at "my victory", I am kinda split here because 1) Of course the glorious forces of the Soviet Union were victorious in crushing the corrupt capitalists, but 2) in reality...when the commissar is not looking, this was pretty much a Draw in my books.   You guys can be the judge when the numbers go up but neither side is doing much with what is left on the board, Soviets do hold the objective but we failed to achieve any real breakout, breakthroughs or overwhelm the US forces.  The only good news is that there is probably another dozen Soviet outfits like the one I just lost behind me.  

But does winning or losing really matter (*duh, of course it does, it is why they keep score*)?  A game well played between two old friends as we enter our autumn years (Bil is on the doorstep of winter) is the best reward in itself. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, The_Capt said:

You guys can be the judge when the numbers go up but neither side is doing much with what is left on the board, Soviets do hold the objective but we failed to achieve any real breakout, breakthroughs or overwhelm the US forces.  The only good news is that there is probably another dozen Soviet outfits like the one I just lost behind me.  

Your force was the forward screen for a MRR, right?  That means  there is a colonel behind you with another whole Red Army regiment ready to go after you established the nature of Vth Corps presence.  

I know Air Land Battle was designed to counter Soviet force echelons, but what was the plan for Active Defense in that regards?  Pray for the USAAF to arrive?  Hold out until the nukes fly?

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11 minutes ago, Megalon Jones said:

Your force was the forward screen for a MRR, right?  That means  there is a colonel behind you with another whole Red Army regiment ready to go after you established the nature of Vth Corps presence.  

I know Air Land Battle was designed to counter Soviet force echelons, but what was the plan for Active Defense in that regards?  Pray for the USAAF to arrive?  Hold out until the nukes fly?

This would have probably been a good slice of the Advance Guard for a TR (or the toothy end of a MRR).  Tank types are a bit off but still in the realm of realistic (T64 and T62 mixes) but if we go with TR then there would have been the rest of the lead Tank Bn about 30 mins behind this force.  In reality they probably would have crashed into this scenario, right about the time we call ceasefire. 

A quick look at the tables say that would mean around another 2 x Tank Coys, plus a boatload of arty who would slice through this little tussle without breaking stride.  Behind them by about 20-30km  (so an hour) is the rest of the Regt, so 2 x more Tank Bns and the rest of the MRB.   The ACR over on Bil's is basically down a Squadron by this point, so they would have two left, screen along the axis of advance.  So this little scrap would be a historical footnote in reality.

The power of Active Defence was not so much at the front end, it was the plan to attack the entire Soviet system while defending.  This was smart as the Soviets' had pretty rudimentary logistical support.  So the theory was to attrit and delay in the front while creating breaks and gaps in the rear so that the entire monster grinds to halt.  I honestly doubt it would have worked in 79 but odds get better when we move forward from there.  By the mid-80s the deal was sealed and any fight would have needed tac nukes for the Soviets to stand a chance, which despite the rhetoric they would not have used unless it really was the end of the world.  SDI, scared them so much because if their strat nuke option was blunted, then it meant all of their options for tac nukes were also blunted...all at the losing end of conventional competition as warfare moved from mass to digitized speed.  

Or at least that is how it looked to me...

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23 hours ago, Double Deuce said:

These AAR threads have me so stoked for this game, moreso than any previous CM title. It can't get released soon enough.  🤑

Me too.

Not sure if it has been lock down contributing but I certainly have a hankering for this period and really never thought I would see it come to fruition. So what a good surprise and the AAR has really given us a great insight to the game with two well matched opponents.

They will no doubt keep one another happy in the care home of their choice, playing on the local LAN.

I am glad Steve and Charles were persuaded to do this before they sail off into the sunset, which they will do at some stage... (as we all will...) 

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On 3/29/2021 at 6:42 PM, The_Capt said:

I can't really comment definitively on price as I think they are still tweaking the QB but right now they are somewhere around 75% the cost of the T64.  Basically in a Large game you can get a LOT of them but you will need to watch the terrain.  The T62 is very effect at close range 1500 and below, which I think you can see in this game.  Its armor is ok but it is not going to stand up to concentrated fire.  It gun is excellent at shorter ranges, I have seen a T62 kill an M60A3 in the front at 1000m.

