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#4085346 - 02/28/15 09:23 AM Mini-AAR: Battle Command, Khair-ud-Dim (warning: pics)  
Joined: Apr 2002
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Amaroq Offline
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Amaroq  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
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This is as much an AAR experiment as it is a test run of the current version of BC. I overlooked the 'auto-screenshot' feature so I missed a few things. I'll do better next time, but it still gives a pretty good idea.

The game is 'Battle Command' by Historical Software: http://www.historicalsoftware.com/. It simulates all sorts of units, from WW2 scenarios to 'present time' scenarios like this one. I'm not really into WW2 so I'm really thrilled to have something that simulates modern weapons and engagements at this level of detail. My favorite feature is the actual 3d terrain with satellite images and 'real' LOS calculations (in real-time). I don't get that "yeah, but..."-feeling I get with some other wargames that simulate every single bullet fired but are content to have the terrain represented as broad abstractions.

This AAR only shows the 3D map window. The full GUI looks like this:




This is a pretty basic scenario. You're tasked with assaulting three AQ-held compounds outside a group of hamlets. You start out like this:


Here's another view with the terrain height multiplier set to 2x to emphasize the terrain a little more, as it can be hard to discern subtle features in relatively flat terrain:


As you can see there's a low ridge that runs W to E almost all the way to building B, shielding building C from view. Open ground from Building C to building A and B. Building A is shielded by Building B. With the LOS tool (not shown) you can run the cursor over areas and it will show LOS from that grid square in real time (yes, real time, what a relief) I discerned that the AQ forces in Building B can only see up to the edge of the hamlet. Building A is basically blocked from view and can only see Building B, Building C can see up to the ridge and over to Buildings B and A (starting to sound like Dr. Seuss here).

In any case, I have a good avenue of approach but a tough final assault over open ground for all three buildings.


My plan of battle is to assault building C from the ridge, then B from the hamlet and then A from the secured Building B.

For this I will position the support elements (the two MGs) on the low ridge, where they can support both the assault on Building C and that on B.
I will move 2nd and 3rd squads to the northern endge of the hamlet on an approximate NW-SE line as dictated by building cover from the hamlet and prepare to assault Building B. I will move 1st squad to the rigde above Building C with the MGs to prepare to assault Building C.

2nd squad (the more western squad of the main assault) will be my reserve element for the initial assault on C by 1st squad. Once C is secured, 1st squad on C will be my reserve element for the assault by 2nd and 3rd squad on B and A, and will provide fire support together with the two MGs on the ridge. For the assault on Building A, MG1 will advance to Building B if it is unable to support the assault from the ridge, otherwise remain in place.


Here are the movement orders after a few minutes, I didn't have much play time so I didn't do anything fancy. The MGs are slow so I'm securing their approach to the ridge by taking 1st squad up there via the western edge of the hamlet:



As you can see I already messed up a bit and 1st squad took longer cross country to their intermediary objective than 2nd squad did to it's assault position via the roads, so 2nd squad is effectively securing the flank of the MGs now:


Huffing and puffing, the MGs arrive at the ridge and I order them to fortify their positions (GUI not shown) as they will be up there for a while. While they do that, I moved 1st squad up the ridge, 2nd and 3rd Squad have moved into positions north of the hamlet. MG 1 has a good view of building B and can see an undefined enemy force moving around, MG2 and 1st Squad have a view of Building C and are also reporting enemy forces there. I didn't do a good job of setting my ROE so 1st Squad dropped two AQ infantry out in the open:


It's 12:08h and it's time to begin the assault. I order 1st Squad to assault down the ridge just as the enemy forces in Building B seem to have ducked out of sight (IIRC that purple 'blob' shows that 1st Squad is kicking up some dust as they assault):


The baddies in Building B pop up again and I order MG1 to suppress them. 1st Squad is engaging some AQ operatives in Building C but doesn't have a very clear picture yet:


Suppression from MG1 on Building B works and the operatives duck out of sight again. Meanwhile, MG2 engages Building C from it's fortified position. Tragically, some guy from 1st Squad got hit just as he rose from cover and is down (the blue box with the X on the ridge):


The enemy forces in Building A try to support their guys in Building C by engaging 1st Squad with PK fire but it's a long shot and I order MG1 to suppress them:


Enemy resistance at Building C crumbles:



After a few smaller shootouts and more harassing fire from Building A, Building C is secured, but the assault claimed two more WIA (the squares with the "W"). Unfortunately I forgot to take a screenshot of 3rd Squad assaulting Building B. The assault went pretty well I thought, MG1 supported and 3rd squad sustained one WIA initally. (Edit: I missed that aditionally and just like 1st Squad, one guy was obviously killed just as they started out from cover. Ack.).

