Perturabo asked "So, I have a question to people in the know, how to design realistic scenarios involving that sort of terrain?"
1. There has to be good reason to hold the area.
2. It must be an area the enemy cannot bypass and isolate without great risk.
3. It must be relatively defensible and easy to fortify.
4. Soviet doctrine requires a 7 to 9 times superiority of forces to successfully assault and take a fortified urban area. A successful defense will tie up a substantial enemy force.
Attached file Battle for BHK.zip has three scenarios covering the development of such a operation
The Bad Hersfeld Klinik is located on a hill in the North of BH and overlooks the A4 Autobahn. The Klinik, if evacuated, is ideal for conversion to a fortified strongpoint. Since the start of hostilities, a battalion of FRG Territorial troops and a couple of platoons of Pioneers have been laying mines and obstacles and fortifying buildings in preparation for the arrival of the WP forces.
1. Monitor and report enemy movement on the A4.
2. Observe and direct fire on enemy forces on the A4.
3. Hold as long as possible. The interdiction you enable, and the diversion of enemy forces to remove you will substantially weaken
the enemy thrust on the A4 axis and buy time to stop them.
An initial hasty uncoordinated assault by a force comprising a T-80 tank company, a company of Mech. Infantry and two battalions of leg infantry supported by artillery and air support was repulsed with heavy losses, 33 of 36 vehicles and 375 casualties out of 567. Defender casualties were 175 of 450.
A second assault by elements of a second-line MRR equipped with T-55s and BTR-60s was repulsed at the cost of heavy casualties (189 of 340) amongst the defenders. Soviets lost 96 of 110 vehicles, 309 lost and 151 routed of 528 men deployed
A final assault defeats the exhausted defenders
Urban Combat in AB – Semi-Random Observations:
•Obstacles/fortifications available are AT obstacles, wire and mines. AB does not provide for fortification of buildings or improvised barricades using building rubble, cars, commercial and construction vehicles, or trenches or prepared fighting positions for dug-in infantry. MG pillboxes are available. But I do not think they satisfy the need for trenches and fighting positions.
•Improvised fortifications and barricades would not depend exclusively on military engineering support. Most towns of any size will have at least one civil engineering contractor with dozers, backhoes, etc. Other contractors would have cranes and other heavy construction equipment. And when they have done their work, this heavy equipment can be used very effectively as road-blocks or barricades.
•What degree of protection/cover do AT obstacles provide to infantry positioned in them? Are they an adequate substitute for improvised barricades? Infantry in improvised barricades are exceedingly difficult to defeat with infantry small arms only (Seoul 1950), usually need artillery or direct fire from tanks or mortars.
•AB does not include command operated mines, IED’s, or booby traps. The scenarios use lots of mines to represent these, but mines do not appear to be very effective in AB.
•AB Artillery may be too effective against troops in urban defense. Considerations here include: fortification should provide substantial additional protection compared to a standard building. If not in a building, troops should be deemed to be in trenches or fighting positions and should also have substantial protection. On the other hand, do AB casualties include shock as well as injuries and deaths? I assume it does.
•Wrecked buildings. AB provides for destruction of buildings. But how? Brick buildings as are common in Western Europe will be totally flattened by heavy artillery barrages, but otherwise will merely be damaged unless directly hit. Steel framed industrial building will likely merely haver the cladding and internal partitions blown away, the frame will (mostly) stand. Concrete frame buildings, common for all type of structure in the Middle East but only for larger buildings in Western Europe are very hard to knock down. Damaged buildings give a lot of cover for defenders. It is not obvious that AB accurately models this.
•The standard ammunition load is probably too small for an urban defender. Defenders would be expected to firstly have additional ammunition and secondly access to ammunition caches for speedy re-supply. LAW-AT and LR-ATGM teams would surely start a prepared urban defence with additional AT rounds immediately at hand.
•Visibility/LOS/Range. Far too much ammunition is wasted on targets at longer ranges. Urban combat in short range. Set Hard and Soft ranges for all infantry and LAW teams to 100 to 150m. This gives a high rate of success in anti armor ambushes. Max visibility should be 400m. This will limit the range of LR ATGM’s and improve their kill ratio even after the first shot removes their range setting.
•AB AI doesn’t do combined arms coordinated urban assault. It first charges with tanks and APC’s unsupported. They are long dead before the infantry turns up to be slaughtered. In an urban combat scenario, the player should be the attacker. The defender has little opportunity or need to manoeuvre, his main activity is directing artillery.
•The two sections of Jagdpanzers, if carefully sited, will inflict disproportionate casualties on the attacker. This conforms to experience in Khorramshar in 1980, one of the few modern urban battles in which the defender also used Armor.
•In defence, the AI set ups his defence along the forward line of the defended area. A bypassed force should be liable to attack from 360°, but this is not possible in AB.
Urban Combat in AB – Conclusions:
•AB doesn’t model close infantry house-to-house combat.
•AB is designed for manoeuvre warfare by armored vehicles. It is not designed to accurately simulate urban warfare and cannot really simulate deliberate attack into a prepared fortified urban defence.
•Still, AB works for hasty attacks into lightly prepared or fortified urban areas