Home Forums Modern Hind and Seek – Rules for the Soviet-Afghan War Reply To: Hind and Seek – Rules for the Soviet-Afghan War

#78533
madman
Participant

Played a couple games of this a few months ago now and wish to comment. I emailed and discussed the questions which arose with Tom and made sure he had no issues before I posted my thoughts.

To be fair here is Tom’s reply followed by my original email;

 

 

Hi Stephen, thanks for the email, I’ll dive right in;

What is the turn sequence as to initiative?
Players take turns working through the turn structure. It is essentially “I Go, U Go”, as in “I take my entire turn, activating all my units, then you take your entire turn, activating all your units”
pay careful attention to the wording of the Turn Structure section on page 4:
“Each player’s turn is structured in the following way” (turn structure)
“After both players have had a turn, 1 game turn has passed”

So say the soviet player gets the first turn, they will draw cards for artillery/air strikes/etc, then play asset cards if they wish, then all their unit activation, then remove any suppression markers. The Mujahideen will then take any necessary morale checks if their units have taken morale damage.

Then the Mujahideen will take their first turn: they will roll for any units in ambush to appear, then play asset cards if they wish, then their unit activation, then they will remove any suppression markers. Finally the Soviets will take morale checks for any units that took morale damage.

After that, 1 game turn has passed.

Following the turn structure in this way, a unit that is suppressed II will lose all its actions in its turn, and then the suppression will be removed at the end of the turn, so suppression only ever lasts for 1 turn.

Are mine fields generated by pregame assets marked on the table or hidden? If hidden is there any mechanisms for honesty?
Mine fields are not “pre game” as they do not have the asterisk next to them. This means they can be played during the asset phase of the turn (so could be withheld unit a player sees fit). All assets are technically ‘pre game’ as the assets are drawn before the game, but only assets specifically marked with the asterisk are considered “pre game” in that they must be player before the game starts. Assets without the asterisk next to their name can be played in any turn during a players asset phase.

Minefields should be represented by a marker, provided at the end of the rules. Place the marker and measure 6″ from that spot when a unit comes close – any unit that moves through this area will take damage. (note that it should read 6″ radius, not diameter – a somewhat serious typo on my behalf that I’m surprised I didn’t notice until just now!)
The fact that minefields can turn up halfway through a game makes them hidden to begin with. They can be placed anywhere when they are used so it makes them quite flexible. Often the Mujahideen and Soviets knew roughly where an enemy would be coming through and would mine the right places, often with devastating effects.


We didn’t see any “area effects” for automatic fire or artillery weapons (ie. mortars). Each of these could only affect one unit so in game terms had no great benefit over (for example) a long range gun.

That’s correct, there are no area effects except for the Katyusha Strike Mujahideen asset. This is to do with the large ground scale and small size of units (5 – 10 men). No area will have more than 5 or 10 men in it, so most weapons will only be able to damage 1 unit at a time. Katyusha are the only real exception as they really rely on area bombardment.

The main benefit of mortars are the fact they can fire over terrain, provided a friendly unit somewhere has line of sight to the target. All other weapons require line of sight.

To attempt to reveal a dispersed unit you only have to be within 12″. We felt you should also have LOS.
This is a good idea, but I think being close enough would alert you to the fact enemies are close. Units might hear them talking or see them from outside their regular weapons line of sight (by looking around and not just straight ahead). Units already have to spend 1 action and make a quality check in order to reveal dispersed infantry, so I feel that is enough – this could mean sending out a scout over a hill or somesuch, or taking time to clear your flanks.

On morale table you have the effect of lose one action next turn. Should this be handled and marked as a level 1 suppression?
Yep this is what we treat it as, and I will change the wording in the update. We just use a “suppressed” marker to show the loss of one action as they are exactly the same thing.

