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Old July 4th, 2009, 08:26 AM
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PatG PatG is offline
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Default WW III over lunch - Long

For a quick battle over lunch I set up the following:

1981 Canada defends against USSR Assault

Map 60x60 two hill tops west with saddle back between, central plain and forest east. East-west road along south side of map. North west to south East road rail route just east of set up line

1 Mechanised Coy - Grizzly
1 Mortar platoon - 3 tubes
1 ATGM section - 2 TOW Jeeps
1 Cougar section - FSV and scouts
1 Blowpipe section
2 CF105 with BL755 CBU
Assorted engineering works 50 points

USSR - computer buy.


I found a 8-10 hex north south gully about 10 hexes back from the setup line at board centre. I set up one platoon with Grizzlies hard up against the east edge of the gully in a mini reverse slope defense. Both Carl Gustav teams were put on the flanks of the gully position and the sniper pushed up almost to the edge of the forest. The other two platoons were set up in over watch one on each hilltop. Mixed into each hill top position was one of the TOW Jeeps - I wanted them close to the infantry so the grunts could provide covering smoke. The mortars were set up behind the hill line and the Blowpipe were placed one on each hill, isolated but with great fields of fire. The Cougars were place with the mortars as a reserve.


Where the NW-SE road crossed into my deployment zone, I set up a single dragon's tooth flanked by mines on either side - same for the E-W road in the south. I also set up nuisance strips on the north and south board edges to catch any cheap flanking attempts. In the centre I set up a mix of teeth and mines to funnel the Russians into the gully. In the open ground between the gully position and the hilltop units, I laid out an interesting looking but unoccupied trench line.

I didn't keep detailed turn by turn notes as I was expecting a quick game and I was not expecting it to be as heart pounding as it was.

For three turns the Soviets pounded the hell out of the unoccupied trench lines as planned while the Canadians sat snug in their trenches with the sole exception of the company sniper who pushed forward into bear territory.

Around turn 4, detonations at both road blocks and a Shilka rumbling past the sniper marked the arrival of the Soviet main body. From turn 5 on it got nasty and stayed there.

A 60 hex map is far too large for a single company to defend and I paid for it. Over two turns the TOW jeeps shot up some Recce BRDMs and the following T-64s before poorly aimed tank gun fire forced the jeeps to retire under cover of smoke provided by the grunts. I pulled them back behind their respective hill tops both with only a couple of rounds left and no resupply in sight. After a quick smoke break, I moved he jeeps back up to cover the hill tops and flanks.

Meanwhile in the centre - nothing much was happening. The sniper provided eyes and ears on the Shilka and a few MTLB infantry seen headed towards the gully before heading off into the Russian lines. Based on this intel, the CO set up an air strike in front of the gully position. Despite flying in from my side of the map, the 104 was dead meat as the entire Soviet rear area erupted with AA missiles and flak - The Russian CO must have had friends in the Politbureau as he appeared to have divisional level AA in support. Still, the Russian heavy guns pounded the empty trench line.

Back to the flanks where the Russian armour kept coming on both sides. The TOW jeeps took their last remaining shots and were left hurling curses as tank after tank headed into my rear area. In desperation I dismounted the mortar platoon truck drivers and Cougar scouts and set up a thin red line against the on-rushing armour - thin and red because I figured smears in the dirt would be all that was left once the Soviets rolled over them. Over the next 4 or 5 turns, my rear zone was a swirl of heart pounding chaos. T-64s and T-80s (?) mixed it up with my motor pool and scouts as Cougars snuck through the smoke to deliver 76mm HEAT up the Russians kilts. Mortar teams firing direct over iron sights forced Russian commanders into their shells and in one engagement, left a tank with nothing but its coax MG.

To add to the mayhem, my remaining 104 was plotted to come in from my side and drop its load on the invaders. I wasn't hopeful given all the AA in the area but the target was only a couple of hexes from my map edge. Except of course I had clicked the wrong arrow and the CF-104 came in from the Russian side of the map. The pilot jinked and turned all the way across the map dodging missile after missile and tap dancing through clouds of 23 millilmetre flak to drop his eggs on the marauders in my end zone - and killed nothing.

