Sunday, March 16, 2014

Khardala Road Ambush - Part 2

Hey folks,

I´ve been busy playing and painting with my best friend the last few days, so the Khardala Road Ambush got postponed slightly. Here it is, to show you the flow of the new iteration of houserules. After two more games, I can proudly claim that they work almost flawlessly. It needs less tweaking than I thought and I´m very surprised how fun it was to play the last three scenarios since the upgrade of the command & control system.

I´ll post a seperate report later, let me first finish the Khardala Road Ambush to show you how realistic tactics are rewarded and how important Command and Control has become.

We ended last part with the following situation:
Taliban had ambushed a convoi of Americans, one team got pinned with a casualty, while the other team tried to move into a covered position nearby.

We actually decided to adapt the pinning rules back to a fallback option - so pinned units would fall back into nearby cover and stay there until unpinned. Units that already are in cover stay in cover and cannot move anymore - we are assuming that any leader would rather risk to bring to troop into nearby solid cover than being shred to pieces in the open in the long term.

Americans Moving into cover

On the start of turn two, the American player decided to spend a dice to un-pin his pinned unit. 
Unfortunately, the unit checked their casualty later on and was re-pinned automatically, as the soldier was seriously wounded. Being pinned, they fell back into the ditch (which they should have done previously).

Meanwhile the Taliban tried to hit the other team with concentrated MG fire (having un-pinned their PKM at the beginning of the turn), but caused no casualty and only pin results, but losing the entire PKM team as casualties - including the leader.
The other RPG teams opened fire on the Stryker but was pinned by preemptive reaction fire before causing any further damage.

In addition, the Taliban moved their four man rifleteam towards their hotspot to get a line of fire with the American squad in the orchard.

I´m pretty sure I missed a turn with my photos, the PKM team got shot to pieces meanwhile and both the leader and the gunner died, leaving the talibs short on command dice.
This enabled the US to gain initiative in the following turn. With the stryker on overwatch, they pulled their team out of the orchard:

Of course my feeble attempts to interrupt where met with organized fire and caused more pins:

Then, reinforcements turned up in the US rear in the compound by the road:

Unfortunately, having no leader and being well out of range of any other commander, I could not employ them properly without sacrificing a shitload of initiative dice to activating them by radio.
So the end result was that they hunkered down, surprised by the US forces that had taken the initiative by now and where seizing the compound:

So they where pinned and suppressed in the little orchard by the compound, faced with a superior enemy in close contact and without much hope to gain the upper hand any time soon.

On the other flank, the RPG teams tried to move in and hit the stryker, but failed to penetrate the vehicle again and gain for the lack of proper AT munitions.

More Reinforcements arrive at the dreaded Hotspot 2, again without any leader to command them. The Stryker and the infantry had meanwhile pulled back using bounding overwatch to cover one another. My last attempt to move another reinforcement group into the ditch to shoot at the Stryker ended in a barrage of HMG fire effectively suppressing the Taliban.

With the US troops withdrawn into a safe zone close the their board edge and almost all Taliban in LOS pinned or suppressed, we decided to award victory to the Americans for escaping the ambush with only a single seriously wounded, who was transported to the board edge without bleeding out and escorted back to base by Medevac from a safe zone.

A few very small tweaks followed after this test of mechanics, but overall it was a resounding success - the system works, and the two games we played as a follow-up with more troops reinforced that impression. I have to test more scenarios to determine if things are fine for other combinations of TQ, like regular vs. regular engagements or Urban mob irregulars, or special forces scenarios with higher TQ difference.

So there´s still some work involved, but the first tests have left me confident.

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