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"Need Help with Mission Types" Topic

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Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2021 8:27 p.m. PST


My sons were scanning YouTube for their usual nonsense the other day when they somehow came across the old WWII movie "Gung Ho!" If you're not familiar, it's an old black and white movie shot in 1943 about the US Marine Raiders striking Makin on Tarawa Atoll in August 1942. It's the standard, old-fashioned fare: a brief training segment to introduce us to the stereotypical grunts, then it's off for a bunch of rootin' shootin' action. And, I'm not ashamed to say, it's fun.

And it got me to thinking about wargaming; I'd like to play some tabletop battles in that fashion: quick, easy, with lots of Hollywood-style drama, so what I'm asking for help with are tabletop missions. I'm asking for you guys to think about all the old WWII movies and comic books you loved, and tell me the missions you can think of that might play out well on the tabletop at approximately platoon level.

You know the sort: "Hey Sarge, what's the word?" says the Private, wiping his brow and lighting a cigarette, a smile crossing his grimy face. "Word from the Old Man is that the (bad guys) have got our boys pinned down up around the bend, and we gotta get through or it's curtains. So here's what we're gonna do…" And he give a plan very light on details, doesn't coordinate it with anyone, and then they set off.

That's what I'm looking for, and here is what I've already come up with (and they don't have to be US Marines vs Japanese, of course):

"Hit the Beach!" Straight up attack/defense with Good Guys coming ashore.

"Destroy the Radio Tower!" Infiltrate the village/base and knock out the Bad Guy communications station.

"Ambush!" Your Good Guy patrol is ambushed by Bad Guys on each flank.

"Got'em In Our Crosshairs!" The Good Guys spot a Bad Guy unit double-timing up the road to flank us, but we saw'em first and are set to bushwack'em. *This is a tough one; the Good Guys really don't stoop to ambushing the Bad Guys, do they? ;)

"Take out the (Guns/Mortars/MGs)!" Bad Guy heavy weapons are pounding an adjacent friendly unit, we gotta flank'em and take'em out (usually by scaling some cliffs, wading through a swamp, or otherwise crossing some presumed impassable terrain).

"Knock out the Pillbox!" A Bad Guy bunker is holding up the advance, we must make a frontal assault to knock it out with a Satchel Charge/Flamethrower.

"Spoiling Attack!" The Bad Guys are staging across the river for an attack, lets hit'em first.

"Here They Come!" The Bad Guys are attacking in force, hold the line.

"Counterattack!" The Bad Guys just punched a hole in our lines, round up as many men as you can and go throw'em back.

"Prisoner Snatch!" Take a patrol out to capture a Bad Guy soldier for intelligence.

"Clean'em Out!" Escort a pair of tanks forward to mop up a Bad Guy unit.

"They're Cut Off!" Help a team fight through Bad Guy lines to deliver a message.

"Bring'em In!" A Good Guy patrol was ambushed down by the river, go find'em and bring'em home.

"Tank Hunt!" Bad Guy tanks have broken through our lines, rush over and knock'em out!

"Demonstrate Before the Enemy!" Create a diversion by advancing aggressively, then falling back just as aggressively in order to avoid becoming decisively engaged.

"Down to Their Last Round!" A Good Guy unit is almost out of ammo, fight your way through to resupply them.

"Squeeze'em In the Middle!" Divide your forces to attack the Bad Guys from two sides.

"Leave No One Behind!" Conduct a fighting withdrawal, bringing everyone with you, dead or alive.

"Sabotage!" Infiltrate village/base to destroy a fuel or ammunition dump.

"Drop that Bridge!" Bad Guy forces are heading towards the bridge, if they get across they'll wipe us out, so we gotta blow the bridge.

"Hold the Bridge!" Defend the bridge against a determined Bad Guy assault, the whole Division is countin' on us.

