28 May, 2010

Operation Grim Dragon - Scenario

A couple of months ago, Ambush Alley Games ran a scenario competition 'To the Last Round'. This scenario is based on Echo5Hotel: aka Jim Hunsinger's winning entry. I've made changes to it to fit in with my collection and an Afghanistan background, with a few extra tweaks based on Jim's answers to my questions.

The SAS force, callsign: 'Dragon' has successfully infiltrated Pakistan from to surveil a suspected weapons cache which is being used to supply the Taliban and bring back evidence of who the supplier is – a faction within the Pakistan government is suspected. Unfortunately, they were ambushed by a large force of Taliban and were cut off from retreat. Dragon made for the crumbling remains of an old farmstead, which would provide refuge for the beleagured team.

During their last communication Dragon requested an emergency extraction. An American CH-57 Chinook, callsign: 'Grim' has been scrambled but will take some time to arrive at the nearest extraction zone that is approximately two kilometers due west of Dragon’s current position. Dragon will maintain their defensive position until Grim contacts them whereupon they plan to break cover and make a dash for the LZ.

A pre-dominantly green set up, with dense groves and poppy fields surrounding an isolated farm compound. A ruined wall, a well and a small barn complete the farm with a small track leading from north to west through the clearing.

Deploy the British anywhere inside the farmhouse or barn.
Deploy the Taliban anywhere marked A-G

Hold your current defensive position until Grim contacts you via radio that they are approaching the extraction zone. At that time you will break cover and head for the extraction zone as fast as possible. Do not leave anyone behind, alive or dead.

British forces have normal supply and have high confidence (TQ D10/ Morale D10)

Command Team
1x Squad Leader w/ M4 Assault Rifle
1x M.I.6 Officer w/ M4 Assault Rifle
1x R.T.O. w/ M4 Assault Rifle
1x Medic w/ M4 Assault Rifle

Rifle Team A
1x Team Leader w/ M4 Assault Rifle
1x Grenadier w/ M203 UGL
1x Gunner w/ M249 SAW
1x Assistant Gunner w/ M4 Assault Rifle

Rifle Team B
1x Team Leader w/ M4 Assault Rifle
1x Grenadier w/ M203 UGL
1x Gunner w/ M249 SAW
1x Assistant Gunner w/ M4 Assault Rifle

Machinegun Team
1x Team Leader w/ M4 Assault Rifle
1x Gunner w/ M240 GPMG
1x Assistant Gunner w/ M4 Assault Rifle

We cannot afford to have the British escaping back across the border and publicizing the covert support that Pakistan has been supplying the Taliban. Capture or kill all of the British military personnel.
Capture is preferable so that their illegal “invasion” of Pakistan, their act of war, can be proven to the world in a public trial.

All Taliban forces are Tier-1. They have normal supply and have high confidence (TQ D8 Morale D10)
30 rebels* consisting of:

*= To be arranged in teams of 5 or less. The rebels are well organized and do not have to worry about who the leader is as subordinates will take over as needed.

Roll Reinforcement Unit
1 1d6xAKs
2 1d6xAKs, 1xRPK
3 1d6xAKs, 1xRPG
4 1d6xAKs, 1xRPK, 1xRPG
5 1d6xAKs
6 1d6xAKs, 1xRPK
7 1d6xAKs, 1xRPG
8 1d6xAKs, 1 Technical, 1 Bike

The Insurgency level is 4 for this scenario and 5 hotspots are indicated on the map.

Fog Of War cards are not used in this scenario.

Grim will make contact with Dragon to head for the extraction zone turn 4.
A succesful test is required to make contact:
Squad Leader D10
Team Leader D8

Then roll a D6 to discover where the the extraction zone is:
1 Taliban player chooses
2 Western edge
3 Northern edge
4 Eastern edge
5 Southern edge
6 British player chooses

The Taliban player is not shown the die result, and is not aware of the direction of the extraction zone unless the result is a '1'
The ruins of the old farmhouse and barn provide excellent cover. Any unit within the walls of these structures receive a total of +3 Defense Dice.


Each soldier escaping towards the LZ +3
Each dead soldier evacuated +2
Each Taliban KIA +1

Each British soldier captured alive +3
Each British dead body recovered +1
Each British soldier killed +2

I'll be playing this in a couple of weekends...

21 May, 2010

Corporate Security LandMates

Did these two guys over the last three or four days as a Bonus Task for The Guild's Project Build 2010.

The Interstellar Military-Industrial Corporation Heymans & Yamada maintains several significant facilities on Novaya Sakha

LandMate Element Hold Doorway

These facilities are guarded by a well-equipped and skilled security force

LandMate 1 Stands Guard

The most notable of these are the Howa K-4 LandMates - a heavy power armour over 3.5 meters tall, capable of being dropped directly from orbit (using ablative shielding and thrusters).

