FUBAR action on a very long Firepower map

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josta59
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FUBAR action on a very long Firepower map

Postby josta59 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:58 pm

This past week I played my third game of FUBAR, and it was the best by far. I used my super long Firepower map and its corresponding scenario. I hope that’s not anathema to Lucky Luke, using FUBAR rules to play a Firepower scenario on a Firepower map. It turned out to be way more fun than Firepower because more soldiers got to participate in the action. I find the movement points in Firepower to be a real drag, as you have to account for the smallest move and most soldiers never do anything.

In FUBAR (as in Force on Force), even though every soldier is taken into consideration, they operate as fire teams, so you can activate several soldiers at once, resulting in a lot more action. Essentially it’s like having four or five men stacked in the same hex in Firepower, but that’s not a great idea in that game because you could lose a whole fireteam at once. Not so many lives are lost in FUBAR, especially under low-visibility conditions or when plenty of cover or armor is available. This may be more appealing to some gamers than others. It’s great for a campaign when you don’t want to lose a lot of your character soldiers.

I made my own counters for this game rather than using the Firepower counters, because it was fun. It worked well. I could’ve stacked them like in Firepower or Lock ‘n Load, but since I wasn’t using Vassal I found it easier to just have them close to each other so I could read them quickly. Next time I use a Firepower map I might actually use Vassal so I can read the pieces quickly. And next time I use PowerPoint, as I did this time, I’ll probably make very small tokens with text labels so I can place them very close together, as they would be in reality or in a miniatures game.

This scenario is from The General, Volume 24, Number 1, which has a large section on the Warsaw Pact and what the beginning of WWIII in Germany might've been like. The American formation defending the state of Hesse in the mid-‘80s, the 3rd Armored Division, was headquartered at Frankfurt. In this scenario, leading elements of the Soviet 8th Army, including two T-65 tanks, encounter lightly fortified elements of the 3rd Armored Division while on their way to Frankfurt on a foggy morning.

The FUBAR rules were made for miniatures, so measurements are with a ruler. At the scale of the map I was using, 1 hex equal to 1 inch seemed about right, and that worked well. That’s good to know for any future games I might play on these maps.

The game length was six turns. In that time, the Soviet tanks needed to reach the Americans’ position, which was defended by a Jeep carrying a TOW missile launcher. The ground was muddy, but only enough to affect the vehicles if they left the road (this was my only official house rule for this scenario).

The Soviet Motorized Infantry units attached to the tanks included two squads with three machine guns and two RPG7s between them. The two squads were divided into Fireteams A through D. A grenade launcher squad was also attached. All the Soviet soldiers were green except for a few seasoned squad leaders and the platoon commander.

The American Mechanized Infantry units included two squads, divided into Teams Alpha through Delta. Three members of Team Alpha were mounted on the Jeep. Teams Alpha and Bravo were seasoned and led by veterans, while Teams Charlie and Delta were veterans led by elite troops, and one member of Team Delta carried an M47 Dragon missile launcher.

All soldiers on both sides wore light body armor, and only a few on each side had nightsights on their weapons that would allow them to aim through the fog, which gave a -1 to firing for all others. All vehicles had nightsights.

The Soviets entered the map from the west as the Americans were marching north on the road behind the Jeep. The Soviets won the first initiative, and tank A immediately fired at the Jeep, suppressing a member of Team Alpha. Tank B was caught unawares.

Objective Frankfurt first move_crop.png
A Soviet tank sees the Americans right away and shoots too close for comfort.


Team Alpha on the American side decided to fire a TOW missile at the Russian grenade squad. I don’t remember why that decision was made, since their mission was to stop the tanks. I guess I messed that up. Anyway, the grenade squad was in moderate cover behind a hill, and the missile didn’t penetrate.

Objective Frankfurt end turn 1_crop.png
The Americans fire a TOW missile.


The Soviets couldn’t activate any of their fireteams in Turn 1. Apparently they hadn’t expected to see American opposition on this road. The highly trained American Teams Charlie and Delta took position in the hedges flanking the other squad.

The Americans won the initiative in Turn 2 and Team Alpha took cover behind a hill. They fired a TOW missile at tank A, but it didn’t penetrate the thick armor. This was a tough mission for the Americans because the tanks’ armor was so heavy that they got a 2+ armor save. So they were hard to stop. Team Delta took position next to them, and Van Every fired a Dragon missile at the same tank. Although a 6 was rolled, the armor saved it again. Meanwhile the Soviets’ Fireteam A moved out toward the Americans’ position to try and take out the two missile launchers. No one else on either side was ready to move while the missiles flew.

