It's all a bit grim in the country
I've always been of the opinion that the rural idyll is a bit like thrilling to the fortunes of an association football team, a very fine thing no doubt - but not really my bag.
However, proving that anything is possible, Savage and I packed our bags and set out for a trip to the country. After the assassination of Foyski, local reprisals were swift and merciless. The Soviets rely on local commanders and civil servants to see to the day to day running of the Second Commonwealth. These folk, viewed as traitors by the Resistance, ensure the buses run on time and that the children get to school. Alistair McGallimaufry, a senior figure in the Loamshire local government and intimately familiar with Soviet operations has been kidnapped. He is being held at a small farmhouse in sleepy rural Loamshire and is being interrogated by the Resistance. Fortunately, a double agent in the Loamshire resistance organisation has leaked information to the Soviets and help is on the way.
Savage sets his sentries out
This was an extraction mission played on the compound board. I played as the dastardly Soviets and Savage took up the cudgels for the plucky Resistance. My job was to get in and rescue McGallimaufry while he still had some finger nails left. As the attacker, I had the choice of hitting the site either at night or during daylight.
I opted to attack at night and took a small, high quality force of four spetznatz troopers equipped with night vision and silenced pistols. These were led by buccaneering, cigar chomping Kapitan Gowovitch, a ruthless Muscovite, whose ancestors left their native Scotland to serve the Tsar.
Note: During the last game, I used black and white pictures to represent night fighting. Did you think that added to your reading of the report or do you prefer this more traditional approach?
One team of three at the front, one GPMG team at the rear
Savage set up his guards in two groups clustering them together so that I wouldn't be able to pick them off. He used a conscript list, so we presumed that his fighters were made up of demobbed lads from the 2nd Battalion (Territorial) of the Loamshires, reservists who didn't make it to the colours in time to do their bit in Central Europe and who were keen to give Johnny Ivan a damn good kicking now that he was firmly ensconced on their native heath.
Soviet Spetkatz conducts preliminary reconaissance
In the early hours of the morning, the Trev and Dave fingered their SLRs nervously and stamped their feet against the chill. The thrum of a distant helicopter set their pulses racing, but soon faded. They tried not to listen too closely to the sounds coming from the out buildings where the prisoner was being interrogated.
Looking at the board, I reckoned Savage had erred by grouping his sentries so closely together as it made it possible for my troops to avoid contact until they were right on top of the target.
Do you see anything Dave?
I grouped my troops together and moved cautiously for the first two turns. This meant trading time for certainty as the scenario has a seven turn time limit. However, moving slowly meant that I was able to get almost on top of one group of sentries before I had to commit.
Did you hear something?
Trev, Dave and Tony lurked about the entrance to the farmhouse, walking a beat and failing to spot the Spetznatz that were bellying through the trees towards them.
"Phut! Phut! Phut!"
Closing the distance, the special forces troops padded forward and drew their silenced PB pistols. Dave heard a fox barking far off in the chill night and turned to make a joke to Trev and Tony.
As he turned, he saw four men appearing out of the shadows and his friends lying sprawled on the ground. He felt something whistle past his face as he stood open mouthed.
"Oh Gawd, it's the Rooskies!"
Now this was where things were about to get interesting. My flurry of silenced pistol shots had been quite effective downing two out of the three sentries and hitting the third, who made his save. Savage opted to have him use his action to yell and immediately put two noise counters on the table. The card draw would be key here, if Savage got another activation, he would be able to open up with Dave and put more noise on the table. I might be able to weather two noise counters, but four would be a much more difficult prospect.
Unfortunately for Dave, I drew a Red Joker and was Gowovitch was able to transfer his activation to his men and the dumb struck young territorial was silenced by eight rounds of 9mm Makarov.
Spetnatz stack up at the rear of the building
However, Dave's sacrifice meant that Savage was able to roll to see if his commander had noticed the ruckus. He had, but just enough to arouse his suspicion, not sufficient to raise the alarm. While I stacked up my lads at the back of the farmhouse, Bill Savage roused himself and went to investigate.
"Phut! Erk! Phut!"
I had hoped to avoid raising the alarm this early, but decided to stick with the plan and eliminate the GPMG team that was covering the rear of the farmhouse.
"Get moving you horrible bastard"
"I've a feeling in me water," said Savage fingering his shotgun and went to the outhouse where he rousted McGallimaufry out, just as the Soviet commandos stormed the building. Unable to get through the doors, they hurled grenades into the buildings, but their bird had already flown. The game was well and truly up.
A one man Bonegruppa
While the commandos tried to force their way into the out building, Gowovitch pelted for the side door. With only three turns left on the clock. things were beginning to look a little tight.
Casting caution to the wind, Gowovitch booted the side door in and charged into the yard. Bill Savage opened up on him having retreated to the outbuilding, but missed. Gowovitch fired his Tishina from the hip and the grenade skipped across the window sill to detonate inside the building.
Yelling the traditional "Urrah" of the Russian infantry, he charged across the yard and shot "Bludger" Collins who was herding a limping McGallimaufry towards the door.
Things were looking pretty grim for the resistance, but they still had a lewis gun team in the main
building overlooking the yard. If they got an activation early in the turn, they could riddle McGallimaufry and Gowovitch, denying the Russians an important victory.
All was not lost.
Get ze pekege!
Fearing this I charged the group of troopers, after they (finally) managed to batter the unexpectedly stout door down, into the yard and unloaded as much suppressive fire into the farm house as we could muster. This forced the British to hunker down, while their radio man called for help.
Oh I think they heard us.
Operational security meant that the Septznatz were operating without the co-operation of local forces and so were out of reach of help. Unfortunately for Johnny Soviet, Savage rolled very well on the reinforcements roll and got a full 25 points worth of troops.
Here comes the cavalry
(note the spetznatz smoke in the distance)
These turned up on the road leading to the farmhouse, but as footsloggers weren't able to get into the fight fast enough. The Spetznatz deployed smoke to cover their escape.
Thinking about it now, an MG team in a vehicle might have been a better choice.
With the clock almost out of time and the troopers covering their escape, Gowovitch got McGallimaufry away and we called a halt.
But all for naught
So in the post game washup, we rolled for Intel and I managed to get a blunder which gave a point of Intel in the Resistance. It appeared that while we had managed to extract McGallimaufry, the leaked information blew the cover of a Soviet agent in the Resistance. This led to a major housing cleaning in the Loamshire cells and the rolling up of Soviet infiltration network.
Curses! Foiled again.
We rolled up the next mission, which will be a surveillance job at an airport. I'm not entirely sure how we're going to set that out, but I'm sure we'll have fun doing it.