Friday, August 24, 2007

Operation CRIMP

I got to play another Cold War Commandergame last night, once again set in Vietnam. This time Gary came over and played with me. We waited around a bit to see if John might show up then got rolling a little after 8PM.

Vietnam, January 1966


The 173rd Airbourne Brigade is deployed to West-central Binh Duong province as part of a Brigade Search and Destroy operation.


A force of Vietcong guerillas has been spotted trying to sneak through the gap between the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment and the 2nd Battalion 503rd Infantry (Airborne). The companies on the flanks of these battalions must close the gap and prevent their escape. This is Scenario #8 Encirclement – right out of the Cold War Commander book.



CO – Battalion HQ 2/503rd Infantry(airborne)
HQ – CHQ Bravo Company 2/503rd Infantry (airborne)
9 Infantry stands (3 platoons of 3 squads each)


HQ – CHQ A Coy, 1 RAR
9 Infantry Stands (3 platoons of 3 sections each)


2 x HQ (2 company commanders)
18 x Infantry stands (2 companies – 9 stands each)
82mm mortar section
HMG platoon section

The Game

Turn One

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

As per the scenario Gary chose to set up first (though now that I think about it as guerillas I probably should have set my commanders – who were using mobile deployment - on the table edge first! Sorry Gary, I’m a big cheater…) on the eastern third of the table and took the first turn. The two companies each made one move before their respective commanders failed command rolls. Slow and cautious, perhaps they thought they could sneak through without being spotted. They have twelve turns to get 25% of their force off the west end of the table to score a major victory…. He left the mortar set up in a rice paddy with a nice line of fire down the irrigation canal – the only such field of fire on the table – everything else being blocked by tall grass/sugar cane or stands of jungle.

Then the Aussies came on. The made three moves and ended with one platoon (7 Platoon) deployed at the east end of one of the stands of jungle in a very nice blocking position (the southwest corner of the table), the other two were well on their way to other positions.

The Americans made their way on to the table at an unhurried pace. Perhaps they were “sauntering”.

Turn Two

Gary’s VC formations carried on forward one move each.

The Aussies again surged forward. Those boys definitely have a sense of urgency in their deployment! 8 Platoon was nearly in position in an adjacent stand of trees and bush to 7 platoon’s position. 9 Platoon was to the rear of the wood where 8 Platoon and the CHQ were taking up their position awaiting instructions on where to deploy.

The Americans once again only managed one move this turn occupying a stand of jungle at the northwest corner of the table.

Turn Three

Gary moving the VC forward. Again, one move for each formation… That’s 9 Platoon in the open on the opposite side of the table from Gary.

The Aussies were getting a bit tired of running through the jungle, or the OC A Coy got a bit confused as to where the heck the Americans were at and where he would be needing to deploy 9 Platoon… no move! (I’m sure they were further exasperated when they got a call from the American’s Battalion Commander asking why they were sitting out in the open and not moving? – also tried to issue an order and failed…).

There’s 9 Platoon stuck out in the open. Just to the left of them, in the picture and slightly to the rear in the trailing section of 8 Platoon. Further in the background is 7 Platoon in a solid position to block the approaching Vietnamese.

The Americans started to move out of these woods here. A couple mortar rounds exploded in their vicinity as they tried to cross the canal. This got them moving! They made two moves and successfully got the two leading platoons across the canal unharmed. The trailing platoon however got stuck out in the open canal at the end of the turn.

Turn Four

The northernmost company of VC (on the left of the picture above) surged forward across the rice paddies (two moves). The other company continued at their slow and steady pace. The Americans can be seen at the bottom left with the two platoons in the tall grass and the third in the canal. Over to the right of the picture are the Australians.

The VC mortar, under the direction of the CO got firing! Four salvoes were directed down on the American platoon causing a number of serious casualties and pinning the whole platoon in the canal (2hits and suppressed the first in line, 2 hits and suppressed the second, 1 hit and suppressed the third, then moving back up the line to the first – another hit causing them to fall-back into the second squad and be removed from play – first squad hauled the wounded out of the canal and into the trees where they called for a medevac and waited for the choppers to arrive, taking no further part in the action).

