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  #1  
Old July 1st, 2010, 06:03 PM

Hermit Hermit is offline
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Default Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

I played a long generated campaign with Israel v. Arabs (Egypt, Syria, PLO) from ~1948 to 1978 (30 years war?) and decided to try US v. Communist (Russia, China, N. Vietnam) from ~1949 to present to learn those units. Currently in April 1951, battles occur every 4 to 5 months.

With upgrades and unit swaps, core is currently 2 identical reinforced battalions composed as follows:

12 x M26 Pershing Tanks
4 x Sherman dozers
4 x M45 Infantry/CS tanks
4 x Sherman flame tanks
4 x M19 SPAA (40mm twin)
4 x Inf Plt. modified to include
1-HMG
2-Armored Inf sqd (just upgraded to M20 superbazooka)
2-Engineers
6 x 90mm AT gun
6 x 40mm AA gun
6 x M41 SPA 155mm
9 x 8in+ Off Map Arty
3 x 175mm Off Map Arty
1 x Sherman FO
1 x Recon Platoon of
1-FO
2-Cav Scout
2-Sniper
4 x Lt Attack Helo w/7.62 MG

Map size is maximum, all games played with 50 turns. I'm just finishing up a meeting engagement versus Russians on Fulda Gap map. Two large flat-topped 30-height hills in middle, extensive but broken woods all over map exept on hills, which are fairly open, even on the slopes. Asphalt road runs E-W about 1/3 of way down map, with intersecting dirt road NW to SE. Woods border much of E-W road, clusters of bldgs and fewer woods on diagonal road.

1st VP block is between two wooded areas on northern third of map, with open area to east of woods. 2nd VP on enemy side of largest hill, 3rd VP open area with diagonal dirt road w/bldgs passing to NE and woods to West.

Quick and dirty summary of battle:

Support units were:
3 x M3 1/2-track with 3 Scouts onboard each
6 x M3 SPA w/81mm mortar
9 x 105mm off map arty
crapload of M3's to carry troops and towed guns
12 x M3 ammo carriers

Planned to drive tanks from 1st battalion up in woods to west of northern VP and ambush Russian advance with infantry covered by smoke, then use tank fire to kill. Russians had even mix of T-34/85 and heavier tanks. T-34's were not hard to kill with frontal shots using Sabot ammo, heavier tanks very difficult. Ended up using infantry to assault under cover of smoke, or close side shots as enemy tried to move across my blocking force. Pounding with 105mm off-map arty gave excellent suppression even for heavier armor, which allowed me to get in close under smoke cover and finally kill heavier Russian armor. I then withdrew to allow smoke to clear and move my infantry to find and mop up Russian infantry and RPG-2 units.

In the middle, I set up AT guns on reverse slope of big hill with no VP, and mostly just picked off a few advance tanks. AI focused much more on VP hill (duh!) Besides smoke, flanking shoot-and-scoot worked well from sides of hill with 2nd battalion tanks.

Down south, only support tanks were sent to provide some help to all-infantry force. Crept up to VP area and found it deserted. Helo scouting showed his whole southern force had wheeled to the right to re-take center VP. I pounced on southern VP, which caused enemy to stop for a turn or two, then split some of force back to South. Ambushed them with infantry and flame tanks in woods and buildings off road.

As of turn 24, here is the status:

Most Russian vehicles fleeing or burning; several immobilized heavy tanks I'm trying to maneuver around for a kill-shot or infantry assault. Pursuing (cautiously) to see what units I can still catch and destroy. All enemy arty destroyed or rendered ineffective by my arty, except two pesky 82-mm mortars I can't seem to find. Several 14.5mm AA destroyed by my arty, as exposed by helo sorties. Enemy is making a small counter-attack in center, and I don't have any tanks capable of destroying them close by, so I may have to withdraw a little to buy some time again. If I can pick them off, then in the next turn or two I'll take the last VP's to end the game.

Units lost so far:

Support units = 5 Scouts, 3 APC
Core units =
1 M26 (crew survived)
1 M45 (crew dead)
About 4 or 5 tanks have minor damage, one lost its main gun
One M19 SPAA has guns disabled and one AT gun was abandoned and crew fled off map.
Most of my infantry has taken 1 or 2 (or 3) casualties and one has 6 men lost, but didn't disperse.
2 helos retreated off-map

I'll provide more blow-by-blows once I start next battle.

