Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sculpting something completely different

Merry Christmas to all :)

I´m using this blog entry for something completely different but related to scultping. I got some new tools for christmas and got an opportunity to use my sculpting skills and the new tools for something other than wargaming miniatures: Marzipan-Figures!

These are a christmas present for my uncle. They are panicking oranges, which is rather hard to explain in English due to the language barrier. My uncle will be getting a calendar with funny errors & spelling mistakes, and the page on top was a picture of a supermarket offering oranges with the label "Panische Orangen"  (panicking oranges)  - instead of "Spanische Orangen" (spanish oranges). So I decided to sculpt some panicking fruit as a sweet addition to this gift - and voila!

Used the new silicone color shapers for this job, worked very well without much sticking. So far, I´m quite happy with the new tools - requires some getting used to for working on smaller scale minis, but no sticking and no unintended tool marks on the putty. You´re going to see more pics of my work in progress soon, I reckon. But you know the deal, no promises, I´m bad at keeping them ;)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Armed Thug

Another small sidekick from my Germans that are still in their final phase: An Insurgent armed with an AK47 with beltrig (though hardly visible) and bomber-jacket.

A little bit more western in appearance, he can be used for anything from Chechen Militia to Arab Urban Insurgent with the right modification of Headgear, simply by adding a Shemagh, wool cap or face mask. By leaving him with plainly visible face, he could also starr as mafia-guy or simply gangsta.

He still needs boots and ears (originally planned to do him masked from the outset, but I like the grim expression on his face and don´t want to destroy it by masking him), otherwise he´s ready to go!

Edit: I just finished boots and ears real quick, just to get him off my list :)

I´m thinking about thickening his upper legs somewhat towards the center, what do you think?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Modern Germans Part 3 - MG3 added

Mini-Update today:

I´ve beefed up the weapon for the MG3-gunner, he is now carrying a proper gun, not just a broomstick ;)  The other guys haven´t seen much visible progress, some pouches added to their backside, and I´m still working on the helmets.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Germans Indeed

Yes, Stargazer was right concerning my last post and the quiz about what I´m doing.
It´s gonna be another batch of germans. Here´s another small update, still WIP but progressed quite a bit from last entry:

Helmets still need some work, and the guys carrying the stick will get his MG3 finalized. The guy on the left needs some more pouches, which you can hardly see right now due to his pose. And the backs need some love as well before it´s going into the final revision and finalising.

Hope you like them so far!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More Sculpting

A new sculpting project, three new guys. Can anyone spot what I´m working on? ;)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


"Bandits at 3 o´clock!"

Somehow I found myself impulsively buying Check your Six Jet Age and corresponding Aircraft last week. I´ve been tempted to try this ruleset for some time, but managed to resist the urge to give in. However, somehow I got caught in a weak moment... Anyway, I´m expanding into the aerial theatre of modern combat, at least into the part of the fight that is not beyond visual range engagements. I´m doing most of the building myself trying to keep the additional expenditure as low as possible - I´ve purchased several types of Aircraft of the  1/600 Oddzial Osmy range from Fighting 15s (excellent service, I can wholeheartly recommend buying there!) and the rulebook. I´ll try to make the hex-mat myself, as obtaining them from elsewhere seems to be pretty expensive and there aren´t a whole lot of european manufacturers around. I´m still tinkering with the flight stands, not sure how they´ll turn out.

However, I´ve painted the first few aircraft, while I´m still reading the rules.

As you can see, I´ve tried differenct color schemes for the MiGs, on the left more traditional, silvery-grey, and camo in the middle. The style on these is pretty impressionistic, can´t paint 1:600 aircraft with much detail. However, I´ve painted the stars on wings and tail by hand, just as I did with the numbers. No decals no nothing.


I have some more F18, F16 and F4 (to cover some earlier conflicts as well in case modern airwar is too deadly and no fun) and MiG21, MiG23, MiG29 and Su27 for Opfor. That is more than enough to play a wide variety of engagements in the air!

