Author Topic: Giving Gaddafi His Due - CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte'85 (Libya Hypoth.)  (Read 9186 times)

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Offline Crossroads

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Libya 1985: Crisis in Sirte, a Battle in IV Parts

Getting closer to having CS Middle East 2.0 in BETA status, and while on ALPHA level yet, how about showing the game's latest incarnation by doing another During Action Report.

The scenario chosen is from the new content to 2.0, albeit available for test plays already at Matrix CS Middle East forum.

Having done a 1967 DAR with The Crossroads, a 1973 DAR with Into Africa!, it is time to move into 1980s with a hypothetical Brits vs Libyans situation under the Crisis in Sirte set of games.

We're playing n:o 3 Riptide, depicting a strong Libyan counterattack against the British Quick Reaction Force bridgehead.



Here's the briefing in full:

Quote
Crisis in Sirte: 3. Riptide

6 August, 1985  [Sirte, Libya] [H2H] [FIC] [CSL]:
 
 Having completed their first phase of the operation, the exhausted British Quick Reaction Force settled in for the night, pulling back to the vicinity of Sirte. "Shire" level targets all secured, it had not been
a bad first day at the office.

Using the cover of the night, elements of the Libyan Mech Bde closed in, determined in their knowledge that if they ever want to throw the invasion force back into sea, now is the time.
 
On 6 August 1985 at 0430 hrs the British alarms went off: Libyans are on the move! Now they must put all they have learned on mobile defense into use, if they are to survive.

[Note: British Gunships deliberately without a HQ. Once they've spent their 4 missile loads, they're done.] [ALL: OPT AF]

Here's what supposedly happened before:

: Crisis in Sirte: Prelude to Breakout • show
[quote]Crisis in Sirte: 1. Prelude

5 August, 1985  [Sirte, Libya] [H2H] [FIC] [CSL]:

Tensions flew high even before Colonel Gaddafi again claimed the Gulf of Sidre as Libyan territorial waters, sinking a British merchant to make the point. After having witnessed a set of retaliatory air strikes against his military bases, he then stormed the British Embassy in Tripoli, taking the surviving personnel hostages. Not to give in to Gaddafi's demands, the United Kingdom soon deployed one of her Quick Reaction Forces into Mediterranean.

With part of Libyan Army now in revolt, it was quickly decided an incursion into Sirte would be called. The plan called first to secure the Port of Sirte as a location to land further reinforcements, with the final
aim of securing the Ghardabiya Air Base as a base for further strikes against forces still loyal to Gaddafi.

Soon, the elements of the QRF Air Assault Regt embarked their Chinook transports in Malta, to quickly secure Gaddafi's home city, believed to be guarded with only a weakened element of a Libyan Mech Bde
as all eyes were on events taking place in Tripoli. 

With gunships on their flanks, the Chiinooks took off towards Sirte, flying low under the Libyan radar and missile cover.

[Note: British Gunships deliberately without a HQ. Once they've spent their 4 missile loads, they're done.][ALL: OPT AF]


Crisis in Sirte: 2. Breakout

5 August, 1985  [Sirte, Libya] [H2H] [FIC] [CSL]:     

With Port of Sirte secured,the pressure was on to expand and secure the bridgehead before the forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi can react. Without a delay, the elements of the Air Assault Regt were ordered to secure the vital road networks next to city of Sirte. At the same time, the landing crafts disembarked their load into the port facilities, unloading elements of the QRF Mech Bde, with orders to push further on.

First target: the various hamlets under code name "Shire". Then,  "Umbria" and "Kent", if possible.     

The surprised Libyan Armed Forces were now putting together a first coherent attempt at a counter attack, under strict orders by Gaddafi to throw the enemy to the sea. Yet, the commander of the Libyan
Mech Bde was aware he was still reacting  to events, and was pondering whether to contain the bridgehead, rather  than to go all out on the British mechanized forces now streaming out of the city.

