My regular gaming buddy, Pulp Citizen, and I thought we would get on and do some gaming in Zugando. We used the mission 'Contracting Troubles' straight out of the rule book, only we substituted Zugandan Militia for the 'insurgents' and Nigerian Army(NA) for the USMC.
Because we are new to FoF my son Charlie offered to step in and play the NA while I refereed the game, which was a great help as it left me free to concentrate on remembering the rules. Even so, I still managed to miss out some crucial rules.
In our Zugandan inspired interpretation of this mission, the background is that Rex Saddler and Lance Waverly, two intrepid war correspondents, have been trying to track down wanted war criminal Henry Gwapondi in order to get the scoop of the year. Unfortunately they upset some of the locals, who are actually supporters of Mr Gwapondi. They decided to beat a hasty retreat back to Victoria Town, but unfortunately their van broke down before they could reach safety. The reporters managed to get off a satellite phone call to their office in Victoria Town, who alerted the UN.
Luckily for Rex and Lance the Nigerian Army had a patrol in the area. They tasked a section to bring back the reporters. The NA patrol had to abandon their truck because of a road block, and had to proceed several blocks on foot.
The mission starts with Lance and Rex hunkered down behind their broken down van, while a hornets nest of local militiamen begins to gather around them.
After Action Report
The first run through of this mission went very well for the NA, commanded by Charlie. Charlie got very lucky on the Fog Of War cards, while Pulp Citizen rolled badly for his reinforcements. Charlie moved Fire Team One into a commanding position for over-watch and sent Fire Team Two towards Rex and Lance. Fire Team Two got shot up, and were forced to take cover in a shack. Fire Team One moved forwards to try to complete the mission.
Throughout the game Charlie was amazingly lucky with his first aid rolls, and his Fire Team was lucky to walk away from a hail of fire with just one lightly injured casualty.
Charlies luck held, as the Nigerian platoon commander decided to send reinforcements in the form of an anti-tank team with an RPG7. Pulp Citizen's militia had no tanks, but the RPG's added plenty of firepower, forcing the militiamen to keep their heads down.
Fire Team One managed to make it to Lance and Rex, thanks to another Fog Of War card that made them immune to the effects of moral. Then they hot-footed it at rapid move back across the street. The militiamen attempts to stop them were hampered by confusion in their command and control (another Fog of War card), and the Nigerian Peace Keepers manged to extract themselves, and the two reporters, out of the village and back to safety. They only took two light casualties, and has killed six militiamen- A great success for the Nigerians!
It is worth noting that this was our first run through of this mission and we made a few mistakes that would have effected the outcome of the battle. Firstly, we allowed the Nigerians to rapid move off the board, but they shouldn't have done that with dependents (ie Lance and Rex). Also we added two defense dice to the fire-team which Lance and Rex joined, but dependents don't add defense dice. This made the fire team very durable.
Charlie's ridiculous luck was also a factor. The random nature of this mission, with variable reinforcements, and the variable Fog of War cards, played in favor of Charlie's Nigerians. When we had a second run through, with me playing the NA against Pulp Citizen's militiamen, I was badly mauled. I had three KIA, and six seriously injured, and failed to rescue the reporters!
Pulp Citizen expressed concern that the mission was too random. With variable reinforcements and Fog of War, it was really down to chance. We went through the Fog of War deck and took out a lot of cards we both felt were game changing, and both felt better about that. We really need to play some of the other missions, perhaps one with more symmetrical forces.
Over all verdict- lots of fun. Faced paced and exciting.