Friday, December 2, 2022

Close Wars

The rules



I wanted to try some really oldschool wargaming, and I think Donald Featherstone is considered to be one of the inventors of simple rules for wargaming with toy soldiers. On the excellent blog of 'The Man of Tinblog' I found a blogpost with a copy of Donald Featherstone's Close Wars. These rule are very simple and aren't exactly made for this size or modern battles, but I wanted to have a go at a 'classic' and see if it was playable with the scenario I've used in my recent games.

The scenario

I've placed this skirmish to the United Nations largest mission in both scale and operational scope during the Congo Crisis 1960-65, when UN troops 'peacekeeping' was more offensive 'peace enforcement' with force.

Situation:
This skirmish is finding place in fictional place of Lumbaya in the early January of 1963, when the UN during operation 'Grand Slam' are turning their attention to the remaining Katangese strongholds in Southern Katanga after after securing the Katangese capitol of Élisabethville.

Place:
Lumbaya is a very small village located 80km south west of Élisabethville, and are made into a stronghold by a small platoon of Katangese Gendarmes. The village is one of several strongholds in the area to trying to hold the UN off while trying to keep the self-proclaimed president Tshombe by power of the self-proclaimed Katanga state.

Forces:
  • Katangese:
    • 2 rifle-squads each of 10 soldiers, a LMG and and a bazooka/flame thrower. Each squad can operate as 2 fireteams independently. 
    • 1 HMG-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • 1 sniper
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader and 2 medics
    • After turn 12 if rules include vehicles or skilled troops: A QRF consisting of 1 truck with a HMG and a section of 10 'veterans' with a LMG and a bazooka arrives from the next village. Only if Lumbaya is still held by Katangese forces. Since these rules doesn't support vehicles, the QRF enters the village at foot.
  • UN:
    • 1 Platoon of 3 rifle-squads each of 8 soldiers and a LMG. The squads can operate independently.
    • 1 Light mortar-detachment of  2 soldiers and an observer
    • 1 bazooka-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader
    • 1 Jeep with HMG and 2 soldiers. Since these rules do not include vehicles, the Jeep stayed stationary with the HMG at the deployment-area acting a 1 unit, but due to short firing ranges never come close enough to enter combat.
  • Since these rules doesn't include any heavy weapons, I just rolled a dice for any weapons and let all of them have the same range.
Mission:
  • Katangese: To hold the strongpoint of Lumbaya. Can request QRF-support as mentioned in the force-section from turn 12 if still holding whole or part of the strongpoint.
  • UN: To take and hold the strongpoint of Lumbya, preferably within 12 turns, and take control on as many Katangese gendarms located there as possible.


AAR

Time:    1 hour and 40 minutes
Turns:   18 (!)
Result:  UN defeat

Due to the short weapon ranges and not including any heavy weapons for support, this was a rush for the UN forces to get to a cover close enough for the their short weapon range:


The UN forces made initially some successful hits in the Katangese line of defence, and used the opportunity to try to brake into their defensive positions...


...and managed. But from this point on the Katangese Gendarmerie fought real well, and the UN didn't make any further advancement into the village.


This was the situation for so long time and so many turns, that the Katangese QRF arrived in turn 12:


This was finally what made the UN advancement come to an definite halt, and those few UN soldiers left who managed to enter the village was either killed or taken as prisoner of war after heroic street fighting. But they didn't give up very easy.

Impetus Bonus!!


Pros

  • Impetus Bonus gives a +1 for surprising when emerging from cover and achieved an ambush
  • It's simple and can be played with easily available and cheap army men or toy soldiers from a lot of different periods.
  • Retreating forces (due to a moral check) have to dice to see if the're routing or can go back to battle.
  • Really fast playing

Cons

  • It's just too simple and doesn't divide weapons into groups by their damage potential.
  • It doesn't include any vehicles.
  • The turn sequence seems unclear. I played it I Go, You Go.
  • What really happens to  wounded; hits that makes a save also seems unclear. I let them just fight on.

