Friday, 15 July 2016

Skirmish Afrika now out

AFRIKA is an imaginary continent set in the modern world. This book contains 9 scenarios and all the background information players need to create forces (ORBATS) for each of the 14 countries and UN Peacekeepers, Private Military Contractors and Guerrillas. This book contains detailed background on 14 new and original Afrikaan Countries. Within this continent, its countries have a diverse range of problems that includes everything from war-like aggressive neighbours to internal dissent and terrorism. At the same time these countries deal with the spectre of modern colonialism. This takes many forms including aid dependency, unscrupulous trade deals and arms supplies from countries as diverse as China, India, Europe and the USA. This is not a standalone rulebook, players will need a copy of Skirmish Sangin to use this supplement.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Foggy Morning

For our usual Thursday night game we decided to play an old scenario from Sangin Despatches No.1, why well mainly because Ray had finally built his Airfix Jackal so we need a game that could show it off to its best.

The premise of the game is:

The local Taliban group is being pressured to make a successful strike against the ISAF forces by their immediate superiors. They have been ordered to make an attack on the highway that runs North-South through this area of Helmand. 

Taliban Briefing 
The Taliban group decides to lay two IEDs along the highway and lay an ambush further along on both sides of the road. The IEDs were placed the previous night and set up to work off a TV remote. All they need to do is press the button. 

On the day of the attack it’s foggy and bitterly cold. The Taliban move to their target areas early and begin the watch on the road. There is little real cover and they make the best they can of what’s available. They sit waiting for their spies at the local truck stop to tell them when any ISAF vehicles leave. 

ISAF briefing: 
A Jackal, 2x Technical (we used a snatch Landrover because I forget the second technical) and Trucks are travelling in convoy between FOBs. After a brief stop to refuel at the truck stop the vehicles continue their journey. In each technical are six Afghan National Police (ANP) officers (Four in the back and two in the cab). The Jackal has a four UK Para advisers plus a driver. One of the advisers will be manning the vehicle-mounted 12.7mm HMG.

The Taliban lie in wait, its a very foggy morning so the maximum spot range is 12" and we use the -50% night rules to reduce players ability to spot. This made hitting anything hard for both sides.

The Jackal drives over the IED but no bang, unfortunately the next vehicle, the first technical, is blown sky high by the IED killing all the crew. Immediately the Jackal stops and tries to spot where the RPG was fired from. They see the Taliban hiding but the return .50 cal fire misses.

The Taliban now take aim at the side profile Jackal with their their RPG. There is a smattering of small arm but no further casualties for the convoy. How can they miss?

The words are not out my mouth when the RPG does miss but not by much and the crew are showered with DZ shrapnel but only 1 man take a minor word for 1 point, everyone else makes their body armour rolls.

The driver in the truck isn't stopping and pulls off the road to avoid the contact and keep going, while the second technical races forward, you can just see it in the background if you look carefully.

 The Jackal starts getting targeted from all the small arms fire but the fog and the bad rolls means they just stacking morale markers.

Finally three of the crew debus from the Jackal and move away from the vehicle. The main gunner continues to fire away but keeps missing the Taliban. Some appalling rolls on my behalf.

 The truck driver races a head not stopping.

Finally the Brits gather enough courage and charge the Taliban line which steadily crumbles under them. Their superior skills are brought to bear and the Taliban lose a lot of casualties in one round. The second technical not shown now also debused and its ANP make short work of the other Taliban force (unfortunately those pics didn't come out). At this point we called the game and it was a narrow victory for the ISAF.

It was a good close fought game, which went backwards and forwards between the activations with only the last two combat phases defining the win.

Many thanks as always to the Hutchinson's for all their kit and their great enthusiasm to play. I hope you guys all enjoy this AAR. We had a lot of fun playing it.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Introduction to Afrika

Fantasy Afrika for Skirmish Sangin

In 2015 Dishdash Publishing (DD) was approached by the Miniature Building Authority (MBA) with a request to sell our game Skirmish Sangin in their forthcoming Kickstarter. The Kickstarter was to create a series of 28mm non-denominal forces for a fantasy modern Africa.

