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  • #66292
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    While eagerly awaiting the release of the new “Ambush Alley, Boots on the Ground,” I decided to head back for some old-school, original Ambush Alley.  I’d played quite a bit of Force on Force, but never Ambush Alley.  Somewhere along the way I lost my Force on Force pdf, so I picked up the Ambush Alley one about a week ago, and this morning my 8-year old boy and I finally got around to having a game.

    And man was it nuts.  It started off really well; too well, actually.  My son even said “we need to get some more bad guys.”   But then the bad guys took a big swing and got a big hit, and things were really looking grim for a bit, but in the end we were able to pull it off (we were playing co-op against the bad guys).  It was the oft-played “Contractor Trouble,” and I played it as part of my ongoing “Cuba Libre” modern Imag-nation saga.  I’m working on the batrep now, but a few questions came up as we were playing.  I hit the books and boned up on the rules a bit, and I think I’ve got everything nailed down, but I thought I’d post it up just to see if anyone had any thoughts or amplifying guidance:

    Q1: Do Defense Dice that tie the Hit Dice stop the kill?
    -Page 24, para 4, I screwed that all up.  Defense dice must “…match or exceed.”  well, I played it the same for the good guys and the bad guys, but I’ll fix that for the next one…

    Q2: When Insurgents fail their morale roll, do they always run?
    -Page 36, para 6, I played this correct.  Failing morale leaves an Insurgent unit “Shaken,” and Shaken means they are reduced a TQ die type, with falling below D6 meaning they run.  My Insurgents started at TQ6, so becoming Shaken meant they dropped below TQ6 and thus ran.

    Q3: Is there such a thing as return fire?  I.e., insurgents can either move or shoot (page 11, para 4).   They move up, Regulars fire, they take casualties, test morale and stand, do they get to shoot back?
    -Page 19, para 3 says “Surviving Insurgents who are not casualties or do not Shrink may then take their interruption fire.” It appears this is only the case if the Insurgents had not previously performed an Interrupt (looking at Page 18, para 9).

    Q4: Can Insurgents fire more than once during a turn?
    -Page 17, paragraph 9 says “… but each Insurgent unit may only interrupt one Regular unit per turn.”
    -Page 19, para 11 says “This announcement counts as the units’ one interruption per turn, even if the interrupted unit is destroyed before they have a chance to fire at it.”

    Q5: Is it true Insurgents can only move OR fire each turn, not both?
    -Page 11, para 2 says Insurgents may Interrupt only once per turn, and Page 11, para 4, says Insurgents may only act (after Regulars finish) if they didn’t Interrupt.

    Q6: If a Regular team moves up and is spotted/attempted Interrupted by two Insurgent teams, and the Regular team tests against both Insurgent teams and wins both, does the Regular team fire first against both Insurgent teams, i.e., fire on one Insurgent team and then fire on the other?
    -“Resolving Chains of Interruptions” on pages 19-20 lays out that the Regulars declare intent, the Insurgents declare Interruptions, roll TQ tests, resolve failures (Insurgent wins), then allow surviving/standing Regulars to retaliate, then resolve successes (Regular wins), then allow surviving/standing Insurgents to retaliate.  So, if the Regular won both reaction tests, he fires on one bad guy, the bad guy responds (if able), then fires on the other bad guy, then that bad guy responds (if able).  That’s how I’m reading it and that’s how I played it, so I guess I’m good?

    I also looked up to make sure: Insurgents without Leaders have to test to see if they can Interrupt, and if they fail, they don’t get to do anything to that Regular unit’s movement/fire.  Though I think I may have let some of them return fire if they survived and stood, even though they failed the Interrupt test.

    Thanks for looking, and I’d appreciate any guidance offered in terms of me being on the right track or off in outer space (again).

    V/R,
    Jack

    #66426
    Papasan
    Participant

    Always good to go back to the roots Jack, been a while since I played it but it looks to me like you pretty much nailed the answers already .

