My First Force-on-Force AAR
Force on Force is a game by Ambush Alley Games, that represents modern warfare from small-scale clashes between regular armies to intense counter-insurgency operations - AND I LOVE IT! Here's the AAR, and if you don't know the rules but want to get a better grip on what's going on, go here for a free download that explains all the basic rules. At the end of the post is a quick summary of forces and table set-up.
If more than half the 13 Private Military Contractors leave by the South board edge, PMC victory. Otherwise, the Jebel Hadr Government Commandos win.
The country of Jebel Hadr is a tiny, war-torn African nation opposite Aden. In 1998, after years of civil war, the dictator Muawii Koto took control, mostly due to foreign funds and mercenaries. Recently, as part of the War on Terror, Koto was toppled and Imam Hajj Qalid took control. This started a new round of civil war based largely on ethnic lines (Jebel Hadr being entirely Sunni Muslim, religion was not an issue, whereas the Semitic-African blend of the population was). Koto was a southerner of a darker hue, whereas Imam Hajj Qalid is of the northern, more Arab persuasion.
A group of Koto's Private Military Contractors, accused by Qalid of war crimes have been cornered in a ruined farmhouse in the middle of Jebel Hadr's Green Zone – the lush area in the Wadi River Delta so unlike the rest of their arid hilly country. The elite Commandos, drawn almost exclusively from northern clans, have been flown in to arrest them – but when the bullets start flying, who cares how the PMCs are apprehended? The PMCs, realising that the trap is closing, need to break out through LT Abdul-Zariyat's platoon in order to reach a “friendly” airfield, where a tidy bribe will get them out of the country sharpish.
Turn One – JHGC Initiative
Moving into a better position in the woods, Corporal Bakr led his fireteam across a path. Unfortunately for him, an eagle-eyed PMC with an itchy trigger-finger warned his team mates, and all thirteen opened up on his team – which promptly disappeared into a red mist.
Their idiocy was not entirely in vain however, since the PMCs were distracted from everything else that happened. While the carcasses of Bakr's team were being made “extra-dead, Texas style!”, the MG and mortar sections opened up to cover the movement of infantry towards the eastern fields. While the mortar shell clumped harmlessly off the roof, the MG knocked down two of the Westerners looking over the sandbags. Their squadmates' stomachs turned, but calmed when they realised neither were dead – just badly wounded.
Turn Two – JHGC Initiative
More commandos moved towards their LT, hoping to catch the mercenaries in a crossfire once they passed the first field. The MG opened up on the team in the west wing of the farmhouse, but since they were hunkering down dealing with the injured, they were spared. They gritted their teeth when they heard the mortar shell whistling towards them, but that fell short too! They'd been damn lucky so far, it could only be hoped that things would keep going their way.
Leaving the remnants of that fireteam to care for the wounded and provide an overwatch, the rest of the mercenaries cautiously moved south, consolidating to the east of the first field.
Turn Three – JHGC Initiative
The commandos moved up to the fields, ready for their pincer movement, but forgot one crucial thing – the team still on overwatch! Two commandos went down to SAW fire, both severely injured. The survivors hugged the edge of the field, all thoughts of assault temporarily forgotten.
The mortar opened up on the offending fireteam, and for the first time, managed to land a shell on target. Right in the middle of their firepit, the shell exploded, killing all four mercenaries instantly.
The survivors heard their friends' guns go quiet, and whispered prayers for them, before girding their loins and legging it south, from one field to the other. As they passed the tractor-gap between the two, they heard heavy automatic fire from the west, but they all made it through okay – only Westermann, at the tail of the column, turned and saw the high calibre bullets whistling through the corn behind them.
At a signal from Lieutenant Keegan, they all hunkered down. Was that... movement a few feet away in the corn?
Turn Four – PMC Initiative!
It was! Keegan jumped to his feet and started running, yelling “Pound the ground lads, you're only 10 inches from victory with a 12” move!” The mercenaries followed him, running like mad and failing all their reaction checks. Mortar shells and gunfire came down all around them, but Keegan kept running, eyes shut. When he felt his feet splash water, he knew he was safe and turned to see how many of his men had made it out with him. Behind him he saw -
Now, at the beginning of the Delta Mile we had nine of the original thirteen alive, facing reactive fire from: a mortar team (7 dice), a full strength fireteam at optimum range (4 dice), and another 2-man team, also at optimum range (3 dice).
The mortar opened up first on the lead fire team, managing, with its second-half performance boost, to blow two guys to Kingdom Come and giving shrapnel scars to the other two. This reduced the mercenaries to 7/13, the exact number needed for a minimal victory.
The wounded commandos at the far edge of the field opened up next, but distracted by their comrade's screams, managed to hit nothing but air, much to Keegan's relief.
Finally, the full fireteam opened up and managed to cause two casualties. The casualty dice came down, bounced, and showed – two light wounds!
- six men, half of those he'd led into this African hellhole. The partners wouldn't be pleased, but if he wasn't wrong, he'd been facing Hajj Qalid's commandos. The faces of the dead would haunt him, sure, but as he boarded the Cessna he was damn pleased that anyone else had made it out at all. As the motors whirred and they took off, he heard two quiet words from Westermann. “Thank you.”
This was my first AAR, but my second game (the first being a different version of this one that had nowhere near enough cover on the table). I think I've fallen in love with FoF (and Tomorrow's War). I've certainly spent this month's gaming budget on a frack-load of new 20mm guys to play with.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I moved house recently and my camera has gone AWOL (grrr).
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Here are extra details for those of you wanting to re-enact the battle.
PMC UNIT (Troop Quality d10, Morale d10)
3 x Fireteam w/ SAW, Grenade launcher + 2 rifles
JEBEL HADR GOVT. COMMANDOS (Troop Quality d10, Morale d10)
Lieutenant Abdul Zariyat
Medic Aren Musa
4 x 3-man rifle fireteam
Mortar section (3 guys)
MG section (2 guys)
2x2 board. NE corner, ruined farmhouse w/ sandbags (solid cover). SW quarter, woodland with paths of open ground (cover, block LOS). Rest of table dominated by four 4”x6” fields (cover, block LOS). PMCs start in the ruined farmhouse. JHGC start anywhere in their (south) half of the table.