Wednesday, 14 September 2016

BATTLESHIP GALAXIES

The 6 week school summer holiday is now complete, and life can get get back to some form of normality. Over the summer-hols I decided we’d need a new boardgame to play on those wet afternoons and after long deliberation we cut the many choices down to 3 potentials. After a family vote, the clear winner was Battleship Galaxies, a space combat wargame on hex mats, with its own pre-painted miniature ships, a human fleet and an invading alien fleet.

I’d never seen it played and after reading some reviews decided to give it a try. After three or four games I really like it. The rules are basic, but simple enough for an 8 and 10 year old to get (mostly). The ship models are good, maybe not design classics, but perfectly serviceable for our purposes. Both sides fight differently. The humans are tough, a bit slower, but pack the firepower, especially at longer ranges. The aliens are a bit faster generally and like to get up close, especially their fighters.

The gaming matt is nice, and it includes a bit of space ‘terrain’, like asteroids and orbital bases etc, which have small extra effects on the game play. I like that these are counters that you have to investigate to flip and see if there is anything useful under it, an nice extra element to the main course of blasting each other to bits.

Overall, the game plays well, but so far the aliens, that’s me, have won all the battles. Now, maybe that’s because I’m not 10 years old, but the aliens do seem to have a slight edge in the stats. The best part of the game is hiding your forces behind a screen (it comes with the game) and revealing them as you spend energy points to ‘launch’ them onto the board, either from inside other ships (for the fighters etc) or onto the table edge. Not knowing your enemy’s force or how it will deploy adds a little extra guess-work, which I like.

Although called 'Battleships' this game has nothing to do with the classic (super-dull) boardgame of the same name. That was my first fear, but it plays out as a straight tabletop wargame, not a tedious guessing game. It’s a full game in box, just set-up and play. I think after 10-12 games the lack of diversity in the forces will start to feel restrictive… the planned expansions never materialized, but we won’t play it that often so it’ll take a while to grow repetitive on us. We might have to tweak the rules or ship stats a bit, otherwise Earth is going to fall to these mean aliens pretty rapidly…

One thought is to buy some different ship models and design our own ship datacards for them, that way, we can play with the models we like best.  I'll keep my eye open for cool spaceship models. One for the future that idea.

Here are a few shots of our first trial games.

The game laid out for play, both fleets closing, this time facing off across an asteroid belt.

 The rulebook

 The alien battleship and escorting cruiser. Blue markers are shields, replaced by red ones as damage as you lose shields from incoming fire.

 The human fleet with its mighty battleship, fighters out front

Not so mighty now, 12 damage markers and that's the end of the battleship, and victory for the aliens. Soon to be visiting Earth - and not in a good way!

SOMEWHERE NEAR THE EUPHRATES RIVER… 78AD

After a summer holiday wargaming haitus, it's time to get back on with the modelling, painting and, importantly, gaming.

It's not that I've being doing nothing, just I haven't raised brush to model in about 6 weeks. Other writing and development work has continued, if at a snails pace... here's one of the summer's few games.


Over the past 6 months one of my main ‘jobs’ has been developing and play-testing 'Soldiers of Rome', a version of my Soldiers of God rules for Imperial Rome vs its main enemies. I’ve already posted some of the battles of Rome vs the Barbarians, and they’ve been brilliant fun, the system works really well and bring the two side’s different methods of warfare to the fore.

I’m happy with the balance of Romans and Barbarians, both feel right, the Barbarians are scary, but the Romans stoic. The reckless Barbarians have the initial impetus, but the Roman’s more attritional style can wear them down and turn the tide, if you play your cards right.

I also want to include another style of warfare, the eastern one of horse archers and harassment, for the Parthian Empire (been here before with SoG). So, over the last month we’ve played a few games testing a Parthian list against the same Roman Legionary list, and new cards for the Parthians and their Sassanid and Kushani allies (war elephants, gotta love war elephants!).