    Q.1 – Yes,  Defense Dice that tie the Hit Dice stop the kill.
    Q.2 – Yes – if TQ6, Insurgents that fail their morale roll always run.
    Q.3 – Yes, there is such a thing as return fire for insurgents – if they’re able to ! They only shoot once per turn though so if they survive an interruption by regulars they might want to finish their move and fire on their stated target instead of returning fire on the interrupting unit. Of course if this is one and the same they might want to open up straight away, or, they may want to move into closer range then open up ! (see Q.5 below)
    Q.4 – No, Insurgents cannot fire more than once during a turn.
    Q.5 – Yes and No ! In AA an insurgent unit can only interrupt with fire OR movement but after all the regulars have been activated any remaining  insurgents that have not yet been activated may then move AND fire. (that would lead to Q.3 situation above)
    Q.6 – Yes, you’re good, the Regs would fire first on both as you’ve laid out.

    Good thing is Shawn encourages us to tweak the rules to suit so if you feel you want to make a change then go ahead and do so, if I’ve misunderstood anything I’m sure someone will be along and put us straight – good luck with your next scenario !

     

    #66532
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Papasan,

    I apologize for the delayed response, I was with the family celebrating Independence Day.  In any case, thanks a bunch for the response and guidance, I greatly appreciate it, and it’s good just to discuss things with other folks familiar with the rules.  So I read your response and fixed some things, but then I just noticed something else I’ve been screwing up!  I’ve now played a total of three games (the first three scenarios in the book, got scenario #4 set up and plan on doing #5 right after).  For games two and three I fixed the defense die-tie firepower thing, but I just realized why so many bad guys have been running: I was playing them as TQ6/Morale 6!  I guess these guys weren’t very committed!  I’ll fix that for fight #4, make them TQ6/Morale 8.

    Though I’m not sure it makes much of a difference: insurgent groups that have less than five or six guys don’t seem to last very long, do they?  Even if they manage to win the TQ test for interrupt, they can’t seem to put any casualties on the Regulars.  If they’ve got three guys they’re likely only getting three FP dice, maybe four D6, and then the Regulars are rolling five or six Defense dice on D8.  And then return fire mows them down.  So what should I do with ‘reduced’ Insurgent groups?  Have them hide until they can link up with others and make larger groups?  Makes sense, concentration of forces/effort.

    One issue I’ve found though, I think: “In AA an insurgent unit can only interrupt with fire OR movement but after all the regulars have been activated any remaining  insurgents that have not yet been activated may then move AND fire.”
    Page 11, para 4 says “Once all Regular units have been activated, any Insurgent units that have not attempted to interrupt the Regulars in that turn may be moved or fired.”

    But a question: Can Regulars on Overwatch just keep reacting forever in that turn?  Can they ever come off of Overwatch (during the turn they were place on Overwatch), i.e, not be able to react to enemy movement/fire?  I seem to recall a mechanic where the Regular team on Overwatch tested to react to enemy movement/fire, and if they passed they fired during enemy movement/before the enemy fired, but if they failed they might miss the enemy movement or would fire after the enemy fired, AND they ‘fell off Overwatch,’ i.e., they were no longer eligible to react to further movement/fire by enemy units.  I can’t find that anywhere in the Ambush Alley rulebook, but I definitely remember it from somewhere, though it may have been from Force on Force, which I played quite a bit.

    Another question: if an Insurgent group is TQ6 but has a TQ8 Leader, it makes the Interrupt Test with D8, right?  That’s how I’ve been playing it.

