the southern end of the table, the crashed chopper is just off the top of the picture,
villagers wander about doing "villager stuff" while trying to avoid being shaken down by the rebels
if you look carefully at the top of the picture you can see French troops that have just finished searching the helicopter
another view from the opposite end of the table, looking south
the French have spread out looking for clues as to where the crew has vanished to,
the A.U. troops are off table to the right
the rebels controlled the village from the bridge to the lower right of the picture
two strongpoints were built to control road access to the village; one can be seen in the top center of the picture, the other is just off screen to the right, the African Union troops will enter on the road from the western edge of the table (bottom in this photo)
drill and logistics being what they are in the Rebel army most of the troops were looking for food
conversely the French were literally "on a mission"
the French moved toward the village via a ford in the creek
about this time the Rebels noticed the French approach
"Ay, what's that there?"
standing about with an AK-47 but not using it proved to be a foolish way to get killed
Note; under the Spectre rules most weapons (aside from pistols and grenades) range all the way across the table, good troops can hit things at long ranges with a considerable degree of certainty
R.U.P.'s dedication to detail is evidenced by his having painted and based casualty figures
the Rebel "ready response unit" (actually just three of the best fighters, one of who had a pair of RPGs) responded in the direction of the fire
the French troops fanned out, sending one fireteam into the cover along the riverbank
while the other began to search the nearby collection of shacks
by this time the ready-response team had arrived at the end of the hedge near the cross-roads at the center of the table, from here they could cover the roads as well as having fields of fire across the farmland toward the French APC (they were a little out of breath by now)
the villagers had switched to "run like hell" mode by now
desperately trying to escape from the fire-lanes of the troops
as the A.U troops entered on the roadway and began to search the group of huts
other Rebels had taken cover and were desperately scanning to see where the fire had come from
they spotted one of the A.U. troops and dropped him
the return fire was ferocious, felling both Rebels
Rules Note; not only are weapon ranges realistic, wound results are equally devastating with most hits causing disabling and mortal wounds
the ready-response team had a good view of the French APC and decided to try a shot with an RPG, it missed but the supporting fire from the other troops hit two French soldiers, here is where the advantages of body armor came into play and they escaped with slight injuries
the French were now under fire from the rapid response team, a pair of Rebels in the building just north of the crossroad and some Rebels on the hillock just north of that building; drawn by the sound of fire a Rebel technical appeared from the east
doubtless lost while on the way to some fancy hotel a CNN crew showed up, this fatally distracted the crew of the Housemartin's technical (readers familiar with earlier games will know of The Housemartin's habitual manner of dealing with "newshounds")
their GPS must have been totally dysfunctional because they just plowed on down the road
by now the A.U. troops had cleared the woods
and were starting to clear the western edge of the village
French return fire had killed the LMG gunner but the rest of the ready response team stood-by on overwatch waiting for someone to make a move
A.U. troops on one side, French APC on the other, what to do?
the A.U. troops get a blast of gunfire and the APC gets the remaining RPG
the RPG did some minor damage to the APC and the gunner downed an A.U. trooper
but the return fire dropped the remaining rifleman
miraculously the RPG man passed morale and swapped out to his AK-47
the technical started to head toward the CNN crew but took a passing pot-shot at the APC doing inconsequential damage, French fire was far more effective, killing the driver and crashing the technical
the CNN crew intrepidly (idiotically?) continued to advance toward the Housemartin's troops
the balance of whom had decided that they would take up residence in the sandbagged outpost
fire from the A.U. Panhard blasted another Rebel holed up in a shop
as the other A.U. troops continued to filter trough the trees
the CNN vehicle stopped and began to comment on the "carnage caused by Western Imperialist Aggression" but did nothing to aid the bleeding Rebels
the Panhard broke cover and boldly advanced toward the village
perhaps sensing the Rebels were now out of RPGs the French pushed their APC forward
lacking body armor the A.U. troops suffered far higher casualties than the French
the camera crew prepares as the Talking Head practices his mendacious sanctimonious blather
surprise! the Rebels are not out of RPGs!
this one overshot and almost hit the French troops wading along the creek
which seemed to motivate the French infantry to exit the creek
and move to engage the Rebels at close quarters
further Rebels drawn by the sound of gunfire,
"Yo, mate. Did you bring the RPG?"
"No, I didn't, that ruddy thing is heavy!"
the Panhard had finished blowing up everything that looked faintly Rebel and advanced into a tiny alleyway which afforded it excellent views of the approaching Rebels
"Oy, Mate! THAT is why you are supposed to bring the RPG!"
AK-47 vs armored car is a vastly unequal fight
boldness only goes so far, these men were doomed
the French were peering through the fence at the Rebels in the outpost,
both sides were on Overwatch daring the other to come out in the open
when, to the chagrin of the Rebels, a flurry of hand-grenades arced into their position
All in all a very fast-moving and fun game, made all the more interesting because of R.U.P.'s delicious eye-candy tabletop. These rules have been out for a while and have been widely reviewed, so I won't comment on them (I leave that to R.U.P. if he is so inclined). I can say that the game was fast-moving and combat outcomes were very realistic; professional soldiers who are well equipped and damned dangerous opponents while semi-trained ruffians pose a threat only in large numbers.