Well that’s it – if you pre-order today you could be reading and playing the stuff I’ve been working on. It’s pretty exciting.
All the posts so far have been leading up to this: the first play through of the game. The original plan had been to go in at the deep end and running the first attempt at a proper show. After that fell through, running the trial at a smaller event made a little more sense. 100 Years of War is an anual event run by the Falkirk Wargames Club
After spending the Saturday typing up a play sheet, Sunday saw me waking up at 8:30 to drive over to Falkirk (about 45 minutes from my flat). The weather was a bit grim but it wouldn’t really matter much. The venue is a community hall, very easy to get to by car and with plenty of parking nearby. Its also really bright, great to see in a wargames club venue. In addition to my game, there were quite a few other being setup, including a huge Indo-Pakistani air war game next to mine and a ridiculously large Boxer rebellion game further up, complete with the walls of Peking. Overall, it was a great event – a very relaxed time that I am looking forward to next year.
So, lets take a look at the first game. The picture below shows the layout (although the gunner on the technical was removed before play began). Three players each took a fireteam (created by choosing four operators from the decks I’d made) while I took the OPFOR. My force was randomly generated, based on a dice roll for number of characters and then draw from the pack. Although this was fun to do, I think it may have made the game too easy.
There were four objectives for BLUFOR to achieve
- Destroy the flight deck with thermite
- Secure the black box
- Search the white SUV for important documents
- Destroy OPFOR technicals
As the game begun, the players headed off for their objective. Fireteam A headed for the broken wing section in order to dominate the flank and then advance onto the white SUV. Fireteam B started close to the nose section and so they set off to place the charge. Finally, Fireteam C moved to grab the black box, as well as setting up to hit the various vehicles. All groups started infiltrating (using the stealth rules from the new book).
As they crept closer, one of the militia marksmen managed to spot an operator from Fireteam A. With no suppressed weapons, this basically meant they would have a limited time before they were rumbled.
With a ridiculously high shooting skill, Fireteam A’s marksman was easily able to shoot down his target and incapacitating him. Fighters nearby were unnerved by the sound of this first attack and started locking them in place with morale tests. Fireteam B used this distraction to get into the cockpit and placed the thermite device.
On the other side, Fireteam C got to work. The first shot sent a UGL round flying across the board and into a technical. The resulting explosion set off the fuel being stored there, destroying the asset and taking down two insurgents in the blast. The anti-material gunner
Fireteam B and C also opened up, engaging the group near the white SUV. The first shot took down the middle of the group with the morale effect pinning the rest of the squad in place.
Fireteam C saw the fight starting and decided to use this distraction to sneak up on the black box. The fireteam leader sprinted to the box before kneeling next it.
Unfortunately, this move exposed him to the waiting sniper. Swinging the anti-material rifle around, a quick shot hit and inflicted massive damage, immediately killing him.
As the next phase started there was a sudden blast as the thermite detonated, immolating the sensitive equipment and achieving one of the objectives.
After being pinned down in the open, one of the militia sprinted to seek cover in the back of the plane. However, this move exposed him to gun fire and he was taken out by the dead eye marksman from Fireteam A. Also note the two operators in cover behind the wing, easily able to pin down anyone trying to move up on them.
Covered by their team mates, more operators started to move up on the white SUV, seeking to quickly snatch the intel.
Having reloaded his grenade launcher, Fireteam C’s grenadier sighted the red technical and sent a round flying towards it. Another hit, another asset destroyed.
I must have forgotten to grab a picture but I should mention what happened to the machine gunner on the roof. Fireteam B’s SMG character, still standing close to the nose section, managed to thread a difficult shot through the plane and land an incapacitating hit on him.
Moving round both sides of the plane, the operator catch the last few enemies in a cross fire allowing easy access to the SUV. Both Fireteam A and B took full advantage of the cover provided by the wreckage, including crawling under the wing.
One final bit of excitement – as one operator was search the vehicle a militia man spotted him with the intel and opened up. He didn’t cause any damage and in the next turn, his target rallied and took him down.
