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Subject: Can't Win Scenario 1/2 as the US rss

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Adrian Hague
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So far I've played scenario's 1 & 2 as the US, and I got my ass handed to me both times.

According to the points tallies of the scenario, both sides are evenly matched. The only advantage for the US is that they have slightly more tanks.

When comparing the US/ USSR tanks, the USSR tanks can move faster (7T, as opposed to 5T for the US), and the USSR APFSDS shots (from a T70 AV) can penetrate the armour of the US units (M60A3 TTS has an average-ish front armor factor of around 48) at any range.

Given the above, it would seem that the USSR have a significant advantage.

What am I missing on the US side of things that makes them a worthwhile opponent in this scenario?
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Jefferson Krogh
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In a vacuum, on a featureless plain without terrain or objective VPs, yeah, the USSR would have a distinct advantage.

Don't forget the large number of VPs for holding the objectives at the end of the game. Whoever sits on those objectives, even if only in passing, is a wide open target. You can rack up a pretty good score by taking positions under cover overlooking these objectives, and waiting for the other side to head for the objectives first.

So yeah, the USSR tanks are deadly, but they have to hit you. Keep moving, keep under cover, make them make the first moves towards those objectives.

(I've played two games of scenario 1, with the US pulling out victories each time after initially falling behind.)
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Adrian Hague
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
Don't forget the large number of VPs for holding the objectives at the end of the game. Whoever sits on those objectives, even if only in passing, is a wide open target. You can rack up a pretty good score by taking positions under cover overlooking these objectives, and waiting for the other side to head for the objectives first.

That's been my strategy from the start, and I just end up with a lot of brewed-up tanks that have cover. Too many of my tanks are getting taken out as they move into cover (doesn't help that the US tanks are +1 size), as they are out-ranged by the USSR. It's not until range is <10 that my tanks have adequate AP Factor to penetrate USSR armor. HEAT/ ATGM's are no use as the USSR tanks have both CEx1.25 and L-ERA armour, whereas my tanks have tissue-paper (standard KE armor).
 
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Nadir Elfarra
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The US is definitely at a disadvantage in a stand-up fight... so don't fight a stand-up fight!

1) Make use of cover, and especially positions where you're likely to get a front/side shot rather than a frontal shot (good chance of hitting side armor which you can penetrate at longer ranges). This often means a longer range shot across the board.

2) Similarly to the above, try to take positions that do not expose you to the full breadth of Soviet forces at the same time. Use terrain to screen your force so you're only dealing with part of the Soviets at any given time.

3) Use smoke (Discharger Smoke [optional rule] or brew-up smoke) so that both sides must employ their backup sights (US "S" vs. Soviet "O") in lieu of the laser sights (this should result in more US hits than Soviet hits).

4) Try for hull-down (or partial hull-down) positions frequently - they make a big difference in keeping your guys alive. Don't discount the -20 DRM on the partial-hull-down attempt.

I won't say I've had much success as the US in these scenarios, but it's a closer fight than it at first appears.
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Fernando Sola Ramos
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In addition to what Nadir has said, if you use optional rules you will find that having two CHQ units is a big difference.

Two CHQs are much better when reaching the CP, and in the case of scenario 2, the command span of 10 hexes vs 8 hexes of the Soviets and the two CHQs also give an advantage: you can deploy two independent groups without risking of getting out of movement commands and with a wider deployment range. This is a tactical advantage you should take advantage of.

If you still find it hard for the Americans, you can add the NATO target acquisition bonus rule.

I've played this scenario 3 times and I have won with the Americans twice, so it's not impossible.
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Kev.
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stay off the hills.
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Jim Day
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I kicked around a number of different options for the first two scenarios. I settled on one that would demonstrate the need for proper tactical decisions rather than the typical NATO bashes the heck out of the Warsaw Pact that you typically find. MBT is a game about maneuver and properly positioning tactically. It's not about toe-to-toe slugfests -- that's a recipe for disaster.

Use of terrain and cover is paramount. Try to resist the urge to break cover and start gunning it out. The objectives are the key. Focus on their capture.

