This is a skirmish level mini-campaign set in no-mans land on a fairly static front. It is applicable to any period (see the possible settings). Each player is a junior commander whose job is the patrol and control the area between the opposing forces. Over three game days and nights each player must plan and execute 6 missions from a predetermined list. The interest lies in the fact that each player is picking from a different list to that of his opponent. The key problem being addressed is “How does a commander react when faced with events not covered by his orders?”
The mini-campaign is based on the article:
Crawley, R. (1996, Feb). All quiet on the Chechen front – a mini-campaign. Wargames Illustrated, 101, 34-36.
I have also customised the mini-Campaign into a Crossfire Version.
You will need:
- Skirmish level rules including mechanisms for hidden and stealthy movement (e.g. see my Crossfire Version).
- Figures – I have specified force sizes in modern parlance, e.g. squad (~10 men), platoon (HQ + 3 x Squad = ~ 35 men), Company (HQ, Support Weapons, 3 x Platoon = ~ 120 men)
- A table with dense terrain.
- A referee
- A master map for the referee
Playing the campaign
The campaign is played out as follows:
- Referee sets up:
- Play a day/night period (until they have played 6 periods: day, night, day, night, day, night):
- Referee decides who has won the mini-campaign
Each side starts with a platoon of troops.
At the start of the game the referee gives each player a list of 7 missions (out of the 10 listed below). The player will have to attempt 6 of these during the game (one in each game day and game night). It is up to the referee, but missions are selected at the start of a new day/night period by either the:
- Player based only on mission name
- Player based on full mission profile
Possible missions are listed below (also available as Mission Cards).
M1: Snatch Squad
Capture one or more prisoners for Intelligence to interrogate.
Aggressively patrol the area to your front and report on and disrupt any enemy activity. You must plan a route that covers the entire table – it is up to the referee how this is achieved.
M3: Escort Infiltration Team
Escort a platoon-sized infiltration team to a position 3/4 of the way across your area of operations and then return to your defensive positions leaving them to cross in their own time.
M4: Cloak and Dagger
With only yourself and a single squad, escort a single infiltrator to a position 3/4 of the way across your area of operations, avoiding enemy contact while you do it, and then return to your defensive positions leaving the infiltrator to cross in their own time.
M5: Escort Mine Laying/Booby Trapping Team
Escort a sapper squad on a mine laying/booby trapping mission. Roll 1d6 for the number of mines/traps to be laid. Roll 2d6 for the number of turns the sappers must remain stationary to lay a particular mine/trap. The referee must map their positions accurately.
M6: Stand By
Stay in your defensive positions and keep watch to your front and flanks. Don’t let your opponent know you have chosen this option. The referee should play out the scenario as if the player was on table, possibly using civilian movement or random off table interventions to spice things up (e.g. artillery fire).
M7: Set Ambush
Set an ambush for any enemy forces moving through your area of operations.
M8: Recovery Mission
Recover something valuable (e.g. an abandoned tank, car, horse, buried treasure, drugs cache, boyhood mementoes, food) from just in front of the enemy lines. This might be for personal use or to placate some senior commander.
M9: Set up Observation Post
Escort an observer (e.g. artillery observer or engineer) to a forward position where he can observe enemy positions. The observer won’t know if a position is suitable until you get there. Once in position the observation takes 10 turns.
M10: Flank Security
Provide flank security for a friendly company sized unit who are moving across your front to mount an attack elsewhere on enemy lines.
At the end of any period where the two forces did not make contact, each player must decide if the enemy was active during that period. The result of this mutual guessing determines the victor for the period.
At the end of each day/night period the Referee must decide who won the action during that particular period. This depends partly on whether the players achieve the objective of their missions, but also how the players responded to changing situations, i.e. responding appropriately to threats and taking any opportunities presented.
Based on these local wins the Referee then decides who won the campaign as a whole.
You will need rules for replacing troops, in particular commanders. In the absence of any other rules, replace all commander at the end of the period in which they are killed. Other killed troops are replaced at the end of the period on a roll of 4-6 on 1d6. If troops are not replaced at the end of a particular period, then the player can roll to replace them at the end of subsequent periods. All replacements are Green (as opposed to Veteran or Regular) regardless of the morale of the original stand.
Any of the following settings would work, particularly in the context of a siege:
- Punic wars
- Fall of Rome
- Italian Wars
- Portuguese versus Indians/French in Brazil
- 80 Years War (Dutch Revolt)
Any of the following would be appropriate where the lines were fairly static: