Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Normandy - Pulp Alley

Here at the BIG Force on Force blog, we'd like to reassure our readers (is there anybody really out there ? Or am I just wittering on to myself ?) that we don't just play Force on Force. No, siree; we play 'both kinds' of games, Force on Force and Pulp Alley. For those of you not familiar with the Pulp Alley set of rules, they are extremely simple and flexible, ideal for narrative driven small-scale skirmishes of an heroic nature. They've been used for Indiana Jones-style games, in the WH40K universe, costumed superheroes, and even Wars of the Roses... We decided to apply them to Normandy 1944, to see how they would work; we made the game 'gritty' to prevent too much Hollywood heroics, and used 15mm figures. (Usually we would use 28mm in Pulp, as each figure has 'character', but the only WW2 figures we had were from Flames of War).

The premise was simple - a small section (8) of US paratroopers have landed in Normandy, and ambushed a staff car, which has crashed a little way up the road. Some local Germans (5 troops with a guard dog) have heard the shooting, and are out to investigate. The major 'plot point' is the briefcase in the staff car, containing important papers. There are also a couple of caches of weapons scattered around as minor 'plot points'.

The game was quite bloody, due to the close terrain. Both sides picked up a minor plot point apiece. but made their main effort for the staff car. The Americans got there first, but were repeatedly denied the chance to seize the briefcase by grenades and burst fire from the Germans. The German sergeant (Schultz - 'I know nothing... nothing') made an unopposed grab for the papers right at the very end... and failed. The game ended in a draw.

The bocage - the staff car has crashed into the house at the crossroads. The weapon caches are in the fields.

The Germans advance cautiously across the field towards the crossroads from the left side of the board.

The paratroopers approach from the right side of the board, sticking to the hedges. The sergeant investigates a cache.

The German corporal finds a para-dropped weapons container.

'Private Hunde' sniffs around the house; the paratroopers are not animal lovers, and shoot him...

Private Schumann spots paratroopers crossing a field, and engages them.

US paratroopers getting the worst of the firefight around the staff car.

The two opposing sergeants in a stand off at the staff car.

Jali By Night - a counter-terrorist mission

Here's a two-player scenario with a small twist, which ideally needs an umpire to preserve the fog of war. A terrorist cell has been active; the local counter-terrorism teams are keeping a close eye on them, waiting to round up the entire network. However, special forces from a foreign power have been assigned to kill or capture the terrorists... The terrorists are unaware that they are under observation; the counter terrorist teams are unaware of the special forces; and the special forces are unaware of the counter terrorist teams. In the confusion, the terrorists *might* just escape...

Set the hot spots up (mid-point of bottom edge; bottom right corner; mid-point of left edge; top right corner; mid-point of right edge), then place the terrorists in a building towards the centre of the board. Next get the counter-terrorist teams to designate their set up; they should be in line of sight of the terrorists, but at least 6" away. Teams may be spread out, one team per building. Do not place them on the table yet. Next, get the Westerosians to set up in the top left corner (their alternative exfiltration point is the bottom right corner), and start the game.

Encourage the Khymerians and the Westerosians to believe that their only opponents are terrorists for as long as is possible. Be aware that the UAV is likely to spot Khymerian movements in the open or on roofs.

Jali By Night

Khymerian Briefing
Western tourists have always been an easy target of religious fanatics, and the detonation of bombs in a Farkarta nightclub was no exception. There were 57 killed (12 of them being Westerosian), and many wounded, the majority being local Khymerese. Relationships between Khymeria and Westeros have broken down, with the Westerosian government blaming official Khymerian collusion with the bombers, which is patently false.
Khymerian Intelligence has identified the perpetrator as Ali Bebak, and has tracked him down to a hideout in the town of Jali. He is under observation by Pokassus Counter Terrorism teams to see who he contacts, in order to try to snare all of his network in the one go.

Scenario Information
Duration of Game: 8 turns
Initiative: Dice from turn after shooting starts, or after Westerosians identified by Khymerians.

Watch Ali Bebak to see who he contacts, and capture or kill him and his network in its entirety.*

Victory Points
·         Each terrorist captured: 5 points
·         Each terrorist killed: 1 point
·         Ali Bebak captured: 10 points
·         Ali Bebak killed: 5 points (N.B. need to spend 1 turn with body to positively ID)

Initiative level: D8
Confidence Level: Confident
Supply Level: Abundant
Body Armour: Standard (+1D)
Troop Quality/Morale: D8/D10
All Pokassus operators are equipped with Night Vision Goggles (NVG).

