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Dirty Volgs : Wargaming the Volgan Occupation of Britain

VolgInvasion

According to the annals of British Sci-Fi anthology comic 2000AD after new reserves of North Sea oil was discovered near Britain, the Volgan Republic, a fascist successor state to the USSR with  the help of a fifth column to invade the UK ]and much of Western Europe along with it. A deal was made with the United States ensuring that it did not get involved with the Volgan activities.

The result was the Eight Hour War of 1999, so named because it took that long for the Volgans to conquer the United Kingdom. The Midlands were hit by nuclear weaponry, politicians and generals were executed, and British army units were massacred at Stonehenge.[4] Many Britons were sent to concentration camps throughout the Volgan empire. The conquered states were renamed the Eurasian Economic Community [5] and the Volgan occupational forces would be called “EEC peacekeepers” by 2004. [6]

The invasion immediately led to a protracted occupation and an organised underground uprising by figures like the Free European Army, Traitor’s Gate, former MI5 & military elements, and the notorious Bill Savage who assassinated Vashkov. Collaborators were nicknamed “Double Yellows” after the twin yellow stripe on the uniform of British State Security officers. Those suspected of terrorism were sent to “Camp Sunshine” in Siberia. Escapist literature such as bodice rippers, utopian prophecies, and space opera were mass produced as a means of keeping the population pacified

Sounds like a good scenario to wargame to me.

The Volgan Skull symbol

The Volgan Skull symbol

“The enemy advances, we retreat. The enemy camps, we harass. The enemy tires, we attack. The enemy retreats, we pursue.”

These campaign rules are a modification of rural terrorist rules which I’ve seen first in an issue of Miniature Wargames in the 1980s but seen across the internet in various forms. This version is tweaked to be used playing Volgan occupation forces after the Invasion of Britain in 1999. They are adapted from this set:

http://colonialwargames.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/terrorist-warfare-campaign-rules.html

One player takes the role of the Volgan occupation forces (and their British proxies) whilst the terrorists are generated randomly. Their opponent will play the terrorists in the skirmish battles generated.

The rules have a minimal amount of administration but generate a large number of skirmishes, from brief fire fights to drawn out ambushes and assaults. Like in real guerrilla warfare most will be quite minor and trivial but there is the possibility of seeing things through to a conclusion. The key is to keep track of Terrorist Activity and Political Consciousness points.

The Rules

Charge of the Thundermen!

Suitable figures for the Volgan occupiers

You’ll need a set of rules for infantry combat that can cope with platoons sized actions. Mostly this will be infantry combat, but they’ll also need to cover artillery, armour, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. There are some free options available here:

http://www.freewargamesrules.co.uk/modern.html

The Map

Use a map of a real town or part of a town or city with a population of approximately 50,000. Ideally it should be by the coast or an area of wilderness to ensure the rebels can have an area to get supplies from their Yankee-Volgan backers either by submarine or parachute drops. For my campaign I would use a map of my home town of Wallasey.

The Forces

 COVER (2).tif

I assume the Volgan occupation forces operating out a local police station are

  • Platoon of mechanised or motorised infantry that is in armour personal carriers or trucks.
    • 3 x vehicle with a section of 10 men, crew for the vehicle (a BTR-60) and it’s weapon (PKM GPMG), and small arms (AK47s.)
    • Assume one on patrol, one in reserve at the station and one bedded down at anyone time
    • They are regular troops.
    • Casualties are replaced at 1d3 per week.
  • ‘Double Yellows’ British State Security – vicious local collaborators say 18 men.
    • Typically 4 on patrol in a Land Rover and 2 in the station.
    • Armed with captured British military weapons like SLRs, Sterling SMGs.
    • They are uniformed or swaggering about in leather jackets acting like they’re the Sweeney or CI5.
    • They are poor quality troops green or trained.
    • Casualties are replaced at 1 a week
  • Local Police, allowing for desertions say 30 men working out the local station
    •  typically 5 in the station and 5 on patrol at any time in panda cars or motorbikes. Armed with pistols (and maybe shotguns or old bolt action rifles,) with low morale or weapons training.)
    • Of the 5 say 4 are uniformed and 1 is CID
    • Casualties are replaced at 1d6-3 a week.

