Sunday, 11 December 2011

1973: The Cold War goes Hot- Spetznaz raid on Suda Bay Aircraft fuel facilities

Somewhere in the Mediterranean: 1900hrs, There was the most glorious sunset. As the grey ships cut through the wine dark sea they were bathed in red, orange and purple. Mariners from Russia and America alike looked to the West and wondered if this was an omen, would they ever see such a sight again?

Deep in the bowels of the converted fish factory ship Pechenga, members of Naval Spetznaz teams look at a satellite photo of Suda bay.

"Comarades, we have our orders, an Mi-8 helicopter from the fleet will fly us out from under the cover of darkness at 4.55am tonight. Our target will be the aircraft fuel facilities at Suda bay, every member of our team will be given demolition charges and naval fuses."
"One team will be deployed from the East while two more will infiltrate from the West. Our Helo will provide us with some intelligence on American troop movements in the area and extract our team when necessary. The crew chiefs on the DsHK's will be able to provide us with some air support."
"Our intelligence indicates that the facilities will only be lightly guarded by a USAF security team."
"The best of luck to you all comrades, this is not supposed to be a suicide mission, take out as many targets as you can, but make sure you exfiltrate the area if things get too hot. The naval air fleet also plan to launch an airstrike at Suda Bay tonight, so make sure you are out of there before the bombs fall."

The rules used were Force on Force. The troop organization of the Spetznaz team is taken from page 39 of the "Cold War Gone Hot" book.

Initiative level: D10
Confidence level: High
No Body Armour
Troop Quality/ Morale: D10/ D10

Each Spetznaz team comprises of:
1x Team Leader w/ AK-47
5x Riflemen w/ AK-47's
1x Rifleman w/ AK-47/ BG-15 UGL(Grenade Launcher)
1x Trooper w/ RPG-18
1x Trooper w/ RPK-74

The troop organization for the USAF security team is taken from page 43 of "Ambush Valley".

Initiative level: D8
Confidence level: Confident
Body Armour
Troop Quality/ Morale D8/ D10

Each squad comprised of 2 fireteams of: 

1x NCO w/ M16
3x Riflemen w/ M16
1 GMPG Operator w/ M60.

*NB* As the gamemaster/ umpire was worried that it would be a walk-over for the Spetznaz teams, he treated the US troops as all wearing body armour instead of Flak jackets. This certainly made things tougher for the Russian player.

Special Rules for the scenario:

Crossing the wire: Any troops crossing the wire surrounding the base must pass an individual troop quality check, if they fail, these troops are assumed to be hung-up on the wire for a turn.

Wiring the explosives: One member of the Spetznaz team must not move or shoot for a turn to wire the charges on the fuel tanks. (We decided the Spetznaz teams are unable to wire explosives if they are caught in crossfire.)

Detonating the explosives: To detonate the explosives, the Spetznaz teams must be 2 inches away from the tanks and anything but a 1 must be rolled on a D6. A Spetznaz team must go back to the charges and inspect what has happened to the charges: 1-3: A fuse has fallen out, it's a simple fix. 4-6: What have you done?! The charges must be completely rewired.

Fog of War/ Scenario cards: Our gamemaster/ umpire, Peter, also make a special set of 12 Fog of War cards for each side. They can be found [To be posted later.]

Spetznaz teams Alpha and Beta are deployed to the west of the base as a larger number of oil tanks were on that side. Spetznaz team Alpha and Beta moved through the wire, with 2 and 3 troopers lagging behind each  for each respective squad, on the east side of the base, a disorientated Helo pilot unused to flying using Night Vision goggles drop off Spetznaz team Charlie  in the wrong location. [They wouldn't arrive at the starting line until turn 2.]

One of the scouts thought he heard rustling inside the base, but the aggressive squad leader urges the team forwards, pushing team beta right into the path of a waiting and alert USAF element and their M60 machine gun. One trooper armed with the UGL is seriously wounded, but the Spetznaz team pushes forward. Spetznaz team Alpha, taking advantage of the chaos and distraction provided by team beta move towards their objectives and plant their explosive charges.

