Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bomb Alley

This is the promised report of our game from last saturday at the gaming club. Have fun!

2012, Somewhere in Afghanistan
American forces are tasked with escorting a convoi carrying humanitarian aid to a nearby town. The plan original plan was to follow a route that was recently cleared from IEDs and largely protected from Taliban interference. However, the Taliban picked up radio-chatter from the Afghan National Army contingents who are supporting the american operation and set up a hasty blocking position, laying several IEDs in a small village along the road. They are determined to destroy the convoi, or at least slow it down significantly to enable other cells to set up further ambushed down the road.
To counter this threat, an American team has been sent deep into the village to set up a strongpoint, in order to bind and distract the suspected Taliban forces in the vicinity. Afghan National Forces - supervisied by the second team of the detached squad - are supposed to join them and reinforce their position.

US Forces:
- 1x EOD Team (3w. M4 + 1 Lt. Supp)
 -4x Fireteam (2x M4 + 2x Lt. Supp)
 -2x Squad Leader
 -1xMG Team (1x M4 + 1x Med Supp, WT)
 -Stryker (Driver + Gunner)
 -Supply-HMMV (Driver)
-1x ANA-Fireteam (3x AK + 1 Lt. Supp)
 -1x ANA-Fireteam (2x AK + 1 Lt. Supp + 1 RPG (Med.Supp) )
-1x Medic

Taliban Forces:
Several groups, I didn´t count their number. Of course, this was a mistake as I put too few on the table... or too many Blufor. More on this on the debriefing.
American Objectives:
-Clear the Route from IEDs (4 potential devices)
-Exit the Supply Truck on the designated table edge
-Reinforce the blocking position in the large building with the ANA-troops.

Taliban Objectives:
-Destroy or capture the Convoi!
-Prevent the convoi from exiting the map!
-Per US soldier KIA
-per US Soldier seriously wounded  (bonus if no CASEVAC happens)


The game started with the US in the initiative. With their stryker and two teams on overwatch, the American players sent their MG team to occupy the central house. After winning two firefights with separate Taliban troops, the MG team suffered two casualties and became combat ineffective...
The other team advanced into the fields near the walled compound, after the EOD team had disabled one of the potential IEDs with their robots. 

MG Team Advancing
The American troops are moving in from the right side of this picture. The position that has to be reinforced is the large house to the bottom of the pic. The convoi must exit the left side before turn 8 ends.

A closer look on the firefight in the center
 Preparing to check their fallen companions´ status, the remaining fireteam moved into a position that enabled it to join the house on the next turn.

Turn 2

To rescue their MG team and to get them up working again, the fireteam was now sent towards the house.
An attempt to interrupt them on the move failed and the team established a position inside before trading fire with the enemy.

Taliban attempting to interrupt

But failing miserably.

Meanwhile, the stryker pulled up to cover the important EOD team and opened fire on the remaining Talibs. The HMG slugged through the walls of the compound and killed the remaining enemies.
With the threat to their flanks largely dealt with, the American players now sent their ANA-squad forward.

ANA on the march

Turn 3

With their numbers already decimated and bad luck on the reinforcement rolls, the Taliban struggled to gain the initiative. Making full use of their advantage, the Americans pushed on.
The MG team was checked and while one member only had a temporary shock and minor scratches, his assistant gunner was seriously wounded and needed immediate medical attention.

However, the second bomb on the road could not be disabled from afar and required the EOD team to begin their long march. To cover their approach, the Stryker was sent foward to deal with the Taliban:
(The die is indicating the danger-zone of the Ied)
As a result, the Stryker was engaged by both the RPG-gunner and the HMG in the round compound down the road. But both threats where easily defeated by the Overwatch-team and the Strykers main gun.

Dead Taliban

EOD Team moving up

On the other flank, the ANA assaulted the house in an Act of Valor, finding that an enemy had survived. After resolving the close fight, they took him prisoner to interrogate him later.

ANA close assaulting the Taliban position

Turn 4

Though unable to gain initiative, the Taliban finally had a good reinforcement roll and got another DshK-Team. To the surprise of the Americans, the HMG opened fire from the hill in their rear, with a clear field of view to the Supply-Truck.

