A couple of weeks ago I played the first scenario of the Force on Force scenario book Road to Baghdad with George. He doesn't have any US troops so we substituted a British section with a Viking APC. George's imagi-nation is a country called Murdistan, with such cities as Malki and Stushi (the Scots amongst you will get the joke!) so we decided we should go ahead and play the RtB campaign in his fictional setting.
The first mission was to secure the pumping station for an oil field. I wonder what could motivate them to do that? Anyway, the insurgent Murdistan forces desire to rob the Western decadent infidels of their black gold and set about destroying the pumps. If they do so then they are assured victory. The coalition forces are to prevent that happening, but not at too high a cost!
|The pump houses are the small buildings to the back.|
|The British section arrives and begins to breach the fence.|
|The Murdistan army will not stand idly by, though!|
The British (played by me) were quite confident in their ability to control any opposition, especially with the GPMG mounted on the Viking, but the Murdistan unit in the main building popped up and delivered some substantial fire! The overwatch fire proved too little and somehow nearly half the unit was hit. Thankfully there was only one KIA and one or two wounded, but it slowed the British down rather worryingly. The Viking then got to work and the opposition was overcome.
|Hubris! In the background the reinforcements arrive!|
As the British regained composure and set about the fence again, a small force of Murdistanis entered the compound from the rear gate and began to haul bundles of TNT out of their car. Uh-oh! The British needed to get moving - and fast!
|The climax approaches!|
The British finally gained the compound and stormed the main building. From there they put down a withering fire on the insurgents, killing most of them. Miraculously, the lone RPG gunner survived and drew a bead on the Viking. The overwatch fire again fizzled out and a streak of smoke flew across the compound and thudded into the APC which immediately brewed up! The cackling insurgents began firing their AKs wildly into the air as the countdown to the bomb approached zero. It was now or never! Another barrage of fire from the coalition section pinned them, allowing two brave troops to dash across the open ground and storm the pump house. The militia was eliminated, but time was up. The red or the blue wire? It came down to the last dice roll of the game and...the bomb was diffused!! The pumps were secure, but with two killed (one in the Viking) and about three or four seriously wounded, the cost was too high and the game was a Murdistani victory! Buggah!
Being quite a short game we reset and played through a second time. This time George was the British and he set about the task with a bit more verve. He smashed the APC through the chainlink fence and the British troops poured through. The insurgents in the main building were quickly subdued and eliminated and all looked good! However, a screech of tyres (in an A-Team-tyres-screeching-on-dirt way) the Murdistan bombers tore through the gate and they piled into the furthest pump house. The British took positions to oust them, but the AK-47 fire made them take cover gaining precious seconds for their enemies. The bomb was planted and the British were against the clock. Again, ferocious fire put down most of the irregulars, but history repeated itself and a streak of smoke arced across the compound and the Viking APC was once more a burning wreck! The crew all survived, though, and George breathed a sigh of relief! And there we were again...the British forces deciding red or blue with seconds on the clock. This time they chose incorrectly, though, and the pump house was blown sky high. The Murdistani forces were again victorious despite being taken out to a man. A glorious sacrifice!
|The Viking APC rams into the compound while the bombers make their own dash (the car is hidden behind the pump house.|
|A burning Viking APC and a burning pump house! And a stern Murdistani warlord points out what happens to infidel invaders!!|
Great fun! And a great demonstration of Force on Force. Not a lot of space needed and not a lot of figures, but a highly dramatic and cinematic game was had. It also showcases the quality of the scenario design you get with the campaign books. On paper you'd think the British should walk the scenario, but the insurgents have always got a chance of pulling it off. The coalition forces must always be mindful of casualties and damaging infrastructure, whereas the insurgent commander can mercilessly send his troops to their doom to obtain his objective - because they generally don't give VPs and there are almost always plenty more! :)