MiGs over Malongo might well be an interesting scenario to prepare the country for the ground intervention :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Desk turns into a City

Sorry for the silence around here, I´ve been a little busy and not very motivated to progress with my wargaming stuff after finishing the SEALs. I still have a Chain of Command Battlereport in my sleeves, but I don´t feel quite like writing it yet. However, a recent visit to our local building center has re-inspired me. So I´ve returned to what was long due: Constructing more urban buildings.
I´ve been able to acquire a polystyrene ball to use as a dome (or rather two) after cutting it in half.

With new zeal I´ve then constructed several new structures, with modular second stories to either use in urban or more rural environment. This is what my desk looked like yesterday afternoon (I´ve progressed with the newest building (second from the right) by now)

Friday, September 20, 2013

SEAL Team at the ready

After having two of my Seals ready for quite some time (one has been shown here already), I´ve finally taken heart to finish the team of four. All in boonie hats and equipped for missions behind enemy lines, to represent the camouflagy-variety of troops, not the heavy-gear troops in helmets.

Didn´t include any heavy weapons yet, but a M203 can be easily added with some putty, as well as high power optics. But no MG as part of the team yet.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Steel Beasts

It´s been another few weeks since my last update, but due to the fact that I was called back to work in september, my spare time shrinked together and was mostly spent on computer wargames, not on the tabeltop affairs.
Nevertheless, I´ve progressed a little and have some new things to show off - I´ve finished the additions to my German Panzergrenadiers on the infantry side, and my order has arrived weeks ago.

Now, there are two complete squads of Panzergrenadier Infantry and the corresponding Marders. I´m not 100% satisfied with the new infantry, as I somehow missed the colorscheme of the older version. Some of that difference in looks is probably due to the base, which is colored in a different way - I´ll have to repaint the old bases to match the new look, which looks more realistic anyway.

Together with the Marder IFVs, I´ve also ordered a T55 for cheap - surprisingly, it´s of excellent quality, even better than the Marders if you ask me:

This has cost me 6€, is fully painted and finely detailed. I´ve picked it up for half the price of an unassembled, unpainted Revell kit and even if I´d have to repaint it, I´d gladly buy more of those. Unfortunately, I´ve put a voluntary purchasing stop for my wargaming stuff for this month into action, after spending quite a bit during August. Maybe the offer is still there in October... on the other hand, I´m pondering if I really need more T55 - I´m in for playing Infantry platoon size actions with tanks being in purely in support for the Infantry  -  not combined arms companies...

Meanwhile, the African forces are growing to the point where I´ll soon have 2 platoons of infantry ready. I´ve sculpted a mortar team, but I´ll present this in a separate sculpting update with my other creations of the last month. For more support options, I´m preparing a DshK-HMG, but I´m still not done with the crew.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Through Jungle and Desert...

As I promised, I´m following up on my last post with more African Forces. I´ve been building these up quickly during the last days to get both the Desert Camo and Bushland Camo groups to roughly platoon strength. With the casts of my sculpts at hands and using some remaining unpainted figs from my Christmas Calender, I have a good supply of manpower for them. I´m planning to use them for Chain of Command, which got released on Wednesday. I´ve already read the pdf and so far it sounds very good and is exactly what I´ve been missing for infantry combat in Force on Force. Firepower causes more shock than kills, with shock/suppression increasingly impeding your units. You can now actually pin units in place (or force them to rout if you put even more firepower on pinned units to break them) and maneuver your assault groups into position to attack. Also, flanking has some real effect as men can´t fire through friendlies in their own unit, which enforces some kind of linear formation to bring their whole firepower to bear.
The rules also supplement all that is needed for a post-war infantry skirmish. Generic stats for Assault Rifles are in the rules (though I´ll probably count Battle-rifles such as the FN FAL as semi-automatic rifles / self loading rifles like the M1 Garand, as controlled autofire with those is pretty much impossible and even disabled on some models of the FAL.) and MGs haven´t changed much since. I´ll handle underbarrel grenades like rifle grenades for now and won´t include vehicles for my first playthrough - other than that I should be set to play with the Africans. Must think about their platoon organisation / squad structure though. But my rulebook hasn´t arrived yet anyway and I´ll probably need that to start my first game - referring to the pdf to check things is not the most convenient way to play the first game.

