Hello folks and welcome to the next battlereport as promised. This is the second game we played on Saturday and the setting is again Afghanistan.
I threw together two lists from previous scenarios that we hadn´t pitted against each other in this combination, so we saw the USMC facing a horde of Local, irregular Taliban.
After setting up the table and rolling off the starting edges it became pretty obvious that the terrain favoured the Taliban to some degree.
The USMC had to secure and hold the compound, the Taliban just had to kill the Infidels.
As you can see, the USMC also screwed up the initial deployment somewhat by committing a whole squad to the central compound, which severely limited their movement options. The second squad was positioned much better on the right flank, covered by a treeline and with a good look over onto the rocky hills.
The approaches to the compound where littered with suspect devices which pretty much blocked the USMCs way on any direct route into their objective.
Due to the restricted approaches the Taliban where able to secure some key positions, including the compound in the first two turns which made it even harder for the americans to achieve their objectives. Instead they switched into the patience-mode and started picking off the Insurgents at range, killing Taliban at a steady rate.
The only problem was that Taliban where getting reinforcements and could compensate this to some degree as long as key personell (leaders) were still alive.
The US couldn´t reinforce their troops and any losses would bring them one step closer to defeat. Unfortunately, the first KIA on the american side occured in the early part of the game, one of the first firefights on the right flank took down a Marine for good.
To put up more pressure, the USMC sent a Fireteam forward on the right flank to occupy the hillside under cover from the rest of the squad and called in their Cobra Gunship to deliver a strafing run on top of a bunched up group of Taliban.
Unfortunately for the Marines the Taliban were not pinned down and able to move out of the way before the ordnance hit, so the strike was actually very ineffective but at least drove the Insurgents closer to the US.
Meanwhile the Taliban had turned up with a new shiny toy, a DShK-HMG that was being set up in a field before delivering a volley of 12,7mm fire into the house occupied by US Forces. Though no casualties were caused, the Team and the JTAC where easily pinned.
To counter the threat, the Cobra was again dialed to deliver a missile into the HMG-team and the nearby cell of fighters. Unfortunately clearance procedures and a bad attack vector of th helicopter after the last strafing run delayed the request significantly and would leave the US in contact for quite a few more turns.
So instead of being stuck in the compound the Marine commander decided to relocate one of the fireteams towards the right flank to reinforce the push onto the hill.
Meanwhile the firefight on the hill and the right side in general was raging on, with one single fireteam pitted against three groups of insurgents in a firefight on close range. In a heroic stand they held out for the entire game and reduced the Taliban groups one by one - fortunately the leadership on the right flank was somewhat weakened by the loss of a leader early on, so the Taliban couldn´t fight with full efficiency as the Irregulars wouldn´t always perform as expected.
On the picture above you can see a second US casualty occuring, shot from the far end of the compound. He was ultimately found seriously wounded and quickly tended to by the Medic.
Meanwhile, the firefight on the hill raged on, with a steady rate of Taliban casualties. Fortunately the Taliban weren´t able to mount a combined effort on the USMC team, both due to command and control issues and overwatch from the rest of the squad in the treeline.
The Taliban now moved another small cell into the compound to establish line of sight to the isolated fireteam, but again they were unable to cause casualties or suppress them for good to prepare a close assault by the remaining troops.
Another HMG-team turned up and was positioned on the right flank as well, ready to deliver some hefty firepower on the lone Fireteam.
Fortunately, the Taliban made a mistake by drawing in another leader from the left flank to prepare the ultimate destruction of the fireteam. Putting the leader in the direct line of fire of the USMC-team (and without much cover on the wall of the compound) proved to be fatal as the Marines took him down before he could coordinate anything.
At this point, the Taliban command was seriously strained, with only three leaders left they where running short on activations for all their units.
Furthermore, time was running out as the Taliban player had to leave and my departure was also drawing closer. We thus called it a game, and though it was a very balanced affair to this point my bets would have been with the Marines. On the other hand.. you never know, a few bad rolls and the Taliban might have succeded as well... hard to say
All in all, a very nice game. The Marines paid for their mistake to deploy into the compound, which essentially boxed them in. They also suffered from the IEDs blocking their way (or rather from our hesitation to put the men at risk by taking that route).