Firepower – The Desert Rescue (Part 3)

Well, we’ve got the American Special Forces guys all sorted out so now it’s time to figure out how the Libyans are going to deploy.  Since I’m playing solo here, we’re going for a random setup by rolling dice for each member of both Libyan squads to determine what each guy is doing and where he is on the map.  The Americans are taking the Libyans completely by surprise so none of them will be entirely ready for a fight but there will be varying degrees of combat readiness among them.

For each Libyan camp guard, I rolled on the following table to determine setup area:

01 – 15:  Located in tower

Roll again for tower location:
1 – tower 401 (H10)
2 – tower 402 (H4)
3  -tower 403 (S2)
4 – tower 404 (AA4)
5 – tower 405 (Y9)

16 – 25:  Located in pillbox

Roll again for pillbox location:
1 – 5: pillbox 406 (W1)
6 – 10: pillbox 407 (K1)

26 – 35:  Sleeping in barracks (building P2)

36 – 45: Patrolling camp wire (R8 or V9)

46 – 60: Manning check point (Y7 or G8)

61 – 70: Checking on prisoners (Q7)

71 – 80: Drinking from well (S5)

81 – 90: Snoozing in foxhole 408 or 409 (I5 or Y3)

91 – 00: Eating in mess hall (M8)

Okay, so we roll 16 times to establish where each Libyan will be and we get the following results:

Solder  #1: 38
Soldier #2: 97
Soldier #3:100
Soldier #4: 49
Soldier #5: 91
Soldier #6: 96
Soldier #7: 92
Soldier #8: 88
Soldier #9: 65
Soldier #10: 68
Soldier #11: 58
Soldier #12: 41
Soldier #13: 93
Soldier #14: 60
Soldier #15: 97
Soldier #16: 82

Wow!  I guess it must be lunch time!  We have no fewer than 7 guys (an entire squad!) eating in the mess hall when the Americans arrive.  That could be quite devastating if the Americans play their cards right.

Two men (#16 and #8) are snoozing in their foxholes, one in Y3 and the other in I5.  Two other men (#1 and #12) are dutifully patrolling along the wire.  Three Libyans (#4, #11, #15) are manning the two check points on either side of the camp.  The other two (#9 and #10) are checking on prisoners.  I’m amazed no one ended up in a tower or pillbox despite there being a 25% chance of it happening.  In a way, I suppose this makes a bit of sense since the Americans have Franks watching the camp from a concealed position before the rest of the squad arrives.  I suppose he would have warned the rest of his buddies that the Libyans were at chow and now was the perfect time for a raid.  The last thing we do here is just roll a d6 for facing for each guy (with “1” being north).

Libyans at setup

The US soldiers in the M-113 are going to enter along the road to the northeast of the camp while Franks is out on top of a sand dune to the north east on his own with a sniper rifle watching over the camp and feeding recon reports.  He can also be activated to pick off any Libyans if they wander into his sights.  Since the “hills” on the map to his south don’t exist in this scenario, he has clear line of sight to some of the camp.

US operators in yellow are to the north of the camp (M-113 to northeast and Franks on hill to northwest)

With two free chit pulls, the Americans start off with the M-113 tearin’ ass down the road from the northeast directly south towards the camp.  Jensen is driving while Laroque mans the .50 cal mounted on the bow.  No subtlety here.  In true 80’s action style, the guys are driving right into the camp with an M-113 and killing all the bad guys.  Simple plan but it might just work.

The M-113 drives south down the road and nears the camp. 

On the other side of the camp, Franks takes a sniper shot at a Libyan guard who is out patrolling near the barbed wire in hex V9.  The first shot goes wide but the second one hits its mark and we roll on the hit location for a “1”.  Franks’ target is instantly killed!  Well, that’s one less enemy to worry about.

Franks uses his trusty sniper rifle to take out a POW camp guard in V9.

Second chit pull goes to the Americans and let’s see what kind of damage we can do here.  The APC tries to run over the two Libyans (11 and 15) standing at the checkpoint in G9.  They both make rolls to try and avoid the oncoming armored behemoth.  #11 rolls a 9 (squish) while #15 manages to avoid getting run over with a roll of 3.  The M-113 grinds to a halt just in front of the mess hall, where an entire squad of Libyans is enjoying what may be their last meal.

The M-113 arrives in the middles of the camp!  It’s show time.

Franks, our super sniper, takes 2 shots at another Libyan guard (#12) who is 12 hexes away in hex R8 this time. The first shot hits while the second one misses.  The shot hits in the leg, totally incapacitating the camp guard.

Franks works his magic and takes out another camp guard.

