The premise was simple: 3 US Marine recon teams had been carrying out reconnaissance on a Taliban held town and were discovered by some wandering insurgents. They had to get out, but the nearest suitable extraction point was, you guessed it, on the far side of town. So they had to get their way through the town, call in the Black Hawk and get out. Simple!
What started as a walk in the park for the US Marines, really had the Taliban players finding it very difficult to co-ordinate the arriving cells. The Marines were co-ordinated and they had the initiative for the entire game as they were all quality regulars, whereas the Taliban were all irregulars who were very enthusiastic but lacked the training, fire discipline and communications to really get their act together. The big advantage that they did have was the hidden movement rule which enabled them to move rapidly around the table.....until the second turn of the game when a Fog of War card was drawn that gave the Marines a UAV that put a stop to it real fast!!...Sh*t!.
|The end of town. The Bridges that had to be crossed to get to the rendezvous for extraction.|
George's Team were the first into action as they moved through a courtyard and into the open acutely aware of roaring engines somewhere to their front that heralded the arrival of the technicals. Sad to say - from my point of view- as my mobile reserve swerved into view I lost the response roll and ended up receiving concentrated SAW, and M4 fire into the first technical and grenades into the second. My boys failed to fire. One of Spyros' cells also appeared and let fly with their AK47s. The RPG was also going to let off a round but Spyros had to roll to see if was an anti-tank or anti personnel round. As our luck would have it....it was neither.....it was a dud round. The AK47s scored two hits but George was able to make his First Aid saves...and although one had a light wound the other was fine (the bullet bounced off his webbing pouch with the spare mags.)
|DshK.- 12.7mm MG- popular with the boys....and the main anti aircraft defence.....nicknamed the 'Dushka'..which means 'sweetheart'.......strange name!!|
|Second 'Dushka' team|
|The 'Technicals' move. This was the Taliban mobile reserve and went into action as soon as the first shots were fired. Both vehicles mounted 'Dushkas' and promised much......but failed to deliver....the Marines were just too good!|
|Some wandering Taliban|
|The Mortar team was being called on just about every turn to lend fire support......they usually failed to get the message, fired at the wrong target.....or missed completely!|
In the final stages of the game George's Charlie Team made a decision that sealed the fate of the Recon teams. A lone Dshka was firing on the extraction point. Charlie team, despite pleas from the other Team Leaders went back to clear out the offending nest. With smoke grenades covering their advance they burst into the building, fought their way up to the roof and eliminated the threat in a pretty impressive display of assault tactics. Alas, George became too complacent and rather than withdraw as Evan (Alpha Team) begged him to do, he manned the Dshka and blasted away at the mass of gathering insurgents, His first salvo obliterated two enemy fire teams, but by this time the Taliban had managed to gather sufficient numbers to negate the Marines' superior ability. When it came Spyros' turn to let rip ALL of George's team took hits. There were 3 on the roof ( the other wounded was with Nick and Evan on the bridge).
With anguished looks, Nick and Evan decided that they couldn't leave Charlie Team to its fate and Nick's Team Bravo raced back to get them out.
With Evan's Alpha team watching over the extraction point, Nick's Bravo Team raced back across the bridge, past the dilapidated buildings and rubble piles and......into the open. The look of maniacal glee that spread across my face as I won the die roll for the reaction test from not one...or two...but ALL THREE of my Taliban units meant that Nick's team were cut down before they reached Charlie Team. With a groan and a cry of pain the Marines had 8 men down and only four still standing....the chopper arrived and departed carrying a much smaller number than expected........Game, set and match to the Taliban!
|The technicals charge around the corner and get hit! Technical Red got hit by heavy small arms fire. Seconds later Technical White also was knocked out.|
|George's Charlie Team...they took out the technicals very quickly.....much to my dismay.|
|Taliban Cells move forward to the sound of the guns- sounds rather Napoleonic!|
|Bravo Team moving past the main street out in the open.|
|Bravo and Charlie Teams move past the two destroyed technicals.|
|Taliban emerging from hiding|
|Dushka number three waiting for a target|
|Taliban fighters move through the rubble and barricades of the main street. I love this photo!|
|Evan's Alpha Team wait at the edge of the rendezvous point for the Black Hawk. Behind them are Nick's Bravo Team, moments before they decide to backtrack and help George's Charlie Team.|
|An open window....??|
|Bravo Team lay smoke to cover their rush back across the bridge to help Charlie Team.|
|The Black Hawk flies in VERY low over the town. With all anti aircraft MG's taken out by the Marines it was safe to do so.|
|The Blackhawk at the extraction point....and nobody there!!|