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!

Weekend Warfare 2 – CGS S01E02

Part two of my attempt to play more wargames returns us to Skirmish Sangin, with a few new house rules this time. While the last mission was all out action against an inferior foe, this one sees a small team attempting to recon a warehouse currently being used as a base for a shifty corporation and their mercenaries. What could they be up to? It’s time for CGS’s Team 2 to deploy.

 


CGS S01E02 – 1 Hour Earlier

1 hour before CGS Team 1 go into action in Bazi City, the camera zooms in to a warehouse complex on the outskirts of town. Zooming out to the front gate, it pans over old and worn adobe building before directing towards four dirt lumps huddled on the roof. There is a pause and then a shuffle as weapons are drawn and placed into position.

Team 2’s mission was to infiltrate this warehouse facility (codenamed Site Bravo) and perform two tasks:

  1. Hit the comms tower and grab a data dump that will contain information on transfers around the site
  2. Investigate the interior of the warehouse, in particular a shipping container from the last shipment to arrive at the warehouse

Team 2 was comprised of four soldiers split into 2 elements:

  1. Sniper team with Tinkler (Sniper Rifle) and Richards (DMR)
  2. Assault Team with Ward (M4 w/ UGL and Suppressed Pistol) and Harrison (M4 and Suppressed Pistol)

Arrayed against them?  The initial Intel put a set of 4 security guards (Smith, Wright, Brown and Creighton) patrolling round the site or in static positions. On site observation in the days before the raid showed an 8 man from Argo’s Direct Action team – armed with assault rifles, SMGs and a light machine gun. Four operators began off site in an SUV (Dvořák, Pownall, Baum and Leusink), two were sleeping in the building next to the portaloo (Chichigov and Séguin) while the other two were guarding the warehouse (Montanez and Šnajdr).

Due to the imminent start of the operation in Bazi City, it was decided to bring the action part of the operation forward. With the SUV away from the site, Ward and Harrison chose this opportunity to sneak inside and begin the intel gathering.

Turn 1

To begin with Tinkler and Richards stayed quiet, using their shooting position to spot the various guards that were in the line of site. Wright and Brown continue on their patrol paths while Smith stayed inside the front gate shelter, looking back into the facility. This distraction gave Ward and Harrison plenty of time to sprint towards the dense on the south side of the facilty, moving past the jersey barriers via the gap. They then paused to climb the fence.

Inside the warhouse, the two mercs eventually stopped their conversation and returned to guard duty. Worse, the two sleeping mercs woke up and move outside to get some fresh air. Luckily, Richards and Tinkler were able to pass on their locations allowing the assault team to pick the right moment to climb the fence and then sneak past the front security gate. Unfortunately, just as they were about to clear the guard hut, Smith finally stopped staring off into the distance, turned, noticed a man (Harrison) wearing a bush walking past and started reaching for his radio.

Before he could thumb the radio, it was time for Ward to activate. Walking forward, he pumped two suppressed pistol rounds through the open window dropping Smith to the ground, heavily wounded and unconscious. Brushing this off, the assault team crept in. Creighton, having swapped roles with Brown, walked out of the site office and strolled right past the front gate. Obviously thinking too much about the warm chair he just left, Creighton managed to miss both the pair of bushes and the strangely quiet gate post.

Turn 2

This lack of awareness would be his downfall. As the second turn started, Harrison activated and crept up behind Creighton. Rolling well, Harrison dropped the guard to the floor by causing 13 points of damage, an instant kill. Bounding past, Ward rushed to the the main hub building to get to the data tower and begin the download. Working his way through the building he reached the roof, placed the hacking device and started the transfer. Harrison moved into position on the floor below, ready to provide cover or escape should it be required.

It was at this point that an SUV started pulling up to the entrance of the facility. The four remaining members of the mercenary team had returned.

Tinkler and Richards, sat in overwatch watched the vehicle slowly turn in and halt at the barrier. Realising that the odds were stacked well and truly against them with the arrival of the relief team, and that the objective wasn’t yet complete, Tinkler decided now was the time to go active. Also affecting the decision was the sounds of dismay coming from two of the security guards – they had spotted Creighton’s body in the open and were about to raise the alarm.

Just as Baum stepped from the vehicle (planning to investigate why the barrier hadn’t been raised), a round from Tinkler came flying right past him, hitting the front of the vehicle and smashing through the engine block. The SUV was no longer functional, causing the rest of the mercs to dive out of the vehicle in disarray. Richards then attempted to send a round into Baum but he missed. The rest of the mercs outside the base then moved into their own cover points either by choice or by failing morale tests and retiring.

Inside the compound, the rest of mercs started appearing out of their various hiding places and started moving towards the front gate. Montanez headed up to the first floor of the warehouse to gain an advantage while the others (and the remaining security guards) moved into various pieces of cover to regroup.

This gap in the firefight was advantageous as Ward was quickly able to finish grabbing the download. At this point, CGS had fulfilled one of two objectives. After consulting with the CGS off-site commander (one of my wargaming buddies down in York), they decided not to risk entering the warehouse as they were unsure how many enemy troops were hidden away and the current situation was one they could more easily escape from. As part of this getaway, Harrison rushed down the stairs, vaulted through the window of the front gate’s hut and then hit the deck. Ward, data disc in hand, only made it to the top floor of the office.