The Terrorists

Socialist Milita defending West Kirby

Suitable figures for British resistance

The Resistance know revolutions don’t just happen, they must be won with blood and iron, and with no improvement in their living prospects have managed to recruit a number of local lads to the cause. The politics of the Terrorists isn’t important – they might be extreme British Nationalists, the right centre Free European Army of Bill Savage or leftists like the ‘Tollpuddle Martyrs.’  Their exact numbers of this forces aren’t  clearly defined, but it consists of about 4-5 dozen terrorists operating in cells of 4-12 , armed with improvised and  personal weapons and backed by a few heavier ones. Their initial weapons will be gathered from gangsters (some of the resistance will be gangsters), robbed from homes or looted from surrendering British military or police units. They will operate in a number of small groups spreading dissension, collecting supplies, assassinating members of the authorities, sniping at the Volgan collaborators and maybe planting booby traps. There may also be hardcore bands of ‘refusnik’ British military stragglers out hoping to ambush your troops, mortar your bases and generally make life miserable for your men.

In the Countryside around the urban area, there might be larger clusters of resistance and military are more numerous, better armed and better trained than the local lads.

Bullying Volgs

Bullying Volgs

Bases

The terrorists will attack your bases and outposts. Any visible Security Forces’ position is a viable target, including stationary units that have given their position away by making a noise. Roll a d100 each night for each position. For the purposes of the Volgan occupation assume this is the local town police station.

Table 1: Bases

D100 Incident I.E.
01-69 Nothing
70-79 Sniper/Drive By Single shot with long range weapon i.e. Lee Enfield or SLR  or a Car/bike based automatic fire.
80-89 Demo Civilian protest with riot potential
90-99 Stand off attack Attack w car bomb, homemade mortars or RPG (1D6 terrorists   involved.)
00 Close Assault 5d6 Terrorists

Patrols

The other way of meeting terrorists is bumping into them when one or both of you is moving about

Roll once every 8 hours for an encounter and then roll to see who encounters the Terrorists.

Table 2: Patrol

Roll
1-49 Nothing
50-59 False Alarm Burglars, Doggers, Drug Dealers etc; mistaken for terrorists
60-69 Minor Sedition Terrorist supporters bill postering, painting murals, hurling   insults etc Roll for Fast Pursuit
70-79 Rebel kids 1d6 w Stones and petrol bombs
80-84 Sniper 1d6 shots
85-89 IED Inflicts 1d6 casualties on security forces (-2 if in APC) and   1d6 on local civillians
90 Safe House Pick up on terr safe house defended 1d6 terrorists
91-95 Small Party 1d6 Terrorists – pistols, sawn offs etc;
96-99 Combat Group (if possible) 6+1d6 Terrorists – captured Volg and British Army weapons
00 Large Unit (if possible) 12+1d6 Terrorists – well armed with 1d3 ‘heavy weapons’ i.e.   machine guns, RPGs etc;
Open end of the battlefield

Suitable buildings for the wargame

Table 3: Fast Pursuit

01-69 Nothing  
70-74 Stone throwers 2d6 youths 1-3 w petrol bombs
75-89 Small Party 1d6 Terrorists – pistols, sawn offs etc;
90-98 Combat Group (if possible) 6+1d6 Terrorists – captured Volg and British Army weapons
99-00 Large Unit (if possible) 12+1d6 Terrorists – well armed with 1d3 ‘heavy weapons’ i.e.   machine guns, RPGs etc;

 

CONTACTS

When you get an encounter roll a d6 for the Occupation Forces and another for the terrorists  to see who has the initiative.

