Battle Report: “The Welcome Party” – Spectre Operations

Having been asked last week to plan a game, I sat back and had a careful think about what might be an exciting scenario to get my opponent’s figures on the table. Some sort of escort mission maybe but what to protect? As my eyes wandered across the various modern wargaming Facebook groups I settled on a name. Geordiestan is the setting for Whitley Bay’s 3D Gamers current moderns campaign, a middle eastern paradise that seems to involve every group under the sun.

Who better to protect than a visitor from a foreign country? After all, how dangerous can the drive from the airport be?


Geordiestan, a fellow Middle Eastern backwater, is seeking to establish relations with the newly established Bazistan government. To begin this process, Geordiestan have sent a political team to begin talks. While planning the trip, an issue has arisen in regards to the ambassador’s safety.

With the local forces split between the Pro-Democracy and Pro-Monarchy factions and therefore unable to provide protection, Geordiestan instead turned to the private sector. Unfortunately for them, the two primary contracting firms in the region (Commando Global Solutions and Argo Asset Protection) were unable to provide close protection due to various legal issues.

A new company to the region, Petramco, has instead been contracted to provide close security during the ambassador’s visit. The trip between the airport and the city would see the protective detail joined by two patrol vehicles from the New Zealand Defence Force as required by ISAF-AP.

However, anti-government forces have been informed of the ambassador’s visit. Capturing or eliminating the ambassador would be a massive blow to the new government and any strike against the western forces would put pressure on ISAF command.


Rules: Spectre Operations
Setting: Bazistan, Post Intervention
BLUFOR: NZDF, Petramco and Geordiestan Diplomatic Services
OPFOR: Bazistan Militia – Anti-Government Forces


Protecting the ambassador was two groups. 8 professional contractors (with carbines, LMGs and a battle rifle) working for Petramco would provide close protection while a squad of soldiers from the NZDF were tagging along to provide protection along a common ambush route. Both groups were mounted in vehicles – the NZDF had borrowed some armoured Humvees while the two teams of contractors were riding in armoured SUVs. Finally, the Ambassador rode in a covertly armoured car along with two bodyguards and his aide.

However, against them was a pretty substantial force. The core was four large groups of trained fighters, each with a squad leader and a mix of heavy weapons. In addition there was a snatch squad of professionals armed with carbines ready to drive in. The heavy hitters were a Anti-Material team occupying the high ground and four technicals. Three of them were armed with HMGs but the last was carrying a M40 heavy recoilless rifle. Finally, this group was receiving some outside support from an unknown group – each of the infantry units were accompanied by a professionally trained soldier, complete with body armour and grenades. This professional was able to take advantage of the mentoring rule and boosted those guys he was working alongside.

The goal for each force was simple – BLUFOR was aiming to move off the opposite corner of the board while OPFOR seeked to capture the Ambassador and his aide. However, if this wasn’t possible then killing the ambassador would be a partial win.

The starting positions for everyone. ROE for BLUFOR was to only respond if fired upon or if overt actions were spotted (such as an armed vehicle or group armed with heavy weapons moving to fire positions).

The convoy begins moving, with the NZDF taking front and rear positions while the ambassador rode in the centre.

Spotting BLUFOR’s movement, one of the groups of fighters started to get moving. Originally planning to just engage in a fire fight, my fellow warlord came up with an ingenious idea. One fighter hotwired the HGV while the rest prepared to jump on board. This spur of the moment idea is one of the reasons why I really like Spectre.

As the lead vehicle rounded the corner, one of the OPFOR teams decided to seek cover behind the parked car. However, the gunner on the top spotted this movement. In particular, the sight of two RPGs and a PKM being moved into position prompted a burst from the M2HB to rattle down the street.

The first salvo was deadly – both RPG gunners were killed and the suppression spread amongst the rest of the squad.

As the next turn started, more of the convoy began to enter the high street. This prompted some reaction from OPFOR. The red technical with the recoilless rifle rolled forward to block the escape route but managed to be immobilized and stripped of its crew, leaving the gun ready to fire but missing its crew. This would be a constant threat to BLUFOR, as gun teams frantically tried to get its tank busting power back online.

At the same time, the blue pickup carried the snatch squad to a forward position, getting them in a location from which they could ambush the incoming convoy. However, this did expose the team to a drive by shooting from the lead Humvee, causing the death of one of the team.

In addition, this turn saw the start of the barrages of fire from nearly every group. Machine guns and RPGs flew everywhere adding suppression to the incoming enemy vehicles.

The next turn saw more movement as the BLUFOR commanders ordered them to “push push push”. The rear NZDF vehicle however slowed, setting itself into overwatch to protect the rear of the convoy from anyone sneaking in.

As you can see in this picture, this was lucky. The HGV roared forward, heading to ram the rear most vehicle. However, the overwatching Humvee was easily able to rip the vehicle to shreds knocking almost all of those onboard out of action. This also caused it to change heading,leading to it blocking the road rather than colliding with the opposition.

Further down the road, the lead elements of the convoy got caught in a cross fire as the snatch squad and a hidden technical opened fire.

The next turn saw the tide start to turn for the insurgents. As the lead SUV started to move off, the snatch squad opened fire. After causing major damage, a burst managed to hit the driver. This shot incapacitated him and the vehicle swerved to a halt. The first contractor was out of action.

Taking this as inspiration, the rest of the insurgents opened up. One group of fighters and it’s technical began to move to hit the rear of the convoy.

This turn also saw the contractors begin to engage the enemy from their vehicles. Although opening the windows reduced their protection, the automatic fire helped to put suppressive fire down.

The rear SUV also suddenly got into trouble as two RPG gunners moved into view. The rockets managed to cause some serious damage to the vehicle, rendering it almost immobile.

On the other side of the board, a duel of HMGs opened up. The rear Humvee hammered a few rounds at the exposed technical. It managed to cause a m-kill. In response, the insurgent gunner shot back but failed to do no more than cause a pile of suppression. Unfortunately a civilian was also hit in the crossfire.

The hits to the rear vehicle forced the contractors to make a choice. Either they could sit in their vehicle until it was destroyed or they could deploy and broaden their tactical options. Deciding to get stuck in, the four mercs rushed into cover behind the barricade and prepared to open fire.

While the commander of the lead SUV struggled to get into the driver’s seat, his rear passengers moved to shut down the closet threat. Rushing the technical that was causing damaged to their Humvee escort, the contractors managed to take out the driver and began moving towards the rear gunner.

At the same time, the snatch squad rushed the lead SUV. Attempting to grab the one of the contractors, two of the team rushed the door. The first was shot down by the remaining merc’s pistol but the second grabbed him and pulled him into the street, aiming to take him as a prize while his squad mates moved on the ambassador.

The rear team was also in the thick of it. After seeking cover, they had engaged the incoming insurgents. The SAW gunner took out the technical while the other three used their carbines to great effect. However, this is where the hidden professionals showed their use. A single frag grenade flew through the air and killed three of the contractors out right with the final guy left stunned. However, fire from the rest of the squad failed to take him out.

At this stage, the NZDF had had enough of being plinked at. The rear vehicle started to move up, partially to collect the remaining contractor but also to begin racing to the exit.

