Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Operation Wajbah, Civil War in Iraq - Steel Beasts ProPE, AAR

This AAR is from a fictional custom-made, single player scenario played in Steel Beasts ProPE. No political or moral statement is intended other than the tactics and weapons used in real conflicts here and there. You have been warned, this one hits home in time and space closer to real life. 

The plan for breaching through the minefield is quite simple: our tank platoon (1 M1A1 and 2 T-72M1s) will move to the edge of the obstacle and engage enemy threats to our breach team. Once the breaching team is through the minefield, the tank platoon will cross through the breach and engage any remaining targets around the objective. Having achieved the destruction of such targets, our soft units (infantry in trucks) will move up to clear the objective.

I'm the tank platoon commander (M1A1 tank) and the lack of coordinated fire from our platoon is evident from the start. The T-72s don't have such a good targeting system or optics and they can't see the first enemy targets. So it is left to my tank to engage.
One of the first enemy units destroyed was an AT missile team (far background). Our tank platoon has advanced at a steady pace and now the T-72s can be heard engaging too. This is a relief, because there is at least an additional enemy AT missile unit firing missiles from the village.
Five minutes into the mission, the lack of enemy targets around OBJ Dolma makes us confident that we are ready to send the breaching team forward (unit 10A in this map).

A smoke fire mission (grey smoke in the background) is delivered to conceal the under-armored engineers.

The M113s equipped with MICLICs passing through our support by fire position. Note how our advance and deployment is along the road. In the featureless desert and with no marks for the minefields, the road is an asset for navigating during this hasty breach.

The breaching team has reached the western edge of the minefield. The M113 in the front is firing its MICLIC minefield breaching device. Note the heavy smoke screen masking the vehicles from anything at OBJ Dolma.

The black smoke is from the MICLIC charges and the mines around them. All going off in a loud explosion.

The M113s (background) just made it through the minefield. Eager to cross the breach, I order my tank platoon forward. Very carefully (note the un-exploded ordnance on and around the road) we move in a column formation. The smoke screen is still up (grey smoke).

I kept calling targets for the T-72s in my platoon but they didn't acknowledge the contact. Maybe one of the unexpected effects of the smoke screen was the masking of the field of fire from our T-72s, so I am very relieved to see my platoon emerge on the far side of the smoke screen.

I move with my tank platoon very carefully towards a position closer to OBJ Dolma. We unmask an enemy ambush (two BMP-2s plus infantry) and quickly dispatch them.

OBJ Dolma is now very close and the danger of being engaged by infantry-borne RPGs is increasing. We stop in a battle position and the rest of the infantry is called up through the breach.

Our infantry moving through the breach. The M113s have just stopped after the minefield was breached and the infantry dismounts from their trucks at a safe distance from OBJ Dolma.

Our infantry moving up towards the objective and passing through the wreckage of the enemy BMP-2s.
The breach is complete and the infantry is readying to move and clear OBJ Dolma. We would be tasked with supporting these troops by fire, but that action is beyond the scope of this AAR.

It was a simple breaching operation and actually the first one I planned and commanded from the beginning. Since every obstacle is most surely covered by an enemy field of fire, we had to move along a predictable route (the road). We certainly got the enemy to fire at us, but we destroyed two infantry AT missile teams, one captured T-55, two BMP-2s and one AAA gun mounted on a truck.

The thing that strikes me from this scenario is how a platoon composed of different tanks can massively affect the team work (I tend to rely on the computer controlled units for some defined tasks like overwatching). The enemy forces using captured equipment give an ample chance for friendly fire mishaps if the mission is played cooperatively.



Gibsonm said...

Pity you didn't have a plough to prove the route after the MICLICS, but a case of go with what you have no doubt.

Good mission.

Doug Miller said...

Working on a scenario of my own JC and I'm curious as to what look/camouflage you used for the red side?

JC said...

Thanks for your comments, gents.

Gibsonm: yes, the plow is quite awesome, but it slows down the tank quite a bit.

Doug: Iraq. Vanilla out of the can.

Doug Miller said...

Thanks JC. Thats what I ended up doing too.