Sunday, 20 April 2014

Some Corner of a Foreign Field - First Playtest


SCOAFF Playtest Game

Grand Fenwick has been invaded by Ruritania! Here, deep in the eastern European countryside, British Forces Germany clash with the Republican Armed Forces in a playtest game of Some Corner of a Foreign Field. This is one of the upcoming “Tactical Two Pagers”, inspired by a less than inspiring modern game at the club.
The table set up - Ruritanians arrive bottom, Brits top.

BFG – 41 Commando Royal Marine Section
Name
S&D
A
M
P. Wpn S. Wpn
Grenades
Cpl Jones
4
H
R
SA80
Pistol
Smoke
Mar. Smith
4
H
R
UGL
Pistol
Smoke
Mar. Ash
4
H
R
SA80
Pistol
None
Mar. Dean
4
H
R
SAW
Pistol
None
L.Cpl Anders
4
H
R
SA80
Pistol
Smoke
Mar. Kyrie
4
H
R
SA80
Pistol
Smoke
Mar. Tanner
4
H
R
UGL
Pistol
None
Mar. Lees
4
H
R
GPMG
Pistol
None

Republican Armed Forces – Strelsau Grenadiers
Name
S&D
A
M
P. Wpn S. Wpn
Grenades
Cpl Heinrich
4
L
R
AK74
Pistol
None
Gren. Wehn
3
L
R
AK74
Pistol
None
Gren. Weiss
3
L
R
AK74
Pistol
None
Gren. Schwartz
3
L
R
AK74
Pistol
Smoke
Gren. Grun
3
L
R
AK74
Pistol
Smoke
Gren. Rott
3
L
R
UGL
Pistol
None
Gren. Braun
3
L
R
AK74
Pistol
None
Gren. Wessel
3
L
R
AK74
Pistol
None
Gren. Wurst
3
L
R
AK74
Pistol
None
Gren. Sauer
3
L
R
AK74
Pistol
None
Gren. Macht
3
L
R
PKM
Pistol
None

Game
The game started slowly, with both forces edging their way toward the village square. Corporal Heinrich moved into an alleyway to keep an eye on the area, while Braun and Wessel dashed behind an abandoned car. GPMG gunner Lees noticed them, but to begin with couldn't quite draw a bead (never roll a 1!). Next to him, Marine “Kylie” Kyrie saw them straight away, and opened up with his SA80. The Ruritanians ducked behind the car as a spray of bullets passed overhead.
Braun and Wessel glare across the square.

Hearing this first exchange of fire, Heinrich went prone. Further up the square, Tanner and Anders dashed across and dived prone behind a car, ready to open fire from a secure position.

Regaining his composure, Kylie broadcast his targets' location to the rest of the squad, before firing again. This time he saw his man go down – little did he know that Grenadier Ernst Braun had just breathed his last. Lees went prone to better aim his GPMG, but his first round of fire merely popped the hood of Wessel's cover.

Looking past the memorial fountain, Heinrich spotted Tanner & Anders, and broadcast it to his squad. From his vantage point in the cafe's upstairs lounge, Grenadier Macht opened fire with his machine gun. The car windows sprayed glass over the stretched out Marines, but no harm came to them – yet! Rott came up to join Wessel and fired his UGL at them, scarring the wall behind them. On the other flank, Wurst noticed two marines in the garden across the way and opening fire, informed the rest of his squad. Two of his squadmates burst into the building behind him to take cover before returning fire. Wiping Braun's blood off his face, Wessel dropped prone, took careful aim and opened fire.
Wurst and the others see the Marines.

Smith and Ash, in the garden, opened up from their prone positions behind the hedges at the AK sparking from the alley. Wurst fell back, blood spurting from his abdomen as fire raked his comrades in the barn.
Marines take out Wurst.

Wessel's reward for his aim was an armful of lead from his prey. As he gasped on the cobbles, heavy tracer fire pumped over his head, spraying him with broken glass. Beside him Rott's ka-chunk of fire was rewarded with screams and curses. Macht's fire moved down the square, toward the enemy machine gun in the hedges. Fire from Schwartz and Weiss, who had manoeuvred to the upstairs of the terrace, caught Tanner in the chest and laid him out choking next to Anders' still body.
Tanner and Anders halfway through their ordeal.

Heinrich raced across the square to tend to Wurst's unconscious body, holding his guts in with both hands. Seemingly out of nowhere at the other end of the square, a smoke grenade arced through the air, landed and started pouring fog between the combatants. Dean and Jones ran behind it to start dragging their downed comrades away.
Smoke across the square.
The board at the end of the game.

Conclusion
At this point the game ended – the Marines had sustained 25% casualties (both Seriously Injured), and the Ruritanians had one man dead, one Seriously Injured and one Lightly Injured – 30% casualties. Both sides were tending to their wounded, and in their current positions, disengagement would be swift.

The game ran very well, very quickly. The difficulty with a Tactical Two Pager is fitting the whole game on two sides of A4. This means ruthlessly trimming fat, and trying to make every mechanism as efficient and multi-purpose as possible. This game threw up a few things that just had to be added, and a few rules that had to be tweaked. This they were, and it all went very well. It was a shame that no Close Combat occurred, but it rarely does in modern warfare so I'm not too upset. We also forgot to use the armour rules, but them's the breaks. Our next games will have underlines on the rulesheet, I think!

Here are some more photos to say goodbye.

Tanner and Anders being dragged away.

And again.

Ruritanians tending to Wessel.

Smith and Ash keeping an eye on the other flank.

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