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New Scenario: Belly of the Whale - Afghanistan


cabal23
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The 10th Mountain Division and the 101st Airborne must assault a mountain in the Shahi-Kot region of Afghanistan. US forces must secure a suspected cave complex and clear the mountain of suspected militants. (H2H, Blue/Red vs. RED, Multiple AI's for both Red and Blue)

Both Red and Blue have unique challenges and each must be played to fully enjoy this scenario. I actually enjoy the Red scenario more because it is very challenging. I hope you enjoy it as well. It is loosely based on the operations that took place in Afghanistan during Operation Anaconda. I was hugely inspired by Sean Naylor's book, "Not a Good Day to Die, the untold story of Operation Anaconda."

Looking forward to your feedback. Don't forget to vote and drop me a comment if you liked it.

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First, well done on a very different looking map. Just one minor thing, well more than minor actually. The Taliban dont have the missiles to destroy NATO vehicles at the range they do in this scenario. Well, they might do but as they havent demonstrated this so far to my knowledge I remain to be corrected.

Bloody interesting map though.

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I wanted to stretch reality just a smidge with the ATGM's. They could have been stolen or otherwise. This is sort of a "final showdown" and I wanted to see how many ways I could bolster the Uncons. Also in the briefing it says that many of them are Chechen. I do believe Chechen might have access to ATGM's, although I am not sure. Glad you liked it.

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My two bits (two cents adjusted for inflation):

Having read Sean Naylor's Not A Good Day To Die, as well as having read about Operation Anaconda from other sources, I would say that the battle was characterized by Al Qaida (they put up too fierce of a fight to be Taliban, and they didn't fight delaying actions while otherwise melting into the landscape as the Taliban typically do when faced with superior Coalition firepower) on the high ground on the eastern side of the Shah-i-Kot and US light infantry in the valley to the east, taking fire from AKs, machine guns (7.62mm as well as 12.7mm), RPGs, recoilless guns, and multiple mortars.

Pretty much the only non-aerial fire support the US infantry had was from their organic 60mm mortars. The several Apaches allotted to them helped out a lot. AFO recon teams situated on peaks and ridges in and around the Shah-i-Kot called in numerous decisive airstrikes, though at any given time the Rakkasans and 10th Mountain troops felt in dire need of JDAMs.

The only vehicles involved in the combat part of Operation Anaconda were pickups driven by SOF operators and jinga trucks carrying several dozen Afghan militia.

Not to say I won't thoroughly enjoy playing this scenario, though. :) Thanks for making it!

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To fully understand and appraise the complexity of Operation ANACONDA in the Shahikot valley,around the “ Whale” on to the villages of Serkhanthel, Zerki Kale, Babulkhel and Marzak, the book of Sean Naylor, as written earlier, “ Not a Good Day to Die “ is a must. Although, I read it twice to understand the numerous tactical movements and implication of the troops engaged with the help of the few maps shown in the book.

Another excellent and related book to that battle, “Robert’s Ridge” from Malcom MacPherson, tells about” Mako 30” Seal six men team, tragic insertion on a hot LZ on top of Takur Ghar (The tall mountain), in order to set an OP overseeing the LZ intended for the helico’s assault of the Rakkasan 1-187 infantry . Their key role was to call airstrike on HMG and possible Anti Aircraft weapons location endangering the final approaches and put down of the coming Chinook’s. The same kind of work also given to MAKO 31, Juliet and India Teams.

Still another one, yet not related to that operation, “Lone Survivor” from Marcus Luttrell.

It will get you into a Seal team and give you a lot of insight about the way they work, fight and survive against all odds. When things go wrong and that, all the technical assets that should help them do not work , they only have left their personal weapons to fight back.

These books, I think ,helps a lot to understand the key roles that played the Seal’s, the SOF with their Afghan forces and rallied Taliban’s in that ANACONDA Operation.

I haven’t, played the scenario yet. I have looked at the landscape and just got surprised, by its setting. I know that it is not that easy to recreate it in a short map, since there were few LZ, SOF way of approaches and Seal’s OP. Let you know, after playing it.