Also on the morale table we felt being in cover and the effects of unbroken friendly units within X” should be positive modifiers to the table.
This is a good idea and I will consider it. Although as you mention, its already hard enough as it is to destroy infantry…

As for assets and the offensive/defensive nature, they are a mixed bag, so it can really depend on what you get given. This reflects the situation for a field commander – often they don’t have the right tools for the job, or have the wrong tools for the job. Some assets that might be seen as defensive like minefields can be used on the offence, to prevent enemies counter-attacking or retreating, or to hem in enemies.

Essentially you gamble with the assets, if you want to conduct an offensive as the Mujahideen, it might be wise to dedicate your strength more to forces than assets (say 3 assets and 7 forces for a 10 strength game), although you might get lucky and get things like artillery and katyusha strikes which would be very useful for an offensive. Assets like the Civilian Village and Ambush positions are also incredibly useful for Mujahideen offensives, as are Civilians, Overhead cover, Convincing the DRA to desert, Interference, Weapons Caches and Roadside mines. As well as the Prepared firing position, I count 11 assets that could be used on the offensive, which is the majority of the Mujahideen assets. Only the AP mine, Escape Routes and Road block are primarily defensive, although both AP mines and Escape Routes could still be used on the offensive – escape routes in case anything goes wrong, and AP mines to prevent enemies escaping or counter-attacking, or to defend flanks.

Soviet assets could also be used on the defensive just as well, although their idea of ‘defensive’ would be more of a counter-attack. Certainly AP mines, Pre-Op training, Pre-Op Foot sweeps, KHAD information, Misinformation, Pre-OP recon and Air-blocking elements could all be used on the defensive – if you know an area is going to be blocked by air, you can treat it as a safe zone in defense.

The assets should be quite flexible, able to be used for attack, defense, counter-attack, endurance and harassment. The only asset that doesn’t really have a use in-game is the Closer Ties with locals, but it can make a difference in campaigns, and also the Reaction (Prevent Escape Routes) can be very powerful.

The only way to “kill” a unit is to morale effect it do death. Unless we missed something it was impossible to kill infantry in any significant way.
This is correct and it reflects modern conflict, especially in Afghanistan. Troops often describe taking fire for long periods but only taking a few casualties. Essentially to destroy a unit you need to focus fire on it, or outflank it, or both. This encourages out-flanking and movement and I hope reflects the nature of combat in Afghanistan. Its not until you get really close, surround an enemy unit and throw in grenades that you actually kill them all. Usually they retreat with some casualties or retreat with no losses (as the Mujahideen often did…)

I would recommend reading “The other side of the mountain” and “The Bear went over the mountain” if you haven’t already, they are great reads (not really ‘books’ as such, but collections of combat reports with maps from field commanders who were really there – both on the soviet and mujahideen side).

This type of combat I have also seen from video footage of fighting in Afghanistan in the last ~10 years – troops harry each other from range, maybe take some light casualties (or even heavy casualties), but its not until they close with grenades and close range fire that they actually wipe entire enemy units out.

The weapons ranges given the ground scale seemed excessive.
We use a ground scale of 1″ = 20m, and have on top of that telescoped most of the longer ranges to be shorter than they actually would be – even at 6mm scale the ranges are far shorter than they should be. Modern ranges are quite long, and I don’t feel comfortable reducing the ranges any more than they already are.

we feel Afghanistan is so wide open the ground scale should be reduced otherwise an excessive table would have to be employed.
Afghanistan certainly has areas that are more wide open plains, but this game suits the areas with much more terrain – mountains, dense cities or villages, areas of foliage – a combination of all 3 of these provide good games of Hind & Seek, and I would recommend using quite a bit of terrain in your games. The example terrain set-ups provide the kind of terrain we feel is suitable – at least 10 areas of High Terrain, often with Higher terrain on top, 4 -5 areas of area terrain foliage, areas of village and buildings, etc. You don’t really want units to be able to see the entire table from any area, instead you want a few valleys with firing lines down them on the table, so units could choose to move through one valley to avoid enemies on another, although you want a certain amount or inter-connectivity, so valleys can join up and units aren’t too restricted by all the high terrain. You can see in the two books I mentioned above the maps they show are almost always littered with mountainous areas – they are almost never fighting in open plains. And if there are areas that are more open, they are covered in high crops and foliage where line of sight is less than 10m (known as green zones).

