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Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo

 
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Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:05:39 AM   
acbennett3


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This is my last AAR before release. My previous two covered a small surface engagement, and an under ice submarine engagement - and there is already Tomcat84's great Fighter Weapons school AAR illustrating air operations. For this one I choose a small SpecOps/COIN user created scenario previously discussed on the forum - Raid on Kismayo. As previously stated this scenario displays the power of the simulation event engine and scenario creation. It also shows the simulation's versatility in recreating a small scale SF operation utilizing/coordinating Air, Naval, and Ground assets

Here is the Scenario description:
Author: Christopher Stoner aka Primarchx 
United States vs. Somalia 

Date/Time: 13th May, 2013 / 23:00:00 Zulu 
Location: Somali Coast, Kismayo area 
Playable Sides: Task Force Maverick (US) 

Introduction 
Reliable intelligence has determined that an al-Qaeda courier is bringing information coordinating further terrorist actions in sub-Saharan Africa to the leadership council of the Somali al-Shabaab faction. The National Command Authority has committed elements of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group to act on this information if it turns out to be credible. Kearsarge and a lone escort, the Littoral Combat Ship USS Independence, have steamed ahead of the rest of their group in order to conduct this covert mission off the coast of the southern Somali city of Kismayo. 

Their mission: to acquire and observe the courier in the chance that he will lead them to any al-Shabaab leadership elements and if so, to launch a direct action effort to capture them. 
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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:06:39 AM   
acbennett3


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So to summarize, the mission is to follow the courier after landing (on a plane that has a GPS tracker on it) at the Airfield being covertly monitored by a SEAL team detachment. If the courier leads us to a meeting site with the Terrorist leadership group present, we are to launch a strike to capture the leaders. To carry out this mission the following primary assets are available:

Recon - SEAL Team Detachment (Coyote4)/MQ8 Fire Scout (Paint1 - unmanned autonomous helicopter)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_MQ-8_Fire_Scout
Ground Strike - x4 Osprey loaded w/24 Marines each from 1st Platoon (Cactus#)
Air Support - x2 Harriers, x2 AH-1Z Super Cobras (Snake#)

At the start of the scenario the SEAL team is covertly observing the airfield and the courier's plane is just crossing the Somali border to the north. I track the courier A/C thanks to the GPS Tracker and when it is relatively close to the airfield I launch the MQ-8 from the Independence in preparation for tracking the courier after he leaves the airfield. In the below image you see the courier A/C to the north (ET-WKP) and the airfield w/the red border and the light blue NATO INF symbol representing the SEAL team detachment (Coyote 4). Then off the coast is the MQ-8 transiting to the area of the airfield and the supporting ships - Independence in the lead followed by the Kearsarge.




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< Message edited by acb3 -- 9/18/2013 1:07:42 AM >

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:08:53 AM   
acbennett3


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In this next image the courier A/C has landed, the SEAL Detachment reports the courier has been positively identified, and they are warning that he is boarding a ground vehicle for further transport and they will soon lose contact. Luckily to the south is the MQ-8 coming up on station to take over observation.




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< Message edited by acb3 -- 9/18/2013 1:09:13 AM >

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:10:13 AM   
acbennett3


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The SEAL Detachment reports the vehicle convoy is departing from the airfield and shortly later the MQ-8 is on station and detects the convoy via FLIR. In the below image the convoy is represented in yellow with an M.





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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:11:19 AM   
acbennett3


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Next the MQ-8 after further observation positively identifies the convoy as hostile (color changes to red) and closes on the convoy to provide better coverage.





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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:12:10 AM   
acbennett3


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The MQ-8 takes station above the convoy and follows it as it travels first south and then a bit to the west and stops. Based on the MQ-8's information the Marine's develop an LZ plan for the snatch operation.




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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:12:53 AM   
acbennett3


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While preparing for the snatch operation, the MQ-8 continues to orbit the meeting location and provides more detailed information on enemy forces. In the below image there appear to be 3 motor vehicle groups, 3 rebel infantry detachments and to the north AAA - that could be a problem…




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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:13:43 AM   
acbennett3


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The Marines load up on the Ospreys and the Harriers and Cobras are prepped for launch. In the below image the entire strike group is on the move. In the northwest corner of the image are the 3 Osprey (Cactus 1-3) - I messed up with the 4th Osprey and shifted it back into a ready mode so I chalked that up as a mechanical failure. 3 out of 4 Osprey was still acceptable per the mission parameters so it was still a go (I made that up to cover myself).