Here are a few shots of my SoG Saracens army standing in for the Parthians. Horse tribesmen don’t change much, and they are the backbone of the Parthian army. Ghulams are standing in for Sassanid Cataphracts, not radically different really.  

In this ‘small field battle’ I picked a Parthian army entirely mounted. 2 flanks of horse archers with my Cataphracts in the centre (and their elephant), and a simple battle plan to charge up the middle and smash my way through the Roman centre whilst skirmishing to hold the flanks and avoiding battle as best I could (and horse archers are good at avoiding a fight).

Of course, that plan did not survive contact with the enemy. The Romans had gone for an all out attack, advancing on both flanks but with the weight of his attack coming in the centre. We were on a direct collision course, but his centre was now the strongest point of his line, against which I would have to throw my heavy cavalry, which isn’t ideal. Such are the vagaries of the Battle Plan system.  There would be a titanic clash in the centre, just when?



 The reluctant war elephant... can't we give it an iced bun or something? 

The centre, marked by irrigation ditches, Romans on the march towards my cataphracts.

Here are a few snaps of the game in progress. It was a very, very close and a brilliant game. Both players know the game mechanics very well and stretched the system to the limit. Canny play and a few pieces of outrageous luck made for a see-saw battle that saw first the Romans in the ascendancy, then a strong Parthian comeback, then a spectacular Roman comeback to look like that might win it, to a very close finale where both sides almost broke.

The Romans started well, throwing a massive spanner in the works when my hired Kushani war elephant refused to fight due to a grievance over pay (or just being a stubborn brute). My shock troop, which was to lead the cavalry assault, was out of the game, and so I decided that to attack without it was to invite quick defeat and so held my lines. Meanwhile, the aggressive Romans pressed forwards down the length of the tabletop, coming on fastest in the centre with blocks of legionaries and their auxiliaries, support by a few archers and slingers. On the flanks my horse archers galloped forwards to engage with bows, and then fell back, as they should. It worked well on the left, but the Roman cavalry on my right (his left) made it impossible to do this ‘shoot and scoot’ for very long, they were closing in too fast, and so my right flank looked vulnerable. My horse archers are brilliant for nuisance value and their archery packs a punch, but if caught in melee, well, they aren’t up to much. It didn’t help when one small unit deserted and fled the field on a special ‘deserters’ event… eek. Cowards, come back!


Horse archers face up against Rome's mercenary light cavalry at javelin throwing range, neither too keen to get to sword point. 

On my left, more horse archers pepper the auxiliaries, who broke under a sustained attack by a foe they could not get to grips with. 

Horse archers from the left threaten to flank the Roman's centre line, barring a few archers (in a loosing missile duel).  My light cavalry broke through here and charged off into the rear, a game winner in the end.

As I awaited to get the card I needed which would see my elephant return to active duty, I kept up the flank skirmishing, and my archery began to tell, building up a lot of Disorder on auxiliary spearmen and archers. The Roman centre closed right in, almost to charge range (not far for heavy infantry in close order), so to buy me extra time my heavy cavalry centre fell back, and realigned their ranks for the charge that would come, but only when I wanted it, not before. The Romans long march across the table most continue. My enforced wait was worth it, suddenly the elephant resolved its greivance (here, have some more bushes to eat!), and immediately charged th surprised Romans! It piled headlong in a legionary block, trampling them and satisfyingly caused a lot of Disorder, before expiring in a pilum-stuck grey heap. Damage done though, elephants are quite expendable and rather unpredictable. With a legionary cohort in chaos from the paciderm, my first cataphract unit immediately followed up with a second charge. Kontos levelled, they slammed home and overwhelmed the legionaries, who broke and routed (not common that - routing cohorts). Suddenly, the Roman line looked weak, his auxiliary archers, surrounedd by horse archers also broke as did another unit of Auxilaries, worn down by horse archers. He lost 10 army morale (almost half) and was now on the back foot. The Parthians had started slowly but unleashed the power of heavy (and very heavy) cavalry. The other cataphracts also charged, and inflicted more Disorder. The big fight was on… and it was heated, many cards were being played on the melees as both sides could see this was the heart of the game. My initial charge’s impact was countered by the Ramans Rally card (grr, so much hard work for little) and being well-drilled. It would become a protracted fight, and the legionaries excel at them. Oh-dear, the battle was turning. The cavalry charged had not broken them.