Same time, different angle.

The Australians finished moving into firing positions and part of 7 platoon opened fire on the Vietcong moving through the tall grass to their front. Some minor casualties were sustained in two of the VC sections, but they carried on (3 hits and 4 hits, no suppression).

The Americans took some opportunity fire as they maneuvered in the tall grass, bullets whizzing by close enough to remind them to keep their heads down as they moved up (2 hits on two squads, no suppression).

Turn Five

The VC did some of initiative fire this turn at the Aussies (30cm initiative range is fun!). One section from 8 Platoon, which is now got VC within 10-15cm, bore the brunt of it – a number of were casualties caused and the section fell back from their firing positions deeper into the woods (3 hits total suppressed and fall back 5cm). The other two sections of the platoon were also caught off guard and took some serious suppressing fire one the first round of orders (3 hits, 4 hits, both suppressed). Lucky for me Gary failed his next command roll – if he hadn’t that platoon would have been over run and wiped out!

7 Platoon returned fire, concentrating their fire on closer two sections of VC they inflicted a coupel serious casualties and made them keep their heads down (two successful fire orders - 4 hits and suppressed, 5 hits but not suppressed!).

9 Platoon (on the left of the picture) and the Americans (on the right of the picture) fired on the other VC company.

The Aussies went first and laid down punishing fire one section was taken out and another took some serious casualties. (two successful fire orders 1 stand taken out, another 5 hits and suppressed!).

The 1st platoon of Bravo Company fired and finished off the pinned section and caused some light casualties in another section. The other two American platoons maneuvered in the tall grass. The platoon that had been suppressed in the canal the previous turn moved out and into the tall grass opposite, taking further harassing fire from the mortar – with no injuries, however.

Turn Six

This is where the training and fire discipline of the professional Auatralian rifleman made it’s value known and it kind of all kind of came apart for Gary.

The company on the north half of the table made a single move towards the woods – trying to get them out of the rice paddies. Riflemen from 9 Platoon caught some of the VC out in the open and pinned them down there, again causing sever casualties. (This picture above was take later actually and the stand… and a few others have been removed, but it gives you an idea of where they were headed and where 9 Platoon caught them…).

The OC A company found himself, at the beginning of this turn, with all his troops unsuppressed and in excellent firing positions - with the exception of the one stand from 8 Platoon which had fallen back into the woods as a result of VC fire on turn five. The balance of 8 Platoon was within half range of a half-dozen VC sections. There was some initiative fire, which caused some grief to the VC. The I started making command rolls; first one needed seven (-1 due to assorted initiative/opportunity fires), rolled a seven – more severe fire laid down on the VC. Then passed another roll, fired. Passed another roll, fired. Passed yet another roll (needed 4, rolled 3!), fired. Finally I needed a three to pass the next command roll… it comes up snake-eyes – double action – laid down some further hurt. Couldn’t roll snake-eyes again so I moved on to the Americans – not that it mattered much as the game was pretty much over when the Australians finished firing! In a single turn of firing they had taken out NINE Vietcong infantry stands and caused five hits on a further two, suppressing one of them!

The Americans, as usual throughout this game were only able to move once – as all vidible VC targets were out of range…

Turn Seven

The VC Battlegroup broke! Some ran, fading back into the bush. Others surrendered. Many just lay there bleeding… I thin Gary needed to roll a four – he had lost 4 or 5 stands over his breakpoint…

Final positions (picture taken from the north). In the bottom right are the Americans in the tall grass. In about the center of the picture is the northern VC company – stuck in the open trying to get to the cover of the jungle. Just above them, in the tall grass on the southern part of the table is the sole remaining stand of the other VC company and the CHQ. One platoon of Australians can be seen just about the Americans, the other two platoons are hidden in the jungle beyond – some of 8 Platoon can just be made out. On the far left of the picture is the VC mortar section that caused the only serious casualties to the Americans during the game.

Same thing different angle (from the west). A few more Aussies can be made out.

Again, from the north.