Anyway, back to the Africans. I´ve almost finished the first Platoon of Desert Camo troops:

24 soldiers at the ready. I´ve noticed that I´ll need another RPG-gunner or two though. And I´ll have to add a few riflemen to get the squads to 9-10 man strength, as they should be operating as completely dismounted troops for the lack of any APCs in my collection.

The Jungle Division in woodland camo has a longer way to go. 8 Soldiers are ready as part of the christmas calendar, which isn´t even a full squad. But they also got some reinforcements, and I´ll have to add more very soon for my first game of Chain of Command!

For the woodland troops, I added some helmet camouflage on  some of the troops and filled the base with more green undergrowth, which looks really cool in conjunction with their camouflage.

Apart from that, I´ve also started work on completing my two german squads. As stated earlier, I´ve 8 rifleman done and enough casts of my MG3-gunners, Panzerfaust and Grenadiers ready to bring up their strength sufficiently, so combining these into two 6-man Panzergrenadier Gruppen is most feasable for me at the moment. I´m missing some plain Riflemen to use them as Jäger Infantry.
As Panzergrenadiers operate in combined arms warfare with their AFVs, I´ve also ordered two diecast Marder (German IFVs) to complete the squads. This will add awesome firepower to the units on the ground, as both are armed with a 20mm cannon. O_O
With two 6-man squads (1 MG, 1 Grenadier, 1 Panzerfaust, 2 Rifleman + Leader) I´ll even have two Riflemen left over for a third squad, but will have to look for a leader - maybe I´ll sculpt another one real quick to bring them up to strength. And then I´ll need a Platoon HQ to get them to full strength.

 But more on that later...More Africans first

Friday, August 23, 2013

More Afghan Freedom Fighters!

Hey there,

painting offensive has come along very well, I´ve painted almost a platoon size force of different allegiances and nationalities in the last two/three days. Unfortunately, I haven´t had any enthusiasm left for sculpting, seems like this is a either/or-thing, impossible to do both the same day.

I´ve now managed to take some photos after it was already too dark yesterday to do it properly. I´ll split up the post though, with one entry for the Taliban (this) and following very soon my next batch of NAM-soldiers.

So, these are my Wartime Taliban:

This is the first cell, painted together with the first two NAM-soldiers I presented a few days ago. These are the better results, as I washed them pretty heavily and somehow the lighter colors didn´t like that much dark color flowing into the cracks. As I thought this left the deeper parts very dark, I thought I could drybrush the lighter parts to highlight, but that ruined the result even more and forced me to redo the lighter parts. Somehow I got it to look decent, as you can see below on the second cell.

And finally, a group shot:

Coming very soon (minis & photos are ready, all I have to do is post it here):  More NAM-soldiers, desert and bushland camo!

Stay tuned, or even better, subscribe with your google account to miss no updates!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August Offensive

Hey folks,

my great August offensive has started. No, it has nothing to do with the Battle of Sari Bair in 1915 on the Gallipoli Front, nor does it have any connection to the Soviet Invasion of Manchuko, another great August Offensive.

As I´ve told you in my birthday blog, my new forces have arrived after being cast. This means my tin mountain has become a little larger again, meaning its time to resume painting. I´ve got some stuff lying around including:
-Some Wartime Miniatures Taliban from November last year... somehow they got neglected
-US Marines, two squads + Support Remaining
-Urban Terrorists (Plastic, hate painting these, but want to try something new there..)
-Some very few Afghan Civilians and some minor stuff

And of course, my new detachment of self-made minis.

