Only Andrej and Amanda played tonight, Darrin and Lloyd doing silly family/thanksgiving-ish things this weekend… So I thought I’d run a little “flackback episode” of Watts (Andrej) and Fisher’s (Amanda) escape from Kalisz just after their division was overrun, but before they met up with Davis and Harris.
Near Kalisz, Poland, 18 July 2000, 0535
The 5th Infantry Division (mechanized) has been overrun. Lt. Fisher, cut off from her HQ, has spen the night scrounging around trying to locate friendlies, gathering about her a small group of soldiers and supplies. Just before dawn the group encounters a sergeant from the British S.A.S. He informs them that to the west there is nothing but Russians for miles and miles. Their best bet might be to head east, and then south towards the city of Krakow, which has apparently declared itself a “free city”.
The Americans start on the west side of the table and have to exit the east side. The size and disposition of the Russian forces in the area are unknown to them. Hidden unit markers will be placed on the table (of which many were dummies) and they will not be revealed until wither the Americans successfully notice one, or the Russians notice them and start firing.
As this is pretty much a straight-up, tabletop skirmish I decided to use Fortune and Calamity.
Lt. Sara Fisher, US Army, formerly S2 for 2nd Brigade, 5 Infantry Division (Mechanized) – Wildcard (Amanda’s character)
Corporal Eric Watts, US Army, A Coy, 5th medical Battalion, 5 Infantry Division (Mechanized) – Wildcard (Andrej’s character)
Sgt. Connor McFadyn, British Special Air Service – Wildcard
2x US Army fireteams (assorted units) one with 3 soldiers, one with 4. Both have M249 and M16/M203 with 4xHE, the balance being armed with M16s.
Lt. Vladamir Ivanovich – Soviet Army – Wildcard
Sgt. Ivan Popoff – Soviet Army – Wildcard
2x Russian Motorized Rifle Sections (7) all have AK-74, Sgt. Popoff’s section has an RPD light machinegun and an SVD Sniper rifle.
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)
Here are my hidden unit markers. There are eight in total, two (#3 and #5) represent one of the wildcard leaders, the remaining six are dummy/blank markers.
The players had NO IDEA how many forces were out there I wanted to give the impression of potentially a LOT of enemies out there so they would concentrate more on maneuver – “escape and evasion” – rather than try and simply kill them all and then wander off on their own pace.
The NATO forces moving through the woods.
Amanda (and her character, Lt. Fisher – in the bottom left of the picture)
Hmmmmmm… the “cautious” character leading from the front…? That should cost some bennies from her starting lot next game…
Leading from the front and hearing lots of noises off in the woods to the front (see all those markers…?) Maybe she was thinking it was a herd of deer.
Nope, it was Russians.
Russians begin firing on Fisher and the Fireteam that was following her.
Around the same time, the group Watts was with also ran into a section of Russians in the woods and began exchanging fire.
The next round Andrej drew a jokers for both Sgt. McFadyn AND the fireteam by him. McFadyn got a bonus benny, but the fireteam rolled snake-eyes, indicating a Freak Event. I was using the Freak Events from Modern Ops. and Andrej rolled 12; Cluster Bomb. The unit suddenly realized it was standing amidst unexploded ordinance from a cluster bomb (rather than screwing the whole bunch and having “minefilds” placed under each of them, I randomly determined one guy to be standing in the middle of a low density minefield. He made it out okay, but later in the game Sgt. Mcfadyn ran through it triggering one of the explosives… it shook him, but he soaked it with a benny.
Lt. Fisher ducks further back through the woods, but is pursued by two of the Russians.
One of the fireteam was taken down, another rushed to his aid (or to recover his M203…).
The M203 from the section with Watts dropped a grenade right in amongst the Russians firing on the other team. Shaking three of them.
Fisher shot one of her pursuers and then made a dash for it (being the only character on the table that wasn’t “loyal”). Being “fleet-footed she made it to the table edge in another turn, then stood there considering whether to go back to the aid of her comrades.
Sgt. McFadyn had taken down two or three Russians himself and was engaged in a firefight when he pulled another joker. Andrej rolled a 12 – triggering ANOTHER freak event; Dysentry – drinking untreated water suddenly caught up with Sgt. McFadyn and he was -2 to all actions for the rest of the game due to a sudden and violent case of dysentery!
Fisher returned to the fight and briefly exchanged shots with Sgt. Popoff before disappearing off into the woods again to see what was going on elsewhere. She did this as the firing back where she had left the fireteam following her had ceased. She figured they were either dead or had overcome the Russians. The former seemed more likely.
Indeed they had been taken out by the Soviets – here are the Russians finishing them off and looting the bodies.
Over by Watts things had gone from bad to worse. Two of the three men in the fireteam were down and the third was shaken and unlikely to recover anytime soon. Watts had actually made use of his combat medic ability to bring one guy back into the game only to have him taken down again by a sniper then next turn.
Being the “Stubbornly”, “heroically”, “Loyal” sort he wasn’t about to abandon his fellow Americans so he made a stand when the remaining Soviets came creeping thorugh the woods to overrun his position. In two turn he took down two of the three Russians, and the third surrendered to him!
Meanwhile Fisher had snuck up behind the Russian officer that McFadyn was still shooting at and shot him in the back, finishing him off (he already had three wounds!)
McFadyn made his way back to Watts position and rallied the shaken trooper, then with the aid of Fisher and the Russian POW they carried off the two wounded….
So that’s how Watts and Fisher broke out of Kalisz… Not sure what ever happened to the SAS Sergeant and the other three Americans after that… Of the two injured one had only been knocked unconscious (or perhaps fainted), the other was seriously injured…
Nest week… what to do… Lloyd and Andrej will be bailing as UFC is apparently more interesting and can’t be recorded…. I think we’ll move things back to Krakow and say Watts is busy with hid new “day job” at the hospital and that dysentery that’s going around finally catches up with Davis… He’ll spend the entire time in an outhouse somewhere…