24 Oct 2015

FUBAR Afghanistan test game

 Hello guys,

Last month or so, I found new set of free rules for modern games. Now, there are some great ideas in Breaking news, but I got lost in all my additions (that were never written down), plus they aren't quite finished, so they proved problematic often.

I decided to give FUBAR, one page rules, a try. I am using the Afghanistan supplement and I opted to use some of the alternate morale rules (just casualty chart for first game). As if this weren't enough, I also decided to play a scenario from their Afghanistan missions that includes civilians. Because...well, it sounds like it should be plenty fun!

FUBAR core rules, 4th edition
FUBAR alternate morale rules
FUBAR Afghanistan supplement
FUBAR Afghanistan missions

I decided to play the Stopping the IEDs - airlifted assault mission. Not that it sounds great because it's a helicopter assault (curb your enthusiasm, no helicopters will be on the table), but it's a great chance to show of my new houses.

As this is my first game, I used points guidelines from Afghanistan missions sheet. I opted for:
Two "type 2" squads, and I added a squad leader.
No EOD support can be called in, because this is an airlifted assault.

Four "tier 3" insurgents groups. Rules say group is 6 fighters with AKs, that get a RPG on a roll of 4. I also gave them a RPK on a roll of 4, meaning best armed groups have 4 AKs, a RPK and a RPG. This is what they got:

Group 1 5x AK, RPG
Group 2 5x AK, RPK
Group 3 5x AK, RPG
Group 4 5x AK, RPK

It turned out them and another AK, RPK and RPG are all the insurgents I have, which made me realise the East Germans I've been painting will have to represent a higher tier bad guys in eventual campaign.

This was deployment. You can see two SAF teams on the left, Rebel team by the grey building and another one having a rest at the hay rack. The rest are out patrolling and should return soon, surely they heard the Cougars bringing in the troops? As they are just local villagers, defending the factory, their cohesion distance is "touching". There are also 7 civilians standing around randomly, being annoying. Washers represent IEDs and were put in what I consider "fair" positions, on the roads leading inside the village, regardless of SAF position.

The barn is a store, inconspicuous small yellow-ish house is the factory.

Turn 1

Storming the village, team Ankaran moved in to secure the barn right away. Lacking UAV support, they were unable to identify rebels for combatants, but the rebels opened up right away to try and keep the SAF from the bomb store. They fire resulted in two SAF soldiers suppressed. A return fire from an UGL, Minimi and squad leader's rifle resulted in a rebel suppressed and one casualty (a RPK gunner, even!)

Seeing the action, team Bled rushed forward and opened fire on the rebel team hiding behind the wall. This time, I did not forget to count in the civilian (shooting 5" around it might get him killed, I forgot about him first time round, so I decided to ignore him).  As any role of 1 around civilian gets him killed, he died.

Receiving all that fire, rebel team in the firefight failed to do much but react to the attackers! Sounds of casualties must have scared the  other rebel team as well, as they decided not to react just yet. (Both failed activation tests)

Turn 2

Hay rack group activates and opens up with all they had and succeeds in suppressing two more soldiers and killing 2 civilians.

The weight of fire stops SAF assault in their tracks (they don't activate).

Turn 3

Team Ankaran is still being held by the fire, but team Bled surges forward. This time I remembered to use cover modifiers against rebels (SAF don't get cover modifiers because rebels hit on 6 as it is, I think I will use Breaking News' idea here that downgrades the rate of fire in cases like this. Just because rebels are bad at firing, it doesn't mean cover is useless all of the sudden). They score 3 hits and mop up with the Taliban team.

*At this point I realised I played it all wrong. Rebels can have 1 man suppressed, the rest all die outright. So I removed 1 that shouldn't be suppressed, leaving 3 rebels that were removed as a result of Bled's fire.

The defeat of one rebel team left the one at the hay rack paralysed, unable to perform. The two groups that were out on patrol, however, now returned to the village.