As I have holidays now, I´ve enough time to tackle this pile of stuff. Yesterday & Today, I started with the Wartime Taliban, three US Marines and some of my Africans. I base-painted them, washed them and tried something new, achieving mixed results. Some of the Afghans are looking superb (will finish these tomorrow to show off), while some are mediocre at best. I´ve been struggling to make the brighter colored figures look good - I´ll have to change something for the next batch.

Anyway, here are the first Africans finished (somehow got hooked on these and wanted to get them done). I´m not 100% pleased, but on the pictures they actually look okay:

I´ll be trying to finish more Africans in the next few days, as I need some regular forces. I´ve actually preordered Chain of Command yesterday, but don´t want to start WW2 as a sideshow just to play the game. So, I´ll probably start off with some low-tech engagements with the African Forces that I still marshal. Old self-loading rifles and GPMGs shouldn´t have much different firepower than what was available in WW2. The basics are still the same, should be alright for infantry combat.

The major element is command & control anyway, with weaponry probably taking a secondary role, as far as I could see in the previews. What could be detrimental is the lack of national bonuses. We´ll see how that plays out. Anyway, I need more Africans to get two roughly Platoon-sized Forces ready and see which support-elements I could add. Right now, I got 26 Africans (including the two I just paitned), which is roughly half of what I need.

Most importantly, I got some Machineguns now that my own casts are ready. RPKs, PKMs and FN MAGs, even though only 1 pose of each, should add enough firepower to the squads. In the end, I should have one yellowish-team and one in woodland camo, in order to comply with the schemes of the National Army of Malongo ;)

Maybe I´ll also resort to painting my own Germans for some variety - with my own sculpts I could fill up my 8 Elhiem Germans to form two Panzergrenadier Squads. Unfortunately, I got no Marder IFVs, but using them as Jägers of any kind would result in understrength groups if operating completely dismounted (which Panzergrenadiers usually don´t do, as far as I know).

By the way -  I´m really proud of the photos today! No blur, no shaky camera, no mediocre lighting... :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Blog

Hey all!

Sorry for the eerie quiet around this place during the last few weeks. I´ve been off to holiday (technically, still am, but returning tomorrow) and didn´t have much opportunity or reason to update the blog. However, noticing that it is the middle of August already, I´ve realized that my Blog has now been around for more than a year - so, time to say happy birthday with this entry, even though I´m late. I guess the blog won´t mind.

So, time to recap - what´s happened during the last year and what lies ahead?
If you look back to my very first entries, you´ll notice that I started my comeback into the world of wargaming with very limited means, focusing on a playable playing field, ready to add the eye-candy later. I had to paint a lot of figures to start off at all, and almost no time and budget for terrain, so that part looked utterly terrible:

Terrain, a year ago...

I´ve since managed to upgrade the most crucial parts, though I´m still in need of a proper desert-mat to play...

...and Terrain today
Yeah, things look decent now ;)

I´ve also painted a lot more minis, adding to my arsenal of available figures for Afghanistan, and some more for urban operations, with metropolitan insurgents. The campaign system is still work in progress and some things didn´t work out as planned. We had a long break, and we´re in a long break again with stuff in need to be implemented. Once the most important mechanisms are implemented and tested, we´ll probably restart the campaign to start from a clean sheet and look if there´s need for more adjustments.
For those interested: We need to rework Unit depletion (what happens to units who suffer from too many losses in combat), develop a suitable scenario generator (what we have right now is basic and has caused some trouble), we need to adress supply issues and finish implementing our Fog of War-mechanism.

Furthermore, I stumbled upon an opportunity to purchase some African soldiers, which lead to my little Christmas Calendar, with one Mini painted per day. The troops where supposed to be a present for my best friend, who has tasked me to store and use them until he is ready with his own little project. As he is still lagging behind, I still administer his Africans and use them once in a while as ANA/ANP-Proxies and to play an African Scenario once in a while...