The bigger error was the air support. I launched them AFTER the Ospreys. For the Harrier that was not a problem due to its speed and ability to arrive over the LZs at the same time as the Ospreys. But the Cobra (Snake#1) does not have the speed to catch up with the Ospreys and would ultimately arrive over the LZ's after the Marines were on the ground. The repercussions of this will soon be seen…





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< Message edited by acb3 -- 9/18/2013 1:22:06 AM >

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:14:33 AM   
acbennett3


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In this next image the Ospreys are approaching the LZs and the Harrier is already on station doing its attack run (dropping GBU-12Ds). The GBU's did damage to the rebel emplacements and caused casualties - but did not suppress the AAA.
Meanwhile just getting feet dry is the slower moving Cobra…




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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:15:32 AM   
acbennett3


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All the pieces are now in place for what I call 'The Death of Cactus 3.' The Ospreys successfully land the Marines and the Marines immediately start moving towards the safe house in the center of the area. Unfortunately the rebel AAA is unsuppressed, and the Cobra support is still not on station, so it is busy shooting both to the south and east at the Ospreys clearing the LZs (dotted light blue lines). While the southern Osprey evades and gets clear, the eastern one (Cactus#3) is not so lucky and very shortly after this image is destroyed. In the heat of the battle I did not notice it was missing until a few minutes later - "hey, I thought there were 3 Ospreys?!" Only after reviewing the recording did I see she was destroyed while lifting clear of the LZ. At least the Marines had been unloaded - but if the Cobra had arrived with the Ospreys this could have been prevented…




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< Message edited by acb3 -- 9/18/2013 1:23:36 AM >

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:16:26 AM   
acbennett3


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Finally the Cobra/Snake1 closes on the area and immediately cuts loose with a number of Hellfires.




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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:17:15 AM   
acbennett3


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And then with its rocket pods.




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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:17:57 AM   
acbennett3


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Rebel resistance is effectively neutralized and in this next image the Marines successfully secure the meeting place and the rebel leaders.




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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:18:28 AM   
acbennett3


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This is the end of the scenario and I am given a Minor Victory rating - probably because of losing Cactus 3.

Once again a fun scenario - especially since it was user created. While the game comes with a good number of scenarios, I am looking forward to a flood of user created scenarios covering all sorts of operations after release.

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:19:04 AM   
acbennett3


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I had to play thru the scenario 2 times before succeeding. The first time was a bit comical. I prefer to assign units missions and then watch them carry them out instead of micro-managing individual units operations - seems more realistic as the task force commander.

So in the first play through I created a patrol mission over the airfield and then a patrol mission over the coast to send the Ospreys and Air Support to loiter before the strike. I assign the MQ-8 to the Airfield patrol and the Ospreys and Support A/C I launch early and assign to the patrol mission off the coast. The MQ-8 arrives over the airfield just as the courier convoy is leaving and locks on to them.

The problem starts when the MQ-8 identifies the convoy as hostile. Immediately the Harrier streaks toward the airfield and takes out the control tower and craters the runway. I thought, hopefully the tower did not communicate with the convoy before being destroyed. The Ospreys also head toward the convoy and then start following it with the MQ-8. I thought, that's still ok - they are at 5k feet and since it is night probably not seen. Finally the slower moving Cobras start coming up on the convoy. I thought, they would act like the Osprey and start following at higher altitude until…

Hellfires like fireflies and my scenario advisor screaming "don't destroy the courier - we won't find the meeting place!" Too late, the convoy is a smoking hole in ground. The Marines all say "OORAH!" and head back to the Kearsarge for chow. The SEALs shake their heads and say "D***" Jarheads…". I have a message from CENTCOM saying my replacement is on the way. The scenario pops up and says MAJOR DEFEAT.

I then did more research on Patrol Mission and unit settings and found the error of my ways. So for the above AAR I only used the Patrol Mission for the MQ-8 over the airfield and manually directed the rest of the operation - at least course/speed/altitude. I let the units do their own automatic attacks.

Fun times - can't wait for the release of the simulation next week so the user created scenarios can start flowing…

< Message edited by acb3 -- 9/19/2013 10:34:25 PM >


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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:25:30 AM   
Gunner98

 

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Excellent! I for one will be using the SOF aspect for some user created scenarios. How long did this one take to play in real time? Looks quick.

B

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:31:05 AM   
Primarchx


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I wrote this scenario to try and stretch the legs of the Event Engine and put together a playable narrative that required a bit of subtlety to achieve victory. Not that the end goal isn't blowing the snot out of the bad guys, but making the journey to getting there interesting. Also, as acb3 pointed out, coordinating your units is important. Having air power suppress the enemy units goes a long way toward bringing your Marines home alive.

One quick hint - while the Cobras are certainly outclassed by Osprey's speed, the Osprey can fly slower and allow the AH-1Zs to escort.

Like acb3 I, too, am waiting to see where the player base is going to go once they take Command (pun intended). The options are truly unlimited.

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:36:04 AM   
acbennett3


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First time through probably took an hour. Later playthroughs went faster since I knew the flow and could speed up at points.

Maybe I should have put a SPOILER warning on the subject of this thread. But in the end I think this scenario clearly demonstrates the power of the event engine, scenario editor, and the simulation's ability to recreate many types of operations.

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 5:52:05 AM   
Ranger33

 

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Looks awesome! This is first time I've seen any screenshots of non-missile/torpedo combat and the "special effects" are certainly nice, relatively speaking.

