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View Full Version : SBCT -1st scenario and packages posted



Philip
13 Feb 04, 12:08
I have submitted a scenario of Iraqi attack 2 using an SBCT and under miscellanious file archives I have posted some SBCT packages. If you have problems or disagree with the ORBAT let me know. Enjoy!

Scenario
http://www.wargames.warfarehq.com/forums/showthread.php?t=312
Packages
http://www.wargames.warfarehq.com/forums/showthread.php?t=313

Deltapooh
13 Feb 04, 17:27
I have submitted a scenario of Iraqi attack 2 using an SBCT and under miscellanious file archives I have posted some SBCT packages. If you have problems or disagree with the ORBAT let me know. Enjoy!

Scenario
http://www.wargames.warfarehq.com/forums/showthread.php?t=312
Packages
http://www.wargames.warfarehq.com/forums/showthread.php?t=313

I'll try it out. This will certainly be an interesting battle.

Scully
15 Feb 04, 22:01
I played the new scenario today. A whole different dynamic with the Strykers - nice job. I totally misused them, but did alright in the scenario.

What tactics should we be using with Strykers? I'm assuming speed and movement should be the priorities.

I'm going to try to play again and will post an AAR once I'm done.

Thanks for the good work Philip.

Brian

Philip
15 Feb 04, 22:36
What tactics should we be using with Strykers? I'm assuming speed and movement should be the priorities.

Brian

I haven't a clue about what tactics 'should' be used. But I rely on my infantry ambushing, making good use of smoke to keep them hidden for as long as possible, and very tight control over my javlins so they are going for the most important targets and trying to prevent them targeting the same vehicles so that everyshot counts. The actual vehicles are battle taxis as far as I am concerned with a secondary role of manoevering into the enemys rear and destroying his arty or counter attacking any enemy infantry that show up that are not supported with armour. You will notice that the rate of fire of the Stryker ATGM is much lower than the Bradley so you need to engage at the same time the infantry engage or the ATGMS will get killed.

In each Inf. Platoon one Stryker has an AGL I don't know what the actual ORBAT is in this respect but it seemed probable to me, and seems to be very useful.

Glad you enjoyed it, I did. I am finding the SBCT really requires you to consider your tactics carefully because if you make a mistake you are going to pay for it heavily as you don't have the killing power of a normal BCT to blast your way out of trouble.

Pat Proctor
15 Feb 04, 23:08
I will say that the US Army isn't quite sure what to do with them yet, either.

My oppinion is that the real combat power of the Stryker BDE is the infantry. The vehicles should, IMHO be used to get the infantry to a covered and concealed dismount point so they can infiltrate to their objective. The vehicles then hang out in a standy role, ready to shoot forward and suppress and evac infantry, should things go to hell.

I caveat this by saying that this is NOT how the Army is using them, but they are also learning a lot of lessons the hard way.

XRAY
16 Feb 04, 04:54
Sounds like the way they used the M113 in the past ,although I’m sure the development was a lot cheaper then (relatively speaking)

Dr Zaius
16 Feb 04, 09:45
I will say that the US Army isn't quite sure what to do with them yet, either.

My opinion is that the real combat power of the Stryker BDE is the infantry. The vehicles should, IMHO be used to get the infantry to a covered and concealed dismount point so they can infiltrate to their objective. The vehicles then hang out in a standby role, ready to shoot forward and suppress and evac infantry, should things go to hell.

I caveat this by saying that this is NOT how the Army is using them, but they are also learning a lot of lessons the hard way.
That's about what I expected. People keep hearing the term mobility and stryker mentioned in the same sentence and they have the impression that Stryker is intended to act as some kind of "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" weapons system. That it will have much greater ability to move around the battlefield than either a Bradley or Abrams. Although that might have some truth to it in certain circumstances, there are just as many places where a tracked vehicle will have the advantage.

When people use the term mobility in reference to Stryker, what they are really talking about is strategic mobility, not tactical. Stryker is supposed to be able to arrive on the battlefield much earlier than a similar number of tracked vehicles can enter the fray. I've spent a lot of time doing C-5 load-outs, railhead ops, and loading/unloading ships, and I'm skeptical that Stryker can be moved as quickly as its supporters claim.

