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Scenario Performance


Zizka
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I LOVE TACOPS! My favorite scenario is Gallagher--the big tank/mech task force defense.

My question is: how do most of you do when you solitaire against the computer on this scenario? I think I do okay, but I wonder if others are doing considerably better?

In the last game I played, I defeated the enemy with 43% US casualties (enemy had 77% at game end), with about 50 minutes to go, and the enemy had only advanced about 1/3 of the way across the board.

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If your profile information is correct, it feels terribly strange to be giving you advice. Usually it's been the other way round via your books. 8)

My primary comment: you aren't using the bulk of the map. The initial 1/3 of the map does offer some great opportunities for ambush and defence; but the next 1/3 does too, and if you know where Opfor is headed, the last stretch has some good terrain for your final defence.

Thus, if you use more shoot-n-fade tactics, you may get better results in terms of losses for kills. In addition, Opfor tends to come past the central belt of woods & hills piecemeal, offering a good chance for reverse slope defences in that area.

Note that I usually blow my hit-n-fades by sticking in the area for "just one more shot". 8) Use the SOP to shoot and run away.

Aggressive counter-recon can help win the early game - send the Brdleys forward to snipe the BRDMs and BMPs. [A cheap tactic given the constraints of the map, but a friend and I discovered in email play that if the entire US force deploys forward fast, it can deploy to chew up Opfor piecemeal as it enters the map. This is not what I'm suggesting. Our guideline to avoid this cheat was: no main force east of E10.5; no scouts east of E13.0; no arty east of E13.0.] Also, these guys can drop stay-behind scout infantry teams to give you recon and arty spotting.

The big question hanging in my head after my defence is restoring the old line of defence. Might make an interesting scenario to advance back into your defence, cleaning out the remnants of Opfor, while Opfor tries to take advantage of the retreat with another MRR.

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James--

Thanks for the response and kind comment. My "standard play" for Gallagher violates your suggested limitations. I might try your idea. Usually, I put two mech companies aggressively forward, along with scouts, and these forces normally destroy the first MRB and most of the second before getting attrited. Artillery is a huge killer during this phase, and by the end of it, I'm begging for more ICM.

I put my main effort tank company in the highlands just west of the central valley, and I usually put the other tank company to the far west of the map in reserve, with the mission to flex north or south to intercept any OPFOR that escape westward.

But lately I've found that I end up accomplishing the mission before either of my two tank companies get into the fight! So I decided to move my "reserve" company forward instead and had them join the Bradleys. I found one sweet little ambush spot for my tanks that resulted in the destruction of two + MRCs, but the tanks were mostly destroyed. I have a hard time making good use of the tanks, because if they get into fire fights, they die in droves to ATGMs or get trounced by ICM. If they try to move and overrun weak targets, there's always a hidden BMP around somewhere ready to pick them off.

I also have abandoned the idea of using aircraft until/unless the OPFOR penetrate to the far western part of the map, because I have not yet developed effective SEAD tactics, and those SA-16s always slaughter my jets.

Again, thanks for the response!

Bob

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No problem - glad you found it useful, and enjoy TacOps! 8)

Done "right", deploying forward means Opfor doesn't get out of the first km or two of the map. We imposed the deployment limits on Blue after we asked ourselves why Opfor wouldn't deploy a few km earlier after the scouts and/or lead units of the first MRB got blown away. Artificial limits to deal with artificial map limits. 8)

Tanks do tend to get hurt by the missile carriers. Another friend and I made a Gallagher-like, modifying a Canadian scenario on Map 15 to give Canada a tank regiment (~70 Leo 1) plus a recce troop. No missiles made things pretty interesting, facing BMPs. 8) The lack of a central LOS block on much of Map 15 also meant the Opfor could more easily outflank defences on the opposite side (N <-> S) of the map.

Opfor SAMs means airstrikes are usually only effective in sets of 6. You can get some mileage out of fewer when only the Opfor recon is on the map (few or no SAMs), or when the target unit has been disrutped/suppressed by some other means. If you can time a passel of airstrikes to arrive the minute after you pound a company column with artillery (direct the airstrikes away from the exact arty targets, so they choose the scattering vehicles instead of any infantry survivors) you may get better results - assuming the company's buddies don't do in your airstrikes.

My favorite tank reserve location on Map 01 is the N-S road on the western edge. It lets the tanks move out quickly, and the distance to the frontline in the early going restrains me from sending them into the fray too early.

Opfor rarely chooses to move down the central ridge in force, because of the slow going in the rough terrain. You can often get away with defending it less heavily. In addition, there's lots of useful ambush spots onto the central ridge from both sides, so if Opfor fools you and chooses that route, the forces north and south can probably deal with it.

I'm always begging for ICM too, regardless of the side. But in Gallagher, at least somebody upstairs likes you enough to let you fire MLRS on tactical targets! 8)

By the way, I'm curious what you think of the CPX-style games of TacOps I and some others have run (see: http://www.battlefront.com/resources/tacops/HQ/text/CPX/cpx.html for info on these.)

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I just pulled up some of the AARs and I'm making my way through them. I want to incorporate this kind of stuff into my training of Army ROTC cadets.

This semester, we are playing Gallagher, with the cadets playing the BLUFOR and the computer playing OPFOR. I use TACOPS to teach terrain analysis and templating, and then I task the cadets to write the OPORD and play the game. The battalion commander and staff work in a TOC with paper maps, while the company commanders play the game, sending reports via radio.

Two things strike me about the game. First, I wish there were some actual no-go terrain. In real life, tanks and Bradleys can't usually go through woods, etc. Secondly, I find myself using mostly ambush tactics on the defense, rather than building big, mass engagement areas as we do in real life. Maybe this second problem relates to the first, because I've found it's hard to turn the enemy into your engagement areas when they can literally go anywhere on the map.

