Monday, 3 June 2013

AAR - The Battle for the Golden Holden at the Ford

The Azmakassar Ford was being used by the Hotakistanis to supply their mechanized units to the south of the river.  Indeed, a dozen MT-LB had crossed the river that very morning.  A United Nations UAV saw that the northern bank was defended by a single platoon of Malikastani infantry.  Major D. Zaster decided he needed to cut-off this supply route ASAP and also gain a foothold in the town of Azmakassar.

MISSION: Hold/Take the four buildings around the cross-road to keep the supply route south open/closed.  The Malikastani militia are defending and outnumbered against a British armoured platoon and mechanized infantry platoon.

The Malikastani commander was not the happiest of men.  He sat on the roof of a two-storey building considering his ill fate.  First, he had fought for the UN against the insurgents, but he felt the UN had never trusted him, and he had often wondered if he was on the correct side.  When the Hotakistani’s had invaded he decided to correct the past and join the Hotaki’s.  But, now he wondered if the Hotakistanis trusted him.  He decided that morning, that as soon as the opportunity arose he would return to his village with his men and let the two invaders fight it out.  His platoon, supplied by the UN, was strong and he thought he could become a significant leader once the Hotaki’s and UN had bludgeoned each other to a pulp.  He decided that after lunch he would talk to his men and make a plan for the whole platoon to slip away south later in the week.  He looked down on his prized possession: his Golden Holden.  He would have to get the Holden over the ford when he left.

British Army Sergeant Major Beaumont sat on his quad-bike scanning the faces of the men mounting the Warriors, they looked tired, having fought in three contacts in the last week, but they were amazingly confident this morning (D12 morale).  The British mechanized platoon could only muster two sections, but they were still rearing to go: they had two Challengers’ in support.  Not to mention they were looking to exact a little revenge on the traitorous Malikastani platoon.   In the early morning light the Warriors and supporting tanks headed east to the ford.

The initial dispositions and first moves by the British

Sitting on his vantage point the Malikastani Lieutenant saw the Challenger’s roaring into the town followed by the Warriors, one of the Challengers let loose a round into the madrassa in which five of his men were probably having breakfast, the building collapsed.   On the other flank a tank and two IFV’s moved up to a building on his frontline.  He knew a fire team worth of his men was in the neighboring building.  He expected the two Warriors to halt and overwhelm his men.  He thought they would have a better chance if he dropped a few rockets in the area and destroyed the British.  He mused over the dilemma for a second, and decided to drop the artillery on the British and his own men.  He grabbed the radio operator and called on the Hotakistani rocket batteries to the north in Azmakassar.  He waited, the British would soon debus… soon…then two rockets landed harmlessly exploding far away from the British.  He waited for more rockets to land, but all he got were two miserable rockets!  He cursed.  His men hiding on the frontline ducked as the rockets shook the ground.  Were those friendly rockets?  No, it could not be, their commander loved his men.  They peered out the windows and decided not to attack the two Warriors and Challenger.

The British spotted the Malikastanis who had just decided not to attack, debussing they fired into the building.  But got back what they gave.  The accompanying Challenger advanced firing on the northern flank, followed by a Warrior with the HQ section.

The Challenger on the south flank fired into a building containing Malikastani soldiers, collapsing part of the building and pinning the occupants. 

The Malikastani officer, thinking his men were done for ordered another salvo of rockets on the debussed British soldiers, he waited for the eight or so rockets to land, but to no avail, the Hotakistani’s either fired duds or did not wish to waste rockets assisting him, two rockets landed.  One landed close to the British, killing three and seriously wounding a fourth.  One Malikastani was also hit by the friendly fire.  The officer mused that at least his beloved Golden Holden was safe.

On the northern flank the 2nd Warrior debussed, the British soldiers advanced into an ambush, both sides fired but to no effect.  The Challengers now advanced on the Hotakistani T-72.  The first Challenger exchanged fire with the the T-72, both missed or their hits were ineffective, the second Challenger advanced and destroyed the T-72s main gun.  Later the first Challenger fired again destroying the T-72 and seriously wounding one of its crew.  The crew bailed out and took no further part in the action

The furious minute - The T-72 burns

The Hotakistani T-72 burns
The Challengers then destroyed another building at the cross-roads, with the Malikastanis running for their lives from the smoking ruin.  A Challenger then destroyed the building holding up the British infantry on the northern flank, collapsing its entire western wall and part of the roof.  The ambushers were soon down to three men, and then a Warrior finished them off with the assistance of a fire team.  Finally the second fire team entered the building, but try as they might they could not find any survivors to capture.
The British continue to demolish every building in sight
Close-up of the wanton destruction!
After the episode many conspiracies said the Golden Holden had not been present - but here is positive proof.
The Malikastani commander called in another salvo and was rewarded by a single rocket landing in the river.  In his rage he accidently knocked his sergeant off the roof (Card: Random injury).  The commander was astounded to see his men still fighting, he cursed that he could not get a message to them to run!  A group of three Malikastani’s tried to retake one of the buildings and rescue their fallen comrades, dragging a fourth wounded comrade, they ran up to the windows of the store.  They fired through the stores windows and wounded one enemy.  The Challenger then turned its turret to fire at them, but the Malikastanis ran.  They unfortunately ran around the corner into the British HQ section and a Warrior.  They were soon all dead or dying.

The Malikastani's run into the fire
...and then jump into the frying pan.
With the British in possession of the cross-roads, and with most of his men down the Lieutenant looked forlornly at his golden Holden.  He sighed and slipped away with his few surviving men.  Maybe he would return later and take his car back.

One of the British soldiers was an Australian national, on spotting the golden Holden he searched it and found it contained a Hotakistani dossier and several thousand US dollars.  He received permission to take the vehicle back to PB55 and Major Zaster.  The dossier was to prove a gold mine.  It showed that the Hotakistani’s were willing to explode a nuclear bomb in order to defeat the UN forces and indeed, one was on the way to the UN forces by road.

UN: 35 points
Malikstanis: 8 points
Malikastanis conceded at the end of turn 5.

General Lessons:
British can lay down a lot of fire.
Challengers are mean beasts
Do not depend on rockets to win the day J
Do not get on the wrong end of Find – Fix, as the next F is mean.
My mistakes: The infantry I put forward had no RPGs.  Big mistake, I should have had at least given one RPG to the frontline.  My forward observer’s view was limited.

Force on Force rules question: A fire team was fired on by a tank, it reacted with movement and moved before being shot, it moved around the corner and was shot at by another British unit.  Can the fire team react with an Assault, or has it burnt that opportunity?  Furthermore, if another British unit fires on it later on, but in the same turn, can it react with assault?  Or because it has moved it cannot?

New option for next game: On a TQ 4+ you can pick your reinforcement cards and then randomly take your too, on a failed TQ you receive a random two cards?

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