2 Hours to the Minutka

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CCIP-subsim
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2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by CCIP-subsim »

Just thought I'd post it here rather than the mod section, though it does feature my work-in-progress map and database for Chechnya that I have been working on! [:)]

2 Hours to the Minutka
(January, 1995 - Grozny, Chechnya)

This generated scenario takes place on the smallest (1920x1920m) map size, and sees me lead a small Russian federal force moving out from central Grozny to the strategic 'Minutka' Square. It's a painfully slow slog, this one - but also satisfying from a realism standpoint!

The square dominates transport routes in the city and is being held by the the separatist 'NVF' (Russian for 'illegal armed formations') despite having been previously assaulted and partly flattened by artillery. This time, we'll strike from an unexpected direction and hopefully overwhelm the enemy holed up in the ruins high-rise blocks surrounding the Minutka before they have a chance to react and bring in reinforcements. The objective is to push past any ambushes and patrols quickly, and establish a defensible position in the square.


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Minutka Square in Grozny, sometime before the war

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As seen in happier times

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Minutka square in-game, prior to damage


For the task, a scratch force is assembled, mainly of MVD VV (interior forces) troops including a detachment of OMON (riot police, which for convenience I'll refer to as 'Spetsnaz') to lead the way in. They'll be supported by two platoons of regular infantry in BMPs, two attached support platoons (equipped with AGS-17 Grenade MGs and RPO-A 'Shmel' "flamethrowers" (actually man-portable thermobaric rocket tubes) respectively), two self-propelled guns, and 8 T-62 tanks to provide the heavy punch. Sufficient artillery support and a pair of Mi-24 gunships are also provided.