War elephant gets his extra pay and then charges home, causing disorder and havoc before dying...

 The crucible of this battle, legionaries vs cataphracts in the centre. 

More cataphracts (and command stand), getting stuck into slingers but flanked by auxiliaries to the rescue (they're job really)

On my right the Romans mopped up, killed the commander of my right battle and surrounding my last unit of horse archers with their own cavalry. They hung on for a while, with me spending cards to keep them in the fight, but it was a losing battle and it the end the horse archers were routed in a bloody masacre. Disaster, my entire right battle had been wiped out, I had lost a card form my hand for the lost commander, and the Roman cavalry were free to swing around the finish me. My army morale total plunged from a healthy 16 to 7… and suddenly the Romans were winning.

It was my left flank horse archers that came to the rescue, they galloped across the table to try and mop up the isolated Romans rear, including a Scorpios crew (who put up a tremendous fight and refused to die easily). Th light cavalry pepper the Roman’s centre battle’s commander with arrows, and he too survived and responded by charging into the horse archers and fighting a heroic melee, also saving his legionaries from being charged from the rear. But he could not save his vulnerable baggage train, and my last unit of fast cavalry closed in on that valuable prize, with nothing to stop them.

So came the finale, the last turns, with the Romans on 6 army morale and me on 8. Combat in the centre was vicious again, and my cataphracts came of worst. Two of the three units broke and routed, costing me 6 army morale. But the Romans lost their Scorpios, finally, and my horse archers pin-cushioned the baggage train mule handlers and its few civilians, destroying it too and grabbing the loot. With other Disorder this reduced the Romans to exactly 0, with the Parthians still on 2 army morale. The Romans conceded the battle and the field, but it had been so very, very close… a brilliant afternoon of very hard fighting, but victory for the Arscanid Emperor!

Well, the Parthians work… so far the games have all been even fights, and only a few tweaks to the elephant rules required along with a new ‘Elephant Ramage’ special event. So the game now has three army lists and the action card deck is split between all three factions: Roman Legions, Barbarians and Parthians. The game is almost done for development. Now to write up the rules in the full… Soldiers of Rome may well see the light of day in 2017.























Monday, 4 July 2016

BOVINGTON 2016, BATTLEGROUP OVERLORD CAMPAIGN WEEKEND

Well, I have just returned from Battle Group South 2016, at Bovington Tank Museum. This year we ran a Battlegroup Campaign Weekend, with three 400 points games over the Saturday and Sunday (so plenty of time for sight-seeing and shopping too). We had 7 Allied players (5 Brits, 2 US) and 7 Germans (various Panzer, Ersatz Panzer and one Fallschirmjager battlegroup) facing off, to earn campaign points for their side.

Without describing all 21 games fought over the weekend, in the end the Allies had scored a solid win over the Germans, compiling 31 VPs to the German's 16. But, before the German-ophiles cry foulplay over another hefty campaign weekend defeat, at the end of Saturday, both sides had won 7 games a piece, and only a few 'better' Allied victories gave them a slim lead. Sunday, well, the wheels came off for the Germans, losing 6 from 7 games and getting a pasting... I'd say that was the relative experience of the players, the Allies had a few more 'old heads' who knew the game well than the Germans.

My first game was a narrow win for me, only due to some hefty artillery calls to Corps' 155mm gun batteries which caused havoc with some accurate shooting. Until then the game was very close, and my US infantry was badly pinned down by incoming MG fire (as ever), with their M10s losing their gun-duel with the StuGs (as ever). Artillery saved the day. M10s are useless!!

