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Tuesday 26 November 2013

First Solo

 In our small group  Andrew the Tekkie is a valued chap. He knows an awful lot about modern armies and their kit and what he doesn't know he can find out. So given this. its no surprise that his favourite period is  Modern Warfare- lots of big tanks with  dirty great Whumpata guns and all sorts of clever Wossnames to msake  them work properly - not forgetting Helicopters and jets and loads of very exspensive  Whatjamacallems (you'll notice Gentle reader that I use the technical terms)
 Now notwhithsatanding all this until recently Andrew didn't have a collection of his own and hadn't run a game.
 Last Saturday(16th) he finally broke one of his ducks as it were by running a game using my Modern Collection - so it was of course once again set in the Demoratic Republic of Harraq and would be the further Adventures of 69 Commando Royal Marines Battle Group.- read Second Gulf War  with the names changed to preseve the guilty . But as ever an eye to "accuracy"  and an attempt to stick close to period as we can - surely the point
 Rules for these games are "Combined Arms"  with additions from the relevant issues of CPQ plus any "local additions and amanedments " that the Umpire feels approriate.

 One nice idea which we will use again was the ability of the "technologically superior" Coalition forces to communicate using email - 2 of those present had  Tablets- actually Barnes and Noble Nook  devices- not only that but now some of the awful Jokes become a little clearer Gentle Reader so here we go First the Briefings

Mullah Mustapha Narsul
High Commander “72 Virgins Martyrs Brigade”
Town of Hav-Al-Ghan.

The Infidel Crusaders are upon the Holy soil of Harraq. They must be destroyed, slaughtered.
Martyrdom is upon us Brothers.

Allah a Akbar!!!

Available forces
Trained Morale 9
1 Command Stand.
1 14.5mm AAMG
1 107mm RCL.
2 Recon Jeeps with HMG
4 Recon Motorcycle stands
1 Jeep with sneb Rocket pod.
Mortar Company with
4 81 mm Mortar Stands (ROF1).
2 Infantry groups  each with
2 Infantry Stands
1Weapons stand

You must prevent the British from  capturing the town. There will be regular military forces on route to support you, but you must hold out against the cursed infidel. If you don’t there’s a bullet waiting for you.

If you destroy the enemy infantry, look for NOOKIE! We have heard this is important to the British!

British Forces
Al-Hav-Atit Province, Southern Hirraq
Gentlemen, as you may be aware, the war goes well, with few casualties and, thankfully, few embarrassing tweets from the lads. However, speed is of the essence, and we must push forward.
Our objectives today are the town of Hav-Al-Ghan. Although not in itself strategically important, the town represents an opportunity for a hearts and minds campaign with the locals, who are in no way enamoured with the Great Leader and will welcome his downfall (stop sniggering at the back, the Yanks have good intelligence that once the Great Leader has been deposed, the country will support a peaceful transition and we’ll be home by Christmas!).
In addition to the town, there is an Oyston Oil facility to the north. This must be taken from enemy hands in pretty short order as it is vital to the post-war rebuilding plan and the local economy.
Now, as well as the troops available, we are trialling the new SWORDSMAN (Soldiers Wanting ORDers Sometime – Map And Nokia) replacement: NOOKIE (New Overpriced Obstreperous Kit – Improvised Edition). NOOKIE will allow British and Allied units to interoperate at a very low level. NOOKIE will allow inter-unit communication securely, without the enemy being able to intercept.
Please note that this kit, supplied by Oyston Electronics, is at a test phase and does have some… foibles to be taken into account. But for Lord’s sake, do not lose a terminal to enemy forces! That will hand the Hirraquis a massive intelligence coup.
Your forces consist of:
Elite Morale 10
HQ 69 Cdo Royal Marines Battle Group – NOOKIE capable
1Command stand
1 FV432 TOC.
Support  coy with
1Command Infantry stand
1 HMG stand
1 Recon sniper stand
2 81mm Mortar stands
1 Milan Stand.
1Quad Bike and Trailer
1 Pinzgauer truck
1 Landrover
2 companies each with
 1 command Infantry stand
2 infantry stands.
Any stand from the Support Company may be attached to either of the infantry companies
Manoeuvre Support group.
1 command WMIK

Armoured group
HQ no1 SqnPrince Regents Own Heavy Hussars
1 Command Sultan
1 Sabre Squadron with
1 Command Challenger1
2 Challenger 1
No2Sqn Prince Regents Own Heavy Hussars
1 Sabre Squadron with
1 Command Challenger1
2 Challenger 1
Attached armoured Infantry – 3rd Btn Queens Malabars – NOOKIE capable
1Command Warrior IFV
2 Warrior IFV
1 command Infantry Stand
1 infantry stand
1Weapons stand

Air Support
 In addition you may call upon
 “Ugly Six Nine”callsign
1 x AHU64D Apache gunship –Army Air Corps

Battle for Hav Al - Ghan
Nov 2nd 2003.

Jhimhi Hussein Al- Rufa Al Kahol. President-for-Life and “Great Leader“of the Republic of Harraq.
(Allah Help Us!!!)

Relieve the town garrison as quickly as possible, denying the town to the British infidels.

Prevent the capture of the Oyston Oil Company facility to the British.

Capture a NOOKIE communication device in order to gather intelligence on the Infidel advance.

 Infantry Battalion 19th Reserve Infantry Division
Trained Morale 6.
Bttn HQ with
1 infantry Command Stand
Weapons Company with
1 81mm Mortar stand.
1 weapons stand.
2 infantry Companies each with
2 infantry stands.
These troops may occupy any of the trenches and bunkers on the table to the west  of the town of Hav- al Ghan

Oyston Oil Company Protective Detail
Trained Morale 7
 1 command Stand
1 Radio Car.
Garrison Infantry company with
2 Infantry stands
Garrison Weapons company with
1 weapons stand
1 HMG  stand
Anti Aircraft Company with
1 Shilka SPAA
These troops may deploy anywhere within the facility boundaries.

