Friday, 8 August 2014

Film at Eleven - part 1

This was a Boots on the Gound game run by it's author, John A.  The scenario “Film at Eleven” was copied with minor changes from Marine Corps Gazette’s Mastering Tactics, Maj John F Schmitt USMCR, Marine Corps Association, Quantico, Virginia, 1994.  Parts of the briefing are below:

You are the commanding officer of Company F, 2d Battalion, 3d US Marines, fighting in an arid desert environment that offers exceptional mobility for wheeled and tracked vehicles. 
Oasis is the only source of water in the region. The local population lives in adobe buildings, which will not normally withstand anything larger than small arms. The only masonry buildings are the mosque/community centre and the pump house. In the centre of town is a large plaza. Surrounding the buildings are irrigated fields of “short” crops that meet the needs of the local people. The local population is of the same ethnic group as the enemy, although their actual support for the enemy is sometimes less than enthusiastic.
You do not feel particularly friendly towards the news team, but you have other things to worry about. How will you approach the problem of securing Oasis? You’re glad that for once you’ve a little time to plan your operation, so take 20 minutes. Write the order you will issue to your rifle platoons and weapons company and your instructions for the camera crew. Include a statement of your intent, a focus of efforts, any plans for supporting fires, and an overlay of your plan. Then provide an explanation of the rationale for your plan.
Does the enemy have a critical vulnerability you can exploit?
Implement your plan.
Enemy Forces
100 - 150 local militia equipped with small arms, RPGs, machine guns and possibly light mortars
Friendly Forces
Company HQ (in Humvee) - CO, signals detachment, corpsman (medic), interpreter.
Three rifle platoons, each with HQ, officer, sergeant, radio operator and three squads of three fire teams with 3 x M16A2, 1 x M203 Grenade Launcher, 1 x SAW.
Weapons Platoon
HQ, officer and one enlisted man.
6 x M240 machine gun teams
Mortar Section of 3 x 60mm mortars
Assault Section - six assault teams (SMAW)
Rules of Engagement

In the game, The Free World forces were led by Jerry E, Tim C and myself.  We concocted a plan whereby the main force (2 platoons) would approach along the road from the north while 3 Plt with the Assault Sect would sneak in from the west to secure the pumping house.  The remainder of the Weapons Plt would establish a position astride the road to the south with a view to providing fire support if required and blocking the retreat of any nasties.  If the main force came under effective fire we would carry out a 'demonstration' of our massive firepower to intimidate any local thinking about having a go.
The peaceful(?) Oasis.
The Imam outside his mosque.
Local militia take up position in the west...
...and north of town.
The main force assembles.
The blocking detachment in position in the south.
The Weapons Platoon CO checking his eBay listings.

Next - the attack, er I mean peacekeeping mission gets underway.


Stu Rat said...

Two minor points for verisimilitude.

1) It's Fox Company rather than Company F. The Marines ( and US Army for that matter) use the Nato phonetic alphabet when designating units.

2)'You do not feel particularly friendly towards the news team...' Very unlikely. The Marines never met a camera they didn't like. They consider themselves to be PR savvy. The rest of the US military uses the term "famewhore".

It would probably more realistic to have a chance that the nearest Marine unit loses it's turn as it is too busy mugging for the camera.

Tim Gow said...

Stu Rat
Fair enough - but I'm quoting from the manual!

Stu Rat said...

Tim, sometimes you just gotta know when to throw away the's called 'Leadership'.

Pretty sure I read that somewhere.


Archduke Piccolo said...

I'm still gonna cheer for the home team...

The Dancing Cake Tin said...

Kill 'em all!

Paul Foster said...

Looking with interest...

Tim Gow said...

John A (the designer) writes: “Fox” was F in the old US phonetic alphabet, NATO adopted the ICAO phonetic alphabet in 1956, where F is “Foxtrot”.

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
That confirms all my suspicions about you!

Tim Gow said...

Dancing Cake Tin
That's quite enough wishy-washy liberalism from you!

Tim Gow said...

Paul Foster
Just remember who the command team are - it could go horribly wrong!