The more I play it the more I like it. Ran a little smoother – had to look a couple things up that I forgot or just wanted to double-check so Gary wouldn’t think I was cheating TOO much! I think next week when I have a few more of my WW2 stuff rebased I’ll try another Blitzkrieg Commander game – with some of the changes from CWC; opportunity fire, close combat, etc.

It was a tough scenario, especially for Gary. But it provided some interesting challenges for both of us and we both learned a bit more about how the game really works.

I think we finished up in just over two hours... maybe two and a half?

Body Count

Again light casualties for the Americans and Australians. Though none of the Aussies stands were taken out I imagine they probably took more casualties than the Americans due to that short nasty close range firefight 8 Platoon had with the VC. I’d expect there’d have been a KIA there and a few wounded over varying severity from small arms fire. The Americans, another KIA from a mortar round that landed right in the middle of the squad crossing the canal, along with a number of severe shrapnel cases.

Also once again, there were severe casualties for the VC. Thirteen stands! Of that I expect ther would have been a dozen or two KIA and critically injured. Two or three times as many WIA, but who knows how many would have been found. I’m sure a couple dozen Prisoners would have been taken here – maybe some good candidates for the Chu Hoi program – if that was up and running at this time. Maybe a bunch simple chucked their rifle in an irrigation canal and went back to their farms..

Given the scenario and how it played out I wouldn’t think it too entirely unrealistic.

If I hadn’t had that run of luck with the Australians command rolls and the game lasted a few more turns the Aussies would have taken a few more casualties as the VC tried to punch through 8 Platoon and overrun the CHQ on their way off the table. I still think the VC casualties would have been severe. It certainly was a tough scenario for them.

Reality Check

There was an Operation Crimp in January of 1966 which the 173rd Airborne Brigade was involved in. The scenario is fiction however – I know very little about the actual Operation Crimp – this was just a situation that I imagined could take place on a Brigade size Search and Destroy mission and it involved Aussies working in close cooperation with the Americans. After march of 1966, 1 RAR rotated back to Australia and the replacement battalions formed their own independent taskforce.

I also don’t know for sure that the three platoons of A coy were numbered 7, 8, and 9. I’m just making an assumption here as the RAR battalion’s organization has changed little from the standard commonwealth battalion of WW2…

Back on the subject of body counts; one thing I do know about the historical operation is that the Aussies suffered 8 KIA, and 29 WIA and caused 27 VC KIA. The entire 173rd Brigade suffered 22 KIA, 106 WIA and reported 128 VC KIA, 92 PW taken. This info was found on the Digger History website – or an associated site linked to it.

Other info I found in Shelby L. Stanton’s Rise and Fall of an American Army.

If you made it this far post a comment below and let me know you were here and what you thought of it! Cheers!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cold War Commander - First Game

I finally got in a game of Cold War Commander last night. I soloed it and spent a lot of time a) looking up and double checking rules and b) taking notes.

Vietnam 1966


A White team of the Divisional reconnaissance battalion has reported a large number of guerillas moving in the bush west of the village of Bo Nong. The 7/11th Cavalry (yes, this is a fictional unit…) was called in to sweep the area Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie would be landed near Bo Nong and sweep towards the west. Meanwhile Delta Company would be air assaulted into a relatively clear spot further west in a blocking position.

The scenario was basically a Pursuit scenario right out of the book. I even tried to figure out the points properly (though I kind of goofed, more on this below). I ignored the VC’s ability (because they have “guerilla tactical doctrine”) to set up after the attacker… as that would defeat the purpose of the whole scenario – they would set up along the opposite board edge that the attacker set up on and walk off on their first turn! I also didn’t bother with ambushes, etc as, it being a solo game, they wouldn’t really be much of a surprise and it would have been one more new thing for me to try to keep track of…

The object of the scenario is for the VC to get as many of their own troops off their base edge. The US troops are trying to prevent this.


