Game 1 – La Chute du faucon noir
Bazistan: During operations, a US Army UH-60 Blackhawk has been shot down in the old town of Bazi City. Observers have spotted two casualties attempting to extracte themselves from the wreckage. Needing to secure the site, Coalition command has deployed a French SF team to the Old Town to capture and defend the area from the Militia. However, this is the Militia’s home turf and they know that the enemy are coming. Will the French be able to hold the crash site long enough to treat the wounded?
Wanting to start the weekend off with a refresher, we decided to go for a reasonably simple yet exciting scenario. With JT on GM duties, my opponent Craig brought out his rather nice Task Force Operators painted up as French SF while I started emptying MENA militia and insurgents out of my bag.
The sides were as follows:
- 8 Operators (one of which was an Elite Team Leader) armed with the usual gear (body armour, frag/smoke/stun grenades, etc). They were armed with a mixture of LMGs, Carbines and a DMR.
- 12 man mob armed with ARs except for two figures armed only with grenades (all Militia except 1 Militia Commander)
- 4 man team with two MMGs and two ARs (both rated Militia)
- 2 man sniper team with DMR and AR (one Militia, one Militia Squad Leader)
- 6 man “snatch” squad with carbines, an assault rifle with UGL and LMG (5 Trained and one Trained Squad Leader)
Before we got dice rolling, the GM pulled both of us aside separately and talked up some sneaky rules. I got to pick D3 buildings to act as spawn zone; the dice gave me two and so I picked ones close to the objective and in positions where I could trap the elites. Then, the SF were taken aside and told something; I later found out that the French were getting some OTA (off table assets) in the form of a Little Bird gun run and some orbiting snipers.
As the game begun, the board was clear of both forces. The first sign of trouble was two teams of four operators (nicknamed North group and South group based on how far up the table from my point of view they were), each taking different routes to the downed bird. The groups remained in cohesion while checking the corners, carefully picking their way towards the target.
Spotting the operators arrive, the militia began to deploy. On the roof of one building, the sniper team appeared and setup looking covering the down helicopter and a main avenue. Across the battlefield the MMG team were deployed in order to take up a suppressing position on the roof, seeking to gain the height advantage.
At this stage, we were joined by two more players, Laurence and Jess who had never played Spectre before. Jess decided to watch to begin with, while Laurence took over as co-militia commander and gained control of the snatch squad and the sniper (presumably the squad leaders had spotted a chance to take some glory and decided to go off script a little bit).
The operators saw the militia appear and proceeded to start taking advantage of their superior equipment. In order to cover their approach to the wreck, the north team popped smoke into the zone covered by the MMG teams. It didn’t completely fill the gap but did do it’s job.
The militia saw this action as confirmation an attack was taking place. The bulk of the force, a 12 person militia squad, deployed out of the same building as the snipers and prepared to march down the street towards the operators. The large squad has an additional benefit for militia, giving them a boost to command.
As a response to the noise of a rabble, two of the operators from south group maneuvered into a position to cover the street and prevent them being flanked.
The operators also went for their tool kit and marked up the MMG gunners rooftop for an Off Table Asset (you can see the countdown dice showing the target). All I knew at this point was that something was coming but I had no idea what form the support was going to take.
The main focus of this picture was the first surprise of the day. Before the North Group could advance on the wreck, and taking advantage of a shift in initiative, the Snatch squad came pouring out of the MMG building and bum rushed the operators. However, due to the positioning, they only managed to surround one operator.
This would be an issue as my opponent easily worked out a counter strategy. Before rushing into combat themselves, the rear most operator rolled a flashbang in the midst of the combat. This worked wonderfully, stunning almost all of the snatch squad who were in combat and reducing their stats to 1.
The operators who charged home easily won the melee against their stunned opponents. With their close combat stat reduced to 1, it was very hard for the snatch squad to cause an sort of damage to them. In the following turn, the squad would attempt to fall back before re-engaging at range.
Above the melee, the MMG gunners had deployed and were now ready to shoot. It was also the perfect moment as two operators had just rushed the downed Blackhawk in an attempt to begin treating the injured crew. The smoke may have blocked the view but using the elevation (and the re-roll offered by being crew served) the team took one of the operators down and suppressed his buddy.
As the mob moved toward the crash site, they attempted to control the street by spreading out and putting a hail of fire down on the two operators covering their crossing. They managed to put down some suppression and threatened the Elite’s hold on the initiative.
In the following turn, a pair of operators moved past the retreating squad and set up in position to cover the crash site. Unfortunately for them, they found themselves exposed to the hail of MMG fire. One gunner wiped out the team leader sat by the wreck while the other shot up a member of North squad. It seemed that these guns were a serious threat, preventing the operators from keeping mobile and chewing through their higher than normal defence.
The MMG gunners were too busy hammering away to hear the sound of a helicopter. By the time they heard it it was too late. A Little Bird came screaming in across the map and lit up the entire squad with it’s miniguns. The remnants of the snatch squad were saved only by the geometry of the gun run, shielded from the gunfire by the overhang on the building. On the other hand, the remaining operators did finish them off by throwing a grenade in, completely wiping out the squad. The militia forces on the northern half of the board had been completely wiped out.
Back on the street, the mob continued their fire, as well as moving part of the squad to start covering the crash site/trade shots with north group. Around this time, the hail of fire brought down another operator and left another elite separated from his team (you can just about see him on the left side of the street).
The way cleared by the miniguns of the air support, the rest of North group pushed into the square. This quickly turned into a two way rifle range, with the operators getting capped at two suppression while piling points onto the mob. Their will held, thanks in part to their large numbers and the presence of the militia commander.
With the risk of the separated operator flanking the mob, the sniper team moved from their starting position and into one covering the mobs flank.
In addition, the mob’s grenadiers started to advance down the street to get into throwing range. The operators had attempted to pop smoke to cover their movement but some of the militia fighters were now overwatching the gap, ready for when the separated operator would attempt to rejoin his buddies.
With another roar, a transport helicopter overflying the area heralded the arrival of another OTA asset. This time, it was two elite snipers ready to turn the tide. With two targets (the militia commander and the militia snipers), they decided to focus on cutting off the command and slammed both shots into the Militia Commander in the streets. With the sudden drop in command, Craig was easily able to regain the initiative and keep it for the rest of the game.
Back at the crash site, the remaining operators popped more smoke and started to close on the objective while putting down fire.
The militia however were content to keep popping in and out of cover, with the lead fighter absorbing all the suppression coming his way.
The French were getting annoyed at this and so decided to really push back. Popping a stun grenade in, a hail of gun fire from every operator brought down a pile of the militia reducing them to a fraction of their starting number.
The game was close to an end and I was almost ready to concede. However, I decided to go out guns blazing. The militia rushed the operators around the wreck running forward in an attempt to lock some enemies in close combat and mob them. Unfortunately, I was bringing fists to a gun fight and so the last of the militia fighters was dropped.
After the final member of the mob was taken down, an eerie silence filled the air. The French SF had only just managed to capture the wreck and so they could begin treating the casualties giving them the win. It had taken a lot out of them, with four Elite operators killed. On the other hand, the only remaining militia was the sniper team so it’s safe to say the operators (and the orbiting helicopters) had given a lot more than they had taken. It was a close game with some great swings as each side seized advantageous situations but Craig seized the day thanks to some clever use of positioning and equipment.