Conclusion

Due to lack of rules for different weapons with longer range and higher damage-potential, this was a very uncomplicated, interesting, intense and very fast playing game. With the limited weapon-ranges this is truly 'Close Wars'. As mentioned, I don't think these rules are made for modern battles or this scale, but I'm surprised how extremely well they worked for such after all. I would consider to play this in a smaller scale than I did (with my 54mm soldiers). Perhaps 20mm would be more suitable? And perhaps a period and units without a lot of hevy weapons. If you have only time for a quickie, consider this game.

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Saturday, November 19, 2022

FUBAR

 

The rules



The one page FUBAR rules by Craig Cartmell, and others, did I find on their website. In the 'Download section' there are a lot of different versions and supplements for these rules covering almost every era and Sci-Fi. I used the FUBAR Core Rules 4th Edition for this game

The scenario

I've placed this skirmish to the United Nations largest mission in both scale and operational scope during the Congo Crisis 1960-65, when UN troops 'peacekeeping' was more offensive 'peace enforcement' with force.

Situation:
This skirmish is finding place in fictional place of Lumbaya in the early January of 1963, when the UN during operation 'Grand Slam' are turning their attention to the remaining Katangese strongholds in Southern Katanga after after securing the Katangese capitol of Élisabethville.

Place:
Lumbaya is a very small village located 80km south west of Élisabethville, and are made into a stronghold by a small platoon of Katangese Gendarmes. The village is one of several strongholds in the area to trying to hold the UN off while trying to keep the self-proclaimed president Tshombe by power of the self-proclaimed Katanga state.

Forces:
  • Katangese:
    • 2 rifle-squads each of 10 soldiers, a LMG and and a bazooka/flame thrower. Each squad can operate as 2 fireteams independently. 
    • 1 HMG-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • 1 sniper
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader and 2 medics
    • After turn 12 if rules include vehicles or skilled troops: A QRF consisting of 1 truck with a HMG and a section of 10 'veterans' with a LMG and a bazooka arrives from the next village. Only if Lumbaya is still held by Katangese forces.
    • I've made all the Katangese units 'seasoned' with 'veteran' leaders, except for the QRF which is all 'Elite'.
    • Since all their rifles are semi automatic, I'll let them have 2 FP for distances under 12".
  • UN:
    • 1 Platoon of 3 rifle-squads each of 8 soldiers and a LMG. The squads can operate independently.
    • 1 Light mortar-detachment of  2 soldiers and an observer
    • 1 bazooka-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader
    • 1 Jeep with HMG and 2 soldiers. If rules do not include vehicles, the Jeep must stay stationary with the HMG at the deployment-area
    • I've made all the UN-units 'seasoned' with a 'veteran' leaders.
    • Since all their rifles are semi automatic, I'll let them have 2 FP for distances under 12".
Mission:
  • Katangese: To hold the strongpoint of Lumbaya. Can request QRF-support as mentioned in the force-section from turn 12 if still holding whole or part of the strongpoint.
  • UN: To take and hold the strongpoint of Lumbya, preferably within 12 turns, and take control on as many Katangese gendarms located there as possible.


AAR

Time:    2 hours and 50 minutes
Turns:   10
Result:  UN withdrawal

The UN forces got their heavy weapons in position to start supporting their attack on the Katangese stronghold in Lumbaya.

After a turn I let the support weapons get aiming-bonus as they all ready had fired at their targets and now knew the position and distance

The support fire let the rifle-sections get into position for their assault on the Katangese forces...


...but the UN mortar and HMG didn't make a breakthrough in the Katangese line of defense the UN rifle-sections could exploit. So all UN units were in position just waiting:


The breakthrough made by heavy weapons never came, so the UN rifle-sections made a go for it by trying to cover each other:


But the defending Katangese units was well prepared for the attack and well in cover. Since they didn't have to move they also got their +1 aiming bonus. This started to take a toll on the UN-forces and their advance came to a halt in the outskirts of the village.


The Katangese forces had good support in the rooftop HMG and sniper...


