The release of the Khurasan Polecat Utility Vehicle left me thinking about how to use small vehicles in 15mm games. For small operations, it's likely that small vehicles would be preferred to large mecha or MBTs. I usually play on 2'x2' tables, so small operations are very appealing to me. So, to celebrate the Polecat's release (and to encourage manufacturers to keep thinking about the smaller toys), here's a small skirmish game featuring light utility vehicles.
This can be player vs. player, two player cooperative, or as a solo game. Since 15mm doesn't have "one ruleset to rule them all," I'm keeping things as generic as possible. It's up to individual players to choose appropriate forces and stat them up.
A high-ranking politician has been captured by enemy forces. He was being taken to the enemy's capital, but a devastating storm forced them to stop at a small outpost. A small team of special operators will infiltrate enemy lines and attempt a rescue. The storm will make things difficult, but it should provide adequate concealment.
A 2' x 2' table is all you need for this game. Set up three buildings toward one corner of the table. Since it is representing a small military outpost, some scatter terrain (crates, boxes, ammo cans, fuel barrels, small sheds) can also be placed around these buildings. It's likely that a road runs near this outpost. The rest of the table can be setup however you want - a few hills, tree stands, gigantic crystal shards, or whatever works with your particular terrain set.
The Attackers have a commando squad (6-10 strong) divided among two light utility vehicles. It would be helpful to have a civilian model to represent the hostage, but a counter or token would work fine. Choose your weapons carefully - the element of surprise is your only advantage in this game.
The Defenders have two Brutes (lower quality troopers) for every Commando. There is also one Boss, who should at least be the equal of the Commandos.
The Defenders' Boss and a Brute or two are kept off the table, along with the hostage. Set these aside. Also, set aside another Brute or two, but keep them separate from the Boss' group. The remaining brutes are deployed around the buildings to simulate the nocturnal sentries - use common sense to determine their specific locations on the table.
The Attackers will enter the table from the corner opposite the buildings. They are inside their Light Utility Vehicles at the beginning of the game.
SCENARIO SPECIAL RULE - STORM!
The area is experiencing a severe storm (a thunderstorm, blizzard, sandstorm, meteor shower, nitro-methane fog, or being constantly swarmed by shrieking locust-moths). Visibility is restricted to your figures' normal movement distance, and any sounds softer than the Brutes' weapons can't be heard. The Light Utility Vehicles are rigged for completely silent running and are invisible to radar, thermal, and all other types of sensors. The Commandos' small arms (but not heavy weapons) are also considered to be silenced for the duration of this scenario.
The Brutes are assumed to have poorer vision/night optics than the Commandos. The Commandos will always see the Brutes first. However, if a Brute has a chance to return fire, all other Brutes on the table will move (normal walking speed - the storm makes running impossible) toward his position. The Commandos must act quickly or risk being overwhelmed.
SCENARIO SPECIAL RULE - BUILDING SEARCH
One building is empty, one has the Hostage and Boss, the third has a small number of off-shift Brutes. Roll a D6 when the Commandos search the first building:
- 1-2: Off-shift Brutes. They will fire as soon as their door is opened.
- 3-4: Empty building.
- 5-6: Objective building. The Boss and Brutes will open fire when the door is opened.
If the first building searched isn't the Objective Building, roll again when searching the second.
- 1-3: Off-shift Brutes or empty building (whichever result wasn't rolled on the previous building)
- 4-6: Objective building.
Obviously, the third building is the objective building if you don't find it the first two times!
The Attackers' mission, obviously, is to retrieve the hostage and get him into one of the Light Utility Vehicles. The Defenders can achieve victory by destroying both vehicles or killing 50% of the Commandos, forcing the mission to abort.
This scenario is generic enough that it should work for any setting. Near future, far future, space opera, post apocalyptic - whatever you like to play.
ATTACKERS: Any elite troopers in your collection. If you're playing humans, these could be Khurasan Exterminators, Rebel Minis Earthforce Infilitrators, Critical Mass Games ARC Fleet Drop Troopers or Zas Mercs, ArtCrime Port Reliant Mercs, GZG New Israelis or UNSCs (or even Power Armor, depending on your setting)... you get the idea. If you want to play aliens, you could always use Khurasan Felid Prideguard, GZG Armored Crusties, Critical Mass Praesentia Phase Shifters...
LIGHT UTILITY VEHICLES: Wheeled or Grav vehicles seem like idea candidates for silent running - I just can't imagine tracked or fan-driven hover vehicles being quiet. Khurasan Polecat (duh!) or Locust, Old Crow Outrider or Goanna, GZG Bulldogs or High-Tech Light Grav APC, Critical Mass Gekotaa (featured in the Dropship Horizon banner), Rebel Minis Apache...
BRUTES AND BOSS: Any sinister-looking troopers with a suitable command figure. I imagined the Khurasan Sepulvedan Control Battalions when I was outlining the scenario. Other figures could be GZG Crusties or Kra'Vak, Critical Mass Naga, Rebel Titan Marines or Kurgen, Kremlin Cyberian Death Commandos, 15mm.Co.Uk Cultists or Post Apocalyptic Warriors...
Hopefully this will give you a fun little game. Post your results if you run the scenario yourself!