Nevertheless, I still LOVE the game and use it religiously with my cadets.

I agree with you about that north-south road near the west edge of the map. That's where I place my tank reserve when I use one.

I will definitely play with your restrictions about the east edge in the future, because although it's a hoot to ambust the bad guys, it does seem unrealistic.

Bob

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Jim.. I get the feeling I want this man in the next CPX. And if I'm not running it, I want him on -MY- side!!!

I fear I have not had a privilige of reading your books mate, I've heard of 'em, but they tend not to make it to Ireland!

I guess the first question is which Gallagher version you're playing. If memory serves, there are 8 versions? And also you are playing all defaults..?

I'll sit down tonight and fire it up, see how I do. I figure I might as well start with 8.

BTW, any chance I could get an email game against you? I might even be able to give you a run for your money, I won the last TacOps tourney.. :)

NTM

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The difference between infantrymen and cavalrymen is that cavalrymen get to die faster, for we ride into battle!

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I have played team Gallagher(all of them) many times and I am still terrible at it. The very sight of the battle map gives me the heebie jeebies. I really like the smaller conflicts such as Hogue, Hunter and so on. My favorite scenario set of all time is Battle group Fullerton. Not only does it display the might of the Canadian army, but I believe that it is a great learning tool that is capable of teaching the great value of sniper units ATGM Recce units and ther Griffon helo units. Do try it, all of you USMC afficionados!

Rich

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I used to advise people to not play the USMC scenarios until after they had become adept with the Army scenarios. Now I realize that 'real men' play the Canadian scenarios smile.gif.

In the Army scenarios you have a wealth of long range killers. Seems like everybody is carrying a 3000+ meter sledgehammer.

The USMC has far fewer long range systems and has to base much of its strategy around the 2000 meter Javelin.

And then you get to the Canadian's 600 meter Eryx smile.gif ...

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Best regards, Major H

majorh@mac.com

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> I want to incorporate this kind of stuff into my training of

> Army ROTC cadets.

Would it be of any use to you to be able to issue free copies of TacOpsCav to your Army ROTC students - once TacOpsCav is officially approved and accepted by 16th Cavalry?

The proposed U.S. Army license for TacOpsCav allows recruiters to give out copies to prospective recruits. It wouldn't be much of a leap to consider Army ROTC to be a recruiting activity smile.gif.

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Best regards, Major H

majorh@mac.com

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Trooper--For the moment I have to pass on an email game (regretably!) because for the next month and a half, we are hard at it. Two FTXs and a bunch of other projects going on, but I will definitely take you up on it as we get closer to Christmas. I remember playing an email game a few years ago. I got HAMMERED! Much harder than playing against the computer AI!

Bob

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Major H--

Colonel John Antal is a close friend of mine, and he invited me to speak to his officers and NCOs a few weeks ago. While I was there, he told me about the whole project, and I applauded! A great move forward for the Army, and John is the perfect guy to make it happen. I don't know a more innovative or enthusiastic trainer than he. I definitely want to participate when the contract is let.

Tomorrow morning I will be using TACOPS to teach enemy templating in the morning, and concept of operation in the afternoon. Hooah!

Bob

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

Tomorrow morning I will be using TACOPS to teach enemy templating in the morning, and concept of operation in the afternoon. Hooah!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is obviously something a little above the curriculum of a humble trooper, but what the smeg are you on about in English? "Enemy templating?"

NTM

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Templating is an intelligence analysis technique that is used to try to make sense out of recent enemy spottings.

Most military field organizations of company size and larger have distinctive features/differences that help one to deduce what sort of enemy unit is opposite you and what sort of activity the unit is currently involved in.

If you observe a certain mix of vehicles/units moving at certain intervals from one another while conducting certain activities then you can make reasonable deductions about what kind of enemy battalion, regiment, or division you are facing and what it is up to at the moment.

The various possible and likely enemy unit configurations for certain units and certain activities are known as 'templates'. Doing this type of intel analysis is known as 'templating'.

[This message has been edited by MajorH (edited 10-25-2000).]

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I'm playing as Blue in the middle of a PBEM scenario of G8 right now.

Trust me, it's much tougher to beat the OPFOR when the OPFOR happens to be a fellow human and a retired armor officer to boot. Also, not rushing the east edge makes for a much better (read tougher) game.

I played G8 against the AI when defining the tactics to use against my human opponent. The AI is good, but I clobbered it fairly quickly. Not so with my email opponent. frown.gif

It's turning out to be an excellent game though, as we are on turn 53 and the issue is still in doubt as to who will win. (Maybe I'm dreaming and I've already lost but haven't realized it yet...) eek.gif

We've been at it since May. Some weeks we exchange five sets of turns. Other times, we don't exchange a turn for 10 days. That's the good thing about PBEM, it suits your schedule instead of defining it.

Spiny Mouse

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Trooper--

The Major is right on target. Specifically, I teach my cadets to develop two products: a doctrinal template and a situational template. The first one is simply a graphic layout of "how an MRR attacks" for example. The situational template then takes that doctrinal template and makes it specific to the actual terrain and mission.

A good situational template (SITEMP) becomes the basis for the reconnaissance and surveillance plan. Basically, the scouts go out and "confirm or deny" the template. The SITEMP is also the starting point for a good concept of operation.

What's cool about playing an attack scenario in TACOPS is that the cadets can derive a SITEMP showing how they think the enemy is defending. Then, I turn off the fog of war and compare the template with reality. A real eye-opener.

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