Saturday, October 8, 2016

Platoon Forward! Konflikt 47 Co-op Campaign

Ridolfo and I look to give Platoon Forward! a go as we begin a co-op campaign of Warlord Games' Konflikt 47. Platoon Forward!, published by Too Fat Lardies, is not a ruleset, but a dynamic campaign system that can used in conjunction with any of your existing rulesets. It seems the intended target is the solo gamer, however, it can be used opposed multiplayer games (and there is a paragraph or two covering it).

Since Steven and I have found co-op to be enjoyable in a narrative sense (you can see some of this in posts about our Skirmish Sangin co-op campaign), we will be using this system to enhance our co-op experience. We will both act as NCOs leading a squad in a US Armored Rifle Platoon. Our squad will be an NCO plus 9 others. We'll each also have access to bazooka teams (c/o platoon list in Chain of Command).

We diced off for our characters and our first mission: an ambush! We will lie and wait for the German convoy, along with "unlikely" support from an AFV of our choice as a result of rolling a 1 on a d10. The enemy force uses blinds and we will roll off to see what is headed our way after we set up.

The first campaign game went fairly well... if you weren't in Ridolfo's squad

The enemy German convoy

Rolling for blinds went fairly well and even made sense... we fudged the Hanomag capacity a bit to fit everyone on the enemy side. The German squads were based on Heer infantry out of the CoC book.
View from the advancing Germans side
The "careful" Sgt Ridolfo was maybe a little too aggressive in his deployment. The first Hanomag rolled down the road and my bazooka team popped out of ambush to fire... and set it ablaze. The M10 then fired but missed. The second half track, seeing the lead truck hit, swerved into the field. Ridolfo's squad was blocking his bazooka team's LoF and had to spend next turn moving out of the way. The Hanomag tried to unload, but everyone on board failed morale, so the machine gunner up top opened fire. The inexperienced squad took some casualties and soaked up pins throughout the turns. They eventually hit the deck and spent the latter turns holding ground.

The M10 awaits in ambush
The M10 moved up and wiped out the squad that had bailed from the knocked out 251 (Ridolfo's bazooka team's doing before their ultimate demise). That was about all it did before being scared off by the German MG42.

Lead Hanomag put the fire out - everyone severely pinned
My bazooka team took a few more shots and missed - including a hit that needed all but a '1' to damage and got a '1'. My squad was a bit out of range and did not have LoS to the German squad that was harassing Steven's squad. They did eliminate the German Platoon Leader before ultimately having to break off when the German relief was set to arrive (after Turn 5).

Ridolfo's bazooka team finished off the lead Hanomag
Overall, a successful mission, but we suffered heavy losses. We tried to get Ridolfo up to regular through a "Freeform Event", but to no avail. Our "Fixed" Post Game Event lead to reinforcements which was good given the amount of casualties.

Lead Hanomag destroyed. Second one closes in on Ridolfo.

Heer squad disembarks and puts a hurting on Ridolfo's squad.

We decide to bug out after Turn 5 as we have taken heavy casualties. The Ambush was a costly success.

Our next mission will be a Patrol in No-Man's Land. Patrol seems to be a pretty interesting scenario where we start in one grid and actually have to sweep the rest of the grids, returning back to our starting point. Meanwhile two German blinds will randomly appear and we'll then determine which is real and which is nothing.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bolt Action: Germans in the Far East

After much discussion about playing Bolt Action again, Steven and I finally coordinated our schedules to get a game in. I wanted to keep it small and relatively simple to try to ease back in and to get more of a tactical, squad on squad level of action since we (myself especially) have been playing a lot more skirmish type games of late. We played with a little more than 500 points each. We also used the Bolt Action Alliance rules. MMGs are so much nicer with 6 shots. If you haven't tried it yet, do so next game.

The scenario ended up being Top Secret which I think worked well with setting up a back story, but it's still Top Secret (the FAQ helps it a bit). In this case, we'll say these were German Kriegsmarine who arrived by U-boat to obtain information on a Japanese super weapon. US Intelligence caught wind of this rendezvous and sent in the Marines.

The USMC took advantage of their movement and fire ability to gain early ground while also putting out some pins. The German bike and MMG (6 and 7 shots, respectively) started dishing out pins of their own. At the start of Turn 3, two USMC squads (one an engineer squad w/FT) were within a few inches of the objective, but had a couple pins each. The initial die pull would be crucial as the engineer flamethrower was within striking distance of the German squad in the rubbled building. The USMC die is drawn, but the unit fails its Morale Test. The second squad eventually lost its NCO and picked up another pin. They weren't moving either. So finally he 2nd Lt decides to lead the way and charges out onto the objective, killing a German in the process. However, the German Leutnant has yet to go and does a move and fire of his own and kills the 2nd Lt... Corpsman!... But he's out of range.

From here it's a lot of exchanging pins and casualties. The Corpsman did save a few which was an added bonus. However, where he shined was on Turn 5. The German squad  had the objective and was within running distance of the board edge. They had one pin on them. Last activation of the turn is the Corpsman. I initially advance him to be between my two squads when Steven stops me and says you need to run him up to shoot next turn. But it's the Corpsman, I say. Well he has a pistol doesn't he, he asks. Well, sure, but... Back and forth a bit and finally I play along. The Corpsman moves up. Turn 6. USMC die is pulled. Corpsman activates and fires at the squad with the objective. He lands a hit at point blank range. 2 pins now. German die is pulled. The German unit fails its Order Test by 1. It's a Draw. Corpsman saves the day!

He did get shot later that turn by a sniper. The Medal of Honor ceremony will be held Friday.