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Offline IICptMillerII

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Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« on: May 08, 2019, 05:20:38 PM »
Combat Mission PBEM AAR
MSR Titan
By IICptMillerII



INTRODUCTION

This is an after action report (AAR) of a play by email (PBEM) battle I recently concluded. The battle is in Combat Mission Shock Force 2 and features a combined arms task force attacking down a major highway against a near-peer opposing force (OpFor).

The map is taken from the first mission of the excellent campaign “Forging Steel” by GeorgeMC. All credit goes to him for designing the superb map. I have modified the BluFor and OpFor, as well as their respective objectives, but otherwise the map remains untouched.

This AAR features several mods. Chief among them are:
•   Veins Smoke and Effects mod
•   Drakenlords Fire mod
•   Sahrani Liberation Army (SLA) by myself playing the OpFor
•   US 3rd Infantry Division Multicam uniforms by myself

A number of the graphics used in this AAR (mainly the maps and task force layout) are large image files and are best viewed in full size, with the ability to fully zoom in on them.
All sprites of vehicles and soldier models used in the map and task force layout graphics are taken from the game “Armored Brigade” by Matrix Games and are slightly tweaked by me. All credit goes to the artists who created these sprites.


MISSION
Task Force Miller is ordered to assault down Highway 3, named Main Supply Route (MSR) Titan, in order to allow follow on forces to continue the attack.

Mission Specific Tasks:
•   Secure Bridges 31 and 32.
•   Destroy any enemy forces in the vicinity of MSR Titan
•   Do not suffer more than 30% casualties

Desired End State:
MSR Titan, to include Bridges 31 and 32 secured and not directly threatened by the enemy. Task Force Miller combat effective and capable of conducting follow-on operations.




ENEMY
S2 (Intel) indicates the enemy is present in battalion size and are made up of elements from the 16th Guards Tank Division. Specifically, elements of the 47th Guards Tank Regiment appear to be deployed to our front. S2 anticipates a mix of dismounted and mechanized infantry (mounted in BMP-2s) in battalion (-) strength supported by at least one company of T-72AV tanks. It is anticipated that at least one additional company of tanks, maybe more, could be present on the battlefield, possibly as a quick reaction force (QRF).

The enemy is well equipped, well led, and well trained. They are expected to stand and fight and will not give ground easily. Entrenched enemy units not immediately threatening the MSR should be bypassed or be destroyed with indirect fires.

The T-72AV is a very capable tank and is well crewed. It is capable of frontally penetrating our M1A1’s at combat ranges. It is not a threat to be taken lightly.
Additionally, enemy infantry may be equipped with the AT-14 Kornet anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). This weapon can easily destroy our M2 and M3 Bradley/Cavalry fighting vehicles and can severely damage, disable, and even destroy our M1A1’s.




TERRAIN AND WEATHER
The weather is overcast, though rain is not expected. The Air Force has assured us that the weather will not impede their ability to support the task force.

The landscape is a mildly arid temperate climate. The dominating terrain features are Hill 113, and the gorge that runs North-South, crossing under MSR Titan at Bridge 32. The gently hilled terrain is a mix of grassland, agriculture, and light forest. The forested areas are not expected to prohibit tracked vehicles, though caution should still be used if passing through.

MSR Titan runs East-West along the 2240 Easting. It crosses two obstacles, unnamed gorges, at Bridges 31 and 32.

Several settlements of varying size are scattered through the area of operations. Only one is named, Kronenburg. The rest are designated by named areas of interest (NAIs). The most significant of these are likely to be NAI’s 5, 8, 9 and 12. These are larger settlements located closest to the MSR.




TROOPS
Task Force Miller is a combined arms task force composed primarily of two companies, one mechanized infantry and one armored. The armor company is Alpha Company equipped with M1A1HC Abrams tanks. The mechanized infantry company is Charlie Company riding in M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFV). Neither the tanks nor BFVs are equipped with explosive reactive armor (ERA) packages, so they are more vulnerable to HEAT rounds, specifically modern tandem HEAT warheads. These units come from 1st Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment. The parent division is the 3rd Infantry Division.