As the game ended, nearly all of the OPFOR lay dead or incapacitated. BLUFOR took one casualty and managed to achieve all their objectives. Scratch one for the good guys. All three players had a good time which was great to hear.
After a short break for lunch (including a trip to Subways located 2 minutes from the hall), game two began with three new players picking three new fireteams. I also changed up the enemy team and the objectives, the black box now on the other side of the board. I also set up my OPFOR a little differently
Rather than jumping straight into the shooting, BLUFOR this time managed to actually be a little more sneaky.
While Fireteam A setup at the nose, Fireteam B and C can be seen above moving up on the central part of the plane.
Of course you can’t stealth forever. Fireteam A held off detonating the charge as long as possible letting element of Fireteam B sneak into position next to the engine. The insurgents didn’t spot him but did notice the marksman rushing forward.
As we learnt in the first game though, spotting marksmen never ends well. Before the alarm could be set off, the LMG gunner from the sentry team was taken down by a well-aimed shot, momentarily pausing the sentries as they have to handle the sudden appearance of BLUFOR.
Hearing the sound of gunfire one of the militiamen ran to the back of the SUV and opened up on a prone operator. His shots hit home but the body armour absorbed it all.
Before the shooter could get away, a BLUFOR SMG operator managed to get behind him, drop him with a quick burst and then begin grabbing the intel from the SUV.
Back on the wing, Fireteam A and B moved up. Fighters from Fireteam A, who had blown the cockpit, now moved to join the fight, including one who rushed up to the wing. An insurgent way back on the edge of the board (just out of shot) started shooting but was swiftly silenced by the combined efforts of an entire fireteam.
Meanwhile on the other side of the board, Fireteam C was causing havoc. Having taken out a technical and the marksman, the subsequent morale tests (and their many failures) had pushed lots of troops around and into less advantageous positions.
Seizing the opportunity, two operators moved up and started what was the strangest fight. As the shotgun wielding breacher turned the corner, the closest enemy managed to avoid all the shots fired at him, pass a morale test, drop prone and get into cover. Before the breacher could even act, the insurgent leader came screaming in from out of nowhere and engaged him in close combat. Luckily the leader manged to fluff two turns of close combat before the breacher threw him to the floor. The machine gunner eventually engaged the man under the car, forcing him to surrender.
Start of the final phase and the only effective fighter left on the board was the lone RPG gunner still frantically trying to reload his RPG. As the Operators closed in, two players almost caused a friendly fire incident. As a LMG gunner crept into position behind the tail, his AT gunner compatriot tossed a frag at the last insurgent alive. It didn’t land exact but luckily scattered enough that the plane’s tail absorbed all the shrapnel while still vaporizing the hapless goon. With the operator’s ears ringing we called the game.
Again, BLUFOR wiped OPFOR from the table (even managing to capture two of them) and got all the objectives. BLUFOR did end up losing one character to a PKM burst (this was the team leader in Fireteam A). Once again, everyone left the table having really enjoyed it.
So after getting back and having some time to think back over the events, there are a few things that I think worked and a few that need improving.
What worked well:
- The baseboards: I am really happy with how the baseboards look and work. They look great, didn’t chip too badly despite having dice and terrain on them all day and I was easily able to carry them around by hand from car to table.
- Terrain: The whole “crashed plane on board” idea worked. Despite not using a huge amount of terrain, it managed to successfully break the lines of sight and present something interesting to play around. It was also successful at grabbing people’s attention, with lots of people walking past stopping to take a look at it.
- Cards: Everyone who played (and many people who walked past) commented on the cards. Having the stats plus picture in a handy format really made it much easier for player to get to, rather than having to check bases or look at descriptions.
- Basic play sheets: The basic playsheet/quick reference I wrote up reduce the QRF down to four pages. People seemed to find them very handy and by the end of both games players were working out the modifiers.
- Everyone enjoyed it: The most important part of running the game. Talking to everyone after the game, all of them said how much they had enjoyed playing and liked the system.
What Didn’t work well:
- It was too easy: Both games saw the BLUFOR operators walk away having ripped OPFOR a new one and with minimal casualties. This is way to easy – the ideal is that the players should be able to do all the objectives but it would be a close thing.
