Sunday, 30 March 2014

AAR - Operation [REDACTED]

"What happened at Malika Airport last week?"

"Nothing happened." replied the US Spokesman to the press at the UN HQ.

The truth is more terrifying than anyone could imagine.
The Russian kill and wound the South African guards and steal the UN QRF Medivac helicopter
A heavy firefight is believed to have occurred at the western edge of the airfield.  A three way struggle occurred between the Russians, the UN and the Hotakistanis.  A fourth force was also rumoured to be involved, and this was confirmed by a release from Wikidrips.  We played a massive 4-sided mission.  Operation Democritus begins (see Mission Briefing here)

Unknown to the UN forces the Russians had discovered a stolen nuke (of Russian origin) on one of the crashed aircraft at the airfield.  The nuke "belonged" to the Hotakistanis.  As the Russian moved to recover it a secret force of Hotakistani revealed themselves and a race was on, the Russians to recover the bomb and the Hotakistani to set off the bomb.  The UN, unaware of the nuke, raced to turn the Russians back to their part of the base.  In the vicinity of the aircraft was a secret NSA base which would result in the operation being removed from all the annals of the world (or so they thought!).

The fight started with a section of Russians attacking the helipad at the southern end of the airfield.  Their plan was to steal a helicopter, retrieve the bomb and then fly it back to Russian territory.  The South African guards at the helipad were taken by surprise by the Russians and they fell quickly.

Meanwhile at the west end of the airfield the Russians advanced on their secret objective, the nuke in the crashed airliner.  The nuke had been stolen by the Hotakistanis and crashed on the runway on the first day of the invasion, their plan had been to explode the bomb if they failed to secure the main UN base.  They had been defeated and the bomb had never been set-off.  The plane had then been dragged to the wrecking yard at the airfield, the UN unaware it contained a nuke.
The Main Maintenance Workshops and the wrecked planes.
The Russian rushed into the Main Maintenance Workshops, they heard the helicopter had been captured and that their comrades had also captured a BMP-1 which would soon arrive (Turn 4) to assist them in their task.
The Russian arrive at the MMW

The Russian paratroopers catch sight of their objective, the crashed airliner is in sight.
On a course to intercept the Russians was a motley UN force thrown together from the remnant units at the airfield.  The UN force included a section of South Africans, a section of British, a squad of Americans, a P4 Peugeot with French special forces and a fire team of Australian special forces.  The UN force moved into the buildings overlooking the main wrecking yards.  They battled to breach one of the buildings but were soon in overwatch positions above the yards.
A team of South Africans show the Aussies how to break in to a building.  Mark has painted his Eureka Miniatures Australians (most envious!)
Unknown to the Russians or the UN a third force was hiding just over the outer fences of the airfield.  The Hotakistanis had come to the realization that the Russians had discovered the bomb and they now raced forward to arm the bomb and deny the airfield to the UN.
The Hotakistani platoon run through a minefield losing three men, and cut through the chain-link fence.  The race is on!
The Hotakistani swarmed from their hideout, ran through a minefield, losing three men seriously wounded, and then breached the outer fence.  The Russians soon came under fire from the Hotakistanis.  This would turn into a bloody fire fight ending with only one Hotakistani left alive and only four Russians.
The Russian run towards their objective, but accurate fire from the Hotakistani stops them in their tracks
Unknown to the Russians they had run past a hidden group of Hotakistani agents from their Special Activities Detachment (SAD).  The SAD team had been hiding in one of the upper floors of a workshop, from where they could observe the wrecked jetliner.  The SAD men popped up and poured fire into the running Russians.  The Russians were soon able to neutralize this threat but at a cost.
Russians ambushed by the SAD men.  The Russian leader, Lt Razputin flexes his muscles.
The UN could see the firefight from their positions in the office blocks.  The commander ordered the French patrol to make contact with the Russians.  The French Special Forces moved forward to order the Russians back to their compound.  The Russians failed to move, saying they could not understand German.  At about this time a runner brought up a decoded message which showed the UN commander that the Russians were attempting to retrieve a Empty Quiver - a stolen nuclear bomb.