    The only change I’m contemplating is thus, and it might not even be a change, I might just be playing it incorrectly: sometimes on the Insurgent Reinforcement table (occasionally in the scenario setup) you get stuff like “a single TQ6 RPG,” or “one RPG with one Leader.”  As I was saying above, they don’t last long, and even if they do get a shot in, it doesn’t have much hope of scoring because of the Regular’s Defense dice.  My problem with this scenario is that in real life, RPGs give the Insurgent enemy the ability to punch well above their weight.  That one man with one rocket can be a real disaster, but it just doesn’t seem likely (if not impossible) to happen in Ambush Alley.  Now, the way I understand it, only Regular Weapons Teams get the +2 FP bonus, Insurgent teams are not eligible for it.  But it’s kinda making sense to me to allow those small RPG teams to get the +2 bonus, so that there is a chance one knucklehead with an RPG can pop up, fire, and cause some real trouble.  Since he’s shooting at four or five-man fireteams, that seems like how it should be.  What do you think?

    Anyway, again I really appreciate the chat, and I’m having a great time, can’t wait to play some more.  I’m working on the batreps, will get them up soon (but have a bunch from my Arab-Israeli War stuff to post first).

    V/R,
    Jack

    #66662
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    Just thought of something else: I’m looking at having Foreign Fighters move in, so they’ll be better trained and experienced than your average, run-of-the mill Insurgents.  I’m thinking of going:

    Regulars: TQ10/M8
    Foreign Fighters: TQ8/M10
    Insurgents: TQ6/M8

    No change to Regulars or Insurgents (who, when activated, can either fire or move), but Foreign Fighters can move and fire when activating, and can react multiple times, so long as they are passing their TQ tests (when they fail they act after the Regular unit, then cannot test any more that turn).  I’m also thinking about allowing them to go on Overwatch.  What do you guys think?  And any other ideas?

    V/R,
    Jack

    #66772
    maggico
    Participant

    If for insurgent you think about raw militia, ok for M8. But I think that the ideology counts in the balance, then M10 s more appropriate. Not sure about TQ10 for Regulars. More akin for Special/Elité Force.

    #66784
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Maggico,

    Hey man, thanks for weighing in, I appreciate it.

    Regarding morale, I’m with you: I think raw/untrained can absolutely be D10 or even D12, I was just saying my normal, run of the mill insurgents were going to be TQ6/M8.

    And I take your point about the Regulars and Elite/SF, but I’m looking at it more of a relative issue.  While I’m not saying you couldn’t have Insurgents on the same quality level as Regulars, what I’m trying to do is make the Foreign Fighters a step above the ‘normal’ Insurgents, but less than the Regulars.  So to do that, I kinda have to bump the Regulars up to D10, put the Foreign Fighters at D8, and the normal Insurgents at D6.  Maybe even have some crazy ‘bodyguard’-type super Insurgents at D10, actually the match of the Regulars.

    Any thoughts on the Insurgent “RPG team” concept?

    V/R,
    Jack

    #66915
    maggico
    Participant

    Personally I treat Regular and Foreign Fighter in the same way, because training (regulars) and experience (foreign fighters) are important in teh same manner.

    I agree that some specialist fighters can have a TQ10, for past experience. I think about ex military or veteran fighters.

    What did you mean with “RPG team”?

    #66918
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Maggico,

    I see what you’re saying, but for me, I don’t want to put the Foreign Fighters on the same plane as the Regulars, so it seems easy for me to make (experienced, well trained) Regulars D10, where elite (if present, and they’re usually not in my games) D12.

    Regarding RPG ‘teams,’ sometimes on the Insurgent Reinforcement table (occasionally in the scenario setup) you get stuff like “a single TQ6 RPG,” or “one RPG with one Leader.”  As I was saying above, they don’t last long, and even if they do get a shot in, it doesn’t have much hope of scoring because of the Regular’s Defense dice.  My problem with this scenario is that in real life, RPGs give the Insurgent enemy the ability to punch well above their weight.  That one man with one rocket can be a real disaster, but it just doesn’t seem likely (if not impossible) to happen in Ambush Alley.  Now, the way I understand it, only Regular Weapons Teams get the +2 FP bonus, Insurgent teams are not eligible for it.  But it’s kinda making sense to me to allow those small RPG teams to get the +2 bonus, so that there is a chance one knucklehead with an RPG can pop up, fire, and cause some real trouble.  Since he’s shooting at four or five-man fireteams, that seems like how it should be.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #66992
    maggico
    Participant

    If I remember, TQ8 are eligible for weapon team bonus.