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The plan is as follows:
Half the force, with 4 tanks and the regular infantry in BMPs, will approach down the main avenue, Lenin Prospekt - while the other half will move out across the bridge from the central rail station, where the Spetsnaz have already secured their crossing. The forces will join at Minutka and support each other. It's a short trip - just a kilometer and a half - but it's bound to take a while through a battered city held largely by small bands of well-armed separatists...
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Naturally, I lead from the front, deploying with the Spetsnaz platoon to start things off!
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First contact does not take long: as soon as the first tanks cross the bridge from the train station, one of the Spetsnaz squads spots a small band of fighters skulking in a nearby building. They are quickly dealt with by fire:
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However, not all is bound to be that easy! Not 3 minutes later, as the tanks try to push up a little further to free up space across the bridge for the other vehicles, one is taken out by a well-placed round from either an unseen RPG or a recoilless gun:
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I already have a fire plan in place for artillery, and suspect the shot came from the direction of the Minutka to the east - so, to get the rest of the southern force across the bridgehead and into position, I call in smoke to block the enemy's line of sight for a bit...
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10 minutes later, after the smoke had cleared and my support platoons have mostly dismounted from the BTRs, we finally manage to spot and neutralize the culprit - looks like it was a recoilless gun hiding near the Minutka after all!
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Not all is going smoothly however. It's been almost 20 minutes into the operation, and now we're coming under unexpected fire from enemy forces to the south. Although they'd got off the vehicles without trouble, the support troops soon find themselves in the crosshairs of the separatists, with predictable results.
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Meanwhile to the north, the infantry force has barely managed to move a couple of blocks - they've only come under some sporadic sniper fire, but it's enough to spook the nervous troops.
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23 minutes into the operation - time to call in some air support to deal with that pesky fire harassing us from the far south!
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28 minutes: the southern force has hardly moved - air and artillery have helped push away the fire from the south, but enemy mortar shots and now new contacts to the north keep even the seasoned Spetsnaz and armored vehicles pinned down for some time before they can be dealt with.
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45 minutes - the northern force has moved another couple of blocks south along Lenin Prospekt, and has finally run into direct contact with an enemy ambush from a high-rise building. They manage to deal with it point-blank.
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From the windows of the high buildings, they also spot another enemy harassing force far to the north - pausing to call in artillery on it. To the south, the main force is finally starting to make progress towards the Minutka.
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58 minutes - screened by the Spetznaz, the southern force is still engaged on approaches through old "private sector" neighbourhoods. Any time they try to move, they again start coming under fire. They remain bogged down here for another half hour, and lose another tank, taking another 8 or so infantry casualties.
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Finally, with artillery suppressing suspected enemy positions to the south, the Spetsnaz and their support troops work their way into the apartment blocks, establishing a hold on one side of the Minutka by 1 hour 29 minutes into the operation. By this point, the northern force is close enough that they can fire on threats in the square from their position further up Lenin Prospekt (as seen by the blue 'engagement' lines coming off the top edge of the map).
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Artillery neutralizes a separatist position to the south, while BTRs keep overwatch and smoke rounds cover the far side of the square.
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Situation at 1 hour 32 minutes: southern force has occupied one corner of Minutka square under temporary smoke cover; while the northern force is finally ready to cross the treacherous Lenin Prospekt underpass to enter the square down the main avenue, with infantry moving to positions in buildings to provide cover fire.
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1 hour 42 minutes: finally, the first Russian vehicles - a trio of BMPs from the northern force - are entering Minutka Square, followed almost immediately by others. Sporadic enemy fire continues from at least 3 directions along the square, suppressed by friendly units. One BTR (seen smoking between the square and the rail overpass) has been hit by an RPG and set on fire.
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1 hour 53 minutes: not all is going smoothly, however! Soon after occupying the square, 2 vehicles are torched by RPG fire from somewhere among the high-rises on the far side, and another 2 (soon to be 3) are knocked out or abandoned.
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Under cover from a smoke barrage, the vehicles beat a temporary retreat to the "friendly" side of the square, while infantry of the northern group move in from across the rail tracks to clear out the buildings.
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2 hours 8 minutes into the operation: after a 15-minute "break", with the infantry now in control of the northern half of the square, another attempt to reoccupy it with vehicles - under fire again! Luckily, we already had a "danger close" mission ready for the buildings on the other side. Still, they manage to take out one more BMP after a couple of attempts before it's all over.
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2 hours 36 minutes: end state!
Russian forces are in control of Minutka square, with infantry screening the buildings and vehicles deployed for all-round defense. Enemy troops are still lurking around nearby buildings, but are no longer a major threat.
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Still, it was not a success that came cheaply...
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Time to dig in and call for reinforcements - Minutka square may be ours, but without relief for the exhausted troops, it will not be a position that can be held for very long!

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1995 - Russian troops and medics taking a break at an improvised aid station on Minutka Square
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22sec
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RE: 2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by 22sec »

Excellent work on all of it, the map, the database and the AAR.
Content Specialist (But really good at maps) :D
Hghx-0
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RE: 2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by Hghx-0 »

The AAR and mod are awesome, thank you.
exsonic01
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RE: 2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by exsonic01 »

Truly awesome work!

A bit off topic, but I wish if this game introduce thermobaric weapons like Tos-1 and RPO launchers. We could use some more firepower in urban battlefield.
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CCIP-subsim
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RE: 2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by CCIP-subsim »

Thanks folks [:)]
ORIGINAL: exsonic01

Truly awesome work!

A bit off topic, but I wish if this game introduce thermobaric weapons like Tos-1 and RPO launchers. We could use some more firepower in urban battlefield.
Thanks folks [:)]

The RPO - assuming you treat it as basically just an anti-personnel weapon - is a super-easy addition and I consider them essential parts of the kit (especially for Chechnya, where it was used extensively by Russian forces throughout). I don't yet have a good enough idea for how to add the TOS-1 - but I'm sure it's doable! I'm just always cautious about adding a "super-weapon" to the arsenal without having a good understanding of how it works. And then there's the fact that there's no building destruction (as far as I can tell) in AB, though you can set buildings on fire - just not sure how those incendiary effects work, either. My main excuse for now, though, is that at this stage I'm mainly focusing on the First Chechen War and specifically the "first" battle of Grozny in December 1994-January 1995, so I don't have to worry about the TOS-1 yet (it wasn't used until the 2nd Chechen War).

