Monday, June 22, 2015

Combat Mission Black Sea - An Odd Vehicle Fighting Position

It was a bad place to fight against Russian tanks. Plenty of open fields and very little real cover. With just 4 BMP-2s against a platoon of Russian T-72s and two BMP-3s, this whole thing had retreat written all over it. This setup is from an scenario that I was editing a while back.

A panoramic view of the ongoing battle. The red icons are Russian, the blue ones my own Ukrainian Army troops and vehicles.

It turns out that the Russian BMP-3s outclass my BMP-2s in the guns department. No surprises there, the burning BMP-2 in the foreground serves as a testament.

This odd vehicle fighting position is very different from the regular ones in Steel Beasts ProPE. Because Combat Mission does not have a pre-made vehicle fighting positions, I had to "dig it myself" using the terrain editor. This position provides cover from the main enemy axis of attack (from right to left) and allows the vehicle to deliver fire "more in defilade" than the regular fighting positions..
I wanted so bad to try this vehicle fighting position that I positioned it too forward. Just for kicks. The terrain is heavily inspired to the one south of Marinka (south of Donets).

Hidden and covered, my Ukrainian BMP-2 (foreground) waits for its prey. That Russian BMP-3 in the background keeps moving forward ...

The Russian BMP-3 (red icon) gets it in the flank. My BMP-2 (blue icon) is ordered to target one of those Russian T-72 tanks in the background. This fighting position needs some work: hull and turret down steps!

But when the T-72s fire back (white smoke puff), my BMP-2 reverses back to safety.

At the end of the battle, my BMP-2 has delivered some serious damage. Although it required some good amount of micromanagement and it never got to shoot at the enemy T-72s, the fires from this vehicle were relatively good. 

The scenario time frame was just 30 minutes. Too short to account for infantry-tank cooperation. This AI-controlled enemy T-72 keeps overwatch as the infantry presses forward.
Russian scouts ended up the scenario controlling a farm house in the open fields near Marinka.
Cheers,

4 comments:

Chris said...

Neat blog JC. Love your exploration of the game.

JC said...

Thanks Chris. Yours too! :)

Anthony Mercando said...

Great post!

That battle position seems to be the lynchpin for the whole defense. What were the other IFVs doing? I'm curious to think how effective an ATGM would be to the front of a T72 like that, probably not as effective as one would like!

I'm curious to know more about this installment of Combat Mission. Does it model all the different divisions in the Ukrainian military right now? Considering the actual fighting seems to be much more centered around small irregular infantry scraps and long campaigns of shelling I guess not.

What's your take on things? Would a conventional invasion by Russian forces unify Kiev and get them moving in the right direction?

It seems like these scenarios are David versus Goliath, with you never having enough to quite finish the job. Or maybe I'm projecting my lack of competence in Combat Mission games again.

JC said...

Hi Tony,

Thanks for reading. The great benefit of the fighting position is its defile.

What were the other IFVs doing?
The friendly IFVs were back in a hull down position. They did very poorly (even when in a hull-down position) against the Russian BMP-3s. The ranges of engagement were less than 1 km.

I'm curious to think how effective an ATGM would be to the front of a T72 like that
I played the mission again this morning and yes, when hit in the front, the T-72s survive because of their reactive armor. If a missile hits them a few inches in the flank and they are gone.

Does it model all the different divisions in the Ukrainian military right now? Considering the actual fighting seems to be much more centered around small irregular infantry scraps and long campaigns of shelling I guess not.
There is only one plain vanilla version of the Ukrainian military. You are spot on about this sort of "low (?!) intensity war" and the somewhat irregular/mixed forces down there. One can get through that mixing forces with the editor. But I don't think that Battlefront would want to go down that path.

What's your take on things? Would a conventional invasion by Russian forces unify Kiev and get them moving in the right direction?
Tony, I have no idea and I am a bad math for geopolitics. Just as it is today, I think that Ukraine is heading towards division.

It seems like these scenarios are David versus Goliath, with you never having enough to quite finish the job.
I hear you. My scenarios are very unbalanced. But in my defense, all I wanted from this one is to test the vehicle fighting position.

Cheers,