Team beta, coming under heavy fire, return fire of their own, silencing the M60 and pushing forward.

Outside the gate, a military police team of 4 soldiers in a jeep mounted with a .30 cal machine gun are doing a routine patrol, they drive quickly towards the gunfire.

Moving towards the nearest oil tank and prepared to plant their charges. The MP's jeep lay down machine gun fire to pin the Spetznaz team behind the oil tank, to make matters worse, the downed USAF element, thankful that they were chosen for the trial in the latest versions of US military body armour also prepared to return fire, trapping the Spetznaz team in a deadly crossfire.

To the east, the lost squad finally arrives, but more than half the squad get hung up on the wire for another turn.

Spetznaz team beta once again fires on the USAF element, while the Spetznaz squad leader fires an accurate shot to bring down one of the MP's.

Hearing the distress of beta team on the radio [It was purely from the luck of the draw of the Fog of War cards], the Helo makes a pass with it's side mounted DsHK. Knocking out the engine and machine gun on the MP's jeep and wounding the gunner.

Spetznaz team Charlie comes under fire from an officer and his batman who were resting in the guardhouse. The unfortunate batman would be hit and wounded 3 or 4 times over the course of the game. The officer will escape this engagement without a scratch. They return fire with the RPG, before an M60 fires from the pillbox, pushing the squad back behind the berm.

While beta team remain pinned from the tenacious security element, alpha team finish planting the first set of charges and move up to a new position and detonated the charges once the remaining members of Charlie team moved away from the rigged oil tank. Two members of Alpha team are stranded with Charlie team as they were separated from the rest of their squad by a lake of burning jet fuel.
Team Charlie and Beta, with casualties mounting, remain pinned down and in a fire fight with the USAF security teams, Team Alpha managed to move on relatively unharassed, planting charges on three more targets.

Three members of Spetznaz team Charlie had split off from their main squad to plant charges on one of their target oil tanks, the combination of good accurate fire from the second M60 killing 2 or the 3 members of the breakaway group and the arrival of a second USAF security detail allowed the US forces to capture a wounded member of the Spetznaz team. Fire from this new USAF security flight pushed back Spetznaz team Charlie and preventing them from rescuing their fellow team member.

Enfilading fire prevented team alpha from planting one of their charges, they decided to abandon the final target, avoiding a bloody fire fight and moved on to other undefended targets to the east. A faulty fuse meant one of the charges failed to detonate and hindered the progress of team alpha.

The helo made another pass at the well defended American position, but failed to take any targets.

The arrival of more Americans in the form of a second jeep and MP team and warnings over the radio of inbound Soviet fast movers meant the Soviets were losing the initiative and needed to depart the area as soon as possible.

Beta team, who had suffered heavy casualties and were down to 5 men and surrounded by burning fuel tanks, had only one avenue of escape. The squad sergeant ordered his men to fix bayonets and they made a final and desperate close assault charge at an American position, the Soviets succeeded in the melee, taking no casualties and capturing one American soldier to take back to the fleet. They came under further fire from the Americans, but were able to destroy one of the fuel tanks and escape with their prisoner.

Teams Alpha and Charlie met up to plant the final charges, but not before coming under fire from the Mi-8 as a confused crew chief [Again, a Fog of War card] open fired on the huddled Spetznaz.

With two troopers from the Spetznaz teams seriously wounded, they fled the area coming under heavy fire from the arriving MP's and detonated the final charges.

The final damage to the Spetznaz teams were 3 KIA, 5 seriously wounded and 1 captured. Over two-thirds of the Suda bay fuel facilities were destroyed and a member of the USAF security flight has been captured and will be interrogated by our comrades at the KGB. Out of the 3 squadrons flying out of Suda bay, there are only facilities available to refuel one squadron after their first strike.  

The game was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and the game was tense and exciting from start to finish.
The fuel tanks were spray can lids, the containers were 15mm and from Highlander games. The Soviets were painted by Piers Brand and the Americans were from Britannia's Vietnam range. 

Monday, 5 December 2011

October 1973: The Cold War Goes Hot! Defcon 3 and Rising!

