Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Skirmish Sangin Afrika Campaign Patrol 4 + 5


Patrol 5 Played on July 5th
Patrol 4 Played on July 4th
(No battle report was written for this one but there are hints as to what happened in Patrol 5's battle report)

Patrol 5

As every mission began Lt. Cobra woke up and headed for the command center at FOB Rome. There, panning over all the radio equipment and various computers, sat Jack. Cobra rubbed his eyes and reached out for any papers that Higher Command, A.K.A. Zeus, was going to give them. It had been a couple days since their last patrol where Pointman Cook was hit. The Lt knew they were a small force and already two men sit in the medical tent were Medic Scarlet keeps them in good condition. Jack turned in his chair and handed Cobra a large stack of papers, bigger than any that command had sent before. Surprised, he began flipping through the pages. Jack eyed him anxiously, obviously looking at the large orders himself.

"Jack, wake everyone and have them report here. We have an Op to prepare."

The mission was to kill Khuruk Amabu, a Mozambique Warlord hired out by the DPRZ to help the war effort. Supposedly, intel had tracked him and his light infantry forces moving towards the South Afrikan/Mozambique border. More importantly right through FOB Rome's location. Turns out that the enemy they had fought on the patrol near Dorito Edge were some Mozambique Army (ZA) men. "Official" soldiers as far as Afrikan troops go. As low as the Marines might think of them they hurt Cook badly and now they wanted some revenge.

Apparently, Khuruk's men were stationed in the jungle just Northwest of FOB Rome. Whether this was a blatent disregard of the Marine's base or just a cocky show of strength by the ZA was unknown. What was known is recent movements by the enemy seems to be a large counter offensive by the DPRZ. It was unknown Khuruk's intentions but it is known that the local insurgents will probably be helping him now.

The Infantry Platoon absorbed all this information. Setting up in the jungle didn't allow for good vehicle movement but if they could pull this off it would throw a wrench in the enemy's overall plan. Zeus gave the platoon 7 days to organize and complete the mission. Cpl. Misfit's sniper team would patrol in the jungle carrying NVGs and IR lasers with some guys from the normal fire team as additional firepower. If they were to go into the base hot they wanted to to have a chance. They also called the closest airfield and requested for scheduling Blackhawk support and pickup. The soldier's going on the patrol would be leaving at night and thus spent 3 days getting their sleep schedule set. On the 4th day at 00:01 the patrol set out into the jungle.

Rules Talk
It was at this point that we had a discussion on the Land Nav rule and it all started with my USMC player saying, "I don't know how guys get lost anymore with GPS's". Though a valid point we came up with putting in the wrong coordinates, not using the GPS, not having a GPS (really hard considering most team comms have gps built in), using your smartphone, and various other "modifiers". We almost thought of getting rid of the Land Nav and just rolling for potential encounters per hex but the Land Nav rule had made some fun moments for us and decided to keep it but just have modifiers for GPS and the like. This is now the third land nav rule "version" or set that we've made.

Land Nav Modifiers
All soldiers have a base 50% morale. This represents their locale knowledge or their land nav training.

Officers +30%
NCOs +20%
Corporal +10%

Weather Modifiers
Dawn -10%
Dusk -25%
Night -50%

Terrain Modifiers
(This modifier is no longer per hex as in previous rules, instead you make a Land Nav check for each terrain you're travelling through or just have one roll for all the terrain)
Jungle -20%
Swamp/Marsh -15%
Hills 0-50 -10%
Hills 51-100 -15%
Hills 100+ -20%
Road +20%
Water -10%

Gear Modifiers
In Vehicle(s) +30%
Has GPS +20% (only +10% if in vehicles due to vehicle's GPS being included in it's +30%)
NVGs +30% at Night

Patrol Speed
"Before the roll, choose your patrol speed. This represents how much time passes per hex traveled."

Foot Speeds
Slow/Stealth Speed 1hr/Hex
Walk/Normal Speed 0.5hr/Hex
Run/Full Speed 0.25hr/Hex

Vehicle Speeds
Slow 0.5hr/Hex
Patrol 0.25hr/Hex
Full 0.1hr/Hex

The failure chart is the same for the most part but the trail diversion result is modified.

Land Nav Failure Chart
1-3 Arrive but Fatigued (-5% to skills)
4-6 Stop Halfway
"This could be a small peaceful encounter or just a resting point for the characters. Usually patrols would take atleast one break during their patrol to eat, drink, and then move again. If you are on Run/Full Patrol Speed count this as 'Arrive but Fatigued -10%'."
7-9 Trail Diverted Roll 1d10 for direction and see chart below for distance
10 Encounter

Diversion Distance:

Novice/Average 1d3 Hexes
Veteran/Elite 1d2 Hexes

Back to the game...