Okay, next chit pull goes to the Libyans in squad 2 (the blueish counters).  They activate the guy who was dozing in the foxhole (but who is now wide awake as an APC has just torn straight through the camp gates right in front of him).  He levels an RPG at the M-113 and we roll an 8.  The scatter shows the RPG hits short of the APC and in true A-Team fashion, the bad guys miss spectacularly.

The Libyan (#15) who narrowly avoided getting run over by the APC manages to collect his nerves and he turns to run in the direction of the M-113 behind him, hoping to pick off the Americans as they exit the rear hatch.  Still standing, he takes cover behind a tree and prepares to shoot.

RFL15 takes cover behind a tree to the rear of the M-113 and prepares to fire.

The US player pulls the next chit.  The rear hatch on the APC pops open and it’s time for guys to start getting to work.  McCreary, still in a crouch, turns to see the Libyan guard #15 standing at the tree directly in front of him, preparing to fire.  The American squad leader pumps out two rounds from his M-16 on semi-automatic and hits with the first shot (rolling a 1) and incapacitates his enemy with a nasty arm wound.

Smith clambers out of the APC shortly thereafter and runs into the hex where the Libyan guard lay dying.  He takes cover behind the same tree and is in a crouched position, covering one of the doors to the mess hall with his automatic rifle.

Smith rushes to the tree in I9 while McCreary stands near the hatch and fires.

Libyan squad 1 gets the next chit pull and two of the guys in the mess hall move.  One of them goes to cover the window while the other one goes out the door.  The Libyans in squad 2 go next and one of the  guards rushes towards the prisoners’ quarters to defend the building from intrusion.  Meanwhile, in the mess hall, one of the guards grabs an RPG and heads out the door, hoping to take out the American APC.

RFL13 camp guard rushes out the door with RFL3 standing in the doorway.

The US player gets the next chit pull.  The APC is starting to get surrounded so Laroque, who is manning the M-113’s .50 cal, sprays the two hexes in front of him.  He somehow misses the guy with the RPG right in front of the APC and only 5 yards away but does manage to kill one of the Libyan guards coming out the door of the mess hall.  Laroque fires again and finally manages to kill the guy standing immediately in front of the M-113.

McCreary senses the impending danger to the APC as Libyans scramble towards it at close range. He gives his action points to Vincent and Collier, who both run out of the APC.

Vincent and Collier rush out the back of the APC while Laroque fires his .50 cal at the nearest enemies.

Libyans go next with one of the guys in the prisoner’s building coming out to see what’s going on while another guard throws a grenade at the APC from around the corner of the mess hall.  It lands in K6, exploding but causing no harm.

The next chit pull goes back to the Libyans, who activate one guard at the mess hall window who sees Collier and Vincent running from the APC hatch.  He crouches and fires on full auto and hits Collier in the head with the first shot before the weapon jams.  Well, there goes the Americans’ machinegun!  Another Libyan runs out of the mess hall and tries to get away from the heat of the action.

Americans get the next chit pull and Smith fires on full automatic into the mess hall window. After firing two full bursts, he misses on everything but the last shot.  It hits the Libyan guard’s weapon and a roll of 7 means that the gun is damaged beyond repair.  McCreary runs from the APC’s hex, jumps into the mess hall through the window and engages in melee with the now-unarmed Libyan, killing him.

McCreary (RFL11) leaps through the window of the mess hall and kills one of the guards in melee.

With the final Libyan chit, one of the guards in the mess hall approaches McCreary in a fight to the death.  Unfortunately for the Americans, the Libyan is just a bit faster and manages to kill him in melee.  What a loss!  Another guard who ran out of the mess hall earlier, decides to turn and toss a grenade at the APC but it lands on the other side of the vehicle and explodes.  No one is hurt.

The Libyans get revenge when RFL7 rushes into a knife fight with McCreary and kills him.

That’s the end of turn 1 and I’m going to end my playthrough here.  The Americans have 4 guys left and the Libyans have only 3 in each squad.  I would say the US has squeezed out a win here just based on how much damage they’ve been able to mete out in the first round.   I suspect a grenade or two tossed through the open windows would quickly take care of the rest of the guards.

Placement was decisive in this scenario.  I really didn’t expect the random rolls to put so many camp guards in one building while the defensive structures were pretty much unmanned.  There was a very small window in the beginning of the round for the Libyans to launch an RPG and take out the APC with everyone in it, but the rolls to hit were off and all the Special Forces guys made it out.  It really did have the feel of an 80s action movie with one loner picking off guards from afar while the rest of the squad threw caution to the wind and flew right into the camp with no subtlety whatsoever.

Feel free to use the same maps and random tables to construct your own Firepower scenario and let me know how it goes!


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