23 February, 2010

Afghan Village

I picked up a selection of buildings for the Afghan village.
Frontline - Desert Dwelling
Minimi - Middle Eastern Adobe (with trapdoor) and their Walls & Gate
Hovels - 3x Middle East Adobes

A variety of different styles and production techniques in use

Here's the lot of them undercoated


And a close-up of one of Hovels adobes

Undercoated Close-up

I applied a dark brown wash to all of them. Due to their rough finish, the Hovels buildings took this best

Base Coat

The walls took it well enough as well, but I applied a light (almost drybrush) coat of buff cream to represent the plastered finish over the bricks

Plastered Walls

I was really happy with that move, and may apply it to the Hovels adobes to finish them off

Plastered Walls Close-up

The Frontline resin was quite smooth in comparison to the others and needed a second coat before it started to look anyway complete


Future buys to complete my Afghan village:

Britannia's compound and new market are on the list. I've heard nothing but good things about these.

I'm very happy all-round with the pieces from Hovels so I may pick up a couple of their Small Adobes, the large Tomb and the Water Fountain to add a bit of flavour.

I'll post some updated photos of the finished buildings, but you can see their current state in the previous game reports. The main step was to paint up the doors with a faded wooden colour.

06 February, 2010


I had originally intended to change the map for this battle into a more strung-out urban setup, but time became an issue so I just left the terrain as was for the 'Cordon and Search' mission.

The British forces started out holding the isolated farmhouse and were tasked with killing or capturing both Tier 1 Taliban leaders

British move out of farmhouse

Covering the main route into Now Zad was a group in a house's small courtyard and a heavy machine gun in the woods just in front of the town

Taliban cover main approaches

That machine gun at the edge of the woods spots a British section move around a poppy field and quickly train the .50 cal on them. The lead fire-team opens up first, putting down two of the weapons team (although the British commander is heard to mutter that if he'd known it was a .50 cal...)
Their return fire wounds one paratrooper before they can scamper into the poppy field, and supporting fire from the other section silences the machine gun

Machine Gun spots movement

At the outskirts of the town a sniper makes life difficult for the advancing British. He loses his nerve in the first exchange of fire and withdraws to a house further into Now Zad (for the rest of the game his presence is more threatening than effective - his great talent seems to be in remaining hidden, putting a shot on target: not so much!)

Sniper takes aim

A large Taliban group, urged on by their leader rush forward into the grove to enfilade any British advance. Cunningly they remain well inside the trees and await their moment

Taliban advance into grove

To their right, another group has been forced to take refuge inside a house after having been beaten badly in a firefight with the advancing Paras

Taliban take cover inside house

Those Taliban, pinned down by enfilading fire from the poppy fields are assaulted by another fire-team. They run (having made their quality check, at least they can say it wasn't like teenaged girls!).
These gung-ho Paras find themselves in a very nice house, with excellent defensive firing positions!

Taliban flee from British assault

Over on the other side of Now Zad, a leader and his group have had some success at long range, killing and seriously wounding the two members of the GPMG team, but they are hit from several angles and lose four of their own number. They fall back to safety behind the house

Taliban leader lies in wait

A Taliban group advances through the scrub to attempt to retake the well-fortified house from the British. In tandem with the group in the grove they should be able to force the Paras out

Taliban advance through scrub to retake house

A unarmed UAV comes on station, aiding in the search for the troublesome sniper

UAV comes on station

The Taliban group come through the scrub and take cover behind the courtyard wall, but their fire has no effect on the well-ensconced Paras inside the house

Taliban fire into fortified house

Taliban reinforcements run to a rooftop overlooking the same house to join in. The fire from the three different groups has little effect and the Paras inside wipe out the group to their right in the grove

Reinforcements arrive to join in battle for farmhouse

The fire-team which has come through the poppy field to advance on Now Zad come running to their mates' aid in the beleaguered farmhouse. They leave behind a serious casualty due to the urgency of the situation

British casualty left behind

They outflank the attack on the farmhouse, wiping out the Taliban group completely. They join the Paras in the previously besieged farmhouse to safeguard that flank, but take some casualties (the squaddies already there have all the good positions taken)

His mates outflank attack

Finally the sniper's continual pinging of the farmhouse gives away his position and the Paras' return fire is deadly accurate. They move out to finally clear out the town

Sniper gives his position away

The leader and his small group have made it across the town and have joined up with the reinforcements there. They've decided to assault the Paras moving into the town to stymie the seemingly inexorable advance. Their assault goes well initially but despite inflicting one serious casualty on them, the Paras' response is swift and fatal. They've wiped out the Taliban resistance and seen to both leaders

Assault on British advance

A tough battle all round, which could've gone either way. First time running a Force-on-Force game. A learning curve to be sure, but not that bad at all, by the second turn of each scenario the players had grasped most of the basics and the general response was good.
Re-read the rule book on Sunday night and had a few "ah!" and "oh yeah" moments! But the rules have definitely come together more clearly in my mind.
Looking forward to the next time...

03 February, 2010

Cordon and Search

The main British force advances into Now Zad. Their mission is to cordon and search the main buildings.

