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Author Topic: Some CPX and PBEM TacOps AARs  (Read 5601 times)
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« on: 5 January 2009, 23:58:41 »

... of games I played or in which I participated can be found at my site at:




"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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« Reply #1 on: 11 January 2009, 23:41:50 »

Just, by pure chance, ran into two of my favorite AARs, they are way old (from ´96 and ´01 respecitively) but still fun to read. This for people who find AARs dull:

#1: TacOps Mad General Scenario played between RickkiTikki and myself on Map 100... :-), started by Rikki (aka John McKinney)

Hi, all...

One of my PBEM pals in Germany, Matt Ohlmer, and I just completed a game
of the Mad General, a custom scenario based on a U.S. mission to capture
a war criminal General in Bosnia behind enemy lines. (Yes, the one I
was just blathering about in my last post.<g>).

As a different sort of twist on AARs, we decided to create a sort of
"puzzle" for you to sort out, consisting of a "file" filled with
newspaper clippings, memos, letters, and a satellite photo (attached) to
paint an impression of what happened, as if you were snooping through a
classified file that was ordinarily off-limits. We will leave much of
the battle to your imagination, however. (Yes, I helped create this
scenario, so yes, I am shamelessly self-promoting here<g>).

For those of you who haven't played it yet, the Mad General scenario
also involves piecing together a puzzle, as the U.S. must use smart
recon deployments, deduction, and good instincts to figure out the
"General's" whereabouts, while maneuvering its main body elements in a
way that pens him in before striking.

The game Matt and I played turned out to be one of the most memorable --
and instructional PBEM games in recent memory. Without giving too much
away up front, I will say that Matt played the role of the General
masterfully, taking the concept of deceiptful tactics in TacOps to a new
level! Watch out for that guy!

Anyway, hope you enjoy it...



The original "satellite photo" has been lost, but this is where the decoy HQ was, in the far north not far from the river. Note the inverted 'L' cut into the trees, which Matt refers to in his letter at the end of this report.

(New York Times clipping, July 1, 1996)


The Bosnian Serb president, under pressure from the U.S. and other UN
members, officially dismissed his commander in chief, a suspected war
criminal from the early days of the Bosnian conflict. The Bosnian Serb
Army is extremely loyal to the General, however, and apparently answers
to no other leader. This has left grave questions as to who is
controlling the BSA, which, due to a proliferation of Russian black
marketeering, was, and still could be, among the best-equipped armies in
the world. The General was reportedly conducting maneuvers in Western
Serbia when the President's announcement was made, and has not been
heard from in some days.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(New York Times clipping, July 5, 1996)


Once again, public pressure has called for the trial of alleged war
criminals from the early days of the Bosnian conflict. The most
infamous of these suspects, however, the commander in chief of the
Serbian Army, is still at large, though most people suspect he is hiding
out in the woods to avoid capture.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Translation of a news clipping from a Bosnian newspaper, July 8, 1996)


(SARAJEVO) Villagers along the Drina River have been reporting sounds of
"massive vehicles" during the night, giving rise to new fears that
Bosnian Serbs are again on the march. Local UN Peacekeeping forces say
they have sent recon units to investigate, but not a single sighting was
made. The reports therefore remain a mystery...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Transcript of CNN news broadcast, July 10, 7 p.m. EST)


This Wolf Blitzer in Bosnia. Today old nightmares were revived, as
Serbian tanks and troop carriers launched a massive attack on local
towns and villages, sending thousands fleeing in terror. The attack was
apparently well-planned and caught the Government and UN Peacekeeping
forces here completely off-guard. The Serbs have advanced across the
border along the Drina River, all the way to the Bosna River some 100
miles away. Serbia claims no responsibility for the attack, but U.S.
officials suspect that this is just posturing, and that they are
secretly supplying the "rogue army" commanded by their former
commander-in-chief. And if this commander's treatment of Croats and
Muslims is anything like it was rumored to be during the early years of
the war, then these people have every reason to fear for their lives...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Faded, partly crumpled memo from CIA Operations Chief)

TO: John McKinney,
Case Officer, Eastern Mediterranean Desk


The President is all over me on this one! How could the Serbs have
built up such a large force without our satellites picking it up? And
how come those UN troops didn't spot anything either? You'd better come
up with some answers or we can all start mailing out our resumes. And
get me a personality profile on Mad Dog asap.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(A page from a Meeting Report of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)

Due to the recent drawdown of U.S. and U.N. forces in the Mediterranean,
it was decided that NATO does not have sufficient military strength in
the region to meet the Serbian threat at this time. However, it was
also decided that we may be able to successfully infiltrate Serbian
defenses and capture their leader -- if we can find the location of his
command post....

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Note clipped to an envelope full of aerial photographs. The envelope
bears the CIA emblem.)

Sir --

These just came back from the lab. Found something you might find
interesting. They're aerial photos taken near the Drina River on July
9, a day before the attack. Looks like just a lot of empty mountains
and woods, right? OK, see the fallen log sticking out of the scrub in
the upper left of the first photo? It looked a little too "perfect" to
me, so I blew it up 10x. In the 2nd photo you can see the log is
actually some kind of tube or pipe -- painted to look like a log. I'm
thinking, chemical weapons plant? Power plant? But no way would that be
possible in these mountains. So I blew it up again. Take a look at the
3rd photo, at the end of that pipe. If that's not the muzzle of the
main gun of a T72, I'll eat my shorts! Apparently Mad Dog didn't spend
the last two years hiding out in the woods for nothing -- that's the
best damn job of camouflage I've ever seen. Looks like we're going to
have our hands full finding this guy.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Personal File Folder for Col. Rick E. Tickey, Commander, 325th Infantry
Rgt., U.S. Army. A Post-It note stuck to the outside of the folder
says: "I think we found our man." You take particular notice of the
following notations...)


