Force on Force AAR

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.

Marines on the beach.
Marines on the beach.

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!


2 thoughts on “Force on Force AAR

  1. Black Guardian May 3, 2014 / 11:37 am

    Good to see some more people playing moderns, hope the games have set you up for more? 😉

    The problem you have encountered is that there is no good suppression mechanic and the game mechanisms heavily favor large blobs of soldiers compared to smaller teams. Even if your small team wins their reaction test and fires first, they usually don´t kill enough enemies to decrease their firepower to a manageable level and then get killed by a storm of dice (ever tried a defense roll of 10D8 vs. 5D8? If yes, you know what I mean).

    As special forces team are usually small groups pitted against large mobs, they can have a hard time, which is probably the reason for the toughness of the “Classified”-Scenarios.

    I´m working on a set of houserules, currently in testing, to change the way FoF handles the issues outlined above, mostly by tweaking the defense and morale mechanics. This usually results in much more tactical games, where massed blobs are not the final solution to everything. They´ll just get suppressed and won´t be able to shoot back while the number of casualties is much lower if your units are in good cover (versus being in the open).

    So if you ever get to the point of frustration over these issues, contact me and I´ll supply you with the homebrew additions, still need people doing test games with special forces 😉

    • cptshandy May 3, 2014 / 12:27 pm

      Thanks for your comments, your house rules sound interesting. I’m not really a moderns player, but I will let Mick know, that might be something for him!

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