Wednesday, 16 July 2014

All Roads Lead To [the outskirts of] Basra

(Yes, I know in the photos it looks suspiciously like an M1 and a Bradley, but let’s pretend it’s an Challenger II and a Warrior IFV, since at the last hour I realised I currently don’t have a container for transporting my own miniatures to the battlefield - Mike and Steve)

:::: 21:03:2003 ::: 5:50hrs ::::  Somewhere on the outskirts of Basra, Southern Iraq
Orders: Sweep and clear a group of buildings of any possible Iraqi units in the vicinity. Aerial Recon has identified two target buildings which have been neutralised and there are no further signs of activity in the area. Units are to detach from main column headed for Basra and rejoin after the sweep. If engaged, Lethal Force is authorised.
  • 1  FV4043 Challenger II
  • 1  FV510 Warrior and Infantry Section

At 5:52hrs, 200m from target location the Challenger came under attack from a T-72 in a camouflaged hull down position on the western side of the road, while a BMP-1 fired from the east. Both failed to cause anything but paint damage and the Challenger returned fire.  Due to the British tank commander being a novice, he managed to load and fire the wrong munitions because he wasn’t paying enough attention to his FoF manual. This meant the Challenger failed to inflict any damage on the T-72.  Regardless of the use of sub-standard munitions the BMP-1 did not fare so well and erupted in an instant fireball.

As there was no cover available and with the BMP down, the Challenger moved forward to flank the T-72 and provide shielding so the Warrior could move forward into cover and deploy its troops.

The T-72 and Challenger traded another volley of fire to, but to no avail.  As the Brits neared the bombed out building to the east of the road, Iraqi infantry appeared in the nearby buildings and let loose with RPG's on both the Challenger and Warrior, all were shrugged off.

It was at this point that a second T-72 appeared further down the road and brought its gun to bear on the Challenger.  It was at this moment that the Brit commander discovered his error with munitions and loaded the correct rounds. The Challenger crew were quicker to act than the Iraqi T-72 crew and the T-72 erupted in a ball of flame and twisted metal.  Two of its crew managed to scramble from the wreckage and escaped on foot in the direction of Basra.

While this was happening the 30mm on the Warrior started to hammer the building where the RPG's had come from.  If there was anyone in there they were now far too busy keeping their heads down.

The 125mm from the first T-72 sounded again, this time finding its mark, the Warrior. Thankfully damage was minimal with the 30mm gun taking just enough damage to make it ineffective.

Again the Challenger and T-72 traded blows, with the Challenger failing to score a hit but this time the T-72 had an amazing stroke of luck, the kind of luck you need to roll 4 dice and they all come up sixes. This was enough to cripple the Challenger.

With the Challenger now crippled and the Warriors gun all but useless, the Warrior reversed next to the tank and prepared to evac its crew. The ground assault was effectively stopped in its tracks (see what I did there) [Editor: Sadly] and now it was time for the Apache's, that were 20 seconds out, to finish the job.

Primary lessons learned from this action,

  • Know your equipment inside out      
  • Don't expose anything but it's toughest side if you can avoid it

Saturday, 28 June 2014

On patrol with the Broke Bone Aussies (aka BrisBane)

After Kevin has been quoting Bruce Shakespeare - William's lesser-known antipodean brother - I thought that I'd also provide a quote from the same play, "Barry V" (where Barry and his mates are trying to get back into the pub after being thrown out for being pissed)...

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the door up with our Aussie pissed.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the wombat, and pass me another stubby of XXXX..."

Sadly, Bruce's poetry was not quite as good as his brother's... However, Eureka's 15mm Australian figures are works of art in their own right - "A thing of beauty is a joy forever". I thought that I'd add a few pictures of the ones that I'd painted up. Like Bruce, however, my artistic abilities are sadly lacking, so I use these as a challenge to everyone else out there (Shane, can you hear me ?) to do better.  ;~)

2017 - The Age of the Robot begins

Following the incident at the Malika City airport, where the NSA experiment with rabid dogs went awry (read about the sordid affair here: REDACTED), the UN has sought alternative means to add to the security of their forces (other than equipping their forces with fire extinguishers).
Wikidrips grainy image of the NSA Rabid Dogs attacking Russian Paratroopers.
Though the first 'bots were used during the eradication of the Bu'hu Nah'harem terror-slavers in west Africa in 2016 the first effective use of bots occurred in the Western Malikastan Pacification during the United Nations and International Intervention force actions following the Hotakistan-Riali war.

Should the UGV be Soft or Light, or indeed a vehicle or Gun?
The first unit was landed at the main airbase in eastern Western Malikastan, the base soon to be renamed after the fallen UN hero Heidi Clare.

Semi-Autonomous UGV Rules to consider
The rules governing robots follow the Tomorrow's War rules with the following amendments:
1) The drones can be used as as single unit or divided up between teams in another platoon.  In the campaign UGV platoons can be dismantled and divided between units.
2) Drones can be controlled by a team it is attached to and thereby uses that teams TQ, and it can be set to be interdependently on overwatch (as per the TW rule on page 146).
3) Drones can be remotely controlled, but at the beginning of each turn roll a D8 TQ, if the roll fails the drone goes into semi-autonomous mode, TQ6 and does not move, but will still engage hostile forces.  If the force includes a UAV then the failed TQ can be rerolled.
4) Drones receive a -1 to Reaction tests as per the TW rules, but also receive a further -1 Reaction when engaging any target within 8" of the drone.  Drones receive a +1drm on spotting checks beyond 8".
5) Drones have an infinite optimum range as per TW rules.
6) UGV drones may not climb stairs or pass over walls.  When a UGV drone crosses a ditch or water feature it my pass two TQ to enter and exit.  A UGV can be man-handled over walls and upstairs, but cause the unit to be considered rapid moving even though it is limited to tactical move distance.
7) UGV are generally armed with double HMG and count as a superior HMG, AP4/AT1(L) and do not suffer from Rapid Move modifiers, nor do they ever fall off overwatch.
8) Whenever a UGV rolls a 1 on a reaction test or bog test it is removed from play.
9) Drones may not fire at a target if the LOF passes within 2" of a friendly unit (not including the team it is attached to).

Ground Zero Games has a nice selection of UGV:
GZG Drones and especially this little one which I think I will be getting.

Drones can be attached as "wingmen" to vehicles and can move with the vehicle adding to the vehicles security.

Worth the rules?  Or simplify.  I like the TW Overwatch rule, adds nicely to tactical options.