Back at the extraction point, Richards was able to spot Pownall and bring an aimed shot to bear. It hit, dropping the unfortunate soldier with a single shot. However, this fire was starting to attract attention. Leuinksi, having pulled himself together managed to spot Tinkler after a few attempts. The rest of the mercs inside the compound started to engage the Assault team. Montanez sprinted up the stairs ready to breach and enter. The rest focused on Harrison, shredding the outer wall of the hut but doing nothing more than causing some morale markers. Chingov, looking for a new angle, moved behind the site office.

Turn 3

Baum and Tinkler have the same body and would activate at the same time so a roll off took place. Tinkler won it and responded by spotting Baum in the open and hammering a shot into him. The sniper round caused more than fatal damage and another merc was down. Success was also on CGS’s side inside the compound as Harrison climbed out the window and barely made a close range shot. It also caused a low amount of damage, doing not much more than putting Brown on the ground for a bit. Ward also caused some damage, spotting Montanez through the door and putting a burst into him. Montanez was in a bad way but still conscious. This shooting had a knock on effect as both Wright and Brown became pinned in place.

The next activation saw lots of things happen very quickly. Tinkler tried to shoot the LMG gunner but fumbled, causing a misfire that would need to be cleared. Spotting the shot, Lesunki popped up out of cover and put a burst of fire down on Tinkler to shut him up. It didn’t cause any damage but it did draw Richard’s attention. After a successful spot, a shot landed and caused a medium wound knocking Lesunki unconcious.

The mercs still in the fight spotted Ward and started putting rounds down. With the luck of the devil, Ward managed to evade all this fire, pass his morale checks and keep running. Both he and Harrison reached the exfil zone and were about to move off board when Dvorak, the Argo team leader, popped up and sent a few aimed shot towards Ward. The shots missed and the CGS team disappeared off into the desert.

Post Game

With all four team members intact and with the data disc in hand, CGS Team 2 had managed to fufil part of their objective. However, they had not investigated the warehouse and so are unaware of what exactly Argo are distributing in the region. Due to the lack of injuries, Team 2 will also be able to assist Team 1 in the next mission, either as heliborne snipers or by dropping into the city.

The rules I was testing was working well, and although there are a few tweaks needed it’s heading in the right direction. The other stand out part of this was playing over the excellent MDF terrain. Sarrissa’s factory is without compare and it’s a shame more of a firefight didn’t happen in there. Its also making me think about using the factory as one element of my demo board. Maybe CGS will be returning to Site Bravo? I also really need to get the boards assembled and the scenery painted – bare MDF is a little boring to look at.

Next game will be delayed a while (the next few weeks are very busy) but when we return it will be time for Team 1 to try and get out of Bazi City with a VIP in tow. Hopefully the arrival of Team 2 should help them out a little bit. On the other hand, there are a lot of cops and militia on their tail.

Team 2 sits in the back of extraction chopper, ghille suits stowed and weapons hung on the racks. The usual post mission feel is interrupted when the helo suddenly changes direction. The loadmaster breaks open the supply boxes and begins handing out ammo and weapons. Ward stands up, turns to his team and asks “You guys ready to pull Davison’s ass from the fire again?”

Weekend Warfare 1 – CGS S01E01

As a way of playing more wargames and testing out out a few rules I’ve been writing, I’m instituting a weekend wargaming session. Ideally it won’t always be solo but that’s how the first one ended up occurring.

Expect to see some weird and wonderful rules, as well as the vast expanses of unpainted MDF as I get my act together. On the other hand, it should also be pretty entertaining.

This first game was played using Skirmish Sangin with a few home rules.


CGS S01E01 – Marketplace Mayhem in Bazi City

A market in one of the slums on the outskirts of the city is also the home of one of the militia leaders that have taken control of several neighbourhoods. Commando Global Solutions have been contracted by an OGA to snatch this leader, as well as his 2IC in order for them to be brought back for interrogation. Due to the leader’s movements, the only time available to snatch him was during a daring daylight raid, timed to match up with the leader’s visit to a local cafe.

Wallace and Renault arrived early in order to recon the situation. The other four operators (Davison, Bowman, Sullivan and Oldham) arrived via a pickup truck driven by Thompson. The plan was to disembark, sneak through the square, breach the cafe, snatch the Commander and then escape via the pickup.

Turn 1

Having disembarked, Davison crossed from cover to cover and headed to a position behind another parked vehicle. Bowman matched him moving carefully up the wall of the old industrial building. Across the square, a rebel fighter named Dar sat on overwatch while two more moved around the bustling market. Dar’s position on the rooftop prompted Renault to spot him and transmit his location to all operators on the board.

However, Dar was not completely unobservant and noticed the sudden arrival of the tall westerner (Davison) entering the area. Squinting a little more, he noticed the danger and turned, ready to set off the alarm. Sensing he had been rumbled, Davison dropped the pretense and sprinted into the crowds in order to seek some cover. This caused a scuffle, drawing Al-Bashar (the commander) to the window.

