No End In Sight - a modern campaign

Thanks to the new rules I purchased, I have been drawn in to the game in a big way and want to play games set now or in the near future.

Rather than spend a fortune on buying completely new armies, I decided to go with 15mm - this way I can buy a whole platoon for around $30 - $40 plus the cost of any vehicles I want to use.

As Eureka Miniatures makes some awesome looking 15mm Modern Australians, I looked for an enemy to put them up against and found Khurasan's 15mm Modern North Koreans.

Sweeeeeet - now I have the forces for the game lined up, but how to get them in to a war involving them?

After dismissing a NK invasion involving naval forces as unlikely, I decided to have them invade parts of Russia - the Vladivostok region to be precise.

This is the background for a possible near future for setting my game up:

following the defeat of Russian forces in the Ukraine, and the weakening of the Russian state as a whole by World sanctions, many Russian states cede from the CIS and declare themselves nations in their own right.

If I do this, I can have the Country of “Primorsky Krai” (Vladivostok) as the battle ground, which would be perfect for an invasion by NK as it is on its boarders. Given this area is a food producer, it is a worthy target for a starving nation.

Digging around I found reference to ‘Green Ukraine’ on wikipedia, which  would make my plan even easier: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Ukraine

With US forces based in Japan and Korea, it would be easy for them to come to the assistance of this new Nation. Rather than deplete the US presence in South Korea, I would have troops shipped in for the campaign.  Australia would get involved due to treaty obligations.

This leads to
twothree questions:
1) would NK invade SK  (Or US/SK invade NK) when this happens?
2) Does NK fire missiles at Japan, targeting US forces there and bring Japan in to the conflict?  (If so, would I get away with using 15mm US army figure for Japanese? The weapons are slightly different, but does that matter at 15mm scale?)
3) Does China and Russia get involved?


 A map showing areas taken by NK. The red is NK held areas the green is National held area:








This indicates where the invasion has developed by the time Coalition forces make unopposed landings to the North East of the country. By unopposed I mean no land forces to stop the landings. Air and naval battles operations conducted/ongoing leading up to this point.

The way the campaign will be conducted is to fight a battle with my platoon and tally the victory points after each battle.  I will match the points to the campaign chart on p51 of the rules to determine if the Coalition forces have captured the area and can move on to the next one etc.
I have decided to use victory points rather than dice rolling results. This might make for a very long campaign, but I can cope with that. It will keep me off street corners



 Game Notes:

 The Platoon LT, SGT and the section/squad commanders will be characters, and if any soldier within the platoons does anything heroic, they will earn the right to be written up as a character.




Things to do:

Create the nation: name, flag, background information/data & map

Buy: A platoon of NK, support weapons and vehicles/aircraft

A platoon of US troops, support weaons, UVA and vehicles/aircraft

A platoon of Australian troops, support weapons (not a big option at the moment) and vehicles/aircraft.

Write up the Unit data (game stats) for all troops, and create my personalities.

Decide on the campaign type: not sure which one to use as yet, but I am thinking of playing the ‘Military Progression’ campaign, and maybe develop it in to the ‘Escalation’ campaign if it has the legs to carry it.

Make/buy scenery: most of the games I play are 28mm or 20mm, so I will need to see what scenery will be appropriate, and what I can make.

New rules "No End In Sight"

I am not sure why I did it, but I purchased a new set of rules to other week called "No End In Sight".

This is on top of buying "Chain of Command" not so long ago too.

I am glad I did though, as the rules are very simple to learn and play, and creates some very tense games when the bullets start flying.

I played a Vietnam game the other weekend to get the hang of the rules:

I dug out my Vietnam war game cards I created and randomly drew a mission for the LRRPS: they need to place four sensors along a train. I will treat each sensor placed as a objective that earns them victory points.

The type of mission helped determine what terrain I should place out, and I placed four American flags along the path to represent the objective locations.

Next I placed my LRRPs, place my VC figures, ‘VC blip flags’, dice, counters and game cards to the side of the playing area.

Each turn I will roll two different d6.

One die is for ‘VC blips’. On a ‘6’ a blip will appear on the table and move randomly each phase. If it comes in to line of sight, I draw a card form the enemy deck to see what, if anything, the blip represents. If it is a VC, I place the figures indicated by the card on to the table and it is time to ‘rock n roll’.

The other die is for random events. These can be useful, a hindrance, or something very nasty.

The set up for the game







The LRRPs I  treated as ‘Professional’ and the VC ‘Irregular’.