Also attached is 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 5-7th Cavalry. The scouts operate the M3A3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle (CFV).

Supporting Fires:
The task force’s Joint Tactical Air Controller (JTAC) is assigned to the headquarters element of Alpha Company, and rides in a Humvee. Charlie Company has its Fire Support Officer (FSO) in its Bradley Fire Support vehicle (BFIST), part of C Company’s headquarters.
We have been given priority fires for the following assets
•   Battery A, 1-41st Field Artillery. x6 155mm Paladin self-propelled guns
•   1 flight of AH-64D Apache Gunships (2 helicopters)
o   Armed with:
   30mm HEDP x1000
   70mm HE Rockets x38
   AGM-114 Hellfire x8
•   1 flight of A-10C Thunderbolt II’s (2 fixed wing aircraft)
o   Armed with:
   30mm APDU x1350
   500lb bomb x4
   AGM-65 Maverick x4




TIME
The time is 0830. Task Force Miller has 2 hours to accomplish its objectives.


INITIAL SCHEME OF MANEUVER

The initial scheme of maneuver, illustrated by this map, is as follows:




Cavalry Scouts (White)
•   Scout team 3 will advance to NAI 2 and establish overwatch positions North-East to screen the task force’s left flank.
•   Scout team 1 (dismounted) will observe to it’s North-East to provide another set of eyes from a different location to spot any threats that immediately appear as the task force deploys.

Tanks (Red)
•   3rd platoon will advance down the MSR and establish hull down overwatch positions that will allow observation down the entirety of the MSR and its immediate surroundings.
•   2nd platoon will advance forward into hull down positions and establish a base of fire position to cover the infantry
•   1st platoon will advance forward directly in front of NAI 1 in order to directly observe and engage any threats spotted there and allow the infantry to move up, dismount and begin sweeping the NAI.

Infantry (Blue)
•   For now, all infantry platoons will remain mounted and stationary in defilade as the tanks and scouts move forward to their initial positions. Once the tanks/scouts are in position, the platoons will fan out and deploy against their respective initial objectives.
o   1st platoon is tasked with clearing any discovered threats in the immediate vicinity of MSR Titan.
o   2nd platoon is effectively the reserve element and will respond to developing threats as needed.
o   3rd platoon is tasked with sweeping NAI 2 if the enemy is discovered there.

Preparatory Fires
•   1 section of 155mms (2 guns) will fire a light mission against NAI 1 to suppress any enemy forces deployed there that could threaten the initial deployment of the task force. The remaining 2 sections of the battery will be on call for fires.



Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 05:32:24 PM »
OH BOY! Pass the popcorn.  :D
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 07:59:39 PM »
SUBSCRIBED!  :smitten: :D
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Offline IICptMillerII

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2019, 06:07:18 PM »
MOVEMENT TO CONTACT


The battle begins and my task force starts deploying. 2nd platoon (tanks) moves forward to establish hull down positions on the rise in front of them. 3rd platoon (tanks) establishes hull down positions on the MSR.



Artillery begins to fall on NAI 1.


On the left flank, scout team 3 moves forward, dismounts and establishes an observation post. All is quiet on the left.


Immediately after taking hull down positions, 2nd platoon encounters and engage enemy infantry moving in the open.


Upon doing my terrain analysis, it became quickly apparent to me that NAI 1 would be an excellent defensive position due to it’s cover, concealment and dominating sightlines along MSR Titan. In short, it is an excellent place for infantry to dig in and engage my forces as they try to move down the MSR.

It appears that the enemy is aware of the defensive advantages of this position as well. The enemy team my tanks engaged is proof that the enemy is on NAI 1 in some capacity, but to what degree?


