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Frustration at Sichenhausen: Red Tactics? (spoilers inside)


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I have tried the red side of the "Skirmish at Sichenhausen" scenario 10+ times and every time my forces get obliterated so I think I am definitely missing something. I have played Black Sea and Shock Force 2 before so I have some experience although I am nowhere near as good as the pros so here I am asking for some pointers.

Coming into this scenario my plan is to get rid of all the enemy tanks first and use my infantry+BMP combo to clean up the rest. My main source of frustration comes from all the enemy tanks preventing me from utilizing my forces in any effectively manner. The red side is supposed to be numerically superior in this scenario but my tank force consists of only a single platoon of T-64A (2 green, 1 regular) while the enemy tank platoon consists of 5 M60A3s (all veteran I believe). 

After a few tries I quickly dicarded the option of trading blows with enemy tanks at 1500-2000m. If I am staying hull down at range then my tanks have trouble spotting anything (they can't spot a M60 parked in the middle of the road even if the commander is unbuttoned, a target arc is set on the enemy tank, and scouts nearby feeding them spot information). If I got lucky that my tanks do spot a enemy tank, then they struggle to deal any damage: the only competent crew is the platoon HQ which comes at regular, while the other two can't hit a broadside of a barn due to their green stats. The armor on T-64s also feels weaker (only my gut feeling), and from my observation a M60A3 can reliably take out a T-64A in 3-5 shots at 1500m-2000m while the T-64s either can't make the spot, struggle to hit, or start reversing and pop smoke as soon as they are taking fire, which is of course no use when all the M60s have thermals. 

The second option I tried is to hit the enemy from all angles with everything I have to utilize my numerical advantage. Sadly this seems impossible without taking out the thermal equipped M60s. My BMPs and AT vehicles are just as blind as my tanks and are easily taken out when they drive over the crest to engage the tanks in the vally, and an all out attack usually results in about one M60 and several M113s taken out before the rest of the tanks get to react and kill everything I have. I even tried to degrade the enemy's command structure first after identifying some movements on the other hill and slaps it with lots of mortar fire. Turns out I took out the A Troop HQ but the enemy's ability to coordinate doesn't seem to be affected at all.

I heard this is a balanced scenario but here I am feeling the red side is severely handicapped. What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions are appreciated!

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Infantry, are the eyes of any formation through the C2 the armor will share their intel. Once you know the location of the enemy armor without him knowing yours you are halfway there. I have most games apart from BI, BS and CW. Let me know how you organize your C2 it is the start of every game I play. Played it since beyond overlord forgot the year, play H&H on Hotseat preferably. 

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3 hours ago, SHVAKS said:

Coming into this scenario my plan is to get rid of all the enemy tanks first and use my infantry+BMP combo to clean up the rest. My main source of frustration comes from all the enemy tanks preventing me from utilizing my forces in any effectively manner. The red side is supposed to be numerically superior in this scenario but my tank force consists of only a single platoon of T-64A (2 green, 1 regular) while the enemy tank platoon consists of 5 M60A3s (all veteran I believe). 

I heard this is a balanced scenario but here I am feeling the red side is severely handicapped. What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions are appreciated!

The red side is numerically superior - just not in tanks.  I can't remember the full force size but, given that you have BMP's plus BRDM ATGMs plus tanks, all of which are capable of knocking out a tank then your force has a greater anti-armour capability than the Blue side.

I wouldn't call it a balanced scenario - it is harder as the Red player but one of the testers got a victory straight out of the box as Red.

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Definitely winnable.

It's much harder as red, partly as the soft factors are mostly green, and they're against thermals, so spotting is very one sided. I first saw this from the US side, and was very surprised to only see one tank platoon - I was expecting to see a second or third tank platoon, and at least some 122mm artillery.

I can see basically two approaches - either you spend the early minutes scouting, and mass all of your strength on the other side of the hill for a single push, or you charge into the town straight away.

The latter I've seen work, and also utterly fail, so it's clearly a huge dice roll. A bit too risky for my blood, I think.

The former tries to solve the optics problem with numbers, but this can still not be enough, given the soft factors and especially when smoke and dust starts getting kicked up, where the thermals will win the thing.

