30 Jan 2016

Evergreen Fields: The rebels introduce themselves - AAR1

Downtown Evergreen, Evergreen Fields.
March, 2016.

As part of the International Intervention Force (IIF) a small contingent of Slovenes was sent to the island. After the contingent established a base just outside the capital, they started patrolling the streets to assess the security situation, get used to their new lives and to make them known to the local population.

SAF force size: A convoy of two humvees, armed with HMGs. Each carries one fire-team.

Enemy size: Contact not expected. Evergreen is firmly in governmental hands.
(But there are 4 groups of untrained militia, armed with AKs and an RPG) with an IED and a PK team.)

[Patrol has to follow main road through Evergreen. Unknown to the patrol, rebels have infiltrated this neighbourhood and are setting up an ambush. There are three IED markers on the road. On a roll of 1-2 the marker is real. If first one is fake, roll of 1-3 makes it real and so on. If it blows, it blows. If  SAF troops manage to spot it, an IED team has to be called in. Ambushing troops will start their attack when the real IED detonates or based on a roll while patrol waits for the IED team]

As soon as the patrol entered the ambush zone, the gunner in the lead Humvee spotted something on the road, but it turns out it was only a pothole.

Moving on, gunner in the lead humvee spotted something again, but it turned to be false alarm again - we are deep in the friendly territory, after all.

Losing his edge after two false alarms, team in the lead Humvee failed to spot the real IED that detonated when they came close! While Humvee's armour is nothing to brag about, luckily, the vehicle only lost its mobility. The passengers were shook up, but other than that, nobody got hurt.

They got to their senses very fast. They had to call in someone to come pick them up and secure the area. The team in lead humvee disembarked, leaving a rifleman in the position of a HMG gunner on the vehicle and after slightly reparking their vehicle, second team did the same.

Meanwhile, the ambush has started, but only one rebel team, armed with six rifles, managed to get in contact and suppressed Team2's SAW gunner and the designated marksman!

Due to incoming fire, Team2 was unable react afterwards, while Team1 kept scanning their sector.

The incoming fire from the rebel team, now safe behind house walls, however, intensified and resulted in two more hits on the Team2. Gunner in Humvee was luckily just lightly wounded and would continue to fight, but the SAW gunner was in need of immediate medical attention and evacuation. SAF's return fire was less than accurate, but they did succeed in hitting one.
Patrol leader has called in for QRF, but unfortunately there can be no air support due to civilian casualties that it would cause!

The success made the rebels even more daring and they even hauled in a PK team in an immediate vicinity of the Team2, while a group of riflemen, lead by the notorious Yellow jacket started moving in from the north-east.

 As if things weren't bad enough for Team2, a foreign fighter squad, armed with a RPG (the only one the ambushing forces have!) has started moving in from North-West!

The rebels, realising their advantages, pressed forward! Again the group in the house fired at Team2, but this time the hit they did was saved by armour. The return fire of Team2's HMG and designated marksman was, however, deadly and resulted in four dead.

The foreign fighters team moved up and took cover behind the small wall. They managed to put two rifles and an RPG in the LOS of their targets and fired at Team2. The RPG gunner aimed for the humvee and hit it. Lightly armoured vehicle had no chance against a direct hit and gunner had to bail. Luckily, he made it out in time and, cooperating with the designated marksman, returned fire. They managed to hit and suppress the gunner!

The Man in Yellow's group decided to rest a bit longer and 4th group of rebels still didn't make it to the scene!
Luckily for ambushed soldiers, a squad arrived in their support and with them, a medic that was desperately needed!

After the arrival of QRF, things have changed a bit for the ambushing rebels. 

Concerned with the questions of life and death, the lone survivor of the group in house started  to flee. With the SAF troops infront and behind them, foreign fighters stopped to rethink the situation, too. PK team was no different, still suppressed, they didn't do much.

Yellow jacket did not stand idle. He moved his group forward and managed to find a good firing position for 4 rifles. They've hit a SAW gunner (everyone targets those!), but failed to do any damage. Team1 was watching their sectors closely and a fire from the mounted .50 cal, SAW and 40mm grenades resulted in one rebel  suppressed and one killed on the spot.
By now, the last ambushing group managed to reach the scene as well and they, too spawned up north.

