Sunday, June 29, 2014

USMC vs Iraqi Republican Guard in modified Free-for-all

USMC Airmobile units deploy into the Iraqi rear supported by a Cobra gunship

Matt Varnish from the Dice Devils and I played a game of a modernized Flames of War game using the Stopping the Red Tide rule set. If you haven't checked out I highly recommend it.  Both Matt and I were more interested in having a thematic game where we could get a ton of cool pictures more than anything else.  We definitely made some mistakes while playing but as you can see from this battle report it looked stunning.  The mission was a modified Free-for-all with both of us holding some units in reserve and with 3 objectives in the centre of the table.  Basically whoever held the most objectives at the end of the game would win. We used a variety of models from converted Battlefront, QRF, Peter Pig and some scratch builds.

Matt Varnishes Iraqi Republican Guard (Confident Conscripts)
OC in T80 with reactive armour, 2IC in T72
3 x T72s
3 x T72s
3 x T72s
3 x T55s
3 x T55s
Infantry platoon in APCs
2 x AA guns (SP)

Big Willie's USMC (Fearless Trained)
OC and 2IC in HMMWVs
Infantry platoon in HMMWVs
4 x M60s
Infantry platoon in Sea Knights (Chinooks)
1 x Cobra Attack Helicopter

Set Up

The USMC spreads out along the South side of the border town of Nisab ready to capture key points and reinforce the Recce element who had been engaged earlier in the day.  Against them was some of  Saddam's favoured tank forces.  The MC would have their work cut out for them.

In the center the objective was the Marine Recce who had taken casualties earlier in the day

The Iraqi SAM radar was key to this section of the countries air defense and the eastern most objective

The mosque on the far western edge of town was the final objective

T72s ready to roll on the Eastern flank of Nisab

T72s in position in the centre of  Nasibs Northern border

T72s support the self propelled  AA guns and the infantry

Infantry in their APCs set up on the road ready to race into the town

Self porpelled AA guns ready to cover the Tanks advance

USMC M60s ready to roll out on the Western flank of Nasib

TOW in HMWWVs ready to advance but cautious of the T72s they are going to be facing

The Marines of 1 platoon leave their HMWWVs behind and take up position on the Eastern flank of Nasib

Turn 1
The Iraqi Republican guards surprise their commanders with a seizing the initiative  and opening fire on the US tanks

The AA guns open fire on the HMWWVs carrying the TOWs but only bail one

More T72s in the centre open fire on the other M60s but are unable to draw a bead on them

T72s in the centre of town begin advancing only to have one of their number hung up on a wall

The Marines see the Iraqi APCs advance to the Mosque, they are too busy digging in to properly site their weapons.  The Gunnery Sgt is going to have something to say about that later....

The TOW platoon moves up and takes a shot at the T72s on the western flank knocking one out!

The M60s try and follow the TOW lead but the thick sloped armour keeps the Iraqi's safe

Turn 2
The self propelled guns open fire on the HMWWVs again and this time the thin armour is no match, both trucks go up in smoke.  First platoon kill goes to the Iraqis

Iraqi reservists race forward in their T55s to take of the incoming infidels

In the centre of the town the Iraqi tanks are now sitting tight on the wounded Marine objective and they also manage to knock out an M60!

The remaining M60s move to the western flank to make sure it isn't over run.  The cannons are only able to bail a T55

The aviation package arrives with a platoon of Marines in two Sea Knights (Chinooks) escorted by the Cobra gunship.  The Marines lose no time off loading in the buildings in the rear of the Iraqi central thrust

Both the Marines with their Dragon AT weapon and the Cobra with its TOW target the Iraqi old man but only manage to bail him

The Iraqi infantry quickly swarm into the Mosque, right now all objectives are firmly in Iraqi hands

The helicopter down wash blows dirt, sand and the missile contrails around the battlefield

Turn 3
The self propelled AA guns quickly swing around to open fire on the helicopters and in a moment of sheer luck the 3 hits are bounced or fire power is failed allowing them to stay air born 

On the western flank the T72s continue to duel with the M60s with no clear winner in site

The Choppers aren't the only ones feeling the heat.  The Marine platoon comes under intense machine gun fire from almost every tank in the town!  One of their number fall and the platoon is pinned down

The final Iraqi reserves arrive and go for blood against the pinned Marines, but they have to clear the low wall first and two of them can't! 

In defensive fire the Dragon AT weapons are able to knock out and bail another T55 stopping the assault cold

On the western flank the M60s finally find their range and start knocking out T55s

The other M60s are still unable to penetrate the think T72 armour

Despite not unpinning the Marines open fire with their Dragon AT weapons and this time are successful in knocking out the Iraqi OC causing confusion and mass pinnings of the Iraqi army

The Cobra continues to launch TOW missiles at the massed Iraqi tanks, unfortunately it was not a good day for his gunnery skills despite the missile finding its mark, it failed to detonate

Turn 4
As the 2IC re-establishes control on the net all the Iraqi platoons are pinned, but that doesn't stop them from continuing their duel with the M60s, still to no avail

The Iraqi infantry bring an RPG into the side the an M60 and only shear luck causes the round to ricochet off the armour harmlessly

The Marines dropped in behind enemy lines continue to be the focal point for machine gun and now main gun fire from Iraqi tanks, but Marine field craft in using cover and concealment stops them from taking any casualties

The Cobra fires another TOW missile and despite it being a 5 in 6 chance of hitting the wire is cut shortly after the missile is fired and it veers off course doing no damage

The HMWWV mounted marines have finished sorting themselves out and open fire in to the rear of the T72s destroying one, bailing the 2IC and another one

The lone M60 finally knocks out the remaining T55s for the Marines first platoon kill

The Dragon AT weapons open fire again into the T55s setting themselves up to be able to assault

Realizing that if they can knock out the 2IC the entire Iraqi army will surrender the M60s join the combine weight of fire finally breaching the thick armour and causing mass capitulation

This way by  far one of the most fun games that I have ever played.  The scenery looked awesome and Matt Varnish's armies as always look fantastic (don't let him know I said that).  We know that we didn't play some of the rules right for Stopping the Red Tide and we know there are some rules that need some work.  In the end I would play this kind of game over again in a heart beat, perhaps switching sides.  I'm really looking forward to the next game of moderns we get to play.


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  2. Great write up!!

    Love the use of moderns in FOW rules.

    Where did you find the figures and aircraft?

  3. The infantry are QRF mostly with I believe some Peter pig. The tanks are the same with the M60's being battlefront. The Cobra is battlefront and the chinooks are scratch built. There is an article on this blog on how to do it, but I don't know how to link it while on my iPad.