Spectre Operations: Extraction in Feruz Abad!

Our first real game of Spectre, and our “first” impressions! In short, bloody and quick.

A quiet street in Feruz Abad, Northern Takistan. This would be the stage for a clash between Russian Spetsnaz and Canadian Light Infantry.

Almost 2 years ago, myself and Ty played a quick demo of Spectre Operations first edition at his place. We were in a rush, and the game was…confusing to say the least. We hadn’t had time to fully digest the rules, and our terrain setup was nowhere near suitable for a game that requires dense, realistic terrain. It didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth, but neither did it wow me.

Fast forward to this weekend. We wanted to play a game of something with fully painted models to feature on our respective blogs, but while Very British Civil War was our original plan, we had no terrain for it yet and we want to give that setting the justice it deserves. Instead, on a lark, I suggested Spectre Operations as Ty had a smorgasbord of Blacksite Studio “War Zone Arabia” terrain and lot of special forces models. Ty liked the idea, and with the addition of some roof shingles cut down into roads, we quickly made a fairly decent looking table.

The scenario we made up called for Russian Spetsnaz to extract an HVT from a building in the centre of the table, and then use his Gaz Tigr(a Russian light vehicle roughly equivalent to a Humvee) to make a quick getaway. My Canadian foot patrol would be in the area on the same objective. He had 6 elite operators to my 10 professional soldiers. This would prove problematic.

The Target Building…
…with HVT inside!
My Canadians moving onto the table. I play a lot of 40k, and this led to me keeping very tight cohesion. I would regret this.
At the top of the table you can see his Russian units preparing to enter the board from the north, with his Gaz just off table to be called in when needed for a pickup.
One group of Spetsnaz at their entry location. The other picture of the other team turned out very poorly.
And the table from Ty’s point of view.

The game started off pretty alright. I advanced the Canadians at a sprint right up the road, as the Gaz hadn’t arrived and the Russians didn’t have a shot yet. Ty moved up from his northwest deployment area and reached the target building in 2 turns, ready to enter.

Russian forces reach the target building in record time. The two models on the left moved in, while the last remained outside to watch for hostiles.
The Canadians meanwhile advanced up the road, with one fireteam staying on it while the other moved left past the prayer tower.
My close cohesion would be problematic here.

This is where things started to go badly wrong for the Canadians. I was very concerned about keeping cohesion, so my models were fairly close together…

Ty had on one of his models a pump-action grenade launcher! I knew these would be strong as I had read up on them on the unofficial Facebook group. But holy cow did it pack a wallop. He placed a grenade right in the middle of the left fireteam and BOOM!

This guy, with his pump-action grenade launcher, would reap a terrible tally.
And BOOM! 3 Canadians fall immediately, reducing my firepower by a great deal.
Followed up next turn by another grenade launcher shot, to devastating effect.

Two grenade launcher shots later and almost my entire force was dead or bleeding out. This was very, very bad. My Sergeant and Medic were still alive, and quickly moved away from the scary Russian man and his boomstick.

It was at this point that Ty suggested we get lunch. While we were out, he had a good idea to allow me to roll for reinforcements. While these would be unpainted models(to my shame) it would at least let me try and level the playing field.

The Sergeant and his medic move up the right side of the table behind some shrubs(we decided as these are 15mm shrubs that they would be tall enough to count as cover).
On a 4+ a second Canadian squad arrives. They proved fairly ineffective, but they at least didn’t suffer near total losses now that I knew to spread out far more!

It was at this point that Ty had begun to extract the HVT. Having climbed the stairs and taking the HVT into custody, he began to move the Gaz up to pickup his team, with the Spetsnaz taking overwatch positions, but not yet taking the action to overwatch, having moved to get there.

My Canadians finally got some much needed revenge at this point.

A Spetsnaz operator takes up position inside the target building, covering the garage entrance.
While the Spetsnaz storm the target building.
On a building across the street, the Spetsnaz prepare to engage down the road.
And in position.
Another shot of the Spetsnaz in the target building’s garage.
HVT recovered, the Gaz moves in for a pickup.
A sneaky Spetsnaz moves from the roof across the street and quickly into a building, but misses his shot at my Canadians in the open!

It was at this point that a small miracle happened for my Canadians. I won initiative. I was able to shoot back at the Spetsnaz who had fired on my Sergeant, and I downed the Russian.

His other Spetsnaz in the garage moved to kill my sergeant in close combat, encountering the Medic first. In the ensuing melee, my medic was killed. My Sergeant moved behind a truck to get better cover, but was also killed by the blood-crazed Russian maniac on a melee binge.

Knife fight! The medic lost…
And the Sergeant died the next turn.
Fire goes up and down the road. I lose one model…
And so does Ty.

The HVT was moved into the Gaz, and the Spetsnaz began to retreat.

His forces had lost 2 Spetsnaz so far, but his damage to me was far greater. I didn’t want to make it easy for him.