Four soldiers from the lead vehicle deployed, leaving the gunner on board to man the gun. Two soldiers moved to hit the snatch squad in the back and rescue their contractor buddy while the others move up to engage the team that had moved towards the ambassador’s car. The Ambassador however had screamed forward, slipping between the gap and heading for the exit, right into the two squads of insurgents waiting to engage him.

Before the Kiwis could get stuck in with the snatch team, they were engaged by a HMG from the immobilized technical. The shots flew into the melee striking one NZDF soldier down but also killing both of the snatch team. The contractor had been freed from his captors.

The last turn also saw a few other actions I didn’t grab photos of. The other two Kiwis from the lead vehicle moved into position but were shot down by the two members of the snatch squad in a close range firefight. In return, the two insurgents were eliminated by the ever-present Humvee and it’s .50cal. The other contractor left alive from the lead vehicle had managed to take control of the technical he had been attacking, removing one of the major sources of suppression.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time and had to call it. Looking at the board, it was going to be very close. However, the ending consensus was that the Insurgents had just about managed to out fight the western forces and snatched the Ambassador from his vehicle. BLUFOR might have still been able to put up a fight – it was possible that the remaining vehicles could have pushed through. But it would have been a slog as every vehicle, except the rear Humvee, was damaged in one way or another.

A few post game dice rolls worked out the final situation which saw the Ambassador taken captive and the loss of his aide, killed during the final snatch. In other words:

Whitley Bay, I have some very bad news about your Ambassador.


Overall it was an excellent game. The vehicles did a good job of soaking up all the fire but eventually the hits started counting. I decided to give the OPFOR a few more bits of gear when building the scenario so they could actually handle the armoured vehicles more than in my last game. I think the anti-material rifle was a waste of points – one of the professionals should have used it and maybe it would have done more than plink a few rounds off the Humvees.

Most importantly when running a game, both teams enjoyed themselves. We got a few rules mixed up but common sense (and Jack reminding me of rules I’d forgotten) saw that the game was an entertaining time.

But what is going to happen to the ambassador? And who were the hidden professionals working for? Most importantly, how will Geordiestan respond to this outrage? You’ll have to wait and see in future Adventures from Bazistan.

Battle Report: “Big Dave Must Die!” – Spectre Operations

Sometimes, pre-planning games don’t always go according to plan. On Monday, the game was a 7 person multiplayer game on a massive 6×8 table where every side had designs on Big Dave (mostly killing him). On Wednesday I had changed the sides. On Thursday morning, it was now going to be a much smaller game. When I got to the club, it had become a 1 vs 1 over a standard 6×4 board.

And honestly? It was a barrel of laughs that I enjoyed every minute of.


“Big Dave” was a Corporal in the Eritrean Army until he and his squad decided to cross the Red Sea and become a mercenary in the badlands of Bazistan. For the first few years he worked for the various factions before setting himself up as a pirate warlord. Due to his ongoing actions, his name and group quickly joined the list of targets of ISAF-AP seek to remove from the region.

Today, his number has come up. US Army Special Forces Command has dispatched an 8 man team (along with a US Army Security Element) to the small town where Big Dave holds sway. They seek to capture but if no other option is available, deadly force is authorised.

The American Force consisted of two parts: The team of 8 elites in a Razor and a SF Pickup and their Security Detail (a standard 9 person squad with a medic accompanying, all rated Professional) mounted in two up-armoured Humvees. The Americans had an advantage – as far as they knew, the defenders had no idea what they were doing in the region.

 

Against them were two groups. Big Dave had pulled back as many of his pirates as could, giving him a mob of African militia, 4 local militia and three technicals (two with HMGs and one mounting a BMP turret). In addition was his own squad, which were trained to a professional standard and had followed him over the sea from Eritrea. He had also paid off the local police force, giving him an additional 12 Trained fighters which included some heavy weapons. Most of the village was abandoned but a UAV had spotted two armoured SUVs arriving the previous day. The allegiance of the inhabitants of these vehicles were unknown – the Americans would have to be careful.

 As the game begins, the Americans moved into the Area of Operations from the north. In the centre of the board, outside the police station, a group of officers were milling around, chatting with some of the militia and generally standing guard. More officers sat inside doing the general tasks of a working police station, all while trying to not think too much about the most recent guests who had appeared in town. Importantly, all the heavy weapons (the RPGs and MMGs) were still in the station’s armoury.

Inside the compound, the 3 technicals (Red, Green and Blue) sat idling. One was preparing to set off on patrol, with the pirates waiting to help open the gates. However, Big Dave knew something was coming. A little bird had mentioned there could be trouble in the next few days and now dust clouds had appeared on the outskirts of town. He set off to start alerting his troops and getting everyone ready for the fight.

Entering the town, the two American units split. The grunts headed for the covering position, planning to take advantage of the long sight line of the main street. The SOF took the side streets, with the Razor zooming ahead of the upgraded pickup.

Despite the vehicles moving around, the bulk of the OPFOR hadn’t spotted the incoming threat. The green technical set off on patrol while the militia finished their discussion and moved to go back inside the compound.

However, the two most northern cops had spotted the bulky Humvees rolling around and became alert to the incoming threats.

 

As the next turn began the Americans moved even further into town. Both the Humvees finally rolled into their positions and prepared to set up an overwatch.

The two SF vehicles continued to speed along, heading straight for the compound wall and a possible assault position.

In the next turn, the pirates snatched the initiative. The alert police had grabbed the rest of their team and sprinted across the street in order to find a fighting position. However, this was a major tactical blunder. One of the Humvees had setup overwatch and the .50cals ripped a bloody hole in the team, piling on the suppression. The other Humvee fired past the police at the green technical just pulling out of the compound. However, all the rounds missed causing nothing more than suppression.

After having interrupted the enemy’s movement phase, the US Army deployed. Leaving the gunners in their seats, the rest of the team spread out. One fireteam setup on the roof to provide more fire while the other began checking nearby buildings for possible insurgent hotspots.

The SF had finally reached the corner and momentarily slowed in order to take it.

However the gunner on the pickup was itching for a fight. The grunts had reported two police heading for side road and the gunner was now ready. As they passed the gap, the M2 hammered between the buildings. This burst of fire dropped two more police, bringing that main squad down to one policeman hiding behind a car.

In the next turn, the SF vehicle came sliding round the corner, guns facing forward. This sudden appearance shocked the militia and the snarl you can see above appeared. Green had frantically reversed and turned to get away from a crossfire of .50cals while Blue had just moved through the gate as the main gunner frantically wheeled the turret around. The smaller gate had seen action, with all the militia pouring through as Big Dave started to move to join the fight.

Before Blue could hammer a round into the new attackers, the SF pickup sent a burst of .50cal rounds into it. No major damage was caused but it began a hail of rounds onto it.

The rest of the American forces began to send fire down towards Blue. Multiple hits caused damage, first immobilizing the vehicle and then sending .50cal rounds straight through the passenger compartment. The driver was instantly killed while the passenger was incapacitated.

Also at this time the Razor commander had swung its M240 round and lit up the squad of local militia. It’s four shots took down half the squad with the rest being removed by carbine and LMG fire from the grunts further up the map.