+1 local police

-1 if in APCs

-2 for ‘terrorists’ if false alarm or minor sedition

The winner gets to shoot first, and if he wins by 2 or more he can set up a quick ambush.  If a false alarm or minor sedition losing this roll means the security forces open up killing a number of civilians equal to the amount they failed the roll as they are surprised and open up in panic.

Terrorist Activity Level

This measures how much impact the occupation is having on the terrorists. Terrorist Activity starts at 100 for the purposes of a Volgan occupation. Keep a running tally as the campaign progresses:

Add:

+1 Each week that passes
+2 Each Terrorist small party that fails to succeed in its   mission
+3 Each Terrorists combat group party that fails to succeed in   its mission
+5 Each Terrorist safe house busted
+5 Each mortar, HMG or other heavy weapon lost by the terrorists
+6 Each   Large Unit that failed to carry out its mission

 

For the purposes of the game ‘ failure’ to carry out the mission is to inflict 30-50% casualties on it in a patrol encounter. What doesn’t count are failed attacks on your positions, unless you were able to inflict such enormous casualties that the attacking unit is permanently out of action.

The terrorists and will take steps to recover weapons from fallen comrades, evacuate wounded and generally try and stay alive. Unless the terrorists initiated the action or heavily outnumber the Security Forces they will generally try and escape rather than fight and suffer casualties.

CIVILLIANS

However Terrorist Attrition isn’t just a one way process. The ocean in which our patriotic fish swim are the simple peasants of the area, and it is from them that the terrorists re-supply and recruit.

Resistance agents have been at work attempting to get the locals into a suitably patriotic frame of mind. How successful they have been we call Political Consciousness and it is a rough measure of the percentage support the insurgents have

The Political Consciousness rises as the terrorists destroy the instruments of Volgan oppression i.e. as they execute local government officials. It also increases by one every time a civilian gets caught in an artillery barrage or if the Volgans get carried away and start shoot, torture or lock up an innocent person. As the Political Consciousness rises the terrorists get more recruits, local people provide them with more food, and the amount of intelligence gathered by the local police drops.

Political Consciousness is also affected by the degree of security you provide to the population. If the Security Forces are based amongst the people the level drops by 10. If there is no permanent base and you are just dropping in by helicopter every now and again it increases by 10.

For every 10 points of   Political Consciousness:

 

Terrorists gain 2d10 new recruits

 

Terrorist Attrition reduces by 1 every 2 weeks
Intelligence Level drops by one

INTELLIGENCE

The Intelligence Level starts at 10 and is a measure of how much the security forces know of what’s going on in the area.

If you still have a functioning police force with bases in the towns you can roll a d10 every week and if the roll is less than or equal to the Intelligence Level you can roll on the Intelligence Table to see if anything has been discovered of interest. In order to get this roll, CID or British State Security units must be active.

Intelligence

 

01 to 69 Nothing
70 to 79 Set up Ambush Roll Patrol table with chosen unit but control first shots (no   vehicles)
80 to 89 Suspects Suspects means d6 people have been found acting suspiciously.   One is probably a terrorist, but you don’t know which one. You can either let   them all go, lock them all up or torture them to find out who knows what.   However every innocent person incarcerated or tortured increases Political   Consciousness by one and in addition once a policy of torture is introduced   it increases the level by 10.

 

90 to 95 Safe House you have the location of a terrorists go get them !
96 to 98 Small Party you have the location of a terrorists go get them !
99-100 Combat Group you have the location of a terrorists go get them !

Another use for the Intelligence table is interrogating any live prisoners you capture. You can roll once for each prisoner. Groups captured together will all know the same amount, so just keep rolling until one spills the beans then stop. If you are torturing your prisoners (and if you’re playing Volgans it’s probably compulsory) then you get a second roll on those who don’t talk after you’ve asked them nicely.

