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  #11  
Old September 1st, 2018, 12:42 AM

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Default Re: The Iraqi Lost Legion - generated campaign

All Roads Lead to Rome

The British troops were not defeated in the previous battle, but nor could they stop Lt. Col. Mustafa from advancing along the road captured by the Marauders during the battle. Soon the Marauders came to the first Iraqi town encountered in the campaign so far. The locals welcomed the Iraqi troops with open arms, as news of their exploits have already spread to local Iraqi towns. As a result, a large number of young, untrained men offered to join the Marauders, and despite Mustafa's protestations, two more green People's Army companies were formed. The town's dilapidated weapons cache supplied only the most basic infantry weapons, but also three RPGs, which allowed an additional AT section to be created. Having lost contact with Engineers and the Artillery, Lt. Col. Mustafa acquiesced in this increase to his battalion. The respite, however, was short-lived as the Colonel received ominous news from the western outskirts of the town - a Saudi battalion supported by an unspecified number of fighting vehicles had just begun a door-to-door search of the town...


Type: Meeting Engagement
Visibility: 49 (2,450m)
Turn Limit: 23 turns

With a total of five Peoples Army companies, the Marauders once again decided to deploy in a line that covered the entire expected battlefield, without regard to experience of the units. The actual clash of forces would likely take place just east of the city - but that allowed the Saudis to take too many VPs in the city itself. The alternative was to try and push into the city and fight a pitched battle - always risky where the Marauders have only basic infantry weapons plus grenades, with no support weapons at squad level. Nevertheless, the Marauders' numbers would prove decisive - if you can advance everywhere, chances are the enemy won't be able to stop you everywhere...



The main Saudi push occurred in the northern ellipse. There are three VPs there closely spaced together on a grass-covered elevation. There were not many locations where I could place my support weapons to cover that mini-plateau. Troops in the forest to the east would at least have some protection, but any support weapons placed there would be in range of regular Saudi infantry.

The southern ellipse was a fairly high ridge where I placed most of my support weapons. They had OK fields of fire, but could not effectively support the troops in the north.

None of the above would have mattered if there were, say, 10 more turns on the clock, but as it was, I could not afford to let the Saudis advance as far as the northern plateau in order to defeat them with superior firepower while they were in open terrain. I had to push my rifle companies forward to try and take the city, stopping to fight the Saudis when encountered, retreating back into the protection of the support weapons when necessary, pushing ahead where there was no resistance.



On Turn 10, the southern-most push encountered the Saudi advance of perhaps 1-2 platoons (as it later turned out, supported by some MMG sections, plus possibly an additional platoon and TOW vehicles) This is the Marauder C Company advancing, so it consists of battle-bloodied troops, but at ranges of 50-150m the lack of that squad MG was a killer. This company advanced perhaps a further 200m from Turn 10 until Turn 23, getting shredded at close range (one squad ended the battle with 1 soldier), but also getting opportunities to fire at 50m, where at least the grenades come into play.



The TOW vehicles, unlike a section of V150F Commandos to the north, successfully resisted any close assaults with rifles and hand grenades. I didn't have time to push up RPGs (due to their low number of soldiers per section, I thought these would be too vulnerable in a city advance), so it ended in a stalemate. You can see the one RPG section that perhaps could have killed a TOW vehicle if I had 1-3 more turns. The squads coming in from the north of the picture were actually part of a separate push that could not help much until the very end of the battle.



In the upper-middle portion of the map the plateau was the key terrain feature. It had three objective flags and two Saudi AMX tanks moved to capture these. I had nothing to stop them with directly, but they eventually succumbed to the AT guns. Perhaps because of the grass, or the shape of the elevation, covering the approaches to the VPs with support weapons proved difficult. The infantry based in the forest at least had some cover, but entering the open terrain for a stand-up firefight with Saudi infantry proved too costly.



The above picture illustrates the difficulty. My scouts had already recaptured the VPs, so at least I could play defense here, but advance was proving difficult. The top-most Iraqi unit is a sniper hidden in a stone house. However, he's at elevation 11, and can't cover the VPs, or harass any of the Saudi troops that are approaching the VPs. The 12.7mm HMG section near the top-right corner (the highlighted hexes are the hexes visible to it) is one of the few units that actually can cover the VPs - but I had to place it in open terrain, within range of enemy infantry squads. A hit from an infantry squat can really tear up a HMG section, so this was a risk.

