25/11/2014 at 03:31 #13180
It’s 14 August 1993, and the Legion is in action in defense of Estonia’s fledgling democracy once again. Major Louis-Louis was intent on having his battalion press home its efforts to find, fix, and destroy Colonel Sirel’s headquarters, when those plans were scrubbed due to reports representing an imminent threat: sources loyal to the liberal government reported the Sirellists had established a Surface to Air Missile (SAM) north of the capital, with 2km of the International Airport. It would be a tragedy should this SAM bring down an airliner, and a disaster if it were to destroy one of the French C-130s bringing in men and supplies. Currently public opinion was rather disinterested in the French intervention in Estonia, but Ffom Louis-Louis’ standpoint, an incident such as this would be comparable to the Beirut Barracks bombing. “Orderly! Send Captain LaPieux’s Sous-Groupement a Warning Order, standby to move in 1 hour. And send for the Captain please, I wish to brief him personally.”
North of Talinn, the table is 3′ x 3′, with North being up. Another VERY busy table, but I rolled for terrain, and the literal name of what I rolled up is “rough.” So, here is my interpretation of ‘rough.’ Lots of trees, a few knolls, a few crop fields, a couple streams (can be forded by infantry, but not vehicles), and orchard at top center.
The French battlegroup: The CO and his group in a Land Rover driven by Cpl Methot. Two HMMWVs, one with .50 cal (Cpl Navarre) and one with Mk19 (Cpl Desjardin). two “AMX-25s” (AKA, LAVs in French service, wink, wink), crewed by Lt Marcoud and Sgt Petit, respectively, and two AMX-10s, crewed by Lt Davault and Sgt Bernier. Four squads of infantry: Lt Bisson, Lt Harpin, Sgt Oran, and Sgt Cheauvront. There is also one Panhard available, crewed by Lt Patrie.
This is somewhat of an ad-hoc grouping as Capt LaPieux’s Sous-Groupement suffered heavy casualties only a few days ago, and many of the Group’s vehicles are still being repaired. As it is, the Panhard and two AMX-10s in action were only just finished being repaired.
The Sirellist force, AKA the “Bad Guys.” The rebels have a squad of paramilitaries manning the SAM site, and throw together a mobile reaction force to challenge the French, in two platoons. The first has a T-55, two BTR-70s, and two infantry squads, while the second platoon has a T-72, 2 BMP-2s, and two infantry squads. All ‘regular’ infantry squads have RPGs.
Starting positions: the SAM site, with paramilitary squad, at top left (NW), the Sirellist 2nd Plt (T-72/BMPs) at top right (NE), and the 1st Plt (T-55/BTRs) at bottom right (SE). The French start in the bottom left corner (SW). The objective is to destroy the rebel SAM site, and the plan is simple: the force will be drawn into two forces, one (the Strike Force, with the CO leading) will charge up the road and over the bridge to destroy the SAM site, while the other (the Covering Force) will be left back to ‘hold the door open,’ which the entire Group will use to ex-filtrate the area, back through its portal in the Southwest.
Those are two bad guy squads in the trees, and if you look at the casualty figures, you’ll notice they are friendlies. Seems close combat doesn’t always go my way…
For the entire write-up, please check the blog at:
Stay tuned, I’m off work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so I’ll be looking to get in some more fights and them posted here. As always, feel free to throw a comment on here to let me know what you think.
Jack25/11/2014 at 23:02 #13211
AMX-25?!? C’est quoi ca? Humvee? Les petits camions Americans? Mais non, ca c’est un gros tas de conneries! Jack, your killing me with the kit you’re using! Go to GHQ and order some VBCI’s, some VAB’s and some VBL’s and you will be set. It is an insult to France’s national honour that the Legion Etrangere would be reduced to using American kit. C’est tres degoutant, mon amie Americain. Tu dois fixer mainenant cette situation qui est tellement triste. Zut Alors!
As to Louis-Louis perhaps his name should be Louie-Louie and then we could sing songs about him.
I was short of time so I rushed through your synopsis and have not read the full report on your blog yet. When I get the time to do so I will comment more intelligently (I hope!) but at first glance the game looked interesting. Why do you limit yourself to the 3′ X 3′ playing space all the time? Is it to force the closure of the infantry?
Rod Robertson.26/11/2014 at 03:18 #13223
It occurs to me that there were no VBCI’s back in 1993. So may I suggest the following rplacement:
Rod Robertson.26/11/2014 at 05:08 #13228
Still unpacking, but thanks for the read!!!27/11/2014 at 04:45 #13285
Watch yourself pardner, those French should thank their lucky stars they’ve the good fortune to be carted around in US gear, particularly the LAVs 😉
In any case, sorry man, I could have gotten the VABs, but I chose the AMX-10Ps ’cause I liked them.
