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  1. Good day everyone. Today I will be playing through the 'Abu Susah' scenario of CMSF2. The mission is simple - my two Stryker rifle platoons must bypass the village of Abu Susah, known to be held by hostile irregulars, and destroy any enemy anti-tank weapons. I have 45 minutes to accomplish my task. I know little about my enemy, only that Abu Susah is home to an infamous radicalised madrassa and that there are 'many bad men' with 'many weapons'. The briefing warns me of RPGs and ATGMs. There could also be recoilless rifles. As I am facing irregulars I will also have to be on the lookout for IEDs covering the roads and other chokepoints. Civilian density is moderate, so I will have to be vigilant. The enemy could be hiding in plain sight. The AO is about 900 x 600m across. Abu Susah sits roughly in the centre, north of my start line and stretches to the west, nestling in some rolling hills and straddling a crossroads. The ground is very dry and the weather is hazy and warm, with a light wind blowing from the northeast. Sightlines are relatively open, the AO being dominated by the few multi-storey buildings dotted about the place. Atop hills to the northwest and northeast of my start line are some small farm buildings. Their elevation will provide me with vital observation posts over the AO and into part of the village. The highest building in the AO is a three-storey just on the eastern edge of the village, which I have dubbed the Savoy. The other high point of the AO is a two-storey atop a hill north of the village, which I have dubbed the Ritz. These buildings would make for excellent observation posts and good (if obvious) positions for heavy weapons. There are two routes that I could take to bypass the village. The first is the safest and most obvious route, a simple run along the eastern edge of the AO. This keeps the village at a relative arm's length. This route has two sticking points, these sheep pens and a ditch along the north-south road. The ditch has only three crossing points: one at my start line, one where it is bisected by the east-west road and one at the northern edge of the AO. The sheep pens constrict my manoeuvre space at the north-eastern edge of the AO, forcing me into a chokepoint and providing a position for the enemy. The ditch then forces me into another chokepoint at the crossing. The second route is less obvious but far riskier: a run along the western edge of the AO, along a dirt road that loops around Abu Susah to the North. This route takes me very close to the village and leads through a small hamlet or farm on the reverse slope of the hill in the northwest corner of the AO. An advance along this route would be exposed to fire from the village and would then have to fight through the hamlet/farm (if they are occupied). The one advantage this route provides is that it is far less obvious than the first. I command the 1st and 2nd Platoons of Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Stryker Brigade Combat Team. My platoons are slightly understrength, lacking their weapons squads and I am short one Stryker, forcing my pair of platoon HQs to travel together. This will complicate command and control slightly. We are supported by two sections of 81mm mortars. My men are veterans and are all well-led and well-rested. I have three grenade machine gun equipped Strykers and four heavy machine gun equipped Strykers. All in all, a nice little combat package, with fire support that should be adequate for the mission. Right, analysis complete, now to put my force into action. My first move will be to fan out and get some observation posts up on the hills to the left and right of my start line.
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