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Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

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  • [AAR] Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

    A couple of people were streaming and a video was recorded for this event. I would love to see those. What I can offer is narrative of what happened from my perspective.

    Tactical Advance is unique in a way such that it spans the whole island. It is dynamic such that what we choose to do reveals different objectives as we fight our way through the island. Saving the state of the mission and loading them back is some kind of scripting magic. I love the concept and seeing our progress.

    Dec 7th operations started at dawn in the dark. Thinking we had the motor pool secured, we were ambushed right from the start. A chaotic battle broke out, resulting in our withdrawal. After regrouping back at our initial start, we found a HEMMT truck and headed back to take back the motor pool. On route, we were ambushed twice causing us to stop and recover those who got shot out of the truck. Second ambush, we fought a squad sized force stationed in a ruin for zigzag's life. The firefight was intense, and we were able to reach zigzag's body to give him necessary medical attention.

    After recovering we marched onto the Motor pool to find little to no enemy presence... Where did all the baddies go? At this point, I had 11 guys in my squad and CO wanted us to split up into 3 fireteams. Ramna and Potato took a fireteam of 5 each with their own medic and I had my 4 man team.
    • B
    • Stirling SAS
    • Chief
    • Biggs

    We pushed into the town of Therista (sp?) to retrieve an intel. The town was quite as we advanced, us sweeping the Northern side of town. By this time Unkl joined us as a heavy AT man. As soon as he joined us, we had our contact. A man running around outside and a occupied building. Stirling and Biggs breached and cleared the building and found the intel. Thinking the town was clear as we strolled through it, we did get ambushed once more losing Unkl and requiring medic from one of the other teams to help us.

    I received my order through a broken radio transmission about using Unkl as my AT to take out an AAA. We moved out to do that. We maneuvered through woods and approached the target compound and found the AAA. Unkl lined a shot with us covering his sides. As soon as the missile flew, the compound came alive. A truck tried to rush us. Chief pepper the windshields. Several infantries tried to flank us on left and right. We were able to contain the town by denying their advance on us. We lost Biggs as he disconnected. During this firefight, we lost Chief and Unk requiring us to divert Potato's team from their mission to help us with their medic. With Potato and Ramna positioned closeby, we were ordered to move in. Chief, Unk, Stirling and me rushed the town, guns blazing and bad guys falling... and... a whooshing sound is heard with me looking at some kind of projectile falling from the sky right in front me... Before I could say "Incoming" my whole team was down and in a bad shape. I could only hear Potato on the radio saying "B's team took a mortar round... I think they are all down."

    After we were treated and back up, the assault the airfield began. Ramna's team attempted to setup an overwatch and lost contact. We were sent to investigate. I found their whole team chewed up by an enemy AAA. Trying to recover their bodies and waiting for a medic, we ourselves were shot up pretty good. This was the first attempt to assault the AAC airfield. Beaten back, we regrouped and moved out to try it once more. Unfortunately, we got ambushed on the way in again... After recovering from the ambush after a long time down, we finally positioned ourselves outside the airfield for a second try.

    Lining up and moving up on the runway, we did not know we would be outgunned by several armors. Bodies fell one by one and soon we were all down once more. Medics got my team up, and we flanked through the beach and took a couple of shots at the armors. Although destroying the AAA, there were still enemy armors freely roaming the airfield. Out of missiles, and feeling defeated, we fell back. The day was over as CO wanted us to regroup and fall back to fight another day.


  • #2
    Re: Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

    Originally posted by |TG| B View Post
    A couple of people were streaming and a video was recorded for this event. I would love to see those.
    That can certainly be done. Here is my perspective of this:

    After we were treated and back up, the assault the airfield began. Ramna's team attempted to setup an overwatch and lost contact. We were sent to investigate. I found their whole team chewed up by an enemy AAA. Trying to recover their bodies and waiting for a medic, we ourselves were shot up pretty good. This was the first attempt to assault the AAC airfield.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X0n...ature=youtu.be
    Last edited by intel64gamer; 12-08-2014, 05:32 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

      "HINDSIGHT IS 20/20" ~someone smart

      Constructive feedback on this one. A few things.

      Well, we did know we were going to be outgunned by armors. Alpha team had spotted at least 2 in its initial attack (which ended in the mass death/respawn). Opting to take the "fish in a barrel" approach by walking straight down open, cover-less, flat terrain that was flanked by enemy-occupied high ground was certainly not a good second try. We cannot count on being able to "get the armor first" with AT weaponry for a few reasons:
      1) lock-on time is higher than time-to-acquire-and-kill for AI armor, and
      2) our weapons are showing to have weak performance and hit rates even in the open (due to be only direct-fire and not top-down toggleable, there is much terrain/object collision and nullification of our projectiles).