    #66995
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Maggico,

    Thanks man!  You know, previously I’d somehow read that as only Regulars being able to have special weapons teams, but there it is in para 3, page 41:

    “Note that this bonus ONLY applies to units that are specifically designated as Special Weapons Teams and who have a Troop Quality of Trained or better.”

    V/R,
    Jack

    #67100
    Crossada
    Participant

    They don’t need to be in a special weapons team. A support weapon adds +1 die, an RPG adds +2 dice, an anti tank RPG adds +3 dice. SO, a single insurgent armed with a standard RPG does 3 dice base attack (1 for the figure +2 for the RPG). Then the only problem is getting them to act without having a leader present! Also remember if an insurgent who’s carrying a support weapon or RPG is killed the remaining ones in the unit have to make a TQ test of 4+ to be able to pick up the weapon and use it (as opposed to conventional forces where this is automatic since everyone is cross trained in using the various weapons platforms)

    #67217
    Papasan
    Participant

    Hi Just Jack.
    Hmm, loads to digest here – I’d go with Maggico with the TQ & Morale for the Regs etc – can make the game hairier for them but if you only have a few ‘foreign fighter’ units it will make it interesting for them ! But it’s your game so go with what suits your thinking !
    As for the weapon team bonus – well you found that in the rules but as Crossada said the RPG guy by himself is basic 3FP; what if the target is exposed (+1FP), moving rapidly (+1FP) and within Optimum range (+1FP) ?  That’s 6FP now for one guy and his RPG ! Add a leader & a number 2 then you’re hitting 8FP for three men. It could all boil down to tactics rather than team bonus’ !
    You could always steal another bit from FoF where the units defence is based on incoming FP +armour & Cover bonus’.  eg Lone AK rifleman at optimum range fires on a 4 man fireteam in cover  – he puts in 2FP – they roll 2 +1 armour +1 cover dice in defence. That might even the odds for you.
    Overwatch in AA is on until they run out of ammo – the mech for falling off OW you’re thinking of is in FoF but why not add it here if you want to.
    To fall off Overwatch the team has to fail the reaction test ie roll a 3 or less.
    Finally if a unit of TQ D6/ M8 troops have a leader of TQ D8 / M10 I would keep the units overall TQ at 6 (as they are the majority) but use the leader’s morale of 10 (as he inspires them) for those checks. (see mixed unit morale & Mixed unit troop quality – page 8 in the book but may be different in the pdf version ?). I can’t find anything about the leaders TQ being used for interruptions but it seems quite reasonable to do so as he is the one ordering the interruption in the first place so I say carry on with that. It means the loss of a leader has some real impact for the insurgents.

    Think we covered it all, keep them coming it’s firing me up to drag out my troops and have a go again too  !

    AA Action

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Papasan.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Papasan.
    #67223
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Guys, thanks a bunch, it’s all coming together!  I only got one game in this past weekend, so I’ve played 4 out of 5, hope to finish out this coming weekend.  Working on the batreps; I’ve got one more Arab-Israeli batrep for early next week, but then should be able to post my 1st Ambush Alley batrep next Wednesday or Thursday.

    Crossada – I’ve got you on leaderless Insurgent groups having to make a test to react/act (though I typically only make them test to react, not to act), and rolling a success to pick up a support weapon (I make the Regulars roll a success to see if they popped a Leader/support weapon, then have the insurgents roll to pick up support weapons), but I thought an RPG was just a regular ‘light support.’

