So most of the usual bunch met on Thursday to have a game of Skirmish Sangin.
Ray and Craig chose to play the Taliban this time leaving me to play the British.
The Taliban had two groups of 8 and the ISAF a small 8 man British Para squad. So with forces decided what was the mission.
Well Ray had cooked up a great little mission for us that went something like this.
The British making a large push into the green zone had been reasonably successful until they crossed the river where they where hit by a large force of Taliban. Using their superior air power and close in support they had held the larger Taliban force but not without taking casualties. These casualties now need to be evacuated, with no safe LZ available the decision was made to evacuate by road. Unfortunately this meant crossing the river at the only spot that was currently held by ISAF.
This is where my force came in. My Force had been deployed to defend the river crossing as the main force leap frogged forward.
The Taliban Spies had realised the bottleneck and sent a small force to cut off the line of retreat for the ISAF wounded.
So what did this mean in reality?
Well my chaps had to hold the river crossing for one combat round, 10 combat phases at which point the wounded convoy would enter from the far side of the table. This, ISAF was lead to believe, was a convoy consisting of number of Landrovers protected by a Warrior armoured vehicle.
I got to deploy my troops within 12” of the river (This was an 8 x6” table). And the table got to deploy up to 12” on their side of the table.
So all I had to do was to keep a numerically superior force that came on two flanks at bay for 10 Combat phases. I imagined by Para’s saying something like “ Bring it on” while lighting a nervous cigarette.
I deployed on the north side of the river, keeping the river behind me, to the left in a building and its courtyard on the right in another courtyard to compound. Trying not to be too gamey I only deployed one soldier on the stairs at the beginning of the game and no one on the roof but I did make sure all my chaps had medium cover and where kneeling as the game began.
So unfortunately I don’t have a blow-by-blow account but this was a very hard fought game, first blood went to the Para’s with a nicely placed 40mm grenade, quickly followed up with ten rounds of rapid fire but we definitely didn’t have it our own way. Ray’s Taliban kept up a stead level of pressure on the left but were reasonably static, making a slow and steady advance. While on the right, the use of a well placed berm meant that Pooch could split his force and use one lot to try and keep my head down while all the while trying to outflanking me using the berm to hide line of sight as he rushed up his out-flanking force.
This was a hard fought couple of hours, with both sides taking casualties as we came to phase 8 the Para’s looked in good shape, only one casualty. We had been making great armour saving rolls and Taliban damage rolls had been low. We had also managed to reload one of the UGL’s (It takes 3 AP to reload, which means that a man is out of action for a combat phase and I frequently didn’t have time to reload the UGL because of the weight of incoming fire meant I needed him to be firing his armalite). But an AP screw up on my part meant I didn’t get to fire it as the at the two RPG gunners on the roof opposite.
However, it began to slide when Pooch’s RPG gunner managed to blow up two men at the doorway to the compound (The only saving grace was he injured one of his won men in the blast)
Now down to 5 men and with none active in the last two combat phases I took another casualty was then down to 4 men as we reach the last combat action phase. I had made it… but only just. ISAF had managed to hold a very determined Taliban force for one combat round. Now the convoy would arrive and I still had possession of the crossing even though I was besieged on all sides.
That’s where we stopped the game as it was getting late and we hope to complete the mission next week.
I’ll let you know how we get on.