Operation Maggot I - March 2010

Introduction

Cutting the coastal road and railway line linking Anbaba with Suzman City was a major success for the PLAoSS-AAF Alliance (for the details on that engagement see the battle report Trainwreck waiting to happen). Fearing an all-out assault on Anbaba, the DRS command decided on an attempt at pushing south from Anbaba to restore in particular the railway link to the capital. Using checkpoint 1, one of the largest checkpoints around Anbaba, as the starting point, a combined DRS army-DRS marines force pushed south. Soon it became clear that PLAoSS forces had already entered the southern outskirts of Anbaba.

The scenario was meant to allow the DRS a slightly more active role in the northern campaign; its result will have some influence on the campaign in that in the case of a DRS victory, the DRS forces continue and attack the main PLAoSS/ALA force concentration blocking the railway, while a failure to push through would result in an attack in checkpoint 1.

Participating forces

While the DRS task force has elements of both the army and the marines in it, only army units participated in this action, a weak army company (two rifle platoons and a support platoon) with some tank support serving as some kind of recce force (or gun fodder, as the Marines CO was repeatedly heard to say...) for the main task force. The opposition was composed exclusively of PLAoSS units, an understrength rifle company (two platoons) with some tank support.

 PLAoSS DRS Army
2 inf plt - 3 inf sqd (HQ 3 rifle team, LMG team, RPG team)
2 inf plt - 3 inf sqd (3 inf team, AT team), AT team, 60mm mortar, 2 HMG jeep, 1 radio jeep, 1 truck (MG)
  support plt - HQ, mortar, eng sqd (2 eng team), VAB/20, VAB
tank sec - 2 T-55  tank sec - 2 M-48
 2 technical sec - 2 Technical
 armoured car sec - 2 M-3 Greyhound

On the whole the army was probably slightly at a disadvantage, as it had only a marginal numerical advantage.

Special scenario rules

PLAoSS deploys parts of one platoon on the table at the beginning of the game. After the second change of initiative, the PLAoSS player rolls for reinforcements, with  the remainder of the first platoon arriving on a 1, the second platoon on a 2, a technical sec on a 3, another technical sec on a 4, the tanks on a 5 and nothing on a 6. The reinforcements arrive at predetermined entry points numbered 1 to 6, allowing a roll to decide where the reinforcements arrive.

 Location and map

This part of Anbaba's southern outskirts lies below a small rock formation, which occupies a third of the table (mainly because yours truly didn't manage to get enough buildings ready for the game...). DRS forces enter from the northern side.

 

Highlighted on the map above are the six entry points for the PLAoSS reinforcements (point 1 being to the right of the railway) as well as the 10 main houses in this Anbaba suburb. Note how the main road runs straight through the suburb, which turned out to make things rather difficult for both players. On the far side of the table is the northern edge of the map where the DRS player arrives.

The action

Again mainly pictures, but the general course of action should be clear.

 

A view down the main road from the north side of the suburb.

 

 PLAoSS positions on top of the rocky feature.

 

 DRS armoured cars enter the map.

 

 End of a successful recce mission - while one armoured car burns, the other has taken position on the road after taking out the PLAoSS company HQ!

 

DRS infantry platoon arrives on the scene.

 

 A couple of initiatives later two technicals arrive as PLAoSS reinforcements - and as luck would have it, they appear at reinforcement point 1, just in front of the gunsights of a whole DRS infantry platoon...

 

DRS tanks trying to get forward. M-3 now burning, as house 3 turned out to be a major enemy stronghold.

 

Another view of the tank trying to get around the burning armoured car.

 

 Other parts of the suburb were rather quiet.

 

While the second DRS infantry platoon prepared to take houses 1 and 2, suddenly a number of AK-toting folks run forward...

 

... which in the face of a whole platoon turned out to be brave but foolish.

 

Even so, it took the DRS player a couple of initiatives to get houses 1 and 2 under control - and right at that moment two tanks appeared in his flank! Fortunately one was taken out immediately by one of the M-48s, the other one then shooting but missing wildly. A near miss by the M-48 then had the driver slam the tank into reverse and exit the map.

 

 With the threat by the two T-55s barely contained, another daring PLAoSS charge tried to wrestle control of house 2 from the DRS forces; while it was unsuccessful it managed to oblitterate most of the infantry platoon employed there.

 

 Some final action evolving around house 6; the first DRS infantry platoon had moved around the rocky feature and occupied house 5; from there it tried to storm houses 6 and 7 to get into the centre of the suburb, but without much success. Meanwhile a PLAoSS squad had firmly entrenched itself in house 3 causing a lot of trouble the DRS commander. It took most functioning parts of two tanks as well as two VABs to get them out of the building.

Post mortem

In the end the DRS commander managed to gain control over the road and most of the suburb, thereby essentially completing his mission. However, it cost him dearly - at the end of the day only one VAB was still fully functional, and most of the infantry gone, so a lot of brownie points for the PLAoSS player, who made a lot out of limited resources (amply aided though by a number of really really bad command decisions by the DRS player).
 
Anyway - the DRS push to get the railway line back open again is a go, so see you next time...