Sunday, 6 March 2016

Still Crazy After All These Years (Part 2)

For this three-sided game (aka 'Black Prince Down'), the Regulars have a Scimitar AFV, and 4 WMIK Land Rovers (each with a fireteam of 4 and armed w/SA80's). The WMIKs have M2HBs and a pintle mounted GPMG). They are TQ/Morale D8/D8, Confident, with Body Armour. The official ROE are 'Only return fire at identified hostiles', but, privately, they have been told 'Shoot anybody you see who is armed'. They have 8 turns to rescue the Prince, and get off table.

Ronnie Kray (w/SA80, RPG 7V and body armour) and 2 teams of 4 (w/SA80's) are TQ/Morale D8/D8 and Confident. Their aim is to get the truck off table within 8 turns.

The Rowdy Rabble (w/AK74s, w/Molotov cocktails in close assault on vehicles) start with two teams on table, and the rest are treated as irregulars, emerging via hotspots. They are TQ/Morale D6/D6 and Confident; they have to prevent the Regulars from achieving their mission.

A mob by the road. Kray's men are in the factory.

Sitrep

The Scimitar led the column as it raced along the road, heading for the crash site. Spotting an armed mob in the woods by the side of the road, it opened fire with its main gun; one of their number fell,  and the rest scattered in terror. The lead WMIK raced past the fleeing hoodlums and up the road. The wall by the road gave way to a chain-link fence, through which it identified more unfriendlies in military fatigues by a black Mercedes in  front of the factory; the WMIK opened fire, but missed. The return fire from Kray's men (they had finally made it to the factory, but too late as far as they were concerned) was just as effective. (Ronnie looked at his RPG, and then again decided that there was too much fire power coming his way, and pulled his men back, through the factory and into the woods. They'd get their investment back another day, when things weren't so hot).

The cavalry to the rescue
The other WMIKs were close behind the first. Suddenly, from behind the red-brick building, a group of yobs with Molotov Cocktails charged into the road, but they were dispersed by a short burst from the top-mounted machine gun of the second vehicle. The lead WMIK could see a plume of smoke from the vicinity of the railway overpass bridge. The commander pointed, “That must be the chopper”.  They could also hear gunfire from that direction.

Looking up the road - smoke rises from the helicopter
The Scimitar commander rushed forward crashing through the chain-link fence and opened fire with its RARDEN 30mm cannon at a mob by the gate, which quickly took cover.

Two WMIKs then moved up to the bridge, spotting a tail rotor.  They could see a crowd on the opposite railway embankment, but were unsure if they were unfriendly. A debate ensued, which was finally resolved when the Scimitar then joined them by the bridge. The mob on the other side of the railway opened futile fire at the light tank. Having confirmed that they were, indeed, 'hostiles', the return fire from Scimitar and both WMIKs was punishing... (The commander of the tank had a surreal moment when he realised that they were using heavy force against their own countrymen, rather than against Malikastanis. However, when bullets pinged off the hull, he shrugged off the thought. In all the months in Malikastan nothing had ever pinged off his vehicle. He ordered his gunner to open fire...)

Meanwhile, further mobs appeared, from across the railway line, from inside the factory yard, and from down on the railway track itself. Movement was also spotted in the gardens of the houses to their right. Things were starting to look dangerous; the WMIK stationed outside the fence returned fire on the mob charging out from the factory, knocking two of them over; as they ran, their exit was hastened by more fire from the WMIK at the T-junction. One of the WMIKs on the bridge moved so it could see down onto the railway line, but the crew could not verify if the mob on the railway were belligerent, so they held their fire. The crew of the other WMIK on the bridge disembarked, and moved to the edge of the railway embankment to see if they could spot the Prince.  They were taken under fire from a reformed mob on the opposite embankment; their fire, and that from the Scimitar blasted the mob to smithereens. The sound of heavy machine gun fire - supplemented with 30mm Rarden cannon - was almost continuous. (One of the WMIK drivers could not believe that so many armed and dangerous men could roam the streets of Grand Brexitia. What had happened to his country while he was away in the Middle East ? How could a 21st century, First World country, run by a bunch of coke-snorting, pig-molesting ex-Etonians, be reduced to this level of anarchy so quickly ?). Ammunition started to run low.

The fireteam reaches the Prince; hostiles gather in the factory yard and in the gardens
Covered by their mates in the vehicles, the fireteam on foot slid down the embankment, engaging mobs shooting at them from the far side, and from the gang on the railway line. Even when conserving ammo, their shooting was still too much for the armed civilians. They managed to make it to the wreck of the helicopter, and found the Prince and his friends, unharmed except for grazes and superficial cuts. Prince Roger himself was cowering behind the helicopter, and it took some effort to persuade him to scramble up the embankment, towards the parked WMIK. As they climbed, fire from the 'hostiles' lightly wounded one of the rescuers, but return fire caused the armed civilians to go to ground. Another large mob approached from the gardens of the houses with the intention of charging in to the Prince's protectors, but Scimitar cannon and WMIK fire knocked some down, and the rest took cover behind the walls. This enabled the Prince, his chums, and the fireteam to make it to their vehicles (one of the chums had to travel in another WMIK, as the first was overloaded; the Prince insisted on being first aboard, taking cover in the floorwell...)

