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 Post subject: (AAR) Op: Red Storm East II (4/26-28/13) Scranton, PA
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:02 am
Posts: 4588
Location: NY
This was my second Lion Claws event. This one felt more like an actual operation. But not by much more than Op: Lightning Strike I (you can read about that in the older section). Besides the venue, the key difference was in the way our ‘celebrity commanders’ led us. I don’t think I even saw Msgt. Mullen except during formation. I did see Sgt. Dobroff a number of times in the field, but he wasn’t leading from the front or lone wolfing it like he was at Lightning Strike I. Orders would come in over the radio and in person from him, dispatching squads around the AO.

The multicam team was US. The green team was Russia. We were allowed to wear either US Woodland, or any Russian uniform. Before the event started we lost points because some people showed up in Marpat. The only one in purely Russian kit was me. There was one other, that some of you might be aware of, but he had all kinds of foreign silliness attached, and was looking very sloppy, as usual for him. There was a guy in Flora uniform but some tan MOLLE razgruzka. Someone in Kamysh but in I think some black razgruzka. Sgt. Dobroff was in Byrzka Bekas and some tan MOLLE razgruzka. There was also some fat guy in a black t-shirt with those two-tone Gorka pants. There were a number of guys who wore Russian flag patches, and the Horsemen from Massachusetts (I think) were all wearing Soviet flag patches.

Because I got registered on the wrong side, I had contacted Lion Claws on FB, and emailed John Lu. I didn’t get a reply about that. I didn’t want to bring it up, but Sgt. Dobroff insisted I tell him in person. I probably didn’t need to bother telling him either. He was more concerned than John Lu was. I totally saw it coming. I finally got to speak with him, and he said that it was totally fine, as long as I had the right uniform. Totally didn’t seem to give a ****, whereas Sgt. Dobroff was really concerned. Friday I spent the day getting friendly with random guys who were on Russian side. Looking for Schultz’ buddy Mike. Since Mike’s LI crew were supposed to be on 1-2, I figured I’d join that squad. Which worked out for me, because that squad was REAPCON (formerly known as Reapers?) from NJ. I actually knew at least one of those guys, but I don’t think he realized that. We jelled easily. Mike and his crew actually ended up joining 2-1. It was definitely their mistake because Mike told me 1-2 before, and the guys on REAPCON were also asking ‘where the hell the LI’ers are?’

Walking around the venue was erie. This was the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, so I had been looking at photos from Pripyat before the game. So when I got to the field, it felt frighteningly familiar. Additionally, after reading last year’s AARs, I was worried about breathing the air there. A couple of weeks later, and I’m not dead or mutated: SUCCESS! Peeling wallpaper, broken windows, gutted bathrooms and kitchen, gymnasium, bowling lanes, executive rooms, shower rooms, machines stopped in mid-production. The stage looked like it was set up for a talent contest or something. Also, lots of empty bottles of vodka. At times, I was more interested in capturing photos than playing.

I liked the venue. A lot! I am not a fan of CQB, but I have to give up to this place. It was way more interesting than the MOUT in Ft. Drum. Everything seemed much more dangerous. From the BB perspective, and reality. A complete 360 x 360 danger zone. I was glad I wore the helmet and body armor, to protect me from all the very real dangers there. There were places to get shot at from all possible sides and directions. I shot a guy on the floor above through an opening in the ceiling. Through small holes in windows and walls. Got SO MANY kills on guys who were stacking up to get in a doorway in the alleyway between the two main building structures. I even felt guilty and brought it up to Sgt. Dobroff, who essentially told me to get over it and keep it up. But a while later game staff showed up and told us we can’t engage them until they get passed that doorway. It’s not like that was their only way of getting into the game. Or that there was no way to stop us from slaughtering them. Lazy move guys.

