I’ve now received my first bunch of sci fi miniatures and painting is under way. To get some ideas about how to actually play games emphasising ranged combat, I met up with fellow wargamer Mick, whom I met on the Lead Adventure Forum. He had already introduced me to Force on Force on another occasion and had prepared a couple of scenarios from the Classified book to play.
The first one was from the Vietnam War and featured a small group of Americans having to escape from quite a large number of Vietnamese. Most of the board was jungle terrain traversed by some paths. Our first game started with the Americans ambling in and out of the jungle, not sure if they should rush along the path and expose themselves to enemy fire or slowly make their way through the jungle, where visibility was severely reduced. Yes, it was me playing the Americans and being at my indecisive best. This strategy of hesitation led to the Americans being soon caught by an enemy fireteam. A round of fire later, I had one serious wounded, which meant I had to stay in place for one turn. This gave the other Vietnamese fireteams time to close in and soon their superior numbers finished off the Americans.
For a second game, we swapped side. Mick rushed his troops down the path while I manoeuvred my guys in a position to secure the American exit point. The Americans got much further this time, but in the end they were also caught in a firefight and, having taking a serious wound, got stuck in. The superior enemy numbers did their thing again and all the Americans were wounded and captured.
For a last game, we decided to try out another scenario. This was from the Second World War and involved a group of Marines landing on a Japanese held island. The Japanese, who outnumbered the Marines by 2:1, were hidden in the jungle, which was a couple of moves away from the very exposed beach. The Americans – again played by me – did their best to rush through the sand and in direction of cover, but were caught in the open, where they took casualties and got stuck in again. From then on, it was only a matter of time until they succumbed. There were some reinforcements on the way, but when they arrived, everything was already over.
The games definitely were fun. I like that the rules are pretty fast, which allowed us to get in three games in an evening. I am also sure they taught me some important lessons – if I could just figure out which! When Mick and I discussed the games, we both couldn’t think of anything the Americans could have done in the first game to escape. As soon as they get into a firefight, they get stuck in and shot to pieces. We decided to have a look at the rules again in case we missed something important. We also agreed that the scenarios in Classified are quite a challenge!