After Christmas, where I got the Fallujah-supplement for FoF, things took a strange turn...
My original intention was to build up an urban insurgency and additional US troops to play some Fallujah-esque scenarios, using some heavier vehicles and more irregular troops (as in FoF-irregularity). However, due to the limited set of available poses, I decided to convert some of them to add some diversity. For this, I ordered some sculpting putty and started experimenting with it, which lead to me experimenting with the putty, building my own stuff - I said to myself: Hey, if you can paint stuff, why can´t you sculpt stuff?
Quite happy with the first results and encouraged by the positive feedback on the forums and this blog, I delved deeper into this matter, bought better tools and spent more time pursuing this part of the hobby... which caused my to drift away from the Urban Insurgency I had originally planned for this year. But that´s the way of things, you never know where your next steps take you ;)

Speaking of drifting away...  This blog still carries the name "Rifles and Muskets" - well, the rifles part is well covered, but if you followed from the start, you might have noticed that the original intention was to built up a renaissance army in parallel. There are two distinct reasons why I didn´t proceed much:
1.) I focused on the modern stuff
2.) I moved to my new place last fall and have been playing with our local club, which has a group very dedicated to playing Field of Glory-Renaissance, who have a collection of stuff to bring and play - which means I get to play renaissance stuff once a month without the need of building up my own collection. Instead, I´ve used my time and money to built up on the modern part of the blog.

That covers pretty much what has happened during the last year, as I spent most of this year commited to sculpting, trying to improve my skill there.

So, what´s ahead from that point? I´ve sent off my first few sculpts to be cast before going into holiday and the casts should be waiting for me at home when I come back tomorrow. My plan is to paint some of them very soon and post some pics of the final looks for you. I will also continue working on sculpting some new minis, using the supplies that will arrive with the cast stuff (you´ll see very soon...)

 I´ll probably also take a look on Chain of Command, as I´m becoming more critical regarding Force on Force the more I read and research about the nature of modern combat. You somehow notice that FoF was designed with Actions like those in Black Hawk Down (Ambush Alley), with lots of absolutely incapable insurgents pitted against first rate troops in very very close quarters. From this basis, the rest of the system was developed, leading to some distortions that I´ve grown to dislike. FoF lacks a proper suppression mechanic to depict the nature of firefights in better cover or over longer distance. The rules on suppressive fire are not thought through and the tendency to explain things away with the system being "outcome oriented" and abstracted are not helpful either - Using FoF in a symmetric engagement usually leads to way more casualties by infantry fire than appropriate, which reduces the need for realistic use of tactics. Also, the defense mechanic is skewed in favour of larger units. I´ve been on the fence on this matter for a long time, but it is true that larger troops pack a lot more punch combined with a larger resilience that make them much harder to kill than smaller units. It also leads to some strange situations where airstrikes are more deadly against two small (dispersed) units than one large combined mass.
 Initiative is determined in a very strange way and often has nothing to do with what happens on the tabletop - it´s determined not by the game, but used as an input factor that has dramatic outcome for the other elements of the game!
This does not necessarily mean that its a bad system or bad game, but I´ll probably be using it for more assymmetric engagements, the stuff it was designed for, while looking for alternatives for similar force size. Chain of Command is one of these alternatives and looks like it could be worth a try, even if its designed for WW2 and symmetric engagements, not so much for modern combat. However, as the principles are still the same as back then, an adaption for modern combat should be possible. I don´t know if I´ll dabble more into WW2 wargaming as a result of these rules or convert them straight away... we´ll see.

Think that´s it for now...

Cheers and happy birthday to my blog! ;)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

US Navy Seal

The latest sculpt, completely self-made, no pre-fabbed weapon this time. I´ve made some copies of the M4 using instamould though, so I can reproduce them anytime I need more.

This guy is losely based on US Navy Seals in Boonie hats....

And wearing a patrol pack for some missions behind enemy lines.

Unfortunately the muzzle of the rifle broke off as I dropped the mini halfway through and I had to remodel it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Multicam v2?

