Sunday 28 August 2022

Twilight 2022: Through Eastern Europe with a Polish Squad (Warfighter)

 I got a physical copy of Warfighter a couple of weeks ago and have been playing it non-stop ever since. Well, not quite non-stop. After all, I need to go to work and eat and sleep, but you know what I mean. I'm not really interested in the Middle East as a zone of conflict, so I bought a few different packs with the game to offer different theatres to fight in:

  • Eastern European Adversaries
  • Polish Soldiers
  • African Warlords 1 and 2
  • Australian Soldiers
  • Elite Drug Lords
  • Upgrade kit (replacement cards for some older versions)

These all arrived very quickly in good condition from Philibert in France and the VAT on the purchase was dealt with as painless a way as possible. The charge from the Norwegian Post Office for taking the VAT from me is another matter, and makes it only worthwhile saving up to buy larger orders, but I had mentally prepared myself thanks to a very handy import calculator on the customs website. I had originally considered buying direct from DVG because of a special deal on their website but the cost of postage from the US is just ridiculous and would have meant no actual saving once all the other costs were taken into account.

So, with the game in my grubby mitts, I immediately set to sorting through the cards and swapping out the older versions for the upgrade kit versions where necessary. The next day, I worked my way back through all the cards again because I was convinced I had done it wrong! In some cases I had. Oh, the ignominy!

Then it was time to set up. I picked out the Polish soldiers and the Eastern European Adversaries, and prepared for my first game. There are six mission cards and six objective cards in the Eastern European set. I planned to pair each mission with an objective and play them all. I started small with short missions and only a couple of soldiers, and built up slowly. Each game taught me new things, and I managed to get different rules wrong every time, so the novelty was strong. As I fought across Europe, I blew up combat helicopters, armoured scouting forces, and had to run for the border to escape the bad guys. This last was one where I seriously messed up the rules and made things much harder for myself than necessary. My escaping soldiers woke up after a dream in which they were caught and killed by Elbonian patrols. They escaped on the second try, thankfully.

The Final Mission

The team get ready to move in on the target

My final mission for this series was huge. I had more points to buy kit than you could shake a stick at and could have easily bought way more than the maximum eight-soldier squad size (limited by the counter selection). I chose to buy expensive player soldiers supported by a small number of squad soldiers (grunts/henchmen/minions/supporting cast types). I then outfitted my player soldiers with a huge array of things that go bang and the skills to use them to greatest effect, including drone strikes (yay for drone strikes!).

The mission was a political one. We had to advance through enemy territory and destroy an ICBM launcher. For once I drew enough location cards to get started right away, so my troops moved out down a busy highway. And we marched straight into a military convoy led by a T-72. Yikes! The explosive expert rolled well and made short work of it though, thanks to judicious use of a mine (Do the Polish army not have man-portable anti-tank weapons? There are none in the mix). The rest of the team took out the supporting truck. Meanwhile, patrols started appearing. They begin at the objective and move towards you. There are a lot of patrol cards in this pack.

With the highway cleared, we moved onto a dirt road, heading for the city. More patrols started heading out from base and we encountered sentries, security teams and the occasional light vehicle as we moved through the farmland into the industrial outskirts of the city. It became an exercise in suppressing the enemy, moving on their location and then eliminating them. As we moved into the city, we encountered more air support and I had to burn experience points to evade it, because I found my dice rolls with my anti-air system were terrible, and then I ran out of rockets for it. I think I must have dodged three or four combat helicopters.

There was a heavy firefight in the city streets as we pushed through the crowds to the residential areas. Fortunately, I had sniper support to pick off some of the enemy and the drone strikes for bigger targets. And then we were down a shady avenue to the edge of the big enemy parade. There was a lot of security here and we needed to deal with it before we could get to the ICBM. Well, we did not have a lot of time so I threw everything at the enemy. Fortunately, this was enough to suppress the screening troops and we closed on the ICBM. A few well-placed mines and grenades saw it destroyed and it was time to bug out of there. Job done.

While playing this mission, I chose to play location cards that I thought linked up together to give a sense of where my troops were moving. I liked the thematic idea there, and it did not seem to make the game much harder than it would have been otherwise. It made for a satisfying narrative in my head as I played.


These Eastern European missions made me think very much of playing Twilight 2000, back when it first came out. I'm tempted to play a campaign like the jungle one I posted before, but linking Eastern European missions and objectives together to make a story about escaping back home. Could be fun. But first, I am going to take my Australian soldiers on a tour of duty in Africa. There are poachers to defeat and elephants to save.