For my second game, I switch forces to a cavalry recce group made up of M8s, Jeep teams and M5 light tanks, to face an all infantry German force (elite, dismounted panzer grenadiers with a lot of MG42s and Panzerfausts, no vehicles). A very different battle, which my light armour (having lost a few M8s to suicidal 'faust attacks) was getting the better of, until the Luftwaffe suddenly showed up. A FW-190 bombing run scored 4 direct hits with its bombs, destroying my FHQ in his M3 halftrack, and 3 Jeeps and with the air attack counter, inflicted 7 chits... that disaster broke my force... with their commander dead, they had to pull back. The Germans had just 2 BR left... defeat snatched from victory.

On Sunday morning I faced a German panzer force in an Attack/Counter-Attack scenario. Eek, my infantry, artillery and M10s were hard put to it against 3 StuGs, a Pz IV and a Tiger II! I lost all 3 M10s again (like they stood much hope verse a Tiger II with Panzer Ace), for scoring 1 StuG kill (at least they got something this time). My artillery caused its usual harassment, but no actual losses... and with the tanks closing in, MGs strafing my all-but defenceless (and bazooka-less) infantry, I was taking my last counter (32 BR gone from 33), when it was a Mine Strike (a last revenge before throwing in the towel I thought). The mine blew his advancing Panzer IV sky high, only for that tank to be his senior officer, and those 2 drawn counters broke the Germans. Pure fluke... but a memorable battle, I had won by 1 BR and a miracle of good luck. My opponent took it very well... cheated by the fickle Gods of War.

Here are some (lots) of photos of the weekend's action. It was great fun, all played in the right spirit. Playing as part of a larger team really kills off the worst competitive instincts of true 'tournaments'. And in BG the match-up are always historical too. We shall do it again, next time, in the desert.

My first game, getting everything onto the table in a Defence Line scenario. The German had a strong position in the houses, which I flattened with repeated artillery bombardments (the US way).  

The StuG reinforcements, too much for my M10s to deal with.  

 See!! This always happens. 

 My frontline, pinned in the orchard by MG fire... the Normandy experience for my GIs. 

Victim of a 155mm arty strike direct hit.  The last straw and the Germans withdrew... phew!
A close one. 

 The other US player (Mick) racing forwards and getting onto deep trouble fast. He only took over, using my models, at the last minute. Green commander... 

 Ouch! Trouble (and Sherman) brewing. 

 Pier's 21st Panzer battlegroup... or the wacky races? We laughed, but then those that fought it found out the hard way that the Arkansas Chuggabug is not to be taken lightly. His Hotchkiss H-39 knocked out a Sherman!! Multiple rocket launcher and multiple mortar halftrack do spread a lot of pinning. 

Sean's Brits and their Cromwell about to 'go-in'...  

 Not forgetting to bring the Firefly with them... of course. 

Gaining ground for their first win. Sean's very well rounded British force (regular infantry, Cromwells (later Shermans) and some mortar support won 3 from 3. 

Churchill were the Brit's tank of choice, and they did well (mostly).  

My cavalry squadron's Jeep teams, dismounting to fight on foot. The Willy's park would be a costly mistake when the bombs rained down (should have got them off the table sooner).

 My M5s on an 'end-run', around the elite Germans holding the farm. Speed and MGs doing the trick to avoid the 'faust.

 Elite Panzergrenadiers holding in the hedges. Get to close, and eat Panzerfaust. A very small but tough force.

As my M8s found out. 2 from 3 knocked-out trying to take the hill (mound) top objective.  

 Last 2 M5s close on the other objective (marked by small tree). 

 But the Luftwaffe's arrival was critical, and devastating... 7 chits in one attack... ouch. OUCH!

Not all Churchills fare so well. Pz IVs and Churchills match up in a eve(ish) fight (makes a change).  

Crossing hedges, it's a slow grind with Churchills.  

US armoured infantry in support of their Shermans... like it is supposed to be done, except don't roll dice like Mick... unlucky sir....

