25 February, 2012

Please Advise

An American contractor has been captured and is being used as an unwilling technical advisor on use of The Package. A small group of elite operators is sent in to rescue him – should the Azeri militia be taught a harsh lesson it would be considered a bonus.

It's evening time and it looks like rush hour near the militia compound

Crosstown Traffic

The four-man Delta team moves in, choosing to move along the main street

Delta move in

Militia sentries are posted all around the area and Delta take to the rooftop to get cover while attempting to establish fire superiority

Rebel security

The hostage has been moved recently, so that Delta don't have exact intelligence on which building he's being kept in.

Hostage is moved

Rooftop sentries in the largest building open fire on the Delta team and come off second best

Rooftop sentries spot Delta

Militia units begin to converge on Delta and while Delta are winning each firefight they are now bogged down

Rebel forces converge

When evening commuters nearby turn out to be two armed militia volunteers things go badly off the rails for Delta

Evening commuters

All of the Delta operators are casualties in the ensuing firefight, they have dished out an enormous amount of punishment to the Militia units but without anyone nearby to come to their aid it's a major militia victory!

So, after a coffee and some discussion on what went wrong (I reckon that they were used too similarly to what a conventional fireteam would have done (albeit with support). The key to this kind of special operation is to move fast and overwhelm the enemy before they can react.
We set up and go again.

With the Delta team keeping off the main road and rushing up the back alleyway, the militia unit at the far side of the compound takes up position at the corner of the wall near the front gate
As it does so, a heliborne sniper comes on station in support of Delta, but the chopper is sent packing by some brilliant shooting by the GPMG gunner in the militia cell

Flanking move

Running towards the compound wall, dusk turns to night and suddenly the militia feel very isolated and vulnerable (Delta have night-vision devices)

Towards compound wall

Trying to close the distance one militia unit settles down at the doorway to the smaller building inside the compound and engages Delta at point blank

Point blank encounter

Militia sentries close in on the Delta position. The men near the front of the compound keep getting back into the fight (Delta suspect that they may be on PCP, or have body armour underneath their fatigues). Radio chatter suggests that a Person of Interest (possibly a new Militia leader or foreign advisor) is also inside the compound

Overhead view

The initiative has turned in the militia's favour and Delta are virtually pinned down behind that compound wall. With time running out Delta take the risk of splitting into two-man teams with one breaching the wall and the other giving covering fire

Breaching wall

Entering the first building they face off against a lone rebel holding the technician hostage. They shot him easily (though the rebel foolishly turned the gun on them rather than the hostage when they rushed through the doorway)

Hostage stand off

Despite the attention of a civilian they bundle into the (pre-arranged) escape vehicle and escape just in the nick of time.


The Package is still out their somewhere, but US interference will probably be minimal. Delta didn't have the time to pursue the Person of Interest, but the Azerbaijan military should be able to deal with things from here on.

22 February, 2012

Eyes On

Intelligence assets in Azerbaijan have identified that Azeri militia units inside the Armenian-controlled enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh have been attempting to acquire a weapon powerful enough to destabilise the region and bring the two countries to the brink of war.

Azeri Special Forces were given the first bite at the cherry, but failed to prevent the transfer of the Package to the rogue militia forces. An ODA team has been sent into put eyes on it, and destroy it along with any threat to the stability of the region.

Two militia units patrol the area where the Package is being kept, before being moved for its deployment. The two-man observation team is hidden nearby and is scanning the buildings to locate the Package and its Handler to call in a JDAM strike.

Rebel Patrolling area

One of the militia patrols nears a possible hiding place of the OP team and gets suspicious, but doesn't spot anything and moves on

Patrol gets suspicious

With the OP team still searching, suddenly the Handler exits a building and goes to his car - the Package is on the move!

Handler leaving early

The OP team hurredly calls in for that airstrike but communications are a bit fritzy...

OP Team

The second patrol notices them and rushes over towards the copse of trees - spotting the OP team's position and opening fire. One of the team is wounded and they call in the Quick Reaction Force nearby while returning fire. They don't have much time - the first patrol is racing in their direction and a militia unit resting in one of the other buildings has roused itself

Spotted by second patol

Coincidentally (but the team on the ground put it down to careful planning) the QRF drives in along exactly the route the Handler was taking in his car!

QRF drives to intercept

The QRF team open fire on the vehicle, killing the Handler and his driver - the vehicle spins out of control and flips over on some rocky ground

Handler and driver killed

With militia units closing in the the OP team running for their lives, there is no chance to snatch or destroy the Package. Will Special Forces be able to intervene before it's deployed?