...so when the UN relocated their jeep to try to give the rifle-sections closer support and some forwarded cover, it was taken out immediately by the Katangese HMG:


The remaining UN rifle-sections tried a final push without the support of the jeep-mounted HMG and a mortar that just wasn't hitting it's targets:


Without propper support it did just not work for the remaining UN-troops. They had several casualties by now, and had to withdraw in turn 10 by the FUBAR rules and by reason:

A Bazooka-team gives their retreating comrades covering fire



Pros

  • It's a very simple and easy game on only 1 page (!), yet it is complex enough to bring interests and challenge to the game. Being only 1 page reference checking is really fast.
  • It's simple and can be played with easily available and cheap army men or toy soldiers from a lot of different periods and scales.
  • It differs units between their quality and skills.
  • I like the activation system that you are in the initiative as long as you are 'good enough' instead of the traditional "I go, you go".
  • Giving aiming-bonus for units not moving.
  • Rules for On Guard/Overwatch.
  • Have own rules for covering several different periods and sci-fi-themes.

Cons

  • No cover modifier can make a Unit’s expertise worse than 6+, meaning that a 'green' unit have the same 16,7% chance to take out an unit in heavy cover as an Elite unit. They would just probably miss or have even less chance to to so. On the other hand you're encouraged to ignore or modify rules that make no sense. And there are other FUBAR rules editions and updates that adresses this.
  • Best played with own tokens that describes each units actions. At the time of writing these are not available at the FUBAR site, and I found mine at the FUBAR-page at Facebook called 'The Forge of War'.

FUBAR order-counters

These are not made by me, but again these counters are not as easy to find as the FUBAR rules online, so I share my find here:

FUBAR order-counters 4th edition

FUBAR order-counters 5th edition

Conclusion

This was a very easy, fun, narrative and playable game, and it kept the excitement until the very end. Looking up references in the rules was easy and quick. I actually thought that these rules was made for smaller scales in mind like 28mm or 20mm, but these actually worked just fine with my 54mm Army Men. 

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Sunday, November 6, 2022

One Brain Cell Vietnam Rules

 

The rules



The One Brain Cell Vietnam Rules did I find as a wayback-archive on the Miniature Wargaming site. This is the link to it: One Brain Cell Vietnam Rules

The scenario

I've placed this skirmish to the United Nations largest mission in both scale and operational scope during the Congo Crisis 1960-65, when UN troops 'peacekeeping' was more offensive 'peace enforcement' with force.

Situation:
This skirmish is finding place in fictional place of Lumbaya in the early January of 1963, when the UN during operation 'Grand Slam' are turning their attention to the remaining Katangese strongholds in Southern Katanga after after securing the Katangese capitol of Élisabethville.

Place:
Lumbaya is a very small village located 80km south west of Élisabethville, and are made into a stronghold by a small platoon of Katangese Gendarmes. The village is one of several strongholds in the area to trying to hold the UN off while trying to keep the self-proclaimed president Tshombe by power of the self-proclaimed Katanga state.

Forces:
  • Katangese:
    • 2 rifle-squads each of 10 soldiers, a LMG and and a bazooka/flame thrower. Each squad can operate as 2 fireteams independently. 
    • 1 HMG-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • 1 sniper
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader and 2 medics
    • After turn 12: A QRF consisting of 1 truck with a HMG and a section of 10 'veterans' armed with assault rifles, a LMG and a bazooka arrives from the next village. Only if Lumbaya is still held by Katangese forces.
  • UN:
    • 1 Platoon of 3 rifle-squads each of 8 soldiers and a LMG. The squads can operate independently.
    • 1 Light mortar-detachment of  2 soldiers and an observer
    • 1 bazooka-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader
    • 1 Jeep with HMG and 2 soldiers.
  • Katangese: To hold the strongpoint of Lumbaya. Can request QRF-support as mentioned in the force-section from turn 12 if still holding whole or part of the strongpoint.
  • UN: To take and hold the strongpoint of Lumbya, preferably within 12 turns, and take control on as many Katangese gendarms located there as possible.

AAR

Time:     2 hours and 40 minutes
Turns:    12
Result:   UN withdrawal 

The game started well for the attacking UN-forces. Their mortar started to support the advancing squads...


...and got a direct hit...


...Securing the UN-advancement towards the village:



The mortar had limited fire-range, and wasn't able to follow up the advancement. But it was used for firing smoke-grenades to give the advancing squads cover behind smoke screens so they could advance to hard cover.


When approaching Lumbaya, the UN forces got in range of the Katangese weapons, resulting in loosing their supporting .50 cal. on the Jeep. The advancing squads was actually now without any effective supportive-fire.