[Note: British Gunships deliberately without a HQ. Once they've spent their 4 missile loads, they're done.] [ALL: OPT AF]
[/quote]


After the current scenario, there'd be the endgame between the forces, literally:

: Crisis in Sirte: Endgame • show
[quote]Crisis in Sirte: 4. End Game

7 August, 1985
[Sirte, Libya] [H2H] [FIC] [CSL]:
 
 Having survived the fierce Libyan counter attack, if just barely, the now reinforced Mech Bde of the British Quick Reaction Force moved again into attack. Not allowing the enemy any chance to catch their breath, they took immediately towards the Ghardabiya Air base. Surely, with the beating they took, there can't be many Libyan units left to defend the vital airport?
 
Answering to the now critical situation at the sector, the surviving elements of the Libyan Mech Bde formed smaller task forces, and sent them into hull down positions around the basin.
 
[Note: British Gunships deliberately without a HQ. Once they've spent their 4 missile loads, they're done.] [ALL: OPT AF]
[/quote]


So here goes, here's the set-up:



- Fog of War, at high level, on.



In addition,
- Indirect Fire by the Map, so I can plot artillery even without spotters. It will not be accurate then, but at least possible.
- Extreme Fog of War, to hide enemy unit info par their strength.
- Extreme Assault, not so extreme imho, just not the simple Overrun mechanism that is the default.
- Adaptive A/I, for additional setting variety under die rolls.
- Armor Facing Effects OFF, as I prefer it. Just don't like it. Many do, so play it as you wish, I set it Optional under scenario play suggestions.
- Command Control, for penalties unless you keep your coys together under bn, and bns together under their command.
- Variable Visibility, for a die roll of +/-1 change in visibility per turn.

And here's the first view of the battle map:

: The new 2D Zoom-in View with a new option of unit images on counters • show


Scimitars! Chieftains! Lynx Gunships! What's there not to like   :knuppel2:  :smitten:
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 05:12:51 AM by Crossroads »
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 12:18:15 PM »
Turn 1: Battle Plan

Here's the Strategic Zoom-Out View of the map:

: THE CUNNING PLAN • show


The British Quick Reaction force is well spread out after their first full day, having first secured the Sirte ports with scenario #1: Prelude, then secured the bridgehead perimeter in scenario #2, Breakout. With a small screening force towards south, where strong Libyan mechanized elements still secure the vital Ghardabiya Air Base, the QRF has settled for the night, securing a perimeter outside Sirte.

Their next day would call for a finishing strike against Ghardabiya. Instead, a strong Libyan counter attack is exptected imminently, as the approaching Libyan mech force is first spotted by night patrols.

The Yellow arrows show the expected enemy arrival routes, while the orange ellipses mark my (or rather: their) Objective Locations.

Victory points show a Minor Victory at this stage, I am sitting at 700 VP worth of objectives, so the attrition will make it or break it at the end. I will adapt a very cautious strategy for the first turns, of which three first turns are night turns. As the situation becomes clearer, I hope I can then rely on my mighty Chieftains to destroy anything bold enough to appear in front of their gun sights.

Indeed, my concern is not their T-72 MTBs  but rather the various ATGM equipped forces, not least the Hind Gunships that will have an infinite supply of rockets at their air base.

I, too, have a Lynx flight of two Lynx sections 2 helos each, but no supply, so once they have emptied their rocket pods, I am out.

For this build, we are experimenting with a new tweak for SAM's, where they can reach Low altitudes (two hexes from ground, ie 250-500m), previously they were able to hit High altitude (three hexes+, ie 500m+). That will in effect force me to stay on Nap of Earth level only, as Libyans have SAMs, I don't. My tracked Rapiers won't appear until next day! And not for this scenario, but scenario four....
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 01:33:02 PM by Crossroads »
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 12:48:34 PM »
Turn 1: Battle stations!

Playing it safe, time to get out of harms way with my forward recon!

: SCOUTS OUT, SCOUTS IN • show


Next, eyes to the front... Again, with Libyan SAMs able to fire at Low, my aerial recon capabilities are severely hindered here.

: HUNTING HIGH AND LOW. SAM, THAT IS • show


Here's the situation at the EOP of British turn #1.

: EOP BRITISH TURN #1 • show


What I've done in addition to above, I've

- had most infantry digging in IPs
- brought my MANPAD teams forward
- spread the few Scimitars to scouting missions.