For a more balanced version of the  scenario, downgrading the TTS to later version A1s and increasing the Soviet soft factors a little (perhaps just to regular) might be enough.

As-is, the Soviet force is basically a doctrinal FSE, and this is a pretty big ask for an FSE to clear all by itself, especially with no real artillery support - a typical target for that might be a platoon or so.

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Red has to rush to the village right away. No other way. One decision left for the red is do you leave the T-64 on the high ground or risk it and rush to town with everything else.

And by rush to village I really mean rush, you have to get everything there one the first 1-2 turns and at once so you overwhelm the US ability the destroy them before reaching the village.

M60 are killed by massed firepower and ambush. And remember to spread your RED forces so the smoke doesn't blind them.

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I wonder, if CMCW difficulty is out of touch with reality.

I went through Soviet tactics educational missions and found them quite ok and relatively easy.

Now I'm struggling with NTC and it's different. The first mission was normal, but the second and the third became an unpleasant surprise. 

In the second mission you have to pursue the enemy, defeated in the first. What it means: you are given the forces roughly the size of the enemy (including reinforcements that arrive in absolutely inconvenient part of the map). Basically you are in the desert with few opportunities to hide your movement. Only the one way is open - forward, where "running away" enemy forces, t72s and bmps with ATGM, are waiting you in line. 

First, I thought the trick is to go between the 2 hills in the left part of map and strike at the back of the enemy forces. I employed smoke screen and reached the hills, but it turned out that the train their is impassable.

M60s have night vision, but can't see through the smoke.

So you left with the option of exchanging fire with prepared enemy line in the desert. I used forward observing teams, c2 lnks, air strikes... Nothing helps. 

The third mission (I accessed it after defeat in the second) is not much better. 

So far it looks really bad.

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7 minutes ago, dbsapp said:

I wonder, if CMCW difficulty is out of touch with reality.

I went through Soviet tactics educational missions and found them quite ok and relatively easy.

Now I'm struggling with NTC and it's different. The first mission was normal, but the second and the third became an unpleasant surprise. 

In the second mission you have to pursue the enemy, defeated in the first. What it means: you are given the forces roughly the size of the enemy (including reinforcements that arrive in absolutely inconvenient part of the map). Basically you are in the desert with few opportunities to hide your movement. Only the one way is open - forward, where "running away" enemy forces, t72s and bmps with ATGM, are waiting you in line. 

First, I thought the trick is to go between the 2 hills in the left part of map and strike at the back of the enemy forces. I employed smoke screen and reached the hills, but it turned out that the train their is impassable.

M60s have night vision, but can't see through the smoke.

So you left with the option of exchanging fire with prepared enemy line in the desert. I used forward observing teams, c2 lnks, air strikes... Nothing helps. 

The third mission (I accessed it after defeat in the second) is not much better. 

So far it looks really bad.

 

*** SPOILERS ***

I just finished the pursuit scenario with a Tactical Victory. I didn't rush headlong into anything, despite the name of the scenario as, and it's hinted at in the briefing  believe, the FSE may well be in retreat but the main body would be behind them and it says to expect tanks from the main body to be in the AO. So basically I played it cautious, put some OPs on the hills, called in helis on the right flank (they took out a few BMPs and at least 2 tanks), the FOs on the hills called in some cluster munitions that took out another two tanks and I then used my M60s on the left and the M150s to snipe at what was left on the right flank using shoot and scoot There's also a small knoll on the left that is a great firing position.

Once I was happy that most of the threats on that side were dealt with I cautiously advanced the M60 platoon down the left flank skirting the sides of the hills with overwatch from the M150s and destroyed another two tanks that were counter-attacking.

The two platoons that enter the AO on the right flank barely moved, they were there as fire support and I employed shoot and scoot tactics to try and eliminate the tank platoon on the left flank but I lost one M60 and another got it's gun knocked out doing so with no kills to their names. They did force them to pop smoke though.

I didn't make it to the first PL but I got the victory for destruction of forces, which was the commander's intent afterall.

MMM

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8 minutes ago, Monty's Mighty Moustache said:

 

*** SPOILERS ***

I just finished the pursuit scenario with a Tactical Victory. I didn't rush headlong into anything, despite the name of the scenario as, and it's hinted at in the briefing  believe, the FSE may well be in retreat but the main body would be behind them and it says to expect tanks from the main body to be in the AO. So basically I played it cautious, put some OPs on the hills, called in helis on the right flank (they took out a few BMPs and at least 2 tanks), the FOs on the hills called in some cluster munitions that took out another two tanks and I then used my M60s on the left and the M150s to snipe at what was left on the right flank using shoot and scoot There's also a small knoll on the left that is a great firing position.

Once I was happy that most of the threats on that side were dealt with I cautiously advanced the M60 platoon down the left flank skirting the sides of the hills with overwatch from the M150s and destroyed another two tanks that were counter-attacking.

The two platoons that enter the AO on the right flank barely moved, they were there as fire support and I employed shoot and scoot tactics to try and eliminate the tank platoon on the left flank but I lost one M60 and another got it's gun knocked out doing so with no kills to their names. They did force them to pop smoke though.

I didn't make it to the first PL but I got the victory for destruction of forces, which was the commander's intent afterall.

MMM

Thank you for this piece of advice.

I know, that no matter what you are complaining about, somebody will definetly say that they made it and it's ok:)

I'm absolutely positive that this mission could be winnable, but its concept and design don't provide any joy. It's more like a tedious headache.

 

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3 minutes ago, dbsapp said:

Thank you for this piece of advice.

I know, that no matter what you are complaining about, somebody will definetly say that they made it and it's ok:)

I'm absolutely positive that this mission could be winnable, but its concept and design don't provide any joy. It's more like a tedious headache.

 

I do agree the level of difficult is high, especially as the OPFOR's soft factors are set very high. I think had I tried to advance the two platoons down the right flank I would have not been able to get a victory, getting a major or total victory would be a real challenge and may not even be possible without losing all your forces. Time was a factor too, I didn't even advance the tanks until there were about 10 minutes left in the scenario.

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3 minutes ago, Monty's Mighty Moustache said:

I do agree the level of difficult is high, especially as the OPFOR's soft factors are set very high. I think had I tried to advance the two platoons down the right flank I would have not been able to get a victory, getting a major or total victory would be a real challenge and may not even be possible without losing all your forces. Time was a factor too, I didn't even advance the tanks until there were about 10 minutes left in the scenario.

I fully understand that there may be different opinions, but it sounds like bad mission design to me.

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1 minute ago, dbsapp said:

I fully understand that there may be different opinions, but it sounds like bad mission design to me.

Doesn't it depend on what it's trying to teach you? Maybe it's intended to teach you to be wary about the briefing you receive from higher ups and make an assessment on how to proceed given the terrain, knowledge of the enemy and how they fight and considerations such as preservation of force? That terrain is not inducive for a frontal assault, it's a defender's dream. If that's the case then surely it's a good mission design? Especially as the campaign is based at the NTC, training is the name of the game.

MMM

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11 minutes ago, Monty's Mighty Moustache said:

Doesn't it depend on what it's trying to teach you? Maybe it's intended to teach you to be wary about the briefing you receive from higher ups and make an assessment on how to proceed given the terrain, knowledge of the enemy and how they fight and considerations such as preservation of force? That terrain is not inducive for a frontal assault, it's a defender's dream. If that's the case then surely it's a good mission design? Especially as the campaign is based at the NTC, training is the name of the game.

MMM

I have more simplistic attitude towards PC games in general and CM in particular. I don't want them to teach me anything and don't search any enigmatic truth that they may contain, like biblical parables.

I want them to be interesting, entertaining and worthy of the effort. Challenging and clever - yes, boring and stupid - no. 

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13 minutes ago, dbsapp said:

I have more simplistic attitude towards PC games in general and CM in particular. I don't want them to teach me anything and don't search any enigmatic truth that they may contain, like biblical parables.

I want them to be interesting, entertaining and worthy of the effort. Challenging and clever - yes, boring and stupid - no. 

