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"Island stand"

The forum for wargaming AARs and Bat Reps from FOF members.

"Island stand"

Postby jimmi » Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:12 pm

Howdy all , an AAR from a recent weekend away, one of four games .

The scenario was adapted from 'Programmed Wargames scenarios' which gives good, playable, balanced scenarios to test our rules development.
This scenario is on page 67, and we randomly generated the tabletop terrain from the book. The NVA player (who set up the table) changed where one of the bridges crossed because we didn't have enough materials for a second 'big' bridge, so moved it (from what was randomly determined) to cross the smaller canal...with everyone's agreement. This was done before we allocated who was on what side of the table.

This was also played concurrently as part of a 'career campaign' whereby players have to score/accrue as many 'career points' as they can ..so the emphasis is on 'making the plan work' and satisfying additional objectives .... ie ; so the (tabletop) commander (on both sides) "looks good to his boss."
..you'll see how this works at the end.

I'll post this in instalments , ....try to keep from writing too much, show lots of pikkies ,... and give both 'sides perspectives .

I played the Commander of the Marine forces.

The scenario is set in late 1968, at the enemy-held village of XX somewhere on the river YY in I Corps .

here is the FWF Commander brief ;

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Warning order ;
Your force of Marines will secure the N-S road across the river YY.


Situation ;
Village XX is suspected NVA base area. Village was previously cooperative to RVN, but during Tet attacks, village was lost to Communists. Assume civilians are now uncooperative.

Terrain;
River village situated on a small island in the middle of YY river . YY river flows NE to SW . Minor current (1”/turn) , Tall bridge (across main river) navigable to all boats , minor bridges (across secondary river/canal) navigable to sampans/ low boats only .
Good weather .

Friendly forces;
No friendly forces in the area.

Enemy forces ;
Intel suggests this is a Communist Base area, primarily a transit point for river / road transport.
No recent contacts in this immediate area. Recent Sapper activity nearby.

Mission objectives ;
Capture and clear the N-S Road and bridges.
Aim to capture the tall bridge intact.
Occupy village XX and prepare for handover to ARVN.
Avoid civilian casualties.
Evacuate all casualties, recover any vehicles

Execution;
Approach from West side of table (*was randomly determined..I wanted to enter from the North)

~ Available forces ;
1/8 Marine Btn plus any/ all Btn assets .
Additional Marine assets ; Armoured Pl (M48s) , Amtrack carrier Pl and Amtrack How Btty + HQ .
Marine air assets.
Any other assets available. (ie; we have figures for)

Artillery / CAS fire support restricted to confirmed targets only.
Restricted ROE ; (only fire on confirmed En targets)

Admin and Log ;
Medevac by own assets. Helo +2 turns away.
CAS ; +2 turns away.
Resupply (if required) by own assets.

Communication ;
Btn Comd , Coy Comds , Pl Comds , FO's per Coy , FAC .

More to follow ;
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If the enemy is in range ...then so are you .
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Re: "Island stand"

Postby GARRYOWEN » Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:27 am

Great intro. How nice it would be to have a group that was all interested enough in one period and played often enough to do a campaign. My guys are great to game with, but that would never happen. I ran 16 games at my home in 2015. A total of 15 different guys came. One made 12. The next highest was 6.

I love all the preparation and the detailed briefing info. Literally no one out of five players in a recent Napoleonic game read eight to ten lines in an email about the historical introduction to the game.

You and your players will put the time in it to have a meaningful game.

This is really cool. An interesting scenario. I am looking forward to the next installment.