The mayhem ended when the lone Russian survivor rolled past my HQ toward my front lines until a Cougar shot out its engine.

In the mail lines, things ground on as expected. The platoon in the gully did murder on the advancing Russians but opposition was not as heavy as expected. Because of the map size, much of the Soviet infantry was able to flank the gully and leak in between it and the hilltop positions. Once my lines became obvious, the Russian barrage shifted from the empty trenches to my real positions and I was faced with the classic question of stay in your trenches under fire or hoof it through steel rain. I chose to stay. This part of the battle degenerated into a slug fest. The main annoyance was the Russian Engineers with their &*(^% long range flame rockets. They didn't often kill but they did force me out of my trenches and when I rallied was left in the open.

Meanwhile in the Russian lines, my sniper had spotted a cluster of smoke blossoms marking a Soviet artillery position. Taking up a firing position where he could see all tubes he began to methodically slaughter the mortars. Around about when things were really desperate in my main lines, my sniper took rifle fire from somewhere other than the mortars he was murdering. Looking around, he spotted the Soviet command group and proceed to cut the head of the chain of command. Bang - one down, Bang another two dead leaving a Russian Colonel and a very scared batman, and CLICK - what do you mean click! - no rounds left . Sadly my sniper was shot down by the batman as he attempted to get into grenade range.

The game ended in a draw - a draw I was very happy with. Despite minimal AT support, the Canucks had killed 16 tanks and assorted other armoured vehicles. Although they would never fight again, neither would the Russians.

Lessons Learned:

Use a map more suited to force size.

In defense, skip the AVGPs while their MGs were handy, they are too large and too easy to kill. The points would have been better spent on more engineering.

Fake trench lines work well against the AI - probably not so much against a human but points well spent.

A while back I saw Star Trek on Imax - I had far more fun for better value in the hour I spent on this fight. Thanks again Camo Workshop!
"I love the smell of anthracite in the morning...
It smells like - victory"
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Old July 4th, 2009, 10:44 PM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default Re: WW III over lunch - Long

Originally Posted by PatG View Post

Lessons Learned:

Use a map more suited to force size.
I definitely agree on this. Typically, I use a battalion sized force on a 100x100 map and feel I don't have enough to cover everything. A reinforced company on a 60x60 map less than half the troop density I use. You must have had lots of gaps in your defenses.

Originally Posted by PatG View Post
In defense, skip the AVGPs while their MGs were handy, they are too large and too easy to kill. The points would have been better spent on more engineering.
In a stand alone battle, I also agree. If you are running a campaign, you tend to be stuck with your core and your troops need their rides. I will often start with such units on the line and withdraw them into a reserve position the first turn. It will allow you to use them in situations they can handle, doesn't make for easy targets the AI can hit and leaves you a lot of revetments you can use later all along your line.

Originally Posted by PatG View Post
Fake trench lines work well against the AI - probably not so much against a human but points well spent.
Hard to say what will work on people. It might not work the same way, but should cause a human to consider what it means and possibly maneuver against such a line thinking it is occupied. The AI will react differently. Overall, it's an interesting tactic.

Good AAR!!
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Old July 6th, 2009, 06:59 PM

Lt. Ketch Lt. Ketch is offline
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Default Re: WW III over lunch - Long

I'd like to second RERomine's comments and add a few of my own.

I will lament with your force size vrs map size but I say that your AVGPs might have assisted in that. However, with such a small map, I realize that their use would have only provided minamial productivity. I personally like deploying a fighting defence with AFVs and other units up close to the line of deployment and engaging the enemy in a series of ambushes. This works great with tanks and could be used with limited effectivness with IFVs and APC supported infantry (although I confess that the could is there because it's hypithetical.) A mobial defence could also be employed using the AVGPs and infantry squads. However I also realize that the size limited that use signifacantly. Also, you loose the advantage of entrenchment.

I'm probably preaching to the choir here. I just wanted to let other be aware that APCS, IFVs and AVGPs can have an effective place in a defence. With limitations, of course.

Loved the AAR!
"Charlie may be dancing the foxtrot, but I'm not going to stand around wearing a dress"

Howard Tayer
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