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Author Topic: CPX 24-04-2010  (Read 8793 times)
stoffel
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« on: 24 April 2010, 17:13:02 »
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IRC chat on : comms.tacopshq.comm
port 7024
#tacops

Blufor AAR

Today was the first TacOps Multiplayer Command Post Exercise held in some time.  
The current TacOps v4.0.6[AH] was used in addition to communications over the IRC.  
Ralf Pichocki put together the relatively small scale exercise on his very own Map150c using a Custom US Army Scenario.

This report comes from the perspective of the BluFor company commander.  
BluFor consisted of a single company of Jager Battalion 815.  
While Ralf presented us with an order, graphic etc, I had only skimmed prior to joining the IRC channel about 30min early - opting for a self-imposed cold start.
Higher's mission was:

· JgBtl 815 defends with three coys side by side west of NATENDORF.

· secures own preparations by several Feldposten in strength of one coy(-)

Our Mission was: SichKp(-), secures defense preparation by several Feldposten both sides of SEEDORF

*Destroys RED reconnaissance up to section strength

*Engages pltn strong RED on long range and repulses them

*Evades on order behind defense positions, and becomes new BtlRes

As it turned out Paul Csokay and I made up BluFor, with Ralf acting as the battalion HQ on a BluHigher channel.  
Paul was assigned two sections [3x Boxer, 3x InfPzGrp, 1x ReconTeam, 2x FSV, and 1x FSCV] and the northern 3km of the map.  
I took a section [1x Boxer, 1xInfPzGrp, 1x ReconTeam, 2xFSV, and 1xFSCV] and handled the air and artillery assets [2xAirSpt at 4min, 2xAirSpt at 20min, 2xAirSpt at 30min, and 1x MLRS salvo and 2x 155mm batteries with limited ammunition, along with a Ground Surveillance Radar and two ambulances] while being responsible for the southern 2km of the map.
The game was scheduled for 60min, I believe we ultimately agreed to a 20min extension.  The first half saw pressure grow against the single section in the south.  When we did see the enemy, they quickly darted into the concealment of Lohn Woods.  When they finally appeared at the edge of the woods, we were able to destroy a few vehicles.  Unfortunately for Blue, they destroyed the single Boxer which provided the mobility to the southern section.  This forced the southern section to try not get decisively engaged while attempting to maneuver on foot.  Some TacOps recon by airpower did unveil the enemy build-up in Lohn Woods so both indirect fires were massed on the enemy.  A handful of relatively weak mechanized units did ultimately emerge from the woods and had their way with the now foot-mobile infantry.  At that time we did not know how effective one of the air strikes had been.
In the second half, Paul and I "watched the clock" and debated transferring some of his combat strength down to the lower 2km frontage, battalion came back reiterating to me the need to "screen" the entire assigned battalion frontage.  
Apparently he knew more that we did about the big picture.
In the last few minutes what vehicles were up in the northern second suddenly began exploding, and emerging from the Riessel Woods where  again relatively weak enemy mech units.single T72s and BMPs charged Seedorf-Addenstorf, shooting that gap toward the highground at Beckelberg when the game was called.
By the game requirements laid out by Ralf, he award blue the technical win despite the fact that we did not follow the order in that since we could not effectively move, we could not engage enemy forces at long range.for very long that is, nor could we  reconstitute ourselves as an effective battalion reserve as we were subsequently decisively engaged and essentially destroyed.
Observations and Lessons Learned:
Losing your mobility six minutes into a game where mobility is life is not starting out well.  How tough it is to move, shoot, and communicate in this game when on-foot.
Intentionally separating dismounts from their vehicles seems to work well in the game but not too sure how that reflects the real world employment of mobile units.  I understand the battle taxi concept, but it is very tempting to set up the dismounts and then use those vehicles to another assigned mission.
How important it to take advantage of any information provided by an umpire and ask questions before the game is ready to go.  While problematic, having a CO and team established beforehand is definitely a plus.  I did not have a good grasp of the terms Feldposten and SicherKompanie.
Ambulances and other support type assets while definitely interesting, unless there is a role or some victory condition established they don't really have a TacOps role.  Maybe if establishing a Casualty Collection Point is subjectively judged, or if logpacks are employed, these units just seem to try to stay out of the way.
Ground Surveillance Radar - both sides apparently had a GSR.  Employing it was a challenge since its capabilities are not in the game itself so rule and conditions for its use need to be disseminated prior to the game.  When I finally got ours successfully employed, it spotted a previously-spotted dismounted infantry unit and took a tank round in the same turn.  Counter Battery Radar has also been attempted externally in past CPX's long ago, and are of interest to me.
All in all, a good time.  Well prepared, well conducted, minimal network issues.  Even a 1.5 hour break mid game for an unexpected player obligation.  Everyone showed back up and continued like we never paused.  I look forward to more CPX's as whenever they can be pulled off.

