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Old January 24th, 2018, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: The Days Complete

Part 9 (Turn 51-56, end)

Due to Kornet ATGMs causing casualties to my BMPs, I decide to make the attack at crossroads dismounted. Thanks to numbers and accurate artillery firing, I manage to capture the crossroads at turn 53. In Markiny, the village remains contested, with the northern side occupied by Russians and the southern by Poles. These were the final offensive actions of the scenario, as it ends at turn 56. The final dispositions can be seen in the following 3 maps, In addition to the line indicating the limit of the Russian advance:

The western side of the battlefield.

The center of the final dispositions. Here the last Polish counterattack that gave the crossroads to them, as well as the final pushes in Markiny are visible as well

The right side. Behind the Russian line there are a couple of depleted squads and an artillery observer. The latter is the other unsung hero of the battlefield, since thanks to him remaining in a wooden building for the whole battlefield, accurate artillery fire could cause significant casualties to the Russian forces.

And the final score is as follows:

And some equipment losses in particular are:

Tanks lost: 27
BMPs: 67
BRDMs: 13
Spike ATGMs: 8
Mortars: 3
Artillery: 5
AA (not MANPADS): 5
Aircraft: 7

Units-wise, the 1/1 mech company defending Kiertyny Male and the 2/1 mech company defending Kiertyny Duze were practically destroyed, as well as the 1st Tank Company (so in essence, all of the 1st line forces). Also destroyed was the Border Squadron, while the recon company lost all their vehicles but still had some dismounted scouts in the rear of the Russian forces. 3/1 mech company and 4/1 mech company had about 50% casualties and lost all of their vehicles, while the companies of the 2nd Battalion lying mostly in reserve had minimal casualties in personnel but lost around 25% of their BMPs, mostly due to air strikes and artillery. 2nd and 3rd tank company suffered around 50% losses. The rest of the casualties were in artillery and AA as can be seen above.

Tanks: 27
BTRs: 82
BRDMs: 8
Tank Destroyers: 6
AA (not MANPADS): 6
Aircraft: 4

Now did I win or not? The objectives according to the scenario designer were:

-Cause at least 35000 points of damage. Failed
-Prevent the capture of any of the two bridges. Succeeded.
-Lose fewer than 18000 points. Succeeded.
-Cause at least 45000 points of damage and destroy my enemy. Failed.

Now I guess the scenario objectives are cumulative, so I probably achieved a minor win (though with 30K points of damage caused, it is very close to a major win). The Russians failed to capture their objective, but they still have substantial forces to try a second time.

I will post one final post making a short analysis of the battle soon.
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Old January 24th, 2018, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: The Days Complete

