Monday, February 4, 2013

Force on Force, Modern Skirmish: US Recon Snipers and the Foreign Legion in trouble


Mission report:
A US Marine sniper recon team had been positioned to carry out surveillance on a known Taliban held village. The two man team was uncovered when a local shepherd led his flocks through their hidden bivouac. The team quickly moved out as soon as they were discovered but as luck would have it the nearby Taliban moved quickly and cornered the two Marines in a 19th century British fortification. The recon team were able to radio their last position and approximated troops strengths and locations of the opposing forces before contact was lost. Response time for the Black Hawk extraction flight was approximately 55 minutes. It transpired that NATO HQ was able to confirm the presence of a nearby French Foreign Legion patrol. The Legion responded that their ETA to the sniper team was less than 30 minutes and quickly deployed for action.

The Table at turn 3: With the Taliban in various firing positions. In the immediate foreground the old fort where the sniper team were holed up. The first Legion patrol is visible at the far end of the table behind the ruined vehicle. The second patrol is to the far right corner moving along a stone wall. It was here that the patrol caught a Taliban cell in the open and wiped it out.



This was one of the most close fought and gritty actions that I have fought using Force on Force. The Taliban, commanded by yours truly,  were all irregular local insurgents against two 5 man Legion squads and a US Marine recon sniper team. The coalition had the initiative and the Legion had one free move before they were detected. In a quirk of fate the first Legion squad, commanded by John, moved into a good firing position, opened fire, failed to hit anything and then found that the return fire caused a serious wound casualty. This would play a very important part later in the game as the Legion refuses to leave its men behind and his comrades had to carry him the length of the table to the fort from where they could be extracted.
The Sniper team jump to the ramparts and take up firing position on the parapet.



The second squad commanded by Nick, my son, clearly had taken all the Legion's baraka, or luck, as it moved out into the open, advanced in the open and blasted a Taliban cell into oblivion, not one man left standing. On the other end of the table the US sniper team went on overwatch and any of the insurgents that moved to take on the Legionnaires suddenly found themselves taking casualties.

Both Legion units moved to the right side if the table and were able to avoid the vast majority of the Taliban reinforcements that appeared on the left  side of the table.

Taliban Cell One that caused the first Legion casualty.
In a Force on Force game for the first time ever, my Dshk opened up on the  sniper team and inflicted double casualties...now considering that my Taliban were skill level d6...and Nick's snipers were skill level d10, this makes their action even more remarkable. A Cell of Taliban raced for the fort to get to the downed snipers. They foolishly exposed themselves to the rapidly advancing Legionaires and two out of the four we cut down.
In the last mad dash to get to the entrance of the fortress Nick's Legion squad ran through smoke grenades and launched themselves into the opening. It was now my turn to get really lucky and as the sniper team was down I didn't have to fear the 'death from above' and opened up with everything I had. Despite the smoke, 3 of the 5 legionnaires were hit, with one fatality and two seriously wounded. The grin on my face said it all. The two remaining legionnaires  dragged their comrades into the gateway and then fired a blast at the two insurgents who were busy dragging the prone snipers away from the wall. Both were hit and the interior of the compound was now secure. At this point the Black Hawk appeared- much earlier than expected-  and fired at the remaining insurgent groups . The DshK scored a hit, killing one of the gunners but was quickly silenced.

Legion B Squad that had bad luck and took a casualty in the first turn of the game that slowed the patrol down for the rest of the game as they had a seriously wounded Legionnaire.


As the chopper hovered just over the fortifications the Legion loaded their dead and wounded and reached  the sniper's nest. Now under Force on Force you must roll a first aid test at the beginning of each turn. 1 indicates dead, 2 or 3 indicates serious wound, 4 or 5 indicate slight wound and 6 means that the figure is okay.
Nick rolled snake eyes.
Ouch.
Two dead snipers.
With three dead men  (a Legionnaire and the two snipers), three seriously wounded Legionnaires, and a slightly damaged chopper it would appeared the Coalition forces had been given an 'ass whoopin'......but on point count back they won by the narrowest of margins..and with over 30 insurgents dead there was nothing left to do but pack up!

A Dshk 14.7mm had taken up a firing position in a small courtyard. The sniper team can be seen in the top left of the photo in the old fort. More Taliban are advancing towards the gate.


Taliban in firing positions.

The Taliban get into the fort and take shots at the snipers- only to be cut down by the quickly arriving Legion patrols.


Crunch time! Legion A Patrol  throw smoke grenades and make a dash for the fort gateway- just in time to cut down the few intruding Taliban and ensure that the two snipers (assumed wounded at this stage) were not taken captive.







The Black Hawk door gunner fires on the advancing Taliban.

The Black Hawk hovers over the fort waiting for the last Legion squad to arrive.








11 comments:

  1. Fabulous pictures and wonderful terrain! Great work!
    Phil.

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    1. Thank you Phil! Some of the buildings are really old but still hold their own.

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  2. Hi John, that's a nice looking table and great AAR. I have been tempted by your Foreign Legion for a while and the current Mali situation offers countless possibilities. I think you had a reasonable result with the Legion. Every account of FFL battles I have read end up with them running out of ammunition, fixing bayonets and dying to the last man! Aye, Rusty

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    1. Thanks Rusty! The situation in Mali has got me thinking too....and as for their last stands...it may end up happening in one of our games!

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  3. What a great looking game! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Great AAR! Who makes that Blackhawk helo?

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    1. Hi there, it's a Forces of Valor 1/48th Scale Diecast.- all metal- a nice model

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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