7/11th Cavalry

1x CO (CV9) 90 points
1x Forward Artillery Observer (CV7) 45points
4x Rifle Companies, each:
1x HQ (CV7) 45points (120 total)
9x Infantry Units (conscripts) 225 points (900 total)
5x Transport Units (Heli, UH-1 Iroquois) 200 points
1x Artillery Unit (105mm)
1x Artillery Unit (155mm)
Total: 1505


1x CO (CV9) 90 points
1x HQ (CV8) 45 points
18 x Infantry Units (Regulars) (I know; regulars probably weren’t wearing black pyjamas at this point…. I painted them a while ago..) 540 points
3x Infantry upgrade (RPG-2) 45 points
1x Support Unit (Mortar, 82mm) 40 points
Total: 760

As I mentioned I kind of goofed on the points; I realized afterwards that I should have paid points (50 per unit, 250 total) for the ability to have a scheduled air assault with the helicopters as I did on the first turn… Whoops…

The Game

Looking at the table I decided, if I had been playing against an opponent, if I set up the VC on the east half of the table (which was predominantly bush, the US player would have to pick that as his base line. If the US player did otherwise the VC would disappear into that bush and the they’d never be seen again – also there wasn’t really much room for an air assault (which I obviously knew was coming) So I set up a bunch of them in the bush on the east side – some on the western edge of that bush, with a few in a covering position further east. A few I set up in some bush on the west side of the table to cover the withdrawal of my other units.

Turn 1 - US Army

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

(Imagine Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries here)
The air assault goes in. To the left of the picture (east side of table) You can make out one of the company commanders and the battalion commander set up on the very edge of the table ready to bring their troops on using “mobile deployment”.

Skimming in low over the rice paddies (again, Wagner required and beating of rotors).

Approaching the LZ (still more Wagner)… wait, who’s that waiting in the Bush

(beating of rotor blades, shouts of squad leaders and small arms fire now drowns out the fading Wagner)

The Choppers landed, the door gunners sprayed the nearby woods to keep the heads down of anyone that might happen to be there. One of the choppers landed a little close to the woods and started taking hits from small arms fire… and an RPG! There was no serious damage to any of the craft, which all got off safely. All the men hit the ground in one piece but were immediately under fire, some out in the open. The company commander quickly got his bearings and regrouped most of his troops into cover, those closest to the woods they were taking fire from simply fired back – without much appreciable effect.

Alpha and Bravo Companies arrive. Charlie Company seemed to be sagging behind.

AS they pressed forward in the bush they started taking fire from small arms and an RPG. Alpha Company took some minor casualties in its 1st and 2nd platoons and sections of each platoon were suppressed.

Turn 1 - VC

The HQ maneuvered a couple of stands to bring more weapons to bear on the air assaulting Americans. Those that were already in position continued to fire.

The CO got some of the others moving slowly towards the west.

Turn Two - US Army

With initiative firing a couple of stands of VC were suppressed near the LZ, Delta’s company commander then started coordinating the fire of 1st and 2nd platoon and dealt some telling blows to the guerillas in the woods. The return fire began to slacken (because two stands were taken out!).

Platoon leaders in Alpha Company were mostly busy rallying their men and getting them up and out of the fetal positions they had adopted under whatever cover they could find. A few squads managed to squeeze off a few shots at the VC before they faded into the woods.

Bravo Company was moving up by platoons towards the sound of the action.

Charlie Company finally arrived jogging onto the table at a brisk pace.

Turn Two - VC

The VC engaged on the east half of the table used their initiative to fade into the jungle.

The HQ on the other side of the table finished maneuvering a second stand into firing position by the Americans. Others he got moving west. The CO blew his first command roll so chaos and confusion reigned in the jungle as the orderly retreat turned into disorder and the VC became confused as to the whereabouts of their foes. Were they completely surrounded…? Was there anyplace to run to…?

End of turn two. Everybody’s arrived. Delta Company heavily engaged with guerillas in the woods near them (right of picture). Charlie, bottom left, arrives on the scene.

Turn Three – US Army

Under their own initiative elements of 1st and 2nd platoon, Delta Company, shot up the VC in the woods to their front (3hits, 4 hits+suppression). They lost the opportunity to finish them off this turn then their company commander was distracted by some rumours that there were guerillas moving up in the woods on their flanks (this turned out to be only a couple of frightened water buffalos).

