Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dogs of War after action report summary

Ok, its late so this will be short and sweet.

This was another great Mind Games Productions event and as usual, there was a lot of work and thought put into the entire op located immediately to the northwest of Cecil Naval Air Station.

The "Dogs of War" scenario game is still technically ongoing as I write this as it is an all night op that should last until tomorrow morning. I am not set up for night shots, so my encounter involved the Saturday afternoon of the 4th.

The weather decided to be perfect and the blue sky presented an ideal canvas for all the jet jocks to paint the sky with their contrails. On the way to the field I got to see a couple of AWACS taking off and landing, but the pair of FA-18s that were flying low really stole the show.

As if traipsing all over an abandoned military installation wasn't enough, the MGP crew, some how, was able to pull in at least two (maybe three) "deuces" which everyone knows the sight of from EVERY WAR MOVIE EVER MADE.These are the large troop/cargo carriers that form(ed) the backbone of many a military convoy. Riding in these beasts (big trucks) wasn't exactly pleasant, but they had a couple of things going for them. 1. It was cool to ride in one especially because I had never done it begore and their presence on the field really added to the realism. 2. given that the field was several hundred acres, the transports made the trek to and from locations quick and relatively painless.

There were also some additional trucks that were brought into service and they served as supplimental transports. On top of that there were some guys scooting around on some ATVs and there was even an "APC" (Armored Personnel Carrier) with a mounted SAW (Big machine gun).

Due to the sheer size of the field, the engagements were not as frequent as in some situations, but it forced the players to focus their resources and efforts more specifically. Plus, the realism of supply shortages became obvious to all quickly and seemed to add another layer of realism to the experience. Knowing that you really have to count your shots to conserve batteries and ammo as well as having to ration your water made it feel real.

The facility appeared to have many roles during its heyday, not the least of which was housing munitions in rows of bunkers. These bunkers, long vacant, where none the less, cool as all get out to oberve and play in/over.

From a topside view, you could have mistaken some of them for small, uniformly shaped hills as grass and briars had begun reclaiming the site. However, opening the large metal doors exposed a cavernous interior that once was home to hundreds and perhaps thousands of munitions of all sorts, including a few that apparently housed nucular material of some sort. (See my "green glow" as evidence).

All this and the firefights were unique and at the same time real in their feel. Due to the uniform set up of the base certain elements found themselves coming under attack from multiple directions because many positions had multiple roads coming from multiple directions. Such attacks frequently involved mechanized elements (Deuces, APCs, Armed Trucks etc...) and thus made for genuinely interesting game play. Several different battles and skirmishes took place with the tide of "battle" taking many unexpected turns. As if written by a hollywood script writer, re-enforcements would appear as if out of no-where just as their comrades were about to be over run.

Likewise, there were times when victory seemed all but inevitable as the sight of an approaching "Friendly" force rallied the players. Those hopes were many times dashed as the embattled defenders realized that what looked like friendlies from afar turned out to be hostiles up close.

There were varied objectives some of which involved breaking through fence lines, holding certain positions and even prisoner exchanges. It was the prisoner exchanges that always seemed to cause the most drama as at least one "prisoner" opened fire on his saviors. As it turned out the opposing side had simply dressed one of their guys up in some of the prisoner's garb.

Some of the larger battels invovled an apparently large battle for the centrally located "Airfield" in which a force close to 75 total players slugged it out.

A less epic, but no less interesting conflict occurred on the north side of the field as the General and his hired guns took on vaious forces who were attacking to take the Generals headquarters.

The attackers were stubborn and drove at the defenders with determination only to be beaten back by what seemed to be the will power alone of the General and his forces. At one point the order "smoke em if you got em" went around as what appeared to be overwhelming force was bearing down upon the tired and hungry General and his Mercs.

Infantry and mechanized elements were bearing down on the General from at least three sides and the situation was looking grim. To the West, a small but tenacious band of hostiles began picking off many of the General's crack body guards and some impressive showings were put out by both sides. At one point the two forces battled in close quarers with a couple of the General's Mercanaries taking cover in a bunker while the attackers attempted to smoke him out by dropping a smoke grenade throught he ventalation shaft. While they were dropping smoke, one of theirs took out one of the General's guys in the bunker with a quick shot from an MP5. Apparently relaizing his hopeless situation, the last remaining man within the bunker pulled the pin on his grenade, ran out and tossed it straight up and over the bunker scoring several instantaneous kills.

This exchange was not uncommon as all players demonstrated determination and valor in the face of stiff opposition. As water supplies began to dwindle on the field, tempers flared slightly, but all in all, sportsmanship ruled the day.

Props must be given a pair of hapless U.N. photographers who were taken hostage by the General's mercs. Their day didn't get much better as they were forced to load magazines and unfortunately for them, were ultimately executed after their own team expressed an ambivilance as to their status. They were troopers and remained good sports through it all.

As night began to fall, a massive explosion cut through the air and the Admin radios began to sqawk with alarm. There was talk of an overlooked shell having been inadvertantly detonated, or a live fire bombing excercise having been commenced on our positions.

Thankfully, neither mushroom clouds nor bombers were in sight and in fact it was "Mac V's" carbide cannon letting off a tremendous report.

As the last rays of sunlight were fading, the General and his troops could take comfort in knowing that they had held their ground against superior numerical forces and the invaders took comfort knowing that they had fought honorably against a well entrenched opposing force.

There were a few vendors on site including Airsoft Unlimited and TC Airsoft both of which had plenty of supplies on hand to keep everyone in the action.

It is undoubtable that any future games of this caliber will be quite an event and I for one am eagerly looking forward to them.

Special thanks for Mind Game Productions and all the players who put up with me (and didn't shoot me!) maybe it wasn't that short a summary...look for the pics and video coming soon!

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