Scouts Out!

Scouts Out!
C Troop musters for action

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Battle of Centerville Part 1 AAR

The Battle of Centerville Part 1:  The Gunny's Alamo

Okay, after much waffling and wasting of time, plus a hurricane, here's a battle report on my game last month.  It's just the 1st battle in a simple three battle (maybe four!) campaign using FUBAR to decide the fate of the American controlled colony on Crossland Island.  A victory for the LRL will open the door for a massive invasion of the main American colony on planet Liberty.  This battle also marks my first use of Rebel Minis Raptor minis.  These evil beasts are Neo-Soviet bio-warfare cyber-monsters!  These vicious beasts are used as cannon fodder shock troops and are widely exported to nations that don't mind using horrid beasts to do their dirty business.

Force wise this was the largest single battle that I've ever ran at my house:

US OOB:  USCM veteran, US Army seasoned

Two Army rifle squads each with 6 rifles with UGL, 2 SAW.
One Bradley AFV
One Seraph Medium Mech
One USCM rifle section with two squads of four.  Each with a SAW plus Gunnery Sgt Anderson. (this unit is the reserve unit mentioned earlier... I hope I didn't mess up by committing it too soon!)
One M577 APC
One sniper

LRL OOB:  All troops seasoned with one veteran squad.

Four six man Seasoned rifle squads. Two with SAWS, two with RPGs.
One six man Veteran rifle squad with one SAW.
One squad of ten Raptor Cybots.
Two Rockjumper Technicals with HMGs.
One Abrams MBT.
One Neo-Soviet warbot.
Two four man insurgent cells with RPGs.

Both sides had access to three artillery strikes.  As it turned out only the American's fires would really be decisive... which was good because that is half of the US force's available artillery support.  This means that I'll only have three more salvos to split across two more scenarios.  I get the feeling that I'll regret being so aggressive with my reserves and fire support!  

There were only two of us playing:  me and my son Jeremy.  Me and Jer usually "play" one side together and I run, with some help from Jeremy, the "bad guys".  

We decided that the LRL's objectives in the game would be the ruins near the bridge, the bridge itself, and the Alamo.  The side which controlled two of the three would win the game!

After both sides set-up the LRL got to place the two insurgent cells as per the guerrilla special rule.  That worked out great because neither the Army nor Marines had motion trackers!  So the insurgents took up hiding positions just across the river from the main US strongpoint.  This was really irritating too because they were hidden and couldn't be shot at until they move or opened fire!  This would bite us later in the game. 

The rest of the LRL hoard was across the river in this massive hoard formation with the vehicles in the center, the infantry interspaced between the vehicles, and the Raptors forming a skirmish line to the front.  What an artillery target!!! We couldn't wait for our first activation to start laying down the hurt.

On the other side of the river our troops were deployed into strong defensive positions.  Jeremy's Army troops deployed in the Alamo with fire teams in the two main buildings and the rest in the courtyard along the wall.  Up in the tower Jeremy's sniper found a nice hidey hole to hang out in.  The two buildings next the the Alamo, along the river, were occupied by Anderson's marines with one squad in each building.  The vehicles took up positions out of sight but with a good LOS to the bridge.  We had great fields of fire with lots of overlap.  This would be a really tough nut for the LRL to crack. 

The battle opened up very well for us.  

The LRL troops rushed toward the bridge with the Raptors in the lead.  We let them have it when they reached the fighting position in front of the bridge.  Over the next two turns we dropped our artillery on their AFVs and started racking up hits quickly.  One team of four Raptors evaporated in seconds.  Other shells smashed into AFVs and the warbot shutting them down.  It seemed like one vehicle after another was mobility killed or stunned.  That shut down their mobile firepower and ensured that our positions in the Alamo would be safe from heavy LRL guns.  This massing of vehicles was a costly LRL mistake.

This was one really nasty artillery strike that wiped out one LRL squad and trashed the neo-soviet warbot.  The glass beads mark units that have already activated.

