Thursday, 28 June 2012
Sunday, 24 June 2012
This weekend saw our annual trip up to North Devon for our Summer Game which had added significance this year as our host, the gentleman that is Mr Charles Carter, recently celebrated his 60th, so it gave us a chance to have a lot of fun with a jolly nice chap. Thanks Chas, a great day, good times.
So to the game. I have included the briefing sent out to all players with the relevant orbats and victory conditions. As you can see a very powerful US Ranger and Delta Team task force are tasked with extracting the persons of interest, whilst subduing if necessary any armed resistance, which seemed likely following the shooting down of one of their Black Hawk helicopters.
This shooting down has also necessitated the rescuing of the helicopter crew from the crash site. Our game started as per the brief with the Ranger teams securing the buildings around the Olympic Hotel and fast roping onto the crash site (see the map for approximate positions).
The American force were taking no chances as their motorised convoy headed in from the north on Highway 1 and all troops were on over watch as they nervously looked out over the apartment blocks of down town Mogadishu. The tension was rising like the smoke from the barricades of burning tyres at the southern end of Highway 1 and as the Ranger team approached Black Hawk Super Six - One it "kicked off".
|US air support gives cover as the Rangers secure the crash site|
|Rangers having dropped on the crash site move up to secure the area and prepare demolition charges on the wreck.|
|First contact!, Kate chewing Somalis open up on the Yankee invaders|
The Ranger teams coolly took on the militia groups and drove them off with well directed return fire. First round to the Americans.
As the US motorised convoy entered town, the Somali forces gathered in nearby streets, along with mobs of angry citizens mixed with traders and goat herders just trying to mind their own business. These obstacles made life difficult for US forces when attempting return fire, as any casualties on civilians were a gift of points to the militias.
|Civilians intermingled with Somali militia|
|US air support provides deadly airborne sniper cover. This was very effective at taking out the RPG teams that threatened the task force vehicles.|
Three moves in and the Somalis struck. An angry mob coming in from a side road threatened to disrupt the approaching convoy. US troops were forced to debus and attempt to disperse the crowd. This they managed to do but as the crowd dispersed, further shots were fired from militia in nearby buildings, killing one US Ranger.
|"Man Down!!". The first casualty is a fatality as the Rangers are forced to deal with an angry mob of civilians.|
|As the Rangers prepare to force an entry into the nearby building the Somali militia prepare to spring their ambush.|
|Weight of numbers making up for lack of quality and the Rangers are drawn in to an unequal firefight.|
|The battle rages on the first corner as the HUMVEEs add their 50cal fire support|
|The Olympus Hotel, with its VIPs waiting for their taxis at the front.|
|The casualties continue to mount at "Hellfire Corner"|
The Somalis numbers had grown significantly as the game progressed and thus their anti-aircraft fire became more potent. As the second Black Hawk strafing run came in over the city, the second helicopter was shot down crashing at the north west corner of town. This was was a body blow to US morale, forcing them to change the plan and get the VIPs out from the North and pull out the wounded and crashed helicopter crews at the same time.
|Black Hawk Super-Six Two down with the Delta Team at the corner with a man down|
Not only that but now the HUMVEEs were taking hits, two being quickly disabled and with the truck brought in to carry out the VIPs taking damage the convoy was now only able to limp along at half speed.
|The wheels are starting to come off with a second crash site still unsecured|
|The survivors of Ranger Chalk 1 are rounded up ready to face the press|
A fun time was had by all, good company, great banter, and great fun. Thank you to Chas for pulling together a fun days entertainment, and thanks to Andy C, Andy W, Vince, Nathan, Steve, Nick, John and Clive for making it happen.
Next Year Rorkes Drift.
Sunday, 10 June 2012
Yesterday saw the first game of "Maurice" played at the club and I brought out the AWI collection to try out the rules. A lot of good comments have followed the release of this rule set and we were all keen to see if the excitement matched our experience.
I set up the terrain and put together the armies as detailed in the rule book to do Brandywine. We diced for sides with the Americans being the defenders and having the choice of table edge. The British positioned the house by the road in the American deployment area as the objective and watched as the Americans deployed first. After the British had deployed, the two sides appeared as below.
As this was our first game both sides were keen to push the rules and see what they could do. Both sides opted for flank attacks by setting up units in march column ready to set off. The American units are out of shot behind the wood at the end of their line. Like wise the British units are out of shot, left foreground.
|Initial deployments with the British line on the left and the American to the right holding a ridge line. The house in the American sector is the game objective.|
|The American flank attack, encountering difficult terrain on their march|
|Now this is what you call a flank attack, four battalions of Guards and Grenadiers lead Hessians around the Americans left flank. General Howe oversees the deployment.|
|The Guards and Grenadiers, after a stiff fight for the hill, turn the American flank and look down on the American army below, as the British main force closes in for the kill.|
|Its looking bad for the Americans in the centre of the position as the British regulars close in|
We had a great game and really enjoyed the whole system. We played with two players on each side and our game lasted about three hours continual play. The rules started to become intuitive very quickly and we had time at the end to switch sides and play a second game which went quicker with our familiarity with the play mechanisms.I guess one of the proofs of how good a game is, is how many people want to play it and I think that Maelstrom and North Star can expect half a dozen orders for rule sets and card decks very soon.
I will be running more games next month and will be trying out the additional rules for using Nobles as well as planning other armies to use with this set. I rather fancy French Indian wars, War of 1812 and Jacobite Rebellion.
Thanks to Sam Mustafa for producing an excellent set of rules and to to Jason, Nathan, Ian and Andy for a fun days wargaming.