Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Contracting Trouble

A squad of US Army figures from Rebel Minis recently made their way onto my painting table, so that meant I had appropriate figures for the Contracting Trouble scenario from the Force on Force rulebook.  I was able to play this scenario twice, once from each side, with a friend a few days ago.  Here's a shot of my US Army squad:

I set up the board for the scenario.  I didn't have any hot spot markers made, so I just used piles of little stones in the number corresponding to the number of the hot spot to mark their positions.  My buildings tend to be bigger than those shown in the maps in the book, but I can usually get a pretty similar set up, making sure I have the same relative open areas and blocking terrain.  Here is an overview of my board for Contracting Trouble:

And a close up of the contractors that need rescuing, taking cover next to their wrecked SUV:

I was playing the insurgents.  I could not catch a break with the reaction tests; it seemed every time the regulars failed a test, so did the insurgents.  My opponent had one squad make a rapid move up to the corner of a stone wall, close to the center of the board and took out both RPG-wielding figures in hot spots 3 & 5.  Here they are at the end of their move:

Then the other squad made a rapid move to the the walled area on the other side of the street.  They took fire from the insurgents at hot spot 1, but took out one of them with no hits in return.  When they moved into the line of sight of the insurgents at hot spot 4, they again won the reaction test for the round of fire and wiped them out.  Here they are in their final position:

With the firepower of that squad dwindling, I thought maybe I could sneak a leader out of the alley towards the insurgent group at hot spot 1, but they mowed him down anyway.  Then I tried to send one to hot spot 2 and he was taken out by the other squad.  Enough of that!  I rolled for reinforcements and got 2 insurgents with small arms (no leader) added to hot spot 1 and 5 insurgents with small arms added to hot spot 2.  Here is how things stood at the end of the first turn, note how the left side of the board is now completely empty of insurgents:

My opponent starts turn two by putting one of his squads on overwatch, then the US squad closest to the SUV starts the second turn by making a rapid move to pick up the contractors and start heading towards the west edge of the board down the street.  My two insurgent groups were out of line of sight, so no reactions were made to this move.

My first non-initiative unit action is to move the insurgent group into the building from hot spot 2 and then firing on the squad with the contractors.  The overwatch unit shoots and I choose not to return fire, so they can fire at their original target.  My group takes 2 casualties and passes their morale test.  They then lose the reaction test to their main target, who also inflict two casualties.  The insurgents pass their morale test again, but whittled down to 3 figures, only inflict one casualty on the US squad.

My other insurgent unit can only see the US squad that was placed on overwatch, so they fire at them.  The regulars lose a reaction test for the first time!  But I can't manage any casualties and the US squad inflicts 3 kills on the insurgent group with their return fire.

I roll for reinforcements and get 4 figures at hot spot 2 and 3 figures at hot spot 1.   Here is how things look at the end of turn two:

At the start of turn three, my opponent rolls his first aid check and the soldier is dead.  The squad passes their morale test and can act normally.  He places the other squad on overwatch again.  The US squad goes to move off the west board edge with the contractors for their first action.  I react with fire from the building near hot spot 2, take fire from the overwatch squad and lose 3 figures.  I decide to return fire on the overwatch squad, hoping to keep them from firing at my other unit later.  I inflict one casualty, but they pass their morale test.  As the US squad continues its move towards the board edge, they become visible to the insurgent group at hot spot 1 down a narrow alley.  The overwatch squad loses the reaction test, so that fire will occur last.  The insurgents lose the reaction test with the other squad and take two casualties, then return fire without getting any hits.  Here they are about to leave the board:

So the contractors are rescued.  The insurgents lose a couple more figures to fire from the overwatch squad's fire.  Reinforcements are rolled and a small group appears at hot spot 2, behind the building where they can't see the US squad left on the table.  The first aid check shows that the casualty is dead.  The US squad passes its morale test and can act normally.  My opponent orders the squad to move off the south board edge.  I react with fire from the group at hot spot 1, but fail to inflict any casualties and they easily escape.

The final victory totals are 15 points for the US army and 4 for the insurgents, so a decisive victory for the US player.  I think we both made pretty good decisions in the game, but I had the misfortune of only winning a couple of reaction tests the whole game and my opponent had both his casualties result in death, which ironically is a better outcome than seriously wounded, as long as they pass the resulting morale test.  A serious wound means the unit may only react to fire for the next turn, which would have slowed him down and allowed time for me to get more reinforcements and take more shots at him.

We reset the board and switched sides for a second play.  Things were going even better for me than they had for my friend as the US player.  I got the contractors off-board during turn four with no casualties suffered on my side.  At the end of that turn, my friend rolled a large group of reinforcements for hot spot 1, the group ended up being 11 figures.  When my remaining squad went to leave the board, they were engaged by a round of fire from that large group of insurgents.  I won the reaction test, but only caused a couple casualties.  The return fire, with the maximum of ten dice (they had an RPG and an RPK), wiped out my unit completely!  We assumed with the other squad gone that the insurgents could easily capture them, so we didn't play any further and just rolled a first aid test for the captured unit.  The result was two dead and two POWs.  That made the final score 14 points for the insurgents and just 10 for the US side.  An indecisive result according to the scenario victory table, thought nearly a marginal victory for the insurgents.

So in the end, I was unable to taste the sweet nectar of victory playing either side, but I had a great time.  I'm looking forward to getting more of my US army figures painted and playing more scenarios.

No comments: