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Subject: Morning patrol rss

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Matija Bublic
Croatia
Ivanic Grad
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After making the maps and item cards and completed miniature set for my firepower teams it was finally time to put it all to the test. Since the map is mainly depicting a rural arid terrain of Iraq and Iran with mountain region of Kurdish north with arid hot plains in the centre. I chose quick generic meeting engagement of a mercenary group on patrol with irregular mujahedin group.

It was just another patrol amongst hundreds being done every week. It was a pretty quiet week so far for team Bravo. Sporadic long range contacts, peasants firing a shot or two in their direction, so even though they had no armour or support they felt quite safe in this hilly foreign country. The mission was to regulate the area traffic and to stop local insurgents from terrorising civilian populous in their AO.

Being in country for quite a while now, their team was pretty proficient in fighting in this terrain. Half day patrols were short and mostly uneventful so they usually packed light, carrying only basic equipment. They all had HK family of rifles, precise and powerful armament when serviced regularly. Being a regular five men team they counted three assault rifles, one LMG and a silenced sniper backed by an armament of impact and fuse grenade if the need arises.

They agreed on the plan for the mission. Since two wide paths were main traffic routes to the valley, separated by hilly barren rocky terrain, they decided to cover both paths and the middle in one sweep, rally up on the fork of the paths and push back by the North path again where increased activity was reported. They decided that LMG together with a sniper would take the north path, with shooters taking the south one and a scout through the middle. Plan sounded good and sound, with intermittent radio communications in the field this way they would be in sight distance so hand signals will work well. They set up and stepped out of the armoury, made a line and started out of the door with a courteous salute and a „good luck“ from the guard. Little did they know what awaits ahead.

It was hot with a cool breeze in Kurdish makeshift camp. Looking around all they saw were war torn faces littered with scars from years of fighting for their homeland. Their tribe, one of the oldest and most respected in the region were masters of guerrilla fighting. Since the army left and mercenaries settled in, it was a lot easier to control the territory and to „convince“ other Kalifs to work in an interest of independence instead of personal interest. Sahids assault group was one of the best. They were all handpicked soldiers that were close knit and worked well together. As a fighting force they executed numerous ambushes, heists and every other guerrilla move in and out of the book respectfully. They were armed by the best guns tribe could afford, including a new RPD and barely used SVD Dragunov in the hands of a trained shooter. They always aimed for shoot and scoot tactics which mostly reflected on their gear. Armed with soviet made AKs and grenades and a hand gun here and there they where a force to be reckoned with. Light and fast they could hit hard and be gone in a second giving them an opportunity to pick their conflicts and to melt away into the monotonous golden red terrain sprinkled by thorny brush and sharp rocks throwing lazy shadows across dry tortured ancient dust that covers this old country.

Today they go out to hunt. Sahid prepared his fighters for today’s sweep. They will come in from the west towards the hills and cover both paths in. The north one with a sniper and RPD and South one with rifles, with Sahid in the middle coordinating. They were used to follow a lead and knew how to work together. That kept them alive in this holy fight till today. They always expected a contact, even more, they wished for it, for their blood boiled with rage and a wish for peaceful tribal life. They got up from their meal, put safeties off and slowly started to trek to their initial starting points.

Strike team Bravo started their trek observing the play of shadows on the dust in the distance, coupled with mirage from the heat of surrounding rocks. The middle scout pushed forward while others slowly continued patrolling mountain trails.

Sahids group was in hunting mode. Moving cautiously along the valley paths sniper raised his hand and gestured to Sahid he has contact. A brief reflection of a helmet amongst distant rocks, a faint flash of light hit snipers retina through the scope and it was enough to know that game is plentiful. Today, they hunt once again. Sahid signalled the other team and they started to move up in preparation to contact.
Sahids sniper ran up the small hill, crawled to the side and got ready to fire, while RPD man pushed forwad and prepared an ambush up the path.