Can it be loaded on a C-141 or C-5? Yes, but so what? We all know how rare strategic airlift is these days and the Air Force isn't about to dedicate half of its available airframes to supporting a single battalion of ground vehicles. It wouldn't make sense to do that anyway! As far as loading/unloading ships and trains goes, I don't see where Stryker has any great advantage in either. A little bit perhaps, but I fail to see how a ship carrying a battalion of Strykers is going to get there any quicker than a battalion of M1's. I think a lot of this is wishful thinking instigated by the "light" mafia within the Army. It does seem like a lighter vehicle would be much easier and faster to transport and load, but IMHO it only seems that way.

Which brings us to the point of Stryker's actual battlefield capability. From what Captain P just said, it's obvious the senior people in charge of this program have a weapons system in search of a mission, rather than tailoring Army procurement to meet existing mission demands.

I do think wheeled vehicles could have a role in a light ACR, some cavalry functions, and perhaps even peacekeeping operations. I also think there are some serious politics at stake here and the "light mentality" is being foisted on the Army to prove a larger point -- that some people in Washington consider the Army the least useful tool in the toolbox. In reality, the Army is like a hammer; it's the one tool you can do without!

Pat Proctor
16 Feb 04, 11:07
Being a member of the "light mafia";), I DO see a use for the vehicle. Here at the NTC, light battalions truck up to dismount points under direct and indirect fire in 2.5 ton trucks. I better armored, faster, quieter vehicle is sorely needed, and Stryker COULD fill that role.

Unfortunately, that is not how the vehicle is being used. The vehicle is being used like it is the invulnerable ground equivalent of the higgins boat. It is rolling right up to the objective, dropping the ramp, and letting the infantry out.

I fear that when they are really being shot at (read NOW), a lot of soldiers are going to die before they refine the TTP to something realistic.

kbluck
16 Feb 04, 23:34
I think the Stryker *concept* is a good one. For too long, the infantry has been bifurcated.

First there's the "mech", who have become so focused on their vehicles that they might as well transfer to the armor branch. The vehicles take up so much of their time and training that they almost forget how to conduct dismounted ops at all. Frankly, I think they would have been better served leaving the IFVs to the Armor branch, letting the tankers crew and maintain the Bradleys while the infantry rode in the back and concentrated on the ground-pounding. Actually separate organizations, although closely associated, similar to the way transport helicopters are handled. As it is, given inevitable attrition and turbulence, a mech infantry company is doing very well to be able to put 50 soldiers on the ground. Crazy! There's just not enough troops to go around to do the things that need doing, like security, recon, and patrolling, never mind digging in and getting some sleep.

Then there's the "light fighters". Although fabulous at "true infantry" missions, they have by comparison not much firepower, less tactical mobility and no protection at all. Somehow the Army got the idea that the HMMWV could do anything. I think it is downright criminal how long it has taken them to put some basic armor protection on that truck, considering how long such retrofits have been available. And when did the Army forget how to sandbag troop trucks? That was routine in Vietnam. The fact is, you need some sort of protection from small arms and shell fragments, or your troops are going to get chewed up really fast. By the same token, you need some real firepower on tap. Never give your enemy a fighting chance and all that. Why in the world did we get rid of the recoilless rifle? Sure, ATGMs are great for fighting tanks, but expensive and not much good for anything else. Why not keep some 90mm and 106mm RRs in the arms room for less sophisticated foes? The ammo's a lot cheaper, you can carry more of it, and it goes "boom" really loud. Those would be a lot more useful in Iraq and places like Mogadishu than those state-of-the-art Javelins and TOW-2Bs.

So, I think a compromise is certainly in order. We need infantry that hasn't forgotten it's infantry, but with someplace relatively safe to hide and move around the battlefield faster than walking speed when necessary. They need some big bangs that don't cost $50k per shot. They shouldn't require a fleet of container ships and 6 weeks to deliver to a hostile theatre.