Marauders are attempting to advance from the forest to get into the city and capture the VPs there, but that exposes them to fire from Saudi units that are either in buildings, or are hidden behind the plateau. Any advance across the plateau would even expose my troops to Saudi reverse-slope defense. I was able to hold on to the VPs but, again, not able to make much progress here.



It is in the north where the Marauder A Company was able to advance without encountering much resistance. They close-assaulted the two V-150F Commandos which had no infantry support, and were able to get behind the Saudi line, take out a few mortar sections, and capture a number of VPs.



One enemy unit was in fact able to sneak through my line, and was advancing on a VP - but luckily Lt. Col. Mustafa, himself trying to get to a better spotting position to call in arty, was there and got his first kill.



In the end, a marginal victory was achieved. Of some note was the effectiveness of Saudi mortars - they brought four sections, and were able to inflict pretty good losses on my troops, including the complete destruction of an HMG section in one hit. Overall, the Saudi units were beaten, but not completely broken - nevertheless, the town was in Iraqi hands, and the Marauders could expect at least some rest and replacements...
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Old September 17th, 2018, 12:15 AM

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Default Re: The Iraqi Lost Legion - generated campaign

AFTERMATH:

With the Saudi unit in retreat, the Marauders replenished their losses and Lt. Col. Mustafa permitted the raw recruits who had seen combat to join the Marauders, forming two new companies with the supporting RPG platoon. Upon further search of the abandoned Iraqi regular army installations, and with the help of the townsfolk, the Marauders were able to bring four BTR-60PK back to working order. Not enough to carry the infantry, but at least the support weapons should not be falling so far behind any more. This advantage should prove important in the next battle...


BATTLE 06:
Type: Iraqi Assault vs. Great Britain Defend
Visibility: 45 (2,250m)
Turn Limit: 36 turns



... because upon leaving town, the Marauders encountered yet another stream (this one even forks!), yet again defended by Her Majesty's finest. With visibility high, the two marked 100-height areas should provide some ability for either side to use longer-range support weapons. There are a few other, lower hills that still provide a good field of fire on the 100-high ridge that I expect the enemy to occupy. Due to the presence of five infantry companies, the Marauders will advance across the board, rather than trying to punch through a particular point in the line and then pivot to the objectives. The 36-turn time limit influences this as well. With certain approaches requiring as many as two streams to cross, there simply isn't time for maneuver. For the same reason, although the two roads are likely to be guarded, the Iraqi force simply cannot afford to not use them. Massing excessive infantry troops along the roads only invites artillery, so the advance along the roads will be staggered. Some use of mines by the British is expected, but without engineer units, mines will only be detected when stepped on.



The southern advance was intended to put some support troops on the 100-high ridge and possibly provide a tertiary strike via a single rifle company. The two APCs that were intended to make this easier got bogged down and immobilized in the rough terrain around the first stream. I belatedly check their class - wheeled. Nevertheless, the advance must go on...



By turn 9, the leading company in the northern advance has made it past the stream and is taking up position on the slope of a small hill that provides protection. Even though they will take a few turns to fully set up, I consider this to be time well spent. The stream itself is in a broad valley, and the approach appears to be fully concealed from the enemy; no British fire has attempted to disrupt the infantry columns advancing along the road. I therefore risk the use of APCs to make this process go a bit faster.



In the middle, the scouts encountered a minefield around the bridge, which slows down the stream-crossing. Infantry units came under fire from the first British infantry unit sighted so far. With their 2xMG and excellent accuracy, the Brits drew first blood (2 men killed) - but the Marauders soon brought to bear the fire of five rifle sections. Forty-eight Mosins gave as good as they got, literally, as the British unit also suffered 2 casualties. The difference? The Brits are in retreated status. I expect them to rally, though.



With some help from mortars, the Mosin sections put paid to the one British infantry section, which became the first unit destroyed in this battle. It had friends, though. Two sections dug in together in one hex, and a further section covering their back. They bloody the first few squads that stumble into their field of fire, reducing one to just 5 men. Fortunately, several support weapons and APCs can target these units...



Even the southern approach, which I frankly expected to be undefended, results in a firefight as a British infantry unit opens up. However, support weapons are on-hand to suppress, and the AK-47-armed Marauders advance. The northern portion of this attack prong can also offer supporting fire to the central advance.

So far, the northern-most prong has suffered 10 casualties to a mortar attack, but has not encountered any resistance... side note - positioning of the companies continues to be suboptimal on my part. The northern advance would have benefited from having the AK-47 company advance along the road, and the Mosin company be positioned more toward the center, where the 500m range of the Mosins would permit them to somewhat support the central advance. Fortunately, that distance can be covered in less than a turn - and hopefully that turn won't prove crucial...