LandMate steps out

They are armed with a powerful dual-role 14mm rapid-firing cannon with a 40mm grenade launcher

LandMate Element from side

They typically operate in elements of two, and are well capable of operating in urban environments without infantry support

LandMate 2 Takes up Position

They can utilise their thrusters and folding wings to leap large distances

LandMate on Rooftop

17 May, 2010

Too Hot to Handle

First off, I reckon an entire force of 3-4 teams of D12s is just too overpowering against this opposition. While we've quite happily used D12s before as part of a larger group, it seemed that (just as Shawn at Ambush Alley Games has warned) a three-step difference is quality means that being lucky just isn't good enough for the irregulars to overcome the regulars. For any future plays of this (and this is reflected in the scenario post) I'm reducing them to D10 Quality, D12 Morale.
It was a case of "Operation Certain Death", but for the Taliban!

The SAS were split into four teams - 1 four-man fire team, 2 three-man fire teams with a Minimi each and a two-man GPMG weapons team.

The Village before assault begins. Those Taliban groups on the rooftops are really inside, but I placed them there so that no one forgot about them.

Village before assault begins

The GPMG Team sets up on overwatch, which was to prove very useful indeed in early turns in adding firepower to reactions against strong Taliban incursions.

GPMG Team sets up on overwatch

Local Goat Herder would have made going through the wadi without being noticed difficult, but as it was the firefight broke out very early.

Local Goat Herder

A Taliban group wakes from slumber in a building at the far side of the compound

Taliban group wakes from slumber

Newly arrived Taliban take fire as they arrive on heights overlooking west side of the village. They take serious casualties from static SAS teams and are down to one man very quickly

Newly arrived Taliban take fire as they arrive on heights

The Taliban patrol makes it way from the far corner of the village and draws a bead on advancing fireteam

Taliban patrol draws bead on advancing fireteam

The lead fire team is under pressure, taking shots from all angles, and while the SAS deal with groups as they pop-up the entire formation becomes less and less effective

Lead fire team under pressure

Taliban patrol in wadi prepares to assault British right flank. They charge through the grove, avoiding the beaten zone of the GPMG team beyond. They even catch the SAS fire team off guard, but their marksmanship lets them down and taking no casualties the SAS return fire to wipe them out

Taliban patrol in wadi prepares to assault British right flank

As the pressure increases to breaking strain on the SAS, the Taliban patrol which was hunkered down near the hostage location, runs around the corner and up to the wall so that only feet separate them from the lead fire team. The SAS fail to respond with fire, and the close-range firefight results in one British casualty. The return fire puts down two Taliban, including the leader

Close-range firefight

The SAS advance up to the wall en masse, as the second slumbering Taliban group nearby has woken up (I guess they were heavy sleepers!) and begins to react by opening fire. Again the SAS take on all comers, and that SAS casualty turned out to be just a scratch, he's back on his feet in no time.

SAS take on all comers

More Taliban reinforcements arrive at the top of the wadi and they line up a shot with an RPG. with the cooperation of the Taliban team in the building opposite, it would seem that the SAS are caught in a deadly crossfire. The British response is just as decisive, wiping out both groups in short order. Having taken some fire from across the compound they also return fire in that direction, but unbeknownst to them they kill one of their extraction targets, the Al Qaeda leader Khalid Azar.

More Taliban reinforcements lines up shot

A dust storm blows up, downing all air assets and reducing visibility. The storm forces the SAS to exfiltrate on foot [if there had been significant Taliban opposition left, this would have made things very interesting - I would have suggested doing a rolling battlefield and have the SAS exit an extra two feet west of the original LZ]

Dust Storm forces SAS to exfiltrate on foot

Given this new development the SAS leader decides to ignore the secondary objective and just get the hostages out of there. The breach is unopposed.

Hostages out safely

The night concluded with ZombieLand and Generation Kill...but we will never mention D12s again!

12 May, 2010

Operation Certain Death - Scenario

Last year Ambush Alley Games ran a scenario competition 'Osprey Raider'. This scenario is based on Si Tyler’s winning entry. I've made changes to it to fit in with my collection and an Afghanistan background, so kudos should go to Si, while blame goes to me!

"Operation Certain Death" 
- 8 Turns -

At 0640 a Special Forces Chinook arrives at the LZ and the SAS rescue team fast rope down into the village to begin the rescue mission of 7 hostages held by the Taliban. The extraction helicopter would return in 20 minutes to the LZ to evacuate the party to safety.

  1. Rescue the Hostages and evacuate them to the LZ
  2. Capture or Kill the Al Qaeda Leader Khalid Azar
  1. Keep the hostages secure
  2. Defeat the rescue force

A small village with outlying walls. The two central buildings form a rough courtyard while the outlying buildings are separated by open ground.
To the south of the village is a steep wadi, which local goat herders are known to use.
Surrounding the village are small wooded areas, and to the west lies some broken rocky ground.
The LZ is in the north-west corner of the area.

