Monday, 18 June 2018

Yesterday, I had the house to myself again, so did another test run of some free modern skirmish rules I found on the web called FUBAR.

These are quite simplistic when compared with many of the current genre of modern rules such as Chain Reaction 3, Force on Force, Skirmish Sangin etc, but that is no bad thing in my opinion.

I have to run a scenario for 6-8 people at our up coming wargaming week later in the year and I want it to be fun and manageable, with rules people can pick up for the first time on the day, yet get to grips with quickly.

I took a heap of pictures - too many possibly - but I really quite like the look of these 20mm figures - a mixture of many manufacturers including Elheim, Liberation, Under Fire and Britannia.

The aim of the game was quite simple - for 3 x 4 man British fire teams to work their way from one end of the table to the other. As they reached certain trigger points, dice rolls would decide where Taliban opposition would appear. The arrival points change as the trigger points move down the table, so that the Taliban wont ever appear at the wrong end of the table, too far away to be a threat!

Troop types have a range of characteristics that define how they operate, success in firing etc as below

Unit Training/Experience

Level              Activation                  Expertise       Suppress before casualty

Green              5+                                  6+                                            1

Seasoned         4+                                 5+                                             2

Veteran           3+                                  4+                                            3

Elite                2+                                  4+                                           

The rules are all contained on one side of A4 - which I hope makes them easy for our group members to assimilate when it comes to the mass game later in the year!

For the trial, I made both the British and the Taliban Veteran grade - last time I did a run through, I made the Taliban Green and Seasoned, and they were no match for the Brits, so I wanted to see what would happen this time. 

The Brit fire teams all comprised a Section Commander with an SA80 (assault rifle), a rifleman with an SA80, a SAW/Minimi (LMG) and an SA80 with UGL (Underslung Grenade Launcher). The Taliban were random groups of 6+ usually including either an LMG or RPG plus the ubiquitous AK47 assault rifle.
Most of the table looking from the British start line

Another view of the table - Brits entered from the right

The three British fireteams start their advance 

The right flank fireteam on the edge of a crop field giving them light cover

The left flank fireteam

The British reaching the first cross table irrigation ditch triggered a test for enemy activation and these Taliban appeared 

The guys on the roof did not last long - despite having hard cover from the building meaning a 6 was required - the Brits scored 5 hits - as Veterans the Taliban could sustain three suppressions before any of the hits equated to casualties, so they are two down plus the remainder have three suppressions (above and below)

When the second fireteam reached the trigger point, this group of Taliban appeared on the British start line behind the right flank team

The centre fireteam left the cover of the irrigation ditch to help the right flank team clear the remaining Taliban to their front
 At the start of each turn a 5 or 6 gives the coalition forces a UAV - meaning the position of any Taliban anywhere on the table is known to them and they can react to it - Tangos on our Six!
The right flank team takes cover in an irrigation ditch and faces the rear "On Guard" (over watch)

Fireteam three moves through the narrow alleyways and rubble of previous conflict

A third Taliban unit activates as all three fireteams have now passed trigger point one

Defensive fire from the Brits has suppressed two of the Taliban attacking from the rear

The Taliban fire on the Brits needing a 6 to luck this time

The Brits activate first next turn and fire again on the enemy in the crop fields needing 5 or 6 ...

The six Taliban are reduced to three, two of whom are suppressed...

Meanwhile, another fireteam engages the Taliban unit that has most recently activated....they are in light cover so again, 5 or 6 required to hit 

The British throwing is again deadly - three suppressed and one casualty

The remaining Taliban exchange close quarter fire down the alleyway

The UAV is back on station

Fireteam 3 SAW gunner engages the Taliban advancing up the alleyway...
Another three hits

Meanwhile, the Brits form the irrigation ditch decide to assault the Taliban and engage in Close Quarter Battle

All three British fireteams can be seen in this shot - result of the assault (bottom centre above) was one casualty each.

A second British fireteam reinforces the first

Combat results - white dice British green dice Taliban..the Taliban were wiped out.

All looks quiet at this end of town - above and below

Another new Taliban unit enters the fray but is immediately engaged in the open and suffers three suppressions

SAW gunner (kneeling right) unleashes a stream of.556 at another group of Taliban

But wait, there's more!

