Sunday, February 10, 2013

"Drop Zone" Operation Squad Scenario

A few of my friends(Franz, Nick and Tim) came over to my house and we had another really fun game of Operation Squad which is a WWII squad based game. It can of course be adapted to other periods like Curt did from Analogue Hobbies using the SCW as the back drop. However, we played it for another game set in Normandy during WWII like last time with Fallschirmjäger vs U.S. Airborne. All figures and terrain are mine and the vehicles were kindly supplied by Franz.

The scenario was "Drop Zone" in which intended supplies dropped from an aircraft have landed off course with each side scrambling to recover the goods. The supplies were marked with small pieces with a ruck sack on it of which there were 6. Three of them were marked with an x underneath indicating broken and useless and 3 undamaged. The players won't know if the supplies are intact until they reach the counter and flip it over. They then have to carry them back to their deployment zones. Points were awarded for supplies recovered or having possession of them at the end of the game in addition to taking out the enemy.

We decided to include more powerful vehicles in the form of tanks for support to see how they played on the table. The forces looked like this:

Veteran US Airborne Squad(Screaming Eagles) + Support

1x Sergeant with Thomson sub machine gun, MK II Pineapple grenades
1x Corporal with Thomson sub machine gun, MK II Pineapple grenades
1x Paratrooper Sniper with M1903 Springfield Rifle, MK II Pineapple grenades
1x Medic with M1 Garand semi automatic rifle, MK II Pineapple grenades
1x Paratrooper with a Bazooka and a Colt 1911A1 pistol, MK II Pineapple grenades
1x Paratrooper assistant to Bazooka with M1 Garand semi automatic rifle, MK II Pineapple grenades
3x Paratroopers with M1 Garand semi automatic rifles, MK II Pineapple grenades
1x 3 man Paratrooper Medium Machine Gun Section
1x M4Sherman Tank

 Veteran Fallschirmjäger Squad + Support

1x Sergeant- MP40 Sub-machine gun, Stg 39 grenades
1x Corporal- MP40 Sub-machine gun , Stg 39 grenades, Binoculars
1x Fallschirmjäger Sniper with Kar98K rifle, Stg 39 grenades
1x Fallschirmjäger with MG34 light machine gun, Stg 39 grenades
1x Fallschirmjäger Assistant to MG34 light machine gun,with Kar98K rifle, Stg 39 grenades
1x Fallschirmjäger with a Panzerfaust and Kar98K rifle, Stg 39 grenades
5x Fallschirmjäger with Kar98K rifles, Stg 39 grenades
1x 3 man Fallschirmjäger MG42 Medium Machine Gun Section
1x sdkfz 161 Panzer IV Tank

As before I won't go into a blow by blow account of the game and instead just give a quick Battle Report. We picked sides and then rolled for scatter of the supplies. The supplies didn't deviate all that much so it was pretty much a horse race to see who would recover the right ones first. The Americans decided to go aggressive on the right flank and grab the supplies there while the Germans  went for the center and left flank.

The Americans reached their supplies first and low and behold the two they happen to turn over are in fact good and so they recover them to the rear. While the Germans had a tougher time reaching their intended target a wounded FJ did get to one and it was indeed intact which therefore made the remaining 3 not yet turned over pointless to keep on the table as we knew they were broken supplies and were accordingly removed. So 2 to 1 in favour of the Americans on supply recovery which left combat to decide the rest.

Due to the fact that the American sniper was a modern day Daniel Boone picking off an estimated 60% of the German force from a concealed position on a hill overlooking the battlefield and the rest either being taken out from other para's or fleeing the field of battle sealed the fate of the Germans turning the engagement into has to said a route. However, the Germans did have a high point in the game with the Panzer IV winning the duel with the Sherman by knocking out his main gun and wounding some of the crew. However, everyone agreed the game was a lot of fun and we are looking forward to going at it again.

Some key observations of the game were the vehicles and snipers. The vehicles really worked well which I'm very happy as I feared they may over power squad level games, but because of the nice checks and balances they do not. For example  when they are completely buttoned up their field of fire is reduced and more importantly their ability to detect hidden targets is greatly reduced and if they unbutton to see better they become much more vulnerable to rifle fire and grenades. Also they can get a bit pricey so powerful things are limited. The other observation is trained snipers are too powerful  and dominate games. We are thinking of not allowing them in some games and/or placing limits on them such as introducing fog to limit range and/or giving players a roll to see if they spot snipers after they fire plus some some other ideas to make them more playable.

Great rule set and I highly recommend playing it!

Thanks for viewing!:-)

The set up.
Taking cover.
Ariel view.
Wounded FJ recovering supplies in the field.
Para's recovering supplies while suppressing the Germans.
Managed to finish the ruined building before the game.
Tank duel.
Supplies waiting to be recovered.
FJ's moving across the fields to confront para's in the woods.
German sniper occupies the ruins.
FJ sniper trying to find a good spot in the ruins.
FJ's moving to support sniper in the ruins
Panzer IV advancing down the road.
FJ's skirting the woods. 

My daughter overseeing the battlefield.

My daughter apparently seeing something more interesting then our game.