On the morning of October 24 1973 Israeli troops reached Suez City on the West Bank of the Suez Canal, cutting off the Egyptian 3rd Army. President Sadat requested that U.S. and Soviet troops  be sent to enforce a cease fire. Secretary Brezhnev wrote to President Nixon accusing the Israelis deliberately violating the understanding reached by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. and supported Sadat’s proposal for  joint cease fire enforcement, but added: “Let me be quite blunt. In the event that the U.S. rejects this proposal, we should have to consider unilateral actions of our own.”

In the absence of the President who was spiralling down into his Watergate debacle and possibly drunk, Secretary of State Kissinger chaired a NSC meeting that raised the American Defence posture to DEFCON 3 for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, and for the last time in the Cold War.

Both sides reinforced their fleets in the Western Mediterranean, including their amphibious forces. With two carrier battle groups in place and a third arriving, the Americans had a powerful air weapon, on the other hand the Soviets were well ahead in missile technology. The Americans had much better submarines, the Russians had many more of them. It was by no means a one-sided contest and the Chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas Moorer concluded that: “we could lose our ass in the eastern Med under these circumstances.”

America’s NATO allies were not playing in this game. American Secretary of Defense Schlesinger considered Ted Heath’s Conservative British Government to be “quasi-Gaullist”, and, of course, the French were Gaullist:

A brilliant documentary by Radio 4's Mike Thomson here.

“DEFCON 3 and Rising” assumes that the Middle-East War continues, and the DEFCON continues to rise, until a non-nuclear war breaks out in the eastern Med as both sides move to support their clients.

The game will be over 3 stages and played over the course of December and January.
A large chunk of the game will be naval and will use rules designed by a member at our club who also made a nice conversion for Crossfire in the Indo-China war which can be found here: and a clever and simple set of Napoleonic rules.

We are still in a pre-war state, with American and Soviet forces jockeying for position in the Med readying their forces for a first strike. Which has taken place over the last month or so.

For tactical/ company level games, we will be using Force on Force by Ambush Alley Games.

Force on Force Scenario: Spetsnaz Raid
Without compromising Operational security, Soviet Naval Spetsnaz have been placed on operational alert, with night time conditions perfect for a raid on American facilities. Before them are a large number of  targets to choose from: 
  1. An American radar station in Crete, which is able to monitor any Soviet aircraft coming in from Bulgaria into the Med. 
  2. The main US naval base at Suda Bay with its complement of F4 Phantoms and P3 Orion aircraft offer a wide range of targets: Aircraft, Ammunition and Fuel Facilities. 
  3. SIGINT EP3 Aries and Skywarriors are deployed at Naval Station Rota and stand as a likely arrival route for any American and NATO reinforcements coming into the Mediterranean theatre. 

An AAR will follow after the game on Saturday.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Cold War Gone Hot: Starting World War 3...

I've always found Wargaming to be the perfect excuse and outlet for my creative writing, unlike short stories and novels however, I can happily type up a few quick scenarios and let my friends and I come up with an ending.

The RPG enthusiast in me also prefers there to be a story behind the game, I find being part of a grand campaign and having other factors at stake brings something more to the games. These are the two main reasons I started this blog.

I've been looking to start a Cold War Gone Hot game since I read Tom Clancy & Larry Bond's Red Storm Rising. It's a perfect excuse to build, paint and game with the military hardware I had on my wall as a child. A chance to have F-14's from Top Gun engage in dogfights with beautifully designed Su-Flankers and Mig-29's. Having mysterious Black-Ops and Special Forces 'Lase' targets for unseen F-117 Stealth Fighters & B-2 Bombers. As Bradleys & Abrams seen so clearly from the Gulf-War and the BAOR's wonderfully camoflagued Chieftain and Scorpian tanks engage in battle with the rugged T-72, ERA-clad T-80's and BMP's and BTR's.

It would be lots of fun enough to just build, paint and game with the toys once the 'Cold War Gone Hot' scenario book has been released by Ambush Alley games, but better still would be my own unique campaign setting and story that can be recorded on my blog. A grand campaign played on many scales, incorporating Modern Naval Rules designed by my friend, Company level engagements using Force on Force and Crossfire, Dogfighting rules and Brigade sized engagements and Spy-fi games for CIA & KGB agents to conduct their war in the shadows.

