First FUBAR game

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First FUBAR game

Postby josta59 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:32 pm

This week I played my first game of FUBAR, the one-page generic rule set for miniature wargames. Since I don’t have any miniatures, I drew a map in PowerPoint and used pictures of miniatures instead. It ain’t pretty, but it works.

I chose the first scenario from the Force on Force rulebook to play. It has a map, which I recreated. It’s called On the Outskirts of Some German Town.

Setting: inside the West German border, 1988
“The dreaded day has come and Soviet forces are pouring across the border into West Germany. Bundeswehr and US units are struggling to simultaneously slow the Soviet advance and fall back in good order. All along the front small, desperate actions are fought between ad hoc defenders and East German forces determined to reunite their nation under the communist banner.

“All across the frontier, small, often ad hoc formations of NATO troops are doing whatever they can to slow the Reds’ headlong drive into Western Europe. Every moment the Soviet advance is delayed buys NATO units time to consolidate and prepare to push back.

“A small NATO force situated in the outskirts of a small industrial town must slow or stop the advance of the Soviet vanguard and withdraw as much of their force as possible before being encircled or destroyed. To accomplish this, they’ve set up a classic L shaped ambush. With luck, they can execute a sudden, violent action that causes the Soviet commander to advance more cautiously.”

Unfortunately the NATO units in my game were so “ad hoc” that they didn’t cause much of a violent action at all. They received all the violence themselves.

In FUBAR, you take turns rolling to activate each unit. Activation depends on the unit’s experience level. I thought it would be interesting to hide a mostly green U.S. Mechanized Infantry squad with four missile launchers, waiting in ambush for six Soviet armored vehicles with seasoned crews, having fought in Afghanistan. The Yanks were outnumbered nearly two-to-one, but all they had to do was punch holes in the tanks and slow them down. Like shootin’ fish in a barrel.

But with green troops, you have to roll a 5 or 6 just to activate them. For the seasoned Soviets, I only had to roll a 4. That’s a huge difference, compounded when the green soldiers have to roll a 6 to fire their weapon accurately, while the Soviets only have to roll a 5. With odds like these, the Americans didn’t have a prayer. Unfortunately I had to actually play the game to find that out.

The scenario called for 6 turns, but the area was full of rubble. I realized the tanks would need twice that many turns to exit the map on the northwest corner.

The American set up an L-shaped ambush including two small M47 Dragon teams, one under a tree looking between two buildings and the other on the roof of a building further west. Two fireteams, led by seasoned Vietnam veterans, occupied two buildings along the street where the Soviets were entering. The plan was to launch missiles when the forward and rear vehicles were each in view so that the middle vehicles would be trapped. Two Bradley IFVs hid under trees on a hill, equipped with TOW missile launchers. The Bradley crews were green, as were the Dragon teams.

FUBAR Outskirts initial placements.png
Initial placements, with the ambush ready to go

I began the scenario at the point where the ambush would start, but I let the Soviets have the first attempt at an activation. Their T-72 had mechanical issues right from the start. But the Americans couldn’t activate anything at all in the first turn. They all froze up for the first two turns. The Soviet BRDM-1 took off right away. One of the four BMP-1s had the platoon leader aboard, an Afghanistan veteran, so it was able to activate more easily than the other vehicles.

When Turn 3 started the Soviets still had no idea the Americans were even there. Finally one of the Bradleys fired a missile at the BRDM. It hit but didn’t penetrate, and now the Soviets finally knew they weren’t alone. The T-72 fired in response and destroyed the Bradley’s chain gun. Three of the BMPs fired missiles at the Bradley, but they all missed. Dragon Team 1 fired its first missile at a BMP, but it missed too.

FUBAR Outskirts end turn 3.png
The Americans finally start firing, but the poor kids can't get it going right.

