Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Operation Firefly - The Campaign continues

After the Mortars in Mayasaf have been disabled, US troops thrust deeper into the valley as they advance along the main road. More Reinforcements arrive at Mayasaf.

Situation after Campaign-Turn 1
 While several elements take up blocking- and backup positions at the crossroads, a contigent of forces is dispatched to take Mul Qasr, while the rest of the forces prepare their advance into El Qualeed.

Campaign Turn 2 - Northern Units moved

The newly arrived reinforcements spread out to secure the southern area and control the vital supply route towards the central districts of the area.

Situation at the End of Turn 2 - Insurgents in Mul Qasr are attacked,  while several cells move into US-controlled areas

So how does this work? 

Well, its my small campaign system, designed to create setups for the battles we fight on the tabletop. As you can see, I decided to use an area-control map for simplicity of use. Crossed areas are guerilla infiltration-routes. Those may be raided, but not permanently occupied by the regular units.Normal areas can be permanently occupied by units and guerilla markers (insurgency cells - the flames ;)  ).
Connections are eithe thin lines (dust roads, farm trails, pathways and small alleys) or thick connections (roads). Regardless of unit type, a unit can move along 1 normal connection, or make a double-move when using a road. Vehicles travel at the same speed as infantry, as most infantry is considered motorized for means of transport anyway. Guerillas know the area and can exploit their knowledge and local resources to travel as fast as regular forces.

Units represent Squads or Teams (actually it doesn´t matter how big these formations are, but for ease of bookkeeping and administration I decided to use squads instead of platoons, so there is more room to split the scarce resources of the regular forces).
The Insurgents don´t use actual units, but establish Guerilla-cells on the map. Those can move as well and represent the strength of the various anti-coalition movements in the area. These cells/markers have a value between 0 (Dummy) and 3 (large cell) - this creates some fog of war for the regular forces.
The actual Tabletop-setup is then dependent on the ratio of Insurgency Strength to Regular Units present. ou don´t need to fight the entire battle with 6 Squads or so - its sufficient to depict smaller engagements that represent the key actions that determine success of failure in the area.

Now here´s the tricky part: Guerilla cells are not destroyed by combat alone. They may suffer from a defeat and lose some strength, but most often they will simply melt away and wage another kind of war. If too many troops are in the area, ambushes, IED-attacks, etc. will become much more likely than with a better balance of power, where Insurgents will try to attack the troops more directly.

To represent the multitude of challenges in Counter-Insurgency(COIN-) Operations, the Regular player must take action apart from pure conquest of the area: Securing the occupied region and winning local support is key. This is depicted by special options that can be activated by Coin-Points. These points are won by successful scenarios and can be spent on things like reinforcements, fire support, and several options to remove Guerilla cells from the board or prevent their establishment. 

Similarly, the Insurgent gets new markers for his forcepool if he wins engagements and thus becomes stronger with the successes he has. It still has to show if I got the balancing right from the start - probably not, but the most severe problems will probably be ironed out sooner or later.

I´m still in the process of developing and finetuning the exact rules, but the core elements are finished. If you are interested, I could put the rules online once they are in a decent and presentable state. For now, we have to find out how well they achieve my design goals ;)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

1 comment:

  1. Certainly interested in see the rules on line when you put them up... looking good so far!