Home Forums Ambush Alley Games Force on Force Rethinking insurgents

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    Avatar photodead1

    I’ve been reading a lot of actual battle reports and watching a lot of footage involving insurgents pitted against western forces on Afghanistan and Iraq.

    A couple of things come to mind where the FoF rules don’t seem to mesh with actual real life actions

    Insurgents in FoF are present in large numbers.  This might be fine for something like Mogadishu but doesn’t seem to be the norm in Afghanistan/Iraq where Western forces outnumber the insurgents in a lot of instances and have copious amounts of force multipliers (armour, air, ISR, advanced C3).

    Insurgents really do rely on hit and run, ambushes etc.  They use terrain well so Western forces usually struggle to find them.

    They also seem to rely on range in Afghanistan (hence return of 7.62 mm battle rifles in DMR role to engage insurgents at long distances).

    As such Western forces are “pinned” in a fashion – not psychologically pinned down but rather lack the initial intelligence to engage effectively at least initially (though snipers were increasingly used as battlefield ISR units to support situational awareness).

    Then there’s the IEDs, using civilian shields, using Western rules of engagement (eg dropping a weapon, running to next position knowing Westerners can’t shoot unarmed troops and grabbing a new rifle) etc etc.

    The result is this asymmetrical concept – a handful of insurgents can stall and pin down a much more numerically superior and better equipped force.

    Now I’m not finding this in my FoF games where I often run out of insurgent models (and I have something like 70 insurgents) despite facing only a handful of westerners who then proceed to mow them down with insane accuracy  (D6 v D8 or D10).


    The Hidden/PID/Is That A Rock rules are meant to achieve some of above but it’s not really showing in my games;

    Hidden – well the models are on the table so only hidden on paper.  The Western player knows exactly where the models are located so can plan accordingly.  Hiding relocated units (especially those using Out of Contact Movement) is hard as one again needs a 4+ on a D6.

    PID – somewhat of a joke as passed on a 4+ on a D8 or even worse D10. It’s one of those “pray for bad dice” kinda rules.

    Is That A Rock Or Muj- Hard to spring with D6 troops as this limits ambush zone to only 12 inches.  Insurgents often ambush from much more stand off ranges.


    Some potential solutions

    Insurgents to count as D8 troop quality for defense and ambushes

    Insurgent units to be fielded in smaller numbers (3-5 max) with fewer reinforcement

    Consider utilizing blinds for hidden units


    I also find the Leader rules are problematic – I’ve often had no units activate (they need a 4+) and it makes it purely random for Taliban player.

    It plays more like Lone Survivor (over exaggerated even if still pretty amazing feat but boring games) or Seven Hours (work of fiction) than actual combat ops.







    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    I don’t play the AA rules (for shame) but do have insurgents in my sci-fi games.
    Compared to the regular troops they are in terms of oooomph pretty cruddy.

    What my rules do to give them an edge is a bit like the blind thing you mention above.

    In my rules the Junker Insurgents can be shown as regular armed troops moving about or as civilians.
    As armed troops they are of course valid targets, but as civvies they are not.

    So the JI player can move groups of civilian models around the table.
    These may or may not be JI.

    At any point in his turn the JI may replace a squad of civilians with a squad of JI.
    This is their ambush skill.
    Also, due to the nature of this, the JI feel emboldened by this edge they now have over the regular guys and are allowed to automatically pass their first command roll, this is to represent that initial bravery and confidence of surprise being on their side.
    After that first command roll however, they are back to being a bit wobbly.

    What this means in practice is that the regular guy has to assume all civilians are potential hostiles and can be caught off guard and be ambushed.

    I am not sure if that has any transferrable potential to AA?

    Avatar photodead1

    Using civvy disguises is a very good idea.

    I’ve seen a few things where troops under potential contact are requesting confirmation of presence of weapons.

    AA does have PID test for this but as stated it’s rather easy to pass with good quality troops.


    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    From a gameplay pov it really is very frustrating playing the regular troops, you are kind of resigned to just waiting to be ambushed and hoping it is not too bad.
    Which I guess is often quite close to the truth?
    Of course civilian groups can be genuine civilians, but may still be coerced by the JI player into blocking LOS and all sorts.

    Avatar photomaggico

    I understand your point of view and I agree.

    I like the “blind” solution. About the D8, in A’stan Tier 1 insurgent are D8. Only militias are D6 (farmer, shepperd, etc). You can change some quality in Iraq, to simulate checens, syrians or other trained guerrillas. I think it’s not a problem to modify some scenarios with these changes.

    Avatar photoDarryl Smith

    There will be a reboot of AA that might clean up some of the concerns you have expressed:

    Ambush Alley Returns

    Buckeye Six Actual

    Avatar photoPapasan

    Shawn doesn’t mind people tweaking the rules, in fact, he positively encourages it so adjust as it suits your need.
    I don’t know what scale you’re playing in but I’ve gone 20mil so have had to adjust ranges etc. If you want to open up your ambush ranges then multiple the TQ x 3 (or more) instead of 2. That’ll give you an ambush range of 18″ for D6 TQ troops; if you then scale up detection ranges by half  D8 TQ troops will then have a detection range of 12″, or, you could leave that as is if you prefer.
    Using blinds is one way to go, another is to map locations, that way the Regs will have no idea where the insurgents are and will move accordingly.
    Tie this in with spotting checks and some other ideas here and you might be on the way to solving some of the issues you’re finding.
    As for leaders, I’m with you there, maybe if they fail to roll a 4+ but roll a 1  then one of them takes the lead next turn ? Same if they roll a 6, they activate but one becomes the leader.

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