This game was born out of wanting to use our new toy, a Cougar MRAP, and to get back into playing Spectre Operations again with a ‘small game’ to re learn the rules. We would have put it up on LAF but the archaic rules about post 2000 conflicts and our last interaction with the site put us off even trying.
Our basic scenario was an Afghan police station is under attack by increasing numbers of Taliban who have infiltrated the town disguised as civilians. The police are a small squad with their own leader but happen to have a senior leader in the building which will help with their command roles. The Taliban comprise three battle groups of around ten men each spread in a crescent through the town and already in small arms range.
Due to the presence of civilians senior command has rejected a danger close airstrike and opted for calling in two nearby SAS teams to effect a rescue.
After dicing for random entry points for the SAS we got underway; Red team approached on foot from the east and immediately sent Trooper Winner off with the FN Minimi to find higher ground, Sgt Phillips, Cpl Firmin & Trooper Horsfall, headed for the rendezvous point at the central market, motioning civilians to go home (ironically); Blue team approached from the south in the Cougar with Cpl Curry manning the HK GMG.
The opening firing was solely between the police and Taliban; to the north of the town Hajji Barri’s group manoeuvred from the buildings they were occupying towards the hesco barriers, exchanging shots with Pvt Berri who was covering the side door and who managed to seriously wound Barri – realising their leader would bleed out the group left him to be with god and pressed their attack.
Almost directly opposite the police, Rezza Jaffar Abbas and his fighters were getting themselves into better positions with a sniper and RPG on resident’s roofs as the citizenry cowered inside, covering this positioning with AK fire from the rest of the group.
To the south west Ahmed Ali and his group moved out of the compound toward the market place, planning to flank west and around the side of the station – this didn’t go well.
Although the air was fairly thick with AK fire casualties were at a low level so far, the police station walls proved effective and Captain Gul urged the small police team on (in other words his command level prevented them becoming suppressed and rallied them if they did); all this changed however as the Cougar nudged its way into the open.
Seeing a group of armed insurgents at nine o’clock Cpl Curry let rip with the grenade machine gun (we’d never used one of these before – bloody hell!)
The firing wasn’t entirely accurate but the drift took out the sniper team on the roof of the compound (pure luck) and dropped a couple more fighters at the compound gates; Ali and several of his lieutenants took cover at the water trough by the market stalls and hoped their RPG guy would take out the metal monster.
Unnerved by the barrage the RPG fighter missed his shot and sent the rocket into the building behind the Cougar killing a man and his son with the falling masonry.
While mayhem reigned in the market place the other two groups pressed their attacks, avoiding losses from police RPG fire…
but not missing themselves when they put a shot into the room containing Sgt Alamyar, killing him outright.
Fighters from Ali’s group reached the south west corner of the police station giving a clear shot at the soldier defending the sandbagged front entrance…
and the fighters from Barri’s group had reached the hesco barriers, pouring more fire into the police station.
The SAS teams were acutely aware that the battle was moving away from them so another salvo from the GMG went in on the market place with slightly better grouping, taking out Ali and his lieutenants behind the stone trough and effectively finishing off that group. At the same time Sgt Lane and Trooper got out to lend their small arms weight to Red Team.
With the soldier at the front entrance down, Captain Gul realised that every gun now counted so picking up the discarded weapon he joined the fight only to be picked off by Abbas’ sniper on the opposite roof.
More pain for the police followed, their lmg man went down to concentrated AK fire and an RPG into the front entrance took out the police RPG guy just as he steadied himself for a shot.
Cpl Curry now turned his attention to the Abbas group on the building ahead who also realised there was a big noise behind them they needed to do something about. However better training won out and Curry got his shot in first, raining death on the building.
Abbas, one other fighter and the sniper died in the barrage but Curry was out of effective targets now and the market place was more congested than aerial reconnaissance had suggested so it was over to the foot sloggers.
Despite the loss of three leaders the Taliban were still very much in the fight and with the fire from the station ending (morale had collapsed and everyone was either dead, bleeding out or stunned) closed in on their prize.
In the town the wisdom of dispatching Winner to find higher ground paid off when a sneaky Taliban RPG fighter in a side alleyway revealed himself for a side shot on the Cougar but, again, superior training won out and Winner cut him half.
Despite the losses it couldn’t be denied that the Taliban had achieved their objective and the SAS had not. The police station was set on fire as the Taliban pulled out leaving behind a dead senior Afghan officer and a brave police section who had died fighting to a man. The SAS had barely fired a shot other than the mayhem wrought by the GMG and although the Taliban losses were around the 50% mark that didn’t matter in terms of the propaganda victory.
We had great fun with this game, we got back into the rules a lot quicker and easier than we thought we would and managed to operate 6 different ‘factions’ with relative ease. The GMG is a monster and in a different game we would need to beef up the Taliban with more serious firepower – recoilless rifles etc.
Looking back over the game we didn’t actually play that many turns but in the average Spectre turn a lot can happen in the phases and each ‘faction’ gets a full go so there’s more going on than you think. Overall it seemed to capture the kinetic energy of up close modern contact without too much bookwork so we came away happy.
We hope you enjoyed our AAR, please feel free to comment. Thanks. Ian & Dave.