Sunday, 19 June 2016

Journey's end?

Not quite!

My solo simulation dealing with the Battle for Ramadi in December 2015 has taken me nearly six months to get to playtest status. Longer than it has taken the Iraqi Security Forces to repeat the Ramadi operation in Fallujah. Nevertheless I am just about there and am looking forward to actually playing it through from start to finish.

Game reference map
The background and rules booklet is complete, even if not finalised. Playtest counters and map are also in the bag.

Play test map and counters, not yet deployed
My to do list now includes only the victory point and casualty tracks and the operations board where most of the action takes place. I'm aiming to do those this week.

For those of you not too sure what I am banging on about, here is the game outline:
In this simulation the player acts as commander of ISF forces tasked with taking key objectives within Ramadi city centre. ISF forces are represented as units on a map of the city which has a hex grid superimposed on it to regulate the positioning and movement of ISF units. ISIS forces do not appear on the map. The game system reflects their activities by opposing the combat operations conducted by ISF units.
The ISF player has ten turns to achieve their goals. In each turn the ISF player plans and executes a number of operations designed to extend their control over the city and move their forces closer to the six key objectives (Justice Compound, Government Centre, Hospital, Grand Mosque, Stadium and Ramadi East station). Occupying each objective scores 5 victory points for ISF.
The outcome of each operation is based on the ISF forces and assets committed to battle and a randomised response from ISIS. Each operation results in either a win for ISF, with occupation of territory but the potential for incurring casualties, or a win for ISIS resulting in the accumulation of victory points for ISIS. If ISF incurs casualties the pace of their operations will be degraded. Other outcomes of operations will also result in victory points for either side (e.g. civilian losses or the capture of ISIS leaders).
At the end of turn 10 the ISF player tallies their victory points and determines whether they have won. The ISF player must score more victory points than the ISIS player and must occupy the Government Complex.

I feel more comfortable dealing with historical subjects than current events. However, over Christmas I was very struck by the immediacy of the fighting and its importance in the unfolding situation in the middle east. This was the first successful ISF offensive against ISIS. The key point for me is not necessarily how successful this is as a simulation but rather the learning that comes from simply engaging with it. 

Enough naval gazing, I'll get a page set up for this later in the week. Feedback and comments are, as usual, very welcome.


Brian Train said...

Nice idea worked out in a simple game... gong to make it available?

And now that you've done that, time to work out one for Third Fallujah!


Old Trousers said...

Hi Brian, Thanks for your interest. I'm just checking over the draft and will put it on the blog later this week. I'm still working on the other bits and bobs.
I have been following "Breaking Terrorism" and am keen to have a go at that if the Ramadi approach works out in practice. Is it me or is there a little less information about Fallujah at the moment? Maybe I'm not looking hard enough.



Brian Train said...

Thanks for making it available!
As you saw from my blog entry, there really has not been much information about Fallujah - a few stories a few days ago when the government forces took the municipal government building, which shows they are in the middle of the city now.
Coverage seems to focus almost as much on the misdeeds of the Shia militias as the progress of the ISF proper.