04/06/2020 at 14:24 #137530
It is 0130 local time on 7 August 1990, and a team of Free Cuban commandos is on the move, conducting a clandestine snatch and grab in Lithuania.
As breakup the breakup of the Soviet Union grows nearer, its decay has weakened the government’s control over its vast territory, particularly in the various republics, where an inability of the government to care for its people has begun to collapse the various societies, which inevitably leads to nefarious means of making money. In this case, organized crime has been quick to step in, beginning with black market goods and services, which quickly progressed to gambling, drugs, prostitution, and has now graduated to facilitating transnational terrorism.
Several weeks ago Cuban intelligence became aware of a plot to strike a Cuban embassy in Europe. Very quickly evidence mounted of the movement of personnel, money, and materials through Europe via Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) networks, but then it went dark. Then gold was struck: three days ago the United Kingdom’s intelligence service shared information regarding an IRGC courier tied to the plot surfacing in a rural area outside Taurege, Lithuania. Section 20 immediately went to work and got a confirmed location.
Section 20 mounted out and went to work, establishing a base of operations at sea, then set about inserting the Direct Action Team, which HALO’ed into the location.
Overview, north is up. There is a fordable river running north-south on the left side of the board, while the main road runs east west, before branching north-south at far right, where there is small farming compound consisting of three buildings. Other than that there are a couple rocky outcroppings just west of the farming compound, a small stock pond north of the farming compound, some trees, hedges, and a ton of cultivated fields. The mobsters are quite… influential in the area, and so have established two checkpoints on the road; one is just west of the bridge (bottom left), the other is just west of the crossroads (far right).
The farming compound, with the Courier sleeping in the Objective Building (far right), guarded by one mobster, and The Godfather sleeping in the building at left). The other house (top center) had its owners evicted and is now being used as a warehouse for the mobsters’ illicit paraphernalia.
The commandos push across the river (center left, far left, bottom left), wary of enemy sentries (top right and top center).
An enemy sentry (right) stumbles right into the commandos, forcing them to open fire with unsuppressed weapons!
Which wakes the enemy commander up, who comes outside to see what’s going on!
The commandos work around the back side (center bottom and far right) to get to the objective building (far left, with enemy commander at left).
The alarm is raised and a ferocious firefight breaks out in the objective area.
The Security Element (bottom left) lays down fire to keep enemy reinforcements in the west at bay.
Meanwhile, back at the Objective Building, Bravo 08 pulls out a flashbang and tosses it inside (blue bead)…
But the sentry kicks it over, into the corner, where it detonates harmlessly!
Then comes running out, into close combat with a very surprised Bravo 08!
To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
So, a tremendous amount of fun again, I hope you enjoyed it.
Jack04/06/2020 at 16:03 #137539Darkest Star GamesParticipant
That is a fantastic looking table, Jack. Just lovely. And what a chaotic game. That one enemy MG by the bosses house was a real tough nut!
The boys are doing great, but you’re probably right about the attention spans. Maybe time for them to control some aircraft doing a little punishment bombing, ala 80’s vs. Ghadafi when he was plotting all sorts of mayhem?
"I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."04/06/2020 at 18:18 #137554kyoteblueParticipant
Some day you need to flock the goats base. Wink wink.04/06/2020 at 18:52 #137556
Darby- Thanks man, and they’ve been doing great, but I’m definitely looking to get to something quicker for the boys. Not sure it’s airplanes, but we’ll see 😉
John- I dunno man, it seems to blend pretty well with his pen!
Jack04/06/2020 at 19:14 #137558kyoteblueParticipant
LOL!!!05/06/2020 at 18:49 #137666
I am also looking at low level (smaller then skirmish) games as well. So far the ones on my radar are Black Ops, Spectre Operations and Skirmish Sangin. What do you like about black ops and what do you wish was different? I understand from your AARs the games run long but that could be the players or the scenarios. Any opinions on the others? I also have Modern Havok as Bongolesia is on my radar as one possible scenario generator.
I also have a few one or two page rules games but find they create more questions than answers and I don’t mind more meat on my games. I like Force on Force and Ambush Alley but find the design operates more like skirmish games, for example you operate as teams with combined fire power dice and are required to keep together with LOS check being made from team centre to team centre as opposed to individuals.