Fearing the mission was about to get rumbled, and wanting to win the fire fight before it started, Wallace threw off the camo netting and opened up with the Minimi at Dar. The burst instantly killed him but all pretense of stealth had now been dropped.

Below, another fighter named Zafar entered the area. Hearing the MG fire, he began to run round the building in order to reach the stairs. As he rounded the corner, Bowman snap fired and dropped the enemy with a well executed Mozambique Drill. Oldham swiftly ran past this fight and got into cover behind the green truck. As the shooting had started earlier than planned, the driver of the SUV (Thompson) disembarked in case his rifle fire would need to help out.

Following Zafar was another fighter (Matek). Upon seeing someone behind the truck, Matek rushed in and tried to get into a close quarters fight. Over eager to engage though he missed, doing nothing more than alerting Oldham to the attacker behind him.

The last of the strike team (Sullivan) sprinted past the fight and also dove into the market, aiming to get into the target location quickly and get the job done. On the far side of the market, Jarah spotted Davison rushing through the crowd but was too slow bringing his rifle up to fire.

Namir, having heard the firing, entered the body of the market to look for the attackers. However, more importantly, Hamad (the militia LT) entered the fray from a good flanking position. He rushed to the corner and swiftly sighted in Thompson in cover behind the SUV.

Above in the warhouses’s office, Renault continued his work as scout and called in the appearance of Namir as a threat. Around the same time, another fighter entered the area and spotted the source of the machine gun fire. This allowed his buddy Kabil to pop up and unleash a hail of rounds at Wallace, though the building absorbed most of the burst. Inside the cafe, Abdul spotted the attackers and shouted out “The infidels are coming!”

In response to this, Al-Bashar dived for one of the backrooms in an attempt to trap the operators once they entered. Nearby, and showing their difference in command styles, Davison calmly exited the crowd and struck down Jarah with a quick burst.

Back at the warhouse, Wallace swiftly pulled himself together and resighted on the man who just shot at him. Finding the target, another burst of MG fire dropped Kabil, knocking him unconscious. Down below, Oldham turned to fight Matek. Unleashing an all out attack, Oldham dropped the rebel to the dirt. Also wishing to join a melee fight, Sullivan rushed through the crowd and up to Namir, attempting to knock him down rather than risking a shot through the civilians. Unfortunately he failed and locked into combat instead.

Namir however was having none of this. Pushing Sullivan back, he ran round the corner and dived back into cover. Ignoring this, Bowman soon reached the other side of the crowd getting close to breaching the door into the target zone.

At this point, something went wrong for the Operators. Having worked out what was going on, Hamad prepped a frag grenade and rolled it under the escape vehicle. With a deafening bang the vehicle was flipped throwing Thompson to the deck. Miraculously he was unharmed (his body armour absorbing the blows) but it took a while to pull himself together.

Jibreel, having seen his buddies being cut down, ran for cover. However, he wasn’t fast enough as Renault drew a bead and slotted him. Inside the cafe, Abdul followed his boss’s example and hid, ready to surprise anyone entering.

As the number of militiamen around the target building dropped, Davison, Sullivan and Bowman setup and prepared to breach. Out of their arcs, Wallace dropped Namir with another burst of 5.56. Oldham, having heard the explosion of the SUV, dropped to a knee and send a round flying towards Hamad. The shot didn’t kill him, but Hamad went down hard.

While the strike team got ready, Oldham started looking for working transports. Thompson, ears still ringing, worked his way over to Hamad and cuffed him before attempting to fix him up ready for transport.

Turn 2

As time has passed, the crowd has started to scatter and the gunfire has quieted down. However, there was still one final action to do. With Renault and Wallace watching over, the three man strike team took the door.

First, Bowman took two goes at it but then the frame shattered and dropped. Sullivan rolled a flash grenade into the cafe’s interior, forcing Abdul to throw his gun to the ground. Davison finally entered, avoid the frantic snap shot from Al-Bashar before throwing the militia commander to the deck and cuffing him. The firefight was over.

End Game

With both VIPs in bags and cuffs and no casualties amongst the contractors the mission was a success. However, the post game wrap up added some complications.

None of the vehicles on the board were in a fit state to run, forcing the team to extract on foot with two captives in two. Worse, both the militia and the local police force are now looking for a group of heavily armed contractors. To make it even worse, night is beginning to fall.

Conclusion

That was a fun game. Playing solo allows for a much more casual pace of play letting me record a step by step of the game which can be found here. I also got some good testing in.

The next game will require me to finish building some MDF terrain to act as the centerpiece but should be a better test of the stealth rules. However, I’ve now worked out the third game in the season which will have the team from this game trying to get through a dense urban area on foot. And next time, the teams will be slanted in the other direction.

Next Episode

The camera cuts away on Bazi City, following a road out towards the outskirts. An old factory, a relic of the Cold War Industrial rush, sits isolated with only a few buildings nearby. For the first time in a while, there are signs of activity.

The camera drops down to just outside of the factory onto four lumps of green in the dirt. As it focuses, the shape of four more members of CGS, all wearing ghille suits, become more apparent…