Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Royals in Parwan, Fight #7


It's now 0530 on 3 July 2002, thirteen days since the last fight, and the Royal Marines are on the hunt.  It's early morning twilight, still mostly dark, and soon the sun will rise, and contact is imminent.

While they believe Pasha Gul's statement that the Merchant could be of use in identifying and finding their ambushers, Sherlock and the boys were a bit reticent about the Merchant's wife claiming he was abducted by the Taliban at the same exact time the Royals were coming to pay him a visit.  So the Section was doing it the hard way; lots of patrols out to meet with local informants, and to identify new ones.  The constant patrolling and presence finally paid off; a local stated the Merchant had been spotted in a nearby village, and battalion was able to confirm this via SIGINT.

So the Section mounted out to the village, and thus began three days of constant patrolling, looking for the Merchant and consistently showing up five minutes after he'd just left.  They tracked him through the mountains, and through Tamir Pass, but now they had him.  The Section had called up support, and the rest of the platoon was brought forward.  They formed a circle and began pushing in on the only area the Merchant could be; the only question was, who would find him first?  The Section was sure they had him; he's pinned up against the Neral River, with only two crossings within a few kilometers.  The Section split up, with Sherlock taking some Marines north to a fordable spot, and Knocker taking the res towards a small bridge.  The other two Sections of the platoon were on the opposite (west) side of the river, closing in on the ford and bridge.

Knocker's team finally found them.

Overview, north is up.  The river is at left (west), running north and south, while there are dirt roads crossing the bridge and running north-south.  There is a small farmer's compound just east of the bridge, an orchard just across the street, and the edge of Tamir Pass can be seen at right.

The opposing forces, with RMs on the left, Taliban in the center, and the Merchant at far right.

The Royals, from top left: Conk (UGL), Gimlet (SAW, field testing a new uniform.  Yeah, this is the guy I mistakenly painted up as a US Marine), Wali (SA80), then bottom left: Sparks (SA80), Geeves (SA80, and still not quite himself after the last fight; remember, we need to keep an eye on him), and Knocker (SAW, and team leader).

The Taliban, consisting of seven AKs and an RPG, along with the Merchant, who's looking quite cosmopolitan...

Overview, with troops deployed.  The Merchant is the object of this exercise, and the Royals are looking to take him alive (center, in farmer's compound).  The RMs are spread across the right (east) board edge, while the Taliban are all over the place.  They can be seen at far left (under tree to left of bridge), top center left (right side of river, next to two trees), top center (on road), two at center (one on road next to orchard, one in orchard), one at bottom-right of crossroads (between trees and rocky outcropping), and two at bottom center (one on road, one in field to his left).

Looking east to west behind the Marines.  At bottom left is Sparks and Conk; center (on road) is Knocker and Wali, and top right is Gimlet and Geeves.

A closer look at the Taliban, eight soldiers plus the Merchant.

The target.

And it starts on the far right: Geeves alerts "contact!" in his radio and opens fire on a terrorist near the orchard.

But the rounds are high, and the bad guy (bottom center) returns fire...

Forcing Geeves to fall back (red bead at bottom left, from explosion, with Gimlet nearby).

Gimlet moves up to get a better look (center right), but draws fire from an-as yet unseen Talib (top left).

The terrorist's gunfire miss, and Gimlet drops to a knee and cuts loose with his SAW, knocking the bad guy down.  The two Taliban in the orchard are at bottom left.

In the center, Knocker (bottom right) and Wali hear the gunfire.  Knocker coves while Wali moves up (far left).  As he creeps forward he spots the terrorist in the orchard; Wali dives prone.

Knocker sees Wali hit the deck, then spots the cause and opens fire with his SAW.

The Talib is pinned, and Knocker pushes forward (bottom center right, from bottom left).

On the left, Sparks creeps forward (far left, with Conk at bottom center) and spots an enemy RPG gunner, then opens fire (top right), but he misses.

And then Conk rushes forward next to him (bottom right).

Back on the Marine right, the Talib outside the orchard (bottom center right) lays down covering fire, shooting in Gimlet's direction (top right), while his buddy sprints forward (far left, from bottom left) to check on the knocked-down terrorist.

The fire is enough to force Gimlet to fall back next to Geeves.

On the Marine left, the RPG gunner doesn't have a good shot, but he pokes his AK barrel through the trees (far left) and fires on Sparks and Conk.

The rounds miss, and the terrorist at bottom center joins in, but he misses too.

A Taliban soldier creeps up to the farmer's compound (bottom center, with RPG gunner across road, just above the trees); Wali (top center) doesn't spot him as he levels his AK and rips off a long burst.

Wali is pinned (bottom left).  The terrorist in the orchard (center right) tries to rally, but he apparently doesn't like being so close to where his buddy's rounds are impacting and he stays pinned.

At bottom left, a Talib creeps up to the bridge, but Knocker (top right) spots him and fires with his SAW.

Forcing the insurgent to fall back.

