Monday, 27 January 2014

The Death of War, Debt and Spear-Shaker (Force on Force AAR)

“Incoming!” Shouted the Uruguayan lieutenant as 107mm rockets roared in from Azmakassar.
The terrain.
The farmland and hamlets to the east of FOB Breakbone have been witness to dozens of battles between the UN and the insurgents, and after the Hotakistani’s invaded the British fought several battles holding and eventually pushing back the invaders.  Now, all that stands between the massive Hotakistani invasion force and the UN Engineers repairing the critically important airfield to the south is a Uruguayan infantry company, a British Armoured squadron and a British Mechanised Infantry company.

Following the early British successes the British fought forward to deny the Azmakassar Ford to the Hotakistanis, and thus cut-off the supply route to the southern Hotakistani invading column.  This move, however, proved untenable due to a long open northern flank.  The British soon realized that the reinforced Hotakistani’s would encircle and destroy them, so they began to withdraw.  The Hotakistani’s determined not to allow their prey to escape sent in three infantry companies supported by numerous insurgents.
This battle (3) follows the battle "Washing Day in Azmakassar" (2) as the British continue their advance to the rear.
The British fought through the first encirclement (see AAR Washing Day in Azmakassar  Now the British convoy must breakthrough the final encirclement, held open by fatigued Uruguayans and a US ODA team (see briefing at ).
To the east the British artillery commander watched the rockets slamming into the Uruguayans, he looked at his radioman who shook his head, still no call for retaliatory fire.  The battle had begun.
The convoy and the six Valkyries
The Mission Summary:  The Uruguayans start setup on the board with the convoy, the convoy then attempts to exit as Hotakistani and UN reinforcements arrive.  Points are not given for the convoy units, but instead become multipliers, so for example if four vehicles remain on board at the end then the Hotakistanis multiply their VP by 1.5

Each side received four reinforcement cards, the UN failed to get two of them and ended up with Fortification of three buildings and the Hotakistanis received a 2S19 Mtsa 152mm SPG and a Quad 14.5mm AA gun.  The Hotakistanis faced a difficult challenge, they had received no armour in support, nor Tank-hunters.  So the best AT they had were their six RPGs with AT1(M) or on a TQ4+ AT2(M).

The Battle begins: The initial bombardment hit the Uruguayans heavily, pinning a large portion of the force.  This allowed the Hotakistani infantry to move up and bring effective fire to bear from above their UN positions on the road.
Hotakistani infantry appear above the Uruguayans near the exit.
Meanwhile, further to the east, the convoys led by the Challenger tanks Battle and War surveyed the hills to the north.  But, on a roof of a close-by two storey building appeared a fire team of Hotakistanis with an RPG.  The RPG hit Spear-Shaker, a Warrior, and damaged its main gun.  As the gun was out of ammo it meant little to the crew and they sprayed the building with their co-axial machine-gun.  This Hotakistani team was to spend half of its time helping wounded comrades for the remainder of the engagement.
An overzealous Mtsa...arrives...and burns (the 2S19 Mtsa from QRF)
Then, through an orchard to the east appeared an overzealous self-propelled Howitzer, a Russian-built 152mm Mtsa.  The Challenger crew was too slow in their traverse and the huge HE shell exploded close-by damaging the main gun, it still, however fire and the Mtsa burst into flame.
End of Turn 2.  In the lower right you can spot the Hotakistani platoon commander, he was only able to bring in two 107mm rocket barrages in the whole engagement, and one of those did as much damage to his own men as the enemy.
Turn 2 to 7 (The UN won initiative from the Hotakistanis in Turn 2, and then miraculously lost it to the Hotakistanis for turn 3 to 7!): 
The ODA arrive and attack the Hotakistani ambushers.
The artillery woes for the Hotakistani started early and hardly gave up.  Their radios worked...most of the time.  Their artillery crews?  The laziest bunch of lazy bastards on Planet Artillery (They had a fatigue of 2+, so rolling a D8 I needed anything but a 1, on turn 2: rolled a 1, turn 3: rolled a 1 and on turn 4: rolled a 1!).  The Hotakistani commander had many thoughts of  "going commissar" and head back into Azmakassar and shoot some artillery men.

The firefight near the exit had begun to get very hot, the Hotakistani's had snatched one of the fortified buildings and the Uruguayans were not allowing this to continue.  However, both sides gave and received (This battle was too have the highest KIA and WIA out of all the games we have played with regular vs. regular).
The fierce firefight at the Uruguayans defenses.
The second ODA team arrived and moved to bolster the Uruguayans against the increasing Hotakistani attacks.