Turn 4

Only one rebel group activates, that moved on to the grey building, trying to prevent SAF from entering the bomb store. They were spotted by team Ankaran, but because only a suppressed rifleman saw them, they took no action.

Team Ankaran finally  recovered and moved in the barn. Target was confirmed and explosives were set. Objective completed.

Team Bled moved forward through the building and engaged rebel group hiding behind the hay rack, who returned fire. Bled scored 5 hits, one becoming a suppression, 4 are kills. This is too easy, I must be doing something wrong!

Turn 5

Rebels won the initiative and one of the groups moved in through the grey building and its members took the best advantage of the single window and an outside space they could. They fired at the team Ankaran, but scored no success.

Seeing their friends at hay rack in despair,  second rebel group sprinted to the hay rack, to take on the team Bled once they get a chance.

Team Ankaran repositioned slightly to get another man to fire and scored two hits on the rebel group hiding in grey house, killing one.

Team Bled failed to activate.

Turn 6

Team Ankaran moved up to the Rebels and engaged with hand grenades, erasing the rebel group quite literally.
Team Bled failed to activate again, as did both rebel teams.

Turn 7
Team Ankaran pushed forward once again and was met up with a fire from both rebel groups. Firefight with a larger group didn't go well for Slovenes, they ended suppressing one of the rebels and had 3 guys suppressed and a minimi gunner lost themselves. Fire from a rebel in the second group had no effect.

Team Bravo failed to activate.

Now one-man rebel group that started this fight at the hay rack fired at team Ankaran, scoring a hit, that was saved by a body armour. Whew!

Larger group didn't activate.

Turn 8

Small rebel group didn't activate.
Team Ankaran didn't activate.
Large rebel group activated and fired at helpless soldiers of team Ankaran (I was maximising the casualties here, because Ankaran was an easy pray, while Bled had all its members up and was on overwatch). The only hit they did put the Squad leader out of action, making him seriously injured (needs to be taken to off the table to the medevac).
My only hopes to ending this battle quickly,  activating team Bled, failed.

Turn 9

Large group activated again and unleashed another volley at team Ankaran, trying to destroy it before its members can return to fight. They scored one hit. The save failed, which means one of the suppressed members is now a casualty. Random roll decided it was Grenadier who is now badly injured and in the need of medevac.

Small group failed to activate again.

Against all odds, team Ankaran returned to fight and opened fire, scoring a hit and suppressing one of the rebels.

Team Bled still didn't activate.

Turn 10

Team Ankaran activates (I realised their roll is 3+, not 4+, so that's another mistake), fires and kills a rebel.

Team Bled finally activates and moves out in the open to end this dispute. They spotted an IED marker, which turned out to be false. Their grenades scored 7 hits, which means they were now the only survivors.

According to the victory points, assuming SAF blew up the second building after the battle, as there was no opposition, it came down to:

10 obj + 48 rebels - whatever a civilian would be worth, so we'll ignore those = 58

18 for 3 SAF members killed/badly injured

That's quite a victory for SAF and it does seem in line with what I've read about these engagements, so far, but I have done some mistakes. The system probably isn't bad, but I think I prefer some of the ideas in Breaking News (especially low ammo rules). I also think I would like to add something like an off table sniper support and bombardments, but as we were fighting on such short distances, the latter would not be used too often. What bothers me is that UGL, minimi and RPG all get +3 FP, compared to rifle's 2, but then again, that is 50% higher fire power. There is absolutely no difference between a RPK and a RPG, so perhaps I'd make RPGs ignore cover.

House roles ideas that I had during the game/deployment:

1. In AFG Supplement, there is a bonus for SUSAT optics (4x sight that Brits use). I only made one guy per squad (1/2 per team if you prefer) using it in a role of a designated marksman, so I opted to only give him the bonus.
Should you be interested, as everyone else, SAF figured marksman needs something heavier than a 5.56 rifle with a scope, so some of our units are now equipping their marksmen (that is not a sniper, we got those, too) with spare M76 sniper rifles (ie. Dragunov).

