How does resupply/rearm work in this game? Are we just without forward observers now? Can we salvage and repair lost FIST-Vs?
At the end of the battle, based on your performance, you are given a certain number of points to repair and upgrade your stuff. Mechanically it's less expensive than ordering it new so it's likely that some of it involves dragging damaged vehicles in for repair.
We have been tasked with a spoiling attack against a North Korean counteroffensive. We are expected to be heavily outnumbered, but our task is to advance into the attack, punch a hole, and force them to reorganize to keep us out of their rear areas.
We have air support available. It's a diverse group. Two South Korean F-4E's with 1000lb bombs, two Italian Tornadoes with napalm, and a single A-6E Intruder with dozens
of 500lb bombs. Medium bombers in close air support are like that. Just be thankful this isn't Main Battle Tank, where you can literally get B-52 close air support.
After the experience before the campaign, I deploy most of our vehicles in the center, and one company of panzergrenadiers to size the objectives which are well to the north. The more open terrain there also favors our ATGM-armed vehicles against enemy tanks, and our better fire-direction. Air support has been directed to make preliminary strikes as much for recon as for possibly hitting enemy vehicles. (In MBT and World At War, this is actually a thing you can do; MBT in particular encourages the use of US Predator drones for air recon.) One company of panzergrenadiers under The E supports the center, one (with only a single platoon of Marders) will seize objectives. The other will be south and commence a flanking movement when applicable.
Lepanto's team of ten
AH-64A Apaches will scout and provide support as needed. Their mobility and firepower are really the reason I feel safe putting unsupported mech infantry on my flanks, because there are few problems in the world that cannot be solved with nearly a dozen Apaches.
The AI fakes me out again. They damaged the two naplam-armed Tornadoes. Welp. Lepanto, it's on you.
He does not disappoint. Much of the early work, though, has to go to finding and killing enemy anti-air, in this case SA-7 MANPADS teams. Otherwise the Apaches keep having to evade missile snapshots; not hugely dangerous individually, but annoying and 30 6 percent chances starts making the Law of Averages' slapping hand itch.
However, they've not faked us out as much as you'd think. We're actually perfectly positioned to shove Bradleys and Marders into their flank. Scotty's company is close enough they actually engage in this turn.
There are trucks and BTR-50Ps mixed in the North Korean force. The AI treates these as "soft vehicles"; they immediately dump cargo and attempt to retreat to deny us kills. This gets a number of them shot by the Apaches reaction-fire. Then the MLRS comes in; not ideal, but it does decently.
We're ceding the center objective to vehicles. MLRS is targeted on it, though, so they're not getting off easily. There's also entrenched panzergrenadiers and their AT weapons. After the MLRS lands, The E's company will move in.
They sent a couple of companies of tanks to stop the Bradleys. Scotty and Popolion's companies stopped them, and then the Apaches swarmed in, getting behind them so their 30mm autocannon and 70mm folding-fin rockets can penetrate. What had been eighteen tanks rapidly becomes three.
The aircraft are doing amazing work. Many enemy units are retreating, but the panzergrenadiers, most of them, in the center are overrun by enemy APCs and IFVs. They do not go down without a fight, however. SP3 has a mechanic called "assault" regarding how infantry interact with vehicles in their hex or the adjacent hex. Infantry can fire their weapons (all of them) at a vehicle, and do damage or not do damage, as the case may be. They can also "assault" the vehicle. This represent infantry attempting a close-range attack, if not a literal swarm attack with grenades then attempting to rush in close and fire their rockets from thirty feet out. Assaults are conducted as a series of attacks, starting from a maximum hit chance and decreasing by half each time until the final one at 2%. Base hit chance is judged by the weapon used and whether the infantry is attacking by surprise; either literally as they have just been revealed by assaulting or the vehicle did not have line of sight to the infantry and the infantry is assaulting as immediate reaction fire to them occupying an adjacent hex.
Surprise assault by concealed infantry is frankly the most terrifying thing that can happen to your vehicles. The hit percentages are high, they get multiple tries at you for the cost of only one attack, and it's one of the few things besides bombing and heavy artillery shells that can push a vehicle crew's morale to the breaking point. (It's not fun for the infantry either and generates a lot of suppression for them too unless they completely destroy the vehicles, but not quite as much.) The Panzergrenadiers holding the center conducted more than a dozen
assaults against BMP-2s and BTR-60s, destroying seventeen vehicles, before being overrun.
Then the MLRS fires and annihilates the North Korean vehicles that just did it, and The E's company of Panzergrenadiers sweep in.
Polpolion's group took a single hit (lucky bastard, they literally had a 2% hit chance and golden BB'd a Bradley with it) that knocked out a vehicle but beyond that things are mostly going well.
We've pushed in one flank, but the other one, well...take a look. That's a lot T-54/55 variants.
The Panzergrenadiers deal with the last of the APC/IFVs, but the tanks will be harder to crack. That said, StarSlayer's and Popolion's companies of Bradleys have discovered that the T-54/Type 59/T-55's side armor are not proof against Bushmaster fire at short range, while the smaller Rh202 20mm cannon of the aren't able to stop the tanks, the MILAN 3s of The E's Marders deal well enough with the leakers.
Also, they're advancing into a pre-sighted artillery killzone, and the MLRS are having a field day. The North Koreans have taken massive losses, but they keep coming; StarSlayer's and Polpolion's companies are even throwing coaxial MG fire at them now.
Scotty's company has commenced a right hook for the North Korean objective area, but are still firing into the remaining enemy tanks.
All over but the shouting, now. The tanks are all dead. The Apaches move in to clean up with cannon and rockets, and then the Bradleys move through to make sure.
One of Scotty's Bradley platoons finds a lone T-54B that had fled far distant.
Scotty himself drives over to dispatch the straggler.
We win. The battle is not even close; the North Koreans are completely wiped out. About half the Bradleys and MLRS made veteran off this, as did some of the Apaches. Upgrades this time include finishing upgrading the Panzergrenadiers' rides, and Scotty's command section and one of his platoons are now equipped with M1A2s.
o7 to the Panzergrenadiers of Company E (not to be confused with The E's company). You held the line.