Thursday, May 01, 2014

Gruntz Battle Report - The Battle of Ifs

Lt Al-Tharki's orders were simple, right up his alley.  He was to take his reinforced platoon and clear the village of Ifs.  United Nebular Space Command (UNSC) peace keepers had been spotted moving towards the village and Division didn't want them sticking their noses into this area.  The Meddlers were reported to have a couple of their Paladin tanks, "Peacekeepers my ass", Al-Tharki thought.  Due to the heavy enemy armor, 1st Plt was being reinforced by a single Babylon tank.  Al-Tharki hoped it was enough.

Ariel recon of the approaching UNSC forces.

The UNSC approached from the open plains to the North West.  Al-Tharki had ordered his scouts and snipers into the village earlier in the day.  They were deployed in the farm buildings on the left and the hab building on the right.  His mechanized force rolled in from the southeast.

The southeast edge of the village of Ifs.
Close up of 1st Plt, 47th Company, 12th Infiltration Bn as they close on the village of Ifs.
Sizing up the situation, Al-Tharki ordered the 1st Squad to the left to occupy the farm buildings being held by the scouts and snipers.  The Lion scout car gunned its engine to take up position behind the containers in the center of the village.  It ended up with only its missile launcher and sensors poking over the containers.

Tuna Boats debarking their infantry.
The bulk of Al-Tharki's troops moved down his right flank, 2nd and 3rd squads, the light mech and the tank.  The enemy moved two of his Tuna Boat APC's over to that flank, debarking their infantry.  Two laser canons formed a base of fire while two infantry squads moved through a crater towards the buildings.  If he let those grunts get into hard cover there'd be hell to pay digging them out.

Tuna Boat and two infantry squads.
Al-Tharki's HUD blinked with the tell tale indicating that one of his scout teams had put a marker light on the nearest Tuna Boat.  Wasting no time his units lit it up, brewing it up in seconds.  The Lt's inner child was disappointed when the APC didn't explode in a spectacular ball of fire. He supposed the slow burn served just as well.

Burning APC.  The two red markers are infantry casualties.
The UN laser canons, spider droids and rocket teams opened up on his APC, blasting it and knocking the passengers around the troop compartment.  Al-Tharki yelled the order to reverse, but the vic commander had already given the command to his driver who backed them behind the tank.  A rocket fired at the tank was swatted out of the air by its CIWS.

The enemy armored thrust on the left flank.
On the left the two Paladins and the third APC advanced, firing on the infantry in the farm.  Totally outclassed they just hunkered down and hoped they'd get a chance to return the favor.  On the right the UN infantry continued to take casualties as they attempted to get into position to assault the buildings.  Al-Tharki had to hand it to them, they stood their ground no matter how much fire was thrown at them.

Spider droids engaging the Caliphate armor.
Al-Tharki had heard stories about the UN spider droids.  He'd put them down to drunken tall tales.  He'd been wrong.  Their firepower was breath taking.  A sheet of fire scouring armor off of vehicles and forcing infantry to cower for their lives.  Worse, he could see slugs vaporizing in blue flashes as they hit the droid's shields.

The heavy flank, anchored by the Babylon tank.  Al-Tharki's APC is next to the mech after reversing out of range of the droids.
The Lt needed his tank to counter the enemy armor so he ordered the mech forward.  It's pilot advanced and fired its plasma canon at one of the droids.  The tank killing gun pierced the shield and damaged the droid but it kept limping forward, firing.  The mech's gatling gun sent UN infantry diving for cover but only one figure didn't get back up, the rest still advancing in bounds.  These were some tough bastards.

Two burning tuna boats.  One damaged spider droids.  Infantry still advancing.
The second UN APC was brewed up.  With it's fiery death the droids started to advance again.  Al-Tharki was, again, disappointed in his hope for a big explosion.  Still, the death of the second APC seemed to take some of the starch out of that damned UN infantry, who now seemed content to hunker down in their crater and see how the tanks did.  The droids, on the other hand, brewed up 3rd Squad's APC, though happily after they had been deployed.

The right flank, still holding strong.  The Babylon positions itself to engaged the Paladins, barely visible on the far side of the village.
The enemy commander, recognizing that his left flank was stuck, ordered his two tanks to engage the single enemy tank.  Killing that would give him fire dominance and force the Caliphate forces to withdraw.  The tank duel started as both tanks fired.  The Paladin fired high but the plasma bolt from the Babylon, named Warspite, plowed a giant divot out of the center hull of the UN vic.  2nd Squad's APC sliced a missile through the smoking hole causing it to shudder, but it kept firing.  Finally, the Lion fired one of its missiles, brewing up the tank.

One Paladin engages the Warspite.  The second suppresses the infantry in the houses before turning back to the tank.
The rest of the battlefield seemed to take on a hush as the duel continued between Warspite and the remaining Paladin.  The two medium tanks traded shots with the Paladin missing or skidding gauss slugs off of the glacis of Warspite.  Again, the gunner on Warspite put a blast of concentrated lightning into the armor of his enemy.  Rockets and slugs flew in from the infantry as well but the Paladin stood its ground and fired back.

The second Paladin prepares to avenge its litter mate, burning beside it.
The infantry is hiding in these buildings.
As the two tanks continued their duel the infantry fired an RPG from the farmhouse.  It hit the Paladin in its damaged flank and the tank exploded spectacularly.  The 1stSgt was surprised to see a happy grin on the face of his battle hardened commander.

With the loss of the second tank the UN commander realized that he'd not only lost the fight but that he was going to have some serious explaining to do.  
The explosion of the second tank heralded the end of the battle.  The survivors of the UN force were able to retreat under the cover of the smoke and exploding ammunition.  By the time Al-Tharki realized the battle was over the UN were too far away to engage.  He sent the Lion to see them away and took stock.  To his shock he'd only lost one APC and six men.  The UN force had lost two tanks, two APCs, a spider drone and two infantry squads.

This was a Gruntz game vs Nick of Little Nicky's Game Room.  The only house rule we used was the usual doubling of range.  We also allowed the option to fire then move.  That required that you announce that you would be moving so you didn't benefit from the +1 to firing for standing still.  Nick really suffered from some back rolls with his tanks.  They killed some infantry but when it came to the all important tank duel he just couldn't roll a hit, missing two shots by one pip.  The tanks were all mediums with comparable stats.  My one advantage was my advanced fire control system.

Yet again Gruntz gave us a fun and flavorful game.  I love the ability to build any army I want and then to have them play in a believable way.  Nick's vehicles are all GZG, while his infantry are Clear Horizon.  My vehicles are a mix of Khurasan and Rebel with Rebel Sahadeen infantry.


  1. Actually my whole force is gzg. The Clearhorizon troops weren't used in that one.

    Loved the write up. Our forces are starting to develop an identity. The spider druids were pretty awesome, but super expensive point wise.

    1. It was hard to see them through all the blood. Yeah, I like how the forces start to develop as the story moves along. Thanks.


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