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Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Jack, the LT and the footbridge Iraq 2003

Played a large scenario out of the scenario book Road to Baghdad; this one was The Footbridge.  I have found the scenarios in that book really interesting.  I always thought the second war was just the US racing to the airport and Baghdad but the book has multiple interesting, challenging tests.  The notes in the back are weak ( unlike most of their books) but the scenarios are great.
As you may recall, I rolled up a squad ( 2nd squad, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine regiment) and they have fought in 3 battles.  They are lead by Sgt Just Jack.  He actually won the Bronze Star in the town of Afak and is highly thought of in the unit.  ( Only my third character ever in 3+ years to earn a medal and the first Bronze Star!)  In fact the squad's morale is high (D12) except for the first fireteam.  The first fireteam is lead by Cpl "Koke" Kokistranovich (nickname pronounced Ko key) and the rest of the team feels he takes too many risks.  He Koke leads the team their morale is D10; if Jack does it is D12.   Jack is aware of their feelings and is working with Koke on his leadership.  Their LT, an Annapolis grad, is oblivious to this but respects Jack's leadership and is competent and still learning.   [ I love when you can generate a great backstory over several battles!  It makes the games so much more interesting to me.  It is the whole reason I did PF/GF.]
So the scenario I placed Jack in is The Footbridge.  Basically the marines have to repair a footbridge and cross it in the face of the republican guard backed by islamic extremists.

"So men, we have to get across that bridge and secure a foothold so the battalion can move on to Baghdad.  Jack, 2nd squad will repair the bridge and lead us across.  Borden, you will lay down so much fire that nothing moves across the river, understood?  Okay, let's go." So Lt Declines ended the briefing to his NCOs.
Lt Declines  Annapolis grad   Sensible/ wealth  Gr I
Sgt Borden   ( 1st squad leader)  careful/ engineering   Gr II
Sgt "just" Jack (2nd squad leader)  mechanic before he enlisted  Jovial/ position Gr II   +2
1 fireteam Cpl Koke  Junior race car driver  addicted to thrills      Gr 0
2nd FT  Cpl "Fast" Jones  orphaned joined at 18   inept/ religion    Gr 0
3rd FT LCpl Betts    acting leader so didn't roll up                           Gr 0

My new building with custom sign!

The battlefield with the marines entering from right.    Win by having a fireteam to left of rivre by turn 8.  [ I did not roll up forces as I used them out of the book substituting my 2 marine squads for the 2 in the book.]

Republican guard with an actual officer!

Jack leads Koki's team towards the footbridge while Cpl Jones moves up towards the river in support.

Trouble brewing for thirsty US marines.

 1st squad unloads from their track.   A second Iraqi tank broke down and wouldn't arrive for 3 turns.

End of 3rd turn.   Jack on the bridge that is now repaired.  1st squad to his right in support.  That track will now retreat in the face of armor.  Cobra ( yes it is a Cobra Jack!) called in for support with a mission against the hotel. ( Prematurely placed on the board.  Rolled for it's arrival against medium air defense and environment too hot to arrive.  Must have been piloted by army guys!   Huge blow for the marines but FOW card came up and a M-1 tank comes up in support.  Not as good but close.)

Jack makes a dash for the far side!   2 men hit as all hell breaks loose.  It is too much even for Jack.  He pulls back with one serious and one minor WIA.  ( Of course you don't know that till the end of the turn.)

More Iraqis come to the bridge where the battle will be decided.

Turn 5.  Lt Declines orders Sgt Borden to make a dash across the bridge.  Miraculously he makes it across ( where he is outnumbered badly) on turn 6. 

On turn 6 Lt Declines realizing he needs bodies across the river takes matters into his own hands and leads folks across.  With one man KIA they are pinned down and has to retreat. 

Meanwhile the Abrams takes care of the Iraqi armor. 

Looking for cover Sgt Borden leads his fireteam towards a damaged building with pinned Iraqi soldiers in it.  They flee.  No sooner has he started to try to set up positions when rebels charge his position.  There is no time for final defensive fire. 

The melee in the rubble is ferocious!  Unfortunately each side loses 2 which the 4 man US team can ill afford.  While they can still drag their wounded Borden signals retreat under the bridge. 

Sgt Borden catches his breath!  Fortunatly both casualties were only lightly wounded.  They would need ever gun.
The Abrams and SMAW blasted the rubble leaving only 2 rebels left alive and destroying the entire complex.  

Lt Declines tries to cross the bridge again on turn 7.  

Lt DeClines and LCpl Betts finally make it across and into the shattered remains of the hotel complex on turn 8.  The US had 2 fireteams (10 men) on the far side for the win!

Great game that was tension packed to the end.  Not having the helo made it challenging for the US as the Iraqis had 4-5 teams targeting the bridge every turn.  It played a little long solo as the US had two full marine squads and 2 platoons of Iraqis but it was worth the effort.

Post game Lt DeClines is impressed with LCpl Betts and arranges to promote him to Cpl and he officially takes 3rd FT.  He also improves to a Grade I leader.  Despite the fact that Jack picked 1st FT to lead the charge on the bridge the team still blames Koki so there is no change there. Morale holds for the squad at D12.  The squad lost 1 KIA and 1 IH and they were down 1 already but they get 1 replacement so will be 2 marines down for the next mission.



PS  Marines are all Peter Pig.  Iraqi army figures I am not sure, I think they are QRF.  Iraqi insurgents are QRF.  Vehicles are a mixture of Peter Pig, Old Glory and QRF.  



  1. I rewrote this scenario for Ambush Valley and tinkered with it some more. I have not yet had a chance to play it though. I've used the Dong Ba canal in Hue instead - http://midasintelligence.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/battle-of-hue-dong-ba-bridge.html

  2. I'd highly recommend the scenarios in Road to Baghdad if you can find a copy.

  3. Stuart, that is great stuff! I love the table especially the building on the right that looks somewhat like a cross between a temple and a government building. Is that scratch built? Why have the VC irregular. In my reading they were mostly NVA?

  4. Oh, you are killing me, Joe. It started out so well, and then you just had to do it, you had to go and humiliate me: Jack valiantly charges the bridge, leading his men, takes a few casualties, ducks for cover for a moment..

    And then RETREATS????!!!!

    Followed by a LIEUTENANT LEADING A CHARGE????!!!!

    How dare you, Sir! This is simply... repulsive. I'm not sure what kind of bizarr-o world you're stuck in, or you've created for yourself, but you're going to pay for this!

    In any case, it was a fun read, and I still find myself looking forward to the next installment.


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