Thursday, 22 November 2012

Black Truck Down....

A year or so ago my son convinced me to get a copy of Force on Force... apart from Warhammer/40k etc and a bit of dabbling it was the first time that he's shown a real interest in a specific period or set of rules.  My theory is that FoF is probably the closest tabletop game to an XBox session of Call of Duty and combined with his unhealthy obsession with old episodes of Ultimate Force was the driver behind this!

We've built up forces of US Marines and assorted Insurgents using Peter Pig's excellent AK47 range and acquired a load of Middle Eastern style buildings.  Combined with some B&Q sandstone coloured floor tiles it all looks very effective.

We've played a few games at home and at Guildford and last week Andrew and I tried out the 'Contracting Trouble' scenario.  I've played this through a few times now and it makes for a very difficult mission for the US player as they only have 6 turns to complete the mission... I'd like to say it's impossible but my son has proved me wrong on this one by this by defeating me several times [and as both sides!]

The scenario has a pair of contractors trapped in a town centre with their broken down vehicle [in our case a truck] as hordes of Insurgents close in.  The US player has to move in, rescue the contractors and get back off the table in one piece. 

Andrew took the US side and began moving through the town, using the buildings as cover.  A lone Insurgent armed with an RPG popped up and attempted to ambush the Americans but then lost his nerve and failed to fire in time.  A brief hail of gunfire later and the Marines stormed the building he was in and claimed first blood.  The Marines were split into 2 fireteams and the 2nd group ran into heavier opposition and became bogged down... their fire was effective at putting down the insurgent group opposite them but failed to actually cause any casualties. 

The USMC advance towards the contractors

Fireteam 2 remained stuck for several turns slugging it out with the enemy while team1 made steady but slow progress on the right, creeping towards the contractors.  Andrew's frustration was growing with each turn as the US failed to make much progress and the number of insurgent units grew every turn.  RPG fire from the buildings above the contractors kept the Marines back until a series of very effective rounds of fire knocked out most of the Insurgents and allowed Fireteam 1 to reach the contractors and move them into the cover of a nearby building.  Somehow this team had made it across the table unscathed but Fireteam 2 were taking quite a battering with casualties beginning to mount.  They also finally managed to suppress the opposition but at this point we'd reached the end of turn 6.  There weren't many Insurgents left [although presumably more were on their way] but the US troops were now cut off, injured and the situation finished looking pretty bleak. 

On a points basis the US actually won but only just... they had managed to reach the contractors and caused a lot of casualties to the enemy [although this wasn't a factor in calculating the points]... the dead and injured they'd suffered however gave a strong propaganda boost to the Insurgents so overall probably a draw.
The Fireteam comes under fire from an RPG team

As a set of rules FoF works well.  The mechanics are relatively simple with everything [more or less] succeeding on a roll of 4+.  The deciding factor is the dice that each unit uses... the US rolled a d8 while the Insurgents used a d6 which makes a major difference in quality.  The rules aren't the best laid out and I always find them very confusing but others seem to cope ok with this so perhaps its just me!  The reaction process by which units can interrupt  each other also has the potential to be confusing and could easily lead to disputes but providing you can reach a reasonable and sensible agreement with your opponent this shouldn't be too much of an obstacle.

I've been eyeing up the card scenery produced by Scalescenes as a possible source of buildings for an alternative setting for these rules using their industrial and dock buildings and I'll post an update if I ever manage to get round to this!

1 comment:

  1. I agree they are laid out poorly. I developed an outline to help organize the actions and modifiers. Don't forget to use overwatch, it gives the US an advantage in that scenario.