That resulted in an effective Katangese halt to the UN advancement. This is how far the UN got before losing men. The UN-loss got higher for each turn and able men had to be used for medevac the disabeled ones.


So in turn 12 the UN-attack came to an definite halt in the outskirts of Lumbaya, as all in the infantry sections was either dead, disabeled, wounded, pinned or busy medevacing their fellow soldiers. There was no other way for the UN to retreat.


2 soldiers medevacing 2 fellow soldiers whom got disabeled during the attack

Pros

  • It's simple and can be played with easily available and cheap army men or toy soldiers.
  • Rules makes it harder for moving soldiers to shoot in the same turn or hit moving targets.
  • Have rules for wounded and disabled soldiers, and disabeed needs medevac.
  • Make it harder to take out a softskinn with light infantry weapons than previous rules.
  • Have rules for smoke-screens giving cover.
  • Morale rules.
  • Rules includes different skill-levels in morale and hand-to-hand combat.

Cons

  • As given by it's name, these rules are for the Vietnam war. Despite that, I think that these rules can be useful and playable for other scenarios from WWII and onwards.
  • Have no rules for pistols, sniper rifles or flamethrowers.
  • No "Overwatch-option" letting stationary troops to fire back or stop advancements.
  • Short weapon-ranges. 
  • This game has many rules to cover effects on fire; pinned, wounded and disabled and many different effects for morale. This goes for each individual soldier in a squad, resulting in some squads might "go in all different directions" after been under fire.


Conclusion

I thought actually that this game was made for 54mm soldiers, but I find the weapon-ranges so limiting that I guess it will be better for smaller scales. Perhaps 28mm or 1:72 scale would be better? When your squads comes under fire there will be a lot of reference-checking to sort out all your individual soldiers effect on the firing or the morale outcome. I don't recommend to have too many squads on the table when the shooting starts. Being so detailed in every aspect of individual soldiers, it's strange that weapons like pistols, sniper-rifles or flamethrowers are not included in the rules.

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Sunday, June 26, 2022

1 BC (One Brain Cell) Toy Soldier Rules

 

The rules



The 1 BC (One Brain Cell) Toy Soldier Rules by Pete Kautz, can be found on his website or directly downloaded. Note that the range for the HMG on the website is too short, but on the download its correct with 36".

The scenario

I've placed this skirmish to the United Nations largest mission in both scale and operational scope during the Congo Crisis 1960-65, when UN troops 'peacekeeping' was more offensive 'peace enforcement' with force.

Situation:
This skirmish is finding place in fictional place of Lumbaya in the early January of 1963, when the UN during operation 'Grand Slam' are turning their attention to the remaining Katangese strongholds in Southern Katanga after after securing the Katangese capitol of Élisabethville.

Place:
Lumbaya is a very small village located 80km south west of Élisabethville, and are made into a stronghold by a small platoon of Katangese Gendarmes. The village is one of several strongholds in the area to trying to hold the UN off while trying to keep the self-proclaimed president Tshombe by power of the self-proclaimed Katanga state.

Forces:
  • Katangese:
    • 2 rifle-squads each of 10 soldiers, a LMG and and a bazooka/flame thrower. Each squad can operate as 2 fireteams independently. 
    • 1 HMG-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • 1 sniper
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader and 2 medics
    • After turn 12: A QRF consisting of 1 truck with a HMG and a section of 10 'veterans' armed with assault rifles, a LMG and a bazooka arrives from the next village. Only if Lumbaya is still held by Katangese forces. These rules doesen't include vehicles and the truck must stay stationary with it's HMG if used.
  • UN:
    • 1 Platoon of 3 rifle-squads each of 8 soldiers and a LMG. The squads can operate independently.
    • 1 Light mortar-detachment of  2 soldiers and an observer
    • 1 bazooka-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader
    • 1 Jeep with HMG and 2 soldiers. These rules do not include vehicles, so the Jeep must stay stationary with the HMG.
Mission:
  • Katangese: To hold the strongpoint of Lumbaya. Can request QRF-support as mentioned in the force-section from turn 12 if still holding whole or part of the strongpoint.
  • UN: To take and hold the strongpoint of Lumbya, preferably within 12 turns, and take control on as many Katangese gendarms located there as possible.