At the other end of the engagement the Hotakistani's pushed a Quad 14.5mm AA gun down the road to engage the soft-skin vehicles, but the ammo-less Challenger blocked the road.  The AA gun, however blasted the rear of the Warrior "Spear-Shaker", but to no effect.
The Quad fires at the Warrior.
The Hotakistani's then started to suffer at the east end, the Uruguayans had recovered from the initial attacks, and with the ODA now in support they brought heavy fire to bear and pushed one of the Hotakistani units out of their position.
The Hotakistanis attempting to close the road take very heavy fire and start to break.
The Warrior IFV "Spear-Shaker" continued to take fire, and wounded one of the Hotakistani gunners in response.  Four Hotakistani fire teams now tried to take out the Land Rover Snatch and WMIK.  They poured in fire, ventilating the two vehicles, but the Snatch started it miraculous life.  The WMIK was not as lucky and was destroyed.
A WMIK dies.
Around about now a British SAS team arrived to assist (REACTION CARD), they moved into the three storey building and helped to inflict casualties on the Hotaksitanis attempting to close the road.  But, just after they moved into the building the building caught fire (CARD), the SAS and Uruguayans ran for their lives from the conflagration giving the Hotakistani's a much needed respite.
A fire erupts destroying the three storey building (much laughter from said Hotakistani player and grumbling from the UN :)
Finally, after much swearing, the Hotakistani lieutenant finally made contact with his artillery and the barrage was fired.  Unfortunately, the 107mm rockets landed on both the Hotakistanis and the UN forces.  The Hotakistani fortified building collapsed injuring many, a rocket landed next to both the SAS team and the ODA team causing several casualties.
Hotakistani 107mm land indiscriminately among both sides, destroying the Hotakistani fortified building.
The Barrage from down the road.
The ODA CCT teams started to rain 81mm mortar and 105mm howitzer shells on the Hotakistani HQ and eastern attack force, but with little effect.  Later on the combined mortars and artillery would put an end to all idea of the Hotakistanis advancing down onto the road and blocking the exit.

And then it happened.  That which cannot be penetrated was penetrated (I pulled a Golden BB card at the perfect moment!).
A measly RPG (2D and M) hits the Challenger on the bridge and the Challenger explodes (played Golden BB card!).  Laughter!  Bill asked for a burning Abrams, he gets a burning Challenger.
An RPG strikes the Challenger and miraculously finds a weak spot causing the tank to explode.  Even better, the tank was on the bridge, so the following convoy would now need to go back to the ford to cross the canal and escape eastward.

On the road to the west an RPG hit the lead Warrior causing the crew and passengers to bail out.  The second Warrior moved in to give them cover.  Meanwhile, a group of five Hotakistani's tried to swarm the debussed British soldiers but were all shot down.  All five Hotakistani were killed.

The ODA team in the south (top of the photo below) overran the downed Hotakistanis in the fallow field and captured three of them (a very useful 9VP).
The struggle around the bailed Warrior (at the top you can see the ODA overruning the downed Hotaksitani.
The debussed squad and crew mounted their Warrior, but the Warrior was hit again and immobilised, the crew and squad abandoned the vehicle and escaped on foot.  Unfortunately, the Warrior which had given them cover was hit and destroyed.  This was the end of the engagement.  The Uruguayans now fell back as a rearguard as the half the British convoy escaped.  The Hotakistani's managed to overrun and capture one of the ODA CCT team members, I am sure they will milk this POW for maximum propaganda benefit.
The Warrior "Debt" burns
Result: Half the convoy was destroyed or delayed, so VP counted 1 for 1.  In the end the Hotakistani's suffered 68VP and the UN suffered 36VP.  So a victory for the UN.  The numerous serious wounds and POWs resulted in a high VP game.  An enjoyable game, artillery though ineffective most of the time played a critical role in turning the tide in local struggles.  The Hotakistani's drew some beautiful cards, Burning Building, Golden BB and Offboard Sniper Team (the Sniper team was able to neutralise one of the ODA teams).  A surprising number of dead and seriously wounded in this game.

A fun game.

This was a big game, basically four infantry platoons and ten vehicles.  Though we took 9 hours to play (with a BBQ, thank you Shane) the Force on Force rules worked well.

We have added a new Bog rule.  If a vehicle using tactical movement bogs it may expend 4" to try to unbog.  If it fails and still has remaining movement it can attempt a second unbog.

No comments:

Post a Comment