If you’ve lost CID and the British State Security you are reliant on house-to-house searches to gather intelligence. You can carry out 10 such raids a year. Ideally you surround the estate you wish to search to stop suspects legging it when they see you. If you have police with you  can carry interrogate the local in situ, if not you’ll have to ship up to a third of the population back to HQ to be processed.

Safe to say kicking in doors and dragging people off doesn’t go down too well with the more sensitive elements of the population, and each house-to-house search increases Political Consciousness by one. The alternative, knocking politely, isn’t so effective and will only find caches.

There are very few ways for the Security Forces to lower Political Consciousness, which is why in the long run popular revolutions tend to succeed. Building schools, hospitals or power stations will be popular, but the terrorists will just burn them down or stop people using them. Civilian infrastructure is extremely vulnerable to attack and so projects like this are likely to cause more trouble to the Security Forces than the terrorists.

The outcome of all this will be that the Terrorist Activity Level will either be going up or going down, and this will determine what the terrorists are up to and whereabouts in Mao’s famous stages of insurgency we are.

Activity Level 0 to 99 (Phase One)

Political activity.The terrorists are building up their strength and concentrating mainly on political activity, including assassinations.

No ‘Large Units’, no terrorists active during the day and ‘no ‘Combat Groups’ or ‘caches’ outside of the terrorists sanctuary area. Once a month a terrorist small party will go out and assassinate an agent of the Volgans; a police officer, civil servant, quisling politician or similar. There are probably 50 or so such people in the area so guarding them all is going to be tricky.

Activity Level 100 to 199 (Phase Two)

Terrorist warfare. Use the rules normally. Assassinations continue. Your local terrorists can now put a couple of platoons into the field.

Activity Level 200 plus (Phase Three)

Regular warfare. The terrorists come out of the woodwork and try to take over the local area – rough housing estates will start to sport murals and barricades will go up establishing ‘no-go’ areas for the security forces.. Your Intelligence dries up completely and local forces either defect or desert. The terrorists will be able to put a company into the field and if they’re strong enough they’ll attack your base. Any remaining civil servants in no-go zones will either flee or come to a sticky end, increasing political consciousness by 20. Every extra 100 points the Activity Level rises above 200 will allow the terrorists to raise another company. At two companies small units of CIA-hired ‘security consultants’ will begin to appear ‘advising’ the terrorists with more higher troop quality and equipment than the routine terrorists.

Although these are the official phases, if you do well at the game you’ll introduce them to another level.

Activity Level less than 0 (Phase Zero)

The revolution is on the skids. As Phase One but no Combat Groups, no assassinations, no booby traps, no caches outside of the sanctuary area and half numbers in bases. Each point below zero gives a 1% chance each week of a terrorist defecting to you.

Playing the Game

Volg Troops

Volg Troops

Whilst the idea of the game is the game is that the randomly generated enemy pop up and cause mayhem when they are least expected, real terrorists can’t really appear out of nowhere or disappear into thin air. In order for the game to make some sort of sense it is generally best to make all the dice rolls for a 24 hour period before playing out any of the encounters to see if any pattern emerges.

For example, before settling down for the night the commander of a Firebase sends out a ‘clearing’ patrol to check the vicinity for enemy. They roll 67 on the Patrol table and come across enemy tracks, which they manage to spot. They decide to wait there for the night and follow them in the morning. Rolling to see what happens to the base gives a 93, a mortar attack. Putting these together we can conclude that the patrol spotted the position to be used and consequently got to ambush the mortar team before they fire.

Winning and Losing

Your campaign could well become long and interminable. Decisive victory for either side is likely to prove elusive. Depleted army units will be replaced and rested, whilst defeated terrorists will simply melt into the urban jungle to return when they are stronger. Such is the way of counter-insurgency warfare.

However if you manage to get the security situation to the point where army units can withdraw, then you have won a qualified victory. On the other hand if you lose your base or all your men then you have definitely lost, and the revolution moves on to somewhere else.

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