"Grab the Bridge!" We found a way around the Bad Guy defenses, now we just need to exploit it! Make a dash for the bridge, and hold it until reinforcements can get across.

So, perhaps it's already an exhaustive list, but I'd love to hear any recommendations you guys have for WWII Hollywood-style missions for platoon-level games. Thanks in advance for the help!


Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2021 9:55 p.m. PST


Every episode of the TV show Combat! is a scenario.

Get to the town and observe artillery fire from the church steeple.

Capture the two pillboxes on the hill so battalion can get through the pass.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

rmaker26 Jan 2021 11:03 p.m. PST

Every episode of the TV show Combat! is a scenario.

The Gallant Men, too


And, for a more Hollywood take, Rat Patrol.


As far as movies go, A Walk in the Sun is excellent.

Personal logo Unlucky General Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2021 12:23 a.m. PST

I have no specific scenarios but all the old (and current for that matter) Commando and Battle comics are scenarios.
On that theme, if these are skirmish level games that get down to individual characteristics, you'll need at least one mission of redemption where a coward makes good or a pacifist medic undertakes an heroic life saving exploit.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jan 2021 3:04 a.m. PST

Seconding Rat Patrol.

Black Sheep Squadron, while an aviation show, had the occasional donnybrook, though maybe at the half-platoon size.

Sgt Rock, anyone? We have to fill a twenty page comic and we only have two pages of plot. Wait … isn't this set in WWII? (Though the sarge did seem to be a little like Flashman moving through different conflicts over time on occasion.)

Older Captain America was set in WWII, where he fought with the Howling Commandos (again, less than platoon size). Cap was basically no more powerful or indestructible than any other military lead character.

Desert Fox27 Jan 2021 10:00 a.m. PST

Kelly's hero's, rob a bank! And convince the enemy to help you!

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2021 10:03 a.m. PST


Thanks everyone, I greatly appreciate your thoughts on the matter! It's very helpful, I see several more missions to add to the menu, great stuff!

Great point about "Combat!" and "Rat Patrol," I'll take a look. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never actually seen "Combat!"… And I'd never heard of "The Gallant Men," I'll have to see what I can find. The problem for me with using the comics is I had plenty of Sgt Rock, Haunted Tank, and my favorite, Fightin' Marines, when I when I was a kid, but they were lost years ago, and I don't know how to get my hands on them (EBay doesn't appear to be a cost effective option) to check for scenarios.

But as I'm typing another just hit me, shows up in both the movie "Battle Cry!" and the miniseries "The Pacific": "The Old Man is Down!" The Company or Battalion Commander is hit, counterattack to push the Bad Guys back and bring him in.


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2021 7:57 p.m. PST

A variant of "Bring 'em in" is to rescue a downed friendly pilot or aircrew -- or, for that matter, to capture an downed enemy pilot or aircrew.

It could be a race with both sides rushing to a known plane crash site, or it could a scavenger hut, with both sides searching the area for clues -- a buried parachute, a villager who saw someone in uniform, etc.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2021 8:08 p.m. PST

Great variation, thanks Oberlindes! That's definitely a classic (particularly the dashing out to rescue downed aircrew), how could I forget that?


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2021 5:00 p.m. PST

I think of it as "Seize the McGuffin!" Capture and return with the new enemy weapon, the code book, the improved radar or even the atomic scientist. (The really high-end stuff is usually best left for commando or paratroop units, of course.) The more vicious the scenario-writer, the more awkward or uncooperative the McGuffin. Think Lipizzaner Stallions, sacred elephants, herds of cattle or beautiful Nazi spies--who are really American double agents in the last reel.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2021 2:44 p.m. PST

Thanks, Robert, definitely more food for thought.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2021 8:31 a.m. PST

Talking comics, don't forget Sgt Fury and His Howling Commandos and what was initially a clone, Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders.

And you don't buy original comics on eBay. Either you get on line access with a subscription of some sort, or you pick up humongous books of black and white reprints through your local comic book shop.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2021 8:03 a.m. PST

That's very interesting, Robert!