      The third attempt, taken after the second failed, to send a team around the south side defilade to strike the tanks from the side, behind cover and unseen during infil, was certainly much better. I hope we remember this on the next op.

      A major point:
      The AI are RIDICULOUSLY accurate in this scenario. Even engaging them from behind cover, with the high ground, while the AI were in the open, from 300m away led to 2:1 casualty ratio and total death FOR US, and that was against a similarly-sized force, possibly 1.5:1 their favor in numbers.

      Conclusions:
      1) we need to do more to ensure successful engagements with AI. First, we must always strive for the inverse - 1.5:1 numerical superiority.
      2) we should be engaging them at least at 300m, preferably farther with magnified optics.
      3) we should be fully utilizing our ARs to provide suppressing fire while other members take more aimed shots
      4) we need to be extremely careful to engage the AI on OUR terms, rather than allowing them the initiative (more on this later)
      5) when engaging on our terms, FTLs should be proactive in assigning AI targets to team members (ie "Alpha 1'1 take first on the right, Alpha 1'2 take second, etc)
      6) we should NEVER engage AI supported by armor unless:
      a) there is a very strong numerical superiority on our side (3:1)
      b) we can disable the armor first from afar (using a titan from beyond AI engagement envelope)
      c) we have both exceptional hard cover and are on a ridgeline*

      * this is important for both casualty management, giving us cover/concealment to deal with inevitable casualties, and avoidance of explosive ammunition that will have no backstop to create splatter damage from. In general, we should seek to engage AI from ridgelines whenever possible, either high ground or low, just so long as we have strong defilade directly on our position. This is less important for infantry-only targets than for armor, but is absolutely essential for dealing with armor.

      Engaging AI on our terms:
      1) we need to make better use of cover, or at least more active leapfrogging tactics (typically requires full squad, but can be done at the FT level).
      2) when performing recon-in-force using a fireteam or squad, when encountering an AI group that is superior, a tactical retreat is immediately advisable. Patience and planning are the only way to deal with these AI teams of super marksmen.
      3) defilade is the best cover by far. We can set one team member as a scout (someone with good optics and a clear view), while the rest of the team maneuvers behind such cover and positions itself appropriately.
      4) we should avoid crossing open areas against AI positions, especially if they:
      a) run downhill towards the AI
      b) are otherwise "open" in respect to the suspected AI position (ie the angle between our ground and the AI's position is less than 180-degrees)
      c) lack appropriate cover or maneuver concealment
      5) not get within 300m of infantry AI (appears to be their detection range) once they are spotted
      6) we must make use of farther-away placed scouts on high ground with uncluttered views to watch AI movements and inform teams of potential ambush points. This would be best done by FTLs or Actuals, but other designated squad members are also possible.


      Monday Morning QBing: Alternate Path

      [image not able to be posted]
      i.imgur.com/DnoiqG9.jpg

      In this approach, we approach the staging area, first having dismounted for a walk up 300m away (not shown), expecting enemy scouts to be in the area (which they were). Once in this concealed and heavily covered, wooded area, we can hold a 360-degree defense while sending out a small, 4-man team to recce the area. This team would first attempt to go to the ridgeline with the best expected view and observe only (fire condition red). If they found the terrain too obscured by brush to engage from (as it partially was), a second plan would need to be created. At least one of our "rules" would need to go, likely the 300m engagement range. This team also would have discovered the additional enemy position in the small town SW of the airfield, which would have been likely pincered by that team and a maneuver team of the staging area that used the west ridgeline for its attack (not shown).

      Once the path to the second staging area was cleared, the two teams would have, staying outside the defilade envelope, moved to the second staging area, where the teams would have split into 3: an AT squad, a smaller (1-2 man) scout/Actual squad, and the remained, to be focused on taking out the enemy infantry squad. The scout squad would have used our vehicles to quickly reposition far south of the airfield, where they could get a very clear picture and finalize the plans.

      Once the plans were finalized, the two remaining teams would have moved behind the defilade envelope into position, using the scouts as eyes for what was happening within that envelope. Finally, the attack would have commenced. Should the armor have failed to be neutralized, both action teams could have done as was on Sunday and retreated behind defilade back to the staging areas, either to RTB for a rearm or to otherwise end the mission.

      We are clearly overutilizing vehicles to our detriment. Many casualties were incurred while transiting in a mounted and vulnerable state. We should consider everything within 750-1000m of a strong enemy target to be hostile territory, and we should avoid transiting such areas without armored vehicles or on foot in wedge formations, or without prior recce. Staggered columns are inappropriate for enemy territory except in urban scenarios where freer movement is restricted.

