Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tank-Infantry Teams in ARMA 2: Securing a Foothold in an Urban Area (Part 3)

This is a continuation of past Tuesday's entry. Again, I pasted the birds eye view of the area of operations (image above) for an easier following of the action.

I'm a few meters short of TRP Wall and just below TRP Hill, shaken by two explosions. With great relief I realize that tank #2 has just taken out an enemy tank located near the objective.

That smoke column is an enemy tank. 

I advance towards TRP Wall and order forward the Marines from fire team Red and Green. It's time to do some scouting down the main road.

Moving down the main road towards the objective, very carefully.

That's the enemy tank that our #2 took out a few moments ago. Moving down the road appears to be safe. The intersection may be another story ...

I move down the road very carefully, glued to the wall, with Marines from fire team Green covering. Short of the intersection I find a heavy machine gun (HMG) on our right flank.

Can you see the enemy HMG? Is just in front of the monument.

Before handling this target to tank #2, I repeat this "peeking around corners" drill but on the opposite side. Things are getting exciting. I cross the main road towards the wall on the opposite side (right flank) and I hug it for good. Damn! Another heavy machine gun on the left flank!

This other enemy HMG is harder to see. It's just in front of the rusty metal shed (left of the green cursor).

Summing it up: we have at least two enemy HMGs with interlocking fields of fire on the objective (the intersection). There is an enemy tank deep in the town, but it is out of LOS right now. There may be other anti-tank assets inside the town, but we haven't spotted them so far.

The two enemy HMGs are clearly targets for our tanks. The problem is: if I move the tanks towards the intersection I may risk exposing them to other enemy anti-tank assets that I can't see (because I can't walk on the enemy HMGs line of fire).

I feel funneled into a kill zone and I don't like it. I feel compelled to expand our frontage to our flanks. I choose the small space that divides the buildings between TRP Wall and the objective. I scout this space and it is safe to move into it. I order tank #2 into that space to see if these guys can take a shot at the enemy HMG on our left flank.

Tanks can bring down walls. Don't be shy and make well use of these steel monsters.

With great pleasure, I hear the tank crew confirming that they see the enemy HMG. 

Fire, fire, heat!

Something is not right. The enemy HMG survives multiple main gun and coax rounds. What's going on here? I'm very nervous now. I'm thinking of grabbing a couple of Marines and closing with this HMG but I wonder if the tank fire is even suppressing the bloody bastards.

I go to the main road and order the Marines of fire team Blue and tank #3 (they were left behind covering our right flank) to come up towards me. Then I move back towards tank #2. I simply can't believe the enemy HMG is still alive after all the pounding from tank #2. A series of explosions in the main road demand my attention there again. What now?

Tank #3 is gone. Likely taken out by the enemy tank located inside the town. Note the Marines from fire team Green oriented towards the objective.

I hope you have taken your malaria pills, crewmen ...

Stop the tape right here and take note of the time. :) This is exactly the moment where I screwed up whatever chances I had to complete the mission. I simply stopped thinking. I don't know what would have been best, but there were possibilities. 

Instead, I just hoped tank #2 would take out the enemy HMG on the left flank and I focused on taking out the  HMG on the right flank ... with grenades ... :(

All frag grenades gone, only the smoke ones left.

It was after the second grenade throw ... I wanted to take a peek to see if finally the HMG was gone. It was not ...

So it ends, fellows. I'm sorry for the anti-climactic ending of this short story. Yet I hope you can see the mistakes I made while playing this scenario. If not, I am going to mention them in the future.

I am back to basics with this tank-infantry teams topic. In the next installments I am going to focus on practicing drills in small tactical vignettes. 

And then I will come back to Chernogorsk to kick some ass!



Phaeden said...

Despite your warning, I enjoyed the end as much as the rest. While the mission ended with your death, I believe that the article is well written and represents the reality of combat (or at least virtual combat). Things are always a lot harder than they seem and any little mistake can (and often does) get you killed.

I look forward to see what you have next.

JC said...

Thanks Phaeden!

The embarrassing part was not being killed, but being killed throwing grenades to a HMG position dozens of meters from me. :)


Johan said...

Great AAR, I always enjoy the more realistic stories rather than Hollywood style climactic endings.

Smoke is your friend in situations like this. Had you used the smoke grenades to conceal yourself from the enemys LOS the ending would have been very different.

This is something I am working on, I almost never remember to use smoke in the heat of battle, leading to many avoidable deaths.

JC said...

Hi Johan,

Thanks for your comment.

The thing I missed also in this scenario is smoke from the tanks. Is there anyway to deploy smoke from a tank?


Johan said...

Yes, as a commander in a tank you can cycle through your weapons normaly (with the F key).

Usually, one weapon is the commanders machine gun, the other is the smoke launchers. They create a smoke screen in the direction the turret is facing when fired.

I do not know if you can order an AI tank to deploy smoke if you're not part of the crew.