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All of the discussions of tactics below are effectively verbatim from the original posting. The occassional spelling error and odd inconsequential reference might have been deleted if I noticed them.

If you have description of an amazing victory (or defeat) feel free to contact me to insert it here.

Task Force DeGoey

Subj: Team DeGoey and HELL                       94-09-10 23:13:04 EST
From: SirMyk

Ed Rains' post about the DeGoey scenario lit a fire under me. I've played this scenario about 5 times in the past 3 days and man it is TOUGH!

I feel that one's tactics is very important to win this scenario, but LUCK is also a factor.

I've won the scenario, but it took me 31 minutes to secure the compound and 3% casualties to do it. That was the easy part. I flew in the Marines helo units and got lucky enough to take zero losses from the SAMs. I landed them on the west (left) side of the ridge just SW of the compound. I had to use a lot of smoke to cover the AAVs and LAVs as well as the M1's as they ran across the southern edge of the map towards the objective.

I played this game with only the permanent prefs checked. I also must admit I took 2 MLRSs along as heavy fire support. I was able to call down about 20 airstrikes against the OPFOR units. In fact, I used all six strikes at once and then an hour later, I did it again. I was able to eliminate most of the heavy vehicles with the Cobras and the MLRS early on. I did lose most of my Cobras to return fire. I considered that unlucky as I was doing the 15 second popups from 5 K's away. Watchout for the vehicle mounted SAMS they got 90% of the kills on my helos.

Also, USE the TRPs and use them ALOT!!! I put up about 20 or so TRPs during the 30 minutes I had between taking the compound and the OPFOR reinforcements entering the game. As I play this more, I'll not use the MLRS and I'll use more of the prefs to give the advantagte to the OPFOR.

Subj:  Re:Team DeGoey Challenge              94-09-10 23:13:04 EST
From:  Edrains

I think our approaches are very similar. I make the initial assault with ground forces plus gunships only, and leave all the missle men behind with the cargo helos as reinforcements to bring up after the compound is secure.

Then, 30 plus minutes before the counterattack allows you to set up a defense pretty much as you please against the computer. This would be very different against a human (as would the initial assault), since a human is not going to sit still while you do whatever you want. 30 minutes is plenty of time to set up a complete, grid-like network of accuracy 5 artillery TRP's.

The defense is pretty much a matter of killing them as quickly as possible, as far away as possible. Timely shifts of ICM-firing artillery is critical. Although it's kind of "gamey" (ie, not possible in the real world), the exact- to-the-second time-to-impact info on the artillery allows you to "sharpshoot" with offboard artillery almost as well as with direct fire (and just as well if the time-to-impact is less than 15 seconds).

Against the computer, extraction is not too difficult, being primarily a matter of starting everyone moving soon enough (tanks and APC's will require 20-30 minutes of movement to get off). Again, I suspect that this would be considerably harder against a human, as he is likely to send some forces around to try to cut you off and prevent easy extraction, something I have yet to see the machine do.

Subj:  Re: DeGoey                            94-09-11 21:44:06 EST
From:  Sir Myk

I completely ignore the town which is NW of the objective. I just drop smoke on both sides of it and do a quick run past it. I then put a spotter (in a position to observe the compound) in a clump of trees north of the objective. Using the spotter, I can get several good hits on the ZSU's and SAM teams. By suppressing the AA I can run in the helos with the infantry and make my attack. Unfortunately, the helos CANNOT be resupplied with Hellfire missiles, so when you're out of them you gots to get up close and personal like.<grin>

Subj:  Re: DeGoey                            94-09-11 23:18:16 EST
From:  Edrains

I have found that the US player has more than sufficient ground forces, even without the missle men and cargo helos, to attack both the garrison town NW of the objective and the objective itself simultaneously. Although I haven't played it FTF yet, I suspect that a vigorous assault against both locations would be necessary against a human opponent. Otherwise, he will have too much stuff available to start causing early mischief with.

Team Slocomb

Subj:  Team Slocomb PBEM Result              94-10-02 10:51:31 EST
From:  JamesD6201

Mike Hurley (MHHurley) and I just finished a PBEM game of "Team Slocomb." Mike was the U.S. Marine player with a Infantry Platoon (Mech). I had a OPFOR Tank Battalion (--). (BTW, this is a terrific introductory PBEM game since it is only 20 turns long.) The Marines must keep OPFOR from reaching the eastern approach to the last bridge in the sector. It will take engineers 20 minutes to set explosive to blow the bridge.

