Saturday, 6 December 2014

Ambush Alley - Campaign Turn 1

Michael of Angel Barracks and I have been planning on trying a mini-campaign to test out some campaign ideas for his excellent KR-16 rules. After a few games over the past month or so, we have finally reached a point where we are ready to give them a run out.  So a few nights ago we got together to kick things off.

The RDF are on a routine patrol, checking out an area as there have been reports of Junker Insurgent activity. The Junker Insurgents have planned an ambush for the RDF and are laying in wait... 

The RDF set up in their deployment zone. The Junker Insurgents can set up hidden or as Junker Civilians. If hidden, please mark on the map prior to the game and only reveal when you try to command them and they pass their roll. So if you have a JI unit hidden and you tell them to aimed fire and they fail, they stay hidden. If they pass then you reveal them and they aim fire. For civilians, then use the normal JC rules.

Points Each side has 350.
Junker Major Victory
Kill over half the RDF troop total including at least 1 officer.
Junker Minor Victory
Destroy all RDF vehicles and at least 1 officer.
RDF Major Victory
Lose no more than 50% of the troop total, and kill more than 50% of the JI troop total or cause them to retreat.
RDF Minor Victory
Get at least 50% of the RDF troop total off the far table edge

Junker Insurgents Force
2 x Squads with rocket launchers
1 x Sniper team
1 x Bullfrog with rocket system
1 x Junker Power Armour unit 

I set up my forces with an infantry squad either side of the 'road', with the aim of catching the RDF troops and/or vehicles in crossfire as they passed by. The sniper team was deployed at the end of the road to give the maximum amount of time to fire on their targets. The Power Armour unit was deployed along with one of the infantry squads, whilst the Bullfrog was kept hidden behind some woods, with the aim of attacking the RDF in the rear.

Turns 1 - 2 RDF Initiative
The RDF completely fail to activate their units, earning the sobriquet of "Run, Don't Fight".

The RDF IFVs at their jump off points.
Turn 3 RDF Initiative
One Pathfinder IFV arrives on the table, but the Junkers keep their powder dry

Turn 4 RDF Initiative
The remaining Pathfinder arrives, drawing alongside its stablemate. The Junkers attempt to spring their ambush, but the Bullfrog fails to activate and one infantry squad opens fire at point blank range, only for the Pathfinder to make its save.

Turn 5 RDF Initiative
One Pathfinder moves forward and opens fire, but to no effect. The RDF Major attempts to lead his troops into an assault on the Junkers, but fails to activate. In response, the Junkers reveal their other infantry squad and their combined fire damages one vehicles aiming system and destroys another. The Bullfrog appears in the rear, but only manages to shake up the crew in Major's vehicle.

The Junkers Insurgents ambush in full swing, with the RDF taking fire from all sides.

Turn 6 RDF Initiative
The RDF once again win the initiative phase, which is becoming crucial. The RDF Major deploys from his damaged vehicle and immediately assaults the Junkers, but both sides completely miss each other. The Junkers continue to target the vehicles, hitting the running gear on one which slows it down, with the other becoming completely immobilised. Vehicle fire results in one Junker squad becoming shaken. At the end of the turn, the earlier assault is resolved, with two Junkers dead to one RDF.

The Pathfinder vehicles continue to take hits, but the RDF manage to deploy and assault the Junker Insurgents in the field.

Turn 7 RDF Initiative
The RDF continue their close combat assault, killing another two Junkers, whilst the remaining RDF squad is still stuck in its vehicle. The Bullfrog destroys the remaining Pathfinder weapon, but the Junker squad completely misses with its shots, which could prove costly.

The RDF assaults are taking their toll on the Junkers, but with their Pathfinder IFVs sustaining damage, the battle could go either way...