I think there's a role for the wheeled APC. Just don't put all your eggs in that basket. Ask the Marines, for Pete's sake. They've been operating one for years. They'll tell you it has its uses, but not ideal in all situations. And, at least they had the sense to put a real gun on it. Great on roads, real speedy. Not so great in the soft sand, mud, and other difficult terrain. And the wheels are really vulnerable, no matter how "run-flat" your tires might be in theory.

In my opinion, Stryker should be a mixed bag. I would have made two battalions upgraded M113s and one a LAV-type wheeled. Both types would have comparable armor, manpower, and armament. Each platoon would have three troop carriers with the present armament of HMG or whatever to field three 9-man squads, and one (the PL's) would have an M2-like turret for fire support and room for maybe 4 or 5 more guys in back like the medic, FO, and radioman. Each squad would have available a 90mm RR to substitute for the Javelin when appropriate. Each BN would also have an 'Echo' anti-tank company, with a compatible platform that would have the choice of mounting TOW or 106mm RR. And, of course, the usual scout and mortar assets on compatible platforms. I'd take the MGS platoons from the companies and form a new "light armored" battalion for the brigade, operated by the armor branch no less, with two companies tracked vehicle like the M8 and one wheeled. The brigade commander can task organize as desired. I think this would be a highly flexible organization, offering the commander a lot of tactical options. It still isn't going to do well against tank-heavy enemies, but that isn't its role.

Unfortunately, as Don alluded to, the Army has a habit of forming a idea and then convincing themselves reality will conform to it. And, of course, the eternal "out with the old, in with the new" sickness, acquiring lots of expensive new equipment and then attempting to fight it in the same old way.

--- Kevin

Pat Proctor
17 Feb 04, 10:56
As a point of interest, we are training the 81st eSB from Washington, which departs straight from here to Iraq.

They will be HMMWV and M113 mounted for this mission (and will, by the way, require less square footage to ship than a Stryker brigade, half as much!)

Ivan Rapkinov
17 Feb 04, 18:53
the problem with the all the literature the army is spewing forth about the Stryker is it keeps mentioning the "edge of battle"

ie

"Stryker can deliver troops quickly and efficiently to the forward edge of battle" ->> where, pray tell, is the line that demarcates the "forward edge"? So, Stryker is no good for convoy/security duties, PK duties etc etc?

personally, I think the SBCTs are a good idea, but I think upgrading the M113 to either Aussie M113AS4 "Stretch" or IDF M113A4 "Zelda" standards would have been cheaper and easier.

I like the Aussie Bushmaster IMV, but I have no doubt in my mind that it delivers troops then runs away, it's not a dedicated fighting vehicle, and neither is a Stryker. The infantry here have a saying; "Better a third class ride, than a first class walk" , and I think that apples in full to the Stryker.

It's a Battle Taxi - get the troops there fast in one piece and then get the hell out :)

Pat Proctor
23 Feb 04, 01:16
I tried out Iraq2 with the SBCT set today. It was definitely a whole different fight.

The extra combat power in dismounts really made a difference. Hiding inside the city, I could hit the enemy, pretty much with impunity with Javelins. I even got a few shots off with my Stryker ATGM's, though they did take a little heat when they moved up, even inside the city. Their just too big to fire AND maneuver.

I had trouble figuring out what to do with my Stryker vehicles with .50 cal RWS. I finally just formed them up in a wedge behind town, waited for the enemy to mass on the town, and then went around them and took out all of the FDC's.:(

My one gripe is that someone took the time limit off of the scenario. I knocked the enemy down to about 8 BMP's, which gave up and just set a firing line 2 km outside town. I was critically low on ammo and couldn't get good shots on them with my few remaining TOW's, so we just sat and looked at eachother.

Out of boredom, I loaded up my three remaining strykers (I went platform for platform taking out the BTR's and their dismounts when I was done with the FDC's) and my Stryker FSV, picked up some dismounts, and went out to destroy the rest of the artillery to meet the victory conditions. I ran out of ammo before that happened though.

With the infantry as tough as it is with the KB mod database, the SBCT scenario ends up being EASIER than the fight with a mech heavy company team. I am not sure if that is realistic or not. It IS a city fight, which should favor infantry, but...

