It's now 12 May 2011, five days from the last fight. True is still recovering from his gunshot wound, but the rest of the section is good to go and raring for a fight. This was actually a down day for the unit, pulling rear echelon duties around camp when a local source came in and reported the Taliban would soon be moving on Pasha Gal, the head of the local village of Khowt Gin. A UAV was dispatched to the area, but nothing out of the ordinary was noted. However, when another source came in and provided very similar information, suggesting the Taliban wished to convert the nominally neutral Pasha to their side or make an example of him, HQ decided to dispatch Corp and they boys to go and check it out.
The team mounted up in their armored troop carriers (sorry, I don't recall what they are called and I'm too lazy to look it up right now) and headed out the 20-some odd kilometers to see what was up. About a klick out from Khowt Gin the vehicles laagered and the section dismounted, covering the rest of the distance on foot.
The Royals are, from top left: Corp (leader, SA80), Jonesy (SA80 w/UGL), Knocker (Minimi), Ginger (back from his concussion, SA80), Nobby (LSW), and trusty old Gimlet (the baby of the squad but no longer a rookie, SA80).
The Talis are kinda caught in the middle; they weren't really expecting trouble from the Royals, particularly not from behind them, so they were mostly focused on moving forward on the Pasha's house (top right).
So the Taliban is moving northwest towards the Pasha's house, and the Royals show up behind them, moving relatively quickly to cover the open ground there.
Perfect! Both my squad automatic weapons fire at multiple eligible targets, and all they manage is a single pin...
"Holy crap, Cow-pril, there's a bloody hell lot of them up here!"
Things are looking up; while we've taken two casualties and have a few more guys in bad morale shape, the enemy had a boatload of guys in the same condition. Everywhere you look there are white and red beads (simulating guys on the ground that may be out of the fight or may just be cowering, and guys that are suppressed, meaning they will shoot but not move).
The butcher's bill is steep; the section has suffered its first fatality: Private "Nobby" Hayes will be returned to the UK and buried with full military honors. But he's not the only loss; Private "Ginger" Holmes was severely injured. Ginger took several rounds in his leg, which required amputation at the nearby field hospital. He, too, is returned to the UK and medically discharged. Remaining in theater, Gimlet was hit pretty bad in the thigh and looks to be out about a month (estimated return is 5 June 2011), while Knocker took a round in the hand and is out about a week (estimated return is 18 May 2011). The Taliban suffered 11 killed in action, and have taken heavy casualties over the past week, but no one thinks they're done.
And for his incredible show of gallantry at Khowt Gin, Corporal Andy "Corp" Choudhry is awarded the Victoria Cross, and spot promoted to Sergeant.
Another fantastic fight, and yeah, sure, the ending was kind of sappy, but it's my version of a Hallmark moment ;) The games have been great; with all the early problems I had, I can't believe I was able to pull out the win. And I only cheated once; I let Corp fire, then move up and throw a grenade. Technically, he should have only been able to fire or throw the grenade, but what the hell. He was going all heroic, so who am I to hold him back? After three games I can say the rules are working like a champ, no holes and nothing unbalanced. Can't wait to play more.
So stay tuned.