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!