- Has studied search & extraction missions using computer modelling and
- Likes to use the computer to run "sandbox drills" before battle, if
time allows.
- Did surprisingly well in his first command in a CPX a year or two
- Sometimes afraid of his own shadow, but often shows concern in trying
to get his boys safely in and out of the battle zone.

Recommendations of other officers:

"He's something of a PBEM terror" (Maj. Holdridge) (Scribbled on top
of this is handwriting that reads: "What's PBEM? Sounds hi-tech. He's
probably up on all the latest weaponry")

"Personally, I think his reputation is overrated." (Torsten Knop,
special military advisor, Germany)

"He kicked my butt once -- once -- in a CPX, and never lets me
forget it!" (Brian Rock, special military advisor, Australia)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Message from Col. Tickey, stationed in Rome, Italy)

FROM: Col. Rick E. Tickey, Cmdr., 325th Infantry (SOC)
TO: Staff


Just got word from NATO command. That scumrat of a dictator over in
Bosnia is the target, and we've got the job. Fortunately the weather
cleared up and our Space Cadets were able to get a very nicely detailed
sat shot. I did some studying of the map and I think I know where the
Serbs are hiding their base. I'll be more sure once our aerial recon
boys give it a flyby. I'll go over the operation in greater detail once
we reach Sarajevo, but here's the basic drill:

Airlift support company from the 502nd will deploy across the Bosna at
07:00 and unload our hummers and scouts. (Watch out for enemy AD, we
don't want another 'situation' like back in '95.) The hummers will be
our eyes on the ground. We've got two battalion's worth of M2's, so
let's cross the river by swimming until we're sure the bridges aren't
mined. My hunch is that Mad Dog isn't too far from the Bosna so we
should still have plenty of time. I want to deploy a third of our
forces in the far north checking out that big ravine up there, which, if
my hunch is right, is where I think we'll find our boy. Send another
third along either side of that big east-west canyon, and the rest will
spread out along the rest of the river (in case I'm wrong about the base
being in the north).

That is all. Good hunting.

R. Tickey

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Transcript of radio transmission)

TO: U.S. Army Command Headquarters, Sarajevo
FROM: Col. Tickey
TIME: 07:05

Proceeding across the Bosna, light skirmishes but no major opposition
during river crossing. All deployments are proceeding according to plan
and on schedule.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(Transcript of radio transmission)

TO: U.S. Army Command Headquarters, Sarajevo
FROM: Col. Tickey
TIME: 07:09

Just got the latest reports from our air wing. Sure enough, trucks are
parked there, ready to bugger out. I'd say we've found our quarry. Am
directing a general convergence on UTM vicinity 050058, in the far north
about 2 km. from the river. Still light opposition in that area.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Transcript of radio transmission)

TO: U.S. Army Command Headquarters, Sarajevo
FROM: Col. Tickey
TIME: 07:20

Enemy defenses are still light in north. Having difficulty getting the
rest of my forces acorss the canyon to the north. Defense there is
tougher than expected, and enemy has chosen very good positions. Very
frustrating, but still proceeding with relative ease in the north.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Transcript of radio transmission)

TO: Col. Tickey
FROM: U.S. Army Command Headquarters, Sarajevo
TIME: 07:30

Col. Tickey! Report situation! Over.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Transcript of radio transmission)

TO: U.S. Army Command Headquarters, Sarajevo
FROM: Col. Tickey
TIME: 07:31

Mad Dog not where we thought. Looks like he's a few more km.s east,
somewhere north of Hellfire Pass. Still trying to wrest control of
Hellfire but taking heavy casualties. Obviously we've run into the
enemy's main defenses. Request more air recon to pinpoint Mad Dog.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Transcript of radio transmission)

TO: U.S. Army Command Headquarters, Sarajevo
FROM: Col. Tickey
TIME: 07:35

Trying to take control of the south edge of Hellfire but can't seem to
mass enough firepower. Lots of hand-held AT weapons are taking out my
mech forces as soon as they arrive. More losses every minute. Losing
vehicular mobility. Confusion, surprise, lack of spotting reports.
Concerned about casualties.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Radio transcript from tactical air command net)

This is Thunder 4... Jackpot! Spotted Mad Dog east of the Lion's Lair,
just north of that tiny island on the north side of eastern Hellfire.
Too many SAMs, didn't get off a shot. But he's all yours! Thunder 4

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Transcript of radio transmission)

TO: U.S. Army Command Headquarters, Sarajevo
FROM: Col. Tickey
TIME: 07:35

Roger that sighting, but it is doubtful whether we can even get across
the canyon, and the northern force has hit mines. Down to only 2 M2s up
there. The only way we'll get there at this point is on foot, which is
still possible. But incoming artillery is killing my troops before they
even get halfway across. Situation is grave...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(News clipping, New York Times, July 31, 1998)


Col. Rick E. Tickey of the U.S. Army's 325th Infantry Battalion had no
comment today on what appears to be a failed attempt on the part of
U.S. ground troops to capture the Serbian commander, an alleged war
criminal from the early days of the Bosnian conflict. The attack was
sanctioned by the U.N., who was under pressure to relieve the
beleaguered Croats and muslims from the latest wave of Serbian

Complete details of the raid are unclear at this time, but reports
indicate that two-thirds of the U.S. force were killed, wounded,
captured, or "out of action" within 45 minutes of the initial attack.
The U.S. called off its attack before even getting within a mile of the
General's base. It was clearly the most humiliating defeat of any U.S.
military operation since Viet Nam.

