Yesterday at the club I had another opportunity to playtest Code Red again. I brought to lists, US Army vs. Insurgents and after a brief explanation of the very basic rules, we went straight into a fight. My opponent was new to the game but quick to pick up the rules and proceeded very tactical without major errors, so it was a fun and balanced game.
The table we deployed had a large compound in the centre dominating the battlefield and breaking much of the line of sight, with fields and rock formations doing the rest to basically cut the table in half. The Taliban chose to deploy on the edges and designated one of the compound buildings as the US objective.
The first turn resulted in a miserable command roll for the Americans, the Insurgents were able to seize the initiative and deploy their forward formations along the treeline and close to the compound. The subsequent turns weren´t much better, the initiative only once went to the Americans before being lost again.,
The US troops used one of their Stryker ICVs to deploy their mounted infantry close to the compounds. In hindsight, it would have been better to deploy both squads with the vehicles to secure the objective and the firing lines required to defend it quickly.
After securing the first two buildings, the US struggled to bring their second squad forward without losing cohesion with their leadership. The Strykers deployed in forward positions to provide flank security. The Stryker on the left was targeted by an RPG, yet the rocket missed and the shooter got riddled with HMG bullets.
The Insurgents brought another RPG team into position, but the cell outright resisted any commands ordering them to shoot the dreaded Stryker again, fearing for their lives after whitnessing the devastating fate of their companion earlier.
Finally, the US Army secured the objective, now they had to hold onto it for several turns to secure victory. The second Stryker was redeployed to provide flank and rear security on the exposed left flank.
Small firefights erupted at the compounds, with no losses on either side, but a bit of suppression that had to be rallied.
The Insurgents moved one of their teams up slightly to contest the objective. Without Line of Sight outside of the building, there was not much the US fireteam could do to prevent that.
Strykers providing flank security while a Taliban cell maneuvers along the far side of the rock formation.
Then, the Taliban decided to launch a close assault on my separated team to drive them off the objective. Wanting to demonstrate (and test!) the bloody effects of close combat to my opponent (it was his first game and a demo) and with time running short for me anyway, I decided to hold and see what happened. I also miscalculated my odds and rolled badly...
Defensive fire felled two Insurgents, including a leader, but did not deter their assault. They went straight into a roughly equal close combat, 4 vs. 4, the US soldiers with better training, the Insurgents with better morale.
Again rolling badly, I failed to kill even a single Insurgents, while the Taliban struck down two US soldiers, forcing another morale check (again a miserable roll) and causing the unit to surrender.
Outcome: US objective no longer under control, 4 US soldiers eliminated, putting the Insurgents in a position to decide the game with a comfortable victory points margin.
They contacted their HQ, determined they had done enough damage and started to peel off, leaving the remaining Americans to clean up the mess.
Overall a very good and enjoyable game.
I´ll have to tweak the surrender mechanics a little, right now close assaults are too lopsided in favour of the attacker if they can surprise their target.
The Insurgents appeared very strong in this game, mostly due to very good command rolls and lucky dice. They did not use their reinforcements, which would have added a lot of pressure on my troops, but I didn´t call in the Mortars either and one of the strykers never saw combat...
The biggest mistake on my side as US player was to have the second squad deployed in their vehicle - you can´t beat their 20" movement to quickly seize key positions. Instead, I had one squad foot-slogging towards their positions combined with above-average initiative rolls from my opponent.
You never stop learning!
Until next time,