- The demo board gaps: The tables I was using had metal rims on the edges of them. This lead to there being a slightly higher point in the centre, leading to some gaps appearing. I think I should bring something to help level it out but I’m unsure what. Something to think about.
- Transporting the boards: Moving the boards in my car was a bit of an experience – while driving back a sudden brake caused them to come sliding forward. Ideally, I need something that will both protect them and stop them shifting around.
- Standing up all day: I really need to get used to being on my feet all day. By the end of it my legs were aching. Basically I need to stretch more.
So before the next showing, what am I going to do?
- Detail the plane: As mentioned previously, I need to make the plane look more like it crashed and less like someone took a hacksaw to it. The plane is to add some structural elements to the joins, paint on some different textures (smoke and oil). Additionally, the board needs more clutter from bits of wreck that were ripped off, like panels of the fuselage or bits of cargo.
- Better objective: Speaking of cargo, the middle objective needs to be improved. The white SUV was a good placeholder but it needs to be something more exciting for the main release. I’m still deciding what it should be but whatever it is it needs to be very important.
- Rework the balance: The game is too easy. My solution is two-fold – increase the number of OPFOR and make the objectives take longer to succeed at. I think my time/AP estimates were off when it comes to placing a demolition device or checking for documents
- Tweak the layout: The core idea is there but I think the buildings should be adjusted to make them more than just show off where the enemy are staying. I also want to add some elements to make it look like the insurgents are working on a recovery operation. Finally, the technicals need to be a little more spread out
- (maybe) Paint up more operators: I really like the start of the game where people would pick their operators from the deck presented to them. If I go ahead with my plan to add some permadeath to the event (operators lost in the morning will not be available later in the day), I need more specialists (MG, UGLs and DMRs primarily) to prevent later teams from being screwed.
- Tweak the timing: I’m tempted to drop the teams down to only two fireteams vs equivalent insurgents to speed up play and allow for more playthroughs of the scenario. It would be nice if this was a quick game that players could jump into. However, I’m not decided on this just yet.
- Other things: I have some other ideas to help get the players in the mood for the game. However, these are secondary to getting the main game fixed so I’m not stressing too much about them yet.
That’s all the update for now. The next update will be after Fiasco but keep your eyes on the Wargaming Week posts for WIP photos as I work on my tweaks.
What’s this? A new post on a Tuesday evening? That’s not on the schedule!
The extra post is for one reason – Plausible Deniability (The new book for Skirmish Sangin I’ve been working on for about a year) has gone to the printers. We don’t want to put an exact date on it but it’s on the final approach to being available to the general public.
I’ll be very vocal when it comes out, but it may be worth looking at the Skirmish Sangin blog and facebook pages for updates. I’m incredibly excited to see it become a physical object and available for everyone to buy and start playing with.
So there has been quite a gap since my last update (back in May) and since then a lot has changed. The game went from pie in the sky idea to actual game that is about to run in the next few days. I am both excited and terrified.
So in the last plan I fired off a big long list of what is going on with the demo game. However, a few things changed
- I didn’t make it to Claymore in August – ran out of time to get ready for it. On the other hand, not worrying about it did mean I really enjoyed the Spectre Weekend
- I’m not 100% sure on Salute in 2018 – there is a lot of logistics to sort out around it (being up in Edinburgh obviously makes travel a huge issue)
However, the cool thing is I can now update that the game is confirmed for two shows! I can confirm I’ll be at the following shows running games
- October 2017 – Fiasco, Royal Armouries in Leeds, 29th of October
- March 2018 – Hammerhead, Newark Showground, 3rd of March
I should also be at York in February but we are still working on confirming it.
Of course, there is another event I’m going to this week…
Scenario is ready. I decided that I wanted to a co-op mission – focus more on the players working together with their small fire-teams while I run the bad guys. The character sheets are all on cards makes this even easier so I can hand over a selection of troops and let the players parcel them out as required. I mentioned on Monday about the cards and I’m really happy with how they have turned out.
