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Filed by Dallion 7th
BLACK FOREST- March 6, 2005
AAR: First Amphibious Assault

Marauders are known for executing outlandish grueling battle maneuvers. In the winter months you may find them crawling along muddy riverbanks and stepping over and under trees, limbs, branches, and rocks. They cross mud silt ponds. They have waded through chest  deep cold river waters; carrying their guns overhead, silent and unseen. All for the enjoyment of an ultimate surprise attack. Today one would don a wetsuit and swim down the Parjaro River.

 It was the first week of March, and it seemed that the last of the heavy winter storms had finally ceased. The sun had begun to burn through the early morning clouds, and low lying mist. On this day all those who had arrived at the Island were mostly  Marauder Regulars.


In The first battle, the squads were evenly divided with 1st and 2nd squad against the 3rd and 4th squad. The latter were assigned as the defenders of the Island's "Fort Charlie”.  1st Sgt. CamoMan along with Sgt. Mongoose’s 4th Squad. (The Ant Squad), plus two new "Knight Crawlers", were first to set across the new bridge heading to Fort Charlie.

  After the doubled squads gathered at each end of the field  to discuss confidentially their battle plans, Metal Dragon dropped his stuffed backpack at the boots of 1st and 2nd squad and Sgt. Maj. Predator.  Predator announced that Dragon would be attempting the Marauders' first full downriver assault.  Mst. Sgt. Sandman validated the scenario with a nod. Their evil smiles flashed as the proceeding orders clarified their roles in the assault.

Punisher, Reaper, Big Dog, and Samurai were to push forward at the 3 o’clock with Sgt. Papa and Tanker,  crawling to the opposing river bank from the 6 o’clock for an aggressive attack.  If the camouflaged  covered Dragon on his floating decoy was detected by the gunners of the tower, it would possibly be enough of a distraction for a flank assault to be successful.
    

January’s heavy rains had washed away the old Marauder bridge. The Marauder Corp of Engineers had been sweating bullets in their sleep wondering if the pelting rainfall of those final winter storms would destroy their winter efforts of the newly built and stronger bridge. For the entire past month, the surrounding rivers had been brim full on both sides of the Island. Even the Slot had become a small creek that separated the long narrow landmass of trees, bamboo, and foliage called the Sand Berm. This cut off access from Island to the Pajaro River shoreline, unless one was to wade the short distance across the Slot. But the night before a natural formed damn had broken downstream allowing the Slot  to recede into a deep, slimy mud pit gully.

The plan was code named ‘Still Gonna’.  Because of that morning's declining river level,  the attack wasn’t going to be as strategic as planned. The banks had become exposed, allowing accessibility. This offered a certain probability of observation from the defenders, as they could suspect a gully/riverbank assault.

This was a Marauder against Marauder game, and everyone was wise to the teams' covert tactics. Going down the rapid rushing river, partially visible through the nearby trees, it was less likely that a camo covered object sweeping pass would be of much concern or threat to the defenders of 3rd and 4th squad; especially once under enemy fire.
 The whistle blew and the Dragon dropped back and crept across the Slot. He then took off his BDUs to expose a wet suit.  He put on his PFD vest and  stuffed his Tippmann A5 in a plastic bag. He sealed it around his wrist, and pulled a small nerf floating device from his kit , Then he whipped open his shield (a small camo umbrella) and slid  into the Pajaro River. The cold rushing water increased in speed as the river narrowed.
    

The intruding Marauders front line fire kept the camo umbrella, with Dragon behind it, from being sighted. He reported that it worked well in gathering thrust. It was like a sail in the current but it complicated his escape through the dense limbs of the river shoreline. He beached just as planned, before the threatening merging creek at river point.

 All the squads were heavily engaged in gunfire from the 24 guns present. There was a loud  boom and then a well known frightening blast from 1st Sgt Reaper’s grenade launcher that sent a rain of paint, partially smothering the tower: But the fighting defenders survived unscathed.

It was then that Predator and  Sandman sprang without hesitation and had quickly maneuvered through the fallen timber and green foliage. All along the edge of The Slot's steep, slick bank, Marauders  were under a storm of fire from a mix of semi and automatic guns. As they fought back to gain further positions. Punisher, Reaper, Big Dog and Samurai kept  the front lines engaged in a fuselage of fire.  Papa and Tanker‘s ambush turned to a hail of fire from the Fort and they  were  both  eventually eliminated.

 Dragon had slipped up into his position with all intentions to seize  Fort Charlie. But he found himself in the middle of some serious enemy  fire. Dragon joined Sandman and Predator as they pushed around to the 9 o’clock side.

The echoes of full autos rang everywhere with enough fire power to paint a barn inside and out. The front attack line began to collapse. Dragon’s mask had been fogged and his gun jammed with damp, gooey, paintballs. One lone Walk-On gallantly swept Sandman and Predator from the left. While still charging at gunpoint, he forced Dragon to surrender as last man out.

The Fort’s defending 3rd and 4th squadron were awarded victory. The ‘Still Gonna’ mission failed;  and because of Dragon's use of the umbrella, is now jokingly referred to as  "The Mary Poppin’s River Assault".

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