(The scenario is attached below :-https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B67SRmbaQWWvOTJmN2VmNTAtMGU0ZS00MmM3LWE0YTMtNGE4YmMxZjNkNGM0&sort=name&layout=list&num=50
A Bad Day for La Légion étrangère
This is an AAR from a game held at the Brisbane Muster, in June 2010, to demonstrate Force on Force. The game itself was loosely based on a scenario from Operation Uruzgan, but was modified by JDAM2000, who umpired. The French were played by BlackSoilBill and FIB. The Malikan Insurgents were played by WarDepotDavid. There were also rules for a local warlord's force, the allegiance of which would only be determined on its arrival. (No-one was brave enough to request it...)
On Turn 1, the surviving VBL's fired on the insurgents in the buildings, but failed to suppress them. Then the French reinforcements arrived, and things started to go wrong... The leading vehicle, another VBL, struck a pot-hole (obviously missed by the Provincial Reconstruction Team), and broke its front axle, blocking the road at a point where no other vehicles could pass it. The insurgents took full advantage of this - small arms fire seriously wounded one of the crew, and an RPG destroyed the VBL's weapon. The VAB's following it were forced to halt in a position where they had no clear line of sight to the insurgents.
The situation deteriorated quickly - more insurgents were detected moving on the French position from the north west (hotspot 1), and north east (hotspot 3). The VAB's debussed their groupes de combat; the first groupe, including the medic, started to move through the fields to link up with the wounded. The second groupe attempted to create a perimeter by clearing the buildings to their north. The 600m fireteam stormed into the white building, supported by fire from their 300m fireteam. The weight of fire from the AT-4's destroyed the building, and killed most of the insurgents; the survivors hung on in the ruins and shot back, causing the 600m fireteam to pause. While all atttention was focussed to the north, another insurgent RPG popped up on the south bank of the river (LZ2), and attacked the second groupe 300m fireteam. Their supporting VAB quickly gunned down the insurgents, but the damage had been done - another casualty for the Légion. Meanwhile, the French scout section managed to eliminate one of the initial ambushing teams in building Y, but another insurgent team moved behind the mosque to the north west.
The latest casualty was yet another serious wound; to add insult to injury, the insurgent RPG operator (LZ2) survived his first aid check (his team-mate didn't). Insurgent reinforcements arrived (hotspots 3 and 5), drawn by the sound of battle. The French VBL's from the scout team then failed to unbutton, meaning that they could not continue to shoot up the insurgents in building X. The medic finally reached the original casualties, but came under fire from building X. The insurgents at hotspot 3 remained in cover behind the building; the second groupe 600m team attempted to shoot at them by moving inside the building, but were interrupted by fire; another casualty resulted. A team from first groupe started to move through the cornfields to flank hotspot 3, their VAB in support. The platoon sergeant led the marksman team to the river, and shot at the RPG operator in LZ2, but missed. The second groupe VAB shot and moved; its firepower scored a hit, but, attempting to cross the river, it bogged down halfway. The RPG operator again survived his first aid check, threatening the VAB in the river. More insurgent reinforcements arrived at hotspots 1 and 4, and both VBL's remained buttoned up. The medic stabilised the original casualties, the team with him attempting to keep the insurgents in building X suppressed. First groupe was split between trying to form a perimeter to the west to guard against the insurgent teams hiding there; and flanking the insurgents at hotspot 3. Second groupe withdrew their wounded to the river. The VAB in the river was forced to trade shots with the (bulletproof) RPG operator; an RPG bounced off the front armour, the VAB's heavy machine gun scythed down the RPG operator. This time he didn't get up ! The platoon sergeant and the marksman team seized building Y; as soon as they did so, insurgents at hotspot 5 close assaulted through the orchard and into building Y. Defensive fire cut down all but one, but that one insurgent continued to charge in and fight hand to hand. When the dust cleared, he lay dead, but so did one of the marksmen. More insurgents appeared at hotspot 5, and attempted to shoot at the surviving team in building Y. No further casualties were caused, but the building caught on fire (!), forcing the platoon sergeant and the marksman to evacuate, taking their former colleague with them. By this time, the VAB in the river had freed itself, and took position trying to hold LZ2; the rest of second groupe, with their casualties, had also made it over the river.