However, it wasn’t all going the Operator’s way. Green emptied a burst into the Razor. Only one round hit but it slammed into the driver. It only incapacitated him but the lack of action sent the Razor skidding towards the wall.

The following turn saw the SF disembarking from their rides. The team medic rushed to deal with the driver while the rest of the operators started engaging enemies.

A UGL blast was targeted at Green. However it missed and scattered onto the group of militia around the technical. Both the RPG gunners were vaporised and even one of Big Dave’s squad took a hit. At the same time, one of the operators had requested a missile strike to drop right on top of the wall next to the Green technical.

 

While all this had been going on, a small group of contractors had appeared from two buildings on the board. Initially it seemed like they intended to fight, with one team using the armoured SUV as a shield and advancing behind it. However, seeing the Americans at the compound gates, the rest of the mercs saw the way the wind was blowing. They quickly rushed to get in their vehicles, slinging kit into the boot and moving in a non-combat way. One of the contractors also radioed to the Americans, quoting the days authentication code for Private Military Companies in the region.

Checking the codes against the daily orders, the Humvee gunner did not engage the vehicles, instead letting them speed away from the battle raging behind them.

Around this time, the heavy weapon teams from the police had got their act together and moved to join the fight. However, they were still in the firing line and were taking rounds from the Americans.

Back at the main gate, a traffic accident appeared to have occurred. Blue had been immobilized right in front of the gate and so Red would have to ram the damaged vehicle in order to get into the fight. Luckily the ram didn’t destroy either vehicle but it did end up knocking Green (who had rolled forward to get out of the firing line. The militia decided to use these vehicles as cover and got ready to engage the attackers.

Despite this, the militia got pounded again. Rounds poured in knocking down fighters, killing the gunner on the back of Red and pinning everyone in place.

 

The Argo mercs reached the AO edge and swiftly drove off in the direction of the highway.

Big Dave saw the way things were going and started sprinting (along with his team) towards a parked pickup that could be used to escape. It was a slim chance but maybe the mess behind him would distract the Americans.

And just after everyone had cleared the target zone, a Maverick missile screamed out of the sky and blew a hole in the compound wall.

At this point the middle battle was basically over. The police had been annihilated (only one officer was left alive) while the militia were drowning in suppression or dead. Big Dave’s pride and joys (the technicals) were all combat ineffective, unable to do nothing more than act as a roadblock.

Big Dave kept running to his escape vehicle just as the two Humvees moved into position to block the main routes.

Big Dave reached the vehicle and, rather than wait for the rest of his team, slammed the car into reverse heading for the exit.

This move took him into the firing line of the Humvee. For this turn, he was safe as the Army wanted him alive.

Slamming into gear he skidded round the corner, sped past the two remaining members of his squad (one having been engaged by the Humvees) and began to make a break for it in the other direction.

However, he hadn’t taken into account the three operators that had crept into his compound. Before he even saw them, two carbine bursts and a hail of battle rifle rounds had slammed into the crew compartment. Everyone inside were injured, with Big Dave beginning to bleed out in his seat.

Having just seen their boss’s vehicle get shot up, and presented by a pair of .50cal barrels from the Humvees, the remaining Eritreans surrendered to the US Army.

A few minutes later the operators come to verify the casualty. Big Dave was now dead and the battle won. Not the best outcome but a victory for the US Forces.

But why were Argo in the village? And what had been in those containers inside of Big Dave’s compound? Maybe the interrogations of the remaining Eritreans can reveal who Big Dave was dealing with. 


Overall a really fun game. It came about due to some improvisation and would need a few tweaks if played again but both of us really enjoyed it. There were loads of cool moments, from the SOF sliding round the corner to see the crowd of technicals in front of them to Big Dave’s failed attempt to escape.

My big problem was forgetting two assets I’d been given. As this was pirate town, I should have been rolling for reinforcements every turn once I started taking casualties as the rest of the pirates started flocking to the fight. I also had a mortar strike that I should have dropped on the US Army base of fire and prevented the two 50cals from locking my guys down.

As the game was wrapping up, one of the other players at the club asked if I wanted to run a game next week so he can play with some of his toys. It’s only fair but I think I’m going to get all my insurgent toys out the cupboard. I’ve got some trucks to hunts down.

Spectre Weekend 2017 – Game 4

Hey, this is one of the battle reports from the Cardiff Spectre Operations Event. If you haven’t read the main post yet, you can find it here. If you just want the action, keep reading!


Game 4 – Boarding Action

Off the coast of Val Verde, two cartel lieutenants are meeting about this month’s pay with the gold bars sitting on the meeting room table. The two groups are enjoying the delights of a pleasure yacht. Unfortunately, their partying and lax attitudes to sentry duty has allowed a small team of operators to sneak on board. Splitting into two groups, they set off to do perform a HVT extract on the high seas. Will they be able to grab the targets?

The sides were as follows:

Operators:

All operators have body armour, pistols, personal med kits, frag and stun grenades.

  • Team 1:
    • Elite with Carbine (Red Dot and Laser)
    • Elite with Battle Rifle (Red Dot and Laser)
    • Elite with SMG (Red Dot and Laser) “Pointman”
    • Elite with Carbine, Automatic Shotgun, breaching charge and breaching tools
  • Team 2:
    • Elite Team Leader with Carbine (Red Dot and Laser)
    • Elite with Carbine (Red Dot and Laser)
    • Elite with SMG (Red Dot and Laser) “Pointman”
    • Elite with Carbine, Combat Shotgun, breaching charge and breaching tools

Cartel:

  • Sicario Faction:
    • 1 Civilian VIP
    • 1 Trained Squad Leader with Assault Rifle
    • 4 Trained with Assault Rifle
    • 1 Trained with LMG
  • Gangers Faction:
    • 1 Civilian VIP
    • 1 Militia Squad Leader with Assault Rifle
    • 7 Militia equipped with a mix of SMGs, machine pistols and assault rifles.

Additionally, there are several civilians on the boat. These are working for the cartel but not the main combat troops. If a 6 is rolled on the civilian reaction table something different from the rulebook happens. Rather than attacking the nearest figure, they are simply converted into another fighter for the cartel player; there is also a roll off to see if they are armed with a pistol or a machine pistol. These figures are still civilians and so are not particularly skilled. That said, they could be a nasty surprise if left unsecured.

The operators start on the bottom deck. The two factions of cartel start separately, with the VIPs on the Bridge and Captain’s Quarters deck. Above them on the roof deck, the cartel are enjoying the sun and partying away. Below the meeting, the team of sicarios are patrolling through the ship (aka doing their job).

The original plan for the operators was to sneak around as much as possible. However, two turns in the sicarios had just glimpsed Team 1 sneaking past the pool. They were able to put some fire down on the Pointman (lightly wounding him but mostly saved by his body armour) which alerted the rest of the boat. In response, the breacher in Team 1 swept his AA12 around and filled the lead target full of buckshot. Despite being injured, the SMG equipped point man was also able to put a burst into the last sicario visible and drop him. Team 1 then consolidated to protect the flanks while starting to clear the interior.