One 'necky' British M5 goes for glory, misses, and so got a Panzerfaust in return... goodbye!  Piers' 1 Pz IV scored 4 tank kills and was never knocked out in any game. Well played sir...

Pier's 21st Panzergrenadiers close in to assault the houses, they switched hands several times in close-range carnage.  

Sean's Achilles scores a Panther kill on his way to win number 2.  

Firefly gets a Mine Strike counter and brews up... gutting... 

And still the Churchills grind on...  

With their infantry helping out... 4 British players had Churchill-based battlegroups.  

Panzer grenadiers take cover in a farm, winkling them out would be a theme of the weekend.  

 Andy T's Humber AC... scored a tank kill... get in! A heroic moment. 

StuGs roll up to face down my M10s.  

With serious fire support from this beast, unstoppable, but I pinned it twice with arty fire... 
that's something! 

 My M10s, with their usual poor performance, three more lost for one kill scored... 

The Battlegroup commander in his Pz IV, nice idea, until he hits a mine and it costs you the battle... an undeserved fate for a well-conducted German panzer assault that had my US force on the ropes all game. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

PATROL PAPA-MIKE THREE-SIX AT ZAILABAD


This was a test game for my modern skirmish rules, loosely broadly on Battlegroup, but with a lot of adaptations and changes, only some of the game’s core ideas are really left. In this game (a medium sized game - from either small, medium or large) at an Orange threat level (from Green, Orange or Red - the worst). The threat level dictates the strength and type of enemy you’ll meet, how helpful the locals are and how easy the mission will be when it comes to retaining public opinion. It also dictates what equipment can be used, so MBTs are Red threat level only, etc. So this game was right in the middle bracket.

Routine Patrol Papa-Mike 3-6 is approaching the village of Zailabad and is going to conduct some searches for wepaon caches… it’s dangerous work, the locals aren’t too friendly and their has been considerable insurgent activity in the area recently. Hence, the patrol has a rapid response unit on call, in the shape of Patrol Victor 5-4, in their Stryker APC, and Apollo 7-7 Blackhawk on-call for emergency evac. They also have contact with a high circling armed Predator drone that can be used to launch up to 2 Hellfire missiles if required. This would need to be avoided if possible, as firing them would significantly effect the public opinion in area (blowing up people’s homes does little to win hearts and minds).


Here is the map from aerial recon… the patrol approaching along the irrigation channel, which we decided was steep and deep, an obstacle to infantry and impassable to vehicles except at the two small bridges.

Zialabad

from the south-west

Patrol PM-36 consisted of 8 men with the following; a SAW, an underslung grenade launcher, a guided anti-tank missile launcher (Javelin) and a sniper rifle. One man was the commander (officer), one man also had a satellite radio kit and one man was the medi-tech, so they were well kitted out. All these men had ‘advanced’ body armour, ‘advanced’ assault rifles and night vision goggles.


The insurgent were a mystery. Amongst the village were dpeloyed the game’s civilian elements, various small groups, of which 1 was pre-designated as insurgents in disguise. 3 single civilans, of which one was a spotter with a remote-control detonator for an IED (its location was secretly pre-chosen before the patrol deployed). There was also a dummy motorcycle rider (just another civilan, but he could be a messenger). Also, watching and waiting for the patrol was an enemy sniper. 

Once contact had been made, the insurgents had reinforcements in the shape of 6 more men in a civilan van, two DshK-armed Technicals and a dummy civilian truck, and there was an off-table mortar would become available via the spotter. 

Both sides had a Battle Rating, the western patrol had 20, the Insurgents 16. The western forces also had a public opinion level, going over which the battle would be lost in the eyes of the locals and the wider world regradless of how the fighting went on the ground. The was set at 13. Unlike Battlegroup, we’d both know this number and it would act as restriction in want the patrol could do and the risks it could take. 

Two compounds in the north of the village

Innocent villagers in the fields? 

