With Dead1 recently having painted up the ASLAVS (Australian Light Armoured Vehicle), we looked to find a mission where we could include them.
Fortunately, the "Who Relieves the Relief?" mission from Donogh McCarthy's Defence of Wilson's Wadi ticked all the boxes, only having to replace the Brits with Australian type forces.
The mission saw two infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) and a truck fighting their way through a village in order to prove support to friendlies. However the truck hits a IED and the action goes from there.
With Dead1 being the commander of the Aussies (rated D8/D10 and well supplied), I set up my Taliban Groups around (rated a D6/D8). For the random asset I received heavy mortars and not having used such things before, I wasn't sure how they'd fare.
2 SEPTEMBER 2008 - UNEXPECTED CONTACT
A small element of Australian troops were tasked with providing relief to embattled soldiers at Khaz Oruzgan. Their path would take them through the small village a few kilometres away, where there were no reports of Taliban presence.
The Bushmaster truck was escorted by two ASLAV fighting vehicles laden with fire teams and their commander.
Although they entered the village with caution, the Bushmaster triggered a mine on the road. Despite the violent blast, the vehicle and its crew were fine. Soldiers reported suspicious movements around the village buildings on both sides. With the urgency of their support needed by units ahead of this village, the Australian commander gave the order to push through.
|Mission map from the Scenario|
|The unit enters the village|
|Taliban prepare to attack the Australian troops|
TURN 1 - AMBUSH!
ASLAV 1 provided covering fire as the Bushmaster and ASLAV 2 proceeded forwarded, reaching the position by the civilian jingle truck. The advancing units peppered the nearby targets which returned fire, with ASLAV 1 doing a poor job of overwatch. Where the mine failed, small arms fire by the Taliban disabled the Bushmaster. The two crew held their nerve and remained in the vehicle for the moment.
Soldiers reported an amassing of more troops by within the woods ahead of them.
|The Australians advance and engage the Taliban|
|The Bushmaster is disabled!|
|More Taliban arrive by from the woods.|
TURNS 2 & 3 - AT A SNAIL'S PACE
The Australians remained in control of the tempo for the time being. Reaction fire from the Taliban failed to further damage the Bushmaster and their RPG's failed to dent the ASLAVS.
The crew from the disabled Bushmaster made a break for ASLAV 2. Fortunately they embarked the vehicle before the flanking Taliban group had a chance to fire. The cell was engaged by ASLAV 1 and took heavy casualties but held their resolve. RPG fire from the cells either missed or ricocheted off the armour harmlessly.
However the Australians had failed to shift their positions for the last two turns and more Taliban were arriving.
|The crew disembark and head for ASLAV 2|
TURN 4 - A STALLED ADVANCE
Having stalled their advance, the Australians lost the initiative to the Taliban. The groups in the forest made a dash and broke cover. The Australians reacted and the fire all but wiped out two cells, however concentrating their fire meant that the convoy would not be moving just yet. Two RPGs flew at the Aslav but these bounced off the armour.
Further Taliban reinforcements arrived, whilst the Dshk gun positioned itself in the nearby courtyard in preparation for defilade fire. The heavy mortar spotter made his way into a village building that looked down the road.
|The Dshk gun positions itself to flank the passing armour|
|Two groups of Taliban are decimated as they exit the woods|
TURN 5 - MORTAR RAIN
The Taliban started to turn up the heat. Mortar rounds rained on the convoy and the ASLAV 2's track drive was damaged, reducing its mobility. ASLAV 2 struggled forward and parked itself next to the jingle truck, while the other Fighting Vehicle provided reactive fire, which nearly destroyed one of the flanking cells.
A small cell rushed up near the spotter's building whilst the Taliban by the woods rallied into one large mob.
TURN 6 - DISASTER!
|The heavy mortars engage the Aussies|
TURN 6 - DISASTER!
The Taliban retained the initiative but the cells bided their time. ASLAV 1 bounded past the other vehicle when the Dshk opened fire. It turned out that the crew were better trained that the other militants and their fire was effective, damaging the armoured vehicle's turret. RPG fire from the two decimated cells proved ineffective.
Heavy mortar fire was unavailable this turn however cell by the woods had an RPG and with a very lucky shot, the Aslav 2 was knocked out. The squished in Australians consisting of the Bushmaster crew, the ASLAV crew, the fire team and commander quickly bailed out and checked their casualties.
The only fortune for the Australians was that there were no reinforcements for the Taliban, at least for the moment.
TURNS 7 & 8 - BELEAGUERED
The Australians deployed in a circle around the destroyed ASLAV and found that two of the soldiers were dead and one seriously wounded. The remaining ASLAV concentrated on the Dshk team and its crew was eliminated. The remaining firepower of the Australians was scattered but managed to finally destroy one of the cells with a RPG and the spotter from the mortar team was killed.
Further fire from the remaining Taliban locals raked through the beleaguered Australians and they took heavy casualties.
Ultimately another four Australians would perish and another was seriously wounded.
|A handful of Taliban continue to fight on despite numerous casualties|
|Things are looking grim for the Australian soldiers|
THE RELIEF FAILS
With heavy casualties and unable to push through the village, the Australian relief force had to retreat, leaving two knocked out vehicles, two seriously wounded and six dead.
The Taliban had taken a large number of casualties but not even close to make a real difference.
AUSTRALIAN ARMY: 6 Victory Points
TALIBAN: 26 Victory Points
THOUGHTS BY CAILUS
My plan from the get go was to stall the convoy using any means. However it did not start well with the free IED hitting the bushmaster doing absolutely nothing, despite the impressive stats that could have lifted the Aslavs of the ground!
I threw a few teams into the fray knowing I would lose them (see Turn 4) but as Dead1 opened fire with glee I smiled in return as he continued to fail his Reaction Tests, meaning he lost his ability to move.
Actually, the Reaction Tests went mostly my way, despite the Australian superiority, mostly die to Dead1 inability to roll decent results. However it wasn't all luck - I think Dead1 didn't utilise his firepower or speed to great effect. Reacting less and waiting to do Move & Fire Orders might have been the way to go.
The heavy mortars went well and that lucky RPG shot really helped too!
We'll be organising a rematch soon with Dead1 and I swapping control over the forces. No doubt it will be as action packed as this one.