Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Combat Mission Red Thunder - The Tank Attacks at Top Speed

The title of this post is taken from paragraph 256, Part VIII of the Combat Regulations for the Tank and Mechanized Troops of the Red Army (1994). You can get a copy of the translated document from Battlefront.com.

Cavalry men riding a tank. That's 26 tons of steel and pun.
The scenario is from the plain vanilla version of the game. I think the name of the scenario is Baranovichi and there are some spoilers ahead.

I've never been too fond of the intrinsic value of massed tank formations. Maybe because I rarely get to command anything bigger than a company of them. In this Combat Mission Red Thunder scenario, I am in command of Soviet cavalry troops trying to clear the road towards Baranovichi. Just when my own tactical shortcomings and bad luck were about to catch up with my men and machines, mass and speed saved the day.

The map for this scenario is excellent. The woods and marshes in between are a nightmare for a tank breakthrough. We are advancing into the background (my troops are the ones with green icons) with a mission to clear the road to Baranovichi (center of the map). I've chosen to use the flank with less trees (left) and it is paying off. Note how troops on my left flank are advancing out of contact and at a high pace than the ones on the right flank.

Without armor support, the troops on the right flank are having lots of trouble clearing up even the nimblest German listening post.

On my left flank, the scouts make it to the edge of a huge farm. This is no country for the T-70 light tanks and the dismounts are sent forward to observe the far edge of the farm. They are caught by the murderous fire from a German flak vehicle (grey icon on the left).

The light tanks in the reverse slope of the farm, out of sight from the Germans. It was a wise decision to keep the T-70 light tanks out of this fight at the farm ...

... Because that flak vehicle had a mean acquaintance!

After a lot of effort driving over road-less woods, some 10 of my tanks show up and get into an assault position. They prepare their formation (line abreast) unseen from the German armor on the other side of the farm. Almost ... One of my tanks shows a tiny bit of steel skin and gets hit!
My tanks move fast and forward and the German tank has no option but to back up. The German tank crew shaken by the amount of hits taken by their tank (these things are tough to take out), a couple of more hits and they are gone.
After making it to the far side of the farm, a wall of trees is a very unwelcoming sight. Add enemy fire coming from our flank to that and we are in a tactical cul-de-sac. Fortunately, the enemy armor near the drainage ditch was taken from the flank, simplifying things a lot.
It will take a lot of infantry and time to secure those woods surrounding the farm. But I am just elated that we have taken out two enemy tanks.



Shaun Watson said...

How are you finding the stress it puts on your system? Comparable to Battle for Normandy?

JC said...


Computer system? It is running quite the same. I had to turn AA off to make navigation easier, though.


Phil said...

How are you finding the stress it puts on your human system? Comparable to Battle for Normandy?