19 February, 2012

My Favourite Figures: #4, #3, #2 & #1

I know, you've been beside yourself waiting for the remainder of the countdown  to conclude my two posts from January, here are the top four figures in my collection.

Uncommon Valour

This is from Britannia's Downed Aircrew pack in their Vietnam range (though I've used them in my modern games as well). This particular figure has tonnes of personality. With torn flight suit and a bandaged head, he's down to his pistol and still full of fight!

God of War

Originally I didn't intend to include any vehicles, but another look at this Titan made me change my mind. This relatively old school Warlord titan brings back memories.

Fine Whiskers
Foundry's Darkest Africa range is full of these sorts of figures, and this explorer's whiskers are his most potent weapon in facing down revanchist tribes (or even clever raptors)

C'Mon Buddy

I'll just repeat my post on Santa Cruz Warhammer:

A year or so ago I raised the issue on my blog of using casualty figures in games, irrespective or scale or period - and there was a lot of support for their use. In modern games especially, though also in some sci-fi games like Stargrunt or Tomorrow's War, treatment and escorting of casualties is an important aspect. Sometimes the rescue of a wounded soldier represents the main objective of a scenario (and I am a scenario-driven wargamer to the bone!). Keeping track of who's been wounded or killed can be important if your favourite system doesn't just remove figures entirely.

I use this particular figure (or pair of figures really) as the centre-point for a few scenarios; there's something quite emotive about them. A soldier supporting a wounded comrade - probably sacrificing combat effectiveness to care for his buddy.

I'm not going to suggest that every wargame needs a heavy dose of stark realism, but I hope there's room for this sort of mini-vignette in a one-off game.

The wounded model with comrade is from Britannia Miniatures 20mm Afghanistan range of Americans.

Hope you enjoyed this brief indulgence of mine. Thanks for sticking with me!

15 February, 2012

Task Force Shoemaker - Scenarios

These three linked scenarios allow you to play out actual engagements from May 1970 in Cambodia. As it happened many of the engagements in this incursion from Vietnam were against the NVA and not the Viet Cong, and furthermore they weren't contested as fiercely as the setups allow for. These changes have been made to allow for the restraints of my collection and for playability.

Vietnamese forces had been using eastern Cambodia as safe havens to rest and recuperate without fear of American and ARVN attacks. Transporting materiel down the Sihanouk Trail these areas also served and supply bases.
On 30th April 1970 President Nixon announced his decision to launch American forces into Cambodia with the special objective of capturing "the headquarters of the entire communist military operation in South Vietnam."
While ARVN forces in the south fixed the enemy’s attention, Task Force Shoemaker including the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment would drive forward to cut off and capture the elusive enemy headquarters while destroying enemy forces and equipment.

Download the PDF

Anyone wanting to read more can get a quick overview in Chapter VII of the CMH study Mounted Combat in Vietnam or can read Keith Nolan's excellent book Into Cambodia: Spring Campaign, Summer Offensive 1970

09 February, 2012

Strike Force Contest

Over the last while Ambush Alley Games have been running a painting competition for Tomorrow's War. Didn't get to enter myself, too much on my plate in January, but you'll see the strike force I nearly finished at Leprecon...

They've just announced the two main winners, but still have to determine the Fan Favourite - which is where we come in. Looking at the host of entries I found it quite difficult to just pick one and was amassing a one-stop shop to compare and contrast when I thought why not share my efforts:

Here's the sub-forum with all the entries. I'm showing a single photo from each entry along with a link to see all of them along with any fluff written on the unit's background. I recommend you take a further look before you vote here

2nd Light Desert Infantry

Kampfgruppe Steiner

Nirs Empire Exploratory Force

ESU Strike Force

Strike Force Call Sign: Stin Liska (Shadow Fox)

British Territorial Army on Solent

Colonial Militia

New Israeli Recon Team, Operating on Planet Garden

2nd PLT, A CO 1-143 Infantry Regiment (Airborne)

142nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

FuturKom "Strike Force"

Gün Schwarm 210th Korps

Guavan Defence Force

Operation Eden: Task Force Sector 7-9 (AKA "Marsh Hounds")

Markham's Skybolts

Drop Zone Aegis (DZA)

39th Gemini Orbital Rangers (The "Gorillas")

Blackmoore's Dragoons

Fallout Force

The Unfortunate Gentlemen

4-31st Infantry - "The Polar Bears"

And the winners?

1st Place
Neo Sov Rebels

2nd Place

Well done to both winners, and to all those who entered - some fantastic stuff there I think you'll agree

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