About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Umm Qasr Redux

Tuesday saw George and I refight the Umm Qasr scenario from Road to Baghdad, this time switching sides. I was quite looking forward to trying my hand at the insurgents in this scenario, as I think the tactics they need to use are a bit different than in most asymmetric engagements. Normally, the irregular player gets lots of reinforcements during the game and you can be somewhat callous with your forces, but in this scenario the victory conditions hinge on there being Iraqi (or Murdistani in our case) elements left on the table. The rule that the British can't fire heavy weapons towards the port also means that maneouver is more important than usual, too.
George lined the British up quite similarly to the first game and my Murdistani cells were also deployed very closely to his last time. Actually, the deployment zone is a little restricted in this scenario, and you have a fair few cells to pack in, so the deployment is a little predictable. However, I was well aware of the devastating fire that the British can put down and the Challenger turning up at Turn 4 means a standup fight is not an option. So I decided to only use 2 or 3 cells to ambush the British and move at least one backwards at the start to create a bit more depth to my position and make it harder for the Brits to penetrate through the restricted fire lanes. And so we began!
The British have a difficult time getting started, despite heavy Murdistani casualties
The first couple of turns saw the British probe their centre and  left flank to gauge the strength of the defenders in and around the Administration building. I decided to be bold and hold my first ambush until they were at optimum range and, thankfully, they weren't spotted first. The crackle of AK-47 fire left 2 Brits seriously wounded and George immediately pulled them back. The overwatch fire decimated the Murdistani cell in return, though. The second Brit fireteam to go received similar punishment as they crossed the berm and they were withdraw, too. The large cell of 10 irregulars was soon down to half strength, though. Even a few D8s can seriously beat up a D6 quality unit in FoF. As I said, this shouldn't be a standup fight. Yes, the Murdistani side gets VPs for killing or wounding the enemy, but you will suffer in this scenario if you leave your troops exposed to the British quality and this showed here as the Murdistani casualties quickly mounted. At last, though, the British right flank gained a foothold in the buildings and started to push towards the Murdistani table edge, where I had moved one cell in the very first turn. This cell was actually quite potent with 2 RPGs and I chose them specifically to pose a threat to the tank which I hoped would have to move into the restricted terrain of the buildings. 
The British clear a way through on the right flank.
The Murdistani irregulars fall back to catch the infidels as they try to envelop.
And the tank arrives...
...and makes it's presence felt!
So now there were only two cells left to face the tank, but I had managed to get them back so that the tank couldn't risk firing it's main gun and damage the port infrastructure. In fact, in the earlier firefight, the British GPMG had already inflicted damage and gifted me with 3 VPs so doing it again would create a bit of a mountain to climb. So the Challenger began moving down the road and my cell duly popped up to try their hand with the RPGs. George proved a wily tank commander, though, and only ever presented his front armour which meant I only had a slim chance of damaging it. Essentially I was rolling 4D6 to beat his armour of 5D12!! The first shot gave George a bit of a sweat, though, as he only rolled 2 successes and I began shaking my D6 with glee. I only managed 2 successes, however, and the armour held. It's these moments that make FoF, and most wargames for that matter, a total blast! 

The final moves of the game saw more British troops advance and I decided to concentrate my fire on them instead. I reckoned I couldn't harm the tank, but I had a reasonable chance of wounding or killing the soldiers. A couple of rounds of fire saw more expensive British casualties being dragged to safety, at the cost of the entire Murdistani cell. All that remained was the remnants of a single cell cowering behind the berm with the railway track on it.
The British seize the last building before the port is open to them. In the background is the huge pile of Murdistani KIA.

Prepare to sell your lives dearly!!
But time ran out! George managed one more round of fire and took out two of the five survivors, but it was not enough. There was still an active cell on board at the end which gave me 3 VPs and robbed George of 3 VPs. Coupled with the infrastructure damage and about eight seriously wounded British, the Murdistani side won with 14 VPs to 8 VPs. Crucially, if the British had managed to finish off those three irregulars it would have been a draw, which shows how finely balanced this scenario is. Brilliant stuff!! :)

I'm not sure what the next scenario will be as George is still working on the vehicles for some, but I've no doubt we'll get another done soon and I'll post that AAR here, too! 


  1. Really enjoyable read!

    Im in the middle of painting up a rifle platoon of USMC, them Im starting a play through of the Road to Baghdad campaign book. Your games are inspiring me to paint faster.

    What make is your challenger? The tank commander looks great perched on top

    1. Hi Ryan! Glad you enjoyed the AAR and I'm confident you'll enjoy the RtB scenarios.

      The Challenger is actually George's, but I'm pretty sure it's Forces of Valor. Modelzone sometimes have sales of these ranges and you can get them pretty cheap. Otherwise you can find them on eBay sometimes. Considering the cost of a model kit and the time spent building and painting, the extra cost of a pre-painted diecast is worth it to me.


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