Border Raiders: Nicaragua, 1980

1945 - 1991 AD

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Border Raiders: Nicaragua, 1980

Postby josta59 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:43 pm

One of the great features about my game Showers of Blood is that it's easily adaptable to so many scenarios and even scales. This week I played the same scenario twice using very different scales, first from airplane level, with one counter per squad:

Border Raiders 1.jpg

And then from helicopter level, with one counter per soldier (all green hexes are forest here):

Border Raiders 2.jpg

(These are the "after" pictures.)

And the interesting part is that the results were the same both times, and for the same reason.

This scenario, published in The General back in 1987, pits a squad of proto-Contras (the Fifteenth of September Legion) against a squad of the newly-formed Sandinista Popular Army on the Nicaragua/Honduras border in 1980. The 15th September squad is bigger but underpowered and less organized, as the army squad has a light machine gun and more leaders per soldier.

In both cases, the 15th Septemberists had the opportunity to get in firing range first, and in both cases I held them back thinking they'd have a better chance if they let the LMG-armed squad bring the fight to them. In both cases, I was probably wrong. The Sandinistas did bring the fight, and they brought it hard and wiped the rebels out, even when they tried a fighting retreat in the first game. Hard to say if they would've done better charging ahead, but maybe that's the key to winning as the Contras--don't be scared, just go for it.

The first game was also interesting because it was essentially one counter per side, with extra counters representing the leaders traveling in the same hexes as the rest of the squad. My game uses strength points, so it takes multiple attacks to finish off a counter, but still, it was like playing one-on-one. And yet it was fun and tactical, not to mention very fast. I still had to think about which hex would be the most advantageous move for each side, how far should they go, where should they make their stand. And not to boast, but I think that speaks to the power of the mechanics I've employed in this design. I'm certainly enjoying it.
"...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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