DC Medic: Fer
Comrade Unaco didn't hesitate to outline a plan that called for Alpha and Bravo fireteams to lay down their lives so that the rest of the platoon might be bought enough time to punch through the blocking force and drive onwards to freedom. And that's why comrade Unaco would get a medal if we handed those out here, because if it's one thing we adore in the Folk sessions, it's a plan that features certain death.
The second thing we adore is plans that go wrong, and in their abject failure to die heroically under the onslaught of the enemy helibourne forces, Alpha and Bravo ensured that the plan went awry. But in a good way.
Whilst CO, Charlie, Delta, Echo and Fox, plus the MAT and MMG elements formed up in a line to advance on the blocking forces, Alpha and Bravo headed 100m west and prepared an ambush for the sweeping force. As expected, our two westward fireteams were the first to be engaged, and soon I was hurrying away from the safety of the platoon to patch up wounded amongst those elements. Comrade Unaco even wished me a pointed 'goodbye' over TeamSpeak, having earlier promised to visit the wives of every 'hero' in Alpha and Bravo. Individually.
It was intense with the ambushers, but they were holding their own, and little by little they stalled and then rendered ineffective the helibourne troops. Under cover of smoke we all pulled out, rejoining the rest of the platoon, which by now had begun to engage the blocking force.
I can't tell you much about what happened in the advance, only that I was soon up on the left flank, high on the side of the valley, tending to what I think may have been the last survivor of a fireteam (Charlie?). Then I was scrambling down the slope, having collected an RPG-7 and some rockets from a fallen comrade. On the road, an enemy BMP-2 had been disabled, and soon it had fallen into our hands, whereupon it was pressed into service for the cause of building a socialist agrarian utopia.
As the clanking beast moved up the road I met up with our MAT team and handed over the RPG gear I'd saved, and watched from cover as at least two further enemy BMP-2s were destroyed or captured. From being the cornered, ill-equipped force of farmers that OPFOR sought to crush, we had become a mechanised contingent with no small amount of firepower. From here on in it was almost a cake-walk as we rolled up the remaining enemy and entered the town, not as fugitives, but as liberators.
Congratulations to comrade Unaco and all other comrades.
There are many ways to defend in this mission, and with 15 brave comrades at my disposal I decided to try two. At the same time.
Firstly, I adopted an area defence. The district was divided into quadrants, with Alpha in the north-west, Bravo south-west and Charlie south-east. The north-east quadrant contains too much open ground, so I just ceded it. The brief to each fireteam was simple: spread out, wait for the enemy to get close, then use hit and run tactics. It's about knowing your escape route before you pull the trigger, firing from deep inside buildings, and being gone when the return volley arrives. MAT and the medic roamed freely in the centre, whilst I took up residence on a rooftop to the south.
The second tactic was to leave a solitary camper at each cache. Ideally hidden in a nearby building, the camper's role is to wait for BLUFOR to cluster around a cache, then ventilate them with AK fire. Those crazy Finns from LDDK used this against a combined Tier 1 / Folk platoon last year, and to great effect. I'm sorry for the campers, as it was very dull for them, and for that reason I probably wouldn't select this tactic again.
BLUFOR came in from the north- east, and it was Charlie that first engaged the enemy. I couldn't see the action, but the unmistakable light of burning vehicles soon illuminated the sides of buildings to my north. One hummer had been destroyed, but our other rockets had not found targets. Having traded blows, the platoons circled each other like wary boxers. Alpha attempted to flank the enemy and attack from the north, whilst Charlie hunted in the east. The next 5 minutes felt indecisive, as BLUFOR appeared to cluster in the centre of our triangle of fireteams, not quite breaking out but still managing to wear us down until only Bravo and the MAT team were still at full strength. I opted to consolidate my own forces.
All three of our caches were near our southern edge, so I collapsed the platoon back onto the bottom edge of the triangle: Bravo to the west, MAT team in the centre, myself on the east. Further east still, in an isolated compound, one of our caches was about to be found by a flanking BLUFOR patrol. However, it was Bravo, back in the heart of the city, that was engaged next. I sent MAT to their aid as we lurched west, only to spot a hummer parked near the eastern-most cache. I lurched east now, bringing the MAT team up to rocket the hummer. The turret gunner was quicker in the draw and I watched my RPG man crumple to the ground (by now I was on a rooftop). The hummer drove into my line of fire, entering the built up area again from the east, but the traversing turret was almost staring at me, so I froze. I should have run down the stairs and out, but I thought it might be possible to fire on a tire and render them immobile. As I prepared to do this, an enemy automatic rifleman mounted the stairs and shot me to death.
