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Old 03-14-2010, 10:40 PM
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Default Urban encounter ideas

Urban encounter ideas

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Anyone want to share their urban encounter ideas?

I'm putting together a list of possible "encounters" in the urban environment to use instead of the randomly generated ones from the RB.

They can be T2K or Merc/RL type encounters.

Your explanation could cover anything from
encounter force (infantry or vehicle or mixed)
Reason for being there (passing through or a detailed sweep)
Weapons
Special equipment
Likely response to seeing a PC group
Any "tricks" that the group may have/use/emply against enemy PC's.

kcdusk




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pmulcahy
Jeez I'm Tired...

The Army has written many MASSIVE volumes covering MOUT (the US military term for urban warfare). Tricks are legion, boobytraps easy to set, it's incredibly easy to hide in urban terrain (and even easier in ruins), you need a wider variety of heavy weapons, heavy-caliber small arms, long-range small arms, and short-range small arms, carry lots of grenades (both offensive and defensive), remember the enemy could be literally ANYWHERE, it can take forces of 15-to-1 or even more to clear a single building, one well-positioned sniper can pin down an entire company under some circumstances, even M-1A2 Abrams or Challenger 2 tanks can be easily trashed with a rocket shot from atop a building, you can lose a lot of troops to simple accidents and missteps on broken stairs and holes in the ground...

Let's just put it this way -- MOUT is pretty much every soldier's nightmare.

pmulcahy






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Cerberus

Local farmer. This ornery old codger fought the Germans as a resistance fighter in World War II, and was 22 in 1945 when the war ended. He has lived here as a farmer ever since. His health is failing now that medical supplies are scarce. The group will probably meet him as they try to get restocked on food or if they're delivering medicine in the area.

He's very cranky and suspicious of strangers. Mostly he wants everyone to go away and forget that his town exists. If the group can get on his good side, though, they'll have an ally who knows every town and trail within 20 miles like the back of his hand.
__________________
Check out the weekly free stuff at www.cerberusgames.net!

From Ship Viruses: What if science or nature invented a disease that could attack the hull of a ship? For the industrial kind, it would be nanotechnology, loaded into shells and fired at the target or dispersed nearby...

Cerberus


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kcdusk

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmulcahy

Let's just put it this way -- MOUT is pretty much every soldier's nightmare.




Oh yeah, i love my MOUT.

Depending on the town, as the PC's move (by vehicle or foot) you could have a "technical" (think jeep with GPMG) pull up at the far end of the road they are on. Then, have a PC/NPC notice a group of soldiers (police/malitia/bandits) moving from the other end of the street towards the PC's. So the PC's have foot soldiers "herding" them towards the technical.

PC's have a choice to make re taking the technical on or the footsoldiers who outnumber them. Of course, they could duck off the street and hide and hope they get passed by. Or they could take an alley way off the main road they are on ... but who knows where that leads (or what it leads to). Depending on the town/city, once off the main road, PC's may need to make a navigation roll to orientate themselves and not get lost (PC's normally take navagation skill dont they?:-)



Or you could have barbed/razer wire strung across a deserted street the PC's are on. Vehicles trying to drive through it might need to pass some sort of driver check. Anyone on foot trying to move the wire needs to A) pass some sort of test not to hurt/entangle themselves. And B) if they look like being successful at A) they find themselves caught in the open and under fire (sniper fire?).



A booby trap neednt be a HE grenade, for instance. It could be a smoke grenade that just announces there presence to everyone. No one gets hurt by it ... yet!


If PC's are evading police/bandits where the locals are sympathetic to the police/bandits/pursuing group, the PCs could find themselves being "surrounded" by civilians who just try to slow the PCs up without assulting them at all (a crowd jostling the PC's?).

kcdusk

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FriendoftheDork

Urban encounters:

1. Smelly, dirty orphan.
A little kid approaches a kind-looking PC, either begging for food, trying to sell something the PC doesen't want, act like he is his daddy (this is really awkward ), trying to scam the PC, perhaps pickpocketing the PCs ammo or other tradeable item (imagine the look on the players face when you tell him his 3 clips are missing in the middle of a firefight!). Or it could be a genuine request, perhaps an adventure waiting to happen for a charitable group (yeah, those DO exist). Or heshe may be deranged by the war and actually believe the soldier in question is the child's parent (despite evidence to the contrary, like nationality).

2. Shady biz. character.

The PCs, perhaps after taking care of local thugs or similar, are approached by a shady character offer to pay for their talents. To gain their trust and cooperation he might even offer some gold or other valuable just to get their interest. The shady character is "4 real", willing to pay and not just double-cross the PCs. He's likely also connected to a local crime family, thus will cause the PCs alot of problems if they insult or worse, attacks him.
The mission itself is of course quite illegal, and may involve grand theft, murder or other immoral activity. Tip: The first missions should not be obviously immoral, perhaps just an item drop, smuggling or pickup. Or messing up a known bully (for skimming on his protection racket). The PCs should only gradually be aware of what evil they work for, and turning agains them might be an adventure of its own.