Tom
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Re: "Island stand"

Postby Smitty14 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:57 am

Can't wait for more. Sounds like it'll be a good one. Also like Tom I like the attention to detail and description.
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Re: "Island stand"

Postby jimmi » Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:45 pm

in the way we play our games ...once we have our objectives determined , and a map has been agreed on , the defender sets up the table , and the attacker (that's me) doesn't look at the table and prepares 'orders'

Here's the 'execution' part of the plan ;

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Execution ;
Groupings + tasks ;
Group A ; Recon team (squad) ‘north’ ; Recon up North edge of table to road. If contacted, break contact and remain in position if tenable.
Group B; Boat team (ASPB + LCVP ) ; Minesweeping up river to bridge. At bridge ASPB to unload Marine recon team on south side of bridge , LCVP to unload Marine recon team and ARVN Rangers to north side of bridge. ASPB to move short ways further up river and be prepared to recover Marine Recon teams from South side of the bridge. LCVP to remain at north bridge footings to remove casualties / prisoners / civilians as required.
Group C ; A Coy + Tank Platoon + Engineer / dog team ; 1 PL + armour to Move up road North of village to minor bridge. 2 + 3 PL to move up road to middle of village and hold village crossroads. Check dwellings to find headman of village. Search for caches.
Group D ; Btn HQ ; remain at west entry point then follow 2 + 3 PL into town. Tank Pl HQ remain with Btn HQ then follow A Coy along road into village via north bridge. Tank Pl HQ to move to reinforce B Coy.
Group E ; B Coy (in Amtracks) + Amtrack Howitzer Btty ; enter table T +3, move up river and take and hold south bank of main river up to road. Establish fire support base with Howitzer Btty and B coy Mortars.
Group F ; Marine recon team ; (split between ASPB and LCVP) land at bridge footings and check/clear any reserved demolitions. North team to move over bridge to south team checking for deml. When bridge cleared and North and South teams reunited, to exfil via ASPB.
Group G ; ARVN Ranger Platoon (in LCVP) ; land at north bridge footings , move to crossroads of town, move north through village to secure northern half of village (from crossroads). Find village headman. Search for caches.
FAC ; intial flyover village drop leaflets (“stay in dwellings”) . Remain on station under command of BTN HQ . Coordinate any CAS as required. Patrol table sectors.

Available Reinforcements /support (off table) ;
3PL / A Coy ; under command ; by foot from west entry point + 1 turns .
7PL / B Coy ; under command ; in helo ; +3 turns
Btty 105mm Howitzer ; on call ; FO with BTN HQ .
Medevac helo ; under command ; +2 turns
CAS ; on call ; +2 turns ; (Cobra Platoon , A1 Skyraider flight, A4 Skyhawk flight )

Conduct ;
Restricted ROE . No Arty impact within 18” of village.
BTN Comd to make / approve any reinforcement requests (incl. CAS)
AO ambush ; counter ambush drill ; turn into and assault through.
AO mine / booby trap ; minesweepers leave + bypass . Engineer team leader (with BTN HQ) will neutralise.
AO cache / tunnel ; mark + bypass . Engineer / dog team to investigate.

(* AO = 'actions on' ..ie; what to do if; )

Once I've prepared my orders I'm allowed to see the table again;

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west end of table ...my table edge (on left)

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east end of table (missing a bit of north edge of table ..sorry my crap photography) and south-east raised ground .

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view of east end of island ...
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Re: "Island stand"

Postby GARRYOWEN » Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:09 am

Really neat!! All of that detailed pre-planning would add a lot to the game.

I am curious as to how long you spend in what I will call preparation for actually getting the figures on the table. That is all that you have been describing here.

Also, does all of it happen on the same day as you begin playing with the figures?

Tom
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Re: "Island stand"

Postby jimmi » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:27 am

GARRYOWEN wrote:I am curious as to how long you spend in what I will call preparation for actually getting the figures on the table. That is all that you have been describing here.

Also, does all of it happen on the same day as you begin playing with the figures?


Yes , hahaha! surprisingly quick !

The 'scenario development' was taken from a book ... a few dice later and objectives and table edges are set ...so that was quick ...in this case over a morning cup of coffee.
We then reconvene in "half an hour" ; I (the attacker) write orders and get first figures organised in that time. The defender sets up the rest of the table ... so he can 'fine tune' the terrain (eg. measure bits and pieces, so he knows how many 12" tunnel lengths he needs for example... or place 'hidden unit' markers /dummies ) examine/fine tune fire lanes or movement routes ... (all the 'defender advantages') and then writes his 'plan' . ...In this case he took a little over half an hour to set the table up (from four cartons of terrain I brought along), and wrote his 'defensive plan' in the time it took to eat a bacon-and-egg sandwich.

