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Monday, December 26, 2011

L Patrol Part V: The Hunters Hunted


Tenente Sergio Monopoli sat lazily on an overtuned, bone dry Jerry can. In the sand at his feet a crude map of the area had been drawn with his boot-tip. Luigi, the compagnia's intelligence officer, strolled towards the Tenente- eyes squinting as the breeze whipped sand particles about.

"Did you make contact?", Sergio commented idly without looking up.

"Ci, Tenente." It took Sergio a moment to process. The answer had been negative on so many nights like this before. He looked up at the young officer, moved his lips to speak, but knew his query was printed on his face. Best to save the moisture in his breath.

"A Gnochi re-supply mission headed for Fort Zeneti has been lost. 3 Days since last contact."

"And?" The Tenente's eyes fell back to his map. He had no love of the Germans, and no desire to drive across 100 miles of unforgiving Sahara to rescue them.

"Well, sir…" Luigi paused. Sergio looked up, squinting. Was that fear?

"What is it?". Luigi gulped.

"Well sir, it's just that Intelligence reports indicate that radio traffic picked up a nearby communication from British special forces in the area."

Sergio slowly stood up. Fire burned in his eyes.

"Finally." Sergio's eyes fixed East- his gaze unbroken by the harsh winds.

"Tell the men. We leave in 15 minutes."

MacCall surveyed the crumbling fort in the distance from atop an escarpment. Behind him, the hum of his idling Chev truck was barely audible above the whistling, whipping wind.

"Looks like some Jerries made it to the fort. Been a few days. The tracks have disappeared. Should be an easy snatch up." He handed the binoculars to his new driver, Johnston.

"Sir- who's that?" Johnston brought the binoculars down and pointed to a growing dust cloud in the distance.

"Not sure. Let's go find out shall we?"

The mission played is the new "Missing In Action". We also rolled for the Will of the Sahara in the new Raiding Aces campaign rules and came up with "Waste Land"- re-roll to dig in and no double timing.

Sergio Monopoli's Compagnia Sahariana
  • HQ: 2x AS37 w/ extra MGs
  • 1st Patrol: 4 AS37 + 20/65
  • 2nd Patrol: 4 AS37 + 20/65
  • 3rd Patrol: 4 AS42 + 2x 20/65
  • Meharisti Platoon w/ 3 Squads (Fearless Veteran)
MacCall's LRDG Patrol
  • HQ: 2 LRDG Jeeps
  • "Blue" Patrol- 6 Chevs, 2x .50 cals, 3x extra MGs, Breda
  • "Green" Patrol- 6 Chevs, 2x .50 cals, 4x extra MGs
  • "Red" Patrol- 3 Chevs, 2x .50 cals, Breda
  • Commando Troop w/ 1 squad


Reconaissance photo of Fort Zeneti

Tenente Monopoli joins with 3rd patrol in their new AS42 trucks.

The German survivors are scattered around the fort- delirious and in need of medical attention.

Blue Patrol moves forward in line abreast- navigating the wasteland with ease.

Monopoli orders the 2 20/65 guns to set up in a small palm grove. His 2nd in Command hooks around an escarpment.

The 20/65 crew spot a group of German survivors.

Blue Patrol forms a tight formation to navigate the landscape.

3rd Patrol rescue a survivor, and guide them back behind an escarpment. The Germans can barely speak they are so parched.

Tenente Monopoli finds another survivor. He stands from the truck bed waving, but his eyes look past the Germans.

The leader of 3rd Patrol cautiously moves up to the desert ruin.

Green Patrol emerges from the desert, spotting Blue Patrol. "Damn- they beat us here boys" grins Lt Haverford.

Tenente Monopoli urgently points at the ruins, but before he can speak MG fire rips into his truck! His crew is killed, but he is fortunate enough to escape- racing towards the leader of 3rd Patrol and hopping aboard. "They're here! Ready yourselves!"

The Sahariana 2iC spots the LRDG 2iC rescuing a team and opens fire. "Careful not to hit the survivors" he says emotionlessly.

Tenente Monopoli looks down and is horrified to realize blood is gushing from his shoulder. As he passes out from the wound, he angrily realizes the driver of his truck is moving AWAY from the fort. "Sorry Tenente, but we have to get these survivors out of here"

A small British Commando unit that rode in with Blue patrol arrives, gunning for the Italian 2iC.

The British raiders spread out. One truck goes into the ruin to rescue the German commander while the others pepper the escarpment with fire.

Blue patrol opens up on the escarpment occupied by the Italian 2iC.

