Saturday, June 4, 2016

US SOF & Kurds vs ISIS, Memorial Day 2016

To commemorate Memorial Day 2016, the boys and I set up a game of Force on Force set in modern Syria.  As recently reported in the news, US Special Operations Forces have been spotted near the ISIS capitol in Raqqa, Syria, aiding Kurdish fighters.  We joined them in spirit with a game of Force on Force.

The US SOF and Kurd operations against the ISIS capitol have been hampered by a GPS jamming device that degrades accuracy of GPS-guided bomb.  A platoon (-) of elite Kurds and accompanying US SOF troops are consequently conducting a lighting raid into a town near the suburbs of Raqqa to facilitate future JDAM strikes.  ISIS has been caught off-guard, while the US/Kurd troops plan to run the whole way, accepting penalties for moving beyond tactical movement rates (6" per turn).  The US/Kurd plan was simple - their left flank would assault the objective while the right tied blocked enemy reinforcements from interfering.

US SOF are TQ 12/Mor 12, Kurds are TQ 8/Mor 10, ISIS fighters are TQ 6/Mor 10.

US/Kurd forces enter from the right side of the board as pictured below, the GPS jammer is located in the building in the lower left corner of the board.

ISIS to the left, US & Kurds to the right.
Looking down the US/Kurd right axis of advance - an ISIS checkpoint looms at an intersection.
US/Kurd troops on left axis of advance, heading for the objective.
Looking down the left axis of advance.
ISIS fighters guard the GPS jammer, shown in the building at left.  A technical and several ISIS fighters provide security.
Turn 1:
The US & Kurdish forces start their march down the board, putting effective fire on to all ISIS fighters who oppose.
US/Kurd forces move down the left axis off advance.
Kurdish technical gunner on the .50 caliber mounted in the technical wins initiative and lights up the ISIS technical at the checkpoint blocking the US/Kurd right.
ISIS checkpoint technical goes up in flames.
ISIS fighters get cleaned off of a rooftop when they try to engage the US/Kurd right.
Things were bad enough for the ISIS folks with the one-sided exchanges of fire.  They got worse when an initiative roll brought some tough love in the form of a Fog of War card.
The Fog of War card dictated that ISIS fighters were paralyzed by a command & control mix-up (perhaps a US deception or diversion?) and couldn't maneuver until after the end of the next turn - meaning that they were stuck in current positions until the end of Turn 2.  Both devastating to the ISIS faction and appropriate for the scenario.
The guys who drew the Fog of War card take some hits from US/Kurd small arms fire.
Turn 2:
In spite of their command & control paralysis, the ISIS troops received reinforcements - a handful of fighters show up at the GPS jammer site, hoping to keep the US/Kurd forces from reaching their objective.
More meat for the grinder.
The US/Kurd left moved forward and brought some enfilading fire on the ISIS checkpoint previously engaged by the US/Kurd right.  ISIS won initiative, but failed to connect with the US operators in the lead.  After drawing a Fog of War card, the US return fire proved deadly.

The Fog of War card draw gave the US/Kurd forces an unnecessary bit of reinforcement - an Uparmored HMMWV.
Always nice to have more friends like these.
Meanwhile, the US/Kurd right moved up to the previously-engaged checkpoint position and reduced further resistance.
The ISIS boys dropping like flies.
Dismounted US and Kurd fighters continued their sweep in the urban sprawl between their two flanks.

And another Fog of War card brought another Uparmored HMWWV for the US and Kurd troops.

Turn 3:
The state of affairs at the beginning of Turn 3.  The US and Kurdish troops have marched halfway down the board.
ISIS reinforcements brought a technical armed with a medium machinegun (PKM) directly at the US/Kurd right flank, prompting an exchange of fire that immobilized the Kurd truck and put the ISIS MG out of commission.

Follow-on fire from dismounted Kurds destroyed the ISIS truck.

Meanwhile, the technical at the head of the US/Kurd left moved within striking distance of the objective.  The ISIS technical rolled out to meet them but was quickly put out of commission.  The Kurd on the .50 caliber technical won an initiative roll against the ISIS troops on the roof of the objective bunk house and managed to take down all but one fighter... the fighter with the RPG...

...who managed to miss anyway.

Turn 4:
ISIS got a few reinforcements who tried taking on the Kurds at the destroyed checkpoint site.  It didn't go well for them.

The ISIS fighter with an RPG on the objective reloaded and tried to engage the US/Kurd technical again, but failed to make the initiative roll he needed... and paid for it.
Another one bites the dust.
Meanwhile, the US/Kurd troops advancing down the center of the board came up on the back side of the objective compound.  The ISIS troops that previously arrived at the GPS jammer site moved to confront them.  ISIS took heavy casualties.

Turn 5:
ISIS got more reinforcements, to include an additional machine gun.

The US special operators had by this time reached the objective building and made entry, quickly overwhelming the ISIS fighters inside.
Turn 6:
The US and Kurd troops securing the back side of the objective had a final showdown with the ISIS reinforcements, which proved as one-sided as every other exchange of fire in the game...

...while the operators left a charge on the objective building to close out the operation.
Operators departing the objective as the charge goes off.
That wrapped things up pretty decisively and we called it a game.  I'm adding this AAR to the Force on Force: Iraq (yes, it's in Syria... close enough) and Force on Force:  Special Operations pages that chronicle my Force on Force battles.  Hope you enjoyed, and here's my belated thanks to all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of this great nation.

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