And then I can think about which expansions to get next. When I got the VASSAL module for this game, it included everything up to a certain point so it has more options than I currently have in playing the physical game. I did not really miss those extra options in playing this time around, but it would be nice to have them, and I definitely want to expand my options for different forces to use and different adversaries to face. I can see this game hitting the table quite a lot, simply because the smaller scenarios are so quick to play that it will fit neatly into a busy everyday, and offers options for when there is more time too.

Saturday 20 August 2022

Sicario 4: Showboat (A Warfighter campaign)

Campaign situation at the start

Victory points: 13

Mission points: 5

Mission adjustment: add 6 to the objective's hostile value / add 1 to the cost of all future skill card purchases

I spend all 5 mission points to give Torres Shooter skill (better chance to hurt the hostiles).


This is an escape mission. The team must get from the objective card to the mission card. Luckily, I drew a location card as part of my initial action card draw. That will help.

Torres is unhappy. The mission had gone well but now the bad guys are on her tail again. It looks like it is going to be a difficult run back to base. Worse yet, it looks like they will have to take a detour. Still, she has a good line to base and they are promising support.

She orders the team forward into the clearing ahead. Ambush! The team open up and score kills. Guards pop up ahead of them and a horde of hostiles behind. Torres calls down mortar fire on some and a sniper kills others. Diaz and Rodriguez lay down fire and suppress the enemy. They have this under control.

But then the path they were following turns out to be a dead end. They have to backtrack around a ravine. Guards occupy the area and the team suppress them, but they are dug in too well and it proves impossible to eliminate them.

The mission deadline passes and the team is still in the field. Tired but unhurt, they work their way around the guards and crawl back to the base under cover of dark, but they are too late and have failed.

Final Result

Victory Points: +0 = 13 Tactical Victory

Well, that's it for the campaign. A failed mission means the end of the campaign. I scored a tactical victory overall.

This game was a bit frustrating. I spent most of Torres' actions on drawing cards and only drew 2 location cards, one of those only after spending a whole turn in the clearing without being able to move. That is a below average draw. I could not risk ignoring the first location and felt I had to play it, given my track record of not drawing location cards. This gave me one extra location to move through and was the killer for the mission objective alongside an event card that moved the mission time on one turn. One or other of those I could have coped with. Both together left me one turn short.

Despite the frustrating location draws, this was another good game though. I got loads of sniper cards, mortar cards and similar fun toys to drop on the hostiles. Outfitting Torres with a radio meant they were easier to use and they certainly helped in dealing with the bad guys. For a future campaign, I may need to give her more equipment that permits card draws, because I cannot believe the lack of locations I regularly seem to get.

So, two thumbs up for Warfighter. I shall play another campaign with Torres and Diaz another time.

Saturday 13 August 2022

Sicario 3: Rainy Patrol (A Warfighter campaign)

Campaign situation at the start

Victory points: 8

Mission points: 6

Mission adjustment: add 6 to the objective's hostile value.

I spend all 6 mission points to give Torres Guts skill (spend XPs to remove suppression) and Explosives (bonuses using explosive attacks). I figure that she knows Diaz well enough now to be able to keep him motivated and she has been throwing grenades around long enough to know how best to use them.

A Rainy Patrol

The rain is pouring down. It's a miserable day for a patrol but the Colonel says they must go, so go they must. The objective is a drug shipment and the Colonel has assigned Rodriguez to the team for this mission.

"You'll need the extra firepower," he said reassuringly.

Torres is not happy. She is pretty certain that Rodriguez is on the take, and would have done something about it, but she cannot prove anything yet. They set off into the rain. Things quickly go bad as the instructions they were given do not match the ground they were deployed to.

Can't believe that Torres had to use all her actions to draw new cards until I got a location to play! That's 15 cards into the deck before a location card turned up.

The route to the objective

Eventually, she gets them on the right route, and soon they are heading for a marshy area near the base. Time to get their feet wet. Literally. And then things get hot. An ambush party is waiting for them already! They settle in and open fire. There is a lot of noise but few results other than forcing the hostiles to keep their heads down. A grenade causes the ambush party some issues, but it seems like the rain is affecting everyone's aim. After what seems like an age, Torres finally downs the last of the hostiles, but has burned through two full mags in the process. Things have not started well and they still have a long way to goMoving on, the team once more gets lost!

