A first try at 5core Skirmish (3rd Edition).

I, like most wargamers I think, am never 100% fully satisfied with any given rule set and so I go through stages of tweaking bits, rewriting others or adding bits in. Also I’m always keen to try a new set of rules to see if the grass is greener on the other side. The obvious answer would be to write my own set but that is always easier said than done.

Given how much I and the others have enjoyed playing Nordic Weasel’s 5core Brigade Commander rules in 6mm I decided to pick up one of their skirmish sets from Wargames Vault and give it a go.

I grabbed what was handy fromthe shed and Brian and I had a quick run through of the rules. I set up a 4 by 4 table (I’ll say here that we played with all measurements doubled) to look a bit like Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). The light green patches were  bits of scrub, mid green defined the edge of woods.

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Brian got 2 four man teams of RLI each with 3 FN FALs and 1 FN MAG:

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Whereas I got 10 assorted ZANLA (5 AK, 2 SKS, 2 PPSh, 1 RPD), all of the figures were from Under Fire Miniatures.

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My ZANLA move up the left flank.

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Whilst others advance into the kraal.

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The RLI move into position at the edge of the woods, this was just before we found out how powerfully an FN MAG is.

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We used a lot of counters (Green= hidden, Orange= fired, White= Panic, Red= Knocked Down, blood splat= out of action) I know that is not to all gamer’s tastes but for me function follows form if it for the sake of game play.

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RLI advancing through the scrub on the ZANLA right flank.

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In my last two turns I managed to combine a scurry followed by a fire fight; I got my men into position weathered the return fire then was in a good place to shoot. I took a few casualties (4 out of the fight) but I gave the RLI a bloody nose (2 out of the fight) which historically they would have found hard to countenance.

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First impression on the game were overwhelmingly positive from both of us- clear rules and it played nice and quickly too, ideal for a mid- week evening. The mechanisms are very similar to the brigade level game but feel right for a smaller level of play. Having three reserve activation dice to use throughout the game is a nice feature, standing in for the asset cards in Brigade Commander. The RLI didn’t do as well as they should have, even with the tactical advantage, but if we re run the scenario I’ll add in some skills to boost their performance. I wanted to keep things simple for a first run through.

The only two minor quibbles would be how to have assault and bolt action rifles on the table at the same time. We decided to just treat the AKs and FN FALs as infantry rifles and the SKS as a single shot rifle to provide some differentiation.

Also I’d have like to see some rules for medics too – but that can be easily house ruled (and that takes us back to the top of the post).

I’m very taken with the set and am already planning future games as well as tie ins with our 6mm Cold Wars games in a mini campaign.

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

Some Bush War figures.

I’ve been painting up some of the various figures  from Under Fire Miniatures for African bush wars and I thought I’d share them with you.

First up: two groups of  assorted Rhodesian African Rifles.

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Moving geographically westwards and forwards chronologically I’ve done some South African infantry with the later helmet and webbing. They should be good for games set around the time of the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale.

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Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

Assorted vehicles and terrain bits.

I’ve got these finally finished off since the new year (I’ll also do a looking forward/ looking backward post tomorrow) so I thought I’d do a big photo dump of a post to get them out there:

First up- a 6mm sized ruined factory made from bit of resin I got from a private seller on the Lead Adventure Forum.

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A small house from Leven miniatures, again in 6mm.

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A barricade from S and S model scaled for 20mm. I’m tempted to give the bus some more weathering.

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A Armourfast 1/72 Valentine converted to a Bishop with an S and S aftermarket part; the short coming of the Armourfast suspension are evident in the photo more than in real life. I may yet do some remedial work on them.

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A cheak FAI 1/72 diecast repainted and decaled into a Finnish scheme.

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A trio of 1.72 Rhodesian Bush War vehicles from S and S.

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A Rhodesian SAS conversion of a Unimog,

 

 

An armoured lorry.

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Another Unimog conversion; this time a mortar carrier. I’ll add the crew at a later date.

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Three diecast 1/72 BTR60PBs.

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Firstly a simple repaint.

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One converted into a command variant BTR60PAU, conversion kit by S and S.

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Repainted with infantry seated on the outside Afghan style (they considered mines a bigger risk than snipers). Infantry by S and S again.

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Cheers,

 

Pete.

Tauregs.

Fresh from the painting bench we have this small group of 20mm Tauregs.

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They are from what was previously Force 20 miniatures, they seem to have (as of 1st July this year) changed their name to Covert Intervention Games. Either way they are available through Elhiem Figures.

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The Tauregs are an interesting tribal people who ancestral land crosses the borders of several modern African nation in the trans Sahara area. Periodically they have launched a war for self determination or at least increased right. However the latest uprising saw on of the major factions becoming allied to Al Qaeda. The French intervention in Mali Operation Serval was in part linked to the latest Taureg rebellion.

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Finding information is pretty hard on them, as much as it pains me to say it Wikipedia is as good a starts as any, it was through there I become aware of a few different scholarly articles that I got hold of that gave good info on the late 20th century Taureg Rebellions.The fall out from the Lybian civil war has left a lot of their lands in a state of perpetual low level warfare as this Vice documentary shows:

https://news.vice.com/video/libyas-quiet-war-the-tuareg-of-south-libya?utm_source=vicenewsfb

Either way my figures will be making they way on to the table top in games of Black Ops/ Chain Reaction/ Force on Force as I use gaming to try and make sense of this latest geopolitical development.