So I guess the short answer is that it is a fine tank if you know how to use it...en masse, closing distance quickly and knife fighting.

I personally prefer it over the T72, which really feels to me like the red-headed stepchild in this title.  This tank gets lot of press but it never was really taken seriously by the Soviets, a cheap export model.  Now the T64B and T80s are a different story, the T80 is rarer but begins to catch up on spotting/sniping and the T64B is the second only to the M1 (and much, much cheaper) for being an all around beast, its frontal armor is excellent and the gun is brutal.  The T64B is probably my favorite tank in the game. 

So I take it the CMCW hive mind does not place much weight on the Kharkovite monstrosity critique? 😝

Otherwise, we would have been watching 1/3 of your T64s "definitely to work as self-digging knifes" and not even to arrive on glorious field of battle?

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7 minutes ago, LongLeftFlank said:

So I take it the CMCW hive mind does not place much weight on the Kharkovite monstrosity critique? 😝

Otherwise, we would have been watching 1/3 of your T64s "definitely to work as self-digging knifes" and not even to arrive on glorious field of battle?

Oh dear.  Ok, my point of view on these things is pretty simple...."you get what you paid for, CM is good but it is not Jesus".  CM is a really good tactical level game that borders on simulator (BFC MOD work is proof of that).  It is very good, maybe the best, at Battalion and below tactical engagements; a test of skill and a challenge that provides a lot of entertainment.  The level of accuracy and detail is crazy...at that level.

Now if we are going to start to expand beyond that then a lot of other factors come into play and frankly we move out of entertainment and start to encroach on professional military problems.  And hey, if the game takes you there, then that is great but you will likely get frustrated trying to port those lessons back into the game.

So, for example, the quality of T64 manufacture is not a tactical problem.  Sure, a few extra dice rolls for throwing a track but in reality poor manufacture is an operational or strategic problems that in CM you may see in the course of an entire campaign as narrative.  For example, the outrageous cost and slow production of the M1 in the early 80s has little effect on the CM battlefield beyond "rarity", which means little when the beast shows up but was a significant strategic shortfall.  

Vehicles and systems are simulated "as they would normally function" in a 1-2 hour window of a tactical engagement.  Here a fully functioning T64B is one tough beast.  

In fact if you want to get into a "battle of logistics" the west is at a significant disadvantage overall.  All of our systems took ridiculous maint-ratios to keep in the field and we did not have a steel mountain of replacements to pull on.  In short the Soviets did not care if 1/3 of their T64s failed to show up when they had a 6-to-1 advantage.

Here is a good analysis of the maint require for the M60 series...and it is not small.

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/463382.pdf  

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9 hours ago, The_Capt said:

The power of Active Defence was not so much at the front end, it was the plan to attack the entire Soviet system while defending.  This was smart as the Soviets' had pretty rudimentary logistical support.  So the theory was to attrit and delay in the front while creating breaks and gaps in the rear so that the entire monster grinds to halt

So, limited counter attacks threatening flanks and delaying the deployment of the Soviet OMG's so the REFORGER units can arrive.  Air Land Battle is all that plus smash up the 2nd and 3rd echelons before they deploy, disrupt C3 and the logistics of the rear area.

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5 minutes ago, Megalon Jones said:

So, limited counter attacks threatening flanks and delaying the deployment of the Soviet OMG's so the REFORGER units can arrive.  Air Land Battle is all that plus smash up the 2nd and 3rd echelons before they deploy, disrupt C3 and the logistics of the rear area.

Add in a healthy dash of maneuver doctrine and lashing staffs together at the operational level...and you pretty much have it.  GPS and the C4ISR revolution came a bit later but pretty much finished the deal.   

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13 hours ago, The_Capt said:

and lashing staffs together at the operational level

I imagine keeping a tight check on every officer above Major who imagines that their limited counter attack is just like Patton at The Bulge would've been interesting.  

