Photo Gallery for Squad Based Skirmish Games in 15mm
Before we reach the bridge we have a Hog make a single pass. Honestly I don’t know whether to feel flattered or insulted. On reaching the bridge we find habitations on either side and two locals approach. I try to talk with them as Young (our trap finder) examines the bridge and surrounding area. I’m far from fluent but can usually make myself understood. These guys claim “no understand” but I get the feel they are being evasive. There are oxen tracks, clearly they use it but does Charlie?
Minutes later Young calls across. He has found two drips of engine oil and a partial tyre track. Young sets a massive C4 charge while we watch the surrounding jungle carefully.
Jacklin gets lifted without issue and I take field cmd of the squad. Not really the way I wanted my squad back, but I’ll take what I can get. We press on towards the target.
This is a lot of crap for one little bridge. Regrouping we find where Lines is hunkered down and he gets it together enough to make a support call to request MedEvac for the Sgt. Luckily the connection holds and we get the best possible response, being told it is “inbound”.
I get line of sight and fire a burst dropping the VC rifleman. Another steps up and returns fire, the bullet missing my head by bare inches. We are moving fast but Morley is falling behind. Fruin and I make the point first, finding only two dead VC. Seems their NCO failed to rally his shaken men and didn’t like the odds. They had disappeared into the jungle as only Charlie can.
Leaving Marks with the Sgt, I decide to be bold (maybe rash). Signing to the Cpl to get FT1 to provide suppressing fire I lead Morley and Fruin in a fast flanking move across the North side. I’ve know Chaz (Malcolmson) for a long while and he keeps up the blind fire with a shell from his Blooper man, Janiac. There is return fire from a VC LMG, but they clearly have no sight of FT2 either.
There was a single shot from a BAR and the Sgt fell blooded. Fruin dragged him into cover, still alive but definitely out of the fight for today. There was no sign of Lines, seems our RTO had lost his nerve when Jacklin was dropped in front of him. There was no sign of the shooter. Single sniper or maybe more, but well hidden within the heavy foliage. I double back to find eye contact with Cpl Malcolmson who signs he has no sight of the enemy
Our LZ was some way from the target to allow us the element of surprise. Wind from the East, it was mid morning before we made the CZ under the baking heat from a clear sky. The Sarge ordered FT1 to circle in from the East while he joined us in FT2 taking a line from the West.
With the squad still under command of Sgt Jacklin, our new target was an old stone bridge near an ancient shrine in a contested area. Though to have no locals nearby, we were to investigate and if there is any evidence it’s being used by Charlie, it will be destroyed.
Trent fired warning shots in front of the two ports who made a run to the west. The Sgt had his men and Jacklin’s to target the hooches with the grenade launchers, asking his own squad to aim for yard and front. It went almost as planned; both his GLs hit the main hut, the M79 shells easily punching through the reed and timber. One of Jacklin’s GLs scored a direct hit, the second fell a little short and to the right.
The effect was immediate and spectacular, the western hooch ablaze and the eastern one although only hit with one shell, went off like a fireworks factory. Evidently it was being used to store munitions. Everyone tried not to hear the high-pitched screams from the west (women? children?)
Trent heard the VC shouting orders and there was no return fire. He was fair sure he’d heard the word for ‘retreat’ and it seemed likely that with nothing left to protect they’d not fight on. He knew he would not catch them, Charlie had a talent for disappearing in the jungle.
Trent’s men report movement in the hooch yard, a glimpse of one or more keeping as low as they can. No definite sight of weapons, could be local force VC, or could be civvies as that hut appears maintained and may well be occupied.