Team One
Team Two
Team Three
1x Lieutenant with AK-74 and Pistol (Medic)

1x Team Leader w/AK-74
1x Team Leader w/AK-74
1x Team Leader w/AK-74
1x Gunner w/PKM SAW (Med. AP:2/ AT:0)
1x Gunner w/PKM SAW (Med. AP:2/ AT:0)
1x Gunner w/PKM SAW (Med. AP:2/ AT:0)
1x Operator w/AK-74
1x Operator w/AK-74
1x Operator w/AK-74
1x Operator w/AK-74
1x Operator w/AK-74
1x Operator w/AK-74

*Once the shooting starts, or Westerosian forces are spotted by the Khymerians, the Khymerian mission changes to...

Take Ali Bebak captive, and prevent Westerosians from removing him; take Westerosians captive if possible, or get hard evidence of their violation of Khymerian territory (body).

Additional Victory Points (as  well as existing)
·         Each Westerosian captured: 10 points
·         Each Westerosian killed: 1 point

Terrorist Cell Briefing (Very brief - this side is best played by the umpire)

Scenario Information
Duration of Game: 8 turns
Initiative: Non-initiative player

Wait for expected contacts to arrive; if attacked, leave board by any edge.

Victory Points
·         Ali Bebak escapes table: 20 points
·         Ali Bebak alive at end of game: 5 points 

Initiative level: D8
Confidence Level: Confident
Supply Level: Abundant
Body Armour: None
Troop Quality/Morale: D6/D6 Irregulars

Ali Bebak – Leader, TQ/Morale D6/D10, armed with AK-74.
5x Riflemen – TQ/Morale D6/D6, armed with AK-74 (take morale from Ali Bebak if he still alive).

Reinforcements – Once alarm is raised (gunfire), 1D6 AK-74 Irregulars are generated on a hotspot. TQ/Morale D6/D6. Add a Leader to the team on a 4+.

Westerosian Briefing
Western tourists have always been an easy target of religious fanatics, and the detonation of bombs in a Khymerese nightclub was no exception. There were 57 killed (12 of them being Westerosian) and 20 wounded; there was predictable outrage in Westerosia. The Khymerian authorities seemed to lack the will to prevent the bombers – led by the known terrorist Ali Bebak – from striking again, despite the Westerosian Intelligence Agency identifying the suspects and probable whereabouts to their Khymerian opposite numbers. Frustrated by this, and feeling the need to ‘do something’, the Westerosian government has decided to authorise a covert mission to capture or kill Ali Bebak on Khymerian soil.

Scenario Information
Duration of Game: 8 turns
Initiative: Westerosian player starts with initiative. Dice from turn after shooting starts, or after Westerosians identified.

Insert ground elements by night, capture or kill all identified terrorists, and exfiltrate back across the border before the Khymerian authorities can react. (Either exfiltrate back to where you started, or the opposite board corner). A small unarmed drone is in an overhead orbit providing vision to your command and control element, and cancelling any terrorist Out of Contact movement. For obvious reasons, you must ensure that no man is left behind – the Westerosian government will deny any involvement.

Victory Points
·         Each terrorist captured: 5 points
·         Each terrorist killed: 1 point
·         Ali Bebak captured: 10 points
·         Ali Bebak killed: 5 points
·         All ground elements in one of the exfil zones by end of turn 8: 5 points

Initiative level: D10
Confidence Level: High
Supply Level: Abundant
Body Armour: Standard (+1D)
Troop Quality/Morale: D10/D10

All operators are equipped with Night Vision Goggles (NVG), suppressed weapons (-1D to shooting; N.B. the F89 is not suppressed, nor is the Benelli Shotgun), and flashbang stun grenades. Each team has one breaching charge. Operators have Advanced First Aid, are Stealthy and need to be spotted to shoot at.

Element Alpha
Element Bravo

1x Team Leader w/F88
1x Team Leader w/F88
1x Grenadier w/F88/GLA (Lt. AP:1/ AT:0)
1x Grenadier w/F88/GLA (Lt. AP:1/ AT:0)
1x Gunner w/F89 SAW (Lt. AP:1/ AT:0)*
1x Gunner w/F89 SAW (Lt. AP:1/ AT:0)*
1x Operator w/SR-25 DMR and Benelli Shotgun*
1x Operator w/SR-25 DMR and Benelli Shotgun*

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Malikastan Mission Briefing - A Tale of 2 City Fights

It was not the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was not the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of unquestioning belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it had been the spring of hope, it was now the winter of despair, we had had everything before us, we now knew we had nothing before us, they all thought they were going direct to Heaven, but they were merely turning to dust—in short, the period was so far back to jingoistic isolationism, that some of its noisiest authorities tweeted on it being finished by Christmas.

