Sunday, 14 September 2014

No End in Sight. A look at the game mechanics.

Somewhere in Afghanistan 1983.

We're scouting out a village under Mujahideen control. I have 6 men in my squad, huddled along a wall on one side of a street, with the rest of the platoon further back, spread throughout the village.

It's my turn and I activate my squad leader, roll 1D6 for his activation points. I get a 3, and I decide to move the RPK and two riflemen across the street.
We're moving outside of sight of enemies and into cover, so each soldier takes a 3” move, crossing the street.

I place a Stress marker on my squad leader to indicate he has been activated once. Now the game changes to the other side.
The Mujahideen player activates the leader of a nearby group, rolling a 4. The leader activates four of their troops, sneaking forward through cover and placing them where they can look down the street.

When activated, a soldier can both move as well as fire at a target, so they open up on my troops, firing at the group that haven't crossed the street yet.

4 irregular shooters with rifles gives him 4 points of fire power. This means 4 dice are rolled for shock, trying to score a 5 or 6 on each of the dice.
Scoring 1,2,5,5, two of my men are pinned down.

Pinned troopers:
A pinned soldier can't take any actions. An activation point has to be spent to rally them. If enemies come too close to a pinned soldier, they may fall back.

Of course, bullets tend to hurt people too though fire fights tend to inflict much fewer casualties than you might be used to in war games. With 4 fire power, the enemy gets to roll 2 dice to inflict hits, requiring a 6 to hit. The dice come up 3 and 6. Man down!
Dicing to determine the effect of the hit, my man is wounded.

In a fire fight, most gun fire is suppressive in nature. When you read about encounters taking place at range, extensive fire is exchanged but only a few casualties might occur, unless an assault takes place at close quarters.
As such, the chance of scoring casualties (especially against troops in cover) are very low. Firing at troops in cover will cause several to be pinned and continued fire may push them back, but the normal gaming tactic of annihilating troops in cover by shooting at them long enough won't work.

Any time a group is fired upon, they may be subject to a morale test. I took 2 pins and a casualty, for a total morale score of 3. Rolling 1D6 for morale, I roll a 2. Since the roll was equal or under the morale score, the group falls back a distance equal to the dice roll, in this case 2 inches.

Morale affects troops within 2” of each other. My squad is split up into two groups with about 3” apart, so the group that already crossed the street stays where they are, while the other group retreats 2”.

The Mujahideen leader gets a point of Stress and play passes back to me.

I review the situation and decide to activate my squad leader again. I can pick any leader at my disposal but I am worried that the squad will be over run if I don't push them into better positions.
Rolling for activation, I have to deduct the Stress on the leader. He has one point from earlier, so I roll 1D6 minus 1 for a total of 4 points.

I spend 2 points to recover the two soldiers that were pinned down and spend the other 2 to activate two of the soldiers that crossed the street. They're not in good positions to fire from where they are but there's a wrecked vehicle a bit further up the street.

Rushing the open ground:
Any time soldiers move in the open, while in sight of the enemy, things change. Instead of a slow, cautious advance, soldiers move by rushing a short distance, hoping to reach cover before enemy fire gets too close.

To rush open ground, I nominate my destination, which is the wrecked vehicle slightly over 3” away. I roll 1D6 for each soldier rushing, scoring a 2 and a 5.
Since a move of 5” is more than plenty, I place one guy in cover behind the vehicle. Luckily, this was the RPK gunner.
However, a 2 is not enough to get there, so the assistant moves 2 inches before being pinned down in the open. The Afghans get to roll to see if they hit him, but fail to score a 6.

* * * * *

From there, the game continues but that should give you a decent snapshot into the movement and combat mechanics of the game.

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