More to come, perhaps. Hmm, this is great for brainstorming!

FriendoftheDork


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Cerberus
Three-Headed Dog

The question is MOUT

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The party enters a town that had a battle a day ago -- referee decides how big. There are wrecked vehicles, bodies that are beginning to rot, and unexploded ordnance, including gas weapons. Locals are beginning to wander in to loot the bodies. Will one side or the other be among them? Were they fighting the war or was it a battle among locals? Was it both?

From Ship Viruses: What if science or nature invented a disease that could attack the hull of a ship? For the industrial kind, it would be nanotechnology, loaded into shells and fired at the target or dispersed nearby...

Cerberus

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pmulcahy

Here's an interesting MOUT trick I recently saw on MSNBC that troops are using in Iraq and Afghanistan (something we never even thought of when I was in the Army, though it is so simple an idea!). They are carrying around lots of cans of Silly String (actually designed to be a kid's toy, believe it or not) -- when they suspect there might be tripwires that are hard or impossible to see, they spray the Silly String across the area. If the Silly String falls to the ground, no tripwire. If it doesn't, you can see what you need to disarm or step over.

pmulcahy

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darknite

A trick I read from Chechnya involved snipers digging holes in rubble then capping the hole with a half ton chunk of reinforced concrete. Once in position they'd have the concrete block raised enough to get a decent field of view. When they took a shot they'd lower the massive block to hide from the Russian's counter-sniper response.

Of course the Russians would never suspect a sniper lay beneath such a massive piece of masonry and he'd lift the chunk after they'd moved on and either displace or take another shot.

How did they manage to handle the huge concrete block? Simple, they just used an ordinary car jack!

darknite


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Raellus

Nice Darknite. I did some online research a while back on urban warfare in Grozny and there's quite a bit of interesting info out there. KC, Google "urban warfare Chechnya [or Grozny]" and you'll come up with some good stuff.

Here are a couple encounters I dreamed up for an OPFOR China campaign I'll probably never run:

It's winter. The PC's roll into a ville and find several nude corpses, face down in a snowdrift behind a house. The corpses are mutilated, but it doesn't look like torture, it looks like... butchering marks. These people are being... eaten! How will the PC's interact with the locals now? (Historically canibalism has been quite common in times of famine. The butchering idea comes from reading "Alive!")

PC's are being pursued (pursuers are an hour or two behind). They roll into a ville. Buildings on the outskirts have large black X's painted on their exterior walls. The PC's enter to find heaps of rotting corpses and not a living soul in sight. Upon examination (skill check), it's determined that they are plague victims. Someone spots a large enemy patrol coming from the other direction. The party is trapped. What do they do?

Party approaches a settlement. On the outskirts, they find a couple of "scarecrows": heavily decomposed corpses tied upright to posts a few feet off the ground (think original Planet of the Apes). One corpse is dressed conspicuously in enemy garb, the other in friendly garb. What next?

PC's enter a settlement and learn that the locals hold an allied soldier prisoner and plan to execute him soon. Does he deserve it? If so, what does the party do? If not, ditto?

More to follow...


Raellus

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weswood

In town: A prostitute lures a character up to her room. When the character has divulged himself of all his weaponry, her pimp jumps out of the closet with a knife.

Edge of town: Cerberus cranky old farmer was not just a resistance fighter, but a sniper. Who happens to be half crazy. And give him a decent WWII vintage rifle. (This is actually the very first "encounter" my players will face when I get a game started. I call him the Mad Hermit)

weswood

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kcdusk

Ooo ... some good ideas here ... some sneaky stuff, and very descriptive.

kcdusk



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ReHerakhte

Here's something that is related but not exactly what you meant, it's been lifted from a former forum member who was quite active on the old WebRPG TownHall T2k forum but hasn't been seen for quite some time here.
His site is at http://loonz.freeservers.com/t2k/index.htm It hasn't been updated in the longest time but it's still up.

(This discussion is from the WebRPG TownHall T2k forum)

Common village defenses

Posted by: Loonz
Date: 07/07/2000 17:23
What are some of the novel ways you use for the locals to keep the PC’s out? Marbles in cans? Geese, dogs? Mounds, walls, towers? What are the COMMON defenses

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Posted by: Rochkano
Date: 07/07/2000 19:18
Depending on the village’s situation: Sharpened logs pointed out (anti-horse tactic) Punji Stakes Mines (or phony minefields) - including claymore mines. Anti-tank ditches (with the dirt mounded on the Defenders side) Tripwires (marbles in cans, trip flares, bells, etc) Wire Obstacles such as concertina wire, tangle foot (barbed wire at about mid-calf level), etc That’s All I can think of off hand...that should help get the ball rolling

