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Firestorm: Stripes

The Team Yankee Global Campaign

". . . A Hard Day for Mother."

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United States
VS Warsaw Pact

Starting Notes:
Starting Forces: The scenario (Gauntlet) called for all forces to be deployed on table. As the table was not large enough to accommodate all the models, each player began with 5 units. Reinforcements automatically arrived each turn, with 1 unit on Turn 1; 2 units on Turn 2; etc.

“Guns Up!”: All artillery is played off-table. To simulate batteries relocating to avoid counter-battery fire, artillery units were treated like strike aircraft. Divisional Artillery may be used on a 4+ (“Strike Aircraft” rule); Brigade Artillery (those listed as part of the core Formation) may be used on a 3+ (“Jump Jet” rule).

AAR as follows . . .

Captain Matthews was worried about Intelligence reports of renewed WarPac attacks into Hof. His task force was in real danger of being cut-off and destroyed. Colonel Bedard, the Brigade Commander, assured him his rear flank would be secure and to press on to Leipzig.
Comanche’s mission was to press up Route 9, skirting Leipzig to the west, and link-up with forces approaching from the east. The first objective was the town of Triptis. Unfortunately, his route lay to the east of a known East German staging area. His attack was to draw these forces away from Hof, engage and destroy them, and continue on to Leipzig. This meant any enemy counter-attack would come from the west. To the east, his flank was guarded by Apache, the other task force in his brigade.

Comanche's Firing Line
Jefferson moves his Mech Platoon into Triptis

The plan was simple. First Tanks Platoon and the scout sections are to form a firing line to meet any threat from the west and screen the Mech Platoon’s movement into the town. The infantry are to dismount, secure the town, and hold for as long as possible. Matthews wanted to draw as many enemy troops toward the town as he could, cut them off with his mobile forces, and obliterate them with artillery and air strikes inside a carefully crafted kill box.

E Germans begin their attack

As anticipated, Fritz took the bait and pressed straight for Triptis with BTR-mounted infantry. Enemy tanks took up positions opposite his 1st Platoon and, with their first volley, began a prolonged duel that would last for the next few hours that immediately claimed a Scout 113 from 1st Section.

T-72s prepare to face-off with IPM1s

Fritz was feeling particularly aggressive today. The infantry approached fast from the west, dismounted, and immediately went to the assault. 2Lt Jefferson’s Mech Platoon, despite taking suppressive fire, stood their ground and saw off the enemy attack, inflicting several casualties while losing none. Their jubilation was short-lived as a second BTR company was fast approaching from the north.

East German infantry move to attack into town

As Matthews began to doubt the audacity of his plan, his comms crackled to life with news that his artillery support is ready for action and a pair of A-10s were now on-station to assist. A cloud of dust and the whine of engines drew his attention over his right shoulder. Two Vulcan Air Defense tracks were barreling down the asphalt road. A lone soldier darted from the cover of a ditch a quickly directed them toward the town to support the infantry.
“Outstanding,” Matthews muttered to himself. He knew he could always his XO to take care of business.

A TOW missile from 1st Scout’s ITV streaked toward the T-72s and found its mark. As if on cue, 1st Tanks opened fire and claim another.

Jefferson’s Mech Platoon had their hands full, trading fire with East German infantry across the street from their own positions. The platoon’s 113s add their own .50cals to the mayhem, inflicting more casualties on the enemy while taking none in return. To add injury to insult, Jefferson’s Dragon teams claim a T-72 and BTR to their tally.
Jefferson, satisfied his squad leaders had the fight under control, keyed his radio mike. “Thunder. Oscar-1-Juliet. Potato Patch at Phase Line Red. Over.”
“Potato Patch at Phase Line Red. Get small. Out.”
Within a few seconds, small explosions began popping over the northern edge of Triptis. “Get through that, you bastards,” Jefferson cursed as small minelets dropped in front of the enemy’s northern advance.

