Modern Intervention

Finally dug out from a lifetime’s accumulation of wargaming stuff, Vaughan at the club put on a long-promised modernish-era game. This was 20mm stuff in the setting of a campaign played in years past, where real-life birder skirmishes between Surinam and French Guyana had bubbled over into fictional war in the early 1980s. Vaughan had found some amount of the old club rules, transcribed some from damaged bits, and some stuff like morale rules and air support were lost to posterity.

The scenario had a beleaguered French Foreign Legion force having fallen back from a Surinamese push into a disputed zone. The French had holed up to re-arm in a Guyanan Gendarmerie outpost, as a mob of opportunistic gold prospectors assaulted out of their camp across a river as the Surinamese assault force closed in. The rules set, untitled but generally known as COIN or Modern Intervention, are a skirmish-level action points type of affair, with action points costs for firing, changing stance, and so on. There’s lots of tables to refer to for weapon effects at different ranges for a host of modern-era weaponry, explosive deviation, that sort of thing.

I took the French and Gendarmes, Vaughan was the Surinamese and prospectors.

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The French hastily take position in the Gendarm compound, while the prospectors swarm through the jungle out of their camp on the far side of the river.

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A four-man patrol of Foreign Legionnaires sent to keep an eye on the makeshift bridge near the prospectors’ camp find a military-grade bivouac position on their side of the river.

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Following tyre tracks from the bivouacs, two of the Legionnaires discover amphibious vehicles – and Surinamese special forces!

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Armed prospectors surge out of their camp, but French fire from within the compound and the jungle exacts a heavy toll.

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The regional governor arrives on the table, trying to make it to the Gendarm outpost, accompanied by his all-the-gear-no-idea bodyguards.

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Surinamese reinforcements appear in the form of the light infantry force pursuing the French, blocking the road the governor needs to use!

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A Surinamese light vehicle tries to dash across the bridge but is easy pickings for an anti-tank guided missile.

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A unit of Gendarmes take control of an abandoned French APC and manage to hold back special forces teams advancing through the jungle.

By packing-up time the outpost was holding, but the governor was cut off – sequel material!

This was a fun game, with those moments of individual heroism and tragedy that you can only get from a true skirmish (one figure as the base unit of gameplay) rule set. The rules had on oddly 1990s feel to them to me, probably because a lot of role-playing games of the era used similar combat mechanics. Probably not the most efficient way to run a larger game but it does seem like it’d scale acceptably from tiny raids to reinforced platoon-sized battles. Who needs to be efficient, anyway? As I observed when Warhammer 40,000 moved to its quick-to-play 3rd edition, what’s the hurry, when I was enjoying myself?

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