I am going to have to think about how to fight Iraq3 with Strykers. Has anyone had success with that one. I am thinking set up hasty firing lines with dismounts and get the Strykers out as fast as possible, but it will be tough not to get bypassed in every direction.

Hey, great scenario. A real blast. Thanks.

kbluck
23 Feb 04, 11:44
With the infantry as tough as it is with the KB mod database, the SBCT scenario ends up being EASIER than the fight with a mech heavy company team. I am not sure if that is realistic or not. It IS a city fight, which should favor infantry, but...

I think it is (big surprise, right?) Historically, infantry has been very difficult to root out of close terrain. If the Iraqis really want to take that city, they need to get out of their vehicles and fight infantry with infantry. Trying to force the issue with armor alone is just going to result in a lot of burning wrecks. The mech advantage would be in their mobility, where they would have the option to refuse battle altogether and simply bypass all that defending infantry, which would then be reduced to maybe calling fire but mostly just sitting and watching them go by in the distance. But, of course, that's operational rather than tactical art.

Also tilting the balance, I think, is Javelin, which is really a pretty amazing weapon system. A bit on the heavy side, but worth the extra pounds in an anti-armor fight. Orders of magnitude better than that damn Dragon, which in my opinion wasn't any real improvement in effectiveness over the old 90mm RRs but was heavier, bulkier, and had less ammo. You probably would have had a lot more difficulty if the Javelins were replaced by some inferior weapon.

Oh, and those Longbows don't hurt, either.

The best tactics for the Iraqis, IMHO, would be for those BMP/BTRs to stop short of the city (kind of like your end-of-game impasse), dismount, and do an "infantry pull" into the city with plenty of suppressive fire and smoke. Not to say that's a lock either, given American firepower, but its their best chance. Maybe I'll work up a new battle plan to try it out.

Philip: I just noticed an issue with your TOE. Stryker platoons only have 4 ICVs, not five. Three dismount teams per vehicle, with the MG teams (by default) in the HQ vehicle. Also, and this is a minor matter of opinion, given the emphasis on dismounted operations, I'd expect the PL to typically dismount. I'd switch the PL and PSG designations between mounted/dismounted organizations.

So, Pat, looks like you'd actually have been all out of ICVs after taking on those BTRs...

--- Kevin

XRAY
23 Feb 04, 12:59
Kevin,

Could you please tell me where you get your accurate and up to date information on Company/Platoon size TO&E’s. If you knowledge is gained first hand from US military contacts, perhaps you would be good enough to let us have a small paper on the most common TOE configurations that we can then use with your Database.

CPangracs
23 Feb 04, 13:23
Kevin,

Could you please tell me where you get your accurate and up to date information on Company/Platoon size TO&E’s. If you knowledge is gained first hand from US military contacts, perhaps you would be good enough to let us have a small paper on the most common TOE configurations that we can then use with your Database.Here you go...

http://www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/3-21.9/chap1.htm

This is the FM on the SPT Rifle Platoons/Squads - actually a good read. Use the TOC button at the top of the page to go back to the full FM and learn about the different formations and hoe the Army wants the Stryker to be used in combat.;)

kbluck
23 Feb 04, 13:42
As Curt surmised, I got this particular information directly out of the various SBCT field manuals.

I also use a variety of other resources for other needs, including print and word-of-mouth sources.

One of the more useful on-line resources for US Army organizations is:

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/army/unit/toe/

There's also some useful stuff over at the TacOps site:

http://www.battlefront.com/resources/tacops/HQ/text/

--- Kevin

XRAY
23 Feb 04, 14:17
Sorry Curt, unable to follow the link, I get a “The page cannot be displayed”

Is there another way to get to the data?

XRAY
23 Feb 04, 14:24
Thanks guys, onto it now. :)

Pat Proctor
23 Feb 04, 23:54
I have played the Second Gulf War 3 with the SBCT vehicles. It was, I am glad to report, a resounding victory for the forces of liberty ;)

Final results were 0 OPFOR remaining and 2 scout vehicles destroyed. The key to success was getting scouts close to the center line, well before the enemy mainbody crossed the LD.

