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Al Fubar AAR: Back after a long CM:SF Absense

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I haven't posted on this board in a dog's age; two years ago I was somewhat active in the OT forum. In any case, recently I've become interested again in modern combat and picked up my copy of CM:SF which I had pre-ordered, played about a dozen times and then put away. I had never uninstalled it, so it was just a matter of patching up (I had previously patched up to 1.06, so it was 1.06 > 1.10 > 1.11).

I'm very glad I did.

I played a few of the smallish scenarios to re-familiarize myself with the interface. I noticed that the UI and performance seem to be much improved from when I last played. I've been playing on Veteran level; last night I ramped up to Elite.

Last night I tried "Ambush in Al Fubar" - I had a great time.

(this AAR contains scenario spoilers - reader beware)

My first reaction was to pop smoke from the surviving Stryker. This gave me breathing room to redeploy some of my units. I pulled the lone LT from the Plt HQ back to the building with the full-strength squad. The scenario briefing said I could expect reinforcements after five minutes. No problem, I thought. How hard could that be?

It actually wasn't that hard. I stayed put and fired on units trying to sneak up on us. At the four minute mark, I saw a large force trying to advance towards the back of the ambushed convoy, so I moved the squad hidden in the building next to the mosque up to the second floor to put some fire on them.

Big mistake. There was a technical with a HMG, another technical with a SPG-9, and two squads or so of combatants, plus fire from the adjacent mosque. All of them lit up the second story like a Christmas tree. The squad took a number of casualties immediately, eventually taking it down to two standing - the M249 and a M4. I had them retreat back to the first floor and hide, covering the front entrance doorway.

Aside from that I noticed that the lead Stryker was taking some MG fire from across the block. I told the gunner to engage with 40mm. He did, but somehow he was killed (do you have to unbutton to operate the 40mm AGL? I thought it was in a remote turret?). I was still taking fire, so I gave the same order. I guess the gunner went to do the same thing... and he got killed too, somehow. Maybe the MG rounds were able to punch through the Stryker side armour and kill the person at the gunner station?

The five minute mark arrived and I was somewhat disappointed to see my only reinforcement was a 81mm mortar battery. Well, you gotta work with what you're given, right? I used the Platoon CO from the top storey of the only 2-storey building I had accessible to me to target a immediate heavy barrage of medium duration on the street that the combatants and fighters were advancing along. I forgot how long artillery takes to arrive... but arrive it did, eventually pinning most of the follow-on units for the first assault (the rest had been cut up by the squad in the building to the left of the ambushed column's advance). I was safe once again.

Nothing really happened until the arrival of the relief column. One or two charges at the head of the ambushed Stryker convoy were cut down by the squad covering the front.

I spread out the units of the relief column, with the MG squads and sniper teams deploying on roofs of the buildings on the "safe" side of the ditch that divides the map in two. I had them put covering fire on unknown contact locations, along with fire from their Strykers. At the same time, I tried to run the Strykers across the bridge. I knew that if I barrelled right at the ambush site, there'd be a bunch of RPG teams to hit me as I went through, so I initially detailed two squads right and the other left of the bridge. Ordinarily I would wait and fire an arty smoke screen to cover the advance, but I didn't have time - I had no idea what else the ambushers were planning to throw at my ambushed platoon.

They charged across the bridge, guns and 40mm AGLs blazing, with my other units firing suppressive fire as they went. Unfortunately, one of the two Stykers decided discretion was the better part of valour, popped smoke and backed up shortly after turning right off the bridge.

The other paused and also tried to back up. The Stryker that went left in an end-run around the Polytechnical School had no problems.

I had the Stryker that had popped smoke follow the other Stryker around the back of the polytechnical, and the last Stryker I scooted into a covered courtyard right at the bridge road. I popped smoke and deployed the squad by assault into the building, where they rooted out a RPG team.

The rest of the mission was pretty routine house-by-house clearing by the infantry squads. The MG teams and snipers on the roof put enough fire on two buildings containing enemy squads that they collapsed. The units which went around the back of the Polytechnical took a few casualties from a sniper on the roof, but they otherwise moved through houses and back alleys to the ambush site. Eventually, when they had expanded the perimeter, I moved the Strykers up to resupply the originally ambushed units (they were pretty low) and then the reinforcing two squads advanced out of the ambush site (keeping two back to secure it) while the third rescue squad advanced on the rear of the main axis of advance for the combatants.

The scenario ended four minutes early with a US Total Victory.

I was surprised by the casualty count - I guess "buddy aid" had come in handy because there were something like 72 men OK and only 2 killed, with no vehicles lost (except the ones which had started the scenario destroyed), compared to something like 60+ Syrian casualties.

I played WEGO - although I did try the real time mode, I feel it gets cumbersome with more than a company to control. I guess my main reason for posting is that I'm excited about "rediscovering" the game after a long absence and having it be much improved for all the patching and griping.

Well done, Battlefront. I haven't been reading the forums much because much of what I've read has been pretty unnecessarily negative, but this is a good game, and I'm glad it's out there.

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The recon strykers need to have someone to be unbuttoned to fire their weapons. The "normal" strykers have the remote station.

I played this scenario several times and several versions of shock force as well, and it actually funny to see how much the game has changed. The biggest change right now is the bug-out routine when units get too much incoming fire. I lost many men when moving in to buildings where I thought I had killed everyone inside only to find that the defenders just moved to the house next door :).

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