In order to find out, I dispatch 2nd platoon (infantry) to begin moving towards NAI 1. In addition, scout team 1 pushes up to get extra eyes on and help discover any hidden threats not yet uncovered by the tanks.


As 2nd platoon and the scout teams begin their movement, Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) indicates that there could be a concentration of armor in the vicinity of NAI 1. I waste no time getting the JTAC to call in an Apache to put eyes on the area, and missiles into anything spotted there.


Scout team 1 dismounts and pushes up slightly to get better eyes on the tree line, but spot nothing. Covered by the tanks and scout team, 2nd platoon moves up on line and dismounts its infantry.


Meanwhile on the left flank, 1st platoon (infantry) covered by 2nd platoon (tanks) move forward along MSR Titan to gain a position overlooking NAI 3.


NAI 3 is close to the MSR and would be an ideal spot for the enemy to launch spoiling attacks against my task force moving down the MSR, such as firing RPGs into the flanks of my vehicles. Further emphasizing this point, SIGINT reports that there are potential contacts in the building complex farthest to the rear. Perhaps this is an enemy outpost watching the MSR? To prevent the enemy from launching any spoiling attacks against my task force and to deny him his (potential) observation post, 1st platoon (infantry) will establish a base of fire observing NAI 3, and then sweep and clear the buildings to ensure no threat is posed to the rest of the task force. As 1st platoon moves into position and establishes overwatch, the platoon fire support team calls in a fire mission on the suspected outpost. The mission is a single section (2 tubes) of 155mm and will be short but violent.


Shortly after calling it in, the fire mission lands.


The fire mission is short, only dropping a handful of rounds. As soon as it ends 1st platoon (infantry), covered by tanks on the MSR, advance and dismount in front of NAI 3.


Back on the right flank, my infantry are now fully deployed and arrayed against NAI 1, supported by their Bradley mounts, some tanks, and a scout team. Despite being in the open, my men have not taken any fire. Further, despite having good direct observation of the NAI, I have not been able to uncover any enemy positions. It’s time to advance.

I bring all my tanks in the area on line and begin bounding the infantry forward in teams towards the tree line.



As this is happening, an enemy artillery barrage begins to land. It seems to be falling in the open field to the rear of most of my forces and poses no immediate threat to me.



Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2019, 07:13:43 AM »
That looks like a Turn 1 arty call on your forming-up point (or just ahead of it in your projected advance path), which you advanced out of more quickly than expected!
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

The GROGPUBLIC OF ROME ongoing forum game thread

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2019, 10:20:43 AM »
Or, spotting rounds for incoming on your advance. Watch where the next few land and be prepared to haul-ass away from them. How good is the enemy arty?
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline IICptMillerII

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2019, 12:47:15 PM »
The enemy artillery starts falling around 5 minutes or so after the start of the battle, so this thankfully isn't a case of my opponent being uncourteous. Though, I'm unsure of what his target or intent is with the fire mission. It could have been an attempt to delay/frustrate my movement, though it fell too late for that. It could also be some type of suppression mission, though I don't have any assets in the templated splash zone that is particularly vulnerable to artillery, or that couldn't easily move out of the way. Its a bit of a mystery.

At the time, I knew the enemy would likely have a decent amount of on call artillery, likely a battery or so of 122mm self propelled guns (6 guns to a battery). All OpFor soft factors (training, motivation, leadership) are known to be high. In short, enemy artillery should be both capable and lethal. Plus, because the enemy is in a prepared defense, he likely has pre-sighted fires in the form of Target Reference Points (TRP's), though the fire mission that is falling in the movement to contact phase is not being called on a TRP. I know this because there were spotting rounds, and a fire mission called in on a TRP does not require spotting rounds.


Offline IICptMillerII

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2019, 10:34:56 PM »
CONTACT

As soon as 1st platoon dismounts in front of NAI 3, they make contact.


