Friday, January 23, 2015

Showdown in Baga, Nigeria

Played another game of Force on Force with the good folks at CSGA on Saturday.  We played a scenario I wrote based on current events, the Boko Haram sweep of Baga, Nigeria

I took some license with the facts - the Nigerian Army (NA) showed up with a force roughly equivalent to the Boko Haram (BH) elements in this part of town, and a third faction, the military contractors of Extremis Operations Group (EOG) had their own mission, the retrieval of an executive for OILCO International (the "VIP") who had the misfortune of being in Baga when the BH forces made their move.  The EOG and NA forces were not directly aligned, but wouldn't shoot at each other. 

BH forces had objectives of seizing a Nigerian government center, destroying NA forces, and securing the OILCO VIP for ransom if possible.  NA forces received no points for the VIP's status, only for securing the government center and destroying BH forces.  The EOG contractors, all former SOF operators (TQ d10/Morale d10), were only worried about securing the OILCO VIP.  The EOG team lead bribed the NA commander to secure his acquiescence to the EOG presence on the battlefield.  The OILCO HQ had four poor quality (TQ d6/Morale d8) guards armed with AK-47s holding the fort until the EOG extractino team arrived.  The NA and BH forces were TQ d6/Morale d10 regulars, with Boko Haram irregulars arriving per normal insurgency rules.
View of the board from the Nigerian Army (NA) entry point.  The Extremis Operations Group (EOG) contractors launched their extraction mission to the right of the NA deployment zone.
View of the board from the Boko Haram (BH) entry point.
The Nigerian Army forces:  A T-55, BTR-70, and DShK-equipped technical.  Three-and-a-half squads of infantry.  All Troop Quality d6, except the crews of the armored vehicles, which were d8.
The Extremis Operations Gourp (EOG) contractors, all Troop Quality d10.

 The OILCO VIP ( who looks nothing at all like a downed pilot, my normal extraction subject) and the four untrained and unmotivated guards (TQ d6/Morale d8) who are about to get more than they bargained for with this guard shift.
The Boko Haram forces:  A T-55, two DShK-equipped technicals, and a couple dozen fighters (TQ d6/Morale d10).  They also received reinforcements at two Hotspots at the board's edge that represented the semi-organized nature of an insurgency that is not quite a regularized fighting force.
Turn 1:
Initiative rolls provided the following order of movement:  NA, then EOG, then BH.

The Nigerian Army forces advanced to relieve their comrades currently under siege at the government compound.  The forces at the compound engaged in a firefight with a Boko Haram cell in a nearby building.  Each side took one casualty, but then the NA T-55 weighed in on the matter with its 100mm gun, wiping out the BH fighters.
Wiped out Boko Haram cell.  The Nigerian Army tank that felled them is visible in the distance.

EOG advanced toward their objective and engaged in no fighting.
EOG on the move in a technical and a jeep.  Both had FN MAG medium machineguns, and the gunners were kitted out in mufti to hide the true nature of these mysterious gunmen.
The BH forces advanced as well, with their T-55 moving down the main drag and taking a shot at the NA BTR-70.  It scored a hit that destroyed the vehicle and inflicted 5 x KIA.
 Bail out! Bail out!
The BH technical advancing toward the government compound fared poorly.  It inflicted a couple of casualties with its DShK, but return fire destroyed the vehicle and killed the crew.  Four BH infantry troopers riding in the bed of the truck survived.
Nigerian Army forces under siege at the government compound celebrate the destruction of the Boko Haram technical that had attacked them.
Turn 2:
Initiative came out EOG-BH-NA

EOG continued to drive toward the OILCO headquarters, and made no contact with BH forces.
EOG operators drive toward cover before their final approach.
The BH T-55 fired a round at the government complex, hoping to neutralize resistance prior to their infantry's approach.  The round brought the building down, making all 6 NA soldiers there into casualties.
The Nigerian government complex explodes just as BH forces closes on the entrance at the outer wall.
Reverse angle shot of the BH advance into the Nigerian government compound, well covered by tank fire.

NA forces advanced, and the NA T-55 got a main gun round off at the BH T-55, immobilizing the latter.  The NA armored troopers' higher Troop Quality and the tank commander staying unbuttoned helped one crew beat another to the punch in identical vehicles.
The security guards at the OILCO HQ opt not to engage in the fighting, watching Nigerian Army artillery rounds fall harmlessly on the far side of the compound on the right.
Turn 3:
Initiative went EOG-BH-NA