On the deck below, Team 2 were stacking up to breach the wall of the engine room so they could push through the rest of the deck. However, this activated one of the civilians. It seems like the Cartel VIP’s flunkey had finished being sea-sick and was now ready to investigate the strange noises going on in the ship.

On the top deck, the gangers stopped the party and started to form up and head downstairs to secure their boss. Several of these civilians started panicking before almost all were converted into pistol wielding goons.

Back on the middle deck Team 1 was tactically clearing the rooms, beginning with the dining area. The Sicarios opened up with a LMG, putting some suppression down and a lot of bullets through the furniture. Seconds later, the rest of the operators were able to incapacitate the gunner before he caused too much damage. This fire also put a ton of suppression points on the now injured bad guy.

The bottom deck saw Team 2 attempt a breach. The charge was placed but rather than create an entry hole, it simply caused some damage to the wall. The breacher would have to manually expand the gap. On the other side, Fatty heard the loud noise and moved to investigate.

As Team 1 moved forward to clear the deck, they flung a frag grenade to clear one of the corridors. This grenade wiped out two more of the trained Sicarios and finished off the gunner, moving all of the suppression onto the final enemy waiting in one of the side rooms to ambush the operators.

Team 2 finally busted through the wall and found themselves facing Fatty down the corridor. Rather than just shooting him, I decided I was going to try to secure as many civilians as possible (I blame long sessions of SWAT 4). A rush into combat, a few rolls, and the Pointman was slapping on the plasti-cuffs.

Team 1 continued to sweep through the deck to prevent anyone trying to flank them. As mentioned before, this poor sicario in the middle of the picture is drowning in suppression points, making him easy prey to the operators.

There were a few turns between the last picture and this one. I spent my time moving through the ship, cuffing civilians and cartel fighters such as the suppressed sicario to prevent any nasty surprises. The gangers spent that time fortifying the deck, setting up overwatch on the staircases and using the converted civilians as alarms against the operators sneaking up. It was going to be a pig to clear out.

The picture actually shows the start of the final assault. After using the leg up move to get Team 2 onto the correct deck and positioning most of Team 1 at the bottom of the stairs, my last operator stood in the pool and flung a stun grenade into the meeting room to hit as many people as possible. It was a hard throw but he managed to hit it dead on. Team 1 then started up the staircases. The stun grenades had reduced the effectiveness of the overwatch but it still put some suppression down on my assaulters. From the other end, Team 2 traded shots through the glass on the bridge. They easily took out the armed civilians before advancing inside to trap the gangers in a pincer move.

The final turn saw the operators continue moving forward. What was interesting was that the cartel had taken the initiative at this point as they were the only ones shooting (my operators were too busy rushing into close combat to prevent them being shot at). This led to the operators taking casualties, with both breachers finishing the game with 5 turns of the bleedout. That said, as the Team 2 breacher took his hit, his sidearm shot took out the militia squad leader and killed him. As the clock ran out, it was safe to say the operators were in charge of the boat.

Once the mission was over, both myself and Craig sat back and breathed out for the first time in a while. That final assault was on a knife-edge – a few fluffed rolls or the enemy armed with some more destructive weapons (like a combat shotgun) and it would have been a very different. Many of the advantages of the operators are tempered due to the close quarters, you can’t clear your way through with explosives. Fighting across 2D ship plans was something really different from usual and I would love to see someone make an actual MDF ship with all the interior rooms.

Big thanks to Harry from Warmill for letting us play across his excellent shipping plans. It was a really unique battle and a great end to the weekend.


Finished reading? For the rest of the battle reports and more on the event itself, the main post is here!

Spectre Weekend 2017 – Game 3

Hey, this is one of the battle reports from the Cardiff Spectre Operations Event. If you haven’t read the main post yet, you can find it here. If you just want the action, keep reading!


Game 3 – Bad Day in Bazistan

Jazan, Bazistan: an Emir in charge of one of the Bazi Militia is heading home after a meeting. The convoy is powerful force, thanks in part to the backing of the Argo Corporation. What the Emir doesn’t know is that the Russian GRU have issued a capture order on him and he is about to roll into a trap. Will the GRU be able to capture their prey?

The sides were as follows:

Russian Attackers:

All the Russians have body armour, frag and stun grenades, pistols

  • Elite Squad Leader with Machine Pistol (with armour-piercing ammo) and Full length shield.
  • 2x Elites with machine pistols (with armour-piercing ammo) and half-size shields
  • 3x Elites with assault rifles (equipped with red dots)
  • Elite with Grenade Launcher
  • Elite with Light Sniper Rifle

The Russians also have an Anti-Vehicle IED which could have been place anywhere on the road. This was marked onto a sketch map.

Emir’s Bodyguards:

  • Vehicle 1: Technical with HMG
    • Crewed by 4 trained and 1 trained squad leader all with Assault Rifles
  • Main Vehicle: Armoured SUV
    • VIP sat in the back
    • Crewed by 3 professional armed with carbines (equipped with Red dots) and 1 professional Squad Leader with SMG (equipped with Red Dot)
  • Vehicle 2: Technical 2 with HMG
    • Crewed by 3 trained all with assault rifles

As the game begun, all the Russians were hiding around the board (Craig had marked the positions using a sketch map). Unaware of the approaching attack, the bodyguards and their allies mounted up in their vehicles and drove away at half speed to begin their route.

Two turns passed and nothing happened (apart from a civilian wandering into the road). Moving round the corner, the lead vehicle was about to accelerate when there was an almighty bang. The Anti-Vehicle IED had been detonated, throwing the vehicle off the road and stunning those inside. The driver however was close to the blast and took the worst of it, a serious wound that knocked him out and caused him to start bleed out.

Following protocol, the rest of the convoy accelerated aiming to clear the killzone. However, the were quickly interrupted with more gun fire. The rear vehicle’s gunner was snatched from his mount by a shot that seemed to come from out of nowhere.

On top of the tower, the Russian with the pump-action grenade launcher pulled away his cover and began to aim his launcher. Meanwhile, on the factory in front of the convoy, three assault rifle wielding figures deployed and started pouring fire down on the militia.

In the following turn, the Russians continued firing, putting multiple bursts into the second technical. This caused enough damage to the engine to halt it. The VIP’s vehicle was now the only one moving, thanks mostly to its armoured nature.

Photo borrowed from TinyTerrain

The crew of both the technicals began to disembark, primarily looking for cover against the attackers. At the back, the second vehicle’s crew were moving swiftly to get the HMG back online. In front of them, the Vehicle 1’s casualty was dragged to the rear and out of the firing line while the rest got ready to engage the Spetznatz on the roof. 

Before the .50cal could bring the pain however, a flurry of grenades from both the launcher on the tower and the team on the roof landed amongst them. The blasts took out everyone from the lead vehicle, massively reducing the ability for the convoy to defend itself.

Meanwhile, the VIP’s vehicle had continued racing forward. As they approached the next junction they were shocked to see three Russians in siege gear and carrying shields stepping out into the road. Worse, when they opened up, the rounds were actually capable of penetrating SUV’s armour and caused suppression.

With the sounds of the last of the militia being taken out and the team leader in the back shouting at his driver to push it, the SUV managed to rally and kept racing forward. As long as they could keep moving, there was still a chance the Emir could escape.

