Friday, 19 February 2016

Ivan's Checkpoint - more Black Ops action

Our enthusiasm for Black Ops continues. We organised a game for a couple of other members of Hartlepool Wargames Society who had shown an interest - basically laying a trail of breadcrumbs :-)

We were also interested in trying a game with both sides being lower grade troops, as our previous games had been dominated by Special Forces and Professional types.

Paul has finished painting his new troops - Empress Miniatures Taliban, so as I had some Russian regulars from The Assault Group we quickly put a scenario together using the Assault mission\scenario on the "defile" map. Our initial intention was to set it in Afghanistan in the 1980s but it quickly became apparent the same scenario and forces could have been set at any time or place from Afghanistan in the 80s to Syria today and anywhere or time between, which was a bit of a sobering thought.

The scenario was simple. A squad of Russians are manning a check point where a road crosses a gully, and the opposition are going to assault it. The forces broke down quite nicely, with the Russian fielding a standard squad of  an NCO (Ace), a Heavy group - PK GPMG, RPG and loader (Kings) and a Manoeuvre group of a Senior Rifleman and two other riflemen with AKs (Jacks). All the Russians were graded as Conscripts, with the Senior Rifleman being a Veteran, All had body armour, and the Manoeuvre group had grenades.

Facing them were a group of Irregulars, taken from the Fanatic faction list. They had a 50% points advantage, and fielded two cells with 3 AKs and grenades (Jacks) and either an RPG or RPK LMG, two Heavy cells with an RPG and loader and a PK GPMG team  (Kings). The leader carried a SVD marksman's rifle. All were graded as Fanatics with the GPMG gunner upgraded to Veteran,

The game went really well, with the Russians fighting from the roof of the checkpoint and the edge of the gulley. Both sides used lots of suppressive fire, probably because very few of the combatants had the ability to hit a target at anything other than close range. Casualties mounted on both sides and it was a very close result, with the Insurgents assaulting the check point but the Russians managing to hang on for the required seven turns, but only just.

I didn't have much chance to take pics as I was providing umpiring \ guidance to our new players, but here are a few snapshots of the action

Russians under heavy fire behind their sangar on the checkpoint roof
Manoeuvre Group in cover at the edge of the gully 

RPG Team infiltrating forward along the other side of the gully
Bad news for the Insurgents as one Cell gets pinned and takes casualties 
Crisis for the defence as one audacious Insurgent cuts down the Russian RPG team and threatens to outflank the main position. 
Everyone seems to have had a good time and our "guinea pigs" have ordered some figures and have the rules so it looks like our Black Ops group will be growing.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Dirty Deeds Part 4 - epilogue

So just a quick final word on that Black Ops game. Lots of fun was had, and all at a very limited cost. The Russian figures were from The Assault Group (TAG) who do a very nice range of modern figures, with the opposition coming from Crooked Dice Games 7 TV range - actually their Evil Mastermind Minions range (because we didn't have anything else spare at the time - this has since been rectified!)

The warehouse was by TT Combat who do a range of very reasonably priced mdf buildings - and indeed a cargo ship that looks like it should be on a Black Ops table! The rest of the terrain was from Hartlepool Wargames Club's, with the containers from Paul's old AT43 collection and the vehicles from local ££ shops.

Black Ops looks like it could be a very nice game when you have a couple of hours free - both Paul & I think it is a winner and the "buy in" price is low, you can get a 50pt Special Forces team in a single blister of figures, so the rules and your initial starter force will leave you with plenty of change from a £20 note, with the rules costing £10.99 direct from Osprey (and plenty of places selling them cheaper) and a 4 man blister of Special Forces types costing about £6.50-£7.50 depending on which manufacturer  you favour.

