Sunday, January 4, 2015

Medal of Honor, Iraq, 4 April 2003

Had a good game with CSGA again, running a scenario from the Road to Baghdad book.  The background:

Scenario 13:  Medal of Honor
Near the Baghdad International Airport, April 4 2003
Lead elements of the US 3rd Infantry Division have taken Baghdad International Airport, and have established blocking positions on the main highway linking it with the Iraqi capital.  2nd Platoon, B Company, 11th Engineers have been tasked with creating a holding area for the large number of detainees expected in the next few days.  A suitable location has been found, and preparations are under way when a large enemy force is spotted attempting to outflank the American position.  Calling for reinforcements, the Engineers prepare to make a stand.

In real life, SFC Paul R. Smith gave his life in heroic fashion, manning a machine gun atop an M113 armored personnel carrier until felled by enemy fire.  To replicate the dire situation that SFC Smith and his men faced, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) loses a die of firepower for every 1 rolled when it fired, and it has to retreat when out of ammo or damaged.  Three large insurgent cells attacked the US forces from prepared positions, and the game went until the Americans were defeated, insurgents pushed South across the board, or the insurgents suffered 100 casualties.  Insurgents receive reinforcements on a roll of 4 or less  on 1d6.  The Americans had only the BFV, 2 x M113, two understrength fire teams, and the company first sergeant and a medic to hold back the horde.  The initial setup:
SFC Smith is with Fire Team A.  A courtyard of insurgents against the few Americans in contact.

View from the enemy side of the courtyard.

Turn 1:  The initial exchange of fire proved brutal to the exposed Americans.  Fire Team A took a number of casualties, SFC Smith among them (a serious wound).  The first sergeant and medic rush to the aid of the beleaguered fire team while the BFV laid down some fire and inflicted a few casualties.

Turn 2:  Both sides take casualties from small arms fire exchanged, and an RPG bounces off of the BFV's armor.  Fog of War cards give the insurgents a technical and keep US forces stationary for the turn.
Another Fog of War card gives the Americans an M1 Abrams tank as reinforcement.  Next to the tank is a fire team of reinforcements triggered by the first US casualties.
Turn 3:  As the M113s, M1, and dismounted US forces move to reinforce the BFV, they find Fire Team A and most of Fire Team B dead or seriously wounded.  Unlucky rolls continue to hamper insurgent success with RPG fire, but the BFV has been reduced from 5 to 2 dice in its main gun.  The US vehicular reinforcements start to inflict serious casualties on the insurgents.
Turn 4:  US forces continue to whittle down the insurgents.  The lead M113 gunner is shot out of the turret, killed instantly.  The BFV blew up the insurgent technical.
Turn 5:  The BFV, having run out of ammunition, pulls out and leaves the infantry exposed.  Luckily, two Fog of War cards gave both remaining fire teams Excellent Position - an additional die of cover.
Turn 6-7:  The overwhelming firepower of the vehicles and the outstanding positions that the US forces found wore down the insurgents.  The Americans were eventually able to load casualties into the M113s.
Turn 7 or 8:  An insurgent RPG gunner took a shot at the M1 from the roof of this building, and insurgent Hot Spot.  The M1 responded 120mm HE tough love, dropping the building.

Though not noted in the truncated play-by-play for this game, the overwhelming firepower from the US vehicles had wiped out all insurgent RPG gunners and inflicted horrific casualties on the insurgent force as a whole.  When we finally called the game - the insurgents didn't have anything that could hurt the vehicles - the Victory Point tally ran to 55 points for the Americans, 12 for the insurgents.

The Fog of War-spawned tank completely changed the course of the game.  I wouldn't expect a replay to come out the same way.


  1. Fog of War cards can game changers indeed!
    When my brother and I play, we might both decide to redraw a card if it doesn't fit thematically.
    Sucked to see Sfc Smith get down dearly on!