That is until a penetrating shot ripped straight through the door and killed the driver. The vehicle came to a halt, right next to the rest of the Russians. It would take an agility test for the crew inside to be ready to go again as they would need to move the casulty out of the way before they could drive away.

(At this point Ivan quietly reminded us that as this was a US vehicle, the driver should be on the other side. We decided to fix that)

The squad leader managed to rally off most of the suppression but the crew fluffed the agility roll (the driver must have been wedged in place). All around, the Russians were getting closer but the armour was holding. That is, until one of the Russians placed a breaching charge on the door and pulled out a clacker.

I was too busy rolling dice at this point but a ridiculous bit of fighting went down. As the door blew away (stunning the crew inside), the Russian breacher stepped away and his buddy engaged the bodyguard behind the door in close combat. The first bodyguard went down but this just let the team leader put an automatic burst of SMG fire into the attacker. It didn’t cause any damage but it did cause some suppression. Next turn, the attacker shrugged off his suppression and climbed in the back of the car to engage the team leader into close combat, leading to the VIP being exposed as the team leader was taken out. More concerning, the passenger in the front finally got his act together and moved a into position to drive away.

Of course at this point, the driver was very aware of the angry Russian in the back seat trying to abscond with the VIP. Buckling in, he put his foot on the gas and slammed straight into the rear of the car parked across the road. Rather than the gentle tap that would have thrown the operative out of the car, the slam sent the car spinning away. It smashed past some boxes before landing heavily and exploding, immolating all those onboard. I rolled super high on the collision table and the follow-up armour penetration table roll, hence the rather destructive finale.

I had great games all weekend but I think this one takes the top slot. It was so evocative, from the first IED blast through the SUV being breached to the crazy attempt to escape at the end; As Craig said afterwards, it felt just like the opening scenes of a movie. Despite losing all of my guys and the VIP being immolated by my own mistake (man these Argo mercs suck), I still had a really good time.


Finished reading? For the rest of the battle reports and more on the event itself, the main post is here!

Spectre Weekend 2017 – Game 2

Hey, this is one of the battle reports from the Cardiff Spectre Operations Event. If you haven’t read the main post yet, you can find it here. If you just want the action, keep reading!


Game 2 – Teaching

Val Verde: A team of deniable operatives working for a Cartel is closing in on a facility owned by their rival. Their aim? To take out El Jefe while he is out in the open. Two problems: El Jefe has surrounded himself with some Bad Hombres and worse, the team don’t know exactly what the target looks like. Will El Jefe be able to escape?

After having got my first game in, I was asked to help out with introducing the two new players from game 1, Laurence and Jess, to actually playing Spectre with a small game to show off what the rules can do. Lawrence took the Elite Operators while Jess took the role of El Jefe.

The sides were as follows:

Cartel Assassins:

4 Elite operators all with frag and smoke. All weapons are suppressed.

  • 3 with Assault Rifle, red dots and laser
  • 1 with SMG, red dot and laser, battlefield trauma kit

Cartel Defenders:

  • Sentries – 4 Trained with assault rifles, 1 Trained with pistol
  • Squad 1 – 1 Trained Squad Leader with SMG, 1 Trained with RPG, 3 Trained with Assault Rifles
  • Squad 2 – 1 Trained Squad leader with carbine, 1 Trained with flamethrower, 3 Trained with Assault Rifles
  • Civilians – 4 Civilians, one of which is El Jefe (Trained Commander) in disguise

This report is going to be pretty quick as I was too busy running the game to take pictures.

To begin, the elites crept onto the board, moving for cover to begin the infiltration. In order to find El Jefe, they had to perform a scanning action (taking place in the command phase and requiring the operator not to to move). Luckily for Jess and me (it’s hard to run a game if the objective is taken out in the second turn) the first civilian wasn’t the target.

After realising that actually most people would be alerted if a suppressed weapon went off due to the small size of the board, Lawrence took out one enemy stealthy before deciding that no one can set off the alarm if there is no one left alive. Instead, Squad 1 of the Defenders got wiped by a pair of frag grenades and the elites started advancing on the compound. However, one of the sentries was able to injure an Assault Rifle wielding operator reducing the squad’s overall effectiveness. The return fire from everyone else took this plucky fighter out.

This reduction however didn’t prevent them from easily suppressing the rest of cartel guys thanks to their better skills and attachments. While getting closer and closer to the compound, Lawrence’s Assassins finally managed to spot El Jefe in disguise. Before he could be engaged, Jess rushed him into a building; sadly it seemed like the El Jefe was going to be trapped in there while the remaining defenders would try to hold off the enemy.

At this point, JT came across and reminded all of us what the objective was – keep El Jefe safe. Rather than getting bogged down with fighting to the last, El Jefe could simply escape and trigger a win. On the other hand, there was a big patch of open ground he would have to cross before safety.

Barely were the words out of JT’s mouth when El Jefe had vaulted out a window and was running for the hills. As the sound of gunfire continued into the distance (including the death of the flame thrower before he managed to get a shot off which was a common trend on the weekend), El Jefe full on sprinted towards the board edge; with a few hints Jess kept him out of the LOS of any of the Elites and just out of range of any thrown grenades. With only three inches in it, El Jefe moved off the edge of the board and escaped, giving Jess a win.

Overall, I’m really glad that everyone left the game having enjoyed it. The elites are really powerful in the right situation but the ending helps to drive home the point that even the best fighter can lose based on the objectives. Running a tutorial for new players was pretty hard work but was a cool experience.


Finished reading? For the rest of the battle reports and more on the event itself, the main post is here!

Spectre Weekend 2017 – Game 1

Hey, this is one of the battle reports from the Cardiff Spectre Operations Event. If you haven’t read the main post yet, you can find it here. If you just want the action, keep reading!


Game 1 – La Chute du faucon noir

 

Bazistan: During operations, a US Army UH-60 Blackhawk has been shot down in the old town of Bazi City. Observers have spotted two casualties attempting to extracte themselves from the wreckage. Needing to secure the site, Coalition command has deployed a French SF team to the Old Town to capture and defend the area from the Militia. However, this is the Militia’s home turf and they know that the enemy are coming. Will the French be able to hold the crash site long enough to treat the wounded?

Wanting to start the weekend off with a refresher, we decided to go for a reasonably simple yet exciting scenario. With JT on GM duties, my opponent Craig brought out his rather nice Task Force Operators painted up as French SF while I started emptying MENA militia and insurgents out of my bag.

The sides were as follows:
French SF:

  • 8 Operators (one of which was an Elite Team Leader) armed with the usual gear (body armour, frag/smoke/stun grenades, etc). They were armed with a mixture of LMGs, Carbines and a DMR.

Militia

  • 12 man mob armed with ARs except for two figures armed only with grenades (all Militia except 1 Militia Commander) 
  • 4 man team with two MMGs and two ARs (both rated Militia)
  • 2 man sniper team with DMR and AR (one Militia, one Militia Squad Leader)
  • 6 man “snatch” squad with carbines, an assault rifle with UGL and LMG (5 Trained and one Trained Squad Leader)

Before we got dice rolling, the GM pulled both of us aside separately and talked up some sneaky rules. I got to pick D3 buildings to act as spawn zone; the dice gave me two and so I picked ones close to the objective and in positions where I could trap the elites. Then, the SF were taken aside and told something; I later found out that the French were getting some OTA (off table assets) in the form of a Little Bird gun run and some orbiting snipers.