Finally some of the old RPG or RPG based systems would work as well. My personal favorite would be Snapshot or Azhanti High Lightning being a long time fan of Traveller and I understand Twilight 2K is a popular combat system as well being ported into many games and RPGs from the same period. Snapshot has great mechanisms for close range (contact and under 2 meter) combat effects of weapon size but keeps the original Traveller combat system which, like D&D, affected your to hit based on target armour. AHL introduced what became the system used in Striker and Mega Traveller for combat with three range bands, set to hit chances and a system where to hit was one aspect then penetration and damage were separated from to hit.
Again mostly throwing ideas out for games of this scale and why one is chosen over others. Thank you.06/06/2020 at 18:48 #137709
I haven’t looked at Spectre yet, and may not if they keep the price up around $50! I downloaded the Skirmish Sangin ‘Lite’ version and liked it, but haven’t purchased the full set for some reason. Well, part of the reason is that I’m not a huge fan of the activation system; I like that they divide it up and better troops act earlier/more often than poor troops, but for me it’s still to formulaic, which is to say, you know what’s happening next. I know my guy activates in phase 2, 3, and 5, and your guy activates in 3 and 6. I don’t like rules where I know who’s acting next, I like it mixed up for some friction, and so I think Final Combat/SOF Warrior does it better where a ‘level 4’ dude is going to activate more times per turn than a ‘level 2’ guy, but you don’t know when it will be (due to a chit pull mechanism to determine who’s phase it is). I’m not familiar with Modern Havok.
Regarding Black Ops, I love the ‘programmed’ sentries and the concept of noise makers (which aren’t just noise, but also alerting activity, such as sprinting or climbing walls, though they missed a real big one with not having something for finding a dead comrade, which I’ve added, and used in the first batrep), I like the randomized activation, and combat is pretty simple with modifiers that makes sense. There’s not any command and control, per se, with a leader really only standing out as the ‘stud’ of the pack that gets to act more often than everyone else, and it may actually be a little too hard for the defenders to raise the alarm, though I say that after I’ve played two games and the alarm was raised both times before I actually entered the objective building.
I’m a big fan of the original Ambush Alley but, as you mentioned, it’s not really individual-soldier level, it’s element-based, so not what I’m looking for at this level. I never did any of the RPGs, don’t really know anything about them, so I don’t really have anything to say about them. I’ve heard of Twilight 2000 and D&D but never played them, never even heard of the others.
Jack06/06/2020 at 19:27 #137711WhirlwindParticipant
Great looking game and nice report, many thanks. That table really did look pretty ace!
I am liking the look of these rules more and more, since they concentrate a lot on some of the aspects that other rules find a bit tricky (i.e. the sneaking around).
I think the rules for Twilight 2000 would just be too complicated for games like this by the way (I did a write-up of the second edition with an example of how it works here).06/06/2020 at 20:05 #137714
I have somewhere between a half dozen and a dozen potential individual rules to look over. By individual I mean scale. I watched one YouTube video of Spectre Operations and part of a second and find it has a lot of elements but they didn’t make a good flow. Plus the combat system seemed roll to hit then roll to save, but with numbers of added dice. To what effect and how to determine them seemed very odd, confusing and additional with no benefit. I am NOT a fan of this double roll mechanic, which unfortunately seems to have become all the rage in the past few decades.
As for Skirmish Sangin I have that as well. I have only played it once at a mini con but that was a poor learning experience due to it being a convention experience. I have all of it and the feel I get is it is trying to be an “almost” role playing game as each individual is detailed almost to the extent of say Traveller. Each character has a few characteristics which are used to generate further details like skill in certain areas as well as when in a segmented game turn the character would activate. Further, actions are defined by action points to do things, so more specific time related segmenting happens. Further rolls are percentile and all ranges are supposed to be real world, not reduced so for most weapons a large table is all in effective range. If I have something incorrect please set me straight as I have not managed to read very far into the game and these statements are made from observations during the con game, discussions with gamers with some experience with the rules and what I have read, or read between the lines, on line.
I also have Brent Spivey’s the Battlefield, Modern Havok, the training run intro to Zero Dark, OPEX, Cornered Wolf, Merc 2000, Twilight 2000, Jihad Rules, Phoenix Command, Fireteam modern, Fireteam to Fireforce, No End in Sight, 5 core, and 5 men in… and a few old standbys like Snapshot, Traveller and Mega Traveller. Some are like Ambush Alley/Force on Force and don’t match the game scale we are trying to play at as you mention above. I want to review all the above to see if any of those scratch my itch as well or better. In addition to how the combat system goes I will be concentrating on the sequence of play (what seemed to me to be the poor spot for Spectre) as how involved or confusing/conflicting the SOP is usually gives a good feel for the rest of the game. As I said Traveller, MT, Striker and AHL are old school but perhaps the layout of the SOP will make them more “livable”.