Alpha and Bravo Companies pushed their platoons forward across the river in an effort to keep in contact with the retiring enemy. Keep in contact they did; the 2nd platoon form both companies took (opportunity) fire, causing some more minor injuries and suppressing one of the sections.

Charlie Company stood still for the turn while the company commander tried to get his bearing and decide which way to go. Across the open ground to aid Delta, which could be seen in the distance? Or turn into the bush and aid Alpha and Bravo which, from the sound of small arms fire off in the jungle, he guessed were also engaged with the enemy?

Turn Three – VC

Initiative fire suppressed one of Delta’s sections out in the open. The rest of the turn the VC commanders spent trying to get their troops moving.

Turn Four – US Army

There was lots of vicious skirmishing fire across the table to start off this turn. 1st platoon/Delta suppressed one of the VC stands to it’s front. 2nd Platoon Bravo caused another to be suppressed and then fall-back!

Further fire from Delta Company caused the suppressed VC section to fall-back into the stand of trees. Charlie Company continued to hold while awaiting orders from the battalion commander (failed first command roll again!). Alpha company moved up 1st and 3rd platoons. Finally the 2nd platoon of Bravo Company decided they had had enough of chasing Charlie through the jungle and charged a group of them that had hunkered down in some dense bush just a head. When the close assault was resolved later the VC section was wiped out. 2nd platoon, Bravo Company counted six enemy dead, two taken prisoner and a couple of blood trails leading off into the bush. They had sustained only a few minor wounds in the process.

The 1st and 3rd platoons of Bravo Company moved across the river. This drew some opportunity fire from the VC mortar section. They dropped a few rounds in and around the river. The pinging of shrapnel off of helmets and seemed to nonly hurry the troops across the river into the cover of the bush on the other side.

Civilians and water buffalo flee as an artillery barrage comes in!

The FAO was finally in a position to see something: the little puffs of smoke from the single mortar in the tall grass that had been harassing Bravo Company, which he was escorting. He brought down on that the full might of two batteries of artillery 105’s from on firebase and 155’s from another. Some how the mortar men survived, but they were mightily suppressed!

A wider view of things going on in Turn four.

The old man decided he’d had enough of Charlie Company sitting on its ass. He personally started issuing orders directly to Charlie Companies platoon commanders to get moving. 1st platoon began a slow advance through the woods.

Turn Four – VC

There was a smattering of initiative fire but mostly everybody got moving. The HQ rolled snake-eyes and a number of stands made a dash for the table edge. They stopped short, however, when he failed roll #2.

Turn Five - US Army

Elements of 1st and 2nd platoons of Delta Company continued to fire on the guerillas in the wood to their front. Meanwhile the Company commander finally got the rest of the platoons moving around the right flank. With the additional fire the remaining VC section at the front of the woods was taken out.

The ineffectual commander of Charlie Company once again was unable to get his troops moving. The Battalion commander was so furious he, along with his sergeant-major, stormed over to their position and started hauling bodies to their feet and kicking men in the pants. They all got moving! Three times – got them up to the river!

In the meantime, Alpha Company was moving again and Victor Charlie was up to his same old tricks. As they pushed through the bush they’d come under fire, take a couple of hits, and when they raised their heads the VC were gone.

Flushed with their victory from the previous round 2nd platoon charged into a second close assault with a section of VC – the ones in the open that had fallen back the previous turn from the initiative fire. Not having prepped the assault properly, though, and not bringing up sufficient support the lead section was thrown back into third platoon and there was confusion and suppression all around!

Turn Five – VC

Initiative fire suppressed 2 squads in 2nd platoon, Bravo Company, and 1 squad in 2nd platoon, Alpha Company.

The HQ near the west edge of the table decided not to run his sections off into freedom as he realized if he vacated the stand of trees he was in the Americans would occupy it and totally cut off the escape route for the rest of the force. As he tried to organize the sections to fire on the advancing Americans there was some confusion and the sections started firing at each other (command blunder – crossfire!). 3, 4, and 5 hits were caused to the effected sections, two were suppressed – not that that mattered as, being the “active player” all those suppressions went away at the end of the turn…(?) (Is that right? I thought in BKC suppressions caused during this turn weren’t removed… maybe I am mistaken…).

