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Team Murray


jasoncawley
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Gentlemen:

One fellow had a question about the Team Murray scenario (marine company tanking woods from opfor platoon+) over in the attrition thread; I thought I'd answer it in a new one (rather than read past 10 old posts).

It isn't too hard to get to the wood area provided you avoid the low open ground along the road. To set up the attack into the woods, what I use is one platoon in the small level 0 woods about 1 kilometer west of the objective, on overwatch, and the other two platoons plus the tanks entering the southern end of the woods, down from level one.

Key things are to get the overwatch platoon into position without losses, and to have them set up before the other guys "go". To get there, use the dead ground created by the hill that little wood starts on. Crawl the APCs into the middle of the wood, not too close to the treeline, then get out and walk nearer to the treeline.

Drop off your 60mm Mortar platoon earlier, about 1/2 - 2/3rds of the way along the high ground, so they reach into the whole objective. Use the 81mm, the 60mm, and the off-map arty. Set up TRPs along the woodline, with the overwatch guys doing the spotting, and get those worked up to "5"s.

It takes about half an hour to get that into position and set up, give or take. But once you have it, you can kill things along the wood line with fire from the overwatch platoon, drop HE in quantity anywhere along the front of the woods, and in addition quickly "shift" just once for accuracy 4 HE fire missions anywhere in the woods, whenever the attack guys run into baddies. Limited ICM for the tanks if you see them, though usually those kill something then die before you have a chance.

Then for the assualt force, don't stay bunched up and all loaded into those huge APCs. Break down to 1-2 vehicle units, and spread the carried men around. Give everyone a SOP to unload when fired on. Leave 1 lead APC with nobody aboard, a little ahead of the rest of the force. Drop in some HE ahead of them to suppress infantry guys. Get on-line and charge. (You don't have time to attack at a walking pace, so it has to be delivered "mounted" until you hit things).

Same time, you can send one scouting APC forward from the overwatch position, with orders to back up and pop smoke when shot; guys along the treeline may expose themselves to the overwatch platoon to take pot-shots at it.

Most things you will run right over, though taking a lump or two. All the bailed-out guys should kill whatever is alive behind you. Don't move too fast; let the arty take its toll ahead of you. 3 fire missions is serious support, and if you set the overwatch and TRPs up right, you will get accurate fires from all of them wherever you need it.

I usually lose most of the attack APCs, including several replacements for the "point man" position. The key is to not get the infantry killed in those first hits. They have the firepower to blast anything you meet, if they are alive after the first minute. At the end I have most of the overwatch platoon, most of the tanks (who are now carrying people), and have lost about 1 platoon of infantry and 2 platoons of their carriers.

Once you get the ATGMs (3 of them) and the tanks (2), you can move about freely outside the woods. Arty is very good at getting the ATGMs - not many people to knock out, and it suppresses them in the meantime. The tanks wind up killing something but then dying themselves.

What worked for me...

Sincerely,

Jason Cawley

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Guest Mikeman

Great stuff Jason!

Some of the things you mentioned I never thought of. I'm going to try them out. I sure would hate to be the guy on point in that empty APC.

Mikeman out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the information on Team Murray. My fifth attempt was foiled. I could not get all of the OPFOR infantry out of the entrenchments. My guys were toe-to-toe with the entrenched OPFOR while OPFOR arty is raining down hammering me and having little impact on the guys in the trenches. There is nothing worse than a direct ICM hit on your infantry. At that point I wasn't using my own arty because my guys were so close. I have to learn the finer points of arty. I don't know what you mean by work the TRPs until they are a 5. I'll check the manual. Re. Team Krempp?, I was successful my first, and only attempt. I must have gotten lucky. TF Fenwick? What a disaster! I can see why dropping some cruise missiles might be a better option.

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Guest MajorH

>TF Fenwick? What a disaster! I can see why

>dropping some cruise missiles might be a

>better option.

Use the snipers to create a gap in the perimeter defense for the rest of your force to exploit.

------------------

Best regards, Major H

majorh@mac.com

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Originally posted by schott:

I could not get all of the OPFOR infantry out of the entrenchments. My guys were toe-to-toe with the entrenched OPFOR while OPFOR arty is raining down...I have to learn the finer points of arty. I don't know what you mean by work the TRPs until they are a 5...