From death I watched as the surviving insurgents won a mini-war of attrition with BLUFOR, the enemy eventually down to one man. Not a crushing victory for my side, but at least BLUFOR won't be eating our stockpile of Haribos (because that was what was in the caches).
|- Medic: Suicide Perkies
Comrade Zwobot is a brave man. Within less than 2 hours of meeting the majority of players on the server, he stepped up to command a full platoon of six fireteams, three attachments and a helicopter gunship. I take my hat off to him, because it can be daunting enough doing that when you know 99% of the comrades involved.
We opened with a classic ambush: satchels on the road and the platoon split across high ground to the north and south. CO took Alpha through Charlie and the MAT team to the north, leaving me with Delta through Fox and the MMG team to the south (although in the darkness, Echo wound up on the north side and it was simpler to leave them there for the ambush). Off to the north-east, the sniper team was busy marking targets in the search area, and the gunship was circling around to loiter somewhere to our south. The enemy column played its part almost to perfection, walking into the kill zone in an orderly fashion. A negligent discharge from one of our comrades gave the enemy a fleeting moment of awareness before our FTLs detonated their satchels and everyone else opened up. I don't think we lost anyone in the exchange, but the valley floor was littered with enemy bodies.
My half of the platoon was charged with the mop-up, and we scrambled down the hillside to finish off any survivors and recover useful assets (such as RPGs). Just before this, our gunship had raked the road with chain gun fire, killing any remaining enemy stragglers. It was brutally effective. When we were sure we'd completed our task, I formed us up in a line: Delta up the slope to my left, Echo with me on the road, Fox up the slope to the right, and MMG team a little way back. We were ready to advance on the town.
Comrade Sulphur had a suggestion, and normally this would be enough for me to have him detained, but it was actually a good suggestion and resulted in some neat stuff. Comrade Zwobot liked the suggest too, and so it was that the gunship touched down at the ambush site and began ferrying the CO's half of the platoon to landing sites west of the search area. This was not without incident, because enemy patrols appeared on high ground in front of my formation and opened up. We exchanged fire and were victorious. The platoon was soon ready for a two-pronged advance on the search area, with my formation setting off first.
We moved in rushes of 20-50m, and engaged the enemy several times during our progress to the town. On our right, Fox (later joined by MMG) had to contend with several vehicles. To our left, Delta had to cover a lot of open ground, and so it was perhaps unsurprising that it was first to reach the cover of the outer buildings. The advance was not without cost - a truck-mounted ZU-23 had moved towards us and I understand that it knocked out the sniper team (so poor comrade Sulphur never got to see his suggestion fully implemented). We also lost Delta FTL, comrade Tigershark.
With the CO's formation moving in from the west, our formation was now holding the southern end of the town. Resistance from the centre was light, but Delta was coming under fire - the enemy had managed to get a large patrol onto the hillside behind us, near the last location of our sniper team. Everyone reacted quickly: once we'd located the targets, half the platoon was firing. I watched a single straggler running down the hillside towards the town, where I was safely ensconced with Echo and Delta. I put a few rounds downrange at him and saw him fall (though it was most likely to a shot from someone else - my shooting was lamentable that night).
The rest of the mission was essentially a exercise in mopping up the remaining target vehicles, a task accomplished by infantry and gunship. We had been victorious. Congratulations to all involved, but especially to comrade Zwobot for stepping up to take CO.
I'd like to offer a few further reflections on the session:
1. From my perspective, the CiA comrades seemed to fit right into the style of the session from the very beginning, and from 5 minutes into the first mission it felt like we were playing with regular guests.
2. On a related point, I'd like to say thanks to all our regular Folk and ARPS comrades for making the CiA contingent feel welcomed. It's easy to take good people for granted, but we should be proud of ourselves for being able to invite an established group into the session and mix in together so well.
3. I really hope that the session demonstrated just how interesting our options become once we have a player count of around 30. It's not just about being able to play adversarial missions - it's just as much about larger coops and even ones where combined arms make sense. We don't have the luxury of 10 guests from CiA every Sunday (they have their own session), so if you enjoyed this session I hope you'll think about ways in which you might help us get to those numbers on a regular basis.
4. The comms were a bit noisy last night, but never terrible; perhaps more importantly, I thought people were very good about keeping the banter in chat when it was important to clear TeamSpeak, and the traffic was down to numbers more than anything. We have a documented approach for using channel commander
to cope with larger platoons, and if our numbers are this high again I'll ask that we employ it.