The CO and the rest of the force continued his slow but steady retreat through the jungle.

Turn Six – US Army

No initiative actions – no enemy within LOS and 20cm. Oh sure there was plenty within 20cm, but they were always just out of view…

Alpha Company continued to push through the jungle. Bravo was busy licking it’s wounds from last turn. Charlie company finally got moving under their own steam this turn and was harassed by the VC mortar again (1hit, no suppression).

Delta Company got it’s shit together – snake-eyes for the first command roll! Some did a double move –charging across the open into cover, others moved up and fired. A couple sections took some (opportunity) fire, one of them being pinned down in the open.

The general situation at the end of the US move

The FAO and Charlie Company in the foreground. Bravo Company can be seen in the bush stalled after its failed close assault.

Delta Company in it’s final position at the end of the turn after an initial burst of activity.

Turn Six – VC

No initiative actions, the HQ got guys firing which suppressed a squad from 2nd platoon, Delta Company. When he tried to do it again they got confused and started shooting at each other again (a SECOND command blunder!!).
The CO again patiently pulled his troops back towards the west edge for one move.

Turn Seven - US Army

3rd platoon of Delta Company suppressed a couple VC section in initiative fire so they moved in to close assault. They won, the VC section had to fall-back 5cm into the Jungle, but the Americans, when they went to consolidate had to fall-back themselves to the cover they came from because to move forward into cover would have brought them to within 5cm of enemy troops – the squad they just beat! – which according to the rules they can not do… have to sort that one out in my head…

Here’s another funny one – similar situation, came up a number of times. A VC squad is 5cm into the jungle and thus can not be seem from without because LOS is blocked by area terrain unless the target or observer are in base-contact with the boundary. So a US squad wants to move into the terrain, but they can’t because they can’t move to within 5cm of an enemy squad without assaulting. But they can’t assault an enemy they can’t see at the beginning of the move…. I guess they could go up to the boundary, and stand out side, then see the enemy and assault on a further action… even now that they can see them when moving into area terrain they must stop at the boundary inside the terrain with their base in contact with the edge, which they can’t do because of the 5cm-no-go-unless-assaulting thing… I guess in this case they HAVE stopped at the boundary – they just have to remain outside due to the proximity to enemy units. So maybe that’s not a great example… how about if the VC unit is 3cm from the boundary – technically can’t be seen , but if you can’t go within 5cm without assaulting you can’t even get within base contact… Well now that I’ve played a game I’ll have to go back and read the rules front to back again and hopefully I’ll catch all the things I missed…. Anyway, back to the game….

The rest of the battalion continued their confused running fight through the jungle trying to keep in contact with their ever-fading VC adversaries. The VC mortar fired some more harassing rounds at Charlie Company who were now within range to fire back and suppress the crew.

The FAO also called in some more artillery

Turn Seven – VC

Same old thing some firing trying to suppress Americans so others can get away…. With the exception that on this turn they actually took out a squad from the 3rd Platoon of Delta Company! The first serious US casualties in the game!

Turn Eight – US Army

There was loads of initiative fire this turn with a number of VC squads being suppressed and a couple being forced to fall back.

Delta Company went NUTS! They must have been upset about the loss of their comrades. During their orders phase they suppressed another four VC stands, forcing a few to fall back and taking out two. A Third was taken out in a close assault!

Fire from Charlie Company finally managed to take out the VC mortar crew.

This turn’s action brought the VC Force to their break-point.

Turn Eight – VC

The VC didn’t break. They didn’t do much as many were suppressed. Caused one suppression among the Americans (2nd platoon/Alpha). A number of sections took a gamble and struck out across open ground. The y had to get off the table and the might of Alpha and Bravo company were almost on top of them, they couldn’t wait to try and suppress Delta Company which had the area covered. Most got stuck out there when the CO failed command roll #3.