I can’t really give a play-by-play report on the event. It boiled down roughly to getting through that wide open room held by guys dug in, or, clear the stairway, protect this room/area. That is what the Saturday and Sunday games were, essentially. There were FRAGOs, but I don’t know anything about them. I didn’t hear them issued or heard of anyone doing anything particularly different than what we were all doing. There were objectives, but we dealt very little with them. There were computer props set up around the place that we had to find and the tech’s had to call in. Not call, exactly, the techs had to send an SMS to the game staff with the code attached to the computer monitor. The codes changed every hour I believe. Apparently we had controlled enough computer terminals at one point Saturday morning to activate drone warfare, whatever that means, sounds like CoD silliness. In the afternoon the Americans did too. Whatever it was, apparently it was used to good effect. I don’t know where this was happening. They also ‘unlocked’ bio-warfare. I did hear something about a room being cleared by a bio agent, and being impassable for a brief time, but that was Sunday. The tech’s were also responsible for changing the music playing on the little boomboxes around the field. From American music to Russian music, to set the atmosphere and for points.

There were supposed to be bombs/IEDs around the field that the EOD specialist was supposed to deactivate. There were also bombs/IEDs that EOD units would have to set. I don’t know if anyone ever got those missions. There was a game mechanic of throwing a satchel with a ThunderB or Tornado in it to clear an entire room. I’ve only seen it used once, against us, and it detonated prematurely, so we were OK.

There was also a role-player who was a Russian diplomat who was injured, and the Americans exfil’d him. At one point I heard about mercenaries fighting for the Americans. There were also piles of super cheap M4s and AK47s as props, along with ammo crates. I helped carry one out! That’s the most I deal with that stuff at all. That stuff seemed to have been dealt with almost instantly at the start of each phase.

Wulf and I were staying with Primer. Primer was not taking part in the night portion on Saturday, and Wulf felt it would have been rude to show up after that at Primer’s place once he’s already asleep. And after my Op: LS1 experience with night events, I wasn’t afraid of missing anything if I didn’t participate. The night games don’t count towards points towards the Op. The celebrity COs are in their hotel rooms. This was a handful of ‘Russians’ against a bunch of assholes in Multicam. Apparently the multicam guys were tossing those long tube light bulbs and claiming they were tossing flash-bangs. Lots of starting of **** went down. Didn’t miss anything good, for sure.

REAPCON on their first day were not on comms with the rest of the Russians. On Sunday, they finally got on the same channel as the rest of the faction. The game got more strategic and less of a skirmish then. We were able to coordinate more and it just felt more awesome. We still got separated and had trouble regrouping from time to time. Considering how massive this place is, it’s really great that we ever regrouped. But we did it pretty regularly, so that’s something.

The Americans won the game on points for objectives completed, but only slightly. However, after computing the many penalties, the Russians came out as the winners. There was lots of poor sportsmanship, and not just from that certain group of LI’ers in Multicam and Guccigear.
The above mentioned group was reported by their own teammates of poor sportsmanship. Specifically forming human walls of hit players to maneuver, which was specifically forbidden in the rules and briefings. Same group was also reported to have been seen changing out their springs after chrono. But that is hearsay. I can actually attest to real infractions that I witnessed, like multicam team bashing a reinforced window open with a brick. I have video of a guy from green team flinching off a hit and playing on until he hurt his leg. Doors were closed that were supposed to stay open. We weren’t supposed to build barriers, but they were. I’m guilty of the latter. I stacked some 2x4’s onto a brick wall, making the wall a foot or two higher. I don’t agree with all these rules, but rules are rules. Play their game by their rules or play somewhere else.

The Scranton Lace Factory may or may not be available next year. It wasn’t supposed to be available this year. It was slated for massive remodeling. But Hurricane Sandy put those plans on the back burner because the management agency had more important properties to deal with in NJ after the storm. If the management agency gets around to dealing with this property, the next Red Storm East will have to be somewhere else. If they still don’t have the resources to deal with it, I guarantee that this place will be rented out again. And I think it is worth the money to play in such a unique and exciting place.

When I introduced myself to Sgt. Dobroff that Friday, he didn’t remember me. He actually thought I was one of those guys that showed up to Op: Reality Check 3. Throughout the weekend he kept reminding me how he wished that they had showed up and how disappointing it was that they didn’t. Throughout the weekend he would also pass by me telling me stuff like “I like your uniform” and “I like your helmet” and “I like your armor” to all of which I had replied ‘me too.’ But, **** all of that, I told you guys I would, and I totally did, wear my Gucci shades and beret while in staging.


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