The Sniper team made their way through the hills into the jungle. At around 03:00 their pointman, now Buffalo Bill, wielding his DMR spotted a group of individuals ahead of him. He saw through his NVGs that they wore camo pants and a plain shirt (couldn't tell what color) and carried weapons of some sort. For him he didn't have enough information to engage, their mission had ROEs.

Any ZA soldier is affirmative to kill
-ZA Uniform (Green Camo Pants, OD Top, Camoflague Scarf, Ammo Vest, Weapon)
-ZA Officer (Same uniform, various beret colors)
-ZA vehicles (various camo patterns, Mozambique flag on the sides)
Any unmarked individual must be treated as Civilian, even armed, until you're fired upon.
Any unmarked individual wearing
-Red or Black Scarf
-OD Shirt
is a potential threat but do not engage until engaged. You may detain or capture these individuals.

Bill radioed in to his team that they had individuals walking away from them, towards the direction of the possible camp. The rest of the team split off to the sides to get better views and began watching. It wasn't too long before one of the tail end individuals looked in their direction and raised their gun, this was enough information for Sgt. Custer who let off a shot with his M16A4 killing him. All hell broke loose as the Afrikans turned around only to be shot up by the patrol. Smitty of the sniper team let loose a M203 round killing 2 Afrikans. Once the fire was over they circled and examined the bodies. ZA confirmed but they knew they were comprimised. Sgt. Custer radioed back about the contact and requested an overwatch mission of the bodies, Cobra gave him an hour and then they had to pull back to base. They set up two booby traps on the bodies (small IEDs) under the protest of one of their soldiers (Jack). They formed an L shape and waited watching the bodies in the night.

03:30, one of the traps was set off and another skirmish began between unknown forces and the fire team. Custer spotted a man running who he dispatched quickly. After that it was silent until the end of Custer's requested hour. They checked the new bodies but the trap destroyed most. All they could confirm was a ZA LMG team had come to check the bodies but the weapons and any potential information was destroyed. So the patrol headed back.

(A critical fumble on the Land Nav roll and a 10 result on Failure Chart later...)

Around 04:40 the patrol was heading back towards FOB Rome when Custer, walking behind his point man, spotted a man pointing a gun towards him. He opened fire and killed the individual which was followed by more bursts of gunfire that sent their pointman Bill to the ground. What followed next was a chaotic battle where the patrol was caught flat footed. Jack, seeing Bill fall, ran forward and grabbed Bill to pull him back.

"I'm all right gawd dammit!" shouted Bill while being dragged away from the front. In truth he was fine. His vest soaking up two AK rounds it was instinct that sent him to the floor. (failed morale roll)

Towards the rear of patrol 249 gunner Will Nice and Sniper Misfit were firing in every direction. Answering the enemy's muzzle flashes. Will spotted an enemy far in the jungle running towards them, thinking back to the last patrol where he almost ran, he cooled himself and let loose a burst. The enemy's body twitched then fell. (He made a 18% Rifle roll which to us was amazing) Turning to face another enemy he heard some shouting and a sharp crack then went limp. Spotter Smitty, letting loose with M203 rounds and his M16 saw Will go limp out in the open and decided to pull him back under the fire of a supposed sniper. As he came back he saw Misfit rolling around in pain trying to bandage himself. "shit"

Custer saw that his men were following their E&E rules and decided to call in helicopter support.

"Lt! We need a gun run with our Black Hawk, then get them to pick us up after the gun run. Area is hot I'll mark the LZ with smoke!"
(Successful Forward Observer roll and a result of 10 on the action chart)
"This is Dragonfly, over, we're on our way for a gun run..."
"AND a pick up!?"

They kept falling back and fighting hearing the shouts of the Afrikans and the rips of AK fire soon the Black Hawk flew over letting loose with its Chain Guns before Custer could mark.

"Heading down to land, move your troops to our position!"

Not knowing that the Afrikans were now fleeing Custer and his men sprinted with their two wounded towards the Black Hawk.

The surviving members were dropped off at FOB Rome but the two wounded, Misfit and Will Nice, were sent to the Military Hospital across the border for better care.

Points: 110 (10 pts per Enemy Killed) -20 points (Two ISAF wounded) + 100 (50 pts for each CASEVAC) = 250 ptns

Costs: -150 pnts (CASEVAC heli that did a gun mission? xD)

Lt. Cobra looked over his men as they began to unwind from that failed "Kill" mission. They were now 4 men down, and a potential army was coming in their area. He hoped they would get support soon and to think... they'd only been in this sector for 19 days.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Skirmish Sangin Afrika Campaign Patrol 2+3

 Played on: July 2nd 2018

So I had another longer game session this time and this time I was able to deal with: the Land Nav Fail Chart, Using Points, a possible new rule, "standard" gear, and a couple other things.