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Posted by: Eric.......
Date: 07/07/2000 19:44
Longtime no post! A few things I’ve used to deter PCs from villages: Signs in one or more appropriate languages, (falsely) warning of Cholera, Leprosy, or your other favorite malady. The good old skull or rotting corpse on a pole says alot. Poorly-concealed pungi stake pits, dummy claymore mines, etc. that either send a message (OK, what traps DONT we see...), or are used to channel the PCs into an area that IS, in fact, mined or trapped. Fake MG bunkers that are constructed to look real. These can use either things cobbled together from pipes or wood, or perhaps weapons that are beyond repair, or unique items like the DEWAT MG-08 that currently hangs in a local sporting goods store. Graveyards. This is hard to explain, maybe it’ll make sense. It has to be presented correctly by the GM. Something (probably the dead people there...) about graveyards just gives me the creeps. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Anyway, without it being too "D&D", a large graveyard just outside the town can say "steer clear". One in my county actually forms about 2 1/4 of the boundaries of the town. Avoid mysteries, "ghosts", etc. as these will spark curiosity and actually draw the PCs in closer. Graveyards can make good OP’s or sniper roosts, if the GM sets it up right. Enough already. Hope this helps.

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Posted by: Jim L
Date: 07/08/2000 08:42
Village or small Township defenses:
(I’ll try not to double up on what’s already been mentioned)
- Railroad ties, ’I’ beams or other girders set at angles, ’Dragon’s teeth’ or ditches to deter armored vehicle approach.
- Guard towers, fortified Hi-Rise or Industrial structures (mine towers, etc) for perimeter defense and surveillance.
- Abatis (tree’s cut at the forks and the branches sharpened, then placed in the ground so that they interlock)
- Flooded areas such as dams, ponds and nearby watercourses as obstacles. While these may provide fish stocks in a similar way that medieval moats did, they may freeze over in winter.
- Bunkered buildings, industrial structures (pump houses, substations etc) at prominent or strategic areas. These should be well camouflaged.
- Dividing the village into multiple lines of defense, once an invader penetrates into one area he is brought under fire from the next section that dominates the outlying sections and so on.
- Preplanted command detonated mining charges packed with shrapnel. Also, foo-gas and similar pyrotechnics.
- Walling between houses, using the back walls of each house to form a continuous perimeter. Many Italian villages are built like this already. A far more believable structure than a more military looking perimeter berm.
- Expanding upon subterranean features, nearly every large town has a stormwater culvert that may be used to move about when under attack. The exit where this leads to a creek etc may be used to sally out for flank attacks and partisan raids on supply areas, command posts etc.
- Watch posts an nearby avenues of approach, these people have had four years of this and will be ready for sneaky Petes crawling though the scrub. Broad areas may be cleared to foil covert approach, perimeter guards will have dogs (they can detect you by your gun oil, don’t believe that stuff about GI soap) and their hearing is so acute that a dog will always zero on a sound to within 5 degrees.
- If possible, villagers will keep groups at a distance and deal with them there. Few villages will be truly isolated and a message (signal, runner, radio etc or combination) will be sent to allies for help and warning.
- The ground and terrain features will be altered to deter assault groups having lie up points or cover during an assault. I.e.: A nearby prominent hill may be mined or have a bunker placed on it, vegetation will be cleared away from the walls, gullies and ruined houses will be patrolled.

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Posted by: Jim L
Date: 07/08/2000 19:27
Villages may be categorized as to their level of preparedness.
- Not.
- A bit of work. The villagers may not have been there long or are sublimely unconcerned about their fate. Only easy or absolutely necessary works have been undertaken. There may not be any guards posted and the defense force will be unorganized. A pushover.
- Some work. They’ve tried to make a bit of an effort, but may have been handicapped by insufficient time or manpower. A guard will be posted and they will have talked over the defense plan. Rudimentary defenses have been erected with a view to more permanent works later. A clear line of retreat will have been established and the villagers are aware of the danger.
- Defended. Given a summer and a winter to get things done, the villagers have tried to develop a defensive arrangement. The occasional patrol is mounted and hunters are logged in and out. The defenses are permanent and are considered a priority, bit may not be well thought out or have the help of military or civil engineers. There is a defense plan and the defense force knows where to go and what to do. Guards are vigilant but civilian. Contact has been made with neighbors about mutual defense and some vague plans made.
- Well Defended. A real problem for attackers. The lines of approach will be interdicted and possible aggressors will be intercepted before they can harm the village. Ex-Military personnel are the bulk of the defense (returned villagers, adopted stragglers and deserters)The village subscribes to a forward defense policy and there may be signs of annihilated marauder attacks (roadside graveyards, ex-marauders used as forced labor, damaged marauder vehicles undergoing repair etc). The works are well thought out and comprehensive and often consist of several layers. Works will be overlooked by defensive positions. It is this sort of village that is often comes to the aid of satellite settlements.
- Redoubt. An attackers graveyard. Led by a forward thinking strategist, this village has enthusiastically defended itself. They have gone short on food in favor of security and dominate the surrounding area. Armor assets are likely and the ground around the ville is one big deathtrap. The villagers fight with a zeal similar to Stalingrad or Berlin residents, underground links and shelters are strategically placed for protection. Multilayered defense absorbs and obliterates attackers. Go to town on the defense, they did. Maybe even a squad of suicide sappers with pole charges or similar constructs. The children fight on an equal footing, the only way to take the village is level it but you’re not likely to get that close.