The only thing missing for me, is the perfect, historical excuse to start World War 3 and allow the conflict to simmer without anyside taking the Nuclear/ MAD option. This I have decided to keep deliberately vague, along with the year in which this takes place. However, the early 80's will make the most sense.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Gangland boss murdered in hail of machine gun fire during botched escape attempt.

The game was played using 'Geezers Shut It!' rules by Killer B Games, the majority of the miniatures were made by Killer B Games, the blaggers armed with 'SMG's' were from The Assault Group and the figure straight out of a Blaxploitation film was from Reaper's Chronoscope range. The buildings were homemade by another member of our gaming club. The two terrain posters with the roads were from the OOP 'Gangs of Mega City One' game. 


The East London Evening Gazette

Members of the Flying Squad and the Metropolitan Police armed response officers were out in force today as they foiled an armed robbery at Canning Town Post Office and an escape attempt in the Docklands by gangland mastermind, Peter 'Mister' Slugworth, who, along with one other member of his gang, was killed in the crossfire. Another member of the gang is in critical condition.

The Canning Town Post Office Robbery 
The armed robbery took place at approximately 10am today as four men armed with shotguns and pistols burst into the Canning Town Post Office and assaulted two members of staff before making off with £450.

DCI Burnett and DI Haley of the Flying Squad and two members of the D11 armed response unit were diverted from the convoy, escorting Peter 'Mister' Slugworth from the Bow County Court holding cells to Wandsworth prison, to assist the officers responding to the 999 call.

Local witnesses saw the armed men wave their weapons menacingly at the approaching constables as they made their way down Cray Avenue towards the carpark opposite the Canning Town Parish Church. Their escape route was blocked as the CID and armed officers arrived on the scene.

One of the masked suspects jumped across the wall and fled into the church. The police are still looking for this man and are appealing for witnesses and information.

Two other suspects surrendered after they failed to flee the scene. The remaining suspect ignored calls by the police to drop his weapons and surrender and despite, like the other members of the gang, not firing a single shot during the entire incident, was deemed 'a menace to public safety' and shot in the leg by DI Haley. 

A MK. 1 Jag was impounded at the scene, as it was thought to be the gang's get away vehicle. An irrate member of the local borough council was seen confronting the police and making loud  and angry complaints over the decision. 

DCI Burnnett praised the officers who responded calmly and professionally to the 999 call and promised his department and fellow CID officers would do 'everything in their power to bring every armed blagger in the Greater London area to justice'. However, his interview was cut short as calls emerged over the radios that the 'Slugworth' convoy was under attack.

The ambush on the Slugworth convoy 
As reported yesterday, Judge Docherty of Bow County Court convicted the 60 year old Peter 'Mister' Slugworth for 6 brutal gangland murders as well as charges for conspiracy to murder, kidnapping, blackmail and the planning of over a dozen armed robberies in the Greater London area. Peter Slugworth was to be transported from the Bow County Court holding cells to begin his life sentence in Wandsworth prison.

(Yes, I need more female civvie figures!)
With the Flying Squad found themselves undermanned, as a part of their team were called to the Canning Town robbery, they were left with 2 armed constables and 4 members of CID to escort the van through the Docklands. DI Regan decided to forego the slower, but heavily armoured prison van for a standard police mini van, which would be faster and more maneuverable.
The nerves of the officers showed when a young woman, a Doris Stephenson, on her way to work in a Ford Fiesta, tried to cut into the convoy, causing its alert occupants, two members of the Flying Squad to jump out of their cars with guns drawn, ordering her out of the car. A very shaken Miss Stephenson was allowed to go about her business, following a stern talking to about road safety and rules of the road concerning right of way.

Shortly thereafter, the front and rear vehicles of the police convoy were rammed by a Volkswagen camper van and a speeding Mark I. Jaguar. Its occupants, burst out of the vehicles armed with machine guns and hand grenades straight out of The Dirty Dozen.

