Friday, May 23, 2014

Desert Warfare: a US Cavalry Troop Gets It in the Flank - Steel Beasts ProPE 3.011

I was supposed to pull back my platoon of M3A2 scouts and let the tanks lead the attack against the hastily prepared Iraqi defenses. Ghost troop pushed forward, unaware that the sister formation at his right didn't keep up. The flank of Ghost troop was about to come undone.

This is game play from a custom-made single player scenario inspired in real events during the Gulf War. 

Sergeant Nels A. Moller, your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

This was one of those scenarios that worked better than what I could imagine. Right after contact, the commander of Ghost troop orders his tank platoons to move forward. Aware that besides Iraqi T-72s there was dug-in infantry up front, the M3A2 scouts were to keep up a moderate distance behind the tanks.

The M1A1 tanks (background) moving forward and shoveling up clouds of sand.

The view from an M3A2 gunner's thermal sights. Directly on front, an M1A1 tank. The potential of fratricide is high.
There is already a casualty (tank in the left) among the weary tanks of the 1st platoon. In this picture, I'm trying to move into position to add a bit of firepower into the formation. But my orders were otherwise.
The M1A1 tanks eventually make it into a wadi. By this time, they have destroyed a few dug-in Iraqi T-72 tanks. But all by themselves, the AI-controlled M1A1 tanks stop short of the enemy infantry bunkers and wait for us to evict them from their paths.

As the M1A1 tanks move into a wadi, they loose line of sight on Iraqi tanks dug up on top of a berm. We are forced to engage the dug in tanks with our TOW-2 missiles. In this image, "the bubble" which ensure that the M3A2 are on moderately level terrain suitable for a missile launch.
It was during the process of prepping our TOW-2s when we heard the call about our right flank being attacked by Iraqi T-72 tanks.

I quickly re-orient my M3A2 platoon to meet the threat. The enemy tanks sink and emerge from the ripples of sand. We keep an eye on them and a few missiles are launched at them. None hits their target.

The Iraqi T-72s eventually stop to engage our formation. I can see them firing, but I can't figure out their targets. In this picture, a TOW-2 missile (hot spot at the center of the crosshair) flies towards an enemy tank.

A few seconds later, a huge explosion marks the end of the missile's flight path.

This screen from the AAR file shows the impact of one of the TOW-2s I fired against the enemy tanks.

After claiming four victories against enemy tanks, my platoon moves towards to the right flank to stop the bleeding.  There, we find the battered remnants of other platoons of Ghost troops. Although the sight of destroyed friendly armor puts a heavy dent in our morale, we soon realize that our right flank held mostly due to the gunnery and skill of these guys.

The other surprise of this scenario was how well the AI moved the FO vehicles and acquired targets for the off-map artillery. At least three of the dug-in enemy tanks in front of my platoon were destroyed by artillery. 



Gibsonm said...

If you are concerned about fratricide, use the GAS (non thermal) to confirm before firing.

The GPS is great but you can't spend 100% of your time in it. :)

Gibsonm said...

And of course confirm with the map.

If the range to target matches the distance and direction on the map (if you have FBCB2 running) then that gives more confirmation/confidence. :)

JC said...

Fastest comment ever! :)


Gibsonm said...


Oh and no wonder the vehicle in the first picture "died" (reloading missiles while fully exposed like that).

Pull back into dead ground and your crews will love you.

JC said...

Well, thanks again Mark. But I am not THAT stupid. That's a Bradley from a platoon not under my control. Thought the picture looks awesome ...


Gibsonm said...

Ah sorry I take it back.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff as usual. Your screenshots are always crystal clear and dramatic. I always come back for more. :)

JC said...

Thanks for your comments!