It's been several days since crossing the frontier, and TF Trojas is looking for action. It's 1500 on 8 April 1990, and Team 6-4 has been briefed, geared up, and conducted its movement to the objective area. Lt Trojas was informed by local agents that the leader of a local cell of the Cronistrian People's Army (CPA, the local Communist Militia supporting General Ambroz Zlatan's communist takeover of Cronistria) scheduled a meeting in a farmhouse in the nearby village of Perzezl. Trojas immediately put Team 6-4 on the task of proceeding to the meeting location and eliminating the CPA cell. Sergeant First Class "Rooey" Contreras was only too happy; he and his boys were itching for action, and Willow (KIA from Team 6-3) was a friend of his.
So the CLEF troops don't have time to conduct a proper reconnaissance of the objective area. Instead, they'll try to get their Designated Marksman to high ground, but the other four will pair up and move in, attempting to identify the enemy as possible.
To simulate this on the tabletop, I will not place the enemy soldiers on the table until/unless they are spotted. I will place 14 'blinds' on the table, and CLEF troops will have to move up and spot them. Some of the 14 will be dummies, and I won't know how many bad guys are in the fight until all the blinds have been diced for. I'm looking to have between 4 and 9 bad guys, so we'll see what happens.
Rooey gets on the intra-squad radio: "Alright gents, this is it. Everyone stay frosty; Goss, you're switched on as Guardian Angel but otherwise we're holding to knife-fight range. Blade you're with me, Shady and Redrum, time to go."
**Guardian Angel means Goss is on overwatch to spot and call out hostiles, but isn't shooting except to save someone's life or until the one of the shooters starts the firefight. Rooey, Blade, Shady, and Redrum are looking to get as close in as possible before the firefight starts, so they're not engaging until they are forced to.
Redrum: "Rifle, northeast corner, exterior of B3."
Shady: "Confirm no Tangos B1, 1 Tango 2nd floor B3."
As an interesting aside, I rolled up the random event "Spooked," which makes you pick a random guy and roll a shock dice to see what happens. I did, and luckily nothing happened. If someone decided to flinch, well, that would suck because now he'd need to be rallied. But if someone fell back and hunkered, he would need to be rallied AND would probably have been spotted by the enemy. Pretty lucky.
So, all the blinds are cleared up, eight bad guys on the board. Time to go loud. Well, almost.
Rooey: "Goss, these guys are everywhere, we're as close as we're gonna get. Why don't you start us off? Tango, 1st floor of B3."
You can see Shady's feet at top left.
It's hilarious, because this happened to me (not the enemy) last game: what just happened was the CLEF rolled a scurry, moved around, and the bad guys get to move around too. They moved pretty aggressively in anticipation of a normal or firefight activation, which would allow them to rough up the CLEF guys. But, the bad guys just rolled a scurry too!
For folks not a fan of the scurry, I love it, it causes people to be surprised, to be able to cross ground that never could have happened in more 'conventional' games. Maybe not for everyone, but I LOVE it. Again, how many times have you read of the dug-in prepared defender that was simply overwhelmed by violence of action? Many, I'd imagine. How many times have you seen it done on the tabletop (and I don't mean via the superman 'these troops get +3 to everything,' I mean by unexpected maneuver that enabled the attacker to get on a flank or into close combat)?
Wow, what a firefight! Every single bad guy on the board is suffering, with one pinned, one hunkering, and three more man down (also have three out of the fight). So, you'll forgive me if I got a bit cocky. Sorry for the spoiler, but things get a bit silly. And when I say silly, I don't mean silly, I mean they start to suck real bad...
The 'man down' militiaman next to Shady tries to self rally, but stays down.
We need to make something happen here, finish up this fight before the bad guys pull another rainbow from betwixt their cheeks. So I act with daring...
Then the bad guys roll up another random event, "Just a Scratch," meaning one of their 'out of the fight' guys was probably only unconscious, so he comes to and springs back into action. I roll it up...
In retrospect, I screwed up, I should have let the bad guy on the 1st floor of B3 (top right, just visible in the shadows) guard fire at Blade as he was moving up. Only a 33% chance of making something happen, but stranger things have happened. Oops...
Now, for those of you thinking I don't want pushover games, that I try to make them interesting, you're flat wrong! Remember, I'm playing campaigns, I'm following characters that I want to not only survive, but to win and be showered in glory. So pushovers are fine. But they don't happen very often; these rules just have a way of making weird stuff happen, of opening the door again for the other team.
Dammit, that leaves only Blade and Goss to stop the bad guys from getting away.
Then the CLEF rolls up a damn firefight, but Goss and Blade can't see anything, so it's a waste, other than Rooey successfully self rallies. Because they couldn't see anything, I could have converted the firefight to a scurry. But then that would have allowed the bad guys to move without me getting the opportunity to fire, so I chose not to.
Holy crap, my heart can't take much more of this! It started off okay, I got the upper hand (vicious firefight), they came back (failed close combat, couple random events), I stormed ahead again (Blade's rampage), the leader almost got away, then I bagged the buck. Wild.
Team 6-4 promptly searched the bodies/area for intel, policed up their gear and casualties, then exfilled the area, RTB, home in time debrief and a brew. After the debrief, Lt Trojas: "Good job Rooey, way to set the tone. Having said that, we're going to have to tighten this up. After our two fights, the bad guys have got to be aware there's a new player in the game, and I suspect they'll send someone special to look for us."
Redrum is fine, just knocked out in close combat.
Sgt "Shady" Fonseca was severely wounded, bad enough to be evacuated to TF Trojas Fwd, then on to Cuba. His time in Cronistria is finished.
Cronistrian People's Army: 8 KIA
SSgt "Blade" Escalante was recommended for the Cruz Servicio Distinguido for heroism under fire, close assaulting and overpowering the enemy's right flank, personally reviving the team's faltering attack.
Well, that's it for now, more fights to come this weekend.