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Sunday 21 September 2014

Five Games in Nine Hours

I am not a fan of quick games per se but my vist to see Mick (in Switzerland) resulted in 5 great games in an afternoon and evening.  He has written an AAR so here it is:

FoF: Golan Heights, 7th October 1973


The scenario is called “Encounter on the Yehuda Road” and is in the Force on Force Rulebook.  This game comprises of 7 x Syrian T62A verses 2 x Israeli Centurion Sho’t and is based on real events.  The Syrians are invading and the Israelis have sent tanks to make a defensive line on the mountain pass. 

Tanks were 10mm scale from Pendraken, bought by David and painted by Mick.  The board is 6’x4’ with a road running diagonally from end to end.  The table is flat on the Syrian side and the last third rises steeply up the Golan Heights. The area by the side of the road has some rocky outcrops and a few trees.  The Israeli tanks arrive from the road at the top edge and the Syrians from the opposite edge.  The Syrians cannot elevate their main guns sufficiently so must run the gauntlet until they are at a similar height to the Israelis.  This results in a dash for the high ground with the Israelis trying to stop them.

The first game did not flow well as we were not interpreting the rules correctly, which meant that the Israelis only had two shots per turn. The first game was an easy Syrian win as two tanks got through the defensive line by turn 4. (David played Israel, Mick played Syria)

FoF game, 1 turn 4

Vehicle combat in FoF is less complex than infantry with fewer variables.  Vehicles use stats for weapon and armour, not number of crew.  Modifiers such as cover are already included in stats.  Important is that every vehicle activation results in reaction test that can mean other sides units move or shoot in response (or choose to ignore).  Firing reduces by 1 die per shot, therefore Israelis have max 4 shots per turn.  It would be useful to have red & yellow counters to differentiate between two Centurions to match two different coloured reaction test dice.

The second game was much more interesting and Israel won by disabling or destroying all Syrian tanks after 5 brutal turns. One was destroyed 6” from the table edge. (Mick  Israel, David Syria)

FoF game 1, turn 5

Rapid Fire – WW1: Somme, 1st July 1916

Our third and fourth games were an attempt to play out events of WW1 using Rapid Fire. 

For the 100th anniversary of WW1, I have been working on a project to look at key battles from WW1 with simple scenarios with 10mm Pendraken figures and custom built trench terrain. David Knight visited yesterday and we had our first WW1 game. This was the first time that we had tried to game a scenario for the project. This scenario was chosen because of the relatively simplicity of the forces.

The rules are the standard WW2 version of Rapid Fire without modification. Infantry companies are represented by ten figures. Both sides are treated as regulars with small arms except for one German Maxim unit which is a MMG on a tripod. Infantry companies can split fire between two targets as two teams of five. According to the rules, each unit makes a standard morale test when reduced to 50% strength. We also added a second rule that a unit is removed when reduced to 30% strength. This represents the few survivors taking cover and also tending to wounded companions.

The scenario is based on the morning of the first day of the Somme as the Pals battalions went into action. The action takes place in a thin rectangular strip of terrain, representing the action in one small sector of a 25 mile wide front. The table is a rectangle 4’ x 2’ with German trenches at one end with a large open area of grassy “no man’s land” in the middle. Towards the German lines there are a large number of shell craters. The British trenches are at the opposite end but there is no need to actually have terrain for the British trench lines as the scenario starts from the point where they go over the top.

The British Army is represented by six units of 10 infantry. The British start 36” from a line of barbed wire in front of German trenches. This equates to six turns of advancing cross country to get to the wire. The wire takes one turn to cross. The whole advance is in the open. At the start the trenches are unmanned as the German forces are sheltering from an artillery barrage in underground bunkers. Three German units (1 x Maxim MMG team, 2 x units of 10 infantry) are available in the sector. According to a D10 dice roll each turn, the German defenders may or may not emerge from their bunkers.

In game 1, German units had a 10% chance of arriving each turn. Unfortunately this left the German trenches unoccupied except for a solitary MMG unit which emerged in turn 2 but only inflicted 10 causalities in five turns. Therefore, most of the British units were intact as they reached the wire. The final assault was a walkover for the British. This played out as the British high command had planned the first day of the Somme. (David British, Mick German)

For game 2, we changed conditions for German troops to arrive – 10% round 1, 20% round 2, 30% round 3 etc. up to round 10. The German MMG arrived in turn 3 and was joined by infantry units in turn 6 and 7. The Germans split their fire to inflict casualties on four attacking units. As they crossed the wire in turn 8, the British had taken a total of 25 casualties, which took three units out of action and weakened another. The remaining British units crossed the wire made close assaults on the flanks of the Germans. Three rounds later, the Germans had successfully repelled the attack. It was a closely fought contest. The result matched the actual historical outcome in several sectors on 1st July 2016. (Mick British, David German)



Rapid Fire WW1 game 2, turn 6


Historical Note

The Somme was fought over six months by hundreds of thousands of men across a 25 mile front.  There were a million casualties between 1st July and 16th November 1916.  The first day was the bloodiest in British army history with 60,000 casualties (20,000 dead and 40,000 wounded).  The Germans also lost about 12,000 casualties and the French 1,600.  A large proportion of the British casualties were from the Pals battalions which devastated the social structure of towns and villages around England.

 The Accrington Pals, officially the 11th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, was a pals battalion of Kitchener's Army raised in and around the town of Accrington.  Recruiting was initiated by the mayor of Accrington following Lord Kitchener's call for volunteers, and it took only ten days to raise a complete battalion. The battalion's nickname is a little misleading since of the four 250-strong companies that made up the original battalion, only one was actually composed of men from Accrington. The rest volunteered from other East Lancashire towns nearby such as Burnley, Blackburn, and Chorley.

Approximately 700 men from the Accrington Pals went into action on 1 July; 585 men became casualties, 235 killed and 350 wounded in about half an hour (Wikipedia)

Star Wars X-Wing

The fifth and last game was Star Wars X-Wing straight out of the box.   The Empire had four tie fighters and Slave 1.  The Rebels had two X-Wings and Millennium Falcon.  No upgrade cards were used.  The result was a convincing Empire victory.  (David Empire, Mick Rebel)