Well worth a look

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Dirty Deeds Somewhere in Central Europe............(part 3) Going Loud

Our Black Ops game has now reached the critical bit where the lead starts to fly. The Spetznaz have seven turns to secure two out of three objectives. They start off well enough, sending a scout forward under cover from some overwatching colleagues

The guards are not prepared to sit idly by. As this was a standard game with no stealth rules they were aware that enemy were in the area, so the gate guard sent two men to investigate. The Spetznaz were already in position, and a spray of SAW fire opened the engagement, causing suppression on both guards. It is worthwhile explaining briefly the suppression rules here, which work really well. Any shots can be declared as trying to suppress. Shooting then happens as normal with a small bonus on the to hit score, but hits do not cause damage. Instead any troops hit by suppressive fire have to choose when they next activate to either duck behind cover, retreat, both losing the current activation, or face the fire and continue as normal - if they choose to continue the suppression hits are converted to real hits and results are diced for. This worked really well.

On the other side the Russian Scout took a shot with his DMR at one of the guards who was crossing open ground, and he went down hit. Return fire from the two guards who had been guarding the warhead caused two hits on the shooter, but he ducked back into cover as the rest of his team moved up,

Then it went "Kinetic". In a ferocious couple of activations the four SMG armed STW guards were all killed by the Spetznaz, mostly the result of point blank AKSU74 fire as the Special Force troops took advantage of their superior training and equipment. There was a short period when a series of STW activations looked like it may steady the situation, but then the Russians regained the initiative and made it count, losing one KIA and one walking wounded in the process, but securing the office objective and causing 5 KIA to the guards.

That left a single guard hiding at far corner of the building, and the STW leader and two guards who were running to join the fight. Again the superior training and equipment of the Russians proved decisive. A combination of suppressive fire from SAWs and aimed DMR shots, aided by underslung grenade launchers was too much for the remaining guards, particularly after their leader decided to brave the suppression and rally his troops, but only succeeded in catching a bullet to the forehead.

The last guards bravely tried to hold on, but the sheer weight of fire being directed at them finally overcame them.

The Russians were back in possession of their lost warhead, and hopefully no-one would ever know. Such is the world of Black Ops

Next (and last) some thoughts on the rules

Dirty Deeds Somewhere in Central Europe............(part 2)

Deep in the woods, somewhere in Central Europe, a remote warehouse.

Inside, guarded by STW troops is a Soviet era nuclear warhead, a price has been agreed, and it will soon be collected by the client.

The Russians have learned of the location of the site, and have dispatched a quick reaction team to recover the warhead before the exchange. With extreme prejudice. The Russians have seven turns to secure two of the three objectives, the warhead itself, the site office (white caravan) where they hope to find documentation and intelligence, and the fuel depot by the main gate (to prevent anyone removing the warhead).

STW deploy a pair guarding the warhead, another pair plus the leader on perimeter guard, and the last four man team have just completed a check of the local roads in their 4x4.

Meanwhile the Spetznaz advance unseen in the woods.

Dirty Deeds Somewhere in Central Europe............(part 1)

We had our first game of Black Ops last night. Paul (my regular opponent) and I were interested in the rules and had some spare modern(ish) troops, so we decided to just go with what we had and give the rules a try.

Paul had some paramilitary style "goons" from his Evil Mastermind 7TV forces, and I have some Russian Spetznaz types, so that's what we decided to use.

We randomly generated the scenario, a standard assault mission, which meant we were not using the "stealth" rules. Paul was defending with 60pts, I was attacking with a 50% points advantage - 90 points.

Paul chose two teams of Mercenaries, from the rather dodgy Security Division of "Severn Trent Water". Each team has two men with Battle Rifles and two with Personal Defence Weapons (PDWs - SMGs to those of us still behind the times),  plus he took one leader with PDW. His choices were pretty much restricted by what his models were carrying,

Meanwhile I chose two cells of Spetznaz, each of a leader with AR\UGL, and three soldiers, one with PDW, one DMR (Designated Marksmans Rifle) and one with a Minimi LMG.

Part 2 - mission and set up