As for the objectives, I’ve decided on four that should force the players to push deep into the map rather than just sitting back and having a long range fire fight. These objectives are:
- Recover the flight recorder.
- Destroy the flight deck in the nose compartment (every operator has thermite grenades for this task).
- Check main compartment for sensitive information.
- Destroy OPFOR assets.
For the flight recorder, I looked up some example online, realised that the core of one looks like a fire extinguisher piece for the C130 and decided that that would be the objective. Quick, easy and simple to paint.
I’ll probably tweak them once I’ve done the first run but the multiple locations should lead to each
In addition, I’m also starting the game using the stealth rules I wrote as part of Plausible Deniability, letting the operators sneak onto the board without being pinned down out in the open areas. It also helps me to show off the new features of the book.
To finish, this is the description I’ve been sending to people and should be appearing in the various programs for each show:
Operation Dragon’s Hoard
A Special Forces team has been dispatched to investigate activity around a crashed transport plane somewhere in the Arabian Peninsula. A co-operative game using Radio Dishdash’s Skirmish Sangin.
The base boards are all done! These are obviously the foundation of the demo game so getting them finished was pretty important.
Last time you saw them they looked like this. The wooden portions had been assembled, the foam was added and then the polyfilla was placed on top. We eventually switched to using plaster as it was easier to buy in bulk. On top of that, I painted on a layer of thinned down PVA and sprinkled on sand to create some variations in texture. Then painting happened with spray can after spray can. First up was some textured paint (requiring 4 cans for 5 boards) then a spray of Zandri Dust for the base colour.
The final stage was a scruffy drybrush of Iraqi sand to break up the brown colour. I’m pretty happy with the final result but the real test will be how well they stand up to the process of driving to and from Falkirk as well as a whole days play on them.
THE CENTRE PIECE
As mentioned last time, the centre piece of the board is a downed C130. Having bought the kit. I then had to build it (as seen here covering my desk). The build was fun, although I was a little slapdash (hence some of the seams you can spot in the photos).
And then this happened after using a razor saw on it
After cutting it up, each part was then placed onto plasticard bases. Left over foam from filling the interiors of the baseboard was then added to fill gaps or add some decoration, topped off with a skim of polyfilla. Then the same process used on the boards was used – sand, textured spray paint, Zandri Dust spray on the top.
The next stage is to some addition damage and details. I’m actually planning to hold off on this for my first game – my hobby fund ran a little short for this month. However, they will be ready for the game in October. I intend to add some plasticard struts and wires dangling, as well as cutting some more of the panels away from the airframe.
This shows the wing and drop tank basically finished with the final drybrush layer. I think they do a pretty good job of showing off “aircraft that has been downed and left in a sandstorm for a while”.
I just about managed to get the entire plane finished before finishing this post. The final touches is just more sprays of dust and a big brush for drybrushing. The final effect looks dusty which is exactly what I was aiming for.
To add – I’m not finished with decorating this plane. I still intend to add some more damage to it but I just ran out of time and bits to be able to do it and guarantee to have something ready for Sunday.
My plan last time to go minimal on additional terrain was actually implemented. For the first run, I’ve decided to go with two adobe buildings from REDvector, five rough ground patches made from foam to provide half and full height cover and a collection of technicals (already painted) to be objective targets/cover.
The rough ground is made a similar way to all other terrain on the board – plasticard base, foam offcuts on the top, layer of polyfilla and then desert paint. The end result almost blends into the surface which I’m not 100% on. This is one element I might revisit.
It’s not a great photo but this also shows the buildings finished. Textured paint, spray paint, wet drybrush across most of it and then some brown paint on the beams. The brown helps to break up the scheme, prevent it from turning into just a sea of dust.
The terrain is one place I might tweak, either adding another building or more areas to break up line of sight. However, all this depends on the first run.
So with all these things at the correct stage, the biggest piece of news is what’s happening on Sunday. I am taking this game out for its first two runs on the 24th at 100 Years of War. This is an event that Falkirk Wargames club is running, bringing players along to take part in a whole series of games themed around 20th Century warfare. For me, it’s the perfect place to run a trial run – everyone going has some wargaming experience and it’s not a huge event.