Deploy the British anywhere along western edge of table.
Deploy the Taliban as per Force Composition


British forces are well supplied and have high confidence (TQ D10/ Morale D12)

12 operators total:
  • 4-8 Assault Rifle
  • 0-4 Assault Rifle with UGL
  • 0-3 Minimi
  • 0-2 GPMG
  • 0-1 Sniper Rifle
Full weapon teams must be allocated to get the weapons team bonus.


All Taliban forces are Local. They have normal supply and have high confidence (TQ D6 Morale D8)

1: Leader, 4xAKs
2: Leader, 4xAKs
3: Leader, 4xAKs
4: Leader
5: 5xAKs, 1xRPK, 1xRPG
6: 5xAKs, 1xRPK, 1xRPG
W: Al Qaeda Leader Khalid Azar
H: Building Containing Hostages

Units 5 and 6 are roused by the arrival of the British from sleep and MUST pass a TQ check to be able to attempt to activate in the remaining moves phase. If joined by a leader they add +2 to the roll.


2 1D6+2xAKs, 1xRPG, 1xRPK and Leader
3 1D6+2xAKs and Leader and roll again
4 1D6+1xAKs and Leader
5 1D6xAKs
6 1D6xAKs, 1xRPK
7 1D6xAKs, 1xRPK
8 1D6xAKs, 1xRPG
9 1D6xAKs
10 1D6+1xAKs, 1xRPG and Leader
11 2D6xAKs and Leader
12 1D6xAKs and .50 Cal w/3 crew*

*This unit must enter from the Southern Map edge and the insurgent does NOT have to roll for the entry hotspot

The Insurgency level is 4 for this scenario and 5 hotspots are deployed as normal. They cannot be located within 6” of the hostage location


The British force draws a single Fog of War card at the start of Turn 1, and thereafter Fog of War cards are drawn as normal after Reaction Tests.


The South edge of the board is a wadi. Troops must make a TQ check for each 6” of movement they wish to make while inside its boundary to avoid being noticed by local goat herders. Failure will mean that the goat herder runs to warn the Taliban (i.e. to rouse units 5 & 6)

To rescue the hostages an SF figure must move into base contact. 1 SF Figure is required to escort 4 Hostages. While escorting the SF unit counts as having dependants as normal.

Regular player cannot abandon casualties or dependants in this scenario.

Regular forces cannot enter buildings unless cleared or by an assault.


  • No SAS Casualties/POW +5
  • Each hostage rescued +1
  • Khalid Azar Captured +3 or Killed +1
  • Each SAS Wounded/Killed +1
  • Each hostage retained +2
  • Any SAS POW +3

10 May, 2010

SAS Troop ready for action

Here's a troop of Falklands SAS (Cold War really I suppose). If I can get away with it they'll proxy for present-day mercenaries, or any special forces unit in temperate or jungle climes.

Team 1 moves through rough ground

Team 1 moves through rough ground

Team 2 emerges from forest (all of them are wearing their wooly hats)

Team 2 emerges from forest

Team 3 moving along track

Team 3 moving along track

Team 4 out in open (full of blondies)

Team 4 out in open

Troop advances

Troop advances

I hope that these guys will get into action on Friday - doing an Afghan-version of the Operation Barras rescue mission

03 May, 2010

Infantry Platoon - Work-in-Progress Pictures

A quick step-by-step for those Stargrunt miniatures finished on Friday.

Base coat on everything was Middlestone, the power armour guys got it all-over...

Power Armour - Base Coat

...whereas for the scouts...

Scouts - Base Coat

...and the troopers this was just for the fatigues

Troopers - Base Coat

The webbing, gear and helmets for the scouts and troopers was Catechan Green

Troopers - Kit

On the power armour I just used this colour for the raised sections on the backpacks (I imagine radiator fins for the powersource), the vision slit (although I did contemplate making this red), the non-weapon fist (for no particular reason)

Power Armour - Kit

The power armour gets an all-over wash of Russian Uniform

Power Armour - Wash

The troopers and scouts get the same, but on the troopers the quited jacket sculpting shows this up well I think

Troopers - Wash

Weapons and boots get a solid coat of black on scouts

Scouts - Weapons

And excepting the power armour guy with the missile launcher, their weapons get the same treatment

Power Armour - Weapons

While the troopers get the same as the scouts

Troopers - Weapons

The weapons on the power armour get a simple Codex Grey drybrush

Power Armour - Dry Brush

The scouts and the troopers get a base coat on skin areas with Red Leather

Scouts - Skin Base

The power armour gets based with sand, while getting a drybrush in Desert Yellow

Power Armour - Based

The Scouts and troopers get Medium Fleshtone over the base coat on skin areas, while their weapons and boots get the same drybrush as the power armour did

Scouts - Skin Tone

They then get a drybrush of Dark Flesh, and their gear and helmets gets a drybrush of Russian Uniform too

Troopers - Skin HighLights

Nothing spectacular (and a hat tip to Piers for the skintone step-by-step) but effective I think until next time...

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