Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Back to Iraq Historical Scenario

Back to Iraq (3rd Ed.) Historical Scenario

S&T No. 208

By Seth Owen

Back to Iraq was published in 2002 prior to the actual outbreak of fighting in 2003. Although pretty close to the mark, the actual course of events naturally diverged in details from the best Bomba/Miranda pre-war guesses.

This scenario reflects the actual events as they developed in game terms. Unless otherwise noted, all rules from Scenario One apply. This scenario is meant to use the Advanced Game rules.

3.2 Set aside all Turkish, Syrian, Al-Qaeda, Saudi, Israeli, French, Kuwaiti and NATO forces. None of these will be used. Pull out the three Iranian divisions numbered 1 through 3 and set the rest aside. They will not be used in this scenario.

3.3 Set up the following Coalition forces only.
Anywhere in Kuwait: HQ V Corps, HQ MEF-1, 3rd US Mech Div., 1st UK Armored Div., US MEF.
Anywhere in the Kurdish zone as shown on the map: The three US SOCPG and stacked with them the three like-minded “Iranian” infantry divisions. These now represent the Kurdish Peshmerga troops and are Coalition allies.
In any rough terrain hex within six hexes of the Syrian border: UK SAS
All the air units.

Reinforcements (Can’t move during turn of entry)
Place on the Turn Record Track:
Turn 2: 82nd Airborne and 101st Air Assault in Kuwait (I realize that the entire 82d didn’t deploy, but consider the counter to also represent various non-divisional units not otherwise accounted for.
Turn 4: 10th Mtn Div. Hex 2504 (Represents all the conventional force deployed with JSOTF-North including the 173rd Airborne Bde, the 26th MEU, the EUCOM Heavy Reaction Company with M1 tanks/M2 IFV, the EUCOM Medium Reaction Company with M113 APC and, yes, ONE battalion from the 10th Mountain Div.
Turn 12: 4th Mech Div. in Kuwait. (Optionally, to increase the chances the unit will arrive in time to fight, start rolling for arrival starting turn 5. On a roll of “6” the 4th Mech arrives in Kuwait and can move the following turn.

3.4 Set Up Iraqi forces as follows:
Within 3 hexes of Mosul, but NOT in any Kurdish area hex as shown by the shaded area on the map: V Corps HQ, 1st Mech Div, 7th, 16th and 38th Inf. Div., AA and AD Republican Gd. Div.
Within 3 hexes of Kirkuk, but NOT in any Kurdish area hex as shown by the shaded area on the map: I Corps HQ, 5th Mech Div., 2nd & 8th Inf. Div., NB Rep. Gd. Div.
Within 1 hex of Baqubah: II Corps HQ, 3rd Tank Div., 15th & 34th Inf. Div.
Within 3 hexes of Al-Amarah in Iraq: IV Corps HQ, 10th Tank Div., 14th & 18th Inf. Div.
Within 3 hexes of An-Nasiriyah: III Corps HQ, 6th Tank Div., 11th Inf. Div.
Hex 3329: 51st Mech Div.
Basra: 44th Marine Brigade
Al-Kut: Baghdad Rep. Gd. Div.
Hex 2811: MeK
Within 3 hexes of Baghdad but NOT in Baghdad: RGN HQ, RGS HQ, AN, AD and HM Rep. Gd. Div.
In Baghdad: SRG HQ, SRG “Corps” ADC Bde
Any hex not already containing a unit and NOT in Baghdad: 65thg, 66th and 68th SF Bde
ANY hex in Iraq: AC Tank Bde, RSV arty regt, SdFe Div., GSS Bde, RSV, SBM & MIR Bns, 999 SOF (remove the 999 SF Div.)
Strategic Targets (Rule AG 1.1) Remove the WMD and Terror Camps from the counter mix before following the Scenario 1 instructions

4.6. Iraqi units may not leave Iraq. Any unit which does so is immediately eliminated.

13.4 to 13.7 Do not use. There are no Iraqi chemical weapons

13.8 to 13.13 Do not use. There are no Iraqi nuclear weapons

AG 1.1 Remove the WMD and Terror Camps strategic targets before following the set up rules under Scenario 1.

Use rule sections AG 2.0, 3.0 except for AG 3.11 and AG 4.0

Use AG 5.5 an 5.6

Add the following special rule:

AG 7.0 Operation Iraqi Freedom

In the actual event the Iraqi regular armed forces played a minimal role in the fighting while the Iraqi special forces were much more difficult to neutralize than expected. To account for this employ the following rules:

AG 7.1 Iraqi morale collapse. All regular Iraqi units, defined as all units with black on red print, are subject to morale collapse from the beginning of the game. Any time a regular Iraqi unit moves or is engaged in a battle as either the attacker or defender then roll one die before resolving the battle or conducting the movement. On an odd number the Iraqi regular unit disbands and is permanently removed from play. Roll for each unit individually and roll for each occurrence of the eligible reason (so, for example, an Iraqi regular unit that attempts to move and then attack will roll twice – once before moving and again before attacking.
In addition, during every Coalition Recovery Phase the Iraqi player will roll one die for each regular Iraqi unit and add the current turn number, on a roll of 10 or greater than the unit is disbanded and removed from play. (Note: This means that all remaining Iraqi army units will automatically disband during the Coalition Recovery Phase of Turn 9)
All white-on-red print Iraqi units are immune from the provisions of this rule

AG 7.2 Fedayeen. All Iraqi white-on-red battalions, the GSS Bde, the SdFe “Saddam’s Fedayeen ‘division’” and 999 SOF units can “hide” during their turn by flipping over to their blank side Flipping must be the first action taken before any movement. While hidden they cannot attack or be attacked but can move normally. (Note this means they cannot move through Coalition units, they count for stacking and are subject to all supply and weather effects). Coalition unit can move through a hidden unit and if they end the turn stacked with a hidden unit then the hidden unit must immediately displace one hex within stacking limits and all other rules. If, for any reason, a hidden unit has no legal hex it can displace to then it is removed from the map and placed on the turn record track on the next turn. It can return to play in any legal hex in Iraq. Hidden units can be reconned by AG Surveillance Airstrikes just as if they were Strategic Marker. While face up these units act as ordinary units in every way.


Cobra II, by Michael R. Gordon and Gen. Bernard E. Trainor
The Iraq War, by Williamson Murray and Maj. Gen. Robert H., Scales Jr.
Saddam’s Forces Map, Army Times, Feb. 17, 2003
Author’s personal knowledge from duty with JSOFTF-North in 2003


  1. "13.4 to 13.7 Do not use. There are no Iraqi chemical weapons

    13.8 to 13.13 Do not use. There are no Iraqi nuclear weapons"

    Those lines cracked me up, then made me sigh.