As forms of captivity go, house arrest with remote access to the battlefield (albeit supervised) is not so bad. Of course, this leaves me no less outraged by the sheer audacity of certain elements in bringing up these fabricated charges. However, I remain confident that the investigators will find in my favour and that I shall be re-instated. After which I shall have everyone involved liquidated.
But not comrade Admiral Nullkigan, who ran a tight ship (hurr hurr), demonstrating that whatever happens to individuals, the party machine and its procedures are both in rude health. I congratulate the comrade admiral and all participating comrades. As to the missions ...
|- COM: Fer
Very little report here. As the CO's medic, I operated independently, tagging along behind the main force as it assaulted down the left-hand side of the road. Thanks to good spotting and co-ordination by comrade commander Bodge, our platoon's fires were pretty decisive and I was certainly under-employed (compared to previous play-throughs of this older Folk mission). The fort itself was taken at a reasonable pace, and the mission came to an end after a final effort to clear remaining enemy positions on the hillside to the east.
(OPFOR) Bravo FTL: AJAX
|- AAR: Fer
Initially sent up to the south-east corner of the town, I took cover in the upper storey of a house and looked westward. This afforded me a reasonable view of the enemy's initial feint against Alpha, which involved an (inconclusive) exchange of smalls arms and RPG fire near the gas station. Bravo was soon formed up and ready to move westward, with the intention of flanking the enemy.
As we moved out it suddenly became clear that the enemy tank was just south of us, higher up the hill. Correctly guessing that the enemy was going to attempt a dash down the main road into the town (and onwards to the border crossing), we went firm and then hit the tank as it passed - comrade Admiral Nullkigan proving handy with an RGP-7. The crew bailed out and began fleeing northward into the town.
Now I made a silly mistake: caught up in the excitement, I sprinted after the enemy and lost contact with my fireteam. Running parallel to the fleeing crewmen, I had my first sight of them at the town's northern intersection. Looking eastward I saw a man crossing the street, but raised my Skorpion too late; he had vanished into the buildings, but no matter, for his companion followed behind and I sprayed a magazine on full auto. The second man was unharmed.
Shifting direction to sprint north-east and reloading on the move, I vectored toward their likely path: the open fields east of the town that descend all the way the border. Sure enough, I glimpsed one ahead of me, his head just visible above the curve of the hillside. I ran on until I could see the man more clearly, then stopped and squeezed off another magazine. When the machine pistol had finished chattering away in my hands, I stood alone, upright in the open field. Like an idiot. An unseen enemy riddled me with bullets.
Delta FTL: Fer
We had the technicals, but IceRaiser's PC caused him to drop out before we could move off. So whilst Harlander drove the DShK truck, Bushcat and I manned the PKM technical at the head of the convoy. Standing on the flatbed I had a marvellous view of the villages and countryside we drove through as we circled around to enter the valley from the the east.
The road on this approach climbs a steep little gorge before levelling and opening out into the broad valley containing our targets. We stopped at the entrance to the wide valley, a low spur to the north providing us with a semblance of cover - but the enemy was upon us right away. Fires streamed in from a mixture of tracked and wheeled enemy vehicles, and it was soon clear that infantry was headed towards us along the main road. The platoon dismounted and formed up on the spur and we entered into a long-range slugging match.
At distance, the enemy was better equipped than us, but when his armour came in closer we were able to hit him with RPGs. At least one BMP met its end close to our position, but overall we were outgunned. It did not help that whilst turning to order Harlander to make ready his RPG-7, I shot him by accident.
Still, we rallied, reversing our PK technical into cover and getting ready for what we all assumed would be a re-positioning of the platoon. And it was that .... after a fashion. In an audacious move, the CO ordered everyone to mount up again, and thunder-run west down the main road, straight into the first target compound. At first blush this seemed like madness, but I believe there was some logic to it: if we remained in the open, the enemy could continue to pound us with tank fire and we'd be forced to withdraw for no gain; if we could make it into the compound, we might draw the enemy in closer and even the odds.
We struck out along the road, and again I was standing on the flatbed of the technical, this time frantically firing at anything and everything. Half-way to the compound, a BRDM shredded us.
The mission briefing left me in no doubt that I would have to ambush the enemy foot patrols before assaulting the airfield, if only to recover suitable weapons. Accordingly, I tasked Charlie/Alpha with staging one ambush in Yarum, and Bravo/Delta a second on Zargabad's main east-west avenue, near the marketplace. Echo would initially be held in reserve north-east of Bravo/Delta, in case they needed screening from the enemy foot patrol in the northern part of the city.
My observation post was the rooftop of a building on the east-west avenue, affording me a great view of the Bravo/Delta ambush. It took a little while for the enemy to reach us, during which time I changed my mind about Echo - now sending it north-west to the tall building site, from which I hoped it could get visibility on the airfield and begin marking targets. Just after Echo set off for the gas station, the patrol heading towards Bravo/Delta split into two and one element headed northward on a path that would doubtless intercept my recon troops.
The ambush went hot, and I watched Bravo/Delta make short work of the troops in their sights. However, before most of the guns and equipment could be recovered, I saw a BTR-60 rolling down the road at speed. Ordering Bravo/Delta back into the buildings, I asked if they had recovered an RPG-7. They had, so I left the deal with the enemy APC - everything now hinged on removing this deadly mobile threat. Unfortunately, I lingered too long on my rooftop, watching the BTR-60, and with characteristic accuracy the turret gunner sliced me in two.
Note: I like this mission, but would prefer it if the enemy's first responder vehicles were not BTR-60s, which absolutely require RPG-7s to defend against. I'd still like to face these deadly eight-wheeled death wagons ... just with a little more than pistols.
Funnily enough, the previous weekend I took my daughter to watch the Nutcracker (ballet) at the Royal Opera House in London. However, this did not prepare me for the mission.
Far more relevant was the 1980s American film about a tank in Afghanistan, Beast of war. My role was not too different from that of the Afghan crewman, who eventually has to walk in front of the tank looking for mines. I never found one, but I did hear about one on the road beyond the first settlement that we came across after leaving Feruz Abad. That was also where the enemy chose to open up on us.
Sadly, I never got the chance to try my mine-clearing skills. Nor could I use my powers of engineering on our tank, which was in the process of taking repeated hits from an SPG-9 when I reached it. Not even our latest armour technology, 'reactive Draakon' (it stands between the tank and the round, and reacts by flying high into the air), could save our precious metal box.
Note: This mission needs balancing, because the SPG-9 is almost unstoppable once it begins to fire, negating the value of OPFOR's ability to repair the tank. It's nice to see a crew-served weapon in the mission, but perhaps OPFOR should be given an Mi-8 (or similar) to harass would-be ambushers? One to experiment with, I suggest.
On a more serious note, two points:
1. We (the hosts) are really serious about people showing up on time for the first mission. Coasting in late and expecting to play (or, worse, have the mission delayed whilst we wait for you to connect / configure stuff) is just not fair to your comrades. So we plan to continue the practice of keeping JIP slots disabled in mission #1. If you're late, don't worry - we'll balance this practice by selecting reasonably short missions; so you won't have to wait too long to get your share of death.
2. Thanks again to comrade Admiral Nullkigan for hosting the session, and for his very kind words in the OP. It would be easy to take all the credit for the Folk sessions, but here's the deal: they are by no means a one-man show - not least because we now benefit from being able to call on the hosts from ARPS. The Folk and ARPS hosts who work behind the scenes these days include (in alphabetical order): comrades Bodge
, and Wolfenswan
. These comrades are true heroes of the socialist agrarian revolution!