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Al Jaber Airflield


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This is for you Brains.


Al Jaber Airbase


This scenario is found in the Sands of War Expansion Kit. It takes place on maps 6 and 7. The USMC player is assigned the mission of securing the airfield building on map 7 and clearing Iraqi forces from all hexes within 4 hexes of the airfield buildings. The Iraqi player wins if these conditions are not met. If, despite the USMC player achieving his objectives, the Iraqi player can cause a hesitation in either the Marine infantry or tank battalion, the game is considered a draw.


The Iraqi player can set up north of the 0800 hexrow on Map7. That places them no closer than 4 hexes of the airfield buildings, and the Iraqi player is given mines, trenches, wire, and bunkers. I set up a defensive line along the 0700 hexrow and centered on the airfield buildings 1km to the south. The Iraqi Mechanized battalion occupied only a limited frontage of these defensive works due to command range considerations. The counter attack would come from the northeast, in the form of the 1st and 2nd Tank Battalions, followed up with the Third Tank Battalion coming in from the northern map edge as reinforcements on Turn 1.


The Marines start in or south of the east-west wadi on Map 6. The first thing noticed is that 1st Battalion 7th Marines (1/7) is traveling on their black cadillacs, while 3rd Tank Battalion is obviously using tracked movement. I decide to punch the tanks forward with the mission of securing the airfield buildings and order 1/7 to march forward in order to link up and on order clear the building 1km to the north of the airfield.


Visibility for this scenario is only 10 hexes or 2500m. Turn 1 sees no contact.


Turn 2 there is contact .


USMC fires up the first Iraqi tank battalion causing one damaged T-55 platoon, seemingly harmless until at the end of the player turn that T-55 battalion fails its cohesion roll, abandoning the damaged vehicles and retreating max movement, out of LOS.


Iraqi ineffectively fires Milan missiles from the defensive position as 2nd Tank Battalion (T-62’s) assumes as the lead unit in the counter attack.


Turn 3 sees USMC 3rd Tank Battalion and Iraqi 2nd Tank Battalion go toe-to-toe, as the Iraqi 3rd Tank Battalion (T-55) comes up on line with the 2nd. DPICM salvoes crash into 2nd the Iraqi skirmish line.


By Turn 4, I notice that I have a serious Gun-Target Line problem as a good portion of 1/7 has the tank duel between it and its objective. Essentially the USMC player is hosed scenario wise due to the Iraqi battalion defensive position sitting fat, dumb, and happy within the 4 hex radii of the airfield buildings. Iraqi’s expend their final rounds of Milan with nothing to show for it. USMC 3rd Tank Battalion is taking rounds as good as they are giving them, although it is beginning to become a concern.


Turn 5 sees the end of the Iraqi T-62 platoon and M60A1’s and TOWs (finally!) get good hits capped off by a successful DPICM strike. Iraqi 2nd Tank Battalion hesitates, and then fails cohesion, when all is said and done, there is simply one tank platoon left of that battalion.


Turn 6. A 1/7 dragon team finally gets in on the action but the dancing missiles miss their intended target. A reacting T-55 scores yet another hit on a Marine tank platoon. There is somewhat of a breakthrough as the Iraqi 1st and 3rd Tank Battalions are both hit and both fail their subsequent cohesion rolls, retreating backward out of the action.


Turn 7 has the bloodied USMC 3rd Tank Battalion take Al Jaber airfield and the weaker half of 1/7 essentially get within small arms range of the Iraqi defensive position. It was here where I called the gme since there was not enough time and combat power for the USMC to push the Iraqi mechanized battalion from its improved position.


Lessons Learned/Questions.


Reaction Fire – Iraqis could have benefited more if Reaction Fire could be triggered from enemy fire as well as movement. Has this topic come up in these rule’s discussion before?


My Gun-Target Line issue described above. Boo Hiss! Killed the scenario for all intents and purposes. Shame on me.


TOW HMMWV sections/platoons are tough to utilized during an advance. If you leave them in operwatch they end up out of command. I suppose in a truly competitive game, that’s where the staff units could come in and command the overwatching TOW units for a turn or two.


I need to revisit the “Regroup”, and “Take Command” optional rules.


Again - I need to get the infantry vs Infantry battle process down.


I'll keep these counters separate and try this scenario again in the near future.

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