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"Hind & Seek: Search and Destroy mission" Topic

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NKL AeroTom20 May 2017 9:29 p.m. PST

Greetings all, we did our first large-scale playtest today (having only done a few smaller games so far) of the Hind & Seek Rules.

What followed was a whole lot of mayhem…
Hills on the table represent high ground vehicles cannot attack unless they're a certain distance away or have AA capabilities.
Dark green areas are overhead cover, could be orchards, dense grass, trees, etc.

Game start Soviet forces are tipped off to a large Mujahideen presence in and around a nearby village. After extensive planning and recon, the Soviets are ready to strike. Soviets deploy the majority of their force along the main road, with dismounted infantry advancing ahead of large groups of BTRs (known as 'Bronegruppa' or fire support group) A T-62 platoon supported by infantry is sent in as a flanking element, to skirt around the high ground and attack the village and surrounding from the left flank. A Hind gunship is flying support for the operation.
The Mujahideen are mostly not deployed at this stage, some of them represented by 'dispersed' markers (the AK-47 markers) and some waiting in ambush in unknown positions. The extensive training and preparations by the Soviets also tips off the Mujahideen to what might be coming, giving both sides time to prepare. Mujahideen sometimes even knew the exact hour an attack would take place…

Turn 1: the lead BTR on the road hits a roadside mine and explodes. Another BTR is hit by an RPG from an unexpected position on high ground and is also destroyed. A Mujahideen mortar squad and DShK 'dashika' Heavy Machine Gun opens up on the advancing Soviet infantry.
Mujahideen infantry appear on the high ground on the Soviet left flank, unleashing fire on the infantry supporting the flaking T-62s. The infantry hit the ground and a steady firefight ensues.
An air blocking element along the right-hand side of the table prevents the Mujahideen from escaping from that edge… (this was a Soviet 'asset' another element of the game where non-combat aspects are represented. Assets can include recon, preliminary preparations and training, roadside mines, escape routes, weapons caches, etc. and are tailored for the Soviet and Mujahideen forces. Only Soviets get air blocking elements for example, while only Mujahideen get roadside mines or villages to fire from. Each faction will trade forces on the table for assets, so potentially a small force could stand against a larger force as the smaller force would have a lot of assets to help them out)

The remainder or Soviet turn 1, the Hind conducts an attack run, scoring hits on the Dashika HMG team in the foliage. T-62s are making good progress to get to their flanking positions, while Soviet infantry on the right flank (far side of this photo) advance near the high ground and foliage along the road. The T-62s on the right flank pull back in order to get a shot on Mujahideen on the high ground.

Turn 2: More mujahideen appear from all over the hills, and from positions along the road. 2 Stinger teams appear on the hills and both target the hind. One misses and the other narrowly misses as the hind pilot takes evasive action… Mujahideen infantry on the Soviet right flank (left hand side of this image) appear from the hills and in the foliage, and a firefight ensues, with the Spotter team calling in artillery support, although it will take time to arrive (if the request is even accepted by HQ…)
The T-62s arrive at their flanking positions, in a good place to shell the Dashika and Mortar team at the rear of the village, as well as harry the Stinger teams on the hills. A Mujahideen RPG team makes haste along the hills to try to react to the flanking T-62s…

A close up of the village area in Turn 2. Soviets pinned down by heavy fire from the hills and nearby foliage. Spotter team calling in co-ords for an artillery strike. The Hind about to swoop forwards to evade an incoming stinger.
Soviets had also air dropped a bunch of antipersonnel mines all around the village, making moving difficult for any Mujahideen (or indeed anyone…). Thankfully the Mujahideen were already in good positions.

Close up of the Stinger team, Turn 2:

The village area (village is the yellow card not the best terrain, still need to build some 6mm Afghan villages…) The dispersed infantry (the AK-47 marker) were completely suppressed at this stage by fire from the BTR bronegruppas.

Soviet left flank, firefight continues. BTRs make their way off road to bypass a road block (a Mujahideen asset)
The Soviet infantry on the left flank, shown at the bottom of this photo, had been losing morale, but due to their extensive training before this operation, they were able to boost their morale (a Soviet asset pre-operation training and exercises). A squad of Mujahideen infantry on the hill are beaten back and retreat, never to be seen again…

Turn 3: T-62s funnel fire into the Mujahideen positions towards the rear of the village, causing the command and control to break down for the Dashika HMG team they cannot move for the rest of the game (unless friendlies move nearby) and are close to breaking completely…
The Stinger team takes some fire from the bronegruppas near the Soviet starting positions (not by the T-62s as indicated by this image the T-62s were too close to target the stinger team on the high ground here.)
This would turn out to be the last turn for the Hind, as next turn it was targeted again by stinger missiles from 2 different positions. 1 missed, and another was a direct hit destroying the Hind!

