Sunday, July 13, 2008

Blast from the Past: Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner, Wars of Insurgency AAR

As my old Earthlink-hosted website will eventually go away, I am transferring some AARs to this blog. This is another one from when we were playtesting our modern Africa rules set, Wars of Insurgency. Not a lot of photos -- storage space was limited back then. Enjoy, though!
Dead soldiers and damaged vehicles lay scattered like the bundles of money across the battlefield
Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner
So, Joel had a scenario in mind for a Modern Africa free-for-all. It was based loosely on the Warren Zevon's song, "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner." Keith, Tom and myself each took a faction, while Keith brought along some new players to run the fourth. I ended up with Roland himself, who was the mercenary guarding a supply convoy that had been ambushed by "that sonofabitch Van Owen" (played by 11-year-old Patrick, coached by his Dad, Jimmy).

True to form, Van Owen came gunning for my forces right off the bat with one of his squads, while the other two advanced on the ambush site in the center of the board (Roland's forces, having been driven away from the vehicles, are assumed to have regrouped and are heading back in from a board edge like the other players).

I'll let Joel take up the description from here:

Prelude: Congo 1967, Battle Report: 7.13.08
Roland - Mike
Mulele (Simba rebel leader) - Keith
VanOwen - Patrick/Jimmy
Never formally introduced - Ptomas

VanOwen arrived early, as it should be, at the ambush site, walked the grounds, and asked a lot of hard questions. Roland arrived late to his ambush, as it should be. Two soldiers were killed right away, one truck damaged, the two Duce & halfs abandoned. Roland regrouped and deployed en masse to counterattack the ambush. 

Each side has different victory conditions
• All sides have equal forces 

• No one is formally introduced/identified  
Roland's Militia close in -- too late -- to the ambush site
VanOwen (Patrick) deployed the aka pygmy warriors in the jungle on his left flank, hoping to slow down Roland's (Mike's) counterattack, as he simultaneously advanced on the abandoned trucks. Suddenly, the LMG from Mulele - Simba Leader, opens up and tears into the supplies spilled on the ground. Yankee Dollars, English Pounds and French Francs flutter to the ground and the entire battlefield is quiet as everyone realizes 'This is nothing more than armed robbery!" 

VanOwen now moves a little faster to secure the last of the money bags. Hans & Franz, aka the "Jerryatric" brothers (Ptomas) move slowly, knowing it is not safe to rush to the center of the battlefield first. Besides, they have a different goal this time. Hans simple trick of "Who's there?" to find out who are the crouching militia (Keith) to his front doesn't work. So, Franz puts some bullets over their heads to move them on quickly, but that doesn't work either. Hans & Franz find themselves in a shootout with the militia the rest of the battle AND the bullets fly. 

Meanwhile VanOwen's gang reaches the money bags, and everyone else takes notice and slowly whittle away at VanOwen and the rest. VanOwen is the last to fall as he tries to reach the safety of the jungle.

Roland could not reach the last of the supply trucks safely, and the few Simba rebels make sure the trucks are of no use to ANYONE. Mulele Simba leader was killed in battle, but was easily replaced, and his soldiers fought well and could claim a minor victory with the death of VanOwen. VanOwen's troops were dead all along the battlefield, some with dollars stuffed in the pockets, others with dead cold fingers still on the triggers. The "Jerryatrics Brothers" were slow to get into the fight, BUT their victory conditions were achieved for them (Kill VanOwen + Kill Mulele). So, they left the battlefield able to claim a major victory. Ptom "Trick C" won! -- Joel Sams