Hey there,

just a quick stop-by from my painting session today. I´ve finally started to work on my Human Interaction team and picked one guy to be the guinea pig for trying a new color-combination to get a rough representation of Multicam in 20mm:

Just did the trousers, easier to stop and repaint if things go awry.

Its just rought-going to determine the overall coloring, I didn´t fiddle with minor details to get the scheme exactly right. I´m not quite concinved if its still too dark or okay that way - but its certainly an improvement over my first version.

For comparison:

I guess its still too dark and much to rough (especially the white splotches), but getting closer to the real thing. Any ideas on how to improve it further?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

News from the Workbench

Short update for today: Exam time has begun last week and I decided to reduce the amount of sculpting until my first batch of minis are cast. I´ve returned to painting in the last few days, relaxing on the sunny balcony during my breaks from learning. These are the results:

Three Taliban (well, one could be used as a civilian as well).

I also started to paint my armor and vehicles, though these are early WIP, just got their first basic tone and need more love until they look decent.

And finally, some sculpting as well, still WIP - my attempt to replicate my own MG3-gunner, which is already painted and certainly wouldn´t like any moldmaking-process.

He still needs a helmet and some tweaking, I somehow feel like his vest is not voluminous enough.
I also manufactured some weapons, which is really fiddly, but I think some of them look quite decent. I´ll have them cast for my own use, but won´t show you photos as some of the kit would give away my plans for the next figures to come ;)

That´s all for today!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nam Nam Nam...

Finished more NAM-Soldiers yesterday. I think I´ve done enough of them for now, time to move on to something else. I´ll finish another MG3-Gunner and have the first batch of minis cast. Any maybe I´ll take a little break from sculpting, as I won´t have that much time for the rest of the week.

One Rifleman and one MG-Gunner. Note that this is my first attempt at doing muscles, he is supposed to have naked arms, but somehow I slightly overdid the muscles :D

And a view from the backside, so you can see the details of the pouches and LBE-gear.

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Of Soldiers, Rebels and a Kitten...

Hey there,

I´ve been practising a little more to refine my sculpting skills and after my African Officer has turned out quite good-looking with little effort, I´ve decided to stick with the quicker way of doing things, reducing the amount of layering on the sculpts. This has resulted in an increase in my working speed - or maybe I just hit a very productive phase, but somehow those are connected, as seeing (decent) results quickly is much more rewarding than fiddling around a long time to finish a figure of similar quality with much more layers. Now, instead of two minis last week, I´ve finished three and have another one almost complete, which is roughly twice the speed of my previous work.

First, I did an African rebel, eager to sculpt something with an RPG. That figure was finished very quickly, as it doesn´t have a great amount of equipment. Next, I expanded my range of NAM-Soldiers with another FAL-armed rifleman in a reloading pose. After those two, I prepared the next two dollies with two shooting poses, one of which is already finished, the other one halfway there.

And, to top all those off, I also did a little kitten for my girlfriend, as I asked her if I could sculpt something for her. In 1/72 scale, of course. Which means its very hard to get any details on it - getting the silhouette roughly right has been hard enough ;)

Thats it for today, more coming as I progress.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Operation Firefly - Mission 9: Death Valley

EDIT: I´ve just noticed that there´s an error in the numbering - its been battle no 9, not 10. 

Its been a while since I´ve published my last Campaign Battlereport and frankly, I´m not sure anyone of you even remembers anymore how the strategic situation on the campaign map looks. So, to recap on what has happened so far: 

Battles happening in El Qualed, the Hydroelectric dam and in remote greenzone areas along the river.
 US Forces have advanced into the valley after capturing Mayasaf, making headway into Mul Qasr and El Qualeed. Due to several setbacks and Taliban successes, the Insurgents gained lots of popular support and have been raising forces all over the valley to resist the Americans. So far, the loses of American personell have not raised too much public outrage, though questions are beginning to be raised by the Military how a remote little valley has become the graveyard for so many US Soldiers.