Though still a bit shaken up, Gimlet (bottom center, with Geeves next to him) is worried about the team getting flanked, so he props up his SAW and opens fire...

And the Talib that rushed over to check on his knocked down buddy falls next to him.

Conk (bottom center, with Sparks next to him but blocked by the trees) fires on the bad guy next to the farmer's compound, but misses.

Then Wali, who's still prone and pinned down (right), fires through the brush at the enemy RPG gunner (left), pinning him.

Knocker shoots forward to the wall of the orchard (bottom center, with Wali at top left) and fires on the pinned bad guy in the orchard.

The terrorist is killed, but his buddy (far left) returns fire, putting Knocker (far right) on the deck!

Sparks (bottom left, with Conk just off camera to left) opens fire on the guy Conk missed (top center, with RPG at top right)...

Putting him out of the fight.

As the insurgent at bottom left blindly fires through the brush, Sparks grabs a fragmentation grenade...

Rushes through the hail of bullets (far left, from explosion at far right)...

Dives forward (right) into cover, and pops a grenade through (blue bead)...

BOOM!  The Talib at bottom right is knocked down by the grenade.  Sparks is just on the other side of the trees there at far right.

On the Marine right, Geeves (left) rallies!

Like I said, we have to keep an eye on him, and he appears alright.  When he was fired on, I didn't do anything out of the normal, he just happened to get forced back.  But when it came time to rally I made him roll 2D6 (vice the normal 1D6) and take the worst result, but he passed, so I'm not going to mess with him anymore.  I consider him back to 'normal.'  Of course, if he'd have failed there he'd have run off the map and been court-martialed!

But in the center, the enemy RPG gunner (bottom center) fires on Wali again (top left), knocking him down...

And then the Talib next to the orchard rushes into close combat with him...

Wali is out of the fight.

While the bad guy sprints south across the road, joining the RPG gunner (bottom center right), rallying him.

On the other side of the river, the insurgent there tires to rally, but he's had enough and runs away!

On the left, Conk (bottom left, with Sparks at far left) fires a rifle grenade at the two bad guys at top right.

But the round goes long, hitting on the road next to Wali (left).

Sparks slithers through the brush...

And finishes off the Talib knocked down by his grenade.

He then slips across the road, unspotted...

He peers around the tree and opens fire on the RPG gunner and rifleman (top center left).

Sparks' fire knocks down the rifleman (far left), but the RPG gunner returns fire, knocking him down (bottom right).

Geeves is feeling so good he actually moves up and rallies Gimlet.

And then sprints to the right (center right, from bottom left).

And then Gimlet moves up to the orchard (left).

The Merchant is getting a bit nervous: "You said they would never find us, and that you would defeat them," he screamed at no one in particular (left).  The RPG gunner checks his buddy (right)...

The terrorist is back on his feet, and the RPG gunner (bottom left) opens fire on Conk (top right).

The rounds miss, and the RPG gunner sprints west across the road (far left), hoping to get over the wall and into cover at the farmer's compound.  But Conk (bottom right, with Sparks knocked down at bottom left) returns fire on the fleeing Talib...

Well, there's good news and there's bad news...  The RPG gunner is dead, but the gunfire also brought down the Merchant...

Conk (bottom right) then fires another rifle grenade...

Still a little off target...

But enough to persuade the insurgent to rush across the road, hop the wall, and hunker down there (red bead).

Conk moves up (center, with Sparks knocked down at far left).

On the far right, Geeves moves forward and dispatches the insurgent there, as Gimlet looks on (bottom right).

Gim skirts the orchard, moving to Knocker to check on him (bottom right).  He's up and back in the fight.

The last Talib looks over to his left and sees the Merchant covered in blood (bottom right).  That's enough for him!  He hops the wall and sprints across the bridge to safety (top left).  The Marines are so shocked no one even reacts!

Conk moves up and checks Sparks...

But it's not good, he's bleeding all over.  Conk treats him, and it turns out it wasn't really a big deal.  He'll have a scar, and he lost quite a bit of blood, but he won't miss any action.

Geeves, Gimlet, and Knocker converge on the farmer's compound.

Knocker and Gimlet cover while Geeves moves inside; "uhh, we've got a problem fellas."

Knocker: "What's up?"
Geeves: "The Merchant bought it."

Sherlock, coming from the ford, leads the rest of the Section forward to link up with Knocker and his team, and they begin policing up the battlefield.  While the Taliban lost six soldiers, the Merchant won't be answering any questions, and Wali is KIA.

The battalion will soon be ending its deployment, returning to Jolly Olde England, and the Section absolutely wishes to see off their ambushers prior to going home, to get some modicum of retribution.  How they're going to do that is still a bit up in the air, however.



  1. Anothrer great game report. I really like your cragy hills by the way- did you make them yourself?



    1. Pete,

      Thanks man. I didn't make the hills, I bought them off E-bay. I'm not sure what they are exactly; my guess is aquarium-style ceramic that's been dressed up a bit with paint, flock, and scrub. I like them too, probably need to get some more.


    2. Thanks I'll keep an eye out for some myself.