Having struggled to get our heads round the Force on Force ruleset from Osprey, we've been on the look out for something that could provide a workable alternative to allow us to actually get some figures on the table and rolling dice (I really want to like the FoF rules, they do seem to be a decent set, but just really poorly laid out out and confusing at first, without someone who knows what they're doing to actually teach you the game...). I'm looking forward to the future release of the Battlegroup expansion for Cold War, but that's a) years away and b) pitched at larger scale engagements than the usual platoon level skirmishes we usually play. Assuch, when I saw the release of the Black Ops set from Osprey, I was intrigued. Could this be something we could use?
While it seemed to be pitched more at sneaky-beaky style asymmetric engagements rather than conventional battle, it might at least provide us with something that in true Roaring Northerners fashion we could bastardise into suiting our purposes...
So, having picked up a copy and had a look through, it seemed that we could tweak it for some conventional shenannigans on the Central Front. Designed, as they are, for
small unit, covert action in the modern period, a certain amount of
"clunkiness" was expected, as we would be doing a 1980s Cold War setup,
involving conventional forces, on a rather sparsely populated board....
However, it all went rather well, actually. We decided on a variation of the
"Assault" scenario. Rather than two reconnaisance forces having
a meeting engagement, it was arranged that a small force of Dave's Czechs, composed of 4
fireteams mounted in two BMP-1s, supported by a BRDM-2 and a PKM team
were attempting to punch through a covering screen of my BAOR, fighting a
delaying action. BAOR forces consisted of a two fire teams, a MILAN team
and a SF GPMG, all in pre-prepared positions. This worked out with the
Czechs having about 150% of the points available to BAOR, which was what
was suggested in the rules. 7 turns were allowed for the Czechs to
either force their way of the opposite table edge, or drive the BAOR off
same, and continue their advance towards the Channel.
It started well for the Czechs, although the BRDM stopped a MILAN
missile early on and was immobilised half way across the board. Both
BMPs charged past it and were rapidly bearing down on the BAOR positions
when both were stopped; one falling victim to a MILAN missile, the
other took a sustained burst of GPMG fire in the side armour. This
caused both to burst into flame and subsequently explode, taking almost
all of the crew and infantry dismounts with them. The remaining Czechs
then came under sustained small arms fire, and despite some excellent
suppression early on of the MILAN team (which had allowed the BMPs to
get as close as they did), were slowly shot to pieces, and forced to
withdraw by turn 4. The BAOR also suffered casulaties, but definitely
benefitted from being in prepared posistions.
All in all, a very
enjoyable game. A believable result was achieved by the use of realistic
forces and tactics used by both sides, and had the Czechs perhaps had
one more BMP and section, or even been luckier in saving more of those
riding in the existing BMPs, the result could have been very different.
was pleasantly suprised by just how well these rules translated into
conventional warfare, from the more "stealthy" verison they are
invisioned for. Definitely need to get my SAS painted up and get them
sneaking about a Soviet supply depot I think!
Since this was a
"first run through" I didn't bother taking proper chronological photos,
rather just some snaps as we went along for the sake of recording the
Definitely a game we will need to get back to, with more terrain. John has also caught the bug now and obtained not only the rules but several factions (which the bugger has already pinted too!) So inaddition to my Soviets and Brits, and Dave's Czechs, we now have Chechens, Mercenaries, terrorists and more Brits...