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Tips on CMSF2 Task Force Thunder, first scenario? CMSF2 tips in general?


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I'm playing through the first scenario of Task Force Thunder campaign a second time. I know this should be relatively easy, but well, noob here...
I'm eliminating the mines with the mortars then sending the Abrams out. They are pretty tough so I'm sending them out to battle the Syrian tanks and other units.
In the meantime I've put some of my smaller units and machine gun units up on the berm to scout and fire. I also put up my eyes in the sky to scout.
I'm keeping the larger rifle units in the strykers to attack later.  Should I be using them now?
I plan on hitting everything hard with arty as I take out tanks and other units with the Abrams. Then moving in later with the larger units and strykers. I know I SHOULDN'T assault the buildings - took major losses last time.
I know the strykers are pretty vulnerable to the anti tank units. When do I bring them out? How do I use them and where do I position them? Do I need to have units equip themselves with the anti tank weapons for them to use them?
In general am I using the units right? I played through all the tutorials, though I feel like I suddenly forgot everything LOL! What are the best scenarios to learn the game? I have all the DLC...
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When I played this the Abrams were parked on the berm and didn't move (hull-down of course) and provided supporting fires on identified targets. I took one platoon DISMOUNTED with their Strykers and moved them through the mines once the engineers had marked them. There is still a risk that the mines could go off and IIRC I did lose a Stryker driving through the marked minefield so best to get your guys out.

With that platoon I inched SLOWLY towards the compound and if they were engaged then use the supporting assets to blast the snot out of them. All the while the FO was up on the berm calling in indirect on the building at the front at first and once they were demolished/cleared then roll the barrage on through the compound.

The other two platoons: I had one dismount and run over the berm (yes they can make it over) and set up a base of fire and the other was held in reserve. I didn't need them in the end as the AI surrendered. I can't remember how may casualties I had but it was single figures, and two of them were taken out by mortars.

Always best to grab Javelins if they are available.


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Patience.  Patience above all else.  This is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for new players, imho.  

I think I spent 75% of that battle with my Abrams on the berm and my FOs calling in fires etc. for all that time.  You don't need to press and you just have to wait for your arty and tanks to do their jobs.  Let the Abrams sit on the berm and systematically take out everything.  You don't even need your MG teams out on the berm as the range is getting a bit long there and they would just be wasting ammo.  Stay at range where you can deal all your damage and they can't touch you!  You have thermals and night vision!  Huge advantage.  Stay back and dismantle them at a distance where they can't do a thing to you.  PS, those old dug in Syrian tanks can't hurt your Abrams.  Sit back and pick em off one by one.

At about 15 min left, I called in all my heavy artillery on the barracks and fortress.  Call linear strikes across the buildings, the heavy arty will level those buildings or cause massive damage to the building and those inside. Once those start hitting and kicking up dust etc. that was the time to move my Strykers in.  I dismount my infantry about 300-350m from the the enemy lines and they pretty much just mopped up with Stryker support.  My artillery pretty much leveled the fortress and the enemy surrendered about the time I rolled into the smoking fortress.  I think I only lost 2-3 men and maybe one Stryker at well trying to get through the mines.

The biggest hurdle will be for you determining how to utilize your infantry, set up attacks and determining when to launch.  Patience really is everything in learning how to watch things develop and then time your attack at the opportune moment.  A lot of CM battles will be very low key and not much combat as you maneuver, scout and work yourself into your attack positions.  Combat tends to be, and should be, extremely violent, fast and furious.  With all the American firepower, USE IT!!  Annihilate everything and when your enemy is back on his heels deliver the killing blow.  The big fights tend to only last a couple minutes.  When things get drawn out is when you get in trouble.  I suggest really paying attention to effective ranges and knowing when and where and how to use your different weapon systems.  Infantry should only be dismounted and engaging close up or otherwise used in small scout teams, or with javelins to sit way back and just spot.

You are the Americans, overwhelming firepower and destruction is your friend.  Use it all.

