Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Hot Afternoon in Baghdad

Here is a little AAR of a game I just finished. It was a lot of fun, things went smoothly with the rules and I was happy to use my new Army Ranger platoon (despite them being unbased).

The outskirts of Baghdad Iraq: Friday afternoon 2007.

The CIA reports a cell of hard core foreign fighters operating out of a side street compound block on the quite outskirts of Baghdad. There is no way an armored convoy could get close enough to the compound without giving their presence away. On the other had, the close proximity of a mosque, and the likelihood of civilian casualties makes a gunship sweep or JDAM useless.

The plan is to insert an Army Ranger platoon by helicopter to their predetermined locations around the complex and a make a foot sweep through the area killing or capturing any Resistance.

Following the rough guidelines for an attack unit in the US Army, the LT in charge of the platoon formed his unit into an assault squad, support unit, a reserve squad, and a security squad. He divided the platoon's assets as seemed best fit to each squad's function.

Assault team: Inserts by fast rope on the street and moves down the alley into the target          compound. This is comprised of: 5 riflemen; 2 UGLs; 2 SAWs; and 1 M-240 GPMG
Security Squad: Will insert by Blackhawk in the grassy field right of the stream providing flank protection for the assault team, and preventing any sqirters from slipping out of the back of the complex. This is comprised of: 5 riflemen; 3 UGL; 1 SAW; and 1 M-240 GPMG
Reserve Force: Will fast rope onto the roof of the two story building across the alley from the compound, breach the roof door and clear the building and go on overwatch for the assault squad below. This unit is led by the LT in charge of the platoon and is comprised of 3 riflemen; 2 UGL (one with a Carl Gustav); and 2 SAW gunners.
Support Units: These units were spread throughout the buildings around the target compound to provide fire support when things get sticky. The platoon's two three man M 240 teams set up across the street from the compound and the other across the alley and by the reserve force. The three DMRs split into three two-man light "sniper" teams surrounding the compound.

The afternoon is hot and dry. A few goats scrounge through the scrub around the railroad tracks. The US mission coordinator is counting on the populace to be taking their afternoon nap.

The dirt street in front of the compound is quiet...perfect.

No more silence! Three Blackhawk choppers descend on the area taking turns letting their cargo quietly descend to their designated areas.

Turn One.
All the teams hit their assigned areas. I decided to have the AQI units unseen and out of action for the first turn.

The assault unit in place moving towards the target compound.

The security unit crossing the stream to get to their positions by the RR tracks.

The Reserve unit which fails the TQ die roll preventing them from breaching this turn.

Turn Two.
The assault team reaches about mid-alley point with no trouble. In the room above chaos breaks out. The reserve unit had just succeeded in breaching the trap door on the roof and interring into the first room when an AQI fighter fired his RPG from close quarters.
Little did the Assault unit know that the AQI attempted to detonate this VBIED for the next four turns without success. 

The backblast through the windows gave the assault unit a start! In a round of very lucky dice rolling, the reserve unit meets or exceeds all the firepower dice of the RPG, No casualties were taken. The attacked unit passes the reaction and morale rolls and kills the RPG man. First blood. 

Turn Three.
The reserve unit had to move down the stairs to clear the rest of the building in order to support the assault. Meanwhile the assault unit reaches the inside of the compound gate.
The reserve was ambushed by an AK gunner when they reached this room downstairs. The kneeling SAW gunner was hit by fire resulting in a light wound. He was escorted out the door to the Medevac unit operating from a Stryker ICV. The US unit then killed the gunner.  
 Turn Four-when it all went down
The assault unit begins to make its final move to the compound buildings but is hit by heavy fire from the second story while in the courtyard. Meanwhile the Reserve unit is hit by another ambusher in a side room.

The US unit was hit by fire from an RPG, 1 Soviet GPMG, and three AKs simultaneously. Due to some more very lucky dice rolling, the unit only suffered one lightly wounded casualty and was pinned thus forced to find the nearest cover away from the enemy fire.
The AQI in the building attempted to ambush the unit with no hits. The US unit returns fire lightly wounding the ambusher. Both are out of movement and firepower, we will have to wait 'till the next turn to see what happens.