I'm not saying it should teach you anything, I'm saying perhaps Bil designed this campaign to mimic the NTC training that is notoriously rough but is winnable if you think for yourself and make the correct assessments.

Not sure what you were expecting from a campaign based at the NTC, I went into it expecting a rough ride.

Saying something is boring and stupid and too hard and blaming the designer because you got your tactics wrong is a bit disingenuous.

MMM

Edited by Monty's Mighty Moustache
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Just now, Monty's Mighty Moustache said:

I'm not saying it should teach you anything, I'm saying perhaps Bil designed this campaign to mimic the NTC training that is notoriously rough but is winnable if you think for yourself and make the correct assessments.

Not sure what you were expecting from a campaign based at the NTC, I went into it expecting a rough ride.

MMM

Perhaps. But my bet it's just bad and intellectually lazy. 

Mission are so simplistic and basic that I can hardly find anything to "think for myself and correct assessments". For example, if I could move my units between those 2 hills under smoke screen and hit enemy in the soft spot, that would be tactically beautiful. But it's not the case. 

Again, maybe I'm only a noob and this campaign is for pros. Maybe. 

 

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1 hour ago, dbsapp said:

Perhaps. But my bet it's just bad and intellectually lazy. 

Mission are so simplistic and basic that I can hardly find anything to "think for myself and correct assessments". For example, if I could move my units between those 2 hills under smoke screen and hit enemy in the soft spot, that would be tactically beautiful. But it's not the case. 

Again, maybe I'm only a noob and this campaign is for pros. Maybe. 

 

If you got this kind of impression from my comments above or elsewhere, then that was not my intention.

The NTC campaign is brutal, and it's supposed to be, as is the real NTC. You are supposed to treat it like a proper training scenario - failing forward, and potentially retrying different approaches.

As a quick point- almost everyone I've seen has gone for the hasty attack option at first. The briefing mentions that you'll have "more room to manoeuvre", which is presumably the appeal. Manoeuvre with what, precisely? You're essentially a platoon of tanks in a supporting combined arms company, and you're trying to attack into a Motor rifle battalion. One side there needs more room, and it 'aint you. This is the kind of lesson it's trying to teach.

As a personal anecdote, which obviously is entirely relative - for comparison, I lost a total of one TOW launcher in the first mission, and one tank and an empty M113 in the second - all losses which were avoidable. The first was me not being aware of how bad an idea ATGM duels are, and the latter because I was hasty and didn't cover a specific sight line. This was done blind and without reloads, but there was a lot of planning involved, including reading a couple of field manuals for preparation. The third I had trouble with, but that was pre-patch, so I was stuck with the option I didn't choose for the third mission - so two total victories and a minor defeat - the latter mostly due to the enemy air. The NTC campaign was one of my favourite experiences in Combat Mission, ever. It was very testing, and it forced you to learn a whole bunch of things really fast - most notably, that Shock Force teaches some really bad habits. If the tanks in NTC were replaced with Abrams, with no other changes, I imagine there would be very little challenge in that campaign.

Cold War is definitely pitched more difficult than usual for the CM games. There are no safety wheels - you can't use your M60s like Abrams, nor rely on Javelins (or Panthers, for that matter) as a fix-all solution to every problem. Even where there's an advantage, like the quality of the Soviet armour, using them correctly is far from simple.

The Tutorial missions are something which I think CM really needs more of. I've seen many comments of things like "Jackals are awful" in CMSF, or "2 inch mortars are pointless" in CMBN. Having a presentation of the thing working as it's supposed to work doctrinally gives you a good intro to the basics - as in, a textbook WW2 British platoon attack, supported by the 2 inch - if there was a scenario which could show how it's supposed to look, and if you can't win this, then you fundamentally don't know what you're doing.

The Soviet attack scenario is supposed to teach two things above all - the priority of mass, and the need for coordination between armour and massed fires. This is the baseline Soviet stuff, but doesn't represent a scenario you're ever really likely to see. The Meeting engagement tutorial is a far more realistic scenario, and does a good job of taking those principles and applying them to a vastly more complex and fluid battle-state. It's still a textbook engagement, so you shouldn't come close to losing when you understand what you're doing, but this represents a baseline that the scenarios and campaigns can build from. The first scenario of the Russian campaign is extraordinarily brutal, but it's fundamentally the same tactical problem as the second tutorial, just much more complex, with a far more active opponent. "It's like this, but..." is the foundation of most tactical problems.

