It’s puns like that which make me wonder why anyone reads this blog….
When we last left our soldiers, they just ran into a Squad of North Koreans on Patrol on the very card that is our ultimate destination. After the surprise of spotting each other, 2nd Platoon opened fire down onto the Squad from the Embankment, and the Koreans returned fire. It’s from here that we start Turn 3.
Wherein it starts to rain again. Great. That prevents casualties all around, but also turns everything into a slow slog. Wonderful.
So it’s time to get crazy. I only drew 2 Commands, but I have 6 saved up, so I can still spend 4. I use two to send a Squad and a Machine Gun team down into the Village to get some cross fire bonuses. I don’t worry too much about the Exposed markers as the cover in the Village is good enough to cancel that out. I then order a Bazooka team to launch a rocket into the enemy. I get to draw 2 cards for this, but fail to find a grenade icon, so I can only put a “Miss!” chit down on the card (a -1 modifier). I finally launch another illuminating flare over the baddies so I have yet another negative modifier and other Platoons can do things to them if they so desire.
The XO orders the Recoiless gun to fire over the village into the Gully to add a bit more carnage, but that gun, too, misses. Oh jeez, it looks like the giant recoiless gun with the “Heavy Weapons” modifier can also see the Gully, so they would open fire now, too. Things aren’t looking good for anyone down in that Gully. And for General Initiative the Assault Team scouts turn into a Fire Team so they can join in the fun.
The Enemy draws a HQ Event, but it would just get to try and Rally all units on the board. That might be more handy next turn. No luck there. Now we pull again from the Underfire from a different direction section on our chart to see what these folks do. Looks like they shift fire again. They are going to shift to where the largest VoF is coming from, meaning they will shoot back at where the 75mm Recoiless gun is. However, they can’t SEE that gun, so they have to shift to the machine guns coming from the south. Thank goodness for that because our CO and 1st Sgt are standing where that gun is.
Okay, it’s time to have our combat effects evaluated. We can look at the card above to see what kind of damage we’ve done to the Koreans. Grenade Misses can only be applied once, so it’s only -1 there, but we have -6 total on a card that gives +3 cover. Add the other +4 for environmental bonuses and we’re left with a +1 modifier to damage. Woops, +2. They’re also under cover. Jeez, those guys may never go anywhere.
Ayup, +2 is a miss on the card drew. So now we go to the other card with a VoF on it
We have our new Fire Team in the Strong Building who will have the best modifier. +2 for the Village, +3 for the Building and +4 for the environment. Our Machine Gun Team will have a similar bonus, but have -2 tacked on for being Exposed. Our Squad will also have one less bonus for being in a less reinforced building as well as being Exposed. That leads to +9 for the Fire Team, +7 for the Machine Gun Team and +6 for the Squad.
Like I said earlier, I wasn’t worried about those two when I sent them down, the Village was a safe place to be.
The cards actually don’t go any higher than +6, so that’s what we have to max out at, so let’s draw for the three, one at a time.
Oh COME ON! This may be the only card in the deck that hits on a +6! I drew for the Fire Team first, so it looks like they’re getting hit. A lucky bullet can always do something, I guess. And, to keep that luck going, I draw “Casualty” as the result. So it just so happens that these guys saw the muzzle flashes out of the window where this small team was firing from, and Dead-eye Dan was on patrol this day, and took them all out.
Wow, our first death. Harsh.
The other two draws result in misses (as they should). So I go to the clean-up phase and make sure I mark off all the ammo spent (which I have to be careful with, Bazooka, Machine gun and Recoiless weapons have limited ammo. I only have 3 turns of the big 75mm gun ammo).
So how and the hell am I going to get to my objective without losing more men? Looking at the card for how the enemy works, the best odds are when I’m on the same card as them (a 1 in 3 chance they fall back). If I can change them to a LAT (litter team, paralyzed, etc.), it’s much, much easier, though, so running in there guns-a-blazin’ might not be the best idea.
It’s only the 4th turn, so I think keeping up the fire for now might be the way to go, maybe I can whittle them down and force some to flee before I have to charge in there. It will also give me time to bring the casualties back to base.
Looks like I have a Friendly Higher HQ Event:
#7 – CO HQ is Screaming for Action: You must move forward this turn*
Okay, change of plans. Maybe. If I move forward, I’ll gain an extra experience point. It might not be worth it if I get everyone slaughtered for listening to command. Of all the time for this event to come up….I swear….it’s like the cardboard knows.
The best laid plans of mice and men.
So here’s what I did. I spent my 4 commands by splitting off another assault team and had it infiltrate into the Gully. Of course, it didn’t SUCCEED in Infiltrating, but I tried, dammit. I then Commanded the Embankment to stop shooting into the Gully, because, you know, our own guys were down there. I then used my last command to move my 2nd Platoon HQ down into the Village (he successfully Infilatrated). During the 1st Seargent’s General Initiative phase, he called through the 2nd Platoon’s radio to cease fire. Yes, it’s a bit munchkiny, but it’s the only way I could make our own army not fire on my guys. I think it’s legal, but whatever.
I hope this is worth that extra experience point. Anyway, now the Koreans are no longer firing out of the card, but at the Assault Team that crazily ran into the Gully after them. I also gave the Assault Team a canister of smoke (not signaling smoke, just the good ol’ black kind) in case they want to block off this area from outside fire. Of course, I didn’t draw any General Initiative, so this is what I’m stuck with.