A mob approaches from along the railway tracks.
While this was going on, more mobs closed on the scene. The WMIK at the T-junction spotted some movement behind them, but its machine gun fire missed. The exposed WMIK crew suffered wounds; one was a mere scratch, but the second was more serious. The vehicle was starting to resemble a Swiss cheese, with one dead, and one other out of action. The last unwounded man frantically manned the gun; the lightly wounded man took the wheel as the order to pull out came over the air. Shooting in all directions, the convoy pulled out and raced back to barracks, the Scimitar covering the rear. Prince Roger was safe. 

The troops prepare to pull out.

Casualties

Regulars - 1 dead, 1 seriously wounded, 2 lightly wounded.

Kray's Gang - No casualties

Mobs - An estimated two to four dozen wounded or killed (?)

Newspaper headlines next day - 'Our hero. Brave Prince Roger single-handedly fights off hordes of criminal scum hell-bent on terror rampage'. (Of course, 'The Daily Heil' is always entirely truthful, accurate and unbiased in its reporting...)

Still Crazy After All These Years (intermission)


Bright was in trouble - the prisoners did not include Ronnie and Reggie. The fireteam on the railway embankment reported seeing two men running away into the woods, and believed they had wounded one. Also two prisoners had been shot dead 'while resisting'.

Corporal Hansen's voice came over the PRC; 'Sir. I think you should see this'. 'This' being the ten (or more) tonnes of 'white powder' in plastic bags, filling the inside of the truck. Bright's spirits rose a little; he'd have something positive to report...

Bright's superiors were unhappy that the Krays had escaped, and weren't interested in the prisoners, or the dead gangsters at all. However, they seemed to be very excited about the 'white powder', and eventually told him 'Seal the truck up, leave it, and tell no-one - we'll send our men in to pick it up'. Bright didn't even get a chance to tell them about Delta fireteam's indiscretions... He quietly withdrew his men and their prisoners back to barracks, and submitted a bland report; his men's role in the affair was quickly forgotten. (Private Fratton eventually made a full recovery).

It took time for a suitable team of  'inspectors' to be found, briefed and sent out by the 'authorities'; by that time, Ronnie Kray had been busy. His twin, Reggie, had been shot and wounded, but that just made them both mad. Ronnie wanted to recover the truck full of drugs - it represented a major investment, and its loss would have meant a blow to their business diversification. He called in all his favours from local hoodlums, issued them with guns, and set out for the factory. The inspectors were ambushed, and withdrew. More police were sent in, but by this time, the local thugs were beginning to have fun; even Ronnie and his men had trouble getting near the factory, as the streets were filled with excited gun-toting youths.

Things took a turn for the worse when Prince Roger (not known for his tolerant views, i.e. 'Hang all the commie plebs, and shoot the rest', and only well-known otherwise for falling out of nightclubs at three in the morning in the company of semi-naked bimbos), decided to take a hand. He volunteered to fly his personal helicopter to the scene, and help identify the main ringleaders. He also decided to take a couple of his 'chums' as sharpshooters on board ('Just like big game hunting in Africa'), in the hope that 'warning shots' would quickly restore order. A number of troublemakers were shot in this way, but his low flying antics came a cropper when he ran into some telephone wires, causing the helicopter to crash close to the factory. Prince Roger and his two chums are pinned down in the helicopter. A Regular Army Rapid Response Force is dispatched to rescue Roger from a rowdy rabble of vengeful and armed 'yoofs'.
Prince Roger's helicopter on the tracks. (When is the train due ?)
A rare sighting of the Golden Holden (Prince Roger's helicopter is just visible in the background).

Still Crazy After All These Years (Part 1)



Second Lieutenant Bright (Army Reserve) checked his watch again; his men, 3 sections equipped with SA80 assault rifles and Osprey body armour, were spread out around the factory.One section was in place behind a wall on the east side, covering the main entrance; the second was with him, on the south side; the third was split into two fireteams, one to provide overwatch from a small workshop to the south; the other to climb up the railway embankment, and observe the back of the factory.
The 'factory' from the south
'They're here' - Corporal Hansen's voice spoke softly into his earpiece. A black Mercedes GLS had just driven through the factory gates; earlier, there had been a false alarm when a large truck had arrived, and reversed up to the loading bay, but the Krays had not been with it.

Gunmen unloading the truck
Bright gave the order to go; one fireteam moved up to the southern wall of the factory, covered by the second, and the overwatch team. As they did so, some desultory shooting came from the upper windows of the factory. Bright found himself shouting 'Return fire'; a scream told him his men's shooting had found a target. However, he realised that any surprise he had thought he had was now gone, and that the 'simple plan' had not survived first contact...
The Krays heard the gunfire, and drew their weapons with long-accustomed practice. They had known, when they branched out into 'pharmaceuticals', that they might have to defend their business interests from other, rival, gangs. The goods in the truck represented a major investment, and no-one was going to take it away from them. 'Len's been hit. They came out the woods', shouted 'Dodge' from the gantry. 'There's more of 'em out front', yelled Johnno, by the main doors. 'Give 'em hell, boys', Reggie Kray growled. 
Charlie fireteam provides covering fire as Delta cross the road
Rising up from behind the wall, Charlie fireteam fired on the four heavily armed civilians who had been unloading the truck, skittling three of them. 