Mike's strategy was two-fold. First, he used his Cobras to attrit my forces as they closed with the city. He also positioned his three Javelin teams on the eastern edge of the city where they would be able to use their full ranges to also attrit my forces. Second, he positioned all of his APCs and infantry squads in front of the objective to block my advance. At close quarters, in what became a street fight, his infantry was able to knock out two platoons of T80s with their personal AT weapons.

My strategy involved sending a tank company through the woods to the northwest and another along the edge of the woods southwest of the town. I was able to reduce the number of kills by his Javelins this way, and quickly neutralized all three with a combination of tank fire and artillery. However, I still lost quite a few vehicles to his 2 Cobras, which I failed to down with my SA-16 teams. Once I entered the town, I didn't have enough force left to overwhelm his infantry blocking the objective. All in all, I congratulate Mike on a well-played game.

Task Force Gebhard

How is one supposed to do TF Gebhard? I haven't figured out how to avoid awful losses against that dug-in gauntlet...

There is no perfect solution because the computer has a number of different opening setups. However...

Generally this scenario will not be true gauntlet unless one dawdles and thus surrenders the initiative to the defenders. If one moves quickly the defense will usually be found to be one or two thin crusts.

Study the mission. In this scenario the US wins by penetrating and exiting so avoid the temptation to get sidetracked into deliberatly assaulting and clearing every OPFOR unit on the map. Concentrate just on the enemy units that you encounter that can effect your mission. Fight individual enemy positions for only as long as they are a threat to your penetration.

Study the enemy situation. In this sceanrio OPFOR has to at least initially string its forces out in a thin line across the whole North South axis of the map. Since you can choose where your pentration attempt will take place, you should be able to achieve local superiority at that point, especially if you move quickly once initial contact is made. You can generally expect an initial contact with a very thin OPFOR outpost line a kilometer or two west of where their main line will be. Blast thru that screen quickly. If you pause your advance and set about methodically assaulting these outposts you are just making yourself an easy target for OPFOR arty and especially for the dreaded Multiple Rocket Launcher Battalion.

Study the terrain. The penetration is a situation where you don't necessarily need or want observation of large areas of the map. You especially don't want your forces to be observable from large areas of the map. Choose a route that maximizes use of blocking terrain to limit enemy long range line of sight into your leading and overwatching forces while still allowing you to concentrate return fire on the units that pop up in your narrow "tunnel" of movement/observation.

Choose one axis of advance and keep all of your forces on it. Advance your forces by either bounding or rolling overwatch, until the time arrives to actually penetrate the main line of resistance. Lead with a third to a quarter of your force and choose a covered avenue of approach that lets most of the rest of your force overwatch the leading elements. This may be a scenario where bunching up your forces (especially those in overwatch) is an acceptable risk. Your leading units are going to get nailed periodically - that is the price of penetration. Your objective should be to position your overwatching force so that you are able to quickly annihilate with only a couple of volleys any enemy armored units that fire on your leading elements.

Once you have contact with OPFOR's outpost line, begin leading your advance with a rolling arty barrage. OPFOR at that time will know where you are anyway, so start hitting with HE any likely hides for OPFOR ATGMs overlooking your avenue of approach. When you acutally spot ATGMs or armor then switch to ICM. Once you think you have identifed the OPFOR main line, then immediately burn up all your ICM on the narrow area that is to be your actual penetration point or on targets overlooking that area.

Smoke your flanks. This will eleminate the ability of many enemy units to spot for arty. Even thermal equipped units will lose a bit of their direct fire accuracy when firing out of smoke. Absolutely do not smoke your own postions during a penetration action. Speed is essential and driving through smoke reduces your speed greatly.

As you are working through the OPFOR main line, be alert for a counterattack from your flanks or rear. The counterattack force will usually be tanks, maybe supported by BRDM-ATs. If they appear, you may have to momentarily stop part of your penetration to deal with them. Stop the portion of your force that is nearest to the counterattack, put them in defilade and spin their fronts toward the counterattack - keep the more distant units moving directly toward their penetration goal if possible.

Once you have pentrated the OPFOR main line, smoke your rear and race off the map. As you move farther east, continue to smoke your flanks because a counterattack force may still be in pursuit. The smoke will at least slow them down.