      This plan follows this 'simple' progression:
      - safe and careful infil to 500m+ distant staging area after dismount 750-1000m distant (not accomplished: led to high casualties and small ambushes)
      - well defended staging area 500m+ distant from target (accomplished yesterday)
      - recon of target (poorly accomplished, led to inappropriate engagement and total squad death)
      - plan of attack
      - recon of infil path to target
      ---(additional planning and clearing of path)
      - splitting off 1-2 scouts/overseers if deemed necessary (not accomplished)
      - infil behind hard cover or defilade (failed on first "fishbowl" approach, succeeded on subsequent "defilade" approach)
      - well-coordinated opening attack (failed as enemy dictated start of engagement on first "hill suicide" and second "fishbowl suicide" approaches, succeeded moreso on final "defilade" approach) from a position of strong cover that lacks a backstop (failed on first two, succeeded on final)
      - flexible response and willingness to tactically withdraw if outgunned

      An additional option would have seen the AT moving with the scouts to attack armor from a safe 1km+ distance. After neutralizing, they would have returned to staging area 2 and recombined with the squad to finalize an attack solely on the now-unsupported infantry.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

        Now there is some forum participation in the AAR! Excellent stuff and thank you for the time and thought put into sharing your perspective. It sure has provoked me to add a few points to this discussion. So in the spirit of being open and constructive I will build up some of the ideas shared by those above and cut some of the others. No personal slight is meant in discussion these ideas as this is the kind of thread where we can learn and challenge each other in developing better reactions, leadership and tactics for the next missions.

        First, let me share a few of the artificial facts that drove some of the decisions (I'm guessing at this but I suspect I'm not wrong since it is part my direction that set the tone of this mission). I want events to come in around the 2 hour mark. I'd actually prefer a little less. My thought is that we would finish the event mission and allow those that need to move on with their day a good event and a chance to go. Everyone else would be looking for more....remove the password, take the same level of discipline to the public realm and we are using our prime time Sunday event to best effect. It allows us to have a closed game with TG players at our current skill level without the public JIPs slowing the game down. But after that, why not open it up and play another mission with the same mindset but with the public players? We have our regulars drop who can't stay longer than 2 hours anyway and we lose some key roles....so this seems to be the magic length that I'd like to target for events. Why is all this important? Well let me give you some more background information on the mission we were running that day first before I tie it together.

        Consider that Tactical Advance is intended to be run so we can play a bunch of objectives, save the mission state and next week we simply restore the mission state and pick up where we left off. All the objectives and unlocks we earned the last time we played can be reinstated and we have in effect a long term persistent scenario. It's pretty cool. But, we had a hiccup in that the enemy still spawned in on our completed objectives. So we were using our vehicles to pass through what we thought was areas that were clear of enemy but in fact had been re-populated. This bogged down our mission and derailed the premise of the event. That was, quickly capture the airfield as the first battle in the event in order to use the air assets and really get the event mobile.

        The last time we'd played the event we had captured the airfield but I had left the difficulty parameters too easy and we had decided that we should re-earn the airfield on a more appropriate difficulty. Here comes the next two complicating factors. One is that the force multiplier that adds difficulty was adding in tanks as much as it adds in extra infantry. Adding difficulty adds 2 tanks where you have 2...so now you have 4. (Will may correct me here but I don't mean to over simply it.) If we increase the difficulty of tanks by a factor of 3 we get 2 X 3 = 6 tanks. The second point to add to all this is that when you lose the battle and must attack anew, the enemy will replenish their lost units . What does this mean?

        I'm going to assume that our mission lead was simply operating under the assumption that we had identified 2 armors at the airfield objective and had removed them. In attacking the second time it should have been a simple sweep to eliminate the infantry there. Sweeping far around the west side <EDIT: EAST SIDE I MEANT> of the objective would have been foolish in one sense because there is an enemy armor depot perhaps 600m to the NE from the airfield. This may have hindered our sight lines and thus there was more armor on the objective than we had identified. So more armor, replenished armor and .... wait for it.... we did draw the attention of the armor depot as well....even more armor.

        The other factor....we were getting to well past the 2 hour mark and the GO (and that's me of course) was starting to add pressure to get this objective completed so we can complete the event. It is this factor that lead to using the vehicles to take shorter routes that had not been previously scouted that did in fact hold enemy ambushes.