December 24 2019
The forces of the world, some under the umbrella of the UN, some under independent command and now encircled the garden city of Hotaki in Malikastan.  The fanatical followers of the long dead Hotaki saw that his prophecy of the "coming of the Franks" was upon them, and when the "Franks" entered the tomb of Hotaki all the warriors of Hotaki who had died over the last several hundred years would rise from their graves and bring on the final days.  Hotaki warriors sat in their prepared positions contemplating their rewards or contemplating on the joy of seeing their many fallen comrades join them once more with tales of Paradise.

A week ago, on a cold winter's morning, the pincer movement of the two vanguard armies entered the City of Hotaki.  The British had offered the name for the operation as Operation Put-In, a good rugby term.  The Americans changed it to Operation Tweet.  The Russians merely called it Operation Trump Card.  The US President tweeted how "clever" the Russians were, and how the Russian forces would put the efforts of the US, French and British armies to shame.

We are playing a Malikastan mission this Wednesday.  And, maybe Brisbane will play the other pincer.  The Russian pincer will involve the attempt to capture a hill overlooking Hotaki City, upon which sits a World Heritage ruin of the pre-Hotaki era.  During the capture of the ruin by the Hotakistanis they had been destroying portions of the ruins to bait the west in attacking the city and thereby bringing about the beginning of the Final Days.

For the last two days the Russians have been fighting through the IEDs and fortified positions to get to the base of the hill.  Their first assault on the hill was repulsed with heavy casualties.  They have now brought up heavy self-propelled artillery to "gently" remove resistance so from the ridge line so that their VDV (paratroopers) can gain a foothold on the hill.

Victory Points
Malikastani Terror Brigade & Hotakistani Regulars
+2 VP for each time the Russian player fires the 155mm at a position on the hill
+1 VP per Russian KIA or Seriously Wounded
+5VP per Russian Vehicle destroyed

Russian VDV (Paratroopers)
+5VP if the Russians hold the ridge line at game end or beyond
+5VP if the Russians have advanced to the edge of the board
+1VP for each MTB or HR fire team/crew destroyed.

+5VP for each armoured vehicle of the HR destroyed

Turns: 7
Russians start with initiative and automatically hold initiative for turn 1 and 2.
From the beginning of turn 3 roll for initiative as normal
Conditions: Clear.  At the beginning of each turn roll a D6, on a 4+ a wind picks up (see Dust special rule).  Roll a direction dice and a wind speed.  At the beginning of each turn reroll the wind speed dice.
Play Area: 4'x4'

Russian Paratrooper (VDV) (INI10, TC8, MOR10)
Full VDV Platoon (minus the weapons support section)
One 2S23 Nona w\120mm
One Tunguska
One 2S19 MTSA 155mm
One T-72 arrives at the beginning of Turn 3.

Malikastani Terror Brigade (INI D6, TC D6, MOR D12) REGULAR
Team 1 Leader w\AK, 3 w\AK, 1 w\RPG (AP3/AT3M), 1 Suicide Bomber (AP3/AT3L)
Team 2 Leader w\AK, 3 w\AK, 1 w\RPG (AP3/AT3M), 1 Suicide Bomber (AP3/AT3L)
Bunker (3 crew) with DShKa HMG (5D10)
VBIED (Sedan, Uparmoured Soft, FA2D6, SA2D6, RA1D6 AP6/AT2M)
AT Minefield (AP-/AT4D8H)
AP Minefield (AP4D8/AT1D8L)
Two IED (AP4D8/AT2D8M)

Hotakistani Remnant Armoured Brigade (INI D6, TC D8, MOR D8) REGULAR
Two T-55

Special Rules
DUST.  Place a dust cloud behind any vehicle that has moved.  Place a dust cloud in front of any 100mm gun or larger that fires.  Dust blocks LOS until it dissipates or moves.  Place a large dust cloud at the location where the 155mm shell explodes.  At the beginning of each turn roll a D6 for each dust cloud, on a 4+ it dissipates, otherwise it moves on the wind.
Medical.  The Russians have normal medical,  Malikastani/Hotakistani have Caveman Evacuation.
Prepared positions and ratlines.  The Malikastani/Hotakistani forces have well-prepared positions,
Mines.  The Malikastani/Hotakistani player may place three minefields, one of which is fake, one of which is AT and one of which is AP.  Any unit moving in a minefield will trigger a mine on a failed TC.
Remote Detonated IED.  The Malikastani player also places two IED anywhere in the 2/3 of the board away from the Russian edge.  The crew of the bunker must
Explosive Rule: All blasts have a diameter equal to their number of AP dice.
Loaded: The Russians are carrying unlimited supplies of RPG.