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Artillery is effective against your infantry if you try to stand under it, and if you are bunched up in large groups. Losses from arty hits are significantly nastier when there are many strength points/units with many personnel at the same location. If you use the 1-2 vehicle groups I recommend and don't put them right on top of each other, you will avoid bunching up too much.

Sounds like maybe you bunched up again when you got to the enemy entrenchments, parking most of your guys in the same spot or nearly so. Better is to come at them and stop ~50 meters away in the woods, - maybe closer to 100 if you can see them - and to do so from 2-3 sides. When they can't face all of you, they are easier to hit despite the entrenchments. By the same token, you will be spread out and not as nice a target for his arty.

Next, understand that infantry that gets supressed is not very effective in a close-in fire-fight. Unless you are racing the clock and have to ignore losses, it is better to do something about that than wait and hope your guys do ok. What to do about it?

Your APCs or tanks can pick men up from 100-200 meters away, without needing to be at exactly the same spot. That can pull them out of the Fire-For-Effect blast zone. Then quickly reposition in a 1 minute move, occasionally 2 minutes, to come in again from another side.

In the meantime, put an FFE of your own down on top of the enemy to supress them instead of you. You can run those quite close, by the way, especially the lighter mortars. The blast area from those *if the fire is accurate*/doesn't drift away too much, is not too large. The big off-map batteries or cases with low accuracy, you have to be more careful, but with 4-5 accuracy light mortars, you can drop them on the enemy while your men are very close.

If you don't have transport standing by close enough to pick up your men under his shelling, then have someone pop smoke while it drives in close enough. Infantry-to-infantry fire is quite ineffective in smoke, as men don't have thermal sights for the small arms typically. You will still get hit by the artillery until picked up, to be sure. This approach will "burn" some of the clock, which can be tight in this scenario, but better face tighter time-pressure than not have enough men to win the firefight. In addition, sometimes your vehicle machineguns may be able to help get the enemy in the smoke (they often have the sights).

On TRPs, any place you have an observed fire-mission go in, spotting round or fire-for-effect, the artillery can "register" on that point. The location the shell lands has to be visible to somebody, and has to land - that's all. You can then pick "mark TRP" from your arty unit orders pane or from the off-map artillery orders pop-up. The TRP is then "rated" at whatever accuracy the battery is currently firing with.

Artillery accuracy is the number listed in brackets next to a fire-mission, beside the time-til-target. It starts at 0 when firing the first round. Every time you fire on the same location *and* the "fall of shot" is observed, the accuracy goes up for the next round. If you choose "shift fire" and move the FFE or spotting round (up to 1 kilometer), then the accuracy drops by one for that shot.

In addition, though, you have the option to "shift *to* TRP" when changing the aiming point. That means you are telling the battery to fire on the same plotted and logged location - for which the battery knows the coordinates already. When you choose "shift to TRP", you then select any TRP for that type (on map or off map have different ones; all "on-map" can use any "on-map TRP", all off-map can use any "off-map TRP"). The aim point shifts to where the TRP was, and in addition *the accuracy is reset to the level of the TRP*.

When you "mark" a TRP at first, it will be a 1 accuracy, from one mission seen landing - typically. But if you fire for several minutes, the accuracy will rise to 5. You can hit "mark TRP" again at the same spot and the TRP will just be upgraded as to its accuracy.

The right practice is to do this right away, using just "spotting rounds", for all your batteries. In 5 minutes or so, you will have 1 TRP on the map at level 5 (for each, even). Your battery is said to be "registered" - it now knows where it is firing, and can deliver accurate fire thereafter, easily, if you handle them correctly.

Shift to another location 1 kilometer away - say the middle of a grid square. The accuracy drops to 4. But then the shell lands and you see it, the accuracy rises to 5 again - mark a new TRP. Bang, another level 5 TRP in only a minute of time. In 10 minutes, "walking" the shells this way, you can have an entire "TRP net", so that every spot you could wish to fire, is within 1 kilometer of one of the TRPs.

Then, when you want to call a mission, you "shift to TRP" and pick the nearest one. Your accuracy is 5. Next, hit "shift" again, and move the fire mission to the target - the accuracy drops to 4 for the first shells out of the tube.