So no, I don't think Cold War is "out of touch with reality", or even "too hard". It's hard, certainly, but the challenges can all be overcome, with the time and effort. Obviously that challenge may not appeal, and that's completely valid, but I don't think it's correct to claim that this is anything more than your opinion, and not some kind of objective measure of the thing.

Edited by domfluff
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9 minutes ago, domfluff said:

As a quick point- almost everyone I've seen has gone for the hasty attack option at first. The briefing mentions that you'll have "more room to manoeuvre", which is presumably the appeal. Manoeuvre with what, precisely? You're essentially a platoon of tanks in supporting combined arms company, and you're trying to attack into a Motor rifle battalion. One side there needs more room, and it 'aint you.

This was exactly my thoughts when I saw the map - go where? Everywhere would get me killed.

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8 minutes ago, domfluff said:

If you got this kind of impression from my comments above or elsewhere, then that was not my intention.

The NTC campaign is brutal, and it's supposed to be, as is the real NTC. You are supposed to treat it like a proper training scenario - failing forward, and potentially retrying different approaches.

As a quick point- almost everyone I've seen has gone for the hasty attack option at first. The briefing mentions that you'll have "more room to manoeuvre", which is presumably the appeal. Manoeuvre with what, precisely? You're essentially a platoon of tanks in supporting combined arms company, and you're trying to attack into a Motor rifle battalion. One side there needs more room, and it 'aint you. This is the kind of lesson it's trying to teach.

As a personal anecdote, which obviously is entirely relative - for comparison, I lost a total of one TOW launcher in the first mission, and one tank and an empty M113 in the second - all losses which were avoidable. The first was me not being aware of how bad an idea ATGM duels are, and the latter because I was hasty and didn't cover a specific sight line. This was done blind and without reloads, but there was a lot of planning involved, including reading a couple of field manuals for preparation. The third I had trouble with, but that was pre-patch, so I was stuck with the option I didn't choose for the third mission - so two total victories and a minor defeat - the latter mostly due to the enemy air. The NTC campaign was one of my favourite experiences in Combat Mission, ever. It was very testing, and it forced you to learn a whole bunch of things really fast - most notably, that Shock Force teaches *some* really bad habits. If the tanks in NTC were replaced with Abrams, with no other changes, I imagine there would be very little challenge in that campaign.

Cold War is definitely pitched more difficult than usual for the CM games. There are no safety wheels - you can't use your M60s like Abrams, nor rely on Javelins (or Panthers, for that matter) as a fix-all solution to every problem. Even where there's an advantage, like the quality of the Soviet armour, using them correctly is far from simple.

So, is "CMCW difficulty out of touch with reality"? I don't think so. It's hard, certainly, but I don't think I've seen anything be unwinnable, and especially the (superb) campaigns give you a variety of real problems to solve.

The Tutorial missions are something which I think CM really needs more of. I've seen many comments of things like "Jackals are awful" in CMSF, or "2 inch mortars are pointless" in CMBN. Having a presentation of the thing working as it's supposed to work doctrinally gives you a good intro to the basics - as in, a textbook WW2 British platoon attack, supported by the 2 inch - if there was a scenario which could show how it's supposed to look, and if you can't win this, then you fundamentally don't know what you're doing.

The Soviet attack scenario is supposed to teach two things above all - the priority of mass, and the need for coordination between armour and massed fires. This is the baseline Soviet stuff, but doesn't represent a scenario you're ever really likely to see. The Meeting engagement tutorial is a far more realistic scenario, and does a good job of taking those principles and applying them to a vastly more complex and fluid battle-state. It's still a textbook engagement, so you shouldn't come close to losing when you understand what you're doing, but this represents a baseline that the scenarios and campaigns can build from. The first scenario of the Russian campaign is extraordinarily brutal, but it's fundamentally the same tactical problem as the second tutorial, just much more complex, with a far more active opponent. "It's like this, but..." is the foundation of most tactical problems.