Cheers

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It is unreasonable to expect this editor and game engine to create such a huge operating area as described in the original Operation Anaconda. I wanted to do a faithful map of the original area of operation but it was huge and involved multiple mountain ranges. Not to mention the sheer number of troops would be too much to model in this game. I think there were around 2000 coalition troops present.

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I have a couple of questions.

1) BF Bravo is suppose to show at 10+ minutes but I don't see anything appear.

2) I am assuming that the 101st Airborne is BF Alpha?

3) One of 101st C Company's MG Squads shows up at the spot of TF Charlie instead of the rest of 101st's arrival point. A Glitch?

4) Can the Landmarks be labeled to avoid any confusion? That's for us non military people

Thanks!!

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To Cabal23

As I told you earlier, I had been surprise by the rendering of the "Whale". I looked on Google and found 2 coordinates for the Shahikot. The one that is right is the following Lat 33°22' o N Long 69° 10' 60 E . I had seen it before with Lat 32° 22' 0 N. I got in a place far below the real location and surprise it looked more or less like the surrounding circles of your landscape. Since I did not find any name matching with the place, I looked at Gardez and from there I found the Whale and the others locations. I shall try to put the pictures with the tags of the location name if I have some time before I leave home. Believe me it was not that easy to do.

I have not been able to finish your scenario my laptop got its graphiccard out of service. A Pavilion 9649em with an Nvidia 8600GS or M card. I recommend it to you if you want to get into trouble once your warranty is over.

Cheers

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Here are the pictures from Google earth of the Shahicot valley, with the villages near the LZ choosen and the whale just behind them. You can see the Finger and the Mako 30 seal location on Takur Ghar. The BP are located to the right of the 3 villages and on the flank of the mountains. The Al quaida compound is at the end of the Sherkhankhel village less than a mile away on the right (near LZ 1 and BP Cindy (look at the map in the Sean Naylor book)

Cheers

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I have a couple of questions.

1) BF Bravo is suppose to show at 10+ minutes but I don't see anything appear.

2) I am assuming that the 101st Airborne is BF Alpha?

3) One of 101st C Company's MG Squads shows up at the spot of TF Charlie instead of the rest of 101st's arrival point. A Glitch?

4) Can the Landmarks be labeled to avoid any confusion? That's for us non military people

Thanks!!

1) Dunno but they show up at the start of +5 for me. Must be a logistical error on behalf of the military. Looks like some admin guy was getting creative with his math.

2)BF Alpha is East. Those should be those troops jumping out of Chinooks. Sure wish we had an animation for than.

3) I swear I fixed that!

4)Yes....feel free to label them. Honestly the Whale is the center of the map. Somewhere in the center is a cave. Go find it. It's what you get paid to do. You figure out what looks like the most optimal route of success. Don't get killed. Come on, those air force geeks pouring over maps cant give you all the intel!

Hope you enjoyed!

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Here are the pictures from Google earth of the Shahicot valley, with the villages near the LZ choosen and the whale just behind them. You can see the Finger and the Mako 30 seal location on Takur Ghar. The BP are located to the right of the 3 villages and on the flank of the mountains. The Al quaida compound is at the end of the Sherkhankhel village less than a mile away on the right (near LZ 1 and BP Cindy (look at the map in the Sean Naylor book)

Cheers

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Sure wish I had the mapping capabilities of Google Earth. As stated before. This is a scaled down version.

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Here are some others pictures taken on google earth and showing on two of them the real location of the battle and on the others the false location. You will see an airstrip on one end of the false location valley. The altitude doesn't match either with the one of the right location.

What is amazing, if Cabal23 did not use Google Earth, is that he got a mapping of the wrong location rather well rendered in its landscape.

On the real location you can see far right the road pass and its curves near Sate Kandow. That's the road going from Gardez to Khowst. Other forces used places of that road to get in blocking positions near the pass in order to overwatch the possible axis of theTaliban's fleeing from the whale and the surrounding villages. In fact they choose the other way near Ginger Pass.

Bad location, but the scenario is making a point with the overall confuse situation that prevailed in ANACONDA battle.

Makes me feel doing a scenario about it in a mini campaign, if time permits.

Cheers

Pictures 6 & 7 in next post

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