The northern advance finally encountered some enemy defenses on the large hill behind which the VP cluster is located. The British units caused surprisingly few casualties, and themselves fell victim to surprisingly accurate support weapon fire.



Northern defenses a few turns later. Perhaps they intended to defend the corridor between the two fields, where infantry advance would be quickest... in any case, support weapons plus overwhelming numbers do the trick.



Three (at least) British Terminator squads begin their counter-attack and, at a range of 100m, beat up a few of my squads that were traveling full-speed along the road. The fire-exchange went fully in favor of the British. The area offers them cover, so this will be a close-range fight. I wish the game modeled bayonets...



The APC carrying support weapons to a good vantage point hit a mine and became only IMMOBILIZED, but both of the support weapons riding inside it were DESTROYED... too bad, as these were some pretty experienced troops.



The British counterattack is in full swing. Counting the troops near the road, it looks like about three platoons are attempting to secure/take back VPs. This is about the number of troops already encountered and destroyed - so roughly 1/2 of the enemy force was kept in reserve. Since my support weapons are mostly far behind, this is a straight-up infantry battle.

Overwhelming numbers proved superior. Every British unit firing would get counter-fired by 2-3 or more Marauders. The fire was not getting many kills at distance, but it was enough to suppress the British units and allow the Iraqis to close. And so the battle ended, not with a bang, but with a whimper.... with the Britons unable to hold any objectives, and with all of their units destroyed, the Marauders were complete masters of the battlefield. A final check indicated that the total point cost for the British was 1002 points, including the HQ unit. My own post-battle, but fully-fixed battalion (with no core expansion) was at 2309 force value. So the British had less than 1/2 of my points, dispersed over a large map. This, plus good visibility and good fields of fire from several elevated positions made this battle easier. If the British had concentrated their forces more, and either contested the roads, or put in a reverse-slope defense behind that 100-height hill, they probably could have hurt me more. Still, the next encounter will be a different story...
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Old September 20th, 2018, 12:34 AM

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Default Re: The Iraqi Lost Legion - generated campaign

AFTERMATH:

A few units achieved veteran status, including a first Peoples Army squad. These units prove resilient, due to their 10-man complement, and due to the high number of squads, they always present a sufficient number of targets to the enemy to prevent any one squad being ganged up on. Only a few of these squads have been completely destroyed so far in the campaign.

Beyond rest and refit, no new units join the Marauders, and the force remains at its 2,000+ point status. However, the Marauders' recent battlefield successes must have gotten someone's attention, because a local intelligence report indicates that a large U.S. Army force is on the way to the Marauders' location. With ample time to prepare a defense, Lt. Col. Mustafa chooses to withdraw back to the recently-liberated town, and await the U.S. assault there. Unfortunately, the supply depots provide no further aid to the Marauders - neither barbed wire nor mines are anywhere to be found. Nevertheless, there is some hope that in the narrow city streets, Iraqi RPG sections may even score some kills against enemy armor...


BATTLE 07: Iraq vs. U.S. Army
Visibility: 64
Turn Limit: 35 turns



The VPs are in two clusters, roughly on the SE outskirts of the town (their total value is roughly equivalent to the entire Marauders' force point value). The VP location means that the enemy will have to advance either through the entire town, or try to bypass it from the south, to get near the VPs. It is possible to deploy troops in advanced positions, and essentially have a gigantic bloodbath in the town itself, but that will inevitably mean high losses as Mosin + hand grenades will not hold up to Assault Rifle + MG + hand grenades. Wishing to preserve the force and avoid unnecessary losses, even at the price of not winning the battle, Lt. Col. Mustafa opts to put the majority of his force in positions that allow for easy retreat. No particular subunit will be expected to either stop a determined enemy advance, or to die trying. Rather, observation and careful application of especially the primitive anti-tank weapons will be crucial...



Here is the Veteran Mosin squad. These are the types of units that should not be thrown away into an urban meat-grinder. Their best engagement distance is 500m, where a Mosin will find range, but many (most?) ARs will not. 10 rifles vs. 1-2 MG is a fairer fight than a 100m fight.



By Turn 5, Enemy APCs have captured some central VPs, which was expected. An Abrams is prowling the city streets, but I don't have any RPGs there to take it on. The infantry continues to hide, as it can't do a thing about enemy advance. Due to the location of the VPs in a dip in the ground, it actually is not easy to cover the VPs with fire.



