Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Battle of Wanat

 

Wanat is a village in Afghanistan where a battle took place between a small outpost of US Army soldiers and a bunch of Taliban. There is a scenario covering the battle in John Tiller’s latest release Squad Battles: Modern War. Someone at the Blitz wargaming club picked this scenario for our pbem game. After playing my first turn tonight as the US, I decided to try my hand against the AI.

I am new to the Squad Battle series so there are a lot of interface quirks left for me to figure out. Weapons seem to lose effectiveness very quickly so I guess the point there is to choose your shots carefully. Air Support that gets called might have multiple weapons for you to choose from, but only one can be deployed. Perhaps that is modeling a choice made prior to takeoff. I need to make more efficient use of my leaders in rallying pinned and disrupted squads.

The battle started with one squad out of the base when the attack hit, plus one squad manning an observation post outside the perimeter. The insurgents advanced and we were trading fire, but then they attempted to breach the wire around the perimeter in multiple places and things got hairy. They had some support weapons located in the village, but I had a hard time silencing them. The TOW launcher on a hummer was ineffective as was a 500 lb bomb from a B1-B. The insurgents managed to take out 2 of the HMMWVs at the entrance to the outpost and managed to start working in to the post there. In other spots there were still stuck in the wire on the perimeter. For the most part they were ignoring the OP and the fire team that was stranded outside the base. They couldn’t do much because they were demoralized by a well placed mortar round. Finally a pair of AH-64s arrived to provide CAS and they started to break the morale of a lot of insurgent squads. It was still hairy with the perimeter broken in multiple places. Another turning point hit though when the 1st squad of 2nd plt C co along with their plt leader counterattacked some pinned insurgents elements wiping them out. That squad was then able to secure the points inside the perimeter as the rest of the remaining soldiers continued to try and pin down the insurgents while the AH-64s worked them over. In the end the game scored it a major defeat for the Taliban with their casualty total being 128 to 35 for the US. I am guessing that that includes wounded as well as dead. Either way a very bloody fight.

wanat

If you click on the picture you will see that the squad out at the OP was demoralized. That is because I made the decision to try and maneuver them into the fight since they were being ignored. Well, they got paid attention to very quickly and made their way back into the OP.

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