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

 

 

 

Alternative DPM and UK Militia.

I have recently finished a small batch of figures from Under Fire Miniatures. The first lot were inspired by pictures I saw of British infantry wearing blue coloured DPM, apparently they have been issued for OPFOR purposes at BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield) in Canada. As I had some spare 2010 Helmand British that were surplus to requirements I knocked up this section.

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Bill of Under Fire is in the midsts of developing a future timeline called Reiever ’25 as a setting for some civil distrubance in the UK games. The work so far can be found here:

http://www.underfireminiatures.com/page2.htm

The first new releases to support this are a pack each of armed civies for countryside and urban enviroments.

First up the Urban pack- all youthful armed with Pistol, Shotgun and MP5s:

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Then we have the countryside pack, more older gents, with the possible exception of the AWOL squaddie. They come with 2 SA80s, a Lee Enfield sniper and a hunting rifle.

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I look forward to seeing the project expanded upon and some scenarios released too.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

 

Black Ops game Report.

Over the past two weeks I ran a game of Black Ops for Brian and Evan, they took the role of the SOF troops whilst I plumpired the opposition. The first week was taking up with planning whilst in the second week we played the scenario out.

I created an 80 point force using the fanatic list and prepared the following briefing for Evan and Brian:

Target for tonight: The Bomb maker.

Coalition Briefing

Date: 2009.
Location: Afghanistan, Helmand Province.
Situation: Recent attacks on coalition troops have been shown to be the work of a new IED maker recently arrived in the area from the Pakistan tribal areas. SIGINT has pinpointed his location and a SOF raid has been authorised to remove him.
Victory Conditions: Kill the Bomb maker.
Intel/ Suspected Enemy: The bomb-maker has been using a large walled compound as his factory before moving the IEDs to the local Taliban for planting. Drone surveillance has shown that when the target is present the facility is guarded by 6-8 fighters but his group may be as 18.

Forces:

You have 80 points to spend from the Special Ops list. Decided on the forces you want, the style of attack and the time of day.

 

I also made a rough sketch map of the table I intended to use. Brian and Evan took a hour or so to make up their forces to a combined total of 80 points.

Brian went for an NCO (Ace) with a silenced PDW (fancy new SMG) who had the linguist and B+E skills and two Soldiers (Jacks) one with an Auto Shotgun, the team medic, and the final one with a suppressed Assault Rifle, who was the demolitions specialist.

Evan took and NCO (Ace) with an Assault Rifle and Under barrel grenade launcher, a Soldier (Heavy, King) with a GPMG and a Soldier (Jack) with a suppressed Designated Marksman Rifle. Given that Evan’s team was to play a supportting role he elected not to buy any skills.

Both players agreed on a night attack so equipped the entire force with Night optics.

Here we took a week’s break, waiting till the next game night to play the raid out. This gave me a some time to paint up a few extra figures we needed for the game.

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The table set up for the game. The wall was considered to be contiguous and over head height with only one gate at the top middle of this photo. The guards are arranged around the compound with the balance of the forces split between the main centre building and the double building on the right.

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Another view of the table. Both Brian and Evan’s troops entered from the right hand side amongst the hills.

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Brian’s figures enter the table.

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The random moves of the guards kept both players movement cautious.

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Basic overview of the game and each players route to the main compound.

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Both NCO’s link up before beginning to clear the first building.

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The Demolitions expert pre places a breaching charge before joining the two NCOs.

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One of the guards wonders rather close to the two NCOs. In a bit of roleplaying Brian tries to get his linguist to call out to the guard to entice him closer. It’s a good idea but the role fails. Plan B is to quickly kill him then drag him inside.

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All four figures have no entered the first building. The stealth rules are still in effect as the guards haven’t noticed that there is one missing from their number.

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One of the guards is more observant than the others and notices Evan’s NCO lurking by a window and shots are exchanged. The guards spring into action and now come under umpire control. In the intial exchanged of fire the fanatics come out very badly.

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Between the figures in the building and the DMR on the hill the guards fair badly. They do manage to get a shot on target and take down one of Brian’s soldiers. The medic stabalizes the wound but he’ll play no further part in the game. Four more fighters rush from the building to try and take out Evan’s NCO. All they do is provide so easy target practise for the GPMG. A fanatic PKM in the doorway tries to suppress the SOF troops as much as possible (the black counters) to try and help out the group of four joing the fight. Given he had no optics he could suppress the main threat which was the GPMG on the far hill.

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With all the fanatics in the courtyard either dead of cowering Brian moves his figures up to the main building and deals with the PKM gunner

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Entering the main building two more fanatics who escaped the fire of the GPMG are seen lurking in an inner courtyard, still no sign of the bomb maker mind.

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As they move to engage a burst of AK fire down’s Brian’s medic with a fatal wound. Evban’s NCO can just be seen advancing in from the bottom of the shot.

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Finally cornered in a side room the bomb maker meets his end. By this stage of the game Evan’s DMR armed Soldier has entered the compound via the pre placed demo charge.

The final score was all but one of the fanatics taken out for one killed and one wounded amongst the Coalition SOF troops.

The game went really well. so much that I am planning a follow up game from the intel collected from the compound. There are a few clarifications regarding the stealth rules that we would like but overall this first proper scenario was a great success.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.