Again, Torres has to use two discard and draw actions to get a location card. sigh

Opposition is light as they make the climb through the rocky ground, but the team is still burning through its ammo. At this rate they will have nothing left by the time they reach the objective, if they reach it and do not get lost on the way again.

Looks like the maps are right this time. As Torres sighs in relief and directs the team to a stream they need to cross to reach the objective, suddenly another ambush team ducks up. This time, they make short work of the ambushers and quickly push on. Pausing to catch their breath, Torres notices some useful gear among the ambushers' kit and quickly appropriates it.

"Are we ready?" Torres asks quietly.

Diaz and Rodriguez nod in the affirmative.

"Ok, let's go."

They move on the objective and suddenly the place is swarming with cartel. The moment's preparation proves to be enough. Torres directs the other's fire and soon cartel are falling like ninepins. There are still some left though, and those are advancing on Torres' position. She orders Diaz and Lopez to advance on the objective. With any luck they can divide and conquer the enemy, using the hostiles' own movement against them.

Hostiles, Captain! Fahsands of 'em!

The plan works. Working together, the team whittles down the cartel while keeping the hostiles' heads down, but only just in time. They bug out with the drugs and now all they need to do is get back to base before the rest of the cartel members turn up.


Victory Points: +5 = 13

Mission Points: +5 = 5

Mission adjustment: add 6 to the objective's hostile value / add 1 to the cost of all future skill card purchases

Well, I don't mind paying a bit extra for skills.I'm just glad that I did not get another add to the hostile value. That made this mission scary enough. I mostly remembered the rules while playing this time around too, so that is a bonus.

It was frustrating at the start that I could not seem to draw location cards. That added time pressure and tension to the game. On the other hand, I did well with shooting. I got good cards to support the shooting attacks and managed to keep the enemy suppressed so they never got a shot off at me, even if I did burn through ammo in the first half of the game. Thanks to the early lack of location cards, this game came right down to the wire. Good fun.

Wednesday 10 August 2022

4 Klarmont - Ambush!

 People in hoods leapt out from side alleys with daggers in hand. The beggars tightened their circle around Simion and prepared to defend themselves. In the first clash, seven of the beggars fell and three of their opponents. Broneslav leapt to the attack, deciding that this would be the best form of defence, especially as his crew was outnumbered. Seeing the carnage wreaked by the attackers, he broke the peace bond on his sword. He's worry about the consequences later. Three more of the ambushers fell as he cut his way through them.

A last attacker dashed through the hole made by his accomplices and attacked Simion, whose quick duck to the side saved him from harm. Simion's return blow failed to land.

With the ambushers now focusing on Simion, they forgot to defend themselves from Broneslav who focused on the person attacking Simion. His mighty blow cleaved the man in two. The follow through felled two more ambushers. This was too much for the remaining ambushers, who fled, pursued by the remaining beggars.

The aftermath

"Are you ok?" Broneslav asked.

"Yes," replied Simion, "We should get out of here."

"You're right, but first I need to check this man. He seems different from the rest. Better armed. More skilled."

Broneslav quickly checked the man's body. It turned out he was a red-headed man dressed in good quality mail and wielding a high quality mace. He was also wearing gloves of a strange design with sigils on the knuckles. Broneslav took these and the mace, quickly checked the other deceased, and cleaned his sword before sheathing it. He retied the peace bond.

Simion and Broneslav rushed through the back streets and were soon at the senator's house. Simion thanked Broneslav and handed him a purse containing 500 Royals. He left Simion at the senator's and considered his next move.

Sunday 7 August 2022

4 Klarmont - A Package

 The next day dawned rainy and grim. The Duke was massing soldiers to deal with the civil unrest. The populace was tense. It was a delicate situation and would not take much for things to go bad very quickly. However, for Broneslav it was business as usual. A message had arrived from Theosius.

Given that he was expecting trouble, Broneslav donned his armour, and slung his shield on his back. He belted his sword on but left the peace binding intact. For this, he would have to rely on his fists and a couple of hidden daggers if things got lethal.

The walk down to the docks went quickly. He could feel the tension in the city though. People were barely paying attention to their work, and many were just standing around on street corners talking quietly. It would not take much to trigger another riot, he thought.

The Jade Sea was a medium-sized cog like many in the harbour. The gangplank was guarded by a wizend old sailor with ragged trousers and bare feet.

"What d'ye want?" snapped the sailor as Broneslav approached. Manners and diplomacy were clearly not part of his skill set.

"I'm here to collect a package. Theosius sent me."

"Wait here!"

