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Tank Platoon: Movement to Contact 1.0.2

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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 focuses 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 to facilitate 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.



Excerpt of the Company Operations Order for:





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



      a. Area of Interest. We are currently situated 35 KM from the regional capital of Chego to the northwest. 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 situated 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 northwest to southeast 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 consists of one company-sized avenue of approach corresponding to AXIS MAIN. This will enable our company to attack from PL BOW to PL DAGGER while on line. 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. Sporadic clumps of heavy vegetation along AXIS MAIN will restrict observation and reduce MPAT ammunition's effectiveness 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 the visual range to approximately 2,000 meters; thermal optics will remain the most effective method of visual observation for the duration of this operation. Wind speed and direction favor friendly forces, as smoke will billow towards the southeast in the direction of the enemy.


        (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 an improved road network that logistics elements can use for rapid movement from north to the 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 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 indicates the execution of 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. 




    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 the 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 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 the 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 before 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. The Combat Repair Team will work on maintenance issues sustained during operations unable to be corrected by crews. Platoon Sergeants will submit maintenance issues requiring CRT assistance NLT 30 minutes after establishing hasty battle positions along PL DAGGER. 




    a. Command.


        (1). Location of Key Leaders. CO and XO will orient on AXIS MAIN and 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 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

************************************************************************************* Advice and Hints *************************************************************************************


1. Night Vision Devices can be activated using NUM+. Civil Twilight (Dawn) will occur in approximately 7x minutes and will overload night vision devices.
2. In the environment presented, thermals give you a massive advantage over the enemy. Scan using your CITV to identify enemy forces at range. 
3. Mortars are a very flexible, responsive asset. To employ them, open the map (F5) right, click where you want to fire them, move your mouse over ‘New arty call,’ and select the asset and munition you wish to use. 
4. Mortar HE rounds are perfect for causing enemy-mounted forces to move out of advantageous positions, or destroying enemy infantry formations. 
5. Mortar Smoke rounds are great for obscuring your movement forward by denying the enemy observation and fields of fire.
6. For this mission, it is sufficient to leave your fire mission details set to their defaults. To learn more about these settings, look up the "Artillery Guide" on the Steel Beasts Wiki.
7. MPAT and HEAT rounds will prematurely detonate when fired into thick vegetation (trees, shrubs, etc.) Switch to SABOT when making shots in this environment.
8. As the TC, you can double tap the INS key (SABOT) or the END key (MPAT) to order your loader to remove the currently loaded round type, and to load the new round type of your selection. It is best to do this when out of contact with the enemy.
9. It is highly recommended to read pages 112 thru 118 to understand AI behavior when using routes and waypoints. The manual is included with your install and can be found at: C:\Program Files\eSim Games\SB Pro PE\docs\SBProManual
10. The TAB key fires smoke. By default, the M1A2 is equipped with multi-spectral smoke. This will obscure you from visual and thermal acquisition, but heavily degrades your ability to engage enemy targets. 
11. Always reload when you have the opportunity. The process can take several minutes, depending on the ammo quantity in your ready rack. You can use F12 to enable time compression to lessen your real-time wait.
12. Attacking a numerically superior enemy force is not advised. Maneuver to a position that enables you to survive, and attack only when sufficient friendly assets are in place. 


Edited by Mirzayev

What's New in Version 1.0.2


- Added 'Tasks' and 'Fire Support Available' summary to map.  

- Edited briefing to improve clarity and correctness. 

- Added initial message informing player to move to PL AXE, and giving a hint on how to use NVDs. 

- Added logic to auto-repair radio damage (mission is very radio-message heavy; the player will be lost if they don't receive these.)


User Feedback

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

Great scenario for new players. Highly recommended. 

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   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 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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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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   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

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

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

Exactly what it says on the tin "a great beginner scenario".

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