As the game begun, the board was clear of both forces. The first sign of trouble was two teams of four operators (nicknamed North group and South group based on how far up the table from my point of view they were), each taking different routes to the downed bird. The groups remained in cohesion while checking the corners, carefully picking their way towards the target.

Spotting the operators arrive, the militia began to deploy. On the roof of one building, the sniper team appeared and setup looking covering the down helicopter and a main avenue. Across the battlefield the MMG team were deployed in order to take up a suppressing position on the roof, seeking to gain the height advantage.

At this stage, we were joined by two more players, Laurence and Jess who had never played Spectre before. Jess decided to watch to begin with, while Laurence took over as co-militia commander and gained control of the snatch squad and the sniper (presumably the squad leaders had spotted a chance to take some glory and decided to go off script a little bit).

The operators saw the militia appear and proceeded to start taking advantage of their superior equipment. In order to cover their approach to the wreck, the north team popped smoke into the zone covered by the MMG teams. It didn’t completely fill the gap but did do it’s job.

The militia saw this action as confirmation an attack was taking place. The bulk of the force, a 12 person militia squad, deployed out of the same building as the snipers and prepared to march down the street towards the operators. The large squad has an additional benefit for militia, giving them a boost to command.

As a response to the noise of a rabble, two of the operators from south group maneuvered into a position to cover the street and prevent them being flanked.

The operators also went for their tool kit and marked up the MMG gunners rooftop for an Off Table Asset (you can see the countdown dice showing the target). All I knew at this point was that something was coming but I had no idea what form the support was going to take.

The main focus of this picture was the first surprise of the day. Before the North Group could advance on the wreck, and taking advantage of a shift in initiative, the Snatch squad came pouring out of the MMG building and bum rushed the operators. However, due to the positioning, they only managed to surround one operator.

This would be an issue as my opponent easily worked out a counter strategy. Before rushing into combat themselves, the rear most operator rolled a flashbang in the midst of the combat. This worked wonderfully, stunning almost all of the snatch squad who were in combat and reducing their stats to 1.

The operators who charged home easily won the melee against their stunned opponents. With their close combat stat reduced to 1, it was very hard for the snatch squad to cause an sort of damage to them. In the following turn, the squad would attempt to fall back before re-engaging at range.

Above the melee, the MMG gunners had deployed and were now ready to shoot. It was also the perfect moment as two operators had just rushed the downed Blackhawk in an attempt to begin treating the injured crew. The smoke may have blocked the view but using the elevation (and the re-roll offered by being crew served) the team took one of the operators down and suppressed his buddy.

As the mob moved toward the crash site, they attempted to control the street by spreading out and putting a hail of fire down on the two operators covering their crossing. They managed to put down some suppression and threatened the Elite’s hold on the initiative.

In the following turn, a pair of operators moved past the retreating squad and set up in position to cover the crash site. Unfortunately for them, they found themselves exposed to the hail of MMG fire. One gunner wiped out the team leader sat by the wreck while the other shot up a member of North squad. It seemed that these guns were a serious threat, preventing the operators from keeping mobile and chewing through their higher than normal defence.

The MMG gunners were too busy hammering away to hear the sound of a helicopter. By the time they heard it it was too late. A Little Bird came screaming in across the map and lit up the entire squad with it’s miniguns. The remnants of the snatch squad were saved only by the geometry of the gun run, shielded from the gunfire by the overhang on the building. On the other hand, the remaining operators did finish them off by throwing a grenade in, completely wiping out the squad. The militia forces on the northern half of the board had been completely wiped out.

Back on the street, the mob continued their fire, as well as moving part of the squad to start covering the crash site/trade shots with north group. Around this time, the hail of fire brought down another operator and left another elite separated from his team (you can just about see him on the left side of the street).

The way cleared by the miniguns of the air support, the rest of North group pushed into the square. This quickly turned into a two way rifle range, with the operators getting capped at two suppression while piling points onto the mob. Their will held, thanks in part to their large numbers and the presence of the militia commander.

With the risk of the separated operator flanking the mob, the sniper team moved from their starting position and into one covering the mobs flank.

In addition, the mob’s grenadiers started to advance down the street to get into throwing range. The operators had attempted to pop smoke to cover their movement but some of the militia fighters were now overwatching the gap, ready for when the separated operator would attempt to rejoin his buddies.

With another roar, a transport helicopter overflying the area heralded the arrival of another OTA asset. This time, it was two elite snipers ready to turn the tide. With two targets (the militia commander and the militia snipers), they decided to focus on cutting off the command and slammed both shots into the Militia Commander in the streets. With the sudden drop in command, Craig was easily able to regain the initiative and keep it for the rest of the game.

Back at the crash site, the remaining operators popped more smoke and started to close on the objective while putting down fire.

The militia however were content to keep popping in and out of cover, with the lead fighter absorbing all the suppression coming his way.

The French were getting annoyed at this and so decided to really push back. Popping a stun grenade in, a hail of gun fire from every operator brought down a pile of the militia reducing them to a fraction of their starting number.

The game was close to an end and I was almost ready to concede. However, I decided to go out guns blazing. The militia rushed the operators around the wreck running forward in an attempt to lock some enemies in close combat and mob them. Unfortunately, I was bringing fists to a gun fight and so the last of the militia fighters was dropped.

After the final member of the mob was taken down, an eerie silence filled the air. The French SF had only just managed to capture the wreck and so they could begin treating the casualties giving them the win. It had taken a lot out of them, with four Elite operators killed. On the other hand, the only remaining militia was the sniper team so it’s safe to say the operators (and the orbiting helicopters) had given a lot more than they had taken. It was a close game with some great swings as each side seized advantageous situations but Craig seized the day thanks to some clever use of positioning and equipment.


Finished reading? For the rest of the battle reports and more on the event itself, the main post is here!

Battle Report: CGS009 “Dawn Raid” : Spectre Operations

(Seeing as I’ll be too busy on Saturday playing Spectre to do the social media blitz I like to do when a post goes up, enjoy this early battle report!)

To get ready for the Spectre weekend in Cardiff (an event I’ll be on my way to when this post goes live), I decided to spend the first evening of my holiday over in York, playing a game of Spectre. Seeing as my opponent is part of the inspiration behind fictional band of contractors, we decided it was only far to add to the plot. A sneaky dawn raid to snatch a HVT should be an interesting challenge which couldn’t possibly go wrong.


After the Bazi City and Argo Affair, Commando Global Solutions was banned from operating inside of Bazistan. While the head of the Aden office was in Bazi City trying to re-negotiate their license, the acting operations chief (formerly in charge of the Bazi City team) was approached by the Aden Government to perform a dawn raid to snatch a troublesome tribal leader from the badlands that cross the Aden-Bazistan border. Seeing as the CGS A-Team was resting after the events of the Argo Affair, CGS B-Team were deployed into the hills, procedding to hike through the night to reach the target.

