Last night saw the first game of Sangin Skirmish that the guy that managed to talk me into this and me played (and my first non-tournament game for a long while). As I had only finished two buildings by this point, we picked the small desert board at Wayland Games and sat down to give it a play through to get the rules into our heads. The British mission: Capture or kill the High Value Target (HVT) who is holding out inside the mosque. By the way, they know you are coming.
My Taliban list was working on the assumption that quantity is better than quality but in the first 6-7 turns that assumption turned out to be incredibly wrong. I managed to keep his lmg toting guy behind cover and cowering, but anytime he managed to get a shot off I was guaranteed to be in trouble. In one shot he did double the amount of damage that one of my fighters in the open could take and so panicked the rest of the guys who saw it, that half of my army (?) ducked straight down into cover and refused to react that turn.
As the game went on, however, weight of numbers and the lack of cover on his side of the board started to show, the first guy he sent to make a break for the mosque got hit by a stray RPG and went down unconscious which meant his objective had to change from a kill mission to a evac mission, he had to get that guy out.
This was the point in the game where once his initial objective had swapped that I figured my game should have become easier, he was on the backfoot and for all intents and purposes I was winning, but it turned out to be nothing of the sort. Just because his aim had changed to running away didn't mean he could just run away, he still had to get to the middle of the board, pick up his wounded soldier and get him back off. If anything the game got more intense.
A lucky shot from my sniper (not pictured) managed to kill the lmg guy who did so mach damage earlier in the game, with the shock of him going down causing one of his squad mates to break and run away after two failed moral tests. Although the last member of that doomed squad managed to pick the dead soldier up and get his body off the board, it pretty much sealed the fate of the game. The Brits couldn't come back from this, even with his Rambo-esk Corporal running round the back of my compound taking out any Taliban member that got to close.
All in all, I can see Sangin Skirmish being played a lot in the future, but it is really intense both in terms of game play and house keeping, there are a lot of charts and tables you have to check for every single thing you do. While it will never be a pick up game like Bolt Action it has it's own merits and we have loads more plans of what we want to see if it can do.
Thanks for reading