Turn Nine – US Army

One of the squads out in the open was cut down by initiative fire from Delta Company. The rest looked like a juicy target for the FAO so they were left alone. Unfortunately the FAO FAILED his artillery request roll! Charlie and Bravo Companies also failed command rolls! Alpha managed to creep a bit further forward, and that was it!

Turn Nine – VC

The VC still didn’t break. Using initiative the remaining stand in the open bolted for cover – that 30cm initiative range for guerillas is handy!

Turn Ten – US Army

Another flurry of harsh, suppressing initiative fire started off this turn. Troopers were so busy shooting VC up on their own they couldn’t be bothered to listen to orders Bravo and Delta both failed command rolls. Charlie moved up a little bit. Alpha got a few into a close assault, which they won – they overran and wiped out the VC, then consolidated further forward.

The Battalion Commander kicked Bravo company into gear and two platoons rushed the VC in the tall grass completely overwhelming them!

Some of the Boys in Delta company and the last of the VC making their way to the table edge.

Turn Ten – VC

Still desperately trying to escape without turning into an utter route! Four leave the table this turn in good order. Four more are set to join them next turn along with the CO and HQ.

Turn Eleven – US Army

The final cluster of VC on the edge of the table looks just too juicy a target for the FAO again. Two squads of 3/Delta pull back with initiative to make sure they’re out of the way.

The FAO dices 11… no artillery… dammit!

If that wasn’t enough… Delta, Alpha, AND Bravo all fail command rolls on their first try… Charlie not only fails, they roll a blunder – PULL BACK! They retire a half move back the way they came! I guess they’d had it and said, “Ah, let ‘em go… they’ve had enough…”

Turn Eleven – VC

Failed break test… game over… so close, yet so far…

Body Count

One stand of American infantry from the third platoon of Delta Company - probably a couple went home in body bags, the balance were likely wounded in varying degrees of severity. Throughout the rest of the battalion there was probably some minor injuries from small arms or shrapnel… pretty light in the grand scheme of things and not at all unrealistic.

Ten VC infantry Squads and the Mortar team - pretty heavy casualties, over 50%. In the face of such overwhelming firepower… not entirely unrealistic. What would the Americans have found? Probably a dozen or so bodies and numerous blood trails leaving off into the jungle in various directions, from the injured and dying being dragged off by their comrades. I imagine they would have captured a handful of prisoners as a result of their successful close assaults. That’s about it.


I liked the game. On the one side it had the feel of a protracted running skirmish forever tumbling through the jungle as the pursuers tried to keep up the pressure and remain in contact with the fleeing guerillas. On the other side was a desperate firefight from the moment Delta touched down. From sheer volume of fire Delta Company was eventually able to overcome the initial “ambush” and then do it’s job: blocking the escape route of the VC and causing severe casualties as they tried to flee.

I’m definitely looking forward to trying this again!

Savage Worlds: Modern Ops

Had a couple of the Savages over to play Savage Worlds: Modern Ops this afternoon. I picked this up over a year ago, I’m sure, when it first came out. I’ve had the miniatures painted for almost as long. Yet I still haven’t gotten a game in. So it was about time.

The Situation

The players (Darrin, Jeff p., Lloyd, and Andre) each had a fire team of British SAS. One of the teams had been in a hide on a lonely, cold, rocky mountain in Afghanistan watching a small village for some time. The village was a known base for Al Qaeda. The team reported that a certain high-ranking Al Qaeda official had arrived and a couple other teams were infiltrated to take him down – dead or alive, the powers that be wanted him.

So it was, in the pre-dawn light the four teams approached the village in silence….

Defending the village were three teams of Al Qaeda commandos and a special three man bodyguard team for the official.

On the same turn sentries spotted Andre and Lloyd’s teams approaching from different directions.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

This is somewhat into the game. The trooper on the ground is from Jeff’s team. He had just blasted an RPG-armed commando off a roof – that had just taken out most of Lloyd’s team. Jeff’s trooper, here, in turn, was taken down by small arms from yet another house.

The remains of Lloyd’s team. All bunched up they were a perfect target for the RPG.

