Thursday, 11 August 2011

More Facts Than He Bargained For

A visiting 'Minister' has insisted on undertaking a fact finding tour on the ' front-lines' of rural Borsetshire. Colonel Streatham decided that a small unarmoured Land Rover convoy would not draw any undue attention and give the Minister the photo opportunity he was inevitably seeking.

A wrong turn and the Minister gets more 'facts' than he bargained for as the small convoy enters a country area being looted by armed men.

The photo above shows the crisis point of the game. The Minister, his PR Assistant and a local council dignitary all shelter between the two Land Rovers as an Army driver and armed Special Branch close protection officers return fire.

Above, an overview of the table as the action kicks off. The rear Land Rover has got itself entangled with the tractor trailer, whist trying to reverse out of danger. The driver is just mashing gears but can't free. A petrol bomb suddenly sets the Land Rover aflame - luckily preventing the looters from the house on the right from overwhelming the Ministers party.

The driver from the rear Land Rover and Special Branch officers manage to take down three of the armed looters in a quick but bloody firefight. One officer bites the dust another is injured. Under covering fire everyone who can is loaded into the first Land Rover and in a moment of desperation it crashes past the car blocking the road. The two remaining Special Branch officer run/limp behind the Rover and in the final exchange of gunfire the local councillor is shot in the back of the Rover.

Overhead, the bee-like whine of Westland Scouts can be heard as they bring in two bricks from the on-call rapid reaction force.... but that's next week's game.

The action took 30 minutes to play out and was conducted in as near real time as possible with Maff taking on the mantle of the Minister's party. In true game master fashion I bombarded him with events and fast fire decisions which needed to be made on the spot to replicate the urgency of the situation.

Rules were once again Cold War:1983 with factors being assigned to groups rather than individuals for speed of play.

Turned out to be a cracking little game that we both really enjoyed. Played on an extended 2'x3' card table, it proved that you don't need a lot to play a fun and fulfilling wargame.

And Maff's take on the game?

"I knew it was going to be messy when I saw the terrain; oddly I'd been reading Major Richard Winters memoirs and was thinking about ambushes in hedgerow country. It looked nasty, boxed in at both ends and for moment I thought of the way the DEA got hammered in Clear & Present Danger! Still, my limited anti ambush knowledge is too fire back and keep at it; with a few trots being dropped things looked a bit better. Then a Special Branch went down and landy two went up. And the QRF was 10 mins away (I wasn't really sure there was one). Time to collapse my perimeter, throw the suits onto landy one, put boot to accelerator and ram past the car block. The surviving Special Branch did a running jump into the back of the moving vehicle (one of the very few exciting things I've done myself) and we were off.

Borset: as hot as the Radfan but with more turnips! I fully expect the next game to feature the maroon machine bringing law and order to rural borset..."



  1. Excellent write up and a good looking set up too.



  2. These small little scenarios always sound so fun. I may have to start playing some Alcovia scenarios, even if my infantry are not painted and my terrain is limited.


  3. I think I'll just add that these games played over skype are an absolute storming barrel of fun. And on a serious note - you dont have perfect 360' satellite vision, you can barely see your troops let alone the enemy and in 79 you only really know exactly what is going on in the imediate vision of "your" figure. no throat mikes and headset radios here. You do have to think of a plan and adapt it very quickly. I think I went through three versions of my plan in this one a) fight back, drive them off, b) hold them off c) clear off.

  4. All i know is it was a great read, vary cinematic.

  5. Splendid stuff! You might tempt me to look at that rules set.