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NTC Training - 11/24/2018 3:07:02 PM   

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Joined: 8/13/2002
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I've been using the NTC map to set up certain situation to test and learn various game functions and/or tactics. here's a report of the one I just played:

Back to the NTC for more training. This time the focus was on how the contact and scout commands work. Contact will have your units advance but stop and engage on contact whereas with advance, they will fight but try to keep going. Contact makes for a more deliberate advance and it works well, especially in the desert.

Scout has your recon units probe forward and they will stop, pop smoke if they have it and move back to a covered position if possible. I find it hard to keep scouts alive as "recon by death" seems to be the preferred tactic. Scout does seem to work as one of my M551s survived the fight and the other did quite well until hit by flanking fire from the T62s in the north.

This scenario I has a M60A3 company ordered to take a Soviet position guarding the entrance into Red Pass. I was supported by a M106 Heavy Mortar Section. M901 section and a M163 Section. The commies had two platoons of T-62 which were allowed to dig in (I finally figured out how to make that happen in the scenario set up), a BRDM-2 recon vehicle and two 120mm heavy Mortars.

I pretty much did Bounding over-watch through the contact command while pushing the scouts forward scouting. I was staring in the low ground and wanted too use the M901s for over watch but couldn't make that happen. The Sovs defended with one platoon in front of the OBJ and one in a very good flanking position in the north that would fire on my left flank as i moved forward. Fortunately I was able to get my left flank platoon into an echelon left and they took care of that threat but not after it caused damage by killing my M901s trying to get into the only overwatch position I could find. Theis scenario played out at 50 minutes 50 seconds.

I took the OBJ with moderate losses (4 M60A4, 2 M901, 1 M163, 1 M551) The Soviets lost all their vehicles 9^ T-62, 1 BRDM-2)

Lessons learned:

1. recon recon recon. Taking your time in this game is crucial. I wanted those M901s in over-watch too badly and moved them before knowing what was in range. They never survive fire so their only advantage is range. If you can't get the range, don't move them forward until you have the range.. and know what is out there.

2. Mortars are crucial. (I knew this already being a former 81mm Mortar Platoon leader). They can fire suppression fire on enemy tanks quickly. That was how I defeated both dug-in tank platoon positions. I immediately dropped mortar fire on the dug in tanks which suppressed them so I could maneuver forces to acheive fire superiority on them. Dug in tanks are much harder to hit in this game as they should be so you need to use everything to your advantage to knock them out.

3. Bounding Over-watch is key to an advance on a position. Don't rush forward, take your time, find the enemy and be ready to maneuver.

4. The formation and unit commands work very well in this game. Use them. Allow the subordinate units to form up, don't be impatient and start clicking wildly... let the game do its thing. This slows down your pace so you can command as a company commander and not as three platoon leaders. It works, and works well. Train up on using these commands and learn what they do and how they do them. It makes for better control of the units and greater gaming experience.

5. Just like the real Army, training is everything. Set up certain scenarios to train yourself on certain aspects of tactics and the game. This game plays relatively quickly but learning its nuances are key. I'm now very glad it does not have tutorials as it forces the player to train and learn. The interface is easy and the commands not difficult, but you need to see what they do and how.

I've been playing wargames since 1970. This by far is the best (both computer and board) wargame at this micro-tactical level. Many RTS games are click-fests, this one is not, they got the pace exactly right and the command system is wonderful while remaining easy to use. And not everyone dies quickly like in many RTS games, although they can if you screw-up. But sound tactics work well in this game. If you like tanks, get this game and spend days learning how to fight modern era armored warfare, but be warned you may immerse into this game at the expense of real life... I have, but I'm lucky I'm retired.
Post #: 1
RE: NTC Training - 11/24/2018 3:53:04 PM   


Posts: 857
Joined: 12/11/2004
From: Jackson, MS
Status: offline
Very great write up. AB is not like any other simulation or game, and it does require learning the gameplay mechanics. I hate the comparisons to other games, although it certainly has roots in some of its predecessors. Real life tactics are rewarded in AB, especially with maneuvering forces. My favorite is still mastering the tactics of the Red Army in the attack. It’s a challenge because of the larger numbers of units, and the vehicles technical limitations.


(in reply to blackcloud6)
Post #: 2
RE: NTC Training - 11/25/2018 5:10:59 AM   

Posts: 278
Joined: 3/12/2012
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AB is quite unique in it's scale and execution. Generally this is a little on the large side of what I like to play, but the controls work well, and that allows me to spend more time planning and observing the battlefield. Really enjoying this one.

(in reply to 22sec)
Post #: 3
RE: NTC Training - 11/25/2018 1:46:27 PM   

Posts: 2072
Joined: 3/8/2006
Status: online
Thanks for nice write up. I am not sure who to attribute this quote to but: "the only good scout is a dead scout". I think it came out of the the old American west. If anyone wants to give your scouts a challenge, set the enemy defence to "dug-in" or "dug-in and fortify". Those settings make spotting very difficult. You will have to take losses to spot the enemy and have to be ready to "whack a mole" when they pop up. Have attack choppers and arty ready and prepare to close distance on dug-in enemy units getting behind them if possible.



“The study of history lies at the foundation of all sound military conclusions and practice.”
― Alfred Thayer Mahan

(in reply to Sakai007)
Post #: 4
RE: NTC Training - 11/25/2018 2:04:54 PM   


Posts: 857
Joined: 12/11/2004
From: Jackson, MS
Status: offline
I love the challenge of the recon/counte recon battle in any game - just a lot of games don’t really cover it. AB has always done an excellent job of addressing that critical portion of a battle.


(in reply to kevinkins)
Post #: 5
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