I was able to ID the enemy recons, lead company, and mainbody. I could then post infantry/AT vehicle firing lines and get the Stryker carriers the hell out of Dodge well before direct fire contact.

The Javelin rocks. The only issue is ammo. You just don't get a lot of shots, so you have to let the enemy close pretty close to get the high pH you need. Flank shots help too.

After dismounting my infantry in blocking positions, I moved the Strykers very deep and destroyed the enemy artillery before it ever set. And here is a bit of unrealism. A single company commander can not control six platoons, separated by 15km or more. I guess this was a bit of gameism on my part.

kbluck
05 Mar 04, 17:36
I just played Second Gulf War 3 (SBCT). As Pat reported, it was a turkey shoot. Zero friendly casualties, enemy annihilated. As he indicated, if you get scouts out and get a good picture of the enemy advance (not difficult), you can easily set up firing lines with your dismounts, keeping your AT in reserve to backstop any enemy that trickle by your relatively immobile dismounts. The enemy then drives right into your kill zone.

On a whim, I ran it from savegame and held fire on my Javelins and TOWs. The enemy ran directly into my dismount line. He was actually able to return fire this time, causing some friendly casualties, but even with nothing but AT-4 and 40mm grenades, my dismounts still chewed him up pretty savagely.

Bottom line, the enemy attacks stupidly in this one. They just march lemming-like into the meatgrinder. I think even a single company could win this one without too much nail-biting. Not that I think the poor enemy plan and resulting carnage is necessarily unrealistic, in this case, but the scenario isn't much of a challenge.

If I were the Iraqi commander, I'd aim to just drive around any dismounted elements and carry on. There's a lot of space in that open desert, and the Stryker vehicles are generally so toothless that I wouldn't fear a mobile counterattack very much. If for some reason I absolutely had to attack through them, here is what I would do to have a fighting chance:

When my CRPs hit the US dismount line (and probably get toasted), I'd take note. Send up the main body, on line, dump as much smoke as I had in front of the US (for whatever good it might do) and sprint my carriers forward to get the dismounts off about a klick in front of the US line. Let the dismounts march forward about 500 meters in front, followed up by the tanks and BMPs at march speed. Suppress everything to the front while moving forward. Shift artillery to HE on the dismount line and keep the volleys coming until the ammo runs dry. Run my dismount line directly into the US line with bayonets fixed.

I'd probably still lose, but at least I'd probably get some licks in. The Americans can win but still lose, if you take my meaning.

Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to make the AI do this sort of thing in Scenario Builder, and not for lack of trying. The first major difficulty: prioritizing artillery fire. If there's a way to store fire missions and then assign them on a condition, I can't find it. Same with missions in general, come to think of it. The second is suppressive fire. SBFs require a lot of guesswork, and the human player almost never sets up where you'd like him to. Besides, I'd prefer a skirmish line in this case, not an SBF. It would be nice if setting suppress SOP would just suppress anything in sight, instead of having to set that durn circle. Set a fire arc if you want to control what they shoot at. A third problem is the way dismounts end up scattered all over a grid square when you dismount them. It takes a half hour just to get them all rounded up and heading in the right direction. This affects the human player as much as the AI.

--- Kevin

Pat Proctor
05 Mar 04, 17:50
Bottom line, the enemy attacks stupidly in this one. They just march lemming-like into the meatgrinder. I think even a single company could win this one without too much nail-biting. Not that I think the poor enemy plan and resulting carnage is necessarily unrealistic, in this case, but the scenario isn't much of a challenge.

As, I think, you correctly identify, the AI is set up for a different fight. The enemy in the scenario is built to fight an armor force. He strives to ID your formations early, and flex his elements to a) fix your lead force (assumed the smallest element) and then b) destroy your mainbody. The AI relies on the enemy's superior range and ability to detect your movement to establish firing lines and let you smack into him, trying to close to within your firing range.