First off I'd like to show my game area and how I'm playing this game at the moment.

We play on this foldable card board sheet with paper that has a laminated sheet on it so that we can either use markers or place our paper terrain tokens under the laminated sheet. Then for soldiers we use marked wooden chips. Blue represent allies (USMC Platoon) and the red represent the "bad guys" also known as my guys.

So now we get to the game. We ran two patrols today.

Patrol 2
They awoke in the morning at FOB Rome. Lt. Cobra went to his HQ and was told by his head medic Scarlet that the villager they had hit with the 40mm had recovered well over the night from the wounds. The attendant then gave Cobra his new morning orders from HQ. Turns out their Commanding officer of their sector had been replaced with a new commander code named "Zeus" (a small background element I threw at the USMC player) and he had a mission for them. He told Scarlet to let the villager go on their own with a MRE and some water. He began looking over the new orders.

Mission: Scout the valley road north east of the base at Hill 150.

Purpose: Find out if there are any insurgents hidden within the hill.

"Locals reported that as they traveled along the road through Hill 150 that they were constantly being shot at. No matter whether they were on foot or in vehicle. Because of this public traffic is endangered and the town of Barbaraalo isn't getting their various supply trucks into the city and fear sending any out. We don't have much information on any factions in the area and we aren't at war so this is just a recon mission."

Rules of Engagement: Do not fire unless fired upon, contact command with any potential targets.

This is the mission I interpreted from the patrol chart I am working on and this is close to the description that I give the player. The USMC player then decides what they want to do and how they want to do it. Originally I hadn't thought of the ROE until later when they were AT the mouth of the valley but came up with it on the fly. The USMC player went with a M1117 and a M113 loaded with a fire team and set out. After having a failed land nav roll (which had them drive in a circle :D ) they met contact at the mouth. Two groups of what seemed to be insurgents were camped along the east and west sides of the valley just staring at them. (I had them deploy first on the table then showed what they saw and began working in phases). The first phases had nothing happen as the insurgents kept to their "guard/show force" mode and the USMC had a back and forth with command until the command said "open fire". The first volley of fire was devastating (the insurgents were all in the open so no needed to spot) and they lost many. The insurgents didn't even fire back and those that survived retreated.

Once the enemy left the board I stopped following the "combat phases" and had them work on their own investigating the bodies and contacting command. They then returned to the FOB with some scarves that the USMC player thought were important and a couple more AKs. I gave the player points for each kill (10 pts a kill) and asked what they wanted to do next. They actually thought of a mission on their own. The USMC player wanted to return in the night and send a team out in the mountains to confirm that there is actually more to this group. Command approved the mission with the ROE that they had to positive ID before they fired based off some parameters: Black or Red Scarf, Armed, and obvious intent to harm the soldiers.

Patrol 3

This brought up a question as to if NVGs were standard issue or not in modern day. During the USMC player's time they were not but now a days we thought they were based off of various movies and films about the Iraq and Afganistan war we had been watching. If they were not they were going to cost 5pts per soldier and he didn't want to pay that but he did swap an Assault Rifle (10 pts) for a Combat Shotgun (10 pts). After getting kitted out they began to move out but lost a couple hours due to a possible (false) IED spotting along the road and getting lost again. (They really need a new patrol lead) After arriving at the mouth of the valley they sent the fire team up the mountain and left the sniper team with the vehicles in a defensive posture. A couple land nav rolls through the mountains later and they had found a small hut with lots of activity. (2 average africans, 3 Novice africans, and a veteran african) After some spotting rolls and the Africans began searching after hearing something they confirmed the ID of one soldier and let loose on them all. Another easy battle occurred for the USMC but they split their fireteam as they saw one african wearing body armor escape. They tracked him down and killed him, found a map and blew up the hut. The team radioed in to the vehicles and told them to drive down the road and meet up at the half way point in the valley. More land nav rolls for the Fire team (not the vehicles) and they were ambushed at the road (due to a failed land nav roll). The first real fight happened where the Fire team were on the high ground and the african guerillas were below on the road. The vehicles wouldn't arrive till phase 7 so they had to hold. One soldier was wounded, many guerillas fled, and the vehicles arrived to make the rest flee. Forgetting about looking at the bodies they got their now medium wounded soldier in the vehicle and began to drive back but (another failed land nav) a rpg shot at them causing them to go off course taking longer to get back to base. Then they returned getting points for each killed but losing some for the wounded USMC who will miss out of 5 patrols.