AAR

Time:    2,5 hours
Turns:   12 
Result:   UN victory

Since these rules doesn't include vehicles, I just let the UN-Jeep act as part of the scenery and cover and a static emplacement for the UN HMG. This time I kept the UN-support weapons on the left side of the table, and let the UN forces advance towards Lumbaya through the dense vegetation.

The UN Forces lost their HMG support in turn 1, and that slowed the advance until the the Katangese HMG was finally taken out in round 12 (!). The mortar did'nt provide much support either as it missed it targets every time (!)

Not much support in these support-weapons...
So the UN-troops just had to advance slowly by 'Fire and Maneuver', getting closer to the village a little at time.

Fire and Maneuver between covers...


The Katangese sniper wasn't very skilled. He was more likely to miss, than to hit. Perhaps first day at work??
In turn 12 the UN-forces had entered the village of Lumbaya with 2 reduced squads, and taken control of the few remaining Katangese there, who all were either dazed, stunned or unarmed.



Pros

  • It's a very simple and easy game to play, and a great introduction for new wargamers. This was actually the first game I cracked on, and also got my oldest son to play.
  • It's very simple and can be played with easily available and cheap army men or toy soldiers. The rules are so easy and generic that it easily can be used for different periods and conflicts as well.
  • Even though these rules doesn't have any rules for wounded and disabled, they differs hits with another roll of dice from casualties or just being stunned or dazed, and makes it possible to pin down other units for a turn or more.
  • The rules include a morale test.
  • Have rules for overwatch/On Guard.
  • I liked the advanced turn sequence, moving one unit at a time decided by the roll of a dice, instead of moving all units before any action takes place simultaneously. Sometimes some units are just more offensive than others, and that may influence the order actions takes place in the battle.

Cons

  • There are no rules for using Sub Machine Guns.
  • There are no rules for including (fighting-) vehicles in this game.

Conclusion

This is like the names indicate, a very simple game. Still it's interesting enough. Therefore it might be a great introduction for new members to wargaming. It was the first wargame I ever played with miniatures.

Maybe it was a lot of bad die-rolling here, but I think these rules make it slightly harder to hit and kill the targets by any weapons, and especially by support- and automatic weapons, than the previous rules I've been previewed so far. Since the casualties also get to roll for a saving, the mortality is not so high, so you don't loose all your troops early in the game, but it pins down units though. I played the exactly same game and scenario again with my oldest son a little later, and got about the same result the second time as reviewed here.

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Sunday, June 12, 2022

Fighting Plastic

 

The rules



The Figting Plastic rules by Corey Butler were hosted by the late Thor Sheil on his Army Men website, where I first saw them. I found them again on his restored webpages. Here is an direct link to rules. I've also seen another similar version of this game on the web earlier called 'Burning plastic' by Mitch Nexon, but the link to it seems to be inactive now. Maybe some of you have it? If so, Please share it in the comment-section below.

The scenario

I've placed this skirmish to the United Nations largest mission in both scale and operational scope during the Congo Crisis 1960-65, when UN troops 'peacekeeping' was more offensive 'peace enforcement' with force.

Situation:
This skirmish is finding place in fictional place of Lumbaya in the early January of 1963, when the UN during operation 'Grand Slam' are turning their attention to the remaining Katangese strongholds in Southern Katanga after after securing the Katangese capitol of Élisabethville.

Place:
Lumbaya is a very small village located 80km south west of Élisabethville, and are made into a stronghold by a small platoon of Katangese Gendarmes. The village is one of several strongholds in the area to trying to hold the UN off while trying to keep the self-proclaimed president Tshombe by power of the self-proclaimed Katanga state.

Forces:
  • Katangese:
    • 2 rifle-squads each of 10 soldiers, a LMG and and a bazooka/flame thrower. Each squad can operate as 2 fireteams independently. 
    • 1 HMG-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • 1 sniper
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader and 2 medics
    • After turn 12: A QRF consisting of 1 truck with a HMG and a section of 10 'veterans' armed with assault rifles, a LMG and a bazooka arrives from the next village. Only if Lumbaya is still held by Katangese forces.
  • UN:
    • 1 Platoon of 3 rifle-squads each of 8 soldiers and a LMG. The squads can operate independently.
    • 1 Light mortar-detachment of  2 soldiers and an observer
    • 1 bazooka-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader
    • 1 Jeep with HMG and 2 soldiers.
Mission:
  • Katangese: To hold the strongpoint of Lumbaya. Can request QRF-support as mentioned in the force-section from turn 12 if still holding whole or part of the strongpoint.
  • UN: To take and hold the strongpoint of Lumbya, preferably within 12 turns, and take control on as many Katangese gendarms located there as possible.