Team Savage

While I am at it: is there a way to prevent OPFOR units from rolling over my own units and bypass my line of defense? OPFOR won Team Savage by going through my compact defense perimeter around the airport...

In Team Savage, you need to kill em farther away and faster <grin>. You want to stop most of them before they get in sight of the airfield. You might try putting out a thin line of observation posts as far from your main line of resistance as possible. Use these hidden OPs to gain early warning of the avenue of approach that OPFOR has chosen. If you can get a good early fix on the OPFOR's path to the objective it will enable you to reposition your defense farther away from the airfield - in more favorable terrain. Your OPs will also be able to help attrit OPFOR while he is still distant from the airfield by calling in air and arty support. Move the few long range anti armor weapons that you have as far forward as possible and snipe at OPFOR at extreme range. Shoot these weapons one or two times, pop smoke, and move them to another firing position. If it looks like OPFOR is going to cross rough terrain or woods on the way to the airfield, you might try loading a truck up with a rifle squad or two plus some short range anti tank weapons and moving them forward to ambush OPFOR at point blank range.

Team O'Hara

Subj:  Mandude v. Myk ..O'hara               94-10-28 14:43:23 EST
From:  Sir Myk

Well, I was able to redeem myself against Mandude in our second O'hara game. THIS time I was OPFOR and we ran him over...<grin> Actually, I was lucky with my arty and he wasn't lucky at all. I was able to get my arty to level 5 and keep it that way most of the game. He dished out a lot of losses to me early on with a well placed Bradley that I couldn't touch...even my air strikes were shot down. I was able to finally get some ICM on him and that was it for the Bradley. Later,I was able to nail all three ATGM teams at the same time with my arty as well. He had some OPs out quite aways from the objective, they kept a good eye on me, but I was able to keep my main attack hidden as I sent them through the woods at the bottom of the map. He wasn't able to spot me until I ran into a number of his M1's which toasted a few of my tanks and taxis. Earlier, I sent half of my force to make an end-run on the western map edge...I figured that I could get SOMEONE into the town and then the others would make it off the map with no problem and win the game for me. As it turned out, I was right..but the final assault on the town was a close one. He had placed most of his tanks in the large woods NE of the town, they were in a good position to take out my units as they came through that forest or when they got into the open as I didn't have any modern sighting equipment. He nailed a number of my T-80's when they didn't have a chance, but I dropped 122mm ICM on him and he DIED...I couldn't believe my luck!!! I sent the rest of my tanks...3 and my taxis in a line ahead formation towards the town. An airstrike immobalized one tank...a Bradley got another and then a final barrage by ICM and air support finished them. I put my arty on the edge of the town and walked it in..and my taxis followed this barrage in. After I made it into the town..I headed straight for the western edge and I lost another unit or two to arty and air strikes, but I had the game sewn up already with my units that hadn't been touched. Mandude played a great game and he was very tricky with some things that he did....(hint: SMOKE).

Task Force Mizokami

Has anyone found a reliable way to occupy the priliminary objectives in TF Mizokami

Be more patient - use more time/turns to conduct your assaults. Don't try to do everything at once. Unload the helos in LZs close to the objective but behind line of sight blocks to the enemy or behind smoke. Use the HMMWVs to move the infantry closer to the objective using covered avenues of approach. Unload the infantry at the last covered point and advance them on foot to close with the enemy. Once the friendly and enemy infantry start shooting at each other, then "turn on" the HMMWVs mounting machine guns and grenade launchers to provide supporting fire. Walk arty prep fire around the enemy position while the foot assault is being set up. Look for opportunities to flank enemy units. You get big benefits from attacking infantry positions form the side and rear. Once you feel you know exactly where all the enemy defenders are and their facing then send a small helo borne unit around behind them to an unobserved position, unload it and add an attack from the rear to the equation.

Combined arms ... combined arms ... combined arms.

Has anyone found a reliable way to occupy the priliminary objectives in TF Mizokami

The two monster scenarios require that the US use light forces as well as heavy forces to complete the mission. Unfortunately, the heavies don't arrive for 2 hours.

I've not had any luck with grunt assaults on the various objectives....I do great with killing the enemy, but their arty tends to make it a bloody victory for my grunts and supporting hummers.

