Thursday, 27 June 2013

Ambush in Merrostan

This week we played through another scenario from the Force on Force 'Classified' scenario book.  This supplement deals with special forces type ops from WW2 to the present day, including a number of more cinematic scenarios.

We played through an early 70s Middle Eastern Scenario [sorry... the book's in the loft so I cant give you the specific name!] but the scenario involved an Egyptian Commando squad launching an attack on an IDF convoy of trucks.  I'd taken a little poetic licence to accommodate the figures I had available....

As the Guildford Wargames Club is located in Merrow, the IDF became the Merrostan Govt Forces and the Egyptians became the Merrostani People's Liberation Front.  Similarly the vehicles I changed the scenario to suit the range of models I had available so the half track and jeep were converted into an up-armoured Hummer.

Sadly my photos of the game appear to have disappeared from my phone so you'll have to use your imagination!

The Egyptians/MPLF have a very limited 6 turns to hit the IDF convoy and then escape off the table.  Early on Andrew who was commanding the IDF/Merrostan forces. and I decided that we'd give the MPLF a little longer to carry out their raid.  This is the 2nd scenario I've played out from the Classified book and like the Vietnam game we played a few weeks ago [there's a post about it elsewhere] the scenario is much more cleverly balanced than I'd given it credit for.

The MPLF should have stayed hidden behind the patchy woods/scub, allowing the convoy to advance down the road into a cunningly laid ambush.  Instead I showed my hand far too early,  Andrew, being generous, continued down the road for a turn despite having spotted me before pulling the trucks off the road and tucking them out of sight behind some scrub,  The MPLF squads piled forward and loosed off several RPG7s, immobilising the Hummer and hitting one of the trucks,  The truck crew were forced to hunker down in the truck, pinned, before a 2nd RPG round brewed up the truck and the crew sensibly decided to bail out and into the adjacent wood.

The remaining trucks had by this point unloaded the troops they were carrying into the woods, who proceeded to blaze away at the encroaching MPLF squads.  One of these were forced back into cover with heavy casualties but the remaining groups returned fire.  Really this was the point at which I should have headed for home... I had little chance of being able to target the remaining trucks which were my main objective and was coming under increasing fire from the Govt troops hunkered down in the woods. 

After  a couple of rounds of trying to blast them out with RPG and small arms fire the MPLF decided that withdrawing was the better option after all and bugged out.... unfortunately 2 of their squads were all 'down' after receiving heavy fire and were promptly captured by the Govt Troops.  In the end the Government had a narrow victory... if I'd pulled out a turn or 2 earlier I would have swung the game by taking out the Hummer and 1 of the the 3 trucks but the cost of losing several prisoners to the Imperialist oppressors lost me the game!

As before the scenario seems to hinge on some careful timing of actions and on having a well thought out plan at the start.... had I stayed in cover until the trucks had moved far enough along the road the game could easily have swung the other way.

We have another game of FoF lined up in a couple of weeks so I think I'll keep the Imagi-Nations of Merrostan and the MPLF which allows a bit more freedom in choosing vehicles and equipment and avoids the slightly uncomfortable feeling I always get when gaming contemporary wars... I know... there are lots of arguments why that makes no sense whatsoever but it makes me feel better :)

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