Thick heavy snow covered the plains, several figures suddenly appeared out from the snow and advanced up the snow-covered terrain and into the edge of the forest. The white camouflaged shapes moved with a purpose, keep as low as possible to the terrain

Acting Platoon leader Recruit 'Bigfuck' Arven, his helmet covered in a white flock and dressed in a white cloak, waved his section forward and half crouched his way into the cover of the trees.

He peered around the snow-coated leaves of everblue tree, observing their objective his platoon was tasked with a pair of covered field glasses. His fellow recruits reached the rallying points and waited for his command for the attack.

The opposing force, dressed similarly but with an Empire blue coat over their gear and carrying Empire weapons and shields, the blades and spearheads dulled, was digging in around the area their camp area, seemly unaware of their presence.

"One-ear, tell me what you see," Recruit Arven handed his binoculars to his second in command, Recruit Orgen 'One-ear' who like Arven, served as an old timer in the Goldrose Army, who lost his left ear fighting the Empire forces, thus earning his nickname.

One-ear took the binoculars and went down on his hands and knees and leopard crawled to a better vantage point. He looked at the activity of the enemy camp, and counted the number of sentries and their locations, before crawling back to Arven.

"I counted eight sentry posts, two-man each," One-ear returned the binoculars and unslung his rifle. "They appeared to be setting up their camp. They haven't spotted us at all."

Arven nodded, he also counted the same number of sentry posts and guards. "Tell Section Two and Three to begin their attack in 10 minutes, they are to make as much noise as possible, I want the enemy to think we are all there." He checked his timepiece while giving his order to his runner, who repeated the order back, before moving off, keeping himself low and hidden from the enemy sights.

"One-ear, you take Section 1 on a flanking maneuver on their right," Arven points towards a low depression on the right flank. "Keep out of sight, use that depression for cover. Do not engage till the enemy has fully committed against Section Two and Three, understand?"

"Keep out of sight, and only attack when the enemy's attention is all on Two and Three?" One-ear replied. "Got it."

Arven nodded, as One-ear hurried back in a low crouch to where his section had gathered, and he next turned to his Section One. "Alright, we hold here, once the enemy rushes out we fire into their flanks. Till then keep out of sight."

He had his platoon arranged in an 'L' shape. Section Two and Three formed the lower part of the 'L' while One and Four were at the flanks. And just as ordered, 10 minutes later, pops of gunfire erupted from Section Two and Three's position.

Snow erupted as the training bullets impacted against the snow. The bullets were made out of the waxy native tree sap and filled with red dye made from the pigment of flowers. The sentries who got hit, sat or laid down on the snow and removed their helmets to indicate that they were dead.

Yells and shouts of alarm erupted from the Opposing Force or OpFor camp, and like a kicked beehive, the men posing as Empire soldiers charged out in the direction of Section Two and Three. Act Platoon Leader Recruit Arven hidden among the trees, watched the 'enemy' formed up a shield wall and charged into the gunfire where Section Two and Three were at.

Arven turned to his men and said, "Make ready!" Clicks and rattling of bolts replied him as his men, removed their safeties and worked their bolts, chambering a round in. Seeing the majority of the enemy had taken the bait, Arven yelled, "Fire!"

Bursts of fire and smoke exploded out from around him as his men fired their Magelock rifles. The elves had trained well enough in the firing ranges that they could fire at least 20 aimed shots per minute with the bolt action.

He waited for the enemy to take the bait and managed to time his volley right at the enemy's flank as they lined up perfectly for his men to enfilade fire.

The training paint round hammered into the flanks of the shield wall, causing the 'enemy' to cry out in pain and surprise. While the bullets are made out of rubbery wax, it still packed enough kinetic energy to feel like someone poking you very hard with a pointy stick.

Suddenly the snow around Arven exploded, spraying him with bits of wet snow and red dye, and throwing his men into confusion, "What?" He peered through the gun smoke and spotted the enemy side has Magelocks too and were firing at them.

"Take cover! They got guns too!" Arven yelled over the blasts of gunfire. He followed his own advice, throwing himself down onto the soft wet snow and rolling behind the everblue tree. The enemy line exploded into smoke and more bullets smacked against the hardy tree trunk, shaking the snow accumulated on the leaves down on him.

One of his men cried out in shock as a paint round smacked right against his collar, spraying a dark red dye out, looking realistically like blood. The unfortunate recruit dropped down and rolled about the snow screaming in pain."Medic!"

"Take out their shooters!" Arven yelled and aimed his Magelock at the enemy. He squeezed the trigger and his rifle muzzle erupted in a cloud of gunsmoke, temporarily blocking his view till the wind blew it away. He saw the enemy he shot at sitting down on the snow, with one hand raised up, indicated he got hit.

"Come on," Arven encouraged his men, "Pour it on!" He worked the bolt of his Magelock and fired again. "Suppress them!"

Suddenly a chorus of shouts emerged from the far right, as One-ear successfully led his Section unnoticed to the rear flanks of the enemy. His Section emerged out of the low snow depression and firing their Magelocks as they charged, hitting the rear of the surprised enemy.

Not long after, a loud whistle blew, and the sounds of gunfire and smoke died down as the exercise came to an end.

"Alright, commanders gather up the rest of the men, go police up all the spent cartridges and make sure your equipment is still with you!" Sergeant Collins spoke into a loud hailer, "Get the medics to tend to those wounded in the exercise."

Hours later, Platoon Three of the attacking force gathered into a tent where several benches, a table, and a display screen was placed. Collins and James stood inside waiting for the men to settle down. "Alright settle down, what we are doing here is an 'After Action Review' or an AAR," Collins said to the gathered recruits. "We will do one of these after every action, so get used to them."

"Now, I want to say a good job on the attack," Collins said, looking at Recruit Arven, "It was a textbook attack and ambush, properly executed. And even with the surprise part that the 'enemy' had similar weapons, you managed to control your men and counter them, especially when you are still in the middle of training."

"Now, we will be going over every individual and unit actions as we know and see how we can improve on them. I'll start with ammunition expenditure." Collins turned to the mounted display and graph appeared. "We counted an average of 32 rounds of 6.5mm per enemy that got shot. That means each of you fired at least 30 shots each for the whole engagement."

"The low count was 11, Recruit Bigfuck." Collins pointed to another chart. "But in the first place, you shouldn't even be firing at all. Why did you fire, Recruit?"

"Sir, this recruit wasn't really doing anything and th-the enemy is just there, so I fired, sir!" Arven replied uncomfortably.

"You were supposed to be paying attention to everyone else's action." Collins shook his head, "Your task as Acting Platoon Leader is to lead, your weapon was given to you for self-defense or for something you have to shoot at because you can't get your men to do it in time."

"Did any of the enemy came close to your position?" Collins continued asking Arven.

"Sir, No, Sir!" Arven admitted.

"You are there to lead, and control the flow of the battle," Collins advised, "lead from the front if you have to, engage if you have to, but keep your eyes on the battle. Understand?"

"Sir, Yes, Sir!" Arven replied, nodding in understanding.

"Recruit Yothan!" Collins yelled next. "You, my friend, had won the big prize. 107 rounds."

"Sir, Yes sir!" Recruit Yothan shot to his feet in attention.

"Now, Recruit Yothan, tell us all, how the fuck did you expend 107 rounds of ammunition?"

A note from neo Koh

Im tired...


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