Team1 came back with the vengence and after slightly repositioning of the patrol leader, they opened fire, that resulted in 2 dead.
Team2, still affected by the shock, did not do much but wait and try to regroup.

QRF's Team3 and Team4  also took some time to rethink the situation. Experiencing the first real fire fight was heavy on their nerves.

Few moments later, ambushed teams, Team1 and 2 are still not acting, but QRF's leader and his Team3 moved in to regroup with ambushed team and stabilise the hit SAW gunner. Moving his team's SAW and grenadier to the corner of the house, they opened fire at the rebel group out in the open that was planning on closing in with Team2 and beating it in a close combat! Unfortunately, their fire served little more than making noise. Who  gave them these peashooters!?
Team4 did little better and still sat in cover.

Rebellion's sole survivor, this time enraged by the loss of his friends, turned back and took the fight to the enemy. Running back towards Team4, he took cover behind a car and threw a grenade infront of Team4 leader! Luckily for the Slovenes, his hands were shaking of adrenaline and he missed. Unlucky for him - they didn't miss.

Afraid that they might get outflanked, foreign fighters group took cover behind yard walls and divided its fire between Team2 on the road and Team3 lurking around the corner. Foreign fighters have a fearsome reputation - and for a good reason! They scored two hits on Team2, but they had no effect in the end. Against Team3, they scored three hits - two on SAW gunner and one on the grenadier. Their vests proved useless and if the grenadier was lucky enough to just be lightly wounded, SAW gunner was hit too bad even for the team's medic to help him.

Rebel HMG team gathered courage again and fired a burst, scoring two hits. One for no effect on the marksman and the other as a light wound on the Team2's rifleman. This time, Team2's return fire resulted in assistant gunner being suppressed.

Rebel group just next to HMG team was apparently startled by the inaccurate fire of Team3 enough to wait a bit with their advance.

Yellow jacket's group, horrified by the SAF fire, hunkered down in their cover, too.

Being a bit more optimistic after the arrival of QRF, Team1 opened fire at Yellow jacket again, to try and carry the initiative and end the battle. Their fire completely erased the enemy.
Team 2 failed to regroup and remained in their position without trying to obtain a fire superiority or pretty much do anything else.

After  losing their SAW gunner, Team3 rearranged their position a bit and fired at the same target again, this time with a grenadier and the team leader, while medic remained in cover. They barely managed to suppress one of the rebels and hopefully delay the assault for some more time!

Shocked by their first contact, Team 4 stopped to regroup.

Having lost two whole groups, rebels were a bit tense. They were desperate for at least some prisoners, if not a full blown victory! Their HMG team, however, did not plan on playing part in that plan just yet. Blood thirsty foreign fighters were more zealous and moved in towards the assault. Firing on the go, they scored two hits, that both ended in KIA! With team leader and rifleman dead and marksman suppressed, badly injured SAW gunner did his best to stop the incoming assualt. Due to his injuries, he was unable to put down accurate fire and didn't hit anyone.
[While rules specifically state that ISAF troops have grenades, it doesnt say so for the Taliban. As these are just random militia, I decided against it.]

Rebel group at the building did not move, even by the remarkable show of courage by the foreigners.

SAF Team1, seeing the danger that Team2 was in, turned around and engaged the incoming foreigner fighters. Hitting them with grenades, SAW and HMG fire, they managed to kill 4 and suppress one fighter, stopping the assault dead in its tracks. Adding salt to the wound, Team3 managed to score another kill on the foreign fighters' group, reducing it to a sole survivor.

Team4 finally pressed forward and opened fire on the last remaining large rebel group. Firing very far, they scored 2 hits, downing two rebels.

Foreign fighter's lone survivor was determined to carry on with the assault and continued closing in with the remained of the Team2, but failed to do anything else. The rest of the rebels, shaken by seeing the elite foreigners [they were no different than anyone else game rules wise in this game], they needed some time to regroup.

Foreigner now moved even closer to the suppressed marksman of Team2 and engaged in close combat. The fight didn't last long before the suppressed and disoriented marksman fell to the attacker.

Even with the success of the  foreign fighter, the HMG team refused to take any part in the  fight. Rebel group, now down to two thirds of its starting size, however, moved in to join in the  assault.
Taking no interest in the badly wounded SAW gunner, they opened fire on Team1 that was right in front of them. They suppressed the team leader and in return, suffered 2 dead and one suppressed.

