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"Mega-Game with Army Men, on a 20-foot x 30-foot Table!" Topic


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Sgt Slag06 Apr 2020 8:10 p.m. PST

Troop Review: Tan/Gray Defending Forces on the left; Green Attacking Forces on the right.

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End view of the 20-foot by 30-foot table, with a dead, no-man's land, in between -- we ruled it impassable terrain: we could shoot over it, but we could not cross it.

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A view of Beachhead #1. the Green Invading Forces would land on two beachheads, both with an uphill slope, several feet in.

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Here we see the opposite table portion. The white plastic, inverted, cup holders, represent Water Turbine Generators, providing electrical power to the city, on top of the hill. You can also see the small lake, fed by a river flowing out of the city, and down to the beach, where the Green Invading Forces would arrive. The river also served as a highway for the Invaders, who had a small fleet of DUKS! The clear plastic container, on the left, just inside of the barbed wire sections, is a Bunker, for the Defending Tan's. They knew their generators would be a primary target for the Invaders -- and they were right!

In front of the Generators, the Tan's planted a mine field, in addition to the Barbed Wire encirclement. It would not be an easy approach, for the Green's…

The mottled ovals, on the right side of the photo, towards the landing beach, are swamp areas, making difficult terrain for the Green's to cross. Across the slope of the hill, beyond the barbed wire encirclement, are tank traps. Without Engineers to remove these, the Green's Armor could not reach the industrial park of the city, at the top of the hill: the industrial park is a target-rich-environment. It is also a heavily defended zone, full of Tan's.

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The waiting is the hardest part -- until the first shot if fired…

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In the background, you can see most of the Industrial Park area. It has a mountain, in the upper left, with a supply train arriving during a random Turn (#4, actually) bringing unknown supplies, weapons, and troops. There are two large LP Tanks (gray aerosol spray cans, atop supports, upper left region of the photo, behind the building), cargo containers, factory buildings, and more. The Green's goals include either destroying the tunnel entrance, preventing the train from arriving, or else destroy the train ASAP, along with its supplies of equipment and troops, if possible.

In the middle left of the photo, is a cylinder, and discs on top, and bottom, representing the city's Water Tower: if the Greens destroy this, the city's population will be without running water… Surrender will be inevitable, if this happens.

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Here is a partial view of the rest of the city. It has multiple sandbag machine gun nests atop several buildings. In the background, you can see a hardened bunker atop the mountain, defending it, and the Industrial Park at large.

On top of the Water Tower, the Tan's have deployed two of their best Snipers. Hunting should be good, today…

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For Landing Craft, we used rectangles of MDF, cut to size. Here you can see them stacked, with some trucks towing Howitzers, ready for the landing. I hope the crews and men all packed some extra, clean underwear… It will be a very, Hot Landing, courtesy of the Tan's!

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Here is a view of the LZ on the left. There are two small islands, offering potential setup's for the Green's Howitzers, to supply the troops with heavy artillery support, to beat up the Tan's, during their landing. Hope it works for them…

There are two, black, paved parking lots: one near the beachfront, with a concrete (MDF) building next to it (hard cover, could be used for Tan Machine Gunners, Mortars, etc.), and another up the hill, in a park area. The roads have been blocked off with barbed wire. It will be a slow, painful advance, for the Green's.

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A view of the City, where the road enters. We added more, simple, MDF buildings (boxes), but here you can see some of the Defending Tan's Forces. The buildings are all stone, hard cover, to keep it simple. The metal trash containers are all soft cover.

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As expected, the Green's took advantage of the offshore islands, landing a Tank, and a Howitzer, to provide over-watch for the troops hitting the beaches. Unfortunately, neither the Tank, nor the Howitzer, lasted very long, as the Tan's had their artillery dialed into the location of the islands -- fish in a barrel! At least it was quick, for them.

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The Green's used the parking lot landing side as a bit of a distraction, landing the majority of their forces on the opposite side, heading for the Water Turbines, and the Industrial Park, with the Mountain Tunnel, and the soon-to-arrive, Train. They took massive casualties, but they knew that it would be a meat grinder, so they brought plenty of 'meat' in the form of men, vehicles, trucks, Jeeps, and Howitzers. They just hoped it would be enough…

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We had six formed craters, for shell holes. We used blank CD's after we ran out of the formed craters… We used more than 36 discs, to show shell holes, all over the tables… Each Tank had a limited number of HE and AP shells; Howitzers had limited rounds, before they needed to reload, as well. Ammo Trucks were designated, and loaded with extra munitions, but they were never used: Tanks typically never had the chance to empty their loads before they were eliminated. It was messy. Very messy.

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Losses were heavy, on both sides. The Tan advanced, to try and halt the advance of the Green's. Things got up close, and personal. There were even some Close Assaults which took place -- it was over quickly, and it was very uncivilized, to put it politely.