You keep sending me links to GHQ, but (I’m sure you know) that’s 6mm, and these are 10mm. I get most of this modern stuff from Minifigs UK, and those AMXs and VABs are about $7 a pop, not including the 40% shipping. So another platoon’s worth of three vehicles will run me about $30, and there’s just not money in the defense budget for that, particularly when I’m fine with my Legionaires driving around in AMXs, Panhards, Land Rovers, LAVs, and HMMWVs.
I like to play on the 3′ x 3′ as it’s pretty manageable, and the rules lend themselves to a smaller table. Ivan’s own words were something to the effect of, “the game picks up at first contact, forgoing all the normal pre-battle maneuver.” Of course, I can’t totally divorce myself from pre-battle maneuver, but that’s my failing, not Ivan’s 😉
Jack27/11/2014 at 13:11 #13297
Somehow I got it into my head that you were using 6mm vehicles with 10mm infantry. I guess I just brain-farted! Sorry about that. When I re-examine the photos I realise how wrong that assumption was. Why I came to believe that? Who knows – the human brain is a mysterious thing (when it works). I’m pretty sure mine is not working too well these days!
Please do not take my protestations seriously, I was playing the role of the over-excited Frenchman who has been ‘humiliated’ by les Americains and spouts off constantly about National Honour and the Glory of France. Just a bit of fun, at France’s expense. Definitely not aimed at you. I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and your contributions to the hobby. I just get silly some times!
I can’t believe how expensive the 10mm stuff is. That is comparable to the $8.00 per unit cost that I pay for 15mm WWII vehicles (plus shipping, taxes, duties and exchange rates) which bring the cost of a vehicle to about $11.50. I hear your pain and commiserate! AMX’s and LAV’s it shall be.
I still have not had the time to really sit down and read your third report -that will have to wait until the weekend, but when I do some marginally more intelligent comments will follow.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod (Scale-blind) Robertson.28/11/2014 at 03:44 #13327
<p data-wr_replaced=”true”>I like to play on the 3′ x 3′ as it’s pretty manageable, and the rules lend themselves to a smaller table. Ivan’s own words were something to the effect of, “the game picks up at first contact, forgoing all the normal pre-battle maneuver.” Of course, I can’t totally divorce myself from pre-battle maneuver, but that’s my failing, not Ivan’s </p>
<p data-wr_replaced=”true”>V/R, Jack
<p data-wr_replaced=”true”>”2 steps before the bullets start flying” :-)</p>
<p data-wr_replaced=”true”>I made the “group move” rule I posted on the forum just for you, big man.</p>28/11/2014 at 15:10 #13340
No sweat man, I know it can be a hard thing to read intent and tone on the internet, but I figured you were joking around as no one could be that committed to defending France. Certainly no has 😉
“I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and your contributions to the hobby.” Hopefully you’re still joking; I’m just an old fat guy that plays with toys!
“I can’t believe how expensive the 10mm stuff is.” Yeah, it’s been problematic here lately. Pendraken is still a great deal, and has a great many things, but they’re only now getting into the modern era (let’s say post-Vietnam, because they’ve had Vietnam stuff now for quite a few years), so the range is not very large. So that leaves only Minifigs UK; their used to be a Minifigs in the US, but the proprietor boxed it up and moved to Germany (he says he’ll return someday and get the range going again). Minifigs USA had all the same modern gear as Minifigs UK, and was MUCH cheaper.
There are some people in the US that won’t order from Minifigs UK because they charge us VAT and 40% for shipping. It seems they have a monopoly until someone else starts making modern stuff in 10mm. I used to get a platoon of 3 vehicles for $9, but those days are clearly gone, so LAVs, AMXs, HMMWVs, and Land Rovers it is…
And hurry up and read the last report, I’ll soon be fighting and posting more!
Ivan – “I made the “group move” rule I posted on the forum just for you, big man.” Aw, stop being so sweet on me! I did see the post (here and on TMP), but didn’t have anything to add at the time, then lost track of it. I’ve been busy playing and posting and haven’t kept up as much on the forums as usual!
On a side note, I’ve been having a great time with NEIS, but the games have been long. As I’m sure you’ll recall, my holy grail is simplicity in the name of speed, whilst retaining an acquaintance with the physics of combat and a plethora of decision points. To that end, I spent a considerable amount of time (while on the couch holding the baby with the wife cooking 😉 ) taking another look at 5MIN. To make a long story short, I think I’m going to try a game of 5MIN using squad-stands instead of individuals. Stay tuned.
