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FMA Skirmish AAR Report: Courier Duty

From: "Thomas Barclay" <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 15:39:29 -0400
Subject: FMA Skirmish AAR Report: Courier Duty

Me (ESU Squad 2)
Ken Murphy (ESU Squad 1)
UNSOC team (Adrian Johnson)

The time:
Just shortly after the initial Human-KV contact.

The place:
An ESU outpost world.

The background situation:
The ESU has had most of the early contact with the KV. They (being
interested in tech and materials and strategic intelligence advantage)
have been very slow in coming forth to the UN with captured KV
wreckage and bodies. The UN is getting very antsy - an unknown race of
unknown capability and intention is known to be encroaching on human
space and the ESU is dragging its feet about providing sample data and
turning over captured parts and bodies for analysis by UN expert
teams. They attempt to diplomatically pressure the ESU, and this
fails. The Secretary-General then asks the UNSIA to find out all they
can. UNSIA investigation cultivates an ESU researcher in
Xenotechnology and Xenobiology who wants out. They arrange a mission
(the UNSOC provides the team and the lift capability) to extract said
scientist and some samples from one of the outlying ESU colonies where
a (they thought) secret ESU research facility exists.
Pre-game, the UNSIA inserts a team with a stealthed lander (the colony
has no ESU fleet presence in order to hide the fact it has a secret
base). The team inserts, RVs with the scientist, and extracts. The
operation however hits a snag during extraction, and two UNSIA team
members are killed. The ESU has a small (relative to the vast area of
land in the colony) force to search for the lander and the raiders,
and the raiders took out the FTL comms array system during their raid,
so no help will arrive. So the ESU commander sends all his men out,
thinly scattered, to locate the enemy force. Thus our situation.

The game:
UNSIA team composed of 6 members (two of the original 8 are dead), and
one scientist and a sample kit.
UNSIA team (deniable of course! - used Merc figures since they are
incognito and using varied kit).

Lt. - Elite 2  (AAR w GL)
SAW gunner - Elite 2 (Conv SAW)

Sgt. - Elite 1 (AAR w GL)
Medic - Vet 1 (AAR w GL)
Engineer - Vet 2 (AR and some hand grenades)
Sniper - Elite 1 (Gauss Sniper Rifle and SMG)

Scientist - Untrained-2 (10mm Pistol)

All move 10", except scientist, 8". All armour D8 (looks like normal
fatigues, but is high-tech stuff), except SAW gunner who has trauma
plate (D10). Scientist has D8 as he is wrapped in a bulky vest.
Someone has the science sample kit (docs, samples, disks). The Sgt.
and Lt. can activate other figures, and as they are all one squad,
they can activate any other figures. (This is a lot of command
initiative, but they are SF). All with GL have 10/2 rifle grenades (8"
radius, 0-2" d10 3-4" d6, etc). Eng has hand grenades (12/2 12" radius
0-2" d12 3-4" d10, etc). UNSOC force enters from SW corner of board,
no more than 12" up south or W side. They don't know where the ESU
will enter.

Full spotting rules in effect. Prone and Kneeling used, reaction fire,
Overwatch, morale rules for green or untrained, etc. Formation morale
and joint activations by leader.

Objective - to cross the board diagonally (board was 44" x 55"). The
board is Canadian Shield - lots of rock outcroppings, racks of trees
and lichen. A firing path over 10" is unlikely in most places. 1-2"
wide streams split and intertwine throughout the hilly forested
board - probably about six branches. About 35 trees on the board and 3
big bags of lichen. Rock outcroppings along water make many areas kind
of canyonlike. The lander is in NE corner of the board across the last
river gorge and over a hill. ESU can't cross into this last 9-10" in
the top corner of the board due to danger from lander weapons. So this
is "Home free" for the UNSOC teams. UNSOC should not leave prisoners.

ESU pursuers

All have D6 armour, move 8". No grenades.

Lt. - Reg 2
Riflemen - Reg 2
Rifleman - Reg 2
Rifleman - Vet 1
Rifleman - Reg 2
SAW gunner - Vet 2

Sgt - Reg 1
Riflemen - Reg 2
Rifleman - Vet 2
Rifleman - Reg 3
Rifleman - Reg 2
SAW gunner - Green 3

ESU enter from SE corner of the board, a max of 12" up the E side.

Objective - recover sample case. capture or kill scientist. Kill or
capture UNSOC members.

Turn 1:
Free move for SF. They move onto the board from the SW corner in a
N-NE direction and cross the first of the many streams, and mostly get
into cover. They don't know where the ESU will enter.

Turn 2:
ESU enters - squad 1 heads right along E margin in N direction. Trying
to get up to the NE corner to cutoff the SOF.
Squad 2 heads NW to try to get into position to fire on UN force.

Turn 3:
UN moves behind a knoll and sets up to cross second stream. Sniper
forges ahead to OW position to aim cross-board and engage ESU. Limited
spotting lanes stop his RB2 shot from having a target.
ESU Squad moves slowly up the E side of the board.
ESU Squad 2 moves further towards NW corner.

Turn 4:
UN moves sniper in wide arc towards NE corenr with brutal combat moves
to hillock across 1 thin stream from destination point. He's well away
from anyone now. He hides in a thicket and is an obvious block to the
ESU move up the side. UN sweeps other forces across board using cover
of hills and lichen/shrubs. Take up positions with a few soldiers
facing advancing ESU squad 2.
ESU squad 1 moves more cautiously forward N.
ESU squad 2 advances to NW, but streams and hills slow advance.

