Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Force on Force AAR: Hunting Pirates

Well I am back on Christmas furlough, and my friend and veteran wargaming opponent Patrick got a chance to play several games shortly before Christmas struck. Here is an After action of the small Ambush Alley: Force on Force game we played that day. Minis are 20mm Liberation, painted by myself, terrain is Pat’s and the buildings are actually 15mm, since we were sorta just scrounging for whatever was at hand.

SITUATION: Recent Somali pirate attacks of the coast of Africa have led the US to take drastic action against these emerging networks. A team of FAST Marines will be sent in to capture a HVT believed to be feeding intel to the pirates.

MISSION: Find, secure, and extract the HVT from the objective.

EXECUTION: On order, FAST Marines will conduct an assault on the Objective, find the HVT, eliminate any hostile forces impeding progress, and fall back to the LZ to await extraction.


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At the start of the game, the Marines entered from the South and began to skirt the field. The immediately came under sporadic fire from various militia in the buildings, and more rushed from positions north of the town. It quickly became evident that the Marines would have to fight their way in. The Marines opened fire on their enemies, and pirates began dropping like flies. The pirates sporadically sprayed bullets in the direction of the Marines, but without any effect.

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Sizing up the situation, Sgt. Patrick led the Marines forward in an aggressive push towards the village, since their fire had been effectively clearing any enemy resistance. Fireteam Alpha pushed on the left, taking cover amongst some rocks, while Bravo moved into the soft cover of the field, still carefully taking shots at the pirates brave enough to expose themselves.

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Bravo then launched an assault upon the southernmost building, and wiped out the pirates inside. As they charged in, a Lance Corporal was grazed in the arm, but the light wound was not nearly severe enough to keep him out of the fight. Clearing the building, the HVT was nowhere in sight. Seeing the success of Bravo’s assault, Alpha attacked the large western building and in a hail of gunfire they cleared it without taking any casualties, but the HVT was nowhere to be seen.

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As they secured the building, however, large groups of pirate reinforcements arrived to the north and east of the village, and the Marines quickly realized that they needed to find their HVT and get out fast, before the pirates consolidated and surrounded them. Bravo dashed across the street to seize the easternmost building, and began to engage the pirates to the east. As the firefight began to escalate, LCpl. Jameson discovered the HVT hiding in a secret compartment beneath a rug in the living room. Elated, the Marines began to plan their withdrawal.

Then suddenly, the entire situation went straight to hell in a hand basket. A volley of RPGs and concentrated LMG fire from the northern mob of pirates wiped out Alpha, killing two of them and leaving the other two severely wounded. As Bravo continued to engage targets, they too came under vicious volleys of RPGs and small arms fire, which left two of them severely wounded, and the others lightly wounded.

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At this point we called the game as a pirate victory. They were quickly closing in on a terribly shot up group of Marines, who did not really have a viable escape option. While the two lightly wounded members of Bravo might have been able to withdraw with their wounded team members, Alpha was essentially lost, and there wasn’t a single able-bodied Marine to control the HVT.

Ultimately a close run game, but the Marines simply ran out of luck late in the mission. Some atrocious die rolling on Pat’s part doomed Alpha, and Bravo was left without many options. While it was a last minute twist, I dare say it helped to illustrate how quickly “S**T happens” and can happen in combat operations. Overall a very enjoyable, if brief game that helped solidify the rules in my mind… they’re really starting to grow on me!

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