Jack30/11/2014 at 02:47 #13384
I have some notes for a 5core variant where each figure is a squad. It’s rather different though. Pop me an email and I’ll send it your way.01/12/2014 at 11:32 #13430
Good report! The French should have taken a much more serious beating than they did give the power of the Sirellist forces they opposed.
I finally (barely) got some time to read the Bat. Rep. you posted. My only question is why the Sirellist forces did not use their heavy armour more aggressively to dominate the battle space and stop the French from being able to move their vehicles? Had the T-72 climbed the hill to the North (below its starting position) it could have dominated the battlefield around the bridge just north of the SAM site and had the BMP’s deployed beside it they could have sat turret-down and used their ATGM’s to punish the French. Likewise the T-55 could have climbed the hill to its east (right of its position) and deployed carefully (hull-down) it could have picked off French vehicles and later infantry. The Sirellist BMP infantry could have crossed the fields on foot to the walled orchard and put the French in a very sticky situation while the BTR infantry could have maneuvered to punish the French right flank and rear. I know its supposed to be an infantry skirmish game, but with heavy armour domination of the battlefield, there would be little the French could have done. 90 mm guns are not going to be very effective against T-72 frontal armour especially if the T-72 is deployed hull-down.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.02/12/2014 at 01:16 #13463
The fight had way too much armor/vehicles altogether, but the French did well because the terrain was way too constricted for armor to be effective. In the north, climbing the hill wouldn’t have given the Sirellist forces there any better LOS to the French forces/SAM site then they had in the field (the bridge itself didn’t block LOS), and they couldn’t have seen anything to the southwest due to all the trees. The only real option to do anything different was to move south down the road, link up with the southern Sirellist force, and push west from there. In my opinion that would have failed too as there simply wasn’t room to maneuver, there simply would have been twice the vehicles moving up the same constricted road.
Similarly, in the south, the T-55 could have climbed the hill to its east, but it couldn’t have gone hull-down due to all the trees on the hill, so moving to the hill would have left it just as exposed to the French ATGM in the walled farm in the southwest (which is what did him in on the road just twenty meters west of the hill).
“The Sirellist BMP infantry could have crossed the fields on foot to the walled orchard and put the French in a very sticky situation…” They tried this, but ended up splitting their forces (decision via die roll), and though they took up positions which could have been mutually supporting, it didn’t really work out that way due to the Legion’s aggressive maneuvering: the Panhard rushed up and stuck his snout into the orchard and blasted the Sirellist infantry there until they withdrew to the northeast corner, while one of the LAVs charged to the river and deposited Lt Bisson’s troops there, where they wasted no time in getting across, pouring enfilade fire into the other Sirellist squad, then close assaulting them to extinction.
“…while the BTR infantry could have maneuvered to punish the French right flank and rear.”
I’m not following you here though. In the south, the Sirellist infantry were very aggressive, eliminating Lt Harpin’s squad and one of the AMXs, but, due to command confusion (lack of activation cards and points) were unable to coordinate simultaneous attack with the BTRs. By the time the BTRs were ready, the French had counterattacked, destroying one of the enemy rifle squads and causing the other to fall back suppressed. The BTRs were not going to attack without infantry support (such as it was), and so their attack was delayed until the last Sirellist rifle squad was able to rally.
My question is, how could they have punished the French right flank and rear? With very limited room to maneuver, I thought the French blocking force (at the SW intersection) was situated perfectly to deny the flank; the only way the Sirellists could get at them was a frontal attack (which they tried and lost).
Thanks for taking a look, and I appreciate the comments. Take care man.
Jack02/12/2014 at 01:18 #13464
A sign of a great AAR when you can actually have a discussion about the tactics used based just on hte images and description 🙂02/12/2014 at 01:29 #13466
Just Jack writes the best AAR !!!02/12/2014 at 05:03 #13480
Oh, you guys, you’re making me blush.
And Kyote, unless you’re out buying a camera you need to head over to the WWII forum and check out the new batrep.
Jack02/12/2014 at 23:17 #13538
Sorry about mixing up North and South on your game board. Once again my addled brain convinced me that your report had mentioned that up was south and down was north. You clearly indicated that north was up in your text so where I got that idea from I don’t know.
