Friday, 13 May 2016

Foggy Morning

For our usual Thursday night game we decided to play an old scenario from Sangin Despatches No.1, why well mainly because Ray had finally built his Airfix Jackal so we need a game that could show it off to its best.

The premise of the game is:

The local Taliban group is being pressured to make a successful strike against the ISAF forces by their immediate superiors. They have been ordered to make an attack on the highway that runs North-South through this area of Helmand. 

Taliban Briefing 
The Taliban group decides to lay two IEDs along the highway and lay an ambush further along on both sides of the road. The IEDs were placed the previous night and set up to work off a TV remote. All they need to do is press the button. 

On the day of the attack it’s foggy and bitterly cold. The Taliban move to their target areas early and begin the watch on the road. There is little real cover and they make the best they can of what’s available. They sit waiting for their spies at the local truck stop to tell them when any ISAF vehicles leave. 

ISAF briefing: 
A Jackal, 2x Technical (we used a snatch Landrover because I forget the second technical) and Trucks are travelling in convoy between FOBs. After a brief stop to refuel at the truck stop the vehicles continue their journey. In each technical are six Afghan National Police (ANP) officers (Four in the back and two in the cab). The Jackal has a four UK Para advisers plus a driver. One of the advisers will be manning the vehicle-mounted 12.7mm HMG.

The Taliban lie in wait, its a very foggy morning so the maximum spot range is 12" and we use the -50% night rules to reduce players ability to spot. This made hitting anything hard for both sides.

The Jackal drives over the IED but no bang, unfortunately the next vehicle, the first technical, is blown sky high by the IED killing all the crew. Immediately the Jackal stops and tries to spot where the RPG was fired from. They see the Taliban hiding but the return .50 cal fire misses.

The Taliban now take aim at the side profile Jackal with their their RPG. There is a smattering of small arm but no further casualties for the convoy. How can they miss?

The words are not out my mouth when the RPG does miss but not by much and the crew are showered with DZ shrapnel but only 1 man take a minor word for 1 point, everyone else makes their body armour rolls.

The driver in the truck isn't stopping and pulls off the road to avoid the contact and keep going, while the second technical races forward, you can just see it in the background if you look carefully.

 The Jackal starts getting targeted from all the small arms fire but the fog and the bad rolls means they just stacking morale markers.

Finally three of the crew debus from the Jackal and move away from the vehicle. The main gunner continues to fire away but keeps missing the Taliban. Some appalling rolls on my behalf.

 The truck driver races a head not stopping.

Finally the Brits gather enough courage and charge the Taliban line which steadily crumbles under them. Their superior skills are brought to bear and the Taliban lose a lot of casualties in one round. The second technical not shown now also debused and its ANP make short work of the other Taliban force (unfortunately those pics didn't come out). At this point we called the game and it was a narrow victory for the ISAF.

It was a good close fought game, which went backwards and forwards between the activations with only the last two combat phases defining the win.

Many thanks as always to the Hutchinson's for all their kit and their great enthusiasm to play. I hope you guys all enjoy this AAR. We had a lot of fun playing it.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Introduction to Afrika

Fantasy Afrika for Skirmish Sangin

In 2015 Dishdash Publishing (DD) was approached by the Miniature Building Authority (MBA) with a request to sell our game Skirmish Sangin in their forthcoming Kickstarter. The Kickstarter was to create a series of 28mm non-denominal forces for a fantasy modern Africa.

At the time we where creating our own Somali miniatures for our project Maalintii Rangers (Day of the Rangers) that went on to be a very successful Kickstarter for us and you will see many of those miniatures in the forthcoming book, as they make great Afrika OPFOR Forces

After a brief discussion between the two companies, I got over excited about things as is usual and decided I would create a special book called Skirmish Afrika especially for that MBA Kickstarter. 

As MBA wanted to make sure this was all fantasy we looked at the country of Africa and first off  completely redrew the country boundaries and renamed the countries. Being long time Deutsches Afrikakorps (DAK) fans we changed the spelling to Afrika to emphasis the difference.

Thus the book concept was born. As with all births, its had its good bits, its hard bits and it downright painful bits and I am still not quite finished... its currently weighing in at 25k words wise and has breakdowns on 15 countries with ORBATS for all the main protagonists in each one. It also has (currently) 6 scenarios and an article about making Afrika terrain (sneak peek below). ORBATS on PMCs and Guerrillas and few other things to add that Afrikaan flavour.

In our renaming we took all the existing countries chopped up their names and mixed them up, combining country names and keeping the feel of the original african nations. Sometimes we reverted back to ancient country names, sometimes we just went wild with the names. Until we settled on the map of Afrika.

Below you can see one of the proposed double page spreads of the book.

Once the map was redrawn we had to provide sensible backgrounds for each of the countries, we looked at the land masses and worked up using bits of real history but changing the names to protect the innocent and also looked at a sort of modern colonialism. Thus you will be see everyone from China, India, USA and Europe having some influence on our new Afrikaan countries.

We then choose one major conflict for a small campaign of linked scenarios to show how you as players can take these country background and create your own campaigns.

Now obviously this is still a work in progress. The first draft has been completed and gone off to the trusted readers in the Sangin Community for feedback. Once thats collected and analysed, the book edited and laid out, it will just be the photoshoot that will be needed before we can release this bad boy, first to those wonderful people who supported MBA Kickstarter and then to you the waiting public.