My own tactic is to IGNORE the preliminary objectives until the heavy units arrive. My AT hummers were more than capable of blunting (read as halting) the OPFOR attack. Let me say that again: I used 75% of my available AT Hummers (25% were in reserve) to blunt,halt, and destroy the OPFOR advance. True, hummers have little (read as NO) armour, but when used correctly, they are truly capable of taking on anything.

I split all of the deployed hummers up and set them up individually. I set their SOPs to smoke and reverse and that was that. I suffered 50% losses among my hummers and a single M1 and a few infantry (OPs who were overrun). TF Nankervis is a little trickier due to no Bradleys ( used as a second line of defense to help blunt any breakthroughs), but it can be done.

Team Kelley

Subj:  Team Kelley Tactics (Long Post)       94-12-31 11:10:02 EST
From:  JamesD6201

I've played Team Kelley 1 - OPFOR is deployed in an extended regimental column with battalions in a standard approach march - several times (winning 2 out of 3 games) with OPFOR thermal sights and advanced ATGMs turned off. So, I've taken the plunge and played Kelley 1 again with OPFOR thermals and ATGMs set to the factory default.

My first game was a mission failure for both the U.S. and OPFOR - I only exited 22% of my units (though I inflicted 51% casualties), while OPFOR only exited 31% when time expired. The second time I played I was able to win.

Now I've started playing Team Kelley 2 - one OPFOR battalion forward and two battalions back - and almost won my first game. I had exited 27% of my forces and inflicted almost 50% casualties. But, with 11 minutes to go, OPFOR exited a couple of BTR80 platoons (both had started as companies and had been severly mauled by repeated ICM and MRLS artillery strikes) for 40% exited and the win.

Here are some tactical thoughts on playing (and winning) this game with the factory defaults:

1. As soon as your OH58s have expended their Stingers, exit them immediately! They account for 17% of your force value, and are too easily shot down by the mass of OPFOR SAMs. They also should never be positioned far from the western edge of the map.

2. I position all my Javelin teams next to the western edge of the map. They are excellent for picking off "leakers" that are about to exit the map. In addition, they are within 10 minute walking distance from the edge if you need to exit them to reach your 25% minimum.

3. I position my infantry teams (with weapon ranges set to only 200 meters) in the numerous woods east of the airfield to spot for my artillery. I place them so that they can cover a network of artillery TRPs established during the first 10 minutes of the game before the OPFOR battalion recon teams appear. I make no attempt to exit these units.

4. I place my minefields in obvious choke points. I like to set them in grid squares 0404 and 0405 on the northern flank, and in grid square 0400 on the southern flank. Other likely places are the roads in 0705, 0803, and 0804, and the eastern approach roads to the town at 0601.

5. As for artillery, set up your initial TRPs in the 07 grid column, and shift fire westwards to set up a network of accuracy 5 TRPs back to the western map edge. You will have plenty of time to do this. Just remember to make sure that each TRP can be seen by a ground unit. Your artillery, especially MRLS, should be used to draw first blood when OPFOR starts to cross the open area east of the airfield. If OPFOR tries a flanking move, your mines should slow him while you use ICM and MRLS to full effect.

6. I position my M1s in the 03 and 04 grid columns, in towns or woods, with weapon ranges of 0. I set their SOPs initially to pop smoke but remain in place. They should be set up to take care of "leakers" from your artillery strikes. Your priority targets are the BRDM2 ATs (they have the long-range tank-killing ATGMs), T80s, BMP2s, and the AT7 ATGM teams, in that order. Position 2 M1s near the western edge of the map to ensure that you can exit 25%. Expect to lose the rest of your M1s.

7. Position your Bradleys 1-2 kilometers from the western edge of the map. They cannot stand up to anything more deadly than OPFOR small arms fire, so don't expose them. They are excellent for taking care of "leakers" as well.

8. Make liberal use of smoke grenades and artillery smoke to hide your armor from OPFOR air strikes. Once your 4 Stingers are gone, only the smoke can prevent your tanks from getting killed by MiG27 strikes.

Subj:  After Action Report: Tm Kelley 2      95-01-02 10:37:18 EST
From:  JamesD6201

My second attempt at Team Kelley 2 - one OPFOR battalion forward and two battalion back - was a victory for the U.S. I exited 25% (2 OH58s, 1 M1A2, and 1 Javelin team) and left 2 infantry and 1 Javelin team on the map, while inflicting an unbelievable 74% casualties on OPFOR!! OPFOR was only able to exit 9% of his forces by the end of the game. How is it possible to do this against OPFOR equipped with thermal sights and advanced ATGMs?

