Author Topic: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield  (Read 2966 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline IICptMillerII

  • Equites
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2018, 01:40:04 PM »
Great AAR (as always).

Are you using some mods (don't recall seeing those icons before)

Thanks!

I am using mods. The NATO icons are made by IanL over at the CM forums, who also goes by "A Canadian Cat" on the Few Good Men website where many of the mods are hosted. Here is a link to his mods: http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?author=8

I'm a big fan of these icons for the modern CM games. For the WWII games I prefer the period correct (pre-NATO) symbols made by Bil H. I'm running a large sound overhaul mod that changes most sound effects in game, as well as a collection of other visual mods that changes things like unit skins and such. The OpFor skins seen in the pictures were made by me and modeled after the OpFor from Call of Duty 4. A bit nerdy I admit  ;D. I haven't released them for public download as I made them as a flavor mod for myself, and the quality could be better.

OUCH CptMiller. That's gotta hurt! But way to hang in there and anything can still happen.  O0

Thanks for the encouragement! The fate of the QRF was unfortunate, but not unexpected. I like to think that this battle is unfolding exactly how Tom Clancy would write a battle like this happening. So far we've had a fairly typical Soviet-style probe of the dug in defenders, and now we're waiting for the big push.

Speaking of the big push, now is a good time to mention my rough idea for the main efforts attack. I'm thinking of going all out and conducting a fast, all or nothing mechanized assault of the airfield. The reasoning is simple: by the time my main effort arrives, I'll only have 20 or so minutes left in the battle to achieve my objectives. Add to that the fact that my night optics are just not up to the task of a long, drawn out probing action, and the threat of a British relief force arriving. A ballsy Soviet-style attack of the airfield will (if it works) allow me to close the distance with the defenders rapidly, reducing the amount of time they have to engage me with Javelins as well as getting onto the objective before the British relief has a chance to arrive.

If it works, it will be spectacular. If it does not work, the results will be devastating. Either way, it should be explosive and entertaining for all!

A quick note on the scenario itself. As I mentioned I am beta testing this for the designer, who I'm friendly with. My two main suggestions to him are to reduce the amount of time it takes for OpFor forces to arrive (have the main force arrive around 30 minutes, not 40) and to give OpFor the T-90. Giving OpFor the T-90 will make them very competitive against the British relief force, and will give the OpFor commander more options in the battle. While the T-90 is just as vulnerable to Javelins as any other tank, it carries better sensors and most importantly better main gun ammo that allows it to go toe to toe with British tanks.

The scenario as it is right now is more than playable, and I've been enjoying both the battle and writing up the DAAR a lot. As I mentioned (unless something unexpected happens) we've hit a bit of a lull in the battle, but the finale should more than make up for it!


Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 16725
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2018, 05:48:00 PM »
Man, the FO team in that last snap, I can hear Robin Williams: "WE'RE ALIVE! WE'RE COVERED IN OUR OWN $#!+ BUT WE'RE ALIIIVEE!:hide:

The lesson here, as always, is: don't fight head-to-head against the West. Even at night. Maybe especially at night. We learned a lot from Vietnam.

Not sure what else you could have feasibly tried before your main force arrived, though. Screened against British reinforcements on ambush opportunities maybe?
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

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, lots of screenies.

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

Offline IICptMillerII

  • Equites
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2018, 02:00:53 PM »
Man, the FO team in that last snap, I can hear Robin Williams: "WE'RE ALIVE! WE'RE COVERED IN OUR OWN $#!+ BUT WE'RE ALIIIVEE!:hide:

The lesson here, as always, is: don't fight head-to-head against the West. Even at night. Maybe especially at night. We learned a lot from Vietnam.

Not sure what else you could have feasibly tried before your main force arrived, though. Screened against British reinforcements on ambush opportunities maybe?

The FO team will definitely need a few days in the rear with hot food and a cot to recover. That is, if they end up surviving the battle.

The Army (the rest of the US military as well) has a saying: "We own the night." Vietnam heavily influenced this. During the day the US would reign supreme, but then would have to retire to the FOBs and bases at night, which was when the VC would come out and do their dirty work. The lesson was taken to heart, and ever since the US (and other NATO nations) have put a premium on developing good night optics. Being able to fight at night as if it were day while your opponent is essentially blind is quite the advantage, as we are all seeing in this D/AAR. Still though, playing as OpFor is always fun for me. It presents its own unique problems and challenges, plus the equipment is a lot of fun to play with.