2. IEDs - For 3 teams that Taliban (so rebels in my games) have, they get an IED. Each has 3 markers (2 blanks, 1 real). If a marker is real, it will be decided by rolling 1-2 on a D6 (instead of picking one and not telling myself).

3. On guard/overwatch enables inactive teams to react to enemy fire and movement. I decided troops start on guard, as this would kind of make sense, the distances are short enough to imagine rebels expected the assault on the village.

4. I think advance casualties should work for both sides, as there is 1/3 chance of a light wound, which would give rebels some kind of a "save", they get none other way and are pretty much obliterated by the veteran infantry.

5. Talking about veteran infantry, SAF will be downgraded to "Seasoned" as we're assuming Evergreen campaign is their first  real FUBAR since 1991.

Thanks for looking,


  1. There's a version of these rules called Ultra where they have tweaked them a little!

    1. Thanks for the tip Francis, I tried looking for them, but had no success!

      Is this the 2 page rules they are working on on the forums?

  2. Nice report mate and table and figures look great. Some interesting points perhaps check out the version Fran mentions.

  3. Nice to see proof of life Mathyoo. I liked your report dude!

    1. Haha, I do peek out of my safehouse now and then! Thar be zombies, so I have to be careful. :P

  4. As I will also be playing an Afghanistan game today reading your report was a great warm up to get me in the mood. Always happy to read AARs from you.

    1. Good to see your reports just as well, I'm already thinking about the next scenario now!

  5. FUBAR is an interesting set of rules - I like the "1 page" philosophy. But it does tend to encourage large units (to maximise firepower) and concentrating on just a single enemy squad (to wipe it out rather than merely suppress it). Sensible scenarios can address both issues...

    1. The one page philosophy has its merits, it sure doesn't look overwhelming! But then again, there is a lot that could be put in if they would just enlarge the format to 2 pages. Besides, with all the supplements, it rises to 4 pages anyway!

  6. Nice game report mate. I find that with modern games like this a massive victory isn't unusual, especially when dealing with a points based system... though when things go bad it can go really bad. I think it would be worth considering political and military objectives seeperately. Maybe the dead civi's uncle/ brother(s)/ cousins may join the fight to get revenge...?



    1. Thanks Pete!

      I think it shouldn't be like this - at least in FUBAR insurgents don't have any less FP in their groups. They are a bit worse trained, but I used the worst of the bad.

      I should look into political objectives like this, but only if I'd play a connected campaign. I will think about it. I think I should put some time into making random events - those really make solo played games a lot more interesting.

  7. Good to see a new report, but I agree. The rules do seem to be lacking in a few points. But are good for a simple dice throwing game.
    I need to give the Skirmish Sangin rules a look though too.

    1. Also just got the new osprey book, "black ops". I think they are worth a try

    2. I am thinking about trying Skirmish Sangin test game, but the % really put me off. It seems so complicated - even if everyone says it' not!

      I am not too fond of Special forces games myself, I think the Iraq book would fit my wishes better, but cheers for a suggestion!

    3. No problem, and just from reading the "Black ops" rules, I think they work pretty well as a stand along 4-30 guys a side style game.
      And I think it will work just fine for my conventional fire teams and squads.
      Its just billed as a spec ops game, where as its really just a modern/ near future skirmish game. It has random civilian mechanics, and even simple rules for vehicles (car's, light tanks..etc)

  8. Great looking set-up and a very interesting action despite the rules 'problems'.
    Modern rules have always been a problematic in getting any sort of balance and of course one'sown preferences mean you'll be tweaking whatever rules you use.
    Once you've got in mind what exactly you want from a game (weapon effects etc) I'm sure you'll get there in the end, but personally I'd avoidlike the plague anything that uses a points count, exceptas some vague guidance n scenario design.

    1. Thanks Joe! I can assure you points were only used as this was the first game and I had no idea what to expect.

      I would like to play an open-end campaing (of a sorts), where superior numbers would change objectives (if the attack bogs down, troops get stranded and have to be rescued in a next game etc).