Turn 8 Junker Initiative
With a chance to really inflict damage on the RDF, the Bullfrog fails its activation roll, which proves costly, as the other RDF squad immediately deploys from its vehicle. Fortunately  they miss the Junkers squad that they are firing at, who throw molotov cocktails at them, resulting in them becoming shaken. The Junkers deploy their sniper team and power armour unit, whio all hits their tragets, only for them to make their saves. The RDF Major leads his troops in the assault that sees then end of one Junker squad. This is important as it gets them close to one of their victory conditions.

The battle swings decisively in favour of the RDF. With the loss off one squad, the Junkers position looks bleak. The RDF Major leads his squad to attack the Bullfrog pick-up truck, with spectacular results. Even the appearance of the Junker Power Armour unit cannot tirn the tide.

Turn 9 Junker Initiative
With the loss one one Junker squad, it is important that they start inflicting casualties on the RDF. The Junkers start off well, with their molotovs killing two RDF infantrymen, but the pwer armour unit fails to activate, just when in a position to really inflict damage on the RDF. In response the RDF Major leads his unit to attack the Bullfrog and immediately destroys its rocket pod. The Junkers continue to take losses, but continue to fight in the hope of gaining a minor victory. Once again the sniper team hit, but only shake their target.

Turns 10 - 13 Junker Initiative
Despite having the upper hand at the start of the turns, they fail to do any damage to the RDF units, but are slowly whittled down until it is only the sniper team left. With all chance of even a minor victory gone, the sniper team leave the table in the hands of the battered but victorious RDF.

Battered, bloody but unbowed, the RDF are in control of the battlefield.
At one point the Junkers were in a good position to do real damage to the RDF. However some crucial saves on the RDF part combined with equally crucial misses or failed activation rolls by the Junkers, cost the Junkers the game.

In the end the Junkers sustained 10 infantry losses, the power armour unit out of action and the Bullfrog damaged. Only the sniper team survived unscathed. In the post game rolls, the Junkers suffered extremely badly; out of 11 rolls, they failed 9 of them, losing 1 sergeant, 2 rocket launchers and 6 infantry.

Campaign Implications
With so many losses, this was about as bad a start to a campaign as can be imagined. Fortunately they have plenty of reserves, but need a good win in the next game. The RDF suffered minor losses in comparison and were able to replace virtually all of their troops. The next game is likely to be based in a main Junker settlement with the RDF trying to hunt down the insurgents.

Post Game Thoughts 
Campaign wise the game was a bloody start, but so far all seems to be working out ok in terms of the system used. I learnt the the RDF are lethal in close combat, so will try to avoid this at all costs. At one point the game descended into a grenade/molotov cocktail throwing contest, so post game we agreed to limit the amount of these that any squad could carry, which made sense to us. Ditto vehicles which will be limited to how much smoke they can lay down in a game.

Our next game should be in a couple of weeks, so am looking forward to this already, plus it will give me time to finish off some extra units. Hopefully home advantage for the Junkers should work in my favour.

1 comment:

  1. It was very interesting playing a campaign, the knowledge that every troop lost could mean losing the overall war was very much on my mind.
    Every casualty was crushing and I was genuinely gutted when a trooper went down.

    There was the tipping point, at what point are the losses too much, or can you go past that point and get a major victory which may secure enough VP to replace the losses?
    But pushing on and losing would be disaster.

    It certainly put a new angle on the game.

    The rules and scenario seemed balanced, but alas one turn of me rolling nothing but 5’s and 6’s coupled with Steve pretty much rolling very low swung the battle my way, until that point I would say Steve had the edge.

    However the post-game section was also very unlucky for Steve.
    There is a 50% chance that each figure killed in the game was just wounded and will be back in the fight later on.
    Out of 11 casualties, only 2 actually lived.
    Pretty bum luck when you consider it was 50/50.
    I got back half of my losses as chance said it should.

    I think it is karma for Steve saying on the first turn that RDF stand for Run Don’t Fight!

    We agreed after the game to limit grenades to one shot usage.
    We did have a bit where two squads faced off and just threw grenades at each other for a few turns.

    Anyway, so far so good, the campaign rules work well so far…