Christopher O
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Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
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It's been too long since I've been able to get Warfighter on the table, and faced with 45 minutes to kill while I waited for some other players to finish their game of Churchill, I set up "Knighthood", a short scenario from the scenario book included with the Footlocker expansion #9 from Wave 2 of the Warfighter expansions.

The mission brief in "Knighthood" indicates that a high ranking British general has been captured during peace talks and the special forces team must rescue him.

The Mission card is Short Patrol (I think? I can't remember and I don't have the scenario book in front of me - the mission with the objective on location #4 and 36 resources to spend, as well as a recon option) and the objective is Hostage Rescue. You are up against Middle Eastern insurgents.

You are restricted to using British soldiers and equipment and you must also spend one action per turn to assist the wounded general (although, thematically, I had a bit of trouble figuring out how that was supposed to work - see this rules question in the rules forum).

As compensation, all soldiers start with 2 XP, which was pretty critical, as it turned out.

I selected my soldiers (can't remember their names at the moment, a 9 point player UK soldier, a 6 (?) point player UK soldier and a 5 point squad soldier). One soldier I equipped as a close assaulter with the L22A2 carbine, two grenades, kneedpads and a breaching charge. The other I intended as longer ranged support, with an L85/UGL. Between the two player soldiers, I had spent 31 points, so I bought the 5 point squad soldier (4 movement, natch!) as close assault support (*COUGH*cannonfodder/extra-actions*COUGH*). No extra ammo, no fancy sights, no MICH helmets (though they were sorely wanted!) - just the individual long arms and some guts behind them.

You get to recon the first location on this mission, so I skimmed through the ME locations. I noticed the new "Hidden Cache" location, but that seemed like a (legal) exploit to select it as my first location, so I took "Shortcut" instead. With the very limited resources I had, I picked Shortcut because it had a reinforce level of "none" and only a few hostile points (3?) for a 36 RP mission. The extra turn would probably not be necessary, but it's always good to have a time buffer.

With equipment selected and the first location in hand, I was ready to go.

My initial card draw was decent, so I played "Shortcut" immediately, spending the XP for it right away. My draw was fanatic, insurgents (the four target one - I think - going from memory here - whatever it was, it was a large group of hostiles) and a heavy machine gunner.

The fanatic was dangerous but distant, and the machine gun was going to be dangerous. I had my UGL-equipped soldier bloop the insurgents group (two kills and a couple of suppressions, which removed the entry cost penalties) with some 40mm love and I used the Flanking action card to get the squad soldier onto the card and attack. He suppressed the MG with his single action and attacked again, missing. I also moved my carbine-equipped player soldier onto the card and attacked, killing the fanatic with an automatic burst. Playing this location also allowed me to set the timer back one turn.

I used the final remaining action of the UGL player soldier to satisfy the "help the general along" requirement of the scenario, though that immediately made me wonder why, since I thought we were going to rescue him (read more on that topic in the thread referenced above).

Everyone was suppressed or dead at this point, so no return fire from the insurgents.

Second turn, I used a grenade from the assaulter player soldier to finish off the insurgent survivors, and attacked the MG with the other action. With a lucky shot he went down. The shortcut was clear. I spent a action for the general and moved up my UGL-equipped trooper.

Third turn I spent cycling cards with discard and draw actions to get my team ready to tackle the next location. I drew a location placeholder card and picked the top card off the shuffled location deck: "Hidden Cache". Well, I guess I shouldn't look a gift-horse in the mouth. I could afford the prep time because I was sitting on a no reinforcement location.

With everything prepped and good cards in my hand, I played the "Hidden Cache" location card (it was helpful to have gotten the XPs from the heavy machine gun!). Fourth turn had begun.

The hostile draw was a Technical. Yikes. Well, at least it satisfied the hostile points with a single target.

I had my assaulter dash in and chuck his only remaining grenade (he wouldn't be able to use it on the objective card, and there were no other targets pending). Unfortunately it was only a single suppression result. I also played Point Man (upgunned) to make it easier for the UGL-soldier to follow. The squad soldier followed as well, and managed another suppression on the other reticle on the Technical.

I can't remember what I spent the UGL's soldier other action on, but I used one to "help the General". (Sounds like a euphemism, doesn't it?). I might have shot the technical with the UGL - I can't remember. Again, the tehcnical was suppressed, so no return fire.

Fifth turn, my two soldiers on the card finished off the Technical. With the card secured, I decided I could now access the cache (see this other thread for questions about how the Hidden Cache location works) and pulled a flashbang and some red dot sights for the team. I cycled cards with discard and draw actions and prepped for attacking the mission objective, remembering again to spend an action to help the General.

With good cards in hand on the sixth turn, I activated the objective. A leader, a machine gunner, another fanatic and a group of insurgents showed up.

I played Combined Fire [upgunned] to get the +2 kill roll bonus and attacked. I expended the breaching charge to reduce the entrance cost of the objective and used advance plus card discards to get my assaulter player soldier onto the card. He quickly attacked and killed the leader using prepared fire (in combination with Combined Fire, quite deadly) and tried to suppress some of the insurgent group. The UGL soldier plinked away from range, but failed to suppress or kill the MG. The squad soldier also got onto the card and killed the fanatic targeting him.

Return fire was light and unsuccessful, resulting in a single wound on the UGL soldier.

On the seventh turn of play, I had the assaulter flashbang the insurgent group. With all break cover rolls automatically 6, the squad soldier killed off another insurgent and the carbine-armed player soldier finished off the last, taking away the entrance cost penalties. The UGL soldier took advantage to move up with discards (the entrance cost of the card had previously been reduced by the breaching charge), then played snap fire to allow him to kill off the machine gunner (the red-dot sight found in the cache made the difference!). I used the final action to satisfy the aid the general requirement, and the day was ours!

I had killed all hostiles on the card and had soldiers present on the objective (indeed, the entire team), so... victory!

A combination of good rolling, lucky location draws and experience with the game helped me to win this scenario with a single wound to show for it and three turns to spare (although the mission is 9 turns long, I gained one with the shortcut). A little bit of a cakewalk to earn a knighthood, (or were we rescuing a knight? I'm not sure), but given how terribly wrong some Warfighter scenarios can go with bad rolls and draws, it was a fun and refreshing change.

I had finished the scenario in 45 minutes, just as the other group finished up, demonstrating once again that Warfighter can be as quick and light or as long and gruelling as you need it to be.

Love the expansion and loved to play with UK kit. Now, if we can get some Canucks in there, we'll be good to go!

[note: I know it's annoying to not use the proper soldier names in this AAR, so I'll add them when I get home tonight and look them up]
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