His remaining Spetsnaz Operator on the roof disengages, and moves to get picked up.

But, by now, it was too late for the Canadians to make a difference. the Spetsnaz move into the Gaz, and make a quick getaway. I did attempt to fire a LAW at the outgoing Gaz(which would have killed the HVT, but I was getting bloodthirsty myself). I missed however, and they made good their escape.

Later suckers! The Gaz Tigr books it back across Takistani asphalt and off the table.

It was a fun learning game, and I learned to not bunch up nearly as much. 40k muscle memory cost me a lot of lives, and I’m sure the news would murder the poor Canadian commander who sent the patrol in. It was a black day for the Canadian forces.

We learned a valuable lesson that the points system is a guideline for helping to make a scenario, and doesn’t always lead to balanced games. The Elites are just that much better then the lower tiers that they often keep up the initiative and shoot before my Professionals(who are no slouch themselves…), which leads to heavy casualties. The addition of the additional squad could have made a difference, or the addition of a vehicle(Come on payday! I Daddy needs a LAV III!) might have also tipped the balance.

We did play another game, after hiding in the house for a bit due to a tornado warning in the area. This game was much closer, but unfortunately I took no photos as I was so focused. We also added hilariously the “Baba Yaga” rules for John Wick, which Ty has a model for. Mr. Wick silently killed an entire house of models, but the Spetsnaz faired much worse as my Canadians were able to steal initiative enough to force casualties as the Spetsnaz moved to take the compound. The addition of a Russian sniper team was fun, and I definitely want one of my own.

It’s hard to see, but there is a lot of rain coming down. This kept us in Wargaming Shed for a while.

In short, I am very impressed by the Second Edition of Spectre Operations. It takes some nuance to create good asymmetric scenarios that are still fun for both parties to play, and the points don’t work on their own to properly “balance” the game. But the layout and wording of the rules is far superior; after a night studying the game I was able to play with very few errors!

Our next gaming day is in a couple weeks, and Ty and myself want to do some more traditionally insurgent style scenarios, such as searching for Takistani militia weapon caches while avoiding ambushes and IEDS. The game system is perfect for that sort of warfare. I’m considering looking into Force on Force for more platoon on platoon modern warfare for Ukrainian vs Russian fighting, but otherwise Spectre will remain our “go to” for modern, asymmetric warfare.

While this was going on, Ty also had a request for my 3D printers; he had purchased an STL pack of “modern” Japanese Ground Self Defense Force miniatures. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to support them properly on the first try, but I got very lucky. He left that day with 18 of them! They look really fun, and we will be using them for Japanese forces in Takistan, where they are meant solely for humanitarian relief, but will shoot back if ambushed while on the job. Lets take a peek at a few of them!

The first 6! They actually look pretty good, modern miniatures can be difficult to print due to the small nature of their firearms and can be rather delicate.
The squad leader, calling for help from Coalition forces in the area. This is a really cool pose!
This was dumb, I should have known the other foot needed to be on the base as well for this pose to work. Oh well, everyone needs a derpy model from time to time!
These models are armed with the older Howa Type 89 rifles and are equipped with older pattern web gear and helmets. I suspect these were made with fans of the anime GATE in mind, as they perfectly replicate that shows depiction of the JGSDF.
The models are quite detailed! I am impressed at their quality.
Another brilliant pose. This will look great taking cover behind a truck!
And the Minimi machine gun provides some firepower for those sticky situations!

I also printed him a sniper and two rifle-grenadiers, which in total leaves him with 18 JGSDF soldiers. Ty’s contemplating painting them with blue helmets. Let me know what you think of that idea and I’ll forward it to him!

https://www.cgtrader.com/3d-model-collections/jsdf-full-pack

The rainstorm kept us inside the shed most of the day. It was a great day of wargaming fun! I should be able to get another Spectre “battle report” in the next couple of weeks! Lots of painting to get done in the meantime; If I need more professional forces I might as well finish my Canadians!

But that is all I have for you today. Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and stay frosty. Bravo Six, Going Dark.

6 thoughts on “Spectre Operations: Extraction in Feruz Abad!

  1. The JDSF look cool! I’ve not yet played Spectre but from what I’ve read/watched elite rates units are going to roll through much of anything. Good scenario!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Japanese turned out really well, they’ll be fun to throw into some more peacekeeping/ambush scenarios, seeing as they aren’t main combatants. They went to my buddy so its his job to paint them all now!

      On the Spectre side of things, oh yeah Elites are absolutely lethal. That being said, in our second game that I didn’t take a lot of pictures of, they dropped pretty hard once they lost initiative a couple times. I think the answer lies in outnumbering them or tweaking the scenario to give Elites a challenge befitting their stats. There will be more games of this played so Ty and myself have time to play around a bit. Next scenario I’m running is a Coalition patrol, with some IED’s and ambushes planned to give them a hard time.

      Like

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