The next operation is aimed at capturing the Hydroelectric Dam to secure the power supply of the city and prevent any mishaps...


At the southwestern expanse of the valley, cramped between the slopes of two mounteains, lies the hydroelectric powerplant that provides the district capital with electric energy. Built in the middle of the last century funded by foreign aid, the technology is still ready to go for a few decades, though lacking maintainance has put a strain on the turbines. However, being the single powerplant supplying the city with energy, it is one of the most important facilities in the valley, for shutting down the plant means shutting down the city.
So far, the Taliban have been in control of both the city and the plant, but with US Forces advancing into the capital, control of the plant has to be secured in order to win the hearts and minds of the people.
However, Senior Taliban Leaders have recently announced that the infidel invaders shall never control the plant. Rather, they claimed, they´d blow up the machinery or even the entire dam and flood the southern half of the valley. Though Intelligence dismissed the latter claim as propagandistic threat - as the Taliban would prefer not to threaten the Opium yield and the lives of thousands of potential supporters – intelligence has obtained alarming information. As of late, Taliban have been gathering enormous amounts of explosives in the vicinity of the dam. Some Intelligence analysts theorize that maybe a radical, hardcore Taliban group is organizing around the dam, a group that does consider the potential damage of blowing up the dam worth the ends of expelling the foreigners out of the country.
In any case, before the final attack on the dam can be conducted, the Taliban ordnance must be found and destroyed. Our Intelligence has already narrowed down the approximate location of the explosives, it is likely hidden within a narrow, sparsely populated valley. Search the area, destroy the explosives and proceed to take the dam!
Mission Objectives:
-Find and Destroy the Weapon Caches. (3 caches   x 5 VP)
Deployed Forces:
2x US  Infantry Squad
1x unarmed UAV (aerial reconaissance)

Another Note - We´re playing with some modifications on Force on Force, which leads to different results of the game. Units are pinned (as in unable to move) easier than in standard FoF, insurgent mobs are no longer more powerful than multiple smaller groups and flanking actually hurts the troops. The Houserules are aimed at properly depicting the FFFF-Principles of Modern Warfare. Find-Fix-Flank-Finish. Isolated Troops are killed off easily, as we´re about to see...

Turn 1

Overview of the Battlefield - US Forces start south and have to sweep the valley for Weapon Caches

The US troops are deployed on the southern part of the map, deploying one team on Overwatch to cover the movement of the other elements. 

Team Blue stumbles into a Cache - Contacts are spotted on the ridge of the hill!

Searching the first house, Team Blue immediately stumbles upon a Weapon Cache. Happy about their early success, they prepare to blow it up, which will take them one turn. Red moves along the ditch between the two hills and observes contacts moving along the hill, who are pulling back out of sight.

Turn 2

Team Red comes under fire from unknown contacts in front of them, hiding behind a formation of rocks. One soldier is hit, the team deploys smoke and advances towards the compound to treat their wounded. 

Movement along the hill

Team Red under fire and pinned down behind a smokescreen

On the other side of the Map, Green and Yellow do not encounter any enemies.

Turn 3
 [Sorry, no Overview / Orders-Picture -  Blue advances onto the hill to attack the Taliban who are still firing at Red. Yellow advances towards the compound, Green tries to breach the compound on the right side of the map ]
Checking on their wounded, Team Red finds their buddy dead. Team Blue advances into the enemy flank, while Red attemps to retreat into the compound under the cover of smoke
Blue move into position to fire into the enemies flank...
Red moves into the compound, but finds no cache - Taliban pull back from blue, but get suppressed by Reds Fire.
Green attacks a Taliban Cell hiding in the irrigation ditch...
...but are subsequently attacked by a second group from the fields, taking a casualty.

A large group of hostiles move back up the mountain and open fire on blue, who are fortunate enough to spot the flanking move in time to prepare for it. They shoot three Taliban, but one of the remaining enemies tosses a grenade down into Blues covered position. The fragmentation causes two casualties among the team...