Time to rethink things for the LRL!  I decided to split up the Raptors into two teams so that they could cross the river and assault the Marine fighting positions.  Hopefully that would shut down the deadly accurate marine rifle fire and allow the infantry to deploy into good cover and force their way across the river.  

One thing that worried Jeremy to death was the Abrams.  He was certain that it would destroy his Seraph so he begged me to drop our last arty barrage on it in the hopes that it would be destroyed.  I didn't think that it would work but I gave it a shot anyway.

And it worked!  Some great die rolling by Jeremy!  We had be able to stun the beast with the other strikes but inflicted no real damage on it.  Then that last round came in and BOOM!  Up it went on a 6 on the damage table.  Now things were really looking up for our outnumbered yanks.

In the meantime the Raptors made steady progress.  These bad boys made every activation roll and swiftly raced for their targets.  My marines laid down some fires on them but no joy.  The few hits I made were shrugged off by their armor.  It was about to get very ugly...

And then they made their move!!!!  These swift beasts bounded over the river (a special rule allowed them to ignore the river because they could jump across it) and rushed the marine strongpoints.

And in an instant the leathernecks were in hand-to-hand combat with the monsters.  Jeremy really got up-set (hey, he's 9).  "They're gonna die daddy!!!" he moaned!

By the beginning of turn four things were pretty ugly for the Americans.  The two marine positions were in melee with the Raptors which shut-down a lot of US firepower.  The GIs tried to keep up the fire but they just didn't have the LOS that the marines had.  This slacking of fire allowed the LRL's regular troops to move into cover.  Also the new Ultra rules helped a lot too.  Normally Seasoned troops had a 50/50 chance of activating and getting to do something.  If they failed then they were locked into place, and many times, that could last for several turns.  I didn't pass every roll but I was able to move all of my LRL units forward.  This created a lot of tension in the game because we could just see all of the LRL grunts moving up to join the battle.  

Melee actions broke out at the beginning of the turn and luck just wasn't with the Raptors!  My marines had a hot run on the dice and were actually winning most of the combats. The Raptors took down several marines but they lost even more!

These melees lasted for two turns because neither side was willing to back down.  The marines dug in their heels, broke out their K-bars, and mobbed the Raptors.  

Even Gunny Anderson got into the fray by going toe-to-toe with a Raptor.  I just knew that the vaunted gunny was going down but apparently he didn't get the memo!  Anderson killed his foe during turn 4 then joined the other fight in turn 5 and took down that Raptor too!!!  Chalk up two for the gunny!!! 

All of the Raptors were dead by the end of turn 6 but they did their job.  Both marine squads were at 50% and the LRL line squads were able to move into cover.  Once the melees were over waves of small arms fire swept over the marine positions.  The Gunny's was hit the hardest!  Gunny watched as his two remaining marines were shot down by accurate rifle and mg fire.  It was just proving to be too much for the Americans!  We had little choice but to move up our AFVs to support the handful of marines that were left.  The sniper joined in too by picking off both a RPG gunner and a SAW gunner!  That was some sharp shooting. Maybe that would be enough to stave off a LRL rush across the river.

Actually, as it turned out, moving up the AFVs was a very bad idea.  By moving forward we placed our AFVs into enemy RPG range and we instantly paid for it.  The squad on the LRL's right flank got into range and nailed Jeremy's Bradley with a lucky RPG strike.  In quick succession after that the insurgent squads let loose with their RPGs and hit my M577 and the Seraph mech!  My APC was a mobility kill... the Seraph was a total loss.  Now things were really bad.  We lost nearly all of our armor support and the LRL was in solid firing positions and laying down sheets of small arms fire.  I thought that was the game really.   The LRL had already secured the ruined buildings thereby taking that objective.  To win all they needed to do was to move across the bridge and kill my three remaining marines!  By doing that there would no US figures within 12" of the bridge and that would allow them to claim that objective... and in our game claiming two of the there objectives amounted to a win!