The LRRPs are being treated as ‘Self Motivated Individuals’ to reflect the way a LRRP team worked in the field. They also have the ‘Scouts’ and ‘Specialist – Artillery Observer’ skills.

The LRRPs deploy


The LRRPs deployed in to the jungle and headed for their first objective. Each turn I rolled for the appearance of enemy blips and for events, and for the three first turns every thing was quiet in the boonies.


After three activations for each turn I declared them exhausted rather than risk rolling the dice, and the phase ends.

At the start of the next phase an enemy blip appears rather too close to the first objective than I would like. I roll for a direction of travel for the blip, and it will move through the jungle to the river ford.
It is at this stage that things start to go wrong for the LRRPs.  They reach the each of the trail close to the first objective, and I start rolling 1’s for activation rolls. In fact I rolled three 1’s for this turn. The remain three LRRPs move in to position closer to the trail and I declare them exhausted.




 Whilst this was going on, the enemy blip was moving, and when they were within 12″ of the LRRPs I made a spotting roll* for the blip to determine if they could spot the LRRPs. Sure enough the blip sees the LRRPs and opens fire**


*As the game is set in the Jungle I reduced visibility as if it was night time.

** Once a blip has been spotted by the LRRPs I draw an enemy card to determine what, if anything, it is. Until then, the blip has two fire power dice and one kill die.







Due to the declared exhaustion, the blip manages to fire a second burst at the LRRPs – fortunately both attacks missed.
As a fire fight has begun, I add +1 to all rolls to determine is an enemy blip comes on to the table from now on.
The next phase starts and the a LRRP passes a spotting roll and I draw an enemy card and determine I am up against a VC LMG team consisting of an LMG gunner, an assistant and a team leader.







 As I used two LRRP activations to spot the VC (one failed test, one passed) I decide to use the right most LRRP, the Team Leader, who is partially exposed next to the trail to rush across the other side of the path to flank the VC team. I rolled high on his die roll and he makes it in to cover without getting a burst from the LMG.




The Senior Scout goes for an activation and I roll a 1. As he as already been activated, this means he is now exhausted! The VC open up on him and the Junior RTO near him. They miss the Scout, but pin the RTO.

The last two LRRPs to be activated push out to the left flank and in to rear security respectively.

After a short lunch break I returned to my game…

The LRRP that rushed across the road is activated and fires at the closest figure, being the VC leader, pinning him.

Another LRRP fires at the LMG assistant, and I get a good result and wounds him.

Having fired all the weapons I can at the VC they now check for morale. This time luck with with the LRRPs – I roll a 1.  The VC morale falters  and I removed one from play. I remove the wounded VC.

The VC commander activates and removes his pinned marker, and orders the RPD to open fire again. One LRRP is pinned.

I try to activate the first pinned LRRP and roll a 1. This means his is exhausted – I now have two exhausted LRRPs at the moment.

The VC commander activates the LMG again, but has no effect. I make a status check for the LRRPs, which they pass by the skin of their teeth.

I declare all the LRRPs exhausted, as does the VC commander. This ends the phase and a new one begins. I roll for “Change of Plans” for the VC, and they will go on the defensive.

The Team Leader out on the right flank fires at the VC commander and pins him.

Rolling for the VC status they pass easily and can continue the fight. The activation roll is low, allowing the commander to remove his pin and nothing else.

I unpin one of the LRRPs, but a follow up activation from the VC pins him again, as will as forcing another LRRP to keep his head down.

I now have three pinned and one wounded LRRP, which gives me a -4 to the status check. I roll a 4, failing the check and forcing my LRRPs back 4″. I also draw some reaction shots from the VC gunner, but it was only a parting gift for the LRRPs with no consequences.










This brings all but the Team Leader out of range of the RPD, so I make an activation roll for the TL and get a 1, causing him to be exhausted.

As the team leader is still on the path, the VC commander uses two activations to fire at him. Lucky for the TL, he is only pinned.

I fail the status test for the LRRPs by rolling a 1 – the LRRPs fall back again. The Team Leader makes it off the path in to cover, but is now pinned.

I must need another lunch break, as the next LRRP rolls a 1 for activation and is also exhausted due to being pinned, as are the next two activation die rolls for the next two pinned LRRPs.

The VC commander declares exhausted as he has three stress and doesn’t want to push his luck and have a permanent stress marker.

I have two LRRPs I can still activate, one of them being the LRRP with the radio on the Artillery net: “Four, this is five-one, Fire Mission, Danger Close,over”.  I activate the RTO and roll a 6 to start comms: “Five-one, this is Four, Fire Mission, Danger Close, out.”

