In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Pulling it out of my ass

"Welcome to the Panjwayi, where the rules are made up and the die rolls don't matter!"

I ran my Afghanistan game twice at Hotlead. Of course committing to a game when you aren't sure what rules to use is not a good idea. But with FUBAR and Black Ops as a basis and some ideas from Chain of Command (3 activations per unit per turn, d6 to move) I had a one page outline to work with. The rest would be role play and free kreigspiel as the players ran parts of the Canadian team (a reinforced platoon) against me, who was both the Taliban and Call Sign 0 (Battle Group HQ).

Me on the right trying to think 
To be honest, setting out my game was mainly an exercise in showing off. And I took some pleasure in guys who had been there saying it looked really good.

Saturday night layout
For the scenario I went with the searching the village for a bomb factory that I had played earlier with the Mad Padre and Patrick. The village layout changed and I gave the Canadians more assets to accommodate more players. Perhaps too many assets, as the Coyote patrol and the Leopard added a considerable amount of firepower!

Interestingly enough, in the first game, the players took more hits, but also achieved more success. An ANA fireteam had gotten shot up and were moved to a casualty collection point behind the HQ LAV. Nobody swept the pot field or established a perimeter. So I snuck a cell in the pot field over and opened up, putting an RPG into the open back of the LAV! The Lt. was wounded and the signaller was killed and several ANA were killed. But meanwhile they had taken 10 prisoners, found the bomb factory (my suicide bombers sallied out to no effect) and they captured a mid-level commander whom I had forgotten to move before his compound was surrounded by LAVs and troops!

In an example of pure role play, they were taking fire from a grape hut and naturally the rifle and 25mm fire was having little effect. So they rolled up the Leopard and on it's next turn it used all three activations to fire HE into the structure. All the Taliban inside were quite thoroughly dead, but I didn't tell them and kept dropping wound and suppression markers inside as they kept up the small arms fire until they cautiously crept some ANA up. "I want to spot inside" Rolls a '2'. "There's too much dust and smoke you don't see anything." Again. A '2' with the same result. Finally he throws in a grenade and storms in to find gore smeared rubble.

Friday night, firefight with grape hut on right of pic
The second game featured the Canadians using the ANA up front as ablative armour. They also totally neglected to spot for IEDs or even ask what my IED markers beside the road meant. So considerable panic ensued when 7 of them detonated at once! Little damage caused, but got them thinking. But then my Taliban HMG opened up from the roof of the bomb factory and the Lt. called in for support. I rolled as CS 0 and got a '6'. Support on the way. But what? Rolled a '3'.

Second game, RPGs and IEDs going off everywhere
Earlier, the player playing the Lt. had talked about his time in Afghanistan with a training mission and he mentioned the desired mix of air support. Apparently with Dutch F-16s, British Apaches and American A-10s overhead you can get whatever you want on the target. So with the '3' I decided a British Apache was inbound.... roll a die... one turn out. (and  here's me without my Apache model done yet!).

Engineer bison takes a mobility kill from an RPG in the pot field
So the players held back and the Lt. said "Make that building disappear." I had him roll 20 dice at a time (I figured 10 per missile, 2 missiles per activation), then rolled a die myself as I pondered the results. By the second salvo I figured the building was destroyed and the munitions inside were causing secondary explosions. I told them they could see a lot of unarmed fighting aged males running through the grape fields to the south and smoke was coming from another compound where they'd find the remains of a destroyed and abandoned mid-level HQ.

Game over!
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, so mission accomplished. But maybe I should add a second page of rule notes for indirect and air support and anti-tank fire....


  1. Kudos! The game looked great!


  2. Lovely looking set up. As long as you run a game with confidence the rules are secondary, if everyone had a good time it was a job well done.



  3. Great report and lovely looking table.
    Wish I could have been there to play a round or too.
    When I was in Afghanistan we had a similar issue to the part where 50s, 240s and rifle fire where just not cutting it when we where trying to take out an IED cell.
    But after putting tons of fire and some 40mk rounds threw the winds we had them sorted out.
    Problem was getting the ANA to actually go and check out to see in the building was clear.
    So we kept shooting it up every few mins just to keep any ones heads down that might still be inside.

  4. I'm sorry I missed out on the game this year. I hope you run something like it again soon.

    And a big thanks to you and Mrs. R.I.M.B. for putting on another amazing weekend. Hot Lead really is the highlight of my gaming year. I'm sure that's true for a lot of other gaming folks too.

    1. Thanks Matthew!
      I might, I had a few people say they'd gotten skunked on the sign up.
      It was good seeing you and Konrad.

  5. I wonder if there is any way to prevent the NATO players from using the ANA as expendable recce drones. Perhaps assign them some VP losses for each ANA killed or wounded, even though it should hurt them more to lose NATO assets.

    1. Probably the best way.
      But the players in the second game were so pleased to blow the objective any stern talk about unnecessary casualties among the ANA would've been ignored.

  6. Speaking of drones, have you considered giving the NATO players a drone as one of their support options? Even if it was just notionally flying around at 1000 feet and giving them an extra chance to spot concealed Talib elements?

    1. That would be another page of notes.
      I didn't give the players options to pick from this time.
      With fewer players perhaps letting them choose from the kit and splitting ANSF elements among the sections would be good.