Final analysis

In general I believe I did well. I did stick to the plan in general, with the only thing deviating from it being the fact that I couldn’t do any major counterattack. The biggest reason was the large amount of casualties in heavy equipment from my part, as well as the fact that the Russian attack did not reach each culminating point until much later in game (around turn 45 IIRC). I’m very happy with the efficiency of my tanks, as well as the impact my artillery had in battle. The battle was a clash between a force having a significant technological advantage, as well as superior firepower and another that lacked both. In order for the latter to have any chance of winning it will have to use cunning tactics (and be lucky of course ). That is what I did. My tanks only engaged enemy tanks when the latter presented their side/rear armor and when they weren’t spotted (i.e. when they weren’t fired upon). When detected, they retreated out of sight, finding another position to ambush any tank that approached. My artillery was constantly on the move in order to avoid counter battery fire. The only time when I forgot to move them I was punished for my mistake. My infantry fought bravely and especially the ones manning the very first line of defense gave their lives to delay the incoming onslaught.
Another interesting fact is that the battle closely matched the lessons learned during the Ukrainian-Russian conflict of 2014, as mentioned in this forum. In particular:
-Artillery is the most deadly arm in modern battlefield. Especially Russian artillery. It was the main reason I lost most of my BMPs, it caused huge casualties to my infantry and it hindered my movement a lot (even killed a tank). Whenever a unit was spotted, even by aircraft, it would be pounded to oblivion. For example, one of my reserve mech companies was probably spotted by aircraft. 2 turns later, a torrent of 152mm MSTAs and 300mm rockets totally wiped out nearly all of the BMPs of the company, effectively destroying its offensive capability.
The Polish artillery also performed very well, given the circumstances. It disrupted enemy mechanized units, suppressed dismounted infantry and even caused a significant amount of casualties as well (also mission killed 3 T90s). The shoot and scoot tactic was critical in preserving my artillery assets, and I also did not lose a single artillery piece from enemy air. My 120mm mortars also helped in infantry battles, although they suffered significant losses from Russian artillery.
-Russian tanks are hard to kill. The combination of APS, ERA plates and thick frontal armor make modern Russian tanks a nightmare to engage with light AT weapons or even ATGMs that aren’t top attack like the Spike. Like I mentioned before, it is interesting that most of my tank kills where from my own tanks, the T72M1, despite the fact that neither them could penetrate a T90 frontally. It is evident that high mobility, together with KE projectiles are the best chance a player can have to defeat the top tier armor.
Spike ATGMs were the best AT platform I had, but their performance was so-so. While they did manage to knock out around 7 enemy tanks, they suffered high casualties and needed around 3-4 missiles per tank kill (thank God for the large amount of ammunition trucks). They did help in driving away the enemy helicopters though.
Another fact of the tank disparity lies in one side having thermal imaging and the other not. This made any unit of the weaker side that stayed in the open or tried to cross in the open a dead unit. All movement had to be concealed, and many times I was putting tanks or ATGMs behind a hill, or town, or a small patch of woods, waiting for the Russians to advance to the flanks of them. It certainly was effective against AI, but against a human player I doubt I would be so successful. That being said, the effect was consistent with modern warfare wisdom, namely that you should never expose your units for more than a couple of minutes, fire and hide again.
-In addition to the artillery, Russian airforce and attack helos were also very effective nd had the same effect as the artillery and armor in my planning. They were hard to kill and packed a huge punch. Like other cases, I was more successful in driving enemy helos away with my ATGMs when they hovered in the same place, rather than my AA missiles. I did manage to shoot down 4 planes, but this happened when they run out of standoff weapons, in which case my 23mm AA guns did a great job (something that I cannot say for my Grom AA missiles). On the other hand I also witnessed the power of modern AA when I made the disastrous decision to use my planes. I think it is the first time I play this game I lost that many planes in a single turn.
-Light armored vehicles are coffins on tracks (or wheels, if BTRs). They die like flies to enemy artillery (especially if the latter uses DPICMs) or tanks in the open, and they are vulnerable to infantry in close range. Most of the time, any mech company that was attacked, soon turned into leg infantry company, since the BMPs were quickly taken care of, while the dismounts continued to fight in usually urban environments. The only useful thing my BMPs did was making the enemy T90s use their APS on their useless Malyutka ATGMs. Even in my last counterattack, undetected Kornet ATGMs killed 3 of my BMPs, forcing me to make the assault with dismounted infantry. Light armored vehicles, whether BTRs or BMPs, could only function as battle taxis and not much else.
The AI in general was a mixed bag. On one hand, it was very efficient in using its fire support assets (artillery, air). On the other hand, it was easily ambushed by my forces and didn’t exploit and gains it achieved in the best way. That being said, I have to say I’m positively impressed by the AI and I have to say it performed much better than previous scenarios of that magnitude.
To conclude, it was a very entertaining scenario and I want to thank SAStroop for creating it. I already played two of his scenarios from the WW3 series and I thoroughly enjoyed all 3 of them. I’ll try the next one in the series (Crossing the Vistula IIRC) very soon.
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Old January 24th, 2018, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: The Days Complete

I laughed with how they quickly turned into leg companies.
Well done, there is something extra cool when you manage to do well with a technologically superior enemy forces.
That's it, keep dancing on the minefield!
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Old January 24th, 2018, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: The Days Complete

Originally Posted by Wdll View Post
I laughed with how they quickly turned into leg companies.
Well done, there is something extra cool when you manage to do well with a technologically superior enemy forces.
Well, it seems there's a worse job on the battlefield than a grunt, that of a grunt chauffeur.

Thanks man, yeah this type of scenarios are always fun. While you have feelings of tension, agony, even anger during the fight against a clearly superior force, the feeling you get when you finally get a good result is priceless.
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