    Papasan – Yeah, that’s getting the RPG up where it probably should be; I’ve had them underpowered in my games.  I almost always forget about Optimum Range when I’m playing…  I like the ‘falling off Overwatch’ mechanic, it adds more tactical decision-making, so that’s how I’ve been playing.  I’m not sure where I got testing with the Insurgent Leader’s D8 (rather than the rabble’s D6), but it certainly makes things interesting, which is cool.  I finally played a game with Insurgent and Regular morale at D10; I didn’t like it, there wasn’t a single moral failure the whole  game!

    The games have been a blast, I’m hurrying on the batreps so you guys can take a look.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #67250
    Papasan
    Participant

    Look forward to those batreps Jack –
    I have a couple of  house rules for my games you might like to trial.  A casualty per hit didn’t sit well with me so I randomly determine which figure is hit. For instance – a 4 man fireteam takes 3 hits – I roll 3 D4 (or D8) and working left to right attribute a value to each model – 1,2 / 3,4 / 5,6 / 7,8 –  Rolling the dice I attribute the hits accordingly. Now I might still get three casualties but this way I might only get one or two and it covers determining if the leader and gunners are hit too.  I tend to have leaders in insurgent groups as the highest number just to make it easier to determine – eg they’d be a 10 in a 10 man group. We call it ‘sharing the love’ and roll only once for injuries.

    The other I started using recently was for activating units without leaders – the blokes I’ve played with have found this frustrating (as do I) as they have to do it every turn and sometimes they cannot get the unit to do anything just for bad throws.
    Roll the TQ dice as usual to activate the leader less unit – if you roll 4 or over clearly the unit is activated for that turn, if you rolled a 6 then someone has stepped up to lead the unit from then on & you nominate which figure that is.
    If you roll less than 4 the unit is not activated but if you rolled a 1 then someone has stepped up to lead the unit from the next turn on & you nominate which figure that is.
    This helps cut down on leaderless units sat doing nothing but does change the dynamic a bit.

    Down in the Green ZoneDown in the Green ZoneGreen Zone actionGreen Zone action

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Papasan.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Papasan.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Papasan. Reason: Added image
    #67305
    maggico
    Participant

    You know that there is a “Who got hit”  table for insurgent?

    #67313
    Papasan
    Participant

    It’s mentioned but there’s no table in my rule book (Nov 2009 revision), they just say dice for it so maybe that’s something AAG added into a later version.
    Anyway,  that was to deal with finding out whether leaders and special weapon operators have been hit rather than the number of casualties caused. I brought this mechanic in from my own WW2 rules as it fitted what I wanted to do. That being, where a group fires on a group the resultant successful rolls determine hits taken rather than casualties caused – by ‘sharing the love’ a figure could be hit more than once and less casualties taken, and it applies to both sides.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Papasan.
    #67332
    Crossada
    Participant

    Just Jack – Check page 27 of the AA rulebook where they define light, medium, and heavy support weapons. RPGs are classed as medium (+2)

    Papasan – That exact thing happened in our last game! A fire team was standing out in the open (exposed) to neutralize a hot spot and reinforcements arrived there, so they got put 3″ away in a building (optimum range). The reinforcements then won the reaction test and put 8 dice fire on a 4 man team, causing 4 casualties. The rest of the game suddenly was focused on rescuing those guys and getting them off the board. A very dramatic turn of events as AA is known for.

    Maggico – Where can we find that table you mentioned?

    #67406
    maggico
    Participant

    Who Got Hit? (Irregulars)

    Size – Die – L/S/O – S/O – O
    2 d6 1-3 4-6 –
    3 d6 1-2 3-4 5-6
    4 d8 1-2 3-4 5-8
    5 d10 1-2 3-4 5-10
    6 d6 1 2 3-6
    7-8 d8 1 2 3-8
    9+ d10 1 2 3-10

    L/S/O Leader -> Support -> Other
    Support – If hit, TQ to see if anyone else can use.

    Was posted in the old forum and then in the QRS.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by maggico.
    #67512
    Papasan
    Participant

    Thanks for posting that Maggico – I must have it somewhere in the system if it’s in the QRS.
    Just been downloading the scenario books, may have to wander down the alley again soon !