Meanwhile the guys in the left side of the second floor of the compound fire at the support snipers and MGs across the street from them. They hit one of the DMRs who falls into serious condition. The other sniper team returns fire lightly wounding the gunner and pinning his unit due to even more lucky dice, I wasn't cheating I promise!! The MG team also attempts suppressing the unit but fails.
Turn 5
The assault goes sour in this turn and a surprise attack spring up on the flank.
The reserve unit in the building assaulted the fighter which ambushed them in the last turn. This resulted in a light wound on him and his eventual capture because he ran out of attack dice. Meanwhile the various support units around the target open up on the second floor of the compound killing one, and critically injuring two. Strangely the AQI unit still passes the morale checks. 

Two AQI GPMG teams sprung from the roof doors on the right flanking building of the battlefield. Due to the good defense rolls of the US support units, only one rifleman was seriously wounded in the security section. Both security and US GPMG teams return the favor seriously wounding two and injuring one in the crossfire.
Turn 6
I made the decision at that point to not further risk the already traumatized assault team by raiding the upstairs of the compound. Because I had a Bradley on call, targets already identified, and the target was surrounded I think blasting the building with the 25mm chaingun was a realistic choice.
I decided to give it a try with my Carl Gustav from the Reserve unit while waiting for the Bradley.

The Assault unit pulled out of the compound and past the once again failing VBIED into relative safety. The gunner fires killing one, the AQI unit passes morale yet again!
Carl Gustav in action
Turn 7-nothing good for AQI
The Brad arrives on the scene and chops up the building. The game ended. 

Oh, the AQI triggerman finally passed the TQ check detonating the VBIED. None of the US troops were injured.
The US suffered a total of 2 seriously, and two lightly wounded
AQI lost 8 KIA, 6 wounded and 1 captured.

I hope you liked my game.


  1. sounds like a real US raid, no deaths just injuries. good work Ben and I believe you weren't cheating the dice do seem to go in your favour in solo play games.

    1. It was one of my few games that turn out that way. If the al Quada unit had been able get a good roll and detonate the car bomb when planned probably massive casualties would have resulted in the assault squad, as well as a really tough morale check for all within 10" I believe.

  2. Great looking game. Nice to follow the action.



    1. Thanks Pete, it was a fun and quick scenario. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Ben,
    Love the buildings!! What rules do you use? I am curious. Seem like a ton of fun. You're making me want to play a Baghdad or Fallujah game again...


  4. Thanks Steven! I have tried to make an effort with terrain over time off for Christmas, it is so time consuming but worth it! I use Force on Force. It is a very nice set once I learned how to play it, it took several tries but each time is a little more fun.

    1. I have no idea how the hell to play it. The Rules are confusing to me. I would love to play it too. I need to learn how the heck to play...

    2. They are written in a very scatterbrained way. The basic to remember is that everything is based on a roll of four.
      Initiative player chooses an action, and if the non-initiative rolls a four or more, they may react, if not they sit out the turn. That is they key element to everything. Just start with that and add the details as you go and it can be great fun. I hope you can get "into" them, I have enjoyed the game!

    3. OK fair enough. I was using Seek Out, Close With, & Destroy (Modern Disposable Heroes) but I really like the reaction test concept. Prior to that I was playing Modern Crossfire.

      I will give them a shot in the New Year.

      Seems to me alot of rules written the last few years (British Grenadier among them) are written that way. More showy than practical or linear so idiots like me can grasp the concepts from the first read.

      I have quite a few rules to test out and I will place Force on Force on top of the list.

      By the way, I'm painting up a US Ranger Platoon from Mogadishu along with a bunch of Somali Militia. Should be fun.


    4. I agree, the reaction part makes it more fun and unpredictable. Also, there are four levels of troop quality: D6, D8, D10 and D12, that way the highest trained troops have a much better chance of passing the reaction.
      The Rangers sound very cool, have fun with the chocolate chip camo, or would it have been three tone yet? I'm a little fuzzy with the '90s!