Sunday, 14 September 2014

7th Cavalry to the Rescue... or not.

Haz bin Wanabi, leader of the Hotaki Woz militia, smiled grimly. The devil worshippers were trapped; they had fled with their families to the local mosque, in the vain hope that his men would not dare to attack it. They had failed to realise that their very presence had defiled the building, and only their extermination would suffice. He had to work quickly - the UN dogs were approaching, in an attempt at rescue.

The village from the north - mosque in centre
Swiftly, he deployed his band - a team was sent to each road to lay IED's, and set up checkpoints to cover them, in order to delay the British. The rest took up positions on three sides of the mosque and grape dryer, where they could spray the buildings with automatic fire and RPG's. The fourth side (to the west) was covered by fire - anyone trying to run would be cut down long before they made it to cover. Wanabi called up his mortar team to start the attack; rounds fell around the mosque, and the rest of his men loosed their weapons at close range. Some fire was returned from the mosque, but he could sense that his men were getting the better of the encounter.

The Predator lines up on the building
Meanwhile, the British columns were drawing near; a supporting Predator spotted movement in a house on the southern road, and targetted a Hellfire missile on it, failing to demolish the building, but killing a militiaman. However, the target had also been identified by the lead Warrior, which pumped 30mm shells into the building until it resembled a Swiss cheese, causing another casualty. A surviving militiaman launched an RPG at the Warrior, but it bounced harmlessly off the front armour.

A second Warrior approached over the boggy ground, and shot at the house on the south side of the northern road, to no apparent effect. On the road, the third Warrior fired on the same target, killing one Hotaki; an RPG also struck the vehicle, and ricocheted off. The crew of the Warrior then spotted what they believed was an IED just ahead on the road, and used the gun to destroy it, while the infantry dismounted, taking cover behind the trees. The fireteams also debussed from the Warrior in the open, and, together with the IFV, concentrated their fire on the building held by the Hotakis. Despite all the attention, only one militiaman was killed; in return, an RPG impacted the main gun of the Warrior on the road, disabling it.

A Predator's eye view from the east - IED's on roads
The village from the south - mosque in upper left
On the southern road, the militia were putting up a fight, but getting the worst of it; an RPG knocked out the Warrior's gun, but the dismounted infantry and the WMIK's machine guns silenced all opposition. Apart from possible IEDs on the road ahead, the way to the village was clear.

However, it was too late... while the fighting had been taking place on the roads, Wanabi's men had killed or disabled all the Mithraists in the grape shed by fire, and had stormed into the mosque. Attempts to surrender were ignored, and the bloodletting began. By the time the British reached the mosque, it was all over; there were no survivors, and the Hotakis had fled...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Mission Briefing: The Rescue

The UN was a tad optimistic with their estimation of how rapid their advance would be.  They heralded the liberation of the Mithraist's in Ghani Bayt on the news channels of the world.  Unfortunately, they became bogged down in their advance.  Unfortunately, the Mithraists swarmed into the streets celebrating their liberation.  Unfortunately, the Woz Insurgents were in the vicinity.

So, the UN has thrown together a British flying column with orders to rescue two dozen Mithra men trapped in the Mosque and communal Grape Drying building in Ghani Bayt.  The Woz insurgents are intent on exterminating the last of this long diminished sect in Hotakistan.

The UN know that the Hotaki Woz are 2-3 dozen, and are likely to have IEDs.  The Woz have intelligence that are Mechanized Infantry platoon is approaching the town.

Map Overview
The mission has a "blind" aspect to it, with regards to forces and objectives.  So each side should not look at the map of the other side.



Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Kray brothers and the Golden Holden

Lieutenant Ronnie Cray peered through his binoculars, and swore. "Them f@#&ing Hotakis looks like they's gunner make a stand." At his side, his twin brother and CO, Major Reggie Kray, spat into the sand; "There's an SAS lieutenant and a bl%*ing big tank behind us. We'll get them to kick the b@stards up the jacksie, and while the glory boys are winnin' the medals, we'll get the gold. Get Mad Frankie and the boys up 'ere, ready for when the road is clear. We'll send the SAS round the right flank, and get the tank to clear the compound in front of us."

A WMIK burns...

The surviving WMIK (and a Snatch) take cover
A simple plan, but no plan survives contact with the enemy intact. Things rapidly went 'pear-shaped' - the SAS WMIK's shot up Hotaki positions on the hill, causing some casualties, and a number to run away. In return, however, they were targetted by numerous RPG's as they crossed the open ground. Despite popping smoke, and hugging the undulations, two WMIK's were hit and exploded. The third took cover behind the compound wall, and chose discretion - particularly when a Shilka was spotted lurking in the village.

Hotaki paratroopers destroy the Abrams
 The Abrams and its supporting infantry bulldozed their way into the compound, and quickly took care of opposition; some Hotakis attempted to run, but were shot down. Flushed with success, the tank eased its way past the building, only to be shot in flank by an RPG from an Hotaki paratrooper team, which had advanced to the wall at the edge of the compound. To the surprise of all, the Abrams exploded catastrophically !
At this point, the UN attack faltered, and the Hotaki Major sensed an opportunity to run off with the loot. Throwing a BMP forward to give covering fire, he used his technicals to screen the Golden Holden as he and his men escaped.

The Golden Holden escapes, screened by technicals and a BMP

Observations -
First up, even if you have good troops, light vehicles in open terrain are still soft targets, and burn well. Aggressive action is good, but you also need to use cover to get into position, and preferably set up overwatch.
Secondly, this was probably the most explosive game ever - almost every single vehicle hit exploded catastrophically... The Abrams being a case in point - the RPG was a thermobaric warhead and rolled three hits, but the tank's owner rolled five fails (on D12); the effect was a 12 on a D12...
Thirdly, although not mentioned above, there was a T-55 hidden on the hill, trying not to be seen by the Abrams... So, when the latter exploded, the commander felt brave enough to emerge and threaten the UN forces. It should have realised that no T-55 has ever survived one of our games, and this one was true to form; one of the Cray's men shot it with an RPG, and it exploded spectacularly.
Fourthly , it had been a while since the last game, so I had to keep looking up rules, which slowed everything down. I usually used Kevin as the 'font of all knowledge' (well, him and his well-marked rulebook), but he was a couple of thousand kms away...
Lastly, several mistooks were made by me, the key one of which changed the scenario - I started Hotaki force 2 on table, with the Golden Holden in the village on the road. This made it a lot easier for them to make it off table in time.