Defending the British Harriers in 1987 Germany
Modern Warfare AAR supplied by Umpire Andy .
The scenario pits a couple of squads of elite Russian Spetsnaz troops in a stealthy attack on a British Harrier GR3 base located within the forests of West Germany in a fictional 1987 WW3 setting. Two harriers have recently landed and are in their ‘hides’ surrounded by guards, ground personnel and crew. 8 turns with the Russians looking to destroy Harriers, pilots, Fuel storage and personnel. The Brits need to evacuate the Harriers and kill Russians.
Phil played the Spetsnaz with Mike and Alex controlling the British. The British were allowed to set up their hide guards and place their 2 Harriers (4 hides but only 2 Harriers). Nearby were the pilots, as well as the Squadron Leader and the Quartermaster, both of whom were able to arm any unarmed personnel.
Phil set up his two squads on opposite sides of the board along with a 2 man command team and a 2 man sniper team. The board was predominantly wooded giving cover and limiting range.
The rules work on different types of dice with the better special forces rolling D10’s whilst the Brits got mostly D8’s. The ‘Universal rule’ is that a role of 4 or greater succeeds at whatever you are attempting to do with opposed die rolls being required for many things (including combat). Better die types should mean greater chance of success. One side has the initiative – usually dictated by the scenario but can be rolled for. The initiative side activates a unit, the non-initiative side can react with unit(s) in LOS. Initiative units can be put on Opportunity fire at the beginning of the term allowing them to react to reacting units. They also react to any non-initiative unit which can be activated at the end of the term if they haven’t already reacted.
Phil started with the first unit – stealthy, armed with suppressed weapons and masters of close assault – attempting to move up to a British guard unit with the intention of wiping them out silently and completing their infiltration to destroy the parked hangers. Mike could only spot as his reaction (scenario rules dictated the Brits could do nothing but spot until the Russians did something to raise the alarm. In the Opposed die roll between the Russians and the Brits Phil obviously lost meaning all surprise was lost and the Brits were free to react as they pleased.
Unperturbed, the Russians managed to overpower that part of the perimeter and destroy a Harrier by close assaulting it with the squad whilst providing supporting cover fire from it’s attached LMG team and RPG team. Meanwhile, Mike and Alex responded by activating their guard units to spot and fire at the oncoming Russians whilst the unarmed ground crew made a dash for the quartermaster stores to get tooled up. The other Russian squad was slightly more successful in infiltrating the opposite perimeter and managed to assault and destroy the fuel dump. The British guards were able to take out the Russian LMG team covering this unit who decided that discretion was the better part o valor and withdrew. The Russian snipe team got caught between two British MG nests and, after attempting unsuccessfully to shoot the pilots who were trying to make their way to the parked Harriers, turned their attention to one of the MG nests. They took him out and also decided to bug out.
British reinforcements now turned up including a dog handling team, and Scimitar and APC and a two squads in Land Rovers. The remaining Russians decided to bug out rather that face the ever increasing odds against them but not before totaling a Land Rover and it’s squad racing in to see what all the noise was about.
VP’s in the end went to the Brits as they were able to evacuate one of the Harriers and both pilots were ‘safe’. Whilst the Russians had been partially successful, it wasn’t enough to win.
As rules go Force on Force are okay but a real problem to read and understand. They are not overly complicated but are badly laid out and don’t follow any logical patters. They concept of action and reaction is good and keeps all sides involved at all times. The different die types SHOULD mean the better troops act accordingly but obviously don’t take into account certain infamously poor die rolling experts as we have amongst us.
The game was relatively bloodless although I expect that that was as much due to the cover and the way the game panned out than anything else. Got the general impression that the rules weren’t hugely popular although, like all our rule sets, we need to play them a few times to get the best out of them. I am reserving judgment. I plan to re run the scenario to see how it would play differently with more ‘average’ die rolls. Would also like to play the same scenario with James and Bruce before turning to a Vietnam scenario I have ready.