So no, I don't think Cold War is "out of touch with reality", or even "too hard". It's hard, certainly, but the challenges can all be overcome, with the time and effort. Obviously that challenge may not appeal, and that's completely valid, but I don't think it's correct to claim that this is anything more than your opinion, and not some kind of objective measure of the thing.

I'm fully aware that I may be wrong and I'm not trying to claim any rights on universal truth. 

Anyway, every man to his taste. Maybe it's not my cup of tea, that's all. 

In the manual NTC campaign is presented as training that player should go through before moving on to the US, and finally to the Soviet campaigns. Well, judging by your description its something more like a hell of a challenging mission intended for players with 10 years of experience in CM that tricks you into believing things you shouldn't do. 

 

 

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I do agree that it's a bit of an odd choice not to include a formal tutorial campaign or scenario in this title. The Soviet ones do a great job of that, but it would be good to have a similar thing for the US, perhaps one which shows you how to perform the Active Defence doctrine correctly, in an idealised manner. Even just the training scenario from CMBS and CMSF (the Stryker/Bradley platoon attack) ported over would be a good start, perhaps.

The theory behind the real NTC is that it's supposed to be a trial by fire - you're supposed to be pushed against an enemy who is tougher than any you're likely to face, so that actual combat comes easier. It's the equivalent of running with training weights or the like, to push yourself in a safe environment. That's the context that the campaign should be seen in. It does a really good job of expelling a lot of the bad habits that CMSF teaches, certainly, in a number of ways.

One of the more subtle is that you have to read the terrain without easy context clues. You can't control a hedgerow, city or low wall, because there aren't any, so you're looking at finding and using possibly-indiscernible folds in the ground, and defining space where you can. That alone is inherently much more difficult, and that kind of thing is one of the reasons why CMBN is an easier introduction than CMFI is, for example, since hedgerows provide far stronger context clues than hills.

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7 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

Infantry, are the eyes of any formation through the C2 the armor will share their intel. Once you know the location of the enemy armor without him knowing yours you are halfway there. I have most games apart from BI, BS and CW. Let me know how you organize your C2 it is the start of every game I play. Played it since beyond overlord forgot the year, play H&H on Hotseat preferably. 

He already knows where the enemy armor is because the Soviets start with scouts up on a hill with a clear view of the valley below and more in the town objective, so you can watch them enter and move forward. Great view from the hilltop on the Soviet left. 

The trick is to either 1) go for it and do as others have said and rush the town with everything right away. That way you avoid the losing proposition of duking it out long range with those M60s and can play cat and mouse and make them try to move you. Or, 2) try to have your whole force, T-64s and APCs with ATGMs, in covered positions and then pop up all at once to take on the M60s from two angles. 

I play tested this a number of times as the Soviets and both of those can work. Both can also fail miserably (ask me how I know this 🙂 ).

Dave

 

Edited by Ultradave
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Strangely, after I made this post yesterday I tried this scenario again and got a total victory as red. Massed push never works for me against 5* thermal M60s so I tried blindly rushing down the road with whatever BMPs I have and commiting to the infantry fight in the town and it worked like a charm. Turns out none of the five M60s can get a full sightline on the road to the town so it is mostly safe to travel what looks like the most dangerous road in the world, though I am still confused by why the single file of trees on the side of the road can mask my movement while thermals seem to penetrate thicker treelines and nail my scouts with ease. Once all my infantry forces are in the town there are a few dubious tactical decisions the AI made that become easily exploitable, namely rushing two of the M60s into the north side of the town with no infantry support whatsoever and shuffling the rest of the tank platoon to a worse overwatching position to the south of the town where they can be ambushed by infantry AT weapons. The blue forces will be bogged down in the town fight and end up losing. The BMPs and T-64s are only useful for taking out the two M901s in the beginning of the scenario then the rest is mostly infantry. In the end I end up not committing my AT and tank platoon at all but still achieved total victory with relative ease. Feels like the AI is throwing its advantage away since I reckon if the AI spreads out its tanks in proper overwatching positions and never rush them into the town I would have no chance at all. Is the AI blunder here intentional in order for the red vs blue ai experience playable?