AAR red CO.

Players on red team: CO Henk Stoffers, player Bernard Cousin.

Bernard and I were commanding a reconaissanceunit of company strength with 3 BMPs and 4 BRDMs.
In addition we had been issued a groundradar.( this was very usefull to locate enemy vehicles)

Our mission:

*Recon enemy positions
*Recon the main road running north to south
*Recon for a weak spot in enemy line

We had two routes chosen by higher to follow.

Bernard and I took the Southern route.

Soon we reached Lohn forest.
From there we wanted to follow the edge of the map towards the west to exit our vehicles.
It was here that we realized our main problem, no thermals for our BRDM, no artillery and slow arriving airsupport.
The enemy took out our units very fast, and after some pleas I received more units able to engage blufor units much better.
However, the units in the north were picked out one by one by panzergrenadiers because they had to follow the roads to cross the rivers.
Our reinforcements(T72s) were almost all taken out by airattacks.
Lessons learned, BRDMS and  a few BMP don't survive long without artillery or anti-aircraft support.
We didn't mange to exit any vehicles but it was great to play a cpx again.
Tech side, only 1 time we had a minor problem, restarting solved that quick.
The game ran perfect, Pi took a good advice from the major.
No big fancy battles but starting small and simple!
Another good piece of advice, I have used my laptop for IRC chat.
This enables you to have a look at all channels without leaving Tacops, very handy!

AAR Ralf Pichocki (Pi) Umpire.


This is my Umpire's AAR fot eh CPX we held on Saturday, 100424, 1700 UTC - 2100 UTC.

After I did some small scenarios with Bundeswehr reservists and as there was no CPX here for quite a long time, I offered these small battles as an again-starter. Fortunately, several comrades showed their interest and wanted to play. Unfortunately, as most of the times, we had drop outs shortly before the game. But fortunately again, there were willing and able replacements. Thank you, Bernard and Paul!

The idea of the scenario was a BLUE observation post line in the west part of map 150 (a small spot in North Germany), which was forming a security screen to shield the main body's defense preparations (not part of the game)

- and a RED regimental recce company with the mission to reconnoiter bridges, roads and maybe defense positions.

*BLUE was tasked to set up "several Feldposten" (observation posts) along some line, destroy weak RED recce, repulse stronger RED forces - and then, on order, retreat behind the western map edge to become new reserve (not part of the game)

*RED had to form "at least two recce patrols" and reconnoiter bridges, paths and enemy positions.

To free myself of any later guesses, I set up "very clever" victory conditions which were intended to say: RED should either destroy many BLUE vehicles or he should leave the map to the west with as many own vehicles as possible. In numbers the break point was 100 as the ratio of BLUE's "force lethality value" (791 initially) by RED vehicles (8 initially). This meant that RED would win if he bring through all his vehicles (791/8 < 100), RED would win if he bring through at least one vehicle while reducing BLUE to a value smaller than 100 (99/1 < 100); RED could not win without bringing through at least one vehicle (n/0 > 100 always) and so on. Unfortunately, I did not pull the set up rules and orders tight enough, see below.
As the result, even with being heavily reinforced later, RED did not leave the map with a single vehicle to the West, so BLUE is the winner according to the predefined (and known to all) conditions. Congratulations.
Unfortunately, neither BLUE nor RED did any planning before the game - or at least they did not let me see this (as only one of the planned players showed up on either side, I guess, however, that there really was no planning). This had a big impact on the whole game because I did not know what their intentions were during the game, so I could not steer them back onto their preplanned paths.

What did happen during the game?