The French drive up to the advancing Russians, a tense stand-off ensues.
The firefight near the workshops intensified, with the Russians losing a few men.  The French supported the Russians by firing at the Hotakistanis THROUGH the Russian forces, but miraculously no Russian went down to this "semi-friendly" fire.
The firefight grows in intensity.  The French come to the Russians assistance, but fire through the defending Russians.
After softening up the Russians the Hotakistanis charge in with grenades and bayonets, killing four of the Russians.
The first of many close quarter combat.  In this one the Russians are wiped out.
The gunfire and explosions had a dramatic effect in the NSA Darpa base at the other end of the wrecking yard.  Several containers started to shake and blood curdling screams could be heard from within their confines.  Soon the containers failed and out poured a fourth force.  Within the container cages were torn and smashed.  Unfortunately, the nature of this new force has been redacted by the NSA.  The first casualties of this new force were the two NSA agents in the building.

Unfortunately the image of this event has been redacted.
[REDACTED]
Luckily the NSA is a sieve, and we can therefore show you these images:
NSA DARPA EXPERIMENTAL ALIEN DIVISION
The fourth force was some form of alien or synthetic lifeform.  They surged forward, loping, skittering, hunting any human they could sense.  The UN force was the first to see them, the men either puckered up or lost sphincter valve control.
The stolen helicopter lands, the Russians as yet unaware of the new nearby threat.
The Russian helicopter and BMP arrived around about now.  The BMP was soon to become a thorn in the UN side, it main gun a threat to the advance of their troops and a threat to the UN vehicles.  The South Africans had been checking through the vehicles parked in the yards and found a Ratel and a Rooikat in operable condition, they mounted these vehicles, though only the machine-guns could be operated.
The Russian BMP arrives, it survives the operation, but gets hit by 3 to 4 RPGs.
The firefight in the centre continued with multiple casualties on both sides.  The UN taking pot-shots at the participants.  The Hotakistanis realised that the central yard was becoming too dangerous and began a flanking move to get to the airliner.
Hotakitanis begin a flank move to reach the airliner
About now the aliens started to disgorge from the NSA buildings, the shocked UN force poured a withering fire killing into these horrific beings as they ran across the road towards the UN position.  One of the alien queens mounted a wall (and rolled a 1 for the Reaction test, received a card, Man Down, rolled a D10 for the ten alien teams and rolled a 9!  The queen.  She died as she fell from the wall.  Rather anti-climatic to the mirth of the other players.  Especially as I have had a uncanny ability to fall off walls in another game we play!)
An ignominious end to one of the alien Queens
The Aliens swarmed forth, though many died, many advanced on the Russians who had just debussed from the helicopter.
The Aliens rush the Russians
The Aliens began to suffer from an inability to martial themselves to charge into close quarters (by the end of the game I had rolled at least ten "1s" with a D10 for the close combat TQ check.  Not just failing but failing with 1s!)
One successful assault out of four attempts!  The Hotakistanis attempting to range in on the aliens, but the UN intervened shooting down the two Hotakistani snipers before they could fire on the aliens.
The Aliens attacking the UN forces faced a wall of overwatch fire.  Very few aliens made it, most dying in puddles of acid.
A wall of overwatch lead puts an end to the alien advance on the UN forces
The Russians, ignoring the UN request, breached the airliner and advanced to the bomb in the centre of the aircraft.
The Russians ignoring French order breach the plan and advance to the bomb, but suffer wounds and cannot carry the bomb.
The aliens now spotted that there were walking incubators in the airliner and started to breach the aircraft, but once again they failed to muster the will to attack the Russians in the aircraft.  The Hotakistanis also breached the plane but were ambushed by FBS Russian agents, but they overcame the two Russian agents and attacked the fireteam at the bomb, wounding two of the Russians.  The Russians could now not retrieve the bomb with the four men required to retrieve and evacuate the bomb.
The aliens once again failing to muster themselves to assault the walking incubators.
The UN now suffered two setbacks, both their overwatch buildings caught fire and the UN had to rapidly evacuate their advantage points (both Reaction Cards, one played by the Hotaksitanis and one by the aliens, the UN player was not impressed)
Bad luck, the first of two fires in the UN held buildings
The Russian now joined the alien killing spree, firing on the aliens.  They wounded two aliens, then the aliens charged them, losing two more to the Russians, and then in close combat the Russians dispatched the last alien.
Russians wiping out the aliens.
The Russian, after killing the drones, turned on the queen and quickly killed her.
The Alien queen dies.
The firefight in the yard continued, devastating both the Hotakistanis and Russians.  A team of Hotakistanis entered the plane and took down the Russians with UN "assistance" (the Rooikat and P4 had moved up to fire on the airliner).  The aliens clawing at the outside of the plane once again fail to muster the will to charge into the plane!  The Rooikat was destroyed by the Russians.