Commando Global Solutions were rolling with the following force. All had personal medical kits, pistols, close combat equipment, frag and stun grenades and radios.

Team 1

  • 1-1: Professional Squad Leader: Carbine (scope and red dot), specialist close combat
  • 1-2: Professional: Cabine (scope and red dot), Battlefield Trauma Kit
  • 1-3: Professional: Compact LMG
  • 1-4: Professional: Carbine (scope, red dot and laser), Breaching tools

Team 2

  • 2-1: Professional Squad Leader: Carbine (scope and red dot) and UGL
  • 2-2: Professional: Carbine (scope and red dot) and UGL, Battlefield Trauma Kit
  • 2-3:Professional: LMG
  • 2-4:Professional: Carbine and Light Anti-Tank weapon

Sniper Team:

  • S-1:Professional: Light sniper rifle (suppressor, subsonic ammo)
  • S-2:Professional: Carbine (scope and red dot) and UGL, Battlefield Trauma Kit

Design Notes: Overall, a pretty powerful array of firepower and useful gear. Team 1 is setup for the close assault, team 2 for mid-range fire support and the sniper team for backup. Interesting to note, the team is not wearing body armour, using silencers or carrying night vision goggles. Blame poor corporate spending or making the equipment match the models.

Arrayed against them there was a massive force of trained tribesman. These guys started unalert, with the vast majority off board. However, once the alarm was raised, the commander can start calling in backup (including a squad asleep in the buildings) and one random unit a turn will appear automatically. As long as the commander keeps being successful with his Command rolls, large amount of bad guys will appear from the village just down the road.

Initial Force:

  • Professional Commander – Assault Rifle, Radio (HVT)
  • Trained Soldier, 4x Assault Rifle, 1x MMG, all with radios (sentries)
  • Trained Soldier, 1x HMG, 1x Assault Rifle (HMG team)

Reinforcements:

Main Force – split into 8 man groups

  • Trained Squad Leader – 2x assault rifle
  • Trained Soldier – 4x RPGs, 4x MMGs, 1x LMGs, 15x Assault rifle

Support

  • Professional Soldier, 1x Light Sniper Rifle, 1x DMR
  • 2x Technicals – Random weapons

Design Notes: This was basically me getting as much of my Taliban force on the board and then adding some technicals for the fun of it. The main idea? You don’t want to get stuck in a slogging match with this lot. If the commander is able to get up and get on the radio, CGS B-Team will be in trouble.

The battlefield was arrayed as you can see above, with the road appearing from the north edge. The HVT was located in one of the two main buildings (rolled off when the game started). The rest of the tribesmen were deployed in logical positions – two on the tallest hill, three close to the vehicles and the heavy weapon team on the roof of the main building. CGS deployed on the north-west corner of the board. The sniper team found a good overwatch point while the main bulk of the force was hidden behind the hill. As mentioned before, all the tribesmen on the board begun the game unalert, with the target fast asleep.

The first two turns took place in the last stages of dawn and the operators took full advantage of this, sprinting down the flank well out of line of sight of any of the sentries. However, as the third turn began, PKM sentry and his friend spotted the last man in the team getting behind a hill.

Luckily, the sniper team saw the beginnings of an alarm cry and sprung into action deciding to go kinetic. The marksman dropped the larger threat (the MMG) but his spotter whiffed the shot. The other sentry saw his mate take a hit and so dived to the ground suppressed. Back in the village, the sentries broke up their meeting with one heading for a rooftop, blissfully unaware that a squad of operators was fast approaching his position.

As the next turn started, the sniper team changed his target to the .50cal gunner sat on the building top. Again, one shot, one kill. The LAW gunner in team 2 resisted the urge to drop a rocket on the village and instead engaged the rooftop sentry with his assault rifle and dropped him. Closer in, team 1 wiped the rest of the sentries and continued sneaking around the flank of the village. At this point, all that was left of the tribesmen was two trained fighters lying in cover with their squadmates suppression on them instead at different positions on the board.

However, thanks to the situation escalating, the next turn began with a group of reinforcements coming onto the board. An 8 man group of fighters (including an RPG and an MMG) moved down the road. Additionally, the commander shouted down the radio and a technical with .50cal responded. However, they did managed to roll onto the board at precisely the wrong place. While the rest of his team was on overwatch for enemies appearing from the village, Operator 2-1 saw an opportunity. He turned, aimed his UGL and popped off a round. It landed squarely on the bonnet and with a dull “krump” shredded the engine (a M-Kill) and both the crew members.

The Sniper’s Spotter then turned round and delivered a 40mm round straight into the heart of the new group of enemies that had appeared. By the end of the operators turn, the reinforcements were almost decimated, with only 3 very suppressed tribesmen left in any sort of effective combat state.

The other member of the HMG team on the roof ran to grab the spade grips and start hammering away at the attackers. However, the sniper once again earned his pay dropping the new gunner before he could even get a shot off. This shot however had an unfortunate side effect. Finally drawing a bead on the sniper team, the last remaining sentry fired off a burst of AK fire. One round found its target and suddenly the operators were one fighter down. What was left of the reinforcements also opened fire, putting some suppression points down.

That last burst of fire was important – for the first time, the initiative swung to the tribesmen as they started to be the louder party in the firefight. The Tribal Leader managed to roll spectacularly well, bringing on two squads of infantry (one from the collection of buildings and a weapon heavy squad from down the road) and a technical packing a heavy recoilless rifle. Perhaps the most worrying, the two-man sniper team crept onto the board, waiting to ambush the operators if they managed to snatch the target. The infantry in the buildings started out of coercion, needing time to form up.

This delay was an issue for them as Team 1 came busting in, stun grenades landing first before being taken out for a blast of close range shots. The operators were now within spitting distance of the target.

At the other end of the table, Team 2 and the Spotter were about to get lit up. An overwatch had dropped a few of the oncoming squad but the rest were now in a position to open fire. With a hail of MMG fire, Team 2 were cut down – unfortunately their position was lacking in cover and left them exposed. The final three fighters from the other squad put 9 rounds onto spotter. Only one hit but it started him bleeding out.

Unfortunately we ran out of time at this point. CGS had lost its sniper team and most of team 2. They had taken out a large number of tribesmen but unfortunately the survivors were about to get overrun. I think it’s safe to say that the CGS B-Team was up a creek without a paddle. The next operation into the tribal lands could be very interesting.

Design Notes: I think I made this scenario a little on the hard side for a second game of Spectre. Next time I would tone down the reinforcements, limit it to one a turn or add a delay.


“Let me get this straight. You embarked on a cross border operation, into a nation we have no right to be operating in, into a valley filled with hostile fighters, with no air support. And now the team is either dead or captured?”

The boss closed his eyes; it had been a long week negotiating with the Bazi Interior Ministry and this was the last thing he wanted to do. With a resigned sigh, he opened a cabinet and pulled out a plate carrier.

“Okay, here is a new plan. I’m going to call in a few favours and then we are going to take a little trip. Get the A-Team together and talk to the quartermaster about some gucci gear. When we get back we can have a talk about biting off more than you can chew”

The Action will continue in CGS010. Coming soon!

