Saturday, March 2, 2013

Battle for Qalah-eh-Bagh - Day 3: The Raid

The third installment of my small solo-campaign. Again, with Force on Force + my house-rule set that is explained here, in case you didn´t stumble upon it earlier. 

I´ve also started a small riddle on what I´m currently sculpting. I´ll update the post with new hints, and reveal the figure when someone has made the right guess on what kind of mini I´m working on. Post your guesses in the comment section ;)
Check out the riddle here - "What am I?"

 After attaining valuable information on the nature of the drug business in the region from the last raid, the Bataillon commander has decided to organize a raid on a local warlord whose involvement into the heroin trade was indicated in the captured documents. His compound, bristeling with activity, was the target. Somewhere around the building, hostile elements where storing large amounts of heroin, repackaging it before sending it out into the wide world.

The Soldiers of 3rd Platoon would be flown in by helicopter, landing right in front of the targeted compound to catch the defenders by surprise and ensure strategic initiative. The task was easy: Get in, clear the compound, find the drug storage and destroy the heroin, then get out of the area before more Insurgents flock in. Two helicopters would be flown in, carrying a total of 21 men to the battlefield. The first wave was to establish a perimeter,waiting for the second wave before advancing to the compound and clearing it out...

Seconds before landing, the UH-60 Helos were greeted by scattered RPG-fire, none of which hit the vehicle. The first troops where dropped off and came under fire from two directions, with one team getting pinned down. Return fire was able to supress one of the enemy units.

US Forces getting pinned down on the Landing Zone.
One of the teams began its advance on the wall to prepare breaching the mud enclosure. Having laid all explosives, they triggered the charge and cleared the courtyard, aided by the dust and shock that disoriented the two lone enemy fighters inside.

With the first helo taking off again, the and the second hovering in, the troops where now at their most vulnerable - should the second helicopter be shot down, desaster would ensue...

Fortunately, neither the remaining RPGs, nor the DShK that now opened fire on the incoming helo was able to cause any damage to the vehicle. The delivery of troops went by flawlessy...

Second Wave arriving at the LZ.

Drawn in by the sounds of the helicopters, a large group of Taliban closed in on the landing zone. With two teams on overwatch, the Taliban where quickly pinned down and taking casualties.

Taliban under fire by two Overwatch-units

Unfortunately, being surrounded and taking fire from all directions, some Taliban, firing from the cover of nearby fields did actually manage to inflict two casualties on one of the teams.
Meanwhile, the troops inside the compound where busy sealing off a tunnel that was running into the courtyard. Placing some explosives and claymores ensured that no hostile units would pop up in their back.

The Landing zone from the perspective of the Helo crew.


Calling in the medic, the troopers tried to save their downed comrades. After a short triage, the medic attested that one of the men was dead and beyong saving, while the other casualty was more lucky and ready to continue fighting after getting a dose of morphine.

The second team advancing towards the compound.
With the tunnel secured, a second team was sent on their way to support the clearing of the compound.
Meanwhile, a small two-man team was dispatched to outflank the entrenched Taliban in the round building. Hit in the flank and under fire by the overwatch-unit did only cause one casualty, but enabled a third team to advance unhindered.

Meanwhile, the team inside the courtyard prepared to close in on their target and checking one of the potential storage sites (green marker). Encountering a HMG-position aiming in on them and one suspect individual operating a phone, the troopers unleashed hell on both targets, suppressing the DShK and killing the suspect.

Two dangerous encounters while approaching the target building

Checking the suspected storage site didn´t yield any heroin, only a silo of grain.

No drugs over here.

With the Taliban around the landing zone finally succumbing to the firepower of the US teams, one unit attempted to outflank the MG-position. To the horror of the soldiers inside the walls, the suspected triggerman got up again after taking a definite hit. Only quick reflexes saved the American soldiers...

Outflanking the MG

Moving in cautiously to check if the triggerman was finally killed for good, the Americans found him squealing on the ground, bleeding from a few cuts and seriously bruised, but alive and not too seriously hurt. Handcuffing the rather resilient guy after carefully checking him for boobytraps, the soldiers prepared to storm the target building...

The Triggerman wasn´t the only Taliban that probably took some of the drugs himself before joining the battle, as the HMG suddenly reopened fire...

"We´re pinned down by heavy fire!"

With some assistance from the second team, the HMG was finally silenced and the group could continue their advance on the second suspected storage site...

...finding the storage, but also a very nasty present!


The soldiers scrambled to cover, taking one casualty from the explosion. Again, the casualty was not serious injured - thanks to the bodyarmor and the medics quick intervention, the team was up and ready to go very quickly. The triggerman didn´t share that lucky fate...

After several rounds of preparatory fire and breaching attempts into the building, the Americans inside the walls where finally able to enter the fortified compound. Encountering five ambushers, they overwhelmed the disorganized and scattered opposition hiding inside.

Though the operation took longer then scheduled, the resistance of the Taliban was light. A very clear victory for the Americans, who fulfilled both main objectives but where not able to leave the area in time. The Taliban rolled very badly for reinforcements and didn´t get the opportunity to counterattack.

However, the Operation did cost another soldiers life - casualties are mounting, slowly, but steady.

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