One of the reasons for the defeat, according to an inside source on
Tickey's staff (who preferred not to be named), is that U.S.
Intelligence was deceived into chasing after a "decoy" base some three
kilometers away from the real one.

"The General is a cagey one," says the source. "He is a master of
camouflage, and his craftiness fooled even our experienced NSA boys.
The whole attack was misdirected from the start."

The ellusive Serbian General has been conducting his recent invasion of
Bosnia and various other attrocities from a secret base somewhere in the
mountains. Only 10 minutes or so before the attack was called off did
the U.S. finally spot the real Serbian command post, and that was only
due to a purely lucky aerial recon mission.

Other sources attribute the defeat to the Serbian General's expert use
of the terrain and excellent deployments to destroy the U.S. force
piecemeal. "We just kept losing vehicle after vehicle," said one
bloodied lieutenant. They picked well-chosen positions, and we never
could never seem to get out of their crosshairs. After awhile we had to
attack on foot while they dropped mortar on us. That's when the
casualties really piled up."

"We knew taking that canyon would be tough, but not *that* tough!" said
a seargent, who saw his entire platoon massacred by mortar fire in just

The defeat puts the White House in a precarious position. Both the
President and the UN will most likely be forced to recognize the Serbian
leader and his new sovereign regime in order to ensure the safety of the
remaining American troops left behind. No doubt this will cost him
dearly in prestige, both here and around the world.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(New York POST cover, showing bloody bodies)

More gory photos on page 6

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Time Magazine cover, featuring Col. Tickey)

The worst U.S. commander in history?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Newsweek cover, featuring the Serbian General.)

How a 'mad' Serbian fugitive outsmarted Army Intelligence
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Vogue cover)

Fashion Flash! Serbo-Croat fatigues are IN!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From: John McKinney
CIA Eastern European Desk


Tried calling you a number of times, but you never seem to be in. I'm
getting to know your secretary better, though. She seems way too sharp
to be working for you for much longer. Watch out, pal.<g>

Well, all hell broke loose as you might expect. I kept my job, but only
cause they need *someone* around here who can look at a sat shot. But
I'm not a player anymore, I know that. Oh, no one has said anything,
but I can read the writing on the wall. This 'Bosnian business' will
follow me like a bad stain. Meanwhile my boss is history, and so is
just about everyone else. A few people came in today to clean out their
desks, but that's about it. Pretty depressing.

Hey, buddy, do me a favor. I know you have some pull with the paper
sifters. Just so I can sleep at night, let me know if you have any
information that would explain how the General tricked our analysts so
completely. I mean, I know Col. Tickey (real well in fact!) and he's
not the kind of guy to commit troops to an area unless he's sure. In
fact, that guy waffles so damn much, he's rarely sure of anything! So
that camouflage must have been pretty convincing. Anyway, if you hear
anything let me know.

See you next month at the PM meeting. Regards to Arlette.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Envelope with German postmarks on it. You look inside...)

Datum/Uhrzeit 230298/1732


Kopf: BLITZ-230298-1758-FMZ 254/01-FMZ 212/01-VIA SEC



Von: BND Referat 734/2 M.Ohlmer

Abteilung IV Zeichen:IV-734/2-1596/98 Auswertung




CC: John McKinney
Case Officer, EED

Betr: Bosnian Adventure



Hi, John!

Thanks for calling me, sorry I wasn't in. But Arlette made sure I
started to work on your questions first thing I came in (for some reason
she has a hack for you, though I cannot understand why ...<g>. Looks
like she'll be at next month's meeting as well...<g>).

I guess I do have something indeed for you. The following will reach you
via the official channels as well, but you know, how long that takes....
I thought you might want it ASAP, so here is an (unauthorized)
transcript of a letter we intercepted yesterday.

The sender appears to be one Major MILORAD DOBRIC. Obviously he is
writing to his German girlfriend, in English, we assume she speaks
little serbo-croat only (we keep an eye on her, expecting more intel
from that source in the future)

What he writes make him very probably an aide to Colonel DRAGAN
MUJACOVIC, alleged S1/S3 in the staff of your "friend".

The contents of his letter throw an interesting light on nature and
outcome of your operation in Bosnia. Hope it helps to solve a few of
your questions. Let me know, what you make of it, I'll let you know if
anything else comes up.

(From the names of the villages mentioned we located the area he was
writing about. For your convinience we took the liberty to add the UTM's
of mentioned locations in brackets)

See you in London next month,


Here goes:


- Begin of transscript -



Sabine, draga moja!

I am so sorry, you didn't hear earlier from me, but my life has been
very busy during the last few weeks. I know that is not an excuse, but
then you don't know how the military life is. Don't think wrong of me, I
always think of you only! Uvijek cu misliti na tebe!

I have a lot of good news for us: First, I got promoted once more! No
more Capitan Dobric, since two weeks I am a Major! In one year from
Vodnik to Major, only in times of war can you climb the ranks that

The best news I am sure you have heard in Germany as well: Our Republica
Srpska and our leader General Mladuvic have finally been recognized by
the UN! Triumf! Pobjeda!