I've never heard of Captain Savage and His Leatherneck Raiders, online subscriptions to comic books, nor humongous books of comic book reprints. I definitely need to look into this; nostalgia is definitely hitting me hard and I'd really like to share Fightin' Marines with my sons.


RudyNelson05 Feb 2021 8:36 p.m. PST

With my various scenario generation system, I just used the missions as listed in the army manuals. Smile, the main issue came when the force ratio, points per side, was determine. It radically changed the tactics and parameters issued. For example a Fighting Withdrawal operations order would be different for a 1:1 combat force engagement as opposed to a 1 to 3 force. Comparison.

UshCha07 Feb 2021 4:14 a.m. PST

These are more complex but interesting scenarios, its not just about what its about how. Reconnisance is often not done well scenario helps to get a reall idea about what its like. All these games need more thought on mapping terrain than "Just plonk it down" and generally need dummy markers as a minimum for the stationary side. for instance scenario 1 need the exits off the board to be isolated so multiple exits may not be easily observed from one spot and possibly be very difficult or even impassible without a detour to switch observation points.

However they will "read" more like a real story as they have a more credible feel about them.

Scenario 1 Reconnisance

Note this is an updated post from that on the TMP with hopefull more useful information.

In any reconnisance game where the object is to prevent/screen/get through/spot the enemy, depending on which side you are on the problem is that it is often easiest for the defender to deploy at the end of the board as it is where there is the least complcation and minimum points to defend.

Now in the photo below I have represented in a very crude form a road map of 6 road junctions. In this design its possible to observe enemy moving through the Junction network in 6 different ways. However only three nodes need to be obseved to see all traffic/block the route for all vehicles traveling on the road. This makes defending of the end of the board a poor solution and hence is much better than saying that the defender must deploy "X" distance fom his table edge.

The diagramatic junction picture you may need to go to flikr to see this.


Scenario 2

Make a long road from a 6ft by 4ft board by putting a divider 4 ft long down the middle. You can now put a road on the outside now you have a 2ft wide 14 ft long board. with only small arms for the attacker this is not too bad even with 1/72 and lots of terrain. Now its interesting the convoy owner has no idea where the convoy will be attacked so has to move like the real thing realatively quickly like the real thing, too slow and he loses anyway.

Scenario 3

Another approach is to have multiple objectives such as this old SG2 scenario but you need proably 20 buildings to make it credible.



The NAC have being supplying the Freedom Fighters of Nithadra 3 for some time, they have been plotting to overthrow the NSL Right wing Puppet Government of Hidi Armen Yahoo. Armen is becoming increasingly despotic in his control of the Peoples United Planetary "Democratic" Union.

With the less than perfect attempts to secure the bridge head in the Landings on ARTON II the NAC need a propaganda victory and to divert NSL forces from the main sphere of activity. The rebels on Nithandra 3 have been told they must take action now if they are to retain their current NAC "Encouragement".

The action must "upset" Hidi. A Raid has been planned with options on Hidi's Headquarters and/or Radio Free Peoples buildings.


Task Points
Capture Hidi 4
Kill Hidi 2

Destroy Headquarters Communications Kit 2
Requires 1 Demo Charge to destroy.

Destroy Hidi's Data files on Rebel activity 3
Requires 2 Demo. charges in the Governors House.

Transmit Rebel Information on the Free
Peoples radio for 3 bounds 2

Destroy Free People Radio Facility 2
Requires Demo. 1 Charge.

Capture Prisoners for future negotiations 1 Point per 3 men


Capture Ricton 6
Kill Ricton 4
Each rebel killed 1 per 3 men
Each Rebel Captured 1


HIDI ARMEM YARHOO Politician/Mobster BLUE 3 Personal weapon FP D4 IMP. D8 (Custom built weapon, what do you expect from a leader so loved by his people!).
Random position in any building in the Compound.