It appears to be a squad sized element split between two buildings. Bradley gunnery is up to a high standard, and rounds are immediately pumped into both buildings before the enemy has a chance to fire at my dismounting infantry.


The enemy is suppressed, and friendly infantry begins to cautiously advance forward to clear the rest of the complex.


Suddenly an enemy ATGM flies out from behind NAI 3 and slams into a Bradley, destroying it and killing the driver.


Moments later, an Abrams in overwatch spots a BMP-2 hiding behind NAI 3 and destroys it with a HEAT round.


Just as suddenly, more enemy infantry are spotted in the buildings, and a close range firefight breaks out.


The firefight is short and violent. No friendly casualties are suffered.


A lull in the fighting momentarily occurs, and I use the opportunity to push up a scout team armed with a javelin to try to get eyes on the second BMP-2 to the rear of NAI 3.


As the scout team is moving up, they are suddenly engaged by the second BMP-2.


30mm HE rounds streak down the road and explode against trees and the ground, though miraculously none of my scouts are hit by the fire. One of the scouts is armed with an AT-4 and takes a shot at the BMP.


Unfortunately the shot falls short, but the scouts are able to crawl out of the line of fire and suffer no casualties. The BMP poses a problem due to its positioning, but the encounter could have gone much worse.

A survivor of the Bradley’s barrage pops up and fires a few bursts. This time, the enemy’s aim is good, and I suffer a casualty.


My infantry, as well as an Abrams in overwatch, return fire with small arms and coax. Its enough to finish off the lone enemy soldier.

The BMP-2 is in a good keyhole position, covering down a road that separates my infantry from the buildings on NAI 3. Crossing a road like this is already a very dangerous thing to do, and is known as a Linear Danger Area (LDA). In order to deal with this serious threat, I move Scout Team 3 off of their observation post and down into a position where they can get eyes on the BMP and engage it with their Javelin.


The scout team is able to get into position and take aim. The scout fires moments later, and the missile hits its mark.


On the right flank, 3rd platoon advances cautiously into the woods covering NAI 1. It doesn’t take long to find the enemy. A fire team takes fire from it’s front and suffers a minor casualty. Thankfully, the soldiers body armor prevents the wound from being serious.


One of the scout teams helping to clear the woods pushes up and spots the enemy. They begin engaging with rifle fire and grenades.


Having pinned down the enemy, the scout team capitalizes on the situation and rushes the fighting position.



The scouts kill the remaining enemy soldier and occupy the fighting position for themselves. In this short but violent exchange, I was lucky. I only suffered one man lightly wounded, while killing 2 enemy soldiers and taking their fighting position. The last thing I want to do is get sucked into a costly close quarter fight in these woods. It’s not even my main objective.

Moments later, another enemy position is discovered further into the woods, on a very slight reverse slope.


My goal is to quickly sweep the edges of the forest for enemy assets that can pose a long range threat to my advance down the MSR, such as ATGM teams or artillery spotters. Once these threats have been found and neutralized, the infantry will fall back and let the armored vehicles strongpoint the position. That way, if the enemy decides to attack out of the woods, they will be cut down in the open by my vehicles.

Here is an overhead view of the woods covering NAI 1:


This should help to illustrate my intentions with NAI 1. I would need much more than a platoon of infantry to clear these woods, and even then it would be long and bloody. It simply isn’t worth the effort. The good news is, the terrain appears to be too dense for the enemy vehicles to emerge in any semblance of order or speed. As long as NAI 1 is strong pointed by friendly armor, I should be able to keep it bottled up and it will not pose a threat to my advance down the MSR.

2nd platoon (infantry) along with elements of 2nd platoon (armored) and the Task Force command element move forward to establish new overwatch positions along the right side of the MSR.



A call comes over the radio informing the JTAC that the Apache called in on the possible enemy armor concentration behind NAI 1 is now on station. Moments later, a missile is seen streaking into the sky.