    Exfil - contracting trouble

    #67615
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Papasan – I like your ‘sharing the love’ houserule.  Last week I played a game where a huge Insurgent group (I even remembered to cap them at 10 FP dice!) caught a Regular fireteam  and all four guys went down, really hurt my feelings 😉  But I think if a Regular gets hit more than once you should have to do more than one casualty roll (one per hit).  And I’m with you on the leaderless Insurgents; like I said, I roll to have them test to Interrupt, but I pretty much always forget to make them test to activate.

    Crossada – I just looked again on Medium Support, gotcha.

    Maggico – Thanks for the ‘who got hit’ table, I hadn’t seen that.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #69362
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Well, I posted all five batreps here:

    Cuba Libre Using Ambush Alley

    Take a look if you get a chance.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #69402
    maggico
    Participant

    I saw some of your battles.

    I prefer, for my taste, your scenario in Angola 1980.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by maggico.
    #69433
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Maggico,

    Sure man, thanks.  What was it you liked about the Angola scenario(s)?

    V/R,
    Jack

     

    #69483
    maggico
    Participant

    First, I like the Bush Wars. Then I like your idea about a mini campaign for a platoon, with all scenarios linked.

    #69513
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Maggico,

    Gotcha man, and I’m glad you like them.  African Brush Wars is kinda tough for me, I don’t have a lot of knowledge, or much interest in non-US stuff (even though I mask that by playing with my Imagi-Nation, Cuba Libre), but I do intend on returning to Angola at some point, when I find some time! 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #150954
    Stephen Madjanovich
    Participant

    Just reviewing this thread and have the following question for Ambush Alley.

    (quote Just Jack)Another question: if an Insurgent group is TQ6 but has a TQ8 Leader, it makes the Interrupt Test with D8, right? That’s how I’ve been playing it.

    I can’t find this, using leader’s TQ on interruption tests vs the unit’s TQ. Anywhere?

     

    #150979
    maggico
    Participant

    Yeah, insurgents can use the statistics of the leader, until is with the squad. It’s in the manual, I don’t remember the page.

    #150984
    Stephen Madjanovich
    Participant

    Please point me to where you see this. I have looked everywhere in Ambush Alley. Both QRSs, basic definitions, mixed units with leaders, leaders, interruptions, fire combat, close assault, MORALE (a leader in an insurgent unit would roll THEIR morale die size for themselves but the rest of the unit rolls their own morale die size) and the solo game rules.

    I do not see any effect of insurgent leaders in morale checks, except their presence means insurgents do not take morale checks for being fired upon. You still use the insurgent quality with no modifiers for the leader’s presence.

     

    Perhaps this is from Force on Force or even Tomorrow’s War. Please no offence I want to transition to FoF so knowing what is coming is good. But I am playing AA now and want to get it “right”. I know a lot is not covered, and some will be changed with FoF (such as number of base defense dice is based on number of attacker’s dice not just defenders unit size) but I see AA as an easy intro to the system. I have FoF and it could be laid out better, that is why I am starting with AA. I also have FoF simplified and think AA is the better intro for me. Thank you for any and all assistance.

    #151000
    maggico
    Participant

    My apologies. I read that the irregulars, and regulars, team use the leader MORALE, not TQ.

    If a leader’s morale rating differs from the base morale of
    the unit he is attached to, the unit uses his morale for
    checks rather than their own.
    Any unit within LOS of a “higher command” leader
    must use his morale rating rather than their own when
    taking morale based tests.

    Page 28 of FoF rules

    #151001
    Stephen Madjanovich
    Participant

    No apologies needed. Thank you for all the feedback. Also thank you for seeing how FoF works as opposed to AA.

    It seems there are quite a few changes, mostly minor, wrt to AA. I can see when I make the transition I have to keep on target very closely.

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