At the time we where creating our own Somali miniatures for our project Maalintii Rangers (Day of the Rangers) that went on to be a very successful Kickstarter for us and you will see many of those miniatures in the forthcoming book, as they make great Afrika OPFOR Forces

After a brief discussion between the two companies, I got over excited about things as is usual and decided I would create a special book called Skirmish Afrika especially for that MBA Kickstarter. 

As MBA wanted to make sure this was all fantasy we looked at the country of Africa and first off  completely redrew the country boundaries and renamed the countries. Being long time Deutsches Afrikakorps (DAK) fans we changed the spelling to Afrika to emphasis the difference.

Thus the book concept was born. As with all births, its had its good bits, its hard bits and it downright painful bits and I am still not quite finished... its currently weighing in at 25k words wise and has breakdowns on 15 countries with ORBATS for all the main protagonists in each one. It also has (currently) 6 scenarios and an article about making Afrika terrain (sneak peek below). ORBATS on PMCs and Guerrillas and few other things to add that Afrikaan flavour.

In our renaming we took all the existing countries chopped up their names and mixed them up, combining country names and keeping the feel of the original african nations. Sometimes we reverted back to ancient country names, sometimes we just went wild with the names. Until we settled on the map of Afrika.

Below you can see one of the proposed double page spreads of the book.

Once the map was redrawn we had to provide sensible backgrounds for each of the countries, we looked at the land masses and worked up using bits of real history but changing the names to protect the innocent and also looked at a sort of modern colonialism. Thus you will be see everyone from China, India, USA and Europe having some influence on our new Afrikaan countries.

We then choose one major conflict for a small campaign of linked scenarios to show how you as players can take these country background and create your own campaigns.

Now obviously this is still a work in progress. The first draft has been completed and gone off to the trusted readers in the Sangin Community for feedback. Once thats collected and analysed, the book edited and laid out, it will just be the photoshoot that will be needed before we can release this bad boy, first to those wonderful people who supported MBA Kickstarter and then to you the waiting public.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Play testing a scenario

Rescue the Journalists

This the board set up for a scenario Ray wrote, about a group of journalists behind enemy lines being harassed by the Taliban and in need of rescue. Their rescuers are a squad of French legionnaires in a VAB armed with a 50 cal.

BELOW: The journalists have abandoned their TV van and sort shelter in a nearby compound. You can see the Taliban sneaking up on the far side.

BELOW: and much later in the game - (I forgot to take photographs oops) the French arrive in their VAB. The french avoid the road in case of IED and crest the hill and move down into the village to take cover behind a Compound this is where they debused. At this point the Taliban have actually began to storm the compound that the journalists and their PMC bodyguards are in.

BELOW: The French take their time climbing out the VAB.

BELOW: The Taliban sniper managed to hit one of the French, his body armour saves him but he sis stilled knocked to the ground.

BELOW: Now the French find out the compound they took cover behind is not empty, the Taliban on the roof lets go with AK47 but misses everyone.

BELOW: The now debused French try and sneak round the back to get at the roof top gunman.

The French came under fire from Taliban across the street but they fired their AT4 and removed the threat. Eventually the French brought their .50 cal to bare and under such fire the Taliban slipped away but not before first the female journalist managing to kill 2 Taliban with a pistol.

Was a fun game it will be one of the scenarios in the new Afrika book being released soon.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Roamin' on the Gloamin' AAR

This was the last of the play test for the Roamin' on the Gloamin' free scenario and the battle was fought between father and son.

Ray took the Taliban, you can see his Taliban Scowl in the pic and and Michael the Black Watch Scots who apparently play by Marquis of Queensberry rules.

The game board looked like this:

The game began with the Taliban but as the Scots weren't on the board they passed on several combat phases until the 'dour' Scots turned up.

First Scots man up came on the board and secured his position in cover:

Meanwhile on the bridge the Taliban are trying to spot in the dark. This proved very difficult.

It didn't matter how hard they tried only having one man with NVG  made the Taliban spotting needing 01's to find the enemy.

Several more turn elapse and now a few more Scots had turned up.

Activate on the bridge now grew frantic but the Al Qaeda operative somehow couldn't get his NVG goggles to work. Finally more by luck than judgement one of the Scots was spotted and shot at. 

