Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Mission Briefing - Cake Walk/Milk Run

The plan: The UN force will steam-roller a motley collection of routed rabble and capture the small airstrip between the half-built presidential palace and the Ma'tafil dam.

The UN SOFORCE will advance along the southern route to the main airfield to the west, the first step of this long sweep will be the taking of the Ma'tafil airstrip, power plant and dam.  To the north NOFORCE and the Russians will attempt to advance through the city of Hotakimadina and take the shorter northern route to the airfield.  The Russians are not under UN command.  A light paratrooper force followed by an airlanding force will assault, take and hold the main airfield until relieved by NOFORCE and/or SOFORCE.  Good luck....you poor bastards.

The mission is designed for 4-players and contains a hidden agenda on each side.

The route of Soforce and Noforce around the Kabir Massif - Target - The main airfield soon to be renamed UN Base Heidi Clare.

The first step in SOFORCE'S advance: The Ma'tafil industrial park, airstrip and dam.

The UN Vanguard, SAS in WMIKS leading an Australian force of Abrams and MRAP Infantry, along with the first of the British Warriors.

The Mission Map

I forgot to add that all units of Hotakistani Player 2 (Technicals, Golden Holden and BMP-1) enter on turn 1 within 6" of A on the map.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

All Roads Lead To [the outskirts of] Basra

(Yes, I know in the photos it looks suspiciously like an M1 and a Bradley, but let’s pretend it’s an Challenger II and a Warrior IFV, since at the last hour I realised I currently don’t have a container for transporting my own miniatures to the battlefield - Mike and Steve)

:::: 21:03:2003 ::: 5:50hrs ::::  Somewhere on the outskirts of Basra, Southern Iraq
Orders: Sweep and clear a group of buildings of any possible Iraqi units in the vicinity. Aerial Recon has identified two target buildings which have been neutralised and there are no further signs of activity in the area. Units are to detach from main column headed for Basra and rejoin after the sweep. If engaged, Lethal Force is authorised.
  • 1  FV4043 Challenger II
  • 1  FV510 Warrior and Infantry Section

At 5:52hrs, 200m from target location the Challenger came under attack from a T-72 in a camouflaged hull down position on the western side of the road, while a BMP-1 fired from the east. Both failed to cause anything but paint damage and the Challenger returned fire.  Due to the British tank commander being a novice, he managed to load and fire the wrong munitions because he wasn’t paying enough attention to his FoF manual. This meant the Challenger failed to inflict any damage on the T-72.  Regardless of the use of sub-standard munitions the BMP-1 did not fare so well and erupted in an instant fireball.

As there was no cover available and with the BMP down, the Challenger moved forward to flank the T-72 and provide shielding so the Warrior could move forward into cover and deploy its troops.

The T-72 and Challenger traded another volley of fire to, but to no avail.  As the Brits neared the bombed out building to the east of the road, Iraqi infantry appeared in the nearby buildings and let loose with RPG's on both the Challenger and Warrior, all were shrugged off.

It was at this point that a second T-72 appeared further down the road and brought its gun to bear on the Challenger.  It was at this moment that the Brit commander discovered his error with munitions and loaded the correct rounds. The Challenger crew were quicker to act than the Iraqi T-72 crew and the T-72 erupted in a ball of flame and twisted metal.  Two of its crew managed to scramble from the wreckage and escaped on foot in the direction of Basra.

While this was happening the 30mm on the Warrior started to hammer the building where the RPG's had come from.  If there was anyone in there they were now far too busy keeping their heads down.

The 125mm from the first T-72 sounded again, this time finding its mark, the Warrior. Thankfully damage was minimal with the 30mm gun taking just enough damage to make it ineffective.

Again the Challenger and T-72 traded blows, with the Challenger failing to score a hit but this time the T-72 had an amazing stroke of luck, the kind of luck you need to roll 4 dice and they all come up sixes. This was enough to cripple the Challenger.

With the Challenger now crippled and the Warriors gun all but useless, the Warrior reversed next to the tank and prepared to evac its crew. The ground assault was effectively stopped in its tracks (see what I did there) [Editor: Sadly] and now it was time for the Apache's, that were 20 seconds out, to finish the job.

Primary lessons learned from this action,

  • Know your equipment inside out      
  • Don't expose anything but it's toughest side if you can avoid it

Saturday, 28 June 2014

On patrol with the Broke Bone Aussies (aka BrisBane)

After Kevin has been quoting Bruce Shakespeare - William's lesser-known antipodean brother - I thought that I'd also provide a quote from the same play, "Barry V" (where Barry and his mates are trying to get back into the pub after being thrown out for being pissed)...

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the door up with our Aussie pissed.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the wombat, and pass me another stubby of XXXX..."

Sadly, Bruce's poetry was not quite as good as his brother's... However, Eureka's 15mm Australian figures are works of art in their own right - "A thing of beauty is a joy forever". I thought that I'd add a few pictures of the ones that I'd painted up. Like Bruce, however, my artistic abilities are sadly lacking, so I use these as a challenge to everyone else out there (Shane, can you hear me ?) to do better.  ;~)