Friday, November 24, 2017

R.U.P.'s new Rule set

     A while back R.U.P. showed up at my house with another of his lavishly appointed 15mm wargames. This one was an encounter between the Israelis and the P.L.O.  Everything was up to R.U.P.'s usual standard; lovely miniatures painted to a superb standard, Attractive terrain with a density of detail to rival a railway modeller's effort and a detailed scenario. One big change was the rules, instead of the tried and true Rock the Casbah rules from Lard Island we were to be the test subject of a new acquisition; Spectre Operations from Spectre Miniatures (who, by the way, produce some truly stunning minis, take a look at the website)

somewhere in the peaceful Lebanese countryside two infantry patrols are one the move,
 one each from the IDF and the PLO, both seek valuable intel (probably trying to hunt down the gamer that disgraced such a pretty table by leaving all those dice in the picture)

the IDF entered from the northwest, the initial PLO elements entered from the southwest,
 PLO organization being what it was the reinforcements would arrive from random locations

everything seemed quiet as the IDF patrol moved toward the tiny hamlet  

seen from behind the IDF, you can see that they have two squads up and one held back for support, overwatch fire is very important in these rules, as I was soon to find out! 

the PLO patrol that thought they were moving quietly came under fire from an IDF squad. 
losing one man and gaining a load of suppression points 

     This was the first big difference between the Rock the Casbah (henceforth RTC) rules and Spectre Operations (SO),  three men firing in RTC would have little hope of exacting much of a price from troops moving in cover at range. The scale between the rules is different and I had not accounted for it, a hard lesson learned! Weapons ranges are line of sight and essentially unlimited on this size table.Another aspect was that under SO all troops have the option to act every turn. Long used to the chaotic interactions of RTC it took me several turns to catch on to the idea.

having pinned down the enemy patrol with suppression fire
 the IDF squad moved to secure the compound

it was not a happy time for the PLO 
and they spent most of their turn shedding suppression points
 and moving slowly to better cover

     A mechanic that I particularly like (partly because it models one that I used in my own WW2 rules many years ago) is that suppressed troops become very "sticky" and don't want to get up to move. Under SO troops lose a unit of movement for each suppression point the model is carrying. Effectively a burst of suppressive machine gun fire can nail an enemy unit in place, to my mind this is very realistic!

the IDF troops, having moved to gain the cover of the low wall, were interrupted by a PLO member hiding in a nearby house, the PLO had been placed on overwatch and took the opportunity to fire an RPG at the passing IDF troops as they came into view

truth be told, RPGs are not intended for sniping, the PLO missed, and the rocket 
grenade flew wide of its mark to explode harmlessly in the road, 
the thoroughly surprised IDF squad thankful for their luck

the other IDF squad moved from the building in the upper right to the one on the lower left in an effort to get a better lane of fire against the PLO they took cover behind a black Mercedes sedan

while the PLO hunkered down behind a rocky outcrop 
to spend a couple turns shedding suppression points

an overview of the situation; 
the IDF have cleared three of the four buildings, just as they were killing off the last of the PLO squad that were in the remaining building a reinforcing squad showed up to pick up the fight, the IDF concentrated on this threat but missed one other.....

at the far eastern end of the table another PLO squad and a technical had arrived,
PLO shooting up to this point had been largely ineffectual 
which may have given the IDF player a false sense of security

as the PLO squad ran along the side of the road 
the technical prepared to open fire with its 12.7mm heavy MG 
this made short work of the Mercedes sedan that the IDF were using for cover, 
and treated the IDF squad in a similar fashion

desperate for better cover they retreated into the nearby building

as they did the original PLO squad had pulled themselves 
together enough to advance to find cover behind a low wall 

the PLO continued to prolong the largely ineffective
 fire fight with the  two IDF squads across the street 
who sought a better firing position on top of the buildings

they certainly had a much better field of fire from their new location,
 but line-of-sight is a two-way street, 
they now had the attention of almost every remaining PLO fighters

the sort of attention that people normally shun,
the 12.7mm HMG and every PLO with an AK-47 opened fire on them
this caused casualties and lots of suppression 

but they weren't the only ones to learn a hard lesson; there is ONE thing more foolish on a modern battlefield than moving in the open and that is remaining stationary in the open
a well-aimed burst of fire effectively silenced the HMG

despite all the racket the fresh PLO squad moved across the road 
and approached the bullet-riddled Mercedes

by this time IDF casualties had become very problematic and it was decided that a real IDF commander would be more concerned with CasEvac that whatever the original mission was
we called the game a winning draw for the PLO

     As a player that was largely blind to the rules (all I did was push minis and roll dice) the results were both largely believable and understandable. It took a little while to switch gears from the Lardie's system of blinds and random movement, but once I had made the change it was all very logical. The combat results were as expected; people far away and in cover were very difficult to target effectively, fools dashing about in the open paid the price. Two things that I really liked were; first when an RPG missed its intended target it went somewhere, rather than whizzing off into the unknown and dematirealizing. Second, the dragging effect of suppression, being under fire makes most troops very "sticky" they become unwilling to get up and move. The ability to fire for suppression instead to taking kill shots is the real reason everyone carries full/burst/semi-auto weapons these days. I thought it worked very well.


  1. That looks great and seemed to play smoothly too.

    1. It's pretty good. It has some hiccups, but it's the only system I know that does man-to-man stuff really well. A lot of stuff nowadays focuses on the fire-team, while this is a game that you could conceivably track ammo for it you wanted to (and it's supported by the rules!). The vehicle rules are a bit sparse at moment, but it's worth a buy. Appreciate RUP bringing it to the table.

  2. Great read...the table looks outstanding! Thanks for the report.