Last edited by Hermit; September 10th, 2010 at 01:38 PM..
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  #2  
Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:06 AM

Hermit Hermit is offline
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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

I finished up the above battle last night, with good reason it turns out. The enemy counter-attack fizzled out as 3 of the 5 attacking tanks lost their nerve and fled. I was able to kill the two others (T-34/85) with infantry assaults as they advanced up the hill. I was able to kill four of his immobilized tanks up north, and get one of the 82-mm mortars with a helo. As I advanced through the wreckage up north, one of my tanks got popped with an RPG-2 and lost its coax-MG and took 3 damage points, but survived. I decided discretion was the better part of valor and took the last VP I'd been waiting for to end the game.

When I checked out the map, I was surprised to find he had about 30 tanks advancing up the middle in good order, probably heading for the lightly defended hilltop VP. Yikes! Most of them were the heavier (and slower) tanks of the type that had caused so much difficulty before. The five T-34's that counter-attacked last turn must have been the lead elements of that group.

Decisive victory! (no great achievement against the AI, I know)

Next battle is defend against Chinese assault on Korea map. Lots of smaller level 30 hills, one group forming an almost continuous ridgline running NW-SE across the map. I used my Sherman dozer's (i.e., placing trenches and then removing them) to take down some of the trees in front of good firing positions on the leading edge of some of the ridgeline. The middle VP is too close to the set-up line for comfort, so I seeded it with mines and will probably concede it to the expected overrun of enemy infantry and take it back later in the game. I also mined the two roads heavily to keep them from being used by the enemy. No units set up yet, I'll have to wait for tomorrow for that.
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 02:42 PM

spec290 spec290 is offline
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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

Sounds pretty awesome. Let us know how that works out!
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Old July 5th, 2010, 11:23 AM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

Expected mass infantry attack did not materialize. Instead, mass of t-34/85 did materialize. Uh oh! Classic failure to apply Sun Tzu's advice to "know your enemy." I didn't check the Chinese equipment list before the battle, and mentally was thinking "hey, its still early in the war, I don't think the Chinese had that many tanks yet."

So far (turn 12) it appears they have 2 main columns, both in the South sector, followed up by Mongol Cavalry. One appears aimed at the fore-mentioned VP hex cluster on the ridge extension sticking out almost into their territory. The heavy mine concentration around it, plus artiller, has stalled them there for the moment.

A belt of mines and two platoons of support infantry with bazookas has stalled the second advance, which appears to be aimed at the gap in the ridgeline, probably because that's where the road penetrates it. The enemy have really chewed up one of the infantry platoons, and the other is starting to take fire too.

So far, my self-imposed range limitation has kept just about all of my units from revealing their locations, and I've used woods and smoke to take pot-shots when only a few of the enemy can see me. I usually destroy one, or sometimes two, of their armor each time. Then retreat into a ravine or back over the top of the ridgeline. Even though I'm having to abandon dug in positions, its better than letting them take who-knows-how-many shots back on the Russian turn. It's creating a line of burning wrecks which is allowing me to manuever so that their numerical superiority isn't as bad. As planned, I've given up the VP cluster, although the haven't managed to take any yet. Two tanks made it through the mine cluster, but I've been shooting just about every artillery tube I've got at the area, and immobilized or demoralized most of the tanks that are in position to take it so far.

This is turning out to be a little more interesting than I had expected, since I was caught off-guard by the huge number of enemy tanks, concentrated into those two hordes. Too bad cluster munitions are still a few decades into the future :-)
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Old July 6th, 2010, 09:54 AM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

So far the US line is holding, although two more American tanks had to pull back and seek cover after a Chinese armored thrust. The Mongol Cavalry filtering in behind the Chinese vehicles approached to within 500 meters and two of HMG's opened up on them. Several men and horses went down, flailing madly. Fortuitous placement of a sniper (in some woods on a ridge extension) provided a clear view of the hapless survivors. Shots rang out as the brave Chinese troopers tried to find cover. None got away.