The South Africans engaged the Russian BMP with an RPG, but after two hits could not penetrate the armour.  The BMP responded to the fire, also with little effect.
The Hotakistanis clear the plane with UN assistance, while the aliens twiddle their thumbs!
The aliens now exacted some revenge on the UN, a group of five aliens surged into a fire team of Americans, killing them all.  The aliens were soon killed by the Australian SASR.
Aliens munching on the US fire team
The aliens finally entered the plane and killed the Hotakistanis in the plane.  A final Hotakistani surge to breach the aircraft and set off the nuke was withered under heavy fire, but in the end one of the Hotakistani agents got to the bomb.  He started to arm the bomb but was interrupted by incoming UN forces (he required a full turn so he was too late and the mission ended).  The bomb was captured by the UN. Only four Russians were left standing and the last Hotakistani killed himself rather than be captured.  The surviving Russian fell back over the perimeter fence and were extracted by a Russian force later in the day.

A reporter at the airfield reported that the Russians had attacked the UN.  The Russians said that the bodies in the reporters photographs said to be Russians appeared to be a Malikstani militia men, pointing out that none of the uniforms contained Russian badges or flags.  The UN reported that the photographs were fakes or were taken during the initial invasion a month before.

There was never a fight.

There was never a bomb.

The UN and Russians are still on good terms.

There were certainly no "unexplained" events.

Period.

The aliens [that never did exist] were also all killed, though one [of the non-existent] aliens had escaped with a victim...

A bloody four-player four-sided game that ran very smoothly.  Probably our biggest game ever, with over four platoons of infantry.  The Force on Force rules held up well and we finished the game in good time.  Initiative was gold during this game, the ability to have overwatch was precious indeed.  Initiative bounced around, but the UN was able to hold it for most of the game.  The UN captured two vehicles which helped them hold on to initiative for most the game.

The aliens inability to muster themselves to attack and the ignominious end to the one queen resulted in lots of [rude] chortling.    In the end it was a UN victory as they received a bonus 20VP when the Russians and Hotakistanis failed in their missions.  But it was still narrow, with the UNs 57VP vs. the Russians 51VP.

The secret arrival of aliens in the campaign certainly led to shock among the three regular players.  I wish I had a picture of their faces as I setup the 40 drones and two queens.  It was classic.

Sadly, this is going to be my last game for a long time to come, though I hope the campaign will continue.  I will see if I can get players keen in WA, and I hope the Queenslander's keep it going.

Force on Force has enabled us to play some truly enjoyable games.  At least 41 of those games have been reported on this blog.  Not to mention the excellent players Mark, Bill and Shane.  And all the other guest players that have been involved in the 3 years we have played this campaign.

To anyone who has visited our blog I hope we have been able to entertain or inspire you to further gaming.  I hope this is not the end and we will soon be playing the campaign in both Queensland and WA.  If anyone this side of  Sagittarius A wants to join in to play missions in the campaign please PM me.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

MISSION BRIEFING: Operation Democritus

Something Russian
Something United Nations
Something Hotakistani
Something Geiger
And a Holy Hand-grenade in her undercarriage




Malika City Airfield (LV-426) – Camp Acheron
Camp Acheron, once the model of what a UN base should be, was shattered and tense.  Russian paratroopers had landed without warning earlier in the week and had secured the eastern edge of the airport and sent flying columns into Malika City.  The UN wanted to start the construction of a refugee camp at the east edge of the airstrip.  The Russian duma had said they would not move, but a confrontation between the Russians and UN was averted when the Russian commander on the ground agreed to move to the north edge of the base saying, "We will move commander, we are not some out of time fascist bully boy who just takes what he wants."  With that the Russians moved to the north.