Delta fireteam take 'cover' behind the chain-link fence
Encouraged by this, Delta fireteam charged across the road to the chain-link fence, thinking to take cover behind the containers. However, they were clearly visible to gunmen in the upper windows of the factory, who shot two as they ran. Private Mills lost part of his earlobe; Private Fratton was dragged across the road, his colleagues trying to stem bleeding from a serious leg wound, and calling for a medic. Bright reassured them that an ambulance was on its way, but the area would have to be secure.
The fireteam covering the back of the factory
Meanwhile, the fireteam at the back of the factory were surprised by shots as they poked their heads over the top of the embankment; Private Charlton clutched his face, while his mates quickly returned accurate fire. A piece of gravel had embedded itself in his cheek; he wiped blood away, and sent aimed shots back at the windows on the upper floor.

Bright began to wonder just how many armed men there were in the factory, and if he had enough men to do the job. He ordered his overwatch teams to shoot at the upper windows, while the team by the wall climbed over into the car park, under the cover of smoke grenades. A reduced hail of fire came back, but it missed its targets.
The Krays attempt their escape
Inside the factory, the Krays' men were getting the worst of the deal; Len and Bruce on the south gantry were wounded, and Dodge was reduced to shooting wildly out of the window. Big Bob had taken a shot to the head on the north side, and lay awkwardly, face down, on the floor. And only Johnno was still shooting out the front door, the rest sprawled wounded by the truck. Only Mac's team on the upper gantry over the loading dock hadn't taken casualties. Ronnie quickly took stock; 'Time to get out, Reg. They've got us out-gunned today. We'll get the bastards who done this another day'. Calling to Mac to move his men to the north side, he and Reggie moved to the back door of the factory. 'A quick sprint, and we'll be away through the woods; I'll cover you', Ronnie said, clapping his twin on the back. 

On the embankment, Private Charlton saw movement at the rear of the factory, and shot instinctively, dropping the man. Renewed fire from the upper windows distracted him; at least one more 'enemy' was hit in return, he reckoned. When next he looked, the man he had shot running from the back of the factory was no longer there.
On the south side of the factory, the assault was going well, Bright joining his section in the car park, and stacking up outside the side door, ready to burst in. 'Just like we were taught in training', thought Bright. There was a burst of fire to his right from the front of the factory, followed by Corporal Hansen saying 'They're surrendering, sir'. Bright felt himself relax momentarily, then more shooting coming from the north and east sides of the building told him it wasn't quite over. He nodded, and his men kicked in the door, while he shouted 'Army. Drop your weapons'. Hands began to be raised, and guns were thrown to the floor by the survivors. Bright could see a number of wounded, and a least one dead, and allowed himself a moment of grim satisfaction.  
Delta fireteam storm in to 'take prisoners'
It was swiftly broken by more shots from the front of the factory, and Hansen yelling 'Stand down ! Stand down !' Delta fireteam had stormed through the gate of the factory, and, incensed by the shooting of Private Fratton, had shot two of the surrendering prisoners by the truck. Bright was horrified at this callous act of revenge, and berated the men - he could see his own career ending in a military court. He believed that he had successfully achieved his mission, despite there being heavier opposition than was anticipated, and now his soldiers had murdered men after they had surrendered. As sirens heralded the arrival of an ambulance, he turned to the surviving prisoners; 'Which of you lot are Ronnie and Reggie Kray ?' he asked. 'They're gone', spat the one called Mac.  Bright cursed; the day had just got worse - he couldn't even claim to have captured the Krays. 

Statistics

British Army Reserves TQ/Morale D8/D8, Body armour, Confident
1 Lieutenant w/SA80
6 fireteams of 4 w/SA80, smoke grenades

Casualties - 1 seriously wounded, 2 light wounds.

Krays' Gang TQ/Morale D8/D8 (Morale drops to D6 when Ronnie and Reggie are not there), Confident
2 Leaders (Ronnie and Reggie, on ground floor of factory) w/SA80
Team 1 (on south gantry) - 3 Riflemen w/SA80 or AK74
Team 2 (on north gantry) - 3 Riflemen w/SA80 or AK74
Team 3 (on upper gantry) - 3 Riflemen w/SA80 or AK74
Team 4 (unloading truck) - 4 Riflemen w/SA80 or AK74

Casualties - 3 dead, 4 serious wounds, 1 light wound.

A short game, meant to provide the link to Part 2; British Army concentration of firepower won the firefights; the Krays were spread out to cover all options, but were outgunned, and quickly realised that discretion was the better part of valour.