Issue 83 - Bac Ky

Ultra-modern wargaming is a difficult genre, not only because we often feel uncomfortable reenacting fighting (and killing) that may still be going on, but also because information about many modern engamenets is classified and does not become available for years afterwards (when it is no longer ultra-modern). One solution to this is to create hypothetical battles and campaigns, which while plausible and based on reality, don’t really reflect actual events. Issue 83 includes some scenarios created for battles in a Southeast Asian ‘imagi-nation’ called Bak Ky. Due to space reasons, we had to leave out one of the scenarios we had written, which is reproduced below.

Scenario 3: The Safehouse

The third and final scenario involves one side attacking a safehouse of the other in order to cause as much damage as possible and complete a number of side missions. The player with the highest combined Intel score over the first two scenarios may decide whether they want to be the attacker or the defender. If they choose to be the attacker they obtain an additional 8 points to spend on forces; if they choose to be the defender they gain an additional guard to deploy and obtain the ‘Resilient’ special ability free for their leader. The CIA has access to Bihn Xuyen militia in Scenario 3; they are a paramilitary criminal-based organisation from the Vietnam War resurrected by the CIA to support the Bac Ky government. The Viet Minh may take a few PLA troops representing advisors, etc., unless they are the attacker, whereby they may take a force composed entirely or partially of PLA special forces.

As with The Raid scenario from the main rules, the points score of enemy casualties will help determine the victor, although there are also two additional objectives that are worth 8 points each for the side that successfully destroys or defends them. These secondary objectives include a comms aerial or satellite dish located on a building other than the main target, and a VIP with a car and militia driver. Until the alarm is raised the Stealth rules should be used.

The Board
The 4’ x 4’ table should have a large warehouse or industrial type building located towards the centre of the board but about 18” from the western table edge (north is to the top of the map). It should, if possible, sit in a compound (about 15” x 15”) with a high fence or wall around it and several access points (including vehicle access to the north and west). A scrapyard (12” x 12”) located in one of the corners would be a good feature, with wrecked cars, a viscous dog, and perhaps some remnants of the Vietnam War (a wrecked Huey?). Another corner should have a ruined area (12” x 12”) with rubble piles, collapsed buildings and other items of cover. Both areas are considered to be broken ground. The rest of the board should be representative of a back street, run down urban area with workshops, shacks and detritus. The eastern edge of the board should have scrub and jungle trees scattered along the urban fringe up to about 6” in with a dirt road towards the centre of the table edge. The southern table edge should also have a dirt track located towards the south-east corner.

The Forces
The final game is a two player game for the CIA and the Viet Minh/PLA (or whatever alternative factions are being used). No artillery or airstrike special abilities may be taken though HALO insertion and HELO insertion are permitted. Note that the player with the highest Intel score (who chooses whether to attack or defend) also gains additional force selection bonuses as highlighted above.

The Attacker
If the CIA is the attacker, they have 50 points to spend on Agents from the Intelligence Agencies’ forces selection list and/or Bihn Xuyen militia. If the Viet Minh are the attacker they have the same points total to spend on Viet Minh forces from the Militia list, with up to 25% of the total spent on PLA forces from the Conscript or Professional lists and up to 100% from the Special Forces lists.

The Defender
If the CIA is defending they have 50 points to spend on Agents from the Intelligence Agencies’ forces selection list and/or Bihn Xuyen militia. If the Viet Minh are defending they have the same points total to spend on Viet Minh forces from the Militia list, with up to 25% of the total spent on PLA forces from the Conscript or Professional lists. In addition the defending player also has the VIP and militia driver (see below for details on how they are used).

Starting Positions
The defender deploys up to half of their force as guards anywhere on the table within 6” of a table edge. Guards may be placed as close together or as far apart as the defender wishes. Although the safehouse is the main compound building the defending player should also place an aerial or satellite dish on another building as one of the secondary objectives. This must have a guard placed within 6” of it. A VIP of some description should be placed on the table with a Bihn Xuyen or Viet Minh militia driver. They should be placed over 6” from a car parked somewhere in the safehouse compound (the attacker places the car and the defender places the VIP and driver). The vehicle must escape via the southern or eastern table edge with the VIP intact. Place a single card in the game deck to determine the car’s activation. These two figures are controlled by the defending player but must attempt to fulfil their objective each turn (they cannot be used to support other troops); they are allowable targets for the attacker. All other defending forces are considered to be within the safehouse and will be activated when the alarm is raised as per the Black Ops stealth rules.

The attacker can bring on their forces from any table edge at any location and they may freely split their forces. They may deploy up to 3” from the table edge.

There are 2D6 civilians on the table and they may be set up anywhere except in the defender’s compound. Players should take turns placing them starting with the defender. Civilians can be grouped as players wish. The civilians all count as being deep in the defender’s territory for the purpose of Loyalty rolls. Determine civilian reactions as per the main Black Ops rules.

Remember that dog in the scrapyard? Well, he gets a profile of his own. The dog should be represented on the table with a suitable figure and may be placed by the defender anywhere in the scrapyard site. The dog will attack any figure entering the scrapyard (treat the dog as if it was in reserve) and will bark at any figure within 1” of the perimeter fence. Add a Noise counter to the board for each such instance over a turn.

Name ACC CQC DED Save Points
Scrapyard dog 0 4 5 5 3 1/2

The game can be played to a definite conclusion (i.e. one side is wiped out) or can have a six turn time limit, after which reinforcements are deemed to arrive in overwhelming numbers. Players can either stop play after the 6th turn or play on with reinforcements arriving at the start of turn 7 on a D6 roll of 4+, turn 8 on 3+, and automatically on turn 9. If the attacker does not leave the table before reinforcements arrive then any casualties the defender has suffered to date are immediately brought on with all defending forces now obtaining the ‘Endless’ special ability. Reinforcements may come on from any table edge. This optional ending should provide some focus for the attacker!

At the end of the game add up the points total of casualties on both sides, remembering to keep track of any from the optional reinforcement ending. On top of this the attacker gains 8 points if the comms aerial/satellite dish was destroyed and 8 points if the VIP is killed (plus the militia driver’s points cost, if killed). The defender gets these points if they survive. The highest points total wins the scenario and obtains +1 to their Intel roll. The highest Intel total over the three games wins the mini-campaign. If the score is drawn the winner of Scenario 3 wins overall. The mini-campaign deliberately rewards the victor of the previous game but if this is skewing the results too much replace the bonus with a further +1 on the Intel roll. Scenario 1 should be fairly even, but if one side continually wins try giving the struggling side a turn’s head start or allow them an extra basic figure. If Scenario 2 is proving too easy for the PMCs due to the presence of the Hoa Hao, have the Buddhist militia retreat once the attack commences. If Scenario 3 is proving difficult for one side increase the points value for the losing side by 8-10 points.

I’ll certainly be looking to bring some of the other factions into my modern skirmish games using the Bac Ky setting, especially as I get to make use of some very nice figures I’d otherwise be struggling to find a use for. Feel free to tinker with the scenarios for your own setting or book a ticket to Bac Ky for your own miniatures!

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