A hit, first blood to the Taliban but still the calm Scots, held their fire and found their targets in the dark. 

The Scots bring up their GPMG to cover the bridge and still they refuse to shoot. 

The view from the GPMG position

By now the sniper in the main Taliban building is doing everything he can to find and shoot at the Scots, but a series of unfortunate rolls leaves the Scots well protected.

The Scots now fire there 40mm grenade at the group on the bridge and hit spot, its kills 2 outright and the other two now have to have morale rolls at -30%.

Taliban on the left hand building move up in position to try and spot the Scots in the dark but again to no avale, the night time rules make spotting incredibly difficult without NVG, just as they should.

Finally the British Leader steps up and calls in the off table Warrior. He rolls the perfect score and the Warriors Chaingun wipes clear the roof.

It probably looked something like this.....

However the Scots weren't having it all their own way, one brave young man runs forward to help his injured friend and perform first aid in attempt to evacuate the casualty, the Taliban sniper see him and shoots, scratch our Hero.

Shortly after this, incensed by the deaths of his comrades the Scots Marksmen finds the Taliban sniper and after a few attempts 'slots' him.

Now the Scots rushed the bridge. One Taliban behind the end of the wall found a Scot armed with a combat shotgun, it didn't end well. The Scots now occupied the southern end of the bridge.

This was quickly followed up by more Scots

Unfortunately that's where we had to call the game but the Scots now occupied the southern end of the bridge, the Taliban had taken lots of casualties and were trying to get their novices to move up without two much luck. A series of Taliban took to their heels in this the last combat phase of the game.

So a good victory for the Scots. Its an interesting game playing a nighttime advance and means you have to change tactics. Have a go and let us know how you got on?

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Roamin' in the Gloamin' - The Black Watch in Afghanistan

Roamin' in the Gloamin'

So its been a while since our last free scenario. Many things have happened in that time not the least being a very successful Kickstarter campaign, new writers onboard, other taking a rest as they wrestle with careers and small children, but never fear we are back with this great new scenario from Michael Charge. Michael is very active on the blog and was brave enough to send me this scenario that I loved. Some play testing and a few tweaks later we have a new a scenario for you.

You can download it here or from the website, look under free scenarios.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Platoon+ - Some of the thinking behind the game

Platoon +

 So a few people have asked questions on the new Platoon + game, so I thought I would share some of my thinking so far. I must of course emphasis that all of this is a work in progress.

The first thing is that Platoon+ is a working title and the final game may not be released under that name, but it gives us a point of reference moving forward.

Looking at the aims of the game it probably worth listing the core building blocks of the new game.

  1. The game needs to allow Skirmish Sangin players to take their characters into playing a larger game, with some conversion.
  2. The rule system will NOT just be Skirmish Sangin with a few new rules.
  3. This is a modern rule set for modern warfare both symmetrical and asymmetrical; it is NOT based in Afghanistan and can be used to model any current or future conflict.
  4. The game smallest unit can change depending on the size of the game player want to play. What do we mean by this, well if players want to play a platoon sized game the smallest unit will be a fire team, if they want to play multiple Platoons the smallest unit type would be a squad. It may be possible to play this game with the smallest unit being an individual.
  5. Miniatures will be based singularly but the larger the game becomes the more abstract the game system will be come, as it needs to handle bigger numbers.
  6. The game must be easy to play and learn and players with 2 platoons per side should be able to play a game in about 2.5 hours.

So those are some big building blocks on which everything will hinge. Below are some images of working platoon sheets. They are a work in progress but the idea is a single page should represent a platoon and everything the players need to will be on that page.

Above is a basic US army Platoon

Above a Taliban unit - note the difference in command dice

Above French Foreign legion Platoon, avery different make up.
Below is the first look at armoured platoons
All images are subject to Copyright to Radio Dishdash Publishing 

Currently we are experimenting with using 1d20 instead of 1d100. While I love 1d100 for granulation in Skirmish Sangin, as the number of troops gets bigger, it becomes increasingly necessary to loose that granulation without loosing the spirit of the game.

We are also looking at command dice, command dice gives the unit their Action Points (AP). The larger game is predominantly about command and control.

So thats just a few little things to show you some of our thinking.