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Posted by: Rochkano
Date: 07/08/2000 21:43
Almost forgot about log cribs...basically a box made of logs and filled with rocks, dirt, debris, etc. Along the lines of the Abatis (which probably wouldn’t be used as a village perimeter defense unless the village was in a thick forest) is the road crater. A big crater will slow down any vehicle, and depending on the depth and size may stop vehicles completely. To expand on the idea of putting useless (beyond repair) weapons in bunkers, why not pull a tank that is beyond repair (but externally looks good) into a position overlooking the approach. The only thing the villagers need to do is keep prying eyes away from it (to prevent them from discovering that the "tank" is a nonfunctioning hulk). Combine these and the other obstacles in a staggered line so that vehicles have to maneuver back and forth (thus exposing their flanks) and a vehicle attack becomes very costly.

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Posted by: Aaron
Date: 07/08/2000 23:16
I always like the Giant Crossbow ala Road Warrior something in the neighborhood of 300-500 lbs. with a crank, an idea I got off the Morrow Project email list is a black powder cannon using Monroe effect shells (who expects a black powder gun to take out a Bradley) and one of my favorites is the old Tank in the park refurbished and moved to a strategic location like the bridge into town, whether it works or not depends on resources available. ///////////////// Posted by: Ed the Coastie
Date: 07/09/2000 12:05
One of my favorite axioms for creating NPCs and communities is that "Anything the Players can do, so can the NPCs". Although skill degradation would very likely have taken it’s toll, the handful of ex-military types in the village would very likely have retained enough knowledge to be able to cook up many nasty surprises for would-be attackers. A half-dozen of the town’s best hunters could disperse into the nearby woods. Combining their rifle and woodcraft skills with the "home field advantage" would make them a dangerously-effective sniper force. Chemical (or even biological) weapons are not beyond the means of the average village that has a local high school or even a pharmacy. As for a delivery system, mortars are easy to build and "can be turned out in quantity from small machine shops and garages". (Just in my local community, we have two high schools, about a dozen pharmacies, countless garages and auto-repair shops...and a National Guard unit that includes mortar specialists.

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Posted by: Eric.......
Date: 07/09/2000 09:09
Almost forgot! A good book I’d like to recommend: Enemy at the Gates, by William Craig. Tells the story of the battle of Stalingrad in WWII. There are allot of the strategic elements mentioned in the book, but also some stuff about house-to-house and village fighting. The previous post mentioned use of a tank in the park. I think the book gave an example of knocked out tanks being used as decoys, as cover/concealment for snipers, etc. Why not use a junk pile as concealment for MG, OP, or sniper. Expanding on another previous post, use of the city sewer system, and knocking out walls between basements, or knocking holes between walls in adjoining buildings, why not take it up to the rooftop level, and if distances allow, use old doors or ladders etc. to allow movement between buildings, over alleys using the height advantage.
These same above-eye-level points can be used for traps -- falling logs, rocks, old gas cans full of gravel for alarms.

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Posted by: Jason Weiser
Date: 07/10/2000 00:13
Well, with all this talk of village defenses, I thought I’d share some ideas of my own.... 1. Anti-Armor Ambushes...These can be rather easy to do. All you need is one automatic weapon, and one AT team...You set up the two teams in separate, but mutually supporting positions then have the MG engage some infantry at long range to get some tanker’s attention. then when a tank come to engage Mr. MG. your AT team takes them in the flank and flambeaus a tank. The tricky part is getting your MG team out in time. 2. Evil tricks for urban settings: One, smoke is your friend, toss a Smoke Grenade under an armored vehicle that doesn’t have thermal, and they can’t see you waltz up with that AT-4 and plant it where it can do the most good. Second, never use a door when you can make your own using C-4 or an RPG. Third, Reactive Armor works both ways, to the Russians horror in Chechnya, The Chechens would fire an RPG at the Reactive armor on a Russian MBT, setting it off and having a Claymore-like effect on the escorting infantry, this in turn made Russian Infantry very reluctant to be near their own AFV’s and loss rates of AFV’s increased. Some other dirty tricks.. -German WWII play-book, Panzerfaust rigged up on a tripwire to be used as an off route AT mine -Mines, mines and more mines items that go boom are very useful for a variety of things.

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Posted by: Aaron
Date: 07/14/2000 21:58
You comment about the RPG against the reactive armor got me to thinking (aaaagh the smoke detector, not again) RPG’s have been used successfully against Helicopters in Afghanistan (against the Soviets) and in Somalia (against the US) resulting in Helo’s being reluctant to get too low and losing some of their close support effectiveness. Of course this won’t work in the current Aviation rules unless you find a full auto RPG but its still worth considering.

