Saturday, 26 November 2016

Chef Pierre Piper went Poppy Picking

A composite force of French and South African UN soldiers advanced on an opium producing village which had failed to pay the local warlord his dues.  The warlord told the local army commander who reported to the UN that the village was "financing the local guerrillas with their misbegotten opium money".  The UN reacted by sending in soldiers armed with Jerry cans of petrol.
[1] A French VAB enters and engages a VBIED, the VBIED reacts with an assault but is short on movement [2].  A Rooikat enters and destroys the VBIED [3].  In the distance a P4 Peugeot, a VBL and infantry on foot advance and engage a hidden group of guerillas armed with two RPGs
We played a second Force on Force game, introducing Breaching, Hotspots, Vehicles and Irregulars.  I realised how hard it is to play irregulars for a new player, they only react once, sometimes don't have leadership, die like flies and the only medics seem to be flies.

The local army commander's "lie" held some truth.  A group of guerrillas had moved into the area and were building up their force for an attack on the local city.  The attack by the UN was a surprise and the guerrillas were caught with only one "roadblocking" unit in place.  A suicide-bomber in a VBIED saw his chance at immortality and drove a B-line straight at the first UN force he saw, a French VAB.

The French VAB, commanded by Chef Pierre Piper opened fire with its Remote Weapon Station, peppering the car but not stopping it, the car got within 4m of the VAB but the occupants were suppressed.  A UN Rooikat then appeared on the road and with a single round hit the Golden Holden VBIED which exploded, luckily for the VAB the explosion did no damage.

On the French left flank a P4 Peugeot, a VBL and a unit of infantry spot and engage an ambush.  In the ensuing firefight (over two turns) the guerrillas are all killed, a VBL is destroyed and two crew are seriously injured.
Firefight between the French and the ambushing unit.  A VBL is hit and destroyed by an RPG.  At this moment the guerillas have 7 Points and the French 2.
The French continue their advance without any visible opposition, a fire team moves to the smaller of the poppy fields and using an petrol and phosphorous grenades set it on fire.
The French set fire to the Poppy plantation.  The last surviving guerrilla in the compound is hit.  In the distance a group of French snipers moves into the compound to setup an overwatch position.
On the left flank the P4 Peugeot advanced to protect that flank and was engaged by two units of guerrillas.  The guerillas suffered from indecision (hotspot spawned units without leaders, a harsh reality of an insurgency).
The Rooikat, a second VBL and a P4 move up to cover the compound entries [1], and fire team moved up to the nearest compound [2] and breaches the wall advancing into the compound.  A fire team of French advance to the main poppy field and set it on fire.  The local guerrilla leader assaults the breachers, but the French are victorious [4].  Meanwhile a massive mob of guerrillas with no leader attempt to flank the French.  Without anti-tank weapons the best they can hope for it so assault the infantry or cars.
The French then continued their main drive to the large poppy field.  Using three vehicles to cover the advance infantry breached the first compound and advanced on the fields setting fire to the last crop.  Four guerillas led by the local leader assaulted the team which had breached their compound.  French were surprised and a vicious melee ensured ending with the death of all four guerrillas.

With their objectives secured (i.e. on fire) the French began their orderly withdrawal.  Though a group of 20 enthusiastic leaderless guerrillas ran to get into the fight.

The Rooikat intercepted and the twenty guerrillas after taking a few hits ran for cover allowing the French infantry to fall back unharmed.  Except, as they crossed the road an IED was set-off hitting two teams of French soldiers, the first team was hit three times, the second escaped without harm.  Miraculously for the French all three hit men escaped with minor scratches.

And thus ended the poppy picking patrol.

Once again lessons were learnt.  The main one I was reminded of was how hard it is too play irregulars in Force on Force.  Hard from a morale point of view.  Who really have to think of your men as lunch money, without spending it you get no lunch...but you have money....

Next week we will just have a fun little game to reinforce the lessons, this time involving prey, hunters and hunter's of hunters.


  1. Fantastic blog mate. Keep up the good work. I still haven't quite got my head round FoF, but your work makes me want to go back to it.

    1. I still reckon it is one of the best systems. The Ambush Alley guys have said the new PDF version will be released this year. Over our games we do not follow the action-reaction rules by the letter. I think our "system" is easier. I must write up a comparison.

    2. It would be great to see your version if possible.
      I've had a problem before with the action/reaction system and dropping the dice etc each time etc. For some reason, it seems hard to keep track of, but it could be our interpretation. Would be useful to see your rules hack.

      -INITIATIVE unit declares action
      -NON-INITIATIVE units declare reactions immediately if in LOS or when unit enters LOS
      -INITIATIVE OVERWATCH units roll reactions vs. NON-INITIATIVE reactions.
      (If overwatch unit failed check it falls off overwatch after present fire is resolved)
      -Non-activated INITIATIVE unit may burn action to use OPPORTUNITY FIRE
      -INITIATIVE OVERWATCH fires if successful, no counter-reaction possible.
      *NON-INITIATIVE units who LOST reaction Rounds of Fire, closest first, activated unit may fire back
      NON-INITIATIVE units which failed a reaction test may not react for rest of turn unless fire upon (then make a reaction test to see who fires first).
      May only fire on Activated Unit if in LOS, so if failed and unit moved out of LOS then no fire.
      *NON-INITIATIVE units who WON reaction Rounds of Fire, closest first, activated unit may fire back
      -INITIATIVE completes action

      **We replace the two asterix lines with: For all reactions at a time we roll a single dice for each unit, then keep the dice on the table and starting at the highest go through the actions/reactions in dice score order. At each interruption we repeat.

      -NON-INITIATIVE non-reacted units may activate
      -INITIATIVE OVERWATCH units may react (or OPPORTUNITY FIRE from non-activated INITIATIVE unit)
      -If fired upon Rounds of Fire occur

      Each time a unit is involved in a Round of Fire it loses 1D and 1” of movement.

    4. I will make a post of it, using color on the text makes it easier to see.

    5. Brilliant, thanks. That's already useful.

  2. A good day for the regulars. Although it never takes much for it all to go very, very bad!

    1. Indeed! Bought that pie a few times. The IED at the end could have turned the game point-wise.

    2. Excellent looking and well run game. I need to get my FoF stuff out again.
      I think that I recognise some of the figures you plan to use in the (mandatory) reinforcement of lessons learned... Your players are going to have more 'fun' than they can stand... ;~)

    3. The scenario will take place on a flat, featureless plain. No terrain: especially no walls. Then they might be scary!