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Tank Platoon: Movement to Contact 1.0.1

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About This File

This is the first in a series of scenarios designed to familiarize new Steel Beasts players with basic Offense and Defense tasks executed by a Tank Platoon. This series uses US Army Doctrine as a basis, and aims to present the Tank Platoon's role when operating as part of an Armor Company. This series also has a focus on introducing concepts within the game to the player, while maintaining a low level of difficulty to reduce frustration during the learning process.

 

Movement to contact is an offensive task designed to develop the situation and to establish or regain contact. It creates favorable conditions for subsequent tactical actions. The platoon leader conducts a movement to contact when the enemy situation is vague or not specific enough to conduct an attack. Forces executing this task seek to make contact using the smallest friendly force possible. A movement to contact may result in a meeting engagement, which is a combat action occurring when a moving force engages an enemy at an unexpected time and place. Once making contact with an enemy force, the leader has five options: attack, defend, bypass, delay, or withdraw. (ATP 3-20.15, Tank Platoon)

 

This scenario has been designed to allow the practice of the following eight (8x) concepts:

 

      i. Conduct maneuver as a platoon.
      ii. Conduct a movement to contact as part of a tank company.
      iii. Conduct an attack by fire to destroy an inferior force.
      iv. Employ mortars to destroy an inferior force.
      v. React to enemy rotary wing assets as a platoon.
      vi. Conduct a reload as a platoon.
      vii. Break contact with a superior enemy force.
      viii. Conduct a hasty attack as part of a tank company.

 

This scenario is rated by the author as very easy, and will likely take approximately thirty (30x) minutes to complete.

 

This scenario heavily favors friendly forces for the purpose of facilitating a learning environment where tactical mistakes do not mean instant death. AVEPs have been included as a method for identifying tactical errors made by the player(s) by sorting through events during the AAR.

 

Special thanks to ben, Apocalypse, and Rooks and Kings for testing and providing feedback.

 

Spoiler

Excerpt of the Company Operations Order for:

 

OPERATION STEEL BARRAGE
ARCHER COMPANY, 1-77 ARMOR
OPERATION START TIME: 0500

 

TASK ORGANIZATION: 
    Advance Guard: Blue Platoon (3/A; your Platoon)
    Main Body: Red Platoon (1/A), White Platoon (2/A), CO, XO

 

1. SITUATION.
      a. Area of Interest. We are currently situated 35 KM from the regional capital of Chego to the north-west. Approximately 3 KM to our west is AA STEEL, our Battalion's Assembly Area. PL JACKSON, located approximately 4 KM to our east, is our boundary with 1-501 Infantry. Our Battalion's objective, OBJ STEELERS, is located to the south approximately 2 KM from PL DAGGER.
      
      b. Area of Operations. Archer Company's AO extends from AA ARCHER in the west and follows AXIS MAIN to the south-west. Phase Lines from north-west to south-east are: PL AXE, our line of departure, PL BOW, the probable line of contact (PLOC), PL CLAYMORE, and PL DAGGER, our limit of advance. Other graphic control measures of note are Direction of Attack (DOA) RED, to the east paralleling AXIS MAIN, and DOA WHITE, also paralleling AXIS MAIN to the west.  
        
        (1) Terrain. Our AO consist of one company-sized avenue of approach corresponding to AXIS MAIN. This will enable our company to attack while on line from PL BOW to PL DAGGER. Dense forests to the west, and the Danola River to our east are severely restricted terrain and naturally channel forces movement along AXIS MAIN. AXIS main consist of intermittent swamps, which will slow our rate of march. Intermittent clumps of heavy vegetation along AXIS MAIN will restrict observation, and will reduce the effectiveness of MPAT ammunition by causing premature detonation. 

 

        (2) Weather. Our operational start time of 0500 provides approximately 7 minutes of night vision device use until civil twilight (dawn). Light precipitation and overcast cloud cover will limit the effectiveness of rotary and fixed wing aircraft for the duration of this operation, and will deny effective use of aerial-based information collection (IC) assets. Early morning fog will reduce visual range to approximately 2,000 meters; thermal optics will remain the most effective method of visual observation for the duration of this operation.

 

        (3) Civil. Civilian presence is extremely limited due to the undeveloped infrastructure within our AO; the assessed likelihood of encountering non-combatants is very low. There is the presence of an improved road network which can be used by logistics elements for rapid movement from north to south-east following the clearance of enemy forces from PL BOW to PL DAGGER.   
      
      c. Enemy Forces. 
      