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Posted by: ReHerakhte
Date: 07/17/2000 04:25
To follow up what Aaron mentioned, another tactic for RPG use in Afghanistan was to use it as a diversionary device for a shoulder-launch SAM. RPG crew would fire at a low flying helicopter, helo takes evasive action thinking a SAM has been fired, which brings it into a more favorable firing solution for the real SAM or keeps the crew from seeing the real SAM’s launch ’till too late.

There are some definate encounter ideas in there and hopefully it will inspire some more!
Cheers,
Kevin


ReHerakhte





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Spielmeister

KC's post about the technical and the squad in an alley reminded very much of the movie Blackhawk Down. All of this brings to mind the nightmare of urban warfare with crowds of civilians being driven before armed bullies like so much cattle as meatshields to soak up the characters' fire.

At the time of twilight 2000, with so much of the world's cities devastated, I visualize urban settings with mostly crumbling shells of buildings and perhaps acres of makeshift slums. Again, images of Mogadishu come to mind. In my games, the characters tend to be wary of civilians in these settings as they always see a lot of raggedy, feral looking people just lurking out of sight but always trailing the characters and their enemies. Any casualties or stragglers are in constant danger of being set upon by these "street people" who will kill them off (swiftly if they are lucky) and then strip them of everything of value (if they're unlucky, they'll be stripped of bodily parts to provide the next meal of the street people). I just watched Escape from New York again last night and I am reminded of the crazies who lived in the subways and came out of the manholes at the end of every month since their food supply was already depleted by then...

In the real world, I remember seing something during a coup where I live sometime in 1989. Government soliders were engaged in a fire fight with some rebel troops in an area near a big slum (lots of those here). I recall that instead of running away to seek shelter, the people actually came out of their houses and gathered in the streets in large numbers as if to watch some parade or fiesta. Then when some trooper would fall or some military vehicle would get disabled, the crowds would converge in an attempt to loot something of value. Even back then I kept thinking to myself how twilight-ish all that seemed...

Spielmeister

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kcdusk

yeah, that scene you mention i was thinking of blackhawkdown. But it was also a good example to get the post going.

That huge post from Loonz's site - that same post is the one that i tried to "copy" when describing other challanges that T2K presents apart from combat. The idea of fortifying a town and all the non-combat skills that could entail. It was that article i was thinking of but couldnt remember where i had read it.

kcdusk

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Spielmeister
vagabond

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcdusk
That huge post from Loonz's site - that same post is the one that i tried to "copy" when describing other challanges that T2K presents apart from combat. The idea of fortifying a town and all the non-combat skills that could entail. It was that article i was thinking of but couldnt remember where i had read it.



Yes, I recall running into the same post from Loonz's site and it certainly caught my attention even back then. It also gives players a lot of ideas to start a "reconstruction" game where a group of battle-weary but relatively well armed PCs make friends with the locals and fortify their own "cantonment" in time for the coming winter. I recall an old movie with Michael Caine and Omar Sharif in it called the Last Valley. It was set in the 30 years war and dealt with a mercenary free company (if I'm not mistaken, it's been a long time) who moved into a village and ended up fortifying and defending it while the countryside was in the midst of chaos and ruin. Very twilight-ish too.

Spielmeister

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DeaconR


You can still have the old fashioned vehicle wreck or ruined site in a city encounter. Somehow it can look decrepit and dangerous as hell and kids will be playing on it, people will scavenge stuff from it.

A local minor disaster can have occured as well; a water pipe might have broken or a vehicle accident. Something like this can be an opportunity for players to get involved, particularly if you run it like it's just going to happen rather than seeming to encourage them to get involved.

DeaconR



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RED 3

MOUT Fight

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Go 3-dimensional; sewers, attics, streets - multi-floors...

I did a night defense... I gave the PC's 30 Min of real time to set up a defence, they used rubble, car hulks and furniture... I had to step in
I used a 30mm scale replica of the entire scene from "Saving Private Ryan" (The bridge & church steeple) at a game store in Tacoma, WA called, well hell check out the site, www.thegamematrix.com made one. I used minatures, a laser pointer & a cardboard toilet tube.

I will explain. Since it was night and every one had NVG. The players had to stand behind thier mini's and look thru the tube, for LOS they used the laser pointer. Yes they had an advantage and the ORMO and Wp Infantry did a huge amount of hip-firing. Yes the WP had IR searchlights but guess what kept getting shot out...

I had another player be the OPFOR and he go so fixated on the church steeple, and the bridge that the PC's infiltrated the sewers came out by the river and went crazy with it. 3D can be a bitch...

In the end it was 4 vs. 120 troops (ran out of mini more than once...) 3 BMP-1's a company of BTR's and a platoon of T-72's. In the end the artillery won and the town got gassed with nerve agent by the OPFOR because he couldnt get a foothold.

And that was day one!