The shot came so fast that the Apache pilot didn’t have time to pop flares in defense. The enemy missile hits the Apache, destroying it. This is an expensive lesson to learn. The airspace is not safe for aircraft. Half of my available fire support is now restricted until I can proof the airspace.

However, there is hardly any time to contemplate this new dilemma. The two tanks from 2nd platoon (armored) advance to a berm and discover…


What appears to be an entire enemy tank company in a reverse slope position, at point blank range. Before either of my tanks have a chance to react, one of the enemy tanks fires at Number 3 tank. The round impacts the berm, causing no damage. My tanks are quick to respond. In rapid succession, they pump 2 rounds into targets to their direct front, destroying them.



The exchange is not one sided. Before either of my tanks have a chance to reload, number 3 tank takes a penetrating hit to its lower glacis plate.


The Abrams is destroyed, but all 4 crewmen survive the hit and are able to bail out of the tank without suffering a casualty.

While this is happening, the infantry from 2nd platoon dismount their Bradley’s and begin advancing on NAI 11. They are immediately greeted by a hail of gunfire from enemy infantry occupying the buildings on NAI 11.



The fire causes no casualties, and is quickly returned and silenced by 25mm HE fired from the Bradley’s overwatching the infantry as they dismount.

I’m now in a precarious position. I have deployed infantry and their Bradley’s dangerously close to enemy tanks in a reverse slope position. Further, I now only have 1 tank directly observing and engaging what appears to be a company of enemy T-72s. If the T-72s are able to maneuver out of the reverse slope position, they could destroy a significant number of Bradley’s and Abrams at point blank range with just a single volley. I have tanks in overwatch positions, but they would likely not be able to react in time to prevent a mini-catastrophe.

In response, I quickly maneuver 2 teams of Abrams to either flank of the reverse slope position to keep the enemy engaged and hopefully pin him down/destroy him so the T-72s cannot threaten my IFVs and infantry in the open.


What happens next is pure chaos. 

Offline IICptMillerII

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2019, 04:13:23 PM »
INSIDE THE KILLSACK

Two teams of tanks scramble up to either side of the enemy position, creating a killsack. The enemy tanks are stuck. They cannot maneuver or stay still without taking point blank fire from multiple directions.


The next 20 or so seconds see a flurry of action. Number 1 tank is the first to fire, but miraculously the round is deflected by the T-72s ERA.


That luck only lasts a few seconds however. Number 3 tank of first platoon fires from its position on the right, knocking out a T-72. This is quickly followed a moment later by Number 1 tank firing again. This time, luck is on his side. The sabot round rips through 1 T-72 before smashing into a second behind the first, destroying both of them in catastrophic fireballs.


Half a second later, 1st platoons Lieutenant destroys another T-72 just behind the two tanks knocked out by one round. In the span of 15 or so seconds, 5 T-72s have been destroyed, bringing the total number of observed destroyed T-72s to 6. More than half a tank company has been destroyed in under a minute.

However, due to the slight downslope the enemy tanks are on, and the smoke and chaos, there are at least 4 unaccounted for tanks likely still sitting right in front of me. There is also an ill omen. While the knife fight at the killsack is raging, an enemy man-portable ATGM is fired from Hill 113. A Bradley on overwatch is able to spot the gunner and lob a few 25mm rounds his way. Luckily, the ATGM fails to track and crashes harmlessly into the dirt, but its a prelude of something far greater yet to come.


Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2019, 08:55:35 PM »
Hell-of-a fight! Loving it.  :clap:
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2019, 01:08:45 PM »
Bah, Rey would have destroyed 3 AFVs like that with one shot. And on her first shot ever taken in her life! That's how wonderful she is!