Still, the fire was fierce enough to prevent Team1 from taking the initiative and proceed with the assault of their own. Desperate to save what can be saved, SAW gunner of Team2 opened fire with his minigun again, scoring one hit. Team3 and 4 did not react.

The foreign fighter didn't however, and continued with his assault, this time against Team1. The fight ended in a draw. Lone survivor of the once mighty rebel group has hit the dirt and didn't move.

Rebel HMG team, now desperate to make a contribution, fired a burst in the melee. They failed to hit anyone.
[There are no rules for shooting in melee, so I just randomly allocated hits between SAF and the rebel]

The melee continued without result, so the Team1 SAW gunner moved in to help, while gunner in Humvee opened up at the other rebel. Melee was still ongoing, but fire from the HMG was accurate enough to down the last rebel in the group that joined the fight last.

Team3 ran towards the HMG to engage it and Team4 just stood there once again.

Rebel HMG opened fire again and hit one of the Slovenes, grazing him.

Finally, the melee was won by SAF troops and foreign fighter was downed.

Team1 abandoned the immobilised humvee and took cover by the destroyed one to open fire at Rebel HMG team, destroying it and with it, the ambush force.

Post-game thoughts:

In their first encounter of the Evergreen Fields campaign, SAF suffered four killed in action, one heavily wounded and some light casualties. They also lost two humvees!

Rebels made a great show at start and had most of the high rolls. Apart from QRF arrival (roll of 6 first round after ambush, 5+ for the rest), SAF only had high roles for injuries, losing 4 soldiers. I was genuinely concerned at start that ambushed teams won't hold out. It is a very bloody game.

I am not sure about the size of my QRF, it doubled the amount of Slovenes on the table. On the other hand, anything else would be just too small in size. I wish I had an armoured transporter for QRF, as my humvees were busy. In the end I opted for foot entry.

Well, what I changed from test game is that my soldiers were just trained as opposed to veteran from the last game. This made them hit on 5+ instead of 4+ and activate on 4+. In comparison, rebels were of worst quality. Very motivated, they also activate on 4+, but they hit on 6+. They always hit on 6+, but because SAF hit on 5+ and rebels are usually in cover, they hit on 6+ as well. This means, they are there-there by quality and I had 8 guys against 24 + a machine gun team.

I cheated a bit  and forgot to give rebels a chance to be suppressed instead of killed in first hitting session, but I redeemed myself when HMG team was hit!

I think I kept forgetting that activated teams do NOT return fire, which is something I should work on.

Using casualty chart only for SAF helps with micromanaging, but it might be slightly unfair that a downed SAF can come back as lightly injured guy without any pentaly. Perhaps a -1 to experience would help (so he'd hit on 6 instead of 5 etc). The problem is, I'd probably keep forgetting about it!
Another option is, light casualties, if a casualty again, would suffer a +1 modifier, to up their chances of becoming a higher tier casualty after the initial light wound. It took me a long time to see a heavy casualty can actually operate, but at -2 - so my SAW gunner could fire his weapon.  I used this when I remembered about it.

With Slovenes, I had no luck as far as Team2 goes. I needed a roll of 6  to activate and remove suppression tokens (4+ and 2 for each suppressed, then 5 but even that didn't help). My worst mistake was presuming 1 foreign fighter is not a threat. By letting him live I did remove some of the fighters in the larger group, but didn't stop the bloody assault.

All in all, I think I will stick with FUBAR instead of Breaking news. I considered both sets for this game, but as I have to re-learn rules every time I play, I simply went with the shorter ones. The only thing I have trouble getting used to is how RPG is basically same as a machine gun (3 dice to hit), and there is nothing to differentiate one from another. Which isn't necessarily bad, if you consider the weight of fire and all. How different can things be, using D6, after all?

Thanks for reading,

13 Jan 2016

Evergreen Fields: International Intervention Force arrives at the island.

Evergreen Fields, once lush island resort for the tourist from all over the World had a turn for the worse.

Unsatisfied by the actions of the elected government, an opposition party "Evergreen now!" staged a coup. It went wrong and two years later, the island's population is divided.