Thank you for stating why Black Ops is your direction so I can see it in that light. I do have some NO GO opinions of what would kill a system for me but there is a lot of grey area in the above list. If I can I will try and give a brief overview of why I discounted or am continuing with any of the above. I am not trying to re-direct your gaming but similar to our discussion on rules in the Chunky Bandit thread I am searching around for rules at this scale. Ideally if they could be compatible to some extent even better but highly unlikely.06/06/2020 at 20:36 #137717
I haven’t really done any looking into Spectre Operations; I saw the release date, read a batrep and thought it was interesting, then looked on their website and saw how expensive the rules were… I don’t mind using roll to hit/roll to save, but I’d rather have it all done in one go (as well as morale, as roll to hit/roll to save/roll to see if they’re suppressed is even worse than roll to hit/roll to save!), which, again, is part of why I love the 5Core concept. No saves owing to cover/situations raising/lowering the amount of firing dice, and handles pins/suppressions/kills all in that same die roll.
I think you’ve got Skirmish Sangin nailed, as far as I know it, anyway. I actually liked their percentile die for shooting, thought that was pretty nifty, really dial in the soldier’s marksmanship skill, the inherent capability of the weapons system, the tactically situation (stationary, moving, taking fire, target unaware), and cover/concealment, in one roll.
No problem on giving my thoughts on rules I’m familiar with, my pleasure! And forgive me, I just saw you’d responded over on Chunky Bandit, so I’ll head over there, too.
Jack07/06/2020 at 02:32 #137735
Here is the video I watched from which I made my opinion about SO. The creator of it seems very into it but, for me, what threw me off was the number of steps, all be it quickly passed through but they felt “gluey” to me. It was also the only short video of Spectre Operations I found on YouTube with others being over an hour. I was looking for into and how the systems work sort of videos.
Back in the day I would have reveled in D100 game systems with piles of modifiers for every situation. Not anymore. I still like meat on the bones of any system but have grown to like one to two page QRSs which can answer 90% of issues during a game. Having said that I have played probably the most detail intense RPG combat system out there, as a player only, the Morrow Project. Also my gaming background wrt micro armour started with Tractics. The infantry game really didn’t exist except as an afterthought but the armour hit and kill detail went on… I think I still would like a “crunchy” (if that is the word for detailed) system for armour but like a much cleaner handling of infantry. Definitely of two minds here.09/06/2020 at 14:20 #137876
Thanks, Stephen, for the link, I’ll have to check the video out.
As I’ve mentioned, mostly I like simple, clean rules that focus on the tactical decision-making, but sometimes I get a hankering to play something a bit more detailed.
Jack10/06/2020 at 18:08 #137933Deleted UserMember
I really like the terrain density there, really nice and lots of cover.
By the end I was wondering what happened to Bravo 5 and if that chick would turn up and you answered both.
I have a sneaking suspicion you’ve dragged your kids into these games to train them.
Did they get to make plans before the game?11/06/2020 at 14:51 #137984
Thanks, and yes, need lots of terrain in order to be able to do all that sneaking around, which has turned out to be very much fun. Yeah, my older boy has heard his Old Man ranting about various things and so he actually wanted to chop two men to go and recover Bravo 05 and move him to the LZ, but I told him not to as there wasn’t time as the helo was on the way, more bad guys were closing in, and I already had another idea on how to get Bravo 05 out of there.
“I have a sneaking suspicion you’ve dragged your kids into these games to train them.”
While they have both made claims to the effect of following in their father’s footsteps, who knows what the future holds, there’s a lot of time between now and then. Having said that, I do believe there is much to be said for a certain view of the world devoid of emotion and completely focused on setting and attaining goals, and the decision-making process in furtherance of that, and the planning and attention to detail that goes into it, so I don’t mind at all spending some time in an attempt to inculcate them with that mindset as I believe it will serve them well no matter what they chose to do.
“Did they get to make plans before the game?”
Nothing written, not a full 5-paragraph order, not a formal briefing, but they are required to come up with a general scheme of maneuver and walk me through it, at which time I talk them through the various factors they should be accounting for and redundancy/contingency planning. If you do it often enough it becomes second nature.
We’re hoping to play a couple more games this weekend.
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