And they went for it!  While the other squads laid down fires one LRL veteran team rushed the bridge to secure it.  In response the GIs in the Alamo dumped all the fire that they could into the LRL vets.  My marines concentrated their fires on the two ruins across from the bridge in an attempt to take out the insurgents and the rifle squads.  Even the gunny, who was the last marine in the southern building, joined in on the act by shooting his UGL at a squad of LRL troopers on the opposite bank of the river.

Once again luck was on the side of the Americans!  My fires destroyed both insurgent teams (my remaining marines were shooting grenades and SAWs) while Jeremy's GIs swept the bridge and the teams in light cover along the river.  At least 12 LRL troops went down in one turn either as suppression or causalities .. and the US sniper was on fire too!  He dropped another RPG gunner with a round to the head (a six expertise roll!).  And like that the fire slacked off.  Two LRL squads failed their activation rolls and fell back because they were at 50% strength.  The enemy was broken and had little choice but to fall back.  

We paid dearly for our win.  Only three of my nine marines were unhurt and my APC was a mobility kill.  Jeremy lost both his Bradley and his Seraph and three riflemen, but he still held the Alamo and that was what counted.  But better still my marines were in control of the two outlying buildings and were within 12" of the bridge so we were still able to contest control of the bridge.  The only objective the LRL held were the ruins on the other side of the bridge.  That translated into a minor victory for the US.

It was a really close game!  I honestly thought that we lost the game when our AFVs were wiped out as I didn't see how our infantry could hold.  But hold they did!  And we inflicted some punishing losses on the LRL.  We killed all of their vehicles and insurgents, and we inflicted 6 causalities on the LRL rifle platoon and another three on the veteran LRL squad.  Quite a body count!

Special mention has to be made for Gunnery Sergeant Anderson.  If you've been following my games then you know that he's "my" character sort of like Billy Pink is for Ed at THW. Usually the Gunny gets in a lick or two but in this game the gunny really shone!  I just knew that he was a goner several time but the old sergeant proved me wrong.  He really was a pain in the back to the LRL and an inspiration to his fellow marines.  If it wasn't for him odds are that the LRL would have pulled off a win.  But the Gunny refused to be budged out of his building!  He's hard as nails!

This was my first outing using Craig's suggestions for Ultra FUBAR and it was really a game changer.  This was a very different game from my last FUBAR game:

Ultra FUBAR takes the basic activation system and changes it by splitting up what a unit can do into two actions.  If you pass your activation roll then you get two actions with the unit and then you can pick another unit to activate when you're done.  If you fail that roll then your unit only gets one activation and they initiative switches to the other player.  That happened a lot for the LRL!  Most of their units were seasoned and they failed their activation rolls as often as they passed them.  Normally in FUBAR this would mean that the LRL would have not been able to really put the numbers together to launch any real sort of attack.  It would have just bogged down into units scattered across the board and unable to launch any sort of coordinated action.  Ultra FUBAR kept that from happening.  Even with one action a unit which fails it activation roll can still do something meaningful!  This caused the tempo of the game to pick-up and made things very interesting.  However play still switched back and forth like in regular FUBAR and neither side got everything it wanted.  That felt right to me.

Anyway, it was a very enjoyable game!  I see Ultra FUBAR as my "go to" game now as it's so easy to set-up and play.  No muss, no fuss.  Just a plain fun game to toss on the table and play out in an easy afternoon (2 or so hours).  I'll keep playing Ambush Alley and THW games because I enjoy them so much but I see FUBAR as my basic game for a quick and fun game.  

If you haven't tried it out yet then you should.  It's a free game that's very simple but has a lot of meat on its bones when it comes to game play.  Give it a go... you won't be sorry.

Anyway, next up is a clash of armor and mecha!  Time to meet the boys of the 26th Cavalry.

Semper fi, carry on...


  1. Very exciting and tense write-up and sounds like Jeremy would have felt like a lie-down once it was over ;)

    I'm promising myself a little gaming time during my January break, so I'll have to give Ultra FUBAR a go.

  2. Jeremy really got up-set when that RPG team nailed his Seraph so he was looking for some payback. Today's game, the Cavalry Stand, should be a hoot too. I've never put so many 15mm vehicles on the board before.