DS Carter and DC Trent fired at the occupants of the Jaguar as their Ford Capri was peppered with shots from the machine gun. In the brief gunbattle that ensued, one of the villains was shot and killed by the police, both DS Carter and DC Trent were wounded in the process. An emotional DI Regan would later report that DS Carter is in a stable but critical condition.

At the front of the convoy, quick thinking by DI Regan and skilled driving by the police driver, allowed the mini van in the middle of the ambushed convoy holding Peter Slugworth to drive into the backalley of a nearby housing estate, two of the criminals pursued the mini on foot and shot into the back of the mini van's tires hoping to stop or slow down the vehicle. Unfortunately, the bullets would go through the backdoors of the vehicle, riddling the unfortunate Mr. Slugworth in a hail of bullets.

The criminals reversed their camper van hoping to catch the van carrying Mr. Slugworth before it could reach the exit. The lead Panda car regained control and rammed itself into the criminals shooting at the escaping vehicle. One of the criminals, a Carlos Owengo was bad injured as the police car crushed him against a wall. The mini van was able to make its escape.

A red mini, thought to be stolen from the University College London carparks from a week ago, was spotted picking up one of the criminals behind the Jaguar, while the others fled the scene in the camper van following their unsuccessful raid.

An angry DI Regan swore he would bring the men responsible for today to justice and made stinging comments against the current government and its cutbacks into police funding, "leaving only a few coppers on the street with inadequate equipment.". A source from the Metropolitan Police confirmed that Krugerrand was recovered at the scene and the body of the criminal shot and killed by DS Carterm was a former member of the British South Africa Police. There are rumours that a mysterious Home Office department, known only as CI5 have picked up the investigation.

(Yes, there will be a follow-up game to this! With Doyle and Bodie supported by an angry Jack Regan out for revenge!)

More photos can be found at:

The Courts
The Mercenaries in the second game were either killed or made their escape from the scene.
Out of the 4 Post Office blaggers:

One of the villains, Kieran Whitley made his escape.

David Smedley, despite being shot after refusing to surrender and carrying an unlicensed sawn-off shotgun, was bailed by his bent lawyer (Mr. Haley?) and given a perfect Alibi, his lawyers are currently assisting him in suing the Metropolitan Police for damages. And for safe measure, the jury was nobbled during his trial.

Norry Fletcher gives a confession to the police, but is let off by a legal technicality.

Mark Fleming doesn't give anything up during his confession and is released by a nobbled jury. 

Monday, 18 July 2011

AAR for Geezers! Shut It! (With colour photos!)

The rules

Having bought the rules and miniatures for a little over a year, I finally got off my fat 'arris and got all the miniatures painted and ready for a game!

All the photos from the game can be found here:

We played 2 games of the Matrolls Factory wages snatch: (We couldn't figure out when the police should arrive, but reading the Police intelligence report, we had the police should arrive on the table the same turn the villains went for the money. (This made for a very difficult game for the villains).

Two armed villains in ambush.


DCI Seib spoke to journalists today outside the Bedfordshire County Court as three suspected members of an armed robbery walked free from court today on grounds of insufficient and circumstantial evidence, while in one case, the judge was extremely critical of the police and the procedures followed by officers of the ‘Heavy Mob’.

A livid DCI Seib made accusations of the juries of theh cases being bribed and vowed he would eventually bring the men to justice.
The men were arrested following a fierce gun that battle erupted in the industrial district of Bedford several months ago. Members of the Bedfordshire Flying Squad foiled an attempted armed robbery at the wages office of the Matrolls Components Factory at the corner of Waterman Road and Cowley Way. £6,000 were recovered at the scene.

Sharon Bristols, wages clerk at the Matrolls office said, “It all happened very quickly, a few seconds after the security guards dropped off the day’s wages, these two men wearing balaclavas, carrying pick axe handles and shotguns burst into our office shouting at us to keep our heads down and to hand over the money. Our security manager, called the police, they arrived almost instantly, like they were waiting just round the corner. I heard a lot of shouting and shooting outside. And a man with a moustache and long blonde hair ran into the building. When this happened, they all started to turn on each other, swearing and accusing each other of being ‘snitches’.”

