Started a new playthrough of Extraction, this time with the Aegis mod which adds a bit of lore-friendly content. Gave myself a Gorgon, since I was tired of rolling around in pickups and getting lit up any time we encountered a technical with a .50 or a random APC rolling around. Let’s face it, would a pro merc team roll around war-torn Argana without a little bit of armored firepower?
(This AAR is presented/retold for drama as it actually happened, although I took liberties to pause, go to camera mode/freeze time for photos, and used Zeus to recreate an unexpected event that I could never have captured otherwise.)
Today is Sword team’s third day in-country. This morning we were tasked with raiding an enemy weapons cache in a village south of the airport, which we executed with no casualties or collateral damage, although our IFV did manage to run over a few powerline poles, knocking out electricity to the area.
On the way back to camp we are assigned a tertiary task: clearing out a minefield in an abandoned village to the south east so that the locals could return to their homes. Okay, sure: we’ve got enough daylight to do so, and could use the opportunity to repair our goodwill with the locals. We head south down the MSR and reach the village of Bir Tiguisit.
The village is a barren, desolate place just like all the other places in Argana. Except this one is full of mines instead of people.
First things first: assign responsibilities and plan of action.
Red Team will be on overwatch, Green Team will crew the IFV and provide security while Blue Team clears the mines. Parking the IFV at the crossroads where it can cover all directions (albeit at the cost of being exposed itself), Ivanov doles out mine detection equipment (keeping the one with freshest batteries for himself) and orders Red Team to set up on the roof of a building at the edge of the mined zone. Blue Team sweeps for mines up to and checks the building: it’s safe enough.
The IFV pulls over to the building and Moore turns in his 7.62 for the .50 anti-material rifle stowed in the Gorgon since he expects to be on stationary overwatch. Newton’s already carrying his H&K M121, although only two extra belts of ammo go up to the roof with him.
As the Red Team is setting up on the roof, a heated discussion ensues on the proper way to go about clearing the entire village. Ivanov wants start from the middle and work outwards in a radius.
Jackson, the team’s technical specialist, argues that mines will be missed and it would be safer to divide the village into lanes and move in straight lines. After all, we only have three mine sweepers, and two defusal kits. By this time the overwatch team is set, and the IFV trundles back to the crossroads to cover the minesweeping operation.
Ivanov finally agrees to compromise with Jackson: the three minesweepers will work across the village in straight lines, as he suggests. However, Jackson will be on point.
Ivanov points out that there are two types of men in this world: those that have an AK, and those that dig.
The minesweeping commences, and Blue Team finds that with three minesweepers working in a line formation, it’s relatively easy to detect and locate the mines.
Jackson begins to disarm them while the other two sweepers provide security. AT mines present little danger or difficulty compared to AP mines, as they’re not sensitive enough to set off on foot.
As the fifth mine is successfully disarmed, the radio comes to life: HQ providing a warning that Insurgent groups may be active in the area.
The rest of the message goes unheard, because the crackle of incoming rounds sends the team in the action. The contact is to the north, an infantry team on a rise about 500 meters away.
Moore and Newton go to work, engaging targets from the roof. An RPG whistles overhead the Gorgon, then another. The enemy briefly makes up for what shortcomings they have in accuracy with volume of fire.
But Moore has no shortcomings in accuracy with his .50 caliber rifle. Before Green Team can swing the Gorgon’s turret into action, Red has neutralized the last of the threats.
Blue Team is given the all-clear, and resumes minesweeping. Ivanov even begins assisting with the actual disarming process himself in order to speed things up.
But it’s tricky work, and some mines are more dangerous than others. Ivanov decides to let Jackson handle this ‘bouncing betty’ type, since he’s the expert.
Ivanov and Price watch from behind the relative safety of a stone wall as Price crawls up to the bounding AP mine and begins to defuse it.
Jackson hears a ‘clunk’ sound as soon as he touches the mine, and the other two men duck down as the mine launches into the air. The team is shocked as the mine detonates; like yours truly, they’ve never seen an AI engineer accidentally trigger a mine before!
Horrified, Ivanov and Price rush to Jackson to provide aid as the Gorgan speeds towards the scene with medical supplies.
Tragically, there’s nothing they can do: Jackson is already gone.
There’s no conversation as the men carefully load him into the back of the IFV and police his equipment. Price takes his radio pack and toolkit. The Gorgon slowly returns to the crossroads.
Just as it rolls to a stop, there’s another cacophony of incoming fire, accompanied by the concussion of a near-miss RPG. An angry Price mag-dumps his RPK’s drum in suppressive fire as Ivanov takes cover.
Faced with a two-pronged attack from opposite directions, the Gorgon engages an RPG hunter-killer team to the north with autocannon rounds while the two infantrymen target the large element firing down from a hill to the south.
For a time, chaos reigns as a third group of shooters join in from 200 meters to the west in a complex ambush. The two men rush toward cover, through an area they have not yet cleared of mines, but they must reach firing positions before an RPG team gets a rocket into the Gorgon, which is still engaged to the north, and running low on ammo.
The western shooters are quickly wiped out, allowing the team to focus on the larger group to the south. Where is overwatch?!
It’s move and shoot, move and shoot.
Until finally, overwatch gets into the action, ending the fight.
The team gets the all-clear once again. The Gorgon is out of autocannon rounds, and low on MG ammo as well.
Minesweeping can resume for the moment. Sword Team has been in one location far too long, and it’s clear that the enemy knows it well. Ivanov expects enemy reinforcements to arrive en mass any moment; he weighs abandoning the mission and pulling out while they can.
Instead, he decides they have to finish. Ivanov begins to clear mines from the south end, working in an area they haven’t been yet.
He comes across another bounding AP mine, just like the one that got Jackson. He slowly and carefully approaches it in a crawl.
Relief pours across Ivanov as he succeeds in disarming the mine. If he had heard a ‘clunk’, it would already be too late.
For another few minutes, Ivanov and Price work together to clear the rest of the village, often finding mines behind them in areas they had just worked: extremely disconcerting. Are the batteries working in these detectors?!
Finally the last mine is disarmed. As soon as the all-clear is given, an intense firefight breaks out on the north side of the village, near where Red Team is set up on overwatch.
Price and Ivanov rush toward the courtyard.
Only to be met by Moore and Newton, who have abandoned their perch but ended the threat.
There’s one final piece of business before they can leave: an abandoned CSAT APC that apparently hit a mine, blowing off tires and doing severe damage. The team assesses the vehicle. In another life, Ivanov would have attempted to repair and commandeer it.
Today, the team doesn’t have the resources to do so, and isn’t desperately in need of another armored vehicle.
Ivanov decides to blow it in place, to deny it to the enemy.
Sword Team loads back up in the IFV to leave Bir Tiguisit. There’s some sporadic fire on the opposite end of the village, but the team is low on ammo, and it’s time to go home. Enough fighting for today.
They leave Bir Tiguisit the same way they arrived, but with one more seat empty in the Gorgon’s troop compartment.
On the way out, Ivanov suddenly notices civilians in the area for the first time since they arrived. Perhaps local inhabitants returning home, he wonders.