Last week I took a full section out on a bug hunt so I decided this week to go against human insurgents. I also wanted to run the game using the Chain Reaction 3.0 rules with some 5150 elements (armor and bugs) to spice things up. Like I said last time, I haven't had a whole lot of luck running Chain Reaction 2.0 based games so I tend to shy away from the main 5150 rules when it comes to human vs. human fire fights. However Chain Reaction 3.0 is a different story. Several things that gave me fits in 2.0 were pretty well fixed in 3.0. So this time I'm running with Chain Reaction. Time to break out the minis and go looking for trouble!
So who are the bad guys? After looking through the Colonial Marine Technical Manual I decided to go up against insurgent colonists. To keep things simple I assembled a fairly irregular war band of rebels. I gave them a mix of weapons so that I could try out some of the different weapons in CR 3.0. Here they are:
It's a strange mix of assault rifles, pistols, RPGs, and machine pistols. Rep wise there are a pair of 5s (Klein and Laura: a star), a lonely pair of 4s, and the rest 3s. Keep an eye on Ellen. She's a Rep 3 moog, but proved to be a monster!
Going up against them are Gunny Anderson's bunch: 2d Squad from the last game with Jordan (Rep4), Miranda (Rep5), Gomez (Rep4) and Crossley (Rep3). Not a bad bunch. Everyone but Miranda has an AR and grenades (no grenade launchers though).
The terrain set-up was dictated by the table on page 21 of CR 3.0. I went with forested terrain. I decided to stick with the "Patrol" mission in Chain Reaction 3.0 because I've heard that it is a real hoot. It really was!
Fluff wise I elected to continue with my group of USCM heros with Gunny Anderson taking the lead again. This time the Gunny is short handed with only being allowed to take a single squad! The LT needed 1st Squad to join the rest of the platoon to screen the refugee camp from bug incursions. The LT is planning to evac everyone to Centerville, the main town in this region, via a secondary dirt road (my starting edge). Only one problem... human insurgents have been attacking USCM units that have traveled down the road! So our little band of heroes have been tasked to recce the board and mop up any active insurgents so they can't take pot shots at the fleeing refugees and their marine escorts.
Just to make things even more fun for the gunny I decided that the bugs could be in the area too! I set the bug level to 1... just enough to spice things up! I'm sure that the gunny would understand.
The picture above shows the on table PEFs. I also assigned PEFs to the forests in the last row so there were a total of 6 PEFs on the board, but only three were 'mobile'. Rolls for their Reps were pretty crummy: two 1's and a 2...
I split the squad into its two fire teams with the Gunny leading the weaker Bravo team. Lcpl. Miranda was a Rep 5 and had Pvt Jordan (of missed flamer fame) in tow. As events would later show, Pvt Jordan must have still felt that he had something to prove! The move found both fire teams maneuvering quickly around the right side of the big hill. Both teams making use of bounding over-watch. The squad took a couple PEF checks with the far wood lines.. which turned up empty. The gunny growled at the squad about being too d$%^&d jumpy!
Things picked up on turn two. The gunny noticed something moving behind the hill and took Bravo team up to some bushes to check it out...
"CONTACT FRONT!!!" Instead of some local critters...
...it was a whole squad of insurgents led by the infamous Laura Craft! 8 heavily armed irregulars backed-up by an RPG. Not a pretty sight!
And they were on their toes too! A quick in-sight test lead to a barrage of lead! Ellen, a fresh recruit, proved have the sharpest eye. A couple of quick, controlled bursts sent Pfc. Gomez crashing down like a sack of bricks (OOF) and another deadly burst from the merc, Klein, glanced off the gunny's torso armor, knocking him onto his butt! Pvt Crossley dove into the bushes and ducked down just in time to avoid a RPG round...
Klein slapped Mutquar on the back of his head.
"What the hell are you aiming at, shitbrick???" he snarled!
The dazed gunny watched the RPG round fly over head and knew that his team was toast unless he did something fast! He barked over the TAC to Miranda to take his team around the hill and flank the enemy position.
Well, somebody had to do something. Because Bravo team was down for the count!
Laura must have decided the same thing. Her tactics roll told her to take half her squad and sweep right and flank Bravo team... but she is too late. Her team reached the edge of the tree line just in time to be in-sighted by Alpha team. Lance-corporal Miranda lowered his SAW and went to work, suppressing the whole team and taking out the only girl with an AR! All that was left were troopers with pistols and machine pistols! 12" range... just too short to fire back! The next activation roll would decide everything!
And it did! 2 blue, 6 red! The marines now had a chance to turn the tables! Pvt. Jordan raced to the bushes near the tree line and primed his grenade...
In one bright flash all of Laura's squad mates went down and stayed down. Only Craft was left.
What a Yin-Yang picture at the end of turn four. The marines were getting a serious schlaking from Ellen on the right, but they were demolishing Laura's team on the left. Alpha team couldn't win it all by themselves and the gunny knew it. It was time to do something stupid. The gunny clinched his cigar and barked on the TAC to Crossley...
The activation roll went the marine's way! Crossley popped up...
And Ellen was watching... Crossley went down in a spray of blood (OOF)!
The gunny didn't hesitate though. He zeroed in on Ellen and squeezed off a perfectly aimed burst of his own. The gunny's rounds slammed into Ellen and down she went!
The splatter of Ellen's brains and blood freaked out the rest of her squad and they ran for it. Klein only passed 1D on his man down roll and raced for cover, but too late. The gunny drew a bead on him too and expertly dropped him too.
It was just like that. One minute Bravo team was down and out. The next the Gunny was the last man standing. The action with Alpha team was almost anti-climatic. A bad activation roll left Laura deep in cover and penned in place. Miranda and Jordan just stayed in cover and tossed grenades into the tree line, right down on Laura's head. But strangely they only found a blood trail (hey, it's good to be a star!)
The surviving rebels fled the board and the bugs stayed off the field. I guess super gunny left them shaking in their bug holes.
I suppose the butcher's bill could have been worse. The Battle Recovery table was tough, but at least Crossley and Gomez would live to fight another day. I might have to bring back Ellen too. That goes to show you! Even a Rep 3 moog can have her day! Heck, she passed two pitiful shot rolls and dominated nearly half my force, at least, until the gunny opened a case of 'WHOOP A@@' on her and Klein. Good job, gunny!
All in all, a very brutal battle. Once contact was made the fight went really fast and furious. I botched a couple of things (like forgetting to roll for NPC tactics EVERY turn), but on the whole I think I got everything right. It's amazing just how quickly everything can turn around in Chain Reaction! One minute I thought that the insurgents had me, then the next some luck fell my way and my tactics worked! Crossley paid the price there but he opened the door for the gunny to get his shot in. Also, having Alpha team flank was a good gamble. I get the feeling that if I didn't then the battle would have been totally different. Finally, I have to say hats off to the NP Force Movement Table. It was 'smart' enough to give me a run for my money. If lady luck just smiled a bit more on the NP force then this fight would have ended differently.
One last thing: never take a 12" weapon into a ranged firefight with regular troops! Just don't do it!
On the whole, another very pleasing game courtesy of THW.
Semper Fi, carry on!