Objective Frankfurt end turn 2_crop.png
The Americans fire two missiles at one of the tanks.


Things started getting even more exciting in Turn 3. The Americans won the initiative roll again, and Team Charlie took cover behind a hump in the road. Tank A fired at the Jeep but didn’t penetrate the cover of the hill. The TOW gunner fired back, and finally the tank failed its armor save, resulting in a stunned crew. Tank B started moving down the road and fired at the Jeep, but it also missed.

At that point all the Soviet infantry started moving forward, and the machine gunner in Fireteam A opened up on Team Delta. Two sixes were rolled, resulting in two suppressions. Fireteam C ran forward and took cover behind tank A. Most of the American infantry stalled as their squad leaders assessed the situation.

Objective Frankfurt end turn 3_crop.png
Both tanks open fire and the Americans fire back, stopping one.
"...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: FUBAR action on a very long Firepower map

Postby josta59 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:11 pm

The Americans won initiative again in Turn 4 but failed to activate Team Alpha. The gunner was busy loading the next missile. He finally got a shot off, but not before tank B fired at his Jeep. The tank missed, while the TOW gunner hit but didn’t penetrate the tank’s armor. Van Every fired his Dragon at the tank too, but his luck wasn’t any better.

The driver of tank A got nervous after the previous missile hit and slowed up, but when the gunner saw Team Bravo ducking and weaving toward the west hill, he fired and suppressed one of the Americans, Lepley.

Fireteam A on the Russian side moved in closer and exchanged fire with Team Charlie in the road. It was hard to see through the fog, and tank B block some of the fire, but one American was suppressed by the Russian machine gunner, Levkov. More Russians began advancing southward.

Objective Frankfurt end turn 4_crop.png
The Jeep exchanges more fire with a tank, while the other tanks fires on infantry.


The Americans won the initiative yet again in Turn 5 and fired another TOW missile at tank B, stunning its crew. It appeared the tank might not be able to reach their position, which would be a victory for the Americans. Fireteam D activated and Vans aimed at Team Delta with the nightsight on his RPG7. Trees, a hedge and a hill in his LoS resulted in a wasted shot. No one else wanted to pop their head up on this turn.

Objective Frankfurt end turn 5_crop.png
Another TOW missile stops a tank, while the Russians miss with an RPG.


Finally the last turn came, and everything went crazy. The Soviets finally won the initiative roll, and they pressed forward with all their might. Tank B fired at the Jeep again as it pressed on toward its goal. The shot missed, but the front half of the tank crossed the imaginary line representing success. If the Americans could destroy it, however, it would all be for naught. They had two chances with a TOW and a Dragon.

Terrain blocked LoS for tank A so that it wasn’t able to fire at the Jeep. It fired at Team Charlie instead as it finally moved forward (leaving Fireteam C without cover), not that it mattered at this stage. One member of Team Charlie was suppressed by the shot. Fireteams A and B moved forward too, so their riflemen could finally get some action. Only Levkov, the machine gunner, had any luck with two sixes, but one was saved by body armor. One American in Team Bravo was suppressed. Magnovski, the RPG man in Fireteam B, had a nightsight but still missed the Jeep. The American infantry kept their heads down.

The missile gunners for the Americans then went to work on tank B, trying to destroy it before the game ended. Both rolled sixes, but neither could penetrate the thick armor. The turn ended, and the game was called.

Objective Frankfurt end turn 6_crop.png
The Soviets go nuts and manage to barely get one tank across the finish line.


Despite no one being wounded in this game, and no vehicle taking much damage, it was mostly pretty exciting. The Soviets barely won since they got the front of their tank past the finish line in the final turn. No victory points could be awarded for any other action in the game, but it was still darn fun. No doubt there would’ve been a lot more pain inflicted had it not been foggy.

Of course every time I play this I get to know the rules better and better, so now I feel ready for this campaign I want to set up. I plan to add the additional rule page for morale and casualties when I start that. That will add an additional level of detail to the game that might be interesting.
"...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: FUBAR action on a very long Firepower map

Postby Whiterook » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:22 pm

Man, I LOOOOOOOVE that map!!!!! I still need to read the AAR, but got sidetracked looking at those amazing maps!
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Re: FUBAR action on a very long Firepower map

Postby josta59 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:41 pm

It can be built in Vassal, like Luca said. I can help, but I know you can figure it out if you're interested.
"...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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