Well I christened my new double sided grass mat this morning, as well as the middle eastern building I built over spring break. I realized that my Taliban still hadn’t been played with yet, so I threw a quick solo game down to freshen up on my Force on Force rules. I decided on a simple scenario, and then proceeded to annihilate my Taliban, quite unintentionally… but then again, can I help it if Marines are simply the best warfighting organization in the world, evidently even when they’re only 20mm tall?
2nd Lt. Hicks joined two of the fireteams from his second squad while they conducted a patrol through a small complex of buildings. As they passed through the complex initially, they only saw a few old farmers who gave the passing marines a dirty look. The lieutenant didn’t like the feel of the place, but decided against searching the buildings, as that might have only further served to irritate the locals. Two hours later, the patrol has completed their route, when the lieutenant decides that perhaps they should check that farm complex one more time…
SETUP: I randomized where my taliban went by rolling a D6, the result placing them on the table below (A roll of ‘6’ placed them in the farm, another roll decided which building they’d be in):
The Marines were supposed to fight their way across the table and off the far side. I decided to give the Marines a cobra gunship on call, but stipulated that it would only become available after 2 or more Marines had become casualties.
As can be seen from the picture above, evidently the farmers hadn’t been just farmers, as 5 Taliban began right on the edge of the complex waiting for the Marines. Reinforcements flocked towards the complex from the surrounding area. A failed USMC reaction test meant that the first fireteam walked along the path into the village without noticing the crouching forms on the rooftop. A hail of poorly aimed AK47 rounds quickly alerted the Marines to the presence of hostile forces. The second fire team plunged into the plowed field to the right, and immediately began to return fire.
That Taliban continued to move towards the complex as the first turn drew to a close. The Marines barely managed to maintain the initiative at the start of turn two, and proceeded to take cover in the poppy fields, and start laying down some fire upon the Taliban. Meanwhile, three Taliban attempted to rush through the a clump of trees on the left flank and assault the 1st fireteam, but a hail of gunfire put two of them down, and the remaining RPG gunner was so shaken that he sent his RPG sailing harmlessly over the heads of the marines.
As more Taliban tried to move in from the north, the first fireteam continued to keep up an intense fire that prevented them from moving across the open ground. In the exchange of crossfire, a Marine from the 1st FT went down, seriously wounded, but the Marines were definitely giving more than they were getting.
The Taliban cell leader ran up behind one of the buildings with 6 of his henchmen and prepared to rush into the complex and seize the commanding position that the rooftop would offer.
1st FT pinned down the reinforcements from the north yet again, while 2nd FT eliminated the threat in the building to their immediate front, though they took a serious casualty in the process. Suddenly the cell leader and his 6 jihadists, rushed into the building on the left flank. Distracted by the Taliban to the north, the 1st FT failed to do anything against the freshly visible threat. A hail of gunfire struck the 1st FT’s position, and within seconds every Marine had been hit, two seriously. Hearing his intercom squawk with the news that his Marines were taking heavy casualties, Lt. Hicks got fed up with the situation and called for the Cobra. Responding promptly with a vicious gun run, the cobra pinned or wounded most of the Taliban.
With more than half his force down, and realizing that it wouldn’t be long before the cobra game back, the cell leader sounded the call for retreat, and the few remaining Taliban slipped back into the hills.
A fun game, that probably would have gone differently if the Taliban had rolled better. The helicopter certainly helped seal the deal for the Marines, but I’m not sure it was necessary, as they were pretty much holding their own against superior numbers (I had both sides rated the same, giving the Taliban the benefit of the doubt). I think a better tactic for the Taliban would have been to bring the scattered groups together sooner, and close assault the Marines.
As for the Marines, they should have stayed together, and pushed to secure one of the buildings immediately. Those poppy fields simply weren’t providing the necessary cover, and it was luck that saved them, not tactics. Lt. Hicks needs to pull his head out of his ass in the future.
All in all a good game, and I do really enjoy the rules, I just haven’t gotten to know them well enough to develop strategies and tactics yet, though I’m sure this will come in time. And now, back to painting, as I strive to be productive before I leave.