The Polar Bears

The Polar Bears
4th Battalion, 31st Infantry

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Battle of Centreville Pt. 3 AAR

The First Battle of Centreville: Counter Strike

This is a game me and my son played as a pick-up game over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  The amusing thing here is nearly every miniature on the American side were figures me and my son, Jeremy, painted up the day before.  That's a bit of a first for me: painted up and on the board with-in 24 hours.

Anyway, I came up with a pretty basic scenario for Tomorrow's War.  Basically a small advanced force has occupied a farming hamlet in advance of a much larger force.  They've dug in and are waiting reinforcements.  The other side has taken advantage of the pause to launch a spoiling attack to slow down the enemy advance.

I set this battle on my world of Liberty during the early stages of the Liberty-American War of 2181.  The American colony on Liberty has just voted to join the Union and in the process has decided that the colony of Centreville will be part of the newly formed Commonwealth of Liberty.  This moved infuriated the republicans!  

Centreville colony is located on the large island of Crossland.  It sits in between the two enclaves and is very near the planet's equator.  It's used as a major space port and services both colonies.  The American's annexation left the newly formed Republic of Liberty with out a space port and at the mercy of their neighbors to the south.  The Libertarians vowed that this would not stand.

During the early hours of December 18, 2181 three Libertarian regiments disembarked from their transports, stormed onto the sandy beaches of Crossland, and began their blitzkrieg toward the Andersonville Aerospace Port and the colony's capital of Centreville.  The Centreville Campaign had began!

American forces were totally unprepared for the invasion.  Only a few scattered companies of the 31st Infantry, elements of the Army National Guard, and a few squads of the Centreville Defense Force stand in their way.

Our mission is simple: we are to launch an immediate counterattack and disrupt the enemy's advance long enough for our forces to unite near the colony's capital. We have to hit them quick and hard, inflict as much damage as possible, and then fall back. With luck, this kind of bloody nose will slow them down and make them more cautious. Smashing the enemy force in and around this farm hamlet should accomplish this mission.

Set-up:  US Army and Liberty National Guard

Jeremy commands the force's left wing which consists of two fire teams of infantry and an old IFV.  My more powerful right wing has my US Army Strike section (Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry).  We're pretty sure that we can take anything that the Libertarians can toss at as.  
Prior to the game I decided on the Liberterian's basic battle plan and deployed their forces into solid defensive positions.  These invaders are just an advanced guard who have moved off the beach and have secured this small farm hamlet just a couple of miles from the invasion beaches.  Their mission is to hold the compound and await reinforcements.  The LRL's force consists of two irregular squads deployed along the hedges facing the American deployment zone as a screen.  Behind the screen sits their main force consisting of three technicals and three regular army rifle squads. These troops are deployed inside the compound in hidden positions.  As we later find out, they have set-up a nasty ambush position!
A nice view of the LRL's positions prior to the battle.  There's not a whole lot of open ground here.  The enemy merely has to wait in cover for us.  It's gonna get ugly!

One of my opening moves is to place some heavy hitters on overwatch.  Not a bad idea as you'll see.

Jeremy starts the battle by moving his IFV... right across the front of my force and exposing his flank to some LRL insurgents.  It's more than they can refuse.  The LRL irregulars just have to shoot off a RPG shot against the track's flank...

And they miss!  Jeremy rushes the unit while my units lay down supporting fires.  Our infantry scamper to catch up with the impetuous IFV while the irregulars dump as much fire on it as they can.  The IFV just shrugs off attack after attack.  Jeeze... little kids really have all the luck!
Here Jeremy shrugs off another RPG shot.  
At this point we are on turn two.  Jeremy's IFV is going toe-to-toe with the irregular squads and is really getting the better of them.  I bound my teams and vehicles up to support him and to envelope the enemy's right flank.
As my units move up my Aries battle suit catches sight of the right flank technical and drills it with a 75mm railgun shot.  I roll a 12 on the vehicle damage chart.  Pretty impressive for the mech's first time out!

In the meantime Jeremy hammers the irregulars on our right flank and wipes them out with concentrated fires.  He moves a squad up to mop up while the IFV just sits there and soaks up all sorts of fire.  Jeremy dishes out some serious hurt with the IFV's autocannon and pins down everyone who dares to shoot at him.
While Jeremy holds their attention my flanking squad mops up the survivors from the technical and move to flank the enemy squad.  I'm thinking that we have this game in the bag...
In fact, I'm so sure that I move my Ares into optimum to finish off the LRL squad to our front.  That's when the squad's RPG gunner decides that enough is enough!  He drills my Ares with a rocket that blasts it to pieces and kills the pilot.  In the next turn he engages the troublesome IFV and TOTALLY nails it with a rocket.  I rush up one of my Humvees to try to get him... and he blasts it too suppressing it and taking out its gun!  That's THREE of our four vehicles in two turns.
One RPG... three kills!  I'm putting that dude in for a medal!  
Jeremy is nearly in tears and vows revenge.  He rushes his squad into the open and right into the face of two LRL squads and a technical!  Buckets of dice later all of his men are still standing and he's put some hurt onto the LRL boys.  Seesh... little kids and their luck!
So again, I think we have it in the bag.  Jeremy 's force overran the enemy main defense line and my squad, battered but still standing is holding their flank wide open.  We've got them I think!

And here come their reinforcements!  The scenario special rule is that after turn 4 the enemy gets to roll a die and on a six get two hover APCs with 8 riflemen.  Naturally they roll a 6 on the very first turn.  One of the APCs with a four man fire team race after my bloodied squad.  It's gonna get ugly...
But not so fast!  My squad still has a bot with a AGL!  It gets a reaction fire on the APC and blows it to pieces.  Half the men on board are casualities!  Talk about some luck with the dice!  I guess maybe some of Jeremy's luck is rubbing off on me.

Right about then "momma" called time and we had to clear off the table for supper!  So we had to end the game right there.  Our objective was to drive the LRL out of the farming compound.  We did control over half of the place, but they still had an APC, a technical, and two squads in defensive positions and holding on for dear life.  Both sides really took heavy losses... but, the LRL advanced guard held on to their objective.  Even our technological advantage wasn't enough to drive LRL "frogs" from their holes.

So it was with some tears from Jeremy that I called the game a minor LRL victory.  I soothe him by telling him that the LRL may have won the day, this time, but that there would be a next time!  We just had to slow down the LRL's advance just long enough for the Colonial Marines to reinforce us!  Then we would drive the frogs off our island!

More to come!

Semper Fi, Carry on....