The old sailor trudged off. A few minutes later, he returned with another man in tow.

"Here's your package, ye lubber."

Broneslav looked confused. It took a moment to realise that the man was the package. He recognised this man as Simion Torenescu. Simion was from a different branch of the family, but was known to Broneslav because he was a statesman and part of the city government. Broneslav introduced himself.

"Ah, well met, young Broneslav. I trust you will convey me to Senator Eipistlo's house with all discretion."

Broneslav nodded assent and indicated that Simion should follow him. He knew the way to the senator's house and had mapped a route through the city in his head beforehand. Once clear of the docks, that route should be discrete enough, and, perhaps, easier given that his package was ambulatory.

The pair moved off the gangplank and onto the docks. Suddenly a gang of ragged roughnecks emerged from among the crates of goods that had been unloaded.

Broneslav's hand went to his dagger and he braced himself. Before he could draw, one of the men had dropped to one knee.

"Lord Simion, our sovereign master Prince Dimitrios, Ruler of the Beggars, sends us as his solemn oath of homage to the Torenescu. Receive us into your service, if it so please you."

This was news to Broneslav. He had never even heard a hint that the Torenescu family was allied with the Beggards.

Simion laughed gleefully. His face was wreathed in smiles."

"Welcome, Beggars, one and all. I gratefully accept your homage and accept you into my service. Come. We must go and quickly."

The party now numbered a dozen and was not going to be easily concealed, which had been Broneslav's first plan. Speed would now be of the essence.

The beggars formed up in a circle around Simion and Broneslav led the way. They walked quickly, ducking down alleys to avoid crowds that could permit assassins to get up close or that might slow them down. The journey was going smoothly. Too smoothly.

As they walked down yet another street that was empty of people, suddenly people in hoods leapt out from side alleys with daggers in hand ...

Saturday 6 August 2022

Sicario 2: Bugging Out (A Warfighter campaign)

 Last episode, Torres and Diaz took out a drug cartel convoy gaining 3 VPs. Torres also has 1 RP towards new skills but cannot buy anything just yet.

Mission adjustment: add 3 to the objective's hostile value.

With the convoy destroyed, Torres and Diaz needed to get out of there. I rolled for the objective and scored Bugging Out. This is an escape mission where the team has to get from the objective to the mission card.

Grabbing ammo and gear from around them, the pair reequipped hastily and prepared for the worst. Taking a swig from her canteen, Torres outlines the plan: "We'll make for the river. Once across there, they can't easily follow."

I have 11 turns and the first location card I draw is a hidden cache, so I can grab some gear quickly too. I need to move at least every second turn, which means clearing out, or outdistancing the hostiles every two turns.

The pair approach the storage unit carefully. Diaz works round the flank and busts into the structure. He suppresses the look-out, quickly reloads and sprays fire at the drug runners, keeping their heads down too. While Diaz is forcing them to keep their heads down, Torres busts in the front door and drops a terminal grenade on the look-out. At this point, their pursuers catch up with them. Suddenly, there are bad guys leaping out of the woodword everywhere, but on the positive side, Torres finds a pile of gear, including a GPS that shows her a better route to escape (+2 turns to the mission). Pausing briefly to catch their breath, the pair lay down as much fire as they can and make a break for it.

It's not looking good. There's a ton of bad guys after them and Diaz is already hit. They push on. More bad guys appear. They fight their way through the stream and up an incline.

"Where the hell did they get an RPG from?" mutters Torres, "Well, scratch that one."

She hurls her last grenade at the two men with the RPG, destroying their ability to return fire. Unfortunately, there are more of the bastards and she catches lead in a couple of places as she urges Diaz forward. Between them they smoke several more hostiles, but ammunition is running low.

As they approach the river, an elite guard squad leaps up from cover. Two bursts of fire make the guards keep their heads down. Diaz yells that he is out, and Torres chucks him her last spare mag. They roll down the incline towards the river, firing as they go, and push on into and across the river.

Diaz gasps, "I'm getting too old for this shit!" as friendly hands help the pair back to the base's aid station!

Victory points: +5 = 8

Mission points: +5 =6

Mission adjustment 1: add 3 to the objective's hostile value.

Mission adjustment 2: add 3 to the objective's hostile value! (Ouch!!)

I got a couple of things wrong in this one, like being overenthusiastic drawing for reinforcements. You only draw for the card(s) your soldiers are on. I forgot that at the start. Ah well, I shall remember next time. And I have 6 points to spend on skills for Torres. What has she learnt from this mission?