Team Bravo was progressing as planned through the mountains. No contacts, spotty but mostly good radio signal. Things can’t be much better. A sniper and LMG man casually walk down the North path chatting about life back home occasionally looking around. Little did they know that three sentences later, their lives will take an unexpected turn. A shot rang through a valley alarming the birds and frightening the wildlife. LMG man instinctively kissed the ground and turned towards the shot. He turned his head to the left, seeing his specialist lying face down on the dusty path. Not realising what has happened he starts to shout his name but then noticing a pool of blood beneath his head mixing with golden dust making a brown smudge and already drying on the heat leaving our man in terror.

His aim was always true. He knew where they were. His team knew what he saw. Now was the time, Sahids sniper thought to himself tightening the grip around his SVD. Moments after, two silhouettes rise up from behind the boulders casually walking along. His muscles tighten, and then relax. His breathing is controlled and posture stable. He puts his reticule on one, then the other target, noticing an LMG in one and sniper rifle in other hands. Now is the moment of choice. He trains his crosshairs on the snipers chest and puts three clicks correction, releases a breath of air out of his lungs and gently pulls the trigger. Shot rang through the valley scarring the birds and frightening the wildlife. Mercinary sniper fell down face first. For a brief moment a splatter of blood went out of his head and then he was down. He lost sight of an LMG man but he knew he has a friend that is close by.

Him and his new RPD. He loved that weapon. Sahid always said that the strength of many rests on the strongest weapon, and he was it. He saw his sniper giving him signals for contact up front, on path, two targets, sniper and heavy weapons specialist. He pushed forward towards a small hill overlooking a trail. He hunkered down and looked around. He knew that they were close. He looked right and saw a single man walking carelessly towards Sahid. At that moment a shot rang over his head. His target rushed towards the brush only to be caught in his burst. New RPD did good.

Two mercenary riflemen on the south path heard the shot, then a burst from the north, and it all sounded soviet. They frantically started calling on the radio only to get static. One started to push north while other went around the small hill to get a better look and to envelope a source of the shots.

Sahids RPD man shot up and started running towards the middle in frenzy only to see an LGM mercenary trying to run back up the trail. Two short burst and three slugs catch their target. Chest, leg and head. LMG mercenary drops flat facing the cowards way- facing his own.

Sahid sees the situation developing and signals his riflemen to push down their lane fearing from a counter attack. He knew a sniper hit what he was shooting at. He heard three bursts and then silence meaning that his RPD man came to contact on multiple targets and resolved the situation. He also knew that mercenaries are always out with at least five men- his troops being organised similarly so he reasoned that there has to be two to four crawlers in those hills ahead lurking, waiting for revenge.

Two mercenary riflemen split and one going north stumbles near a tree only to see his commander riddled with bullets lying on the ground. He hears something to the left, goes prone and trains his rifle forward. Little did he know that danger lurks both ways. The other one came out to a small clearing and he hunkered down hearing movement nearby. He looked to the right and there out in the clearing was an enemy rifleman sighting down towards him. Without thinking, he pulls out a grenade and flings it towards the enemy. With a loud bang and a puff of smoke an impact grenade goes off as soon as it hit the ground. Moments after, silence and a last cry of a silhouette in the clearing now broken up on the ground, devoid of life.

Second mercenary riflemen, calming down after a shock, hears a loud bang behind him some distance away but almost like a reflex trains his eyes on the clearing where a burst from an RPD pinned him to the ground, effectively suppressing him. In turn he flings a grenade towards the direction of the bursts. Grenade explodes with a subdued thud followed by silence that seemed to last for ages.

Sahid immediately knew that it is zero hour. Now is the time to finish this. He came out to the path only to see enemy’s legs sticking out of the dry brush towards him. He trains his rifle and fires a burst through a grass. No more movement. No more noise. He turns to his right and what he sees is almost surreal. His remaining riflemen jumps next to the rocks, turns and twists frantically with almost inhuman speed. Second later a loud thud followed by a trail of smoke behind a small hill. He stayed there starring, trying to comprehend what has just happened.