Elements 3rd Saladin Armoured division.
Experienced Morale 8
Tank Battalion with
Battalion HQ company
1 Command T-72
1 T-72

2 Tank Companies each with
1Command T-72
2 T-72
1 Tank Companywith
3 T-72

Mechanised Infantry Battalion.
 Battalion HQ with
I Command Stand
1BMP toc
ATGW company with
2 infantry Companies each with
1 Command Infantry Stand
1 Weapons Stand
1 Infantry stand
3 BMP2

 These troops deploy anywhere along the North edge of the table once activated

As you can see the jokes are at best awful- but that's the way we like 'em  It simply does not do to take yourself too seriously
 Next a photo montage of the action - picture captions tell the story- all photos by Andrew Oyston.

The Left of the British Deployment- Challenger Tanks and Warrior IFV with a single Bulldog for flavour.

The "Harraquis - well Iraquis really . There looks to be an awful lot of T-72

The Town of Hav- al Ghan filled with fundementalists

The Oil depot heavily defended by AAA.
The first group of pics show set up and move one . The action opened with a mortar barrage from the Martys Brigade on the Royal Marines. The fire was inaccurate and slow but did eventually claim a landrover. Once the Marines replied- their Cymbeline Radar (an extra plus2)  giving them an accuaracy advantage soon finished the Martyrs Mortar Company  the few survivors fleeing to become peaceful farmers again.
Harrqi tanks and Apc s rush towards the towen

Close up of the Armoured Battle Group  bimbling along. I really should have got my finger out.

Sneaky foriengers spring an ambush  with ATGW

Cheers erupt from the Harraqi  commander.

Retribution is swift and deadly
  The most effective of the Harrqi weapons were there ATGW on BRDM   which claimed a Challenger and their light AAA which claimed an Apache. The T-72 simply could not damage Challenger at anything other than suicidally close and whilst random rocket and 107mm RCL fire could cause the marines to halt temoprarily  they could not be stopped.
 Once a second Apache turned up it was all over bar a bit of shouting
OKay Chaps Hellfire !
Boom Boom Boom
After this little lot the Harraqi Morale to say the least a tad shaken.  and whilst there was nothing to stop the British taking the town Rules of Egagment meant it would be a slow process- throughout the game the Brits could not fire until fired upon or unless they observed an enemy threat- figures in Civillian dress were not threats until they opened fire.
 Post match I thought I should have been a bit more gung-ho perhaps faster on my feet. Tom in charge of the Marines reckoned he needed more transport and Jeff in charge of the Harraqis was cock - hoop that he had taken out an Apache ,a Challenger and a landrover.
 Andrew  did a sterling job as Umpire and wonder of wonders I got to play with some of my own stuff. Ale and Beef Butties as ever splendid and a fine time had by all.


  1. A fine set up, Andy, and it looks like a lot of fun - in prospect at any rate. Lots of shiny kit there. The impression I get, though, was that the objective of the Iraqui - sorry, Harraqui - Army, was to put up a creditable (if not credible) show. Even the cautiously deliberate approach you allow that you took (not to develop enemy threats too quickly was the aim, I infer) did not offer them much of a fighting chance of what we might call victory.

    Which leads me to a possibility that might well explain taking a 'softly, softly catchee Harraquee' line. This is also suggested by pleased reaction of the Mullah Mustapha at the close of the action: taking out a Challenger tank, and an Apache helicopter as well. It is this: suppose the Harraqui objective was less to hold the town and the Oil facility (those these of course would be the stated objectives), but merely to inflict damage upon the despised and pitiable infidel (despised and pitiable because they are infidels). The most expensive and embarrassing damage is the aim.

    Suppose this had been a real incident during the 2nd Gulf War, with the same outcome. You can imagine Tony Bliar being subjected to a close and searching questioning in the House, can you not! Well...

    1. Ion Yes precisely- I'm thiinking of developing a mini- campaign with exactly those objectives for the Harraqis. As for the game itself if I'd have got my finger out and moved a bit faster I suspect we'd not have lost the challenger but would have lost more Infantry and perhaps inflicted more losses. The idea of imposing "Rules of Engagement on the Brits is also one I want to explore more fully . One thing I'm finding is that none of this is as obvious as it first appears. Hence the enjoyment.

    2. Interesting! It's funny you should mention that. My pal Brian (of the 'Fist Full of Plastic' blogspot) has similar notions with his Harad project, and quite a few others as well. A good many of his scenarios and set-ups require a different mind-set from the usual 'lets beat the snot outta them there baddy-type other guys, a.k.a. the enemy.' As a school teacher, he sees in war gaming a considerable potential for education - especially the sort of education that encourages actual thinking.

    3. Ion I like that! Good thinking that man For myself I get really really fed up with the simplistic appraoch, at worst it becomes no more than a dice rolling contest surely we should be doing motre than that.

  2. lets get this right, it was 2 apaches, a challenger, a warrior and a land rover!

    1. Al - Jezeera propaganda- ! but only the second Apache is "massaging the truth as I had forgotten about the Warrior.

  3. This is lovely Andy - your briefings in particular make wargaming sound like FUN - be careful, mate! - and realistic too. Thanks for a good read and lovely pics, well done.

    1. CVhris- there is nothing wrong with FUN- as long as there is something else as well. FUN alone is not enogh.... there should also be beer ....

  4. Good to read a proper FIBNEWS battle report*

    Regards, Chris.

    *(Fighting In Bits Nobody else Wants)