BLUE did not use the suggested stronghold points, but distributed his forces along a north-to-south road, more or less forming an observation screen in TacOps-wise good positions. This was not what I intended, and at least according to Bundeswehr doctrine, it would not be done in this way (I don't think it would be done this way in the US, would it?). The force distribution was very well done, regarding my preset victory conditions, it was not too wise, however, regarding BLUE higher's later plans for these forces, see below.
RED, on the other side, did not form two patrols, but "decided" to us the southern of two given recce paths. This was not what I intended either because the RED higher CO wanted to have an axis of attack for each of his two first echelon battalions reconnoitered. Furthermore, RED did not really form patrols, but tried to advance in a kind of recce "screen".
During the first five minutes RED greatly deviated from his task, in that he simply crossed the MITTELLANDKANAL without reconnoitering its bridges, and he moved west by totally ignoring the ordered road. RED should prepare the main body's attack - it was not his mission to engage and destroy BLUE forces. On the other hand, BLUE moved forward his forces quite aggressively to get into better positions than the initial setup allowed; this was not according to the mission to form observation posts either. I let the game run anyway.
After ten minutes, BLUE had moved between one and two kilometers east, and RED moved along in three "patrols", although not at all on the road depicted by his higher command.
After 20 minutes, RED was trying to leave the LOHN forest and was engaged by BLUE forces. RED lost several vehicles and moved on with his dismounted troops. BLUE sat and waited in some parts, and in other parts of the map moved further east (now at least 3 km in front of ordered "security line").
In minute 25, I decided that RED higher CO would have to reinforce his recce efforts to get the results needed for his later main attack. So I gave RED two T72 platoons with three tanks each. RED used one of these platoons to again deviate from the road in his orders, but tried to reinforce his troops stuck in the southern wood (LOHN).
At minute 50, both RED tank platoons had been moved to the south and tried to engage BLUE forces. Unfortunately, this was not what RED higher intended;

*recce* was the mission; there was no word of fighting or destroying in his orders.

At minute 57, it was finally clear that RED could not bring through his recce forces, so I decided to give the game final a slightly different
direction: BLUE lost some of his mobility, and he was distributed over a good deal of the map - which was not his commander's intent either. So I once again reinforced RED, this time by more divisional recce in form of another T72 platoon plus a MechInfPltn on BMP-2.
These new RED forces again, separated and deviated from the road ordered and engaged BLUE forces. They did this quite successfully, however, which was what I intended to "teach BLUE a lesson".

Conclusion:

Neither BLUE nor RED did what I expected from them, neither applied their respective doctrine correctly (at least in my opinion, they didn't).
BLUE and RED, both fought well according to their available assets, although maybe a bit aiming at a successful TacOps game more than having their higher commands' big pictures in mind.
According to the preset victory conditions, BLUE won the game.

Lessons learned:

If I want the players to act according to a specific doctrine, I should write this more clearly into the rules. If I see that they deviate from their respective highers' plans, I should correct this early enough or restart the game. At least, I should create the victory conditions to picture my intentions better and reward fulfilling the mission better than I did this time.
All in all, I had a lot of fun, and I'd like to do the "opposite" scenario - i.e. the same map with swapped roles - soon. Any volunteers?

Best regards, Pi (Ralf Pichocki).


Attached are the autosave files for tacops replay.

Well done PI!

I look forward for the next!


* Wacher-Blick-100424.zip (450.72 KB - downloaded 253 times.)
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Rattler
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« Reply #1 on: 24 April 2010, 20:22:30 »
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sorry, no time, good luck with the war!

Rattler
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« Reply #2 on: 25 April 2010, 11:34:59 »
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Reports added above Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: 25 April 2010, 23:48:02 »
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Lessons learned, BRDMS and  a few BMP don't survive long without artillery or anti-aircraft support.

Dismount!

That was a *recon* mission, you did not haave to break enemy lines if I read it right.

Rattler
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« Reply #4 on: 26 April 2010, 08:38:54 »
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Rattler,

We had to exit the west mapedge.
But 7 vehicles die fast against long range missiles, 155mm ICM and MLRS Knipoog
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« Reply #5 on: 26 April 2010, 15:59:58 »
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That was a *recon* mission, you did not haave to break enemy lines if I read it right.

E
x
a
c
t
l
y
.

And if you read my AAR or look at the Autosaves, BOTH parties were very eager to engage one another - more than to fulfill their actual mission  cry
But admittedly, to conduct a recce mission only and trying to evade the enemy is less a game than an educational task... maybe this scenario was better suited for a different audience...