RED 3

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kcdusk

Wow Red - sounds like some gaming action and fun was had that day!!!.

Some cut and paste of interesting stuff from wikepidia (?) below on urban warefare - good idea Raelus to google that term, i got readings coming out my ears!!!

Also, question on mouse-holing. I understand what it is. My question is "how often is it used?". The idea of blasting or knocking your way through a house wall into the next room or building sounds like a great idea compared to walking up an exposed road. However, how many mouse-holes can you practically make? You cant mouse-hole your way up a whole street, surely? Or do you walk up that exposed street until you come under fire, then mouse-hole your way out of trouble when it happens?

anyway, onto some of the interesting stuff i found ...



Urban combat is very different from combat in the open at both the operational and tactical level. A complicating factor of urban warfare is the presence of large concentrations of civilians, either innocent bystanders or sometimes as combatants ranging from armed militias and gangs to individuals defending their homes. Tactics are complicated by a three-dimensional environment, limited fields of view and fire because of buildings, enhanced concealment and cover for defenders, below ground infrastructure, and the ease of placement of booby traps and snipers.

Fighting in an urban landscape can offer some advantages to a weaker defending force. The attacking army must account for three-dimensions more often than two,[5] and consequently expend greater amounts of manpower in order to secure a myriad of structures if they don't resort to indiscriminately bombing them. It is also difficult to bomb underground or heavily fortified structures such as bunkers or underground rapid transit tunnels.

The characteristics of an average city include tall buildings, narrow alleys, sewage tunnels and possibly a subway system. The buildings can provide excellent sniping posts while alleys and rubble-filled streets are ideal for planting booby traps. Defenders can move from one part of the city to another undetected using underground tunnels and spring ambushes. Meanwhile, the attackers tend to become more exposed than the defender as they must use the open streets more often, unfamiliar with the defenders' secret and hidden routes. During a house to house search the attacker is often also exposed on the streets

The Israeli Defence Forces developed special tactics of MOUT, resulting in relatively low casualties to the occupying force (about 250 soldiers in 4 years of fighting). These tactics include:

Non linear advance of forces, swarming the AO (area of operations) from all directions.
Use of tanks and heavily-protected APCs to mobilize troops and protect them from enemy's fire.
Use of armored bulldozers to:
clear path to friendly forces: both vehicles and infantry.
safely detonate booby traps and IEDs.
to battle gunmen barricading in rigged buildings.
destroy or create ground obstacles.
Use of superior Close-Quarters-Battle (CQB) technologies such as advanced red-dot sights, night vision devices, body armor and advanced C4IS systems.
Use of UAVs to provide intelligence and full battle picture.
Use of helicopter gunships to target specific threats such as rocket launchers and RPG squads.
Razing of large swaths of urban areas, thus levelling the battlefield
Elimination of enemy leaders and sympathisers before they can engage in urban warfare
__________________
We do whatever we do, to survive - P.E.

kcdusk

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ReHerakhte
Foolish Mortal

To add some info on mouseholes in urban warfare - basically you'd make them for as long as you needed to and for as long as you had the necessary gear/explosives to make the hole. How many could you practically make? As many as you need to get your unit through based on the demands of the situation (and for as long as the building can take the extra damage).
However, there is a qualifier, breaking holes through walls works very well in Europe because large numbers of urban buildings (particularly houses) share common walls - you could literally travel the length of a street by mouseholing from one end of the street to the other in some places without ever leaving the buildings. In other places you might have a small gap between sets of houses of around 1-2m. In places like the former Soviet Union they had many large apartment blocks for housing so again you could blow mouseholes from one end of the building to the other.

In a place like Australia where the majority of the city population lives in individual homes in the suburbs, mouseholing is still usable but requires more gear to achieve because you've almost doubled the number of walls you have to break through (not including any fences around the yard) because houses rarely adjoin.

In the British Army, various tools were employed during urban warfare training during the Cold War years. These included sledgehammers, shaped charges and a well aimed shot from any nearby MBT but if a unit was denied access to this sort of stuff, then the humble bayonet and entrenching tool became the main wall breachers. Keep in mind that the majority of building walls would be constructed of brick, cinderblock, stone blocks or plaster and gypsum wall (i.e. drywall) at that time. Since the widespread use of prefabricated concrete sections (from around the late 1970s I think), buildings are much tougher and could require such items as diamond tipped blades for power saws, jackhammers and purpose designed breaching explosives (plus any generators, air compressors etc. needed to power the tools).

It was mentioned somewhere that to win urban warfare you need to have superior logistics. You use up more ammo, you require more tools (for breaking into buildings or making holes) and you also need building materials (for shoring up damaged facilities you want to use) plus you need a good concentration of medical facilities because you get more casualties. You make more use of engineers. Then you need more transport to cater for the increase in men and material you need to fight in the environment and with that you need more food and fuel.
In the aftermath of the Twilight War, you can kiss all that goodbye... your group will probably have to rely on bayonets and entrenching tools and whatever else they've managed to scrounge. They are going to want to mousehole their way through just about every building (or use the sewers, stormwater drains etc. if possible), because being out on the streets will be just too lethal for a small group without the backup of a large force.