As I have a few actions up my sleeve for the Assistant Team Leader, I activate him and unpin a LRRP.

The RTO continues with his first mission with his next actiation, and the ATL uses another to unpin another LRRP.  “Four, this is five-one, VC support weapon, At my command,  two rounds fire for effect, over”.

I push the situation and continue the fire mission and try to get the ATL to unpin the Team Leader. The ATL fails and is exhausted, but my luck is in with the fire mission: “Five-one this is four, ready over”. 

“Five-one, Ready. Fire, Over”  and I declare the RTO to be exhausted, thus ending the turn. I place three target points on the table in a linear pattern and end the phase.




With the new phase the VC have no change to being on the defensive, no more enemy blips appear, and there is no event.

As the VC are out of line of sight, they waste any activations waiting to see what the LRRPs do, blissfully unaware that some rounds have been called down on them.

I use the LRRP activations to get the remainder of the team unpinned, which I manage to do. I exhaust the Team Leader in doing so though, but sucessfully manage to move the remainder of the team further away from the expected artillery point of impact. I declare every one exhausted and the artillery rounds land.

I get lucky and the rounds only deviate a little, two of them landing so close to the VC that they are going to have a bad day regardless of what I roll for the blast affect.

The first round kills the gunner, and the second round catches the VC commander with full effect sending him all over the jungle (I rolled two hits, and two 6’s for damage effect).







With any enemy on the table I consider completing the mission, but with one wounded LRRP, I decide to call in a medevac and extract the team.

The mission was a minor victory for the LRRPs, with 7 VPs in total. They did fail to plant any sensors along the trail, but did engage the enemy and get a body count.

 


 The game was very tense, and the three VC figures back up by communist dice rolls were able to stop the LRRPs from their main mission!


Feedback and feelings – In a nut shell, I love the game. It is very easy to learn, and I only had to refer to the actual rules when I needed to add a new component to what I was doing, such as calling in the artillery.

The 3″ movement worked well for the type of game I was playing – a recon team sneaking through the jungle. I also created a ‘movement stick’ (seen in the first photo at the top of the image of the actual AAR). This sped things up a whole lot.  I suggest anyone playing the game make one of these. I intend to make one for different ranges for other uses in the game.

The dice were the real enemy for the LRRPs in this game. They rolled more 1’s than anything else, and the VC had a lot of 5’s and 6’s. This is what broke the mission.

It is very important to have lots of scenery that breaks line of sight, and this is mentioned in the rules. If you have an enemy hunkered down in cover and you need to cross an open ground, it is really going to ruin your day.

I honestly wouldn’t change the rules in anyway. Normally I get a set of rules and make ‘house rules’. Not for this one. Except for having an index.

The rules allowed for me to do what I needed; For example I could make the team a scout team that was highly motivated. I used night rules to reduce vision in the jungle.

Any changes to my game would be on my behalf – the enemy blips and the chances of if a blip in an enemy or not and clearly mark out what areas are ‘open’ and what is cover. I would also make it harder for the enemy to spot the LRRPs – they would often hide metres away from the enemy without being seen.

I also let the VC declare exhausted rather than push their luck with activations. I think I will add to the ‘Leader Dispositions’ chart how many activation rolls they will make before declaring exhausted. This a ‘Reckless’ leader will go for 6 activations a turn and a ‘Passive’ leader will only use one. This might have given the LRRPs a bit more of a chance, especially if I had encountered more enemy during the game.  (OK – so I have one house rule in mind)

Lessons learnt:
as mentioned, have lots of cover.

Use ‘fire and movement’. Try to expose as few soldiers as you can when moving and provide plenty of covering fire – basically use fire and movement.

Get better dice. I was enjoying myself too much to launch my dice across the room in frustration

Do your best to keep pins to a minimum. If this means taking your time to get troops into position with fire and movement, then so be it.

Playing aids – create some. I made the movement stick, and this sped things up a whole lot. I knew exactly how far I could move with out the tape measure knocking my scenery over, and it just made moving faster.

I also want to create a number of fire team reference cards so that I have a list of what skills, if any, the soldiers have, and include a place to record stress and wounds etc.  This will remove the use of counters on the table that you can see in the photos.


Summary:
“No End In Sight” is a very easy set of rules to learn, has very simple game mechanics, but don’t let that fool you. You have to make important tactical decisions that can make or break a game. Game play is fast and fun, and makes for a thrilling and tense game.

The game works perfectly for solo play.

I highly recommend these rules to anyone wanting to play a modern platoon level game.