Weekend Warfare 3 – INTEL01 “Thieves in the Night”

Part 3 of Weekend Warfare steps away from the adventures of CGS (don’t worry, more reports are coming soon following those lunatics). Instead we look at a side story, based on events that took place in Bazistan before Commando Global Solutions arrived. These stories are based off Intel requested by officers in the company

Argo Corporation maintains several depots in Bazistan. These depots will often contain Argo made products getting ready for local distribution but can also act as storehouses for Argo Black Ops in the region.

6 months ago, -REDACTED- discovered Argo was stockpiling gear and preparing to move contractors in country. -REDACTED- hired a team of freelance operators to break into a depot and document the hardware that was in place.

The freelance operators chose to break in before the contractors arrived, when the only personnel at the site were an overnight crew not expecting trouble.


The freelance operators comprised of four characters

  • “Hawthorne” – Elite with SMG
  • “Compton” – Elite with silenced SMG
  • “Alameda” – Veteran with assault rifle
  • “Hollywood” – Average with assault rifle

There are two interesting points about these guys – the first is the range of experience. Two are elites ready to roll but the others are less well-trained. I presume they found Hollywood in a bar somewhere. The other thing is the lack of gear. None of the guys are wearing body armour and only one of them is using a silenced weapon. In other words, they are not in the best state for the mission they have signed up for – the plan is to rely on not getting spotted.

Against them are 8 guards. The four with M16s are all fully trained (rated Average) and start off duty in the sight office. The four armed with pistols are renta-cops (either Novices or Average) and begin wandering set paths inside the warehouse.

The goal of the game is for the Operatives to place trackers inside 5 ammo boxes spread throughout the warehouse. Depending on how many are tagged will determine if the Operative succeed in their mission, each tracker placed improves the final roll by 20%. If they need to set off the alarm off to do this task, it doesn’t matter. However, due to a lack of numbers and armour, it would be best to be avoided

The Operatives stack up
Warehouse 1 with the two guards on patrol
Warehouse 2 with the two guards on patrol. The operators were placed inside due to some camera positioning issues

As the game begins, all is quiet with the guards continuing their patrol routes. Hawthorne and Hollywood are the first to enter, sneaking up to the shelving and coming to a halt. Hawthrone, keeping his eyes open for movement ahead of him, finds the first of the ammo cases and cracks it open. Placing a tracker inside, the first part of the objectives are achieved.

Compton, the second in command of this little group, then enters the warehouse. Walking through the half-light of a dark interior, he spots movement and a flashing torch ahead of him on the ground floor. However, his attempts to spot the exact source fail. In contrast, one of the guards (Waters) peers over the gantry and spots someone who doesn’t seem to be wearing a security guard’s uniform. A flash of a torch and Compton has been spotted. All it would take is a radio call and suddenly the rest of the guards would come rushing in.

Sensing his hastily planned mission is about to go awry, Hawthorne now decides time is of the essence. He sprint up the board and runs head long into Jones, another guard. Hawthorne throws his weight and slams Jones backwards. However, Jones isn’t knocked unconscious (instead running back behind a shelf) and the noise of the scuffle sets alarm bells ringing. With the rest of the guards now getting into combat positions, Hollywood finishes placing a tracker, pulls his gun and starts to rock and roll. Spotting Waters up on the gantry, he raises his assault rifle and sends a burst flying down between the shelves. It misses but forces him to duck for cover. This movement attracts Compton’s attention and he also hammers a burst of 9mm rounds up towards the gantry. These rounds hit and cause a lot of damage, knocking Waters unconscious with a Critical wound. One guard is now out of action.

More worryingly, the reaction team begin to enter the warehouse, sprinting for cover (one of them even flips a table over thanks to too many action films) or rushing up onto the gantry. However Alameda, the final operative has also entered the proceedings and rushes to cover near his boss and long time friend.

The guards start attempting to spot the intruders and for a little while the battle turns into a two-way shooting range with both sides trading fire for not much result after everyone dived for cover. There are some close calls (including a shot missing by 1%). The main result is the slow progress of the operatives up the board, with a third tracker placed by Alameda.

On the guards side, one memorable moment is when Baptist (one of the reaction guards) draws a bead on Hawthrone. He spots, aims and shoots. Its unsure what happens next but probably inspired by the action film they had been watching in the hut and maybe related to an unauthorised modification to a trigger sear, but Baptist proceeded to mag dump all 30 rounds into the wall. Even worse, he seemed to have misplaced all his spare magazines and would have to go grab one from one of this buddies (translated: he rolled a 100 which is a fumble in Skirmish Sangin).

Compton rushed up to cover and almost barged into Jones, still recovering from that first melee attack. Compton however quickly responds putting two shots into Jones chest before a final shot to his head to finish him off. However, exposing himself to get there draws the attention of the guards and a hail of fire flies over his head, almost pinning him in place.

Other guards continue to hammer fire at the rest of the operatives. One, by the name of Brown, pulls up his pistol and scores a hit on Hawthorne. It’s only a graze, a light wound. In return, Hawthorne swings around and puts a burst of accurate fire at Brown. The hits pummel Brown and falls unconscious from the shock. This sudden violence shocked many of the other guards letting up the fire slightly.

Hawthorne, watching the clock, realises that it might be time to cut their losses and flee before the rest of the reaction force turns up. Giving clipped orders, the operatives start to peel away with Hollywood taking the lead. Alameda followed, popping off a shot to pin down any pursuit. Compton even managed to brave the fire and begin his own withdrawal. However, before Hawthrone could join them, one of the guards popped out from behind his table and dropped the leader of the operatives with a short burst (the hit was a massive 17 damage on 2D10).

Despite this last act of defiance, the Operatives had managed to fulfil at least part of their objectives and escaped into the night leaving only one of their number behind. Now they just had to hope the trackers were working….


So final count:

  • 3 Guards knocked out of commission
  • 1 Operative KIA and left in the warehouse
  • 3/5 trackers placed giving a 60% chance of the trackers actually working as intended. Rolling the dice I got a 25, meaning that the mission was overall a success and -REDACTED- now know where the Argo mercs are heading. Starting point for a future mission maybe?

Overall it was a fun game. The testing of stealth rules was rumbled by a valid detection and instead it turned into the test of fighting through the TTCombat Warehouse. There were a few places where I was struggling to fit my chunky gamer hands but it’s a great place for just a simple battle through it if you don’t fancy laying out an entire board. The multiple levels and bays, as well as the shelves you get in the kit. The only downside is that there are limited chances to flank without exposing yourself. Having smoke grenades or adding a small outside area would help solve the issue.

Additionally, the lack of people with body armour led to much more cautious play, sticking to cover and using suppression. However, when someone got hit they normally dropped down hard. A 1D10 pistol becomes a lot more horrifying when there isn’t body armour to block it.

I also really like Skirmish Sangin for such a small game – each character feels like a separate person with their own skill level. For example, Hollywood’s rifle skill in this was almost as good as Alameda but Hollywood did suffer from a lower morale due to being Average rather than Veteran meaning he was more likely. In your mind’s eye, Hollywood becomes the skilled new guy who may be more likely to run away than the seasoned old-timer Alameda.

I’m coming to the end of a few things, and hopefully with have my terrain boards back so expect more Weekend Warfare soon!