Thursday, 12 July 2012

Blow the Bridge: modern war game scenario

I'm working on a modern wargames scenario, for Force on Force, although in this instance I'm not including any stats so that it can be adapted to other systems if needed. The idea is to use as many of my modern figures as possible and get most of my desert terrain, as it currently stands, onto the table. I've now also succumbed and ordered myself a Blackhawk and an extra M113 to give my troops some extra mobility.

Blue objective - take the bridge in one piece. Anything else is a FAIL.

Background: This scenario is loosely based on Reserve Demolition, by Charles S. Grant (p.50, Scenarios For Wargames, Wargames Research Group, 1981). Red Force irregular/reservist militia have been tasked with destroying a bridge across a canal to slow down Blue's advance on Red's capital. Red must destroy the bridge before it is captured by approaching elements of a fast-moving Blue motorized infantry unit. Some Red army engineers are working to plant explosives under the bridge.

Terrain: a 6x4 table split into three 4x2 sections. Section 1 has a settlement reached by a bridge over a canal, which runs along the edges of Sections 1 and 2. More buildings are in Section 2. A highway runs lengthways across the middle of the table, over the bridge and through both settled districts. It is bisected at a crossroads in Section 3, which also contains some low hills, desert scrub, perhaps palm trees (if the table is roughly 50% urban and 50% scrub, that should do it). There are three Blue entry points in Section 3. He chooses which one to enter his forces on, but does not declare it until Red has secretly deployed his squads. The helicopter enters anywhere along the short edge of the table in Section 3.

Militia Forces: The militia player gets all the irregular infantry forces I have (have not counted them yet), plus two Toyota pick ups equipped with MMGs on the back. Each pick up can carry up to four additional figures should he choose. The pick-ups must start the game in Section 2. All militia begin hidden (a sketch map will probably be used in this instance). They can be deployed anywhere in Section 1, and anywhere in Section 2. Each squad must have at least seven figures. Commanders must be evenly distributed between squads as far as possible. All militia are armed with 7.62mm assault rifles or RPGs.

Additional resources: The militia player also gets to place three land mines anywhere in Sections 1 and 2. In addition he receives two salvos from an off-table 82mm mortar. Hot spots are placed anywhere in  Sections 1 and 2.

Objective: hold the bridge until ordered to destroy it. The militia commander may not destroy the bridge until orders are received from HQ to do so. If he has more than 40% of his troops in Section 2 (i.e. trapped on the wrong side of the canal) at the end of the game (i.e. when/if the bridge is destroyed), he loses. The tactical challenge facing him is how many fighters he can safely maintain on that side - too few and the Blues will probably take the bridge too soon.

Regular Forces: Elements of the motorized infantry brigade will consist of four eight man squads, plus a small four man platoon command team. Where possible each squad is broken into two fire teams. Each fire team should be allocated a Commander with an assault rifle, a grenade launcher, and an LMG (squad support weapon). All squads enter the table in armoured infantry carriers, or up-armoured four wheel drives (e.g. Humvees/Land Rovers). Additionally, one squad deploys by helicopter.

Objective: take the bridge in one piece. The Blue force can enter from one of three possible entry points after the Red player has assigned his troops. All Blue forces must enter by road initially, apart from those in the helicopter who can enter along the short side of the table.

Umpire specific rules: Roll a d10 for ever turn from #7 - this will indicate when orders are received to blow the bridge: #7 (1), #8 (1-2), #9 (1-3), #10 (1-4) and so on. The explosives are remote activated. US forces will detect them within 4" of bridge (infantry only). Once Blue forces are across the bridge, roll a d20 and minus the turn number. If the result is less than zero, explosives are disarmed. Anyone on the bridge when it blows is lost. The explosives can only detonate if there is at least one Red leader functional on the table.

Militia Reinforcements

As per the usual asymmetrical engagement rules in FoF, militia move on from hot spots placed by the Red player. My reinforcements table is based on my own pool of troops as they stand at the moment. Proposed Insurgency Level is 4. Obviously, if not a sufficient number of figures are available, there will be no carry over to the next turn.

The Red player can trade Fighters for RPGs/Leaders at a rate of 3:1 if there is a shortage of one of the other. For example, if he rolls for four fighters, but only has one left to recycle, he can add an RPG to make up for the lost fighters.

Die Roll

2  = 2 RPGs + 1 Technical with MMG
3  = 2 RPGs + 1 d4 Fighters in back
4  = 1 Technical + 1d4 Fighters in back
5  = 2d4 Fighters + 1 Leader
6  = 2d4 Fighters
7  = 1d6 Fighters
8  = 1d6 Fighters + RPG
9  = 1d6 Fighters + Leader
10 = 2d6 Fighters
11 = 2d6 Fighters + Leader
12 = 2 Leaders

A work in progress to be updated over time. Suggestions welcome.

Getting troops on the deck under hostile fire: a lot harder than it looks.

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