We are relatively no-nonsense gamers , and were playing within the hour from a cold start/empty table.
Still had time for morning joking ("sledging" - an aussie tradition) , and a second cup of coffee ... but not much other meaningless conversation.

In other campaign games (eg map campaigns) we might know exactly what battles / maps/ TOEs we are going to play before we arrive.
The table might even be set up before we get there .

The orders follow the "SMEAC" format .. when I write 'em up I use movement arrows on a map and everything is well abbreviated . I wrote them up longhand here but they are relatively brief .

Packing up takes a lot longer .

:cheers
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Re: "Island stand"

Postby GARRYOWEN » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:37 am

Sounds like a very well oiled machine. Doing all of that is remarkable. When I run a game at a convention. I have a map with key measurements and photos of the table from my play tests, and it still takes me 1 to 1.5 hours just to set up the 6'x8' table for a 20mm WWII or Vietnam game. No planning or order wrighting.

A 6'x12' 28mm Sioux Wars table takes about an hour. (The table's bigger but less terrain out on the plains).

Of course, when someone is helping, it probably saves 12-15 minutes.

You are very efficient!!

Tom
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Re: "Island stand"

Postby yankee sam » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:18 pm

Jimmi,
That's incredible. Both in the detail and the planning. Map is close to either Football or Go Noi Island near An Hoa combat base and the Thu Bon river. Also, haven't heard the acronym SMEAC in a long long long time! :-)
Great job, can't wait to read and see more.

Glad you are well.

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Re: "Island stand"

Postby Darby » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:34 pm

Oooooo, can't wait to see how this one goes!
Grunt Sgt: "We got 6 confirmed kills..."
Intel Officer: "NVA or VC?"
Grunt Sgt: "Monkeys. And they didn't say what side they were on."

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Re: "Island stand"

Postby jimmi » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:45 pm

[quote="GARRYOWEN"]Sounds like a very well oiled machine. Doing all of that is remarkable. When I run a game at a convention. I have a map with key measurements and photos of the table from my play tests, and it still takes me 1 to 1.5 hours just to set up the 6'x8' table for a 20mm WWII or Vietnam game. No planning or order wrighting.

A 6'x12' 28mm Sioux Wars table takes about an hour. (The table's bigger but less terrain out on the plains).

Of course, when someone is helping, it probably saves 12-15 minutes.

You are very efficient!!

Tom


Hahaha! meticulous organisation is the key ! ... hence my longstanding (somewhat ****) interest /fascination with wargaming 'storage and transport'. I'll do a post on how I do mine. Hahaha! ... 'professionals talk logistics'.
It is actually what frustrates me when visiting gaming clubs etc ...ie; just how long it takes some people to stop mucking about, talking toys, having cigarette breaks ... and get their jobs done ...yeah I know there's a 'social' aspect to it all , but .... "we going to be here for a couple of hours ..plenty of time to talk etc ....!!! let's get playing ! "

Orders ? ...I've had more than a little practice and have the SMEAC format burned into my head ...what I've presented here are 'expanded' from what I actually did on the day (although i didn't include 'admin and sigs ' which I didn't share here. ) a few minutes (like 10) should be enough . The defender will be making his 'plan' (ie; interlocking arcs , establishing movement routes etc etc ) as he sets up the table ... then should be just general orders +/- "Actions On" ...

We deliberately try to make this all fairly quick and will 'sledge' each other if taking too long .
.... quick thinking and organisation is what earns you your commander paygrade ....