Early in the morning General Phil Graves was woken by his adjutant: the Russians had moved en masse from their allotted position in Camp Acheron to the MMW.  The lieutenant said the Russians were heading for the partially abandoned Main Maintenance Workshops on the western edge of the base.  A general alarm was sounded, General Phil Graves ordered his subordinates to put together a force from the many remnant UN units to intercept the Russians and stop them from reaching the MMW.  The rules of engagement: Fire if fired upon, but firmly stop the Russians move.  While the order group was still underway small arms fire erupted from the helipads to the east of the HQ.  General Phil Graves ordered his radioman to contact the guard HQ, but the radioman shook his head handing the receiver to the General, the general put it to his ear, all he could hear was rapid chirping sounds.  General Graves turned red, "The fnckiug Rnssiaus are jammiug ns!"

Earlier, two Hotakistani observers, secreted away in in the MMW spotted two men searching through the wreckage of the planes in the MMW.  The two Hotakistani's stealthy moved closer to the two men.  The men were Russians and were using a scintillometer.  Both the Russians and Hotakistanis dove for cover as a French Peugeot patrol vehicle drove past.  After the vehicle had passed the Hotakistanis could no longer see the Russians.  The Hotakistanis scouts fell back to their hide and radioed for support.  In the dark the two Russians sent an important message to their HQ in Russia.

The MMW includes several wrecked aircraft, including the jetliner which crashed at Malika City Airport on the first day of the Hotakistani Invasion (see LINK)

In the early light of dawn the conflict starts.

MISSION: 10 Turns
INITIATIVE: Russians start with initiative.  From turn 2 roll for initiative as normal.
VICTORY POINTS: See individual briefings for bonus VP, otherwise 2VP per KIA and 1VP per SW.

FORCES:
Russian VDV Paratroopers (INI10, TQ8, MOR10) 
UN Nations motley strengthened Platoon (INI8, TQ8, INI8) -1 INI dice (poor command) +1FP (good supplies)
Hotakistani Paratrooper Platoon (INI6, TQ8, MOR12) -1FP (low supplies)
NSA Agents (INI10, TQ10, MOR12)


Note to players: Only open the secret order link that has your initials next to it.
NSA LINK (ULTRA SECRET ACCESS IS DENIED, otherwise please contact Snowedin or Wikidrips)

The units from each force can be seen here.  Only look at your force!
RUSSIAN FORCE (BC)
UN FORCE (SF)
HOTAKISTANI FORCE (MM)
NSA FORCE (KP) (revealed for all by Snowedin!)

On turn 3 the UN commander receives this hand-written communique:
LINK (SF only on turn 3)

Special Mission Rules:
1) MMW – The workshop contain dozens of vehicles in various states of disrepair, a team using tactical movement may attempt to commandeer the vehicle on a successful TQ check (all sides suffer a -1DShift except for the UN force).  Only a vehicles secondary armaments can be used on commandeered vehicles, the primary armaments are not functional.  A non-successful commandeer results in the vehicle being classed a non-runner by all forces for the rest of the mission.
2) No side has access to artillery, reinforcements or air support
3) Initiative, only one side has initiative per turn.
4) Concrete buildings are +2D, warehouse is +1D, all internal are +1D.  All buildings are 4D10 STR.  The aircraft give a +1D
5) All doorways and gateways are considered closed and all windows locked.  To enter the unit must pass a breaching TQ +1DShift.
6) The aircraft can only be entered by passing a breach TQ.

The Russians must also capture a helicopter.  The helicopter is guarded by four UN soldiers.

RECON IMAGES
RECON IMAGE 1

RECON IMAGE 2

Saturday, 15 March 2014

AAR - Of Bunnies and Badgers

Hello you cutesy, wootsy, squiggly, bunny friends! Sweet Little Granny here. Welcome to the Fluffy Bunny Show. Shall we sing our song?