          (1) General Situation. 16x hours ago, the 1-11 Armor Battalion conducted a successful retirement upon the seizure of the city of Chego by Coalition Forces. They have maneuvered into a heavily forested area to reorganize into a defensive posture to enable 11 Brigade to prepare for a counter-attack to fix Coalition Forces in Chego. The enemy has limited supplies, a lack of indirect fire support, and insufficient engineer assets to create an effective deliberate defense. It is assessed that poor leadership, and bad coordination will result in the enemy Battalion piecemealing their forces to focus on non-mutually supporting kill-zones.  
      
          (2) Composition. The enemy that our company expects to face was last observed at 1900 by aerial-based IC assets, and consisted of an armor company (10x T-72B1 variants) with an attached mechanized infantry platoon (3x BMP-2s with approximately 21x dismounts). S2 assesses that this element is part of the enemy battalion's disruption element, and will fight to provide time and maneuver space for his main body. 
          
          (3) Disposition. Unfavorable weather and cloud cover throughout the night has resulted in our Brigade losing contact with the enemy for approximately 10x hours. Based on previously known locations, and assessments of how the enemy historically fights, we expect him to establish a disruption zone in vicinity of (IVO) PL BOW with 1x mech infantry platoon. He will likely establish his battle zone between PL BOW and PL DAGGER. A lack of engineer assets indicate that executing a hasty defense with 3x tank platoons (9x T-72B1s). The enemy commander (1x T-72B1) will likely co-locate with this element in the battle zone. Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) and Human Intelligence (HUMINT) suggest that the enemy is unorganized, demoralized, and that there is a likely possibility of seeing elements surrender if taking over 50% casualties. Enemy rotary wing aviation has been operating in the area, and may provide support if the enemy's disruption zone collapses. 
          
      d. Friendly Forces.
      
          (1) Brigade Mission. 2nd IBCT, 11th Airborne attacks to destroy 1-11 Armor Battalion IVO the Danola River NLT (not later than) 1400 to enable the Division DO to defeat 11 Brigade.
      
          (2) Brigade Concept. 1-77 AR will attack to seize OBJ STEELERS NLT 0700 to force 1-11 Armor Battalion to withdraw to the east. 4-6 IN will clear enemy mechanized infantry from PL DAGGER to PL WASHINGTON (65 easting) NLT 1300 to force the enemy to retrograde north. 1-77 AR will then force the enemy into EAs (engagement areas) ABLE and BAKER where 1-501 IN will destroy them.
      
          (3) Battalion Mission. 1-77 AR attacks to seize OBJ STEELERS NLT 0700 to enable the destruction of the 1-11 Armor Battalion by 1-501 Infantry. 
      
          (4) Battalion Concept. A CO conducts a movement to contact to clear enemy forces from PL AXE to PLT DAGGER NLT 0545. B CO then conducts a forward passage of lines (FPOL) and attacks to seize OBJ STEELERS NLT 0700. C CO, 4-6 IN, remains as the Battalion Reserve. On order, C CO conducts a pursuit of 1-11 Armor Battalion to enable their destruction by 1-501 IN.  
      
          (3) Adjacent Units. 
      
              i. B CO, 1-77 AR is located to our west and will conduct a forward passage of lines with our company at PL DAGGER. 
              ii. C CO, 4-6 IN is located in AA STEEL and will act as the Battalion Reserve. 
              iii. 1-501 IN is located to our east beyond PL JACKSON.

 

2. MISSION. Archer Company, 1-77 AR, clears enemy forces from PL AXE to PL DAGGER NLT 0545 to enable the seizure of OBJ STEELERS. 

 

3. EXECUTION.

    a. Commander's Intent. 
        
        (1). Broad Purpose. Success in this operation will enable our Brigade to destroy 1-11 Armor Battalion IVO the Danola River. 

 

        (2) Key Tasks.

 

            i. Secure AXIS MAIN up to PL DAGGER.
            ii. Enemy is cleared from PL AXE to PL DAGGER. 
            iii. Avoid employment of cratering munitions on improved roads.

 

        (3) End State.

 

            i. Terrain. An avenue of approach is secured. 
            ii. Enemy. Unable to prevent a forward passage of lines by Coalition Forces. 
            iii. Civil. Civil road infrastructure remains intact and continues to allow use by wheeled logistics vehicles. 

 

    b. Concept of Operations. Archer Company conducts a movement to contact to clear enemy forces from PL AXE up to PL DAGGER. Blue Platoon (your Platoon) will be first in the order of march, followed by Red, White, then HQ. Blue will identify and destroy the enemy's disruption element IVO PL BOW which will trigger movement of the main body (Red, White, HQ) up to PL AXE. Blue will conduct a reload until the main body is set. Upon the main body being set, Blue will continue to maneuver along AXIS MAIN up to PL DAGGER until identifying 2x T-72B1s. Blue will break contact and maneuver to the last phase line while Red and White will proceed along direction of attack Red and White respectively. Once the company is on line, Red, White, and Blue will conduct an attack to destroy the enemy's main body along DOA RED, DOA WHITE, and AXIS MAIN respectively. Upon the destruction of the enemy's main body, Archer Company will establish hasty battle positions along PL DAGGER and conduct a forward passage of lines with B CO, 1-77 AR, followed by 4-6 IN.