Another longwinded answer for a short question!
Cheers,
Kevin

It's whether I win.

ReHerakhte

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kcdusk

Some house-rules for fighing in MOUT.

Reduced AGL if wearing body armour. Agility is reduced by 1 (or 2 if its old and/or bulky armour). Also, increase the amount of AGL D10 checks for some tasks like getting over a wall or fence, climbing up onto the side of a tank … there will be others. Failure might see a PC sprain an ankle, back pain or break an arm depending on the action and another die roll (ie slight wounds from these non-combat type actions. But they could add up).

Increased fatigue for wearing body armour in urban environment. For each 4 hour period on patrol or on watch, it qualifies as a period of “hard work” as per the RB. In addition, roll D10 v CON. A failure means it counts as an additional period of hard work (in effect that 4 hour period is equivalent to 8 hours of hard work). If the soldier is not adequately rationed with water/food, a D10 roll equal to CON is assumed to have failed the CON test. If the soldier is adequately rationed and rolls equal to CON they are assumed to have passed the check.

Also, only half a PC’s load capacity can be carried in urban combat/patrols to reflect the hard work required in MOUT. If more than half but up to the normal load capacity is carried, then another –1 to AGL & CON applies to tasks and another fatigue point per time period is added (ie a 4 hour patrol is hard work as per RB, and if a PC has > half load capacity then when he takes his CON it is at –1 for carrying > half load capacity, and if that CON check fails he is said to have had 1 additional period of hard work if wearing body armour and possibly another fatigue point for being encumbered. So a single 4 hour period of duty in urban could equate to 3 levels of hard work for the day).

The effect of the rules above is to reflect the hard work and nature of MOUT operations and make PC’s choose between body armour or not (a trade off) and also equipment to carry on patrol (another trade off). From all my readings it seems that MOUT is hard (hence CON and fatigue effects), patrols carry the least amount of gear as possible (hence half loads) and also some soldiers chose not to wear body in MOUT due to its fatiguing effects and also reduced flexibility (AGL).

Communication difficulties in city/high rise/large amount of other electrical items in small area. For every radio contact, a radio/electronics check is required to contact the other party. This reflects the difficulty in the environment and it may be only half or so radio contacts are able to be made leaving groups in the dark re some important issues in MOUT (what are the rest of your forces doing? What reports on enemy movement are you missing? Where are you moving in relation to your own forces? Into their fire lane maybe?).

Reduced LOS (closer encounter ranges) - table below requires two rolls to determine city encounter ranges. Roll D6 to see which range increment to roll. Some encounters will be very close (D20M) and simulate “bumping” into an enemy (like rounding a corner) and maybe Melee is a better option than rifles? Also, Pistols and SMG’s come into play more over Sniper rifles etc if a quick draw is required at short range.

And range is less likely to be long but it could be (10D100m = 1,000m) which reflects seeing a target down a road or in an upper level of a building.

Range
D6 Urban
1 D20m
2 2D20m
3 D10X10m
4 D10X25m
5 D10x25m
6 D10X100m


Navigation problems streets/alleys, knowing where both friend and foe locations, destinations and firelanes are. Make navigation checks more regularly where friend or foe movement is concerned. Also a failed Nav check could mean you get lost, stumble into a fellow units fire lane or your own group thinks they have found a building where the enemy should be but really it’s the wrong building and is full of your own friendly troops. This reflects real life reports of blue on blue fire and also how difficult it can be just to move to where you want to go (Mogadishu/Blackhawk down example).

3 dimensional combat (underground, ground, upper stories) Have encounters come out of nowhere (D20m range?) like man holes, side rooms, from around corners, from the rear (is anyone watching the 6? Or staying back to ensure that cleared room stays clear for exit?).

NPC’s & PC’s have more hard cover available than normal.

Some of these items require radio or navigation checks which I hope is another way of encouraging PCs to take non-combat skills that are essential to have. Also, in a multi person party it means specialists can be played like Radio-man is not just someone with a “1” in electronics making “automatic success” tasks like contacting HQ or your covering group on the radio, and a navigation man (or local guide) is needed just to make sure you get to where you are going (little own the other challenges your party may face). He will need a high electronics skill and need to pass real skill checks at difficult, formidable or impossible levels (as opposed to automatic success’s).

I hope these ideas add some more flavour to MOUT combat and encounters.

They should also apply equally to NPCs. When NPCs are encountered maybe they are not wearing body armour, or are already injured (even slightly) or carring only limited ammo, or as an enounter have an NPC party blunder into your own PCs fire lane.
__________________
We do whatever we do, to survive - P.E.

kcdusk

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Raellus

KC, did you come up with those MOUT house rules? Nice!

BTW, Chechen fighters in Grozny deigned wearing body armor, preferring to trade better mobility for increased protection.