The patrol’s approach, watched by the enemy sniper, made its way into the nearest building, where one civilan model was positioned. He immediately headed out of the back door as the other civilans milled around and the decoy motorcyclist kickstarted his bike and headed very obviously out of town. In response, unable to give any fire orders before the patrol was attacked, a few of the patrol’s men went onto 'covering fire' (overwatch). One man pursued the exiting civilian and challenged him (a dice roll), revealing him to be nothing more than a decoy civilan and removing him from the table. 

Freeze! A challenged civilian is revealed as just that... not a spotter then.

Meanwhile, the insurgent sniper had the SAW gunner in his sites, but as yet was holding his fire. The approaching patrol also put my actually disguised spotter in danger of being challenged and revealed, so in the ‘civilians’ turn, he started to move away, trying to look casual… but the patrol pressed on and still challenged him. They passed their test and I had to reveal him as a insurgent by replacing the civilian with the right model. Now we had an impasse, he was a known armed insurgent, but as nothing had fired on the patrol yet they could not open fire on him, there as yet had been no ‘contact’. I wasn’t going to start one with a SAW and 2 assault rifles pointing at him. With a quick bit of 'on the hoof' design, we decided the patrol could request a surrender, and my spotter would need an experience test to not give up. As a experienced insurgent this would be a 2+ (for less hardened troops it would be less but my insurgents were all experienced fighters). He passed, said 'boo-sucks' and ran off into an alley! 

Much of the patrol lurks behind a wall and bushes as the motorcycle rider races off... 

Meanwhile the second half of the patrol moved into the next compound were three civilians were gathered around a blue pick-up, innocent or not? The challenge test was passed and I had to reveal that one man was in fact an insurgent… eek! As it was the end of the patrol’s turn his man was now face to face with an armed enemy, who’s go it was. The resulting burst of AK-47 fire put the challenger ‘man-down’, ie hit, but as yet the severity of the damage was not known. As the patrol had been fired on that meant ‘Contact!’. Weapon’s free, the firefight was on. My sniper now took his first shot, using ‘precision fire’ (a more accurate form of aimed fire but you only get 1 shot), he missed! Useless, he was no hardened guerilla fighter.

In the civilian phase I revealed than 2 other civilans in the blue pick-up’s compound were also insurgents and the motorcyle riders left the table, a decoy ride that had fooled nobody. 

The patrol had a man down and that meant he needed help. The medic came running to check him, and rollling on the ‘man down’ table found him OK, his body armour had saved him… and the man was back in the fight with minor scrapes and bruises. Other troopers ran into the compound buildings and opened fire, cutting down one of the three enemy within, whilst the patrol’s sniper, waiting on overwatched, lined one up and then dropped him too. 2 insurgents down in rapid succession. Elsehwere, the SAW gunner opened up on the enemy sniper, with area fire to pin him and succeeded. My useless sniper was wisely keeping his head down.

My lone sniper, pinned by SAW and return sniper fire (1 marker for underfire, 2 for pinned down)

Insurgents turn, and I requested my first reinforcements. The first to arrive was a truck, which barrelled into the village right at the compound were all the shooting was happening. The patrol’s officer challenged the driver, and I had to reveal it was dummy, just a truck that happened to arrive at a bad time. In the firefight my last remaining fighter in the compound fled the scene, escaping in a blaze of bullets that did little, but at least he wasn’t surrounded by 4 enemy all with lethal intent. He went and hid in the bushes by the irrigation ditch. My spotter sneaked back into the fight and tried to engaged the SAW gunner with a cheeky blast of area fire. I blew it again, failing to pin him was a big problem, as the SAWs heavy return fire dropped the spotter as another ‘man down’. A disaster, I’d lost (for now) my automatic IED detonation and my mortar strikes. I needed the spotter back,which menat getting somebody to him to see how badly wounded he was, but I also needed some more troops… 

The Alamo with 5 of the patrol in it, and one down insurgent in the courtyard

Decoy truck pulls up outside, but it wasn't a big car-bomb! 

