I've been using Ivan Sorensen's rules "Five Men at Kursk" quite a bit lately for skirmish gaming (not to mention his Five Men in Normandy and 5Core Company Command); a great set of rules 'as is,' but I just can't help myself when it comes to tinkering with rules. I've been looking at getting heavily into Vietnam-era and Modern wargaming, but I wanted something a little different. Being me, I wasn't exactly sure what all that entailed, but I definitely wanted to make it a bit more violent in order to take into account the greater lethality of modern warfare, as well as to better differentiate between modern, Western, professional forces and various hostile militia/insurgents. So, without thinking too much about setting and forces, and wanting really just to play a game to see if any of my ideas would work, I jotted down some ideas, grabbed the closest forces to hand, threw up a quick table, came up with a quick scenario, and got to it.
The next thing I knew I'd played three linked games and decided I should sort of retroactively come up with/turn this into another campaign. Put simply, I was having a great time and didn't want it to end. I hope you guys like this much as I do. So a quick background, which is only semi-historical (i.e., I'm taking liberties with the units and all town/village and hostile personality names are fictitious).
The time is May 2011, and the Royal Marines' 45 Commando has deployed for another tour in Afghanistan, this time to Helmand province. The area has been semi-quiet the past few months, but as we move from Spring into Summer the Taliban is becoming more active and the Royals are taking steps to counter these new enemy initiatives. The campaign will follow a Royal Marine rifle section during their missions in Helmand; I'm not going to do up a proper roster. Owing to the fact I'm rolling up forces for each side based on the scenario, it's not likely I'll ever have the entire section on the table at once, so you'll see various characters come and go, though I plan (as usual) on following a key, central group.
The scenario is this: a team from our Royal Marine rifle section is on a normal, foot mobile presence patrol, having left their base and moving east to west. About an hour and a half into the patrol the radio crackles; approximately two kilometers to their north a local Taliban commander, designated "Raven," has taken a force into the hamlet of Tashur, apparently on a tax collection mission. The Royals quickly huddle up, do a quick map study, formulate a plan of attack, and begin moving in that direction. HQ radios that no air is currently up, but should be in support by the time the Royals make the village.
The Taliban have their leader, "Raven," an RPG, an RPK (magazine-fed light machine gun based off the AK), and four AK-series riflemen.
Sorry for the crappy lighting...
You can see the red beads piling up...
In 5MiN/5MAK you roll a D6 to see how far they go, and he didn't do so well.
Yes, I've changed things up regarding pin/hunker/man down. That's one of the reasons why I was playtesting ;)
At that point, the last two remaining Taliban (these two), with their leader and comrades clearly dead, decide to hoof it for the hills.
Well, what a fight! That was a tremendous amount of fun! Quick, bloody, decisive, a bit heroic, it really felt right to me, like what I want out of these games. As I said, I'm writing after the fact, but at the time I wanted to see if this really worked the way I thought and I ended up playing two more games. And yes, I'm very happy with them, and will get the batreps out as quick as I can, and hopefully play some more this weekend (baseball is over, so no reason I know of that it won't happen.
A quick side note: