From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
[SPOILER ALERT! AND NO CROSSROADS ALLOWED. NO PEEKING! ]
Crisis in Sirte #3: Riptide - 8/6/85 - DAR (no Crossroads)
From our previous PBEM:
Glutton for punishment that I am, I have agreed to PBEM again with fellow Dev Team member Crossroads...
After suffering Major Defeat at my hands in our recently concluded The Crossroads PBEM, glutton for punishment that he is, Crossroads has challenged me to another fight, this one of his own making.
For this next PBEM game, we will be playing one of Crossroads' creations, E03_Sirte1985_H2H.scn, Crisis in Sirte #3: Riptide.
For this scenario, Crossroads will be playing the British, while I will play the attacking Libyans -- the Arab side, as is my wont.
As scenario designer, Crossroads has an obvious advantage. To offset that, he advised me to play the prequel Sirte #1 and Sirte #2 scenarios in his "Crisis in Sirte Tournament Scenarios pack (four scenarios in total), and even also to play the Sirte #3 scenario beforehand. Which I did, getting about half way in, as the Libyans. Normally I like to play my games scenario-blind, with no prior knowledge of scenario details, even without much reading up on the historical context first. Of course, this is a made-up, hypothetical, what-if scenario, so there is no history of it. In Sirte #1 and Sirte #2, Crossroads sets the fictional stage:
Tensions flew high even before Colonel Gaddafi again claimed the Gulf of Sidre as Libyan territorial waters, sinking a British merchant to make the point. After having witnessed a set of retaliatory air strikes against his military bases, he then stormed the British Embassy in Tripoli, taking the surviving personnel hostages. Not to give in to Gaddafi's demands, the United Kingdom soon deployed one of her Quick Reaction Forces into Mediterranean.
With part of Libyan Army now in revolt, it was quickly decided an incursion into Sirte would be called. The plan called first to secure the Port of Sirte as a location to land further reinforcements, with the final aim of securing the Ghardabiya Air Base as a base for further strikes against forces still loyal to Gaddafi.
Soon, the elements of the QRF Air Assault Regt embarked their Chinook transports in Malta, to quickly secure Gaddafi's home city, believed to be guarded with only a weakened element of a Libyan Mech Bde as all eyes were on events taking place in Tripoli.
With gunships on their flanks, the Chiinooks took off towards Sirte, flying low under the Libyan radar and missile cover.
With Port of Sirte secured, the pressure was on to expand and secure the bridgehead before the forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi can react. Without a delay, the elements of the Air Assault Regt were ordered to secure the vital road networks next to city of Sirte. At the same time, the landing crafts disembarked their load into the port facilities, unloading elements of the QRF Mech Bde, with orders to push further on.
First target: the various hamlets under code name "Shire". Then, "Umbria" and "Kent", if possible.
The surprised Libyan Armed Forces were now putting together a first coherent attempt at a counter attack, under strict orders by Gaddafi to throw the enemy to the sea. Yet, the commander of the Libyan Mech Bde was aware he was still reacting to events, and was pondering whether to contain the bridgehead, rather than to go all out on the British mechanized forces now streaming out of the city.
The scenario description for chapter 3, the scenario we will be playing:
[Sirte, Libya] [H2H] [FIC] [CSL]:
Having completed their first phase of the operation, the exhausted British Quick Reaction Force settled in for the night, pulling back to the vicinity of Sirte. "Shire" level targets all secured, it had not been a bad first day at the office.
Using the cover of the night, elements of the Libyan Mech Bde closed in, determined in their knowledge that if they ever want to throw the invasion force back into sea, now is the time.
On 6 August 1985 at 0430 hrs the British alarms went off: Libyans are on the move! Now they must put all they have learned on mobile defense into use, if they are to survive.
[Note: British Gunships deliberately without a HQ. Once they've spent their 4 missile loads, they're done.] [ALL: OPT AF]
According to the Scenario Information, the scenario begins at night, near dawn, and runs for 20 turns:
0 0 0 1-3[n] 4-20[d]
Visibility is restricted at beginning, because night, then extends as the day wears on:
0 0 0 0 1-3 4-6 7-8 9-20
The Weather is Thick Fog, the Ground conditions are Dry.
My (Qaddafi's) Order of Battle:
A fair number of tanks (T-72s), and not a few ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile)units. A SAM unit, and even a couple of helicopters.
The playing field:
As you can see, my ground forces are clustered into four main groupings 5-8 KMs outside of Sirte. Their objectives:
(The Rubble hexes you see show the effects of the earlier (scenarios) fighting.)
These are still alpha, near beta graphics, subject to change. Note how we now depict night: by means of a general green overlay. Gone for good is the old, legacy shadow mesh.
Far to the south, at the Ghardabiya Air Base, the helos, the SAM, and support units:
(Still need to tweak the unit graphics placements for better centering, I see. Alpha-to-beta graphics still, right?)
Despite the air base, I have no air strikes to call. (Perhaps because the Brits have taken out most of my air forces?)
The scenario Victory Conditions:
Oh my, this is a tough mission! In order to have chance at victory, I will need to capture three out of the four objectives, and kill more than my share besides. I will do well to score a Draw here, I think.
To help me out, Crossroads has this to say:
Here's a few thoughts, as I'm obviously quite familiar with this one:
- A story of quantity vs quality...
- Be wary of those Chieftains. In fact, be very, very wary of them...
- Your missile troops are your best friends. Hit hard, when situation calls.
- Your helos enjoy unlimited ATGM supply from their Air Base. Enjoy!
- SAMs with Low targeting now as well. Nasty...
Into the fray! Allahu akbar!