 :hide: :idiot2: :crazy2:


(But seriously that was epic.  O0 )
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

The GROGPUBLIC OF ROME ongoing forum game thread

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline IICptMillerII

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2019, 12:10:44 PM »
INVERTED KILLSACK

Moments after the Bradley engages the single ATGM team on Hill 113, a worst case scenario develops. An entire company of T-72AV tanks appear along the ridgeline of Hill 113. My entire force suddenly finds itself in a killsack. Most of my assets are deployed. The infantry are in the process of advancing on and clearing objectives, with their Bradley’s sitting in overwatch positions. Further, most of my tanks are either engaged at point blank range with the remains of the T-72 company on the reverse slope, with their sides and rear facing Hill 113. I only have a handful of tanks in overwatch observing the direction of Hill 113.


This is an extremely dangerous situation. The potential exists here for OpFor to inflict severe casualties on my force in a very short amount of time, and all of this can occur without me being able to properly react. In short, it could all be over for Task Force Miller.


The drama kicks off immediately. CPT Miller’s 66 tank, part of the handful of tanks on overwatch of Hill 113, is fired on by one of the enemy T-72s. A half second later, the 66 tank engages the same T-72 that fired at it. The sabot from the T-72 crashes into the lower glacis plate of the 66 tank, but is defeated.


The T-72 is not so lucky. The sabot from the 66 tank hits and penetrates its target, sending the sabot through the chin of the turret and out the back, detonating the ammo stored in the turret on its way through.

What follows is another short, violent tank duel. The other tanks in overwatch, including 2 tanks on the MSR, engage the threat on Hill 113. Bradley’s, including the infantry company commanders track, engage with TOW missiles. Sabot rounds and ATGMs (TOW’s from the Bradleys, AT-11s from the T-72s, and AT-5a’s from a few BMP-2s) zip past each other.


Despite the excellent gunnery of my tanks and Bradley’s, not all shots find their targets. The T-72s are firing from behind a berm at an elevation advantage, making them tough targets to hit. A number of sabot rounds and TOW missiles miss, and some that hit are defeated by the combined armor and angling of the T-72s.


Casualties are suffered on both sides. I quickly lose an Abrams when an enemy AT-11 tank fired ATGM slams into the top turret of one of my Abrams as it tries to orient itself towards the new threat. The ATGM punches through the soft top turret armor and explodes inside, killing the entire crew.


A moment later, one of the tanks engaged in a knife fight with the enemy T-72s in the reverse slope killsack takes multiple hits to the rear of its turret. It too is quickly destroyed, taking its entire crew with it.


Bradley’s from 3rd platoon in overwatch of their infantry currently clearing the woods of NAI 1 are hit next. One enemy sabot round destroys 2 of them, punching clean through the first Brad and into the second. If there is a silver lining to this, it is that the infantry was already dismounted.


My tanks and Bradley’s quickly increase their return fire, and soon gain fire superiority. A flurry of killing blows follows, and within the next 20 seconds, most of the OpFor T-72 company on Hill 113 has been smashed.


This engagement occurred over the course of roughly 50 seconds. I had no chance to give new orders based on the new threat. All I could do was watch. Luckily for me, I had maintained decent overwatch positions with my reserve tanks, and many of my Bradley’s were in positions that granted them some level of concealment to the threat. The rest all came down to the gunnery skill of my crews and, in the case of my Abrams, their excellent armor that allowed them to survive frontal hits.

This could have been disastrous for my forces. If I had not maintained good overwatch, I could have been stuck waiting an entire minute to react to the new threat on Hill 113. With modern weapons and targeting, as well as it being an entire company of enemy tanks, a minute would have been more than enough time for the T-72s to destroy/cripple most of my soft/vulnerable assets caught in the open. Remember, if I lose more than 30% of my force, I lose the battle.