Jeff and Darrin’s teams heading into town fro the southwest.

Andre’s team heading towards the town from the east.

Andre’s team again. One man down another shaken. That’s Jeff towering over the village in the background (and a bit of Darrin).

Andre’s team making their way into town, taking fire from the rooftops.

Part of the town and an Al Qaeda commando watching the front door of the big guys house.

Another view of the village from the Northeast.

The big man himself, Osama! He’s just taken down the remaining member of Lloyd’s team.

A view from the South-southeast.

The final take-down. Osama was wired to blow suicide bomber-style – if he thought he was going to be caught, an action would set off an explosion that would cause 5d6 damage to everyone within a large burst template (or 6d6 to everyone confined with in a building with him). The boys played it very clever, however. They overwhelmed him, shot him up a bit and then two charged in and grappled him, and took him down alive!

It was a fun game. Fast, simple and bloody. If everyone had played a little more cautious they might have all gotten out of it with most of their team, like Darrin did.

At the end of the battle all of the commandos had been taken out. Lloyd lost his entire team, Jeff lost three of four, Andre lost two, and Darrin ended the game with three. Two of which were the ones that tackled Osama and brought him down.

The miniatures

The British are all from The Assault Group .

The Al Qaeda are all from Devil Dog Design.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Experiments With Great War Commander: Round Two

Played a second game with a more few tweaks. I multiplied all ranges and distances by 1.5 – that helped out a LOT. I kept the +1 CV if all units in a formation are being ordered to move directly towards their objective. I also added that in a continuous trench-line there is no distance modifier for command. Things seemed to work just fine.

I played the game with my friend John. He played the Germans. I played the attacking Canadians. The scenario was very much like the previous two games.

I also gave myself two batteries of artillery (3dice) with two assets each. It wasn’t nearly enough. I also placed a time limit of 10 turns to take the trenches.

I didn’t take extensive notes so there are just a few pictures.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Very much like the last two games except that all three German battalions deployed in the town. Had we had more time (and I had more turns and commanders that could make command rolls…!) I guess I could have flanked the trenches…

The Germans in trenches by the village.

More of the same.

The 11th Brigade slowly making it’s way toward the town. The Brigadier was up to his old tricks of rolling 10’s and 11’s on hi first or second command roll, thus hi brigade got off to a very slow start.

Canadians moving towards the town..


Turn Five. I had expected John would have deployed some Germans in the woods on the flanks. So two of my artillery assets were wasted blowing up trees.

11th Brigade making it’s merry way forward.

12th Brigade stood and watched the barrage for a turn. I had three command blunders in the seven turns we played. The worst was when the commander of the 12th Brigade got a “CEASE FIRING!” took three hits and was duly suppressed!

The next turn the barrage hit the trenches. A single barrage of 3 dice is not nearly enough to suppress troops in trenches… let alone winkle them out! I think I suppressed two (of the 9 stands that were in that trench-line. Not that I was anywhere near enough to exploit those couple of suppressions either due to poor command roles (and blunders!) in the earlier turns…

12 Brigade heading towards the town under the cover of the artillery barrage.

The barrage hitting the town. I think John was feeling sorry for me so he moved his reserve battalion up into the area he figured the barrage was coming. They three of the four of them were suppressed… not that I was much worried about them… compared to the Jerries in the trenches.

The barrage and my guys nowhere near enough to get in under it.

The dust settles and John decides which of my advancing units he should obliterate first.

We played another round or two. I did get a half dozen stands into contact with the trench-line. All were bloodily repulsed. We could have played it out, but it was getting a bit late and it would have taken a bit of time and I’m pretty sure it would have been hopeless for me…


One thing did seem a bit odd after I thought about it for a bit, and that was a Brigadier moving out among the battalions, sheparding them forward…. Really a Brigadier should be in a dug out somewhere… It got me thinking that maybe I need 8-stand battalions and HQ for each of them… GAH! I’m not sure I’d have ROOM for a divisional attack if that were the case, though.

I’ve decided I should play a couple more games of BKC and CWC to get a better handle on the system before returning to tweaking them for use with the Great War.