He knew what had to be done. Grenades he hated more than anything else in the arsenal, and like it was not enough for him to see his friend blown to pieces just few feet from him, he had to joggle now one like a clown! What had actually happened he will realise only moments later, when everything is silent and dead. Sahids rifleman carefully slithered towards the end of the shoulder coming closer to a red pile of flesh that moments ago was his close friend. He looks at the red glimmering liquid flowing down on the ground, and then he looks in front of him. A puff of dust and a dry thud. A grenade in front of his face. Without thinking he picks it up and flings it back over the end of the shoulder. Bang and then silence. A moment passes... Then two. He raises his head slowly over the shoulder. No more threat, just another motionless body.

Mercenary rifleman knew it. This was it. One grenade and one enemy down. Everything around him seemed to stop for a moment. It didn’t matter if behind that hill lay one or hundred soldiers. After what his grenade did to their man, no one in their right mind would poke their head out again. But then again, these are not normal warriors. Finishing that thought he squeezed his rifle even more and readied his last grenade. He was out of impact grenades but fuse ones are as just as deadly, he thought to himself. With shots fired pretty close by he caught a glimpse of a helmet. He threw his last grenade and ducked down counting in his mind- one Mississippi, two Mississippi... Next second a rock like thing hit his helmet. Five Mississippi... BANG...

Sahid takes a breath. Victory at last, no more enemy. They scavenge useful equipment, their dead buddy and trail back to their camp to fight another day for their cause.
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Darren Breidigan
United States
Cleveland
Tennessee
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Great report!

Could you post pictures of the maps?
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Matija Bublic
Croatia
Ivanic Grad
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Hi!
Thank you!
I uploaded all six plates to the bgg firepower files. They need to aproove last four uploads so they should be up on Monday
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Aly D
Scotland
Edinburgh
EH17 8LA. Scotland
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Well written report, I have the game but finding it difficult to understand. Would you ever consider doing a you tube video with a 'how to play' approach?

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Matija Bublic
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Ivanic Grad
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Hi!
Warning!! Wall of txt!!
Summary:
Text of a session would be too big to explain mechanics behind it. If Firepower gives you a headache in a txt below I give you advice on how to "ease" into the game.


Thank you. I'm sorry for the difficulty you had following, and I understand since I tend to write session reports how they happen in my head. I don't like to bog myself down into rules when writing because I believe that rules are a background mechanic that helps to make a story, a concept which is interwoven into every board game IMHO.

I thought of doing another report with rules and explanations implemented but it would make a such a long text that I gave up, because FIREPOWER is a complex and through system. I've been fiddling with Firepower for almost ten years now an even now I find things in a rule book I misread or misinterpreted.

What I can do is tell you how I pushed through Firepower rules(because let's face it, you NEED to push your way through Firepower rules (advanced and optional at least)). My first games where 3 on 3 skirmish with myself. Two regular G.I.s, and a commander on one side, and same for the other. I put rules next to me, opened up a first board I saw, put soldiers on opposite sides and pulled out a chit. Then the question came: what do you want to do. As I chose actions for my soldiers I looked up rules for each (unofficial Index of terms for Firepower comes in REALLY handy for this) and after a while you get used to basic mechanics. From that point on its just about you. What do you want to do with Firepower? How do you want to play it? What do YOU want to create. I sometimes played 15 min skirmish of bunch of units for fun, or at other times full out scenarios playing weeks at a time (hour here, hour there )

Important for me is consistency. Playing it at least once a month, even if its a small meaningless skirmish helps a lot when remembering rules 'n stuff.
Second consistency is the rules. No matter if its an official rule or a house rule. If it works, stick to it. I don't know how are you with your board games but when I play with my possy we play hard official rules, but when Im alone I like to get loose with rules. I generally kick out custom heights unless really important to scenario and use simple consistent logic to get my LOS answers and such. Because I play alone I alone dictate what and how I use it. There is a danger of distorting the official game structure in your head, but I don't have a problem with switching.
That said it depends how you play. Do you like lots of Armour, big battles, or short infantry skirmish situations. Maybe a special mission or a rescue. A story is what you make it, and FIREPOWER will provide a structure to put it together. You can Make it as detailed as you want, again firepower ranges from simulation of film scene to datailed to the bone confrontation.
And to end, if you like K-9 units, wait a month or so until it hits a beta stage and you will be able to implement them into your firepower
gamse!! YAY!!

EDIT: typos
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