And, believe it or not, your Milorad had a part in it happening, I
helped in making history! Now you ask, how can that be... I will tell
you, for our children to learn, for you to feel proud with me of what we

It all began immidiately after my promotion, when I got assigned to the
staff of our General, as an aide to Pukovnik Dragan Mujakovic. Now, that
is a man to learn something from, we call him "Lisac", the fox. Clever,
witty and brave as I have not seen many men before, he is the right hand
of our General and organizing all the military stuff for him. General
Mladuvic, contrary to what the people see him, is more a political
inspirer than a military genius, but he sure has chosen the best man to
do the job with the Lisac...

I arrived in Pale (UTM 035 025) at a time when the general had decided
to move his command post to a new hiding, which he did every few days
fearing an attack of NATO or US troops. My task was to help Pukovnik
Mujakovic to find a suitable place and to set up a camouflage of the
vicinity, so that the US spy satellites wouldn't be able to determine
its location exactly.

We found a good spot just a kilometer northwest of Bistrica (UTM 077
033, location of CP probably 073 039) close to a clearing on a hill.
Surrounded by dense forests from three sides it offered escape
possibilities to the south and could be defended well with the light
troops we had.

Now, here I discovered why everybody around called my new boss "The
Fox": Do you remember the old mine a kilometer north-east of Podgrad
(UTM 052058) that I showed you once during our vacations a few years
ago? Then you will remember the surrounding terrain with its
characteristical inverted-L shape? Well, the "Lisac" decided to make use
of this characteristical terrain feature and had us cut a clearing of
the same shape into the woods surrounding the CP. We then set up a lot
of trucks both around our CP and at the old mine in identical
formation, hoping the US would misread their sat shots and think we were
set up at the old mine and trying to cover that fact... If they were
going to check with airplanes, they would find the formation they
expected to see from the sat shot at the old mine indeed, and hopefully
be even more sure about our location... What a deceptive mind!

As fate wanted it, the Americans did attack us indeed a few days later.
We got a telephone call Tuesday a week ago at seven in the morning,
saying that some helicopters were headed in the direction of the old
mine, so we knew an attack was underway. Our recon units quickly
established that we were attacked by a US Army unit, and the deceptive
precautions the Lisac had taken paid off, the beauty of his plan began
to unfold right before our eyes: The main thrust of the enemy went away
from us towards the old mine, where our decoy trucks were waiting
patiently to be destroyed.

Meanwhile we spotted a flanking attack that brought the attackers right
in our sights in the canyon that went from Podgrad diagonally south-east
to our Headquarters. The Americans did not expect our presence there and
one by one their vehicles fell prey to our heroic fighters that attacked
them from the woods, literally jumping from tree to tree.

After twenty minutes or so they realized they had fouled up and that we
were not at all were they thought we would, but when they finally sent
in their recon planes to establish the true location of our CP, it was
much too late and they had too little troops left to change the outcome
of the battle: We pulled our remaining troops into a close circle around
our CP and they never managed to plow through:

After only 45 minutes we had won, killing almost all of their vehicles
and many of their soldiers. Our losses were heavy too, around 40 per
cent, but the death toll these heroes paid will never be forgotten, to
be praised by the people of our reborn Republica Srpska!

So, my darling, I am longing to see you in a short time, when we have
established some form of order here and I will find time to travel.

Lots of kisses, puno te ljubi pozdravlja tvoj!

S ljubavlju, tvoj heroj



End of "AAR."

"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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« Reply #2 on: 11 January 2009, 23:48:02 »

#2: AAR of a "strange" scenario I had hosted: Two drug baron teams fighting it out with a third (unknown to both) in the middle, this is the AAR of one of the force commanders (if you read closely, you will recognize some names... Brede lach)

Letter to Victor Valdez (RED Commander’s AAR)

Dear honoured Senor Valdez,

if you want to pass on this report to Matteo Olmero, that FDA (or FBI or whatever) guy being
an advisor to the Official Colombian Troops last night, please feel free to do so.

Me, your trusted and devoted Lieutenant Radolfo Pi, Commander-in-Chief of your Plantation
Security and Defense Battalion, at this time, I am sitting on board a plane to an unknown
destination with my notebook computer on my knees writing this report to you.
But, one after another, I first have to present you a bitter PILL (short for Pi’s Indelible
Lessons Learned) that you have to swallow whole. Admittedly, until last night, you, Senor
Victor Valdez, were one of the bigger fish in the Colombian Coca business (“drugs” is such
an ugly and derogative word!), but I fear that this is over now. Be assured please, that I utmost
hope that you will come back to your feet soon, and – even more – that your long arm does
not reach to the place I am heading for.

So, what are the lessons I had to learn last night?

First, preventive, strategic pre-battle reconnaissance is crucial and has to be correct! If it fails,
as was the case, everything is doomed to go wrong.
Second, my enemy’s enemy is my friend! Too bad, your direct order made it impossible to
follow that rule.

Third, don’t plan sophisticatedly if you don’t have the time and men to communicate – and
best rehearse - this plan! Sadly, my brave men had virtually no chance to act according to my

Fourth, no plan survives first contact with the enemy! Ok, that’s an old one, but true
nevertheless, only that we did not identify our real enemy all the time.

But, to narrate things chronologically, I will start with the instructions I received from you last
week: You informed me that, besides the notorious threat by the Colombian Army trying to
spray all coca plantations with agent orange, this time the danger would come from a different
direction. You said, this time we had to expect an attack by our neighbour, the less honoured
Senor Casillas, roughly from Northeast. You gave us, your three lieutenants Radolfo Pi, Honk
Stoffo, and Jaime Sterreti, one of your three Battalions, in addition to the already present
Plantation Security. After a short discussion, we chose the Battalion with the highest lethality
value, doing without tanks, APCs, helos, but having lots of infantry and even a few ATGMs
with thermal sights.