Turn 4

[Again, no Orders Pic]
Blue checks their wounded and has one Serious injury and one lightly wounded to take care of.
Yellows casualty is found to be lightly wounded, easily patched up and ready to go.
Red leaves the compound and advances  into enemy territory after silencing the two Taliban hidden by the rocks.

Blue suffers another casualty in the firefight with the Taliban at the hilltop.

Green breaches into the compound! But no weapon cache is found...

Yellow splits fire between the surviving Taliban in the ditch (two got back on their feet) and the enemies in the field.

Turn 5

The US Troops lose initiative and are forced to react.

Red suppresses an enemy group in the treeline ahead, killing several enemies in the process.
Blue is attacked into the flank by a small group with an RPG...
Due to its superior training, Team Blue is able to spot the movement in the field before they are able to lay down significant fire. They identify them as hostile and open fire, killing one of them. A badly aimed RPG swooshes in, but explodes on the rocks nearby without doing damage. The US team takes no casualties, but hunkers down and is unable to move off the spot.
Meanwhile, Team Red receives aimed Rifle fire from its flank, pinning them down along the wall. It takes a while until they spot the single surviving taliban in the rocks that takes shots at them, but they finally manage to take him out by a serious barrage
While fighting off the Taliban push, Blufor continues to advance on the right flank,  where things are more silent... up to now. Green checks the second building in the compound, Yellow advances into the field to shoot at enemies on the hill far north.

Turn 6

Order pic again - yay!
Red continues to push forward, Blue advances to the hilltop, attempting to charge enemy fighters. However, as they are not pinned in position, the Insurgents simply retreat from the charging forces and take a new position further down the hill. Taking cover behind the rocks at their new position, Team Blue spots a small tunnel entrance...

On the other side of the battlefield, team Yellow runs into serious trouble as they are advancing out of the field, into the firing zone of Taliban inside the compound up ahead. Two Soldiers are shot, a hasty smokescreen is deployed....

....but suddely, more Taliban troops emerge from the fields and start shooting into the flank.

Turn 7-9

Trying to disengage and retreat from their perilous situation fails, as Team red is pinned down by more fire. Two soldiers are by now seriously wounded, and one by one, the Insurgents pick the remaining soldiers off. Slowly the gunfire ceases over the field...

Later, after driving off Taliban forces in a struggle against the clock, Team Green finally reaches the fields... 

...finding only one survivor, critically wounded. 

In the meantime, Team Blue is still engaged in the battle with two small Taliban cells who have surrounded them. In the firefight, another soldier of Team Blue is shot dead. Subsequently, Blue disengages and retreats into the house where they found the first cache.

Team Red - after paying a visit to the house (finding no cache) - tries to cross the open ground, but gets shot to pieces from two directions after reaching the pickup:

In a final attempt to neutralize a second cache, Team Green attempts a close assault against the enemies in the white compound ahead. The Taliban simply evade again, as there´s nothing worthwile to defend in the building. 


After that, as time and ressources where exhausted, we called off the game with a Taliban victory. 
The US Forces lost half of their squads, suffering a total of: 
- 6 KIA 
-4 Seriously Wounded
-1 Light Wounded
On the upside (if there is any) the Taliban also lost most of their available forces - six teams count as destroyed, which equates to four cells on the campaign map. The entire Taliban presence on the dam is thus gone, disorganised and dispersed.
 However, the War Exhaustion has now significantly risen, as newsreport about 10 dead and critically wounded are appearing in the newspapers... 
Unfortunately, part of the disaster was the timelimit, which was set much too low for the distribution of objectives (both undetected caches where in the far north of the map) and not accomodated to our houserules, which extend the game somewhat. Under pressure to find the caches, the US troops where dispersed too much and subsequently picked apart by the Insurgents. So now we´re working on some method to adapt scenario time limits... which is why the next repot might take some more time! 
So far, so good. More sculpting coming soon!