AAR

Turns:       13
Time:        2 hours
Result:      UN forces defeated when entering the village of Lumbaya at the same time as the arrival of the Katangese QRF.

All ranges are longer in 'Fighting Plastic' than in the previous rules I've reviewed so far. Therefore I needed a slightly other tactic than I've used in earlier games. It was still an UN-attack on 3 axis though, but now the UN Jeep with the HMG provided best support behind cover on the left side of the gaming-table. It managed to take out the crew to the Katangese roftop-HMG at the same time as it was taken out it self. The UN Mortar got a direct hit and finished it off:

Direct hit!
The Katangese HMG is now beyond repair and use.
When the threat with that Kantangese HMG was eliminated, the UN-attack could go on. The Katangese forces only got a couple of direct hits, desimating the UN-forces, but was not able to hold back.

But the Katangese hit back with a direct Bazooka-hit and taking out a half squad.

The UN mortar team gave good support for the advancing forces:


Seems like this building has been targeted with several Mortar-grenades.

Nice addition to the rules that medics can get casualties into combat again. -At a roll of 7, so it didn't help these guys though

The UN Forces finally reached the Village of Lumbaya and was entering it, when they was pinned down by a hidden sniper.

 The sniper just halted the attack for one turn, but that was enough to reaching turn 12 and the arrival of the Katangese QRF from the next village.


The QRF just rushed in as fast and far as possible, and opened fire with it's HMG, hitting almost all the entering UN forces. Only one soldiers was left for the infantry, which took him out in the same turn.




Pros

  • It's simple and can be played with easily available and cheap army men or toy soldiers.
  • Even thou not including rules for wounded, the rules includes medics who can convert casualties into healthy again by a roll of dice.
  • Indirect weapons get a -1 on every first attack on a (fixed) target.
  • Have rules for grenades not hitting their targets and will hit something else instead.
  • Have own rules for paras jumping into the gaming board whether they hit their Landing Zone or not.
  • Rules include different skill-levels for the fighting forces. It doesn't apply for whole units, only for single heroes. I added one at each side, and they stayed alive and led their squads until the final stages of the battle.
  • The rules are short. Just 2 sides, and it has easy reference boards/tables making shooting fast.
  • I liked the long ranges for the weapons, thus there are a con as well when it doesn't differ between short-, medium- or long range within. It's just easier to hit a closer target than a target far away.

Cons

  • The rules doesn't include any melee or hand-to-hand fighting.
  • Since every shoot is rolled with 2 dice (D6) and some automatic weapons have up to 10 shoots every turn, at the same time as the rule recommend 30 - 40 soldiers on each side, I think there will be a lot of dice-rolling. I would actually consider to play this game with D12 dice or using a dice-app accepting separately D6-rolls in pairs.

Conclusion

These rules are very in the spirit of the rules made by Thor Sheil, and they naturally belongs in the wargame-section on his website. This was a very easy, fun and playable game, and it kept the excitement until the very end. Looking up references in the rules was easy and quick. It should have had som hand-to-hand combat, but again these rules encourage modifications and house rules as long as they're labeled as such.


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Sunday, May 29, 2022

OMOG - One Man, One Gun

 

The rules



The OMOG - One Man, One Gun by the late Thor Sheil was actually the second (free) wargame-rules I ever read, and therefore a naturally continuation on these play-through blogg-posts.

The different OMOG-rules can be found for free on Thor Sheil's restored website with all the periodic rules and the supplements. I've chosen the OMOG - Advanced for 20th and 21st Century Soldiers for this game.

The scenario

I've placed this skirmish to the United Nations largest mission in both scale and operational scope during the Congo Crisis 1960-65, when UN troops 'peacekeeping' was more offensive 'peace enforcement'.