After no one else seemed to have the time, I stepped forward during the second half of the
preparation week, and volunteered to come up with a plan to fulfil our mission. Our mission,
as stated by you, was to defend the plantation and coca laboratories against Sr. Casillas’
villains, and even to defeat him as a punishment for rising his hand against us. This mission
was the utmost guideline for my plan. As we knew from your briefing that Casillas would
have not more than two battalions, I reckoned that we could dare to not defend statically, but
– we had to defeat him – play a much more active part. You know that our plantation, situated
in Valdez Valley, has many spots of vegetation to its East, whereas the labs, lying south of the
plantation, have quite open terrain on their East side, and south of the whole valley again,
terrain grew thicker again.

So my plan was the following: Build up a strong ‘anvil’ in the centre to protect the labs – our
most valuable goods – and to dam up the enemy East of the labs. To ensure that Casillas
would jam onto this anvil, I ordered a flexible defense starting far ahead in the North, steering
the enemy in South-western direction –into the open arms (in double sense) of our main
defense effort. If this would work, we would smash the bound enemy with a fierce counter
attack from North, conducted by our strong reserve. In addition to all this, I planned to apply a
mobile surveillance force south of the valley, just to prevent being circumvented down there.
I still think that this plan, provided the given info were correct and complete, would – or at
least: could – have worked. But it didn’t. Why didn’t it? There were four decisive buts,
leading fifthly to a decisive defeat. How did it come to this?

First of my mistakes was to trust the information you gave us, BUT this information was
neither fully correct nor fully complete. Ok, I should have known that informants always are
somewhat unreliable and sometimes even lie, but I thought, this time, you would have ensured
that no important topics are missing. Decisive, however, in this aspect was that you required
us not only to defend, but even to defeat Casillas’ troops.

My second mistake was to make up a plan for a well-educated, well-prepared battalion, BUT
neither me nor my men were. Decisive, however, was here that my plan required my subcommanders
to have some time to read and understand its idea and do some detail planning
for their own units to be able to fulfil this plan.

Third mistake was that we let it happen that both of my subs retreated personally, BUT we
would have needed prepared sub- lieutenants. Decisive was that Jaime had some problems
with the Computer Mafia, burning his PC equipment, and Honk only narrowly did escape an
attempt to hang him, having a sore neck being unavailable therefore ;-)

Fourth mistake was that we had some last minute changes being applied to my subs, BUT I
decided to stick to my original plan. Decisive was now, that both replacements we were able
to recruit had virtually no time to get into the plan before battle, so everything had to go awry

Let me present, at this place, my sincerest thanks to both of my then-new sub-commanders,
Lieutenant Kendo Echancar and Lieutenant Charro Rost. Both of them did a great job, as far
as they could, regarding the non-existing preparation they had.

What did happen after those two stepped in, replacing the two deserters? As I said already,
most of the things very destined to fail from the beginning:

First, my subs didn't have any time for pre-planning, so they couldn't place a single one of the
entrenchments they were entitled to. I don't want to mention that - after a terrible crash of
Matteo Olmero's global satellite system causing a one hour delay already - he felt obliged to
urge them into the game not willing to give them any more time for preparation -
understandable under the circumstances.

Then Charro's troops, originally forming two forces - mobile Defense North plus Reserve -
were crammed up together and thus applied together. I never learned through the whole game
whether he really used them as two different forces with different tasks. Maybe you could ask
him for me. Furthermore, of course, he had no time and room to reach his positions in time
that laid three kms East of the valley. He tried his best to get there, and I think he did a good
job anyway.

Kendo, on the other hand, had his two forces divided into Defense South plus Surveillance
Far South. He did well by sending out the surveillance units right away and then placing his
defense units, making up a quick sort of plan I assume. while he was still fiddling with the
people there, however, his surveillance force ran into some Colombian Army (GREEN)
ambush right after start of the game. Darn! Not only Casillas, but the Officials, too!
I decided to ignore them so far and concentrated on our preparation for the main defense.
When the Colombian Officials, however, attacked our camp from South-West after dropping
some sniper teams from a chopper, I allowed all my men free fire on the Colombian Army.
During the next minutes, we soon found out that those bastards of the GREEN troops seemed
to fire on anything and anyone moving in front of their guns, so we had to reorganise a little. I
ordered Charro (remember: Defense North and Reserve) not to dare too far East with his
defense force and keep the reserve at the alarm. Kendo was to attack the Colombian GREENs
with his mobile force coming from South. So far so good.

Thinking everything was running smooth so far, I had to have a brief - hmm, retirement - with
my lady, having promised her long ago. This lasted little more than an hour ;-))
After I returned to regain command, my subs had to report that, in the meantime, all recce was
gone, and Charro had thrown his reserve together with his main defense force fighting
cleverly in the North, slowing the advance of Casillas' attacking villains. At least that was
correct: they came from North-East!

Kendo, on the other hand, was fighting with more and more GREEN Colombians trying to
drown the camp and laboratories from South-East. Did those bastards cooperate? Impossible!
Whatever we think from one another, how great ever the hatred between you and Sr. Casillas,
none of you both would ever cooperate with the Official Colombian Army! So this simply had
to be a very unlucky coincidence.

