Firepower miniatures AAR

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josta59
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Firepower miniatures AAR

Postby josta59 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:22 pm

Last week I played a game of Firepower (Avalon Hill, 1984) using the basic rules for miniatures that I posted here: http://www.militarywargaming.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=2227&p=22583&sid=c60ab33da02308d5839949c1d00268f9&sid=1ea9a783818a1bc9d4c0ac739316a52a#p22583

Setup
I wanted to see just how well the chit-draw system can work in this game, so I put 4 Army vets on my table fighting for their lives to escape an ISIS-held town. There were 8 enemies, but the green ISIS soldiers got only 2 chits per turn while the Americans got 4 (1 per soldier). Using these basic rules, every figure on the table has the exact same capacity for targeting and taking down enemies, so this game really showed the power of the chit-draw mechanism for increased maneuverability of high-quality squads, and it had a surprising result.

To make things really hard for the U.S. side, I denied them any grenades, considering they’d used them all in a previous encounter (which also explains the tiny number of their group). The squad leader carried only a pistol, while the other three had M16s. The ISIS troops had no leader but all carried AKs and unlimited grenades.

The Americans had to escape off the western or southern table edges; otherwise, they’d lose. I didn’t specify how many had to escape.

There are few trees on this table but many abandoned cars on the roads, so I used the tree rules of LOS for the cars.

AAR
Turn 1
The Americans got the 1st chit draw and started running toward the center of town from the northeast. You can only move two guys per chit in this game, so the movement was a little staggered. That’s one thing that always seemed awkward about Firepower to me. But it’s also kind of cool because both sides are acting throughout the turn rather than one player waiting around to finally act.

The 2nd chit was ISIS, and they started acting right away. The closest troop just needed to move 1” to throw a grenade at the American SL, so that seemed like a reasonable opening move. But targeting with grenades is not so easy in this game, especially against a running target and with a car blocking your view. The grenade landed 2” from the SL and didn’t even suppress anyone. The thrower dropped prone. Then another guy walked 3” into LOS and dropped prone, not having enough movement factors to fire.

The 3rd chit was ISIS again, which demonstrates another interesting factor of Firepower. Once you’ve drawn all your chits, the other player has the run of the table until the next turn. So while it’s nice that the Americans were stalled a bit, the ISIS player now has a long string of American actions to look forward to.

Both of the prone ISIS guys who had acted on the last draw lobbed grenades at the American SL. Both went wide…actually they hit buildings, which is the same as a dud in Firepower. In real life they might have bounced off walls and actually done some damage, but…they didn’t.

So the next 3 chits were U.S., so they got to do quite a bit all at once. The SL took out the nearest prone ISIS guy with one shot of his pistol (roll of 1)…how embarrassing after ISIS was unable to touch him with three grenades! The rifleman behind him moved to a corner of a building and fired 2 bursts of semiautomatic fire at the other prone soldier…and missed completely. On the 5th chit he fired again without moving and finally took out his target. Two ISIS down already, 6 to go. The Americans used the rest of their actions to catch up the guys in the rear and take cover positions.

FP_end turn 1.png
End of turn 1. The Americans are entering from the northeast and have already taken out a quarter of the enemy squad. A grenade explodes harmlessly to their north.


Turn 2
Unsurprisingly, the next 2 chit draws were also for the U.S. side, so they got to do even more before ISIS could act again. Now you’re seeing how the chits work for vets vs. greens! They improved their positions even further, and the rifleman in the lead crossed a street to fire at a guy behind a corner. He hit him twice despite firing while moving at a target in cover (2 rolls of 2).

Finally ISIS got to act again. The lead American had put himself in LOS of a second enemy as well, and this one now fired his AK without moving at a range of 8”. He also got 2 hits, leaving just 3 Americans against 5 ISIS.

Another ISIS guy snuck up an alley to get a bead on the American in the rear. He fired full auto at a running target while moving and didn’t come close, but he suppressed his target.

The suppressed American In the rear returned fire on the 4th chit draw and eliminated his attacker, leaving 4 ISIS guys remaining.

It became apparent that it would be much easier to turn the vets around and have them sneak through an alley rather than take the main road. I had the SL turn back and then activate the third American, who moved ahead to take the lead through the alley.

ISIS got the 5th chit and moved 2 of their guys into defensible firing positions. Neither had enough movement factors remaining to fire.

The U.S. got the last chit. The rifleman in the rear fired at an enemy who had just run to a cover position, firing full auto but not moving and with a car blocking his view. Despite rolling two 1s, he got no hits but suppressed his target. The other rifleman moved to the cover of a crate and dropped prone when he sighted a prone ISIS soldier waiting for him.

Turn 3
The U.S. got the first chit, and the guy that had just moved fired semiauto at the prone ISIS soldier and eliminated him with two hits. His comrade at the rear fired at the soldier he had just suppressed with the previous chit and took him out. Only 2 ISIS guys remained now, so things were looking very good for the 3 remaining vets.

ISIS got the next 2 chits, just as in turn 1. Needing to stop the Americans, one moved north into LOS and dropped prone in cover while the other ran north to cover. The prone soldier took out the American who was lying prone behind a crate with 2 hits, making it 2 against 2. The other guy dropped prone in a closer cover position.

The 2 Americans got the rest of the chit draws for turn 3. The SL fired his pistol twice but failed to hit his target who was prone and in cover. The other American moved and fired semiauto but also missed, until the next chit draw when he could fire standing still. Only one enemy remained.

The SL moved toward the last enemy and dropped prone. On the last chit, he fired twice at the prone ISIS soldier and missed (rolled boxcars). Finally, the M16 rifleman fired full automatic on his position without moving and finished him off with two hits (rolled 1s).

FP_end game.png
End of the game. The two surviving Americans finish off the last of the enemy squad in an alley and make their escape.
FP_end game.png (461.09 KiB) Viewed 520 times


This was pretty fun, and like I said, it was interesting to see how much difference increased maneuverability makes when all figures have the same firing ability. The low number of movement factors per figure activation, along with the low number of figures able to move per impulse phase, means you have a lot of decisions to make each turn. Do you place your men in firing position, knowing they may not be able to fire before the enemy does? Or do you hold them back and wait for a better opportunity?

Such decisions become even more crucial if you limit the number of turns. This game was short because I used very few figures and because the order of battle was lopsided despite my attempts to balance it.

I think these are good rules for squad-based action, and my revision allows a player to get the feel of the old game without all the stuffiness of the old rules and the limitations of a hex map.
"...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: Firepower miniatures AAR

Postby Duncan » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:23 pm

The need to use the same maps for different terrain always annoyed me with Firepower. Playing it with miniatures, allowing custom maps, seems like a very good idea.

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Re: Firepower miniatures AAR

Postby josta59 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:35 pm

Yes, same here! This expands the use of these rules in so many ways.
"...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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