Tskhinvali, day one of the Second Russia-Georgia War. Tskhinvali is so close to the South Ossetia-Georgia border that a Georgian soldier could spit from his outpost and hit the outskirts of the strategic city. This is the hot spot where from the first war was triggered, but things are unfolding a bit different this time. The Georgians are now attempting to reach the Roki tunnel or at least to achieve a good blocking position against Russian forces using it.
The fake Second Russia-Georgia War, yet again. This time brought into virtual life with Steel Beasts ProPE 3.0. In this custom-made single player scenario, I am in command of a platoon of 3 Georgian T-72M1 tanks. Many thanks to DarkAngel for his Tskhinvali map.
The Georgian forward detachment has been operating since the early hours, chugging along the plains south east of Tskhinvali. By mid morning, poor maintenance, bad logistics and just plain bad luck had paid more than a visit to the group. The Georgian humble force can barely afford the luxury of attrition but the inconvenience of arriving to the border in such a bad shape is no deterrent for the tankers and soldiers.
As a commander of the Georgian tank platoon, the first thing to consider is that the Russian T-72Bs outclass our T-72M1s in fire control and armor. At the start of the scenario we are behind a patch of woods that provides us with concealment. Emerging from the cover of the trees means to get immediately engaged in a brutal (and likely short) close range (2 km or so) shootout, exposing our flanks and pointing not enough muzzles to the enemy. Shooting and scooting from a corner of the woods is not an option because of the ridiculously slow reverse speed of the T-72M1. Indeed, the T-72M1 reverse gear appear to be designed to just park the damn thing. If you have the patience to endure it, that is.
My first instinct is to restore distance between us and the Russian tanks with a wide flanking maneuver that puts us out of reach of their gunnery (note the black path coming out of the Georgian tank platoon). All distance gains will be then given away slowly by a careful westward movement in which we will need to find a good firing position. The "attack by fire" symbol in the above map is an estimation of where I expect to have my tanks in a good hull down position, according to my estimate. I chose the right flank because a reconnaissance BMP-2 (northmost blue icon) has managed to sneak unmolested into a position near my planned attack by fire.
Stay tuned for part 2.