Sunday 11 October 2009

Somalia 1993 - Arms Caches

Let me start of by saying this was the most fun game we have played in a while! Unfortunately I forgot my camera, luckily Big Dave did not.

You can read the mission brief here:-

Turn one started with the Somali militia deployed hidden and in Ambush in the back two thirds of the table. Let me tell you 800 pts does not buy a lot, the force comprising mostly infantry with upgrades a sniper, a couple of technicals, a recce jeep and an RPG hunter killer team.

The US forces rolled on in three groups comprising troops in HMMWV’s, special forces (in trucks!) and a supporting Sheridan each, with an aim to cover the buildings as quickly as possible. An observation helicopter was covering the battlefield ready to call in a Huey Super Cobra if needed.

Initial buildings are scouted quickly, but as the Recce HMMWV leads the force a poorly disciplined mob of militia opens fire to no effect.

In turn two one US flanking group moves into the left side of the town the Sheridan trading shots with a RR armed technical, which is left badly damaged and suppressed, infantry deploy from their HMMWV’s and search nearby building but fail to find any arms caches. The Super Cobra makes an appearance and finishes of the technical with a Hellfire missile.(concerns are raised in Washington as to possible misuse of expensive ordnance)

The right flanking group of US forces triggers the first ambush, well trained RPG gunners obliterating the Sheridan, the return fire is overwhelming killing one stand of militia. The remaining militia prepare themselves for close quarters fighting as they see special forces disembark from the truck and head toward their building.

The combat is swift and brutal leaving no Somali survivors.

Turn three sees further trading of fire between the Recce HMMWV and possibly the worst shots in the entirety of Somali, clearly shooting is not their forte instead they elect to charge the HMMWV. Unfortunately command also doesn't seem to be one of their skills leaving them whistling in the wind but a few metres from their target.

The left flanking group of US forces move further into the town triggering another ambush resulting in heavy casualties for the US, many HMMWV’s are destroyed and Infantry Killed.

The right and centre groups of US move deeper into the town, nearly all of the Somali forces have been revealed now and sporadic fire fights are commonplace. Casualties mount on both sides. In an attempt by the US to gain control the Huey is summoned once again, however accurate fire from an HMG Armed technical drives it off.

With only a few buildings left unsearched and no arms discovered turn three ends. Both forces have reached their break points (4 for the Militia! And 8 for the US) while the US succeeds the Militia bottle it at this point and disperse.

Turn 4 is a rush for the US forces to discover the arms caches, one is located immediately, but the final one proves illusive. Both sides score a minor victory, a draw by any other name.

Thoughts for this game:-

  • Despite my misgivings about the balance for this game, it was near perfect and thus proved an extremely enjoyable experience, the only thing I would change would be to revise the turn length to 8.
  • We had changed the HMMWV’s in this mission to give them a save of 6 (small arms only) and some limited firepower, this worked well.
  • It was a good choice to revise the Somali improvised AA fire to 50% a this still proved reasonably effective with out being overwhelming.

Next week, in a “Big Dave” exclusive scenario the Somalis try to capture some food supplies from a UN compound! Stay tuned…

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