The game lasted about 4.5 hours and it was a blast. Every time I play FoF I like it more. Between the way the battle played out and the random events thrown in by the Fog Of War cards, a proper little narrative develops - events not directly related to the battle situation begin to snowball and turn into full-fledged side-stories.
The scenario pits a Canadian Forces (CF) platoon, with support, against a whole bunch of Taliban. The CF have divide their attentions among three objectives: first, in the NW quadrant, they are tasked with recovering a wounded soldier and extracting him across the board to the Helicopter Landing Zone in the SW. Second, in the NE, they have to provide protection to an EOD team disarming an IED under the guns of the Taliban. Third, they have to clear the HLZ of all Taliban in line of sight to provide a safe area for the helo to land. Together, it's a pretty tough list of objectives for the Canadians to achieve.
The Taliban, as usual, earn victory points for killing / wounding / capturing CF soldiers. The Taliban are terrible troops, but there's a conveyor belt of reinforcements arriving all the time, and their victory conditions make no mention of losing troops, so they can sacrifice whole squads in the hopes of doing a bit of damage to the Canadians.
On to the photos:
|The sniper and LMG on the rooftops that caused the Taliban so much trouble in the south. To the northeast, the Taliban had been pretty much wiped out entirely and the IED had been disarmed, so the Canadians were beginning to fall back to the HLZ.|
|The EOD team, with the IED disarmed and no Taliban remaining in sight, hunker down and wait for the resolution of the fight elsewhere.|
|Canadians scramble to assist the fight in the west, but with the sandstorm forcing them to move slowly, they can't get there in time.|
|A single Taliban sniper covers the HLZ, but it's enough to render it too dangerous for the helo to land.|
The game was great fun and the result was very close. The Taliban won by a literal inch, as the escaping cell with its captives was just that far ahead and, the way the turn cycle worked, they couldn't be caught. With some more turns in the game they would have been dealt with, as there was really nowhere for them to go and the other CF section was on its way to cut them off, but we reached the end point before that could happen.
Force On Force (the scenarios in the OEF sourcebook, anyway) give the Coalition forces a tough job. The Coalition victory points are all objective-based, so they have to control the battlespace and stay focussed on the mission; the Taliban, on the other hand, get victory points for injuring, killing, or (especially) capturing Coalition soldiers. The Canadians can (and often do, like in this game) take out dozens of Taliban troops, but they gain no direct advantage from causing casualties. The Taliban have pretty terrible troops and they have a hard time getting casualties on the Canadians, especially when the Canadians are in hard cover, but they just need to keep throwing out firepower in the hopes of causing damage. Add in all the counter-insurgency restrictions on the Coalition actions, and the Canadian game becomes a very difficult balancing act. The Canadians performed extremely well in this scenario, and just lost by that crucial inch that made the difference between recovering their captured soldiers or losing them to the Taliban.