As to what I could have done differently, I suppose I could have broken from standard OpFor (Soviet) doctrine and placed more emphasis on infiltration, as well as sitting back and screening until I had all of my combat power on the field at once.

The issues with this are numerous though. For one, it is entirely possible that the British relief force is able to reach the airfield without me even knowing it. Given how I have still yet to spot any British positions, despite them shooting at me, is a pretty good indication of this possibility. Two, the terrain really doesn't allow for proper infiltration. The terrain is wide open all around the perimeter of the airfield,and there isn't even any vegetation to use as concealment on an approach. That, and even if there was vegetation I doubt the British would have trouble seeing my men trying to crawl up on them. It is also never a good idea to concede the initiative. Remember, the British need to hold out here, which means they need to buy time and survive until the relief shows up. I don't want to help the enemy by obliging him and sitting back myself.

All things considered I think a probing action with the QRF was the right decision. The results of the probe have informed my plan of action for when my main force arrives, which is exactly what a probe is supposed to do. The casualties suffered were unfortunate, but very much within acceptable doctrinal levels.

A quick admin note: I haven't received a turn in a week now. My opponent is having a busy week at the moment. The next update likely will not be until next weekend. The finale of the battle should more than make up for the lulls though.

Offline IICptMillerII

  • Equites
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2018, 03:38:15 PM »
The AAR isn't dead, nobody panic!

My opponent has been very busy this past month or so, so rate of turns has been very slow. Further, I had nothing to do for the past 10-15 turns or so besides adjust a fire mission, which occurred without incident. There has been nothing to report on.

There is good news however. It is now the 44th minute of the battle, and my combat power has finally arrived!

Later this week I will post a proper AAR post detailing my current situation and my plan for assaulting the airfield. Hang in there, the battle is in its final phase!

Offline Sir Slash

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 10693
  • Co Butt-Kicker-For-Goodness of Minsc and Boo
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2018, 09:01:24 AM »
Still here Cpt. and still wide awake.
"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

  • Equites
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2018, 07:28:37 PM »
Finale Part One

Apologies for the long delay between updates. The rate of incoming turns slowed down for a few weeks. The good news is that in this past week we were finally able to finish the battle. It has quite the ending.

As I mentioned in my previous update, there was a long period of inactivity between my QRFís failed attack/probe and when my main combat power arrived. 20 or so minutes passed with nothing happening, aside from the slow drumbeat of my artillery falling on the airfield.

Then, around the 43rd minute of the battle, incoming small arms fire begins to hit my positions on Resistance Nest 2. The source of the firing is not observed, and a casualty is taken.




The volume of fire ramps up. First with what appears to be autocannon fire at a slow rate of fire impacting:



Followed by a javelin that takes out the bunker:



Itís not all bad news though. Finally, at the 44th minute of the battle, with only 16 minutes remaining for me to complete my objectives, my main force arrives.

Part of the Armor Team:



Part of the Mech Team:



Armor/Mech elements mixed together:



Unfortunately, they did not all deploy in the same place on the battlefield, but instead are spread out. This complicates my options for attacking the airfield. At the least, it means I have to maneuver some elements into position before the main attack can kick off. This maneuvering will take time, something that I am beginning to run out of.



The two groups to the left will maneuver forwards first, staying in defilade the whole way. Once theyíre in position, which will be where the remnants of the QRF are holding, the entire force will assault the airfield as one. Itís an all or nothing gamble but based on the limited amount of time I have left, my inability to spot any of the British positions, and the unknown status of their expected relief force, this is the best plan of action available to me.

The Assault Plan:



The tanks and BMPís that are out of position will take a few minutes to get into position to make the assault. I want to attack with all my combat power at once, not piecemeal.

While my assaulting elements are getting into position, things really begin to heat up on the Resistance Nests:



Action shot! Our first solid spot on our enemy. This British para is literally running, gun blazing into my position. Unfortunately, this awesome display of Rambo emulation was so powerful it stunned my infantry into inaction, resulting in all of them being gunned down.