And that's it. Being a bit passive here, but hey these guys were supposed to have been taken by surprise so here goes: Over to Berto!  :knuppel2:





« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 10:32:23 PM by Crossroads »
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Offline -budd-

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 01:41:08 PM »
Nice O0 .....map looks familar
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 07:47:22 PM »
Nice O0 .....map looks familar

No doubt. There's not too many places that saw both the Afrika Korps and ISIL come through.
Vituū ťr enn - eūa hvat?  -Voluspa

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Offline Con

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 08:13:58 PM »
What about the first US invasion force in the first Barbary Wars where the US Marines were the first to fly a US flag over captured territory outside of the United States when they took the Tripolitian city of Derna.

(pre1941 version) Marine Corp Hymn
From the Halls of Montezuma
 To the shores of Tripoli;
 We fight our country's battles
On the land as on the sea;

Offline Crossroads

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2017, 05:13:16 AM »
Nice O0 .....map looks familar

No doubt. There's not too many places that saw both the Afrika Korps and ISIL come through.

Indeed! DAK, ISIL, and this one in-between!  :timeout:
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2017, 05:31:01 AM »
Into Turn #2

Having received the PBEM file from Berto, having watched his turn Replay (nothing there but night crickets), time to continue the preparations for withstanding the wall of steel heading my way...

First, Global Opportunity Fire settings...

Hard Vehicles: I rarely set my tanks to fire at Long, but these are Chieftains  :knuppel2: I see you, you're dead baby! No use to fire at anything else but the juicy targets. Takes the oomph off from any fishy moves like milking my best units to fire at his trucks or some other low value units the opponent wants to use for having my units reveal themselves.

AT: With ATGMs, I am happy to fire at Medium. Again, no use wasting the precious missiles on anything less!
AAA: Set to only fire at enemy Helos. Libyan Hinds are a major threat in this scenario!

: Global Op Fire Settings • show

Other firing units: mostly infantry, but notably, Helos too. Tanks are priority target. With LAWs and other short range stuff, it is important to set the OpFire against enemy armor at Long. Shorter for other targets. Note: I am assigning Op Fire individually for my Helos, don't want to have them operate on these global ones.

Short Term Plan, or ramblings. Whichever.  :D

- Get the recon out. That is what they are here for. Dawn is breaking, daylight in turn 4.
- Mech Infantry: find your vital ground, dig in. Fight.
- AT assets: prepare kill zones. Hide. Then Kill.
- MPAD teams. Screen out. Hide.
- Paras, still worn out, as depicted here, as they bore the grunt of fighting during the past two days (Sirte 1. Prelude, Sirte 2. Breakout.): Consolidate. Maybe a mobile reserve? Plenty of APCs to go around.

- No retreat! I order my men to finish the scenario holding all objectives. Tactical retreat, yes. To be followed with hard counter attacks. Sirte Port must be secured, there's all the reinforcement to appear for Sirte 4. Endgame, to make the decisive push to Ghardabiya Air Base.

Here's the Para Bn consolidation in progress. I hit the Highlight Org icon to have them stand out, while selecting their HQ.

: Paras on the Move • show


And here's the part where I wrote "AT assets: prepare kill zones. Hide". In addition to finding hexes with a good Concealment factor, I place them to bottom of stacks, so they don't stand out so much. No doubt Berto will study all stacks in his fronts carefully, but anything for even a slight advance go for it right.

: You first! No, you! • show

« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 06:18:49 AM by Crossroads »
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2017, 06:28:41 AM »
The Last Stand of Outpost "Yorkshire"


- No retreat! I order my men to finish the scenario holding all objectives. Tactical retreat, yes. To be followed with hard counter attacks. Sirte Port must be secured, there's all the reinforcement to appear for Sirte 4. Endgame, to make the decisive push to Ghardabiya Air Base.

Here's a snippet of the goings at "Yorkshire". I'm moving a platoon with a recon mission forward to the Rubble hex there, with close support by a Scimitar platoon. Behind, I am digging in at "Yorkshire".

: recon is what recon does • show

Last stand! Need to prepare well. There's a couple of new, nifty feature in the latest Alpha build to assist me with that, let us have a look at them closer.


