Friday, November 25, 2011

Battle Report - FUBAR!

Last night we played our first game of "FUBAR", a set of open-source style rules I had stumbled across on TMP a couple weeks ago, leading to a sudden new project.  The guys were polite enough indulge this latest diversion - 6mm sci-fi skimish gaming - and we gave it a go.

The scenario saw our protagonist Captain Hawkins and his stalwart reservists rolling up to a Binary Petroleum technical site on the surface of outwardly dull and non-descript Pax Arcadian colony world 24601.  The techincal site had issued a garbled distress call, and Hawkins led his Task Force Bravo to investigate and deal with any trouble.

Reservists roll up, expecting to find a false alarm...
The reservists had been expecting a milk run, thinking the reports of trouble were in the minds of silly colonists suffering from isolation and batty BP techinical crews that had spent a little too much time near too many fumes.

Hey - there are alien mercs on site - and they are dug in!
Instead they arrived to find alien mercneraries - orks! - had occupied the site, and were busy stealing components.  The Task Force was ordered to stop the orks from getting away with any of the loot.  After all, BP's shareholders could not afford to spare a single penny replacing the stolen equipment...

Orks take up position inside and outside of the BP "Technical Site"
Conscripts Dallas and Mike F took command of Task Force Bravo, and Brian and Mike A played the dastardly mercenaries.  The table was a 4' x 4', with "Technical Site 88" set up in the middle, and patches of area terrain scattered around.

Orks hurry to fill the trucks with loot - "Mek" (with the wrench) gave them a bonus for looting & activation rolls
The orks had a force of about 20 troops, along with a pair of AT guns, a light tank, a light dreadnought, and four "battlewagons".  Three of these were given over to getting loaded with the loot.  Starting on the second turn, the ork players would have to roll to see if the trucks were full enough of looted parts, so they could then make a break for it.  The orks had 10 turns to get away with the loot.

The ork mercenaries spread out around the table to halt the approaching Task Force

The Task Force had about 30 troops all in - three eight-man squads of mechanized reservists and a six-man troop of milita cavalry.  They had APCs to move around in, two light "Cruiser" tanks, and one heavy "Mammoth" MBT.  The Task Force was allowed to enter on a pair of table edges, and they had 10 turns to knock out the battlewagons, stopping the aliens from escaping with the BP components.

Task Force dismounts and APCs face heavy fire from an ork dreadnought
The game was a sluggish one, but Brian and Dallas still managed a hugely dramatic ending.  The storyline has the Task Force troops as reservists, and their stats showed it - and thanks to some horrible rolling, Dallas and Mike F really struggled to move and activate the Task Force vehicles and troops.  Brian and Mike A had awful activation rolls too - the ork infantry were regulars, but I pegged their vehicle crews at lower quality, so it was a struggle to get them going and moving.  Even the elite armoured orcs - the "nobs" figures - often earned activation rolls of "1"...they stood around a lot, supervising the looting, but not shooting or hitting anyone on the opposing side.

Reservists gradually overwhelmed this ork squad through an extended close assault; in the background, the Mammoth tank takes up a position to pound the orks inside the BP facility
Both sides exchanged fire through the first six turns, with Dallas managing to get one squad of reservists into a close assault against a squad of orks.  This assault would drag on for some time, both sides going back and forth - the reservists gradually whittled the orks down and overran the position.

The ork players moved a squad to provide extra support against the heavier portion of the Task Force Bravo assault
Meanwhile, inside the facility the Orks got the battlewagons loaded.  Brian had the Ork mercenary captain hop on to one of the trucks, much improving its activation rolls.  This battlewagon made a prompt getaway.

The Mammoth tank (barely visible at the top right) started to hammer the BP facility, and killed one of the battlewagons
The orks look like they were going to escape with the loot, but it would be the tank crew of the Mammoth that would save the day for the Task Force.  Dallas managed to move it into position so it could bombard the BP facility.  It knocked out the second battlewagon while it was still parked in the facility, just as the third made a break for the table edge.  Drama ensued for the eighth and ninth turns to see who would have initiative, as the ork battlewagon made it right near the edge of the table before coming up short on an activation roll.  It turned out this was still just inside the range of the Mammoth, and the crew knocked it out with some vegas rolling on the ninth turn.

The second battlewagon was wrecked at the beginning of the ninth turn - great clutch shooting by the reserve tank crews!

Another view of the "victory shot" - the orc battlewagon was just inside the range, and Dallas rolled vegas at the end to destroy the enemy vehicle
The result was a draw - the Orks had managed to get away with some equipment, but they didn't finish the job they were paid to finish...what could that mean next for Colony 24601? What were the Orks trying to steal anyway? Who is paying them to steal it? And what does BP do at this "Techinical Site" that merits someone or something going to this trouble to steal stuff from it?  And the Orks were prepared, spread out and in position with heavy AT guns, like they knew Task Force Bravo was approaching....


All in all, I really loved the game, but I think the lads found it to be a bit clunky - this is not a reflection of bad rules, I feel, but some bad planning on my part.  I wanted to play up the "reservist" side of the story, and I did that with the stats.  The game delivered - the Task Force side performed like inepxerienced reservists - hard to activitate and didn't hit very much with their shooting. That matched up with how I imagined the battle, but that doesn't make it as fun to play.  If I had given some more favourable activation scores all around, it would have made for a faster flowing game that was more fun for the guys.

But I have to credit the fellows for still managing a dramatic ending - the last two turns were really fun, waiting to see if that battlewagon would escape, or if the stoic reserve tank crew would zap it.

Skirmishing with 6mm figures, which I would have considered bonkers previously, was a lot of fun, and I'm really pleased with how it looked - of course, I'm hugely biased there, but I think it went over well enough that the group will be up for trying the game again in the future.  So I hope to bring another chapter in the adventures of Task Force Bravo again soon!

As always, thanks to Dallas for hosting, and thanks to all who came out to push some figures around.

PS - I should also add a thanks to Dallas for the terrain - his refinery bits were perfect and really made the BP "Technical Site" come to life!


Michael said...

That is brilliant.
I like it lots.

What did you do about vehicles in the end?
Do you think they will play again?

I am keeping an eye out on the blog.

Suffer no Orks to Live!

Curt said...

Very cool! Love the 'BP' banners.