Situation - This encounter is an example of a fairly common road block/traffic control point. The forces described are Russian/Soviet, but the overall force structure could easily be adjusted to represent Polish, NATO, European Union (EU), or even marauder forces. A traffic control point will usually be sited at an intersection, bridge, or other feature along a road of military interest. They will most frequently be found along main supply routes (MSR) and other well travelled roads.
The particular force described consists of an understrength platoon (basically a rifle squad reinforced with a heavy weapons section). They are guarding a bridge over a creek which is substantial enough to prevent crossing by non-amphibious vehicles. Their mission generally consists of stopping merchants and travelers to check their papers (and shake them down for small bribes), but they have sufficient strength to delay or stop most marauder groups.
Mission - The unit is in charge defending the bridge and keeping track of traffic over it. If attacked, they are under orders to delay the enemy while radioing in to higher headquarters for support. Some kind of motorized, mechanized, or cavalry reaction force will be located 30-60 minutes from the bridge.
The unit at the bridge is in radio contact with their higher headquarters. Besides emergency traffic, they make twice-daily reports (once at stand-to at dawn and again in the evening before closing the bridge down).
Morale - These are troops from a veteran Soviet combat division, and are in solid bunkers. They will only withdraw/surrender if they have taken substantial losses (2/3 or more) and their bunkers are being overrun.
The lieutenant in charge of the road block will not allow unauthorized traffic across “his” bridge. However, the unit knows of a ford site three kilometers up stream which tracked and military wheeled vehicles can use (the water is only 30-40 cm deep). Enterprising characters who try to negotiate may be able to bargain with the lieutenant for information concerning the location of the ford site. His preference will be for obtaining gold or other forms of portable wealth as payment, but he will also accept luxury items like liquor, pre-war canned foods, fresh meat, etc.
Unit Basic Equipment Kit - All soldiers are clothed in Soviet issue camouflage battle-dress, steel pot helmets, and LBE. The LBE includes two canteens, a bayonet, and entrenching tool, and magazine pouches for six (6) AK-74 magazines. Each also has two fragmentation grenades. Other special equipment is noted below.
- The Unit
Command Group (1st Edition Stat Blocks) (2nd Edition Stat Blocks) (3rd Edition Stat Blocks) Lieutenant Georgi Ivanov (commander), Veteran, AKR, Makarov (2 magazines). Senior Sergeant Uri Federov (2nd in command), Veteran, AK74 Radio Operator, Experienced, AKR Weapons Team (1st Edition Stat Blocks) (2nd Edition Stat Blocks) (3rd Edition Stat Blocks) DShK Gunner, Veteran, DShK and Makarov (2 magazines) Assistant Gunner, Novice, AK74 2nd Assistant Gunner, Novice, AK74 RPG Gunner, Veteran, RPG-16 (3 rockets), AKR Assistant Gunner, Experienced, AK74, 3 RPG-16 Rockets Infantry Squad #1 (1st Edition Stat Blocks) (2nd Edition Stat Blocks) (3rd Edition Stat Blocks) Squad Leader, Veteran, AKR Automatic Rifleman, Veteran, RPK-74 3 Riflemen, Experienced, AK74 Infantry Squad #2 (1st Edition Stat Blocks) (2nd Edition Stat Blocks) (3rd Edition Stat Blocks) Squad Leader, Veteran, AKR Automatic Rifleman, Veteran, RPK-74 3 Riflemen, Experienced, AK74
- The Environment
The roadblock consists of four bunkers, linked by communication trenches and surrounded by a double layer of barbed wire. Additional wire is strung across the bridge, and any vehicle trying to run over it (tracked or wheeled) will probably become fouled in the wire. The bunkers are solidly constructed of sandbags and tree-trunks (AC 50) with firing slits and overhead cover. Fire directed at soldiers manning the firing slits will miss (hit the armor) unless the target is hit in the head or right arm -- in this case, resolve the attack normally.
The DShK bunker has been sited so that it has good overall fields of fire and can engage targets approaching the bridge along the road from either direction. It has ten cases of 12.7mm ammunition, and half a case of 5.45mmB ammunition inside. The DShK gun is on a Pact Heavy Carriage and can be man-handled to other firing slits by the gun crew in three rounds (15 seconds) (a engage targets coming down along the other direction of the road).
One squad bunker is situated alongside the road, while the other is sited to cover the creek bed. Both bunkers are situated to be able to provide supporting fire to the DShk bunker. Each squad bunker contains a case of 5.45mmB ammunition and a case of fragmentation grenades.
The command bunker is between the DShK bunker and the road-side squad bunker. This is the position from which the command team will fight, as well as the RPG team unless an armor threat has been spotted (they will fire RPG’s from the communication trenches linking the bunkers as necessary). The command bunker is fitted with a 5/25km vehicular radio and several truck batteries – the road block gets fully charged truck batteries as part of the twice-weekly resupply from headquarters. Spotting the small whip antenna projecting from it is a task (ESY:RCN). The command bunker contains 5 spare HEAT rockets for the RPG-16, a case of 5.45mmB ammunition, 100 loose shots of 9mmM ammunition, and half a case of grenades. There are also two (normal) batteries for the radio, as well as the truck batteries and a small hand crank jury-rigged to recharge them if they should run low on power before resupply.
- Other Items of Note at the Road Block
The roadblock is usually resupplied every four days with food, truck batteries, and other items as needed. There will be a supply of domestic food in the bunker complex (stored in the command bunker) – the exact amount depends on how long it has been since the last resupply mission.
Additionally, Lt. Ivanov has a strongbox hidden in the command bunker behind some sandbags (finding it is DIF:RCN) containing $1000 is gold. There are additional trade goods and items worth about $3000 in the command bunker, stored in old ammunition boxes. These goods (exact composition up to the referee -- but the items are things like pre-war liquor, jewelry, and the like) weight around 75 kilograms.
The command bunker also contains Ivanov’s traffic log and CEOI. The former is a diary recording all the traffic that has passed over the bridge for the past several weeks. At their discretion, referees may use this to clue in players as to the scheduling of Soviet patrols, supply convoys, etc., in the area. The CEOI contains a list of frequencies and call signs for portions of the unit’s parent division. It is changed every week, but, again, players may be able to make some use of this as well, at the referee’s discretion.