His truck goes up in a fireball.

The Italian raiders get their first team off the board.

The first Italian reserves arrive- 1st patrol shoots up the British commandos!

With Tenente Monopoli passed out in the back next to the weary German survivors, Adriano Benzetti tells his driver to step on it. "Almost out of here"

The combined Blue and Green patrols moves to provide covering fire. The British currently control 3 of the surviving teams, and only have to pull them off their board edge for the victory!

The German commander is rescued, but is far from safety!

The British 2iC and MacCall each have one survivor in their jeeps, and are nearly to safety.

1st Patrol is eager to prove themselves, and races around the escarpment guns blazing! Several of Blue Patrol's chevs go up in flames!

Both MacCall and the British 2iC escape, having captured 2 German survivor teams.

1st Patrol prepares for the retaliation. Unfortunately, Blue patrol of the LRDG is so shaken by the loss of 2 trucks that they panic and are unable to return fire (reorganizing!)

1st Patrol is shot to pieces- though as their platoon leader's truck goes up in flames, he heroically leaps to another and inspires the men to feats of heroism!

The British cease fire, expecting the truck to surrender.

Red patrol arrives to witness a standoff. The Italian crewmen let out a cry and open fire.

But are ruthlessly gunned down. "Now what'd they do that for?" trooper Willis asks mournfully.

But 2nd Patrol arrives behind the bulk of the British forces, catching the truck carrying the German commander in their crosshairs!

The LRDG sends Green patrol back to assist just as the trailing truck is knocked out! The German survivors leap from the truck dazed and bloodied.

Italian infantry arrives from reserve directly behind Red Patrol!

Despite having only rifles, they knock out 1 truck from Red Patrol and one of the commando teams! The remaining Commando team breaks in a panic and scatters into the desert.

The Italian infantry follow up with an assault, and capture or kill the men of Red Patrol.

Green Patrol intercepts the Italian 2nd patrol, and shoots them up proper.

The bulk of the LRDG forces swarm on 2nd patrol as the German commander deliriously wanders into the oasis.

The Meharisti troops climb up the escarpment, rifles blazing. One LRDG truck goes down! This puts Blue patrol below half, and the survivors are overwhelmed- scattering into the desert!

The lone 20/65 opens fire on Green patrol.

Put is quickly put down. All that remains are the Meharisti and 3 chevs from Green Patrol. The German commander, lost and delirious, makes his way back to the shelter of the ruins.

Green Patrol decides to confront the infantry head on. "Tally Ho!"

The Italians move forward, rifles blazing. One truck goes up in flames!

The survivors, having seen the rest of their troop decimated and scattered follow suit. "Meet back at the rondezvous!" cries one of the men as the two trucks race in opposite directions.

The Italian infantry move forward and secure the fort while rescuing the commander. It's not long before transports arrive to get them to safety. With 3 of the 5 survivors rescued by the Italians, they earn a minor victory.
Tears fill his eyes as MacCall reads the casualty report. This may have been the most disastrous mission yet- but something was different. The Italians seem to have expected them. 11 chev trucks down, 4 MIA. 35 men dead or missing. MacCall stared forward, unflinching. So many good men. Bowers, Fowler, Clarke. O'hara was still missing- though rumors say a man fitting his description had visited several friendly arab camps. As MacCall began to lose himself in thought a voice interrupted him.

"Um sir?" Johnston said timidly. MacCall flinched slightly in response. "Just got off the wireless sir. Command wants to meet with you in Cairo."

Sergio woke groggily. Luigi sat beside him grinning. "Good to see you're awake, Tenente".
Sergio looked around. He was in a field Hospital. He winced as he tried to sit up, feeling a shooting pain through his shoulder. It was then he realized his depth perception was off. He gingerly reached up to feel the gauze bandage covering one side of his face.

"What happened?" he croaked.

"We rescued several of the men and inflicted severe casualties on the British." grinned Luigi as he looked around slyly before producing a small metal flask.

"How did our men fare?" Sergio whispered as he accepted the flask from Luigi.

"1st and 2nd Patrols were shot up pretty badly. Many survivors made it back to the fort and were later rescued by 1st Patrol. There's something else, sir..."

Sergio gulped from the flask before turning his eye to Luigi inquisitively.

"One of the British troopers we captured mentioned the name of his.. uh.. 'skipper'."

Sergio's eye squinted.

"MacCall, sir."

"MacCall" Sergio repeated carefully. He reached up to touch the bandage on his face again.
"Gave me this." He said slowly, his words bathed in malice.

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