CU, Pi (Ralf Pichocki).
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Best regards, Pi (Ralf Pichocki).
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« Reply #6 on: 26 April 2010, 16:45:14 »
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Recon is sooooo 80's , boring Smiley

We'd simply love to destroy the enemy Knipoog
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« Reply #7 on: 27 April 2010, 16:21:43 »
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Recon takes a concerted effort in TacOps as well as RW.
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« Reply #8 on: 27 April 2010, 16:39:28 »
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Also, the 1hr time constraint on RED may have put undo pressure on them to forsake security for speed.
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« Reply #9 on: 27 April 2010, 20:00:25 »
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I am a recon guy in TacOps, have run several scenarios with James Sterrett as umpire (also with him as commander), and I see the same thing as Pete (recon is a concerted action, as everything in RW), I find it tragic that we have to go through it after so much time (talking almopst decades plural here):

In a CPX the players *want* action every turn (and are well able to ignore the mission for acieving that goal), the long time frame, patience rewarding approach is not the road your usual commander in a CPX takes (I guess additionally, that not making use of 2 weeks planning time made it turn bad for RED in this special case).

Recon is sooooo 80's , boring Smiley -snip-


That is exactly the point, but from my POV this stance might just kill an otherwise interesting setup.

When I wrote my first short comment, I had not read the CO AAR (was not even aware it was on the thread), but just replied to the RED CO AAR with something I feel is coming natural, and I feel every CO should think like that with the information given.

People playing a CPX (and, no offense meant, but we know PI always has a complaint or two, I have been decucting this stance in my following comment) tend to go for action, and not for mission, especially when they just jumped in.

This, in itself, is a Lesson Learned (for the umpteenth time, actually): The RED guys would have not provided what they were asked for, total mission failure, and big time, hundreds of (luckily just virtual) soldiers dead probably, because of their failure to read the OPORD. (saying this w/o having a clear picture of the BLU mission).

Pi has a point in his AAR, when he asks for players to comply, but of cause, this is just a game and you can get away with anything (and all have fun, and, we all agree, this is the basic idea of having a wargame for starters if it is not part of the profession). I would just wish CPX commanders would take thins a touch more serious (remember ppl like PI are no gods either, their CPX setup experience is not that of James who prepares a layout where ambiguities simply do not work and obviously so, i.e. such gross deviatins from mission do not happen).

Don´t know what more to say, but it seems so many LLs of many an AAR still have not hit home after 15+ years of acting as commanders in TacOps CPXes, here the most frequently mentioned from my AAR collection:

1. If commiting to a CPX, have the time for planning; Dont commit if you cannot plan.

2. Don´t assume;

3. Recon, recon, recon!; Dismount and be patient, take a look before commiting.

4. Keep a reserve, use it if the shit hits the fan.

Rattler
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« Reply #10 on: 27 April 2010, 20:48:26 »
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Well, be honoust?
What would have happened when we simply would have driven down the 2 roads like higher wanted us to do?
We had 7 vehicles.
Blu had ICM, MLRS, Thermals and enough firepower to destroy our entire force in a few minutes Bedroefd
Another pouint is that if blu is defending/ or waiting for us he will certainly not move his vehicles around so we can spot them.
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« Reply #11 on: 27 April 2010, 20:58:01 »
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Well, be honoust?
What would have happened when we simply would have driven down the 2 roads like higher wanted us to do?
We had 7 vehicles.
Blu had ICM, MLRS, Thermals and enough firepower to destroy our entire force in a few minutes Bedroefd
Another pouint is that if blu is defending/ or waiting for us he will certainly not move his vehicles around so we can spot them.

Dismounted? Spotting for CAS, Arty?

Point is, you did not comply with Highers wishes, and lost all vehicles all the same (previsibly so).

Rattler
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« Reply #12 on: 30 April 2010, 01:07:35 »
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So when is the next cpx, or version of this one?
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« Reply #13 on: 1 May 2010, 04:01:10 »
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Kind of wishing I had TACOPS now.
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« Reply #14 on: 1 May 2010, 15:16:54 »
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order it at www.battlefront.com, its cheap, only 25$.
Its shipped to you in a few dyas.
You wont regret it.
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