I'm going to have to really immerse myself in the background of the M60 series tanks. It seems like the latest variant M60 is actually better in some regards to the Abrams.  I also expect the BMP/Sagger could be the unappreciated stars of the show.  Funny how we got a bunch of things wrong.  Being a youth in the early 1980's, I remember the T72 as THE scariest thing on the potential battlefield.  The T80 was an ominous cypher.  As it turned out, the T64 was your worst nightmare.

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4 minutes ago, Megalon Jones said:

 

I'm going to have to really immerse myself in the background of the M60 series tanks. It seems like the latest variant M60 is actually better in some regards to the Abrams. 

A3s had better fire control tends to be the consensus. Glass cannons, I expect a lot of players will come to like the A3s when they're in good battle positions. 

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1 hour ago, Megalon Jones said:

I'm going to have to really immerse myself in the background of the M60 series tanks. It seems like the latest variant M60 is actually better in some regards to the Abrams.  

A couple things might be considered equal too, but probably the only real advantage of the M60A3 would be the TTS (thermal sight).  

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I've got a 1980 Pentagon doc complaining that M60A3 without TTS doesn't perform measurably better than M60A1, and the author was fuming over the delay in getting TTS to the troops in Germany (while delivering a batch to Egypt first).

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Glorious March to Victory, Final Post - "Like Tears in Rain"

Well big thank you to all who watched.  I figure I should stop leaving you all hanging, so we cease fired on the last turn (33 I believe).  Now take the end-screen with a grain of salt:

1203615343_Turn33-ButchersBill.thumb.jpg.9631269682ce5659255789b274fe96fa.jpg

So first off there was a dumb double-accounting error for the Soviet side.  Basically the parameters were:

En Cas 50% = 50 VPs

En Condition 50% = 50 VPs

Dollbach Village = 100 VPs.

The error was the Soviets had another 100 VPs for having fewer than/better than 50% cas/cond, so I subtracted that because if we had paid attention Bil was above 50% too.  So the score was really 100 because I held the town.  (Note, also a small error in that his M150s were counted as tanks...a bug we noted for fixing)

The outstanding question is "could Bil have reduced me to 50% without going there himself"...that one is tougher.   So for Soviets:

215 men: lost 71 = 33%

17 Tanks: lost 10 = 58%

17 AFVs: lost 9 = 53%

For the US:

138 men: lost 56 = 40.5%

12 Tanks: lost 6 = 50%

17 AFVs (also counting his mortar carriers): Lost 6 = 35%

So this was by no stretch a "Total Victory", that was straight up on us for not checking the victory parameters.  I hold the village but given the drubbing I received in taking it, I am not sure I can put a statue up in Red Square for this either.  Add to this the fact I started with a lot more men and tanks, it starts to push the whole thing into Draw territory to my mind.  

Now Bil had much better arty, had air (I had none) and EW which made my arty next to useless without TRPs (which I did not have) so there is that.  And my starting position was not the best but it is a poor craftsman that blames the workbench.  

I will let you all judge for yourselves.  Regardless, was a helluva fight, the kind that comes around only every so often,  and we are all working to get you guys a chance at it yourselves soon enough.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, so as promised, for those that might be interested here is the scenario that Bil and I played (consider it bonus content) so you guys can see in detail how this whole thing went down.  I am also attaching the last couple turns from the Soviet side so people can see the final layout when we ended it.  Password is "rochette" (don't worry I don't use it anywhere else...and she is our dog).  Up front this is not a finished or official scenario (so no briefings or such), nor is there any AI, strictly H2H.  But if you guys want to recreate the fight, have at it!  Are you a Bil, leading his capitalist swine to their inevitable doom?  Or are you a Capt, who led his men to a glorious victory for mother Russia (unfortunately only a few get to enjoy that fact)?

Note: the map is Dollbach Heights, a Pete Wenman original (seriously with this whole crypto art thing, this map might in crease in value over time).  The bare map is also included in the Master Maps folder, for aspiring designers.  Finally if you do want to play as is, I would highly recommend turning Blue EW off, as the Soviet arty is really neutered currently.  Enjoy.

BETA-AAR Meet-Force v3.btt 1892770176_DolbachHeights066.ema 2039406995_DolbachHeights068.ema

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