Monday, 21 September 2009

Modern Combat - Op Certain Death

This is the article I submitted for the Ambush Alley Games "Raid" Contest back in 2009.  I has been updated by Donogh on his excellent blog Land War in Asia.  Osprey kindly sent me a selection of their new Raid Series publications as a result which was excellent.

On 10 September 2000 a UK Special Forces operation rescued 6 captured British Soldiers and their Sierra Leone Army advisor from the West Side Boys (WSB) milita in Sierra Leone, in what was nicknamed ìOperation Certain Deathî by those tasked with its undertaking. The Soldiers had been a party of 11 British soldiers along with their 3 WMIK Landrovers that been captured by the WSB on 25 September 2000, their comrades having been released earlier in exchange for a Satellite phone (used by the SF to pin point the hostages location).

The events and timelines have been condensed slightly in order to bring this onto the AA table. This scenario covers the actions of the combined SAS/SBS rescue team in the Northern Village of Geberi Bana.

300m away, across the Rokel Creek, were two other villages where units from 1st Battalion Parachute Battalion were engaged after landing from 2 other Chinooks from 7 Squadron. Here were the bulk of the West Side Boys militia and also where the 3 captured WMIK Landrovers and their mounted .50 Cal HMGs had been taken.

At 0640 as part of force of 3 Chinook and 2 Lynx helicopters, A Special Forces Chinook arrives at the LZ and the combined rescue team fast rope down into the village to begin the rescue mission of 7 Hostages held by the West Side Boys. The extraction helicopter would return in 20 minutes to the LZ to evacuate the party to the safety of the waiting rescue ship.

REGULAR MISSION OBJECTIVEThe regular plays the part of the SF element formed from joint SAS and SBS personnel on Op Barras charged with 3 Missions
    Rescue the 7 Hostages and evacuate them to the LZ
    Capture or Kill the West Side Boy Leader Foday Kallay
    Recover or destroy any of 3 lost Heavy Weapons taken from the WMIKs
All SF troops must be at the LZ by the end of Turn 8 when the Helo arrives.

They enter from the West Board edge having been recently deployed by Chinook. (OPTIONAL RULE 1 and OPTIONAL RULE 3)

The rescue team comprises:

    12 SF Troopers. They may draw weapons from the following:
    0-5 Minimi Light SW
    0-3 GPMG Medium SW
    0-1 Sniper Rifle
These may be organised as required by the Regular player but must be grouped into "correct" teams to receive any special team bonuses.

They are NOT equipped with Body Armour.
Troop Quality D12, Morale D10.

To rescue the hostages an SF figure must move into base contact. 1 SF Figure is required to escort 4 Hostages. While escorting the SF unit counts as having dependants as normal.
Regular player cannot abandon casualties or dependants in this scenario.
Regular forces cannot enter buildings unless cleared or by an assault.

The insurgent player controls the West Side Militia elements inside Geberi Bana, and has the following missions:

Keep the hostages secure
Defeat the rescue force

Starting Forces are located at the following points

    1 Insurgent Security Patrol. 1 x Leader, 4 x Insurgents w/small arms
    2 Insurgent Security Patrol. 1 x Leader 4 x Insurgents w/small arms
    3 Insurgent Security Patrol. 1 x Leader 4 x Insurgents w/small arms
    4 3 x Leaders
    5 5 x Insurgents w/small arms, 1 w/LSW, 1 w/RPG
    6 5 x Insurgents w/small arms, 1 w/LSW, 1 w/RPG
    W West Side Boy leader Foday Kallay
    H Building Containing Hostages
Units 5 and 6 are roused by the arrival of the British from a Drug and Alcohol induced sleep and MUST pass a TQ check to be able to attempt to activate in the remaining moves phase. If joined by a leader they add +2 to the roll.

Foday Kallay may not move from the target building but may be protected by one insurgent unit.


The Insurgency level is 3 for this scenario and 5 hotspots are deployed as normal. They cannot be located within 6" of the hostage location

    2 1D6+2 Insurgents w/small arms, 1 RPG, 1 MSW and Leader
    3 1D6+2 Insurgents w/small arms and Leader and roll again
    4 1D6+1 Insurgents w/small arms and Leader OPTIONAL RULE 2
    5 1D6 Insurgents w/small arms
    6 1D6 Insurgents w/small arms, 1 LSW
    7 1D6+2 Insurgent w/small arms, 1 LSW
    8 1D6 Insurgents w/small arms, 1 RPG
    9 1D6 Insurgents w/small arms OPTIONAL RULE 2
    10 1D6+1 Insurgents w/small arms, 1 RPG and Leader
    11 2D6 Insurgents w/small arms and leader
    12 1D6 Insurgents w/small arms and .50 Cal (HSW) taken from one of the captured WMIKs w/2 crew. This unit must enter from the Southern Map edge and the insurgent does NOT have to roll for the entry hotspot

All WSB units are troop quality D6 and Morale D10

The South edge of the board is Rokal Creek. Troops must make a TQ check for each 3" of movement they wish to make while inside it's boundary. Troops engaged while in it receive +2 FP dice modifier rather than the normal +1 for being in the open.

Draw 1 FOW Card at the beginning of the game. Other FOW cards are drawn as a result of reaction tests as normal

Regular Victory Points
No SF Casualties/POW - 5 Pts
Each hostage rescued - 1 Pt
Foday Kallay Captured - 3 Pts

Insurgent Victory Points
Each SF Wounded/Killed - 1 Pt
Each hostage retained - 2 Pts
Any SF POW - 3 Pts

Option 1 Use the Fast Rope special rules from DOTR for entering the UK element on table. The marker may be placed at any point as long as it more that 6" from a WSB unit.
Option 2 Use the Drug effect rule for theses WSB units. They do not have to take a Quality check to interrupt if without a leader and do not suffer from shrinkage
Option 3 Allow one UK elements (3-4 man team with up to 1 Minimi from the force total) to enter from the South Table edge. Reports mention an SBS team emerging from the creek at the same time that the main assault force struck.

The UK element split into three elements; one securing the LZ, one rescuing the hostages the other capturing the West Side Boy leader. This was all achieved in 20 minutes and at 0700 hrs the assault force was extracted, sadly with the loss of Tpr Tinnion who died from wounds received during the ingress.

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