        You see how this kind of snowballed? Hey we got our butts whooped. And we learned some valuable lessons along the way. We did learn a lot about the terrain about that airfield and the danger of approaching it from that rolling hillside on the NW. The hanger has enough trees and bush around it to obscure a good recon from the view from the west. When re-attacking an objective consider that enemy reinforcements may be present.

        Now let me move on to some of the assertions made in the posts above.

        The one that stands out is that we should engage at ranges that the simulation does a poor job of allowing AI to detect players. This is the opposite of what we strive to do. We strive to get a couple of fire teams into this area and by superior tactics and maneuvering win the fight by being a better squad. Now it's fair enough that we didn't achieve this in this engagement. But it doesn't mean we are going to start to all grab scopes and game the AI by plucking them off at a range they won't react effectively against. This is why we don't need the DMR in the regular fire teams. We need the standard fire teams to operate they way they are designed. And yes, that means the AR putting rounds downrange at a very aggressive and violent manner. I'd even go so far to say that we also would have been much better off when, we realized that the squad on line approach across the open airfield was going horribly wrong, to have used the "Squad, peel right..." maneuver. That would have used the defilade on the south side of the airfield which was the only feasible covered approach.

        Second is the "always from a ridge line" approach to attacks. This is one of my irksome points I like to pick. What is important is always dependent on the situation. But first, you want a covered approach. You also want covered routes to either escape or to flank and maneuver with. It matters little if these are created by terrain or any other feature such as buildings or anything else. It doesn't matter if it is the nearest elevated position or a ditch in the case of terrain. There are so many factors to consider that there must be a zillion books written on this subject.

        My peeve is with the gamer approach of always using the nearest elevated position. That is where players stay waiting for resupply because they used all their ammo on the long shots. They get swarmed because they don't have enough guns to watch all the approaches to their elevated position. They collect casualties and re-org. Then the enemy is sufficiently worn down that players will feel free to charge straight down the hill suffering more casualties just because enough players will make it to complete the objective. During my gaming years, I've played this scenario so many times and I don't care to ever play it again. That is one of the reasons I sought out a group to play with here at TG. I'm not saying to never use an elevated position, just that it is only one of the tools in the toolbox. Getting a squad in up close on the enemy flank using the low ground is just under used in the gamer world.

        Using your squads in diversionary attacks, planning approaches and contingencies, having a plan for when your first plan goes wrong, having players that are disciplined that the whole plan CAN change on a dime....these and so much more are why we are here. When your leader says "Disengage and fall back"....you do exactly that. If the leader says, "Leave the casualties, we must win the fight by repositioning" that is what we do.

        I think that is our biggest challenge at the moment. We are well positioned to handle a small squad but we are using our fire teams more like separate squads. We are giving squad objectives to fire teams and thus are under powered. We still have some work to do to have a squad operate as a proper squad. A squad should have it's fire teams at hand to be able to maneuver on a contact. Your third team should be able to cover the flank of the second team as they flank any contact the first team is suppressing. They should not be spread out on multiple hill tops like multiple squads with different goals.

        Anyway, I've gone on a bit of a tangent. There are a lot of good points in the posts above and I hope I have supported them in this post even though I've not listed them.
        Last edited by Unkl; 12-19-2014, 07:40 PM. Reason: wrote west when I meant east, those that were there sorry for the confusion
        |TG-189th| Unkl
        ArmA 3 Game Officer
        Dean of Tactical Gamer University
        189th Infantry Brigade Member
        SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN
        "We quickly advance in the opposite direction and take cover in a house on the SW side of town." - BadStache

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        • #5
          Re: Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

          Being a small cog in the big machine, a chess piece so to speak, it is good to see how the planners plan and the thinkers think. It is good to have a sliver of background understanding as I slog along in the dirt taking bullets muttering "orders is orders". Thanks for the enlightenment, I say that with complete sincerity.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

            Originally posted by Unkl View Post
            Now let me move on to some of the assertions made in the posts above.
            I appreciate you explaining the background. I understand the constraints and the incorrect expectations. I guess I missed the previous round, so I didn't see it on "easy".

            The one that stands out is that we should engage at ranges that the simulation does a poor job of allowing AI to detect players.
            Well, it does sort of work against the whole point, I get that. But with the AI accuracy settings being so high, it makes them almost impossible to take down, even with high ground and strong cover, without taking heavy/total losses unless you can isolate them one-by-one using terrain masking or something like that. I mean, we were getting practically sniped out of transports moving 50kph by single AI.