Things quickly escalate. British mortar fire begins landing in the low ground between the Resistance Nests:



It appears to be a smoke mission. Odd, considering itís falling in relative dead ground, and my men canít seem to spot anything until its 5 meters in front of them anyways. I suspect this smoke will have little effect on the battle.

With some British forces spotted, and their attack obvious, I decide to get my men into the fight. Heavy machine guns area fire on the ground where the British are advancing over, and infantry squads begin spraying the area with fire as well.





My men put up a valiant fight, but they are essentially fighting blind. The outer positions are quickly overrun.



Then, heavy artillery begins to land on the Resistance Nest.



These blocking positions are starting to take a ton of fire, while being assaulted. Despite the seemingly dire circumstances, they are doing their job. Delay any enemy attacks and divert attention away from my main effort. All I have to do now is conduct my assault before all of the Resistance Nest positions are overwhelmed.

As my tanks are moving into their assault position, something nasty happens:



The Armor Team Company Commander gets knocked out. Worryingly, the shot comes from the right-rear of the tank. It would appear that the British relief force is here, and they occupy positions on higher ground that are able to observe part of the defilade Iím moving through. This also means I could get caught in a cross fire when I make my assault on the airfield. The situation is becoming more tenuous by the minute.

The indirect fire on the Resistance Nest being assaulted grows yet more intense. There are airbursting 155mm shells, with HE mortar shells landing as well.



The good news is that all of my assaulting forces are now in position and ready to attack the airfield.



With only 13 minutes left to seize the airfield, a determined British attack underway on the Resistance Nests, the British relief force on the field, and my assaulting forces finally in position, the assault on the airfield beginsÖ


Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 16725
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2018, 07:43:41 AM »
Phew, it's like an Airfield Too Far! -- where it wasn't quite too far after all!   :wow:
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

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, lots of screenies.

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

Offline IICptMillerII

  • Equites
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2018, 10:29:19 PM »
Phew, it's like an Airfield Too Far! -- where it wasn't quite too far after all!   :wow:

It's starting to look like an airfield too far to me. The rear flanking fire is very concerning. As I mentioned in the update, I'll likely get caught in a cross-fire once I hit the open terrain. With my already limited spotting capability, I'll be hard pressed to identify what's engaging me, let alone shoot back. Even if I could shoot back, it likely wouldn't cause any damage. Challenger armor far outmatches the sabot shells my tanks carry.

The bad news for me is that I am likely in for a quick, explosive slaughter.

The good news for everyone else following along is it should be an explosive finish, and the playtest has been successful. I've been told that I've provided enough information to the scenario designer for him to be able to tweak it for a proper release once CMSF2 comes out. Based on that alone, I'm prepared to preemptively declare this an OpFor strategic victory! ;D

I wasn't able to get the next update finished this weekend, but it should be out soon.

Offline IICptMillerII

  • Equites
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2019, 05:20:25 PM »
Apologies to everyone, but I was not able to finish this AAR. Between being on the move for the entire month of August and having to rebuild my computer, I just wasnít able to finish this. I also can no longer locate the final turn files on any of my hard drives.

Surplice and I were able to finish the battle just before I left for the rest of the summer. He was victorious. My attack on the airfield failed, though I do think I gave him a good fight there at the end. My vehicles and infantry were able to get onto the airfield, but had suffered too many casualties to be able to exploit and overrun the British defenses in the airfield buildings. Most of my BMPs and tanks were destroyed, and my infantry had taken too many casualties to remain combat effective. Further, Surplice's armored QRF was beginning to close in and finish off what forces I had left. Even if I had somehow managed to establish a foothold on the airfield, his QRF would have made short work of it.

Hats off to Surplice for holding on till the bitter end and successfully holding the airfield. It was a good fight through and through, I only wish I could have captured the last battle to share with everyone. Apologies again.

However, to make up for the lack of a proper ending to this (and because the battle turned out to be pretty exciting) I have started a new AAR. This time itís a proper AAR, as the battle was concluded a few months ago. It follows an armored US Task Force engaging a dug in, well equipped OpFor along an MSR through temperate, rolling terrain, featuring a few villages as well. It can be found here:

http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=23532.0

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 16725
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2019, 07:54:26 PM »
I was never sure what the expected victory condition would mean for this game on your side. There was no way you were going to hold the airport against the rescue force, so at best it seemed like you could only harass the enemy and leave with heavy losses (after the final turn).
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

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, lots of screenies.

