Why Jozi's Tin Man? This has caused a little confusion. It is in reference to a Savage Worlds game I played with my wife, Jozi, where she played a flying monkey and I was a Tin Man. Hence Jozi's (possessive) Tin Man.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Breaking Camp, Taking a Hiatus





We are preparing our house to sell and looking for another in the local area so my gaming activities will have to be put on hold for the greater good.  But because I have an AWESOME wife, one of our requirements is gaming space.  (nothing at all to do with the fact that right now the first thing you see when you walk in the door is my workspace...)

I have packed up all my 28mm terrain, unpainted figures, broken down my painting workbench, and emptied my card catalog of figures.  All packed up in a POD storage container.

Staying with me is... My 28mm painted figures in a Battle foam box, a HECK of a lot less than I moved 5 years ago from Florida.  Shedding figures I didn't use has made my collection much more manageable, I game more, and it is much easier to transport.  Storing those in the top of the closet while we show our house.  Also keeping with me is small boxes and multi-use terrain:

  • 10mm WW1
  • 6mm AWI (and AWI Skirmish)
  • 3mm Cold War
  • 6mm Napoleonics (although this is mostly for safe keeping as I have rebased my French but not my Austrians yet)

I shall only be posting sporadically, but have no fear, I shall return as time permits and will keep following the rest of your guys in the community.

And, as soon as we get settled, I will bring back the tactical Decision Exercise as I still have magazines to get rid of, although I may randomly pick winners from the entries or have voting.

Until then, good gaming!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tactical Decision Exercise Contest Winner #1 Announced!!!

Ok, as a quick reminder here is the original post.

Please read the comments on that post for all of the entries...

A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!

As a quick reminder, here is the situation, see original post above for more background.

Feel free to debate the solutions and my decisions to your heart's content in the comments!

Current Situation:    

While out on patrol, you receive an alert on the platoon radio net that a UH-60 helicopter was hit by an RPG and has crashed at a location two blocks southwest of your current position.  Immediately, your Platoon Leader gives orders for all squads to converge on the crash site to secure the wreckage and evacuate any survivors.  You immediately begin moving your squad toward the crash site along a narrow side street.  The area is deserted, a sign that all of the local civilians are aware of the impending danger and are trying to keep out of the way.  As your lead team nears a corner, they signal a halt and indicate enemy activity to their front with a hand signal.  You rush up to the corner, peer around the corner and see this:


A small group of fighters are positioned in an open area approximately 75 meters to your front.  By their distinctive red headscarves, you recognize them as members of one of the militias that you have been fighting over the last several days.  There are 9 men on the ground:
  • Six of them are brandishing AK-47s 
  • Three others are carrying RPG-7s (like the one reported to have struck the downed UH-60).  
  • Also, there is a small pick-up truck with an SPG-9 recoilless rifle mounted in the back. 
This element is stationary and they have not detected your presence.  They all seem to be focusing their attention in the opposite direction from your squad’s location.

There is a small concrete barrier just to the front of where you are standing that offers a well-covered position where you could position your squad in a linear formation facing the enemy. Beyond this barrier, the ground is open with no cover.  With no time to spare and no way of bypassing this enemy force, you decide to attack. 


(Determined using my own probably very unsound military judgment...)


1st Place (a tie buy lucky for me one of the gents if from the UK)

Jim Hale: 

I like his thought process, but as he is in the UK, no magazines for you, just the honor and glory that goes with the prize!  Using the MG on the technical is good, and I like the way you assessed the threats from worst to least and privided rear security for your unit.

"Hi! Just for fun for me, I'm in the UK.

Okay I'd task the M240 team to take out the SPG9-Technical, then act as its boss thinks best. The two rifle teams will target the RPG guys, followed by the guys with AKs. The DM and the RMAT are watching flank and rear. 

We'll use the concrete barrier as cover and open fire once we've reached it.

Rationale:

a) The M240 is the best anti-vehicle weapon. The SPG-9 is the most significant threat. If nothing else it will make things hot for the crew. 

b) The RPGs are either HEAT or Frag projectiles and only need to be near to my position to cause casualties. 2 * M249 + 40mm + M4 should make short work of them.

c) The AK guys are really going to struggle to hit my guys at 75m, they would usually prefer <60m, possibly even <40m if they aren't hardcore. Some of them might blow when the Technical and RPG guys take hits in any case. 

d) The Team leaders (inc the M240 boss) know their jobs, or they wouldn't have them. I don't need to micromanage them.

e) Flank and rear security are necessary, just in case the bad guys are waiting on support."

Nick Riggs 

(Contact me with your address and I will mail out your magazines.)

I liked his rationale as well, identifying the RPG's as probably the biggest threat, the M-240 is used for rear security, which is a trade-off not being able to use it for the attack by fire, but given the unpredictable nature of urban combat, it is a reasonable decision and leaves it in reserve in case it is needed.

"MG team, take up position 30m back and face back to cover our rear. The squad will creep up behind the barrier ahead. When I open fire on the SPG-9 gunner, FT1 will fire on the RPG guys and FT2 will fire on the AK guys. Keep shooting until all targets are down."

The fighters are an identified enemy carrying weapons and with heavy weapon backup, so I assume the rules of engagement allow me to attack them without warning. There's no point in being particularly stealthy as everyone would have seen the helo go down so we don't have any time to spare. 

I want the MG to protect our rear in case we get attacked from behind. The MG should be able to deal with any attackers approaching from up the narrow street. 

I guessed the RPG gunners would be the biggest immediate threat as it would take longer to bring the SPG into action and the gunner should be down by then. The squad should have some protection from the AK gunners but any delay in dealing with them and they might spread out, take cover or some other action against us, so I wanted to simultaneously hit all parts of the enemy. Ideally a well-placed grenade from each of the fireteams would take out each of the enemy groups at the same time, so the rest of the squad should be able to mop up any remaining forces."

