Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Contracting Trouble

For my inaugural post, I want to share an AAR (or BatRep) for the classic Force on Force starter scenario, Contracting Trouble.  This scenario is a very evenly balanced  and has been played and written up by a number of folks:  Donogh, Donogh redux, von Lucky, Dan, and Dave.

An SUV carrying two civilian contractors was hit by gunfire as it moved through a neighborhood in one of the city’s red zones. UAV footage indicates that the contractors are injured but alive. The contractors have held the small group of Insurgent gunmen who attacked their vehicle at bay for nearly a quarter of an hour, but more armed men have been spotted converging on the disabled SUV.

A squad of US Army soldiers (Marines in the scenario, but I'm partial to the Army) is in the vicinity; two four-man fire teams and a squad leader. They must locate the contractors and escort them to safety, exiting the area to either the south or west.

View of the table from the US forces' southern entry point, with insurgent hotspots and contractors labeled.  US forces must escort contractors back to this end or the west of the table.

View of the contractors' position from the northeast.  Insurgent Hotspot #3 overlooks the contractors, but is not able to engage them or attempt to take them into custody until the US forces reach them.
Close-up of Insurgent Hotspot #3, which would prove a major thorn in the US forces' side.
Turn 1:  Just as US forces enter the board and start to move, a lone insurgent armed with an RPG at Hotspot #5 activates and interrupts their movement.  In a contested roll, the trail fire team (Bravo Team) wins initiative and unleashes multiple hits on the lone insurgent.  He falls dead.
The lone insurgent at Hotspot #5 takes overwhelming fire and keels over.
A Team and the squad leader push forward down the road, encountering an insurgent leader and RPG gunner at Hotspot #4, located in the first alley on their right as they advance.  Another contested roll, another US win, another insurgent hotspot wiped out.  Still active, but unmanned.
Before:  Say hello to my leetle friend!

After:  Yeah, not so much.
Bravo Team moves into Hotspot #5 to end their turn, planning to stay and neutralize this enemy gathering area on the planned exfil route.

As the first turn wraps up, the insurgents at Hotspot #2 move into the building immediately northwest of the contractors, those at Hotspot #1 fail to activate, and the RPG gunner at Hotspot #3 fails to activate, rolls a 1, and draws the 'In Your Face' Fog of War Card, garnering 3 victory points for the insurgents for their propaganda efforts.
Insurgents at Hotspot #1 fail to activate and remain out of the action throughout much of the fight.  The derp was strong with this crew.

Four insurgents with AKs and one with an RPG show up at Hotspot #3.

The first of numerous reinforcements arrive at Hotspot #3.
Turn 2:
Alpha Team and the squadleader start to move into the building just south of Hotspot #3.  The insurgents react, and both sides take a couple of casualties as the Americans complete their move.

The good folks from Hotspot #2, having moved into the fight, exchange fire with the Americans.  Between the two fire teams, the entire insurgent element is wiped out.  Per my house rules, if all members of an element are wounded in the same turn, that element is eliminated in terms of combat effectiveness.

Hotspot #1 remains out of the fight.  Of the two wounds in Alpha Team, one is returned to duty and the other is serious.  Another insurgent shows up at Hotspot #3, and three more at #2.

Turn 3:
Alpha and Bravo Team consolidate in the building just southeast of the contractors, and continue their exchange of fire with the insurgents in Hotspot #3.  The insurgents suffer a couple more casualties, but the Americans fail to take any effective fire.

Hotspot #1 finally activates and takes up a position on the roof of the building along the west side of the US forces' planned exfil route.  An insurgent leader, an RPK gunner, and two more insurgents with AKs show  up at Hotspot #3.
Hotspot #1 finally gets into the fight.
Turn 4:
Alpha Team and the squad leader continue to exchange fire with Hotspot #3, inflicting three more casualties and taking none in return.
Casualties pile up at Hotspot #3.  Insurgents are stacked like cord wood in this building by the end of the fight.
Bravo Team gets to the contractors.  "Boy, are we glad to see you guys!"
Turn 5:
At this point, the US forces' plan changes.  It will take three turns while moving with dependents to get off the south end of the board, but two turns of 6" movement will get them to the western edge of the table.  So plans change - Alpha Team and the squad leader will remain stationary and provide a base of fire while Bravo Team makes a run for the border.

Alpha Team and the SL fire again on Hotspot #3, inflicting further casualties on the insurgents.  Bravo Team starts moving west with the two contractors.  As they move even with the alleyway opening leading to Hotspot #2, the three insurgents there successfully activate, win initiative, and exchange fire with Bravo Team.  The insurgents fail to hit anybody, and all are cut down by Bravo's return fire.
The Quick and Dead:  These insurgents activated, won a contested initiative roll, and didn't hit anything.  Return fire wiped them out.
At this point, Hotspot #1 finally activated again, and open fire on Bravo Team.  All six insurgents, armed with AK-47s, blaze away and fail to hit anything.  This abysmal round for the insurgents picked up a bit when six insurgents and a leader pop up at Hotspot #2, giving one last chance to stop Bravo Team from escorting the contractors to the edge of the board.

Turn 6:
The arrival of reinforcements at Hotspot #2 could have stopped Bravo Team dead in their tracks.  Only it didn't.  The two sides exchanged fire in an alleyway, and only one insurgent fell to the fire.  Hotspot #3, not to be left out, fire at Bravo Team as well.  Bravo's defense roll included three 8s, and Hotspot #3 inflicted no casualties.  Bravo's return fire inflicted several casualties, even with one die of firepower taken away for a second action.  Hotspot #3 had served as a punching bag for several turns now, and casualties littered the roof of the building.
Hotspot #2:  We came, we saw, we proved horribly ineffective.
While Bravo Team weathered a storm of lead and dished out casualties in return, Alpha Team opened fire on Hotspot #1 to reduce the chances of additional fire on Bravo Team.  Four of the six insurgents fell to the Americans' fire, and the two remaining insurgents' fire proved ineffective against Bravo Team.

With no one else available to interrupt their movement, Bravo Team and the contractors moved the final 6 inches to the end of the table.
Somebody blow something up in the background.  Time for a slow-mo exit.
Final Tally:
With both contractors moved out of danger, and no casualties or POWs in insurgent hands, the Americans garnered 15 points.  The insurgents received 3 points for the Fog of War Card drawn and 1 point for the serious wound inflicted.  15-4 seemed a pretty decisive US victory.

Lessons Learned:
Lucky dice are hard to beat.  US forces repeatedly waded through sheets of AK fire and proved deadly with their marksmanship.  Out of 35 insurgent minis on the board, 27 were casualties by the end of the game.  Most of the 8 still standing showed up at Hotspot #2 at the end of the game.

The whole game could have turned sour for the Americans with one unlucky die.  The scenario is written extremely well, with just the right balance between the two sides.  A good time was had by all.

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