Of course the Stryker wasn´t completely oblivious about the presence of the Sniper team, but being restricted by the Rules of Engagement they where not allowed to engage at this time.
The other Humvee then positioned itself behind the Stryker with a Line of Sight to the treeline. Spotting another Taliban cell there and even confirming them as enemy, they started dropping grenades. Unfortunately the shells landed off the mark and fails to do any damage with the few fragments that land near the cell.
In return, the Taliban called in Mortar fire from an off-table light mortar, dropping a few shells right inside the enemy formation.
With an exceptional roll I managed to get the mortar rounds right on target immediately - unfortunately I had anticipatd some amount of deviation, so the rounds where not landing at the best spot.
One Infantry group was within effect radius but suffered no adverse effects. The Humvee also remained unscathed while the Stryker was immune to the light mortar rounds.
The Sniper, perfectly aware of the Stryker HMG pointed at them finally engage the Infantry team in the treeline. With their scoped rifle they manage to take down one US soldier and pin down the team.
The US Soldiers return fire and kill the Taliban Spotter.
Now being occupied with the Sniper team they barely notice the second Taliban team creeping close from the south through the underbrush. Due to their superior training they actually manage to fire first on the flanking team but fail to do any damage thanks to exceptional die rolling by the Taliban.
The flanking fire by the Taliban (being an MG-team firing with a PKM on point blank range) is far more devastating, dropping two US soldiers and forcing them into retreat. They reposition behind the Stryker and begin patching up their wounded
Using an Ambush Card the Taliban reposition their RPG-team into the treeline to the east of the road to save some time, hoping to squeeze off a shot at the Stryker. Unfortunately the team is a bit slow to receive the orders and cannot act this turn.
So I order more reinforcements, receiving a HMG of my own that still has to be brought into position.
With the final activation I order another team in the treeline to get more lead down range. They manage to pin the US team at the northern part of the road but fail to inflict any more damage. US return fire pins the Taliban cell and makes them put their heads down.
Turn 5 starts with me trying to wrest the initiative from enemy hands, again failing with just 2 successes versus 3 american activations.
The M2 Humvee (immobilized) starts shooting at the Taliban Sniper and kill him (or so they think, maybe he´ll come back?).
The Stryker is driven onto the middle of the road to obscure the view on the wounded team and the exposed infantry. All the while, the HMG is belching lead.
The third vehicle joins the barrage by moving forward, firing the 40mm-AGL into the densely populated treeline. Of course the Taliban population doesn´t like the grenades and suffers heavy casualties, including a precious RPG-gunner and a LMG-gunner.
In a desperate attempt to stop the hail of grenades, two local Taliban empty their magazines on the vehicle and manages a critical hit on the Humvee...
One of the bullets penetrates the armor, ricocheting inside the cramped Humvee, destroying the CROWs-electronics and disabling the vehicle.
All crew and passengers (the Humvee actually contained another infantry team) bail out and make a quick headcount. Infantry Team 1-2 has two casualties, the crew has its gunner wounded (or dead?)
The Taliban leader in the treeline calls for another mortar salvo, again straight on top of the Stryker hoping for some deviation. The call is not immediately available, but it will hit in 2 turns with a deviation of 2", which could get interesting...
With the RPG-team disabled for the time being (maybe someone can pick up that RPG later...) I call for more reinforcements and get ONE Insurgent. Just one. Well, better than nothing, he will reinforce the battered RPG-cell which was down to one man.
|I actuall forgot to place the Humvee-passengers. There´s another team north of the disabled humvee|
In Turn 6 I finally took the Initiative with the US troops rallying a team and rolling very very poor for command and control.
This turn I would be able to dictate the flow of things...
But first we had to check casualties.
My Sniper was dead and would not come but, but the RPG gunner had only suffered a concussion and was indeed far more valuable in this situation than the Sniper.
On the American side, one of the casualties by the Humvee was found dead, torn apart by the bullet spanking around inside the vehicle. The rest of the passengers and crew where lightly wounded
The critical casualty behind the Stryker had meanwhile succumbed to his wounds for the lack of professional advanced first aid by a Medic.
So the scales where starting to tip towards a Taliban success with 3 Objectives met (2 KIA, 1 Vehicle Disabled) I just had to eliminate a few more hostiles or vehicles while keeping them from pushing through
And the first thing I did to slow them down was trigger the IED that was placed right next to the disembarked Teams...
The explosion caused another casualty for the Humvee Crew who where again down to one and keeping their heads down.
I then activated my RPG-team which was back in action with their heavy weapon to take down the Stryker. Unfortunately the team by the Humvee pre-empted my move despite being pinned and took down the RPG with their Designated Marksman. So much for disabling the Stryker then...
At least my return fire caused some more upheavel in their ranks by shooting another US soldier.
The Hardcore Taliban MG-Team then maneuvered closer to the humvee, ready to strike the killing blow by targeting the leader taking cover behind the wreck.
The NCO was quick to react and squeezed off several shots, taking one of the Afghans down before being pinned down by a salvo of Machinegun fire.
Then the dreadful howling of incoming mortar rounds filled the air...