Craig and I got together last night to run through some of the new elements in the forthcoming Taliban ORBAT. I was running the Taliban and Craig was running his Spec Ops force. Unfortunately Pooch was out to play elsewhere, so it was just the two of us.
Our brief was 2000pts and turn up and play, we had no idea of scenario or terrain, we just new that we would have to build a team from the 2000pts.
Both of us wanted to push the envelope on the rules to see if we can break the forthcoming Taliban ORBAT rules and some of our experimenting with Spec Ops so we knew that we would make some odd choices.
Now when Craig and I game, which isn’t as often as I would like these days, we play the narrative to the max. So while we would mini-max the points the game would be played out “correctly” i.e. how we envisaged it when we wrote the rules.
So in creating my Taliban I chose to use the Al Qaeda Leader and have most of my team made up of foreign Nationals, this mean I had access to Body Armour. (These are all new rules not currently available so don’t start looking in the main rule book for them :-))
Now to try and break the mechanics I brought two of my characters the sniper upgrade and gave them RPG’s. Now that doesn’t sound like it makes a lot of sense but an RPG uses Rifle skill so increasing my Rifle skill means that suddenly my RPG gunners are much better shots. Is this cheating? No, is it mini-maxing? Hell yes. But its this kind of thing we know certain players will do so we have to try it.
Craig set up the terrain while I made us a brew and as you can see in the pics he is always sneaky in his terrain. He doesn’t give anybody an advantage, because at this point he doesn’t know which end of the table he is starting at. But its always interesting and its terrain you have to look at twice as he will some how manage to get stuff to block your line of sight, just when you don’t want it too.
Now I had no idea others than Spec Ops what Craig would bring but I made a few guesses.
1. There wouldn’t be many of them, Specs Ops cost a fortune. They would be skilled up the wazoo and all be Elites.
2. He would have off-table snipers, as they are a bugbear of Craig’s so I know he will try and use them to beat me over the head with the fact he has never been keen on those rules. (For the record I am the same over snap fire, but we have known each other so long we are happy to wind each other up as we play.)
With this in mind I went for the mortar barrage, no one likes mortars and I tried to make it that I had enough people in my team who could call in the mortars in case as in previous games my “dicker” got hit early on.
So the game…
First question, do we use snap-fire? It's optional and you have to agree it before hand and before I realise what I have said I have agreed to it, am I mad. :-)
This was a foretaste of things to come and I can only ask, how did it go so horribly wrong?
In this game I couldn’t roll a spot roll to save my or my Taliban’s life. I had my spotter with a body of 20, he was the first man on the board. I should have been able to win the game with just the spotter on the table but the man was blind, blind I tell you. So time for a new plan
I advance on a refused flank but got the jitters because of the Snap fire rules being in use so failed to use my RPG snipers at all, they never got a shot off, almost 400pts wasted, again because they couldn’t spot a thing. Does blindness run in the family here? To make matters worse Craig killed one of them with an AT4 talk about overkill.
His two off table snipers, only fired one shot, but hit my leader and killed him outright. Fortunately for me we forgot to roll the new Taliban Leader morale rules we are working on.
I made some good shots on one of his chaps but my damage rolls where so low and his armour saves so high that I was only scratch him. Then to make matters worse his Mortar barrage went into action before mine killing 4 of my men in the opening salvo and when you only have 11 guys that really hurts.
By now I have occupied the main building (see above) but was slowly being picked off by Craig “luckydice” constant firing and the writing was on the wall. Probably in lead there was that much coming my way.
My barrage missed and moved almost off table and only caught one of his guys a glancing blow and again he saved it with his body armour. I just wasn’t catching a break.
Then his fast air came rumbling in causing Morale rolls for all the Taliban. Now finally I made good rolls, the Taliban managed to hold as his F18 Raptor came in firing chaff. The Taliban where “ Ohh look at the pretty lights” rather than the usual Gandalfian “Run you fools, run!”
So the game for me, was a long slow attrition. The Spec Ops almost didn’t move after the opening rounds and I played quite statically because of my fear of snap fire and in the end I was the only one to use it and guess what I missed. Oh those dice, how they hated me.
So the long and short of it was a big win for the Spec Ops.
But what about the story? Well Craig and I do a lot of our research by watching YouTube head cam videos that the troops put out and looking at this as a story it felt right.
The Taliban started big but the sheer weight of combined forces forced us quickly on the back foot and then destroyed us as a force with one major hit of the mortars. After which the ISAF just rolled up the Taliban. We have seen this dozens of times in country.
So it’s back to the drawing board with the group. I think the nucleus is there but it needs refining and Craig… the smile on his face said it all… B’stard!
Great game and we had a hoot.
As its summer here in Gods Own (New Zealand/Aotearoa) we are all now on vacation until 13 January, so there won't be anything posted for a couple of weeks.
So we would like to take this opportunity to wish our rules buying public seasons greetings and as the great Dave Allen used to say "and may your god go with you".