26 October 2023

The Grumble Hunt - Part 2 - The Game

Well it took a little longer than I expected to be able to finally write up how the game went.  As an added bonus though, I can now also let you know what happened when I ran this at NATCON last weekend.  Both games feel like a long time ago though...

Anyway - the players could set up anywhere on the board, at least 6" back from any Soviet troops or vehicles.  This was their approximate set-up.

As you can see they kept to their original teams and weapons load-outs.  They generally started just over 4" from the paddock edge, well hidden in the scrubland.  They players waited about 3 or 4 turns waiting for the patrolling sentries to get to just the right point.

Here's a few shots of the sentries and motor rifle patrols and MPs
This shot mainly shows the MP "road block".
An overhead shot showing various sentries and patrolling motor rifle troops.  You can see here how difficult it is to take out a sentry or patrol without someone else seeing what just happened.
More of the same
Close up of one of the SAM technicians who drew the lucky straw to guard a TEL this evening/morning.
A lone sentry near the site survey vehicle and back door to the main house.
A long range shot of the sentry at the front of the house and the MP unit on the E6 highway.
2 Motor Rifle troops on patrol near a ZSU-23-4.  These chaps would provide the first real headache for the Special Forces.
Another long range shot, with SAS chaps lurking in the foreground while off in the distance near the barn you can see 2 Motor Rifle troops and you can just see a sentry near one of the dumb TELs.
Final "Sentry Shot" is of a sentry, just before he gets shot!

It all kicked off on the Royal Marine M&AWC side of the paddock, when "Tazzer" attempted to silently take out the 2 Motor Rifle troops (Yuri & Ivan obviously) walking towards him from the ZSU-23-4 pictured above.  Despite complete surprise with his MP5SD, he only managed to take down Yuri, so Ivan immediately fired back - in the general direction of the scrubland, as he couldn't really see where the shots had come from.  The alarm was raised on the first real turn of the SF attempting to do anything.  Not a great start...

Tazzer's squad went into action and started laying down fire, taking down Ivan and killing the sentry who had been guarding the Smart TEL.  As other sentries and patrolling Motor Rifle troops started to react, "Stinky" the sniper also began to fire.  He took down 2 more patrolling troops without breaking a sweat.  Silent but deadly!

Sven grabbed a grenade and started to stalk towards the northernmost ZSU-23-4.  It kicked into life and it's turret started to swing towards where all the shooting was taking place. 
You can see the sentry and motor rifle patrol taken out in the distance

Discretion proved the better part of valour, and Sven stepped back into the scrubland, waiting for a better moment.  "Baz" however, decided it was time to intervene, and picking up his one 66, fired the rocket into the side of the ZSU - knocking it out spectacularly.

Stinky and Baz looking on at what they have just done.
Sven - "I could've done that if they gave me a rocket!"

Meanwhile on the SAS side of the table, the lads carefully and quietly went about their business of taking out the sentries near their dumb TEL targets and began to lay charges on them.  It was quite helpful for every Soviet in the vicinity to be looking at the other side of the field where all hell had broken loose.
Nothing to see here.  Move along...
Me?  Just checking your tyres to make sure you've got no flats!

Trying to emulate the sniper team's success the Marines fired a LAW at the other ZSU-23-4.  Another hit, but after the explosion they could see they had not knocked it out, but its 4 23mm cannons were all pointing in odd directions.  It was basically out of the game too!
We marked it with a special dice to show it's main guns were out of action.

By now the Soviets who had been in the houses working or resting, started to react and those at their duty stations in the vehicles started to pile out to fight off the intruders.  
A couple of grunts leave the barn, with the Battery Commander in the front, trying to see what is going on!

Jumping out of their vehicles didn't always go down so well...

Nor did forming into small isolated teams to take on the Special Forces...
Here some Soviets stumble across the SAS team.  Guess who this ended badly for!