Then I did another mistake. My plantation security being positioned on the heavily reinforced
watchtowers was pounded by BLUE and GREEN mortars - although to no avail - and
panicked! They tried to move themselves from one tower to another - and got killed. Bad
idea! With lots of camp security gone it was more or less easy for GREEN to sneak into the
camp and blow your laboratories with two heavy bombs.

In the meantime, Charro and Kendo were doing a good job in slowing and attriting the
attacking BLUE Casillas' men. Those, however, slipped through a gap between both defense
positions and entered the plantation from North or North-East, I don't know exactly, but they
did it.

GREEN, smelling a good opportunity, called in his agent orange choppers then and sprayed
most of the plantation with their despised herbicide, thus destroying our work of the whole
last year...

But what could we do? Cooperate with Casillas' men to drive off the Colombian Army and
fight ourselves again later on? Never! This was out of the question all the time. It never even
came to my mind; and then, you had ordered me to defeat him, not only to defend the
plantation. Maybe I should have ignored that order and make friends with our neighbours, but
I didn't. Maybe next time.

To come to an end now, I feel obliged to inform you that I took my salary for this and the next
ten years from the plantation's safe. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get onto this plane
so quick and I would have had no chance to go somewhere in the world where you can not
reach me.

Thanks so far, Sr. Valdez, I stay
Your faithful servant,

Ex-Lieutenant Radolfo Pi.

Credits/Performers (in alphabetic order):

Kendo Echancar - Kenneth Chan
Matteo Olmero - Matt "Rattler" Ohlmer
Radolfo Pi - Ralf Pichocki
Charro Rost - Gary Rost
Jaime Sterreti - James Sterret
Honk Stoffo - Henk "Stoffel" Stoffers
Victor Valdez - N.P.C.

"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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« Reply #3 on: 11 January 2009, 23:55:31 »

just out of curiosity, does anybody read those?


"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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« Reply #4 on: 12 January 2009, 09:40:24 »


I just did, I think this was one of the rare ocasions I got beat with Tacops Smiley

My topics are about my personal opinion, my thoughts and what I think. They do not reflect the official opinion of the ministry of defense of the Netherlands.
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« Reply #5 on: 12 January 2009, 10:28:39 »

yeah, I remember rolling on the floor laughing when I named the two drug barons (Victor Valdez and Iker Casillas) after the two goalies from Barcelona and Madrid respectively... I think this tidbit never was realized by neither force commander  Brede lach

« Last Edit: 12 January 2009, 10:38:49 by Rattler » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: 12 January 2009, 10:43:00 »

Found another one that had never been published on my pages, the so called SAR CPX:

This is the Umpires AAR for the TacOps CPX run on OCT 8, 2005, US customs scen USMC, map 260

UMPIRE: Matt Ohlmer (ES)


Chaim Krause (IL), CO
Peleg Wasserman (IL) - did not turn up at STARTEX
Martin Cracauer (US)
Paul Csokay (AT)

John Osborne (US), CO - had to drop out for RL reasons
Jeff Gilbert (US) - took over for John as CO
Ralf Pichocki (DE)
Bernard Cousin (FR)
Valentin Dumitriuc (RO) -  could not play due to tech probs

REPLAY FILES: http://www.eventfoto.com/privat/mil/dls/cpx_replays.html top link



1. Setup
     1.1 BLUE Brief
     1.2 RED Brief
     1.3 BLUE Plan
     1.4 RED Plan

2. How It Went
     2.1 STARTEX delay
     2.2 Actual Game

3. Lessons Learned
     a) Umpire
     b) Players

4. Questions to the Major


1. Setup

I had planned this CPX for a long time, the setup was simple and supposed to be especially newbie-friendly provided the newbies played RED. Accordingly, I balanced the scenario a bit in REDs favor  forcewise to keep it rewarding even after heavy losses.

As it turned out only one newbie signed up (Valentin from Romania) but in the end could not play.

The scenario was placed on map 260, basically a map 1 where the central NS road is replaced by a river - I had chosen this map as I assumed all newbs would be familiar with map 1 -, and it featured two completely different missions for BLUE and RED:

- BLUE had to search and extract the crew of a downed German Tornado ERC with a TaskForce comprised of elements of the Netherlands 11th Airmobile Brigade

- RED had to secure and rig up for destruction the three bridges over the central river employing three SA 10 btys against air.

1.1. BLUE Brief

see: http://eventfoto.com/privat/mil/aars/pages/081005_bluebrief.html

The crew, unknown to BLUE, were located about 2k EAST of the middle bridge over the river, spaced 800 mtrs, and they had hidden in the woods (I had not received specific orders from them by BLUE, so the followed SOP).

I had placed a Tornado Wreck about 300m EAST of the middle bridge, both as a clue to BLUE and RED where to search for the crew.

BLUE CO never gave orders to the Tornadoe Crew, so there was no radio comms at all that could have been detected by RED (I had, with help from Paul Csoky, foreseen to run dice to determine detectiona dn pinpointing loc of the crew by RED had they communicated)

1.2 RED Brief

see: http://eventfoto.com/privat/mil/aars/pages/081005_redbrief.html

The SAM 10s in TacOps have a min range of 5000mtrs (I had assumed 4000 from tests) and so had to be trailed this distance behind the forces to provide effective cover for the bridges, one of the things RED was supposed to figure out during planning.

1.3 BLUE Plan

BLUE CO divided the zone EAST of the river into three search zones (alpha-charly) and assigned each to one of his three strike plns. CO ran the HQ, arty, support and air. Plan was to set up blocking positions against eventual enemy forces in the east of each search zone, locate crew and extract them, and not to engage enemy forces where not necessary for the mission completion.

