From: Jacksonville, FL, USA
I tried it, got about an hour in, and then CMO crashed, so I had to restart. I should probably mention that this was my first experience with AirLand battle at significant scale.
The first time, I was surprised that the CAS loadouts had quick turnaround disabled (and by the fantastic A-10 availability rate). As a result, I was curious to see whether the default WRA had been modified at all (I like to only shoot 1 ARM at a time, among other quirks), but it didn't look like they were. It might be nice to have either quick turnaround enabled, to generate more sorties within 8 hours.
The DDR SAMs started shooting before hostilities kicked off, so I responded in kind.
Once invasion started, I had a hard time identifying ground targets with any precision, but it didn't look like the WP forces had the same issue. I was using my RF-4 close to the front, but that didn't really resolve anything for me more closely than a Mobile Unit marker. I'm sure I was doing something wrong here, but I'm not sure what.
The beginning of the shooting war also led to a massive slowdown in simulation speed. I had intended to do a sort of dynamic defense, but I lost situational awareness through attempted micromanagement, so things were going badly at both the micromanagement and at the operational levels before the game crashed. Two easy things that I think might improve play speed would be to set the default range rings to not visible, and remove units not usable in the scenario (or set them to blind allied sides).
When I started the second attempt, I immediately turned off all the Game Options speed settings that I thought might keep the game from crashing. I also realized I was essentially playing Capture-The-Flag, and reoriented my defense to account for that. I pulled up artillery closer to the watchtowers - the idea is that they'll identify the targets, and everything else will engage them, but something has to cover the line units' withdrawing when that becomes inevitable. At this point, I noticed I had very little artillery on my right flank. I decided to keep the MRLS as a reserve just in case, but was already worried about how to handle the lack of in-range indirect fire support. My initial CAP was 2x F-16, and I also put an AWACS, a Compass Call, and an RF-4 on station.
The DDR SAMs fired early again this time too, and I responded as well. This time only 10 were fired (6 DDR, 4 NATO - 2 of these still in flight) before a kill. When the no-fly zone was removed, I moved the CAP forward and added a prosecution zone, and sent the RF-4 forward. Things were going reasonably well for the start but I stopped taking such meticulous notes to focus on keeping my units alive. Trying to use the cameras on the RF-4 to see what kinds of units were approaching the border got it killed, and it took time for its replacement to arrive, by which point NATO was in contact.
Ground losses in the first few minutes of combat have been surprisingly light - a couple AAA units, a platoon of Abrams tanks, and all the watchtowers. I'm noting the missile strikes on my radars, but my main objectives are holding back WP armor and force preservation, so that's not something I'm ready to defend against. I did let the MRLS take a nice bite out of the tip of the WP wedge, which helped a lot.
The way the terrain works seems to favor NATO aircraft over WP SAMs - I baited over 30 SAM launches and ducked down behind hills to evade them, and I imagine SA-5 missiles weren't cheap. I only lost 2 aircraft in flight so far - the first RF-4 I think to an SA-11, and an F-16 to something I didn't see. The helicopters were destroyed on the ground by what I think was an artillery strike.
About 40 minutes into the scenario, I started identifying WP artillery, so I put a premium on attacking them with aircraft. Around this time, I also noticed that the MRLS is essentially a one-salvo unit in the scenario. In light of the quantitative imbalance of artillery forces, it might be worth providing reloads for it - even somewhat farther back (so it executes its initial fire mission, withdraws, reloads, and executes additional fire missions).
That's as far as I've gotten. I've saved the scenario this time and plan to pick up from here later.
