Battle Report: Operation Kinder– Ultramodern Chain of Command

With my work on Ultramodern Chain of Command continuing, as well as campaign in the planning, I would need to recruit some additional players. Luckily, I have a former housemate/Delaque player to recruit. Of course, recruiting a new player to game is always interesting, especially as his other tabletop experience had been entirely Games Workshop small model number games (such as Inquisitor, Necromunda and Blood Bowl) so being given a full platoon might be considered a bit of a jump.

That said, I managed to get him over on Sunday to have a game, heading back to the Invasion of Bazistan. We’re using the same rules, so for more details on the changes I’ll refer you back to the first battle report, Operation Rubicon.

Alongside the main advance into the Bazi Empire, elements of the Cynerician 18th Division have been engaging in probes along the flanks in order to find and destroy scattered elements of the Bazi forces before they can reform.

Following the route of Highway 212, the forward elements of a Cynerician platoon, accompanied by a small team of the highly trained Cynerician 31st Logistical Studies Group, find themselves against a Bazi Army Platoon among the ruins of several family compounds in the Nahr Highlands region.


My Opponent received an understrength Cynerician platoon, roughly patterned after the US Army Infantry platoon. As before, the Cynericians only has two of the usual three infantry squads, with the supporting Medium Machine gun squad only able to provide a single team. However, as before each squad had it’s mix of Team Leaders and firepower in addition to the faction benefits of body armour, medical gear and optics and the drawback of being Heavily Laden that should act as force multipliers.

They also had a new addition, a team of Special Forces from the euphemistically named “Cynerician 31st Logistical Studies Group”. Using the rather awesome Operation Red Wings figures from Empress, this Team comprised of a Junior Leader with UGL, Team Leader with UGL and a pair of DMRs. As well as being classed as Elite, there would be some other benefits to them (some of which are still under wraps). However, it should be noted that my opponent (obviously playing the role of a Cynerician infantry commander with an axe to grind against the glory boys) would end up declaring he would try and carry the game without using the Special Forces Team.

Army of the Emitrate of BAzistan

I would find myself in command of a platoon of regular Bazi Army. This force is the same as the previous game but missing the pair of police units that added some flexibilty. The rest remains the same – 8 man sections with Junior leader, RPG and a PKM with no loader. The Command HQ is the same, Ranking Senior Leader, Senior Leader and medic. And as you might expect, the communications, body armour and Questionable Marksmanship also applies.

However, I had gained some support. A Bazi Army Sniper was available to me (which should help cause some problems for the enemy) and I had a technical to hand. With a PKM on the back, the vehicle should be handy as a high speed machine gun platform, the only downside being it not having a leader in it so limited to fire or move each time. Oh and it is unarmoured, so it will need to avoid being in the open too long.

The battlefield was assembled again from the various pieces of Sarissa Alamo compound. I decided to go a little more ruined this time, removing many of the roof pieces to make the area look like it’s been hit by enemy fighting. I also made sure not to make things too squared off – this needs to look like the rugged uplands that haven’t followed European farming patterns.

We decided to play the Patrol mission (scenario 1 in the rulebook) seeing as the objective was reasonably simple for a new player. The dice rolls for the patrol makers arrival ended up mostly on the same central/flank positions, meaning out encounter would be focused on one side of the board. Once we ran through the Patrol phase, we deployed our JOPs.

For the Bazis, the trio of JOPs were in a pretty reasonable position. The furtherest forward was close enough to let me deploy over the wall of the L compound and push towards the enemy at the top. The central position gave me a good setup location on the board edge in cover while the final position would setup an assault on the centre.

On the Cynerician side, there was obviously a bit of traffic jam of JOPs around the gatehouse due to how the Patrol phase had ended, which would possibly make it easy to lock them both down if I could get into those structures. If being the main word there.

The JOP in the centre would be the main push however – close enough to the buildings to allow the Cynerician squads to deploy almost directly into cover (or at least move up to it carefully).

With the higher force morale (11 to my opponent’s 9), I activated first. Not wishing to put all my cards on the table too quickly, I placed one of my three squads around the shrubbery JOP, before putting them into overwatch focusing on the front arc.

The Cynericians also deployed quickly, getting the first of their two squads out and heading towards the only real height on the board, the central compound.

The following phase also belonged to the Cynericians. While building up a Chain of Command dice relatively quickly, the deployment of a senior leader allowed the advancing squad to move into the building, take up positions on the floor above and then enter enhanced overwatch, covering the open ground between the treeline and the compound.

A junior leader activation put the other Cynerician squad onto the field, heading towards the road way in an attempt to out manevoure the overwatching enemy.

Getting a reasonable idea of my enemy’s plan, I deployed the technical to the board to act as a mobile MG team.

I then made a catastrophic mistake.

Seeing the distance between my jumping off point and the corner cluster belonging to the enemy, and looking for a way to destroy my opponent’s force morale, I realised if I could capture them both and deliver a heck of a punch.

However, I only had a squad activation – I couldn’t use the junior leader to go on Overwatch or pop smoke.