Terrain Effect Modifiers: You want all the advantage you can to Combat Result die rolls, right. Now you can see the TEM factor hex by hex. Rubble stands out with a 0.65 modifier. Nice.

: errain Effect Modifiers • show


Concealment: Similarly, you can now have a look at each hex and its Concealment factor. Gotta love the Rubble here again  :smitten:

: Concealment • show


Morale: So if you're nicely secured, they can't see you, that should be good for your Morale? Yessir! Everyone's favorite here? Rubble  :bd:

: Morale • show

See how being in the Open is a Generally Bad Idea, Morale included.

I guess that settles it: I am digging in, in all that Rubble that lies around, after the heavy fighting of the last two days  O0
« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 06:44:14 AM by Crossroads »
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2017, 06:40:15 AM »
EOP British Turn #2

So there we go. Having moved about, consolidating, no idea what the opponent is doing, a few finishing moves with Recon spreading out. I am setting their Op Fire to None, so hopefully, they see but are not seen.

: Recon Op Fire None • show


And that's it. Here's the overall look at end of Brit Turn #2. Closing in, preparing to mass my firepower to sectors where I wish to fight. Looking at this, I really should have send one Platoon towards Outpost "Kent" as well. If it would look occupied, maybe it would cost Berto a few precious turns as he'd prepare to close in expecting a hard fight. Maybe there's time to do it next turn? Let us see...

By the way I've moved back to NATO symbols on Standard Counters look. I prefer it when looking at an overview. Once the Libyans start to close in, I am moving back to 3D unit images on Alternate Counters, to observe all the details the unit pictures provide.

: EOP British Turn #2 • show


That's it, over to Berto!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 06:43:28 AM by Crossroads »
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2017, 01:23:17 PM »
British Turn #3

Game turn arrived. Still no idea what Berto's doing... nothing out there but them night cricket yet again...

So let us enjoy the beautiful Libyan desert nights then. We've added a new set of Night tiles to the game to cover the whole terrain and vegetation set of tiles. During the night turns, everything's covered with a green hue, a quite nice effect, within my obviously biased eyes of course.

: the night was young we were bold • show


The new Zoom-in 3D tiles are not there yet to showcase, but how's this for an effect with the existing 3D 100% view.



Neat, eh  :)

Preparations continue with my QRF. MPAD teams are out now, ATGM teams hiding out there. I've also consolidated my two Chieftain Coys together for a maximum shock and awe. One troop is out there, but the rest of them hide in the orchards.

I've moved the Paras to the western edge of Sirte now, but waiting to see what Berto does before committing them anywhere. The Para Coy at Outpost "Devonshire" is a bit isolated, I am afraid they will go out of Combat Efficiency once the going gets tough, so I am preparing to move them to Sirte as well, while moving the one Mech Coy in Sirte there to replace them.

Here's the Highlight HQ showing the Paras on the map. Gotta move them closer together. Also on the show are the finished NATO symbols with all the details in there now. Counter edges sharpened as well.

: highlight hq • show


On the other hand, the 1980's UK Bn C&C Range is pretty awesome. I could actually move their HQ a tad East, and it could have the easternmost Paras yet within the C&C limits. Options!

Here's another little detail featuring for the first time: HQ Range not only shows the range as it used to, but now also shows the C&C values as they continue to drop off. The 50% sector used to be the only info out previously, as the outline of the range, now this too can be calculated with more details.

: hq range • show


Not much to do but dig deeper and wait for the onslaught. Over to Berto!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 01:15:36 AM by Crossroads »
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2017, 06:52:11 AM »
So what do you guys think about the use of Spoilers to hide the screenshots? Would you rather see the pictures without them, or do you like to read, then open the relevant pictures, as was my idea behind posting like this?
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Offline mirth

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2017, 06:53:50 AM »
I like your use of the spoiler tags.
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Offline -budd-

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2017, 07:10:01 AM »
I like the spoiler thing
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Offline Crossroads

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Re: CS: Middle East - Crisis in Sirte, a Libya 1985 what-if
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2017, 07:22:21 AM »
Thanks, I'll keep at it then!

In before anyone else opinions the opposite  8)
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