In Turn 4, Dragon Team 1 turned and fired at the rear of the BRDM as it went by, but they missed. It fired back but had no effect. One of the Bradleys fired a missile at the BRDM and hit it, but it did no damage. Seeing the caravan was stalling behind the lumbering T-72, the Bradley driver got brave and decided to try and physically block them from proceeding. He left the tree cover and drove down the hill. The Bradley immediately came under fire from two BMPs, and a missile stunned the crew. Dragon Team 2, still hidden on the rooftop, finally remembered how to fire their weapon, but they missed.

FUBAR Outskirts end turn 4.png
A Bradley comes out of hiding...and takes a hit.

The BRDM, already on its way off the map, saw the gunners on the roof fire and responded with machine gun fire, which suppressed the assistant gunner. BMPs fired at the Bradley and Dragon teams but missed. Then another BMP fired at the Bradley and destroyed its missile launcher, leaving it defenseless. The T-72 remained stalled, and the Dragon teams couldn’t get it together.

FUBAR Outskirts end turn 5.png
The Bradley takes more hits as the Americans try to remember how to fire missiles.
Last edited by josta59 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: First FUBAR game

Postby josta59 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:42 pm

In Turn 6 the other Bradley crew finally grew some balls and decided to help. It missed a BMP, but both Bradleys started moving at that point. One of the Americans’ objectives was to exit the Bradleys on the east side of the map. One of the fireteams exited their building so they could be ready to fire if any missile finally disabled one of the Soviet vehicles.

In Turn 7 the BRDM, which was the MVP of the game, fired at the Dragon team on the roof and suppressed the assistant gunner again before leaving the map. Suddenly all the BMPs opened fire on the Bradleys, leaving the second one immobilized and defenseless. The crew huddled inside, waiting for it all to end.

FUBAR Outskirts end turn 7.png
The BRDM leaves while the BMPs open a can of woop-ass on the Bradleys.

In Turn 8 the Dragon teams finally got it together and launched missiles at two BMPs, but they both missed. But the Soviets fired back. The T-72 raised its gun and got a crucial hit on the building where the Dragon team was firing from the roof. The other Americans saw Cooperman and Kooker vaporized before their eyes. The other Dragon team was now their only hope to slow the Soviets down.

FUBAR Outskirts end turn 8.png
Dragon Team 2 buys the farm in a blaze of glory.

The BMP carrying the platoon leader missed one of the Bradleys as it left the map in Turn 9. The T-72 finally made a little progress down the road. The BMPs started passing it in Turn 10, and two of them fired at the Dragon team under the tree, incapacitating the Assistant Gunner, Imler.

FUBAR Outskirts end turn 10.png
A BMP exits and Imler takes a hit.

Now it was all up to the Gunner, Van Every. But another BMP took him out in Turn 11, and the game was over.

FUBAR Outskirts end turn 11.png
The Soviets hit the last missile, ending the game.

I spent a lot of time during set-up naming the rifle squads in the BMPs and assigning them equipment. It was really hard finding good pictures of Soviet Motorized Rifle miniatures. What a waste of time. Not a single American missile penetrated Soviet armor in this scenario, so the Soviets had no reason to disembark. The Yanks didn’t stand a chance--they ended up pretty FUBAR. The U.S. fireteams were completely wasted, too. All they could do was watch. So it turned out to be just a really sad game. But thanks to FUBAR, at least it was easy.

A lesson from this game is that if you’re going to use green soldiers to do most of the work on one side, you’d better do the same thing with the other side or it’s going to be very one-sided.

I want to continue trying FUBAR because it’s so fast. I want to try the super long Firepower map I made using these rules. It’s a similar scenario to this one but there are only two Soviet tanks. That might go a little better. I also have something very different in mind for another game, in which a merc team hiding in a safehouse on a boat dock has to fight off a secret government kill team to protect a civilian. Very movie-like. I’ll probably try to stick with directly overhead maps rather than the 3D style I used here. It was tough to figure out LoS on this map.

If anyone’s interested in playing a game of FUBAR with me, I’d love it. We can come up with something together. I have plenty of scenarios to choose from.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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