Sunday, 9 February 2014

AAR - The fight for Pavdullah's House

General Phil Graves looked at the weeks statistics for a second time, his casualty rate had decreased, and the UN’s rate was up.  This was not good, his troops were obviously not trying hard enough.  When he looked across the concrete runway to the Australian infantry readying their equipment he decided that they would immediately attack into the city.
The layout
Pavdullah sat on the top storey of "his house" looking westward to the beleaguered legations, he smiled, this was a perfect spot from which he could call down the 220mm rockets.  Before Pavdullah moved in, the building had been the “Malikastan-United Nations Youth League Outreach School for Transition”.  After Pavdullah kicked out the teachers the building became known as Pavdullah’s House.  The AUStralian-USA Force (AUSAF) also saw that the MUNYLOST building had unobstructed views to the last legations and too the airport itself.  The building had to be taken at all costs.

The Australian Lieutenant, Winston Hines, received his orders with incredulity, he was still waiting for his last ASLAVs to land.  He saw a group of South African mechanics repairing a bunch of “past best by date” Ratels, and asked to borrow a few.   Corporal H. Owzit agreed as long as he could join the Aussies in their attack.  The mechanics told Australian Lt Winston Hines and Sergeant Allan Lot that they also had found a British Challenger tank in a hangar and would bring that along for good measure. 

Thus it was that the Battle for Pavdullah’s House came to be.

The mission:
Australian Mechanised Infantry (8-10) + 4 Ratel/ASLAV
US ODA Team (10-10)
+1FP for ODA
+155mm Artillery
+Apache Gunship
+1 Section of South African Infantry
(Reaction Card during game: +1 Challenger/Abrams Tank)

HVT Insurgents (8-10 regular)
Hardened Insurgents (8-10 regular) included one random T-55.
+Quad 14.5mm AA
+220mm Rocket Artillery
+RPG Team (AP3/AT3(H))
The entire mission plan.  
Pavdullah’s house was defended by a hardened insurgent platoon, with more allies on the way.  In a nearby warehouse the insurgents were rebuilding a T-55 that the Russians had damaged a few days earlier.  The insurgents were disastrously short of RPGs, but they did have a quad 14.5mm AA gun to keep the sky clear.  Pavdullah’s house was a monster of a building with thick concrete walls, and appeared to be more of a prison than a school.

The ODA team in Malika City heard that the Aussies (with a bunch of South African mechanics) were about to take on Pavdullah’s House and therefore thought it best if they came and showed the Aussies how to do it.   Pavdullah’s brother phoned Pavdullah and told him they had spotted the Australians advancing towards his position.  Pavdullah replied, “Not to worry, brother, I have just unwrapped a new state of the art RPG, let them come.”
Insurgent hunker down as the two Ratel's fire on the warehouse.
The attack started with the Australians infiltrating into the ruined buildings to the north of Pavdullah’s house.  The ODA joined this advance and also moved with two Ratel’s and a Australian GPMG team to take the ruin to the south of the “House.”  Some insurgents were spotted and engaged.  The Apache helicopter failed to arrive at first, but a 155mm stonk wounded several Hotakistani’s in the trenches to the south of the “House”.
The four 155mm shells land, causing casualties in the trenches and dropping the roof of Pavdullah's house onto the insurgents on the top storey.
The last section of Australians, a section of South Africans and the borrowed Challenger tank flanked the house and attacked the large factory warehouse from the south.  Though the Challenger would arrive late.  The T-55 in the warehouse burst through the massive roller doors only to have its gun shots away by one of the Ratel’s.  Amazingly in the wild melee to come the T-55 would survive to fight another day.

The insurgents in the thinly clad warehouse survived immense fire from the Ratel’s and ASLAV-25s though the building began to take on a Swiss cheese appearance.  Both sides refrained from further artillery as now the forces were only yards apart.  The insurgents proved very resilient to the fire and caused a few deaths amongst the AUSAF attackers, but eventually they started to accumulate wounds.

Two of the Ratel/ASLAVs were destroyed, one by the Quad 14.5mm and one by an RPG.
The Apache using Chin Sniping on the insurgents in Pavdullah's house.
The Apache eventually arrived, but failed to cause much damage.  The T-55 had retreated into the large warehouse, but eventually lost patience and charged through the remaining door and shot down the Australians beyond the door.  In the mad melee of men and machine the South African and Australians anti-tank men could not get a clear shot at the T-55.  With dozens of insurgents in the warehouse complex, gently caressing their Molotov Cocktails, the Challenger crew decided discretion was the right choice and remained in an overwatch position.

Eventually the Australians charged across the street between the ruins and Pavdullah’s House, finding the road covered with mines, but miraculously they all survived.
The Australians stack up for their assault on Pavdullah's House.  The glory boy ODA also approach the east wall to breach and clear.
It was by this time that Pavdullah gave his turban to his 2nd in command and slipped out of his house via the tunnel to the warehouse, he quickly ordered two teams of insurgents into the tunnel and told them to hold the house to the last man.  He then slipped away east to fight another day.  The insurgency could not afford to lose such an important man.
The Fickle Finger of Fate brushing off the Apache's second attack (presquished)
Two teams of Australians and the two ODA teams now stormed the “House” and in hand-to-hand combat dispatched the defenders on the first and second storey’s.  They also went into the basement to ambush anyone arriving by the tunnel.  The first insurgents to attempt entering the basement fell back under fire, and the second team decided they would “live to fight another day”.  The insurgents on the roof made a last, but futile, attempt to rouse the invaders from their building, but were killed.
The final insurgent assault is destroyed by the ODA team on the second storey.
Result: AUSAF Victory (3 floors in AUSAF hands vs. 2 in insurgent hands)

No one likes Stalingrad.  This was an obvious remake of the famous Pavlov’s House in Stalingrad.  It takes guts to attack such a structure, and guts to stand against an overwhelming force.

I only played the beginning, so much of the rest was observed from playing Pulp Alley at a nearby table.  I believe they say that the first casualty of war is Truth, and this may be true with this write up.

The mission was very basic in design, a map, a few rules for the buildings and the rest is history.  A two-legged dog?  Likely, but everyone loves Stalingrad…

While waiting for Eureka Miniatures, we substituted US for Australians, and used Ratels for the ASLAV-25s (I need to paint my ASLAVs!).

With the rampant defeatism circulating the ranks I think the following are a few wise words.

And Tolstoy had it right, "A battle is won by the side that is absolutely determined to win. Why did we lose the battle of Austerlitz? Our casualties were about the same as those of the French, but we had told ourselves early in the day that the battle was lost, so it was lost.” 

And Ho Chi Minh comes to mind, "We don't need to win military victories, we only need to hit them until they give up and get out."

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