The EOG operators moved up to the OILCO building's rear entrance and dismounted.
The security guards at OILCO HQ decided that this would be a good time to start engaging BH forces.  After a harmless exchange with one dismounted element, in which the security guards drew the Fog of War card "An Excellent Position" and added a defense die to their perch overlooking the battlefield, the BH T-55 got involved with its main gun and made them all casualties.
Irony can be so... ironic.
The Boko Haram T-55's view of the OILCO HQ.
Boko Haram troops move up to the blockaded entrance of the OILCO HQ building, preparing to hop the compound wall in the next turn.
The Nigerian Army, meanwhile, stayed on the march. The NA technical and pickup truck ferrying troops to the front disgorged their soldiers right at the back end of the government complex.  I ruled that the remnants of the back wall of the collapsed building provided a cover bonus for any unit being engaged by the other side, but that any unit crossing the waist- to shoulder-height pile of rubble separating forces would lose its cover bonus.
NA and BH forces square off across the remnants of the collapsed government center building.  BH forces took out the DShK on the NA technical and one NA soldier.  BH took four casualties.
The Nigerian T-55 fired another shot at the Boko Haram T-55, but only earned a Suppress result.
The NA soldiers who survived the destruction of their BTR-70 had by now moved forward into the fight and engaged the BH forces assembling outside the OILCO HQ compound, inflicting three casualties on BH and receiving none in return.
Turn 4:
Initiative went BH-EOG-NA
The BH T-55 took a shot at the NA T-55 and destroyed it.  Which is only fair, since the NA T-55 had already hit the BH T-55 twice, resulting in an immobilization and suppression, respectively.
Nigerian Army T-55 destroyed, with only the commander (and force commander) surviving.
View from the Boko Haram T-55's vantage point.
Meanwhile, back at the OILCO HQ, the BH troops had scaled the compound wall and engaged in a round of fire with the two EOG operators who had come in to retrieve the OILCO VIP.  Each side took a casualty.
A BH technical peels off three NA soldiers from the outside of the government complex with very effective DShK fire.
NA and BH forces inside the government compound exchange fire, inflicting casualties on both sides.
EOG's initiative comes up, and operators reinforce their comrades inside the building.  They inflict 3 casualties on the BH troopers in the courtyard.
The supporting EOG vehicles fight around the berm next to the OILCO HQ, inflicting casualties on the BH side, but the white EOG truck was immobilized (impacting VIP and operator escape options) and reducing the jeep's machine gun to half firepower.
Nigerian Army forces finally took initiative and advanced over the rubble and into the contested government compound.  Both the Nigerians and Boko Haram forces took a casualty.  The Nigerian Army received another BTR-70 on a lucky Fog of War card.
Turn 5:
Initiative went NA-EOG-BH
Due to a Fog of War card, the Nigerian Army received a DShK-equipped technical.  In the courtyard of the Nigerian governmetn center, another round of fire produced 2 NA and 5 BH casualties.
The fruits of EOG's labors.  The last BH troopers trying to capture the OILCO VIP are down.

EOG took initiative next, and killed the last BH trooper on the far side of the berm from the OILCO HQ, and killed the BH troops in the OILCO HQ courtyard.
The last outside resistance to EOG at the OILCO HQ gets wiped out.

Just as the EOG operators exited the OILCO building, the BH T-55 blew up the EOG truck.
Just as EOG operators were escaping, a Boko Haram tank takes out their pickup truck.  Luckily no one was inside by this point.
As the BH faction took the initiative, the last remaining BH technical fired at an NA technical, missing, and getting immobilized for its trouble.
Boko Haram technical initiates fire against a Nigerian Army technical and loses, getting immobilized.
Turn 6:
Initiative went NA-EOG-BH
The Nigerian Army kicked off the turn by destroying a BH technical.
EOG operators, meanwhile, evacuated the OILCO VIP from the regional HQ.
Go! Go! Go!
As a last deparate act, the BH forces rushed into the Nigerian government compound and took out the NA fire team inside in a brutal exchange of fire.  This gave Boko Haram control of the compound for victory point purposes, which would prove decisive.

We called the game here.  At the end of the game, we tallied the victory points at:
EOG: 20 (maximum)
BH: 48
NA: 47

In the end, it came down to a close game decided in the meatgrinder of the Nigerian government complex.

Lessons Learned:
- New house rule:  12" minimum range for RPGs and grenade launchers.  Reasoning seems obvious.
- The initiative house rules work well.  Each leader gets to roll a die at their quantity and Troop Quality level.  Most successes wins; if tied in successes, compare the numbers rolled.  Anyone except the lowest-rolling faction can put forces on overwatch.  Though not presented by the forces in this scenario, this makes Designated Rifle Marksmen and snipers that much more valuable for their ability to knock out the enemy's ability to gain the initiative.


  1. Looks excellent. I like the write up also, they always add to a good aar. What miniatures are you using? They look excellent also, or maybe it is just your painting skills! Cheers, Sean.

  2. Thanks. I use 20mm metal - Elhiem, Enfilade, and a few RH Liberation - and 1/72 plastic - Caesar and Orion. The buildings are GC Mini. I'll post something soon on making technical pickup trucks, my latest project.

  3. Thanks for letting me know. Elhiem seem to be rather popular at the moment. They look excellent on the web site also (though I don't think they will fit in with my Denizen Mid-tech miniatures. Small 25mm, but perhaps not small enough!). Look forward to more posts. Thanks again, Sean.