This AT gun is able to cover some of the VPs, but it is also very close to them - within range of return fire. There was no position further north or east where that AT gun could still cover the VPs, but be at a much greater distance from them to make spotting and return fire more difficult. A price will be paid for this.



In the south, the enemy advanced along the road and then dismounted troops from APCs. Again, without the ability to use AT guns from a distance, this was expected.

Turn 13



While they pay a price, the U.S. troops capture all VPs in the center. With an Abrams tank standing watch, and additional infantry advancing from the West, the Americans look to hold the VPs. An Iraqi counter-attack aims to cut off the reinforcements. By this time, the AT guns have been knocked out - they were too close to the action, were quickly spotted, and then destroyed with direct hits from the Abrams main guns.



A similar situation occurs in the South. The advance U.S. troops are bloodied, but do manage to capture the VPs and place an Abrams to defend it. My infantry continues to hide in cover and will seek only to prevent reinforcements from reaching the VPs. The AT gun is knocked out, so either RPGs or recoilless guns will have to take out the Abrams.

Turn 21



This is the center position by Turn 21. Enemy infantry continues to pour east along the same road as they have for the previous 10-12 turns. There seems to be an endless supply of that infantry, but if there is anything the Marauders have, it's numbers. What permitted the recapture of VPs was the destruction of the Abrams - it took an RPG to the back from a Mountain squad. The Mountain squads have been shredded by the Abrams tanks, but did account for 2 of them.



The southern attack is quite similar... continuous advance by American infantry squads, with my troops attempting to engage them at range and prevent them from reinforcing the VPs. The southern Abrams is still going strong, and I won't try to flank it yet as it would require my AT units to leave their positions and risk getting shot up by enemy infantry.



By turn 25, some of the troops that managed to secure the central VPs finally make their way down to reinforce the southern defense. The American advance has run out of steam, but their infantry remains a problem in terms of flanking the Abrams.

Eventually, I use the tactic of drawing the Abrams' fire with infantry units, and then shooting it from the side with a T-55. After about 3 hits, that final Abrams goes down and the Marauders secure all VPs with some time to spare.



In the end, a major victory was achieved, but the losses for Marauders were still painful. All three AT guns, plus two precious scout units with great experience were totally eliminated... the loss of comrades hurts, but new volunteers will fill the ranks, and the Marauders' adventure continues on...


Lessons on hand (not saying "learned" because that remains to be seen...)
1. AT guns are extremely vulnerable to tank main-gun fire. All three were knocked out by single shots, with all crew becoming casualties. They did help destroy a few M113A2s, but overall they are much too vulnerable to use, except as "snipers" that carefully balance each shot taken.

2. The only hope that a Peoples Army infantry squad has in a city setting is to be stacked with 1-3 additional Peoples Army squads in the same hex, and let the enemy come to them, preferably to grenade range. Cheesy tactic, but with some US units having assault rifles, plus 2xMGs, plus a grenade launcher, plus a LAW (which I believe were used against my units - perhaps in stone buildings?), any sort of firefight at range was just too disadvantageous. Here's a picture of a US Rifle Squad:



Interestingly, the 2xMGs still only have ACC 21. Here's how they compare to the British Terminators (and the only squad MGs that Marauder Mountaineer (rangers) have):

Weapon----------ACC---KILL
M249 SAW (2)----21----9
5.56mm LSW (2)--30----5
7.62mm RPK SAW--19----5

Per wiki, the M249 and the LSW both use 5.56x45mm NATO and have comparable muzzle velocities. The British weapon may also use a LDS (lightweight day sight), which possibly grants it higher accuracy - but why the difference in lethality? And if indeed the (2) signifies that the squad has two of these weapons, then why does the Iraqi SAW have the same lethality as the two British LSWs? In any case, any squad equipped with these weapons is a nightmare to go up against if all you have is rifles.

3. There was no point in having scouts positioned in the town to warn of approaching enemy. In theory, the scouts should have been able to blend right back into the buildings and remain undetected, but in practice they simply let the enemy M113A2s waltz right past (scouts have no AT weapons), and ended up surrounded and eventually killed. Waste of veterans and, to add insult to injury, my scouts' entrenchment was used to great effect by enemy units.
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Old September 20th, 2018, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: The Iraqi Lost Legion - generated campaign

I think you'll find ATGMs far more useful then ATGs in defense scenarios as they "dig in" as infantry, and foxholes tend to be harder to hit then weapon emplacements.
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Old September 21st, 2018, 12:13 AM

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Default Re: The Iraqi Lost Legion - generated campaign

