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"Contest Proposal: "Minstrel Boys" - A Modern Skirmish Scenario Contest" Topic

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Action Log

12 Oct 2005 5:34 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from ""Minstrel Boys" - A Modern Skirmish Scenario Contest" to "Contest Proposal: "Minstrel Boys" - A Modern Skirmish Scenario Contest"

949 hits since 12 Oct 2005
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Saladin Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 3:48 a.m. PST

Modern warfare has become increasingly asymmetric as the highly trained, well-equipped armies of the US, the UK, the Soviets, and their allies have discovered in places like Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Modelling these battles at the tactical level is difficult not only because of the disparity in firepower and technology – but also because invariably the more advanced forces are forced into a reactive posture by a combination of politics, terrain, and lack of intelligence about the enemy. The challenge is to write a scenario that models this kind of warfare – either with players on opposing sides or from the standpoint of one side or the other and with the game system running the opposing forces. For a set of skirmish rules that offer a good starting point, I'd suggest Baptism of Fire II or We Can Be Heroes by Task Force Productions, or Chain Reaction 2 by Two Hour Wargames.

Stavka12 Oct 2005 4:20 a.m. PST

I may be mistaken here so I look forward to other views, but isn't the whole point of insurgency warfare the "hit and run"? To be caught in a firefight with regular forces is often to have "lost" so that on the game table the issue to a large extent may have been already decided.

But it is just a matter of "bodycount", ignoring the nature and purposes of an insurgency would make it a pretty sterile representation of what is is all about, be it Spain in 1809 or the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Heck, I am not even sure if I WANT to game something like this if we start including, just as an example, the possibility for hitting civilians who then may turn against the COIN forces, regardless of how realistic such additions may or may not be.

GRENADIER1 Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 4:43 a.m. PST

I have a set of rules for modern actions called "Brushfire" that we have used for about 5 or 6 playtests. They seem to work well so I think I can give some ideas with some confidence. The games seem to work best when all of the players are on one side and can speak openly. I find that fog of war seems to enter just from this process alone!!
I include many aspects of asymetrical warfare and actually try to limit the number of enemy figures on the table to about 5 or 6 at a time. I use a lot of terrain colored poker chips placed in likely ambush points as markers for potential enemies. These chips can also be IED's or civilians or any number of things so the game is really about the reactions of the players to new situations and not about body count! The typical encounter is to have the regular professionals moving through and urban setting and making spotting attempts at chips once a chip has been ID'ed or the professionals get close to it the chip is replaced with something such as 4 insurgents who begin blazing away for a secret number of turns and then are picked up and disappear. Giving the professionals the difficult decisions to make in terms of following up or assaulting the position or what not. I think this formula works well and I guess our guys do as well since they keep playing!!

Cpt Arexu Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 5:21 a.m. PST

I'd be interested in an asymmetric modern scenario contest. Isn't that what a Bank Robbery or Riot is, in addition to the aforementioned Insurgency action?

Static Tyrant Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 6:50 a.m. PST

Would a scenario based on Predator (the original movie) be considered assymetric – this time, with the well-trained Western military forces wearing the other guy's shoes?

All sorts of possibilities in a contest like this. Just don't limit it to one ruleset as that will place a massive 'stifle' on people's creativity and/or interest. After all mechanisms for random encounters, hidden enemies, and secret objectives can be made fairly "rules independent", and a fire team of "well trained well equipped soldiers" will do similarly well against an undisciplined, poorly armed mob regardless of the rules…

Static Tyrant Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 6:51 a.m. PST

Freudian slip, anyone? I of course meant 'asymmetric'.

Saladin Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 12:35 p.m. PST

I agree that rulesets shouldn't be restricted and that the
additional rules should be able to be used with just about any ruleset.

And it's precisely the difficult nature of creating a playable game from an asymmetric situation that makes the contest interesting and challenging.

Saladin Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 12:48 p.m. PST

I think a fantasy/sci-fi scenario would be interesting, but should be a different contest.

Saladin Inactive Member13 Oct 2005 1:52 a.m. PST

By the way, I e-mailed Task Force Productions and their webstore is up and taking orders for BOF II.

Saladin Inactive Member13 Oct 2005 12:37 p.m. PST

And for anyone looking for modern miniatures (such as for Iraq scenarios), Liberation Miniatures 20mm line – combined with the 1/72 diecast vehicles from Dragon and Unimax are a great choice.

(I'm in the US and got my order from them in about ten days.)

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