Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Battle of Reservoir Valley part 1

Recently I set up a new Striker scenario for my pals Dan and Cameron to fight out. Dan announced his side was The Grand Army of the Glebian Empire, while Cameron's forces were known as the Reservoir Pirates. They worked up their units and wrote their orders, and the battle began.

The original topo map inset. Note the reservoir at the left edge of the map.
The scenario called for a meeting encounter - two units out on patrol encountering each other in a wooded valley bordering a stream. Each side's objective was the same, they each were to cross the map and exit the side opposite from where they entered.
Butcher paper works on the table but doesn't photograph well.
I simplified the map when I transferred it to the butcher paper; I took out several of the contour lines, and removed some of the trees. According to the topo map, the distance between elevation lines was only 6 meters, so very few of the slopes were severe enough to affect movement. Nevertheless, with the finished map, line of sight is very short from most locations, owing to the rolling terrain and expanses of light forest.
Each side had one platoon of 32 long-service professionals, so the bulk of the forces were Regulars and Veterans, with a few Recruits and Elites to round it out.

Each side broke their platoon down into four man teams, with squad leaders integrated into team bases instead of individual bases. 

Tech level was set at 10. I've observed before that while GDW published lots of weapons tech up to TL-15, most all of their published scenarios in Book 4 or in the Amber Zones in JTAS were for forces at modern day tech levels - 5,6,7 and 8. Because of this, I wanted this scenario to use more advanced tech. Both sides equipped their forces with TL 10 Combat Environment Suits - we learned from the last games that armor is a must to keep your forces alive. Neither side has vehicles or off-board artillery available. This is a patrol, after all.

Play of the engagement

The first seven turns were taken up by maneuvering, each side was aware of enemy forces in the area, but with the tree cover neither side could see the other. Both platoons moved forward aggressively, angling for the best terrain positions - hilltops and the few small shacks. Weapons choices were 7mm auto rifles vs 9mm ACRs, supported by machineguns and RAM GLs. The game standard 10kg limit on carried gear was in force.

By turn eight, elements of the Pirates and Glebians were close enough to attempt spotting through the woods which cover most of the hilly area in the middle of the board. Fire combat ensued with Pirate forces being suppressed and falling back. Glebians had a covered position at the crest of a hill. Both sides took casualties, but the Glebians did better with morale rolls. Each side has his units spread out enough that it will take time for either side to reinforce the emerging firefight, which continued through turns 9 & 10.

We incorporated the spotting rules in this game, as well as a clarified understanding of the difference between concealment and cover. The former condition exists when intervening matter obscures targets. Mechanically this adds a -DM to the attackers roll to hit. The latter condition exists when a target has bullet-stopping solid matter between them and an attacker. Half of all hits strike the cover, which adds AV; but the other half get a damage bonus, as it is assumed these hits struck uncovered areas (like heads/upper torsos).

This fight's far from over; I'll update the battle and our evolving understanding of the game as we go. 

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