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Originally Posted by Suhiir View Post
I think you'll find ATGMs far more useful then ATGs in defense scenarios as they "dig in" as infantry, and foxholes tend to be harder to hit then weapon emplacements.
No doubt, but part of the theme of this campaign is that these are second-line Iraqi troops, with the exception of a few "heroes" (like the two snipers and the rangers). ATGMs are simply beyond their skill, too expensive, and too tough to resupply (the regular Iraqi army is assumed to be in a state of collapse by this point, and that includes logistics). It's a limitation I've imposed on myself, partially also because I wanted to try out some of the less flashy, less expensive weapons.
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Old September 21st, 2018, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: The Iraqi Lost Legion - generated campaign

Bazooka/RPG/LAW.

Remember teams are 2-man, size 0, thus harder to hit then squads which are size 1.
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Old September 27th, 2018, 01:02 AM
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Post Re: The Iraqi Lost Legion - generated campaign

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3. There was no point in having scouts positioned in the town to warn of approaching enemy. In theory, the scouts should have been able to blend right back into the buildings and remain undetected, but in practice they simply let the enemy M113A2s waltz right past (scouts have no AT weapons), and ended up surrounded and eventually killed. Waste of veterans and, to add insult to injury, my scouts' entrenchment was used to great effect by enemy units.
I recall a discussion about scout units in the game. In general, turning their weapons off will allow them to hide undected if they remain stationary.

Now, you could arm your scouts with infantry ATs so if an enemy vehicle is within 1 hex, they'd have a good chance of scoring a kill.



Last edited by shahadi; September 27th, 2018 at 01:31 AM..
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Old September 28th, 2018, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: The Iraqi Lost Legion - generated campaign

If you want low tech anti tank but better than nothing few options.
Buy a platoon from red or a “terrorist” OOB selecting captured I think it is they will use your sides experience morale.
Should be able to select a unit with rifle of same stats and some sort of makeshift AT weapon, bomb, Molotov or whatever.
Only trouble is they will not carry over.
Other option edit your OOB to add one of the above weapons to your forces so do carry over to other battles.
You could then upgrade say one unit per platoon to have the AT weapon.
Could use same idea to give the odd unit an extra weapon if you wanted like a shotgun that they have picked up on their travels. Or one of the enemies LMG give it 30 ammo rather than the full amount if you like.
Just some thoughts if you want a few “specialists” and a bit of diversity.
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Old September 29th, 2018, 01:32 AM

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Default Re: The Iraqi Lost Legion - generated campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suhiir View Post
Bazooka/RPG/LAW.

Remember teams are 2-man, size 0, thus harder to hit then squads which are size 1.
I am using a few RPG sections, but also a RR section - the RR has better range, better accuracy, slightly better penetration (though lower warhead size than the biggest RPG), and still clocks in at size 0. But, realistically, against Challengers/Abrams, my main concern is keeping these small teams alive. Actually getting a rear shot against a tank is a bonus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shahadi View Post
Now, you could arm your scouts with infantry ATs so if an enemy vehicle is within 1 hex, they'd have a good chance of scoring a kill.
Honestly, even having these scouts feels like going against the theme. I want the Peoples Army units to do most of the work, including the work of drawing fire to "scout" enemy positions. Having these three dedicated scout sections is enough - with AT weapons, they may turn into absolute killers, much as the Mountain platoon already has.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imp View Post
Other option edit your OOB to add one of the above weapons to your forces so do carry over to other battles.
You could then upgrade say one unit per platoon to have the AT weapon.
Could use same idea to give the odd unit an extra weapon if you wanted like a shotgun that they have picked up on their travels. Or one of the enemies LMG give it 30 ammo rather than the full amount if you like.
These are awesome ideas. I have never edited the OOB, but for purposes of this campaign, I could add some captured weapons, especially the British high-accuracy guns, and only sparingly include them - for example, each Peoples Army unit that reaches veteran status gets to upgrade its weapons to superior captured ones. The Peoples Army squads will end up far less homogeneous, but that's to be expected in this type of campaign.
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Old September 29th, 2018, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: The Iraqi Lost Legion - generated campaign

Glad it helped my thought was you are basically a guerilla force so would end up with a bit of weapon diversity.
Probably do anyway but with your RR units turn the range down to say 3 like scouts. Will defend themselves but no potshots.
If have purchased game and long range RPGs might want to set armour engage range to 4 for those squads to preserve ammo and improve to hit. Game is not bad but stationary firer might open up before you want them to.
Good luck.
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