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The Train finally arrived, and there was much rejoicing -- that is, until Green Tank #56 opened fire with AP shells, destroying the engine (blew a round right through the Engine's generators!), new Tanks on the flatbed car; #56 even managed to blow out two wheel trucks from beneath a couple of the train cars, making it impossible for them to be moved. It was a mess that would not be cleaned up for months, if ever.

The brave crew of Green #56 accomplished much, before the Tan's Bazooka Men took them out. It was a terrible fight, showing the true mettle of the troops on both sides of the conflict. All deserved medals, many received them, posthumously.

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Meanwhile, below the Industrial Park, the Green's Engineers managed to destroy all but one of the Water Turbine Generators, using Satchel Charges. The Tan Cavalry threw themselves against the Invaders, losing three of four Tanks, in the defense. Eventually, even Tan Tank #41 was destroyed, making the area a Tank junkyard.

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The Tan forces in the main city, advanced with their Howitzers. The artillery barrages took a hellish toll on the Green's Invaders. They dished it out, making the Green take it. Green Infantry were disappearing fast, like popcorn disappears during a movie…

The Green's Howitzers dished out pleny of hurt -- until they were destroyed by the Tan's forces. The only advantage the Green's had, was their superior numbers of Infantrymen. But would it be enough?…

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In the end, the Tan's lost many of their troops, nearly all of their Tanks; the Train was destroyed, and it was blocking the tunnel, so no other supply trains could get past the mountain! Their electrical power was almost entirely destroyed. It was a tough battle to the end, but the Green's managed to eek out slightly ahead of the Tan's, winning a technical victory. But at a terrible cost…

It was quite funny to watch, and referee the game: players on both sides whined they could never win! In the end, it was a very close battle, with the Green side barely pulling ahead in the victory points total for objectives achieved. The Tan's destroyed so much of the Green's forces, that it truly was a pyrrhric victory for the Green Forces.

Our next game in in the works. This time, it will be a close-quarter battle, street by street, within a city. In the first game, the Infantry took terrible losses from artillery, and tanks. In the city battle, the Tanks will be mostly neutered, due to blind, narrow streets, with limited ability to move, and limited sighting. Infantry will become the rulers of the battle, with short range gunfire being the norm.

The table size will be the same: 20-feet by 30-feet, but it will be covered by mostly buildings. Buildings will be single story, up to five stories tall. There will be a park, in the center of the city, with a river running through it, with a lake (DUKS!). It will be close-in fighting, with scrums everywhere… In the words of my favorite Klingon, Wharf: "It will be GLORIOUS!"

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Rules used were Plastic Wars: Mark IV, in development, based on the original, Plastic Wars: Real Tactics with Plastic Men game which I wrote, and self-published, back in 1998. It plays fast, and furious; d6 based, it is easy for ages 10+ to learn, but with enough tactics, and options, to keep even adults busy trying to figure out their next move; activation of troop types is random, with tokens pulled out of a bag, including wild tokens, where the owning team gets a free action for any troop type they choose, when it is drawn. Troops, and vehicles, are destroyed quickly. It is not realistic, in the slightest, but it is fast, furious, and incredibly fun. Cheers!

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2020 1:46 a.m. PST

That looks really great!

Thanks for sharing your very detailed battle report and photos. I am impressed you bothered to base the troops.

My son and I used to "do battle" when on vacation with these in the great outdoors. Good fun in the sand and sun.

We used small stones for "bullets", and some troops could be "dug in" to foxholes or trenches by wedging their bases into the sand a bit, making them more difficult to take out.

It is/was a game of skill, since you had to throw the rocks at the figs to hit and knock them down, and out of the fight. Alternating shots were made by each side.

Aircraft could fly over and drop bombs (larger rocks) on key positions, as long as you kept moving at a constant pace while doing so. No stopping to aim.

Good fun, and no dice required.

I'm sure the chipmunks and humans viewing the event thought we were daft.

JMcCarroll07 Apr 2020 5:58 a.m. PST

Loved it! Thank you.

Sgt Slag07 Apr 2020 11:25 a.m. PST

PW was written as an introduction to the concept, and hobby, of wargaming. PW rules use CRT's to resolve combat, Range categories, different firepower ratings, etc. I also shared concepts such as terrain-making techniques, and why basing your figures is a good idea it keeps them from falling over!

As an introduction, I suggested all of the things we experienced gamers take for granted. I even demonstrated how to paint the figures. The paint generally lasted around 10 years, before it flaked off. After 2008, I gave up on painting my Army Men figures I've been gaming with them since 1998, some 22 years. The bases really dress them up enough for me.

Thanks, Gentlemen, for your enthusiastic comments. Cheers!

Aducknamedjoe12 Apr 2020 6:57 p.m. PST

Sgt. Slag, I had to create an account on here just to comment on this! Awesome looking game. Great to finally see pictures after how much you've been talking about your army men gaming.

Would love to see your rules. I've been working on a set of my own that I'm hoping to expand with different factions/army lists: https://www.plasticcommand.com

Now hurry up on those buildings so we can see the urban warfare game soon!

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