MechPlt braces for assault
Mech Platoon claims a BTR
East German assault from the west

Through his binoculars, Matthews could see Soviet T-64s approaching from the southwest, accompanied by a pair of low flying Hinds. The gunships immediately make an attack run against 1st Scouts, claiming an ITV. The Abrams of 1st Tanks, as well as his own, miraculously continued to shrug off repeated hits from the T-72s.
“I swear to God,” Matthews grunted through a clenched jaw, “I’m going to find that tank commander and kill that S.O.B. myself.”

T-64s and Hinds threaten the south flank

Jefferson’s situation was becoming critical. East German rockets and artillery pounded his position in a maelstrom of fire, earth, and concrete. His impromptu minefield did not even give the enemy infantry the slightest pause. They simply charged through it and slammed into his northern-most positions under the cover of the barrage.
Two squads held that position and they fought like caged animals, pushing back one assault and inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy before being overrun by a second, more determined effort that carried the position and destroyed 2 of the platoon’s 113s.
Down to only two squads and facing the better part of two companies, Jefferson knew his situation was desperate. But his orders were to hold, draw them in, and the Captain will kill them all.

Storming through the minefield, a second BTR Infantry company slams into Triptis from the north

Matthews also knew Jefferson is in a bad situation, but until the enemy tanks and gunships were dealt with, he couldn’t offer much direct assistance. To move to support the Mech Platoon meant risking his main maneuver element. It was a heart-wrenching choice, and he hated himself for making it.
But salvation may be at hand. From the southeast, a company of West German Panzer-grenadiers joined in the fray, accompanied by their 7 Marder IFVs. Without hesitation, the Grenadiers dismounted and advanced on a Soviet Spandrel anti-tank element to their direct front while the Marders engaged the low flying Hinds. In a matter of seconds, the Spandrels became burning hulks amongst the wreckage of one of the Hinds.

WG PzrGn arrive to secure southern flank
An Mi-24 and its Air Landing Platoon meet a fiery end
Spandrels knocked out by Panzer Grenadiers

With the most dangerous threat neutralized, Matthews turned his attention back to the T-72s that incessantly kept knocking on his door. In a well-placed volley, Matthews’ crew and those of 1st Tanks send another T-72 and 3 BMPs to the scrap heap.

Enemy Scouts eliminated
T-72s losing their duel with the Abrams

Fritz pressed his advantage in the town, moving his BTRs to directly engage the remaining 113s and VAD tracks as the infantry circled for the kill. Jefferson’s men, true to form, put up a fierce resistance, taking a few more Fritz infantry with them before they finally succumbed to overwhelming numbers.
Matthews witnessed the fate of his Mech Platoon, sickened by the fact he let it happen and knowing he could do nothing about it.

Fritz finally overruns Mech Platoon

The last of Matthews’ force arrives and is directed into position. 2nd Tanks moves to envelope Triptis from the southeast while 1st Tanks moved to envelop from the southwest. The distinctive “THUMPTHUMPTHUMP” of UH-1 Hueys meant the AirMobile platoon was arriving in the northwest. Cobra gunships were also now on-station and the Mortar Platoon was laying in their guns in the southwest field. With all assets available, Matthews was ready to deliver the Coup d’Grace, but he had to deal with the enemy’s anti-aircraft assets first—a job reserved for the AirMobile Platoon.

AirMobilePlt lands and begins hunting AAA

2Lt Newsome executed flawlessly. His men landed unmolested and quickly dismounted. To their front sat two ZSU 23-4s which were quickly dispatched by a Dragon team and LAW rockets. Newsome moved his M-60s and the bulk of his platoon to the east, engaging the East German infantry from behind and claiming a Gremlin and ATGM team.

1stTanks exacting a toll on the T-72s
1st Tanks charge and kill T-64s
Last T-72s are hunted down by CO; Matthews finally kills that German S.O.B.

Mortars and Artillery ranged-in on the town, razing it to the ground as 2nd Tanks began pumping 105mm rounds directly into the enemy positions.
Before the air strikes could identify their targets, the enemy broke. With no support and no escape, the infantry simply gave up the fight.

Comanche's Final Attack

As the butcher’s bill was being tallied, the victory seemed hollow to Matthews. The image of Jefferson’s bloody and battered body, surrounded by those of his men, would always haunt him as a reminder of hard and horrible choices.

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