Turn 5:
UN Sniper engages ESU target to no real effect (poor rolls).
Other UN forces (the scientists escort) swing behind the blocking
force (the engineer and the medic I think) to the N of them heading
for NE corner.
ESU squad 1 member sees UN sniper fire, steps out from behind one of
the canyon walls and fires a burst, wounding the sniper and taking him
UN engages and kills ESU squad 2 SAW gunner.

Turn 6:
Early in the turn, UN leader fires grenade into area where the point
of ESU Squad 1 is deployed, wounding one.
This forces another to find cover. Slows the final stage of Squad 1
advance. Squad 2 pushes forward up the stream (running NS about 1' in
from E edge of the board, canyons and lichen for cover) and one member
takes up a firing position with a lane between the hill the sniper is
on (the last one before freedom) and the one the UN gaurd are on
(holding back squad 2). As Adrian pushes forward the scientist, The
ESU gunman gets a shot in RB3. Fire a burst, double suppress. No

At this point, the UN has passed squad 2 well and truly, and is trying
to hold them back with a couple of guys. Squad 1 isn't quite in
pinning position, but is close, and the UN situation is about to get
really dicey. Shortly, the ESU 1 Squad will have the final stream
ravine they must cross under heavy Overwatch.

Turn 7:
UN shooter (medic) suppresses a squad 1 figure trying to draw fire
(running from cover to cover). This means he is off Overwatch.
Meanwhile, Squad 2 pushes guys into the final gully and sets up OW.
This turn, a SAW gunner and two rifles will be OW this area. A couple
of other ESU soldiers will be watching the zone the UNSOC reargaurd
will have to traverse through to get to the last hill before their
dangerous river crossing. So the UN has troubles. They thread the
needle, and then send the engineer storming down into the face of the
ESU OW. He makes cover, and suppresses the ESU soldier with the
clearest firelanes. However, at this point, knowing the lone medic
reargaurd has already activated, the Squad 2 commander reactivates his
vet 1, who runs up climbs the 2.5 m bluff, and jumps into close
assault with the medic. A nasty two round close assault results in one
dead medic, and a vet in position to menace the back of the UN final
position.... (the UN force is now (with the exception of the engineer)
mustered behind the last hill on the playable part of the board -
right against the N board edge - preparing to cross the last stream
death ravine to the safe zone). An ESU Squad 1 officer orders a reg
rifleman to reactivate, and he climbs atop a rock formation and
obtains a 6 o'clock high position about 1.5" from the engineer - a
short autoburst later and the engineer is wounded. Now UN has three
men down. ESU at this point is down two as well.

Turn 8:
Make or break. The UN has a Sgt, a SAW gunner, and the Lt left, and
the scientist. They must get across a lethal zone of fire before the
ESU sweeps in on their rear. One action suppresses the veteran closest
to their rear. Then the SAW gunner rushes across the river. Intense OW
fire suppresses him in a bush on the other side (no wound though!).
The Lt. fires a grenade at a canyon wall opposite the ESU position (3m
away...) and the tight confines make it a death zone for the ESU
soldier using it for cover. Another attempted rush across the open
water, more suppression, the Lt. pinned in the stream.... The Sgt then
activates, fires another grenade into a further wall area, dropping
the ESU Squad 2 saw gunner that had been covering the
trough-of-death... then another sprint for the other side - more
people come off OW and engage - more suppression in the water.

Finally, it all comes down to one set of rolls. The scientist tries to
beetle across the water to safety (and, as typical for adrian, rolls a
brutally high move (on 2d10, I saw 19, 20, 18 and another 19 I
think) - in this case, a 13 or 15 when he needed about 11" to get to
safety. All that could stop him and his sample case were 2 OW ESU
troops. One from Sq 1 (a reg) and another from Sq 2 (a reg). Mine (Sq
2) decided not to fire. Ken's did. A burst. Two target engagements in
RB3. Two D8 twice against D8. Ken made two credible rolls. Adrian
rolled 6 and 8 - no effect! The scientist got to the safe zone.

PM: I think most of the UN team was hooched - the Lt and Sgt might
have gotten out of the stream, but probably not. The SAW gunner would
have made it away. They had one dead and two wounded (the ESU resolved
them as another dead, 1 wounded - so 1 prisoner for the ESU - they
think). The scientist escaped to the lander.

Sadly for the ESU, the UN policy of not leaving any wounded includes
and outgoing ortillery strike on the battle area. Quite likely, the
remaining UN wounded or pinned members would be wiped out by the
"clean up shot".

So, it came right down to the wire, due to Adrian's good play on the
SF. The ESU made all the right moves (move to block their escape,
pressure them to move, attack with aggression if circumstances
allowed) but missed both bursts they fired at the scientist, and just
couldn't "close the deal".

The UN had kind of a Pyhrric victory though as probably only 1 or 2 of
their eight team members (well, six in this battle) would have lived.
But they did "achieve the mission".

Another good FMA Skirmish. Have to say, a 4 hour game, but intense all
the way. Lots of fun!

Thomas Barclay
Software UberMensch
xwave solutions
(613) 831-2018 x 3008

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