The fight was going badly for me, but at least the rest of my reinforcements arrived quickly. The two Technicals  and a van full of 6 more guerilla fighters, including an RPG launcher. The van raced flat-out into the village and deployed all the men, with the RPG guy lining up the SAW gunner, then failing to spot him for the aimed fire shot. The risk you run using aimed fire.

One of the patrol’s men had ventured forwards on his own to deal with the sniper, this was brave, but foolhardly as lone men that  go ‘man down’ aren’t likely to get much aid, and therefore will stay ‘man down’. But he worked his way forwards towards the sniper’s building under the SAW’s covering fire. My sniper became unpinned, took a shot at the patrol’s sniper, and immediately caught a return overwatch shot back, which re-pinned him (here he used the ‘duck back’ rule, allowing a 2+ cover save but causing him to be pinned if he pass the test, it saved his life from a very close call).

My Technicals arrived from random board edges (but not the patrol’s own), and both lined up the compound (now christened ‘the Alamo’) where five of the patrols 8 men were taking cover. Two DshKs with area fire peppered the buildings and caused a lot of pinning… under such heavy fire, the patrol now requested their own reinforcements - bring in the Stryker! Only to fail the comms test and the re-roll for their satellite radio kit… no help yet.  The patrol’s leader though about going for a Hellfire missile strike on a Technical, but as yet, with no actual losses, he’d thought he’d save the public opinion (firing heavy ordnance cost PO, due to the collateral damage). 

Technical arrives, but is quickly marked as under fire.

The Alamo with heavy pinning from DshK fire

Insurgent reinforcements arrive in the village and debus from their van


My first Technical didn’t last long anyway, the SAW gunner set about turning it to swiss cheese, and then the sniper finished it off with a direct hit into the engine. Both crew bailed and ran for cover, only for the driver to be cut down as he ran by more fire from the Alamo. He was critically wounded and bleeding badly. More BR lost for me. 

Technical knocked out... crew running under fire

The second Technical decided to move rather than get more of the same treatment and set off for the irrigation canal’s bridge, laying down more heavy area fire as it went. 

Second Technical crosses the irrigation channel


On the other side of the village my pinned sniper was close assaulted by the lone trooper rushing his building, as he was pinned we decided he should dice to see if he’d surrender before being killed. I rolled, failed, and the sniper dropped his Dragunov and raised his hands, another chit for me. I was close the breaking. 

The final nail in the coffin was the arrival of the Styrker team. The vehicle raced on the table, right where my Technical was rounding the village, and the APC’s remote turreted .50 cal HMG made very short work of an obvious target, leaving the pick-up a smoking wreck and both crew jumped clear but were pinned down. The Styker’s arrival was too much for my ambushing insurgents, they had broken on their BR. The survivors hopped back into their van and sped off, or melted away back into the village again.

Pinned sniper about to be close assaulted

Last civvies make for the mosque safe-house

Victor 5-4 arrives and bye-bye second Technical... the end of the game

Well, that was something of a whitewash… the patrol had lost, erm..nobody… one man lightly wounded was their day’s casualty list. I had lost 2 dead insurgents, 2 wounded and captured and 1 surrendered. Very realistic casualties for a wargame, but a sound pasting for the insurgents.

Much work still needs to be done here. The balance of forces isn’t yet quite right and a lot of work will have to be on how the ‘neutral’ third force of civilians interacts with the game, and how the western forces take BR counters, at the moment they just don’t seem to, but should they lose a man they would then take three (1 for man down, 1 for critically wounded, 1 for died, so losing a man is bad, losing 2 is likely to cost the game!). Not much subtly there. 

Anyway, it was a fun and interesting afternoon’s fight and gave me much to ponder. This game has along way to go yet to be publishable, but some of the ideas are starting to work well. This is far harder than I thought, and far tougher than traditional battles with two sides, but then, that is what makes a-symetric warfare different. Whether is gameable in the traditional two-player way is yet to be seen. 

Stryker team de-bus to secure Zialabad, after a heavy defeat for the guerrillas.