Honorable Mention, Whoa Mohammad:

It was tough, I really, really like this solution, as he has a plan to break contact if need be as well as rear security.  It was a tough decision, the only thing I would have done differently is put more fire on the RPG gunners, I am not sure a single SAW is enough.  But, I could be wrong, they are bunched up pretty tight and the 240- can work right easily enough after disabling the technical and SPG-9

"1st Fireteam deploys to the left on my command engages the six infantry firing from left to right.1st Team will be prepared on order to engage the technical with 775mmRR in the center. 

The M240 team will Deploy to the right of 1st team. This teams primary target is the technical with 75mmRR. It will be prepared on order to support 1st team.

2 team will deploy its SAW on the right of the M240 team it will engage the 3 man infantry team to the right of the technical. the 2nd team leader with the 2 remaining men will provide security but will be prepared to support by fire and or smoke if the platoon needs to break contact and displace."

Why all these answers are better than cadet solutions I found...

The student's solutions ignored flank and rear security 100% of the time and focused on which fire element should engage which enemy group.  This is the whole point of exercises like this in the classroom and MILES exercises in the field.  More sweat on the training field, less blood on the battlefield. 

Next Time

I will post another Tactical Decision Exercise soon and set it in another era. Until then, Nick send me your address and your magazines will be winging your way!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tactical Decision Exercise Contest #1!!!!

CONTEST IS CLOSED, STAY TUNED FOR NEW POST WITH RESULTS


I am a bit heads down at the moment with real life and painting the rest of my Pendraken WW1 figures and making terrain.  I plan to do a full photo shoot when done, but in the meantime, do not have much to share.

What I do have to share is a stack of magazines I want to get rid of.  So, to make things interesting, I am going to run a few Tactical Decision Game exercises to get some conversations rolling and I hope you find them enjoyable.  Here are the rules:

  • Send me your solution by leaving a comment below before midnight EDT on 4/14, your comments will not be published until after the deadline, so no looking at other's papers!
  • I will select the top 3 and a winner using my own judgment (as good or bad as that may be)
  • I will publish all of the comments on this post so everyone can peruse them and tell me why I am wrong (us wargamers are an ornery lot!)
  • I will publish another post with the top 3, including the winner.
If you win AND you live in the continental United States, I will ship you completely FREE six random magazines from my stack for your enjoyment.  They range from 1994 - 2015 and include Miniature Wargames, Wargames Illustrated, Battlegames, and Wargames Soldiers and Strategy.  Who knows what you'll get!  I don't because I have already sealed them in the USPS flat rate shipping pouches.

If you win and live outside of CONUS, you will get glory, honor, and respect.  You can have the magazines too if you'll pay the shipping. (Sorry, international comrades)

I'll try to post about 5 of these over the next few weeks covering various periods.  We'll start simple.  Let's begin with one I pulled from a West Point class website, it set in the current age and is called...

Squad Attack By Fire

You are the Squad Leader for 1st Squad of 2/B/2-329IN.  Your rifle squad consists 2 fire teams.  Additionally, you are reinforced with a three-man M240B machine gun team.  
SQD LDR= Squad leader 
TM LDR = Team leader 
GREN = grenadier, M4 with attached M203 40mm Grenade launcher
RMAT= normally the squad Javelin ATGM gunner, but left behind for this mission so another AR
AR = Automatic rifleman with M249 squa automatic weapon
DM = Squad designated marksman armed with upgraded M-16 with bipod and good optics.

Your unit is currently deployed to the country of Somalistan as part of a U.S.-led force that is attempting to conduct humanitarian relief operations.  You are operating in the capital city which is a large urban slum of almost a million people.  There are heavily armed gangs of fighters roaming the streets under the command of the warlords who have taken control of much of the city.  2-329IN has established a Forward Operating Base (FOB) near a large soccer stadium in the northwest part of town, and the companies have been conducting patrols in the surrounding neighborhoods to assist in quelling the violence being perpetrated by the street gangs.

Current Situation:    

While out on patrol, you receive an alert on the platoon radio net that a UH-60 helicopter was hit by an RPG and has crashed at a location two blocks southwest of your current position.  Immediately, your Platoon Leader gives orders for all squads to converge on the crash site to secure the wreckage and evacuate any survivors.  You immediately begin moving your squad toward the crash site along a narrow side street.  The area is deserted, a sign that all of the local civilians are aware of the impending danger and are trying to keep out of the way.  As your lead team nears a corner, they signal a halt and indicate enemy activity to their front with a hand signal.  You rush up to the corner, peer around the corner and see this:


A small group of fighters are positioned in an open area approximately 75 meters to your front.  By their distinctive red headscarves, you recognize them as members of one of the militias that you have been fighting over the last several days.  There are 9 men on the ground:
  • Six of them are brandishing AK-47s 
  • Three others are carrying RPG-7s (like the one reported to have struck the downed UH-60).  
  • Also, there is a small pick-up truck with an SPG-9 recoilless rifle mounted in the back. 
This element is stationary and they have not detected your presence.  They all seem to be focusing their attention in the opposite direction from your squad’s location.

There is a small concrete barrier just to the front of where you are standing that offers a well-covered position where you could position your squad in a linear formation facing the enemy.  Beyond this barrier, the ground is open with no cover.  With no time to spare and no way of bypassing this enemy force, you decide to attack. 

What do you do?

Take 1 minute and think about your course of action, then type up what orders you will give to your 2 fireteam leaders and the attached M240 Machine Gun team.  Then write up why you issued teh orders you did.

Good luck!