.Force on Force from Ambush Alley Games is Road to Baghdad: Iraq 2003.
Now, let me set my stall out straight away. The recent middle eastern wars are not a big interest for me right now. I follow the operations in Afghanistan because it has echoes of the 'Police Actions' chart in classic Traveller: Book 4 Mercenary. And in 1979 I would probably have looked on the modern soldier as a Sci Fi warrior anyway. Hold that thought.
Road to Baghdad like Force on Force is a sumptuous publication. I have to say that both publications are the most impressive visually of Osprey's titles to date. Good photos of minis, real troops in action and seeded throughout with colour illustrations from current military Osprey stock.
So what do you get in the 104 pages? Well, theres a short background to the operations recreated in the book, 19 scenarios divided into 3 broad groupings and finally a selection of American and British sample unit organisations.
The first selection of scenarios are pulled together under the banner Marching Up Country with the USMC. 10 scenarios which take the USMC into the heart of Saddam's Reich. This is followed by 6 scenarios of The Armoured Spearhead following the US Army and finally 3 Special Forces Engagements. This works out at 79p a scenario.
All the scenarios follow the same pattern. Background, Historical Outcome, Scenario Information including sketch map & suggested table size, Special Rules, individual force missions, victory points and and TOEs. Some scenarios also have the trademark Ambush Alley Reinforcement Table.
The games themselves offer a wide range of tactical situations. You are looking at squad to platoon sized affairs in the most part. Two foot by Two/Three foot tables. Most importantly, it's ALL do-able by average joe wargamer. This isn't one of those pretty 'Cosmo' lifestyle scenario books that requires you to give up your life savings and 10 years of your retirement to collect all the terrain and figures necessary. YOU can do this.
What would I would have liked to have seen added to Road to Baghdad? First is an at a glance round up of the figures and vehicles required for each scenario as per Too Fat Lardies' Vyazma or Bust. Perhaps Shaun can add this to the website. Second, less important, but maybe not, a page on painting suitable miniatures for Road to Baghdad by Piers.
So where does this sit with me as a Sci Fi gamer? Men are men. In a hundred years time, two hundred, who knows, men possibly cybernetically enhanced, are still going to have to patrol dusty hillsides, hunt down insurgents through the back streets of some dirtball colony and blast their way through Indian country to topple a tyrant or overlord or alien hve mind. Change your USMC to Felids, your Fedayheen to Spugs or Iraqi rabble militia to low grade combat androids and Road to Baghdad will deliver.
Available to Pre Order
from Osprey Publishing