9 Aug 2014

Local terrorist cell discovered!

Hello guys,

With all the modern stuff I have going on, I was really eager to play a game. I went trough my (what looks like very limited, now that I think of it) collection of modern figures and I decided I am going to use my TAG SWAT officers versus some of the insurgents I was so busy converting and painting a while ago.

Rules used were Breaking News, a free set or modern rules that have clearly been out for quite some time. By reading through them, I figured the idea isn't bad, but while playing, I found out there are lot of things that are either unclear or don't seem to work out that well. Still, it's a free set of rules and they should do for now. Other thing I've realised is I don't like my houses. When making them, I had an idea of putting interior in, so they are on the large side. This makes my way too tiny 2x3 board filled up very fast. I should really make an effort and get another 2x3 plate for a 4x3 board that would give me some space to maneuver on the field.

 I decided to play a simple deathmatch game and see how mechanics work.
I calculated points very roughly. I had 4 special forces (creme de la creme) officers with SMGs, supported by SF sniper.
I matched their points with as many of "commando insurgents", all armed with automatic rifles, that I could fit in. It was eight. Lead by everyone's favorite The King in Yellow. Jacket.

8 criminals barricaded themselves in their compound (note the garbage truck/drive in block that rises and drops as needed!) and as being a criminal is bad, Police special operations unit (PSU) was called in (right short table edge) to save the day.

In Breaking News, initiative is rolled for on every turn. The player that wins is an active player, who can move his miniatures and the one that losses is confined to reacting - either by fire or taking cover. So with SF, being so awesome, it was mostly them moving and attacking while the terrorists were shooting at them and they rarely got to actually move.
A reacting player (the one that lost initiative roll) reacts to EVERY action. So, while an active player can move each miniature separately, it can limit the number of opposing player's reactions by activating groups. This means I can effectively move fire teams in groups, which is one of the things I love about Force on Force rules. For this game, I decided that officers would always (if possible) operate in three groups: two SMG pairs and a sniper.

Special forces won the initiative and started their assault.
PSU-1 (one pair) moved closer towards the terrorists and fired. They managed to score two hits, while terrorist's return fire scored 6. One terrorist died and none of the SF were harmed. But because of the fire they received, they were suppressed (yellow beam).
PSU-2 (second pair) did more or less the same thing, they, too, got suppressed and another terrorist died.
PSU-S (sniper) didn't move from his position on top of the SWAT van and did what snipers do, fired a shot and killed a guy.


This turn was no better, Special forces class is just too powerful and my next game will certainly see the officer "only" being Elite (this means they lose their to hit bonus and invincibility). They actually didn't kill anyone now, but have managed to suppress one of the bad guys.
This is not clear in the rules, but I assume you can only regroup from suppression on your ACTIVE turn, which means the terrorists, even while being the best you can get, were mostly just keeping their heads down. They can not react to enemy movement and fire while suppressed.
Magically, terrorists won the initiative on third turn (every turn that same side wins the initiative, they get -1 to their roll, so the opposing side gets to win it sooner or later). Their regrouping doesn't work as flawlessly as SF guys', so some still kept their heads down.
They tried doing some shooting but it mostly ended up in a criminal being killed by officer's reactions.

Police won the initiative again, regroupped and sort of killed a lot. 
Police wins the initiative (as I've said, being SF really, really ruined this game!). PSU officers fired for the last time and - I kid you not! - suffered a casualty! Man down, man down!
They pretty much killed everyone, except for the Yellow jacket, so I concluded he gave up and was taken into custody.
 A close up on a downed policeman:
 And a horrible photo of Yellow jacket, being suppressed after the sniper's bullet failed to hit.

I can only apologise for such a boring report. The game was very, very one sided and it was really no good for anything, except for learning how the rules (probably!) work. I will give it a re-run eventually, with 1 class lower police officers. This will still keep them better than what my soldiers will game with, to keep the idea of an elite unit, but it will take the easier hit chances and their absurdly awesome saving throw from them.
After that, I would like to try a game with some RPGs flying around Evergreen troops, supported by a humvee and by then I might even get some Slovenes finished to see if they are any good on the table top, as well.

In other news, I am still working on the SAW gunners, so that's probably what I will show you in my next post.

Thanks for looking,


  1. For sure, it was a one-side battle but that happens in real life, so I wouldn't be too downbeat about it. Your battle was a fairly accurate account of what would probably have happened in real life. There is a perfectly good reason why special forces are so good - they work and train hard enough to be the best of the best. Perhaps instead of making the sides equal you could have doubled the number of terrorists. Nevertheless, I enjoyed your batrep. Can we have some more, please?

    1. That is a valid point - maybe what I am missing is just more flexibility, but a narrow battlefield doesn't really allow for it.
      There will be more, of course! I am sure the interrogation of Yellow jacket was successful and he gave valuable info,just waiting to be exploited!

  2. Cool looking game mate ... love the dead bodys :)

    1. Thanks!
      They do add to the game, don't they? I am not too happy with a male insurgent turning into a female civilian after he dies, but they're more fun than blood markers :D

  3. nice report. there was a lot of terrain and not a boring gaming area. One sided or not depends on dice. Good one for me

  4. It was one sided but I'm sure you learnt from the experience. Nice report all the same dude. The more you run the rules, the more familiar you will become with them and you will be able to judge more balanced sides.

    1. Thanks. Yes, that is the thing. I wanted to see how they work more than anything else at this point.

  5. Oh Gosh! never think your games might be boring to anyone to read... actually I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love batreps like you one. Actually I sometimes like to set up one sided scenarios when I play solo... they sometimes make for the most intense and gripping story-lines.

    Keep up the good work,


    1. Hello Steve,
      Welcome to the blog!

      Thanks for the kind words, I will, however, try to put a bit more effort in story telling part of my AARs, heh!

  6. Nice AAR, Though I'm not familiar with the rules you were using - have you tried Chain Reaction? It's free and has some nice solo mechanics in it which could be of some use?

    The garbage truck with skip is a great idea too.



    1. They are a pretty unknown set of rules, but so far best I found.
      I was reading through chain reaction a while ago, but could never really get myself to try it. I have downloaded them now again and I'll go through them yet again - maybe they will start to appeal! :D

  7. I think that I would have tried "Chain Reaction" for the rules, but then I've never heard of "breaking News" before. Otherwise, this seems to be a textbook case of police skills!

    1. Cheers Colgar, that's one more reason to check them again, then!

  8. Nice report. Just keep tweaking the sides until it seems more even perhaps add in more terrorists despite it seemingly being unbalanced.

    1. Thanks! What I'll try to do with next game is think of an objective for insurgents as well - with both sides having something to do, they won't just sit and wait to be shot to pieces.

  9. I think the result is probably a decent one given the forces, after all you never hear of special forces being beaten by terrorists. A pre-game victory objective for the terrorists though could have been to hold out for a certainumber of terms, killing a Special force operative or getting a figure off the table 'through' the special forces. Having an seperate victory condition gives the weaker force which is expected to lose gunplay can still claim a 'victory'.
    Game looks good too btw

    1. There are victory points in the game, I just didn't use them. You lose points for firing first, shooting at the civilians and getting them for reaching objectives (none of which I had :P), shooting the enemy and so on.

    2. Don't get trapped by "rules", they're there as a guide only surely ?
      In a real-life situation the terrorists don't actually have a comparable force to the "good guys".
      My advise would be don't get hung up on "points" for forces, objectives, victory points etc.

  10. If it helped you learn the rules and figure out what worked and what didn't it was a sucess and the figures looked great on the table too