That said ... the defender here didn't 'interpret' the terrain pieces as I would intentioned in his setup of my terrain pieces ...ie ; long grass 'triangles' standing in for rice padi 'squares' etc. ............ but that's not so important really ... as long as WE know what it all means.

on with the show !
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Re: "Island stand"

Postby jimmi » Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:18 pm

Line of departure ;
T+1
FAC overflies village ; drops leaflets ; ‘stay indoors’
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Acoy + minesweepers + dog team and armour * arrive entry point west .
Recon team North scouts ahead
ASPB scouts ahead
Dummy Hidden unit (south edge of table ) ‘scouts ahead’

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* My opponent calls me on my ‘armour deployment * … our rules say that when deploying armour the defender gets 3 turns advance warning that I am deploying armour (because of the sound it makes) ….I forgot to declare this before placing the armour on and ‘making a legal move’. I originally intended to ‘enter the armour on turn + 3 , but …that’s not what I wrote in my orders , or what I actually did.
I Have to concede the point and the NVA gets = + 3 moves 'in retrospect', ... knowing that I’m deploying armour , and what direction my armour is coming from .
(…just blew any element of surprise ) .


T+2
A Coy (minesweeper attachment) finds AT Mine on West road before wooden bridge .
‘Civilians’ scatter – road traffic North and south roads .
LVCP enters

T+ 3
FAC finds bunker 1 in north east corner (overlooking small bridge)

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A Coy bypass mines, 2+ 3 Pl (and minesweeper) begin cross wooden bridge.
enemy Hidden Unit marker nearby wooden bridge is revealed as a dummy .
1 Pl and armour (and minesweeper) begin to move along north road

T+4
Request for CAS Cobra
B Coy in Amtracks arrive (late)
FAC marks bunker 2


T+5
Amtrack howitzers and HQ Amtrack arrive
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T+6
FAC finds a second bunker (herinafter bunker 2) on south edge of table on raised ground overlooking south edge of high bridge.

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Recon team north finds a tunnel entrance.
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Cobra arrives and rockets bunker 1 (with no effect)

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Re: "Island stand"

Postby GARRYOWEN » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:28 am

Cool game and it really looks good. Lots of water and rice.

Tom
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Re: "Island stand"

Postby jimmi » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:32 am

continued ;

T+7
FAC marks bunker 2
Recon team North marks tunnel entrance and moves on .

T+8
Recon team north finds another tunnel entrance on their objective in woods near N road .

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Comms to B Coy to ‘land’ immediately ( – selected landing site seemingly covered by bunker 2 )

ASPB + LVCP land at bridge. Marine recon teams move to bridge footings , ARVN Rangers move to village crossroads. Civilians flee .

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One sampan quietly escapes up river .
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T+9

B Coy land in Amtracks just short of original BLS . Cobra rockets bunker. ..bunker destroyed .
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T+ 10
Marine recon teams clear bridge footings (nothing there)
ARVN move East from cross roads to clear village.
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B Coy overrun bunker 2
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N recon team crosses N road . – mine goes off ; two elements (incle ptl commd) KIA
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T+11
Marine recon team (north of high bridge) moves (S) across high bridge sweeping for deml . Marine recon (south of high bridge) team approaches (surprises) nearby civilians – discovers they are Command Det mine team ! … taken prisoner .
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ARVN Rangers move north of crossroads

Shooter pops up from spider hole just N of road junction (north of N low bridge) ; shoots at minesweeper and dog team . Dog team missed , minesweeper suppressed . Everyone shoots back – one hit- WIA .
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T+12
Medevac helo requested (… forgot to do it last turn)
Dog team (and rifle teams) close combats spider hole across road..... ! Dog team gets there first ..and wins … WIA NVA taken prisoner .
2 + 3 PL arrive at crossroads … so far …nothing in the village .
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Re: "Island stand"

Postby Darby » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:58 pm

It's amazing how realistic this is turning out, as far as the peripheral encounters in an operation. People forget that a lot of action takes place outside of the big battles, and those small actions and encounters can tie up assets that would otherwise be making an impact on The Big Show.

Lovin' this!
Grunt Sgt: "We got 6 confirmed kills..."
Intel Officer: "NVA or VC?"
Grunt Sgt: "Monkeys. And they didn't say what side they were on."

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Re: "Island stand"

Postby Mishima » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:43 am

Wow. Lovely table set up.
http://www.gomidesigns.co.uk
For 15mm Vietnam Riverine models.
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You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?
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