1.4. RED Plan

RED CO divided his three coys between the players, gave the offmap arty to Valentin and kept himself as observer/reporter. At this point - as Valentin was new and with FFOW on wouldnt have seen any friendly forces to supprot with arty  - I assgned three motorized FO teams (one to each coy) for liasion.

REDs plan was to rush as fast as possible to the bridges (they assumed enemy would be there before them) and take them against assumed resistance.

About 2 days to STARTEX John, the CO, had to drop out and Jeff took over, he assigned 2nd coy to valentin and himself took the arty and the FO teams but did not change the plan.

2. How It Went

2.1 STARTEX Delay

I had planned to keep STARTEX c.t. (i.e. with a delay of max 15 minutes), as I know that those delays are on of the things that annoy players most about participating in CPXes.

Hence, I had briefed the COs and players that I would start with all players present or not and that everybody had to come with the latest patch installed. Also (having implemented one of my earlier LessonsLearned from another CPX) I had called for reserves to be present at STARTEX to jooin in case players didnt turn up.

Alas, Murphy was with us as always, and problems arose right from start:

- A BLUE player never turned up, so it was decided to give his slot to a reserve (sorry, dont recall who took his slot, the reserves playing where callsigns Nimrod - probably Peter Gower, UK -  and Delta99), but of cause the guy had first to dl the löatest patch and to get briefed

- On RED similar things occured, Valentin came unprepared and had first to dl the patch, and then found out he had no scenario USMC (I had told him in one of our earlier test games that - given he wanted to train US only and that he has limited disk space - he could safely delete all non-US custom scenarios.. stupid me, he deleted all except US Army...). Sending him the USMC file didnt work either (he couldnt load it for some reason), and as time was getting short I decided to replace him by another reserve present - who in turn had to dl the patch first and go through the briefing cycle.

- when a player got disconnected during orders phase, he took his units with him and I had to manually add them

As a result we got off playing about 1 hour late, not bad given the problems i think, but not what I wanted.

2.2 Actual Game

Once we were underway, things rapidly started to run differently than what I had imagined: I had not anticipated the effects of FFOW, so, at turn 4/5 (the time BLUE helos got LOS to the crews) they "magically" (if in total concurrence with game engine design) appeared on their maps at spotting distances of 500 and 800 mtrs respectively despite theoretically only being visible 100 mtrs and in hiding.

Consequently BLUE deployed to extract them,  and already in this early stage the planned setup for a Search-and-Rescue mission had turned into a "simple"  extraction mission, something I feared might have been resolved rapidly without even contact occuring.

Via private message unbeknownst to his team I informed BLUE CO of my screw-up, he suggested I should down a 2nd plane with other force color crew, but I let it run and prepared to throw in difficulties in the style of Israeli CPXes should the mission be too easy.

In turn 6 contact evolved finally and RED took out some extraction vehicles, still, in turn 7 the first crew member (WO) had been extracted, and in turn 10 finally the pilot.

After this BLUEs only goal was to extract the forces deployed, until game end in turn 29. BLUE proceeded doing so without much coordinating forces, sending in the helos peacemeal against not smoked or not supressed enemy and so in the cause lost another 8 CH47s. At turn 28 BLUE decided to let the last stranded forces fall POW and withdrew the rest of his forces with 19% losses.

RED, on the other hand, throughout all the game showed high coordination and execllent communicative and tactical behaviour and had almost made it to bridges by turn 29. The had also in the course of the deployment discovered the min range problem with the SA 10s and decided to rear-deploy them.

In turn 16, after heavy skirmishes that they thought to be enemy SOF ambushing them they requested more support from HIGHER (which was granted in form of two additional offmap 152 btys assigned to them), but it was clear already then that they had not assessed enemy intention nor compostion correctly and so couldnt fulfill their secondary mission fo providing higher with exact intel (they even shot up the Tornado wreck in turn 25 IIRC but never got the clue this supposed, nor did they try to prevent the extraction). At ENDEX they had suffered 16% losses, but all key units were intact.

In summary I would access the CPX outcome as a draw in favor of RED: Both teams performed and succeeded in fulfilling their primary missions, but failed in other aspects. For RED, the loss of 10 blue CH47s are supposed to be a good start in producing "newsworthy losses to NATO" (if here only to Netherland forces) in anticipation of the ground offensive and in the overall scenario.

As a sidenote: In turn 16 my TacOps hung up fatally and I coulndt get it to let me host again (later turned out that my hosting port had been blocked by  a net helper program that refused to quit), so we changed hosts to paul, who ran the game to the end with myself joined as observer.

3. Lessons Learned

a) Umpire

- if you want a team to search for friendly forces give the target units another force color. In the set of this CPX this would have meant to make the wreck and the crew maybe green force color, like this they would not have become visible on large distance to BLUE due to the FFOW mechanisms and a true search would have had to be performed (interestingly, I had them green until just before STARTEX but changed them to blue fearing a TacOps crash if the blue helos had had to load green troops)

- always have the briefings ready for reserves or players taking over: I had changed machines to run the CPX and had the breifings left on the other. Next CPX I will post the breifings to my webpage before STARTEX so that any reserves find an easy way to get to speed

- same goes for OOBs in excel form: When BLUE CO got disconnected a few times before STARTEX he took his units with him, i.e. BLUE was suddenly lacking forcesa dn I had to re-add them manually without a clue what I had given to them, another delay of 10 minutes.

