Playtesting Compound 14 For Combat Mission Shock Force

Last night I worked on 2 AI plans for my Compound 14 scenario.  The first plan had waves of Taliban fighters moving aggressively to engage US forces and potentially outflank them.  The second plan sent them advancing on the board but doing so more cautiously and only engaging with ambushes at 300 meters or less.

Both plans worked out about the same for the Taliban though they did manage to double the US casualties from 2 to 4 KIA the second time I playtested.  The pictures below are from my three playtests of the battle.  Adding AI plans created a degree of uncertainty for me, which as the scenario author was nice and did make the AI marginally tougher than when they were defending in place. I am still learning about the editor and developing a solid AI plan is more of a challenge than I thought.  In a few instances I mowed Taliban down in the open as they made for unrealistic objectives I had set.  The way the AI works without preset paths is neat.

The next AI plan I develop, will focus on the Taliban retreating to stronger positions closer to compound 14 (Blue force objective) and engaging the Blue force at a greater distance of say 600 meters. I am also going to play around with increasing the strength of each Taliban unit and staggering their reinforcements in a more unpredictable manner to create a flow of fighters into the area from the north, south and east in defense of this important compound.

If you missed my previous post on my Compound 14 scenario please click here.

Taliban and US forces are using a series of immigration ditches to flow across the battlefield.  In this firefight, I split my squad and sent one team into a poppy field to try and get into an enfilade position on the Taliban further down the ditch.

This thick stand of brush held a Taliban RPG team in it.  The RPG missed it's mark and this team of US soldiers made them pay.  The group this Taliban AI belonged to had Ambush set for 75M or less.  They didn't fire on me until I was inside 30 meters.

US forces are advancing on a broad front.  LZ XRay one of the Blue force objectives is out of sight and already secured. You can make out the irrigation ditch to the left of the long poppy field which acts like a seam for US forces to move deep into the center of the battlefield with decent protection.  

A Taliban recoilless rifle was scarier than it was deadly.  A couple of times a shell slammed into a house or a position (pictured above) and made a lot of noise but overall it seemed to be ineffectual.

LZ Xray is in the foreground. I am going to move it into the middle of the poppy fields which might put it in range of Taliban gunfire.  Otherwise it doesn't impact the scenario other than to siphon off a squad or a split squad from the main battlefield in order to secure it.   

A US sniper team climbs up into an overwatch position on the battlefield.  The elevated road embankment just ahead makes this position less valuable than I thought when I designed the scenario.  Most of the Taliban on the board are reverse slope and can't be seen.

Compound 13 is smaller and closer to coalition forces.  There are two ways into the compound.  The main approach forces you through a funnel bordered by heavy brush (the first time I played, I suffered 2 KIA going this way).  The second position forces you around a building into the middle of the compound.  This US squad was ambushed and through poor planning by me, unsupported.   The result 4KIA.  I ended up calling an Apache gunship to hit the Taliban forces here.
More to follow soon...