Sunday, October 18, 2015

Skirmish Sangin Co-op: Rescue SNAFU!

One of my gaming also for 2015 was to campaign something. Really. Anything. Frostgrave started but then fizzled. Since moderns really seem suited to campaigning and a gaming buddy and myself have been trying to work through Skirmish Sangin and build up our modern figures, terrain, etc., it seemed to be a great place to start.

We had also been kicking the idea around of a co-op campaign as opposed to one side taking ISAF and the other insurgents. There is a set of user created solo rules on the Skirmish Sangin forums by user neal5x5 (link). These worked quite well in fact, albeit too well for the insurgents in this case, but that was due to some bad luck on our part (see below).

SirRep: Taliban activity has been on the rise in the region and intelligence agencies have recommended all delegates evacuate the area. Three UN delegates remain in the local hotel. ISAF force in the area have been ordered to clear the hotel and escort the delegates via truck to the local airbase for extraction.

Two USMC fire teams (each with a Veteran fire team leader, Avgerage Grenadier (M4/203), Avg Gunner (M249), and Avg asst. gunner (M4) roll into town - fire support team (Collarin) in the HMMVV (w/.50) and extraction team (Ridolfo) in the Unimog.

Collarin exits the HMMVV and directs Hawkins (M249) to cover the south (across the ditch), while Miller (M203) covers the road leading west and Cabell mans the .50. Ridolfo and his team disembark and breech the first level of the hotel. No contact in the first level. The delegate will run out on his own to the Marines waiting in the street.

Using neal5x5's solo rules, the first of four Unconfirmed Encounters (UE) proved to be nothing. In and out - no big deal, boys. Not so fast. The second UE revealed was a 1/2 Force Confirmed Enemy Group (CEG). As you can see below, you can pack a lot into 550 points of Taliban. The combatants were randomly generated using the table found on page 4 of Free Scenario No. 3 - Hearts & Minds USMC in Afghanistan.

The now confirmed Taliban force is placed, but the USMC will be first to act in Combat Phase 6. Fire Team Leader Collarin uses 2 AP to positively identify the near Taliban - a veteran of the Afghan wars, wielding his trusty AK47. Collarin fires and misses.

It's a miss that nearly costs him his life. In the ensuing Combat Phase the veteran fighter aims and returns fire at Collarin; just grazing him, but enough to cause minor injuries. Miller, seeing the leader drop, suffers a morale test on his next activation. Cabell, manning the .50 on top of the HMMVV, is also targeted. He is not so fortunate. Cabell is shot at by the sniper who critically wounds the rifleman. 

The two SAW gunners return fire and lay down some serious cover fire.

Due to the serious nature of Cabell's injuries, the decision is made for the HMMVV to immediately return him to base. Unfortunately, the driver fails his ability roll trying to navigate along the berm and ends up in the ditch.

FTL Collarin seeing the situation deteriorating fast, hops in the passenger side and jumps up on the turret, only to find that on Cabell's last round misfired and he never had a chance to cleared the round. Instead the driver tries to reverse off of the ditch and get the hell out of Dodge.

The M249s were starting to get things to a manageable situation. Until, the third UE made a move that landed it within 18" of the Marines. A '10' is rolled. A full size CEG appears.

Situation Normal just got all f*cked up!

Hawkins is hit and seriously wounded. Miller tries to provide first aid, but fails. By this time, the Marines inside the hotel had all three delegates in the truck, but were not going to leave any man behind. The Taliban, now with favorable numbers, continued to press.

A rifleman from Ridolfo's team tries to administer first aid to Hawkins. He is also unsuccessful. Shortly after, one of the two new Taliban snipers targets the driver of the Unimog and confirms a kill. Time is running out for the Marines.

By now, the two Marines on the ditch take turns popping up to a knee, just to find two fighters snap firing on them. They take down a couple this way, but they can't stay in this position any longer. Miller tries to drag Hawkins to the truck. The sniper targets him and fires - Miller is critically wounded! Ridolfo, kneeling near the front of the truck is now going to have to drag both of them to cover. Pesci crawls back toward the driver side. He is going to have to climb up and move the driver to get this rig moving.

Unfortunately, this is where we had to call it a night. It was our first time using a combat vehicle and the home brew solo rules, so there was plenty of looking up. Despite the dreadful outcome, a good time was had. We've discussed either picking it up here - or some alternate version... perhaps Ridolfo's team was able to drag Hawkins and Miller back to the hotel where they regroup and attempt to hold down their Alamo while waiting for some air support. The other option is to chalk it up as a loss and move on; perhaps even hitting re-boot since this one was such a cluster from the start and never really closed out. We shall see...