Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bad Tactics Make Widows. And Great Pictures - DCS SU-25T

It is a shame that the most remarkable screenshot of my entire simulation flight career came from such a poorly executed mission.

A Georgian infantry man aiming his SAM at my SU-25T. From this range, I can count how many cigarettes he has tucked in the odd open pouch of his chest rig. This is hands down the best screenshot I ever took. And the most stupid thing I ever done. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Too Forward, Too Detached - Steel Beasts ProPE 3

I'm trying to catch a glimpse of what Cold War era Soviet forward detachments were supposed to do. I threw together a tiny Steel Beasts ProPE scenario in which I am part of a forward detachment from a tank regiment. I am in command of the forward security element of the detachment and my mission is to clear a small patch of the plain that will be used by the big guys as an assembly area.

Going against a troop (-) of US Cavalry, with a full platoon of M1 Abrams tanks didn't fill me with confidence. But I was surprised at our performance.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Attacking the Barn With The Red Roof - DCS A-10C

In his fantastic book, "The Warthog and Close Air Support Debate", Douglas Campbell comments about how different the battlefield looks to the soldier and to the airman. In page two, a clear example is provided in which the soldier asks the pilot to attack the barn with the red roof. The pilot, from his point of view, can see many of those. Which one is the target?

Without any doubt, close air support has come a long way since the times where the problem mentioned above was all too common. The advances in global positioning, optics and data transmission packed in a modern close air support platform like the A-10C would look like magic to a forward air controller from the WWII era.

In this blog entry, a short reflection/tribute to how efficient close air support can be in the modern battlefield. The emphasis is on how the gadgets included in the A-10C help the pilot to accomplish his mission. These are screenshots from a custom-made mission in the highly detailed DCS A-10C flight simulator (Eagle Dynamics).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One Last Trench - New Combat Mission Red Thunder Scenario

By yours truly. I should be blogging more, but I could not help but to edit, test and release this scenario. I wanted to create something simple and quick to play. It turned out to be a tough fight for both sides. Nothing is easy in the Eastern Front!

Soviet armor supporting by fire.
One Last Trench is a single player scenario (Soviet human vs German AI) in which the Soviet attackers attempt to breach the last line of the defense of the German 78th Assault Division. Some screenshots from the gameplay follow.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Trigger-Happy! - The New Trigger System in Combat Mission Red Thunder

Triggered actions for the computer-controlled forces are one of the most awaited and exciting features in Combat Mission since the release of Shock Force. As many of you know, up until now the scenario creator of a single player mission had to guess if and when a certain player action would occur and set the computer-controlled faction orders based on SWAG. Not anymore! The new trigger system in Combat Mission now allows the scenario creator to trigger the computer controlled orders based on either the position of enemy or friendly forces. In this blog entry, a look at how this new trigger system works.

This is a setup that I did put together from scratch in 20 minutes or so. Even the map is from scratch. How many games out there can do this?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Combat Mission Red Thunder - Screenshots

What a weekend of gaming we are getting folks! The newest from is out today and boy it doesn't disappoint.

Let's take a look at Operation Bagration, through the Combat Mission lens.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reverse Planning and Terrain Objectives

In most war gaming scenarios you are given terrain objectives. Sometimes too many of them! But that's another issue. Among all games out there, there are different types of terrain objectives that are supposed to be (in real life tactical parlance) occupied, retained, seized or secured by the player. Some games even feature hidden objectives.

For the most simple type of terrain objectives (occupy), a thing that I always enjoyed in war games is, given an objective imposed by the scenario designer, to plan for and designate objectives for each of my subordinate units.

Let's take this small and simple scenario from Squad Battles Grenada. This is a demo from John Tiller Software that packs 10 scenarios. Pretty much a free game. Go get it!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Battle Command - Flushing Insurgents Out of Khair-ud-dim - Micro AAR

The game is Battle Command, a continuous time, 3D tactical wargame from Historical Software Corporation. It is very difficult to be brief describing all the goodies this wargame packs. Indeed, I just moved my troops around today and there is still so much to learn. For starters, I would call this wargame a simulation because the level of detail and inner workings of this thing are enormous.

This scenario features a US light infantry platoon vs insurgents in the Khair-ud-dim region (Afghanistan). This scenario is actually intended for multiplayer gameplay, but I since I am learning and commanding the attacking forces (US) I thought it would be a good scenario to learn and play in a solo mode.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

ArmA 3 - The Correct Care and Treatment of Your Combat Engineer

The last mission I published at the Steam Workshop got 19 downloads and zero comments, strongly suggesting that I cease and desist about scenario-making. :) Long time readers of the blog Marko and Doug were the only ones I heard back about the previous mission.

This week I am not even able to upload a screenshot to the Steam Workshop. Is somebody trying to tell me something? So this mission is going to be a more private release. :) UPDATE: I finally managed to upload the mission to the Steam Workshop. Link is provided within the blog entry.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Steel Beasts ProPE 3 - Just Drive Down That Road Until You Get Blown Up

Reconnaissance. The redheaded stepchild of war gaming and combat simulations. Misunderstood, unappreciated and just plainly ignored sometimes ... Real war may have less fog than in many scenarios we play here and there. Thanks to the efforts of the scouts.

I understand the lack of gaming enthusiasm about the topic. If you are playing as the Soviets and shooting during a pure reconnaissance mission, most of the times is because you screwed up. And on top of that you are moving at a snail pace ... Unless you are in a particular part of the reconnaissance mission!