Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Skirmish Sangin

I've always been a keen WW2 gamer but never really gave a thought to anything more modern (other than the odd foray into 40K territory when I was young and stupid (and had waaay more money than was good for me).

I recently had the opportunity to try some ultra modern games,  playtesting a set of rules that couple of mates of mine have been working on. The rules are Called Skirmish Sangin and are written mainly with the current conflict in Afghanistan in mind. In saying that they are perfectly adaptable to any modern conflict and indeed almost any period as the mechanics are some of the most flexible I've used.

My initial reaction to gaming this period was one of slight uneasyness. I'm not overly PC by any stretch of the imagination but it does make me a wee bit uncomfortable gaming a period where men and women are still dying. In saying that I was willing to give it a bash and found that I thoroughly enjoyed the rules and researching the piles of background information that is available on Youtube. Needless to say I'm now hooked and have bought a pile of Eureka Taleban with some Empress British Infantry to take them on.

The Eureka figures are superb, reasonably expensive but excellently sculpted.  I know some people think that the Empress figures are a little skinny and lack the bulky look of modern combat soldiers but I like them and they paint up well.  There are some shots of each below so you can make up your own mind.

Eureka Taleban

Eureka Taleban Commander

Empresss British infantry and the Imprint Warrior

More Empress Brits

I also purchased a couple of vehicles from the very impressive range made by Imprint .  I must admit that I haven't looked at the other manufacturers of vehicles for this period but the Imprint ones are as good as any resin vehicles I've seen over the past few years. So far I've got a British Warrior APC and a technical for the Taley's. My son (not to be outdone by Dad) has gone nuts and bought an Abrams and two Humvee's for his Yanks - If you read the rules you'll see why an MBT is slightly over the top!

Anyway. The rules themselves are very detailed but give a great feel for the period.  They are very much a set of Skirmish rules. a section of ISAF infantry or a band of a dozen or so Taleban are more than enough to give you an excellent game. So if your after a refight on a grand scale then these rules probably aren't for you.   The rules are available either pre-printed or as a downlaodable pdf. file and at 170 odd pages are very good value for money.

They do seem a little daunting at first but I found that once I had played a few games I soon got my head around the mechanics. It certainly helped having the two authors on hand to give an idea of the mindset behind why certain things had been written the way they were.

Anyway my latest foray involved a scenario (devised by the author Colin.) whereby an American F22 Raptor had been shot down by Insurgents and the pilot captured. US intelligence had ascertained that he was being held in a Compound in the Green Zone and a rescue mission was planned.

Rangers drop from the Blackhawk to assualt the compound

The rescuers consisted of a section of Rangers, dropped in by Black Hawk helicopter supported by a ground based unit of Marines in Humvees. The defenders were a motley band of 10 or so Taleban in the compound with the pilot and 15 or so scattered around the rest of the board to try and stop the marines. The game itself turned out to be very well balanced - The superior armament and equipment of the ISAF forces are balanced by the fact that they can't go in all guns blazing for fear of injuring innocent civilians, coupled with the fact that the Taley's also get IED's !

Anyway, we played the scenario out twice over the course of the day. The first time was an American victory, despite the Ranger's taking heavy casualties, especially when they kicked open the door of the compound only to have an RPG blast take out 4 of them. The Marines managed to negotiate a Taleban ambush succesfully, despite losing 2 out of 3 Humvees in the process.

Our second attempt didn't go quite as well for the ISAF forces. The Apache attack helicopter took an RPG hit on the first move and had to head for home. Then to top it all the Taley's smuggled the pilot out of the compound into a nearby wood, only to have the Yanks drop a 40mm grenade on them killing the captors and the Pilot!

Allah Ahkbar. The infidel helicopter takes a direct hit!

The board - Compound in the background

Anyway, yet another period to drain the budget on. Oh well. at least it won't cost a fortune for figures!


  1. Yep it was fun. The rules lend themsleves to these kind of scenarios really well.