Taliban Attacking the rear!
Meanwhile, the ANA had almost reached their objective:

ANA troops preparing to enter the Strongpoint
With the Supply truck now in immediate danger, the US players tried to pull it away out of the Taliban Line of Sight. Unfortunately for the Taliban, the HMG-Team rolled miserably, unable to score a significant hit.
(With a bit more luck, this could have been a win for the Taliban, or a significant boost to their position, if the vehicle was immobilized...)

Furthermore, the US sent their Medic into the central house, where the MG-team was still waiting for medical aid. Setting up a CCP, the medic remained there to treat the casualty, while the team moved on.

Turn 5
Another Taliban group pops up in the American rear on the hill (but this time only a PKM-Team).
The EOD-team moves towards the bomb to defuse it, but something goes wrong and the device goes off, causing a casualty.


Trying to secure their rear, the US player sends one team back to engage MG-Hill.

Locked in a fierce firefight, they suffer a man down!

Man Down! Medic!

Meanwhile, the Taliban are gathering at a new position with newly arrived insurgents:

More Taliban!

Turn 6

With turn 8 coming closer every minute, the US player check for the EOD-casualty and are relieved to see that he´s not in immediate need for CASEVAC.  Retaining the initiative, they resort the desperate measures and decide to clear the IEDs in an unconventional way:

Light Wound!

After the EOD-team has cleared one of the remaining two IEDs, the Stryker is ordered to drive into the second device to check if its an IED an detonate it, thereby clearing the path:

Stryker immobilized

Indeed, it IS an IED. Fortunately for the Stryker, its a poorly made device that only immobilizes the Stryker.

The Supply truck pulls forward and prepares to continue on the route

After this, the Supply-truck left the board on the next turn. In the same turn, the US evacuate their second serious casualty to the Casualty Collection Point they set up in the central building.


Though it was a fun scenario and definitely a good game, we had the impression that the US might have been favoured a little too much. The game was close nonetheless, with a desperate (and unneccessary) measure of sacrificing the Stryker (Damage to the stryker should also bring some VP for the Taliban, to keep the incentives correct) employed to ensure a completed mission - but this was largely not due to Taliban interference, but caused by the setup and the task of clearing the route. The Taliban where a minor distraction in the game, unable to deliver some good blow or a lasting impression.

This was probably due to good playing on the US-players side, who constantly maintained good overwatch and watched their fields of fire. But it was probably also due to the abundance of troops available to the Americans. One (maybe even two) Elements less would have made things more interesting in hindsight.

On the other hand, the Taliban decided to engage the Army very early. Trying to avoid contact until a favourable situation arises is key for Taliban successes! Even if it means to forfeit some reactions or opportunities to shoot at the Americans. Preserving your forces until the right opportunity to strikes shows up is very important when playing any kind of insurgents. Furthermore, they could have used Hotspot-Traveling more aggressively, popping up in the rear of the coalition troops more frequently.

But this is not the kind of gameplay I am asking of new players :)
Last time, they completely devastated the Americans, now it has been the other way round.

If you want to replay this scenario, you might want to use more Taliban or scratch at least one US Fireteam from the force list. And don´t forget to add VP for damaging the Stryker! Such a sacrifice should not be encouraged! Furthermure, make sure you place some more IED-markers on alternative routes to the exit - I´ve simply forced my players to go straight ahead, but adding more markers on sideroads will make maneuvering for normal teams harder and gets rid of a "hard" (as in: "forbidden action") constraint. Let them choose where to go and suffer the consequences.

Here is the final VP distribution after the game:

American Objectives:
-Clear the Route from IEDs (4 potential devices) (5)
-Exit the Supply Truck on the designated table edge (5)
-Reinforce the blocking position in the large building with the ANA-troops. (3)

Taliban Objectives:
-Destroy or capture the Convoi! (10)
-Prevent the convoi from exiting the map! (5)
-Per US soldier KIA (3)
-2x per US Soldier seriously wounded (2) (bonus +1 VP if no CASEVAC happens)

Which is a solid Victory for the US (13-4).

1 comment:

  1. It looks like it was a fun game. Your improved terrain looks great by the way!