There is a small farmhouse ahead of them, with a path leading through the poppy fields to another house to their left. To their right is the main town. 3 Para's supply situation is less rosy than planned, with much ammunition expended in the initial contacts

British break off from central position

The Taliban are ready for them, taking cover behind strong high walls in the town, and with reinforcements expected

Taliban in town prepare for contact

The Taliban keep their position in front of British force, allowing a British fire team to move towards Now Zad, biding their time for a better target

Taliban in farmhouse bide their time

A British fire-team takes the first house in Now Zad taking an excellent position to rain fire down on the Taliban group just behind the back wall

British take first house

As the GPMG team in the centre moves through the scrub to put fire on the farmhouse, the Taliban open up, killing the gunner and pinning his assistant, who grabs the weapon and scuttles back into cover (beside the unseen sniper team)

GPMG taken down

With the Taliban force in the centre coming under fire, the British left flank takes its opportunity to move around the poppy fields in a bid to assault the isolated farm house

British section tries to outflank isolated farm

Back in Now Zad the Taliban have driven a technical up to fire it's .50 cal at the British fire team in the house, but to no avail. But despite their best effort the return fire zips right through the vehicle without doing any damage (indestructible Toyota Hilux I guess!)

Technical brings heavy firepower to bear

The British sniper team begins to take its toll on the Taliban, picking its targets with impunity

Sniper team starts to pick targets

Taliban reinforcements arrive in the central farmhouse to ruin the Para advance on the isolated house. It's also about now that a dust storm blows into town, destroying the British technical superiority and interrupting the newly arrived Forward Air Controller's attempts to bring in close air support to flush the Taliban out.
This dust storm curtails the TV8 news team's plan to head into the town to capture some footage of the operation..

Taliban reinforcements arrive to ruin British position

They cause some serious casualties to the British fire team in front of them, forcing them to retreat. The advance in this sector never recovers and due to the Taliban's elevated position, the entire flank is enfiladed and the British do not regain fire superiority

Taking casualties while retreating

A Taliban sniper arrives in the area to turn the table on the British. They see off the British sniper team, killing the spotter and seriously wounded the rifleman. [I've left them on the table, even though it's an off-board asset, with the card underneath so we can remember the rules]

Taliban off-board snipers

The fire-team on the rooftop takes on both Taliban groups in the town, forcing them to dissolve but taking a serious casualty themselves

Fire-team takes on all comers

The British section finally totals the Technical (immobilising it and destroying the .50 cal) allowing them to advance to quieten resistance in the town

Second fireteam totals Technical

The Taliban leader in the town flees with the crew of the Technical

Taliban leader runs with bailedout crew

The Paras have taken the town but have been thwarted in their attempt to clear the rest of the area. They've taken significant losses and both Taliban leaders have escaped to fight on

02 February, 2010

Hot Reception

As the Gurkhas draw a cordon around any possible escape, A Company of 3 Para is landed by Chinook on the outskirts of Now Zad.

The Taliban wait to drive them back to the landing zone.

Hot Reception planned by the Taliban

The paratroopers advance through the scrub

British sections advance

Some casualties are taken in the intial rush. Impetus and control breaks up as fire teams hunker down in cover

Casualties taken as open ground crossed

The left flank continues its advance, avoiding contact with the Taliban groups over the wall

Using poppy fields as cover

The team going around the other side of the poppy field takes fire from the Taliban sniper, but spots him after an ineffective shot and puts him down

Other first team prepared for assault on first farm

The GPMG team advances along the left with some support but takes fire from the mortar before the spotter is taken out and the advance peters out

GPMG advances on right flank

In the centre the Javelin team gets hit continuously but miraculously both team members survive multiple hits with only minor wounds. The fire-teams who intervene to give medical aid are not so lucky though

Javelin team and fire team goes down

After some initial success the Taliban withdraw back to the main compound and despite taking some losses at the wall opposing them the British clear out this last redoubt, including the 81mm mortar which has advanced to fire directly (due to the loss of both leaders who were able to call in targets)

Last redoubt

A pyrrhic victory for the British, taking significant casualties as well as expending masses of ammunition in taking this outlying farm

01 February, 2010

The Ambush

3 Para is tasked to secure a compound on the eastern outskirts of Now Zad, believed to be a weapons dump, a possible bomb factory and a safehouse for Taliban commanders.
10 Platoon of the Gurkhas would establish an outer cordon.

As the small Gurkha convoy passes through the small village of Aliz'ay a local Taliban force ambushes them from the village and from the wadi on the other side

Ambush is laid

Taliban lurk in ravine, it is from here that the majority of Talilban reinforcements will come

Taliban lurk in ravine

The British column, a Warrior IFV (with a section of seven aboard) and a Land Rover WMIK advance past poppy fields, unsuspecting...

British column

With Taliban spotted following a parralel course across the poppy fields, the WMIK cuts off the retreating squad and hammers them with some support from the Warrior

WMIK cuts off retreating Taliban

The section dismounts and takes cover, feeling like they've been pushing their luck inside the Warrior with RPGs around

Section dismounts and takes cover

The British section clears the first compound, pinning several Taliban groups who've reacted to their presence

British section clears first compound

British trade fire with .50 cal in trees. Having killed most the the crew the Taliban heavy weapon withdrew into the grove and stayed there until the Warrior was engaged elsewhere

British trade fire with .50 cal in trees

British begin to take casualties as the Warrior struggles to keep tabs on the various threats. The WMIK is hit by an IED as it turns away from the Taliban groups in the ravine. The crew bail out when their main weapon is destroyed

British start to take casualties and WMIK turns around

Newly arrived Taliban anti-Tank team takes aim at the rear of the Warrior. The British wounded aboard have a lucky escape as the heavy RPG round goes PING!

Anti-Tank team takes aim

With the British section aboard (minus their two KIAs) and the WMIK crew scurrying for their lives back the way they came and Warrior backs up

Warrior covers retreat

It takes a detour to put paid to the last RPG firer which would threaten the retreat with almost fatal results for it

Warrior dissuades pursuit

We actually played this twice, early in the morning I played the British and made it through the mission without a single casualty *for shame* though Gar came back for more and the second game between him and Fatz was considerably closer)

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