The hill near the T-72’s point of deployment over-looks an open plain with an orchard in it. Just west of the orchard is the road and a low wall running parallel with the road. The T-72 should have good lines of sight to that road as orchards are pretty open terrain and should not block observation and fire from a hill-top position, especially when that observer is lined up with the “grain” of the orchard (the rows of trees). The hill in the south has two trees and some lichen on it so it seems that a T-55 deployed hull down on it could observer most of the French columns moving in the U-shaped bend and along the road to the north up to and including the ford. A few trees do not usually block observation over a large area. Perhaps, I am misreading your terrain conventions and am simply missing some point which is obvious to you. What is the ground scale you are using? How high are the hills? How high are the trees? Do a few trees represent many and if so what distance around each tree is considered wooded terrain. Given the look of the board from your photos # 1-50, it seems to me that there are lots of avenues for observation and fire from the two positions which I have mentioned. So clearly I am not getting something here.
However, it was a great Bat. Rep. and a very exciting game. I just don’t see how Panhard AML-90’s, Amx-10P’s and, dare I say it, faut AMX-25’s can stand up to heavy armour in good positions. It should have been a slaughter if the bad-guys had maneuvered their tanks into positions of dominance before moving their infantry vehicles and infantry. Of course if the positions are not “good” because I am missing something here then completely discount what I am saying.
By the way, that was a neat Bat. Rep. for Italy-1943 on the other website which shall not be named. Good stuff! Well, cheers and have more great games while I pine to be at a gaming table rather than correcting Science Fair Reports, writing Mid-year exams and preparing study and review packages for the little darlings I teach.
You will not hear much from me until after Dec. 19th as I will be snowed in with work.
Rod Robertson.02/12/2014 at 23:31 #13541
Just Jack writes the best AAR !!!
That sounds vaguely rude! Is Just Jack a pirate? Does he shiver your timbers? Is he a fine matey with a sharp blade and a keen eye? Is he destined for Davy Jone’s Locker? Is he prone to screaming out “Yo-ho-ho”, whilst hoisting a bottle or flagon of rum? Should we rename him “Peregrine Pickle”?
Coo-Arr me lads! But I musts be getting on, now! The tide is just right!
Rod (One-eye) Robertson.
AKA Rod (half-brain) Robertson.03/12/2014 at 00:20 #13548
After Action Report. AAR. But yeah sure if you want to go with Pyrates I have some in 15mm some were.03/12/2014 at 01:36 #13549
There’s no problem with what you’re saying, it’s simply a matter of how I was handling the terrain, and not explaining it! I don’t suppose I’ve really given any thought to a proper ground scale, suffice to say my battlefield is quite compressed, so I’d say it’s probably only 250-300 yards from end to end, so very close range, which is partly why I’m such a fan of breaking up the battlefield, as every weapon present is easily capable of covering the entire table.
The hills aren’t high at all (maybe 30 yards at most?), so they don’t offer much in elevation to aid observation, i.e., the ability to see over too much. So all the trees are LOS blockers, to include the orchard (which is why I said the T-72s in the north were just as well off in the field next to the orchard as they would have been on the in the NE), and to put a T-72 in hull down on the hill in the NE would have had half the tank hanging off the edge of the map, very unsporting 😉
And I don’t tend to mess around with measuring gaps etc…, that is, terrain is in ‘blocks,’ so, in this case, the hill in the south was impassable to vehicles due to the trees and otherwise rough ground. Which is really the explanation as to how the French won: the bad guy armor was pretty restricted in its movement, and thus never really got a shot at any French vehicles (one T-72 destroyed the only French vehicle it ever saw, the .50 cal HMMWV as it crossed the bridge). The French were able to use their 2 ATGMs (which wouldn’t have worked in real life due to minimum engagement ranges, but I rationalize this by way of ‘morphing’ them into/with AT4-type LAAWs, which I don’t bother to model on the table).
As an aside, I’m not sure about the AMX-10P’s gun, but I know the LAV’s 25mm gun will open up a T-72 at 100m or less, even on its frontal armor. And I’d imagine the Panhard’s 90mm gun would make life unpleasant at this range as well; maybe not penetrate, but do serious damage to tracks (immobilize), main gun, and optics. Possibly enough to make bad guys decide to abandon ship even.
My ‘Somewhere in Italy’ games are posted on this forum as well, over in the WWII section. I hope you get through all that work stuff and are able to get back soon. Take care man.
Jack03/12/2014 at 01:39 #13550
On regards to ground scale, obviously these things are what people feel they should be 🙂
I’ll pitch in that the intent of No End in Sight is that in 10-15mm, the ground scale is pretty close to 1-to-1.
So a normal table is maybe 300 meters across though I eyeball this stuff (no doubt making some people angry, since they like these things to be exceedingly specific) 🙂
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