In Grozny, the Chechen's showed a marked preference for fighting from the middle story of 3+ story buildings. They would often blockade the ground-level story too, in order to make it difficult for Russian infantry to enter. The Chechens would travel from building to building along the middle floors via mouseholes where buildings were conjoined or on ladders strung from building to building where there were gaps. Why did the Chechens prefer the middle floors?

1. Russian tanks could not elevate their main guns to engage them AND the T-72/80 are vulnerable to top attack.

2. The unnoccupied top stories provided some overhead cover from Russian artillery and airpower.

3. Inexperienced Russians soldiers would enter and pass through buildings at ground level, not bothering to clear the upper stories, only to be attacked from behind later.

To counter #1, the Russians attached ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" and 2S6 "Tunguska" tracked AAA guns to assault groups. Their high weapon elevation allowed them to hammer middle/upper stories with large volumes of fire. These weapons soon became priority targets for Chechen RPG gunners.

The Russians also sometimes used SP guns, when collateral damage was not a concern. Their higher main-gun elevation allowed them to decapitate the upper floors of high-rise buildings and apartment blocks.

To counter #'s 2 & 3, whenever possible, the Russians would attack buildings from the top down.

As Red mentioned, sewers make the Urban battleground truly "vertical".

Kind of makes the Ruins of Warsaw campaign a little more intriguing, eh?
__________________

Raellus





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kcdusk

yeah reallus, my house rules thought up today to make urban combat more realistic and put some of the "issues" into game mechanics after reading a bunch of artilces i googled on urban warfare. I'm happy that most of the house rules are not with "combat" related skills. I'm trying to make other skills more worthwhile having because otherwise it is just a combat game. I want to make other parts of the team have a role to play also, and non-combat decisions and outcomes to influence the mission/actions of PC's. Of course, at the end of the day, any Merc/T2K mission will come down to a combat sequence, but you can put yourself into a good or really bad starting position by getting some of these other areas right/wrong.

Do you wear armour and risk the AGL penalties or not?

I want to take everything on this march but do i want to breach the "half load" rule?

Can i trade off safety against fatigue?

I hope this radio operator is on the ball or we wont be able to call for that arty/reinforcements or confirm that its our own side in that building up ahead.

I hope the NCO or whomever is reading the map knows what he's doing otherwise we'll blunder into our own sides firelane or not be able to find our way home.
__________________
We do whatever we do, to survive - P.E.

kcdusk

************
Snake Eyes

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcdusk
Some house-rules for fighing in MOUT.


Great rules there. Any consideration for making observation tasks harder when wearing a helmet? Or to emphasize the downside of wearing a gas mask or MOPP suit?


Snake Eyes

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Targan

Gunmaster already has excellent rules covering everything mentioned above, including special observation penalties for wearing MOPP suits, helmets, NVGs etc.
__________________
Targan





************
Snake Eyes
Born to Lose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
Gunmaster already has excellent rules covering everything mentioned above, including special observation penalties for wearing MOPP suits, helmets, NVGs etc.



OK - Time to spit out a link to all this gunmaster crap.
__________________

Snake Eyes

************
kcdusk

yaeh, i had been thinking about helmets and masks since i posted.

I came up with nothing more exciting than a - 1 to your observation skill if wearing a helmet, and a -3 to your observation skill if wearing a gas mask.

Just enough to make you think about wearing either, rather than just deciding to wear all the body armour, helmet and mask stuff "just in case" and not paying any penalty for doing it.

Personally i reckon an NBC suit would be pretty hot (is it like a big rubber suit that boxers wear to loose weight?). I can see fatigue or CON coming into play here ...

kcdusk





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Radar0313

Sounds good and yes MOPP gear, when full worn is a pain in the ass. It is hot, limits mobility and delicated task completion as well as restricts hearing and observation. Though if you come up with something for MOPP penalties remember their are like four or five levels of MOPP, so you could scale your penalties as you go up in MOPP level.

Though for just a helmet I wouldn't penalize a person for wearing it since the average soldier is very accustomed to observation and sounds while wearing a helmet. And having worn one for many moons I don't think it hindered me in detecting an enemy in a mout situation. So I would do the opposite, no modifier for wearing a helmet but a bonus if you aren't.

But then again as I think more about it... an improperly worn helmet would be a burden to detection. Always sliding down over the eyes or over an ear and just being down right annoying enough to severly hinder detection attempts. So maybe your -1 penalty might be good.

You came up with some pretty good stuff. I don't plan to use any of it, but that is some great work. Keep it up.
__________________
Radar0313





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DeaconR


Because of the nature of much of my recent campaign my players and I have discussed not just MOPP gear but other stuff, since one of my players works with dangerous chemicals (she's a chemical engineer) and is trained in a variety of civilian equipment as well. KC's rules make a lot of sense.

DeaconR


************
Spielmeister
vagabond

Thanks for the great thread guys. The posts are most enlightening. I loved the stuff on urban warfare in particular. :-)
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