At which point, the phase shifted. My opponent reached over and picked up his machine gun team, dropping them into the ruins of the compound. It’s really easy to picture it:

The Bazi squad climbs over the wall on the flank moving from cover to cover. But alas, before they can cross the passageway…. muzzle flash lights up the shadows of the ruin, and GPMG rounds started shredding the wall behind them.

The first burst forced the squad to hit the deck, taking 6 points of suppression. Only body armour had stopped them from taking any casualties but it wasn’t a good start to a lynchpin assault.

To add insult to injury, my opponent decided to add an infantry squad’s worth of fire. However, being careful of my squad sat on Overwatch, his junior leader decided to pop smoke across the opening.

Moving forward at slow rate, the squad then rained in additional fire. Lucky for the Bazi’s the shots were mostly ineffective, but also not a good sign as more enemies were advancing.

The Senior Leader on the other hand had more violence on his mind. Spotting that the first Bazi infantry section had started advancing on his position and setup an overwatch (thanks to them being joined by a Senior Leader), the Cynerician Platoon Sergeant left one of his fireteams on overwatch while the other team were ordered to begin throwing frag grenades over the wall.

Three grenades later and the Bazis had taken their first casualty (as well as some shock). The battle was truly joined.

The phase switching to myself, I now had some movements to do With infantry advancing into the open, the technical moved up to meet them.

I also decided to be sensible with the infantry in the centre. Rather than dragging a casualty around, my junior leader activated and detached a soldier to carry my casualty back to the JOP, making sure that when the turn ended I wouldn’t have any lingering casulties well out of safe CASEVAC zones. Right?

Oh no. Oh no no no.

By activating the Senior Leader with the squad, I rallied off the two points of shock and then put down a simple order “move as fast as possible across the gap”. Two men down, and with the Platoon leader’s right hand man pushing them forward, the squad began a sprint.

With the benefit of hindsight, I should have spent one of those points to pop smoke. But hindsight is 20/20.

Instead, as the Bazis crossed a gap, the Cynerician fireteam on the first floor opened up. With a range that was close enough for the carbines to be within close range, a literal hail of 5.56 (and a single DMR shot) tore through the moving squad. Being that they were in the open, the results were devastating. Thankfully, body armour stopped there being any immediate KIA but instead, the team would now have to deal with three casualties and a pile of shock. The squad was immediately pinned in place.

And then it got worse. As the phase changed over, the other fireteam from the ambushing Cynerician took up firing positions and the entire squad opened up. Being pinned did help, stopping most of the fire, but it didn’t help entirely. Taking another casualty and saving a shot via body armour added enough shock to break the squad, forcing it to fall back with it’s casualties. A Bad Thing had occured.

Side note: After the game (and discussing with the Regular Opponents) we decided that excess casualties in this case should have been left behind. A very bad thing!

Speaking of bad things, at this point, my opponent remembered my mention of what ending the turn does. Dropping a chain of command dice down, I had to take a pile of Bad Things Happen tests due to all the casualties. In a single phase, my morale plunged from the heights of 11 down to 4. Damn.

Finally, the Cynerician infantry squad spread out, ready to finish off my other Infantry section and prepare to hit my technical with the AT4 one of the soldiers is lugging around.

With my reduced command dice, I realised I need to get to work. The Technical opened up with the PKM, causing some shock but not much else. More useful was deploying my final Infantry squad. Emerging in the yard of the outbuilding, the Junior Leader pointed out the Cynerician machine gun team. The RPG round detonated against the top of the building, covering the dug in defensive team in shrapnel and pinning them (while quietly thanking the rules writer that he gave them a team leader).

Side note: This is an interesting thing to note – although Ultramodern teams and squads/sections can put out an obscene amount of firepower, they are often smaller than their WW2 counterparts and more vulnerable to being pinned.

Speaking of being pinned, the Bazi squad on the far left attempted to perform some fire and manevoure – by which I mean advancing towards the enemy, firing on full auto (thanks to the Questionable Marksmanship, firing at full effectiveness while moving is possible even if you probably won’t actually hit anything). Alas, between some poor dice rolls and the shock, I was only able to get one infantry man into cover.

I can see where this is going.

Of course, a pinned machine gun team is still a machine gun team. And 10 dice at half effectiveness is still 5 dice. So after dusting themselves off, the MG team let it rip again.

Between the MMG team and the assisting Cynerician infantry, the Bazi squad on the left flank got hammered. With one KIA, a casualty and a pile of shock markers, the Bazis broke and routed off the board. With the loss of a junior leader AND the squad, I lost my remaining force morale and left the board.

Victory to the Cynericians! After the traditional hand shaking across the board, we retired to the kitchen to talk over the game and cook up a Thai Chicken curry.

That was a really fun game! I’ll admit, I didn’t expect to win it (partially as I was helping a new player learn) but I still had a good time. One thing I’m definitely learning is just how useful things like smoke grenades and Covering Fire will be when you’re having to deal with just how much firepower is floating around a modern battlefield. The basic mechanics and Modern tweaks are working rather well, but I think the next step is to add the platoon lists and support options. To the CoCulator!

More importantly, my opponent had a good time and so will be joining us for the campaign as another commander. Expect more games coming soon.

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