Its really exciting to see how I’ve managed to actually get the game ready to go. Everything on it has been painted by me and its quite satisfying to see it laid out – this is my first terrain project and I’m amazed I even got it finished. The next step is to make sure the game side of it goes well Expect a full report next week as to how the battles went and to see the whole thing laid out on the table.
Emergency post! You’re getting a post tomorrow but just been given the go ahead to talk about something cool.
Radio Dishdash has just announced the next Skirmish Sangin book entitled Plausible Deniability. Focusing on Special Operations, this book will have all sorts of stuff in it to expand Skirmish Sangin.
In addition some preview images are now available.
As you might have guessed from all of the Wargaming Weeks where the gaming portion read “writing stuff” this is the book I’ve been working on. I’m super excited to see it as it progresses and now we’re getting close.
The book’s release date is currently TBA. If you want more info, the best places to look are the Skirmish Sangin forum and the Radio Dishdash blog. More news coming soon but I’m super excited that I can now talk just a little bit about this project.
The start of this week saw the release of the film Free Fire on Blu-Ray and DVD in the UK. Set in the 1970’s, it’s an incredibly tense film all set in one location as an arms deal goes incredibly wrong. The film is packed full of twists and turns and well worth a watch. Incidentally, it was also filmed just round the corner from where I used to get my car serviced when I was in Brighton.
When I first saw the film, I started writing a wargames scenario (scribbling down ideas on the way back from the cinema) but then that whole “lets write a book” happened and it fell by the way side. But seeing as the film has just come out for everyone to watch it, I thought it would be a good time to finish it off.
The scenario is going to spoil a few things from the film so go watch it before coming back. Everyone past the double horizontal lines should be considered spoilers.
Seriously, don’t read further unless you don’t mind being spoiled on a really good film.
Continue reading “Scenario: Warehouse Shoot Out”
Spectre have released their Razor model and alongside it brought out some rather cool rules to include it in their Spectre Operations game.
The Razor has a few key characteristics that separate it from other vehicles. These are
- High speed even over rough terrain
- Small size, light weight and lacking in armour
- Carrying capacity
- Weapon carrying
Using this set of ideas as a starting point, I donned the writing helmet and delved into my pile of rules (covered in great detail here). The first issue that came up was OSC and Danger Close. Both these rule sets currently lack rules for vehicles (although OSC is getting its rules in the next update). In those games, a Razor would be sited just off the board to act as a resupply or MG position and provide support. This left three rulesets to take a look at. Spectre’s rules does include the Razor 4 variant, different to the model that is released, but for now we will focus on the smaller Razor 2.
These rules are in their very early stages and so may be slightly unbalanced. If in doubt, talk them through with your opponents and tweak if needed. Think of these as guidelines.
Black Ops is a cool system that is super easy to get into and great fun to play. It’s rare that you will bring your own vehicles to the party (relying on stealth and all that) but for the Razor we can make an exception.
Razor 2 Stats
|Razor 2||0||0||0||King||LMG (commander's)||Driver, Commander (2)||6|
- Razors count as man-sized targets when shooting at them (like bikes). When hit, they use the car row in the hit location table.
- The Razor, as you can see in the stats, has no armour. You’ll want to drive very quickly.
- Razors are fast: Cautious Move is 7″, Advance is 14″ and Run is 22″
- The front machine gun always counts as stationary (so you always gain the additional shot)
- The Razor has a quiet engine. It does not immediately raise the alarm, instead it generates a noise counter every turn it moves. This is increased to two noise counters if it Advances or three if it Runs
- The commander LMG can be upgraded to a GPMG for 1pt or a minigun for 4pts
- The roof slot can be fitted with a heavy weapon. This turns one of the passengers into a gunner. The weapons available are: LMG 2pts, GPMG 3pts, HMG 4pts, AGL 5pts
- The vehicle can carry two additional weapons (bought from those available to its faction) that can be used by character. Additionally, including a Razor allows the squad to take an additional squad upgrade for the usual points cost.