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

Offline IICptMillerII

  • Equites
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2019, 10:25:08 PM »
I was never sure what the expected victory condition would mean for this game on your side. There was no way you were going to hold the airport against the rescue force, so at best it seemed like you could only harass the enemy and leave with heavy losses (after the final turn).

In the state the mission was in when I played it, I agree. My main assault force arrived too late for me to seize the airfield before being interdicted by the British armored QRF. That said, the mission was in beta, and I was effectively play testing it. I'm not sure if there are plans to finish it and bring it to Shock Force 2 (I'm not the scenario author) though I would imagine it would be relatively easy to do. A few equipment/timing tweaks and I think it would be a great scenario. It was plenty of fun to play, and I think with a few small tweaks it could be even better. Plus, OpFor would have a better chance of winning. A chance to redeem myself!

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 16725
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2019, 12:39:31 PM »
Perhaps a little angulation on the OpFor goals would help a lot, assuming the basic action flow of the scenario should be kept: the goal is to shut down operations on the airport for a little while (to reduce or eliminate air support elsewhere temporarily), and/or perhaps even to draw off the rescue team into this area where they won't be active somewhere else! -- and then to retreat as safely as possible, the challenge being to balance tying down the airport (and/or the rescue party) with acceptable casualties of men and material among the OpFor.
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

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, lots of screenies.

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

Offline IICptMillerII

  • Equites
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2019, 01:57:37 PM »
That's an interesting idea, changing the mission of OpFor from a seize mission to a raid meant to interdict the airfield. I'll mention it to the scenario designer! I do agree that the QRF is a bit of a problem with the current force build. I think OpFor would likely benefit from a larger force, with the main assault element arriving on the field earlier. It is worth mentioning that now that SF2 is out, the gear the Syrians get access to has been slightly updated to more accurately reflect the reality on the ground back in 2007. For example, the Syrians now get access to the T-72AV TURMS-T, which is a very capable tank against many of the Western MBTs in game. For example, it can go toe to toe with the US M1A1HC, being able to both spot quickly and frontally penetrate at combat ranges. Granted, the British Challenger 2 is a more modern MBT (the M1A1HC is the earliest MBT the US can get and represents an Abrams from the early-mid 90's, whereas the Challenger 2 is more similar to the M1A2 of the mid 2000's. The T-72AV is comparable to a top of the line Soviet MBT from the late 80's such as a T-80BV) so there is going to be more of a discrepancy in capability between OpFor and the British. Still though, with SF2 and some of the lessons learned from the playtest, I think that the scenario can be tweaked here and there to be a very competitive battle for both sides.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 16725
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2019, 05:51:01 PM »
I used to help edit the early unpublished novels of an author before she got picked up by Warner Aspect (and then onward up to TOR). Both of us being fencers, we liked looking for "angulation" -- slight adjustments to the thrust to hit the target -- rather than having to re-plot things extensively.

So naturally I thought in terms of reverse characterization: if you want the fight to be like 'this', and one side's motivations (on defense) are clear enough, why would the other side narratively get into that kind of fight?
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

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, lots of screenies.

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

Offline IICptMillerII

  • Equites
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2019, 06:27:41 PM »
IIRC the original story behind the fight over the airfield was; the British had conducted an air assault onto the airfield and seized it. In the mission, you are playing the second phase of the battle, the British airborne have dug in and consolidated on the airfield, and the OpFor are rushing forward to recapture the airfield before British reinforcements show up. Kind of a modern day Market Garden type, except on a much smaller scale.

I agree that it only needs tweaking as opposed to a complete re-write. No one likes doing that!  ;D I think the biggest tweak would be to the timing of BluFor and OpFor reinforcements, and then as I mentioned maybe beefing up the size of OpFor's force a bit as well. Another idea would be to have OpFor come in at a steady trickle. That way, pressure could continue to mount on the British defenders on the airfield, and when the British QRF does arrive, OpFor would likely have most of its force on the map at that point, allowing for a larger climactic fight.