0800 to 0809
The BTR series of armoured personnel carriers are designed to be “battle taxis”, bringing soldiers to the battlefield or transporting them long distance. While they provide good protection against helicopter fire, they are not tanks. As was about to be demonstrated.
At 0800, my choppers unleashed a large salvo of Hellfires and nearly all of them struck home. A Red aircraft did kill one of the helicopters, but the losses were pretty much all Coyote’s. I scored just under 496 attrition points just in that turn and nearly another 650 the following one as three ICM (that’s armour-penetrating) artillery strikes went dead on target, followed by more Hellfires, although I did lose an AH-1 to an SA-16 MANPADS when I got too close.
I was deliberately targeting those BTRs – I knew that if they were destroyed, there were infantry units that were either dead or unable to cross the map as they bailed out (in fact they were coming out to further fire, which cut some of them down – in a way, I feel sorry for the poor guys). In fact, four red units (two BTRs and their AT4 teams inside) actually fled the map at 0803 – I don’t know why Coyote did that.
If the whole battle carried on like this, I would have won easily. I was nailing Red with artillery fire and he wasn’t getting any on me. I even pulled off a successful airstrike. Watching the replay, the devastation I was causing is all too clear. Red’s force was reduced by over half in nine minutes, from a brigade of APCs and Motor Rifle Troops to a few of APCs with some scattered (and probably bewildered) foot-sloggers. I eliminated no less than 46 of the BTR-60s. The situation can be seen below.
But all this came at a price. I lost all but two of my helicopters in the process – losing transport and observation capability I wasn’t going to get back. I’d actually conducted much of the artillery bombardment semi-blind; I was going to have to go the rest of the battle like this.