2nd Squad is moving up to support but 3rd squad currently mopping up and moving around the compound. The plan is to move 2nd Squad right up and roll on with the assault before things in Building A can fully consolidate. 3rd Squad have expended a lot of ammunition already so they probably shouldn't have lead the assault:


Here's looking southwest from the NE. 2nd Squad is taking too long to move up so 3rd Squad is moving out to secure the courtyard/cemetery, several enemy infantry have been neutralized in what looks to be a courtyard/cemetery:


3rd Squad assaults while 1st and 2nd Squad cover:


2nd Squad moves up to 3rd Squad's position in the cemetary/courtyard because 3rd Squad is almost out of ammo ("01" in the top right corner of the unit marker, as in 01% ammo):


And the objective is secured! And just in time, because 3rd Squad ran out of ammo just then:


So... overall I obviously didn't do very well. Again. biggrin

The Assault on Building C by 1st squad alone (albeit with two MGs in support) was probably too much as I sustained several casualties there. I think I need to improve my supression mechanics to make sure that supressive fire is laid preemtively, not reactively. This is one reason I asked the dev to implement persistent spotting, so you can give clear orders in that respect (they put it in as a beta feature literally overnight!).

However, this is the third time I'm playing this scenario and it's the first time it wasn't a total wash, so I think the basic plan should work and I'm also getting the hang of the controls in Battle Command, so the units do what I want them to do.

If this is your kind of thing, I highly recomment Battle Command. The true-3d terrain has challenges not encountered in more abstract models, but overall makes things much more intuitive and 'real'. Development is very active and the dev is very responsive. The simulation seems sound, as always with this level of detail though you need to pay attention to the details of your orders. Miss something and units get killed.

The caveat is that there is no enemy 'movement' AI. Units are currently stationary or can follow scripted orders determined by the scenario designer. The dev is working on a full AI right now though and when that's implemented, it should be huge.

I'll try to get another AAR up some time that shows the whole UI.

Last edited by Amaroq; 02/28/15 10:40 AM. Reason: some corrections on the final phase that I got wrong.

Don Quixote's misfortune is not his imagination, but Sancho Panza.
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#4086084 - 03/02/15 12:08 AM Re: Mini-AAR: Battle Command, Khair-ud-Dim (warning: pics) [Re: Amaroq]  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 298
Apocalypse31 Offline
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Apocalypse31  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 298
Thanks for posting. Any chance we can see a video?


Rangers Lead the Way
#4086196 - 03/02/15 09:47 AM Re: Mini-AAR: Battle Command, Khair-ud-Dim (warning: pics) [Re: Apocalypse31]  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 855
Amaroq Offline
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Amaroq  Offline
Member

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 855
Europe
Originally Posted By: Apocalypse31
Thanks for posting. Any chance we can see a video?

Not of my playthrough I'm afraid, I'm not a big fan of video AARs but I can see how they give a better idea of gameplay if you're considering purchasing something. I also shudder at the idea me narrating a 30 minute video of what I typed out. duck biggrin

There are a bunch of videos here though:

http://www.historicalsoftware.com/?page_id=122

There have been a few significant improvements to the game since then but the overall 'flow' is still the same.


Don Quixote's misfortune is not his imagination, but Sancho Panza.
#4088698 - 03/06/15 07:25 PM Re: Mini-AAR: Battle Command, Khair-ud-Dim (warning: pics) [Re: Amaroq]  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,429
enigma6584 Offline
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enigma6584  Offline
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Posts: 4,429
Wisconsin, USA
That was a superb AAR! Kudos to you. thumbsup


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