Another cavalry squad ran parallel to the line of immobilized enemy tanks, looking for an opening in the minefield. One of the American Pershings, concealed behind a building, placed two well-aimed rounds into the midst of them, scattering horse- and man-flesh in all directions.

Artillery rained down on the stalled Chinese vehicles, and another Pershing emerged from cover to turn two of the buttoned-up T-34's into burning coffins. Slowly and steadily the enemy armor is being reduced in number, with only about 1/2 of the enemy vehicles in sight now able to maneuver.

A quick helicopter sortie across the front was successful in scouting out the enemy's vehicles screened by smoke, drawing fire once from a lone IS-2 tank (T-34/s have no AAMG). Upon penetrating deeper into enemy territory, they encountered sporadic AA fire from Chinese 20mm flak and had to pull back behind a treeline.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

Nice work. Keep it coming.
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"One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic."
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Old July 7th, 2010, 01:21 PM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

Reports from the front lines indicate that all enemy armor on the Southern fringe of the battle have been destroyed. M45 Pershing CS tanks are moving forward from their dug-in positions, around the enemies' Southern flank to intercept a company of Chinese infantry, which was finally spotted by a helicopter doing recon over the front lines.

One friendly tank was heavily damaged by enemy fire from a Chinese IS-2 that appeared out of the smoke just inside our perimeter, apparently the only remaining mobile armor of the enemy's most southerly tank force. The rest have either been pinned down in the mine belt or destroyed. A few also appear to have given up their thrust for the road break through the ridgeline, and have headed north to assist in the attempt to take the VP cluster. Nearby friendly units were able to get a flank shot and destroy the IS-2, although a few other of these menaces were spotted in the woods just past the front.

Helos from the northern battalion, which has seen very little action, penetrated deeper into the enemy rear and with great courage were able to close in and spot a group of enemy AA guns that had been harassing them. A call has been made for artillery supression fire as soon as available.

In the center the Chinese have continued to press for the VP cluster, and six more T-34's have become immobilized or destroyed by mines. After the last round of heavy artillery fire landed on them, a Pershing closed in and killed two of the suppressed enemy vehicles. Artillery has been requested to cease fire in this area and comply with the helo's request for suppression fire on enemy AA batteries.

All armor in the souther sector is maneuvering around the southern flank, staying just on the enemy side of the mine belt, while friendly infantry will begin moving forward under cover of smoke to dipose of the 20 or so enemy vehicles immobilzed on the mine belt. Thereafter, the infantry will move forward though gaps in the mines, and advance in front of the armor moving up from the south. Their objective is to find and eliminate the advancing enemy infantry until the enemy begs for mercy!
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Old July 7th, 2010, 03:56 PM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

This is A beautiful thread
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  #9  
Old July 7th, 2010, 04:07 PM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

Thanks. I'm trying to find a balance between too much and too little detail, so that it will be entertaining. I want to make it understandable so that everyone can visualize the overall tactical picture, but not get bogged down in every engagement. Constructive criticism is welcome; I want to get better at this.

I look forward to seeing stories from others, and hadn't seen any new ones lately, so I thought I'd contribute rather than complain.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 10:43 AM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

The front is strangely quiet. Friendly Pershing tanks moved forward from their emplacments and destroyed 3 more enemy T-34's from close range, about 500 meters. Engineers from AX platoon have moved into position to assault two more enemy tanks that are immobilized in the mine belt, assisted by scouts from the attached recon platoon.

Pershing CS tanks continue to move up cautiously from the southern edge, ready to link up with AX and AY platoon after the enemy vehicles are destroyed. A few enemy vehicles are reported to have made a probe up the road in the northern sector, but 3 were stopped by mines, and another 3 were intercepted and destroyed by north battalion tanks lying in ambush. Although two enemy vehicles appear to be escaping, the northern sector commander has elected not to pursue.

Southern sector helos attempted to skirt around the advance platoons of the finally located Chinese infantry, but came under intense fire from both the ground troops and distant AA machine guns. Both helo units retreated behind the front lines, but not before discovering around 4 companies of Chinese troops. At least 2 additional companies have been spotted emerging from an orchard closer to the center. Looks like the battle ain't over yet, boys!
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