I wanted to show off some of the more (to me) interesting features of this great simulator. So, not an AAR really in this post, but a few screenshots that illustrate why this thing is so great.
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Mission briefing. These can be quite detailed, and take the form of actual Op Orders. In this one Gary Owen has described the principles of effective tactical movement, and the kinds of movement you'll want to employ between each phase of the mission.
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The next step before just jumping in your tank and tearing off to find the enemy is to develop your tactical plan. In this mission I need to get at least one vehicle into Objective Kermit while not losing more than one tank. I've planned march movement from my starting point to Phase Line (PL) Ernie, then traveling overwatch from PL Ernie to PL Bert, since there's a possibility of contact. From PL Bert to Objective Kermit I've planned for bounding overwatch. There's a certainty of contact past PL Bert, and bounding overwatch is a safer but slower movement technique. Also notice that there are several Target Reference Point (TRP) markers. I'll use these to rapidly plot artillery fire missions, mostly for smoke to screen my movement.
Here I'm checking Line-of-Sight (LOS) from each battle position I've planned. White means cleat LOS, pink partial LOS, and gray, not so much.
Finally, we're rolling! I have a platoon of 4 M1A1 HA tanks for the mission, split into two sections.
View inside the turret from the tank commander's position. His Thermal Imaging extension is the closest scope. The further scope is the gunner's actual Thermal Imaging Sight (TIS). Most of those controls are clickable and do something. You can occupy the commander, gunner, and driver positions in the M1A1 and several other US, NATO, and Russian AFVs.
View from the unbuttoned tank commander's position. You can look around and yes, fire the machine gun.
View from the TCs binoculars. That's my second section of tanks, pulling up to PL Ernie where I'm already waiting for them.
As we advance on PL Bert, we see heat sources through the TIS. These are OPFOR APCs and infantry. I order the gunner to open fire. In this case I want him to use HEAT, since these are PCs. The M1A1 HA also commonly carries armor-piercing SABOT rounds for use against tanks.
View of the engagement from the map. First section easily took out the closer platoon of three PCs. Second section, in traveling overwatch, engages the two vehicles to the southwest and quickly neutralizes them, as well.
Tomorrow I'll try and capture some artillery action and my sections moving in bounding overwatch. Things get much more difficult past PL Bert!