Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ambush! solo wargame AAR

Mission II: Advance on Chasoul

Bobby Wesley sat alone pondering his new squad. He had been assigned to the squad earlier in the week and had made a determined effort to get to know each of the guys. Bobby had grown up a “carny” and thought himself to be a good judge of character with plenty of exposure to a variety of people. Sturgill, Johnson, and Sparling, were all typical mid-west farm boys, Bobby doubted they’d ever left their hometowns before this. Everyone thought Sparling to be an expert shot but Wesley wondered if this wasn’t a front that farm boy Josh Sparling was forced into after the kid had dropped a few hints about it to Wesley. They all seemed like kids to Wesley, he was older than most, 32, and not a draftee. Healey was your classic Texan, rough and tough and down-to-earth. Healy carried the BAR and it fitted his persona. The Pennsylvanian Dutch kid, Vasel, was a challenge for Bobby. He seemed too happy on a constant basis and always carried a pair of dice. Bobby inquired about the dice but Tommy wouldn’t open up to Wesley and so he left it at that. Bobby also found it strangely odd how much this string bean could shovel in, he could only imagine how he would look after the war. The assistant squad leader was a holy roller and from what he had gathered had been changed after the last mission. Bobby could picture Corporal Kelley behind the pulpit of his grandparents’ church he had visited once as a kid. Squad Leader Sgt. Steadman was a hard nosed, war shaped veteran and Bobby knew that if things got bad a place by Steadman’s side was the safest place to be. Bobby hadn’t met many men like the Sgt.; it seemed that any bit of compassion or mercy had been lost somewhere long before Bobby had crossed his path. It was hard to even imagine what Steadman might had been like before this war, until he found out from the grape-vine that the Sergeant was a cop in Detroit. It all made perfect sense.
Steadman rung his hands together as he walked back towards the squad; when the Lieutenant told him the expression, “no opposition is expected”, the hairs on his neck stood up. How many times had he heard that? “Yah, sure, if we were fighting the French!” he muttered. OK, secure village, hold it ‘till morning; we can do this. Steadman, while never showing it to his men, was still a bit upset over the loss of Watkins. Rich Watkins was a good kid and for some reason, his face wouldn’t leave the Sergeant’s mind even though countless others had. From the intel he had he decided on splitting the squad into two teams and enveloping the village from the North and South. There were only six or seven houses and a rail depot to clear. He’d take the new guy, Sparling, and Sturgill and give the rest to the Crp. Healey would be with Kelley in the South with the BAR.
Sam Healey was sick of sneaking through the woods. He was hot, tired, and hungry. As he crouched behind a tree, watching private Johnson low-crawl up on point, he thought of his comic book collection, wondering how to explain it if the guys ever found out about it. As Sam was somewhere through an issue in his mind’s eye the first sniper round hit Johnson in the leg. Without thinking, Sam let loose with the BAR trying to suppress the sniper. Johnson was alive and crawling back towards the group when the second round ripped into his shoulder. Sam was pissed! Like one of his comic heroes, Sam jumped to his feet and ran towards Johnson. The BAR was barking as Sam clutched Johnson with one huge hand and began dragging him to cover. The third round ended Private Johnson’s life though Healey knew it had been meant for him. All at once, Sam dropped Johnson, loaded a clip, and started “walking” towards the sniper. The Texan had identified the sniper’s location moments before and nothing was going to stop him from his vengeance.
Vasel and Kelley both had to pull Sam away from the bloody pile of eww that had once been a young Berliner. Vasel was shocked, never in his Amish upbringing did he imagine that in the space of one minute would he lose one of his closest friends and see the other filled with such uncontrollable rage and hate. Vasel watched as Kelley leaned over Johnson’s body and contemplated what to say to Sam. For the first time in his life, Tom was dumbstruck. All he could think to do was to look to Kelley and say “I got point”. Tom surprised himself with his act of courage, he was scared, real scared. As Tom shakily stood to his feet he felt Sam’s big burly arm cross his chest. Sam had already reloaded and without words made it known he was on point. Tom knew that the rest of the squad was only a hundred yards away but he felt very alone. Then Tom saw the most horrific sight he’d ever witnessed just a few paces ahead; Sam was no more.
Steadman knew he shouldn’t have broke the squad up. They’d seen nothing and yet only yards away the rest of his squad had faced at least one sniper and with the distinct sound of a land mine going off, the sergeant wasn’t sure if there was anything left of Kelley and his men. The Sergeant changed his plan right there. His half-squad made a B-line towards his other men, or what was left of them. It seemed to take forever, but after a few minutes Wesley signaled back down the line that they had located the others. Johnson was KIA, Healey’s folks could look forward to a closed-casket funeral, and Vasel was unconscious. Kelley was frantically working on Vasel, plugging what seemed to be a million holes, but Steadman knew it looked much worse than it was. Vasel would make it. After fighting another sniper who escaped, but not before wounding Sparling and Sturgill, the village was secure and so much for “no opposition is expected”.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joe,
    I've owned Ambush for years but have never gotten around playing it. It sounds very narrative. Are you really a cop in Detroit? I live just north of Toledo. If you live around Detroit, let me know. I haven't played ASL for for nearing 10 years, but would love to get back into it.