Fluffy fluffy bunnies bouncing in the wood.
Fluffy fluffy bunnies bouncing as they should...


Um... No.. Sorry, wrong blog... Let's start again.

The Hotakistani Badgers' BMP's coughed to life, and moved out against the French, who appeared to be making a lot of noise,  but showed no inclination to get closer.


The Hotakis take on the French

Lt Brock waited for the Hotakistanis to be fully commited to driving off the French feint attack, and then ordered his men forward towards the compounds. However, as one of his teams passed close to an isolated house, they spotted a Hotaki who was supposed to be keeping watch. As he raised his weapon, he was shot; a follow-up team stormed the building to capture him, but he was 'discovered' to be dead. The rest of Brock's force continued to advance.

However, the Hotaki main force had been alerted to the British, and tried to fall back to counter them. One BMP shot up the Eryx team, causing them casualties - and then pulled back across the field. A second BMP tried to do the same, but the French 300m team's AT-4's succeeded in killing it as it tried to back over a wall. At this point, the Hotaki infantry section with it suddenly decided they needed to be elsewhere, and left... to the fury of the Hotaki commander (An event card caused this). The last BMP and its accompanying infantry - one of whom fell to a French sniper - withdrew to the edge of a field, from where they could take the British advance in flank. The Hotaki infantry fired as they advanced, killing a British soldier, and avoiding all return fire.

Hotakis disengage - the burning BMP is next to the house.
The lead British fireteam also shot at the Hotaki infantry, again without effect; shots were returned, leaving another Brit dead. Lt Brock began to get a feeling that today would be a bad day - at this point, he did not know how bad.

The British advance, the BMP's on their flanks
Action then came thick and fast - a Hotaki sniper appeared on a rooftop, but was quickly gunned down. The northernmost BMP came under fire from two British teams with AT-4's. The first missed, and the British team received a 100mm shell for their troubles, which killed one and lightly wounded another. The second AT-4 was fired by the team in the isolated house, and caused the BMP to burst into flames.

Hotaki infantry skirt the field where their BMP burns
A British fireteam tried to rush a building in the main compund, only to discover that it was occupied by Hotaki gunmen. A firefight ensued, leaving one Brit wounded, but the Hotakis were both down, and were easily overpowered when the British stormed the building. Inside, sat against the walls with their hands and ankles tied, and hoods over their eyes, were the eight hostages. Quickly, their bonds were cut, they were assisted outside, and hustled away to safety.

Meanwhile, Brock was trying to fend off the Hotakis, who seemed to have seized the initiative; the enemy were boldly moving through the field, putting down heavy and accurate fire, supported by the sole BMP. They had already exacted revenge for the loss of their BMP by gunning down his team in the house between the fields, and several other fireteams had men down. Brock's last AT-4 had bounced off the front armour of the BMP, as had a rocket from the LAW. AK74 rounds were impacting all around him, and the BMP's turret was turning towards his HQ team. Corporal Fisher shouted that the hostages were safe. Brock opened his mouth to order the withdrawal, when something punched him hard in the chest, and he fell...

A major British victory, but at a severe cost. All the hostages were rescued unharmed. However, they suffered 4 dead, 6 seriously wounded, and were unable to retrieve their 2 of dead and 3 of the seriously wounded (the latter fell into Hotaki hands, and were reported to have died of their wounds shortly after...). The Hotakis lost 5 dead, suffered 1 serious wound, and lost 2 BMP-3's.

(P.S. the French suffered no serious casualties... even cheese-eating related ones...  )

Lessons learned - once again, the Hotaki sections are hard to stop, and pump out a lot of killing power, simply due to their size. Perhaps the larger teams should only be TQ6, or the section broken into squads. Personally, I like the larger team - it gives less flexibility, but is extremely dangerous. The British were very unlucky both with their defence dice, and also with their casualty checks - even when the medic was on hand. Cynics might link this with their failures to take any Hotakis prisoner - perhaps they should use band-aids rather than knives on wounds... It was also suggested that the casualty check should use a D10, to be less bloody.

Both sides again forgot to use smoke until late in the game...