Saturday, October 11, 2008

Combat Skirmish post-battle analysis Part I

Unfortunately, this most probably won't be as objective as the word analysis belies, but that's always been a problem for war historians, or for that matter any sort of historians. To remedy that, there's always the comments section. Nevertheless, today was, as a friend put it, quite a lesson in tactics.

It's generally politically incorrect to label a winning and losing team, but then this discussion wouldn't get awfully far with the mindset that the losing team needed to be tricked into believing they didn't lose, or that it was a tie. More than a complete ignorance of the actual results, it'd be a disservice to their actual merits and the parity of average combat skill, which unfortunately was trumped by various factors, resulting in, from my humble perspective, clear defeat for Red and victory for Yellow.

On viewing the map in preview mode, I don't think it's all that clear, but that's okay since most of my intended audience should know the place pretty well already.

SAA: Area outside the admin office, IB block.
NML: Assembly ground, wide open space
SN: Sniper's Nest, 'Balcony' area just outside 5.1
Yellow Cube: Yellow Team's Rubix Cube, outside 5.17
Red Cube: Red Team's Rubix Cube, at Wishing Well

First round was a deathmatch, team with more kills wins. Red occupied Team 1 base on the IB block side, Yellow occupied Team 2 base in the old block.

Yellow opened with a massive push toward the spaceframe, with a large part of the push later diverting to the bridge.
The existence of this action is quite well corroborated by observations from both Red and Yellow; I myself am pretty sure I saw this happening, in my role as defense fire support. My interpretation of this action and its results was that pressure was put on Red to rush reinforcements to the fronts at the Spaceframe and the bridge. The action was an initiative on the part of Yellow, in line with the aggressive strategy we were generally pursuing. This resulted in the bridge and SAA being contested, with Yellow holding slightly more territory than Red due to the aggressive forcing of the front by Yellow.
In any case, Yellow ended up with a slight advantage in map control in the early game, as well as quite a serious amount of casualties. A wave of dead Yellows came in for respawn right after we secured the bridge, setting a curious precedent for more or less the rest of the games: Yellow tends to push in waves, die in waves, respawn and rush back in waves. That's infantry good old WW1 style I suppose.

While such a high initial casualty rate was worrying in the beginning, on hindsight it did pay off by map control. By the end of the early-game, Yellow had a foothold on the IB block; an important foothold since the heavily-contested bridge would divert Red attention and forces from the Spaceframe and NML, and allow for the late-game encirclement and pinning of Red. In my estimation, the mid-game opened with action at NML (the assembly ground area).

Despite the seeming lack of cover at the Spaceframe and especially assembly ground, I'm inclined to agree with a friend when he commented that you more or less can always find some sort of cover when you're looking for it. Anyway, within the mid-game, Yellow crept up from the Spaceframe to the SAA (outside Admin Office). I say 'crept' because Team Red's resistance from the SAA managed to suppress the advance considerably, until Yellow flanked from the small side-lane near the flowers, and overran the SAA, hardly a blitz there.

There was a major Yellow spearhead led by an officer advancing along the buggy parking lots, and a smaller one of about 4, including myself, advancing along the flower lanes. Team Red had about 3-7 defenders at the SAA at any one time. The spearhead advanced slowly and for the most part, attracted the defenders' attention; so a major firefight enued between them there, accounting for why the advance wasn't too fast. Meanwhile, the Yellow team at the flowers had managed to attract some fire from a well-placed sniper at the stairwell, which led to us getting pinned down for some time. I'm not too clear on what lifted the suppression, though I'm guessing that the main Yellow spearhead with their close-range assault weapons had gotten too close for comfort and started putting pressure on them.

By now, at around the 16 minute mark when I checked my handphone time, late-game had started for a while already. What happened from here would from my perspective, be rather straightforward already. Once the SAA was cleared, the flanking team moved in and enfiladed the corridor, very bad for Red in a couple of ways:
1) Red pinned in corridor
2) Because the corridor is of course, rather narrow, it greatly increases the likelihood of TKing, which quite a few Red players reported.

In short, the corridor became a killing ground, whether or not from Yellow's MGs or TKing will be a question Team Red players are in a much better position to answer. In either case, there was plenty of killing. One thing I'm curious to know is whether Red managed to take back the bridge, or if Yellow's hold on it held for the entirety of the round. If so, that would confirm a few observations.

Nevertheless, it would seem to me that an aggressive strategy, while incurring high casualties in the beginning, was in the end a boon for Team Yellow. Pushing forward first and clearing opponents later does help, since, as a short post-battle discussion brought up, by taking a place and filling it with your infantry in a short time does cause enemy troops to naturally, fall back. Casualties are of course inflicted on your force, as can be seen, but the net result in this case was that territory is gained, and slowly the front is manipulated into a shape advantageous to your team, as can be seen in the late-game, where Red probably took most of their casualties from TK or regular kills.


Jerrold Tan said...

Funky! :) Glad to see you're having fun. Although the analysis is woh.... detailed haha

Juzzie said...

^^ Haha XM you've really got stuff going with the military analysis and experimentation. It's good.