First of all, review the "Team Kelley Tactics" message I posted on 94-12-31. I used all of those tactics, plus kept the bulk of my M1s positioned in cover in the 02 grid column with weapon ranges set to 0. I had my infantry positioned west of the airfield to spot for my artillery.

The first OPFOR recon team stumbled on one of my infantry teams at grid coordinates 057045. In the ensuing firefight, both OPFOR vehicles were destroyed, though the BMP2 was taken out by an M1 overwatching a minefield at 045043 across the east-west road. Some HE and infantry small arms fire took care of the surviving OPFOR infantry.

It took me about 12 minutes to set up a network of artillery target reference points (TRPs), but I was able to shift all three 155mm batteries back to the easternmost TRPs in time to greet the advance of the rest of the initial OPFOR battalion. Accuracy 5 ICM and MRLS fire began attriting the OPFOR units as soon as they advanced across the airfield at 055030. By the time the OPFOR tank and BTR80 units emerged from the west side of the airfield, companies were platoons and platoons were single vehicles. At this point, M1s and M2s would engage, using terrain blocking, OPFOR vehicles as they made their way past the small woods in the 0303 grid square. Ultimately, the last units of the first OPFOR battalion were halted in the 0104 grid square. Not a single vehicle survived. The ground units were mopped up by M1, M2, and artillery fire.

The second and third OPFOR battalions took different routes of advance. The second battalion attempted to penetrate my northern flank by moving through the large woods in grid squares 0404 and 0405. Two M1s wiped out a BTR company and two T80 platoon before being destroyed. But, OPFOR withdrew and attempted to rush westwards through the road junction at 039044. This attempt ended when several units hit the minefields at 045043.

Meanwhile, the third battalion advanced through the large city at 070020. This force was repeatedly mauled by ICM and MRLS fire, and harassed by M1s and M2s as it made its way westwards. Meanwhile, the second OPFOR battalion regrouped in the vicinity of the airfield before continuing its advance westwards.

By this time, my ICM salvoes were almost gone and half of my M1s had been destroyed. I had not used any airstrikes up to this point - over an hour into the game - but started to use them to hit BTR80 companies and any BRDM2s I spotted. Before the strikes arrived, I boxed the target unit with smoke to blind as many SA16s as I could. It worked and few of my airstrikes missed their targets.

In addition, the smoke slowed OPFORs advance, which gave me time to hit key units with artillery strikes. As it turned out, none of the units from the second battalion were able to exit the map. All of the exiting units were from the third battalion, which overran a Javelin team, an M1, and an M2 in the 0002 grid square, south of the factory complex. OPFOR exited only 1 T80, 22 BTR80s, and 2 BRDM2 ATs. The rest of these vehicle types were either destroyed or immobilized during the battle.

Subj:  After Action Report: Tm Kelley 3      95-01-05 15:18:49 EST
From:  JamesD6201

Well, the U.S. has triumphed again <grin>. Using the same tactics as with Team Kelley 1 and 2, I was able to win Team Kelley 3 - 2 battalions in the 1st echelon, 1 battalion in the second echelon - with 35 minutes left in the scenario. And, yes, I was using all factory defaults, except #8 <grin>.

I was fortunate that OPFOR advanced all three battalions on separate routes. It allowed me to defeat them piecemeal. If he had reinforced either of the first two battalions with the third, I would not have won. Thank goodness I wasn't playing PBEM against some of my usual opponents on this one <grin>.

Now, I'll try Team Kelley 4 - 3 battalions in the first echelon!. Ed Rains and I have discussed this one a bit and have concluded that the U.S. will have to engage OPFOR with MRLS strikes as soon as the main bodies of the battalions appear on the map. This will require positioning all of the U.S. infantry teams (and maybe some or all of the Javelin teams) near the east edge of the map to spot for the MRLS.

The bad part of doing this is that they will not be recoverable for exiting off the western edge of the map. I will have to hold a couple of M1s and/or Bradleys near the western edge to ensure that I exit 25%. On the other hand, if my artillery does its job, there won't be much for my M1s and Bradleys to engage.


Netscape HTML Checked! January 22, 1995 - Robert Lentz (ralentz@ralentz.com)

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