AFTER ACTION REport

OPERATION: LZ X-RAY 2021

DATE: MARCH 27-28, 2021

Scorings Breakdown

Hard Landings (Saturday)

12:30 AM

  • CZ 1 (AIRFIELD): NULL

  • CZ 2 (CHERBORG): AIR CAV

  • CZ 3 (OMAHA): NULL

  • CZ 4 (COLLEVILLE): NVA

1:00 PM

  • CZ 1 (AIRFIELD): AIR CAV

  • CZ 2 (CHERBORG): NVA

  • CZ 3 (OMAHA): NVA

  • CZ 4 (COLLEVILLE): NVA

1:30 PM

  • CZ 2 (CHERBORG): AIR CAV

  • CZ 3 (OMAHA): NVA

  • FRAGO (JANE FONDA): AIR CAV

2:00 PM

  • CZ 2 (CHERBORG): AIR CAV

  • CZ 3 (OMAHA): NVA

LUNCH BREAK (AIR CAV: 5, NVA: 6)

3:30 PM

  • CZ 2 (CHERBORG): AIR CAV

  • CZ 3 (OMAHA): NVA

4:00 PM

  • CZ 2 (CHERBORG): AIR CAV

  • CZ 3 (OMAHA): NVA

  • FRAGO (FIND LT. DAN'S LEGS): NVA

4:30 PM

  • CZ 2 (CHERBORG): AIR CAV

  • CZ 3 (OMAHA): NVA

5:00 PM

  • CZ 2 (CHERBORG): AIR CAV

  • CZ 3 (OMAHA): NVA

  • FRAGO (TIGER HUNT): NVA

5:30 PM

  • CZ 2 (CHERBORG): AIR CAV

  • CZ 3 (OMAHA): NVA

  • FRAGO (TIGER HUNT): AIR CAV (BIG KAREN)

6:00

  • CZ 2 (CHERBORG): AIR CAV

  • CZ 3 (OMAHA): NVA

GAME END (AIR CAV: 12 , NVA: 14)

Final Push (Sunday)

11:00 AM

  • CZ 1 (WEST): AIR CAV

  • CZ 2 (EAST): AIR CAV

11:30 AM

  • CZ 1 (WEST): NVA

  • CZ 2 (EAST): AIR CAV

1:00 PM

  • CZ 1 (WEST): AIR CAV

  • CZ 2 (EAST): AIR CAV

1:30 PM

  • CZ 1 (WEST): AIR CAV

  • CZ 2 (EAST): AIR CAV

  • FRAGO (LOST PLATOON): NVA (LZ HIT BY ARTILLERY, HELO DOWNED ENROUTE TO EXTRACTION W/ 2 SURVIORS)

2:00 PM

  • CZ 1 (WEST): AIR CAV

  • CZ 2 (EAST): AIR CAV

GAME END (AIR CAV: 9 , NVA: 2)

Detailed Report

Introduction

LZ X-RAY was the first official paintball event of Mudcrab Milsim and a continuation of the paintball tradition at D-Day Adventure Park following the last satellite game, Pandemonium, held by BS Paintball in 2019. The idea was to create an immersive wargame based on the Vietnam war that honors our veterans and makes use of unique mechanics like medics, helicopter drops, and radiomen. The event took place over the course of a weekend and featured scenarios on Saturday and Sunday. This page will contain after action information and scorings for the games as well as things we intend on improving/implementing moving forward with our events.

Recollection of Events - Deployment

The first game was codenamed "Hard Landings" and was meant to employ an helicopter drop mechanic where the players would insert from paintball vehicles and trailers simultaneously one load at a time as to maintain a roughly equal player population until all players were on the field. We employed a similar method to great effect at Wargame Oklahoma but were using a deuce and a half and flatbed trailer instead of a flatbed and paintball vehicles.

What Went Right

  • The first wave and initial mobilization began on time.

  • It was a cool effect to see so many paintball vehicles in one spot

  • Vehicle commanders and crew were very understanding and took good care on and off the field

  • Air was open by 9AM and all players were able to get chrono, air, and paint done well before mobilization

  • Objective field staff were well organized and ready to go when gameplay began.

  • The majority of registered players arrived and checked in early.

What Went Wrong

  • There was confusion around radiomen and overall operational details when it came to the average player with many unsure of where their FOB/Respawn was.

  • There was a breakdown of communications between player HQ and subsequent radio-operators.

  • There was a delay in deployment after the initial wave due to a real-world injury where a player bumped his head on some metal which caused great frustration.

  • Air could only provide 3,200 PSI fills and the chrono station lacked a set of keys.

  • Due to last minute changes we were low on high level staff which spread Isaac and Wade very thin when trying to delegate important tasks like additional briefings and registration.

  • Check-in/paint, air, chrono, and deployment were all in different locations and required a ton of walking on part of the players to get what they need

What To Do Next Time

  • Better communication will be provided to players and player-commanders in the form of additional briefings during and leading up to the event.

  • Better radio operations and RTO briefings will be delivered by a permanent radio staff officer.

  • We will likely not rely on paintball vehicles for initial mobilization at future events and choose to do helicopter runs as special missions instead.

  • We will be investing in a 4500 fill system before the 2021 season and tie a set of keys to our chronographs themselves.

  • We will be hiring more operations and field staff to help our coordinators delegate tasks and communicate with the player chain of command more regularly with dedicated faction referees.

  • Check-in/Paint, Air, and Chrono will all be consolidated in one place at either the air-room near the south bathrooms or down town depending on the season. We are also working on making a mobile air station so that fills could be moved to wherever the bulk of logistics are located.