Now it’s the Enemy’s turn, and they get no HQ Event, so let’s see what they do. There’s 3 things they could possibly do. One of them is Fall Back, one of them is do nothing and…
One of them is throw Grenades at my soldiers. Because that’s my luck. So I draw 2 cards and, well hey, they fail! So a Miss chit goes down which gives a -1 to both of our combat modifiers. Whenever someone tries to go Grenade on someone, you get to do an attempt right back at them. Just goes to show you: Close combat is crazy! So let’s see if my luck can change: I draw a grenade! Kaboom! Another benefit of hitting with a grenade?
“Do not apply the Rain/Snow, Fog, Smoke, or Current Visibility modifiers to this VOF.” Yup, grenades don’t care how well you aim, just as long as you’re close.
But before we find out what happens, we have to see what our Potential Contact is. *Gulp* The chit is a ‘B,’ which is a good sign. We are currently at “Contact” Activity Level, which means we’ll be drawing 5 cards to see if any of them show Contact.
Well I’ll be. I got one blank, 3 Rallys and a Cover. Nothing happens!
So let’s hop to our combat effects. I have +1 for the terrain card and +4 for the Weather. -2 for Exposed and -1 for the Grenade miss. So net +2. And there goes my luck. Let’s see +3 – Pin, +2 – Hit. Again, the cardboard knows. My Assault Team is now Paralyzed.
The Enemy gets +1 for the terrain card and no bonus for weather. My Grenade is -4 for a net -3. And that is a Hit. If it wasn’t, I very well may have flipped the table. Which would have been pretty fabulous as it’s bolted into the wall. But don’t challenge me, Fields of Fire, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
The effect card shows one Litter Team, one Casualty and One Fire team. That’s a pretty significant hit. I like it. I think I can chase those off, and I very well might be able to take some prisoners.
I spread the pieces out there. Unfortunately one of them will still fire while my paralyzed team will only flee or stay put, so I’ll need to get a little fancy this next turn.
So we start our 6th turn with another “Friendly” Higher HQ Event:
#3 – Comm Trouble: Must spend 2 Commands to re-establish comm with CO HQ*
This is my mad face.
I can ignore this and use my four commands as normal, but I can just use 2 commands and get an extra experience point. Why now, when I have a paralyzed team right next to a squad of Koreans ready to kill them all?
Welcome to the joy that is Fields of Fire.
Okay, let’s think this out. If I leave my team there, they will be captured during the Mutual Capture&Retreat phase if their fire team un-Pins themselves. If our team manages to get themselves un-Pinned and the enemy remains Pinned, they will automatically retreat back to the Village. That’s waaayyy too much relying on luck. The only way they would un-Pin themselves is if they have a General Initiative Command, and that’s no safe bet. So I need to get another unit into that Gully to rescue them.
Okay, so I have 5 Commands + 5 saved Commands, though I can only use 4 due to darkness. Let’s see what I can do with 2, if I want to gain that experience point. The commander is currently in the same building as the Machine Gun team (and a casualty, but I won’t ask them to do anything). I could ask them to infiltrate the enemy squad. That’d be putting a high-price unit in harm’s way to save a “lower priority” unit.
Yes we’re talking about human lives here but-
Wait, we’re talking about cardboard chits. It’s hard not to think about them as humans, though, since these are the same kind of choices a commander would have to make at this point. I could never be a commander, I would hate to have to coldly trade human lives like this. War is stupid.
Anyway, rather than sending the MG Team in, I could dash over to the other building and ask an entire Squad to go into that card. Again, rather than getting a “high quality” team in danger, now I’m putting 3 steps worth of men in danger for 1 step worth of prisoners.
OR I could dash back up the embankment and ask one of the 2 step squads to dash down. (Right, ask. ‘cause they do so much “asking” in the army)
If I use all 4 commands, I could duck over to the other building, split off another assault team from that squad and send it into the card, which would be the ‘safe and sensible’ thing to do. But it wouldn’t get me the experience point, and would be dull, so let’s send the Machine Gun team into harm’s way! Of course, they fail their Infiltration check, but who cares, I gots me an experience point.
I do get one General Initiative command, but fail to Rally my Paralyzed unit. Good that I risked things, then. Maybe. Okay, let’s check for the enemy. I’ll be looking on different tables now that all these chits are considered “Limited Action Teams.” Like the casualties, they are limited. To laying there and bleeding, for example. But since they are all pinned first, that overrides their other abilities, so I pull for the fire team first: No Action. They stay there Pinned. Same with the Litter Team. The Casualty lays there and bleeds. Huh, who knew?
I figured someone may run. But nope, so we just keep shooting at each other, like ya do.
Fire team and Litter team for Koreans have +1 for cover, +1 for Pinned, +1 for terrain cover, +4 for environment, -1 for Automatic fire, so +6 for each. A miss for both, so their Pinned markers go bye bye.
My Paralyzed team has +1 for Pinned, +1 for Terrain card cover, +4 for Environment and +2 for all pinned fire, so +6 (max) for them as well: A Miss, so they too are no longer pinned.
And the heroic MG team? +1 for Terrain card cover, +4 for Environment, +2 for All Pinned fire and -2 for exposed. +5: Pin. Huh. Well there you go, our heroes put their heads down. I guess that’s okay.
Looks like I’ve got another “Advancing towards the rear” ahead of me as turn 7 starts. Stubborn guys, aren’t they? At least I should earn a bit more experience. I wonder what my third Patrol will get us?