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TF Thunder Mission 003 - Airfield

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I've wasted the weekend playing Shock Force, and ahve to say, subject to a few minor issues it is truly first rate.

At the moment I'm trying to complete the clearing operation at the airfield. This is not going so well for me.

I note in the briefing it suggests you can create your own breach, but for some reason, no matter how long i engage the wall with 105mm and 40mm rounds it won't fall over. Is this a glitch, or should I simply apply more firepower (the Javelin perhaps ?).

Second, in terms of completing this mission, I'm wondering if anyone has an tips for how its best done.

I can fight through to the 1st and 2nd objectives by approaching via the runway enterance (more space, less IEDS), but by the time I've secured those objectives, my forces ammo state (especially the MGS) and casualties, mean that no matter how much fire I put onto the SF compound, the best I can do is sort of clear it out, while taking around 40% infantry losses in the process.

Is there something I'm missing (I'm doing alright,but I can't seem to rachet my forces enough to do it without taking prohibitive casualties). Would it be viable to stand off and knock down the enemy strong points with javelins ? Is there some magic in advancing to unit asap ? Is there some smarter way of using the Apache's other than to neturalise strong points (should I be giving them fire light area target commands to knock bad guys off the rooftops).

At the moment I'm just fighting plts through using overwatch, clearing buildings only when essential to take objective, and trying to gain cover in the lee of buildings as much as I can, because the RPGs are making life tough.

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I'm in exactly the same position as you, except that I do make my own breaches with the MGS. I can take the first two objectives, but I can't really get close to the SF HQ. Artillery just doesn't knock 'em down.

Going in the front gate for the Airport HQ with the 1st platoon has actually worked ok for me (now). I ran through the final training mission until I got a better idea of how much fire (and for how long the fire must be sustained) it takes to suppress units so that you can actually move infantry forward.

Now I put fire on suspected locations, move the fire about a bit and then pull in (_just_ inside the gate) with a Stryker and unload. It's worked pretty well.

The barracks, on the other hand, have been much worse. I use an MGS to punch a hole in the wall (target it, or right in front of) and it should work. I think if I unload infantry on the safe side of the wall, then back up with the Strykers and lay down suppressing fire on the buildings, I should have a better chance.

I've also had an epiphany about the buildings (in particular the SF HQ). Unfortunately it came too late in my latest attempt, but use my artillery and then continue to lay waste with my Javelins.

It's definitely a difficult, brutal fight and I'd love a detailed AAR (pics too?) from someone who has it mastered.

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This is a really difficult scenario, and I only achieved a minor victory, but here are some tips to help you out -

-save often. (gamey,I know, but I got tired of the scenario and wanted to move on.)

-when calling in apaches, use the "point attack" mode to take out single sections of buildings. They will use their hellfires in this mode, which can bring things down quickly. The "linear attack" doesnt seem as effective, since they just use their 30mm chainguns. Same for 'area attack.'

-use your javelins. These are even more useful than the MGS. Grab them from your strykers and area fire them at buildings with known infantry positions. These are absolutely brutal and can take out entire stories, and sometimes the whole building.

-pop smoke with your strykers whenever you dismount infantry, and try to keep your men off of rooftops. In a serious firefight, I try to bring an entire platoon of soldiers online at the same time, so they are not eliminated piecemeal. Three squads focusing their firepower in one direction - very very effective.

-keep tabs on your 40mm strykers and MGS strykers. Whenever you're moving into a new area, always have a couple of these upfront to suppress if new enemy contacts show up.

-don't try to assault the SF HQ. The SF squads are absolutely brutal, and they rarely miss with their RPG's. Try to bring the buildings down with MGS, apaches, 120mm mortars, and of course the javelins.

-your 50cal strykers should be area-firing whenever your troops are moving. They have a ton of ammo, so make sure you're suppressing all known enemy contacts when your troops are out in the open.

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Thanks for the tips.

On reflection, the problem with my approach is I'm still crossing fire lanes at close range and losing maybe 2 or 3 strykers if not more, and until I can sort that out, its going to be brutal)

I'm already doing a lot of that, but for employing the Javelins (which is an idea thats growing on me while I'm at work).