I'm really digging the flexibility of this game. This is a really small scale scenario, but has a ton of important elements to consider. Timing is obviously critical for combined forces operations.

Primarchx, how long did it take you to put this together? Maybe a better question, after gaining experience with the editor, how long would it take you to recreate it? You did a great job of creating a scenario with a lot of dramatic moments and flavor.

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:50:54 PM   
Primarchx


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Thanks, Ranger33!

It is small scale and wasn't particularly difficult to put together. Testing was the longest bit - making sure the right missions were followed, the relationships between the 'sides' were working correctly, testing event triggers to make sure the player got notifications at the appropriate times, etc. All said and done probably ~6hrs or a bit more to finish.

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 1:56:45 PM   
funkymuppet


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Guys - this looks fantastic, and I too have been waiting for years for the 'next' Harpoon. Huge fan of the game and very excited for the 24th.

Quick question on this: is there a debug log for the scenario editor - so you can see what happens in the underlying game engine (say in terms of detection, or move/target activity) that would help the scenario designer understand what's actually going on? I didn't use previous scenario designer tools for Harpoon and don't have experience of other more recent tools, so don't know what's standard - but some kind of log output would be great.

Also, the scenarios being shown here I think are on the smaller to medium scale - will the game ship with a few major scenarios with many units available?

Cheers,
JW

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 2:19:40 PM   
Primarchx


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I'm not aware of such a debug log. However you can turn on a GOD'S EYE mode that allows you to see all unit's activities when playing a certain side from within the Scen Editor. You can also freely switch sides in the Scen Editor from moment to moment. This lets you get in and see what your programmed opponents are up to.

I can't comment on exactly what scenarios will be included in the release but do know that my monster scenario - Operation Brass Drum - will be there. And as we said above, the door will be open for those who want to jump in. The scope and scale of the DBs are incredible, you literally have a topographically correct GLOBE to play on and an easy-to-use editor to work in.

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 2:26:12 PM   
Dimitris


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Hi JW,

Currently we do have some internal logging going on but we usually keep it disabled for a number of reasons incl. performance (logging usually isn't cheap when done in massive scale). At some point we'll probably have to enrich and expose it in a standard form for the needs of our professional clients but it's hard to tell whether this will be available in the consumer version.

On scen sizes - some of our biggies have more than 1200 units, hope your PC can handle them

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 11:01:06 PM   
Gunner98

 

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All sounds good. We can see the whole SOF action in this scenario and that leads me to a couple questions:

1. Some of the 688 SSNs were equipped with a DDS (Dry Dock Shelter) as were a few of the old Boomers. The reason was to insert SOF. Is this modelled in the game?

2. I know that this is not a land Sim and you have shown small company sized battles. How big can the land Sim side get in a scenario without bogging the whole thing down or skewing the results?

Thanks

B

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/18/2013 11:24:53 PM   
mikmykWS

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gunner98

All sounds good. We can see the whole SOF action in this scenario and that leads me to a couple questions:

1. Some of the 688 SSNs were equipped with a DDS (Dry Dock Shelter) as were a few of the old Boomers. The reason was to insert SOF. Is this modelled in the game?


Right now you can host UUV's or minisubs. You can model landing special forces troops using these vessels and the event editor teleport function (so you couple an area trigger with a teleport event)..

In the future we're considering fully hosting land units but it only makes sense to do that when we implement a full land combat model.

quote:

2. I know that this is not a land Sim and you have shown small company sized battles. How big can the land Sim side get in a scenario without bogging the whole thing down or skewing the results?

Thanks

B


Land units can move with terrain restrictions and shoot however the combat model is very light for v1 as our primary focus is air and naval. We're going to look at a more realistic land combat model down the line.


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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/19/2013 12:37:28 AM   
funkymuppet


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Many thanks for the responses - and sounds like the God's Eye is more than sufficient for home scenario development.

The Developer's Note pinned post earlier today answered the other question I had brewing around window-based interface and multi-monitor support - terrific functionality.

Can't wait for the release!

JW

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/19/2013 1:18:38 AM   
Gunner98

 

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Thanks, I can see many hours tinkering with this baby

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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/19/2013 2:23:24 AM   
wodin


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Those messages are they part of the game or just something you added for the AAR?? If part of the game that sure is a great way to add immersion and keep you informed during a scenario.

This could be a great engine to model Vietnam Operations with Heli insertions etc etc.

< Message edited by wodin -- 9/19/2013 2:26:23 AM >


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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/19/2013 2:26:36 AM   
Primarchx


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They are part of the scenario, triggered by game events.

quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

Those messages are they part of the game or just something you added for the AAR?? If part of the game that sure is a great way to add immersion and keep you informed during a scenario.


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RE: Beta AAR - Raid on Kismayo - 9/19/2013 2:27:00 AM   
wodin


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Excellent..adds loads o the immersion.

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