Edited by Phantom Captain
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Ohh!  And for the main attack.  Use smoke to cover!  I actually moved the Strykers with long guns up onto the berm and then had 2 or 3 Abrams roll in with my Strykers and infantry. Infantry dismounted in the fort, there was a very brief firefight with tanks, Strykers and infantry all unloading and boom, the Syrians surrendered with only a few minutes left.

And another thing....  As MMM said, always take your javelins.  They are great for spotting on top of killing tanks and have one of the best optic systems available with huge zoom.  Your javelin teams, laying low patiently, WILL spot tons of things.  Cover arcs are your friends too as you can set up OPs, set a cover arc and your men won't fire and expose themselves.

You will learn quickly, how important it is to sometimes just sit and spot for minutes on end.  


Edited by Phantom Captain
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6 hours ago, Kevinorf said:

Should I roll in with the strykers or demounted? Should demounted troops grab anti tank guns from the stryker? Just a few of my many noob questions

I dismount one terrain feature away. Yes, I always grab the Javelin. The thermal sights are even useful after you fire the missile. Also you can use it as a precision munition but it is an expensive one. But if it saves a highly trained specialist, it is worth it. 

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As Phantom Captain stated, the best place for your Abrams is in hull down positions on the berm. They can see virtually everything, they can overwatch the entire enemy position and they are essentially immune to enemy fire when in proper hull down. I would advise against using artillery to clear a minefield unless you have literally no other options. That is a waste of an asset that you should be using to suppress, mask or destroy the enemy with. What you should do, knowing that the enemy mines are antitank (as we are told in the briefing), is use a dismounted infantry platoon to scour the cutting through the berm. This will locate the mines, which can then be marked by your breach teams. Once you clear the mines, I find little need to do a dismounted advance. The scenario presents you with a weak enough enemy and gives you heavy enough firepower that you can safely do a 'hot dismount', whereby you dismount very close (50-100m) to the enemy positions. Syrian reservists are easily suppressed and their positions are obvious, so you should have little difficulty keeping them suppressed as you advance. The Stryker gives you mobility and protection against small arms, take advantage of it!

So basically, assume hull down with the Abrams on the berm, clear the mines with infantry and breach teams, pound the hell out of the fortress and adjacent trench lines with your artillery, send the Strykers through, dumping fire from their .50 cals and grenade launchers as you go, use your Stryker MGS' to pound the fortress some more through the gap in the berm*, dismount close to the trenches and fort just as the arty finishes (timing this will require some practice) and that should do it. I find that if you've attrited the Syrians enough, they'll surrender the moment your men enter the fort. I finished the scenario with no losses at all with almost this method**.

One last thing, I disagree with previous posters about the Javelins. The Javelin is a truly excellent piece of kit and is in many ways the US Army's secret weapon. It will almost always kill any Syrian tank in the game, it can be fired from inside buildings, it can be used against enemy weapons teams and fortifications, it is fire-and-forget and the launcher when taken without missiles makes for an excellent spotting tool. BUT all that said, there are definitely scenarios where you want to leave the Javelins behind. The Javelin is heavy. A squad equipped with a Javelin will tire much faster than one without. If your infantry are going to be sat in an overwatch position greasing enemy tanks, this is fine. But if your boys are planning on dashing from cover to cover, clearing trenches and kicking doors (like in this scenario), this is a problem. In addition, unless you give your men a 'target light' command, they will attempt to use the Javelin on whatever presents itself, be it a fearsome T-90S, or a hapless reservist rifleman. This is a waste of a valuable asset and means that your squad AT specialists, instead of pouring lead on an enemy that needs suppressing, will sit there taking aim with their Javelin instead. In a firefight, this could be fatal.


*You do not want to get into the habit of exposing the MGS' to potential danger AT ALL, they are very squishy - hence why I did not suggest placing them on the berm. Use them as you would a WW2-era infantry gun.

**At the time I hadn't cottoned on to using my infantry to assist my breach teams in finding mines, so I had to rely on RNG and only sent a single platoon through the gap. Thankfully I got lucky and they didn't hit any mines - not a method I would endorse!

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