What saved me from defeat has more to do with basic tactical fundamentals and less to do with equipment or technology (though equipment and technology certainly helps). All elements, while moving through the open, positioned in the open, or overwatching smaller assets like infantry, were in turn being covered themselves. Further, I knew Hill 113 was key terrain based on its near dominating sightlines covering the part of the map my Task Force has to initially deploy across. If I had not had my rearmost tanks oriented towards Hill 113 overwatching the rest of my Task Force, the T-72 attack could have been a complete disaster for me. Additionally, if my opponent had committed his two tank companies at the same time (the company in the reverse slope position, and the company up on Hill 113) he could have overwhelmed my vehicles by catching me in a deadly crossfire. 20 T-72 tanks, firing at me from different directions, elevations, and distances likely would have caused much more damage to my forces.

For now, I’ve managed to keep my Task Force intact. However, these killsack engagements are a sobering reminder of how quickly I can lose my command, and how crucial basic tactical fundamentals are regardless of weapons and technology.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2019, 02:10:02 PM »
Might be allergies, but how many vehicles did you end up losing? I lost track of the final accounting after the ambush. (Probably an ambush of opportunity, but still.)
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

The GROGPUBLIC OF ROME ongoing forum game thread

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline IICptMillerII

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2019, 08:42:34 PM »
In this specific engagement, I believe I lost 2 Bradley’s and 2 Abrams. It doesn’t sound like much (and admittedly it could have been much worse) but these aren’t insignificant losses. Especially considering that, based on everything I’ve already encountered, I expect there to be a (now depleted) enemy tank battalion, and a mechanized infantry battalion along with it, plus maybe more.

That being the case, I’ll need every vehicle I have in order to maintain this type of combat tempo.

I also agree that the ambush appears to have been an opportunity ambush, as opposed to a planned one. If my opponent had timed his attack a little better, and hit me at the same time with both tank companies from different directions, the results could have been much worse for me.

Offline IICptMillerII

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Re: Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2019, 06:20:05 PM »
DOWN THE MSR

After the violent exchange, a momentary calm comes over the battlefield. A few enemy crewmen are seen fleeing away from the carnage, and there are a few pops and bangs from cooking off ammunition. I wait a turn or two to make sure there are no late surprises. When its clear there aren’t Task Force Miller begins to cautiously creep forward again.

Some of the tanks that were covering the infantry clearing the woods on NAI 1 are repositioned to move up and help cover the move on NAI 11.


The calm persists as infantry from 2nd platoon cautiously approach the buildings on NAI 11 and begin to enter and clear them.


The infantry clear the buildings without incident, discovering the corpses of what looks like an enemy infantry squad deployed in a scout role.

On the other side of the MSR, the situation is repeated. Infantry from 1st platoon clear the remaining buildings on NAI 3, discovering only corpses and the two burned out BMP-2’s.


The final T-72 in the reverse slope killsack is destroyed. That makes 10 tanks, an entire tank company. There don’t appear to be any other fortifications or enemy units in the area.


Back at NAI 1, the infantry are slowly making their way through the woods, trying to avoid making contact with the enemy dug in there. On the left, there is a small opening in the tree cover, looking down slope into a clearing. There are a lot of vehicle sound contacts in this clearing. I decide to move a tank over to help cover the infantry and spot for enemy vehicles.


This quickly pays off. Just a few moments after the tank gets in position, a BMP-2 is spotted. The Abrams fires, destroying the spotted BMP-2.


A second BMP that was unspotted but unfortunately positioned between my tank and its spotted target is killed when the sabot first passes through it on its way to its intended target. The vehicle itself remains unspotted, but a plume of smoke begins to rise into the sky, marking its location.


A team of infantry from 3rd platoon, currently making their way through the woods over to the position the tank has taken, set up in a shallow trench next to the Abrams and immediately spot another BMP-2 in the clearing.


The AT-4 flies true and hits the BMP-2, destroying it. The crew of the stricken vehicle bails out and are quickly greeted by a hail of bullets. Also spotted are some foxholes with a lone enemy infantryman crawling next to them.