Turn 4: The Hind goes down in a ball of flame and disintegrates as it hits the ground, meanwhile the flanking T-62s annihilate the DShK Dashika HMG, and cause morale damage on the nearby mortar team. A Mujahideen RPG team moves close to the T-62s and prepares to fire. Next turn it would destroy a T-62, and then be annihilated by fire from the bronegruppa support groups near the Soviet starting area.
The request for artillery support is denied by the Soviet HQ target was likely too close to Soviet forces, but the spotter team attempts to call in more strikes on a different target.
The Mujahideen in the hills are now taking significant losses from combined infantry and bronegruppa fire, and some units disappear, their morale broken. With the Hind gone, the Mujahideen stinger teams feel somewhat useless and are content to watch the battle from the high ground.

The game was called off after the next turn, with most of the Mujahideen forces wiped out or forced to retreat, the Soviets succeeded in a textbook block and sweep maneuver, blocking one side with aircraft patrols, while T-62s and infantry prevented the escape on the other side The Mujahideen did have an 'escape route' asset which would allow them to get up to 10 units off the table edge, provided they were within 12" of it, but they never had a chance to make a move, being thoroughly engaged the whole time (and would have likely been cut down in the open by the T-62s and infantry anyway…)

An excellently handled game by the Soviet commanders, and shows that the Mujahideen ambushing and dispersal rules aren't too overpowered, and the bronegruppa fire support tactics and dismounted infantry sweeps seem to be an effective way to deal with the Mujahideen. The Soviet commanders weren't even familiar with these real life tactics, yet they felt it was the best way to handle the situation always good when people naturally want to use real life tactics without even knowing them!
Both Soviet commanders were pleased with the resounding Soviet victory. While the village was cleared of Mujahideen during this operation, they were seen to be operating in this area just a few weeks later… to paraphrase an Afghan expression "you have the watches, but we have the time"

The game showed up a few things I need to specify before the upcoming release of these rules, and the next few weeks will see more playtesting and refining. Stay tuned!

mumbasa20 May 2017 9:59 p.m. PST

Thank you!! I enjoyed the after action report. Good luck with your rules.

alan L21 May 2017 6:44 a.m. PST

Great report

Mako1121 May 2017 4:48 p.m. PST

Sounds like an interesting game, and set of rules.

Thanks for sharing your battle report and pics.

NKL AeroTom21 May 2017 6:31 p.m. PST


Adding up the losses from both sides after the game, the Mujahideen lost 200 points worth of forces, while the Soviets lost 176 points.

Each faction has a 'strength' value which is used for purchasing assets and forces on the table. 1 strength can be swapped for 1 asset, or 25 points worth of deployed forces.

This battle was a 20 strength battle, with both factions having 20 strength to use as they saw fit (although at least 1/4 must be deployed forces).
Soviets bought 7 assets, and deployed 325 points worth of forces. Mujahideen bought 8 assets, and deployed 300 points worth of forces.

Losses from the game are deducted from a factions strength, in lots of 25 points. So the Soviets lost 7 Strength, while the Mujahideen lost 8 strength.
Not as much of a resounding victory for the soviets as I had first thought! The 4 Mujahideen infantry squads still left, along with the 2 stinger teams amounted to quite a few points, while the loss of the hind and quite a few vehicles hurt the Soviets badly.

The other element of this game is reputation. A faction can loose reputation with the locals for certain actions. In this battle, the Soviets attacked Mujahideen close to civilians on multiple occasions, and dropped AP mines near a village. This would amount to 6 points of reputation change towards the anti-Soviet end of the spectrum. This change in reputation will give more strength to the Mujahideen in future (6 strength to be exact) as the locals feel much more inclined to help the Mujahideen, allowing them to use villages as firing positions, giving them places to sleep, feeding them, and hiding weapons for them.

So this battle had a quite realistic outcome. The Soviets felt like they had accomplished a massive victory, to the point that we all called off the game (us all being new to the game and one of the players had to leave early), when in the end this game ended up as a large victory for the Mujahideen. Soviet strength after this game would be 13, while Mujahideen strength would be 18.

alan L22 May 2017 4:42 a.m. PST

Nice clarification in the Addendum!

NKL AeroTom23 May 2017 4:30 a.m. PST

Greetings all, I have released these rules on wargame vault just today:


PDF only at the moment, but printed versions will be coming soon :)

alan L23 May 2017 10:10 a.m. PST

Got it!

Ostrowski31 May 2017 10:09 a.m. PST

This is an excellent report. The Soviet-Afghan War should be war gamed more often!

Beast44a31 May 2017 8:31 p.m. PST

Great AAR and postscript. Thanks for posting!

NKL AeroTom01 Jun 2017 11:41 a.m. PST

Thanks all, we hope to have another game this Sunday (which I'm frantically building and painting terrain for!). I will take photos and write up a report. It will be a follow-up game from this one using the current strength of each faction in this area.

I've also been writing up an update for the rules – clarifying some things and adding a few others. Alan Lockhart has been a great help with this and I hope to upload the update today or tomorrow. Anyone who has purchased the rules will automatically be able to download the latest version.

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