|Creation date||August 13, 2015|
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The weapon of choice for the typical Russian soldier is any of the variants of AKs. The NATO forces weapon of choice is the reliable M4 platform. Mother nature’s weapon of choice was heat, humidity, and a powerful thunderstorm..what..a..bitch.
blankfireblurOur story begins in Rostov, where a Russian force that numbered roughly around 100 were tasked with defending a factory in which nuclear materials were being stored (come to find out later that it was actually a munitions factory). NATO forces loaded airplanes on a tarmac in temperatures of 90 degrees even after the sun had set. The first plane left at 10pm and the first squads were on the ground by 1015. The final plane would drop it’s squads around 2am. It wasn’t 15 minutes before Russian patrols began harassing the airborne troops, keeping them up sporadically through out the night.
At day break, Russian patrols turned into platoons moving out of the factory and into the woods that met the main entrance to the facility. The main platoon moving through the woods began encountering sporadic mortar fire while at the same time spotting a scout party from the NATO forces. Like a grey hound to a rabbit, the Russians charged after the scouting party only to be met by a platoon of NATO forces that were hidden in the tree line.
The Russians quickly massed and formed defensive positions, quickly engaging the new threat. A Russians right flank moved deeper into the woods where the initial mortar attack had been conducted. NATO had other things in mind however, quickly deploying a second platoon to the Russians left flank, eliminating the main body of attacking Russians.
himomNATO Quickly mopped up any opposing forces in and around the open field before pulling back into their CP, their safe zone being held at a bridge crossing a creek deep in the forest. The Russians pulled back and held at the tree lines near the entrance to the factory and held the line.
Mother nature quickly attacked both forces with equal prejudice, scorching the field with heat and humidity that made it easy to imagine what the surface of the sun must feel like. Each army retreated to whatever shade they could in hopes of conserving as much energy as they could. The inevitable battle for the factory was coming.
After a brief rain shower, the NATO forces packed up their CP and marched two full platoons up through the field that early, saw an ambush set by those very forces passing through. Meanwhile, two platoons including “Opie’s Chosen” swung right to the far side of the factory, entering through the rail yards that supplied transport to the factory’s production line.
The Russians lay in wait, not to be fooled into another open field engagement with the much larger force that now march towards them. Even before the first squad completely emerged from the forest that surround their initial landing zone, the Russians fired their first barrage, sending both platoons of NATO forces flooding onto the field. It was a target rich environment for the Russians. but the numbers just were not with the Russians.
The NATO forces made quick work of the Russians that now stood between them and their rendezvous with 1st and 4th platoon. Those that didn’t fall in the NATO counter attack retreated into the factory to bolster the defense. Soon, the NATO forces found themselves on the perimeter of the Factory.
Mortar Teams set up under the cover of darkness.
Mortar Teams set up under the cover of darkness.
The factory, a complex maze of metal tubes, stairs that lead to ladders, cat walks that connect silos to heavy machinery, and pips that use to move massive amounts of resin at high speeds, was serviced by a network of railroads and buildings that use to load resin into rail cards for transport. It is now the home of nuclear material. Or maybe that’s just what NATO thinks.
The NATO forces flanked to the right and made it half way through the outer facilities when they met the bulk of Russian forces. The main push began to stall and pockets of fighting began to bubble throughout the center of the facility, until the third army came…
MCMarchMother Nature attacked once more, this time driving both forces into deep cover because of the piercing rain, punishing winds, and fierce lightening. Like a scene from Independence Day, a line of clouds moved in like an attack ship on Area 51. For several hours, all fighting ceased due to the simple fact that mother nature was providing more damage than anything either force could inflict on the other.
The rain affected the NATO force more than the Russians, driving the morale down and causing troops to desert in small waves back to the CP. Skirmishes continued throughout the night, and the NATO forces got as close to the main building as the central hallway, but were never able to hold it for any length of time.
Fighting slowed in the early morning hours but picked up briefly once the sun rose. Skirmishes broke out again all over the factory, with one final push by NATO up the center, but it came to late. NATO Succumb to attrition and a far more robust Russian force despite the numbers. The last NATO boot left Rostov at around 0945 hours Sunday morning.
What you just read was an extension of my role as Journalist during Raid no Rostov. What follows is my observations of the MilSim West’s first event on the East Coast.
My biggest complaint of the whole event was the heat. Man was it hot. I really wish Milsim West would have hosted this event in winter, what were they thinking?
Well reality is, when an organizer finds and books an AO, the timing of the event is everything, but at the same time not usually under the completely control of the Organizer.
The facility is an abandoned resin facility that will be purchased in the next few months and reopened. Timing IS everything, just maybe not ideal for airsofters.
With the heat comes heat causalities. This is almost inevitable, with temperatures getting to 101 and a heat index of 120 due to humidity, even us southerners were miserable in the heat. MSW has a Army Medic and several EMTs on site to treat casualities, EVACing them to the administration building where they could site in A/C with industrial fans. Water was never an issue, as the medic system required you to drink a bottle of water before returning to the action after being hit the second time. This forced people to hydrate, but in some cases that wasn’t enough. Gallon water jugs were also provided for players to keep hydrate during lulls in action so that being medic’d was not the only source of water. That falls on the players however.
The teams were not evenly matched, with NATO having the most numbers. NATO forces also seemed to be a lot more organized, at least in a command structure sense. I could tell who was the SL or PL while walking around the NATO forces, but it seemed like pure chaos around the Russians. This was not apparent in the fighting skills of the Russians though, that was for sure. The low numbers of Russians made it an even match for the NATO forces.
The endurance format is maybe the pinnacle of what “Milsim” had always been describe as to me. It’s a format that is certainly not for everyone, and is equally hard to pull off by organizers. Milsim West has the benefit of always running 40 hour formats, so they have had time to experiment with lulls in action, low morale, and many other issues that arise from airsofters playing for an extended period of time.
I think the biggest surprise that I found was the “lack” of a production that I thought would be MilSim West. The leadership of both sides are called Cadre, which are hand picked teams by the MSW guys who have experience in the military. These guys literally run the show on the ground with direction from Brian & Josh. While I expected a team of people in MSW shirts checking you in and processing your paperwork…it was the Cadre doing it. This, as Josh put it in a briefing, allows the Cadre to establish their leadership roles over troops checking in much like drill sergeants do on the first day of boot camp.
While I’m sure there will be some other improvements expressed by some of the players on details that I can not comment on because I did not actually get to play, I think the over all event is something I am dying to trying next time MSW returns to our coast. I think the East Coast, needs to step up and come more prepared to these events. While I think the videos that showed how to prepare for such an event are imformative, I think a video that would be just as important is a video on what NOT to bring to such an event, such as an 80 lbs rucksack…true story.
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