Sunday, January 19, 2014

SBPro PE 3.0 - Platoon Recon

I've become a great fan of the German Leopard 2 tank, particularly the Leopard 2A4 and 2A5. I decided to take a platoon of them out today for a spin. This mission is one of the stock single player missions called "Platoon Recon."

Misson FRAGO
Our job is to conduct a reconnaissance in force to Objective DACHS, destroying weak OPFOR forces and bypassing strong points. The truth is I'm better at commanding a virtual brigade or division than I am commanding a tank, but I'm hoping to play enough to get better.  Let's see how it goes...

Map of the AO with several pre-selected battle positions I've created
I've given this mission a few tries in the past and so already have a plan I've worked up.  Loading it and making some minor adjustments is the work of a few minutes.

Unbuttoned and looking through binoculars
The first leg of our trip will take us down the road from our starting position to the base of the ridge into so light forest. From there we'll have a look around. My platoon is made up of three Leopard 2A4 tanks.

When we reach the base of the ridge we pretty quickly locate an infantry squad.

In my excitement I order "Fire!" We do, with a sabot round, which isn't terribly effective versus infantry.

Enemy troops through the TIS
We're not in a great position to engage the enemy, so I order the platoon to move to an alternate battle position nearer the enemy infantry.

Once in place, we can see some enemy PCs to our left. I switch the gunner to the coax machine gun, and we assault the infantry.

It doesn't take long to clear out the enemy troops

From our new position we engage the PCs across the valley.

As we move more enemy vehicles come into view. Again, it doesn't take long to destroy them.

Hull down bad guys
We resume movement down the valley. I'm not cautious enough though. There are enemy tanks ahead and we lose a tank before I'm able to retreat the platoon to a better position. We destroy two enemy tanks but there is a third tank still ahead and we're out of sabot ammunition. I retreat the platoon to the woods behind us and rearm. Once we have the right ammo loaded again, we take up a covered position on the ridge behind us and take out the remaining tank.

Approaching Phase Line Mosel and the destroyed tanks.

Burning OPFOR armor through the trees.

An external view of my Leopard 2A4.

I'm suspicious of that tree line ahead. I order a cautious advance.

There are PCs and infantry at the edge of the woods. We open up, quickly destroying the PCs. Again I switch to coax and move forward to engage the infantry.

Someone had an ATGM. With the destruction of my tank the mission is over.

I probably should have popped some smoke and sought a better battle position faster both times I lost a vehicle. Commanding a tank in a realistic simulator like SBPro PE is a complex task!  Hopefully with more practice I won't constantly get my crew and my wingmen killed as much.