ARMEN'S BODY GUARD GURAG Mercenaries Vet 1 Squad Leader HIGH MOTIVATION . The universal translator does not work for Gurag. Therefore only Hidi Armen can communicate with them.

Standard squad guard with, normal kit. The Guards accompanying Hidi may only have personal weapons.

At least half must be a detachment in the barracks, 1 activation gets them to D4 Armour and Small Arms,
3 Activation's gets them to D8 Armour. Heavy weapons and Armour are located in their APC located by the Goveners House.

Half squad as active bodyguard with Hidi. Activation at first shot (any bodies) or by radio warning (Twitchy these guys).

ARMEN'S PERSONAL TRANSPORT An APC any of the GURAG drives as required.

"HONOUR GUARD" Due to a recent "Purge" a new crew of "Yes" men,. picked for allegiance and low (intelligence) political threat. 1 squad 6 Power troops (or std troops in heavy armour) standard weapons Green 3 HIGH MOTIVATION.

Initial Deployment Artists House.

1 Reorganise action to be ready.


Gate and General security BLUE 2 Small Arms Only FP 2.

Either 6 Men D8 Armour or 8 men D4 Armour. LOW MOTIVATION
2 man detachment at each gate at minimum.
Remainder of Guards may either be at one of the gatesor on pre-determined patrol inside or outside the compound. Each bound they will move once and spot once.

Palace Communications 3 men Blue 3 Small Arms Only FP 2 LOW

PEOPLES FREE RADIO 4 men Blue 3 Small Arms Only FP 2 LOW
BUILDING MOTIVATION. One man must be in the Middle floor. ie Watching the DJ ensureing "Politcal Correctness" of the transmissions.

TOWN GARRISON Irregularly Paid and ill disciplined

Garrison Barracks 2 Squads "Red Squad" Green 2 6 Men Standard arms D8 Armour. "Blue Squad" Green 3 6 Men Standard arms D8 Armour. LOW MOTIVATION
"Red Squad" is high alert (Activates instantly when called by Hidi). Other next bound.

Currently on Patrol Green 3 6 Men Standard arms D8 Armour in APC
(off table) LOW MOTIVATION Will arrive after bound 5 on an even number throw. (Hidi could aquire it to leave the table to escape)

REBELS The Great and the Free


Standard NAC weapons selection but older LA67 FP 2

A total of 10 demolition Charges available with timers.

Timer can be pre-set in activation intervals ( both sides).
Can be set in normal move provided timer is pre-set ( requires 1 activation).

General Ricton "Slasher" Mecon Vet 1 Hero of the Relief of Naganda 4

Rictons Bodyguard 8 men Blue 1 Inc. IAVR (3 Rounds) High Motivation

Rebel (1) 8 men Blue 1 High Motivation

Rebel (2) 8 men Blue 1 High Motivation

Rebel (3) 8 men Blue 2 High Motivation

Rebel (4) 8 men Green 1 High Motivation (Radio DJ with Tapes)

Rebel (5) 8 men Green 2 High Motivation

Rebel (6) 8 men Green 3 High Motivation

Rebel (7) 8 men Green 3 High Motivation


The Rebles by using diguise can take up positions prior to the start of the game within 60 m (6 ") of any Enemy Building (i.e compound or Radio building) without being spotted. They cannot be spotted untill such time as they move or fire. The exception being that any Compound guards can spot the rebles if they get a Major sucess Guards are always poor spotters in the movies.

Demolition charges can be carried at the rate of 2 per man maximum. Their timers may be pre-set prior to the game and/or reset during the game as an activation. They cannot be set such that they guarantee to kill the operator. A Reorganisation action can be used to set more than one charge at the same time, or re-set more than 1 charge at a time.

A single Charge or an IAVR hit on the gate or wall (Armour D10) will create a breach about 2" wide.

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