1 Nov 2014

The first patrol

Hello guys,

I was itching to play a game with my moderns and below is the report of the (drama sound)...first patrol!
Rules used are freely obtainable Breaking News with some house rules.


International forces are to conduct a presence patrol in Evergreen Fields, the capital of the Evergreen Isle. They are to follow a pre-set path, observing the situation. The patrol has to talk to the residents of the area, find out anything about rebel activity and possible civilian needs to win their hearts and minds.

Troops on board:
SAF Fireteam, veteran quality.
EGA Fireteam, trained quality.

Available support:
A pair of Humvees transporting EGA Commandos team will be in the area to act as a quick reaction force if needed.
Bomb squad is on a stand by as a standard.

Expected opposition:
The purpose of this patrol is to gather intel on rebel activity. Their presence in the area is believed to be low, incidents possible, but not likely. 
I will roll for insurgents' skill randomly on group basis (to make tracking easier) with 1-3 being militia, 4-5 fanatics and 6 mercenary. Insurgents will only appear on the board by a chance of event as per the event table.

In effect, this means that there will be a squad worth of international troops on board against no enemies. There will be a chance of possible attack or pokes by rebels via random event roll. I really like the event cards people use in ATZ and I am aiming for a zombie-campaign-in-disguise here, but without zombies.

Random events generator
I came up with this chart by brainstorming (and borrowing ideas from the good people on the internet :P), so there is no particular reason for anything. I went with what I thought made sense and spread the various events through the table, so rolling high does not automatically mean something really bad happened.
Every turn a D6 is rolled - a roll of 6 means an event happened.
Roll a D10 for result:
1- Raid attack. D3 groups of D3+3 rebels enter the board
2- One man army. Roll a D6. Roll of 6 a sniper, roll of 4-5 support weapon (1-3 RPK 4-6 RPG), 1-3 AR. Appears in  a random direction, fires a volley and starts running away.
3- IED in a randomly selected building. If civilians are near, they spot it on the roll of 5+. Military on 4+. If it is spotted, IED will not detonate, call for Bomb squad.
4- Next questioned civilian has a lot of questions/does not cooperate (interrogation lasts until 5+ is rolled on a D6)
5- One man army. Roll a D6. Roll of 6 a sniper, roll of 4-5 support weapon (1-3 RPK 4-6 RPG), 1-3 AR. Appears in  a random direction, fires a volley and starts running away.
6- Contradicting orders. Randomly chosen fireteam misses out a turn
7- A hidden stash! Intel suggests randomly selected building is being used as a weapons storage. Investigate!
8- Mortar attack. Target is a nearest group (civilian or military) to a randomly selected building
9- Exhaustion. Randomly selected soldier passes out. Call for MEDEVAC and get him off board.
10- All-out assault. D3+3 groups of D3+3 rebels enter the board

Some events are just a minor nuisance, others represent an additional objective and third (like attacks) cancel the mission all together. I will be using some common sense when deciding what next.

A combined SAF  and EGA  squad will enter the area from East (red circle). They are to patrol towards west, turn north behind the market and then back east at the woods. As the clashes are strongest in the rural area, people here live normal lives (zombies were used as civilians, there are no  -I repeat -NO zombies on board. This is an urbanised area with a covered market (large white building), and a mix of modern housing and a rotting, abandoned farm property.
Patrol area
I gave the "good guys" a free move onto the board (in an orderly formation!) and then I started moving them around their waypoints. No initiative rolls will be made until insurgents appear.

An international squad enters the area in a bit squashed wedge formation
The patrol entered the area and stopped near-by residential houses to talk to the locals. EGA teamleader engaged in the discussion with one of the locals, while SAF teamleader and an EGA rifleman in a role of translator, started talking to another two.

I decided one turn has to be spent talking to the locals, so turn 2 is only used to roll for possible event.

SAF teamleader discussing recent events with the help of EGA rifleman

EGA teamleader moved up and questioned another civilian in the area, while SAF teamleader spent some more time talking to the pair he was questioning.

Machinegunners on overwatch.

TURN 4 -event!
While talking to the local, EGA squad leader collapsed! It is unclear if it was due to heat, exhaustion or perhaps it was something he ate?  His squad members offered urgent assistance and a near-by troops were called in to come pick the man up.

The six was rolled on an event die, a D10 was then rolled with a result of 9. The casualty was  randomly chosen by a roll of D8, result applied clockwise, starting with the squad leader.
As the truck is close and there is no fighting going on, I decided it would come on a roll of 2+, starting next turn.
Event rolls. Six for the event with a 9 to determine which one.
Only a short wait later, the requested truck came racing in, so that the casualty could be sent for a treatment.

With the situation now under control again, Squadleader decided that the mission could be continued even with a man down. The squad regrouped and carried on.

Moving on...
 I have to admit I just assumed that LMG would be taking point after the team leader is down, as he acts a a teamleader in some squads.

TURN 7 and 8
The patrol kept advancing until it came to the horde-o-fans surrounding a famous director. While squad leader and EGA rifleman went to talk to them, the rest of the squad provided protection.

The group is too large to take time and question everyone, so I decided the patrol would move on on a roll of 5+, which would indicate the talks have ended.

TURN 9 - event
While talking to the locals, someone mentioned something about a possible weapons stash in the area! This tautomatically canceled the mission as the patrol now had usable info on rebel activity. The stash was hidden in the covered market building, just next to their current location. Satisfied with the information he got, the squad leader decided to investigate the market.