WIP Score 494
2x 20mm/85 Vulcan M163A2 [1100 rnds] [Cargo]
2x 35mm Twin Gepard [Cargo]
2x AH-1F Cobra
6x AH-64A Apache
22x Building (Watch Tower)
1x F-16C Blk 25 Falcon
1x M192 I-HAWK [Cargo]
4x M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank [Cargo]
1x Radar (AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder)
1x RF-4C Phantom II
4x Vehicle (AN/MPQ-50 PAR) [Cargo]
2x Vehicle (AN/MPQ-51 ROR) [Cargo]
1x Vehicle (AN/MPQ-53) [Cargo]
2x Vehicle (AN/MPQ-55 ICWAR) [Cargo]
1x Vehicle (AN/MPQ-57 HPI [TAS Camera]) [Cargo]
90x 12.7mm/50 MG Burst [10 rnds]
80x 120mm M256 APFSDS-T
72x 120mm M256 HE
80x 120mm M256 HEAT
170x 155mm/23 HE
1x 20mm/85 M61A1 Vulcan Burst [100 rnds]
24x 25mm/75 Bushmaster Mod 1 Burst [12 rnds]
9x 30mm M230 Burst [40 rnds]
44x AGM-114A Hellfire
2x AGM-65D Maverick IR
4x AGM-88A HARM
2x AIM-7M Sparrow III
44x BGM-71C Improved TOW
8x BGM-71E TOW 2A
1x CBU-89/B GATOR [45 x BLU-91/B Bomblets + 15 x BLU-92/B Mines]
12x Generic Chaff Salvo [5x Cartridges]
88x HYDRA 70mm Rocket
36x M26 MLRS [644 x M77 DPICM Dual Purpose]
41x MIM-104A Patriot
SIDE: Warsaw Pact
18x 122mm/36 2S1 M1974 Gvozdika [Cargo]
7x 122mm/38 D-30 2A18 Towed Howitzer [Cargo]
10x 23mm ZSU-23-4 Shilka [Cargo]
12x BMP-2 [AT-5 Spandrel A] IFV [Cargo]
2x MiG-23M Flogger B
1x MiG-23ML Flogger G
1x MiG-25RB Foxbat B
2x MiG-25RBS Foxbat D
66x PT-76B Amphibious Tank [Cargo]
1x Radar (Snow Drift [9S18M1])
5x SA-11 Gadfly [9A38] TELAR [Cargo]
3x SA-11 Gadfly [9A39] LLV [Cargo]
3x SA-13 Gopher [9A35M2] TELAR 2 [Cargo]
1x SA-8b Gecko Mod-1 [9A33BM3] TELAR [Cargo]
3x SA-9b Gaskin [BRDM-2] TEL 2 [Cargo]
10x Su-27S Flanker B
38x T-80 Main Battle Tank [Cargo]
599x 122mm/36 HE
108x 152mm/25 HE
1062x 152mm/48 HE
144x 203mm 2A44 RAP
2x 5280 liter Drop Tank
4x 820 liter Drop Tank
336x 9M27F 220 mm Rocket
1x AA-10 Alamo C [R-27ER, LR TSARH]
5x AA-10 Alamo D [R-27ET, LR IR]
40x AS-11 Kilter [Kh-58U, ARM, Semi-Ballistic]
27x Generic Chaff Salvo [4x Cartridges]
2x SA-11 Gadfly [9M38]
35x SA-5c Gammon [5V28M5]
13x SA-8b Gecko Mod-1 [9M33M3]
I generally don't change WRA settings for the player, just the AI. A setting you like the next person hates. The WRA has been adjusted for the Pact units.
I might add more Allied artillery units, but as you noted this scenario is big. My computer is a beast so I don't always realize how big things are getting. I will say I save often and am a great believer in the autosave option!!!!!
Both sides are set to normal for awareness levels.
Will allow quick turn arounds on the A-10s.
The DDR SAMs firing has been a vexing issue. Short of keeping NATO aircraft grounded they fire. I've tried about everything from no fly zones to setting the Postures to neutral and they still fire, so I think "it is what it is!"
Thanks for playing it and providing feedback!
< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 3/27/2021 1:38:59 PM >
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985
I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!