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Recollection of Events - Hard Landings Part 1

After player deployment and the confusion about respawn locations were dealt with, it became clear that the player population could not support the boundaries we had initial set for the scenario. Realizing this we closed two of the four capture zones and condensed the field to save players from walking long distances. Once we did that, the amount of epic firefights and charges increased significantly and made for some really interesting paintball.

The Air Cav were pushed out of Cherbourg early on but retook the bridge with an epic flanking maneuver at the 1:30PM scoring. The Cherbourg bridge referee (Fos) had the following to say:

"NVA held the south side of Cherbourg with 4-6 players, They skirmished with two squads of Air Cavalry trying to dislodge them for about 15 minutes. At one point, the NVA holding Cherbourg were taunting Air Cavalry while absolutely destroying them with fire from the top of the slope until the Air Cavalry sent a lone rifleman through the ravine on the flank, shooting the 6 NVA holding the bridge and retaking it."

The North Vietnamese attempted to retake the bridge throughout the day but each charge was repulsed by Air Cav behind St. Laurant. Likewise, the Air Cav attempted repeated assaults on Omaha beach but NVA forces in the church had an effective lane of fire from the church and the Cavalry found avenues of approach limited.

The tank (Big Karen) was generally effective at harassing infantry in the open, but since the objectives were in the woods the tank did not overshoot ground troops. At one point, Cheerio and Demo had decided to go rogue from their commands to play cat and mouse with the tank to everyone's enjoyment.

During the Jane Fonda FRAGO, a squad of Air Cav rushed the comms tower with smoke grenades and covering fire from the two story. They managed to successfully defend Uncle Ho and retrieve Jane Fonda, dislodging NVA troops in the mounds and scoring their side a point.

What Went Right

  • The game was highly competitive and player numbers were balanced.

  • Collapsing the game made for a more dynamic experience with less walking.

  • Field staff dealt with issues as they arose and both the players and the commanders were highly flexible and understanding.

  • The NVA radio net was an effective means of relaying information to their faction

What Went Wrong

  • There was confusion as to where players were to go when they arrived at their LZ

  • There was a breakdown in communication on the air-cav radio net and we had to embed a staff member with air-cav HQ to relay orders (this was fixed after lunch)

  • The distances to objectives and terrain dealt a great deal of fatigue to the players

What To Do Next Time

  • Additional staff will allow dedicated faction referees to embed with player-headquarters and deliver additional mission briefs as needed throughout the weekend to avoid as much confusion as possible

  • Radio operations will be further improved with a public radio table posted to the website well before the event so that players can plug into the mission radio-net before hand

  • The fields will be condensed depending on the "phase" of the scenario to mitigate fatigue and centralize logistics while still playing large areas of the field.

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Recollection of Events - Lunch

Lunch was provided by the Southwest Missouri Hmong Organization and was very well received by players and staff alike. Mudcrab Paintball would like to extend a massive thank you to JM Vue for coming out and serving our players authentic southeast Asian food, it truly added another level of enjoyment to the event for everyone.

What Went Right

  • Lunch was fantastic and the catering was fast and efficient.

What Went Wrong

  • Some participants did not know of the meal plan until the day of.

What To Do Next Time

  • Advertise event meal-plans earlier and on the website.

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Recollection of Events - Hard Landings Part 2

The resumption of hostilities went very smooth following a fantastic lunch that allowed the players the chance to recharge. With the field reduced, the firefights for this phase were particularly intense. This game was a lot more static than the previous and it really allowed us chances to run some really fun FRAGOs.

When we activated the Lt. Dan FRAGO, it was hilarious to see the NVA player hauling ass across the field to return it to their FOB.

Both sides (and the tank) also had a lot of fun hunting our referees and game coordinators in a tiger suit as part of a FRAGO nod to this scene from Apocalypse Now.

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Recollection of Events - Final Push

The Sunday game was a largely a brutal fight for two capture zones in Caen. The Air Cav had a distinct numerical advantage over the NVA at this point which helped them capture ground and hold it pretty firmly. The staff observed amazing sportsmanship on behalf of both sides and awarded some Air Cav players "team player" trophy's for pulling their squads back to give the NVA a fighting chance at taking the blown out village.

During this game we dropped a multi-part FRAGO known as the lost platoon. During this FRAGO we took 5-6 Air Cav out of the village and deployed them on the far side of Pegasus Bridge. Their objective was to find the tank parked somewhere in the woods, defend it from a rocket player for 15 minutes, board it, and extract safely to behind Air Cav lines.

The lost platoon managed to find the helicopter at about the same time as the NVA and an epic firefight occurred and lasted the full 15 minutes. Multiple waves of NVA attempted to destroy the platoon but the Air Cav players managed to to stay in the fight through careful use of their medic. Cheerio managed to hit the helicopter and disable its guns, making the infantry even more important to its survival. Right at the 15 minute mark, two of the 6 lost platoon members boarded the helicopter and as it was dusting off the remaining members were eliminated by an NVA artillery strike. The helo attempted its exfil to the south but was intercepted by Cheerio and shot down. This FRAGO was one of the most epic and enjoyable for the staff to watch.

There was some confusion about medics following the FRAGO. The NVA did not realize medic rules still applied based on the briefing and did not bring their armbands onto the field. This was rectified by immediately activating impromptu medics with white streamer.

After the final scoring gameplay switched to team deathmatch and capture the flag until all players were out of paint, air, and stamina.

What Went Right

  • There was consistent action and intense firefights the entire duration of the game.

What Went Wrong

  • Balance was an issue and there was confusion about medic rules

  • Game control failed to inform the Air Cavalry command that the lot platoon FRAGO required their AT asset to switch sides.

What To Do Next Time

  • Provide better and more thorough rules briefs prior to the Sunday game.

  • Establish a better chain of communication between staff and player command.

35 mm staff photos

By Fos