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No - the AI plan has to assume that the Red player is going to use one of two avenues of approach or both.  That means that it needs to cover an approach from the right flank and cover an approach from the front.   You are quite right, the Blue force could just sit back and pick off most of the enemy but in your original post you couldn't win it with the AI plan as it is.  I would take that to mean that it was hardly a 'blunder.'

In testing, the BRDM-2s in the town are quite capable of inflicting an F-kill on the TOW wagons which is also worth bearing in mind.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, Combatintman said:

No - the AI plan has to assume that the Red player is going to use one of two avenues of approach or both.  That means that it needs to cover an approach from the right flank and cover an approach from the front.   You are quite right, the Blue force could just sit back and pick off most of the enemy but in your original post you couldn't win it with the AI plan as it is.  I would take that to mean that it was hardly a 'blunder.'

In testing, the BRDM-2s in the town are quite capable of inflicting an F-kill on the TOW wagons which is also worth bearing in mind.

And that kinda correspondes with my point: I couldn't win it as is in my previous runs because I assumed the AI is going to do the smart thing with its tanks, which is sit back and snipe anything that attempts to approach the town (which is preciously what I am going to do if I am the blue commander as I know the initial red force in the town is quite few in number so preventing red reinforcement should be a huge priority for blue side). As a result I thought the only way to handle this as red is to force an engagement at all angles with all my tanks BMPs, and AT carriers at once when blue force is still out in the open (which never worked for me).

The only reason I won is because the blue AI actually failed to cover the road approach (isn't obvious because the tree cover shouldn't be blocking the thermals from the looks of it, but it actually can)so my BMPs can just drive into the town and unload all the infantry. This results in me having more infantry AT in the town which hard counters the tanks and M113s.

In addition,driving two of the M60s through the north side of town without any infantry support is without doubt an actual blunder in my book. Blue is attacking a red position with the knowledge of red scout squads in the town and more red infantry reinforcement on the way, which should automatically warant infantry leading the way for ALL tank movements. In my last playthrough blue AI lost two M60s to RPGs in the north side of the town which gives me massive breathing room to manuver around and flank the rest of the blue force, something that isn't possible if the blue commander decides to leave the two M60s around the northern outskirts in overwatching positions. In fact, blue lost all five M60s to RPGs in the town, which should say something about how the blue AI is handling this engagement.

Edited by SHVAKS
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9 hours ago, dbsapp said:

I wonder, if CMCW difficulty is out of touch with reality.

I went through Soviet tactics educational missions and found them quite ok and relatively easy.

Now I'm struggling with NTC and it's different. The first mission was normal, but the second and the third became an unpleasant surprise. 

In the second mission you have to pursue the enemy, defeated in the first. What it means: you are given the forces roughly the size of the enemy (including reinforcements that arrive in absolutely inconvenient part of the map). Basically you are in the desert with few opportunities to hide your movement. Only the one way is open - forward, where "running away" enemy forces, t72s and bmps with ATGM, are waiting you in line. 

First, I thought the trick is to go between the 2 hills in the left part of map and strike at the back of the enemy forces. I employed smoke screen and reached the hills, but it turned out that the train their is impassable.

M60s have night vision, but can't see through the smoke.

So you left with the option of exchanging fire with prepared enemy line in the desert. I used forward observing teams, c2 lnks, air strikes... Nothing helps. 

The third mission (I accessed it after defeat in the second) is not much better. 

So far it looks really bad.

I actually played that 2nd mission a while back and I guess you missed something. If you do terrain analysis you can see that the terrain isn't gradual but there are many 'steps' with reverse slopes, danger. You have infantry and APCs. So after securing the starting area, move some infantry forward wide to the next slope under tank cover. Recon it, perhaps use some of your support assets for fires and use the mountain for observation. Keep on it and clear the steps one by one, you'll push the enemy back. I took some losses from sneaky tanks far back, but that's all IIRC

Perhaps it's difficult, but imo it's weak form to directly call 'difficult' as bad design without further argumentation, which you seem to do.

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