Thursday, 11 September 2014

APC ambush!

Last Sunday at the Old Buckenham Bone Crushers was an opportunity to try out the Hammer's Slammers rules which I received for Christmas.  I'm sure we've used them incorrectly but after a false start we did manage a pretty good game!

Fighting on the planet Charity continues as the Armed Forces of the Charity Freedom Alliance prosecute their campaign for independence.  Neo Colonial Commonwealth forces defending Charity's food distribution centres are coming under increasingly heavy attack.  On this occasion, a Neo Colonial Commonwealth APC has been ambushed; with 4 casualties and a damaged vehicle, a relief column is being sent to render assistance.  The action takes place in Premloc Junction, a small settlement heavily damaged during earlier battles on Charity.  No building remains undamaged but repair work has started and containers of materials are stacked alongside the road on the outskirts of the settlement.

NCC relief column.
The APC is located about 2/3 of the way along the game area, very close to the junction which gives Premloc Junction its name.  AFCFA troops have emerged from their APCs and are filtering into the ruined buildings in preparation for an attack against any NCC rescue force.

Ambush site - wrecked APC in centre, enemy forces closing in...
4 NCC marines are still able to fight.  Can they defend the APC until relief arrives?

Uninjured troops prepare to defend the APC until relief arrives.
The NCC commander sends in his Sabre MBTs first.  One breaks right to move round the flank.  A Lancer heavy APC follows close behind the second Sabre.  Outrider Scout vehicles skim up each flank. The commander remains safely in the background in his Gladius medium tank, the medical APC and engineering vehicle with him.

NCC tanks lead the convoy in.
With these being Old Crow vehicles, there were plenty of stats for similar vehicles in the Slammers rulebook.  Although not exactly the same, I used the info for the Terran HALO HSAG13 Angel heavy tank as the basis for the Sabre.

One tank moves to secure the flank.
Our initial game was to be regular NCC troops vs green AFCFA troops.  After a first turn of firing in which no-one managed hit anyone else, we decided to replay from the end of the first movement phase as Veteran NCC and regular AFCFA!

AFCFA infantry prepare for combat.
The AFFCA commander supervises the action from his fire support vehicle.

Tank and heavy APC approach along the road.
The lead Sabre targets the AFCFA commander.  Will their shooting be any better this time?

AFCFA move through the ruined buildings and take up firing positions.
AFCFA commander spends all his leadership points moving squads up into the ruined buildings.  The flanking Sabre fires into the building, setting one corner on fire and killing the fireteam hidden inside.

Approaching the wrecked APC along a side street.
Hopefully they can get into a position from which they can overlook the ambush site.

AFCFA commander's vehicle is taken out by ATGW.
The Sabre's anti-tank missile fires its warhead in through the top of the fire support vehicle's hull.  Kaboom!  Goodbye to the AFCFA commander!

NCC tank is destroyed by lucky shot from AFCFA ATGW team.
An AFCFA missile team are similarly lucky in hitting the Sabre in retaliation. It too is destroyed.  More missiles, buzzbombs and SAW gunfire are ineffective against the other tank and the scout vehicles but the squad of NCC marines by the damaged APC are mown down by gunfire.

AFCFA troops hug cover as they advance.
With the start of the next turn, the Lancer moves forward over the destroyed tank (a useful feature of grav vehicles!) and the 3 squads of infantry debuss ready for action.

APC leapfrogs wrecked tank and deploys infantry.
The Lancer is armed with twin rotary cannon which make it particularly effective against infantry, ideal for suppressing the enemy while their own troops move into cover.

APC prepares to provide fire support with twin rotary cannon.
This time an AFCFA gun team were the unlucky ones, they were wiped out instantly.

AFCFA gun team's last moments...
The NCC commander uses extra leadership points to move one of his Outrider scouts twice.  AFCFA squads are caught in the open, pincered between the 2 outriders and the Lancer, but 2 of the 3 squads of NCC marines have already fallen to the combined fire of several enemy units.

NCC vehicles close in on AFCFA troops.
With the "mounting chaos" rule, leadership points are lost as troop units are destroyed.  Because leadership points (each turn roll 2D6 and add leadership rating of commander) are used to move units, as troops are killed, so your points pool reduces. AFCFA were unable to move any units after the second turn, leaving the NCC troops with free reign to manoeuvre and pick them off at will.

1 fireteam down, 2 heavily suppressed.
An example: 3 fireteams caught in the open - one unit wiped out, another with 3 suppression markers (suppression marker means the unit was hit by enemy fire but was not damaged), the last with 2 suppression markers.  Once a unit has 4 suppression markers it is removed from the game.

Hang on - wasn't there a building there just now?

More Sabre fire against a building - 2 ATGWs and the main gun do so much damage that the entire building collapses, killing everyone inside.  Other AFCFA units have accumulated 4 suppression markers which mean they are removed from the game, presumably because they've run away!  With around 15 units fled or dead, including the commander, AFCFA forces surrender and withdraw en masse.

An enjoyable game once we got the hang of it.  The loss of leadership points as units are destroyed certainly played an important role.  I did spend a lot of time flicking back and forth through the rules, I think they could be set out slightly better but I like the overall mechanics.

 NCC vehicles from Old Crow.  AFCFA vehicles converted from Matchbox.  All figures from GZG (NAC Marines and New Israeli hardsuit troops).

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