It's the Rozzers!
Two robbers were shot, one, ‘Mad’ Harry Hunt was killed by his own gang during this confrontation, while another was shot and wounded by the security manager and his old service revolver from the war. One man is thought to have made his escape during the confusion, while witnesses confirmed a Jaguar sped away from the scene shortly after the criminals surrendered.

The robbers briefly took the three office workers hostage, but decided to flee from the scene as the police closed in. During their escape, DS Fletcher shot a fleeing suspect in the leg and forced the other men to surrender.


The Security Van is ambushed.

DCI Hunt spoke to journalists today outside the Bedfordshire County Court as four members of the Matrolls armoured car robbery were convicted to 10 to 15 years today. The evidence collected by the members of the Bedfordshire Flying Squad ensured swift convictions for all four members of the gang.

A beaming DCI Hunt declared, “Me and my lads will do all we can to ensure that every little toerag with aspirations to be the next Ronny Biggs will find themselves eating hard porridge, courtesy of her majesty’s government.”

The men were arrested following a Flying Squad ambush in the industrial district of Bedford several months ago. Members of the Bedfordshire Flying Squad foiled an attempted hijack of a Securicor van outside at the corner of
Waterman Road

Cowley Way
. The van was thought to be carrying an estimated £6,000 for the Matrolls factory’s daily wages.

Brenda, barmaid at the Owl and Parrot said, “I was cleaning up after the regulars had finished their lunch when I heard a lot of shouting outside, men with stockings over their head and in masks shot at this van and then a load of blokes carrying pick axe handles ran up to the van and pulled one of the security guards out, the police were there very quickly, like they were expecting them.”

The suspected leader of the gang, one, ‘Mad’ Harry Li was killed by his own gang during this confrontation, most of the gang quickly surrendered once the police arrived, except for ‘Soft’ Eddie Rawlins who attempted to hijack the van and make his escape with the money. Unfortunately, he didn’t expect the van to be driven by retired prize fighter Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Widdle. Who knocked out the unsuspecting villain with one punch.

The police are still after one man, thought to be Arthur ‘Wheels’ Smedley who made his escape in the gang's getaway vehicle during the confusion.
A fantastic afternoon was had by all, the rules played out extremely well and apart from getting everything painted up, we're now ready for our big game in August.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Gamecraft miniatures: 20% of sale to go to disaster relief

I'm sure everyone has seen the devastation of the massive Earthquake and Tsunami that has hit the Eastern coast of Japan this past week. 

For those of you who don't get the Gamecraft newsletter, Allen is donating 20% all his sales of the next few days to aid relief efforts which is a great and noble cause. 


So if anybody needs to buy any lovely 15mm, 20mm, 1/285 buildings and scenery. Please go to Gamecraft ( and BUY something!

UPDATE: After placing my order, Allen at Gamecraft miniatures sent me a copy of Missionfish confirming his donation, so it's all legit!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Building and painting the Lumbago project and story.

The arse end of 2010 and dawn of 2011 has been a hectic few months.
Lots of personal stuff, moving flats and all the packing and unpacking that goes with it along with lectures, studying and an extra busy work schedule has meant my gaming and this blog has suffered some serious neglect.

With the work thing finally wrapping up and a glimmer of hope that I might be getting my personal life and gaming back on track, the adventures of our members of the International Lumbago Peacekeeping Force will continue.

First up will be Lieutenant Holdem's USMC Platoon (20mm by Elheim figures), with two 13 men squads undercoated and ready to be painted using Piers' excellent painting guide which can be found here on the Ambush Alley Games Forums!

Beyond that, we have a large number of foreign fighters, insurgents and local militia (by Caesar Miniatures) also to be painted.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Some Sad News...

Dave Howitt of Britania Miniatures sadly passed away after a heart attack over the weekend.

My condolences to his family, for those of you fortunate enough to have known him or spoken to him, his passion for the hobby and energy as well as his craftsmanship will be sadly missed in our hobby community.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Happy New Year!

The blog's been neglected for a while, largely due to being busy with work and moving flats.
I just noticed today that I have followers on this blog, so thought I'd say thanks for joining and hopefully there'll be more scenarios and games coming this year!