            Second is the "always from a ridge line" approach to attacks. This is one of my irksome points I like to pick. What is important is always dependent on the situation. But first, you want a covered approach. You also want covered routes to either escape or to flank and maneuver with. It matters little if these are created by terrain or any other feature such as buildings or anything else. It doesn't matter if it is the nearest elevated position or a ditch in the case of terrain. There are so many factors to consider that there must be a zillion books written on this subject.
            Agreed. It doesn't need to be defilade, and defilade doesn't need to be a high point. We both agree on the major issue: having strong cover to protect/conceal the infil/exfil, as well as to manage casualties, and hopefully reduce them as well.

            I think that is our biggest challenge at the moment. We are well positioned to handle a small squad but we are using our fire teams more like separate squads. We are giving squad objectives to fire teams and thus are under powered. We still have some work to do to have a squad operate as a proper squad. A squad should have it's fire teams at hand to be able to maneuver on a contact. Your third team should be able to cover the flank of the second team as they flank any contact the first team is suppressing. They should not be spread out on multiple hill tops like multiple squads with different goals.
            Absolutely. This was my first event in a looong time at TG, so I don't want to overanalyze what might've been a one-off issue.

            I think a lot of the issues are just how difficult the AI were set to, as well. Not just numbers but accuracy. They were more accurate than humans, while we should be looking for something at most 1:1.

            By the way, what happened to radios?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

              Thanks Hawkeye. for being a sport and recognizing that we have a lot of the same points to say. I kinda used the opportunity to rant about other stuff that you really didn't intend the way I portrayed. Kudos to you my friend.

              Radios are gone for the foreseeable future. Happy to chat about it in TS anytime. Don't want to derail this AAR.
              |TG-189th| Unkl
              ArmA 3 Game Officer
              Dean of Tactical Gamer University
              189th Infantry Brigade Member
              SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN
              "We quickly advance in the opposite direction and take cover in a house on the SW side of town." - BadStache

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

                Tactical Advance (Or TacAd as the cool kids are (going to start) calling it) is back!!

                Today I lead a fire team under B's squad command as we attacked a construction site filled with enemy soldiers. Blue team was myself, Intel64Gamer, SterlingSAS, Olystis, and Biggs.

                We inserted half a click south of the objective and performed excellent team bounding toward our target. Command had briefed us to expect heavy enemy resistance, but from outside the walls my team could only see a single enemy soldier.

                Blue team held overwatch as Red team, under B's direct command, assaulted the site. Despite what little we could see, enemy fire poured out at Red Team. We fired GLs over their heads and as many bullets as we could. Once red team was in a decent position. we shifted up a ditch to get on Red teams flank. By the time we got in position red team had taken a lot of casualties. B was down, so as is my standard policy in the absence of orders from above, I ordered my team to attack! We made it across to the compound walls and Intel64Gamer and I poured more GLs into the compound. Whether what we did worked I don't know, but Red team recovered and managed to move across to the compound walls.

                From there both teams made well coordinated maneuvers into the compound supporting each other as we engaged the remainder of enemy infantry. The fighting got very intense at times but held together and cleared the objective.

                After a short interlude to resupply we moved out to clear the town to the north, Alikampos. Blue team took the lead, while Red team covered us from high up the construction site. We cleared out the southern half of town taking no contact. Red team moved up to join us and we stepped off to clear the north half, still having seen no sign of the enemy (other than an empty transport truck we had seen cruising around from a distance).

                Red team was about 30m to our right when they took contact to the front. A row of buildings separated us, so my team rushed to flank the contacts. As I peaked around the fence I found myself looking at a tank less than 30m away. Right as I looked the engine roared. No one else heard the engine, I'm certain of that because I was yelling "Tank! Tank! Enemy tank!" as loud as I could into the comms. My AT guy, SterlingSAS, boldly rounded the corner and fired a Titan. Unfortunately the dozen or so .50cal rounds the tank put into him threw off his aim a bit and the missle didn't make impact. As Red team AT moved in I tried to pull Sterling back to the medic, but then I caught a few of those .50cal rounds myself.

                Someone managed to kill the tank and recover the wounded. That bit action will be up to someone else to describe.

                After that we had a little more house to house CQB to clear the town. My team did more excellent work covering each other and working together. It was good work all around!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

                  That was a great run of TacAd. We were able to continue from Christmas run which was great. That tank were not visible from the Construction site at all.. It was perfectly hidden. And the thing almost wiped us out if it weren't for the medics. Unk's missile could not touch it. A great placement for that tank. Scotty after two missiles, finally de-crewed it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tactical Advance Dec 7, 2014

                    Originally posted by Noyava View Post
                    Someone managed to kill the tank and recover the wounded. That bit action will be up to someone else to describe.
                    There you go



                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4BRJUyR_Ys[/QUOTE]

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