This plan breaks down against the Stryker battalion because, if you establish your fire lines and move your Strykers away, he does not consider the firing line a threat (he is looking for tanks, AT, and troop carriers) to stop and engage. He runs right through the dismount meat grinder without really reacting.

You should be able to add scripting to watch for BLUFOR dismounts and give the stop order when they are spotted. This will at least give you a fighting chance to get 30mm and main gun fire off. I still think that you will never spot the dismounts before you are well within Javelin range, though.

The enemy is just all wrong for this BLUFOR task org.

kbluck
05 Mar 04, 18:22
Can you describe what the AI does for an "Assault" mission, and what data elements are necessary to set one up?

In particular, do you see a way to set up a number of event boxes, and specify an objective for a predefined and cancelled Assault mission based on a comparison of those boxes?

I'm also interested in the "indirect fire" component of those missions. If IF units are added to the mission heirarchy, will their fire be "dedicated" to support of that mission, once activated?

--- Kevin

r3mu503
24 Mar 04, 04:57
Just as an experiment I tried the Iraq2 scenario but with one change, I modified the .50 cal ICVs to mount ASP-30s instead. Result: major firepower difference when it comes to providing fire support for the dismounts. The ICVs are now actually useful.

Now since the ASP comes with an available soft mount (i.e. it can be mounted on Humvees) I assume an adapter can be made to mount it on the Stryker's RWS (recoil is about the same for both). So the question is, why the .50 cal at all? Cost of ammunition? Ammo load? I can understand why an AGL like the 40mm MK-19 would not be preferred over the .50 cal since the .50 is supposed to have a limited anti-air capability, but the ASP can be used in this role as well. So what am I not seeing here?

kbluck
24 Mar 04, 12:01
This has certainly been a point of contention. The standard answer seems to be that Stryker is not intended to fight a fully mechanized or armored foe, and so heavy cannon are unnecessary. MGS and the dismounts' AT weapons are supposed to deal with the occasional tank or light armor which might be encountered; the ICVs are supposed to provide fire support against mainly soft targets.

I personally do think it would be profitable to provide a "lightweight" autocannon such as you describe to one vehicle in each platoon, both to provide additional fire support and to help deal with an occasional surplus of enemy light armor. I don't see the need to equip all of them that way, though, given its intended role.

An "unspoken" issue, in my opinion, is that Stryker was supposed to have a smaller logistic footprint, and having to supply all that extra cannon ammo and associated maintenance with a full-on turret would have inflated it to an unacceptable degree.

The open question, of course is whether good intentions will be cast aside and Stryker will be committed against a mechanized or armored foe anyway. If so, I think there could be trouble.

Truth be told, there aren't a lot of unfriendly, heavy mech forces left in the world, so designing for the infantry-heavy opponent isn't really such an outrageous idea. I do think the "medium-weight" brigade idea in general is a good one. I have some problems with Stryker in particular, mostly related to its questionable mobility (both tactical and strategic) and general "bang per buck" issues, i.e. I think its way more expensive than it needed to be. Protection and firepower-wise, I don't have a lot of complaints.

--- Kevin

r3mu503
28 Mar 04, 22:29
Hi Kbluck,

Thanks for the answer. That sounds pretty logical for a force that thinks it can choose what kind of enemy it's going to fight. Now whether it can actually choose is the question, especially with the proliferation of light armor. But since the media seems to think the SBCTs were designed for peacekeeping anyway (despite the original IAV ORDs saying otherwise) maybe it won't have to fight any light armor forces at all.

Mike_R
05 Apr 04, 05:57
The best way I have found to use the SBCT units is as if they are airmobile infantry. Use the vehicle to quickly move from cover to cover and then dismount to move forward, covered by artillery and smoke, and be overwatched by the vehicles caliber 50s and AGLs. Use of the company and battalion mortars is essential.

You have to pay attention to the terrain, especially if you are fighting more conventional armor (T-72/80 and BMP), but if you are fighting BTRs and T-55/62, you have a little more latitude.

Make use of your Javelin's when fighting armor as they are the most effective weapon you have. Again, get them close, then work them forward into killing range.

You have to be paitent, dismounted infantry combat is not fast in most cases.

Mike Robel