Sunday, January 17, 2016

Steel Beasts ProPE - The Battered Bastards

The snow, the village held by my US forces. It felt like the real battered bastards of Bastogne. But I had tanks, and I felt like I rendered my forces useless after this mission. 

However, if the enemy would have pushed a tad more, I would have died.
The tactical situation. A US Mechanized force (a mix from different formations) of a Company (-) size had to defend a village from a Russian mechanized infantry formation (battalion-size). I did have a platoon of M1A2 tanks under my command. The enemy had a platoon of T-90S tanks.
With the ENY attacking on a wide front, I opted to start the battle from an ABF position on our right flank and then proceed with an assault to clean up the remaining ENY forces.

Screenshot from the in-game debrief mode. In a scene that would repeat itself all the way through the final demise of all my Bradly IFVs, one of them is caught in a very exposed position in a long distance fight against a Russian T-90S. I failed to reconnoiter the individual positions of each Bradley so they would not face these type of firefights.
In-game screenshot. Deploying before moving into the attack by fire position.

Screenshot from the in-game debrief mode. The Bradley IFVs in the village did put a brave fight in front of the enemy T-90S tanks. The range was above 1,500 meters and the fire was ineffective against the Russian tanks, which appear to be providing overwatch to their mechanized infantry.

Screenshot from the in-game debrief mode. I micro-managed my force as far as telling them which portion of the ridge to occupy.  This was a big mistake. When you tell the AI to go somewhere, they go no matter what. In this screenshot one of the tanks under my command takes fire from a Russian T-90S. Reminder, the "occupy battle position" command (keystroke "E"), warts and all, is always better than micromanaging every tank when playing along bots.

In-game screenshot. Eventually, that very tank got destroyed.

In-game screenshot. Trying to engage the ENY from the ABF position posed many problems. One was the laser returns, which were bouncing off the foliage of the trees in front of the targets.
In-game screenshot. Things were getting serious in front of the village and I could hear the main guns of my tanks firing. Many Russian vehicles were on fire.

In-game screenshot. Then I saw the Russian tanks jumping from their overwatch position and go into an all out assault. I thought for a second that this was my chance to get them in their flank with my  platoon.

Unfortunately, the Russian tanks saw their collective LOS expanded and I lost one additional tank immediately. When I decided to retreat from our position, I realized that one of my tanks has suffered a mobility kill. I was officially a lone wolf,
In-game screenshot. Reloading AP rounds under the cover of the crest we occupied a few minutes ago.

In-game screenshot. I decided to take my tank south and then turn north to engage the enemy from their left flank.

In-game screenshot. I almost fell off my commander's seat when I saw this appearing on my sights. They turned out to be the remains of my platoon.

In-game screenshot. My cautious approach allowed me to destroy some ENY tanks from a relatively short range. Not without some unnerving laser-bouncing-off-twigs problems.

In-game screenshot. Plus some very short range engagements with BMP-3s: the vehicle in flames was just destroyed by my crew.
In-game screenshot. But if there is one thing that made me very nervous was this short-range engagement with Russian tanks within the village. The enemy tanks are near that black cloud of smoke ahead (you can even see the cupola of one them). A tiny rise in the terrain masked many rounds from reaching their targets.

Screenshot from the in-game debrief mode. The last firefight: an enemy armor piercing round (trajectory is a red line) just graced the top of my turret.

And then, out of armor piercing rounds, I kicked some smoke grenades out and retreated back to the line of departure.



badanov said...

It's tough to defend a fixed position with tanks.

JC said...

Right! They are supposed to be moving most of the time ... :)