Saturday, November 8, 2014

Downed Pilot, US Army vs. 11th Motorized Rifle Regiment

I ran a game with the Colorado Springs Gamers Association tonight, a bit different than the normal Force on Force fare.  Instead of pitting regulars against irregulars in a historical scenario, this game set two factions of regulars against each other, with relatively even forces, tasked with recovering a downed pilot from one of the buildings set in the middle of the board (and inflicting as many casualties on the other side as possible).  A full US Army Mechanized Infantry Platoon (played by Tom) squared off against a Russian-esque foe - the Donovians (played by Steve), the Opposing Force (OPFOR) employed at the Army's National Training Center (see here and here).  Scenario intro:

The war between Atropia and Donovia continues as the US aids its Atropian allies in ejecting the Russian-trained and -equipped Donovian Army from Atropian soil.

Donovian surface-to-air missile fire brought down an American jet in a rural area outside of the town of Razish.  The pilot escaped from the crash site and evaded Donovian ground forces, moving to a collection of houses in search of a place to hide. 

A US Mechanized Infantry Platoon (M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and organic infantry) is advancing toward Donovian lines and has been tasked to head toward the last known location of the downed pilot, who was last known to be in one of buildings at the center of the map.  The pilot has been out of radio contact for several hours, and his real location is not known by either side.  The elite Donovian 11th Motorized Rifle Regiment is closing in from the opposite end of the map, also determined to capture the pilot.  Both sides want to keep the other faction’s vehicles and Soldiers out of the larger fight, so Victory Points are awarded for casualties inflicted against enemy forces.
Neither side knew where the downed pilot was, and neither did I.  Every time a unit spent a turn in a building, it rolled a d10.  On a 9 or 10, the pilot was in that building.  
Conceptual dry run at home, with eldest son using the board as a place to play with his toy soldiers, tanks, camels, and pirates.  The pilot is somewhere in the middle, hiding in a building.  The actual game map would look a bit different.
Order of Battle:
US Forces:  4 x M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 2 x 9-man infantry squads inside.
Donovian Forces:  3 x BTR-80, 3 x 7-man infantry squads inside; 1 x T-72; 1 x T-55.
Turn 1:
The Donovians won initiative, sent all three BTR-80s up the road into town, and put both tanks on overwatch.  This proved to be a good decision.
Tanks flanked on overwatch, infantry advanced up the main road.
The Platoon Sergeant's BFV and the lead BTR-80 caught sight of each other.  The BTR won initiative and bounced a few rounds off of the front of the Bradley.  The Bradley missed.
One of the BFVs took a hit from the T-72 on overwatch.  It go boom.
View of the kill from the T-72.  Well played.
Turn 2:
The US won initiative this turn.  The Platoon Sergeant's BFV and the lead BTR traded fire again, and the BTR brewed up, causing a number of casualties.

The lead BTR-80 brewed up, and the platoon decided to get out of the line of fire.  Good choice.
BFV #2 advanced past where its brother in arms fell to the T-72, finding a sweet spot where he had a hull-down position to engage the Donovian tank.  He missed, but return fire from the T-72 found its mark.  Another BFV down.
Turn 3:
The US won initiative this turn, and the fire teams that survived the T-72's destruction of their vehicles sent their AT-4s against the tank's front armor.  That panned out poorly.

The two dead gentlemen were US AT-4 gunners.  Both fired at the distant T-72.  One missed, one hit and failed to penetrate, and both were gunned down by coaxial machine gun return fire from the T-72.
The Donovian T-55 advanced down the main road and lost an initiative roll against one of the US BFVs.  It took a TOW to the front and, luckily, was only reduced to half speed.  The T-55 returned fire and hit, but failed to damage, the BFV down yonder.
Turn 4:
The US won initiative this turn, with mixed outcomes across the battlefield.
The T-55 and BFV trading fire down the main thoroughfare kept it up, with the T-55 prevailing on initiative and destroying the BFV.
The Platoon Sergeant's BFV remained on overwatch, catching the advancing T-72 off-guard and destroying it with a TOW missile.
T-72 Commander:  "Hey, these binoculars are great!  You can totally make out the Bradley Fighting Vehicle that smoked us!"  T-72 Gunner:  "Sir, I may shoot you.  Please shut up."
This US fire team advanced toward the blue-domed mosque, taking a casualty from the machine gun of the distant BTR-80 at the top of the photo.
The turn closed with two Donovian infantry elements checking buildings on their right flank.  No luck - no pilot.  Yet.
The state of affairs at the end of Turn 4.  Plenty of burning vehicles.
Turn 5:
As Turn 5 opened, the US Platoon Sergeant's track exchanged fire with the Donovian T-55.  The US TOW missile missed (its last in the tubes, and thus its last good chance of destroying the tank), and the T-55 hit but failed to penetrate.
Donovian infantry moved out of the compound in the middle of town and exchanged fire with a US fire team through an arched doorway.  The US forces took two serious wounds but their morale held firm.  The Donovians took one light wound, but had to move back to cover to get their heads straight.
US and Donovian forces trade small arms fire in the middle of the town.
Bird's eye view of the center of town as US and Donovian forces exchange fire.
As the turn closed, the US forces in the mosque at the far US right/Donovian left discovered the downed pilot cowering in a closet.  He was ready to make a run for the US edge of the board.

Turn 6:
The US won initiative, and the BFV on the main road pulled back to cover.
The downed pilot (pictured in the element at the bottom left of the picture) made a break for safety along with other US elements.  All beat the Donovian BTR-80 crew, pictured afar, that tried to take a shot at them.
A BTR-80 rounded the corner, hoping to take the BFV here by surprise.  The BFV, on overwatch, had other ideas.  The BTR-80 brewed up and the Donovians took another casualty.
The Donovians, bottom of the photo, climbed to the roof in hopes of a good vantage point from which to engage the US forces in the courtyard below.  They took two casualties to one US casualty.
Turn 7:
The pilot and US forces on the US right flank continued their flight. 
Keep running!
Just as things were going well for US forces, a Donovian squad jumped out from the alley, beat the BFV crew on overwatch for initiative, and put an RPG into the side armor of the BFV.  The last US armored vehicle brewed up.
View of the field from the US right flank..

View from the US left flank.  Plenty of vehicles up in flames.
At this point, we called it a game.  The downed pilot fled off the US edge of the board.  At that point, the Victory Point tally sat at 88 - 62 in favor of US forces.

This scenario ran fairly well, if a bit "gamey" relative to the historical and objective-focused schemes that Force on Force usually provides.  There was little sense of a fog of war, and the open competition for victory points made this a light-hearted, if close-run, contest.


  1. Another very nice batrep, keep them coming!
    The only thing I can´t quite wrap my head around is how a T55 can take 2 TOW-hits and survive almost unscathed ;D

  2. There was a lot of that going around, at least up and down the main drag into and out of the town. Bradley Fighting Vehicles survived frontal shots from T-55s as well. But if it was a keyhole shot across the board, or an RPG side shot, get ready for some casualties...