  

    c. Scheme of Fires. 2-8 Field Artillery will provide howitzer-based indirect fire for the duration of this operation. The Company FSO will direct fires onto the enemy's main body upon their identification by Blue Platoon. BN Mortars are available during this operation, and can provide both high explosive and smoke rounds. Priority of fire is Blue, Red, White. 

 

    d. Tasks to Subordinate Units.

 

        i. Blue Platoon (Your Platoon).

            - Conduct a movement to contact along AXIS MAIN to identify the enemy's main body.
            - Identify and destroy all enemy disruption zone elements from PL AXE to PL CLAYMORE. Do not bypass any enemy elements that remain a threat.
            - At own discretion, conduct a reload to manage platoon's ready rack ammunition.
            - Upon identification of the enemy's main body, wait for the company to maneuver forward and establish a company line formation.
            - On order, attack to clear with the rest of the company to PL DAGGER. 
            
    d. Coordinating Instructions. 

 

        i. Operation Start: 0500
        ii. Destruction of Enemy Disruption Zone: 0515
        iii. Identification of Enemy Main Body: 0530
        iv. Destruction of Enemy Main Body: NLT 0545

 

4. SUSTAINMENT. All Platoons will top off on Class I, III, and V prior to initiating movement at 0500. Logistics, maintenance, and medical support will be unavailable until we have cleared the AO up to PL DAGGER. Platoons will conduct internal resupply of ammunition to remain in the fight. Maintenance issues sustained during operations unable to be corrected by crews will be worked on by the Combat Repair Team. Platoon Sergeants will submit maintenance issues requiring CRT assistance NLT 30 minutes after establishing hasty battle positions along PL DAGGER. 

 

5. COMMAND AND SIGNAL. 

 

    a. Command.

        (1). Location of Key Leaders. CO and XO will orient on AXIS MAIN and will follow one phase line behind Blue Platoon. 1SG will be co-located with the company trains initially located at AA STEEL approximately 2.5 KM to the west of AA ARCHER. 

        (2). Succession of Command. CO, XO, Red 1, White 1, Blue 1, 1SG.

 

    b. Control. The XO will maintain the company CP and will submit reports to the Battalion MAIN, TAC, and CTCP. 

 

    c. Signal.

 

        (1.) Call Signs.

 

            i. Archer 6 - Company Commander
            ii. Archer 7 - Company Executive Officer
            iii. Archer 5 - Company First Sergeant
            iv. Archer 9 - Company Forward Support Officer
            v. Red - 1st Platoon 
            vi. White - 2nd Platoon
            vii. Blue - 3rd Platoon

 


What's New in Version 1.0.1   See changelog

Released

- Added wind speed and direction information to the briefing. 

- Added an "Advice and Hints" section to the end of the briefing to help explain some features that newer players may not be familiar with. 

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User Feedback

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RooksAndKings

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

Great scenario for new players. Highly recommended. 

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Apocalypse 31

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

Great beginner scenario that focuses on Platoon maneuver. 

 

 

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Petey_Tanker

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

As a newer player of Steel Beasts, I truly appreciate scenarios like this.  The author has made major contributions to the new user community, and has made the 'Beast' that is Steel Beasts accessible to enthusiasts like myself lacking formal training in tactics of armored warfare.

 

The scenario starts off pre-dawn, which may be disorienting for the new player due to the darkness, but hang in there, dawn arrives quickly.  The player controls a manageable tank platoon (4 tanks), while other assets are scripted to provide help along the way.   Action is very forgiving on the new player, the odds are deliberately stacked in your favor to provide an environment for learning, while minimizing frustration.  The scenario has an amazingly large scale given it is targeted to less experienced players, even introducing enemy air assets (helicopters) that need to be dealt with.  No worries, your well scripted allies are there to help as you improve your skills.

 

As stated earlier, the author has produced a lot of material for the new player (check out Revenant on YouTube), and with this scenario continues his support of inexperienced players learning the ropes.  I look forward to the next offering in this series.

Response from the author:

Thanks for the review, and I'm glad that you enjoyed the scenario!

 

I'll make a few updates based on your feedback. 

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Grenny

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

Great mission to start and learn basic platoon SOPs as part of  a company team.

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aeggwards

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

Great scenario for a inexperienced player, looking forward to the others in the series!

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