The Taliban in the alley engaged by the SAW gunner in earlier picture

Another round of firing by this fireteam - 3 dice for the SAW, 3 for the UGL and 2 for the SA80 as its close range - 4+ required for a hit...

Another good round of firing from the Brits

The Brits have reached trigger point three and more Taliban start to arrive from the "quiet" end of town

The new arrivals enter one of the compounds

On the right flank, the fireteam assaults the Taliban in the building who have been suppressed by fire power

Cant roll much better than this - the Taliban are removed from play!

Yet more Taliban reinforcements arrive
The Brits advancing up the alleyway are caught in the open by a Taliban LMG

Taliban numbers are starting to tell as the Brits have suffered multiple suppressions, making it hard to activate

I stopped at this point as the Brits looked like they were about to be wiped out. They only lost three actual casualties but two of the three fireteams now had 3 suppressions each, meaning any hit would remove another figure and also meaning they needed to roll a six to activate.

These rules seem to work quite well and are pretty simple - its just a matter of balancing the forces. The Taliban had many more troops although not all on the table at the same time - 9 units activated over the course of the game - 3 per trigger point - and they all comprise 6+ figures. As they were also the equal of the Brits in training and morale etc, it was only the miraculous dice rolling I did for the Brits that kept them in the game so long!

Friday, 1 June 2018


Yesterday evening, Chris, John and I went over to Julian's for another run through his latest rule set - "For King and Country". Once again, Mark was unable to join us so we were restricted to the number of troops by only having my collection - and the number of units was reduced further by the fact I left on file box of infantry at home! On the plus side, as it is a square/hex based system, we can reduce the unit sizes considerably, so all my 6 base cavalry regiments became 2 base units instead - thus enabling us to have 11 cavalry units per side!. The infantry need to be a bit more "meaty" so they remain at 4 pike and either 2 or 4 shot. I managed to provide enough troops for 7 infantry units per side, so we had a reasonable size force each.

The game was based on the battle of Naseby but with reduced numbers on each side. John and I were the "Parliamentarian" side and Chris and Julian the "Royalist". We had two more "Victory coins" than Chris and Julian (16 to 14 I believe) and our infantry had more fire power.

The Royalists prevailed in the end but only just, as they were down to the last two coins and were about to lose a unit to my cavalry if we had survived to the next turn!

 Initial Deployments
How the two forces advanced
 Position after a few moves
Roughly the position at the end of the game

I took quite a few photos but once again a lot of them were of indifferent quality when viewed on the screen of a PC - what is left are the better ones, and some of them aren't that great - so apologies for the quality! The figures are a mixture of Front Rank ( no longer in production) Dixon, Foundry and Warlord hard plastics.

 Royalist left wing cavalry
 The main Royalist force in the centre
One of the Parliamentarian infantry units
 A general view of the field from the Parliamentarian side
 A spectacular success - from 5 cards needing 8+ to hit, I got four - and destroyed one of Julian's cavalry units
 Parliamentarian cavalry (left) charge Royalists
 The cavalry melee on the Parliamentarian right lasted the whole game
 Both attacker and defender are disrupted in this clash
 Another lucky turn of the cards - and another Royalist cavalry unit quits the field!
 Parliamentarian infantry on the hill
 The Royalist infantry assault the centre of the Parliamentarian line
 Same situation taken from above - the artillery would not stand much longer!
 Parliamentarian (Covenanters really) infantry face off against their Royalist counterparts
 A Cavlary melee from above
 Above and below - view from behind the advancing  Royalist infantry

 The Royalist cavalry were dominant on their right wing
 Royalist cavalry versus Parliamentarian dragoons
 View from the Parliamentarian left flank - four of the original six cavalry units are still on the field
 Penultimate move of the game - my cavalry ready to charge the flank of Julian's infantry
But it was all too late as Chris's infantry smashed another Parliamentarian unit in the centre and our last two coins were removed.

Another fun game and these rules seem to work quite well, although we are going to look again at how cavalry engage infantry. Unless we were missing something, a fresh cavalry unit could charge a pike block and fight with 5 cards to the defenders 2 - which does not seem to reflect the defensive advantage a pike block would have against cavalry? Maybe we missed something in the rules......