PHASE-2: LANCER’S FORWARD-LEIPZIG / MISSION: NO RETREAT
DISCLAIMER: This was a very impromptu game with also me not having my US with me (how convenient) and I had to proxy with mostly British & German units. Just giving you a heads up of the situation given to me!
Team Quicksilver got a heads up that a Russian force was coming our way. It was night now and as Captain Meyer looked thru the open hatch of his M113, he took a moment for himself “looks like a beautiful night”, just enough moonlight to work with and not a cloud to block the stars”.
As he leaned back into the thermal imaging eyesight and scanned the landscape before him he said to himself, “too bad this won’t last long.” He knew by the report he received from HQ, that the enemy force should be in his battle box before dawn and went over again in his head of the mission and plan. “Berlin or Nuts” is what was said to him. His reply would be short and simple, “Sir, this is Team-Quicksilver”, he said, “you know our saying, “Commoda et Confice”…Lancer6 out!” He said to himself over and over “Adapt and Achieve,” if you're going to fight at night, that is what you need. As he rubbed his eyes again before settling back in the eyesight, trust in the plan...we own the night!
As he looked thru the thermal imager, Cpt. Meyer created a mental image of how he deployed his force at the farmstead that they moved into. 1st Platoon (Red) was deployed in the wheat field towards the South-East extending out to the Southern hills with their M113’s on a line with them. I positioned myself (Lancer), next to the farmhouse still in my M113. 2nd Platoon (White) was deployed in the wheat field center of the battlefield and also extended its defensive line to the Northern Hills with their M113’s on a line with them as well. In this same location was the FIST-V(Black Hat) that could see both avenues of approach (AoA), which had been mined earlier with minelets, from a dedicated M109 FA battery (Longbow). In an ambush position on the back side of the hill to the North was 4th Platoon (Cold Steel) of M1 tanks. In a fallback position (in reserve off-board) was 3rd Platoon (Blue), a VAD’s platoon and three platoons of M901 ITV’s. If I engage him till sunlight, I could also call for A-10 (CAS) support and then place the spearhead in my opponent's heart!.
The still and quiet countryside was slowly being filled by faint engine sounds, that were getting louder as the Russian force approached. On the Troop net, 1st and 2nd Platoon’s were reporting hearing engines in their sector, but no sightings as of yet. “Net call, net call, all Quicksilver elements! Break…When they stop at the minefields, that’s when we will bait them in, Over!” All call signs responded “Roger!” 1ST Platoons infantry could see the enemy force in the darkness from their foxholes and reported: “enemy BMP formation to our North-West, with dismounted Infantry”. 2nd Platoon reports: “BMP formation in the wood line in front of them and to the South-West, with dismounted infantry too”. Looks like the enemy was moving slow enough to find the minefields and started to clear it. “Black-Hat this is Lancer6, over, go for Black-Hat…Fire mission, center wood line, let them know we got eyes on, break...when 1st platoon engages, drop a minefield in front of the enemy formation, over…Roger that, out! The delay is doing its job…now we need to do ours!
An artillery barrage landed in the center wood line pinning the infantry and making the center BMP formation stop. As the enemy forces moved forward, 1st and 2nd Platoon Dragon teams opened fire. 1st Platoon killed two BMP’s while 2nd Platoon killed one. As ordered, the FIST-V dropped another minefield in front of the 1st Platoons enemy formation. As the enemy infantry fronting 2nd Platoon cleared the other minefield, the enemy fell for the bait and returned fire with all the BMP formations, that had no effect because of the concealed fighting positions and attacking at night. As the enemy lit up the night, Team-Quicksilver will now unleash its firepower...We See You!
“Duster, this is Lancer6, Over! Go for Duster, move to support 1st Platoons sector, Over! Roger, out! Captain Meyer thought to himself, we were patient enough. “Cold Steel, this is Lancer6, over! Lancer6, Cold Steel go……Engage! I say again, Engage! Good Hunting! I dropped artillery on the enemy BMP formation fronting 2nd Platoon. I only managed to kill one vehicle. Then, I sprung the ambush from the Northern hills from its back side of the M1 Abrams Platoon and killed six vehicles from their concealed positions. 1st and 2nd Platoon returned fire with Dragons, M113 .50cal’s, and LAW’s at the rest of his forces and managed to kill and pin more units.
As the fight ensued, the morning sun pierces the darkness and brings in the morning light. 2nd Platoon radio’s over “T-72’s…I say again, T-72’s in Reds sector!” The Captain heard that and immediately called for support. “Hunter-10, this Lancer6, over! Go Lancer6…move to support Reds sector, over! Roger that, Hunter-10 out! Blue6, over! Go for blue6…move in to reinforce Whites sector, over! Roger that, Blue6 out! Captain Meyer had to move the remaining reserves up, but he wanted to see who would need the reinforcing before he committed them. Just as he finished that thought he saw a hit on an M1 Abrams that ripped it open from artillery fire. Just then, the VAD’s opened fire as he saw tracer rounds hitting its mark. As the remaining M1’s returned fire and with the VAD’s fire as well, the BMP’s nearest to them just vaporized. But now it was daylight and the T-72’s & BMP’s on the opposite side started to hit their marks. My M113’s from 1st and 2nd Platoon started to be killed slowly.
As the engagement intensified, Captain Meyer brought in the last two ITV Platoons “Hunter-20 & Hunter-30”. Their orders were to engage the T-72’s and blunt their advancement. In 1st Platoons sector, the enemy forces were being held back by them and a timely artillery fire mission of Laser-Guided Projectiles, that also killed two T-72’s. I started to lose M113’s and ITV’s as this engagement prolonged out, but his BMP’s started to take a beating on this flank. In 2nd Platoons sector, he had to move his infantry from the center wood line towards the objective to contest it. It started to be a close engagement of fires from both sides to contest each other from the objective. What hurt me in this phase of the fight, my opponent managed to bail two of my M1 Abram’s to force me to make a morale check and I failed...(It's a Dice Game! Ughh!) Now I had less firepower to contest it.
Captain Meyer could hear the radio chatter, that in spite of 1st Platoons losses from the T-72’s, they were still a viable force on that flank. They managed to destroy the infantry and two T-72’s trying to tie them up. On 2nd Platoons sector, it was a heated engagement to contest the objective. Hunter-10 & Hunter-30 were destroyed along with most of the 2nd Platoons M113’s. 2nd Platoon was still viable along with 3rd Platoon moving in to take their position. Our forces almost fought ourselves to a standstill until the Russian commander realized he had only two T-72’s to contest the objective and Captain Meyers infantry and Hunter-20 (ITV Platoon) was in striking distance to them. Realizing this situation, the Russian commander pulled back his forces and retreated off the field, the Russian advanced was “stalled” until further notice……………
It was a hard fought battle all around. We both had moments of choice words and shaking our fists to the heavens, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
Also, and of course the A-10 pilots were at the beer garden and didn’t show up in the game!