Tuesday 27 October 2015

Skirmish Sangin Trial game.

I finally got around to playing "Skirmish Sangin" By Radio Dishdash Publications. I was originally put off by the hefty volume as I wanted an easy game to play. And at 170 pages I put off reading the rules. I do not enjoy reading rules, sorry I just don't!.

So My nephew played the British and I was the Taliban. The first scenario was the Taliban had been firing sniper rounds into the British FOB (Forward observation base) and a small patrol of 4 men (1 fire team) had come across the place the sniper had been firing from. So the Taliban had 3 figures against the British 4. Firstly I want to say that the rules did work well and were very instinctive and that we were using my 20mm Afghan setup. While we did overlap on to two boards we could have played on a single 2 foot by 2 foot area. Mostly ranges do not matter with modern rifles at this scale  but each rifle would have an effective range of 2.5 meters at that scale on the tabletop with sniper rifles and machine guns at least double that. So in a 2'x2' area range was not an issue.

 So I set up 2 spotters with Ak47s on the roof .
 The sniper I set up in some broken walls and ruins. So many people think snipers have to be up high. Yes they have got a good view up there, but it does compromise their ability to re-locate. Not being a trained sniper I do not know what the correct awnser is I suspect it changes with each battle and when it comes to war films who the director is. But what do I know.
 The 4 British paratroops started kneeling behind a low wall. 3 had L85a2 rifles (one with an undeslung grenade launcher) the fourth figure had a "Minime" 5.56mm LMG.
 When the British moved to outflank. See James may be my nephew but he is not daft (despite being related to me.

As they came over the low wall I was able to spot them and fired with my "Novice" Taliban. Now most (if not all) of the rolls are percentages and by the time I had spotted the enemy and fired the gun I was on a 06% chance to hit. Long story short I did not but did give my spotters position away!
James continues to out flank me. But like many young players I have noticed wanted to climb on the buildings. I think that comes from computer games and TV and at his age I would do the same.

I move my spotter to try to relocate and get out of sight.

My other spotter fires and actually hits a Para. But the Para flak vest stops the bullet, but does knock him down.

My sniper is rolling badly and can't hit anything. He is useless (at least when I have dice to roll!)

 I am continued to be out flanked as the Para who had been hit dusts himself off passes a morale check and gets into cover out of line of sight.

My Novice Taliban rolls 100 % critically failing and misfires the AK. (There is a chart for fumbles and this is not too bad!) It just means a whole Phase of inactivity if he wants to fire again. My other spotter fails to see the Brits on the roof and continues to fir at the one he had already hit, who is now in cover. He does not hit the guy in cover and it does give his position away.
I continue to get outflanked as James puts pressure on my front and moves the flank runners around behind me.

The novice repairs his gun and opens up and SUPRISINGLY hits the para on the roof top and with a lucky wound roll kills him out right! So 1 to me and none to James .

Then it all goes wrong. the sniper gets outflanks and fails to spot the guy who out flanked him he does get a shot at another Brit, but misses by a long way  and so no effect.

The Sargent who outflanked was able to shoot and downed the sniper very easily. The Taliban in these rules tend not to have armour and with James luck tend to die with a single hit.

James also is able to bring fire on the novice Taliban and he dies pretty swiftly as well and my other spotter being out numbered 3 to one dies in the next combat phase.

It was close but a win for the Brits (Taliban get more Victory points for killing Brits due to the press etc than the Brits do from killing the Taliban.) . But a clear British win none the less. The whole game lasted 1 and a half turns or about 2 hours of playtime as we were explain the rules and checking things. WE did not use any heavy weapons or vehicles just the starter scenario ad it was a good way to start.

  1. Spotting the enemy is very important.
  2. Armour is a life saver. (literally)
  3. Cover is very important as well. It makes you harder to spot. !
  4. and harder to hit!
  5. never trust a young player with dice.... they roll well you know.
Rules wise the rules were simple to play and understand and were quite instinctive. Of course we did a few things wrong, we always do when trying new rules. But if a 15 year old can grasp them and have fun they cannot me too hard and they are not.

I may put another game on tomorrow or Wednesday.

Thanks for reading and I am quite impressed with how the rules work in practice. And I think they would work well in other settings, Vietnam for example.


  1. Sounds like great fun and has certainly caught my eye in the past - love point five on your list!

    1. Thank you Michael. Point 5 is just so true. Just wait for the next AAR and you will see!

  2. Clint, that terrain and board look excellent. I want one, too! Something else I'll have to make for myself.

    I'd love to play this game, but at 170 pages I fear that I'd never remember the rules. I have got a number of free-to-download ultra-modern rules and the two-page Danger Close (formerly Some Corner of a Foreign Field) but haven't gotten around to trying them. Though these games look great for club play, I'm also wary about taking them to my local club (on Catterick Garrison) since a lot of the soldiers - or the player's fathers - are veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the setting may be just too close for the comfort at the club.

    I can't wait to read your next AAR.

    1. Thanks Roy I agree, for many people it is too modern and up to date and may leave a bitter taste in their mouth. For which I am truly sympathetic.

      The joy of the boards is that if I put palm trees on it becomes the middle east. Then I have used it for both WW! and WW2. And am thinig of getting some plastic "Airfix" type soldiers and going French foreign legion!

      The boards were all made by me and if you scan back far enough.... about 3 years ago (maybe 4) there is step by step making of them.

    2. Oh yes and the rules are long at 170 pages but most you will not use in all games so the core rules are more like 30 pages!

    3. Cheers, I'll give them both a look.
      Just managed to scrounge some 2" insulation polystyrene from a local building site, so I have some material to hand to build a 2'x2' board for my 10mm zombies and then some scatter terrain bits for Frostgrave.

  3. Sounds an interesting set of rules Clint.

    1. Thanks Ray. SO far they are the best set of modern skirmish rules for the period I have found (but not tried them all). Simple instinctive and challenging.

      Perhaps not a Rejects type game, but I could be wrong.

  4. I agree, the board looks great!

    It was good to read about Skirmish Sangin, I was about to try their test rules (same scenario, I think) for a while now, but the percentages put me off as they seem so complicated :D.

    Can they be played in teams or it's every man for himself?

    1. Thank you Mathyoo. In the rules it is one figure represents 1 man and each man may have different capabilities so it is each man and not squads. All the Percentage adjustments and in 5% or 10% blocks so you may have to take 25 % off something or 15 % on but mostly they are 10% increments. So the maths is not all that hard my 15 year old nephew could manage the arithmetic so I do not think you would struggle at all.

  5. Sounds like fun Clint! Nice looking table too dude!

    1. Cheers Bob. I know the setting is not to every taste. But the addition of palm trees and it can be the middle east which does make it a lot more versatile and has already been used for ww1 (arab revolt) and WW2 and I have plans for both Arab Israeli wars and the Riff war.

  6. It comes across as a very good system, in keeping with the era it is intended for. as well as a very enjoyable game too. I wouldn't be put off by the size of the rulebook for as with most game systems it's probably trying to cover every eventuality and as you've expressed above only a small part of the rules are necessary for a simple game.
    As for the %age dice being used, unless the modifiers or results include anything other than 5% increments then they're really using a d20 - just saying.

    1. Thanks Joe. It is a % when creating your team but that could be tweaked. But all the in game modifiers are 5% (or multiples) increments so as you say they are pretty much using a D20 system. And I have no problems with a d20. In fact it would probably speed the game up just a little.


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