Being a peaceful place, Evergreen Fields did not have any armed forces. Grabbing any weapons they could,  the forces on both sides are mostly equipped with 20-30 years old equipment. Uniformed armies of both sides are, at some places, supported by local militias.

Evergreen Fields president, one Gideon Morrison has so far managed to keep the control of Evergreen, island's capital and some larger coastland cities. Inland and in parts of the coastline, Evergreen Now! party is in control.

Finally, after two years of considerations, the UN have decided to send a mission to Evergreen. Comprised of several nations, the mission's task is to support the government in regaining control of whole of the Island's territory and to aid in disarming of the rebels to make sure the islanders can start living to their full potential again.

The mission was named International Intervention Force (IIF). First troops to arrive were those of United Kingdom and a Multinational task force of Hungary, Italy and Slovenia. 

The scenario is set as openly as possible, to let me introduce new nations should I wish to do so. Don't hold your breath for it, however. As I am not really a fiction writer and every blog needs photos, here is what you can expect to see in in future. Apart from bragging, this collection helps me see just how far I've really came with my moderns, as all I see are things that still have to be done.

I will be using Slovenes I have been working so hard on. For those, that joined the blog at a later date, they are all conversions of Empress Miniatures' Americans. If you would like to know more about the process, see this link (scroll to older posts as I am not too conservative with the tag). Thanks again to Grekwood miniatures, Project Zeke miniatures and Ebob miniatures for all the help involved!

L to R: Rifleman, armed with F2000S; another one, also carrying RGW-90; SAW gunner with Minimi para.
L to R: a medic; vehicle crewman (converted from Empress Apache pilot crew), bomb technician (slight helmet conversion only).
 A very long time ago (time flies!) I converted some Poundland Hummers into SAF humvees. See here for the posts about the conversion work.
SAF Humvees, poundland vehicles conversion.
Unfortunately, I do not have any armoured transporters for the Slovenes, but I have a Zengdefu T-90,  that will be a stand in for both sides as a generic main battle tank.

 The rebel forces were converted from Wargames factory male survivors. Some worked better than others, but in general, I am quite satisfied. See this link for conversion work (again, scroll through posts to find them).

L to R: RPK gunner; another one; "RPG gunner" armed with a RB M-57. Sculpted from scratch, I only made one. The rest are armed with RPGs from female survivor sets (Thanks Carl and Colgar6!).

To give them some mobile firepower, I started working on technicals a while ago, but I didn't came anywhere with them since. Perhaps starting a campaing will give me the boost needed to make at least something of them.

Awful vehicles, but they should work fine.
Governmental forces will, at least for the time being, be represented by a conversion of Warlord's WW2 Marines. More about them here.

As for the armed branch of Evergreen Now! party, they will be represented by Under fire miniatures' East Germans (thanks Pete and Bill!). They might seem a bit out of place for a campaign set in today, but I would really like to use them. More on them here.
L to R: PK gunner; rifleman; RPG gunner.
While playing, I found my board pretty dull with the absence of civilians. To make use of what I have at hand (and to make me want to play some zombie games - unrelated to campaign!), I will be using zombies. Some of the Studio miniatures zombies were converted in actual persons (see different basing), but I only have 3 so far.

L to R: Studio miniatures Reporter conversion (note the camera!); Wargames factory Soldier conversion (not the helmet!); Studio miniaures zombie converted to a rebellious civilian.

Additionally, kicking off the campain made me sculpt again! I used old Ebob dollies and turned them from a failed SAF infantry project into something useful. Needless to say, I am not satisfied with the end results, but practice makes perfect.

L to R: two half done dollies before project was scraped and I used Empress miniatures for the basis of my infantry; dolly turned into an unarmed interpreter; field reporter, needs beefing up and a camera or 3.

I have also started working on a long-planned idea of a wounded Slovene. It is based on Studio miniatures torso and needs a lot of work. It also comes with a twist!

Torso on stretchers. I dread the idea of sculpting his boots.
It fits on a humvee!

 Lastly, a photo of a project on hold:

Top to bottom: F2000S with an UGL; Empress M4; sniper to be; another sniper; .50 cal to be; Automatic Grenade Launcher to be. They probably won't see the light of the day.

I will  be making up scenarios and happenings as I go. I can not promise too much, but I have already played one game. I will post it in a few days, as I have to trim down the text a bit.

Thanks for looking,