Hope that answers some of your questions, good to hear from you and I certainly have some ideas and notes for the update (as well as some mistakes and typos I spotted). I hope you guys can try again with a bit more success as it is a really fun and interesting period to game! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers,

Tom

 

Here is my initial email
Tom

Well I didn’t hear back from the guy so here is our observations as interpreted by me.

We didn’t find the close combat rules until the last turn of our game. Removing terrain defense modifiers seemed odd but treating it as a “net” effect felt OK.
What is the turn sequence as to initiative? Is it: all units of the winning player go first then the surviving units of the second player all have their turn? Or: One unit of the winning player has its actions, then one unit of the second player, then one unit….?

Keeping with the above if a unit is suppressed before it has done any actions does it loose it’s actions for the turn or not until next turn?

Keeping with the above does suppression gained in a turn is removed at the end of the turn or end of next game turn? Two issues. If a unit is suppressed and looses actions that turn we felt it should be removed at the end of the game turn as it has already felt the effects. If a unit is not affected by suppression until the following turn a mechanism for recording which turn it was suppressed on is then needed.
Are mine fields generated by pregame assets marked on the table or hidden? If hidden is there any mechanisms for honesty?
We didn’t see any “area effects” for automatic fire or artillery weapons (ie. mortars). Each of these could only affect one unit so in game terms had no great benefit over (for example) a long range gun.
To attempt to reveal a dispersed unit you only have to be within 12″. We felt you should also have LOS.
On morale table you have the effect of lose one action next turn. Should this be handled and marked as a level 1 suppression?

Also on the morale table we felt being in cover and the effects of unbroken friendly units within X” should be positive modifiers to the table.
Other observations;

We only played a couple of game turns and found the following issues which we felt needed to be addressed before going any further.

Mujahideen assets are almost all applicable to a defensive action. Similarly Soviet assets are primarily (heavily) offensive in nature. The scenario we played was Mujahideen attacking a DRA base either days before or just after the Soviets invade. I limited the game to DRA strength and insurgent forces which I felt would be available at that period (line infantry BTRs HMGs and maybe a T54 for the DRA, lee enfields, lmgs, mortars and snipers for the insurgents. It was felt additional assets should be available to cover offensive actions my insurgents and defensive operations by soviet side. Perhaps an extended asset list which is adjusted up or down for attack or defensive posture.

Our assets turned out to be really dubious. The attacking Mujahideen had mine fields and the DRA had intel so all the units starting not dispersed at the start of the game (all anyways) started not dispersed and hidden ambush positions (none) were forced to be not dispersed!
All but a couple of the approximately two dozen units on the board were fighting, usually just around the limits of lethal ranges (a little over or under). Only one unit had any morale effect and was not going anywhere (worse) fast. The only way to “kill” a unit is to morale effect it do death. Unless we missed something it was impossible to kill infantry in any significant way.

The weapons ranges given the ground scale seemed excessive. Basically any units on the about 6′ long table were in range. I thought you mentioned playing on 4′ square tables. If so other than terrain effects most weapons above infantry small arms cover the table. I like the ground scale for my micro armour games but we feel Afghanistan is so wide open the ground scale should be reduced otherwise an excessive table would have to be employed.
Please take all the above as friendly thoughts and questions from interested blind testers. I am really keen on the game and subject so am very motivated to make it work. Thank you for your efforts.

Stephen

 

I am hoping to revisit these rules over the holidays and hoping to see something new I missed. We never played more than 3 game turns as my opponents felt the lack of significant effect on “hit” units was not allowing the game to progress.

 

I am curious if anyone else has played any games of this? Interest was high when it was announced and first made available. Thank you.

 

Stephen