The  BTR-70 crew started up their AFV and manoeuvred to enter the fight.  This earnt them a LAW in the turret which also knocked out their main gun.  The MP's jumped into their UAZ-469, leaving their radio man to contact the QRF and headed into action.
The MPs managed to spot the SAS near the first dumb TEL, but the SAS were quicker to react and "Boss" started popping grenade rounds into them, taking out several.

More Soviets started to hear towards the gunfire
and more
and more

The gunfight between "Boss" and the MPs plus more and more Soviet techs and drivers continues with Sven joining in from long range.  

Some Soviets started to close in on the Marines, who had maintained a steady stream of fire up until this point.  Here NATO forces suffered their first casualty.  "Lobster" took a round from somewhere and went down in a heap.  It was time to relocate, so a couple of smoke grenades got lobbed directly in front of their position and "Florry" checked out "Lobster".  He was dead.  Must have been a round from the QRF BTR's 14.5mm heavy machinegun.  A quick morale check showed that no-one on the team had really liked "Lobster" all that much, so they were happy to carry on and leave his body to the Soviets!  Along with the demo charges set on the Smart TEL that is.
What had been a little bit of a British (and Sven) Turkey Shoot for a while there (although they did get a bit stressed from time to time), had now taken a rather negative turn in the Soviet's favour.  It was time to get serious.
You can see the 2 smoke grenades have gone off just in front of the Marine's position near the smart TEL.  Soviet troops heading off in a flanking manoeuvre are in the foreground. 

And they were now serious, the Special Forces first put a LAW into their primary target - the radar vehicle.  The rocket hit the compartment that housed the crew stations and all the really quite important electronics.  They followed that up by catastrophically destroying the Air Defence Command Post, taking out a couple of the soldiers hiding behind it.

Somehow by this point they also managed to knockout the original BTR-70 they had damaged earlier in the action
You can see it burning centre stage.
And here they have also knocked out a second BTR-70.  So much for the Soviet comeback.

Hang on - what was I saying????

Best random event ever - 2 Mi-24 Hind-D helicopters turn up.  As a random event the helo's were just meant to over-fly the SAM site on their way to somewhere else way more important.  It was meant to be a distraction, so all the guards would look up at them, while the Special Forces snuck about a wee bit more actively for one turn.  However, this had the helo's turn up during the more kinetic part of the mission - in time to see lots of Soviet kit leaping into the air - so I thought it best to give the pilots the opportunity to become involved.

They ended up making 2 passes before the game ended.  On their first attempt neither Hind managed to spot the Special Forces, much to their relief.  They were already on their way off the board and decided that shooting at the helo's would just annoy them more, so why bother.  Keep running and press the remote detonators!

As the two dumb TELs go up, one of the Hinds manages to get a bead on the SAS Team, who are right on the table edge.  A burst of fire and "Boss" goes down.  A quick check and alas he too is dead.  Two casualties in the whole mission and both of them dead.

The NATO forces withdraw from the battlefield.  It will be difficult for them to get back to their helicopter with a couple of Hinds hunting them - but that's another story for another day.

Here's a look at the battlefield from above at the end of the game

And from the sniper team's point-of-view

Although the Smart TEL looks intact, it does have a timed charge on it set to go off just as the air raid comes in.

By my calculations NATO gets 55 victory points and the Soviets get about 32 vps.  So that's a pretty clear victory to NATO.

Interestingly we played the exact same mission at NATCON and although at one point I was thinking NATO has this in the bag, by the end of the game I had captured/killed every one of the Special Forces bar 2 Royal Marines who escaped.  The Soviets got no helo assistance, but managed to overwhelm the spread out Brits one unit at a time.  Each time a Spec Ops trooper went down no-one could get to him to do a First Aid Check, so their firepower just kept getting lower and lower.  When there is a lot of fire coming at you, even if you are using a D12, one bad roll and its all over. 

So that's it for my trip down memory lane playing Force on Force.

I actually have a game of BG: Cold War coming up soon, so I'll be doing another AAR for that when the time comes.  And more besides I hope in between.

Chat to you all soon


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