I'm also thinking also those M240's (Mag 58s or GPMG's to me)might be usefully employed if i could deploy them inside the barracks compound on the upper floors to put fire down the road onto the SFHQ, the broken building and keep the Jihadees down the main gate supressed.

My other thought is that the whole map is basically one big cross fire (and there is no way you have the force to go house to house to clear enough of it out)

Best I've managed is a draw (I'd prefer to win it, there seems to be a hidden objective for the Syrians, that probably means clearing out the eastern most building in the barracks compound)

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I've managed a minor victory with 7 KIA and ~16 WIA.

-My main stratagy was security through firepower, basing my attacks off of recon. The disnounted infantry are key, use them to take key buildings and provide overwatch and a little recon. The airbase HQ is a good spot for example, use them to find some of the AT teams and take them with mortar fire.

-Key thing to take the HQ in the first place is heavy supression. Get a lot of Mk19 and M2 strykers up there and ID and hit any RPGs fast, recon by fire often helps.

-When you advance up to the barracks keep your force organized and sweep methodically, avoid exposure when you can. MGS overwatch is useful.

-I've found bypassing the first 2 barracks buildings works well. Take the back row and move towards the harder parts.

-The SF HQ isn't too bad if you can get the upper hand fast, make sure when you hit, you hit hard. Secure your flanks first then move in. Try to coordinate your attack with as much arty and air support as you can, don't lift fire, instead time it so your kicking in the door right when the motars have stopped.

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I've got a draw with 3 or 4 KIAs on my first try. I went on with the campaign with that.

I didn't push for the SF HQ due to the time limit and my slow cautious advance, although I was approaching it. But the first two objectives are quite easy to take. I think once you master it, you can grab those in less than 30 minutes, leaving plenty of time to bomb the hell out of the HQ.

As said above:

-Suppressive fire with Javelins and Mk19 against known enemy positions. Those two things are your main assets. MGS support should be employed only if absolutely needed due to the limited HE/HEAT ammo supply (I only had two MGS running), moreover they are needed for the last objective.

-Once suppressed, send in strykers and park them behind empty buildings, rear against the door, pop smoke (a lot) and send in your troops inside. Do not go for the rooftops if the area is not clear (except the Airbase HQ since its the highest building).

-Proceed cautiously, building to building with smoke and .50 cal cover (once you know the enemy emplacements, it's getting easy). Bring in the Mk19's if needed.

2nd platoon with one MGS should go near the barracks outside the base, provide support fire against the bad guys on the balconies/rooftops, breach the wall at the edge of the map and attack from behind. It's actually the easiest objective to take since enemy resistance is placed along the way, not at the objective itself.

I haven't much thought about the third objective since it's layered with strong resistance points. Mortars and Apaches need to level the whole thing I think (despite orders requiring to check for intel). Remaining buildings should be flattened with remaining javelins and direct support from the MGS.

Once done, 2nd platoon moves in from the barracks along the edge of the map, 1st platoon provides cover and 3rd leads the assault. At least, that's how I would do it.

But god, I would loved some 155mm support for that mission, the Apaches area fire just doesn't cut it for me

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I've been trying to avoid using the absolute edge of the map (for the barracks) as it feels gamey. Being exposed to fire from 3 angles sucks though, so I may have to settle for near the edge anyway.

This is one of those times I _really_ wish we could save in-game replays. Sigh. I understand the theory, but my execution just isn't acceptable to me and I'd love to see someone execute it properly.

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Almost got a total victory with 5 dead, but then unwisely advanced 3rd Platoon across the open ground and they got hit by RPGs and slaughtered. Turned out I didn't need them to advance anyway as there was almost no one left to kill at the Special Forces HQ.

Miscellaneous things I found useful -

1) Don't kill the suicide bomber unless you have to or he's near other enemy units.(very gamey, but 1 shot, 5 kills is damn satisfying.)

2) Putting your sniper team on the 2 buildings outside the main gate can spot quite a few of the enemy squads lying in ambush.

3) Prioritise killing the regulars and special forces. Very few of the insurgents can kill vehicles.

4) Once the area's clear, setting up a platoon + snipers on the roof of the Airforce HQ reaps dividends in the form of massed enemy corpses.

5) Use the Javelin to kill dangerous enemy squads from long range.

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