- have a copy of the savegame file you start from: During the theoretical 30 minutes to STARTEX players were giving orders and I pulled them when they were done and then saved the file. As we had lost some units in the process of cause my start file was overwritten and the original setup not present anymore, a copy of the setup file wouldhave solved that.

- Try to hold STARTEX at all cost; despite having announced that I would start with all players present or not I decided far too late (at STARTEX) to employ reserves; they stood by to start at STARTEX -30 but I let them wait. Next CPX I will exclude players that are not present STARTEX -30

- have a channel #observers for observers: One thing that kept disrupting me a few times were observers trying to log without announcing this intent during orders exchanges or situpdates; use the channle to brief observers to expected routines (e.g. only join at umpire command)

- If your TacOps crashes, *physically* reboot your machine: I had selected restart three times but the hosting port remained blocked, only after physically shutting down the machine (i.e. switching off power) it was free again (discovered after ENDEX... :-< )

b) Players

- read the briefings with time and in detail: 90% of the questions that I received from players were covered in the briefings already (e.g., "where do we start from?", "do we need a new patch when its out?" etc. one player even set up his units in enemy territory in the first orders...:->)

- come prepared: always check on the list whats the latest patch and have it and the map ready at STARTEX-30; despite having advised that 3x in the course of preparation, one player still dint turn up with the latest patch.

4. Questions to the Major

- when some players get disconnected they sometimes take their units with them (this seems to happen when umpire gets the notification that they got disconned but the player not: After then manually disconnecting the player the units were lost everytime). Any chance to avoid that?

- if BLUE helos load green units, would this put the game process at risk still?

ALL: Thanks for an interesting and fun CPX, thanks for bearing with me when Murphy hit, I could re-affirm a lot of my formerly present umpiring skills and learned  a lot additionally.

Great game from my POV, hope you all saw it like that also despite the quirks.

Rattler (aka Matt Ohlmer)



As BLUE CO my main task was to insure that the Blue players had fun.
You'll have to ask them if that mission was accomplished.

My first question was why Blue was sending in such a huge force for a
SAR mission. So, I went on the assumption that this was just to get
things started and that something would be sprung on us during the
game. So I just sent out very simple plans. (Rattler's AAR sums them up
well). The forces under my command were to provide support to the 3
commanders as they requested it. It was also my understanding that
there would be some newbies, so I didn't want to make things too
complicated with the three groups being dependent on coordinating with
the other groups. Once we spotted the aircrew quickly I pulled one
group back and set them west of the river to support the zone with the
aircrew as they evacuated. I didn't give them any specific orders on
how to go about the SAR or the defense other than to set up far to the
east and search east to west with a delaying line remaining at the
eastern edge. At some point we got the pilots out so I told them to
just pull out what they could and we would go back in with the gunships
and heavy smoke from the 120s. The sub-commanders told me that they
could get some of the units out without my support. I think, but I am
not sure, those are the helos that got waxed. The game was stopped at
that point.

First of all, I want to reemphasize that I felt the main purpose of this
CPX was to have fun and get some new guys involved, so I didn't take it
all that seriously. John O (the original red CO) and myself sit next to
each other at work and we talked about just letting the sub-commanders
have some fun. I sure had fun and don't want my following comments to
be taken as criticism of this weekend's game. However, I do have some
comments about the scenario, if there is a desire to do something
similar in the future.

I don't think the scenario was well planned in terms of it providing for
an interesting engagement in a multi-player CPX. My mission was to
extract a downed aircrew. In RL I would not have just sent an airborne
unit of the size given to just blanket known enemy territory and hope
they stumble across them. In RL I would have done a lot more work to
locate them using specially trained SAR units that have the capability
to do this. Then I would have sent in a specially configured SAR team
to recover the crew fast and furiously. Probably two specialized SAR
helos max with fighter-bombers on station.

As a scenario, in effect, what I was given was an airborne unit with no
orders as to whether I was to defend or attack. I was not told what
amount of losses were acceptable (i.e. fight a delaying action or a
"hold at all costs" action). Because of this, I couldn't properly plan
or use my forces effectively. I would have had to have made several
different plans and briefed all of them to my sub-commanders. If I was
to assume attack, what was I attacking? A location? A enemy force? If I
was to defend, where? West or east of the river? At one, two or three
bridges? Etc.

So, once again, I had fun. Rattler, if you plan on hosting another CPX,
I would love to participate. To my sub-commanders, I'd love to have you
be on my team again.


AAR Comander 2nd Platoon BLUE:

A few words from me as CO of the 2nd Platoon of the Blue forces.

I got the WO in turn 11 and the pilot a few turns later into helicopters and
on the way back. I stumbled upon them very early, but luck is probably part
of every good plan :-)
>From my point of view my (primary) mission was done at turn 15, when I had
all my helos at a secure LZ ready to fly west. I left some infantry behind.
They were fighting heavily with red troops and were in close contact. I did
not see a realistic chance to get them out there by helo, that's why I sent
only one helo to get them out. This was of course doomed, because I did not
prepare a proper smoke screen. A better wy would have been to prepare a
proper extraction with more units, more arty support etc. But everyone else
was also fighting.
As I said before, I had in fact nothing more to do with my platoon after
turn 15. I sent the rest of my units west. At this point Rattler's computer
problems started and so I volunteered to be the new host. My units were than
taken over by Chaim.

Overall a very nice experience, and it was especially nice to have a CPX
again, Thanks for that Matt!


« Last Edit: 12 January 2009, 10:47:20 by Rattler » Logged

"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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