Patrol secures the area while the boss talks to the locals.

Again, an event was rolled, with a result of seven. I decided on a building randomly by rolling D8 for a building/area, starting with woods going towards east then west then east again.rolled randomly by rolling D8 for a building/area, starting with woods going snake

The squad moved in and started to search the building. Although the stash is well hidden, they have the information on it's whereabouts, so I decided it would be found on a roll of 4+.

A combined SAF/EGA force manged to find the hidden weapons fast (roll of 5), but in the meanwhile, a lone shooter appeared just outside the market.

I rolled 5 on the even table and further rolls determined shooter is a militia trained rifleman with an AK.

The rebel panicked and emptied a clip at the SAF SAW gunner. Something strange must've been in the air as the rebel hit both shots! This is important, as the shots he'd miss would have a chance of hitting civilians!
SAF machinegunner was taken by surprise! He fired a burst in the attacker's direction but has only managed to hit him once.
Slovene's firing was not effective and the rebel came out unharmed, while his fire in return proven lethal for the soldier, that -being unlucky from the onset of the clash - was dead on the spot.

Insurgent fired a burst with a +1 to hit for moving (as he will scoot after the burst), +1 for being a militia, +1 for target in cover = total 7 to hit. This is more than 6 so a shooter loses 1 die of his 3 die burst (rolling 2 dice). He rolled purple and blue sixes.
SAF machinegunner returned fire with 4 dice (LMG), needing 5 to hit (+1 target in cover). He hit one blue and failed with another blue and two white dice.
The insurgent threw a saving throw (orange die), while SAW gunner failed both (two whites). The rules state that you can roll for it to be instantly dead or just badly injured, but it does not say how it is done when multiple saving throws are failed. I decided to throw a die for each failed save and apply the worst result (as you have higher chance of being hit badly the more time you are hit). I threw 2 and 3 (green and blue), two being enough to get a man killed. 

Satisfied with the effect of his fire, but knowing the limitation of his bravery in the face of a full squad, the insurgent started fleeing!

At this point I decided to end the game. The squad would call in for back up, the area would've been blocked off and the search for the gunman would commence. So next game will be something in the lines of following him or attacking his hide out.
If I would not roll for an event when the cache was found, a bomb squad would've been called in, that would do something with the weapons found. This would keep making me roll for the events until a game changing event would happen to make a reasonable continuation to the campaign.

Post-game thoughts

I am quite satisfied with how the game worked. The scenario is pretty generic and I am really glad that I didn't pre-set any battles. I ignored the points completely and went for what I believe is a more "natural flow". I was really impressed with the events as they all fit in the game quite well. I played on a 3x4 board and 2 fireteams already seemed to clog the table! I noticed how much I dislike the lack of terrain (I'd really like more clutter or even gardens!). I promise nothing but I will try to paint the second fire team in the next week. If it won't work I will hopefully get another game in. What do you think could happen next?

Thanks for looking,


  1. Most impressive. I fully agree with your choice for 'natural flow'. It did go that way. Well done.

  2. Nice batrep, Mathyoo. I'm glad you decided to ignore the points values of both sides. It does bug me when war-gaming rules insist on both sides having equal points in order to ensure a fair fight. When did that ever happen in history? Never! It is unrealistic and unnecessary. Event cards or dice rolls are a great way to adding a level of unpredictability to any game. Good for you for including them.

    1. Points are a good way to make a game enjoyable for both sides, but when playing alone, there is no reason not to just go for what feel right at the moment. I would like to gradually "up" my games with more complex equipment (and associated rules!), but there would certainly be an objective that matters and not the kills in each of them.

  3. Good scenario and I liked the way you tackled it.
    I understand your desire for more terrain, some simple roads would be an easy start.

    1. Thanks! I was thinking about the roads (or at least putting sand on boards and painting them), but with the winter outside, I can't really use sand too much :D. I decided roads could wait and should rather build more houses instead as I always end up playing with the same collection.

  4. I got distracted by the bright green building. Other than that I did enjoy the report. I did like the use of random events but I just keep going back to that bright green building.

    1. Hahaha, it is horrible, I know. One of the first ones, lol. The blue isn't much better to be honest. Very modern! :D

  5. That was a pretty cool AAR. So your using a modified ATZ rules? How much did you mod the rules?

    1. Thanks!
      No no, I'm using Breaking news rules

      They are a bit "half done", but they are free. I didn't change the core of it, but I added that random event generator and where rules seem lacking I came to my own conclusions, so to say.

    2. Thanks, I will check it out.

  6. Nice report and I quite enjoyed how the story unfolded. Perhaps you need to manufacture some skips or bins. Make some rubbish bags from putty and scatter them about.

    1. Good idea, also mail boxes, fire hydrants, old telephone booths, street lights, road signs, benches, vending machines, and don't forget random memorials and or monuments both modern and from the past.

    2. Thanks for the ideas! Scatter seems the way to go as it's easy to make and really helps with the general look.
      Perhaps some barricades/piles of rubbish and it is about time I made a memorial, too!

    3. Scatter rubbish is also great for hiding IEDs. Makes more since, then a random bomb from no where.

  7. Nice batrep Mathyoo. Table's coming along dude! It'll be cool to see more.

    1. Thanks Bob! I'll try to get another team painted and think of a next scenario!