Force on Force
So Force on Force isn’t my favourite game and I haven’t used a ton of vehicles in it. However, looking around, it seems like many of the stat lines are standardised and anything on the small side will look pretty similar. I’m basing this off the Chenworth DPV with a few small tweaks. I was tempted by Deathtrap as an attribute but I think it would be a negative too far. Instead Technical makes it a less effective gun platform.
For weapon stats, check the rulebook.
Skirmish Sangin provides me with a problem as there are two ways to implement the Razor – treat it as a vehicle or use something similar to the motorcycle rules covered in Dispatches 2. I prefer the second option due to its increased detail but in case you don’t have a copy of Dispatches 2 I’ll present both options.
The Vehicle Option
The Razor 2 in Skirmish Sangin is generated the standard way depending on the crew experience level. The important information is the following:
|Vehicle||Armour||IED Protection||Primary Weapon||Secondary Weapon||Crew||Cost||Morale Mod||Capacity|
|Razor 2||0||0||None (Can be replaced with MMG, HMG, GMG)||MMG (can be replaced with LMG)||2 + 2|
(3+1 if primary weapon is bought)
|100 (not including weapons)||0||4|
The Razor can be used to carry additional gear. Players before the game can pay points values to store weapons and hand grenades in the vehicle. It takes 2AP to collect an item from the vehicle. I recommend limiting it to a small number of grenades and between 2 and 4 long arms. Mention your loadout to your opponent before the game starts and keep track of which character has which weapon by using a token.
THE BIKE-ISH OPTION
The other way of showing off the Razor is to treat it like the motorbikes in Dispatches 2 (page 61) but with some minor tweaks due to it being a slightly larger and more stable platform. I’d use the following changes:
- A Razor is bought as a vehicle using the profile above but without crew. It is instead crewed by four other figures bought as normal. These use their Drive skill. As ISAF troops would be more used to driving motorised vehicles, they get the skill for free. It is generated the same way – BODY x experience level.
- A Razor has 4 crew positions – Driver, Commander and two rear passengers.
- The Driver’s Drive skill is used for all tests involving the vehicle moving.
- The Commander uses the commander seat’s weapon (their own weapon has been stashed away) and using their heavy weapon skill. The firing arc is from the forward position to the 4 o’clock position
- The rear passengers can only shoot backwards and use their own weapons. They can only fire pistols, SMGs, Assault Rifles, Shotguns, grenade launchers, LMGs or MMGs while in that seat and only in the rear arc.
- If a heavy weapon has been purchased it is mounted on the roll bars. One of the rear passengers is now the gunner. They can only fire in a forward arc, must use their heavy weapon skill and only shoot when the vehicle is stationary.
- If a Razor collides with a character, it does not inflict damage on the crew. However, it does force a morale test.
- If the Razor crashes, the crew take 1D10 damage. However, the vehicle can then move on after the crew members take a morale test.
- If you attempt to ram a vehicle with the Razor, the other vehicle takes 1D10 damage. The crew of the Razor take 2D10 and must then take a morale test.
- The team on board operates as a fireteam, with all crew members using the driver’s activation phases. They each get 3AP to use on the table on page 61 of Dispatches 2 but act in a random order.
- When shooting, the crew take the modifier for shooting on the move. The driver does not shoot – his hands are on the wheel.
- The Razor moves the full distance of 40 metres no matter how many crew it is carrying.
- If a crewman is hit, they do not need to take a drive test to remain in the vehicle. However if the driver is hit while moving, the vehicle will move forward half its move distance in the next turn. If it impacts difficult terrain, it crashes.
- The Razor provides light cover to anyone on foot behind it.
- When disembarked, the Razor’s commander weapon can be used by a model standing close to it. It takes 1AP to begin using the weapon and 1AP to disengage from it. The firing arc is from the front of the vehicle to the rear of the vehicle as long as it does not clip through the Razor’s body.
- The Razor can still carry gear using the rule mentioned above in the vehicle section.
That’s it for now. I hope more people will take a look at these cool vehicles and see that can be used everywhere, providing a new set of capabilities in any fire fight. Try out the rules, see what works and I look forward to your feedback!
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
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!