In the distance you can hear the sound of your alarm ringing as you slowly come to from your 3 hours sleep because you were too excitedly packing and getting your kit ready the night before. The time is 02:15 (am). After a quick coffee it’s on the road. Swapping out into Martin’s truck and meeting up with a new member to our team but an old friend we were on our way to be at Aratula for 05:00. We formed part of Red 1 section.
After arriving we Chrono’d our blasters after which there was a bit of a wait before all players turned up and we could commence the lengthy brief covering all the important points needed for the day’s antics. Already the temperature was warming up.
We were walked into the field and counted in as we passed through the gate into the game zone. Our first objective was to secure the junkyard; there was reports of armed and angry civilians in the area along with peaceful unarmed civilians. As we patrolled closer, we could see a figure pacing the junkyard. Through the 4x magnification scopes a couple of our recon guys have, we could make out the figure was armed. With that bit of information, we fanned out into a baseline and advanced to the junkyard. Another Red section started to push left of us and came across several blue. This erupted into the first firefight that distracted the flank of RED 1 including myself. After taking out a few we joined formation and continued pushing. We then used fire and manoeuvre drills to close onto this armed civilian that had started to fire at us as soon as we got close enough. He promptly drew back and tried to slip away through a gap between the 2 shipping containers, only to be slain by another Red 1 member that was already flanking him. By the time Martin and I got around to the back he was a goner.
The whole area had booby-traps ranging from tripwire activated claymores to IED’s. Luckily, we disarmed the one in the junkyard but one of our other team members got taken out by one at head height in a tree. This set up a great feeling for the rest of the day. Almost every step had to be checked.
We set up a perimeter with the assistance of Red 3 as we awaited further instruction from our game control. We had been informed that there were a number of boxes for us to locate and retrieve. After being given the grid reference for 2 of them. Red 5 and 6 set out searching the area behind the junkyard. We went deeper into the game zone to search for another one. Only to later be informed that we were given the wrong coordinates. As we were searching the game was stopped for an injury. After this we noticed an enemy section trying to discreetly flank us. We left RED 3 to bring in the enemy as we flanked them. They soon realised they were in a bad spot when they opened fire and quickly backed down. We re-grouped and headed back up to the junkyard to assist other red sections that were under attack. After clearing our way through the attacking enemy, we were able to strengthen the line and push the enemy back. I got a little red mist and continued to push the enemy as they withdrew down the hill. I soon realised I had pushed too far when it was just Martin and myself, and the dozen or so we had pushed back were now revived and coming back with double their numbers. We tried to hold them all, but we got swamped and they took the three of us out. We quickly returned to the junkyard to assist in defending it. We were being hit from every direction. Although putting up a strong all-round defence. Our perimeter collapsed and I eventually got shot in the back as the enemy had broken through. Not long after that the junk yard was overrun and in the hands of Blue For, all that were left of our sections were a few that flanked deep into the bush and were working their way back around, but it was too little too late. The game was called to a halt and for early lunch to ensure that several players that were on the verge of suffering heat stroke could get a decent break in the shade and down some much needed water..
After a lengthy lunch break, we made our way to the entrance of the game zone. After another brief to once again go over the hit rules of the game, we were deployed back into the field from the ammo dump in the middle of the field. The Red team had to talk to and protect an asset in the mine area. While two of our sections went to the mine. We, accompanied by RED 3 went to the high ground where we had intel that there was a POI that if secured would score us game points, only to find it was already occupied by some of the blue force. Instead of backing down we pushed up the hill closing the gap and getting past their advantage of being above us using gravity to their range advantage, we eventually pushed them back and off the summit. We set up an all-round defence on the summit and held back attacks from the way we had just come and in front of us. After enquiring the importance of this location we discovered the summit with the radio antenna was of no value to us but 75m further along the ridge line where the Blue Force had retreated to was the actual point of interest (poi), hence why they didn’t attempt to retake the antenna tower until 15 minutes had passed with the actual POI in their control, they had completed their task without us knowing.
We decided to leave the summit and fight our way back down the hill. We realised we could see the odds looked to be against us as we fought our way down the slope. Our luck changed when the enemy we were facing called out “Contact Rear”. Upon hearing that we realised we had sandwiched the enemy between us and other red forces. This gave us extra confidence and momentum to our assault. We moved forward bounding around one another using fire and manoeuvre tactics. The enemy were running out of cover and room to move as we took them all out. I was advised to change my magazine, but I didn’t feel safe enough to risk being unloaded even for seconds, until I knew there were no enemies hiding in the lantana bushes between ourselves and the other red forces. Seeing them come through meant we were all clear.
We pushed on to create a secure perimeter for negotiations to take place between a person of interest in the mine and our fellow red forces. Thankfully we held the mine area uncontested long enough to class the objective as complete. Our section commander saw some enemy movement above us in highground and took us in their direction along the boundary fence line up the hill towards the junkyard. Other Red forces followed our lead and followed our direction from 50m to our right.. Eventually after an anxious search patrol we encountered the enemy but due to their lulled call to action I wasn’t sure they were the enemy until they shouted. ”It’s the Squirrels”, and followed it up with volleys of automatic fire. It was on. I took out my closest enemy but got lit up by three others. Preacher got away back to the rest of the Squirrels in time to set up a decent assault.
We pushed them back and cleared the junkyard as their remaining stragglers drew us deep into the bush behind the junkyard. A handful and of Squirrels including myself chased them down. After we took them out one by one with some losses to our guys, I cornered the last one at the boundary. Knowing a few of the Squirrels were flanking him I set myself up behind the hardcover and kept him trapped. He was swiftly taken out by Preacher, Spartan and Chef. After making sure he was alright after his gallant sprint we made our way back to the main force of Squirrels.
We had new orders. We had to escort another person of interest and keep him safe for 15 minutes, if any blaster fire happened within 40 meters of him then the timer would reset and start again once the firing stopped. This meant we had to set up a perimeter over 40 meters away and hold the enemy back.
As we lay waiting we saw lines of enemies walking into the area. One of our players (Pingu) assisted by Big Mick did a fabulous job drawing in the enemy forces and killing numerous of them with his mini mi. A couple of sections tried to flank around only to walk straight into our ambush. Ricochet, Preacher and Marty opened on them just meters from their position, taking out at least four of them. One was moving around a fallen tree right into my hands as I pulled out my kukri……… Then a cease fire was called as the objective was accomplished.
This drew the day to a close. A little early as there was an hours light left, but understandably many of the players newer to a MilSim (Milsoft) event were getting weary.
An overall fantastic day wrapped up with the habitual rubber knife fights with Preacher. Already a few days have passed since the events and stories of individuals are still being told from the battles at Aratula.
Both Marty and I are itching for more already. The sooner the better, we hope to see you there with or against us.
Thank you to our hosts Milsim East & the village and Taidi Toy plus of course the landowners for a great Parabellum 3 event.