Situation:
This skirmish is finding place in fictional place of Lumbaya in the early January of 1963, when the UN during operation 'Grand Slam' are turning their attention to the remaining Katangese strongholds in Southern Katanga after after securing the Katangese capitol of Élisabethville.

Place:
Lumbaya is a very small village located 80km south west of Élisabethville, and are made into a stronghold by a small platoon of Katangese Gendarmes. The village is one of several strongholds in the area to trying to hold the UN off while trying to keep the self-proclaimed president Tshombe by power of the self-proclaimed Katanga state.

Forces:
  • Katangese:
    • 2 rifle-squads each of 10 soldiers, a LMG and and a bazooka/flame thrower. Each squad can operate as 2 fireteams independently. 
    • 1 HMG-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • 1 sniper
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader and 2 medics
    • After turn 12: A QRF consisting of 1 truck with a HMG and a section of 10 'veterans' armed with assault rifles, a LMG and a bazooka arrives from the next village. Only if Lumbaya is still held by Katangese forces. These rules don't include vehicles so the truck must stay stationary with it's HMG.
  • UN:
    • 1 Platoon of 3 rifle-squads each of 8 soldiers and a LMG. The squads can operate independently.
    • 1 Light mortar-detachment of  2 soldiers and an observer
    • 1 bazooka-detachment of 3 soldiers
    • HQ-section with platoon-leader
    • 1 Jeep with HMG and 2 soldiers. These rules do not include vehicles, so the Jeep must stay stationary with the HMG acting just like a static emplacement.
Mission:
  • Katangese: To hold the strongpoint of Lumbaya. Can request QRF-support as mentioned in the force-section from turn 12 if still holding whole or part of the strongpoint.
  • UN: To take and hold the strongpoint of Lumbya, preferably within 12 turns, and take control on as many Katangese gendarms located there as possible.


AAR

Turns:    14
Time:      2 hours   
Result:    UN withdrawal

Since these rules didn't include vehicles, I made the vehicles part of the scenery and acting as cover and static emplacement for HMGs.

The UN forces advanced on 3 axis, but this time much slower than previous game due to the movement-rules. Again the attack was halted when the UN came in contact with with the Katangese HMG on the rooftop covering the road to into Lumbaya. 

It took so lot of efforts to eliminate the the Katangese HMG, so by the time the UN troops could finally start advancing again, their own support-weapons was almost out of ammo. Without support-weapons to give effective suppressive fire, the attack came to a halt, almost at the same time as turn 12 and the appearance of the Katangese QRF. This meant that the UN forces was outnumbered and outgunned. Due to heavy losses the only reasonable thing to do was to withdraw.

Kantangese HMG covering the road towards Lumbaya, end effectively pin down the UN forces

UN mortar team was giving cover, but was running out of grenades

When it was finally time to start advancing again, the UN troops was critically low on ammo.....

....so when the Katangese QRF appeared, there was no other option than to withdraw for the UN


Pros

  • It's simple and can be played with easily available and cheap army men or toy soldiers from a lot of different periods.
  • Have rules for mortars and hand grenades not hitting their target and added hit-probability for firing at the same target not moved.
  • Ammo rules limits available shoots for mortars, hand grenades, flamethrowers, bazookas and HMGs.
  • Have rules for different skill-levels for units, but only in the hand-to-hand fighting section.
  • Have own rules to cover many different periods from ancient to modern.

Cons

  • The rules doesn't include any vehicles.
  • It doesn't have any rules for using sniper rifles. 
  • When throwing dice' for almost all the (other) shooting, I think it would have been easier to handle automatic weapons as well with dice instead of 'burst cones'-templates for automatic weapons. Besides the 'burst cones' assumes that these kind of weapon automatically hits, if you're not in a cover and can roll for a cover-save.

Conclusion

The movement is slightly slower in this game, and I think it will be best suited for smaller gaming spaces and scenarios. I also I think it will be even easier to play for (earlier) periods not including automatic weapons (and the use of burst cones). I'm more likely to play these rules again for another and earlier era. I really liked the ammo-rule. Not many other rules have them. 

I'm glad for all the contributions to this hobby from the late Thor Sheil, and I'm very glad to spend some time playing his games. If you haven't tried them your self yet, I recommend you to do. 

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