There’s a great little scenario in LnL’s A Day of Heroes which is based on the June 5. 1993 ambush of Pakistani peacekeepers by the Somalis in Mogadishu. In Mark Bowden’s book, “Black Hawk Down”, he uses the event to highlight the extreme danger faced by foreign military forces in the country at the time. The ambush also foreshadowed the October 3rd events involving the US military and exemplified how unpredictable this environment had become for anyone operating in Mogadishu. At this point in time, Aidid had declared war on the UN forces in Somalia and the ambush of the Pakistanis was one of the first signs that he was dead serious.
The scenario is only three turns long and involves a limited number of forces. The Pakistani goal is simply to move four counters off the board and the Somalis have to stop them. The Pakistanis set up completely surrounded and their every avenue of escape is cut off. They are pretty hooped from the beginning and only luck, speed, and smart movement will help them escape this ambush.
|Pakistani UN forces are surrounded by Aidid’s men and caught in an ambush.|
The Pakistanis get a bit of support in the shape of an MG3 machine gun and their officer, Lt. Abbas is quite capable as a 6-1-6 leader. My instinct is to combine the Pakistani forces into a single stack so I can double time them off the board but I also suspect that doing so would make them more vulnerable. I decide that it’s every man for himself and let the MG3 squad provide cover while the rest of the Pakistani units race off the board in as many directions as possible to keep the Somalis guessing.
Turn 1: The Pakistanis send out one squad directly to the east in a brave attempt to soak up Somali opportunity fire. Lt. Abbas and his men move south towards the map edge while another squad follows behind. The MG3 gunners wait behind to provide cover fire.
|A lone Pakistani squad moves to the east with the Somalis in hot pursuit.|
The Somalis start moving units closer in to get better firing positions. One Somali group, led by Ali, moves directly adjacent to Lt. Abbas and his men while the rest of the Somalis surround the building where the Pakistanis are firing their MG3. The lone squad sent to the east to distract the Somalis takes fire but it is not shaken. It has been a good round for the Pakistanis so far!
Turn 2: The Somalis win initiative and Ali and his men open fire on Lt. Abbas and his men in the adjacent building. The building is pockmarked with hundreds of 7.62 mm rounds but the wild firing hits no one. Abbas and his men charge into the building to the south and out of the ambush area. They have made it.
|Lt. Abbas and his men charge through the fire and make it out.|
The MG3 squad wastes no time in opening up on one of the Somali leaders in the adjacent building. All hell breaks loose and Will Waat is wounded while scores of his men are killed. Hopefully this helps to provide a breather for the other Pakistani squads and they can make a clean getaway.
|The Pakistani MG3 squad is shaken after one of Will Waat’s squads rallies and returns fire.|
The lone squad of Pakistanis who rushed to the east last turn have been shaken. As they start to make their way out of the ambush area, they take fire from every quarter. The shots are wild and inaccurate but they do enough damage to stop the Pakistani squad in its tracks as it gets pinned behind cars and shacks along the street.
|While the Pakistanis to the north are shaken, the remaining Pakistani squad makes a run for it.|
|Ali and his men stop the last remaining good order Pakistani unit from escaping the ambush.|