exsonic01
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RE: 2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by exsonic01 »

ORIGINAL: CCIP-subsim
The RPO - assuming you treat it as basically just an anti-personnel weapon - is a super-easy addition and I consider them essential parts of the kit (especially for Chechnya, where it was used extensively by Russian forces throughout). I don't yet have a good enough idea for how to add the TOS-1 - but I'm sure it's doable! I'm just always cautious about adding a "super-weapon" to the arsenal without having a good understanding of how it works. And then there's the fact that there's no building destruction (as far as I can tell) in AB, though you can set buildings on fire - just not sure how those incendiary effects work, either. My main excuse for now, though, is that at this stage I'm mainly focusing on the First Chechen War and specifically the "first" battle of Grozny in December 1994-January 1995, so I don't have to worry about the TOS-1 yet (it wasn't used until the 2nd Chechen War).
Thanks for your opinion, I wished RPO, TOS-1 and M202 FLASH from beta (also infantry flame thrower), but I don't have time to mod those weapons for now because I'm already enough busy with map works... I'm not sure if this game can accurately depict the effect of thermobaric weapon. If there are no any other choices, then the effect of incendiary weapon would be the best alternative for current AB system.

Like you mentioned, it would not be easy to mod TOS-1 in this game. I was thinking of in-map rocket launching artillery because TOS-1 have short range. But I'm not sure if we can make in-map rocket launcher.
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Eambar
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RE: 2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by Eambar »

Beautiful map and a great AAR.

Fighting in built up areas is my favourite type of battle, and so far AB has somewhat delivered on that experience. Maps like yours make me believe that a Berlin '85 scenario or even a Stalingrad '42 will one day be possible.

I'd like to see a few tweaks that would enhance the game's simulation of FIBUA - multi-level buildings, ability to use supressive fire on suspected locations with something other than artillery - similar to the fire mission screen for artillery but using direct fire weapons, and a more open-ended way of ending the battle so that it doesn't end prematurely, just when you are about to execute a plan that it has taken two hours to prepare for! Infantry also seems to be a bit too easy to rout when in good cover, and the ability for infantry to scramble for cover when attacked rather than sit in the middle of a road would be good (sound slike this is in progress).

Also, good job only losing four vehicles - RPG/Panzerfaust at close range are devastating.

Cheers



CiniKo
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RE: 2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by CiniKo »

WOW!!..its possible to play with separatist also?...when release?
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CCIP-subsim
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RE: 2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by CCIP-subsim »

Of course! I'm actually finding playing for the separatists more interesting in some ways - at the moment, if you give the AI a 20-25% point boost for generating missions when you're defending, it's essentially impossible to either hold ground or destroy all the Russian forces outright (nearly every infantry unit has some RPGs, but you'll run out of RPG rounds long before you can take out so the enemy vehicles coming your way - and relying on grenades to take out vehicles is a dodgy proposition at best). I'm still carefully balancing out things like unit vulnerability, faction nuances (like morale, orders delays, artillery availability etc.), and unit "cost". For the separatists, their vehicles and off-map artillery are simply going to be too scarce to rely on, and in general there's not many situations where you can simply hold ground by force - I've not had a test game playing for them in a while now where I managed to hold one line of defense for very long. So it's pretty interesting - feels very different from "normal" AB matches [:)]

I'll release a first version of it whenever I finish the Grozny map (I'm tweaking and adding to the database as I go). Hopefully by New Year's, which would be the 24th anniversary of the most infamous Russian assault on Grozny!
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RE: 2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by lancer »

Excellent AAR and map.
Lowlaner2012
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RE: 2 Hours to the Minutka

Post by Lowlaner2012 »

+1 looks really good, any ETA on release?

Cheers
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