Meanwhile, the scout section found itself in deep trouble; both VBL's remained buttoned. An insurgent team with an RPG shot at one of them from the mosque, and destroyed it; two of the 3 crew were wounded, one seriously. First groupe's fireteam wiped out that team, but then took fire from a second insurgent team in a ditch on the far edge of LZ1. Large numbers of insurgents were now massing to the west, lined up in cover from the mosque to the cornfields (hotspot 4). About this time, the surviving VBL hit an IED.Things were looking desperate. Previous attempts to call in the helicopter gunship had failed; finally, the JTAC managed to make contact, and confirm the targets. The Apache straffed the the insurgents to the west, who suffered some casualties - but, more importantly, they were shaken and unable to react. Using the respite, the decision was taken to evacuate the wounded to LZ2, the French carrying them along the river banks as they went.
Just when the French thought that things could not get worse, they did. The insurgents at hotspot 3 had rallied, been reinforced, and threatened to cut off any escape towards LZ2. The first groupe VAB advanced to provide suppressive fire on them, but was hit by an RPG which killed it. The crew bailed out, and fell back towards the river and LZ2, together with the other team from first groupe, who were forced to fight a rearguard action against the insurgents. The insurgents were reinforced by two teams at hotspot 5, placing LZ2 under interdictive fire from the cover of the orchard wall. The French did not have enough firepower left to dislodge them; despite killing a number of them, the survivors were reinforced. Insurgents from hotspot 4 were also moving in to assist them, using the ruined buildings as cover. At this point, in game turn 8, the game was called in the insurgents favour. The French had taken too many casualties, and lost too many vehicles; they did not have control over an LZ, and were in danger of being overrun.
Overall, a good, fun game. The French definitely suffered due to a divided command, and lacked co-ordination; despite holding the initiative for the bulk of the game, they were constantly reacting rather than being proactive. They had more than their share of bad luck - French D8's kept losing to the insurgents D6's, and rolling 1's for Reaction Tests caused Fog of War cards to be drawn (the broken axle; the IED; the building catching fire; and the appearance of groups of insurgents at close range). French teams are small, but have considerable firepower; conversely, due to their size, they are very vunerable; a single casualty is a major loss. In contrast, the insurgents played their hand very well. They husbanded their reinforcements until they had sufficient forces to launch an all out attack, rather than using them in 'penny-packets'. They also used the terrain well to approach the French, and shoot from optimum ranges. Allah smiled on their dice-rolling as well - I've never seen so many 6's rolled, and they were my dice ! The RPG team that popped up on LZ2 was gunned down in a hail of bullets, but the operator survived and continued to shoot; he received a second pasting and went down, only to get up and fire his RPG again; a third turn of hot lead finally saw this (brief) legend expire. Likewise, in a close assault, a lone surviving insurgent took on three Légionnaires, and managed to kill one before being taken down; it was a long fight, possibly as long as eight rounds, and felt like it could have gone either way.
The game attracted a fair amount of interest, and has encouraged a number of gamers in Brisbane to raise platoons for FoF. A mini campaign is planned, with each player controlling a platoon (of whatever nationality or scale [6mm, 15mm, 20mm, etc.] they choose). They would then be tasked with a randomly determined mission, and would attempt to complete it. Assets - such as armoured vehicles, or air support - would be available, but in limited supply. Thus, if one player used them, they wouldn't be available to other players that turn; and, if the asset was lost/destroyed, no-one else would be able to use it at all. Collateral damage by any force would have repercussions for all players...
Finally, thanks to Gerry Webb, for organising the Brisbane Muster; to JDAM2000, for building the very impressive terrain boards, for umpiring, and for graciously allowing me to let his French to be poorly led and butchered; to BlackSoilBill, who tried hard to turn the game around; and to WarDepotDavid, whose skillful handling of the insurgents led to a well-deserved victory. Please see his blog for pictures and his version of events... http://wardepot.blogspot.com/2011/06/force-on-force-aar-from-brisbane-muster.html