As suspected, this entire area looks like a fortified hornets nest. For now, I’m trying to stay along the periphery and engage opportunity targets as they appear, while trying to avoid getting sucked into a slug match in the woods.

I spoke too soon. The infantry spot another BMP-2 and attempt to engage it with the Javelin. However, this time the enemy sees me as well, and the BMP fires first. Casualties are caused, including the javelin gunner.


This is an example of how deadly close range forest fighting such as this can be, and something I’m trying to avoid. My tank, mere meters away from this infantry team, cannot see the enemy BMP. Sight line geometry in environments like this are a nightmare.
I quickly pull the infantry back, trying to disengage from the situation. The entire platoon is able to move away without drawing any fire, though the team in the woods next to the tank takes an additional casualty and is pinned down.


To help cover 3rd platoon by NAI 1, NAI 11 is reinforced with more infantry from 2nd platoon, as well as some tanks and Bradleys.


NAI 11 provides good lines of sight across NAI 1, and forward along the MSR.



The goal will be to use NAI 11 as another forward base of fire as I advance further down the MSR towards the bridge objectives. If any enemy units in the woods on NAI 1 decide to make a break for it or try to flank my units as they advance on the bridges, NAI 11 should be able to spot and interdict them.

Back on NAI 3, 1st platoon moves forward and clears the woods to their front. The road leading up to NAI 5 climbs in elevation, and has a ditch running along it. I place some infantry teams in the ditch to provide overwatch, armed with a javelin. From their position, they can see the bridge objectives, which appear to be clear of the enemy and obstacles.


Scout team 1 moves up in its Bradley to get a better view into the back of NAI 1. The team dismounts and sets up on a berm, covered by their Cavalry Fighting Vehicle just behind them.


Moments after setting up at the berm, the scouts spot a BMP-2.


However, the BMP has also spotted the scouts Bradley, and the Bradley has not spotted the BMP. The javelin takes around 20 seconds or so to acquire a good lock on a target before the missile can be fired. In that time, the BMP-2 is able to fire an AT-5a at the Bradley.


The enemy missile zips overhead and hits the Bradley, destroying it instantly, though both crewmembers survive and bail out.


A few seconds later, the javelin is fired and the BMP-2 is destroyed. The 1:1 trade of vehicles is a bad one, especially for cavalry scouts who are generally supposed to avoid engagement if possible.

After the BMP is destroyed and no further contacts are spotted, I decide to push out the perimeter around NAI 11. Two tanks, the Company XO and 2nd platoons platoon leader, bound forward in a pair.


They establish overwatch positions along a lightly wooded berm that can directly observe both bridge objectives, as well as the far side down the MSR. Nothing is spotted either on the Bridges or on the far side.


With this area looking clear, more vehicles are moved up to expand the perimeter of NAI 11 and prepare an initial push for the Bridge objectives.

Back on the right at NAI 1, the bulk of 3rd platoon (infantry) are disengaging from the woods and moving across a field to an assembly area. There they will remount their Bradley’s and be moved forward to assist in the capture of the Bridge objectives. However, there are still unrecovered casualties from A Team, 3rd Squad. To help recover the casualties, B Team moves up to the shallow trench. Number 3 tank from 1st platoon is still in position trying to provide cover to the pinned down infantry.


As soon as B Team arrives, they take fire from a BMP. 30mm HE rounds tear through the foliage and explode around the team, causing another casualty. A SAW gunner equipped with the teams AT-4 stands up through the withering incoming fire and takes aim.


This act of bravery is rewarded. He fires his AT-4, and his aim is true. The BMP-2 is hit and destroyed.


With this BMP-2 destroyed, all incoming fire ceases. After making sure the coast is clear, 3rd squad begins the task of recovering its casualties.


The casualties are recovered, and the infantry and tank fall back away from NAI 1. As they clear the area, a fire mission is called down on the NAI. The mission will be a steady rate of fire for a long time (7-10 minutes) to keep anyone left in the woods pinned down.