Thursday, January 26, 2012

Operation Barras at Catawba Gamers

The day finally came for us to put on the Operation Barras game for the Catawba Gamers club. Once again we returned to Parker Banner Kent and Wayne in Cornelius North Carolina for the Catawba Gamers monthly game.

The game is loosely based on the British rescue mission in September 2000. A group of Royal Irish troops were taken hostage by the West Side Boys. The British tried negotiating the troops release but the West Side Boys threatened to kill them. The British sent in the SAS and Paratroopers to rescue the hostages.

First a disclaimer, we didn't plan a historical refight but to try and make an enjoyable game for a group of players. We played the game using the Disposable Heroes rules and their modern supplement Seek Out, Close With and Destroy. From SOCWAD we used the UK elite infantry list for the Paratroopers and the UK Special forces for the SAS troopers. The SAS team also benefited from the Delta force rule were every man in the unit fires not just half like normal units. We used the ZIPRA list from the Rhodesian War supplement Man Among Men for the West Side Boys. Last we pulled the stats for a Mi-24E from the By the Knife: Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan supplement to use for the Sierra Leone government Mi-24 piloted by security contractor Neall Ellis who provided fire support for the British.

The British ground forces, two paratrooper command teams, six fire teams and a SAS observation team.

The First group of West Side Boys.

Another group of West Side Boys

The remaining West Side Boys some support weapon and the Captured British Land Rovers.

The battlefield looking North.

The Battlefield looking West.

The forces start to deploy. One note about Rokel creek down the center of the table. The real Rokel creek is seven hundred yards wide so to model this any weapon shooting across the creek would have forty inches added to the range.

The British begin their assault in Magbeni. Fast roping in and destroying one shanty with the rotor wash for their Chinook helicopter. The one fire team jumps into the Land rover and starts it up.

The West Side Boys survivors from the collapsed building take cover in the wreckage.

The second Chinook hovers over Geberi Bana.

The rotor wash collapses another building and kills several West Side Boys sleeping inside.

The Paratroopers fast rope out and begin to search for the hostages.

The SAS team moves up to support the Paras in Geberi Bana.

Neall Ellis arrives in the Mi-24 and fires a rocket barrage into Magbeni.

After a Chinook crashes into Rokel creek after taking a SAM missile hit the West Side Boys stream from their shanties and head into the jungle.

The SAM Team in Gebri Bana fires at the surviving Chinook but fails to damage it.

The Paras start up another land rover while under fire.

A group of West Side boys man their 82mm Mortar. A side note is this it the first time my Eureka ZANLA models have seem the table. It is probably close to a record of little more than a month from purchase to painted and on the table.

After dodging missiles the surviving Chinook leaves the table.

The lone West Side Boy with a Rpg stands in the middle of the road to fire his rpg at the Paras in the Land Rover.

"When in Doubt Grenade it Out" The pars lob hand grenades into a shanty full of West Side Boys.

In Magbeni the West Side boys hug the jungle line and keep the Paras under fire.

The Mi-24 hovers over Rokel creek and sends salvos of rocket into Geberi Bana.

The West Side Boys start a land rover and brings its .50 cal. hmg into action.

The surviving West Side Boys pinned in their shanty as the paras ready another round of hand grenades.

The shanty burns after a second round of hand grenades kills the rest of the West Side Boys inside.

The Mi-24 takes a SAM missile hit and is forced down. Except he made his forced down roll and will last another round.

The Paras destroy a land rover to prevent the enemy using it.

The Paras hightail it away in their recovered land rover.

The damaged Mi-24 fires off the rest of it rockets and limps away from the battle area.

Another group of Paras leave in a second land rover.

The West Side Boys leave cover to fire on the fleeing Paras.

In Magbeni the West Side Boys stop one land rover by killing all the Para crew, while the surviving Paras make a break for the jungle.

In Geberi Bana, The Paras and SAS start a fighting retreat, while the West Side Boys still hold the hostages.

We called the game with a win for the West Side Boys. The game played quickly and I think most of the players had an enjoyable experience. The game still left me with some more ideas if we play it again.



Chris said...

Glad to hear your was a success. Next you should recreate the movie "Blood Diamond". Have the Brits try and retake a rebel held diamond mine.

Chuckaroobob said...

Hey, Blood Diamond is a great idea! As far as the game went, I think the Brits needed more troops, and fast roping directly into the villages is a tough way to go! They probably wouldn't do that again. I hope everyone had fun. C'ya, Charles

ColKillgore said...

The little I read about the operation said the British only landed half of the Paras in the first wave of helos, so maybe a second wave of equal size later in the game.

Or maybe we could see if GROM operators can do the job a little better.


Steven said...

Very impressive stuff COL Killgore! Looks like a great game as well. Looking forward to seeing more.


ColKillgore said...

Hey Steve, welcome to the party. We playtested the game twice before we ran it for the Catawba Gamers. Both of the playtests are under the Disposable Heroes tag. Everything except for a few models belongs to Chuckaroobob who was the mastermind behind the game.


Steven said...

Good to be here and it looks like the game was a great time! I think I'll be trying out the modern version soon since I already have a ton of dudes and vehicles painted.

Looking forward to seeing more!