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Old 05-29-2009, 02:36 AM
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kcdusk kcdusk is offline
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The Field

The Russian made BTR-152 crept forward out of the woods. Ahead of it lay a 1,000m run across a gently undulating field until it reached the safety of more woods on the far side. No enemy activity had been reported in the area, and light mist kept the passengers huddled down in the rear of the open topped troop carrier. One banged on the rear of the cabin. The passengers would not be getting off to escort the troopy across the field, hurry up and drive already.

The passenger in the cab scanned the scene ahead. Knee high grass the whole way across. No obvious signs of movement across the field by foot or vehicle. It felt safe. More banging on the rear of the cabin. The passengers should be happy they are not made to walk, it was considered good practice for the infantry to fan out ahead of the vehicle to ensure safe passage. The driver released the clutch and crawled along in first gear to enable the tree line ahead to be scanned.

Even using binoculars it was difficult to determine any detail that far away. The opposite treeline was a mixture of trees and shadows, blurred by misty rain. The truck carried on.

In a ditch right on that same treeline, 3 soldiers were dug in. Almost 5 feet deep, the bunker had tree logs around its forward arc covered with soil providing more shelter. And more importantly providing a well concealed hide. A single 81mm mortar stood in the middle of the pit. 2 days earlier a test firing of a single shell out to a range of 500m provided a reference point for anticipated live fire. The spotter on this day nudged the two next to him. Movement was heading their way.

The BTR had picked up speed given the outlook looked clear. The sooner they reached cover again the better. Only 530m to go.

Two sets of binoculars watched the vehicle. Still too far away for the type or nationality to be determined, the third body prepared for firing the mortar. Soon the second soldier slid down, nodded silently and prepared the first shell. They would be firing on a live target. The spotter turned and spoke to the mortar crew. "Now".

The passengers in the open topped BTR didn't hear the "plunk" as the first 81mm shell launched into the sky.


Mortar man with Heavy weapon skill of 14. Formidable task reduces the to hit chance to a 7. Ruled an extra +1 to hit due to knowing the firing zone and the test shot. Die roll of 17 (miss).

Die rolls for direction and distance of miss (1 for direction & 3 for miss).

The BTR is right on the edge of the burst radius & it is ruled there are no chance of hits.

A geyser of dirt 30m in front of the BTR is the first sign that they are under observation, and attack. The BTR breaks off at 90 degrees from the treeline. Troops (7 of) start jumping off the rear of the truck. In a line now they start running towards the trees, hunched over, in the likely direction of fire.

"plunk", another round is on the way.


To hit number is 7. The +1 no longer applies for the pre-planned "bore site". Because he is not observing his own fire there is no +1 this round (have to wait for the additional shot). Die roll is ... 14 (miss). Die roll for direction and distance is made and impact point determined from the first rounds impact.


The BTR increases its speed. It is still travelling parallel to the woods and plans to eventually flank the enemy position.

The soldiers duck their heads as the second round impacts 40m from their position. They trot towards the tree line, saving their energy for a possible final run when they are closer. Range is reduced to 500m.


This round lands just in front of the line of soldiers. 2 are within the primary blast zone and another 3 are within the secondary zone. One soldier goes down, a combination of multiple injuries including a nasty one to a leg, and panic. Another soldier goes to ground, more a result of panic. One of the 3 soldiers in the secondary blast zone takes an injury to an arm but the other two are unaffected.

The BTR starts to turn towards the trees. They are still not able to determine where the fire is coming from. A soldier has remained in the rear of the BTR and is manning the 12.5mm MG. With no targets to fire at he also is scanning for contacts.


Another shower of dirt covers the foot soldiers. None go to ground, but the soldier who panicked earlier has regained his feet. Range reduced to 480m. The BTR is moving moving directly towards the trees but is not moving directly towards the hide.


Another two rounds fall. One soldier is killed outright. Another takes multiple wounds and can no longer move. There are only 4 soldiers left moving towards the treeline which is now 400m away. The BTR has levelled off at 350m from the trees and is now moving parallel to the tree line again. The MG is firing short bursts with no specific target in mind. Its sound is thought to motivate the soldiers to continue moving towards the enemy.

In the hide an 81mm round falls down the tube and the two loaders duck and cover their ears ... but there is no "plunk" (die roll 00!). All 3 exchanged worried glances.

The 3 men have no idea how to clear a fouled mortar and decide to cut their losses. Two men clamber out of the hide into the woods and run. The third is left to drop a hand grenade down the tube and run after the others are clear. The movement of the 3 mortar men exiting the bunker catches the attention of the NATO soldiers in the field. One, the least experienced, raises his rifle and fires off a burst. A more experienced soldier standing next to him places his hand on the rifle, indicating he can stop and conserve ammo now. There is no chance of hitting any of the fleeing men at this range.

15 minutes later and the 4 remaining soldiers take there seats in the rear of the BTR-152. They have been unable to determine if the hide was built by Soviets, marauders or rouge soldiers with a NATO background. But it seems they have fled with no further intent to engage.

What has become a traditional NATO twilight travelling party move off again. In a soviet pact vehicle. No chance of scavenging the 81mm mortar. 3 men down.
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
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