The US has superior command capability with two CHQs and a broader command range. These two elements are very important when engaged in advancing attacks. Even though they're optional rules, I encourage their use in addition to the hidden units rules. Nothing slows up an advance faster than a lack of tactical intelligence. Also don't overlook that the US tanks may fire smoke and with their thermal imagers they have a real advantage through smoke.

In the playtest sessions, the US won about 50% of the battles. In reading those after action reports, the winning US side employed tactics similar to those described above.
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Adrian Hague
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Thanks for all the advice fellas, I very much appreciate it.
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Craig Truesdell
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What I get from this is I need to use all of the advanced rules and optional rules to balance this scenario out. It appears that they favor the US player more than the Soviet player.

Command>US has 2 HQs
Smoke>US has thermal sights

Also, it seems terrain should be used for screening (blocking LOS) more than actual cover to fire from.

Stay off the hills...that I got!

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Fernando Sola Ramos
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ctcharger wrote:
What I get from this is I need to use all of the advanced rules and optional rules to balance this scenario out.


Not necessarily. I've played it with the basic rules and I won with the Americans. The scenario is balanced, no matter the rules you use.
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Craig Truesdell
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You are probably right. I keep forgetting by the late '80s it was if I can see it, I can kill and pretty darn fast too.

That being said, we should review each tank and think about how we should fight them.

Here is a M60A3 vs T-72AV

The main thing that sticks out is that the M-60A3 needs to get to at least within 22 hexes if not 12 hexes to hurt the T-72. The T-72 can penetrate the M-60 at any range (yikes!) (just looking at HF and TF level only)

Don't even think about using HEAT on a T-72

The M-60A3 is slower and bigger but does have a better SB value.
The min KO required is 3 for the T-72 vs the 4 for the M-60A3.

The M-60's do have thermal sights which in smoke conditions give them an advantage.

So I think what I get from this is using terrain to screen the units and get as close as possible before engaging the Soviets is essential. Reading up on the smoke rules might be a good idea too. In the scenario the US has more tanks and 1 more command tank. Not sure how I could use that to my advantage yet. You can run 2 independent groups but I am not sure how that translates to real advantage.

 
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Craig Truesdell
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this was really interesting..applies to the scenario very well


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Fernando Sola Ramos
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ctcharger wrote:

Here is a M60A3 vs T-72AV

The main thing that sticks out is that the M-60A3 needs to get to at least within 22 hexes if not 12 hexes to hurt the T-72. The T-72 can penetrate the M-60 at any range (yikes!) (just looking at HF and TF level only)

Don't even think about using HEAT on a T-72

The M-60A3 is slower and bigger but does have a better SB value.
The min KO required is 3 for the T-72 vs the 4 for the M-60A3.

The M-60's do have thermal sights which in smoke conditions give them an advantage.

So I think what I get from this is using terrain to screen the units and get as close as possible before engaging the Soviets is essential. Reading up on the smoke rules might be a good idea too. In the scenario the US has more tanks and 1 more command tank. Not sure how I could use that to my advantage yet. You can run 2 independent groups but I am not sure how that translates to real advantage.


You're approaching the scenario looking only at the T-72, not at the objectives. In the end, VPs determine victory.

If you're using full rules, two CHQ units will give you a great advantage: you can go towards two different objectives at a time without risking losing movement orders. You can dictate the battle rythm this way, as you force the Soviets to your plan.

You can also outmanoeuvre the Soviets with two groups and attack the Soviets from the side or rear, so no need of being under 22 hexes.

Your better SB rating allows you to fire and move with less penalties than the Soviet.

Use smoke and take advantage of your thermal sights.

On the other hand, if you are playing the Soviets, your strategy should be to go one objective at a time with all your force. One group moves and other group fires, minimizing the worse SB rating. Use your better movement to get to better firing positions and capture one objective soon, so you can put some pressure on the Americans.

Try different solutions and tell us what is your strategy after playing.



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Fernando Sola Ramos
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Another tip: if you're using the Hidden Unit rules, use the hidden unit counters to deceive your opponent.
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