So no need to adjust anymore - everything is an on-call, 1-minute FFE with high accuracy. The second minute will be the best possible accuracy. So you can fire 2-3 minute barrages at anything you encounter/can actually see, before they have any chance to move or react, and be nearly certain you will hit them, and fast. The guns are "tied in".

Why the TRP network instead of just walking the shells around? It allows you to make shifts of more than a kilometer, effectively - using "ceasefire" on the old target. There will be a slight delay as the time rises to 1 minute for the first shells - but hardly noticeable. In addition, the TRP net allows you to recover accuracy whenever a "long" or mis-aimed fire mission lands unobserved, degrading the accuracy.

That is especially important when you are working your way through a large wood or other area of close terrain, because it is hard to see the "fall of shot" and by the time you encounter someone, you have no time for long adjustments.

The Team Murray example I gave solved this via the overwatch platoon. The objective wood is long, but relatively thin - thin enough that a single 1 kilometer adjustment will put rounds anywhere in it from a string of TRPs along the (observable) woodline.

You can't see that entrenchment 400 meters back in the woods until you are right on top of it, right? If you call for the arty when you get there, the fire will be inaccurate and the misses will land out of your limited line-of-sight, making it hard to get more accurate. By the time chance then build-up of accuracy has brought the shells in to the target, the local fight will be over.

But call the fire mission at the woodline and the shells fall "observed". With TRPs helping, the fire is accurate. It stays accurate when you effectively call in "lift 400 meters, fire for effect", deeper into the woods, where a different unit can see the fall of shot (right where they are fighting, I mean). If the mission lands wrong anyway, you don't lose it and accuracy in the no-LOS woods. You just shift-to-TRP, then shift normally again (all in the same minute), and again have a very good chance of an accurate shoot.

If you spend a little time and effort on your artillery and getting it registered, you can get much more effective support. All it takes is 5-10 minutes before "go" to get ready, and a little work...

I hope this is helpful.

Sincerely,

Jason Cawley

P.S. Yes, I was in arty...

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Very helpful indeed! My use of arty up to this point has been rather haphazard. Re. the trenches, my guys were rather bunched up. Relatively few OPFOR troops, and arty, were able to put some serious losses on my guys.

Re. Fenwick, I don't think I have given the snipers enough time to do their job. I get in a hurry to get the copters in and end up losing several. Do you guys think it's better to land right in the center or off to the side and "walk" in? The time I did the latter seemed to take too much time, and I lost too many guys before I got to the buildings.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by schott:

Re. Fenwick, I don't think I have given the snipers enough time to do their job. I get in a hurry to get the copters in and end up losing several. Do you guys think it's better to land right in the center or off to the side and "walk" in? The time I did the latter seemed to take too much time, and I lost too many guys before I got to the buildings. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I played this scenario last week. I held the Blackhawks and infantry back for quite a long time (around 15 minutes I think). I set up a mortar team on the hill to the NW with line of sight into the compound. By directing its own fire, it gets to accuracy 3 after one salvo, plus can observe for the off-map arty. Lay down a bunch of TRPs. I focused the snipers first on the SAMs and then on machine-gun teams, with arty/mortars to suppress the rest. Once the SAMs were dead, I popped the Apaches up to take out the BTRs (otherwise their machine guns can make life miserable for the recon teams). While this preparatory work is going on, send your AT assets east to be ready to bushwack the enemy reinforcements. When the enemy air defenses are pretty much eliminated, saturate the area with smoke and send in the Blackhawks. Note that even OPFOR infantry squads can take out the helos without too much difficulty, so don't linger. I'd run some helos up next to an objective, jump the troops out and then skedaddle. Be sure to shift your arty back to suppress troops firing on your assault force.

This worked pretty well -- I still lost several Blackhawks due to moving a bit too aggressively, and a bunch of my HMMWVs were lost to BTR MGs when I forgot to shift a smoke mission to keep them hidden (if you have time, set up some TRPs on the east edge so you can quickly shift fire over there when the reinforcements arrive).

Remember, smoke is your friend. Particularly when you have thermal sights and your opponent doesn't.

------------------

Leland J. Tankersley

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